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    Today, 03:34 AM
    Indeed, and I have run an earlier version of this creature before with three melee mooks as support against a party of newbie players, and it went down in three turns without dealing a tremendous amount of damage, even though it got the drop on them casting Stinking Cloud. In practice, a melee leader is a prime and easily accessible target, so running high on the DCR allows it to have at least a...
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  • ZenBear's Avatar
    Today, 02:52 AM
    Using the Monster Statistics by Challenge Rating from the DMG, it has 91 HP and 12 AC, putting it squarely in the CR 2 range. The Tough trait (Undead Fortitude) adds 7 effective CR according to the DMG, so it's definitely on the high end but still CR 2. Offensively, it can do 14 damage with its censer putting it in the CR 1 range, +5 to hit bumps that up to CR 2. The disease effect doesn't do...
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  • ZenBear's Avatar
    Today, 02:02 AM
    Copy/pasting from D&D Beyond where I'm building this. It's a Plague Priest, from Warhammer: Fantasy, that I'm converting to 5e. I want it to have a version of the Vermintide spell from Total War: Warhammer where they summon a unit of clanrats, but in this case I'm thinking Giant Rats (Diseased) or Swarms of Rats. I intend to use these in multiple campaigns, so party composition will vary. ...
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  • ZenBear's Avatar
    Today, 12:16 AM
    I'm working on some homebrew spellcasters, and I want them to have Conjure Animals on their spell list. The question I have is, how do I balance an encounter with this in mind? The spellcaster is only CR 2 by itself, but it can conjure 8 CR 1/4 beasts which immediately turns a Medium encounter for 4 2nd level characters into a Deadly encounter for 4 4th level characters. I understand the party...
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  • ZenBear's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:58 PM
    ZenBear started a thread Breaking the Mold
    What are some of your favorite, effective builds that don't really fit the usual mold for the class? I personally love my heavily armored, lawful good Rogue. VHuman Inquisitive Rogue STR: 17 DEX: 10 CON: 14 INT: 12 WIS: 14 CHA: 8 Moderately Armored @ level 1. With scale mail and a shield your AC at level 1 is 16, higher than most Rogues with 16 DEX in leather. Pick up Heavily Armored at 4...
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  • ZenBear's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:58 PM
    Iíll keep you posted, though it will be some time before the scaling takes effect. Thanks again for the feedback everyone!
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  • ZenBear's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:39 AM
    Well to be honest, Iíve always considered it a fantastic feat, but also that it seems to massively drop in value at higher levels. Now that Iím really thinking about it and hearing from yíall, I realize my analysis might be wrong. That being said, the players in my new campaign are pretty adamant that the feat is bad, and the one of them that is brand new to the game was considering it until the...
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  • ZenBear's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 05:43 AM
    ZenBear started a thread Healer feat change
    Iím trying to think of interesting ways to make the Healer feat more relevant in the later levels. Iíve considered higher quality healer kits to add more d6s, as well as incorporating various flora that can be scavenged to remedy conditions or provide buffs. A new idea I just thought of would be to eliminate the healing portion of the feat altogether, keeping the 1 hp stabilize action, and...
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  • ZenBear's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:23 PM
    Alright, comments noted, thanks for the feedback! I donít feel compelled to adjust the damage type so much, but I do still want to fix melee. Iíll adjust the wording so that you have to take the attack action in order to gain the bonus damage so thereís no chance for Booming Blade cheese, though to be honest sheís brand new to D&D so I doubt sheíd even know how or care to try, but I still want to...
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  • ZenBear's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 06:37 PM
    I have a new player in my group that has decided to play a CoS Druid, and in the interest of making her experience as much fun as possible, Iíve done a little research into the class and come up with some minor tweaks. Iím thinking that in order to compensate for the inherent weakness of the poison damage type, all spore effects will do two-type damage, poison and necrotic. This overcomes...
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  • ZenBear's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 08:16 PM
    ZenBear started a thread D&D: Become Human
    In my hombrew setting there exists a mountain civilization called the Kingdom Underhill where Dwarves, Gnomes and Halflings (oh my) coexist. Their government is a parliamentary monarchy, in a certain sense like Britain with a figurehead monarch, with a council of three elected officials, one for each race, that make most of the decisions. In recent decades, a brilliant Gnomish Artificer named Dr....
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  • ZenBear's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 12:29 PM
    In my experience, most DMs run relatively low magic settings, where spellcasters of any level are extremely rare. Iím curious though, if thatís the case, how you deal with brazen murder hobo PCs? If your players threaten a village with violence to get their way, do you have high level Fighters as a check back? Are enemy spellcasters just as rare as friendly ones? I understand that high magic...
    24 replies | 917 view(s)
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Wednesday, 19th June, 2019


