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  • robus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:00 PM
    You could also create a new "Parkour" skill that covers both acrobatics and athletics. :) If the players want to climb walls (where there's some cost of failure, of course) I would ask for Strength check (to which they could add their proficiency bonus if they have the Parkour skill). As for leaping down, I would ask for a Dexterity check (to which they can add their proficiency bonus if they're...
    17 replies | 316 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:41 AM
    Doesn’t Xanathar’s Guide add some magic item creation rules (ok guidelines...)?
    11 replies | 628 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 04:26 PM
    It seems to me that once you have the broad strokes of the campaign world sketched in: what are the playable races/classes and what generally is the setting: hot/cold/temperate (helps when choosing monsters), what the major threat is (loki wanting some powerful item in your case) and where they start (where/how does the party come together), then you have enough to start rolling. You really don’t...
    39 replies | 995 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 04:04 AM
    It really could be anything from medieval type witch-hunter, through Dracula, and into Cthulhu (and perhaps even to some kind of Doom/Quake type scenario, so leaving the gothic there a bit :)) The key part for me is (somewhat helpless) humans facing terrible horrors.
    308 replies | 8080 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 12:00 AM
    And as the most recent threadcrapper, I’ll make an effort to get it back on the rails... Other genre’s I’d like to apply D&D? * Humans vs creatures of the night. Basically gothic horror type of thing, only humans as PCs * Ancient World and a voyage of fantastic discovery and strange creatures. * Alien world full of ancient ruins and strange creatures and unique character races (Zendikar...
    308 replies | 8080 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 11:51 PM
    How about starting it over with a “no guns allowed” proviso? :)
    308 replies | 8080 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 11:50 PM
    Not to me, HP loss is modeling the effort to turn that potentially lethal knife blow into just a scratch, requiring both mental and physical effort. For a gun fight I would say HP is simply tracking how long it is until your luck finally runs out. I could live with that I think. People with low HP are simply inexperienced in the art of gunfighting and are quick to dispatch with a single shot. Hmm...
    308 replies | 8080 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 04:30 PM
    Yeah I’m probably too wedded to my interpretation of HP to bend it towards firearms against PCs. Not that I’d run a game like that in D&D anyway. So it was mostly a thought experiment.
    308 replies | 8080 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 04:03 AM
    To me, HP works to model your ability to defend against these attacks, generally they’re attacks you can see coming or come at a speed (if ranged) that you can react to in time to reduce the lethal damage to a scratch or a bruise or whatever. I think the difference is we know how lethal guns are, people are getting killed by them every day, and yes action heroes don’t get shot, but you also...
    308 replies | 8080 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 12:18 AM
    My point was that HP should only come into play when the defending character is putting up a fight. They don’t model a character’s ability to dumbly absorb damage, but to actively resist damage.
    308 replies | 8080 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 08:06 PM
    It's all fun and games until the lead starts flying... :)
    308 replies | 8080 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 07:53 PM
    I mis-spoke, I meant "point", but I take your point :) Sure, I'm just not sure it'll give the right feel for me is all.
    308 replies | 8080 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 07:51 PM
    Well, I'm not that kind of DM. :) It's actually entirely feasible for me, as DM, to kill any PC, at any moment, for any reason, but that wouldn't be much fun would it?
    308 replies | 8080 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 06:56 PM
    I addressed that by discussing the fact that HP is recording your ability to defend yourself from the attack. If you're not defending yourself then that dagger attack is going to kill you no matter what your HP. The difference for guns is there is no reasonable defensive tactic except cover. Sure that's fine for cannon-fodder, but for actual shootouts with competent adversaries?
    308 replies | 8080 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 06:51 PM
    Sure, there are solutions in *some settings*, but most action adventure scenarios don't have people running around in kevlar :)
    308 replies | 8080 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 06:08 PM
    HP, in my opinion, is not plot armor, it is tracking a character’s ability to continue to defend themself from attack. It’s why HP shouldn’t factor into PCs taking out sleeping baddies. If they’ve stealthed close enough then, sure, they’re dead. This is why guns raise a problem. There’s no real defense to being shot at (except for cover). Unless you’re Neo in the Matrix and you can switch to...
    308 replies | 8080 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 05:38 PM
    I’ll bite. Leaving guns aside, I think the best way to apply D&D rules to a different genre is to basically remove player options that aren’t appropriate. While WotC seems to want to allow all races & classes in any adventure, preserving genre feel means cutting stuff that, if it appeared, would be like a needle being dragged across an LP. For example, in my “Curse of Innistrad” campaign...
    308 replies | 8080 view(s)
    2 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 04:34 PM
    Just dropping in to say that I've found this thread to be really informative for this style of campaign.
    37 replies | 849 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 11:27 PM
    Ah I was thinking it would entail a less fantastical adventuring world.
    308 replies | 8080 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 08:00 AM
    My issue with D&D rules in other genres is challenging the characters at higher levels given their HP and damage dealing increases. In the Age of Sail setting, for example, how does that work out? Or do campaigns need to be level limited?
    308 replies | 8080 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:25 AM
    A “whoosh” for me then! :D
    419 replies | 18118 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:00 AM
    Have you considered the Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica? It includes an intro adventure and the book has tons of lore for him to devour once the adventure is complete?
    19 replies | 658 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 11:53 PM
