View Profile: Ath-kethin - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 11:52 AM
    I have a homebrew world in which Lovecraftian Horrors From Beyond Space And Time (TM) invaded and the survivors fled underground, activated a massive magical reaction that hollowed out the planet and formed a "sun" in the middle that prevents the LHFBSAT(TM) from entering the newly hollow planet so civilizations reformed on the inner side of the planet's crust. Real-world science is obviously...
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 01:15 AM
    You might be interested in some of our stuff. We introduced the concept of character kits in Midnight in the City of Brass, which you can check out HERE, with a free preview available HERE. We also have a free document discussing some of our design choices and approaches (particularly to our interpretation of the sha'ir, which is one of the kits we included above) available HERE. After long...
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 04:39 PM
    The greatest fun of Dragonlance novels was the myriad author's who clearly knew nothing about the world and/or repurposed books written for other worlds. The biggest problem with the novels is the same. It's also fun to track the "let's hire Weis & Hickman to churn out a novel series to legitimitize the latest mechanical changes to the game" operations. It's painfully obvious 9nce you notice...
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 04:33 PM
    I go "agnostic" by the given chart. I like the Eberron approach to gods (which was presaged by Al-Qadim years prior). I'm not a fan of the gods-are-just-big-monsters approach to divinity, no matter how ingrained in the system it is. Actually, that's not true; I love the contrast of including the Lovecraftian Elder Gods alongside the "civilized" pantheons. So you'll probably never meet your god...
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About Ath-kethin

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DM for 5e Primeval Thule campaign

Thursday, 20th June, 2019

Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

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Friday, 9th November, 2018

  • 05:53 PM - Hawk Diesel mentioned Ath-kethin in post Revamping the Warlock
    Sword of Spirit - That certainly looks like a detailed graph. I will take a look a bit later. But I agree that the Warlock could play more like a spellcaster with the right build. But if the Warlock is supposed to be a true spellcaster in the vein of the sorcerer or warlock, you shouldn't need to build it to make it feel or function like that. Which once again, at least to me, supports the idea that a Warlock shouldn't be a spellcaster. The mechanics don't really support a strong enough identity for players to know how to build a functional warlock build without a good deal of system mastery. To me, that seems like a problem, since a player using a sorcerer or a wizard does not need advanced system mastery to play those classes as they are intended to play by the designers. So, the choice seems to either lean into the spellcasting aspect, or disregard it. I am more in favor of the later. Ath-kethin - That is awesome! I am a huge proponent for reskinning class abilities to make them seem more thematic. Not terribly familiar with Thule, so it might be worth checking out to prune for ideas and inspiration. 1) Eldritch Blast. Maintain it as a cantrip, or move it to be a class feature? Does the warlock still need cantrips? If it becomes a class feature, does it need more invocation support? (I can see a place for a lot of the 3.5 era shape and essence invocations.) I believe Eldritch Blast should transition from a cantrip to a class feature granted at level 1. I think it should automatically start with gaining Charisma mod to add to damage. And I think that Extra Beams should be a class feature akin to the Fighter. This way, one could theoretically stop it at level 11 with 3 blasts, similar to the fighter, or allow all 4. This would limit abuse of Eldritch Blast since it would no longer advance with character level, but warlock class level. However, I personally would give...

Wednesday, 8th August, 2018

  • 01:15 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Ath-kethin in post Forum Suddenly Switched How Named Are Displayed?
    My obvious reply though is going to be... at the point where you’re choosing to use the desktop version of the site with your smartphone instead of the mobile site intended for smartphones, you’re creating your own problem and shouldn’t be listened to specific to that use case. I can't speak for everyone, but I will add my 2 cents to what @Ath-kethin and what @MNblockhead wrote. I find that the mobile appearance is atrocious. Even when I am on my smartphone (or tablet) I use the desktop appearance. Apparently, that is not uncommon. I don't think that is a very rare use case at all. (Also, the new appearance is much worse for those of us who use smartphones and the desktop appearance, at least IMO.)

