View Profile: FormerlyHemlock - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 03:23 AM
    "Balanced at the Encounter" just means "pacing doesn't matter." Even 4e didn't go there, though the closely-related 7th ed of Gamma World did, and it worked pretty well, actually. Any indication PF2 wants to go there?
    13 replies | 424 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 02:24 AM
    You have a choice of rules to use (or not): Carrying capacity, it's 15 lb/STR, if the fighter's gear & the other character & his gear exceed that, he's pushding/dragging and his move drops to 5' - otherwise fine, this is the simple default for carrying stuff. Encumbrance ("Variant"): Up to 5lb/STR he's fine, but it's unlikely a medium ally is under 100lb, which'd be the limit for 20 STR. ...
    7 replies | 96 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:13 AM
    Sounds plausible (that he'd like a mechanic like that), 4e had a lotta* re-rolls, from the notorious Elven Accuracy on, and it seemed like there were just more of 'em after he took over. In particular, the Avenger had a special ability that was "make two attack rolls and use either result. … If another effect lets you roll twice and use the higher result when making an attack roll, this power...
    14 replies | 549 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:51 AM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    I may still be stuck in the idiom of the D&D Pedantry Thread, but it seems like there's a whole lotta RPGs that don't particularly fit between those. Good to know.
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:25 AM
    My memory's bad, but I'm fairly certain that the "Summer of 1999" occurred /before/ "the early 2000s." (I mean, I've been "fairly certain" and turned out to have been wrong, before, so y'all might wanna to double-check.)
    81 replies | 2618 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:29 PM
    I suspect that'd wear you out. ;) A quick search of some modern archery guidelines, and, yes, you increase wear on a 'natural material' bow if you leave it strung a long time, apparently even a few hours is worth avoiding. Apparently, a strung bow is under tension and a bit dangerous if the string or stave breaks, too. More detail than D&D generally goes into with weapons. Adventurers...
    66 replies | 1621 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:18 PM
    They've had more or less mechanical impact in some eds (and I'm sure, some places/groups/etc back in the day, when we were a less disunited-by-the-internet, merely more diverse, community). Obvious examples of early alignment mechanics are alignment requirements for classes, damage for touching an artifact that doesn't match your alignment, detect this and know that, etc... 3e peaked, with the...
    22 replies | 474 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:24 PM
    No expert, but I've heard yes with regard to the bow. But I'm fine with arbitrary. Medieval rossbows, IIRC, weren't like guns - there's no safety, the bolt can just fall out, etc...
    66 replies | 1621 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:59 PM
    If every single mechanic is upturned, then it's hardly just a re-boot to re-start the supplement cycle, is it? Sounds more like substantive change.
    144 replies | 9778 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:56 PM
    I actually kinda like common. In general, things seem more fantasy (or mythic, perhaps) to me, if everyone can talk to everyone else. You could conceive of Common as just "the gift of language" in the sense of communication, it's not just a language everyone strangely learns, it's the language everyone who can speak at all, can speak by default. All other languages would then be...
    22 replies | 474 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:34 PM
    You bank the fire before you go to bed, uncover the coals in the morning, add kindling, and blow on it. IDK why I happen to remember that, but it's actually a good example. If I didn't, your character would be screwed trying to start a fire in mundane domestic setting without a flint & steel, D&D-matches (tindertwig?), or, well, since this is 5e, Firebolt... ...so not really screwed...
    83 replies | 3053 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:23 PM
    There is the important act of stringing the bow, you could make that an Action, and require it be un-strung to stow (only slightly arbitrary). If you also impose more plausible RoF on crossbows and slings, that'd about take care of projectile weapons as fast-swapping alternatives to melee.
    66 replies | 1621 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:11 PM
    I blame Elan... ...OK, and every version of the Bard class that preceded him.
    9 replies | 319 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:07 PM
    Don't mind me, I'm just being pedantic... "How the /Hell/ is it you speak Infer-" "... oh, nevermind, answered my own question, really." But it doesn't specify if that that's oral route, IM, naso-gastric, IV, topical, suppository...
    120 replies | 3704 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:57 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Or that, yeah. Actually, now that you mention it, my second 4e character was an "old-school high-elf fighter/magic-user," he was a wand wizard, and he did explain his Scorching Burst as "an old Wand of Fireballs that doesn't work like it used to." (There was, in that campaign, a conceit that magic had historically, or pre-historically, worked as it had in prior eds, so I got to lampshade the...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:21 PM
    I'm getting a sense of deja-vu here... … yeah, it's like it's 2003 and someone's going on about the 'cash grab' … ...which went on to command such loyalty from fans that Paizo has been selling PF1 to that base for an extra decade past it's end of life. ...so, yer say'n PF2 could be Paizo's 3.5!
    144 replies | 9778 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:07 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    The difference in ease of use is certainly there, that's been the game's direction the whole time, it's one thing the WotC era hasn't deviated from. Maybe it was just 'pervasive' that threw me. Because, yeah, neo-Vancian is way more versatile than old-school Vanican, and way less limited in in-combat used. OTOH, the breadths of spells isn't as great, and some of them are, well, 'less...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:16 PM
    "Good night everybody!" - Yakko Warner
    24 replies | 884 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:13 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Ok... Magic has always been /so/ pervasive in D&D. It's an infinitely-renewable, daily (or 4hr-nap) resource. You kill a few monsters, one of them'll eventually drop a magic item. There's /fewer/ items, in theory, in 5e, and not really a lot more spells/day (and fewer spells overall)… … and then there's cantrips, which seem to freak people out, but if you've played with Warlocks and...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:36 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Definitely. I played 3e & 4e each for their full runs. 5e was like coming back to AD&D, in contrast. If I'd never left, it'd seem radically different, because I'd be noticing all the little (and huge) technical differences, rather than the broader similarities, the ways in which the game had changed, rather than ways it changed back. /The/ major thing, IMHO, is the privilege of the DM...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:25 PM
    My 3.x group always did that. One of the more extreme ways I've ever seen of dealing with a bad HD roll at level-up, was to repudiate the level. That's how the player put it "I do not accept that roll! I repudiate the level!" I was Ok with it, his fighter dropped back to 2nd, and she ultimately made it to 4th (with less disappointing HD rolls on the way)… ...she was, BTW, one of those...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:14 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    And, at high level, in 5e, they get a lot safer, which is /also/ similar to 1e, as you accumulate hps and get better saves and more protective items and more spells to negate/reverse bad things happening to you. While the details of the systems are quite different - 5e has bigger hp/damage/healing numbers, 1e has much more significant scaling on d20 targets (which it used moreso than bonuses,...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:06 PM
