View Profile: FormerlyHemlock - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    176 replies | 5289 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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) ...
    62 replies | 1521 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    53 replies | 1280 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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 | 4564 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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.
    35 replies | 771 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    35 replies | 771 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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?
    62 replies | 1521 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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.
    53 replies | 1280 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:17 AM
    possibly on the theory that defense style stacks with all the others?
    106 replies | 2175 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 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.
    62 replies | 1521 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    15 replies | 428 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    15 replies | 428 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    7 replies | 271 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    623 replies | 15001 view(s)
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  • Warpiglet's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    67 replies | 1977 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    623 replies | 15001 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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? ...
    176 replies | 5289 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 2175 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 162 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 11934 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 11:42 PM
    doctorbadwolf... thanks, I think? ;)
    106 replies | 2175 view(s)
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  • 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..."
    53 replies | 1280 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.
    53 replies | 1280 view(s)
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  • 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 | 1639 view(s)
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  • 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 | 2175 view(s)
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  • 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 | 1927 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:39 PM
    You could substitute an Advantage-esque mechanic for extra attack, I suppose...
    38 replies | 1152 view(s)
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  • 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...
    176 replies | 5289 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 07:02 PM
    That's a legit concern, that I wasntvatgempting 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.
    72 replies | 2675 view(s)
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  • 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...
    72 replies | 2675 view(s)
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  • 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...
    176 replies | 5289 view(s)
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  • 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? ;)
    176 replies | 5289 view(s)
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  • 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...
    176 replies | 5289 view(s)
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  • 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 -...
    126 replies | 8722 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 04:00 PM
    Content Removed by Creator.
    67 replies | 1977 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 08:23 AM
    Critical Failure! 404 Post does not exist!
    67 replies | 1977 view(s)
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  • 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::
    72 replies | 2675 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 05:43 AM
    Oh, snap, there's nothing here.
    67 replies | 1977 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 12:28 AM
    Whether you experience an issue or not, the facts remain.
    71 replies | 1927 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 12:18 AM
    ...move along.
    67 replies | 1977 view(s)
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  • 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 | 1927 view(s)
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  • 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 | 1927 view(s)
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  • 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 | 1927 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:02 PM
    Move along...
    67 replies | 1977 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:38 PM
    You can go about your business...
    67 replies | 1977 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:17 PM
    This is not the content you're looking for...
    67 replies | 1977 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:13 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Nod. You /might/ still be able to enjoy that game on a different level. Like a one magician can appreciate the technique or artistry of another, precisely because he does know how the trick is done. With the asymmetrical roles of player & GM in most systems, running a TTRPG is arguably similar to throwing a competitive game. It's often the best advice available for a given system. ...
    176 replies | 5289 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:12 PM
    You don't need to see my identification...
    67 replies | 1977 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:52 PM
    *ahem* mimimimimimi /ME/… let's do this... TRIGGER WARNING: I'm going to use the dreaded N(ostalgia) word. I'm only using it because it applies to me, and how I feel about revisiting the classic games I played decades ago. And, since I am applying it to myself, I hope it's clear I'm using it in a positive sense (yes, there are some). (still funny, btw) For /my/self, I have to admit...
    67 replies | 1977 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:19 PM
    And at 1st he was passing such saves on an 11. He's gotten worse. That's the point. Even if you grant him proficiency, he still gets worse, just more slowly. I do not understand the resistance to saves improving, or at least treading water. In the classic game, saves got /better/ as you leveled, even net of penalties inflicted by very high level spells & monsters. 3e *good* saves and...
    71 replies | 1927 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:02 PM
    Or a Druid in the form of a parrot, with a differently-abled henchman.
    14 replies | 361 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:00 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    I like to think of Illisionism as being analogous to a magician's "illusions" (tricks) - they're fun to be 'fooled' by and to try to figure out, but once you see the strings, less fun. And, yes, there is a whole school (not sure if it's /the/ old school, but it's not a young one) or style of D&D that relies on that.
    176 replies | 5289 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 03:29 PM
    Jack Chick and BADD didn't even need the internet. (Since politics are off topic, some D&D-history examples.) Thanks to the internet, we then got The Great Roll vs Role Debate, GNS, The Edition War, Zak S, and now, this guy.
    46 replies | 2067 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:33 AM
    What I recall of Ars Magica is a medieval world ruled by mages, opposed by a divine dominion? You were expected to play a mage, but could play a custos, a powerless bodyguard of a mage, if you really wanted to. Apart from the inherent honesty of the presentation, and the details of the magic system, sounds right up D&D's alley.
    77 replies | 2283 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 12:51 AM
    Yep, I could see that, it sounds pretty reasonable. At 5th, can do 2+X to one target or 1+X to two targets, for a net gain of X, if both attack :):):):), by choosing a different 'maneuver.' Meanwhile, at 5th, someone else may do 8d6 to one target, or 8d6 to all the targets that get w/in a 20' radius sphere... for a net gain of anything from 8d6 up to, oh, 400d6, very hypothetically, assuming...