Friday, 27th April, 2018

  • 08:44 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned Ath-kethin in post What happens to the "suboptimal?"
    ...ays succeeded and always did well because it wasn't challenging. We remember when the PC who has challenges overcame the challenge (either through luck, or creative play) to win the day. Flaws and weaknesses are what accentuates the strengths and heroic actions. Yes to this. Playing the way the hive mind wants ("must max your main stat!", "only use certain race/class combos!", "don't take spells that are red or brown on the interweb lists!", etc) results in a less memorable experience, IMO. Which is kind of missing the point of the fun of playing. Suddenly everything is very samey and mechanical and about "winning" with very little flavor. It's the heroic failures and unlikely victories that make for the grand stories we tell years from now. No group will wax poetic (or want to listen to the hyper-optimizing player who remembers) about the UA Revised Ranger Wood Elf who single-handedly wiped out the low level humanoids in that one combat. I'll take @ccs's Halfling Barbarian or @Ath-kethin's grappling VHuman Warlock or @Warpiglet's Hobgoblin Celestial Warlock in a party any day.

Tuesday, 5th December, 2017

  • 07:23 AM - Wulffolk mentioned Ath-kethin in post Making weapon choice matter
    Ath-kethin and ART! I started a thread about that exact same idea a little while back. It received mixed responses, but in the end I dropped it because I was headed in the direction of re-writing the entire game. Anyways, here is the link to that thread. Maybe there is something there that you will find interesting.

Monday, 12th June, 2017

  • 05:37 AM - Hawk Diesel mentioned Ath-kethin in post Eberron - Mourning causing a PC's warlock's powers?
    Yes, I completely agree with Ath-kethin. Perhaps the Mourning was a kind of catalyst that allowed the player to develop powers, kinda like in comic books (Hulk anyone?). If you want it traced back to one of the Rakshasa or Lords of Dust, it could be that one of them influenced this player unknowingly, because it was connected to the Prophecy as a means to further the freeing of one of the Overlords. The rakshasa/Lord of Dust would not be so much a patron, but a manipulator nurturing along part of the Prophecy and using the player as a pawn in furthering it's own goals. Alternatively, you could always say it's the Traveler. Even if it's not, you could always say it. That is why the Traveler is interesting. His ways are mysterious, he is the only deity believed to actually walk upon Eberron, and also seems mischievous enough that when ever things go wrong or wonky, the Traveler is a reasonable, even if incorrect, suspect.

Saturday, 10th June, 2017

Tuesday, 6th June, 2017

  • 09:58 PM - Mouseferatu mentioned Ath-kethin in post EN5ider Turns 150 With Ari Marmell's TIDES OF BATTLE - Cinematic Stunts for 5E!
    Ath-kethin, While I haven't seen the final draft, so I don't know how it might have changed in development, when I wrote that stunt, it increased your place in an initiative order that had already been established. Since (by the core rules), you only roll init once, there was no roll to apply advantage to; you just moved up in the init order by +5. :) (If you're using any of the optional systems where you roll init every round, I would suggest it simply give you advantage on init the round after you use it.)

Sunday, 4th June, 2017

  • 07:01 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Ath-kethin in post Hit Point Maximum and Exhaustion
    Ath-kethin My thinking is that the wording of the Exhaustion rules is different from the wording of the Wraith's Life Drain. The Wraith's Life Drain clearly inflicts damage and reduces maximum HP value. Exhaustion does not. Approach #1 is correct. However, it's worth pointing out that effects of Exhaustion are cumulative, so at Exhaustion level 4, the poor PC would suffer... disadvantage on ability checks speed hlaved disadvantage on attacks and saves hit point maximum halved

Saturday, 13th May, 2017

  • 08:45 PM - Tormyr mentioned Ath-kethin in post Greetings! Need Some Help (newer to DMING)
    What kind of maps are you looking for (i.e. regional, town, encounter, etc.)? Different maps have different tricks to put them together quickly such as what @Ath-kethin mentioned. Do you have access to a large format printer? What physical size of maps are you looking to make?

