View Profile: AaronOfBarbaria - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Today, 11:52 AM
    If my players pretend to not know about trolls and fire, I have the trolls spit fire at them, and then explode. ..Just thought I would throw in a less expected answer.
    25 replies | 604 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Today, 11:49 AM
    I am by no means a 'tough guy', but getting a filling from a skilled dentist barely hurts. Skilled being the operative word here. If your dentist knows what he/she's doing, you should be fine. And it saves money too.
    35 replies | 683 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:55 AM
    Getting a filling done does not hurt as much as people think. It's not fun, but it beats having to deal with the feeling of a numb jaw long after your visit to the dentist. There's plenty of dentists that will do a filling in the Netherlands without an anaesthetic, but these days they always offer to give you one. I tend to decline. When I grew up none of the dentists gave you one for a simple...
    35 replies | 683 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 11:06 AM
    People get an anesthetic for a simple filling? Now that's a rip off.
    35 replies | 683 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:46 AM
    How about Keanu as Gambit?
    19 replies | 470 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:40 AM
    Never force a villain to escape. The villain only escapes if the players let him get away. If a module says that a villain escapes, that is a dumb module. Ignore it.
    49 replies | 1394 view(s)
    5 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 01:07 AM
    I still enjoy rereading the Chronicles trilogy every so often. I have found, though, that the prose can be very clunky and is not conducive to reading out loud the way, say, Pratchett’s Discworld novels are.
    39 replies | 1489 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 11:41 AM
    While I'm excited to hear that the old cast is returning (or at least, those that are still alive), my common sense is screaming that this is a bad idea. Maybe it is the Indy 4 syndrome.
    143 replies | 6814 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 11:39 AM
    3E: Armor class now makes some sense, this is what made me accept 3rd edition.
    51 replies | 2005 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 05:52 AM
    TarionzCousin: I would not have guessed that many! But then I stopped reading D&D novels sometime in the late 90s, I think. I've read most, if not all, of the older Dragonlance novels but none of the newer ones. PabloM: Interesting perspective. I have long held the opposite belief: that Krynn is a great world for novels but not that great to play in (partly because it feels too small).
    39 replies | 1489 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:26 PM
    I would steer the plot towards a peace treaty, where one group tries to assasinate the other. The best location for that would be a multi-story building, like a theater or a government building. I could imagine that the nobles start to realize that some sort of a solution must be found in regards to all the criminal gangs, so they offer the leader of each gang a seat in governing the city. They...
    13 replies | 493 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 07:45 AM
    What makes a great GM? 1. A great GM is able to improvize on the spot, even when the players go off the beaten path, or do something completely unexpected. 2. A great DM allows his players to surprise him, and rolls with whatever the players come up with. He facilitates their ideas and does not block them. 3. A great DM is able to make his fictional world come alive, whether this is an...
    18 replies | 757 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 01:26 AM
    Isn't it also a case of them reusing the original artwork from Dungeon for the Styes?
    17 replies | 1029 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 11:54 AM
    Not only that, but fighting and killing monsters can be very light hearted and fun. Where as rape is never any of those two things, not even when it is fictionalized. Wether torture belongs in a D&D campaign is a point of discussion. It's not something I would throw at players at a con either, and always discuss with the players before introducing it in a campaign.
    419 replies | 18198 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 11:59 AM
    Quick question, if you already own the original Betrayal at House on the Hill (as I do), how much added value is there in buying the legacy version?
    53 replies | 5112 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 11:58 AM
    "Fanatics make unreliable allies" -Garret, from the game Thief the Dark project
    71 replies | 5604 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 09:32 PM
    I've ran multiple adult campaigns in my life, some of which included sexual (consensual) content. But I would never dare to run any such campaign at a con with random people, and I would always inform my players what they are about to play, and discuss how I intend to deal with the more edgy material. Usually it involves a 'fade to black', because playing out what exactly happens is just gross...
    419 replies | 18198 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 11:50 AM
    And for this reason session 0's were invented. Discuss which themes and topics may come up in your campaign before you start subjecting your players to it. If for example you run a horror campaign, then body horror may be part of the game, and thats fine... but where are the limits? It is incredibly important to get all your players on the same page. It doesn't sound like this DM really cared for...
    419 replies | 18198 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 11:48 AM
    I can't let undead threads rest either... Last session one of my players traveled deep into the fey-wild, into an area that I had not prepared, because I had not anticipated this action. I winged it a bit, and then when he finally reached the heart of the forest, I decided to end the campaign there for the evening. I flat out told my players that I would need time to prepare the next area,...
    62 replies | 5245 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 11:41 AM
    Butt-kicking for goodness!
    99 replies | 4943 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 11:43 AM
    I played a bit of Lord of the Rings, Star Wars RPG (d6) and Battletech (forgot which edition)... all with the same dreadful DM, making me never want to play those systems again. I realize that is unfair towards those systems, but these experiences just left such a bad aftertaste.
    61 replies | 4634 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 01:53 PM
    I hand out a map (of either the region, the current location or both), and perhaps a list of homebrew equipment when the players pick their starting equipment. Everything else is not needed for them to start playing. If I want them to know about the various deities in my setting, they will come up when they enter a church. If I want them to know about the political situation in my fictional...
    14 replies | 950 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 12:03 PM
    I enjoy the character interactions between my own player-character and my party members, and I love tabletop combat, and resolving narrative plots/obstacles.
    8 replies | 555 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 11:52 AM
    All you need is to be interesting on the very first page, and then people will keep reading. It helps if the main character is relatable, but an exciting opening is far more important.
    10 replies | 590 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 09:32 AM
    I occasionally use a random table to determine what species of tree is in an area, but I've never rolled to determine how many trees... just make it up.
    19 replies | 876 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 11:41 AM
    I already use knowledge local for this sort of stuff.
    3 replies | 451 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 10:07 PM
    I might have to experiment and try using a few different versions of these in my campaigns.
    10 replies | 502 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 09:18 AM
    Thanks for all the feedback, everyone! I appreciate it. What if, instead of granting (dis)advantage, it granted a Luck point (as per the Lucky feat)? If the coin lands with Tymora facing up, the player who flipped the coin gets a Luck point. If the coin lands with Beshaba facing up, the DM gets a Luck point. In either case, the Luck point disappears at the end of the session if it hasn't been...
    10 replies | 502 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 08:21 AM
    This reminds me of a Lucky Coin I have in my campaign. Only it doesn't grants advantage or disadvantage, it just always lands with the same face up. Excellent magical item for cheating at gambling.
    10 replies | 502 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 08:18 AM
    I think the trick to a good story twist, is set up, and pay off. You need to give the characters enough motivation to justify the twist. This is why the final season of Game of Thrones fell flat in my opinion. There is nothing wrong with having Dany become the villain, but it needs to be properly set up and motivated. Earlier seasons of Game of Thrones were fantastic because every twist felt...
    12 replies | 580 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 04:47 AM
    Hi all, I've had an idea for a cool little magic coin. Currently, both of my campaigns are set in the Forgotten Realms, which has goddesses of both good and bad luck (Tymora and Beshaba respectively). I was thinking it would be cool to have a coin - on one side is an image of Tymora, on the other an image of Beshaba. When you flip the coin, if it lands with Tymora's image facing up (heads),...
    10 replies | 502 view(s)
    1 XP
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About AaronOfBarbaria

