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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 07:06 AM
    The ones in the example are dedicated melee grunts who do just that. All you need is a lure....
    9 replies | 195 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    6 replies | 142 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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/...
    225 replies | 5959 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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. At level 2 the Wizard can... Not nearly the main culprit, no. LFQW is a matter of hard numbers. A 1st level fighter in...
    224 replies | 8914 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Today, 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 | 322 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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.
    225 replies | 5959 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    225 replies | 5959 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    224 replies | 8914 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    54 replies | 1293 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Today, 12:45 AM
    For some, the first ominous cough in D&D occurred with the publication of Greyhawk and Blackmoor.:.-(
    14 replies | 477 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:39 AM
    Hey! I resembled that remark... ... that's fair.
    14 replies | 477 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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.
    155 replies | 3147 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    224 replies | 8914 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    21 replies | 486 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    224 replies | 8914 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    224 replies | 8914 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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
    225 replies | 5959 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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. You can love something for it's virtues, you can love it in spite of it's flaws,...
    224 replies | 8914 view(s)
    2 XP
  • oknazevad's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    73 replies | 2567 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    9 replies | 249 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    224 replies | 8914 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    225 replies | 5959 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    155 replies | 3147 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:15 PM
    "That sounds like an excellent plan," Zyzzy says. "Make sure the drone approaches from a different direction than where we are."
    43 replies | 1004 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    225 replies | 5959 view(s)
    2 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:00 PM
    I was recruited 2+ years ago. I don't think of myself as new.
    1356 replies | 42061 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 345 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 42061 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    155 replies | 3147 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    225 replies | 5959 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:53 AM
    So, yeah, doable, with MCing, by level 6-9, as fully realized as possible by 15th.
    21 replies | 535 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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),...
    155 replies | 3147 view(s)
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  • oknazevad's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    73 replies | 2567 view(s)
    1 XP
  • bid's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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
    178 replies | 3528 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 499 view(s)
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  • oknazevad's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    73 replies | 2567 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...
    54 replies | 1293 view(s)
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  • 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? ...
    225 replies | 5959 view(s)
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  • 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...
    54 replies | 1293 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?"
    43 replies | 1004 view(s)
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  • 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...
    225 replies | 5959 view(s)
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  • 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 | 7529 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 04:27 PM
    In D&D we call them hit points.
    155 replies | 3147 view(s)
    4 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 11:55 AM
    Zyzzy is looking to see if it is possible to approach the far side of the ship with the vehicle without being spotted. Perception?
    43 replies | 1004 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 04:33 AM
    No version of D&D has ever worked well as laws of physics - at best you end up with a setting Terry Pratchette might've come up with, at worst, you run a crap campaign, both is not out of the question. But, 3e did come pretty close in a few areas, particularly character generation, which worked about the same for PCs, NPCs, & monsters. But, it wasn't trying to, rather it was leveling the...
    255 replies | 23679 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 03:46 AM
    Damage shouldn't be a sticking point in modeling firearms - they kill people, so do knives, clubs, knitting needles, slipping in the shower, and swans - they need to do damage, but it needn't be crazy. With older firearms, RoF could actually render them pointless in the context of 6-second rounds, while the RoF of a revolver or semi-automatic weapon could be problematic in the other...
    155 replies | 3147 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 01:56 AM
    I've seen that work well enough, but it doesn't capture the tropes you see in fiction around guns. There's not nearly so much dodging and seeking cover and just, well, missing - unless you really whole-heartedly embrace the 1e/4e psuedo-hit - not to mention the tense stand-off of characters held at gunpoint.
    155 replies | 3147 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 01:02 AM
    Every edition that has succeeded has succeeded on that basis, 5e just more so than any other since the 80s fad, mainly thanks to timing... ...But also because it threaded the needle between enraging vocal fragments of its fan base, and being accessible to new players. 4e erred on the side of being accessible, and touched off a spontaneous grassroots movement determined to burn the line to the...
