View Profile: MechaPilot - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:40 AM
    Consider the all-important character Advancement table. Here are four tiers: Novice, Hero, Master, and Immortal. In medieval contexts, these are apprentice/page, journeyer/squire, master/knight, plus legendary. In Basic D&D, these tiers might loosely associate with Basic, Expert, Master, and Immortal. 4e lacks Novice for a player character, and the tiers begins at Heroic, Paragon, and...
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:52 AM
    The Knights Templar are an imperial religious order − and very much about certain ruling families. These aristocratic families were also bankers. There are commoners who have access to the aristocrats: servants, entertainers, and merchants. But the aristocrats are highly conscious of their ‘low birth’ and ‘low status’. They try to prevent the boundaries from getting blurry. Sometimes, a...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 11:32 PM
    I create the following. There are four ‘styles’: divine, void, arcane, and worldly. These styles are methods or modes or ways. They correspond roughly to the 4e sources: divine, shadow, arcane, and martial. Each style can engage four ‘realms’:
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 07:48 PM
    For my urban campaign, nonlethal combat is key. Defeating opponents without murder, reduces a serious crime to misdemeanor, or even simply a nuisance that the guards dont want to bother themselves with. For this reason, the ‘bloodied’ condition becomes highly useful. It is the moment when an altercation becomes a fight. Someone is going to have a black eye. I reserve all the ‘unfair’...
    30 replies | 542 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 03:48 AM
    Status because of wealth, celebrity, and power ... is modern. In premodern cultures, it is more important to be *related* to a noble and have a title, than to actually have money. Money has value − specifically to pay for armies to conquer and steal wealth from other communities. These ‘spoils of war’ were often spent lavishly to emphasize the victory. The next generation of these...
    30 replies | 542 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 01:40 AM
    Social Stratification ≈ Background ≈ Status/Clique Social Competitiveness ≈ Persuasion/Intimidation Family and Clan are ultra important Power in the sense of class level and wealth are actually less important than we moderns might expect. Level and treasure probably counts for personal reputation, but not really for social ‘access’.
    30 replies | 542 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 01:03 AM
    Power Grid − Styles: Divine, Void, Arcane, Worldly − Realms: Matter, Life, Mind, Force MATTER (elemental) LIFE
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 12:57 AM
    Alright. So a nonmagic at-will is called a ‘maneuver’. A magic at-will is called a ‘cantrip’. So, in the power format, ‘frequency type’ includes Rest, Long Rest, Reaction, ... and Cantrip/Maneuver (= at-will).
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 07:21 PM
    Power Source Grid Here is the 4e Power Source Grid as a table, to make it easier to tweak if necessary. When it seems stable enough to handle most of the corner cases, we can move it into the Original Post. Power Sources
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 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...
    205 replies | 7575 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 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...
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 02:22 AM
    Power Format Power Name // Purpose Level Sources, Trope // Action Type • Frequency
    64 replies | 1706 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...
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  • MechaPilot's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 04:34 PM
    I don't know if I'd say it's a "better" approach, but it feels more intuitive to me to recalibrate the costs than the total. I'd also add that changing the total wouldn't affect the issue that another poster mentioned in the lead-up to the response, which is the repeated casting of certain lower-level spells (like Shield) that the other deemed to be overly beneficial for their cost over...
    19 replies | 591 view(s)
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  • MechaPilot's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 04:28 PM
    I don't find it exasperating the issue. The additional resource flexibility tends to make casters feel more free to use spells they think are right for a given situation without worrying about "oh, man, but I have to burn one of my higher level slots to cast that because I've already used up all the slots for that level." It's been my experience that if you (the generic you) have a first level...
    19 replies | 591 view(s)
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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’. Now that I know how to make a table, I am doing the 4e Power Sources Grid as one to make it easier to tweak. See below.
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • 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...
    90 replies | 3298 view(s)
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  • 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...
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • 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.
    19 replies | 2570 view(s)
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 07:51 PM
    4e Power Sources How do you guys feel about the 4e Power Sources table below? The table develops from discussions that Wrecan and I had years ago. Essentially, the sources are rows and columns that intersect each other. For example, ‘healing’ spells are both Divine and Primal, locating at the intersection of the two. The columns describe the THEME of the spell: Elemental (Matter),...
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 07:20 PM
    @Azzy, jayoungr I updated the original post as follows. Any suggestions? Grappling Grappling represents wrestling, grabbing, pulling, and pushing.
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:48 PM
    Yeah, I guess. Maybe for the sake of simplicity, ANY grappling maneuver can attack or defend via whichever is higher, Dexterity or Strength. So, Dexterity can ‘Push’ by means of a judo flip or so on, and ‘hold’ by grabbing a sensitive place like a finger. I have in mind that there are only four abilities (or at least only four ‘active’ abilities). So, attack uses Strength or...
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 03:49 PM
    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. 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...
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • MechaPilot's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 11:31 AM
    Healer is what makes a healer's kit worthwhile.
    72 replies | 2522 view(s)
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  • MechaPilot's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 10:43 AM
    Healer is fine. It's good, but not too good. Durable is okay. It's far from great, but it excels under the right circumstances.
    72 replies | 2522 view(s)
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  • MechaPilot's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 10:29 AM
    Another option would be to alter the SP cost for the spell levels. As it is, we have some level increases going up by 1 point while others go up by 2 points. I'd experiment with making each level increase a 2 point increase before tinkering with the totals.
    19 replies | 591 view(s)
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  • MechaPilot's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 10:04 AM
    I currently run spell points instead of slots for every caster class except warlock (because they need slots to retain their unique character), and I haven't run into any issues yet. I even run a modified version of the DMG variant in that I don't limit spells of 6th level or higher to once per day. The only significant differences I've run into are that SP are easier to track than slots, and...
    19 replies | 591 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 05:43 PM
    I want ultra simple grappling. Is the following feasible enough? Grappling Grappling represents wrestling, grabbing, pulling, and pushing. Always use Dexterity to make a grappling attack but always use Strength to keep hold.
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 04:02 PM
    How do you guys feel about everyone getting a free feat at level 1? I suppose, a human gains two. I love 4e ‘themes’. It seems like Pathfinder2 now has something like this as well. A themes are a substantial set of thematic abilities, in addition to class and race. These are great for rounding out a character, connecting the character to persons or places in the setting, or if teammates...
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 03:30 PM
