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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:11 AM
    As in other whack-a-mole threads, one common theme I see is that the solutions generally seem to work by hosing the healer's allies. To approach it from the other side, you could: 1) Make healing more potent for the slot cost. 2) Cut and/or power-down offensive spells from the primary-healer lists, like the Cleric, Bard (and, Gygax help me, the Druid, just as it's gotten cool again after...
    27 replies | 475 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:06 AM
    Same benefit as re-rolling initiative, with less complication.
    27 replies | 475 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:02 AM
    I mean, if you want that, fine, but I don't think that model the genre that well - that is, you might manage to create high-damage guns, low-hp characters, combat rules to incentivize them dodging and use cover and other genre bits to avoid getting hit - and what you'll have is a combat that plays out as a LOT of missing. A completely separate, almost non-combat, sub-system for a showdown,...
    204 replies | 4524 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:12 PM
    But I don't think high-damage guns and reduced hp PCs is part of the solution, either. HP are a central mechanic in D&D, they're essentially plot armor, and old-west heroes are as plot-armored as any others. Their hats get shot off, their friends get shot, their horses get shot out from under them, posts & waterbarrels & windowsills get shot right in front of their faces, and they take shoulder...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:55 PM
    Grabbing just keeps you from running away in 5e, they'd have to immobilize both his hands if the spell had S components, or gag him to stop V components, but those aren't things the Grappled condition covers. There's no OA for casting in melee and no reduction in effectiveness unless the spell attacks AC. 5e doesn't evoke the classic game in /all/ instances. ;(
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:51 PM
    Ironic. One 3.0 build I never got to use was a "backseat adventurer" - a sage, he just kibitzed from the back ranks, but it gave you bonuses. In 4e he'd've been a Tactical Warlord, in 5e I guess he's back to being a Lore Bard. Of course, the stipulation /effective/ removes him from consideration, since he was a 3.0 bard...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:16 PM
    Yes, you may goad monsters into Overkill and 'waste' their damage or 'gain' let's-pretend-healing damage due to heal-from-0. Sure, bloodied, even without disadvantage, did that for most characters - monsters could be more dangerous when you were bloodied, for instance, without having to actually gimp you into some kind of death spiral. But, I don't think penalties are necessary: just...
    27 replies | 475 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:01 PM
    ...before you do something cool or heroic, at any rate. There's really no good* reason hp couldn't work well in another genre. Yeah, 5e did cut some corners as far as off-turn actions & movement was concerned, but most other eds, I think, handle that sort of thing well enough. What else is so bad? ... it's bad, it's bad come on
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:48 PM
    The whole Animal Companion thing was just a take on the old Animal Friendship spell: it exists in 5e. You could use it to befriend (charm) and train (advantage on 'social interaction' should count) an animal - you might be using a slot on it per day for a while, but you could do it. At higher level you could Awaken it.
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:33 PM
    Find out if they want the animal companion to be the primary focus or an add on. If primary, I'd go with the UA Ranger Beastmaster but give Druid spells. It's not a simple wildshape replacement,since wildshape is just a different way fo using the druid's actions. A beast companion that can attack on it's own actions is something way different - something that when combines with a full...
    9 replies | 215 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:21 PM
    I'm not sure I agree that's what's going on: It may be more a matter of casters having better things to do with their high level spells than heal up a damage sponge significantly, rather than just stand him up with a low-level slot, tempting the monster to waste another round knocking him down again. Yes, the damage sponge may lose actions or get killed, but you can always wring him out on the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:49 PM
    I think they'd both just be /confused/...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:42 PM
    I can't agree. Both the 'role' and the 'playing' refer to quite different things depending on whether you're roleplaying with a therapist, a friend-with-benefits, or a GM... ...or a director. You can improv all you want in the context of a TT wargame - or not at all - it'll have no effect on play, and at worst might annoy your fellow player & the judge, if any. I don't think there's a...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:26 PM
    Hero System (Champions! c1981 through HSR/BBB c1989-99 & FRED was OK, too) 1) Effects-based universal point-buy system. You can build any character, monster, gizmo, power, cool move, hazard, or, heck, plot point, from any medium or genre, based simply on what it actually /does/, not it's press releases, not what it "is" or how it does it, just the actual 'effect' it accomplishes in the story....
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:57 PM
    Well, starting with 3e there were explicit encounter guidelines. They may not have always delivered a consistent level of difficulty, but they could be said to tend one way or the other? Prior to that you could go off tone, advice, and some vague sense of HD ~= level, sorta. Is that a dictionary definition? Because, if so, it's more likely alluding to Therapy and er.. 'games' that...
