View Profile: Jacob Lewis - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 05:29 AM
    What do rapiers have to do with caster supremacy, Monty Haul, treasure hunting, pixel-bitching, 5MWD, magic-item Xmass trees, Vancian spell-grenades, d20s, Fruedian psionics, 10' poles, white-room DPR calculations, cursed magic itens, 30mm lead pewter figures labeled 25mm, rules lawyers, Killer DMs, home-invasion-robbery, LFQW, name recognition, 20-level builds, spiked everything, plant/reptile...
    26 replies | 647 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 04:29 AM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    I was more than half expecting I'd made some dumb math or table lookup error. ::shrug:: CR: 1/2. I already mentioned that, yes. You want slower pacing, it's readily doable, no heavy rules-rewriting called for.
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:37 AM
    Did you notice the remarkable visual similarity between 4e & PF1 monster stat blocks? With the shading and all? Most obvious difference was purple instead of green.
    5 replies | 278 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:34 AM
    The 4e Fighter's "Combat Superiority" OA spoiled the target's movement if it hit. They're mark-punishment interrupt, OTOH, did not, but could be in response to a shift or attack that didn't normally provoke. Consensus was the features made them very 'sticky,' even by defender standards. It could be automatic when they're in the fighter's Threatened area? Haven't used feats much when...
    112 replies | 5667 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:20 AM
    Yes. Play a Gangrel. Take the Flaw "Twisted Upbringing."
    68 replies | 1725 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:17 AM
    So we shouldn't mention the Pixie/Storm-Giant?
    98 replies | 2735 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:52 AM
    It's Sisyphean, but starting with the familiar concepts of D&D, and explaining the broader alternatives in those terms, would be using it as a baseline, but not assuming it as the only thing. Maybe? There's some of that in "if you'd just master this other system and accept it's paradigm, you'd understand..." Yeah, I can't see it by those mechanisms. Arbitrarily, though, sure. Your...
    635 replies | 15571 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:37 AM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Well, IDK, compare a simple, iconic Orc, for instance. In 1e, it hits a stereotypical 1st level front-liner in banded/splint & shield on a natural 17, for 1d8 (4.5) damage (0.9 DPR), and as a 1 HD monster has 1-8 hps, and was AC 6. In 5e, it hits a starting-package heavy armor PC in chain & shield (AC 18) on a natural 13, for 9(1d12+3) damage (3.6 DPR - 4.05 if you count the crit on a 20, which...
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:41 PM
    So, maybe piercing just needs to be a lot worse than slashing in some way? Because that seems like a difference, there, too. (Or the versatile blades need to be pierce & slashing, vs the finesse blades being piercing?) Or... …/clearly/ what's missing is ::drumroll:: 1e AD&D style Weapon vs Armor modifiers! Yep. If finesse weapons were good vs light armor and sucked vs heavy, while...
    26 replies | 647 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:20 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Well, they hit more often than 1e monsters at low levels (and, thanks to BA, keep hitting at least some), and have more hps of their own as you go up levels, so stick around longer, inflicting more damage... ...doesn't sound too implausible. Certainly, I haven't seen any 5e parties breezing through 21-encounter days.
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:55 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    That's not a bad assumption, though character death is hardly unknown in D&D (to put it mildly), at some point, you reach some sort of, IDK, homeostasis, that results in PCs surviving & leveling rather than dying and being replaced. In 5e, scaling (and some class differentiation) was shifted from d20 modifiers (or targets in the case of the classic game) to hps & damage. Some of that shift,...
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:32 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    To be clear, the balance of the turn being used in resting was the obscure rule, the d3 for 'binding wounds' during that rest was very much a variant - a Len Lakofka variant, I'd guess, at least, a lot of 'em that got heavily used in my area were his, straight from his Dragon articles. Per-hour doesn't ring a bell as loudly. Per turn, does, but I can't recall a specific example, either (also...
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:18 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Not a lot more than merely setting short & long rests to different durations. You push out the time scale of the adventure. The bigger difference is table time devoted to bookkeeping, and that's not a /big/ difference, either. Again, folks played the game very differently from place to place & table to table back in the day. 5e shifted most scaling to hps, so, yeah, they balloon. ...
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:07 PM
    Crossposting. Let's take it to the Pedantic complaints thread, and get you some XP to go with that laugh. ;) Hey, and that explains why Gimli was so into her. Well, makes it at tad less creepy. …
    98 replies | 2735 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:57 PM
    Let's take it to the Pedantic complaints thread, and get you some XP to go with that laugh. ;) Hey, and that explains why Gimli was so into her. Well, makes it at tad less creepy. Edit: wrong thread... ...cross-posting...
    68 replies | 1725 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:48 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    "Something akin to" is, I think, a pretty low bar. Admittedly, the balance of a 10 minute turn is a lot less resting than 5e's one hour. But it's still a rest, and it's still short. Some variant I vaguely recall even let that 'bind wounds' assumption heal d3 hps. Which, at 1st level, in particular, was nothing to sneeze at. Not spells in any standard class, now, but there were the occasional...
