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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Today, 12:02 PM
    Typically, in games at our table, raise dead isn't readily available unless someone within the party has the capability. As such, permanent death is more common than resurrection. This is because players without immediate access to such spells will need to find someone to cast it for them, and spellcasters of that caliber are rare. In one of my current campaigns, we've had two deaths. One was...
    28 replies | 574 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 05:57 AM
    That's something that might not be easy to see from just looking in from the outside. The classic game (and even 5e) is deadly, at first, but eventually (quickly) becomes a lot more survivable, and, even if things go south, probably recoverable. But, 3e, went from merely dangerous to rocket tag, and, there was the whole win-at-chargen thing, so what was mildly challenging to one character could...
    174 replies | 4450 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 04:21 AM
    AFAICT, 2e ditched demons & devil's &c to be less offensive, maybe they decided to cut down on the orientalism/cultural-theft for similar reasons?
    7 replies | 307 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 04:12 AM
    I mean, seriously, that makes sense and is intuitive to apply, right? Freakishly, it's not what the DMG actually says .. ...but, then, so many 1e Gygaxisns are freakish, that way... part of the charm, I guess, just downright baroque.
    174 replies | 4450 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 03:09 AM
    The 3.x/PF rules do lavishly reward that sort of meticulously-applied system mastery, yes. It's /also/ that, yes. I love doing a good build-to-concept in 3e or 4e or in other systems that are better for that approach than any edition of D&D, like, oh, Hero. ;) But 3e was probably the height of D&D for that style - it gave you so many options, so much flexibility, and gulf between an...
    164 replies | 9145 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 02:57 AM
    Not /that/ 0 hps rule. The DMG 0 hp rule says you fall unconscious if you are reduced to /exactly/ 0, then start bleeding - if you're reduced to -1 or less, either at one go, or by being hit again while unconscious, you're dead. I know you read it differently, and I guess a lotta DMs in my area did, too, because it alsways seemed to be played that 0 down to -10, regardless of how you got there,...
    174 replies | 4450 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Today, 02:53 AM
    There has always been a lot of hyperbole surrounding PF. It's horribly broken, it's for power gamers, it requires great system mastery, it's full of traps for the unwary, etc., etc. The PF fans I know love the game because it gives them the freedom to create a wide variety of characters, for story reasons, not metagaming. Of course, there's going to be min/maxers. It's a F20 game, after all.😊 ...
    164 replies | 9145 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 02:52 AM
    4e minions did a decent job of cashing the check the DMG wrote, there. I mean, there may have been a hold on it while it cleared, but, ultimately, it wasn't rubber. 13A, IMHO, did even a bit better with it's mooks, which combined some of the ease of DMing and threat of swarms, with the progressive figure-removal of minions - and of old-school wargames, where you'd remove figures from the rear...
    786 replies | 22877 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 02:42 AM
    It doesn't do that. Rather, it offers an alternative mechanic for defeating those same ogres. Instead of hitting AC 16 repeatedly for a total of 40hp, the DM can require you hit AC 25, once, and not have to worry about damage. Kinda like the old called shot variants, but in the DM's bailiwick, chosen by him when building an encounter.
    786 replies | 22877 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Today, 02:02 AM
    I run the game as a neutral arbiter as well. A character who dies is dead, unless the party can find a way to bring them back. I'm don't aggressively try to kill PCs, but I won't be merciful if the dice fall that way. In my current campaigns, I think I've killed two characters from my more experienced group in about 30 sessions. The other group is all newbies to 5e, and I attribute their lack...
    28 replies | 574 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:53 AM
    Not a huge difference, it was pretty hard to be a non-fighter specialist, like a Paladin or Ranger, because they were just hard to get into, anyway. Specialization, at all, OTOH, was a huge deal, it seriously powered the fighter up. I want to highlight this because it's still, by far, the strongest part of your case. All this hair-splitting and RaW invoking to paint a picture of 1e PCs maybe...
    174 replies | 4450 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:50 PM
    It seems like we sometimes grapple with a concern that the requirements of fitting magic into a game system, at least, one where all the participants won't have equal access to magic, requires compromising the vast sweep of what magic seems able to do across the various sources of inspiration. It might be more helpful to look at what magic in the source material actually allows any one given...
    23 replies | 702 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:09 PM
    It sounds like the main problem isn't the spell, but the kind of complicated simplification of rolling every-off-turn-everything and some on-turn stuff, all into the harried Reaction.
    51 replies | 954 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:59 PM
    You were right the first time that you needed Dual Wielder - the whip is not a light weapon. I was just suggesting other options to work with it.
    15 replies | 374 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:12 PM
    It’s a little annoying, as both a player and a DM. But when you start getting into counterspelling the counterspell, then it starts getting really annoying. Do that too much to me as a DM, and spellcasting enemies will start showing up in groups and/or with greater invisibility.
    51 replies | 954 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:00 PM
    Silent Night Deadly Night is great and trashy Christmas viewing.
    36 replies | 607 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:14 PM
    Nod. It's not rocket science. But, it does have limits. Changing a creature from standard to solo - while, for the sake of "simulationism" (in the Forge Sense), holding its XP value constant to maintain that it is, in fact(actually, fiction), 'the same creature' - only brings it down 9 levels. So, 4th level party vs Type V Demons, for instance, not going to cut it. ...I think the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:38 PM
    That's an amusing way of thinking of it. ;) I like it.
    174 replies | 4450 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:18 PM
    Answering before I read the thread... I'll probably make a fool of myself... You could go with the old Item Saving Throw paradigm. The PC failed his save, so each of his items must also save! Depends on how you interpret "/body/ of a dead creature" ("remains" would have been more favorable to the possibility, IMHHO) and "restores any missing body parts." But, really, the Disintegrate...
    22 replies | 555 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:14 PM
    Watched this a ton back in the day, on a VHS taped from HBO, I think. I’m almost entirely indiscriminate in my enjoyment of 80s fantasy films. Even stuff like Deathstalker II and Red Sonja. About the only one I’ve come across that I truly hated was Thor the Conqueror. So, I’ll put forward Deathstalker II. How can I not love a movie that started with the premise of “What if we replaced Conan...
    36 replies | 607 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:11 PM
    I think we can all acknowledge that D&D was played very differently by different groups back in the day - but still, if we're interested in the question - look at how the published rules, themselves, stacked up in terms of theoretical lethality. The results, if any, is going to be just that, theoretical. The reality already happened, and happened differently, for different groups in different...
