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  • Retreater's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 06:27 PM
    Retreater replied to OSR Gripes
    I get the appeal of Dark Soul type video games, but it's far different to restart a video game level than to roll a new character, try to make it interesting and unique, fit into a party of other players, and to contribute to an adverture in a meaningful way, when that character is no better than a kobold on paper. I understand the fun of games like Call of Cthulhu, but that's because the game...
    231 replies | 7928 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Retreater's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 08:41 PM
    Retreater started a thread OSR Gripes
    My first edition of D&D was 2nd edition AD&D, and through the years I invested heavily in 3e, 4e, and now 5e (in addition to a myriad other systems, including non-fantasy RPGs.) My friend, who is a retroclone apologist, wanted to run a Labyrinth Lord game. After rolling my character (even with the "4d6 drop the lowest" method), I came up with the worst imaginable array of ability scores: all...
    231 replies | 7928 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Retreater's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 02:14 AM
    Well yeah. My comments have just been on "current state of things." I'm not excited enough to rush out and purchase day one, so I'm currently passing until I get more information. And I hope to put that Playtest behind me. Not a great experience. Haha.
    117 replies | 6705 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Retreater's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 01:53 AM
    I disliked D&D Next. I never even tried the Next Adventures (Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle?) I didn't like HotDQ when it came out. For me, it didn't start to click until Lost Mines of Phandelver. All I can say is that I didn't like the Pathfinder 2E Playtest. I want more information before making a decision about purchasing the full rules. I'm at a "soft pass" currently.
    117 replies | 6705 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Retreater's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 12:10 AM
    I have only run the Playtest and played in a few demo events at cons, so my experience might be limited. I actually enjoyed the character creation as something different. What I didn't care for was the organization of the Playtest rulebook (which I think can be fixed) and the death and dying mechanics (which might have been clarified). What I truly hated was the three action economy for monsters....
    117 replies | 6705 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Retreater's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 06:54 PM
    I've run a few of the published adventures, so I might be able to address them. In addition to Hoard of the Dragon Queen, I've also run Lost Mines of Phandelver (a few times, actually), Storm King's Thunder, Tomb of Annihilation (a couple times), Out of the Abyss, and Princes of the Apocalypse. Here are my quick summations of the issues with each. However, I do think that all of them are...
    37 replies | 1156 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Retreater's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 04:09 PM
    Of course it's my opinion. That's why I started my post with the disclaimer. And it's as close to a literal railroad as you can get in medieval fantasy game - sticking to a caravan trek. If it had been a modern game, it would've been on an actual railroad. Haha.
    37 replies | 1156 view(s)
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  • Retreater's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 03:24 PM
    I'm not saying anyone's wrong for liking this adventure. I'm not saying it's impossible to have fun with it with the right group and a lot of DM work. But I will say this is one of the worst published adventures I've seen in my 30 years in the hobby. Poorly balanced. Complete railroad.
    37 replies | 1156 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Retreater's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 08:50 PM
    The DMG has a paragraph that states (paraphrasing): "a party can expect to roll on the treasure hoard chart x# of times per level." This sets a guideline to how many times a DM should award treasure during a campaign. However, the one time I followed this, characters were stuffed to the gills with magic items and trounced most encounters. (I wonder if my copy of the DMG is the only one that...
    18 replies | 891 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Retreater's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 08:26 PM
    I think there's a disconnect between player expectations (from video games and previous editions) and the tools 5e actually gives DMs. Every session I run, after every encounter, in every group I run, players always search for treasure. They look for coin, they look for potions, they look for magic armor and weapons. To date, no official published adventure I've used has addressed this. None have...
    18 replies | 891 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Retreater's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 07:59 PM
    Two sessions per level sounds good. We play (if we're lucky) 2 sessions a month; sometimes it's once a month. A slower progression than that would feel like the characters weren't advancing at all, with months between levels. I think XP awards by the book are fairly miserly. I will never use XP in future D&D campaigns.
    45 replies | 1815 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Retreater's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 07:39 PM
    Retreater started a thread Should I Roll20?
    This is a difficult topic to discuss with strangers online. I'm not looking for a heated argument. Honestly, I'm looking for information and compromise. Short story. My old college friends want to play an online game. The DM is sold on Roll20. I've bought in to Fantasy Grounds. I wasn't big on Roll20's subscription model and preferred the one-time cost of FG (and a better UI, in my opinion). ...
    2 replies | 412 view(s)
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  • Retreater's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 10:57 PM
    I have a group of mostly "new-ish" players, even though they're all adults between 35-55. I've been DMing for close to 30 years, and I expect this issue is me being a curmudgeon. There are things that the players do that really slow down gameplay, and I get really frustrated. (Maybe unfairly so.) Due to our real life schedules, we're able to game only about once a month, so I like to keep things...
    22 replies | 1089 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Retreater's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 08:33 PM
    FATE The narrative end of the game, the attempt to codify when a GM can introduce plots and complications, it's just not my thing. DCC and MCC Get those weird dice, nonsensical charts, and character funnels out of here. Checks all the boxes for what I'd never want to play. Valiant and Shadowrun Anarchy They're Catalyst, so you know they're bad. Passing GM duties from scene-to-scene is a...
    111 replies | 8320 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Retreater's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 05:05 PM
    3d6 in order, per the AD&D 2nd edition rules. Had lots of terrible characters, and took a while before we figured out that was a bad method. Changed it in 3rd edition.
    67 replies | 2005 view(s)
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  • Retreater's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 04:41 PM
    I appreciate all the work you put into this post. I just want to say that in 2 out of the 3 situations, I was using pregenerated characters at a Con game (run by Monte Cook games). I had no access to selecting powers, abilities, or equipment. So the issue is ... Even if I took a Nano with Onslaught, all I can do is spam that one ability in virtually every combat encounter. I can't do...
    13 replies | 1300 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Retreater's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 03:40 PM
    4e provided a core departure from the traditional D&D experience. While a player may have enjoyed 4e (which I do), most cannot deny that it was an outlier, a departure from everything that came before (and after). Pathfinder 2e seems to be less extreme of a transition from 1e (based on playing several games at cons and running a portion of the playtest). I think Paizo may find a problem that...
    166 replies | 11505 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Retreater's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 10:42 PM
    I had a conversation with one of my friends lately about how long campaigns actually last in reality (as opposed to the lofty goals of Game Masters, the ideals of players, and the intent of designers). While both of us have had outlier experiences of year-long (or two years long) campaigns, we found that in practice, it's been much shorter for an average campaign. Despite the actual player...
    48 replies | 2222 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Retreater's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 06:40 PM
    I bought into the first hardcover printing and white box when they were released in the early 2000s. I ran a couple games of it, and it was a nice, rules-lite experience with a classic D&D feel. It provided a simpler, more traditional playstyle when compared to 3.5/PF and 4e D&D. However, now I wonder what role it fills against the streamlined D&D 5e. Basically, anything you could do with C&C,...
    4 replies | 429 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Retreater's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 10:33 PM
    Very unusual. It seemed a common feature with nearly every monster from all three games I played with different GMs. Monsters that can just shrug off 2-3 points of damage here or there is pretty substantial when most characters can't regularly do more than 2 points of damage without a critical hit.
    13 replies | 1300 view(s)
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  • Retreater's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 06:47 PM
    I think it was 5 or 6, against a 1st level party. But still, having only a 10% chance to accomplish anything is a bad percentage. Sitting around waiting for my turn just to do nothing does not make a compelling game design. In theory, yes. In practice (based on my XP), I'd say it's not. The two con games I played, both designed and run by Monte Cook affiliates, were both basically set up...
    13 replies | 1300 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Retreater's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 02:40 AM
    This is something I've noticed about my DM style with D&D primarily, but I've found it to be true with other system iterations (such as Pathfinder). I've GMed and played a variety of systems lately, including Gamma World, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Monster of the Week, and Call of Cthulhu. Of those systems, all seemed to handle free-form, episodic structure better than D&D. The party seems free...
    4 replies | 483 view(s)
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About Retreater

