View Profile: MerricB - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Today, 03:22 AM
    After finishing "The Labyrinth Index", I moved on to the third Dagmar Shaw book by Walter Jon Williams, "The Fourth Wall". I liked the first Dagmar Shaw book a good deal but did not love it, and the second book wasn't up to the first in my opinion. If it wasn't WJW I probably would have stopped there. This third book, told from a new character's point of view who is not an intimate colleague...
    8 replies | 327 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:00 PM
    Defending the church and the faith can literally go any of those ways. The only way to fail is to try to go all of those ways. Instead pick one and support it hard. There are plenty of games that have combat as a core for overcoming obstacles, so I'd go for something different. If it comes to direct combat with the supernatural, the paladins are toast. Sort of Call of Cthuhlu-esqe. That...
    9 replies | 266 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:06 PM
    To my mind, the difference between the two is that you can draw arrows directly from a Quiver of Ehlonna, while a Bag of Holding you'd need to take out a quiver and prep it. It takes an action to pull something out of the bag of holding as per the DMG. Historically, this would put the Quiver between a Bag of Holding and Heward's Handy Haversack, which is rare. (However the Haversack's...
    11 replies | 361 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:51 AM
    However, the obvious is a trap that will lead you astray. We're not optimizing for number of times it comes into play. We're optimizing for the change it makes. The amout the boolean succeed/fail changes. For example, if we hit on a 2+, our chance to miss diminishes twentyfold with lucky, since we go from 1/20 chance (a 1) to a 1/400 chance (a 1 then a 1). Getting four attacks instead of...
    18 replies | 513 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 09:27 PM
    Hey, you know those books that are perfectly adapted into movies. nothing changed, everything included, even the most exacting of fans satisfied. Neither do I. And both of them are a narrative experience, just with different media. Trying to fit an edited book to a gaming group improv-ing their characters where everyone wants to have their mark - it's not the same experience and attempts...
    57 replies | 1379 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 12:04 AM
    Size though kills this. With their small size any weapon with Heavy is at Disadvantage, which would cancel out the Advantage of Reckless. GWM requires Heavy. Any medium race could get the same (neither advantage or disadvantage) without the penalty from Reckless, or could get advantage with the penalty for Reckless. So an apple-to-apples of a +STR medium sized race vs. Halfling, both with...
    18 replies | 513 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 11:56 PM
    This made me wonder which was the more recent. I looked it up in the PHB Errata document (which is fixed in later printings) and it says: So yes, just unseen, no need for hidden.
    5 replies | 349 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:52 PM
    As appropriate for the situation? If I'm giving a recap of last session, or describing a grand new vista in front of the characters, I'll be as eloquent and evocative as I can be. If it's an established scene where the characters are interacting, as DM I will also be interacting with the player and getting them information in a streamlined manner.
    23 replies | 594 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:27 PM
    Yeah, I originally thought it was about the concept of buying a Box Set and it gave me a bunch of questions. When I realized that they had particular meaning to box set that didn't match the varied history of boxed sets I changed my answer to "not likely" and it wiped all the questions it had previously asked. Get lost indeed.
    81 replies | 2710 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:02 PM
    Every person responding is going to the same place, showing that if you give it thought the meaning is clear. The number of routes of reasoning - all ending up at the same place - show how consistent that it's only bard level.
    8 replies | 374 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 09:59 PM
    What type of product are they asking about? I've bought a number of boxed sets, especially back in the AD&D & 2ed days when TSR made a good number of them. It's a wide category. This didn't seem to be able to make up it's mind if it's asking questions about a campaign setting or about an intro to D&D set. And really, I wouldn't buy them if combined together. As a side note, if you...
    81 replies | 2710 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 09:50 PM
    Thank you taking my intuitive take on it and showing the mathematics behind. Some people get caught on the "more rolls = more Lucky", but the real test of Halfling's Lucky isn't if it triggers, but how much more often the roll succeeds due to that trigger. People thinking only of the first part prioritize Advantage.
    18 replies | 513 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 01:50 PM
    In general there's a vibe that casters are already more powerful than at-will characters. Do you find that this exasperates the issue? Either through direct observation or though player choosing more casters then they would in a normal party distribution?
    19 replies | 563 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 01:41 PM
    With traditional casting you need to find the correct level and increment a count. With SP you need to lookup a number (cost for that level spell) and then do subtraction. Both cases a lookup, but subtraction is slightly more involved then putting a hash mark or checking a box. *shrug* I'd put them close enough to the same myself.
    19 replies | 563 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 01:35 PM
    We playtested Spell Points at several different levels, and the problem spells were you high level or two. Basically, casters would using their biggest spells all the time - most return for the action spent, nova to reduce the enemy actions (often by inflicting the dead condition) as quick as possible. This lead to short adventuring days. Or at least the casters pushing hard for them. So...
    19 replies | 563 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 02:34 PM
    I can't get the article external to BBG to open up, my guess is it's a joke. Branding is the strongest thing going for D&D, they wouldn't change it.
    8 replies | 540 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 05:39 PM
    AD&D 2nd. Because it was a good enough system for a great DM to run ridiculous amounts of interwoven games with multiple campaigns in the same world while I had plenty of time to play (HS & college). In other words, my best memories of playing D&D came from AD&D 2nd. Nothing really about the system or lore - though there was a good enough of FR lore back then. Even 5e, which is my...
    52 replies | 1547 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 01:13 PM
    Oh geeze, I had blocked out the Palladium games. I had a bunch of them, from Robotech to TMNT as well as more traditional settings. The settings were interesting, but the percentile mechanics just did not look playable. The burnt remains of a cover, destroyed after the IP license was lost, is what inspired the Diana Jones Award IIRC. I want to say I played this and it was decent,...
    70 replies | 2460 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:42 AM
    What ways do we have for weapon wielders to regularly add damage to weapon attacks made with an Attack action. By regularly I mean enabled the majority of the time in a several-encounter day, but does not have to be every single attack. For instance both Rage (limited uses per day) and Hunter's Mage (low level slot needed) would count. Paladin Divine Smite would not because it uses so many...
    3 replies | 177 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 12:24 AM
    I've never read 7th Sea but I see others gushing about it, enough that it's on my list of "want to try" games. I'll take this as a warning though. Any specifics you can share about why it didn't work?
    70 replies | 2460 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 12:22 AM
    I'm with both you and Celebrim on MechWarrior. Unfortunately it was nt just on read, but after we started the campaign. It turns out two of the players (myself and one other) made well rounded characters that would have interesting things to do in or out of a mech, and because of the priority system were decent mech pilots in starter mechs. And the other three players built characters to be...
    70 replies | 2460 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 12:17 AM
    Absolutely. Though with how wonderfully "wide" the responses were here, in some of the more crowded design spaces it might be better to break out of specific classes for a more general "If there was a "Arcane Caster" base class, what would it be if CON was it's secondary ability score. How does that differ if it's WIS, or DEX, or ...
    34 replies | 1159 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 10:18 PM
    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...
    18 replies | 513 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 01:03 AM
    I think there's a different set of requirements for a GM for a convention / one-shot vs. a GM for a campaign. For a convention/one-shot: Bring everything vividly and concisely to life. Make each of the few scenes you have either memorable or quick. Voice acted NPC, narrow escapes, acts of daring, everything meaningful. Have great pacing. Important to control tension for the climax at...
