View Profile: MNblockhead - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 12:39 AM
    As a DM, I'd expect them to make an action declaration that minimizes the amount of assumptions the DM has to make to adjudicate to a result. I don't have a particular solution in mind or magic words the player has to say in my notes. But I'm going to need more than "I look at them closely..." All that suggests to me as DM is that it's probably a Wisdom check, assuming there's a check at all,...
    15 replies | 297 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:32 PM
    While it's commonly put forward as a "major problem with the 'goal and approach' way," precise knowledge of how to perform the task isn't and has never been required of players to state an approach to the goal, at least at my table. I definitely need something more than what's been offered in this example to even determine if a check is needed, leave alone what ability score and skill proficiency...
    15 replies | 297 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:37 PM
    What I see here are goals (what the PC hopes to achieve) but not approaches (how the PC tries to achieve the goal). The approaches will determine the uncertainty as to the outcome, whether there's a meaningful consequence for failure and, if both of those elements are present, what ability check and skill proficiency is called for and the DC for the roll. So my vote is "DM needs more...
    15 replies | 297 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:22 PM
    Unless it was a mapped out tactical challenge with grid and minis including elevation, I wouldn't go this complicated with it.
    17 replies | 316 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:22 PM
    "Parkour" could be imagined as an overarching challenge that is divided into specific obstacles, the declared tasks for which may or may not call for ability checks as per the normal rules for adjudicating actions. Strength (Athletics) checks covers "difficult situations you encounter while climbing, jumping..." (Basic Rules, p. 62). Dexterity (Acrobatics) covers attempts to "stay on your feet in...
    17 replies | 316 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 06:33 PM
    I agree. That is just bad adventure design and you'd think professional adventure writers would realize that by now. Sometimes things that happen in the movies just can't easily be replicated at the table. Be happy when it does, but plan that it won't.
    47 replies | 1275 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Jonathan Tweet's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:19 PM
    Indeed Gradine is right, and I typed too quickly. I would say that violence is generally more suitable than sex, rather than either/or, one being suitable and the other not.
    350 replies | 10610 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Jonathan Tweet's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 02:28 PM
    I've been thinking about this issue for almost 40 years, and this summary is pretty good. Humans find sex and violence to be interesting, and of those two pursuits violence is the one suitable to group activity, as in a roleplaying game.
    350 replies | 10610 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jonathan Tweet's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 02:28 PM
    Another factor to consider is that reliability and consistency matter a lot to whichever side has the advantage. The underdog in a fight benefits from increased randomness, while the favored group benefits from a lack of surprises. In RPGs, the PCs are almost always the favored side. A disadvantage of a single large attack compared to two small attacks is that the single attacks are more likely...
    135 replies | 4271 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jonathan Tweet's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 03:31 PM
    Back in 1988, I wrote an article for Gateways magazine about how you can't treat what happens in the game world as emotionally separate from the impact you're having on the flesh-and-blood players at the table. Thirty years later, here we are. My impression is that this sort of abusive behavior is in decline, but still... Anyone remember Gateways? https://rpggeek.com/rpgperiodical/2110/gateways
    419 replies | 18118 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 06:07 AM
    I'm very happy with the materials overall. I only have two complaints. The first is a minor complaint: a number of typos made it into the final. I would hope Green Ronin would have had better editing. It is not terrible, but more than one or two typos indicates skimping on the proof reading. The second is that I find the organization difficult to follow. You have to flip around a lot. It is nice...
    40 replies | 2975 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 05:57 PM
    Right. It works if the DM says it works. Full stop. Arguments from reality are perhaps the weakest arguments one can make about a fantasy world controlled by someone who gets to say how things operate. The more productive way to examine this situation in my view is: Why is this happening and what can I do as DM to take away the impetus to do it? Because it's almost certainly the DM's fault due...
    68 replies | 2758 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 02:39 PM
    While I agree that torture is far too common in many games, I don't agree with your reasoning on the mechanics encouraging it or your solutions for curtailing it. Your position on the mechanics seems to be one in which the players are asking for or declaring that they are making ability checks, which the rules do not allow. The DM is always the one who asks for ability checks, when the outcome...
    68 replies | 2758 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 06:28 PM
    Agreed. I purposefully ran a game for a group of people who had never played D&D 4e, but had heard plenty of bad things. At the end, I asked what they thought and the consensus was "I don't understand what people hated about it - that was awesome!"
    245 replies | 10684 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 04:16 PM
    If the DM knows how to create and present skill challenges (as outlined in the Rules Compendium, not the DMGs), then skills are very important. Often my players are more terrified of skill challenges than they are of combats!
    245 replies | 10684 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 02:20 PM
    It's a great game in my view. Just be prepared that combats will tend to run slower than D&D 5e, especially if the group is unfamiliar with the system. You or your group may or may not have access to the online character builder (I still have it). If you do not, that can make character creation and advancement a bit more time consuming if all the books are open for use.
    245 replies | 10684 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jonathan Tweet's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 04:07 PM
    The world exists primarily for the PCs and secondarily for the NPCs. In 13th Age, the players exercise some authorial control over the setting, especially as it relates to their own characters. Currently, my group is running through Eyes of the Stone Thief, and we decided that the "Priestess" NPC was instead, in our campaign, the "Mystic", a woolly-headed Deepak Chopra figure. The NPCs, even the...
    44 replies | 1453 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 07:03 AM
    Mine is scheduled for delivery on Monday. Can't wait.
    40 replies | 2975 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 06:44 AM
    I'm just sitting here eating my sour grapes, giving the stink eye to all you Otus haters.
    253 replies | 8287 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 05:07 AM
    Yeah, or the culture of the group in which you play. Keep it up and I'll bring out the exclamation points. But seriously, I don't mind shortcuts. I do mind it if the shortcut you chose to characterize my position isn't actually my position.
    664 replies | 26821 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 11:50 PM
    As I think I mentioned, I'd characterize some of your positions and preferences as being rooted in D&D 3.Xe and/or D&D 4e. I think you've mentioned playing those games before, so this makes perfect sense. My "style" is based on the game system. You would notice my "style" changes when I run and play D&D 4e. Just like it changes when I run and play Dungeon World. That's my point here: I don't have...