    I’m not aware of that old saw. I thought “political correctness” was invented to dismiss people’s efforts to “treat people with respect”?! That’s how it seemed in the 90s at least...
    419 replies | 18118 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 11:24 PM
    My theory on this is because it’s the combination of two major forces: male supremacy and social media amplification. Male supremacy has been taken for granted, basically forever, and now there is more pushback on that (pushback that started a while back but has been gathering steam now that stories are easier to share via social media). Social media also makes it possible to shame people on...
    419 replies | 18118 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 10:14 PM
    They had to draw the line somewhere and knew they had Out of the Abyss in the plan to fill in those gaps. It’s a good question. Stamina seems like a fine skill. My question would be they just didn’t think it would come up enough to warrant inclusion. When you think about it, there are tons of skills that aren’t included. Also the core stats used to mean something different and have been...
    11 replies | 628 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 10:37 PM
    i feel your pain. most of WotC’s contributions leave much to be desired, Dragon Heist especially has been maligned here at least. You’ve not mentioned Tomb of Annihilation? While I wouldn’t go with WotC’s setup, that seems like a fun option? I would have the PCs start out as “tomb raiders” and only once they hit level 4/5 have the whole curse kick in (affecting people they’ve become attached to).
    10 replies | 496 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 02:47 PM
    I wish WotC would take this advice!
    44 replies | 1453 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 10:28 AM
    These look cool, but the missing element is the motivation for these villains. Why are they doing these things now? For example, to what purpose is the powerful necromancer raising legions and why now? Identifying the motivation unlocks all kinds of collateral content. Otherwise we're just left with a blunt conflict.
    7 replies | 416 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 02:03 PM
    No.
    44 replies | 1453 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 10:28 AM
    It seems unfortunate that WotC didn't rescale vessels from tiny to huge. Having a 20x10 ft sloop described as gargantuan seems very strange. :) These seem like more reasonable categories for vessels: Dingy: Tiny (fits within 10'x10') Boat: Small (fits within 30'x30') Yacht: Medium (fits within 50'x50') Ship: Large/Huge (large fits within 100'x100'/huge fits within 200'x200')
    6 replies | 477 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 10:02 AM
    Instead of asking for what you're missing, perhaps tell us what you're looking for? :) More monsters? Tomb of Beasts and Creature Codex add a bunch of variety. More treasure? Arcanis: Forged in Magic has some fun options.
    33 replies | 1288 view(s)
    3 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 07:41 AM
    Oooh, you got me! Actually it’s the most brutal criticism because you’re saying that it is so far removed from D&D that it is not even worthy of discussion. It is apparently “meaningless” in regards to playing the game. I do like the show and I find some episodes to be very educational as Matt regularly deals with unique interesting encounters and his scene setting is exemplary. But...
    106 replies | 3828 view(s)
    1 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 09:33 PM
    Calling a legitimate D&D game meaningless, when it’s probably the most meaningful game around? We’re all ace DMs but no-one actually sees our game. This one guy (and players) actually show a game and it’s exceptionally good and everyone is quick to dismiss it as “not an example of real D&D”, “meaningless”. I’m not sure why this burns my britches, but it all seems more like “tall poppy...
    106 replies | 3828 view(s)
    1 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 08:50 PM
    Way too little info to provide useful advice, and your tone makes it appear that you’re in over your head?! What is your experience level? And why have you apparently rejected the published adventures?
    11 replies | 487 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 08:45 PM
    You guys need to stop maligning the show. It started before they began streaming and will likely continue after we all move onto the next big thing. It’s incredibly hard to perform for an absent audience (they have no idea what the audience response is and thank the gods they don’t monitor the chat during the game), so they actually perform for the enjoyment of each other, which happens at many...
    106 replies | 3828 view(s)
    1 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 07:39 AM
    Yeah random generators have their place but this is not it. A good villain and threat needs some design (and motivation). Perhaps that’s the key. We at least need to know why the villain is doing something. Just because they’re evil isn’t much of a motivation.
    8 replies | 442 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 07:37 AM
    Yeah, but this is for when there are no published adventures for the setting :)
    8 replies | 442 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 06:05 PM
    I also want to give a big thumbs up to the Time Tracker on DMs Guild: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/253286/Time-Tracker It’s been great to have a clock sitting right in the middle of the table for every one (including me) to see.
    27 replies | 1184 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 12:09 PM
    CapnZapp raised an interesting point in the Expanse thread on the lack of adventures for settings once the rulebook is published. Now we all know writing a comprehensive adventure path/campaign is hard (and frequently fails to please everyone all of the time). But is there an opportunity for something simpler (a campaign skeleton say?) which GMs could flesh out as they go? I frequently find...
    8 replies | 442 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 09:29 AM
    After two sessions the adventurers have made it to the gate of the hill top town the provides the location for the main adventure. Our party has grown to 7 which is quite a handful, and the players are quite a rowdy bunch which I'll need to try and tamp down (a lot of cross-talk while others are trying to talk) but the enthusiasm is great. And there's also a lot of in character intra-party...
    27 replies | 1184 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 04:32 PM
    Something I've been toying with is using the Constitution score to handle "out of combat" knocking out situations. Reducing a guard to 0 HP just to knock them out doesn't fit my vision of how sneaking PCs can take them out (without killing them). Instead I have the PC make a Strength ability check (with advantage if they have a cudgel or something) against the creatures Constitution score...
    58 replies | 1842 view(s)
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Tuesday, 14th May, 2019