    18 replies | 680 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 03:43 PM
    I've found that some groups handle this in-character,a dn some groups handle in player-side. With very different results. In one game I play it is: We divvy up when we have a chance to convert gems and art and such to coin. Magic items go to whomever it will make the best improvement / needs it the most, with the caveat that the best for party might be a cascade - giving the bets melee...
    14 replies | 459 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 03:15 PM
    Hey, one thing the Fighter is definitely missing is non-combat and ribbon options. What do we give the various subclasses to round them out?
    34 replies | 1159 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 02:41 PM
    I'm a little wary of "don't do anything now to do something later". Probing with your attack to get information = good. Giving up the damage you'd do = not so much. Especially as most 5e combats aren't that long that most of the time it's better just to try to inflict "condition: Dead" on the opponent. The "no damage now for double later" is "you'll have two attacks worth of damage total. ...
    34 replies | 1159 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 02:04 PM
    I like your thematics. Can you suggest some CHR-focused mechanics that would support it? I struggled with a strong concept for WIS. Are these so close that maybe it should be a single subclass that can trigger of INT or WIS for it's features?
    34 replies | 1159 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 01:36 PM
    This is interesting - using attacks as a resource because the Fighter excels at that. I have some worry about when tey just have Extra Attack that if they regularly sacrifice they will be doing less, well, "fighter things" then other classes. So need to make sure that what they get feels like something meaningful. For instance, instead of a 1:1 trading attacks for reaction that allows...
    34 replies | 1159 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 01:25 AM
    You know, with STR and DEX being big for any weapon wielder, maybe they shouldn't be archetypes. Maybe there should be a bunch of core fighter features that support "strong and heavy armor" and "dex and light armor" and you can play either way successfully with any of the archetypes that focus on the other ability scores. Agreed. Just like the integrated multiclassing of Eldritch Knight...
    34 replies | 1159 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 02:29 PM
    By definition you aren't measuring how overkill slows down your kill rate if you only have a single opponent. Because it ignore that with the two attacks if the first one kills the opponent, the second one can start on the next opponent which leads to quicker killing, while the wasted damage from a single large attack can't. If you want to look at overkill, you need to go to 3+ opponents so you...
    135 replies | 3990 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 02:18 PM
    No, as stated before, it won't. I think you are making the mistake on not look at what you are giving up to get a feat. The opportunity cost of taking it. Again, looking at Tier 1 & 2, (levels 1-10), taking this feat will give you less of a DPR increase than a simple +2 DEX. Mathematically it does not compete. It's not a help, it's a trap.
    36 replies | 1256 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 11:52 PM
    One of the differences between fighter subclasses and subclasses for other classes is that fighter subclasses tend more to favor mechanical rather then thematic interpretations. I'm not saying this to judge, but rather as an introduction that I was thinking about a mechanical set of melee fighter subclasses - one for each ability score. And I'd love to hear your thoughts on interesting play...
    34 replies | 1159 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 11:29 PM
    FrogReaver, Serious reply, not an "instant naysayer". I'm commenting to improve your calculations so we can get a clear view. I see two things I don't think were taken into consideration and I would be interested in how much or how little they impact the end results. First issue is that overkill is about damage wasted. The calculations shown do not differentiate for the twice-attacker...
    135 replies | 3990 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 10:55 PM
    I wouldn't want to increase the ranged sneak attack any more, be it light crossbow or longbow from elves proficiency. That's an already potent build. I'd go the simpler: use D8 SA with melee weapon attacks if you have a hand free. Doesn't make daggers even more sub-optimal. Works with thrown.
    36 replies | 1256 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 10:39 PM
    Compared to other ASI/feats this doesn't cover the opportunity cost of not taking one of them. Looking primary in the tier 1 & 2 where most games are played - at quite high levels with more SA and less things to spend it on it could work.
    36 replies | 1256 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 10:35 PM
    I understand your concept, I just disagree that the idea that a character is not observing their environment exists. Now, an alert character, acting on player instructions, might do things which give bonuses or even remove the need for a roll to observe. But absent that the character is still observing what they can of the world. The DM has a set of tools to determine what the character...
    70 replies | 1773 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 07:03 AM
    I had the same problem, tried editing a post half a dozen times - linefeeds were becoming spaces. Same for posting and previewing. I went to setting, switched from WYSIWYG editor to the Standard (? not basic) editor and now it seems to work. I do like the WYSIWYG editor.
    78 replies | 4129 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 06:50 AM
    Except that you're actively messing up the math in exchange for the DM not doing their job. The characters live in the world. You need to know what the characters see so you can convey it to the player. Let me repeat that - you need to have already figured out what the character sees so you can tell the player. Not the other way around in terms of general awareness. Sure, the players can...
    70 replies | 1773 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 01:33 PM
    Blue replied to Pick one game...
    Hmm. 7th Sea. Over the Edge. Blades in the Dark. Apocalypse World. Don't Rest Your Head. Dogs in the Vineyard. Games that play with the traditional D&D assumptions. Numenara wasn't on my list but it might be if Monte is running it
    20 replies | 647 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 01:13 PM
    The question isn't if you see a big difference between Athletics and Acrobatics. The question is if MECHANICALLY you see a big difference between Athletics and Acrobatics that aren't covered by the differences in ability scores? Many of the checks needed (escaping grapples, spells, etc.) right now can use either. And a bunch should. For example, right now someone with expertise in...
    70 replies | 1773 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 07:21 PM
    Mathematically, people do addition faster than subtraction. d20+bonus >= target is super quick at the table. The addition is quick, the comparison to target is quick. Subtraction or table lookup is slower. Also, d20+bonus >= target is quite intuitively obvious. Especially among new players the chance of success (knowing bonus and target) is clearer without working it out. THACO doesn't...
    166 replies | 5500 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 05:28 PM
    My issue with this is applicability. Much like previous edition Ranger who had a favored enemy who may or may not come up frequently enough to justify that choice, having lots of niche skills has the same issue - they may never justify the opportunity cost of having picked them as opposed to some other skill. Better to have more generally applicable skills that will see some usage. Being an...
    70 replies | 1773 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 05:22 PM
    Pretty nifty. I also like that you addressed the lesser number of skills both for picking them up and proficiency. I missed that on first read. (Assuming same from other things that grant skills, like cleric domains and warlock invocations.) As a side note, I dislike that layout site because I use firefox and it has some chrome-specific rendering. Combine with a portrait-oriented monitor...
    70 replies | 1773 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 03:33 PM
    I think the common point of your expereiences is the venue - a convention. I've played plenty of AL as regular events at FLGS and while it is never as good as a home game, the DMs are regulars who are running because they truly like to DM (there's little enough other incentive), and the player base is more stable - some turnover with new players and people not able to make it but at least enough...
    26 replies | 1064 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 02:45 PM
    The bigger idea was not just to pair skills and ability scores as needed, a variant rule that I have to say I'm the only one I see doing around here, but to trim down the skill list so everything on it was meaningful. Combining similar choices like Athletics & Acrobatics, and leaving them differentiated by the ability score. And folding little used ones like Medicine into other skills, again...
    70 replies | 1773 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 01:45 PM
    I'm reading "The Labyrinth Index", book N (where N is the total books out so far) in Charles Stross' Laundry Files. As much as I really enjoy this series, I'm a bit underwhelmed. Part fo that is high expectations. Part of it is the PoV character - we've seen her in several books and shes true to form. BUT we also saw her in the very first book as a minor character and when she's gotten more...
