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  • robus's Avatar
    Today, 04:51 PM
    Also just use the average damage for NPC attacks unless it's a crit.
    32 replies | 665 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:07 PM
    So I had another look at the Planeshift doc (i don’t have the artbook after being disappointed with the Kaladesh one) and once again this is a plane dominated by a single large city. So it’s really calling for a city map primarily, which is a different kettle of fish. The fact that there’s a big river means there’s a larger world surrounding it and perhaps that could be documented, but then I...
    5 replies | 5272 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 04:29 PM
    Here's my redesign of the front page to promote ability scores over skills:
    5 replies | 212 view(s)
    3 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 03:08 PM
    Heck, just bold or underline would do the trick!
    21 replies | 760 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:43 PM
    Well it's hard to say, because it depends on what the players do, but if they mix things up in a Drow HQ then there could be a decent number. Though I'd probably handle it in waves if possible.
    21 replies | 760 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:40 PM
    I'll think about it when I get some free time (which is not soon).
    5 replies | 5272 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 04:24 PM
    A spell digest would be a useful DMs Guild product.
    21 replies | 760 view(s)
    1 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 12:44 AM
    I'm running a game at a high level and in the next session there's a chance that a variety of mid-to-high level drow casters might be running around each with a different set of spell combinations. I find this to be a challenge on two fronts: 1) Simply remembering what each spell does and its limitations (we're talking about 40 spells that could be cast) 2) Tracking which slots for each NPC...
    21 replies | 760 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 07:13 PM
    The vinyl still has a kind of floppy feel. so it doesn’t feel plastic-y and the corners curl up in a nice way :) Not that I’ve tried it, but i believe that you can use wet erase markers on the vinyl with no trouble.
    58 replies | 9444 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 01:06 AM
    That’s lovely. Kind of wish WotC had offered a flipped version of the map as it’s obviously going to be used on the Sword Coast as you say. Nicely hacked! :)
    58 replies | 9444 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 01:04 AM
    The 4e Menzoberranzan guide on DMs Guild: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/168539/Menzoberranzan-City-of-Intrigue-4e
    58 replies | 9444 view(s)
    1 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 09:21 PM
    Latest print, a lovely map of Menzoberranzan:
    58 replies | 9444 view(s)
    1 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 12:42 AM
    I don’t roll damage for NPCs, I just use the average (unless it’s a critical).
    76 replies | 5578 view(s)
    1 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 08:19 PM
    I also find myself hearing the word in my head and then having to remember the correct spelling in the context. :)
    1012 replies | 71986 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 05:01 PM
    I dunno. Spelling “there” as “their” certainly looks like a spelling mistake to me. I was not confused by their meaning (which is typical for grammar issues), just their spelling. But that’s enough on that.
    1012 replies | 71986 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 04:09 PM
    That's not grammar - those are spelling errors and those never look professional :)
    1012 replies | 71986 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 04:07 PM
    It certainly has been, but as time passes it's seeming more and more out of step. Like for the past 40 years...
    1012 replies | 71986 view(s)
    3 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 03:45 PM
    The beautiful thing about the English language, and its preternatural flexibility, is it just loves to fill holes. And sometimes that's just by extending a meaning.
    1012 replies | 71986 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 03:42 PM
    Something that really irks me (and to which I naturally adapt to switching to singular "they") is when I'm reading out rules for a new board game and the player is constantly referred to as "he". Can't believe that new games still print that (though mostly it's a Euro game it seems, so could be a translator working with a strict grammar book... ;) ) Does anyone else just go "wha...???" when...
    1012 replies | 71986 view(s)
    2 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 12:39 PM
    Perhaps this was a problem in years gone by and different editions, but I came in DMing 5e and took this play loop approach to heart after reading an AngryDM article on (adjudicating actions like a @#%% boss), and I’ve yet to have a problem. Do we occasionally run your sub loop to get on the same page sure, but that’s how reasonable people come to a shared understanding. Is it a fundamental...
    178 replies | 5724 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 12:21 PM
    I dunno, you might not have said it explicility, but surely that is the implication of this?: A reasonable person has determined that the DM has made a bad ruling against the player. How many times does that need to occur before the DM is “ruled” ( ;) ) incompetent or unreasonable? I just don’t see the point of debating situations where the DM is a bad actor. The players are utterly at...
