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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 08:36 AM
    That point first started getting made 15+ years ago, in 3e forums. The thing that's funny is MMOs came up with "aggro," because they were trying to implement the traditional D&D Fighter role, but didn't have unwritten DMing rules that most monsters just attacked the fighter, most of the time, especially if he made any pretense towards getting in the way. I guess we could just figure 5e has a...
    26 replies | 490 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 08:21 AM
    There are no strikers in 5e. There are characters that have little to contribute /in combat/ but damage, and have more to do outside of combat, and there are tougher characters who have little, at all, to contribute besides damage. But there are no strikers. Anyway, the only ballgame in DnDtown is Fire/ball/.
    63 replies | 1321 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 08:10 AM
    Its all you need, but it helps to give the impression you're following /something, an AP, even just notes you made earlier. Its ok to just make it all up, it's better not to project that you are. There is none. Wealth & mundane gear have little impact on PCs ability to meet challenges. That should be adequate to keep the wizard viable. More spells from captured spellbound is just...
    6 replies | 86 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 07:42 AM
    Your definition of role-playing is simply too narrow. Especially given the need to go all caps and bold like some sort of outraged Darth Vader voice. There's at least a 3-way distinction. There are games that aren't role-playing, there are instances of playing a role that are in no way games... ...and there are role-playing games, that integrate the two yet are neither. In an RPG the...
    744 replies | 20592 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 06:59 AM
    Sorry, but this is hilarious on several levels. One is just who you're talking too, I mean, you are barking up a tree he ain't never climbed. You're also confusing your post-TSR trends, a little. 3.x had the RaW-uber-allies zeitgiest going. But, it's the OP, Sacrosanct, a dyed in the sandtable old school headmaster, who has insisted on confining this debate to the actual, verifiable,...
    141 replies | 3130 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 06:43 AM
    True, if youre playing poker or polo or pachinko, your play experience is not a roleplay experience. And, if you're playing Hamlet or Naughty Schoolgirl or Devil's Advocate, your roleplay experience is not a game-play experience. But if you're playing an RPG, it really /should/ be both. Is that undesirable? Because, if it is, freestyle RP is totally a thing, and you won't need to deal...
    744 replies | 20592 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 06:30 AM
    Its an RPG, the whole thing is about roleplaying. Relative to the other WotC eds the biggest 'pro' in 5e is the DM - DM Empowerment. But, the real "pro" of 5e is... Move product in volumes not seen since the 80s.
    744 replies | 20592 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 03:20 AM
    Yeah, the actual play experience will be subjective, so looking for the difference there will, at most, uncover some dusty system artifacts that might reveal which system was used, but nothing much more. Now, whether via system procedures, or via some naďve-RP/freestyle/make-believe consensus, the same persons could have established the same elements of the fiction in the same order. ...
    744 replies | 20592 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 03:03 AM
    IDK. Would the existing PF fanbase be offended if their system were positioned as Advanced D&D (w/1e UA & 2e Complete & Option books), to 5e's Basic D&D?
    204 replies | 13317 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 03:00 AM
    That's fair. I mean, 5e /has the bloodied condition/, without having the "Bloodied" /Condition/. So any rule you could write in 4e like "when the <insert creature> is not bloodied and attacks a bloodied enemy <bad things happen>" you could as easily write, in 5e "when the <insert creature>'s current hit points, not including temporary hit points are greater than half its maximum hit points...
    63 replies | 1321 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 02:51 AM
    I was searching for some way of making a statement general enough to avoid implying any specific system or set of assumptions. But, y'know, RPGing is something we all do. Any time we do that, is an 'instance,' right? So, in any given instance, we might decide to go beyond the scope of the system we're using, or even merely the scope of what it does well. And, /if/ we're a group with a good...
    744 replies | 20592 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 02:25 AM
    It's not the most clearly-stated rule ever (even by 1e standards), but, yeah, that's the only way to parse the rule that allows the optional -3 'single blow' phrasing to make any sense. TBH, it /doesn't/ make a lot of sense, no matter how you try to parse it. Every group I ever saw use the -10 rule, allowed that you dropped unconscious if reduced to anything from 0 to -9, then bled at...
    141 replies | 3130 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:31 AM
    The whole DMG is essentially optional rules. (really, the whole game is, but don't admit it to the players) nb: that's to /exactly/ 0 hit point. If you drop to -1 or fewer you die. That's what happens while you're unconscious, after having been reduced to exactly 0. You lose 1 hp per round, going from 0, to -1, etc, down through -9, then die when you reach -10. If you don't take any...
    141 replies | 3130 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:07 AM
    No problem. I'd've not replies if I'd noticed you taking down the post I was responding too...
    63 replies | 1321 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:05 AM
    ..it'd be an issue, because there are INT based casters & 1/3rd casters who already need a lot of INT, which otherwise does nothing for combat - suddenly they could leverage it. And, those 1/3rd casters (EK & AT) are otherwise weapon-users... ...oh, and Bladesingers...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:40 PM
    I've heard about it but never checked it out. What did they do, just dial up encounters?
    141 replies | 3130 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:38 PM
    That's the thing, you don't need to talk about 20-level builds to new players. They can play a 'starting package' or pregen. Really, in any edition, pregens are a good idea, that's why modules had 'em back in the 0e days (In Search of the Unknown, which came with the c1977 basic set had pregens in the back), and 5e has 'em in the Basic PDF. Encounters pregens came on laminated half-sheets. ...
    63 replies | 1321 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:47 PM
    Oh, yeah. Especially some messed up monsters early on, and the off-kilter encounters in KotS and the like, could be deadlier than EL would indicate, and, until the MM3, if you weren't playing like 8-enounter days, EL=Level could seem a little too easy. It'd've made more sense, as a practical matter of how it seemed 4e got played 'in the wild' to peg monster math/EL to a 3-5 encounter day, and...
    141 replies | 3130 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:41 PM
    But, you haven't gotten to the pedantic part, yet!? Asked and answered: they only feel heavy after you take them out of the water.
    156 replies | 6433 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:31 PM
