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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 12:11 AM
    Not something I have read but that does count as homebrew to be honest. Though using level dipping style multi-classing is actually almost like the cost in some ways of 4e feats.
    4 replies | 67 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 12:05 AM
    Bladesinger has some ingredients the bladesong helps gets defense based on intelligence. (but might not be defender class without a fighting style to help maybe) Indeed I think the Paladin Smite ability is something i have heard suggested. I was suspecting a custom feat might be required basically a translation of Intelligent Blademaster - in 4e it was kind of a low impact feat and feats...
    4 replies | 67 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:48 PM
    His name is Alek Cor'Daren (Shielding Aegis - an effective Defender - with some good multi-enemy effectiveness) He had a feat which allowed even his basic attacks (opportunity attacks and granted ones and the like to be based on Intelligence). This feat was part of his origin story and part of what made the character feel special so if necessary I can see how it might take a bit of home brew...
    4 replies | 67 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:26 PM
    I vaguely feel like we *have* had that conversation. Possibly in a thread about...armor? Idk. Maybe a thread about rogues? But hey, I remember the bad old days. While I’d love to see Strength get a little more attention in the 5e Rules, I wouldn’t support going back to literally any of the restrictions on Dex from old editions. Last time we talked about this, I had some ideas for boosting...
    197 replies | 4977 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:19 PM
    Especially the magic items, sure. But, if you killed the monster to get it's treasure, you also got the XP for that - and, everyone got to play, the "More engaging aspect" as well as greater incentive. Trying to trick or steal treasure was probably going to involve just the theif, just the talkiest player, or just the caster using just the right spells. What's a task it didn't cover? ...
    160 replies | 4331 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:45 PM
    A lot of feel and flavor is influenced by rules sometimes however it seems the opposite is true. The explicit sources and roles in 4e were really almost entirely flavor in most ways ... however roles guided class and power design (ie they were a design paradigm not actually rules and they weren't hard fast determinants) and sources once in a blue moon actually acted as prerequisites.(but this...
    50 replies | 1375 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:29 PM
    Believe it or not - and I'm gonna assume not - 5e actually jettisoned what narrative mechanisms D&D had accumulated in the hopes of achieving 'fast combat.' Yeah, and here you are complaining that it's not narrative enough /and/ too slow? Seriously, 'reverse'-engineer novels based on a game inspired by novels? Again, for the sake of that fast combat you find too slow... As long as...
    8 replies | 191 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:24 PM
    By which I mean, men and women (or mice) of faith, charged by their god(s) to defend the church and it’s faithful from supernatural evil. What kind of resolution would you want to see? Combat heavy, investigation, problem solving, ritual banishment mechanics? Ability to play lay-persons with little to no “magic” helping the “Paladins”? Specific mechanics for Faith?
    2 replies | 60 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:33 PM
    Heck, the rogue mostly works as is, and the BM fighter works great as a trick shooter. Depending on how far from “weird” you wanna get, the Monk can also fit in perfectly not only as the king fu Master in the old west (a classic!) but also just as a more almost-supernatural gunslinger like Roland Deschain or the guy from the Red Dead games.
    79 replies | 1625 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:23 PM
    I see something you need to integrate with powers. You need a method to allow a big cool method to defeat the big bad without it being a fluke of chance -- we have a method already it's the nature of powers. Conversely a power might be useable against an enemy or set of enemies you out class without expending a power slot. @AbdulAlhazred
    37 replies | 3597 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:07 PM
    Nah. All you need for a non weird western game using 5e’s basic engine is new classes with plot tokens of various kinds instead of stuff like spells and guns that do massive damage. Just use the optional lingering injury and gritty healing rules from the DMG, and run with it. It’s about as much extra material as running Eberron.
    79 replies | 1625 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:04 PM
    Sure. I’m just saying there isn’t all that much that sets those settings apart in comparison.
    51 replies | 1601 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:41 PM
    Yep. There isn’t actually any reason DnD can’t work fine for weird west play.
    79 replies | 1625 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:31 PM
    I get the aversion to FR, but Eberron is way more interesting than Greyhawk or Mystara
    51 replies | 1601 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:27 PM
    That sounds a reasonable observation. Can't disagree... That hardly seems to follow from the above. Early eds gave exp for combat & treasure, not for non-combat, and had detailed, elaborate rules for combat (many of which were summarily ignored) and far fewer, less consistent, and less engaging rules for other tasks - they also 'niche protected' a lot of exploration abilities in the Thief...
    160 replies | 4331 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:15 PM
    Runequest (Stormbringer) was how I figured out no D&D ever was trying for simulating anything but heroic fantasy RQ had vivid combat that made you involved in attacks and defenses the advancement system was very oriented, where any attack might kill or disable in a stroke but your character never felt heroic. Gygax made an argument against critical hits which explains it. He said that Conan...
    255 replies | 23211 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:49 PM
    Its not a holdover, in the sense that it had been gone quite while, so more of a callback - which is true of a lot if 5e, really - and, really, so is your observation. Back in the early 80s there was a very earnest, carefully thought out Dragon magazine article that put forth arguments that elves and other above-ground races should have Ultravision instead of Infravision. (Yep, D&D was that...
    202 replies | 7012 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:27 PM
    Allow insight checks or similar to figure out what the capability of the adversaries are maybe add that effect into certain utility powers.
    37 replies | 3597 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:27 PM
    In D&D we call them hit points.
    79 replies | 1625 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:09 PM
    You may have missed it, in the course of debating multiple people, but I already agreed with you about TWF. My disagreement was about Dex and strength. You also seem seem to have misunderstood the particulars of what I was saying, so I’ll try one more time. Strength isn’t so far behind Dex that a significant # of players just don’t make Strength characters. OTOH, TWF does get left behind by...
    197 replies | 4977 view(s)
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  • thanson02's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:01 PM
    That's what I really loved about 4E. They weren't trying to create a table top simulator. If your focus is on telling a story, the fictional tropes are a lot more effective in doing this, at least in my experience. The key is keeping it modular enough so you can modifier what you need to tell the stories you need to tell. And given how modular 4E is, I also think they did a good job in that...
    255 replies | 23211 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:11 PM
    So the literary content of the written text (e.g., diction, structure, style, content) was deprecated by the tone and performance? What if the DM had not read the boxed text aloud - a rote performance - but had instead engaged in a more natural style that communicated the message of the boxed text without reading from it? What you say here suggests that something else that has not really been...
    1468 replies | 38393 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:37 AM
    I consulted my wife, and we came up with: Weird West. The old west, but it’s dnd, so there are tieflings and Dragonborn and wizards. Modern Urban Fantasy. Dresden, Bright, Buffy, etc Fairy Tales. Mix old fairy tales with the Heroes of The Feywild book from 4e, with bits stolen from Dresden Files and Neil Gaiman’s body of work, and other popular media that does interesting things with...
    79 replies | 1625 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:34 AM
    Right, which is why I’m fine with cutting down off turn actions into, at most, Immediate Interrupt and Free Action. If it interrupts, it’s that one, if it doesn’t it’s the other. You get one of each per turn. Maybe even make them all Minor Actions, and allow 3 per round, but only 1 per turn, and they all specify what triggers them or when you can use them. So, an extra attack on your turn...
    37 replies | 3597 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:25 AM
    I think you’re right, and also I really think that Eberron has the broadest potential appeal to people just diving in to dnd. It it doesn’t matter to such a person who hat the history of dnd is, so “most generic form of dnd” is irrelevant. It hits fantasy notes in a way that is very popular today, especially in cartoons and video games, mixing genres, not running on medieval sensibilities,...
    51 replies | 1601 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:33 AM
    No version of D&D has ever worked well as laws of physics - at best you end up with a setting Terry Pratchette might've come up with, at worst, you run a crap campaign, both is not out of the question. But, 3e did come pretty close in a few areas, particularly character generation, which worked about the same for PCs, NPCs, & monsters. But, it wasn't trying to, rather it was leveling the...
    255 replies | 23211 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:18 AM
    Low light is a pain in the neck to keep track of. Even when I remember there is low light, I just handwaive it. Any amount of bright light is bright within close range, and dim for a virtually unlimited distance beyond the bright light. Maybe low light vision is useful for scanning a distance. But really I dont care. I am glad the only two meaningful options are either darkvision or a...
    202 replies | 7012 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:09 AM
    It generally doesnt in 4e but they didnt lock down out of turn actions
    37 replies | 3597 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:52 AM
    Sure, but does it need to eat the other character’s actions at all? Why isn’t it just an Action the warlord takes, with no cost to the person making the attack?
    37 replies | 3597 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:47 AM
    The warlord whose primary context is often for team work is very off turn as well to me the highly limited off turn action basically undermines that. I do like 5e movement system its pretty sweet.
    37 replies | 3597 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:46 AM
    Damage shouldn't be a sticking point in modeling firearms - they kill people, so do knives, clubs, knitting needles, slipping in the shower, and swans - they need to do damage, but it needn't be crazy. With older firearms, RoF could actually render them pointless in the context of 6-second rounds, while the RoF of a revolver or semi-automatic weapon could be problematic in the other...
    79 replies | 1625 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:42 AM
    That’s fair. I like having some floating actions in the game, but 4e went a bit too far there for me. I like 5e’s Action economy in a lot of ways, like how movement works, but I’ve also enjoyed how other games do rounds, like Alternity and The One Ring.
    37 replies | 3597 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:29 AM
    Here is my first pass at Warlord powers. They are intended to balance with 5e, so compare these powers to 5e spells. When a class gives the player the choice of a power, the player can choose any power, whether it is at-will, per rest (short or long), or per long rest. (I am tempted to refer to the At-Wills as ‘Fighter cantrips’.) In 5e, several classes can share the same powers (including...
    56 replies | 1263 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:49 AM
    I feel it makes the artificiality of turn based combat more obvious to me... in 1e action was planned but simultaneous. (relying on the DM to merge them)
    37 replies | 3597 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    79 replies | 1625 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:22 AM
    Power Format Power Name // Purpose Level Sources, Trope // Action Type • Frequency
    56 replies | 1263 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:04 AM
    I think that folding all off turn powers and action options into 1 Reaction per round helps, but it does reduce off turn engagement somewhat. Otherwise, make untyped bonuses not stack with other untyped bonuses, and tighten up the circumstantial stuff that doesn’t come from powers and feats and items. Maybe simplify item bonuses to all always give an “item bonus”, which never stacks with...
    37 replies | 3597 view(s)
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  • thanson02's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:57 AM
    Well.......... 1: There are a ton of people who have no issue role playing in 4E, so yeah......... 2: If you are looking at the rules as a form of physics, then it makes sense that there was confusion, since 4E saw the rules a medium to express plot points in a story. That is like expecting your English class to teach you Science. You might get some science in your English course, but not...
    255 replies | 23211 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:56 AM
    I've seen that work well enough, but it doesn't capture the tropes you see in fiction around guns. There's not nearly so much dodging and seeking cover and just, well, missing - unless you really whole-heartedly embrace the 1e/4e psuedo-hit - not to mention the tense stand-off of characters held at gunpoint.
    79 replies | 1625 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:02 AM
    Every edition that has succeeded has succeeded on that basis, 5e just more so than any other since the 80s fad, mainly thanks to timing... ...But also because it threaded the needle between enraging vocal fragments of its fan base, and being accessible to new players. 4e erred on the side of being accessible, and touched off a spontaneous grassroots movement determined to burn the line to the...
    98 replies | 3862 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:32 AM
    The best game of SR I was ever in was run using M:tA (oWoD Storyteller), so, IDK, a very different dynamic from the native system may not be such a bad thing...
    79 replies | 1625 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 11:09 PM
    I'm sorry, is it not a 5e thread?
    197 replies | 4977 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:57 PM
    Something about TWF becoming the best option for a raging barbarian seems off. Not as off as S&B - it's at least given to full offense - but off... ....though, ultimately, worrying about how combat options balance vs eachother and what's optimal doesn't seem that important in the context of 5e.
    197 replies | 4977 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:44 PM
    I can't think of a RPG that wouldn't call for either, at times. One game can be clearer and more functional than another, even by a large margin, without actually being perfect. By comparison to most games other than early eds of D&D, I suppose, but the important takeaway isn't relative, it intent: 5e set out to be that way, on purpose, and for a purpose - several, really - for one, it...
    66 replies | 1995 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:22 PM
    If you’re a strength character, ASI Dex/Str or even Dex/Con would have probably done more, in the long run. Unless you also got Medium armor Mastery, but then you’re 2 feats deep for less benefit than two of nearly any other “half-feat”. I had to interpret and make rulings in 4e, too. It’s part of running the game. The contention i replied to was that 5e isn’t functional out of the...
    66 replies | 1995 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 09:59 PM
    LOL, well this is somewhat true. Honestly I have been kind of in another world the last several months, not doing a lot of work on it. I must say, the whole question of simplified hit points and 'combat modes' in the 'What Sticks' thread could lead to deep reworking of the basic combat engine, assuming I really want to go that far. Already HoML has the issue that, at high levels, you get to...