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Friday, 23rd March, 2018

  • 05:19 AM - iserith mentioned AaronOfBarbaria in post Passive Investigation?
    Looks like an example rather than a dividing line. I'd caution folks not to parse rules too closely, but to read for general understanding. It's English, not algorithms. ;) But, to be clear, my opinions about the viability of the extremes of contested checks and passive checks vs fixed DCs is just about the probabilities involved and the impact on play, not an interpretation of the rules meant to establish an unambiguous reading of them. I would say the bit about "secretly determining whether the character succeed at something without rolling dice" bit was addressed pretty well by AaronOfBarbaria upthread. That just leaves the tasks-done-repeatedly application which works in play in my experience.

Saturday, 11th March, 2017

  • 07:13 AM - texastoast mentioned AaronOfBarbaria in post Saving throw to prevent sneezing or coughing
    I like the idea of a CON stealth check. Connecting the check to DEX makes no logical sense, but stealth proficiency could still have some applicability, as jaelis suggested. The PH offers at least one example of performing a skill check keyed of a non-standard ability (I think it's a CON check related to swimming, so athletics). I would probably give advantage if the players thought ahead and improvised protective dust masks or whatever. I think whether you highlight the risks ahead of time to hint at such preparations (as AaronOfBarbaria suggested) depends on the details of the dungeon. I mean, if it's undisturbed for centuries it may be far from obvious how much dust you'll kick up walking through; if it's filled with cobwebs and dust-covered debris maybe a warning of some sort is in order, at least highlighting the dustiness in describing the chamber. Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using EN World mobile app

Monday, 6th March, 2017

  • 05:48 AM - Xetheral mentioned AaronOfBarbaria in post Undead Templates: Unless I missed them, we really need these.
    Considering you have to manually recalculate CR anyways, are templates really a time-saver in 5e over simply throwing new stats together? Templates (whether official or ad-hoc as AaronOfBarbaria described above) certainly *can* be a time saver, but it depends on your DMing style. Lots of DMs outright ignore CR all together, preferring to just eyeball encounter difficulty or even not care about level-appropriate encounters in the first place. For these DMs, templates (of both varieties) can be a fantastic time saver. Another style of DMing where templates are useful is the type that prioritizes verisimilitude extremely highly. To these DMs, templates help make sure that the in-game outcome of (e.g.) zombification is predictable and consistent, which is valuable to them because such consistency makes the world feel more "real".