    174 replies | 4450 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:57 PM
    This is mostly my approach to it. I’ll be generous in giving people every chance to save themselves (or someone else). The exception to this is with those big end-of-the-campaign fights. When it comes down to Strahd, Demogorgon, Tiamat, and the like, I would be doing the PCs and the campaign a disservice if I didn’t give them the business. My last session ended with the PCs fleeing a vampire...
    28 replies | 574 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:02 PM
    Time? Yes, like 2 years, and the encounter guidelines weren't even ready until /after/ we'd starting running HotDQ. Resources? Maybe not s'much: the future of D&D was uncertain during those two years, and it didn't seem like Hasbro/WotC was giving Mearls a lot of $$$ to make 5e happen. PF's future seems uncertain, but it sounds like Paizo /is/ putting some resources into it - didn't you...
    11 replies | 575 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:47 PM
    I get that this is a public forum and that folks are free to speak their mind. I appreciate that you and others are trying to be helpful. However, as I said before I am not having a problem and I don't need help. My posts were not complaining, but rather explaining why I am running this campaign the way I am. But as I've said, my initial post was simply about the fact that I think it would be...
    75 replies | 2241 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:57 PM
    What is Lore Bard bringing? With Valor or Sword Bard you can get an extra attack at 6th. Not super important because you can have the attack cantrips from Warlock, but not something to ignore. Dual Wielder's need for bonus actions does not play well with the Smite spells. Plus two weapon fighting requires the Attack action, which means that you can't do Booming Blade or Green-Flame Blade. ...
    15 replies | 374 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:50 PM
    Definitely. Also, the whole mystery of who the new Thor was at the beginning wouldn't really work in movie form, either. Not with headlines already proclaiming that "Natalie Portman is the New Thor."
    4 replies | 149 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:35 PM
    Zyzzy, pistol out, takes up the rear. In a soft tone she says, "It is unfortunate the access tube is cramped. Try to stay quiet. We don't know if they can hear us through the bulk head."
    120 replies | 4845 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:15 PM
    That's just D&D from time immemorial (if you can't remember 1974, anyway). 5e is nice enough to share an approximate value of X (ok, and Y, short rests) at which it's nominally intended to balance. Since Paizo is sensibly done with trying to be more D&D than D&D, PF2 needn't stay with that attrition paradigm. But, you still took them in 3.x: slept to prepare spells, took a few minutes...
    11 replies | 575 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:05 PM
    With you on this. Spell points would probably better model the majority of magic systems out there. Heck, so would spells just doing HP damage. But there’s something so elegant and classic about Vancian magic. That is something that I think will always be at the core of D&D. As for other "poor" mechanics, even if I don't like the current iteration, I love Warhammer Fantasy's random character...
    6 replies | 255 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:57 PM
    Blue replied to Custom Final boss
    I like how there's other objectives besides just "hit it!' in the second phase due to the pillars. I'd actually make them rather resistant to just the "beat on them" and make them require cleverness to shut down, be it specific skills like disintegrate, religion / arcana checks to determine where to attack to have attacks worthwhile, or whatever. You're in a massive 3-part battle, you need to...
    8 replies | 183 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:53 PM
    Natalie Portman's return to the MCU is a surprise. But I really hope they're doing their take on the Jane Foster as Thor run from the comics. That was easily the best story arc they'd done since Kid Loki.
    4 replies | 149 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:45 PM
    Enough gold to get any mundane equipment (plate, etc.) I don't have an exact number. In terms of magic, characters should have several common consumables, and an uncommon magic item. At this point I would not expect any rare items, but it's possible one for the whole party. Not all of the uncommon will be "targetted" - some might be "the right" weapon or armor for someone who focuses on...
    23 replies | 559 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:58 PM
    This seems to step all over the Protection fighting style. Now anyone can do something, without the opportunity cost of taking that fighting style over another. Protection fighting style can be a bit better and a bit worse (less chance anyone is hit, but it's still the original squishy low-AC target), but it's often considered one of the weaker fighting styles already. Now, where it's on-par...
    81 replies | 1988 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:46 PM
    I like Popcorn initiative, but not in 5e. As part of keeping things streamlined, they went for the shorthand of a lot of spells and features lasting until the start of your next action, or otherwise using your action as a shorthand for "everyone has gone once". When the initiative changes round to round, sometimes effects will end up doubling up when someone goes slow one round than fast in...
    75 replies | 2241 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:34 PM
    As Flamestrike mentioned, D&D mechanically is about resource management. If you have players that aren't interested in resource management, and as newbies not yet invested in 5e, perhaps the right solution is to look for another game system that better supports your table's play style. I love 5e, but it's not the only good fantasy RPG out there, and there are many that have minimal resource...
    75 replies | 2241 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:34 AM
    There is no advantage in 13th Age (it came out before 5e), so the Escalation Die feels like any other bonus, not fiddly. You caught on immediately how it prevents combats from turning into a grind. Well, the math is set up so that the PCs have a disadvantage for the first round or so. Think if it added 0 (first round) and then the +1-6 in subsequent rounds (also to save DCs in 5e, in 13th...
    54 replies | 2072 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:12 AM
    If you're going for a defender, Ancestor from XGtE works better. And it works with whip because unlike Fighter (Cavalier) you don't need to be within 5'. You've likely got a shield, so you've got a decent AC plus standard B/P/S resistance. That's still plenty tough, even if Bear totem is the gold standard. Hmm rage will also add to whip damage, just for extra fun.
    15 replies | 374 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 11:32 PM
    Umm, yes, and ... ? Ranged is very potent in 5e, but that doesn't mean people don't want to play melee characters. The challenge is how to use a whip. You're not picking it for damage, which means you're either looking at finesse, reach or both.
    15 replies | 374 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 07:52 PM
    I find the Oldskull Adventure Generator to be a very useful tool for generating ideas. Lots of extensive random tables for adventure creation. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/213592/CASTLE-OLDSKULL--Oldskull-Adventure-Generator The Oldskull Dungeon Tools are also very useful. It's basically a long list of different tables that can produce a variety of results. The only (potential)...
    9 replies | 338 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 06:57 PM
    I recommend sblock and trigger warning. Aside from that, great post... ...y'all'll hafta just imagine a cynical quip, here. Maybe later.
    786 replies | 22877 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 06:29 PM
