View Profile: Joshua Randall - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Joshua Randall's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 08:37 PM
    Neo CM doesn't allow spaces in usernames? Bah, humbug. :mad:
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  • Joshua Randall's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 06:35 PM
    In the AD&D 1e DMG Gygax talks about the bell curve generated by 3d6 and even has a diagram. So that could be where some of the love for 3d6 comes from. There's also something appealing about "you don't choose what character to play; the dice do" from the "in order" part of the recipe. But, that appeal only works for certain people or at certain times. Sometimes you just wanna play a rogue...
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  • Joshua Randall's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 03:48 PM
    3d6 in order + cheating. 3d6 in order, over and over and over again (often at school), then select the best array. 3d6, arrange to suit (+ cheat, +arrays as above). We switched to 4d6 drop lowest as soon as we heard about it.
    67 replies | 2035 view(s)
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  • Joshua Randall's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 01:29 PM
    MacOS High Sierria Chrome 75 cache cleared, computer I haven't used recently for CM (last sign-in on this computer was probably 6 months ago) Attempted to reply to a thread in The Aqueducts "This forum requires that you wait 30 seconds between posts. Please try again in 35026571 seconds." Attempted to START a new thread in The Aqueducts "This forum requires that you wait 30 seconds...
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  • Joshua Randall's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 04:12 PM
    4 hours sessions, 35-40 sessions for an average campaign. We've also done lengthy campaigns (80-100 sessions) and one-shots or mini-series (3-5 sessions) over the years.
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  • Joshua Randall's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 03:32 PM
    This thread is for 4th edition questions. (But the answer is no, the extra attacks don't stack. See https://www.dndbeyond.com/sources/basic-rules/customization-options#ExtraAttack )
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  • Joshua Randall's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 06:11 PM
    I thought they were advertisements at first, and skipped over them, too.
    3 replies | 235 view(s)
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  • Joshua Randall's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 06:08 PM
    FWIW here's a dump of everything with "larger than you" for your Small-PC optimization perusal. No idea of these things are any good, or even relevant beyond that phrase. Search Results: Backgrounds (1) Results per page: 20 | 50 | 100 Name Type Campaign Associated Skills Source Slave Racial General Athletics, Endurance Dragon Magazine 392 Search Results: Feats (10) Results per page: 20...
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  • Joshua Randall's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 07:49 PM
    Who are the PCs, and what do they do in the game? (if this can't be answered in a sentence or two, pass) What is the game's task resolution system? (some games may downplay task resolution altogether, which is fine, but you need to know that up front) How long is a typical session? How long is a typical "campaign" (or "series")? (this is personal preference but also something you need to...
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  • Joshua Randall's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 07:38 PM
    I may return with examples at some point, but the #1 thing you can do to make in-combat Skill Challenges actually tolerable is to allow skill checks as Move and Minor actions. Because the PCs have a sheet full of awesome Standard actions (i.e.: their powers).
    11 replies | 708 view(s)
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About Joshua Randall

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46
About Joshua Randall
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[Because we're not allowed to have .signatures any more...]

Still excited about 4th edition!

"[Lucius] proposes a killing spree: A quick and murderous foray into the refugee camps to repair the party’s reputation as people not to be trifled with." -- (contact)'s Temple of Elemental Evil 2

"I cast a Stilled Silent mage hand to bring [Glamdring] to me, and grab it." -- coyote6, portraying the movie Fellowship of the Ring as a bad D&D game
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Thursday, 4th July, 2019


Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019


Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019


Friday, 28th June, 2019


Thursday, 27th June, 2019


Tuesday, 25th June, 2019


Tuesday, 18th June, 2019

  • 05:21 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Joshua Randall in post Should I play 4e?
    You don't know the difference between subjective and objective? If not, I'm not the one to give you a lesson and if you do... well I'm sure you can figure out which fall into what category. Joshua Randall - Let me assist: Objective: "allowed any stat to be an attack stat" Subjective: "produced the best monster books ever produced for any D&D edition, bar none ... and the Monster Vault and MV Threats to the Nentir Vale are in the top 10 of all gaming books ever" Nothing to do with the way that 4e is designed:* "rapidly spun up an organized play community" *Marketing of a game is different than being an excellently designed game. That said, while I don't know the veracity of your RPGA sources, it is refreshing, if odd, to see someone say that 4e was a great marketing success.

