View Profile: Salamandyr - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Salamandyr's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 05:10 PM
    OSR games tend to fit the expected playstyle better than more modern games: fighters fight, clerics back them up, and keep the team going, thieves are sneaky, and magic-users drop fireballs. A plethora of tiny changes, seemingly unconnected, eventually built up a system where fighters no longer value strength, the highest damage dealers were the former thieves, clerics could do everything better...
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  • Salamandyr's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 10:24 PM
    If it's not real time with pause (like its predecessors), I'll probably skip it.
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  • Salamandyr's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 03:51 PM
    (quote abbeviated for space) You are too right. I will say, 5e gives a VERY enjoyable gaming experience. That consistency however is it's weak point. It gets rid of the lows, but also the highs, leaving you with a consistently fun experience lacking the transcendence occasionally achieved by earlier editions (but also the occasionally game wrecking disasters those editions could be prone to...
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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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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 “broken” condition from the blade. Wound Binding (camp) During a short rest, you can expend one use of a healer’s 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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Thursday, 2nd October, 2014

Thursday, 25th September, 2014

Saturday, 20th September, 2014

Tuesday, 9th September, 2014

  • 02:50 AM - Afrodyte quoted Salamandyr in post Your wishlist for fantasy adventure beyond medieval Europe
    OK; I've just gotten the sense that people have this idea that D&D is all fantasy medieval Europe all the time, which has never been the case. In addition to having monsters from nearly every portion of the Earth, Greyhawk contained countries emulations of nearly every culture on Earth too, and Forgotten Realms even more so. And that's just the published worlds. Yet you constantly hear about how "D&D is Fantasy Medieval Europe". It really never has been. My own preferred stylings is more Ancient world & pulp sword & sorcery than the ersatz 16th Century Renaissance Faire look of most of the trade dress these days. And I definitely understand where you're coming from, as the "medieval Europe" thing is more a historical and stylistic feature than a mechanical one. When you say ancient world, what kind of thing do you mean? Are we talking Xena, or the Iliad, or something else?
  • 02:27 AM - Afrodyte quoted Salamandyr in post Your wishlist for fantasy adventure beyond medieval Europe
    I don't really see anything in 5e that stops it from being used now for medieval Japan (with magic), medieval China (with magic), Ancient Rome (with magic), or any other culture where the primary method of cutting down ones enemies is with something involving muscle (and magic). There are some rule wrinkles and some setting specific monsters, like for instance Tengu, I wouldn't mind seeing the stats for, but I don't think we really need a separate class called "samurai" to play in medieval Japan. I haven't seen anyone talk or ask about rules at all. Just ideas for things they'd like to see 5e do. There is no explicit or implicit statement that D&D is inadequate for the kinds of milieus some of us want to play in.

Sunday, 7th September, 2014

  • 10:00 PM - Jack Daniel quoted Salamandyr in post Your wishlist for fantasy adventure beyond medieval Europe
    One thing I would like is a technologist class, for post apocalyptic fantasy (my game world is a Dying Earth world). Better yet, a technologist class that works well for all the genres that might need it. Early modern (clockwork, alchemy, and prisms); steampunk (gotta have mad inventors); pulp (wahoo mad science types); modern (Samantha Carter vs. MacGyver!); and all the sci-fi (too many techies to count). A decent working artificer class could be re-skinned, and I'd honestly be happy with that, but imagine how awesome it would be to see a real technologist class that gets its own "spell list" of cool gadgets it can build, not just reskinned spells/psionics, and 5th edition style sub-classes for specializing in vehicles (both engineering and piloting); guns and bombs; optics; drugs; and, where setting appropriate, computers (or analytical engines).

Wednesday, 27th August, 2014

Friday, 15th August, 2014

  • 03:46 PM - Quartz quoted Salamandyr in post A tweak for humans?
    Assuming point buy, actually the +2 to one stat, +1 to another gives almost exactly the same benefit as +1 to all stats, assuming you want a 16 in the stat that you get a +2 in. But a non-human can buy a 14 in one stat and a 15 in the other, which will both get bumped to 16, whereas a human has to buy two 15s to end up with two 16s. Then there's the rule of cool. Stat bumps aside, dwarves get night vision, resistance to poison, the automatic ability to wear armour, resistance to poison; dragonborn get breath weapons and damage resistance; tieflings get fire resistance and spells; half-elves get night vision and skill versatility; and so on. Humans get nothing in the Basic Rules, or 1 feat and 1 skill in the PHB, neither of which are cool. However, the Resilience feat caught my eye. It would be just-about-cool if humans had an extra save in which they were proficient. Three instead of two. So, how about humans get the standard +2/+1 stat bumps, take Resilient in a 3rd stat (getting the +1...