    Realism? In a discussion of hit points? Nope, we don't. A very slight trauma involving relatively little injury can kill instantly, profound trauma over much of the body can be survived. The human body is freak'n weird. People fall in the shower and die. People fall out of airplanes without parachutes and live. It's not because some people rolled 1 on their HD. It's not because falls do...
    744 replies | 20592 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:13 PM
    I ran 4e, for the run of Encounters (and beyond, but with an established group), so that's a /lot/ of introducing the game to brand-new players. Something I'd done back in the day, and done, since, as Encounters opened up to the Next playtest, then 5e. 4e is /easily/ the most accessible of the WotC editions, to brand-new players. Now, sure, you /could/ do 30-level builds if you were so...
    63 replies | 1321 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:59 PM
    Not much variance, on that count, I'd think. The EL guidelines of 4e were quite straightforward, relatively dependable, and an exact-at-level encounter was a resource-ablating 'speed bump' (same intent as a single CR=Level encounter in 3e), that'd break deadly only towards the end of an unusually long day (8+ encounters in all likelihood). Lower ELs below level -1 or 2 rapidly became trivial,...
    141 replies | 3130 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:37 PM
    The campaign I'm running meets weekly, so not an issue; the one I play in has the same frequency as yours, but is 4e, so, again, not an issue - even if we have 'long rests' or just hard-resets because we missed a session or two, and have freshly-printed character sheets, between sessions, and thus 1-encounter days, it just means a harder encounter, we don't have any e-Classes, so everyone gets to...
    44 replies | 1129 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:30 PM
    The answer to the question of ignorance or expediency or malice is really kinda moot. (But my guess is expediency.) 3e fans have PF. When PF rolls rev, anyone else can publish a 3.875 under the OGL and the party keeps rolling. The things built into 5e to appeal to them seem more like olive branches - they're there to keep those fans from warring against 5e by validating their preferences,...
    63 replies | 1321 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:21 PM
    A few possibilities have been floated using Bonus Actions or Reactions, to represent tactical planning or springing a tactic. There's already a lot of uses for those kinds of actions, especially reactions, in combat. How about representing keeping a 'Tactical' overview of the battle by requiring /Concentration/? Hey, no battle-plan survives first contact with the enemy('s weapon, unless you...
    36 replies | 702 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:56 PM
    To be fair, 4e was very much designed based on criticisms of 3e (and earlier) - 'static combat,' LFQW, 5WMD, CoDzilla, Sorcerers inferior to Wizards (heck, everyone but CoDzilla being inferior to Wizards), broken combos/exploits, broken spells, 'Rocket Tag,' /needing/ 20-level builds, whacked Epic-levels, lack of functionality outside the 'sweet spot,' burden of prep & difficulty of running for...
    63 replies | 1321 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:38 PM
    It's in the DMG, it emphasizes the grid, including flanking, adds /facing/ of all things, and lets anyone mark (or maybe that's a separate variant?). Anyway, it credibly delivers the "grid dependence/tactical-boardgame" people who didn't like 4e complained about. They did seem to be working primarily from criticisms of 4e. 2 & 3 prettymuch go together. There also really was this...
    63 replies | 1321 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:21 PM
    5e does add back Marking in the tactical variant, but it's a case of turn it on and anyone can mark. So not too helpful. Standard Rules, Protection Style > Battlemaster, which has a maneuver or two that might help, you could also pick up the prime warlord-like maneuvers, too, while having the fighter's extra attacks and action surge. You'd be a primary-Striker, tertiary-Leader/Defender. ...
    26 replies | 490 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:38 PM
    I meant it as non-specific and all-inclusive. I would absolutely include things like those things, in 'things.' The example was illustrative, not exhaustive. Now, if you want to get down to the level of experiencing system artifacts, sure, even freestyle, with no system to speak of could be said to have those, and they'd be different from an actual system. But, my point was not that...
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:57 PM
    I realize that. But the group in question is composed of six newbies. They still don't always successfully track their resources within a session; I have no faith that they'll track them beyond the session. Think me lazy if you wish, but I have no interest in doing all the work of tracking from week to week. Hence, the default for that campaign is that a week passes between sessions. They'll...
    44 replies | 1129 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:50 PM
    The first work around is not bashing, just a truth: pick a different system that does not strongly have attrition required as a balance point in the game. There are a lot of great games out there, and finding one that fits your table is a good thing. This really isn't a bash - I love 5e. I'm just not closed to other games to meet other needs. A work around in 5e is to use one of the D&D...
    44 replies | 1129 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:32 PM
    I am going to interject with some personal experiences. I have been involved in this hobby for decades and have played a variety of games. I love role playing, and lean more heavily on the narrative end of things. I tend to role play my characters honestly, and will do things which hurt my chances of success because that's what my character would do. I understand the posters on this thread who...
    744 replies | 20592 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:03 PM
    You follow the lizardman group for about 10 minutes. They are definitely hunting as they stop occasionally and then fire shortbows at game. They kill some small game (rabbits, etc) in the time you are following them. Perin notices that one of them occasionally looks in the general direction of the lead party group but it doesn't seem like he's raised any alarm yet. Maybe he's just overly...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:14 PM
    For a fantasy heartbreaker I designed I did it like this. But the goal there was fewer total ability scores, and all are important to all characters. For D&D, it could work but would requires some thought - but the first order repercussions would be: All weapon wields become a lot more MAD. A front liners would want DEX, CON, and STR plus whatever their class wants like CHR for a paladin...
    36 replies | 702 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:37 AM
    While I don't think it isn't exactly what you're looking for, Spiral Isles is a very interesting point crawl adventure. It's set in the afterlife, with players as shades of their former characters (presumably) seeking to return to the world of the living. The rules support both Swords & Wizardry, as well as 5e. However, since they are merely shades of their living selves, they don't have access...
    5 replies | 246 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:56 AM
