View Profile: Mercule - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
Tab Content
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Today, 06:54 PM
    For now, we are forbearing from smiting the heretic until suitable time to allow for his repentance has transpired.
    22 replies | 214 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Today, 06:07 PM
    The absent minded professor is misunderstood. Its not that they cant keep track of social events or clothing fashions, its that they dont care. They are busy doing other things that are more interesting to them. In any case, they have high skill bonuses, not necessarily high ability bonuses.
    47 replies | 1146 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Today, 05:17 PM
    I agree that they are narration in a general ordinary non-jargon sense of the word, but strictly they are not narration as it is normally meant in the table top RPG world because the player hasn't proposed anything that extends outside his person. In jargon, these are just first person propositions stated as actions, and are really no different than "I attack the orc." Don't get me wrong, I...
    144 replies | 3120 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Today, 05:08 PM
    Well, it is but I do understand where you are coming from. Compared to my typical example of play, your scene setting or frame setting is very sparse. You are expecting that the player will fill in any necessary details that he doesn't have with questions, and thus you are speeding play because you aren't giving the players details they don't want. In practice though, your artificial example...
    144 replies | 3120 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Today, 02:02 PM
    Jumping into this late, but why not "Both"? I strongly prefer a short boxed text to frame a scene, and being an advocate for the idea that gaming is an art, I prefer that the short boxed text be literary in quality and suitably evocative of the setting. In a fantasy that likely means a certain amount of archaic language and words and a certain floridness whenever something is especially ugly...
    144 replies | 3120 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Today, 01:32 PM
    Not as differently as you seem to think. Yes, but railroading almost never happens that way. Very rarely is a GM running a railroad so inept at running a railroad that they just start playing your character for you or telling you what your character does. I'm sure it happens, but most railroading employs much more subtle techniques than that. You say that the dice can't take agency...
    61 replies | 2127 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:24 PM
    I don't think I've ever settled on a "official" definition of player agency, but in general by player agency I mean tending to have the ability by your in game choices (propositions) to change both the direction and the outcome of the game. I think you'll find that defining "direction and outcome" tends to be difficult here. I've never defined railroading except in a Aristotelian manner...
    61 replies | 2127 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:28 AM
    Give Perception to Intelligence. Perceptive people are intelligent. Perceptiveness explains the Initiative bonus − the person perceives and assesses the threat that is approaching. Give Perception and Initiative to Intelligence.
    47 replies | 1146 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 03:27 AM
    ‘Perception’ = Intelligence ‘Soul’ = Charisma
    47 replies | 1146 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 02:23 AM
    People have been trying to balance the six abilities for roughly 50 years. The six are just bad design.
    47 replies | 1146 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 02:07 AM
    Deleting Constitution and Wisdom from existence fixes everything!
    47 replies | 1146 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 10:08 PM
    On the subject of Druid power source, since it's never been particularly explicit, it was always sort of up to the DM. In my game worlds, the power source of Druids is pacts with spirits which are of greater than mortal power, but inferior to Deific power. These spirits either directly aid the Druid or who persuade or command their less spirits to act on their behalf. So a druid might have...
    72 replies | 2887 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 04:02 PM
    I need the skill math to cohere with the combat math. Combat math is tried and true, adapting and evolving since the origins of D&D. Combat math is robust and fair. 5e design innovates bounded accuracy. This sobriety to minimize bonuses to a d20 roll has many benefits. But it is a fragile ecology. Designers must persist in the effort to avoid adding new bonuses. The combat math works. There is...
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 03:35 PM
    This claim so shocked me that I did a text search over the last 140 posts, just to see if I had misspoke or what I had written that had so mislead you. And you know what I found? Despite being a wordy often overly verbose writer, I hadn't used the word "acting" except when quoting you. In fact, other than you, no one was regularly using the word "acting" in the same sense as you are until...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 01:59 PM
    I didn't move the goal posts. You did. At no point did I ever include acting, accents, or mannerisms in my discussion until you brought them into it. When I provided examples, it was always contrasting dialogue with its absence. How can you accuse me of moving the goalposts? At this point you are arguing with yourself, and you don't need my help for that.
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 04:23 AM
    I heard the game he ran with HG Wells and Heisenberg was visionary. Decades ahead of its time. Unfortunately, it fell apart because they players kept interfering with each other and they couldn't agree on the fictional positioning. As for the pie, even if it is a finite pie, you actually don't know how big your piece is until you can compare it to the GMs piece. Because everything is...
    61 replies | 2127 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 04:04 AM
    Amongst committed Christians there is an neurosis that sometimes develops where the person begins to perceive in more and more things that power of Satan evidenced in the world. Soon thier thoughts become dominated by the idea that everything is in some fashion controlled by powerful demonic forces that are manifesting around them. It's bad theology even in terms of theology, and it has often...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 02:59 AM
    I think you for your considered and thoughtful response. Unfortunately, it goes wrong right with the initial assumption. You start out well enough, but you end up focusing on what is I think a rather minor characteristic of the concept of speaking - namely, affectations of mannerism and accent. Now, I like acting and accents and affecting different voices for characters. In general, I think...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 11:56 PM
    Foursome Human Ability prerequisite: none Exceptional array: +3, +2, +1, +0 Human features Skill proficiency: any Tool proficiency: any Expertise: you gain expertise in a skill or tool that you have proficiency with but not yet expertise
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 11:47 PM
    Mostly, the adoption of four was a nod to make it easy to use 4e material. For example, one can literally take a black marker and blot out Constitution and Wisdom, and the monster stat block still works fine without these. Heh, the four abilities seemed to annoy some people, but the eight abilities seemed to make them angry. It is my intention to use *skills* to further bifurcate...
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 11:41 PM
    So far, the Advancement table feels solid. Hopefully it can balance with 5e math. So Foursome characters can play alongside 5e characters. The Foursome Advancement chassis alternates class features with feat, race, and skill features. Create a Foursome Race A typical Foursome race design is equal to two feats. This is slightly less powerful than the 5e Half Elf and 5e Wood Elf. The...
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 10:25 PM
    Good. And indeed, you have the advantage of me if you can read it in the original. But I still haven't the faintest idea what you are trying to say.
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 10:02 PM
    I find myself referring to this 4e-clone→5e→update by the name ‘Foursome’. Of course, the name Foursome refers to 4e. Also, it connotes how the system relies on 4 abilities. (For those using 6 abilities, I hope it is easy enough to get Constitution by splitting Strength, and to get Wisdom from Intelligence-Perception and from Charisma-Will.) Foursome also refers to the design effort for a...
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 09:45 PM
    Who is "we" and "they"? And what is "the tale"? And if by "the book" you mean, "The Last Ringbearer", have you actually read it?
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 09:39 PM
    If it actually treated with the ideas in LotR, I might be sympathetic. But it doesn't actually. It attributes ideas to the LotR that are not found in it, and which are often as not contrary to the text itself. It's an ugly fabrication. And if a writer of some foreign nation created an original epic based on the mythos of that nation, I'd probably be very sympathetic to it. It wouldn't...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 09:17 PM
    Sorry about that. Strictly speaking, most of the time I employ the word 'you', I'm doing so improperly when I mean the English pronoun 'one'. But the pronoun 'one' is so uncommon in modern English, that if I employ it correctly I end up sounding like an even more stilted stuck-up person than I actually am: "And finally, I refuse to concede that one has some..." And dropping in 'y'all'...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 07:24 PM
    I have read 'The Last Ringbearer'. I consider it a distasteful, derivative, mockery of good which a person deluded by Morgoth might create. It is no more nuanced or reasonable criticism of Tolkien and his works than 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' is of Judiasm. And quite frankly, I believe it exists to serve the same purpose. If you can't create something interesting that stands on...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 07:20 PM
    One of my homebrew adventures involves the PC's investigating a series of attacks perpetrated by kobolds following a village festival. The PC's are meant to treat this as stereotypical murderous banditry from an aggressive group of non-persons. Certainly everyone in town is ready to pay the PC's to murder kobolds, and as inhabitants of the town they are certainly meant to sympathize with their...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 05:54 PM
    I believe you misunderstood my point. I'm suggesting that in games where players can engage in authorship, they can have less agency than in games where they can't. Consider my case of a railroaded traditional RPG where the players have only limited tactical choices and can't actually shape the overall story. We both agree this represents low player agency. The game is on rails. ...
    61 replies | 2127 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 03:38 PM
    Why? No. For example, there is a connection between the word 'orc' and the world 'orcus'. Is it presumptuous to assume demons are evil? Are we not allowed to incarnate good and evil in a fantasy? I mean it would be one thing if humans and elves were the incarnation of good, but they are not either in Tolkien (where many of the villains are human or elves) or in D&D. The PC races...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 04:11 AM
