View Profile: Harzel - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Today, 02:11 AM
    Alchemy Jug 29 Bag of Holding 27 Bag of Tricks 29 Broom of Flying 26 Carpet of Flying 27 Crystal Ball 1 - 2 = -1 Cube of Force 19 + 1 = 20 Cubic Gate 19 Ok, we're finally down to the set of children that are above average.
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:27 AM
    Alchemy Jug 30 Bag of Holding 25 Bag of Tricks 29 Broom of Flying 26 Carpet of Flying 27 - 2 = 25 Crystal Ball 10 Crystal Ball of Telepathy 4 Cube of Force 22 + 1 = 23 Cubic Gate 20
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 09:25 AM
    Alchemy Jug 29 Bag of Holding 28 Bag of Tricks 26 Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals 3 Broom of Flying 24 Carpet of Flying 27 Crystal Ball 10 Crystal Ball of Telepathy 10 Cube of Force 24 Cubic Gate 23
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 09:23 AM
    Double post
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 09:21 AM
    Corrections for skipped votes from akr71 and Legatus_Legionis Alchemy Jug 29 Bag of Holding 28 Bag of Tricks 25 Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals 3 Broom of Flying 24 Carpet of Flying 29 Crystal Ball 10 Crystal Ball of Telepathy 10
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 01:10 AM
    Interesting. This batch of items seems to have a distinct divide between those that have a constituency and those that do not.
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 01:08 AM
    Alchemy Jug 28 Bag of Holding 28 Bag of Tricks 29 Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals 8 Broom of Flying 25 Carpet of Flying 27 Censer of Controlling Air Elementals 4 Crystal Ball 12 Crystal Ball of Telepathy 14 - 2 =12 Cube of Force 24 + 1 = 25
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 05:58 AM
    Very nice. Would you mind saying what tool(s) you use to draw your maps?
    6 replies | 409 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 05:28 AM
    Alchemy Jug 29 Bag of Holding 31 Bag of Tricks 26 + 1 = 27 Bowl of Commanding Water Elementals 1 Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals 10 Broom of Flying 21 Carpet of Flying 27 Censer of Controlling Air Elementals 12 Crystal Ball 14 Crystal Ball of Telepathy 16 - 2 = 14
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 08:59 AM
    By "spellcasting check" do you mean an ability check using your spellcasting ability? I would assume so, but just wanted to clarify.
    19 replies | 598 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:30 PM
    Alchemy Jug 27 + 1 = 28 Bag of Holding 27 Bag of Tricks 28 Bowl of Commanding Water Elementals 6 Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals 12 Broom of Flying 23 Carpet of Flying 26 Censer of Controlling Air Elementals 14 Crystal Ball 16 Crystal Ball of Telepathy 18
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 09:24 AM
    Ok, can you say anything about why you think that is a better approach? That alters the relative costs of different levels of spells, which, to me, seems like a more fundamental change than lowering the totals.
    19 replies | 598 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:37 PM
    Alchemy Jug 28 Bag of Holding 24 Bag of Tricks 26 Bowl of Commanding Water Elementals 12 Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals 14 Broom of Flying 20 Carpet of Flying 26 Censer of Controlling Air Elementals 14 Chime of Opening 6 Crystal Ball 18
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 10:21 AM
    I've been using spell points in my campaign for several years now. My opinion at this point is that at mid and higher levels, the spell point maximum should be less what is given in the DMG. I haven't thought hard about exactly how much at which levels, but I'd probably try starting the reduction perhaps as early as 7th level, and no later than 9th. To me, at least, that seems more manageable...
    19 replies | 598 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 09:46 AM
    I have never understood this idea. With spell points, you have to keep track of one number; with spell slots you need to keep track of as many as levels of spells that you can cast. What am I missing? (Sorry for taking this off-topic.)
    19 replies | 598 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 11:56 PM
    Alchemy Jug 26 Bag of Beans 5 Bag of Holding 24 Bag of Tricks 25 Bowl of Commanding Water Elementals 14 Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals 14 Broom of Flying 20 Carpet of Flying 25 Censer of Controlling Air Elementals 14 Chime of Opening 12
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 09:32 AM