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July 12, 1978 (41)
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Looking for players to join Pathfinder Society or Living Forgotten Realms in the Western KY area.
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Tuesday, 25th June, 2019


Wednesday, 19th June, 2019



Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Saturday, 29th June, 2019

  • 05:54 PM - Xaelvaen mentioned Retreater in post Numenera: Third Time Wasn't the Charm
    ...ution sites that helped. As far as the Speed/Intellect damage, I can't remember if it is something we homebrewed, or a part of the playtests somewhere, but there was an option to take physical damage to either Might -or- Speed as you saw fit. Don't know if it ever made it into any of the other rules, in that I only own the Numenera core kickstarter material. Beyond that, we also made some homebrew innovation so that Might/Speed/Intellect never took damage, and was instead purely an offensive resource for the players. Alternatively, we just gave each character Hit Points equal to each stat, and then moved the health chart to function off that instead of the 'attributes.' So like every single system we ever play, we had to have our own rule adjustments to enjoy it for any prolonged period of time. In fact, our big upset (and the reason we eventually moved on) was the limited character advancement. Six tiers with only 24 XP to advance made our typical campaign cap out very fast. @Retreater Sounds like the premades weren't very interesting. I do recall people saying the new Numenera material really cut down on the 'chosen abilities' at first level, because the original material usually had something like 3 abilities at first level, if not more. However, none of it really mattered, because in the end, Onslaught was the only thing a caster got that was really worth combat-beans.