    Ability Bonuses Your ability bonuses define the things that you tend to be good at. Your aptitudes. For example, a high Strength bonus makes you inherently good at various challenges that need you to be physically strong. Physical Ability Bonuses • Strength represents your brute strength, toughness, and size. • Dexterity represents your precise motion, skillful athleticism, and...
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 01:05 AM
    The 4e source is so flavorful. It is one of my favorite aspects of 4e. Identifying a class with a certain source works well. On the other hand, identifying a class with a role never worked well. The class felt too rigid and inflexible against personalization. Towards the end, 4e abandoned roles by having archetypes with different roles. I feel it is very useful to use ‘roles’ as...
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:03 PM
    I overhauled the Ability Bonuses section. This post archives the earlier content, before the update. Your abilities define the things that you tend to be good at. Your aptitudes. For example, a high Strength makes you inherently good at various skills and efforts that need you to be physically strong. The attacker always rolls a d20. This attack roll adds a relevant ability bonus...
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:02 PM
    It is possible that 4e grognards outnumber 4e fixers. This is ironic regarding the history of 4e. Heh, and the rationale is identical: ‘I own too much stuff, and therefore refuse to change in any way at all.’ The bottom line is, this thread belongs to the community. I personally need a system that uses salient and balanced abilities. But this thread isnt just for me.
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:44 PM
    The abilities of the 3e gaming system were more systematic and more balanced than the 1e gaming system. I am unfamiliar with 1e clones. But my impression is, these embrace the 3e improvement of the abilities, abandon the 1e stats, and still call the 1e clone a ‘clone’.
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:22 PM
    Zardnaar The 4e defaults to ‘attacker always rolls’. Yet it included variant possibilities. For example, ‘players always roll’. In other words, when players attack, they roll against a defense. But when monsters attack, the attack is a fixed number and the players make saves against it. So, it is easy to just leave ‘attack’ and ‘defense’ as raw bonus numbers. If rolling, add d20. But if...
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:11 PM
    To reduce to three abilities, would mean using Dexterity checks for library research, or alternatively using Intelligence for jumping and grappling. Besides, the 4e stat ‘Passive Perception’ is defacto a routine defense. 4e really has four defenses. The consolidation of abilities down to four is fully compatible with existing 4e material.
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 01:53 PM
    @Zardnaar, @DEFCON 1, @Charlaquin It is worth having balanced abilities. Rather than the eight abilities, it is possible to have four abilities. • Strength • Dexterity • Intelligence • Charisma
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:10 AM
    Initiative probably belongs to ‘Sense’, whether Sense is part of Wisdom, part of Intelligence, or its own stand-alone ability. In any case, Sense is the ability to notice something coming, whence the ability to respond early for initiative.
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:06 AM
    I am ok with removing damage from finesse weapons. Note, in the eight ability setup: Strength − melee attack bonus, melee damage bonus Athletics − finesse attack bonus, grappling, Monk flurry attack Dexterity − missile attack bonus, Rogue sneak attack All three have different kinds of combat options. None are must-have.
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:42 AM
    Abilities should be useful regardless of class. Lore skills and languages are less satisfactory to make Intelligence worthwhile. Intelligence must include something frequently useful in combat. 4e made a good start at making Intelligence a more meaningful investment. It combines Intelligence with Dexterity for Reflex. But this combination still feels awkward. Intelligence still feels less...
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:08 AM
    We will see how people feel about having 8 ability scores. But there are many good reasons to have these 8. They are equally powerful to each other. And salient to describe well various kinds of creatures and abilities. Personally, in the traditional six, I find the fact that Dexterity is a super-stat while Intelligence is a dump-stat, to be frustrating. This fundamental imbalance wont...
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:34 AM
    The only difference between a ‘defense’ and a ‘save’ is a d20 versus a base 10. You can literally call it a ‘Will save’ and then define ‘Will save’ as ‘10 + your Wisdom or Charisma bonus’.
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:10 AM
    Zardnaar I started a new thread as a ‘wiki thread’ that anybody can edit. This allows multiple people to contribute to the clone, so not all of the burden is on one person. Have a look at the thread and add and change it freely. enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?659990-Open-4e-Style&p=7619019#post7619019
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:54 AM
    Math cannot be copyrighted. If you like defenses better, then there is no problem using them. The terms ‘Fortitude’, ‘Reflex’, ‘Will’, and ‘Perception’ are all legally available, regardless of how we define these terms. Cool about Star Wars. If going with defenses, then it is worth combining Ref and AC as a single defense.
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 03:01 AM
    The ability bonuses consolidated to four: Strength and Dexterity, Intelligence and Charisma. Abilities and defenses are probably the most important mechanics in the entire game. They need to work extremely well. Unfortunately, they are the most familiar mechanics, thus the most difficult to improve. In the first post, in ‘Ability Bonuses’, I have added two more ability scores....
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 02:49 AM
    Reserved
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 02:46 AM
    This is an open wiki thread. You can edit this post. Contribute to reengineer a ‘4e-style’ gaming system. Use available nomenclature from 5e and 3e, or invent a new nomenclature. Avoid unlicensed 4e terms. Include any notes for fellow game designers in double brackets ]. For example, the term ‘profession’ is noted to be equivalent to the 4e term ] and the 5e term ]. A final product...
    64 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • MechaPilot's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:42 PM
    I also love Battletech. The Mechwarrior RPG is a mess. I run the Mechwarrior RPG by replacing the entire system with the ruleset from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG. The character to wargame conversion table for piloting and gunnery skills even matches up nicely with skill levels from BtVS.
    79 replies | 3042 view(s)
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  • MechaPilot's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:28 PM
    As someone who's been on the receiving end of this kind of behaviour to the point of deciding to entirely avoid FLGSs and conventions, can I just say "Thank You."
    419 replies | 17095 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 05:23 PM
    In 1e, every DM was expected to create their own setting with its own flavor. I wish that stayed.
    77 replies | 2784 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:53 PM
    @Zardnaar, I basically like these half-feats. The main issues are: Flavor-neutral mechanics Avoid baking setting flavor into the mechanics. Rely more on ‘flavor text boxes’ for flavor. Especially avoid terms like ‘gods’ within the actual mechanics themselves. Defenses In 4e, there are no such things as ‘saves’. Instead, the attacker always rolls. The defender has ‘defenses’....
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 02:10 PM
    Actually, doing them in chunks of 5, eventually covers all of them. For 4esque, Warlord seems ‘core’. And there are 5 sources: Psionic, Arcane, Divine, Primal, and Martial. Maybe treat Bard as mind-affecting Psionic.
    29 replies | 1171 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:22 AM
    So far. Warlord Fighter Wizard Rogue, Cleric Druid, Warlock
    29 replies | 1171 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 11:35 PM
    I would go with Rabbi as a background. Rabbis can be very different from each other. Some Rabbis are scientists (Wizard), some are soldiers (Fighter), some are artists (Bard), some are healers (Cleric). The mystics in particular seem a case that is simultaneously Divine and Psionic. The endeavor is to ‘unite’ and ‘adhere’ the mind of a human with the mind of Divinity. Jewish mysticism is...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 02:36 PM

