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About Salamandyr

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February 8, 1971 (48)
About Salamandyr
Looking for some classic fantasy gaming.
St. Charles, MO
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What do you love about your favorite edition that ISNíT rules related? Yesterday 03:33 PM


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Wednesday, 15th November, 2017

  • 11:04 PM - Wulffolk mentioned Salamandyr in post I feel like there is a problem with ability score bonuses.
    ...nges that make me feel good about myself. Can someone write that for me? Please? There are better game systems out there, but they lack the name recognition of D&D, and are thus harder to find players for. Gygax & company did an excellent job capturing the imaginations of thousands of people like us, and creating a new genre of games for people to enjoy. For that I am eternally grateful to him. I just wish they had been better at game design, so that D&D was built on a more solid foundation and was not burdened by so many legacies that make so little sense. I know that is easier to say in hindsight than it was to see in the moment, and games are much more sophisticated now, but the core problems with D&D are too baked in to change, and without D&D evolving the whole hobby stagnates. It is like the NFL. There have been other leagues (USFL, CFL, XFL, WFL and college football) that have done some things better, but none of that matters because the NFL is still KING. Salamandyr I much preferred dice pool systems like World of Darkness over d20, and would love to play a d6 rule-set for a fantasy game, but it is hard enough to find players for D&D, let alone obscure games. I had actually designed the foundation of a d6 dice pool RPG before I heard of d6 Fantasy, and there are a lot of similarities.

Tuesday, 8th August, 2017

  • 04:01 AM - Ancalagon mentioned Salamandyr in post What non-combat abilities should fighters have?
    Salamandyr Reading your post about all the skills a warrior should know... and well, yeah. Maybe fighter *should* be a class with more skills... and giving the fighter one extra skill to pick would do a lot for this, or maybe even 2? Tweak the class skill list as well? This would be a *very* straightforward way to "buff" the fighter's out of combat abilities...

Monday, 7th August, 2017

  • 05:24 AM - Quickleaf mentioned Salamandyr in post What non-combat abilities should fighters have?
    ...mpanions heeding your guidance a number of temporary hit points equal to your proficiency modifier. This represents them keeping up their guard better after your guidance. Whet the Blade (camp) During a short or long rest, you can use a whetstone and water to hone the edge on a number of bladed weapons equal to your proficiency modifier. A blade whetted by you grants the following: If the blade was in good repair, it gains a +1 damage bonus on its next successful hit. If the blade was damaged or rusty, remove the ďbrokenĒ condition from the blade. Wound Binding (camp) During a short rest, you can expend one use of a healerís kit to expertly bind your wounds or the wounds of a willing creature. You or that creature gains advantage on any hit dice spent to heal at the end of the short rest. When used during a long rest, it allows you or the creature whose wounds you bind to regain 1 extra hit die (normally a long rest restores half your hit dice). And I fully stand behind Salamandyr's examples of non-combat unique things fighters could do. Speaking from personal experience being taught Apache stick fighting blindfolded, awareness is absolutely the first fighting skill. Actually, in OD&D I think something like this was represented there where "Superheroes" could detect invisible creatures (or something like that, I forget the specifics). For me, the first problem I have with the fighter class is that, unlike nearly every other edition (don't know 4e well enough to include that), the fighter was always better at hitting things than other classes. With the proficiency bonus system, every single class has the same chance to-hit, assuming they have the same ability modifier. I've made a lot of changes, in part because of that, and also because I don't like they way they designed the battle master. But all of my changes are almost entirely in the realm of combat abilities. There really aren't any non-combat abilities that I can think of that all fighters sh...

Sunday, 15th January, 2017

  • 08:30 PM - Satyrn mentioned Salamandyr in post What happened to the punk aesthetic in D&D?
    Aye. Salamandyr and akr71, I'd say exactly the same thing, except that my big homebrew work would be setting up lots of mechanics to reward worshipping and praying to the gods rather than a magical pole. Instead, I turned my effort to (occasionally) making up magic items, because the players will use them.
  • 03:24 PM - akr71 mentioned Salamandyr in post What happened to the punk aesthetic in D&D?
    Salamandyr Yep, I have experienced this too. I had an idea to create my own world where magic works differently - weaker the farther you get from the magical pole. I could spend probably 100's of hours getting it to where I wanted, but thankfully I realized the ROI wasn't worth it. We play in the Realms and I have always been a big proponent of 'My Realms' - I'll take what I want from canon, but ultimately if I want to change the geography, the politics or the key players to suite what is happening in my game, I will.

