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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 11:41 AM
    While I'm excited to hear that the old cast is returning (or at least, those that are still alive), my common sense is screaming that this is a bad idea. Maybe it is the Indy 4 syndrome.
    143 replies | 6486 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 11:39 AM
    3E: Armor class now makes some sense, this is what made me accept 3rd edition.
    33 replies | 1005 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 11:57 AM
    Name: Avery Tain, the brightsmith's daughter Race: Human Sex: Female Appearance: Early 20's, dark blonde hair, freckled, constant smudges from the forge on her cheeks and hands, wears a flaired doublet. Experience: Gifted with a quick and creative mind, Avery has set up several small-scale street criminals using specially marked silver-works and she has earned a small reputation among the...
    10 replies | 343 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:26 PM
    I would steer the plot towards a peace treaty, where one group tries to assasinate the other. The best location for that would be a multi-story building, like a theater or a government building. I could imagine that the nobles start to realize that some sort of a solution must be found in regards to all the criminal gangs, so they offer the leader of each gang a seat in governing the city. They...
    13 replies | 470 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:23 AM
    A gang war where the leaders of both thieves guilds duke it out in a predetermined spot seems very Gangs of New York, but not at all how I'd imagine thieves would prefer to resolve a dispute. Have the halflings really exhausted all other options, like discrediting, hedging out of a key market, buying off contacts, blackmailing a noble, assassination, etc.? As far as your idea to pick a...
    13 replies | 470 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 07:07 AM
    Get the core 4 right first. Then move into 4 other classes by power source. Divine, Arcane, Martial, Primal, Psionic.
    29 replies | 1171 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 07:45 AM
    What makes a great GM? 1. A great GM is able to improvize on the spot, even when the players go off the beaten path, or do something completely unexpected. 2. A great DM allows his players to surprise him, and rolls with whatever the players come up with. He facilitates their ideas and does not block them. 3. A great DM is able to make his fictional world come alive, whether this is an...
    18 replies | 717 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 11:05 PM
    Elfquest. Letís see that done the way it was meant to be done.
    20 replies | 673 view(s)
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  • 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 | 2567 view(s)
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  • 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 | 2567 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 11:54 AM
    Not only that, but fighting and killing monsters can be very light hearted and fun. Where as rape is never any of those two things, not even when it is fictionalized. Wether torture belongs in a D&D campaign is a point of discussion. It's not something I would throw at players at a con either, and always discuss with the players before introducing it in a campaign.
    419 replies | 17095 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 11:59 AM
    Quick question, if you already own the original Betrayal at House on the Hill (as I do), how much added value is there in buying the legacy version?
    53 replies | 5076 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 11:58 AM
    "Fanatics make unreliable allies" -Garret, from the game Thief the Dark project
    71 replies | 5520 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 09:32 PM
    I've ran multiple adult campaigns in my life, some of which included sexual (consensual) content. But I would never dare to run any such campaign at a con with random people, and I would always inform my players what they are about to play, and discuss how I intend to deal with the more edgy material. Usually it involves a 'fade to black', because playing out what exactly happens is just gross...
    419 replies | 17095 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 08:43 PM
    Iíd advise you not to play it, since youíre asking.
    245 replies | 10083 view(s)
    1 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 | 10083 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 | 10083 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 | 10083 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 11:50 AM
    And for this reason session 0's were invented. Discuss which themes and topics may come up in your campaign before you start subjecting your players to it. If for example you run a horror campaign, then body horror may be part of the game, and thats fine... but where are the limits? It is incredibly important to get all your players on the same page. It doesn't sound like this DM really cared for...
    419 replies | 17095 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 10:28 PM
    At my table, The world exists for the players. Because it is their sandbox, it must be a space in which they can play, explore, create, and destroy. That doesnít mean things are static but for player involvement. But it does mean that the majority of my design focuses on things in their proximity more than things outside that area. This holds true even for established, well-trod settings....
    106 replies | 3525 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 11:48 AM
    I can't let undead threads rest either... Last session one of my players traveled deep into the fey-wild, into an area that I had not prepared, because I had not anticipated this action. I winged it a bit, and then when he finally reached the heart of the forest, I decided to end the campaign there for the evening. I flat out told my players that I would need time to prepare the next area,...
    62 replies | 5203 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 11:41 AM
    Butt-kicking for goodness!
    99 replies | 4623 view(s)
    1 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 | 26479 view(s)
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  • 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 | 26479 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 11:43 AM
    I played a bit of Lord of the Rings, Star Wars RPG (d6) and Battletech (forgot which edition)... all with the same dreadful DM, making me never want to play those systems again. I realize that is unfair towards those systems, but these experiences just left such a bad aftertaste.
    60 replies | 4012 view(s)
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  • 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 | 26479 view(s)
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  • 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 | 26479 view(s)
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  • 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 | 26479 view(s)
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  • 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 | 26479 view(s)
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  • 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 | 746 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 | 746 view(s)
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  • 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 | 990 view(s)
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  • 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 | 26479 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 | 746 view(s)
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  • 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 | 26479 view(s)
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  • 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 | 26479 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 01:53 PM
    I hand out a map (of either the region, the current location or both), and perhaps a list of homebrew equipment when the players pick their starting equipment. Everything else is not needed for them to start playing. If I want them to know about the various deities in my setting, they will come up when they enter a church. If I want them to know about the political situation in my fictional...
    14 replies | 911 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 12:03 PM
    I enjoy the character interactions between my own player-character and my party members, and I love tabletop combat, and resolving narrative plots/obstacles.
    8 replies | 535 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 11:52 AM
    All you need is to be interesting on the very first page, and then people will keep reading. It helps if the main character is relatable, but an exciting opening is far more important.
    10 replies | 553 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 09:32 AM
    I occasionally use a random table to determine what species of tree is in an area, but I've never rolled to determine how many trees... just make it up.
    19 replies | 822 view(s)
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  • 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 | 12285 view(s)
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  • 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 | 746 view(s)
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  • 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 | 746 view(s)
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  • 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 | 746 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 | 746 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 | 746 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 | 26479 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 | 12285 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 11:41 AM
    I already use knowledge local for this sort of stuff.
    3 replies | 429 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 08:21 AM
    This reminds me of a Lucky Coin I have in my campaign. Only it doesn't grants advantage or disadvantage, it just always lands with the same face up. Excellent magical item for cheating at gambling.
    10 replies | 475 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 08:18 AM
    I think the trick to a good story twist, is set up, and pay off. You need to give the characters enough motivation to justify the twist. This is why the final season of Game of Thrones fell flat in my opinion. There is nothing wrong with having Dany become the villain, but it needs to be properly set up and motivated. Earlier seasons of Game of Thrones were fantastic because every twist felt...
    12 replies | 548 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 10:37 AM