    I want to point out, Gygax himself caused this confusion about what ‘hit points’ are. Gygax had a double standard. When it came to PLAYER CHARACTERS the damage was mainly non-physical (except the Constitution hit bonus were physical). But when it came to MONSTERS, Gygax recommended making the hit points as gory and graphic − and physical − as possible for the sake of a vivid narrative. ...
    37 replies | 864 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 03:59 AM
    I am in the D&D camp that views hit points as both physical and nonphysical (stamina, alertness, skill, luck, etcetera). So, for me, ALL DAMAGE IS SUBDUAL DAMAGE until the magical number of ‘zero’. Zero is when the serious contact happens. Zero is when a lethal blow actually lands. Anything else is just fencing. So, instead of a blade thru the heart − at zero − the attacker can...
    37 replies | 864 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 06:17 PM
    Sure. But they were guidelines, and even if I was inclined to rigidly follow someone else's guidelines, it's trivial matter to show that two groups of 13 encounters with the same encounter levels have vastly different difficulties. Likewise, not even published modules rigidly adhered to those guidelines. More to t he point, if you read the 1e DMG, while Gygax doesn't give as detailed of...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 03:56 PM
    And both in practice could fail to provide player agency depending on the techniques that the game's moderator/referee/secret keeper/story teller employed to shift agency back to themselves. And that means that we have to look beyond just the systems that the game's rules put in place, but at the games actual processes of play. In practice, I think 'System 1' will be harder to railroad,...
    61 replies | 2127 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 02:59 PM
    Yes. But I also remember how unreliable those guidelines were, how hard they could be to interpret in practice, and that they were guidelines.
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 02:57 PM
    I have no stake in this "how many players is the right number of players" side discussion, and by quoting you I'm not at all asserting that you are being particularly or especially ridiculous compared to some of the other things that have been claimed. But, the whole argument strikes me as ridiculous, and this sort of claim just seems well beneath the logic and insight you'd normally bring to a...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 02:51 PM
    Nor is it merely a preference and subjective just because you claim it is so. Even the very definition of role-playing suggests a strong and natural connection between acting and the act of role-playing: "the acting out of the part of a particular person or character, for example as a technique in training or psychotherapy" To suggest therefore that this connection is therefore only a...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 02:33 PM
    This not at all my experience. ''Ease" or "difficulty" is entirely a matter of the DM. I can make a killer dungeon in any edition. I can run through a stack of photocopied character sheets in any edition. It's not particularly hard in any edition to make the game difficult. So I'm having a hard time understanding how you can judge which edition was easier. Is poison less immediately a...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 03:40 AM
    Consider the all-important character Advancement table. Here are four tiers: Novice, Hero, Master, and Immortal. In medieval contexts, these are apprentice/page, journeyer/squire, master/knight, plus legendary. In Basic D&D, these tiers might loosely associate with Basic, Expert, Master, and Immortal. 4e lacks Novice for a player character, and the tiers begins at Heroic, Paragon, and...
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 01:49 AM
    You are stating that as if it was an objective fact. I at least have an argument for why it isn't. I could make further ones.
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 12:52 AM
    The Knights Templar are an imperial religious order − and very much about certain ruling families. These aristocratic families were also bankers. There are commoners who have access to the aristocrats: servants, entertainers, and merchants. But the aristocrats are highly conscious of their ‘low birth’ and ‘low status’. They try to prevent the boundaries from getting blurry. Sometimes, a...
    37 replies | 864 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 11:32 PM
    I create the following. There are four ‘styles’: divine, void, arcane, and worldly. These styles are methods or modes or ways. They correspond roughly to the 4e sources: divine, shadow, arcane, and martial. Each style can engage four ‘realms’:
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 09:34 PM
    ParanoydStyle: I don't agree with all you have to say, but I would subscribe to your newsletter.
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 09:15 PM
    Yes, that's pretty much the essence of it. So, here comes the stickler. I'm not really interested in arguing the qualitative. I'm arguing for essentially the quantitative. In other words, whether or not the DM is roleplaying isn't really an interesting contention. While I might agree that there is some diminishing point at which the GM is not roleplaying at all, that's not to me the...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 08:20 PM
    I think that there probably is an objective difference. I could easily write a computer program to adjudicate, in the same way you could write a program to play chess and determine what was or wasn't a valid move. But I don't think I could so easily write a computer program to author. And if I could write a program which engaged in authoring, it would be at least quantitatively different than...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 07:48 PM
    For my urban campaign, nonlethal combat is key. Defeating opponents without murder, reduces a serious crime to misdemeanor, or even simply a nuisance that the guards dont want to bother themselves with. For this reason, the ‘bloodied’ condition becomes highly useful. It is the moment when an altercation becomes a fight. Someone is going to have a black eye. I reserve all the ‘unfair’...
    37 replies | 864 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 07:23 PM
    We're in full agreement on stirges.
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 07:15 PM
    A lot of people don't. You'll note, I don't either. What I actually believe is something much more controversial. I think "I try to intimidate the guard" replaces actual roleplaying, and that social mechanics are a problem only to the extent that they encourage these anti-cinematic social propositions. If your RP/social encounter tends to replace conversation with rules...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 05:49 PM
    Your example assumes that the players know OOG that rot grubs exist and have some idea what to do about them because they've read the entry, and that the party is of sufficient level that some solution is available and non-lethal. In too many cases, they are just whoops, "Die. No save.", and in the rest of the cases they get rather old fast. At least they usually have a period of time where...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 03:57 PM
    Only if there isn't a high level cleric on hand with a selection of Slow Poison and Neutralize Poison effects. Slow Poison can return a PC to life with no ill-effects, no resurrection failure chance, no lost CON, even if they fail a save or die poison effect that has an instantaneous result. Keoghtum's ointment along with a high level cleric renders most poison a non-issue, as your little...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 03:03 PM
    Depending on the style of treasure allocation, XP from combat tended to be between 1/3rd and 1/10th as much as the XP from treasure. The question I have for that statement is, "Is relying on Save or Die or Energy Drains to challenge PCs fun?" The problem started in 1e Unearthed Arcana. Fighters post UA were dishing about twice as much damage at a given level as the game had been...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 02:28 PM
    Doing this in a concrete way requires a bit of preparation of the sort people generally don't do. You have to define the Duke as a social character. The 'Seven Sentence NPC' article in Dragon #184 is still in my opinion the definitive starting place for this. You then need to define the basics of the social challenge, essentially setting the Difficulty, the various obvious modifiers that...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 03:48 AM
    Status because of wealth, celebrity, and power ... is modern. In premodern cultures, it is more important to be *related* to a noble and have a title, than to actually have money. Money has value − specifically to pay for armies to conquer and steal wealth from other communities. These ‘spoils of war’ were often spent lavishly to emphasize the victory. The next generation of these...
    37 replies | 864 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 01:40 AM
    Social Stratification ≈ Background ≈ Status/Clique Social Competitiveness ≈ Persuasion/Intimidation Family and Clan are ultra important Power in the sense of class level and wealth are actually less important than we moderns might expect. Level and treasure probably counts for personal reputation, but not really for social ‘access’.
    37 replies | 864 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 01:03 AM
    Power Grid − Styles: Divine, Void, Arcane, Worldly − Realms: Matter, Life, Mind, Force MATTER (elemental) LIFE
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 01:00 AM
    I'm not sure that there is a "right" answer (that is, there is probably more than one good way to do things), but I do think that there are wrong answers. In any event, assuming that both of those are right answers, I think that they are also a false dichotomy. It's not true that either everything is determined by DM fiat or else RP is just a mechanic. There are definitely ways to both...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 12:57 AM
    Alright. So a nonmagic at-will is called a ‘maneuver’. A magic at-will is called a ‘cantrip’. So, in the power format, ‘frequency type’ includes Rest, Long Rest, Reaction, ... and Cantrip/Maneuver (= at-will).
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 11:36 PM
    More to the point, they tend to be less engaging than the social interaction that they are simulating. By the argument that I outlined above, the more detailed the social interaction rules, the less engaging that they will tend to be because the less they will resemble the thing that they are a model for. I can foresee this becoming Celebrim's Third Law of RPGs at some point, I just haven't...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 08:47 PM
    My suspicion is that it is because gamers tend to prefer the least abstract experience of the scenario possible (or at least that is convenient). For combat, the least abstract thing to do would be dress up in armor, take up some sort of sparring weapon, and play out the combat. This is exciting visceral and only slightly abstract and many people do it, yet it is not particularly convenient...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 07:21 PM
    Power Source Grid Here is the 4e Power Source Grid as a table, to make it easier to tweak if necessary. When it seems stable enough to handle most of the corner cases, we can move it into the Original Post. Power Sources
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 11:57 PM