    OK, that is just too good an observation to just XP and tacitly agree with. Yes, I totally get that, and agree it's very much a thing. I kinda alluded to it in the OP, with how you'd build a fire in the absence of any knowledge/wisdom Nature or Survival skill ("...you'd describe exactly what you do, and if you & the DM were in the same boyscout troop, probably succeed"). Because another...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:43 PM
    Sharpshooters'd use finesse weapons as melee backup. The way STR characters use heavy thrown weapons as ranged backup. Which, I think, illustrates the issue. Heavy thrown weapons are a pretty serious downgrade from archery. Rapiers, as the OP points out, are not a downgrade from longswords, really, at all. This is D&D. Magic is supposed to be just better. Not the worst idea I've ever...
    66 replies | 1621 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:32 PM
    There are no new ideas. It certainly /did/ it badly (if at all) in '93. Since 3.0, it hasn't been so bad, mechanically (OK, diplomancers were pretty horrid), in theory, if DM's'd use the mechanics, and players'd respect them when they didn't break their way... …/IF/. If not, well, machete, gasoline. Problem solved.
    83 replies | 3053 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:02 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    There was no CR in 1e. You could totally face orcs (or heck, gnolls, zombies, an ogre, etc) at 1st level. ('Face' not necessarily to be taken literally.) Part of the appeal, I should think. (Of course, CR /guidelines/ don't prevent you from facing an Ogre - or disinterested dragon - at first level, they just wave a red flag at the idea.) So it's an Orcs to Orcs comparison. Orcs just have...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:34 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    The logic seemed irrefutable to my 15yo self. ;) "So, hey, Tony, it says here that peasants have 1-6 hps and or '0th' level." "Well, yeah, they're not as good as characters with classes, they don't have levels, but they do have some hps." "Right, but before you have a class you don't have a class, right?" "I guess." "So my magic-user, before he became a magic user, he had 1-6 hps." "That...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:51 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Well, or the alternative wasn't. More likely, it was another thing that varied a lot. I recall Max 1st HD (because Rangers) being a very common variant. One group even figured that, at 0 level, everyone, even mere peasants, got 1-6 hps, so your first level HD should add to those. The version of that I encountered was the "brevet" - start at 2nd, but 0 exp...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:39 PM
    A standard game with no optional rules turned on. Feats & MCing are explicitly optional. You don't ban them, you just dont bother opting into them.
    66 replies | 1621 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:29 AM
    What do rapiers have to do with caster supremacy, Monty Haul, treasure hunting, pixel-bitching, 5MWD, magic-item Xmass trees, Vancian spell-grenades, d20s, Fruedian psionics, 10' poles, white-room DPR calculations, cursed magic itens, 30mm lead pewter figures labeled 25mm, rules lawyers, Killer DMs, home-invasion-robbery, LFQW, name recognition, 20-level builds, spiked everything, plant/reptile...
    66 replies | 1621 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:29 AM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    I was more than half expecting I'd made some dumb math or table lookup error. ::shrug:: CR: 1/2. I already mentioned that, yes. You want slower pacing, it's readily doable, no heavy rules-rewriting called for.
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:37 AM
    Did you notice the remarkable visual similarity between 4e & PF1 monster stat blocks? With the shading and all? Most obvious difference was purple instead of green.
    13 replies | 424 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:34 AM
    The 4e Fighter's "Combat Superiority" OA spoiled the target's movement if it hit. They're mark-punishment interrupt, OTOH, did not, but could be in response to a shift or attack that didn't normally provoke. Consensus was the features made them very 'sticky,' even by defender standards. It could be automatic when they're in the fighter's Threatened area? Haven't used feats much when...
    115 replies | 6053 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:20 AM
    Yes. Play a Gangrel. Take the Flaw "Twisted Upbringing."
    87 replies | 2557 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:17 AM
    So we shouldn't mention the Pixie/Storm-Giant?
    120 replies | 3704 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:52 AM
    It's Sisyphean, but starting with the familiar concepts of D&D, and explaining the broader alternatives in those terms, would be using it as a baseline, but not assuming it as the only thing. Maybe? There's some of that in "if you'd just master this other system and accept it's paradigm, you'd understand..." Yeah, I can't see it by those mechanisms. Arbitrarily, though, sure. Your...
    645 replies | 16336 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:37 AM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Well, IDK, compare a simple, iconic Orc, for instance. In 1e, it hits a stereotypical 1st level front-liner in banded/splint & shield on a natural 17, for 1d8 (4.5) damage (0.9 DPR), and as a 1 HD monster has 1-8 hps, and was AC 6. In 5e, it hits a starting-package heavy armor PC in chain & shield (AC 18) on a natural 13, for 9(1d12+3) damage (3.6 DPR - 4.05 if you count the crit on a 20, which...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 10:41 PM
    So, maybe piercing just needs to be a lot worse than slashing in some way? Because that seems like a difference, there, too. (Or the versatile blades need to be pierce & slashing, vs the finesse blades being piercing?) Or... …/clearly/ what's missing is ::drumroll:: 1e AD&D style Weapon vs Armor modifiers! Yep. If finesse weapons were good vs light armor and sucked vs heavy, while...
    66 replies | 1621 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 10:20 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Well, they hit more often than 1e monsters at low levels (and, thanks to BA, keep hitting at least some), and have more hps of their own as you go up levels, so stick around longer, inflicting more damage... ...doesn't sound too implausible. Certainly, I haven't seen any 5e parties breezing through 21-encounter days.
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:55 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    That's not a bad assumption, though character death is hardly unknown in D&D (to put it mildly), at some point, you reach some sort of, IDK, homeostasis, that results in PCs surviving & leveling rather than dying and being replaced. In 5e, scaling (and some class differentiation) was shifted from d20 modifiers (or targets in the case of the classic game) to hps & damage. Some of that shift,...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:32 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    To be clear, the balance of the turn being used in resting was the obscure rule, the d3 for 'binding wounds' during that rest was very much a variant - a Len Lakofka variant, I'd guess, at least, a lot of 'em that got heavily used in my area were his, straight from his Dragon articles. Per-hour doesn't ring a bell as loudly. Per turn, does, but I can't recall a specific example, either (also...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 08:18 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Not a lot more than merely setting short & long rests to different durations. You push out the time scale of the adventure. The bigger difference is table time devoted to bookkeeping, and that's not a /big/ difference, either. Again, folks played the game very differently from place to place & table to table back in the day. 5e shifted most scaling to hps, so, yeah, they balloon. ...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 08:07 PM
