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  • robus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    13 replies | 536 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:40 PM
    I'll think about it when I get some free time (which is not soon).
    4 replies | 5210 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:24 PM
    A spell digest would be a useful DMs Guild product.
    13 replies | 536 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    13 replies | 536 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 | 9363 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 | 9363 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 | 9363 view(s)
    1 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 09:21 PM
    Latest print, a lovely map of Menzoberranzan:
    58 replies | 9363 view(s)
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  • 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 | 5528 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 | 71462 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 | 71462 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 | 71462 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 | 71462 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 | 71462 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 | 71462 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 | 5529 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 | 5529 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 | 5529 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 | 5529 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 | 5529 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 | 5529 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 | 5529 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 | 5529 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 | 5529 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 | 5529 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 | 2024 view(s)
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  • 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 | 1429 view(s)
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  • 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 | 822 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 | 1398 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 | 15256 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...
    448 replies | 15256 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 | 15256 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...
    448 replies | 15256 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 | 15256 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 | 15256 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 | 15256 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 | 15256 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 | 15256 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 | 15256 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 | 15256 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 | 15256 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 | 15256 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 | 15256 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 | 1169 view(s)
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Thursday, 8th June, 2017

  • 01:14 PM - CapnZapp mentioned robus in post Spending time [Encounter pacing and Resting restrictions]
    robus Well, as I said, I'm not too keen on discussing particular details of his suggestion. To me, it's obvious you want to decouple the die rolling from the rest, precisely because that's key to allowing players to rest as generously as the rulebook allows, without their spells trivially removing or defeating the consequences (or forcing me to come up with an ever-ending line of story reasons why "hurry hurry")

Tuesday, 30th May, 2017


Saturday, 20th May, 2017

  • 09:59 PM - BoldItalic mentioned robus in post Narrative combat - can anyone share practical experience?
    In the later parts of the "So long and thanks for all the fish" thread, which transmogrified after you last posted in it, robus, there are now lots of examples of narrative combat with no dice-rolling at all and initiative is, well, not taken seriously, to say the least. But they definitely shouldn't be taken as examples of "how to play D&D" unless you want the joke kind of game where anything can happen (and probably will). On the contrary, it's an awful warning of the chaos that can result if you don't regulate combat and just narrate the results ad lib. It's crazy fun, though; it's now the #2 funniest thread ever. But to answer your question, I think the best advice I could give, is, yes, use narrative to short-circuit the game mechanics if that helps with the pacing, or if the outcome is practically a foregone conclusion, but be careful to narrate outcomes that could legitimately have occurred if they had been laboriously played out between DM and PCs. Don't deny the PCs the opportunity to do creative stuff that makes the session memorable, but equally don't let them pronounce outcomes that bend the plot...

Saturday, 13th May, 2017


Thursday, 11th May, 2017

  • 01:28 AM - RangerWickett mentioned robus in post D&D 5e Firearms Question
    ZEITGEIST: The Gears of Revolution has firearms in its setting, though they're probably a bit more advanced than what FR would have. The 5th edition conversion of the ZEITGEIST player's guide has variant firearm rules that hit robus's sweet spot, and it is currently available to EN5ider subscribers through EN World's Patreon. https://zeitgeistadventurepath.com/5th-edition/ https://www.patreon.com/ensider

Thursday, 4th May, 2017


Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017

  • 08:19 PM - LordEntrails mentioned robus in post Best of the 5e Forum
    robus I just followed it no problem... It was started by ad_hoc on October 4th, 2016. So I don't think it was lost... Can you try again? Maybe it times out? Here's a link to post #2 in the thread in case you have ad_hoc blocked; http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?491783-Balancing-Investigation-checks-and-player-descriptions&p=6908048&viewfull=1#post6908048
  • 05:16 PM - LordEntrails mentioned robus in post Pin request
    robus, Except as Morrus notes, there are too many great threads to pin everyone of them. But a pinned thread of "Suggested Reading" or "Resources You Should Know", or, as you did "Best of..." is :)

