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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:11 PM
    Well, at the risk of offending the original author, what I'm suggesting is that the article neither proposes a useful idea nor is actually coherent. Or to put it another way, I do understand exactly what the author is going for, but he doesn't do a great job of explaining or exploring the problem. Consider if we start systematically replacing the word "magic" in the article with "science". ...
    68 replies | 2050 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:14 PM
    Agreed. Having the proper tools and conditions for starting a file makes starting a fire trivially easy. However, this doesn't mean that starting a fire in the wilderness after a rain using only what is at hand is easy. The way I view things is that there are a lot of things that have DC 0 or less. Walking across a broad level surface is for example like DC -5. Normally, if a character...
    88 replies | 3390 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:48 PM
    That's very hard to know. I can only be confident of what I've observed. Most logically, they weren't being dishonest with me as much as they were being unreflective on their own motivations. I can say that there stated beliefs did not seem to conform to my expectations regarding what would logically follow from those beliefs. That is, they didn't seem to play characters I thought were...
    31 replies | 761 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:54 PM
    I'm not sure I understand the terms you've defined here. What do you mean by "pre-modern magic systems"? I feel like that involves a lot of feelings and that feelings are highly subjective things. I don't understand how you go from something feeling interesting to logically requiring something, and I'm still not sure how you define "pre-modern magic". Is that different from "pre-modern...
    68 replies | 2050 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:58 PM
    More or less exactly what I'm trying to convey. My experience with, "Alignment is unrealistic. I can roleplay a more nuanced realistic character without it!" is that the more "realistic" "nuanced" characters where indistinguishable from Pawn Stance, in that the decision making process about "what this character would do" seemed to be basically "what do I need to do to win". Giving your pawn...
    31 replies | 761 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:52 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    I don't know anything about these 5e 2HD orcs, but even back in 1e I would have strongly hesitated to put the PC's up against orcs before 2nd level because although the PC's could probably one shot the orcs, the orcs could also probably one shot the PCs. Particularly prior to playing in groups with max hit points at first level or other innovations to try to extend the 'sweet spot' down to 1st...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:54 PM
    Dwarves are biologically pretty close to humanity, or at least the ways that they are different are usually poorly explored. Despite the apparent ability to crossbreed, elves are further from humanity biologically speaking than dwarves, though again the exact impact of those biological differences is usually poorly explored. One thing for example that struck me when I brainstormed on this...
    31 replies | 761 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:21 PM
    In my homebrew, Orcs (well, goblins) eat elves precisely because the crossbreed mix doesn't work and elves can't be enslaved. They are a very practical people and want to put everything in their environment to work. Food is the best usage an elf can be put to.
    142 replies | 4892 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:58 PM
    I'm not even going to go there like I could because I can imagine this would be a touchy subject, but I had a friend from Pakistan that tried to take his American born wife back to the old country - and it was a cultural bridge too far. You are however quite right to point at hygiene as one of those areas were cultural norms have a huge role, and it makes me think that I've never even given much...
    31 replies | 761 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:24 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Or if you had a character with a wand of magic missiles and 100 charges back in the day, then you had your at will combat cantrip then. In my experience at will combat cantrips aren't worth worrying about. They conceptually do much the same as starting with a low powered wand, and are basically just flavor dressing on throwing a dart every round. On the other hand, at will noncombat...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:00 PM
    The danger of this approach is that you might define away the race, so that the ultimate result is that all races are just humans with different bumps on their foreheads. You'll end up with more homogeneity and not less, and you'll risk banishing the alien from your setting and making everything familiar. At the very least, some thought ought to be given to how a race with lives ten times...
    31 replies | 761 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 06:57 PM
    First, forget touching on elves or dwarves for now. Everything you say about racial homogeneity in fantasy worlds tends to apply to humans first, and humans are a much easier standard. I once thought many of the same things you think here. Before you grumble too much, I suggest you play without nigh universal languages for a few years and the come back and report your experiences. ...
    31 replies | 761 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 04:54 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    I see where that comes from, but by my logic (at the time and since) is a 1st level M-U had never been before a 0th level peasant but had in fact been before a 0th level apprentice M-U. And before that they had been a child, and children did not have 6 h.p. Furthermore, it was never clear to me that 0th level peasants actually rolled hit points, but rather those hit points represented a range...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 04:45 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Well, most of my daily communication is with computers...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 03:39 PM
    This is the tl;dr version of my post. Excellent and succinct (something I could work on) advice.
    18 replies | 600 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 03:38 PM
    Try to avoid doing that, for one thing. One big problem that the D&D system has always had is that if you throw enough save or suck spells at a PC, they'll eventually fail a save. For example, seven 1st level spellcasters each casting 'Charm Person' has a very high chance to charm most PCs. The second thing I would suggest to you is even if you find the situation requires it, don't try...
    18 replies | 600 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 03:23 PM
    I do know what my methodology is, but anything that involves division and multiple steps reads rather ugly. And I do admit to liking tables.