    Crossposting. Let's take it to the Pedantic complaints thread, and get you some XP to go with that laugh. ;) Hey, and that explains why Gimli was so into her. Well, makes it at tad less creepy. …
    120 replies | 3704 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 07:57 PM
    Let's take it to the Pedantic complaints thread, and get you some XP to go with that laugh. ;) Hey, and that explains why Gimli was so into her. Well, makes it at tad less creepy. Edit: wrong thread... ...cross-posting...
    87 replies | 2557 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 07:48 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    "Something akin to" is, I think, a pretty low bar. Admittedly, the balance of a 10 minute turn is a lot less resting than 5e's one hour. But it's still a rest, and it's still short. Some variant I vaguely recall even let that 'bind wounds' assumption heal d3 hps. Which, at 1st level, in particular, was nothing to sneeze at. Not spells in any standard class, now, but there were the occasional...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 07:35 PM
    Well, in the sense that flames won't stop it from regenerating... ;P ...we'll see... That's an interesting question. 5e has more than a few little details lifted straight from 4e, and more than a few more re-named, bowdlerized, or otherwise reduced to an acceptable post-edition-war level. The result is /both/ absolutely nothing like 4e, and very similar to 4e. So that complicates the...
    13 replies | 424 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 07:15 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Not a great point, actually. Old-school did actually have something akin to a 'short rest.' Play progressed in 10-min 'turns,' and if a combat didn't take 10 rounds, the balance was assumed to be spent resting, binding wounds and repairing gear. And, recovering hp & spells 'overnight' is a mere simplification of the complicated rules for recovering spells (requiring anything from 4 to 8 hrs of...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 06:06 PM
    Nope. The readied character would have to either move ahead of the one he was trying to move with, then ready, or take the readied action and move only 30' to the other's 60. To be fair, Delay doesn't do it, either, the other guy moves, /then/ you move right after. It's one of those things you just need to common-sense hand-wave. (sorry, I forgot the point of the thread there for a moment) ...
    120 replies | 3704 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 05:41 PM
    While I don't disagree that a wizard could learn magic & have his spell book while remaining ignorant of Arcane lore outside the practical necessities of his trade, I can't agree that opens up a wide variety. The wizard is a bookish, Vancian/Hermetic magic-user, no matter how you tweak or polish it. Casting arcane spells without all that training and that spellbook was broken out to the...
    65 replies | 1775 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 05:29 PM
    Yes, there's several examples where the effect or hit line just creates an 'area' and avoids the Zone keyword.
    115 replies | 4805 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 05:28 PM
    Heh. Who can forget those iconic gnome characters in LotR…? What were their names again? That's probably a big part of it, yes. Any race other than human can tend to fall into racial stereotypes, the character becomes about the race (either conforming to or challenging stereotypes), rather than about the character.
    87 replies | 2557 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 07:17 AM
    Sure. Anything other than human and race tended to loom large. You could always shunt elves & gnomes and the like into some fey Otherworld.... Yes, like 4e which made gnomes fey (and, briefly, monsters) and introduced the Feywild (IMHO, it replaced the classic Ethereal, or you could say the Shadowfell merged it with the plane of shadow). The game presents tons of races, but unless you...
    87 replies | 2557 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 06:58 AM
    They're supposed to be examples of nitpicking over small details, rather than real problems like... ... unlikely to qualify as pedantic, unless you mean it ironically... Nope, that sounds serious. Totally off topic. ...to try to get back on topic, why is it called Faerie Fire? Everywhere else the game used American spellings. Why not Fairy? Was Sustare just being pedantic?
    120 replies | 3704 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 03:26 AM
    It seems to me that, unless you want to "punish" lack of system mastery, you'd give a class with an ability that directly built on a skill that skill, up front, and if a sub-class had such an ability, make the skill in question a preq or perk of the subclass... ...But I don't feel like 5e design was nearly that exacting.
    65 replies | 1775 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 01:17 AM
    possibly on the theory that defense style stacks with all the others?
    106 replies | 2237 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 01:11 AM
    I'm sorry, we can't accept that answer, we were looking for silly, pedantic, complaints. Thank you for playing, and enjoy a selection of your choice from the free offerings on DMsGuild, as a parting gift. They're monotremes? Do the males have a /venomous/ calcaneus spur? Like vision, but in the dark, instead of the light.
    120 replies | 3704 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:37 PM
    Some players might. Others will mysteriously change characters at some point. But, more typically, campaigns will just wrap at some point after the system starts to fall apart.
    16 replies | 532 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 10:40 PM
    Well, sure, balance falls appart by the time you've covered even half that. ;P And, it's not a new problem. The classic game always had a narrow sweetspot that didn't extend past name level. So, when making 3e research showed not much play beyond 10th, so why bother balancing It? 1-20. There's no good reason to present dysfunctional levels of play.
    16 replies | 532 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 10:01 PM
    The original Fantasy Hero (1985) had the "Delayed" power modifier to do exactly that. D&D went from the "memorized" rubric to "prepared" a long time ago. Since 3.0, at least, though it might've been floated long before that.
    15 replies | 476 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 09:03 PM
    Brief side observation/perspective: Even just being able to model a valid genre character concept is still a challenge RPGs aren't exactly all up to, even though some have been doing it for a long time. Even if that were true (D&D class & alignment, among other things, do put constraints on PC personality), it wouldn't be comparing Exalted to D&D, but Exalted to freestyle RP.
    645 replies | 16336 view(s)
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  • Warpiglet's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:49 PM
    There's more mystery in an imperfect system like 1e. There is more variability in power. Rolling hit points and abilities was exciting! I had a barbarian with 6 12s for hit point rolls...lottery odds! And it became part of his character... i think as as an adult (not a kid) the danger of missed saving throws and the game's deadliness are high stakes excitement. but I must say...
    68 replies | 2276 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:39 AM
    I've never glanced at Exalted. All I've heard about, 2nd-hand, is that it was WWGS's ST-like stab at fantasy, the PCs are demigods, and most of all, in a very derogatory way, that it's wild, over-the-top superheroics. "...then you might as well be playing Exalted!" Like it was the RPG equivalent of Godwins Law or something.
    645 replies | 16336 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 03:10 AM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Nothing can stop a DM from house ruling, or, y'know, just running a different system, but a system might not present as much perceived need or opportunity to do so. And, a system can set the stage for players to enthusiastically accept or violently resist outright house-rules or even any deviation from RAW orthodoxy. Objectively, sure, but when are these things ever objective? ...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 01:05 AM
