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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:04 PM
    'Medium sized creature' is not an 'object' and picking someone up, and moving them 30' certainly isnt incidental to that movement. For mine, it's a Grapple check (likely unopposed seeing as he is your ally) as part of the Attack action, followed by 1/2 movement (as normal for being grappled) and then you can release them (as normal for grappling) and continue with the rest of your attacks (if...
    13 replies | 412 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:58 PM
    Why roll Hide into it? Thats the benefit of having it quickened as a bonus action. Bonus action cast, Action to Hide, move away (or whatever). Personally I would have duration be lowered to 'until the end of your next turn', and remove the auto-hide function.
    4 replies | 201 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:54 PM
    What is this anti-rogue week? Threads bemoaning Dexterity to hit and damgae, TWF and now cunning action Dash. Not a single thread bemoaning God Wizards or CoDzilla. Welcome to 5E. I for one welcome our new Rogue and GWM fighter overlords.
    81 replies | 1914 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:49 PM
    iserith replied to Double Dash
    I use the Chase Rules a fair amount and I also see nothing against the rules about bonus action Dash under that system. The limiting factor for the rogue is Constitution here and burning out twice as fast. This is really only a problem though if the rogue is the pursuer rather than the quarry since, unless there is no chance of hiding, the rogue has often successfully escaped at the end of the...
    81 replies | 1914 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:52 PM
    I also probably would have applied the "half-speed" movement penalty to carrying an ally (a la moving a grappled person). After all... whenever a player had ever tried lifting and moving/dragging an unconscious ally I always applied the have-movement as a matter of course, so there's no reason to think doing the same to an upright conscious ally should be any different. At this point, it...
    13 replies | 412 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:46 AM
    During 3E and PF we whinged about the difficulty of obtaining +Dex to damage. 5E gives us +Dex to damage, and we whinge about it existing. Never change people. Never change.
    84 replies | 2464 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:40 AM
    Youre OK to do it that way, but if a Rogue with 30' movement dashes twice and moves, he has 90'of movement that round. Dashing is an action that grants you additional movement equal to your speed. Nothing in that prohibits a Rogue from using the same action twice and gaining aditional movement equal to 2 x speed. Same deal with action surging fighters who + + move, or Action surging...
    81 replies | 1914 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:12 AM
    Stewart's quote seems a tad disingenuous and a bit disrespectful to their business partners. They are licensing content to D&D Beyond, Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, etc. So they are allowing for digital options. They don't like PDFs because it makes piracy easier. Also, yes, PDFs are not a great experience IMHO, but DriveThru RPG and the many publishers who offer PDF versions of their print products...
    38 replies | 711 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:52 AM
    Fair enough. I'm a fan of one-shots, but get it that character growth and getting to dive deep into storylines is the secret sauce for many and that such folks would find one-shots lacking.
    25 replies | 774 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:47 AM
    Sorry for my ignorance, but was that not the case in other editions of D&D? I played 1e in the 80s and I don't have the 1e DMG anymore, so I'm not sure if it was a rule that the DM called for rolls, but I recall playing that way. Or maybe my memory is being shaped by my recent experiences with 5e. I never played 2nd though 4th edition.
    34 replies | 1112 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 07:30 PM
    Getting 6 identical clones in Paranoia.
    34 replies | 1112 view(s)
    3 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 07:00 PM
    I allow it, but: 1. I enforce encumbrance rules 2. It is not "treasure": You don't get XP for the GP value of the sold items For those scratching their heads or taking umbrage at these two points: For point one: we use D&D Beyond, so tracking encumbrance is pretty easy. But it is enough of a hassle that they generally do not want to bother. That said, they've recently been building up...
    20 replies | 616 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:45 PM
    I'll echo "stunt points" mentioned above from the AGE system. I was introduced to the mechanic with The Expanse. I also like "fortune" in The Expanse. I think this also comes from the AGE system. Basically, you have an amount of fortune points that refresh after an "interlude" (kinda a mix of an extended long rest and downtime) and you get more as you level up. You can spend fortune points to...