Monday, 17th April, 2017

  • 11:56 PM - Kobold Stew mentioned Ath-kethin in post Unearthed Arcana: Get Better At Skills With These Feats
    ... now lose the ability to specialize through these skills (in that their benefit from the feats is smaller than another class). While it is not spelled out, the only way to preserve the niche held by these classes would be to allow the expertise granted by these feats to stack (i.e. to give triple the proficiency bonus, not double). That will bend the limits of the game, but would help keep the rogue and the knowledge cleric distinct. (I am not sure the Bard needs more benefits). Since all of these feats can grant expertise as well as +1 to a related stat, all of them end up more powerful than a feat such as Skilled. The third bullet point, then is gravy on top of an already strong feat. I can't help feel many of these will be appealing to players, and that part of the reason is that they are all strong. I can think of cases where I would take these even without the bonus to the associated ability. I will say, I think they have balanced the feats that grant spells (or, better as Ath-kethin suggests, spell-like but nonmagical abilities) well: iI still suspect the bonus to the relevant stat is too much -- expertise on a skill and a 1st-level spell (and in three cases a multi-use, flavourful, but non-damaging cantrip), should be enough for a full feat; still, they have constrained the choice of first-level spell and limited the available cantrip.
  • 11:20 PM - Gradine mentioned Ath-kethin in post Unearthed Arcana: Get Better At Skills With These Feats
    ...t. Diplomat, Empathic and Menacing are all also things I don't think you should need a feat to do. I'd even make the argument for Medic and maybe even Historian (though I personally love the flavor of that ability, if nothing else). I get that some of the other ribbon abilities just let you do things better or more quickly, but the action economy isn't that important outside of combat, where needing to use such skills might be. The spells are thematic and neat and not particularly game-breaking in any sense. I was about to quibble about Theologian's detect good and evil but I forgot they radically changed what that spell does without giving it an appropriate name change and I think it fits. Alarm is still a terrible fit for Survival, it seems to me that there is a lot of design space around the skill they could have figured out something a little more interesting. And double proficiency is seriously fine; remember that a feat is a huge investment, even with the +1 ASI. I'll echo what Ath-kethin had say; there's nothing wrong with a character wanting to specialize to such a degree that they are essentially grandmasters in their field. Especially something as mundane as a skill, which can become a character-defining trait without throwing the balance of an adventure out of whack (seeing as the point of challenges in an RPG are to be overcome, and D&D does not traffic in degrees of success). Sure, Char-opers might have a field day with Perceptive, but what're you gonna do? Char-opers gonna char-op. Besides, they're already doing that with Observant, which seems more useful and relevant to their goals anyways. I'd think throwing Perceptive on top of that would be overkill and a waste of a good feat/ASI.

Thursday, 9th March, 2017

  • 03:48 AM - Prakriti mentioned Ath-kethin in post Check Out The First 3 Pages Of TALES FROM THE YAWNING PORTAL
    The words "Draft" would have been enough to give it a pass. But this has the appearance of being the copy that's going to be sent to the printers. After all the map/key trouble they've had you'd think it would be a little more of a concern! :) Yep. The errors in the Volo's Guide previews were never corrected, so I wouldn't expect these to be corrected either. And as a compulsive copy-editor, I share Ath-kethin's chagrin. All the books have had significant errors, and sometimes they are big enough to cause confusion, such as this wonderful example from Storm King's Thunder: "The couatl knows that Wormblod is away, searching for a missing concubine named If the characters present proof [...]" (p. 88). There is clearly a name and a period missing between "named" and "If."

