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  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th June, 2019, 05:04 PM
    Gamer and designer Lee Garvin passed away. https://www.facebook.com/lee.garvin.3 https://www.patreon.com/LeeGarvin https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/334884471/killing-lee-garvin
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About Aaron L

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March 22, 1976 (43)
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Clearfield, Pennsylvania, United States
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The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb Wednesday, 10th July, 2019 07:22 PM

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Friday, 5th April, 2019

  • 04:07 AM - Vanveen mentioned Aaron L in post The Fortenite-ification of Everything
    The article is witless. Fortnite is the *opposite* of RPGs--far more social, far less learning curve, far less friction in general than an RPG. In short, this is why it's so successful. Those of you arguing about how much and what kind of TSR crap you bought in the 90s--you are literal examples of a cannibalized market. To put it another way, you're not anecdotes...but you ARE anecdata, that is exemplars of weird niches. Aaron L, you are a definite outlier in terms of group strength and play frequency. You are a fantastic customer, but you are a TINY market demographic. Crimson Fist, same thing. Except your tiny market demo is different from, and subtly incompatible with, Aaron L's. THAT is the problem TSR ran into during the 1990s. Your restaurant will go broke if you are continually making custom meals, even if the customers are gourmet gluttons. You want a customer base of gourmet gluttons who all like your roast duck. For roleplaying, that may be impossible. The duck fans are there. There aren't enough of them. Hasbro has gradually been professionalizing the ranks of people at WOTC, the important ones anyway. These aren't the folks that get splashed on ENWorld. But you can tell, if you're a fellow product pro, by the fingerprints they leave on what's getting published. They're trying desperately to solve the roast duck problem. But it's more like..."Try our roast protein! You looooove protein!"

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Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 11:47 AM - Zardnaar quoted Aaron L in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    I really liked the original Tieflings, people with some distant fiendish ancestor that gave them random deformations and dark powers... it fits with a medieval magical mentality, that being born with a deformity is a sign of having a tainted ancestry. I even love the name; from Teufel, the German word for Devil (they're Devilings.) But I cannot stand how they wrecked them in 4E, into a race of uniform devilmen (Devilmans?) with red skin and tails and ram horns and a unified culture. It's way too blatant and tacky, and it defeats the purpose of the race; an entire race of "misunderstood outsiders" is pretty ridiculous. All I can think is that Tieflings were turned into "More Drow than Drow." Yeah I like the 2E ones. That and always go with originals. Didn't mind the Bael Turoth lore so much but the artwork bleah.
  • 09:31 AM - Aldarc quoted Aaron L in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    But I cannot stand how they wrecked them in 4E, into a race of uniform devilmen (Devilmans?) with red skin and tails and ram horns and a unified culture. It's way too blatant and tacky, and it defeats the purpose of the race; an entire race of "misunderstood outsiders" is pretty ridiculous. All I can think is that Tieflings were turned into "More Drow than Drow."Though I respect your preference, I nevertheless disagree. I never really cared for the 2E Planescape tieflings, which often did lean on the "misunderstood outsiders" angle pretty hard as well. Though I understand that the idea that they could be anything in terms of morphology, appearance, culture, history, etc. works in their favor for some people, it also worked against them for mine. It felt odd to me that tieflings would just be the "samey" from having fiends as their background or even from being plane-touched. After all, weren't demons and devils diametrically opposed? But a tiefling descendant of a demon could look the same a...

Wednesday, 10th July, 2019

  • 09:35 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Aaron L in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    But I cannot stand how they wrecked them in 4E, into a race of uniform devilmen (Devilmans?) with red skin and tails and ram horns and a unified culture. It's way too blatant and tacky, and it defeats the purpose of the race; an entire race of "misunderstood outsiders" is pretty ridiculous. All I can think is that Tieflings were turned into "More Drow than Drow." They were improved in 4e. An entire race of "misunderstood outsiders" is one of the most realistic and grounded elements in modern DnD. IRL, it doesn't even take horns and tails to accomplish that. A race of people whose ancestors made deals with devils, and whose physicality now bears that unmistakable mark, is quite a bit more than you're giving it credit for.
  • 08:47 PM - MaskedGuy quoted Aaron L in post The Evolution of Tieflings in D&D: Interviews with Zeb Cook and Colin McComb
    I really liked the original Tieflings, people with some distant fiendish ancestor that gave them random deformations and dark powers... it fits with a medieval magical mentality, that being born with a deformity is a sign of having a tainted ancestry. I even love the name; from Teufel, the German word for Devil (they're Devilings.) But I cannot stand how they wrecked them in 4E, into a race of uniform devilmen (Devilmans?) with red skin and tails and ram horns and a unified culture. It's way too blatant and tacky, and it defeats the purpose of the race; an entire race of "misunderstood outsiders" is pretty ridiculous. All I can think is that Tieflings were turned into "More Drow than Drow." That reminds me of why I like Pathfinder version of tieflings: They can be members of any 0hd race and they are basically deformed mutants with fiendish ancestry. The fiendish ancestry can be anything from devils to demons and more exotic and bizarre fiends like qlippoths. (same applies to all pathfin...