    53 replies | 6364 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 07:20 PM
    Corrections for CleverNickName's skipped votes. Alchemy Jug 27 Bag of Beans 14 Bag of Holding 22 Bag of Tricks 25 Bowl of Commanding Water Elementals 14 Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals 14 Broom of Flying 20 Candle of Invocation 3
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 07:18 PM
    Alchemy Jug 27 Bag of Beans 14 Bag of Holding 21 Bag of Tricks 25 Bowl of Commanding Water Elementals 14 Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals 14 Broom of Flying 22 Candle of Invocation 3 Carpet of Flying 24 Censer of Controlling Air Elementals 16
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:21 AM
    Alchemy Jug 26 Bag of Beans 12 Bag of Holding 26 Bag of Tricks 25 Bowl of Commanding Water Elementals 16 Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals 16 Broom of Flying 19 Candle of Invocation 5 Carpet of Flying 24 Censer of Controlling Air Elementals 18
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 06:29 AM
    Alchemy Jug 27 Bag of Beans 14 Bag of Holding 24 Bag of Tricks 26 Bowl of Commanding Water Elementals 18 Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals 18 Broom of Flying 19 Candle of Invocation 11 Carpet of Flying 23 Censer of Controlling Air Elementals 18
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 02:15 AM
    I've never seen a definite explanation from the authors. For fighters, I guess I've always figured they just couldn't think of anything better (which sounds a bit lame when you admit it explicitly). For rogues I guess it sort of goes along with their characterization as skill monkeys. So everything isn't samey, samey? Sorry, that is probably a little rude. I certainly remember a time...
    6 replies | 424 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 11:55 PM
    Alchemy Jug 26 Bag of Beans 20​ Bag of Holding 28 Bag of Tricks 26 Bowl of Commanding Water Elementals 18 Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals 20 Broom of Flying 21 Candle of Invocation 15 Carpet of Flying 22 Censer of Controlling Air Elementals 18
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 07:24 PM
    If it's of any interest, for the scenario in the OP, for PC 1 the exact value for expected rounds to kill is 1/0.6 = 5/3 = 1.66666... It's fairly easy to abstract the to-hit probability and the result is that for a hit probability p, the expected rounds to kill in the given scenario is 1/p. The derivation is a little long but not hard. I'll provide it if anyone's interested (or skeptical...
    135 replies | 4150 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 09:08 AM
    If you are going to use this reasoning, then you need to give PC 2 "credit" for kills on the half rounds because it is at that point that, as you say, PC 2 gets to start applying damage to the next enemy. For instance, instead of this entry in the PC 2 table: 2 0.4608 (which contributes 0.9216 to the total)
    135 replies | 4150 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 10:25 PM
    So you picked a particular scenario in which overkill damage doesn't matter and you've concluded that overkill damage doesn't matter. I'm shocked - shocked. You have to include scenarios with two or more opponents for overkill to matter. EDIT: Oh, and yes I did read the whole, rather redundant, OP. Just quoted the wrong one.
    135 replies | 4150 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 10:04 PM
    Alchemy Jug 24 Bag of Beans 23 Bag of Holding 27 Bag of Tricks 25 Bowl of Commanding Water Elementals 18 Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals 20 Broom of Flying 21 Candle of Invocation 16 Carpet of Flying 19 Censer of Controlling Air Elementals 20
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 08:38 AM
    Ah, ok, thanks. That explains my monster descriptions. I guess I figured out how to use it myself. And when we can give XP again, I'll give you some.
    166 replies | 5584 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 06:16 AM
    While I knew what THAC0 was, and I'm pretty sure I used it, and I seem to recall embracing it as an improvement over the tables, my memory is much too sketchy to remember exactly what the protocol was for players telling he what they had rolled. All that said, I would be astonished if anyone outside of a few geezers on ENWorld thought that BaB was not a vast improvement. Of course, without a...
    166 replies | 5584 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 05:26 AM
    Ok, there's a bit of weirdness here for me. I started with 1e and some boxed set that unfortunately I have lost track of and have never been able to identify from my vague recollections. The only books that I ever had were 1e books and we had pretty much quit playing by 1989. However, when I look back at my old (homebrew) dungeon descriptions, they all list THAC0 for the monsters, and I've...
    166 replies | 5584 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 07:46 PM
    Alchemy Jug 23 Apparatus of Kwalish 6 Bag of Beans 22 Bag of Devouring 4 Bag of Holding 26 Bag of Tricks 22 Bowl of Commanding Water Elementals 18 Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals 20 Broom of Flying 23 Candle of Invocation 17
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 07:28 PM
    Double post.
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 10:14 PM
    Alchemy Jug 21 Apparatus of Kwalish 15 Bag of Beans 21 Bag of Devouring 14 Bag of Holding 24 Bag of Tricks 20 Bowl of Commanding Water Elementals 18 Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals 20 Broom of Flying 22 Candle of Invocation 17
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 08:44 PM
    More like a hot pot. Prepare to be boiled! Mwahahahaha.
    224 replies | 4730 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 11:03 PM
    Pearl of Power 1 Scarab of Protection 9
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 08:37 PM
    Not sure what this one means. If you mean two paladins with the same aura, then my understanding is that those do not stack RAW. If you mean different auras, I may be missing something, but can you give an example in which they would actually stack RAW? (Where by "stack" I mean - and assume you mean - having multiple effects on the same mechanic, not just being in effect at the same time.)
    6 replies | 338 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 07:59 PM
    With respect to goals, it would be useful to give a more explicit description of what you mean by 'balance'. (Kind of ironic.) From your parenthetical comments, it seems like you might mean sort of comparable overall desirability, but that's so subjective that I think it will be difficult to judge whether your proposed changes are necessary, sufficient, or overkill. EDIT: Props, however, for...
    6 replies | 338 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 07:32 PM
    Necklace of Adaptation 6 Pearl of Power 9 Scarab of Protection 14