    34 replies | 1112 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:34 PM
    jaelis is absolutely right on what the rules are in this situation. That being said... this is the sort of interesting character design concept that I as a DM would be happy to work with a player on to eventually allow to happen. Adding Martial Arts to Primal Savagery would basically be along the lines of the damage gained by certain magic items, so there's nothing inherently unbalanced by this...
    3 replies | 170 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:16 PM
    DEFCON 1 replied to Double Dash
    As a table rule I allow every PC to triple-move, as well as double-move with disengage. My table rules for the Dash action and Disengage action are as follows: Full Sprint: If you use your action to Dash, you may also Dash with a bonus action. Tactical Retreat: If you use your action to Disengage, you may also Dash with your bonus action. When you take a PC's movement also into account,...
    81 replies | 1914 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:10 PM
    I've found that feeling you have to put together a campaign can be a block to enjoying the hobby. One shots are a great way to get people together without worrying about whether that same group will be available next week/month. Also, it makes it easier for players to say yes as they don't feel pressured into a long-term time commitment. Also, you can play more characters and try different...
    25 replies | 774 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:00 PM
    iserith replied to Double Dash
    For what it's worth, the rules also specifically call out a character's or monster's speed as being "short bursts of energetic movement in the midst of a life-threatening situation."
    81 replies | 1914 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:00 PM
    . . . Okay, I'll ask: How does the Linguistics skill work in Pathfinder?
    146 replies | 5277 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 03:14 PM
    You're right and it drives me crazy when I turn up in a game where a DM rolls individual initiative for monsters. Though it's still the same amount of actions to resolve, it really does slow things down because the initiative rolling takes longer and then, if those monsters are interspersed with PCs or other monsters, there's a "gear-changing" that eats up additional time. It really adds up!
    13 replies | 450 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 02:53 PM
    The RAW is that like creatures share initiative anyway. It's still 10 creatures on one initiative count, but it's not like you're rolling 10 different initiatives for them, if that's a concern. As for your swarm, it seems a sound idea, but someone better at math than me will have to say if it has parity with the spell as written. But anyway, players have an obligation to pursue the goals of...
    13 replies | 450 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 02:36 PM
    What Hriston said - most monsters' stuff is just junk. There are some exceptions that I will make an effort to describe, such as a hobgoblin in plate armor or the like. Sometimes I'll describe something resplendent a monster wears that would be damaged in combat and made less valuable in order to set up a challenge for the players to take out the monster without damaging their loot. It makes them...
    20 replies | 616 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 11:49 AM
    Oh absolutely. But I dislike the D&D version. They are like crossbow machineguns. I recently got the Pathfinder Ultimate Equipment book, (which is an amazing comprehensive book btw) and my eyes almost shot fire when I read the description of Studded Leather Armor. It was so dumb. How do they keep getting this wrong? Is anyone going to correct this at any point? "An improved form of...
    146 replies | 5277 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 11:42 AM
    And those are great, if you paint them yourself. But I don't like painting miniatures, and I'm also not very good at it. I prefer to have them pre-painted. There's been two excellent sets that I recently acquired: Dungeon of the Mad Mage has some awesome laboratory props, and there's an amazing Pathfinder cemetery set as well.
    23 replies | 2637 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 06:27 AM
    That's basically what my players do. They police themselves for speed and that includes just keeping them on a single target. It's not really about banning the spell BlivetWidget. It's just players realizing that it can slow down play and taking reasonable steps to mitigate that.
    13 replies | 450 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 02:59 AM
    Alright, can you give a breakdown of the two PCs (Rogue and Paladin) for me, so I can see why this Rogue was leaving the Paladin feeling second rate?
    84 replies | 2464 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 11:13 PM
    The mob rules worked fine, but also working in my favor is that the table rule is that if you're the sort of player who can't manage this sort of spell without bogging down the turn, you simply don't cast it. The player has a responsibility here in my view. (Same for summons, pets, etc.)
    13 replies | 450 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:20 PM
    iserith replied to Double Dash
    Yes on the double-dash. There tends to be a LOT of movement in my games due to terrain, so it comes up quite a bit.
    81 replies | 1914 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:41 PM
    You can resolve by applying the mob rules in the DMG (pg. 250) which foregoes any attack rolls, saving time. Then use average damage.
