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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 05:57 PM
    iserith replied to Is This Odd?
    Sure, and that argues for page-setting when playing with new players, just as would be the case in my view for playing any game with new players. I run a fair amount of pickup games (not as much as I used to) and the first thing on my table rules is: "Before doing or saying anything, remember to consider the goals of play by asking yourself, 'Is what I'm about to do or say going to be fun for...
    32 replies | 588 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 05:41 PM
    iserith replied to Is This Odd?
    Yes, I think what is frequently forgotten in these discussions is that the players, regardless of the situation, are obligated to pursue the goals of play, that is, everyone having fun and contributing to the creation of an exciting memorable tale. It's spelled out right in the rules. Whether you know the module backwards and forwards or not, your decisions as a player still have to achieve...
    32 replies | 588 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 05:32 PM
    iserith replied to Is This Odd?
    Yes. Players frequently replay my one-shots with full knowledge of what to expect, sometimes many times over. This just isn't a problem in my experience. That said, there is no module I have ever run as-is because they are in my opinion frequently terrible. Especially the plot-based ones. My question is less about what people's particular opinions are on this (which are varied and...
    32 replies | 588 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 04:56 PM
    iserith replied to Is This Odd?
    I personally would not say that.
    32 replies | 588 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 04:39 PM
    iserith replied to Is This Odd?
    It's not clear to me where the presupposition that players shouldn't be drawing on hard-won information even comes from. It seems to me to be as old as the hills but I don't really recall any rules books saying we should be doing this. And it certainly doesn't say that in the D&D 5e books. "Metagame thinking" is solely a risk to the player in that he or she might be basing character actions on...
    32 replies | 588 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 03:29 PM
    iserith replied to Double Dash
    You have to flip this around and make the fighter the quarry for this to work most of the time. Quarry gets a chance to hide at the end of every round as long as there is something to hide behind. Rogues are typically not too shabby at hiding which means the rogue will generally get away. This has to be taken into account in my view if an argument is to be based on the DMG chase rules. (There...
    99 replies | 2448 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 02:34 PM
    You could just have the NPCs or monsters do something other than mindlessly attack the PCs until slain. Perhaps they rush the PCs, try to steal something valuable, then run away. Maybe they trail the PCs at a safe distance, not making their intent known, and then when the PCs encounter something tougher, they jump into the fight to try to take out a single PC. You could also have it be a social...
    26 replies | 369 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 02:22 PM
    iserith replied to Is This Odd?
    I don't care if someone reads the Monster Manual during play. If the difficulty of my challenge is hugely affected by players knowing something about the monsters, then I've designed a poor challenge. I don't expect veteran players to pretend like they don't know something about a monster they've been fighting for years and years. Basically the same thing in my view. If I want the difficulty of...
    32 replies | 588 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Today, 11:56 AM
    I ran a Call of Cthulhu campaign that took place in Evan's City (Pennsylvania), made famous by Night of the Living Dead. Several locations, such as the cemetery from the movie featured prominently in the campaign. The campaign didn't revolve around zombies however, but about a cult that was messing around with some sort of Lovecraftian timemachine. But it was fun to incorporate some actual...
    14 replies | 561 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:49 PM
    iserith replied to Double Dash
    I use the Chase Rules a fair amount and I also see nothing against the rules about bonus action Dash under that system. The limiting factor for the rogue is Constitution here and burning out twice as fast. This is really only a problem though if the rogue is the pursuer rather than the quarry since, unless there is no chance of hiding, the rogue has often successfully escaped at the end of the...
    99 replies | 2448 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:00 PM
    iserith replied to Double Dash
    For what it's worth, the rules also specifically call out a character's or monster's speed as being "short bursts of energetic movement in the midst of a life-threatening situation."
    99 replies | 2448 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 03:14 PM
    You're right and it drives me crazy when I turn up in a game where a DM rolls individual initiative for monsters. Though it's still the same amount of actions to resolve, it really does slow things down because the initiative rolling takes longer and then, if those monsters are interspersed with PCs or other monsters, there's a "gear-changing" that eats up additional time. It really adds up!
    13 replies | 456 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 02:53 PM
    The RAW is that like creatures share initiative anyway. It's still 10 creatures on one initiative count, but it's not like you're rolling 10 different initiatives for them, if that's a concern. As for your swarm, it seems a sound idea, but someone better at math than me will have to say if it has parity with the spell as written. But anyway, players have an obligation to pursue the goals of...
    13 replies | 456 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 02:36 PM
    What Hriston said - most monsters' stuff is just junk. There are some exceptions that I will make an effort to describe, such as a hobgoblin in plate armor or the like. Sometimes I'll describe something resplendent a monster wears that would be damaged in combat and made less valuable in order to set up a challenge for the players to take out the monster without damaging their loot. It makes them...
    20 replies | 651 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 11:49 AM
    Oh absolutely. But I dislike the D&D version. They are like crossbow machineguns. I recently got the Pathfinder Ultimate Equipment book, (which is an amazing comprehensive book btw) and my eyes almost shot fire when I read the description of Studded Leather Armor. It was so dumb. How do they keep getting this wrong? Is anyone going to correct this at any point? "An improved form of...
    150 replies | 5595 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 11:42 AM
    And those are great, if you paint them yourself. But I don't like painting miniatures, and I'm also not very good at it. I prefer to have them pre-painted. There's been two excellent sets that I recently acquired: Dungeon of the Mad Mage has some awesome laboratory props, and there's an amazing Pathfinder cemetery set as well.
    23 replies | 2670 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:27 AM
    That's basically what my players do. They police themselves for speed and that includes just keeping them on a single target. It's not really about banning the spell BlivetWidget. It's just players realizing that it can slow down play and taking reasonable steps to mitigate that.
    13 replies | 456 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 11:13 PM
    The mob rules worked fine, but also working in my favor is that the table rule is that if you're the sort of player who can't manage this sort of spell without bogging down the turn, you simply don't cast it. The player has a responsibility here in my view. (Same for summons, pets, etc.)
    13 replies | 456 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:20 PM
    iserith replied to Double Dash
    Yes on the double-dash. There tends to be a LOT of movement in my games due to terrain, so it comes up quite a bit.
    99 replies | 2448 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:41 PM
    You can resolve by applying the mob rules in the DMG (pg. 250) which foregoes any attack rolls, saving time. Then use average damage.
    13 replies | 456 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 03:15 PM