    290 replies | 7770 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:46 PM
    Its a daily struggle... In a way, yeah, I suppose so. In seeking balance, 4e had to push the envelope of D&D sensibilities on the martial side, but still barely covered what they might do in an 'action movie' kind of reality that'd've still balked at actual magic - like 300, where the Spartans were doing some crazy stuff, and the sorcerers were throwing grenades, which both strained credulity...
    68 replies | 1751 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:14 PM
    Just thought of another thing: the D&D Black Box starter set. It's where I got my start and IMO, I have never seen a starter set it's equal. The most distinguishing aspect of it was that there were these "cards" inside the DM's screen. Part of the card was a choose your own style adventure wherein you created a character and learned the rules as you played through the solo adventure. There...
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:45 AM
    BECMI / Rules Cyclopedia Weapon Specialization: each weapon had its own progression that was appropriately themed to that weapon 4e Defenders: while you could do the job in earlier editions, 4e gave you the tools to make it fun and engaging Monster Design and other DMing "quality of life" improvements 5e Bounded Accuracy Advantage/Disadvantage
    31 replies | 960 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:23 AM
    That was mainly 3e, I think. I mean, 3e/d20 was hugely influential, so that's not dismissing the point, but classic D&D was prettymuch choose race, choose class, hold on for dear life. 4e, you could retrain every level. 5e, feats & MC are optional.
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:22 AM
    Adding eight CR 1/4 beasts woulds change the CR of the encounter like you say. Having a spell which costs an action to use, precludes use of any other Concentration spell by the caster, and all of the creatures can be lost with a single missed Concentration check - and will be lost with inflicting the "dead" condition on the caster - is not quite as strong. Also remember that the neutral DM...
    9 replies | 245 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:56 AM
    Yeah, we all know how you feel. :P
    55 replies | 1767 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:42 AM
    How are you guys even quoting eachother?
    68 replies | 1751 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:26 AM
    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...
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:35 AM
    Amazing. That's great. Once word gets around, you should check the logs. CC was the most popular die roller in pbp across a few boards.
    23 replies | 965 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:25 AM
    If I'm not running 5e under AL, I see no reason to opt into feats, myself.
    68 replies | 1751 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:38 AM
    Oh, the arguing, I get. I'm down for a nice argument. ;) There is a range, yes. How you model a character 'avoiding' the deadly bullets, though, can vary quite a bit. In 5e, the DM could choose to narrate hp loss more as near-misses, dropping prone to avoid being hit, ducking fully concealed behind cover, and the like - increasing desperation & disadvantage (not the mechanic) rather than...
    204 replies | 4524 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:34 AM
    There's no reason to assume that an optional expansion of BM maneuvers would always/only be used in campaigns that opt into feats, so it makes no sense to write them as if feats were assumed, but, rather, to write them as if feats were, optional - because they are. What reason is there to 'protect feats?' What's the harm of feats & class abilities duplicating, considering that, in the PH,...
    68 replies | 1751 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 10:40 PM
    Thanks Sacrosanct. While I don't agree with 100% of them a lot of the effects give a good feel. Quite useful, I'm running a two player sea/undersea campaign with a Triton paladin and a sea-shanty human bard. And their pet axolotl named Kracken.
    20 replies | 488 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 10:40 PM
    You only need a long rest to change your prepared spells - that significantly less foreknowledge than might be implied in choosing feats, features, sub-class & class (a build-at-level really).
    55 replies | 1767 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 10:24 PM
    So a similar maneuver would be a big plus for the BM in a game w/o feats - and in one with, he might just take the feat, instead. Feats are optional rules, afterall, as are MCing, and there's a lot of standard options that are decidedly redundant in the presence of either or both.
    68 replies | 1751 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 10:09 PM
    You're missing the 1e DMG. ;) Seriously, though, if they have water breathing, verbal components should be OK, if you don't pay much attention to material components, continue not to - if you do, well, a lot of them, like IDK, "a pinch of dust" might be problematic when immersed. A simple rule of thumb might be fire spells do 1/2 damage (a fire based cantrip might just fail, it's just a...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 10:01 PM
    Wow, guys? Over "can I use my magic elf game to play cowboys and ^E^E^E Native Americans?"
    204 replies | 4524 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 09:27 PM
    You could certainly say "better reliability" or, really, "better" a lot of other things, like "designed," because reliability /is/ a pretty standard design goal. What good is something that doesn't work, afterall? Sure, like frequent opportunities to work on it! Right, you may have a back-up vehicle on call at a moment's notice, for instance. Or the car might be a showpiece. But...
