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  • Elon Tusk's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:49 PM
    Chase rules, really all non-simultaneous actions/movement. Character A runs away and hides as character B stands and watches. A horse chase where horse A runs 100 feet away from the other moving horse, then B runs to catch up, etc. (and the weird dino race rules in Tomb of Annhilation).
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  • Elon Tusk's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 04:19 PM
    Thanks, that makes sense. FYI (for anyone else looking), it's actually in the intro on p. 6 with the relevant quote "In certain situations, particularly combat, the action is more structured and the players (and DM) do take turns choosing and resolving actions."
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  • Elon Tusk's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 02:52 PM
    I'm questioning (for myself as well) if this part is true. The PHB states on p. 174: "The DM calls for an ability check when a character or monster attempts an action (other than an attack) that has a chance of failure. When the outcome is uncertain, the dice determine the results.: But the PHB also states on p. 194: "When you make an attack, your attack roll determines whether the attack hits...
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  • Elon Tusk's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 05:20 PM
    If you have a knife to a Commoner's throat (1d8 hp), a dagger attack is likely to drop them. But "knife to throat" doesn't constitute a RAW condition, except maybe grappled which would only limit movement. Attacking an unconscious target grants advantage and a critical hit if within 5 feet, but that's not what this knife scenario is communicating to me.
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  • Elon Tusk's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 04:25 AM
    No. I really don't. If the situation were reversed -- an orc ambusher attacking a PC, I don't see anyone arguing the PC won't get all their HP or that it wouldn't be combat. I don't see any RAW or feel any RAI that would make this situation different. You say the guard is bored but even being bored wouldn't cause a guard to lose toughness. Hit points define how tough your character is in...
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  • Elon Tusk's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 02:28 PM
    I bought the 2CGaming hardback a while back and have read through most of it but haven't been excited enough to jump in yet. It is mostly player crunch, not much on adventure building. There were NPC enemies but can't remember if they were in the book or a pdf supplement.
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What are your Pedantic Complaints about D&D? Wednesday, 17th July, 2019 06:49 PM

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Friday, 9th February, 2018


Thursday, 21st September, 2017

  • 03:59 PM - Coroc mentioned Elon Tusk in post Aasimar & Tiefling offspring
    Elon Tusk No, no the feathery wings attached to its nose and the horned tail protruding from his navel surely qualify this as a mongrelman. So it is Charisma -4 Wisdom -2 :)

Sunday, 21st May, 2017

  • 06:46 PM - Hawk Diesel mentioned Elon Tusk in post Illithid PC
    Lanefan I gotta disagree with you on some of your points. First of all, entries in the monster manual or other such books are only the most common representatives of their race, and may be only the most commonly experienced by adventurers. There may be a huge amount of variation within a monstrous race. Especially ones that would become adventurers themselves could be younger, less experienced, or otherwise odd examples of their species that may have been outcast or not fit in. Then, to support Elon Tusk's decision to create an Illithid race, there are TONS of examples in sci-fi and fantasy of members on an alien/warring race helping the human side. Star Gate (Teal'c), ExoSquad (Marsala), Halo (The Arbiter), Transformers: Beast Wars (Dinobot), V (Willie), Star Trek Voyager (Borg Designate 7 of 9), First Wave (Joshua), Farscape (Every member aboard Moya), Terminator 2 (The T-800)... and that's just off the top of my head. It's a huge trope in fiction where a members of an alien/distrusted race/warring faction join up with the "good guys" and work to earn trust. In fact, that tension can be a big driver of various plot devices to move the story forward. I mean, if Star Trek can make a member of the Borg a main part of the cast, I don't see why one couldn't do the same for an Illithid in D&D.
  • 10:14 AM - Lanefan mentioned Elon Tusk in post Illithid PC
    Elon Tusk First off, I'll just say I'm not in the least bit sold on Mind Flayers as PCs. That said... You're going to have some hard work to do if you ever want to use Mind Flayers as enemies in your game, in order to explain why every one of them is by default so much more powerful than every one of the PC Flayers were when they first started out. I mean, just being a Mind Flayer at all should give you massive psionics (sorry, 30' telepathy is not massive psionics) - you know, the kinds of things that let you destroy a mind from across the room, or stun people, or dominate their will to turn them into your puppets, etc., etc.; never mind that you can eat brains and should be able to do so long before the foe gets to 0 h.p. (having your brain eaten tends to kill you). Your PC Flayers are by necessity nerfed, I'm just saying to keep in mind that for this to make sense you by extension have to nerf much of the Mind Flayer race and thus remove a very challenging potential set of enemies ...