    99 replies | 4104 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 12:32 AM
    The best game of SR I was ever in was run using M:tA (oWoD Storyteller), so, IDK, a very different dynamic from the native system may not be such a bad thing...
    155 replies | 3147 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 12:04 AM
    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. Any medium race could get the same (neither advantage or disadvantage) without the penalty from Reckless, or could get advantage with the penalty for Reckless. So an apple-to-apples of a +STR medium sized race vs. Halfling, both with...
    18 replies | 499 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 11:56 PM
    This made me wonder which was the more recent. I looked it up in the PHB Errata document (which is fixed in later printings) and it says: So yes, just unseen, no need for hidden.
    5 replies | 345 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 11:21 PM
    "That is a much larger ship than I would have thought my mentor would ever have been owner of," Zyzzy says aloud. "Perhaps we can circle around to the far side and see if we can use the landing gear as cover as we approach the access ramp." She turns to Tara and says, "I suspect neither of us will be buying the other out any time soon."
    43 replies | 1004 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 11:16 PM
    Oh, well.
    41 replies | 988 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 11:09 PM
    I'm sorry, is it not a 5e thread?
    206 replies | 5603 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:57 PM
    Something about TWF becoming the best option for a raging barbarian seems off. Not as off as S&B - it's at least given to full offense - but off... ....though, ultimately, worrying about how combat options balance vs eachother and what's optimal doesn't seem that important in the context of 5e.
    206 replies | 5603 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:52 PM
    As appropriate for the situation? If I'm giving a recap of last session, or describing a grand new vista in front of the characters, I'll be as eloquent and evocative as I can be. If it's an established scene where the characters are interacting, as DM I will also be interacting with the player and getting them information in a streamlined manner.
    19 replies | 491 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:44 PM
    I can't think of a RPG that wouldn't call for either, at times. One game can be clearer and more functional than another, even by a large margin, without actually being perfect. By comparison to most games other than early eds of D&D, I suppose, but the important takeaway isn't relative, it intent: 5e set out to be that way, on purpose, and for a purpose - several, really - for one, it...
    72 replies | 2386 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:27 PM
    Yeah, I originally thought it was about the concept of buying a Box Set and it gave me a bunch of questions. When I realized that they had particular meaning to box set that didn't match the varied history of boxed sets I changed my answer to "not likely" and it wiped all the questions it had previously asked. Get lost indeed.
    73 replies | 2567 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:02 PM
    Every person responding is going to the same place, showing that if you give it thought the meaning is clear. The number of routes of reasoning - all ending up at the same place - show how consistent that it's only bard level.
    8 replies | 374 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 09:59 PM
    What type of product are they asking about? I've bought a number of boxed sets, especially back in the AD&D & 2ed days when TSR made a good number of them. It's a wide category. This didn't seem to be able to make up it's mind if it's asking questions about a campaign setting or about an intro to D&D set. And really, I wouldn't buy them if combined together. As a side note, if you...
    73 replies | 2567 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 09:50 PM
    Thank you taking my intuitive take on it and showing the mathematics behind. Some people get caught on the "more rolls = more Lucky", but the real test of Halfling's Lucky isn't if it triggers, but how much more often the roll succeeds due to that trigger. People thinking only of the first part prioritize Advantage.
    18 replies | 499 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:55 PM
    It was a long time coming. I gave variant fighters a % DEX instead of STR back in the day - complete with maximums by race & sex. The 3e Finesse feat essentially taxed DEX fighters, and left them inferior. Not if it was random roll in order - just gets no benefit from it, as a fighter. Really, INT is a triffle lacklustre in 5e - though I feel knowledge skills can still be important.
    29 replies | 920 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:45 PM
    Agreed. Passive scores as targets work well. AC is essentially an example. You could start grapples with an attack (though vs a Touch AC would make more sense), and use a STR save to break out. DEX save to avoid and STR to escape might make more sense. Note, though, that 2 saves to work, and two different saves at that, leaves it a pretty low-percentage option.