    245 replies | 10071 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 08:36 PM
    Wow, were to start. Simulacra have half the hps and all the abilities, even casting, of the original creature - they don't regain slots or gain levels, but otherwise they exist until killed or dispelled, they can even be 'repaired' - one could even impersonate the original. They act on the caster's turn and are essentially allies & obey him, but they otherwise take a full slate of actions, and...
    245 replies | 10071 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 08:08 PM
    Yeah, it was kinda a tongue-in-cheek example... I should try to be more serious... sometimes... ...not right now.
    204 replies | 4524 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 07:56 PM
    "DM Narrates Results" gives the 5e DM tremendous latitude to inject genre into his game - any genre. :D Not all players may 'get' it, though. ;(
    204 replies | 4524 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 07:55 PM
    That's a /different/ intended range of uses. It's more like reliability. Say a car is expected to run for 100k miles. One car, runs, with ordinary maintenance, 100k miles, no problem. Another, tends to break down frequently from the moment you drive it off the lot until it's had a little repair work and breaking-in, then it runs great, with ordinary maintenance, from 10-60k miles, then it...
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 07:48 PM
    The party waves farewell to the villagers and settles in for much needed rest. Those newly joining the group and the veterans swap stories about what happened at the Leed's Crossing Inn. All is very quiet for 24 hours. Perin performs some kind of ritual involving the wolves while Everett spends time studying the books he found. Long rest happens, spellcasters finally get a feel for their...
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  • oknazevad's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 07:41 PM
    Part of the reason for so much space is that boxes are also often standard sizes regardless of product. It's a way to save production costs.
    90 replies | 3295 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 06:46 PM
    The fighter is pure melee, so movement isn't relevant, the fight starts when the two sides come to grips, and, movement being what it is in 5e, that means the fighter will be surrounded from the first round of actual fighting until he whittles 'em down to less than 8. New opponents don't 'spawn' they just step into the spaces opened up by their allies dropping. Were the fighter more of a Conan,...
    55 replies | 1767 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 06:19 PM
    Oh, you went dark on that tangent, and now were back to the subjectivity portion of the ride. It's not exactly an unfamiliar pattern. Hey, when you asserted I had a pattern of not backing up my claims with facts, I went ahead and /did/. Why don't you "prove me wrong" the same way, and instead of waving the subjective flag at someone's post, get 'descriptive' with the thing they're...
    245 replies | 10071 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 06:12 PM
    Hey! That's type-casting! ...poor Arnie... Yeah, I get it. D&D incentivizes certain tactics, strategies, modes of play, whatever you want to call it. 5e give the DM a /lot/ of latitude, though. The game may incentivize toe-to-toe damage-trading (I'm not so sure it does, but for the sake of argument), and the player may thus declare a simple action in accord with the reality that doing...
    204 replies | 4524 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 05:36 PM
    Yep, called it: It's fair to say that the objective qualities of a game don't in any way negate subjective preferences. Indeed, you can prefer something in spite of it having objectively bad qualities, or even /for those very qualities/. And it's nobody's place to stop or convert you (I mean, unless you exercising your preferences constitutes a clear & present danger to others). ...
    245 replies | 10071 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 05:18 PM
    When your parent company gives you a 50 mil goal, with a 100 mil stretch, and development resources commensurate with those goals, and you pull down less than 50 mil, it's a financial failure - even though you were competing in a 20 mil market. It was an astounding feat of design from the PoV of a long-time D&Der (this would be me) long since resigned to the many problems facing D&D being...
    245 replies | 10071 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 04:36 PM
    Read the D&D 4e books, swore I wouldn’t play it. Ended up playing it, then DMing a campaign that lasted years. I still stand by my original assessment, but hey, it’s what my friends wanted to play. Somewhere I have HoL. I couldn't even read the scrawled text!
    79 replies | 3024 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 04:29 PM
    Like Dannyalcatraz, I've mostly just played Stormbringer and other Runequest-adjacent games. But I know there are many that think the world of Runequest. As for the Witcher RPG, it's based on the Fuzion system: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuzion
    18 replies | 654 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 03:45 PM
    What if the 11th level fighter chose Archery as his second style, and the grunts have to close from a fair distance? Or the Champion is facing a firing line of archers ... ...or Both. Heh, what about the equivalent exercise for wizards? An 11th level wiz facing off against a graduating class of 1st level wizards - only spell allowed is Magic Missile...
    55 replies | 1767 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 03:15 PM
    "Charging in is possible. But getting close without being spotted before charging in is just better tactics," Zyzzy says. "Let's circle toward the back of the ramp and use the ramp as cover before engaging the squatters."
    44 replies | 1114 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 07:06 AM
    The ones in the example are dedicated melee grunts who do just that. All you need is a lure....