    Both Monk (Kensei) and Rogue can use it to deliver high damage at reach. Sentinel feat can stop someone 10 feet away. It's the only 1 handed reach weapon so it can be used with a shield, which others can't - useful for front line non-tank. I wish it worked well with Booming Blade, but natively that only has a reach of 5'.
    15 replies | 374 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 06:28 PM
    Not that many monsters cast spells. There is a Mage Slayer Feat, though, that well, just read it... I mean, a 5e caster in a world where everything had Mage Slayer would still have it easier than an old-school magic-user.
    81 replies | 1988 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 06:22 PM
    After L5R? What did L5R do?
    217 replies | 14784 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 06:16 PM
    Playtest? Seriously, though, if the point was ditching the small, established, loyal market for the much, much larger potential market of /people who might like your game if it didn't suck quite as hard/, then just coasting on name recognition as your marketing strategy, so that you only reach that established base you just cut loose, just might have been at cross purposes. But, I...
    217 replies | 14784 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 05:50 PM
    Weren't those committed 3.x fans the basis for even having PF, in the first place, though. Now that sounds like angling to repeat 4e marketing blunders.
    217 replies | 14784 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 05:50 PM
    All I can say to this post is a quiet yes.
    786 replies | 22877 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 05:43 PM
    I'm fond of the Ancestral Guardian Barbarian from XGtE. You need to be raging and it's only the first hit per turn, but there's no limitations that the marked must stay close to you like the Cavalier - no matter where they move they have disadvantage against everyone else, and the target has resistance against their attacks if it does hit.
    81 replies | 1988 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 05:37 PM
    ...another good reason to play a game now and then. ;) The voice is less at issue than the message. And, if I seem strident about this, it's because it's not just your too-narrow, exclusionary definition and it's not just in this context. The Forgites do the same thing, multiplied by their copious lexicon, and it happens way to much in RL politics. It's fine to stipulate a definition...
    786 replies | 22877 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 03:38 PM
    Controller was as much an excuse to grandfather in more of the wizard's favorite toys as a role, but, the rationale appeared to be that large-area damage would limit enemies' tactical options. Thus minion-sweeping also fell to the controller.
    100 replies | 2280 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 12:56 PM
    Reread my initial post. I never critiqued resource management. Literally all I said was that it would be nice if there was an encounter calculating resource that models short days. I even acknowledged that such a thing would not be balanced with regard to short and long rest classes. As I said in a later post, I'm prioritizing fun over good habits. Good habits can be taught down the...
    75 replies | 2241 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 12:34 PM
    Your response strongly suggests to me that you didn't even read my reply in it's entirety, as I addressed the very questions that you ask in my first paragraph. The point is, my table, not yours. I choose what to enforce, not you.
    75 replies | 2241 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 12:19 PM
    I've been making trackers like that since I was a kid. The trick with things like that is that it doesn't help if players forget to use them. Some of them have those O's on their sheets already (I didn't even have to suggest it, it's just that obvious). Doesn't do much if the player gets so excited about resolving their ability that they forget to tick the tracker. I've never had issues with them...
    75 replies | 2241 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 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...
    81 replies | 1988 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 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/.
    100 replies | 2280 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 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 spellbook is just...
    23 replies | 559 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 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 (not merely juxtapose) the two. In an RPG...
    786 replies | 22877 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 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,...
    174 replies | 4450 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 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...
    786 replies | 22877 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 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.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 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. ...
    786 replies | 22877 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 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?
    217 replies | 14784 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 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...
    100 replies | 2280 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 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...
    786 replies | 22877 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 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...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 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...
    174 replies | 4450 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 12:07 AM
    No problem. I'd've not replies if I'd noticed you taking down the post I was responding too...
    100 replies | 2280 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 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...
    49 replies | 1033 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 11:40 PM
    I've heard about it but never checked it out. What did they do, just dial up encounters?
    174 replies | 4450 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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. ...
    100 replies | 2280 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    174 replies | 4450 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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.
    163 replies | 7184 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    786 replies | 22877 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    100 replies | 2280 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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,...
    174 replies | 4450 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    75 replies | 2241 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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,...
    100 replies | 2280 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    49 replies | 1033 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    100 replies | 2280 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    100 replies | 2280 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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. ...
    81 replies | 1988 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    786 replies | 22877 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    75 replies | 2241 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    75 replies | 2241 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    786 replies | 22877 view(s)
    7 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    920 replies | 26710 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    49 replies | 1033 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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 | 278 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    49 replies | 1033 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    49 replies | 1033 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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.
    75 replies | 2241 view(s)
    0 XP
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About Blue

