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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 | 373 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 373 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 | 180 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 551 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 | 1963 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 | 2231 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 2231 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 | 2061 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 373 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 | 373 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 | 373 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 1963 view(s)
    2 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 | 2231 view(s)
    1 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 | 1025 view(s)
    1 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 | 1025 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 | 1025 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 10:05 PM
    Every "replace attack stat" has limitations. Finesse is only on a subset of weapons, none heavy/two-handed. Shillelagh only works on clubs and quarterstaves. Warlock Hexblade only works on non-two handed weapons that you can touch at the end of a long rest which excludes all spell-created blades like Shadow Blade. This applies to all weapons, melee and ranged. It works with all spell...
    49 replies | 1025 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 07:42 PM
    Blue replied to Is This Odd?
    Well put. Thanks for taking the time to answer. If I may summarize to make sure I understand: access to information isn't a problem; spoiling of fun at the table is a problem (be it by that information or otherwise). Okay, I can get behind what you are saying.
    34 replies | 897 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 05:07 PM
    Blue replied to Is This Odd?
    If you were running a published adventure, would you be fine with players reading that adventure and learning plot twists, NPC motivations, and the like? Without changing it - the question here is about player knowledge. I personally would not, and have had this come up before when I was a player years ago (AD&D 2nd era). I was very angry at another player who read the module and his...
    34 replies | 897 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:25 PM
    I created a setting and one of the defining points was that it's planar boundaries were thin and various deities had used this land over the age to deliver their faithful from other material planes where they were going to be wiped out. Both PC races but also intelligent monster ones. And there were things like two different, geographically separated orcs who had completely different traditions...
    111 replies | 4179 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 03:40 PM
    I'm very much with both parts of what Iserith says. First is that they aren't epic, but they are a resource drain and D&D is balanced around those. But more importantly, they aren't just bags of HPs to defeat. They have a reason they are there and doing things. Maybe they see the PCs and run away to get more goblins and now it's a running chase where keeping them quiet and killing them...
    28 replies | 687 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 03:29 PM
    Blue replied to Is This Odd?
    I'm going to work this from both sides. Should a player have access at the table to the PHB for information about their character? I think we can all say this is yes. Should a player have access at the table to the adventure the DM is running? I think that we'll also get the consensus the answer is no. So we have valid cases on both sides, and a lot of gray in the middle about player...
    34 replies | 897 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 02:57 PM
    Blue replied to Double Dash
    Alternate view: Rogues are designed and positioned as skirmishers* with additional movement possibilities over fighters, so should have more mobility over short periods *Citation: Class description fluff, Cunning action's disengage and dash as bonus actions, Scout's Skirmisher, Swashbuckler's Fancy Footwork, other class features in vein. When you take that, the issue isn't Rogue's being...
    123 replies | 3713 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 04:20 PM
    People assign genders to all sorts of objects based on perceived qualities. I think that with a human-like robot people would do that even more-so. That human-looking androids will be culturally assigned genders by how it interacts with us (both content and how it does so - tone, body language, forcefulness, etc.) Not that the idea is bad, just probably easier to do in soemthing that looks...
    18 replies | 758 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 04:04 PM
    Overpowering at what level range? What racial features make players excited at Tier 2 and Tier 3 of play?
    26 replies | 767 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 03:44 PM
    Many of mine have already been said so rather then repeat I'll move on to the next tier: Marvel Heroic Roleplay (and presumably other Cortex games) of using your narrative to build your dice pool from separate sets of possibilities, and being able to target/take damage besides just physical. Another MHR that XP unlocks cool things, not makes you more powerful in your main abilities. You...
    54 replies | 2061 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 03:04 PM
    Can I suggest that whatever single feature you give, it's a powerful one. As in more powerful then the existing. If all you get is one thing it should be something exciting and fun to use so that the the race has attraction. And not something that barely flavors play like a once per long rest ability. The other side of it is my pet peeve that the designers didn't leave themselves enough...