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 03:14 PM
    In my experience, attempting to prop up the social interaction pillar with robust mechanical support counter-intuitively tends to decrease social interaction rather than increase it. The most functional mechanical system for adjudicating RP is simply IMO some sort of fortune test, preferably one that generates a small degree of success but a simple pass/fail will do fine if you have some means...
    88 replies | 3390 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 03:02 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    The one true statement you can make about old school play is, "It varied a lot." Now that's one I haven't encountered before, but that's a very advanced concept we really wouldn't see in an official capacity till like 4e. It does solve a potential ton of problems, but I suspect that I would have hated it on first sight back in the day by pure reflex - "A 10 h.p. 1st level M-U,...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 02:49 PM
    Celebrim started a thread Variant HP per HD
    So, I've been doing randomly rolled hit points basically forever. I've also tended to do max hit points at 1st level to make it easier for me as a GM to create an interesting heroic adventure for the mundane tier while minimizing the chance of random unavoidable death. But I've long been aware that random can go wrong and that of all the rolls at the table my players are most tempted to...
    6 replies | 313 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 02:27 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Yeah, I've encountered that with one group as well. For the purposes of my claim, I don't require a representative sample, since the claim I'm refuting - "Any DM (OSR or not) can see the logic in that request" - is refuted by showing at least one OSR DM that doesn't see the logic of that request.
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 01:52 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Will they really? We're on like page 9 and you are the first person on the OSR side to suggest that. The first half-dozen all suggested that playing with low hit points where one hit will kill you was the source of the fun, and in some way or the other tacitly endorsed character funnels and the ultimate playability (or viability) of any character whether 2 hit points or not. So while your...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 11:39 PM
    The PC's tried to get entry into a certain large town. One character was a half-elf with a very large bear companion. The customs officer cheerfully told the character that they would be responsible for all damage inflicted by their pets and to not leave it alone in public, but no big deal. One of the PC's was a hobgoblin. Entry positively refused until one of the other PC's told the...
    99 replies | 3140 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 11:21 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    One of the things about the Monster Encylopedia series of posts by Echohawk is that it allows you to track just how much number inflation has occurred between 1e and 5e, and it's a rare monster whose hit points and expected damage/round doesn't scale with its edition number.
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 11:18 PM
    No, I'm pretty sure it was published by Mongoose in their Encyclopedia Arcane series. But I don't own it and can't tell you how on point it was.
    142 replies | 4892 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:28 PM
    He may be right in the sense that any single edged weapon is a backsword, but be as that may, when I picture in my head a falchion I picture something that is tip heavy much like a machete. For a movie example, the 'Green Destiny' is very much a Chinese variation on the same sort of sword design as an arming sword, but Michelle Yu's character prefers a sword that is translated as 'machete'...
    142 replies | 4892 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 08:54 PM
    Well, you are making presumptions. I would never assume that. There are too many settings (more than half are homebrew), too many editions, too styles of campaign. No, I think sanity is finally returning to you. Not every race is in every setting. My preferred homebrew has the following approved PC races: changling, pixie, sidhe, goblin, half-goblin, hobgoblin, elf, human,...
    99 replies | 3140 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 08:25 PM
    I'm pretty sure a third party during the 3e era did publish an entire supplement on who can breed with who and if they do, what happens.
    142 replies | 4892 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 08:24 PM
    Any system not pedantic enough to want to differentiate sword families as separate weapon classes is not pedantic enough for me. I mean, I shudder at the idea of treating a falchion the same as a backsword, or applying the name Falchion to a family of weapons that seems to want to include the Ōdachi.
    142 replies | 4892 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 05:37 PM
    I used to think this way as well, but the implementation to make that work is more complex than you might think. You think the hard part is working it out for every monster. That's the easy part. Basically this falls into a category of "game should be more realistic" where the cost of implementing that realism is actually high rather than low.
    142 replies | 4892 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 05:02 PM
    Oh no. Uh uh.
    142 replies | 4892 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 05:02 PM
    A short sword is a very different class of weapon than an arming sword. Short sword refers to a weapon look more like a Cinquedea or a Xiphos than an arming sword. Basically, any over large dagger primarily employed as a stabbing weapon and which has the advantage of being wieldy in very close quarters. I'm not going to really get into the fact that there are several styles of sword that...
    142 replies | 4892 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 04:40 PM
    Studded armor exists. The system refers to mail as 'chainmail', and plate as 'platemail'. What's called a bastard sword by the system is actually a longsword. What's called a longsword by the system is actually an arming sword. Guns are almost always exotic hard to use weapons rather than simple ones. 3e allowed combatants to leave melee with a 5' step without penalty, which violated the...
    142 replies | 4892 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 02:22 PM
    No. The problem with an idea that isn't an implementation is that it can hide its complexity behind vagueness. It can make reasonable sounding suggestions which, when you unpack them, have a ton of complexity. "Speak With Animals" is a lesser version of the Tongues spells that just let's you speak in the languages of animals, and you could learn animal languages in a non-magical manner (as...