    I want this to be good so much... but this trailer... doesn't look very good.
    30 replies | 1467 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 08:28 AM
    In 3rd edition I love the expansion books that focus on a specific climate. There's Sandstorm for desert adventures, Frostburn for arctic adventures, and of course Stormwrack for sea adventures (which I am using for a campaign right now). These books are a fantastic help in creating a campaign that is very different in tone, style and theme than normal D&D campaigns. I especially love the various...
    78 replies | 5348 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:26 PM
    That and a couple binders and dividers, and brothers, youíre there.
    9 replies | 410 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:13 PM
    Yeah, I just use pen and paper. Thereís no substitute- the OS is always current and it never crashes. The monthly subscriptions are minimal.
    9 replies | 410 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 07:13 PM
    Nah. See also alchemist fire for ideas on how to resolve.
    14 replies | 659 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 06:14 PM
    It seems like the create bonfire spell might be a decent basis for ruling what happens here.
    14 replies | 659 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 11:11 AM
    I started off my long running pirate campaign with two players in a jail tower, and two other players climbing the tower to free them. I wanted the campaign to start with action right away, and with an event that brings the party together. During this session the players could also recruit other prisoners as members of their crew. This also served to introduce some of the bad guys and set the...
    25 replies | 885 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:38 AM
    Imaculata replied to Firearms
    I've actually used the idea of smoke build up in a couple of battles in my pirate campaign. The players had been exchanging fire with the crew of another pirate ship for a few rounds, and I described that so much smoke had started building up that they had great difficulty seeing their opponents. It adds a neat bit of extra flavor to a battle while also changing things up a bit.
    161 replies | 5611 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:33 AM
    I'm looking forward to it.
    6 replies | 381 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:48 AM
    A hovering sculpture made of Styx ice called "Dark Birds of Ocanthus" (from Planescape Torment). Battle plans for an upcoming confrontation in the Blood War, frost-burned onto the flayed skin of a behemoth. A clutch of remorhaz eggs packed into the snow. Scroll case fashioned from a saintly giant's femur bone, with numerous maps of shifting planar boundaries following Blood War...
    9 replies | 320 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 10:04 PM
    Me personally, I don't really care about "immersion." But I would care as a player if I'm asked to make a check without declaring an action. So as DM I would just honestly remind the players that they have X, Y, and Z as quests and that (if this is truly a sandbox game) they aren't required to complete them, but that taking actions A, B, or C would definitely result in those quests being...
    68 replies | 3453 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 08:59 PM
    I think that's definitely a good attitude to have and it helps if the players are onboard with purposefully putting their characters in bad situations sometimes, trusting that the outcome will be fun for them even if it's bad for the characters. That's certainly the spirit of the game as outlined in the rules in any case. At the same time, as a player, I also want to honor the DM's prep...
    68 replies | 3453 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 08:19 PM
    Man, I don't know if I'd want to live in a world where as DM I'm not encouraging stupid actions.
    68 replies | 3453 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 06:51 PM
    Basic Rules, page 3, in the paragraph about "winning and losing" in D&D. The "win" conditions are as I specified. This is the section of the rules that tell us what the game is supposed to be about (even if people don't play it that way sometimes). It does not say that the adventurers have to have a good time - it's the players this is referring to. The adventurers could be torn to bits, after...
    68 replies | 3453 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 05:01 PM
    The thing with burning down the house is that as with any particular course of action the players consider, they are well-served to pass it through the filter of the goals of play. The game defines those goals as the DM and the players creating an exciting, memorable story of bold adventurers who confront deadly perils and having a good time doing it. So the question the players could stand to...
    68 replies | 3453 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 03:06 PM
    Wow, you jumped on that adventure fast! I just got my book a couple days ago and haven't even cracked it open.
    68 replies | 3453 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 03:04 PM
    That is my reading, though I would say a sword is also an object. I think the main thing here is that incorporeal movement is just that - movement. Push a sword through this creature and it will take damage. If it instead moves through the sword, it takes no damage unless it ends its turn on the sword.
    19 replies | 598 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 02:38 PM
    "For the purposes of these rules, an object is a discrete, inanimate item like a window, door, sword, book, table, chair, or stone, not a building or vehicle that is composed of many other objects." (DMG, pg. 246) Walls are also considered objects. They are mentioned in this section as well.
    19 replies | 598 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:52 AM
    Imaculata replied to Firearms
    5 rounds of reloading is a bit harsh for 3.5, which is why I made it only 1 round of reloading. It may not be realistic, but I think it is more fun to play that way.
    161 replies | 5611 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:42 AM
    All of these details I like. The fact that the previous movie didn't follow up on the Knights of Ren was a big flaw in my view.
    6 replies | 381 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:35 AM
    I doubt D&D's contribution to HBO will be judged based on just the last season. They have had so much success with this show, that I don't think they care that the last season under performs. I think they are mostly happy that the show ran so long and pulled in so much revenue for them.
    24 replies | 692 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 11:08 PM
    Another option, only with less work, is to just play D&D 4e.
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
    13 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 07:46 PM
    The rules of the game don't seem to indicate I should care about this as DM. The only exception is to encourage players not to waste game time or their characters' lives on bad assumptions and I do that. It seems more likely to me that Intelligence is seen as a dump stat because there is only one class and a couple of sub-classes that use it regularly for attack rolls and DCs and very few...
    664 replies | 26479 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 03:55 PM
    It's frankly hard to say what's at the core of this discussion anymore. What I do know is that if you want to call "thinking" an action, then because of the rule that players determine what the characters think, then there can be no ability check here since there is no uncertainty as to the outcome. The character thinks what the player says he or she thinks. I don't see any complications...
    664 replies | 26479 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 02:24 PM
    Well, the good news is that climbing in D&D 5e is a factor of speed and ability checks are only necessary if there's something about the climb that makes it uncertain, such as a slippery vertical surface or few handholds.
    231 replies | 12285 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 11:46 AM
    Also, Renly believes that Stannis in an unlikeable king. He may have the stronger claim, but not that many people want him as their king.
    14 replies | 482 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 11:43 AM
    I'm pretty sure you are incorrect. HBO is unlikely to share our sentiments about those two. Game of Thrones was HBO's pride and joy for years. It was pretty much the only reason to have an HBO subscription. D&D's writing may have gone downhill as they surpassed the books, but their efforts to adapt the books into a succesful tv show will not be ignored by HBO. All D&D have to do is tell HBO they...
    24 replies | 692 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 11:39 AM
    I recently acquired Myst 3 Exile for the PS2 at a sale. I'm replaying it now. Ah, nostalgia and frustrating puzzles.
    53 replies | 5076 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 01:34 AM
    I think itís wise to divide the combat encounters between big set pieces and minor skirmishes. Because by doing that, you can spend your prep time designing your set piece encounters while leaving ďtrashĒ combat encounters (random encounters, unexpected fights, etc.) to a very quick and improv-friendly rules set. If I were in your shoes and table-time was at a premium, I would run my minor...
    46 replies | 1685 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:36 AM
    4E - easy vote. Happy to see 5th keep so many of its innovations.
    288 replies | 9953 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 06:34 PM
    I had the same thought for the exact same reasons as your OP some time ago. First thing I thought of was to differentiate between sleep and rest. I decided sleep was as necessary as food and water, but didnít itself automatically mean ďrest.Ē Then I decided that proper rest had to be in a kind of sanctuary - a home, at minimum. To me, rest has to be reasonably free from stress or peril....
    53 replies | 1773 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:55 AM
    Don't give them ideas for a new show.
    110 replies | 3715 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:52 AM
    Considering how much the show went downhill the last two seasons, I think another series might be a terrible idea.
    24 replies | 692 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:50 AM
    I watched this last episode in a packed movie theater. It was disappointing, but not as disappointing as I expected it to be. There were a few enjoyable moments, plus some stellar acting from Dinklage.
    110 replies | 3715 view(s)
    1 XP
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About Imaculata

