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  • Mort's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 09:15 PM
    Absorb Elements - exactly the same reasons you listed for shield. At a flat 2 sp, it's beyond amazing.
    19 replies | 594 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mort's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 10:16 PM
    Whether the monk gets enough ki is a separate question. I used to think they didn't, but watching the tabaxi monk in my current campaign has made me change my opinion. But could you imagine how annoying it would be if there was an additional resource cost - say if the monk runs out of ki he gains a point of exhaustion? Yuck. Or how about applying it to casters? Casting is strenuous right?...
    53 replies | 1857 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mort's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:11 PM
    The Zealot barbarian can just about equal the 3rd attack with Divine Fury. If they choose polearm master - it gets even better (the Berserker can't benefit from that as both use a bonus action). The problem (for frenzy) is the very high resource cost - I can't (of the top of my head) think of any class ability that imposes worse. The 6th level ability is extremely good and the 14th as well...
    53 replies | 1857 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Mort's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:37 AM
    People often focus on the bear totem (which grants the extra resistance), but totem barbarian can be more versatile than that. Instead of bear, take the wolf totem - Grant automatic advantage against any enemy you're within 5' of (when you're raging). In many parties that's just nasty. Or if you get to the level you got to (14+) you're character grants advantage and any enemy he's standing...
    53 replies | 1857 view(s)
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  • Mort's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 04:43 PM
    In listing recommended spell choices: You don't mention counterspell - an odd omission since you recommend the Abjuration school as the top choice. Not only is counterspell a likely must for any wizard, abjurers get a big bonus when casting it (10th level plus). Same goes for dispel magic, not quite the must have like counterspell, but a very odd omission for an abjuration wizard.
    4 replies | 230 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Mort's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 06:33 PM
    It absolutely did. I just felt the narration actually took away from the scene, not added to it. The visuals, particularly Tenant's look of frustration and disgust were great - and the scene showing what he did with the I5 explained it just fine.
    31 replies | 1184 view(s)
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  • Mort's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 05:05 PM
    Overall, I liked it - Tennant and Sheen were amazing as Crowley and Aziraphale. One quibble, most episodes were over narrated. They'd switch to a scene and there would be a full description as to what was happening/about to happen - like it wasn't about to show exactly what was narrated - which it then did. Biggest offender (imo): Narrater narrates Crowley is stuck in traffic; The scene...
    31 replies | 1184 view(s)
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  • Mort's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 07:03 PM
    My players haven't used the spells in past campaigns, so banning it hasn't come up. I think I will confront it head on as my current group (currently 4th level) gets more access to these types of spells. By head on - with an eye toward how organizations, in a world where the type of magic that can detect lies and even thoughts exists, would react. Namely (to steal from a meme I saw...
    68 replies | 2577 view(s)
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  • Mort's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 06:20 PM
    My friends and I wandered around Gen Con in "I remember THAC0" t-shirts. We heard a rumor that There was someone wandering the convention in a red hat with "Make THAC0 great again" but, sadly, we couldn't find him for a photo op!
    166 replies | 5565 view(s)
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  • Mort's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 06:14 PM
    Honestly, I prefer the Brandon Sanderson approach - The worlds may be linked but the connections are subtle. People crossing over make themselves known, but generally are in the background while the heroes (and the problems) of any given world drive each individual story.
    31 replies | 1222 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Mort's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 01:34 PM
    Broken is a an overused buzzword Instead, It's just always best to understand outliers. A 1st level spell that does as much damage as a crit from a greatsword is something to watch. Also, since the clear design decision was to make 1st level 5e characters at least somewhat resilient (3 failed death saves or enough damage to go to negative full hp in one blow) spells that bypass that...
    157 replies | 158117 view(s)
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  • Mort's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 10:07 PM
    The problem is, it doesn't really matter how rare wizards are in the world if the party has 1 or more of them. That said, published 2e settings and adventures had wizards be anything but rare - they were around every corner.
    162 replies | 6663 view(s)
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  • Mort's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 10:03 PM
    This is not my recollection of 2e at all, and I played A LOT of it in high school and college! Once you got past the lower levels (where admittedly mages, at least, could have a rough time), casters were basically superheroes. The linear fighter, quadratic wizard was a huge issue back then. I remember getting access to stone skin: when the DM has to change his approach to encounters just to...
    162 replies | 6663 view(s)
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  • Mort's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 03:55 AM
    Keep on the Borderlands 19 Dragons of Despair 19-2 = 17 The Lost City - 20 Desert of Desolation - 20 Test of the Warlords - 20 Isle of Dread - 21 Castle Amber - 20 +1 = 21. Red Hand of Doom - 20 Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth 18
    210 replies | 8267 view(s)
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  • Mort's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 08:48 PM
    Ioun Stone 17 +1 = 18 Medallion of Thoughts 4 Necklace of Adaptation 27 Necklace of Prayer Beads 21 Pearl of Power 22 - 2 = 20 Periapt of Health 17 Periapt of Proof Against Poison 2 Periapt of Wound Closure 7 Scarab of Protection 18
    304 replies | 6251 view(s)
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  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 05:07 PM
    Wisconsin lost a legend today . . . https://www.packers.com/news/packers-legend-bart-starr-dies-at-85
    167 replies | 10700 view(s)
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  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 04:42 AM
    Steven Creech has passed. https://www.hshfuneralhome.com/notices/Steven-Creech https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-steve-creech-author-and-game-designer#/
    167 replies | 10700 view(s)
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  • Mort's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 04:25 PM
    YOINK I was looking for a fun item for the villain in the next session - and that's perfect - thank you!
    31 replies | 940 view(s)
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  • Mort's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 04:14 PM
    Without info on the DM or campaign - I'd take the +1 item. If i knew the DM would (or allow me to) add to the fun of the game with the "flavor" item then possibly the flavor item. But usually, I like unstated option 3 - Flavorful mechanically beneficial perks that aren't pluses. For example - the group found a cache of adamantine weapons and armor - no pluses but lots of perks. The...
    31 replies | 940 view(s)
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About Mort