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 06:23 AM
    While I think maneuvers are great improvement in some areas... Ok, one area... OK, it's just the name, "exploit" was pretty lame, and cynical jargon-squating... like Tier and Core were, also, and Inspiration, in 5e. But, less cynically: The Battlemaster essentially presents itself as a replacement for the Warlord, every 4e/E fighter but the Slayer (that's the Champion) & EK (it was a...
    68 replies | 1751 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 06:10 AM
    IDK, I feel like there'd be a lot more rules for walking around, building fires in the snow, and Expositon, Joel, EX-PO-SITION ... We're Tolkien really a lot more than a cosmetic inspiration. Likewise, Lovecraftean influence would have meant more insanity, less combat. Lieber? You'd need some exhaustive rules for the *ahem* interaction /pillar/...
    290 replies | 7770 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 06:02 AM
    Yep, martial exploits and arcane spells were quite different, and the wiz retained the edge in versatility, while the fighter kept his in durability - reflections of both source and role that give the lie to all the "fighters cast spells" and "samey" talking points. Not nearly the main culprit, no. LFQW is a matter of hard numbers. A 1st level fighter in the classic game could hit a...
    245 replies | 10071 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 03:22 AM
    After finishing "The Labyrinth Index", I moved on to the third Dagmar Shaw book by Walter Jon Williams, "The Fourth Wall". I liked the first Dagmar Shaw book a good deal but did not love it, and the second book wasn't up to the first in my opinion. If it wasn't WJW I probably would have stopped there. This third book, told from a new character's point of view who is not an intimate colleague...
    8 replies | 344 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 02:41 AM
    IDK, couldn't a GM just stay on the ball and consider a combat-bad-ass concept character's bad-ass-ed-ness when adjudication combat? Taking advantage of the system's lethality by killing enemies when the odds are all on your side? It's classic CaW.
    290 replies | 7770 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 01:58 AM
    You'll run into contention with any unfair mechanic or lack there of. It might take different forms. Bang! Your Dead! Am Not. Are too! for lack of combat mechanics, vs moping and not showing up to the next session when your 18 CHA paladin is humiliated in court for the nth time, because the DM doesn't care for the way you RP him, and it's reflected in his success in social situation, for want...
    290 replies | 7770 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 01:54 AM
    You caught me, I left out 'virtually,' that time: vs Next time I'll just quote myself up-front. Yep, LFQW only /virtually/ absent in 4e. The Wizard's spells and the fighter's exploits per encounter & per day were gained at the same rate. So, in a given day, they're at neat parity at all levels. No LFQW, there, at the macro level, over 30 levels. Lightyears ahead, just in basic...
    245 replies | 10071 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 01:21 AM
    For a heavy narrative system, as others have pointed out, you should go with a different system. You could still use the D&D lore, but maybe use Fate, Genesys or Dungeon World, unless you want to design a whole new game, but it won't be D&D, anymore than Fate. As for having adventures match the pace of a novel of movie, it's not going to work. Many years ago, I played in a Buffy game. The GM...
    57 replies | 1484 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 12:45 AM
    For some, the first ominous cough in D&D occurred with the publication of Greyhawk and Blackmoor.:.-(
    17 replies | 721 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 12:39 AM
    Hey! I resembled that remark... ... that's fair.
    17 replies | 721 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 12:32 AM
    … well, it's not easy to kill PCs and PC-level enemies before they close (though, in some eds, certainly quite possible, just not with mere weapons). But it's quite easy to kill under-level enemies (or, in 4e, minions) before they close.
    204 replies | 4524 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 12:25 AM
    There are more fallacies than just /ad populum/ resorted to, certainly. I gave you one example, LFQW, above. It's a fact. It makes D&D a bad game - imbalanced, problematic to play at low & high levels. 4e fixed it. 4e is reviled for fixing it, because it's one of those flaws that people came to love. Now, we've been on this marry-go-round before, so having demanded facts and having...
    245 replies | 10071 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 12:18 AM
    Wait? Edition/s/? plural! Cool. 1e: Weapon v Armor type adjustments! Subdual damage. Attack & Save Matrixes (they were complex, but not complicated, and the save matrixes gave good results that preserved higher level characters, the 'heroes' of the story, in a world of SoDs). The Druid class. The Fighter's 1 attack/level vs less-than-1-HD monsters mechanic. Monsters using different rules...
    31 replies | 960 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 11:44 PM
    Because people keep pulling out the same tired /ad populum/ fallacies to claim that there was something terribad about it, and it's necessary to point out that something can be qualitatively, even quantitatively, 'better' and genuinely fail in a market, to counter those fallacious, factually false, assertions.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 11:35 PM
    It's not a flaw /in/ the consumer, it's a preference for (familiar) flaws /in the product/. Having a preference isn't a flaw. Heck, I can back up quantitative claims about the various editions (FREX: LFQW is a mathematical fact of D&D class design - it's profound in 1e or 3e, significant in 5e, virtually absent in 4e, resulting in a level-based game that actually remains playable at all...