    Yes, but I am postulating that modern society successfully conditions the majority of person to abhor actual violence through a variety of mechanisms, both subtle and overt. Thus, it is necessary to uncondition new recruits if they are from modern society. However, there is a lot of highly politicized research into this and because it appears to be agenda driven, I take with a grain of...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 04:18 AM
    Low light is a pain in the neck to keep track of. Even when I remember there is low light, I just handwaive it. Any amount of bright light is bright within close range, and dim for a virtually unlimited distance beyond the bright light. Maybe low light vision is useful for scanning a distance. But really I dont care. I am glad the only two meaningful options are either darkvision or a...
    205 replies | 7785 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 03:29 AM
    Here is my first pass at Warlord powers. They are intended to balance with 5e, so compare these powers to 5e spells. When a class gives the player the choice of a power, the player can choose any power, whether it is at-will, per rest (short or long), or per long rest. (I am tempted to refer to the At-Wills as ‘Fighter cantrips’.) In 5e, several classes can share the same powers (including...
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 02:22 AM
    Power Format Power Name // Purpose Level Sources, Trope // Action Type • Frequency
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:24 PM
    The clay golem derives from the Bible, where the first human (whose name is ‘Human’, Adam) is shaped out of wet clay − namely a ‘lump’ of ‘dirt’ made moist by a ‘mist’ from the ground. God brought this reddish clay statue to life, by breathing Divine breath into it. This is understood as the ‘dirt’ of physical molecules being mysteriously entangled with consciousness. There is a tradition that...
    20 replies | 903 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 04:04 PM
    I tweaked the power sources grid. Note, ‘Morale’ with ‘Second Wind’, thus by extension Warlord hit-point restoration in the sense of rallying morale. Morale organizes as nonmagical ‘Martial’ and mental ‘Psionic’. Now that I know how to make a table, I am doing the 4e Power Sources Grid as one to make it easier to tweak. See below.
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:07 AM
    Seriously, in my eyes, the whole point of a ‘boxed set’ is the MAP. And an adventure or arc of adventures relating to the MAP. For what its worth, I prefer regional settings (that plug-and-play into any world). So a regional map, rather than a world map. For me, a world map is an online offering for those who want it. Compare, Salt Marsh is about right for me, in terms of a specific...
    90 replies | 3643 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 04:46 AM
    The Power Sources table above lists ‘healing’ as Primal and Divine. However, this refers to actual spontaneous healing following a catastrophic injury when reach zero hit points. Warlord healing is more like ‘morale’ (Martial Psionic), inspiring others to press on, despite being battered an bruised. For my tastes, the Warlord is an effective healer − unless the ally reaches zero hit...
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 03:39 AM
    I consider balancing options a high priority. I appreciate those who think about these carefully. ‘Situational’ is ‘less useful’, because it is less frequent, and in that sense ‘weak’. Regarding frequency: An ability that is used every encounter is useful.
    19 replies | 2634 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 03:25 AM
    Wood Elf, and maybe High Elf, deserve Darkvision, carrying a nocturnal vibe. However, Eladrin ‘Sun Elf’ must not have Darkvision, having an aura of light, or a light cantrip, instead. Eladrin ‘Moon Elf’ probably needs Darkvision with a nocturnal vibe. In sum.
    205 replies | 7785 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:24 PM
    My ideal power format looks something like this. The title line has the power name (in this case the Fireball spell), the purpose, and the character level. Next line, sources.
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 07:51 PM
    4e Power Sources How do you guys feel about the 4e Power Sources table below? The table develops from discussions that Wrecan and I had years ago. Essentially, the sources are rows and columns that intersect each other. For example, ‘healing’ spells are both Divine and Primal, locating at the intersection of the two. The columns describe the THEME of the spell: Elemental (Matter),...
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 07:20 PM
    @Azzy, jayoungr I updated the original post as follows. Any suggestions? Grappling Grappling represents wrestling, grabbing, pulling, and pushing.
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:48 PM
    Yeah, I guess. Maybe for the sake of simplicity, ANY grappling maneuver can attack or defend via whichever is higher, Dexterity or Strength. So, Dexterity can ‘Push’ by means of a judo flip or so on, and ‘hold’ by grabbing a sensitive place like a finger. I have in mind that there are only four abilities (or at least only four ‘active’ abilities). So, attack uses Strength or...
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 03:49 PM
    I am a big fan of swaps. They are awesome for customization and balance. If everything is formatted as powers, then it is so easy swap one power for an other. If you look at the ‘Advancement’ table. The way the leveling sequence works out has levels 20 to 24 for Epic tier. This includes two ‘Epic’ feats at levels 20 and 24. It also includes an Epic race feature − great for concepts...
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 06:13 PM
    Feeling bad about killing is a heavily conditioned response, and so far as I can tell is not natural. And, even if it were, the vast majority of civilizations in world history have built their culture around celebrating martial prowess and victory, and were ruled over by a martial elite class. The easiest way to achieve social and economic mobility was to kill your civilizations enemies. ...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 05:43 PM
    I want ultra simple grappling. Is the following feasible enough? Grappling Grappling represents wrestling, grabbing, pulling, and pushing. Always use Dexterity to make a grappling attack but always use Strength to keep hold.
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 04:02 PM
    How do you guys feel about everyone getting a free feat at level 1? I suppose, a human gains two. I love 4e ‘themes’. It seems like Pathfinder2 now has something like this as well. A themes are a substantial set of thematic abilities, in addition to class and race. These are great for rounding out a character, connecting the character to persons or places in the setting, or if teammates...
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 03:30 PM
    Ability Bonuses Your ability bonuses define the things that you tend to be good at. Your aptitudes. For example, a high Strength bonus makes you inherently good at various challenges that need you to be physically strong. Physical Ability Bonuses • Strength represents your brute strength, toughness, and size. • Dexterity represents your precise motion, skillful athleticism, and...
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 01:56 PM
    There aren't enough KKK left in the USA to fill a basketball arena. The leadership got busted up by state Attorney Generals about that same time, and they never recovered. Heck, even the neo nationalist socialists that we do have left in the USA have a bad opinion of the KKK because they consider them too soft. I can feel pretty safe in saying that no one in these threads has a positive...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 01:50 PM
    When preparing to run a game for them, I looked over some of the other options out there and decided (characteristically) that the systems were too complex and not expressive enough, so I wrote my own which I dubbed SIPS (Simple Imagination Play system).
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 01:58 AM
    Youtube's Seth Skorkowsky gives very thorough and practical GM centered reviews of Call of Cthulhu modules. Youtube's Dael Kingsmill (Monarchsfactory is the channel) can be very entertaining, and offers good GM practical tips.
    6 replies | 488 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 01:05 AM
    The 4e source is so flavorful. It is one of my favorite aspects of 4e. Identifying a class with a certain source works well. On the other hand, identifying a class with a role never worked well. The class felt too rigid and inflexible against personalization. Towards the end, 4e abandoned roles by having archetypes with different roles. I feel it is very useful to use ‘roles’ as...
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 09:40 PM
    That may be true in part, but part of the negative consequence that gets drilled into small children is other small children bonking them in the nose or biting them back in response. That said, I don't remember a notable drop in violence between myself and my playmates, classmates, and even friends until we were about 15. There were plenty of explosive fights in elementary and middle...
    350 replies | 10680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 08:53 PM
    You are possibly right. Certainly, 10 software engineers with sufficient experience and knowledge would be able to agree as to when code was badly written. But one of the underlying assumptions of your statement is that they software engineers were reasonably familiar with the language paradigm of the code. I honestly don't have have a very good feel for what very elegant Lisp or Prolog code...
    61 replies | 2127 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:57 PM
    It's not the board rules on what is a defensible political position that would get me in trouble. Heck, I'm playing in a Paizo adventure path right now, so if blatant attempts to be inclusive were a turnoff for me, I'd be a total hypocrite. I will risk that in the last session we all had a good laugh at how despite these often ham-fisted attempts, one of the encounters was probably the most...
    93 replies | 4503 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:05 PM
    Then it will be closed. I mean, I could post my honest opinion of certain game systems right now and get it closed if that's what you wanted. Well if you mean we are better, then "No", I don't think we are. We've gotten a little better informed so that we are a little bit better at matching mechanics to their intention, but as far as clearing the hurdle and actually designing something...
    93 replies | 4503 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:03 PM
    I overhauled the Ability Bonuses section. This post archives the earlier content, before the update. Your abilities define the things that you tend to be good at. Your aptitudes. For example, a high Strength makes you inherently good at various skills and efforts that need you to be physically strong. The attacker always rolls a d20. This attack roll adds a relevant ability bonus...
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:02 PM
    It is possible that 4e grognards outnumber 4e fixers. This is ironic regarding the history of 4e. Heh, and the rationale is identical: ‘I own too much stuff, and therefore refuse to change in any way at all.’ The bottom line is, this thread belongs to the community. I personally need a system that uses salient and balanced abilities. But this thread isnt just for me.
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:44 PM
    The abilities of the 3e gaming system were more systematic and more balanced than the 1e gaming system. I am unfamiliar with 1e clones. But my impression is, these embrace the 3e improvement of the abilities, abandon the 1e stats, and still call the 1e clone a ‘clone’.
    73 replies | 2215 view(s)
    0 XP
More Activity
About Mercule