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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 01:28 PM
    Ars Magica has a book, Kabbalah: Mythic Judaism. It seems a decent presentation.
    20 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • MechaPilot's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 09:51 AM
    Given my previous experiences in the hobby (which I've described on this site before), I'm unsurprised that this still happens. It's one of the reasons I don't attend play events at cons and stores, or play under GMs I don't know.
    419 replies | 17095 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 01:12 AM
    Pretty much any clergy is more like a background, being a skill set. Knowledge skills (history, religion, arcana as mysticism), social skills (empathy, persuasion, intimidation), magical talents (bless, augury, healing, guidance) Peoples most commonly expressed needs are: belonging, relationship, family wellbeing, finances, physical health, spiritual seeking, meaning, ethical advice,...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 05:22 PM
    I love 4e. It is my favorite edition of D&D. ‘Errata’ that I would like to improve include. • Make the abilities (Dexterity, Intelligence, etcetera) more salient and more equal in power. • Consolidate AC and Reflex into a single defense. Make Perception a formal defense. • Make power choice fluid. Where 4e had specific usage types (at-will, encounter, daily) at specific levels, it became...
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:41 PM

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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:28 PM
    For 4e, it helps to think in blocks of four levels. • level 1: class archetype specialization power (at-will, short rest, long-rest) • level 2: utility (defend, move, detect), skill (background), cultural power (race, region) • level 3: class power (at-will, short-rest, long-rest, sometimes extra-attack) • level 4: feat/ability-score customization This block repeats for levels 5 to 8,...
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 12:40 PM
    For theater of the mind, it helps to ballpark all distances for weapons and spells as: ‘melee’ (within 3 feet) ‘reach’ (within 10 feet) ‘close’ (within 30 feet) ‘far’ (beyond 30 feet) ‘same plane of existence’ Far ranges that sometimes happen beyond a combat encounter:
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 11:51 AM
    It is necessary to plan ahead carefully. Because mechanics depend on other mechanics, once we build it, it becomes painful or impossible to personalize. If we want ability scores to be equally balanced with each other, then we must build the system that way from the bottom up. If we want characters that are easy to customize, then we must build the system that way from the bottom up. ...
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:09 AM
    Maybe the magic bonus and the tier bonus are the same thing? If using magic bonuses, then treadmill the tier bonus. If without magic bonuses just add the tier bonus directly? Novice: +0 magic or tier Hero: +1 magic or tier Paragon: +2 magic or tier Epic: +3 magic or tier
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 01:00 AM
    Lets think carefully about bounded accuracy. At level 1, it is possible to have a total of +0 (average score, nonproficient) or worse. At level 1, the highest bonus is +7 (+5 score, +2 proficiency). Im less fond of the Expertise ‘doubling’ proficiency, because I like bounded accuracy for skills too, and I like to use skills in combat, so like combat and skills to have the same math.
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 08:09 PM
    In total there are two physical defenses (Fortitude and Reflex), and two mental defenses (Perception and Will).
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:55 PM
    I think it is fine to ignore Epic tier for now. Even ignore Paragon. Just work on Novice (1-4) and Heroic (5-12). Plenty to do. We can add more later once the foundation seems robust. I hope to use 5e mechanics as-is, as much as possible. Only in a situation where a 4e-ism improves 5e, would I want to alter 5e. I would just stick with the 5e weapon attack system, its math works fine.
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:43 PM
    Tony Vargas Maybe Sneak Attack against an unaware target, targets the Perception defense thus bypasses the Reflex-Armor defense.
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:39 PM
    Tony Vargas Heh, if anything, the lasso targets the Perception defense! Not the Reflex defense. Anyone paying attention can easily render a lasso useless.
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:34 PM
    Lassos might have a ‘special’ attack. − But a shield would help prevent a lasso. The rest might be better to handwaive. But, burning oil is effectively negated by armor. Likewise shield and armor effectively deter dragon breath and so on. How many times have I seen a picture of a knight with shield deflecting dragon fire!
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:29 PM
    5e hates to attack attended objects − but rationally, the magic ray damages the shield or the plate armor, not the person. Or the shield or armor actually reflects or deflects while being only cosmetically damaged. Armor, including a shield and a heavy cloth armor (gambeson) definitely help escape burns from burning oil.
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:27 PM
    Regarding hit points. Suppose each race has base hit points. (Tiny) 4 hit points (Small) 6 hit points (Medium) 8 hit points (Powerful Build) 10 hit points (Large) 12 hit points
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:12 PM
    Legal reasons, it is impossible to copyright a calculation. There is no problem using the Constitution score rather than the accumulating bonuses. The word ‘Constitution’ and ‘score’ are legally available too because of the 5e agreement. The 4e-ism of using the score is ok. The only difficulty I foresee is, if using standard 5e monsters, they will have inflated hit points relative to...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:10 PM
    Reflex plus AC is such a redundancy. Moreover I see no need for a ‘touch’ attack, it is simply Reflex. For example, shield really does help Reflex in the sense of deflecting an attack and getting out of its way. A shield helps against a magical ray. If someone wants to call it the ‘Reflex defense’ or the ‘Armor defense’, I am happy either way, as long as they are the same thing.
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 07:02 PM
    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.
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 06:56 PM
    I understand what you are saying, but then adding a tier bonus plus a proficiency bonus strains the already strained bounded accuracy of 5e.
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 06:41 PM
    Well, 5e is already ‘weird’. 5e tiers break at levels 1, 5, 10, and 17. In other words 4/6/6/4. The first tier in a 5e→4e system with levels 1 to 4 is natural, because these levels in 5e are simply too weak and too incompetent to represent a 4e ‘Heroic’ tier. Level 13 seems appropriate for a ‘Path’. It could be 4, Heroic 8, Paragon 8, and Epic 8. But Epic is still a formative design...
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 06:34 PM
    I think everybody here agrees that 4e-style Constitution is superior? So, add the SCORE at level 1, and never additional BONUS hit points. This removes low level fragility, and avoids high level hitpoint inflation. (Optional Variant, if players like fragile low levels: add the bonus once at each tier, at levels 1, 5, 13, 21?)
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 06:28 PM
    Personally, I like the ‘just explicitly’ part. But, I also like how 5e gives the FULL proficiency, to anything one later becomes proficient in. For example, if one is level 13 and gains proficiency in Stealth, the proficiency is +4. One doesnt start at the beginning with +2.
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 05:57 PM
    Since 4e level 1 doesnt really happen until 5e level 5, it seems worthwhile to split up the concept of ‘class’ into separate tiers. In other words, a ‘class’ includes impactful choices, at different tiers. At level 1, the player chooses a Student Course. At level 5, the player chooses a Heroic Profession. At level 13, the player chooses a Paragon Path. At level 21, the player chooses an Epic...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 05:25 PM
    Regarding multiclassing. A discussion with Zardnaar in an other thread helped me be more open to multiclassing, even including limited-level ‘prestige classes’. A 4e ‘Paragon Path’ is exactly a prestige class that is suitable for levels 13 to 20 (or whatever). As long as a Path focuses on being alternative features, rather than strictly superior to a base class, then it seems useful. Many...
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 05:02 PM
    @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...
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 03:34 PM
    Instead of reducing to four, the ability scores might achieve salience by increasing to eight. Splitting off two incongruencies seems to alleviate some of the main difficulties. Here, Athletics and Senses, are two ability scores that add to the traditional six, Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. So there are eight ability scores, plus four defenses (see...
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  • MechaPilot's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 01:41 AM
    4e is my favorite edition of D&D (followed by 5e then AD&D 2e). So, naturally, I'd recommend it. I do agree with other posters that people should try most editions of D&D. I've played BECMI, AD&D 2e, 3e, 4e and 5e; each one has their own quirks and foibles that contribute to creating a different play experience. This means each one excels at certain things and comparatively falls behind in...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 02:55 AM
    You might be on to something. Different aspects of the game level at different rates. It might be something like you are saying, where some factors are in play, while other factors arent, depending on the aspect.
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 02:45 AM
    Actually, something about 5e I would like to fix. Skill math. I like bounded accuracy in 5e. It bothers me that skill math drops this astute design principle, for things like skill expertise. For the 4esque, I would like a version of expertise that doesnt double the proficiency bonus. I have seen good suggestions in the ENWorld forum for what to do instead.
    320 replies | 11119 view(s)
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Saturday, 15th June, 2019