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:35 PM
    Well, in the sense that flames won't stop it from regenerating... ;P ...we'll see... That's an interesting question. 5e has more than a few little details lifted straight from 4e, and more than a few more re-named, bowdlerized, or otherwise reduced to an acceptable post-edition-war level. The result is /both/ absolutely nothing like 4e, and very similar to 4e. So that complicates the...
    5 replies | 278 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:15 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Not a great point, actually. Old-school did actually have something akin to a 'short rest.' Play progressed in 10-min 'turns,' and if a combat didn't take 10 rounds, the balance was assumed to be spent resting, binding wounds and repairing gear. And, recovering hp & spells 'overnight' is a mere simplification of the complicated rules for recovering spells (requiring anything from 4 to 8 hrs of...
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:06 PM
    Nope. The readied character would have to either move ahead of the one he was trying to move with, then ready, or take the readied action and move only 30' to the other's 60. To be fair, Delay doesn't do it, either, the other guy moves, /then/ you move right after. It's one of those things you just need to common-sense hand-wave. (sorry, I forgot the point of the thread there for a moment) ...
    98 replies | 2735 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:41 PM
    While I don't disagree that a wizard could learn magic & have his spell book while remaining ignorant of Arcane lore outside the practical necessities of his trade, I can't agree that opens up a wide variety. The wizard is a bookish, Vancian/Hermetic magic-user, no matter how you tweak or polish it. Casting arcane spells without all that training and that spellbook was broken out to the...
    56 replies | 1459 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:29 PM
    Yes, there's several examples where the effect or hit line just creates an 'area' and avoids the Zone keyword.
    115 replies | 4678 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:28 PM
    Heh. Who can forget those iconic gnome characters in LotR…? What were their names again? That's probably a big part of it, yes. Any race other than human can tend to fall into racial stereotypes, the character becomes about the race (either conforming to or challenging stereotypes), rather than about the character.
    68 replies | 1725 view(s)
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:04 PM
    LFQW = Looking For Questionable Win?
    112 replies | 5667 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:17 AM
    Sure. Anything other than human and race tended to loom large. You could always shunt elves & gnomes and the like into some fey Otherworld.... Yes, like 4e which made gnomes fey (and, briefly, monsters) and introduced the Feywild (IMHO, it replaced the classic Ethereal, or you could say the Shadowfell merged it with the plane of shadow). The game presents tons of races, but unless you...
    68 replies | 1725 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:58 AM
    They're supposed to be examples of nitpicking over small details, rather than real problems like... ... unlikely to qualify as pedantic, unless you mean it ironically... Nope, that sounds serious. Totally off topic. ...to try to get back on topic, why is it called Faerie Fire? Everywhere else the game used American spellings. Why not Fairy? Was Sustare just being pedantic?
    98 replies | 2735 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:26 AM
    It seems to me that, unless you want to "punish" lack of system mastery, you'd give a class with an ability that directly built on a skill that skill, up front, and if a sub-class had such an ability, make the skill in question a preq or perk of the subclass... ...But I don't feel like 5e design was nearly that exacting.
    56 replies | 1459 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:17 AM
    possibly on the theory that defense style stacks with all the others?
    106 replies | 2220 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:11 AM
    I'm sorry, we can't accept that answer, we were looking for silly, pedantic, complaints. Thank you for playing, and enjoy a selection of your choice from the free offerings on DMsGuild, as a parting gift. They're monotremes? Do the males have a /venomous/ calcaneus spur? Like vision, but in the dark, instead of the light.
    98 replies | 2735 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:37 PM
    Some players might. Others will mysteriously change characters at some point. But, more typically, campaigns will just wrap at some point after the system starts to fall apart.
    16 replies | 476 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 10:40 PM
    Well, sure, balance falls appart by the time you've covered even half that. ;P And, it's not a new problem. The classic game always had a narrow sweetspot that didn't extend past name level. So, when making 3e research showed not much play beyond 10th, so why bother balancing It? 1-20. There's no good reason to present dysfunctional levels of play.
    16 replies | 476 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 10:01 PM
    The original Fantasy Hero (1985) had the "Delayed" power modifier to do exactly that. D&D went from the "memorized" rubric to "prepared" a long time ago. Since 3.0, at least, though it might've been floated long before that.
    8 replies | 318 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 09:03 PM
    Brief side observation/perspective: Even just being able to model a valid genre character concept is still a challenge RPGs aren't exactly all up to, even though some have been doing it for a long time. Even if that were true (D&D class & alignment, among other things, do put constraints on PC personality), it wouldn't be comparing Exalted to D&D, but Exalted to freestyle RP.