    26 replies | 767 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 02:14 AM
    I could have written that clearer. What I meant was that getting reduced by a vampire bite to 0 max HPs kills you. But having 0 max HPs from a vampire bite at a later point does not. There is no auto-kill at the later point just because you are at 0 max HPs, even if it had at a previous point been killed by a vampire. The "kill when reducing to 0 max HPs" from a vampire's bite is an effect...
    197 replies | 5364 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 12:37 AM
    Sorry, I'm not familiar with those two. Can you expand a bit? Thanks.
    54 replies | 2061 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 09:58 PM
    Darkvision treats darkness as dim light and shades of grey. If the contrast was such that a human could read it in dim light, then yes. Assuming it's not some weird color choices that make the shades of grey into one of those eye-doctor colorblind tests. So it comes down to the definition of dim light. The SRD (which matches the PHB) has this to say: So if it's small cramped...
    9 replies | 281 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 09:38 PM
    Oh I hear you. 80% of the weapons table never gets regularly because there are better options. Personally I'm a fan of resolving this by assigning weapon damage by class and size like 13th Age and just skin it as anything that fits your concept, but younger me would be down with the people who want to have more differentiation and a crunchy system to work out weapon damage and perks fairly. ...
    163 replies | 7176 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:44 PM
    Blue replied to Double Dash
    I'm a fan of D&D, double Ds, DDD, but not getting a D. :D
    123 replies | 3713 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:41 PM
    No, your summary is off the mark. What I had said was that the PHB points out what you need to do and not do, but that even if you do those ("finish it") you still won't get any benefit from it under certain circumstances such as doing more than one in a 24 hour period or starting it without at least 1 HP. This is a new and interesting route to explore. I am unaware of specific rules on...
    197 replies | 5364 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 07:48 PM
    Blue replied to Double Dash
    Pic isn't me, but I'm up for some D&D&D&D&D!
    123 replies | 3713 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 04:10 PM
    Blue replied to Double Dash
    Sure I allow double Dash in those cases. It's a heroic game of fireballs and dragons - this seems an odd hill to head towards realism on. It fits both RAW and RAF. And considering double actions already exist with things like action surge, it also seems to fit RAI. Along those lines, the rogue / fighter that wants to Action surge to get in Dash-Dash-Dash for one round can go for it.
    123 replies | 3713 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 04:00 PM
    Blue replied to Double Dash
    Irrelevant. They were specifically talking about a bonus action dash and an action dash. This is the same as a sorcerer casting a quickened cantrip and the same cantrip as their action, which is just fine.
    123 replies | 3713 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 03:48 PM
    Blue replied to Looting Monsters?
    I let them look monsters just fine. I don't play with strict encumbrance, but a common sense approach if they are trying to carry too much like several sets of armor. Using them yourself - go for it. Giving them to villagers to help protect themselves against the raiding hobgoblins - sure! Selling on the other hand isn't always as easy. In smaller settlements there is limited call for...
    20 replies | 685 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 03:23 PM
    Actually, jaelis just won it for the "long rest at 0 won't make it come back" side. :) I had the concept of "what happens because of a long rest" and "what happens after a long rest occurs", which is supported reading the Long Rest section of the PHB and the Vampire's bite entry. But he called on me to look at other things that come back after a long rest, and the verbiage of them differed...
    197 replies | 5364 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 03:18 PM
    Okay, you convinced me. So after the revivify it would take a Greater Restoration or similar effect to bring back their max HPs.
    197 replies | 5364 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 03:15 PM
    I do need to throw in one exception. There are brand of new players who don't care about matching abilities scores to class at all, instead matching them to concept. For example the first character my daughter made was an elven moon druid with an 8 Wisdom because she wanted her to be impulsive and lackign common sense, and a very high Dexterity because she wanted her to be "agile like Peter...
    39 replies | 1365 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 03:02 PM
    Yeah, it's very build and table dependent what is "better", and even there "better" is usually defined within a limited number of pillars of play (such as just combat). I really do pick both myself. My last two characters that leveled up were one feat and one was +2 CHR (for a bard, looking for more Bardic Inspiration uses as well as the other benefits).
