View Profile: The Grassy Gnoll - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:08 AM
    Or something like the old samurai 'psychic duel?' (Which I don't remember well enough - it might've just been a contested check.) 5e's so all-in with sub-classes, I'd want to go that route as much as possible. Combat Styles, alone, could mostly-adapt the Fighter & (spelless) Ranger to the setting. Rogue could get a Gambler sub-class ;) ...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:03 AM
    The difference between a 4e minion and just a very under-level 5e monster is mainly that the minion has a chance of surviving AEs ('missed' attack never damages a minion - in 5e, it'd be "minions are never killed by damage taken in spite of succeeding on a saving throw"), and that it's hitting closer to even money vs just-barely-enough-to-be-relevant under BA.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:11 AM
    As in other whack-a-mole threads, one common theme I see is that the solutions generally seem to work by hosing the healer's allies. To approach it from the other side, you could: 1) Make healing more potent for the slot cost. 2) Cut and/or power-down offensive spells from the primary-healer lists, like the Cleric, Bard (and, Gygax help me, the Druid, just as it's gotten cool again after...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:06 AM
    Same benefit as re-rolling initiative, with less complication.
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  • 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,...
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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...
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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. ;(
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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...
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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...
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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
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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/...
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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...
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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....
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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...
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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...
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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.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:56 AM
    Yeah, we all know how you feel. :P
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:42 AM
    How are you guys even quoting eachother?
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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.
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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...
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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,...
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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).
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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.
    68 replies | 1781 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?"
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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...
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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...
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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.
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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. ;(
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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...
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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,...
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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...
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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...
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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). ...
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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...
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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...
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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....
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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...
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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/...
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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...
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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.
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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...
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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
    … 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.
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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...
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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...
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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.
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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...
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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
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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),...
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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.
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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...
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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...
    103 replies | 4542 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    205 replies | 4567 view(s)
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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 | 6403 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 | 6403 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 | 2522 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 | 1012 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 | 441 view(s)
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  • 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 | 4542 view(s)
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  • 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 | 23997 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 | 2522 view(s)
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  • 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 | 10083 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 | 10083 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 | 10083 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 | 2522 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 | 2522 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 | 10083 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 | 2522 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 | 2522 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 | 2522 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:27 PM
    ...over substance?
    212 replies | 6403 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 | 2522 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 | 1775 view(s)
    0 XP
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About The Grassy Gnoll

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Monday, 19th February, 2018


Sunday, 18th February, 2018


Tuesday, 25th April, 2017


Friday, 2nd December, 2016

  • 08:21 AM - Azurewraith mentioned The Grassy Gnoll in post [IC] The Odd Job
    ...orched grove these days wi..." he stops mid sentence before surveying the four assembled before him, he smiles a sly smile before looking at the ground near where near the "humans" feet are"No they are most certainly not the royal guard just a bunch of mercenaries turned bandits trying to make some quick cash before order is restored. Believe me I would like nothing more than to set off right now but that damn Dwarf is taking his sweet time AGAIN! Perhaps if you could speed him along?". At this point Graan arrives back in the room apparently he must of snuck out after grabbing the coin purse, he is followed by a rather stunning elf." I think its time you all leave... unless you want to stay sweatness" Gheedon tries his most winning smile to soften Asha up. those proficient in history will knowA great bloody battle was fought on to the north of the village where a demonic general was slain Those not proficient know only that a battle was fought scorching the grove leaving it barren. The Grassy Gnoll given your proficiency in history and arcana you know that when a demon of a certain power bleeds it corrupts the land anyone wants anymore info feel free to roll

Sunday, 27th November, 2016

  • 06:32 PM - Azurewraith mentioned The Grassy Gnoll in post [IC] The Odd Job
    OOC RG The Cast Faindil Drow Undying Light Warlock Jago Aloysius Human Revenant Wizarard The Grassy Gnoll Hrgach Hobgoblin Eldritch Knight KahlessNestor Asha Fallen Aasimar Shadow Sorcerer VLAD the Destroyer "Rent due, wife ill, can't afford your protection money? Have I got an offer for you!" The merchant barked as he stood up from his table, the dim light in the bar catching on the gold chain round his neck, as his velvet cloak began to settle around the stool. There is a hubbub around the tavern. The merchant clears his throat "100gold apice to anyone who signs on to guard my caravan through a secret path through the forest worst thing you will encounter is a wolf! Swear it on me mas grave" The merchant smiles a big "toothy" grin except he is missing at least 80% of his teeth and the ones he does have appear to be gold. A hubbub begins in the tavern as everyone begins to discuss the proposal. Looking smug with him self the merchant heads upstairs presumably to his room. Then he appeared out of the shadows created in an alcove, its amazing how you didn't notice him earlier the...

