View Profile: Arilyn - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:33 PM
    Find out if they want the animal companion to be the primary focus or an add on. If primary, I'd go with the UA Ranger Beastmaster but give Druid spells. It's not a simple wildshape replacement,since wildshape is just a different way fo using the druid's actions. A beast companion that can attack on it's own actions is something way different - something that when combines with a full...
    12 replies | 278 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:22 AM
    Adding eight CR 1/4 beasts woulds change the CR of the encounter like you say. Having a spell which costs an action to use, precludes use of any other Concentration spell by the caster, and all of the creatures can be lost with a single missed Concentration check - and will be lost with inflicting the "dead" condition on the caster - is not quite as strong. Also remember that the neutral DM...
    9 replies | 263 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:26 AM
    The difference between theory and practice is that, in theory there's no difference... In other words, you can arrange elements that come in to a particular CR, but in play it it can be a lot stronger or weaker. Especially depending on the synergies with it's abilities, with it's allies and depending on the PCs that fight it. Heck, a melee heavy party can find a bunch of foes with a climb...
    9 replies | 263 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 10:40 PM
    Thanks Sacrosanct. While I don't agree with 100% of them a lot of the effects give a good feel. Quite useful, I'm running a two player sea/undersea campaign with a Triton paladin and a sea-shanty human bard. And their pet axolotl named Kracken.
    20 replies | 508 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 03:22 AM
    After finishing "The Labyrinth Index", I moved on to the third Dagmar Shaw book by Walter Jon Williams, "The Fourth Wall". I liked the first Dagmar Shaw book a good deal but did not love it, and the second book wasn't up to the first in my opinion. If it wasn't WJW I probably would have stopped there. This third book, told from a new character's point of view who is not an intimate colleague...
    8 replies | 357 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 01:21 AM
    For a heavy narrative system, as others have pointed out, you should go with a different system. You could still use the D&D lore, but maybe use Fate, Genesys or Dungeon World, unless you want to design a whole new game, but it won't be D&D, anymore than Fate. As for having adventures match the pace of a novel of movie, it's not going to work. Many years ago, I played in a Buffy game. The GM...
    57 replies | 1526 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 12:45 AM
    For some, the first ominous cough in D&D occurred with the publication of Greyhawk and Blackmoor.:.-(
    17 replies | 732 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 10:00 PM
    Defending the church and the faith can literally go any of those ways. The only way to fail is to try to go all of those ways. Instead pick one and support it hard. There are plenty of games that have combat as a core for overcoming obstacles, so I'd go for something different. If it comes to direct combat with the supernatural, the paladins are toast. Sort of Call of Cthuhlu-esqe. That...
    21 replies | 506 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 02:06 PM
    To my mind, the difference between the two is that you can draw arrows directly from a Quiver of Ehlonna, while a Bag of Holding you'd need to take out a quiver and prep it. It takes an action to pull something out of the bag of holding as per the DMG. Historically, this would put the Quiver between a Bag of Holding and Heward's Handy Haversack, which is rare. (However the Haversack's...
    11 replies | 373 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 01:51 AM
    However, the obvious is a trap that will lead you astray. We're not optimizing for number of times it comes into play. We're optimizing for the change it makes. The amout the boolean succeed/fail changes. For example, if we hit on a 2+, our chance to miss diminishes twentyfold with lucky, since we go from 1/20 chance (a 1) to a 1/400 chance (a 1 then a 1). Getting four attacks instead of...
    18 replies | 574 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 09:27 PM
    Hey, you know those books that are perfectly adapted into movies. nothing changed, everything included, even the most exacting of fans satisfied. Neither do I. And both of them are a narrative experience, just with different media. Trying to fit an edited book to a gaming group improv-ing their characters where everyone wants to have their mark - it's not the same experience and attempts...
    57 replies | 1526 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 12:04 AM
    Size though kills this. With their small size any weapon with Heavy is at Disadvantage, which would cancel out the Advantage of Reckless. GWM requires Heavy. Any medium race could get the same (neither advantage or disadvantage) without the penalty from Reckless, or could get advantage with the penalty for Reckless. So an apple-to-apples of a +STR medium sized race vs. Halfling, both with...
    18 replies | 574 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 11:56 PM
    This made me wonder which was the more recent. I looked it up in the PHB Errata document (which is fixed in later printings) and it says: So yes, just unseen, no need for hidden.
    5 replies | 372 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:52 PM
    As appropriate for the situation? If I'm giving a recap of last session, or describing a grand new vista in front of the characters, I'll be as eloquent and evocative as I can be. If it's an established scene where the characters are interacting, as DM I will also be interacting with the player and getting them information in a streamlined manner.
    24 replies | 753 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:27 PM
    Yeah, I originally thought it was about the concept of buying a Box Set and it gave me a bunch of questions. When I realized that they had particular meaning to box set that didn't match the varied history of boxed sets I changed my answer to "not likely" and it wiped all the questions it had previously asked. Get lost indeed.
    90 replies | 3374 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:02 PM
    Every person responding is going to the same place, showing that if you give it thought the meaning is clear. The number of routes of reasoning - all ending up at the same place - show how consistent that it's only bard level.
    8 replies | 406 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 09:59 PM
    What type of product are they asking about? I've bought a number of boxed sets, especially back in the AD&D & 2ed days when TSR made a good number of them. It's a wide category. This didn't seem to be able to make up it's mind if it's asking questions about a campaign setting or about an intro to D&D set. And really, I wouldn't buy them if combined together. As a side note, if you...
    90 replies | 3374 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 09:50 PM
    Thank you taking my intuitive take on it and showing the mathematics behind. Some people get caught on the "more rolls = more Lucky", but the real test of Halfling's Lucky isn't if it triggers, but how much more often the roll succeeds due to that trigger. People thinking only of the first part prioritize Advantage.
    18 replies | 574 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:01 PM
    I can't really think of what my favorite system is, so I'll take this opportunity to shill for Gishes & Goblins. I purchased your game a few months back. Haven't played it yet, but there are some things I really like. Two weapon fighting: it makes sense. I've always disliked two weapon fighting in D&D, especially 5e. I really like your version. Armour Points: I think this is overdue....
    21 replies | 983 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 04:52 PM
    I agree that Seth is great. Another one is Professor Dungeonmaster. He does mix of rpg advice, as well as using and building terrain. He's pretty old school, and runs his own mix of D&D, Index Card RPG, and homebrew, which he discusses. Not my style, but he's interesting.
    6 replies | 428 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 01:50 PM
    In general there's a vibe that casters are already more powerful than at-will characters. Do you find that this exasperates the issue? Either through direct observation or though player choosing more casters then they would in a normal party distribution?
    19 replies | 595 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 01:41 PM
    With traditional casting you need to find the correct level and increment a count. With SP you need to lookup a number (cost for that level spell) and then do subtraction. Both cases a lookup, but subtraction is slightly more involved then putting a hash mark or checking a box. *shrug* I'd put them close enough to the same myself.
    19 replies | 595 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 01:35 PM
    We playtested Spell Points at several different levels, and the problem spells were you high level or two. Basically, casters would using their biggest spells all the time - most return for the action spent, nova to reduce the enemy actions (often by inflicting the dead condition) as quick as possible. This lead to short adventuring days. Or at least the casters pushing hard for them. So...
    19 replies | 595 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 02:34 PM
    I can't get the article external to BBG to open up, my guess is it's a joke. Branding is the strongest thing going for D&D, they wouldn't change it.
    8 replies | 593 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 04:26 AM
