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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 03:14 PM
    You're right and it drives me crazy when I turn up in a game where a DM rolls individual initiative for monsters. Though it's still the same amount of actions to resolve, it really does slow things down because the initiative rolling takes longer and then, if those monsters are interspersed with PCs or other monsters, there's a "gear-changing" that eats up additional time. It really adds up!
    12 replies | 357 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 02:53 PM
    The RAW is that like creatures share initiative anyway. It's still 10 creatures on one initiative count, but it's not like you're rolling 10 different initiatives for them, if that's a concern. As for your swarm, it seems a sound idea, but someone better at math than me will have to say if it has parity with the spell as written. But anyway, players have an obligation to pursue the goals of...
    12 replies | 357 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 02:36 PM
    What Hriston said - most monsters' stuff is just junk. There are some exceptions that I will make an effort to describe, such as a hobgoblin in plate armor or the like. Sometimes I'll describe something resplendent a monster wears that would be damaged in combat and made less valuable in order to set up a challenge for the players to take out the monster without damaging their loot. It makes them...
    16 replies | 382 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 06:27 AM
    That's basically what my players do. They police themselves for speed and that includes just keeping them on a single target. It's not really about banning the spell BlivetWidget. It's just players realizing that it can slow down play and taking reasonable steps to mitigate that.
    12 replies | 357 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:13 PM
    The mob rules worked fine, but also working in my favor is that the table rule is that if you're the sort of player who can't manage this sort of spell without bogging down the turn, you simply don't cast it. The player has a responsibility here in my view. (Same for summons, pets, etc.)
    12 replies | 357 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:20 PM
    iserith replied to Double Dash
    Yes on the double-dash. There tends to be a LOT of movement in my games due to terrain, so it comes up quite a bit.
    21 replies | 542 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:41 PM
    You can resolve by applying the mob rules in the DMG (pg. 250) which foregoes any attack rolls, saving time. Then use average damage.
    12 replies | 357 view(s)
    2 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:28 PM
    In my humble opinion, I suspect the REAL issue here is that there is only a single d8 Finesse weapon in the game, and thus people are just tired of seeing the word 'rapier' everywhere. The mechanics are negligible enough that most people probably don't really care about it (okay, a d8 finesse weapon, great)... they just want to cut down on the number of "rapiers" used across the game. The...
    66 replies | 1755 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:15 PM
    It doesn't matter if you keep track, really. The PCs should be counterspelling everything anyway.
    13 replies | 536 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 03:01 PM
    It's a question that I've struggled with on occasion as well. Every time I decide on a new campaign and I start going through the lists of races, backgrounds and classes the list keeps getting larger and larger with more and more overlap in identity and ideas until it just becomes the Mos Eisley Cantina again. And I keep trying to find ways to shrink things down but it never seems to work. ...
    98 replies | 2880 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 01:03 AM
    You probably already know this, but Ignores and Blocks only apparently work via the website forum program. The ENWorld app on mobile devices does not having the block/ignore feature I don't believe. It's an interesting and confusing quirk, as I occasionally see threads on my phone that I never knew were there when I normally hit the forums.
    34 replies | 1111 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:17 PM
    For me... the reason why I have no reason or desire to have skills or saving throws get better even if you haven't trained in them is simple... I don't treat the bonus as the end-all-and-be-all of how good someone is at doing something. I look at the total score they can get. How does the Level 20 character do better at a skill they don't have proficiency in? They roll higher on a...
    224 replies | 5730 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 06:23 PM
    iserith replied to Languages
    The DMG also has a section on languages in the campaign world planning section that basically tells the DM to figure this out on his or her own according to the kind of setting he or she wants to present.
    9 replies | 362 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 05:40 PM
    It seems to me all that really matters is whether the player thinks it's fun. If he or she does, carry on, I say. If not, then you can either jointly tinker with the rules to make it less certain, create conditions in the game that accomplish the same effect without tinkering with the rules, or the player can just choose not to have the character hide all the time.
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 04:44 PM
    If I had to guess though, this is what their "secret lore" is actually about... figuring out how lore figures like Orcus fit across ALL their settings. I mean Orcus *is* a lore figure in Greyhawk, as well as in the Realms. So what does that mean? Is the Orcus of one the same as the Orcus in the other? Are they two separate Orci? If Orcus was canonically removed as the Demon Lord of the...
    38 replies | 2155 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 09:25 PM
    iserith replied to OSR Gripes
    I played Lamentations of the Flame Princess which is one of these old school D&D-esque games. I lost 5 characters in one session. No exaggeration. That's just how it goes.
    228 replies | 7380 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 08:55 PM
    No insult is intended. Certain of your specific objections seem rooted in issues of spotlight management and other issues that are not the fault of the game. I make no judgment as to what you should or shouldn't do in your own game, only that some of your objections are easily solved without modifying the rules.
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:54 PM
    Like I said, house rules are fine. Personally, I don't actually care how the player makes the decision in the face of the NPC's attempt to persuade (to continue with that example), but I'm not calling for a roll here as DM. That breaks the rule of players determining what their characters do. The player is free to roll a die to figure out what the character does if he or she wants. Or flip a...
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:27 PM
    Magic is the difference. House rules are fine, but the issue in this situation for me is that the players always determine how their characters think and what they do and say. That means there is never uncertainty as to the outcome of the NPC's attempt to persuade and thus no ability check. The outcome is whatever the player says it is. I might, in some circumstances.
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:12 PM
    iserith replied to Languages
    There is no call-out in the rules for dialects other than Primordial. So as far as I am concerned, PCs that speak Common can't speak Undercommon, nor can creatures that speak Undercommon speak Common. Personally, I prefer it that way as it gives choice of language relevance and sets the PCs up for needing resources such as spells or NPCs to assist with communication. It's another problem for the...
    9 replies | 362 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:58 PM
    I use it and it works well enough. For those unfamiliar with it, it basically splits the challenge into what I call "The 'Tude," "The Chat," and "The Ask." In "The 'Tude," the DM frames the NPC's disposition toward the PCs and establishes the context of the challenge (what's at stake). This is also when players might try to have their characters recall lore about the NPC to garner useful...
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:10 PM
    For me, the answer is philosophically aligned along the "Because magic!" axis... which is "I don't care." I personally do not DM to "world build". I care little about how magic "works" or how much science "exists" compared to magic, or "is magic science or is science magic" etc. etc. etc. I DM to tell stories with my friends. And this is exactly the same reason why I don't really care...
    56 replies | 1774 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 02:04 PM
    I think they're okay for D&D standards. But almost nobody uses them in my experience because I don't think many DMs actually read the DMG. The rogue isn't being skipped and it isn't really planned though - at least no more than combat where everyone gets a turn. If that doesn't bother you (does it?), why should what amounts to taking turns in a social interaction challenge be bothersome?...
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:46 AM
    It just sounds to me like the argument is not so much "Expertise is problematic..." but "Expertise is problematic when I chop away two of the three pillars underpinning the game and things get wobbly." Which doesn't so much sound like a problem with Expertise per se, but the choices the DM has made. I think we agree here? Also there does seem to be an underlying assumption in your post that...
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:19 AM
    Really that just argues for the DM to balance the pillars of the game as much as he or she can in my view and to incentivize play to that end via XP and treasure. If the DM is leaning too heavily on any one pillar or incentivizing particular play to the exclusion of others, it's reasonable behavior for players to create and advance characters with particular skill proficiencies and other features...
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:09 AM
    "Party balance" in what sense? Why is it bad that this character can do a thing well and others can't? Wouldn't it be the case that this expert won't be able to do other things as well in this or the other two pillars? Also, how is "deception in the hands of a creative player" troublesome? Setting aside that the DM decides whether there is a roll or not in the first place, what's the actual...
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:05 AM
    I'm not really "going" anywhere, only checking to see if there's a rough correlation between people who have some kind of issue with the ability check system and playing the game in the very common way I described upthread wherein the players ask to make or declare they are making ability checks. Without taking anything away from your perception of the problem you outline above, could you...
    43 replies | 1327 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:53 AM
    Why do you think that is a problem?
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:48 AM
    As opposed to the DM deciding whether there is a roll at all, then what ability check to make and any skill proficiency that applies (per the rules). And in this case I'm not referring to a paradigm where the DM can decide a player-proposed roll is not necessary (e.g. Player: "Can I make an Investigation check to..." DM: "Nah, you just figure it out...").
    43 replies | 1327 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:42 AM
    Out of curiosity, if you have a problem with expertise, do you also play the game such that players ask to make or declare they are making ability checks?
