View Profile: Greenfield - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Today, 12:37 AM
    By the spell you can "violent thrust" a target in any direction, up to a total distance of 10 feet per caster level. Attempting to pick up and carry via "sustained force", they move at a maximum of 20' per round, so using that a caster could slow hoist, over a number of rounds, up to the maximum spell range. At 9th level caster that's 190 feet, or 19 dice of falling damage. That would take 9...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:50 PM
    Continual Flame has it's uses, but costs a bit in terms of Ruby dust. Consider Permanent Illusion to create a well lit ceiling. Saves you all of the trouble of scrubbing the real one and gives the effect of modern indirect lighting. Or, if you prefer, create the illusion of a stone channel that runs around the edge of the room, near the ceiling, and is full of flaming oil. We've all seen that...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:37 PM
    Saw a replica in a fantasy/game shop and had a chance to handle it. The hand grips were a bit thin on that particular one, so it could easily twist in your grip and not always hit edge first. Fix that, though, and yeah, it's entirely practical. It's essentially an axe though, as in, it's a chopping weapon with a two handed grip, with the hands spaced at about shoulder width. I compare...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:28 PM
    We ran an entire Grecco-Roman campaign and it was a blast. The entire mythology of the region was there to play with, not just Greek and Roman, but any other culture the Roman empire had contact with: Egypt, Ireland/Scotland, North Africa, the middle east, the Norse, all of it. With all of that in mind I have to say that the best source book I found was Bullfinch's Mythology. We also had...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:11 PM
    Hmm. 25 D6 is achieved by simply hoisting a target up to maximum spell range (100 feet +10 per level) and dropping them. Of course, this all presumes that you're someplace where you can hoist/fling someone that hard/far. BAB isn't that big an issue for the personal fling, since it's based on a ranged touch attack, and uses the casting stat instead of Dex for the bonus (caster's stat is...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 11:41 PM
    To me the difference is simple: Science is reproducible. It's an essential component in the Scientific Method, after all. Reproduce the conditions and you will reproduce the results. Doesn't matter if I do it or you do it, if we do it in my lab or on a park bench a thousand miles from here. Push button A and effect B comes out, every time. Magic, on the other hand, isn't...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 11:12 PM
    I'd say yes. People read in dim light all the time. Add a dice check if you feel it's needed, but if it was something written by a darkvision creature then they'll have used colors and script sizes that would allow it to be easily readable.
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 11:04 PM
    Hey, this involves a 3.5 campaign, though conceptually the ideas may apply to just about any other edition. My character is a Wizard of 17th level. He just finished crafting a Ring of Telekinesis, which took months of down time, a small fortune and a ton of Exp. Now that my character has the item though, I'm thinking it's too much: Use of the Telekinesis spell every round means,...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 10:35 PM
    I don't recall that particular detail, but it's been a few years since I read the books, and they weren't exactly written with game adaptations in mind. (The original Nine Princes in Amber series pre-dated D&D by at least a decade.) If that were the case though, you'd think major wizardy types like Merlin would keep his hung spell pool damned near full. But again, it's a story, and there...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 10:16 PM
    Magic was, traditionally, tied to religion almost exclusively. Just about the only exception I can think of would be "Faeries", and their magic, and even then there are some tales/variations that give even that a religious source. To me, though, "Science" is really just a skin you put over the game mechanics. In super-hero games they use the term "special effect" to distinguish the...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:53 PM
    Following up on my own ramble: In D&D, different classes have different spell lists. Some, like the Bard in D&D 3.*, were really light on combat spells. Like, nearly none. (Glitterdust actually counted as an offensive spell for a 3.* Bard. That's how starved they were for damage dealing spells.) The Zelazny style of magic would tend to blur the lines from one class to another. Suddenly...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:46 PM