    635 replies | 15571 view(s)
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 06:17 PM
    You don't create "diversity" by taking away or limiting players' abilities to make choices. You want players to play fighters who aren't focused on Strength? You need to figure out why they don't. The obvious answer is because the game is designed to mechanically support fighters with higher Strength scores. Period. If you limit their primary ability, you are effectively limiting the potential...
    51 replies | 1190 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:39 AM
    I've never glanced at Exalted. All I've heard about, 2nd-hand, is that it was WWGS's ST-like stab at fantasy, the PCs are demigods, and most of all, in a very derogatory way, that it's wild, over-the-top superheroics. "...then you might as well be playing Exalted!" Like it was the RPG equivalent of Godwins Law or something.
    635 replies | 15571 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:10 AM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Nothing can stop a DM from house ruling, or, y'know, just running a different system, but a system might not present as much perceived need or opportunity to do so. And, a system can set the stage for players to enthusiastically accept or violently resist outright house-rules or even any deviation from RAW orthodoxy. Objectively, sure, but when are these things ever objective? ...
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 01:05 AM
    In a fanstasy sub-genre with magic as pervasive as D&D, in which the Fighter has a spell-casting sub-class, sure it is. That's the point: to have a lead-in to EK.
    106 replies | 2220 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 01:04 AM
    He can take the post of "Sailing Master," subordinate to the captain, even a warrant officer, but with all the skills to run the ship. ("Master & Commander" like the movie is when an officer below rank of Captain acts as both highest-ranking officer and sailing-master for his ship. Maybe that's what this guy was before the PCs took over?) Lol, she can still be the Captain, make with the...
    2 replies | 163 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 12:50 AM
    Oh, religious-zealot knight-in-shinning armor w/supernatural divine powers is a narrow concept, even w/o the old LG-only*, it's just familiar and spot-on enough that it's understandable devoting a sub-class or class to it.
    352 replies | 11998 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 11:42 PM
    doctorbadwolf... thanks, I think? ;)
    106 replies | 2220 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 10:24 PM
    I couldn't quite recall if there was or whether it was "pick something else" or "just ignore it" (in essence lose a skill). But, given that there is, it doesn't mean someone didn't think "oh, if I hard-code this, there could be a collision..."
    56 replies | 1459 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 10:11 PM
    Probably to keep a hard-coded class skill from colliding with a hard-coded background skill.
    56 replies | 1459 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 09:48 PM
    Vote Lawful Evil Party for 4 more years of safety and stability.
    56 replies | 1707 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:59 PM
    I know 5e didn't emphasize foci much, but a Weapon & Wand or Sword & Athame* style for the proto-EK might be cool. You give up the shield, but gain a magical perk of some kind. Like most rounds you minor-action cast a lesser shield cantrip that's only about as good as a shield (it might be cute if it gave a better AC bonus vs cantrips, or negated one magic missile/rnd or reduced mm damage from...
    106 replies | 2220 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:50 PM
    Good point. I hate to sound like one of those old guys who bases how everything should be on how it was "back in my day" but, in the definitive (to me) version of the game, 1e AD&D, there were 5 saves, but everyone's saves got better in all categories as they leveled. Each save was a little better or worse for each class from the beginning, and they advanced at different rates - the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:39 PM
    You could substitute an Advantage-esque mechanic for extra attack, I suppose...
    38 replies | 1157 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:10 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    "Mana Systems" seemed pervasive back in the day, at least in my area - though I heard about 'em a lot more than had to play under them. I feel like they were often regarded as broken, but, 30+ years later, that could just have been me. ;) I think part of 5e's appeal (or, at least, comparative immunity from criticism) is that it /does/ at least accommodate both sorts of DMs. (Among other...
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 07:02 PM
    That's a legit concern, that I wasntvatgempting to address. The idea is that RES, FTH, &POW are only for supernatural sub-systems. They don't add to skills, which are mundane, at all.
    72 replies | 2722 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 06:58 PM
    Part of my thought process was that it would accept that innate imbalance, rather than paper it over. If you try to play say, a more socially adept character than yourself (relative to your DM, mainly), you're investing chargen resources and concept in something that you likely won't get a payoff on. Ok, that sounds interesting. Could you elaborate? Because, one thing I had in mind was...
    72 replies | 2722 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 06:02 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    I've long noted a distinction between liking something in spite of flaws, and liking it for the flaws. But, I suppose there's a further distinction between liking the flaws for their 'silver linings' vs their dismal clouds. Replicated, no, of course you can use a more technically functional game to replicate the lesser one. You can show a B&W movie on a color tv. You could put strobing...