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Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 09:45 PM - Fenris-77 mentioned Imaculata in post Firearms
    ...nd a lot without everyone having a clear idea what it means. @Celebrim - you got a linky for that article? Maybe it'll help everyone get on the same page. I'd love to read it too! As for the console analogy, I'm with Kobold et al - the GM isn't a console at all. Fair arbitration is one of the GM's hats, but that's not the same thing as not having an opinion. As a GM I am doing a lot more work than everyone else involved in a game, so it's absolutely critical that I be enjoying myself. Generally that means that whatever contract and agreements that were set up between myself and the players in session zero are being adhered to, and everyone is on the same page with expectations and results. Even then, should I take steps as a GM to reign in players and get things back on track I'm still not railroading. Anyway, we've moved pretty far astray from firearms, but I do think we've hit upon one of the subterranean reasons why the arguments about firearms are so contentious sometimes. @Imaculata - you're making a category mistake. What is commonly true of most campaigns is one thing, and all of my points in that regard are on point, and accurate. Just because you want to do something different doesn't make me wrong. I'm not wrong. You want to push things with firearms? Go ahead, but it's got nothing to do with what works in a general sense.

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 04:02 PM - Sadras mentioned Imaculata in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 2
    Jaime for Kingslayer and Queenslayer. Sansa will survive to depose Cersei as per the prophecy. I'm expecting Dani will likely be betrayed, perhaps by Jon or Jorah (or maybe Varys - not mentioned by you @Imaculata). I also expect Davos to survive.

Wednesday, 10th April, 2019


Monday, 1st April, 2019

  • 11:14 PM - Hussar mentioned Imaculata in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ... that way. I suspect, though, that iserith would not require the players to state that action...unless he had provided some sort of clue or signal that this is what they should do. Just like the existence of the office. Not quite. As I understand it, the way this would be done would be, if the players simply stated they were searching the office, the DC would be X. If the players stated they were checking out the furniture in the office, the DC would be Y. If the players stated they were taking out the drawers and looking at the bottom, they would automatically succeed. Is that a fair interpretation? iserith? Where X>Y, so, stating a general approach will succeed less often than a more specific approach and a very specific approach will always succeed, presuming it's the right approach? At least, that's how I'm interpreting what they are saying. Please correct me if I'm wrong. To me, it's not how I enjoy the game. For one, you see interpretations like Elfcrusher and Imaculata, where they look at the rules and interpret things a very different way than I would (like when the skill specifically calls out being able to discern lies but the DM says, nope, that's not what it says, I'm going to get frustrated), which lead to, IMO, artificially inflating difficulty in the name of "challenging" the players. And, funnily enough, IME, these "interpretations" always go against the players. The players can never jump more than is "realistic", the players never can do something that the DM thinks is unrealistic. And, it's the DM's sense of realism that is the bar that is set. It's not something I enjoy. You have a character who, for some reason, has a super set of jumping skills, and scores a 25 or 30 on a jump score - that's a legendary level of success. So, why not wuxia style jumping?