    But by the same logic, with armor increasing AC and STR adding to bonus to hit, it's "absurd to rationalize powering through full armor on every one of them without any accuracy, and therefore it's very hard to buy that being strong will add to your attack rolls on EVERYTHING". No matter how accurate I am with a rapier that has no affect at all on my chance to attack with a longsword, and no...
    36 replies | 702 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:48 AM
    I think that would need to be a lot stronger, right now it's a bit of a trap option. First, who knows if it will still be alive to take advantage of it - your PC isn't the only one dishing out damage. Second, denying it actions by killing it sooner is stronger then killing it later. Third, +INT extra damage, if you hit, on two attacks, is about + 1.3 * INT expected damage with the...
    36 replies | 702 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:51 AM
    I've definitely had game sessions where, between RP and debating plans, there really wasn't time for more than one encounter. It would be nice if there was a resource to estimate encounter difficulty for a 1-2 encounter day, in addition to the 6-8 model. It wouldn't be as balanced between the short and long rest classes, but it would be nice to have for those days.
    44 replies | 1129 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:59 AM
    … see, that's not cynical, at all... (I shouldn't talk, I'm totally cynical.) TBH (not just cynical), denying that system makes a difference strikes me as pointless. Obviously, systems are different, and those differences can't be quite meaningless. Now, to turn around the prior cynicism: The "cost" can include no longer being able to abuse or leverage that lack of systematic...
    744 replies | 20592 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 11:31 PM
    On the one hand, that's not really much of a perk. Most Combat Styles actually make you better at something than the next guy. If your INT is 16, this makes as good with a Rapier as the guy with DEX 16. ::shrug:: Maybe have the INT bonus add in some other way. Maybe just add it, rather than replace it? With some proviso about the type of weapon & enemy or something? IDK. OTOH...
    36 replies | 702 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 11:18 PM
    Now that I think of it, there were other references to Level /n/ Monsters here and there in 1e. Summoning for instance. And a whole little blurb about how they used the word 'level' for a /lot/ of different things that didn't necessarily correspond. Oh, yeah, but you could be subtle about it. DM's Screen hides a multitude of sins. One of the biggest things was the convention that...
    141 replies | 3130 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 10:05 PM
    Every "replace attack stat" has limitations. Finesse is only on a subset of weapons, none heavy/two-handed. Shillelagh only works on clubs and quarterstaves. Warlock Hexblade only works on non-two handed weapons that you can touch at the end of a long rest which excludes all spell-created blades like Shadow Blade. This applies to all weapons, melee and ranged. It works with all spell...
    36 replies | 702 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 07:42 PM
    Blue replied to Is This Odd?
    Well put. Thanks for taking the time to answer. If I may summarize to make sure I understand: access to information isn't a problem; spoiling of fun at the table is a problem (be it by that information or otherwise). Okay, I can get behind what you are saying.
    34 replies | 865 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 07:08 PM
    I think it's important to keep in mind that 5e short rests resources are pretty pointedly /not/ encounter-based, the intended theoretical balance-point for encounters:short:long is 6-8:2-3:1, or about /two/ encounters between rests. And, that's in theory, in practice, it depends on how much time you have between encounters and whether you use a variant, like the 'gritty' variant that makes short...
    38 replies | 1455 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 06:57 PM
    Sorry to riff off of just a couple sentences but... Seems like "informal practices" could be pretty varied and readily mutable (or set in stone, and violently defended, I suppose). If I'm following, that's an example of 'informal practice,' and - I'm really hoping - neither 'informal practice' nor 'GM stipulation' nor 'consensus roleplaying' have any extra-special...
    744 replies | 20592 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 05:27 PM
    You're not wrong about those being similarities, but they're not identical, and the play dynamic they generate can be /very/ different. The short/long rest distinction in 5e, for instance, is 1 vs 8 hrs, often time enough for one is time enough for the other, you just can't take more than one of the latter in a given 24 hr period - the design assumption is 2-3 short rest & 6-8 encounters per...
    204 replies | 13317 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 05:07 PM
    Blue replied to Is This Odd?
    If you were running a published adventure, would you be fine with players reading that adventure and learning plot twists, NPC motivations, and the like? Without changing it - the question here is about player knowledge. I personally would not, and have had this come up before when I was a player years ago (AD&D 2nd era). I was very angry at another player who read the module and his...
    34 replies | 865 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:50 PM
    So you can get more XP than the next guy, pull ahead of him, and 'win' the game? That's not an entirely unfair characterization - I'd note that in 5e, XP does have an effect, in that the XP requirements to level relative to the XP value of a standard encounter budget, lead to faster leveling in Apprentice Tier, and after 11th level, and slower leveling through the putative 'sweet spot.' So...
    84 replies | 5342 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:40 PM
    OK, I had noticed you said something about auras, and now that definitely reminds me of an encounter in, IIRC, PoS, with Chillborn Zombies. In 4e, virtually all auras didn't stack when overlapping, but - wonders of exception-based design - a few explicitly did... ...and illustrated why they shouldn't've. ;) I can't recall exactly where, but I heard that 8 encounters was the original...
    141 replies | 3130 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:25 PM
    I created a setting and one of the defining points was that it's planar boundaries were thin and various deities had used this land over the age to deliver their faithful from other material planes where they were going to be wiped out. Both PC races but also intelligent monster ones. And there were things like two different, geographically separated orcs who had completely different traditions...
    107 replies | 3927 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:10 PM
    It appears that even now, in this boom time, there are still more players than DMs. And lots of people play with strangers. Much of the time at cons you’re sitting down to game with strangers, after all. I have two groups, one with friends, and one at an open table with strangers (though the longstanding regulars don’t really count as strangers anymore). I think there’s something to that...
    34 replies | 865 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 03:40 PM