    Having read the books and considered this, there was one aspect that caught my eye: Casters "Hung" spells (i.e. prepared them) and they could stay there for a few days before fading. The character involved was specifically Merlin (no, not *that* Merlin), and he tended to hang a few defensive spells, an attack or two and that was it. As he put it, "After that it just came down to throwing raw...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:26 PM
    Like most of the above responses, I use paper and pencil. If you want a hard mechanic for it, go to a craft store and buy a bag of "wooden nickles", simple wood disks with blank faces. Now, mark one disk for each spell they have prepared, or for each spell slot they have for each spell level. Mark the other side with a number, referring to which NPC caster they belong to. DO NOT try to...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:14 PM
    Odd example, needing Survival or some other skill check to start a fire. Consider a setting from dark ages up to the colonial period: How does someone light the cooking fire at home? How do they keep their house warm? Remember, "Tinder Twigs" (3.5 alchemical item) were special things and kind of pricey for the average peasant. Answer? The same way your PC lights a lantern or a torch: ...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:23 AM
    Thanks. Our exchange seems to have come full circle: What passes for science in a magical setting? Chemistry becomes Alchemy. Physics becomes meta-physics. Astronomy becomes astrology. And as we've come full circle, geometry seems appropriate, specifically a tangent: While Astrology and zodiac signs are casually dismissed, recently scientists (the real thing) have determined that part...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:16 AM
    I'm not going to get into a spell by spell debate. My points were simply to show that, while we can make "sciencey noise" about magic and spells, the fact remains that that's all they are. Could we use heat transference to explain fire spells? Sure. Interdimensional shift to explain summoning and conjurations? Okay. Now, how does wriggling fingers and chanting words make that happen? And...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 07:53 PM
    You can make sciencey sounding noise, but since there's no way to actually do any of those things... There used to be discussions about converting components to energy to power evocation spells. The problem is that this would be the equivalent of having a tac-nuke in your hand. The energy release would so far exceed the spell requirements that the overflow would vaporize you. Bending...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 01:36 AM
    Monsters have blood. Depending on how exotic the critter the blood may have some odd characteristics, but even that is mostly for color. So, to put it simply, is Metaphysics a subset of Physics? No. Physics is science, subject to reproducibility. Condition A results in Effect B, every time. Metaphysics is an "art". Fifteen different people can say the same words, repeat the same...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:39 AM
    Being primarily a 3.5 player, I see it through that lens. In 3.5, Genie are the ultimate Elementals, and they aren't interchangeable. Different attitudes/alignments. Djinn can't actually grant wishes, unless they are noble. Generally Chaotic Good people, they can't grant wishes very often, but they won't willfully mess with you for asking. Efreet are Fire elementals, and are Lawful...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 07:29 PM
    It's easy to have a player be smarter than their character: Let them take longer than six seconds to think of something he character has to figure out in a single round. Can a character be more likeable than the player? Yes and no. The diplomacy/persuasion aspect is really hard, since a lead-tongued player is going to be really bad as a silver tongued Bard. Other than that, though, it's all...
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  • Greenfield's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 07:17 PM
    I've seen a lot of arguments on this topic. For me, the big one against such things is "additional effects". Poison, for example, wouldn't be delivered if the poisoned weapon never actually touches/cuts the target. Weapons with energy damage the same, though to a lesser extent. We see hit points as the ability to take a punch, to roll with the blow so as to reduce or minimize the damage. ...
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  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 05:04 PM
    Gamer and designer Lee Garvin passed away. https://www.facebook.com/lee.garvin.3 https://www.patreon.com/LeeGarvin https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/334884471/killing-lee-garvin
    203 replies | 16299 view(s)
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About Greenfield

