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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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About DEFCON 1

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About DEFCON 1
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I DM two concurrent 5E Curse of Strahd campaigns.
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Thursday, 23rd March, 2017

  • 07:00 PM - pukunui mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Curse of Strahd help
    ... and instead of the hag Baba Zelenna, the villain there became a banshee witch named Patrina Velikovna). And then Chris Perkins took the stuff both Expedition and Fair Barovia and reincorporated it again-- for instance taking the name Lysaga and creating Baba Lysaga from it, and taking Patrina and her brother Kasimir's story from Fair Barovia! (which matches the story in CoS of he and the elves stoning his sister so that Strahd couldn't have her and it turning her into a banshee) but moving her from the hill to Strahd's crypt instead ...Actually, Patrina comes from the original I6 module: "Patrina was a gypsy elf maiden who, having learned in early life a great deal of the black arts, was nearly a match for Strahd's powers. She felt a great bond with Strahd and desired to become one of his wives. Strahd, ever willing, agreed, but before the final draining of spirit from her soul could take place, her own people stoned her to death in mercy. Strahd demanded, and got, the body. She then be...

Monday, 20th February, 2017

  • 06:39 PM - lowkey13 mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Warlock, Hex, and Short Rests: The Bag of Rats Problem
    The problem here is that now instead of a bag of rats, the warlock is incentivized to go punch a villager into unconsciousness. Or just slit their throat. It pushes the character towards finding an easy low-risk combat scenario, which is arguably even weirder than the bag of rats. The hardest part of a fully satisfying solution to this issue for me is that allowing all of the mechanics that lead to a bag of rats, which on their own are all reasonable and seem to be RAI and RAW how the warlock is balanced, leads to some kind of weird behavior. Building on what @DEFCON 1 wrote, why not just use your first bonus action in your first combat to cast it? If you think that hex, as intended, requires the Warlock to punch random villagers every morning and immediately take a short rest, then I think there's a very fundamental divide in how you are playing the Warlock (which isn't wrong- it's a choice) as compared to how others might play it. FWIW, I happen to think that hex is situationally useful, but I have found many better uses for the limited spell slots of a Warlock that don't eat up his concentration for the entire day. Because you can't stack concentration. (Although from a strictly comedy perspective, I have no issue with Draak, the Villager Puncher)

Monday, 16th January, 2017

  • 09:09 PM - DaedalusX51 mentioned DEFCON 1 in post The Warrior: Fighter & Feats Homebrew
    I've updated the Cavalier kit and the Scout's "Marked.. For Death" maneuver. I do have another question that I have been considering, do you MostlyDm, @DEFCON 1 feel the second Warrior Kit is too big of a benefit at 15th level? I am considering removing it and changing Martial Adept to give an entire kit. Thanks for your advice!
  • 05:45 AM - DaedalusX51 mentioned DEFCON 1 in post The Warrior: Fighter & Feats Homebrew
    ... that couldn't be taken away if the group decided on not using feats or multi-classing. In fact, I think some of my other local groups want to shy away from using feats due to their possible overpowered nature (the -5/+10 and cover removing features for example). My solution to this was to remove all of the combat feats, such as Great Weapon Master and Sharpshooter, from the game. In turn I would keep the mechanics that I didn't find overpowered and implement them as maneuvers in the new Warrior subclass. With the addition of a new Martial Adept feat, I still allow other classes to dip in and grab two maneuvers. This allows the Fighter to have 6 or 8 maneuvers with the feat while other classes can only gain 2. In addition, I have reworked the remaining feats and added prerequisites for most of them. Please take a look at what I have created and give me your input. I really appreciate any suggestions or concerns. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxZxYfpUunBsWVdLUkFtWmVaWms @DEFCON 1

Thursday, 12th January, 2017

  • 04:40 PM - Rils mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Slightly confused about Curse of Strahd
    I'm with @DEFCON 1 on this. They can have their giant final battle with him there, but it doesn't mean he needs to be defeated there. My group is supposed to meet him in Sergei's Tomb, and they will. They'll also find him in several other places around the castle before they get there. It's just that that location is where he finally "snaps" as it were, decides enough is enough with these pesky Outsiders, and attacks. Assuming they defeat him, he'll mist form out the door to his own tomb to regenerate. Assuming (again) the PCs follow him, they can fend off the Brides while someone deals with the body in the coffin. But once he's in his tomb, there's not much fight left in him. They "Faced" Strahd at Sergei's tomb. The concern about them finding the chapel too early is legit though. There's no need or opportunity to explore the rest of the castle if that's the first room they walk into. If the waves of enemies idea doesn't suit you, another option might be a "hide and seek" game, with some play...