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Wednesday, 5th June, 2019



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Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 10:26 AM - Harzel mentioned MechaPilot in post Spell Points and Problem Spells
    ... hp. Shield right now is okay because you only have so many 1st level spell slots before you have to start burning higher level slots. In a spell point system, Shield would keep costing 2 sp forever, and eat into their spell pool a lot less. Interestingly, in the Mystic playtest, their power equivalent of shield granted +X AC, where X was equal to the amount of points spent. This might be the direction shield needs to go in in a spellpoint system. What are other spells you might want to keep an eye on? I've been using spell points in my campaign for several years now. My opinion at this point is that at mid and higher levels, the spell point maximum should be less what is given in the DMG. I haven't thought hard about exactly how much at which levels, but I'd probably try starting the reduction perhaps as early as 7th level, and no later than 9th. To me, at least, that seems more manageable than trying to figure out which individual spells to patch up and how. EDIT: And to echo MechaPilot, while spell points definitely give casters more flexibility, and so, ultimately, a bit more power, it hasn't broken the game, even though, yeah, the wizard doesn't think twice about using Shield.

Thursday, 27th December, 2018

  • 10:52 PM - Parmandur mentioned MechaPilot in post False truisms in 5th edition
    Where did they state that goal? I could buy that they wanted Fighters to fight better than Rangers, since Rangers have the whole exploration schtick, but Barbarians don't have much going on for them aside from fighting. I really wouldn't call "spending one use of rage, of which you have several per day" any sort of nova ability, any more than I would say a Wizard is going nova when they cast a spell in a fight. In this edition, going nova is the purview of the Paladin and Sorcerer, who manage their resources over a long rest and nevertheless have the ability to spend multiple resources per round. As MechaPilot points out, this was discussed by Mearls in an article during the playtest (which I also recall), and he has detailed what they did several times since. Once the Ragenisnused up, and exhaustion kicks in, the difference in performance is marked. The Barbarian has limited use, long rest abilities and consequences for using those abilities up, and yes, same as the Wizard.
  • 02:14 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned MechaPilot in post False truisms in 5th edition
    ...goals he's working toward with the resilience feats. And maybe that would make him a worse fighter than the barbarian. Maybe a fighter who aims for survivability is just a bad fighter, and the player should feel bad about the character he wanted to make and play. Sure. Has the champion achieved their goals, though? Their goal was to be a turtle, so are they? If so, then it's working. You should not compare the "focused on damage" barbarian to the "focused on defense" fighter on the basis of damage output alone. Flip the question: how often does the barbarian get hit and fail saves compared to the fighter? Why aren't you complaining about how much easier it is to hit the barbarian than the fighter? But don't you get it? If you don't play a character that's only an effective combatant or with only DPR in mind then you're clearly playing it wrong! [emoji14] /sarcasmI know posters have been making recommendations to improve the fighter's dpr, but that's because it's the metric MechaPilot introduced.

Thursday, 20th December, 2018

  • 10:09 PM - Schmoe mentioned MechaPilot in post Largest Party Size you have ever Participated in/DM'd?
    I think the most players I've had at a table was 8 or 9. My current regular game has 7 players. That's one more than I'm comfortable with, but it's also somewhat of a father-son game, and the 7th was a late addition of someone's son, so I want to make it work. I spend a lot of my time trying to make sure no one goes too long without having some amount of spotlight on them. MechaPilot - That sucks. I hope you can get another game going.