    In a fanstasy sub-genre with magic as pervasive as D&D, in which the Fighter has a spell-casting sub-class, sure it is. That's the point: to have a lead-in to EK.
    106 replies | 2237 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 01:04 AM
    He can take the post of "Sailing Master," subordinate to the captain, even a warrant officer, but with all the skills to run the ship. ("Master & Commander" like the movie is when an officer below rank of Captain acts as both highest-ranking officer and sailing-master for his ship. Maybe that's what this guy was before the PCs took over?) Lol, she can still be the Captain, make with the...
    2 replies | 165 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 12:50 AM
    Oh, religious-zealot knight-in-shinning armor w/supernatural divine powers is a narrow concept, even w/o the old LG-only*, it's just familiar and spot-on enough that it's understandable devoting a sub-class or class to it.
    352 replies | 12062 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 11:42 PM
    doctorbadwolf... thanks, I think? ;)
    106 replies | 2237 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 10:24 PM
    I couldn't quite recall if there was or whether it was "pick something else" or "just ignore it" (in essence lose a skill). But, given that there is, it doesn't mean someone didn't think "oh, if I hard-code this, there could be a collision..."
    65 replies | 1775 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 10:11 PM
    Probably to keep a hard-coded class skill from colliding with a hard-coded background skill.
    65 replies | 1775 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 09:48 PM
    Vote Lawful Evil Party for 4 more years of safety and stability.
    56 replies | 1738 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:59 PM
    I know 5e didn't emphasize foci much, but a Weapon & Wand or Sword & Athame* style for the proto-EK might be cool. You give up the shield, but gain a magical perk of some kind. Like most rounds you minor-action cast a lesser shield cantrip that's only about as good as a shield (it might be cute if it gave a better AC bonus vs cantrips, or negated one magic missile/rnd or reduced mm damage from...
    106 replies | 2237 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:50 PM
    Good point. I hate to sound like one of those old guys who bases how everything should be on how it was "back in my day" but, in the definitive (to me) version of the game, 1e AD&D, there were 5 saves, but everyone's saves got better in all categories as they leveled. Each save was a little better or worse for each class from the beginning, and they advanced at different rates - the...
    71 replies | 1961 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:39 PM
    You could substitute an Advantage-esque mechanic for extra attack, I suppose...
    40 replies | 1222 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:10 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    "Mana Systems" seemed pervasive back in the day, at least in my area - though I heard about 'em a lot more than had to play under them. I feel like they were often regarded as broken, but, 30+ years later, that could just have been me. ;) I think part of 5e's appeal (or, at least, comparative immunity from criticism) is that it /does/ at least accommodate both sorts of DMs. (Among other...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 07:02 PM
    That's a legit concern, that I wasnt attempting to address. The idea is that RES, FTH, &POW are only for supernatural sub-systems. They don't add to skills, which are mundane, at all.
    83 replies | 3053 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 06:58 PM
    Part of my thought process was that it would accept that innate imbalance, rather than paper it over. If you try to play say, a more socially adept character than yourself (relative to your DM, mainly), you're investing chargen resources and concept in something that you likely won't get a payoff on. Ok, that sounds interesting. Could you elaborate? Because, one thing I had in mind was...
    83 replies | 3053 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 06:02 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    I've long noted a distinction between liking something in spite of flaws, and liking it for the flaws. But, I suppose there's a further distinction between liking the flaws for their 'silver linings' vs their dismal clouds. Replicated, no, of course you can use a more technically functional game to replicate the lesser one. You can show a B&W movie on a color tv. You could put strobing...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:20 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Maybe the purpose of basketball isn't all that clear, either? ;)
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:15 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    They're archetypal, they created a legacy, defined the hobby. They were brilliant and innovative in their day. You could design a technically mechanically better system, today, but it'd be derivative rather than innovative, polished rather than brilliant. And, indeed, LOTS of such systems have been designed. Sure, and that those issues only matter as such as something to learn from. As...
    223 replies | 6978 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 04:43 PM
    Dude, I've never played DL, if I'm even tracking the acronyms. And, it shouldn't matter which specific games someone has played, if the point isn't to be exclusionary. No, GNS. I thought that was clear from context. I'm maybe a little tired of it, because it's work, to me, and this is my hobby. But, seriously, taking something as complex as RPGs, and dividing it into three categories -...
    144 replies | 9778 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 04:00 PM
    Content Removed by Creator.
    68 replies | 2276 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:23 AM
    Critical Failure! 404 Post does not exist!
    68 replies | 2276 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 07:51 AM
    I'm glad I stared the thread, if only for the kobold blood of dragons story. Thanks. But, the original topic ultimately attracted no attention from the folks I hoped might see value in it. ::shrug::
    83 replies | 3053 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:43 AM
    Oh, snap, there's nothing here.
    68 replies | 2276 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 12:28 AM
    Whether you experience an issue or not, the facts remain.
    71 replies | 1961 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 12:18 AM
    ...move along.
    68 replies | 2276 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:31 PM
    Just alluding to a fact. Whether LFQW means the fighter is broken, the wizard is broken, or the game is broken may be up for debate (and not the topic of this thread, really) but that it's a mathematical fact of D&D class designs since '74 (the odd blip like Bo9S notwithstanding) is not. It's just a D&D Thang. It /also/ used to be a D&D Thang that all 6 saves scaled dramatically with level.
    71 replies | 1961 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:22 PM
    His arch-rival, the Lex Luthor to his Superman? Or, more apropos, the Darkseid to his Jimmy Olsen. But, seriously, similar-CR monsters will force similar saves to a high-level caster, so except when he's slumming vs lower-CR save-forcing critters, he'll be notably worse off. Six of one, half-dozen of the other. Net, the fighter & wizard have advanced the same amount, and the fighter is a...
    71 replies | 1961 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:05 PM
    The /same caster/ is probably also 20th, now, and the same effect, even if it's a mere 1st-level spell, benefits from that DC scaling, so, yeah, /worse/. Thing is, Fighter's saves actually /did/ get better as they leveled back in the day. His target would go down as he, and whatever hypothetical foe he was facing, leveled, even if they happened to level at about the same rate, he'd get...
    71 replies | 1961 view(s)
    2 XP
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About FormerlyHemlock