    Fate The aspects are extremely elegant. This is a truly flexible system that can be adapted to any genre. 13th Age I love the flexibility and creativity in the backgrounds. The escalation die is brilliant. One Unique Thing is a lot of fun and hooks characters into the setting Weapon damage and armour class tied to class. I didn't like this when I read it, but when we tried it, I thought...
    21 replies | 983 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 05:39 PM
    AD&D 2nd. Because it was a good enough system for a great DM to run ridiculous amounts of interwoven games with multiple campaigns in the same world while I had plenty of time to play (HS & college). In other words, my best memories of playing D&D came from AD&D 2nd. Nothing really about the system or lore - though there was a good enough of FR lore back then. Even 5e, which is my...
    60 replies | 1783 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 01:13 PM
    Oh geeze, I had blocked out the Palladium games. I had a bunch of them, from Robotech to TMNT as well as more traditional settings. The settings were interesting, but the percentile mechanics just did not look playable. The burnt remains of a cover, destroyed after the IP license was lost, is what inspired the Diana Jones Award IIRC. I want to say I played this and it was decent,...
    79 replies | 3166 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:42 AM
    What ways do we have for weapon wielders to regularly add damage to weapon attacks made with an Attack action. By regularly I mean enabled the majority of the time in a several-encounter day, but does not have to be every single attack. For instance both Rage (limited uses per day) and Hunter's Mage (low level slot needed) would count. Paladin Divine Smite would not because it uses so many...
    3 replies | 186 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 12:24 AM
    I've never read 7th Sea but I see others gushing about it, enough that it's on my list of "want to try" games. I'll take this as a warning though. Any specifics you can share about why it didn't work?
    79 replies | 3166 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 12:22 AM
    I'm with both you and Celebrim on MechWarrior. Unfortunately it was nt just on read, but after we started the campaign. It turns out two of the players (myself and one other) made well rounded characters that would have interesting things to do in or out of a mech, and because of the priority system were decent mech pilots in starter mechs. And the other three players built characters to be...
    79 replies | 3166 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 12:17 AM
    Absolutely. Though with how wonderfully "wide" the responses were here, in some of the more crowded design spaces it might be better to break out of specific classes for a more general "If there was a "Arcane Caster" base class, what would it be if CON was it's secondary ability score. How does that differ if it's WIS, or DEX, or ...
    34 replies | 1197 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 10:18 PM
    I'm in the mood to roleplay a martial halfling. I was looking at Lucky and thinking about how I can make the most use of it. More as a fun exercise for what I could do with the character, not because I expect to come up with a DPR-king or anything like that. Lucky doesn't move the needle enough to optimize around it - unless you're doing it for the joy of playing around. Which I am. For my...
    18 replies | 574 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:36 AM
    Numenera. There is nothing wrong with the system, perfectly servicable, but I just can't get excited about the player character generation system. I'm also not fond of fantasy that is littered with ancient tech. It's usually not executed well, and I'm afraid Numenera falls into this category.
    79 replies | 3166 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 01:03 AM
    I think there's a different set of requirements for a GM for a convention / one-shot vs. a GM for a campaign. For a convention/one-shot: Bring everything vividly and concisely to life. Make each of the few scenes you have either memorable or quick. Voice acted NPC, narrow escapes, acts of daring, everything meaningful. Have great pacing. Important to control tension for the climax at...
    18 replies | 719 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 03:43 PM
    I've found that some groups handle this in-character,a dn some groups handle in player-side. With very different results. In one game I play it is: We divvy up when we have a chance to convert gems and art and such to coin. Magic items go to whomever it will make the best improvement / needs it the most, with the caveat that the best for party might be a cascade - giving the bets melee...
    14 replies | 476 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 03:15 PM
    Hey, one thing the Fighter is definitely missing is non-combat and ribbon options. What do we give the various subclasses to round them out?
    34 replies | 1197 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 02:41 PM
    I'm a little wary of "don't do anything now to do something later". Probing with your attack to get information = good. Giving up the damage you'd do = not so much. Especially as most 5e combats aren't that long that most of the time it's better just to try to inflict "condition: Dead" on the opponent. The "no damage now for double later" is "you'll have two attacks worth of damage total. ...
    34 replies | 1197 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 02:04 PM
    I like your thematics. Can you suggest some CHR-focused mechanics that would support it? I struggled with a strong concept for WIS. Are these so close that maybe it should be a single subclass that can trigger of INT or WIS for it's features?
    34 replies | 1197 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 01:36 PM
    This is interesting - using attacks as a resource because the Fighter excels at that. I have some worry about when tey just have Extra Attack that if they regularly sacrifice they will be doing less, well, "fighter things" then other classes. So need to make sure that what they get feels like something meaningful. For instance, instead of a 1:1 trading attacks for reaction that allows...
    34 replies | 1197 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 01:25 AM
    You know, with STR and DEX being big for any weapon wielder, maybe they shouldn't be archetypes. Maybe there should be a bunch of core fighter features that support "strong and heavy armor" and "dex and light armor" and you can play either way successfully with any of the archetypes that focus on the other ability scores. Agreed. Just like the integrated multiclassing of Eldritch Knight...
    34 replies | 1197 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 02:29 PM
    By definition you aren't measuring how overkill slows down your kill rate if you only have a single opponent. Because it ignore that with the two attacks if the first one kills the opponent, the second one can start on the next opponent which leads to quicker killing, while the wasted damage from a single large attack can't. If you want to look at overkill, you need to go to 3+ opponents so you...
    135 replies | 4134 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 02:18 PM
    No, as stated before, it won't. I think you are making the mistake on not look at what you are giving up to get a feat. The opportunity cost of taking it. Again, looking at Tier 1 & 2, (levels 1-10), taking this feat will give you less of a DPR increase than a simple +2 DEX. Mathematically it does not compete. It's not a help, it's a trap.
    36 replies | 1297 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 11:52 PM
    One of the differences between fighter subclasses and subclasses for other classes is that fighter subclasses tend more to favor mechanical rather then thematic interpretations. I'm not saying this to judge, but rather as an introduction that I was thinking about a mechanical set of melee fighter subclasses - one for each ability score. And I'd love to hear your thoughts on interesting play...
    34 replies | 1197 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 11:29 PM
    FrogReaver, Serious reply, not an "instant naysayer". I'm commenting to improve your calculations so we can get a clear view. I see two things I don't think were taken into consideration and I would be interested in how much or how little they impact the end results. First issue is that overkill is about damage wasted. The calculations shown do not differentiate for the twice-attacker...
    135 replies | 4134 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 10:55 PM
    I wouldn't want to increase the ranged sneak attack any more, be it light crossbow or longbow from elves proficiency. That's an already potent build. I'd go the simpler: use D8 SA with melee weapon attacks if you have a hand free. Doesn't make daggers even more sub-optimal. Works with thrown.
    36 replies | 1297 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 10:39 PM
    Compared to other ASI/feats this doesn't cover the opportunity cost of not taking one of them. Looking primary in the tier 1 & 2 where most games are played - at quite high levels with more SA and less things to spend it on it could work.
    36 replies | 1297 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 10:35 PM
    I understand your concept, I just disagree that the idea that a character is not observing their environment exists. Now, an alert character, acting on player instructions, might do things which give bonuses or even remove the need for a roll to observe. But absent that the character is still observing what they can of the world. The DM has a set of tools to determine what the character...
    70 replies | 1843 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 07:03 AM
    I had the same problem, tried editing a post half a dozen times - linefeeds were becoming spaces. Same for posting and previewing. I went to setting, switched from WYSIWYG editor to the Standard (? not basic) editor and now it seems to work. I do like the WYSIWYG editor.