    245 replies | 10071 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 11:22 PM
    So, does that mean you probably /do/ want combat mechanics, especially if you don't want actual combat at the table? ;P
    290 replies | 7770 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 10:48 PM
    ::shrug:: A more accurate claim would be that "4e was not nearly as bad a game as every other edition of D&D." Because, honestly, it still wasn't that good. Scale of 1 to 10? D&D's never risen to 5. I'm not sure any RPG has, TTRPG is a new kind of game, and it's evolved very slowly over a mere 45 years. None taken. D&D has only been fairly popular in the fad years of the mid 80s and...
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  • oknazevad's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 10:05 PM
    So apparently they're combining the various support accessories for the hardcovers that have been previously sold separately into a single box. Makes sense.
    90 replies | 3295 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 10:00 PM
    Defending the church and the faith can literally go any of those ways. The only way to fail is to try to go all of those ways. Instead pick one and support it hard. There are plenty of games that have combat as a core for overcoming obstacles, so I'd go for something different. If it comes to direct combat with the supernatural, the paladins are toast. Sort of Call of Cthuhlu-esqe. That...
    21 replies | 456 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 09:18 PM
    3e & 4e /certainly/ consolidated a lot of needless complexity. Just the d20 core mechanic was huge (tiny?) that way. Nothing 'mere' about it. Yet, here you are, weighing in. ;P PUll down $50-100 million in a $20 million market, at the brink of the worst recession since the great depression, using as a prime selling point a bit of software developed by one guy, who, to put it very...
    245 replies | 10071 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 08:47 PM
    Again, I'd argue they're not necessarily easier, just more familiar, that way. Is it really that difficult to conclude who wins a fight (a fight in an heroic fantasy story, no less - the hero usually wins, unless his loss advances the plot somehow, no?), and narrate how, vs both the DM and player getting deeply enough into the minds & emotions of a character & NPC to accurately simulate a tense...
    290 replies | 7770 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 08:26 PM
    Actually, while 5e chose not to carry it over from 4e, D&D can do this. Just implement the concept of minions and you're good to go.
    204 replies | 4524 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 07:15 PM
    "That sounds like an excellent plan," Zyzzy says. "Make sure the drone approaches from a different direction than where we are."
    44 replies | 1114 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 06:48 PM
    You don't need rules, at all, it's true: the DM can just rule on everything - combat, absolutely, included. If you feel you /do/ need rules for combat - because it's life-or-death, presumably, what about life-or-death exploration challenges or negotiations? D&D grew out of wargames, they were heavily combat-oriented, so D&D rules started out heavily combat-oriented. The game happened to...
    290 replies | 7770 view(s)
    2 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 03:00 PM
    I was recruited 2+ years ago. I don't think of myself as new.
    1356 replies | 42202 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 02:06 PM
    To my mind, the difference between the two is that you can draw arrows directly from a Quiver of Ehlonna, while a Bag of Holding you'd need to take out a quiver and prep it. It takes an action to pull something out of the bag of holding as per the DMG. Historically, this would put the Quiver between a Bag of Holding and Heward's Handy Haversack, which is rare. (However the Haversack's...
    11 replies | 370 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 01:40 PM
    This should be in the OOC thread. When Shavara was disintegrated I was told the group would get back to the academy soon so I didn't bring in a new character. Six real time months passed before I posted in the OOC about taking over Searinox's character when they disappeared but got no response until I sent Azure an IM. I was going to jump in again but the story is currently sitting on a decision...
    1356 replies | 42202 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 01:15 PM
    I think you're conflating gritty with Western. Yes, many Westerns are gritty, but you can have all varieties of Western. Blazing Saddles is a comedic Western, for example. Admittedly, I can't really point out a good example of a heroic Western, as I haven't watched a great many Westerns. Trigun could arguably suffice. It's been a long time since I watched it, but maybe Maverick? While 5e can...
    204 replies | 4524 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 06:11 AM
    When you put it that way, it's amazing we spent so many hrs playing it! ;) And, typically only one character... I can see how some table take a fair play message from encounter guidelines - and, hey, its not a dysfunctional style of play for the DM to essentially assemble foes for the party like building an army in a wargame, then playing that side intelligently, to win. That's the...
    290 replies | 7770 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 05:53 AM
    So, yeah, doable, with MCing, by level 6-9, as fully realized as possible by 15th.
