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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Today, 01:01 AM
    I said no, and they said ok. Or he said no and I said ok, depending on what side of the table i was on. There wasn't really so much twisty optimizing going on back then though. You played a class and lived with the restrictions. Really, the only class whose restrictions got moneyed with was the Paladin, because, yeah, LG blech.
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Today, 12:32 AM
    That's because Comprehension Through Pugilation isn't a listed skill in 5E. It should be.
    43 replies | 658 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Today, 12:22 AM
    People always complain about the difficulty in getting players to a world knowledge level even approaching what a PC would have. Then, in some instances when that does happen, their knees jerk so hard they're a danger to themselves and others. So long as the players are being moderate and in character, there's nothing wrong with a PC knowing about trolls and fire. Now, there's a line there,...
    21 replies | 559 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:39 PM
    Not that it necessarily matters in a 5E skills context, but weak people can't do parkour, just like clumsy people can't. As an endeavor it's pretty neatly balanced right between STR and DEX. Mind you so, for the most part, is real life Acrobatics and that's a straight dex skill, so YMMV. Also, I think DEX has enough toys already that it doesn't need another really cool one.
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:19 PM
    The really important question is can I have my sidekick ride my animal companion so I can begin my plan of world domination using dog-mounted halfing calvalry. Or maybe Sprites with little tiny lances mounted on squirrels ....
    24 replies | 669 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:12 PM
    The acrobatics skill covers most of what you want to do. Just don't be tempted to just replace Athletics with Acrobatics to keep a bunch of STR dump players happy. It might be easier to just write up some maneuvers and give them a DC and base stat, with some DEX and some STR. I'm currently keen on mix and match stat bonuses for edge case skill tests. One way to more adequately model parkour...
    17 replies | 407 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:19 PM
    You could also hack the action economy to make more robust use of bonus actions and reactions. Plus allow multiple attacks to be spread out of different initiative steps. For example, if everyone could use a bonus action (or reaction) to dodge in some way, they'd be more likely to try and move. Better mechanics for overwatch fire would help too, as would more granular rules for using cover. I...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:55 AM
    Don't get me wrong, I think D&D works fine with guns, up to a point. I'll quite happily use 5E for steampunk settings that use firearms and it's dandy. The firearms I use don't tend to be that much different than the missile weapons already in the game though. I up the damage a little, maybe monkey with the ranges, but I'm not changing much. I'm not aiming for deadly firearms though, which is...
    316 replies | 8535 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:43 AM
    Personally, I'm not actually going to rejig 5E for ranged combat at all. I use 5E for more traditional fantasy games and I'm completely happy with it (and the HP system)as-is. My first choice for a ranged heavy game would be a different system. However, playing with rules is fun, and I'm always interested in conceptual rules hacking.
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:33 AM
    IDK, INT would be like my third pick for Initiative, after DEX and WIS. I get why people are looking at INT for game balance reasons, but it "doesn't make enough sense" to me that I find it a bit of a turn off. Also, at higher levels, I don't think the Wizard also needs to be the fastest reacting character. Reaction time is a mixed bag, and there are arguments to be made for all three of DEX,...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:01 AM
    They can point all the fingers they like. :D The need to 'edit' monsters really depends on the players. It's not about how metagamey they are either, just how experienced. When the whole group has a more or less encyclopedic knowledge of the MM then you have to mix things up just to keep it fresh. I would also always be upfront with a group about how I'm using the MM - I'll tell 'em before hand...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 11:45 PM
    QFT - great system. There are still recent exemplars of urban fantasy that have been excellent. The show based on Lev Grossman's Magicians was good, Supernatural is going into it's 14th season and has been hugely popular, The Strain was good. Heck, even Riverdale is essentially urban fantasy. Ghosts, spooks, magic and the rest in a modern setting are still very popular and still seem to be...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 11:38 PM
    You can't really help but have this creep in in spots no matter how courageously players try to dampen their game knowledge. Honestly, I'd rather work with it than against it. INT or Arcana checks or whatever can provided a way to have players transfer that knowledge to their character. Those tidbits about what hurts what monster is the kind of professional knowledge one might expect a...
    21 replies | 559 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 05:48 PM
    When you change the duration of the rests it will almost assuredly up the number of encounters per rest that the party tries to push through. If the basic pattern of 2 shorts per long and 6-7 encounters per long doesn't change you'll be fine, obviously, but I don't think that's what you're going to get. You can't pressure a party with a time crunch when they need 24 hours to rest fully, nor 4...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 05:36 PM
    I was only addressing a specific portion of the complaints, and even then not dismissing them outright, just adding some much needed context. There are all sorts of other very legitimate complaints about the HP depending on what a group wants their campaign to feel like. It's not your presence either (awesome as that may be) as I was only indexing a limited portion of the conversation. Sorry if...
    316 replies | 8535 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 04:20 PM
    When you change the rests, even just duration, you drastically change the effectiveness of some of the classes. Just make sure you're up front with your players so they can avoid the short rest dependent classes (Monk and Warlock for example) because those classes are going to suck in your campaign. What is your actual goal in changing the rests? You aren't changing them just because, so lets...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 04:09 PM
    CapnZapp I think you're mistaking my point for something it's not. The lack of understanding specifically indexes the inability (by design) of HP to simulate damage from any real world weapons - HP as simulation. One big subset of arguments about HP and firearms is how while they might work for melee they don't for firearms (as a simulation). They don't 'work' for either, the only difference is...