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:20 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Maybe the purpose of basketball isn't all that clear, either? ;)
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:15 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    They're archetypal, they created a legacy, defined the hobby. They were brilliant and innovative in their day. You could design a technically mechanically better system, today, but it'd be derivative rather than innovative, polished rather than brilliant. And, indeed, LOTS of such systems have been designed. Sure, and that those issues only matter as such as something to learn from. As...
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 04:43 PM
    Dude, I've never played DL, if I'm even tracking the acronyms. And, it shouldn't matter which specific games someone has played, if the point isn't to be exclusionary. No, GNS. I thought that was clear from context. I'm maybe a little tired of it, because it's work, to me, and this is my hobby. But, seriously, taking something as complex as RPGs, and dividing it into three categories -...
    127 replies | 8909 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 04:00 PM
    Content Removed by Creator.
    68 replies | 2155 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:23 AM
    Critical Failure! 404 Post does not exist!
    68 replies | 2155 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 07:51 AM
    I'm glad I stared the thread, if only for the kobold blood of dragons story. Thanks. But, the original topic ultimately attracted no attention from the folks I hoped might see value in it. ::shrug::
    72 replies | 2722 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:43 AM
    Oh, snap, there's nothing here.
    68 replies | 2155 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 12:28 AM
    Whether you experience an issue or not, the facts remain.
    71 replies | 1944 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 12:18 AM
    ...move along.
    68 replies | 2155 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:31 PM
    Just alluding to a fact. Whether LFQW means the fighter is broken, the wizard is broken, or the game is broken may be up for debate (and not the topic of this thread, really) but that it's a mathematical fact of D&D class designs since '74 (the odd blip like Bo9S notwithstanding) is not. It's just a D&D Thang. It /also/ used to be a D&D Thang that all 6 saves scaled dramatically with level.
    71 replies | 1944 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:22 PM
    His arch-rival, the Lex Luthor to his Superman? Or, more apropos, the Darkseid to his Jimmy Olsen. But, seriously, similar-CR monsters will force similar saves to a high-level caster, so except when he's slumming vs lower-CR save-forcing critters, he'll be notably worse off. Six of one, half-dozen of the other. Net, the fighter & wizard have advanced the same amount, and the fighter is a...
    71 replies | 1944 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:05 PM
    The /same caster/ is probably also 20th, now, and the same effect, even if it's a mere 1st-level spell, benefits from that DC scaling, so, yeah, /worse/. Thing is, Fighter's saves actually /did/ get better as they leveled back in the day. His target would go down as he, and whatever hypothetical foe he was facing, leveled, even if they happened to level at about the same rate, he'd get...
    71 replies | 1944 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:02 PM
    Move along...
    68 replies | 2155 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:38 PM
    You can go about your business...
    68 replies | 2155 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:17 PM
    This is not the content you're looking for...
    68 replies | 2155 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:13 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Nod. You /might/ still be able to enjoy that game on a different level. Like a one magician can appreciate the technique or artistry of another, precisely because he does know how the trick is done. With the asymmetrical roles of player & GM in most systems, running a TTRPG is arguably similar to throwing a competitive game. It's often the best advice available for a given system. ...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:12 PM
    You don't need to see my identification...
    68 replies | 2155 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:52 PM
    *ahem* mimimimimimi /ME/… let's do this... TRIGGER WARNING: I'm going to use the dreaded N(ostalgia) word. I'm only using it because it applies to me, and how I feel about revisiting the classic games I played decades ago. And, since I am applying it to myself, I hope it's clear I'm using it in a positive sense (yes, there are some). (still funny, btw) For /my/self, I have to admit...
    68 replies | 2155 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:19 PM
    And at 1st he was passing such saves on an 11. He's gotten worse. That's the point. Even if you grant him proficiency, he still gets worse, just more slowly. I do not understand the resistance to saves improving, or at least treading water. In the classic game, saves got /better/ as you leveled, even net of penalties inflicted by very high level spells & monsters. 3e *good* saves and...
    71 replies | 1944 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:02 PM
    Or a Druid in the form of a parrot, with a differently-abled henchman.
    14 replies | 367 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:00 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    I like to think of Illisionism as being analogous to a magician's "illusions" (tricks) - they're fun to be 'fooled' by and to try to figure out, but once you see the strings, less fun. And, yes, there is a whole school (not sure if it's /the/ old school, but it's not a young one) or style of D&D that relies on that.
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 03:29 PM
    Jack Chick and BADD didn't even need the internet. (Since politics are off topic, some D&D-history examples.) Thanks to the internet, we then got The Great Roll vs Role Debate, GNS, The Edition War, Zak S, and now, this guy.
