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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:52 PM
    @akr71 - you colored Folding Boat red and Haversack green, but subtracted two from both scores. I assume you meant to upvote Haversack, so added three to it to correct. Check that this matches your intent. :) EDIT: Oops, that was the Horn, not the Haversack. Decanter of Endless Water 21 Dimensional Shackles 20 Driftglobe 5 Dust of Dryness 16 Efreeti Bottle 23 Figurine of Wondrous...
    196 replies | 4458 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:25 AM
    Interesting idea. Thanks.
    21 replies | 727 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:40 AM
    Decanter of Endless Water 22 Deck of Illusions 7 Dimensional Shackles 19 Driftglobe 5 Dust of Disappearance 8 - 2 = 6 Dust of Dryness 15 + 1 = 16 Efreeti Bottle 22 Figurine of Wondrous Power 23 Folding Boat 25 Heward's Handy Haversack 23
    196 replies | 4458 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 12:25 AM
    Harzel replied to Double Dash
    Yes, I allow it, but it hasn't come up too often.
    81 replies | 1914 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 10:00 AM
    Harzel started a thread Relentless Avenger
    My players' characters are about to hit level 7, so I'm looking over the stuff that they will get. One of the PCs is a Vengeance Paladin, so she'll get the Relentless Avenger feature. I'm having difficulty seeing how this could be useful more than rarely. Ok, your foe is trying to retreat. If it uses its action to Disengage, then you can probably catch up to it and whack on it some...
    0 replies | 242 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 05:43 AM
    I use spell points, which, for me, are much more manageable than slots. But that might well be objected to if your players are using slots, since that would be a distinct advantage for the NPCs. For spell (and other ability/feature) descriptions, I use a shorthand that eliminates as much text as possible, e.g., a range of 120 ft. and an effect that is a 20 ft. radius sphere becomes...
    21 replies | 727 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 04:20 AM
    Yeah, I think that is more or less what I said, except that I don't regard "general" and "specific" as absolute attributes - they are relative. One could have three rules, A, B, and C, with A being the most general, B being more specific, and C being more specific yet. Is B specific or general? Depends on what you are comparing it to.
    149 replies | 3198 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 04:12 AM
    Um, ok, you have reiterated your position, but you didn't respond to anything in my post. I could, in turn, repeat what I said, but that doesn't feel like progress.
    149 replies | 3198 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 01:05 AM
    Yes. Not sure whom you are quoting, but he has, at least, a rather narrow view of GMing - in particular, what makes a game fun. Applying the stated principle is fun for some players, but for others it strips out (or at least deprioritizes) some aspects of the game that they find most enjoyable. Unless your table uniformly enjoys that sort of thing, a neutral stance - neither...
    149 replies | 3198 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 12:40 AM
    I'm pretty sure specific beats general explicitly applies to 5e as well, since there is a section on it right in the front of the PH. However, I think that people try to apply it in cases where it really doesn't fit. Generally when two rules collide, trying to figure which is 'general' and which is 'specific' is like one of those pictures where there is a foreground/background ambiguity - the...
    149 replies | 3198 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 11:31 PM
    Decanter of Endless Water 24 Deck of Illusions 10 Dimensional Shackles 21 Driftglobe 7 Dust of Disappearance 14 - 2 = 12 Dust of Dryness 16 + 1 = 17 Dust of Sneezing and Choking 3 Efreeti Bottle 22 Eversmoking Bottle 4 Figurine of Wondrous Power 24
    196 replies | 4458 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 10:23 AM
    Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think perhaps your DM (or at least your DM as represented in your fevered imagination ;)) needs to cool it with the questionable legalisms. Casting Raise Dead on a corpse with 0 max HP appears to create a conflict between two rules: 1) HP cannot exceed max HP; and 2) a spell does what it says it does. Resolving the conflict requires asserting for the...
    149 replies | 3198 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:48 AM
    Actually, the rule (vampire stat block) does not mention blood loss, it just says, "The target's hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken. ... The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0." To me, in the plain reading of that the only condition (something that might persist) involved is "0 max HP"; everything else is events (things that...
    149 replies | 3198 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 08:40 AM