    39 replies | 1365 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 02:56 PM
    Agreed, it's contrived. When I started writing it one of my goals was trying to show that people still considered a long rest to occur at 0 HPs if a detriment happened. There are still people disagreeing that the long rest happens in the first place. From there is became a great way to kill too birds with one stone by including both a benefit and a detriment. This is an strong point,...
    197 replies | 5364 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 02:34 PM
    I'm fine with your house rule and the reasoning behind it if that works for you and your table. For me, the fact that a potion will take immediate effect implies that the "fantasy world physics" treat it as a magical effect and has nothing to do with going into the stomach and then the bloodstream. Rather that it's a vehicle for a magical effects much like a wand or other consumable, where...
    163 replies | 7176 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 02:27 PM
    Incorrect. You die if a vampire bite reduces your max HPs to 0. There is no ongoing effect. There is nothing in the description of the vampire's bite to distinguish between someone who remained alive, and someone who was brought back. As a matter of fact, we have pretty strong circumstantial evidence that this works just fine if you are brought back. Consider the case you didn't...
    197 replies | 5364 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 02:19 PM
    Here's the exact wording. Taken from the SRD, though it matches the PHB: If you note, first there is what you need to do to take a long rest. It talks about times, limits of light and strenouous activity. Second paragraph is a list of general benefits that apply to all characters. Third paragraph are exceptions that you can't benefit from more than one long rest per 24-hour period...
    197 replies | 5364 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 10:46 PM
    In all seriousness, I was just reading a story last night that refered to a female-presenting android as a gynoid. And it looks like that's a thing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gynoid
    18 replies | 758 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 10:41 PM
    Absolutely. That is completely clear in the PHB. It's not that you can't take a long rest, it's that you don't gain those benefits from it. That a long rest can be taken even at 0 HPs isn't a question if you read the PHB.
    197 replies | 5364 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 10:39 PM
    There's benefits from a Long Rest, and then there are things that happen because a long rest was taken, of which could be a benefit. Let's try this. Akar and Brandar are cursed, they lose two point of strength after each long rest, for three long rests. Two long rests past, and at the start of the third one Brandar has been reduced to zero HPs. The long rest finishes. The curse kicks...
    197 replies | 5364 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 10:05 PM
    You are conflating the specifically laid out benefits of a long rest, with a benefit that happens because a long rest has passed. They are not the same. The benefits of a long rest are clearly laid out in the PHB on page 186. The vampire's bite is not part of that. Rather the description of the max HP reduction for the vampire has a condition for when it returns. "The reduction lasts...
    197 replies | 5364 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:46 PM
    Atk Bonus + d20 >= Def Bonus + d20 is the same mathematically as: Atk Bonus +d20 -d20 >= Def Bonus d20-d20 is a bell curve. So it really changes the odds and the differance that a +1 make depending on where it is in that curve. If your attack and the defense are the same, the first +/-1 will grant a 5% bonus. But if they aren;'t the same, +/-1 will offer smaller change. And asymetic...
    163 replies | 7176 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:23 PM
    When a mommy gnome and a paladin love each other very much, they hug and 9 months later a rapier is born.
    163 replies | 7176 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:40 PM
    As a side note, your players are right. It's right in the PHB under the description of Healing Potion (pg 153). "Drinking or administering a potion takes an action.". This is also echoed to be true for all potions in the DMG, page 139.
    163 replies | 7176 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:31 PM
    Except that regaining the maximum HPs is not a function of a benefit of a long rest (which requires 1 HP), rather it's the function of the Vampire's Bite where they come back after a long rest is taken. You can definitely take a long rest, even if you don't gain benefits due to having less than 1 HP.
    197 replies | 5364 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:20 PM
    Moderate agreement - you will often see races that have a modifier paired with a class that uses that ability. It doesn't have to be +2. (If it did, you wouldn't see any variant humans, and I think they are the race I see the most.) With a 15 accessible both point buy and standard array, and 16 and 17 both giving the same +3 modifier, I see a lot of 16s around. This is why I like how 13th...