Thursday, 18th May, 2017


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Thursday, 27th June, 2019

  • 03:56 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Elon Tusk in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    I'm questioning (for myself as well) if this part is true. The PHB states on p. 174: "The DM calls for an ability check when a character or monster attempts an action (other than an attack) that has a chance of failure. When the outcome is uncertain, the dice determine the results.: But the PHB also states on p. 194: "When you make an attack, your attack roll determines whether the attack hits or misses." The uncertainty-factor RAW seems to be only for Ability Checks, not Combat.Core play loop is in chapter 1. Everything else serves the loop. This, though, is why I said earlier that D&D does a hard entry into combat. Combat is an extended uncertainty resolutuon mechanic that is much more granular than the non-combat resolution mechanics. Yet, the DM decides when to use the combat rules when they determine character actions are uncertain and the proper resolution is using combat rules. You don't have to, but, if you do, then there are more concrete procedures. This doesn't alter the play loo...

Wednesday, 29th May, 2019

  • 03:03 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Elon Tusk in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    It seems like instances of punitive motivations are pretty clear... I think you missed my point. The poster in question seems like a DM I wouldn't enjoy. It's not the specific action he describes that's a problem, it's the attitude behind it. My advice is to not try to categorize/define certain behaviors, because there can *always* be a different motivation behind those behaviors. (Again, just like with "metagaming".) So, the response to him should have, in my opinion, "If that's your reason for doing such a thing, maybe there's a mismatch between player and DM expectations."
  • 03:02 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted Elon Tusk in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    If a DM adds an innocent to the house after the PCs set it on fire in order to teach the PCs a lesson, that seems like the definition of punitive. It flies in the face of the realism people are calling for. I wouldn't do that. However, the PCs have no way of knowing there are no innocents in the house, so I might rule burning it down without checking first incompatible with a lawful good alignment. Not that it matters much in 5e. It has just occurred to me that the former owner of the house was an alchemist and, knowing alchemists, it would be unlikely to be still standing if it was built from flammable materials...
  • 02:51 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Elon Tusk in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    If a DM adds an innocent to the house after the PCs set it on fire in order to teach the PCs a lesson, that seems like the definition of punitive. It flies in the face of the realism people are calling for. What if he does it just because he thinks it makes for an interesting plot twist? If the DM is the kind who likes to "punish" his players then that's a problem, but (as with metagaming) it's easier to stop playing with people who aren't fun than it is to try to prescribe/proscribe certain actions that we think correlate to certain motivations.

Friday, 24th May, 2019

  • 04:07 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted Elon Tusk in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    I agree. A lot the responses seem punitive and a bit railroaded. The players should do things a certain way. If they don't, all these other subjective factors kick in: the town responding negatively, all the enemies escaping unharmed to the caves, all the clues being destroyed. It's not railroading if the world responds realistically to the players' actions*. Railroading would be if, having burned down the house, they stumbled over a clue directing them to the next adventure location anyway. * This is where it helps to "know what you are talking about (TM)". Those people who have actually read the adventure know that the consequences of burning down the house would be counterproductive ON THIS PATICULAR OCCASSION. It's not a case of "punishing the players", on some adventures burning down the house might be helpful, just not this one.

Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

  • 09:21 PM - Umbran quoted Elon Tusk in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    I'm trying to find where the game defines the goals of play you list: The goals of play can be found with the following question - why are the *players* bothering to play. The mechanics are there to help the players attain the goals of play. For some, really interesting tactical wargaming may be a goal for play. For another, it may be emotional social roleplaying, and so on. Everyone has their reasons to sit at the table. From RAW, it seems like gaining levels is the mechanic for goals... XP, in and of themselves, are not usually a reason for players to sit at the table. They aren't playing Pac Man, where gaining the high score of points is itself a thing you want to do. XP are merely a means to the ends of attaining rising action, character development, and tactical complexity, among a few other things.
  • 08:11 PM - MonsterEnvy quoted Elon Tusk in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    Is hurting enemies and destroying traps in a house by setting it on fire from the outside so different than disarming traps and killing monsters that are restrained by Hold Monster? It's a different method. It could harm innocents inside or destroy items or clues, but using a fireball in combat often has collateral damage. Is burning a house different than shooting a fireball into a cave? If creatures inside the house aren't killed, they will likely take damage. They might even flee the house to keep from taking more damage in which case the PCs could have readied action to attack them. Burning down a house is not the usual method of tackling the problem; I'm not sure how you could say its not more inventive than the normal way of going room by room and fighting what's there. I don't see how a sandbox campaign would automatically consider burning down a house a failure. I'm trying to find where the game defines the goals of play you list: the goals have to include bold adventurers? The adve...
  • 06:53 PM - Celebrim quoted Elon Tusk in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    1. Sounds more inventive and less dangerous than the alternative...I don't punish players for doing the unexpected. I think this sums up my whole point in this thread: it's neither inventive, creative, or unexpected. It's almost the first thing that a group of players think of every single time. It comes up all the time. It's probably the least creative solution that PC's could possibly try to apply, and in most cases it is a non-solution. The only time I got took off guard by it was the time I mentioned before hand, and really I only got taken off guard by it because it was such an incredibly stupid plan that if I'd been any more a railroad-y DM I would have just told the PC, "Do you realize how stupid it is to burn down a place you were only planning to enter because you needed to find clues?". "Let's burn the place down" is a childish impulse that players give way to sometimes when they lose track of what they are trying to accomplish and invariably don't think through the conseq...
  • 06:51 PM - iserith quoted Elon Tusk in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    I'm trying to find where the game defines the goals of play you list: the goals have to include bold adventurers? The adventurers have to have a good time? Basic Rules, page 3, in the paragraph about "winning and losing" in D&D. The "win" conditions are as I specified. This is the section of the rules that tell us what the game is supposed to be about (even if people don't play it that way sometimes). It does not say that the adventurers have to have a good time - it's the players this is referring to. The adventurers could be torn to bits, after all, and the players could still have fun. From RAW, it seems like gaining levels is the mechanic for goals which can either be gained by experience points from overcoming challenges (most often combat), milestones, session-based advancement, or story-based for accomplishing campaign goals. That is the incentive for the PCs pursuing goals, yes, but the overall goal for DM and players is to have a good time together and create an exciting, mem...
  • 05:27 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted Elon Tusk in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    1. Sounds more inventive and less dangerous than the alternative. If the basement ceiling is wood, It's not. 2. You are welcome to give XP as you want; I prefer benchmarks myself. The standard way in the PHB states: "As your character goes on adventures and overcomes challenges Exactly. No challenge is overcome by burning down the house. I would count burning enemies inside a house The players don't know if there are any enemies inside the house, and if there were, burning it down wouldn't kill them. I don't punish players for doing the unexpected. Neither do I. But I don't reward them for failure either. 3. "Hey, that haunted house down the road that was scaring visitors away from Saltmarsh has been razed. Cool, maybe a new Starbucks will go in." or "You know that haunted house was really just a front for smugglers. And they would have gotten away with it too if wasn't for those meddling kids." If the players burn down the house they will never learn if it was a front for smugglers...
  • 05:02 PM - Celebrim quoted Elon Tusk in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    1. I don't have my copy with me at the moment, but any coins, metal items, or magic items should be unaffected by the fire and can be collected as treasure. Depends. Coins will likely survive, but could be difficult to find in the rubble. Soft metal objects - gold jewelry, copper items, pewter items, metal plated items - would possibly be fire damaged, and possibly reduced in value to their weight of metal. Most gem stones would probably be destroyed. Most magic items will likely be destroyed as well - potions will boil and explode, scrolls burn up, spellbooks incinerated, wooden hafted objects will become kindling, etc. Even things like magic armor or magic swords could be damaged to the point that they are not functional - leather fasteners would burn up, hilt wrappings could be destroyed, and so forth. While this might not completely destroy a magic item if the GM was generous, it might well require a quest to find someone that could repair the item (which would generally be someone...
  • 04:47 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted Elon Tusk in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    1. I don't have my copy with me at the moment, but any coins, metal items, or magic items should be unaffected by the fire and can be collected as treasure. 2. Why deny XP for destroying enemies with fire? 3. From the Saltmarsh and Environs map, the Haunted House is almost 5 miles outside of town. Would destroying a haunted house ruin the PCs' reputation with many people? 1. Sure, if they want to take the time to wait for it to cool down then shift painstakingly through the rubble and ash (and face the wrath of anything that happened to be lurking underground and is therefore completely unharmed). 2. Because the mission objective was to investigate the house. If the burn it down they have failed. I don't give out xp when the players fail to achieve something. 3. Sure, the townsfolk will just love mysterious arsonists who breeze into town and destroy valuable real estate for no good reason....
  • 04:45 PM - Umbran quoted Elon Tusk in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    1. I don't have my copy with me at the moment, but any coins, metal items, or magic items should be unaffected by the fire and can be collected as treasure. If you wanna spend a week digging through the ashes, sure. Real interesting play opportunity, there... 2. Why deny XP for destroying enemies with fire? For the same reason you don't give a 15th level character XP for killing a goblin - if it is too easy, or there is no risk to the character, they don't earn XP. Also, for reason that burning down the house doesn't actually guarantee anyone is defeated. In the classic module, there's a sea-cave underneath that bad guys in the building can use to escape. Did they remove that? If the PCs don't fully explore the house first, they don't know this, and the bad guys probably get away, losing a safe house, but knowing someone's out to get them. That'll turn out well for the PCs, I'm sure - and you don't gain XP for just making the opponents mad at you and ready to hunt you down in...

