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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Today, 06:07 PM
    The absent minded professor is misunderstood. Its not that they cant keep track of social events or clothing fashions, its that they dont care. They are busy doing other things that are more interesting to them. In any case, they have high skill bonuses, not necessarily high ability bonuses.
    47 replies | 1154 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:28 AM
    Give Perception to Intelligence. Perceptive people are intelligent. Perceptiveness explains the Initiative bonus − the person perceives and assesses the threat that is approaching. Give Perception and Initiative to Intelligence.
    47 replies | 1154 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 03:27 AM
    ‘Perception’ = Intelligence ‘Soul’ = Charisma
    47 replies | 1154 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 02:23 AM
    People have been trying to balance the six abilities for roughly 50 years. The six are just bad design.
    47 replies | 1154 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 02:07 AM
    Deleting Constitution and Wisdom from existence fixes everything!
    47 replies | 1154 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 04:02 PM
    I need the skill math to cohere with the combat math. Combat math is tried and true, adapting and evolving since the origins of D&D. Combat math is robust and fair. 5e design innovates bounded accuracy. This sobriety to minimize bonuses to a d20 roll has many benefits. But it is a fragile ecology. Designers must persist in the effort to avoid adding new bonuses. The combat math works. There is...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 11:56 PM
    Foursome Human Ability prerequisite: none Exceptional array: +3, +2, +1, +0 Human features Skill proficiency: any Tool proficiency: any Expertise: you gain expertise in a skill or tool that you have proficiency with but not yet expertise
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 11:47 PM
    Mostly, the adoption of four was a nod to make it easy to use 4e material. For example, one can literally take a black marker and blot out Constitution and Wisdom, and the monster stat block still works fine without these. Heh, the four abilities seemed to annoy some people, but the eight abilities seemed to make them angry. It is my intention to use *skills* to further bifurcate...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 11:41 PM
    So far, the Advancement table feels solid. Hopefully it can balance with 5e math. So Foursome characters can play alongside 5e characters. The Foursome Advancement chassis alternates class features with feat, race, and skill features. Create a Foursome Race A typical Foursome race design is equal to two feats. This is slightly less powerful than the 5e Half Elf and 5e Wood Elf. The...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 10:02 PM
    I find myself referring to this 4e-clone→5e→update by the name ‘Foursome’. Of course, the name Foursome refers to 4e. Also, it connotes how the system relies on 4 abilities. (For those using 6 abilities, I hope it is easy enough to get Constitution by splitting Strength, and to get Wisdom from Intelligence-Perception and from Charisma-Will.) Foursome also refers to the design effort for a...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 04:11 AM
    I want to point out, Gygax himself caused this confusion about what ‘hit points’ are. Gygax had a double standard. When it came to PLAYER CHARACTERS the damage was mainly non-physical (except the Constitution hit bonus were physical). But when it came to MONSTERS, Gygax recommended making the hit points as gory and graphic − and physical − as possible for the sake of a vivid narrative. ...
    37 replies | 866 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 03:59 AM
    I am in the D&D camp that views hit points as both physical and nonphysical (stamina, alertness, skill, luck, etcetera). So, for me, ALL DAMAGE IS SUBDUAL DAMAGE until the magical number of ‘zero’. Zero is when the serious contact happens. Zero is when a lethal blow actually lands. Anything else is just fencing. So, instead of a blade thru the heart − at zero − the attacker can...
    37 replies | 866 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 03:40 AM
    Consider the all-important character Advancement table. Here are four tiers: Novice, Hero, Master, and Immortal. In medieval contexts, these are apprentice/page, journeyer/squire, master/knight, plus legendary. In Basic D&D, these tiers might loosely associate with Basic, Expert, Master, and Immortal. 4e lacks Novice for a player character, and the tiers begins at Heroic, Paragon, and...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 12:52 AM
    The Knights Templar are an imperial religious order − and very much about certain ruling families. These aristocratic families were also bankers. There are commoners who have access to the aristocrats: servants, entertainers, and merchants. But the aristocrats are highly conscious of their ‘low birth’ and ‘low status’. They try to prevent the boundaries from getting blurry. Sometimes, a...
    37 replies | 866 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 11:32 PM
    I create the following. There are four ‘styles’: divine, void, arcane, and worldly. These styles are methods or modes or ways. They correspond roughly to the 4e sources: divine, shadow, arcane, and martial. Each style can engage four ‘realms’:
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 07:48 PM
