View Profile: Jhaelen - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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About Jhaelen

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August 12


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Preferences regarding "save to resist" vs. "roll to hit" mechanics? Thursday, 24th January, 2019 04:31 PM
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Thursday, 26th October, 2006
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Sunday, 14th July, 2019

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Tuesday, 10th September, 2013

  • 04:50 AM - Fiddleback mentioned Jhaelen in post 500 Pounds of Beef – 5 Meaty Board Games for Long Weekends
    I like your suggestions tomBitonti. Though I do have to say I think Squad Leader leaves the realm of board games and heads squarely into war gaming. Nothing wrong with that, just an important distinction to make. Jhaelen, glad Origins piqued your interest. It is out of print, but with some judicious hunting around (and a willingness to part with no small amount of cash) you can find ways to purchase it, or even rent it. Big Megafauna, which I believe used to be called American Megafauna, is, according to the designers, the prequel to Origins. They can, it is suggested, be played back to back for an VERY lengthy gaming experience.

Monday, 5th August, 2013

  • 04:25 PM - Baumi mentioned Jhaelen in post My Review of 13th Age
    Wow this looks awesome. 8D There is only one thing so far that I dont like ... it has no bookmarks, which is really bad for tablet). Strangely enough, the Index and Contents are fully linked. Jhaelen: You can put 5 Points into a Background. There is a list of examples and also some advice on making a good backgrounds. It also warns about miss-using it and that the GM can just rule one out.

Monday, 17th June, 2013

  • 05:40 AM - Challenger RPG mentioned Jhaelen in post Game Design 113: Duplication
    @Jhaelen : That's the way to do it. :) I love to hear those kinds of stories. @Fetfreak : Well said. I like how Pathfinder made their approach. Not too crazy, but fixing things along the way, tool.

Tuesday, 15th January, 2013

  • 10:43 AM - Bluenose mentioned Jhaelen in post The One Ring - Cubicle 7
    To add to what Jhaelen says, The One Ring is written specifically for Middle Earth. Things that are significant in the sources include travel, meeting new people, and being/becoming part of a group. Accordingly, The One Ring devotes a lot of rules attention to those things. It's the most "Tolkein" game I've played.

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Tuesday, 29th January, 2013

  • 05:07 PM - Umbran quoted Jhaelen in post Group Dynamics and the Chaotic Neutral Bard ...
    Well, I don't know how things work in your area, but here if I get contacted by a DM asking me if I would be interested to join his group, then that's typically the only person I'm in contact with until I actually join the group for a gaming session. That's fine. The GM should have sufficient knowledge of his group and game to answer the relevant questions. So, I have to make certain assumptions, e.g. that the DM actually asked his players if it was okay that I'll join the group! And if the DM doesn't realize that my character might cause problems with the rest of the group I really don't see how the hell I should realize that before the first session? By asking the GM, of course. If you ask, and the GM gives you inaccurate information, that's on his or her head. All I'm saying is that if you fail to ask, and there's a problem, then you don't get to pass the buck on to the GM. Own your own mistake, is all I'm saying. So, despite my inexcusable assumptions and preconceptions and my ...
  • 04:53 PM - Holy Bovine quoted Jhaelen in post Group Dynamics and the Chaotic Neutral Bard ...
    At least in earlier editions of D&D and among oldtimers like me, 'PvP' is the default mode of play. Nonsense. I'll accept that this was *your* experience but it was not the 'default mode of play'.
  • 03:46 PM - Umbran quoted Jhaelen in post Group Dynamics and the Chaotic Neutral Bard ...
    Yep, and when I ask the GM about which alignments are allowed an answer of "anything goes" will lead to me expecting that "anything goes", i.e. it's accepted and expected that I'll play my alignment to the hilt. And, if being on EN world has taught you nothing else, it should have revealed that there's no single definition of what alignments really mean to various players and groups. So, "to the hilt," doesn't really tell us much. At least in earlier editions of D&D and among oldtimers like me, 'PvP' is the default mode of play. Over-generalization and appeal to authority of experience will not get you very far. I'm not exactly a young'un, you know. And it seemed pretty darned obvious to the folks I played with way back when that the game had monsters specifically so that we didn't have to fight one another to have fun. So, if the GM fails to mention that unconditional cooperation is expected despite blatantly different alignments, I'd assume otherwise. My point here is that act...

Monday, 28th January, 2013

  • 02:58 PM - Umbran quoted Jhaelen in post Group Dynamics and the Chaotic Neutral Bard ...
    TL;DR: IF a group decides to allow the full range of alignments, then they must be prepared to deal with it. Otherwise, just play without alignments (which is actually my personal preference). No, I don't think that's true. As a player, you've got an obligation to come to the table looking to make the game cool for everyone, not just yourself. "Let me see how much trouble I can make," is only conducive to cool in very limited circumstances, and it is part of a player's obligation to ask specifically about it if he intends to engage in it. Yes, the player's obligation to ask, not just the GM's to tell (it *is* also the GM's duty to tell, but that doesn't absolve the player's responsibility). The player should not be passive in determining the limits of the social contract - you don't get to blame the GM or other players for not telling you, as you entered into it. And, despite assertions to the contrary, "chaotic evil" does not mean, "crazy sonofagun who cannot cooperate with anyone for...