    43 replies | 1327 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 11:24 PM
    In a practical sense, this means that the rogue will almost always surprise monsters (unless he's traveling with other, less stealthy people) and will almost always have advantage on the attack roll if there's a place to hide in combat. If the rogue is on his or her own, it will also mean that scouting around without being detected will almost always succeed. Personally, if a rogue tries to...
    104 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 08:52 PM
    It works. My entire game is run like that, almost as a one-on-one between myself and one other player (when they're not talking among themselves) for a minute before switching to someone else. If a combat ends without finishing the round, I'll mentally stick to initiative order and call on the people who haven't gone that round to kick off whatever activity is next so that they aren't shorted on...
    31 replies | 1301 view(s)
    4 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 08:43 PM
    Oh no, don't skip out on the lighting conventions... LuminCon is one the highlights of the year! ;)
    34 replies | 1111 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 04:32 PM
    How long are people taking on their turns? One thing I've noticed at other tables is that players are planning what to do on their turn instead of acting, which is a huge no-no at my table. Your turn is for acting, not for planning or stalling by asking 20 Questions (another common player tactic when they haven't planned off-turn). I think a turn is 30 seconds or less, ideally, which means your...
    31 replies | 1301 view(s)
    2 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 04:01 PM
    Wait, it's Gregg Ruled? Why does Tito get to make all the decisions on the D&D lore? And if that's true, why doesn't he just do all the Lore You Should Know segments by himself?!? He keeps bringing Perkins in for some reason!
    38 replies | 2155 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 03:43 PM
    I also do everything based not on the lighting conditions of what the observer is standing in... I do it based on what the object or person being perceived is standing in. - If the target is in bright light, any perception checks made to notice details are made normally. - If the target is in dim light, any perception checks to notice details are made with disadvantage. - If the target is in...
    34 replies | 1111 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 03:20 PM
    First, ask for them to pay attention, then ask them what about the game isn't holding their attention. From your own observation, what parts of the game are they tuning out on? What can you do to minimize those parts of the game or make them more interesting?
    31 replies | 1301 view(s)
    6 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 09:00 PM
    I suspect before you telegraph the attacks, you'll need to telegraph the idea that these attacks can be interruptable in the first place. Otherwise, if they see an ogre wind up a tree-trunk to swing it but not actually follow through in the same round, they'll probably just assume it's an "every other round" attack and just make two rounds of attacks themselves in the meantime... not that they...
    25 replies | 751 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 08:53 PM
    On the official WotC website they have quite a number of various character sheets, some of which are form-fillable PDFs. OFFICIAL 5E CHARACTER SHEETS
    4 replies | 248 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 12:26 PM
    You'd think with all these complaints about unnecessary classes that the Basic Rules document would be more popular and more often used than it is. ;) Which is why I suspect that the truth is people have ideals in their head about their "best" D&D game, but no one actually follows through because they realize their "best" D&D game isn't actually all that good. LOL.
    352 replies | 12151 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 06:25 PM
    C4 + Paladin and Ranger. The things we always hear are that there is "too much magic" in D&D, which means the core should have more martial ability available than full-on magic. P&R are half-casters, so they are the good middle ground between the F/R and C/W and are a much better choice than full caster druids, bards, warlocks etc. Now yes you could go the other way and take Barbarian and...
    60 replies | 1890 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 06:08 PM
    Yes, that's technically a choice.
    50 replies | 1876 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 04:54 PM
    I think what gets left off in the last few assertions that are floating about is that, in a game where the DM isn't concerned with any particular conclusion so long as it's fun, exciting, and memorable (even if it's bad for the characters), then said DM isn't also putting them into situations where they have no chance of success. In such games, the players choose to get themselves into those...
    50 replies | 1876 view(s)
    3 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 04:03 PM
    My two current groups both have 7 players and the nights when everyone shows up... the combats definitely end up in the party's favor, much oftentimes to my chagrin. But now having done this through 5 different year-plus campaigns, all with 7-9 players... I've accepted what have become true facts regarding our tables when it comes to combat: - The more players at the table, the longer each...
    21 replies | 821 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 05:01 PM
    Can they take short rests? If so, they should be able to do 6 to 8 medium or hard challenges with a couple of short rests. If the villain challenge is deadly, then reduce the number of preceding encounters accordingly, perhaps setting it to 4 to 6 medium or hard challenges followed by a deadly encounter. If the players are experienced, this seems doable.
    50 replies | 1876 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 04:57 PM
    Heh heh... and then there's me... who has never felt the that ANY edition of D&D was some massive outlier from any other edition. 5E feels like a lot of 4E, just like a lot of 4E felt like 3E, just like 3E felt a lot like 2E, just like 5E feels like 2E, and 4E felt like 1E etc. etc. etc. And why is that? Because I'm one within the branch of the D&D populace for whom the game mechanics are...
    147 replies | 10168 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 04:24 PM
    Make clear the risks and trade-offs inherent in the challenge, then let the players make their own decisions. Err on the side of giving "too much" information rather than too little. Use whatever contrivances you can think of to impart that info in a way that makes sense in context. Perhaps a grizzled veteran adventurer faced such a challenge before and made the mistake of doing battle with the...
    50 replies | 1876 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 02:52 PM
    Time is an important resource in my adventures. It's yours to waste, but much like wasting hit points or spells, there may be consequences. In many cases, the longer you give the villain to prepare or complete his or her goals, the harder things get. To some extent, that may be desirable from the player's perspective as it potentially means more XP, but that must be weighed against the likelihood...
    50 replies | 1876 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 05:03 AM
    Brooooons...
    1012 replies | 71457 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 01:04 AM
    It's not that it's complicated - it's just that it's more transactions per turn or round which necessarily takes longer than just the one, even with very capable players. Turn after turn, combat after combat, it adds up. An important part of DMing in my view is sharing the spotlight, that is, making sure that the PCs have more or less the same time in the spotlight over the course of the session....
    22 replies | 914 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 12:36 AM
    I think the biggest concern above all is: How much are your minions going to bog down the game? Because, frankly, they will, at least to some degree. In a game like mine which runs fast, it's very noticeable. When a player in my game wanted to play a necromancer, he had the good sense to ask me for my opinion on how many undead he could have at one time. I told him "When the game slows down...
    22 replies | 914 view(s)
    2 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 03:08 PM
    That's why Druids have Barkskin. Another wonderfully written rule by the way. ;)
    641 replies | 17824 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 02:41 PM
    I don't see you doing anything wrong. I see your group deciding to "all go down with the ship". That's not a problem you have to solve, that's their choice. ***** In the first instance, once the goliath fell unconscious and they discovered they couldn't lift him and get him away, the group could have decided to leave him there and get the villagers to safety. They chose not to and...
    37 replies | 1125 view(s)
    4 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 02:24 PM
    "This rule was badly written!" Okay. Yeah. Fine. ...
    641 replies | 17824 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 01:45 AM
    Heh... I'm failing to see what the point of all of this is, especially now with all these hundreds of posts. The book has already been written and printed. The "rule" is already in black and white. Arguing is not able to change the ink. So at this point what difference does it make whether it was a good rule or a bad rule, or a changeable rule or an ignorable rule? The book says a thing....
    641 replies | 17824 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 06:07 PM
    XGtE has a section on awarding magic items over the course of a campaign. There's a sidebar in that section that reveals the expected number of Treasure Hoards the PCs will uncover. You could perhaps base Individual Treasure rolls on those numbers, either following them exactly or by multiplying by some factor then seeding them among your NPCs and monsters. There are a number of random...
    18 replies | 870 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 03:44 PM
    Dice trays and dice towers-- grin and bear it. I imagine they are both positive play experiences for them as the sounds of the dice dropping through and into them are pleasing to hear. Dice hitting the table is why so many people play D&D moreso than other systems... because they love to roll all the different dice. So taking that away from them just seems unnecessary. Putting dice back...
    22 replies | 1064 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th June, 2019, 01:42 PM
    I personally think its too fast, as many of my players just do not delve into the game so deeply that they will grok or use the new game mechanics they have just acquired for leveling up. Once PCs reach 3rd level I try to make sure they get at least four to six sessions at each level so they have time to use what they've acquired (especially considering each player might be out for one of those...
    45 replies | 1786 view(s)
    3 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 09:43 PM
    Yeah, but for the 1 in 10,000 that it is? 6 RINGS BAY-BEE!!! ;)
    1012 replies | 71457 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 09:41 PM
    You forgot to mention the "BROOOOOOOOOOOOOOONS!"
    1012 replies | 71457 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 01:40 PM
    Well, we had tried to move on to a wonderful discussion about how us New Englanders don't really care that we are a part of a region known as "New England", and it only exists in an attempt to merge us all together to the same size as most other states in the union... but that seems to have run its course. Granted, you're a West Coaster Mistwell so you probably don't care about this issue in...