    178 replies | 5724 view(s)
    1 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 09:02 PM
    I think we have a case where a number posters think that DMs generally cannot adequately adjudicate their games and thus must turn to the rules first to ensure fairness. I'm not saying that there aren't bad DMs out there, of course there are. But I don't think we can fix bad DMing by turning to the rules (or adding more rules).
    178 replies | 5724 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 08:59 PM
    Not sure that was quite the point I was making :)
    178 replies | 5724 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 08:44 PM
    Good catch on "other dangerous situations" but to me that's allowing the PCs some cushion to survive falls, traps etc etc. For my NPCs it's all about their ability to put up a fight and evade the PCs attacks. I'm definitely not in the camp that the NPCs are exactly the same as the PCs. I definitely don't roll death saving throws for NPCs for example - but I would have to assume that others...
    178 replies | 5724 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 08:35 PM
    I'm confused as to why we argue things based upon unreasonable DMing... shouldn't the assumption be that the DM is at least competent at their job? I guess it could be argued that I was being unreasonable in my OP by adjudicating that the player had a chance of accomplishing their goal through their approach but there was some chance of failure with a cost. But I think that's taking...
    178 replies | 5724 view(s)
    1 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 04:59 PM
    To my mind the combat rules are provided to provide a system to resolve a conflict the outcome of which is uncertain - this uncertainty is guided by the CR expectation of the encounter: Easy, Medium, Hard, Deadly. As the party gains levels the CR of these encounters changes and it means that there are some combat counters which are completely certain and it would be ridiculous to drop into the...
    178 replies | 5724 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 04:32 PM
    I'd adjudicate it just like any other action a PC might take. I think iserith and others have summed up my point of view well in that this is really just a case of action resolution. The player wants their character to take out the unsuspecting guard with a single arrow shot. As they have time to take the perfect shot and an arrow to the head seems likely to kill an orc outright I can see that...
    178 replies | 5724 view(s)
    1 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 03:06 AM
    So it sounds like for most people so far (unsurprisingly :) ), HP is damage absorption regardless of whether any effort is being made to withstand attacks. So it would be perfectly reasonable for an NPC to not make any effort in a combat situation and they would get all their HP? They could just stand there and absorb the generally lethal blows and be fine? Do you see why I feel differently?
    178 replies | 5724 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 12:37 AM
    To avoid more threadcrapping in Sacrosanct’s genre thread I thought I’d survey responses to this simple situation: The PCs have come across an Orc camp about 200ft away. They’re looking down from a hidden location and a bored guard in the rangers sights. The ranger wants to kill the guard so they can continue to stealth into the camp. The ranger draws their bow string and releases an arrow....
    178 replies | 5724 view(s)
    4 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 03:14 PM
    The action is the character recalling their knowledge and experience for help in interpreting the tracks. Yes, they're not moving their body, but that doesn't mean they're not doing something. And by describing their examination in such terms, connecting their characters experience to the task at hand, it clearly communicates to the DM that their character knows what they're doing and should...
    63 replies | 2100 view(s)
    1 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 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...
    34 replies | 1480 view(s)
    0 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 03:41 AM
    Doesn’t Xanathar’s Guide add some magic item creation rules (ok guidelines...)?
    11 replies | 834 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 | 1435 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.
    448 replies | 15639 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    448 replies | 15639 view(s)
    3 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 11:51 PM
    How about starting it over with a “no guns allowed” proviso? :)
    448 replies | 15639 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    448 replies | 15639 view(s)
    2 XP
  • 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.
    448 replies | 15639 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...
    448 replies | 15639 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.
    448 replies | 15639 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... :)
    448 replies | 15639 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.
    448 replies | 15639 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?
    448 replies | 15639 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?
    448 replies | 15639 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 :)
    448 replies | 15639 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...
    448 replies | 15639 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...
    448 replies | 15639 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 | 1216 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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Thursday, 18th July, 2019

  • 10:48 PM - Charlaquin quoted robus in post A character sheet for Skills With Different Ability Scores?
    Here's my redesign of the front page to promote ability scores over skills: Perfect, this is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for! Thanks. I play without a list of skills (I call it free-form skills) and players can choose or create their own skill if they want at character generation. I call for ability test and the player can add their prof. bonus if they think they have a skill that can help in that matter. I'm currently working on 1-page playbook for each class, if you'd like to see; there's only a blank space to list all your skills. This, although not what I had in mind, is very cool. Very PbtA.