    You seem to be neglecting one word in the spell description. (I'm assuming you meant Gentle Repose when you typed revivify.) To me, "also" indicates that the time extension is in addition to the effects in the first paragraph, not a consequence of them. So my reading would be that Gentle Repose does whatever is necessary to grant the time extension, including keeping the soul from moving...
    14 replies | 551 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 09:29 PM
    Decanter of Endless Water 22 Deck of Illusions 14 Dimensional Shackles 20 Driftglobe 9 Dust of Disappearance 16 - 2 = 14 Dust of Dryness 15 + 1 = 16 Dust of Sneezing and Choking 9 Efreeti Bottle 22 Eversmoking Bottle 9 Figurine of Wondrous Power 24
    196 replies | 4458 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 09:27 PM
    Correction - #134 skipped several previous votes, so here are the votes in #134 and #135 applied to #133. Decanter of Endless Water 22 Deck of Illusions 14 Dimensional Shackles 20 Driftglobe 9 Dust of Disappearance 16 Dust of Dryness 15 Dust of Sneezing and Choking 9 Efreeti Bottle 22
    196 replies | 4458 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 11:07 PM
    Decanter of Endless Water 22 Deck of Illusions 13 Dimensional Shackles 20 Driftglobe 11 Dust of Disappearance 18 - 2 = 16 Dust of Dryness 16 + 1 = 17 Dust of Sneezing and Choking 10 Efreeti Bottle 22 Eversmoking Bottle 11 Figurine of Wondrous Power 21
    196 replies | 4458 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 04:06 AM
    Decanter of Endless Water 23 Deck of Illusions 12 Dimensional Shackles 20 Driftglobe 13 Dust of Disappearance 20 - 2 = 18 Dust of Dryness 15 + 1 = 16 Dust of Sneezing and Choking 12 Efreeti Bottle 22 Eversmoking Bottle 13 Figurine of Wondrous Power 18
    196 replies | 4458 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:33 PM
    Decanter of Endless Water 21 Deck of Illusions 15 Dimensional Shackles 20 Driftglobe 14 Dust of Disappearance 20 Dust of Dryness 18 + 1 = 19 Dust of Sneezing and Choking 15 - 2 = 13 Efreeti Bottle 22 Eversmoking Bottle 16 Figurine of Wondrous Power 21
    196 replies | 4458 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 11:21 PM
    Decanter of Endless Water 20 Deck of Illusions 16 Dimensional Shackles 20 Driftglobe 15 Dust of Disappearance 20 Dust of Dryness 17 + 1 = 18 Dust of Sneezing and Choking 18 - 2 = 16 Efreeti Bottle 22 Eversmoking Bottle 15 Figurine of Wondrous Power 23
    196 replies | 4458 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 02:23 AM
    Daern's Instant Fortress 1 Decanter of Endless Water 20 Deck of Illusions 17 Dimensional Shackles 20 Driftglobe 16 Dust of Disappearance 22 - 2 = 20 Dust of Dryness 18 + 1 = 19 Dust of Sneezing and Choking 18 Efreeti Bottle 22 Eversmoking Bottle 16
    196 replies | 4458 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:29 AM
    Daern's Instant Fortress 9 - 2 = 7 Decanter of Endless Water 19 Deck of Illusions 15 Dimensional Shackles 20 Driftglobe 18 Dust of Disappearance 21 Dust of Dryness 17 + 1 = 18 Dust of Sneezing and Choking 18 Efreeti Bottle 21 Eversmoking Bottle 20
    196 replies | 4458 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:27 AM
    Corrections to include chrisrtld's votes. Daern's Instant Fortress 9 Decanter of Endless Water 19 Deck of Illusions 15 Dimensional Shackles 20 Driftglobe 18 Dust of Disappearance 21 Dust of Dryness 17 Dust of Sneezing and Choking 18
    196 replies | 4458 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 07:13 PM
    Daern's Instant Fortress 13 - 2 = 11 Decanter of Endless Water 19 Deck of Illusions 19 Deck of Many Things 5 Dimensional Shackles 20 Driftglobe 20 Dust of Disappearance 20 Dust of Dryness 19 Dust of Sneezing and Choking 20 Efreeti Bottle 21
    196 replies | 4458 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 09:45 PM
    Lol. You guys do this just to make me crazy, don't you? :rant:
    196 replies | 4458 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 09:39 PM
    Daern's Instant Fortress 15 - 2 = 13 Decanter of Endless Water 19 Deck of Illusions 18 Deck of Many Things 7 + 1 = 8 Dimensional Shackles 20 Driftglobe 20 Dust of Disappearance 20 Dust of Dryness 19 Dust of Sneezing and Choking 20 Efreeti Bottle 21
    196 replies | 4458 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 06:31 AM
    I'm not completely clear on what your question means, but note that DnDBeyond is not WoTC.
    6 replies | 505 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 06:26 AM
    Daern's Instant Fortress 16 - 2 = 14 Decanter of Endless Water 19 Deck of Illusions 18 Deck of Many Things 7 Dimensional Shackles 20 Driftglobe 20 Dust of Disappearance 20 Dust of Dryness 18 + 1 = 19 Dust of Sneezing and Choking 20 Efreeti Bottle 21
    196 replies | 4458 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 04:42 AM
    Daern's Instant Fortress 20 - 2 = 18 Decanter of Endless Water 18 Deck of Illusions 18 Deck of Many Things 14 Dimensional Shackles 20 Driftglobe 20 Dust of Disappearance 20 Dust of Dryness 20 Dust of Sneezing and Choking 20 Efreeti Bottle 21
    196 replies | 4458 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 06:19 AM
    Alchemy Jug 7 Bag of Holding 4 Bag of Tricks 4 + 1 = 5 Carpet of Flying 4 - 2 = 2
    413 replies | 14460 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 08:56 PM
