View Profile: ThePlanarDM - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • ThePlanarDM's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 03:05 PM
    D&D Planescape creator Zeb Cook and designer Colin McComb graciously answered my questions for the following article about the evolution of Tieflings from 2e to 5e. The article also links to the full text of our interviews, where they share their insight into the race and the design decisions behind developing it. I had a lot of fun researching and writing this article, and was beyond thrilled...
    104 replies | 2821 view(s)
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    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 02:32 PM
    Thanks, this took a lot of time and is not the type of article I'll be able to write often. I was struck by how helpful and responsive everyone I contacted was. I coldcall contacted Colin and Zeb on Twitter and Facebook, then sent them questions, and they gave so much of their time to help a random blogger. Plus the artists (and Anna, creator of Judge on The Chain of Acheron) were equally...
    104 replies | 3355 view(s)
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  • ThePlanarDM's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 01:59 PM
    D&D Planescape creator Zeb Cook and designer Colin McComb graciously answered my questions for the following article about the evolution of Tieflings from 2e to 5e. The article also links to the full text of our interviews, where they share their insight into the race and the design decisions behind developing it. I had a lot of fun researching and writing this article, and was beyond thrilled...
    104 replies | 3355 view(s)
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About ThePlanarDM

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Creator of the www.ThePlanarDM.com, a website designed to provide advice to GMs and players running the Planescape setting or adding Planar flair into their other settings.
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Thursday, 11th July, 2019


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Wednesday, 10th July, 2019

  • 02:47 PM - lowkey13 quoted ThePlanarDM in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    Thanks, this took a lot of time and is not the type of article I'll be able to write often. I was struck by how helpful and responsive everyone I contacted was. I coldcall contacted Colin and Zeb on Twitter and Facebook, then sent them questions, and they gave so much of their time to help a random blogger. Plus the artists (and Anna, creator of Judge on The Chain of Acheron) were equally helpful. Really gave me positive vibes about the DND community. That's great- and it makes me so very happy when people take the time out to get responses from the sources about how certain things came about. I mean, Tieflings may not be my cup of tea, but a LOT of people really like them, and doing this type of research helps the whole community! :) I hope you keep it up and do some more research into Planescape. I'm sure there are a lot of fascinating stories to tell.

Friday, 7th June, 2019

  • 08:54 AM - 5ekyu quoted ThePlanarDM in post Torture Should Not Work in Dungeons & Dragons
    Sorry, having serious formatting problems and unable to quote the previous post, but I agree with the idea that this relates to how information is disseminated in D&D. I would add the that the rules and norms of D&D shape the default play style in a defined way. Of course the DM should change it to suit her table, and I suggest a number of ways to do that. And probably most good DM's are already doing many of the things I suggested -- and more -- since they are not groundbreaking suggestions......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... ..................................My goal was to link these game elements with our understanding of how torture works in real life, and thereby discourage a real problem that I have seen in DND games. ...
  • 04:24 AM - Charlaquin quoted ThePlanarDM in post Hidden