Monday, 27th February, 2017

  • 12:27 AM - Flareanthia mentioned Ath-kethin in post Help a rogue with her special item wish list
    ...thes water, and figured that I MIGHT be able to talk a sea creature into doing my bidding. Now that I look at it again however, I think it might totally work. This would be a spell and one of three charges, so it would probably make it harder for a DM to go "mmm nah, the fish don't listen to you" lol XD But Wave? OH MY GOSH!! Yeah that might be too powerful, but I want it!!! It is sentient? It SINGS?! I want that item so much now, going to the top of my list! XD And yeah, after all your suggestions I am going to ask if the Trident can be made with finesse. I really really want to use a trident, I am a "Triton" for crying out loud! >XD (My DM has been pretty awesome and flexible with my nuts requests so far, so I think it will be fine heheh) x3 And... Foldable boat? Foldable boat?! WooHOO that looks fanTASTIC! I didn't know THAT was a thing either! Definitely being added to the wishes, aawh, I am so glad there are people who know more of the game for me to throw out my questions~ Ath-kethin In all honesty I love RPing in dungeons and Dragons, way more than I do fighting! So I gravitate towards items or weapons with flare, more than I do toward a weapon that is strong just for the sake of min-maxing. But saying that, suggestions so far have been so interesting! I have to say, I've posted questions here twice and so far, absolutely no disappointments! You people know what you're talking about. So yes! Immovable rods sounds like an excellent idea and I shall be adding that to my wishlist (someone else suggested it too! It's a really great idea :D ) Oooh ring of the ram sounds like you could get really creative! XD And hmmmm, a boost to charisma item? Sorry, you've already given me such great suggestions, would it be okay though for you to give me some examples?? :3 Would the item for Dex be something like the gauntlets of ogre strength per chance?? (I only know those cause an ally of mine got them last session XD ) KahlessNestor sadly mariner's armour would not do me much...

Thursday, 2nd February, 2017

  • 10:21 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Ath-kethin in post Creating The Bonfire: Help with a BBEG?
    Ath-kethin That would be a twist! I was reading in Secrets of the Lamp that: In fact, the amir has actually been kidnapped by the Brotherhood of the True Flame, who keep him languishing in the fortress of their dreaded leader, the Bonfire, deep within the Great Anvil.

Tuesday, 13th December, 2016

  • 11:15 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Ath-kethin in post What do the PCs find in a City of the Jann?
    I like the idea of transplanar hyper-elemental storms being sent by, or disguising, malevolent beings trying to breach the city's defenses. Genius! Thanks Ath-kethin! Now that I'm getting a better feel of the City of the Jann (more elemental ultra-mercantile jann, planeshifting, hidden, labyrinthine, wondrous, material & ethereal, dark side of guest hospitality), I think it's time to envision some potential encounters for my players... So I'm thinking of two 2d10 encounter tables, one for Material Plane and one for Border Ethereal, with some overlapping entries... What would be interesting and apropos here? I'll take a first stab at it... using these probabilities as my guide... Very rare (2-3 and 19-20) 6% chance Rare (4-5 and 17-18) 14% chance Uncommon (6-7 and 15-16) 22% chance Common (8-14) 58% chance Qaybar, City of the Jann (Material Plane) Encounters (2d10) 2 Brotherhood of the True Flame (see sub-table) – this entry is an ongoing threat in the campaign 3 Invisible stalker sent by an NPC 4 Jann infighting 5 Jann duplicity (see sub-table) 6 Sandstorm (Arabian Adventures p.82) blankets the city, horns sound as gates are ...

Monday, 28th November, 2016

  • 09:26 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Ath-kethin in post [5e] QL's Al-Qadim Game Rogue's Gallery ➤OOC Thread (you're here now) Play Thread Map of Zakhara 2875 × 4025 This is an 11th level Al-Qadim game using the D&D 5th edition rules, playtesting high-level material me and a team are working on for the forthcoming Al-Qadim Adventurer's Guide. Currently we have 6 players, and are full. My intention for the game is to adapt original material, Object of Desire (Dungeon #50), Blood and Fire (Dungeon #63), the high-level scenarios from ALQ3 A Dozen and One Adventures, and ALQ4 Secrets of the Lamp to run a game from 11th - 16th level (or however high we get). There's a big theme of fighting the Brotherhood of True Flame. As a DM I like to include a well-balanced diversity of challenges, opportunities for exploration, Prince of Persia style traps, plentiful humor, lots of great acting, dark intrigue, even romance if folks want, some moral dilemmas, and lots of scimitar and spell-slinging action. ...