    39 replies | 1365 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:52 PM
    You definitely wouldn't want to go up to 12d12 - if you rolled max it would be gross... ...(waiting to see if anyone gets it)...
    21 replies | 693 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:50 PM
    I have a new RAW interpretation I believe holds up. Unfortunately it does not agree with your DM's ruling so far. 1. Just having 0 HPs means the character starts making death saves. There are a few circumstances where it could also mean death - disintegrate, took massive damage, etc. But those are exceptions - 0 HP is not death. Three failed death saves or another killing effect is death....
    197 replies | 5364 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 05:47 PM
    Back in the time of one of the TSR-edition D&D editions they came out with this in Dragon magazine. It worked well from traps and such, but it made some general environmental hazards impossibly deadly. If we're already accepted the game assumption that you can be hit several times by a battle axe, roasted by a dragon, and you're still fighting, then the realism of a 40' fall from failing a...
    163 replies | 7176 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 05:43 PM
    I am as well in 5e. I was more saying that I enjoyed that there was that guidance in which way to make ruling which could have been helpful.
    197 replies | 5364 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 05:39 PM
    Not unless one of the characters gives up all of their actions. Try you and a friend (or several) walking down a street while each doing something. It does not require that everybody but one give up all of their actions to walk in a line. See also: marching band. (Taking an action for CHR (Perform).)
    163 replies | 7176 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 05:35 PM
    The studs make catcalls at the elves (can't tell what gender they are, so whistle all) and flex. A lot. Oh wait, wrong context.
    163 replies | 7176 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 05:19 PM
    Blue started a thread Finesse rebalance
    In another thread there was an aside about rapiers, with part of it being: So I started to write up a serious reply about how it's not that they were perfect, but that others were not: First thing I realized is that I was derailing a thread, so I didn't post it. The second thing is that the comment about how finesse is such a game changer compared to other keywords has a lot of...
    87 replies | 2902 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:51 PM
    One concept from an earlier edition of D&D was specific overrides general. If that's the case, the specific of the spell returning at 1 HP should overcome the general rule that HPs can not exceed max HPs.
    197 replies | 5364 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:48 PM
    The impossibility of "he and I move while staying together" in combat. Taking out the delay action just made some simple concepts impossible. How the skill system enforces certain divisions. For instance, mechanically I can't model a character who is good at interacting with high society, from gossip to blackmail to formal dancing to heraldry, but are lousy at the same times of interactions...
    163 replies | 7176 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:34 PM
    WaterRabbit - I do agree with your points. I just wanted to point out that XCom is a lot like D&D 4e in having a lot of "this exact square vs. that square" in terms of positioning, cover, line of sight and effects. It needs a high level of precise, tactical control even if the system is less complex. I'm not saying this to refute your point, just mentioning that example has some differences...
    47 replies | 2072 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:30 PM
    PoE2 changed the spell system from the original PoE to all spells refreshing after each combat, so it wasn't a problem if the AI burned through spells in an encounter. The original PoE had spells recover on a (long) rest like D&D, and there real time with AI was an issue - either you let the AI use them and would burn through them quickly, or you didn't in which case it was effectively turn...
    47 replies | 2072 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:25 PM
    I want to give examples from Pillars of Eternity and Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. While not D&D, they were of similar concept. They were real time with AI and pauses (including auto pauses). In PoE, I found that if I let the AI use limited resources like spells, they would use them up in ways I disagreed with. If I didn't let the AI use limited spells (and the like), then easy/trivial...
    47 replies | 2072 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:06 PM
    I have brought that up as one of my possibilities, but it means the revivify would have worked. So I think we can guess your DM's interpretation already. BTW, this is a fascinating question in general where it lies between multiple rules. There have been a bunch of answers that I've gone "while that's not how I would rule it when running, I would definitely accept that as a player" - there's...
    197 replies | 5364 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:02 PM
    I think it's worth a quick player-to-DM discussion. "We have a player who is sitting out unable to play until this is resolved. Is there a viable solution to this what is within our character's reach? We don't want to know what it is, just that the player is sitting out forever / a long time / multiple of sessions where it's better if they just make a replacement character." Just...