    Alchemy Jug 12 Bag of Holding 8 Bag of Tricks 8 + 1 = 9 Carpet of Flying 7 - 2 = 5
    413 replies | 14460 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 08:47 AM
    Heh. Snared by the old dangling else.
    13 replies | 506 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 08:18 AM
    Alchemy Jug 15 Bag of Holding 13 Bag of Tricks 7 + 1 = 8 Carpet of Flying 12 - 2 = 10
    413 replies | 14460 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 08:49 PM
    Alchemy Jug 16 Bag of Holding 14 Bag of Tricks 14 +1 = 15 Carpet of Flying 16 - 2 = 14
    413 replies | 14460 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 01:56 AM
    Alchemy Jug 19 Bag of Holding 10 + 1 = 11 Bag of Tricks 18 Broom of Flying 6 Carpet of Flying 17 - 2 = 15
    413 replies | 14460 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 07:11 PM
    My intent is that my game feel like an RPG, which, to my mind, is neither a simulation nor a movie.
    178 replies | 5621 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 09:44 AM
    Alchemy Jug 19 Bag of Holding 15 + 1 =16 Bag of Tricks 19 Broom of Flying 10 Carpet of Flying 19 - 2 = 17
    413 replies | 14460 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 11:13 AM
    Ok, you've said this twice (in this thread), but I'm not seeing anything that indicates your reasons for or the breadth/completeness of your rejection of that principle. I don't know how much stock you put in trying to suss out the intent of the designers, but I observe the following: There are rules domains that I think it is safe to say are widely understood to not be generally applicable...
    178 replies | 5621 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 07:27 AM
    Well, can you give us an idea why it is not a go-to tactic in your games? On the basis of what you've said, the downside (disadvantage on the attack, which can be easily erased in many situations) seems very minor compared to the upside of being able to sever a limb. I guess one clarification is needed, though, at least for me: in the case that the attack roll equals or exceeds the target's AC,...
    178 replies | 5621 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 06:23 PM
    Alchemy Jug 22 Bag of Holding 18 + 1 = 19 Bag of Tricks 22 Broom of Flying 16 Carpet of Flying 21 - 2 = 19
    413 replies | 14460 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 12:30 AM
    So, maybe retcon the universe so that they never existed? But then, what would get you up in the morning?
    11 replies | 660 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 12:01 AM
    So each day the list seems to somehow accumulate a bunch of spurious and/or useless markup (usually INDENT and FONT tags). While it's not the end of the world, it can be a bit of a pain in the butt. I'm not inclined to go investigating all the posts in order to be able to point fingers, so if y'all could just check your own posts by clicking on the Source Mode button after you have edited, that...
    413 replies | 14460 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 11:50 PM
    Alchemy Jug 23 Bag of Holding 21 + 1 = 22 Bag of Tricks 27 Broom of Flying 20 Carpet of Flying 22 - 2 = 20
    413 replies | 14460 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 07:36 PM
    Alchemy Jug 29 Bag of Holding 28 Bag of Tricks 25 + 1 = 26 Broom of Flying 24 Carpet of Flying 24 - 2 = 22
    413 replies | 14460 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 06:49 PM
    Alchemy Jug 30 Bag of Holding 29 Bag of Tricks 28 Broom of Flying 25 Carpet of Flying 25 - 2 = 23 Cube of Force 11 + 1 = 12
    413 replies | 14460 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 12:16 AM
    Alchemy Jug 29 Bag of Holding 30 Bag of Tricks 29 Broom of Flying 23 Carpet of Flying 27 - 2 = 25 Cube of Force 17 + 1 = 18 Cubic Gate 2
    413 replies | 14460 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 01:54 AM
    Harzel started a thread Inspiration
    No, not that kind of inspiration. Courtesy of Inspirobot, decoration for the back of my DM screen. (Ok, actually I don't use a DM screen, but if I did...)
    0 replies | 137 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 09:32 PM
    Alchemy Jug 28 Bag of Holding 29 Bag of Tricks 27 Broom of Flying 26 Carpet of Flying 28 - 2 = 26 Cube of Force 18 + 1 = 19 Cubic Gate 15
    413 replies | 14460 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 09:10 PM
    lowkey13 A major retcon occurred between #229 and #230. There are now a bunch of votes on top of that. Not sure how you want to fix since a bunch of the newer votes were for/against Crystal Ball, which was eliminated at #225.
    413 replies | 14460 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 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.
    413 replies | 14460 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 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
    413 replies | 14460 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
    413 replies | 14460 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 09:23 AM
    Double post
    413 replies | 14460 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
    413 replies | 14460 view(s)
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About Harzel

