View Profile: Arilyn - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Today, 02:41 AM
    Feats vs. ASI is a Faustian balancing act. Do you get cool thing X, or math bonus Y. We've seen feedback that at high levels featless games the ASI loses a lot of it's luster. So I'm not sure I would split them up - the either or is part of the complexity of character creation. Which fits better. Giving piles of everything is the wrong type of complexity - the overload of too many choices,...
    12 replies | 204 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Today, 01:35 AM
    Your wrong, and an idiot, and have no idea what you're talking about. I'm not sure what those refer to, since this is a masterful compilation of those threads into a game I'd like. But I'm sure they're true somewhere. :D This though, I'd play.
    14 replies | 317 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Today, 01:16 AM
    Don't lock yourself in. If you see that your party is good on buffing (or debuffing) then between that and Precision Attack go for GWM @ 4th. If not, see the types of terrain your DM likes - wide open, tight, complex, full of hazards - and if justified pick up Sentinel. If you're missing a lot or neither of the others are true, go +2 STR. You're not advancing your character in a vaccuum, but...
    11 replies | 165 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:20 PM
    And they have to be the only person coming after you. If you get mobbed by foes #2-5 this doesn't work. If you are defending a choke point as your example was, then they are all coming at (or through) you.
    11 replies | 165 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:47 PM
    Ugh, never. The trapper who's out there getting skins - likely a ranger. The demonic-influenced gnoll tracker - probably a ranger. The bounty hunters after the PCs - likely has a ranger. Rangers are good with dealing with nature, but to revere it is not a requirement of the class in the slightest.
    36 replies | 701 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:44 PM
    You are completely correct as far as I know, and it is a nice combo. Except that assume that thee's only one foe, and they either want you or have to get past you. Once there's a second foe who can close with you, you either need to start sucking up OAs yourself to move back, or to miss out on your two attacks (plus more once you hit 5th) and take the Disengage action. Same happens if...
    11 replies | 165 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:38 PM
    I sadly could not finish Andre Norton's Sargasso of Space. I just couldn't get into it. After all the fond memories I have of her writing from younger, that was a bit surprising. I picked up Brief Cases by Jim Butcher, a collection of short stories set in his Dresden Files world. Very enjoyable. Weren't just in the world, they did a good job of adding to it. Almost picked up the first...
    13 replies | 520 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:20 PM
    Sentinel is at best on par with Polearm master in terms of attacks. Polearm master definitely gives you one for a bonus action, with a smaller die. And it also increases the chance of a reaction from "likely not" to "meh, maybe". So call it +1.2 attacks per round over no feat. (+1 bonus action, +20% chance at reaction attack) Sentinel guarantees nothing, but moves up the reaction to a...
    11 replies | 165 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:58 PM
    Ended - either completed or fizzled: The last three campaigns that ended were 5 years, 7 years, and 4.5 years. Play bi-weekly, with significant gaps in summer and the winter holidays. Say 16-20 sessions a year. But that's my table - there's two player overlap for all three, and 3-4 player overlap between any two of them. Last three campaigns I played in that ended were ~15 months of...
    14 replies | 318 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:00 PM
    Rangers to me are guides, trackers, hunters and masters of survival. This could be the loner, who has embraced the wild over civilization, or the guardian, protecting villagers and farmers from the dangers in the wilds. I don't like rangers having spells, but definitely unique abilities, which could border on magical. Animal companions and favoured enemies should be options. I don't mind the...
    36 replies | 701 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:59 PM
    I'm pre-Drizz't when ranger got set in my head, and Aragorn described as a ranger wasn't the same thing as the D&D class of the same name. To me a ranger is an outdoorsman first. They don't have the same connection or reverence of nature that a druid has, but that doesn't mean that they can't do things that others can't. (Mechanically I'd be happier with invocations like the warlock rather...
    36 replies | 701 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:57 PM
    It's not all that difficult to understand. PF1 is getting old, and is based off an even older system. Most RPGs go through more than one edition. Players almost always grumble and complain. And yes, it is often a risk, but Paizo has proven that they usually make sound decisions, and when things get rough, they weather the storm. We'll have to wait and see how PF2 does in the wild. I think it's a...
    16 replies | 375 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 07:24 PM
    Questions Determining ability score? 1. How do you determine ability score to use? Like can weapon wielders pick either STR or DEX? Or does an archer fighter need STR? How about unusual builds, like a DEX based barbarian? Could a paladin choose CHR or STR or is it set to one? Spellcasting 2. Is each spell slot a separate roll, or is "spellcasting" a single check? Features with uses...
    32 replies | 958 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 12:36 AM
    Isn't this a bit backward? The player tells the DM what the character is doing, and then the DM determine the roll. We had a steep incline of rubble in one dungeon. One player described carefully climbing down while another did a tumble/parkour down. The DM from there determines the ability check (and DC, and anything else) based on the approach the player was taking. (If I recall from...
    5 replies | 228 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 02:49 PM
    The most common issue I hear about extra bodies on the field, like summons or pet classes, is that that player's actions during an encounter take up more time. With this I see two cases: 1. Some players have sidekicks and others don't , leading to those players taking more time and slowing down play for everyone else. 2. Everyone has a sidekick. Meaning all actions take longer and there's...
    30 replies | 976 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 08:31 PM
    13th Age, a d20 game similar to 5e, makes the changing automatic. They have at-will, per encounter (instead of per short rest), and per full-heal-up (like long rest). But a full-heal-up comes every four encounters. Could be on the same day or spread across several weeks. Players can take one earlier, but it costs a campaign loss.
    32 replies | 958 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 07:59 PM