    46 replies | 2177 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:33 AM
    What I recall of Ars Magica is a medieval world ruled by mages, opposed by a divine dominion? You were expected to play a mage, but could play a custos, a powerless bodyguard of a mage, if you really wanted to. Apart from the inherent honesty of the presentation, and the details of the magic system, sounds right up D&D's alley.
    78 replies | 2407 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 12:51 AM
    Yep, I could see that, it sounds pretty reasonable. At 5th, can do 2+X to one target or 1+X to two targets, for a net gain of X, if both attack :):):):), by choosing a different 'maneuver.' Meanwhile, at 5th, someone else may do 8d6 to one target, or 8d6 to all the targets that get w/in a 20' radius sphere... for a net gain of anything from 8d6 up to, oh, 400d6, very hypothetically, assuming...
    38 replies | 1157 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 12:29 AM
    It's worth noting that it could be vs the same 1st-level spell, cast with a 1st-level slot, by the same wizard, now that they're both 20th.
    71 replies | 1944 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 11:42 PM
    Greater internal consistency, actually. Hit points are /very/ abstract, and they goof up the internal consistency of a world quite a lot. Particularly in the oddity of high-hp creatures being un-killable when fresh, by attacks that can kill them when worn down a bit (or when caught helpless). I mean, what's "deadly" in AD&D? A dagger, at 1-4/1-3? Laughable! ...until you're killed by one...
    635 replies | 15571 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 11:13 PM
    10. Swinging across a gap and into an enemy. 11. Grab a halyard, cut it free so it pulls you into the rigging, as the spar it was holding up plunges to the deck - preferably onto an enemy. 12. Multiple pre-loaded hand-crossbows or other single-shot fantasy pistol analog of choice.
    14 replies | 367 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 11:09 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Nod. Like landing on "Go to Jail" or "Loose a Turn" in a board game. Just, arbitrarily, stuff happens. (I'm kinda surprised there aren't more funny stories about Reincarnated old-school D&D characters.) Characters weren't sacrosanct, they didn't /start/ with concepts, but they might come to embody one for part of their career, depending on what the DM had dropped on them.
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:50 PM
    Yeah, those elves, notorious powergamers.
    352 replies | 11998 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:47 PM
    yeah, we'll go with that.
    352 replies | 11998 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:45 PM
    If that's how you see arcana, then it'd also make sense for them to pick up more such bits and pieces while adventuring.
    223 replies | 5334 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:28 PM
    Oh, right, I forgot about all the scenes with Aragorn's "Bear" companion, what was his name? Boromir?
    352 replies | 11998 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:23 PM
    Why would your half-elf Warlord>Battle Captain>Legendary Monarch be casting spells? ;)
    352 replies | 11998 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:14 PM
    I was actually thinking the player could just remember the fact his character stumbled across, maybe note it on his character sheet. Arcana seems /really/ "Trained only" to me. It's, well, /arcane/.
    223 replies | 5334 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:08 PM
    Hardly. Some of 'em didn't do damage, at all. Many the damage is hardly the point, just a Martial Thang, a little differentiation that's as much feel as anything, secondary to supporting allies. I get a lot of use out of Warlord's Recovery, for instance. 5e /has/ long & short rest 'pools,' though I agree that the latter is /not/ equivalent to Encounters. It might be more in keeping...
    163 replies | 5536 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:59 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Yep, lots of ways for stats to go up (or down), or straight to 18, 18/00 or 24 back in the day. Many of the most significant were magic items, almost all, like items, were things the DM would 'drop,' rarely something a player could acquire as a matter of course. 3e, not 5e, codified stat increases as part of progression, both through giving stat increases with level, and by setting out...
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:47 PM
    That's getting more into the concept of a Trained-only check. Though he might acquire specific knowledge in that domain second-hand or through experience.
    223 replies | 5334 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:54 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    There's certainly both people who love the classic game in spite of it's flaws, and those who love it /for/ it's flaws. There's also the more conflicted set who hate it when those flaws are addressed elsewhere, as if it somehow diminishes or invalidates their appreciation of the still-flawed original.
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:25 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    OK, so you're not coming from the perspective I was wondering about. Everything you said makes sense, then. ;)
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:23 PM
    Most games don't use level advancement. Not true, at all. If your character makes a level while avoiding combat and never being wounded, his hps go up. If he makes (and fails) lots of DEX saves, but he's not proficient in DEX saves, they stay the same. If he never gets called on to make a WIS save, but is proficient, it goes up. Again, it's not. There's no diminishing return on...
    223 replies | 5334 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:11 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    There is just /so/ much of that...
    197 replies | 5956 view(s)
    0 XP
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About Jacob Lewis