    For my urban campaign, nonlethal combat is key. Defeating opponents without murder, reduces a serious crime to misdemeanor, or even simply a nuisance that the guards dont want to bother themselves with. For this reason, the ‘bloodied’ condition becomes highly useful. It is the moment when an altercation becomes a fight. Someone is going to have a black eye. I reserve all the ‘unfair’...
    37 replies | 866 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 03:48 AM
    Status because of wealth, celebrity, and power ... is modern. In premodern cultures, it is more important to be *related* to a noble and have a title, than to actually have money. Money has value − specifically to pay for armies to conquer and steal wealth from other communities. These ‘spoils of war’ were often spent lavishly to emphasize the victory. The next generation of these...
    37 replies | 866 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 01:40 AM
    Social Stratification ≈ Background ≈ Status/Clique Social Competitiveness ≈ Persuasion/Intimidation Family and Clan are ultra important Power in the sense of class level and wealth are actually less important than we moderns might expect. Level and treasure probably counts for personal reputation, but not really for social ‘access’.
    37 replies | 866 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 01:03 AM
    Power Grid − Styles: Divine, Void, Arcane, Worldly − Realms: Matter, Life, Mind, Force MATTER (elemental) LIFE
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 12:57 AM
    Alright. So a nonmagic at-will is called a ‘maneuver’. A magic at-will is called a ‘cantrip’. So, in the power format, ‘frequency type’ includes Rest, Long Rest, Reaction, ... and Cantrip/Maneuver (= at-will).
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 07:21 PM
    Power Source Grid Here is the 4e Power Source Grid as a table, to make it easier to tweak if necessary. When it seems stable enough to handle most of the corner cases, we can move it into the Original Post. Power Sources
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 11:57 AM
    Name: Avery Tain, the brightsmith's daughter Race: Human Sex: Female Appearance: Early 20's, dark blonde hair, freckled, constant smudges from the forge on her cheeks and hands, wears a flaired doublet. Experience: Gifted with a quick and creative mind, Avery has set up several small-scale street criminals using specially marked silver-works and she has earned a small reputation among the...
    14 replies | 473 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 04:18 AM
    Low light is a pain in the neck to keep track of. Even when I remember there is low light, I just handwaive it. Any amount of bright light is bright within close range, and dim for a virtually unlimited distance beyond the bright light. Maybe low light vision is useful for scanning a distance. But really I dont care. I am glad the only two meaningful options are either darkvision or a...
    205 replies | 7786 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 03:29 AM
    Here is my first pass at Warlord powers. They are intended to balance with 5e, so compare these powers to 5e spells. When a class gives the player the choice of a power, the player can choose any power, whether it is at-will, per rest (short or long), or per long rest. (I am tempted to refer to the At-Wills as ‘Fighter cantrips’.) In 5e, several classes can share the same powers (including...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 02:22 AM
    Power Format Power Name // Purpose Level Sources, Trope // Action Type • Frequency
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:24 PM
    The clay golem derives from the Bible, where the first human (whose name is ‘Human’, Adam) is shaped out of wet clay − namely a ‘lump’ of ‘dirt’ made moist by a ‘mist’ from the ground. God brought this reddish clay statue to life, by breathing Divine breath into it. This is understood as the ‘dirt’ of physical molecules being mysteriously entangled with consciousness. There is a tradition that...
    20 replies | 903 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 04:04 PM
    I tweaked the power sources grid. Note, ‘Morale’ with ‘Second Wind’, thus by extension Warlord hit-point restoration in the sense of rallying morale. Morale organizes as nonmagical ‘Martial’ and mental ‘Psionic’. Now that I know how to make a table, I am doing the 4e Power Sources Grid as one to make it easier to tweak. See below.
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:07 AM
    Seriously, in my eyes, the whole point of a ‘boxed set’ is the MAP. And an adventure or arc of adventures relating to the MAP. For what its worth, I prefer regional settings (that plug-and-play into any world). So a regional map, rather than a world map. For me, a world map is an online offering for those who want it. Compare, Salt Marsh is about right for me, in terms of a specific...
    90 replies | 3647 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 04:46 AM
    The Power Sources table above lists ‘healing’ as Primal and Divine. However, this refers to actual spontaneous healing following a catastrophic injury when reach zero hit points. Warlord healing is more like ‘morale’ (Martial Psionic), inspiring others to press on, despite being battered an bruised. For my tastes, the Warlord is an effective healer − unless the ally reaches zero hit...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 03:39 AM
    I consider balancing options a high priority. I appreciate those who think about these carefully. ‘Situational’ is ‘less useful’, because it is less frequent, and in that sense ‘weak’. Regarding frequency: An ability that is used every encounter is useful.
    19 replies | 2634 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 03:25 AM
    Wood Elf, and maybe High Elf, deserve Darkvision, carrying a nocturnal vibe. However, Eladrin ‘Sun Elf’ must not have Darkvision, having an aura of light, or a light cantrip, instead. Eladrin ‘Moon Elf’ probably needs Darkvision with a nocturnal vibe. In sum.