    8 replies | 327 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 01:33 PM
    THIS. This is a beautiful idea that I wish I had thought of first. Consolidate the skill list so that all of the choices are meaningful, while keeping the variety by emphasizing the parts that the characters are naturally good at (via ability scores). I've been doing part of that with the official variant of using different ability scores - for example using DEX (Performance) for dancing at...
    70 replies | 1773 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Orius's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 11:25 PM
    Core yes. But I'm talking core, and splats, and PO, and that's not even getting into supplements. That was a problem for me BitD when I didn't have enough experience to balance and customize things properly. These days, I can handle that better, but much of what I want to do 3e does already.
    162 replies | 6469 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 10:41 PM
    Are you saying that: 1. No one who wants to play an artificer would want a pet. 2. D&D 5e can't handle pets (in a game with summons and animates and the like) and shouldn't even try to rectify this classic archetype? 3. You have a personal preference you wish to enforce on everyone else? 4. Something else? If so, please describe.
    127 replies | 4484 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 02:48 AM
    Just looking for a sanity check here. The third ability of the Alert feat is "Other creatures don't gain advantage on attack rolls against you as a result of being hidden from you". So if I'm in a heavily obscured area, like Fog Cloud would create, then: 1. My melee attacks have disadvantage because I can't see my target, but they grant advantage because they can't see me: Net result - no...
    5 replies | 349 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 06:08 PM
    Finished the 3rd of the Legacy Fleet series on Kindle loan. End had a bit more interesting twists but I'm not going to bother to pick up more in the series. I would had been disappointed if I paid for those books, even witht he first at only $4 for the Kindle version. Also finished The Rule of Luck, which I enjoyed quite a bit more. An earlier complaint was that the author seemed to "go...
    36 replies | 1103 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 03:20 PM
    For "normal" usage, this isn't a bad fix. But there are so many way to increase damage per attack that this rule could be easily abused, just like in 3.5. This is the type of solution I'd put in place with a specific table and "if you abuse it, it's going away".
    208 replies | 5744 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 06:48 PM
    carrot, Ralif Redhammer - what would you suggest as a first Mark Lawrence book to read?
    36 replies | 1103 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 06:45 PM
    In one of the games I play in, the DM started out a lot more familiar with 3.5 then 5e. Myself and one other player were his resource for rules, and we pointed out if he missed a 5e rule (like Concentration) or was pulling out a 3.5 rule. With his blessing.
    50 replies | 1672 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 06:43 PM
    Great question. I tend to run homebrew, so my settings are tailored to the campaign. But with many of my recurring players I do travelogues - where the party is constantly on the move as opposed to a home base they always return to. And for that I need to keep up lots of interesting places in terms of culture, geography, etc. So there's a lot of places that I just do in broad strokes with...
    106 replies | 3385 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 06:36 PM
    I'm play him out to prove he's the best. Always having to go further, do more, top whatever everyone else has done. He has to prove he's best, even when the only one actually judging is himself. And of course trying to make it look effortless, to show he's just naturally superior. The flips side of this for an NPC would be to put down everyone so that he feels superior to them, making...
    5 replies | 347 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 05:55 PM
    I run a game for the players. The setting is part of what I run - and often the setting is tailored specifically to the type of campaign I want to run. The characters are the players avatars in the setting. But the setting doesn't cater to the characters, the setting caters to my needs as DM for telling the story and supporting the campaign.
    106 replies | 3385 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Orius's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 11:29 PM
    My current game is 2e having last played 3e and some PF previously. I'm reminded of just why I went fully over to 3e BitD. 2e has a lot of great ideas, but the rules, well they have problems. 1e has a lot of passionate fans, and I think it's because the early edition is fairly consistent, largely being under Gary's direction. From some of the discussions I've seen over on Dragonsfoot, the...
    162 replies | 6469 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 12:53 AM
    Another tiny one. For Human (Mark of Handling), Dexterity has a typo in the Ability Score 1 column. Races!C76
    78 replies | 14157 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 03:05 AM
    Found a small error. The Cleric (Grave) is listed as having Heavy Armor proficiency. In the Unearthed Arcana (UACDD) that they were first published they had it, but the official version in XGtE they do not. Classes!J23
    78 replies | 14157 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 05:07 PM
    Wisconsin lost a legend today . . . https://www.packers.com/news/packers-legend-bart-starr-dies-at-85
    167 replies | 10558 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 04:33 PM
    A character that is relatable is usually more likable. People connect with characters who try -- it does not have to be successful. So part of that is where are you starting your story?
    10 replies | 535 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 04:25 PM
    Been away on a business, so it was one physical books and some ebooks. Physical book was "The Rule of Luck" of Cathryn Cerveny. I was hording it in case my kindle died mid flight so I'm not finished. Everything is turned up a little too high - it took "go big or go home" very literally - but other than that is enjoyable. First eBook was The Wendy, a reimagining of Peter Pan. I enjoyed it...
    36 replies | 1103 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MerricB's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 03:28 AM
    Hmm... I think you need to buy "something", but not the product in question. If you've actually bought the product from Amazon, a written review has the tag "Verified Purchase". (Ratings... not so much!) There's more than one review I've seen where they've criticised the shipping rather than the product. Cheers!
    41 replies | 2226 view(s)
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  • MerricB's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 07:13 AM
    I'm loving the description of the town of Saltmarsh and environs myself! One of the best presentations of a base town I've seen in D&D. :) Cheers!
    41 replies | 2226 view(s)
    3 XP
  • MerricB's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 05:25 AM
    I know. :) I'm sorry they didn't leave comments - I'd expect things like "Didn't arrive on the release day"...
    41 replies | 2226 view(s)
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  • MerricB's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 05:09 AM
    The initial ratings for Ghosts of Saltmarsh could have been better... :) Two ratings: 1 star, and 3 stars - no reviews attached! Cheers!
    41 replies | 2226 view(s)
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  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 04:42 AM
    Steven Creech has passed. https://www.hshfuneralhome.com/notices/Steven-Creech https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-steve-creech-author-and-game-designer#/
    167 replies | 10558 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 06:55 PM
    I don't know that we're too far apart. I'm fine with multiclassing to get a mechanical benefit because it fits your vision of the character. It's the difference between playing a holy knight of the god of magic that you realize as a paladin/sorcerer vs. playing a grim vengance-knight where you take levels of sorcerer just to fuel your Divine Smite slots and for the CON save. I'm also big on...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 03:29 PM
    So when crafting Jillian's personality, I really ran with the halfling's Fearless racial ability - Jillian just didn't have fear. Didn't mean he rushed into things - he was canny and would try and come at things from the best angle, but he never had a doubt they'd win. Amusingly he had the lowest HP and AC in the group, and twice he went from full to unconcious with non-crit attacks against...
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  • MerricB's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 07:46 AM
    I went with AD&D (1st edition). There's a certain purity in the concepts of the game back then, and it's had enough time for some of the oddness of Original D&D to disappear. Yes, it's got lots of things that are still odd about it, but we ignored most of those when playing it. 2E did a lot of interesting things with the game, but I felt that, mechanically, it lost something, even while making...
    288 replies | 9946 view(s)
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Wednesday, 13th March, 2019