Basic Information

About Mercule
Location:
The tall corn
Disable sharing sidebar?:
Yes
My Game Details

Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

My Character:
I GM.

Statistics


Total Posts
Total Posts
7,676
Posts Per Day
1.23
Last Post
Jonathan Tweet: Prologue to Third Edition Thursday, 6th June, 2019 01:25 AM

Currency

Gold Pieces
21
General Information
Last Activity
Monday, 10th June, 2019 10:12 PM
Join Date
Monday, 10th June, 2002
Product Reviews & Ratings
Reviews Written
2

3 Friends

  1. Celebrim Celebrim is online now

    Member

    Celebrim
  2. Hyper-Man Hyper-Man is offline

    Member

    Hyper-Man
  3. Yaarel Yaarel is offline

    Member

    Yaarel
Showing Friends 1 to 3 of 3
My Game Details
My Character:
I GM.

Monday, 10th June, 2019


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thursday, 16th May, 2019

  • 03:51 PM - SkidAce mentioned Mercule in post Are you satisfied enough with the Artificer to publish it?
    I see your point Mercule , and respect it. For us/my campaigns, WIZARDS fill the role of magic as science (study, learn, have academies, specializations, etc ,etc.) with their learned and studious approach. Sorcerers (adepts) ARE/CHANNEL magic. Artificers? They run the gambit from magic craftsman/creators, to well, scienceny steampunk and new semi tech inventions. (bombs, guns, clockwork, you know the drill) IMHO. /end tangent

Saturday, 14th April, 2018

  • 12:57 PM - Afrodyte mentioned Mercule in post I love D&D.....but.
    Mercule Been thinking about this for a couple of days, and I think I should offer some real examples about what I mean when I talk about thinking conceptually. Here's a sample of how you can do the work of "translating" D&D magic to Fate without having to create separate skills or stunts for every spell. ASPECTS To be able to use magic, a PC needs an aspect that describes the nature of that magic. Some examples: Magic in My Blood Sorcerer's Apprentice Chosen by the Sun Goddess The Archfiend Grants Me Power When I Play Music, The World Listens STUNTS Because magic is so potent, it's a good idea to link magic stunts are linked to the appropriate Aspect and require invoking that Aspect to limit how often it gets used. Some examples: Healing Touch. Because you are Chosen by the Sun Goddess, once per scene, you can make an Empathy roll to reduce the severity of a consequence for another character by one level. For each additional level of consequence you wish to reduce du...

Monday, 2nd April, 2018

  • 06:05 PM - Celebrim mentioned Mercule in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    Mercule: It's a very good post, so don't think that by my quibbles I think otherwise. Still, I have a lot to quibble with. But it's not 'culture', any more than it's race. Culture implies the social heredity, rather than genetic heredity. That realization is so rare these days. So many people think culture just means music, food, clothing or other superficial cultural artifacts. Even worse, so many people conflate culture and race these days it makes me want to cry - as in, "You are black so you like Rap." or "You are white so you like Heavy Metal." Usually these are the same people who'd never think things like, "You are black so you like watermelon." 'Culture' could certainly include things like the elven knack with a bow, but it can't cover everything currently covered by 'race' -- at least not without bastardizing the word at least as much as 'race' has been. Culture could include the elven knack with the bow but it's not required, and explicitly in my homebrew the elven...