    205 replies | 7786 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:24 PM
    My ideal power format looks something like this. The title line has the power name (in this case the Fireball spell), the purpose, and the character level. Next line, sources.
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 07:51 PM
    4e Power Sources How do you guys feel about the 4e Power Sources table below? The table develops from discussions that Wrecan and I had years ago. Essentially, the sources are rows and columns that intersect each other. For example, ‘healing’ spells are both Divine and Primal, locating at the intersection of the two. The columns describe the THEME of the spell: Elemental (Matter),...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 07:20 PM
    @Azzy, jayoungr I updated the original post as follows. Any suggestions? Grappling Grappling represents wrestling, grabbing, pulling, and pushing.
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:48 PM
    Yeah, I guess. Maybe for the sake of simplicity, ANY grappling maneuver can attack or defend via whichever is higher, Dexterity or Strength. So, Dexterity can ‘Push’ by means of a judo flip or so on, and ‘hold’ by grabbing a sensitive place like a finger. I have in mind that there are only four abilities (or at least only four ‘active’ abilities). So, attack uses Strength or...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 03:49 PM
    I am a big fan of swaps. They are awesome for customization and balance. If everything is formatted as powers, then it is so easy swap one power for an other. If you look at the ‘Advancement’ table. The way the leveling sequence works out has levels 20 to 24 for Epic tier. This includes two ‘Epic’ feats at levels 20 and 24. It also includes an Epic race feature − great for concepts...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 05:43 PM
    I want ultra simple grappling. Is the following feasible enough? Grappling Grappling represents wrestling, grabbing, pulling, and pushing. Always use Dexterity to make a grappling attack but always use Strength to keep hold.
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 04:02 PM
    How do you guys feel about everyone getting a free feat at level 1? I suppose, a human gains two. I love 4e ‘themes’. It seems like Pathfinder2 now has something like this as well. A themes are a substantial set of thematic abilities, in addition to class and race. These are great for rounding out a character, connecting the character to persons or places in the setting, or if teammates...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 03:30 PM
    Ability Bonuses Your ability bonuses define the things that you tend to be good at. Your aptitudes. For example, a high Strength bonus makes you inherently good at various challenges that need you to be physically strong. Physical Ability Bonuses • Strength represents your brute strength, toughness, and size. • Dexterity represents your precise motion, skillful athleticism, and...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 01:05 AM
    The 4e source is so flavorful. It is one of my favorite aspects of 4e. Identifying a class with a certain source works well. On the other hand, identifying a class with a role never worked well. The class felt too rigid and inflexible against personalization. Towards the end, 4e abandoned roles by having archetypes with different roles. I feel it is very useful to use ‘roles’ as...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:03 PM
    I overhauled the Ability Bonuses section. This post archives the earlier content, before the update. Your abilities define the things that you tend to be good at. Your aptitudes. For example, a high Strength makes you inherently good at various skills and efforts that need you to be physically strong. The attacker always rolls a d20. This attack roll adds a relevant ability bonus...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:02 PM
    It is possible that 4e grognards outnumber 4e fixers. This is ironic regarding the history of 4e. Heh, and the rationale is identical: ‘I own too much stuff, and therefore refuse to change in any way at all.’ The bottom line is, this thread belongs to the community. I personally need a system that uses salient and balanced abilities. But this thread isnt just for me.
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:44 PM
    The abilities of the 3e gaming system were more systematic and more balanced than the 1e gaming system. I am unfamiliar with 1e clones. But my impression is, these embrace the 3e improvement of the abilities, abandon the 1e stats, and still call the 1e clone a ‘clone’.
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:22 PM
    Zardnaar The 4e defaults to ‘attacker always rolls’. Yet it included variant possibilities. For example, ‘players always roll’. In other words, when players attack, they roll against a defense. But when monsters attack, the attack is a fixed number and the players make saves against it. So, it is easy to just leave ‘attack’ and ‘defense’ as raw bonus numbers. If rolling, add d20. But if...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:11 PM
    To reduce to three abilities, would mean using Dexterity checks for library research, or alternatively using Intelligence for jumping and grappling. Besides, the 4e stat ‘Passive Perception’ is defacto a routine defense. 4e really has four defenses. The consolidation of abilities down to four is fully compatible with existing 4e material.
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 01:53 PM
    @Zardnaar, @DEFCON 1, @Charlaquin It is worth having balanced abilities. Rather than the eight abilities, it is possible to have four abilities. • Strength • Dexterity • Intelligence • Charisma