    I'm very much with both parts of what Iserith says. First is that they aren't epic, but they are a resource drain and D&D is balanced around those. But more importantly, they aren't just bags of HPs to defeat. They have a reason they are there and doing things. Maybe they see the PCs and run away to get more goblins and now it's a running chase where keeping them quiet and killing them...
    28 replies | 645 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 03:29 PM
    Blue replied to Is This Odd?
    I'm going to work this from both sides. Should a player have access at the table to the PHB for information about their character? I think we can all say this is yes. Should a player have access at the table to the adventure the DM is running? I think that we'll also get the consensus the answer is no. So we have valid cases on both sides, and a lot of gray in the middle about player...
    34 replies | 865 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 02:57 PM
    Blue replied to Double Dash
    Alternate view: Rogues are designed and positioned as skirmishers* with additional movement possibilities over fighters, so should have more mobility over short periods *Citation: Class description fluff, Cunning action's disengage and dash as bonus actions, Scout's Skirmisher, Swashbuckler's Fancy Footwork, other class features in vein. When you take that, the issue isn't Rogue's being...
    118 replies | 3196 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 08:07 AM
    How much do the missing ship parts cost? Rough figures? "I think the amount of missing parts here will be far more expensive then might be lying around," Zyzzy says. "If they had that kind of money, wouldn't they have repaired the ship themselves? Regardless, we first need to evict them before we can plan for repair costs."
    116 replies | 4611 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 08:04 AM
    "Shavara?" Shildor says then clutches the sides of his head. (Shildor has a 16 Int, btw. Not that it helps against a roll of 1.)
    1388 replies | 46362 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 05:19 AM
    "I question where we will find the credits to get this ship off the ground," Zyzzy says. "But if you are game, so am I. However, I prefer we not let her go in case she brings back reinforcements. Not that I suspect she will. But there is the possibility."
    116 replies | 4611 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 05:17 AM
    He was shocked people were using it at all, I think.
    431 replies | 15162 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 01:47 AM
    When you say "always conceptually bugs..." you're possibly even righter than you know: that was a frequent criticism of D&D back in the day. Any number of games used 'more realistic' experience systems, including 2e, and all later eds, as a result. /Just/ gold for XP is an odd variant, usually you could get XP from combat, too, just maybe not the lion's share depending on how good you were...
    84 replies | 5342 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 12:43 AM
    It depends on how cunning the invading supernatural forces are, and how slow the modern society is to accept the reality of them. Come in quietly, reconnoiter invisibly, polymorph to infiltrate, and then charm/dominate/replace key people? Apart from some logistical concerns the world is yours, no one even notices. Encircle a major city with your undead horde, and cackle your demands for...
    39 replies | 1637 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 12:02 AM
    5e is definitely not bloated like 3e, for just one example. Also, it should be pretty obvious that 5e managed some faults of it's own that 3e didn't suffer from. Do I really need to argue something so obvious? Have tobacco companies gone out of business? Has global peace broken out?
    204 replies | 13317 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 11:55 PM
    Except magic in the source material /does/ follow patterns, they're just patterns in the unfolding drama of the narrative, not in the (non-existent) underlying reality of the implied 'magic system.' A gnome who can spin straw into gold - but not mind-control people, render himself invulnerable with shields of force, throw balls of fire, etc, etc, etc (so, y'know, not as powerful as a 5th level...
    20 replies | 527 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 11:24 PM
    Tony addressed most of what my reply would have been, so I won't bother reiterating. However, there are factors that you are not considering. For starters, 2e had a morale system (2e DMG pg 71 - the DMG with the Jeff Easley cover, not the later printing). You didn't have to kill every monster. A group might route from losing as little as 25% of their group. Offering them a chance to surrender...
    141 replies | 3130 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 11:17 PM
    Ha! Blatant Nerd Stereotype! …and true. Thank you, yes.
    744 replies | 20592 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 11:05 PM
    That's an issue, because we have no guide as to which of the various deadly monsters in TSR eds parties were supposed to face at a given level. We have decades of experience giving us a really good idea, but that's still all subjective, and it would tend to shift the game towards whatever desired level of lethality we were working towards...
    141 replies | 3130 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 10:14 PM
    Off topic - why not, after 6 years a topic can drift, right - say you were a ghoul in 4e. And say you were a /vegan/ ghoul. What do you do now, in 5e, that there are no more Wilden?
    76 replies | 14043 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 10:08 PM
    IDK, I read the article and the original thread and this one, and I feel like a very simple cogent point being made by said article is missed or ignored or bulldozed or something: Magic in traditional TTRPGs like D&D fails to model or evoke magic in the sources of inspiration they nominally draw from.
    20 replies | 527 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 09:29 PM
    I should hope so, that's potentially some powerful drama there. (I'm picturing WWI, for some reason, not being too into the DitV setting.) Does the character conceive a death wish and get killed? Find a renewed reason to live and survive - or die tragically, or even heroically, in spite of that? Become a stronger person or descend into an emotional spiral - if the latter, how can he pull out...
    744 replies | 20592 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 09:11 PM
    Yeah, that's a given. 4e DMing was phone-it-in easy. I felt like I'd almost forgotten how to run after a few years. ;) But it's like falling off a bicycle. (something else it turns out I'm good at) And armed ones using iterative attacks, that got brutal, too. Published adventures varied quite a lot. With modern eds, you can compare how PCs stack up to the encounter guidelines. ...
    141 replies | 3130 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 09:09 PM
    I believe I said that. 5e didn't get rid of the things that were complained about, it put /back/ the things that those stalking-horses were really about. You have no idea. I'm a bitter, cynical, old man on my best day, discussing the most innocuous things. I turn it down to 11 when I'm here. Heh. Depends how you run it. 5e /brought back/ the faults of 3e - and, more importantly, those...
    204 replies | 13317 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 08:45 PM
    I've not watched any of their work (A Silent Voice is still in my Netflix queue), but this is sad and horrifying.
    1 replies | 124 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 07:22 PM