    1012 replies | 71457 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 07:32 PM
    Massachusetts is to New England what Matthew Fox's character Charlie was to "Party of Five"... drunken, immature, irresponsible, and yet seemingly the one in charge. Whereas Maine is the Baby Owen of New England... no real reason to be there other than just as a possible story point for the other characters to have to deal with. ;)
    1012 replies | 71457 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 07:31 PM
    I don't even understand the objection that is being voiced. The play loop and adjudication process is for all and sundry to see right there in the rules of the game. It's not like we made it up. If there's an objection to it, take it up with Wizards of the Coast, I guess.
    178 replies | 5527 view(s)
    2 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 07:23 PM
    Of course I don't "root" for the Patriots. To "root" for a sports team is to give all your positive energy to that team in the hopes that it will help that team finally succeed. But the Patriots have proven their vast superiority over every other professional football team these past 20 years, and thus my "rooting" for them is completely unnecessary. I just get dragged along in the Patriots...
    1012 replies | 71457 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Friday, 28th June, 2019, 06:18 PM
    Heh... as if any of us who live in these six states really care that we are "New Englanders". The only New England thing that matters to us enough to warrant taking pride in it is the Patriots. Other than that... we just get all lumped together to get our land area up to the size of a normal state. ;)
    1012 replies | 71457 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 11:23 PM
    The determination of whether a task has an uncertain outcome and the meaningful consequence of failure, which precedes the introduction and use of the game mechanics (ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, etc.), is DM fiat which is enshrined in the rules via the play loop and adjudication process. Fiat is inescapable in this rules system. It is the first resort.
    178 replies | 5527 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 07:35 PM
    Change "should" to "could" and I think you got it.
    178 replies | 5527 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 05:38 PM
    I just say when a target has cover and what kind and the player says "Okay" and acts accordingly. I do my best to make that apparent well before the attack is declared by working it into my description of the environment. That way, there's no surprises.
    28 replies | 1068 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 05:18 PM
    As I mentioned upthread, many DMs in my experience jump to the mechanics before they give much consideration to the play loop and adjudication process which comes first. If someone draws a blade - initiative! If someone tells a lie - deception! But this is skipping an important part of the DM's role and, frankly, it shows in their resulting play experience.
    178 replies | 5527 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 04:19 PM
    Right. That section specifically says the play loop applies to all situations in D&D 5e and does call out combat as being a bit more structured but otherwise follows the same pattern. See also DMG page 237 wherein the specific process the DM follows to determine if some kind of roll is appropriate is laid out. That being, the task's outcome has to fall somewhere between impossible and...
    178 replies | 5527 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 02:23 PM
    Harzel: What Ovinomancer said.
    178 replies | 5527 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 06:53 AM
    I don't have experience with public games, but I have run a lot of pickup games with random players on Roll20. As well, my regular group and some other groups in which I play each have a pool of players they use to fill five seats per session. This is actually a very good setup because it means fewer scheduling hassles. If the DM can run the game, there's enough players in the pool to fill out at...
    11 replies | 461 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 06:36 PM
    On the lava bit, the "improvising damage" rules in the DMG pegs "wading through a lava stream" as 10d10 damage and "being submerged in lava" as 18d10 damage. The latter seems appropriate for a fall into a lava pit.
    178 replies | 5527 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 06:32 PM
    You won't ever catch me making a realism argument in D&D of any edition. What I will argue is that it's the DM's call on what mechanic to use to resolve uncertainty as to the outcome and I can make the case for either ability checks or attack rolls here (and have). While it's reasonable behavior in my opinion for players to treat a DM's ruling as precedent, I think it's a simple matter to point...
    178 replies | 5527 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 05:46 PM
    I think fairness and consistency in the application of the rules is an important goal for the DM. That said, I think arguments about parity of their application between PCs and NPCs being paramount is legacy thinking that hasn't held water since D&D 3.Xe. So unless you're talking about that edition specifically, I can't take seriously any such argument for D&D 4e or D&D 5e.
    178 replies | 5527 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 03:29 PM
    I'm not entirely sure what you mean here and I'm taking a stab at it, so please let me know if what I say below doesn't follow and I'll amend. I think that roleplaying is just playing a role by determining what the character does, thinks, and says, as per the rules regarding the same. But in the process of that roleplaying, the player has a responsibility in the game itself to describe what he...
    63 replies | 2024 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 01:12 PM
    Yep, 100%. It seems as though many of the players here treat every D&D combat as the game part of "roleplaying game", and thus you are just expected to go through all the rigamarole of running "the game", regardless of whether the roleplaying part of it makes a lick of sense. And in this situation where you've described... where someone has a knife to their neck being threatened... if anyone...
    178 replies | 5527 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 05:18 AM
    When I run my games, combat is as much a part of the narrative as the exploration and interaction is. Combat tells part of the story we are all contributing to at the table. And thus... if the narrative is pretty self-explanatory-- IE the group wants to take out the sentry as part of sneaking into the camp-- then I go along with it. This surprised orc sentry would become a minion for our...
    178 replies | 5527 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 01:30 AM
    There are a few ways to do this that I think all work fine. The DM can rule the outcome of the task as impossible or at least highly unlikely. The ranger simply can't do enough damage in one shot to take out the orc except on a crit and even that's no guarantee. But perhaps the other PCs can add to that damage and take it out. If they can't, they learn a valuable lesson about taking some kind...
    178 replies | 5527 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 12:18 AM
    Though there may be exceptions from time to time that I will telegraph accordingly, a PC noble will generally be welcome in high society, get special treatment by common folk, and secure an audience in my games.
    6 replies | 370 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 06:36 PM
    Agreed. Arriving at an answer requires adding assumptions to both the context of the situation and the player's action declaration which are outside the scope of the original post. I think what a lot of DMs do in play is they jump to the mechanics before considering the situation and the character's efforts in relation to that situation and, based on that, whether the mechanics are even needed to...
    63 replies | 2024 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 04:58 PM
    iserith replied to Last Stand
    My grappling bard luchador "Immovable Rod" Manleigh was battling a horde of monsters with his party when the retreat was sounded. Most of the other characters were low on resources and couldn't withstand another solid blow so they started falling back, one by one, leaving Rod to hold off the tide of violence coming their way. "Immovable Rod" Manleigh knew this was the end and his noble...
    7 replies | 462 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 03:53 PM
    Right, these are two different approaches to achieve the same goal and both can be described by the players as they say what they want to do which makes it easier for the DM to determine whether there's an ability check and which ability and skill proficiency applies. Neither of these approaches is the "one true solution" in a way that promotes the "pixel bitching" that some posters insist is...
    63 replies | 2024 view(s)
    2 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 12:49 PM
    That seems like something that won't actually result in much benefit, as the group will end up just defaulting to the rest schedule of the weakest member. Either that, or the ones who can't rest while others can will just always be the ones on watch the entire time since they have no reason to sleep.
    32 replies | 1204 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 12:39 AM
    As a DM, I'd expect them to make an action declaration that minimizes the amount of assumptions the DM has to make to adjudicate to a result. I don't have a particular solution in mind or magic words the player has to say in my notes. But I'm going to need more than "I look at them closely..." All that suggests to me as DM is that it's probably a Wisdom check, assuming there's a check at all,...
    63 replies | 2024 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 10:32 PM
    While it's commonly put forward as a "major problem with the 'goal and approach' way," precise knowledge of how to perform the task isn't and has never been required of players to state an approach to the goal, at least at my table. I definitely need something more than what's been offered in this example to even determine if a check is needed, leave alone what ability score and skill proficiency...
    63 replies | 2024 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 09:37 PM
    What I see here are goals (what the PC hopes to achieve) but not approaches (how the PC tries to achieve the goal). The approaches will determine the uncertainty as to the outcome, whether there's a meaningful consequence for failure and, if both of those elements are present, what ability check and skill proficiency is called for and the DC for the roll. So my vote is "DM needs more...
    63 replies | 2024 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 08:22 PM
    Unless it was a mapped out tactical challenge with grid and minis including elevation, I wouldn't go this complicated with it.
    34 replies | 1428 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 06:22 PM
    "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...
    34 replies | 1428 view(s)
    2 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 01:16 PM
    Isn't this what players hate about the Beastmaster? That their beast takes over and replaces their PC's actions for the round? If people despise the Beastmaster that much, I don't see how they'd be okay with what would essentially be humanoid beasts.
    30 replies | 1231 view(s)
    1 XP
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Wednesday, 12th June, 2019

