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  • Burnside's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 03:04 AM
    My system, roughly: ~4 hours of play to get to level 2 ~8 more hours to get to level 3 Thereafter, about 16 hours per level
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  • Burnside's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 12:37 AM
    The easiest way to do it would be to run LMoP as written through the end of chapter 2 (players hit 3rd level). This is when LMoP opens up into region-based subquests anyway. So you make the first three of DoIP's "follow up quests" available as written. From there, the party follows up as desired on whatever threads or quests they choose to pursue. Might have to slow level advancement down a...
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  • Burnside's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 02:59 PM
    Shift the location of the oasis from "the middle of a desert" to "the edge of a desert", which the party then needs to cross. That's what I did, anyway. Note: if you start the tier one AL5 adventures at level 3, the characters will hit level 5 well before you finish the tier one adventures- unless you slow level advancement way down (which often annoys players).
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  • Burnside's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 12:52 AM
    My experience running the tier one adventures from AL Season 5 as a home campaign, with a few other one-shots mixed in: https://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?587283-AL-Season-5-without-AL
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About Burnside

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Saturday, 29th June, 2019


Friday, 28th June, 2019


Thursday, 27th June, 2019


Tuesday, 25th June, 2019


Thursday, 20th June, 2019


Thursday, 8th November, 2018

  • 06:38 PM - Oofta mentioned Burnside in post Alternatives to Fury of the Small for Goblins?
    In a lot of games, goblins are evil versions of tinker gnomes, so I agree with Burnside. I do this a lot in my own world and make sure that goblins have special thematic weapons. For example, one goblin would throw a pot of honey (I was going for a bit of humor. With PCs going honey, WTF?) followed up by a second pot full of stinging insects attracted to the honey. The goblins of course were flying overhead on camouflaged gliders. In any case, the mechanical bits don't always matter as much as what you envision their culture to be like. Don't get too tied to following prescribed abilities. Think of what kind of scenes you want to use your goblins to enact and then figure out a reasonable way to implement. For example, want a tougher "goblin" based encounter? Have a goblin invent a mech based on some construct, with the lead goblin chortling about how he's turned the tables and is tired of always being picked on. Have fun with it and make him the goblin version of Tony Stark.

Wednesday, 26th September, 2018

  • 06:28 PM - MNblockhead mentioned Burnside in post Sell me on D&D Beyond
    Burnside - wish I could multi-click XP for your post. You've summed up my experiences better than I did above. What they should do: - Keep improving the character sheet. Yes. For the PDF export, I wish they would get away from the official format and come up with something more readable and usable. Hero Labs does a great job presenting info with checkboxes for consumables and daily / per-rest powers. They also need AL support. The fact that I create my characters in BOTH DDB and HeroLab so I can print in HL's format does not make for a good endorsement of DDB. BUT I *MUCH* prefer the new *digital* character sheet on DDB, so much so that I prefer using it during play over pen and paper, which is a huge departure from long-held preferences and prejudices regarding using electronic devices at the table. I would also be nice if there was some panel view for the DM of all of the characters in the campaign AND if that would sync effects and hitpoints. Basically a networked combat tracker....

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Thursday, 27th June, 2019

  • 02:57 AM - Nebulous quoted Burnside in post Combining Phandelver & Icespire Peak
    This is when LMoP opens up into region-based subquests anyway. So you make the first three of DoIP's "follow up quests" available as written. From there, the party follows up as desired on whatever threads or quests they choose to pursue. Might have to slow level advancement down a bit, but honestly that's more like bringing it back to normal since with DoIP leveling as written is quite accelerated. From DoIP, you would just cut the three "starter" quests. From LMoP, you probably cut Old Owl Well, Wyvern Tor, and Thundertree in favor of the superior 3rd-4th level side quests in DoIP. Wave Echo probably gets tackled before Cryovain's lair. I would hate to cut Thundertree. That was one of my favorite parts of Phandelver, and I do love the idea of a white and green young dragon circling over overlapping territory and occasionally clashing with the PCs in view. As for Wave Echo Cave, I'm debating on how to tackle that, as a continuity of the old original story or keep it as written in the origi...

