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  • LostSoul's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 01:49 PM
    What matters are the choices that the players make. So what do the rules 1. force choices for the players to make? 2. ask choices that the player may or may not make 3. suggest 4. ask the DM to force/ask/suggest choices It's complicated; something like 5e would have different answers if the standard encounter XP budget was doubled. Or if the monsters in the MM were more or less...
    44 replies | 1219 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 04:49 PM
    Alternatively, you can simply ban the problematic spells.
    157 replies | 157916 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 04:10 PM
    The DM is a player, too, and broken spells that one shot the Big Bad may not be fun for them.
    157 replies | 157916 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 04:50 PM
    Not in my worlds. Those NPCs must have independent existences if the world is to be anything more interesting than a CRPG without the graphics. There's no place for NPCs merely standing around with glowing exclamation points above their heads. Now, some NPCs pop into existence when the PCs seek them out, but that's the result of limited time. They still exist as a matter of context. If there...
    106 replies | 3360 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 12:20 AM
    My attitude is no one gets plot armor, not villains, not important NPCs and certainly not PCs. You want to live to see 20th level? Act accordingly? If that gets in the way of your conception of how your character's story is supposed to look, that's something we need to talk about. It's a conversation worth having. But generally speaking when it comes to D&D, you're going to find that my table is...
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 08:31 PM
    You pick the best tool for the job. 5E isn't the best tool for all D&D jobs.
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 08:30 PM
    In the context of an RPG, it becomes a matter of preference. If you want to get 10th level by daring do versus other, safer methods, then by all means do so. Just don't surprised when your heroic epic is cut short on the sharp end of a goblin pit spike. They tell stories about the ones that survived to become heroes, and occasionally about the ones that failed if the failure was funny enough....
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 04:24 PM
    Or it means that players and their characters interact with the world under the working assumption that they are not safe. If they know there is no such thing as plot armor, if they know a bad turn of the dice could spell doom, if they know the world exists independent of their wants and desires, they will approach challenges in a very different way than if they believe they are the protagonists...
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 02:48 PM
    Murderhobo parties in a setting with lots of internal consistency and logical consequences wouldn't be much fun for the players very long, I don't think.
    106 replies | 3360 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 10:49 PM
    I think some of us would suggest your first mistake was planning an ending in the first place. I strongly believe that RPG play is NOT storytelling. We tell stories about play, and that's awesome, but we are playing a game. Sometimes, to some degree or another, that game borrows narrative tools as part of the play process.
    106 replies | 3360 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 06:07 PM
    This brings up a related question: to what degree does the setting exist for the campaign? Some settings are tailored to tell a core story, a singular narrative and all the design choices support that one story. Other settings are intentionally broad and meant to be the place where any number of individual stories or adventures might occur.
    106 replies | 3360 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 10:45 PM
    What about the little stuff? Like, you have previously established an ancient hero who was buried with his famed weapon. The players' adventures bring them to the tomb. Do you make sure the famed weapon is one your party can use, even if for whatever reason your players have chosen are or esoteric weapons? And if so does that player choice impact the historical context of the hero?
    106 replies | 3360 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 07:56 PM
    My perspective is similar. The worlds to be built with a high degree of potential for PCs to get involved, whether that's working their way into the criminal underworld of the city, or poaching aurumvorax for their golden pelts. But I try not to design things for the PCs. I try, and am not always successful, to decide where the dragon's lair is based on where it *should be* not where it is level...
    106 replies | 3360 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 07:51 PM
    That's certainly a thing one would know after hundreds of hours of play, though. I mean, it's possible the GM suddenly started using "gotcha traps" out of nowhere but it seems highly unlikely. What's arbitrary or out of place varies and people are going to get used to whatever is normal for their regular group. Now, that said I admit a bias, or rather blind spot: I don't engage in organized...
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 05:43 PM
    A couple threads active right now got me wondering about this: in your opinion, does the world and its doings exist primarily for the benefit of the PCs, as opposed to it existing and going on despite (or even in spite of!) the PCs? I am probably not being as clear as I'd like, so I will use an example: when you create a settlement, do you develop it with the PCs in mind (including making sure...
    106 replies | 3360 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 03:40 PM
    You have a character you have been playing for hundreds of hours, with a deep backstory and the accumulated depth of character that comes with so much play. That's awesome. I'm inclined to wonder, though, why you are having such a valuable, beloved character amble mindlessly down a trap laden corridor? One of two things would seem to be true: either whatever reason put the character there is...
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 02:45 PM
    Well, *you* want that. It's hardly universal, otherwise we would have venerable games like WHFRP or Call of Cthulhu. The scenario described is quintessentially D&D to me: weird fantasy, terrifying foes, and mechanical systems that brought about an unexpected result. If you know what's going to happen, what's the point of playing?
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 01:57 PM
    The cost/benefit analysis of any given set of rules is highly subjective. A lot of people like 5E because it runs smoothly and is easy to DM but lament the lack of player facing options and granularity. It's the opposite with Pathfinder in a lot of cases. 2E is no different, but because the pre-d20 systems were very modular (combat rules did not look much like skill rules which did not look much...
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 02:41 AM
    Weapon speeds tend to be broadly applicable and immediate, but in games with lots of human or humanoid armored foes the weapon vs armor type rules are more impactful. I like systems like that, especially as they relate to making the "boring" fighter more interesting and making weapon choice about more than damage potential and the shield bonus trade off.
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 02:08 AM
    This is a perfect example of what I was talking about. You throw these out and your drastically reduce the capability of the fighter, because they are the ones that have weapon versatility. Instead every fighter walks around with a long sword.
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 12:17 AM
    I think that why people have some weird negative memories of AD&D. It's actually a pretty complex system with a lot of interconnected parts. When people ignore some of those systems arbitrarily they end up creating unintended problems in other parts. The easiest example is the book keeping associated with equipment. If you ignore encumbrance you end up with the Golf Bag problem and you neuter...
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 11:36 PM
    To be clear, I am not saying that 2e is itself inherently low fantasy, but rather that I want to do low fantasy and I think 2e works better for that than 5e and with less adjustments to either the rules or the implied setting. We played a lot of high fantasy 2e back in the day, too, whether homebrew airship campaigns or epic Dragonlance pastiches. But if you keep magic rare and keep advancement...
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 09:33 PM
    I don't want that. I want a world that looks something like medieval Europe, and wizards that are rare because they either die young or sequester themselves away in their towers because research is much safer XP helps with that. Cantrips as they appear in 5e change everything if even 1st level casters are slightly less rare than 4 leaf clovers.
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 08:42 PM
    The lethality of combat is only one aspect of the differences between 5E and 2E that make them feel very different. The one that matters more to me is the "fantasticality" of the PCs. 5E is not just inherently higher magic than 2E, it is higher octane and more vibrant for lack of a better word. The mechanics support a cinematic, tentpole blockbuster style in combat and interacting with the...
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 12:12 PM
    I'm not really interested in trying to make 5e feel like 2e. I was just saying it doesn't so if I want that 2e experience, 5e isn't going to provide it. As to aesthetic: I want something that feels like LotR and GoT had an angry child on a battlefield.
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 11:51 PM
    So there are a couple things: Racial class restrictions and level limits enforce setting, as does the elimination of the more "fantastical" races and classes. More than that, I LIKE the weird power discrepancy between casters and not, and how the probability of hitting ability score requirements inform PC class and race choice. But then I also like roll 4d6-L in order.
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 11:21 PM
    Making 5e feel like 2e seems like a lot of work: adding back in race class restrictions, eliminating a number of races and classes, limiting wizards resources, re-asserting the medieval fantasy aesthetic, etc... Certainly easier than doing those things in 3.x/PF, but is it worth the effort relative just playing 2E?
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Reynard's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 09:35 PM
    One of the reasons I initially liked 5th Edition is how, to me, it felt a lot like 2E. Second Edition was what I call my "formative" edition. It wasn't my introduction to D&D (that was the BECMI line). I came to it after a brief stint with 1E -- we played BECMI for a long time before discovering AD&D and 2E came out within a few months of that discovery -- but 2E WAS D&D from 1989 to 1999....
    162 replies | 6365 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 05:07 PM
    Wisconsin lost a legend today . . . https://www.packers.com/news/packers-legend-bart-starr-dies-at-85
    167 replies | 10528 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 04:42 AM
    Steven Creech has passed. https://www.hshfuneralhome.com/notices/Steven-Creech https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-steve-creech-author-and-game-designer#/
    167 replies | 10528 view(s)
    0 XP
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Sunday, 14th April, 2019