    38 replies | 1152 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 12:29 AM
    It's worth noting that it could be vs the same 1st-level spell, cast with a 1st-level slot, by the same wizard, now that they're both 20th.
    71 replies | 1927 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 11:42 PM
    Greater internal consistency, actually. Hit points are /very/ abstract, and they goof up the internal consistency of a world quite a lot. Particularly in the oddity of high-hp creatures being un-killable when fresh, by attacks that can kill them when worn down a bit (or when caught helpless). I mean, what's "deadly" in AD&D? A dagger, at 1-4/1-3? Laughable! ...until you're killed by one...
    623 replies | 15001 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 11:13 PM
    10. Swinging across a gap and into an enemy. 11. Grab a halyard, cut it free so it pulls you into the rigging, as the spar it was holding up plunges to the deck - preferably onto an enemy. 12. Multiple pre-loaded hand-crossbows or other single-shot fantasy pistol analog of choice.
    14 replies | 361 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 11:09 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Nod. Like landing on "Go to Jail" or "Loose a Turn" in a board game. Just, arbitrarily, stuff happens. (I'm kinda surprised there aren't more funny stories about Reincarnated old-school D&D characters.) Characters weren't sacrosanct, they didn't /start/ with concepts, but they might come to embody one for part of their career, depending on what the DM had dropped on them.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:50 PM
    Yeah, those elves, notorious powergamers.
    352 replies | 11934 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:47 PM
    yeah, we'll go with that.
    352 replies | 11934 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:45 PM
    If that's how you see arcana, then it'd also make sense for them to pick up more such bits and pieces while adventuring.
    223 replies | 5314 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:28 PM
    Oh, right, I forgot about all the scenes with Aragorn's "Bear" companion, what was his name? Boromir?
    352 replies | 11934 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:23 PM
    Why would your half-elf Warlord>Battle Captain>Legendary Monarch be casting spells? ;)
    352 replies | 11934 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:14 PM
    I was actually thinking the player could just remember the fact his character stumbled across, maybe note it on his character sheet. Arcana seems /really/ "Trained only" to me. It's, well, /arcane/.
    223 replies | 5314 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:08 PM
    Hardly. Some of 'em didn't do damage, at all. Many the damage is hardly the point, just a Martial Thang, a little differentiation that's as much feel as anything, secondary to supporting allies. I get a lot of use out of Warlord's Recovery, for instance. 5e /has/ long & short rest 'pools,' though I agree that the latter is /not/ equivalent to Encounters. It might be more in keeping...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:59 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Yep, lots of ways for stats to go up (or down), or straight to 18, 18/00 or 24 back in the day. Many of the most significant were magic items, almost all, like items, were things the DM would 'drop,' rarely something a player could acquire as a matter of course. 3e, not 5e, codified stat increases as part of progression, both through giving stat increases with level, and by setting out...
    176 replies | 5289 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:47 PM
    That's getting more into the concept of a Trained-only check. Though he might acquire specific knowledge in that domain second-hand or through experience.
    223 replies | 5314 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:54 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    There's certainly both people who love the classic game in spite of it's flaws, and those who love it /for/ it's flaws. There's also the more conflicted set who hate it when those flaws are addressed elsewhere, as if it somehow diminishes or invalidates their appreciation of the still-flawed original.
    176 replies | 5289 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:25 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    OK, so you're not coming from the perspective I was wondering about. Everything you said makes sense, then. ;)
    176 replies | 5289 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:23 PM
    Most games don't use level advancement. Not true, at all. If your character makes a level while avoiding combat and never being wounded, his hps go up. If he makes (and fails) lots of DEX saves, but he's not proficient in DEX saves, they stay the same. If he never gets called on to make a WIS save, but is proficient, it goes up. Again, it's not. There's no diminishing return on...
    223 replies | 5314 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:11 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    There is just /so/ much of that...
    176 replies | 5289 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 07:56 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Climb was also STR-based in 3e, so the Rogue was unlikely to have the highest raw check... ...though perhaps likely to be higher than the Fighter after armor penalties. And, perhaps amusingly, a raging barbarian could /really/ climb. ;P (Unless you deemed that climbing required some finesse so couldn't be done while raging.) Had the most skills is a world of difference from the only one...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 07:45 PM
    In the context of discussing an RPG, it's a very cogent reason. You participate in the game via your characters abilities. The game includes mechanisms of advancement. Some are more or less even, some are profoundly uneven. The game thus becomes less playable as advancement progresses. BA limits that degradation, but it could have as easily avoided it. It's not a sufficient...
    223 replies | 5314 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 07:13 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Honestly, none of those things, as described in your quote from the original, sound innate fantastic. "Special" Ability still seems a misnomer after reading them. But, reminding myself how wildly varied impressions, variants, and play were back in the day: /Given/ that some folks experience of the Thief was that it represented nigh-supernatural ability on the impossible end of tasks...