    13 replies | 450 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 06:55 PM
    Level 5 Rogue. 1 attack (rapier) at +7 dealing 3d6+1d8+4 damage (presuming adjacent PC to trigger sneak attack) = around 19 damage. Level 5 Paladin. 2 attacks (Greatsword) at +7 dealing 4d6+8 damage -re'roll 1s and 2s = around 25 damage. The Paladin also has roughly 6 x smites and/or smite spells, 3 x divine channels (including either +Cha to hit and damage or advantage to hit), and damage...
    84 replies | 2464 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 04:44 PM
    Its your game and do what you want, but not only do I not see the need to do what you're suggesting, I think it's a poor choice. Will you be imposing a similar rule forcing Spell Casters to use Int for Spell Attack rolls (spell power), Wisdom for Spell save DC's (will power) and Charisma (force of will) for Spell damage... or will they continue to use one stat for literally everything, while...
    84 replies | 2464 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 04:39 PM
    But they do anyway, seeing as Paladins and Barbarians already suck at ranged combat. Every single Paladin or Barbarian I've seen packs some Strength based throwing weapons and focuses on mobility (getting toe to toe as soon as possible). Why are we forcing MAD on Martials anyway? They already need , and Con. And why are we forcing them to use two different Stats for combat, when Casters get...
    84 replies | 2464 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 04:20 PM
    No I'm saying if the game presumes Multi-classing and Feats, Strength is clearly superior to Dexterity on Paladins and Barbarians (at a bare minimum). Seriously how many Dex + Sharpshooter Barbarians or Paladins have you seen exactly? And dont try and sell me that the combo is any good'; it's awful on those classes. When it comes to Fighters, for every Dex based Fighter with Sharpshooter...
    84 replies | 2464 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 04:10 PM
    ??? How many casters exactly. Ive run games of over 20th level (epic boons) with a 5 man party dealing with a half a dozen encounters per long rest featuring death knights, Liches, Vampire shadow dancer mooks, undead Cleric 'leaders' and so forth. Examples include: Encounter 1:
    21 replies | 727 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 03:38 PM
    In my games all weapons can be re-fluffed. It's not just a thing Monks can do. That includes damage type. For example a Sabre (same stats as a rapier, deals Slashing damage) is a thing. As is a Sap (same stats as a dagger, deals Bludgeoning damage). Bam presto: archetypal finessable bludgeoning weapons now exist, and the weird mental image of someone dual wielding rapiers is resolved....
    84 replies | 2464 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 03:28 PM
    In my humble opinion, I suspect the REAL issue here is that there is only a single d8 Finesse weapon in the game, and thus people are just tired of seeing the word 'rapier' everywhere. The mechanics are negligible enough that most people probably don't really care about it (okay, a d8 finesse weapon, great)... they just want to cut down on the number of "rapiers" used across the game. The...
    84 replies | 2464 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 03:25 PM
    So Finesse weapons are only a problem: 1) In featless games with no multiclassing, in which case it amounts to (at best) a minor if indeed any benefit to fighters, and a net loss to Paladins and Barbarians. 2) In games with feats... due to Sharpshooter (i.e. on characters that dont even use Finessable melee weapons)? If we're doing Dex to hit and Str to damage for martials, lets also...
    84 replies | 2464 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 03:15 PM
    It doesn't matter if you keep track, really. The PCs should be counterspelling everything anyway.
    21 replies | 727 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 11:59 AM
    I've got one more: You roll a die to hit, but you don't roll a die to defend, unless it's a saving throw. I've always felt there's a lot of missed opportunity there regarding how dynamic and strategic D&D's combat could be. It would probably also become way more complicated, but it just feels like something is missing.
    146 replies | 5277 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:47 AM
    So what's our assumption here? A feat-less game that also bans Multiclassing (where Str 13 is required for Paladin and Barb?). Failing a Str save often means being knocked prone or restrained or pushed somewhere you dont want to go. They're rarer but often have bad status effects imposed. Failed Dex saves usually just mean 'more damage'.
    84 replies | 2464 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:38 AM
    If they're taking either of those feats, they're ranged characters and the rapier is for show only. Finesse is a non issue. No, they're not. Firstly, you need Str 13 to MC as a Barbarian or Paladin. Secondly Dex based barbarians miss out on Rage damage with dex. They miss out on using reckless attack + advantage to land GWM hits. Their capstone becomes half useless. The advantage on...