  • 03:57 AM - pemerton mentioned Reynard in post Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?
    ...t, in a game, what is taking place is not the search of a bedroom with bureaus but (say) the search of a workouse that was the site of arson; or the search of a town to see where some stolen horses are stabled; or the search of a library containing hundreds of feet of shelving holding many hundreds of volumes. None of these would be out of place in a D&D game. How is the bedroom search example to be extrapolated to those cases? What details is the GM obliged to narrate in framing the situation? What details is a player obliged to narrate in declaring an action? In the rulebook example, the GM doesn't seem to have described what clothes are in the bureau; does the GM have to describe what books are on the library shelves? Where the shelves are in the building? Whether the building has north or south facing windows? If so, which volumes are faded by the sun to what degree? I think framing this discussion as one of following vs disregarding the rules as opposed to, say, Hussar's and Reynard's dfferences of preference and playstyle, is actively unhelpful.

Saturday, 13th April, 2019

  • 06:37 PM - Immortal Sun mentioned Reynard in post Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?
    Except that it's not the method we're talking about. You are mistaking one thing for another. Somehow that point just doesn't seem to get through. I'm not sure which method YOU are talking about honestly. I was, in those posts, talking about the methods Reynard was talking about.
  • 04:38 PM - Immortal Sun mentioned Reynard in post Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?
    Okay, just so we're clear: You're not implying that asking for a reasonably specific goal and approach from players means you will behave as the DM in your anecdote did, right? I can't answer that. Your definition of "reasonably specific" may differ from mine. As Reynard says I'm not terribly concerned with how a player expresses their goals. "I search the room." is perfectly acceptable. I have already determined the DCs for finding the secret desk drawer, the hidden closet compartment, and the knife in the mattress. If the player specifies one of these items as part of their search and makes the DC, I give them the information. If they don't, then I just take a quick look at the scene to make sure nothing is preventing them from searching one or more of these elements, tell them to roll the dice and then if they pass, reward them with one of these clues. If they choose to specify that they are searching an item that holds no useful information, I'll just tell them that. I'm not interested in needlessly befuddling players with things that won't get them anywhere. I'm not going to use obfuscating language like "The chest appears to have nothing." or "You don't see anything right away." unless their check was too low on an element that does co...