Thursday, 13th December, 2018


Saturday, 8th December, 2018

  • 02:01 PM - Oofta mentioned MechaPilot in post Skills used by players on other players.
    As MechaPilot stated, social skills are not magic. Someone trying to persuade someone else does nothing to compel that person to do something, they just make a very persuasive argument. Whether the PC or NPC agrees to follow along with the suggestion is up to the person running the character. In the OP's scenario, the charismatic character would likely have been able to order the barbarian around for the entire campaign, with the barbarian never making a decision for themselves. That would have sucked for the person playing the barbarian unless that's the character they wanted to play from the beginning. Let's take a real world scenario. Assume I'm a young heterosexual unattached male (which admittedly hasn't been true for a while) and the most beautiful woman I've ever met approaches me and tells me we can have a night of passion. All I have to do is murder her boyfriend. I'll probably get away with it because there's no connection between the two of us. Would I do it? Of course not, ...

Thursday, 19th July, 2018

  • 01:14 PM - Oofta mentioned MechaPilot in post Multi classing Objections: Rules vs. Fluff?
    MechaPilot, Ok, I admit it. I considered 4E's martial powers to be effectively spells and supernatural. Not that they were Spells(TM) or Supernatural(TM) as defined in the book, but spells and supernatural as a layman not into gamer-speak would define them. For better or worse, even though I've played D&D pretty much since it started, I don't do gamer-speak. In addition, I was disappointed from level 1 that my 4E fighter couldn't be just a straight-up mechanically mundane fighter. He just wasn't. Many people I played with expressed the same opinion. That didn't make it a bad game. I had quite a bit of fun playing my supernaturally talented (again, not Supernatural(TM)) fighter for quite a while. But he never felt like my 3E fighter. He lived in a cartoon/anime/superhero universe where all heroes could do things that weren't physically possible, even accounting for the simplified representation of the universe required by a game. It bugs me that people won't accept that in my opi...

Wednesday, 18th July, 2018

  • 11:38 PM - Oofta mentioned MechaPilot in post Hang Time - What if you jump farther than your speed?
    Here's MechaPilot's stated action declaration: "I leap across the chasm to the extent of my remaining movement", By the way, unless I missed something MechaPilot never said "I leap across the chasm to the extent of my remaining movement". The statement was While working on some homebrew material I was confronted with the question of what to do when a character or monster jumps and the distance they can jump is longer than their remaining movement. I interpret those as two completely different statements of intent.
  • 10:45 PM - Hriston mentioned MechaPilot in post Hang Time - What if you jump farther than your speed?
    This is where we just agree to disagree. The stated intent is to leap with enough forward and upward momentum to clear the chasm. Here's MechaPilot's stated action declaration: "I leap across the chasm to the extent of my remaining movement", so if she has 10 feet of movement left, her intent is to leap 10 feet out into the chasm. The result of such action is to fall, and sure there's some forward momentum, but this is a long jump which starts and ends at floor-level, so any forward movement beyond the 10 feet is taking place down in the chasm, below floor-level. And this: Your DM ruling is that you don't want to deal with that. So all forward momentum stops at the end of the turn, basic Newtonian physics is ignored, and the PC plummets to their possible death. You're misrepresenting my position. You've done this several times in this thread. I think I've explained my actual position well enough.

Tuesday, 29th May, 2018


Thursday, 3rd May, 2018

  • 06:47 AM - Coroc mentioned MechaPilot in post Alternate Initiative Method
    MechaPilot #12 Well then let me apologize twice more, (once i did already in the second sentence of my original posting for using potential offensive language which you said you did not read), but i did obviously misinterpret your motivation for the your initiative System and that deserves another apology. So please, just replace the first sentence of my posting with "If adding more realism to the game then..." or so. With that out of the way, my original posting contained some hints about how to do it, if realism would have been the Motive. But i also went into specifics on your system and on which parts of it i had concerns. You can still read that up if it interests you. Another take on this, if your Motivation to alter initiative is to balance out different weapons, you might consider normalised damage e.g. all one handed weapons do 1d8 all two handed 1d12. In a way that is not so wrong, since a dagger can kill you (sometimes with one hit) as easily as a sword.

Monday, 30th April, 2018

  • 02:43 AM - Erechel mentioned MechaPilot in post Dealing with spellcasters as a martial
    ...o attack me? If it does, of course. I still can kick it for puny unarmed damage. Or try to escape at disadvantage. Or cast a spell without somatic/material components, such as Vicious mockery Also, keep in mind that I never said restrained. There are already rules for restraining someone: Grappler feat. And the restrained condition only gives Disadvantage, not incapacitates. "A restrained creature’s speed becomes 0, and it can’t benefit from any bonus to its speed. Attack rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature’s Attack rolls have disadvantage. The creature has disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws." That's the same that knocking someone prone and then grapple, except for the Disadvantage on Dex saves. Something that a big creature already does. My choke, also, won't incapacitate, only silence or at least make really difficult to cast something with verbal components. This is a strawman. I already said it: the caster isn't restrained. Is grappled, and silenced @MechaPilot. It hasn't disadvantage. The caster can still use its hands to attack. Or its feet. Or its head. Or cast spells without verbal components (there is one?). I think I'm making myself clear with my words.

Monday, 2nd April, 2018

  • 07:54 PM - Satyrn mentioned MechaPilot in post Alternate Method of Calculating Hit Points
    I'd also keep the hit die at 1st level so that the fighter with constitution 14 has 24 hit points at level 1. That makes the PCs less fragile at level 1 and should hopefully negate a lucky hit by an orc with his great axe. Something you will likely see is a decrease in constitution since it now has less impact on a character's total hit points. Oh. This. The only thing I find jinky about MechaPilot's proposed method is that the character's hitdice doesn't match their level. But: what I find jinky about the way the PH handles it is that 1st level maxed hitdie, which annoys me when I'm recalculating hit points, or setting hitpoints for a new higher level character. So I'd give a first level fighter their Con score plus the hitdie - but not maximize the hit die. Use the half value for every level.
  • 01:41 PM - Blue mentioned MechaPilot in post Alternate Method of Calculating Hit Points
    ...vely more fragile than they were at 5th level. For example, it would be much more likely for a 20th level character to be one shot by Power Word: Kill, since it's far less likely that they will have crossed the 100 hp threshold. Now, there's nothing wrong with that per se, if that's the style of play you're looking to evoke, but it is something to consider. Personally, characters typically start at 3rd level in my games. (I did recently make an exception for a group that is new to 5e; they started at level 1, and after I nearly tpk'd them with animated brooms in their first encounter, I scaled back the difficulty a bit for them.) IME, experienced players tend to find the first two levels a bit boring due to a lack of options, and by 3rd level characters are robust enough that I don't have to hold back. I was addressing the OP's question about high level characters having too many HPs at his table in a positive way. If you don't like the basic premise, I'd suggest taking it up with MechaPilot. It's not a pain point at my table, I don't need this rule personally. Just trying to add constructively to the thread.