    Seems right up FATE's alley, and something that could be touched upon in systems that model the character's psychology in some way (Hero, would be the one I'm most familiar with: psych lims), that can be tested (EGO roll) and change over time (changed around, or exp to 'buy down/off'). Certainly not with the same detail and play dynamics, of course... I didn't follow that, probably because I...
    744 replies | 20592 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 06:46 PM
    I finished reading Todd Lockwood’s The Summer Dragon. It was really good. Far better than I would’ve expected for the first novel from a painter. I was absolutely riveted to the end. Next up is a dive into the past, with Gardner Fox’s Kothar: Barbarian Swordsman. Been craving some more Appendix N reading as of late.
    12 replies | 516 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 06:39 PM
    It's effing hilarious.
    38 replies | 1455 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 06:34 PM
    Any chance your formative play experience with 4e included Keep on the Shadowfell, Thunderspire Labyrinth, and/or Pyramid of Shadows? (Because, while the middle one was actually mostly pretty good, each included at least one example of completely whacked encounter design.) ...or, y'know, alternately, maybe your DM just liked killing you... ;) Vs encounters run closely to guidelines,...
    141 replies | 3130 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 06:26 PM
    That proves what I said. The AD&D fighter's save improved from needing a natural 14, to needing a natural 9 - and that's vs anything trying to petrify or polymorph him, from a cockatrice to a medusa to a 19th level Lich. He got /much/ better. Your 18 CON 3e fighter goes from needing an 8 at 4th level vs a 4th level DC, to needing a natural 10, vs a 10th level DC. He got /worse/. And, that's...
    141 replies | 3130 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 05:53 PM
    Most of the things people complained loudly about in 4e, 5e retains in at least some measure. Fighters casting spells, wizards being 'nerfed' (relative to 3e), martial healing, overnight 'natural healing,' dissociated mechanics, etc, etc... ...nor was it "presentation" - PF2 need have no worries on that score - Essentials desperately scrambled to give a mussed, fluff-heavy presentation,...
    204 replies | 13317 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 05:24 PM
    Thank you. It'd be awesome if you'd stop saying there weren't, going forward. If what you mean is "at low level, 1e fighters had crap saving throws, and at the highest levels had the best saving throws in the game and could expect enough bonuses from randomly generated magic items to fail only on a natural 1, even before name level, PCs casually drinking poison for the flavor because it was...
    141 replies | 3130 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 05:09 PM
    Be sure to say if you think you are in former or latter group before you "roll". Swithun slips away quietly into the swamp.
    918 replies | 26281 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 04:20 PM
    People assign genders to all sorts of objects based on perceived qualities. I think that with a human-like robot people would do that even more-so. That human-looking androids will be culturally assigned genders by how it interacts with us (both content and how it does so - tone, body language, forcefulness, etc.) Not that the idea is bad, just probably easier to do in soemthing that looks...
    18 replies | 733 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 04:04 PM
    Overpowering at what level range? What racial features make players excited at Tier 2 and Tier 3 of play?
    24 replies | 654 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 03:44 PM
    Many of mine have already been said so rather then repeat I'll move on to the next tier: Marvel Heroic Roleplay (and presumably other Cortex games) of using your narrative to build your dice pool from separate sets of possibilities, and being able to target/take damage besides just physical. Another MHR that XP unlocks cool things, not makes you more powerful in your main abilities. You...
    46 replies | 1599 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 03:22 PM
    I suppose it doesn't, by itself. A TT gaming renaissance, being able to research the game on-line without the top hits being rants about how wrong and evil and not-D&D it is, the name recognition and rep of the "First RPG," these things bring new folks in to try (or at least, don't keep) D&D for the first time. A master DM who has internalized all the DM know-how, is just waiting for them, he...
    38 replies | 1455 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 03:06 PM
    Everyone make a stealth check. Also, how much distance to you want to leave between you and the hunting party? The swamp is dense enough that with average stealth (DC 10) you could remain hidden from baseline lizardfolk if you were 60+ feet behind them. If they hunting party becomes suspicious, 100 feet is a better distance.
    918 replies | 26281 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 03:04 PM
    Can I suggest that whatever single feature you give, it's a powerful one. As in more powerful then the existing. If all you get is one thing it should be something exciting and fun to use so that the the race has attraction. And not something that barely flavors play like a once per long rest ability. The other side of it is my pet peeve that the designers didn't leave themselves enough...
    24 replies | 654 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 02:45 PM
    Pathfinder is not "just" 3.75 edition. There are a lot of subsystems unique to PF that make it different.
    4 replies | 301 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 11:36 AM
    You could build some fairly insane characters in 2e as well, depending on the material you were including. (AFAIK, most of the uber builds in 3.x weren't straight from the PHB, and if you're going to include official supplements from one edition, you ought to include the them for the other.) Just off the top of my head, 2e had: -Kits (many of which had huge benefits for negligible drawbacks)...
    141 replies | 3130 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 07:56 AM
    And and, monsters could pull the same tricks. 3e had SoDs, and vs bad saves that only got worse relative to rising (let alone optimized) DCs, and negative levels worked a little differently, mechanically, but we're still pretty awful.
    141 replies | 3130 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 03:42 AM
    At low levels, I'm inclined to agree with the OP. However, in the case of high level play, I'd consider 3.x the deadliest edition by a wide margin. In 1e/2e/BECMI your saving throws genuinely got better as you leveled up. In 3e, saving throws typically kept pace with DCs or fell behind. Also, monster damage rose considerably, while the maximum negative hp remained at -9. Admittedly, raising...
    141 replies | 3130 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 02:14 AM
    I could have written that clearer. What I meant was that getting reduced by a vampire bite to 0 max HPs kills you. But having 0 max HPs from a vampire bite at a later point does not. There is no auto-kill at the later point just because you are at 0 max HPs, even if it had at a previous point been killed by a vampire. The "kill when reducing to 0 max HPs" from a vampire's bite is an effect...
    172 replies | 4227 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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Thursday, 18th July, 2019