    68 replies | 2050 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 03:13 AM
    I got this one. Darkvision works by emitting a ray from the eye, the reflection of which is what is perceived. This is why darkvision doesn't work so well if you are trying to use it in the day, when everything is flooded with light. And it's why, for example, goblins wince and can't see very well in daylight.
    142 replies | 4892 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 06:22 AM
    I assume most Knights/Warlords will make either Strength or Dexterity primary, then make either Intelligence or Charisma secondary. Depending on build. However, I assume a ‘lazylord’ Knight will make either Intelligence or Charisma primary, then the remaining Intelligence or Charisma secondary. My approach is to make any of these scores viable depending on build: Intelligence, Charisma,...
    163 replies | 5565 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 11:16 PM
    You mean like Martin Rees "Just Six Numbers"? Yes, I've read that. My advice as a game master is never let a physicist assume anything about a fantasy universe works the way that they expect. Which assumes that the imagined universe even has relativity. I mean, I've already asserted that kinetic energy in this universe increases linearly rather than with the square of velocity,...
    68 replies | 2050 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:28 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Nostalgia is the 'n word' of the OSR community. The very mention of it drives them up the wall. The average member of the OSR community hearing the word thinks that you are saying that they have no real reasons for liking OSR games. The average person using the word merely means that they have a lot of fun playing games 'back in the day' and want to recapture that magic. The very...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:31 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    If you claim 3.5 isn't broken, then you are clearly not fit to run it. 3.5 is definitely broken, the more so because of its endless ill thought out rules extensions but in some cases right out of the box (CoDZilla, for example). Broken. Broken. Broken. And I wouldn't trust the opinion of anyone that claimed otherwise, and any play in 3.5 that is sort of a wide open any rulebook goes sort...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:12 PM
    It seems to me, the Fighter is a great chassis for the Knight/Warlord. The Fighter has so much ‘uncluttered’ design space. Because the Fighter base design space guarantees excellent damage dealing, the design space for the archetype can focus exclusively group enhancement capabilities. @Zardnaar, @Garthanos, I found it easy to translate Come and Get It, into a 5e format and...
    163 replies | 5565 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:48 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Much of your post I feel I agree with yet at the same time, much of your post I don't feel like I quite understand and will need clarification on. Like I really don't understand quite what you mean by "things and rules". In any era, players had as much agency as the DM extended to them. Railroads are not a new concept, nor is a new thing to have DMs that are control freaks. If anything,...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:52 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    After 35 years of playing, I can sit down at a table and within an hour or two tell if a player is cheating without ever once observing his dice. I just know what normal dice rolls are like and can tell immediately if the players run of luck isn't normal. That player and the other players at the table, even though they are sitting at the table and using the same rules are playing vastly...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:01 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    I don't agree, and to extent that I do agree it's relative. Some games have more crap rules than others. Ok, I do agree with that, but that seems to in fact support my argument rather than overturn it. If rules don't bring fun to the table, why do we need to faithfully recreate BECMI in not only its good parts (theater of the mind combat rules) or AD&D, but in its warts and problems as...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 03:46 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    You aren't overturning my stereotype of OSR GM's here. I mean I've already got people up in arms so I'm not going to really delve into this, but there is a school of GMing out there - lets call it the John Wick school - where an RPG is only fun if the players have no agency and as soon as the players start to have some control then its time to ditch the game. I don't really get it, because if...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 03:09 PM
    I think I understand the phrase. I've moved around a bunch, and finding a new group can be difficult. Running D&D either for experienced players or new players is a lot easier of a proposition to sell than running some game they've never heard of with a less consensus aesthetic. And thinking about it, I'd probably be much happier going to play D&D with a strange group than I would most other...
    19 replies | 664 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 02:47 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Let me clarify exactly why I find the OSR/OSRIC etc. movement so confusing. 1) It's a movement to recreate a specific set of rules yet the fans of the movement when discussing why they are fond of the game almost never reference actual rules, but instead reference ideas about play, encounter design, campaign design, and so forth that are not aspects of the rules - for example challenge,...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:35 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Sorry, did math quickly in my head. Your math is correct. Point still stands however. Many? I mean, you'd probably have to make it to 9th before you even had the option of a raise dead, and by the time you made it to 9th as a fighter you were fairly survivable. But, in so much as they did need a raise dead, then you're making a resurrection survival check in each case so how many...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:47 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Ok, that gives me a frame of reference. Leaving aside passive hazards like yellow mold, which we were rightly paranoid about and used all sorts of techniques to avoid exposure... these happened all the time in your games? Because I can give a rant about how badly designed Bodaks are as monsters. Possibly. Mostly I'm really interested in the kinds of challenges you faced.