    It doesn't matter if you keep track, really. The PCs should be counterspelling everything anyway.
    21 replies | 752 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 11:59 AM
    I've got one more: You roll a die to hit, but you don't roll a die to defend, unless it's a saving throw. I've always felt there's a lot of missed opportunity there regarding how dynamic and strategic D&D's combat could be. It would probably also become way more complicated, but it just feels like something is missing.
    150 replies | 5595 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 11:55 AM
    1. Dragon Alignments and breathweapons by color. Just because a dragon has a certain color, doesn't mean it isn't evil, and it doesn't mean it spits lightning/poisongas/ice instead of just fire. 2. Automatic Crossbows. Get that nonsense out of here. 3. Studded Leather Armor. What do the studs even do? 4. Elves and orcs. Yawn! 5. Classes that have boring new abilities (filler) at higher...
    150 replies | 5595 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 11:48 AM
    I'm playing 3.5 right now, and we use some PF1 content on occasion, simply because it is compatible. I'm curious to see what PF2 is like, and I wonder if elements of it are still compatible with 3.5. If it's not compatible, but still better, I might give it a spin.
    28 replies | 1276 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 07:42 AM
    They pretty much explored that idea with T3D.
    36 replies | 895 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 11:50 AM
    I'm planning a series of escaperoom style challenges for my players, for which I plan to create cardboard cutouts to illustrate the puzzle. Probably something with steampressure, and turning valves to lower and raise the pressure. The central theme is that the players will be tested at their knowledge of the tenets of a group of monks, before being allowed access to the inner sanctum of the...
    8 replies | 1026 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 11:46 AM
    When T-2 first appeared it absolutely blew the original out of the water. The question is if James Cameron's still got it and if he can repeat that trick a second time. It is also a question whether the much older core cast can still carry the film. I hope Cameron is wise enough not to start a project like this, unless he has a really good script and action that makes T2 pale in comparison... but...
    36 replies | 895 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 06:23 PM
    iserith replied to Languages
    The DMG also has a section on languages in the campaign world planning section that basically tells the DM to figure this out on his or her own according to the kind of setting he or she wants to present.
    9 replies | 371 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 11:48 AM
    I should still try to get my hands on some of those Wizkids dungeon traps. They are perfect for D&D, and I already have several of the other dungeon-deco sets.
    33 replies | 4236 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 11:46 AM
    That is why I think you should escalate the threat the longer the players delay.
    50 replies | 1936 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 10:56 PM
    Quickleaf replied to OSR Gripes
    Using your wits to avoid rolling dice, and solving situations through creative thinking. That's where the fun is. In OSR games, when you're confronted with a challenge, you don't look to your character sheet first; rather, you look to your own ingenuity first.
    231 replies | 8087 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:40 PM
    It seems to me all that really matters is whether the player thinks it's fun. If he or she does, carry on, I say. If not, then you can either jointly tinker with the rules to make it less certain, create conditions in the game that accomplish the same effect without tinkering with the rules, or the player can just choose not to have the character hide all the time.
    104 replies | 2898 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 11:54 AM
    I'd put some more minions in reserve as backup. This may be a bit too easy for your players. Give yourself the freedom to adjust the difficulty of the encounter on the fly, if it is going too well for them. Also, have you thought about a way to prevent the players from doggypiling on top of the villain? Perhaps that helpful npc could also be turned against them, if the vampire dominates him? That...
    4 replies | 277 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 11:48 AM
    I had to roll 16d6 during our last session. What I tend to do is make pairs of 10's. It makes the counting a bit easier.
    21 replies | 656 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 11:47 AM
    ...And then the gargantuan octopus-beholder takes them all away with one glance. ;)
    50 replies | 1936 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 09:25 PM
    iserith replied to OSR Gripes
    I played Lamentations of the Flame Princess which is one of these old school D&D-esque games. I lost 5 characters in one session. No exaggeration. That's just how it goes.
    231 replies | 8087 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 08:55 PM
    No insult is intended. Certain of your specific objections seem rooted in issues of spotlight management and other issues that are not the fault of the game. I make no judgment as to what you should or shouldn't do in your own game, only that some of your objections are easily solved without modifying the rules.
    104 replies | 2898 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:54 PM
    Like I said, house rules are fine. Personally, I don't actually care how the player makes the decision in the face of the NPC's attempt to persuade (to continue with that example), but I'm not calling for a roll here as DM. That breaks the rule of players determining what their characters do. The player is free to roll a die to figure out what the character does if he or she wants. Or flip a...
    104 replies | 2898 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:27 PM
    Magic is the difference. House rules are fine, but the issue in this situation for me is that the players always determine how their characters think and what they do and say. That means there is never uncertainty as to the outcome of the NPC's attempt to persuade and thus no ability check. The outcome is whatever the player says it is. I might, in some circumstances.
    104 replies | 2898 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:12 PM
    iserith replied to Languages
    There is no call-out in the rules for dialects other than Primordial. So as far as I am concerned, PCs that speak Common can't speak Undercommon, nor can creatures that speak Undercommon speak Common. Personally, I prefer it that way as it gives choice of language relevance and sets the PCs up for needing resources such as spells or NPCs to assist with communication. It's another problem for the...
    9 replies | 371 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:58 PM
    I use it and it works well enough. For those unfamiliar with it, it basically splits the challenge into what I call "The 'Tude," "The Chat," and "The Ask." In "The 'Tude," the DM frames the NPC's disposition toward the PCs and establishes the context of the challenge (what's at stake). This is also when players might try to have their characters recall lore about the NPC to garner useful...
    104 replies | 2898 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 02:04 PM
    I think they're okay for D&D standards. But almost nobody uses them in my experience because I don't think many DMs actually read the DMG. The rogue isn't being skipped and it isn't really planned though - at least no more than combat where everyone gets a turn. If that doesn't bother you (does it?), why should what amounts to taking turns in a social interaction challenge be bothersome?...
    104 replies | 2898 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:46 AM
    It just sounds to me like the argument is not so much "Expertise is problematic..." but "Expertise is problematic when I chop away two of the three pillars underpinning the game and things get wobbly." Which doesn't so much sound like a problem with Expertise per se, but the choices the DM has made. I think we agree here? Also there does seem to be an underlying assumption in your post that...
    104 replies | 2898 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:19 AM