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Date of Birth
July 9, 1974 (44)
About Mort
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Happily DMing in Chicago
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Been gaming since 1986. Just started a new Eberron campaign (4e which seems to really fit with the world and genre).
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About 2 start a Greyhawk campaign. Will see how it works for 4e
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Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 06:42 AM - Hussar mentioned Mort in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    CleverNickName and 5ekyu and Mort get it. As was said, meaning is rarely in a vacuum. Challenge the character is simply shorthand for setting a challenge in the game that is addressed to the fictional abilities of the character and not directly addressed to the player. Combat is a perfect example really. Very few of us know how to use a halberd. None of us can cast a fireball. But, our characters can. How they do it? Dunno. Don't particularly care either. But, I do know that they can. So, when combat ensues, I'm not expected to tell the group how I hold my halberd or how I wave my hands and make a fireball shoot out. Sure, the decision to use a halberd or a fireball is a player decision, but, the solution to the problem of the orc standing between you and the pie is found with the character, not within your ability to figure out how to stab that orc. Once upon a time, adventures were designed to be very, very player facing. Tome of Horrors is probably the best example of this, but, there are other...

Wednesday, 24th April, 2019

  • 04:07 AM - robus mentioned Mort in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Mort had an objection to a style where there was a "correct" approach. The person they were objecting to responded with a preference for saying there were "good" and "bad" approaches. My point was that using that language is even worse. If you insist on telling me that you only call for checks when someone is using a "bad" approach, then I don't care if you are also saying you are "an impartial yet involved referee who acts a mediator between the rules and the players." Because one of those two statements has to be false due to your word choice. That is because only calling for checks when there is a "bad" approach would mean you are not impartial, there is a preference and you are acting upon it, which means that the language of "good" and "bad" approaches would lead to accusations of gaming the DM, because that is what labeling those approaches with that language would mean. In using "correct" like Mort did, in the context of their post, there was a clear sarcasm in th...

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 10:19 PM - Chaosmancer mentioned Mort in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...like you see the "are you sure you want to do the dumb thing" in the chandelier, that's what I'm seeing you say with the magic circle. They are messing with something of power and you raised a flag "warning, this might be dangerous" causing them to slow down and reevaluate. Which is fine, caution play is perfectly fine, but you've also taken the tension out of the moment. After that ten minutes of studying those runes they will know exactly what might happen, and for some players always knowing exactly what could happen would be boring. That is the point I was trying to make. Sometimes, people want to jump into the unknown and take a risk. Sometimes that is the excitement, and having the DM wave a flag that says "okay, just remember these are the consequences" takes away from that excitement. It is a different style. You stated: "I think that is almost worse than 'correct' since there is some inherent sarcasm in the idea of a correct approach that highlights what it was Mort was objecting to. Mainly, that describing a set of actions that the DM agrees with means you will not have to risk failure. Which leads to what some people refer to as 'gaming the DM' where they can dump intelligence or charisma stats and still dominate the social and exploration parts of the game, because they know how to describe things to the DMs liking, while players who have those stats and abilities but can't or don't describe things to the DMs liking end up suffering because of it." I pointed out that this outcome is only if the DM behaves in a manner inconsistent with the standards the DMG sets forth for how the DM acts, in that the DM is not acting as "...an impartial yet involved referee who acts a mediator between the rules and the players. And who, by following the 'middle path' is balancing the use of dice against deciding on success to 'encourage players to strike a balance between relying on their bonuses and abilities and paying attention to the game and immersing th...