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 07:59 AM
    One fist of iron, the other of steel If the right one don't get you, then the left one weell
    10 replies | 460 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 07:40 AM
    Necklace of Adaptation 9 Necklace of Prayer Beads 6 Pearl of Power 11 Scarab of Protection 16
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 09:34 PM
    With apologies for being off topic, this sort of sounds like clever play is punished. Of course, you probably didn't intend those two sentences as a complete description, so I may be opining on the basis of incomplete information.
    17 replies | 860 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 09:05 PM
    Necklace of Adaptation 18 Necklace of Prayer Beads 9 Pearl of Power 12 Scarab of Protection 18
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 09:04 PM
    Correction to include OB1's votes Necklace of Adaptation 18 Necklace of Prayer Beads 9 Pearl of Power 14 Scarab of Protection 17
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 10:42 AM
    Considering the argument you made for Adaptation, it seems odd (to me) that you would downvote Health instead of, say, Power, which is pretty much just (# spell slots)++. (I, of course, am the Paragon of Principled Consistency and Reason; just don't ask me what the principles and reasons are...)
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 10:36 AM
    Necklace of Adaptation 20 Necklace of Prayer Beads 11 Pearl of Power 16 Periapt of Health 1 Scarab of Protection 19
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 11:00 PM
    Ioun Stone 6 Necklace of Adaptation 20 Necklace of Prayer Beads 12 Pearl of Power 16 Periapt of Health 11 Scarab of Protection 17
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 04:49 AM
    Well, now, wait just a minute. I think it would be only fair that for every 10 times you downvote the stones, you upvote them 3 times, e.g., (down x 3, up, down x 3, up, down x 3, up, down)*. (For some definition of 'fair'. B-))
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 07:20 PM
    Ioun Stone 14 Necklace of Adaptation 22 Necklace of Prayer Beads 11 Pearl of Power 19 Periapt of Health 16 Scarab of Protection 18
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 09:14 PM
    Ioun Stone 18 Necklace of Adaptation 27 Necklace of Prayer Beads 16 Pearl of Power 18 Periapt of Health 17 Periapt of Wound Closure 2 Scarab of Protection 19
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 09:43 PM
    Ioun Stone 19 Medallion of Thoughts 4 Necklace of Adaptation 27 Necklace of Prayer Beads 19 Pearl of Power 20 Periapt of Health 17 Periapt of Proof Against Poison 2 Periapt of Wound Closure 7 Scarab of Protection 18
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 06:26 AM
    It seems clear that RAW grappling can be a one-armed hold; full body contact is not required. It seems to me that the specifics of the hold would matter only in special circumstances, usually the grappler attempting to accomplish something specific, and that would be a special adjudication. In the general case, I would assert that the precise configuration of the physical contact between the...
    32 replies | 1172 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 04:27 AM
    Ioun Stone 19 Medallion of Thoughts 5 Necklace of Adaptation 26 Necklace of Prayer Beads 20 Pearl of Power 23 Periapt of Health 17 Periapt of Proof Against Poison 4 Periapt of Wound Closure 15 Scarab of Protection 20
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 10:48 PM
    Ioun Stone 22 Medallion of Thoughts 7 Necklace of Adaptation 27 Necklace of Prayer Beads 20 Pearl of Power 23 Periapt of Health 17 Periapt of Proof Against Poison 8 Periapt of Wound Closure 19 Scarab of Protection 19
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 08:30 AM
    You must have missed the memo. ENWorld now uses Vancian posts - quote it once and *poof*, it's gone. If you want two people to be able to quote you, you have to post the same thing twice.:D
    290 replies | 10085 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 12:57 AM
    Ioun Stone 22 Medallion of Thoughts 11 Necklace of Adaptation 26 Necklace of Prayer Beads 20 Pearl of Power 22 Periapt of Health 16 Periapt of Proof Against Poison 15 Periapt of Wound Closure 21 Scarab of Protection 19 Talisman of the Sphere 3
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 11:36 PM
    Ok, good example because it clarifies things a bit. Perhaps due to your newness to 5e, it looks like there is a fundamental point that you have misunderstood. In this example, the Frightful Presence, Claw, and Bite actions need to be standalone action options in their own right. Your suggested formatting implies (at least to me) that they are usable only as part of the Multiattack action. The...
    16 replies | 705 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 08:10 AM
    I'm a little confused. You seem already to understand that there is an implicit OR connecting all the Action options. (I assume this is what you meant by Attack options.) AFAIK, there are no exceptions to this. Are there exceptions that I am not thinking of? For Multiattack, can you give an example of a Multiattack description in which "and" is not present but would make things clearer if...
    16 replies | 705 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 07:04 AM
    Ioun Stone 21 Medallion of Thoughts 13 Necklace of Adaptation 25 Necklace of Fireballs 2 Necklace of Prayer Beads 20 Pearl of Power 21 Periapt of Health 16 Periapt of Proof Against Poison 18 Periapt of Wound Closure 20 Scarab of Protection 20
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 04:18 AM
    Oops. Double post.
    3 replies | 263 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 04:07 AM
    Yup.
    3 replies | 263 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 04:02 AM
    This. In addition to making odd scores matter, it reduces the relative importance of the die roll, which, IMO, is all to the good. Problem is, for ability checks it requires rethinking about what particular DC values mean. I think that is feasible, though, and I have been thinking about doing something like this. Bigger problem is if you use this for attack rolls, you have to somehow adjust...
    58 replies | 1775 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 01:50 AM
    Ioun Stone 19 Medallion of Thoughts 14 Necklace of Adaptation 23 Necklace of Fireballs 6 Necklace of Prayer Beads 19 Pearl of Power 21 Periapt of Health 18 Periapt of Proof Against Poison 18 Periapt of Wound Closure 20 Scarab of Protection 20
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 08:16 PM
    Ioun Stone 21 Medallion of Thoughts 15 Necklace of Adaptation 23 Necklace of Fireballs 10 Necklace of Prayer Beads 19 Pearl of Power 20 Periapt of Health 18 Periapt of Proof Against Poison 18 Periapt of Wound Closure 20 Scarab of Protection 20
    304 replies | 6305 view(s)
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About Harzel