  • 10:54 AM - Li Shenron quoted robus in post How do you keep track of spells for multiple NPCs?
    I'm running a game at a high level and in the next session there's a chance that a variety of mid-to-high level drow casters might be running around each with a different set of spell combinations. I find this to be a challenge on two fronts: 1) Simply remembering what each spell does and its limitations (we're talking about 40 spells that could be cast) 2) Tracking which slots for each NPC caster have been used up as the encounter(s) progress. This is generally fine when I'm running a single caster but when there are more than one? The set of spells to reference and gets quickly out of hand! Anyone have any tips for smoothly managing this in the heat of battle? I just focus on important spells. I've never played 5e at high level, but I would write down a list of maybe 10 spells prepared and ignore the rest as if the NPC had prepared other spells for out-of combat use. Of those 10 or so, I would focus on highest level spells. If the battle lasts so long that the NPC runs...
  • 05:25 AM - Harzel quoted robus in post How do you keep track of spells for multiple NPCs?
    A spell digest would be a useful DMs Guild product. Interesting idea. Thanks.

Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 09:30 PM - livetothedeath quoted robus in post PLEASE MAKE A MAP FOR AMONKHET
    Seriously, I know how much it sucks to have these come out with no supporting map material. PLEASE MAKE A MAP FOR AMONKHET If you want money, I would probably be able to convince people to pay you. We need one! my email is lukehodges.ca@gmail.com (Tried to upload to Downloads but that seems to be non-functional at this time..) When Planeshift: Zendikar came out I was disappointed that there was no accompanying map so I took it upon myself to make one based upon this awesome fantasy map This is an update to the original one I posted (and now gone). It has an improved presentation of the Isle of Secrets (IMHO). There's a DM version and a Player version. 7674976750
  • 04:10 PM - Flamestrike quoted robus in post How do you keep track of spells for multiple NPCs?
    I'm running a game at a high level and in the next session there's a chance that a variety of mid-to-high level drow casters might be running around each with a different set of spell combinations. I find this to be a challenge on two fronts: 1) Simply remembering what each spell does and its limitations (we're talking about 40 spells that could be cast) 2) Tracking which slots for each NPC caster have been used up as the encounter(s) progress. This is generally fine when I'm running a single caster but when there are more than one? The set of spells to reference and gets quickly out of hand! Anyone have any tips for smoothly managing this in the heat of battle? ??? How many casters exactly. Ive run games of over 20th level (epic boons) with a 5 man party dealing with a half a dozen encounters per long rest featuring death knights, Liches, Vampire shadow dancer mooks, undead Cleric 'leaders' and so forth. Examples include: Encounter 1: A) Death Knight boss (add +50 percent more HP,...

Sunday, 7th July, 2019

  • 04:15 AM - Zardnaar quoted robus in post Gamer Stats From White Dwarf in the 80s
    My old school actually started accepting girls for 6th form in the 00s I believe. It dates its history back to 1563 apparently! New colonial scum here. Our schools started crossovers in the 90s so if a girl wanted to study wood working or metal working she could go to the boys school whiles classes at the girls school were available to the boys.

Friday, 28th June, 2019

  • 08:42 PM - Azzy quoted robus in post Mearls' "Firing" tweet
    I also find myself hearing the word in my head and then having to remember the correct spelling in the context. :) Eventually, they'll merge into one spelling as people keep confusing them. Honestly, English could do with a huge spelling reform because much of it is not spell phonetically and is simply hanger's-on from prior versions of the language.
  • 07:31 PM - iserith quoted robus in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    Perhaps this was a problem in years gone by and different editions, but I came in DMing 5e and took this play loop approach to heart after reading an AngryDM article on (adjudicating actions like a @#%% boss), and I’ve yet to have a problem. Do we occasionally run your sub loop to get on the same page sure, but that’s how reasonable people come to a shared understanding. Is it a fundamental problem with the play loop? Absolutely not! Just because we describe it as a clean process in theory, doesn’t mean things don’t adapted to the moment. Just like anything. It’s not a problem with the play loop, I think the problem is your not realizing that it is an abstraction of the conversation at the table. Each run of the play loop is different because people. 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 ...