    13 replies | 425 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:33 PM
    Alternatives to class/level appeared almost immediately. Traveller ditched level - and indeed, advancement beyond accumulating wealth - RQ was skill-based. Champions! was out in '81, with a fully point-buy, effects-based system. Yet, even games that eschew class/level have some sort of advancement, and some sort of archetypes. If you played Champions! Back in the day, you talk of Bricks,...
    99 replies | 4104 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:01 PM
    I can't really think of what my favorite system is, so I'll take this opportunity to shill for Gishes & Goblins. I purchased your game a few months back. Haven't played it yet, but there are some things I really like. Two weapon fighting: it makes sense. I've always disliked two weapon fighting in D&D, especially 5e. I really like your version. Armour Points: I think this is overdue....
    17 replies | 731 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:45 PM
    Well, you can, if you want to, it just doesn't have much impact. But, it's funny you should mention Gauntlet: it's a fair analogy to how certain classes played in most editions of D&D: grind damage in melee, heal with found potions (food) or Clerical assistance, when briefly not in melee, grind out damage at range. That's a fighter in TSR D&D, or a barbarian in 3e, or an Essentials Slayer...
    255 replies | 23679 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:31 PM
    It is a lot of system, sure - at least as complex as any other ed for the amount of crunch it hss out - but it's a lot of system that relies on the DM to make it work. Try the thought experiment yourself, or just consider carefully the next time you run: how far do you get before you're making an interpretation or ruling that another DM might've done differently?
    72 replies | 2386 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:20 PM
    You could also watch the encounter end without getting to act - not just combat encounters, either, many other challenges would also likely be resolved by a single PC, as well. The issue wasn't so much fast v slow or boring v exciting, but spectator v participant. Nod, 5e is that kind of deadly only at the lowest levels, but it establishes, especially in the eyes of a new player "this game...
    224 replies | 8914 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:17 PM
    Not really. It'd be too much like writing a book. :)
    41 replies | 988 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:06 PM
    The edition war rarely reached the intellectual level of a discussion or debate, it was characterized by fallacies, especially personal attacks, intellectual dishonesty, questionable agendas, and many persistent factual errors & misrepresentations. Actual discussion of 4e, itself, rather than the straw man effigies of it being attacked, was rare by comparison. The game has been dead & burried...
    224 replies | 8914 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:03 PM
    I can see what he's saying, as it was one of the factors that ultimately turned me off of 3e, despite that I loved it initially, and still respect the design contributions it made to the game. It was not all that uncommon in 3e for life or death to be determined by who won initiative. Hence why the combat could be described as 'rocket tag'. There would typically also be one or more attack rolls...
    224 replies | 8914 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:11 PM
    Hey, your 3e character could die instantly. Life & Death not meaningful enough for you?
    224 replies | 8914 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:02 PM
    DMs are people, not robots, so, yeah, it has to be a very extreme hypothetical. Even the least experienced, least talented DM is going to exercise judgement when the system punts to him. Sure, but those come in after DM has judged success/failure/uncertainty. Theres the d20 core mechanic, really. The players get 6 stats and various proficiencies, and a (very) few other bonuses. ...
    72 replies | 2386 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 04:52 PM
    I agree that Seth is great. Another one is Professor Dungeonmaster. He does mix of rpg advice, as well as using and building terrain. He's pretty old school, and runs his own mix of D&D, Index Card RPG, and homebrew, which he discusses. Not my style, but he's interesting.
    6 replies | 393 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 01:50 PM
    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?
    19 replies | 562 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 01:41 PM
    With traditional casting you need to find the correct level and increment a count. With SP you need to lookup a number (cost for that level spell) and then do subtraction. Both cases a lookup, but subtraction is slightly more involved then putting a hash mark or checking a box. *shrug* I'd put them close enough to the same myself.