Friday, 25th November, 2016

  • 08:27 AM - Azurewraith mentioned The Grassy Gnoll in post The odd job[Ooc]
    Ok, so we have four players. Jago drow undying light warlock The Grassy Gnoll human revenant wizard conjuration VLAD the Destroyer ? KahlessNestor ? Ill get a short SRD knocked up over the weekend. Optional rules undecided. (This is mostly me thinking in print to remind me where we are at. Im moving house and got a essay due so it helps. I know there's a little something going on over the pond this weekend)

Wednesday, 2nd November, 2016

  • 05:01 AM - MoonSong mentioned The Grassy Gnoll in post Post a character, get a Pic.
    Part 2 Xeviat Luminescent 78048 @Wedenesday Boy Luska 78049 alienux Nuno 78050 LordEntrails Unnamed Barbarian 78051 mellored Aaracockra Warlock Assassin 78052 The Grassy Gnoll Shiver 78053 M3woods S'parrod 78054 Plaguescarred Thunka 78055 Gwarok unnamed Warlock 78056

Wednesday, 28th September, 2016


Monday, 11th April, 2016

  • 09:20 PM - pming mentioned The Grassy Gnoll in post All Change At WotC: New President Arrives From Microsoft As Greg Leeds Resigns
    Hiya! I agree with The Grassy Gnoll ...digital stuff. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but my gut reaction is "Well, at least I have a PHB, DMG and MM". As he was 'obviously' hired because of his digital forte, to me, that tells me Hasbro wants to head down that road. Which means that it is going to be even more increasingly unlikely they will be getting any money from me. :( I was actually kind of excited about being able to spend my cash on *actual D&D* stuff. That is something I hadn't done at all during the 3e & 4e era...or, roughly, for the last 16 years. If my reservations are confirmed...well, looks like I'll be waiting another 8 years until D&D 6th Edition "hits the shelves" (if I'm not too busy fighting off the hoards of ravenous dead because of the zombie-apocalypse thing that will probably be going on then...I'm sure I'll have time for D&D though...so...fingers crossed for 6th Ed! :) ). PS: Although...digital mini-RPG's of childrens cartoons/shows would be pretty sweet... My Little Pony, Backyardigans, ...

Sunday, 21st February, 2016

  • 12:18 AM - steeldragons mentioned The Grassy Gnoll in post First impressions last
    It may or may not be common knowledge 'round these parts, but interestingly, @The Grassy Gnoll both of the classes that you liked/were drawn to were done by Larry Elmore. The rest, including those round headshots, are all Jeff Easley. I concur that Elmore's more crisp and, for lack of a better term, "realistic" work (and Jeff Dee's comic book/superhero-style stuff as well, for me) definitely captured my attention and imagination more than Easley's kind of "brushed wispy" inks. I was similarly baffled, and I suppose shall be to our dying day, that of all the classes presented in Mentzer, the /Magic-User/ was the one that didn't get a full character shot (and also noted that halfling and elf were forced to "share" a spot, though I personally love elves and halflings and always enjoyed that picture). The guy with the spells?! The wizard?! That's who you think you don't need to show a picture of to people in the real world?! It made [and makes] NO sense to me. Equally irritating was the severe dearth of images in/among the spell sections. Cleric spells had at least two cool ones ...

Thursday, 11th February, 2016


Monday, 1st February, 2016

  • 11:30 PM - Yaarel mentioned The Grassy Gnoll in post Three Saves
    @The Grassy Gnoll, Sincerely, all the best. Discussing the abilities to arrive at clearer, more balanced, more lifelike, and more useful definitions, helps the game as a whole. The issues are complex, and it is ok, to view them from different points of view.

Wednesday, 21st October, 2015

  • 06:35 AM - Inoeex mentioned The Grassy Gnoll in post Creative ways to use spells
    Ath-kethin Ath-kethin The Grassy Gnoll psimon85 Thanks everyone : ) I would like to heard your ideas as well, if you dont mind. I had those ideas based on our world physics but ... I have no clue what can I do creatively with Minor illusion or Mage Hand for example. Unseen Servant ? Its kinda useless to me. Or any other kind of spells like them ... I can imagine creative ways to use them :S

Tuesday, 20th October, 2015

  • 08:20 PM - pukunui mentioned The Grassy Gnoll in post worthy quest
    EzekielRaiden and The Grassy Gnoll: Thanks for the responses, guys. I should've updated my original post, though, as the PCs have moved on to Baldur's Gate. See posts #7 and #15 for more up-to-date info on this.