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Monday, 7th January, 2019

  • 02:14 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Harzel in post Survivor Potions- POTION OF VITALITY WINS!
    Elixir of Health 16 Oil of Etherealness 18 Oil Of Sharpness 20 Oil of Slipperiness 22 Philter of Love 16 Potion of Animal Friendship 18 Potion of Clairvoyance 16 Potion of Climbing 20 Potion of Giant Strength 21 Potion of Diminution 20 Potion of Fire Breath 22 Potion Flying 23 Potion of Gaseous Form 16 Potion of Growth 20 Potion of Healing 17 Potion of Heroism 21 Potion of Invisibility 21 Potion of Invulnerability 21 Potion of Longevity 20 Potion of Mind Reading 14 Potion of Poison 18 Potion of Resistance 20 Potion of Speed 20 Potion of Vitality 20 Potion of Water Breathing 18 Thank you Harzel

Tuesday, 1st January, 2019


Sunday, 9th December, 2018

  • 03:04 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Harzel in post Survivor Rods & Staves- STAFF OF THE MAGI WINS!
    Thank you Harzel Immovable Rod 13 Rod of Absorption 20 Rod of Alertness 20 Rod of Lordly Might 20 Rod of the Pact Keeper 20 Rod of Resurrection 20 Rod or Rulership 20 Rod of Security 20 Staff of the Adder 20 Staff of Charming 20 Staff of Fire 21 Staff of Frost 21 Staff of Healing 21 Staff of Power 22 Staff of Striking 20 Staff of Swarming Insects 16 Staff of the Magi 21 Staff of the Python 12 Staff of the Woodlands 21 Staff of Thunder and Lightning 21 Staff of Withering 18 Tentacle Rod 21 Sorry everyone! My bad. This list is the list! :)

Tuesday, 27th November, 2018

  • 07:52 PM - Satyrn mentioned Harzel in post Does Leomund's Tiny Hut block Scrying?
    Bzzzt. Try again. The correct answer is "Whatever the DM says the correct answer is." And that answer doesn't extend beyond your table. So go ask your DM I read Harzel's comment as a joke. You seem to have taken it very seriously.

Thursday, 23rd August, 2018

  • 11:43 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Harzel in post Extreme self-preservation
    ...t seemed odd that no answer from @Oofta seemed to satisfy you. For myself, although neither of the rogue PCs my players have ever tried hiding very often (they seem to prefer running up and stabbing things), I would be strongly inclined to not grant repeated hiding in the same place maximum efficacy in most situations. I think it's a close call between imposing disadvantage and just saying it doesn't work. As to why, it is partly a matter of verisimilitude and partly a matter of it seeming like button-mashing if the rogue does the same thing every. single. round. That said, it does occur to me that I would probably just let it work if the player were a young kid or very new. So not strictly neutral arbitration I guess. Oh, well. * By the way, I hope you do not think that anyone meant to imply that you did not require reasonable environmental conditions and using them to hide. (That is, literally, just roll a d20.) That would be a serious misunderstanding of the conversation. Harzel, below is the exchange. Oofta's original scene has him clearly stating the rogue cannot hide at all, much kess a second time. This was the disagreement, although I grant you Oofta has tried to redefine it recently to the advantage thing, perhaps forgetting that people can just scroll back and re-read? The second exchange is Oofta directly claiming that just rolling a d20 is sufficient in my games. Again, he's done a wonderful job obfuscating this, but, again, we can scroll back up. If his actual argument was really about second time sane place arguing, we'd have a different thread. But, be my guest, ask Oofta yourself if he'd allow the rogue in his scene to hide at the corner. Scene: fighter goes 20 feet down a well lit 10 foot wide hallway and engages the guard. The rogue is behind the fighter hiding around the corner. There is no way for the rogue to see the fight, or to know when to lean around the corner to fire a shot. The guard is distracted enough by the fighter th...

Sunday, 6th May, 2018

  • 10:56 AM - TheSword mentioned Harzel in post Is my DM being fair?
    Harzel I agree with pretty much everything youíve said, so perhaps I should clarify. The phaser to a knife fight analogy is a really good one. Iím all for adventures with higher power levels and I have no issue flexing challenges to abilities. My issue is when one PC has a phaser and all the other PCs bring knives. In my experience this isnít because of a lack of knowledge on the other PCs. Itís becausr they arenít looking to play the game that way. 5e is relatively balanced, at least compared to Pathfinder but there are still issues which result in unbalanced builds. The assassin/alert combo getting to go first is an example. The assassin already gets to act in the surprise round, and with +5 initiative will almost certainly get to go before other PCs. That means the rogue is getting 2 rounds of actions before anyone else gets to go. 4 attacks, 2 of which sneak, is easily 40+ points of damage without crits which with 4 attacks will be 1/5 chance. This happens every time or near enou...