Wednesday, 26th April, 2017

  • 09:23 PM - doctorbadwolf mentioned robus in post Mike Mearls interview - states that they may be getting off of the 2 AP/year train.
    Well, that's your personal experience, but, as others have stated here, their experience (as well as mine) is that there were plenty of people who thought Thac0 was a clunky system. I think in the end, what really was odd about it is that you got "pluses" from your abilities and magic items, but to calculate whether you hit, you counteruntuitively subtracted your "pluses"! And then when it came to damage, you (much more logically, but in a complete reversal to what you just did) [/I]added[I] them. It just lacked the internal consistency that the post 2e-system of simply just adding things up does... Sent from my VS987 using EN World mobile app This. Like robus said, it's about the user interface. THAC0, by itself, isn't that terrible, it's just unnecessarily counter to what most noobs will expect, with absolutely no payout for that counterintuitivity. Combined with the fact that damage goes the other way, in terms of adding bonuses, that ability score bonuses applied to most stuff and thus went both ways, etc, simply means that people have to actively think about how the system works, to a greater degree than with modern d20 systems. It isn't "hard", but no one is claiming it is. The only place that keeps popping up is in the posts of people defending it, as a strawman of what others are actually saying. What it is, as you put it, is internally inconsistent. And nothing is gained by that inconsistency. Which is why the math nerds I know think it is a poorly designed system. Added complexity should always have a payoff. Especially when you're designing the user interface of a system. It's much more forgivable in the backend, ...

Friday, 17th February, 2017

  • 06:09 AM - Quickleaf mentioned robus in post Looking for adventure for new DM
    That looks cool! Some of us are Magic fans but the volunteer DM is not. Innistrad could work, though - one group has been playing through Curse of Strahd so if she wanted to run an adventure in that same mold but not in Barovia. Keep the suggestions coming - it's great to have some options to choose from! robus that Innistrad adventure looks really interesting! Well...if you want to run a Ravenloft/Barovia adventure, I wrote one she might enjoy: The Beast of Graenseskov. For 1st-4th level. Very much in the horror mystery genre. I've also heard good things about Monica Valentinelli's In Volo's Wake, might have to pick that one up. She had a really great interview a while back that makes me think she has a solid design aesthetic and experience. More broadly, I highly recommend Merric's list of 5e adventure by level.

Wednesday, 15th February, 2017

  • 02:55 PM - iserith mentioned robus in post How to deal with Metagaming as a player?
    It may not be the DM's "job" to resolve social conflicts at the table, but the DM does have a lot of tools in his toolbox to mitigate the sort of conflicts described by the OP. Failure to use those tools suggests some combination of complicity, ignorance, and weakness. Like robus, you appear to be making a judgment on the validity of that style of play. Others, like Lanefan are just fine with pvp. (I'm not, as I have stated.) The DM was at least being honest to the OP when he stated that there's not much he can do about it. Perhaps that's just how they D&D. Now it's on the OP to work it out with the other players.

Saturday, 28th January, 2017

  • 03:01 AM - AaronOfBarbaria mentioned robus in post Why did I wait so long to DM?
    rgoodbb, I second robus's advice not to sweat it. You shouldn't worry about making future sessions live up to, or best, the sessions that come prior - you should just focus on having a good time with your players at the session you are currently all having. You'll drive yourself mad and accidentally sabotage yourself if you let thoughts beyond "Let's have fun tonight" weigh on your mind. And I am glad you shared your initial DMing experience, as it serves as evidence of something I've claimed for a lot of years now - that DMing isn't nearly as hard as the general gamer population believes it to be (I think the "DMing is hard work" thing basically started as propaganda spread by DMs that feared that another of their group sitting in the DM seat for a campaign would mean the group liking the new DM better and not letting the old DM run games anymore, but that's a discussion for another thread).

