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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    171 replies | 4690 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    203 replies | 7178 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:22 AM
    Power Format Power Name // Purpose Level Sources, Trope // Action Type • Frequency
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • 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 | 806 view(s)
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  • 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’.
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • 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...
    56 replies | 1881 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...
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • 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 | 2476 view(s)
    1 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.
    203 replies | 7178 view(s)
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  • 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.
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • 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),...
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • 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.
    56 replies | 1287 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...
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • 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...
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • 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. ...
    171 replies | 4690 view(s)
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  • 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.
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • 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...
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • 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...
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • 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...
    171 replies | 4690 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).
    171 replies | 4690 view(s)
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  • 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 | 374 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...
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • 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...
    171 replies | 4690 view(s)
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  • 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...
    44 replies | 1181 view(s)
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  • 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...
    64 replies | 2139 view(s)
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  • 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...
    64 replies | 2139 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...
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • 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.
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • 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’.
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:28 PM
    One thing I've noted in the past about playing with kids is that they tend to be vastly more moral than the adults. Most middle school and earlier players I've encountered tend to take moral quandaries very seriously, where as most adult players I've encountered are ruthless murder hobos. I've always been really fascinated by why that is. Is it that the kids can't separate fantasy and...
    171 replies | 4690 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:22 PM
    Zardnaar The 4e defaults to ‘attacker always rolls’. Yet it included variant possibilities. For example, ‘players always roll’. In other words, when players attack, they roll against a defense. But when monsters attack, the attack is a fixed number and the players make saves against it. So, it is easy to just leave ‘attack’ and ‘defense’ as raw bonus numbers. If rolling, add d20. But if...
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:15 PM
    I work in software development. There is a general sense in the industry, that for two given methods for solving a problem, the one that is lower complexity tends to be the better solution. We are certainly encouraged to right rules that reduce complexity according to very similar measures as some have proposed regarding RPG rules - length of the rules, readability, number of branching paths,...
    44 replies | 1181 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:11 PM
    To reduce to three abilities, would mean using Dexterity checks for library research, or alternatively using Intelligence for jumping and grappling. Besides, the 4e stat ‘Passive Perception’ is defacto a routine defense. 4e really has four defenses. The consolidation of abilities down to four is fully compatible with existing 4e material.
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 02:44 PM
    Certainly if I also had that background, I think I'd see why that would be your first pass understanding of the structure of D&D, but the fantasy foundations of D&D go back to a time well before Europe was a mighty colonizing power, to a time when on the contrary Europe was one of the world's cultural and technological backwaters and more often than not, it was being colonized by foreign nations...
    171 replies | 4690 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 01:53 PM
    @Zardnaar, @DEFCON 1, @Charlaquin It is worth having balanced abilities. Rather than the eight abilities, it is possible to have four abilities. • Strength • Dexterity • Intelligence • Charisma
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:10 AM
    Initiative probably belongs to ‘Sense’, whether Sense is part of Wisdom, part of Intelligence, or its own stand-alone ability. In any case, Sense is the ability to notice something coming, whence the ability to respond early for initiative.
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:06 AM
    I am ok with removing damage from finesse weapons. Note, in the eight ability setup: Strength − melee attack bonus, melee damage bonus Athletics − finesse attack bonus, grappling, Monk flurry attack Dexterity − missile attack bonus, Rogue sneak attack All three have different kinds of combat options. None are must-have.
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:42 AM
    Abilities should be useful regardless of class. Lore skills and languages are less satisfactory to make Intelligence worthwhile. Intelligence must include something frequently useful in combat. 4e made a good start at making Intelligence a more meaningful investment. It combines Intelligence with Dexterity for Reflex. But this combination still feels awkward. Intelligence still feels less...
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:08 AM
    We will see how people feel about having 8 ability scores. But there are many good reasons to have these 8. They are equally powerful to each other. And salient to describe well various kinds of creatures and abilities. Personally, in the traditional six, I find the fact that Dexterity is a super-stat while Intelligence is a dump-stat, to be frustrating. This fundamental imbalance wont...
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:34 AM
    The only difference between a ‘defense’ and a ‘save’ is a d20 versus a base 10. You can literally call it a ‘Will save’ and then define ‘Will save’ as ‘10 + your Wisdom or Charisma bonus’.
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:10 AM
    Zardnaar I started a new thread as a ‘wiki thread’ that anybody can edit. This allows multiple people to contribute to the clone, so not all of the burden is on one person. Have a look at the thread and add and change it freely. enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?659990-Open-4e-Style&p=7619019#post7619019
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:54 AM
    Math cannot be copyrighted. If you like defenses better, then there is no problem using them. The terms ‘Fortitude’, ‘Reflex’, ‘Will’, and ‘Perception’ are all legally available, regardless of how we define these terms. Cool about Star Wars. If going with defenses, then it is worth combining Ref and AC as a single defense.