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:44 PM
    In 4e, most of the Dailies for Warlord are simply the mechanism for dealing more multiples of weapon damage. In other words, low-level Dailies are moreorless indistinguishable from high-level Encounters. When translating into 5e, both Dailies and Encounters go into the same pool. The damage is handled separately because in 5e the damage scales automatically by means of Extra Attacks. Really,...
    163 replies | 5565 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:48 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Can't say that I agree with either the agent or his uncle. And to the extent that I'll charitably try to imagine that as a deep observation on the nature of love, then I don't think the quote means what you seem to think it means by using it in this context.
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:32 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Don't get me wrong, I do love me my random tables and generators. But you certainly don't need old school mechanics to use random tables and generators. What strikes me more is that many OSRIC fans don't seem to understand what makes a random table or generator actually good. They don't seem to realize that a penny for your thoughts is an inflated rate, and that 100 thoughts is in and of...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:25 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Ain't it the truth. Sometimes I just wish people would apply that standard to themselves before breaking out analogies about ice cream as if I was arguing preferences.
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:23 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    We are definitely on the same page here.
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:22 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Well, first of all - and this was still a problem - you weren't the only one. A M-U could after all just cast Invisibility to hide. And secondly, you are looking at this very differently than I ever looked at it. You're looking at this in a rather binary way, of either the thief could do nigh-supernatural things or else he was just ordinary. It's a false contrast I never really...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:02 PM
    Which assumes that the strong nuclear force and the speed of light are the same in the hypothetical universe, which they wouldn't necessarily be. (Or for that matter than the material components are fully converted to energy.) We have no theory that requires fundamental constants to be equal. We have no idea why they are what they are in this universe. Maybe the speed of light in the D&D...
    68 replies | 2050 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 07:35 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    You have no way to imagine how much I loved the 3e Rogue. I nearly cried when I read the rules. So, on one hand, you are right. The baseline difficulty of climbing a nearly sheer wall in 3e is DC 20, and a 1st edition 1st level thief would have probably had a better chance of success at it than a 3e 1st level Rogue. But, neither would have been able to do it reliably at that point, and the...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 07:25 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Well, the debate definitely preexisted the evolution of the idea of skillfulness in D&D. In general, it was mostly climb/find traps/remove traps that I think presented the biggest ideological problems. I've never heard anyone suggest for example that characters were assumed to have skill in picking pockets or picking locks. I think people easily accepted that picking pockets or opening...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 07:08 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    You seem to be continuing some debate I wasn't a part of based on the idea that I am continuing it. But did I say I didn't know such a debate happened? Where do you get that of all things? You aren't saying anything I don't know. I'm just not sure how what you are saying is applicable or why you think it is. If in fact you have the archived words of Gygax where he says something...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 06:27 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    I pretty much agree with this. I don't fully agree with that. My take is that casters hit tier 1 in 3e because a) they made the decision to remove a lot of the fiddly restrictions on when you could cast so that getting casting interrupted became unreasonably hard and b) because when they finally invented difficulty they made the mistake of applying it to the magic system as well as the...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 06:13 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Your assumption that there were many or any tables out there which let you climb a wall after make D20 under dexterity check is what I think is entirely wrong here. I don't think that existed as a consistent methodology more or less anywhere. There may have been some tables doing that before or after the introduction of the thief because anything is possible, but if I had to bet based on the...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:22 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Ironically, I don't. OD&D players are fond of saying this, but they are just wrong. OD&D made no effort to suggest anyone could sneak, hide or climb and if it had have done so no one would have been inspired to create the thief class or if they had have done so they would have been inspired to create a very different class. The grognards grumbling about the thief are being very...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:05 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Hold that thought. So we always sort of treated the entire party dynamic as the party exists to keep the cleric alive, and in turn the cleric exists to keep the party alive. Only a supremely powerful character could go anywhere without a cleric along and not expect to have a very short lifespan, and even then that was usually a combination of 'cleric in a bottle' in the form of healing...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 02:59 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    I played a thief pretty much at every opportunity. And no, they aren't viable. This wasn't something that was immediately obvious to me at first, and I certainly had lots of enjoyment playing a thief. When you first start playing, especially as a kid, this is all so new and wonderful that literally anything we did was fun, including monotonous hack and slash. But the longer I played, and...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:58 AM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    So, your favorite character - the one that got to your highest level - had a 16 in their prime requisite, and thus was entitled to a 10% XP bonus and a +1 bonus to damage. So, yes, just about any character could be fun to play - Ogdin Mudstump, Dwarf Thief, was fun to play for his short career. But it's not surprising at all that your favorite character was one that was at least on the playable...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 12:57 AM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    I agree that Len wasn't a TSR employee and that everything in Dragon was unofficial until republished elsewhere (such as the Unearthed Arcana, though I've heard of groups that never adopted the Unearthed Arcana). However, there are edge cases. For example, in 'Isle of the Ape', Gygax published a very much needed extension of the 'to hit' table for monsters that extended the table up above...