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  • Kurotowa's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 07:24 AM
    Indeed. There's an important difference between "Not suited for my personal tastes" and "Objectively badly done" that I try to remain aware of, and I encourage others to do the same. This is a specialized book for a specific audience and it's okay if has limited cross-over appeal. I don't bemoan the existence of the Critical Role RPG books, even though I'll probably never use one. Why should I...
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  • Kurotowa's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:39 PM
    I land somewhere between Inspired and Channeled. My version is that gods can bestow power on mortals and find it both easiest and most effective to do so to champions who sincerely believes in the god's dogma. That belief not only forms a connection, it means the Cleric is less likely to go renegade with their granted powers. This is important because the gods are neither omniscient or...
    31 replies | 959 view(s)
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  • Kurotowa's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 09:42 PM
    Yeah, there's a lot of interacting variables. DM style, ratio of "I made my PC to fit my oddball concept, because I enjoy pushing the envelope to create new things" to "I made my PC to optimized for their chosen role, because I enjoy being good at what I do" players, even just how the party composition shakes out... I mean, my last major campaign our group comp fell out in a strong mix. We had...
    25 replies | 911 view(s)
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  • Kurotowa's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 09:05 PM
    See, that's not punching above your weight class. That's a tightly scripted encounter specifically designed to introduce a later opponent while preventing them from simply squishing the PCs in the current moment. It's almost a cutscene. I'm talking about encounters that will likely end in a PC death or two if the group doesn't throw every resource they have at it. Which, admittedly, probably...
    25 replies | 911 view(s)
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  • Kurotowa's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 07:20 PM
    The nova issue is a tricky one. On the one hand, if you have a low encounter day with only medium difficulty challenges it lets the PCs blow through them with no challenge. On the other hand, the ability to nova is often the only way the PCs can punch above their weight class when the DM throws an extra hard story or sandbox encounter at the party. So what I'm saying is, make a careful...
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  • Kurotowa's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:26 AM
    My current group usually runs more sandbox scenarios or story events and fewer dungeon crawls or wilderness exploration means we're usually doing 2-4 encounters with 0-1 short rests in a day. That's enough that the short rest classes like Warlock and Monk really don't shine as much as the long rest classes. I think that divide is one of the biggest failures of 5e, which I otherwise like a great...
    25 replies | 911 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Kurotowa's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 11:27 PM
    Well that's a whole other kettle of fish. Warlocks work (sort of*) because they have a very limited choice and number of spells. I make no promises about what'll happen if you try to scale up the Warlock model to other classes. *I'm not entirely convinced the 5e Warlock model works very well. The Invocations are more limited because you get the two spell slots, but two spell slots isn't worth...
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  • Kurotowa's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:36 AM
    It wasn't a big deal at all. Firstly there's none of the high efficiency heals like Prayer of Healing, just Cure Wounds. Secondly it's only two spell slots per short rest, and those are competing with any other spell the Warlock might want to cast. Use a single utility spell like Spider Climb, or a damage spell like Hex or Shatter, and that's half those Cure Wounds gone. The vast majority of...
    25 replies | 911 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Kurotowa's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 05:38 AM
    And if you want to get really detailed with your world, consider actual historical forces having an impact instead of it being stuck in an eternal pseudo-medieval stasis for thousands of years. Like the gold rush and the wild west? That wasn't just a result of having an open frontier, it was because you had a massive number of unemployed war veterans looking for new prospects after the Civil War...
    94 replies | 4494 view(s)
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  • Kurotowa's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 04:28 AM
    A good question, and surely one whose answer varies by setting. In one setting an adventurer might be anyone who specializes in digging through the tombs and ruins of the great fallen empires of past, risking their life to reclaim wonders impossible to replicate in the current age. In another they might be an international fighting force that belong to an official guild and are the front line in...
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  • Kurotowa's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 01:23 AM
    There's been a few art previews released. I'd say they look more cartoonish than a mainline D&D book but not nearly as exaggeratedly stylized as Penny Arcade is these days. Have a look yourself to judge.
    24 replies | 1113 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Kurotowa's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:18 AM
    My wish for a magic item is "This item makes me feel cooler." If it can't accomplish that then it's no better than mundane gear. A +1 in combat always makes me feel cooler because combat power is satisfying in a combat focused game like D&D. Utility items that let me do something I couldn't before, like fly or breathe underwater, make me feel cooler because I can do something most other...
    31 replies | 939 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Kurotowa's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 01:32 AM
    This is excellent advice and a good intro to the core of the issue: Make sure your incentives are structured correctly. If you only award XP for kills your players will try to rack up the highest body count possible. If your monsters ignore attempts at parley, fight to the death, and pursue a group attempting to make an orderly retreat then your players will learn not to waste actions with...
    20 replies | 767 view(s)
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About Kurotowa