    Really that just argues for the DM to balance the pillars of the game as much as he or she can in my view and to incentivize play to that end via XP and treasure. If the DM is leaning too heavily on any one pillar or incentivizing particular play to the exclusion of others, it's reasonable behavior for players to create and advance characters with particular skill proficiencies and other features...
    104 replies | 2898 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:09 AM
    "Party balance" in what sense? Why is it bad that this character can do a thing well and others can't? Wouldn't it be the case that this expert won't be able to do other things as well in this or the other two pillars? Also, how is "deception in the hands of a creative player" troublesome? Setting aside that the DM decides whether there is a roll or not in the first place, what's the actual...
    104 replies | 2898 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:05 AM
    I'm not really "going" anywhere, only checking to see if there's a rough correlation between people who have some kind of issue with the ability check system and playing the game in the very common way I described upthread wherein the players ask to make or declare they are making ability checks. Without taking anything away from your perception of the problem you outline above, could you...
    43 replies | 1368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:53 AM
    Why do you think that is a problem?
    104 replies | 2898 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:48 AM
    As opposed to the DM deciding whether there is a roll at all, then what ability check to make and any skill proficiency that applies (per the rules). And in this case I'm not referring to a paradigm where the DM can decide a player-proposed roll is not necessary (e.g. Player: "Can I make an Investigation check to..." DM: "Nah, you just figure it out...").
    43 replies | 1368 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:42 AM
    Out of curiosity, if you have a problem with expertise, do you also play the game such that players ask to make or declare they are making ability checks?
    43 replies | 1368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 11:24 PM
    In a practical sense, this means that the rogue will almost always surprise monsters (unless he's traveling with other, less stealthy people) and will almost always have advantage on the attack roll if there's a place to hide in combat. If the rogue is on his or her own, it will also mean that scouting around without being detected will almost always succeed. Personally, if a rogue tries to...
    104 replies | 2898 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 08:52 PM
    It works. My entire game is run like that, almost as a one-on-one between myself and one other player (when they're not talking among themselves) for a minute before switching to someone else. If a combat ends without finishing the round, I'll mentally stick to initiative order and call on the people who haven't gone that round to kick off whatever activity is next so that they aren't shorted on...
    31 replies | 1331 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 04:32 PM
    How long are people taking on their turns? One thing I've noticed at other tables is that players are planning what to do on their turn instead of acting, which is a huge no-no at my table. Your turn is for acting, not for planning or stalling by asking 20 Questions (another common player tactic when they haven't planned off-turn). I think a turn is 30 seconds or less, ideally, which means your...
    31 replies | 1331 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 03:20 PM
    First, ask for them to pay attention, then ask them what about the game isn't holding their attention. From your own observation, what parts of the game are they tuning out on? What can you do to minimize those parts of the game or make them more interesting?
    31 replies | 1331 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 11:50 AM
    I might be doing an 80's version of my annual Horror movie night this year. There's a lot of great horror flicks from the 80's. We could easily fill a whole night with them.
    32 replies | 963 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 11:39 AM
    I didn't know you played 3rd edition too. Thanks. In fact, this came up again in last night's session. One of my players plays a Druid, and he summoned an Earth Monolyth (which is basically a gargantuan elemental). I asked him to describe what it looks like, and he described it as a gigantic stone wolf. See, I would never have thought of that myself, but it gave a lot of extra flavor to...
    30 replies | 1462 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 07:55 AM
    That is an interesting take on it. Many of the genies in my campaign tend to enjoy watching the weakness and failure of mortals, or being surprised by them and seeing them rise to greatness. Whenever a person makes a wish, their wish needs to come from somewhere. Wish for a castle, and someone else loses their castle... and they might come looking for it. And it is the impulse of wishing for...
    4 replies | 464 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 07:46 AM
    My pirate campaign features the occasional mass combat situation, and whenever that happens I try to limit the number of dice that I actually need to roll. Instead of rolling for each and every individual, I often describe the scene as just a massive battle going on around the players, and I tell them that the only fights we'll play out at the table are those between them and enemies that are...
    76 replies | 5566 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 07:39 AM
    As a DM I often ask my players to describe their own spells. For example, when one of my players casted the Many Jaws spell, I asked him: "What do the jaws look like?". He them described them as looking like piranhas flying through the air. I then also asked him: "And are you summoning it from a nearby source of water?", and he described them as being summoned from a nearby river. In my...
    30 replies | 1462 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 12:03 PM
    I think the fact that my players are overpreparing for the boss battle, means that I've done my job as a DM when it comes to setting the scene and establishing a big threat. Now it's all a matter of escalating each day they delay the inevitable, and see how they respond to the consequences of their choices.
    50 replies | 1936 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 06:08 PM
    Yes, that's technically a choice.
    50 replies | 1936 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 04:54 PM
    I think what gets left off in the last few assertions that are floating about is that, in a game where the DM isn't concerned with any particular conclusion so long as it's fun, exciting, and memorable (even if it's bad for the characters), then said DM isn't also putting them into situations where they have no chance of success. In such games, the players choose to get themselves into those...
    50 replies | 1936 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 11:53 AM
    This is kind of related: My players are currently preparing for several days to take on a powerful monster that is lurking at the bottom of a lake. They might not be sleeping right outside the door, but they might as well be, because it is very similar. The players are taking their merry time to set a trap for the beast, bring in extra weapons and supplies, etc. So what I decided to do is have...
    50 replies | 1936 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 11:40 AM
    The sorcerer can phrase the wish himself, since he is a sorcerer and not a genie. But the wish must start with "I wish...". As for progressing it into Wish... don't. As a side note, in my homebrew campaign setting genie's can grant wishes for themselves, and do it all the time. They can live in luxury, and granting wishes for others tends to be a service that they provide to mortals on...
    4 replies | 464 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 05:01 PM
    Can they take short rests? If so, they should be able to do 6 to 8 medium or hard challenges with a couple of short rests. If the villain challenge is deadly, then reduce the number of preceding encounters accordingly, perhaps setting it to 4 to 6 medium or hard challenges followed by a deadly encounter. If the players are experienced, this seems doable.
    50 replies | 1936 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 04:24 PM