    664 replies | 26821 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 01:49 AM
    Yeah, I have a player pool which includes more players than seats in a given game and, often, multiple PCs per player. There is no way, especially considering my increasing age and penchant for drink at the table, that I can remember anything about the characters' stats. So I don't see any issue with choosing a DC for a task ahead of time which is later resolved by a passive check. I've had that...
    664 replies | 26821 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 01:11 AM
    That's fair and my apologies for attributing to you anything that you don't believe. I think that the fewer exceptions to the basic play loop the better. I would also say that "basic access" is something I see as available to anyone through the DM's description of the environment and the things within it and it's on the players to speak up if they want to recall more information that may be...
    664 replies | 26821 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 12:48 AM
    Notably, in D&D 5e, "passive" in "passive check" doesn't actually refer to the character being "inactive." It just refers to there being no dice. Unfortunately, it's commonly interpreted as meaning the character isn't doing anything in particular but I don't think one can get there from a reading of the D&D 5e rules. One can get there by reading the D&D 4e rules which refers to both "actively...
    664 replies | 26821 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 12:23 AM
    While I'm sure it works with little issue at the table, I think passive check DCs for set knowledge is more appropriate to D&D 3.Xe and D&D 4e than for D&D 5e. In the latter, I prefer to simply lay out the necessary context and basic scope of options sufficient for the characters to act and let the players describe what they want to do. That might include recalling lore to introduce new...
    664 replies | 26821 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 09:28 PM
    I thought that might be the issue. Perhaps this will help: The Case for Inspiration.
    23 replies | 806 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 09:08 PM
    What don't you like about the mechanic? As it is written, it might actually work quite well with this disguise self tactic. It's one thing to look like someone. It's another thing to act like them and that may require learning traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws, which encourages the players to interact and explore to gain a further edge.
    23 replies | 806 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 07:02 PM
    My position is that this depends on the rules of the game system and whether there's a fair and fun method of resolving this. In a game like D&D 5e, I would say there isn't, so my table rule is that if a player wants to act upon another player's character in a way that is a hindrance or is harmful, the player of the target character gets to decide the outcome.
    26 replies | 1119 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 06:16 PM
    I think progress combined with a setback is good here - give them the info, but the monster gains an advantage as you say. That could be a situational advantage or just advantage on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw.
    664 replies | 26821 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 05:40 PM
    I recommend taking a look at the social interaction rules in the DMG. It provides a useful structure for creating a challenge as opposed to just social interaction for the sake of exposition. An "intrigue heavy social interaction kind of thing" is going to lack a lot of exciting stakes, unlike combat, so that's another thing I'd look at and the challenge structure in the DMG will help.
    23 replies | 806 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 05:32 PM
    How many traps and secret doors are in your game? Figuring out how a trap works ahead of disabling it may call for an Intelligence (Investigation) check, as might a task to figure out how a secret door can be opened. How often are players attempting to recall lore when fighting monsters in order to figure out their strengths, weaknesses, etc.? If they're not doing that, why aren't they? The...
    664 replies | 26821 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 04:30 PM
    I would say that the assertion that an Int-8 character is "shortbus" needs some proof, given bounded accuracy. It sounds like some adjustments in perception or expectations is needed here. If that doesn't work, the game does provide a way to address this via the PCs' personal characteristics. Just add a personality trait or flaw to the effect of "I'm about as smart as a bag of hammers and it...
    664 replies | 26821 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 05:49 AM
    Sure you do, if one character climbs the wall in a way that is meaningfully different than someone else, then the DC can vary. If the approach to climbing is largely the same, then it is reasonable to assign the same DC. It's the role of the DM as described by the game to judge these matters. It's a good thing the game isn't even a simulation of a world of sword and sorcery let...
    231 replies | 12477 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 04:12 AM
    It seemed like in your initial post you were considering a character for a specific campaign. If so, I'd be curious to know how your DM typically runs social interaction challenges and how you'd think this character's effectiveness would rate in that context.
    23 replies | 806 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 03:53 AM
    If I had to guess, there's probably more of them than either of us would find desirable. That's especially true of DMs who consider this sort of character build and associated tasks to be problematic for their event-based adventure prep. There's a lot of incentive in such a scenario for the DM to treat the ability check like a saving throw.
    23 replies | 806 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 03:36 AM
    Charisma (Deception) is what the rules say is the ability check used to resolve a task to pass one's self off in a disguise, if there's uncertainty as to the outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure. That is the task your character is undertaking. The spell creates uncertainty and, presumably a meaningful consequence for failure, by default which prompts the Intelligence...
    23 replies | 806 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 03:13 AM
    In D&D 5e, the ability check happens when the task that is being described has an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure. With that in mind, we can deconstruct how this is handled. Passing yourself off as someone else (goal) by using a disguise (approach) might reasonably be resolved by a Charisma (Deception) check, if the DM decides to call for one. Your character is...
    23 replies | 806 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 02:38 AM
    The spell says that other than having the same body type, the extent of the illusion is up to the caster. So, I would say that this means you can look like specific people. That said, as DM, it seems reasonable in the absence of specific mitigating circumstances that it is harder to pull off than appearing to be some non-specific person. Thus, I recommend being ready to have to hit some higher...
    23 replies | 806 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 02:16 AM
    "I'm just not sure if there's a point in continuing this conversation... allow me to continue it." The reason would be to verify the player's assumption that the earth elementals they are about to face are vulnerable to thunder. This will in part determine their resource allocation and tactics in the upcoming battle. I would add that the smart player in my view doesn't seek to "make an...
    664 replies | 26821 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 06:52 PM
    That's the basic adjudication process though. First the DM decides if a roll is necessary at all. Climbing is called out specifically as being just movement except in certain circumstances. A DC can only be set once the task is established by the player in a reasonably specific way such that the DM can decide if there's an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure. Climbing in...
    231 replies | 12477 view(s)
    0 XP
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About MNblockhead