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About Greenfield
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I'm an old time gamer, playing in Southern California. We play D&D 3.5 and 4e, Alternity, Mutants and Masterminds, Shadowrun and a home brew supers system.
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Long Beach, CA
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Thursday, 18th July, 2019


Friday, 12th July, 2019


Tuesday, 9th July, 2019


Thursday, 20th June, 2019


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Friday, 12th July, 2019

  • 04:43 AM - Fenris-77 mentioned Greenfield in post Science in D&D
    We're making the same sciencey noise about everything in Star Wars and Star Trek, so there's that The answer to all the questions in the OP is twofold, the first answer is Arthur C Clarke, and second is do what tho wilt is the extent of the law. That said, unless you want to change the fundamental drive of humans (humanoids?) to figure stuff out, there would be the equivalent of science in most settings, at some level or other, just based on a different physics. For example, that very idea is what made Eberron such a compelling setting - it's not impossible and actually often fruitful to combine the two ideas. Greenfield - if it doesn't exist you can't have studied it, at which point we're back to ACC. You picked the right closer.:cool:

Wednesday, 20th February, 2019

  • 02:14 AM - ParanoydStyle mentioned Greenfield in post Do you ever "call" fights?
    Greenfield: lol that's less calling a fight than it is barring the entrance to rapetown. All the time, but very seldom in the form of "okay this fight is over let's move to cleanup/bookeeping". Generally speaking if there are any intelligent enemies, well, they have self preservation, so I'd imagine they would notice they were getting their asses kicked and run away or surrender. Magical beasts and animals, even non-intelligent ones, still have self preservation. If PCs REALLY want to murder the surrendering foes (DEFINITELY an evil act) or chase down/backshoot the fleeing enemies, they can do so, but there's no need to bother with rolling dice. In my experience, PCs usually don't feel the need to "give no quarter", especially if they understand that a routed, captured, (or at my table, circumvented) foe is worth just as much XP as one you kill. With things like constructs and elementals you can't really do that. In those cases if the party was clearly winning I'd just fudge down their hit-poin...

Wednesday, 6th February, 2019


Tuesday, 8th January, 2019

  • 09:55 PM - Lanefan mentioned Greenfield in post General Fantasy RPG question regarding game time
    A day is a single rotation of the planet. Doesn’t matter if the sun rises or not.Exactly. Until you're not on that planet. When you're on some happy plane where the sun never sets, or in the endless darkness of the abyss, or just floating in outer space: something else has to be used. For reasons noted above, "long rest" really isn't the answer unless the party tend to follow their usual routines based on their body clocks and more or less all rest at once (which is what the 4e-5e rule seems to assume as a baseline) roughly once per 24 hours. But if the players/PCs are intent on gaming the system in ways like Greenfield suggests, that's when the DM has to step in and say 'no'.

Wednesday, 6th June, 2018

  • 02:47 AM - Schmoe mentioned Greenfield in post Looking for more combat feats
    Greenfield That's an interesting approach, thanks. I may steal it. Did you do anything about the huge discrepancy between full attack and move/attack at higher BABs? I'm considering something like the following: "As a standard action, you can make a full attack as if your BAB was 5 points less." This way a fighter with BAB of +12 could choose to either move and single attack at +12 or move and double attack at +7/+2. It really becomes relevant with things like Whirlwind Attack or dual-wielding, but I'm not real thrilled with it yet. Another thing I've considered is just giving every character the equivalent of Vital Strike from Pathfinder.

Thursday, 5th April, 2018


Wednesday, 4th April, 2018


Sunday, 12th November, 2017

  • 06:28 AM - DMMike mentioned Greenfield in post The logistics of the squire
    This keeps the henchmen at useful levels to either support their employer in future dungeons, as aids in a dominion, or to become a PC if their employer dies. Thank you: squires are PC-replacements. And that is a primary benefit of the Leadership feat - written or no. The hard part is keeping them around. The first time your boss says, "we're going into the field today," and then you see him get doused in flame or petrified by a basilisk, well, you're probably going to change careers. The phrase "you can't pay me enough..." comes to mind. In the case of a follower who keeps up in level, and can possibly survive some of these traumatic events, staying on the sidelines to hand the knight another lance is a viable, and safe, option. That follower could even go into the dungeon, but would be well advised to carry a large shield, and use it, at all times. Greenfield: how do NPCs advance? Purely at the discretion of Rule Zero. It's a pretty big waste of time to use another system for that.

Monday, 6th November, 2017

  • 10:16 PM - Savnock mentioned Greenfield in post Prestidigitation: What is it good for?
    Haha, a clear example of edition-bloat, Greenfield! I do like that a lot of the minor 2nd-ed cantrips got rolled into prestidigitation. Simplicity is nice. As long as it's not creeping into actual-1st-level-spell territory, i have zero problem with it doing a wide range of things... just not deep ones.