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:10 AM
    Initiative probably belongs to ‘Sense’, whether Sense is part of Wisdom, part of Intelligence, or its own stand-alone ability. In any case, Sense is the ability to notice something coming, whence the ability to respond early for initiative.
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:06 AM
    I am ok with removing damage from finesse weapons. Note, in the eight ability setup: Strength − melee attack bonus, melee damage bonus Athletics − finesse attack bonus, grappling, Monk flurry attack Dexterity − missile attack bonus, Rogue sneak attack All three have different kinds of combat options. None are must-have.
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:42 AM
    Abilities should be useful regardless of class. Lore skills and languages are less satisfactory to make Intelligence worthwhile. Intelligence must include something frequently useful in combat. 4e made a good start at making Intelligence a more meaningful investment. It combines Intelligence with Dexterity for Reflex. But this combination still feels awkward. Intelligence still feels less...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:08 AM
    We will see how people feel about having 8 ability scores. But there are many good reasons to have these 8. They are equally powerful to each other. And salient to describe well various kinds of creatures and abilities. Personally, in the traditional six, I find the fact that Dexterity is a super-stat while Intelligence is a dump-stat, to be frustrating. This fundamental imbalance wont...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:34 AM
    The only difference between a ‘defense’ and a ‘save’ is a d20 versus a base 10. You can literally call it a ‘Will save’ and then define ‘Will save’ as ‘10 + your Wisdom or Charisma bonus’.
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:10 AM
    Zardnaar I started a new thread as a ‘wiki thread’ that anybody can edit. This allows multiple people to contribute to the clone, so not all of the burden is on one person. Have a look at the thread and add and change it freely. enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?659990-Open-4e-Style&p=7619019#post7619019
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:54 AM
    Math cannot be copyrighted. If you like defenses better, then there is no problem using them. The terms ‘Fortitude’, ‘Reflex’, ‘Will’, and ‘Perception’ are all legally available, regardless of how we define these terms. Cool about Star Wars. If going with defenses, then it is worth combining Ref and AC as a single defense.
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:01 AM
    The ability bonuses consolidated to four: Strength and Dexterity, Intelligence and Charisma. Abilities and defenses are probably the most important mechanics in the entire game. They need to work extremely well. Unfortunately, they are the most familiar mechanics, thus the most difficult to improve. In the first post, in ‘Ability Bonuses’, I have added two more ability scores....
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 02:49 AM
    Reserved
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 02:46 AM
    This is an open wiki thread. You can edit this post. Contribute to reengineer a ‘4e-style’ gaming system. Use available nomenclature from 5e and 3e, or invent a new nomenclature. Avoid unlicensed 4e terms. Include any notes for fellow game designers in double brackets ]. For example, the term ‘profession’ is noted to be equivalent to the 4e term ] and the 5e term ]. A final product...
    73 replies | 2217 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:23 AM
    A gang war where the leaders of both thieves guilds duke it out in a predetermined spot seems very Gangs of New York, but not at all how I'd imagine thieves would prefer to resolve a dispute. Have the halflings really exhausted all other options, like discrediting, hedging out of a key market, buying off contacts, blackmailing a noble, assassination, etc.? As far as your idea to pick a...
    13 replies | 493 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 05:23 PM
    In 1e, every DM was expected to create their own setting with its own flavor. I wish that stayed.
    77 replies | 2930 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:53 PM
    @Zardnaar, I basically like these half-feats. The main issues are: Flavor-neutral mechanics Avoid baking setting flavor into the mechanics. Rely more on ‘flavor text boxes’ for flavor. Especially avoid terms like ‘gods’ within the actual mechanics themselves. Defenses In 4e, there are no such things as ‘saves’. Instead, the attacker always rolls. The defender has ‘defenses’....
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 02:10 PM
    Actually, doing them in chunks of 5, eventually covers all of them. For 4esque, Warlord seems ‘core’. And there are 5 sources: Psionic, Arcane, Divine, Primal, and Martial. Maybe treat Bard as mind-affecting Psionic.
    29 replies | 1270 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:22 AM
    So far. Warlord Fighter Wizard Rogue, Cleric Druid, Warlock
    29 replies | 1270 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 11:35 PM
    I would go with Rabbi as a background. Rabbis can be very different from each other. Some Rabbis are scientists (Wizard), some are soldiers (Fighter), some are artists (Bard), some are healers (Cleric). The mystics in particular seem a case that is simultaneously Divine and Psionic. The endeavor is to ‘unite’ and ‘adhere’ the mind of a human with the mind of Divinity. Jewish mysticism is...
    20 replies | 903 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 02:36 PM