  • 10:41 PM - pukunui mentioned MerricB in post Running a DDAL season as a home campaign
    Thanks, MerricB! I was looking at a post on your blog and came up with another option: I could follow the story of the Moonsea seasons and run Season 1 all the way through, then move on to the Tier 2 mods from Season 2, then move on to the Tier 2 and/or 3 mods from Season 3 and maybe some Lost Tales as well. Would that be doable? So many options!

Saturday, 2nd March, 2019

  • 12:21 PM - Li Shenron mentioned MerricB in post Can a wizard learn a new cantrip from a scroll?
    So let's say a wizard finds a spell scroll for a cantrip from the wizard list that he doesn't currently know. The DMG says this type of magic item has a rarity of "common", meaning that scrolls like this should be inexpensive and easy to find, even in (magic-item-sparse) 5E. Can the wizard learn a new cantrip from scroll? What MerricB said. Narratively, you can say you learn your additional 4th and 10th level cantrips from that scroll, for example, but you can't increase the number of your known cantrips by copying scrolls to your spellbook.

Wednesday, 17th October, 2018

  • 02:42 PM - Ristamar mentioned MerricB in post I was right about Shield Master
    ...ce of Shield Master and everything to do with not nesting a Bonus action within its own trigger. Say what you will about the current efficacy of the feat, it's totally understandable why you'd want to avoid setting a standard with that sort of logical mess. Since the design team doesn't seem interested in rewriting the printed rules, the feat it isn't likely to be changed in the future despite it only needing a simple edit to have it trigger off of an Attack (akin to a Smite spell) rather than the whole Action. Whether that is good or bad policy is a wholly separate discussion. FWIW, I think Shield Master remains a decent feat, particularly if you have a magic shield with a bonus to further boost your Dex saves. The clarification might also make Two Weapon Fighting slightly more attractive to those groups that follow the "official" rules yet still want to be able to execute a bonus shove during a string of attacks. * EDIT: For reference, a great article on the topic from MerricB.