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About Harzel
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Thursday, 27th June, 2019


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 you’ve said, so perhaps I should clarify. The phaser to a knife fight analogy is a really good one. I’m 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 isn’t because of a lack of knowledge on the other PCs. It’s becausr they aren’t 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

  • 10:16 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Harzel in post Survivor Legendary Monsters: EVIL DRAGONS WIN!
    Aboleth 22 Adult/Ancient Chromatic (Evil) Dragon 20 Adult/Ancient Metallic (Good) Dragon 8 Beholder 27 Death Tyrant 20 Demilich 17 Dracolich 22 Elder Brain 20 Kraken 24 Lich 26 Mummy Lord 21 Unicorn 5 Vampire 18 Ed Laprade Harzel Lanefan All good? All good!


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Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 04:24 PM - robus quoted Harzel in post How do you keep track of spells for multiple NPCs?
    For spell (and other ability/feature) descriptions, I use a shorthand that eliminates as much text as possible, e.g., a range of 120 ft. and an effect that is a 20 ft. radius sphere becomes (R120/S20). Some of it comes out looking like code: ~ DEX save ? 8d6 fire : 1/2 A few idioms like that cover a lot of the spell descriptions. It puts a lot in a small space and gives me a form I can read very quickly. There's no formalism behind it, though - just whatever compact description will remind me what it does. A spell digest would be a useful DMs Guild product.
  • 01:39 AM - Maxperson quoted Harzel in post Death and 0 Max HP
    I'm pretty sure specific beats general explicitly applies to 5e as well, since there is a section on it right in the front of the PH. However, I think that people try to apply it in cases where it really doesn't fit. Generally when two rules collide, trying to figure which is 'general' and which is 'specific' is like one of those pictures where there is a foreground/background ambiguity - the actual answer is 'neither'. In this case, one could just as easily say, "The specific circumstance of the target having 0 max HP should take precedence over the general rule about this spell returning the target to 1 HP." This is just the intersection of two sets of circumstances, neither one of which is a subset of the other - neither one is demonstrably more specific than the other. In this case neither is general, though. The specific beats general section lists both monster abilities and spells as examples of specific rules. Both the vampire drain and raise spell are specific rules, and there'...

Monday, 15th July, 2019

  • 01:13 PM - Maxperson quoted Harzel in post Death and 0 Max HP
    Actually, the rule (vampire stat block) does not mention blood loss, it just says, "The target's hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken. ... The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0." To me, in the plain reading of that the only condition (something that might persist) involved is "0 max HP"; everything else is events (things that happen and are then done). Your position seems to be based on having a condition that is something like "remains dead as long as max HP is 0", which is plainly language that is not in the rule. That position is more comprehensible if you consider the blood loss fluff to be part of the rule. The problem, of course, with dragging that fluff into the rules is that there are no corresponding mechanics for dealing with blood loss. This leaves one in the position of either requiring a Wish to solve the problem, or backing off and allowing Aid or Greater Restoration to work "even though it shouldn't". The...

Sunday, 30th June, 2019

  • 10:08 PM - D1Tremere quoted Harzel in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    My intent is that my game feel like an RPG, which, to my mind, is neither a simulation nor a movie. I mean by that we can either follow a character driven narration of events (Your arrow cuts through the night and (Roll D20) silences the guard before he can sound an alarm), or we can follow a rules driven narration of events (Move to x space, roll initiative, you have surprise, roll D20, roll damage, player 2 turn) . Everyone does a bit of both, but everyone leans more one way than the other as well.

Thursday, 27th June, 2019

  • 12:19 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Harzel in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    Ok, you've said this twice (in this thread), but I'm not seeing anything that indicates your reasons for or the breadth/completeness of your rejection of that principle. I don't know how much stock you put in trying to suss out the intent of the designers, but I observe the following: There are rules domains that I think it is safe to say are widely understood to not be generally applicable to NPCs, for example, XP, with the possible exception of NPCs that join a PC party. When talking about rules 'parity' between PCs and NPCs, I certainly am not talking about these rules, and I am fairly sure most other aren't either. There are rules domains for which there is explicit PH/DMG discussion about the choice between using the same rules for NPCs as for PCs, such as classes, dropping to 0 HP, and mob attacks. I'm not talking about these either. Neglecting (1) and (2), the PH vacillates in its phrasing of rules between using the obviously generic "a/the creature", and the arguably more PC-...

Wednesday, 26th June, 2019

  • 12:36 AM - lowkey13 quoted Harzel in post My opinion on D&D
    So, maybe retcon the universe so that they never existed? But then, what would get you up in the morning? The capacity for hatred is infinite. in the long run, the arc of history bends toward antipathy.

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.


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