Friday, 15th March, 2019

  • 09:54 AM - pemerton mentioned Retreater in post I keep bottle-necking the heroes (advice)
    Retreater - the DMG2 has a good discussion of "circular paths". I've sblocked a post of mine from 2010 where I described some changes I made to H2 maps to increase their circularity: For the Chamber of Eyes I did two things. First, I joined the introductory encounter (with the hobgoblins torturing the prisoner) onto the Chamber of Eyes: (i) run the corridor in the introductory encounter onto the entryway into the foyer of the Chamber of Eyes; (ii) add a secret passage exiting the NE corner of the hobgoblin chamber via a secret door and running diagonally, with staircases, up to the balcony in the Chamber of Eyes foyer; (iii) add a spyhole/arrowslit on the E wall of the hobgoblin chamber (near the barrels) looking onto the Chamber of Eyes foyer; (iv) add a portcullis that the hobgoblins can drop in the entryway to their chamber, making the secret passage the only easy path between their chamber and the Chamber of Eyes. Second, I was prepared to run the introductory encounter, C1, C2 and C4...

Sunday, 17th February, 2019

  • 01:39 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Retreater in post How Did I Become a Grognard?
    I also still have my basic D&D dice from the early 80's, the ones you had to 'colour in' with a white crayon, used them in a game on Saturday in fact! Heck, I still have my Holmes Basic 'wax dice' that came with the very very first boxed set back in 1976. Nobody will let me roll them anymore, they're completely worn out. lol. (the d6 can roll for 30 seconds easily and the most common result is 'DM decides if it is a 4 or a 6') Retreater I don't think you're a grognard man. You have fairly enlightened attitudes towards play from what I've read ;) I'd call someone a 'grognard' who steadfastly sticks to some very early modes of play and denigrates anything not crafted by the hand of Gary Gygax or at least hailing from the mid 70's when he was last a creative force in RPGs. No doubt that also dates me, lol.

Wednesday, 6th February, 2019

  • 09:57 PM - dave2008 mentioned Retreater in post 5e - Just Missing the Mark
    @Retreater Just wanted to let you know there is a conversion of 500 4e martial exploits to 5e on the DMsGuild that you might be interested in - and it is free! https://www.dmsguild.com/product_info.php?products_id=265088&it=1&SRC=Newsletter_FPW_text
  • 04:09 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Retreater in post Skill Challenges in Essentials
    I'm not one of those who holds with Retreater's despair over SCs. They work WELL, and between the DMG, DMG2, and RC the sum total of the updated advice is not bad. Basically you have, as of RC, your success threshold, which skills are considered primary, and then how many free advantages and how many difficult checks the DM is allowed to require, plus the list of secondary skills. It is up to the DM and the players to work these things into the narrative. You need a dynamic narrative, with genuine conflict which engages with the PCs goals and plans. That can be fairly simple and basic for a Complexity 1 SC, but generally it will mean some real plot engagement for most SCs. Frankly I would take the idea that you are authoring the SC in detail up front with a grain of salt. I would prefer to think in terms of Story Now style 'scene framing' type play, where the players choose the general direction and approach, and the GM brings the conflict into a scene somehow, which in this case results in an SC. TBH I don't have a radi...

Tuesday, 5th February, 2019

  • 02:47 PM - Hussar mentioned Retreater in post 5e - Just Missing the Mark
    1 .Did you buy your book? If yes write in. 2. Are you going to become so world famous that people will bid $$$$$ for a post-it of your shopping list? WRITE IN YOUR BOOKS! 3. Do think writing in your books will kill the resell value? Unless you are 2, there are too many copies out in the world so, WRITE IN YOUR BOOKS! 4. Do need the notes in one place? WRITE IN YOUR BOOKS! Homework WRITE IN YOUR BOOKS! 100 times before Friday. NOOOOO!!! Don't go to the dark side. Books should remain as pristine as possible throughout the time you use them. :D Ok, my mom was a librarian. The notion of writing in books was beaten out of me at a young age. :p Out of the criticisms by Retreater, the one I will NEVER understand is the complaint about official adventures. This is 2019. We've had 3pp adventures in the game for twenty years now. Why in the name of little fishes do you need "official" adventures. DM's Guild lists almost 3 THOUSAND 5e adventures. What more do you need?