Tuesday, 25th June, 2019

  • 06:26 PM - Parmandur quoted Burnside in post D&D Essentials Kit Offers a New Place to Start
    One other note: there seems to be more of an acknowledgement by the designers that a LOT of people now use minis - much more so than the Starter Kit. Just about every location gets a map with a 1 square = 5' scale. Interesting: NewbieDM observed the opposite, that the rules never mention miniature usage and assume They're of the Mind entirely.
  • 08:08 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Burnside in post D&D Essentials Kit Offers a New Place to Start
    One other note: there seems to be more of an acknowledgement by the designers that a LOT of people now use minis - much more so than the Starter Kit. Just about every location gets a map with a 1 square = 5' scale. They are much more easily available than they where in the 80s, I supose a combination of 3D printing and online shopping.

Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

  • 04:51 AM - GlassJaw quoted Burnside in post best DDAL storylines for a home mini-campaign?
    My experience running the tier one adventures from AL Season 5 as a home campaign, with a few other one-shots mixed in: https://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?587283-AL-Season-5-without-AL Awesome, thanks! I'm definitely going to check this out. I'm looking forward to the new essentials boxed set coming out soon. It takers place around Phandalin again. There are also more Phandalin modules on DMsGuild that follow up LMoP. That sounds good but did you read my post? I specifically don't want to run LMoP. I just finished running it for another group and want to DM something different. I've heard good things about some of the Elemental Evil/DDEX2 modules but don't know much about them. Do they form a continuing story line?

Monday, 17th June, 2019

  • 02:23 PM - Garthanos quoted Burnside in post Intelligent Blademaster Swordmage from 4e, how might I build him for 5e.
    You could also ask your DM if they would allow you to make a warlock who uses intelligence instead of charisma as their spellcasting ability. If so, a Hexblade/Pact of the Blade warlock could get you a lot of what you're looking for. I allow warlocks at my table to choose intelligence, wisdom, or charisma as their spellcasting ability on character creation - so far it has never caused any balance issues, and for rp purposes has allowed players to have warlocks who are smart or crafty and not necessarily social butterflies. I was considering some of this kind of flexibility Modify Eldritch Knight Arcane Weaponmastery at level 3 when you chose this subclass you have begun to integrate you spellcraft with your weapon use for purposes of attack and magic. Choose one mental attribute this attribute as your spell casting attribute. This attribute becomes the basis of your attack roll and a penalty to saving throws against any of your spells which grant one. Note the above still leaves Dex and Str...
  • 01:40 AM - Garthanos quoted Burnside in post Intelligent Blademaster Swordmage from 4e, how might I build him for 5e.
    I think Eldritch Knight or Bladesinger, as others have mentioned, would be your best bets using existing rules. The green-flame blade cantrip would allow you to attack with your sword, do some magical damage, AND apply your spell-casting ability modifier (Intelligence) to your damage roll, although not your attack roll. The opposite of Green Flame Blade in 4e interestingly and yes it was one of his abilities. Green Flame blade could affect any number of enemies adjacent to the one you hit though I called it splash damage. Swordburst is another one of his favorites for clearing out adjacent minions and the like. I kind of like flavoring that one as more martial like a whirling dervish attack. The eldritch knight is a fighter who specializes in evocation and abjuration magic, which sounds like the sorts of spells you want. Their hit points are as good as any other fighter. That part works well enough. Bladesingers have an ability that allows them to apply their Intelligence modifie...

Wednesday, 5th June, 2019

  • 07:39 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Burnside in post Ghosts of Saltmarsh: A Review
    Has anybody seen a review of this product anywhere that isn't "first impressions" or a "flip through", but done by a critic who has actually read the entire book, including all the adventures? I've read it quite thoroughly, and I'm planning on running "The Styles" from it this week. But I can't be bothered to write a review.