  • 01:53 PM - Yaarel mentioned DEFCON 1 in post 4e Clone − help create it!
    @Zardnaar, @DEFCON 1, @Charlaquin It is worth having balanced abilities. Rather than the eight abilities, it is possible to have four abilities. • Strength • Dexterity • Intelligence • Charisma In this four ability setup: • Strength includes hit points. • Dexterity handles jumping and climbing. • Intelligence includes the five senses. • Charisma includes willpower and empathy. In this way: • ‘Strength’ equals exactly 4e Fortitude • ‘Dexterity’ equals 4e Reflex • ‘Intelligence’ equals 4e Perception • ‘Charisma’ equals 4e Will So, for example, it is possible for the 4e clone to talk about the ‘Strength ability’ and the ‘Strength defense’.

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 09:16 PM - Sacrosanct mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Favourite D&D edition that’s not 5E
    ...ing off the top of my head). I don't think fans of any edition are more willing or accepting of 5e than any other. Maybe the OSR fans because they've gone so long being officially unsupported that they had no expectations of being officially back in the mix so to them, after ignoring 3e and 4e (literally over a decade), what would one new edition mean? We all long ago came to the acceptance that we'd just stick with our current stuff. Something 3e fans were getting used to, and 4e fans had a hard time dealing with because they never dealt with it before. But anyway, yeah, I don't need to tell anyone that there was plenty of edition warring and anger back in 2012-2014 from 4e fans. Which makes them like 1e fans in 1989, TSR fans in 2000, and 3e fans in 2008. Big shocker. (that's sarcasm). I'm guessing it will be the same for 5e fans when 6e comes out. But I will link to one post, because I think it turned out to be pretty prophetic of the discussion that followed, made by DEFCON 1 back in 2013, specifically: "Player in Nebraska today: "If Next doesn't include the Warlord as a class, then I'm not switching to the game when it comes out!!! They've lost me as a customer!" Cut to same player 3 years from now: "I can't find anyone to play non-Essentials 4E with me in my area!" *Edit Although, I did chuckle at this post. Not to pick on derron, because I've been wrong on my predictions as well, but it's pretty funny in hindsite: "5E will fail pretty hard imo. To get people to convert (and ignoring the people who always play the newest edition) 5E has to be an improvement over what the people play now. And it is imo pretty obvious that what 3E, PF and 4E players consider improvement is most of the time diametrically opposed. Also with all their "game to unite editions" marketing going on 5E seems to go more for a "It is not as quite bad as the edition you do not like" feeling which will please no one. I would be surprised if 5E even makes the same m...