Wednesday, 14th December, 2016

  • 04:53 PM - SkidAce mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Fighter Survey Response
    ... an end-around on the DMs who don't want to use Feats by making subclasses that have ostensibly unique features but are actually just giving them Feats automatically is really kinda cheesy. Fighters already get extra slots as part of their class make-up to select additional ASIs/Feats, under the assumption that all these combat-related Feats are potential Fighter class abilities. So a Fighter can easily get the Sentinel or Sharpshooter feat if the DM allows for it, thereby getting those mechanics. But if a DM has decided not to use Feats... it's because they don't want to deal with having those types of mechanics in their game. So to then re-introduce them to the game anyway by just handing them out to Fighter subclasses automatically does not put them in a very good light in my eyes. I feel it's like WotC just thumbing their eye at their DMs who choose to not use Feats. So yeah... I wasn't overwhelmed by the Fighter UA. :) I don't always quote for truth.... but when I do its DEFCON 1
  • 04:03 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Creating NPC Villains with class levels and/or features
    I have a handful of NPC villains that are very important to my campaign. For them, I straight up created them using the PC creation rules. Seemed the safest way to make them and gauge their ability compared to the PCs. The books even suggest doing this, so I think that's the safest way to do it. You could also do what DEFCON 1 suggests and use statblocks like the archmage as a starting point and tweaking as needed, but once you've started doing that, you may as well just go with PC creation. And I agree about CR, especially for these kinds of NPCs...I think it's something that too much attention is given to.

Friday, 28th October, 2016

  • 09:57 PM - doctorbadwolf mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Gnolls: Playable or Not?
    Lol guys. Criticism isn't insult. And who made any accusations, founded or unfounded? only people making anything personal here are Monsterevny and DEFCON 1

Friday, 23rd September, 2016

  • 11:19 AM - Charles Rampant mentioned DEFCON 1 in post The 5e Big Book Mega Campaign!
    Hey all, So in the thread about 'the problem with 5e adventures', DEFCON 1 wrote the following interesting remarks: I'm wondering now that at this point whether you could run four of the campaign concurrently? Can you intersplice Lost Mines, Tyranny of Dragons, Princes of the Apocalypse, and Storm King's Thunder so that you can do certain chapters of one before following a thread to an early chapter in another? They all take place in and around the Sword Coast (and even for the parts further away like Greenest in Tyranny you could substitute a closer town, say in the Silver Marches or something.) If you don't run them as "Plot train is running, jump on and never jump off or everyone dies!"... and instead let PCs hit several of the introductory chapters as they go based upon where their interests take them... you pretty much can run several different stories back and forth. Which is great if you choose not to award Milestone XP, but rather actual earned XP-- you can hit the opening chapters of two or more of those books and gain the actual monster XP necessa...

Monday, 29th February, 2016

  • 06:58 AM - EzekielRaiden mentioned DEFCON 1 in post D&D Magic: Does it Feel Magical to You?
    Hang on a tick here. Let's not get too far down the road of hyperbole. Years of adventuring? To hit 5th level? How slow is your campaign? Never minding that the Magic User got Sleep at 1st level. He had a "Make the Bad Mens Fall Down" spell right out of the chute. What he didn't have was unlimited lesser power magic. There's a number of big ticket spells at every spell level - Sleep, Web, Stinking Cloud, Fireball, and so on. Your Magic User should be owning about one encounter every session. Now the cleric? Oh yeah, his magic was pretty darn limited. But, then again, he was standing shoulder to shoulder with the fighter and contributing just about as much. He didn't really need flashy magic. If your Magic User adventured for years before making his first big effect, there's something seriously wonky going on. I suspect DEFCON 1 is counting all of the time spent on Spuriously Named Magic Users #1-5 that died depressing and ignoble deaths first. (Also, I think next time I play an OSR-type game, if I can remember since I very rarely play such games, I'm going to play a Wizard or MU named Spunamu IV.)