    37 replies | 3597 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:55 PM
    It was a long time coming. I gave variant fighters a % DEX instead of STR back in the day - complete with maximums by race & sex. The 3e Finesse feat essentially taxed DEX fighters, and left them inferior. Not if it was random roll in order - just gets no benefit from it, as a fighter. Really, INT is a triffle lacklustre in 5e - though I feel knowledge skills can still be important.
    26 replies | 853 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:45 PM
    Agreed. Passive scores as targets work well. AC is essentially an example. You could start grapples with an attack (though vs a Touch AC would make more sense), and use a STR save to break out. DEX save to avoid and STR to escape might make more sense. Note, though, that 2 saves to work, and two different saves at that, leaves it a pretty low-percentage option.
    13 replies | 382 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 08:33 PM
    Alternatives to class/level appeared almost immediately. Traveller ditched level - and indeed, advancement beyond accumulating wealth - RQ was skill-based. Champions! was out in '81, with a fully point-buy, effects-based system. Yet, even games that eschew class/level have some sort of advancement, and some sort of archetypes. If you played Champions! Back in the day, you talk of Bricks,...
    98 replies | 3862 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:45 PM
    Well, you can, if you want to, it just doesn't have much impact. But, it's funny you should mention Gauntlet: it's a fair analogy to how certain classes played in most editions of D&D: grind damage in melee, heal with found potions (food) or Clerical assistance, when briefly not in melee, grind out damage at range. That's a fighter in TSR D&D, or a barbarian in 3e, or an Essentials Slayer...
    255 replies | 23211 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:31 PM
    It is a lot of system, sure - at least as complex as any other ed for the amount of crunch it hss out - but it's a lot of system that relies on the DM to make it work. Try the thought experiment yourself, or just consider carefully the next time you run: how far do you get before you're making an interpretation or ruling that another DM might've done differently?
    66 replies | 1995 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:20 PM
    You could also watch the encounter end without getting to act - not just combat encounters, either, many other challenges would also likely be resolved by a single PC, as well. The issue wasn't so much fast v slow or boring v exciting, but spectator v participant. Nod, 5e is that kind of deadly only at the lowest levels, but it establishes, especially in the eyes of a new player "this game...
    201 replies | 8105 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:06 PM
    The edition war rarely reached the intellectual level of a discussion or debate, it was characterized by fallacies, especially personal attacks, intellectual dishonesty, questionable agendas, and many persistent factual errors & misrepresentations. Actual discussion of 4e, itself, rather than the straw man effigies of it being attacked, was rare by comparison. The game has been dead & burried...
    201 replies | 8105 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:24 PM
    The clay golem derives from the Bible, where the first human (whose name is ‘Human’, Adam) is shaped out of wet clay − namely a ‘lump’ of ‘dirt’ made moist by a ‘mist’ from the ground. God brought this reddish clay statue to life, by breathing Divine breath into it. This is understood as the ‘dirt’ of physical molecules being mysteriously entangled with consciousness. There is a tradition that...
    20 replies | 798 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:44 PM
    Again, that’s a lot of system. 5e runs without kit bashing. The game works. It’s functional.
    66 replies | 1995 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:11 PM
    Hey, your 3e character could die instantly. Life & Death not meaningful enough for you?
    201 replies | 8105 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:02 PM
    DMs are people, not robots, so, yeah, it has to be a very extreme hypothetical. Even the least experienced, least talented DM is going to exercise judgement when the system punts to him. Sure, but those come in after DM has judged success/failure/uncertainty. Theres the d20 core mechanic, really. The players get 6 stats and various proficiencies, and a (very) few other bonuses. ...
    66 replies | 1995 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 04:44 PM
    Hunter’s Mark isn’t being used every round. Choosing which ability to use in a round is a good part of the game. Some rounds, you sacrifice a bonus attack in order to move Hunter’s Mark to a new target. What feats even even interfere with TWF that aren’t focused on a different fighting style? You’re not PAM Dual Wielding, generally, and you’re never combining it wth Shield Master or Crossbow...
    197 replies | 4977 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 04:32 PM
    I mean one of those is the Rapier. I still get longsword, Battleaxe, and even shortsword wielders who could be using a rapier. As for a 2d6 option, IME no great weapon fighters are gonna switch to a dex based build, because I’ve tested that with a d8 reach finesse weapon, as well as a versatile d6 version of the whip (spiked chain), and no one went from wanting to play a tough beefcake to a lithe...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 04:04 PM
    I tweaked the power sources grid. Note, ‘Morale’ with ‘Second Wind’, thus by extension Warlord hit-point restoration in the sense of rallying morale. Morale organizes as nonmagical ‘Martial’ and mental ‘Psionic’.
    56 replies | 1263 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 04:00 PM
    They had in my opinion the best flavor text / class descriptions of any edition it's not my favorite edition but I can appreciate things from multiple ones. I think I can say terminology is separate from mechanics but what the hell In 3.5e I remember reading the Book of 9 Swords and finding the terminology was evocative Stances / Strikes and Martial Disciplines / Maneuvers (4e lost a lot...
    50 replies | 1375 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 02:56 PM
    That’s odd. I’ve seen plenty of strength sword and board characters, and a handful of dual wielders. My point is that if players are generally choosing something in spite of a forum goer perception that it is “weak”, it is probably actually pretty balanced. We here are much more sensitive to the fine power level differences than the vast majority of players. The game doesn't need to be so...
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 02:48 PM
    Interesting. There is enough there that I’d take that as a rogue or monk (which I almost always play as acrobats), but I’d probably rather have the pseudo-disengage benefit of Mobile than some of the stuff you’ve added. Partly because in my games, someone proficient in Acrobatics can use that skill to reduce falling damage or try to ignore difficult terrain already. Like you suggested, different...
    66 replies | 1995 view(s)
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  • thanson02's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 12:53 PM
    My favorite is 4E What I loved is that it felt like it put narrative first (killing sacred cows and such) and I LOVE the cosmology! There was so much missed potential for campaign settings in the Astral Sea and the Elemental Chaos. The lore itself could have kept the game going for another 10 years.
    50 replies | 1375 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 11:14 AM
    you forgot the quotes "meaningful" .... because who rolled highest initiative is to me not very meaningful
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  • UngeheuerLich's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:52 AM
    This is a good idea. I would allow a srength or dexterity save though to resist. To escape you can make an actobatics or athletics check. I am not sure how to tie the DC though. 8+str. Proficiency bonus sounds right. I don't know if I want it to tie to athletics. Expertise on that check sounds like a cheat. On the other hand a barbarian should be able to get advantage in rage. Probably...
    13 replies | 382 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 07:06 AM
    Eh, I think you're exaggerating the case, as the very, very, least. The player declares an action, and the system describes various methods of resolution, depending on the sort of action being declared. If it's an attack, you roll initiative and go from there. If it's an attempt to find your way past a guard, the system tells the DM to pick the most appropriate Ability Score based on the...
    66 replies | 1995 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:56 AM
    I agree. 5e monsters are largely boring unless you buid cool lairs and give them more legendary action options, and really use their spellcasting. And I was torn between the 4e and 5e art, because I love the big cat prowl of the 5e image, and the majestic sit pose of the 4e image and just the general head shape and that rad head ridge.
    41 replies | 1096 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:40 AM
    Oof. Skilled is one of the most frequently taken feats in my group, and it would drop off dramatically if it were changed to proficiency and expertise in a single skill. I wouldn't even have vaguely considered it for any of the character's I've taken it on. Only on a Bard can I imagine not seeing it as worthwhile. No class gets enough skills, IMO.
    18 replies | 2461 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:34 AM
    Are you really seeing a shortage of strength characters in your games? IME, the overwhelming majority of characters are built on a story concept, not on an analysis of CharOp forum consensus about making the most powerfully SAD character possible for average DPR wiith the fewest possible weaknesses. Most Dex characters don't have as high AC as the plate guy, and people who want to play a...
    197 replies | 4977 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:24 AM
    I'd be much more interested in an Eberron boxed set than a new campaign guide, tbh. I've got my 4e hardcovers, 3.5 pdfs, and dragon/dungeon mag articles. I don't at all need repeats of any of that. I need 5e player options that are balanced by extensive playtesting, and I'd love maps, adventure stuff, some minis, etc.
    51 replies | 1601 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:19 AM
    The brilliance of 5e is that the system is not the game: the DM is. Thought experiment: try putting 5e on autopilot, resolve to run a quick session with no rulings, just rules. Here's how it goes: The players build some characters, the DM describes the situation, a player declares an action - and the game stops, because there is no resolution without a DM ruling. And that's just effing...
    66 replies | 1995 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:07 AM
    It just occurred to me: No one has nominated Calcryx as their favorite white dragon. What an oversight! Meepo must be rolling in his grave...
    41 replies | 1096 view(s)
    0 XP
  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 06:06 AM
    Healer gives an amount of power that rests between Magic Initiate and the racial magic feats. Depending on what use of Magic Initiate you compare it to, it may actually fall behind Magic Initiate. (not very many cases, but still) Requiring a specific consumable item to use it is of variable significance, but it hardly breaks the game. Few DMs will just allow infinite healer kits even without the...
    66 replies | 1995 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:59 AM
    The thing about Fast & Boring is at least it's over quickly. But, yes, Fast can be devestatingly anti-climactic, that's why you have to crank the threat up to rocket tag levels to keep it meaningful.
    201 replies | 8105 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:53 AM
    When to rest has always been about spells, more than hp. Sure, in the early game, you'd run out if healing, out of hp and have to rest - 15 min workday. But, then we got WoCLW, and did it give us an 8hr workday? Nope, the 5MWD, because casters wanted their top-level spells back for the next round of rocket tag, the next scry/buff/teleport assault, or the next buff/targetted-dispel contest....
    66 replies | 1995 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 05:07 AM
    Seriously, in my eyes, the whole point of a ‘boxed set’ is the MAP. And an adventure or arc of adventures relating to the MAP. For what its worth, I prefer regional settings (that plug-and-play into any world). So a regional map, rather than a world map. For me, a world map is an online offering for those who want it. Compare, Salt Marsh is about right for me, in terms of a specific...
    51 replies | 1601 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 04:46 AM
    The Power Sources table above lists ‘healing’ as Primal and Divine. However, this refers to actual spontaneous healing following a catastrophic injury when reach zero hit points. Warlord healing is more like ‘morale’ (Martial Psionic), inspiring others to press on, despite being battered an bruised. For my tastes, the Warlord is an effective healer − unless the ally reaches zero hit...
    56 replies | 1263 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 03:39 AM
    I consider balancing options a high priority. I appreciate those who think about these carefully. ‘Situational’ is ‘less useful’, because it is less frequent, and in that sense ‘weak’. Regarding frequency: An ability that is used every encounter is useful.
    18 replies | 2461 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 03:25 AM
    Wood Elf, and maybe High Elf, deserve Darkvision, carrying a nocturnal vibe. However, Eladrin ‘Sun Elf’ must not have Darkvision, having an aura of light, or a light cantrip, instead. Eladrin ‘Moon Elf’ probably needs Darkvision with a nocturnal vibe. In sum.
    202 replies | 7012 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 02:48 AM
    I don't understand what you're trying to achieve. If you're not interested in the topic as it's been framed or discussed, or think the thread is unhelpful, you're very welcome not to post in it. If you think my threads involve code-of-conduct violation, you have the option of reporting them. Are you trying to pick a fight and have this thread shut down? Are you trying to clutter the thread...
    1468 replies | 38393 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 02:40 AM
    Riley37, you didn't answer my question as to what you think it adds to the thread to insist that Hriston said something that he didn't, on the basis of attributing a meaning to his words that they were not intended to bear, and which no reasonable reader of them in the context of their production would impute to them. As to your question about light, light isn't an endeavour of any sort. It's...
    1468 replies | 38393 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 02:19 AM
    It's not a Chrome thing as such. I use Chrome, and when I cut-and-past text into the website editor I don't pick up COLOR tags.
    24 replies | 349 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 01:34 AM
    Fast and Anti-climactic do just as much. Fast can also be just boring with mostly bags of hit points Fast is also anti-interesting choices for players.
    201 replies | 8105 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 01:10 AM
    When you have 3,724 feats Still using Trumpish math is not impressive.
    66 replies | 1995 view(s)
    0 XP
  • UngeheuerLich's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:38 PM
    I think that being able to wield a weapon helps not revealing that you are a warlock. It is also nice for a multiclassed weapon wielder. Not everyone wants 20 cha. 20 dex or str seems better to some people. Just using eldritch blast in melee dors not do the trick.
    18 replies | 552 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:24 PM
    My ideal power format looks something like this. The title line has the power name (in this case the Fireball spell), the purpose, and the character level. Next line, sources.
    56 replies | 1263 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:10 PM
    I think, ultimately, errata comes down to attitude. Is your product something that's supposed to work, and when it doesn't, that's a bad thing? Then you fix it, promptly, and free of charge if at all possible. Is your product not really supposed to work until the customer has kitbashed it into what he was actually looking for when he bought it? Then why worry, trying to change it is just...
    66 replies | 1995 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:01 PM
    How many 5e feats would you identify as chaff? If it's less than 100*, I'd say it's an improvement. ;P
    66 replies | 1995 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 08:21 PM
    Not convinced that it worked.
    66 replies | 1995 view(s)
    0 XP
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Wednesday, 5th June, 2019