Thursday, 21st February, 2019

  • 08:17 PM - oreofox mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Pages From The Upcoming Nautical D&D Book!
    ...e. I admit that. It's rather close to dandwiki with some of the content people put on there. But there have been some really good gems. Has been that way since they opened it up in 2016 (I put my first product up on there nearly 3 years ago to the date). Not many people I come across use the fan-made stuff. Opening more settings would give the chance of some gems popping up based in those settings. Also, what do you need to play Forgotten Realms in 5e that wasn't already available from the past 30-40 years? Why focus on Greyhawk, and not mention one of the other settings. Greyhawk and FR both have basically the same races. But why not open up Ansalon and Dragonlance? There are races, classes, subclasses, monsters, and other things rather unique to that setting that are not available using the generic Forgotten Realms products. What about Spelljammer? What about Dark Sun? I see so many people pining for that setting (I don't see the appeal, but apparently a large number love it). DEFCON 1 : 5 years ago, they just barely ended the playtest, and wouldn't truly release 5e for another 6ish months. But yes, not long after release, people were clamoring for a non-adventure 5e book. It took just over 2 years for them to release something that wasn't an adventure: Volo's Guide to Monsters. It gave DMs new monsters, and players a few new racial options. And people loved it. The next year they released the first fully player-oriented book: Xanathar's Guide to Everything. And people ate that book up. A year before Volo's, they released the forgettable and disappointing Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. Now, thanks to Curse of Strahd, people are clamoring for them to release something for the other settings. And when CoS was released, and opened on the dmsguild, it was flooded with Ravenloft and horror-centric products, and it dwindled when Yawning Portal was released. Then came generic stuff, and when ToA was released, it was flooded with jungle-themed products. Release a Dragonl...

Saturday, 26th January, 2019

  • 05:05 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Shield Mastery Feat
    ...ires the use of an Attack action. Since you can ONLY take Attack actions on your turn, you cannot Shove a Creature outside of your turn, i.e. as an OA reaction. You are reading "melee attack" as "Attack action", they are two distinct, although similar, things. Again, if it doesn't make sense to follow the RAW, just change it for your game. No harm done if you want to play it that way. I literally said sword swings and Shoves "both use the Attack Action, both are melee attacks, and both are able to be used as a Reaction". I did not read or say Attack Action = melee attack. My point: if a sword swing uses the Attack Action, is a melee attack, and can be used with a Reaction; AND a shove has the exact same 3 characteristics as the sword swing that I just outlined; then both can be used as a Reaction for an Opportunity Attack. I think my interpretation is RAW, you think your interpretation is RAW. Both think the other is wrong. But perhaps we're actually both right because, like @DEFCON 1 says above: Rulings not Rules... only I'm righter because I like to give my players more "Yes"es than "No"s. :p

Friday, 7th December, 2018


Thursday, 22nd November, 2018


Thursday, 25th October, 2018

  • 07:13 AM - Li Shenron mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Passive Perception better than Active Perception?
    I'm not sure what kind of situation you're imagining. I'm only going to consult a character's passive score if they've told me they're looking for something, so I can't imagine a situation where they hit the DC to find whatever it is they're looking for with their passive score but then I'm asking them to roll a check instead. Maybe an example would help. (Also for DEFCON 1) Rather than an example, a general principle: I use Passive Perception against other's rolls, but Perception checks against static DCs. There is then no need to sweat each time to decide what to use. The only decision I typically need to make is, when rolling, whether the player rolls in the open or I roll for her secretly.

Monday, 27th August, 2018


Tuesday, 10th July, 2018

  • 05:13 PM - Sadras mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Player asked for a favour: MC Barbarian-Warlock
    Was the character a Barb first or a Warlock first? By your title, it looks like barb first. At what level did the MC start? So we have just started a new campaign at 3rd. They have had one session so far and he asked me if he could not change one of the levels to Warlock. Generally I am easy within the first two sessions on changing up a few things. 1) Will this player also want to cast spells or cantrips while raging? Nope. 2) How, if at all, would this affect the advantage the player gains on Strength checks and saves while raging? Not affected. @DEFCON 1 - I pretty much agree with you on this. I have had a look at the both the barbarian and the hexblade class. There is no real mechanical benefit I foresee that would be an issue at my table. I personally think the player is building his character incorrectly, said as much to him. There are better ways to make the concept through Background, Feats, Skills, Bonds, Flaws and Ideals - including a makeshift Patron Feat of sorts if need be. Failing that a combination of class features from the two classes. As I see it the high Charisma is actually hindering him (points wise), he won't be casting offensive spells so he doesn't need the high DC and as for the Hexblade Curse minor healing it is not worth it if he only sees the character advancing to level 3. Leaving the ability points in Strength actually works better since he intends to advance in Barbarian and Hexblade Curse works fine with that. I think he is happy I said yes, but muddled that I provided so many possibly better options for...
  • 03:44 PM - Hawk Diesel mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Player asked for a favour: MC Barbarian-Warlock
    I would have no problem with this. As DEFCON 1 said, every ability is like any other. There are already tons of ways for other classes to substitute in their prefered modifier for attack and damage. Additionally, this multiclass slows down the spellcasting and invocation progression, as well as prevent him from getting the barbarian capstone while also slowing his access to brutal critical. The sacrifices seem to balance with the gains. What I would be curious about are: 1) Will this player also want to cast spells or canteips while raging? 2) How, if at all, would this affect the advantage the player gains on Strength checks and saves while raging?

Saturday, 7th July, 2018

  • 11:02 PM - Jester David mentioned DEFCON 1 in post THIS Is The Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook!
    I heard Jester mentioned on the Friday fireside chat episode :). As far as the possible alt covers for the core books, I'm probably down with picking this up, mainly for the errata printing compared to my first edition printing books. Yup. That was my tweet at roughly the 20 minute mark, quoting a DEFCON 1 comment.

