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  • ad_hoc's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 10:35 AM
    As the PC is willing (and if they aren't then the fighter shouldn't be doing it) I don't think an ability check should be called for. I do think the targeted PC's reaction should be used. Reactions are designed just for these sorts of cases, interacting with things not on your own turn. Free hand required, half movement, special grapple attack action, and targeted PC's reaction seems fine...
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    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 07:26 AM
    ad_hoc replied to Double Dash
    So, the sticking point for you is chases? It all depends on how you handle them. You could just make them part of the combat model. It's still combat, it's just everyone is moving. You could also have them be a series of obstacles to be overcome with powers or ability checks. The latter is how I want to handle chases and in that case choosing to 'double dash' would be a guaranteed way to...
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    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 03:36 AM
    ad_hoc replied to Double Dash
    I don't understand the question. Overland travel not being the same as tactical movement is self evident to me so maybe that is why I don't understand the confusion people are having.
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    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 03:06 AM
    ad_hoc replied to Double Dash
    Overland travel is different than tactical movement. Characters with bonus dashes don't get to travel faster over long distances. As far as tactical movement goes, let the characters have cool things they can do.
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    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 08:23 AM
    I mean heroic more broadly. Is he a thief or a scavenger? When I think of a Rogue I don't imagine a character who carries around scrap metal in a cart. I think of an infamous cat burglar who is known kingdom wide and makes people lock up their valuables tight. This sort of thing is in character in a post-apocalyptic game. To me, not so much in heroic fantasy. I think that is why the...
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    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 01:10 AM
    This is the sort of minutiae I'm not interested in, in this sort of game. Doesn't feel very heroic to scavenge like that.
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    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 12:57 PM
    Non-stop orifice jokes I'm sure.
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    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:41 AM
    Yes, very much so. Race is both provides quick and easy characterization and also provides engagement in the world. This could be how other characters react to someone of a certain race. Certain locations and monsters could react differently depending on race too. Maybe the dwarf cleric gets advantage to turning while in the ruins of a dwarf stronghold. Maybe there are magical traps...
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    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:58 PM
    5-10 1-4 go by so fast that it is okay for things to be a little unbalanced. Powers are also not strong enough to make a huge difference. I've seen people make threads about how such and such class is terribly designed because they are too weak at level 1. That's 1/2 session. For the people who do play 11-16 they spend little time there. It's the end of the campaign. Everyone should be able...
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    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:03 AM
    ad_hoc replied to Monk Tortle
    More than 1 class can be in theme for a race.
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    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 11:07 PM
    ad_hoc replied to Monk Tortle
    Land Druid is very good for a Tortle (and themed!)
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    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 01:53 PM
    That number is so big it's hard to fully comprehend what it means.
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    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 03:30 AM
    I think Expertise works very well, just not for the game you're going for. That doesn't mean it is designed poorly, it's just not designed for you. The game isn't designed for Ability Checks to be called for frequently. They're for dramatic moments and the characters with Expertise are expected to have a good chance at succeeding at those moments. It's their chance to be heroic.
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  • ad_hoc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 08:03 AM
    The problem here is playing a game for intrigue in a game not designed for it. If succeeding in deception needs to be challenging as a core part of the campaign then you need to make house rules for it. D&D is just not designed to be that kind of game. There are many things that other characters can do without checks because it is their thing. Let Rogues have their thing too. A Rogue...
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  • ad_hoc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:33 AM
    The social skills aren't mind control and players only make ability checks when the DM deems it necessary due to an uncertain outcome. The main antagonists of an intrigue campaign probably know a lot of what is going on so they're not going to be deceived. The best liar in the world can't convince me that the Earth is flat for example.
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    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:30 AM
    Let them be super sneaky. It's their thing. Besides, these checks are available to the entire party at level 3 with Pass Without Trace.
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  • ad_hoc's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 11:50 PM
    Talk to them about your concerns. Let them know that they have a responsibility to be making the game as fun as possible for everyone else too. It's not like they're paying you to DM right? Everyone has that responsibility. If you need to, give them the example of you not paying attention to the game too. There really wouldn't be a game. And finally, maybe D&D isn't their thing....
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  • ad_hoc's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 06:36 PM
    Damage comparisons should be compared to the total damage the party is inflicting rather than per individual character. Dealing +1 damage from 20 to 21 dmg is small, and what some would consider insignificant. Dealing +1 damage from 80 to 81 is what most would consider insignificant. +1dmg/round might not make a difference for the entire campaign.
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  • ad_hoc's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 11:43 PM
    OP is begging the question. There isn't a consensus that it is broken. While I think it could have been designed a little better I think it is fine. Not worth the headache of house rules imo.
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  • ad_hoc's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 07:19 PM
    Training specific lifts is definitely a thing. I am 5'7" 185lbs and I can deadlift 450lbs. It's because I practice deadlifting. I have a bad knee so I don't squat very much so I can't do that well. I never go above 200 because I don't want to risk it. A shot putter will be able to throw heavy things farther than anyone else because that is what they train at.
    32 replies | 1072 view(s)
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  • ad_hoc's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 05:47 PM
    I'm not sure I understand the question. All the skills can be broken up into more specific skills. That doesn't mean they should. Olympic Weightlifting involves a lot of technique. Powerlifting is more about raw strength but still involves technique. Both require specific conditioning. A word of caution - PCs are heroes. They do heroic things. A display of heroic strength shouldn't...
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  • ad_hoc's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 08:19 PM
    Just cover. No need to over complicate or penalize.
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  • ad_hoc's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 10:48 PM
    I am glad that D&D is a genre of fantasy rather than a generic fantasy game. I think the rule is both important and clear. Like all rules it is easy to play without it. I think you're losing something in your game, but you can do what you want in your game.
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  • ad_hoc's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 10:43 PM
    The Thief's 'second story work' is designed for this.
    34 replies | 1487 view(s)
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Sunday, 9th October, 2016