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

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

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

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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, 11th March, 2017

  • 12:36 AM - EvanNave55 mentioned Blue in post Initiative house rule.
    Thanks for the replies everyone​- especially Blue for bringing up all the various things that might interact with this, some of which I hadn't considered. I don't know if I'll be using it or not yet. I'll have to think about it some more and possibly make some adjustments (and obviously discuss it with my players). Sent from my XT1080 using EN World mobile app Edit: phantomK9 that sounds interesting. I might try to somehow incorporate something like that in instead.

Sunday, 26th February, 2017

  • 04:15 AM - MoonSong mentioned Blue in post Psion, Sorcerer, and Warlock
    Blue The basic reason we have what we have is because the supposedly generic-universal wizard isn't, instead it is quite specific and at the same time quite iconic and traditional inside D&D. Yes the sorcerer and wizard get to more or less similar results through different paths but that is because the paths themselves are important and distinct -I would argue that they are more distinct than what designers even acknowledge-. Could we get rid of the sorcerer? Yes maybe. But that would mean either the wizard would lose its iconicity and become more generic and less specific -which basically means the traditional wizard is lost- or the path of the sorcerer would be lost entirely. And it would be a shame to lose that path IMO. Now if we weren't tied to D&D roots and tropes, of course we don't need both.

Friday, 24th February, 2017

  • 08:58 AM - Lanefan mentioned Blue in post [POLL]
    Er... Blue - are you still building the poll?