Tuesday, 28th May, 2019

  • 02:10 AM - Prakriti quoted Burnside in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    Oh my players almost definitely won't kill them. The problem is that the adventure assumes they definitely will kill then, and makes no allowances for them NOT doing so. Parlaying with or interrogating them would render 90% of Danger at Dunwater moot. Ah... That is an issue then. Even the most obvious solution--having the lizardfolk take up arms and fight to the death--is imperfect, since unlike in 1E, players can knock targets unconscious at 0 HP. So if the players go that route with the intent to interrogate the lizardfolk, what do you do? Do cyanide pills exist in Greyhawk? Um... I guess they do now. :)
  • 01:34 AM - Prakriti quoted Burnside in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    To me the glaring flaw in this adventure as written isn't to do with the house. It's the three lizardfolk on the Sea Ghost. They explicitly start out non-hostile to the adventurers (mistaking them for smugglers). But the writers of this adventure - and indeed the entire follow-up adventure, Danger at Dunwater - don't seem to anticipate the possibility that the heroes would take any course of action other than immediately butchering them on sight. Maybe change it to two humans and a lizardfolk to cause some hesitation. Or trust that, now that lizardfolk are a playable race in 5E, your players won't kill them on sight.

Saturday, 18th May, 2019

  • 01:36 AM - Prakriti quoted Burnside in post The New Dungeons & Dragons Storyline for 2019 Leaked Ahead of Live Stream
    I really have to commend them for this stream being so much better so far than the Stream of Many Eyes, which frankly was kinda cringe-y. They correctly gave all the hosting duties to Anna Prosser, and it's just games and interviews about the new stuff. So much less awkward. Yeah, this format reminds me of the stream they did for Storm King's Thunder in 2016. The presence of a live audience makes a big difference.
  • 01:30 AM - Abstruse quoted Burnside in post The New Dungeons & Dragons Storyline for 2019 Leaked Ahead of Live Stream
    I really have to commend them for this stream being so much better so far than the Stream of Many Eyes, which frankly was kinda cringe-y. They correctly gave all the hosting duties to Anna Prosser, and it's just games and interviews about the new stuff. So much less awkward. I really wish they'd hire NewbieDM as director frankly. He has the knowledge and experience to do this right and the passion for the subject matter. The camera angles and changes are really, really bad. It's been jarring to me constantly trying to cover this and I actually scared my cats out of the room yelling about poor framing on Anna Prosser at one point is was bothering me so badly.

Friday, 17th May, 2019


Saturday, 4th May, 2019

  • 05:07 AM - MNblockhead quoted Burnside in post Heroes of Baldur's Gate is a D&D Adventure From Bioware's Baldur's Gate Designer
    Okay. So having read most of the adventure, I'd have to amend my review to emphasize a fairly important point. I don't think the designers are really familiar with 5E. And by that I mean, if it didn't exist in 2E, it pretty much doesn't exist in this adventure. Four chapters in, zero skill checks of any kind except lock picking. No perception, no persuasion, no investigation, no stealth, nothing but lock picking. No advantage or disadvantage. No warlocks, no tieflings, no dragonborn, no characters with any race/class combinations that didn't exist in 2E. No monsters that didn't exist in 2E. I realize that for some this is just fine - but it's something that should definitely be known in advance. It's like someone wrote a 2E adventure and then kinda sorta did the absolute bare minimum humanly possible to almost make it 5E. But if you're a DM planning to deliver what 5E players are generally used to from a published adventure, burden is on you to do so. You're given fights, talking, and picking...
  • 01:39 AM - Tazawa quoted Burnside in post Heroes of Baldur's Gate is a D&D Adventure From Bioware's Baldur's Gate Designer
    Okay. So having read most of the adventure, I'd have to amend my review to emphasize a fairly important point. I don't think the designers are really familiar with 5E. And by that I mean, if it didn't exist in 2E, it pretty much doesn't exist in this adventure. Four chapters in, zero skill checks of any kind except lock picking. No perception, no persuasion, no investigation, no stealth, nothing but lock picking. No advantage or disadvantage. No warlocks, no tieflings, no dragonborn, no characters with any race/class combinations that didn't exist in 2E. No monsters that didn't exist in 2E. I realize that for some this is just fine - but it's something that should definitely be known in advance. It's like someone wrote a 2E adventure and then kinda sorta did the absolute bare minimum humanly possible to almost make it 5E. But if you're a DM planning to deliver what 5E players are generally used to from a published adventure, burden is on you to do so. You're given fights, talking, and picking...