    316 replies | 8535 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 05:22 AM
    The Dresden Files is great, but it's not without issues. First, in runs on the Fate engine, which isn't everyone's cup of tea (although I quite like it for the right game). Second, the game has some internal balance issues around magic, but nothing deal breaking IMO. It would do a fine job with a hunter based game mimicking Supernatural or indeed most of the settings in question where the magic...
    52 replies | 1458 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 05:02 AM
    Hmm. That's a pretty broad range. I think the extent to which a given example there is going end up with a combat intense 'average' session probably determines the usefulness of the D&D rule set. In a traditionally Lovecraftian horror game that has very little in the way of combat I'd probably pick another system. Everything else on that list would be doable, with the basic question being "can I...
    316 replies | 8535 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 03:52 AM
    Some players get decent mileage out of dipping fighter for 2 or 3 levels. Lvl 2 you get action surge and a fighting style, both which add solid combat value. If you want to go to three you could go battle master and add a bunch of maneuvers to your fighting which are both effective and pretty fluffy for martial arts. If you don't want to MC, then the advice above is solid.
    9 replies | 332 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 01:53 AM
    Even if that save wasn't all that easy to make it would be cool. There are lots of examples in fantasy fiction where heroes shrug off magic through sheer force of will and whatnot.
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 01:50 AM
    Hmm. Well, you could treat Wisdom in a similar fashion and just split the skills into two lists. The line between INT and WIS is murky at best, but I think you could probably get two lists together that made sense. On the Perception side of things you could always brew up a rule that lets you use WIS to save versus surprise or even make it a second option for initiative. Reflexes, which is...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd June, 2019, 12:08 AM
    I'm a big fan of voyage of discovery type adventures, whether their more realistic or more Indiana Jones-y. It's a fun kind of story. The nature of ship travel also lends itself very well to nice, manageable, self contained adventure episodes. On the gothic horror front what's the mental image you have there? Mostly I default to something that feels like the show Supernatural, which is a...
    316 replies | 8535 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 11:57 PM
    Given the stories I like to tell, and my players like to play, I am completely content with this being how HP interact with firearms.
    316 replies | 8535 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 11:06 PM
    I thought immediately of this as well but I think it comes with a caveat of needing plausibility. It'll seem like just another cheap trick otherwise.
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 09:04 PM
    I wasn't advocating against the dip, just wondering about the longer range plan. I love Bardlock builds anyway, so I'm on board no matter what you do. Hexblade/Valour fits really well, for both combat and spell casting. I'm guessing you want to start bard for the skills and then dip Warlock? Given the rest of your party I can see you wanting to dabble you toes in the tankier end of what Warlocks...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 04:57 PM
    I didn't say anyone wasn't content (I am btw) with certain things, nor that the system might be better at one that the other (it i). The fact remains that, contentedness aside, D&D isn't modelling accurate damage from any kind of weapon. An individual might not be happy about how HP models faux-modern ranged combat, but really, so what? It isn't designed to do that. The point at which people find...
    316 replies | 8535 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 04:43 PM
    I think it would be really difficult to write a game that supported even most of the current takes on urban fantasy. Reconciling, for example, the approach taken by the show Supernatural, with the Dresden Files, with Lev Grossman's Magicians with, say, the more dreamlike urban fantasy of Charles De Lint, seems an insurmountable task. Some of the broad strokes fit together, but the details? Not so...
    52 replies | 1458 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 03:35 PM
    That sounds cool, I like Booming Blade when players get creative with it. I know you said Hand Crossbow, but the picture that jumped into my head was a not-huge Bard with a massive greatsword. Very, hmm, anime, maybe? Yeah, small guy, big huge sword. Anyway.. You do have a lot of pieces to your build - do you anticipate playing until, say, 10th level? If your build doesn't really come online...
    7 replies | 301 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 03:25 PM
    Yup, sounds fluffy to me, I'd allow it. It's an edge case anyway - if you can move between multiple attacks in an action it's ridiculous that you wouldn't be able to in a bonus action. I try to avoid that sort of RAW-related silliness when I can.
    16 replies | 527 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 03:09 PM
    Not by the RAW no, but I don't see a reason why this wouldn't work as a house rule. As maybe call it reroll saves, or get a save if you don't normally get one (at DMs discretion). Generally speaking I like that a lot, although there may be some specific cases where it's troublesome.
    7 replies | 327 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 03:04 PM
    You don't get that issue about greatswords because at a very fundamental level most people don't understand medieval combat and it's consequences at all. Most people have at least a semi-fictionalized understanding of guns and what they actually do, even people with firearms training and solid theoretical understanding of firearms injury. You can see that particular knowledge gap at work in this...
    316 replies | 8535 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 12:49 AM
    Cheating? Who said anything about cheating? You're entitled to your opinion of metagaming of course, but kindly refrain from telling me my business when all you're talking about is your opinion. It's not nearly a simple enough topic for you to be patronizingly dismissive about other people's ability to run a game and manage a table.
    139 replies | 2994 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:12 PM
    Players, being the paranoid dung-flinging primates they are, will always and forever read a universe of meaning into the DMs word choice. You can call it metagaming, you can ban it, burn books about it, print fake news about it, but it's still going to happen every time. Why not just work with what's actually going to happen?