Tuesday, 26th March, 2019

  • 05:38 PM - lkj mentioned Reynard in post Arcana of The Ancients: 5E Sci-Fantasy From Monte Cook Games Launches On KS
    So how do the stretch goals work for this campaign, anyway? I'm used to stretch goals being included in addition to whatever is specified as the base reward level for a given tier. But this is the first time I've seen things like "All PDFs unlocked in this campaign" as a tier of its own. So do you only get those PDFs if you pledge at the proper tier, or do you get them with every tier? If you do get them at every tier, what's the purpose of the "All PDFs" tier? On the other hand, if you only get them when you pledge at a level that mentions unlocked PDFs, do they really count as stretch goals? I'm confused. You get precisely what they say you get in the given pledge tier. It's just that as the stretch goals are hit the value you get at a given tier increases. And that's it. So, as Reynard points out, currently, the $160 level is not really a good value. They seem confident that it will be by the end, based on their previous experience. I agree with Reynard though that I was disappointed that their next stretch goal after a monster book was a premium version of the main book. I mean, it's neat, and it's a nice bonus. But personally, I'd much rather have my 'third' book be new content, which means that it's basically not a value added for me. Here's hoping the campaign kicks into high gear after the next goal is hit, and they knock out a few more books. The company seems confident it will, and they have a lot of experience at this sort of thing. So, fingers crossed. AD

Monday, 18th March, 2019

  • 11:17 AM - Sadras mentioned Reynard in post Awards other than XP
    Coin (common or rare) and Gems Treasure (Art Works, Jewellery, Furniture/Fittings, Prize Horse...etc) Monstrous Pet (Griffon, Pegasus...etc) Land and Titles Advance in a hierarchical Organisation, Society, Guild or Faction (renown) - perhaps requiring reallocation of post (i.e. Archbishop) Acquisition of Vessels, Keeps, Caravans or Tavern/Inn, Smithy, Library ...etc Reputation and Prestige Languages and Tool Proficiencies Faith (per DMG) Contacts, Allies, Connections - i.e. Religious, Scholarly/Academic (Sages), Underworld, Royalty, Craftsmen, Navigators, Monsters (Dragons, Outer Realm Beings) Romance (Courtship, Beating of Suitor/s, Engagement, Marriage, Children) Spells Lore i.e. Research Material, Rare/Archaic Maps, Planar, Teleportation Circles Magical Item improvements i.e. A Ring of Jumping that may provide limited flight, weapon imbued with an additional minor property Acquisition of rare materials for spells or magical items Plot Points (per DMG) EDIT: @Reynard despite the above, my advice for your game is not a glacial advancement of 1 RL year = 1 Level up, unless of course if your players really buy into that style of game. Rather... Cap Hit Points based on size; Change up the Rest mechanic and tie it into the Exhaustion mechanic (I'm using this); Buff up monsters (that goes without saying); Require something extraordinary in the fiction to advance characters from level x to y. (For instance, in my campaign they destroyed a Beholder that had been feeding on the essence of a dead deity, once they destroyed the beholder that essence was released and the PCs were awash with it, allowing them to access level 10 and higher); Change up the setting from village to town to epic to cosmic. Do not be afraid to have the PCs be feared;

Sunday, 17th March, 2019

  • 12:30 AM - CubicsRube mentioned Reynard in post Removing Hit Points from the Game
    Reynard although hitpoint inflation doesn't bother me as ive never played past 11th level in 5e, i have run some numbers on where my sweet spot would be. Ultimately I decided on this: at level 0 use you CON score for hitpoints. At level 1 and every level thereafter, use the average hit points gained per level WITHOUT the CON modifier. This front loads some of the HP and most classes with a COn bonus will break even around 3rd to 5th level. It props up those with a low con slightly and brings down those with a high con score slightly, lessening the hp gap between classes. Note i would still use the con mod for hit dice recovery and for con saves of course, so it is still a useful stat. That may or may not work for you.

Saturday, 29th September, 2018

  • 03:51 PM - OB1 mentioned Reynard in post Tell Me About Your Experiences With High Level 5E
    Reynard - Thanks for the write up. Just curious as to what the level of the characters were and what you calculated the XP value of each fight as. Also, what if any magic items did the party have? I show the first fight as 29,700 XP and the second as a 33,100 XP base. If these were tier IV characters I probably wouldn't use a multiplier since all of the enemies are of a CR significantly below the party.