    80 replies | 4937 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 06:50 AM
    Except that you're actively messing up the math in exchange for the DM not doing their job. The characters live in the world. You need to know what the characters see so you can convey it to the player. Let me repeat that - you need to have already figured out what the character sees so you can tell the player. Not the other way around in terms of general awareness. Sure, the players can...
    70 replies | 1843 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 01:33 PM
    Blue replied to Pick one game...
    Hmm. 7th Sea. Over the Edge. Blades in the Dark. Apocalypse World. Don't Rest Your Head. Dogs in the Vineyard. Games that play with the traditional D&D assumptions. Numenara wasn't on my list but it might be if Monte is running it
    20 replies | 675 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 01:13 PM
    The question isn't if you see a big difference between Athletics and Acrobatics. The question is if MECHANICALLY you see a big difference between Athletics and Acrobatics that aren't covered by the differences in ability scores? Many of the checks needed (escaping grapples, spells, etc.) right now can use either. And a bunch should. For example, right now someone with expertise in...
    70 replies | 1843 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 03:05 AM
    Nobilis. It sits on my shelf looking evocative and amazing. I'm too nervous to run it. I would love to play an amazing game of Nobilis with the perfect GM.
    20 replies | 675 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 07:21 PM
    Mathematically, people do addition faster than subtraction. d20+bonus >= target is super quick at the table. The addition is quick, the comparison to target is quick. Subtraction or table lookup is slower. Also, d20+bonus >= target is quite intuitively obvious. Especially among new players the chance of success (knowing bonus and target) is clearer without working it out. THACO doesn't...
    166 replies | 5565 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 05:28 PM
    My issue with this is applicability. Much like previous edition Ranger who had a favored enemy who may or may not come up frequently enough to justify that choice, having lots of niche skills has the same issue - they may never justify the opportunity cost of having picked them as opposed to some other skill. Better to have more generally applicable skills that will see some usage. Being an...
    70 replies | 1843 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 05:22 PM
    Pretty nifty. I also like that you addressed the lesser number of skills both for picking them up and proficiency. I missed that on first read. (Assuming same from other things that grant skills, like cleric domains and warlock invocations.) As a side note, I dislike that layout site because I use firefox and it has some chrome-specific rendering. Combine with a portrait-oriented monitor...
    70 replies | 1843 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 03:33 PM
    I think the common point of your expereiences is the venue - a convention. I've played plenty of AL as regular events at FLGS and while it is never as good as a home game, the DMs are regulars who are running because they truly like to DM (there's little enough other incentive), and the player base is more stable - some turnover with new players and people not able to make it but at least enough...
    26 replies | 1096 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 02:45 PM
    The bigger idea was not just to pair skills and ability scores as needed, a variant rule that I have to say I'm the only one I see doing around here, but to trim down the skill list so everything on it was meaningful. Combining similar choices like Athletics & Acrobatics, and leaving them differentiated by the ability score. And folding little used ones like Medicine into other skills, again...
    70 replies | 1843 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 01:45 PM
    I'm reading "The Labyrinth Index", book N (where N is the total books out so far) in Charles Stross' Laundry Files. As much as I really enjoy this series, I'm a bit underwhelmed. Part fo that is high expectations. Part of it is the PoV character - we've seen her in several books and shes true to form. BUT we also saw her in the very first book as a minor character and when she's gotten more...
    8 replies | 357 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 01:33 PM
    THIS. This is a beautiful idea that I wish I had thought of first. Consolidate the skill list so that all of the choices are meaningful, while keeping the variety by emphasizing the parts that the characters are naturally good at (via ability scores). I've been doing part of that with the official variant of using different ability scores - for example using DEX (Performance) for dancing at...
    70 replies | 1843 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 10:41 PM
    Are you saying that: 1. No one who wants to play an artificer would want a pet. 2. D&D 5e can't handle pets (in a game with summons and animates and the like) and shouldn't even try to rectify this classic archetype? 3. You have a personal preference you wish to enforce on everyone else? 4. Something else? If so, please describe.
    127 replies | 4577 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 02:48 AM
    Just looking for a sanity check here. The third ability of the Alert feat is "Other creatures don't gain advantage on attack rolls against you as a result of being hidden from you". So if I'm in a heavily obscured area, like Fog Cloud would create, then: 1. My melee attacks have disadvantage because I can't see my target, but they grant advantage because they can't see me: Net result - no...
    5 replies | 372 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 06:08 PM
    Finished the 3rd of the Legacy Fleet series on Kindle loan. End had a bit more interesting twists but I'm not going to bother to pick up more in the series. I would had been disappointed if I paid for those books, even witht he first at only $4 for the Kindle version. Also finished The Rule of Luck, which I enjoyed quite a bit more. An earlier complaint was that the author seemed to "go...
    36 replies | 1150 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 04:29 AM
    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 like D&D to me.
    106 replies | 3548 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 03:20 PM
    For "normal" usage, this isn't a bad fix. But there are so many way to increase damage per attack that this rule could be easily abused, just like in 3.5. This is the type of solution I'd put in place with a specific table and "if you abuse it, it's going away".
    212 replies | 6448 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 06:48 PM
    carrot, Ralif Redhammer - what would you suggest as a first Mark Lawrence book to read?
    36 replies | 1150 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 06:45 PM
    In one of the games I play in, the DM started out a lot more familiar with 3.5 then 5e. Myself and one other player were his resource for rules, and we pointed out if he missed a 5e rule (like Concentration) or was pulling out a 3.5 rule. With his blessing.
    50 replies | 1724 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 06:43 PM
    Great question. I tend to run homebrew, so my settings are tailored to the campaign. But with many of my recurring players I do travelogues - where the party is constantly on the move as opposed to a home base they always return to. And for that I need to keep up lots of interesting places in terms of culture, geography, etc. So there's a lot of places that I just do in broad strokes with...
    106 replies | 3548 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 06:36 PM
    I'm play him out to prove he's the best. Always having to go further, do more, top whatever everyone else has done. He has to prove he's best, even when the only one actually judging is himself. And of course trying to make it look effortless, to show he's just naturally superior. The flips side of this for an NPC would be to put down everyone so that he feels superior to them, making...
    5 replies | 364 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 05:55 PM
    I run a game for the players. The setting is part of what I run - and often the setting is tailored specifically to the type of campaign I want to run. The characters are the players avatars in the setting. But the setting doesn't cater to the characters, the setting caters to my needs as DM for telling the story and supporting the campaign.
    106 replies | 3548 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 12:53 AM
    Another tiny one. For Human (Mark of Handling), Dexterity has a typo in the Ability Score 1 column. Races!C76
    78 replies | 14184 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 03:05 AM
    Found a small error. The Cleric (Grave) is listed as having Heavy Armor proficiency. In the Unearthed Arcana (UACDD) that they were first published they had it, but the official version in XGtE they do not. Classes!J23
    78 replies | 14184 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 04:33 PM
    A character that is relatable is usually more likable. People connect with characters who try -- it does not have to be successful. So part of that is where are you starting your story?
    10 replies | 568 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 04:25 PM
    Been away on a business, so it was one physical books and some ebooks. Physical book was "The Rule of Luck" of Cathryn Cerveny. I was hording it in case my kindle died mid flight so I'm not finished. Everything is turned up a little too high - it took "go big or go home" very literally - but other than that is enjoyable. First eBook was The Wendy, a reimagining of Peter Pan. I enjoyed it...
    36 replies | 1150 view(s)
    0 XP
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About Arilyn