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

  • 01:25 AM - Mercule quoted Aaron L in post Jonathan Tweet: Prologue to Third Edition
    Very interesting. I have the same opinions about 2nd Edition (that it stripped out all the oddities, quirks, and charm that made 1st Edition flavorful and fun, while not really anything to the mix that made up for the losses) and mostly loved (and still love) 3E. I'd never really thought of it in those terms, but I think that's a good explanation for why I always said that I "Played 1E, with bits pulled in from 2E". By the end, 95+% of the material was 2E, but I still said we were playing 1E. Because 2E was bland.

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 10:52 PM - Parmandur quoted Aaron L in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    While I really don't care for Eberron as a setting (the "magic as technology" trope is just too twee for me and rubs me the wrong way) I am very happy for the people who do love the setting, and look forward to the book because, even though I'm not a fan of the world, I'm assuming there still be at least a few things in the book that will be interesting new additions to use in my games. As for the psionic Mystic class, don't forget that Eberron has an entire PC race consisting of the shards of psionic spirits cohabitating with human souls in psychically empowered human bodies. I wouldn't at all be surprised if the Mystic class was included in the Eberron setting book so you can play full-on psychic Kalashtar. My only wish for the Mystic (and my only grievance with 5E psionics, which I absolutely adore) is that they would use a different goshdang name for the class(!); Mystic is just so wrong for the name of the Psionic power-using class. Why not just use the good old name "Psionicist?" ...
  • 10:50 PM - lkj quoted Aaron L in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    While I really don't care for Eberron as a setting (the "magic as technology" trope is just too twee for me and rubs me the wrong way) I am very happy for the people who do love the setting, and look forward to the book because, even though I'm not a fan of the world, I'm assuming there still be at least a few things in the book that will be interesting new additions to use in my games. As for the psionic Mystic class, don't forget that Eberron has an entire PC race consisting of the shards of psionic spirits cohabitating with human souls in psychically empowered human bodies. I wouldn't at all be surprised if the Mystic class was included in the Eberron setting book so you can play full-on psychic Kalashtar. My only wish for the Mystic (and my only grievance with 5E psionics, which I absolutely adore) is that they would use a different goshdang name for the class(!); Mystic is just so wrong for the name of the Psionic power-using class. Why not just use the good old name "Psionicist?" ...

Friday, 10th May, 2019

  • 09:09 AM - Paul Masao Wisham quoted Aaron L in post The Washington Post Weighs In On D&D!
    There never were any Strength penalties for female characters, even in 1st Edition AD&D. There was a Strength cap, however: female Humans were capped at 18/75, while male Humans could go up to 18/00. 18/75 was also the cap for male Elves. Oh wow! Jogged a memory! Thanks

Saturday, 6th April, 2019

  • 12:30 AM - Staffan quoted Aaron L in post The Fortenite-ification of Everything
    I still don't buy the idea that having different settings "fractured" the D&D player base: no one I ever knew refused to buy Forgotten Realms or Ravenloft books because they "only played Dark Sun." Yes, people may have had favorite settings that they focused on, but everyone always bought everything they could in my experience, and ran multiple games in different worlds, including homebrew which they would fill with ideas cribbed material from all the books. Just because Greyhawk was my favorite didn't mean I didn't also buy up Drow of the Underdark and Dragon Kings the moment I saw them, or consider The Code of the Harpers to be one of the best and most interesting D&D books I've ever owned and still crack open to read through today. Producing more books than they could sell is what killed TSR, not having multiple settings. But having multiple settings is part of why they produced more books than they could sell. At their height*, TSR published something like 100 books per year (not c...