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About MNblockhead
Introduction:
Back to the table-top after 2.5 decades away
About Me:
Gamer that returned to the fold with 5e, after 25 years away from RPGs.
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Twin Cities, MN, USA
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My Game Details

Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

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Game Details:
Monthly 8-hour 5e game. Ended home-brew campaign in January 2018, after two years and am now running Curse of Strahd.
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I play a Tortle barbarian berserker with the great-weapon master feat.

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Town:
Twin Cities Area
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Minnesota
Country:
USA
Game Details:
Monthly 8-hour 5e game. Ended home-brew campaign in January 2018, after two years and am now running Curse of Strahd.
My Character:
I play a Tortle barbarian berserker with the great-weapon master feat.
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Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 02:55 AM - uzirath mentioned MNblockhead in post Good, Evil, Nature, and Druids
    Yeah, the lack of knowledge about historical druids is what would hold me back, though I love to reskin race and class archetypes in my campaigns to play against expectations (or at least to have variants that do). I'm not sure about the idea that historical druids didn't "revolve around gods." That may be true, but there were certainly Celtic gods, so it may be that scholars just don't have enough information to go on. But, in a game context, I like MNblockhead's conception of druids. The reincarnation motif is interesting and the idea that the gods are newcomers or outsiders or something like that is also fun to play with. That could create fun political conflicts between clerics and druids. In the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, druids don't have healing spells by default (that's the core domain of clerics). But, many GMs (including me) have houseruled them back in. (I can't remember how various editions of D&D handle this and I don't have my books nearby.) I had a discussion a while back on one of the SJG forums about how one might differentiate druidic from clerical healing. One idea I was mulling was that druidic healing is more "natural," which also means that it might be a bit slower, possibly more painful, and would leave scars. Clerics, on the other hand, basically erase wounds altogether. This could create all sorts of intriguing cultural elements. In a culture where clerics abound, having scar-free skin might be a sign of the upper class....