Thursday, 2nd February, 2017


Monday, 30th January, 2017

  • 09:31 PM - FormerlyHemlock mentioned Blue in post Proposal: Fighter/mage/thief: quick and dirty concurrent multiclassing/gestalt rules
    It is. You are advancing in two (or more) classes. Only within a bounded level range. Not at all, you have the same proficiency bonus and same number of HD at all times, for instance. I'm not an idiot, Tony. I said "at all times" not "in all ways". Correct. But, you can have 9th level slots so can cast powered-up 5th & lower level spells. I think you're changing the subject here. As a Fighter 10/Wizard 10 you will never have 9th level slots. You'll never even have 6th level slots. 5E's default multiclassing rules are incapable of modeling a high-level fighter/mage. If you're fine with that omission, then all right, but the answer to Blue's question "why are you doing this?" is because 5E's PHB rules don't really support concepts inspired by old-school multiclassing, and yet I think it's possible to do fairly elegantly. Not everybody wants this kind of multiclassing in their games and that is okay too. Poll results indicate that many or most people are 100% fine with the status quo, and there's no real danger of that status quo changing because I doubt WotC is ever going to publish their "gestalt" rules in a usable form.

Thursday, 26th January, 2017

  • 12:49 AM - Fanaelialae mentioned Blue in post new Psion mechanic - Help Wanted
    I agree with Blue that it's problematic. If you're going to make it draining, I'd recommend basing it on hit points, since those go up and down regularly (and scale with level), and there's no need to recalculate modifiers. Plus, hit points scale much better with level. If your psychic takes nothing but feats, their ability scores will remain the same at level 20 as they were at level 1. Even if not, given that typical characters start with somewhere around a total of 65 ability points (after racial modifiers), gaining 10 more over 20 levels isn't much. A design that I've been tinkering with (but haven't had much time to work on) is that psychics use a reverse spell point system, which I tentatively termed Stress. As a psychic uses their powers, Stress accumulates. The more powerful an ability, the more Stress it causes the psychic (I was thinking of giving all powers the ability to scale, akin to how spells like Sleep and Fireball work). Eventually, perhaps when they hit some threshold, or maybe whe...

Thursday, 19th January, 2017

  • 04:41 AM - pukunui mentioned Blue in post Nature cleric advice
    Blue: Exactly. Having a speed of 15 feet isn't particularly appealing. On top of that, I don't see why I would need to. If I'm wearing heavy armor, there's not really any need to have a decent Dex. So if I'm going to go that route, why not bump Str and just leave Dex at 10 (which is the lowest I can get it as a halfling).

Tuesday, 17th January, 2017

  • 07:08 PM - innerdude mentioned Blue in post Power Gaming vs Role Playing
    I read through PrometheanVigil 's response. The tone is fairly representative of "that other RPG forum site" that I generally refuse to frequent, specifically because most of the conversation is in this general vein. But aside from that, I also have to disagree generally with most of the stated opinions. It seems in his opinion that power gaming is the "true" way to game, that "roleplaying" serves only a secondary (at best) function to the actual point of roleplaying which is to "bring the awesome, ALL THE TIME!!!!!!!" (Because obviously, playing an arms race with your GM is the truest way to gaming satisfaction.) His response to Blue here: . . . it's great to see you've tipped your hat to mechanical efficacy since that's the point of all this "role-playing" at the end of the day . . . feels narrow-minded at best, and actively hostile to players looking for character-driven play at worst. But ultimately, as Blue said upthread, these are fundamentally separate axes, or spectra, or continuums. The quality of play in one axis really has absolutely no bearing on the quality of play in the other axis, and the only thing stopping the two from excellently coexisting is the attitude that A) they fundamentally cannot coexist, and anyone claiming that they can is already setting up a game for failure, or B) that making allowances for one axis or the other somehow "diminishes" the fun for the other. That said, it's been my experience that the "power gamers" are generally more hostile to changing their ways than the "roleplayers." I think this stems (once again, just from my own experience) from "roleplaying"...

Saturday, 14th January, 2017

  • 07:25 PM - ProgBard mentioned Blue in post Whatever "lore" is, it isn't "rules."
    Sod it all, Blue, it's no fair you come back showing yourself to be reasonable when we were in the middle of Someone Is Wrong on the Internet and all. That's quite the wall of text. I'll jump through it - no one is judging you, I didn't appoint myself chief cook and bottle washer and am forcing you to play undiluted settings. This isn't a value judgement. Srsly, tho, that clarification is much appreciated. Thank you. What it is an investigation of what makes a particular setting that setting. Or rather, when does deviation make it no longer that setting. Let's try this. Come up with three sentences that really define your favorite setting between them. Now, take out every one of those and run it. Are you still playing in that setting? I agree that's a useful and interesting thing to investigate. And I think I agree with you that when you flip a switch that's closer to the ineffable soul of the setting, it does alter it beyond recognition. Maybe that's bad, or maybe that will be so much fun...