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Saturday, 5th May, 2018

  • 05:45 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    I feel like 'crisis' may be doing too much work here. I mean, yes, you have a mandate to create drama by engaging the character traits/story put forward by the players. This WILL be some form of conflict, and 'crisis' is certainly one of the things that will come up. That doesn't mean that there's nothing else. I mean, when the Titanic sinks, there's a crisis, but other stuff happens too. That's an ongoing disaster situation, but even so there are likely to be scenes that are more 'build up' etc. than 'crisis'. Remember, dramas still have establishment, and build up, etc. Its not all climax. I'm thinking of pemerton's character that has cooking skill. I mean, you wouldn't consider someone hungry showing up in camp a crisis, but its still a reasonable framing for Story Now play. I will try again, trying to build on what Arilyn posted. If the thing that a person enjoys in RPGing is a sense of being in the GM's world, then why would you explain that in terms of agency? The notion of audience membership seems like a more fruitful starting point. I enjoy going to movies, and I enjoy listening to music, but I don't explain that pleasure in terms of my agency. If the purposes of worldbuilding include establishing material for the GM to present to the players, is anyone interested in explaining why that is worthwhile? If the purpose of worldbuilding is - in metaphorical terms - to give the players stuff to interact with via their PCs, which means - in literal terms - to establish frameworks for declaring actions which then affect the way the GM narrates his/her setting - is anyone interested in explaining why that is worthwhile? I think you're still stuck on worldbuilding being outcome determining -- ie, not just setting information but planned story outcomes. And, yes, that is a style of traditiona...

Friday, 4th May, 2018

  • 11:54 PM - pemerton mentioned Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    I will try again, trying to build on what Arilyn posted. If the thing that a person enjoys in RPGing is a sense of being in the GM's world, then why would you explain that in terms of agency? The notion of audience membership seems like a more fruitful starting point. I enjoy going to movies, and I enjoy listening to music, but I don't explain that pleasure in terms of my agency. If the purposes of worldbuilding include establishing material for the GM to present to the players, is anyone interested in explaining why that is worthwhile? If the purpose of worldbuilding is - in metaphorical terms - to give the players stuff to interact with via their PCs, which means - in literal terms - to establish frameworks for declaring actions which then affect the way the GM narrates his/her setting - is anyone interested in explaining why that is worthwhile?

Thursday, 19th April, 2018

  • 05:31 PM - iserith mentioned Arilyn in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    I wonder if anyone's ideas about character death are different when it comes to one-shots. I run a lot of those and, in many cases, they are even more difficult than my regular campaign. My thinking is that even though I have no expectation of a character surviving in my regular campaign, that's truer still in a one-shot where the character won't be played in a subsequent session. I ran a one-shot last night, for example, in which 3 of the 4 PCs died. Of course, it was Death House, so it should be no surprise that was a possible if not likely outcome and I pulled no punches. Every PC was knocked out at least once, some several times, during the course of the adventure, culminating in the deaths of three PCs in the end. The players had an absolute blast. Arilyn: As to the "string of ridiculously bad dice rolls" or a character dying "5 minutes into the game," I would wonder why you're rolling at all if those kinds of outcomes can come up. Why not just change the stakes to something where failure is more palatable? Then there's no need to fudge.