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Thursday, 11th July, 2019


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Tuesday, 26th February, 2019

  • 10:39 AM - miggyG777 mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post Concurrent initiative variant; Everybody declares/Everybody resolves [WAS Simultaneous Initiative]
    I have thought about restoring spell interruption a la AD&D, but haven't done anything about it yet. It's still something I'm just chewing on. One of my motivations for restoring spell interruptions would be to weaken magic slightly relative to force-of-arms, to give Conan the fighter more openings at shutting down Thulsa Doom the warlock. It would go well with adding in speed factors for weapons and spells; but all of that is more complex than I'm ready to commit to in a TTRPG implementation right now, so it might be something I implement on the CRPG side without doing in TTRPG play. @FormerlyHemlock I must say that I really enjoy your initiative system so far. However I also liked the idea of the Greyhawk Initiative, to the point where I had modified it to my likings and played with it for a while. This is why I was wondering if you actually ever implemented weapon / spell speedfactors or spell disruption into your Concurrent Initiative system. I would really like to merge the systems at some point and see your approach of how to achieve this.

Wednesday, 23rd August, 2017

  • 05:40 AM - Harzel mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post Resting and the frikkin' Elephant in the Room
    I feel slightly silly going on about this in depth. Oh, well. Look, context matters. vonklaude you said this: It then states that 2-3 short rests are expected in an "adventuring day" i.e. over that number of encounters. Implicitly, the "day" ends with a long rest i.e. there is one long rest per adventuring day. Regarding class balance, those guidelines amount to a clear suggestion of the design intent, e.g. an ability that recovers on a short rest (like Warlock spell slots) will be usable 3-4x per "adventuring day" (use, rest 1, use, rest 2, use, optional rest 3, use) while one that recovers on a long rest will be usable only once (use, end of day long rest). My reply: Yes, except Other than that the number of encounters needs to be at least 3, this says nothing about the number of encounters, which was what I was talking about. I would have thought that it was clear that "this" meant the section on short rests since that's what you were talking about in the part of your post that I quoted...

Saturday, 19th August, 2017


Friday, 4th August, 2017

  • 01:02 PM - Ancalagon mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post Zone of truth 5e: Justice system revolution!
    Hemlock: The rich, the powerful, and the very clever will still get to defy the justice system yup... that won't change. Can you voluntarily fail saves in 5e? I was recently the target of such spell, and my interrogator stated something along the lines of "if you resist this spell, I will know that you are guilty". I was innocent anyhow, so I asked the DM if I could just not roll the save, and he agreed. I think that voluntarily failing a save is a logical ruling, and that continuous attempts to resist the spell would be seen as an indicator of guilt, also refusing to answer a question. I don't think the 5th amendment existed ;)

Monday, 31st July, 2017

  • 06:50 AM - Celebrim mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post Conversation with NPCs turns into combat
    Hemlock: Now you are reduced to quibbling. Arguing that in this particular case the 4d8 damage wasn't deadly so the rule is fair in this particular case, neither makes it fair in this case (it just makes it less blatantly unfair) nor proves its fairness in the general case. The ability of characters to take broad precautions against ambush and sudden attack doesn't make this rule any more fair either, nor does it make it more in accord with the plain reading of the rules. Surely all of those precautions are still available when following the plain rules as well, and they are all surely at least as effective if not much more so. Nothing you have said explains why you'd ever privilege this procedure over the ordinary rules or why you would want to make this default case. Just roll for initiative as the rules declare. If you are going to run a round by round negotiation, then allow the players to actually declare what they are doing rather than implicitly assuming Delay. And if your motivati...

Tuesday, 25th July, 2017

  • 10:09 PM - Celebrim mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post Conversation with NPCs turns into combat
    Hemlock: The problem I have with your procedure is that smart players can and will use it against you. One of the oldest table arguments I can remember, dating back to like 6th grade, was whether in a negotiation, the side that declared "I attack first!", automatically achieved surprise. If you go with your procedure, anyone that wants to fight automatically wins surprise... and this will be very detrimental to anyone ever wanting to parlay at your table. I've seen tables like that, and the PC's very quickly decide that not only should they never talk or negotiate, but its best to just kill everyone they meet before they have a chance to start talking. @Ovimancer's discussion is quite pertinent. Imagine for example you tried to run a Western RPG were the guy that declared he drew his weapon first always got the first attack. The way you want to play this sort of scene IMO is the bad guy reaches for his 'gun' first, and despite that, the PC beats him on the draw (or at least has a cha...
  • 02:18 PM - snickersnax mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post sharpshooter math meaning
    @Hemlock... So what you're suggesting is that I should think of sharpshooter in a binary way like D&D Spelljammer gravity. For example a 10 dexterity sharpshooter takes a wild shot simulating that he only has a 1 dexterity (-5 to hit). If he still hits then he gets to add damage as if he had a 30 dexterity (+10) damage. Extrapolating the ability score chart for all starting dexterities: basically subtract 10 dexterity to hit and add 20 dexterity to damage (ie a 20 dexterity sharpshooter would be 10 dex to hit and 40 dex to damage) This wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but it is an interesting thought. And here I was worried that you were derailing my thread:)

Tuesday, 11th July, 2017

  • 03:55 AM - Harzel mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post UA: "Greyhawk" Initiative
    Things I don't like about it (Mearls' proposal): Advantages ranged weapons Penalizes doing multiple things on your turn Disadvantages casters If I were going to switch to a different turn-ordering system that was going to take some getting used to, I would much sooner try everything-happens-in-parallel, something like @Hemlock suggested.

Saturday, 8th July, 2017

  • 05:53 AM - pemerton mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post Why FR Is "Hated"
    I would imagine one of the primary criteria for one to be considered a deity, would be that one be supernatural (in the common sense of the word). Pharaohs were not supernatural despite being 'worshipped'.In the common sense of the word clerics and wizards are supernatural, and hence - if worshipped - would be gods! Sauron and Morgoth are clearly supernatural beings, and can empower their followers (at least, that seems to be implied) but they are not gods. It seems to require a lot of technicalities to disqualify Gods as "Aliens" or "Patrons" Pemerton why is it you define clerics, wizards, warlocks and paladins according to D&D terminology, but when it comes to deities you seem to adopt a rather different view altogether?Well, I don't think I'm adopting a different view. At least, not different from anything ever found in D&D. Nor do I think I'm trading in "technicalities". Classic D&D includes supernatural beings who are (i) worshipped, and (ii) can confer supernatural powers upon their cultist...

Friday, 16th June, 2017

  • 08:36 PM - epithet mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post What armor can druids wear? Is there a way to get a decent AC?
    I agree with Hemlock's post above, it makes no sense at all for a druid to be cool with metal weapons but against metal armor. I think the real opposition should be iron and steel, like it was back in AD&D (unless I'm misremembering it.) Gold, silver, and even bronze would be just fine.
  • 12:07 PM - Charles Rampant mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post Help with 19th level boss fight
    Oh, and as to the Antimagic Field, as asked by @Hemlock, the view I'm taking (in accord with the players - we sat and discussed it for like half an hour before they entered the dungeon) is: Things that work * Monk's magic hands - not a spell, an innate ability. * Paladin and Cleric bonus weapon damage, on same logic as Monk hands. * Lich's melee damage, on same logic. * Paladin smites, as I understand from previous threads that it works fine in the field. * Dragons, including breath weapons, since that's a different kind of magic. * Int-based flight, as that's due to the astral plane. * Monk's stunning fist and other base-class abilities - they're not affected by Magic Resistance, so it seems weird that anti-magic would affect them. * No monsters will die just from entering the field, unless their statblock explicitly says so. Things that Don't work * Magic items, and all abilities derived from them - changes AC for the monk, for example. * Spells. * Githyanki psionic abilities - 5e seems to trea...