Friday, 3rd May, 2019

  • 04:30 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted Burnside in post Heroes of Baldur's Gate is a D&D Adventure From Bioware's Baldur's Gate Designer
    Hee hee. Sadly, there are bits of it that work exactly like your example. Oh dear.
  • 04:07 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted Burnside in post Heroes of Baldur's Gate is a D&D Adventure From Bioware's Baldur's Gate Designer
    Well yeah I think we can all agree that Chapter 2 of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist is pretty much the worst case scenario for handling stuff like this. Disclosure: I haven't read/played Dragon Heist.
  • 03:36 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted Burnside in post Heroes of Baldur's Gate is a D&D Adventure From Bioware's Baldur's Gate Designer
    Of course that's true. But there is still a basic level of skill checks one generally expects to see written into 5E adventures (for example, to spot a secret door) that is absent here. And the reason some DMs buy a pre-written adventure is exactly do avoid doing that work themselves. The adventure in general doesn't anticipate using skills to overcome challenges, and doesn't build in any place to use them. There are people you talk to, and people you kill. It's pretty binary. Of course situations will arise organically where some skills come into play. But in most 5E adventures, there are built-in opportunities and this is clearly a deviation from that design philosophy, a couple of Survival checks in chapter 2 notwithstanding. And yes, we all know "a good DM will fix it". I tend to judge adventures by how much work I need to do to "fix" them It doesn't need fixing. The structure of the adventure is quite open, with the players able to wander all over a city poking their noses into things ...
  • 03:18 PM - CapnZapp quoted Burnside in post Heroes of Baldur's Gate is a D&D Adventure From Bioware's Baldur's Gate Designer
    But the near-total absence of a good deal of game mechanics which the vast majority of users would absolutely expect to see included is definitely something I would like to have known before buying. No argument there!
  • 10:14 AM - CapnZapp quoted Burnside in post Heroes of Baldur's Gate is a D&D Adventure From Bioware's Baldur's Gate Designer
    Okay. So having read most of the adventure, I'd have to amend my review to emphasize a fairly important point. I don't think the designers are really familiar with 5E. And by that I mean, if it didn't exist in 2E, it pretty much doesn't exist in this adventure. Four chapters in, zero skill checks of any kind except lock picking. No perception, no persuasion, no investigation, no stealth, nothing but lock picking. No advantage or disadvantage. No warlocks, no tieflings, no dragonborn, no characters with any race/class combinations that didn't exist in 2E. No monsters that didn't exist in 2E. I realize that for some this is just fine - but it's something that should definitely be known in advance. It's like someone wrote a 2E adventure and then kinda sorta did the absolute bare minimum humanly possible to almost make it 5E. But if you're a DM planning to deliver what 5E players are generally used to from a published adventure, burden is on you to do so. You're given fights, talking, and picking...
  • 08:55 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Burnside in post Heroes of Baldur's Gate is a D&D Adventure From Bioware's Baldur's Gate Designer
    Yeah, TBH it's less of a "no dragonborn issue" and more of a "not a single investigation or perception check written into this adventure" issue, for me anyway. Firstly, that isn't true - there are lots of Survival checks in Chapter 2 for a start. And the other thing is I have never felt that skill checks needed to be "written in" to an adventure. If the party wants to hide from the gibberlings, they can make a stealth check. If they want to try and steal Boo they can make a Slight of Hand Check. I sometime write difficulty classes for skill checks in to an adventure - if I'm designing a trap for example - but more often skill checks arise from the party's actions during play. Nor is it a 2nd edition / 5e conflict. 2nd edition had skill checks for Open Locks, Find Traps, Pick Pockets, Remove Traps, Climb Walls, Hide In Shadows and Move Silently, as well as Reaction checks (using Charisma) when interacting with NPCs. You will find most of those (apart from Climb Walls) in the CRPG Baldur's ...


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