  • 10:26 AM - pemerton mentioned ad_hoc in post After 2 years the 5E PHB remains one of the best selling books on Amazon
    ... more or less racist, more or less homophobic, etc. It's about the conception of the gameworld, and thereby of who is (potentially) part of the game, being projected by WotC. It's about WotC's communication to the potential market of D&D players. I seriously doubt anyone who was remotely interested in RPGs was ever stopped by the lack of such a statementIt depends on what you mean by "seriously interested". If the rulebooks give the impression that the gameworld does not contain a certain sort of person, than a real-world person of that type might not become seriously interested, precisely because s/he assumes that the gameworld, and hence the game, is not something for him/her. I certainly know people who are "seriously interested" in movies or TV shows and will choose not to watch ones that have no people of colour in them, because they're sick of engaging with fictional works that they are not invited to imagine themselves a part of. Which, to me, makes doctorbadwolf's and ad_hoc's reports of similar responses to D&D in relation to sex, gender and sexuality very plausible.

Saturday, 8th October, 2016

  • 09:40 PM - Cognomen's Cassowary mentioned ad_hoc in post What's up with Vicious Mockery?
    @ad_hoc It's not that I necessarily think you're wrong, but you skip over consideration of the attack role and saving throw of fire bolt and vicious mockery respectively. Back of the envelope, it looks to me like you're 10% more likely to hit the hill giant with a spell attack than you are to land vicious mockery. Assuming a +4 Cha/Int mod, that's a 75% chance to hit vs. a 65% chance to mock viciously. The attack also has the chance to crit. Thus, average damage when casting fire bolt against the hill giant is 11*0.7+2*11*0.05=8.8. The average damage of vicious mockery is 5*0.65=3.25. When the giant attacks, its first attack has a 65% chance to have disadvantage. 18*(0.3025*0.65+0.55*0.35)=~7.00 damage. You've reduced its damage per round from 19.8 to 16.9, a loss of 14.6%. Relative to casting fire bolt, the player has reduced his or her damage by 63% to reduce the giant's by 14.6%. I've only just roughed this out in the last few minutes, and it's absent of context, and it's only one exampl...