    20 replies | 903 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 01:28 PM
    Ars Magica has a book, Kabbalah: Mythic Judaism. It seems a decent presentation.
    20 replies | 903 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 01:12 AM
    Pretty much any clergy is more like a background, being a skill set. Knowledge skills (history, religion, arcana as mysticism), social skills (empathy, persuasion, intimidation), magical talents (bless, augury, healing, guidance) Peoples most commonly expressed needs are: belonging, relationship, family wellbeing, finances, physical health, spiritual seeking, meaning, ethical advice,...
    20 replies | 903 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 05:22 PM
    I love 4e. It is my favorite edition of D&D. ‘Errata’ that I would like to improve include. • Make the abilities (Dexterity, Intelligence, etcetera) more salient and more equal in power. • Consolidate AC and Reflex into a single defense. Make Perception a formal defense. • Make power choice fluid. Where 4e had specific usage types (at-will, encounter, daily) at specific levels, it became...
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:41 PM

    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:28 PM
    For 4e, it helps to think in blocks of four levels. • level 1: class archetype specialization power (at-will, short rest, long-rest) • level 2: utility (defend, move, detect), skill (background), cultural power (race, region) • level 3: class power (at-will, short-rest, long-rest, sometimes extra-attack) • level 4: feat/ability-score customization This block repeats for levels 5 to 8,...
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 12:40 PM
    For theater of the mind, it helps to ballpark all distances for weapons and spells as: ‘melee’ (within 3 feet) ‘reach’ (within 10 feet) ‘close’ (within 30 feet) ‘far’ (beyond 30 feet) ‘same plane of existence’ Far ranges that sometimes happen beyond a combat encounter:
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 11:51 AM
    It is necessary to plan ahead carefully. Because mechanics depend on other mechanics, once we build it, it becomes painful or impossible to personalize. If we want ability scores to be equally balanced with each other, then we must build the system that way from the bottom up. If we want characters that are easy to customize, then we must build the system that way from the bottom up. ...
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:09 AM
    Maybe the magic bonus and the tier bonus are the same thing? If using magic bonuses, then treadmill the tier bonus. If without magic bonuses just add the tier bonus directly? Novice: +0 magic or tier Hero: +1 magic or tier Paragon: +2 magic or tier Epic: +3 magic or tier
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:00 AM
    Lets think carefully about bounded accuracy. At level 1, it is possible to have a total of +0 (average score, nonproficient) or worse. At level 1, the highest bonus is +7 (+5 score, +2 proficiency). Im less fond of the Expertise ‘doubling’ proficiency, because I like bounded accuracy for skills too, and I like to use skills in combat, so like combat and skills to have the same math.
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 08:09 PM
    In total there are two physical defenses (Fortitude and Reflex), and two mental defenses (Perception and Will).
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:55 PM
    I think it is fine to ignore Epic tier for now. Even ignore Paragon. Just work on Novice (1-4) and Heroic (5-12). Plenty to do. We can add more later once the foundation seems robust. I hope to use 5e mechanics as-is, as much as possible. Only in a situation where a 4e-ism improves 5e, would I want to alter 5e. I would just stick with the 5e weapon attack system, its math works fine.
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:43 PM
    Tony Vargas Maybe Sneak Attack against an unaware target, targets the Perception defense thus bypasses the Reflex-Armor defense.
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:39 PM
    Tony Vargas Heh, if anything, the lasso targets the Perception defense! Not the Reflex defense. Anyone paying attention can easily render a lasso useless.
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:34 PM
    Lassos might have a ‘special’ attack. − But a shield would help prevent a lasso. The rest might be better to handwaive. But, burning oil is effectively negated by armor. Likewise shield and armor effectively deter dragon breath and so on. How many times have I seen a picture of a knight with shield deflecting dragon fire!
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:29 PM
    5e hates to attack attended objects − but rationally, the magic ray damages the shield or the plate armor, not the person. Or the shield or armor actually reflects or deflects while being only cosmetically damaged. Armor, including a shield and a heavy cloth armor (gambeson) definitely help escape burns from burning oil.
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:27 PM
    Regarding hit points. Suppose each race has base hit points. (Tiny) 4 hit points (Small) 6 hit points (Medium) 8 hit points (Powerful Build) 10 hit points (Large) 12 hit points
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:12 PM
    Legal reasons, it is impossible to copyright a calculation. There is no problem using the Constitution score rather than the accumulating bonuses. The word ‘Constitution’ and ‘score’ are legally available too because of the 5e agreement. The 4e-ism of using the score is ok. The only difficulty I foresee is, if using standard 5e monsters, they will have inflated hit points relative to...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:10 PM
    Reflex plus AC is such a redundancy. Moreover I see no need for a ‘touch’ attack, it is simply Reflex. For example, shield really does help Reflex in the sense of deflecting an attack and getting out of its way. A shield helps against a magical ray. If someone wants to call it the ‘Reflex defense’ or the ‘Armor defense’, I am happy either way, as long as they are the same thing.
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:02 PM
    Garthanos and Tony Vargas I really want to consolidate AC and Reflex. So, a sword attacks the Reflex defense. A ray attacks the Reflex defense. An armor improves the Reflex defense, if the Strength/Constitution prerequisite is met.
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 06:56 PM
    I understand what you are saying, but then adding a tier bonus plus a proficiency bonus strains the already strained bounded accuracy of 5e.
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 06:41 PM
    Well, 5e is already ‘weird’. 5e tiers break at levels 1, 5, 10, and 17. In other words 4/6/6/4. The first tier in a 5e→4e system with levels 1 to 4 is natural, because these levels in 5e are simply too weak and too incompetent to represent a 4e ‘Heroic’ tier. Level 13 seems appropriate for a ‘Path’. It could be 4, Heroic 8, Paragon 8, and Epic 8. But Epic is still a formative design...
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 06:34 PM
    I think everybody here agrees that 4e-style Constitution is superior? So, add the SCORE at level 1, and never additional BONUS hit points. This removes low level fragility, and avoids high level hitpoint inflation. (Optional Variant, if players like fragile low levels: add the bonus once at each tier, at levels 1, 5, 13, 21?)
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 06:28 PM
    Personally, I like the ‘just explicitly’ part. But, I also like how 5e gives the FULL proficiency, to anything one later becomes proficient in. For example, if one is level 13 and gains proficiency in Stealth, the proficiency is +4. One doesnt start at the beginning with +2.
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 05:57 PM
    Since 4e level 1 doesnt really happen until 5e level 5, it seems worthwhile to split up the concept of ‘class’ into separate tiers. In other words, a ‘class’ includes impactful choices, at different tiers. At level 1, the player chooses a Student Course. At level 5, the player chooses a Heroic Profession. At level 13, the player chooses a Paragon Path. At level 21, the player chooses an Epic...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 05:25 PM
    Regarding multiclassing. A discussion with Zardnaar in an other thread helped me be more open to multiclassing, even including limited-level ‘prestige classes’. A 4e ‘Paragon Path’ is exactly a prestige class that is suitable for levels 13 to 20 (or whatever). As long as a Path focuses on being alternative features, rather than strictly superior to a base class, then it seems useful. Many...
    320 replies | 11749 view(s)
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About CydKnight