Sunday, 27th January, 2019

  • 04:02 PM - Jacob Lewis mentioned Retreater in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Anyway! Getting back to the original point of this thread, I wanted to share my personal experiences for @Retreater since we seem to share similar (but unique) paths. My DM origins began further back with the Basic (Red) and Expert (Blue) sets, and then progressing through AD&D (1st/2nd) until it became D&D again (3rd/4th) and ended abruptly with the NEXT (5th) re-iteration. Finding a consistent gaming group was never easy for me until 4th edition came around, but I wasn't an immediate fan when it came out. To me, the game felt incomplete as it lacked many of the traditional player classes and races. But once the PHB2 came out, I took a more serious look. That's more like it! 4e wasn't without its flaws and shortcomings, but what edition of D&D isn't? But what I saw that really shined outweighed all of it. Classes designed to be equally balanced and useful no matter what you played. Cooperative play and design became more important (i.e. players were more often building characters as a group rather than a single entity hoping for a group to support whatever they wanted to do). Encounters were easie...

Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019

  • 08:49 PM - dragoner mentioned Retreater in post Would you invite this player?
    ...t better because some DM took a chance on us and we learned from the experience. Since there is some flexibility with the group size due to absences, he's a generally known quantity, and he's enthusiastic - I'd recommend taking him on but laying down some ground rules about your group's style (particularly on the teamwork/stealing from the party thing). Sooner or later he's going to have to learn that his own personal style preference will have to be compromised with the style preferences of other people at the table, and an experienced DM coming from a generally friendly direction can help with that. Yes, I stunk as a player and GM, still do, and I have been doing it since '79. I'm always keeping an eye towards being better at both. Though with this being the seventh player, I'd be leery of adding someone that could take up over their one seventh of allotted table space. It is a hard call, and you are totally right in that we all had to start somewhere, and the final arbitrator is Retreater and if they think the cost-benefit analysis means that taking them on is a positive thing. I also agree that setting forth the parameters of the game beforehand is really crucial.

Monday, 26th November, 2018

  • 06:06 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned Retreater in post Underpowered Group Found BBEG
    Even after the dragon....however that’s handled....ifthe PCs defeat it or of they run from it, won’t the rest of the dungeon likely be aware? Based on te more recent comments by Retreater, it seems like it’s more a flaw in how the dungeon’s presented. I think that based on that, it’s a bad idea to punish the PCs for poor design. Have a group of villains come along and the PCs can get dragged into combat which then alerts the rest of the denizens. Or have them hide and overhear about the magic gear that was taken from the last group of adventurers that came through. There are several ways you can take things. I’m not familiar enough with Forge of Fury to know the whole scenario, but there are plenty of general solutions.
  • 12:57 AM - hawkeyefan mentioned Retreater in post Underpowered Group Found BBEG
    Retreater I think that if you allow a total party kill or similarly harsh outcome, what you’re essentially doing is punishing them for being efficient. Only in a game would it be “smarter” to fight every opponent in a dungeon rather than sneak past most of them and then face only the boss. Probably not a great message to send to them, especially if they’ve already expressed frustration with character death. I think you have a few options. First would be to let them face the dragon, and see what happens. You can have the dragon be overconfident and have this show by playing him in a tactically careless manner. Maybe that will help swing things in the party’s favor. You can also have the dragon be surprised that the mere humanoids were able to hurt it, and have him flee to fight another day. No dragon wants to die, and a recurring foe is a great thing to have in a D&D game. If things go the dragon’s way, you can again have him be overconfident and not finish the party off. Have him let t...