    176 replies | 5289 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 06:41 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Frankly, reversing all those mistakes wouldn't topple 3e casters from Tier 1. Retaining fiddly restrictions on casting, giving everyone all-good saves and nerfing save-DC-inflating loopholes, and nerfing spells like Polymorph et al, would /still/ have left the Tier 1 prepped casters super-versatile relative to the feat-specialized fighter, rage-specialized barbarian, and skill-specialized Rogue....
    176 replies | 5289 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 06:26 PM
    Because it's a game.
    223 replies | 5314 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 06:21 PM
    It's easier to trim unwanted, but balanced, options, leaving a smaller list of alternatives, than to add - and balance - new options, conceptually, was the point. I'm in no way defending the extant Ranger class... ...really, I can't personally defend any version of it, sure, the 4e ranger was arguably balanced, but I found it personally unappealing to the point I doubt I could speak up for it...
    352 replies | 11934 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 06:06 PM
    Let's turn around using a theory that claims not to be exclusionary and judgmental, to exclude my perspective from discussion, and instead make it about why I don't want to be judged & excluded? Seriously? At that point you've confirmed that the purpose of GNS is to divide, excluded, and judge other divisions inferior to your preferred one. I don't find it uninteresting, I find it...
    126 replies | 8722 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:57 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    I never got that impression that the Thief's special abilities were to perform tasks that fit the description, but were otherwise impossible. Quite the opposite, it seemed like the existence of the Thief made those other tasks impossible for everyone else (or what was the point). Especially given that there weren't a lot of systems for performing those tasks. The closest thing I can think of...
    176 replies | 5289 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:42 PM
    I feel like the 'realism' argument is more to head off realism objections to what is essentially a playability concern. Consistency would be another way to put it. It's not consistent that some things, like hps and weapon attacks, for instance, advance steadily for all characters, even though some are highly specialized in well for others it's an afterthought, while other things, also...
    223 replies | 5314 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:34 PM
    Are you the viewer, actor, writer, choreographer, set designer, SFX artist, or director? Because, in an RPG, what you're doing, whether as DM or Player, encompasses several of those. Part of the point is to experience the story: viewer. Part of roleplaying is to create that story: writer. Part of roleplaying is portraying the character, maybe even with the 'method' of experiencing it's...
    623 replies | 15001 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:26 PM
    I guess that's the elephant in the room, yeah. 5e took a lot of thing 4e did very well, but overtly, and kept traces of them that didn't work nearly so well, but were less obvious. Proficiency is one of them. And, yes, granting scaling across the board would be obvious, and thus have invited renewed edition warring. But not really that different. The big change from past eds to 4e...
    223 replies | 5314 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:15 PM
    It'd get silly, I suppose, but also self-limiting, as the marginal impact of each additional die would decline. More simply, you could figure "Net" adv/dis, that is, have multiple sources of Advantage & Disadvantage cancel, leaving you with net Advantage (whether x1 or x10) or Disadvantage, but just resolve that normally, with one extra die. Either way, you'll have people stretching for...
    37 replies | 892 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:12 PM
    Except that /was/ it's identity in 2e & 4e (OK, and 3e, really, ever since the whole TWF thing took off - and it makes /no/ sense, nothing about the ranger before 2e screamed "TWF," DEX was one of the few stats it /didn't/ need, and back then DEX was critical to TWFing). OTOH, the Ranger seemed to scream 'Archer' to a lot of people even back then, even more specifically, Robin Hood (I guess...
    352 replies | 11934 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 02:10 AM
    Tim the /Enchanter/ is not amused by this upstart, diluting his name recognition. Seriously, though, Tim has plenty of hit points, in spite of never getting in a real fight.
    223 replies | 5314 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 02:05 AM
    Dump stats aren't a sin, they're inevitable, you only have so many points to go around. Being bad at a save, and staying bad at a save is one thing. Getting worse at high level is quite another. Actually, advantage and re-rolls are /more/ valuable if you're not falling behind on your saves, like you do, now, with bad saves on low-priority stats. Which is one thing if you save on an 8...
    71 replies | 1927 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 01:53 AM
    It's a period piece, I guess it comes with the big hair. There was some overt sexism, too - more than I honestly remember seeing in the 80s, but then, CA vs IL - though I suppose it was more obviously telegraphed as wrong.
    48 replies | 1692 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 01:48 AM
    You could increase the /check/ by level, I suppose. Then skill or proficiency gives a flat bonus, the scaling coming, indirectly, from level, via the stat? Fewer numbers to write down.
    223 replies | 5314 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 01:45 AM
    Why /were/ weapons +2 or +3, Skills +5 and implements +0...? ...different for the sake of difference?
    9 replies | 283 view(s)
    0 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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