Thursday, 23rd February, 2017

  • 05:46 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned AaronOfBarbaria in post How to deal with Metagaming as a player?
    ... not behave in a way that would actually make sense but instead default to always taking the most mathematically beneficial action based on the mechanics of the game....that's what makes it metagaming. Such decision making relies entirely upon the game mechanics. This is why I would consider allowing the player a small level of authorship to decide either "my character grabs what's closest and tries to swat the thing away" OR "my character thinks that thing's a troll, and he's heard that trolls can be hurt by little but fire" far more acceptable. When it's right. The player will know. It could be round 1, or it could be never. It's entirely based on circumstances and all the tens of thousands of different possible circumstances can't be conveyed here in this thread. That certainly doesn't seem to match your other comments, though. Does the player get to decide himself? Does he need the DM's approval? What happens when the player and DM disagree on when the "right" time is? AaronOfBarbaria's example was deemed metagaming in your eyes. Why, if such a decision can be made in round 1? Slightly different, but only in the knowledge. In the actions, there is no difference. No...the available actions are different. One can attack with fire and it would be like "wow, you really lucked into that" and another would attack with fire and it would be like "you filthy cheater, get the hell away from my table". No it isn't. It's common sense. A D&D character with any knowledge of D&D wolves would know that they aren't afraid of fire. A D&D character with no knowledge of wolves would be more likely to use the much more effective sword. All of this relies so much upon the character behaving based on out-of-game knowledge that it's pretty remarkable. Why would any sane person want a fight if the possibility to avoid the fight by brandishing fire existed? "You mean if I wave this flaming log at those gathering wolves, they may run off....or I can draw my sword and kill the...
  • 03:55 AM - Maxperson mentioned AaronOfBarbaria in post How to deal with Metagaming as a player?
    ...then why not waive the requirement of immersion if it somehow increases the fun? Or at least moves things along quicker so that the game can get to something more fun? These are the possibilities. 1. Immersed(fun) + fun encounter(fun) = lots of fun. 2. Immersed(fun) + boring encounter(not fun) = neutral. 3. Not immersed(not fun) + fun encounter(fun) = neutral. 4. Not immersed(not fun) + boring encounter(not fun) = really not fun. As you can see, there's never a reason for a group like mine who wants to be immersed to not be immersed. You can never have fun that way. At best it will be the same neutral as a non-immersed, fun encounter. Yeah, I understand that. I wouldn't say that either of us are "doing it wrong" as far as the playstyle. What I call into question is your seemingly absolute view on metagaming as cheating, when I feel that metagaming is unavoidable. That's because you have a different definition of metagaming. ;) For example, you asked why would AaronOfBarbaria's character grab the firebrand rather than reaching for his sword. You stated that the sword is objectively more damaging than the firebrand. However, how do we know that? Perhaps the firebrand was more readily at hand. Certainly speed would be an important factor in the character's decision of how to react. Determining that the character has time to draw his sword before he's killed, and that the sword does more damage, requires an awareness of the game mechanics....turns, initiative, damage, HP, etc. All of these are present in your decision making. Is that not metagaming? The character doesn't know that he can survive a bite from such a creature....so why not use what is at hand rather than trying to draw his sword before the thing eats his face? I can follow that. So let's say all the players are in the same boat, and none of them tend to rely on fire based spells or attacks....so the chance of stumbling onto the secret is minimal at most.....how do you think things would ...