Saturday, 20th October, 2018

  • 09:52 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned Retreater in post 5E's "Missed Opportunities?"
    ...ightly less than a +1. If you need a 2 you have a 95% to succeed normally, and 95% + 5% * 95% = 99.75%, agains slightly less than +1. This is the minimum. If you need an 11, you have a 50% normally, and a 50% + 50% * 50% = 75% with advantage. That's the equivalent of +5. This is the maximum. Your +/-6 to +/-7 is outside the range of what is possible. That mean it is likely not the average. You may want to double check you math. One common mistake I've seen is working out to roll 2d20 and subtract the higher fromt he lower. That's really comparing advantage (best for 2d20) with disadvantage (worst of 2d20). It's clear if you work it out as percentages what it can be for every target. Man, these arguments hurt me because there's this weird thing where everyone tries to map a normal distribution onto a flat distribution via +/-. It's wrong in a technical way. But, I'm an engineer, so that's probably just my bag. That said, the above is the right wrong way to do it Retreater, billd91. The "bonus" that advantage applies differs depending on what the target number on the d20 is for success. It's greatest in the middle, where it increases the chance of success by 25%, and weaker on the ends where it's bit less than a 5% bump. If you need to roll a 20, advantage helps by almost doubling your chances from 1/20 to 19/400, but if you need an 11, advantage increases your chances from 10/20 to 15/20. If you need a 2, advantage bumps you from a 19/20 to 399/400.

Friday, 12th October, 2018

  • 09:52 PM - TallIan mentioned Retreater in post Doh! Killed my party with a skill challenge
    So...just something to keep in mind: At level 6, the max skill bonus a non-rogue or bard will likely have is +7. If the DC is consistently 15, then the chance of failing is 35%. Which means that MORE THAN HALF THE TIME, with maximum skills, your party will get the 3 fails before they succeed 10 times. In practice, several PCs are likely to make attempts even WITHOUT optimal skills...meaning that the chance of success falls even more. If the price of failure is TPK, I might suggest you improve the odds a bit in the PCs' favor...or provide them with options (e.g. aiding each other for advantage or something) for improving their luck. Pretty much this. I've watched many of Matt Colleville's videos and I did like the skill challenge one. Retreater has essentially set the party up for failure here and since failure was a TPK that's pretty harsh. I don't say this to be a dick, but you need to consider the chance of success and allow for other options. Did they HAVE to go that way though the dungeon? If they had another option was it clear that there was another option and that one choice was deadly (and maybe quicker) and the other choice was safer (but maybe slower). As long as the player have a choice that has good odds of success all is fine, when they have no choice but to gamble on good dice rolls you're not creating a good playing environment. If you are using a skill challenge, it's more important that it seems exciting because of how you describe the action, rather than the players feeling stressed because of mounting failed rolls. You can also pressure the players by demanding quick responses, and keep the narrative going from your end if they dither, or forcing checks that they might not like because they too...

Tuesday, 21st August, 2018

  • 12:23 AM - Chaosmancer mentioned Retreater in post Revised Ranger update
    I am curious why you think it's haughty? I can't speak for Retreater , but for me there were a few lines in his tweet that jumped out to me. "There is one ranger: the one in the Player's Handbook" "Frankly, the revised ranger helped feed an internet-fueled view of the class... I wasn't sorry to end it." Both of those... the tone I picture them said in is almost derogatory. And, while I missed whatever it was he said in 2017 about never doing an alternative class, as someone posted earlier in this thread, two years ago near the end of 2016 (09/12/2016) they were saying very different things about the state of the Ranger. Just in the first paragraph of that PDF we have "the class’s high levels of player dissatisfaction and its ranking as D&D’s weakest class by a significant margin" quoted as the reason for the revisions. And they talk about doing research and finding the class lacking back then, it's abilities rated as some of the worst in the game and people generally being unhappy with it. And you know... that is weird to me. I ge...