    84 replies | 2464 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:59 AM
    Shadow Hound (Shadow Sorcerer) is a bonus action + 3 sorcery points summons that (in addition to the monster summoned) imposes disadvantage to ALL your targets saves while it's adjacent to your target. Instrument of the Bards imposes disadvantage to saves vs Charmed condition from spells cast through it. Combine with Hypnotic pattern for encounter auto-wins against anything that isnt immune to...
    7 replies | 343 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:44 AM
    Like seriously. Give me 4 fighters. At 5th level - 3 are Dex Fighters (defence style) using rapiers and sheilds. (15+Dex AC). AC 19, 1d8+4 damage (8.5 average), +7 to hit, 2 attacks, +4 Initiative. No feat exists to make rapiers better; shield master might be an option? The 4th is a Plate wearing Greatsword guy (same style). AC also 19, 2d6+4 damage (11 average), 2 attacks, +7 to hit, Power...
    84 replies | 2464 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 07:33 AM
    Is Dex to hit in melee any good? I mean when it comes to Melee damage the main offenders are: 1) GWM 2) PAM (and GWM!) 3) Barbarians 4) Paladin smites (And Paladins need Charisma, Con and Strength, and get heavy armor meaning they invariably dump Dex) I've never known 'Rapier' to be any sort of 'go-to' for damage builds. I mean Rogues often use one (unless TWF) but so what?
    84 replies | 2464 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 08:31 PM
    You could. Or you could assume that there are different distinct sentient, humanoid races, that can or can't interbreed and enjoy worldbuilding and roleplaying around what that might look like. I've been thinking of creating a campaign based on real-world archaeology. Set 50,000 to 80,000 years ago when homo sapiens was spreading out an encountering the neandrathals (homo neanderthalensis),...
    102 replies | 3414 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 07:53 PM
    Yeah, non-elves either want to eat them or breed with them. Exception being Dwarves, the bitter jealous brothers of the elder races. Yet, it is humans who actually breed most indiscriminately. Why do all half-breeds tend to be half-human? Looking at the flavor text for Orcs in the MM, I would think that half-orc/half-elf should be as common, if not more so, then half human.
    146 replies | 5277 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 03:01 PM
    It's a question that I've struggled with on occasion as well. Every time I decide on a new campaign and I start going through the lists of races, backgrounds and classes the list keeps getting larger and larger with more and more overlap in identity and ideas until it just becomes the Mos Eisley Cantina again. And I keep trying to find ways to shrink things down but it never seems to work. ...
    102 replies | 3414 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 11:55 AM
    1. Dragon Alignments and breathweapons by color. Just because a dragon has a certain color, doesn't mean it isn't evil, and it doesn't mean it spits lightning/poisongas/ice instead of just fire. 2. Automatic Crossbows. Get that nonsense out of here. 3. Studded Leather Armor. What do the studs even do? 4. Elves and orcs. Yawn! 5. Classes that have boring new abilities (filler) at higher...
    146 replies | 5277 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 11:48 AM
    I'm playing 3.5 right now, and we use some PF1 content on occasion, simply because it is compatible. I'm curious to see what PF2 is like, and I wonder if elements of it are still compatible with 3.5. If it's not compatible, but still better, I might give it a spin.
    21 replies | 1053 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 07:11 AM
    Other than D&D I run one-shots. I'm on my third campaign since 5e came out. First campaign. Homebrew setting. Twenty eight-hour sessions, one level per session. Second campaign, Curse of Strahd, using a form of party-milestone leveling bases on locations explored, antagonists defeated, macguffins found, and quests accomplished. Were 9th level when they defeated Strahd. Ten 8-hour...
    48 replies | 2208 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 06:39 AM
    As a DM, create the world you want to run and find players who want to play in it. If you are not stuck running games for organized play, there is no right or wrong decision here as a long as everyone is having fun. I've run games where races were limited, because of the history and worldbuilding for that campaign. In my home-brew campaign, you can only select from human, dwarf, halfling, or...