  • 04:49 PM - volanin mentioned robus in post Bethesda Pulls Promotional Elder Scrolls D&D Module Following Plagiarism Accusations
    I don't think you've got much room to criticize when the product you're selling on the DM's Guild on Theater of the Mind in 5e borrows heavily from 13th Age without acknowledging that fact. Thanks for pointing that out, EpicureanDM. It's nice to see you created an account just to post this. Anyway, to make us all more informed people, game mechanics are not copyrightable. My product borrows heavily from many other great products in the market currently, not only 13th Age. On the other hand, Chandra Stol's name, along with the rest of the adventure, is most certainly Ben Heisler's and Paige Leitman's intellectual property. By the way, thanks once again for the call out. If anybody wants to check out my Roshambo-Style Theater of the Mind (it's free, with a suggested price if you want to contribute something) and also many, many other amazing resources to make your 5E games better, check out this great forum post by robus. Best of the 5e Forum by robus: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?545699-Best-of-the-5e-Forum

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 02:47 AM - MNblockhead mentioned robus in post Printing maps - how to do this affordably & with minimum headache?
    ... more likely to have good color. Nice that you broke free, but it's not practical for many. And undesirable for more. Oh, and a great way to carry maps? 4" or larger thin-wall PVC pipes - used for low-pressure applications, like AC ducting. End caps are readily available, even screw cap fittings. Adding a strap is trivial - buy some nylon strapping, glue it on. I've used a 4" water pipe. For unlaminated maps, it's great (if a bit heavy). For laminated, I want 6" PVC duct pipe... Using PVC pipes with caps is brilliant! I had a bunch of those cardboard tubes, but the plastic ends would get loose. Sorry, didn't mean to thread hijack. Personally, I would rather use a chessex matt or battle-grid than have to manage paper maps (or worse, dungeon tiles) again. I do still like to use physical maps for world and region maps, printed on cloth is best. I also will still give out paper maps as handouts. But battlemap scale just requires a lots space. On another thread, robus recommended Vivyx Printing. They'll print up to 40" x 60"

Monday, 6th May, 2019

  • 12:34 PM - akr71 mentioned robus in post Tyranny of Dragons. Players gone Wild! Advise?
    Yep, what robus said. All of Tiamat's forces are congregating at the Well of Dragons. All of Rise of Tiamat essentially deals with gathering allies, so that an all out war happens at the Well of Dragons. I mean, they could try to sneak into the Well, dressed like cultists and assassinate the leaders, one by one. If they free the prisoners, there might be enough chaos to help, but many innocent prisoners may likely die because of it. If you really want to be nice to them, make one of the cultist at the Well a Harper or Zhent spy under deep cover. Maybe Leosin the monk or Ontharr contacts them via Sending and tells them who to look for.

Friday, 3rd May, 2019

  • 06:08 AM - Quickleaf mentioned robus in post I have an issue with swarms
    robus You know how 5e treats green slime as a hazard and not a monster? I think that's the model that swarms fit best into. Usually when I've had PCs encounter a swarm their goal is not "kill the swarm", rather it's "accomplish ______, while dealing with the swarm." In other words, the swarm plays the role of an obstacle. And the most satisfying ways of handling obstacles are those that encourage player creativity. Statting up a swarm as a monster encourages players to switch into "how do I kill it" mode. Which is –usually– artificial in the narrative. In other words, it switches the player out of the more organic "how do I deal with it" thinking. I've run swarms as obstacles impromptu, but I've never written up anything formal yet... My hunch would be to blend the green slime writeup with a few of the swarm traits and a dash of the trap countermeasures from XGtE.