    139 replies | 2994 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 10:40 PM
    Make a short rest 5 seconds, who cares. Just allow two between every long rest and you're in the ball park. Not none, not three or four, precisely two. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 08:21 PM
    Massacre the Halfling townsfolk! Bargain with the dog faced humanoids!! Massacre the little blue gnomes!!! Have tea and cakes with Gargamel!!1! Yeah, players are, at best, unpredictable.
    49 replies | 1343 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 04:19 PM
    If you want a villain to get away in a scene, then plan the whole encounter for him to get away. Once he's stuck in combat you're probably burked as the PCs have a ton of ways to ruin your day. Have your villain pull the lever to collapse his hideout and vanish through a door, or whatever. If the PCs manage to ruin your day anyway, then good for them, you have some writing to do. You can't...
    49 replies | 1343 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 09:12 PM
    One way to handle this that I've used in the past that I may reuse is to call the first hit die your 'meat', and the rest of it skill or whatever. At least for PCs. The only differnece between the two the last time I used it was to prevent healing overflow from one to the other. Meat first, then the skill, and resting only got you back a single meat point. It's not actually that much different...
    37 replies | 864 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 09:00 PM
    Not at all, but I'm not going to buy it with no idea what's in it either. This is why I miss my FLGS. I like to take a quick spin through a book before I buy it. The site you directed me to is perfect.
    37 replies | 864 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 01:35 AM
    I do not purchase new RPGs sight unseen. If your bookcase is anything like mine it is littered with the dead dreams of hundreds of impulse RPG purchases. I try to be a little more discerning about that now than I was in my more intemperate youth. I'm combing through the SRD now though, and I will, as seems appropriate, purchase a copy if I like it. Again, thanks.
    37 replies | 864 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 01:08 AM
    Why thank you good sir. Failing a PDF the SRD will do me just fine. I do love new rule sets.
    37 replies | 864 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 01:04 AM
    Expertise in Survival would be good too. There's no reason a Rogue should be able to be twice the tracker a Ranger is. Actually, skill related buffs in general would be ok. the Ranger has always been MAD and skill money-ish compared to the other combat classes, so why not build on that?
    106 replies | 3770 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 12:35 AM
    Meh, please. let's at least make the animal companion optional. Lots of people love it, I really don't. Maybe a subclass, except one that works and doesn't suck so all those fine people who do love their animal friends can also have nice things. Spreading the bonus spells out to all the subclasses would help. The whole preferred enemy thing can go. I'd replace it with something about analyze...
    106 replies | 3770 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 12:17 AM
    Yaarel - Yeah, non-lethal combat is something that needs to be dealt with. So far I'm just going with declared non-lethal, at least conceptually, and I'm going to let the PCs decide, probably at the onset of combat. That part is easy. Subdual damage is a place where I can legitimately push nova damage builds too, up to a point. If you want to knock out the guard sergeant, who's a 3rd level...
    37 replies | 864 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 12:06 AM
    Sure, be hurt about it.;) I've never played and couldn't find a copy online when you mentioned it (yes, I did look, rather hard). I also live thousands of miles from the closest FLGS. So unless someone gives me specifics...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 08:41 PM
    This sounds a lot like what I want to accomplish. I hadn't gotten as far yet as folding law enforcement into the system. I like the Heat idea a lot though, especially for a more rogue-style game. The idea that the numbers give you a concrete way to talk about and compare social standing, or law enforcement scrutiny, is exactly what I want though. As is the move from rumor and gossip to certain...
    37 replies | 864 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 06:09 PM
    I like the idea of player mapping a lot. Even if they are familiar with, say, one part of the city, they wouldn't be or at least might not be with the rest. It's one more way to gate the sandbox. I like it.
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 04:25 PM
    I wasn't planning on keeping the players in the dark. Part of what makes this whole endeavor work is the players knowing how the factions relate to each other. I want to leave the players a lot of latitude to figure out how to use the political currents to their own advantage, for which they definitely need information and lots of it. I'm also going to be hacking some mechanics specifically to...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 02:25 PM
    This is exactly how I want the players to think, yes. Forging the invitation carries a significant set of possible consequences, and would also require, potentially, disguises and other skulduggery. That sounds like a strong role playing opportunity to me. When you're talking about society events it's more complicated than just forging an invitation. People in 'society' tend to know each other,...
    37 replies | 864 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 03:40 AM
    Broad strokes on the reputation thing. The DMG has an honour system that, once you peel back the honour part, works really well as a reputation system. Its essentially a 7th stat that works somewhat like CHA based skills, but only in sitiations where reputation is the key driver. I'm shamelessly cribbing from an article by AngryDM, so credit to him for the basic idea. The stat functions as...
    37 replies | 864 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 12:57 AM
    I'm in the midst of writing up an intrigue heavy urban campaign. If you've read the Gentlemen Bastards by Scott Lynch, that's sort of what I'm aiming for. Combat will feature, as will chases, as will heists and a bunch of additional social interaction stuff that's going to need a rules overlay, and which is not the focus of this post. What I wanted to talk about was gating an urban campaign...
    37 replies | 864 view(s)
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    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 11:02 PM
    Yeah, we agreed on that part, which is the important part. The part I wasn't sure we'd agree on is how often that tool gets used, or the degree to which people realize it's even a thing the system can manage (and manage well). i guess what I was saying above is that when you color inside the lines of the CR system you don't get a picture of one-hit minions, or at least a lot of people...
