View Profile: Imaculata - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
Tab Content
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 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...
    34 replies | 882 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 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...
    34 replies | 882 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 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...
    34 replies | 882 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:56 PM
    iserith replied to Is This Odd?
    I personally would not say that.
    34 replies | 882 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 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...
    34 replies | 882 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 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...
    123 replies | 3540 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 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...
    28 replies | 669 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 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...
    34 replies | 882 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 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...
    27 replies | 792 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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...
    123 replies | 3540 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."
    123 replies | 3540 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 | 482 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 482 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 | 674 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...
    163 replies | 6971 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 2693 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 482 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 | 482 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.
    123 replies | 3540 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 | 482 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 | 762 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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.
    163 replies | 6971 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    163 replies | 6971 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.
    29 replies | 1584 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 07:42 AM
    They pretty much explored that idea with T3D.
    36 replies | 914 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 1027 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 914 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 385 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 | 4299 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 | 1981 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 8248 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 | 2965 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 288 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 678 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 1981 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 8248 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 | 2965 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 2965 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 2965 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 385 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 | 2965 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 2965 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 2965 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 2965 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 2965 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 1388 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:53 AM
    Why do you think that is a problem?
    104 replies | 2965 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 1388 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 | 1388 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 2965 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    32 replies | 1497 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...
    32 replies | 1497 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?
    32 replies | 1497 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 | 993 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 | 1493 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 | 499 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 5604 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 | 1493 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 | 1981 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 06:08 PM
    Yes, that's technically a choice.
    50 replies | 1981 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 1981 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 | 1981 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 | 499 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 1981 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 1981 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 | 1981 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 | 336 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 | 591 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 | 964 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 | 964 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 | 924 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 | 745 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 | 4299 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 11:15 AM
    Several years so far, and still going.
    53 replies | 2506 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 | 5768 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 | 5768 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 | 5768 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 | 1115 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 | 5768 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 | 5768 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 | 5768 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 02:23 PM
    Harzel: What Ovinomancer said.
    178 replies | 5768 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 | 2616 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 | 485 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 | 5768 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 | 5768 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 | 5768 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 | 5768 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 | 5768 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 | 5768 view(s)
    1 XP
More Activity
About Imaculata

Basic Information

Date of Birth
July 17, 1981 (38)
About Imaculata
Introduction:
Game Designer and Level Designer
Location:
The Emerald Coast
Disable sharing sidebar?:
No
Sex:
Male
Age Group:
31-40
My Game Details

Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

Country:
Netherlands

Statistics


Total Posts
Total Posts
2,248
Posts Per Day
1.60
Last Post
Odd Places that Make Decent Locations in Game Friday, 19th July, 2019 11:56 AM

Currency

Gold Pieces
11
General Information
Last Activity
Friday, 19th July, 2019 11:58 AM
Join Date
Thursday, 17th September, 2015
Product Reviews & Ratings
Reviews Written
0

4 Friends

  1. AaronOfBarbaria AaronOfBarbaria is offline

    Member

    AaronOfBarbaria
  2. Bawylie Bawylie is offline

    Member

    Bawylie
  3. iserith iserith is offline

    Member

    iserith
  4. Quickleaf Quickleaf is offline

    Member

    Quickleaf
Showing Friends 1 to 4 of 4
My Game Details
Country:
Netherlands
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Friday, 19th July, 2019


Thursday, 18th July, 2019


Tuesday, 16th July, 2019


Monday, 15th July, 2019


Saturday, 13th July, 2019


Thursday, 11th July, 2019


Wednesday, 10th July, 2019



Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

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 don’t, 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 ”don’t cheat” explicitly in their game text. They go on to explain why it’s a problem and why it’s 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 goal—he 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 chest’s 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 trap’s presence from alterations made to the lock to accommodate the needle. A successful DC 15 Dexterity check using thieves’ 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.)


Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
No results to display...
Page 1 of 59 123456789101151 ... LastLast