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 01:34 AM - Hussar mentioned robus in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    /snip As for acknowledging "weaknesses", sure, goal-and-approach has weaknesses. Poorly implemented, or misunderstood, players may try to "talkie talkie" the DM or think it's "mother may I." Of course, those sorts of DMs and players will try to do that anyway, so honestly I'm not sure how much of a weakness it is. /snip So, the only weakness is if someone doesn't do it right. Ok. /snip I’m sorry, has anyone said that there is a 100% perfect approach with only strengths and no weaknesses? Didn't you ask me for cites not so long ago. There's one right there. And, as far as smooth vs better goes, I'm sorry, but, that's complete bollocks. My game is running smooth=good. My game is running rough=bad. That's plain English. Endless dodges don't actually change that. It's not force, but, rather, default. Please. For all the complaints about misunderstanding, you folks do seem bent on defending some pretty disingenuous points. Yeah, robus is right. The other thread showed me the light. I'm already running it goal:method anyway according to iserith, so, well, this conversation is rather pointless. I did try to unsubscribe once before. We'll see if it sticks this time.

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 08:06 AM - Harzel mentioned robus in post How far is too far when describing what a PC senses and feels?
    Umm... Not entirely sure what you intended here. It is obviously true that their original game was not conceived with live streaming in mind. OTOH, is the cast somehow unaware that they are now doing a live stream? I think not. I also doubt that robus was confused about either of these. I know, and I acknowledged that. There are also, buried somewhere on YouTube and Twitter, a few clips from the Critical Role crew's game before they made the switch to streaming it, and it looks very different. Far less polished, far less performative, far more like what private D&D games normally look like in my experience, albeit one with a fantastic DM and a set of players who are very skilled actors. It is performance art, but that is not a dismissal. Quite the contrary, I greatly appreciate performance art as a professional performer myself. I'm not trying to diminish Critical role by calling it performance art, Yes, clearly different - the question is to what the various differences are attributable. The problem that I have with many comments made about CR is the frequent certainty expressed about the performative (and other) aspects of their game being solely or mainly due to the fact that they are live streaming it, as opposed to them be...

Saturday, 13th April, 2019

  • 03:25 PM - Parmandur mentioned robus in post Of Ships & The Sea DM Screen & Official Vinyl Sword Coast Map
    The wasted something like 20% of the area of the map on empty ocean in order to show one small island in the far north east. Three better options: 1) Reduce the size of the map by 20%, pocket the profits. 2) Reduce the size of the map by 20%, cut the price. 3) Keep the same size, extend the map to show 20% more of eastern Fearun; including the location for the first 6 seasons of AL and all the CCC content. That's robus printout: the Gale Force 9 map doesn't have all the water.

Friday, 22nd March, 2019

  • 09:46 PM - jimmytheccomic mentioned robus in post Enhancing "Dragon Heist"
    robus, since you're updating the index- I wrote a second DMs Guild Waterdeep themed product as a sibling piece to "Here's to Crime". "Handful of Heists" is a collection of five heist adventures set in Waterdeep- https://www.dmsguild.com/product/270065/Handful-of-Heists?src=hottest_filtered&filters=0_45728_0_0_0_0_0_0&site=#_=_

Monday, 11th March, 2019

  • 07:22 PM - CleverNickName mentioned robus in post Critical Role Kickstarter Predition Game: Guess the Funding Outcome (GTFO)
    ... dregntael: $13,935,109 chrisrtld: $13,635,019 pogre: $13,500,000 Aebir-Toril: $13,224,376.89 Satyrn: $13,000,000 Yardiff: $12,456,145 -----------Highest-Funded Game Project on Kickstarter (Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5) $12,393,139-------- Radaceus: $12,345,678.91 FarBeyondC: $12,345,678.90 Morrus: $12,000,000 Mistwell: $11,800,000 Mort: $11,620,000 Zardnaar: $11,354,883 <--- The Winner! Sadras: $11,120,000 SkidAce: $11,000,000 Tazawa: $10,700,000 togashi_joe: $10,250,000 DM Dave1: $10,101,010 MichaelSomething: $10,000,000 Lazybones: $9,750,000 PabloM: $9,500,000 akr71: $9,250,000 rczarnec: $9,250,000 Azzy: $9,000,000 Henry: $8,900,000 mortwatcher: $8,666,000 Lidgar: $8,423,976.73 vincegetorix: $8,360,000 SmokeyCriminal: $8,008,135 AriochQ: $7,777,777 robus: $7,750,000 MarkB: $7,500,000 phantomK9: $6,969,696 TarionzCousin: $6,160,000 ClaytonCross: $6,000,000 ---------Highest-Funded Film Project on Kickstarter (MST3K Kickstarter) $5,764,229----------- MaximusArael020: $5,685,000 Prakriti: $1

Monday, 4th March, 2019

  • 07:15 PM - CleverNickName mentioned robus in post In Defense of Milestone Leveling
    robus, iserith, DM Dave1: Is "DM fiat leveling" even a bad thing? The DM controls how many battles occur and when, and determines how many monsters are in each...therefore, the DM fully controls XP already. Any control the player has over XP is purely an illusion. Milestone leveling might break the illusion, but it's not like the concept is new...