Monday, 25th March, 2019

  • 03:56 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned Imaculata in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...s meant as an off the cuff remark that I was surprised that DM's do this. Just something I'd never run across. Which is at least somewhat surprising, since it is RAW (PHB p 174, emphasis mine): An ability check tests a character's or monster's innate talent and training in an effort to overcome a challenge. The DM calls for an ability check when a character or monster attempts an action (other than an attack) that has a chance of failure. When the outcome is uncertain, the dice determine the results. That said, I totally missed - or at least did not fully absorb - this passage when I started DMing 5e. I let players self-assign rolls which seemed ok as some of them had more RPG experience than I did and what did I know about D&D after not playing since 1e - but something just didn't feel right during our games for many months. I didn't recognize the solution until I started reading stuff from Angry and getting solid advice from folks here like iserith, Bawylie, Charlaquin, and Imaculata. Our games have gone from usually fine to consistently very good. And it has had a lot to do with my DM approach to dice rolls. Please don't misunderstand - I am in no way saying you are doing it wrong - if your group is having fun, you're doing it right! But you might give this way a try for a one shot or three to see how it feels for you and your group.

Tuesday, 19th March, 2019

  • 01:24 AM - Numidius mentioned Imaculata in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    This goes to a variation of player-imputes-knowledge-to-PC, which (at least in my experience), is helpful to first-person roleplaying: the player is entitled to make up setting elements and incorporate them into his/her roleplaying of his/her PC. I have one player in particular who likes to do this - sometimes drawing on his recollections of how a system or a setting works (he's been RPGing for over 30 years and so has a lot of such recollections), and sometimes just projecting his best sense (given past episodes of play plus genre logic) of how things should be in the setting. Right, and that is from player' side. I was asking from the Gm side, since I understand Imaculata is the Gm in the Death God example, and me being a bit provocative, like: how even if is the Gm, can he/she be sure if a Death God will take offense?

Sunday, 10th February, 2019

  • 03:58 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaculata in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Outsider Perspective: Is this line of debate going anywhere productive? It seems like instead of debating the placement of goalposts or the number of angels that can dance on the AC of dragons, that the participants should reset and refocus their lines.From my point of view I've made my points and think they're clear. My exchange with Imaculata was brief but sensible, and I think we understand one another and our different ways into, and hence responses to, the issue. If you'd like me to elaborate or explain again, though, I'm happy to.

Saturday, 9th February, 2019

  • 08:27 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaculata in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Why are you so fixated on what is power level x as compared to power level y? I don't understand.Because if I introduced 75th level characters into a game then I would also be introducing 75th level (or thereabouts) dragons, which - as I pointed out - would have natural armour bonuses that exceed the most powerful armour that can be forged by mages and godlings in the setting. Which is to say, the issue that I dislike - the simulationist veneer of "natural armour" - would still be there. If you're still confused by my concern, I recommend Imaculata's posts above. Imaculata doesn't get irritated in the way I do because he (? I apologise if that's an erroneous gender attribution) is able to treat the natural armour bonuses as purely mechanical devices to ensure the game maths works properly. I can't muster the same sanguinity, but Imaculata's response shows a clear understanding of the issue I'm raising and addresses it completely sensibly (and without any frustration on my part at least).

Thursday, 4th October, 2018

  • 04:40 PM - iserith mentioned Imaculata in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...olved until everyone sees the situation the same way and then roll the dice, or donít, as the situation requires. So at least as I read the DW rules, there is no reason why a player who declares I search the rubble shouldn't then pick up his/her 2d6 and roll them. If s/he gets an 11 or 12 (like the 20 in your example) then the GM is obliged to provide a certain sort of information, as specified in the rules (eg What here is not what it appears to be?). The pile of rubble matters (regardless of whether the GM thought it would or wouldn't) because the player has (i) decided to pay attention to it, and (ii) succeeded at a check. As I said, what strikes me in your example is that the player hasn't indicated what s/he is looking for, and so hasn't given the GM very much context to hang a response on. I find it easier to narrate successes (and failures) when I have some sense of what the player thinks is at stake in the situation. This isn't Dungeon World though. It's D&D 3.Xe (for Imaculata at least). What is missing from the player's example in a D&D context in my view is an approach to the goal (and to some extent the goal more specifically). I would prefer to hear something like "I want to use my shovel to move the rubble around to see if I find anything useful or valuable." Maybe there's something valuable there, maybe there's not (the example scenario suggests there isn't). But at least the DM isn't assuming or establishing what the character is doing. In another context, one where there's something potentially dangerous in the rubble, I'd want to know how the player is having the character go about searching as per my preferred statement. This avoids issues of the DM and player disagreeing about what the character was doing after the danger is revealed. The DM may have imagined the player digging into the rubble with his or her hands; the player may have imagined using a shovel. That's going to be a problem when being stricken with rot grubs or contact poison is on ...

Monday, 27th August, 2018

  • 07:41 PM - Loren Keely mentioned Imaculata in post Katana
    Imaculata This is just what I was thinking. I sent him a breakdown and this was almost exactly the concept I was thinking. Great minds think alike I guess. I will also look for that Dragon magazine issue.