Tuesday, 3rd January, 2017

  • 10:06 PM - Rynic mentioned Blue in post Rynic's Metamagic Compendium
    Here you go Blue, I'll post it in the top too. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzFIENjcD0YQXFqYmhBRGpNYVE/view?usp=sharing

Thursday, 29th December, 2016

  • 09:51 AM - Mercurius mentioned Blue in post Looking for Board Game Recommendations for 8 and 11 year olds
    Thanks all, and thanks Blue for that interesting article. While I think the overall perspective in it is sound, I do question using Board Game Geek ratings in determining quality. BGG is dominated by very serious board game players, people who generally care more about whether a game is "mechanical sound" than the average player, who just wants to have fun. A quick update. I've been spending a lot of time researching games and keep running into the same problem: There's a gap between what I think my girls will enjoy and understand, and what I want to play. For instance, the games that appeal most to me are probably Runebound, Claustrophobia, Star Wars Rebellion,, and maybe Terra Mystica, but all seem likely they're more suited for age 13+. So maybe in a couple years. I'm also very curious about the X-Wing Miniatures Game, which is also probably too old for them, but seems like they could easily grow into it. The bottom line is that I have to enjoy playing the game, so as long as I'm willing to help them with t...

Saturday, 10th December, 2016

  • 12:07 AM - Quickleaf mentioned Blue in post How to spice up this chimera/trap encounter?
    Celebrim pdzoch Askaval30 Caliban Blue Thank you guys very much for your feedback :) I've adapted a lot from your ideas and re-written the room. Would love to hear your critique and feedback. ------------- #2. Guardian Room (revised) Beyond the door is a room lined with mosaics running the floor and walls, only occasionally interrupted by marble beneath. The geometric patterns in hues of yellow, orange, and red resemble flames spiraling toward the center of the floor. Designs of serpents, lions, and rams emerge from the flames, even as geometric man-like figures fall into the spiral of flames. Perhaps the room measures 40’ x 30’ but it’s hard to be certain because of the disorienting design of the mosaics. At the far side is a hammered copper door. Visual reference for mosaic: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/ec/c5/3c/ecc53c462b5ceaac3eb5bb074245563f.jpg A 20’ wide strip of mosaic running through the center of the room perpendicular to the PCs’ entrance is a trigger for a summoning trap should any...

Monday, 31st October, 2016

  • 10:17 AM - AaronOfBarbaria mentioned Blue in post Tips for Resolving Area Effects
    I do what Blue described. I also roll up to 5d20 at once to speed the process along a little further. And often when I use a multitude of creatures, they are of low enough HP that failing to save vs. most of the area effects likely to be used often drops them to 0 - sometimes even passing the save wouldn't save them, so I don't have to make all the rolls in the first place.

Thursday, 13th October, 2016

  • 10:14 PM - Jago mentioned Blue in post How Would You Run a Game with 5 Mins Prep Time
    Blue had the right of it: your players are going to make characters. Speak with them the entire time they're coming up with their stuff, and you're going to get some measure of story, maybe even your main villain/conflict right off the bat. 5E honestly seems to make it the easiest to do this with: I wouldn't even look at the MM for a 1-shot 15-minute prep kind of game, no hexes or maps or anything: just flow with what the players are giving and keep building from there. Player takes the Sailor background? We're going on a ship. To where? Well, someone else is a Noble and another is a Soldier. They're on a diplomatic mission to another kingdom, and they're traveling on the sailor's boat. Bam. That's an entire adventure. Someone is playing a Druid and another is a Rogue? Story focuses on Robin-Hood style antics in the forest. Save the trees and make a bit of coin on the side. Really, if you have 15 minutes (or at least until the characters are done), 5E makes it Really Easy to just look...

Tuesday, 19th April, 2016

  • 09:11 PM - Zaruthustran mentioned Blue in post Acquisitions, Inc appearing in new expansion for Card Hunter
    ...of Omin Dran (Jerry Holkins--Penny Arcade), Jim Darkmagic (Mike Krahulik--Penny Arcade), and Binwin Bronzebottom (Scott Kurtz--PvP Online). Originally conceived as a podcast promotion for the launch of Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, Acq Inc has over the last 8 years become feature content on the Main Stage of PAX events, delighting PAX audiences and millions of viewers on Youtube. Learn more at https://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/acq.-inc About Card Hunter With over 1,000,000 satisfied players, Card Hunter is an original and addictive blend of collectible card gaming, grid-based tactics and role-playing adventure. Card Hunter can be played free online at http://www.cardhunter.com or through Steam at http://store.steampowered.com/app/293260. About The Developers Penny Arcade is one of the world’s most popular and longest running webcomics as well as the originator of the PAX gaming conventions. Jerry Holkins plays Omin Dran and also does a little writing on the side. Blue Manchu is a collection of games industry veterans working as a virtual team across four different time zones. Managing Director Jonathan Chey was a co-founder of Irrational Games and director of product development on BioShock. www.cardhunter.com Twitter: Bluemanchugames Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Card-Hunter/194775980553441