Thursday, 13th December, 2018


Thursday, 1st November, 2018

  • 01:11 PM - lowkey13 mentioned robus in post best/saved threads
    It's not quite the same, but robus has this thread which is stickied and can be edited: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?545699-Best-of-the-5e-Forum

Tuesday, 18th September, 2018

  • 06:30 PM - Quickleaf mentioned robus in post Mitigating players spamming Help, Guidance, Bardic Inspiration, and oh I’ll roll too?
    iserith robus ad_hoc A lot of advice about “Players don’t decide when to roll, the DM does.” Yep! My issue is not that I don’t practice that; it is that I am getting worn down constantly policing the players on this issue & constantly finding new ways to explain this specific to a scenario as one or more players eagerly reach for their dice. It’s tiring for me because I love to say “yes” to my players & the policing part is my least favorite part of DMing. “No, you can’t Help/Work Together because you haven’t said anything that would be helpful in this negotiation. Is there something you’d like to speak up and add to support the Bard’s arguement?” “No, Bard player, you can’t roll to beat the druid’s Nature check because you haven’t proposed doing anything substantially different. Besides the Druid is the *best* in your party at Nature lore. You might try a new approach?” “No, Sorcerer player, you can’t make a History check here. Because nothing in your background as a native of the forests ...

Tuesday, 28th August, 2018

  • 06:30 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned robus in post Video Game Inspiration for D&D 5e
    Prize: The four colored spheres become elemental gems that can only be activated by the winner Fruit: I like what robus suggests... make them healing/defensive potions of various strengths such as: Cherry = Potion of Healing Strawberry = Potion of Necrotic Resistance Orange = Potion of Greater Healing Apple = Potion of Heroism Melon = Potion of Superior Healing Galaxian = Potion of Longevity Bell = Potion of Supreme Healing Key = Potion of Speed

Tuesday, 21st August, 2018

  • 04:57 AM - iserith mentioned robus in post Missing Rules
    ...hat the winning jump at the 1896 Olympics was over 22 feet, I don't think that the outcome of an attempt by a muscled and athletically trained human in the D&D world to jump an 18' chasm is certain failure. Obviously, given the rule on p 64 and assuming less than 18 STR, it is not certainly successful either. Hence it would be determined by a STR (Athletics) check made against an appropriate difficulty. My reason for spelling this out is simply to demonstrate the point that what is at issue in this thread, at least as far as the current discussion is concerned, is not the proper way to adjudicate 5e, nor the closely related issue of whose job it is to call for checks, nor the issue of whether or not "I clear the chasm by jumping over it" states an approach to the goal of getting across the chasm - it manifestly does. What is at issue is what the rule on p 64 makes certain and leaves uncertain. On this issue of jumping the chasm, that's the sole point of difference between me and @robus and I think @SkidAce, @5ekyu and @Reynard, on the one hand, and you and @Charlaquin on the other. I still think this comes down to approach. There are two goals here, you might say: Jumping Normally and Jumping An Unusually Long Distance. You can certainly achieve the second goal, in some circumstances, given a viable approach. This might mean interacting with the terrain in some fashion that is unusual, getting the assistance of an ally, or using a resource that reasonably helps. The resolution of that outcome may or may not involve a Strength (Athletics) check. What is a viable approach requires context and, even if we're all looking at the same context, we may rule differently as to its viability. Some might say it works, others that it doesn't - no roll. Some might say it's uncertain and call for a check. Among those latter folk, the DCs may vary. Do I think a character can jump an unusually long distance? Yes. The rules say it's possible. What matters is the approach they off...
  • 04:30 AM - pemerton mentioned robus in post Missing Rules
    ...the winning jump at the 1896 Olympics was over 22 feet, I don't think that the outcome of an attempt by a muscled and athletically trained human in the D&D world to jump an 18' chasm is certain failure. Obviously, given the rule on p 64 and assuming less than 18 STR, it is not certainly successful either. Hence it would be determined by a STR (Athletics) check made against an appropriate difficulty. My reason for spelling this out is simply to demonstrate the point that what is at issue in this thread, at least as far as the current discussion is concerned, is not the proper way to adjudicate 5e, nor the closely related issue of whose job it is to call for checks, nor the issue of whether or not "I clear the chasm by jumping over it" states an approach to the goal of getting across the chasm - it manifestly does. What is at issue is what the rule on p 64 makes certain and leaves uncertain. On this issue of jumping the chasm, that's the sole point of difference between me and robus and I think SkidAce, 5ekyu and Reynard, on the one hand, and you and Charlaquin on the other.
  • 03:29 AM - SkidAce mentioned robus in post Missing Rules
    robus said it well.

Monday, 20th August, 2018

  • 05:08 PM - iserith mentioned robus in post Missing Rules
    Except that the rules also state that you can jump further than usual, which is something you don't seem to have explained. I've explained it at length, over and over again: An approach is required to determine if the character can actually jump an unusually long distance. "An Athletics check" is not an approach. It is a mechanic to resolve a declared approach to a goal that has an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure. I am in no way against a character trying to jump an unusually long distance. The question is "How?" The gray area, as I pointed out to robus, is that the efficacy of the player's answer to "How?" is going to be judged differently by different DMs. He's okay with "I try harder..." (or words to that effect). I am not. Neither of us are wrong.