Tuesday, 4th October, 2016

  • 09:31 PM - robus mentioned ad_hoc in post Balancing Investigation checks and player descriptions
    That's a really good example ad_hoc, the PCs get distracted by the shiny loot and don't look any further. The question then has to be why is the loot there - is it to accomplish precisely this effect? The robber thinks they hit the jackpot and won't look further. So without some hint to the PCs that there's more to find they're not going to look. So this seems like something the DM has to illuminate with some narration. For example the lid can seem surprisingly heavy (certainly something they would sense without needing investigation). Or perhaps the lid makes an odd sound as it's lifting like something is sliding around inside. Basically you've got to throw the PCs a bone so they know to investigate further.
  • 12:22 AM - pemerton mentioned ad_hoc in post After 2 years the 5E PHB remains one of the best selling books on Amazon
    ...e.Upthread I distinguished between what the rules of the game permitted or forbade - and in this respect they had very little to say about sex, gender or sexuality, other than the AD&D 1st ed STR limits for women - and the language of, and fiction presented in, the books, which is a signal from the publisher to (what it takes to be) its audience. Just to give one example: despite the fact that the AD&D MM describes dwarves as being "typically deep tan to light brown of skin" and gnomes as "wood brown, [with] a few rang[ing] to gray brown, of skin", I think nearly every depiction of a dwarf or a gnome in an AD&D book, AD&D-era Dragon magazine, etc, shows them as having basically northern European skin tones. Those pictures are not any sort of rule that forbids having brown-skinned dwarves and gnomes. But they send a signal about who is the expected audience. Likewise the move, in 2nd ed AD&D rulebooks, from Gygax's "he or she" to an exclusive use of the masculine pronoun. When ad_hoc talks about inclusion, I take the point to be one about changing those signals. That's what I mean when I talk about inclusion. You've obviously been lucky enough to remain completely ignorant of the Social Justice culture that has grown on the internet. May you remain blissfully ignorant of that pack of jackals.I don't want to venture into territory that breaks board rules, so I'll confine myself to this: from your point of view I suspect I'm more of a jackal (though not one with a twitter account) than an ignoramus.

Monday, 3rd October, 2016

  • 11:47 PM - evileeyore mentioned ad_hoc in post After 2 years the 5E PHB remains one of the best selling books on Amazon
    ...first character was female, my second a skinny 'non-traditionally masculine' male, and the third another female (though not particularly feminine). Neither my DM, nor the other players, nor the rules said anything about those choices. ...with either the fighter or the wizard as their class archetype and the random harlot table as a pseudo-pornographic pandering to them; traditionally "feminine" women, with MUs as their archetype, are another (in the AD&D PHB she's called "Filmar, the mistress of magic" - p 7); 1 - You just said wizard was a traditionally masculine role. Now it isn't? 2 - The first picture of Magic-Users in Dungeons & Dragons Men & Magic Volume 1 (1974) shows three scrawny dudes, two of which are 'coded' non-caucasian. the Morgan Ironwolf-type somewhat "masculine" woman is yet another. So because she was depicted as muscular she was "masculine"? I think I've spotted the problem and it isn't with D&D's presentation of sex or gender. And what I think ad_hoc is pointing to is the increased scope of inclusion beyond these sorts of people to include others. So... the people who weren't excluded by the game since day one. You realize the only exclusions that occurred were social in nature? Individual groups* excluding such things in their own games? Yes. * And the RPGA, which officially excluded any mention of sex or sexuality (but in particular homosexuality). There's also not much connection between any of these things and Marxism ("cultural" or otherwise). You've obviously been lucky enough to remain completely ignorant of the Social Justice culture that has grown on the internet. May you remain blissfully ignorant of that pack of jackals.
  • 10:05 PM - pemerton mentioned ad_hoc in post After 2 years the 5E PHB remains one of the best selling books on Amazon
    Being inclusive matters. Not to everyone. To you, most certianly. To me, not as much.Are you saying that you don't care whether or not the way the rulebooks depict the D&D gameworld includes you? Or are you saying that you don't care whether or not it includes others? I ask, because there are some people who have clearly always been included in the gameworld. Traditionally "masculine" white heterosexual men are one such sort of people, with either the fighter or the wizard as their class archetype and the random harlot table as a pseudo-pornographic pandering to them; traditionally "feminine" women, with MUs as their archetype, are another (in the AD&D PHB she's called "Filmar, the mistress of magic" - p 7); the Morgan Ironwolf-type somewhat "masculine" woman is yet another. And what I think ad_hoc is pointing to is the increased scope of inclusion beyond these sorts of people to include others. There seems to be a certain sort of selfishness in setting the boundary of inclusion that one cares about at oneself; whereas it would be a different thing (resignation? indifference?) to be happy with the rulebooks even though the fiction they depict doesn't seem to include oneself. And when posters say they don't care about inclusion it's often not clear which of these two positions they are adopting. If you want to actually destroy D&D go ahead and keep pushing the "progressive intersectionality" cultural Marxism as the core tenet of the game.I don't think it's going to destroy D&D to have characters in the gameworld who don't gender identify; or to have (say) Morgan Ironwolf rather than Conan be the love interest of the princess; or to have halflings wearing cornrows. I have GMed with a black PC (in the sense of belonging to the gameworld's equivalent of the African diaspora...