    316 replies | 8535 view(s)
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    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 09:50 PM
    Oh it handles it fine, but that's just not the way a lot of people run their games. The range of baddies tends to picked from a selection banded around the characters level. Not everyone throws in disposable one-hit minions specifically to have them act like one-hit minions. And when I say one hit, I mean 7th Sea one-hit, not, "I'll probably kill it with one hit". Anyway, we agree that D&D can do...
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    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 09:43 PM
    I think you'd want a range of faiths, or at least a range of organizations representing various faiths that would allow for latitude in playstyle, goals and whatnot. With a range of faiths and goals you get conflict, which is great, but you also probably want some sort of over-arching evil to pull things together. I think a game like that would be a great opportunity to do something neat...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 09:21 PM
    Of course it loses to Elven Accuracy. That rule is bloody fantastic and changes the whole game for characters who have it. We were just talking about trying to massage some feeling into what is a much smaller and less impactful rule. Your comment about chances of rerolling for that crit are on the nose btw, it's what, half a percent or something? It's little. Noticeable, but little. That's why my...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 09:09 PM
    OK, fine, weapons. ;) Simple firearms rules do work just fine in D&D though, as mentioned above, and in many, many other threads. Realistic and detailed firearms rules mostly don't, neither for attack nor damage, but there are other system that do that well (or at least better), and if I wanted or needed hyper-realistic firearms rules I would look at one of those systems. I mostly don't want or...
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    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 08:32 PM
    D&D and firearms work fine until you circle back around to realistic damage. Most heroes in most action movies have a very D&D relationship with firearms. The bad guys don't, but that fits pretty well into D&D too. What D&D doesn't really do, not when you follow CR system anyway, and previous versions of the same, is deal with the concept of minions or henchmen, at least from a one-punch one-kill...
    316 replies | 8535 view(s)
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    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 06:25 PM
    People who's formative gaming years happened before the advent of the popular internet had a fundamentally different set of experiences that people who didn't. Also, people who actually played version X when it was the current system tend of have very different opinions of those systems than people who only understand them as artifacts. Prior to forums and chat groups there was no general...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 05:42 PM
    Do you think triggering lucky in combat regularly with advantage is aimed at hitting or crit fishing? I think crit fishing is where you'll see the biggest actual impact on effectiveness, and that is maybe the one case where rerolling ones with advantage actually might mean something even if the other roll hits.
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    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 05:25 PM
    I don't even think it's over-simplified. It's a very particular approach to damage that has a lot of built in plot armor and very much represents the kinds of stories that inspired D&D in the first place. It's very pulpy, and it makes for very durable heroes. Is that super-realistic? Good heavens no, but it was never supposed to be. Lots of other systems have more 'realistic' damage systems. Even...
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    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 03:21 PM
    To call D&D or any game that uses HP "fundamentally flawed" is to expose a certain level of ignorance about game design and furthermore to impose personal taste on the public in the guise of critique. HPs do what they do, and reflect the nature of combat and damage exactly as the designers intended them to. If you personally don't like it, great, don't play. But don't pretend that your tastes in...
    316 replies | 8535 view(s)
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    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:18 AM
    If you want to take something really swingy, like rerolling 1's on a d20, and see that benefit on a nightly basis, you want to roll more dice. Obviously, if you roll X number of D20s the mathematical upside of rerolling 1's is the same regardless of the time frame of those roles. However, the occurrence of those roles in a given gaming evening, and thus the impact on how the ability feels like...
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    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 11:56 PM
    Yeah, D&D is pretty clearly not meant to be played by players who need torches. If that was the case here would be more than two races without Darkvision. That horror in the dark storytelling vibe is definitely a thing, and can be done very well, but that's not the base play experience that's indexed by the 5E rules, or indeed any of the previous D&D rules sets.
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    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 11:40 PM
    D&D is a perfect fit with pulp 20's storytelling. D&D is pretty pulpy anyway, and the mechanics support pulp action in all three pillars quite well IMO. I don't know that I'd run the above, which sounds like pulp Shadowrun, but generally speaking pulp action work work well. *edit* Woodring-Stover's fantasy world of Ankhana has some good ideas in this direction. Not exctly 20's tech, but some...
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    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 11:35 PM
    Not really, the Savant class from Touch of Class II covers Intelligence-based combat pretty well. Multiclass that with Bladesinger and you're looking good.
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    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 11:30 PM
    And Biff is a uniformly less powerful character for making that choice. Your table obviously doesn't have a problem with over-attention on optimization, but that's really neither here nor there for the current topic. In other news, Healer isn't auto-take now, so reducing to once a day makes in auto-pass for me. That's almost useless as an ability, never mind something I passed up an ASI for....
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 03:44 PM
    The grapple rules are weird for sure. Opposed rolls, not attacks, save and no saves. Yeesh. Plus thr fact that its wildly effective against most targets compared to normal melee because of their lack of skill. There's a lot not to like. When I said cinematically, I was actually indexing that classic movie trope where the sentry gets put into a carotid choke of some kind and rendered...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 11:10 AM
    People have been choosing character races specifically for Darkvision since it was a thing. It was one of the main reasons human characters sucked for so long. If you want a level playing field take darkvision away from almost everyone. Let them by torches. Problem solved. Keep it for the legit subterranean races and no one else.
