View Profile: FormerlyHemlock - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:02 AM
    I mean, if you want that, fine, but I don't think that model the genre that well - that is, you might manage to create high-damage guns, low-hp characters, combat rules to incentivize them dodging and use cover and other genre bits to avoid getting hit - and what you'll have is a combat that plays out as a LOT of missing. A completely separate, almost non-combat, sub-system for a showdown,...
    203 replies | 4442 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:12 PM
    But I don't think high-damage guns and reduced hp PCs is part of the solution, either. HP are a central mechanic in D&D, they're essentially plot armor, and old-west heroes are as plot-armored as any others. Their hats get shot off, their friends get shot, their horses get shot out from under them, posts & waterbarrels & windowsills get shot right in front of their faces, and they take shoulder...
    203 replies | 4442 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:55 PM
    Grabbing just keeps you from running away in 5e, they'd have to immobilize both his hands if the spell had S components, or gag him to stop V components, but those aren't things the Grappled condition covers. There's no OA for casting in melee and no reduction in effectiveness unless the spell attacks AC. 5e doesn't evoke the classic game in /all/ instances. ;(
    55 replies | 1719 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:51 PM
    Ironic. One 3.0 build I never got to use was a "backseat adventurer" - a sage, he just kibitzed from the back ranks, but it gave you bonuses. In 4e he'd've been a Tactical Warlord, in 5e I guess he's back to being a Lore Bard. Of course, the stipulation /effective/ removes him from consideration, since he was a 3.0 bard...
    4 replies | 180 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:16 PM
    Yes, you may goad monsters into Overkill and 'waste' their damage or 'gain' let's-pretend-healing damage due to heal-from-0. Sure, bloodied, even without disadvantage, did that for most characters - monsters could be more dangerous when you were bloodied, for instance, without having to actually gimp you into some kind of death spiral. But, I don't think penalties are necessary: just...
    22 replies | 400 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:01 PM
    ...before you do something cool or heroic, at any rate. There's really no good* reason hp couldn't work well in another genre. Yeah, 5e did cut some corners as far as off-turn actions & movement was concerned, but most other eds, I think, handle that sort of thing well enough. What else is so bad? ... it's bad, it's bad come on
    203 replies | 4442 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:48 PM
    The whole Animal Companion thing was just a take on the old Animal Friendship spell: it exists in 5e. You could use it to befriend (charm) and train (advantage on 'social interaction' should count) an animal - you might be using a slot on it per day for a while, but you could do it. At higher level you could Awaken it.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:21 PM
    I'm not sure I agree that's what's going on: It may be more a matter of casters having better things to do with their high level spells than heal up a damage sponge significantly, rather than just stand him up with a low-level slot, tempting the monster to waste another round knocking him down again. Yes, the damage sponge may lose actions or get killed, but you can always wring him out on the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:49 PM
    I think they'd both just be /confused/...
    203 replies | 4442 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:42 PM
    I can't agree. Both the 'role' and the 'playing' refer to quite different things depending on whether you're roleplaying with a therapist, a friend-with-benefits, or a GM... ...or a director. You can improv all you want in the context of a TT wargame - or not at all - it'll have no effect on play, and at worst might annoy your fellow player & the judge, if any. I don't think there's a...
    290 replies | 7741 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:26 PM
    Hero System (Champions! c1981 through HSR/BBB c1989-99 & FRED was OK, too) 1) Effects-based universal point-buy system. You can build any character, monster, gizmo, power, cool move, hazard, or, heck, plot point, from any medium or genre, based simply on what it actually /does/, not it's press releases, not what it "is" or how it does it, just the actual 'effect' it accomplishes in the story....
    21 replies | 909 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:57 PM
    Well, starting with 3e there were explicit encounter guidelines. They may not have always delivered a consistent level of difficulty, but they could be said to tend one way or the other? Prior to that you could go off tone, advice, and some vague sense of HD ~= level, sorta. Is that a dictionary definition? Because, if so, it's more likely alluding to Therapy and er.. 'games' that...