Monday, 30th July, 2018

  • 09:08 PM - guachi mentioned robus in post Running 5e published adventures
    I hate the fact that 5e adventures don't have inline monster stats so much I don't run 5e published modules. I just convert older modules and just combine my conversion time into adding concise monster stats to an Excel spreadsheet and I print the stat block up separately for each encounter. It also serves as a convenient place to track HP, too. Yes, it takes time. But my time at the table (which this saves) is more valuable than my time in prep. Another benefit is that typing out the abbreviated stat block and treasure list is that it gives me a much better grasp on the encounter. I get a much better feel for encounter difficulty this way. I've only ever seriously misjudged one encounter - with three hellhounds. LOL - I just realized I said basically the same thing robus did.

Friday, 27th July, 2018

  • 07:19 PM - Cyber-Dave mentioned robus in post For those who know, are Ravnica vampires like Zendikar vampires or Innistrad vampires?
    @robus Outside of D&D, vampires do not come with a "very specific set of aspects." They are, in fact, a relatively recent mythological development. Right now, the term "vampire" coheres with exactly two core qualities that are common to every instance of the creature in fiction: it thirsts for something related to one's life energy; it comes correlated to the promise of longevity. D&D vampires are more specific than that. D&D vampires generally look like a conflation of the vampires from Bram Stoker's Dracula and the film Nosferatu. The vampires of Innistrad are the same. That isn't true of Magic the Gathering. The vampire's from its different planes retain the core aspects that have defined vampires across all their variations, but each plane presents a different variation of the creature. In some planes, they are living creatures infected with a disease a la I Am Legend. In others (like Innistrad), they are creatures out of a gothic horror story. Arguing that vampires belong only in on...


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Sunday, 23rd June, 2019

  • 08:24 PM - messy quoted robus in post messy's 5e newbie questions thread
    not sure what you’re referring to? Some homebrew effort perhaps? Probably on the DMsGuild. It won't be official. Everyone & their brother can publish there so I'm sure you'll find something that'll work for you. Unless you mean Unearthed Arcana articles. WoTC puts out playtest stuff under this heading on their own site - most notable are a few versions of the ranger as they tinkered with it, mostly to improve the Beastmaster. Not sure what you mean by this. Are you looking for the PHB errata? ccs is closest to what i mean. i heard there was a revised beastmaster ranger (and a few other classes; possibly the four elements monk?) posted by wotc, presumably to make these classes a little stronger. 17. why was mage armor changed to +3? is this part of bounded accuracy? 18. where are the magic item creation rules? in the dmg?
  • 05:02 AM - Fenris-77 quoted robus in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    It really could be anything from medieval type witch-hunter, through Dracula, and into Cthulhu (and perhaps even to some kind of Doom/Quake type scenario, so leaving the gothic there a bit :)) The key part for me is (somewhat helpless) humans facing terrible horrors. Hmm. That's a pretty broad range. I think the extent to which a given example there is going end up with a combat intense 'average' session probably determines the usefulness of the D&D rule set. In a traditionally Lovecraftian horror game that has very little in the way of combat I'd probably pick another system. Everything else on that list would be doable, with the basic question being "can I combat terrible horrors with a BFG or spell equivalent?". The more helpless the humans the less useful D&D is as an engine IMO.

Saturday, 22nd June, 2019

  • 11:57 PM - Fenris-77 quoted robus in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    Not to me, HP loss is modeling the effort to turn that potentially lethal knife blow into just a scratch, requiring both mental and physical effort. For a gun fight I would say HP is simply tracking how long it is until your luck finally runs out. I could live with that I think. People with low HP are simply inexperienced in the art of gunfighting and are quick to dispatch with a single shot. Hmm that’s growing on me... Given the stories I like to tell, and my players like to play, I am completely content with this being how HP interact with firearms.
  • 05:11 PM - Maxperson quoted robus in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    To me, HP works to model your ability to defend against these attacks, generally they’re attacks you can see coming or come at a speed (if ranged) that you can react to in time to reduce the lethal damage to a scratch or a bruise or whatever. And that's fine if it's how you want to model hit points. The game however, needs to model damage for guns in the manner it models hit points, and to the game luck and divine aid are also forms of hit points. How many times have we seen in a movie where the cross-hairs or red dot are on the hero's head, but he moves at the last second and the shot misses him by a fraction of an inch? Those in D&D are modeled by both misses and hit point damage, depending on the situation. If you don't want to include those sorts of hit points in your game, then of course you don't have to use them. I think the difference is we know how lethal guns are, people are getting killed by them every day, and yes action heroes don’t get shot, but you also don’t see them...
  • 02:11 PM - Oofta quoted robus in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    To me, HP works to model your ability to defend against these attacks, generally they’re attacks you can see coming or come at a speed (if ranged) that you can react to in time to reduce the lethal damage to a scratch or a bruise or whatever. I think the difference is we know how lethal guns are, people are getting killed by them every day, and yes action heroes don’t get shot, but you also don’t see them get any sort of wearing down either. It’s cat and mouse until someone gets the lucky shot and it’s over (in the movie inevitably it’s the bad guy, but that doesn’t work in a game. The PC has to have some risk or there’s no tension). Modeling that through HP would work but the feel, IMHO, would be off (because, unless you’re wearing kevlar, a shot that hits is a shot that does major damage and is often lethal). Probably the classic movie scene that sums this up is in Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Indy goes up against the sword fighter and after seeing some fancy sword play just shoots the...
  • 12:22 AM - Tony Vargas quoted robus in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    My point was that HP should only come into play when the defending character is putting up a fight. They don’t model a character’s ability to dumbly absorb damage, but to actively resist damage.I suppose that's varied a bit from one edition to the next. Back in the day, there was a rule along the lines of "sleeping or otherwise helpless creatures can be slain at a rate of 1/round." In latter eds, there were 'Coup de Grace' rules that made it a lot more likely, but not guaranteed, that you could kill a helpless victim. In 5e, hitting a downed character will kill it pretty quick. But it's an adequate way of visualizing hps in an action scene. The hero who is up & running is harder to shoot dead than the one who's exhausted, propped up against the side of the barn, waiting for you to finish him off (if his last desperate trick doesn't work, that is).