    102 replies | 3414 view(s)
    4 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 06:20 AM
    Interesting that most of the pet peeves shared here don't bother me much. For example, I agree that 6-seconds is an eternity in combat and you can do A LOT in six seconds when it comes to punches, movement, and sword play. BUT I would like to see many more spells taking longer than an action. And I think it is silly to be able to take something out of your bag as a free action. But I'm happy...
    146 replies | 5277 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 06:17 AM
    I hate Concentration saves as mechanic. Too easy to forget. I saw a cool House rule that ditched the 'make a save when damaged' rule, and instead imposed a rule that had you instead only make the Concetration save when casting while threatened (spell fizzles if you fail). Thought that was pretty neat. For minor pet peeves; the Trident. It's a heavier, more expensive, and harder to...
    146 replies | 5277 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 06:08 AM
    Is there anything you can do to give him temporary HP? That should work.
    149 replies | 3198 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 05:41 AM
    This post BEGS for a follow-up. Sorry that you've had a fall out with a group you've been playing with for 20 years. Sounds like it is more than just leaving the group, if you've not even seen any of them outside of gaming for over half a year. Have your tried organized play, meetup.com, or Roll20 for one shots? Good way to try different games, meet new players, and if things don't gel, well,...
    25 replies | 774 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 08:02 AM
    The longer and more accurate question is: If you ever quit or stopped playing tabletop RPGs for an extended period of time, at what time in your life did that occur and why? And why did you pick them up again (which I'm assuming you did, if you are hanging out in these forums)? This thread is inspired by the conversation in the thread about D&D's portrayal in Stranger Things, Season 3. ...
    25 replies | 774 view(s)
    4 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 01:03 AM
    You probably already know this, but Ignores and Blocks only apparently work via the website forum program. The ENWorld app on mobile devices does not having the block/ignore feature I don't believe. It's an interesting and confusing quirk, as I occasionally see threads on my phone that I never knew were there when I normally hit the forums.
    34 replies | 1124 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 07:42 AM
    They pretty much explored that idea with T3D.
    36 replies | 869 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 01:11 AM
    I was literally just talking up +1d6 to a save at will, and 'auto pass a save while also attacking the caster/ origin of the save' abilities as being great. In the other thread we're chatting in, you're bemoaning the lack of abilities of some classes (the fighter) to pass high DC saves in poor ability scores when non Proficient. The Monster Hunter auto passes every save he wants to (1/...
    352 replies | 12306 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 01:05 AM
    Ive just never known a game where balance rests in the hands of the players. Barring a Pathfinder or 3.5 type game, where the difference between optimisation and non optimised PCs is so vast that those games require a gentlemans agreement at the campaigns start. No, that's a false analogy. You preferring not to use a game mechanic (even an optional one) is fine. Demanding other...
    71 replies | 2033 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 12:46 AM
    You're a 9th level Ranger. 4 x black bears, 2 Dire wolves, or 1 Sabre tooth tiger is probably the best option at a glance (there may be others). From memory, our Druid used it (at 5th level) to summon a giant constrictor (actually Huge from memory). At this level, they'd be lucky to last a single encounter (of which you're getting 6 or so per adventuring day as a median average going by the...
    352 replies | 12306 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 12:21 AM
    It's not. Balance is in the hands of the DM, not in your use of feats or otherwise. I ran a balanced game featuring a bonus feat at 1st for everyone, artifacts and legendary items galore, every PC with at least 1 stat above 20, multiple epic boons and so forth. Personal preference I guess.
    71 replies | 2033 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 11:57 PM
    Defensive tactics is OK but it's easily at least matched by they get as class features from levels 6-15 are much (much) better than that list. All the full casters smoke it. Paladin smokes it. Monk, Rogue, Warlock smoke it. Id literally take 10 levels of Battlemaster Fighter over Ranger 6-10 and be happy (and be one level away from my 3rd attack per round) or take 10 levels of Scout Rogue over...
    352 replies | 12306 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 11:30 PM
    Why do you prefer playing without feats? Ignore everyone else at the table. Why do you personally not like having those options? I have. Are magic items also excluded as well, because again, Fighters get the most out of them than any other class.