    21 replies | 567 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 05:41 AM
    That doesn't actually look that strange, not if the characters are running around, dodging, seeking cover, breaking Los and trying to get the drop on eachother (and lots of minor characters gunned down in the process)... as sometimes happens in genre - if all that hp-ablation is narrated on accord with genre (near-misses, even actual misses that still inflict damage and/or some other effect),...
    204 replies | 4524 view(s)
    0 XP
  • oknazevad's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 05:09 AM
    I could see that. Except what constitutes a "proper" setting treatment? The format of that has varied over the years. As does the answer to the question of what level of content to include; does the product give a broad overview of the high-level aspects of a setting, or does it deal with the close-in aspects of the day-to-day NPCs? Or does it do both by having multiple products, with regional...
    90 replies | 3295 view(s)
    1 XP
  • bid's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 05:09 AM
    Alchemy Jug 29 Bag of Holding 31 Bag of Tricks 26 Bowl of Commanding Water Elementals 1 Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals 10 Broom of Flying 21 Carpet of Flying 27 Censer of Controlling Air Elementals 12 Crystal Ball 14 Crystal Ball of Telepathy 16
    208 replies | 4217 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 01:51 AM
    However, the obvious is a trap that will lead you astray. We're not optimizing for number of times it comes into play. We're optimizing for the change it makes. The amout the boolean succeed/fail changes. For example, if we hit on a 2+, our chance to miss diminishes twentyfold with lucky, since we go from 1/20 chance (a 1) to a 1/400 chance (a 1 then a 1). Getting four attacks instead of...
    18 replies | 555 view(s)
    0 XP
  • oknazevad's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:37 AM
    One thing to remember when figuring out which setting, if any, will get a boxed set: they have very thorough data that has shown time and again that about 55% of games are actually homebrew, though only about half of those are strict rejections of existing settings, while the remainder are just "will use whatever fits" looser ones. Coupled with the 35% using some form of the Realms, there's a...
    90 replies | 3295 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 09:27 PM
    Hey, you know those books that are perfectly adapted into movies. nothing changed, everything included, even the most exacting of fans satisfied. Neither do I. And both of them are a narrative experience, just with different media. Trying to fit an edited book to a gaming group improv-ing their characters where everyone wants to have their mark - it's not the same experience and attempts...
    57 replies | 1484 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 09:19 PM
    Especially the magic items, sure. But, if you killed the monster to get it's treasure, you also got the XP for that - and, everyone got to play, the "More engaging aspect" as well as greater incentive. Trying to trick or steal treasure was probably going to involve just the theif, just the talkiest player, or just the caster using just the right spells. What's a task it didn't cover? ...
    290 replies | 7770 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 08:29 PM
    Believe it or not - and I'm gonna assume not - 5e actually jettisoned what narrative mechanisms D&D had accumulated in the hopes of achieving 'fast combat.' Yeah, and here you are complaining that it's not narrative enough /and/ too slow? Seriously, 'reverse'-engineer novels based on a game inspired by novels? Again, for the sake of that fast combat you find too slow... As long as...
    57 replies | 1484 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 07:58 PM
    "I don't see any way to get around the ship without being spotted," Zyzzy says. "Maybe on foot we can cut that way and approach from behind the ramp." She says pointing toward the far side of the ship. "Who's good at sneaking?"
    44 replies | 1114 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 05:27 PM
    That sounds a reasonable observation. Can't disagree... That hardly seems to follow from the above. Early eds gave exp for combat & treasure, not for non-combat, and had detailed, elaborate rules for combat (many of which were summarily ignored) and far fewer, less consistent, and less engaging rules for other tasks - they also 'niche protected' a lot of exploration abilities in the Thief...
    290 replies | 7770 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 04:49 PM
    Its not a holdover, in the sense that it had been gone quite while, so more of a callback - which is true of a lot if 5e, really - and, really, so is your observation. Back in the early 80s there was a very earnest, carefully thought out Dragon magazine article that put forth arguments that elves and other above-ground races should have Ultravision instead of Infravision. (Yep, D&D was that...
    205 replies | 7575 view(s)
    1 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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Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

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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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My Game Details
State:
New Jersey
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, 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.

Tuesday, 1st January, 2019

  • 05:35 PM - OB1 mentioned Blue in post Feat: Innate Casting - request critique
    Blue I think this is solid, but it feels a bit too narrow. I think it can be opened up a bit without becoming over powered. Innate Casting Requirement: Character level 7th or higher When you take this feat, choose a 1st level spell that you know which requires concentration. You may cast that spell without using a slot, as if from a 1st level slot. When cast this way it does not have Concentration - you do not need to concentrate, it can not be lost to damage, and it does not interrupt existing concentration. Once any spell is cast using this, you may not use this power again until you complete a short or long rest. If that is too powerful, I think you could say that it doesn't require concentration, but you must still make a concentration check when taking damage to continue the effect of the spell.