Saturday, 15th April, 2017

  • 02:35 PM - Grogg of the North mentioned Greenfield in post Player vs Player PC death
    @Greenfield With acid attacks being applied normally, I always thought that meant you applied hardness without having to divide first, like with fire and cold. I had always thought force effects ignored hardness but now that I am looking for that passage I can't find it. :( Looks like it's just adamantine then. @dragonfriend7738 don't forget you have a lesser globe on invulnerability to play with too. Is this the death knight template from MM2? Or is it from somewhere else? I know Pathfinder lets undead use their Charisma for hit points but their HD was dropped to d8 instead of d12. Maybe point that out?

Thursday, 9th February, 2017

  • 03:11 AM - Grogg of the North mentioned Greenfield in post Working on a bad guy - Necromancer
    The groups I've been in, and ones I've run, always went with an indefinite duration for use Rebuke Undead to command them. @Greenfield, I personally love the pale master and really want to play one again. That first level is a bit rough but I, personally, feel it's worth it. The graft and its abilities are great. Bonus immunities are always welcome. And a free cohort! Yay! The only thing that I don't like is the undead armor affinity. There are only a few undead armors and in Libris Mortis they are so expensive! While the Magic Item Compendium brought down the prices for these armors they also gutted a lot of their abilities. I'd personally had preferred if they kept with the way it was in 3.0 were the Pale Master got a natural armor bonus that scaled with class level. Now, the big thing. You have Animate Dead as a SLA once per day. Which means, you can, with time on your side, raise an army of the dead free of charge. So you can have lots of skeletons guarding your valley. Again, you're going to want to do this in a desecrated area. Command Undead is essentially a charm spell for intelligent undead. ...

Monday, 6th February, 2017

  • 10:38 PM - Grogg of the North mentioned Greenfield in post Questions about a proposed template
    ...ard to come up with an idea on what the level adjustment would be for a template like that. Is it +4 str or +4 int? What's the lore behind it? Any other powers? I feel like the powers are what drive Level Adjustment a lot more than just racial stat bonuses. For just adding those stats as you want to, I'd want to say it's at least a +4 or +5 but it doesn't matter because I would never allow something like that at my table. Player: Hey I want to boost my primary stats by +4/+4/ and +2 for a measly -2 to my dump stat. Me: Oh? May I see that, please? Oh, look it fell into the paper shredder. Clumsy me. Now make a real character using the generation rules I already stated. Elite array is something for NPCs or if you have to make a character really quickly. Trying to argue that a 32 point buy should include additional bonuses to your stats because PCs are elite is just insane. I had a feeling as soon as I opened this post that it was going to be a Problem Child thread. Greenfield did not disappoint.

Sunday, 16th October, 2016

  • 04:52 PM - Grogg of the North mentioned Greenfield in post What a devil wants
    The party is fighting a devil. They're losing. In a fit of desperation, the party begs for mercy and their lives. The devil pauses and agrees*. What does the devil ask for in return? My first thought is that for every day the party lives past that point, they must serve in the blood war under that devil for an equal amount of time. My second idea was to totally crib from the story that Greenfield posted. Have the devil demand a "night" from the PCs to create half-fiend soldiers for the armies of hell. What else might a devil want from PCs? *Bartering with devils is not for everyone. Please consult your deity or agent thereof before attempting. Side effects include alignment changes, falling from grace, requirement of atonement spells, class changes, nausea and diarrhea. In the event your holy symbol now burns at the touch, please cease negotiating with any denizens of the lower planes.

Wednesday, 20th January, 2016

  • 05:14 PM - Nagol mentioned Greenfield in post WhT makes a good campaign?
    Player and DM engagement is important, definitely, but to get that? I think It’s a mixture of vivid details, exciting locales, surprising events. It’s about having characters that are interesting, PC choices that matter, that affect the direction of the campaign. It’s about knowing what makes you happy as a DM, and what makes your players happy. <snip> And just the right sprinkling of pixie dust. The dynamic of getting player attention and interest in early campaign elements is still pretty much a dark art. I find I keep casting one out after another until something snags a player. Your last campaign had an ugly player conflict though didn't it Greenfield? That can suck the life out of a campaign pretty quickly.