Wednesday, 22nd February, 2017

  • 10:39 PM - Corwin mentioned AaronOfBarbaria in post How to deal with Metagaming as a player?
    Same here. The only person who usually truly knows if you are metagaming is, in fact, you. And yet, that hasn't stopped countless DMs and players from leveling accusations over the decades, has it? So the issue is the social constraint. If you are at a table where people don't care, then people don't care. Metagame away! But if the other people at the table don't enjoy metagaming, then the first time (or two, or three) that you magically know the exact solution, people will give you the benefit of the doubt. And at some point, either the players will talk to you, the DM will talk to you, or you will wonder why you're not invited to the next D&D session. *shrug* This doesn't seem to coincide with @AaronOfBarbaria's campfire example. Nor my hypothetical alternate reality of my drider encounter. Are you claiming people didn't/haven't actually told Aaron he was cheating after only that single instance? Or that none of the posters here would raise an eyebrow at my grapple decision were there a secret-leg-power feature on that particular drider? In spite of my not knowing it? How does the Boy Who Cried Wolf correlate at all? I'm not seeing it.
  • 09:02 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned AaronOfBarbaria in post How to deal with Metagaming as a player?
    ...ds on the person. For a lot of us immersion is fun in and of itself. If an encounter is fun or not fun, that's separate from immersion. Sure, that's my point. If an encounter is immersive, but not fun, then why not waive the requirement of immersion if it somehow increases the fun? Or at least moves things along quicker so that the game can get to something more fun? Again, though, this is for you, not for everyone. The group I play with values immersion and character above all else. Encounter fun is important, too, but is separate from immersion, so the choice above is a false choice for my group. I really doubt my group is alone in this. Just as I really doubt you are alone in your views and preferences. Yeah, I understand that. I wouldn't say that either of us are "doing it wrong" as far as the playstyle. What I call into question is your seemingly absolute view on metagaming as cheating, when I feel that metagaming is unavoidable. For example, you asked why would AaronOfBarbaria's character grab the firebrand rather than reaching for his sword. You stated that the sword is objectively more damaging than the firebrand. However, how do we know that? Perhaps the firebrand was more readily at hand. Certainly speed would be an important factor in the character's decision of how to react. Determining that the character has time to draw his sword before he's killed, and that the sword does more damage, requires an awareness of the game mechanics....turns, initiative, damage, HP, etc. All of these are present in your decision making. Is that not metagaming? The character doesn't know that he can survive a bite from such a creature....so why not use what is at hand rather than trying to draw his sword before the thing eats his face? I dive deep into my character and what he knows, doesn't know, or is uncertain becomes almost second nature to me. I'm just not going to screw up and act on say, trolls being vulnerable to fire when my character is certainly not going...

Tuesday, 21st February, 2017

  • 03:35 PM - iserith mentioned AaronOfBarbaria in post How to deal with Metagaming as a player?
    ...ere the DM should step in and say something? Because I am obviously relying on my knowledge of skeletons as a player here. I might have a good explanation why my character wants to bring a blunt weapon. But even if I didn't, another player with no knowledge about the game's mechanics could also choose to bring a blunt weapon. Should the DM make an exception here? Are the actions that a character is allowed to take, determined by the knowledge of the player? I think what I'm getting at here, is the question: Why would it be wrong to play my character as if controlling a pawn? Can you not play your character as a pawn AND also role play at the same time? Any choice the player makes for the character is playing the role of an adventurer in the setting and therefore roleplaying. Some folks just add another layer to it: "Would my character make that choice?" To that, my answer is that there is no "would," only "could." And, yes, it could, thus the choice is valid and in-character. AaronOfBarbaria makes this case when comparing the validity of an action taken by a newbie versus taken by a veteran. Somehow, the veteran's choice is suspect whereas the newbie's is not, based on some subjective sense by someone not even playing the character that the player is "metagaming," even though the character could take the action. Could the choice be a departure from established characterization? Yes. Does that mean you're not roleplaying? No - some characters are complex and contradictory and not consistent in their choices. Some undergo change brought about by their circumstances, either temporarily or permanently. Change is at the heart of character development and I, for one, enjoy seeing how throwing oneself at life and death situations over and over changes a character over time.

Friday, 17th February, 2017

  • 05:01 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned AaronOfBarbaria in post How to deal with Metagaming as a player?
    AaronOfBarbaria's argument is an example of the continuum fallacy. He's arguing that you cannot tell the difference between someone engaged in metagaming (a term used here to mean 'acting on player knowledge that the character does not have) and someone not engaged in metagaming because there exist scenarios between the two ends where it is difficult to determine. Basically, that because there exists grey areas, there are no black or white ones. The interesting part of this is that he does say that there are definitely places where acting on information that character cannot have is cheating or playing in bad faith. This conflicts with his definition of acceptable play as being any declared action that the character is capable of taking. Presumably, there's some as yet unstated test that he uses to determine the difference between 'cheating' and an action that is possible.

Wednesday, 8th February, 2017

  • 09:35 AM - TheCosmicKid mentioned AaronOfBarbaria in post Blink and the single monster
    Ah -- see, I was running it at least partly wrong, because players with Extra Attack were insisting that this ability allowed them to get extra attacks when they readied an action (because they all happen as part of the same attack action). AaronOfBarbaria and CapnZapp are correct on the RAW. I allow readied Extra Attacks, though, because I feel like warrior classes otherwise lose too much when they have to resort to this tactic. Your mileage may vary.