Wednesday, 27th June, 2018

  • 09:39 AM - Jhaelen mentioned Imaculata in post Death and Storytelling
    No fudging or nerfing necessary. Unless your definition of nerfing is "modifying encounters to be something other than suicide-death-pacts." Allow me to first remind you of the original statement I've been responding to: During the early levels, all encounters are fairly balanced, so that deaths are just not going to happen. Also, please note that Imaculata is playing D&D 3.5. Now, to address your points: PCs can choose to run away from fights.Yep, they can do that. As a DM I may even suggest it. But it's not under my control whether they actually do try to flee or not. If a fight is unavoidable, PCs can throw down their weapons and beg for mercy.See above! PCs can enlist help to attain overwhelming odds.See above! GMs can provide level-appropriate encounters.There's a very clear definition how difficult encounters should be in the 3.5 DMG (page 48, I think). Unfortunately, I'm away from my books and failed to find the exact text. I only found the Encounter Calculator that is based on these assumptions. I.e. 10% of all encounters should be 'easy', 50% should be 'Challenging', 15% should be very hard, 5% should be overpowering. IIRC, the remaining encounters should be 'very hard', but there should be a way for the PCs to turn it into a 'challenging' encounter if they approach it in a clever way. GMs can play opponents int...

Sunday, 24th June, 2018

  • 12:54 AM - Maxperson mentioned Imaculata in post Everybody Cheats?
    Yes, exactly. Of course sometimes as a DM there is nothing you can do. We were playing many years ago and the players, of which I was one, could not roll dice for toffee. I have never seen an entire party roll like that in 30+ years of playing. Individuals certainly but not everyone! Poor DM didn't stand a chance. There wasn't even something subtle he could do. Something extreme on the DM's part wouldn't have helped because even if mysteriously the enemy were suddenly replaced by school kids, they still would have kicked sand in our faces. We really were that bad. Of course it has become legendary in the group and still makes us laugh to this day, but it also led to some interesting twists in the overall plot as we then had to work out how to continue to pursue the quest in the light of the abject failure. A silver lining. Yeah. Sometimes there's nothing you can do. I will also address something I missed in Imaculata's post. Solid strategies. If the players come up with a great plan and turn a challenging encounter into an easy, or even trivial one, so be it. I'm not going to negate player effort and planning.

Thursday, 21st June, 2018

  • 03:07 PM - akr71 mentioned Imaculata in post Need input on a ship based mini adventure
    ...here they want to go next, so that I know what to prepare. Once they reach such a location, I sprinkle various interconnected mysteries around, along with some sight seeing / exploration. It is up to them which of the clues they follow up on, but I'll usually also have an npc approach them directly, to provide a quest hook. Sometimes there's even more than one npc that approaches them for a quest, although one quest may lead straight into the next. I'm not sure either. I probably have as many sessions to fill as I want, but I'm not sure how long I can go before they want to get back to civilization and the mainland. The ship is a convenient 'left-over' from the previous DM and I thought I could try some things I never get to do on land. I was planning on sprinkling some things to explore or ignore as they saw fit. None of the characters or players have any sailing experience, so anything on-board the ship other than combat leaves them as bystanders, which I would like to avoid. Imaculata - you posted your hooks while I was writing. Thanks! I'll take a look at those and see what I can work with.
  • 11:38 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaculata in post Everybody Cheats?
    ...nnaturally, for that goes contrary to the major precepts of the game. I'm not saying that Gygax's advice is the only way to do it, but I think it's noteworthy that he draws such a strong contrast between the GM making decisions that regulate the introduction of new challenges into play (eg by ignoring wandering monster dice) and the GM fudging action resolution results. There are lots and lots of games that put Ēdonít cheatĒ explicitly in their game text. They go on to explain why itís a problem and why itís wholly unnecessary for that/those games (because they work without need for application of GM Force).Hm. I wonder if anyone can find me a quote reference of that from a game.Suggesting that certain GMing choices would go contrary to the major precepts of the game, and for that reason should not be done, comes well within cooee of what Manbearcat described. Here's another example, from Burning Wheel (Gold edition, p 30), which is directly relevant to the sort of example Imaculata gave: [W]hat happens after the dice have come to rest and the successes are counted? If the successes equal or exceed the obstacle, the character has succeeded in his goalóhe achieved his intent and completed the task. This is important enough to say again: Characters who are successful complete actions in the manner described by the player. A successful roll is sacrosanct in Burning Wheel and neither GM nor other players can change the fact that the act was successful. The GM may only embellish or reinforce a successful ability test. Slightly less portentously, the Marvel Heroic RP rulebook (p OM8) says: In some games, the person who runs the game rolls the dice in secret - but there are no secrets in the Bullpen. Roll those bones in full view, Watchers!
  • 05:06 AM - Maxperson mentioned Imaculata in post Everybody Cheats?
    So you are making a legal appeal to the rules as written to suggest that "rulings not rules" means that the GM is inherently incapable of cheating? :confused: Since all rules are guidelines and the DM has full power to alter them at will, it's not cheating if he does. He's just using his given ability as DM. Rulings over rules is just a part of that authority. This would make an interesting poll. Officially can a DM cheat? The online definition of cheating: 1. act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage. 2. avoid (something undesirable) by luck or skill. In (1), one might ask what advantage might the DM gain. Well DM's that act as the one described by @Imaculata tend to enjoy a DM-vs-player style and so there is room to say that cheating or fudging (whichever you prefer) provides an advantage to the DM in that roleplaying style. A few things. First, the DM is given an unfair advantage by the rules by virtue of being DM. He has the given ability to drop 10,000 monsters on a first level party if he wants. It's the DM's responsibility, though, to use that power wisely as bad DMs lose players fast. Second, I don't view what Imaculata is describing as a playstyle. Bad DMing is bad DMing, not a style of play. If a game devolves into DM vs. Player, the players lose. In (2), many DM's technically cheat or fudge to avoid undesirable outcomes for the table (whether it be to spare a PC or prolong an epic combat...etc). By that definition, everything you avoid that you don't like is cheating. Avoid eating a cheese sandwich that you dislike while at a party? Cheater!! Intercept a football headed for the end zone? Cheater!! Work hard to avoid...