Friday, 27th April, 2018

  • 02:45 AM - iserith mentioned Harzel in post 6-8 Encounters a long rest is, actually, a pretty problematic idea.
    I think Harzel pointed out in another thread recently, the DMG states that 6 to 8 medium to hard encounters are what the PCs can handle per adventuring day, not that they should necessarily be doing this many encounters per day. As for the concerns presented in your points 1 and 2, I would say that comes down to how the DM presents things in my experience.

Saturday, 20th January, 2018


Wednesday, 29th November, 2017

  • 05:46 AM - Ilbranteloth mentioned Harzel in post How do you rule multiple damage types versus reductions
    ...DM argues that a flame tongue sword is the same thing: Two separate instances of damage dealing and you have to pick one to shield against. Based on how such hits are typically described in the rules, I'm inclined to disagree; I think a flame tongue hit is a single event and you can apply Spirit Shield to both the slashing and the fire damage. But the RAW is not 100% clear and the passage you quoted does nothing to clarify it. You've found a very nice hammer; but this question ain't a nail. And there remains the secondary question: Say your troll buddy is hit for 5 slashing and 4 fire (total 9), and you reduce the total by 7. We agree that you can apply the reduction to the entire hit. So the troll will take 2 damage. That's all well and good, but the question is: Of the 2 points of damage that get through, is any of it fire damage? If yes, the troll can't regenerate. If no, it can regenerate as normal. So far as I can tell, RAW doesn't even hint at an answer to this one. First, Harzel - not harsh at all. Do I think it's nonsensical? Perhaps on a first glance. But then the way that you can move 30 feet, attack, and in many cases do something else while everybody else stands still is nonsensical to me too. If there's something that bothers me enough (like the combat thing), then I'll change it. Having said that, (and in part in response to CapnZapp and others), I'll try to clarify why I'm generally OK with this in a single post. I think the spirit of 5e is tilted towards simplicity, but also making things mean something. So the attack is meaningful - a successful attack almost always causes some damage - and the resistance is meaningful too. That's why there's advantage/disadvantage instead of a bunch of +1 modifiers, why the proficiency bonus starts at +2, and why it's usually resistance instead of damage reduction. So let's look at it from a different perspective. If your barbarian is using Spirit Shield, and is attacked by a flame tongue, does the damage ...

Tuesday, 28th November, 2017


Saturday, 11th November, 2017

  • 04:06 AM - Hriston mentioned Harzel in post Point Buy vs Rolling for Stats
    ...mpetition play. :D I'd forgotten about that method. It's a fine method and one many DMs use for any NPCs to which they wish to give ability scores. Personally, I set scores for any NPCs that need them by using either a rolling method or an array appropriate to their power level, or if I think they need a particular score, by balancing that score through a point-buy of a number of points appropriate to the character. Although we can quibble about the specifics of how flat or not the bell curve is, no-one here has denied that the reality of populations is modeled by bell curves; how loose or how tight is up for debate, but the bell curve itself is not. So we can have a bell curve of 3d6, a skewed curve of 4d6k3, a tight curve from 15d2-12(!), and so on, and they will be 'realistic' to a greater or lesser extent by simply using a bell curve. Technically, a bell curve follows a normal distribution, which 3d6 does not. (15d2)-12 is much closer to a true bell curve because, as Harzel pointed out, the more dice you roll, the more normal the distribution becomes, which is the same reason we expect to see populations conforming to a normal distribution in the natural world. But imagine a method which says, "Toss a coin for each ability: heads it's 18, tails it's 3, and if it lands on its edge then it's 10". This is not a bell curve! It is absurd, and as a method of character creation it is totally unrealistic (where 'realism' = 'verisimilitude'). I agree it's a crap method, but the resulting character fits just fine on the 3d6 "bell curve", so if you think 3d6 is realistic enough, then how come that character seems unrealistic to you? If I use point-buy, and choose three 15s (and en passant also 'choosing' three 8s) then this is not a bell curve either. It is just as absurd as the 3 or 18 coin toss just mentioned. Unlike your coin-toss method, point-buy doesn't establish a distribution of scores, curved or otherwise, but all of its results fit nicely on...