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Monday, 22nd April, 2019


Friday, 15th June, 2018

  • 07:31 AM - Coroc mentioned Jacob Lewis in post Darksun Version 4.0
    Jacob Lewis That would be another idea, but i still like my solution more, unless you would rule that inferior Magic weapons would not have to make two dice rolls. It has to be analysed statistically though. With a 2xd20 someone has found out a number which would reflect disad quite well it was -2 or so if i remember, so i guess 2 die rolls for weapon damage would result in about a -1 which would be desirable. Has to be analysed though.

Monday, 11th December, 2017


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Sunday, 14th July, 2019

  • 08:35 PM - FrogReaver quoted Jacob Lewis in post Variable stat caps. Anyone ever used?
    You don't create "diversity" by taking away or limiting players' abilities to make choices. You most definitely can create diversity by limiting players abilities to make a choice. You may dislike that method but it accomplishes the goal. You want players to play fighters who aren't focused on Strength? You need to figure out why they don't. The obvious answer is because the game is designed to mechanically support fighters with higher Strength scores. What if I think strength and con are the most important stats for a fighter and that they should be more important for any fighter than intelligence or charisma Period. If you limit their primary ability, you are effectively limiting the potential for that class they had chosen to play unless you provide the means for that character to fulfill its potential with a different ability score. If your point is that such characters wont be as strong as their 20 stat cap brethren then that's true. I'm failing to see why characters being slightly...

Wednesday, 10th July, 2019


Sunday, 7th July, 2019

  • 12:46 AM - Remathilis quoted Jacob Lewis in post Pathfinder Second Edition: I hear it's bad - Why Bad, How Bad?
    This seems pointless. The product isn't even out yet. Most of us have only the playtest material to go on, which Paizo has suggested was radically different from the final product. Anyone with any real substantial exposure and experience with the finalized product cannot openly discuss it. But let's go ahead and discuss how terrible it is already not knowing anything except how to speculate wildly and form opinions for everyone else so we won't need to come up with our own ideas. Heavens forbid! Also, I hear a lot of people actually like it. They're just not usually as vocal or emotional about it. Or bound by NDAs. I think it is more telling than people give it credit for, but not in the ways people are expecting. Like it or not, there was a fairly vocal group of people on The Internet(tm) that gave the impression the game wasn't good. In full disclosure, I didn't play or read it, but I checked some of the local hangouts (Reddit, Paizo boards, etc) and the initial impression anyone reading the...

Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019

  • 01:00 PM - Aldarc quoted Jacob Lewis in post Pathfinder Second Edition: I hear it's bad - Why Bad, How Bad?
    Also, I hear a lot of people actually like it. They're just not usually as vocal or emotional about it. Or bound by NDAs.Same. I have also heard a number of people who were initially critical of the PF2 playtest who have since become enthusiastic about it either from trying out a more polished version or simply from reading the changes from the playtest that have since been slowly revealed. I'm cautiously optimistic.

Sunday, 30th June, 2019


Friday, 28th June, 2019

  • 04:01 PM - billd91 quoted Jacob Lewis in post Why Rules Lawyering Is a Negative Term
    When was this ever a positive term? :confused: There may be rules lawyers out there who think it's a badge of distinction honoring their encyclopedic understanding of the RAW without realizing it's considered bad.

