View Profile: Jacob Lewis - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 06:38 PM
    I meant it as non-specific and all-inclusive. I would absolutely include things like those things, in 'things.' The example was illustrative, not exhaustive. Now, if you want to get down to the level of experiencing system artifacts, sure, even freestyle, with no system to speak of could be said to have those, and they'd be different from an actual system. But, my point was not that...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:59 AM
    … see, that's not cynical, at all... (I shouldn't talk, I'm totally cynical.) TBH (not just cynical), denying that system makes a difference strikes me as pointless. Obviously, systems are different, and those differences can't be quite meaningless. Now, to turn around the prior cynicism: The "cost" can include no longer being able to abuse or leverage that lack of systematic...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:31 PM
    On the one hand, that's not really much of a perk. Most Combat Styles actually make you better at something than the next guy. If your INT is 16, this makes as good with a Rapier as the guy with DEX 16. ::shrug:: Maybe have the INT bonus add in some other way. Maybe just add it, rather than replace it? With some proviso about the type of weapon & enemy or something? IDK. OTOH...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:18 PM
    Now that I think of it, there were other references to Level /n/ Monsters here and there in 1e. Summoning for instance. And a whole little blurb about how they used the word 'level' for a /lot/ of different things that didn't necessarily correspond. Oh, yeah, but you could be subtle about it. DM's Screen hides a multitude of sins. One of the biggest things was the convention that...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:08 PM
    I think it's important to keep in mind that 5e short rests resources are pretty pointedly /not/ encounter-based, the intended theoretical balance-point for encounters:short:long is 6-8:2-3:1, or about /two/ encounters between rests. And, that's in theory, in practice, it depends on how much time you have between encounters and whether you use a variant, like the 'gritty' variant that makes short...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:57 PM
    Sorry to riff off of just a couple sentences but... Seems like "informal practices" could be pretty varied and readily mutable (or set in stone, and violently defended, I suppose). If I'm following, that's an example of 'informal practice,' and - I'm really hoping - neither 'informal practice' nor 'GM stipulation' nor 'consensus roleplaying' have any extra-special...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:27 PM
    You're not wrong about those being similarities, but they're not identical, and the play dynamic they generate can be /very/ different. The short/long rest distinction in 5e, for instance, is 1 vs 8 hrs, often time enough for one is time enough for the other, you just can't take more than one of the latter in a given 24 hr period - the design assumption is 2-3 short rest & 6-8 encounters per...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:50 PM
    So you can get more XP than the next guy, pull ahead of him, and 'win' the game? That's not an entirely unfair characterization - I'd note that in 5e, XP does have an effect, in that the XP requirements to level relative to the XP value of a standard encounter budget, lead to faster leveling in Apprentice Tier, and after 11th level, and slower leveling through the putative 'sweet spot.' So...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:40 PM
    OK, I had noticed you said something about auras, and now that definitely reminds me of an encounter in, IIRC, PoS, with Chillborn Zombies. In 4e, virtually all auras didn't stack when overlapping, but - wonders of exception-based design - a few explicitly did... ...and illustrated why they shouldn't've. ;) I can't recall exactly where, but I heard that 8 encounters was the original...
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:15 AM
    Nothing beats original Heroquest! Its crackin' good! (I don't care how many times this is posted. I never get tired of watching it because it is the best thing ever made on the internet! And anyone who says otherwise is wrong!)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:47 AM
    When you say "always conceptually bugs..." you're possibly even righter than you know: that was a frequent criticism of D&D back in the day. Any number of games used 'more realistic' experience systems, including 2e, and all later eds, as a result. /Just/ gold for XP is an odd variant, usually you could get XP from combat, too, just maybe not the lion's share depending on how good you were...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:43 AM
    It depends on how cunning the invading supernatural forces are, and how slow the modern society is to accept the reality of them. Come in quietly, reconnoiter invisibly, polymorph to infiltrate, and then charm/dominate/replace key people? Apart from some logistical concerns the world is yours, no one even notices. Encircle a major city with your undead horde, and cackle your demands for...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:02 AM
    5e is definitely not bloated like 3e, for just one example. Also, it should be pretty obvious that 5e managed some faults of it's own that 3e didn't suffer from. Do I really need to argue something so obvious? Have tobacco companies gone out of business? Has global peace broken out?