Sunday, 7th February, 2016

  • 05:17 PM - Jester David mentioned DEFCON 1 in post The Cinematic Future of DnD 5th edition
    As DEFCON 1 says, a successful movie does not always translate into a successful product. Novel adaptations often boost sales of the book, but games have seen uneven response and comic sales have not dramatically increased despite Marvel owning theaters.

Thursday, 7th January, 2016

  • 09:06 PM - steeldragons mentioned DEFCON 1 in post New Year Unearthed Arcana Brings Back Those Old 2E Kits
    Why the hell is he scout a subclass of the fighter? It even gains a ranger feature. The scout has always been more of a ranger than most other specs. You can even play the ranger very well as a scout and always could. The fighter has never been build around skills, now he gains s.dice to 'imitate' skills. I hate that. Make the scout a subclass of the ranger as it is supposed to be! I don't care if it has been this way in 2e. This is 5e and we should have learned a thing or two during the years. The piggy back a bit on what DEFCON 1 said, my own hypothesis would be that they went with the Scout as Fighter because it is intended to be the "spell-less ranger" and since the Ranger base class (as presented in the PHB) gains spells at 2nd level but doesn't choose subclass until 3rd, you couldn't do a "spell-less Scout ranger" because by 3rd level, spells are already in the ranger's picture. So, to go with an existing non-caster base, they chose Fighter. I, personally, probably would have gone Rogue and added minor Fighter stuff and minor Ranger stuff...but that's me. If that makes sense...it works in my head but not sure if I'm explaining it clearly.

Wednesday, 30th December, 2015

  • 04:27 PM - ryan92084 mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Fluffs or Feats? Your re-skinning thread
    I agree with the points @DEFCON 1 brought up. In addition to that I wouldn't allow a cha modifier mace hand. I might let them refluff a melee spell attack but by allowing a mace to be charisma you are changing a slightly MAD character into a SAD one.

Friday, 18th December, 2015

  • 12:34 AM - AaronOfBarbaria mentioned DEFCON 1 in post To fudge or not to fudge: that is the question
    I think that anything which can be accomplished by fudging can also be accomplished by not fudging and using a different method to reach the desired goal, and yet there are things which can be accomplished while not fudging that are inherently impossible when fudging is on the table as an option the DM might or might not be using at any given moment. In fact, I would say that what DEFCON 1 states as being reasons for fudging (the group of improvisers and theater folk) are reasons why I don't fudge. To touch on the rogue example, if the story wouldn't be just as interesting whether the rogue succeeds or not, I would refuse to have any dice involved at all - rather than roll, see that the damage was close, but not quite there, and then invalidate having rolled by declaring the result successful, I'd just tell the rogue player to narrate how their rogue takes out the guard, and we'd proceed on with the story (it having completely trumped the mechanics). Of course, at the same time as I say that, my group almost never finds situations where the story would be interesting if the rogue takes the guard down in one go without any complications, but would be uninteresting if the rogue ran into some kind of complications in the attempt like the guard screaming out to alarm others or making his last living act one of vengeance (no matter how feeble it might prove) by lashing out...