    205 replies | 7784 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 11:05 AM
    Even if you wanted to add a DC save versus grappling, which i dont think is the answer, DCs for saves in 5e always favor the person doing the thing so it qould be 10+ not 8+. Really though, if you don't like the grappling rules it's way easier to just not use them. Let you PCs grapple for effect when they want to and rule it out as it goes on an encounter by encounter basis. The RAW doesn't...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:50 AM
    I think we can all agree the feat, full stop, should all be sky blue. If you're going to give up an ASI to get them they should be uniformly awesome, and they're not.
    72 replies | 2764 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 01:08 AM
    But ... all Warlocks can wield weapons.
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 12:38 AM
    GW really does the best cult related stuff. I don't love WHFRP mechanically, but they write good material and they write great creeping darkness cult infestation adventures.
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 12:12 AM
    Errata is a part of complex tabletop games. WoTC is pretty freakin' brilliant at releasing mostly functional product compared to some other popular game publishers *cough*Games Workshop*cough*. Play testing is great, and it catches lots of stuff, but it doesn't catch everything, it's the nature of the process. The system doesn't really get stress tested until it hits the general public and the...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 10:44 PM
    Encumbrance can help with the healer's kit. The bloody thing weighs three pounds and a character or party can only carry so much stuff (STR is a dump stat for some whole parties...). I know, a lot of campaigns don't really use encumbrance, but in this case it's helpful. When the party is going through them at the rate of one every other day that 50gp cost does (or at least should) start to feel...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 01:39 PM
    The power of the feat is one thing, and Healer is good, but the other part, as mentioned above, is who is actually going to take it and when. A lot of builds have less ASIs then they'd probably like to get their concept online. Melee/Ranged characters, for example, probably aren't taking Healer ever, regardless of how good it is. Most spellcasters have their first three ASIs penciled in as...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 12:34 AM
    Or just stick with Chainlock and, you know, just take the Psuedodragon. Whatever props your tent.
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:38 PM
    I think once per round still sounds pretty good. That said, if you can talk the DM into the UA version, more power to you. *edit* Mostly I'm not going to spend a feat on it. I'd rather take the actual feat called Lucky and double on my luck. If I wanted all y'all to be lucky too I'd use the help action.:cool: Having just said that, a Halfling Inquisitive with the Lucky feat is starting to...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 09:30 PM
    Really, any spell third level or lower that gets a consistent sky blue rating in the Class guides should probably at least be glanced at. Some of the spell levels have less go-to obvious choices, and in a spell point environment the inclination, as you point out, is going to be to spam effective low level spells. There aren't that many that jump out at me though. At first level that could...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 09:04 PM
    Bountiful Luck is on pg 73 of XGE, so no need for unearthed arcana.
    18 replies | 830 view(s)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 08:54 PM
    I thought it was that "gentlemen prefer chaotic evil dog-faced humanoids"? Maybe it was brunettes. I can never keep my bon mot straight, and your can never tell with Coburn.
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 08:30 PM
    A list of Warlock build related things to ask the DM: 1. What kind of campaign is this? 2. How much social pillar do you plan on including? 3. Are we using feats? 4. Are we using books other than the PHB? 5. Will you be granting two short rests a day on a regular basis? 6. If I make goo-goo eyes can I have a Psuedo Dragon? 7. What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 08:16 PM
    He was obviously talking about Fire on the Amazon. Possibly Bullock's finest work, and a ground breaking cinematic masterpiece. Followed very closely by the cult classic, Sandra Dances the Can Can with a Line of Paladins on a Fresh Bed of Dead Gnome. A lesser know work I'll admit, but one of my favorites.
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 01:42 PM
    You mentioned a couple of pages ago that you liked twosix's implementation better so I thought that's what you were talking about but with scaling damage and -5/+10 tacked on. I'm not sure where you mentioned exactly how you envisioned that scaling damage working either, so I don't really have a model to run numbers on even if I wanted to. I'm not questioning any of the individual ideas in...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 01:14 PM
    Do we want both a -5/+10 and scaling damage? That seems like too much. I like the scaling damage idea as a representation of combo hits, but maybe the +/- feat should be -5/+5 at that point? How to word the scaling damage rule is important too. Is is going to be on consecutive hits, or just total hits?
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 12:49 PM
    Melee/Ranged - Ranger (Gloomstalker) - Dread Amusher - extra attack on first round with +d8 damage (3rd level) Melee/Ranged - Fighter (Battle Master) - Superiority Dice: 4d8 scaling with level (3rd level, short rest recharge)
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 12:28 PM
    Yup, that's the rub, without some work Warlocks are far better blasters than they are crumpers. Agonizing Blast is the Warlocks signature go-to move. Its also the easiest way for them to do reasonable combat damage without resorting to MC dips or Hexblade. The Archfey Chainlock that was the original idea would be fine in combat going that route, and could focus the rest of his build on control...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 11:29 AM
    Melee Warlock is probably best built as either Hexblade or with a fighter dip, as you really want that second attack if at all possible. The best option that keeps as much flavour as possible but still kicks some butt is to go Hexblade but with chain pact for the familiar. Hexblade works just fine without blade pact. You can dip fighter or not at your leisure. The kind of game you'll be in...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:34 AM
    This is really the key to this whole idea IMO, I agree that Dex probably should have a -X/+x option, or at least something like it. I think the Champion would be a good test though. If you're fishing for crits you might actually want a reduced chance to hit and a reroll, although advantage does already have that mostly covered. I'd be interested to see if TWF with out permanent advantage works...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:17 AM
    The logic of making at least part of the fix into a feat is to have TWF scale the same way as the other fighting styles, which is to say have at least some of the tasty bits gated behind a feat. It makes sense to me. The proposed fix we're talking about here both boosts TWF for the non-feat user (the reroll basic attack misses part), which is badly needed, but also adds some juice to the more...