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 10:08 PM - Shiroiken quoted ThePlanarDM in post Torture Should Not Work in Dungeons & Dragons
    Torture doesn't work in real life. But in #DND games, the PCs' primary means of gathering information often is leaving one enemy alive and then torturing them. 1) If the PCs need to torture enemies to gain information, perhaps you should consider your DMing style to have enemies react more realistically. Surrender, offering information in exchange for life and freedom would be a fairly common tactic for losers, except for the most loyal of soldiers (or cultists). 2)If your players automatically jump to torture as a primary method of gaining information, perhaps you should consider the quality of gamers you play with. I played with a group where I was CN, leaning towards evil, wanting the party to help redeem me from my evil ways (a redemption story), but they instead found letting me do the dirty work was perfectly acceptable to their morality. I no longer associate with these people.
  • 07:43 PM - Celebrim quoted ThePlanarDM in post Torture Should Not Work in Dungeons & Dragons
    Torture doesn't work in real life. I would dispute this claim. The US army field manuals and instructions issued to captured prisoners suggest that prisoners should expect that in the long run torture always works, and that they should not expect to hold out against prolonged torture by strength of will. There is abundant evidence of torture 'working', especially against prisoners who have not been trained in techniques of deception. I will in fact also dispute the claim that torture is a common practice in D&D, because generally there is no mechanism in D&D for using torture to compel anyone - PC or NPC - to cooperate. I've rarely seen PC's attempt torture, and those that do pretty much abandon it quickly when they realize that the rules give no practical benefit to torture. And likewise, NPC's torturing PC's is pointless, since by the rules the PC's never have to 'break' and I've never really felt a need to make up rules about torture since I don't really want it to be a focus ...
  • 04:48 PM - DMMike quoted ThePlanarDM in post Torture Should Not Work in Dungeons & Dragons
    Except that according to the player's handbook "the corpse is under no compulsion to offer a truthful answer if you are hostile to it or it recognizes you as an enemy". Well then. We've just found a justification for this: Unfortunately, the rules of 5th edition D&D encourage keeping a bad guy alive and then torturing him for information. As far as this goes, I suggest several ways the DM can discourage torture by adjusting gameplay mechanics and how their world reacts to the PCs. This is pretty easy. Since NPCs suffer no handicaps until they reach zero hit points, the tortured balks at all attempts prior to running out of hit points. "'Tis but a fleshwound!" Then, the poor soul conveniently fails every death save. Torture: useless.
  • 04:29 PM - jasper quoted ThePlanarDM in post Torture Should Not Work in Dungeons & Dragons
    http://theplanardm.com/torture-should-not-work-in-dungeons-dragons/ Torture doesn't work in real life. But in #DND games, the PCs' primary means of gathering information often is leaving one enemy alive and then torturing them. In this article, I explain why torture why it shouldn't work in Dungeons & Dragons, and how we can discourage PCs from torturing prisoners. Here's the summary: People say whatever they think will help end their torture. People are terrible at detecting lies, so torturers don't can't effectively separate truth from lies. Even in a game with magic and superhuman abilities, torture shouldn't work, because bosses would know this and stop sharing information with underlings. Unfortunately, the rules of 5th edition D&D encourage keeping a bad guy alive and then torturing him for information. I suggest several ways the DM can discourage torture by adjusting gameplay mechanics and how their world reacts to the PCs. ok I can solve your problem. ThePlanarDM," ...
  • 03:09 PM - jaelis quoted ThePlanarDM in post Torture Should Not Work in Dungeons & Dragons
    If you haven't run into this problem, great--my goal with the article is to help people who have experienced the problem find a way to solve it. And no, definitely have not run any scientific polls or controlled studies. But I have listened to a ton of different actual play podcasts and played in many games, and while many counters do not result in physical or mental torture at the end, it's come up enough that I view it as a trend or common tendency. That seems quite reasonable, but your OP includes a much broader statement that "the rules of 5th edition D&D encourage keeping a bad guy alive and then torturing him for information." If that isn't something you are setting out to defend, you might not want to include it.
  • 02:29 PM - Umbran quoted ThePlanarDM in post Torture Should Not Work in Dungeons & Dragons
    Torture doesn't work in real life. Agreed. It is a highly unreliable way to get information. But in #DND games, the PCs' primary means of gathering information often is leaving one enemy alive and then torturing them. Says who? I mean, did you do some massive polling, or something? The 5e rules have no mechanics for torture. There is an Intimidate skill, but looming over someone with implied threat of violence is not torture.
  • 02:28 PM - Raunalyn quoted ThePlanarDM in post Torture Should Not Work in Dungeons & Dragons
    Unfortunately, the rules of 5th edition D&D encourage keeping a bad guy alive and then torturing him for information. It does? Where?
  • 02:15 PM - Morrus quoted ThePlanarDM in post Torture Should Not Work in Dungeons & Dragons
    [URL]But in #DND games, the PCs' primary means of gathering information often is leaving one enemy alive and then torturing them. It is?

Monday, 29th April, 2019

  • 04:41 PM - DM Dave1 quoted ThePlanarDM in post How far is too far when describing what a PC senses and feels?
    I mostly agree, but would add that, if there's a situation where a character would obviously know he is gravely overmatched and thus appropriately terrified, I would tell that to the player. Or better yet, just tell the character something like, "you think one of these monsters would be difficult on its own--you don't think you stand a chance against five of them" without mentioning their fear. Players are often conditioned to believe fights are winnable and players do not have all the info that PCs do, so sometimes it's best just to spell things out very clearly, even if it means going beyond stimuli. There are other ways to deal with this so the players can decide for themselves without a DM telling them what their PCs think. One example would be to have the party encounter the bloody scene of another party of adventurers, freshly slaughtered. Shortly thereafter, based on observing some scratches on a few of the monsters and fresh gore on all their weapons, the players can cast thei...

Thursday, 21st March, 2019

  • 04:35 PM - Luz quoted ThePlanarDM in post Facing demon lords at full strength
    Maybe the group finds out about her immunity and has to go on a quest to find some MacGuffin that can reduce or eliminate it? Something like that. Maybe a magical device or creature(s) that empower her magic immunity like a battery. The PCs have to choose to destroy the device/creature(s) to reduce it or focus their attack on Lolth, much like a videogame boss.

Wednesday, 20th March, 2019

  • 11:30 PM - Greenstone.Walker quoted ThePlanarDM in post Facing demon lords at full strength
    They just don't do enough damage solo. If they devote all legendary actions to extra attacks and hit on every attack, you're looking at a range of 100 - 140 damage. Really? I guess it depends on the demon. We fought Yenoghu and in the first round of combat it had, essentially, nine attacks (at some high number, +16 if I remember right). We counted up something like 176 points of damage. In that same round we did just under 100 points, almost of which was from the paladin with Dawnbringer making a critical hit. Damage immunity meant my favourite attacking spell, animate objects, was useless. We trapped the demon in a wall of force becase we just couldn't hit it or damage it, and it teleported out. On the other hand, Yenoghu is a melee monster, literally. If we had someone with the hit points to tank it then we might have had some flying archers being efective. As it was, we just couldn't win the HP-HP numbers game.

Wednesday, 13th March, 2019

  • 06:38 PM - Enevhar Aldarion quoted ThePlanarDM in post Casting Verbal spells in armour
    Why the focus only on verbal components and not somatic? A wizard in breastplate out to have full use of her hands, no? Why would one need training to cast magic wearing one if one doesn't need training to speak using one? Because 5E does not do piecemeal armor? So most full sets of armor, especially the heavier stuff, would include a pair of gloves/gauntlets that are worn with the armor.

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