Friday, 30th October, 2015

  • 09:13 PM - El Mahdi mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Warlord Name Poll
    ...unct (too subordinate, too Star Trek Borg - Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One) Prolucutor (the Pro- makes it too authoritative, sounds like the person is a professional talker, and is just too hard to say) Warden (too Ranger) Leader(zzzzzzzzzz…) @3e4ever ; @77IM @Aaron Of Barbaria; @AbdulAlhazred ; @admcewen ; @Aenghus ; @Ahrimon ; @Ainulindalion ; @airwalkrr; @Aldarc ; @akr71 ; @AmerginLiath ; @Andor ; @AntiStateQuixote ; @aramis erak; @Aribar ; @Arnwolf ; @Ashkelon ; @Ashrym ; @Athinar ; @AtomicPope ; @Azurewraith; @Azzy ; @Bawylie ; @bedir than ; @Bedrockgames ; @bert1000 ; @billd91 ; @Blackbrrd; @Blackwarder ; @Blue ; @Bluenose ; @brehobit ; @BryonD ; @Bupp ; @Campbell ; @CapnZapp; @CaptainConundrum ; @CaptainGemini ; @Carlsen Chris ; @casterblaster ; @CasvalRemDeikun; @cbwjm ; @ccooke ; @Celebrim ; @Celondon @ChameleonX ; @Charles Wright ; ChrisCarlson; @CM ; @cmad1977 ; @costermonger ; @Creamsteak ; @Crothian ; @Cybit ; @Dausuul; @Dayte ; @dd.stevenson ; @DEFCON 1 ; @Delazar ; @DersitePhantom ; @Diffan ; @discosoc; @D'karr ; @Doc Klueless ; @doctorbadwolf ; @DonAdam ; @Dragoslav ; @Duganson; @EdL ; @EditorBFG ; @Edwin Suijkerbuijk ; @Eejit ; @ehren37 ; @Elfcrusher ; @El Mahdi ; @epithet; @erf_beto ; @Eric V ; @eryndel ; @Evenglare ; @ExploderWizard ; @EzekielRaiden; @Fedge123 ; @fendak ; @FireLance ; @Fishing_Minigame ; @Flamestrike ; @FLexor the Mighty! ; @Forged Fury ; @Fragsie ; @Fralex ; @FreeTheSlaves ; @froth ; @Gadget; @Galendril ; @GameOgre ; @Garthanos ; @Ghost Matter ; @Giltonio_Santos ; @Gimul; @GMforPowergamers ; @Gnashtooth ; @Green1 ; @GreenKarl ; @Greg K ; @GreyLord; @Grimmjow ; @Grydan ; @GX.Sigma ; @Halivar ; @HEEGZ ; @Hemlock ; @Henry ; @Herobizkit; @Hussar; @IchneumonWasp ; @I'm A Banana ; @Imaro ; @Iosue ; @Irennan ; @JackOfAllTirades; @jacktannery ; @jadrax ; @Jaelommiss ; @JamesTheLion ; @JamesonCourage ; @JasonZZ; @jayoungr ; @JediGamemaster ; @JeffB ; @Jester Canuck ; @jgsugden ; @jodyjohnson; @Joe Liker ; @JohnLynch ; @...

Thursday, 17th September, 2015

  • 09:59 PM - El Mahdi mentioned DEFCON 1 in post How many fans want a 5E Warlord?
    Edited. Deleted comment. This is just going round and round, and going nowhere fast. It's becoming combative, and unnecessary. DEFCON 1 You did nothing wrong. That's all I have to say.

Wednesday, 2nd September, 2015

  • 12:07 PM - El Mahdi mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Warlording the fighter
    ... either allows all members of the group to recover hit points equivalent to the Warlord’s Wisdom or Charisma modifier times ½ the allies level (minimum of 1), or free all members of the group from non-magical fear (the Frightened condition), or reduce any effects due to exhaustion by one level. The group must be within hearing range of the Warlord, and only affects members not at 0 hit points. Command Actions (in-work) Individual tactics or maneuvers - based on Battlemaster maneuvers, 4E Warlord powers, etc. @fuindordm @Tony Vargas @GMforPowergamers @Hussar @cbwjm @epithet @MoonSong(Kaiilurker) @bert1000 EzekielRaiden @Manbearcat @Uchawi @Ashkelon @Eric V @pemerton @Jester Canuck @Bluenose @Minigiant @I'm A Banana @aramis erak @Warbringer @Leatherhead @ehren37 @Winterthorn @TheHobgoblin @Neonchameleon @Obryn @Imaro @nomotog @Ashrym @The_Gneech @Remathilis @Olgar Shiverstone @Sacrosanct @Gimul @Twiggly the Gnome @CapnZapp @MechaPilot @kerbarian @Psikerlord# @jgsugden @DEFCON 1

Friday, 26th June, 2015

  • 07:22 PM - pming mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Multiclassing order
    Hiya! I'm going to back up DEFCON 1 with the whole "talk to your DM". I'm a DM and I vastly prefer my players to come to me and say "Here's my idea for a character... he's an elven religious-warrior-monk. They take an oath like that of a druid (to not use metal items, to forsake 'technology', to be in harmony with nature, etc), but are trained in the ways of battle and tactics as a group more than individual-perfection. I think...[etc etc]". Then I can work with the player to craft some custom made archtype for Monk or Fighter or even Cleric that fits into my campaign settings feel and background. I hate it when I've been DM'ing a particular player who has been playing a straight-laced military man fighter (with soldier background and everything), and then all of a sudden the player says "Oh, I took a level of Rogue last level-up. I'm a stealthy 'shadow ops' kinda guy now". *fume* I'm pretty sure that if the PC's were fighting a big bad wizard guy, then a couple months later I just blurt out "Oh, he isn't a wizard no...