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About CydKnight
Introduction:
DM By Necessity
About Me:
I had played AD&D in high school many years ago and then stopped playing after graduation due to losing track of my game mates and life and whatnot.

Fast forward 29 years later and I stumbled upon D & D again under the 5E rules.

I've bought and read through all the core rule books: PHB, DMG, MM, SCaG, Volo's, Xanathar's, Mordenkainen's. After more than 2 years of becoming well informed on 5E rules, playing, and running a game of my own, I consider myself to be a serviceable DM and competent player with plenty of room for improvement.
Location:
Kingwood, Tx
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Over 40
My Game Details

Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

Town:
Kingwood
State:
Texas
Country:
USA
Game Details:
I am currently playing in a group that meets weekly. We are playing two campaigns with each alternating each week.

One is a homebrew world being run using 5E D&D rules mostly as written but with a few minor variants. I am playing a Human (Variant Battlemaster in this campaign.

The other campaign is Out of the Abyss which I am running using pretty mostly rules as written with no restrictions but I am implementing some sub-plot lines created myself with much inspiration from web research including ENWorld, DM's Guild, Faerun Wiki, etc. These sub-plots are not part of OotA as written. They include introduction of the Eilistraeen pantheon along with NPCs that will reinforce a faction of good Drow, as well as, a Mastermind character with plans of "taking over the world" who is more a seed should the players decided to continue with their characters beyond the OotA campaign as written.
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My Character:
I have several characters that I like in 5E rules but have only played a few. I have played a few regular, recurring AL games with a Wood Elf Way of the Fist Monk, a Half Elf Lore Bard, and a Human Fighter Battlemaster.

Some characters ideas that I have are a Wood Elf Assassin, Wood Elf Ranger (Hunter), High Elf Wizard (Diviner), an Aasimar Paladin (Vengeance), a Variant Human Sorcerer (Storm), a Hill Dwarf Cleric (Life), and a Variant Human Barbarian (Totem).

Recently I have created a Mastermind who is an Air Genasi with a master plan to unite all Genasi under on banner. It seems this may be a better idea for an NPC who may end up being the BBEG.

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My Game Details
Town:
Kingwood
State:
Texas
Country:
USA
Game Details:
I am currently playing in a group that meets weekly. We are playing two campaigns with each alternating each week.

One is a homebrew world being run using 5E D&D rules mostly as written but with a few minor variants. I am playing a Human (Variant Battlemaster in this campaign.

The other campaign is Out of the Abyss which I am running using pretty mostly rules as written with no restrictions but I am implementing some sub-plot lines created myself with much inspiration from web research including ENWorld, DM's Guild, Faerun Wiki, etc. These sub-plots are not part of OotA as written. They include introduction of the Eilistraeen pantheon along with NPCs that will reinforce a faction of good Drow, as well as, a Mastermind character with plans of "taking over the world" who is more a seed should the players decided to continue with their characters beyond the OotA campaign as written.
More information:
Private Message
My Character:
I have several characters that I like in 5E rules but have only played a few. I have played a few regular, recurring AL games with a Wood Elf Way of the Fist Monk, a Half Elf Lore Bard, and a Human Fighter Battlemaster.

Some characters ideas that I have are a Wood Elf Assassin, Wood Elf Ranger (Hunter), High Elf Wizard (Diviner), an Aasimar Paladin (Vengeance), a Variant Human Sorcerer (Storm), a Hill Dwarf Cleric (Life), and a Variant Human Barbarian (Totem).

Recently I have created a Mastermind who is an Air Genasi with a master plan to unite all Genasi under on banner. It seems this may be a better idea for an NPC who may end up being the BBEG.

Tuesday, 4th June, 2019


Friday, 31st May, 2019


Wednesday, 28th June, 2017

  • 11:45 AM - Corran21 mentioned CydKnight in post Wizarding against giants with a party full of martials
    ...ssue), but I dont want to go down that road, as I would like my influence to be a bit more discrete, than just adding summons that can kill the enemies and take the spotlight from the other PCs. Also, summons go a bit against the character's personality (free will and all that), so I will save them for when I roll up my next wizard character (whenever that will be). About the next levels, I'll certainly try to take wall of force, forcecage, mass suggestion (and probably hold monster too), but there are a few spells that I really like (eg dream -which I will rework it somehow, but that's not the point here), so I'll try to make a compromise, picking spells that I like and spells that are very important (not that I dont like them too). Also, how did you know??? Indeed it is my first time playing a wizard! Played one in 4e, but it's not the same. So many options to choose from (spells I mean)! It's quite overwhelming! I like these kind of headaches, cant wait for the campaign to begin! @CydKnight: Yes, I am also thinking that this s the approach I should take (ie not to focus on blasting). That said, I am thinking of including both fireball and lightning bolt (lightning bolt because it would find easier use against the giants, cause they take up a 3x3 space, and they are tall too, so from the right place, I will probably be able to target lots of them, especially forst and cloud giants; and fireball, for fights against mooks, since I think the party is missing some good area damage; but frankly, because it's fireball). But that's about it. No other damaging spells (I get 9 extra spells to start with, so getting these two wont hurt me that much, I think). Also, yeah, treantmonk's guide is great. I've been reading it these last few days (along with BigHouse's and Avalongod's ones). Especially when trying to decide about spells, I've been skipping from one guide to the other, to compare how they rate them and to get more opinions. All 3 of them are excellent guides IMO. @Blue: I'...