    Make clear the risks and trade-offs inherent in the challenge, then let the players make their own decisions. Err on the side of giving "too much" information rather than too little. Use whatever contrivances you can think of to impart that info in a way that makes sense in context. Perhaps a grizzled veteran adventurer faced such a challenge before and made the mistake of doing battle with the...
    50 replies | 1936 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 02:52 PM
    Time is an important resource in my adventures. It's yours to waste, but much like wasting hit points or spells, there may be consequences. In many cases, the longer you give the villain to prepare or complete his or her goals, the harder things get. To some extent, that may be desirable from the player's perspective as it potentially means more XP, but that must be weighed against the likelihood...
    50 replies | 1936 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 11:48 AM
    A simple puzzle is one where a door mechanism has broken down, and the players must acquire a replacement gear to fix it. They must visit a forge where they must craft one for themselves. A forge is also a great place for a battle.
    8 replies | 327 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 03:43 AM
    Hypoxic cardiovascular training at altitude with a 50 pound pack (like wildlands firefighters)? Mixed with high-intensity interval training incorporating HEMA?
    14 replies | 572 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 01:04 AM
    It's not that it's complicated - it's just that it's more transactions per turn or round which necessarily takes longer than just the one, even with very capable players. Turn after turn, combat after combat, it adds up. An important part of DMing in my view is sharing the spotlight, that is, making sure that the PCs have more or less the same time in the spotlight over the course of the session....
    22 replies | 934 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 12:36 AM
    I think the biggest concern above all is: How much are your minions going to bog down the game? Because, frankly, they will, at least to some degree. In a game like mine which runs fast, it's very noticeable. When a player in my game wanted to play a necromancer, he had the good sense to ask me for my opinion on how many undead he could have at one time. I told him "When the game slows down...
    22 replies | 934 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 06:07 PM
    XGtE has a section on awarding magic items over the course of a campaign. There's a sidebar in that section that reveals the expected number of Treasure Hoards the PCs will uncover. You could perhaps base Individual Treasure rolls on those numbers, either following them exactly or by multiplying by some factor then seeding them among your NPCs and monsters. There are a number of random...
    18 replies | 898 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 01:03 PM
    I adopted Pathfinder's Mass Combat rules for naval combat recently. It certainly helped cut down on a lot of the die rolling.
    9 replies | 739 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 11:15 AM
    That barbarian throne is beautiful. I wish had something similar for my cannibals.
    33 replies | 4236 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 11:15 AM
    Several years so far, and still going.
    48 replies | 2261 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 07:31 PM
    I don't even understand the objection that is being voiced. The play loop and adjudication process is for all and sundry to see right there in the rules of the game. It's not like we made it up. If there's an objection to it, take it up with Wizards of the Coast, I guess.
    178 replies | 5672 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 11:23 PM
    The determination of whether a task has an uncertain outcome and the meaningful consequence of failure, which precedes the introduction and use of the game mechanics (ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, etc.), is DM fiat which is enshrined in the rules via the play loop and adjudication process. Fiat is inescapable in this rules system. It is the first resort.
    178 replies | 5672 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 07:35 PM
    Change "should" to "could" and I think you got it.
    178 replies | 5672 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 05:38 PM
    I just say when a target has cover and what kind and the player says "Okay" and acts accordingly. I do my best to make that apparent well before the attack is declared by working it into my description of the environment. That way, there's no surprises.
    28 replies | 1099 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 05:18 PM
    As I mentioned upthread, many DMs in my experience jump to the mechanics before they give much consideration to the play loop and adjudication process which comes first. If someone draws a blade - initiative! If someone tells a lie - deception! But this is skipping an important part of the DM's role and, frankly, it shows in their resulting play experience.
    178 replies | 5672 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 04:19 PM
    Right. That section specifically says the play loop applies to all situations in D&D 5e and does call out combat as being a bit more structured but otherwise follows the same pattern. See also DMG page 237 wherein the specific process the DM follows to determine if some kind of roll is appropriate is laid out. That being, the task's outcome has to fall somewhere between impossible and...
    178 replies | 5672 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 03:03 PM
    Thanks for your input. Edit: yeah, you’ve confused my called shot rule for my checkmate rule. They’re not the same rule.
    178 replies | 5672 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 02:23 PM
    Harzel: What Ovinomancer said.
    178 replies | 5672 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 11:57 AM
    I make sure my plot can continue without the big bad. Sometimes by having multiple villains. My players recently killed off the leader of an evil cult of wizards, which I did not expect. But the other heads of the cult still escaped, so this is actually an interesting situation. Who will now take leadership of the cult, and how do the other members feel about that? Will one of the cult members...
    59 replies | 2581 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 06:53 AM
    I don't have experience with public games, but I have run a lot of pickup games with random players on Roll20. As well, my regular group and some other groups in which I play each have a pool of players they use to fill five seats per session. This is actually a very good setup because it means fewer scheduling hassles. If the DM can run the game, there's enough players in the pool to fill out at...
    11 replies | 480 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 06:51 AM
    None of my players have assassin characters. I’ll agree there doesn’t need to be a special checkmate rule. Certainly not in every game at every table. You reckon I might have a reason to use it in my own home games, or nah?
    178 replies | 5672 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 03:24 AM
    Not a solution for what? Did I claim to have “fixed the game for all tables across time and space and play style.” Jaysus, you guys.
    178 replies | 5672 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 02:48 AM
    I think if you’ve asked for or signed on to a game with greater than normal lethality then you’re on-board with that outcome as a possibility.
    178 replies | 5672 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 12:31 AM
    I see. So if we cast sleep on the orc, we’d all be in agreement that orc would be uniquely vulnerable. But there’s a gray area between that definite candidate for checkmate and an orc who is not a candidate for checkmate that you’re calling fiat. I suppose the defining line for me would be whether or not a defense against the attack were reasonably possible/effective. Natural armor might be...
    178 replies | 5672 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 11:49 PM
    Didn’t take any position on Holds. I have no wizards or sorcerers in any group at the moment. What is a “fiat threshold?”
    178 replies | 5672 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 11:38 PM
    I don’t think the DM who doesn’t let something work is a jerk. Same for the one who doesn’t apply the rules due to reasons. I think the biggest jerk DM thing is when they decide my actions for me.
    178 replies | 5672 view(s)
    1 XP
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About Imaculata