    290 replies | 7741 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:46 PM
    Its a daily struggle... In a way, yeah, I suppose so. In seeking balance, 4e had to push the envelope of D&D sensibilities on the martial side, but still barely covered what they might do in an 'action movie' kind of reality that'd've still balked at actual magic - like 300, where the Spartans were doing some crazy stuff, and the sorcerers were throwing grenades, which both strained credulity...
    67 replies | 1717 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:23 AM
    That was mainly 3e, I think. I mean, 3e/d20 was hugely influential, so that's not dismissing the point, but classic D&D was prettymuch choose race, choose class, hold on for dear life. 4e, you could retrain every level. 5e, feats & MC are optional.
    103 replies | 4527 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:56 AM
    Yeah, we all know how you feel. :P
    55 replies | 1719 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:42 AM
    How are you guys even quoting eachother?
    67 replies | 1717 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:25 AM
    If I'm not running 5e under AL, I see no reason to opt into feats, myself.
    67 replies | 1717 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:38 AM
    Oh, the arguing, I get. I'm down for a nice argument. ;) There is a range, yes. How you model a character 'avoiding' the deadly bullets, though, can vary quite a bit. In 5e, the DM could choose to narrate hp loss more as near-misses, dropping prone to avoid being hit, ducking fully concealed behind cover, and the like - increasing desperation & disadvantage (not the mechanic) rather than...
    203 replies | 4442 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:34 AM
    There's no reason to assume that an optional expansion of BM maneuvers would always/only be used in campaigns that opt into feats, so it makes no sense to write them as if feats were assumed, but, rather, to write them as if feats were, optional - because they are. What reason is there to 'protect feats?' What's the harm of feats & class abilities duplicating, considering that, in the PH,...
    67 replies | 1717 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 10:40 PM
    You only need a long rest to change your prepared spells - that significantly less foreknowledge than might be implied in choosing feats, features, sub-class & class (a build-at-level really).
    55 replies | 1719 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 10:24 PM
    So a similar maneuver would be a big plus for the BM in a game w/o feats - and in one with, he might just take the feat, instead. Feats are optional rules, afterall, as are MCing, and there's a lot of standard options that are decidedly redundant in the presence of either or both.
    67 replies | 1717 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 10:09 PM
    You're missing the 1e DMG. ;) Seriously, though, if they have water breathing, verbal components should be OK, if you don't pay much attention to material components, continue not to - if you do, well, a lot of them, like IDK, "a pinch of dust" might be problematic when immersed. A simple rule of thumb might be fire spells do 1/2 damage (a fire based cantrip might just fail, it's just a...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 10:01 PM
    Wow, guys? Over "can I use my magic elf game to play cowboys and ^E^E^E Native Americans?"
    203 replies | 4442 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 09:27 PM
    You could certainly say "better reliability" or, really, "better" a lot of other things, like "designed," because reliability /is/ a pretty standard design goal. What good is something that doesn't work, afterall? Sure, like frequent opportunities to work on it! Right, you may have a back-up vehicle on call at a moment's notice, for instance. Or the car might be a showpiece. But...
    245 replies | 10044 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 08:36 PM
    Wow, were to start. Simulacra have half the hps and all the abilities, even casting, of the original creature - they don't regain slots or gain levels, but otherwise they exist until killed or dispelled, they can even be 'repaired' - one could even impersonate the original. They act on the caster's turn and are essentially allies & obey him, but they otherwise take a full slate of actions, and...
    245 replies | 10044 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 08:08 PM
    Yeah, it was kinda a tongue-in-cheek example... I should try to be more serious... sometimes... ...not right now.