Tuesday, 12th January, 2016

  • 10:46 PM - Grogg of the North mentioned Greenfield in post Suggest a Feat for a Scout/Ranger
    If you're going to be fencing while drinking, you should totally use the feats Dandu posted a while back. They're awesome. :) Greenfield I played a bard that was similar to your travel wizard. He had a map with many towns exed out due to his gambling debts and broken hearts. There were a few times that I had to wake the party members up in the middle of the night and convince them to skedaddle before the debt collectors showed up. :)

Saturday, 21st November, 2015


Monday, 5th October, 2015

  • 10:31 AM - Herobizkit mentioned Greenfield in post Character Death
    Greenfield Between your Problem Child and that other guy who just couldn't let go of his gaming group, you fill my EnWorld days with lots of fine reading. Thank you. :)

Tuesday, 29th September, 2015

  • 02:22 AM - Grogg of the North mentioned Greenfield in post Character Death
    Alright Greenfield I am going to advocate something I thought I never would. Give it to him. Give him everything. All the gear on his sister's body. All the treasure you find in the necropolis. All of it. And then two things have to happen. 1) Enforce encumbrance/carrying limits. 2) Nightwalkers. Lots and lots of Nightwalkers. And as Problem Child (PC? Hah! I just noticed that!) struggles desperately to drag his ill gotten gains, you can drink in his bitter tears as the monsters all use their Crush Item ability. One by one until all he has is the clothes on his back. And then maybe, just maybe, you can give PC the sweet release of death.

Friday, 18th September, 2015

  • 01:54 PM - Grogg of the North mentioned Greenfield in post Character Death
    Greenfield Two questions. First, while I would normally not advocate giving into whiny player's demands, could you have altered the reincarnate table to include that player's race? I think that an aquatic race in the middle of the desert sorta excludes them from the list of options, out of rolling a 100. Second, why are you still tolerating this player? While I enjoy, and would miss, the stories it seems like every week this player has another issue.

Monday, 31st August, 2015



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Saturday, 20th July, 2019

  • 01:02 AM - jaelis quoted Greenfield in post Use and abuse of an item
    By the spell you can "violent thrust" a target in any direction, up to a total distance of 10 feet per caster level. Yes I see that, i think we read "toward" as "in the direction of" as opposed to "all the way to." But I can't say that makes perfect sense now.

Friday, 19th July, 2019

  • 09:26 PM - jaelis quoted Greenfield in post Use and abuse of an item
    Wait a moment, I was just looking at the ring in the DMG and it says the caster level is 9th, not 15th. So that drops the per-round damage limit to 9 D6. Suddenly not so broken. Yes that is a big difference. Regarding the flinging, my memory of how we interpreted the spell was that you couldn't launch a creature that high into the air. I think that was based on the fact that if you launch a creature at a surface, it only takes 1d6 damage, so we figured you could only fling it 10 ft. But perhaps that doesn't make sense.