Monday, 31st December, 2018

  • 04:34 PM - Maxperson mentioned Blue in post Does Rope Trick Heal?
    Oh! Oh! It's this one! You're adding extra points to make to example unfairly biased to your side! Maybe you weren't paying attention, but it's MY definition that's being discussed here. Blue has been trying to tell me that MY definition applies to Catnap, when it clearly doesn't.


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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.
  • 07:33 AM - Garthanos quoted Blue in post Fighter subclasses for every ability score
    I struggled with a strong concept for WIS. Are these so close that maybe it should be a single subclass that can trigger of INT or WIS for it's features? Wis as being steady perceptive it reacts more but does so by being aware and it might take longer on its attack for some benefit? I think of Int as being quick predictive thinking instead of reacting to an already occurring situation but it is highly analytical and preplanning too hmmmmm . So yeah there may be difficulty differentiating them in anything but a flavor fashion.. I was thinking in 4e that most of the powers and feats with Figher Wisdom riders ended up being the same ones I would Tweak via a combat style into being Intelligence riders.
  • 04:55 AM - Elfcrusher 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? Bear in mind I didn't (as the title of the thread says) actually play it, and I had to go get it off the shelf and page through it to remember what the turn-offs were. In a nutshell it felt like you couldn't play the game without having a pretty thorough understanding of the setting, but the setting itself required too much work to grok. I paged through it and there's a bewildering array of nationalities, each of which is supposed to have a certain flavor. Honestly it would have been a ton easier if each one just had a real country after it, to help give it context. (E.g., "This is like Greece, ok?") The genre really appealed to me so I backed the KS, but the book turned me off. You don't even see any rules for dozens of pages (or maybe I missed them), and when I tried to get a sense o...
  • 03:06 AM - Xeviat quoted Blue in post Fighter subclasses for every ability score
    Hey, one thing the Fighter is definitely missing is non-combat and ribbon options. What do we give the various subclasses to round them out? All fighter subclasses should have a nice ribbon at 3rd level that supports their story.

Wednesday, 12th June, 2019

  • 02:06 AM - mockman1890 quoted Blue in post The Roleplayer's Guide To Heists
    This is a bit orthogonal to my point. Of course the wild improv parts are fun - and you still get them. The part that wasn't fun was the two hour long RL planning session that in the end meant nothing.] I didn’t mind the planning time that turned out to be wasted by a few bad die rolls; that’s IC roleplaying time being engaged in coming up with cool plans. But YMMV
  • 12:40 AM - mockman1890 quoted Blue in post The Roleplayer's Guide To Heists
    Heists in RPGs are often better if you break some of the traditional RPG rules in order to prevent hours of planning that breaks as soon as something unexpected happens. That's realistic - but a waste of gaming time. Years of Shadowrun but also a number of other non-heist specific RPGs have given me that experience. idk; some of my favorite memories of playing Shadowrun have been when we’d plan a heist and TOTALLY f’ it up. Once our plan hinges on “stealing a truck for a getaway vehicle” and we totally failed at this, got in a fight with truckers, someone died and the whole evening was spent on the blowback from something that wasn’t even part of the site we were supposed to be breaking into. And it was super fun and hilarious. I’ve heard good things about Blades in the Dark, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with traditional pure-strategy ways to run a RPG heist. You just have to lean into the possibility of failure and be ready to find the fun in failure. Heck, that’s why F...

Monday, 10th June, 2019

  • 10:00 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Blue in post Fighter subclasses for every ability score
    Hey, one thing the Fighter is definitely missing is non-combat and ribbon options. What do we give the various subclasses to round them out?9 levels of spellcasting
  • 01:58 PM - TwoSix quoted Blue in post Fighter subclasses for every ability score
    This is interesting - using attacks as a resource because the Fighter excels at that. I have some worry about when tey just have Extra Attack that if they regularly sacrifice they will be doing less, well, "fighter things" then other classes. So need to make sure that what they get feels like something meaningful. Oh, absolutely. Level 3 fighter features are almost all damage increases, or damage+utility. Any feature that lets you swap an attack should have a return that's, at-worst, equivalent damage to one fighter attack and situationally even stronger. Likewise, since they are fighters, you don't want a feature that's encouraging them to give up all their attacks every round, since that takes away from the feel of the class and is moving a little hard into lazylord territory. So a "once-per-turn" limitation or trading an attack for a bonus reaction and/or a superior reaction makes sense. For instance, instead of a 1:1 trading attacks for reaction that allows parries let's ...