Thursday, 28th January, 2016

  • 11:01 AM - Connorsrpg mentioned ad_hoc in post Flaws
    ad_hoc Thanks for your input. Re balance, I can see your point, but again, there is no point in going too far either. If the flaws are too negative, then no one will take them. You seem to think gaining a feat from the get-go is too powerful. As seen in other threads, some people even start all PCs with a feat at 1st level. Everyone on our site has so far thought that the flaws are appropriate. RARELY has a major flaw even been taken. You have provided one example, and one I addressed. (And I still feel that there is no need to go to ALL attacks for a major. Restricting your build to avoid said spells etc, is still a restriction, which adds weight to the flaw). Again, of course, with any flaw system, some power gamers might look to exploit it, but try to look to this with an eye to roleplaying too. It is extremely hard to cater to every character combo, but we feel we have a fair mix with fair balance. So, I am interested in what you think re the eg in my last post. Do others see ...

Wednesday, 25th November, 2015

  • 08:03 PM - Shasarak mentioned ad_hoc in post Does Eberron need to be high fantasy?
    Not sure if this is genuine or a joke I'm not getting, but in case of the former... No, MotRD predates Eberron by many years. It's Ravenloft in "Gothic Earth," in the 1800s. What is the joke? Masque is a low magic steam-punk horror, which is what ad_hoc seemed to be asking for.

Monday, 23rd November, 2015

  • 11:11 PM - Noctem mentioned ad_hoc in post November's SAGE ADVICE Is Here!
    ad_hoc So although you've been very aggressive towards other posters and so on. You haven't explained what you meant by saying that my houserule nerfs classes and such. Are you ever going to explain or are you just happy making these aggressive statements without feeling the need to actually address them?

Thursday, 29th October, 2015

  • 04:31 AM - Connorsrpg mentioned ad_hoc in post Flaws
    ad_hoc. I really don't think you need to go that far for a feat. Feats aren't the be all and end all. Humans get one at first level. This is a chance for everyone to get one from the get-go, but they take a penalty (not a massive penalty) for it. So far, players have RARELY chosen Major flaws as they are and no one has taken the Civilian/Non-Combatant flaw, so I am pretty sure it is enough. More to the point from a story point of view, the flaw is about people that go to water when physically threatened or just can't fight. Not, can't shoot etc. Not sure if you have read the flaws or just going on something said above, but I don't want to go too far into penalties - then why take them at all. At this stage penalties are based roughly on double the benefits of a feat. Perhaps you game with players that are power-gamers and looking for every edge. Fortunately, I don't, but you are right, I need to take this into consideration if opening these up to others. But again, disadvantage on...
  • 02:57 AM - Connorsrpg mentioned ad_hoc in post Flaws
    ad_hoc. Thanks for your thoughts and having a look. I understand where you are coming from, but that is just not possible. EVERY flaw has that potential I guess. We don't have problem in our games, but I know it could be a problem at some tables. A GM would have to make a call there. Though, again, as a GM you can have the caster placed in melee combat (it would be extremely rare in our groups to dodge that) and it would apply to melee-based spell attack rolls (which I think I will need to point out. Thanks for that ;)). In our game, races have some Flaws assigned. We also have players often roll random flaws. This offsets some of what you have, but any system of flaws can be taken advantage of. Another reason I understand them not being in the game and not for every table, but we loved the way games like Savage Worlds played out and how your flaws/hindrances/drawbacks can really make your PC standout.

Tuesday, 27th October, 2015

  • 04:24 AM - pukunui mentioned ad_hoc in post New SCAG Info: Someone Got The Book
    Demetrios1453, ad_hoc or Prism: What does the book say about Elturgard? I ask because the 4e LFR adventures had the Companion exploding and the nation failing, but the nation still exists and the second sun still hovers over Elturel in Hoard of the Dragon Queen, so it would seem that the LFR storyline was non-canonical.

Friday, 23rd October, 2015

  • 08:19 PM - pukunui mentioned ad_hoc in post New SCAG Info: Someone Got The Book
    Oh, I believe you. I just think the date mentioned in Archmage has to be a typo. As I mentioned, 1485 is in the middle of the Sundering. Legacy of the Crystal Shard, the only Sundering adventure to give a hard date, is also set in 1485. We know from the AL season of Tyranny of Dragons that that storyline is set in 1489, and while neither hardback adventure gives a set date, The Rise of Tiamat States that it is assumed to take place after the Sundering has finished. Since Princes of the Apocalypse is set in 1491, and Sword Coast Legends is supposedly set in 1494 or thereabouts, it seems to me like Archmage (and the therefore Out of the Abyss) *should* be set in 1495-96. EDIT: Furthermore, ad_hoc mentioned that the SCAG refers to 1489 in the past tense. All this is why it would be nice to know if there's a timeline (roll of years?) of any kind in the book.