Thursday, 27th September, 2018

  • 01:56 AM - doctorbadwolf mentioned Reynard in post Sell me on D&D Beyond
    While there are various pros and cons, options to weigh, YMMV, etc., the decision to purchase content on D&D Beyond basically boils down to: Buy it because you would feel guilty about torrenting a PDF of the core rule books. OR, don't buy it because you don't feel guilty about torrenting a PDF of the core rule books. This would only seem true with a shallow understanding of what DDB provides. Having the PHB on DDB is strictly more valuable than having a PDF of the PHB. By far. Like, I can't even fathom how one could equate them. Reynard DDB is better than other digital versions of the books because of a few factors. 1, Indexed searching with in depth filters 2, hyperlinks 3, multiple ways to find information. You can either open the PHB via the Compendium tab, or go to Characters>Classes>Official>Wizard, and look there, or just type in Spellbook, and scroll down. 4, easy access to what is being playtested in unearthed arcana 5, great way to tinker with homebrew, and maintain a searchable collection of it, and then use it in conjuction with official material. 6, mobile app. it's still in beta, but it already has offline viewing of the books, and will eventually have the full functionality of the service. So, even if DDB goes away, you still have whatever books you downloaded to your devices from the app. Also, if you get the Legendary Bundle, it's all 15% down from normal amazon prices, including anything you ever buy on the service going forward. Also, if you just by the core books right now, and decided to...

Wednesday, 12th September, 2018

  • 07:45 PM - Satyrn mentioned Reynard in post Black Pudding split
    I think here original refers to the pudding being targeted but not their starting HP. Otherwise, you could theoretically be in an endless pudding feedback loop! So...it's the second option: That's totally how I read it, too . . . But I'm with Reynard. When I gave my homebrew demon the ability the split in half, I had it so that a Large one split into 2 Mediums, with the chance that those Mediums inherit the ability to split into Smalls. Even if the Large had 1 hit point when it split, each of those Smalls would start with their normal max (somewhere around 10 each). Mostly because it's meaner.

Thursday, 23rd August, 2018


Tuesday, 21st August, 2018

  • 12:41 PM - pemerton mentioned Reynard in post Missing Rules
    ...tomatically as part of movement by default" and "jump farther more recklessly knowing i can risk a lot of potential bad results aka setbacks" [Athletcis check, possible setbacks and other bad results.}I can see that. For my tastes, that's drilling down more than is needed - like we don't normally distinguish between different sorts of moves in melee combat - but that's just taste. Either way, the resolution comes out the same. My approach puts the p 64 rules more on the GM side, whereas your approach treats them as something (or as a model of something, like knowledge of their capacity for performing) that the characters engage with in their atheltic pursuits. The potentially different goals can be "jump a specific distance to a specific spot" (targeted jump at/to something) or just jump as far as i can in this direction" or quite a few others. likely others as well.Agreed, but again I think this sort of granularity isn't needed most of the time. I guess it becomes relevant for Reynard's scenario, though, where the PC has to not only jump from A but land on a reasonably small and wobbly B. One approach would be to up the DC for the STR (Athletics) check, and if it fails by no more than 5 allow a DEX (Acrobatics) check to hold on anyway.
  • 04:57 AM - iserith mentioned Reynard in post Missing Rules
    ...was over 22 feet, I don't think that the outcome of an attempt by a muscled and athletically trained human in the D&D world to jump an 18' chasm is certain failure. Obviously, given the rule on p 64 and assuming less than 18 STR, it is not certainly successful either. Hence it would be determined by a STR (Athletics) check made against an appropriate difficulty. My reason for spelling this out is simply to demonstrate the point that what is at issue in this thread, at least as far as the current discussion is concerned, is not the proper way to adjudicate 5e, nor the closely related issue of whose job it is to call for checks, nor the issue of whether or not "I clear the chasm by jumping over it" states an approach to the goal of getting across the chasm - it manifestly does. What is at issue is what the rule on p 64 makes certain and leaves uncertain. On this issue of jumping the chasm, that's the sole point of difference between me and @robus and I think @SkidAce, @5ekyu and @Reynard, on the one hand, and you and @Charlaquin on the other. I still think this comes down to approach. There are two goals here, you might say: Jumping Normally and Jumping An Unusually Long Distance. You can certainly achieve the second goal, in some circumstances, given a viable approach. This might mean interacting with the terrain in some fashion that is unusual, getting the assistance of an ally, or using a resource that reasonably helps. The resolution of that outcome may or may not involve a Strength (Athletics) check. What is a viable approach requires context and, even if we're all looking at the same context, we may rule differently as to its viability. Some might say it works, others that it doesn't - no roll. Some might say it's uncertain and call for a check. Among those latter folk, the DCs may vary. Do I think a character can jump an unusually long distance? Yes. The rules say it's possible. What matters is the approach they offer to achieve that goal.
  • 04:30 AM - pemerton mentioned Reynard in post Missing Rules
    ... was over 22 feet, I don't think that the outcome of an attempt by a muscled and athletically trained human in the D&D world to jump an 18' chasm is certain failure. Obviously, given the rule on p 64 and assuming less than 18 STR, it is not certainly successful either. Hence it would be determined by a STR (Athletics) check made against an appropriate difficulty. My reason for spelling this out is simply to demonstrate the point that what is at issue in this thread, at least as far as the current discussion is concerned, is not the proper way to adjudicate 5e, nor the closely related issue of whose job it is to call for checks, nor the issue of whether or not "I clear the chasm by jumping over it" states an approach to the goal of getting across the chasm - it manifestly does. What is at issue is what the rule on p 64 makes certain and leaves uncertain. On this issue of jumping the chasm, that's the sole point of difference between me and robus and I think SkidAce, 5ekyu and Reynard, on the one hand, and you and Charlaquin on the other.