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Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

  • 05:22 AM - Blue quoted ZenBear in post Conjure Animals Encounter CR
    The spellcaster is only CR 2 by itself, but it can conjure 8 CR 1/4 beasts which immediately turns a Medium encounter for 4 2nd level characters into a Deadly encounter for 4 4th level characters. Adding eight CR 1/4 beasts woulds change the CR of the encounter like you say. Having a spell which costs an action to use, precludes use of any other Concentration spell by the caster, and all of the creatures can be lost with a single missed Concentration check - and will be lost with inflicting the "dead" condition on the caster - is not quite as strong. Also remember that the neutral DM chooses what arrives, not the hostile caster played by the DM. (Clarified in the errata.) Tailor the encounter like you'd tailor any other. In theory cast spells don't change the CR. We already covered the discussion about theory and practice, so I'd up it. Value them somewhere between nothing and their expected value if they were real beasts, based on how well or poorly you think the party will thin...
  • 03:26 AM - Blue quoted ZenBear in post Conjure Animals Encounter CR
    Using the Monster Statistics by Challenge Rating from the DMG, it has 91 HP and 12 AC, putting it squarely in the CR 2 range. The difference between theory and practice is that, in theory there's no difference... In other words, you can arrange elements that come in to a particular CR, but in play it it can be a lot stronger or weaker. Especially depending on the synergies with it's abilities, with it's allies and depending on the PCs that fight it. Heck, a melee heavy party can find a bunch of foes with a climb speed and ranged attacks to be well above their CR rating in the right environment. The numbers are there for a guideline - not a proof.

Tuesday, 18th June, 2019

  • 02:24 PM - dnd4vr quoted ZenBear in post Healer feat change
    Well to be honest, Iíve always considered it a fantastic feat, but also that it seems to massively drop in value at higher levels. Now that Iím really thinking about it and hearing from yíall, I realize my analysis might be wrong. That being said, the players in my new campaign are pretty adamant that the feat is bad, and the one of them that is brand new to the game was considering it until the others shot the idea down. So, taking advice from here and another forum I posted on, Iíve decided to change the healing value to Xd6+(2xProficiency)+HD, where Xd6 is dependent on the quality of the healerís kit. This way it doesnít get any better at low levels when itís super effective, but maintains its punch later on. I donít think this is a game breaking buff, and it seems to have satisfied the party. Iíll adjust the difficulty of encounters if it ends up OP. Well, I suppose it depends a lot on how much healing your party needs and how your encounters are run. At our table, that would be OP, but i...
  • 04:16 AM - dnd4vr quoted ZenBear in post Healer feat change
    Iím trying to think of interesting ways to make the Healer feat more relevant in the later levels. Iíve considered higher quality healer kits to add more d6s, as well as incorporating various flora that can be scavenged to remedy conditions or provide buffs. A new idea I just thought of would be to eliminate the healing portion of the feat altogether, keeping the 1 hp stabilize action, and instead allow a use of a kit charge during a short rest to maximize hit dice recovery. This obsoletes the Durable feat, but I never see anyone take that anyway. Thoughts? I am curious why you think the Healer Feat is irrelevant at higher levels? By my estimate, you can use it up to three times a day on each party member, and with a party 15th-level characters your average use is over 22 hit points per character, or more than 67 hit points per day. If you have four party members you can heal, that amounts to an average of 270 hit points a day... for a feat. In case you're interested, that is equal to ...

Saturday, 15th June, 2019

  • 05:16 AM - Kobold Stew quoted ZenBear in post Circle of Spores minor buff
    Iím thinking that in order to compensate for the inherent weakness of the poison damage type, all spore effects will do two-type damage, poison and necrotic. This overcomes several monstersí Immunities, though most higher level undead have Immunity and/or Resistance to one or both, and all ethereal type undead are fully immune. It strikes me as odd that a subclass that has explicit motivation to kill high level undead is so incapable of doing so... Halo of spores already does necrotic damage, doesn't it? I would leave it like that. I also want to make Symbiotic Entity activate with a bonus action so they can still attack on that turn, The effect lasts ten minutes (100 turns); I really think using an action to activate it is fine -- most of the time, players will activate it before combat starts, so really you are talking about re-activating it, and surprise situations. and have its damage bonus to melee attacks do two-type damage and scale with level on par with cantrips (1d6 @ 2, 2d6 @ ...