    71 replies | 2033 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 11:13 PM
    Yes they clearly were. I'll start with something like Ranger 5 + Scout Rogue 3. Its better than a Ranger at being a Ranger. You lose an ASI and a single spell of 2nd level per long rest (and 2 extra spells known). 3 HP, some useless exploration pillar abilities and the moderately useful Defensive tactics. In exchange, you gain 3 extra skills known, Expertise in 4 of your skills...
    352 replies | 12306 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 10:51 PM
    DMing or playing, and why? Monks are great, but they dont come close to Fighters in sustained DPR, and shockingly good spike damage with Action surge. Fighters bring the pain better than anyone (barring a Barbarian with really good dice!). There is a reason they're the number 1 played class man.
    71 replies | 2033 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 10:36 PM
    Dude, the whole point of the exercise is to show that Rangers suck mechanically after 5th level. In order to do that it's pretty important to compare them (mechanically) to other classes and 'builds'. You can build a more 'rangery' ranger (i.e. better than the Ranger at sneaking around, doing nature and surival and scouting stuff, mobile fighting and damage) by leaving Ranger and taking levels...
    352 replies | 12306 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 10:23 PM
    No, the argument is they get boosts elsewhere to compensate for poor saves. More feats or ASI if you dont use feats, and a huge amount of DPR. Compare them to a Monk, that gets all saves (plus a re-roll) and a ton of immunities and maneuverability. Fighters deal considerably more damage than Monks in every game I have ever seen barring 1-2 level when the Fighter has the better defences...
    71 replies | 2033 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 10:06 PM
    Pretty sure rangers get a spell that lets them befriend an animal. Lasts 24 hours. Requires DM permission and Handle Animal skill but you can probably achieve more with that spell than you can with the entire Beastmaster archetype. If you're a Paladin, just cast Find Steed and then Find Greater steed. Summon whatever animal you want. You dont have to ride the thing, and it doesnt even have...
    352 replies | 12306 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 10:02 PM
    What do you mean they take too long to mature? From levels 1-5 they're identical to a single classed ranger! It's only after 5th level that you take levels in other classes because Ranger 6-20 sucks. Ranger 6-20 is full of sub-par class features (such as covering itself in mud at 10th level, a woeful capstone, getting better at stuff you never do in most campaigns with favored enemy and...
    352 replies | 12306 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 09:36 PM
    Any DM that says no to a Toitle Monk, likely isnt a DM I would want to play with. The Character portrait alone would have me in stitches each week. My all time favorite Character portrait was a Pathfinder Grippli Zen Archer Monk. Portrait used was:
    42 replies | 1476 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 09:19 PM
    Dude, I've told you three times now. The 'Weak Build' is I presented is (take your choice) at 15th level: 1) Ranger 5, Battlemaster Fighter 3, Scout Ranger 7 (the remaining levels in Scout) 2) Ranger 5, Scout 3, BM 3, Druid 4 (the remaining levels in Druid) Each class is better at Rangering than the Ranger.
    352 replies | 12306 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 09:05 PM
    If you're curious, that High level party would also run around with Heroes feast active, Death wards, Mind Blanks, the mental communication ritual spell, and water breathing active, plus an upcast Aid spell (I think it was). Both the Lore Bard AND the Warlock had counterspell. They could counterspell my enemy spellcasters couterspells even if someone else trued to counter that spell! The...
    71 replies | 2033 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:57 PM
    Again, I can tell you it's really not an issue. In my high level party the Swashbuckler 14 + BM Fighter 6 had Resilient as a feat (and would have had Slippery Mind if he took one less level of Fighter) giving him Dex (+14), Int (+7), and Wis (+8) saves. As for other saves he had a high Charisma (+4) and Con (+6) as well (bonuses include his cloak). He also had Evasion and a few immunities...
    71 replies | 2033 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:39 PM
    It's more the exploration pillar is A) rarely used and often hand-waved, and B) when it is used, it's all too easily circumvented from mid levels onwards. For a low level Tomb of Annihilation campaign with a hardcore DM, having a Ranger with 'Favored Terrain: 'Jungle' and Favored enemy 'Dinosaurs, Undead and Yuanti' is amazing. It's just waaay too situational and rapidly is...