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 11:55 PM
    Except magic in the source material /does/ follow patterns, they're just patterns in the unfolding drama of the narrative, not in the (non-existent) underlying reality of the implied 'magic system.' A gnome who can spin straw into gold - but not mind-control people, render himself invulnerable with shields of force, throw balls of fire, etc, etc, etc (so, y'know, not as powerful as a 5th level...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 11:17 PM
    Ha! Blatant Nerd Stereotype! …and true. Thank you, yes.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 11:05 PM
    That's an issue, because we have no guide as to which of the various deadly monsters in TSR eds parties were supposed to face at a given level. We have decades of experience giving us a really good idea, but that's still all subjective, and it would tend to shift the game towards whatever desired level of lethality we were working towards...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 10:14 PM
    Off topic - why not, after 6 years a topic can drift, right - say you were a ghoul in 4e. And say you were a /vegan/ ghoul. What do you do now, in 5e, that there are no more Wilden?
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 10:08 PM
    IDK, I read the article and the original thread and this one, and I feel like a very simple cogent point being made by said article is missed or ignored or bulldozed or something: Magic in traditional TTRPGs like D&D fails to model or evoke magic in the sources of inspiration they nominally draw from.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 09:29 PM
    I should hope so, that's potentially some powerful drama there. (I'm picturing WWI, for some reason, not being too into the DitV setting.) Does the character conceive a death wish and get killed? Find a renewed reason to live and survive - or die tragically, or even heroically, in spite of that? Become a stronger person or descend into an emotional spiral - if the latter, how can he pull out...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 09:11 PM
    Yeah, that's a given. 4e DMing was phone-it-in easy. I felt like I'd almost forgotten how to run after a few years. ;) But it's like falling off a bicycle. (something else it turns out I'm good at) And armed ones using iterative attacks, that got brutal, too. Published adventures varied quite a lot. With modern eds, you can compare how PCs stack up to the encounter guidelines. ...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 09:09 PM
    I believe I said that. 5e didn't get rid of the things that were complained about, it put /back/ the things that those stalking-horses were really about. You have no idea. I'm a bitter, cynical, old man on my best day, discussing the most innocuous things. I turn it down to 11 when I'm here. Heh. Depends how you run it. 5e /brought back/ the faults of 3e - and, more importantly, those...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 07:22 PM
    Seems right up FATE's alley, and something that could be touched upon in systems that model the character's psychology in some way (Hero, would be the one I'm most familiar with: psych lims), that can be tested (EGO roll) and change over time (changed around, or exp to 'buy down/off'). Certainly not with the same detail and play dynamics, of course... I didn't follow that, probably because I...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 06:39 PM
    It's effing hilarious.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 06:34 PM
    Any chance your formative play experience with 4e included Keep on the Shadowfell, Thunderspire Labyrinth, and/or Pyramid of Shadows? (Because, while the middle one was actually mostly pretty good, each included at least one example of completely whacked encounter design.) ...or, y'know, alternately, maybe your DM just liked killing you... ;) Vs encounters run closely to guidelines,...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 06:26 PM
    That proves what I said. The AD&D fighter's save improved from needing a natural 14, to needing a natural 9 - and that's vs anything trying to petrify or polymorph him, from a cockatrice to a medusa to a 19th level Lich. He got /much/ better. Your 18 CON 3e fighter goes from needing an 8 at 4th level vs a 4th level DC, to needing a natural 10, vs a 10th level DC. He got /worse/. And, that's...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 05:53 PM
    Most of the things people complained loudly about in 4e, 5e retains in at least some measure. Fighters casting spells, wizards being 'nerfed' (relative to 3e), martial healing, overnight 'natural healing,' dissociated mechanics, etc, etc... ...nor was it "presentation" - PF2 need have no worries on that score - Essentials desperately scrambled to give a mussed, fluff-heavy presentation,...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 05:24 PM
    Thank you. It'd be awesome if you'd stop saying there weren't, going forward. If what you mean is "at low level, 1e fighters had crap saving throws, and at the highest levels had the best saving throws in the game and could expect enough bonuses from randomly generated magic items to fail only on a natural 1, even before name level, PCs casually drinking poison for the flavor because it was...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 03:22 PM
    I suppose it doesn't, by itself. A TT gaming renaissance, being able to research the game on-line without the top hits being rants about how wrong and evil and not-D&D it is, the name recognition and rep of the "First RPG," these things bring new folks in to try (or at least, don't keep) D&D for the first time. A master DM who has internalized all the DM know-how, is just waiting for them, he...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 07:56 AM
    And and, monsters could pull the same tricks. 3e had SoDs, and vs bad saves that only got worse relative to rising (let alone optimized) DCs, and negative levels worked a little differently, mechanically, but we're still pretty awful.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 11:30 PM
    What? Really? All of it? ::imagines who forests vanishing with the click of a mouse:: ;)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 09:41 PM
    Precisely my point. 3.5 went out of print ("end of life," maybe I mistakenly mixed a tech term into a publishing discussion, there?), and Paizo kept selling PF1 to 3.5 fans for another 10 years. Because 3.5 had just established that kind of loyalty. In another sense than product cycles, 3.5 (in the form of open-source d20) is /immortal/. As long as anyone wants to buy it, it can be...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 09:18 PM
    I always figured it was inspired by Sting, Orcrist and Glamdring in The Hobbit. I mean... ...that fits the MO of Orcrist the Goblin-Cleaver, in reverse, right?