Thursday, 4th April, 2019

  • 06:55 PM - Morrus quoted Aaron L in post The Fortenite-ification of Everything
    Not trying to dispute your personal experience, but really? Your friends would only buy books for one setting, and refuse to buy any books from any other setting? No; I said “your anecdote doesn’t match mine”, not “my friends would only buy books for one setting, and refuse to buy any books from any other setting.” I’d say we bought about a third of TSR’s stuff. Most was Dragonlance, least (as in none) was Dark Sun.
  • 06:36 PM - Crimson Fist quoted Aaron L in post The Fortenite-ification of Everything
    I still don't buy the idea that having different settings "fractured" the D&D player base: no one I ever knew refused to buy Forgotten Realms or Ravenloft books because they "only played Dark Sun." Yes, people may have had favorite settings that they focused on, but everyone always bought everything they could in my experience, and ran multiple games in different worlds, including homebrew which they would fill with ideas cribbed material from all the books. Just because Greyhawk was my favorite didn't mean I didn't also buy up Drow of the Underdark and Dragon Kings the moment I saw them, or consider The Code of the Harpers to be one of the best and most interesting D&D books I've ever owned and still crack open to read through today. Producing more books than they could sell is what killed TSR, not having multiple settings. I don't buy this either. If anything, I think having additional setting material expands your audience. I purchased and still own every iteration of D&D rule book ma...

Wednesday, 3rd April, 2019

  • 10:03 PM - theworstdm quoted Aaron L in post The Fortenite-ification of Everything
    I still don't buy the idea that having different settings "fractured" the D&D player base: no one I ever knew refused to buy Forgotten Realms or Ravenloft books because they "only played Dark Sun." Yes, people may have had favorite settings that they focused on, but everyone always bought everything they could in my experience, and ran multiple games in different worlds, including homebrew which they would fill with ideas cribbed material from all the books. Just because Greyhawk was my favorite didn't mean I didn't also buy up Drow of the Underdark and Dragon Kings the moment I saw them, or consider The Code of the Harpers to be one of the best and most interesting D&D books I've ever owned and still crack open to read through today. Producing more books than they could sell is what killed TSR, not having multiple settings. I agree that TSR probably hurt themselves by saturating a niche market with books, but too many settings definitely didn't help. Not everyone (including me) had the mo...
  • 09:34 PM - quoted Aaron L in post The Fortenite-ification of Everything
    I still don't buy the idea that having different settings "fractured" the D&D player base: no one I ever knew refused to buy Forgotten Realms or Ravenloft books because they "only played Dark Sun." Yes, people may have had favorite settings that they focused on, but everyone always bought everything they could in my experience, and ran multiple games in different worlds, including homebrew which they would fill with ideas cribbed material from all the books. Just because Greyhawk was my favorite didn't mean I didn't also buy up Drow of the Underdark and Dragon Kings the moment I saw them, or consider The Code of the Harpers to be one of the best and most interesting D&D books I've ever owned and still crack open to read through today. Producing more books than they could sell is what killed TSR, not having multiple settings. I almost never buy published settings. I'll play in them, but I won't run them. This includes 3PP published settings too. I just don't feel like I can ever real...
  • 06:40 PM - Morrus quoted Aaron L in post The Fortenite-ification of Everything
    Yes, people may have had favorite settings that they focused on, but everyone always bought everything they could in my experience, and ran multiple games in different worlds, including homebrew which they would fill with ideas cribbed material from all the books. Your anecdote doesn't match mine.

Monday, 11th March, 2019

  • 10:34 PM - steeldragons quoted Aaron L in post Jon Peterson Shares Aronson's Original OD&D Illusionist
    Those tables were done on a typewriter. I'm in awe of that level of patience and lack of mistakes. If only he could spell "invisible." ;) -snip- Did the D&D writers just pick a "magical" word at random for this group of spells? Anyone have any ideas about this? It's always kinda bugged me. One need only look at the 1e Magic-user class level titles to know the answer to that is a hearty "yes." hahaha 3rd level? "Enchanter." 7th level? "Necromancer." Conjurer and Evoker are both in there. "Spellbinder," I think was one. Magician. Warlock. So, yeah. "Take a magical word referring to a magical thing and we'll just stick that in." Defining the school, and then further "flavors" of arcane magic and types of magical practice is really a 2e and significantly more 3+e thing.