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Monday, 25th February, 2019

  • 11:36 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Retreater in post Why do people still play older editions of D&D? Are they superior to the current one?
    ... the old, is a major part of people choosing AD&D or other 20th-century/TSR-era editions/variations over more modern ones. Or does 5e do something terrible that can only be done correctly in past editions? Just genuinely curious, and No, the terrible things that 5e does can generally also be done in past editions - sometimes even more terribly. would it be worth it for me to learn the older versions? Probably not. The appeal of TSR era D&D is mainly nostalgia, if you didn't experience it in the 20th century, you won't get it, now - at most it'll be bemusing, like listening to a gramophone or watching a silent movie. The learning curve of 3.x/PF is quite steep, and part of the reason people have stuck with it through two easier/'better' subsequent editions is in part the investment sunk into learning it (and the payoff it offers said system mastery). Even if you wanted the payoff of mastering 3.x/PF, the existing community will always be ahead of you on that curve. Retreater has made a case for 4e actually being better for new D&Ders, even those who have already started with 5e. (It does have a gentler learning curve, is easier to DM, and is the best-balanced edition of a very badly-balanced game.) Edit: Actually, I see he's already weighed in on this thread: . I also run regular 4e games, which I find better balanced and a better designed game than 5e. But, if you really want to play a game that's better than 5e D&D, you might as well go all the way and play a game that doesn't even purport to be D&D. There are lots of games that are /much/ better than any edition of D&D has been, or even tried to be. Most games, really. The problem is picking one, and finding 5 other gamers who agree with that choice. ;P Why do people still play older editions of D&D? Are they superior to the current one? TL;DR - no, but the current one is not superior to the older ones, either.
  • 08:33 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Retreater in post DnD Beyond is having quite a sale
    Still gonna be able to use it in 5 years if D&D Beyond shuts down? Or if WotC pulls their license? Or if 6e is released and WotC stops allowing access to previous edition tools (like they did with 4e)? No. I only trust dead tree editions. Yes. Because you can download them via the mobile app.
  • 07:36 PM - Dausuul quoted Retreater in post DnD Beyond is having quite a sale
    Still gonna be able to use it in 5 years if D&D Beyond shuts down? Or if WotC pulls their license? Or if 6e is released and WotC stops allowing access to previous edition tools (like they did with 4e)? No. I only trust dead tree editions. That was my attitude at first. But I've concluded that the sheer convenience of D&D Beyond is worth it. I'll pay $10-15 to see a movie that lasts two and a half hours, and I don't expect the right to revisit that movie forever afterward. Besides, if I throw my back out hauling a pile of hardcover books to game night, it'll cost me more in medical expenses and lost quality of life* than I will ever pay for DDB. It's remarkable how liberating it is to just stroll in with my laptop and dice. :) If there's a book I really want to be sure I can keep forever, I'll pay for both. Otherwise, electronics for me. *I have friends with back issues. It's wretched; all it takes is one bad slip on the ice, and you're dealing with periodic flare-ups for the rest of your life...
  • 01:46 PM - zztong quoted Retreater in post Best Campaign Settings to Lift From?
    I've mentioned before on here that I am running 4 campaigns. I'm trying to cut down my workload for obvious reasons. I have started creating a setting (being used across all 4 campaigns) and I have a good deal of the meta plot, nation, and factions. What I have trouble with is the population of adventure sites, towns, etc. Are there any good resources for this, even if I split apart existing campaign settings? I can't use the Forgotten Realms because some of my players have read them so extensively and can't separate player/character knowledge. Could you tell us a little bit about your custom setting? For instance, I might recommend Greyhawk and Golarion for pop-fantasy schlock, or historical references for something more realistic. Parts of Forgotten Realms can be used for low-magic even though the fiction for the setting can waste a lot of time on high level character antics and the affairs of the gods. For instance, I like to use the "Medieval Demographics Made Easy" work by S. ...

Sunday, 24th February, 2019

  • 07:25 PM - Satyrn quoted Retreater in post Polymorph is a bad de-buff spell
    What's all the debate about? Casters who know how the spell works can "kill" the frog to end the spell with a magic missile or other spell. I wasn't suggesting the frog commit suicide. Metagaming is one of the forum's favorite topics of discussion. (There should be "scare quotes" around at least three of the words in that sentence)
  • 07:22 PM - jgsugden quoted Retreater in post DnD Beyond is having quite a sale
    Still gonna be able to use it in 5 years if D&D Beyond shuts down? Or if WotC pulls their license? Or if 6e is released and WotC stops allowing access to previous edition tools (like they did with 4e)? No. I only trust dead tree editions.A counterpoint to this approach: When a new edition comes out, old edition stuff tends to go to the used book stores, etc... I see 4E and 3E stuff at used book sores for a couple bucks. Accordingly, I see two fiscally cheap approaches: 1.) Buy physical now and deal with the 15 book backpack issues, or 2.) Buy digital not and then buy the physical if you want them when they're dirt cheap in the secondary market. Something to also consider is that a D&D group often all buys their own PHB - DM + players at $17 each. If one DM acquires the PHB and a DM subscription and shares it with 3 campaigns of 5 (or more) players each, it could be a lot cheaper in the long run, especially if everyone in those groups contributes.