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Tuesday, 18th June, 2019

  • 08:50 PM - SkidAce quoted Kurotowa in post Acquisitions, Inc.: First Impressions
    Forgotten Realms aside, there's a video up talking about the Roles the book offers and I can't help but think this material would be just as good a fit for Eberron. The Dragonmarked Houses are halfway corporate already, and the pervasive use of low level magic seems to match. You could dial it in as a workplace black comedy with a bunch of PTSD Last War vets trying to navigate the jump from military service to post-war private enterprise, build a party that's a mix of old comrades and former foes, and you've got the seed of a campaign that's topical and narratively juicy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t53xthMdvFc Or you could call your corporation the Crimson Permanent Assurance.....plenty of D&D shenanigans available... https://vimeo.com/111458975

Monday, 17th June, 2019

  • 05:21 PM - Mournblade94 quoted Kurotowa in post Acquisitions Inc Book Art From Aviv Or
    That's a business choice, not a resource lack. When WotC was putting out monthly source books they were full of poorly designed crap and flooded the market leading to poor overall sales. Better three books a year when they're well done and I have use for all of them than monthly releases of over specialized environment books like Sandstorm and "Who asked for this?" books like Magic of Incarnum. Thats faire Enough. But up until now, we didn't get quite as niche a book as Acquisitions. The whole corporate thing just seems like it is unasked for as a niche environment or a new magic system like incarnum. At least in the past there would usually be something useful. This book is for a definite niche. If you don't want to be corporations into your medieval fantasy there probably isn't much there for you.
  • 10:55 AM - gyor quoted Kurotowa in post I review the Acquisitions Incorporated book on twitter
    Indeed. There's an important difference between "Not suited for my personal tastes" and "Objectively badly done" that I try to remain aware of, and I encourage others to do the same. This is a specialized book for a specific audience and it's okay if has limited cross-over appeal. I don't bemoan the existence of the Critical Role RPG books, even though I'll probably never use one. Why should I feel differently about an Acquisitions Incorporated book just because they worked out some sort of joint publishing deal with WotC? It's not like it stole the slot of a "real" D&D book that would hypothetically have content more to my liking. I'll probably never own the book or play in a campaign using its material. That doesn't mean I should begrudge its existence or the happiness it brings to people who are interested in what it offers. Nothing was lost and I suffered no injury. I'm fine with something merely being not to my taste, but I stand by my statement that is book appears so far to be...

Friday, 7th June, 2019

  • 09:10 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Kurotowa in post Short Rest Healing Spells
    I'm talking about encounters that will likely end in a PC death or two if the group doesn't throw every resource they have at it.Ah, so not specifically over-level opponents, but overwhelming threat. Could be higher level, could be badly outnumbered. Yeah, that's legit. It also has to be custom-tailored to party composition, as it stands, because if you've got the wrong mix of classes, 'every resource they have' might not amount to a whole lot - or might, like in Xaviat's 3e example, be enough to just erase it in a blaze of anticlimax.
  • 08:39 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Kurotowa in post Short Rest Healing Spells
    the ability to nova is often the only way the PCs can punch above their weight class when the DM throws an extra hard story or sandbox encounter at the party. .. BA is already meant to allow a party to punch above their weight class. HotDQ, FREX, had an encounter with a Blue dragon far beyond the party's level. It was contrived, wandered off after taking trivial damage, and mostly vented it's fury on the fortifications & hapless NPCs, but PCs could hit it. I'd say this very thing is what allows PCs to take out a big setpiece encounter in a single round. I had a 3E group kill a red dragon at their CR in one round and I had to come back with some ridiculous encounter the next week to make the story feel right. 5e should not have it /quite/ that bad.