    203 replies | 4442 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 07:56 PM
    "DM Narrates Results" gives the 5e DM tremendous latitude to inject genre into his game - any genre. :D Not all players may 'get' it, though. ;(
    203 replies | 4442 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 07:55 PM
    That's a /different/ intended range of uses. It's more like reliability. Say a car is expected to run for 100k miles. One car, runs, with ordinary maintenance, 100k miles, no problem. Another, tends to break down frequently from the moment you drive it off the lot until it's had a little repair work and breaking-in, then it runs great, with ordinary maintenance, from 10-60k miles, then it...
    245 replies | 10044 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 06:46 PM
    The fighter is pure melee, so movement isn't relevant, the fight starts when the two sides come to grips, and, movement being what it is in 5e, that means the fighter will be surrounded from the first round of actual fighting until he whittles 'em down to less than 8. New opponents don't 'spawn' they just step into the spaces opened up by their allies dropping. Were the fighter more of a Conan,...
    55 replies | 1719 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 06:19 PM
    Oh, you went dark on that tangent, and now were back to the subjectivity portion of the ride. It's not exactly an unfamiliar pattern. Hey, when you asserted I had a pattern of not backing up my claims with facts, I went ahead and /did/. Why don't you "prove me wrong" the same way, and instead of waving the subjective flag at someone's post, get 'descriptive' with the thing they're...
    245 replies | 10044 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 06:12 PM
    Hey! That's type-casting! ...poor Arnie... Yeah, I get it. D&D incentivizes certain tactics, strategies, modes of play, whatever you want to call it. 5e give the DM a /lot/ of latitude, though. The game may incentivize toe-to-toe damage-trading (I'm not so sure it does, but for the sake of argument), and the player may thus declare a simple action in accord with the reality that doing...
    203 replies | 4442 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 05:36 PM
    Yep, called it: It's fair to say that the objective qualities of a game don't in any way negate subjective preferences. Indeed, you can prefer something in spite of it having objectively bad qualities, or even /for those very qualities/. And it's nobody's place to stop or convert you (I mean, unless you exercising your preferences constitutes a clear & present danger to others). ...
    245 replies | 10044 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 05:18 PM
    When your parent company gives you a 50 mil goal, with a 100 mil stretch, and development resources commensurate with those goals, and you pull down less than 50 mil, it's a financial failure - even though you were competing in a 20 mil market. It was an astounding feat of design from the PoV of a long-time D&Der (this would be me) long since resigned to the many problems facing D&D being...
    245 replies | 10044 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 03:45 PM
    What if the 11th level fighter chose Archery as his second style, and the grunts have to close from a fair distance? Or the Champion is facing a firing line of archers ... ...or Both. Heh, what about the equivalent exercise for wizards? An 11th level wiz facing off against a graduating class of 1st level wizards - only spell allowed is Magic Missile...
    55 replies | 1719 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 07:06 AM
    The ones in the example are dedicated melee grunts who do just that. All you need is a lure....
    55 replies | 1719 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 06:23 AM
    While I think maneuvers are great improvement in some areas... Ok, one area... OK, it's just the name, "exploit" was pretty lame, and cynical jargon-squating... like Tier and Core were, also, and Inspiration, in 5e. But, less cynically: The Battlemaster essentially presents itself as a replacement for the Warlord, every 4e/E fighter but the Slayer (that's the Champion) & EK (it was a...
    67 replies | 1717 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 06:10 AM
    IDK, I feel like there'd be a lot more rules for walking around, building fires in the snow, and Expositon, Joel, EX-PO-SITION ... We're Tolkien really a lot more than a cosmetic inspiration. Likewise, Lovecraftean influence would have meant more insanity, less combat. Lieber? You'd need some exhaustive rules for the *ahem* interaction /pillar/...
    290 replies | 7741 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 06:02 AM
    Yep, martial exploits and arcane spells were quite different, and the wiz retained the edge in versatility, while the fighter kept his in durability - reflections of both source and role that give the lie to all the "fighters cast spells" and "samey" talking points. Not nearly the main culprit, no. LFQW is a matter of hard numbers. A 1st level fighter in the classic game could hit a...