Wednesday, 30th September, 2015

  • 03:55 AM - Quickleaf mentioned The Grassy Gnoll in post How does an oath of the ancients paladin fall? NPC / story-building question
    Some good ideas here! Thanks :) delericho and G. Barrelhouse Esq. while I think your ideas of "tortured until he broke" are solid, it doesn't quite work for what I'm looking for, since "death is the greatest mercy" seems a nihilistic and unredeemable stance. Also it doesn't give me a credible tie-in for "why deliver slaves to the aboleths/Underdark?" But I've got your ideas on my mental back burner, since the idea of the aboleths being ultimately behind his corruption is appealing, thematically showing the power of the Old Deep Ones' mental dominion...which nicely foreshadows elements in Night Below. Any sort of corruption could work. Possibly an evil sort of dryad seduced him. Or, if the bandit thing isn't absolutely needed, you could have him simply in league with a regular neutral dryad who's home is where the keep was built, sort of hell-bent on doing everything in his power to ensure nature "reclaims her beauty" in the region (of course he's really just lost sight of right and wrong). Som...

Wednesday, 16th September, 2015

  • 03:48 AM - Unwise mentioned The Grassy Gnoll in post Did anyone try beastmaster with no action for beast attack?
    Similar to @G. Barrelhouse Esq. I have a bit of a system for knowing what a pet wolf will do. Mine is more of a mental flowchart. It would be different for other creatures, but a wolf is a pack hunter. Has a current target: In a fight with a creature weaker than it = attack In a fight with a stronger predator = attack if the ranger (or pack member) is helping it, otherwise disengage or dodge In fight with an alpha predator = help action if ranger is there, run if not No current target: It will never engage in a fair fight. It will come and use a help action on the rangers target unless it has advantage on somebody or it sees a fleeing, bloodied target. This worked well, all of the PCs thought about helping the wolf if ever it was engaged by itself, because they did not want it to back off or dodge. They also made liberal use of attempts to give the wolf advantage on attacks, such as knocking people prone, or even using the help action and saying "sick em boy!" When uncontrolled, the wolf felt more l...

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Thursday, 26th July, 2018

  • 07:59 AM - Dispater quoted The Grassy Gnoll in post Keith Baker has written 5E Eberron! Now who would you choose to write the other Classic D&D Worldbooks?
    Dark Sun by Pinter MAXRAT: The sun’s nice today. HOGPOP: Yes. Nice. MAXRAT: It’s nice. — Pause for 5 minutes. We hear Hogpop rummaging around in the pockets of the bleeding goblins. An occasional chink as a coin found. MAXRAT: Hot. HOGPOP: Yes. Hot. — Pause MAXRAT: Do you like it? — Pause HOGPOP: What? MAXRAT: The heat. HOGPOP: It’s ok. I don’t mind it. — Pause MAXRAT: I like it. It’s nice. Do you think it’s nice? — Hogpop rolls initiative. Looks like Pinter never read his DS lore

Wednesday, 25th July, 2018

  • 06:15 AM - Greenstone.Walker quoted The Grassy Gnoll in post DEX-based spear wielding Fighter
    To me finesse weapons should be daggers, rapiers, small knives. End of. A rogue swinging a 2H sword is not finesse! Agreed. Finesse is delicacy and subtlety. Using a finesse weapon involves using precise wrist movements to manipulate a small and light weapon. What Brad Pitt's Achilles is doing has nothing delicate or subtle about it.

Monday, 23rd July, 2018


Thursday, 19th July, 2018

  • 05:18 PM - DMMike quoted The Grassy Gnoll in post D&D Action Economy - Alternative
    ...something already that costs an action in exchange for boosted defense: Dodge. Adding to OP. I'd be leaving in passive AC (because who doesn't love finding out that their attack was worthless?), but the Defense action would be a choice between Dodging or Saving. Saelorn: so tanking hits would still be possible - just not tanking spells/saves. You might also want to check if you're sure you want the possibility of casting 2 spells of any kind in a round, or if this needs the same restriction as for bonus action spells. I hope that the stigma over this would be lessened, since the free action would give other characters the chance to act twice as well. Maybe characters with a higher initiative score can react, attempting to disrupt the spell? How about lifting a rule from the glorious Dragon Warriors? Shields: don’t add to your AC but if you’re hit, roll a d6. On a 6, no damage. Maybe give different quality of shields different amounts of hits (number of) or HP (worth of damage). Just ...