Wednesday, 13th April, 2016

  • 07:41 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Blue in post Looking for unique suggestions on making player resurrections punishing.
    Wow, this actually gave me chills reading it. I think this would be very fun and will run it by my party. I like how the "recipe" is different for each person (because of #1 and #2) and really enjoy the flavor of #2. I also love the sort of trap in #3 with a forged coin. Great ideas! Hope you have fun with them. They're not the sort of rules I would suggest to a more "by-the-book" group or with a group that didn't have a good degree of trust between DM and players, but with the right group they're very evocative. IIRC we used these 3 symbols instead of expensive components for raise dead. If the flavor of #3 doesn't fit your setting (because it assumes an Underworld and Charon), you could always incorporate a "Symbol of Birth" as a requirement like Blue suggested.
  • 08:01 AM - Quickleaf mentioned Blue in post As a DM, do I kill the entire party at the end? Im torn?
    ...y immortal. Think of it as the Horcrux in Harry Potter world. There was a big clue about where the heart was, but they decided to ignore this clue, and off they went to do battle. So, do I kill them all, or somehow change the rules of my campaign so that they can kill the bad, even though the horcrux (heart) beats on in a box somewhere? How would you feel as a player if after 12+ weeks of campaign, you ALL lost against the big bad? In a way, I feel they deserve to all die for being so stupid, but at the same time, I dont want to upet the (RL) group. Whoa. Well, you can leave out the judgment for starters. :) I'm assuming, especially since you've run this campaign before, that you're all read up on The Three Clue Rule, and that this particular group of players just wasn't as astute or skilled as your former groups, and they genuinely missed the clue like you said. Rather than, say, you as DM not telegraphing sufficiently with multiple clue vectors. I like what Blue said (in spoiler below), especially the bit about there actually being 2 goals for the PCs: (1) Defeat the BBEG, and (2) Win the war. You don't have to tie these together. It sounds like you're saying the BBEG can't be killed, so you're anticipating the players losing both (1) and (2). However, let me present some other possibilities: Win 1, Lose 2: The BBEG doesn't die, but the PCs use magic or creative thinking to banish, incapacitate, or bind him. They sorta win #1, or at least reach a tie. However, the war is lost around them. Now, with the BBEG in custody or temporarily out of the picture, they have to figure out what to do next. Win 1, Win 2: The PCs sorta win #1 as above, and the war is also won through their efforts. With the BBEG's power base quashed, what will they do with him (if captured)? Or how will they prepare for his inevitable revenge (if banished/petrified) when he returns? Lose 1, Lose 2: Worse cast scenario, this probably looks like the TPK you're imaginin...

Thursday, 7th April, 2016

  • 09:46 AM - the_move mentioned Blue in post Question about magical shields...
    https://twitter.com/mikemearls/status/717564235916574720 @Blue Sry, but I fail to see, how Dual Wielder and/or Tavern Brawler will give you a Str bonus to your shield damage while using sword and shield for attacking. Afaik only the TWF fighting style does that. What you do get is the proficiency bonus on attack rolls for your shield attacks (Tavern Brawler) and the allowance to use one-handed weapons that aren't light (Dual Wielder). However this would make the sword-shield dual wield story even less desirable. While you have to invest into TWF to get your Str bonus with your off-hand attack, while the PAM can either up his damage (GWF) or his armor class (Defense) with his fighting style, provided he is a fighter/ranger/paladin, the latter having no access to TWF fighting style anyway.

Thursday, 28th January, 2016

  • 08:50 PM - not-so-newguy mentioned Blue in post Dirty Secrets?
    Blue Thanks for the explanation. Coincidentally, I call that "planting seeds" which could be used as yet another euphemism.

Saturday, 5th December, 2015

  • 09:50 AM - UngeheuerLich mentioned Blue in post Treantmonk's Guide to Wizards 5e
    The familiar has 1 hp. Not a very good use to have the familiar linger in melee for too long. Blue Longbow has a range of 150. So a longbow has its uses in ope areas. Also bladesong is only 2 per short rest. Its entirely possible that you don't want to use it all the time. Really depends on playstyle and how common short rests are. The sling only has a range of 30ft. So when you could use a sling you usually have better things to do.


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Wednesday, 26th June, 2019

  • 08:26 PM - Esker quoted Blue in post Halberd Fighter - What order feats?
    Sentinel is quite nice, but because you only have a single reaction, it only matters in the cases where PM wouldn't trigger but Sentinel would. The difference - +0.3 attacks/round over PM, isn't worth as much. Unless you find the reduction in speed to be a big deal, once you have PM I'd take this last. But note that the reaction attack provided by PAM is considered an opportunity attack, and therefore qualifies for the movement reduction under Sentinel, unless I missed some errata invalidating this. This can be quite a potent synergy when used with reach: enemy approaches, opportunity attack (from PAM) when they get to 10', they have to stop (due to Sentinel). If they don't also have reach, now they can't attack you. On your turn, you can attack twice, then step back, to repeat.