Saturday, 25th April, 2015

  • 06:00 AM - pemerton mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Perfect example of the kind of interaction that I wish Wizards had with it's community.
    Excuse me? Heaven forbid I express my opinion. That makes me not deserving of being spoken to? Last I checked we all have opinions and a right to express them. SHAME ON YOU for attacking me for expressing my opinion. "To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker." Frederick Douglass “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” George Orwell Seriously shame on you. Have more respect for opinions that differ from yours. Even if you disagree.No one suppressed your speech. DEFCON 1 just disagreed with it.

Sunday, 5th April, 2015



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Friday, 21st June, 2019

  • 08:21 PM - Mournblade94 quoted DEFCON 1 in post Acquisitions, Inc.: First Impressions
    And if you ARE a far of the Realms, you probably already have information about whatever locale you might want to run a game in, and thus a new product is unnecessary. Do you really need WotC to write up eight new paragraphs about Turmish rather than just use the eight paragraphs they wrote about Turmish previously? Or really just write your own dozens pages about Turmish yourself, seeing as how you weren't going to get enough info about it in any "new" guide to run a campaign there anyway? :) I have all that information sure, but they did 2 realms changing events since all of those campaign guides were released. So for those that care about official canon that information is completely out dated. To say we don't NEED a guide in that case is like saying you really don't need any more rules options so why publish rulebooks with those options. WOTC puts out a guide completely changing the map. Then releases an underwhelming 6 books series to 'fix' the mistakes. Doesn't release a sourcebo...
  • 07:55 PM - Satyrn quoted DEFCON 1 in post Acquisitions, Inc.: First Impressions
    And if you ARE a far of the Realms, you probably already have information about whatever locale you might want to run a game in, and thus a new product is unnecessary. Do you really need WotC to write up eight new paragraphs about Turmish rather than just use the eight paragraphs they wrote about Turmish previously? Or really just write your own dozens pages about Turmish yourself, seeing as how you weren't going to get enough info about it in any "new" guide to run a campaign there anyway? :) Replace Turmish with Lopango, and that's me! I really don't know why I chose one of the most out of the way places in one of the least supported continents as the base of my FR campaign. It might have had something to do with Boy Meets World. Or just because Volcanoes are cool.
  • 07:21 PM - Mournblade94 quoted DEFCON 1 in post Acquisitions, Inc.: First Impressions
    We've been telling people who have kept insisting there needed to be a Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting book to go back to the 3E or Grey Box era for years now. ;) If you're not a fan of the realms I could see why you wouldn't need one. But for the fans its a shame a proper campaign guide hasnt been released. The best we got was a regional guide like used to come out every month which at least was quality. Now we get a parody guide.
  • 04:07 PM - Psyzhran2357 quoted DEFCON 1 in post Why the Druid Metal Restriction is Poorly Implemented
    Is this going to be one of those threads where we come back in two weeks time and see that it has over 1000 posts, and you can't help but think "THAT?!? That's the subject matter that warranted a thousand responses? Doesn't anybody have anything better to do with their time?!?" ;) No, we don't have anything better to do with our time.