Wednesday, 2nd March, 2016

  • 08:05 PM - Rune mentioned Ath-kethin in post How do I get a signature?
    Ath-kethin: as an unrelated aside (since you already have your answers), may I propose an alternate definition of "plot" to the one in your sig? Plot: what the players make of the DM's setting.

Thursday, 4th February, 2016

  • 11:59 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Ath-kethin in post Al-Qadim: Land of Fate (5e conversion)
    Thanks DrOct Ath-kethin also made the point that I should resolve any issues of income from the project, since there's a few folks getting involved now :) In the beginning it was just me, so it's awesome to see MessiahMushroom, Ath-kethin, and several others contributing things. I'm thinking we'll offer it "pay what you want", and after any commissioned/purchased art costs are deducted, remaining profit would be donated to a charity like St. Jude's or American Red Cross. That way, it's clear this is for the love of the setting, not making money, and there's no bad feelings later. Hopefully, what this will do is provide a common touchstone for anyone wanting to write DM's Guild products dealing with AL-QADIM in the future. Say you want to put together an AL-QADIM adventure, a monster book, or a class supplement? You could reference the Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara in your work. I think this plays to one of the strengths of DM's Guild which is that, ideally, it allows sharing of ideas and linking of p...
  • 05:54 AM - Quickleaf mentioned Ath-kethin in post Al-Qadim: Land of Fate (5e conversion)
    Ok as per Ath-kethin's recommendation, I sent an email to Karl Waller, the artist who did the fantastic black and white illustrations in the Al-Qadim products, to boldly ask if he'd like to donate a piece of art. Such a weird feeling mailing an artist who had a big influence on my imagination as a boy. Keeping my fingers crossed! You can see an early working PDF of the Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara here:

Wednesday, 3rd February, 2016

  • 05:02 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Ath-kethin in post Al-Qadim: Land of Fate (5e conversion)
    Ath-kethin Thanks for the editing! I didn't expect anyone to jump on the editing until it was further along, so your critique is much appreciated :) I made all the changes you recommended. For the weapons vs. genies: 2) Why add the ghul? It seems an odd pairing, given how much hatred exists between the genies and the ghuls. The alliteration in the name is great though I see. So you're envisioning that some enemy of the genies made these weapons, so logically that creator wouldn't want to make a weapon vs. ghuls since "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." That's certainly one way to imagine the story of how these weapons came to be. But it's also certainly not the only story we could imagine. My thinking was more along the lines of: Hey, players in AQ go up against ghuls just as much as other genies. Shouldn't there be a weapon specially suited to fighting ghuls? To be fair, I considered jann as well, but they usually aren't adversaries...I suppose I could remedy that...

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Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 01:44 AM - Man in the Funny Hat quoted Ath-kethin in post Jonathan Tweet: Prologue to Third Edition
    3.5 was planned well before 3e was even released; Monte Cook wrote about it at some length back in 2003 and I believe the article was published or reposted on this very site. There was no "necessary revision," just a long(er) game marketing strategy.3.5, certainly at the time of its release, did NOT make everybody happy. What Monte wrote about the backlash some time after 3.5 was that, yes, an update/revision to the 3E rules was always part of the plan, but not nearly that soon. However, the bean counters jumped the gun on it when 3E profits began to slip somewhat and said, "Get new versions of everything we've done with 3E so far, and get them out there ASAP, whether anyone is actually asking for them or not, and damn the original schedule along with the torpedoes. Moar Profitts ahead!" Most people will probably admit that most of the changes for 3.5 were ultimately for the better, but at the time - if you went along with it - it meant replacing a lot of books and material that was only 3 ye...

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 06:21 PM - Parmandur quoted Ath-kethin in post Another Look at the D&D Essentials Kit
    Unless there's a big difference in price or content (and there doesn't seem to be), I'll wait til September and pick it up at my FLGS. It's cool that Target will carry the set, but they sure don't need my money and my FLGS sure does. I have no use for DDB, but whatever - it sure doesn't hurt me for other people to have it. Target already gets enough of my money for diapers.

Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 01:37 PM - jaelis quoted Ath-kethin in post Capturing Souls
    The spell sequester captures creatures in a gemstone and lasts until dispelled. That's not really what sequester does, it puts a (willing) creature in suspended animation and hides it away. AFAIK the gemstone trapping is part of imprisonment in 5e?
  • 04:01 AM - Sword of Spirit quoted Ath-kethin in post Capturing Souls
    The spell sequester captures creatures in a gemstone and lasts until dispelled. Yak folk also have a magic jar type ability. Dunno if you are interested in monsters in addition to spells and items, but there it is. Where are 5e yak folk?

Monday, 25th February, 2019

  • 04:01 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Ath-kethin in post The New D&D Book Is Called "Ghosts of Saltmarsh" [UPDATED!]
    Nice try, but we won't be made happy just by giving us exactly what we've been demanding! Heh. This assumes that what they're giving is indeed exactly what people want. The problem I have with YP and likely this is that they're just fairly minimal effort ports of forty year old old modules. The older modules are great in many ways, but they have a lot of flaws or design choices that were normal back then but aren't so great now. It's like putting out a greatest hits with direct transfers from masters done years ago. Or if you want another analogy, try playing a classic FPS like Doom on a modern system without a good emulator. More broadly, I'm really not a fan of the "wide net" style trying to get me to buy each book where I won't use or even consider over half the content. It feels quite overtly manipulative. The last WotC book I bought was Mordenkainen's, which was just loaded with a lot of fluff I didn't care about and was thinner on the monsters I did. I'm fairly sure I haven't us...

Sunday, 24th February, 2019

  • 08:55 PM - dnd4vr quoted Ath-kethin in post Anyone want Brownies?
    Listen. When I condescendingly point you toward looking at a book, it's unfair of you to assume I read and understood it myself. That is to say, I always round up, and I could have sworn that's what the instructions said. Did it change in errata or do I really just not remember it correctly? #putinmyplace #gladsomeoneelsechecked LOL! Well, I would love to put you in your place more, but I can't. ;) You have NO idea how long it took me to understand the process and even now I still question the longer "stat block" system when you start taking everything else into consideration. Either way, I toyed with making the CR 1/2 or 1 from the beginning. Quasits and Imps are both CR 1 I think, but the Pseudodragon is only CR 1/4. I wanted something comparable to present to the DM as a new familiar for my wizard. Now I am writing up the extra benefits it would confer. And I don't mind having things challenged, it makes me focus those things for later on when I talk it over with the DM. :)
  • 05:38 PM - dnd4vr quoted Ath-kethin in post Anyone want Brownies?
    I did the math on this one per DMG guidelines. It comes to defensive CR 1 and offensive CR 1/4. 1 + 1/4 = 1.25. divide by 2 comes to more than 1/2, so round up to 1. It's a relatively weak CR 1, but by the math that where it lands. EDIT: people, there's no need to guesswork. There are literally formulas to work this stuff out, and I'm confident you all have the book in which they appear. LOL, I did the math as well, and you should check your work. Defense: 7 hp would be CR 1/8, increased to CR 1/4 because of AC 13 increased to AC 15 raises CR level one stage (1/8 to 1/4) Offense: 7 damage would be CR 1/2, increased to CR 1 because of attack +3 increased to attack +6 raises CR level one stage (1/2 to 1) So, maybe you just put them down backwards because the Defensive CR is only 1/4 while the Offensive CR is 1. The total is still 1.25, divided by 2 is 0.625. Also, you are rounding in the wrong direction. "Rounding the average up or down to the nearest challenge rating to determine your monst...
  • 01:37 PM - dnd4vr quoted Ath-kethin in post Anyone want Brownies?
    Resistance to poison should go in the Resistances line of the stat block, not buried within another trait. Overall I like it. Thanks. I added Damage Resistances to reflect that, but it really belongs in both so I kept the Stout Resistance below as well. CR is almost completely meant to be a measure of how much damage the Monster can a) dish out, and b) take. Your brownie can take none, and barely dishes out any either. By the guidelines in the DMG (Page 274) your brownie reaches the low end of CR 1/4, and based on my own experience homebrewing monsters, I'd peg it at CR 1/8 because it's hp are sooooo low. The CR reflects many other abilities as well but you have a point. I started at CR 1/2 and bumped it due to a lot of the extras (comparing it to other special familiar types), and realized the other CR 1's have A LOT more resistances, so decreased it back to 1/2. Due to the good AC, decent attack bonus, and other abilities, I wouldn't go less than CR 1/2.

