View Profile: clearstream - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Oofta's Avatar
    Today, 02:49 AM
    The rule is quite clear. "The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0". Once it's at 0 it can't be reduced any more. Now your turn: "But it does so!"
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Today, 02:36 AM
    As @Blue said, the important thing is that even if you rule that raise dead does not override the 0 HP max, there is nothing in the description of the vampire bite that specifically states the raise dead spell does not work. You would simply be brought back to life with 0 HP. You can't gain that 1 HP because that would exceed the max. Since you are brought back to life with 0 HP, your HP...
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Today, 02:14 AM
    I could have written that clearer. What I meant was that getting reduced by a vampire bite to 0 max HPs kills you. But having 0 max HPs from a vampire bite at a later point does not. There is no auto-kill at the later point just because you are at 0 max HPs, even if it had at a previous point been killed by a vampire. The "kill when reducing to 0 max HPs" from a vampire's bite is an effect...
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Today, 12:37 AM
    Sorry, I'm not familiar with those two. Can you expand a bit? Thanks.
    28 replies | 835 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:30 PM
    What? Really? All of it? ::imagines who forests vanishing with the click of a mouse:: ;)
    154 replies | 10575 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:58 PM
    Darkvision treats darkness as dim light and shades of grey. If the contrast was such that a human could read it in dim light, then yes. Assuming it's not some weird color choices that make the shades of grey into one of those eye-doctor colorblind tests. So it comes down to the definition of dim light. The SRD (which matches the PHB) has this to say: So if it's small cramped...
    8 replies | 175 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:41 PM
    Precisely my point. 3.5 went out of print ("end of life," maybe I mistakenly mixed a tech term into a publishing discussion, there?), and Paizo kept selling PF1 to 3.5 fans for another 10 years. Because 3.5 had just established that kind of loyalty. In another sense than product cycles, 3.5 (in the form of open-source d20) is /immortal/. As long as anyone wants to buy it, it can be...
    154 replies | 10575 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:38 PM
    Oh I hear you. 80% of the weapons table never gets regularly because there are better options. Personally I'm a fan of resolving this by assigning weapon damage by class and size like 13th Age and just skin it as anything that fits your concept, but younger me would be down with the people who want to have more differentiation and a crunchy system to work out weapon damage and perks fairly. ...
    141 replies | 4737 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:18 PM
    I always figured it was inspired by Sting, Orcrist and Glamdring in The Hobbit. I mean... ...that fits the MO of Orcrist the Goblin-Cleaver, in reverse, right?
    74 replies | 2564 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:53 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Yes. Typo. Fixed. Thanks for catching that. I'm not /intentionally/ using any common variants....
    231 replies | 7712 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:48 PM
    It is, because there was a very significant event that impacted the hobby in 2000: the release of 3e. In contrast, I'd be more inclined to accept data from '97 applying to 98 & 99, for instance, as not /that/ much changed - alarm over the failure of TSR probably lessened. I'm not arguing the other side. By saying that 1999 data isn't valuable for making one claim about 2002-5, say, I'm...
    88 replies | 2928 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:45 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Er...in 1e splint-and-shield by RAW gives AC 3, doesn't it? (and by common house rule where shields give 2 AC points, that'd be AC 2). That's going to lower the odds of hitting a bit, and thus the DPR.
    231 replies | 7712 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:44 PM
    Blue replied to Double Dash
    I'm a fan of D&D, double Ds, DDD, but not getting a D. :D
    52 replies | 1123 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:41 PM
    No, your summary is off the mark. What I had said was that the PHB points out what you need to do and not do, but that even if you do those ("finish it") you still won't get any benefit from it under certain circumstances such as doing more than one in a 24 hour period or starting it without at least 1 HP. This is a new and interesting route to explore. I am unaware of specific rules on...
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:41 PM
    I agree with Sacrosanct that 2e could be shifted to the left in that ranking of lethality. But, as I said, above, there's some truth to it, in terms of relative PC durability at first level. In general, as the eds progressed, 1st level PCs were made more durable, from 3d6 in order to more liberal stat generation, from random 1st level HD to max, from no healing at 1st to bonus spells from WIS,...
    29 replies | 493 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:41 PM
    Agreed - it's one of PF's better productions, and largely adaptable to almost any system with a bit of work. Well, this assumes both players and PCs are looking at things first and foremost in terms of DPR and so forth rather than characterization and flavour...which kinda brings up a peeve of mine, that being players who only view their characters in terms of how much damage they can give out...
    141 replies | 4737 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:25 PM
    Quite right, and most often it will be. My point is simply to say that there's no good reason that it always has to be, hence my example of looking for one thing in the Duke's desk and finding another.
    665 replies | 17425 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:23 PM
    For any number of reasons, some that you might like and some you might not: - to introduce new or unexpected elements to the fiction (whether pre-authored or generated on the fly) - to give the players (as their PCs) something new or different to think about; or to get them thinking a bit more outside the box - to, in the specific example given, point out there's more than one way to...
    665 replies | 17425 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:16 PM
    Yeah, I've never known us all to agree. ;) 3e, for instance, was plenty deadly, it went all-in on giving monsters the same options as PCs, so much of the assumed advantages the system quietly gave PCs in prior editions quietly vanished - also 3e retained SoDs, /and/ saves didn't keep up with DCs, in contrast to prior eds where saves genuinely improved with level. I'd tend to agree. 2e...
    29 replies | 493 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:48 PM
    Blue replied to Double Dash
    Pic isn't me, but I'm up for some D&D&D&D&D!
    52 replies | 1123 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:15 PM
    There are melee weapons that can be thrown. So there's a very practical distinction between "attack with a melee weapon" or "melee attack with a weapon," as throwing an axe at someone is ranged attack with a melee weapon, but not a melee attack, at all. Hitting someone with a bowstave is a less common example of the same distinction.
    141 replies | 4737 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:02 PM
    Yep, understandable. Storyteller sold a /lot/ of books in the 90s, and they were, especially for rulebooks, pretty good cover-to-cover reads, but good luck finding a specific thing you vaguely remembered reading in one of them. Serious point-build systems, Hero, GURPS, could sometimes go the exact opposite, especially in presenting their core mechanics, very dry stuff. Both more complex and...
    21 replies | 758 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:52 PM
    I intended layers. ;) I also think it's a perfectly workable variant. Oh yeah, I've seen that in action. Most dramatic example: a one shot Firefly scenario that included a prison break - one of the players was a correctional officer. It was positively comical when I was a kid, 14yo's arguing about 'how stuff really works.'