Thursday, 20th June, 2019

  • 03:55 PM - Laurefindel quoted DEFCON 1 in post On GWF and a versatile fighting style
    The problem with any "versatile" style is that there are too many members of the party around you fighting to make "switching forms" unnecessary. Once you get into combat, attack bonuses, damage rolls, and AC all just meld together into whatever melange the entire party has... and no monster you fight is so distinct in what they can do that a player can accurately determine at the drop of a hat "Oh, yeah, for this creature I definitely need the extra AC point, rather than the bonus damage point!" I'm not sure if this was meant as an answer to my OP or to another poster, but I was suggesting +1 to AC or to hit, and weapon must be held two-handed. Otherwise I agree with you that choices, if any, must be equivalent and relevant. I'm not convinced about the irrelevance of having a choice, but I hear you about +1AC/to hit not being significant enough to be worth the question. By curiosity, what's you opinion on the alternate versatile style? Instead, the players are going to do what they always ...
  • 02:25 PM - Dausuul quoted DEFCON 1 in post Why the Druid Metal Restriction is Poorly Implemented
    Why are you people venting about the metal armor for druids rule when there is a new and perfectly good "they're going to revamp the ranger again!" thread to vent in? At least that thread has the possibility of your opinions having an effect. ;) I am a forum multitasker. I can complain about druids and rangers at the same time.
  • 09:14 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted DEFCON 1 in post Acquisitions, Inc.: First Impressions
    We've been telling people who have kept insisting there needed to be a Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting book to go back to the 3E or Grey Box era for years now. ;) I just pick and choose the bits I like best from the various eras, novels and computer games. They are riddled with contradictions anyway.

Monday, 17th June, 2019

  • 03:27 AM - Travis Henry quoted DEFCON 1 in post Narrative/Novel D&D...ND&D. Imagine if the game played just like the D&D novels?
    ...oken window and crashing into the roof of the car below... and after describing all that we make like a single roll for whether we got hurt from the fall onto the car. The assumption of course being there's no concern about whether or not you "hit" one of the bad guys with an attack and did "damage"... it's an action movie-- of course we hit and knocked the dude out of the fight with one blow. That's the entire point. But this was explicitly an RPG whose "game" part was different than D&D's "game" part. It was all narrative and making up cool stuff to do and get hurt by, rather than rolling piles of dice to knock counting numbers down to zero. I have no idea if the newer editions have changed anything in that game (or indeed if we were playing our version actually per the rules (rather than the GM just running the game the way he wanted in order to exemplify the action movie aspect), but Feng Shui was the closest game I've ever played for that type of narrative result. Thank you DEFCON 1! This is close to what I'm picturing. As far as quickness and intent. One difference though is that ND&D would offer a sample array of descriptors for each action, taken from D&D Fiction itself, to help spur the imagination of the player when they narrate their character's turn.
  • 01:03 AM - Hussar quoted DEFCON 1 in post Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment!
    It's all a big waste of time... both the alignment system *and* all the discussion about the alignment system. Just play your character and then worry about how you might've defined him with one of 9 boxes after the fact. Honestly, that's how I view it. Lanefan's "breaking in period" makes sense to me. I think this all boils down to a fundamental disagreement over what the word Chaotic means in terms of alignment. You seem to be of the opinion that being Chaotic is like being a kleptomaniac - both require the character to follow their impulses with little regard for the consequences. Myself and others are of the opinion that Chaotic is NOT like being a kleptomaniac - one is basic motivation that can easily be overridden by other factors such as maintaining friendships, fear of punishment, etc., while one is basically a mental disorder. Neither opinion is factually wrong - this is a game of make-believe, after all - but can you see how our interpretation might make the Chaoti...

Sunday, 16th June, 2019

  • 05:53 PM - CapnZapp quoted DEFCON 1 in post Ridding Elves and Half-Elves of Darkvision
    Vision is like spell components... If you think it's an important part of the game, anything the devs put in the book was not going to be as noodly or as in-depth as you were going to want the rules to be. And you were going to house rule your own system into place anyway. Which is why they didn't bother making any big rule system that was just going to be ignored by most people as a result. Thus we can see they learned at least one important lesson from 3E. ;) No, that makes it sound like low-light vision is only a specialist need, and too complicated to include in the base game. In reality, they removed lots of things in their panic to avoid 5E ending up like 4E. Removing low-light vision was one of the less good things: sounds like a trivial change, but with irritatingly large ramifications on how you adventure. The minor savings in rules overhead are not worth having to deal with that many more all-Darkvision parties.