Wednesday, 21st November, 2018

  • 07:37 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Joshua Randall in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    @Joshua Randall Not a lot of time, but in short: Deeeeeeeffinitely do not agree. Of the two games I GMed 1-30 and the other game where I GMed a section of it (it was a DW campaign that we switched to 4e for one level - 27 - just as an experiment), the OVERWHELMING % of Epic Tier Combat encounters featured budgets between L+4 to L+7. It’s easily enough done by: 1) Making Combat stakes be about something other than raw HP ablation. 2) Same as always, Creatures should mostly be sameish level as the PCs. 3) Fill out a significant amount of the XP budget with Hazards and Traps that the bad guys have some sort of mitigation against (their “turf advantage”)...or not. This makes Forced moment and mobility much more relevant and brings the battlefield alive. Sum total: - Combat stakes/premise/tropes should become less about raw HP ablation at Epic Tier. - Challenge/threat comes from something other than removal of a lot more HPs due to XP budget inflation. - Dynamism via (Forced) movement and Terrai...

Tuesday, 1st November, 2016

  • 01:03 AM - JeffB mentioned Joshua Randall in post Drowning in 13th Age
    I would probably do something like Joshua Randall said but that also involves burning a revovery for every missed save. That way there would be some lasting effect even if they got out of the mess.

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Friday, 28th October, 2016

  • 08:10 PM - MwaO quoted Joshua Randall in post Vampire: Past the Masquerade, How Not to Suck
    Melee Basic: well, there's a feat for it (Melee Training: Dexterity). It costs you half your Dex mod in damage, but you should be able to make that up if you're any good at optimization. Vampire Slam is a Melee Basic. And Blood Drinker only works with Vampire melee powers, so Power of Skill or other choices are kind of irrelevant. MC feats Arcane Vampire, Divine Vampire, etc. If you're going to MC anyway, these give you another way to gain a HS during combat. The bad news is each one only works with powers specifically of their power source, so you'll need to pick up an attack power from that power source. Most of these are actually only really relevant if the party refuse to donate surges or you're levels 1-6. Implements. Ki Focus solves a lot of problems for you if you can figure out a way to get KF proficiency without screwing up the rest of your build. They get it for free. As well as Holy Symbols. They don't get the any weapon they're proficient with is a focus, though. And the problem is...

Thursday, 20th October, 2016

  • 04:41 AM - pemerton quoted Joshua Randall in post Throwing ideas, seeing what sticks (and what stinks)
    I'm not seeing any functional difference between the following: * PCs hit troll, it regenerates damage. "How do we stop it?" Use fire/acid. * PCs hit hydra, it regrows heads. "How do we stop it?" Use cold/necrotic. The first one is a D&D cliche and the second one only got introduced into the game recently, but they are the same mechanic. Either both are 'puzzles', or neither are.There's no difference. Who said there was?

Wednesday, 19th October, 2016

  • 03:40 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Joshua Randall in post Throwing ideas, seeing what sticks (and what stinks)
    A hack I've been contemplating for Save Ends inspired by 13th Age and my own desire to make Save Ends not *worse* than Until End of Next Turn (as the game designers seem to think (se) is superior, see lots of powers' miss effects). What you need: a way to track conditions that has three states: full effect, waning, and gone. So technically you only need to tack the first two states because when the condition is gone we just remove the tracker. You could use tokens with different colored sides, or (what I use) 'condition flags' that can either be fully vertical or kind of diagonal/horizontal (like tapped Magic cards). Rules Changes General change: Roll 'Save Ends' when your turn starts instead of when it ends. When you make a saving throw, on success, the condition becomes 'waning'. On a failure, the condition remains in full effect. Waning conditions go away by themselves at the start of your next turn. Implication: you always take at least one round's worth of effects from the (save ends...