    88 replies | 3336 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:40 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Well, I mean, OK. 1e: 1st level fighter, longsword & shield, splint, 16 STR, 14 CON: AC 3, 1-10 (5.5) hps, hits self on natural 17 for 2-9 (5.5) damage (1.1 DPR). 5e: 1st level fighter, longsword, starting package, duelist style, 16 STR, 14 CON: AC 18, 12 hps, hits self on natural 13 for 1d8+5(9.5) damage (3.8 DPR, 4.275 w/crits).
    231 replies | 7712 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:34 PM
    Odd, why would you describe something as the exact opposite of what it was? Powers were very structured in presentation, and the mechanics had fairly clear/exact jargon definitions. Anything but jumbled or messy. Indeed, the aesthetic, if it could even be called that, was more 'technical manual' than anything else - which is great for understanding or looking up what you need, but less than...
    21 replies | 758 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:25 PM
    So they were being dishonest? Alignment was a rule - you had to choose one - and it had mechanical effects, including things the character /could/ do, items it could use, etc, as well as restrictions on it. So, I'd think, even from a purely "gamist" (not necessarily in the Forge sense) perspective, you'd want to choose the 'best' alignment for your strategy, rather than try to talk the DM out...
    31 replies | 724 view(s)
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:19 PM
    TwoSix replied to Double Dash
    If you move at 90 feet per round, precisely how long does it take to get to Flavor Town?
    52 replies | 1123 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:13 PM
    Missed that, sorry. Between 1999 and 'early 2000s' 3e was released. I suspect it had an impact. So 2003 GenCon, sounds relevant, FWIW. 1999's survey, while it might be stronger data, just isn't relevant to the 2000s.
    88 replies | 2928 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:58 PM
    We know you can only take 1 long rest per 24 hour period, so that's not an issue as far as recovering spells. As far as whether "you don't gain the benefits" ... meh. It's a ruling that's going to vary from DM to DM. I think that if we're going by strict interpretation, if you couldn't take a long rest at all it should have said so. Being able get rid of the max HP drain is not a...
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:10 PM
    Blue replied to Double Dash
    Sure I allow double Dash in those cases. It's a heroic game of fireballs and dragons - this seems an odd hill to head towards realism on. It fits both RAW and RAF. And considering double actions already exist with things like action surge, it also seems to fit RAI. Along those lines, the rogue / fighter that wants to Action surge to get in Dash-Dash-Dash for one round can go for it.
    52 replies | 1123 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:00 PM
    Blue replied to Double Dash
    Irrelevant. They were specifically talking about a bonus action dash and an action dash. This is the same as a sorcerer casting a quickened cantrip and the same cantrip as their action, which is just fine.
    52 replies | 1123 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:48 PM
    Blue replied to Looting Monsters?
    I let them look monsters just fine. I don't play with strict encumbrance, but a common sense approach if they are trying to carry too much like several sets of armor. Using them yourself - go for it. Giving them to villagers to help protect themselves against the raiding hobgoblins - sure! Selling on the other hand isn't always as easy. In smaller settlements there is limited call for...
    20 replies | 566 view(s)
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  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:40 PM
    TwoSix replied to Double Dash
    If there's anything more fun than casting Haste on a Monk so they can triple-Dash at double speed, I don't know what it is.
    52 replies | 1123 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:23 PM
    Actually, jaelis just won it for the "long rest at 0 won't make it come back" side. :) I had the concept of "what happens because of a long rest" and "what happens after a long rest occurs", which is supported reading the Long Rest section of the PHB and the Vampire's bite entry. But he called on me to look at other things that come back after a long rest, and the verbiage of them differed...
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:18 PM
    Okay, you convinced me. So after the revivify it would take a Greater Restoration or similar effect to bring back their max HPs.
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:15 PM
    I do need to throw in one exception. There are brand of new players who don't care about matching abilities scores to class at all, instead matching them to concept. For example the first character my daughter made was an elven moon druid with an 8 Wisdom because she wanted her to be impulsive and lackign common sense, and a very high Dexterity because she wanted her to be "agile like Peter...
    37 replies | 990 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:02 PM
    Yeah, it's very build and table dependent what is "better", and even there "better" is usually defined within a limited number of pillars of play (such as just combat). I really do pick both myself. My last two characters that leveled up were one feat and one was +2 CHR (for a bard, looking for more Bardic Inspiration uses as well as the other benefits).
    37 replies | 990 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:56 PM
    Agreed, it's contrived. When I started writing it one of my goals was trying to show that people still considered a long rest to occur at 0 HPs if a detriment happened. There are still people disagreeing that the long rest happens in the first place. From there is became a great way to kill too birds with one stone by including both a benefit and a detriment. This is an strong point,...
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:34 PM
    I'm fine with your house rule and the reasoning behind it if that works for you and your table. For me, the fact that a potion will take immediate effect implies that the "fantasy world physics" treat it as a magical effect and has nothing to do with going into the stomach and then the bloodstream. Rather that it's a vehicle for a magical effects much like a wand or other consumable, where...
    141 replies | 4737 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:27 PM
    Incorrect. You die if a vampire bite reduces your max HPs to 0. There is no ongoing effect. There is nothing in the description of the vampire's bite to distinguish between someone who remained alive, and someone who was brought back. As a matter of fact, we have pretty strong circumstantial evidence that this works just fine if you are brought back. Consider the case you didn't...
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:19 PM
    Here's the exact wording. Taken from the SRD, though it matches the PHB: If you note, first there is what you need to do to take a long rest. It talks about times, limits of light and strenouous activity. Second paragraph is a list of general benefits that apply to all characters. Third paragraph are exceptions that you can't benefit from more than one long rest per 24-hour period...
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:27 AM
    Fair enough. I'm coming from an old-school background where sometimes it's the healer that's down and if you don't get that potion into him half the party are hooped... :)
    141 replies | 4737 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:15 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Our body-fatigue point system (developed in about 1983) ends up working almost the same. Everyone - even peasants - has body points; for humans these are rolled on a d5 with a Con-based minimum (2 unless your Con is truly awful, 3 if it's pretty good; and a lower roll becomes set to the minimum) and are locked in for life unless some tragedy like losing a limb permanently alters them. Your...
    231 replies | 7712 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:09 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Tony Vargas , to compare apples to apples, what happens if you put up your happy little 1st-level Fighter against its clone (i.e. another Fighter-1 with all numbers exactly the same) in each edition?
    231 replies | 7712 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:02 AM
    If memory serves, I believe IRL that if an unconscious person is put into the correct position to avoid choking it is in fact possible to get a liquid into him-her, as swallowing is a reflexive action much like breathing. Given that, no reason not to allow it in the game. :)