Thursday, 14th August, 2014

  • 04:51 AM - doctorhook quoted Salamandyr in post A tweak for humans?
    So, what is the happy medium?Good question. Let's think about it. I just saw the Half-Elf: +2 to Charisma, +1 to two stats of your choice, Darkvision, advantage against charm and sleep, and two skills. Darkvision and advantage vs charm and sleep; has got to be worth at least a feat, so yes, I think Humans need a bump. I'm thinking about +1 to all stats, training in one skill. A feat or +2 to an ability of your choice, +1 to two other stats of your choice, and training in 2 skills. It's kind of frustrating that the humans "thing" is good stats, but any race who is able to put a +2 in his primary stat and wants at least a 14 in the stat he gets +1 in, can have practically identical stats to the human.I didn't really believe you until I had a peek at the half-elf traits. Holy man, they certainly put the human in his place! Let's compare: Ability scores: Variant human gets +1 to two stats; Half-elf gets +2 to Cha, and +1 to two other stats; Winner: Half-elf. Skills: Variant human gets profi...

Saturday, 9th August, 2014

  • 01:10 AM - Nellisir quoted Salamandyr in post Any authors you think should be in Appendix E but are not?
    Sorry to hear Planet Stories is defunct. I really liked that part of Paizo. I got my copies of the Jirel stories as well as her and her husbands Proud Robot stories from there. I guess officially it's "on hiatus". I would love to see it revive. "We just sent Planet Stories subscribers an email letting them know that Robert Silverberg's THE CHALICE OF DEATH will be the last Planet Stories volume for the foreseeable future. We've had a lot of fun with the 33 books we've released in this series to date, but sales of the line into bookstores have been sluggish, and the line has the fewest number of subscribers of any Paizo product, by a considerable margin. That's not a good combination, so for the immediate future we are pushing the "pause" button to consider our options and chart a new course for the imprint." - Erik Mona, 2/10/2012 -

Friday, 8th August, 2014

  • 07:05 PM - Nellisir quoted Salamandyr in post Any authors you think should be in Appendix E but are not?
    Considering some they included, it's a surprise that CL Moore did not make the cut. I wonder if it's because her Jirel of Joirey stories are currently published by Paizo? She should certainly be on the list, but I doubt that's the reason. Planet Stories is defunct, for one thing. :/

Wednesday, 23rd July, 2014

  • 08:48 PM - roadtoad quoted Salamandyr in post PH(B) Tavern Brawler Feat
    Most classes are already proficient with unarmed strikes and improvised weapons. that's clearly not the case: Basic Rules, page 46 (Improvised Weapons) "At the DM's Option, a character proficient with a weapon can use a similar object as if it were that weapon and use his or her proficiency bonus." Unless you're proficient with Chair or Lamp, you might want this feat. Also, it takes your Unarmed Strike from 1 damage to 1d4 damage.
  • 07:53 PM - Sword of Spirit quoted Salamandyr in post 5e Warlock
    {Quoting Kamikaze Midget (formatting problems)} The 5e suggestion is that the arrangement is like one of master and apprentice. So this seems similar. An apprentice isn't bound to serve their master -- they can take the knowledge and run. They will be defiant, but so would a 3e warlock.[/quote] Yeah, exactly! I don't have a problem with that way of doing it. Well, really I don't have a problem with just about any way of doing it. I just would prefer it stuck with the more vague idea of your powers deriving from some supernatural source that you somehow ended up getting connected to, with a pact with a specific being as the most common method. It's pretty much how 3e did it, and it seems unnecessary to narrow the class concept. The way I would run most of the contract-style pacts, is that you usually do make an agreement to do certain things for your patron when he/she/it gifts you with powers. But once they make you a warlock, you can meet your end of the bargain or not. If you fail to honor yo...