Monday, 26th March, 2018

  • 02:35 AM - Hussar mentioned Mercule in post Do You Use Your RPG Rules as Written?
    ...e the rules change that they were proposing rarely achieved that. Some where the equivalent of Monte Haul GMs that were handing out treasure in the form of broken rules, and others where the equivalent of death dungeon DMs that wanted to change the rules to "keep players in their place". Most of my posts from that era consisted of me trying to explain to some young DM why they probably shouldn't change the rules until they had a bit more experience and a very concrete reason why they wanted to change something and what they hoped to achieve by that change. Now, here is one area where we are in 100% agreement. I've largely come to the same conclusions that you have here. Yes, it's fun to bang out new mechanics, but, watching what people post has made me realize that many people are very bad at it. Like you say, they either set the numbers too high or too low and wind up with mechanics that just aren't all that good. Heh, it's funny Celebrim, while I was writing my answer to Mercule, I did have you in mind when I mentioned 3 inch binders. :p And, I know, from your posts, that you spend incredible amounts of time on your game. Fantastic stuff. But, I also know myself well enough that I would be a very bad fit at your table. I just would. The constant rule changes would bug the heck out of me and I would wind up spending far more time whinging about this or that rule change than actually playing. :D I've gotten very used to playing in groups where RAW is generally the baseline we're all working from. From 3e onwards, the groups I played in and DM'd have generally tried to adhere to RAW. It works better for us. I'm not interested in playing amateur game designer nor am I interested, particularly in indulging anyone else's amateur game designer proclivities. I just want to play the game that we've agreed to sit down and play.

Friday, 23rd March, 2018

  • 12:16 PM - Hussar mentioned Mercule in post Do You Use Your RPG Rules as Written?
    Heh. Mercule - I'd probably chalk it up to differing experiences. I'm pretty vocal about limiting the DM at the table. And, I'm a strong proponent of RAW to do that. If we're following RAW, at least, as close as reasonably possible, then everyone at the table is one the same page. No one is getting blind sided by stuff that someone came up with. And, again, as someone who went through a LOT of very, very bad DM's over the years, I view adherence (again, within reasonable levels of tolerance, I'm not terribly hard nosed about it) to RAW as a sign of a DM that I want to play with because, likely, that DM's views of the game probably line up with my own. If I sit down at the table and the DM pulls out his three inch binder of house rules, I'm very, very likely to recuse myself from the game, simply due to past experiences. Which, really, is probably a shame because I'm possibly missing out on some really great games. OTOH, fool me several times, and I'll finally figure out what I want. ...

Saturday, 10th February, 2018

  • 06:40 PM - monsmord mentioned Mercule in post How much should Human features differ from Humans from Earth?
    Our variation is driven by evolution and environmental influences. A fantasy world will have any number of other extraordinary factors, including magic and the likelihood of interbreeding with non-humans races. Anything goes, really. I do agree with Saelorn to a point - if the features go too far they wouldn't be human per se (wings, scales, extra limbs, etc.). And Mercule's point about baseline abilities is spot on, at least in D&D and similar games. But odd coloration, facial feature sizes/shapes, height/weight - sure, why not? If you do go the extraordinary route with features we'd classify as bizarre or inhuman here, just blame magic. :)

Sunday, 27th August, 2017

  • 11:58 PM - MoonSong mentioned Mercule in post Building a better Sorcerer
    Please don't use bold or custom color when you're not emphasizing select parts of your post. Unless you actually meant to scream at Tonys post, in which case my question instead becomes "wait, what?" Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app I've been using pink letters for almost 4 months now. May 5th was the first time actually. I thought everybody would have gotten used to it by now... But if you have any problem with that, tell Mercule, he told me it was ok. How else was I going to be recognizable without avatar and signature?(the bold part is a concession to those using white background)1

Wednesday, 9th August, 2017

  • 12:35 AM - Leatherhead mentioned Mercule in post [Poll] Cleric Satisfaction Survey
    I voted dissatisfied. The class seems to be a vestigial hodgepodge of ideas. I've gone over how the Priest/Cleric was made as a rules patch for earlier editions in this forum (except for 4e, where it was a legacy name attached to the Divine+Leader part of the power grid) Mercule touched on most of the current problems, but they get bigger when you take a look at them. Firstly, what exactly is the difference between the Cleric and any other (sub)class that receives powers from the gods? We have other divine classes, quasi-divine classes (looking at you, Warlock), and a host of upcoming sublasses that look to take the Cleric's narrative away. Secondly, why do Clerics share powers and spells anyway? Why does a cleric of death, destruction, and/or disease get access to healing spells? For that matter, why does a Cleric of trickery or shadows get them?

Friday, 23rd June, 2017

  • 05:59 AM - Kobold Stew mentioned Mercule in post Do you want psionics in your D&D?
    Mercule -- that's what i'd say to anyone who felt the need to add it. I think we agree: any table can add or take away flavour text; that's my point. It is meaningless at most tables, and I don't get why people care about that aspect to the degree they seem to do when posting on boards.

Friday, 9th June, 2017

  • 05:29 PM - JeffB mentioned Mercule in post Why FR Is "Hated"
    Wait, there's more info on the FR in SCAG than there was Greyhwk info in the LGG? Owning both books, LGG is far more detailed, it's not even close! Sent from my VS987 using EN World mobile app I believe Mercule is talking about the 3e Gazeteer. A 32ish page product that was similar to the original GH folio meant as a primer for the setting of Oerth at 3.0's release. I have it on a shelf around here somewhere. Frankly, I think it is the better product for a DM to start a GH campaign. But my lack of enthusiasm for the LGG is no secret 'round these parts ;)

Wednesday, 7th June, 2017

  • 02:44 PM - MoonSong mentioned Mercule in post Why FR Is "Hated"
    But MechaPilot DOES mind - that's his whole complaint. So my answer doesn't apply to you, but does apply to him. Not sure why you decided to take my answer to his specific complaint as an attack on you when it wasn't directed at you or anything you said. MechaPilot is a she... ( Mercule take note) Except that's exactly the opposite of what I've been saying. I'm saying "don't use the Realms, 5e makes it easier than ever to run your own campaign without using pre-published adventures". I don't know, with 5e's arcane xp budgets I have problems creating an adventure that won't screw with party balance. (I had problems with 4e's one, but at least with that one the whole party was on equal footing and you didn't have to plan so much ahead)

Tuesday, 6th June, 2017

  • 06:47 PM - MechaPilot mentioned Mercule in post Why FR Is "Hated"
    ... my personal experience, that's not strictly true. Making minor adaptations to something that's already been made is always going to be easier than creating from whole cloth. The question is, do I have to make only minor adaptations? Or will the adaptions be so significant that I'm better off looking for another adventure. This is part of the reason why I like published adventures that take place on islands. I can drop a relatively small island anywhere in the world without changing the overall world. I can even smite it when the PCs are done having their fun there; the fact that it's an island means it largely won't be missed by the rest of the game world. But MechaPilot DOES mind - that's his whole complaint. So my answer doesn't apply to you, but does apply to him. Not sure why you decided to take my answer to his specific complaint as an attack on you when it wasn't directed at you or anything you said. Actually, no. You're incorrect here. Allow me to quote Mercule for reference, and because his reply is quite pertinent to my situation as well: At this point in my life, I have minimal time, but a strong desire to game and willingness to GM. I don't mind the normal work of tweaking an adventure to "roll with" the PCs and some nominal adjustments. I don't mind doing some work to tweak an adventure. For example, because I don't allow +X magic items in my game, I'm always going to have to do some work to replace them with other treasure (or replacing the +X with a different benefit). I don't mind doing this, because it preserves the kind of game I want to run. I also typically inflate the HPs of the enemies they fight (from average to maximum). I prefer more of the social side of things, but they love combat. So, I make sure they get to enjoy a good fight with either 1) tougher enemies or 2) more enemies. The game is as much for them as it is for me, so I don't mind doing that. It's only when the other required changes go beyond, as...