    141 replies | 4737 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:59 AM
    Er...in my example the PC does achieve what she hoped for: she found incriminating evidence against the Duke. That the evidence didn't take the exact form specified in the action declaration doesn't reduce the success, or turn it into a failure - and that's just my point: a roll of success gives success, but the GM should have some latitude to narrate what form that success takes if something...
    665 replies | 17425 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:23 AM
    "Balanced at the Encounter" just means "pacing doesn't matter." Even 4e didn't go there, though the closely-related 7th ed of Gamma World did, and it worked pretty well, actually. Any indication PF2 wants to go there?
    21 replies | 758 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:24 AM
    You have a choice of rules to use (or not): Carrying capacity, it's 15 lb/STR, if the fighter's gear & the other character & his gear exceed that, he's pushding/dragging and his move drops to 5' - otherwise fine, this is the simple default for carrying stuff. Encumbrance ("Variant"): Up to 5lb/STR he's fine, but it's unlikely a medium ally is under 100lb, which'd be the limit for 20 STR. ...
    7 replies | 247 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:13 AM
    Sounds plausible (that he'd like a mechanic like that), 4e had a lotta* re-rolls, from the notorious Elven Accuracy on, and it seemed like there were just more of 'em after he took over. In particular, the Avenger had a special ability that was "make two attack rolls and use either result. … If another effect lets you roll twice and use the higher result when making an attack roll, this power...
    28 replies | 835 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:09 AM
    If you couldn't take a long rest if you were at 0 HP it would say "If you have 0 HP you can't take a long rest". It doesn't say that. You just don't get the benefits enumerated above. You don't regain HP and hit dice. Anyway that's how I'd rule. Dying because your max HP is reduced to 0 (and not getting any HP back from a long rest) is penalty enough.
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:51 AM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    I may still be stuck in the idiom of the D&D Pedantry Thread, but it seems like there's a whole lotta RPGs that don't particularly fit between those. Good to know.
    231 replies | 7712 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:25 AM
    My memory's bad, but I'm fairly certain that the "Summer of 1999" occurred /before/ "the early 2000s." (I mean, I've been "fairly certain" and turned out to have been wrong, before, so y'all might wanna to double-check.)
    88 replies | 2928 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 11:29 PM
    I suspect that'd wear you out. ;) A quick search of some modern archery guidelines, and, yes, you increase wear on a 'natural material' bow if you leave it strung a long time, apparently even a few hours is worth avoiding. Apparently, a strung bow is under tension and a bit dangerous if the string or stave breaks, too. More detail than D&D generally goes into with weapons. Adventurers...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 11:18 PM
    They've had more or less mechanical impact in some eds (and I'm sure, some places/groups/etc back in the day, when we were a less disunited-by-the-internet, merely more diverse, community). Obvious examples of early alignment mechanics are alignment requirements for classes, damage for touching an artifact that doesn't match your alignment, detect this and know that, etc... 3e peaked, with the...
    31 replies | 724 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 10:46 PM
    In all seriousness, I was just reading a story last night that refered to a female-presenting android as a gynoid. And it looks like that's a thing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gynoid
    14 replies | 480 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 10:41 PM
    Absolutely. That is completely clear in the PHB. It's not that you can't take a long rest, it's that you don't gain those benefits from it. That a long rest can be taken even at 0 HPs isn't a question if you read the PHB.
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 10:39 PM
    There's benefits from a Long Rest, and then there are things that happen because a long rest was taken, of which could be a benefit. Let's try this. Akar and Brandar are cursed, they lose two point of strength after each long rest, for three long rests. Two long rests past, and at the start of the third one Brandar has been reduced to zero HPs. The long rest finishes. The curse kicks...
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 10:24 PM
    No expert, but I've heard yes with regard to the bow. But I'm fine with arbitrary. Medieval rossbows, IIRC, weren't like guns - there's no safety, the bolt can just fall out, etc...
    76 replies | 2045 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 10:13 PM
    The problem is the interpretation of what the PHB means when states under Long Rest "a character must have at least 1 hit point at the start of the rest to gain its benefits". Did they really have a long rest if they can't gain any benefits from it? Note that I'm not disagreeing with you, I'd certainly allow it. Dying is enough of a penalty in and of itself.
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 10:05 PM
    You are conflating the specifically laid out benefits of a long rest, with a benefit that happens because a long rest has passed. They are not the same. The benefits of a long rest are clearly laid out in the PHB on page 186. The vampire's bite is not part of that. Rather the description of the max HP reduction for the vampire has a condition for when it returns. "The reduction lasts...
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:59 PM
    If every single mechanic is upturned, then it's hardly just a re-boot to re-start the supplement cycle, is it? Sounds more like substantive change.
    154 replies | 10575 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:58 PM
    "That may be true, but you will always be a gnome loving paladin wannabe!" Too far? :uhoh:
    10 replies | 403 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:56 PM
    I actually kinda like common. In general, things seem more fantasy (or mythic, perhaps) to me, if everyone can talk to everyone else. You could conceive of Common as just "the gift of language" in the sense of communication, it's not just a language everyone strangely learns, it's the language everyone who can speak at all, can speak by default. All other languages would then be...
    31 replies | 724 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:46 PM
    Atk Bonus + d20 >= Def Bonus + d20 is the same mathematically as: Atk Bonus +d20 -d20 >= Def Bonus d20-d20 is a bell curve. So it really changes the odds and the differance that a +1 make depending on where it is in that curve. If your attack and the defense are the same, the first +/-1 will grant a 5% bonus. But if they aren;'t the same, +/-1 will offer smaller change. And asymetic...
    141 replies | 4737 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:34 PM
    You bank the fire before you go to bed, uncover the coals in the morning, add kindling, and blow on it. IDK why I happen to remember that, but it's actually a good example. If I didn't, your character would be screwed trying to start a fire in mundane domestic setting without a flint & steel, D&D-matches (tindertwig?), or, well, since this is 5e, Firebolt... ...so not really screwed...
    88 replies | 3336 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:23 PM
    There is the important act of stringing the bow, you could make that an Action, and require it be un-strung to stow (only slightly arbitrary). If you also impose more plausible RoF on crossbows and slings, that'd about take care of projectile weapons as fast-swapping alternatives to melee.
    76 replies | 2045 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:23 PM
    When a mommy gnome and a paladin love each other very much, they hug and 9 months later a rapier is born.
    141 replies | 4737 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:11 PM
    I blame Elan... ...OK, and every version of the Bard class that preceded him.
    10 replies | 403 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:07 PM