    245 replies | 10044 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 02:41 AM
    IDK, couldn't a GM just stay on the ball and consider a combat-bad-ass concept character's bad-ass-ed-ness when adjudication combat? Taking advantage of the system's lethality by killing enemies when the odds are all on your side? It's classic CaW.
    290 replies | 7741 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 01:58 AM
    You'll run into contention with any unfair mechanic or lack there of. It might take different forms. Bang! Your Dead! Am Not. Are too! for lack of combat mechanics, vs moping and not showing up to the next session when your 18 CHA paladin is humiliated in court for the nth time, because the DM doesn't care for the way you RP him, and it's reflected in his success in social situation, for want...
    290 replies | 7741 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 01:54 AM
    You caught me, I left out 'virtually,' that time: vs Next time I'll just quote myself up-front. Yep, LFQW only /virtually/ absent in 4e. The Wizard's spells and the fighter's exploits per encounter & per day were gained at the same rate. So, in a given day, they're at neat parity at all levels. No LFQW, there, at the macro level, over 30 levels. Lightyears ahead, just in basic...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 12:39 AM
    Hey! I resembled that remark... ... that's fair.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 12:32 AM
    Ö well, it's not easy to kill PCs and PC-level enemies before they close (though, in some eds, certainly quite possible, just not with mere weapons). But it's quite easy to kill under-level enemies (or, in 4e, minions) before they close.
    203 replies | 4442 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 12:25 AM
    There are more fallacies than just /ad populum/ resorted to, certainly. I gave you one example, LFQW, above. It's a fact. It makes D&D a bad game - imbalanced, problematic to play at low & high levels. 4e fixed it. 4e is reviled for fixing it, because it's one of those flaws that people came to love. Now, we've been on this marry-go-round before, so having demanded facts and having...
    245 replies | 10044 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 12:18 AM
    Wait? Edition/s/? plural! Cool. 1e: Weapon v Armor type adjustments! Subdual damage. Attack & Save Matrixes (they were complex, but not complicated, and the save matrixes gave good results that preserved higher level characters, the 'heroes' of the story, in a world of SoDs). The Druid class. The Fighter's 1 attack/level vs less-than-1-HD monsters mechanic. Monsters using different rules...
    29 replies | 949 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 11:44 PM
    Because people keep pulling out the same tired /ad populum/ fallacies to claim that there was something terribad about it, and it's necessary to point out that something can be qualitatively, even quantitatively, 'better' and genuinely fail in a market, to counter those fallacious, factually false, assertions.
    245 replies | 10044 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 11:35 PM
    It's not a flaw /in/ the consumer, it's a preference for (familiar) flaws /in the product/. Having a preference isn't a flaw. Heck, I can back up quantitative claims about the various editions (FREX: LFQW is a mathematical fact of D&D class design - it's profound in 1e or 3e, significant in 5e, virtually absent in 4e, resulting in a level-based game that actually remains playable at all...
    245 replies | 10044 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 11:22 PM
    So, does that mean you probably /do/ want combat mechanics, especially if you don't want actual combat at the table? ;P
    290 replies | 7741 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 10:48 PM
    ::shrug:: A more accurate claim would be that "4e was not nearly as bad a game as every other edition of D&D." Because, honestly, it still wasn't that good. Scale of 1 to 10? D&D's never risen to 5. I'm not sure any RPG has, TTRPG is a new kind of game, and it's evolved very slowly over a mere 45 years. None taken. D&D has only been fairly popular in the fad years of the mid 80s and...