Thursday, 18th July, 2019

  • 06:22 PM - BoxCrayonTales quoted Greenfield in post Science in D&D
    To me the difference is simple: Science is reproducible. It's an essential component in the Scientific Method, after all. Reproduce the conditions and you will reproduce the results. Doesn't matter if I do it or you do it, if we do it in my lab or on a park bench a thousand miles from here. Push button A and effect B comes out, every time. Magic, on the other hand, isn't hard-reproducible. As mentioned earlier, just because one person can produce colored lights in the air with a few words and gestures doesn't mean that just anyone can make colored lights dance in the air. It doesn't imply, in fact, that the same person could reproduce it on demand. Whether using a spell-point type of approach or a Vancian model, at some point the person runs out of juice and the words and gestures stop working. My own image of magic in D&D is that it's sort of personalized: To produce a magical effect you have/create a "tool" in your mind, an imaginary construct that may or may not be possible in the r...
  • 06:34 AM - KentDT quoted Greenfield in post Vancian to Zelaznian magic
    Having read the books and considered this, there was one aspect that caught my eye: Casters "Hung" spells (i.e. prepared them) and they could stay there for a few days before fading. The character involved was specifically Merlin (no, not *that* Merlin), and he tended to hang a few defensive spells, an attack or two and that was it. As he put it, "After that it just came down to throwing raw power at each other." That last part was the big difference between Zelazny's magic system and D&D/Vancian magic. Unused ability (i.e. spell slots) could be used as direct assaults, and presumably defenses. Just raw, formless magical power. So if you want to use Amber style magic, all you really need is to define what raw magical attacks and defenses look like, from a mechanics point of view. I wouldn't give them an element type (that is, they aren't Fire or Cold or Electricity or Acid or Sonic). They're just magic. Now, does that mean that they'll bypass standing defenses, such as Fire Resistance...
  • 06:18 AM - KentDT quoted Greenfield in post Vancian to Zelaznian magic
    Following up on my own ramble: In D&D, different classes have different spell lists. Some, like the Bard in D&D 3.*, were really light on combat spells. Like, nearly none. (Glitterdust actually counted as an offensive spell for a 3.* Bard. That's how starved they were for damage dealing spells.) The Zelazny style of magic would tend to blur the lines from one class to another. Suddenly every caster of every stripe is a combat caster. Not sure if that's a good thing or not. Leaning towards "not" though, since the different spell sets were one of the aspects that defined a class, the advantage you sought or the price you paid for choosing that class. It makes that choice almost meaningless in many ways. That’s why, in the system I’m proposing for my own campaign, it would only apply to Wizard casters. All others would use the system and in-world explanation found in the PHB.
  • 06:15 AM - KentDT quoted Greenfield in post Vancian to Zelaznian magic
    I don't recall that particular detail, but it's been a few years since I read the books, and they weren't exactly written with game adaptations in mind. (The original Nine Princes in Amber series pre-dated D&D by at least a decade.) Yes, but the original series had nothing about this magic system. That all came in the second “Merlin” series, which was published after D&D came along. That’s why I referenced Zelazny’s attendance of Gen Con as Ed Greenwood’s guest and the possibility that the magic system explanation was in answer to criticisms of the Vancian “memorize and forget” that was the current D&D magic system.
  • 01:57 AM - Maxperson quoted Greenfield in post Vancian to Zelaznian magic
    I don't recall that particular detail, but it's been a few years since I read the books, and they weren't exactly written with game adaptations in mind. (The original Nine Princes in Amber series pre-dated D&D by at least a decade.) If that were the case though, you'd think major wizardy types like Merlin would keep his hung spell pool damned near full. But again, it's a story, and there was no requirement that things in there fit gamer logic. But it was (at least the original series) a really well written tale. Merlin often put it off because it was a hassle. He wasn't the most focused wizard out there. That and he had bot Frakir and Ghost to help him out of trouble.

Wednesday, 17th July, 2019

  • 05:27 PM - billd91 quoted Greenfield in post Doing away with INT/WIS/CHA
    Odd example, needing Survival or some other skill check to start a fire. Consider a setting from dark ages up to the colonial period: How does someone light the cooking fire at home? How do they keep their house warm? Remember, "Tinder Twigs" (3.5 alchemical item) were special things and kind of pricey for the average peasant. Answer? The same way your PC lights a lantern or a torch: Flint and steel. It was a skill so common it's hardly worth mentioning. In fact, it isn't mentioned or questioned in the book, or in any game I've played. D&D 3.* and before listed flint and steel fire starting sets and "tinderbox" as common items in the equipment section. Or the other answer - the survival (or other skill) is for lighting a fire under difficult circumstances. So how does your character know how to saddle a horse, light a fire, pluck a chicken or mend a fence? By being a person from the period and setting, where these are everyday skills for pretty much everyone. And this ...
  • 06:00 AM - Maxperson quoted Greenfield in post Vancian to Zelaznian magic
    Having read the books and considered this, there was one aspect that caught my eye: Casters "Hung" spells (i.e. prepared them) and they could stay there for a few days before fading. The character involved was specifically Merlin (no, not *that* Merlin), and he tended to hang a few defensive spells, an attack or two and that was it. As he put it, "After that it just came down to throwing raw power at each other." That last part was the big difference between Zelazny's magic system and D&D/Vancian magic. Unused ability (i.e. spell slots) could be used as direct assaults, and presumably defenses. Just raw, formless magical power. So if you want to use Amber style magic, all you really need is to define what raw magical attacks and defenses look like, from a mechanics point of view. I wouldn't give them an element type (that is, they aren't Fire or Cold or Electricity or Acid or Sonic). They're just magic. Now, does that mean that they'll bypass standing defenses, such as Fire Resistance...

Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 09:34 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Greenfield in post Doing away with INT/WIS/CHA
    Consider a setting from dark ages up to the colonial period: How does someone light the cooking fire at home? How do they keep their house warm?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 at all. And yes, you're right - starting a fire, even in the wilderness, with improvised tools, is a bad example, because someone in the party can just blow things up with fire, anyway. So how does your character know how to saddle a horse, light a fire, pluck a chicken or mend a fence? By being a person from the period and setting, where these are everyday skills for pretty much everyone.Mostly, in this variant, falling under the "Common Knowledge" rubric,...

Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 10:46 PM - Aebir-Toril quoted Greenfield in post Science in D&D
    You can make sciencey sounding noise, but since there's no way to actually do any of those things... There used to be discussions about converting components to energy to power evocation spells. The problem is that this would be the equivalent of having a tac-nuke in your hand. The energy release would so far exceed the spell requirements that the overflow would vaporize you. Bending space-time to Teleport? Hmmm, sounds a lot like Einstein's theory about gravity, that mass distorts space-time, which how/why it can propagate faster than the speed of light. So that would mean that Teleport creates a mini-black hole? And how about summoning animals? How do Dragon's fly? (Their aerodynamics and mass to wing-surface makes the idea ludicrous.) Where does the granite in a Wall of Stone come from? How does a person in a Time Stop move without burning up from air resistance? (Spell says that it speeds the caster up to the point that the world seems frozen in time.) And, and, and... The list ...
  • 08:02 PM - Celebrim quoted Greenfield in post Science in D&D
    There used to be discussions about converting components to energy to power evocation spells. The problem is that this would be the equivalent of having a tac-nuke in your hand. The energy release would so far exceed the spell requirements that the overflow would vaporize you. Which assumes that the strong nuclear force and the speed of light are the same in the hypothetical universe, which they wouldn't necessarily be. (Or for that matter than the material components are fully converted to energy.) We have no theory that requires fundamental constants to be equal. We have no idea why they are what they are in this universe. Maybe the speed of light in the D&D universe is only 500 km per second. And how about summoning animals? There is a whole queue of them in the Beastlands eagerly waiting a chance to get to the material world and taste some blood. How do Dragon's fly? (Their aerodynamics and mass to wing-surface makes the idea ludicrous.) Earth spirits are scared of the...

Thursday, 9th May, 2019

  • 04:03 AM - dragonfriend7738 quoted Greenfield in post Do Sorcerers need material components?
    For Sorcerers, I'd say that the uncontrolled manifestations of youth would fall under the general category of Prestidigitation, which has no Material Component. During the process of learning to focus and control their magic they learn that arcane power that they see and discover the need for material, verbal and somatic components. It's part of the discipline needed to get beyond accidental cantrip level castings. As for Bards, since *ALL* of their spells require a verbal component, and many talk about playing an instrument or using one as a focus that the scene gets ugly. it's hard to rationalize material or somatic components being usable while stroking a harp or strumming a lute. Both hands are occupied, which flies in the face of the idea that a caster must have at least one hand free if somatic components are required, or if material components need to be crushed, consumed, thrown on the ground or into the air etc. But ultimately that's what it is, a rationalization. It's us trying t...

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

  • 03:00 PM - CapnZapp quoted Greenfield in post Magic Ranged Weapons and Magic Ammunition
    Aren't they both "Enhancement" bonuses?The concept of typed bonuses (grouping bonuses into "types"; you can only benefit from one bonus of any given type) doesn't exist at all in 5th edition. The only thing that doesn't stack is multiple instances of the same thing.