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 11:52 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Yeah, but groups may have independently invented the roll-under mechanics, but they are right there in the published materials from TSR. If you read a bunch of TSR AD&D modules closely, one thing that quickly becomes clear is that a ton of different designers all independently found that if they expanded encounters beyond the 20'x30' room, they needed some sort thing we'd now call a...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 11:05 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Picking on you here Quickleaf because I know you are good about it, but this is exactly the sort of statement that doesn't have perspective that I'm mocking in my conversation with Tony. "You'll find its really different here from other places. People around here really like to eat food. We're different that way." This is an attitude of play, and not something that has to do with rules. ...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 10:59 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    I'm inclined to agree that if the rules don't provide a 'move' then you can't directly reference the move, which is interesting and something I'm going to have to think about. But the reverse is not true. Just because the rules provide a 'move' doesn't mean that the table's proposition filter allows you to directly access the move without indicating the specific fictional positioning you are...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 10:07 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Totally on board with that. What I typically find talking to the OSR crowd is the assertion that rules alone create the game, and there is some very tight relationship between the game created by 3e or 5e or OSR and a certain attitude of play. So for example, they'll make an assertion like, "Old games were more challenging than new games." when challenge is obviously a function of encounter...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 09:46 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Maybe... Again, I'm assuming that there is a group of players who are more or less peers, and what the group is usually doing is having adventures, often in dungeons, against foes that at least occasionally challenge them, and that those adventures more or less resemble the sort that were published as examples of play commonly called 'modules'. So yes, that's a lot of assumptions - not solo...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 09:35 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    The problem with the phrase "old-skool games" is that if you were actually back in the old-skool you know that the actual rules in force at a particular table, and the actual styles of the DM varied so much from table to table that I honestly have very little idea what is meant by the term. But, to the extent that the term has any meaning at all, I would assume it means games played as the...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 08:46 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    The rules don't suck because we don't ever use them! More seriously, you seem to be having a side discussion about me with someone that either has me blocked or I have blocked. (I don't remember which, but there are certainly more of the former than the later.) The gist of this side discussion I think you've covered well, as I at no time said we didn't have fun back in the day and have...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 07:29 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Which made a lot of people at the time really upset. Very little that people had been complaining about was addressed. Dragons for example had been a hot topic of contention for a long time, and at least an attempt was made at that. I think it says something that we never officially adopted 2e and continued play in 1e, but that most of the DMs in the group did adopt 2e dragons and did start...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 07:16 PM
    Over the years I've played D&D in various flavors (including Pathfinder), CoC, Star Wars, Boot Hill, GURPS, RIFTS, Paranoia, Amber, Exalted, VtM, Gamma World, Mouse Gaurd, and Chill. I mostly play D&D because that's what people want to play. I've also read and/or own a ton of other rules sets. Maybe it's me but of the above, only Amber, RIFTS, and Mouse Guard really played differently and...
    88 replies | 2973 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 06:58 PM
    Well, a 'cheat sheet' per se would defeat the purpose. If the player had perfect information about the environment all the time, then the system is just mechanical again. But it would be the idea in the long run that any player running a wizard would now that a divination spell cast at the winter solstice on a mountain top with a clear view of the stars during a night of the full moon...
    68 replies | 2050 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 06:49 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    This is a very good point. For all the talk about how challenging Dark Soul is when you die you basically just lose a few minutes of work. Indeed, most of the challenge is stealing yourself against the grind of the game so that you suffer the inevitable setbacks gladly. But the loss of a character is more comparable to playing in a game's Hardcore mode all the time, and can mean losing 100's...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 06:29 PM
    I do it occasionally already, and had a concept in place for a very robust system well before this article was written. Were it not for the whole thing about gamabiilty I mentioned which is based on experience, I'd do it far more than I do. The way the system works is that spells have keyed descriptors like 'Fire' or 'Good' or whatever, and locations have descriptors as well that effect the...
    68 replies | 2050 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 06:02 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Even more so because the nature of OSR rules if they are anything like 1E AD&D is that ability scores are generally more important than level. Without ability scores you can neither achieve the level nor the class you may want to play. And the effectiveness of a character with higher ability scores increases exponentially. A character with 1 18 is generally about twice as effective as a...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 04:59 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    How you think about and prepare to play is at least as important to what happens at the table as the rules you use to play. I still run my games as if I was playing 1e AD&D. I just now have rules that don't sputter and fail on me as often as they used to do.
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 04:55 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Which is what you are supposed to do when the rules are silent on something. I'm not criticizing your on the fly ruling or the outcome. I do want to draw attention to the fact that it happened only because you allowed it to happen, and that is not a semantic difference. On things where the rules are silent, neither you nor the player really have an understanding of whether something is...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 01:10 PM
    Maybe I wasn't clear. Obviously, WotC has the legal right to do what they want and they've made many moves to unify the settings. There is definitely some call for multi-verse spanning games within the larger D&D meta-setting and I can see why they'd want to cash in on it. That's why Planescape, for example, doesn't really bother me. It's not my thing and I appreciate that it's easy enough to...