Wednesday, 4th April, 2018

  • 08:18 AM - pemerton mentioned Arilyn in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    Perhaps the concern is that this is another step in moving the game "to the left", another step down the slippery slope towards a socially-liberal rewriting of the game. Rygar didn't articulate exactly what some of the specific effects of his claimed "left-wing push" were, but I'll assume he is referring to attempts to make games more inclusive and to avoid content that may be offensive to certain demographics. The problems with that is 5e has already made a push to be far more inclusive and it seems to have had positive, not negative effects on the brand and the bottom line. The reason I XPed Arilyn's reply to Rygar is this: I don't see how including women, or people of colour, in RPGing is a "left-wing push". It's not a socialist conspiracy to have created a world with people in it who aren't white men.

Monday, 22nd January, 2018

  • 04:07 AM - pemerton mentioned Arilyn in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    Good gawd Pemerton, given this and other threads, you argue against pre-written secret backstoryNo. I personally don't like GM pre-authored backstory which is used as a basis to stipulate that player action declarations for their PCs fail without consulting the action resolution mechanics. A consequence of this dislike is (i) that GM pre-authored backstory needs to be fairly sparse, as otherwise it won't be possible to reconcile it with the outcomes of action declaration (for further on this, see Arilyn's very interesting post about the ghost and the map, and my reply just a bit upthread of this post); and (ii) that richer initial backstory is best established in conjunction with the players, so that everyone is on the same page and hence understands what the parameters are for action declarations. you argue against making stuff up on the spot since they are both railroads according to youNo. The particular approach to GMing I've been focusing on over the last few pages of this thread is the following: (1) The GM is allowed to use his/her pre-written, secret-from-the-players notes to declare that a player's declared action for his/her PC fails; and, (2) The GM is also allowed to change or depart from his/her pre-written notes if s/he thinks that will improve the game. The combination of (1) and (2) prevents the game being like classic Gygax/Moldvay/Pulsipher D&D, because (2) means that the game is not a puzzle/maze for the players to unravel. It also prevents it being pl...

Sunday, 21st January, 2018

  • 04:11 AM - pemerton mentioned Arilyn in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    One problem. Different player rolled a successful skill check that gave him or her information about the original storyline that conflicts with the new, better storyline. Player knows it was successful. Now the GM needs to have it not conflict.If I've understood this properly, this is not what I'm talking about. Upthread, Lanefan, Sadras (I thinks) and Arilyn all endorsed the follow two propositions: (1) If some bit of fiction (let's call it X) is written down in the GM's notes, but has not yet been established, the GM is permitted to change it to something else (Q) during the course of play, if s/he thinks that Q will make the game better. (2) If X is written down in the GM's notes, and during play a player declares an action for his/her PC that cannot succeed if X is true (eg the player looks for the map in the study, but the GM has already written down in his/her notes that the map is hidden in a bread bin in the kitchen), then the GM is entitled to rely on X to declare that the declared action fails (and so can, for instance, tell the player that the search for the map in the study fails without having regard to the outcome of any action resolution mechanics). I assert: in a game that is GMed in accordance with propositions (1) and (2), the outcomes depend primiarliy upon the GM's opinion as to what makes for a good game. If s...
  • 12:54 AM - pemerton mentioned Arilyn in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    ...'s The Scarlet Citadel, or The Hour of the Dragon, or Xuthal of the Dusk. All involve "dungeons". None provides a map. Similarly for Moria in Fellowship of the Ring - no map. Nuances of paths, holes in the wall, heights of ceilings, are not always the most important things - in life or in fiction. As for your "But isn't that how you do it?" - no. To repeat: the PCs (voiced by their players) ask the angels to take the to the reliquary. The angels take them there. We then find out what happens at the reliquary, by deploying the action resolution mechanics. No unrevealed backstory has been used to thwart any action declaration. But you say: relying on unrevealed backstory to determine success or failure means that backstory has now influenced play, and is thus locked in. Obviously it's locked in. My point is - the GM could have changed that backstory to something that allowed the action declaration a chance of success, but didn't. How is that not a railroad? I'm interested in Arilyn's answer to the same question, if she'd like to (Arilyn, I apologise if I've got your gender wrong).

Saturday, 20th January, 2018

  • 12:29 PM - Lanefan mentioned Arilyn in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    ...backstory when s/he likes it; but then changes it when s/he thinks of something s/he likes better - so that the players' decision to search for the map in such-and-such a place will automatically fail, with no check, if the GM decides to stick to his/her original idea that the map is actually on the other side of the world; but may succeed, if the GM decides that this new suggestion is better - then how is that not railroading?But isn't that what you do, only instead of the map going from "the other side of the world" to "here it is" it goes from nowhere in particular to "here it is"? And I don't know how long I have to keep banging this drum but here's another beat: a DM pre-designing her game world, or pre-designing a dungeon (and placing its contents) does not a railroad make. How do you envisage this working, in practical terms? Do you announce to the players "Hey, in today's session your action declarations won't really matter - just focus on the story I'm telling you"?Not Arilyn but I'll try answering this one: if things are getting a little unfocused a DM might out-of-character say something like "Hey, things seem to be drifting a bit - if it helps I've got some adventure and story ideas ready to rock if you all haven't anything - how's that?" Lanefan

Friday, 19th January, 2018

  • 09:38 PM - Sadras mentioned Arilyn in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    @Arilyn pretty sums up my thoughts on this with his post above. As I mentioned our table plays with a combination of the two styles. What is important to note that the 5e DMG seemingly dismissed by the 4e proponents does possess a great deal of indie concepts/variants. With concepts along with their mechanics for things such as - success at a cost, degrees of failure, the inspiration mechanic, backgrounds, ideals and flaws, skill variant rules, plot points and I'm sure quite a few others D&D has certainly evolved with the RPG community around it, recognising and incorporating various ideas from other games.