Friday, 16th May, 2014

  • 04:13 PM - Ruin Explorer quoted Salamandyr in post Art in 5e...?
    What 3rd had, to a great extent, was a consistent feel. 4th Edition, at least while I was keeping up with the line, was just an embarrassment. A lot of it was technically amateurish, and the rest was just aesthetically...meh.​ That is some seriously un-objective opinion right there! :) Imo, the only really consistent thing in 3E's art was "a lot of it was by WAR" (who, for my money, has a painfully horrible aesthetic - he's skilled - though overrated - but his art makes me sigh, and not in a good way). That and maybe Regdar is getting killed again. But "an embarrassment", for 4E? I don't think that's remotely justifiable. Most of 4E's art was pretty decent - easily on par with 3.XE, frequently better than late-3E stuff. Technically amateurish? What? On the contrary, 4E's problem was technically competent, but very boring art. Again, especially compared to 3E. Aesthetically meh I can see, though. But technically? No way, technically it was broadly ahead of 3.XE. As a side-n...

Tuesday, 6th May, 2014

  • 09:07 AM - pemerton quoted Salamandyr in post The Beauty of OD&D
    Our group has recently revisited OD&D on a nostalgia kick and something has occurred to me as to what appeals so much about the system. Essentially you roll stats and place them in the sequence rolled against your abilities. No swapping, no optimization, you are what you are. <snip> With OD&D you can't pick and choose, your fighter may not be the strongest, your wizard the smartest, and your rogue may struggle sometimes with dexterity or charisma but to me that's the beauty of OD&D. You're conflating AD&D with OD&D (or Classic, or Basic/Expert). OD&D didn't have those kinds of restrictions. And AD&D didn't have "3d6 six times, straight down in order".B/X does have state "optimisation" - you can swap two points in one non-prime stat to boost your prime req (under the restriction that thieves can't drop STR, and no one can drop DEX, CON or CHA). Sometimes you get some high stats, sometimes you get average and once in a while, they are mostly low. The feeling of relief that washes o...

Saturday, 19th April, 2014

  • 06:55 AM - GX.Sigma quoted Salamandyr in post Better pics from PAX East
    The latest editions of the two most popular RPGs: (lots of pics) I said, no chain mail bikinis. In five of those illustrations, it wasn't even depicting armor​. When people talk about chain mail bikinis, they aren't talking about literal bikinis made of chain mail. They're talking about gratuitous sexualization of female characters. I find it a bit silly to dismiss chain mail bikinis as a myth, when the first page of google search results for "4e phb" and "pathfinder RPG" turn up examples of literal plate mail bikinis, "leather armor" bikinis, boob windows, and "boobs of steel." The cover of every single PHB from 4e has female cleavage and/or midriff. In the Races section of the PHB1, 6 of the 8 races have the female showing cleavage. Of the iconic art on page 1 of each class section, the ones that are shown as female (2 of the 8) are both showing cleavage or sideboob. The Pathfinder Core Rulebook and Bestiary both have female cleavage on the front cover. I mean you could argue...

Friday, 18th April, 2014

  • 02:43 PM - I'm A Banana quoted Salamandyr in post D&D "Core" Settings
    That's not too bad. It's pretty much how the Known World was in BECMI, until it went headlong into Gazetteers and got renamed "Mystara" (man, I hate that name). I'm a fundamentalist about this stuff, so I'm still not a fan (I think it could be a lot better and more interesting if they dropped the idea of "generic" entirely), but I am encouraged by the eye they have toward settings and the knowledge that they have about the fact that the specific setting fiction shouldn't be dictating the mechanics for everyone. So at the moment, the existence of Defaultsylvania is getting about three grumps on my 10-point grumpometer. ;) Could be a lot better! But definitely not as bad as it otherwise could have been, either. ...presuming my impression is accurate, anyway.

Thursday, 17th April, 2014

  • 07:16 PM - GX.Sigma quoted Salamandyr in post Better pics from PAX East
    d) Where the heck are all these "chain mail bikinis" everybody keeps talking about? Thirty years ago they occasionally cropped up. But they were pretty thin on the ground even back in the 90's. Yet people act like this was a trend that was active up until last week. The latest editions of the two most popular RPGs:

Tuesday, 15th April, 2014

  • 12:16 PM - Blackwarder quoted Salamandyr in post Better pics from PAX East
    (Looks at second pic) so I guess that "realistic armor" thing is right out? What's wrong with a leather armor with a big neck guard? iirc a some kind of Bevor if I'm not mistaken. Warder

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