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Sunday, 11th December, 2016

  • 11:46 PM - pemerton mentioned Imaculata in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    What exactly am I making up? I'm drawing a conclusion from data. Are you saying my data is incorrect?No. I"m saying that you're making up your conclusion. if you don't think that the re-boots and lore changes and confusing mash of trying to stitch it together was the cause.. please enlighten me as to your own reasoning (which I've asked for previously) as to why the revenue took such a hit on the re-boot and why the second series of movies never surpassed the first?I know very little about the market for movies. But, for the reasons Lanliss and Imaculata have given, I doubt very much that continuity of lore is a factor. Just as plausible is that X-Men: First Class is a political drama. That, more generally, the X-Men have a political edge that the Avengers do not. As I posted already, Days of Future Past was intended as an audience building reboot and rewrote a lot of lore. Clearly Fox doesn't agree with you about any causal relationship between lore and profits, and I believe they know more than you about these things. Here's another way to come at it: X-Men was released in 2000; First Class over 10 years later. What was the overlap between audiences? What did audiences in 2011 remember of the 2000 film? As I said, you're just making stuff up. EDIT: Also, why does The Hulk reboot not count in this discussion?

Monday, 24th October, 2016

  • 12:32 PM - Plutancatty mentioned Imaculata in post The Samurai Is Back
    I am not sure what is with the chinese-based fighting stances-- and rhino in that list is wildly out of place, I think ox would be a far more suitable name. Well, this was something suggested by Imaculata in the original thread, and since I liked tge idea and got a lot of inspiration for the feature, I added it. I admit, this whole thing, now that you all point in out, is probably more fitting for a "Wuxia Warrior" class, but the name isn't quite as evocative. Also, I am not sure that there is any real basis for the demon-hunter specialty. Demon-hunting is usually a priest's job, not a samurai's. Its not broken or anything, I just don't know that it ought to be in the top 3 archetypes. A party-buffing commander type would probably be more suitable because what samurai really are is officers, much like knights-- you focus so much on the fighting aspect that you seem to have entirely forgotten the social aspect of being part of the aristocracy and commanding armies. Probably because you have a tendency to only think in terms of the last few homeless wanderers around the end of the Tokugawa era with nothing left of their families' glorious past but their name, their pride and their sw...

Saturday, 22nd October, 2016


Thursday, 6th October, 2016


Sunday, 2nd October, 2016

  • 12:55 AM - TheCosmicKid mentioned Imaculata in post Guns in your world, and in mine!
    How much damage should a standard cannon do? I was thinking 1d20. Do you believe that is too little? Imaculata's 4d6-10d6 numbers seem more realistic (as realistic as the hit point system is capable of, anyway). Cannons are Bad News. You saw that breastplate from Waterloo earlier.

Monday, 2nd May, 2016

  • 03:09 AM - Quickleaf mentioned Imaculata in post Novice Dm help
    Imaculata Nice! I suppose if the OP wants to be a rat bastard DM he or she could put a living hostage imprisoned in the trees roots, which could present a dilemma for PCs wanting to burn the tree down. Either rescue the captive first (by hacking away at roots, or casting a spell, or creative thinking) or else risking hurting/killing them from smoke inhalation and fire damage. But that would definitely be establishing cred as a RBDM.

Friday, 22nd April, 2016

  • 08:02 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Imaculata in post Fighting a young dragon
    In my campaign the main antagonists are a country run by chromatic dragons (mostly greens) and in a couple of weeks the party will be free of it's current enemy and I was thinking of throwing a young dragon at them (probably green but maybe black) the party will be 5th level at that time so I think they are finally strong enough to handle it. The question is how would you go about creating a dragon adventure? Imaculata gave you great advice/questions right out of the gate. In my experience, dragons do best when foreshadowed well. You never should, IMHO, "just throw a dragon" at the PCs like you might a handful of bugbears. Well, arguably depending on your style of game, you could make that mandate true for ALL monsters, but I think for dragons it's always true regardless of your genre/style. Anyhow, something to consider is its age. A young dragon is probably freshly kicked out of its parent's lair (in which case, what are its parents up to?), still searching for a lair (and quite vulnerable, potentially allying with evil humanoids to protect itself), or has just found a lair of its own (possibly after displacing the previous residents who are angry/fearful/scheming). Also how would you include kobolds as antagonists for a 5th level party? This I can answer with confidence. Use lots of them. Fight as nasty and dirty as possible. Assemble a list of simple traps given an extra level of kobo...

Wednesday, 23rd March, 2016

  • 02:41 PM - The Grassy Gnoll mentioned Imaculata in post Actors Having a Tough Time Roleplaying
    Imaculata my players will take time out to formulate complex plans and have elaborate discussions in the middle of a conversation with an NpC or a battle...I do it to remind them that they can't just break off and talk amongst themselves without the NPC noticing and reacting accordingly. If I didn't do it it becomes not a role playing game but a strategy board game with a really crappy board.