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Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 01:50 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted CydKnight in post Amazon ratings of Ghosts of Saltmarsh
    From my observations of the Amazon reviews of 5E adventure and rule books, a good bit of the low star reviews have to do with shipment packaging and handling Amazon seem to be pretty much always late with D&D hardbacks in the UK (my copy is currently due on the 24th) but that is clearly a supply chain issue, and thus the fault of Amazon, not the product.

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 01:52 PM - delph quoted CydKnight in post How many classes in multiclass is to much?
    As a DM I try to allow players to do what they want within RaR and a few minor house or campaign rules and do my best not to judge. As a PC, for me personally, multi-classing at all is too much. Call me a Class Purist? It's just that in 5E you can make the classes pretty diverse as it is (at least for me) and if you are an optimizer I feel you give up to much by even dipping a single level in this or that to justify the gains. I do understand how it creates more character diversity for some which can be exciting for creating that unique multi-class concept. Still, I don't think I will personally every play a multi-classed PC though I may in a scenario where we are playing a one-shot and that was one of the prerequisites for character creation. My DM is the same. He still tells single class with good feat is better than multiclass. But I'm not sure. I try to combine every possibility and no feat can give me the same result, nor stronger. They are better in some part, but I think not in f...

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019


Sunday, 21st April, 2019

  • 11:44 PM - lyracian quoted CydKnight in post Why is the shortest lived edition, still one of the most popular?
    Nostalgia? I would agree with this. My friend starting running a B/X retro game almost two years ago and we still get 5-10 players every month. My ten year old daughter has even joined in. It is a nice trip down memory lane as a simple dungeon bash but I would rather play 5th Edition myself. My view is that it is not a well written rule book but it is definitely better than the one that came before it.

Tuesday, 26th February, 2019


Thursday, 14th February, 2019

  • 06:02 PM - MNblockhead quoted CydKnight in post My return to TTRPG w/ 5e, reflections after 5 years
    My final thoughts are that I really like where I am with the game right now. I really feel I am at a high point at the moment with the game, the group, and with 5E in general. Currently I have no plans to try other TTRPGs but the idea has crossed my mind. At the moment I am having too much fun in 5E to have that attention put on another game. I hear you. On the other hand, there has always been that part of me that wants to try new things. To tweak. To play with radically different concepts and mechanics. That itch has been scratched mostly in my profession, which involves a lot of technology. But I can't help but not have that affect my gaming as well. My answer to that is to pick up a system and run the occasional one shot, but what I really enjoy is going to a local gaming convention, where I'll generally avoid 5e an just try new game systems. This weekend I'll be at Con of the North and will be playing The Expanse, the Pathfinder 2.0 playtest, Starfinder, InSPECTres, Dialect, Dung...

Sunday, 6th January, 2019

  • 04:50 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted CydKnight in post Spring's D&D Release Will Be Ship-Themed
    Really? I'm playing it wrong? Because I'm not inspired by pirate themes in the game? You are not playing it wrong. But you are playing it differently, which means your attempt to make a general point falls flat. You don't like pirates. I don't like orcs. So what?
  • 09:14 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted CydKnight in post Spring's D&D Release Will Be Ship-Themed
    Pulp pastiche, genres were never disputed or introduced in my original thread nor does it influence my original opinion. It still doesn't feel D&D to me which is all I was trying to say. It feels more like its own genre to me. Then you are playing D&D in a way that diverts significantly from much of the literature that inspired it. This is provable: Look at the original appendix N in the 1st edition DMG. That's fine, you can play D&D any way you like.