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:53 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Yes. Typo. Fixed. Thanks for catching that. I'm not /intentionally/ using any common variants....
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:48 PM
    It is, because there was a very significant event that impacted the hobby in 2000: the release of 3e. In contrast, I'd be more inclined to accept data from '97 applying to 98 & 99, for instance, as not /that/ much changed - alarm over the failure of TSR probably lessened. I'm not arguing the other side. By saying that 1999 data isn't valuable for making one claim about 2002-5, say, I'm...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:41 PM
    I agree with Sacrosanct that 2e could be shifted to the left in that ranking of lethality. But, as I said, above, there's some truth to it, in terms of relative PC durability at first level. In general, as the eds progressed, 1st level PCs were made more durable, from 3d6 in order to more liberal stat generation, from random 1st level HD to max, from no healing at 1st to bonus spells from WIS,...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:16 PM
    Yeah, I've never known us all to agree. ;) 3e, for instance, was plenty deadly, it went all-in on giving monsters the same options as PCs, so much of the assumed advantages the system quietly gave PCs in prior editions quietly vanished - also 3e retained SoDs, /and/ saves didn't keep up with DCs, in contrast to prior eds where saves genuinely improved with level. I'd tend to agree. 2e...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 07:15 PM
    There are melee weapons that can be thrown. So there's a very practical distinction between "attack with a melee weapon" or "melee attack with a weapon," as throwing an axe at someone is ranged attack with a melee weapon, but not a melee attack, at all. Hitting someone with a bowstave is a less common example of the same distinction.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 07:02 PM
    Yep, understandable. Storyteller sold a /lot/ of books in the 90s, and they were, especially for rulebooks, pretty good cover-to-cover reads, but good luck finding a specific thing you vaguely remembered reading in one of them. Serious point-build systems, Hero, GURPS, could sometimes go the exact opposite, especially in presenting their core mechanics, very dry stuff. Both more complex and...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:52 PM
    I intended layers. ;) I also think it's a perfectly workable variant. Oh yeah, I've seen that in action. Most dramatic example: a one shot Firefly scenario that included a prison break - one of the players was a correctional officer. It was positively comical when I was a kid, 14yo's arguing about 'how stuff really works.'
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:40 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Well, I mean, OK. 1e: 1st level fighter, longsword & shield, splint, 16 STR, 14 CON: AC 3, 1-10 (5.5) hps, hits self on natural 17 for 2-9 (5.5) damage (1.1 DPR). 5e: 1st level fighter, longsword, starting package, duelist style, 16 STR, 14 CON: AC 18, 12 hps, hits self on natural 13 for 1d8+5(9.5) damage (3.8 DPR, 4.275 w/crits).
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:34 PM
    Odd, why would you describe something as the exact opposite of what it was? Powers were very structured in presentation, and the mechanics had fairly clear/exact jargon definitions. Anything but jumbled or messy. Indeed, the aesthetic, if it could even be called that, was more 'technical manual' than anything else - which is great for understanding or looking up what you need, but less than...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:25 PM
    So they were being dishonest? Alignment was a rule - you had to choose one - and it had mechanical effects, including things the character /could/ do, items it could use, etc, as well as restrictions on it. So, I'd think, even from a purely "gamist" (not necessarily in the Forge sense) perspective, you'd want to choose the 'best' alignment for your strategy, rather than try to talk the DM out...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:13 PM
    Missed that, sorry. Between 1999 and 'early 2000s' 3e was released. I suspect it had an impact. So 2003 GenCon, sounds relevant, FWIW. 1999's survey, while it might be stronger data, just isn't relevant to the 2000s.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 03:23 AM
    "Balanced at the Encounter" just means "pacing doesn't matter." Even 4e didn't go there, though the closely-related 7th ed of Gamma World did, and it worked pretty well, actually. Any indication PF2 wants to go there?