Friday, 19th April, 2019

  • 10:05 PM - Chaosmancer mentioned Mort in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...ragraphs because walls of text make me go cross-eyed. Not always because the to ideas do not flow from one another. And I apologize, I'm obviously getting too frustrated with this conversation and our lack of progress in understanding what the other means. I'm trying to rein that frustration back. One thing we have to stop saying is that there’s “a correct approach”, there a good approaches and bad approaches. It’s very poor DMing (Imho) to have situations with a single acceptable approach. In fact I never even consider approaches when I put obstacles in the way of the players, I just think of what would naturally be the result of either their or NPCs actions (or the environment) and throw them in their way. Their job is to figure creative ways to overcome them. One reason I dislike the published adventures providing ability checks (and DCs) it encourages the belief that there’s one “correct” approach. "Good" and "Bad" are equally problematic in reference to what Mort was saying. In that context a "good" approach avoids rolling and gives the player a pass on doing what they want to do. A "bad" approach then means that a roll is necessary. I think that is almost worse than "correct" since there is some inherent sarcasm in the idea of a correct approach that highlights what it was Mort was objecting to. Mainly, that describing a set of actions that the DM agrees with means you will not have to risk failure. Which leads to what some people refer to as "gaming the DM" where they can dump intelligence or charisma stats and still dominate the social and exploration parts of the game, because they know how to describe things to the DMs liking, while players who have those stats and abilities but can't or don't describe things to the DMs liking end up suffering because of it.
  • 07:48 AM - CleverNickName mentioned Mort in post Critical Role Kickstarter Predition Game: Guess the Funding Outcome (GTFO)
    And Zardnaar takes the lead with 11 minutes to spare! Mort needs a miracle now...

Thursday, 18th April, 2019

  • 09:43 PM - CleverNickName mentioned Mort in post Critical Role Kickstarter Predition Game: Guess the Funding Outcome (GTFO)
    And Tazawa takes the lead! There's only 10 hours remaining, and most online prediction tools are telling us that Mort and Zardnaar are in the best position to win. (My spreadsheet, on the other hand, is stubbornly suggesting either Mistwell or Morrus for the win.) Critters are crazy, though...we likely won't know for sure until after tonight's show.

Thursday, 11th April, 2019

  • 06:13 PM - Satyrn mentioned Mort in post [5e] Rakshasas cannot be counterspelled (mostly)? Is that how you would play it
    You just need to be clear that IN YOUR GAME Rakshasas work like THIS. Don't get into arguments over RAW/RAI. Hell, increase the CR if you like. I often do. Yeah, this is the advice I'd give to Mort. Treat this as a property of the rakshasha (not as a funky, fiddly, debatable interaction between counterspelling and magic immunity) and then describe it as such if it ever comes up in game . . . and something that can actually be learned about rakshashas if the players even bother to actually do research on them. I seriously doubt the CR needs to be increased because of this, though (at least not where handing out XP is concerned)

Thursday, 7th March, 2019

  • 03:32 AM - Johnny3D3D mentioned Mort in post Monsters struggling to hit players? Common?
    ...in-max bunch so maybe I'm just lucky. But I suspect if they were - I wouldn't have to try too hard to challenge them. This is by design, and quite intentional. Surveys during the D&D Next open playtest revealed that players don't like to miss, but they don't like to be hit often either. The solution is that PCs generally have higher defenses. Monsters on the other hand, often have lower defenses, higher HP, and deal quite a bit of damage per hit (as a percentage of PC HP). This means that the players will hit often taking awhile to defeat the enemy, but the attacks against them have more tension, since they're likely to be missed, but a hit can be a serious setback. All of this is designed to enhance the players fun. It sounds as though things are working as intended then. I'm unsure how I feel about using HP as a method of scaling monsters, but that's a tangent more related to some 4th Edition issues. In your games, do things slow down once monsters start having a lot of HP? Mort I'm sorry if you keep getting pinged. I'm having some weird glitch which quotes you in everything.