Wednesday, 18th July, 2018

  • 07:52 PM - Oofta quoted The Grassy Gnoll in post Multi classing Objections: Rules vs. Fluff?
    That was kind of my point. Sorcerers can be rationalised as a MC at any point, without necessarily any anchors to the character's previous history or encounters. In your case, if the PC is already a sorcerer and wants to MC into a Fighter, say, to me that's fine (assuming there is a reasonablly compelling desire to do so). It's when someone randomly decides that they fancy BOOM WILD MAGIC MANIFESTS that makes me stroke my beard as to their reasons. Obviously, there can be perfectly good reasons to do so. However, it mjst be said that in the middle of a campaign, suddenly having sorcery bubble up through you would be a fairly major development, story wise. There is a reason the Quick Build suggested background is Hermit for Sorcerers - it carries the implication that (a) those around the sorcerer drove them away, probably muttering darkly about the evil eye and almost certainly whilst waving a combination of pitchfork, torch, feathers and tar, (b) the newbie sorcerer went off into the wilds to e...

Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

  • 10:43 PM - MoonSong quoted The Grassy Gnoll in post Multi classing Objections: Rules vs. Fluff?
    Wow, you guys just dodged a lengthy bullet. I spent 20 minutes writing a really long post and when I hit submit I had been logged out and it has now, alas, been lost to the ether. Damnit. Anyway, main points (sans carefully worked beautiful turns of phrase): - To me: character development is more importnat that mechanical benefit. - Sorcerers are a pain because your charcater is just going along, minding his own busin...WILD MAGIC! With no in-game relevance, I am now a fighter 13/sorcerer 1 and my scaled cantrips from out of nowhere are SUHWEET. - Warlock patrons should be controlled by the DM as to when they occur/could reasonably be encountered to acquire a devotee. - MCing with a few closely-related classes excepted should be a Tarzan swing - abandoning one liana to move forward with a new one. I.e., a NEW career rather than a little side quest (nb level of pre-game assumed skill development to reach L1 in your original class). But my sorceress magic is in her blood, why would she stop having it ju...

Friday, 13th July, 2018

  • 01:12 AM - aco175 quoted The Grassy Gnoll in post Rogues and rolling all the dice
    I use Max Weapon Damage + (normal Damage roll + modifiers) for Crits. But it goes both ways so I always have to check the players are ok with that. So that might cut down on the amount of actual die rolling for you! I like to roll the many dice when I crit and my players do as well. When monsters crit, I just add one more damage die, even if there would be more. Most of the time a monster does 1d6+2 and it becomes 2d6+2, but of a monster normally does 2d6+2 it just deals 3d6+2.

Thursday, 12th July, 2018


Wednesday, 11th July, 2018

  • 04:00 PM - Charlaquin quoted The Grassy Gnoll in post New Campaign Setting Hint Is Eberron?
    Definitely looks like ‘campaign setting’ from the blurred letters but the last 2 on the top line seem out of whack with the rest of the characters on that line. He is famous for trolling though, isn’t he? The o in Eberron has always looked like that. The n being larger is new, but I bet the E is larger too.

Monday, 9th July, 2018

  • 10:09 PM - Gwarok quoted The Grassy Gnoll in post Do cantrips level with Magic Initiate?
    Cantrips scale with level, regardless of multiclassing, racial source (eg High Elf), or Feat such as MI. Your Hex would always be L1 though. So if I had a 16th Level fighter, he picks up 1 Level of Wizard when he hits 17th, he'll be shooting a 4D10 Firebolt?
  • 05:29 PM - Ancalagon quoted The Grassy Gnoll in post Multi-classing: as good as it seems?
    I only allow MC if it suits the character. By which I mean, I have a new group who are L3 and have a fighter (BM), Tomelock, and Arcane Trickster. Zero healing. Major NPC just sniffed it and the Arcane Trickster’s player was properly shocked. Wants to vow to find out as much as they can about healing so something like that doesn’t happen again. Looking to MC into cleric. Makes sense in the game and to the character. But to have a MC that isn’t somehow caused or foreshadowed by events in game is just immersion breaking to me.He could take the healer feat mind you... but yes, multiclassing should be significant