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:54 AM
    Briefly, combat has a unique combination of elements that makes it a suitable focus for social gaming. 1) It's a team activity where all participants can make meaningful decisions. 2) It is a conflict that has a clear problem to solve. 3) Progress toward that problem can be easily observed and measured. 4) The progress toward that problem is uniquely dynamic, giving all participants an...
    171 replies | 4690 view(s)
    8 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:03 AM
    I nearly put DitV on my list as well, but I didn't because the OP specifically said "systems you'd never play". And the thing is, I can think of some games I might want to play where I'd use the system, even though I am, as you are, inherently turned off by the game's built in setting. For example, I would definitely consider running a Star Trek game with DitV's rule set or something close to...
    64 replies | 2139 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:01 AM
    Abilities and defenses are probably the most important mechanics in the entire game. They need to work extremely well. Unfortunately, they are the most familiar mechanics, thus the most difficult to improve. In the first post, in ‘Ability Bonuses’, I have added two more ability scores. So there is a total of eight ability scores. These are, physically and mentally: • Strength,...
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 02:49 AM
    Reserved
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 02:46 AM
    This is an open wiki thread. You can edit this post. Contribute to reengineer a ‘4e-style’ gaming system. Use available nomenclature from 5e and 3e, or invent a new nomenclature. Avoid unlicensed 4e terms. Include any notes for fellow game designers in double brackets ]. For example, the term ‘profession’ is noted to be equivalent to the 4e term ] and the 5e term ]. A final product...
    56 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 05:47 PM
    "Space: 1889" While the basic concept of a game set in the world of HG Wells, Jules Verne, and Edgar Rice Burroughs is sound, the fact that it both creates a unique setting which is inferior to the material that inspired it in conception, and that it also has such a bare bones rules light but also procedural system that it couldn't even really explain what to do with the numbers in ordinary...
    64 replies | 2139 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 05:23 PM
    In 1e, every DM was expected to create their own setting with its own flavor. I wish that stayed.
    77 replies | 2682 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:53 PM
    @Zardnaar, I basically like these half-feats. The main issues are: Flavor-neutral mechanics Avoid baking setting flavor into the mechanics. Rely more on ‘flavor text boxes’ for flavor. Especially avoid terms like ‘gods’ within the actual mechanics themselves. Defenses In 4e, there are no such things as ‘saves’. Instead, the attacker always rolls. The defender has ‘defenses’....
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 02:10 PM
    Actually, doing them in chunks of 5, eventually covers all of them. For 4esque, Warlord seems ‘core’. And there are 5 sources: Psionic, Arcane, Divine, Primal, and Martial. Maybe treat Bard as mind-affecting Psionic.
    29 replies | 1116 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:22 AM
    So far. Warlord Fighter Wizard Rogue, Cleric Druid, Warlock
    29 replies | 1116 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 06:59 PM
    I agree that is a 'Grave Robber' is a rogue with a 'Grave Digger' type background more than it is a new subclass. In my game world, owing to the problem of undead, Undertakers are skilled professionals who work closely with temples to ensure the dead are properly interred in such a way to both minimize the chance of undead occurring, and minimize the chance of undead getting lose and...
    13 replies | 382 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 02:23 PM
    I haven't the foggiest clue why the argument in this thread is meaningful, but you seem to be well on top of it. Conversely, we could have a single foe that dies after 5 units of damage, but reduces the damage from each attack by 1. Now Smough kills the target in a single blow, while Orenstein doesn't kill the target until the third round. There seems to me to be way too many...
    135 replies | 3922 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 11:35 PM
    I would go with Rabbi as a background. Rabbis can be very different from each other. Some Rabbis are scientists (Wizard), some are soldiers (Fighter), some are artists (Bard), some are healers (Cleric). The mystics in particular seem a case that is simultaneously Divine and Psionic. The endeavor is to ‘unite’ and ‘adhere’ the mind of a human with the mind of Divinity. Jewish mysticism is...
    20 replies | 806 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 06:42 PM
    No, I'm not. I'm not making any sort of evasive argument. The argument presented in the academic paper is fundamentally flawed. It's true that victims will tell their torturers anything they think will make the torture stop including making stuff up and that in general it is difficult to tell when someone is lying. However, that doesn't prove that torture fails to work. In fact, on the...