Tuesday, 10th April, 2018

  • 08:10 PM - Hawk Diesel mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Curse of Strahd and Strongholds
    Thanks everyone, I'm really digging the feedback. I'll admit, I hadn't really thought about this until a flash of thought this morning. I backed Matt's kickstarter and was wondering how I might be able to use it for the current campaign I'm running. DEFCON 1 that is a good point about there not being much around Barovia. But I don't think they would want to make a "home" of Vallaki what with that mayor being so persistent about people being happy and participating in those parades and fests. Of course, I also have no idea how this group is going to proceed or react. I am changing the script for some things regarding Lady Wachter and her relationship to the Baron and Izek based on some suggests I've found on these boards, so who knows who will survive that event. But the Blue Water Inn already makes a pretty nice base of operations, even if not exactly a player controlled stronghold. Krezk would be more reasonable, but the players may stumble into Van Richten's Tower by then, which has stronghold written all over it. Also, I know that Death House is like... super cursed. But I like to reward my players for creativity. I won't say it's impossible to break the curse. And I don't even know if they would want to claim the house as theirs. Bu...

Wednesday, 14th February, 2018

  • 12:01 AM - Kinematics mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Revised Disadvantage/Advantage
    OK, this came out of brainstorming on @DEFCON 1's post about exhaustion, and the trouble with the impact of disadvantage on all ability checks at the first level of exhaustion. However I'm finding the idea more generally attractive, and would like comment on it. The basic idea is to change the interpretation of how disadvantage affects a check. You still roll two dice, but instead of taking the lowest result and being done right there, you take both results, and apply them in order of lowest to highest. If both results were failures, or both success, then nothing really changes. You still just fail or succeed as normal. However when one is a failure, and the other a success, then things get a bit interesting. Namely, you have to take the consequences of the failure before you can get the results of the success. If the consequences of failure prevent the success from being possible at all (eg: attempting to jump over a pit trap; attempting to hit an enemy), then it's just a straight failure. But if the consequences of fail...

Friday, 26th January, 2018

  • 09:29 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Short and Long Rest limited Actions
    Action Surge is physically taxing, using it to take basically an extra turn costs you 5 hitpoints as you excessively push yourself. Every time you use it after the first the cost doubles, second time 10 hitpoints, third time 20 hitpoints, etc etc. This increased cost resets AFTER you take a short rest, regain your strength and let your body recover. To allow for "Rule of Cool" situations the cost of an Action Surge is paid at the end of your turn, thus allowing you to chose to make that final effort to finish your foe before accepting the consequences. Then, under the rational of doing away with short or long rest recharging, the fighter would get to use Second Wind in the same way to offset the cost of the additional Action Surges... but what is the cost of re-using Second Wind again and again? I'm sure you could come up with something, but it all seems like too much futzing for not enough gain, IMHO - to paraphrase @DEFCON 1's post above. That said, if an alternative Action Surge rule works for your table, give it a whirl. Let us know how it goes!

Friday, 15th December, 2017

  • 03:38 PM - Blue mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Legendary Actions
    DEFCON 1 is entirely correct in the rules as written. And that legendary actions are to help with the action economy of multiple PCs vs. a solo opponent and with a single PC only doing one is appropriate for the combat. However I believe that the intent is that all are used every round and that is built into the Challenge rating / XP value. If the creature will not have a chance to do so, I would lower the challenge and XP.

Thursday, 21st September, 2017

  • 10:00 PM - lowkey13 mentioned DEFCON 1 in post D&D Reader App Coming This Fall? [UPDATED]
    I felt harassed. It's not up to a vote. He's been blocked. Sent from my iPhone using EN World mobile app Fair enough! Well, let's see. Given that I know the posting history of DEFCON 1 (which is long and fair), and given I've seen what you've just done- "I'm not a moderator. My general rule, for myself, is to engage with people I enjoy engaging with, ignore commenters I don't enjoy, and block those commenters that persistently aggravate me." Bye!

Saturday, 16th September, 2017

  • 04:48 PM - Sacrosanct mentioned DEFCON 1 in post [SPOILERS] Enhancing Tomb of Annihilation
    I'm not treating you like freak. You can stop with that nonsense right now. I'm pointing out how every time something like this comes up, you make some sweeping negative statement that is only true if a lot of assumptions are met. In this case, the only way it becomes as easy as you say is if the party is pretty much nothing but clerics and paladins who spend all of their spell slots on those types of spells. and that is most certainly not true of most gaming groups. So when you make a statement like "...you definitely can't use the base game without tweaks.", that is simply not a universal true statement. You do this stuff all the time, trying to say your arguments are somehow a universal truth. This is exactly what I was talking about in that other thread yesterday DEFCON 1. This isn't you just stating your opinion of your personal style. This is you telling everyone else what can or can't be done as if there is no debate, and it's simply not true. Not to mention, if said players do spend their slots on spells like that, it means less slots they have during other combat encounters and other non combat encounters. To be frank, this reminds me of the discussions about how wizards in 3e make every other class obsolete. Those arguments rely on an assumption that the wizard will have every spell available and every slot available all the time, and that simply isn't true how the game is actually played. And finally, I wish you's stop making claims about something you don't even have the book on yet, and telling us who do have the book and have played it that we're wrong. Chult is tier 1. Says so right in the book. Tier 2 is dwellers of the forbidden city.

Saturday, 12th August, 2017

  • 04:38 PM - CapnZapp mentioned DEFCON 1 in post 5e druids/wildshape/combat forms/improvements
    DEFCON 1: actually my ideal for beast selection is the same as for spell selection: that work is done to shore up the weaker choices to make them palatable (or "viable"). If everybody chooses the Brown Bear, or everybody chooses Fireball, that makes for a less varied game. Just as I'm advocating that spells like Witch Bolt gets an official upgrade, I can wish for magic items that might work on the lion but not the wolf, the tiger but not the elk. Examples taken specifically because there are guides out there saying things like: Lion: Pounce is easily outdone by the Dire Wolf's bite, and the Dire Wolf does more damage. The Lion has two attacks, but without Multiattack that doesn't do anything. Dire Wolf is strictly better. Tiger: Nearly identical to the Lion, but with Darkvision and a tiny bit more damage. Dire Wolf is still better. Giant Elk: The Elk's Charge ability is nice, and has a solid DC to resist, but its biggest appeal is the ridiculous damage on its hooves. 4d8+4...

Thursday, 15th June, 2017

  • 04:56 AM - jayoungr mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Why is Hoard of the Dragon Queen such a bad adventure?
    Hi, I stumbled across this old thread from a google search. I am a first time DM, and this module will be my first campaign. I am interested in reading your blog posts mentioned here, and was also wondering if you had any tips for this adventure specifically for first time DM's. The links to these blog posts are no good. Do they still exist? The original article was reposted on this board, here: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?373438-7-Legitimate-Beefs-with-Hoard-of-the-Dragon-Queen&p=6422605&viewfull=1#post6422605 And this post later in the thread has links to the follow-up "13 Tips" article on the Wayback Machine: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?373438-7-Legitimate-Beefs-with-Hoard-of-the-Dragon-Queen/page4&p=6730156&viewfull=1#post6730156 Good luck! The "Enhancing" thread mentioned by @DEFCON 1 above is always open for questions.