Sunday, 11th March, 2018


Wednesday, 6th December, 2017

  • 12:38 AM - pemerton mentioned MechaPilot in post Reliable Talent. What the what?
    Resource expenditure is resource expenditure. I'm not asking them to equal out. It just seems like any given ability ought to either have a cost that limits its use, or a chance (even a very small one) to fail. The cost of getting Reliable Talent is being a 12th level rogue. (I think MechaPilot made a similar point upthread.) They're not fighting dragons every day. There is down time. It's not that he needs to break into houses, it's that he WILL. And that's totally ok. There just needs to be some small element of danger. Otherwise it's just me handing him a list of loot. Many abilities in D&D have no chance of failure - a lot of spellcasting being the main example. The idea that a 12th level rogue who can auto-pick pockets or open locks is going to break a game that survived a mage with access to Knock, TK, Dimension Door, Fly, Invisibility, etc doesn't seem very plausible to me, but maybe there is something distinctive about your game that I'm not aware of. A fighter's attacks always have a chance to fail. A combat is resolved through multiple checks. Any one of those checks may fail, but the odds of a fighter missing (say) 9 attacks in a row, assuming (not unreasonably) a 70% chance to hit, is 0.3^9 = approx 0.00002, or about one-five hundreth of 1%. In practica...

Friday, 25th August, 2017

  • 09:20 AM - Lanefan mentioned MechaPilot in post D&D Promises to Make the Game More Queer
    What's the problem with just going to the blacksmith and buying a sword and the blacksmith happens to be gay? How is that "propaganda"?More to the point: how is it relevant, or ever likely to become so? MechaPilot points out - quite correctly - that in (most) movies a character's sexuality is more likely to be relevant than its religion. I'd suggest D&D is the opposite: an NPC's religion is far more likely to be or become relevant than its sexuality. As for PCs... Why not encourage homosexual PCs, then, since they're the heroes of the story?...the sexuality of any played character is left entirely up to the player. Which means that in the party I currently DM there are as PCs: A lesbian Dwarf (Fighter) A straight female Human (Illusionist) A female Human whose sexuality remains unknown (Wizard, brand new to the group) A female Elf who is, if anything, trending asexual (Nature Cleric) A straight male Elf (War Cleric) but note he's married to (and has had a child with) a Human female A male Elf whose sexuality is...well, I'm not sure, but given his religion* (he's a Nature Cleric to a god of sheer chaos) would most likely fall into the "tri-sexual" category - as in, try anything ...

Wednesday, 16th August, 2017

  • 04:28 PM - clearstream mentioned MechaPilot in post Slaves - what they cost and why it matters
    ...o double or treble their costs with their eventual sale price. The estimates I've given are robust from that angle, too. For example, an unskilled slave won't be too much trouble for half a dozen drow lead by an elite to capture. A month's work to scout out, capture, and return with a few of them could cost 200gp. Skilled slaves could be riskier to seek out, but worth taking the chance. If the prices drop much below what I've suggested, it becomes difficult to explain the prevalence of slavery from the perspective of motivations such as greed. Mostly, the wages tables should be assumed not to deal with actual gold and silver. But goods and services that, if sold, would cost those amounts. Which is to say, the actual monetary sum somebody would play for 10 years slave service is considerably lower than the listed figure times ten. Hmm... maybe there is a misunderstanding there. Slave prices are based on only 2 years of their earnings. The other 8 years cover costs, risks and returns. MechaPilot did a good piece of analysis on this above. Bottom line it sounds like this isn't for you because your players are what I would call in my campaign world "evil". They are motivated strongly by greed and comfortable capturing sentient creatures for the purpose of selling them. They could argue that some sentient creatures - ones that are themselves evil such as orcs - are okay to enslave. I couldn't agree with such an argument but I could understand the appearance it could create of grey areas.

Monday, 14th August, 2017

  • 09:36 AM - clearstream mentioned MechaPilot in post Slaves - what they cost and why it matters
    ...l sorts of wonky errors. I didn't translate via the dollar: I converted gp directly into sestertii. In doing so I valued accuracy and usability, over precision. Across the whole population, Rome appears to have had 200-300 sestertii annual GDP. That was distributed very unevenly, of course. A skilled worker appears to have earned about 1000 sestertii per annum. Soldiers appear to have earned three times that amount. Prices for goods from Pompeii supported those figures. A skilled worker in D&D earns 730gp per year. Thus I postulated 730gp is about equal to 1000 sestertii. At 60 gp (or 600 sp) for an ordinary laborer, given that you have to feed the guy and other care (at say 1 sp/day), you are only saving 1 sp a day (at best). So it would take close to 2 years to recoup the "savings" from purchasing the slave. Yes, exactly. I take it that of the ten years expected life in service, the first two are spent repaying the cost of purchase. That seems reasonably well supported, and as MechaPilot showed, falls in line with a 20% discount rate (i.e. the future earnings of a slave are discounted to produce their present value). Working on the basis of earnings over 2 years looks robust. Lastly, when you say that my figures are a bit low... do you mean my conclusion (gp value) or the starting value (price in sestertii) Hmm... you described the price for a particularly skilled or attractive slave as several hundred gp, but that seems to low-ball it, based on historical prices from Rome, Colonial Britain, and Antebellum America. I believe that a skilled or attractive slave is correctly valued at 1500-2000gp in D&D terms. However, I think with hard-bargaining or in unusual circumstance a seller might accept the price you suggest. Hence to me it looks a bit low but not outright incorrect, if that makes sense.