Wednesday, 9th March, 2016

  • 07:53 PM - AaronOfBarbaria mentioned Salamandyr in post 6-8 encounters/day - how common is this?
    Saying that the DM can enforce a 6-8 encounter day seems irrelevant to the argument that the game should have been balanced around a lower number of assumed encounters per day.The irrelevant thing is that some other number could have been chosen, since the number chosen was done so by way of surveying as many players as could be bothered to actually give input on the matter and then going with what the majority said they wanted or were used to. 3e assumed 4/day, and that fits with my experience of dungeoncrawling expeditionsAnd as a perfect counter-point to your experience, there is my experience that 12 encounters in a day of dungeon-crawling is a more common occurrence than 4 (in any version of the D&D game that isn't 4th, to be as specific as possible about my experiences). Salamandyr, I agree that there may be some benefit found in looking at Adventuring Day XP table, and the Multipart Encounters guideline, rather than the individual encounter XP budget or number of rests. Those two details actually present themselves as "more than this without a rest (of appropriate length for the guideline in question) is probably a bad idea" and are probably easier to follow in practice as well (I wouldn't know, considering I don't use the XP guidelines at all in running my games - and my party hits the 6 encounter mark more often than not even when some of those encounters are extremely dangerous).

Friday, 30th October, 2015

  • 12:24 AM - The Grassy Gnoll mentioned Salamandyr in post Human v. Dwarf FINALS!
    Gah! I missed the chance to vote Gnome in the semi. Don't suppose it would've made much difference. But, Salamandyr, what you said = gnome... Although, a lot of "making race X have trait Y" comes down to RP. Humanity has so much variation, and within essentially homogenous societies there is enormous variation...why should the same not be true for any race? I know a couple of very grumpy Irishmen who'd score a 7 or 8 tops in CHA. I know a very funny German. I know lots of cheerful Scots who eat healthily and don't drink or start fights. I know some impolite Americans. I know a French lady who is extremely diligent about underarm depilation. To be fair, every Canadian I've met has been very healthy and positively vibrating with energy. But the point is, in every grouping there is almost infinite variety. You want a silly dwarf or a crude elf or a pacifist half Orc? Do it. Play it that way. Also, vote dwarf. Because underdog. And because combining it with everything else makes a dwarf bard, right?

Wednesday, 28th October, 2015

  • 12:58 PM - EzekielRaiden mentioned Salamandyr in post Dexterity Vs Strength An In Depth Look
    ...+1 to three solid skills including one that is both mobility and defense, +1 hit and damage with the best ranged weapons and solid melee weapons) are a too-tempting package, but it's hard to question the clear utility of "you can buy AC with gold, and spend your ASIs on powerful/interesting feats instead." My main Problem is that non-martial classes have nearly no reason to put any points in it, Dex is far more usefull to them and you simply need a bit of Dex for non-heavy Armor. Yeah. It's not even like Con, since everybody likes having HP. Strength is almost worthless for anyone else. Acrobatics can be used to defend against Grapple, even. That's part of why I said what I said. Unless a DM goes out of their way to make specifically Strength-based checks commonplace, anybody that doesn't actually carry a melee weapon can, essentially, ignore it. Add in that most DMs handwave carrying capacity as well, just for good measure. Hence why what I really wanted was to get a reply from @Salamandyr -- I'm curious how his game operates. (Also, did you change your screenname, Salamandyr? I swear I saw someone else with that icon...) Edit: Gah! I missed it, you DID reply, just not to me. Anywho... Exactly what discosoc said; climbing is vertical movement, jumping can be vertical, horizontal, anything you need. Jumping can negate difficult terrain. And he's also right that, largely thanks to stereotypes of "agile" characters being able to climb walls, or somersault over the heads of people, and kung fu movies, we've grown used to the idea that agility has anything to do with jumping high...when all that stuff is brute strength and practice. Which, I think, really just gets into how artificial--indeed, gamist--the "Strength"/"Dexterity" divide really is. Because I also know that all sorts of people who do "dextrous" things in fact need to be powerfully athletic in order to do them. A "real" archer has to have strong arms--you can't draw a high-tension bow (say, an English yew lo...