Wednesday, 10th May, 2017

  • 05:02 AM - pukunui mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Curse of Strahd help
    DEFCON 1: I don't know that I want to cheat quite like that. They're going to go to the castle as soon as they get the sword, so I'm not in a rush to force them there. I've been meaning to have Arrigal attempt to steal the holy symbol off the party (they got it from the Vistani treasure wagon, and I figured Arrigal would've gone off to Strahd to report the PCs' activities, only to be told off by Strahd, who recognized his description of the prize they took from the wagon, and ordered to retrieve it). This is probably the first chance he'll really get, as this is the first time the PCs have spent the night out in the open.


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Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 03:38 PM - Flamestrike quoted DEFCON 1 in post Finesse rebalance
    In my humble opinion, I suspect the REAL issue here is that there is only a single d8 Finesse weapon in the game, and thus people are just tired of seeing the word 'rapier' everywhere. In my games all weapons can be re-fluffed. It's not just a thing Monks can do. That includes damage type. For example a Sabre (same stats as a rapier, deals Slashing damage) is a thing. As is a Sap (same stats as a dagger, deals Bludgeoning damage). Bam presto: archetypal finessable bludgeoning weapons now exist, and the weird mental image of someone dual wielding rapiers is resolved. As an added benefit, more player concepts are available and the game is more fun. I go one step further and include the ubiquitous and morphable 'Monk weapon'. It's a 1d6 [versatile 1d8] Simple weapon that does S, B or P (your choice). Same stats as a Staff or Spear. Want your Monk using a lajatang, 3 ringed broadsword, temple sword, dragon sword, spiked chain, kusuri-gama, lead coated halfling, tetsubo, ladder, two shoes tie...

Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 09:45 PM - Garthanos quoted DEFCON 1 in post Why don't everything scale by proficiency bonus?
    When you have a Level 1 character without proficiency and any ability modifier (+0 total) able to roll a check against a fully ability modified (+5) and full proficient (+6) person and still be able to beat that supposedly uber person on various checks ("I rolled a 17 on my Perception check and I have no bonus, what'd you roll? Oh, a 3-- grand total of 14? Oh, what a shame!" While flukes can happen the d20 variation is the cause of that to happen a lot one system I was working on used progressively smaller die sizes if you wanted to be careful. D12+4, D10+5, D8+6, D6+7, d4+8 for instance as your base roll then add your bonuses. You wont perform worse than someone who is significantly less capable than you. Sort of bunks with classic critical hits though so it still needs something.

Tuesday, 9th July, 2019

  • 06:20 PM - Tony Vargas quoted DEFCON 1 in post What is the Ranger to you?
    Not trying to engage in an edition war. Not-Try harder next time. ;P You'd think with all these complaints about unnecessary classes that the Basic Rules document would be more popular and more often used than it is. ;)It might be more popular and more often used than you think it is... See the problem I see is that the roles are not as locked down as people took them to be. The 4e fighter is probably the most badassed in melee combat of any class various features even work toward Striker as the secondary role for instance did you know if an enemy ignored the fighters mark and or just try to not engage him he will very much be doing striker class damage? Most every martial ...nod, unless the Fighter were in a duel, then his defender features did absolutely nothing. The Roles were verymuch designed around the assumption of a party cooperating and supporting eachother. The power of the Defender, and especially, Leader roles flowed to the rest of the party. Strikers & Controllers were...

Monday, 8th July, 2019

  • 11:33 PM - Esker quoted DEFCON 1 in post Lighting Effects
    Oh no, don't skip out on the lighting conventions... LuminCon is one the highlights of the year! ;) And I hear HighlightCon has some real luminaries this year.
  • 07:56 PM - Charlaquin quoted DEFCON 1 in post Lighting Effects
    I also do everything based not on the lighting conditions of what the observer is standing in... I do it based on what the object or person being perceived is standing in. - If the target is in bright light, any perception checks made to notice details are made normally. - If the target is in dim light, any perception checks to notice details are made with disadvantage. - If the target is in darkness, you cannot make any perception checks to notice details, and in fact cannot see the target at all. If you have darkvision, move each result up one line. Perception checks to notice details on targets in bright light and dim light are made normally, perception checks on targets in darkness are made with disadvantage. I treat the darkness spell not as though the area is just regular darkness, but rather that it is a sphere of what you might essentially consider black ink. It would be considered a "solid" object as far as light sources are concerned (whether within the sphere or behind the spher...

Sunday, 7th July, 2019

  • 09:13 PM - Satyrn quoted DEFCON 1 in post Telegraphing Attacks
    . . . if they see an ogre wind up a tree-trunk to swing it but not actually follow through in the same round, they'll probably just assume it's an "every other round" attack . . . Oh, that reminds me of the other suggestion I had, @Xeviat. In this case, you could have "winding up a tree-trunk to swing" be a bonus action that the ogre takes at the end of his turn. This would let the act of take a normal weaker attack on round 1 and begin his wind up. On round 2, he can compete his devastation blow . . . or if his wind up is interrupted, make a normal weaker attack. Then, either way, he can begin another wind up attack. In this way, the ogre could still get to attack every round - but do a lot more damage of he's ignored. Getting the balance right between the heavy hit and the weak one would give the players an interesting choice whether they want to risk the heavy hit, or take the time to interrupt him. Edit: I should add, I think interrupting the wind up would have to be pretty near auto...

Monday, 1st July, 2019

  • 11:54 PM - Lanefan quoted DEFCON 1 in post Mearls' "Firing" tweet
    You forgot to mention the "BROOOOOOOOOOOOOOONS!"Says the Canucks fan: I'm proud to say I've never yet put anyone on ignore in here, but much more of that kind of talk and my unblemished record might have to gather a stain*. * - just kiddin' :)
  • 03:36 PM - TaranTheWanderer quoted DEFCON 1 in post Horde of the Dragon Queen (what am I doing wrong)spoilers
    I think even the good ones benefit from preperation and tweeking to suit your table. I haven't read HotDQ, but I'm aware that it isn't well regarded. If you don't have time for a lot of prep, I would certainly consider something different. HotDQ & RoT took A LOT of prep and tweaking. I did prep...I just didn't read a lot of extra on-line stuff. I read the adventure from cover to cover, made plot hooks for all the PCs, dropped potion in tough areas and even reduced enemies in a couple places. Despite the module's difficulty inexperience might also be a factor. With regards to where to restart from... I'd say keep the characters, have them rescued by Delaan Winterhound (Rise of Tiamat - Council Member) with his pet Loska, who was investigating rumours of a dragon hatchery in the area. The cult has long since taken off - so the party are a tenday or so behind the Cult. The characters failed so they should have a setback of some kind besides the fact that they lost their equ...
  • 03:21 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted DEFCON 1 in post Why the Druid Metal Restriction is Poorly Implemented
    That's why Druids have Barkskin. Another wonderfully written rule by the way. ;) No, Barkskin is for use when in animal form. Given that Hide + Dex 14 + shield > Barkskin, it's basically useless in human form.
  • 02:56 PM - lowkey13 quoted DEFCON 1 in post Why the Druid Metal Restriction is Poorly Implemented
    "This rule was badly written!" Okay. Yeah. Fine. ... ... ... ... ... Now what? As I noted at the beginning, no one complaining about the supposed "badly written" rule is providing an effective mechanism to enforce it. You know, anything from "Druid Explodes" to stating that the PHB rules on non-proficient armor should be enforced (PHB, p. 144). It's the usual rules lawyering- trying to find a loophole (it's not CAN NOT, IT'S WILL NOT, SEE?) and instead of fixing it, arguing that it therefore is meaningless. Words, man. What do they even mean?
  • 02:39 AM - Oofta quoted DEFCON 1 in post Why the Druid Metal Restriction is Poorly Implemented
    Heh... I'm failing to see what the point of all of this is, especially now with all these hundreds of posts. The book has already been written and printed. The "rule" is already in black and white. Arguing is not able to change the ink. So at this point what difference does it make whether it was a good rule or a bad rule, or a changeable rule or an ignorable rule? The book says a thing. You can now either follow it or ignore it. What further argument is required at this point that warrants this many posts? Basically it boils down to some people want their druid to wear metal armor. It's "justified" because ... I dunno. I'm sure we'll get yet another wall of text soon. It's not a real rule because it only shows up as a proficiency restriction and there is no penalty if the rule is broken. Will not doesn't really mean they won't. The rules aren't the boss of the player. Take your pick. Apparently I'm a "tyrant" DM because I personally follow the rules unless I have a significant reason not...