Monday, 6th November, 2017

  • 06:44 PM - Gradine mentioned Harzel in post North Texas RPG Convention Refuses To Listen To Harassment Concerns
    ...n the misleading headline hysteria. It remains an eminently accurate headline; if not value-neutral, which if we're all being honest is the real issue of concern here. There's this belief that in order for a work of journalism to have integrity or even just be considered "good" it must remain as impartial as possible, even in situations where one (or both) sides are objectively wrong. Taken to extremes you wind up with weasily non-journalism that provides no information or context outside of carefully crafted quotes on all sides. You wind up with what are essentially non-headlines like "[Neo-nazi Speaker] makes remarks some critics find racist" which is completely asinine. Sometimes journalistic integrity requires more than just regurgitating what people on both sides are saying; it requires cutting through the nonsense and reporting the actual truth. And the truth is exactly what the headline says. There seems to be some quibbling over the definition of the term "listening" but Harzel hit the nail on the head in terms of what should be commonly understood by the use of the phrase in this context: As I understand the term to be used in this sort of context, "listening" generally means making a concerted effort to put yourself in the speaker's place and understand what they are trying to communicate at more than a superficial level. And if you want to be given credit for listening, since we can't see inside your head, you have to demonstrate that understanding in your response. So when people say he didn't listen, I think they mean he failed in his response to demonstrate an understanding of the concerns of the people to whom he was responding. Moreover, in this case, beyond failing to demonstrate that he did understand, he also gave notable evidence that he did not understand. To me the first piece of evidence that he probably did not understand was the amount of his RPG.net post that was about himself and self-congratulation. If you are thinking first of ...

Thursday, 2nd November, 2017

  • 08:26 AM - Hussar mentioned Harzel in post Point Buy vs Rolling for Stats
    Thanks for the math check Harzel. :thumbu: Oh, and I was in no way trying to imply that there was a right or wrong answer to whether or not you like rules as physics. It's entirely a personal choice. For me, the potential wonkiness just outweighs the benefits. Obviously that's not true for others. I wonder if group size has any impact here as well. In a fairly small group, say 3 PC's, most of the time those three PC's will be within fairly close tolerances. Sure, one might be a bit higher or lower, but, there likely won't be large disparities most of the time. But, the larger the group gets, the larger the chances become of a greater disparity between high and low, simply because you're rolling more dice. I play in large groups. We've had 6 PC's pretty consistently for a long time. With that many PC's, having PC's with consistently higher stats really skews game balance. And it becomes more and more difficult to create encounters when you have to account for the fact that the group has so many act...

Friday, 27th October, 2017

  • 01:05 PM - Hussar mentioned Harzel in post Point Buy vs Rolling for Stats
    I think Harzel has the right of it. As I understand it, the idea is that since a person cannot control his or her own gross physical and mental characteristics, die rolling better reflects the random chances of birth. And, to be fair, I get the appeal. We all want our games to be somewhat grounded in believability. Fair enough. To me though, I find the argument far too self serving. There's apparently no problems with choosing background, choosing where to place those die rolled stats (arrange to taste is apparently fine), choosing class and pretty much every other element of the character, none of which a person really has control over. But, apparently, while it's perfectly fine to declare that my character is part of the nobility, it's not acceptable to claim that I have a 14 Strength. :uhoh: Again, to me, this is where the self serving element comes in. Because, if it's not true that die rolling is more realistic, then, well, there's nothing really else to recommend it. It's pretty m...

Thursday, 26th October, 2017


Monday, 23rd October, 2017

  • 10:05 AM - Lanefan mentioned Harzel in post Point Buy vs Rolling for Stats
    Harzel, in the last line of the table in post 1534 (just above this one) I think it wants to say "Some < 8; Some > 15" - you have an extra '=' in there. Otherwise, good stuff; and I'm curious as to what your further number-crunching will show. Lanefan

Monday, 16th October, 2017

  • 02:18 PM - Nevvur mentioned Harzel in post Forced Movement in 5e ?
    Harzel Thanks for clarifying your point. I did misunderstand, but I see what you're getting at now (I hope). I look at forced movement over ledges roughly the same way I look at some features and spell effects with special conditions. Disintegrate causes 75 HP of normal damage. If the condition exists where there's no more HP, an additional effect comes into play - the target is reduced to ash. Forced movement across a flat surface causes normal forced movement. If the condition exists where there's no more surface, an additional effect comes into play - make a Dex save to arrest horizontal movement, as you put it. I don't think the sort of consistency you're driving at is required because, as I see things, the different conditions imply the need for different treatment.

Monday, 9th October, 2017

  • 08:08 AM - Sadras mentioned Harzel in post Counterspell - Do I know my foes' spell before I counter?
    @Harzel, no sarcasm intended in previous post. Apologies if it came out that way. Yes, just one of the many instances in which a DM has to adjudicate what an NPC with limited knowledge would do. Again, phrasing these as questions leaves your point in doubt. For me, these would both be legitimate options (amongst others). The choice would depend on the situation and the NPC. Do you think these are not legitimate options? The 50/50 die roll option reflects the DM/NPC is not fit to decide and wants to play fair by leaving it to fate (a die roll). The other option can be misapplied and might taste (to the players) of unfair DM knowledge should he counterspell it. You see why should the DM know the spells because he can be trusted to be objective but the players cannot be trusted to play their characters correctly/fairly and therefore are not allowed to know the spell?

Wednesday, 20th September, 2017



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Sunday, 16th June, 2019

  • 01:52 PM - dnd4vr quoted Harzel in post Spell Points and Problem Spells
    By "spellcasting check" do you mean an ability check using your spellcasting ability? I would assume so, but just wanted to clarify. Your spellcasting ability score modifier plus your proficiency bonus. Just as if you were making a spell attack roll. We had two new people join our group yesterday, one playing a wizard and the other a bard/monk. So, we had to explain the system and everything to them and they caught on quickly. It works well as long as you don't mind the potential of several low level spells or a bit more higher level ones. We had one overcasting, which was useful despite the spell point cost and psychic damage.