    Don't mind me, I'm just being pedantic... "How the /Hell/ is it you speak Infer-" "... oh, nevermind, answered my own question, really." But it doesn't specify if that that's oral route, IM, naso-gastric, IV, topical, suppository...
    141 replies | 4737 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:57 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Or that, yeah. Actually, now that you mention it, my second 4e character was an "old-school high-elf fighter/magic-user," he was a wand wizard, and he did explain his Scorching Burst as "an old Wand of Fireballs that doesn't work like it used to." (There was, in that campaign, a conceit that magic had historically, or pre-historically, worked as it had in prior eds, so I got to lampshade the...
    231 replies | 7712 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:53 PM
    A bard in a previous campaign used a Shakespearean insult generator. Or just look up the top insults from The Bard. :D
    10 replies | 403 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:45 PM
    Not quite, in my view. When the roll shows 'success' the GM is bound by that to narrate a successul outcome...of some sort. This successful outcome doesn't (or at least IMO shouldn't) necessarily have to directly match what the player had in mind* as long as the narration reflects an overall success for the PC. My example above, though not the best, tries to show this: the search doesn't...
    665 replies | 17425 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:40 PM
    As a side note, your players are right. It's right in the PHB under the description of Healing Potion (pg 153). "Drinking or administering a potion takes an action.". This is also echoed to be true for all potions in the DMG, page 139.
    141 replies | 4737 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:31 PM
    Except that regaining the maximum HPs is not a function of a benefit of a long rest (which requires 1 HP), rather it's the function of the Vampire's Bite where they come back after a long rest is taken. You can definitely take a long rest, even if you don't gain benefits due to having less than 1 HP.
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:21 PM
    I'm getting a sense of deja-vu here... … yeah, it's like it's 2003 and someone's going on about the 'cash grab' … ...which went on to command such loyalty from fans that Paizo has been selling PF1 to that base for an extra decade past it's end of life. ...so, yer say'n PF2 could be Paizo's 3.5!
    154 replies | 10575 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:20 PM
    Moderate agreement - you will often see races that have a modifier paired with a class that uses that ability. It doesn't have to be +2. (If it did, you wouldn't see any variant humans, and I think they are the race I see the most.) With a 15 accessible both point buy and standard array, and 16 and 17 both giving the same +3 modifier, I see a lot of 16s around. This is why I like how 13th...
    37 replies | 990 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:07 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    The difference in ease of use is certainly there, that's been the game's direction the whole time, it's one thing the WotC era hasn't deviated from. Maybe it was just 'pervasive' that threw me. Because, yeah, neo-Vancian is way more versatile than old-school Vanican, and way less limited in in-combat used. OTOH, the breadths of spells isn't as great, and some of them are, well, 'less...
    231 replies | 7712 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:52 PM
    You definitely wouldn't want to go up to 12d12 - if you rolled max it would be gross... ...(waiting to see if anyone gets it)...
    21 replies | 626 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:50 PM
    I have a new RAW interpretation I believe holds up. Unfortunately it does not agree with your DM's ruling so far. 1. Just having 0 HPs means the character starts making death saves. There are a few circumstances where it could also mean death - disintegrate, took massive damage, etc. But those are exceptions - 0 HP is not death. Three failed death saves or another killing effect is death....
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:16 PM
    "Good night everybody!" - Yakko Warner
    24 replies | 914 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:13 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Ok... Magic has always been /so/ pervasive in D&D. It's an infinitely-renewable, daily (or 4hr-nap) resource. You kill a few monsters, one of them'll eventually drop a magic item. There's /fewer/ items, in theory, in 5e, and not really a lot more spells/day (and fewer spells overall)… … and then there's cantrips, which seem to freak people out, but if you've played with Warlocks and...
    231 replies | 7712 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 06:36 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    Definitely. I played 3e & 4e each for their full runs. 5e was like coming back to AD&D, in contrast. If I'd never left, it'd seem radically different, because I'd be noticing all the little (and huge) technical differences, rather than the broader similarities, the ways in which the game had changed, rather than ways it changed back. /The/ major thing, IMHO, is the privilege of the DM...
    231 replies | 7712 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 06:25 PM
    My 3.x group always did that. One of the more extreme ways I've ever seen of dealing with a bad HD roll at level-up, was to repudiate the level. That's how the player put it "I do not accept that roll! I repudiate the level!" I was Ok with it, his fighter dropped back to 2nd, and she ultimately made it to 4th (with less disappointing HD rolls on the way)… ...she was, BTW, one of those...
    6 replies | 299 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 06:14 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to OSR Gripes
    And, at high level, in 5e, they get a lot safer, which is /also/ similar to 1e, as you accumulate hps and get better saves and more protective items and more spells to negate/reverse bad things happening to you. While the details of the systems are quite different - 5e has bigger hp/damage/healing numbers, 1e has much more significant scaling on d20 targets (which it used moreso than bonuses,...
    231 replies | 7712 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 06:06 PM
    OK, that is just too good an observation to just XP and tacitly agree with. Yes, I totally get that, and agree it's very much a thing. I kinda alluded to it in the OP, with how you'd build a fire in the absence of any knowledge/wisdom Nature or Survival skill ("...you'd describe exactly what you do, and if you & the DM were in the same boyscout troop, probably succeed"). Because another...
    88 replies | 3336 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 05:48 PM
    I think the simplest interpretation is that the specific wording of raise dead overrides the general max HP restriction. But even if it doesn't, the trigger for being slain by having max HP reduced to zero cannot be met. If you're already at 0 max HP, your max HP can't be reduced. Since they aren't reduced you aren't slain. But the only important thing is that there's a fun alternative to...
    141 replies | 2632 view(s)
    0 XP
  • TwoSix's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 05:45 PM
    It would make them stronger; I don't know if it would make them too strong. Although I'm coming from the standpoint that I don't consider the PHB baseline to be super balanced anyway.
    231 replies | 9539 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 05:43 PM
    Sharpshooters'd use finesse weapons as melee backup. The way STR characters use heavy thrown weapons as ranged backup. Which, I think, illustrates the issue. Heavy thrown weapons are a pretty serious downgrade from archery. Rapiers, as the OP points out, are not a downgrade from longswords, really, at all. This is D&D. Magic is supposed to be just better. Not the worst idea I've ever...
    76 replies | 2045 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 05:32 PM
    There are no new ideas. It certainly /did/ it badly (if at all) in '93. Since 3.0, it hasn't been so bad, mechanically (OK, diplomancers were pretty horrid), in theory, if DM's'd use the mechanics, and players'd respect them when they didn't break their way... …/IF/. If not, well, machete, gasoline. Problem solved.
    88 replies | 3336 view(s)
    0 XP
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About clearstream