    352 replies | 12306 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:36 PM
    I didnt ignore them mate. I called you out on your own dishonesty for handwaving abilities at mid to high level away, while sneaking a few of them in yourself to prove a point. I did adress your point. It's mainly taken as a ribbon ability. Scout is taken for the fluff (it fluffs with Ranger well) more than anything else. But mechanically it's still a great ability. Your turn ends. A...
    352 replies | 12306 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:26 PM
    Again; the Fighter is not worse. He's the same (even a bit better). It's the Wizard that got better. Not the Fighter getting worse. Why do I get the feeling this is turning into a 'High level Wizards are broken' argument more than a 'Fighters need better saves' argument?
    71 replies | 2033 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:22 PM
    And your high level fighter who fails a save for half damage (taking full damage) would be turned to Ash at 1st level regardless of his save. Now at 20th, a fireball doesn't really bother him that much, passed save or otherwise. Seriously. I've literally ran games all the way to 20th+ epic boons. The problem you're arguing exists, doesnt. (One caveat: I do use a natural 1 fails a save,...
    71 replies | 2033 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:15 PM
    Who is this NPC that the PC has known since 1st level and why are they advancing in level? But OK, presuming the guy that has gotten to god like powers alongside the Fighter decides to hit him with a Save spell, then unless he targets the dudes Con or Str saves, yes there is a difference. But the difference isnt from the Fighter getting worse against the same effect; its from the Wizard...
    71 replies | 2033 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 08:05 PM
    Yet here you are below using spells of 4th and 5th level (conjure volley, swift quiver etc - neither of which are online till 17th level, and conjure woodland beings at 13th level) to outline your point. Scout was selected to gain Expertise to Survival and Nature. The Skirmish ability (movement as soon as a creature finishes its turn next to you) and bonus land speed is just gravy to a...
    352 replies | 12306 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:51 PM
    Its a Dex based Fighter/ Scout/ Ranger. Not sure how that's a 'multi-class monstrosity'. It's entirely thematic. It's basically a special forces soldier. And I disagree that it points to Multi-classing being unbalanced. The Ranger (as a whole) sucks after 5th level even if you're forced to stay with the class in a game where there is no Multi-classing. Its class features after 5th level are...
    352 replies | 12306 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:17 PM
    There are three problems with DnD's ranger. 1) Its a worse Fighter than the Fighter in the 'combat pillar', balanced out by a ton of 'exploration pillar' abilities that rarely (if ever) get used. Hunting, foraging and getting lost are rarely things that most groups worry about. Nature sense is pointless. Even favored enemy does nothing in the combat pillar. 2) Spell-casting is built into...
    352 replies | 12306 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 07:02 PM
    You stat out NPCs as PCs? I've literally never bothered. I just grab a NPC, and tweak as desired (slapping spell-casting on them from a different class, changing out spell lists, gear load out and maybe porting over a Parry or Leadership ability or similar). Unless you're talking about the NPC Swashbuckler.
    14 replies | 389 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:31 PM
    Its actually better for a crit fisher. The crits are automatic on any hit. You still have to hit though. 8 rolls should be enough. The only advantage of the above is that normal expanded crit ranges (as opposed to auto-crits) is should you ever find yourself in a situation where your target has an AC that you cant hit with any other roll other than a 20. Assassin auto-crits still...
    37 replies | 925 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:25 PM
    He hasnt gotten 'worse'. Against the same caster or effect, he's just as good (in fact he's now better, thanks to increasing his Ability scores or Using feats for Resilient or Lucky, and gaining re-rolls via Indomitable). He hasnt even gotten 'worse' at saving against spells cast by 20th level Archmages. He's always sucked at saving against those guys. At 1st level he needed a 19+. He still...
    71 replies | 2033 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:10 PM
    You could really stitch the PCs up if suddenly several other Pirate Captains come looking for the fabled Parrot (they believe its story and want its treasure). The PCs will think it's incredibly valuable and obviously telling the truth, if other NPCs go to great efforts to get it for themselves. Try not to laugh your backside off as DM for the next few months of game-play while they...