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 02:39 PM - Sadras mentioned Imaculata in post Everybody Cheats?
    The DM is not cheating, though. He can't. Instead, he's being an asshat and bad DM. You respond to that by letting him know that you have better things to do and going elsewhere. The fact that the DM is given the authority to add, subtract or alter rules as he sees fit means that he literally cannot cheat. There's no rule for him to break. Rulings over rules and all that. It's messed up, but it's not cheating since he isn't breaking a rule. This would make an interesting poll. Officially can a DM cheat? The online definition of cheating: 1. act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage. 2. avoid (something undesirable) by luck or skill. In (1), one might ask what advantage might the DM gain. Well DM's that act as the one described by @Imaculata tend to enjoy a DM-vs-player style and so there is room to say that cheating or fudging (whichever you prefer) provides an advantage to the DM in that roleplaying style. In (2), many DM's technically cheat or fudge to avoid undesirable outcomes for the table (whether it be to spare a PC or prolong an epic combat...etc). However having said all that, the DM has the power to change/amend any rule of the game AND at any time. So can he really cheat? I'm not really asking you Max, just musing and upping my post count. :) EDIT: Wait, I got it, CAN GOD CHEAT?

Tuesday, 29th May, 2018

  • 02:34 PM - iserith mentioned Imaculata in post Poison needle traps
    It just looks badly worded to me, perhaps an editing error, so it's up to you how it will ultimately function. It seems like the goal here is to set up a challenge of (1) finding the proper key or (2) disabling the trap then picking the lock. Anyone going straight to picking the lock is going to have a nasty surprise. That's how I'd handle it, anyway. I would also be sure to telegraph the existence of the trap in some way so that it isn't a "gotcha." @Imaculata: A passive check does not imply that the character is being passive. "Passive" refers to their being no roll, not that the character isn't performing a task. In fact, the rules state that such checks resolve a character performing a task repeatedly. Whether the DM uses a passive Investigation check to resolve this situation depends on what, specifically, the player described the character as doing.
  • 02:12 PM - Li Shenron mentioned Imaculata in post Poison needle traps
    A poisoned needle is hidden within a treasure chestís lock, or in something else that a creature might open. Opening the chest without the proper key causes the needle to spring out, delivering a dose of poison. When the trap is triggered, the needle extends 3 inches straight out from the lock. A creature within range takes 1 piercing damage and 11 (2d10) poison damage, and must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 hour. A successful DC 20 Intelligence (Investigation) check allows a character to deduce the trapís presence from alterations made to the lock to accommodate the needle. A successful DC 15 Dexterity check using thievesí tools disarms the trap, removing the needle from the lock. Unsuccessfully attempting to pick the lock triggers the trap. Imaculata, how can you say the wording is "pretty clear"? :) It's not even clear whether the description here is for the trap only excluding the lock or if it is for trap and lock together. (CASE 1) If you assume the description is complete for the whole thing, then it sounds like you need only one check with thieves' tools for both disarming the trap and opening the lock, provided you first detect the trap. In this case the last sentence "Unsuccessfully attempting to pick the lock triggers the trap" suggests both checks are merged into one. If you instead don't detect the traps (your Investigation fails or you didn't ever think about it), you automatically trigger the trap, before you finish your lockpicking. After that, since the trap doesn't reset, you can continue without further danger, but you still need to make the DC15 lockpicking check. In this case the last sentence "Unsuccessfully attempting to pick the lock triggers the trap" is irrelevant because the trap is already spr...

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018

  • 01:48 PM - Coroc mentioned Imaculata in post Timelines in your Setting
    Imaculata The Thing with ancient Scenarios in the official Settings (FR Netheril, DL Ishtar, Eberron Giants vs Dragons, Greyhawk Twin Cataclysm, DS everything up till present :) ) is that it gives instant and believable Explanation for a lot of stuff: - Ruins aka dungeons - Unusual (powerful) Magic - Unusual Technology - Rifts (temporal, dimensional) - Forgotten cults - Ancient Villains rising again (not necessarily undead) etc. etc. It is not thought to be a fictionary history lesson in the first place but rather to consturct those bullets

Saturday, 21st April, 2018

  • 06:54 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaculata in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    ...the cabal called Jabal? It was established by way of an action declaration by the same player. How do we know that there are catacombs? Same answer. Why did I, as GM, describe the bazaar in Hardby as including a peddler trying to sell an angel feather? Because the same player had authored a Belief for his PC that said PC wouldn't leave Hardby without an item useful for confronting his balrog-possessed brother. Why did I, as GM, establish the feather as cursed? Because the player declared an attempt by his PC to read its aura, which failed - so the aura he read wasn't what he was hoping for! Why did I, as GM, establish that Jabal lives in a tower? Because the same player had authored an instict for his PC, cast Falconskin if I fall, and so it seemed appropriate to introduce a high place into the action. Etc. I think it is quite obvious that this is a different way of establishing setting, and a different approach to the role of setting in framing and in adjudication, from what Imaculata describes. Whether you want to label it "no myth", or "the standard narrativistic model" or simply "story now" doesn't seem that big a deal. (Strangely, the main poster who seems to want to argue this point has me blocked. Hence my lack of reply to that particular poster.)