  • 07:02 PM - Yaarel mentioned Garthanos in post How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules
    Garthanos and Tony Vargas I really want to consolidate AC and Reflex. So, a sword attacks the Reflex defense. A ray attacks the Reflex defense. An armor improves the Reflex defense, if the Strength/Constitution prerequisite is met.
  • 05:02 PM - Yaarel mentioned Garthanos in post How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules
    @Tony Vargas, @Zardnaar 5e long rest grants complete healing PLUS hitdice. What if a long rest only gives hitdice? Thus someone who is fresh (unbloodied) can spend hitdice in the form of second-winds. But someone who is injured or exhausted must spend the hitdice immediately to recover, thus is more vulnerable to further damage from future battles. @Tony Vargas, @Garthanos, and others Personally, I love the 5e proficiency bonus, and feel it more than adequately addresses the 4e half-level bonus. Student Tier Levels 1-4 (Proficiency +2) Heroic Tier Levels 5-12 (Proficiency +3, +4) Paragon Tier Levels 13-20 (Proficiency +5, +6) Epic Tier Levels 21-24 (Proficiency +7, also allows ability scores to improve beyond 20) Moreover the Epic Tier can come with an Epic Destiny, becoming ‘Immortal’ by various methods. 5e feats include certain ones that are a ‘half feat’ plus a +1 ability score improvement. It is easy to equate smaller 5e feats as one or two half feats. I consider 4 skill proficiencies to be worth one half feat. Minor traits like Elf Trance are worth one skill proficiency. In some settings, languages matter, and if so, they might be worth a skill proficiency. Together light and medium armors proficiency equals 1 skill, and heavy armor prerequiring light and medium armor, is worth an other skill. A cantrip seems worth two skills, or something ...