Thursday, 2nd February, 2017


Saturday, 28th January, 2017

  • 08:16 AM - Sadras mentioned AaronOfBarbaria in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    Not sure how you being lazy makes anyone else entitled There we go again. Nice guy this, sure you still want to defend this @AaronOfBarbaria? Secondly Dragonlance is infamous for its on going meta story where Margaret and Tracy introduce changes that blow away adding a Dragonborn Monk to your own campaign in comparison. They literally drop a mountain on the world and that is just the beginning without mentioning Chaos, Alien Dragons and killing their own Gods. And dont forget the rules changes that make what the Forgotten Realms went through look light in comparison. Wow, they killed some Gods. They still don't have orcs and lycanthropes. I guess they still believe in limitations. So if I have a deceased God in my setting then I can impose the no monks rule. Got it. That's the magical criteria on limitations. :) And thirdly, I do appreciate the irony of using a World where anyone can actually play a Dragonborn Monk (well Draconian but you know WotC policy on reflavouring; see also Purple Dragon Knight) to make your point. Only said monk, nothing about dragonborns, saurials, or draconians. Now He-who-isn't-L...
  • 06:58 AM - Sadras mentioned AaronOfBarbaria in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    However, I generally do try to work together with the player, but not always. There are some races that simply don't fit, or I'm simply not willing to deal with. That's my prerogative as a DM. AaronOfBarbaria doesn't follow that line of reasoning, neither does his head-scratching friend Shasarak. The former posted his reasoning in the Capricious Home Rules and DM Pet Peeves thread. The latter is so entitled that he casually calls the rest of us lazy. Apparently Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman were lazy because they did not allow Tieflings, Orcs, Half-Orcs, Drow and Lyncathropes in Krynn. Lazy DMs those two. How about all the other world builders who didn't include Kender. Lazy! And now with Volo's Guide, well you just cannot imagine how many Lazy DM's are out there these days. Its an epidemic I tell you!

Thursday, 26th January, 2017

  • 05:52 AM - Xetheral mentioned AaronOfBarbaria in post Concentration while Short Resting
    AaronOfBarbaria, Lets say a party is desperately low on HP, but have some HD left. They don't have a secure place to rest, but believe they are in the most-secure place to be found anywhere nearby. From a tactical standpoint, the wisest course of action would be to take a short rest to regain short-rest resources and spend HP, then, somewhat fortified in case they're interrupted, try to take a long rest. But it sounds like you wouldn't let the party do that? You'd really force them to choose between a short and a long rest, and if they tried to do both (in that order) you'd rule it was a 9-hour short rest? That seems... a convoluted and undesirable outcome? It also seems impossible to describe in the fiction--why is sleeping for 8 hours ineffective just because it follows an hour-long breather? Furthermore, you seem to be being inconsistant: if you require the players to actively declare what kind of rest they're taking then presumably they represent different in-game activitites. But if they...

Thursday, 12th January, 2017


Friday, 18th November, 2016

  • 07:57 PM - dave2008 mentioned AaronOfBarbaria in post Fire Giant Dreadnoughts in VOLO's GUIDE TO MONSTERS
    I realize that wasn't a claim that you made. I gave you XP earlier, remember? I may have been unclear by addressing multiple people in one post--I thought that nearly-quoting AaronOfBarbarian would be enough to show who I was talking to there, but apparently you thought it was you. I'm not going to argue over whether plate armor for a giant is more like increased spans for flooring or just a larger floor. At least we've settled the point that you don't need to handwave any engineering if you've already handwaved the physiology. no worries, I knew you were quoting AaronOfBarbarian, but I didn't realize you knew you were quoting him. I was just trying to make that clear. Difficulties of communicating through forum posts.

Thursday, 17th November, 2016

  • 11:37 PM - lowkey13 mentioned AaronOfBarbaria in post Classic High Level Threats?
    In fairness, and additionally expanding on what AaronOfBarbaria said, I believe that 5e (and 3e+) present slightly different challenges than does 1/2e and BECMI. Allow me to explain. BECMI (after it expanded from B/X) was built with a goal of specified high-level play in mind. So it was always possible. 1e, on the other hand, simply wasn't very different when you advanced name level. Yes, for Magic Users (spell casting!) it could be a big difference. But for most classes, it was just a few extra hit points and not much in terms of the power curve. That gets to a core difference; in 5e, players expect their characters to have incredible innate abilities, and to get better each level. By the time you reach level 12 or so, if you're adventuring in a party of 5, the synergistic abilities of the party are already nigh unstoppable in a single encounter. By level 20, adding in a few high powered magic items ... In essence, it was easier to have "high level play" back then because, well, it wasn't that different. Now, the high level play already give...