Tuesday, 13th June, 2017

  • 06:07 AM - Sword of Spirit mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post I gave up--Here's a Warrior-Mage base class
    Hi all! I took some time to think through the class more. I'd like to provide a simplified comparison for ease of analysis. I'd be particularly interested in commentary from those who have looked at the original proposal, including FrogReaver, Hemlock, Zardnaar, cbwjm, Blue, as well as anyone else who likes to look at these sorts of things. I'm going to take as a baseline for balance the wizard's Bladesong Tradition, since the designers felt it was more or less balanced. My class needs to be comparable in overall balance to Bladesinger. My table will present a simple comparison of essential features level by level, for a skeletal baseline, that should be no more powerful than Bladesinger. Then I'll provide a list of features that can be added, and it would help me greatly if I could get people to basically "say when" when the class hits the point where it is overpowered compared to Bladesinger. Except for what is spelled out on this table and intro, assume that this class's features and stat...
  • 04:09 AM - Quickleaf mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post Thoughts On How To Do High Level Adventures.
    IMO, high-level adventures should be about doing all the cool stuff that you would have wanted to do at lower levels, but wouldn't have survived. Interplanetary invasions (Horatio at the Bridge!), stealing silver swords from the githyanki, betraying Borys the Dragon, etc. I've only recently begun exploring high-level play, and I'm 36 and have been playing D&D for ~28 years. So I'm definitely learning here, not as experienced as many of you like Hemlock shiroikin Tony Vargas and Zardnaar :) What I've noticed is that if I were to pick up a module that was billed as high-level (e.g. Lich Queen's Beloved or Labyrinth of Madness), there'd be little to no advice specifically toward DMing for high-level PCs. The adventures are pretty much presented the same as they were at lower levels. I think that's a slight mistake. What distinguishes high-level play (in 5e specifically), AFAICT, are four things: Lots of campaign/game history/world-building, making each gaming group more individualized. High-level s...

Monday, 12th June, 2017

  • 06:29 AM - TheCosmicKid mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post Why I Am Starting to Prefer 4d6 Drop the Lowest Over the Default Array.
    Depends on how you come up with your numbers. Since the point buy system doesn't allow for numbers outside of 8-15, you will ultimately be putting your thumb on the scale one way or another when you decide what the cost of an 18 or a 3 is. Both you and @Hemlock are right about this. The 3E point buy values, and plausible extrapolations from the 5E values, do overvalue 17s and 18s. But even if you drop those values really low, the average of the random roll comes out ahead. The high scores simply aren't probable enough for their value to have a huge effect on the average: most of that figure is determined by the 8-15 range. It's almost the same situation for the low scores. Now, because you can give them negative values and go as low as you want, it is possible to push the random average to the same point value as the base array, or lower. But because those low numbers are really improbable, you have to go really low -- indisputably putting your thumb on the scale. However, when you stop playing wit...

Tuesday, 6th June, 2017

  • 06:00 PM - MoonSong mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post Int 8, Wis 8, Cha 18 Sorcerer
    This is assuming INT = IQ x10, right? Because if we assume the 3d6 bell curve then INT 8 is only slightly below average, more like IQ 90 or so (I'm a lecturer and I'm pretty sure I've had students around IQ 95...) Well, I think I'm a smart bunny or something so I wanted to see how much Int would be in IQ. IQ is a gaussian index that starts with 100 on the average of the population and adds/lowers 15 at each standard deviation. Since D&D people live on a 3d6 scale, that average is 10.5, and the SDs below 100 are at 8, between 5-6 and in the middle of 4, the SDs higher than 100 are at 13, between 15-16 and in the middle of 17. So in an approximate (because obviously I don't remember how to use a gaussian table)we have Score IQ Rounded Level 3 40 40 Limit of what can be measured 4 51 50 Moderately Impaired 5 61 60 Mildly impaired 6 ...

Wednesday, 31st May, 2017

  • 07:39 PM - Quickleaf mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post Cost of make a Saving Throw
    I did not want to derail @Hemlock's thread so I created a new one. In Helmock's explanations for what he would miss from 5e if he instead played AD&D he touched on something I thought was worth a discussion. ...(snip)...why exactly a Dexterity saving throw to protect you from Fireball does not cost movement or a reaction or leave you prone (i.e. apparently you're not doing any of the things you'd think you were doing to protect yourself from the Fireball). What would be the implications for introducing a cost in order to make a Dexterity saving throw? Cost could be anywhere from a loss of a Reaction or suffer the Prone condition or a loss of future movement or something else entirely. The reason not to do this is simplicity. Bonus Actions and Reactions are minimized to special situations/features that allow a PC (and occasionally a monster) to use them. Implementing blanket Reactions for saving throws would reintroduce one of the things that made 4e combats so long-lasting: reactive decisi...
  • 12:19 PM - Sadras mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post Cost of make a Saving Throw
    I did not want to derail @Hemlock's thread so I created a new one. In Helmock's explanations for what he would miss from 5e if he instead played AD&D he touched on something I thought was worth a discussion. ...(snip)...why exactly a Dexterity saving throw to protect you from Fireball does not cost movement or a reaction or leave you prone (i.e. apparently you're not doing any of the things you'd think you were doing to protect yourself from the Fireball). What would be the implications for introducing a cost in order to make a Dexterity saving throw? Cost could be anywhere from a loss of a Reaction or suffer the Prone condition or a loss of future movement or something else entirely. Personally I'm not a fan of the loss of movement just because it is something you have to remember upon your next turn, though you could argue the Prone condition is also something you'd have to remember, but I feel a condition is easier to keep record of. The issue some might have with using a loss of a Reaction o...

Thursday, 25th May, 2017

  • 11:37 PM - Hawk Diesel mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post Spells: the Good, the Bad, and the Downright Orcish Grandmother
    Hemlock Actually Web requires those in the area to make Dex saves each round or be restrained. After being restrained, the target can then use an action to make a Strength check against the spell DC to free themselves. So Web is a good example (both mechanically and in terms of spell level) to justify using a version of Witchbolt that requires an action to make a Constitution check to escape being grappled. Thanks for bringing that spell to my attention, can't believe I forgot/overlooked it! ^_^
  • 11:10 PM - Hawk Diesel mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post Spells: the Good, the Bad, and the Downright Orcish Grandmother
    You do know that 5e D&D is an exception based system, right? I love the tone of condescension. But 5e is also a system of trends. Exceptions exist in any system. But when talking about how ability checks interact with spells, I'm much more inclined to look for examples within existing spells (such as those presented by Hemlock) than how Initiative (something completely unrelated to the interaction between ability checks and spells) works.

Wednesday, 17th May, 2017

  • 10:25 PM - Satyrn mentioned FormerlyHemlock in post Request for thoughts on falling damage change
    I'm gonna say, go with what @Hemlock suggested. 3d6 per ten feet would work fine. It's close enough to what you got, and is quick and easy. Or maybe 2d10. Something like it, anyway Or for some slight complexity 1d10 for the first 10 feet, +1d10 for every 5 feet after. This way, short falls aren't crippling, slipping off a low building isn't life threatening, but everything else is scary.