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About clearstream
Introduction:
Games are my life-long passion: I've been designing and publishing them professionally for three decades.
About Me:
These days I mostly focus my gaming on D&D using Fantasy Grounds. I'm fascinated about how games are mechanically constructed, which gets me into trouble when I'm deep-diving into theory and talking about stuff that no one else follows. I'm as interested in what games can be - what can be done - as how they are traditionally played.

For RPGs, I care about game balance, character motives and living worlds. I mostly DM. My happiest moments are to be surprised by the party. I'm proud of winning awards for DMing and having many players tell me that my DMing is outstanding.

I may come across as scathing, or not listening and addressing another's points. I am listening, and I am addressing, but possibly down a path that is difficult to follow for others unless they are patient. I'm willing to follow an interesting argument tenaciously to see where it leads.

Two things I enjoy most (after my family) are thinking/arguing about games, and exploring nature (especially mountains, forests and beaches).
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Right now I'm in Italy. Next year, probably Ireland.
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I'm running Out of the Abyss on Fantasy Grounds, and playing in Tales of the Yawning Portal. When one or other of those finishes I'd love to join a group as a player doing Tomb of Annihilation.

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Thursday, 3rd January, 2019

  • 05:52 PM - Ristamar mentioned clearstream in post Magic Missile and Death Saving Throws
    Could you explain the rational to me, because I can't. If they hit simultaneously, why would it distract you multiple times? Because each one is a separate yet simultaneous distraction. Nothing states that the concentration checks have to occur sequentially. As a crude example, I'd liken it to trying to ignore one large spider versus a cluster of small bugs simultaneously crawling on my arms, legs, neck, etc. The spider might be harder to ignore as singular annoyance, but any one of the small bugs simultaneously crawling across my person could potentially distract me. In that light, I can see where clearstream is coming from with his logic. It just seems a little odd given the abstract nature of hit points, death saves, or the "massive damage" instant death rule.
  • 04:56 PM - iserith mentioned clearstream in post Magic Missile and Death Saving Throws
    clearstream I think your ruling was fair and supported by the rules you quoted. It seems unlikely that the intention is magic missile is a spell NPCs or monsters use to snuff out dying PCs, especially as it wouldn't work the other way unless the DM is using the dying rules on NPCs or monsters.

Tuesday, 11th December, 2018


Sunday, 9th December, 2018

  • 05:40 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned clearstream in post Skills used by players on other players.
    When the obvious intention of the post is to ask about a skill check between characters, zeroing in on the word 'think' and giving a non-answer around that doesn't help advance the conversation. Because the question is if a CHARACTER knew if another CHARACTER lied. There's a difference between player knowledge and character knowledge.Sorry, but can you explain how characters do something without the players saying they do it? To be frank, this and clearstream's examples are "I want to be able to use the mechanics to he 100% sure, with no risk, that I can treat another as if tgey are bad." Would you be okay with an insight check that, if failed, means you must 100% and with utter, unshakable conviction believe the other character is telling the truth? No, what insight represents is a risk free check to establish the proof to treat another as a bad actor, in this case a liar. That's not interesting enough for a roll.

Sunday, 2nd December, 2018

  • 11:58 AM - dave2008 mentioned clearstream in post Rate my Aspect of Tiamat
    A decent start, thank you for sharing. A couple of comments: 1) The CR is off. I did a quick check and I get: defensive CR 13 & attack CR 21+. So (13+21)/2 = CR 17 2) At CR 17 her proficiency bonus is +6, so everything needs to be adjusted accordingly 3) Charisma should either not be listed (you don't list saves without proficiency) or it should be +10 (per comment #2) 4) Dragon's typically have expertise in Perception, so her Perception bonus should be +15 (per comment #2) with a passive Perception of +25 5) She needs some movement options. Either a limited (distance) teleport action or legendary action or flyby action or wing attack legendary action (see all adult or ancient dragon entries) 6) I would recommend adding innate spellcasting. That is a glaring weakness in the official WotC version. No need to replicate it here. PS I agree with @clearstream , Stealth proficiency doesn't really make sense for Tiamat - even if it is just an aspect. EDIT: 7) Her HD / hit points are calculated wrong. Huge creatures use a d12 not a d10. It should be: 207 (18d12 + 90). This then raises her defensive CR to 14. Coupled with increasing her proficiency bonus as noted in comment #2 gives her an overall CR closer to 18.

Thursday, 8th November, 2018

  • 06:45 AM - ClaytonCross mentioned clearstream in post Is Ranged really better than Melee?
    Ignoring accuracy as you try to always do is a fools errand. Almost as much as including an unknown to hit vs and unknown AC. lol I do agree if your not looking for max possible damage and your looing for average damage not including accuracy means your results are not accurate. *ta da chi* ...But I would also understand posting at 100% hit since you get stuck in Range vs opponent X and Melee vs opponent y then you get in consistent answers in the same agreement over and over again that does actually add anything but "player and GM choices make comparing damage shifting sand." Which is also true. That means you and clearstream are both wrong and both right at the same time but you will not know how it plays until you get to a table. If you want to make a table of all the tiers vs AC10-30 in a table I am sure clearstream would not mind though.

Tuesday, 6th November, 2018

  • 02:14 AM - Hawk Diesel mentioned clearstream in post Banishing Eldritch Blast
    clearstream I'm curious your thoughts about the rogue. As has been mentioned, the history of the warlock would indicate that Eldritch Blast is more of a class feature than a traditional cantrip (to me the fact that it is a cantrip is a design flaw, even if technically it is exclusive to the warlock based on spell lists). So if a warlock largely relies on Eldritch Blast, is this not similar to how a rogue is constantly trying to maximize their use of sneak attack? In fact, their are archetypes out there that allow rogues to sneak attack under broader circumstances, or in the case of the scout even sneak attack twice a turn. Warlocks are not casters in the way sorcerers or wizards are casters. They are more akin to monks and rogues in that they are supposed to be middle of the road in terms of damage output versus control and utility. They even have the same HP die. So I see them as a more appropriate point of comparison versus fighters, rangers, or barbarians. But again, rogues and monks have s...

Friday, 2nd November, 2018

  • 02:52 PM - TwoSix mentioned clearstream in post Banishing Eldritch Blast
    I don't see how you could not interpret it as a feature. It's definitely written-out explicitly so it must be as intended. Sorry, I didn't mean a feature as intended by the designers in 2014. I meant does clearstream, as the OP who's looking to houserule, view it as a problem to solve or a feature to keep.
  • 01:54 AM - Hawk Diesel mentioned clearstream in post Banishing Eldritch Blast
    ...ed in a forum discussion at WotC where folks were saying that EB defines the Warlock; it wouldn't be a Warlock without EB, etc. When I asked what this "Eldritch Blast" was, all I could gather was that it was just like a bunch of other spells, but did Force damage. Really? THAT'S the class's signature spell? It just does damage that is sort of like elemental damage but isn't an element? I thought that was just ridiculously lame and weak. And I still think so. Thirdly, from an RP/lore/storytelling perspective I find it improbable and problematic that every single entity in the multiverse that signs pacts with mortals shares the ability to grant this one exceptionally powerful 0-level spell, but otherwise the spell is (almost entirely) non-existent. It just doesn't make any sense. If this were true about a spell that somehow was related to the signing of pacts I would get it. But it's just a very effective blast spell. So, yeah, I kind of hate EB.... To expand on what clearstream was saying, when the Warlock first came out in 3.5 Eldritch Blast and Invocations were THE defining feature of the class. Unlike any other spellcasters in that edition, they did not cast spells. Rather they had access to a small number of spell-like abilities that could be used at will. For the evolution of spellcasters in future editions, I would argue it was a turning point because it was the first time a player could reliably cast spells (or at least feel like they were casting spells since they were really spell-like abilities) at will without using resources. You may recognize this as the At-will powers in 4th edition and the cantrips in 5e. And while the original warlock had a number of different powers they could achieve with invocations, a large number of them specifically increased the utility of the Eldritch Blast. As a result, I would have expected the designers to make Eldritch Blast more of a class feature of the Warlock rather than a cantrip due to their relationship. ...