Friday, 21st June, 2019

  • 11:52 PM - CapnZapp quoted robus in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    Leaving guns aside, I think the best way to apply D&D rules to a different genre is to basically remove player options that aren’t appropriate. You need more than that. Even if your fine with the effect of a ranged attack on a healthy hero (i.e. none at all) I'd wager you still pretty much need new rules. A couple of very basic example suggestions: * if you don't start with the enemy in sight, your attacks against him are at Disadvantage. (To discourage hiding completely behind a corner, only popping out during your own turn) * Somebody upthread suggested everyone walks around pretty much unarmored, and that "fighters" gain their AC through other means, such as using cover intelligently.
  • 08:02 PM - Tony Vargas quoted robus in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    I mis-spoke, I meant "point", but I take your point :) Sure, I'm just not sure it'll give the right feel for me is all. Nod. Feel or expectations seems like it's the main stumbling block Hit points can and do model the same sorts of things when swords, arrows, fireballs, and lightning blots are flying around. But itty-bitty pellets of streamlined lead start flying around ...
  • 07:38 PM - Tony Vargas quoted robus in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    I addressed that by discussing the fact that HP is recording your ability to defend yourself from the attack. If you're not defending yourself then that dagger attack is going to kill you no matter what your HP. The difference for guns is there is no reasonable defensive tactic except cover.. I don't suppose there's a whole lot of functional difference between HP as 'plot armor' or hp as 'ability to defend yourself.' Either way, if you're being shot at, you're not being hit, or taking less serious hits, whether it's modeling author force (plot armor), divine intervention, a sixth sense, finite luck, or desperate defense. Picking one of those possible interpretations and calling it 'fact' is overstepping. In some genres, bullet-time would be just fine. In most genres, characters being shot at do move & dodge, defending themselves not by seeing a bullet and moving out of it's trajectory like Neo, but by making themselves a much harder target. Even IRL, you can decrease your chances ...
  • 07:29 PM - Saelorn quoted robus in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    If you're not defending yourself then that dagger attack is going to kill you no matter what your HP.How do your players feel about their epic god-slaying hero being murdered in their sleep by some punk with a knife, with their only possible defense being a Perception roll (at Disadvantage) to wake up in time?
  • 06:47 PM - Oofta quoted robus in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    HP, in my opinion, is not plot armor, it is tracking a character’s ability to continue to defend themself from attack. It’s why HP shouldn’t factor into PCs taking out sleeping baddies. If they’ve stealthed close enough then, sure, they’re dead. This is why guns raise a problem. There’s no real defense to being shot at Somebody should tell that to the people that make kevlar. I could also say that there's no defense against getting run through by a sword ... except in D&D there is. Not all bullet wounds are fatal and HP will always be an abstraction of many things, not just how tough you are.
  • 06:35 PM - Tony Vargas quoted robus in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    HP, in my opinion, is not plot armor, it is tracking a character’s ability to continue to defend themself from attack. I don't suppose there's a whole lot of functional difference. Either way, if you're being shot at, you're not being hit, or taking less serious hits, whether it's modeling author force (plot armor), divine intervention, a sixth sense, finite luck, or desperate defense. This is why guns raise a problem. There’s no real defense to being shot at (except for cover). Unless you’re Neo in the Matrix and you can switch to bullet time (now that might be a fun D&D setting :) ) And in some genres, bullet-time would be just fine. In most genres, characters being shot at do move & dodge, defending themselves not by seeing a bullet and moving out of it's trajectory like Neo, but by making themselves a much harder target. 2) Bad guys also have guns. This the one that suddenly causes trouble because for a gun to feel right, it’s got to hit hard and players don’t like it when the...