Friday, 14th December, 2018

  • 03:15 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Garthanos in post On the Differences Between 1e and 2e (Not all AD&D Is the Same)
    Manbearcat Garthanos Zardnaar Lanefan Saelorn So I was trying to get at a slightly different point that had been bugging me for a while (much more subtle than the continued banes of my existence; e.g, Paladins, Gnomes, and Rapiers). We (and I include myself in this) often treat 1e and 2e interchangeably (I often use the 1e/2e descriptor). In many ways, that is fair- there is a great amount of overlap between them! Certainly more, IMO, than between any two other "numbered" editions. But here's the thing- while most of us normally easily differentiate between the other old compatible editions (OD&D, B/X, BECMI), we don't often think about or see the differences between 1e and 2e. And I think that's a topic worth thinking and talking about. 1e was around from 1977 (PHB) until 1989 (2e).* 2e was around from 1989 until 2000. I mean .... it's kind of insane when you think about it. And both editions had controversial publications that (arguably) created their own separate demi-mondes (1985, UA, lead...

Monday, 3rd December, 2018

  • 03:01 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Garthanos in post What are your favorite Skill Challenges.
    To answer Garthanos original question: I don't know that I have a favorite exactly. The DMG2 has some good advice and RC has a good clear write up. There are a couple other books that touch on the subject tangentially, but nowadays I live with mostly my own advice. I stick to the RC implementation, technically, but I really like being looser most of the time than any of the books suggest. However I'll agree with pemerton that Complexity 1 and 2 challenges are usually PRETTY tightly focused and work well in the original 4e style.