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019

  • 12:00 AM - CleverNickName mentioned Mort in post Critical Role Kickstarter Predition Game: Guess the Funding Outcome (GTFO)
    ...ions! ----- PREDICTION ROSTER Stalker0: $100,000,000 Dausuul: $50,000,000 gyor: $30,000,000 Hussar: $25,000,000 aco175: $23,500,000 CubicsRube: $21,000,000 CleverNickName: $20,612,408.57 ---------Highest-Funded Kickstarter in History (Pebble Time smartwatch) $20,338,986----------- Parmandr: $20,000,000 EnochSeven: $16,213,102 TallIan: $15,876,374 MNblockhead: $15,555,555 77IM: $14,980,000.00 jgsugden: $14,520,000 OB1: $14,000,042 The Big BZ: $14,000,000 dregntael: $13,935,109 chrisrtld: $13,635,019 pogre: $13,500,000 Aebir-Toril: $13,224,376.89 Satyrn: $13,000,000 Yardiff: $12,456,145 -----------Highest-Funded Game Project on Kickstarter (Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5) $12,393,139-------- Radaceus: $12,345,678.91 FarBeyondC: $12,345,678.90 Morrus: $12,000,000 Mistwell: $11,800,000 Mort: $11,620,000 Zardnaar: $11,354,883 <--- The Winner! Sadras: $11,120,000 SkidAce: $11,000,000 Tazawa: $10,700,000 togashi_joe: $10,250,000 DM Dave1: $10,101,010 MichaelSomething: $10,000,000 Lazybones: $9,750,000 PabloM: $9,500,000 akr71: $9,250,000 rczarnec: $9,250,000 Azzy: $9,000,000 Henry: $8,900,000 mortwatcher: $8,666,000 Lidgar: $8,423,976.73 vincegetorix: $8,360,000 SmokeyCriminal: $8,008,135 AriochQ: $7,777,777 robus: $7,750,000 MarkB: $7,500,000 phantomK9: $6,969,696 TarionzCousin: $6,160,000 ClaytonCross: $6,000,000 ---------Highest-Funded Film Project on Kickstarter (MST3K Kickstarter) $5,764,229----------- MaximusArael020: $5,685,000 Prakriti: $1

Thursday, 28th February, 2019

  • 02:57 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Mort in post Do you want Greyhawk updated to 5e?
    Quickleaf Mort SkidAce My apologies! This hasn't happened to me before (um .... that never sounds right). As y'all know, I can't alter the settings after the poll has been posted. :( ( Umbran is it possible for you to make it public? ) Here are the results so far: Yes! Greyhawk should be updated to the current edition. 105 57.69% No! That sounds like a terrible idea. 44 24.18% I refuse to answer polls that value my opinion. 9 4.95% Other (will explain the comments why I can't answer yes or no to a yes or no question) 24 13.19% I will update the first page post in a few days with the results.

Friday, 8th February, 2019

  • 10:16 PM - Blue mentioned Mort in post Is the Barbarian overpowered?
    I am pretty sure the resistance applies to all BPS not just non-magical BPS, right? You're correct. Let me adjust me original post. Mort said the same thing, thanks for the correction you both. Teach me to post from memory.

Monday, 11th December, 2017

  • 09:11 AM - WayOfTheFourElements mentioned Mort in post Reliable Talent. What the what?
    I think the two of you are having two completely different conversations. Mort:The dungeon should have the same defenses and threats no matter who enters it, a 1st level fighting and a 20th level fight. pemerton: 1st and 20th level character don't go in the same dungeons.
  • 09:09 AM - pemerton mentioned Mort in post Reliable Talent. What the what?
    Mort, thanks for the reply. I don't think we disagree as much as our back-and-forth might suggest, and so in this post I'm going to try and hone in on where I think the action is in our exchange. Is that a general "you" or me personally? I've played from low to high level in most versions of D&D, including 4e. I generally DM now, but hope my player skills haven't atrophied to the point of having less than a 50% shot.A bit of both. I think anyone coming to one of our game's high level PCs, who hasn't practised playing that character, would have trouble. (In include myself in that, and each of the players vis-a-vis the other's PCs. It can be as simple as having a good intuitive sense of the ranger's off-turn attacks, which is a matter of familiarity; or as complex as managing a very complex polearm fighter build with a range of AoE and forced movement options, plus various off-turn actions, and who switches between two weapons to trade off reach and damage. If one player is away and anoth...