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 02:24 AM
    You have a choice of rules to use (or not): Carrying capacity, it's 15 lb/STR, if the fighter's gear & the other character & his gear exceed that, he's pushding/dragging and his move drops to 5' - otherwise fine, this is the simple default for carrying stuff. Encumbrance ("Variant"): Up to 5lb/STR he's fine, but it's unlikely a medium ally is under 100lb, which'd be the limit for 20 STR. ...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 01:13 AM
    Sounds plausible (that he'd like a mechanic like that), 4e had a lotta* re-rolls, from the notorious Elven Accuracy on, and it seemed like there were just more of 'em after he took over. In particular, the Avenger had a special ability that was "make two attack rolls and use either result. … If another effect lets you roll twice and use the higher result when making an attack roll, this power...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 12:51 AM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    I may still be stuck in the idiom of the D&D Pedantry Thread, but it seems like there's a whole lotta RPGs that don't particularly fit between those. Good to know.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 12:25 AM
    My memory's bad, but I'm fairly certain that the "Summer of 1999" occurred /before/ "the early 2000s." (I mean, I've been "fairly certain" and turned out to have been wrong, before, so y'all might wanna to double-check.)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 11:29 PM
    I suspect that'd wear you out. ;) A quick search of some modern archery guidelines, and, yes, you increase wear on a 'natural material' bow if you leave it strung a long time, apparently even a few hours is worth avoiding. Apparently, a strung bow is under tension and a bit dangerous if the string or stave breaks, too. More detail than D&D generally goes into with weapons. Adventurers...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 11:18 PM
    They've had more or less mechanical impact in some eds (and I'm sure, some places/groups/etc back in the day, when we were a less disunited-by-the-internet, merely more diverse, community). Obvious examples of early alignment mechanics are alignment requirements for classes, damage for touching an artifact that doesn't match your alignment, detect this and know that, etc... 3e peaked, with the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 10:24 PM
    No expert, but I've heard yes with regard to the bow. But I'm fine with arbitrary. Medieval rossbows, IIRC, weren't like guns - there's no safety, the bolt can just fall out, etc...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:59 PM
    If every single mechanic is upturned, then it's hardly just a re-boot to re-start the supplement cycle, is it? Sounds more like substantive change.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:56 PM
    I actually kinda like common. In general, things seem more fantasy (or mythic, perhaps) to me, if everyone can talk to everyone else. You could conceive of Common as just "the gift of language" in the sense of communication, it's not just a language everyone strangely learns, it's the language everyone who can speak at all, can speak by default. All other languages would then be...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:34 PM
    You bank the fire before you go to bed, uncover the coals in the morning, add kindling, and blow on it. IDK why I happen to remember that, but it's actually a good example. If I didn't, your character would be screwed trying to start a fire in mundane domestic setting without a flint & steel, D&D-matches (tindertwig?), or, well, since this is 5e, Firebolt... ...so not really screwed...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:23 PM
    There is the important act of stringing the bow, you could make that an Action, and require it be un-strung to stow (only slightly arbitrary). If you also impose more plausible RoF on crossbows and slings, that'd about take care of projectile weapons as fast-swapping alternatives to melee.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:11 PM
    I blame Elan... ...OK, and every version of the Bard class that preceded him.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:07 PM
    Don't mind me, I'm just being pedantic... "How the /Hell/ is it you speak Infer-" "... oh, nevermind, answered my own question, really." But it doesn't specify if that that's oral route, IM, naso-gastric, IV, topical, suppository...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:57 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Or that, yeah. Actually, now that you mention it, my second 4e character was an "old-school high-elf fighter/magic-user," he was a wand wizard, and he did explain his Scorching Burst as "an old Wand of Fireballs that doesn't work like it used to." (There was, in that campaign, a conceit that magic had historically, or pre-historically, worked as it had in prior eds, so I got to lampshade the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:21 PM
    I'm getting a sense of deja-vu here... … yeah, it's like it's 2003 and someone's going on about the 'cash grab' … ...which went on to command such loyalty from fans that Paizo has been selling PF1 to that base for an extra decade past it's end of life. ...so, yer say'n PF2 could be Paizo's 3.5!