Friday, 6th May, 2016

  • 10:10 PM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Joshua Randall in post Building a thiefy warlock? Or a magey rogue?
    For giggles I looked all my characters in the Builder. 17 characters and 13 of them have multiclass feats -- of the 4 who don't, 2 of them are 1st level and haven't been able to multiclass yet; of the 2 remaining, now that I look at them, they would arguably be better optimized if I did take multiclass feats instead of what they currently have. The base MC feats are ALWAYS a better option than simple skill granting feats, and almost always can be used to do something better than MOST other general feats. Obviously you want Expertise and maybe a couple others more than a base MC feat, but not by that much, if at all. The swap feats you can take in any order, so if you JUST want a daily from another class, its just one extra feat beyond one you probably wanted anyway (you just have to wait for level 10 to take Adept Power). PMCing just has one big problem, you don't get any AP feature from it, like you do from a true PP. This CAN be huge. PPs also generally have a couple other nice features, but its...

Monday, 18th April, 2016

  • 03:07 PM - MwaO quoted Joshua Randall in post Encounters-per-day guideline in 4e?
    Because healing is maximally effective when it's used on a below 0 HP target, you're actually doing the PCs a favor, right? ;) Right - I'm giving the Leader a chance to shine by maximizing their healing abilities!

Friday, 8th April, 2016

  • 06:07 PM - Deset Gled quoted Joshua Randall in post Have the existing Schools of Magic ever been ranked according to relative power level?
    3.5 Conjuration got a huge buff in the form of the Orb spells (from various splatbooks) -- direct damage in the Conjuration school. Oh, and it bypasses spell resistance. I'd put 3.5 Conjuration in the top tier, for that reason. Alternatively (additionally?), the Orb spells completely nerfed Evocation. Why would anyone ever Evoke a magic fireball when they can simply Conjure real fire? I really hate those spells. I always put 3.x Conjuration near the top because it covers Teleport and most travel spells, which I consider the be the most fundamentally important utility spells.

Tuesday, 5th April, 2016

  • 02:14 AM - fjw70 quoted Joshua Randall in post Opinions on good 1st level 4e adventure
    Run the parts you didn't run yet. :) The cleanup operation at the end was some of the most fun my group had. They particularly enjoyed being attacked by the tiefling assassin. Ah, masochistic players, gotta love 'em. I loved the tiefling assassin.

Saturday, 2nd April, 2016

  • 01:02 AM - pemerton quoted Joshua Randall in post Rare item selection for Avenger (Censure of Unity)
    To clarify what MwaO is saying, the Dice of Auspicious Fortune as originally written let you use the stored d20 rolls on any d20 roll. For skill checks, a PC with a high skill modifier could often succeed at a skill check with a very low roll (like, a 5 or 4) -- thus getting that bad roll out of the Dice and saving the good rolls for something else.I'm not sure why it matters to "get the bad rolls out of the dice". As originally written, you can just ignore them!

Friday, 1st April, 2016

  • 11:03 PM - Balesir quoted Joshua Randall in post Rare item selection for Avenger (Censure of Unity)
    To clarify what MwaO is saying, the Dice of Auspicious Fortune as originally written let you use the stored d20 rolls on any d20 roll. For skill checks, a PC with a high skill modifier could often succeed at a skill check with a very low roll (like, a 5 or 4) -- thus getting that bad roll out of the Dice and saving the good rolls for something else. OK, but the reasoning is still flawed, if "bad die rolls" are supposed to be some sort of handicap. The players in our game find the low rolls exceedingly useful for making "affect all creatures in burst/blast" effects party friendly. The "advantageous low rolls" argument does not just apply to skill rolls.