Thursday, 10th August, 2017

  • 05:52 AM - Soul Stigma mentioned MechaPilot in post Horrid DM's
    ...r sympathies, I'm sure others wish I hadn't either. That whole story is creepy as hell, but I'm glad you still found your place with D&D. I don't recall anything as bad as that, but I do recall times when female players felt uncomfortable because the rest of the table (males and apparently severely unsocialized) seemed to think the game was suddenly a singles bar. Mind you, I'm an old fart and female players were extremely rare back then. To the main topic, though, I've spent most of my D&D history as a DM, and I know I made mistakes plenty of times. I often read bad DM stories here at EN World that tell me I was pretty good even when new. Because I started as a school kid in the 80s with equally-new players, I suppose any mistakes didn't really get noticed as much. I do remember one campaign that was Monty Haul, though, and I learned from it. At any rate, while the original post may not register highly on the bad DM Richter scale, and none are likely to register as highly as MechaPilot, I hope folks will still post some. They're usually a laugh for those that weren't there!


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Saturday, 15th June, 2019

  • 01:50 PM - Blue quoted MechaPilot in post Spell Points and Problem Spells
    The only significant differences I've run into are that ... casters have greater flexibility of resources than they do with slots. However, neither of these differences approaches the level of a problem. In general there's a vibe that casters are already more powerful than at-will characters. Do you find that this exasperates the issue? Either through direct observation or though player choosing more casters then they would in a normal party distribution?
  • 09:24 AM - Harzel quoted MechaPilot in post Spell Points and Problem Spells
    Another option would be to alter the SP cost for the spell levels. As it is, we have some level increases going up by 1 point while others go up by 2 points. I'd experiment with making each level increase a 2 point increase before tinkering with the totals. Ok, can you say anything about why you think that is a better approach? That alters the relative costs of different levels of spells, which, to me, seems like a more fundamental change than lowering the totals.

Thursday, 13th June, 2019

  • 12:22 AM - Blue quoted MechaPilot in post Systems You'd Never Play after Reading Them
    I also love Battletech. The Mechwarrior RPG is a mess. I run the Mechwarrior RPG by replacing the entire system with the ruleset from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG. The character to wargame conversion table for piloting and gunnery skills even matches up nicely with skill levels from BtVS. I'm with both you and Celebrim on MechWarrior. Unfortunately it was nt just on read, but after we started the campaign. It turns out two of the players (myself and one other) made well rounded characters that would have interesting things to do in or out of a mech, and because of the priority system were decent mech pilots in starter mechs. And the other three players built characters to be superb mech pilots with good mechs and not much else. Which ever way the GM ran it, mech heavy or balanced, would have half the table unhappy. EDIT: If I recall, I took a Panther, a light mech with a PPC because then I could snipe at range and not die in such a light mech then most of the group. Howeve...

Wednesday, 5th June, 2019

  • 03:52 AM - Garthanos quoted MechaPilot in post Should I play 4e?
    the overnight full-healing reduces the amount of time the PCs spend recovering from combat My experience this was always the case with two days being the most that was normal due to obligatory clerics === for me 4e means no obligatory classes

Monday, 27th May, 2019

  • 05:38 AM - Kurotowa quoted MechaPilot in post What proportion of the population are adventurers?
    It really depends on the kind of world you want to create, and the nature of that world. People will attempt dangerous things for wealth. I see adventurers much like people heading west as part of the gold rush. And if you want to get really detailed with your world, consider actual historical forces having an impact instead of it being stuck in an eternal pseudo-medieval stasis for thousands of years. Like the gold rush and the wild west? That wasn't just a result of having an open frontier, it was because you had a massive number of unemployed war veterans looking for new prospects after the Civil War ended. All those cowboy gunfights were because everyone had wartime experience and many were on a hair trigger from the usual PTSD such wars inflict. This all is one of the reasons I really like Eberron. It doesn't pretend that adventurers are a constant, but makes their numbers explicitly at an all time high due to so many veterans of the Last War being forced to find new lines of work fo...

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 03:28 PM - Satyrn quoted MechaPilot in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    I don't need my Mearls-in-a-box to have a gun. I have enough of my own. Besides, I spend far too much time contemplating using them on myself anyway. *Hugs*
  • 02:58 PM - Satyrn quoted MechaPilot in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    I can't really say I'm excited for it (then again, I'm also just not a happy person), but I may buy it just on general principal since it's not more FR stuff. Yeah, this is what my Mearls-in-the-box (with a gun!) joke was for. I was commiserating with my fellow hobbyists since so many of us find reasons to buy a book that aren't just really wanting what's in the book itself. I have several 5e books that I've done nothing with. And I have dozens of 3e books despite playing "core only" for nearly its entire lifespan.
  • 12:00 AM - R_Chance quoted MechaPilot in post The Most Popular D&D Character Name Is "Bob"
    Hey, my real name is #7 on the list. Your name is a good for that list. I'm just glad my name is not on that list. The primary human feudal cultural names in my game are pretty "real life" (medieval real life anyway), including "Robert"... which means I have number of "Bob" NPCs in my game :)

Thursday, 16th May, 2019

  • 09:52 PM - Tony Vargas quoted MechaPilot in post The Most Popular D&D Character Name Is "Bob"
    I blame the proliferation of Bobs on the Knights of the Dinner Table. I recall one comic where Bob the player was playing his character, also named Bob, who died and was replaced by Bob II. I blame the Sword of Sharpness... … also explains why so many NPC guards are called Matt.
  • 08:06 PM - Satyrn quoted MechaPilot in post The Most Popular D&D Character Name Is "Bob"
    *takes a moment to Google You're jealous? She's way more attractive than I am, and could ever hope to be. Well, if it makes you feel better, if they ever named a character after me, he'd be way more attractive than I am, too . . . y'know I just realized they did name a character after my cat. The cat was way better looking. Catch-a-Purrrr!
  • 07:55 PM - Satyrn quoted MechaPilot in post The Most Popular D&D Character Name Is "Bob"
    Hey, my real name is #7 on the list. They named a Borderlands character after you! I'm so jealous.
  • 05:42 PM - Traveller quoted MechaPilot in post The Most Popular D&D Character Name Is "Bob"
    Lilith is also a dark name. IIRC, it means night in Hebrew. The name is also probably related to Lilitu, the Sumerian goddess of night. And, it has a place in the Midrash as Adam's 1st wife who refused to submit to him and ended up becoming a consort of demons. LaYLa - is night in Hebrew (Capitals are consonants, lower case are vowels ) , but Semitic languages are root based so the connection is there. As you said in the Midrash (Post 2nd temple period - 3rd century) she is basicly a Demon. The rest of her stories might not be safe for Noah Gran, so will be skipped.... In Modern Jewish Mythology, the lack of a Jewish Vampire was much bemoaned, so Lilit takes that place.