Friday, 8th March, 2019


Friday, 1st March, 2019

  • 01:23 AM - Saelorn quoted Aaron L in post Sneak attacking undead and constructs seems wrong
    I don't see any problem with sneak attacks on undead and constructs. It was only in 3rd Edition that that idea was introduced. For over 20 years before that Thieves could Backstab both without restriction.I can't speak for 1E, or anything earlier than that, but 2E had pretty explicit restrictions in place: Backstabbing does have limitations. First, the damage multiplier applies only to the first attack made by the thief, even if multiple attacks are possible. Once a blow is struck,the initial surprise effect is lost. Second, the thief cannot use it on every creature. The victim must be generally humanoid. Part of the skill comes from knowing just where to strike. A thief could backstab an ogre, but he wouldn't be able to do the same to a beholder. The victim must also have a definable back (which leaves out most slimes, jellies, oozes, and the like). Finally, the thief has to be able to reach a significant target area. To backstab a giant, the thief would have to be standing on a ledge or...

Tuesday, 26th February, 2019

  • 06:07 AM - MonsterEnvy quoted Aaron L in post The New D&D Book Is Called "Ghosts of Saltmarsh" [UPDATED!]
    Given how they transplanted Acererak and Elemental Evil to Fearun, ham-fistedly described ripping Castle Greyhawk from Oerth to float around from world to world, and later gave Evermeet the same shabby treatment being ripped it from Faerun and having it "cast adrift in the planes" as a mystic homeland for all Elves no matter what world they're from (barf), I'm sure the default of these adventures will be Toril. (As well as how they've tried to shoehorn the Weave into the PHB, even though the relationship between the Weave and Mystra was a defining element of the Forgotten Realms that made the setting unique and interesting, and made all Elves 6+ feet tall like 'Realms Elves as part of the Realmsification of all D&D settings. I like the 'Realms, but c'mon. Making these things just Generic D&D cheapens and robs the setting of its distinctiveness.) Acererak has been a world traveler since 2e and Elemental Evil has always been setting generic. (The ToEE is not, but it honestly has little to do...
  • 05:17 AM - R_Chance quoted Aaron L in post The New D&D Book Is Called "Ghosts of Saltmarsh" [UPDATED!]
    Given how they transplanted Acererak and Elemental Evil to Fearun, ham-fistedly described ripping Castle Greyhawk from Oerth to float around from world to world, and later gave Evermeet the same shabby treatment being ripped it from Faerun and having it "cast adrift in the planes" as a mystic homeland for all Elves no matter what world they're from (barf), I'm sure the default of these adventures will be Toril. (As well as how they've tried to shoehorn the Weave into the PHB, even though the relationship between the Weave and Mystra was a defining element of the Forgotten Realms that made the setting unique and interesting, and made all Elves 6+ feet tall like 'Realms Elves as part of the Realmsification of all D&D settings. I like the 'Realms, but c'mon. Making these things just Generic D&D cheapens and robs the setting of its distinctiveness.) That ship has already sailed, about 50 posts back. And you're in luck. The discussion about that has pretty much subsided. The default setting fo...

Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019

  • 10:00 PM - FrogReaver quoted Aaron L in post Shield Mastery Feat
    Then that would be robbing the Feat of much of its utility as a function of what a shield is used for in real life, based on the description as using a shield offensively. Knocking a target down and then attacking it while it's prone is a big part of what shields are for, and arguing over the semantic constructions of the wording of the Feat is only serving to confuse a pretty straightforward real world use of shields. The description of the Feat makes it totally clear it is intended to portray the real world use of shields as both defensive and offensive tools, and limiting the Shove to only after you attack with your weapon eliminates most of that use, as the target is then free to get back up after you knock it to the ground but before you can attack it prone on your next turn. I think this is a case of the Spirit of the rules vs an overly strict interpretation of the wording that ends up negating that spirit. It is the correct wording in the rules to not allow it till after the att...


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Aaron L's Downloads

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Necromancer Games Character Sheet v101
Here's the v3.5 character sheet from Necromancer Games, designed by the Mad Irishman. Stats are listed in the standard v3.5 order.
301 0 1 Monday, 26th May, 2014, 11:41 PM Monday, 26th May, 2014, 11:41 PM

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