Thursday, 31st March, 2016

  • 11:24 PM - pemerton quoted Joshua Randall in post Rare item selection for Avenger (Censure of Unity)
    Regarding Dice of Auspicious Fortune, they can only be used for attack rolls. OK, there's been some sort of change in this respect. From Dragon 381, p 83: Dice of Auspicious Fortune Level 11 Power (Daily): Standard Action. Effect: Roll 3 d20s. The results are “stored” in these dice until the end of your next extended rest. Using this power removes any results previously stored in the dice. Power (Encounter): No Action. Effect: Replace the result of a d20 you just rolled with one of the results stored in the dice. This removes the stored result from the dice.
  • 07:14 PM - JeffB quoted Joshua Randall in post Opinions on good 1st level 4e adventure
    If you're looking for something that can get them hooked and leave room for long term play, I highly recommend Reavers of Harkenwold, the adventure that comes with the DM's Kit. You won't be able to complete it in 2-3 sessions but you will get to see how good it is. I ran a big part of Reavers previously with 2 of the players. Otherwise I would go with that.
  • 09:20 AM - pemerton quoted Joshua Randall in post Rare item selection for Avenger (Censure of Unity)
    Rare Wondrous Dice of Auspicious Fortune PRO: perfect information is perfect CON: Avengers are already super accurate (roll 2x for attacks)One of the PCs in my game has this item. It's pretty handy. (And not just for attacks - unless he's been cheating in using it for save, skills etc!)

Thursday, 18th February, 2016

  • 05:31 PM - EzekielRaiden quoted Joshua Randall in post [4e] Paladin (feat) advice needed
    For a PH-only paladin (or any PH-only class), the multiclass feats are among the most powerful feats you can take. Skill training *and* some kind of extra ability is too good to pass up. Regarding class native Catch-22s, the PH-only paladin is sadly lacking -- the really good catch-22 Interrupt powers were added by Divine Power or magazine articles. Oh, most definitely. A bunch of the great feats and powers for a DB Paladin are either in Divine Power, a couple of dragon mags, or the PHB Races: Dragonborn booklet. It's a sad limitation, but like I said in the OP, my DM has very good reasons for having the limit, so I'm doing my best to avoid questioning it. On the bright side, though, it leaves some things un-errata'd that will be more awesome as a result. Like Pit Fighter--which is PHB1! So I'm probably going with Student of the Sword to pick up Pit Fighter later--and if we get access to more options later, I'll ask if I can retrain to a different Fighter MC feat (since Battle Awareness is s...
  • 05:00 PM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Joshua Randall in post [4e] Paladin (feat) advice needed
    For a PH-only paladin (or any PH-only class), the multiclass feats are among the most powerful feats you can take. Skill training *and* some kind of extra ability is too good to pass up. Regarding class native Catch-22s, the PH-only paladin is sadly lacking -- the really good catch-22 Interrupt powers were added by Divine Power or magazine articles. One thing to consider when playing without any of the splat books and vast array of additional feats is that you CAN afford power swaps. For a STRaladin especially, but maybe also for a CHAladin, they can really pay off. CHAladin can easily pick up Sorcerer powers. I'm not sure exactly how you'd mix some Radiant damage in there using only PHB2 and under, maybe its possible. What would be really cool is to get Radiant on your breath weapon :)

Friday, 29th January, 2016

  • 11:30 PM - hugodlr quoted Joshua Randall in post 4e ask a simple question, get a simple answer
    Ritual scrolls: yes, there are rules. DDI Compendium says they are on PH p. 298 Basically, *creating* the scroll takes 2x as long as scribing into a book, but *casting* the scroll takes 1/2 the casting time *and* you don't need the Ritual Caster Feat... meaning that anyone can use the scroll which is the entire point. Thank you - I was pretty sure they were somewhere, but my cold & medication addled brain was drawing a complete blank :)
  • 08:37 PM - MwaO quoted Joshua Randall in post 4e ask a simple question, get a simple answer
    The Academy Master epic destiny has this D20: Does this work on powers that don't have a duration, like Mass Charm? I am 90% sure the answer is "duh, no! duration has a specific meaning in 4e" -- but I promised the player (I'm the DM) I would at least ask. Instantaneous is by definition not a duration :)