Sunday, 13th November, 2016


Monday, 7th November, 2016

  • 05:28 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned AaronOfBarbaria in post DM HELP! My players killed Strahd too easily!
    ... raise awareness this edition has erred too far in the carebear direction. Make it known the monsters (especially at double-digit CR) are not up to the task. You interfering each and every time is not a welcome intrusion. You're diluting the message: We need more high-CR foes with tactical abilities that resist trivial takedown strategies. The simplification of monster ability lists has gone too far. Monster design need to take the real DPR of high-revved heroes into account: like has been said above, if a level-appropriate hero is capable of 50 DPR, a Solo monster can't be given a mere 250 hit points. That just invites a one-round wipeout. I think offering a solution to the OP's problem would actually be useful, rather than going on about CR and the failings of 5E in general. You talked about how the game lets down new DMs...so what advice would you give about Strahd? Calling for a change to how the rules are set up doesn't help this specific case...which is, I think, the point AaronOfBarbaria was making at the end of his post. To the OP: I personally find Strahd to be quite capable, and my players are experienced players. They aren't pure min-max types, but they know how to build effective characters. They've only just arrived at the Castle, but they have had one altercation with Strahd prior to obtaining any of the artifacts. I set things up so that the PCs were engaged with other foes, and then Strahd shows up during that fight, so it was far from convenient for the PCs. They'd already taken a bit of damage, used some resources, and were spread out. Strahd was able to take down one PC and one of their antagonists (also enemies of Strahd) because they were isolated. Then he used his mobility to wreak havoc on the rest of them. He avoided the party cleric who had spirit guardians up, so he was able to avoid any radiant damage, and keep his regeneration going. So any damage the party did to him was minimal. He finally was driven off by a story element I had written in to th...
  • 04:20 PM - lowkey13 mentioned AaronOfBarbaria in post Deleted Posts


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Friday, 26th April, 2019

  • 11:38 PM - Chaosmancer quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post Fixing the terrible Weapon Master feat
    Friday, 7th October, 2016, 11:40 AM, I said a thing. Today (25th April, 2019), 6:16 PM, that thing is quoted but not at all contradicted. Is it normal for folks to respond to 2+ year old statements without actually bringing anything new to the discussion? Because "But it still doesn't make the feat any good" is just another subjective table-specific opinion stated as if it were universal truth. I will now return to my slumber... maybe post again in another couple years. The dangers of necromancy made clear to all. I forgot this was a necro thread there for a minute.
  • 01:16 AM - Caliburn101 quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post Fixing the terrible Weapon Master feat
    Seriously - not helping your own point at all by claiming everyone thinks the feat is terrible. It doesn't work well or isn't appealing for your table, that's fine. It does, however, work just fine and appeal to players at my table. As for when a character would take it; My wife likes for her wizards to be proficient with swords (and sometimes other weapons) so that she can 1) fit the image in her mind, and of the mini she chose for her character that happens to hold a staff/scroll/book in one hand and a sword/scythe/something else in the other; 2) utilize some magical hand-me-downs from the warriors in the party while casting her green flame blade cantrip; 3) better her character's overall performance while playing the way she is used to playing - which involves using buff spells to survive melee positioning to benefit her party members and using a weapon so she can save other spell slots for area effects and emergencies. That's great that she likes it and it helps her play the character ...

Monday, 14th May, 2018

  • 07:01 AM - 5ekyu quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post How important to you is maxing your primary stat?
    It's only 49%, but your point still stands that it isn't just a 10% edge. However, I would say that looking at just single die damage attacks won't provide an accurate picture of how much influence a 2 higher attack bonus has. For example, if you just go to a 2d8+3 @50% accuracy vs. 2d8+5 @60% accuracy (like some clerics and all paladins of high enough level will have) the difference in DPR is already reduced to %37. And above all of the numbers showing the obvious - that a higher attack bonus results in better DPR - is the following question: Is enough damage being dealt that my character is successfully overcoming combat challenges? The answer to that question can be "Yes" without having a 18 or 20 in the character's attack-related ability score, which lessens the importance of reaching those values.But for the resource decision point, just dpr white room is a fraction of the picture... How many attacks are gained by mobility allowing you to get to the enemy and how many are thwarted ny denying OA...

Friday, 20th April, 2018

  • 05:09 PM - The Old Crow quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post Drizzt Do'Urden Poll: Love Him Or Hate Him?
    I hate the effect he had upon the ranger class... but I love that the character has resulted in people wanting to play D&D. By All The Hackneyed Fantasy Gods Ever, I had forgotten that he was the one responsible for mucking up my favorite 1e class. So much for my indifferent!

Thursday, 19th April, 2018

  • 01:20 PM - Saeviomagy quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post The Case for Inspiration
    They are only the same if your deliberately trying to misunderstand that different arrangements of words are often used to convey different ideas. Often doesn't mean always.

Tuesday, 17th April, 2018

  • 09:55 PM - Tony Vargas quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post Let's talk power words!
    I've told you repeatedly that I don't think this edition is flawless. Quick, name 5 flaws of 5th edition. Actually, start a new thread and expound on them at length. ;P ...on to the actual topic...I pulled out these three quotes because they're all suggestive of what the Power Words were, originally, and maybe aren't so much anymore (or are they?): The spell is useless for player characters. It shines when an Archmage, say, uses it on level-appropriate heroes. According to legend, EGG did originally conceive of the higher level spells (6th and up, at minimum) as tools for powerful enemies, and I suppose it shows. So if that's how it shakes out, now? Cool, classic feel ftw. ;) A single word to potentially drop a weaker target or finish a wounded one is rather convenient. And also, kinda cool. :cool: To me, power words have always been about the casting time: whereas other 9th level spells are slow-casting, power words cast as quick as a first-level spell. But, 5E's default initiative ...
  • 07:35 AM - CapnZapp quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post Let's talk power words!
    Which is why I think it is hilarious that people insist on keeping players in the dark about game information like this - they are effectively going "If this spell requires guess work, then it sucks. I know what I'll do! I'll insist it requires guess work even though nothing in the book actually encourages me to do so, and then I'll go tell everyone how much the spell sucks and should be avoided - and as a bonus, I'll also blame it on the writing of the game that it sucks instead of being self-aware about the consequences of my own choices."I don't know where you're going with this. I hope you don't think you're helping your "it's fine" argument by saying "of course the spell should fizzle now and then"...