Saturday, 15th June, 2019

  • 02:48 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted DEFCON 1 in post Durable Feat is weak, Healer feat is too strong
    Maybe overall, but at my tables I've yet to have any "obvious" choices. And as I hate to have two selections when a single one would do (which is why for example I got rid of the Acrobats skill and just use DEX (Athletics) instead)... having two different movement based feats was unnecessary to me. So after my edits to the feat list, this particular feat now looks like: FREERUNNER - Your speed increases by 10 feet. - You may use a Bonus action on your turn to take the Dash action. - Difficult terrain doesn't cost you extra movement. - When you are prone, standing up uses only 5 feet of your movement. - Climbing doesn't halve your speed. - You can make a running long or high jump after moving only 5 feet rather than 10. - When falling, you may reduce the distance fallen by 20' for the purposes of calculating damage. So the feat does not completely combine the two other ones as-is, there are a few edits to it. But it gives a very nice package to a PC who wishes to be a m...
  • 06:06 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted DEFCON 1 in post Durable Feat is weak, Healer feat is too strong
    Would you let someone get regenerate or mass heal from a feat? My point was the healer feat is, in effect, giving a spell slot, refreshing on a short or long rest, for every person in your party for the low low cost of a healer's kit. My point was the amount of healing it gets is really high. I've seen it taken twice. I've also seen Inspiring Leader taken once. And I haven't gotten to be in too many 5E games. When I do get a chance to play and not DM, the character I'm planning on making is a Bard built like a Warlord and both of those feats are on my docket to take. Healer gives an amount of power that rests between Magic Initiate and the racial magic feats. Depending on what use of Magic Initiate you compare it to, it may actually fall behind Magic Initiate. (not very many cases, but still) Requiring a specific consumable item to use it is of variable significance, but it hardly breaks the game. Few DMs will just allow infinite healer kits even without the feat, but if they do, so what? ...

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 03:31 PM - bedir than quoted DEFCON 1 in post Durable Feat is weak, Healer feat is too strong
    Same. I use feats as character-defining traits, and thus have no desire to spread out that definition over several feats. If there's going to be a "exceedingly healthy and hearty" feat, I only need/want the one. So I removed the CON bonus from Durable then combined the two feats into a single one. What else have you combined in this way?

Wednesday, 12th June, 2019

  • 03:11 PM - Yaarel quoted DEFCON 1 in post 4e Clone − help create it!
    You could get it down to three if you really wanted IMHO. To reduce to three abilities, would mean using Dexterity checks for library research, or alternatively using Intelligence for jumping and grappling. Besides, the 4e stat ‘Passive Perception’ is defacto a routine defense. 4e really has four defenses. If you are trying to "clone" 4E and not just create an entirely new game for yourself, it needs to be able to work with existing 4E material that people already have. The consolidation of abilities down to four is fully compatible with existing 4e material. For example, simply deleting Constitution and Wisdom works well for most (all?) monster stat blocks. Strength and Constitution tend to be near identical. And the elimination of Wisdom leaves its incongruent aspects of Intelligence and Charisma in place. The difference is, there is a one-to-one identity between the four abilities and the four defenses. The imbalance among the six ability scores is a perennial complaint. It can ...
  • 02:56 PM - Zardnaar quoted DEFCON 1 in post 4e Clone − help create it!
    All right... if you're going to make an alternate 5E then just say that. Or if you want to make a personalized 4E variant then just say that. But if that's the case, then you have no need to worry about the D&D SRDs or the OGL. Do whatever you want with no expectation of publishing or publicizing it and keep it for yourself (which it looks like you, @Zardnaar have already been doing, which is great.) But my presumption is that if you are coming onto EN World to work with other posters to combine to create a "4E clone" together (and not just your own personal hack)... then you actually have a desire to make it a more universal and faithful port that is OGL compliant and thus able to be "published" like so many OSR games are. And if that's the case, you cannot start the process by introducing all your own rule hacks to get rid of personal bugaboos. Because your personal bugaboos are not going to be other people's, and thus this game you are trying to make will already write off 98% of the...
  • 02:31 PM - Zardnaar quoted DEFCON 1 in post 4e Clone − help create it!
    If you are trying to "clone" 4E and not just create an entirely new game for yourself, it needs to be able to work with existing 4E material that people already have. Thus you can't reduce abilities down to 4 or raise them up to 8. Because if you do, every single adventure or additional product that a person owns that they would want to use with their "4E rules with the serial numbers shaved off", would require a ton of extra work. And that goes against the whole reason to "clone" a game in the first place. Paizo made sure that their clone of 3.5 would work with people's existing 3.5 material. WotC's "Essentials" clone (which pretty much it is) worked with people's existing 4E material. If any clone is to be made here for universal-ish use (and not just a personal homebrew hack)... then you cannot make people's 4E material useless. Maybe a 4.5 or alternative 5E. Theres no real point actually loning 4E when the PDFs are available and books are cheap and readily available, the rare books ...