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

  • 08:31 AM - aramis erak mentioned MNblockhead in post Printing maps - how to do this affordably & with minimum headache?
    MNblockhead A growing sector of gamers are playing in public spaces without access to power, big screens, projectors, etc. Tablets suck for map display. Printing things out is likely to remain important for many. blank grids (square or hex) only go so far; to go past, the best, least expensive method is usually to buy the commercial ones. And commercial maps were available for most of the hardcover Wizards 5E adventures... Buying them would be about the same cost as having them locally printed, and more likely to have good color. Nice that you broke free, but it's not practical for many. And undesirable for more. Oh, and a great way to carry maps? 4" or larger thin-wall PVC pipes - used for low-pressure applications, like AC ducting. End caps are readily available, even screw cap fittings. Adding a strap is trivial - buy some nylon strapping, glue it on. I've used a 4" water pipe. For unlaminated maps, it's great (if a bit heavy). For laminated, I want 6" PVC duct pipe...

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 10:11 PM - MaximusArael020 mentioned MNblockhead in post Need help coming up with the function of a magic artifact!
    Good suggestion, MNblockhead! Yes, my idea was that the abilities stack, and you unlock additional powers as you progress. The charges then denote how many total charges you have at that proficiency bonus level. Thus a total of 12 charges per day with proficiency bonus of +6, and all abilities "unlocked". I like the idea of breaking it into 3 columns. Thanks!

Friday, 19th April, 2019


Wednesday, 17th April, 2019


Sunday, 14th April, 2019

  • 09:52 PM - robus mentioned MNblockhead in post Your most used accessories?
    @MNblockhead - the cloth printing arrived. I think it's going to work well (and very easy to transport): 105896 Edit: probably could have been 25% smaller... :)

Tuesday, 9th April, 2019

  • 10:32 PM - Hussar mentioned MNblockhead in post Sneak Peek At Ghosts of Saltmarsh Maps
    I wonder if this is related to groups that don't do a lot of mapping during play. Left, right, ahead, (never minding, Top and Bottom) would be incredibly frustrating to the mapper. But, as MNblockhead says, maybe it's just an experience thing. My group also has a fair bit of military background, so it seems pretty natural to put north at the top of the map. Heh. Right as I type this, I'm looking at the weather map for today on TV. Funnily enough, it's oriented north to the top. :D Every time I use Google Maps, it's oriented north to the top. Every single map of Canada I've ever seen, going back centuries, is oriented north to the top. North to the top has been the standard for centuries now. It's pretty ubiquitous. Heck, rolling this back around to Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, the town in the three modules was never mapped. It's not like there's any sort of canon or tradition here. You were instructed by the original module to make your own map. So, why make a map that it automatically harder to use at the table? Player: Where is the general store? DM: It's in the west end of the town, next to the Color Animal Inn. Player: Huh? The Color Animal Inn is ...

Sunday, 7th April, 2019

  • 02:38 PM - robus mentioned MNblockhead in post Your most used accessories?
    Thanks for the detailed list MNblockhead, that Time Tracker looks really cool. Actually it would be perfect on the flip side of my initiative tracker!

Tuesday, 12th March, 2019

  • 05:16 AM - CleverNickName mentioned MNblockhead in post Critical Role Kickstarter Predition Game: Guess the Funding Outcome (GTFO)
    ...ualified. Predictions must be made in this thread before next Monday, March 11th, 11:59 p.m. PST. Predictions made after that time will be ignored. Good luck! The Prize The winner will receive a gift certificate to HeroForge.com, good for one custom 3D-printed character mini (a $25 value), like this one! 105294 I got this digital gift certificate for Christmas, but I already have like a dozen HeroForge minis (I may have a problem). I thought I'd offer it up to a worthy cause. Sound good? OF COURSE it sounds good! Let's see those predictions! ----- PREDICTION ROSTER Stalker0: $100,000,000 Dausuul: $50,000,000 gyor: $30,000,000 Hussar: $25,000,000 aco175: $23,500,000 CubicsRube: $21,000,000 CleverNickName: $20,612,408.57 ---------Highest-Funded Kickstarter in History (Pebble Time smartwatch) $20,338,986----------- Parmandr: $20,000,000 EnochSeven: $16,213,102 TallIan: $15,876,374 MNblockhead: $15,555,555 77IM: $14,980,000.00 jgsugden: $14,520,000 OB1: $14,000,042 The Big BZ: $14,000,000 dregntael: $13,935,109 chrisrtld: $13,635,019 pogre: $13,500,000 Aebir-Toril: $13,224,376.89 Satyrn: $13,000,000 Yardiff: $12,456,145 -----------Highest-Funded Game Project on Kickstarter (Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5) $12,393,139-------- Radaceus: $12,345,678.91 FarBeyondC: $12,345,678.90 Morrus: $12,000,000 Mistwell: $11,800,000 Mort: $11,620,000 Zardnaar: $11,354,883 <--- The Winner! Sadras: $11,120,000 SkidAce: $11,000,000 Tazawa: $10,700,000 togashi_joe: $10,250,000 DM Dave1: $10,101,010 MichaelSomething: $10,000,000 Lazybones: $9,750,000 PabloM: $9,500,000 akr71: $9,250,000 rczarnec: $9,250,000 Azzy: $9,000,000 Henry: $8,900,000 mortwatcher: $8,666,000 ...