Monday, 20th August, 2018

  • 03:15 PM - pemerton mentioned Reynard in post Missing Rules
    ...ll allow the character to succeed. I prefer using "say 'yes'" as a device to manage dramatic pacing rather than as a response to tactical planning, and to use "fail forward" to manage the outcomes of failure. It's also the case that it's a long time since I've run a system with a "notoriously fickle" d20 (4e has the illusion of being such a system, but there are so many player-side resources for generating post hoc boosts, retries, etc that it really isn't) - BW and Prince Valiant are dice pools, Classic Traveller is mostly 2d6, and Cortex+ Heroic is very complicated dice pools with a lot of player-side manipulation as well. Because of the way 5e strongly demarcates "mundane" checks and "magical" spells and class abilities, I suspect it may be hard to play in the style I prefer, which is one reason why I don't play it. But on this particular issue of a character jumping further than s/he easily can, I think drifting it in that direction in the way that I've described (following Reynard's description) is not that hard at all. (And in lieu of any sophisticated "fail forward" in the event of failure, if the PC is 14th level as Reynard suggested then the hp mechanics will probably carry that load.)
  • 04:44 AM - pemerton mentioned Reynard in post Missing Rules
    I would certainly allow a PC to exceed their normal jump distance with a successful Strength (Athletics) check. I just don't consider "I try to jump further than I can normally jump by jumping normally" an action with an uncertain outcome, and therefore wouldn't call for a Strength (Athletics) check to resolve it. If, on the other hand, the player offers a method of jumping further than they can normally, that may or may not require a check to resolve, and as per the rules, I would call for Strength (Athletics) to resolve it.Can you give an example of a method of jumping further than they can normally? I mean, are you envisaging the player describing the use of a pogo stick, or spring board? Or a ramp to gain extra height? It's not clear to me why those sorts of things would involve STR checks (using acrobatic equipment looks like DEX check territory to me). A STR check smacks to me of trying harder, which is what Reynard described. If a character tries harder, I also think it's fair game to impose costs eg in this sort of case, hp loss for strained/torn muscles. That works very well in 4e (in my experience), but may be it doesn't translate into 4e where hp are perhaps governed by tighter expectations for their loss and recovery?
  • 04:34 AM - pemerton mentioned Reynard in post Missing Rules
    I'm with Reynard - taking a deep breath and giving it all you've got is an approach to jumping across a chasm. Because it takes time to take a deep breath, the GM might reasonably advance any "clocks" that are ticking in the situation.
  • 02:37 AM - Oofta mentioned Reynard in post Missing Rules
    Unusually being the key there. If you are just going to say yes to every time they ask to jump farther, it's no longer unusual. Also, that rule does not exist in a vacuum. It exists within the context of Page 6. To declare an action you describe what your PC is doing and then the DM adjudicates it. "I use athletics to jump farther" is not a description of what your PC is doing. It's a statement of intent, sure, but a description it is not. So you are breaking the rule on Page 6 if you accept that. That's fine, but it's effectively a house rule to do so. Usually you jump feet equal to your strength. I never said I would allow it all the time and honestly, I don't use the jumping rules all that often in the first place. If I thought someone was abusing it, I'd discuss it with the player. But, if the character is being chased by zombies like in Reynard's scenario I'd allow it. I think it's more fun, realistic and a cleaner reading of the rules. As others have pointed out, you don't have the corner on the truth.

Sunday, 19th August, 2018

  • 08:23 PM - iserith mentioned Reynard in post Missing Rules
    We have probably exhausted the potential for worthwhile debate on the topic, especially given our very different readings of that paragraph in the DMG. But thank you! It was a fun discussion. Indeed. I'll leave you with this which gives an example of what the DMG is talking about in that section (page 239, for anyone who wants to see what Reynard was referencing). So here, from Basic Rules, page 2: Dungeon Master (DM): OK, one at a time. Phillip, you’re looking at the gargoyles? Phillip: Yeah. Is there any hint they might be creatures and not decorations? DM: Make an Intelligence check. <--- Phillip: Does my Investigation skill apply? <--- DM: Sure! Phillip (rolling a d20): Ugh. Seven. DM: They look like decorations to you. And Amy, Riva is checking out the drawbridge? In other words, "Often, players ask whether they can apply a skill proficiency to an ability check."

Sunday, 5th August, 2018

  • 04:37 AM - Henry mentioned Reynard in post The playtest is here!!
    Critical Role was Pathfinder when it was a homegame, for the two years before the stream started. It was never streamed as Pathfinder. They switched to 5e for its faster play. CR has too good of a relationship with WotC to switch back now, and D&D Beyond is a major sponsor. Pathfinder has done a few attempts at streaming. Know Direction has one: http://knowdirectionpodcast.com/category/podcasts/kd-adventurous/ And there is an official Paizo Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/officialpaizo But few games are streamed there. They did apparently do a playtest game: https://twitter.com/JasonBulmahn/status/1025252371205697536 If a podcast of an hour or so is something Reynard is looking for, Glass Cannon Podcast is a very good one to check into, and it’s officially Paizo sponsored.