  • 02:59 AM - Xeviat quoted Blue in post Fighter subclasses for every ability score
    You know, with STR and DEX being big for any weapon wielder, maybe they shouldn't be archetypes. Maybe there should be a bunch of core fighter features that support "strong and heavy armor" and "dex and light armor" and you can play either way successfully with any of the archetypes that focus on the other ability scores. Agreed. Just like the integrated multiclassing of Eldritch Knight or whatever but in the other direction - the flavor in a pure martial form. I like both of your thoughts there.

Sunday, 9th June, 2019

  • 06:07 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Blue in post The Overkill Damage Fallacy
    with the two attacks if the first one kills the opponent, the second one can start on the next opponent which leads to quicker killing, while the wasted damage from a single large attack can't. That does seem like the crux of it. The argument I am making is that there are also mechanisms in place that allow for the single attack character to kill an enemy a round faster and apply his next rounds damage to a new enemy while the two attack character is still killing the first enemy. I think I finally get it... Actually I've just realized the way to account for it. He requires 2 hits to kill a 5 hp enemy. That means he needs 10 attacks to hit in total. I can easily calculate that for him. The single attack PC needs 5 attacks to hit in total. Any objections to this method? Just an observation: what you're measuring, there is chance to drop an enemy in the minimum time possible. Of course, the mechanic that calls for fewer checks will do that more often. But, it will also tak...
  • 05:00 PM - FrogReaver quoted Blue in post The Overkill Damage Fallacy
    By definition you aren't measuring how overkill slows down your kill rate if you only have a single opponent. Because it ignore that with the two attacks if the first one kills the opponent, the second one can start on the next opponent which leads to quicker killing, while the wasted damage from a single large attack can't. If you want to look at overkill, you need to go to 3+ opponents so you can see the effect. Right, the argument wasn't that overkill damage doesn't exist and can't allow a multi attack character to sometimes kill an enemy faster than a single attack character of equivalent DPR. The argument I am making is that there are also mechanisms in place that allow for the single attack character to kill an enemy a round faster and apply his next rounds damage to a new enemy while the two attack character is still killing the first enemy. At this point in time no one can say with any evidence that what they refer to as overkill is more important than the factor I've bro...
  • 02:31 AM - Krachek quoted Blue in post d8 Sneak Attack: Hear me out
    Compared to other ASI/feats this doesn't cover the opportunity cost of not taking one of them. Looking primary in the tier 1 & 2 where most games are played - at quite high levels with more SA and less things to spend it on it could work. This feat will help a underdog dpr class to be a better underdog dpr. In a game without or nerfed SS and GWM it could be enough. Otherwise if you want rogue to be equals in dpr you will have to redesign the entire class. Exchanging social and exploration capacities to do more dpr.
  • 12:59 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Blue in post Fighter subclasses for every ability score
    I hesitate to even mention "warlord" in conjunction for the second part because I know a subclass won't satisfy the long-suffering true believers, but instead saying that we can take some inspiration from the warlord for features for this subclass. Heh. Fighter archetypes base on physical stats & warlord on mental would make sense... ...but, really, "true believer" aside, 5e could have given the Fighter every toy it ever got, in every edition, plus every toy the theif/rogue ever got in every edition, plus all the warlords goodies, and not cracked Tier 2. There'd be nothing wrong with folding the Warlord into a Fighter, just, not the hardwired for Tanky, multi-attacking DPR, 5e fighter - It's just not upgradeable, no expansion slots, y'know. One of the differences between fighter subclasses and subclasses for other classes is that fighter subclasses tend more to favor mechanical rather then thematic interpretations. I'm not saying this to judge, Maybe not, but it's the oppos...
  • 12:49 AM - FrogReaver quoted Blue in post The Overkill Damage Fallacy
    FrogReaver, Serious reply, not an "instant naysayer". I'm commenting to improve your calculations so we can get a clear view. I see two things I don't think were taken into consideration and I would be interested in how much or how little they impact the end results. Thanks. First issue is that overkill is about damage wasted. The calculations shown do not differentiate for the twice-attacker between if the kill is done by the first attack or the second attack. Because if done with the first attack, then there is an additional attack that can be used to start damaging the next. If that's ignored, that's being treated as "overkill" (wasted") damage just like any extra done by the killing blow, but it actual play that is the opposite of overkill, that's damage that can be redirected to another target. The calculation I did wasn't calculating overkill damage. It was calculating the rounds to kill an enemy. The point I'm making is that if you kill an enemy faster then any extra...


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