Tuesday, 30th January, 2018

  • 05:56 AM - pming mentioned MerricB in post 5e adventures set in swamps or arid lands?
    Hiya! Can't give you anything specific...but, our very own MerricB here has done an absolutely FANTASTIC job of making a list, with links, of 5e adventures...he even has them listed by level range and in order of level range! :) Here's the link: https://merricb.com/dungeons-dragons-5e-adventures-by-level/ ^_^ Paul L. Ming

Wednesday, 3rd January, 2018

  • 01:35 PM - CapnZapp mentioned MerricB in post suggestions for a level 8:ish adventure that starts in Port Nyanzaru?
    Quickleaf: I do too, but I'm afraid I have some bad news in this case: I think he oversold the module quite a bit. But let me post my comment to his site: MerricB: First off thanks for your review (and all your other reviews)! However, I think you shower too much praise on this adventure (Watchers of Meng). Essentially, your review reads as if the hooks (and your own imagination!) sell you on the entire adventure, despite there being next to no actual connection between the hooks and the adventure. As I read it, sure there are a few adventure hooks, but theyíre completely separate from each other and the actual dungeon. One of them Ė Oola Ė is great, sure, but thatís also all thatís great about Watchers of Meng; there is no actual follow-up to that greatness. The initial hook idea is all there is to Oola. The dungeon itself is small and haphazardous and not especially noteworthy. It features Schwalbís fascination for the morbid and the grim, but thatís nothing new. On itís own Iíd say the adventure is okay:ish, a weak three stars perhaps. After your glowing review, however, it was a let-down. best regards,

Monday, 6th November, 2017


Sunday, 20th August, 2017

  • 09:35 PM - Remathilis mentioned MerricB in post Advice for Extending or Expanding on Curse of Strahd
    Off the top of my head... Expedition to Castle Ravenloft gives Strahd some secondary goals that change the nature of the adventure. It also includes new NPCs to use and the "fane" subplot which can replace the Heart of Sorrow if you want them to wander around more. There are the 10 Adventurer League modules form season 4, which include a new town, new NPCs, and its own subquests away from Strahd proper. You can also search around the DM's Guild for some additional resources, like MerricB 's "Death in the Cornfield" sidequest. Lastly, if I were to re-run it, I'd definitely stack the Tarroka deck a bit. Good luck!

Sunday, 16th April, 2017

  • 01:10 PM - Redthistle mentioned MerricB in post How do players know they are in the "wrong" location in a sandbox campaign?
    I really like MerricB's idea of the side-quests (see comment #8 in this thread). It keeps the game moving forward without letting it drop into a TPK, and may also be utilized to provide foreshadowing for when the party is ready for the more dangerous scenarios. Here's a notion that can be used on a limited basis, but that you wouldn't want to overuse: Passive Insight check, aka the "hunch." Pass information to the player(s) with high enough Insight, saying something to the effect that the hairs on the back of their necks are rising; their guts feel like they're turning to ice water; there's a mounting sense that there is something here that is just not right; or the like. By experiencing this hint every once in awhile it will hopefully provide your players with the knowledge (it might be for replacement PCs, mind you) that although there might be something very interesting behind that door, now might not be the best time to go knocking on it. It depends, of course, on how far into the location they've...

Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017


Wednesday, 4th January, 2017

  • 12:38 AM - hawkeyefan mentioned MerricB in post Secret Character Creation
    My group has done things like this a lot in recent years when we start a new campaign. We've also picked characters randomly and swapped characters and things like that. We've found that it can really help make the game interesting in new ways. My group has been playing together for a long time, and I think that helps with these kinds of experiments. I think more groups should try this kind of thing to try and open up new avenues of enjoyment with the game. Good luck, MerricB. Let us know how it goes.

Tuesday, 3rd January, 2017

  • 06:02 PM - Blue mentioned MerricB in post Mike Mearls on D&D (New Interview with James Introcaso)
    Thanks for the summary MerricB, lots of good info. I'm a bit torn how they are realizing story-first. It seems that they are coming out with an adventure path and then discarding the story. I'm happy for some APs because of all of the gaming in my FLGS, but I'm not their purchasing target. But I'd love for there to be more around it then a brief flare and then it's last year's news, even if that seems to be the intent because they don't want to break up the message by having consumers split their focus.

Sunday, 24th April, 2016

  • 07:04 PM - robus mentioned MerricB in post Enhancing "Hoard of the Dragon Queen" (Practical stuff to try at your table!)
    ...t apparently they've become too attached). My plan is to have Nezznar be a member of the cult and the raids he's been running have been to gather tribute for Tiamat (the mine being a potential jewel in the crown.) when the PCs have their final confrontation he'll teleport away to join Rezmir (if he gets a chance) in any event they'll find a letter connecting him to the cult. When the PCs return to Phandalin I'll have Sildar fill them in a bit but also point them to Leilon where they should meet Ontharr Frume (moving him there to make the geography make sense). There he'll give them more background on the cult and speak of an agent who's gone missing (Leosin) and say his last known destination was the roadhouse on the high road. And thus the transition is achieved and the major characters introduced. I intend to have Leosin imprisoned at Castle Naerytar where they'll also encounter Nezznar again (if he managed to escape) where he'll be tasked with defending Rezmirs escape. Thanks to @MerricB for recommending that connection point. I think this is going to work well and after running away from the dragon in Thundertree I know my players are looking forward to another chance to encounter them.