Tuesday, 26th February, 2019

  • 07:39 PM - Sword of Spirit mentioned MNblockhead in post Best Campaign Management Product/Site?
    My experiences with RealmWorks are similar to MNblockheadís. I initially was looking for something simpler, but when I gave it a try I was hooked. The auto-linking is huge. There are also a lot of options for how to additionally connect information, and one of the biggest initial difficulties can be recognizing that you donít have to use them all just because you can, and should just use the ones that work best for you. So I donít really need to worry about using the info tag about how each deity (or NPC, or organization, etc) feels about each other, as well as how they publicly act like they feel about them, but using the feature to indicate where different people live is something I do extensively. And I donít use the storyline organizational feature, because my campaign is more exploration-based, but I do use map pins with links that can take me to other maps and topics to allow me explore my world(s) starting from whichever level I want. But you can always start using features you werenít, they arenít something you are locked into and hav...

Wednesday, 13th February, 2019

  • 07:15 PM - OB1 mentioned MNblockhead in post My return to TTRPG w/ 5e, reflections after 5 years
    MNblockhead I fall into a very similar experience as you. I played primarily from 88-96 (mix of 1e and 2e) along with a host of other RPGs (Robotech, Star Wars, Rifts, TMNT, Heroes) and tried out 3e for about six months in 2004 when a workmate invited me into his game, but didnít vibe on it and didnít really have the time. In 2011 or so I began listening to the 4e Critical Hit podcast and that gave me my D&D fix for a while. When the playtest came out, I downloaded it just to read and found it reminded me of the feel of 2e. Started a game with my wife and a couple friends that is still going today (Tier IV near the end). Have bought every official release since and brought a dozen or so new players (including my nieces and nephews) into the game. We put the main campaign on pause to run APs or other home brews from time to time, and there is so much stuff I canít ever imagine needing another system or edition. Not to thread jack, but as for your comments about social media, Iím guessing you ar...

Sunday, 20th January, 2019

  • 11:18 PM - TaranTheWanderer mentioned MNblockhead in post Blow Darts
    So, your suggestions have given me a couple ideas. How about this: With proficiency in poisoner's kit, a blow gun does 1pnt(as listed in PHB) of POISON damage. You need a long rest to re-apply/make the poison. In lieu of poison damage, if you hit, you may elect to have your opponent make a con save = to 8+proficiency in Poisoner's kit+INT. If they fail, they are poisoned for a number of rounds equal to the amount of damage you replace. So, to start, they'd be poisoned for 1rnd. If you take more time and make a more toxic poison that does, say, 1d3 damage, they are poisoned for 1d3 rounds. My idea is to just give the Stout halflings proficiency in poisoner's kit. As far as poisoning yourself, I think that if you are proficient in the kit, you are very unlikely to hurt yourself. I'd only make someone who has no proficiency make a check to poison themselves. MNblockhead In a fantasy game, having poison do a bit of damage could be partially from the dart or creating a localized bit of minor damage. having a very short term 'poisoned' condition could be from hives or itching or intense pain or whatever might distract or cause disadvantage.

Friday, 14th December, 2018

  • 05:11 PM - doctorbadwolf mentioned MNblockhead in post Matt Colvilleís Strongholds and Followers
    MNblockhead thanks for the reply, very informative. Sadly, it is definitely not just his fast spoken delivery. Iím from California, and I consume a lot more YouTube and podcast media than I do traditional video media, so fast talk is where I live. When I have to call the support center st work, and get someone from Vest Virginia, I feel like Iím at the DMV in Zootopia. People talk soooooooo slooooooowwww. He just annoys me. But, I donít think itís his diction, or vocabulary, or anything else that translates directly to print. I think itís just him. I watched his video on the Star Wars sequel movies vs the prequels, and I just couldnít stand the guy. Part of what annoys me about him is what annoys me about so many of my fellow Millenials, and GenX ppl. That is, the rampant deeply emotionally stubborn nostalgia. I...just donít experience nostalgia to anywhere near the same degree that others seem to, so when people seem to base their opinions strongly on it, I find it obnoxious. His line...