Wednesday, 26th June, 2019

  • 04:29 PM - billd91 quoted Jacob Lewis in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    Its all part of an elaborate scheme to make Pathfinder 3rd Edition the ultimate comeback edition that will fix everything. Its the only way to ensure loyalty from any fanbase. You take away what they love, try to pass it off as something completely new and different, then quickly turn around and go back to the original formula. People love that crap! See Coke/New Coke/Classic Coke for more details. Yeah, no. It was also never Coke's intent either.
  • 03:39 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Jacob Lewis in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    I’m not a rabid Pathfinder fan, but I did play it at cons. However, I can say I’m not moving onto 2e; I just don’t have enough of an attachment to the game to justify the room in my brain to learn a new system. And honestly, the design decisions seem even more fiddly, moving it far out of my tolerance for such. I do think Paizo painted themselves into a corner with this – Pathfinder, being based on 3e, was essentially almost 20 years old in its design theory. Add the rampant bloat to that and it was definitely feeling long-in-the-tooth. As for whether it’s Paizo’s 4e, I think that proof will be in how long it lasts, and yes, all joking aside, what Pathfinder 3e looks like. Its all part of an elaborate scheme to make Pathfinder 3rd Edition the ultimate comeback edition that will fix everything.

Tuesday, 18th June, 2019

  • 06:12 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Jacob Lewis in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    Yes, he's essentially Conan throwing rocks. Hey! That's type-casting! ...poor Arnie... The point is: when most people mention a modern game with insurgents or drug dealers, Commando is not what they have in mind, and D&D is not an obvious fit. In other words, the setting suggests different ways to play. Yeah, I get it. D&D incentivizes certain tactics, strategies, modes of play, whatever you want to call it. 5e give the DM a /lot/ of latitude, though. The game may incentivize toe-to-toe damage-trading (I'm not so sure it does, but for the sake of argument), and the player may thus declare a simple action in accord with the reality that doing damage is a sloggy sort of thing. The DM, though, gets to narrate the results of that action... FREX: Player (with bored resignation*): "I guess I shoot the guy in front of me again." "Hit AC 19 for 15 damage." DM (with unbridled enthusiasm): "You dash across the dusty street of Tombstone, fanning your six-gun as you go! The bandidos sca...

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 03:03 PM - gyor quoted Jacob Lewis in post Best D&D adventures/modules in a desert?
    Don't forget about Pathfinder. You should look into the first two books of the Mummy's Mask Adventure Path. The plots and premise could be easily adapted and fits the theme of the overall campaign. Also worth considering, I think the Golarion version of ancient Egyt (Osirion) is far more interesting and detailed than the Forgotten Realms version. The series was not originally intended for any specific world, so it wouldn't be difficult adapting the key elements of each module into whatever setting used. WotC doesn't own the rights to Osirion, Mummy's Mask AP, or Golarion, so they can't use them. And Orision and FRs Mulhorand (and Bakar) are radically different settings, I mean both have Egyptian themes, but the history and story of the settings are hugely different. Orision is a story of a nation that is rebuilding it's sense of self after regaining indepence from a being a colony of an Imperialist Power. Mulhorand IS the Imperial power, but one that arose by overthrowi...

Thursday, 13th June, 2019

  • 11:13 AM - Bagpuss quoted Jacob Lewis in post Systems You Left after One Bad Experience
    One thing to keep in mind is that the Imperial player is not a GM. He/she is, in fact, another player who is actively opposing the others who are playing together as a team. I highly recommend using the APP that takes over the role of the Imperial player for a more co-op experience, so that you don't feel like a GM being unfair when you shaft the Rebel players, the APP can do that for you and then you can all grown and complain together.

Sunday, 9th June, 2019

  • 04:59 PM - Garthanos quoted Jacob Lewis in post The Intelligent Fighter , Thibault's Circle.
    I always thought the "smart fighters" were Rogues. :cool: I never did as the useless thief of AD&D was my introduction to that archetype. Rogues are now fully fight worthy and so I can shift based on that... AND It is possible to do a smart rogue in 4e and it generally comes off as ninja like (shadowy rogue) I would say that is stylistic rather different than a fencing master with unusually high survivability ;) and a measure of cold calculating dangerousness so to my thinking doesn't do the trick for this Thibault's Circle smart fighter style.

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 02:05 PM - TheWayofPie quoted Jacob Lewis in post [4E] Which classes would you prefer to see in a clone
    Barbarian (Primal/ Striker) Bard (Arcane/ Leader) Cleric (Divine/ Leader) Druid (Primal/ Controller) Fighter (Martial/ Defender) Paladin (Divine/ Defender) Rogue (Martial/ Striker) Wizard (Arcane/ Controller) 2 of each role and power sources. Minimal overlap. Just make sure the Fighter gets Warlord options.