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 08:50 PM - Saelorn quoted Kurotowa in post Short Rest Healing Spells
    On the other hand, the ability to nova is often the only way the PCs can punch above their weight class when the DM throws an extra hard story or sandbox encounter at the party.What's the point of even having a weight class, if it's trivial to punch above that whenever you need to? I don't see any real benefit to a level 9 party being able to take out a level 19 enemy, just by spending their daily resources.
  • 03:47 PM - Xeviat quoted Kurotowa in post Short Rest Healing Spells
    Which is exactly what I'm trying to warn Xeviat about. If your campaign day falls on the lower end of the encounter spectrum with less freedom to take multiple short rests, having short rest based healing isn't going to impact things. If your campaign days fall on the longer and more packed end, losing the slow attrition of HP and available healing will have a major impact. This is actually a large chunk of the reason I want to go back to everyone being on more or less the same daily timer. Sandboxy games really do work better with 1 or 2 hard fights in a day and maybe a few easy skuffles. The big caster classes outshine the fighter, monk, and warlock in these situations. I have some plans to put everyone onto a short rest mechanic (the big casters have a few long rest spells still) that will even that out a bit.

Wednesday, 5th June, 2019

  • 11:37 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Kurotowa in post Short Rest Healing Spells
    isn't worth much unless you're running the style of campaign where you actually get multiple shorts rests in an adventuring day. To date I've played in a campaign like that exactly never, and my experience doesn't seem uncommon.Interesting. Do you get /any/ short rests? vs how many encounters in a day? The standard is supposed to be something like 6-8 encounter with 2-3 short rests. If you're getting only one short rest, but only 3-4 encounters, it's not that far off. If you're getting a full day of encounters and 0-1 short rests, that's going to distort things.

Sunday, 26th May, 2019


Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

  • 02:48 AM - Mercurius quoted Kurotowa in post 2019 WotC D&D Releases
    There's been a few art previews released. I'd say they look more cartoonish than a mainline D&D book but not nearly as exaggeratedly stylized as Penny Arcade is these days. Have a look yourself to judge. OK, thanks. Not quite my cuppa but could be worse.

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 04:06 AM - Parmandur quoted Kurotowa in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    If I had to lay a bet, I'd say different but not All New, All Different. It'll have new material and expanded material but won't throw out anything. The rules bits like races and magic items and Dragonmarks as substitute subraces will carry over. The setting bits will be expanded from the rather brief current entries. Add in the Artificer once it's done, add some new art and maps, add a Monsters and NPCs section. Bam, that's probably 90% of your hardcover right there. Mearls laid out what they would do early on: reuse the crunch, all different fluff, so it is not a repeat purchase.