Thursday, 4th October, 2018

  • 01:06 AM - pemerton mentioned clearstream in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    Is there another version of D&D with codified rules for a footrace?Not that I can think of (classic D&D has evasion rules, but they're a bit different). But 4e does have a generic resolution system - skill challenges - that can be used to resolve a race. (It will play out more like the Ben Hur chariot race than an Olympic event - whether that's good or bad is a matter of taste, but I think 4e wears its gonzo on its sleeve.) I would have assumed that 5e was equally clear - it's resolved by making checks and comparing them (or perhaps a sequence of checks as clearstream suggests, though the Basic rules don't offer a system for aggregating check results into an overall outcome). But the predominant view in this thread seems to be that, in fact, you can only run a contest between two characters and they have to be fighting over something (a ring, a door, etc) and so to resolve a race you need to house rule.

Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018

  • 09:12 AM - Sadras mentioned clearstream in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    @clearstream I think part of it is that 3rd edition was clunkier, without being fundamentally more complex. You might be right, I don't know. 3.x certainly wasn't an edition I excelled in as a DM. Some would argue clunky (i.e. heavy) is complex. If something is less clunky then it is lighter or easier, and likely more user friendly.

Tuesday, 28th August, 2018


Sunday, 26th August, 2018

  • 02:48 PM - pemerton mentioned clearstream in post Missing Rules
    ...sy (DC 10, so better than 50% chance of succes), while jumping an extra 4' for that 12 STR PC seems Medium or even Hard (so DC 15 or 20, ie quite a bit less than 50% chance of success without solid Athletics proficiency). Another consideration (harking back to the Thief-Acrobat jumping abilities in Unearthed Arcana) is whether the character lands standing, or prone and hence needing to recover. To comment on the "rulings/rules" aspect of the thread: I don't see any intention in 5e that certain rules are not to be followed -like the rule that uncertainy is resolved via checks, and that checks consist in rolling a d20 and adding mods from a fairly standard list. A GM could - for some sense of "could" - call for a Burning Wheel "die of fate" check to find out what happens when a PC jumps, or use the Moldvay Basic approach of setting a percentage chance of success and calling for a d% roll - but I don't see the least suggestion in the Basic PDF that this is what the game expects. clearstream has mentioned the idea of (certain) rules being constitutive of a game - for D&D it's tempting to see d20 rolls to hit, doing polyhedral dice hit points of damage on a success; d20 rolls to save; and, in 5e, d20 checks to resolve action declarations with uncertain outcomes, as constitutive in that sense. A few departures from this are neither here nor there, but systematic departure would make it unclear in what sense the game is a 5e D&D one. (And that's before we get to the rather specific and intricate PC build rules, which play a constitutive role in themselves, and which don't contribute meaningfully to play if the constitutive action resolution rules aren't generally used.)

Tuesday, 21st August, 2018

  • 03:09 PM - robus mentioned clearstream in post Missing Rules
    Oofta & clearstream good points. Now I'm stepping out of this thread for real! :) (i.e. no more lurking and getting sucked back in!)

Thursday, 5th April, 2018

  • 10:39 AM - pemerton mentioned clearstream in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    clearstream, I think I would find your posts easier to respond to if I had some sense of what RPGs, or what sorts of play experiences, you have in mind when you make your observations. This captures quite well why GNS comes under criticism for turning a blind eye to some kinds of roleplaying.What kind? It has a very thorough description of RPGing that involves pre-authorship of setting with the goal being for the GM to tell the players about that setting. It's a form of "high concept simulationism". If my character nominates a fictional manufacturer of her fictional grav bike, then other players should accept my fiction. They shouldn't say - no, that manufacturer doesn't exist so your character cannot be sitting on her grav bike, that said manufacturer putatively crafted. Thus, they accept something that they had no agency over. This is a constant. The only question is the scale and siting of who is doing what.I am not following your point. Yes, as Vincent Baker has pointed out for a long...

Thursday, 23rd November, 2017

  • 05:09 PM - FrogReaver mentioned clearstream in post [Homebrew] Defensive Duelist
    clearstream When I make a feat that would work with the rogue you complain it doesn’t work as good for the fighter. When I make something that work for the fighter you complain it doesn’t work as good for the rogue. Nothing will work equally well for both the fighter and the rogue unless you make it require no action, bonus action and no reaction which is a design that has its own problems. It works for 1 feat but once others start getting designed that way it quickly spirals out of control.

Saturday, 4th November, 2017

  • 01:52 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned clearstream in post Title / Subject - or probabilities are hard
    Oh, heh. I had to go back and forth among the OP, my response, and your response to understand what you meant. Yeah, my post wasn't real clear about what situations I was implicitly comparing. My first comment (counter-intuitive) referred to the fact that the two methods the OP discussed for determining the location of the statue were equivalent. But the second comment was meant to contrast the general property of both those methods (and a lot of others one could think of) - that the PCs' decisions did not affect the probability of their success - with a situation in which the PCs's decisions could affect their probability of success. As you have implied, that would seem to require giving the PCs more information on which to base their decision. I, perhaps unhelpfully, left the notion completely abstract, not attempting to describe a method that would allow the PCs' decisions to affect their probability of success. At minimum I guess I should have included a footnote that said, "I have disc...

Monday, 30th October, 2017

  • 07:33 PM - TheCosmicKid mentioned clearstream in post Does this riddle make sense?
    I like vonklaude's variation, but it bugs me why the angel would say anything if they don't know it to be true. And if the devil agrees with them, they can run the logic as well as, if not better, than, the PCs and go, "hmm, something's wrong here". Maybe have the two trapped in magic mirrors such that they can't see or hear what the other one says? Then clever PCs might be able to get more information by relaying the information between them. Also, I think a devil is better than a demon here. Always lying is consistent behavior, and that says lawful to me. In any case, both types of fiend are normally intelligent creatures who are capable of deciding when to lie and when not as best suits their interests, so to get a nice simple logic-puzzle rule like "always lies" you're probably.gonna have to put some sort of curse or geas on the fiend to force them to do it. Perhaps the same mechanism also stripped the angel's memory. Some effect of the mirrors, perhaps? And if you're doing that, the...