    I completely disagree that changing the length of rests will screw over some classes. Nothing but changing the frequency of encounters between rests. And that's entirely up to the DM. Let's try this. Group A averages two encounters, a short rest, two encounters, a short rest, and two encounters and then a long rest. Group B has the exact same frequency. No disadvantage on either, correct?...
    32 replies | 958 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 05:23 PM
    What sort of rule system do you like? You are going to probably have to go with a toolbox, or a game that has its own world/ lore that can be easily tweaked. Do you like Fate? GURPS? Savage Worlds? Hero? Gumshoe? Are you willing to scrounge around for out of print games? Angel, (sister rpg to Buffy) is really easy to mold into something totally divorced from the tv show. It's hard to give...
    70 replies | 2079 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 03:37 PM
    Go for it. Changing how long a rest takes are even some of the official variants in the DMG. The 5e Adventures in Middle Earth basically has that you never get rested enough on a journey for a long rest unless you stop at a sanctuary like Elrond's Last Homely House or something. I'm working on a campaign idea right now that has a lot of travel and exploration and I want to be able to work...
    32 replies | 958 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 02:28 PM
    Tell your dentist you need the normal cleanings covered by insurance, that it's a hardship. See if you get at least 2 of the 4 covered, and the others cheaper.
    35 replies | 778 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 02:26 PM
    This sounds like criminal charges and a lawsuit. Too bad it's likely far past the point you could do that. While this is very believable from 20 years ago when it happened to you, luckily I have a hard time picturing this happening in the US now. Malpractice insurance is hideously expensive compared to other countries and no medical professional I know would dare risk something like this...
    35 replies | 778 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 02:20 PM
    Once I feel asleep with my head under my pillow and I awoke with no teeth and a mouth full of quarters. (Monty Python voice: "I got better.")
    35 replies | 778 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 02:01 PM
    When the topic is "without a healer", you keep using "with a healer" as part of your arguments. We've gone back and forth a few times, I don't think it's worth it to continue. But you do have a good point - you're not looking for a way to simplify the game, you're looking for a way to simplify play for a table. At that point you can always customize for that table. Heck, you could simplify...
    20 replies | 775 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 05:29 AM
    I happen to be prepping a new campaign right now, though the order was slightly different because it's family that I'm teaching the game to. They all came up with character ideas first, and from that I have a bunch of ideas of what they are looking for that I need to weave together. Anyway, my campaign notes doc has the following headings: Player Interests (broken down by each player, and...
    39 replies | 1099 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 05:15 AM
    I'd make sure that every ability score has uses in every pillar of play. Some of the pillars may be dominated by skill use so that's effectively already covered, but others not as much. And combat is a pillar of play, so I'd like INT, WIS and CHR to have some effect on combat even for non-casters. For example, if INT also covers speed of thought and wits, make it determine Initiative. This...
    61 replies | 1576 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 05:09 AM
    A lot of people seem to be answering "how long to get a session ready", so I'll answer that as well. To get a homebrew campaign ready to hold a session 0 with the players is probably 8 hours over multiple weeks. I come up with some interesting stories that we could explore, put together the rough idea of a setting that specifically supports that*, flesh out broad-strokes-only some of the...
    39 replies | 1099 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 12:34 AM
    I played AD&D 2nd without a healer - and it drastically changed game play. We would be holed up in caves for weeks trying to recover from a single encounter. 5e lets us play the same style of game regardless if we have a lot of healing or not. Since the point I was making is being able to play without a healer, then yes, that's the time it's most noticeable. Let's assume that among the...
    20 replies | 775 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 03:29 PM
    With you on both with a small change. I used average damage for monsters while letting players roll. Players like to roll, and get little enough time on their turn as it is (as a fraction of combat). If I can speed up all of the foes that's already a big win.
    20 replies | 775 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 03:19 PM
    The near-healerless party I ran for absolutely disagrees. Healing surges enable additional play styles and unlocks forcing a player into a healing role if no one wants to play one. I can see your point in a traditional party mix, but it has a very big effect in allowing players to play what they want - especially new players who don't have a "someone plays a healer" tradition.
    20 replies | 775 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 03:11 PM
    Blue replied to Flurry of Blows
    The "Immediately" does not refer to when you must spend the Bonus Action, it refers to when you must spend the Ki point. So you take an Attack action, must spend a Ki point immediately, can move, can spend a Bonus Action to get two attacks. On the other hand, you can break up you move before and after your action, and if you take an action that has multiple attacks you can move between. ...
    16 replies | 555 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:24 PM
    Once you ave gum disease, you are at a high risk of it returning. Gum disease is linked to heart attack and such. Insurance companies only want to pay two cleanings a year (or one cleaning every six months, which works out to be the same but you can't schedule the second too close or they deny it). Dentists want to permanently move you to every three months because of chance of recurrence....
    35 replies | 778 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:14 PM
    I remember a while ago that someone showed the math that reducing the penalty meant it was an appropriate thing to use more often, and the feat ended up contributing more total damage. This was with the 1:2 ratio of damage. But I'd be concerned about reducing the penalty - that actually made it stronger. It was several years ago so I can't vouch for the math, but if correct than the effects...
    49 replies | 1116 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 05:38 PM
    My apologies. I did write it a bit snarky and you did nothing to deserve that. I was in the wrong.
    106 replies | 3942 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 04:11 PM
    All is good, you're very respectful in our discussion. Okay, let's try it like this. Death is just another condition, curable during or after combat once a party can cast Revivify. Just like a Dispel Magic (another 3rd level spell) might end some other condition. It's best to avoid, but doesn't need to be focused around unless the costly material components are a problem. As it is, it...