    38 replies | 2167 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 08:17 AM
    TELEKINESIS Character Level (Spell Slot Level): Size (approximate maximum weight) 0 (cantrip): Tiny (upto 10 lb) 0 (0 ritual?): Small (upto 30 lb) 1 (1): Small (upto 100 lb) 3 (2): Medium (upto 300 lb) 5 (3): Medium (upto 1000 lb) 7 (4): Large (upto 3000 lb)
    2 replies | 152 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 07:54 AM
    (recalculating)
    2 replies | 152 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 07:07 AM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Difficulty is always a matter of encounter design. All you have to do to make it easy to die is throw a party up against more than the 'expected' danger. And that's not particularly challenging. If you want to replicate the terror of being first level and maybe going down to a single hit in say 3e, you just throw a Ogre at the party with say a large sized two-handed sword, or throw a...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 07:01 AM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Ok. Here's the thing. There are plenty of people on this board that run 1e AD&D. But my general experience with them is when I bring up specific rule issues, they either agree that it is a problem or they talk about how they've rulesmithed their way around them - often decades ago. What they generally don't do is tell me in very general terms how its not a problem because they got skills, or...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 11:56 PM
    I've read it before, and I agree that it is correct. What I'm skeptical of is that it offers any advice that is gameable. One of the things that I've learned over time is that not every idea is gameable on a table top simply because there are only a certain number of factors that can be tracked by a DM simultaneously. Numinous magic is one of those things like realistic languages and...
    68 replies | 2050 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 11:42 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    This is what I actually said: "My suspicion is that if you haven't actually owned a classic car that you rebuilt out of the junk yard, you probably shouldn't tell me how great it is to own one." What part of that is incorrect? Are you saying that you haven't owned a classic car, but you should tell me how great it is to own one? Because if you are saying you do own a classic car, then by...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 11:08 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    Naked contradiction is fine, but you'd be a lot more convincing if you were willing to tackle any of the issues I'm bringing up. If I started bringing up the problems with a having narrow wheels on an all steel body car with a high center of gravity, and you just told me, "It always worked for me." you wouldn't really convince me you had a lot of experience with the car no how matter how you...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 11:01 PM
    This is actually the point where I start to have an issue with the "secret bible". I'm actually just fine with there being a secret book of lore for FR or Dragonlance or Greyhawk or Eberron, etc. In fact, I think there really should be one for each setting. The problem is when someone thinks any of those books has any bearing on any of the others. One of the really amazing things about AD&D...
    38 replies | 2167 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 10:48 PM
    Celebrim replied to OSR Gripes
    I don't think that they do. How you think about and prepare to play a game is entirely different than the rules you use to adjudicate it. OSR doesn't have a monopoly on style, or challenge, or opened ended games. You don't need to use an OSR rules set to have a proposition filter on your game that validates players making highly improvisational, open ended, and fiction specific propositions. ...
    231 replies | 7817 view(s)
    1 XP
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Thursday, 11th July, 2019


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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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Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 01:03 AM - digitalelf quoted Mercule in post WotC's Secret Lore Book
    Maybe I wasn't clear. D&D isn't a unified setting. It's actually just the opposite. It's a meta-setting that supports multiple, unlinked settings. These are pretty clear, definitive statements on your part. And they indeed seemed pretty clear as well as definitive to me when I responded to them, but okay. :erm:

Wednesday, 10th July, 2019

  • 04:44 PM - DEFCON 1 quoted Mercule in post WotC's Secret Lore Book
    One of the really amazing things about AD&D was that it wasn't a unified setting. Yes, Gygax put lots of vague (very vague) lore in the core books and there was a published Greyhawk setting. But Orcus, the planes, Vecna, the Wind Dukes of Aqaa, and so much more were just inspirational building blocks to be interpreted and snapped into your own game. Is Orcus "alive", dead, risen as undead? Whichever suits your game. D&D isn't a unified setting. It's actually just the opposite. It's a meta-setting that supports multiple, unlinked settings. If I had to guess though, this is what their "secret lore" is actually about... figuring out how lore figures like Orcus fit across ALL their settings. I mean Orcus *is* a lore figure in Greyhawk, as well as in the Realms. So what does that mean? Is the Orcus of one the same as the Orcus in the other? Are they two separate Orci? If Orcus was canonically removed as the Demon Lord of the Undead in one of their settings (say for instance they decided ...