Saturday, 15th June, 2019

  • 04:34 PM - MechaPilot quoted Harzel in post Spell Points and Problem Spells
    Ok, can you say anything about why you think that is a better approach? That alters the relative costs of different levels of spells, which, to me, seems like a more fundamental change than lowering the totals. I don't know if I'd say it's a "better" approach, but it feels more intuitive to me to recalibrate the costs than the total. I'd also add that changing the total wouldn't affect the issue that another poster mentioned in the lead-up to the response, which is the repeated casting of certain lower-level spells (like Shield) that the other deemed to be overly beneficial for their cost over multiple castings.
  • 01:41 PM - Blue quoted Harzel in post Spell Points and Problem Spells
    I have never understood this idea. With spell points, you have to keep track of one number; with spell slots you need to keep track of as many as levels of spells that you can cast. What am I missing? (Sorry for taking this off-topic.) 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.
  • 09:57 AM - Xeviat quoted Harzel in post Spell Points and Problem Spells
    Ok, can you say anything about why you think that is a better approach? That alters the relative costs of different levels of spells, which, to me, seems like a more fundamental change than lowering the totals. The costs for the low level spells line up well for the expected damage guidelines the DMG presented and the PHB ignored. I like the costs of the spells.

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 10:29 AM - MechaPilot quoted Harzel in post Spell Points and Problem Spells
    I've been using spell points in my campaign for several years now. My opinion at this point is that at mid and higher levels, the spell point maximum should be less what is given in the DMG. I haven't thought hard about exactly how much at which levels, but I'd probably try starting the reduction perhaps as early as 7th level, and no later than 9th. To me, at least, that seems more manageable than trying to figure out which individual spells to patch up and how. EDIT: And to echo @MechaPilot, while spell points definitely give casters more flexibility, and so, ultimately, a bit more power, it hasn't broken the game, even though, yeah, the wizard doesn't think twice about using Shield. Another option would be to alter the SP cost for the spell levels. As it is, we have some level increases going up by 1 point while others go up by 2 points. I'd experiment with making each level increase a 2 point increase before tinkering with the totals.

Sunday, 9th June, 2019

  • 08:35 PM - FrogReaver quoted Harzel in post The Overkill Damage Fallacy
    If it's of any interest, for the scenario in the OP, for PC 1 the exact value for expected rounds to kill is 1/0.6 = 5/3 = 1.66666... It's fairly easy to abstract the to-hit probability and the result is that for a hit probability p, the expected rounds to kill in the given scenario is 1/p. The derivation is a little long but not hard. I'll provide it if anyone's interested (or skeptical :hmm:). Yep. Though I don't think such a formula extends very easily to 2 and 3 hit cases.
  • 04:33 PM - FrogReaver quoted Harzel in post The Overkill Damage Fallacy
    If you are going to use this reasoning, then you need to give PC 2 "credit" for kills on the half rounds because it is at that point that, as you say, PC 2 gets to start applying damage to the next enemy. For instance, instead of this entry in the PC 2 table: 2 0.4608 (which contributes 0.9216 to the total) instead you should have 1.5 0.288 (contrib. 0.432) 2.0 0.1728 (contrib. 0.3456) The total of these two is 0.7776, which is 0.144 less than 0.9216. That by itself brings the total for PC 2 down to ~ 1.682. The appropriate adjustments for the subsequent rounds would result in additional small downward adjustments to the total. It's just a guess, but I conjecture that adjusted in this way and carried all the way out as infinite series, the PC 1 and PC 2 scenarios actually converge to exactly the same number. Although looking at your PC 2 table further, I'm not sure I can duplicate the calculation that leads to the numbers you have f...

Saturday, 8th June, 2019

  • 11:12 PM - FrogReaver quoted Harzel in post The Overkill Damage Fallacy
    So you picked a particular scenario in which overkill damage doesn't matter and you've concluded that overkill damage doesn't matter. I'm shocked - shocked. You have to include scenarios with two or more opponents for overkill to matter. EDIT: Oh, and yes I did read the whole, rather redundant, OP. Just quoted the wrong one. Overkill damage mattering in the general sense is wholly based off the idea that 2 equal DPR PC's will kill enemies at the same rate. The example I provided crushed that premise.
  • 09:01 AM - digitalelf quoted Harzel in post Let's Talk About THAC0
    Ah, ok, thanks. No problem, glad I could help. :-)
  • 07:07 AM - digitalelf quoted Harzel in post Let's Talk About THAC0
    So did THAC0 get introduced prior to 2e in one of the Basic versions, or perhaps in Dragon magazine? I didn't realize this was an anomaly in my history until this thread. THAC0 was first introduced to AD&D (1st Edition) as a usable game mechanic in 1983 with the module "UK3: The Sentinel" as an optional rule. It latter appeared as an "official" part of the 1st edition ruleset in 1986 with the publication of the "Dungeoneer's Survival Guide" hardbound. The term THAC0 (as opposed to a usable game mechanic) is actually much much older, and can be found in the 1st edition DMG (published in 1979) on pages 196 - 215 in the "APPENDIX E: ALPHABETICAL MONSTER LISTING". But at that point, it was little more than just another stat. There was no real explanation on how to use it as an actual game mechanic.