Tuesday, 25th June, 2019

  • 09:29 PM - Sadras quoted Blue in post Changing rest periods
    Determining ability score? 1. How do you determine ability score to use? Like can weapon wielders pick either STR or DEX? Or does an archer fighter need STR? How about unusual builds, like a DEX based barbarian? Could a paladin choose CHR or STR or is it set to one Whichever ability your character most identifies with. So if you're a DEX fighter/barbarian, then I'd allow you to use your DEX. Ideally, the person selects their higher stat and then sticks with it unless there is a good enough argument to have it changed later on in the character's life. It is not supposed to be a gotcha, hence I also decided against using CON, which was the obvious choice having it tying into exhaustion, which would have screwed some classes. Spellcasting 2. Is each spell slot a separate roll, or is "spellcasting" a single check? Sadly it is not that granular. A long rest recharge, recharges ALL long rest abilities (class, racial or otherwise), similarly a short rest recharge will recharge ALL the s...
  • 08:53 PM - wingsandsword quoted Blue in post I think my dentist is ripping me off.
    This sounds like criminal charges and a lawsuit. Too bad it's likely far past the point you could do that. While this is very believable from 20 years ago when it happened to you, luckily I have a hard time picturing this happening in the US now. Malpractice insurance is hideously expensive compared to other countries and no medical professional I know would dare risk something like this when the alternative is just administering more Novocain, which they have handy. Sure it's a few minutes lost for it to take effect, but much better then a lawsuit. Yeah, I grew up in rural Kentucky. Back when I was growing up there, from the early 80's to the mid 90's a lot of stuff happened that would get people sued to oblivion now, but people just accepted it as the way things were. Heck, that wasn't even the biggest lawsuit that would have happened from stuff from my childhood, under modern standards. We had a junior high guidance counselor who thought herself much more of a psychologis...
  • 07:32 PM - UngeheuerLich quoted Blue in post Making the most of a Halfling's Lucky feature
    I'm in the mood to roleplay a martial halfling. I was looking at Lucky and thinking about how I can make the most use of it. More as a fun exercise for what I could do with the character, not because I expect to come up with a DPR-king or anything like that. Lucky doesn't move the needle enough to optimize around it - unless you're doing it for the joy of playing around. Which I am. For my actual played character I'll be going with whatever will be fun to run, but I had a bunch of thoughts about Lucky and I wanted to have a theoretical discussion with folks. Get your ideas so we can really make a halfling shine regardless if it's the exact one I play. The follows is me sharing a bit of my journey of discovery, and I hope your comments lead me to unexplored territory I hadn't considered. So, let's set a foundation: Point buy, official books only, can't rely of getting specific magic items, played levels 1-12. We can talk up to 20 but who knows if a campaign will really reach ...
  • 12:44 AM - EpicureanDM quoted Blue in post Changing rest periods
    13th Age, a d20 game similar to 5e, makes the changing automatic. They have at-will, per encounter (instead of per short rest), and per full-heal-up (like long rest). But a full-heal-up comes every four encounters. Could be on the same day or spread across several weeks. Players can take one earlier, but it costs a campaign loss. I use a variation of this idea and it's been very successful. Often, threads like this acknowledge that pacing is the DM's responsibility, but miss the fact that 5e's current rest system puts a lot of control over pacing in the players' hands. The trouble comes from the players being able to dictate when a rest occurs and the DM being unable to come up with organic ways to prevent it. The solution is to do what 13A does: put short and long rests on a strict schedule. In my campaign, the sequence looks like this: two encounters -> short rest -> two encounters -> short rest -> one encounter -> long rest and the sequence resets. They can spend Hit Dice after an...

Monday, 24th June, 2019

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

Sunday, 23rd June, 2019

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

Saturday, 22nd June, 2019

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

Friday, 21st June, 2019

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

Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

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

Sunday, 16th June, 2019

  • 01:23 AM - Esker quoted Blue in post Making the most of a Halfling's Lucky feature
    You know, it occurs to me that it's not only the "multiple d20s = better value from Lucky" thing that's a fallacy, but actually, so is the "multiple attacks = better value from Lucky" thing. Since the increase in accuracy is the same on every roll, rerolling 1s gives you the exact same benefit on one big attack that it does on multiple small ones, if the total damage is the same (since average DPR is just accuracy * average DPhR). You don't use it as often, but when you do, the increase in accuracy buys you more. Which means that a ranged arcane trickster with sharpshooter and a familiar might actually be one of the best to take advantage of the ability, since they can hide / get help for advantage on their single attack pretty often without spending anything, except sometimes their owl's HP. Though again, halfling is not without downsides (no darkvision, no access to elven accuracy).


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