    19 replies | 562 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 01:35 PM
    We playtested Spell Points at several different levels, and the problem spells were you high level or two. Basically, casters would using their biggest spells all the time - most return for the action spent, nova to reduce the enemy actions (often by inflicting the dead condition) as quick as possible. This lead to short adventuring days. Or at least the casters pushing hard for them. So...
    19 replies | 562 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:19 AM
    The brilliance of 5e is that the system is not the game: the DM is. Thought experiment: try putting 5e on autopilot, resolve to run a quick session with no rulings, just rules. Here's how it goes: The players build some characters, the DM describes the situation, a player declares an action - and the game stops, because there is no resolution without a DM ruling. And that's just effing...
    72 replies | 2386 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:07 AM
    It just occurred to me: No one has nominated Calcryx as their favorite white dragon. What an oversight! Meepo must be rolling in his grave...
    41 replies | 1108 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:59 AM
    The thing about Fast & Boring is at least it's over quickly. But, yes, Fast can be devestatingly anti-climactic, that's why you have to crank the threat up to rocket tag levels to keep it meaningful.
    224 replies | 8914 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:53 AM
    When to rest has always been about spells, more than hp. Sure, in the early game, you'd run out if healing, out of hp and have to rest - 15 min workday. But, then we got WoCLW, and did it give us an 8hr workday? Nope, the 5MWD, because casters wanted their top-level spells back for the next round of rocket tag, the next scry/buff/teleport assault, or the next buff/targetted-dispel contest....
    72 replies | 2386 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:10 PM
    I think, ultimately, errata comes down to attitude. Is your product something that's supposed to work, and when it doesn't, that's a bad thing? Then you fix it, promptly, and free of charge if at all possible. Is your product not really supposed to work until the customer has kitbashed it into what he was actually looking for when he bought it? Then why worry, trying to change it is just...
    72 replies | 2386 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:01 PM
    How many 5e feats would you identify as chaff? If it's less than 100*, I'd say it's an improvement. ;P
    72 replies | 2386 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:27 PM
    ...over substance?
    206 replies | 5603 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:20 PM
    Step one was clearing out the chaff. I suspect that was part of the impetus to have 'big' feats: it means characters get fewer feats, so make fewer feat choices, which means you can publish only a handful of them.
    72 replies | 2386 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 04:33 PM
    Over in the sense that 4e was already out of print.
    52 replies | 1540 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 04:04 PM
    "I must make these turns precisely so we end up where we started." Zyzzy says. "I should have said, 'hold on' first. Hold On."
    43 replies | 1004 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 03:48 PM
    I thought that was clear. Yeah, I'm not saying either complaint is valid, IMX, just that they're made. I have no problems with 5e being too easy, I just adjust encounter difficulty on the fly rather than coloring inside the guidelines (and don't run high level games), and none with 4e being too slow (even when I ran weekly in a 2-hr slot with a hard stop) because I could keep players engaged...
    224 replies | 8914 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 02:34 PM
    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.
    8 replies | 536 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 01:39 PM
    It's been some time since I last looked at that adventure, but IIRC the Naga is the Reptile "God".
    22 replies | 695 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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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
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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, 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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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...

Saturday, 8th June, 2019

  • 11:10 PM - dnd4vr quoted Blue in post skill proficiencies point buy
    I understand your concept, I just disagree that the idea that a character is not observing their environment exists. Now, an alert character, acting on player instructions, might do things which give bonuses or even remove the need for a roll to observe. But absent that the character is still observing what they can of the world. The DM has a set of tools to determine what the character experiences, such as vision modes (for seeing in darkness), languages known (for understanding written words), and perception for awareness. The DM uses these tool as the filter to know what to describe of the world. A character, living in the world and experiencing it, can notice things the player does not think to ask about - just like in real life you may notice something walking down the street that was not a conscious decision to observe. A simple example is a strong smell. Players may not think to ask if they smell something odd, but the DM should determine if the characters do and if so...


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