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

  • 11:55 PM - MarkB quoted Kurotowa in post New Unearthed Arcana: Revised Artificer
    1 is a concession to how much the Artificer's Bonus Action is already in demand. 2 is just the usual "counts as magic weapon" clause which is mostly there to trigger Arcane Armament. I don't think either is a particularly big deal. 3 is true, for as valuable as a d6 or two of vulnerable damage is worth. But Hex inflicts disadvantage to a save type and Hunter's Mark improves your ability to tract the target, so they each have their own strong points. Hex imposes disadvantage on ability checks, not saving throws. Its combat utility is mostly in impeding Dexterity (Stealth) checks for sneaky opponents, or Strength (Athletics) checks for grabby opponents.
  • 07:16 PM - trentonjoe quoted Kurotowa in post New Unearthed Arcana: Revised Artificer
    1 is a concession to how much the Artificer's Bonus Action is already in demand. 2 is just the usual "counts as magic weapon" clause which is mostly there to trigger Arcane Armament. I don't think either is a particularly big deal. 3 is true, for as valuable as a d6 or two of vulnerable damage is worth. But Hex inflicts disadvantage to a save type and Hunter's Mark improves your ability to tract the target, so they each have their own strong points. I see your point on three, that seems pretty reasonable as a trade off.
  • 06:18 PM - Yaarel quoted Kurotowa in post New Unearthed Arcana: Revised Artificer
    I expect there will be a lot of room for personalized style in the flavor text for your PC's pet. A High Elf's artistic melding of metal and wood won't be the same as a Rock Gnome's gear powered mechanism will differ from a Mountain Dwarf's animated stone construct. Fair enough. I would expect the artifice of an Elf to look more ‘organic’ and less ‘architectural’. Still, I would want some feature that made it clearly artifice − maybe elemental, like skin appearing as sculpted stone, eyes gemmy, hair gold thread or fiery.
  • 10:08 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Kurotowa in post New Unearthed Arcana: Revised Artificer
    How so? As a familiar it's limited in several ways. As an offensive tool it's just a re-fluffed offensive Cantrip with a built-in Smite feature. Yes, there's potential for clever and creative players to do new things, but isn't that what we want out of a new class? Nothing about it screams broken to me. Send the AM into the dungeon whilst the party wait in a safe location outside. It can kill anything that isn't immune to psionics at no risk to the party (slowly and boringly). Whist it can't pass through objects, it has no size, so there is nothing to prevent it passing through keyholes or under doors. It has a range of 300 feet, which is large enough for most dungeons.
  • 06:13 AM - Ancalagon quoted Kurotowa in post New Unearthed Arcana: Revised Artificer
    This isn't a character. Also by your method it'd get it's Con Bonus x 5 as a fixed amount instead of Con Bonus x 1 as a fixed amount, which isn't really any more like a character. You're not changing the scaling you're just front loading a couple dozen more HP. But that aside, I think precedent is on bedir's side. It's "(text text text) + (text text text) + (text text text)" where each text sequence is calculated separately.This question was asked here about the homunculus, and there was agreement that the int bonus applies per level. It needs to be clarified.
  • 12:11 AM - Wrathamon quoted Kurotowa in post New Unearthed Arcana: Revised Artificer
    Yeah, people are fixating on the pet, but I think that's a distraction. It's not very impressive and doesn't scale well. No, the real meat here is that Battle Smith is the Artificer's Hexblade. Getting your Int bonus to weapon attacks will open up whole new vistas for the CharOp folks and gish lovers. Bring out your High Elves and Rock Gnomes to play. I agree but less (at 1st glance) synergy as the CHA for hexblade. I do see potential dips for bladesinger elf battle smiths ... Potentially some rogue (inquisitor/battle smith) and Fighter(eldritch knight/battlesmith) builds?

Monday, 15th April, 2019

  • 06:40 PM - Ancalagon quoted Kurotowa in post why paladins (smite) are powerful: action economy efficiency
    Honestly? Yes, it's by far one of the most efficient spells you can cast, especially at higher levels and against the right foes. One spell slot to prevent 25 damage AND deal 75 damage? You can beat that with a good AoE into a crowd, but if you're a Hexblade you probably don't have a good AoE spell. Hexblades don't really have a lot of good options. For a pre-combat buff before a boss fight it simply can't be beat. In my experience, you often get 2 hits (ie 50 damage for your example), not 3. A hexblade can have good area spells though - Hypnotic patern is boss (yes it's not damage, but hot damn). However, if you are using that, why are you playing a hexblade? Armor of Agathys fits a hexblade a lot better, "style wise", and well, that matters too.

Saturday, 13th April, 2019

  • 11:44 PM - Maxperson quoted Kurotowa in post Why did they design Demiplane to suck?
    Math check. When you double all three dimensions of a cube the volume increases by x8. Even if you want to uncap the Demiplane size that's probably a bit much for a single additional casting. That doesn't bother me in the least. Most of that area is going to be up(air) or down(rock). So the creator can start making hills or maybe mountains after many castings and lots of money. Ultimately, it will just be a big private place instead of a small one, which is really cool.

Thursday, 11th April, 2019

  • 07:55 PM - Dausuul quoted Kurotowa in post Why did they design Demiplane to suck?
    So one demiplane is the Armory; a full compliment of mundane gear and specialized items. Need to outfit a dozen hirelings with arms and armor? Need two battering rams? Need 600' of rope? Open a door to the Armory and grab what you need. A 30x30x30 room puts any Bag of Holding to shame. Another demiplane is the Guest Room; bed, chairs, rations, chamber pot, and some light reading material. Need to smuggle a squishy target past dangerous territory? Want to multiply the number of people a single-use gate or teleport will carry? Put them in the Guest Room, shut the door, and open it again once you've reached your destination. A third would be the Workshop; sure, of course you've got an Arcane Laboratory at your home base, but sometimes you need access to one in the field too. Outfit the room with the sort of tools and ritual gear that don't fold up and transport well, and now you've got a mobile field lab. Don't forget the Oubliette: 1. Get Repelling Blast. 2. While the BBEG is fighting your al...


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