Thursday, 3rd October, 2013

  • 11:14 AM - Cyberen mentioned Salamandyr in post The Monk - What is the monk to you and why?
    I am with Celebrim an Salamandyr here : the Monk doesn't really belong to a rationnally designed fantasy game, and neither the Barbarian nor the Ranger, blabla... But, wait ! We can't afford to design a new game from top down here. We're talking D&D Next, which main duty is the ability to emulate previous editions out of the box. Previous material (either official, 3pp, or homebrewed) include "Barbarians", "Rangers" and "Monks", so Next has to support those *keywords* natively, even if the concepts are lousy. I really dig the idea of psionic warriors, and I would theoretically put D&D monks, Jedi, and battleragers under this umbrella (and have the totem warrior be a flavour of ranger).
  • 04:23 AM - pemerton mentioned Salamandyr in post The Monk - What is the monk to you and why?
    I think monk is related to paladin, for what that is worth.I agree. In 4e, for instance, there are at least two ways of building a monk-like character: the monk class, and the avenger class. You can also see this if you look at Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed/Evolved, in which his monk variant is The Oathsworn. Minigiant, Salamandyr - I think your arguments, if followed through on, will tend to produce "monks" that no one will play. For instance, no one in a typical D&D game is going to build a 10th level fighter but then drop their armour and weapons and fight bare-handed against 5th level monsters. That's unreaslistic except in some pretty niche situations. So for those who want to play someone who fits the Jet Li or Crouching Tiger archetype, we need a class that makes fighting without arms or armour mechanically viable. And it needs to do so from 1st level, much like a paladin or fighter or thief needs to be a viable representation of their basic archetype from 1st level.

Saturday, 24th August, 2013

  • 02:55 PM - Hussar mentioned Salamandyr in post How Much of D&D is the Rules?
    True. But play those adventures with Rolemaster, or Runequest, or C&S, or HARP, or even Burning Wheel, and the experience will be much closer to D&D. Well, Rolemaster is close enough to 3e that sure, I'm fairly certain the experience would be similar. C&S and HARP are both close enough to AD&D that, again, it's not a really huge jump. Not surprising given the history of the games. But, again, going a bit further afield, and you start getting very different experiences. As Salamandyr said, in D&D, the kobold attacks you because that's what kobolds do. In other games, the kobold attacks you because you gained a complication from an action you took.

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Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

  • 09:11 PM - Garthanos quoted Salamandyr in post What do you love about your favorite edition that ISNíT rules related?
    Honorable Mention: I love 2e's nods to history--dividing equipment lists by time period, and putting out supplements for historical simulation. Feeding back to an interest in the real world is what the greatest of fantasy's do. Ah good call I noticed it first in the Players Handbook never saw any of the supplements but it was very evocative even the bits in the PHB. When the PHB mentions Belisarius it makes my face light up.
  • 05:06 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Salamandyr in post What do you love about your favorite edition that ISNíT rules related?
    That font is called Souvenir; you're right-it's awesome. I found it a few years ago when I was going to create my own file for the 5e basic rules. Itís been my go to font when Iíve written my OSR material 😉
  • 03:28 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Salamandyr in post What do you love about your favorite edition that ISNíT rules related?
    Rules aside, my favorite edition is the 70's iteration of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons up through the release of Unearthed Arcana. I love the art, I love the writing, I even love the font. Playing make believe feels at first like a child's occupation, so having a game presented in an adult way gave it a glamour that no other edition has captured. 1e is sexy and dangerous like the greatest rock songs, and no other edition has matched it, though the Planescape setting came close, and 3rd edition made a good attempt, but was too consumed with its own internal contradictions to measure up. Honorable Mention: I love 2e's nods to history--dividing equipment lists by time period, and putting out supplements for historical simulation. Feeding back to an interest in the real world is what the greatest of fantasy's do. Interesting you mention font. I love the font of moldvays basic. I just really like how it looks and reads

Tuesday, 4th June, 2019

Thursday, 14th March, 2019

  • 08:22 AM - Zardnaar quoted Salamandyr in post Why do people still play older editions of D&D? Are they superior to the current one?
    Speaking for myself, every edition of D&D has its strong points, and depending on what I'm interested in, every one has its charms. But the ones that get my motor running are 1st edition AD&D and B/X. While I'm sure my love for them is based, at least in part, on a fair bit of nostalgia involved, they also have a vitality to them that no later edition possesses. I like B/X, 2E and 5E although mixing 1E and 2E might be the way to go.