Tuesday, 4th June, 2019

  • 06:10 PM - Xaelvaen quoted Jacob Lewis in post Systems You Left after One Bad Experience
    I think that was the whole point of this thread: games you left because of a bad experience, not because of the system itself. I've never personally had an experience dictate my appreciation of the system, but I certainly get some people work that way - and was not questioning your decision at all, but wondering if there were mechanical complaints/issues as well. You well-explained that with your Vancian casting comment, so just a curiosity. As far as 4E, despite that first terrible experience, my group gave it a fair shot in a non-public setting, and it was immensely more fun (especially with d&d Insider). I didn't like the Fort/Ref/Will being passive numbers, because it felt like a loss of player control - and I even more hated altering my character sheet every other level with a +1 everywhere (so we started using Excel sheets to solve that problem), but it was still a nice change of pace for a couple of years. Like you, I'm not fond of Vancian - which is why our primary system is a h...
  • 04:14 PM - MrDM69 quoted Jacob Lewis in post Should I play 4e?
    You mean like Eldritch Knights and Arcane Tricksters in 5e? Those are optional archetypes. The 4e magic, features, exploits, or whatever you want to call them are not as optional, and just confuse the game.
  • 03:56 PM - Imaro quoted Jacob Lewis in post Should I play 4e?
    You mean like Eldritch Knights and Arcane Tricksters in 5e? Those are spellcasters in 5e.... :confused:

Sunday, 2nd June, 2019

  • 08:42 PM - Xaelvaen quoted Jacob Lewis in post Systems You Left after One Bad Experience
    I am hesitant to say 5e D&D because I made several attempts to let it grow on me. But the fact is my first session playing in the Adventurers League sealed it for me. It wasn't the DM, however; he was a friend of mine and handled it well for what he was given. It was most of the players who showed up like it was a chore they had to do in order to get rewarded. They selected characters from a rotating stable of sheets with no names (i.e. "Barbarian 4", "Cleric 2", etc.). And despite early comments from the group being fans of Critical Role, almost everyone was reluctant to participate in any activity or play that didn't involve a roll that would lead to dealing damage to someone. FYI, the adventure was largely centered around a puzzle/riddle dungeon. The first time a creature appeared and offered a riddle, half the party charged and forced a combat. It was then I decided that 5e (and public play in general) was not so appealing to me. What I had with 4e was no longer there, and it didn't seem it w...

Saturday, 1st June, 2019


Friday, 31st May, 2019

  • 07:16 PM - Staffan quoted Jacob Lewis in post The MAYA Design Principle, or Why D&D's Future is Probably Going to Look Mostly Like Its Past
    You're not wrong. I consider 4e to be a step in the game's evolution until it did a backslide into 5e. 5e is closer to what I wanted in 3e, but 4e is what I really enjoyed and wished to see progress and evolve further in 5e. 5e does not innovate with any new ideas for me, so I moved on. PF2 could get my interest, but I am fully invested now in other games that do things different and (dare I say) better in some aspects. 4e had two problems: 1. The math didn't work out. The treadmill regarding monster stats vs PC stats meant that PCs became less likely to hit monsters at higher levels, and monsters generally took a bit too long to kill. This aspect was exacerbated by the game wanting to be focused around interesting "bossy" fights, while players and designers were still doing attrition-based adventures. This made the game tedious, at least when played as people were used to playing. 2. Too many radical changes. Adding tieflings (but now with a homogeneous look to make art direction and ...
  • 04:37 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Jacob Lewis in post How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules
    I would recommend focus on Heroic tier (levels 1-10) first. Don't concern yourself with the higher powered experiences that will introduce more complexity and potentially game-breaking abilities until you nail down the fundamentals. Keep it simple. Keep it basic. Make it work. The whole point of a clone is that your copying something that already works (in whatever way or to whatever extent it does, anyway). 4e was functional at all levels, so there's certainly no need to focus on Heroic Tier. If anything, focus on Epic would make more sense, since, while functional by-the-numbers, that Tier was not as well supported with DMing advice and the like as Heroic in the DMG1/Essentials and Paragon in the DMG2. + 4e and 5e aren’t fundamentally all that different. If by fundamentally you mean they're both d20 games, sure. But, fundamentally, 4e was designed from the ground up as a cooperative game, optimized for balance, playability and ease of both introduction & DMing. The result was AEDU a...


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