Wednesday, 13th February, 2019


Tuesday, 29th January, 2019

  • 11:21 PM - Charlaquin quoted Elon Tusk in post Large Size PCs?
    I think it was in one of his more recent Happy Fun Hours that Mike Mearls mentions the main reason they don't make large PCs -- it's the amount of space they take up and control during combat. Jeremy Crawford said something to that effect on a DDB video shortly after the centaur and minotaur UA as well.

Wednesday, 12th December, 2018

  • 08:14 AM - ModernApathy quoted Elon Tusk in post Laws of Ravnica?
    How might this work? what might some laws be? There's a page of laws right at the back of the Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica. I don't have the book in front of me right now, but I'll check it when I get home and give you a page number.

Saturday, 10th February, 2018

  • 08:17 AM - The Scythian quoted Elon Tusk in post King (for a day) of the Monsters: Rot Grub Swarm
    Sorry, that's ridiculous. Four finger-sized maggots burrowing under someone skin "haven't actually done any meaningful damage yet" doesn't make sense. It makes about as much sense as anything else involving hit points, which are a mostly abstracted measurement of a character's stamina, life force, health, and sustained damage. I'm confused what you actually want out of this thread, though. You started out complaining that the rot grub swarm is too dangerous, but now you're complaining that it doesn't do a bunch of damage up front, which would make it more dangerous. The problem wasn't mine as a DM for not reminding one player that I hadn't told another player to deduct hit points. It's not about reminding players of anything. It's about creating a picture of what's actually happening in the game world, using a combination of rules and more or less natural speech. However, I've already made my position clear about this, so we'll just have to agree to disagree here. Sure they're ...
  • 06:04 AM - DMMike quoted Elon Tusk in post King (for a day) of the Monsters: Rot Grub Swarm
    One of the players cut down the body, a wizard decided to pick it up to bury it. The grubs attacked the wizard with a crit. I rolled a 4 (on a 1d4) to determine how grubs entered the PC's body. Most other PCs didn't notice. A paladin cast cure wounds which didn't do anything since the grubs don't do damage until the start of the victim's turn. The grubs did 11 damage just before the wizard stabbed at one in his arm - I allowed it (seeing how this was escalating beyond my intentions), making him roll to hit and take 6 damage from his dagger while killing 1 internal grub. Long story short, next turn a player cast Thunderwave, killing external grubs but really hurting wizard. Wizard then stabbed himself again and fell to 0 hp which means he "dies as the rot grubs burrow into [his] heart and kill [him]." The thunderwaver went to go claim the paladin's possession, had 3 grubs burrowed into his arm so he stabbed himself to kill one and then next turn cut off his own arm after remembering what happe...
  • 12:31 AM - The Scythian quoted Elon Tusk in post King (for a day) of the Monsters: Rot Grub Swarm
    Yes, unluckiness and a lack of tactics amped up the potency of the grubs, but the grubs still kill quickly. Even if the players knew what it took to kill them, doesn't mean they'd have immediate access to fire or the restorative spells required. The weird thing about the grubs (maybe a design flaw) is that they attack with a bite that allows them to burrow into a creature, but the creature doesn't take damage from the bite or burrowing until the start of their turn. The grubs are "finger-sized maggots" - seems like biting and burrowing would cause immediate damage. The paladin saw the bite and burrow, tried to heal that, but RAW says their is no damage yet to heal since the wizard's turn came after his. The delayed damage isn't a design flaw. It's an attempt to make combat with the rot grub swarm less dangerous, as it will often (but not always) result in one or more characters getting the chance to act before the target takes any damage at all. In the case you presented, the problem wasn't ...

Friday, 9th February, 2018

  • 10:30 AM - Iry quoted Elon Tusk in post Adamantine Skeleton?
    My reticence to improving AC is that he'd have to take damage before an attack hit the unbreakable bones.It wouldn't stop any attack that slipped between the ribs, but it would have stronger protection against attacks that would bruise or fracture normal bones but not metal bones. So a small +1 seemed justified. But nothing higher.


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