Wednesday, 12th December, 2018

  • 12:45 PM - dave2008 mentioned MNblockhead in post How to make an encounter with falling great distances interesting and dangerous, but not deadly?
    I agree with @MNblockhead - thank you for the recap. I think this is an interesting challenge and covers a lot a things that, out of the box, D&D doesn't do well. We really could use a DMG II or similar that covers more complex scenarios like this. One thing that got me thinking... Yeah, I really overlooked this. Twice, when they realized the fall was only 30 feet, the players sort of shrugged. I had further complications up my sleeve, so I was able to added twists when that happened (and I remembered to!), however it definitely dispelled the illusion of threat. This made me think once again about the falling rules. How about in addition to damage: every 30 feet of falling requires you to either take a level of exhaustion (thus 180' = death) or a roll on the lingering injury table. Or possibly a combination of the two. That way falling as some real consequences other than damage (which we all know is not a real consequence in D&D) ;)

Sunday, 2nd December, 2018

  • 05:08 PM - Parmandur mentioned MNblockhead in post Boxed Sets 2018 Style
    The key market for box sets isn't APs, it's settings, which simply aren't being given enough meat. MNblockhead specified Adventures, not other kinds of products. I don't see that a Ravnica box set would have had different contents, but would have cost more?

Tuesday, 30th October, 2018


Saturday, 8th September, 2018

  • 10:05 PM - epithet mentioned MNblockhead in post Curse of Strahd help (lots oí spoilers)
    I definitely agree that the Master of Ravenloft is a prisoner of the mists. Once you take up that power, your campaign is necessarily limited to consolidating your power in Barovia. I respectfully disagree with @MNblockhead with regard to the dark gift, however. While the dark gift of the Vampyre is currently necessary to rule the cursed land of Barovia, I think it is something that can be taken by charm, guile or force from one who currently possesses it, rather than strictly requiring the recipient to return to the original source. It just fits much better with vampire mythology in my mind. As I consider it, I would also require a special ritual casting of the 1st level cleric spell ceremony for the investiture of the new Master of Ravenloft, involving the shedding of the new Master's blood upon the soil of Barovia (as mentioned in the novel I, Strahd.) One thing I've been wondering is the possibility of freeing Barovia from the curse altogether. It seems that it should be possible to, for example, plane shift each amber vessel and its resident dark power to Carceri, or the astral plane, or somewhere removed from Barovia. If the Amber Temple were then hallowed, that should, in theory, completely brea...

Tuesday, 28th August, 2018

  • 07:35 AM - Coroc mentioned MNblockhead in post Interpreting Barbarian Rage in Non-combat Situations
    MNblockhead "Tell me more about how this would work in your games. First, the RAW does not seem to support this, beyond the DM determining how NPCs and creatures react to someone who is raging. In your example, would you, as the DM, decide that the player attacks the table? That's not really my style. I want the player to play their character and they decide how their character acts. Also, intimiation is a CHA check, so it would be waste to burn a rage to intimidate as it gives no mechanical advantage. " That is depending on the roleplaying of the player. The whole situation is a bit constructed and hypothetic but let us say it goes like this: Conan the thirsty roleplays his character being in absolute need for a drink. DM : The waiter seems to ignore you Player : I get really upset and clench my fist DM ruling you: get enraged and you want to hit something Player either playing along or DM ruling: Make a wis save to see if you control your rage if it fails you hit the table....


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Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

  • 08:17 PM - Bradley Hindman quoted MNblockhead in post Mythological Figures: Billy the Kid (5E)
    The first patent for a speedloader was in 1879 by William H. Bell: https://www.guns.com/news/2013/03/30/revolver-speedloaders So, if you allow revolvers, I see no reason not to assume use of speedloaders to get around non-fun loading time. It makes more sense than what we allow for crossbows in D&D. Even earlier than 1879, one could carry around pre-loaded spare cylinders. This was particularly useful for the older percussion cap pistols.

Friday, 14th June, 2019


Wednesday, 5th June, 2019

  • 12:20 PM - Doc_Klueless quoted MNblockhead in post Uneasy Partnerships
    ... and for my Meetup.com one-off games with strangers, I'll be trying out WeWork...If you don't mind, can you keep us updated on how this works out? I'm very curious.

Monday, 3rd June, 2019

  • 07:37 PM - barasawa quoted MNblockhead in post Quickstarting: On Your Mark, Get Set, Fund!
    The problem with short kickstarters is that I often do not hear about them until they are over. I don't want my e-mail flooded with ads, so I am very careful about filtering that out. My main source of information is the Kickstarter home page which recommends new projects based on my interests and the crowd-funding roundups published on EnWorld. For these "tiny print runs", I would hope that if they are a success they are made available on Drive Thru RPG as PDFs and print-on-demand, or available for order on the publisher's Web site. FGG is generally very good about getting all their material up for sale on their web site after a successful crowd-funding and I appreciate that. Pretty much the same for me. I often don't even find out about them until the 3rd or 4th week. Of course there is the issue of finances. The more expensive it is, the longer runup time I need to get some funds cleared up. Also, ending just before the beginning of the month also makes that harder since the end of the mo...