Thursday, 2nd March, 2017

  • 02:28 AM - doctorbadwolf mentioned Mercule in post Races of Eberron: Goliath?
    I often see them not as ''northen mountain dwellers'' but more like the people of the Andes. I borrowed from the Inca society the idea of many small cities of stone built on the very top of the highest moutains, linked by very long suspended bridges (like, 2 km long) and a very developped road system expertly hidden from the untrained eye. The inca also had a big tradition of long-distance runners, which fits well with the idea of the athletic and the whole ''live for the challenge'' thing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inca_road_system I like all of that. I may work some of that into how I treat them, or my complete re-write of how the Shadar-Kai fit into Eberron. Definitely going to use it somewhere, though. iserith thanks! I almost always love how Keith fits races into the world, but this time I just...idk, I like it but it isn't what I want, for some reason. I think I'm going to develop the record keepers idea a bit more, see where it goes. Mercule interesting thought! I'd even suggest that they may be resistant to quori mind control, but that some Kalashtar are descended from them, rather than humans. This dovetails with my general idea that Kalashtar are descended from a mix of races, which lead to them being secluded to start with, before the quori became part of them. I may actually mix a lot of this into my "Watchers" idea. The Gal'Firuth There are 12 Gal Enclaves in the world of Eberron. In ancient times, there were 13, but the 13th and greatest enclave, located in the mountains of Sarlona, has been abandoned since the Quori turned dark The 12 Enclaves each have about 150-200 people, and there is roughly that many at any given time traveling the world, so the whole world population of Gal'Firuth is about 2,000-2,500. Very few people in Knorvaire have ever met one, and most of those who have didn't know they were meeting one (especially since the Firbolg can hide their appearance). Furthermore, most folks who hav...

Tuesday, 28th February, 2017

  • 10:48 PM - doctorbadwolf mentioned Mercule in post Warlock, Hex, and Short Rests: The Bag of Rats Problem
    ...ine arrangements etc. So yes, the Warlock can wait until the long rest is over, strangle his rat, and then ask the DM if they can start a short rest, while the rest of the party make a start poking around the ruins or scouting the orc camp or whatever. Hmm. You know, technically, the Warlock could actually cast their Hex and throttle the weasel during the Long rest, and then still regain all of their spell slots at the end of the long rest. I agree, actually. Unless your DM decides that the rest ends once you wake up, in which case, the light activity of making everyone breakfast and coffee after having your psuedodragon bring you a rabbit, hexing it, and killing it for said breakfast, should constitute a short rest. Really, either way you just need your warlock to be an early riser, and have companions that are willing to do the other morning chores of breaking camp and setting out while you take care of food and coffee. Long as your warlock takes Last watch, should be easy. @Mercule makes a good point about long rests and races that don't sleep, as well. Any elf wizard could use whatever slots they have left to cast any 24 duration spells they have, as long as only 1 requires concentration, and then do their 4 hour sleep. Welcome to 24/7 charmed animal buddy from level 1. i just asked the sage advice Twitter about elves and sleep, bc my irl friends insist I'm wrong but can't find any relevant rules text that proves their case.

Friday, 17th February, 2017

  • 06:13 PM - Horwath mentioned Mercule in post D&D 5.5e; Your wish for 5.5e update.
    Mercule; agree at magic items: It should be organized as: weapons, armour, body/clothing/jewelry and misc.(non slot items). also add class abbreviations in spell descriptions. Take a look at 3.5 PHB spell sorting. That was very good. And more flavor text in spells.

Monday, 26th December, 2016

  • 07:22 PM - pming mentioned Mercule in post What does "Campaign" mean to you?
    Hiya! Mercule, I'd say that the last "end part" (of your long-standing game) was still part of the original campaign because you didn't start a new time line in the same world, and your "ending" had all the previous games events taken as fact. I've done a bit more thinking on this thread over the past day or two and have come to the realization that there simply is no definitive "line" where on this side...it's a campaign...but on that side, it's not. Far too much overlap and blurring of the lines, so to speak. An AP isn't a "campaign" when looked at as a single series of adventures that have no connection to any other games the DM has run. But an AP can be part of a campaign if it does have direct connections to previous games, or if, after the AP ends, the DM has more games that has direct connections to what went on in that AP. Similarly, if a DM "ends" a campaign, as you did with yours...but then, for example, decides to go back to that campaign and continue it from when it supposedly ended. ...

Tuesday, 6th December, 2016

  • 12:02 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercule in post The importance to "story" of contrivance
    I don't know about that. I think a lot of what we call coincedence in real life is the result of statistical probability (e.g. if we're both in london and we both like jazz and we both like going out, its unlikely but not impossible that we both might end up at Scotties) and/or actual contrivance (e.g. I realise I like someone so I engineer to be at events they're at so I can talk to them).I think dramatic contrivance goes beyond this sort of coincidence, though. What you describe is similar to what Mercule described (which I replied to in post 24 upthread). But the sort of contrivance that I mentioned in the OP goes beyond coincidence. The simultaneous and interconnected resolution of multiple emotional trajectories. Or (say) Frodo and Sam entering Mordor at just the time that Aragorn is able to distract Sauron, thereby making these two prongs of the attempt to defeat Sauron, which extend over weeks and months, coincide to within days and even hours. (And with no common cause, other than "providence", that ensures such an outcome.) Or the sequence of events I mentioned from the opening pages of Queen of the Black Coast.

Monday, 2nd May, 2016

  • 03:57 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Mercule in post Latest D&D Survey Says "More Feats, Please!"; Plus New Survey About DMs Guild, Monster Hunter, Inquisitive, & Revenant
    So, I have an observation and a question stemming from it. By the way, feel free to tell me it's ridiculous if need be, maybe I'm just new.... Looking at this discussion there seems to be quite a bit of negativity towards the idea of more options in general when they're for the player, with some outright stating that this is one of the biggest ways to impact tables in a bad way. Why is that? I'm primarily a player myself, and don't really understand the hostility. I love making characters, mechanically and through narrative, and every time Wizards releases an expansion to character options my field of possible characters and experiences in 5E gets bigger and better. What's wrong with that? Has it always been this way? I'll tackle this as well (although I think that Azzy and Mercule have also covered this, and I agree with what they wrote). The DM should know the rules- which means the rules for the game world (that's all the finicky stuff that the players don't have to worry about) as well as all the rules related to the players (that's all the cool stuff players such as you like). How you view the expansion of player materials depends on a few factors- 1. Increasing complexity (or bloat, if you prefer) is not a good thing. Even within the core rules, unexpected interactions can take place. Part of this is due to the fact that D&D has rules that modify other rules (meta-rules), and working out how these rules impact and refer to each other can be difficult. How does supplement A's spells work with Core Rule B to effect MM3's monster in light of supplement F? 2. Regarding (1), there will be a player (let's call him "That guy," because we all know who he is) who will invariably want to play an Unearthed Arcana Class with a new feat using skills he found o...