Tuesday, 10th November, 2015

  • 04:04 PM - AaronOfBarbaria mentioned Imaculata in post DM Quits The Game
    I'm with Imaculata on the topic of scheduling game sessions, at least for the most part - I can't say I entirely am because I'm not sure if Imaculata feels the same way about players giving the group notice of any absence or late arrival before it happens rather than leaving us all wondering if we should wait to start or not. To me, not being able to make it to a gaming session is entirely non-offensive, but being disrespectful about it isn't. I mean seriously, I don't even care what your reasons for not being able to show up or show up on time are, I just care that you actually inform me. This one blows my mind: This is a real-world commitment. Sure, it's not as important as a sick kid, my job, etc. But, it's something to which I've committed and which my absence has a noticeable negative impact on others. If I can't commit, I shouldn't have. At the very least, I should be up front about having a volatile schedule (as per my one player that was working tons of last-minute, mandatory overtime).I thin...

Friday, 23rd October, 2015

  • 07:32 PM - pukunui mentioned Imaculata in post of elves and dream sequences
    Imaculata: Thanks. If you have a look at post #4, you'll see that's exactly what I'm planning on doing! Ralif Redhammer: Yeah, I think my player will be fine with it.

Tuesday, 20th October, 2015

  • 02:19 PM - Celebrim mentioned Imaculata in post The "Lawful" alignment, and why "Lawful Evil" is NOT an oxymoron!
    Imaculata. The biggest problem with your quibbles is that they depend on subtly misusing words. I don't think it's that black and white. Can you not value freedom, while still adhering to some code or set of rules? For example, a hired swordsman. He believes in his duty, and in always completing his job. He could be ruthless in his methods (evil), yet be true to his word, and always finish what he was hired to do (lawful). And yet, he could also value freedom, and value not being in the permanent service of anyone. He picks his own jobs, and goes where he likes. Valuing his own independence is not the same as valuing freedom generally. A mercenary that valued freedom generally would refuse to fight for tyrants. He'd refuse to assist in subjugating peoples. Yet you insist that he's clearly lawful and evil. If he is clearly lawful and evil, why would he refuse to fight for tyrants? Why would he care whether the jobs he took were just or kind, especially since by your own explanation ...

Friday, 9th October, 2015

  • 02:01 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaculata in post How Do You Get Your Players To Stay On An Adventure Path?
    ...rence as to whether the DM placed the tower there before the game began, during game play because they thought it was cool, or rolled it randomly on a wildnerness encounter table.While I'm generally sympathetic to S'mon and Zak S saying that giving illusory choices is a waste of time, I don't think it always is. I think a lot of these illusory choices are just about creating a bit of colour. By choosing the desert or the forest, the players choose some colour. If the GM is any good, this also means that perhaps the dragon at the bottom of the dungeon gets changed from blue to green, or vice versa. If the PCs choose to go north then the weather at the dungeon is cold (assuming the typical northern hemispheric gameworld); if they choose to go south then the weather is warm. Contributing to colour in this way isn't the greatest expression of player agency by any means, but I can see why some RPGers wouldn't regard it as a complete was of time. (I think this is at least part of what Imaculata is trying to get at in this thread.) IMC the PCs didn't chase some bandits, which would have led to Dungeon 1. So I decided to use Dungeon 1 in a different locale instead, and the bandit cave would then be a different dungeon. I dunno what's so bad about giving the PCs a chance to explore Dungeon 1 by having it be one of the ones the PCs become aware of. I only have so many detailed dungeons, after all. I don't *force* them to explore Dungeon 1 (and in fact tonight they decided to explore Dungeon 2 instead), I just used it as a possible choice.To me, this raises the question: what is the point of prepared backstory? By "prepared backstory" I don't just mean prepared material (like a map, some monster statblocks, an NPC with a bit of a biography, etc). The reason for prepared material is mostly to save time at the table. But prepared material doesn't mean prepared backstory - Dungeon 1 can serve as a bandit lair, or something else, for instance. Prepared backstory means au...

Wednesday, 7th October, 2015

  • 11:41 AM - wedgeski mentioned Imaculata in post Who wrote these CRs?
    I gotta go with Imaculata here. Yes, in a system with so many variables and such a wide spectrum of players, it is practically impossible to devise a system that accurately predicts the nature and outcome of any single fight. The CR system, loose and hinky as it might be, does an adequate job of sign-posting where these monsters should/might/may fit in the careers of your PC's. I wouldn't want to do without it, and, in any case, in the low-to-mid levels where I've played and DM'd, it does a perfectly adequate job. One bad experience doesn't invalidate the whole thing.


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Tuesday, 16th April, 2019


Thursday, 11th April, 2019

  • 05:05 PM - Yardiff quoted Imaculata in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Trolls, beholders, Lich's, Mindflayers, zombies, mummies, skeletons, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, dragons. The standard D&D rogue's gallery. They are used so often, that most players will be familiar with them and their abilities. But D&D has tons of monsters, many of which probably don't see a whole lot of use. I prefer to use monsters that my players may not be familiar with, or I alter an existing monster to make it less predictable. And when I do use a classic monster that is well known, I don't make a mystery out of it. This game of guess-the-weakness just isn't very compelling to a whole lot of veteran players and DM's alike. I disagree with this, since after 30+ years of play I'm not jaded about RPing a low level character. But you seem to be suggesting all these other veterans seem to be.
  • 02:28 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Imaculata in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    -Or think they know. ;) That's one reason I try to avoid saying the formal name of the monster, unless there is a strong reason these characters would know what it is. Instead I'll physically describe the monster. If they want to make assumptions about what it "is" that's on them.
  • 02:01 PM - robus quoted Imaculata in post Your most used accessories?
    I placed two pieces of hardboard side by side, so I can move it around. I added some Wizkids minis from Mageknight and other minis to dress things up. Very nice indeed. I can recommend the cloroplast boards (I mentioned above) for something very light but sturdy, if that hardboard is a bit unwieldy?
  • 01:56 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Imaculata in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    But on the other hand, I strongly dislike it when the knowledge of the players and their characters doesn't line up. Yeah I think that's a great argument for: 1) Just letting players use what they know. It's just not worth the effort trying to keep compartmentalized knowledge straight. 2) DM should introduce lots of new monsters.