Monday, 8th January, 2018

  • 06:02 PM - Oofta mentioned Reynard in post Setting Party level vs an Ancient Red Dragon
    I've been busy and didn't respond before, but I do have to say that the party was given every possible advantage and then some. So Reynard, I wanted to give some feedback ... I don't think the system is necessarily broken, but you bent too far backwards to "help" the party. It happens to all DMs, I know it's happened to me more than once (and probably will again) and it has very little to do with 5E. Solos are never easy to run, have never worked very well and the CR guidelines aren't going to be much help when you gave them this much of an advantage and an additional 20th level character. Having said all that, I'm trying to give some helpful advice. But the big question is: did the players have fun? If they did, then the encounter was a success. Sometimes the players stomp on your encounters, it's part of the game. wish to create a simulacrum of a 20th level bard Did they have access to a 20th level bard for the 12 hours it takes to cast the spell? Also, note the part of the rules of Simulacrum where it gives the rules for repairing it. Specific beats general in this game and if there's a specific rule...


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Thursday, 6th June, 2019


Wednesday, 5th June, 2019

  • 04:19 PM - mortwatcher quoted Reynard in post Let's list the "broken" spells
    The DM is a player, too, and broken spells that one shot the Big Bad may not be fun for them. that is true and there are a few solutions to that: 1. you have infinite amount of big bads, they have spells like force-cage 1-2x/day 2. talk with your players, if it makes you that miserable, work with them to change their spell list I'm aware that high-level D&D experience can be more work for the DM, as the CR system gives up at that point, but by the time you get there, you should have enough experience under your belt to manage, or wrap up the campaign before you get to these problematic spells

Monday, 3rd June, 2019

  • 10:05 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Reynard in post Returning to 2nd Edition
    in games with lots of human or humanoid armored foes the weapon vs armor type rules are more impactful. I like systems like that, especially as they relate to making the "boring" fighter more interesting and making weapon choice about more than damage potential and the shield bonus trade off. Comrade! ;) I knew I wasn't quite alone in appreciating those obscure/maligned rules. You throw these out and your drastically reduce the capability of the fighter, because they are the ones that have weapon versatility. Instead every fighter walks around with a long sword. To be fair, they end up running around with two-handed swords (or maybe the odd bec de corbin or Lucerne hammer), until they realize the random treasure tables are dropping lots of longswords*, then they end up walking around with those, instead. But, by then, it's tool late to change their weapon specialization (especially in 2e, when going with double-specialization in a weapon you could dual-wield in pairs was the fighter's ki...
  • 05:55 PM - Satyrn quoted Reynard in post Does the world exist for the PCs?
    What about the little stuff? Like, you have previously established an ancient hero who was buried with his famed weapon. The players' adventures bring them to the tomb. Do you make sure the famed weapon is one your party can use, even if for whatever reason your players have chosen are or esoteric weapons? And if so does that player choice impact the historical context of the hero? I used to do that sort of thing in 3e. I don't anymore. I try to randomly generate everything . . . although the smart player could use divinations to help their cause. For example, if they pay a witch to tell them where a good battleaxe can be found, randomly generated weapons in that area will be heavily weighted towards battleaxes. Or if they use that spell that answers weal or woe, and ask "will I find a good gun in that hellhole?" the dice will get heavily weighted, too.
  • 02:25 PM - Xaelvaen quoted Reynard in post Does the world exist for the PCs?
    What do you think? Ooh, I do love a question with a great 'exception-oriented' answer. "It depends on the type of game we're playing." In a low fantasy setting, one where magic is rare, magic items even moreso, and the players are meant to feel on the edge of their seat, constantly challenged, and worried for the lives of their characters from even basic, rugged bandits... well then the world exists without regard to the players and their characters. It is a living, breathing world of which they are a part, and the stories rarely flow into the 'epic' category of Dungeons and Dragons. It is typically dark, fatal, and brutal - and the world persists even long after the players, and their characters, have moved on. No adventuring stores - the players need their own crafts, or to make connections to have gear created for them. No recognition of what an 'adventurer' even is - my group tends to find interesting things to do without anything being custom tailored to them and what they do...