Tuesday, 5th March, 2019

  • 10:18 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Salamandyr in post Why do people still play older editions of D&D? Are they superior to the current one?
    This is a common mistake, and understandable. I know a lot of 1st edition games that played exactly thus. That impression has led to a whole host of players moving to skill based systems over the decades. Treating the rules of any edition of D&D (OK, other than 3.x/PF/4e/E) as if they were, well, /rules/, is a lamentable lapse in judgment, in that sense. Even 'guideline' is pushing it. In the shell-game of DM Illusionism, the rules are just the shells, their purpose, misdirection. ;P I blame 3e's wand of cure light wounds. Its existence and cheap price meant that you could expect to be at full hit points shortly after the end of every fight that didn't bring you to 0 hit points, which in turn made spell slots the primary means of attrition, and those recover with a night's rest. So we might as well recover the hit points as well. 4e actually made things a little more short-term attrition-based than 3e, because you didn't have nigh-infinite wands to deal with hp loss. Almost ...

Tuesday, 26th February, 2019

  • 04:21 PM - Umbran quoted Salamandyr in post Rules, too much or too little? YOU DECIDE!
    The attritional style of play requires that something with a similar level of effort drain a similar level of resources, even if, narratively, they have different levels of importance. Yeah, except generally speaking, you don't have "guards" be the same level of effort at "Dirk the Dastard" - the guards are likely mooks, and Dirk, being named, is probably a significant challenge. I submit that if the PCs are as likely to beat the guards as they are to beat Dirk, going through the extra effort for Dirk would be a bit anticlimactic, and that probably doesn't fit the narrative needs (unless you are using themes of villains who are kinda pathetic, when all is said and done). The extra detail is interesting when the different detailed choices matter to the result. It is busywork when they don't matter. Don't believe me? For your next gaming session, set up a complicated decision process - make it take a half hour - for choosing dinner for the group. But, all end possibilities for the proc...
  • 04:27 AM - Umbran quoted Salamandyr in post Rules, too much or too little? YOU DECIDE!
    If the two systems generate similar success rates, that's a bonus. Honest question - if the two systems give similar success rates, why would you (or, more importantly, why would a player) ever want to use the more complicated one? I can understand going into greater depth and detail if it means I get better results, but if I don't, am I not wasting my time with all that extra detail?

Monday, 25th February, 2019

  • 11:52 PM - Lanefan quoted Salamandyr in post It's a Good Thing D&D Isn't a Toy
    Live action television would work...Xena and Hercules made it work two decades ago. They're not even a bad formula to use. A couple adventurers wander around and help people in trouble. Each week they team up with a local somebody who points them in the proper direction, they solve a problem and defeat a monster. Sometimes two or three episodes make an arc.Exactly! And even more importantly, Xena and Hercules as shows didn't take themselves seriously most of the time. Lots of camp, lots of humour, everything just a bit over the top; and when things did go serious it was a novelty and thus captured the attention. The only other thing it would need would be some consistently-reappearing supporting characters similar to Autolycus* or Callisto in X-H. In D&D terms these could be occasional adventuring companions, brought in for specific missions (i.e. episodes) where their skill sets would help out. * - Autolycus could be directly ported over as-is, as a Thief-class character who thin...

Friday, 14th December, 2018

  • 03:25 AM - Harzel quoted Salamandyr in post Trying to make 5e more oldish and want some people's opinions
    Great idea! (and I like 2e's initiative rules)--by which I mean, making 5e a bit more old school; not upgrading from 2e. I think one of the best things you can do is cut monster hit points by about a third...which should have the effect of speeding things up and alleviating the issue with having fewer encounter abilities due to the slower rest rules. It'll make the math work a bit better too. Absent a more thorough understanding of how you construct encounters, I can't say for sure whether that is a bad (or good) idea. However, if your encounters are more or less in line with DMG guidelines, a level-appropriate band of monsters is already tends toward being weak. (This is a vast generalization, but then so is the quoted suggestion.) If you, say, increase monster DPR (or, equivalently, choose higher CR monsters with your trimmed-down HP) to compensate, then you move toward having glass cannon monsters and swingier encounters. For me, that is a very undesirable effect. YMMV. Personally, I...
  • 12:00 AM - Azzy quoted Salamandyr in post Ridding D&D of All Races - Multiple Choice Poll
    Eliminate all but humans. Yes, except eliminate the humans also.

Wednesday, 31st October, 2018

  • 07:41 AM - MNblockhead quoted Salamandyr in post Art and Arcana: A visual History just arrived!
    What percentage of the book is dedicated to WOTC art versus TSR art? Well I'm not going to try to calculate that, but it isn't until page 279 of the 433-page book that it starts getting in to WoTC stuff. I was very happy that a great portion of this tome was not only on TSR but on the early ODD and AD&D 1e art of the 70s and 80s. But it was also interesting for me to see the 3e and 4e stuff, which I missed entirely in my time away from RPGs. This is a comprehensive work. Fans of all editions should be pleased. For me it allowed me to bathe in nostalgia while also getting me excited by the future. I can't recommend this book enough.