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Monday, 10th June, 2019


Wednesday, 5th June, 2019

  • 11:57 PM - Umbran quoted Imaculata in post What are your favorite games?
    Quick question, if you already own the original Betrayal at House on the Hill (as I do), how much added value is there in buying the legacy version? A lot of added value. Betrayal Legacy takes the basic mechanics of Betrayal at the House on the Hill, but gives you new/different content - new cards, room tiles, *all* new haunts, etc, and puts that new content into a campaign mode. The campaign mode modifies the game as you go - some elements are added as play progresses, others changed, and still other elements are destroyed. You literally change the rulebook as you go. Playing a campaign of Betrayal Legacy is not the same experience as playing a series of 13 games of the original. (My group finished game 12 of the campaign on Monday night, actually - only one more to go!) At the end, you have your own, unique, Betrayal set, that will not be the same as the standard, nor the same as pretty much anyone else who played the Legacy game. I owned the original, and I have *zero* re...

Monday, 3rd June, 2019

  • 05:20 PM - Mike Myler quoted Imaculata in post Mythological Figures: Sherlock Holmes (5E)
    Keep in mind that Sherlock Holmes is a very good boxer, according to the books. He should have some skill in unarmed combat. So you're saying he's like a monk. Too many D&D skills that key of melee weapon attack, which unarmed strikes or not. The off balance trick above even references unarmed strikes and grappling in its description. If he could use the rules above with unarmed strikes I think he'd be fine. The Adversary subclass gets proficiency with (1d4) unarmed strikes but all savants get improvised weapons so I've edited the statblock to include those. Put a pen in his hand, or a pipe. ;) I honestly would have expected him to fight with something unassuming, such as a cane (quarterstaff or cudgel?). I suppose that would have also required a feature to use Dexterity or perhaps Intelligence for the attack rolls, so finesse and ranged weapons certainly make it easier. I wanted that Finesse action and remember he definitely has swordplay scenes so went with a rapier. I *did* think about ...
  • 12:47 PM - Azzy quoted Imaculata in post Mythological Figures: Sherlock Holmes (5E)
    Keep in mind that Sherlock Holmes is a very good boxer, according to the books. He should have some skill in unarmed combat. Actually, the martial art "baritsu".
  • 12:18 PM - MGibster quoted Imaculata in post Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game
    And for this reason session 0's were invented. Discuss which themes and topics may come up in your campaign before you start subjecting your players to it. If for example you run a horror campaign, then body horror may be part of the game, and thats fine... but where are the limits? It is incredibly important to get all your players on the same page. It doesn't sound like this DM really cared for any of that. It's sad that for some players this was their first D&D experience. A con game is typically a one shot very often played with people who have never met before so a session zero isn't really practical. But it would be trivial to include content warnings on the sign in sheet so people had an idea of what they were getting into. But even then that particular scenario was not appropriate for the venue even if the players knew what they were getting into.
  • 12:12 PM - Fenris-77 quoted Imaculata in post Mythological Figures: Sherlock Holmes (5E)
    Keep in mind that Sherlock Holmes is a very good boxer, according to the books. He should have some skill in unarmed combat. So you're saying he's like a monk. Too many D&D skills that key of melee weapon attack, which unarmed strikes or not. The off balance trick above even references unarmed strikes and grappling in its description. If he could use the rules above with unarmed strikes I think he'd be fine.

Friday, 31st May, 2019

  • 04:22 PM - uzirath quoted Imaculata in post Keeping control of your game while keeping illusion of liberty
    When you're near the end of the session, that is an easy solution. If it happens mid-session however, you'll just have to improvize. That's what most DM's do... right? I certainly do. Indeed, great material can come out of this sort of improv. I've had entire campaigns switch direction based on unexpected player choices and my off-the-cuff reactions. I love that element of RPGs. I experienced this as a player in a recent session of our DFRPG game. A few last-minute cancellations left us without a quorum. On the spur of the moment, the GM added a new section to his dungeon, and we invited my kids to join our smaller group for a side-adventure. This one-off was so creative and fun that it led to multiple new plot threads in the campaign that we keep going back to.

Wednesday, 29th May, 2019

  • 03:06 PM - ART! quoted Imaculata in post Systems You Left after One Bad Experience
    I played a bit of Lord of the Rings, Star Wars RPG (d6) and Battletech (forgot which edition)... all with the same dreadful DM, making me never want to play those systems again. I realize that is unfair towards those systems, but these experiences just left such a bad aftertaste. If it helps, I had a similar reaction to D&D 5E early on, but my group recently finished a much-loved 2 year-long weekly 5E game, so sometimes these things come back around.

Tuesday, 28th May, 2019

  • 03:45 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Imaculata in post What makes you care about the hero in the 1st ten pages?
    For me, that first page hook is pretty important. So much of my decision to purchase one book over another is based on that opening salvo, whether buying at a brick and mortar shop or on Amazon. As far as caring about the main character goes, a big step is them not being a farmboy with a hidden destiny. I am so utterly tired of it, that particular trope is like nails on a chalkboard. All you need is to be interesting on the very first page, and then people will keep reading.

Saturday, 25th May, 2019


Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

  • 02:12 PM - Celebrim quoted Imaculata in post Firearms
    5 rounds of reloading is a bit harsh for 3.5, which is why I made it only 1 round of reloading. It may not be realistic, but I think it is more fun to play that way. I've totally not got any problem with that. And it could even have color of realism at least in the loading times if you patterned the technology after say late 18th century flintlock muskets or even 19th century caplocks. One round of loading probably isn't going to be game breaking if you don't otherwise load the firearm up with realistic or fantastic advantages. Keep damage, range, and penetrating power under control and you basically have a potent crossbow, and crossbows in D&D have never exactly dominated gameplay. Back on the subject of how much realism do you want, and why you don't have to be consistent, part of the answer to that is simply, "What's fun is unique to an individual and a group." A bit more elaborately, what sort of realism a person cares about depends on what they are passionate about, what sort o...