  • 02:36 AM - Oofta mentioned Blue in post Death and 0 Max HP
    As @Blue said, the important thing is that even if you rule that raise dead does not override the 0 HP max, there is nothing in the description of the vampire bite that specifically states the raise dead spell does not work. You would simply be brought back to life with 0 HP. You can't gain that 1 HP because that would exceed the max. Since you are brought back to life with 0 HP, your HP cannot be reduced therefore you are not slain a second time. Feel free to change the rule for your campaign if you want. In case I wasn't clear with my previous post, I may be doing so with long rest while unconscious mostly because I don't care and I'm not a slave to the letter of the rules.

Wednesday, 10th July, 2019

  • 02:30 AM - DMMike mentioned Blue in post Help Reading Dice Pools
    The problem is with a dice pool where you care about the numbers, not the total. In Exalted, for example, you don't care about the total, you care about the number of dice that roll 7 or higher - each die that is a 7 or higher is a "success". And you care about the number of 10s on top of that because 10s count for 2 successes instead of 1. And you might care about the number of 1s that show up because if you get no successes at all and roll at least one 1, then you botch (though if you somehow manage that on 40 dice then you are having a real bad day). Oh, well then I'm with Blue: that's just poor design. The game isn't scaling well when you're spending your time reading dice instead of role-playing. But since that doesn't solve OP's problem... Still: don't. :) Since you have to beat a number of successes (guessing here), divide that number by 10. 4. 2. Whatever gets you closer to a number of dice you're comfortable counting, and preferably results in an integer. Divide the number of dice you're allowed to roll by that same number, round up since your GM is a nice guy, and have at it.

Saturday, 22nd June, 2019

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

Friday, 21st June, 2019

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

Saturday, 27th April, 2019

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

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

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

Tuesday, 16th April, 2019

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

Monday, 8th April, 2019


Monday, 4th March, 2019

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

Sunday, 3rd March, 2019

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

Wednesday, 27th February, 2019

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

Saturday, 23rd February, 2019


Sunday, 27th January, 2019

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

Saturday, 26th January, 2019


Friday, 18th January, 2019

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

Wednesday, 16th January, 2019

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

Monday, 7th January, 2019

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


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Saturday, 20th July, 2019

  • 08:29 PM - ParanoydStyle quoted Blue in post New(?) Fighting Style: Tactical
    But by the same logic, with armor increasing AC and STR adding to bonus to hit, it's "absurd to rationalize powering through full armor on every one of them without any accuracy, and therefore it's very hard to buy that being strong will add to your attack rolls on EVERYTHING". No matter how accurate I am with a rapier that has no affect at all on my chance to attack with a longsword, and no matter how bad my aim and reflexes, as long as I throw hard enough my thrown javelin will connect. While I have different reservations about it, STR only to hit is so unbelievable that some other ability that can credibly affect damage at least some of the time is way ahead of it. I respectfully disagree. Or maybe I misunderstand. I'm honestly not sure which. To me it doesn't stretch credibility that a stronger character has a better chance of battering through an opponent's plate mail to deal damage. Likewise to me it doesn't stretch credibility that a faster character* has a better chance of succes...
  • 07:31 PM - Esker quoted Blue in post New(?) Fighting Style: Tactical
    For D&D, it could work but would requires some thought - but the first order repercussions would be: All weapon wields become a lot more MAD. A front liners would want DEX, CON, and STR plus whatever their class wants like CHR for a paladin or WIS for ranger. Without either an offsetting buff, or a matching debuff for casters, this messes with class balance. They would be more MAD, but the impact of each stat would be reduced, so you could build an accurate character, a hard hitting character, or somewhere in between. Everyone would do less damage on average though so you'd probably want to do some HP scaling. Make DEX even more valuable. Make STR even less valuable. It's a "nice to have" except for heavy armor wearers. I think on balance that's probably true, but for normal weapon attacks against most typical ACs, an extra point to damage has a slightly bigger impact on average damage than an extra point to accuracy. So for ranged characters with extra att...
  • 04:42 AM - Esker quoted Blue in post New(?) Fighting Style: Tactical
    But by the same logic, with armor increasing AC and STR adding to bonus to hit, it's "absurd to rationalize powering through full armor on every one of them without any accuracy, and therefore it's very hard to buy that being strong will add to your attack rolls on EVERYTHING". No matter how accurate I am with a rapier that has no affect at all on my chance to attack with a longsword, and no matter how bad my aim and reflexes, as long as I throw hard enough my thrown javelin will connect. While I have different reservations about it, STR only to hit is so unbelievable that some other ability that can credibly affect damage at least some of the time is way ahead of it. I'm on record here as being decidedly anti-simulationist, but if stepping away entirely from the game balance aspect, this is absolutely true. I wonder what would happen if you just got rid of the finesse property and had DEX governing to-hit for all weapons, and STR affecting damage for all weapons except crossbows (and yo...
  • 04:35 AM - Esker quoted Blue in post New(?) Fighting Style: Tactical
    I think that would need to be a lot stronger, right now it's a bit of a trap option. It'd definitely be the True Strike of fighting styles.