Friday, 27th October, 2017

  • 02:51 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned clearstream in post Revision for the Blur spell
    The blur'd bladesinger is only as overpowered as the enemy's tactics. If its a party wipe except for the bladesinger, that doesn't make things better. The damage output of a bladesinger is small enough that they don't really qualify as a large threat, and if you're in close, the bladesinger can't be firing off fireballs like an Evoker could, or function as a good tank. Every game is different, and every GM has situations they have trouble coping with. My GM wouldn't have an issue dealing with this kind of issue. This idea that people are throwing around, where you casually have the ability to calmly cast a spell with enemies that for some reason or another always start far away is mind boggling to me. In fact, I find it extraordinary. Dungeons tend to have rooms, corridors that take a single turn to traverse with a charge, or obstacles like trees or some other terrain features in the way. And don't forget traps! Open fields are the exception in my games, not the rule. I agree on the...

Friday, 20th October, 2017

  • 05:04 PM - Mort mentioned clearstream in post Bladesinger - a criticism of its design
    In my experience, while these game balance discussions always assuming no magical item drops, that's never been the case in any game I've been in that has gone on for four or more sessions. If I wanted raw AC and saves, I would have designed a Variant Human Fighter 1/Abjurer X instead of a Bladesinger. The Bladesinger beats them out only with no item drops. If by level 12-14 or so the Fighter/Abjurer has +2/3 and +2/3 shield and plate (which is very possible if you play pretty much any HC from level 1 to conclusion, let alone if you're hunting or trading for specific items) will simply have a better AC. The Bladesinger will have a much better offense, especially if magical items drop, but as people mentioned in this thread you shift more towards a pure spellcaster build over time anyway. As vonklaude said, I think this doesn't quite work for the Abjurer. 1. He loses out on a full caster level: One big advantage to the BS is he gets all this stuff without having to give up a caster level....


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Monday, 14th January, 2019

  • 09:52 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted clearstream in post Upcoming products will "touch on cultures that don't usually get exposure."
    I'm not trying to say anyone is acting badly here. I don't think that's true. More thinking "should we stay aware of possible implicit biases"? It is a very short step from being aware of bias in something and imposing our own bias onto something. Lantan is pretty much the Forgotten Realms version of MCU Wakanda. And one could argue that Black Panther was wrong to end Wakandan isolationism. The desire to "help" other nations can be viewed as the thin end of the wedge of Wakandan imperialism.
  • 09:05 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted clearstream in post Upcoming products will "touch on cultures that don't usually get exposure."
    Greece is one of the key foundations of Western European culture, and Steampunk celebrates a recent age of incredibly inequitable imperialism. My European side highly values the rich elements of our culture from the many sources. Another side, looks with mild despair on how thoroughly certain narratives are recited. The point we're at, I feel we could be celebrating every effort to be diverse, and avoid undermining or digressing from them from the outset. No matter how subtly. Victorian imperialism was achieved as a consequence of getting a technological step up on the rest of the planet. War of the Worlds is an allegory for this. This, and many of the other original "Steampunk" novels are actively anti-imperialist. For another example 20000 Leagues under the Sea is also strongly anti-imperialist. Lantan stands in direct contrast. They could have used their advanced technology to carve out an empire, and they chose not to. This makes them culturally very different to the British (Romans/American...

Sunday, 13th January, 2019

  • 11:23 PM - gyor quoted clearstream in post Upcoming products will "touch on cultures that don't usually get exposure."
    Greece is one of the key foundations of Western European culture, and Steampunk celebrates a recent age of incredibly inequitable imperialism. My European side highly values the rich elements of our culture from the many sources. Another side, looks with mild despair on how thoroughly certain narratives are recited. The point we're at, I feel we could be celebrating every effort to be diverse, and avoid undermining or digressing from them from the outset. No matter how subtly. Steam punk celebrates technology and and a style, not imperialism. Nothing in steam punk culture celebrates imperialism or colonialism, like abuses of various cultures. All culture have dark periods all of them. Japan has world war II, the FN Miq'mac wiped out the FN tribe in Newfoundland, many African Empires sold slaves, Ghana apologized for this, even though no one living had any part in that. Feeling guilt at ancient crimes is absurd, all guilty parties are dead.
  • 10:14 PM - TheCommanderSalty quoted clearstream in post zelandia - the homebrew setting based off New Zealand . Part 1
    It seems likely players of a setting will gravitate around a main name. I want to put my feelings frankly, because I feel like our hobby can do good work here. If the name is the European name, then that entrenches or recites a colonial narrative. I would love to see the Maori-inspired name as the primary name - the one on the cover. That said, it is your creative work and I don't have any right to dilute your vision. I hope you will take into consideration what I've raised. I’ve had a few people feedback to me and say change the name so I will :) haha you guys have a good point and it would make more sense . I’ll change it up after work. Honestly any feedback or criticism is valued
  • 07:10 PM - gyor quoted clearstream in post Upcoming products will "touch on cultures that don't usually get exposure."
    I feel like fictional cultures are essentially footed in real-world cultures. Lantan seems like an early-Steam-age mercantile culture... the beginnings of capitalism and perhaps a touch of robber-barons (murderous kleptomaniacs, really). It has a strong touch of European and colonial history about it. When I think about it - and this is absolutely not a criticism or aimed at anybody - it can be a kind of thought-provoking irony for us to think about Lantan here, and talk about preferring it; because colonial cultures played a strong role in suppressing diverse cultures. I'm thinking here about events like the early Australian state separating aboriginal children from their families, and forcing them into education in European ideas and culture. For me, choosing more diversely among real-world cultures as our points of departure for fictional worlds sounds inspiring and a really good chance to enrich our hobby. It's important for us to have clear eyesight: to see what informs our fictional wo...
  • 06:57 PM - TheCommanderSalty quoted clearstream in post zelandia - the homebrew setting based off New Zealand . Part 1
    But able to stand very, very still, for a really long time. Il definitely work that into their description haha . Tuatara monks would be cool
  • 06:46 PM - TheCommanderSalty quoted clearstream in post zelandia - the homebrew setting based off New Zealand . Part 1
    But able to stand very, very still, for a really long time. Hahaha
  • 06:45 PM - TheCommanderSalty quoted clearstream in post zelandia - the homebrew setting based off New Zealand . Part 1
    It's a good idea albeit perhaps riff the name off Aotearoa. New Zealand is the colonial name for it after all: which feels at odds with the Maori cultural theme. True. I could have what outsiders have named it and what the natives call it.

Wednesday, 9th January, 2019

  • 04:04 AM - Maxperson quoted clearstream in post An Unearthed Arcana I would like to see - mechanical fixes
    So it seems like there could be some sense of convergence around @TwoSix and @Sword of Spirit suggestions. I'd prefer WotC got onto it, but I can see that a community project could be pragmatic, and maybe influence what comes along down the line. How might we create that cabal? Maybe start a thread around one of the perceived issues with a 1 or 2 week shelf-life. Take all of the actual ideas put forth and create that poll I mentioned. Limiting the thread to 1-2 weeks for ideas will allow us to get several issues handled in a reasonable amount of time, and it seems like most of the good ideas come early on in the thread, before the thread digresses into arguments and other discussions.