Wednesday, 28th November, 2018

  • 04:21 AM - Manbearcat mentioned Garthanos in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    ...and daily powers leveraged in SCs do bring an attendant opportunity cost (if I understand correctly what you mean by this). You're understanding me correctly. To be clear: Opportunity cost in terms of... If I forgo this Move Action to get in position (instead spending it to push toward success in a relevant SC) to use x Standard Action for Combat I'll have to use lesser effective y Standard Action. Or, more difficult still, consider the course of action that Garthanos carved out above: Fighter spending multiple actions (and multiple rounds to potentially, but not assuredly) take control of the Elite Controller (Leader) Tank instead of deploying his normal combat shtick to lock down enemies, create catch-22s to dictate the melee, and deal a lot of damage/improve his team's survivability. Getting the action economy and the rider effects (see Dazed on the Elite while he is in the cockpit) is something an average GM could easily miscalculate and a poor GM could cluster-eff entirely. Those sort of opportunity-cost based decisions must be weighed and balanced by a GM (in real time, on the go).

Saturday, 24th November, 2018

  • 05:59 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Garthanos in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    ...tion”, I don’t see how Fighters typically being physically imposing/dynamic, Rogues being scoundrel-ey/resourceful/daring-do, and Mages being erudite/mystical is a problem? In Marvel Heroic, Hulk is going to be SMASH-ey and Doctor Strange is going to be erudite/mystical. If the mechanics/PC build schemes don’t engender that emergent quality, there is something wrong with the game. Same goes for Leverage and any game with strong, distinct archetypes. 3) If the concern is challenge-based, then (a) see (1), (2) maybe there is a system maths problem, and (3) if “Challenge” requires heavy deviation from archetype (therefore diluting archetype or rendering it incoherent), then the game has a problem (see (2) above. 4) Fail-Forward and (1) above (hard framing and dynamic situation changes) should alleviate “fiction-irrelevant best skill spamming.” 4e has all 3 of those built into its Noncombat Conflict Resolution so if that isn’t happening then it’s straight user error by the GM. Garthanos , thanks for posting. I’ll get a response up later and move this thread along.

Friday, 23rd November, 2018

  • 05:09 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    OK on this "I would’ve much preferred the ability to adopt any role within the core 4 by giving players a big choice at level 1, an option that placed an overlay on every power you used or that gave you a new way to use them." Basically have Source Specific Powers and less class powers. But I think combining that with having BIG differing stances to dynamically switch role might be a better idea so that your hero can adjust role to circumstance. I have to defend this NPC right now vs I have to take down the big bad right now vs I have to do minion cleaning right now, I am inspiring allies in my interesting way, who need it right now. and the obligatory Argghhhh on this. " I wanted classes to have different power acquisition schedules" And thematic differences seemed to have been carried fine. I know this is a rather long-delayed comment on this, but.... I tried this design approach in HoML (both the one Mearls is talking about AND the options that Garthanos mentions). This is REALLY REALLY HARD to make work, and there's a huge cost in terms of diluting the thematic coherence of the class' power list. You can't just 'add an overlay' and/or a class feature choice, or something similar and successfully transform one role to another. Roles are more deeply ingrained into the classes than that, and making 'role light' so you can simply swap them out is a poor substitute. This is basically why Strike! is uninteresting to me, the 'role matrix' approach it uses just doesn't really do justice to roles. Now, I think its fine to do something akin to what the Berserker does in HotFW, make a 'switching' class that can toggle into a different role when it makes thematic/narrative sense. It is still hard to pull off well, and you won't suddenly stop being an X just because you are now in Y mode, but you can certainly go from 'high damage melee striker' to 'front line leader' or something like that and its workable. One thing that was excellent about 4e...

Thursday, 22nd November, 2018

  • 02:50 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...sting experiment, with some solid ideas. Thinking about why it didn't ultimately work is fruitful 4e works very well as an RPG, with one major exception and one other point of complexity. Major exception: the scaling for combat numbers is different from the scaling for out-of-combat number (roughly +1 per level vs +0.7 per level). At heroic tier this can mostly be ignored, but as levels grow its effect on the maths becomes more evident. It means that you can't have truly universal resolution (eg Intimidate vs Will, Acrobatics vs Reflect, to-hit vs a skill challenge DDC, etc) without the maths breaking down. Fixing this would require reworking the maths of one or both systems, which would be hard, so it's something that I fudge over in play. Point of complexity: 4e combat resolution is very concrete (mapped terrain, detalied position tracking, etc). But 4e non-combat is very abstract (skill challenges). This can cause ajdudicative challenges at the point of interface. As I think Garthanos has noted in this thread, it also puts some hard limits on the gonzo eg epic fighters can't easily leap to the moon, because their exploits also have to fit on a battle map tracked in 5' squares. So anyway, to say that "4e didn't work" is simply to say that it was not as commercially successful as WotC hoped. That's not primarily an inquiry into RPG design but into (i) RPG marketing and (ii) what is popular in RPGing. I have my own views on why 4e was not popular, informed mostly by what I read on the interwebs. (1) Many RPGers don't like closed scene resolution and other forms of abstraction, other than hit points as a weird exception. (2) Many RPGers treat resource management and related puzzle solving as the main focus of play, whereas 4e tends to subordinate this in certain respects. (3) Many RPGers prefer much tighter GM control of outcomes than 4e defaults to.

Monday, 19th November, 2018

  • 12:09 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...l but impossible at 1st level thing is to set a DC of 25+. Which is not fiction-first. Or to put it another way: if the DC follows "the narrative" (which I am taking to be synonymous with what I and others are calling the fiction - ie an understanding, prior to mechanics, of what is and is not feasible for the protagonists) then what is the role of bounded accuracy? They are different methodologies - opposed, almost. Thus, as I said, my confusion on this point. Right. Which is the case in 4e as well, it jut approaches it from the question of "How hard of a door would be a reasonable challenge at this level?" Sometimes the answer is the DC 15 wooden door, sometimes it's the DC 25 mithril door, and sometimes it's the DC 35 primal spirit of doors. Tare you claiming in 4e the DC of a wooden door would change depending on the level of whoever interacted with it and that is an example of fiction first?4e builds in level scaling, and minionisation, and the rest. (And I see that Garthanos also makes this point.) The mathematical result of keeping the door at DC 15 and scaling the bonus by 0.5 per level; and of keeping the bonus to the attempt confined to the raw STR bonus and stepping down the DC by 0.5 per level; is the same. Either way, we have a change in the fiction - ever-growing prowess of the PC - that is then expressed mechanically - the same door get easier to burst down or the same ogre gets easier to defeat. 5e doesn't have the level scaling. And it doesn't adjust the DC of the attempt vs the door (I think - see my uncertainty reported above). If it's nevertheless fiction first that means the fiction is the 15th level fighter has rather little more prowess than the 1st level fighter, as relative feasibilities change hardly at all. But to be honest there's little that I see in the design to suggest fiction first, and the most common refrain I here from 5e proponents is "bounded accuracy", which as I have said is a quite different methodology. The DC ...

Friday, 16th November, 2018

  • 10:10 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Are these Martial Practices? If so which ones are being used and at what level are they gained?They're just action declarations. I don't use Martial Practices in my 4e game. (A difference between me and Garthanos.) My point is that if simpe action declarations resolved as skill checks can do things "comprable to raising the dead" or "opening portals to other planes" then Martial Practices can hardly make martial PCs less capable. As to your other post: I don't know on what basis you say that I said, in another post, that "ritual caster alone makes casters more effective than martial PC's in 4e." I didn't say that, and don't agree with it. I've posted multiple actual play examples in this thread that show why I don't agree with it. What post are you referring to? And is your view based on your own play experience? As to thinking that the invoker/wizard caster in my game doesn't leverage the rules well, please read these two actual play reports and then tell me what the weakness of play consists in. The explanation for why ritual casting doesn't dominate play in 4e as I experience it is fairly straightforward. Domination in play can take two main forms: providing mechanical solutions ...