Tuesday, 16th October, 2018

  • 10:48 PM - Oofta quoted Salamandyr in post I was right about Shield Master many things does this break? It doesn't exactly break shield master--it's still useful to knock someone down for everyone else's sake, even if it's much less useful for the shield master (and while it makes sense from a reading perspective, the power now makes far less sense from a strategy/fighting perspective). Not to re-litigate the whole issue, but as interpreted by JC, the feat is now kind of pointless in a lot of games. Yes, you can give advantage to your melee buddies, but your ranged party members suffer. Pushing someone around at the end of your turn is useful maybe 1-2% of the time and certainly doesn't justify a feat. The bonus to reflex saves is nice, but also extremely limited. From a utility standpoint I don't think it was particularly overpowered to take it when you take the attack action (but before you complete the attack action), it merely gave a sword-and-board type PC the ability to get close to GWM/SS type fighters in DPR. I know I'll continue to rule it the wa...

Saturday, 8th September, 2018

  • 12:51 AM - Shasarak quoted Salamandyr in post X & O For More Fun
    Pretty much any time someone begins a response with "So you're saying" or "So you're okay with", what follows is almost universally an attempt to twist a persons words into a straw man that's easier to attack. But taking you at face value, which is more than you are doing for me, if I understand you correctly, you appear to imply that, when the x card is played, the players would be in agreement with the x card tapper in offense at whatever the DM or other player is handling something in the game. EDIT: I do appreciate the irony that I am doing what I just accused you of doing--restarting your argument. However, in my defense, you didn't actually make an argument, you just restated my position as a straw man. I guess that could be the case, sometimes. I think a lot more often, it'll be 5 people at the table enjoying the scene that the DM is laying out, and then watching it get derailed because one person decides their feelings are more important than the other people at the table. ...

Friday, 7th September, 2018

  • 05:34 PM - machineelf quoted Salamandyr in post X & O For More Fun
    Tapping an "X" card is a selfish act designed for people who think their feelings are more important than anyone else's. Thank you. I think you said it perfectly.

Thursday, 6th September, 2018

  • 10:52 PM - Nagol quoted Salamandyr in post X & O For More Fun
    If that is the case, it is the most obtuse, backwards logic I have ever heard since the last time I watched a congressional debate. Providing someone with nonnegotiable power to stop something doesn't encourage communication; it actively discourages it. Why should the person with the power explain themselves? Why should they do anything? They have the power. It's not meant to encourage communication; it's meant to guarantee one particular message is clearly received and understood. "If this happens, we stop." Generally all participants have the power and in most cases, no participant uses it. It's purpose is that of a safety valve. Making it work without requiring explanation is making any particular use of the ability non-judgemental. Often, in the other scenarios, asking why it was used (after participation has stopped) helps prevent future uses.
  • 10:46 PM - Shasarak quoted Salamandyr in post X & O For More Fun
    What's to get? Why would I want to hold a groups fun hostage to one person? So you are OK with one person holding a groups fun hostage as long as that person is the DM? Fair enough.
  • 10:37 PM - Nagol quoted Salamandyr in post X & O For More Fun
    I almost didn't post anything, but in a lot of cases, these kinds of ideas go without any kind of serious pushback because the people who don't like the ideas are afraid of the kind of outrage that will result from disagreement. But that just breeds the kind of false consciousness that such ideas are popular (who knows, maybe they are...but we'll never know if half the people are unwilling to step up and argue the point). This is an absolutely terrible idea. Everybody's fun becomes hostage to the person with the narrowest sense of propriety--instead of having a good time, everybody walks on eggshells to keep from blowing up the jerk with the shortest fuse. Metaphorically speaking, this is giving everybody a gun and then pointing it at each others heads. The winner is the one with the itchiest trigger finger. Gaming, like every group endeavor, is a series of compromises; the "serious roleplayer" has to allow for the antics of the practical joker; the guy who likes humanocentric sword &...
  • 10:33 PM - Shasarak quoted Salamandyr in post X & O For More Fun
    Tapping an "X" card is a selfish act designed for people who think their feelings are more important than anyone else's. I dont get it. Why would you want to run a game that people dont enjoy? o_O

Monday, 16th July, 2018

  • 05:46 PM - 76512390ag12 quoted Salamandyr in post An Army in the Dungeon
    What did he do?He failed to deliver a big RPG project he had promised. IMHO various things broke him at the same time as this very big project. This happens. People are people. Kickstarter is not a store.

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