Thursday, 30th May, 2019

  • 07:16 AM - Parmandur quoted MNblockhead in post Another Look at the D&D Essentials Kit
    Yes, after Toys-R-Us shut down, the main source for most games and toys is probably Walmart and Target. I've read that Kaybee Toys may be making a come back, but its launch was pushed back. Games by James can be found in many malls, but you'd need to make a special trip for "games" rather than just "toys" or "gifts." At a Walmart or a Super Target, you can pick up up groceries, buy clothes, get necessities for the kitchen, common hardware, and you can pick up a birthday/x-mas gift from the toy aisles for your (grand)kid/niece/nephew/kid's schoolmate. I've actually been impressed with Target's game selection. It is small, but well curated. For hard-core gamers, you are not going to find anything new. But Target is a great way to introduce popular games to new gamers: Catan, Exploding Kittens, Cards Against Humanity, and D&D can be found among Monopoly, Scrabble, Operation, Sorry, and other classics. Target also stocks a decent selection of Magic the Gathering and Pokemon cards, right up next t...

Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

  • 04:57 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted MNblockhead in post Welcome to The Witcher RPG
    The crafting rules are totally right out of the videogame, too. My impression is that it would work better as a mini-campaign, too. We did a year-long play of an asymmetrical RPG (The Dresden Files) and after a while it just stopped being fun; I felt like I was just playing the sidekick to the one wizard. The one thing that might make this interesting is if you can apply the same amount of customization to your character in the TTRPG as you can in the CRPG. Not only with skill trees but with mutagens. Really don't see much point in playing anything BUT a witcher. My impression is that this seems best suited for a mini-campaign. But not having actually played the game, my impression is not worth much.

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 01:35 PM - lowkey13 quoted MNblockhead in post Mike Mearls interview re: Ghosts of Saltmarsh
    I'm so much more happier with this format than I would be for lots of splat books. A rules compendium would be nice eventually, but I don't know that I would buy it as I have D&D Beyond. Maybe a beautiful 50 year collectors edition. Compendiums suffer from the issue of getting out of date, unless the game becomes static. If you wan't all the rules in one place, and up-to-date, digital is the way to go. I agree, except the digital part. :) I have no problem (as I stated) with the current way they are doing things. The main observation that I have is this- It is fine to have setting- or AP-specific information in the setting or module. For example, if they have a Dark Sun release, it would be great to have the DS information in that release, and not in a splat book. It is also fine to have player options in different books- I expect that most players, to the extent they want to play an option, will get approval ahead of time and then are responsible for those rules. IMO, the on...

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 12:03 PM - Zardnaar quoted MNblockhead in post Dragon Reflections 21
    Is it strange to feel nostalgic about issues of Dragon that were published before I got into the hobby? Can't wait until we get to the 80s! Not really old Dragon has the same effect on me although I was reading it while it was in print.

Sunday, 19th May, 2019


Thursday, 16th May, 2019


Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

  • 05:15 AM - Parmandur quoted MNblockhead in post Fantasy Grounds Usage Stats Through Q1 2019: D&D Up, Pathfinder Down
    The growth in 5e will eventually result in the growth of other systems. There will be a number of people who will look to diversify the games they play or who get tired of D&D and want to try something else. It'll be interesting to see how long it will take to observe this trickle down effect. I would have thought we'd see more of this already. I started trying and buying other systems about a year after getting into 5e. Then again, I've never played a Fantasy Grounds game and I don't think any of the games I play other than D&D have FG support. I would imagine most of the trickle down will eventually go to games that do something substantially different thematically, if anything.
  • 05:11 AM - Gleb Igumnov quoted MNblockhead in post RPGs, Russia, and The City of the Steam Sun on IndieGoGo
    Great interview! Am interested to know why Kickstarter "doesn't work in Russia." Most probably some financial issues, at is was with PayPal for long years. Or maybe they think, that there will be lots of frauds. Sadly, our country reputation isn't the best.

Tuesday, 14th May, 2019

  • 12:48 AM - Hussar quoted MNblockhead in post Chris Gethard "plays" D&D on Beautiful Anonymous
    No. But it wasn't D&D, or any TTRPG for that matter. Amber Diceless would like to have a word. As would a huge swath of TTRPG's which don't rely or even heavily rely on mechanics. The notion that unless we're throwing dice, it's not really an RPG needs to die in a fire.