  • 04:20 PM - Parmandur quoted Mercule in post WotC's Secret Lore Book
    Maybe I wasn't clear. Obviously, WotC has the legal right to do what they want and they've made many moves to unify the settings. There is definitely some call for multi-verse spanning games within the larger D&D meta-setting and I can see why they'd want to cash in on it. That's why Planescape, for example, doesn't really bother me. It's not my thing and I appreciate that it's easy enough to ignore. When 5E was released, about my only real issue with it (maybe two issues, depending on how you cut it) was that the Realms was the single core setting and that WotC was projecting an image that what was true for the Realms was true for all settings. For the last couple years, they seem to have pulled back from that stance and I really hope it continues. I think D&D is, and always has been, at its best when it offers itself as a toolbox for individual games to draw from and is weaker when it tries to provide a single "truth" about things. There are reasons I like Greyhawk and dislike the Realms....
  • 02:18 AM - digitalelf quoted Mercule in post WotC's Secret Lore Book
    D&D isn't a unified setting. It's actually just the opposite. It's a meta-setting that supports multiple, unlinked settings. There shouldn't be any sort of official attempt to make it otherwise -- at least not in a definitive way. Planescape is fine. So is Spelljammer. Neither exist for me, though. Just because in the past D&D was not unified as a setting, does not mean it is to remain so forever. And that the changes TSR made to make it unified, "didn't count". It's fine that you don't make all of the settings unified, but officially, once Spelljammer and Planescape were released, like it or not, they became unified and connect. So yes, D&D IS a unified setting. Individual DMs don't have to make it so, but that is up to each DM, and has absolutely no effect upon the fact that D&D became a unified setting in a very definitive way, back in 1989.
  • 01:41 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Mercule in post What is the Ranger to you?
    It's possible. My group's issues with 4E were plentiful. We didn't play more than a few months before bailing. I won't say that I have exhaustive knowledge of the edition. Conceptually, I think what I said about the roles is valid. It's entirely possible it didn't play out that way, though, especially in the "revised" edition (actual name escapes me). Nothing about the roles makes the Fighter not great at dishing out damage, and everything about the class makes them good at taking damage. Straight from the PHB. I’m not denying your experience, just saying it isn’t actually the result of how the class is built compared to the rest of the system. Did 4e have a Ranger that primarily used a Versatile Weapon in two hands or heavy weapon and shield? I always thought it was all Two Weapon Drizzty type Rangers. It had perfectly good single attack powers, and eventually some minor action attacks IIRC. Not as much shield support as I’d have liked, but no class can do everything. But rethinking, I’d...
  • 12:05 AM - Parmandur quoted Mercule in post WotC's Secret Lore Book
    This is actually the point where I start to have an issue with the "secret bible". I'm actually just fine with there being a secret book of lore for FR or Dragonlance or Greyhawk or Eberron, etc. In fact, I think there really should be one for each setting. The problem is when someone thinks any of those books has any bearing on any of the others. One of the really amazing things about AD&D was that it wasn't a unified setting. Yes, Gygax put lots of vague (very vague) lore in the core books and there was a published Greyhawk setting. But Orcus, the planes, Vecna, the Wind Dukes of Aqaa, and so much more were just inspirational building blocks to be interpreted and snapped into your own game. Is Orcus "alive", dead, risen as undead? Whichever suits your game. Krynn didn't need to share a cosmology with Greyhawk (even though there were attempts) because it was a different story that used the blocks differently. Dark Sun didn't have to explain why things worked different; they just did. Yeah,...

Tuesday, 9th July, 2019

  • 11:11 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Mercule in post What is the Ranger to you?
    Conceptually, I think what I said about the roles is valid. You said nothing about the roles. You went on a bit about how the classes shook out in the past, as if it were how things /should/ be - certainly valid, conceptually, if you're talking an OSR game, or other classic-D&D imitator, or 5e. Conan definately isn’t a 5e Fighter, IMO. 4e he’s a rangerInto TWF & Archery, was Conan? (I'd think fighter would suit him well - no primal invocations like the 4e barb, thanks - but with good choices of Background, Theme, PP, & ED to fit his story arc). 5e Fighter probably works for Conan as well as 5e Barbarian (OK, not very) or 5e Rogue... 3.5 fighters aren’t even a class, their a math chassis and a vehicle for defining a character via feats. You say that like it's not the best idea D&D ever had. … really, while he's called "The Barbarian" Conan's probably best modeled (in D&D or anything much resembling it) by 3.x style MCing. He starts out a literal Barbarian, learns more formal...
  • 06:58 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Mercule in post What is the Ranger to you?
    Funny enough, the roles classifications was one of the things about 4E that really turned me off. Especially when you got to, say, fighters. Fighters are the best at straight-up combat. That means both in terms of dealing damage and in soaking it. A rogue may be somewhat better at dealing it -- in a narrow band of cases. A barbarian may be better at soaking it -- in a narrow band of cases, but mostly just in exchanging AC for HP. But a fighter should be better at both, for the vast majority of cases. Sometimes, the "role" of a character (or class) is "non-combat" and trying to define a class based on its combat role is wholly inappropriate. The rogue, for example, shouldn't be the DPS king. It's the class that beats everyone else for non-combat, non-magic approaches (without denying that D&D has a lot of combat and magic). Not trying to engage in an edition war. Just interesting how the same constructs can have radically different effects on different people. Rogues are better at non magical...