    197 replies | 5364 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 03:52 PM
    These aren't apples to apples at all. If a core wizard casts all of their spells and the next day wants their same adventuring list, they spend zero time. With yours it's every day when renewing spell cast. These both do help some, thanks for pointing them out. The first because if you assume that you won't have more than 2 or so encounters before you can find 5-10 minutes safe then...
    25 replies | 851 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 03:04 PM
    No, "we" are explicitly not trying to discuss the math professor. Some posters are trying to shrink the argument to just that. What we are talking about all charactgers who take the wizard class, since that's what a change to the class would affect. The studious professor of magic (who has proficiency in Arcana) is one but also the young wizard who's self-taught and is still figuring it out...
    65 replies | 1960 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 05:39 PM
    I'm not quite sure how this works in practice. Can you walk me through this. Say I'm a 6th level wizard. IF I want to cast spells quickly I need ot pre-cast them. So is this mean at some point actually picking a number of spells and taking time to cast them? Does that mean ahead of time I think of what I could want to do with my slots and pre-cast? If I may want to cast Lightning Bolt...
    25 replies | 851 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 05:15 PM
    Wow, that's an interesting place. I'm think about this both as if I was DMing this party and as RAW as I can get, which sometimes don't line up. The reduction in max HPs continues until a long rest. RAW, a dead character can't take a long rest. But then RAW there's a question if the object (body of the dead character) is a valid target anymore for the HP drain. (Note that the buried & rise...
    197 replies | 5364 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 04:37 PM
    Welcome to the forum, but that was not the most impressive first post. It ignores the bolded and large beginning of the post: This was saved when the WotC forums shut down is 2015. It has not been taken over by the owner and Mistwell isn't trying to claim RhaegarT's work as his own and update it. Tidal Wave came out in Xanathar's Guide to Everything that was published in 2017, would...
    53 replies | 1419634 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 04:16 PM
    I'd go for 1-12 and then something high, with more of a focus on levels 3-11 and something in tier 4. If you're looking for as pared down as possible, I'd look 3-5, 8, 11, 17 and 20. Levels 1-12 cover most games, but many of the games I've been in have either accelerated advancement until 3rd or 5th, or started at those levels instead of 1st. Levels 5 & 11 are power bumps for...
    16 replies | 585 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:59 PM
    In the context of the game we are speaking about. Proficient in a skill explicitly means getting to add your proficiency bonus to the ability check. It is not connected to being "good" at that. I can have a penalty STR modifier and be proficiency in Athletics - I'm still not good at it even with proficiency. I can not have proficiency and have a large bonus from an ability score - I'm...
    65 replies | 1960 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:03 AM
    On additional thought, I think you absolutely missing the role of backgrounds in D&D 5e. Backgrounds are what you spent your time doing, and have mandetory skills. If you were an acolyte, you learned Religion. Some have been called to their gods without having gone through a formal process with a church. They may be blessedly devout without being a student of comparative religion. A sage...
    65 replies | 1960 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 02:52 AM
    There is, and hard-coding skills actually make characters less on target. Having mandatory skills to flavor the character "appropriately" does the exact opposite in actual play. Right now you get your background skills and choice of other appropriate skills. However, if you have overlap, you can then pick any skill. Let me repeat that: a required skill, going with class-thematic...
    65 replies | 1960 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 02:47 AM
    So, you deny the possibility of a character who is naturally good at Arcana (high Intelligence) but not trained in it (unproficient)? Not a sorcerer, who casts from natural talent, but a wizard who is bright but not classically trained and is having to figure out the formal parts of it as they go along. I'm sorry to tell you that there are plenty of stories with main characters who fit this...
    65 replies | 1960 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 02:08 AM
    If you're a heretic you're not alone. Well, to a point. There are some skills that aren't often useful duplicated. If one player has a great survival, it's not often the second-best-by-far survival comes into play. But for other skills, I'm with you. Having a decent chance to climb, to escape from a grapple, or not get surprised is actually pretty dang useful. To talk when you party...