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 07:47 PM - Celebrim quoted Greenfield in post Cleric shenanigans (metaphysical, no right answers)
    2) Strictly speaking "Faith" shouldn't really exist in a fantasy game setting. Faith is "belief that is not based on proof" (Dictionary.com) Since the presence of Clerical magic is indisputable, proof exists and therefore "faith", in the strictest sense, can't exist. So I'd substitute the concept of Devotion for "Faith". As a pet peeve, the definition of Faith has evolved greatly over the last 150 years - at least as it has been presented in dictionaries. Early dictionaries, say those of the 19th century, presented a very different definition of faith than the one that has been trending to dominance among lexicographists over the last 50 years. My contention is that this evolution has occurred as the proportion of lexicographists who are pious has diminished, producing a situation where the people judging the meaning of the word "Faith" are increasingly the ones that don't have it. This produces a huge disconnect in modern conversation between the pious and the irreligious, since the...

Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 01:32 AM - Len quoted Greenfield in post Ranged Waepons and Ammunition - We've been doing it wrong (I think)
    The preceding text says that the ranged weapon shares it's enhancement bonus. It doesn't specify that it does, or doesn't, share the damage part. Nor does it specify the attack part. The enhancement bonus applies to both attack and damage, as specified further up on the same page. The highlighted section, however, seems to make it clear that it shares with the ammunition specifically for purposes of bypassing DR. That kind of implies that it doesn't share it for any other purpose. I mean, why include the paragraph if it's already covered by the general rule on enhancements? No, I don't think it implies that at all. It's giving an additional rule on top of any other rules that might apply. As for why, the purpose is not to give a rule about magical ammunition's damage bonus. It's giving a rule for NON-magical ammunition: Any ammunition fired from a magical weapon is magical, even if the ammunition wasn't magical beforehand. And it's not talking about the attack bonus or the damage bo...

Tuesday, 16th April, 2019

  • 05:09 PM - Fauchard1520 quoted Greenfield in post Friendly Fire
    Two ideas: 2) Think three-dimensionally... Taller opponents (Large and Larger) may be in the area of the next larger template even if Medium or Small PCs aren't. I'd head about the trick of dropping darkness on a tall enemy's head, but for some reason it hadn't occurred to me to do the same with damaging spells. Cheers!

Thursday, 4th April, 2019

  • 12:34 PM - dnd4vr quoted Greenfield in post Counter spell and calling out spell levels
    The basic Counterspell maneuver (without Improved Counterspell) works, without dice roll, but you have to have the *same* spell to counter it with, ... What is this? Is this non-5E stuff? Am I experiencing the forum merge madness already? *sigh*

Monday, 4th March, 2019

  • 03:22 PM - Celebrim quoted Greenfield in post Why do people still play older editions of D&D? Are they superior to the current one?
    But the scale of most powers was such that it returned the game to a tighter frame, where you seldom had to deal with anything that would be "off the battle mat". In 3rd edition, a longbow's range could allow a character to shoot over three hundred feet, which if plotted out at five feet per one inch square, was five feet on the board, which was well beyond the size of the board. Spells like Fireball started at 900 feet (400 + 100 per caster level), which would require a table top over 15 feet long. As a practical matter, few players of 3.Xe edition had regularly fired fireballs or longbows at things 100's of yards away. Large distances like that existed solely because in real life, we know longbows were used in combat over great distances, and rarely did anyone try to game them (if they did, they probably ended up changing the rules). One thing that 4e did is that it dropped any attempt to simulate anything - the part of D&D at low levels that one writer had called 'casual realism'. Now,...

Thursday, 21st February, 2019

  • 08:53 AM - S'mon quoted Greenfield in post Do you ever "call" fights?
    No, the player kind of forgot who and what he was playing, and where and with who the character was. Eh, then why was the pretty elf PC asking orc bikers about BDSM fantasies with her as the sub? Given that that was nothing to do with the plot!


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