  • 06:20 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Mercule in post What is the Ranger to you?
    Not trying to engage in an edition war. Not-Try harder next time. ;P You'd think with all these complaints about unnecessary classes that the Basic Rules document would be more popular and more often used than it is. ;)It might be more popular and more often used than you think it is... See the problem I see is that the roles are not as locked down as people took them to be. The 4e fighter is probably the most badassed in melee combat of any class various features even work toward Striker as the secondary role for instance did you know if an enemy ignored the fighters mark and or just try to not engage him he will very much be doing striker class damage? Most every martial ...nod, unless the Fighter were in a duel, then his defender features did absolutely nothing. The Roles were verymuch designed around the assumption of a party cooperating and supporting eachother. The power of the Defender, and especially, Leader roles flowed to the rest of the party. Strikers & Controllers wer...
  • 02:39 PM - Garthanos quoted Mercule in post What is the Ranger to you?
    Funny enough, the roles classifications was one of the things about 4E that really turned me off. Especially when you got to, say, fighters. Fighters are the best at straight-up combat. . See the problem I see is that the roles are not as locked down as people took them to be. The 4e fighter is probably the most badassed in melee combat of any class various features even work toward Striker as the secondary role for instance did you know if an enemy ignored the fighters mark and or just try to not engage him he will very much be doing striker class damage? Most every martial class is a flavor of fighter nor as locked down in that regards as other editions (The ranger doesn't even have to have Nature as a trained skill but can, and on topic with a few selections and feats can drip with it ). Also my very first exposure to 4e was someone building a Monk ... this was before a monk class was released using the Ranger class. The flexibility of the classes and acceptability of player selected flav...

Monday, 1st July, 2019

  • 05:55 AM - Garthanos quoted Mercule in post What is the Ranger to you?
    Both of these are true, so I want to clarify that I'm not opposed to class-based games, on principle. . 4th edition changed my mind, or that added another layer, I had many years where I didnt like classes. I like the way classes and roles supported one another in 4e. The roles were with us in the ealiest D&D (for me the blue book) but there were innadequate mechanics to represent them. The defender fighter was described in 1e the Warrior Lord in 2e and neither really had anything to make it so... And living up to the promises of the earlier editions was for me as cool as anything. 4e even helped me grok other D&Disms like single attribute based actions were ok (they describe a performance style not every quality involved just one that characterizes it)
  • 01:42 AM - Garthanos quoted Mercule in post What is the Ranger to you?
    In some ways, it's the class-based version of "there are only seven basic plots". At a certain point, though, it ceases to be a hybrid of the rogue and warlock concepts and becomes a sneaky guy with super powers. That throws the idea of class == archetype out the window. I made a hybrid of two classes in 4e they were a Cleric and Invoker if I recall ...Immediate name of the hybrid was Bloodwright she was also a Vampire with a theme from Templar theme from Darksun. Her vampirism leaked out of her periodically and surreptitiously affected her allies though generally kept in check by her wisdom. The new class was a new class unique to her.

Thursday, 27th June, 2019

  • 02:42 PM - Celebrim quoted Mercule in post What is the Ranger to you?
    As others have pointed out, the ranger can be a few different things. I think the class started out as a mix of a few related things, but grew out of control. It actually a good poster child for why I've become even more disenchanted by a class-based system -- I think it's stupid to use classes as bundles of abilities without archetypes, but I've found myself doing so more and more. I can see where you are coming from, but in my experience with high detail rules heavy point buy systems they tend to make for terrible games. I can think of some ways around that such as character burners, but class based systems have one huge advantage - they enforce breadth of skill that makes it much easier to play ensemble games with everyone contributing. What I tend to think you are talking about is more the result of bad class design than it is an inherent problem with class based systems. In my own game, I had huge problems with the Ranger because it was inherently too narrow, and my big thin...
  • 09:10 AM - Li Shenron quoted Mercule in post What is the Ranger to you?
    As others have pointed out, the ranger can be a few different things. I think the class started out as a mix of a few related things, but grew out of control. It actually a good poster child for why I've become even more disenchanted by a class-based system -- I think it's stupid to use classes as bundles of abilities without archetypes, but I've found myself doing so more and more. Since the question makes no sense unless you're talking archetype, I'll go with that train of thought. I strongly agree with everything in your post, but I want to point out that the Ranger does have an archetype and that's why it can be a class. Nothing wrong with a class-less system, but the Ranger works fine in D&D. I don't blame the game if lots of people just look at the mechanics instead of looking at the bigger picture, think that the Ranger is just a bunch of lesser abilities, then proceed to envision an even more watered-down concept based on a couple of skills or weapon choices, and finally conclude...

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).


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Mercule's Eberron Conversion
This is my conversion for running an Eberron campaign in 5E.
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