Monday, 20th November, 2017


Monday, 13th November, 2017

  • 03:14 AM - Blue mentioned Mort in post How much back story do you allow/expect at the start of the game?
    Mort, the discussion was for a DM who just tossed out character backgrounds unread if they were too long. So my whole point here is players who are engaged to write vs. DM discarding with no warning. Sure, if the DM has put guidelines out there that's a different story. I don't understand them but it's your table. But throwing caveats on afterward does not change the initial discussion point - just throwing out a player's 10+ page backstory unread is a di-dastardly move.

Tuesday, 31st October, 2017

  • 09:49 AM - Hussar mentioned Mort in post Discovery and Star Trek
    If you mean Star Trek fans must like the new show to express their opinions - that's absurd. Of course you will hear us fans voice our differences when a Star Trek show abandons elements we consider key to such a show's nature. If anything, consider why you felt the need to post in this thread. Then maybe apply that exact desire to us before you publicly judge us, eh? [emoji6] Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app Nope. Not at all. Not liking something is perfectly fine. Take Mort's comment above. The episode ending was something he didn't like. Fair enough. I can understand that and, to be honest, I can sympathise. I found the ending a bit... lacking as well. Mudd previously was a scoundrel but, he wasn't a murdering sociopath. Never minding the issue with letting him go without sending him to prison. I mean, illegally boarding a Star Fleet vessel would probably merit some sort of jail time. Doing so in a time of war, assault with a deadly weapon, death threats, admitting to treason with trying to contact the Klingons - all of this would merit a lot more serious of a punishment than being sent on his way. Like I said, fair enough. The difference with what I'm talking about is people repeatedly complaining about the same thing, over and over again, telling all and sundry how the show sucks and it's terrible and so on and so forth. If you hate the show, the solution seems simple enough. Don't watch it. What do you hope to accomplish by piddling...

Wednesday, 25th October, 2017

  • 09:36 AM - clearstream mentioned Mort in post Bladesinger - a criticism of its design
    Here is a capture of my current PDFs, comparing sword and board Battlemaster to Bladesinger tanking @Mort's 2 Hill Giants. Hypothesis A = BS outlasts BM using no more than Blur + Shield and a divine buff (both have this, it's more efficient than reactive heals); leaving BS's 3rd level slots free for other wizardry. Hypothesis B = BM's higher damage contribution kills Hill Giants faster, so BM takes fewer hits. Remember that this is relative and indicative. Actual play must supplement understanding. 90186 This first image shows the values where BM's contribution kills both giants a round earlier. Look at the summation column (E) and the damage column. The latter shows expected daily damage at that probability. To take Shield into account, step up the damage column a number of times = shields/day (i.e. removing that many hits). Each character can sustain an amount damage per day indefinitely = hit dice + heals. (Warding Bond divides the damage with the cleric hence 6 HD.) As you can see, with killing both giants a round earlier BM goes past what it can sustain 98% of the time, while BS doe...

Sunday, 22nd October, 2017

  • 11:39 PM - Yaarel mentioned Mort in post What 5e rule/option/class do you wish you saw in play MORE?
    Mort, In your thread, you require players during character creation to think about why they are working together as a team. In one game they were all Knights of the Silver Flame, in an other, they all worked for a University. This ‘team creation’ as part of character creation helps players invest in the setting, which in turn, makes downtime activities in the context of that setting more meaningful, with regard to what players might need to do, and how to do it.
  • 09:08 PM - clearstream mentioned Mort in post Bladesinger - a criticism of its design
    ...ll-slots free, not less. Assertion 4: Straight levels in Wizard continues to be the bar for power in 5th edition so it is egregious to give them the means to also melee! Issue: overshadowing is bad, overshadowing by moving your most powerful class into another classes role is egregious. Assertion 5: BS is a problem because GFB and BB - not overpowered in themselves - scale with level so push BS to equal melee martials for melee damage. Issue: if BS tanking better than martials is egregious, doing that while dealing solid damage would be ludicrous. Assertion 1 - tanking test case 6th level characters 4x hard encounter + at least 1 short rest = an adventuring day BS ability scores 16, 15, 13, 12, 10, 9 becoming 9, 18, 13, 18, 12, 10 at level 4. HP 32 (7+5*5) BS preps for day with Mage Armor BS preps in first round of combat with Bladesong (bonus action) and Blur (2nd level) Competing tank is a Champion with plate, shield and Defense fighting style* Both parties have a Cleric @Mort proposed 2 Hill Giants - these are a good stress test because they have higher than typical attack bonuses and enough damage to kill BS with a critical For some reason people rejected casting defensive buffs in round one of combat, so we only did that on team-BS (I believe team-Champion might do better by using round one to buff, too); Cleric casts Warding Bond on BS in this encounter, so that even (the rare) critical hits can't kill BS After considering factors like initiative, damage dealing, damage taken and using probability distribution functions and playtests, we found that giants don't see their fifth turn. Dying in successive rounds. We used playtests in Fantasy Grounds and probability distribution functions in Excel to analyse the scenario. Regarding the PDFs, we must keep in mind elements that diverged from the playtests - 1) PDFs assume giants spend their whole time pounding the tank, every encounter, 2) PDFs assume the giants never attempt to move away, so things like BB...