Thursday, 15th November, 2018

  • 03:14 AM - Parmandur mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...rison to earlier edition casters and if you picked a ranger it can be very low tactical element even before essentials other than deciding who do I attack twice with occasional how hard. 5e seems to have less short term emphasis - part of the thing that allowed short term to be more interesting was action points (and milestones) and they were an everyman tool not fighter action surge. Second wind too was an everyman. Encounter powers too were a part of it, much more immediate than the 5e analog. Yeah, most of the action economy elements were the same across Classes. And I can abstractly appreciate the elegance of making it the same...but I tend to think Mearls is right in the original post (if I can remember that far back!) that 4E may have better received if it retained more asymmetrical Class design. (Anti-Edition War disclaimer: I never had a strong or emotionally charged negative reaction to 4E, still don't, and may have had a positive reaction if my DM was pemerton, Garthanos or Manbearcat ; I'm interested in understanding the phenomenon of the "New Coke" reception, in myself and others, not telling people they are pretending to be an Elf Wizard the wrong way. I've found this thread very interesting in uncovering my subconscious disappointment with the purely symmetrical action economy, but still think 5E just has the 4E Skill system with streamlined math)

Sunday, 11th November, 2018

  • 09:38 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    @pemerton and in part @Hussar You have pushed for the merits of a defined skill table at various levels and/or mentioned 5e DM's giving varying DCs on skill checks as issues of the game. I'm wondering if you have the same contempt, because it can only be described as contempt after so many posts, with TotM. Let us face it TotM can produce some varied results, not all DMs will have the exact same picture in their mind and certainly players will have different ones. I'm wondering if you are consistent in your contempt for unsurety across the board or if you're just cherry-picking?I find it bizarre that a view of the merits of A over B, maintined against others who disagree, counts as contempt! How would I show non-contempt? By changing my mind? So it's contemptuous to disagree with you (and others)? As Garthanos pointed out, this is a 4e thread in the pre-5e editions sub-forum - I don't see how it's remotely contemptuous for posters to explain why certain features of 4e, which are absent from 5e, appeal to them. I also have no idea why you fasten on "unsurety" as an issue. I am the one who quoted the passage upthread, from LostSoul, about the table-specific manner in which colour is established in 4e. As far as I can tell Manbearcat and I are the only posters in this thread who regularly play non-D&D systems (like MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic, Prince Valiant, and the like) that use conflict resolution mechanics that proceed as a 4e skill challenge does - first, establish feasibility in the fiction, then use the system framework to set a difficulty. As far as theatre of the mind is concerned, whatever floats your boat. In AD&D I don't bother tracking precise distances because they don't matter - there is no tracking of in-melee movement in AD&D, so the only question is whether someone is close en...

Saturday, 10th November, 2018

  • 02:14 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ... modular depending on how the DM chooses to rule it and, as long as the DM is consistent should be fine.Of cousre I'm talking about what I want in the game - if you follow the thread, you'll see that this discussion arose from discussing the adjudication of martial prowess, and how 4e supports that in various ways both combat and non-combat. Of course, 4e is jsut as "modular" as 5e in this respect - nothing stops a GM deciding that the 15th level fighter can't do what I described, and the worst will be a modest bit of friction between the flavour of that decision, and the flavour of some paragon paths etc - but that friction will probably be no greater than in the 5e game where the fighter can survive being enveloped by a fire elemental but has his/her hands burn to a crisp if s/he stick them into a forge. What 4e does offer is a systematic framework for implementing whatever decision is made, via a DC-by-level chart and skill challenge system. FURTHER EDIT: As Manbearcat and Garthanos have pointed out, 5e is not "modular" when it comes to spellcasters - they have a range of quite significant and fairly well-detailed abilities which establish their capabilities pretty straightforwardly. And another point: in my 4e game, an epic-tier chaos sorcerer sealed the Abyss with an appropriate Arcana check, and sacrificing the appropriate resources. I've seen 5e GMs suggest that (i) in 5e Arcana is only about scholarly knowledge, and not manipulating magical phenomena; and (ii) that the appropriate way to handle that would be to undertake research, create a new spell etc. In gameplay terms, undertaking research means playing the game so as to learn more from the GM about what action declarations are required to produce the desired result. It shifts the focus from adjudicating action resolutions to unfolding the GM's conception of the fiction. A further strength of the 4e system structure, in my view, is that it facilitates the former focus of play. (As Parmandur and I di...

Friday, 9th November, 2018

  • 10:30 PM - Lanefan mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...er-high-level stuff - all the talk of Conan and Elric and Hercules - and thus has limited relevance to the vast majority of tables whose games just never get that high. And with that said, if really-high-level epic stuff is what a particular table is looking to play most of the time, is D&D the right system or should that table be looking at some sort of supers game? In all editions the 'sweet spot' of play generally seems to be the low-mid to mid levels (roughly 3rd-9th in 1e-2e, 3rd-12th in 3e, maybe 4th-14th in 4e) - D&D has never really done really high-level play all that well, mostly IMO because the PCs just get too big for the setting/fiction. 3e's fix for this was to make the setting (i.e. monsters) scale with the PCs, leading to some ridiculous outcomes mostly ending with there should be no commoners left alive on the planet. 5e's much better fix is to greatly narrow the power grade between low and high level. 2. A fair way back in the thread there was talk - from Garthanos I think but I could be mistaken - about how the genre of play is expected to change by tier in 4e. To me this would be a bug, not a feature, as it represents a built-in reduction of the system's flexibility for running different types of campaigns and-or storylines. If for example I want to run a courtly-intrigue campaign - limited combat, lots of skill challenges, mortal foes - yet still has the PCs advance through the levels I'd probably be fighting the system most of the way to prevent the PCs from becoming godlike in the setting by 12th level. Now one could quite legitimately say that maybe 4e thus wouldn't be the best system for such a campaign...but that's just my point. Every campaign type that a system is ill-suited for is going to reduce that system's overall usefulness, and thus popularity. 3. Following on from 2, above: one very common type of story / campaign that 4e couldn't do very well was a true zero-to-hero progression. Sure it got the hero end right, but in ...
  • 07:30 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    a Level 20 PC isn't likely to be killed by a legion of Goblins, but putting defeat utterly out if reach isn't the style the game went for. 4e doesn't have the mechanical resources out of the box to determine whether or not a single PC is killed by a legion of goblins. At least, not within the combat system. (I guess in principle you could stat up each company of goblins as a swarm and play out an extended series of battles. That would seem incredibly boring. The game isn't designed to suppport that or make it playable.) As Garthanos suggests, you might try and mange it as, or as part of, a skill challenge instead. I used that approach when the PCs in my 4e game stormed Torog's Soul Abattoir: Although the Soul Abattoir is described in very general terms in the Underdark book, little detail is given. I located it at the end of icy tunnels running through the Shadowdark, on the far shore of the Soul Slough into which flows Lathan, the River of Souls. The "liquid souls" flowed under the ice and stone to the icy, Vault-of-the-Drow-style cavern containing the Soul Abattoir. The Abattoir itself was a series of buildings into which souls "flowed" in a fashion analogous to rivers. Inside the buildings the streams of souls were directed through Torog's various machines, which extracted soul energy from by way of torture, converting that energy into "darkspikes" from which Torog could then draw power by driving them into his body. The destruction of the Soul Abattoir was run mostly as a skill challenge, but with a com...
  • 01:26 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    People with pointy sticks, so yeah, Goblins.I don't think that Hercules is seriously challenged by a group of Athenian hoplites surrounding him. Nor Lancelot, for that matter. Nor is Conan if he's able to get his back against a wall but otherwise is pressed by foes. A character who can seriously threaten a demon prince seems to me to be closer to Hercules than Samwise Gamgee in overall power/heroic stature. I think 4e does quite a good job of presenting such a state of affairs. I've got no real opinion on 5e combat other than that the monsters don't seem super-interesting. But 5e non-combat seems to me not to model "tiers" very well, for the sorts of reasons that I and others ( Garthanos, MwaO) have posted. The upshot (it seems to me) is that the DC for a high level fighter shoving his hands into the forge so as to stabilise the magic hammer so that the artificers can grasp it with their tools is impossible.
  • 12:50 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    I don't want max level characters who feel no fear when being surrounded and outnumberedBy whom? Bar-room thugs? Vrock demons? The issues of whether being surrounded/outnumbered is a threat seems somewhat distinct from the issue of whether goblins should still be a threat to 20th level PCs. But is that not what the minion mechanic does? There are no paragon or epic tier goblin minions. (At least if one is playing in the default setting.) Ogres are minions at paragon tier. I used hobgoblin phalanxes (swarms) at mid-paragon. At epic tier, the swarms are swarms of vrocks and other demons. In principle one might use a goblin army as a threat at epic tier, but - and going back to a point Garthanos made upthread - 4e doesn't have good mechanics for handling this. (Swarms don't really work beyond 4 sq x 4 sq, and clearly an army is bigger than that.)
  • 12:36 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    The claim was that in 5e a goblin can still hit a 10th level character due to mostly static AC whereas in 4e the AC improvement due to level makes this unlikely to impossible. If you want to talk damage, debuffs and interesting conditions that is a separate conversation.Here's Garthanos's post: Yes your skill at fighting somehow doesnt decrease the chance of you being hit by stupid goblin.... you are prevented from that by magical forces apparently and it didnt make sense in 1e doesn't make sense in 5e. Garthanos was talking about AD&D/3E - skill at fighting doesn't change your chance of being hit by the goblin (it does increase your hp). When talking about 4e, minions and their damage rules are absolutely pertinent to this - your fighting skill is expressed mechanically through a debuff on the goblin - reduced damage and dead-on-a-hit. EDIT: I see that Garthanos has also posted making much the same point.