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  • Fenris-77's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:03 AM
    Not really. Someone spent a feat on that silly shizz, it should do something. Or less than nothing anyway, one of the two. It really is just rerolls minus stat mods. I don't think that's OP in a game where advantage is king. If it somehow stacked with, say, elven accuracy or the common advantage grabs (or whatever) I'd probably feel differently, but it doesn't. Attacking with advantage takes a...
    217 replies | 7364 view(s)
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Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

  • 07:24 PM - Esker mentioned Fenris-77 in post How many classes in multiclass is to much?
    I don't think we're that far apart, Fenris-77. My point was simply that final build and progression need to be considered together, since the best progression toward the best final build may be worse than the best progression toward a second best final build. So since you don't necessarily want to settle on the end result first and then optimize a progression within that end result, I wouldn't say that the question about high level abilities is necessarily the first question.

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Tuesday, 25th June, 2019


Monday, 24th June, 2019

  • 07:28 PM - Kid Charlemagne quoted Fenris-77 in post 5E, Acrobatics, and Parkour
    It might be easier to just write up some maneuvers and give them a DC and base stat, with some DEX and some STR. That pretty much my plan. Edit: mostly I try to gate as few actions behind die rolls as I can. I also agree with this - it solved a lot of my players problems when I realized climbing mostly didn't require rolls unless its particularly dangerous. Not that it necessarily matters in a 5E skills context, but weak people can't do parkour, just like clumsy people can't. This is true, but thieves need to be able to climb walls! "Parkour" could be imagined as an overarching challenge that is divided into specific obstacles, the declared tasks for which may or may not call for ability checks as per the normal rules for adjudicating actions. Strength (Athletics) checks covers "difficult situations you encounter while climbing, jumping..." (Basic Rules, p. 62). Dexterity (Acrobatics) covers attempts to "stay on your feet in a tricky situation..." (Basic Rules, p. 63). As ...
  • 12:54 PM - CapnZapp quoted Fenris-77 in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    You could also hack the action economy to make more robust use of bonus actions and reactions. Plus allow multiple attacks to be spread out of different initiative steps. For example, if everyone could use a bonus action (or reaction) to dodge in some way, they'd be more likely to try and move. Better mechanics for overwatch fire would help too, as would more granular rules for using cover. I think the basic tools are there in 5E, they just need to be tweaked into form. Assuming you're talking about things like how 5E allows you to move out of total cover, shoot, and move back again (only exposing you to reaction attacks and melee charges), that is not damage models and hit points, then yes. You should probably start by giving disadvantage to any ranged attack where you move before the attack (representing a gunslinger who basically fires around the corner without properly looking first), so as to encourage "realistic behavior" where you stay behind half cover perhaps, but still need to see wha...
  • 03:45 AM - Oofta quoted Fenris-77 in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    Don't get me wrong, I think D&D works fine with guns, up to a point. I'll quite happily use 5E for steampunk settings that use firearms and it's dandy. The firearms I use don't tend to be that much different than the missile weapons already in the game though. I up the damage a little, maybe monkey with the ranges, but I'm not changing much. I'm not aiming for deadly firearms though, which is the main reason I don't have any issues IMO. When this topic came up I did a bit of googling, and 19th century rifles have about the same effective range as longbows with a few exceptions (such as the Sharps rifle which was the equivalent of a sniper rifle). But your basic Winchester? About the same. Pistols? Close to shortbows. Add in the fact that they used black powder and I don't even see that much of a need for dramatically increased damage. But it is all make believe after all. If we assume that in a world were magic is real there can be armor that stops bullets, I don't see much need for adju...
  • 03:31 AM - dnd4vr quoted Fenris-77 in post Ability Score Rebalancing
    IDK, INT would be like my third pick for Initiative, after DEX and WIS. I get why people are looking at INT for game balance reasons, but it "doesn't make enough sense" to me that I find it a bit of a turn off. Also, at higher levels, I don't think the Wizard also needs to be the fastest reacting character. Reaction time is a mixed bag, and there are arguments to be made for all three of DEX, WIS and INT. Maybe that's not a bad answer actually, why not make initiative more MAD and allow up to +2 from each of those three stats rather than basing in just on one? I've also been giving serious thought to changing STR/DEX to be just damage mods/hit mods and doing away with full DEX or STR based combat. One option we considered was using all three and adding them up for the total modifier, but characters strong in those three will likely always go first. Going with only DEX attack and only STR damage is a good option IMO also. It makes is so even tanky-armor-type will want at least some DEX.