Saturday, 10th December, 2016

  • 11:54 PM - pdzoch mentioned robus in post When does a TPK occur?
    Though no TPK is a satisfying event, I think play groups would take some gratification that the TPK occurred at the against the final boss who is supposed to be deadly. Perhaps, a TPK might be tolerable when the players know an especially dangerous situation, such as the environment, trap, or other dire dilemma is present. I think play groups who see a TPK about to happen and recognize that it is due to their own poor tactical decision would reluctantly accepted as fair. I'm not sure about other situations though. I will admit that I do not allow lucky dice to cause a TPK in situations where it would be unexpected (easy encounters). I've had two TPKs a couple of years ago when I was using a pre-written adventure and the game group did not contain an optimal mix to meet the challenge of the encounters in the pre-written adventure. Now, I custom write my adventure with my game group in mind. Considering @robus 's "Accidental TPK" thread elsewhere on this forum, this was as close as I got to an accidental TPK. Perhaps once more responses are provided to the poll, an indication on TPK location can better be ascertained, but for now, it seems fairly evenly spread.

Tuesday, 15th November, 2016

  • 12:44 AM - Rhenny mentioned robus in post Just started
    Lots of good advice. I'm going to repeat some of what others have said as I add. 1) Start small and build up - in a way, I agree with robus about Lost Mines of Phandelver. It might be good to read it and get ideas, but only run it if you feel comfortable with it. A lot of the times, I find it easier to plan my own smaller adventures, especially as a start. An initial encounter to get the PCs together and on a quest, with some exploration that includes 2-4 areas with some interactions and combats, is probably enough for 2-3 hours. Once that's done, see where everything stands, and build around it. 2) Watch how others play/run games. There are a ton of live streamed games out there. Don't get intimidated by the awesome DMs; just see how they run things. Here's a series that I found pretty helpful and simple to follow (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT3FRzEJDp8) but there are others too. 3) Get comfortable running monsters/NPCs and plan how they'll act before the game session. This is especially important for when you get into a situation where a "newbie" group gets into trouble with more powerful monsters/npcs. ...

Tuesday, 4th October, 2016


Wednesday, 21st September, 2016

  • 04:33 PM - Corwin mentioned robus in post [Merged] "We're back!" Threads
    robus Here you go: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:d1uqHpIomakJ:www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php%3F494010-When-the-English-language-and-the-rules-lawyer-collide+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Thursday, 21st April, 2016

  • 04:45 AM - Quickleaf mentioned robus in post How do you introduce a monster?
    robus Let's say this is what the PCs are facing: http://orig09.deviantart.net/48e0/f/2012/016/4/c/forest_ogre_by_guzboroda-d4mj5xj.jpg I'd try something brief that evokes multiple senses, describes something about the monster's ecology, and works toward whatever theme we as a group have embraced. For example: As you make your way through the thick pine forest, the wind whistles above you. Ahead you notice some trees swaying more than the wind should be causing them. Then you feel it. The ground shudders. Several ferns nearby tremor, shaking dew droplets cascading over the gnomes and halflings in your party. Then again. Some thing big and heavy is out there. Peering into the dim light of the forest, you suddenly see a tree trunk hurtling toward you. You're able to scatter to the side before it hits anyone, but you have no time to rest before the monstrosity that threw it is upon you. Roll initiative! The monster is massive, standing above the tallest of you by about four feet, with al...

Monday, 14th December, 2015

  • 11:10 PM - pukunui mentioned robus in post Pulling your punches
    robus: "Massive Damage", pg 273. It's not exactly what you're looking for, but it's in the same vein and might at least give you some ideas.