    68 replies | 2435 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 02:36 PM

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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 01:28 PM
    Ars Magica has a book, Kabbalah: Mythic Judaism. It seems a decent presentation.
    20 replies | 806 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 01:12 AM
    Pretty much any clergy is more like a background, being a skill set. Knowledge skills (history, religion, arcana as mysticism), social skills (empathy, persuasion, intimidation), magical talents (bless, augury, healing, guidance) Peoples most commonly expressed needs are: belonging, relationship, family wellbeing, finances, physical health, spiritual seeking, meaning, ethical advice,...
    20 replies | 806 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 09:14 PM
    I can only answer how my campaign works. In general, mind control spells in my campaign world are treated legally as equivalent in distaste to rape (one violates the body, the other the mind). So if anything, most people would find them more distasteful than physical torture, and would certainly consider them equally violent. (We don't consider violation of the body less violent if it was...
    68 replies | 2435 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 08:50 PM
    I concur. Advice like "Underlings aren't given important information or have incorrect or incomplete information" is advice that is utterly agnostic on the question of whether torture is effective, and indeed is going to be especially true in a game where some sort of ruling exists that makes torture effective. After reading the OP's article, even leading aside whether he's misconstrued...
    68 replies | 2435 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 07:43 PM
    I would dispute this claim. The US army field manuals and instructions issued to captured prisoners suggest that prisoners should expect that in the long run torture always works, and that they should not expect to hold out against prolonged torture by strength of will. There is abundant evidence of torture 'working', especially against prisoners who have not been trained in techniques of...
    68 replies | 2435 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 05:22 PM
    I love 4e. It is my favorite edition of D&D. ‘Errata’ that I would like to improve include. • Make the abilities (Dexterity, Intelligence, etcetera) more salient and more equal in power. • Consolidate AC and Reflex into a single defense. Make Perception a formal defense. • Make power choice fluid. Where 4e had specific usage types (at-will, encounter, daily) at specific levels, it became...
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:41 PM

    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:28 PM
    For 4e, it helps to think in blocks of four levels. • level 1: class archetype specialization power (at-will, short rest, long-rest) • level 2: utility (defend, move, detect), skill (background), cultural power (race, region) • level 3: class power (at-will, short-rest, long-rest, sometimes extra-attack) • level 4: feat/ability-score customization This block repeats for levels 5 to 8,...
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 12:40 PM
    For theater of the mind, it helps to ballpark all distances for weapons and spells as: ‘melee’ (within 3 feet) ‘reach’ (within 10 feet) ‘close’ (within 30 feet) ‘far’ (beyond 30 feet) ‘same plane of existence’ Far ranges that sometimes happen beyond a combat encounter:
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 11:51 AM
    It is necessary to plan ahead carefully. Because mechanics depend on other mechanics, once we build it, it becomes painful or impossible to personalize. If we want ability scores to be equally balanced with each other, then we must build the system that way from the bottom up. If we want characters that are easy to customize, then we must build the system that way from the bottom up. ...
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:09 AM
    Maybe the magic bonus and the tier bonus are the same thing? If using magic bonuses, then treadmill the tier bonus. If without magic bonuses just add the tier bonus directly? Novice: +0 magic or tier Hero: +1 magic or tier Paragon: +2 magic or tier Epic: +3 magic or tier
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:00 AM
    Lets think carefully about bounded accuracy. At level 1, it is possible to have a total of +0 (average score, nonproficient) or worse. At level 1, the highest bonus is +7 (+5 score, +2 proficiency). Im less fond of the Expertise ‘doubling’ proficiency, because I like bounded accuracy for skills too, and I like to use skills in combat, so like combat and skills to have the same math.
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 08:09 PM
    In total there are two physical defenses (Fortitude and Reflex), and two mental defenses (Perception and Will).
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:55 PM
    I think it is fine to ignore Epic tier for now. Even ignore Paragon. Just work on Novice (1-4) and Heroic (5-12). Plenty to do. We can add more later once the foundation seems robust. I hope to use 5e mechanics as-is, as much as possible. Only in a situation where a 4e-ism improves 5e, would I want to alter 5e. I would just stick with the 5e weapon attack system, its math works fine.
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:43 PM
    Tony Vargas Maybe Sneak Attack against an unaware target, targets the Perception defense thus bypasses the Reflex-Armor defense.
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:39 PM
    Tony Vargas Heh, if anything, the lasso targets the Perception defense! Not the Reflex defense. Anyone paying attention can easily render a lasso useless.