  • 06:30 PM - Tony Vargas quoted robus in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    I came in DMing 5e and took this play loop approach to heart after reading an AngryDM article on (adjudicating actions like a @#%% boss), and I’ve yet to have a problem. Hey! You're a straight-up 5e success story! :D Perhaps this was a problem in years gone by and different editions, but... Is it a fundamental problem with the play loop? Absolutely not! Just because we describe it as a clean process in theory, doesn’t mean things don’t adapted to the moment. Just like anything. It’s not a problem with the play loop, I think the problem is your not realizing that it is an abstraction of the conversation at the table. Each run of the play loop is different because people. The 5e play loop (like the term, BTW) is, IMHO/X, a relatively elegant, formal summation of how people came to run D&D reasonably effectively over say, it's first 25 years or so (before the rules got seriously overhauled with d20 and RaW became dominant in the community's headspace). So I don't think it was a prob...
  • 05:57 PM - billd91 quoted robus in post Mearls' "Firing" tweet
    I dunno. Spelling “there” as “their” certainly looks like a spelling mistake to me. I was not confused by their meaning (which is typical for grammar issues), just their spelling. But that’s enough on that. I would generally agree. The whole their/there/they're issue is a question of sloppily writing the wrong homophone. My freakin' auto-correct does that on me.
  • 04:23 PM - Sacrosanct quoted robus in post Mearls' "Firing" tweet
    That's not grammar - those are spelling errors and those never look professional :) No, those words are spelled correctly. "Their' is a correct spelling. The usage is wrong, therefore, grammar issue.
  • 04:13 PM - epithet quoted robus in post Mearls' "Firing" tweet
    It certainly has been, but as time passes it's seeming more and more out of step. Like for the past 40 years... It might seem out of step for some, I think it is still pretty common for most. I can assure you that 40 years ago (or 30 years ago, or 20) it was standard practice. My memory hasn't deteriorated to the point that I'd have forgotten that.
  • 04:03 PM - Sacrosanct quoted robus in post Mearls' "Firing" tweet
    Something that really irks me (and to which I naturally adapt to switching to singular "they") is when I'm reading out rules for a new board game and the player is constantly referred to as "he". Can't believe that new games still print that (though mostly it's a Euro game it seems, so could be a translator working with a strict grammar book... ;) ) Does anyone else just go "wha...???" when confronted with a rulebook assumption that a player is masculine? About 10 years ago when I became more aware of this issue, I started to change between "he" and "she" randomly in the games I have written. Tried to make them both equal in appearance.
  • 04:01 PM - epithet quoted robus in post Mearls' "Firing" tweet
    Something that really irks me (and to which I naturally adapt to switching to singular "they") is when I'm reading out rules for a new board game and the player is constantly referred to as "he". Can't believe that new games still print that (though mostly it's a Euro game it seems, so could be a translator working with a strict grammar book... ;) ) Does anyone else just go "wha...???" when confronted with a rulebook assumption that a player is masculine? That's not an assumption that the player is masculine. "He" is generic and non-specific in that context, like "mankind."
  • 02:12 PM - 5ekyu quoted robus in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    Perhaps this was a problem in years gone by and different editions, but I came in DMing 5e and took this play loop approach to heart after reading an AngryDM article on (adjudicating actions like a @#%% boss), and I’ve yet to have a problem. Do we occasionally run your sub loop to get on the same page sure, but that’s how reasonable people come to a shared understanding. Is it a fundamental problem with the play loop? Absolutely not! Just because we describe it as a clean process in theory, doesn’t mean things don’t adapted to the moment. Just like anything. It’s not a problem with the play loop, I think the problem is your not realizing that it is an abstraction of the conversation at the table. Each run of the play loop is different because people.This explains a lot. Thanks.
  • 02:11 PM - 5ekyu quoted robus in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    I dunno, you might not have said it explicility, but surely that is the implication of this?: A reasonable person has determined that the DM has made a bad ruling against the player. How many times does that need to occur before the DM is “ruled” ( ;) ) incompetent or unreasonable? I just don’t see the point of debating situations where the DM is a bad actor. The players are utterly at the mercy of the DM."This goes south generally when the result goes against the player, and the typical mechanics you'd apply said there was a good chance for things to be different, but the GM decides to not use the rules." The GM has more knowledge than the player. There may be factors involved that alter the uncertain/certain that the players do not know. In my experience, if the GM runs a game where it is the perception of the players that there are "a lot" of cases where the rules are bypassed by GM fiat, you get less trust built up and more likely to see these situations as "unreasonsble." In my ...