Thursday, 19th October, 2017

  • 03:09 PM - clearstream mentioned Mort in post Bladesinger - a criticism of its design
    ...ght and 1 1st level shield every other fight (very generous) while the cleric burns 1 2nd level spell every fight and heals afterwards. At 8 attacks per combat for 6 combats that's 48 attacks. The bladesinger is 90% likely to be hit 5 times and 91% likely to be critted once over that. So there are three points here to address. 1) Please refer to my thread on Campaign Pacing http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?588855-Campaign-Pacing for why all "hard" is a reasonable baseline. 2) I make the chance to be critted 1-(1-0.0025)^48 = ~11% 3) From the outset, I have ensured that BS resource use is sustainable for 6 hard encounters, divided evenly by 2 short rests. In the slots remaining presented in my post you are responding to, I have deducted the necessary resources: leaving 6th level BS with 1/0/3 casts (or if you think one more Shield, then 0/0/3) and Cleric with 0/0/3 casts. For me, having 6x 3rd level casts surplus is more than adequate. So, if we're going to discuss @Mort's hard encounter, let's please stick to that. That's 3-4 a day, not 6, at 6th level 4 person party. If you'd like to push out a medium encounter to have 6 times a day, let's look at that. In the meantime, please stop this switching between cases for the best argument -- it's 1) not necessary, the Champ will already consume a lot of healing resources so you don't need to go to 6 encounters a day, and 2) makes for extremely difficult discussion as you keep switching what field we're playing on. I've only switched where people have asked me to. @Mort's encounter is a "hard" one. So (taking into consideration what I found when looking at Campaign Pacing) I used a hard encounter as my baseline. DMG lists 6-8 medium to hard encounters per day. We know that the Adventuring Day XP table gives lie to that, but then we also know that if we apply the DMG advancement rate guidelines we end up back at on average all hard encounters. I think I have stated this framing several times, but apologie...


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Friday, 7th June, 2019

  • 06:16 PM - Umbran quoted Mort in post Some Good Omens appear...
    Biggest offender (imo): Narrater narrates Crowley is stuck in traffic; The scene then shows Crowley stuck in traffic; Crowley's car radio then announces how terrible the traffic is. What Crowley did with the M25 is one of the more colorful ideas in the book. It deserved its moment.

Sunday, 2nd June, 2019

  • 08:22 AM - CapnZapp quoted Mort in post Let's list the "broken" spells
    With the exception of polymorph (a 4th level spell) and possibly wall of Force (5th level) I think we're focusing way too much on high level spells. High level spells are almost inherently "game breaking" by nature and require a high level of DM adjudication and thought. As importantly, they won't come up that often, certainly not immediately. I'm more concerned with problematic low level spells. Sleep, for example, can cause problems for a party very early if the DM is not careful. Another spell, I've seen derail a situation fast is inflict wounds. 1st level spell - 3d10 damage. It will take down ANY first level character on an average roll. At GenCon, the BBEG took down the party cleric (from full HP of 11 to 100% dead) with a particularly good roll, the DM actually crit, but it didn't matter, standard damage killed the character. I've heard the same story with other parties in the same scenario. Guiding bolt is also troubling. 1st level, 4d6 damage, an excelle...

Thursday, 30th May, 2019

  • 10:52 PM - billd91 quoted Mort in post Returning to 2nd Edition
    This is not my recollection of 2e at all, and I played A LOT of it in high school and college! Once you got past the lower levels (where admittedly mages, at least, could have a rough time), casters were basically superheroes. The linear fighter, quadratic wizard was a huge issue back then. I remember getting access to stone skin: when the DM has to change his approach to encounters just to challenge 1 spell, there's a problem. And once you got past those low levels, low magic as a setting crease to exist for the players - casters had access to too much. Now if you dump/nerf casters, maybe you'd get there. There was some power there, but the trick was in successfully casting. It was highly interruptable in 2e to a degree not easily matched in subsequent editions. Initiative, action declaration, and casting time played a significant role in this, though it could be fairly complex at times. Stoneskin may have been a fairly useful counter to that, but it was ablated away by attack...