Tuesday, 12th April, 2016

  • 12:47 PM - Connorsrpg mentioned MerricB in post To Serve (Slave BG etc)
    Just thought I would put a shout out to our (Black Hill Games) first DMGuild product (though I have written a few EN5ider articles). It is only a small one to test the waters. It talks about slavery in the game and incs the following game rules: * Slave BG * Monk Tradition. Would love a review or 2. You can preview the whole doc and PWYW. Cheers, check it out: http://www.dmsguild.com/product/179963/To-Serve?filters=45469_0_0_0_0_0 MerricB: has posted a review here: https://merricb.com/2016/04/07/5e-supplement-review-to-serve/#comment-6100

Friday, 8th April, 2016

  • 02:56 AM - Quickleaf mentioned MerricB in post Wilderness Travel & Encounters/Day - How do you handle it?
    arjomanes Well, you've got some solid answers already, ranging from Saelorn's astute recommendation to change the rules, to MerricB's suggestion to do away with random encounters entirely. So let me offer a slightly different take... You've got a high-level party right? You mention them wiping encounters with high-level spells, so that's what I'm assuming. Generally, in D&D exploring the wilderness is a challenge for low-to-mid-level characters. "Dangerous" wilderness exploration isn't something typically associated with high-level D&D... I could definitely see it if there were a war, a supernatural event, or the players were in a hostile plane, or something like that. From the encounter examples you gave, a theme of your setting seems to be demon cultists corrupting the land, pursued by witch hunters. So I'm going to assume that the point of your random encounters in this adventure is to reinforce that theme. All of your example solutions assume that the main purpose of an encounter is to threaten the PCs' lives. I'd challenge that assumption. Especially for random encounters, and especially for high-l...

Tuesday, 29th December, 2015

  • 09:27 AM - pukunui mentioned MerricB in post Enhancing "Hoard of the Dragon Queen" (Practical stuff to try at your table!)
    ...uing. Payback I'll just run this as written, I think. Unwanted Attention, Who's Your Friend?, Murder Most Foul Haven't really given these ones much thought yet. I'm pondering whether or not to include the High Holy Day event as well. Might ask Steve if he has any ideas about how to make it more interactive. EDIT: If I do use this, I'll set it on the day of the autumnal equinox, when the followers of Loviatar practice the "Rite of Pain and Purity", which apparently involves "dancing on glass, thorns or barbed-wire while being whipped by higher-level Loviatans". Events I'm not planning on using: - Adventuring Life: Just doesn't seem that interesting to me. - Everything Has a Price: The only obvious things the PCs have are their cool magic items, and I don't really want to take one of those away in the manner described in the event description. - Roadside Hospitality: This seems like one that could be fun if it naturally falls together (like it seems to have done for MerricB's group) but could also come across as really forced, so I don't think I'll use it.

Monday, 28th December, 2015

  • 09:21 AM - pukunui mentioned MerricB in post Enhancing "Hoard of the Dragon Queen" (Practical stuff to try at your table!)
    I'm also having a little issue with the logistics of the caravan. Since my players opted to have their PCs all hire out separately, they are going to be all spread out during the journey. I'm struggling to see how to make some of the encounters on the road work so that all the PCs can be involved. And the logical part of my brain is telling me that some of the more experienced NPC guards would reasonably get involved in some of them - like the peryton attack, for instance - but that'll really slow things down at the table and also potentially make the encounters too easy. Anyone who's run the caravan trip already got any tips on how to manage it? jayoungr? MerricB? vandaexpress?

Tuesday, 8th December, 2015


Monday, 7th December, 2015

  • 03:04 PM - Charles Rampant mentioned MerricB in post Eberron popularity in 5E
    I think that a suggestion made in this thread - by MerricB - that we may see APs being used to 'update' settings is an interesting one. So, we might get an Eberron AP. It features, uh, a plot about a Dragonmarked house doing nefarious stuff, and has stuff with, you know, zepplins and visiting the Voodoo Elves island and whatnot. Cool. And in the back of said book, taking up about 40 pages, would be the crunch for said adventure. So the book itself won't update the setting very much - really only covering the exact locations travelled to - but it would serve as a vehicle to allow crunch for the setting to be sold, within an interesting adventure path that can have a unique hook to sell itself to DMs with. Though we should probably also note that Chris Perkins, in that interview with the mega-thread attached, noted that WotC don't feel bound to any particular formula for releases. Just because so far we have received an AP-heavy release schedule, doesn't necessarily mean that this is a hard and fast rule.

Sunday, 6th December, 2015

  • 08:45 AM - Quickleaf mentioned MerricB in post The Best Unofficial 5e Adventures?
    So, we know all about the official WotC releases, but what do folks feel are the best unofficial 5e adventures out there? There are dozens and dozens of unofficial 5e adventures, some free, some to buy, but which adventures among them, short or long, do folks highly rate? - Jargogle I think MerricB has a listing of third-party 5e adventures....ah! here it is: http://merricb.com/dungeons-dragons-5e/dungeons-dragons-5e-adventures-by-level/ Most of these I don't own and haven't played. I can say that I've been impressed by Kobold Press' products in general.

Monday, 30th November, 2015



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Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 06:22 AM - Parmandur quoted MerricB in post Amazon ratings of Ghosts of Saltmarsh
    The initial ratings for Ghosts of Saltmarsh could have been better... :) Two ratings: 1 star, and 3 stars - no reviews attached! Cheers! In terms of Reddit and forum reviews, only seen good things.

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 10:51 PM - Staffan quoted MerricB in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    This is a key point. It's very hard to ignore the extra content when the official adventures use a LOT of it. And using optional content is to a large degree a selling point with the APs. Back in 3.5e, adventures rarely used non-core stuff (plus setting core book stuff for adventures based in a particular setting). So you might have bought Tome of Battle, Tome of Magic, the Expanded Psionics Handbook, Dragon Magic, Magic of Incarnum, and all seven Complete books... but you won't see any of that stuff in a published adventure, so if you want those things to have a place in the world you need to make that place yourself - or if you did see a feat or something used, it would be reprinted to avoid confusion. Pathfinder, by comparison, revels in using stuff from many different sources. For example, the Battle of Bloodmarsh Hill (Giantslayer 1) has stuff from a dozen books in addition to the core book and the Bestiary. Paizo can get away with this because all that stuff is available online, but the...

Sunday, 5th May, 2019

  • 03:02 AM - Remathilis quoted MerricB in post Season 9 Adventure changes
    Here you go: http://media.wizards.com/2019/dnd/dragon/25/DRA25_DDAL_GOS.pdf Cheers!Thank you. For the life of me I couldn't get it to download from my phone or PC!