Tuesday, 19th February, 2019

  • 06:18 AM - MNblockhead quoted Ath-kethin in post Guides for a New Young DM?
    There is literally a book called the Dungeon Master's Guide. And the best thing is, you probably already own it! The abbreviated Basic version is also a great starting point. Experience is the best teacher. This. Really, this is all you need. Rather than reading lots of how-to guides, browse the DMG and then watch some recorded live-play streams. I recommend anything run by Chris Perkins. A while back, Chris Perkins recorded some videos where he ran a game for the Robot Chicken writers that included voice over explaining what he was doing and giving other advice. The purpose was to help new DMs see how to run a game and give advice. It was for 4th edition, but I think they are still excellent and applicable. Another good one to watch is the Celebrity UK game with a group of new players, so he is explaining the rules as he runs the game. Again, it is for 4e, but still worth a watch.

Sunday, 17th February, 2019

  • 10:25 AM - S'mon quoted Ath-kethin in post Primeval Thule 5e
    I never used the Spider God's Bride itself, largely because it has a plot development almost identical to one of the Thule adventures, but one of the other modules in the book fit into my campaign (which was largely set in Quodeth itself and running with the city's very Lankhmar roots) perfectly. I may well give it another look later - I wanted some nice easy-to-port stuff to get my Tuesday night game off the ground, so the Midlands short adventures looked best.
  • 08:12 AM - S'mon quoted Ath-kethin in post Primeval Thule 5e
    Another great resource I use in my Primeval Thule campaigns is the World of Xoth stuff by Morten Braten. It's all written for Pathfinder so it's pretty easy to convert. The website has a couple of freebies but the main PDFs are really reasonably priced. When I was looking for Thule suitable third party resources I looked hard at using The Spider God's Bride adventures, but ultimately rejected the idea. Reasons: 1. They are very much written with a 'Conan in Zamora/Shem/Zamboula' type feel, which is surprisingly distant from Thule's tone. They're very Orientalist, versus Thule's more of a Lost World feel. 2. They are mostly set in deserts and dry plains, non-Thulean terrain. 3. They are rather over-written (rather like Paizo stuff) in the interest of creating a baroque mood, and I was finding them hard to decipher given they would need extensive conversion for play. Not a bad product if you are running a specifically Conan game set in his typical adventuri...

Tuesday, 5th February, 2019

  • 03:45 AM - quoted Ath-kethin in post How to Make the Fey Less Twee
    How can I make the fey into something they'd actually respect? Either as adversaries or as allies. Respect, or fear? Do you want your players to see some fae and run away screaming? Do you want them to pay humble respects in the presence of fae? It's not terribly difficult to present horrifying creatures, but it is difficult to get people to take horror seriously. It's a problem I've had attempting to run Ravenloft and CoC. There's no giant flesh-eating, mind-warping monster in front of their faces to truly terrorize them, it's just words and your attempt to describe the indescribable and it's difficult to describe the indescribable without making it sound silly. Like, have you ever looked at pictures of great old ones? It's more goofy than it is terrifying. Granted in person it would be terrifying. But as a picture or a description they're all well...pretty describable. I think this puts it best: Fey are powerful, irresponsible, and unaccountable. Most common folk should be and wo...