    60 replies | 2046 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 04:52 AM
    The Strange interests me more.Have you played it?
    94 replies | 4889 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 04:02 AM
    Charger feat requires using Dash as your action, then gives a bonus action attack for +5. So it gets no benefit for Extra Attack. Actually, it doesn't even use the Attack action to qualify for this thread, sorry.
    10 replies | 435 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 03:54 AM
    5e is designed around each and every other person in an encounter having exactly one action between your actions. (With some epic creatures that are supposed to act as multiple creatures breaking that). When both PCs and foes have abilities and spells that last until the start of your turn and could have no affect not because you did anything wrong, but because you rolled better on...
    60 replies | 2046 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 03:39 AM
    I was talking about how I rate success. As you said, that's the important part to determine to you are meeting your goal. This is a place where having a different goal leads to different tactics. With most of the DMs I've played with, it is quite hard for a character to be killed in one round. Between mostly only hit with area of effect, with others havign abilities to heal as well, and...
    60 replies | 2046 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 03:19 AM
    And they should realize that you can't make a full mage without making it a bit overpowered. And they should realize you can't make a holy knight without making it overpowered. And they ... Oh wait, if all of the classes are overpowered, then they ae all balanced against each other. So declare every other class overpowered and then create a beastmaster of equal power.
    106 replies | 3942 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 03:36 PM
    As you say, in-combat healing has a very different goal than out-of-comabt healing, which is usually "to heal sufficiently with the most efficient use of resources". However, when it comes to in-combat healing, I have a different measure of success than what you propose, which by nature encompasses it* but also asks more. (* Except at Tier 1, where insta-death is more likely.) "Minimize...
    60 replies | 2046 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 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...
    16 replies | 521 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 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 | 316 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 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 | 316 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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.
    32 replies | 1031 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...
    13 replies | 520 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 1764 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 | 855 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...
    22 replies | 679 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 426 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    19 replies | 934 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 1764 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    19 replies | 934 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 426 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.
    181 replies | 4090 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 3750 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 | 438 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 | 3750 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.
    19 replies | 934 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....
    23 replies | 1362 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 | 494 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 652 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 652 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 | 652 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 | 686 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...
    23 replies | 1362 view(s)
    4 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...
    68 replies | 2225 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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,...
    94 replies | 4889 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    10 replies | 435 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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?
    94 replies | 4889 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    94 replies | 4889 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 | 1317 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    19 replies | 934 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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.
    94 replies | 4889 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 770 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 | 505 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 1317 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 1317 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 | 1317 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 1317 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 | 1317 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 4351 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 | 1363 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 1317 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 | 4351 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 | 1363 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 | 1363 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 2117 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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.
    88 replies | 7859 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 | 2117 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 743 view(s)
    0 XP
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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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Friday, 21st June, 2019

  • 03:58 PM - Xaelvaen quoted Arilyn in post Systems You'd Never Play after Reading Them
    The Strange interests me more.Have you played it? Played it, no, but I've read through it. I got the book as part of the Torment: Tides of Numenera kickstarter. I like the character shifting as you change worlds, and it has a lot of neat supplements, but the system is mostly the same down to its fundamentals (which isn't a bad thing for me). One of the races / world that supports the race, is quite unique, and they have a spellcaster that reminds me a lot of "Sourcerers" from the Divinity: Original Sin series.

Thursday, 20th June, 2019

  • 05:17 PM - Xaelvaen quoted Arilyn in post Systems You'd Never Play after Reading Them
    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. I'll admit, the system is minimal - the character creation is fairly limited in its final iteration. However, the setting was done marvelously, thanks to the Cypher system itself, mostly.

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.


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