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 03:59 PM - lowkey13 quoted Mort in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 6---THE END
    The one thing I can't really get over - how the heck is Jon Snow alive after what he did? I get Drogon not killing him -though I wish Drogon had doused him in dragon fire - and it not work (except maybe to turn his hair platinum - that would have been cool) - and in the process melt the iron throne (it was right there). But Grey Worm, the unsulied and a Dothraki horde were right there! Grey worm was executing people who were even slightly loyal to Cercei (you took her orders - dead!), how would he react to the person who killed his queen? Left in a cell until the other nobles get there? That makes no sense for the point of view established for him! The Dothraki would have trampled him down! I mean really, wait until another authority got there - no way. I wish they'd at least have had a quick scene showing how the heck he survived - because it's just that unlikely. Well, he survived because no one saw him kill Dany, so no one knew he did! I mean, it's not like her body was...

Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 06:19 PM - lowkey13 quoted Mort in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 5
    The funniest name for Euron I've seem so far: The drunken cockroach of Westeros. Oh, that's not nice! https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSdUD6NJr6F8i5_uc3bxio14Qlnpe1fZ3Vu1BL-XDkaadsYu-ed Cockroaches serve a purpose.
  • 03:56 PM - lowkey13 quoted Mort in post On Presentation, Performance, and Style- Players and DMs
    Grease the musical cast. Dungeon lovin' had me a blast Dungeon lovin' happened so fast I met a magel crazy for me Met a zombie cute as can be Adventuring days driftin' away To ah, oh, those adventuring nights Tell me more, tell me more! (Did you get very far?) Tell me more, tell me more! (Does you fighter have a scar?)

Thursday, 16th May, 2019

  • 02:43 PM - lowkey13 quoted Mort in post On Presentation, Performance, and Style- Players and DMs
    Pretty sure that was Umbran but it does sound cool. Ach! I thought I was quoting him! Sorry- Umbran care to expand on the battle tunes? It makes me think of- 1. Batters in Baseball (and/or relievers). 2. Wrestlers entering an arena.
  • 02:37 PM - lowkey13 quoted Mort in post On Presentation, Performance, and Style- Players and DMs
    And let me tell you, when your character's battle tune comes up when you're in a major combat scene, it is awesome :) Characters have battle tunes? Hmmm..... tell me more!
  • 02:24 AM - SomthinClever quoted Mort in post 10 Tips to Being a Better Dungeon Master – A Dungeons and Dragons Guide
    I like 9.5 of your 10 suggestions. The .5 is the critical fumble. I like the suggestion about making a miss memorable, you should have hit, but by some fluke you missed! But I hate critical fumble rules. You punish characters, particularly melee characters, extra severely, just for doing their thing (and since they're the ones in the thick of it, the fumbles happen to them the most). Take hopping on one foot, as a result of stubbing your toe. Does that mean disadvantage on attacks? You've just hamstrung the fighter's effectiveness until he recovers. This is just my opinion, of course. Hey, Mort. Thank you for the feedback! Everyone seems to unanimously dislike fumble rules, lol. I'll make sure to take that to heart. I'm glad you liked the guide though!
  • 12:17 AM - BookBarbarian quoted Mort in post 10 Tips to Being a Better Dungeon Master – A Dungeons and Dragons Guide
    This is just my opinion, of course. It's my opinion too actually. As is enjoying the rest of it. It's your best work yet, SomethingClever

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

  • 10:51 PM - collin quoted Mort in post setting up a campaign Zero for myself and my players.
    If they're new to the game, I suggest keeping it very simple initially. Lost mines of Phandelver is actually pretty good as an introduction - if you don't want to run it yet - I'd still suggest taking a good look at how it's structured and stealing some of the ideas. I echo this advice. And nothing says you have to run an adventure "as written". Take pieces from it, "mine" it for ideas to suit your needs.;) As for a homebrew adventure ... Don't overdo it with details as a DM. You will soon learn the players will find things and ways that you never thought of, and may take the story/action in a whole different direction. This can be a good thing, and in fact, if you are stuck on "what happens next", play a few sessions with what you have and pay attention to the players. They may very well give you ideas of where to take the story that you never thought of (or are better than what you thought of).
  • 04:36 PM - lowkey13 quoted Mort in post On Presentation, Performance, and Style- Players and DMs
    I've been using more ambient sounds and other mood music - seems to set the tone quite well and players enjoy it. I've heard about this; honestly, I haven't really used "mood music" since, um, Pyromania in 1983 (shut up! times were different). How do you choose the music? What kind? One simple thing that I have done is remove The DM’s Screen (Pee chee Folder, binder, etc.) between me and the players. It’s easier to communicate when the players can see body language. Okay- I've hear of people getting rid of the DM screen for transparency (so everyone sees the die rolls, etc.), but I've never heard of this before. Can you paint me a word picture of why body language helps?