Monday, 11th April, 2016


Monday, 21st March, 2016



Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
No results to display...
Page 1 of 51 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Saturday, 25th May, 2019

  • 02:04 AM - Xeviat quoted Mercule in post The Charismatic Fighting "Hero" - Which Core Class does it Best?
    Agree with the basic premise, but I voted valor bard. The charismatic leader is rarely the best straight-up fighter in the group. He usually wins by either having great will/resolve (which favors the paladin), by being creative and cunning (which favors the bard), or by being able to inspire his companions to be better than they thought they could be (which also favors the bard). Either answer could work, but I prefer playing bards. I've been pitching rebranding the Bard as a "Hero". They're a great 5th member and they fit in really well with the leader type. Fluffing their magic as inspirational stuff (I've build a Warlord with the Valor Bard), or just explaining it as people can learn magic because it's a magical world, works really well for me.

Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 12:14 AM - BookBarbarian quoted Mercule in post Are you satisfied enough with the Artificer to publish it?
    I was not much intertestedf before, but I do like the idea of a Int based half-caster that can create magic items. I just did a breakdown for one of my players and came up with these thoughts: Taking another look at the current Artificer, I think there's one major issue I have left, but it's a doozey. With the exception of having a "golem master" specialty, the artificer shouldn't have a pet. The alchemist's homonculus is relatively inoffensive and there's some history in D&D of coupling alchemists and homonculi. I'm probably OK with this subclass as written. At the very least, it no longer makes me think of Pop Fizz from Skylanders, which was my problem with the previous draft. The archivist is just weird. The artificial mind seems too much like some sort of magical Alexa. There are some aspects of the subclass that might make a great foundation for the "golem master" -- there's an obvious tie to creating the warforged. On the other hand, the accidental creation of the warforged...

Thursday, 16th May, 2019

  • 10:44 PM - Charlaquin quoted Mercule in post Are you satisfied enough with the Artificer to publish it?
    I think we're using the same term for two different things. There may be room for both, but I definitely don't think they should overlap. I'm coming from the perspective of an Eberron GM. In that setting, the artificer is explicitly someone who treats magic as a craft/industry. They make golems, bind elementals to power airships, create magic swords, etc. It may not be your thing, but that's the itch I want scratched and "artificer" is the term WotC decided to use for that role in 3.5, so it carries that weight. It sounds like you're wanting an actual engineer or crafty-scientist. Not something I really care about, but I don't have a problem with it existing. Let's use your term of "tinkerer", just to use a name that isn't already claimed. Now, I really don't care much if WotC decides the term "artificer" would be better for the tinkerer. Just don't try to tie it to Eberron. Tell us what the new name for the Eberron artificer will be and move on. I do think that's a bit silly, conside...
  • 06:22 PM - Charlaquin quoted Mercule in post Are you satisfied enough with the Artificer to publish it?
    Hmm... Using your breakdown, I guess this makes more sense: Sorcerers: Are magic (no disagreement, here) Wizards: Magic as science. I think we're good, here. Artificers: Magic as engineering or magic as craft. It's still magic, though, and should look as much like modern (or even enlightenment) engineering as wizards look like modern science. I think that last is part of the key. I'm not looking for camp, steampunk, etc. I'm more than willing to include the logical extension of industrialized/engineered magic. It should still be cut from the same cloth as the rest of the magic in the game, though. This artificer isn't. It tries to add both the role of the magical engineer and the theme of weird science. I only want one of those. My 2cp: Magic shouldn’t be a science. My preferred setting constraint around magic is “magic is common, but mysterious.” Under that directive, I prefer wizards to be more like hermeticists - their study is around making themselves better vessels for magic, r...
  • 03:49 PM - Raunalyn quoted Mercule in post Are you satisfied enough with the Artificer to publish it?
    Somewhere between "major changes" and "rebuilt from scratch". Mechanically, I don't think it's unbalanced. Flavor-wise, it's an abomination. Way too much "science" in my magic. What's up with the clockwork turrets? Those are gross. I came up with a basic axiom for the Artificer. If it's the way a Son of Ether (from Mage: the Ascension) would do it, it doesn't belong on the artificer. No steampunk. No gears. No pets (except for a single "golem master" sub-class). The abilities should feel like the character is enchanting things, not using improbable pseudo-science. Magic as science, not magic with science. This! This is my exact problem with it!

Friday, 10th May, 2019

  • 10:00 PM - Parmandur quoted Mercule in post Ghosts of Saltmarsh: First Impressions
    Not to minimize the Mafia, but there's a bit of a gap between them and al Quaeda. Look up some stuff about the crimes of the Camorra or 'Ndrangheta. Not much difference. I really am uncomfortable with the Zhentarim as presented in 5E materials, to be honest. The player friendly Zhents in Dragon Heist are still horrible, even if the not player friendly Zhents are really, really bad (and yeah, comparable to Al-Quada).

Thursday, 9th May, 2019

  • 02:16 AM - Yaarel quoted Mercule in post The Charismatic Fighting "Hero" - Which Core Class does it Best?
    Agree with the basic premise, but I voted valor bard. The charismatic leader is rarely the best straight-up fighter in the group. He usually wins by either having great will/resolve (which favors the paladin), by being creative and cunning (which favors the bard), or by being able to inspire his companions to be better than they thought they could be (which also favors the bard). Either answer could work, but I prefer playing bards. I agree with you sentiments. At the same time, the Bard feels like a full spellcaster to me, and of course is one. I love the fact that there is such thing as a "clean-cut, shining, Charismatic mage hero".
  • 12:01 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Mercule in post The Charismatic Fighting "Hero" - Which Core Class does it Best?
    Agree with the basic premise, but I voted valor bard. The charismatic leader is rarely the best straight-up fighter in the group. He usually wins by either having great will/resolve (which favors the paladin), by being creative and cunning (which favors the bard), or by being able to inspire his companions to be better than they thought they could be (which also favors the bard). If we change requirement 1) in the OP to "capable second-tier combatant" or words to that effect, the Paladin hits two out of three, the Bard three out of three, and the Fighter 0 - though, you could always downplay the Pally or Fighter's combat ability by under-investing in STR/DEX/CON and eschewing combat-related feats.

Saturday, 13th April, 2019

  • 04:23 AM - gyor quoted Mercule in post Obsolete Classes From Previous Editions
    Barbarian. 2E is the only edition that got it right -- it's a kit/PrC/archetype for an angry Fighter. Associating totems with rage makes as much sense as associating backstab with spell slots and would be better put on a ranger or (theoretic) warden class archetype. As it stands, the class is a hot mess of random "big, angry fighter" gears. I guess that's not so much "obsolete" as "pointless", though. So, a more in-line answer: Binder. I loved the concept of this class, in 3.5. In 5E, it could be quite well represented with a Vestige patron for Warlock. No, 4e made that mistake and it was aweful, it had none of the dark creepy flavour of the Binder. Binder and Speciality Priest are my top picks for bringing back a class.
  • 12:41 AM - ParanoydStyle quoted Mercule in post How often is counterspell used in your games?
    I don't remember ever seeing it used in the 3.5 decades I've played. Well I don't think it was actually a thing until that last, most recent .5 of a decade. IIRC Dispel Magic has been around forever but Counterspell as a spell is new to 5E.