Monday, 4th February, 2019

  • 09:11 PM - jayoungr quoted Ath-kethin in post How to Make the Fey Less Twee
    What level are your PCs? None, yet. I'm just in the basic "thinking about it" stage. And who knows what horrors the fey keep in check? Like, for example--? :) Give them Redcaps and Changelings. I thought about that, but even Redcaps and Changelings seem ... petty, somehow. Small-scale. Is there a way to make fey dignified, something that would make your first reaction not be to crack a joke about them? Trap them in the Feywild for eating and drinking the food at a Fey-hosted party. Would be nice if I could pull that off, but I fear my players are too genre-savvy. Also, I'm afraid they'll hear that, think "Fairy tale, kid stuff!" and check out.

Saturday, 2nd February, 2019

  • 12:14 PM - rgoodbb quoted Ath-kethin in post what would you want to see in a revised Weapon Chart?
    My solution to the weapon table issue was to remove it. Not the issue, the weapon table. The idea I floated was having the damage a character does with their weapon be equal to the character's Hit Die. So no matter what weapon a barbarian wields, it does 1d12 damage. No matter what weapon a sorcerer wields, it does 1d6 damage. Etc. This allows more interesting character visuals (a knife-wielding fighter, for example) and makes them all viable. A barbarian or fighter just knows how to hurt something better than a wizard does, regardless of the tool they are using. Caveat: my campaigns do not use multiclassing, but I don't see why it would cause an issue to use the highest Hit Die of your classes. Also, nobody in my campaigns ever took stuff like Polearm Master so I can't speak for issues those feats might cause. But the idea was very popular in my groups and worked well for us. I like this idea, but my electro-katana-vorpal-spiked-chain wielding sorcerer certainly does not!

Wednesday, 30th January, 2019

  • 07:19 AM - S'mon quoted Ath-kethin in post Third Party Highlights?
    The Primeval Thule Campaign Setting and it's supplements is far and away my favorite 3rd Party 5e product line. It was all written before there was an official 5e SRD and OGL, so the phrasing is a bit off from 5e standards, but the book is amazing anyway. A lot depends on what you like, of course. Thule was pitched as "Conan meets Cthulhu," and that's right up my alley. There are a lot of great things about Thule, and I just started running it! :)

Wednesday, 19th December, 2018

Friday, 14th December, 2018

  • 04:39 PM - SkidAce quoted Ath-kethin in post Most frustrating quirk of 5E?
    My main beefs with 5e are the way all wizards end up being the same and how warlocks totally got the short end of the stick. I'm not tracking on this. Our most recent wizard was an evocation specialist and mostly had all "destruction" spells. He said he was a "Battle Mage". The one before that (we dont always have one) specced in rituals, knowledge, divination, and controlling type spells. Plus she took Magic Initiate (Cleric).

Tuesday, 4th December, 2018

  • 10:52 PM - Yunru quoted Ath-kethin in post A Better Spell Damage Guide
    I've said it before: I think the best sign that 5e is an incredibly well-designed and balanced system is that people actually whine about how fighters are too powerful compared to wizards. Apologies, but my initial chart is both too powerful when compared to the Fighter's damage, and an exact(ish) match for how the worthwhile damage spells currently in the game scale. In other words the current best spells are too powerful by a serious magnitude. Of course, the guildlines they have currently are half of what they should be. EDIT: Right, separated out my personal from the vanilla one.

Monday, 19th November, 2018

Saturday, 17th November, 2018

  • 04:05 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Ath-kethin in post Unearthed Arcana: of ships and the sea
    But there you run into the fundamental problem I have with the 5e wizard/subclass setup: for at least one level, the wizard casts spells, just like any other. So with the Artificer, what happens? You cast spells for a level or two then stop being able to because you use the spell slots for something else? That's doesn't feel right to me. And it's part of why wizards in general don't feel right to me in 5e: they're too much of all the same. A "speciality" that's as a much a ribbon ability as anything else notwithstanding. My opinion carries little to no weight. But I strongly feel that an Artificer simply won't work right by hanging it on the bones of an existing class - particularly the 5e wizard. A couple things. 1. The artificer can assuming have its subclass come in at level 1. 2. No full caster in the game is a wizard clone, so I’m unsure why you’re worried that an artificer would be. 3. Having other uses of spell slots wouldn’t make the artificer unable to use spells, i...

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