Friday, 1st December, 2017

  • 09:57 PM - Wulffolk mentioned Arilyn in post Why penalize returning from death?
    Arilyn You are right about D&D being the flagship product of our hobby and being the gateway into role-playing for many new players. D&D casts a wide net over the hobby and provides a common ground for many of us to relate to. However, the fact that it does not do anything particularly well is why we see so much division amongst it's fans. Many people like D&D and know it, but few people are satisfied with it as is. Hence the reason for so much house-ruling and home-brewing. I suppose that is part of the magic that is D&D, every difference of opinion generates more discussion and publicity, keeping it from dying. An extremely well-written and self-contained system has no need for more rule books or newer editions, and generates less discussion.

Wednesday, 15th November, 2017

  • 02:34 AM - Oofta mentioned Arilyn in post A Proper Ability Score Generation Preference Poll
    Yes, I prefer the "other" rolling methods. Shall I repost the quotes from the 1e PHB and DMG? Sorry ... I don't remember everything ever written. :) But then I kind of agree with Arilyn, if you just keep rolling I don't see the point.
  • 12:51 AM - Oofta mentioned Arilyn in post A Proper Ability Score Generation Preference Poll
    They don't miss or ignore it (I think), its an outlier not a norm. Unless your saying that this is a norm for entire community? Arilyn said she didn't want a PC more powerful than the rest of the group, which is something I personally witnessed the last time I played in a game where we rolled for ability scores. I know I wouldn't want to play someone with significantly better ability scores, nor would my wife. That's not a huge sample size, but I know other people on various threads have posted a similar sentiment.

Friday, 27th October, 2017

  • 05:50 PM - Oofta mentioned Arilyn in post Toward a Theory of 6th Edition
    Guys maybe I missed something (it's possible as I read the thread quickly). But the title of the thread is "Toward a Theory of 6th Edition" which seems to imply to me it's not a "how would you tweak the game" but rather "what will the game be tweaked to". The later question begins with, "what do people want from the game" doesn't it? As Arilyn said, it's just a discussion on hypothetical changes. I like 5E, I hope it doesn't get replaced any time in the near future. But over the history of D&D it does seem like there's been more and more of a move towards the supernatural/magic classes and builds. That's not necessarily a bad thing it just may not work for every campaign. Take barbarians for example. At higher levels there's a totem animal that gives them options to do things like sprout wings and give them limited fly. That's not a bad thing it just may not fit in a Cimmerian-themed campaign. Then again the tweaks I would make are pretty cosmetic and could be tacked on to the existing game compared to some of the suggestions which would really change the nature of the game.

Monday, 21st August, 2017

  • 07:10 PM - Coroc mentioned Arilyn in post Arcane multiclassing... does it make sense?
    As Arilyn said, but I'm also curious: You state that sentence like it's absolute fact. Do you think that all power hungry wizards should be played as seeking lichdom? also Arilyn and shidaku No, of course not since this is also obviously a truly evil choice, if you care about alignments in your games at all. But it is one way to rise above status, others might be finding the fountain of youth or the Philosopher's stone or learning every known spell to be the greatest wizard of them all. But that is longing for more knowledge, for a broader variety of spells not limiting oneself to the small selection of spells a warlock has got, and turning into a glass cannon depending on the mercy of some patron, and in the same time eventually cutting oneself of to learn the higher wizard spell levels. There may be roleplaying solutions to this but I stand by my point, it is not the obvious thing to multiclass into anything for a wizard.

Sunday, 20th August, 2017

  • 06:59 PM - Satyrn mentioned Arilyn in post Arcane multiclassing... does it make sense?
    A power hungry wizard would rather try to become a lich instead . . . As Arilyn said, but I'm also curious: You state that sentence like it's absolute fact. Do you think that all power hungry wizards should be played as seeking lichdom?

Monday, 31st July, 2017

  • 05:51 PM - Coroc mentioned Arilyn in post Do you miss attribute minimums/maximums?
    5 feet in medieval times? Skeletons form the early middle ages indicate that the average height of a man in Northern Europe was 5'8" https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040902090552.htm Yes I was to generalizing in my post. It is true that in the early middle ages people were almost the same height like people today. But that diminished with the so called little ice age and only since 20th century people are taller again. It was also dependant on your living circumstances. The rich and noble had better nutrition and were likely to be taller. Arilyn The thing with the small armor was not only children sized suits but also model suits made by the armorers as an exhibition of their craftsmanship. There wer also giants. In castle Ambras was a guy who was 2m40 (close to 8 ft.) And he had a giant armor https://imageapi.khm.at/images/556747/HJRK_A_634%20und%20andere-400.jpg Here it is beside some childrens suits of armor

Friday, 21st July, 2017

  • 05:19 PM - Tequila Sunrise mentioned Arilyn in post Do You DM or Play with Flair?
    Saeviomagy Arilyn Clerics are the ministers of communities, and each cleric is a messenger and vessel of all gods. Some clerics favor one god over others, but no cleric is foolish enough to exclude any god of recognized importance from his prayers and invocations, no matter how much he may find a particular god distasteful. The D&D priest (aka cleric) is actually odd compared to most real world priests of polytheistic faiths. My cleric hews more closely to real world priests, in that each one is a servant of all his culture's gods and is not supposed to play favorites.

Thursday, 8th December, 2016


Wednesday, 2nd March, 2016

  • 07:31 PM - Wednesday Boy mentioned Arilyn in post Question About New GM Mistakes
    As Arilyn noted, aspects can be tricky to write and implement well. Be flexible about letting players revamp or replace aspects until they get ones that do what they want and play well in practice.

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Tuesday, 18th June, 2019

  • 03:55 PM - Travis Henry quoted Arilyn in post Narrative/Novel D&D...ND&D. Imagine if the game played just like the D&D novels?
    ...uninformed, and/or brilliant. These decisions, and the results as narrated by a good DM, are what makes memories. Go read online the stories that people tell of D&D from 30 years ago. They are not about what was scripted, but about what happened due to player agency. As for published adventures being sort of railroady... sure, most of them are written that way because they need to be accessible to DMs that don't know better. A DM that chooses to can allow an adventure to go in any direction, and just because an encounter is not in the published adventure, is a poor excuse for a DM to not allow an encounter (or any other type of event) to occur. Another thought, if you want an adventure to be over quicker, then you are probably missing out. Their is value in the journey. Just like life and relationships, the journey, what happens between where you start and the end, is often more important, and almost always more memorable, that getting to the end. Okay. Now I feel heard. Thank you Arilyn, LordE, and to the others who responded. And to Bobble and LordE for the laughs. (What's wrong with Kindergarten Storytime: The RPG? haha) I admit I hadn't thought it all through from start. And even my own parameters have continued to shift. I do believe a very fun game could be made along the lines I'm envisioning. And that even with a "novellic" or "cinematic" system, a sweet spot could be reached which made space for a resourceful DM to improvise in response to player agency. My initial post was fueled by four legitimate desires: 1) For the battles to be a lot quicker, yet still satisfying. And for stories/adventures to be completed in one or two sessions...including "bigger" novellic stories (not just a small dungeon crawl). I was struck by how long it takes (in Real Time) for us to run a battle in 5E versus how quick (and satisfying) the battle scenes pass in the Icewind Dale novels. AFAIR, back when I DMed BECMI, the fights and adventures were significantly quicker too. (Alo...