Monday, 13th May, 2019

  • 10:52 PM - insanity_rocks quoted MNblockhead in post Looking for paper miniatures for NPCs and/or Creatures
    I'm not familiar with the WotBS or what Seela are. But if you are looking for paper minis, check out Printable Heroes: https://printableheroes.com/minis One Monk Miniatures is another, you can find OMM on DriveThruRPG. Both Printable Heroes and OMM provide cut files, so you can use a paper-cutting machine like a Silhouette or Cricket to cut them out for you. When I can't find minis, I second Tormyr's advice. I find an image I want to use and use the Token Tools software from RPTools (https://www.rptools.net/toolbox/token-tool/) to make the token. Then I copy the token image many times on a letter sized sheet in MS Word or Publisher. I print it out and use a 1" diameter circle punch to punch them out. I use one like this (link), which allows me to see the image I'm punching out. Many punches assume that you are just cutting out colored paper and it is hard to line up to punch out an image. If you use card stock, you can just use these as your tokens. But I like to glue them t...
  • 02:49 PM - Umbran quoted MNblockhead in post Chris Gethard "plays" D&D on Beautiful Anonymous
    While I enjoy listening to Dragon Friends and other "live play" pod casts acted out by improv actors, I'm getting a bit tired of D&D as an improv session. "Doctor, it hurts when I do this!" "Well, then don't do that." If you are tired of a thing, stop consuming that thing. Turn off the podcast and find something you do like, instead. First, letting the dice determine the outcomes creates a more interesting dynamic to act against. Second, and for me most importantly, stripping out all the crunch and opportunities for tactics and rules mastery ruins it as a game, both as a player and as an audience member. Meh. To each their own. There are entire RPGs that don't have dice, or any random elements at all - for example, some use a resource pool and bidding mechanic. So, while you may prefer the randomness, we shouldn't speak like that's the only way to get the job done. You probably also need to remember that the podcast *isn't* a gaming experience. It is a separate ente...
  • 02:03 PM - Ancalagon quoted MNblockhead in post Chris Gethard "plays" D&D on Beautiful Anonymous
    Maybe not, but he was definitely trying to make this episode a comedy episode. Which is fine. I don't have an issue with slapstick D&D. It is that lack of any engagement with the mechanics. It wasn't D&D, it was just improv comedy with a generic fantasy theme.So they were having fun wrong?
  • 07:00 AM - Riley37 quoted MNblockhead in post Good, Evil, Nature, and Druids
    Has anyone played druids in the historical sense? Here are chapters 13 and 14 of Book 6 of Caesar's history of the Gallic Wars (or rather, a translation of them into English, thus losing or warping various nuances and connotations from the original Latin). You tell me: does this match your understanding of True Neutral? Chapter 13 Throughout all Gaul there are two orders of those men who are of any rank and dignity: for the commonality is held almost in the condition of slaves, and dares to undertake nothing of itself, and is admitted to no deliberation. The greater part, when they are pressed either by debt, or the large amount of their tributes, or the oppression of the more powerful, give themselves up in vassalage to the nobles, who possess over them the same rights without exception as masters over their slaves. But of these two orders, one is that of the Druids, the other that of the knights. The former are engaged in things sacred, conduct the public and the private sacrifices, an...

Sunday, 12th May, 2019

  • 08:21 AM - S'mon quoted MNblockhead in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    Having the monster and npc stats for 5e is all well in good, but what about skill checks and other mechanics that apply to the non-combat aspects of the game? How easy is it to determine appropriate DC values for picking locks, finding secret doors, etc.? I'm running the PF Rise of the Runelords & Shattered Star APs in 5e, so I have a lot* of experience with this. For skill DCs (and for ACs) you basically halve the value over 10, typically rounding down, eg PF > 5e 10 > 10 15 > 12 20 > 15 30 > 20 35 > 22 40 > 25 45 > 27 50 > 30 I wouldn't go over DC 30. For stuff that would allow a Take 20 in PF such as long term research, I may use a straight halving of the DC, so 55 > 27. I don't think I've seen a PF DC over 55 yet. *PCs have gone from 1st to 20th, we have played most of Runelords books 2-5, all of Shattered Star books 1-4, and are currently about 2/3 through Shattered Star book 5. Will likely play Shattered Star 6; may or may not play Runelords 6 (Karzoug may end up ...
  • 06:47 AM - mach1.9pants quoted MNblockhead in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    I guess I'm spoiled by Kobold Press and Frog God Games Kickstarters. I just do not see the value here and the risk seems high given their track record. If it ever makes it to my FLGS shelves, I'll take a look at it, but I'm going to pass on backing the crowdfunding effort. 'track record'? This is Paizo's first crowd funding effort, the previous ones were by (admittedly endorsed) 3PP. I can't see this doing anything but going well. But it will be all in retail, so not a huge problem -apart from the coins type stuff. You'll pay more but that's normal.


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