Tuesday, 9th April, 2019

  • 08:50 PM - MNblockhead quoted Imaculata in post Your most used accessories?
    Dungeon tiles! I love these things. Creating maps is a lot of work, and it helps so much if you can quickly assemble a few rooms and corridors, AND have it look good. I'm so glad that 5th edition released Dungeon Tiles Reincarnated, because those are useful regardless of what edition you play. Can you tell me how you get the most out of these for actually use in most of your sessions. I don't want to yuk on your yum. I'm seriously curious because when I got back into gaming with 5e, I bought a number of the Dungeon Tile sets (I think from 4e) and found them frustrating to use. I even read DM David's Complete Guide to Using Dungeon Tiles and use his system to keep them organized. Mostly, they have stayed on my shelf unused. When Dungeon Tiles Reincarnated came out, I bought them as a knee-jerk reaction, but had buyers remorse because they were pretty similar to what I had and, again, just gathered dust on a shelf. I find them difficult to organize in a convenient way, difficult to prepare...
  • 02:13 PM - Blue quoted Imaculata in post How to deal with death in RPG?
    I tend to prepare a lot of environment and a lot of plot. But the plot is designed in such a way that the players are able to alter it. So if the players ignore what I planned for them, and negate a situation by being clever (or blunt), that's fantastic. I've never been in a situation where the players did something I didn't expect, and I didn't like it. The trick is to not 'intend' for the players to do anything. They can do whatever they want. If they say "screw the riddle, lets kill that thing", then more power to them. I gave XP, but I needed to comment about how much I agree. As a DM, we have the whole world as our playground except for a few individuals - the PCs. Let the players take them in the directions they want, and explore the consequences (good and otherwise) of what it means in the world. Don't be so attached to an outcome or plot direction that you overrule your players and railroad them down the path you envisioned. While I try to live this as a DM, one of the best e...

Thursday, 4th April, 2019

  • 03:17 PM - Wouter Kroos quoted Imaculata in post D&D 5E Ideas with running a Faire/Carnival scenario?
    One gag that I love pulling in campaigns, is a magic show of The Great Whamboozy. He is a traveling wizard who performs in taverns (because he's usually no longer welcome in any town where he has performed). He always dresses extravagantly, in bright purple robes with golden moons and stars on it, and with a typical pointy wizard's hat, and a long flowing white beard. At first glance, the guy looks like a totally fake wizard. What makes the show special, is that this traveling wizard always asks for volunteers from the audience (preferably the players). But while his tricks look cheap and harmless, they are in fact far from harmless. One trick he does, is to cut a person in half. The trick here, is that the person's body is magically separated. The trick doesn't hurt. But the 'volunteer' is aware that their lower body has in fact been separated from their torso. As long as they cooperate, the wizard will put them back together correctly. Another trick he does, is to make a person disa...

Tuesday, 2nd April, 2019

  • 01:15 PM - 5ekyu quoted Imaculata in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    It states "When searching out a lie" not "to discern a lie". To me this indicates that a straight up lie detector is not the author's intent, but it can help you find clues to discover a lie (such as noticing subtle nervous ticks in a person's overall demeanor). Granted, the text leaves it some what open to interpretation, and I can see why some people may rule in favor of a lie detector. But our interpretation (Elfcrusher and myself) seems more in line with how other similar skills work in the game. And what is narratively more interesting? To me, having to put the clues together is more fun than rolling a die and instantly knowing if someone's lying. Then again, fun is subjective.To me there is no way the very broad presentation of ability checks survives this degree of "did it exactly say you can do that? If not, nope" either as a representation of intent or playability. Are your survival checks and wisdom checks completely limited by not only the list provided but a strict parsing of that ...
  • 12:26 PM - Hussar quoted Imaculata in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    It states "When searching out a lie" not "to discern a lie". To me this indicates that a straight up lie detector is not the author's intent, but it can help you find clues to discover a lie (such as noticing subtle nervous ticks in a person's overall demeanor). Granted, the text leaves it some what open to interpretation, and I can see why some people may rule in favor of a lie detector. But our interpretation (Elfcrusher and myself) seems more in line with how other similar skills work in the game. And what is narratively more interesting? To me, having to put the clues together is more fun than rolling a die and instantly knowing if someone's lying. Then again, fun is subjective. Well, I can't really see how you can "determine the true intentions of a creature" while being unaware that it's lying to you, but, hey, like I said, this sort of thing is not how I DM. The players are already at massive disadvantages in nearly every situation. This is a means to get information into the play...

Monday, 1st April, 2019

  • 02:52 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Imaculata in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I think that if Insight was a lie detector, it would literally say so in the rules. Instead, as you quoted so diligently, it says it can be used to find out the true intentions of an NPC. To me, that is something other than a lie detector. I can't for the life of me understand how somebody would be unable to see the difference. (Perhaps a failed Insight check?) There's also this: if Insight literally works as a lie detector, it would be the only "skill" that represents something that doesn't exist IRL.

Sunday, 31st March, 2019

  • 12:46 PM - pemerton quoted Imaculata in post How to deal with death in RPG?
    In my opinion, if death isn't a possibility in your campaign, this undermines the stakes and severely undermines the threat of your monsters. The moment the players notice that you are jumping through hoops to keep them alive, you lose a lot of the suspense.This is a General RPG thread. So I don't think there can be any assumption that the only "loss condition", even in combat, is death. The three FRPGs I've GMed most recently are Cortex+ Heroic, Prince Valiant and The Dying Earth. The former two don't involve death as a serious threat. The third I only GMed today, and I didn't have to remind myself of its health/death rules because there was very little fighting in the game, and no successful attacks. In Prince Valiant, the most common form of fighting is jousting between knights, and the stakes are losing (or gaining) warhorses, arms and armour, as well as status/dignity. And these are some of the most dramatic fights I've GMed! It's just a matter of the game following a consistent s...