Friday, 19th July, 2019

  • 05:35 PM - DM Dave1 quoted Blue in post Is This Odd?
    If you were running a published adventure, would you be fine with players reading that adventure and learning plot twists, NPC motivations, and the like? Without changing it - the question here is about player knowledge. I personally would not, and have had this come up before when I was a player years ago (AD&D 2nd era). I was very angry at another player who read the module and his character knew where all the loot was hidden and what was cursed, the vulnerabilities of all the monsters, how to disarm every trap and solve every puzzle. Called him a cheater to be exact. This is more extreme then reading the MM, but not an absurb reduction - it's players with knowledge and using it. The DM could change thing around (and did after the end of that all-day session), but only after it became obvious what was happening - i.e. "the damage was done". The context of the discussion, in my mind, assumes that players are at our table to have fun and not infringe on anyone else's fun. So, yeah...
  • 05:32 PM - iserith quoted Blue in post Is This Odd?
    If you were running a published adventure, would you be fine with players reading that adventure and learning plot twists, NPC motivations, and the like? Yes. Players frequently replay my one-shots with full knowledge of what to expect, sometimes many times over. This just isn't a problem in my experience. That said, there is no module I have ever run as-is because they are in my opinion frequently terrible. Especially the plot-based ones. I personally would not, and have had this come up before when I was a player years ago (AD&D 2nd era). I was very angry at another player who read the module and his character knew where all the loot was hidden and what was cursed, the vulnerabilities of all the monsters, how to disarm every trap and solve every puzzle. Called him a cheater to be exact. This is more extreme then reading the MM, but not an absurb reduction - it's players with knowledge and using it. The DM could change thing around (and did after the end of that all-day session), b...
  • 05:00 PM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Blue in post Does Your Fantasy Race Really Matter In Game? (The Gnome Problem)
    In other words, the same thing bothered me. WHY would there be so many intelligent races sharing a world? Such a thing pretty much implies the existence of meddling by intelligent beings. https://www.armytimes.com/resizer/n4NvILc6D6f0h_ig4RoA71H8ZHk=/600x0/filters:quality(100)/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-mco.s3.amazonaws.com/public/7MZYBRWHFFBVPF2UFOLIJUPQN4.jpg (Except, in a fantasy setting, that would be deities, not aliens.)
  • 04:23 PM - DM Dave1 quoted Blue in post Is This Odd?
    I'm going to work this from both sides. Should a player have access at the table to the PHB for information about their character? I think we can all say this is yes. Should a player have access at the table to the adventure the DM is running? I think that we'll also get the consensus the answer is no. So we have valid cases on both sides, and a lot of gray in the middle about player vs. DM information. Should a player have as access at the table to the PHB to look up a spell a foe cast on their rogue? Very light gray - some DMs may not like it for some spells as it gives things away, but I'm firmly of the idea that the social contract says the PHB is a player book and they can know anything in it. (As players - their characters may not.) The PHB even includes common beasts that the player's should know, like low level wildshapes, their horses or pony's, familiars, etc. Now, there are some valid points in the MM (and DMG) for players either explicitly or with DM permission. For e...
  • 03:13 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Blue in post Double Dash
    Alternate view: Rogues are designed and positioned as skirmishers* with additional movement possibilities over fighters, so should have more mobility over short periods *Citation: Class description fluff, Cunning action's disengage and dash as bonus actions, Scout's Skirmisher, Swashbuckler's Fancy Footwork, other class features in vein. When you take that, the issue isn't Rogue's being faster than the fighter in combat - that's intentional. Now, if there is still a problem, it's using (double) dash over long periods of time to do greater long distance running. Except that Dash is listed as an action you take in combat. So now really the issue is with the ruling that many DMs take that Dash (and therefore double dash) are usable outside of combat.And all of your points are still true if you can't double dash.