Wednesday, 17th July, 2019

  • 09:38 PM - Blue quoted Imaculata in post What are your Pedantic Complaints about D&D?
    [/I]Another pet peeve of mine: Weapons with garbage stats. I hate it when there's a boatload of weapons in the player's handbook, and half of them no one in their right mind would ever consider taking, because of their poor damage. Then what's the point of having them at all? Do you really want to be the one in the party not pulling their weight, because you thought having a whip as a weapon was cool? Oh I hear you. 80% of the weapons table never gets regularly because there are better options. Personally I'm a fan of resolving this by assigning weapon damage by class and size like 13th Age and just skin it as anything that fits your concept, but younger me would be down with the people who want to have more differentiation and a crunchy system to work out weapon damage and perks fairly. After all, if it's only used off-the-table, who cares if it takes 2 minutes instead of 20 seconds to pick a weapon.
  • 08:41 PM - Lanefan quoted Imaculata in post What are your Pedantic Complaints about D&D?
    I recently got the Pathfinder Ultimate Equipment book, (which is an amazing comprehensive book btw) Agreed - it's one of PF's better productions, and largely adaptable to almost any system with a bit of work. [/I]Another pet peeve of mine: Weapons with garbage stats. I hate it when there's a boatload of weapons in the player's handbook, and half of them no one in their right mind would ever consider taking, because of their poor damage. Then what's the point of having them at all? Do you really want to be the one in the party not pulling their weight, because you thought having a whip as a weapon was cool?Well, this assumes both players and PCs are looking at things first and foremost in terms of DPR and so forth rather than characterization and flavour...which kinda brings up a peeve of mine, that being players who only view their characters in terms of how much damage they can give out each round. Assuming D&D, you have the following dice: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20. ... *If we ...
  • 06:49 PM - pogre quoted Imaculata in post WHAT NEW MINIATURES YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE MADE?
    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. I picked up the cemetery set and I like painting. It is a very nice terrain set.
  • 03:24 PM - lowkey13 quoted Imaculata in post What are your Pedantic Complaints about D&D?
    Another pet peeve of mine: Weapons with garbage stats. I hate it when there's a boatload of weapons in the player's handbook, and half of them no one in their right mind would ever consider taking, because of their poor damage. Then what's the point of having them at all? Do you really want to be the one in the party not pulling their weight, because you thought having a whip as a weapon was cool? So, there's a couple of ways to look at this. Assuming D&D, you have the following dice: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20. Given the range of hit points for first level, and tradition, the actual range of weapon damage is fairly constricted. In 1e, the range is from a minimum of 1-2 (dart v. large) to a maximum of 18 (3d6, two-handed sword v. large). In 5e, the range is from a minimum of 1 (blowgun, special) to 4 (multiple d4) to a maximum of 12 (2d6 or d12) That's a pretty small design space if you are trying to really differentiate weapons by damage!* So you either have to have a lot of "same-y" weapo...
  • 07:42 AM - Azzy quoted Imaculata in post What are your Pedantic Complaints about D&D?
    2. Automatic Crossbows. Get that nonsense out of here. But repeating crossbows were real. 3. Studded Leather Armor. What do the studs even do? The way studded leather was originally described in the 1e DMG makes it sound like brigandine armor, with the "studs" being the rivets that attach the metal plates to the leather/fabric.

Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 09:46 PM - Blue quoted Imaculata in post What are your Pedantic Complaints about D&D?
    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. Atk Bonus + d20 >= Def Bonus + d20 is the same mathematically as: Atk Bonus +d20 -d20 >= Def Bonus d20-d20 is a bell curve. So it really changes the odds and the differance that a +1 make depending on where it is in that curve. If your attack and the defense are the same, the first +/-1 will grant a 5% bonus. But if they aren;'t the same, +/-1 will offer smaller change. And asymetic changes - if your attack is +15 and the defense if +10, a +1 will offer a smaller bonus then the -1 would a penalty. (And vice versa if the defense is higher.) Not saying this is bad, but people are used to the linear target numbers and bonuses of D&D.
  • 02:09 PM - dave2008 quoted Imaculata in post What are your Pedantic Complaints about D&D?
    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. There is already an option in the DMG for players to make saves to to prevent being hit instead of the DM rolling monsters to hit. So that should be taken care kf?

Monday, 15th July, 2019

  • 05:35 PM - Blue quoted Imaculata in post What are your Pedantic Complaints about D&D?
    3. Studded Leather Armor. What do the studs even do? The studs make catcalls at the elves (can't tell what gender they are, so whistle all) and flex. A lot. Oh wait, wrong context.
  • 04:29 PM - Charlaquin quoted Imaculata in post What are your Pedantic Complaints about D&D?
    3. Studded Leather Armor. What do the studs even do? They secure small overlapping metal plates to the inside of the leather (or more often heavy cloth) garment. “Studded Leather” is just one among many examples of Victorian scholars misinterpreting depictions of armor in medieval artwork. What do the studs do?! You are a simple soul aren't you? The studs look COOL. And adding shiny metal accents to your black leather is what any righteous EMO elf ranger needs, right up there with eye shadow and a tortured back story. What do the studs do, honestly... :erm: Studs aren’t emo, they’re punk. Some forms of goth fashion also employ them, unsurprisingly as goth is an offshoot of punk. Emo is also an offshoot of punk, but studded leather was never really part of emo fashion, except in belts, and even that was mostly a result of burgeoning alt kids getting what ever random accessories from Hot Topic we thought were most likely to make the adults in our lives uncomfortable.