Monday, 16th April, 2018

  • 08:58 PM - CapnZapp quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post Let's talk power words!
    Nope. What I'm saying is this: You are wrong about the spell being "useless" or "utter sh***" for player characters - full stop.*shrug* You really can't live with the fact this edition isn't flawless, can you Aaron? The number of threads where I have criticised a rule and you have defended the Holy Writ that is the PHB are by now countless. So I know better than engaging in discussion with you. At least there will be one player selecting PWK for their ninth level slot. You.
  • 12:28 PM - CapnZapp quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post Let's talk power words!
    There are more tiers than just God and Garbage. Sorry, as a level 17 character's tool, against the monsters a level 17 character faces, PWK is utter sh***. (The spell is not sh*** if viewed in isolation. Perhaps that's what you're saying. As a magic item effect the characters can use five or ten levels earlier, it's good. As a spell used AGAINST the characters, it's outright excellent, as I mentioned earlier)
  • 09:52 AM - CapnZapp quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post Let's talk power words!
    False.Let me quote/paraphrase Treeantmonk: if, at high level, you need to cause 100 points of damage, maybe dish out a 100 points of damage? Meaning when the players can cast this spell, it should be a cantrip. Not a spell competing with Wish.

Sunday, 15th April, 2018

  • 02:00 PM - Saeviomagy quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post The Case for Inspiration
    That's the difference between the subject matter of both examples - you've missed the difference in the phrasing which I was using a different subject matter as a means of highlighting. To reiterate the point as clearly as I can: "2 times out of every 20 rolls" and "a 2 in 20 chance on each roll" are two completely different things, not two ways to say the same thing. They're only different if you're deliberately trying to misunderstand the former because you think you have a point.
  • 05:35 AM - Saeviomagy quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post The Case for Inspiration
    There is a significant difference between "1 in 10 people have a problem with alcohol" (an observation of outcomes) and "each person has a 1 in 10 chance of having a problem with alcohol" (an observation of probability) - the same as there is a significant difference between "2 times out of every 20 rolls" and "a 2 in 20 chance on each roll." Sure, but that difference would be whether each individual had some unique traits that meant they didn't match the population observation. This is fundamentally NOT the case when we are comparing rolls of a supposedly random and balanced d20.

Wednesday, 11th April, 2018

  • 06:02 AM - Saeviomagy quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post The Case for Inspiration
    No, it's not. Here's 20 rolls: 10, 14, 15, 10, 17, 1, 13, 5, 13, 9, 20, 4, 1, 18, 12, 9, 3, 15, 6, 3. A +2 bonus would only affect the outcome of trying to hit DC 10 on 2 of those rolls like you said it would... but against a DC of 15 it affects the outcome of 3, and against a DC of 20 only affects 1. Here's 20 more rolls: 14, 1, 9, 8, 12, 8, 11, 2, 6, 2, 18, 15, 12, 10, 18, 18, 17, 9, 10, 1. A +2 would make 4 of those higher than 10 that wouldn't be without it, or 1 higher than 15 that wouldn't have been, or 3 of them 20. I feel like you're being disingenuous. Because "you chance of success is 10 percentage points higher than without the bonus" and "2 out of every 20 rolls will be affected by your bonus" are not synonymous phrases - the later suggests that having a +2 bonus affect 4 rolls in a row is impossible, when the reality of probability with a d20 roll is that such an event isn't even unlikely. The latter suggests no such thing. It's common parlance for either "in the sample po...

Tuesday, 10th April, 2018

  • 05:59 AM - Saeviomagy quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post The Case for Inspiration
    That's not how probability works. Yeah, it is. +2 to your rolls actually only makes a difference to your success/failure against a static DC 2 times out of every 20 rolls (on average, naturally). The 2 times that it makes the difference between meeting the DC and not meeting the DC. Every other time, it was irrelevant. A bystander would not be able to tell whether or not you had that bonus. That's different to how it affects your success chance - you need to know the DC, and your original bonus for that. But if I'm just rolling a d20 and trying to equal a 10, then a +2 bonus will only change the outcome 2 rolls out of every 20 (assuming a DC that originally requires a roll).