Monday, 17th June, 2019

  • 05:27 AM - Ancalagon quoted robus in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    My issue with D&D rules in other genres is challenging the characters at higher levels given their HP and damage dealing increases. In the Age of Sail setting, for example, how does that work out? Or do campaigns need to be level limited? I would run it with another system, perhaps a slight tweak of warhammer. I've actually run a pirate campaign with that, worked well.

Sunday, 16th June, 2019

  • 11:31 AM - Lanefan quoted robus in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    My issue with D&D rules in other genres is challenging the characters at higher levels given their HP and damage dealing increases. In the Age of Sail setting, for example, how does that work out? Or do campaigns need to be level limited?Well, first off just because it's an Age of Sail setting doesn't mean conventional adventuring can't exist. In such a campaign the early levels could be maritime or navy based*, with the characters moving farther away from that as they advance (either that, or becoming fleet commanders etc.). * - it'd be easy, for example, to run U1-3 Saltmarsh series with the characters based on ships rather than onshore. Ditto X1 Isle of Dread or any other adventure set near the sea.

Tuesday, 11th June, 2019

  • 12:33 AM - Riley37 quoted robus in post Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game
    I’m not aware of that old saw. I thought “political correctness” was invented to dismiss people’s efforts to “treat people with respect”?! That’s how it seemed in the 90s at least... Usage of that term has varied, over time. George Orwell was socialist, anti-imperialist, anti-racist, and after his service in the Spanish Civil War, anti-Stalinist. He used the term "politically correct" to mean something like this: "the view which the Party has declared as orthodoxy, regardless of its objective truth". Classic example: The Party shows Winston Smith four lights, but the "politically correct" count is five... and the Party uses harsh methods, motivating Smith to see five lights. Another old-school example: Lysenkoist agriculture, which was politically correct according to Stalin, and thus according to the Party, but which in practice resulted in disastrously low crop production. Whether those who *currently* toss the term around most readily, are mainly acting in the service of objective reali...
  • 12:06 AM - Gradine quoted robus in post Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game
    I’m not aware of that old saw. I thought “political correctness” was invented to dismiss people’s efforts to “treat people with respect”?! That’s how it seemed in the 90s at least... Yeah, that's mostly the point.
  • 12:03 AM - mrm1138 quoted robus in post Players 'distressed' by gang-rape role-playing game
    I’m not aware of that old saw. I thought “political correctness” was invented to dismiss people’s efforts to “treat people with respect”?! That’s how it seemed in the 90s at least... It came from a Neil Gaiman Tumblr post. https://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/43087620460/i-was-reading-a-book-about-interjections-oddly

Tuesday, 4th June, 2019

  • 10:48 AM - Shadowdweller quoted robus in post 1001 Story Arc Ideas
    These look cool, but the missing element is the motivation for these villains. Why are they doing these things now? For example, to what purpose is the powerful necromancer raising legions and why now? Identifying the motivation unlocks all kinds of collateral content. Otherwise we're just left with a blunt conflict.Yeah, I kind of made them to be generic. But it's easy enough to add some sample motivations. And maybe some ideas for plot/event development.

Monday, 3rd June, 2019

  • 11:35 PM - der_kluge quoted robus in post What 5th edition books should I be buying?
    Instead of asking for what you're missing, perhaps tell us what you're looking for? :) More monsters? Tomb of Beasts and Creature Codex add a bunch of variety. More treasure? Arcanis: Forged in Magic has some fun options. Meh - good books. lol I added Tome of Beasts and Creature Codex to my wishlist. Those look like good options. I'll go check out Arcanis next.
  • 03:43 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted robus in post What 5th edition books should I be buying?
    All three of these products are ones I regularly use in my campaigns. Kobold Press knows their monsters, that's for sure. And Arcanis has some really cool magic items. More monsters? Tomb of Beasts and Creature Codex add a bunch of variety. More treasure? Arcanis: Forged in Magic has some fun options.


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robus's Downloads

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Player Quick Reference
Here's a short summary of the key rules relating to combat, resting, conditions and exhaustion that players frequently need reminding of during play.

I find it much handier than leafing through the PHB!
3338 +4 1 Tuesday, 23rd May, 2017, 04:05 PM Tuesday, 23rd May, 2017, 04:05 PM
SKT Runes for Chapter 4
A handout for the runes would be nice for the players to reference so I made one.

Hopefully others find it useful too
332 0 1 Sunday, 23rd April, 2017, 11:40 PM Sunday, 23rd April, 2017, 11:40 PM
Out of the Abyss: Gracklstugh Encounter Map
Reading through the Gracklstugh chapter gave me a headache with all the cross-referencing buried in the text, so I decided to make a map of the encounters and the transitions between them.

Hopefully it's useful.

Updates

v1.0.1
* Fixed the DarkLak...
2550 +6 1 Sunday, 27th September, 2015, 04:07 PM Monday, 28th September, 2015, 10:42 PM

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