Monday, 26th October, 2015

  • 11:19 PM - iserith mentioned robus in post Persuade, Intimidate, and Deceive used vs. PCs
    ...ame, I am not one of them, and I have seen out of the more than a dozen DMs I've played under maybe 2 or 3 that I would consider truly proficient at it. I do not personally enjoy playing in, nor will I ever run, a campaign where the DM is simply a narrator who uses dice to resolve uncertainty. I don't want a world or NPCs that simply respond to my actions; I want a world and NPCs that give me something to respond to as much as I give them stuff to respond to. It's very much a two way street. I have never liked the idea that somehow NPCs and PCs are fundamentally different, not in video games and not at the table. The DM may not have the same role as the players, but that doesn't make the DM's role any less active on the roleplay side. Just because an NPC will only show up for that scene, doesn't mean that I put any less effort into running that NPC as true as possible to the paragraph of information I've worked up for them than the players put into their characters. I don't know robus, but a charitable reading of his or her posts in this thread lead me to believe he or she would agree that NPCs are also movers and shakers in the game world, not just game elements that behave in a reactive manner. I doubt anyone would hold that position, so it's a wonder you attribute it to robus. I also doubt robus would hold a position that the DM not put any effort into playing the NPC in an evocative and interesting manner. Uncertainty is resolved with mechanics and how those are applied can vary between NPCs and PCs. After all, we aren't affecting PCs or NPCs with "die rolls" as you say - they aren't powers to be activated. Before those die rolls comes a fictional action - hopefully expressed, but it seems in some games, it appears to be merely implied - and it's that fictional action that matters. The dice are just tools that sometimes help determine how that fictional action turns out. If the DM decides that no ability checks will ever be used to determine whether a charact...


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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.
  • 03:11 PM - DM Dave1 quoted robus in post What 5th edition books should I be buying?
    I get more use from Kobold Press's Tome of Beasts, which has a lot of distinctive and high-threat monsters that work well as 'specials'. Tome of Beast, as S'mon mentioned, is a great monster resource. More monsters? Tomb of Beasts and Creature Codex add a bunch of variety. I third the recommendation for Tome of Beasts, and its follow-up, Creature Codex, is equally good. Over here for a fifth! Both enormous Kobold Press monster books are chock full of such a great variety of monsters that it is a challenge to not find something to fit your desired CR, environment, monster type, alignment, etc. The artwork in those books is quite nice as well.
  • 04:29 AM - Arilyn quoted robus in post Does the world exist for the PCs?
    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 syndrome” than actual criticism. I certainly have things I don’t prefer about the way Matt Mercer runs his game, but I would never for one second criticise it as illegitimate, which is the subtext of these critiques. i.e. If you think CR is D&D, you’re wrong. I agree with you on these points. I have only seen pieces of CR, as I'm not a fan of streamed games. Having said this, the CR team does not play that differently from our table, except for them being professional actors. They are certainly more polished and watchable than my group would be, but in terms of player engagement and story content? Seems l...
  • 01:17 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted robus in post Campaign ideas ??? Help!!
    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? All good questions.

Sunday, 2nd June, 2019

  • 09:55 PM - HJFudge quoted robus in post Does the world exist for the PCs?
    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 syndrome” than actual criticism. I certainly have things I don’t prefer about the way Matt Mercer runs his game, but I would never for one second criticise it as illegitimate, which is the subtext of these critiques. i.e. If you think CR is D&D, you’re wrong. Well, a couple points here. I get that you enjoy the show, but you even addressed it as a show. Your initial complaint was 'I wish people would stop disparaging this show' Because, again, it is a show. People behave differently when they know they are observed. I know that if I decided to put my game on display and stream it, that I would run it diffe...
  • 09:05 PM - HJFudge quoted robus in post Does the world exist for the PCs?
    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 regular D&D tables I would suppose (certainly it does at mine even if I’m the one who does the most). And i wish my players spent half the time the CR players do developing their characters over the course of the campaign. I’m not sure why this table gets such disrespect, when it is a major engine in the surging popularity of the game... I dont see anyone saying its a bad show? In fact, I don't see anyone really being critical about it much at all. We're simply saying 'Its not a good model for a standard D&D game', which isnt like...a black mark against it. For what it is, people like it and enj...

Monday, 27th May, 2019

  • 04:47 PM - vincegetorix quoted robus in post More uses for ability scores?
    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 (disadvantage if the creature has some kind of helmet). The relative sizes of the creatures also play a part of course. On success the creature is knocked out for a minute. I like this. I will also steal something from 4e and use the Con score to calculate the PCs starting HP. Something like Con score + class HD average. My players are really casual players and have difficulties with playing efficiently (while being reckless in their move), so a little more HP at low level will help them survive a little more.


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!
3381 +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...
2578 +6 1 Sunday, 27th September, 2015, 04:07 PM Monday, 28th September, 2015, 10:42 PM

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