Friday, 12th April, 2019


Wednesday, 10th April, 2019

  • 06:32 AM - Elfcrusher quoted Mercule in post Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?
    Either "yes" or "remove the skill from the list". It's a bit like asking whether Survival would allow you to tell whether berries are safe to eat. Wow. That's an exceptionally narrow definition of Insight. I mean, use your own comparison: if Survival could not tell you if berries are safe to eat, would you remove it from the list? What about navigation? Tracking? Weather-sense? Building shelters? Spotting hazards? Building traps?

Monday, 18th March, 2019

  • 09:05 PM - robus quoted Mercule in post Do you Critical Role?
    2) I listen to enough other podcasts that I'd just continue to fall further behind. Then again, I could probably use something else in the rotation to break up all the politics and history. This is the curse of modern life, there's way more content being created than can possibly be kept up with! You have to choose the right mix for you. Critical Role is a big investment, I kind of wish they'd have their staff produce a digest version that's around 1 hour bringing in all the highlights and leaving out some of the filler.

Monday, 11th March, 2019

  • 11:22 PM - wcpfish quoted Mercule in post it's a thing...regretfully
    Wait... That's a thing? I mean, I've bought adventures that I've never run, and that were still enjoyable to read, but I always read them with my "GM's eye", which means looking for the stat blocks, etc. I can accept that there are folks that buy adventures with no intent of running (or looting) them, but I'd still expect them to care about the game mechanics stuff, at least enough to be able to follow along. Otherwise, my brain kinda hurts. Yep it's a thing and this is (imho) the primary force driving this decision. Bryce at Tenfootpole.org talks about usability as a DM actually running the game VERSUS the joy of reading Tolkienesque descriptions of the history of each leaf in the forest. Apparently, the "I just bought it and read it and sought inspiration" buying forces are tilting to outweigh the "we're actually gonna play this thing" forces. I'd like a balance of the two and Bryce suggests how to do it. Give me bulleted points, handy one-line NPC motivations, and condensed stat bloc...

Saturday, 9th March, 2019

  • 10:58 AM - guachi quoted Mercule in post WotC Considering NPC Stat Format Change
    Wait... That's a thing? I mean, I've bought adventures that I've never run, and that were still enjoyable to read, but I always read them with my "GM's eye", which means looking for the stat blocks, etc. I can accept that there are folks that buy adventures with no intent of running (or looting) them, but I'd still expect them to care about the game mechanics stuff, at least enough to be able to follow along. Otherwise, my brain kinda hurts. I think it has to be a thing in 5e. I mean, "gorgeous" isn't really high on the list of things necessary to run an adventure. And I find 5e adventure books terribly laid out and not at all easy to use. So I assume WOTC's primary purpose with their adventure books isn't for people to actually run them.

Tuesday, 5th March, 2019

  • 12:13 AM - Parmandur quoted Mercule in post Artificer UA has been released!
    I really wish I could remember where the detail is. Looking at the PHB, I don't see it called out, either way, in either the Classes or Spellcasting chapters. About the best I've got is to say that it came up during a discussion on whether psions could be done as a subclass of sorcerer and related concepts. My personal feeling is that a really great version of psion could be easily achieved with a sorcerer subclass and spell points by just running with the idea that the psion "casts" firebolt by pointing at the bad guy (S) and saying "Burn, bastard!" (V). But, someone pulled out a "you've gotta use the same components" reference. Regardless, if it's officially open to interpretation, that's awesome. I've got no problem ignoring a straight jacket like that, at my table, but I'm happier if the jacket isn't put on. This subconversation probably qualifies as white noise, though. If I was absolutely correct about the RAW, even I would just say, "OK, that's nice. I'm ignoring it." :) Somebo...

Monday, 4th March, 2019

  • 08:25 PM - Valetudo quoted Mercule in post Artificer UA has been released!
    I really wish I could remember where the detail is. Looking at the PHB, I don't see it called out, either way, in either the Classes or Spellcasting chapters. About the best I've got is to say that it came up during a discussion on whether psions could be done as a subclass of sorcerer and related concepts. My personal feeling is that a really great version of psion could be easily achieved with a sorcerer subclass and spell points by just running with the idea that the psion "casts" firebolt by pointing at the bad guy (S) and saying "Burn, bastard!" (V). But, someone pulled out a "you've gotta use the same components" reference. Regardless, if it's officially open to interpretation, that's awesome. I've got no problem ignoring a straight jacket like that, at my table, but I'm happier if the jacket isn't put on. This subconversation probably qualifies as white noise, though. If I was absolutely correct about the RAW, even I would just say, "OK, that's nice. I'm ignoring it." :)you could ...
  • 02:36 AM - Parmandur quoted Mercule in post Artificer UA has been released!
    Absolutely not lost on me, and I didn't mean to imply otherwise. What I was more angling at is that RAW says (exact location escapes me, but I'm pretty sure it's there) that Sorcerer, Bard, Cleric, and Wizard all use the same words and gestures to cast any given spell (where access overlaps). I've never thought that made sense, especially for the Sorcerer. A sorcerer has magic running in their veins and, while they might use words to help channel it, the specifics don't matter. Where a wizard uses precise syllables, a sorcerer might just say, "Burn, you bastard!" Likewise, a cleric should probably be praying or otherwise calling on their patron. This UA is the first time I've seen it officially suggested that the details of the VSM components can be tweaked for character concept. That's what I like. I'm actually pretty sure the opposite is the case, that RAaw specifically doesn't limit what the VSM looks like for any spells. I'm certain this level of reflavoring has been advocated in the...

Saturday, 2nd March, 2019

  • 06:44 PM - Kobold Avenger quoted Mercule in post Artificer UA has been released!
    Tools required/Magic of Artifice: I like it. The whole VSM straight-jacket needs to be broken. Psionics could be spells that change trappings in a similar way to this -- obviously not with tools. Even though I'm adamantly opposed to the artificer using actual technology, they still work with items, so the trappings make sense. Just picture magic oils, special ingredients, etc., rather than gears and sprockets. They are still in the V,S,M paradigm, while it emphasizes tool use nothing seems to indicate they can drop the V part of spellcasting because they're using tools.

Friday, 22nd February, 2019

  • 05:39 PM - Al2O3 quoted Mercule in post Artificer UA to be released in February
    I snipped the rest of your post, just to save space, but I think what you outlined seems totally reasonable. This is coming from someone who really hates tinker (rock) gnomes, automatic crossbows, and guns in my D&D. I get that some people like them and don't want to scream BADWRONGFUN at anyone. Just have some segregation between the traditional tropes and the newer or "bonus" ones. Eventually, some things will get incorporated into the core, organically. Already, I prefer my D&D with dragonborn, for example. I also wonder if there's a matter of scale or cultural fit to this whole conversation, as well. Take guns. I've warmed to them, somewhat, and could actually see me having fun in a setting that has them. I don't want them to be core, but having a published setting that used them wouldn't bother me in the slightest, and I might even pick it up, depending on other factors. What I'm definitely opposed to, though, are silly, giant thunder cannons -- Final Fantasy VII was fun enough, but I d...


Page 1 of 51 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Mercule's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated
Mercule's Eberron Conversion
This is my conversion for running an Eberron campaign in 5E.
477 0 1 Thursday, 6th November, 2014, 02:56 AM Thursday, 6th November, 2014, 02:56 AM

Most Recent Favorite Generators/Tables

View All Favorites