Sunday, 2nd June, 2019

  • 08:46 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Reynard in post Returning to 2nd Edition
    In the context of an RPG, it becomes a matter of preference. Exactly. If you want to model an heroic story, you strap on heavy plot armor from the get go. If you want to have some hazing or dues-paying and some funny death stories, first, but eventually get to some heroic stories in, you issue it a bit later. 5e & 2e are pretty similar in that regard. You get a little leather plot-jerkin at first (5e the wizard and Rogue's are slightly less inadequate), and rapidly upgrade. About half way to 20th, your 2e full plate is at its best, while in 5e you keep upgrading through to the Tony Stark special by 20th. But, through the sweet spot, very similar.
  • 08:24 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Reynard in post Returning to 2nd Edition
    Or it means that players and their characters interact with the world under the working assumption that they are not safe. That's really an 'and' rather than an 'or' - If you're cautious enough to survive a campaign, you've managed to make yourself safe - possibly by taking up a career other than adventuring, possibly by using others - PC or NPC - as trap/monster fodder & curse lab rats to avoid the risks thereof. The difference is the appearance of safety, and thus heroism. Plot armor is invisible in the fiction so the 100hp PC looks like he's taking insane risks and surviving due to luck or skill or destiny and may be called a hero. Conversely, the guy who worked his way up to Archmage fabricating plate armor for the royal infantry, or the one who cleared Castle Taupe Falcon at the cost of only a few hundred patsies, might not be so regarded.
  • 03:33 PM - jgsugden quoted Reynard in post Returning to 2nd Edition
    You have a character you have been playing for hundreds of hours, with a deep backstory and the accumulated depth of character that comes with so much play. That's awesome. I'm inclined to wonder, though, why you are having such a valuable, beloved character amble mindlessly down a trap laden corridor? One of two things would seem to be true: either whatever reason put the character there is important, and therefore dying in that circumstance is inherently heroic; or, it isn't important and your beloved character has survived so long in spite of a career filled with foolish decisions and it's about time fate turned against them. People should play they want to play. For me, games without stakes are boring exercises. Uncertainty and consequence make the game worth playing. I absolutely do not want a character to ever be safe.Or, there wasn't a reason for that PC to expect the corridor to be trapped, rather than a trap it was an ambush, etc... you're attacking the minutia, not the core iss...
  • 06:41 AM - MGibster quoted Reynard in post Does the world exist for the PCs?
    A couple threads active right now got me wondering about this: in your opinion, does the world and its doings exist primarily for the benefit of the PCs, as opposed to it existing and going on despite (or even in spite of!) the PCs? I am in the camp that favors the world existing for the benefit of the PCs. Whenever I design a setting I think about the elements I'm adding and ask myself whether or not my players will care. Will they care about how the economy works? Will they care about the mythology I've created regarding the gods? Should I spend a lot of time coming up with distinctive kingdoms for the PCs to visit? Sadly the answer is usually no because they're not going to care unless it's something that's important to game play. I usually don't care of a campaign setting makes sense. My primary concern is that it's a fun place for the PCs to have adventures.
  • 01:59 AM - pemerton quoted Reynard in post Does the world exist for the PCs?
    A couple threads active right now got me wondering about this: in your opinion, does the world and its doings exist primarily for the benefit of the PCs, as opposed to it existing and going on despite (or even in spite of!) the PCs?The function of the gameworld is to support a game. So it exists for the participants - real people in the real world. In most RPGs - including D&D - the majority of the participants play the game by using their characters (the PCs) to engage the gameworld. What form that engagement takes, and how - in the fiction - the PCs fit into their world, will probably differ from table to table.

Saturday, 1st June, 2019

  • 11:12 PM - Brashnir2 quoted Reynard in post Does the world exist for the PCs?
    I think some of us would suggest your first mistake was planning an ending in the first place. I strongly believe that RPG play is NOT storytelling. We tell stories about play, and that's awesome, but we are playing a game. Sometimes, to some degree or another, that game borrows narrative tools as part of the play process. Who says I'm planning an ending? I think you're reading way, way to much into that statement. I plan for possibilities. When I put a villainous NPC in the world as a major player, I generally come up with a vague notion of what that encounter will look like once the players force an encounter. Sometimes the circumstances of the campaign change such that my original idea no longer makes any kind of sense once that encounter comes to pass.
  • 08:09 PM - Lanefan quoted Reynard in post Does the world exist for the PCs?
    I run a game for the players. The setting is part of what I run - and often the setting is tailored specifically to the type of campaign I want to run. The characters are the players avatars in the setting. But the setting doesn't cater to the characters, the setting caters to my needs as DM for telling the story and supporting the campaign. This brings up a related question: to what degree does the setting exist for the campaign? ... Other settings are intentionally broad and meant to be the place where any number of individual stories or adventures might occur. Both of these are true in my case: the setting is tailored to the type of campaign I want to run: broad, open-ended, where lots of things can happen but there's no guarantee that any or all of them will. Put another way perhaps, it's kind of a sandbox setting but set up for either sandbox play, story-based play, or (most of the time) a combination of these.
  • 06:43 PM - Blue quoted Reynard in post Does the world exist for the PCs?
    This brings up a related question: to what degree does the setting exist for the campaign? Some settings are tailored to tell a core story, a singular narrative and all the design choices support that one story. Other settings are intentionally broad and meant to be the place where any number of individual stories or adventures might occur. Great question. I tend to run homebrew, so my settings are tailored to the campaign. But with many of my recurring players I do travelogues - where the party is constantly on the move as opposed to a home base they always return to. And for that I need to keep up lots of interesting places in terms of culture, geography, etc. So there's a lot of places that I just do in broad strokes with hooks that I'll detail if it looks like the characters will go there, but I've already been able to lay information abut those places beforehand because I had the broad strokes. What that ends up with is that I have a world that is rich enough for multiple camp...
  • 10:25 AM - Lanefan quoted Reynard in post Does the world exist for the PCs?
    What about the little stuff? Like, you have previously established an ancient hero who was buried with his famed weapon. The players' adventures bring them to the tomb. Do you make sure the famed weapon is one your party can use, even if for whatever reason your players have chosen are or esoteric weapons? And if so does that player choice impact the historical context of the hero?No. The weapon is what it is (and if it's that famous the PCs will probably know what it is, or can easily find out) regardless of which if any PCs ever go looking for it or what their particular weapon proficiencies might be.
  • 08:34 AM - digitalelf quoted Reynard in post Returning to 2nd Edition
    Has anyone else returned to 2E since adopting 5E, or even since 3.x/Pathfinder? What was your experience? Is there more there than nostalgia? I dropped 3.5/Pathfinder RPG/d20 back in 2012. I got tired of there being a rule for every little thing, with more and more of those types of rules constantly being added with every new book that was released. Back in 2000 when 3rd edition came out, I made the switch from 2nd edition, and I was one that bought every new book/resource that came out... When 4e came out, part of the reason I did not make that switch, was that I did not want to re-buy everything all over again just to keep up with the newest ruleset. Starting about 2009, I started to feel frustrated with the d20 system (as a whole). And I started looking at my collection of 2nd edition stuff, and recalling that, while I enjoyed the games that used the d20 system, I recalled having "more" fun overall back when I used 2nd edition. At first, I thought it was just nostalgia I was fe...
  • 12:04 AM - dave2008 quoted Reynard in post Removing Hit Points from the Game
    Have you eliminated hit point inflation from your 5E game? How did you do it? Did it work? Eliminated no, modified yes. Be using HP (per standard) and BHP (bloodied HP = meat points) we have something that feels good to our group. That coupled with slow leveling (it took us 4 years to reach level 10) and we don't have the issue you want to combat (or at least how I understand it). EDIT: To clarify, BHP don't really change, you basically have what you started with (leveling does not change BHP). Once those got to 0 - your dead.