  • 02:44 AM - Oofta quoted Fenris-77 in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    Personally, I'm not actually going to rejig 5E for ranged combat at all. I use 5E for more traditional fantasy games and I'm completely happy with it (and the HP system)as-is. My first choice for a ranged heavy game would be a different system. However, playing with rules is fun, and I'm always interested in conceptual rules hacking. But do you really need to? I think the thing that bothers me most about this "D&D doesn't work with guns" is that unless you assume fully automatic weapons and an unlimited ammo supply, guns are really all that much different in game terms than what we already have. Particularly if you limit to 19th century or earlier tech, they really aren't all that much more effective. Cheaper? Easier to use? More portable and reliable in the real world? Sure. But D&D ignores most of those factors. In the real world, most hunters won't use even a modern compound bow on a deer more than 30 feet away, in D&D there's no penalty to hit out to 50 yards or 200 yards with a feat...

Sunday, 23rd June, 2019

  • 11:53 PM - Zhaleskra quoted Fenris-77 in post Challenging assumptions/tactics while giving hints
    I also occasionally change up certain monsters just to keep players honest. "What do you mean it's regenerating after I hit it with my torch?!" Har har. Yes, but even here, there are those who would accuse such and adjustment of being "badwrongfun". Thankfully, in the system I used the example, regeneration isn't fast at all. At absolute best it's 3 HP a minute, not round, so it's not like the trolls are going to regenerate during combat unless it somehow lasts 30+ rounds.
  • 07:59 PM - Blue quoted Fenris-77 in post Changing rest periods
    When you change the rests, even just duration, you drastically change the effectiveness of some of the classes. Just make sure you're up front with your players so they can avoid the short rest dependent classes (Monk and Warlock for example) because those classes are going to suck in your campaign. I completely disagree that changing the length of rests will screw over some classes. Nothing but changing the frequency of encounters between rests. And that's entirely up to the DM. Let's try this. Group A averages two encounters, a short rest, two encounters, a short rest, and two encounters and then a long rest. Group B has the exact same frequency. No disadvantage on either, correct? Now, it turns out that Group A was actually using a variant with longer rests needed, but the DM was also doing a more relaxed pace. The sun has risen and set more, but the difficulty hasn't changed. Well, actually, I am telling a bit of an untruth. Classes that regularly benefit from the DM doin...
  • 05:08 PM - bedir than quoted Fenris-77 in post Changing rest periods
    When you change the rests, even just duration, you drastically change the effectiveness of some of the classes. Just make sure you're up front with your players so they can avoid the short rest dependent classes (Monk and Warlock for example) because those classes are going to suck in your campaign. What is your actual goal in changing the rests? You aren't changing them just because, so lets be granular about what it is you're hoping to change or what issue you're trying to solve. If the encounter rate doesn't change, nothing about the classes changes. It only changes the pace of time. Going to the DMG's variant on this essentially creates the pace of a novel, rather than 6-8 encounters a day, you are having 6-8 encounters a week. There are zero balance issues.
  • 05:03 PM - dnd4vr quoted Fenris-77 in post Changing rest periods
    When you change the rests, even just duration, you drastically change the effectiveness of some of the classes. Just make sure you're up front with your players so they can avoid the short rest dependent classes (Monk and Warlock for example) because those classes are going to suck in your campaign. What is your actual goal in changing the rests? You aren't changing them just because, so lets be granular about what it is you're hoping to change or what issue you're trying to solve. Since you asked, the idea came to me as I was enjoying this weekend off from work. It occurred to me that not having to go to work for the day is really what a long rest is. I feel rested and ready for the week afterwards when I get a day off. But, just going to bed (aka the short rest) allows me to function from day to day, but it isn't nearly the same. So, it got me to thinking about the benefits of short rests and long rests in 5E dnd and I realized short and long rest should sort of represent the same ideas as...
  • 04:46 PM - CapnZapp quoted Fenris-77 in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    CapnZapp I think you're mistaking my point for something it's not. The lack of understanding specifically indexes the inability (by design) of HP to simulate damage from any real world weapons - HP as simulation. One big subset of arguments about HP and firearms is how while they might work for melee they don't for firearms (as a simulation). Well, as I said, this is only part of why you might see complaints. And it is the easiest part to dismiss. That is, I see a lot of posters choosing to define the complaints as this only, in order for them to ignore the complaints. To your point, which is about how HP interact with the tactical considerations in the game at range, I probably agree. If that means you're no longer as dismissive of the complaints (that you take in the possibility the complainers aren't merely applying double standards to hp in melee and ranged) then my presence here is working. The pace of ranged centric combat probably requires some kind of tweak to the tactical mechanic...
  • 11:16 AM - CapnZapp quoted Fenris-77 in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    I didn't say anyone wasn't content (I am btw) with certain things, nor that the system might be better at one that the other (it i). The fact remains that, contentedness aside, D&D isn't modelling accurate damage from any kind of weapon. An individual might not be happy about how HP models faux-modern ranged combat, but really, so what? It isn't designed to do that. The point at which people find it "entirely inadequate" is because those people have very different expectations about firearms and their damage relative to melee with blunt and bladed weapons. Those expectations are based on very fictional understandings of medieval combat and less fictional understandings of firearms. You can't be ok with highly fictional on the one hand and not on the other without a willingness to admit that it's your expectations, not the system, that are the issue. Or at least a big part of the issue. I do agree that there's more to it than that, but I also think it's pretty cogent to point out what amounts to...