    245 replies | 10044 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 09:18 PM
    3e & 4e /certainly/ consolidated a lot of needless complexity. Just the d20 core mechanic was huge (tiny?) that way. Nothing 'mere' about it. Yet, here you are, weighing in. ;P PUll down $50-100 million in a $20 million market, at the brink of the worst recession since the great depression, using as a prime selling point a bit of software developed by one guy, who, to put it very...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 08:47 PM
    Again, I'd argue they're not necessarily easier, just more familiar, that way. Is it really that difficult to conclude who wins a fight (a fight in an heroic fantasy story, no less - the hero usually wins, unless his loss advances the plot somehow, no?), and narrate how, vs both the DM and player getting deeply enough into the minds & emotions of a character & NPC to accurately simulate a tense...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 06:48 PM
    You don't need rules, at all, it's true: the DM can just rule on everything - combat, absolutely, included. If you feel you /do/ need rules for combat - because it's life-or-death, presumably, what about life-or-death exploration challenges or negotiations? D&D grew out of wargames, they were heavily combat-oriented, so D&D rules started out heavily combat-oriented. The game happened to...
    290 replies | 7741 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 06:11 AM
    When you put it that way, it's amazing we spent so many hrs playing it! ;) And, typically only one character... I can see how some table take a fair play message from encounter guidelines - and, hey, its not a dysfunctional style of play for the DM to essentially assemble foes for the party like building an army in a wargame, then playing that side intelligently, to win. That's the...
    290 replies | 7741 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 05:53 AM
    So, yeah, doable, with MCing, by level 6-9, as fully realized as possible by 15th.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 05:41 AM
    That doesn't actually look that strange, not if the characters are running around, dodging, seeking cover, breaking Los and trying to get the drop on eachother (and lots of minor characters gunned down in the process)... as sometimes happens in genre - if all that hp-ablation is narrated on accord with genre (near-misses, even actual misses that still inflict damage and/or some other effect),...
    203 replies | 4442 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 09:19 PM
    Especially the magic items, sure. But, if you killed the monster to get it's treasure, you also got the XP for that - and, everyone got to play, the "More engaging aspect" as well as greater incentive. Trying to trick or steal treasure was probably going to involve just the theif, just the talkiest player, or just the caster using just the right spells. What's a task it didn't cover? ...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 08:29 PM
    Believe it or not - and I'm gonna assume not - 5e actually jettisoned what narrative mechanisms D&D had accumulated in the hopes of achieving 'fast combat.' Yeah, and here you are complaining that it's not narrative enough /and/ too slow? Seriously, 'reverse'-engineer novels based on a game inspired by novels? Again, for the sake of that fast combat you find too slow... As long as...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 05:27 PM
    That sounds a reasonable observation. Can't disagree... That hardly seems to follow from the above. Early eds gave exp for combat & treasure, not for non-combat, and had detailed, elaborate rules for combat (many of which were summarily ignored) and far fewer, less consistent, and less engaging rules for other tasks - they also 'niche protected' a lot of exploration abilities in the Thief...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 04:49 PM
    Its not a holdover, in the sense that it had been gone quite while, so more of a callback - which is true of a lot if 5e, really - and, really, so is your observation. Back in the early 80s there was a very earnest, carefully thought out Dragon magazine article that put forth arguments that elves and other above-ground races should have Ultravision instead of Infravision. (Yep, D&D was that...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 04:27 PM
    In D&D we call them hit points.
    203 replies | 4442 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 04:33 AM
    No version of D&D has ever worked well as laws of physics - at best you end up with a setting Terry Pratchette might've come up with, at worst, you run a crap campaign, both is not out of the question. But, 3e did come pretty close in a few areas, particularly character generation, which worked about the same for PCs, NPCs, & monsters. But, it wasn't trying to, rather it was leveling the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 03:46 AM
    Damage shouldn't be a sticking point in modeling firearms - they kill people, so do knives, clubs, knitting needles, slipping in the shower, and swans - they need to do damage, but it needn't be crazy. With older firearms, RoF could actually render them pointless in the context of 6-second rounds, while the RoF of a revolver or semi-automatic weapon could be problematic in the other...