Friday, 10th May, 2019

  • 07:04 PM - robus quoted Mort in post Blowing up my campaign
    If you want to be a bit of a rat-bastard: The wizard is apprehended in front of the PCs (by Maruts sounds pretty cool). Just when the situation seems to be resolved (either by negotiation, combat etc.) he then melts into a mound of snow (Simulacrum). The Maruts then attempt to press the PCs to hunt down the real wizard. Kind of a sharp reminder that their dealing with powerful individuals on every side - with access to way too many resources. That's cool.
  • 05:13 PM - robus quoted Mort in post Blowing up my campaign
    That's easy, I mean how many times do you get to use Kafka's The Trial as inspiration for a gaming session! That does sound cool, but sadly that's not the type of play experience my group enjoys. They're more driven by exploration and adventure (which is why the Underdark has become a drag - despite my best efforts to make areas feel fresh and different).

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 10:38 PM - robus quoted Mort in post Blowing up my campaign
    Or prisoner of the lich queen on the Astral plane - that could be an interesting and very difficult challenge. I see there's a Lich Queen adventure on DMs Guild by M T Black. That might be a good resource (as well as Mordenkainan's of course). But I don't want things to get too dark and dreary :)

Friday, 3rd May, 2019

  • 11:29 PM - CapnZapp quoted Mort in post Amulet of Natural Armor
    My Dex paladin is currently limited to studded leather which provides AC 18 (12 + 2 [shield] +4 [DEX]), He could get half plate and go to AC 19 but that poses problems with stealth, so is a no go. Mage armor would put the AC at 19 no problem (and if dex increases the AC increases). Not legal in 5E.

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 04:29 AM - jayoungr quoted Mort in post Want to shake things up: Doorways, Scouting, Caution
    Require more than a 10 pound lift, that'll foil mage hand. Did that in the last adventure; they sent the earth elemental after it. Well, then they didn't get the treasure, that's its own consequence no? Yeah, but then it makes me wonder about the point of going to the trouble of placing and learning the treasure at all. Why even have a dungeon if the players are going to go out of their way to do as little of it as they can? It's discouraging for me, and probably not as rewarding for them as a place they'd actually engage with would be.
  • 04:03 AM - Celebrim quoted Mort in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    And now I have to get and look at Mouseguard, any game that can compete with RIFTS for terrible design must really be something. It's not obvious. You really have to start playing it to realize how inflexible it is, how terrible it's math is, how pointlessly complex its mechanics are, how much of it is pure random number generator, how little player choice matters, and so forth.

Wednesday, 1st May, 2019

  • 08:55 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Mort in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Yes, a separate question. This is the player having a form of narrative control. Some people are all fort this, some are (near violently) against it. It's a very interesting question (and one that may need to be revived for 5e though I remember it causing quite the ruckus in past threads) but would likely only muddy the waters here. I can easily see that if the relationship between DM and players is at all adversarial, or if you just have disruptive players, it would never work. But I don’t, so it does. (Maybe that’s why goal-and-approach works so well, too. I mean, smoothly. Both. ) Sometimes I have to coax veteran players into joining in this way. “No, seriously, there’s candy in the van. Your mother was wrong.”
  • 07:21 PM - iserith quoted Mort in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Yes, a separate question. This is the player having a form of narrative control. Some people are all fort this, some are (near violently) against it. It's a very interesting question (and one that may need to be revived for 5e though I remember it causing quite the ruckus in past threads) but would likely only muddy the waters here. It's somewhat related in that players being able to establish this sort of thing during play can mitigate or aggravate the difficulty of the challenge to the player. A player establishing that the character is old friends with the guard, who is presumably the obstacle in the challenge, may be mitigating the difficulty. Conversely, a player establishing that the character has a strained relationship with the guard (perhaps as a means to portray a personal characteristic and earn Inspiration) may be aggravating the difficulty of the challenge to the player.


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