  • 04:04 AM - robus quoted Fenris-77 in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    On the gothic horror front what's the mental image you have there? Mostly I default to something that feels like the show Supernatural, which is a little WoD around the edges, but I think D&D could be used for it, even if it maybe isn't ideal in a couple of ways. The Supernatural model has protagonists who play on film like D&D heroes play at the tabletop in terms of survivability at whatnot, which is why I think it would work pretty well. Lovecraftian horror seems to fit the rules set less well, but is certainly doable. It really could be anything from medieval type witch-hunter, through Dracula, and into Cthulhu (and perhaps even to some kind of Doom/Quake type scenario, so leaving the gothic there a bit :)) The key part for me is (somewhat helpless) humans facing terrible horrors.

Saturday, 22nd June, 2019

  • 08:19 PM - Esker quoted Fenris-77 in post Building a Bard Using Some Crazy Starting Stats
    You do have a lot of pieces to your build - do you anticipate playing until, say, 10th level? If your build doesn't really come online until 5th you want to have some levels to enjoy yourself. There's no set end level but it will be a slow-moving game so even a one level delay will certainly be felt. That said, the hexblade dip offers a number of benefits right at level 3 as well, though of course with attendant costs. Here are some level 3 comparisons. At will combat options: Hexblade 1 / Bard 2: * Hand crossbow, +7 to hit with 1d6+5 damage from 30', 15 AC plus Shield spell * Eldritch blast and shield, +7 to hit at 1d10 damage from 120', 17 AC plus Shield spell * Sword and board, for +7 to hit and 1d8+5 damage with 17 AC * Wield a longsword two-handed for +7 to hit and 1d10+5 damage, with 15 base AC plus the option to cast Shield * Wield a shield and whip, for +7 to hit and 1d4+5 damage, with 17 AC and the ability to keep some distance against most enemies (though can only use CHA with one ...
  • 04:28 PM - CapnZapp quoted Fenris-77 in post If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?
    D&D isn't a simulation and isn't even pretending to attempt to account for realistic firearms injury. Anyone who's salty about that should play another system. That's not snark, just reality - D&D isn't interested in modelling accurate damage from anything, be it swords or guns. D&D is good at modelling the resistance of fictional heroes to fictional damage over the course of a fantasy story arc. If you want your fictional heroes to take their fictional damage a little differently, say Heroes Die instead of Elfstones of Shannara, hack away. But if you want to get all granular about the actual effects of hydrostatic shock you're probably riding the wrong ride. That is a very simplistic way of looking at things. It is perfectly possible - common even - to be content with D&D for faix-medieval melee-centric combat, and yet find the exact same system entirely inadequate for faux-modern ranged-centric combat. So there must be more to it than that. And sure enough, there is.

Friday, 21st June, 2019

  • 11:35 PM - Saelorn quoted Fenris-77 in post GM DESCRIPTION: NARRATION OR CONVERSATION?
    Could you give an example of one of these totally neutral non-influential descriptions? I mean even your reference to Barakka and Shredder (both evil, aggressive, villains) is going to influence how the players are thinking about the encounter.You say that, but really, it shouldn't. If I'm giving a factual description, and the player is reading into it based on the specific words I'm using, then that player is meta-gaming and they need to stop. Acting based on the level of detail in the GM's description, rather than anything observable to the character, is a text-book example of meta-gaming. Players, being the paranoid dung-flinging primates they are, will always and forever read a universe of meaning into the DMs word choice. You can call it metagaming, you can ban it, burn books about it, print fake news about it, but it's still going to happen every time. Why not just work with what's actually going to happen?If your players are cheating, then they need to stop. If they're incapabl...

Thursday, 20th June, 2019

  • 03:59 AM - Yaarel quoted Fenris-77 in post [5E] Urban Intrigue Campaign - Gating the Sandbox
    @Yaarel - Yeah, non-lethal combat is something that needs to be dealt with. So far I'm just going with declared non-lethal, at least conceptually, and I'm going to let the PCs decide, probably at the onset of combat. That part is easy. Subdual damage is a place where I can legitimately push nova damage builds too, up to a point. If you want to knock out the guard sergeant, who's a 3rd level fighter nothing short of a big nova, declared non-lethal, will get it done. Actual high nova builds aren't going to be a big part of my campaign, but I do think it's a great way for rogue dips to have a little niche utility and actually quite fluffy relative to what backstab is supposed to represent. 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 fen...
  • 02:24 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Fenris-77 in post [5E] Urban Intrigue Campaign - Gating the Sandbox
    I do not purchase new RPGs sight unseen. If your bookcase is anything like mine it is littered with the dead dreams of hundreds of impulse RPG purchases. I try to be a little more discerning about that now than I was in my more intemperate youth. I'm combing through the SRD now though, and I will, as seems appropriate, purchase a copy if I like it. Again, thanks.I'm confused. You were looking for a PDF, but to buy? Did you think that the publishers would just give it away?
  • 01:11 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Fenris-77 in post [5E] Urban Intrigue Campaign - Gating the Sandbox
    Why thank you good sir. Failing a PDF the SRD will do me juts fine. I do love new rule sets.You can buy the PDF from Evil Hat Games.
  • 01:00 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Fenris-77 in post [5E] Urban Intrigue Campaign - Gating the Sandbox
    Sure, be hurt about it.;) I've never played and couldn't find a copy online when you mentioned it (yes, I did look, rather hard). I also live thousands of miles from the closest FLGS. So unless someone gives me specifics... Really? I guess it could be a bit hard to find. Here's the URL for the SRD: bladesinthedark.com Hope that helps!


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