Saturday, 29th June, 2019

  • 02:22 PM - Morrus quoted DEFCON 1 in post Mearls' "Firing" tweet
    Well, we had tried to move on to a wonderful discussion about how us New Englanders don't really care that we are a part of a region known as "New England", and it only exists in an attempt to merge us all together to the same size as most other states in the union... but that seems to have run its course. Granted, you're a West Coaster Mistwell so you probably don't care about this issue in the least... but sometimes I find it's good to mock myself and my fellow Patriots-loving, bean-eating a-wipes. ;) To be fair, that’s not very interesting conversation for 99.99% of people either. :)
  • 02:08 PM - lowkey13 quoted DEFCON 1 in post Mearls' "Firing" tweet
    Well, we had tried to move on to a wonderful discussion about how us New Englanders don't really care that we are a part of a region known as "New England", I think what actually happened is that some of us were discussing "y'all" and how Texas wasn't part of the South ... and then OF COURSE someone from New England had to come in and ruin everything because we weren't talking about New England and something something the Patriots are all just misunderstood something something GOODELL IS THE REAL CHEATER AND BRADY IS THE GOAT something something IM NOT A BANDWAGON FAN, IMA WEAR MY PINK RED SAWKS HAT SINCE 2014 something something yeah, I went to school in New England, that counts right something something you just don't get it, we really are long suffering, I mean, the Celtics didn't even make it to the finals this year blah blah blah LOOK AT ME, DID YOU KNOW WE PLAY SPORTS AND STUFF? YANKEES SUCK. GRONK 4-EVAH! How you like dem apples?

Friday, 28th June, 2019

  • 06:58 PM - Elfcrusher quoted DEFCON 1 in post Mearls' "Firing" tweet
    Heh... as if any of us who live in these six states really care that we are "New Englanders". The only New England thing that matters to us enough to warrant taking pride in it is the Patriots. Other than that... we just get all lumped together to get our land area up to the size of a normal state. ;) Wait, who is this "us" and "we"? Sorry, but MA, CT, and RI are not really part of New England any more. The only bits of MA that are still New England have small plaques in front of them and are surrounded by parking lots. The other day I was explaining to my 5 year old that "Roman" means "somebody from Rome" just like "Coloradan" means "somebody from Colorado." He pondered that and asked, "What do you call somebody from Massachusetts?" I chuckled and said, "Well, I tell you when you're older." (Hint: I'm from Maine...)
  • 06:33 PM - lowkey13 quoted DEFCON 1 in post Mearls' "Firing" tweet
    Heh... as if any of us who live in these six states really care that we are "New Englanders". The only New England thing that matters to us enough to warrant taking pride in it is the Patriots. Oh, Defcon, you root for the Patriots? Bless your heart!
  • 06:29 PM - Gradine quoted DEFCON 1 in post Mearls' "Firing" tweet
    Heh... as if any of us who live in these six states really care that we are "New Englanders". The only New England thing that matters to us enough to warrant taking pride in it is the Patriots. Other than that... we just get all lumped together to get our land area up to the size of a normal state. ;) Also the chowder?

Wednesday, 26th June, 2019

  • 02:45 PM - Umbran quoted DEFCON 1 in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    It seems as though many of the players here treat every D&D combat as the game part of "roleplaying game", and thus you are just expected to go through all the rigamarole of running "the game", regardless of whether the roleplaying part of it makes a lick of sense. Alternatively, we say that the game rules define the role you are playing in that context, and you are defining "lick of sense" by reference to a world outside the fictional one you're playing in... and *that* doesn't make a whole lot of sense. "Roleplaying," is not generally, "rules do not apply, do what you want, so long as it sounds good." Role playing is informed and shaped by mechanics. A good narrative must have some consistency, lest the resulting story become incoherent (as in, it doesn't hang together well, is riddled with plot holes, etc). The way things resolve has to have some regularity, or else player choices are not based in a reasonable assessment of risk and what is possible. We look to the rules to give...

Tuesday, 25th June, 2019

  • 03:10 PM - 5ekyu quoted DEFCON 1 in post Changing rest periods
    That seems like something that won't actually result in much benefit, as the group will end up just defaulting to the rest schedule of the weakest member. Either that, or the ones who can't rest while others can will just always be the ones on watch the entire time since they have no reason to sleep.Uh, the penalties for not sleeping etc still apply - no changes there - the difference is the higher Con characters can get the benefits of short and long rests more often and in more adverse circumstances. I mean, when I read some folks requiring a week for long rest, I didnt think they meant the PCs only sleep during thosexweeks, did you?

Monday, 24th June, 2019

  • 06:43 PM - Charlaquin quoted DEFCON 1 in post Sidekicks instead of Extra Attack?
    Isn't this what players hate about the Beastmaster? That their beast takes over and replaces their PC's actions for the round? If people despise the Beastmaster that much, I don't see how they'd be okay with what would essentially be humanoid beasts. I thought what players hated about the beastmaster was that the beast can’t attack unless you spend your action to tell it to, so after 5th level you’re trading two attacks for one.

Saturday, 22nd June, 2019

  • 01:54 AM - Mournblade94 quoted DEFCON 1 in post Acquisitions, Inc.: First Impressions
    WotC doesn't care about finalized FR canon anymore and they don't want you to care about it either. They may not want me to care about it, but I certainly do. Fortunately for WOTC people are more concerned about the world of Critical Role than Forgotten Realms then. They can now afford to make the realms a pale shadow of what it was because Realms fandom has become a niche. The true success of D&D is going to the streamers so most people are exposed to the realms now in the joke AI form.


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