Sunday, 2nd June, 2019

  • 10:23 PM - Xaelvaen quoted Harzel in post How much power do magic items give?
    With apologies for being off topic, this sort of sounds like clever play is punished. Of course, you probably didn't intend those two sentences as a complete description, so I may be opining on the basis of incomplete information. My group has been together for 20+ years now, so we play a bunch of different games, genres - hell, we even make our own. Right now we're using a repurposed version of Talislanta. In the long of it, we've just come to like the actual difficulty and tax on the characters determining the 'growth' as opposed to hard, itemized values. I'd in no way recommend it for everyone. I'll give you the rundown of our decision. If a fight is easier than intended, you scale down the XP based on expected resource consumption. Clever play doesn't become penalized, but rather the reward becomes the resources saved. We play very critical Dungeons and Dragons, and if characters aren't threatened constantly, it's often seen as a waste of time - it's just the way we play. Therefore...
  • 10:17 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Harzel in post How much power do magic items give?
    With apologies for being off topic, this sort of sounds like clever play is punished. Just re-defined. Like how diving & flopping to draw a penalty is smart play for a footballer.
  • 11:51 AM - CleverNickName quoted Harzel in post Survivor Magic Jewelry (PART II)- SCARAB OF PROTECTION WINS!
    Considering the argument you made for Adaptation, it seems odd (to me) that you would downvote Health instead of, say, Power, which is pretty much just (# spell slots)++Fair point. See, I like all of these items, so I'm downvoting the lowest-scoring items in an effort to end the contest more quickly and move on to the next one.

Sunday, 26th May, 2019

  • 06:51 PM - jayoungr quoted Harzel in post Watch Critical Role's Matt Mercer Play D&D With TV's Stephen Colbert!
    I would not hold my breath about Colbert being a 'regular' D&D streamer, but given his "I hope we can do this again" comment I will be surprised if he doesn't guest on Critical Role at some point (unless there's some contractual thing with CBS or whatnot that would prevent it). Or maybe playing a one-shot for charity will become an annual thing with him. Maybe next time they could get a whole party of celebrity players together--maybe Joe Mangianello will participate, for example.

Saturday, 25th May, 2019

  • 09:08 AM - Staffan quoted Harzel in post Watch Critical Role's Matt Mercer Play D&D With TV's Stephen Colbert!
    I would not hold my breath about Colbert being a 'regular' D&D streamer, but given his "I hope we can do this again" comment I will be surprised if he doesn't guest on Critical Role at some point (unless there's some contractual thing with CBS or whatnot that would prevent it). Maybe Matt could set him up with Ashley Johnson, who after all spends much of her time in New York these days.

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019


Monday, 20th May, 2019


Sunday, 5th May, 2019

  • 11:30 PM - Oofta quoted Harzel in post Want to shake things up: Doorways, Scouting, Caution
    As @Oofta points out, it is RAW that cover is determined from the spell's point of origin. Although I, too, had the initial impulse to grant the DEX saving throw bonus to cover even to Fireball, it seems like that cannot have been the authors' intent, since it leaves you with the following quandary. Because Fireball goes around corners*, a creature can have full cover from Fireball, but still be in its area-of-effect. So if you give the +2/+5 bonus for half/three-quarters cover, what do you do with that creature that has full cover? You can certainly come up with solutions. For instance, you could grant auto-success on the save. But at that point, you are clearly ruling/house-ruling. EDIT: Also, granting the DEX save bonuses for Fireball​ means that the "goes around corners" property makes no difference in the partial cover situations, which seems odd. * While thinking about this a while back, I noted that the use of the word "corners" is itself problematic. I'm pretty su...

Saturday, 4th May, 2019

  • 02:57 PM - jayoungr quoted Harzel in post Want to shake things up: Doorways, Scouting, Caution
    2. You seem to be studiously ignoring lots of the advice that folks have given I apologize if I've given the impression that I'm ignoring anything. I'm not; I'm filing away all these ideas to try out in future sessions, and if I haven't thanked people enough for them, I want to thank you all now. You don't say so, but it sounds rather like all the opponents are unintelligent bags of hit points that stand around in fireball formation. I try to avoid that. But a room has to be pretty big for a fireball not to cover it, and cover doesn't help against a fireball. Doorways or no, those sort of opponents are unlikely to be a challenge for six high level PCs. It happens with low-level groups too. The same week I ran the high-level dungeon crawl, I also ran the AL adventure "The Marionette" (DDAL04-04) for a level 3 group. It's essentially a dungeon crawl through a haunted house, with only one door to the final room. At least in that case, the boss had some abilities to make a doorway fig...

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 12:34 PM - lowkey13 quoted Harzel in post Survivor Magic Clothing Part II- HELM OF COMPREHENDING LANGUAGES WINS!
    Funny you should invoke Russian, as it has the ideal adjective to describe this circumstance: скучный. It is every depressing adjective that you could want, all rolled into one. Although if you felt more strongly, you could I suppose to resort to очень скучный. If I felt more strongly, Iíd resort to vodka. Sorry, my little water.


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