Monday, 5th November, 2018

  • 08:30 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Of course the mechanical power of the PC is the result of building the PC. If you were to translate Captain America into your DnD game then his power would result from the building of the PC (or monster stat block I suppose) plus his magical shieldSure, but then we need "codified rules" for how a martial PC gets to add a shield (or whatever) to his/her equipment list. And we probably also want some system - a fairly generic one is fine, even desirable - for working out how hard it is to throw your shield (or whatever) and stun three orcs (or whatever). I agree with Garthanos that if we don't go beyond what the GM envisages a strong normal person can do we're going to have sucky martial types relative to magic-users. (Other possibilities clearly exist, but I take it are ruled out for D&D: common sense possibilities set the limits for martial endeavour, but access to supernatural abilities is equal opportunity (eg Runequest); common sense + cinematic possiilities set the limts for martial endeavour, and supernatural abilities are a GM-side thing only (eg Prince Valiant); etc.) When you start doing supernatural stuff like that… you’re not really martial anymore.This seems to imply that "martial" PCs can't be high level. And in my view is at odds with D&D tradition, which has always allowed martial PCs to do supernatural stuff like wrestle giants, withstand being bitten by dragons, etc. That's before we get to rather canonical texts like Gygax's DMG, which tells us that the increase in hp and saving throws (which in his sytems are enjoyed by fighters mo...
  • 12:33 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    By the nature of martial abilities, you don't need to define what is and is not possible. Because people generally have an idea. You just set the limits (how much you can lift, how far you can jump) and people can extrapolate and fill in the blanks.I really don't see much evidence in the history of RPGs that this way of approaching it provides dynamic and capable "martial" characters. This applies to everything from the stuff Garthanos is talking about, to exactly how many orcs my Conan-esque fighter can slay per game-unit-of-action, to the need in AD&D for my fighter to PC to get a girdle of giant strength if s/he is going to emulate a comic book hero like Power Man or even Captain America.


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Sunday, 16th June, 2019

  • 05:34 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Garthanos in post Streamlined 4e combat
    It generally doesnt in 4e but they didnt lock down out of turn actions Right, which is why I’m fine with cutting down off turn actions into, at most, Immediate Interrupt and Free Action. If it interrupts, it’s that one, if it doesn’t it’s the other. You get one of each per turn. Maybe even make them all Minor Actions, and allow 3 per round, but only 1 per turn, and they all specify what triggers them or when you can use them. So, an extra attack on your turn would be a Minor Action, and say “make an attack on your turn”. Attacks of Opportunity would spend a Minor Action, and you could theoretically make up to 3 per round, but you’d have no Minor Action on your own turn. Meanwhile, some Warlord stuff would be Minor Action, while others would be folded into on turn actions of just passively boost certain actions an ally can take, etc.
  • 03:52 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Garthanos in post Streamlined 4e combat
    The warlord whose primary context is often for team work is very off turn as well to me the highly limited off turn action basically undermines that. I do like 5e movement system its pretty sweet. Sure, but does it need to eat the other character’s actions at all? Why isn’t it just an Action the warlord takes, with no cost to the person making the attack?
  • 03:42 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Garthanos in post Streamlined 4e combat
    I feel it makes the artificiality of turn based combat more obvious to me... in 1e action was planned but simultaneous. (relying on the DM to merge them) That’s fair. I like having some floating actions in the game, but 4e went a bit too far there for me. I like 5e’s Action economy in a lot of ways, like how movement works, but I’ve also enjoyed how other games do rounds, like Alternity and The One Ring.

Saturday, 15th June, 2019

  • 09:59 PM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Garthanos in post Streamlined 4e combat
    I keep prodding him to fully develop HoML but I also hand him ideas that have him rewriting things every time he turns around so its partly my fault. LOL, well this is somewhat true. Honestly I have been kind of in another world the last several months, not doing a lot of work on it. I must say, the whole question of simplified hit points and 'combat modes' in the 'What Sticks' thread could lead to deep reworking of the basic combat engine, assuming I really want to go that far. Already HoML has the issue that, at high levels, you get to large and unwieldy dice quantities. There are obviously ways to fix that (d6 for instance simply let you average the first N dice and only roll a few 'on top' if you wished vs rolling 30 or 40 d6). Those ways are not terrible, but the option of reducing or eliminating increases in hit points and using some kind of 'shift' mechanism IS tempting. In a nutshell you'd have a relatively limited number of hit points, say maybe 30 give or take, with elites and sol...
  • 08:55 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Garthanos in post The Intelligent Fighter , Thibault's Circle.
    I definitely like that 5e made a dex based fighter a standard thing ... It was a long time coming. I gave variant fighters a % DEX instead of STR back in the day - complete with maximums by race & sex. The 3e Finesse feat essentially taxed DEX fighters, and left them inferior. Still bet your fighter has Int as a justified dump stat. Not if it was random roll in order - just gets no benefit from it, as a fighter. Really, INT is a triffle lacklustre in 5e - though I feel knowledge skills can still be important.
  • 05:11 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Garthanos in post Should I play 4e?
    you forgot the quotes "meaningful" .... because who rolled highest initiative is to me not very meaningfulHey, your 3e character could die instantly. Life & Death not meaningful enough for you?
  • 05:59 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Garthanos in post Should I play 4e?
    Fast and Anti-climactic do just as much. Fast can also be just boring with mostly bags of hit points Fast is also anti-interesting choices for players. The thing about Fast & Boring is at least it's over quickly. But, yes, Fast can be devestatingly anti-climactic, that's why you have to crank the threat up to rocket tag levels to keep it meaningful.