Thursday, 22nd October, 2015

  • 02:35 AM - Chaosmancer mentioned ad_hoc in post Eliminating skill & feat taxes
    ad_hoc I can agree with the tools, except that generally speaking the person using the herbalism kit for healing and the person who wants the poisoner's kit for poisoning are not the same person or concept. If they overlapped, I might houserule it for that character, but if they grabbed assassin and... wow, hermit is the only background that gives herbalism kits and none of them give poison. Anyways, double tool proficiencies allow you to choose whatever you want and I think most characters who want both will be able to do both as is. For the skills though... Survival and animal handling are very different in my mind. Animal handling is like being a horse whisperer, doesn't mean you know what berries to eat, and knowing how to travel in the forest doesn't mean you have a special connection with the forest animals. Now, I would say with all the magical ways to befriend animals Animal Handling is low tier, but not the same as survival at all. Medicine is nothing like Nature. For me...

Saturday, 10th October, 2015

  • 03:14 AM - pukunui mentioned ad_hoc in post Last D&D Survey Results In! Plus What's Up With The Ranger?
    I said that I thought the PHB ranger was more or less fine as-is. I just want to see the following: Natural Explorer made more useful in a general way, rather than something that's only useful in specific terrain types - this makes its usefulness too dependent on the type of campaign being played. Favored Enemy replaced with Hunter's Mark as a class feature rather than a spell. Primeval Awareness made useful (or removed). I also said I'd prefer to see the animal companion removed altogether. I really don't see it being necessary to the ranger archetype. Like MerricB, I tend to think of Aragorn more than Drizzt when I think of a ranger. ad_hoc: I'm quite happy with the rate of releases too. In fact, I wouldn't object if they made it even slower! I'm still on Tyranny of Dragons. Who knows when I'll get to Out of the Abyss. Probably not till after the next adventure or two have been released!

Sunday, 4th October, 2015


Tuesday, 19th May, 2015

  • 04:15 AM - Kobold Stew mentioned ad_hoc in post Encumbrance
    Unwise : As I said above, "I do like the thought of there being a mechanic that encouraged not letting strength be a dump stat", and encumbrance is the best implementation of that goal that D&D has had. It's *not* a question of constantly keeping track of your weight like you're on Jenny Craig. It is an issue of (as a player) making reasonable choices about the stuff you are carrying with you as you adventure, and not just buying everything under the sun. That's why I like having a flexible system that rewards player investment. ad_hoc : I agree with you, as I say in the post you quote: the implementation in the pub is too restrictive to be workable.

Wednesday, 22nd April, 2015

  • 02:46 AM - iserith mentioned ad_hoc in post Understanding Passive Checks
    ad_hoc: Yeah, looks fine. For what it's worth, this is a Session Zero topic for me, taken from one of my games: "As we play, I will describe the situation to you and ask what you want to do. When you tell me what you want to do, avoid asking questions and make your goal and approach clear. I will tell you if it works, works with a cost or requirement, doesn't work, or has an uncertain outcome. In the case of the latter, I will ask you to roll a die to resolve the uncertainty - unless you're doing a particular thing repeatedly in which case I will use the appropriate passive check instead. Before you roll, I will tell you the DC you need to hit to succeed and I will tell you what success and failure on the check will look like in the game. After you've rolled, I will narrate the result of your actions and start this process over again. So it goes for the entire game."

Tuesday, 14th April, 2015

  • 10:03 PM - redrick mentioned ad_hoc in post New Spells and Abilities with regards to Leveling Up...
    ...for at least 4/5 sessions. Which means we will level up to 4 & 5. When I leveled up to 2, I didn't realize about this rule and added the new ability to my PC. We had a discussion at our last session when most of us leveled up again (Me to level 3). Some of us realized that we wouldn't be gaining any new abilities or spells because of lack of access and lack of FUTURE access (where the story will be headed to, we are playing "Lost Mine of Phandelver"). So, by your DM's ruling, the town of Phandalin is not large enough for characters to find appropriate training to level? Do player characters need to journey back to Neverwinter in order to train? A few things to keep in mind — levels 1 to 3 happen very quickly, but the curve flattens out a lot after level 3, so 4/5 sessions might not get you as many levels as you think if you are basing it off of the leveling rate for the beginning of the adventure. (Not sure how long your sessions are, and every group moves at a different pace.) As @ad_hoc suggests, ask your DM what the rule is trying to accomplish. Is the DM expecting player characters to continue without leveling much beyond when they have reached the required xp? Is the DM expecting player characters to choose between pushing ahead or heading back to a big city in order to level up? Is the DM planning to present alternative options when journeying back to a city is untenable for a significant amount of play-time? Is the DM expecting to slow down the rate of leveling? (In which case, the players will need to embrace this, because I know leveling is very important to a lot of players.) Another thing that I'll say, as a DM, is that, whenever I present a house-rule, I remind my players that I will keep an eye on the rule and make adjustments as necessary if it starts veering towards the Land of Suck. I explain what I'm trying to accomplish with a house rule — more down-time in cities, a need to role-play training a little, wanting to avoid the mid-dungeon-crawl level-up,...