    203 replies | 4442 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 01:56 AM
    I've seen that work well enough, but it doesn't capture the tropes you see in fiction around guns. There's not nearly so much dodging and seeking cover and just, well, missing - unless you really whole-heartedly embrace the 1e/4e psuedo-hit - not to mention the tense stand-off of characters held at gunpoint.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 01:02 AM
    Every edition that has succeeded has succeeded on that basis, 5e just more so than any other since the 80s fad, mainly thanks to timing... ...But also because it threaded the needle between enraging vocal fragments of its fan base, and being accessible to new players. 4e erred on the side of being accessible, and touched off a spontaneous grassroots movement determined to burn the line to the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 12:32 AM
    The best game of SR I was ever in was run using M:tA (oWoD Storyteller), so, IDK, a very different dynamic from the native system may not be such a bad thing...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 11:09 PM
    I'm sorry, is it not a 5e thread?
    212 replies | 6333 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:57 PM
    Something about TWF becoming the best option for a raging barbarian seems off. Not as off as S&B - it's at least given to full offense - but off... ....though, ultimately, worrying about how combat options balance vs eachother and what's optimal doesn't seem that important in the context of 5e.
    212 replies | 6333 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:44 PM
    I can't think of a RPG that wouldn't call for either, at times. One game can be clearer and more functional than another, even by a large margin, without actually being perfect. By comparison to most games other than early eds of D&D, I suppose, but the important takeaway isn't relative, it intent: 5e set out to be that way, on purpose, and for a purpose - several, really - for one, it...
    72 replies | 2520 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:55 PM
    It was a long time coming. I gave variant fighters a % DEX instead of STR back in the day - complete with maximums by race & sex. The 3e Finesse feat essentially taxed DEX fighters, and left them inferior. Not if it was random roll in order - just gets no benefit from it, as a fighter. Really, INT is a triffle lacklustre in 5e - though I feel knowledge skills can still be important.
    29 replies | 1011 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:45 PM
    Agreed. Passive scores as targets work well. AC is essentially an example. You could start grapples with an attack (though vs a Touch AC would make more sense), and use a STR save to break out. DEX save to avoid and STR to escape might make more sense. Note, though, that 2 saves to work, and two different saves at that, leaves it a pretty low-percentage option.
    13 replies | 440 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:33 PM
    Alternatives to class/level appeared almost immediately. Traveller ditched level - and indeed, advancement beyond accumulating wealth - RQ was skill-based. Champions! was out in '81, with a fully point-buy, effects-based system. Yet, even games that eschew class/level have some sort of advancement, and some sort of archetypes. If you played Champions! Back in the day, you talk of Bricks,...
    103 replies | 4527 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:45 PM
    Well, you can, if you want to, it just doesn't have much impact. But, it's funny you should mention Gauntlet: it's a fair analogy to how certain classes played in most editions of D&D: grind damage in melee, heal with found potions (food) or Clerical assistance, when briefly not in melee, grind out damage at range. That's a fighter in TSR D&D, or a barbarian in 3e, or an Essentials Slayer...
    255 replies | 23978 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:31 PM
    It is a lot of system, sure - at least as complex as any other ed for the amount of crunch it hss out - but it's a lot of system that relies on the DM to make it work. Try the thought experiment yourself, or just consider carefully the next time you run: how far do you get before you're making an interpretation or ruling that another DM might've done differently?
    72 replies | 2520 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:20 PM
    You could also watch the encounter end without getting to act - not just combat encounters, either, many other challenges would also likely be resolved by a single PC, as well. The issue wasn't so much fast v slow or boring v exciting, but spectator v participant. Nod, 5e is that kind of deadly only at the lowest levels, but it establishes, especially in the eyes of a new player "this game...
    245 replies | 10044 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:06 PM
    The edition war rarely reached the intellectual level of a discussion or debate, it was characterized by fallacies, especially personal attacks, intellectual dishonesty, questionable agendas, and many persistent factual errors & misrepresentations. Actual discussion of 4e, itself, rather than the straw man effigies of it being attacked, was rare by comparison. The game has been dead & burried...