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:34 PM
    Lassos might have a ‘special’ attack. − But a shield would help prevent a lasso. The rest might be better to handwaive. But, burning oil is effectively negated by armor. Likewise shield and armor effectively deter dragon breath and so on. How many times have I seen a picture of a knight with shield deflecting dragon fire!
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:29 PM
    5e hates to attack attended objects − but rationally, the magic ray damages the shield or the plate armor, not the person. Or the shield or armor actually reflects or deflects while being only cosmetically damaged. Armor, including a shield and a heavy cloth armor (gambeson) definitely help escape burns from burning oil.
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:27 PM
    Regarding hit points. Suppose each race has base hit points. (Tiny) 4 hit points (Small) 6 hit points (Medium) 8 hit points (Powerful Build) 10 hit points (Large) 12 hit points
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:12 PM
    Legal reasons, it is impossible to copyright a calculation. There is no problem using the Constitution score rather than the accumulating bonuses. The word ‘Constitution’ and ‘score’ are legally available too because of the 5e agreement. The 4e-ism of using the score is ok. The only difficulty I foresee is, if using standard 5e monsters, they will have inflated hit points relative to...
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:10 PM
    Reflex plus AC is such a redundancy. Moreover I see no need for a ‘touch’ attack, it is simply Reflex. For example, shield really does help Reflex in the sense of deflecting an attack and getting out of its way. A shield helps against a magical ray. If someone wants to call it the ‘Reflex defense’ or the ‘Armor defense’, I am happy either way, as long as they are the same thing.
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:02 PM
    Garthanos and Tony Vargas I really want to consolidate AC and Reflex. So, a sword attacks the Reflex defense. A ray attacks the Reflex defense. An armor improves the Reflex defense, if the Strength/Constitution prerequisite is met.
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 06:56 PM
    I understand what you are saying, but then adding a tier bonus plus a proficiency bonus strains the already strained bounded accuracy of 5e.
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 06:41 PM
    Well, 5e is already ‘weird’. 5e tiers break at levels 1, 5, 10, and 17. In other words 4/6/6/4. The first tier in a 5e→4e system with levels 1 to 4 is natural, because these levels in 5e are simply too weak and too incompetent to represent a 4e ‘Heroic’ tier. Level 13 seems appropriate for a ‘Path’. It could be 4, Heroic 8, Paragon 8, and Epic 8. But Epic is still a formative design...
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 06:34 PM
    I think everybody here agrees that 4e-style Constitution is superior? So, add the SCORE at level 1, and never additional BONUS hit points. This removes low level fragility, and avoids high level hitpoint inflation. (Optional Variant, if players like fragile low levels: add the bonus once at each tier, at levels 1, 5, 13, 21?)
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 06:28 PM
    Personally, I like the ‘just explicitly’ part. But, I also like how 5e gives the FULL proficiency, to anything one later becomes proficient in. For example, if one is level 13 and gains proficiency in Stealth, the proficiency is +4. One doesnt start at the beginning with +2.
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 05:57 PM
    Since 4e level 1 doesnt really happen until 5e level 5, it seems worthwhile to split up the concept of ‘class’ into separate tiers. In other words, a ‘class’ includes impactful choices, at different tiers. At level 1, the player chooses a Student Course. At level 5, the player chooses a Heroic Profession. At level 13, the player chooses a Paragon Path. At level 21, the player chooses an Epic...
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 05:25 PM
    Regarding multiclassing. A discussion with Zardnaar in an other thread helped me be more open to multiclassing, even including limited-level ‘prestige classes’. A 4e ‘Paragon Path’ is exactly a prestige class that is suitable for levels 13 to 20 (or whatever). As long as a Path focuses on being alternative features, rather than strictly superior to a base class, then it seems useful. Many...
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 05:02 PM
    @Tony Vargas, @Zardnaar 5e long rest grants complete healing PLUS hitdice. What if a long rest only gives hitdice? Thus someone who is fresh (unbloodied) can spend hitdice in the form of second-winds. But someone who is injured or exhausted must spend the hitdice immediately to recover, thus is more vulnerable to further damage from future battles. @Tony Vargas, @Garthanos, and others...
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 03:34 PM
    Instead of reducing to four, the ability scores might achieve salience by increasing to eight. Splitting off two incongruencies seems to alleviate some of the main difficulties. Here, Athletics and Senses, are two ability scores that add to the traditional six, Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. So there are eight ability scores, plus four defenses (see...
    320 replies | 10705 view(s)
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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



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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...


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Mercule's Eberron Conversion
This is my conversion for running an Eberron campaign in 5E.
476 0 1 Thursday, 6th November, 2014, 02:56 AM Thursday, 6th November, 2014, 02:56 AM

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