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:07 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    The difference in ease of use is certainly there, that's been the game's direction the whole time, it's one thing the WotC era hasn't deviated from. Maybe it was just 'pervasive' that threw me. Because, yeah, neo-Vancian is way more versatile than old-school Vanican, and way less limited in in-combat used. OTOH, the breadths of spells isn't as great, and some of them are, well, 'less...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:16 PM
    "Good night everybody!" - Yakko Warner
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:13 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Ok... Magic has always been /so/ pervasive in D&D. It's an infinitely-renewable, daily (or 4hr-nap) resource. You kill a few monsters, one of them'll eventually drop a magic item. There's /fewer/ items, in theory, in 5e, and not really a lot more spells/day (and fewer spells overall)… … and then there's cantrips, which seem to freak people out, but if you've played with Warlocks and...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 06:36 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Definitely. I played 3e & 4e each for their full runs. 5e was like coming back to AD&D, in contrast. If I'd never left, it'd seem radically different, because I'd be noticing all the little (and huge) technical differences, rather than the broader similarities, the ways in which the game had changed, rather than ways it changed back. /The/ major thing, IMHO, is the privilege of the DM...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 06:25 PM
    My 3.x group always did that. One of the more extreme ways I've ever seen of dealing with a bad HD roll at level-up, was to repudiate the level. That's how the player put it "I do not accept that roll! I repudiate the level!" I was Ok with it, his fighter dropped back to 2nd, and she ultimately made it to 4th (with less disappointing HD rolls on the way)… ...she was, BTW, one of those...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 06:14 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    And, at high level, in 5e, they get a lot safer, which is /also/ similar to 1e, as you accumulate hps and get better saves and more protective items and more spells to negate/reverse bad things happening to you. While the details of the systems are quite different - 5e has bigger hp/damage/healing numbers, 1e has much more significant scaling on d20 targets (which it used moreso than bonuses,...
    231 replies | 8180 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 06:06 PM
    OK, that is just too good an observation to just XP and tacitly agree with. Yes, I totally get that, and agree it's very much a thing. I kinda alluded to it in the OP, with how you'd build a fire in the absence of any knowledge/wisdom Nature or Survival skill ("...you'd describe exactly what you do, and if you & the DM were in the same boyscout troop, probably succeed"). Because another...
    88 replies | 3516 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 05:43 PM
    Sharpshooters'd use finesse weapons as melee backup. The way STR characters use heavy thrown weapons as ranged backup. Which, I think, illustrates the issue. Heavy thrown weapons are a pretty serious downgrade from archery. Rapiers, as the OP points out, are not a downgrade from longswords, really, at all. This is D&D. Magic is supposed to be just better. Not the worst idea I've ever...
    87 replies | 2827 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 05:32 PM
    There are no new ideas. It certainly /did/ it badly (if at all) in '93. Since 3.0, it hasn't been so bad, mechanically (OK, diplomancers were pretty horrid), in theory, if DM's'd use the mechanics, and players'd respect them when they didn't break their way... …/IF/. If not, well, machete, gasoline. Problem solved.
    88 replies | 3516 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 05:02 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    There was no CR in 1e. You could totally face orcs (or heck, gnolls, zombies, an ogre, etc) at 1st level. ('Face' not necessarily to be taken literally.) Part of the appeal, I should think. (Of course, CR /guidelines/ don't prevent you from facing an Ogre - or disinterested dragon - at first level, they just wave a red flag at the idea.) So it's an Orcs to Orcs comparison. Orcs just have...
    231 replies | 8180 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 04:34 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    The logic seemed irrefutable to my 15yo self. ;) "So, hey, Tony, it says here that peasants have 1-6 hps and or '0th' level." "Well, yeah, they're not as good as characters with classes, they don't have levels, but they do have some hps." "Right, but before you have a class you don't have a class, right?" "I guess." "So my magic-user, before he became a magic user, he had 1-6 hps." "That...
    231 replies | 8180 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 02:51 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Well, or the alternative wasn't. More likely, it was another thing that varied a lot. I recall Max 1st HD (because Rangers) being a very common variant. One group even figured that, at 0 level, everyone, even mere peasants, got 1-6 hps, so your first level HD should add to those. The version of that I encountered was the "brevet" - start at 2nd, but 0 exp...
    231 replies | 8180 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 02:39 PM
    A standard game with no optional rules turned on. Feats & MCing are explicitly optional. You don't ban them, you just dont bother opting into them.
    87 replies | 2827 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 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...
    87 replies | 2827 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 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.
    231 replies | 8180 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 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.
    38 replies | 1414 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 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...
    123 replies | 7328 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 01:20 AM
    Yes. Play a Gangrel. Take the Flaw "Twisted Upbringing."
    107 replies | 3894 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 01:17 AM
    So we shouldn't mention the Pixie/Storm-Giant?
    153 replies | 6109 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 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...
    713 replies | 19927 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 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...
    231 replies | 8180 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 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...
    87 replies | 2827 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 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.
    231 replies | 8180 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 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,...
    231 replies | 8180 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 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...
    231 replies | 8180 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 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. ...
    231 replies | 8180 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 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. …
    153 replies | 6109 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 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...
    107 replies | 3894 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 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...
    231 replies | 8180 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 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...
    38 replies | 1414 view(s)
    0 XP
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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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