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Tuesday, 26th February, 2019

  • 10:39 AM - miggyG777 quoted FormerlyHemlock in post Concurrent initiative variant; Everybody declares/Everybody resolves [WAS Simultaneous Initiative]
    I have thought about restoring spell interruption a la AD&D, but haven't done anything about it yet. It's still something I'm just chewing on. One of my motivations for restoring spell interruptions would be to weaken magic slightly relative to force-of-arms, to give Conan the fighter more openings at shutting down Thulsa Doom the warlock. It would go well with adding in speed factors for weapons and spells; but all of that is more complex than I'm ready to commit to in a TTRPG implementation right now, so it might be something I implement on the CRPG side without doing in TTRPG play. @FormerlyHemlock I must say that I really enjoy your initiative system so far. However I also liked the idea of the Greyhawk Initiative, to the point where I had modified it to my likings and played with it for a while. This is why I was wondering if you actually ever implemented weapon / spell speedfactors or spell disruption into your Concurrent Initiative system. I would really like to merge the systems at some point and see your approach of how to achieve this.

Monday, 20th August, 2018

  • 01:39 PM - delericho quoted FormerlyHemlock in post Why stop at Level 20?
    Why is there an assumed stopping place of level 20 in 5e? - Nobody plays that long? I think it's mostly just tradition. That said, it is true that most people play at lower levels, and very few campaigns get to level 20, so it makes sense not to provide much support for very high levels. (The fact that most play is at lower levels should be obvious, of course: more games start at level 1 than anywhere else, and they then run for a while before ending. This inevitably skews the population towards lower levels.) The fact that 5E campaigns still peter out before hitting 20th is one of the things that makes me suspect it isn't about power level at all, per se--it's about DMs who haven't prepared for what a level 20 campaign would or should look like. I think it's simpler than that - people get bored after a while. Once you've played the same character for months, I think there's an inclination to start looking for other worlds to conquer.

Thursday, 2nd August, 2018

  • 07:51 AM - Tallifer quoted FormerlyHemlock in post What is the perfect Fighter/Barbarian multi-class balance?
    If however the DM allows losing existing class levels (so that going from Barb 1/Moon Druid 19 to Moon Druid 19 and thereafter to Moon Druid 20 is an option) then I could happily play either one, because they both have the same future. Retraining in classes... I like this idea: it reminds of "respeccing" from Dark Age of Camelot. Roleplaying-wise, as we grow older we learn many things, but some of them fall by the wayside and our mental energies and skills refocus and intensify on other things. Game-wise, it allows players some freshness as the campaign enters its third or fourth month (or year in our case), and grants them an opportunity to apply newfound understanding of the world or the system. 100015

Tuesday, 17th April, 2018

  • 09:55 PM - Tony Vargas quoted FormerlyHemlock 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 ...

Monday, 27th November, 2017

  • 03:02 AM - Saelorn quoted FormerlyHemlock in post How does the Reincarnation spell actually work in practice?
    DMs, how do you deal with reincarnating as a radically different race, and how do you personally deal with skills/weapon proficiencies/feats/ASIs/etc.? I'm curious.First of all I would never run a game that allowed feats, and even if I did, I would never allow the obscenely overpowered variant human. That solves most of your dilemma right there. If I did find myself in that situation, as the DM, the only reasonable way to rule it is ad hoc. Keep the languages, skills, and feats. Subtract out the old racial bonuses, add in the new ones, and if it goes over 20 then just cut it off. If the character somehow "loses" two points from their high stat, then that's the risk associated with the spell; it's their fault for having died, and the caster's fault for not casting a real resurrection spell.

Saturday, 30th September, 2017

  • 08:29 PM - tomBitonti quoted FormerlyHemlock in post The Contagion Spell
    But everyone knows that PCs never create complicated plots/plans/schemes. ;-) BTW, I have a PC who LOVES using Bestow Curse in non-combat settings. I can see him getting mileage out of "plot-Contagion" as well. Capture a goblin, infect it, mind-wipe it, Suggest that it go visit the illithid citadel and get captured... That's an interesting idea! It definitely opens a lot of story possibilities. It might affect the thralls before it affects the illithid's. Which would harm the illithids -- eventually. But using disease in this fashion seems evil. (If the use poison is evil, then I'd expect the use of disease to be as well.) Seems like a classic question of ends vs means. But I'd not want to use a goblin: There is every possibility that to goblin will wander off and never reaches the citadel. Then adventurers clearing out a nearby nest of goblins bring the disease back to town. The possibility of unintended consequences seems pretty high. But even with more determined creatures than...

Tuesday, 29th August, 2017

  • 09:27 AM - clearstream quoted FormerlyHemlock in post [Historical context] Why "6 to 8 medium/hard encounters" meme is obsolete
    It's not plausible to me that, if they were indeed trying to scale the difficulty of the entire adventuring day up in tandem with increasing encounter difficulty, they would recompute and then retain the "six to eight medium/hard" text, but then forget to update the whole chart that comes along with it. Human minds don't work that way--we see large visible charts more readily than we see captions for those charts. It's more plausible IMO that they weren't thinking about adventuring day difficulty at all there--they were just trying to relabel the difficulty of the individual encounters, but not try change their recommendations for the adventuring day. Speculative. Lacks facts. Leads the witness :p

Monday, 28th August, 2017

  • 10:32 PM - tardigrade quoted FormerlyHemlock in post Good-Aligned Antagonists
    an ancient red dragon who grew remorseful over his own centuries of tyranny and slaughter could theoretically withdraw into contemplation and eventually turn gold. (Or a silver could suffer some brutal trauma, turn bitter and hateful towards everything, and become black.) It doesn't work for every colour/metal, but it just occurred to me that tarnished silver is black, and tarnished copper, green...

Sunday, 27th August, 2017

  • 03:23 PM - hardware_joe quoted FormerlyHemlock in post TROLL racial class for 5 ed
    It's heavily front-loaded. There's not much difference between regeneration 1 and troll regeneration +2. Basically everything good about this class happens at level 1, and from there on out you might as well just be a Troll 1/Barbarian X. That means it should just be a race, not a class at all. The regeneration is meant to be cumulative. For atotal of +10 Sent from my SM-G930V using EN World mobile app
  • 06:46 AM - Ancalagon quoted FormerlyHemlock in post 2017 Class Satisfaction Survey Results
    Wait, why not? Why not have a generic base class and a bunch of very specific subclasses? Is there anything wrong conceptually with making Cowboy, Samurai, Knight Templar, Gunfighter, and Welsh Archer all subclasses of Fighter? Page count would be my best guess. I thought about this some more and... well there could be a serious drawback to having subclasses for all those archetypes. Those extra options *limit* you. Say that there were cowboy, knight, samurai, crossbowman and wrestler subclasses. Great, more choices you say! But what if I want to play a master fencer? No subclasses for that, sorry. So, consciously or subconsciously, those subclasses will funnel me towards certain choices. But with a broad, flexible subclass like the battlemaster, I'm only limited by my imagination! I *can* make that swordmaster, or a legionnaire or... I think this was a wise choice, design wise.