Tuesday, 13th January, 2015



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Saturday, 29th September, 2018

  • 03:38 PM - billd91 quoted ad_hoc in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    This claim is, of course, absurd and wrong. However, lets talk about who likes 5e. I don't personally know anyone who likes both 5e and tactical wargames. I invited a boardgame friend to play and he wasn't into it because it was too story driven and not focused enough on strategy and tactics. And he isn't wrong. D&D makes a terrible strategy game. I think some of the people who play 5e and gripe about it would probably be much happier checking out the advances in boardgames. There are great thematic games out there which are competitive and tight. I don't have the data, but I think it is safe to assume that the millions of new players aren't playing it as a war game. The people I know who play don't even like boardgames. You may not know me personally, but I’m raising my hand about liking wargames and 5e. Sure, I’m not approaching it as a wargame, but then again, I never have. The most board gamey version we ever played was 4e because it necessitated that degree of focus on th...
  • 10:40 AM - Sorcerers Apprentice quoted ad_hoc in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    This claim is, of course, absurd and wrong. No, it is 100% true. Explain how 5E mechanically is any less of a wargame than Chainmail is. D&D has always been a wargame. You can of course play D&D with more focus on the story less tactical combat in your sessions, but that doesn't change what the system actually is. I expect it was the style of your game rather than the system that turned off your boardgamer friend, my wargaming friends are having loads of fun playing 5E as a tactical dungeon crawler.

Wednesday, 26th September, 2018

  • 02:42 AM - ElterAgo quoted ad_hoc in post Questions about 5thEd from a Noob
    ... 5e is built on story and narrative first and then mechanics not the other way around. Who is your character? Don't neglect backgrounds either, they are important. 2 traits, ideal, bond, and flaw is a lot of differentiation. ... It could make a lot of differentiation internally in how a player makes his decision process on what his/her character is going to do. I am not seeing much significant differentiation in game play around the table. Some, but not a lot. ... Also, it really helps to play a 1st party adventure to start out. Currently in a group playing Dragon Heist.

Tuesday, 25th September, 2018

  • 07:52 AM - Li Shenron quoted ad_hoc in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    For example - When asked about a regret Mearls has pointed to the design of the fighter, specifically the subclasses. The Champion and Battlemaster have no identity, they're just bundles of mechanics. I don't think it's WotC's fault. I think this is what the gamers base wanted during the playtest, because for a while the battlemaster's mechanics were common to all fighters.
  • 02:57 AM - ClaytonCross quoted ad_hoc in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    Here is Jeremy Crawford on how they develop and design subclasses. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5SeqUY8Pjc 1. Start with the story 2. Describe the story 3. Brainstorm mechanics to express the story 4. Compare mechanics to other subclasses within the same class for balance 5. Ensure subclass mechanics match the infrastructure of other subclasses. Eg. new Cunning Action for Rogues 6. Check for duplication with other subclasses <-- mechanics and story 7. Check back to ensure it is representing the story etc. They start with story then get to mechanics. Rather than start with mechanics then fit in the story. The distinction is important, and important to understand in order to understand the game and the rules. Some people don't like it, but it's good to know it. This is 5e. You do realize steps 3-4 are mechanics. That's 3.5 of 7 or 50% of the process. Not only that but I have been saying one informs the other... so you start with story 1&2, the you enforce mechanics 3-4, then you pull...
  • 12:21 AM - ClaytonCross quoted ad_hoc in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    That just isn't true. There needs to be a goal that takes priority. Go back to what Mearls said that started this thread. "In terms of players, we focus much more on narrative and identity, rather than specific, mechanical advantages. Who you are is more important than what you do, to the point that your who determines your what. In broad terms - and based on what we can observe of the community from a variety of measures - we went from a community that focused on mechanics and expertise, to one focused on socializing and story telling. Mechanical expertise is an element of the game, but no longer the sole focus. Ideally, it’s a balanced part of all the other motivators. If balanaced correctly, every has their fun. Enjoyment isn’t zero sum." Who determines what, not what determines who. Some people pick out mechanics and then create identity and narrative to support those mechanics. The designers decided to support those and focus on a community who wants to pick out identity a...