Sunday, 16th June, 2019

  • 06:20 AM - Saelorn quoted Arilyn in post 3 Favorite Things About Your Favorite System
    Question: The spellcasters lack utility spells. What is your reasoning behind this? Is it a balance issue? 13th Age lumps utility spells together, treating them as a feature wizards can choose. Your thoughts?The main reason is because spellcasters have so few spells known. I wanted to make sure that any spell was useful enough to cast seven times per day, and most utility spells in D&D are the sort of thing you only cast once every few levels. Water Breathing, for example; even if you learn it as a ritual, and it comes up once or twice in the campaign, it mostly just takes up space on your character sheet. I did try to make sure that the most important utility spells were there - Knock/Lock, Locate Object, and Teleport. I intentionally avoided Goodberry and Create Water, because of how controversial they are. I also added a couple of utility effects into the Merits section, so you can have at-will Mage Hand or Light if you really want that to be a defining part of your character. A lot of it...

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 04:53 PM - dragoner quoted Arilyn in post 3 Favorite Things About Your Favorite System
    And I will stop because I'm not following the guidelines of this thread. No worries, it is interesting to read what everyone likes about their various games. Often I think it comes down to player preference and play styles, that is ok too.

Tuesday, 28th May, 2019

  • 06:53 PM - Mike Myler quoted Arilyn in post Do You Want 9 New D&D Classes?
    I am currently using the Golden Tarot, by Kat Black, which is a stunning deck. But the EN deck looks very promising, and has the available spells printed on the cards, which will be very handy. Just have to have both, I guess.😁 They are tarot-sized too so should all work together! For anyone that likes the cardcaster but lacks a tarot deck (and doesn't want to buy the *awesome* one that I put together which will be available in the A Touch More Class Kickstarter) the revised A Touch of Class has directions for using a regular deck of playing cards built into the cardcaster's class description.
  • 06:31 PM - Mike Myler quoted Arilyn in post Do You Want 9 New D&D Classes?
    I'm having a blast with my cardcaster from the first "Touch of Class" book. Cardcaster you say. :angel:

Sunday, 10th March, 2019

  • 06:18 PM - S'mon quoted Arilyn in post Need for a Home Base
    I know what you mean about players thrust into dangerous territory, where establishing a safe zone becomes top priority. I haven't given it much thought, but those games do dissipate faster. The major goal been reached, so story over? Perhaps these types of campaigns feel more like a movie than a tv series. Maybe not having periodic home breaks, like in real life, is just too tiring after a while. I noticed that my son loved "Shadow of Mordor" computer game, with constant fighting in the hellscape of Mordor; whereas I couldn't stand it. Conversely I love the cadence of "Skyrim", with its nearly-always-safe cities & inns, its dangerous wilderness, and deadly delves. I nearly always 'save' my PC back at home base, so when I reload I am in the tavern or Breezehome, not neck deep in Draugr. :)

Sunday, 3rd February, 2019

  • 10:23 PM - Reynard quoted Arilyn in post Feature or Bug: D&D's Power and Complexity Curve
    You would have to really dig in and rebuild the character classes. Abilities across all characters would be less flashy, more skill oriented. I would probably limit the levels to 10, so coming up with new class abilities that don't go over the top would be easier to design. You would definitely want to severely limit spell casting classes to one or two. And the magic system would need a serious overhaul. It could definitely work, but it's not something you could enter into lightly. I wasn't actually proposing to do this. It was more an illustration of how if you significantly flatten the power and complexity curve, the game benefits from it.

Monday, 21st January, 2019

  • 09:54 AM - Jhaelen quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: How "Precise" Should RPG Rules Be?
    I think the dice pool rpg lewpuls is talking about might be a FFG game, either Star Wars or Genesys, where the symbols on the dice act as a springboard for the narrative.That's what I was reminded of, too. A more precise(!) portrayal of the Star Wars/Genesys dice pool should probably mention that the result of a roll has both precise and narrative results. Different dice are used to represent a character's skill, an opponent's skill, environmental effects, and in the case of Star Wars 'The Force'. The basic outcome (failure/success) is determined by counting one set of symbols and is indeed precise. Only the other set of symbols isn't clearly defined and can interpreted in different ways to represent complications or a lucky coincidence. I don't think this is true. I think boardgames could work really well with inprecise rules. Its just that there are few boardgames that seem to have tried this so far.Ah, no. In fact, imprecise rules would quickly kill any interest in me to continue pl...

Thursday, 17th January, 2019

  • 11:47 PM - Saelorn quoted Arilyn in post I want faster character creation. Also, I’m a monster.
    Wouldn't the character system have to be really basic to avoid the silliness you mention? Eh... maybe? If you have a lot of decision points, such that optimization becomes a fun exercise, then that's a strong incentive for some people to go back and play that mini-game. You can still have complexity without turning character creation into a fun puzzle, but I can't think of any way to do that without invoking random factors (like Palladium, or Maid). And is it so common that we need to take that behaviour into account when designing a character creation system in a game?It's probably not common enough that it would be the sole factor when designing the creation mechanics, but it can be one factor. Other factors might be to discourage pigeon-holing (few people would choose to make a high-strength wizard, if given the choice, but someone might chance into it if you're rolling randomly for stats), or just to speed the process along in case a character does happen to die during play.
  • 08:35 PM - Lanefan quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    I agree with Umbran. We can't discuss NS D&D as if it is the same as other NS games. This has caused confusion and arguments on this thread, for sure. Thinking just about D&D, we need to send the game to middle school. 1e and 2e are not old school. They are too rules dense, and both editions strongly discourage house rules, lest the unwary GM brings the whole game tumbling down. It makes sense. Gygax wanted a ruleset which would be consistent no matter where you played. That might have been what he wanted, but it wasn't what he got. Is there anyone out there - anyone - who played non-RPGA 1e by RAW? Gygax, despite his stated desire to have everyone playing the same game, gave us a wonderfully modular system just perfect for tweaking and kitbashing to suit a particular table or playstyle by any DM willing to spend the time - and many were. And oddly enough, I suspect this malleability helped make the game overall more popular rather than less. It was also there to support tou...
  • 08:05 PM - Satyrn quoted Arilyn in post I want faster character creation. Also, I’m a monster.
    I make characters for fun too. It is my favourite part of PF. I used to say the same thing about City of Heroes/Villains.