  • 04:23 AM - Umbran quoted robus in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    I'm confused as to why we argue things based upon unreasonable DMing... I have two answers for that. Both are true, pick which one resonates with you: 1) We don't. 2) For *exactly* the reasons I am talking about - mismatches in expectations and desires and the limits of human communications. For example, if you look carefully, what I wrote just previous to this, I said *NOTHING* about the GM being unreasonable or incompetent. Now, your next statement after mine is this. I *could* say, "Well, robus is being unreasonable, or not paying attention, or willfully missing the point...," or attach any number of unfortunate attributes to you. And perhaps half the collected readers might well agree with me. But I don't say that. Because you saying that doesn't require either of us to be bad actors. We can both be reasonable, and have basically good intentions. But we are also.... ....shouldn't the assumption be that the DM is at least competent at their job? Human. We should assume the GM (and the players) are all human. And even competent humans have their foibles. Our game processes should at least consider those foibles. Failing to do that means we only really consider the "happy path" of game play. It is great when the happy path works - the happy path *must* work for the game to work. But only considering the happy path probably also means that anyone who does not stay on that happy path is going to do the metaphorical equivalent of stepping barefoot on a Lego b...
  • 01:21 AM - 5ekyu quoted robus in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    I think we have a case where a number posters think that DMs generally cannot adequately adjudicate their games and thus must turn to the rules first to ensure fairness. I'm not saying that there aren't bad DMs out there, of course there are. But I don't think we can fix bad DMing by turning to the rules (or adding more rules).Maybe, but I see what's being discussed here as two parts. Diceless vs Diced - pro and con. Rules that serve us vs rules we fight against. I have played and run both diced snd diceless games and they create very enjoyable experiences with the right groups. I have played diced games where honestly few dice were rolled. I tend to recommend that DMs play/run diceless gsmes a couple times, it really helps you in running diced games. But, as a general experience, the more into gritty details of character features you have, the more jarring or out of sorts the decisions of GM fiat resolutions become. In some ways, GM fiat undermines the effort even on success. It's le...
  • 01:01 AM - 5ekyu quoted robus in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    Good catch on "other dangerous situations" but to me that's allowing the PCs some cushion to survive falls, traps etc etc. For my NPCs it's all about their ability to put up a fight and evade the PCs attacks. I'm definitely not in the camp that the NPCs are exactly the same as the PCs. I definitely don't roll death saving throws for NPCs for example - but I would have to assume that others posting here do, or else it would be unfair to the NPCs?The game rules as written leave it to the GM to decide which to fo snd gives a kind of general case in exsmple of not tracking DS for underlings but maybe doing it for named guys. It seems more a matter of convenience, you can bother with it if you see benefit in it or not if it isnt with the effort, not "npcs dont die like PCs do" It's kinda like how, you know, PC might have a full inventory of gear listed out but, you know, we dont assume an orc or goblin doesny have a pack or tinderbox or rations simply cuz their stat blocks in the MM dont incl...
  • 12:54 AM - 5ekyu quoted robus in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    I'm confused as to why we argue things based upon unreasonable DMing... shouldn't the assumption be that the DM is at least competent at their job? I guess it could be argued that I was being unreasonable in my OP by adjudicating that the player had a chance of accomplishing their goal through their approach but there was some chance of failure with a cost. But I think that's taking unreasonable to an extreme... :)I dufnt think you were being unreasonable in your OP. A GM deciding the walls are guarded by creatures thst are solidly within the range of "those what can be One-Shot-Killed (OSK) is perfectly reasonable. But, deciding to then give the guards so many HP that you have to bypass the basics of combat to resolve it shows a real disconnect between the GMs vision and the execution. It would seem **reasonable GMing** to have put an orc out there on guard duty at 8 hp with the not unreasonable manifestation bring thst guard duty is not the assignments given to the bigger badder senio...


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robus's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated
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!
3385 +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
336 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...
2579 +6 1 Sunday, 27th September, 2015, 04:07 PM Monday, 28th September, 2015, 10:42 PM

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