Monday, 24th September, 2018

  • 12:30 PM - ClaytonCross quoted ad_hoc in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    The designers asked themselves 'are we designing narrative/story first, or strategy game first?' One must drive the design goals. Then there is limiting design because of powergamers, which is a fool's errand. Some people enjoy finding ways to exploit or abuse rules, and that's fine, they can have their fun...but the game shouldn't be limited because of them. And they don't. This statement of design philosophy spells out why. I think your mistaken your saying designing good narrative and strategy are in ANY WAY mutually exclusive. They can ignore each other or support each other. Their is Zero reason why even choosing to make narrative your starting point or priority would damage your strategic your design. In fact the only real rule here is that both need to be functional and they are only strengthened when they support each other. In other words if I want the story of an epic Fire based sorcerer known for burning his enemies to ache having the ability to build that sorcerer brass dragon ...
  • 12:29 AM - Parmandur quoted ad_hoc in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    We have different experiences then. I'm the only hobby gamer at my table. One person I introduced it to started up their own table after playing a few times. People I don't know through gaming have either played or have other friends who play. The millions of new players is substantial evidence for it being a gateway game that new people find easy to pick up. And by non-hobby gamer, they still play boardgames at boardgame cafes. But they don't attend boardgame meet up groups where people play heavier strategy games. I have seen people go from Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, etc. easily enough to D&D. So not your average person, they do still need to enjoy games and fantasy. No, that also natches my experience. It is very easy for people to get into...but they don't ever tend to think of it as a "light" game.

Sunday, 23rd September, 2018

  • 11:00 PM - Parmandur quoted ad_hoc in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    What do we mean by heavy though? D&D 5e is a gateway game. There are millions of new players, who aren't hobby gamers, who are playing it. I am familiar with the scale of light-heavy from boardgames. Perhaps it is used differently with RPGs. Not all light games are gateway games, but all gateway games are light. Obviously RPGs are different than boardgames and need to be categorized by different metrics. I just wonder if we all mean the same thing with light-heavy. I don't know what people mean by it when applying it to RPGs. The way 5e plays is certainly much lighter than 3e. It is designed so that players don't need to look up any rules during play. Just go with what the table deems reasonable and move on - that is probably the rule anyway. The adventures are super easy to pick up and play. When I DM I don't even read very much, I just go along with it as we play. It is more elegant, certainly, but...it has a significant number of rules, and most people are going to see it...
  • 10:49 PM - Ristamar quoted ad_hoc in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    What do we mean by heavy though? Three core books, each with hundreds of pages. 5e is far less complex than 3e, but it's still a rules heavy system.
  • 02:16 PM - pemerton quoted ad_hoc in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    I think you're misunderstanding the thrust of it. For example - When asked about a regret Mearls has pointed to the design of the fighter, specifically the subclasses. The Champion and Battlemaster have no identity, they're just bundles of mechanics. Most of the classes and subclasses in the game are designed narrative first rather than mechanics first. It's a design philosophy.As were most of the 4e classes, at least it seemed to me! But frankly I don't accept that the 5e wizard subclasses were designed "narrative first" - they are designed to accord with schools of magic that Gygax made up in his PHB and that got some mechanics tacked onto them in 2nd ed AD&D. The Channel Divinity/Turn Undead clerical ability is another obvious bit of tradition that has no particular narrative grounding. Rogue sneak attack is another.
  • 01:28 PM - pemerton quoted ad_hoc in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    That is the same thing as asking why your Champion can't make 10 attacks in 1 round. They can shove to the ground and do damage by level 2. By 5th level they don't even need their Action Surge for it. Battlemasters just get some damage when they do it because it is their thing.But this seems to go directly to Satyrn's point. As soon as the scope of action declaration is rationed by reference to other mechanical elements of the game, rather than just the fiction, then designing options can become pretty hard.
  • 11:31 AM - clearstream quoted ad_hoc in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    I think you're misunderstanding the thrust of it. For example - When asked about a regret Mearls has pointed to the design of the fighter, specifically the subclasses. The Champion and Battlemaster have no identity, they're just bundles of mechanics. Most of the classes and subclasses in the game are designed narrative first rather than mechanics first. It's a design philosophy. Wouldn't this require that Mearls has helped himself to characterising Cook, Tweet and Williams' motives? When I look at Numenera I see the work of a designer who is profoundly interested in narrative. The Battlemaster is very popular in our group, one of our most distinctive characters is the Dwarf Battlemaster. I think the Champion has some identity issues due to insufficiently good mechanical design: it's the weakest of the core fighter archetypes. Greater mechanical payoff for its athletic focus would bring it more to life narratively, at the table. In an RPG, rules formalise a player's leverage on the narrati...
  • 04:07 AM - pemerton quoted ad_hoc in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    If you look at it, it's actually great design. The Battlemaster doesn't get extra options there, they just get to do that stuff AND do damage. That's the difference.OK, but that just pushes the issue back one step. Why can't my Champion fighter push someone to the ground and do damage in the process? I can't see an in-fiction reason for that. It's pure metagame that runs directly counter to the idea that in a RPG "I can try and do anything".