Tuesday, 14th May, 2019

  • 08:51 PM - Kobold Avenger quoted MechaPilot in post Firearms
    But, to be frank, much of this discussion assumes early firearms. Throw in paper cartridges and breech-loading and you have a whole different ballgame. And, why not go the extra step to make firearms specialization viable? Maybe the gunner loses one attack or bonus action for each reload. Maybe the guns are revolver-style where you can spend a whole action to reload the whole shebang for a few uninterrupted shots. It is about early firearms, maybe not really early firearms like Medieval Hand Cannons or Early Renaissance Matchlocks and Arquebuses, but when it's on muskets or things pirates might use then it's on the later Renaissance pushing into the Enlightenment, flintlocks and other such firearms. The Industrial Age or 1800's might be pushing farther than many peoples ideas on firearms in a campaign, but if it is then there's certainly breechloading, repeating rifles, cowboys shooting vampires, gentlemen or gentlewoman vs werewolves and the like. But flintlocks are more in the era of s...

Sunday, 12th May, 2019

  • 07:13 PM - Kobold Avenger quoted MechaPilot in post Firearms
    As for making firearms realistic, that can be fine, and it can be fun if you're into that. Big warning though, not everyone wants to have that much realism in their game. And, if you do make them more realistic, don't expect a character to actually reload a gun in combat (especially if it's a pistol). But, if you go realistic you might want to give the gun advantage on attack rolls against armored foes to play up their armor-piercing quality (and to really make it actually worth something to use one, and to consider reloading it). There's limitation on how 5e is and there's no equivalent of D20 Modern to compare against like there was in 3e. But generally I think reloading a gun could be seen as wasting an action. I realize that beyond 1 action to reload (and that's being generous), the only longer length of time that's worth bothering with is "out of combat", based on all the problems with tracking which round someone is on reloading. I know the strong need for specialization and optimiz...

Wednesday, 1st May, 2019


Wednesday, 27th March, 2019

  • 01:42 PM - Blue quoted MechaPilot in post Barbarian Archetype: Wild Soul [PEACH]
    Those were good suggestions. I've made a few small changes to accommodate them. I've added more ribbons to the Bestial Nature trait. I've also added the War Paint feature to make members of the subclass more likely to forego traditional armor. I've also added the Pack Leader and Comprehend Beasts traits to increase the flavor-enhancing ribbons as you progress through the levels. I liek the changes to Bestial Nature, including a ribbon disadvantage that makes sense and offsets some of the advantages (skill gains). I'm not a fan of War Paint. It gives a big increase in power, as opposed to a trade-off of no armor for gaining power elsewhere. The change of this vs. Unarmored Defense is +2+Proficiency vs. +Con. So it starts as if you have an 18 CON (an increase) and by high levels it's the equivalent of 26 CON. It's a definite power boost. And it relies on costly material components from a non-civilized character who conceptually does not have coin and no mechanical way to gather i...

Tuesday, 26th March, 2019

  • 10:31 AM - Li Shenron quoted MechaPilot in post Pre-Rolling Certain Opposed Checks
    Lately, I've been toying with the idea of having my players roll a D20 several times before the session, recording each of these rolls and handing them over to be beforehand. The idea is that I'd use those results as their D20 rolls when they make certain opposed checks where knowing the result beforehand might potentially alter how they behave (particularly checks like Stealth, Insight, and rolls to detect or disarm traps). I have a couple ideas for how to execute this plan: 1) Rolling for self, in-order. Under this method, each player would make a certain number of rolls, I'm thinking 10 or 20 of them. I would then use them in order, crossing them off as I go. 2) Rolling for self, random. This method would be the same as the first, except that I would number the rolls on the page and have the player roll a die (d10 or d20, depending on the number of rolls before the session) to randomly choose the predetermined roll. I wouldn't cross off results under this method. This me...

Sunday, 24th March, 2019

  • 10:06 PM - Satyrn quoted MechaPilot in post Pre-Rolling Certain Opposed Checks
    I've already implemented that for Stealth; I just included it as an apt example for those who don't do it that way. Can't really do that with Insight though. There are times when it won't work for stealth, too. Like, if the DM decides that a guard who spots a hiding character is going to pretend like he doesn't, that stealth check in the moment will give away more information than you want to. So those are the times when I'd go to the guard rolling against the character's passive Stealth, and just accept that the player doesn't get to roll the die this time. It's a corner case that shouldn't come up too often - but if it does hopefully I figure out way to make it work with the player rolling instead. Of course, for those rare times, instead of using a passive score your options 1 or 2 will work fine, too. It's just not my preference as a DM. As a player, now that I know that the pre-rolls would be a backup instead of your go-to, that you'll be looking to create ways for me to roll t...
  • 09:40 PM - iserith quoted MechaPilot in post Pre-Rolling Certain Opposed Checks
    I've already implemented that for Stealth; I just included it as an apt example for those who don't do it that way. Can't really do that with Insight though. I suppose that depends on how we think about it. In case you're not following all the posts in the concurrent thread on Insight checks to determine truthfulness, one of the things I mentioned might be useful here: Getting back to telling truth from lies, here's how I view this as a DM: A lie in a social interaction challenge is similar to a trap in an exploration challenge. If you're telegraphing traps in an exploration challenge, you should be telegraphing lies in a social interaction challenge. Players engaging with NPCs and always trying to discern their truthfulness is the same as players searching for traps everywhere - they are trying to avoid gotchas. Consistent telegraphing takes that away since a truthful NPC will not be telegraphing lies. So, if an NPC is lying, telegraph it by having the NPC give information that contra...
  • 08:51 PM - Satyrn quoted MechaPilot in post Pre-Rolling Certain Opposed Checks
    Players frequently like rolling. I was trying to preserve the players still getting to roll but without them making decisions based on their die rolls. For example, a stealthed character isn't going to know how well she's hiding before she risks being seen, and a character tying to tell if someone's lying (or has bad intentions) shouldn't act like they succeeded because the player can see he rolled a 2. Yes, we do like to roll dice. That's actually why I don't like your OP's options 1 and 2 very much either, but would be totally fine with giving them a go because it could prove to be good enough. But as a DM, my solution to the stealth example in your quote is to have the player wait to roll the dice until there's a moment when they are about to get spotted, not when they start hiding. This way, the player learns, his character learns, and I learn how well he's hidden at the moment it truly matters.


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