Saturday, 23rd February, 2019

  • 12:10 AM - MonsterEnvy quoted Retreater in post Age of Sigmar's Cover Art Unveiled
    I got only the Starter Set, so maybe it doesn't have the full rules? Or maybe what I was reading are optional? The charts, degrees of success, hit locations, etc, all made it seem much more complex than CoC. It has most of the rules. Degrees of Success are in CoC as well. Here is an attack example straight from the Starter Set. "Example: Molrella shoots her sling at an Entertainer for her Action, so attempts a Dramatic Ballistic Skill Test. She rolls 13 against her BS of 39. Because it is a ranged attack, the Entertainer cannot defend, so this is not an Opposed Test. Molrella scored +2 SL, and her Sling has +6 Damage, which equals a total of 8 Damage. Molrella reverses the Test roll of 13 for Hit Location, scoring a 31 — right arm! The Entertainer has no Armour on the Right Arm, and Toughness Bonus 3, so loses 5 Wounds (8 − 3 = 5). The Entertainer started with 12 Wounds, but now only has 7 Wounds remaining" For Melee the only difference is that the Entertainer would make a similar rol...

Friday, 22nd February, 2019

  • 11:49 PM - MonsterEnvy quoted Retreater in post Age of Sigmar's Cover Art Unveiled
    I approach most new games from the angle of "how am I going to sell this to my group?" which requires buy-in from me and an easy explanation. Most of us are still operating under the "d20 Default" from nearly two decades ago. For us, trying to get another game played had better be similar to d20 or rules lite. I think a WHFRPG with a percentage based mechanic similar to Call of Cthulhu would've been ok. This is just too much. That is what it has. The system is a ton like Call of Cthulhu. If you can play Call of Cthulhu you can play Warhammer Fantasy 4e.
  • 11:37 PM - MonsterEnvy quoted Retreater in post Age of Sigmar's Cover Art Unveiled
    I've played all the editions of WHFRPG. And maybe it's less fiddly than the older ones (it's been a little while, so my memory is fuzzy), but comparing it to modern games such as D&D 5e, Numenera, Star Wars, Call of Cthulhu 8th edition, Seventh Sea, or any of the Apocalypse Engine games, I'd say it's fiddly. Rolling a check, comparing it to another check, subtracting those numbers, dividing to get a success level. Then using that success level to modify your damage roll, which is then reversed, compared to a hit location chart, which then the armor in that location of your target further subtracts the damage. Oh my Lord. I closed the file and considered my money wasted. It's not super complex to me, and it is way more intuitive in play then said out loud. But I can understand those that feel it looks complex. I really loved the Old World setting. In fact, it continues to shape my default fantasy campaigns in D&D and other games. Age of Sigmar just seems... weird for the sake of weird. It's ab...
  • 07:27 AM - Psikerlord# quoted Retreater in post Pages From The Upcoming Nautical D&D Book!
    Having 20+ enemies in an area indicates this is some bad encounter design. Only if you're playing 5e
  • 04:28 AM - Quickleaf quoted Retreater in post Polymorph is a bad de-buff spell
    I'm studying in prep to run a night hag coven and thought I should polymorph the party's fighter (turning him into a toad seems thematically appropriate.) But all that needs to happen, basically, is a party member swats the frog, does some minor damage to kill it, and the spell is broken. It seems like Hold Person is a better spell for taking out a combatant, and it's lower level. With easy ways around spells, saves at the end of every turn to get rid of bad conditions, it seems 5e enemy casters are very lousy. Your players are going to hate me. Look at beasts with the Water Breathing trait and walking speed 0 feet. For a party of 5th level or higher, I recommend you consider a Giant Shark with 126 hit points & which can help separate the party or block their access (if you strategize well or get lucky). ;)

Thursday, 21st February, 2019

  • 11:04 PM - MonsterEnvy quoted Retreater in post Age of Sigmar's Cover Art Unveiled
    I'm not a fan of the current WHFRPG. I got the Starter Set and found it almost unplayable. This might have a better rule system. Too bad all that rich setting lore is gone. (Honestly, that's a problem with the AoS wargame too.) It has it's own unique setting. I would advise people to give this setting a chance. Also why did you find the Starter Set almost unplayable.
  • 10:12 PM - MechaTarrasque quoted Retreater in post Polymorph is a bad de-buff spell
    The party's wizard, bard, and druid all have access to polymorph and should know how it works. So no challenge there. By this logic, the party's wizard should be able to hit four different people with a sword in a round, because the fighter knows how to do that.
  • 04:35 PM - Blue quoted Retreater in post Polymorph is a bad de-buff spell
    I'm studying in prep to run a night hag coven and thought I should polymorph the party's fighter (turning him into a toad seems thematically appropriate.) But all that needs to happen, basically, is a party member swats the frog, does some minor damage to kill it, and the spell is broken. It seems like Hold Person is a better spell for taking out a combatant, and it's lower level. With easy ways around spells, saves at the end of every turn to get rid of bad conditions, it seems 5e enemy casters are very lousy. If the party understands the limitations of polymorph, sure. If you don't have anyone who can cast it, just describe the hag gesturign and sayign a word and the fighter turns into a toad. Does someone possibly waste their action attacking it? Or you can turn it into something with lots of HPs but little ability to affect the battle, like some sort of big fish. Also Hold Person allows a save every round, so it often may be on par with the fighter losing an action and then so...