Sunday, 13th May, 2018

  • 10:37 AM - pukunui quoted The Grassy Gnoll in post "Immortal Fortress" - WotC Drops Clues About The Upcoming Storyline?
    Can anyone tell me what the ‘code names’ for each release have been so far?As far as I'm aware, not all of the products were given code names (or else their code names simply weren't discovered). The ones I know about: Curse of Strahd: Cloak Storm King's Thunder: Dagger Tomb of Annihilation: Dust Xanathar's Guide to Everything: Midway Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes: Marathon

Friday, 4th May, 2018

  • 02:07 AM - guachi quoted The Grassy Gnoll in post "Immortal Fortress" - WotC Drops Clues About The Upcoming Storyline?
    Castle Amber! I recently ran X2 Castle Amber in my 5e campaign and I tried to keep it as brutal and ludicrous and random as the original. It was more fun than it had any right to be. Two PCs outright died, then both got reincarnated as gnomes. The actual gnome got possessed by an evil insane princess for 2/3 of the adventure. If it is Castle Amber I'm cautiously optimistic but I'm sure they'll neuter the capricious nature of the adventure. EDIT: Mystara/Known World is the only D&D world I'm aware of where the gods are referred to as Immortals. And Stephen Amber is and Immortal. And his Chateau is kind of like a fortress, right? Still a stretch. But X2 is the kind of adventure that works as a sort of demi-plane adventure like Curse of Strahd.

Tuesday, 24th April, 2018

  • 02:50 AM - TiwazTyrsfist quoted The Grassy Gnoll in post You find a magical _____, it does _____
    Next object: A goose quill pen The Skrivener's Scourge Crafted by a wizard with a penchant for puns, this seemingly normal, flimsy, fluffy, fluttery goose feather quill pen functions as a Vicious Longsword. It can also be used as a pen. Next Item: A large terry cloth towel

Monday, 23rd April, 2018

  • 09:42 PM - vincegetorix quoted The Grassy Gnoll in post Character concept help: making a druid
    Spitballing - but thinking of the classic film Ladyhawke - could your Druid be an Awakened Beast whose ability to Shape Change to human form is limited daily? If dm allows, grant Message Cantrip so he can communicate and let him walk upright? Limits his spellcasting but cool character development and if your DM is super gracious he could cast non-V spells plus Shillelagh as a gimme? Cool concept, maybe a little too complicated for a ''first time'' D&D druid, but I'll keep it in mind. Thanks a lot.
  • 05:43 PM - Plutancatty quoted The Grassy Gnoll in post Change a letter, ruin a spell - Xanathar edition!
    Lass Polymorph: Instant drag act. Earthwind: Produces 70s music. Material component: Fire. Danke Macabre: Creates a thank you letter written in German. In blood.Dank Macabre: gives all undead in the area baggy pants, a shiny necklace and a hat
  • 04:55 PM - TwoSix quoted The Grassy Gnoll in post Would 4 spell lists work in D&D (maybe 6e)?
    Sorry for being dumb - what is a heartbreaker rule? People have been making their own houseruled versions of D&D almost since D&D came out, where they clean up rules they don't like into something more symmetrical, or streamlined, or simply better, in their eyes. The collective term for those kinds of games is "fantasy heartbreaker", because everyone who makes one thinks their ideas will spread like wildfire because they've "fixed D&D", only to be inevitably disappointed when no one cares.
  • 10:45 AM - Yaarel quoted The Grassy Gnoll in post Would 4 spell lists work in D&D (maybe 6e)?
    Dragon Warriors from the 80s had a nice thematic setup for Elementalists which could be adapted to be schools of magic: Regarding the Elemental/Material theme. I ended up going with the Magic: The Gathering split that often shows up in D&D. • Air-Water • Fire-Earth Pairing the elements this way ends up more useful. Fire makes inert Earth more dynamic, and using Fire to ‘melt’ and ‘reshape’ or ‘animate’ Earth makes thematic sense. Clustering Earth with Fire also makes the emphasis on fire less of a one-trick pony. Meanwhile, weather magic from Ray of Frost to Ice Storm to Wind Walk makes Air-Water inseparable anyway. Note, the Fifth Element is Spirit (called Ether, Etherealness, Idea, etcetera) and it forms its own ‘Spiritual’ theme. Spirit includes light and void and space-time. Spirit is the stuff that the eternal soul and consciousness are made out of. Spirit includes planar travel and teleportation. In Daoism, the five ways of moving correlate to the five Helenistic elements in the followi...


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