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 06:46 PM - Derren quoted Imaculata in post Game of Thrones Spin-offs: News & Speculation
    I'm pretty sure you are incorrect. HBO is unlikely to share our sentiments about those two. Game of Thrones was HBO's pride and joy for years. It was pretty much the only reason to have an HBO subscription. D&D's writing may have gone downhill as they surpassed the books, but their efforts to adapt the books into a succesful tv show will not be ignored by HBO. All D&D have to do is tell HBO they want to make a new show, and HBO's response would be "How many piles of cash do you need?" I am not so sure about that. HBO wanted D&D to make more episodes and even more seasons (it is their cash cow after all), only to be told by them they don't need/want it. And then they delivered something that disappointed fans, damaging the brand, and is especially criticized for being too rushed and that there should have been more episode. I don't think that HBO is all that happy about how D&D handled the last season.

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 08:30 PM - Derren quoted Imaculata in post Game of Thrones Spin-offs: News & Speculation
    I don't think they do an "Arya goes west". The subject is much too touchy, especially if they do it GoT style, and it would throw away too much of the Westeros we know (although that hasn't stopped movie makers in the past). No idea if they use the "Evil Bran" idea, but that would be a major story and not simple a spinoff. Drogon will certainly play a role in one of the series I guess. Hes too much of a plot device to not use him. Considering how much the show went downhill the last two seasons, I think another series might be a terrible idea. With D&D being busy with Star Wars there is a chance that they get good writers instead. It wouldn't surprise me if internally those two will be blacklisted by HBO.
  • 04:02 PM - Sadras quoted Imaculata in post Game of Thrones Spin-offs: News & Speculation
    I don't see the point of "a thousand years ago" or "Arya goes west". The point of a Westeros series surely lies in it being set in the Westeros we recognize? Otherwise it's just generic fantasy series #71 with the GoT label slapped onto it. This. Considering how much the show went downhill the last two seasons, I think another series might be a terrible idea. And this.

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 04:45 PM - Cap'n Kobold quoted Imaculata in post Firearms
    The reason I disagree with you, is because I feel firearms should be the first and obvious choice for the players, and melee should be their backup weapons. As I said, I run a pirate campaign, and if all my players still ended up using bows and swords, then I'd feel like I had failed at establishing a pirate campaign. Historically guns were more deadly, so they should be a lot more powerful than any other weapon in the campaign. If guns only did slightly more damage, that would not be enough to pursuade all players away from their default D&D weaponry. The best situation for me is one where there's plenty of gun-use, and the players are occasionally forced to fall back on melee (due to a misfire, a gun being empty, running out of ammo/powder, or a gun getting wet.) Because this allows me as a DM to set up interesting encounters where getting their precious guns wet is a high risk, and where enemies are trying to force them into a melee. This makes positioning extremely important in combat. ...
  • 03:35 PM - Raunalyn quoted Imaculata in post "I'm BATMAN!" - Robert Pattison
    Yeah, both actors were heavily criticised. People were furious about Ledger playing the joker... but turns out he might be one of the best Joker's of all time (second only to Mark Hamill in my opinion). Then again, DC is having an epic dance with failure lately. If they get Batman right with Pattison, it's probably on accident. Ledger was incredible...surprisingly so. He went to a dark place playing that character, and I honestly think it contributed to his death. Not so much with the DC failure on its last few movies. Wonder Woman and Aquaman were both surprisingly good. And while I haven't seen Shazam! I do hear that it is a fun and entertaining movie. Maybe RP will get it right...if they don't make him sparkle...
  • 03:29 PM - Celebrim quoted Imaculata in post Firearms
    The reason I disagree with you, is because I feel firearms should be the first and obvious choice for the players, and melee should be their backup weapons. As I said, I run a pirate campaign, and if all my players still ended up using bows and swords, then I'd feel like I had failed at establishing a pirate campaign. Historically guns were more deadly, so they should be a lot more powerful than any other weapon in the campaign. This is an example of how different persons can have very different perceptions of what makes sense and feels right. For you, owing to the power of firearms, pirates need to leap on to the decks of other ships armed with all manner of firearms, and to treat swords as a backup weapon. For me, I'm perfectly happy to have a band of cutthroats be mostly armed with all manner of stabbing and cutting implements, and to treat wheellock pistols as an expensive, somewhat unreliable, backup weapon - leaving most of the actual musket and blunderbuss fire to the moment before t...
  • 01:14 PM - Fenris-77 quoted Imaculata in post Firearms
    The reason I disagree with you, is because I feel firearms should be the first and obvious choice for the players, and melee should be their backup weapons. As I said, I run a pirate campaign, and if all my players still ended up using bows and swords, then I'd feel like I had failed at establishing a pirate campaign. Historically guns were more deadly, so they should be a lot more powerful than any other weapon in the campaign. If guns only did slightly more damage, that would not be enough to pursuade all players away from their default D&D weaponry. The best situation for me is one where there's plenty of gun-use, and the players are occasionally forced to fall back on melee (due to a misfire, a gun being empty, running out of ammo/powder, or a gun getting wet.) Because this allows me as a DM to set up interesting encounters where getting their precious guns wet is a high risk, and where enemies are trying to force them into a melee. This makes positioning extremely important in combat. I...
  • 04:23 AM - Yaarel quoted Imaculata in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    Well, I still play 3.5, so my answer is obvious. Iím curious, what does 3e have for you that 5e lacks?

Sunday, 19th May, 2019

  • 08:45 PM - Fenris-77 quoted Imaculata in post Firearms
    You need to give firearms a strong advantage, or players won't bother to use them, and at higher levels you may even need to introduce magical or mastercrafted guns as loot. I think I'd disagree. A lot of players spend significant time eking out even a minor advantage based weapons and combos. If your firearms are even slightly superior then everyone will use them unless "story reasons". So sure. I think balance is way more important than selling the idea to the players.


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