Wednesday, 20th February, 2019

  • 07:49 PM - patrickborrelli quoted Retreater in post What paints do you use?
    Also the Citadel washes are awesome. The paint pots are terrible, however, and I vastly prefer dropper bottles. I definitely agree with these sentiments...I use a mix of Vallejo Game and Model colors as well as Citadel, but the paint pots are awful to work with.

Tuesday, 19th February, 2019

  • 10:00 PM - Charles Dunwoody quoted Retreater in post The Forlorn North Adventure Path for D&D and DCC RPG
    So this is saying that DMs can run the adventure path in 5e if they convert it? Not that it's dual-statted or being published in two formats? That is correct. The modules are all for Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. DCC is based off of D&D 3E and is highly compatible with D&D 5E (ascending AC, hit points, and saves for example). Any spells would have to be swapped up, but the systems both use spell levels and have many similar spells.
  • 06:32 PM - pauldanieljohnson quoted Retreater in post The Forlorn North Adventure Path for D&D and DCC RPG
    So this is saying that DMs can run the adventure path in 5e if they convert it? Not that it's dual-statted or being published in two formats? I believe that's correct. This is a good idea, though, despite requiring the DM to do a bit of conversion. I did something similar a year or two ago with classic D&D modules. We started off with Against the Cult of the Reptile God, then Isle of Dread, Ravenloft, the Desert of Desolation trilogy, Death's Ride, and Earthshaker!. It's a fun way to give modern players a chance to experience old modules, and as a DM it's fun to find ways to string separate plots together into a cohesive campaign.
  • 01:18 AM - ParanoydStyle quoted Retreater in post How Did I Become a Grognard?
    Maybe I'm looking more at myself since I turned 40, but I'm wondering what traits led me to become a grognard? 1) Not using projectors for maps at the game table 2) Backing off from 4E to play Pathfinder a decade ago 3) Backing off from 5E to play 4E currently (haha) 4) Not following Critical Role 5) Not active on Discord or Reddit but preferring message boards like ENWorld 6) Using miniatures and tactical combat over "theater of the mind" 7) Not using D&D Beyond 8) Not getting into Virtual Tabletops like Fantasy Grounds or Roll 20 9) Using dice instead of die rolling apps 10) Not liking people using PDFs at the table (preferring physical copies) I find myself wondering kind of the same thing. I'm not sure I'm a grognard, but I do know I'm quite set in more than a few of my ways when it comes to tabletop gaming. I'm almost a decade younger than you, so I find myself wondering WHY I'm not in touch with things like Critical Role, not on top of things like Reddit or Discord, not...

Saturday, 16th February, 2019

  • 01:10 AM - Jester David quoted Retreater in post How Did I Become a Grognard?
    3) Backing off from 5E to play 4E currently (haha) This is it. The rest might make you old or a traditionalist or just someone who plays in meat space. But when you prefer and older edition to a modern one, you become a grognard.

Thursday, 14th February, 2019

  • 02:28 PM - jasper quoted Retreater in post How Did I Become a Grognard?
    Maybe I'm looking more at myself since I turned 40, but I'm wondering what traits led me to become a grognard? 1) Not using projectors for maps at the game table 2) Backing off from 4E to play Pathfinder a decade ago 3) Backing off from 5E to play 4E currently (haha) 4) Not following Critical Role 5) Not active on Discord or Reddit but preferring message boards like ENWorld 6) Using miniatures and tactical combat over "theater of the mind" 7) Not using D&D Beyond 8) Not getting into Virtual Tabletops like Fantasy Grounds or Roll 20 9) Using dice instead of die rolling apps 10) Not liking people using PDFs at the table (preferring physical copies) None of those 10 makes you a grognard. Being over 40 and MAKING A WHINING POST MAKES YOU A GROGNARD. Now go mow your lawn, take your meds, and quit drooling over the booth babes.


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