    245 replies | 10044 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:11 PM
    Hey, your 3e character could die instantly. Life & Death not meaningful enough for you?
    245 replies | 10044 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:02 PM
    DMs are people, not robots, so, yeah, it has to be a very extreme hypothetical. Even the least experienced, least talented DM is going to exercise judgement when the system punts to him. Sure, but those come in after DM has judged success/failure/uncertainty. Theres the d20 core mechanic, really. The players get 6 stats and various proficiencies, and a (very) few other bonuses. ...
    72 replies | 2520 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:19 AM
    The brilliance of 5e is that the system is not the game: the DM is. Thought experiment: try putting 5e on autopilot, resolve to run a quick session with no rulings, just rules. Here's how it goes: The players build some characters, the DM describes the situation, a player declares an action - and the game stops, because there is no resolution without a DM ruling. And that's just effing...
    72 replies | 2520 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:07 AM
    It just occurred to me: No one has nominated Calcryx as their favorite white dragon. What an oversight! Meepo must be rolling in his grave...
    41 replies | 1177 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:59 AM
    The thing about Fast & Boring is at least it's over quickly. But, yes, Fast can be devestatingly anti-climactic, that's why you have to crank the threat up to rocket tag levels to keep it meaningful.
    245 replies | 10044 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:53 AM
    When to rest has always been about spells, more than hp. Sure, in the early game, you'd run out if healing, out of hp and have to rest - 15 min workday. But, then we got WoCLW, and did it give us an 8hr workday? Nope, the 5MWD, because casters wanted their top-level spells back for the next round of rocket tag, the next scry/buff/teleport assault, or the next buff/targetted-dispel contest....
    72 replies | 2520 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:10 PM
    I think, ultimately, errata comes down to attitude. Is your product something that's supposed to work, and when it doesn't, that's a bad thing? Then you fix it, promptly, and free of charge if at all possible. Is your product not really supposed to work until the customer has kitbashed it into what he was actually looking for when he bought it? Then why worry, trying to change it is just...
    72 replies | 2520 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:01 PM
    How many 5e feats would you identify as chaff? If it's less than 100*, I'd say it's an improvement. ;P
    72 replies | 2520 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:27 PM
    ...over substance?
    212 replies | 6333 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:20 PM
    Step one was clearing out the chaff. I suspect that was part of the impetus to have 'big' feats: it means characters get fewer feats, so make fewer feat choices, which means you can publish only a handful of them.
    72 replies | 2520 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 04:33 PM
    Over in the sense that 4e was already out of print.
    60 replies | 1769 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 03:48 PM
    I thought that was clear. Yeah, I'm not saying either complaint is valid, IMX, just that they're made. I have no problems with 5e being too easy, I just adjust encounter difficulty on the fly rather than coloring inside the guidelines (and don't run high level games), and none with 4e being too slow (even when I ran weekly in a 2-hr slot with a hard stop) because I could keep players engaged...
    245 replies | 10044 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 06:24 AM
    Yep, and trap choices reward system mastery, which is inclusive of 3e fans. And, Feats are optional, so if you don't want that, don't opt in. What's more, 5e is designed to be a starting point. There's less sense moving the starting line after the gun than moving the goal posts. DMs will have already done what they wanted with feats (and anything else). And, yes, for organized play,...
    72 replies | 2520 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 06:00 AM
    The original said "Medieval " right on the cover, 45 years ago.... ....and, y'know, 45 is middle aged. ;P
    203 replies | 4442 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 04:54 AM
    Check the join date: he came in after it was over.
    60 replies | 1769 view(s)
    0 XP
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About FormerlyHemlock

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25th August, 2017: no longer on Enworld. Find me on Reddit as hemlockR.
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Monday, 17th June, 2019


Saturday, 25th May, 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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