Thursday, 24th January, 2013

  • 10:59 AM - chaochou quoted Jhaelen in post Recent board games and what I thought [add your own capsule reviews]
    Myself, I'm playing a lot of Netrunner recently. FFG's update is very good and I already liked playing the original. Even without data packs you can play it for a long time before it gets stale since your actions are more important than the cards. Yeah, I was a fan of the original. But I prefer the FFG version because I can take the base set to a game night and play against friends who don't collect knowing we've got interesting, playable and balanced decks straight from the box. That's a massive plus for me. I played in an online tournament organised over at BGG before Christmas and it was a lot of fun. However, I didn't sign up for Tourney 2 which just opened simply because I haven't kept up with the metagame. I have What Lies Ahead and Trace Amount but haven't had time to use them, understand the new cards or construct new deck ideas, and being out of the loop in that environment would hurt.

Monday, 21st January, 2013

  • 04:48 PM - am181d quoted Jhaelen in post Would you ever watch other people play RPGs, as entertainment?
    Well, I very much enjoyed watching the session with Chris Perkins and the RoboChicken guys. Even the DM's commentaries were both interesting and fun. The first of the sessions with the Penny Arcade guys was also fun. The other session weren't as interesting, though. So, what does this mean? Probably that it's not something I'd want to watch regularly. But if it's sufficiently entertaining I might watch it once in a while. See, and I take the opposite conclusion from the same experience: It can work, in isolated cases, with the current set-up. If it were souped up with (a) tight editing, (b) music, (c) on-screen graphics, (d) intercut player and DM interviews, etc. (Basically, all the things they do with boardgames on Tabletop) then it would be *more* successful. It certainly wouldn't be *easy* to do, but virtually nothing you enjoy watching in any media is easy to do. You ALWAYS want super-talented people working really hard.

Wednesday, 16th January, 2013

  • 10:30 PM - Remathilis quoted Jhaelen in post 4th edition, The fantastic game that everyone hated.
    Well, I for once definitely hated Essentials when it was published. The previews and reactions to them and the books themselves led me to refuse to look at the books themselves for a long time (~ 2 years). In our group the original 4e was very well received and the fact that every class consisted of exactly the same building blocks (ADEU) was one of its biggest boons. One of players who'd never considered playing anything but a fighter in 1e to 3e suddenly discovered he loved playing a wizard! Well, when the two classes are nearly the same, why not branch out into wizard. ;) I kid, of course. I slowly got around on some of the Essentials books, e.g. the Monster Vault (despite the high amount of re-hashed material) but I still dislike the majority of the Essentials classes and the revised layout that mars every book released after. With the math in MM1 being so far off the mark, I'd figure the rehashing was a good thing. It wasn't a MM4, it was a greatest hits for new players; which is ex...
  • 03:17 PM - Wednesday Boy quoted Jhaelen in post 4th edition, The fantastic game that everyone hated.
    And did really anyone feel the new, repetitive presentation of classes with their integrated paragon paths was anything but more confusing and verbose than the original? I also hated (and still hate) the half-size paperbook format - luckily that was only temporary. I thought the new presentation of the classes or the integrated PPs was a little confusing at first and it was needlessly verbose but for me that was easy to excuse because the content is very solid. I'm currently playing an earth Warpriest and I love it! That said, I too loathed the half-sized paperback format. I was so pleased they went back to the larger hardcovers.
  • 12:18 PM - pemerton quoted Jhaelen in post 4th edition, The fantastic game that everyone hated.
    I mean what's the purpose of the double fluff for every power and feat? And did really anyone feel the new, repetitive presentation of classes with their integrated paragon paths was anything but more confusing and verbose than the original?Completely agreed. The double fluff is just crap, especially because there's often confusion and sometimes contradiction. And the paragon path stuff is hideous to make sense of. I personally prefer the MM1 and MM2 flavour text to MM3 and the MV, too. (Though MV stats are excellent.) I also hated (and still hate) the half-size paperbook formatWhereas this I quite liked.

Friday, 4th January, 2013

  • 02:40 PM - Storminator quoted Jhaelen in post Late to the D&D 4E Bandwagon - First Impressions
    Are you talking about the one from Heroes of Shadow? I thought it read quite well. What makes it so underpowered? Yes, it's the HoS one. It's striker bonus damage is very limited. It can do good damage with a poison, but those are dailies. It get a bonus batch of d10s (# dependent on level), but that is an encounter power. So once per encounter, or a couple times a day it deals significant damage, and all the other turns it's throwing out 1d4, or 1d6, sometimes with Dex mod, sometimes not. The assassin typically was doing ~10-15 damage per attack at 9th level. The thief we replaced the character with (same character, new build) typically does 30, each and every round. And throws in the occasional 60. Huge, huge difference. Literally went from "Zoul is irrelevant" to "get Zoul to kill it!" PS

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