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 06:56 AM - Enevhar Aldarion quoted MerricB in post Season 9 Adventure changes
    Update based on Lysa's explanation in Adventurers Wanted: * You choose a season when you create your character * Content from Seasons 1-8 count as one (mega) season * Content from Seasons 9+ are individual seasons So for a new character, you could create a "pre-Season 9" character or a "Season 9" character. And eventually, Season 10... Cheers! To further add to this, per the article, any character can still play in any season's adventures, with the restriction that a pre-season 9 character cannot gain story awards or magic item unlocks from season 9+, and a season 9 character can play in season 1-8 content, but again cannot earn story awards or magic item unlocks. Treasure checkpoints, advancement checkpoints, renown, and downtime are still earned regardless of what season a character was created for. Otherwise, there are no restrictions on what content you can run your characters through. So yes, you can grab that character that does not match the season being run and help a ...

Monday, 29th April, 2019

  • 06:34 PM - Nagol quoted MerricB in post Season 9 Adventure changes
    Update based on Lysa's explanation in Adventurers Wanted: * You choose a season when you create your character * Content from Seasons 1-8 count as one (mega) season * Content from Seasons 9+ are individual seasons So for a new character, you could create a "pre-Season 9" character or a "Season 9" character. And eventually, Season 10... Cheers! That update reassures me somewhat. I have time to play 2-3 times per season. I skipped two of the last 3 because of the (for me) draconian season rules (get locked in Ravenloft! Adventure with only 25% of your hp and stay dead if you die!). The league would be completely unavailable if it required 1 character per season and I had to hunt around for an adventure worth playing on those few occasions where I am available. At least with all 8 of the early seasons in one lump, I can probably find someone running something compatible.

Friday, 19th April, 2019


Thursday, 18th April, 2019

  • 12:16 AM - lowkey13 quoted MerricB in post Grogbards, Tell Me Stories of Greyhawk
    My articles on the setting: https://merricb.com/2015/01/25/a-short-introduction-to-the-world-of-greyhawk-2/ https://merricb.com/2019/02/28/a-short-introduction-to-greyhawk-part-2/ https://merricb.com/2019/02/28/a-short-introduction-to-greyhawk-part-3/ Cheers! Great and short intro!

Tuesday, 16th April, 2019

  • 10:57 PM - OverlordOcelot quoted MerricB in post To boxed text or not to boxed text
    The Season 8 adventures would make anyone in favour of boxed text... but they actually just demonstrate how not to organise information. Boxed text would at least give the DM a starting point for running those encounters, but I'm not sure if it would save it by itself! It's not just a matter of organizing information, it's a matter of not including it at all! But I agree, I'm amazed at how much text they'll give to an NPC while managing to not reveal things like... what they even look like, or what their building looks like.
  • 02:48 PM - lowkey13 quoted MerricB in post Why is the shortest lived edition, still one of the most popular?
    Still not quite right. The timeline goes: 1974: Original D&D is released 1977: Basic D&D (edited by Eric J Holmes) is released. This is an introduction to how to play Original D&D, including a couple of concepts from the Greyhawk supplement, and a very few from the in-progress AD&D books. Again, let me quote the pertinent part that you elided- "Okay, so let's start with that. We have the original (OD&D) that peters out around 1976 due to the publication of both the PHB (AD&D) and the Holmes set (and there is the whole "Arneson/Gygax" IP issue there, but that's another story). So until the publication of the DMG in 1979, people who were playing "D&D" were usually playing a melange of OD&D, Basic, and PHB-style D&D, with 3PP and Dragon Magazine articles thrown in. But in terms of what we call "B/X" the real time line is 1977 - (at least) 1983, with the Holmes/Moldvay sets. Most people would include the Mentzer expansion in that lineage, at least the B/X part of BECMI. Which continued throu...

Wednesday, 13th March, 2019

  • 06:51 AM - pukunui quoted MerricB in post Running a DDAL season as a home campaign
    Just use milestone advancement, and you should be fine. :)Are there any guidelines for using milestone advancement in AL adventures? I was going to use XP since it's nicely built-in, but I do actually prefer milestone leveling myself. Also, I note on your blog that you've run Season 3 several times now. Do you have any tips on running it as an ongoing campaign? Any issues I should look out for? Do you know if there are any additional resources for the Moonsea region - e.g. maps and such? Or will I need to scrounge up older edition maps of the area?

Tuesday, 12th March, 2019

  • 01:02 PM - jasper quoted MerricB in post WotC Considering NPC Stat Format Change
    As an experiment, try converting the clay golem into a short statblock. It's one of those monsters that makes "three lines" look quite optimistic! :) Incidentally, you might find this article interesting: https://merricb.com/2019/03/12/encounter-writing-introductory-paragraphs-and-room-descriptions/ Cheers! Since every DM needs the MM to run. I can to do in one line. Clay Golem AC 14 HP 133 XP 5,000 MM 168 Evil jasper, " I can do in 14 characters" Clay Golem MM 168 Nice Jasper , " I do in one line and add flavor text" Clay Golem MM 168 Looks lie Granny from Bevelry Hillbillies and uses a frying pan for damage.

Monday, 11th March, 2019

  • 11:40 PM - wcpfish quoted MerricB in post one line vs three
    Works great for AD&D. You've got to love most of the creature's abilities triggering off Hit Dice. :) Alas, not a great option for 5E, where there's a lot more variance in abilities. Ability scores that matter take up a lot of space, just to begin with - then there's lots of rider effects on attacks and the like. Even the damage type needs to be listed. In theory, you could have an undead deal 1d8+4N, with the N standing for Necrotic, but we end up with too many abbreviations to remember. Cheers! fair point Merric and pleasantly and respectfully expressed thank you! But yeah, for 5th edition if the "one line" became "three lines" I'd still be okay with that. I think the key for me is looking down at the encounter and having the description of what the PCs see/experience first and foremost without digging for that AND having mechanics bullet pointed or bolded or whatever (even a simple indent) makes a world of difference. Cheers to you as well, good sir!