Monday, 10th June, 2019

  • 10:23 PM - Ashrym quoted DEFCON 1 in post Wizards (et al.) Casting Known Spells?
    At the OP If you don't like spell prep simply playing in campaigns that ban spell prep classes is also a solution. I've played many and they run fine. No class is needed. In my two current Eberron campaigns I've turned every long-rest spellcasting class into a 'Known Spells' caster, and they all run with the same spell slot table, Spells Known, and Cantrips Known (except for isolated changes here and there-- Sorcerer gains an extra Cantrip over the others for example). And the three primary casters who normally are Prepared but now aren't (cleric, druid, wizard)... the Cleric and Land Druids get to add their domain/land spells to their Spells Known, and Wizards still have a ritual book that they use to collect any Rituals they come across in scrolls or other spellbooks (although any rituals in their book that aren't also a Known Spell for them can only be cast as a 10-minute ritual.) This is pretty much what I was thinking when I was looking at the OP. Wizards swapping spells is la...
  • 06:30 PM - Satyrn quoted DEFCON 1 in post [4E] Which classes would you prefer to see in a clone
    Clone just the Fighter. Most likely, the person making the clone is going to barely get that far before they realize just how much work it is and then come to the conclusion its easier to just play the regular game without bothering to clone it. But if by some chance they actually get the Fighter fully cloned, then they can move onto the Rogue, then the Cleric, then the Wizard and so on. There's absolutely no reason to start worrying about what are classes 5 through 12 when you haven't even gotten classes 1 to 4 taken care of. Heh. Iwas a homebrewing fiend in 3e, making several new base classes and a whole host of prestige classes, along with new feats. Then 4e came along, and I boggled at how much more work it would take to make a new class. I just stopped homebrewing cold. "Yeah, I'm just gonna run the game with the regular options." And it was glorious. Even now, in 5e, my homebrewing is restricted to making monsters, with the lightest touches on the PC side (which boils down to new g...
  • 03:02 PM - dnd4vr quoted DEFCON 1 in post Wizards (et al.) Casting Known Spells?
    In my two current Eberron campaigns I've turned every long-rest spellcasting class into a 'Known Spells' caster, and they all run with the same spell slot table, Spells Known, and Cantrips Known (except for isolated changes here and there-- Sorcerer gains an extra Cantrip over the others for example). And the three primary casters who normally are Prepared but now aren't (cleric, druid, wizard)... the Cleric and Land Druids get to add their domain/land spells to their Spells Known, and Wizards still have a ritual book that they use to collect any Rituals they come across in scrolls or other spellbooks (although any rituals in their book that aren't also a Known Spell for them can only be cast as a 10-minute ritual.) Thus far there have not been any issues. And for those that are wondering about the wizard versus sorcerer thing-- in my Eberron campaigns sorcerers are only dragonmarked characters who focus on their dragonmark magic, and thus they have specialized spell lists they have to use p...

Saturday, 8th June, 2019

  • 11:38 PM - GreyLord quoted DEFCON 1 in post [4E] Which classes would you prefer to see in a clone
    Clone just the Fighter. Most likely, the person making the clone is going to barely get that far before they realize just how much work it is and then come to the conclusion its easier to just play the regular game without bothering to clone it. But if by some chance they actually get the Fighter fully cloned, then they can move onto the Rogue, then the Cleric, then the Wizard and so on. There's absolutely no reason to start worrying about what are classes 5 through 12 when you haven't even gotten classes 1 to 4 taken care of. I actually started the poll after working on the Cleric and realizing how much work it was just for that one class (especially with essentials tossed in). For the next week I'm going to finish the Cleric (almost there), and then skip ahead to combat rules, skills and feats and then come back to the classes most likely. Next I'll work on integrating the essentials Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard with the core ones into one class with options from both. That s...


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