Saturday, 7th April, 2018

  • 03:02 PM - 5ekyu quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post Anyone else tired of the miserly begrudging Rogue design of 5E?
    I think it is hilarious when people equate word count needed to make fair and functional rules for a thing with the importance the game puts on that thing, so they see the book as being "all about combat" because those rules take more words than other rules do. Never mind how the book says to actually play the game or what the book says the focus of play is meant to be on - only page count means anything! Which is made even more hilarious by the fact that even Call of Cthulhu, a game that explicitly tells you that if you are in combat you are likely to end up with your character dead so you should seriously avoid combat - especially with actual monsters - spends more page count on combat rules than other sorts of rules, so this failure of logic that equates page count with "what the book's about" would say that Call of Cthulhu is "all about combat." And if you don't think so, you must not be "thinking for yourself."Now lets be fair, this is not about the rogue even being weaker in combat... OP has ...

Friday, 6th April, 2018

  • 09:24 PM - Tony Vargas quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post Anyone else tired of the miserly begrudging Rogue design of 5E?
    A lot of pages are spent on combat rules, and there are reasons for that - but those reasons do not inherently include "that's what the game is about" for every game that has combat rules that take up more pages in the book the other sorts of rules do. We seem to be in contentious agreement on that point. Flexibility to contribute in combat is not the same as build flexibility, though (or at least, it's not to me). I didn't think that was the topic. I thought it was whether the class had the flexibility to contribute more or less to combat relative to the other two pillars, thus adapting itself to the emphasis of a given campaign....
  • 09:12 PM - Ilbranteloth quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post Anyone else tired of the miserly begrudging Rogue design of 5E?
    I think it is hilarious when people equate word count needed to make fair and functional rules for a thing with the importance the game puts on that thing, so they see the book as being "all about combat" because those rules take more words than other rules do. Never mind how the book says to actually play the game or what the book says the focus of play is meant to be on - only page count means anything! Which is made even more hilarious by the fact that even Call of Cthulhu, a game that explicitly tells you that if you are in combat you are likely to end up with your character dead so you should seriously avoid combat - especially with actual monsters - spends more page count on combat rules than other sorts of rules, so this failure of logic that equates page count with "what the book's about" would say that Call of Cthulhu is "all about combat." And if you don't think so, you must not be "thinking for yourself." Absolutely. Not to mention the fact that the APs that have been released p...
  • 06:58 PM - happyhermit quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post Anyone else tired of the miserly begrudging Rogue design of 5E?
    ... A lot of pages are spent on combat rules, and there are reasons for that - but those reasons do not inherently include "that's what the game is about" for every game that has combat rules that take up more pages in the book the other sorts of rules do. Yeah I really wish the idea of "amount of rules" = "focus of game" could just be put to bed already, it simply isn't true. A good example I have seen is Poker, by that metric bluffing isn't an important part of the game... which should be ridiculous on the face of it. The amount of rules a particular aspect of a game needs varies from person to person, system to system, but need not have a significant impact on how "important" that aspect is. For example, I rarely enjoy games with a lot of rules for "RP" or social interaction, not because I don't enjoy that type of game (quite the opposite) but rather we find it more enjoyable to just roleplay it out and we feel doing so most of the time gives us the most satisfactory experience. Combat on the o...
  • 05:29 PM - Tony Vargas quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post Anyone else tired of the miserly begrudging Rogue design of 5E?
    I think it is hilarious when people equate word count needed to make fair and functional rules for a thing with the importance the game puts on that thing, so they see the book as being "all about combat" because those rules take more words than other rules do. You could spill a lot of ink on detailed rules for trade & economies, but D&D doesn't. So, it's not an unfair measure. But, it's not the whole story, either. Importance and emphasis are not quite the same thing. Combat is life & death, so it's important to resolve it fairly, and that can include resolving it in detail - that doesn't mean a given campaign has to have a lot of combat, it could be very rare, it's just that, when it happens, it's important to resolve it completely & fairly.

Thursday, 5th April, 2018

  • 09:37 AM - CapnZapp quoted AaronOfBarbaria in post Racial Spells and Caster Levels
    I guess I could have read your reply too quickly, but I really missed the part where you explained the consequences of your conclusions. You know, to actually teach how it works :) You can cast any spell you know with a spell slot of the appropriate level or higher, even if your normal class is a prep class like cleric, druid, or wizard. This edition is weird where slots are not intrinsically tied to a class' spellcasting method as they used to be. That's not what the rule-book says. Compare the wizard class " If you prepare the 1st-level spell magic missile, you can cast it using a 1st-level or a 2nd-level slot." to the sorcerer class "For example, if you know the 1st-level spell burning hands and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast burning hands using either slot." I guess I just missed the part where we drew conclusions out of this: since a racial spell isn't described as a spell you prepare, you can't write it into your spellbook or cast it with wizar...


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