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 11:01 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Garthanos in post Durable Feat is weak, Healer feat is too strong
    Not convinced that it worked. How many 5e feats would you identify as chaff? If it's less than 100*, I'd say it's an improvement. ;P * Yeah, I know.
  • 05:20 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Garthanos in post Durable Feat is weak, Healer feat is too strong
    Splitting out the combat feats and non combat ones seems step 1 in getting the feats to be even better than 4e. Step one was clearing out the chaff. I suspect that was part of the impetus to have 'big' feats: it means characters get fewer feats, so make fewer feat choices, which means you can publish only a handful of them.
  • 04:33 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Garthanos in post What do you love about your favorite edition that ISN’T rules related?
    Really I have seen Umbrum warning people in the last several days.... and it must be "impossible" someone has had more than one account ? Over in the sense that 4e was already out of print.
  • 03:49 PM - Yaarel quoted Garthanos in post 4e Clone − help create it!
    Many of a themes effects were just power swaps.... not power upgrades but they might be represented in 5e as a type of 5e feat. I am a big fan of swaps. They are awesome for customization and balance. If everything is formatted as powers, then it is so easy swap one power for an other. Paragon paths might be a 5e feat as would Epic Destiny. Not sure if the 5e feat will convey them well. But they might be built that way. If you look at the ‘Advancement’ table. The way the leveling sequence works out has levels 20 to 24 for Epic tier. This includes two ‘Epic’ feats at levels 20 and 24. It also includes an Epic race feature − great for concepts like Archfey. Levels 21 and 23 are for the Epic ‘destiny’ − here renamed ‘immortality’. These immortality features focus on a method of gaining immortality, and an epic legacy or portfolio relating to this concept. I assume it will be 4E or Pathfinder levels of feats so a human would get a bonus feat. This Advancement table allocat...
  • 04:54 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Garthanos in post What do you love about your favorite edition that ISN’T rules related?
    I love that Elfcrusher still gets to have fun with his e-war... Check the join date: he came in after it was over.

Thursday, 13th June, 2019

  • 02:14 PM - ART! quoted Garthanos in post Fighter subclasses for every ability score
    Wis as being steady perceptive it reacts more but does so by being aware and it might take longer on its attack for some benefit? I think of Int as being quick predictive thinking instead of reacting to an already occurring situation but it is highly analytical and preplanning too hmmmmm . So yeah there may be difficulty differentiating them in anything but a flavor fashion.. I was thinking in 4e that most of the powers and feats with Figher Wisdom riders ended up being the same ones I would Tweak via a combat style into being Intelligence riders. Just quickly looking at D&D Beyond's version of the PHB, INT measures mental acuity*, information recall, and analytical skill. WIS measures awareness, intuition, and insight. *"sharpness or keenness of thought, vision, or hearing", says Google's dictionary I couldn't decide if this was Wisdom or Intelligence secondary... decided intelligence as its so much about predicting and analysing but could be either. [awesome scene of RDJ as Holmes in...
  • 01:10 PM - Ancalagon quoted Garthanos in post The Intelligent Fighter , Thibault's Circle.
    Not sure how that relates to an Int encouraged fighter? Unless you think it could be readily reflavored in some fashion? Multi-classing ;)
  • 06:23 AM - Ancalagon quoted Garthanos in post The Intelligent Fighter , Thibault's Circle.
    I definitely like that 5e made a dex based fighter a standard thing although in 4e I would use a Rogue (lots of dangerous ripostes etc) or Ranger class for that. Still bet your fighter has Int as a justified dump stat.My fighter is the smartest party member so... yes, I roleplay him using that style. Incidentally, I use redrick roller to generate stats.
  • 04:34 AM - Immortal Sun quoted Garthanos in post Should I play 4e?
    And raise the dead at 8th... has always made me feel all the D&D deadliness was undermined But by some accounts, a lot of people never play past 10th level. So "raise dead at 8th level" is like, endgame content. Which I never understood, it's like having a car and never taking it over 35. Speaking of high-level content, there's another thing 4E did better than any edition to-date: high level content. Restricting the number and the sheer power of high-level (even level 30!) daily and encounter powers kept the whole game on a very strict diet of balance.

Wednesday, 12th June, 2019

  • 09:30 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Garthanos in post The Intelligent Fighter , Thibault's Circle.
    I was thinking the one handed emphasis ... could be a good addition but I am thinking we may need new powers not just adopting the dex ones.Well the 4e fighter, specifically was originally designed around S&B vs two-hander. TWF was added later (with a defender spin, vs the Ranger's TWF, and the Ranger also covered archery, while the rogue covered the lighter DEX-based styles... and got a Duelist build in Dragon, IIRC). So feature would seem to be the place to insert a one-handed-weapon emphasis, an alternative to S&B, Greatweapon, Tempest, etc... it could swap in INT, and incentivize the single one-handed weapon. AND It is possible to do a smart rogue in 4e and it generally comes off as ninja like (shadowy rogue) I would say that is stylistic rather different than a fencing master with unusually high survivability ;) and a measure of cold calculating dangerousness so to my thinking doesn't do the trick for this Thibault's Circle smart fighter style. What's the use of INT To the rogu...
  • 08:21 PM - Charlaquin quoted Garthanos in post 4e Clone − help create it!
    Freeing up the flavor is perhaps the goal, ie my character uses predictive intellect and quick thinking for initiative.... his uses perceptual acuteness... and she physically reacts faster. Heroes play to their strengths. Agreed, I thought it was a great solution. One which a 4e clone would presumably adopt, what with being a clone.
  • 07:30 PM - Charlaquin quoted Garthanos in post 4e Clone − help create it!
    4e achieved closer to balanced stats I think (and it may have been a subtle goal not fully achieved) , yes Dex was a bit super but by enabling other attributes to steal from it... it became less of a super stat. Intelligence allowed fast predictive thinking to do many defensive things that Dexterity normally did. Wisdom was easy to supplant initiative and so on. (since 4e had mini-feats in comparison to 5e you were spending less resources to go a different direction) . In this category where 4e didnt balance them well, you can definitely find things like some stats had way to many skills attached Wisdom did and some had way too few so Int needed some mundane skill love... Engineering in place of Dungeoneering could give a non-magical int based skill as a fix for that. Yes there is a temptation to fix ;) In my opinion, 4e didn’t so much balance the abilities as it removed the distinctions between them. Each class added their primary ability to attack and damage rolls with their class Powers....
  • 06:32 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Garthanos in post The Overkill Damage Fallacy
    Note this does not necessarily take complex mechanics either... if you weren't attacked last round you gain a bonus this round (could be bonus damage if that is easier and you are playing to the bounded accuracy gods - note this would reward both surprise and initiative situations too) It's a tangent, but, sure: it'd be fairly simple to give a bonus (in 5e, say advantage) to a character who has not been attacked since the end of his last turn and was not threatened at the start of his turn. It'd be a mild counter-incentive against somewhat unrealistic focus fire, and make 'suppressive fire' a thing in D&D's Fantasy Vietnam - heck, we already have recon by fire(ball). ;P


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