Sunday, 10th March, 2019

  • 10:40 PM - jayoungr quoted MerricB in post Running DDAL04 Adventures as a Campaign
    Best of luck! I've run through the entire series twice, and it needs some work to make it all hang together. Any tips that aren't covered in your blog? Also, just so you know, your review of DDAL04-04, "The Marionette," doesn't have the "Curse of Strahd" tag, so it doesn't show up on the link above. (I left a comment there too.) That said, I'm really unsure how to make the leap to The Executioner, especially the elapsed time that's assumed to have passed. Orasnou is right next to Vallaki; maybe have them do stuff in Vallaki after "The Beast" and then come back for "The Executioner" a bit later? To ensure that my players will come back to Orasnou, I had Gregori promise them that the burgomaster would pay them for finding Alina and Laszlo, but the burgomaster was out of town. They'll go back to get their payment. Might work for your group too. ETA: Oh, also, if your party is level 1, I'd suggest making one of the encounters before the werewolf's den a non-combat one. I used two comba...
  • 07:54 PM - GlassJaw quoted MerricB in post Running DDAL04 Adventures as a Campaign
    Best of luck! I've run through the entire series twice, and it needs some work to make it all hang together. Some of the adventures are awesome, others less so. There's a couple of things in it that were included to set-up details for future seasons of the DDAL adventures, but then they moved away from the Moonsea and that work was wasted - and leads to some unsatisfying material in this season. Cheers! Hey Merric, your blog is great! Very helpful. Just wondering if you had a quick & dirty outline of what you would change/cut/edit to run the AL modules in series? Basically, I'm thinking of including Orasnou as a side trek questline in a normal CoS campaign. I like The Beast and the Laszlo-Alina storyline and the impending storm. It creates a very foreboding backdrop. I like the idea of the players arriving in town and suddenly becoming trapped in a sense. That said, I'm really unsure how to make the leap to The Executioner, especially the elapsed time that's assumed to have p...

Wednesday, 10th October, 2018

  • 07:37 PM - Tim Freerksen quoted MerricB in post Make a monk/sorcerer not suck.
    Well, anything that includes "monk" is definitely suboptimal to begin with. Not really, monks are always slowburners. They are suboptimal in the beginning but eventually become very powerful, especially with some monk only items. The big problem with a Monk/Sorcerer is the fact that charisma is completely irrelevant to a monk while it is needed for a sorc.

Monday, 23rd April, 2018

  • 07:39 AM - Li Shenron quoted MerricB in post Awarding One Magic Weapon only to each player in a campaign
    Is this how you do it? Or are weapons replaced more in your games? I haven't gone that far yet, and currently our campaign is made of a series of older- edition adventures converted to 5e, so my way of dealing with magic items at the moment is to just give whatever items are featured in those adventures. If a 5e version of the item exists in the DMG, they get the 5e version, otherwise they get the original version with possibly some adjustments to the 5e rules. However, I am always using the 5e versions of monsters and NPCs instead of the adventures originals, so there aren't many magic weapons to take directly from them. IMHO not having every NPC with magic weapons after a certain level is a huge liberation. I do not like the idea of PCs getting rid of older magic weapons, and I do not generally feature a market for magic items (these are presumably part of my general dislike of "magic as technology"). So something I usually have in mind in all my campaigns is to end up having magic ...

Saturday, 21st April, 2018

  • 03:08 AM - Blue quoted MerricB in post Awarding One Magic Weapon only to each player in a campaign
    While in previous editions there'd be lots of magic weapons lying about (so many guards armed with +1 swords), the approach of 4E and now 5E has changed that. As a result, I'm considering how in a campaign I might only award one magic weapon EVER to a player. If you go by the distribution in the DMG, I know many player who would be happy if they never get a magic weapon. The distribution for 5e is sooo much flatter. Here's a thread where they work out what you should be getting levels 1-20. It then codifies it, breaking it up four ways, to give guidelines: 1 uncommon permanent item at level 4, and another at level 7. 1 rare permanent item at level 10 and another at level 13. 1 very rare permanent item at level 16. 1 legendary permanent item at level 19. That's 6 items over their entire 1-20. Many characters not focused on weapon combat would probably be happy to get something else instead. Last campaign I was a player, we were just shy of 12th and we had my +1 weapon, and a +2 with som...

Sunday, 4th February, 2018

  • 09:09 AM - Kevtron quoted MerricB in post How to calculate Passive Perception
    You'll find the full rules on page 175 of the PHB and page 59 of the free Basic Rules. Looking in the PHB it looks like passive for any skill is 10 + all skill modifiers If you're trying to determine if a character notices a stealthy monster, then you check the result of the monster's Dexterity (Stealth) check against the passive Perception scores of the characters that are Keeping Watch. If the result of the Dexterity (Stealth) check exceeds a character's passive Perception score, the character is surprised. Looking at stealth vs perception: If my lvl 3 rogue (with +3 dex + proficiency + expertise) currently has +7 to stealth, is my passive stealth 17? If so... what does that mean exactly in terms of game play? If a goblin's passive perception is 16 or less (and assuming they aren't actively looking for me) would I even need to roll? Sounds to me like I'm 'naturally' more stealthy than the goblin is 'naturally' perceptive. edit. the more I think about this I guess it would be unfair/ove...

Thursday, 1st February, 2018

  • 03:23 AM - ad_hoc quoted MerricB in post Old School Initiative
    I had a lot of problems with the "Greyhawk" initiative system when I used it (detailed here: https://merricb.com/2017/07/22/greyhawk-initiative-another-look-2/). I'm happy to run games with predeclared actions, but the way rogues work in particular (bonus action hide or disengage) causes a LOT of trouble when using them with 5E. AD&D's predeclared system worked mainly because movement wasn't a factor: once you were in melee, that was it. You didn't move again. Once you allow a lot of free movement, then things fall apart quickly. Cheers! At our table movement is free and so are bonus actions unless the bonus action would take more time than the regular action. Basically everyone rolls 1 die, the highest of their actions and bonus actions. For example, if someone shoots and casts Healing Word, they roll 1d10 rather than 1d4. One really nice side benefit of the system is to ask the players what their characters are doing in each scene rather than rolling for initiative. Instead of rolling for initiative and then asking the player what they want to do on their turn and having them...


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