    65 replies | 1960 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 02:00 AM
    My first thought it that you can have those skills already from a background. The rule in the PHB about duplicate skills between background and class is that you can pick any skill. So a required skill in a class actually means that you can pick ANY skill instead of just skills on the class list. Meaning that required skills can actually dilute having appropriate skills by allowing off-list...
    65 replies | 1960 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 03:21 PM
    Oooh, good catch. Thanks for pointing out my mistake. I'll correct my original.
    37 replies | 983 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 03:20 PM
    Blue replied to Monk Tortle
    So, for example, every elf in a martial class (and some others) deserves a freebie because their elven weapon training overlaps? If I multiclass into a class that grants armor/weapon proficiencies (all but sorcerer & wizard), should I be expecting a "make-up" bennie for already having them? It's a conscious choice just like my race/class combo.
    42 replies | 1577 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 03:14 PM
    People are talking about starting at lower levels? How about: Elven Hexblade 5 using Devil's Sight + Darkness (advantage to hit, disadvantage to be hit), Shadow Blade (advantage in dim or darkness), Elven Accuracy (reroll one die when rolling with advantage) on a Cursed target. Effectively 4d20 to hit, with 3d8 base weapon damage all multiplied on a crit, and crits on a 19-20 which leads...
    37 replies | 983 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 09:13 PM
    I remember all of those. Wizardry where the copy protection was you needed to be able to type in the nonsense words of the spell. Not something that would stop people with the internet. Bards Tale I-III have been rereleased on Steam as backer rewards with the Bard's Tale IV kickstarter that fulfilled a year or two ago. I loved the Bard's Tale series on my C=64, was really ready for some old...
    8 replies | 317 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:57 PM
    Currently, D&D 5e is the game played by the most gamers I want to hang out with. Considering player availability and scheduling (we're well into adulthood, lots with families and kids), finding critical mass of people who are all into the same non-D&D game is hard. We set up a group playing D&D. But now that the first campaign is over and we're still together as a group, we tried Dungeon...
    19 replies | 728 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 03:01 AM
    Blue replied to Monk Tortle
    Considering that most games are played in Tier 1 & 2, that means that for 80% of the character's time spent played it's greater or equal. Also, characters are their most fragile at low levels, when you have tghe greatest AC advantage. Taken together that does sounds like a significant benefit. Also, in order to do that you are locking into taking ASIs for DEX and WIS. A Tortle could take...
    42 replies | 1577 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:22 PM
    Blue replied to Monk Tortle
    Agreed. Especially if you are using the Tortle +2 STR and going STR Monk - something you can do just fine if you don't need DEX for armor.
    42 replies | 1577 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:48 PM
    I think that both in general it will be fine, and that those looking to abuse it will find a way. If your table is full of reasonable people, I see no problem. And each die is less effective in the boolean success/failure then than the one before it. Though still increasing odds (and crits). If you have a table with people who are really going to look for the loophole or maximum use of...
    37 replies | 983 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 01:27 PM
    Why do I play games other than D&D? Okay... I play 13th Age because I feel it gives me the best "D&D experience" of any game. I play 5e - my favorite D&D version ever - more because it's easier to find players. This is no knock on D&D 5e - it's a fantastic game. I play other games for either genre or feel. Or both. For example I know there are plenty of superhero games out there, but...
    88 replies | 3245 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 12:50 PM
    Sure, especially with different groups of players. But even with the same group and same campaign I see things change. For example, a starting campaign they want a lot of RP opportunities to develop and showcase their characters, and things like negotiating selling off mundane treasure is a novelty and something that could have a big impact - gaining 20% of their first big haul is about 20%...
    2 replies | 159 view(s)
    0 XP
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About MerricB

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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 they’re completely separate from each other and the actual dungeon. One of them – Oola – is great, sure, but that’s also all that’s 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 Schwalb’s fascination for the morbid and the grim, but that’s nothing new. On it’s own I’d 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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