Tuesday, 8th January, 2019

  • 11:02 PM - Sword of Spirit quoted clearstream in post An Unearthed Arcana I would like to see - mechanical fixes
    I cut out the rest to save space, but I think that's a great idea. Now, to the question above. Are we going to come to a consensus about a given fix like GWM, or would we have like 5 different fixes for it in the document? If we are going with the former, I would recommend the following. A thread where the potential fixes are noted and discussed, followed by a thread where people vote on poll containing those fixes. 1 vote per person, and the top vote getting goes into the document. The lengthy explanations for each fix would be stated in the OP of that voting thread. We'd only one want fix for a given issue, otherwise it wouldn't really get the job done. So it seems like there could be some sense of convergence around @TwoSix and @Sword of Spirit suggestions. I'd prefer WotC got onto it, but I can see that a community project could be pragmatic, and maybe influence what comes along down the line. How might we create that cabal? I'm an idea guy and I'm decent at creating structural thin...
  • 09:51 PM - Mistwell quoted clearstream in post An Unearthed Arcana I would like to see - mechanical fixes
    Some posters introduced strawmen and unwelcome digressions into this thread. Okay, that's simply part of what internet conversations are like. Could be down to misunderstandings, bees in bonnet, that sort of thing. You win an award. https://i.imgflip.com/2qo3c0.jpg

Monday, 7th January, 2019

  • 11:01 PM - Saelorn quoted clearstream in post An Unearthed Arcana I would like to see - mechanical fixes
    Examples for me include druid nature skill (intelligence? expertise in nature based on Druid levels could make sense)Druids already get better at Nature as their Druid level increases. That's what your Proficiency bonus represents. Why would you think that your capacity to learn and remember details should be irrelevant to how much you know about a topic?
  • 03:49 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted clearstream in post An Unearthed Arcana I would like to see - mechanical fixes
    I did think of that. It's part of why I'm interested in what they might list. This could come to feel like an argument between disposable and endurable cultural artifacts. This doesn't seem like a sound argument. Partly because it makes it hard to understand why anyone ever bought any of the D&D books. What were they looking for, if it was all "do it yourself"? One of the vexing things for game designers is getting respect for their expertise. It's one of those "everyone can do it" crafts. Except they can't. It takes time, training, experience, access to playtesting resources, access to data, access to analytics. It's a real profession. I will stand up for my colleagues in the games industry against anyone denigrating their craft as a... nothing. I feel that is unfairly dismissive. I have a deep admiration for the WotC design team and absolutely believe they bring more to the table than "DIY". I think hair dressers are better at hair dressing than I am, I think teachers are bet...
  • 03:37 AM - Mistwell quoted clearstream in post An Unearthed Arcana I would like to see - mechanical fixes
    After writing I realised I should have just listed what I saw as possible exemplary issues, e.g. repelling blast is pretty unique in pushing things of any size with no save - should it really be like that? Well you're literally the only person in 4-5 years I've seen complain about it, it's not listed on anyone else's lists that I know of as overpowered or broken in any way, I've seen it in play and it's not a particularly powerful ability, and on various guides it doesn't even rank as "good". It's not unique (there are plenty of spells that do it, like thunderwave...they might require a save, but repelling blast requires a to hit roll, which is just a different kind of hit on a DC). I really don't know what you're seeing in your game that makes you think it's a problem.
  • 03:15 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted clearstream in post Classes and damage
    I’m an expert in data analysis (it’s literally my day job), and I think people are making assumptions and conclusions about things without the data actually proving it. Innthe industry, we have a saying: garbage in, garbage out. I.e, if you’re starting with incomplete or bad data, no method of analysis will result in a sound conclusion. So if the DDB team is making a claim that X class is popular IN GENERAL, while not factoring in those people who don’t use DDB, or only use it for chargen, then they are starting with fundamentally flawed data. I suspect they are giving that conclusion based on a much narrower scope, like “among players who use DDB to create and play their characters in the DDB toolset while playing, this is the results.” So I would strongly caution anyone taking that narrow scope and assuming it applies to a much larger scenario. IIRC, the head of the DDB team’s job prior to launching DDB was also data analysis. And they’ve gone out of their way Lin the streams where they ta...

Sunday, 6th January, 2019

  • 09:13 PM - Yunru quoted clearstream in post An Unearthed Arcana I would like to see - mechanical fixes
    I value their expertise as designers specialising in D&D-style RPGs, and their access to design resources such as salient data sets, time and playtesting. That's an important part of why I part with money for their game rulebooks. But apparently not enough to consider that they might feel these "issues" aren't really issues?
  • 08:42 PM - lowkey13 quoted clearstream in post An Unearthed Arcana I would like to see - mechanical fixes
    Hmm. So if that is what you think I am saying, then I can see why you are opposed to it. But it is not what I am saying. Great! If that's not what you're saying, I wish you the best of luck and fun with your rulings. :)
  • 08:30 PM - lowkey13 quoted clearstream in post An Unearthed Arcana I would like to see - mechanical fixes
    Of course :) I don't think anything I'm saying here goes against the product serving us, or asking for substitutions. More it questions whether the expert chef - having made everything on the menu a thousand times - might not like to tweak a few dishes that she has noticed, with hindsight, could be improved? I would love to have those tweaks fall, winsomely, upon my palate. (snip) I'm possibly then in a minority who valued 3.5ed as an update to 3ed... and 5th for continuing in that vein. Would it be fighting talk to say I wouldn't mind a 5.5 (even were it called 6th)?! Yes, it would be fighting talk. You might have enjoyed 3.5e, but it ended up causing something of a schism in the rest of the D&D community (PF, d20 etc.). Because there is a difference between adding new material (a la XGTE) and amending the core rules. Once you start amending the core rules (beyond very basic errata) you begin to split the player base. And you need a much better reason to do that than "Yo, Clearstream can't be bothered to cook meals at home. He only likes them fancy meals. It's only a tiny little thin mint, Mr. Creosote." In other words- it's not broke, it don't need fixin', and when we get 6e, it may be backwards-compatible, but it won't just be your desired bug-fixes. The Gygax helps those who help themselves, my friend.
  • 07:56 PM - Mistwell quoted clearstream in post Classes and damage
    Do you know if the DnDBeyond data excludes characters who are generated but not played? I know I quite often make human characters on Beyond to look at a build concept, and then never play that character. How would they know if you play it? It's a PDF you can print out. They're not in your house, watching you play :)
  • 07:48 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted clearstream in post Classes and damage
    Do you know if the DnDBeyond data excludes characters who are generated but not played? I know I quite often make human characters on Beyond to look at a build concept, and then never play that character. Yep. They use the data for characters that are being riddled with in ways consistent with actual use, and the team is expert enough in data analysis that I’m pretty willing to trust their conclusions.


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