Wednesday, 16th January, 2019

  • 07:53 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    2 e continued the 1e philosophy, as written, not what most players were actually doing. Later 2e loosened up character rules with kit books and became more story oriented, which was what fans were wanting. One reason 2E was such a minimal rewrite of 1E has to do with business issues. It's really important to remember that these kinds of design decisions are not made in a vacuum. Recall that 2E came out in 1989, which was just a few years after Gygax was kicked to the curb and new management came in. TSR had a warehouse of 1E material still, and didn't want it to all of a sudden become totally obsolete. Also, the relatively new management of TSR was very gun-shy about destroying their market by making what would be perceived as really drastic changes to the game. New editions, just like a band getting a new lead singer or a change in direction for an author, movie series, or video game series, need to be handled very delicately and they were feeling pretty insecure at that point. The designe...
  • 06:23 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    Ahhh, but if old schoolers are not embracing all the rules in advanced because they are arbitrary, fiddly and overly complicated, or because they just enjoy tinkering, and they are rejecting Gygax's philosophy, then are they technically embracing the game? They are using the game, but have heavily modified it to fit personal tastes. Usually those tastes fall under what is now considered Old School, but that is not Gygax's Advanced ruleset. 2 e continued the 1e philosophy, as written, not what most players were actually doing. Later 2e loosened up character rules with kit books and became more story oriented, which was what fans were wanting. 3e grew from there. So, whether players were actually using advanced rules, as written or using them in an old school kind of way doesn't change the fact that Advanced is a middle school game. Players were using it in an old school kind of way, but it is rules dense, has lots of fiddly bits, and arbitrary rules like losing exp. from alignment change. And...
  • 05:55 PM - Umbran quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    So, OD&D, and basic/expert are old school. 1st and 2nd are middle school, and 3rd - 5th are NS. I feel adding that middle bridge helps define the editions better. That is sort of assuming the conclusion that "rules density" is actually a determiner of school. I submit that *play experience* is probably the better determiner - as is suggested by the fact that the term "old school" became popularized largely as a marketing ploy - "new rules, old school feel" - for adventures that used the new ruleset. Suggesting that the rule set isn't the major issue, that you can generate the same feeling within a wide range of game designs.
  • 05:39 PM - Umbran quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    Oh yes, they were heavily house ruled, but if you read the rules in Advanced, house ruling is discouraged. I find that... largely irrelevant in its classification. Especially when one of the major forces in the community at that time was Dragon Magazine, which contained a lot of house rule choices. The message becomes mixed - "DOn't use house rules, but here are some house rules for you to use!" And the effect... was heavy house ruling.
  • 05:25 PM - AriochQ quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    If we are going to examine games, we need to look at the intent of the rules, even if players are straying from that intent because it is the RAW that future game developers are going to use as the springboard for newer editions. An equally compelling, and possibly stronger, argument could be made for the opposite viewpoint. That we should use how the games were actually played, rather than intended. AD&D was rarely run 'as intended'. In 40 years, I have never run into a group that ran by the book initiative. Yet, most of the AD&D groups I have played with over the years had most of the OS characteristics I outlined in my earlier post.
  • 02:39 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    I agree with Umbran. We can't discuss NS D&D as if it is the same as other NS games. This has caused confusion and arguments on this thread, for sure. Thinking just about D&D, we need to send the game to middle school. 1e and 2e are not old school. They are too rules dense, and both editions strongly discourage house rules, lest the unwary GM brings the whole game tumbling down. It makes sense. Gygax wanted a ruleset which would be consistent no matter where you played. It was also there to support tournament play. Having said this, D&D hadn't shed all of its old school roots. It still relied on player skill over character skill, and was usually played as a series of obstacles that clever players could overcome. You were expected to bring your A game, not play out your own character's flaws and foibles. This was the period of heavy simulation, which spanned about two decades. 2e started focussing more on story. The kit books gave players more control over character choice. The end of 2 e f...
  • 02:02 PM - AriochQ quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    1e and 2e are not old school. They are too rules dense, and both editions strongly discourage house rules, Not sure I agree with this. While I didn't have the broadest experience during the 1e/early 2e era, every table I played at was heavily house ruled. It was almost required given the complexity of the rules and relative lack of interaction with other gamers outside of conventions, college clubs, or Dragon Magazine.

Sunday, 13th January, 2019

  • 10:29 PM - GreyLord quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    There are three loud groups in the hobby, which contribute almost nothing to rpg conversations. There is the pretentious "serious" roleplayer group which dismisses D&D as a board game for murder hoboes, the "hardcore" tactical group which dismisses "serious" roleplayers as fluffy wannabe drama students, and the "old schoolers" who lament the hobby being taken over by the "young folk" who don't like challenges and want everything handed over for free. It's fine to have strong opinions, to be passionate, but not to be an obnoxious and/or pretentious know-it-all, who can't even be bothered to understand their whole hobby, beyond their favoured niche. What!? I consider myself an old schooler and I do not feel the young folk are like that at all. I think some of them may have had serious problems with elementary school math (with some of the complaints they level about older styles way of involving math within them), or that they like to focus on other things than the older types o...
  • 09:46 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    If you are looking for specific, objective critiques of the article, there have been many made on this thread. Hawkeyefan did an excellent job breaking down the article, piece by piece. I believe it's back on page three, if you missed it. It really isn't about differing viewpoints, but how a paid article needs to present itself in order to be taken seriously. Thanks. Hawkeye gives a good response in my opinion. But he also doesn't seem to question putting the article up. Instead he takes up the article point by point. He also notes it where he agrees (even if, on the whole, it seems he disagrees). I'd be curious how Hawkeye and others view the difference between old and new school play.


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