Saturday, 5th January, 2019

  • 11:49 PM - Parmandur quoted CydKnight in post Spring's D&D Release Will Be Ship-Themed
    Pulp pastiche, genres were never disputed or introduced in my original thread nor does it influence my original opinion. It still doesn't feel D&D to me which is all I was trying to say. It feels more like its own genre to me. A genre with zombies, dungeons, jungle tribes, Mindflayers, Krakens, hags, Rogues, Warlocks, Fighters, Mermaids, Ghosts, alternate planes of existence...
  • 08:04 PM - Parmandur quoted CydKnight in post Spring's D&D Release Will Be Ship-Themed
    That's an interesting take. I was under the impression I could feel what I like in whatever way I wish. So yes, for me, in my own unique personal perspective as offered, it really is "just a matter of subjective feeling." You have the right to your own opinion, but not your own facts: D&D is a pulp pastiche that hits certain genre notes that PotC also hits, including ones it clearly lifted from D&D.
  • 07:14 PM - Parmandur quoted CydKnight in post Spring's D&D Release Will Be Ship-Themed
    Not to me but to each their own. It's not just a matter of subjective feeling, though: PotC uses D&D-ish pulp tropes, you can assign Classes to many of the characters, and the big bad is a Mindflayer who has a Kraken buddy and a lost love who is a goddess pretending to be a hag.
  • 06:09 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted CydKnight in post Spring's D&D Release Will Be Ship-Themed
    I've never been drawn to "ship-themed" adventures. Perhaps I associate such a thing of working thematically like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies which I really don't associate with D&D? I suppose if I had additional inspiration and gave it more thought, it could be fun? Pirates of the Caribbean is very D&Dish. It's a lot close in tone to the-game-how-it-is-really-played than a po-faced LotR movie.
  • 04:45 PM - Charlaquin quoted CydKnight in post Elven trance and long rests
    In my last campaign session, we had an elf PC with 1 level of exhaustion take 3rd watch on a long rest. Of course I asked for the Perception check for the watch to be made with disadvantage. The PC argued that with trance, she had already completed her Long Rest and therefore should not have disadvantage. In the moment, I didn't want to hold up the game searching through RAR and Erratas so I gave the player the benefit of the doubt. Moving forward since that session, now that I have had the opportunity to research this thoroughly, I have informed the PCs how this will work. PCs with "Trance" can take 4 hours of trance in lieu of sleep during a Long Rest however they will not receive the full benefits of a Long Rest until a full 8 hours has been completed. During that Long Rest 4 hours can be trance, 2 hours can be on watch, and 2 hours can be spent performing non-strenuous activities as described in the DMG. Any activity that normally interrupts a Long Rest as described in the DMG still a...
  • 04:09 PM - Parmandur quoted CydKnight in post Spring's D&D Release Will Be Ship-Themed
    I've never been drawn to "ship-themed" adventures. Perhaps I associate such a thing of working thematically like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies which I really don't associate with D&D? I suppose if I had additional inspiration and gave it more thought, it could be fun? The Pirates of the Caribbean movies are super D&D, though? The thing is, it is an adventure genre not extremely well supported out of the box. Adequately, but with a lot of DM elbow grease to fill the gaps. A book to fill those gaps is about what the doctor ordered.
  • 03:34 PM - collin quoted CydKnight in post Give Me Your Dragon Heist Tips
    One thought I did have reading through this. What if the players decide they do not want the mansion at Trollsclaw Alley and want to sell it without moving in? I can see where some players (and some DMS) would see this as a distraction while dealing with the focus of the adventure. It ties in to one major hook but I can see plenty of other ways to set that hook that don't involve running a household and tavern. The selling of Trollskull manor has been mentioned before in another thread. That is certainly an option, and I think the final agreement on the price of sale was 5000gp.
  • 03:04 PM - CapnZapp quoted CydKnight in post Spring's D&D Release Will Be Ship-Themed
    I've never been drawn to "ship-themed" adventures. Perhaps I associate such a thing of working thematically like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies which I really don't associate with D&D? I suppose if I had additional inspiration and gave it more thought, it could be fun? I'm fairly neutral, considering you could simply treat ships as moving dungeon rooms. That is: the product may well provide more details for players interested in the nitty-gritty of ships, but it is the style of D&D of not requiring such interest.

Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019


Saturday, 29th December, 2018

  • 07:14 PM - Quickleaf quoted CydKnight in post What is this villain's next step?
    This sounds a lot like a Mastermind NPC I have infiltrating my party traversing the Underdark. He is an Air Genasi whose mother happens to be from an obscenely rich noble family so he has near unlimited resources as she coddled her only close blood relative as he grew up. Knowing his origins to be part Djinn, he wants to create a nation state for all Genasi (who have none and he feels they are unjustly by all). With his family resources and his adventuring skills, he has been secretly gathering magical artifacts to help him achieve his goal of creating a Genasi Nation of Power which he will lead. He supplements these skills with deceit, cunning, and perception such as described with your own Xandala. Like you I am also contemplating the next step for this character. Interesting NPC motivation! As far as building a nation from the ground up, magical artifacts are an unusual McGuffin. I'd imagine forging alliances, consensus-building, establishing an army, and other aspects of "domain man...

Tuesday, 18th December, 2018

  • 09:04 PM - Irennan quoted CydKnight in post Eilistraee - Working the Dark Dancer into Out of the Abyss
    Yes part of my limited knowledge is from MToF and some from the Forgotten Realms Wiki you linked above. However I did not get the impression that all drow feel her presence though I agree most would not acknowledge it if they did. Still that could certainly be within the realm of possibility since we can make it work in our individual campaigns the way we see fit. There's this passage, which paraphrases what Ed Greenwood said about her Eilistraee sang her call to all dark elves—from the highest matron mother to the lowest male slave—sending them dreams or visions, showing them a different, better life, and the beauty of the world (especially when they were close to the surface).[11] Lolth was powerless to stop these visions, as too much interference from two goddesses could easily bring a mortal's mind to insanity. The drow definitely came to know about and "felt" the Dark Dancer at some point in their lives, but many of them either would not understand said dreams or emotions or chose to ...
  • 08:29 PM - Irennan quoted CydKnight in post Eilistraee - Working the Dark Dancer into Out of the Abyss
    From reading what is available on her, I am under the impression that the average Drow is likely to not even know of the existence of Eilistraee. Drow Priestesses have written records of her existence but they are kept hidden and secret. For who knows what effect on Drow society as they know it should the existence of Eilistraee become common knowledge? Ellistraens are not only persecuted by their own race, but often from many surface dwellers. Especially those who only know Drow as the chaotic evil, slave-driving back-stabbers that they typically are. They simply cannot wrap their head around a Drow that does good deeds. Except for their pilgrimages (mostly on the surface world) where they openly help others by providing food, shelter, etc., Eillistraens must do most things in secret. That sounds like the info from MToF. Keep in mind that the book omits a lot of info about Eilistraee (that has been created over multiple editions)--then again, it's Mordenkainen's PoV and his knowledge of ho...


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