Saturday, 22nd September, 2018

  • 10:27 PM - S'mon quoted ad_hoc in post Mitigating players spamming Help, Guidance, Bardic Inspiration, and oh I’ll roll too?
    7) Why is the Hobgoblin not attacking the Familiar there? I have no idea, mine certainly do. With the result that Familiars are rarely used to Help in combat. Problem solved. :)
  • 07:26 PM - Greg K quoted ad_hoc in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    Now that it is highly successful people are upset that it isn't 3e or 4e. I wonder, if 5e crashed and burned, would these people still be upset? Would they happily go to Pathfinder (or another game) and be happy that the game they don't like failed? I would not be happy if it failed nor would I go to Pathfinder (I did not like Pathfinder 1e's changes and I don't like what I have seen of Pathfinder 2e). I don't think, however, that wanting or having WOTC provide is, necessarily, a bad thing. Personally, I think most of WOTC supplemental material has been a combination of junk and/or not to my taste. However, I am all for more options that help DMs better tailor the game to their campaign and style- this includes new classes and subclasses, variant classes, and substitution class abilities, and filling in missing elements. I for one would like a: official replacement abilities for the Bard's Jack of All Trades, the cleric's Channel Divinity: Turn Undead and Destroy Undead, Rogue'...
  • 06:34 PM - DM Howard quoted ad_hoc in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    After 4e there were musings that D&D might be dead. On the lead up to the release of 5e people were hoping it would be able to compete with Pathfinder. Now that it is highly successful people are upset that it isn't 3e or 4e. I wonder, if 5e crashed and burned, would these people still be upset? Would they happily go to Pathfinder (or another game) and be happy that the game they don't like failed?What people? Those of us that want more options love 5E, we just want more of it.
  • 10:44 AM - pemerton quoted ad_hoc in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    removing *ALL* mechanical advantages means that all characters are mechanically identical in all ways, and no actions (including roleplay choices) on the part of the PCs impact resolution of events, which is probably not what we want in RPGsThis doesn't seem right. A few weeks ago I GMed a session of Cthulhu Dark. Each PC had two things written on their sheet: a name and an occupation. There was also a sanity die in front of each player (it starts at 1; 6 is bad news). The basic mechanics are build a pool and roll, taking the highest - if the action is within the scope of your occuption, you get a die for that; if it's something within human capabilities, yout get a die for that; and if you're willing to risk your sanity to succeed, you can include your sanity die. The actions chosen by the players impacted the resolution of events. One player played a reporter, one a secretary in a law firm and one a longshoreman, but even had they all been playing longshoremen the actions that they...
  • 03:54 AM - Dausuul quoted ad_hoc in post Does (or should) the halfling “lucky” ability apply when the DM is making the roll?
    If nothing happens then there is no game. Something should be happening. That is the game. Things happen. Sure, something happens: The PCs enter the dungeon and face the next challenge. It's just that now there is a hidden enemy behind them, and that enemy will become relevant at some point in the future. Not every die roll needs to have all its consequences fully resolved on the spot. Statelessness is for websites, not D&D games.
  • 03:27 AM - DM Howard quoted ad_hoc in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    5e feels like it is back to the feeling of 2e and before. Which is great for me. I've read this several times since 5th Edition was released but I don't get it. I started with 2E and I felt like 2E had an enormous amount of options and "rules bloat" attached to it. I veer more towards the 5E minimalism than PF crunchiness, but this strikes a chord with me. My daughters and I started playing Catan a few months; we've probably played half a dozen times, or slightly more. While we still very much enjoy it and there are subtle aspects still to be explored, I can see how we'll soon be ready for an expansion set to diversity play experience. So while I love the simplicity of 5E, I really don't see why they can't have optional "expansion sets" like Catan for those who want a crunchier, or at least more varied, mechanical experience. I am generally a very happy 5E customer, but I remain slightly disappointed that they didn't really explore the whole "complexity dial" and "modular options" ave...


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