Friday, 20th November, 2015

  • 07:55 PM - MwaO quoted Joshua Randall in post 4E Character Optimization WOTC rescue Handbook Guide
    Good work MwaO! Can I request that the guides get labeled with the class name up front, and then put in alpha. order by class name? Because I can never remember how they are named. :) I have offline saves for the old CharOpt threads for Slayer, Scout, and Thief. Should I put those somewhere or will you grab them from the Wayback Machine? If you can put them up in the WotC evacuation forum, that would be good. Also, Killswitch needs to be brought back from the dead. They are in alphabetical naming order at the moment, though.

Thursday, 5th November, 2015

  • 04:01 PM - MwaO quoted Joshua Randall in post Hybrid E-classes: must they take E-Encounter power?
    Interesting! This is what I get for blowing off the Heroes of X/Y books and assuming everything I needed was in the DDI Compendium. Let me make sure I have the chain of logic correct in my own head. Most normal, non-hybrid most Essentials characters can never choose any other encounter attack power of the same level as his pre-selected encounter attack power because his pre-selected encounter attack power doesn't have a level. But a hybrid Essentials character instead abides by the hybrid rules: Because this rule explicitly states a "1st-level encounter attack power", now the hybrid Essentials character can look around for "a power of the same class, level, and type" and find the plethora of 1st-level encounter attack powers from his parent class (in this example, paladin). A normal (non hybrid) Blackguard can't choose to take Valorous Smite, because it has a level, and Dread Smite does not. A hybrid Blackguard *can* choose to take Valorous Smite, because he is being given the opportunit...

Wednesday, 4th November, 2015

  • 10:55 PM - MwaO quoted Joshua Randall in post Hybrid E-classes: must they take E-Encounter power?
    You're hybrid-ing an Essentials class, let's say the Blackguard so we can keep that example going. At 1st level "you gain one 1st-level encounter attack power, chosen from either of your hybrid classes." Except the Blackguard doesn't have Encounter powers. What do you do? But Paladins do and Blackguards are considered Paladins for the purposes of selecting powers when they are given the ability to pick powers. To quote page 57 from the Heroes of the Fallen Lands: "Whenever you choose a new class power, you can select it from the list presented in this book or you can take a power of the same class, level and type(attack or utility from another source." It then goes to detail how a Slayer could pick a Fighter 2 utility from another book. So a Fighter|Blackguard at level 1 gains an encounter attack power, from which he can pick powers from either class. If he then chooses Valorous Strike, that's a legal Paladin power to pick, so he can pick it. It is almost certainly a problem where R&D...
  • 05:49 PM - MwaO quoted Joshua Randall in post Hybrid E-classes: must they take E-Encounter power?
    Thanks for the replies. At risk of a RAW/RAI debate, the way I would interpret this is that a hybrid blackguard (in this example) "can" take Dread Smite uses whenever he's selecting Encounter attack powers, which he is eventually forced to do after maxing out the Encounter attack powers from the other half of his hybrid. I don't think the intent was "be a hybrid Essentials class and open up the entire range of your non-Essentials parent's choices, which makes you better than ever". As always, this is just my interpretation. It isn't an unreasonable interpretation, but it gets into the area of guessing at designer intent rather than interpreting the rules. As an example, the designers may have designed the Essentials classes with the idea to keep things simple for players and anyone playing a hybrid probably isn't that big of a concern. A big problem is that they were clearly busy on something else in retrospect and not worrying too much about getting everything right.


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