Saturday, 26th August, 2017

  • 09:03 AM - clearstream quoted FormerlyHemlock in post WotC's Mearls Presents A New XP System For 5E In August's Unearthed Arcana
    I don't see how that follows. My expectations for what will kill a PC are derived from my experience with PCs; I may not always estimate the odds perfectly, but it's as possible for me to underestimate difficulty as to overestimate it. All I'm saying is that given some chance of player death per encounter, then looked at over encounters (i.e. a series of chances) the probability of death is cumulative. This is important because characters typically face multiple encounters. Maybe I've lost the plot--are you still talking about trying to derive chances of death from some multiple of the DMG CR/XP/difficulty tables? Because that would explain why you say PCs will always die less frequently than predicted--those tables are very forgiving. No, I'm not trying to do that. I'm doing a couple of other things. One is that I'm setting a design target for the rate character death is experienced in lethal encounters. In doing so, I'm taking into account that a character will face more than one such encounter. ...
  • 12:31 AM - Prakriti quoted FormerlyHemlock in post D&D Promises to Make the Game More Queer
    ...see you folks around. I'm sorry to see you go. I'm tempted to do the same, but I'm not sure I care enough to bother. And besides, I feel like when the opposition tries to silence you, you've won the argument anyways. So congratulations to us. :)
  • 12:05 AM - Caliban quoted FormerlyHemlock in post D&D Promises to Make the Game More Queer
    Yep, probably. Hopefully the set of things about which that is true shrinks over time as you grow and mature, but who really knows? It's interesting - people seem to go to one extreme or the other as they grow older. Either they cling to their beliefs more rigidly than ever, or they become increasingly open to new ideas and to changing their opinions. Morrus says people with opinions like mine aren't welcome on Enworld, so see you folks around. Sorry to see you go.

Friday, 25th August, 2017

  • 11:41 PM - Caliban quoted FormerlyHemlock in post D&D Promises to Make the Game More Queer
    IMO, the best people are that way. Any forum without that kind of people on it is a waste of time, again IMO. Eh, I don't know. I'm pretty much that way and most people consider me acerbic and unpleasant. But the fact is that almost everyone has certain ingrained beliefs that they will cling to regardless of logic and evidence. No matter how logical you believe you are, there are some things you will be incredibly resistant to changing your views about, no matter how well the counter arguments are crafted. You'll just rationalize it away, without even realizing you are doing it. You just know that belief (or fact, or story, or "the way the world works") is inherently correct, and opposing viewpoints are simply wrong. Sometimes they are minor things, easily overlooked. Sometimes they are major things that will cause you great distress and anger when you are presented with an opposing viewpoint.
  • 11:35 PM - MechaPilot quoted FormerlyHemlock in post D&D Promises to Make the Game More Queer
    IMO, the best people are that way. Any forum without that kind of people on it is a waste of time, again IMO. I prefer it when people are not resistant to logical arguments. That said, I also don't prefer people to be cold. There's a fine but desirable balance between unfeeling computer and being irrational and emotional. Sort of how Kirk was the medium ground between Spock and Bones.
  • 11:04 PM - Shasarak quoted FormerlyHemlock in post D&D Promises to Make the Game More Queer
    Well, historical appropriateness for one thing. If you're trying to play D&D in a poor simulacrum of medieval Europe, and you notice that innkeepers in medieval Europe often had wives, then you give your innkeeper a wife. You don't need to justify it on any other grounds. But if you give your innkeeper a Siamese twin, or schizophrenia, or a gay lover, or a flamethrower, you're deviating from historical patterns and the players will presume you have a reason for it. Because everyone knows that there were no Siamese twins, schizophrenia, gay lovers or flame throwers in medieval Europe. o_O 87799
  • 10:07 PM - Morrus quoted FormerlyHemlock in post D&D Promises to Make the Game More Queer
    It feels passive aggressive, because it's not written in "mod voice", but it's written with the tone of someone threatening moderator action if he's not pleased with the response. There's a reason why visually distinguishing moderator comments from regular discussion is a best practice on Internet forums. We use red text for moderator comments. Hope that helps! :)
  • 10:02 PM - MechaPilot quoted FormerlyHemlock in post D&D Promises to Make the Game More Queer
    Well, based on the article, it says that they have a legal status which is recognized by the local community as a form of marriage. That implies a high (and anachronous) level of acceptance. Where does the article say that? I see it says married, but people do have weddings and marry without the blessings of religious officials or the force of law behind them; this is especially true when people love and want to marry someone who they cannot marry legally or with the blessings of a religious institution. Also, do the adventures in question say that? It's fairly easy for people writing articles to not do all the research they should, and the presentation in the adventures that actually gets into the hands of DMs and players is what matters because it's what people are going to see and use during play (assuming they don't modify the adventure). But if so, then normalization is present, and it constitutes propaganda. Do we agree on that? Possibly. If normalization is present does it constitute...
  • 09:40 PM - TwoSix quoted FormerlyHemlock in post D&D Promises to Make the Game More Queer
    But if so, then normalization is present, and it constitutes propaganda. Do we agree on that? Sure, I agree with you that normalization is propaganda. I just don't disagree it's a bad thing. It's a bad thing if it's being done in promotion of something bad. And yes, I recognize that identifying something as "good" or "bad" is inherently personal, and I'm OK with that. You can't establish fundamental moral axioms, especially around concepts like "tolerance", without some conflict. There's no way to discuss to a compromise about some issues.
  • 09:24 PM - Irda Ranger quoted FormerlyHemlock in post D&D Promises to Make the Game More Queer
    One thing discussion keeps overlooking is that the propaganda point here is not actually, "people like me exist." It is normalization: "people like me exist and are no different from anybody else." Yup. That's why this whole conversation has been so painful. Crawford wasn't being totally clear about what he was trying to normalize. He said "exist" but what he really meant "exist and is no big deal". The latter part is Tim Bowing's problem, since it seems to effect his suspension of disbelief over what a vaguely medieval fantasy pastiche should look like. If Nazis don't bother you, try pedophiles, Christians, sociopaths, or lawyers. Hey now. Christian lawyer here. Let's keep propaganda out of gaming please. Unfortunately, you can't. When you make a setting like Forgotten Realms, everything is an editorial choice. Both including and not including. Or including but also including negative consequences. They're all choices and they're completely unavoidable. And there's no choice WotC can make...


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