Friday, 29th March, 2019

  • 09:03 PM - crazy_cat quoted Imaculata in post Casting Begins Soon For D&D Movie?
    I was in agreement up until that last part. Now I hate it. BOOOOO! But a Drizzt cameo has so much potential (I don't like the character - although I have in the past read many of the books, but you can't say he isn't popular! Divisive I'll accept, disliked by some I'd agree, but he is popular by any measure!). His appearance is a plus for those who like the charater, and an Easter egg for those who remember the BG games; he's introduced as a character and if the movie flies a wider FRCU has been hinted at and is ready to go! He even has a massive origin story to call upon if you want (as trilogy worth at least, surely) - although the Drow as per the books are pretty problematic as movie fodder.

Thursday, 28th March, 2019

  • 09:01 PM - iserith quoted Imaculata in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    -And not just 5th edition. I feel your playstyle makes 3rd edition a lot better when applied to it as well. To be fair and so as not to take credit, it's not really "my playstyle." I'm just doing what the rules say to do. "My playstyle" is mostly to drink Irish whiskey and make up silly NPC names and ridiculous premises (stay tuned for one on Monday). I'd have to read the D&D 3e rules again to distill out of there what approach best works with the rules. I imagine it's largely similar except that the mechanics are more "forward" on the player side. I played the game for 8 years, but back then I was doing what many DMs do - playing how I think D&D is played regardless of what approaches the rules of that edition by their design support. I learned my lesson the hard way when I switched to D&D 4e and found the game was not working as well is it could be. That's when I had the epiphany that I should be adapting my approaches to support the rules of the game, not using the same approach regardl...

Tuesday, 26th March, 2019

  • 03:10 PM - 5ekyu quoted Imaculata in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    This is why I feel that it is my duty as a DM to provide my players with such knowledge, when appropriate. The players state their general approach, such as "I open the trapped chest while standing behind it and with a stick". And if the player misunderstands the mechanics of the trap, I clarify, and allow them change their mind as often as they wish, until of course I have made my final ruling on the outcome. A player may try an approach to disarming the trap that their character would know to be fatally flawed, and then I tell them this and allow them to do something different. A player does not need to be extremely detailed in his description, and you don't need to be an actual trap expert. Just a general description of your approach will do, and where information is lacking, you are free to ask me for more info. I also often ask for further details myself as well, such as "Who is standing in the corridor when so-and-so tries to disable the trap?". Sometimes such a question may be irreleva...
  • 01:40 PM - Hussar quoted Imaculata in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    This is why I feel that it is my duty as a DM to provide my players with such knowledge, when appropriate. The players state their general approach, such as "I open the trapped chest while standing behind it and with a stick". And if the player misunderstands the mechanics of the trap, I clarify, and allow them change their mind as often as they wish, until of course I have made my final ruling on the outcome. A player may try an approach to disarming the trap that their character would know to be fatally flawed, and then I tell them this and allow them to do something different. A player does not need to be extremely detailed in his description, and you don't need to be an actual trap expert. Just a general description of your approach will do, and where information is lacking, you are free to ask me for more info. I also often ask for further details myself as well, such as "Who is standing in the corridor when so-and-so tries to disable the trap?". Sometimes such a question may be irrele...

Sunday, 24th March, 2019

  • 01:45 PM - DM Dave1 quoted Imaculata in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    If a PC asks to roll Insight against an NPC telling the truth... Slight point of order here... I've found the game works best as intended: the players don't call for rolls - the DM calls for a roll only if there is a chance of success or failure and there is a meaningful consequence to failure to the PCs' actions. So like this: I ask the player what the character is doing to determine whether or not the NPC is telling the truth and then determine the DC based on the approach. Of course, with no meaningful consequence of failure, I'd go with this: I likely don't set a DC. The character succeeds, no roll, perhaps because the truthful NPC exhibits no body language, speech habit, or change in mannerisms that suggest a deception. And keep in mind: A player is always the final arbiter as to whether their character is persuaded or intimidated. Indeed, the player has every right to roleplay their character as naive or paranoid. No specific die roll needed to do so. And more good a...

Saturday, 23rd March, 2019

  • 06:44 PM - Harzel quoted Imaculata in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Insight isn't a lie detector, and neither is sense motive in older editions. When an npc lies, you generally can't tell, unless the DM decides that the npc exhibits a remarkable behavior. And how does the DM make that decision? To me, it seems that is exactly what the Deception skill is intended for. And if that be the case, a player can ask wether they can tell what this behavior means... and then (possibly) you roll insight against the npc's deception to determine what it means, but not wether the npc lies. The players may be able to deduce some things that give them a clue regarding whether the npc is telling the truth, but it is still up to them to interpret it how they wish. For example, an npc might be throwing a suspicious look at someone else at the bar. Determining what that means would require an insight check. Or, an npc may be making a secret gesture at another npc, again, roll insight. Or, an npc may be acting a bit skittish or nervous. Determining why he is acting this way,...

Friday, 22nd March, 2019


Wednesday, 20th March, 2019

  • 01:37 PM - Bitbrain quoted Imaculata in post Show Me Your Villains
    Don't leave us hanging. What was in there? SIDE NOTE: Sorry about leaving the thread, I was watching something on YouTube. You asked for it . . . A 9-year-old girl with both of her eyes gouged out, the reason being that she would be forced to rely upon Malison himself to lead her by the hand from place to place. If the players had enquired further, they would have learned that she was also being groomed to be Malison's favored wife when she reached 16, but as soon as the players learned that her torture was simply another way for Malison to maintain control over her, three of the players jumped to their feet in genuine anger. My dad on the other hand, put his head in his hands and declared "I swear, I don't know where he comes up this $#!+. You've met him outside of D&D, you all know my son would never hurt a fly in real life. Right?"


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