Sunday, 9th June, 2019


Thursday, 30th May, 2019

  • 06:26 PM - Celebrim quoted ZenBear in post Low Magic Setting, High Magic Characters
    In my experience, most DMs run relatively low magic settings, where spellcasters of any level are extremely rare. Iím curious though, if thatís the case, how you deal with brazen murder hobo PCs? If your players threaten a village with violence to get their way, do you have high level Fighters as a check back? Are enemy spellcasters just as rare as friendly ones? I understand that high magic settings can get a little wonky when you consider the implications of various higher level spells on the economy, but I worry about players running roughshod over local authorities when even a 5th level Wizard is an astronomical rarity. You are hitting on a real problem with running a gritty low magic setting, often with 1e AD&D inspired demographics where PC classed individuals are rare. If the PC's are that different from the norm, then they can easily run roughshod over the populace. So there are a couple of basic approaches that depend on how you want to handle this, and you can mix and match w...
  • 01:19 PM - Charlaquin quoted ZenBear in post Low Magic Setting, High Magic Characters
    In my experience, most DMs run relatively low magic settings, where spellcasters of any level are extremely rare. Iím curious though, if thatís the case, how you deal with brazen murder hobo PCs? If your players threaten a village with violence to get their way, do you have high level Fighters as a check back? Are enemy spellcasters just as rare as friendly ones? I understand that high magic settings can get a little wonky when you consider the implications of various higher level spells on the economy, but I worry about players running roughshod over local authorities when even a 5th level Wizard is an astronomical rarity. Simple solution: set the expectation ahead of time that the PCs be heroes. Make it clear that evil characters are not appropriate PCs for you campaign, and if a PC starts to veer into evil behavior, they may become an NPC. Then follow through with that if your players start acting like conquerors who can do whatever they want without consequence just because thereís no one ...
  • 12:55 PM - Quartz quoted ZenBear in post Low Magic Setting, High Magic Characters
    If your players threaten a village with violence to get their way, do you have high level Fighters as a check back? The village will let them get their way, and complain to their ruler who will send a group of specialists - perhaps another group of adventurers - to deal with the PCs. You can forestall this behaviour by your PCs by having them the ones who are hired to put down another unruly group before they themselves start to become unruly. They'll get the message. If you want the villagers themselves to take action, two-part poisons are your go-to thing. The food they eat in the tavern has one part of the poison, the candles in their rooms the other part. The PCs simply don't wake up.

Monday, 29th April, 2019

  • 11:04 PM - iserith quoted ZenBear in post Zombies Grappling/Shoving
    By RAW, I don't know if Zombies are technically allowed to take special attack actions like Shove. However, I think that's kind of a dumb rule. It's also a rule that doesn't exist. So don't worry about it. Zombies can absolutely grapple and shove. MM, p. 10: "When a monster takes its action, it can choose from the options in the Actions section of its stat block or use one of the actions available to all creatures..." Has anyone ever done this before in your game? Did it last session, in fact. Some zombies grabbed the cleric and dragged him away from the rest of the party who were dealing with an ogre zombie, doppleganger, and a necromancer in a crowded marketplace. The cleric had already turned the ogre zombie before these other zombies arrived on the scene, so the cleric didn't have that option available to him when they grappled him. Do you think zombies should be too dumb to use such tactics? Any good tactic that a zombie is seen to employ (or any monster for that mat...

Friday, 26th April, 2019

  • 09:17 AM - MonsterEnvy quoted ZenBear in post The King that Crawls
    Thanks everyone. I keep forgetting to specify the setting, but Iím asking about the Forgotten Realms. Heís a great tragic deity for my homebrew campaign setting, but I wonít be able to use him in my story. Oh well. Just say he's a Demon Lord there.

Wednesday, 24th April, 2019

  • 09:50 PM - jasper quoted ZenBear in post The King that Crawls
    Does anyone know if Torog is still canonical for 5th Edition? I name-dropped him in my campaign for the Halloween session, where a Chain Devil chased my party of 4th level characters through the Underdark when they happened across it during its pilgrimage down The King's Highway. I'm curious if I could add him in a story I'm writing that I intend to be as canonically accurate as I can make it. BEWARE OF NON-CANON. THE CANON COPS LEd BY MORRUS WILL KNOW. THEY WILL PEE ON YOUR KITCHEN FLOOR. KNOCK STUFF OFF THE FRIDGE. HIDE YOUR DICE BAG. WAIT A MINUTE. THAT IS MY ELDER CAT SOCKS.
  • 09:44 PM - jasper quoted ZenBear in post The King that Crawls
    Does anyone know if Torog is still canonical for 5th Edition? I name-dropped him in my campaign for the Halloween session, where a Chain Devil chased my party of 4th level characters through the Underdark when they happened across it during its pilgrimage down The King's Highway. I'm curious if I could add him in a story I'm writing that I intend to be as canonically accurate as I can make it. My the power invested in my due to my great DMing skills, I pronounce it canon. AKA CANON is what the DM says is canon.