Thursday, 18th July, 2019

  • 06:30 PM - MarkB quoted Blue in post What it's like Reading SF from the 50's
    People assign genders to all sorts of objects based on perceived qualities. I think that with a human-like robot people would do that even more-so. That human-looking androids will be culturally assigned genders by how it interacts with us (both content and how it does so - tone, body language, forcefulness, etc.) That doesn't seem like a downside. With an androgynous robot, people can assign whichever gender to it they feel most comfortable with.
  • 05:40 PM - DMMike quoted Blue in post What are your favourite single game mechanics?
    Many of mine have already been said so rather then repeat I'll move on to the next tier: Marvel Heroic Roleplay (and presumably other Cortex games) of using your narrative to build your dice pool from separate sets of possibilities, and being able to target/take damage besides just physical. Another MHR that XP unlocks cool things, not makes you more powerful in your main abilities. You are a competent hero to start. This breaks the mold of advancement of many games. Blades in the Dark having recovery based on following your vices during downtime. (I guess MHR does this to a limited degree with recovery during transition scenes, but I like the vice-specific focus.) Don't Rest Your Head dice pools made of different color dice depending on where you are adding it from, and the source of the highest die is very important. 13th Age ... whew, so many good 13th Age points have already been posted, I just want to mention weapon & armor by class and type and skin it how you want. So you th...
  • 04:13 PM - dnd4vr quoted Blue in post Super Simple Racial Features
    Overpowering at what level range? What racial features make players excited at Tier 2 and Tier 3 of play? Past tier 1, I would rather hope class will completely override race in bringing excitement to the player about their character. I certainly don't mind the idea of it scaling, such as the Dragonborn's breath weapon, but ideally I want it to be "useful", not a key feature for the player to rely on. That is my preference, anyway.
  • 03:35 PM - dnd4vr quoted Blue in post Super Simple Racial Features
    Can I suggest that whatever single feature you give, it's a powerful one. As in more powerful then the existing. If all you get is one thing it should be something exciting and fun to use so that the the race has attraction. And not something that barely flavors play like a once per long rest ability. Honestly, I had considered this and I might to a point, but probably not to the extent you're talking about. I want the racial features to be significant, but not over powering in any respect.
  • 01:50 AM - Maxperson quoted Blue in post Death and 0 Max HP
    Incorrect. You die if a vampire bite reduces your max HPs to 0. There is no ongoing effect. So you're saying that the raised PC doesn't have a max hit points of 0 that was caused by the necrotic damage reducing it to 0? There is nothing in the description of the vampire's bite to distinguish between someone who remained alive, and someone who was brought back. This is an obvious corner case man. They didn't consider this. As a matter of fact, we have pretty strong circumstantial evidence that this works just fine if you are brought back. Consider the case you didn't address - where a character is drained by a vampire, killed due to normal HP loss and three failed death saves, and then revivified. I think everyone expects that to work. There's nothing in the description of the vampire's bite to support your claim that the long rest portion only applies to characters who remained alive. This is a pretty blatant False Equivalence. Being drained to an amount of max hit points grea...
  • 01:18 AM - Beleriphon quoted Blue in post What are your favourite single game mechanics?
    Sorry, I'm not familiar with those two. Can you expand a bit? Thanks. Not sure on 2d20 mechanic. Mutants and Masterminds. Basically if you roll a save and get a fail by between 1 and 4 less ( less than the DC DC 19 you get say 17 total) you get the minimum possible bad effect. If its between 5 and 9 below the target, you get a slightly worse effect, so and so on. Damage starts with a -1 to your next roll to resist damage (and this penalty accumulates with every failed save, regardless if its as by 1 or 20), and tops out at dead/KO'd if I'm remembering correctly by failing a save by 15 or more. For example Captain Heropants is attacked by the Evilshirt. Captain Heropants rolls his damage save against a DC of lets say 23. He gets a total of 19, that's 4 less than 23 so his next roll against damage has a -1 penalty. Next round Captain Heropants has to save again, but Evilshirt got a critical so that a +5 to the DC, so now its DC 28. Captain Heropaints rolls his bonuses, get a 1...

Wednesday, 17th July, 2019

  • 11:53 PM - jgsugden quoted Blue in post Monk Tortle
    So, for example, every elf in a martial class (and some others) deserves a freebie because their elven weapon training overlaps? If I multiclass into a class that grants armor/weapon proficiencies (all but sorcerer & wizard), should I be expecting a "make-up" bennie for already having them? It's a conscious choice just like my race/class combo.I give 'make-up' benefits pretty much whenever suggested. If it is a trivial thing that was lost, I don't bother to suggest it to the player, but I do suggest it when the absence will be felt. This game is all about having fun. Giving the player something minor that sets them apart from the stock rules is fun. Why not do it? So, if there is a Mountain Dwarf Forge Domain Cleric - Yes, I'd give them a little something extra because of the race/class overlap. I don't consider the class/subclass to be an additional overlap - the grave cleric ability expands upon the cleric weapon/armor designation, it does not duplicate it - but I might gi...
  • 09:17 PM - Hriston quoted Blue in post Death and 0 Max HP
    No, your summary is off the mark. What I had said was that the PHB points out what you need to do and not do, but that even if you do those ("finish it") you still won't get any benefit from it under certain circumstances such as doing more than one in a 24 hour period or starting it without at least 1 HP. I was trying to draw attention to the fact that this interpretation, that you can “finish” a long rest without gaining its benefits, leads one to the conclusion that a wizard can recover all his/her spent spell slots or the victim of a vampire bite end the reduction to his/her hit point maximum more than once per day or when at 0 hit points. This is a new and interesting route to explore. I am unaware of specific rules on what sleep is mechanically in 5e (outside of the unconscious condition), and why they would be incompatible with unconscious. Can you give me a pointer to where you are seeing this? I think it’s right there in the long rest rules. You need to sleep (or trance) in...
  • 08:33 PM - Lidgar quoted Blue in post Double Dash
    Pic isn't me, but I'm up for some D&D&D&D&D! I actually have that shirt - gift from my son as he knows my passions... B-)
  • 05:06 PM - Hriston quoted Blue in post Death and 0 Max HP
    Here's the exact wording. Taken from the SRD, though it matches the PHB: If you note, first there is what you need to do to take a long rest. It talks about times, limits of light and strenouous activity. Second paragraph is a list of general benefits that apply to all characters. Third paragraph are exceptions that you can't benefit from more than one long rest per 24-hour period and must have at least 1 HP. Not that you can't long rest, just that when you do you don't gain the benefits in those situations. So it's pretty clear you can long rest, just that you don't gain the benefits. Or in other words, you can start a long rest (which is really just an action-declaration, i.e. “This is what my character is going to do for the next eight hours.”), but you just can’t finish it. The thing is, I don’t think a player of an unconscious PC is in any position to say what their character is going to do. Unconsciousness is not sleep. It has its own rules for hit point recovery.
  • 04:43 PM - Lidgar quoted Blue in post Double Dash
    Along those lines, the rogue / fighter that wants to Action surge to get in Dash-Dash-Dash for one round can go for it. As long as the rogue has bleach blond spiked hair, I'm a huge fan of Triple D. https://urbanmatter.com/chicago/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Webp.net-resizeimage-6.png


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