Saturday, 13th July, 2019

  • 10:35 PM - aramis erak quoted Imaculata in post Help Reading Dice Pools
    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. It's important to note that "dice pool" has two, fundamentally different, meanings. Meaning 1: roll the pool, total. Meaning 2: roll the pool, count the number of dice which individually meet a given criteria. Various mechanics: Symbolic dice (FFG, WEG d6 Batman), N+ by difficulty (GDW Space 1889; WWG Vampire 1E), N- (Modiphius 2d20; Deep7 Arrowflight 1E), Highest unmatched (I forget which one used this), number unmatched (JWP Orkworld - weapon penetration vs armor), Number of matching (another small press I can't recall the title), Highest single die (DP9 Silhouette), Sum Highest X of Y (L5R 1E-4E)... Chosen X of Y symbollic (L5R 5E), N dice by difficulty for under some TN... The only thing consistent about "dice pool" as a descriptor is that the number of dice is variable by some aspect of play.

Wednesday, 10th July, 2019

  • 09:41 PM - Mort quoted Imaculata in post Camping outside the BBEG's door: yea or nay?
    As a player, I often wonder how much is too much in terms of prep. That doesn't mean sleeping, but self-buffs as well. As a 3.5 guy especially, it can begin to feel silly when you layer 7 protective enchantments before daring to boot open a door. ...And then the gargantuan octopus-beholder takes them all away with one glance. ;) ...And then the gargantuan octopus-beholder takes them all away with one glance. ;) It started to irritate me in mid to high level 3e-3.5e play that Dispel Magic was the go-to battle spell. Players spend way too long prepping before a fight. Get into fight. Dispel Magic gets cast immediately, takes forever to adjudicate, and much of the pre-fight prep is eradicated.

Sunday, 7th July, 2019

  • 05:19 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Imaculata in post What Does Your Magic Look Like
    As a DM I often ask my players to describe their own spells. For example, when 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 experience players love adding their own flavor to the look of a spell. They love describing what kind of gestures and incantations their character makes too. This. This is excellent DMing, and a great tool for DMs. DMs do almost all of the narrative descriptions because they are the ones running the game world. But by doing this, it can often inspire players to feel like they are also contributing to the world (without having any mechanical impact to how the DM wants to run their games), and can help players get into the game better, rather than just waiting for the DM to describe everything themselves. Which ...

Thursday, 27th June, 2019

  • 05:05 PM - Istbor quoted Imaculata in post I think my dentist is ripping me off.
    I am by no means a 'tough guy', but getting a filling from a skilled dentist barely hurts. Skilled being the operative word here. If your dentist knows what he/she's doing, you should be fine. And it saves money too. Understandable. I am talking more to the, let's pull it out with a pliers or, getting hit by a car and thinking playing D&D right after is a good idea.

Tuesday, 25th June, 2019

  • 07:03 PM - Satyrn quoted Imaculata in post Challenging assumptions/tactics while giving hints
    If my players pretend to not know about trolls and fire, I have the trolls spit fire at them, and then explode. ..Just thought I would throw in a less expected answer. Torgue Trolls! I love it! Ooh! And I'll have all the exploded bits squirm back together so the troll regenerates from the explosion like a T1000.

Saturday, 22nd June, 2019

  • 01:56 PM - Zardnaar quoted Imaculata in post I think my dentist is ripping me off.
    People get a anesthetic for a simple filling? Now that's a rip off. I've stopped using it. Prefer the brief pain over fuzzy headed for a bit. Injured myself a few years back and now normal levels of pain don't hurt as much.

Friday, 21st June, 2019

  • 06:33 PM - iserith quoted Imaculata in post Villains that are supposed to escape
    Never force a villain to escape. The villain only escapes if the players let him get away. If a module says that a villain escapes, that is a dumb module. Ignore it. I agree. That is just bad adventure design and you'd think professional adventure writers would realize that by now. Sometimes things that happen in the movies just can't easily be replicated at the table. Be happy when it does, but plan that it won't.
  • 11:53 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Imaculata in post Keanu in the MCU
    How about Keanu as Gambit? I don’t think I want to hear Keanu’s attempt at a creole accent. Longshot, OTOH...

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 ...


Page 1 of 59 123456789101151 ... LastLast

Imaculata's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated

Most Recent Favorite Generators/Tables

View All Favorites