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 08:25 PM - UnknownDyson quoted ZenBear in post The King that Crawls
    Thanks everyone. I keep forgetting to specify the setting, but Iím asking about the Forgotten Realms. Heís a great tragic deity for my homebrew campaign setting, but I wonít be able to use him in my story. Oh well. You know, you could make him an interloper deity in your FR campaign. An interloper deity is a god that has migrated to FR from another dimension/universe. See Mulhorand Pantheon (Supposed to actually be the Egyptian pantheon from our Earth), there is also the Chained God.
  • 08:24 PM - dave2008 quoted ZenBear in post The King that Crawls
    Thanks everyone. I keep forgetting to specify the setting, but Iím asking about the Forgotten Realms. Heís a great tragic deity for my homebrew campaign setting, but I wonít be able to use him in my story. Oh well. Is there a particular reason you will not be able to use him? There are many gods and other NPCs that where not a thing in Forgotten Realms, until suddenly they where (I'm looking at you Tiamat an Acererak). You could easily create a reason for Torog to appear in the Forgotten Realms. Heck in the Dawn War Cannon his tunnels went into the shadofell as well, might they also burst into Realmspace?
  • 02:37 AM - dave2008 quoted ZenBear in post The King that Crawls
    Does anyone know if Torog is still canonical for 5th Edition? I name-dropped him in my campaign for the Halloween session, where a Chain Devil chased my party of 4th level characters through the Underdark when they happened across it during its pilgrimage down The King's Highway. I'm curious if I could add him in a story I'm writing that I intend to be as canonically accurate as I can make it. There is not a single D&D "canon." Are you talking about Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, Eberron, Dragonlnace, Dawn War/Nentir Vale, etc. ? As far as I know Torog was introduced in the 4e Dawn War / Nentir Vale setting. In 5e he is still listed as a god in the Dawn War setting, but there has been no official support for that setting other than mentioning it in the DMG. So I guess that means he is still canon in the Dawn War setting, but there is nothing official in 5e about him other than that.

Sunday, 31st March, 2019

  • 06:41 AM - Dausuul quoted ZenBear in post Bank Security
    What sort of security measures would you expect a bank to have in this setting? Assuming well-organized and educated management, what measures can be taken to, for example, ensure the stash of silver they just exchanged for gold isnít actually wood that has been transmuted via Minor Alchemy? Generally speaking, high-level magic is not required to deal with most threats of this kind. Mundane or low-level solutions will suffice. For example: If someone wants to exchange coins or other precious materials, and the amount is significant, the exchange goods must be left at the bank for 1 hour. You get a receipt. After 1 hour, you can exchange the receipt for the thing you wanted to trade for. Anyone entering is scanned by a 1st-level wizard whose job is to stand there ritual-casting detect magic over and over all day long. The wizard notifies bank staff if there are any suspicious magical auras on you or the items you offer for trade. Vaults are lined with lead against detection spells. W...
  • 05:13 AM - Blue quoted ZenBear in post Bank Security
    What sort of security measures would you expect a bank to have in this setting? In what setting? Makes all the difference. An Eberron bank that was a brnach of House Kundarak would be a heck of a lot different then am underground bank for rebels and shadowy types not under the eye of the Sorcerer Kings in Dark Sun vs. a Dwarven Clan's bank in FR that's not open to non-dwarves.
  • 12:11 AM - Iry quoted ZenBear in post Bank Security
    What sort of security measures would you expect a bank to have in this setting? Assuming well-organized and educated management, what measures can be taken to, for example, ensure the stash of silver they just exchanged for gold isnít actually wood that has been transmuted via Minor Alchemy?Small army of Shadesteel Golems, some Warforged tellers that double as security, with a 15th level Sorcerer as a hostage negotiator. You play in the Tippyverse, right? B-)

Friday, 29th March, 2019

  • 08:04 PM - TaranTheWanderer quoted ZenBear in post Portraying Portent
    TaranTheWanderer Love your name. Thereís a special place in my heart for the Chronicles of Prydain. ❤️ Thanks for the responses, all! I think I like Taranís suggestion best, I feel like there needs to be some active input from the Diviner to best fit the mechanic. Still open for more suggestions though! Thanks. The thing I'd point out is if, in the unlikely event that they can't do their divination(like being tied up and a prisoner), this mode of portent might prevent them from doing getting their dice. You might give them inspiration if you want to deny them a special ability that they should get every day. Or, i'd encourage them to describe how they do their portent in that tricky situation. Maybe they fashion some straw into divining stick or they do the farmers almanac trick: "3 crows are sitting in a tree outside my cell window. Crows are an omen of bad luck and the number three signifies xyz." Portents come in all kinds of forms. A Diviner knows how to...


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