Friday, 31st May, 2019

  • 11:23 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Reynard in post Does the world exist for the PCs?
    What about the little stuff? Like, you have previously established an ancient hero who was buried with his famed weapon. The players' adventures bring them to the tomb. Do you make sure the famed weapon is one your party can use, even if for whatever reason your players have chosen are or esoteric weapons? And if so does that player choice impact the historical context of the hero? Heh. Reminds me of a punchline from the Gleemax forum days. "Excalibur is a Spiked Chain."
  • 11:06 PM - Immortal Sun quoted Reynard in post Does the world exist for the PCs?
    What about the little stuff? Like, you have previously established an ancient hero who was buried with his famed weapon. The players' adventures bring them to the tomb. Do you make sure the famed weapon is one your party can use, even if for whatever reason your players have chosen are or esoteric weapons? And if so does that player choice impact the historical context of the hero? I try to avoid including things that would lead my players to petty graverobbing. If there's a famous hero with a famous weapon, it's likely the players are going to need to go on an epic quest to find it....and understand that legends are often blown out of proportion, or twisted in ways they don't realize. That doesn't mean they won't find a magic sword, but it might not be the kind of magic they wanted. Also: I have a little note next to all my truly legendary magical weapons: they alter form to fit a worthy wielder. Which is in part why an ancient weapon might get "lost" only for some completely unrelated g...
  • 10:09 PM - Celebrim quoted Reynard in post Does the world exist for the PCs?
    A couple threads active right now got me wondering about this: in your opinion, does the world and its doings exist primarily for the benefit of the PCs, as opposed to it existing and going on despite (or even in spite of!) the PCs? The world exists for the players, in the sense that I generally only bother developing the world in great detail if it pertains to something the players are going to interact with. But, the world is indifferent to the PC's. As far as the world is concerned, the PC's are nothing special, or at least nothing more special than a group of young but prodigiously talented individuals with amazing aptitude and potential for whom stories seem to spring up wherever they go. I am probably not being as clear as I'd like, so I will use an example: when you create a settlement, do you develop it with the PCs in mind (including making sure there's a shop for adventuring equipment, and some NPCs with adventure inspiring plot hooks) or do you develop it independent of t...
  • 07:30 PM - Saelorn quoted Reynard in post Returning to 2nd Edition
    I'm inclined to wonder, though, why you are having such a valuable, beloved character amble mindlessly down a trap laden corridor? One of two things would seem to be true: either whatever reason put the character there is important, and therefore dying in that circumstance is inherently heroic; or, it isn't important and your beloved character has survived so long in spite of a career filled with foolish decisions and it's about time fate turned against them.This gets back to the variability between tables. I think we can all agree that players should avoid making foolish decisions, and that when they do make a foolish decision, the danger should be proportional to how foolish the decision is. Taunting an enemy is usually foolish, but taunting an ogre has lower stakes than taunting a dragon or taunting a god. Is it foolish to try and disintegrate a giant skeleton, if it doesn't show any special signs of intelligence or weird magical properties? That's going to vary from table to table. Cert...


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