    14 replies | 389 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:03 PM
    Or the parrot repeatedly squawks it is really a totally powerful bad-ass NPC who was the prior victim of a True Polymorph spell that become permanent. If the PCs can find a way to remove the spell, it promises to reward them with loot beyond their dreams. Squawk! True Polymorphed was I! Remove the spell and great treasure will be yours, Squawk! It's either: A) Telling the truth. The...
    14 replies | 389 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:47 PM
    Variant Half-Drow Blade pact Hexblade 5 (Thirsting blade, Eldritch smite, Devils sight), Vengeance Paladin 3 , Assassin 3, Sorcerer (any) 3, Battlemaster 3, Gloomstalker Ranger 3. ASI: Elven accuracy. Pre combat, you're hiding in the darkness (invisible to all creatures with darkvision thanks to Gloomstalker) with your pet Owl (obtained via the Animal friendship spell as a ranger). With...
    37 replies | 925 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:51 PM
    That's kind of the plan. Plus turning equivalent stuff to high level Wizard spells into 'mundane' abilities for Martials. Wizards at high levels might get access to abilities that allow things like long range teleporting, the ability to magically create a castle or tower or even their own Demi-plane from nothing, attract an apprentice, craft a golem, dimensional travel, the ability to...
    24 replies | 823 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:41 PM
    Will do.
    104 replies | 2867 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:39 PM
    How about this for a fix? New Feat: Advanced Fighting Style. Prerequisite: Knowledge of at least one fighting style; extra attack class feature. Benefit: You gain +1 to Strength or Dexterity to a maximum score of 20. In addition, select one fighting style you know. You gain extra abilities based on that fighting style:
    232 replies | 9897 view(s)
    0 XP
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Wednesday, 10th July, 2019

  • 05:21 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post Players choose what their PCs do . . .
    I didn’t mention the maiden’s wink. I’m asking if combat mechanics for a game worked in such a way that the player decided the outcome of combat for their character, would you consider such a system more or less risky than the traditional D&D combat system? Well, that's exactly how I handle PvP. (Thanks, iserith!) I'm actually tempted to ask you to define "risky", but I'll assume the LCD meaning and say "less risky". Point?

Tuesday, 9th July, 2019

  • 08:35 PM - Fenris-77 mentioned iserith in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    iserith - if you think the social interaction rules in the DMG are fine and sufficient we'll just have to agree to disagree. You're going to put it down to issues of spotlight management and DM control, which, I'll admit, I find just a wee bit insulting given that you have no idea who I am or how I run my table, but again, fine, that's something else I will put down to differences in style and taste. I have reasonable-to-good game design skills, and a more than passing familiarity with both 5E and other systems. The 5E SIP rules are under-written for what I want, and cause balance issues for the party in the kind of game I want to run. That's more in the way of fact than opinion. It's only fact for my game of course, not the system in general, nor anyone else's game necessarily. That said, if anyone else wants to suggest that it's my lack of rules knowledge or lack of table control that are the problem, feel free to message me, but's let not clutter up the thread with it.

Thursday, 27th June, 2019

  • 09:15 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned iserith in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    ...fort to be clear on the situation, doesn't actualky address the method. You say "at least I got a roll" as if this protects against jerks. It diesn't, it's weak, and I'd rather address the jerk involved as the problem. [Quite] The core play loop you described is idealized, and does not include subtle factors relating to how both the GM and players are imperfect humans, with social dynamics and expectations, and major expectation failures are a failure mode for play.[/QUOTE] This is absolute hogwash. Fir one, tge play loop is as much rules as the combat section. It's right there in the front of the book as how to play the game. Two, it doesn't rely on mythical perfect people, nor is it more prone to degenerate play than your preferred more 3.x style of hard mechanics. If this was true, it would be impossible for those of us that report excellent results to be anything other than liars for no perceivable reason. I used to play as you argue -- I got in some ugly arguments with iserith, refusing to believe he could possibly be honest in how he presents this playstyle. I can't say what started me listening, but everything I believed before - that you have to have strong codification of mechanics and that you go to mechanics first - is wrong. Not that it's wrong to play that way, or less fun, because that is 100% untrue, but that playing another way is just as good and still within the rules. And, I like this way better - I'm more attentive, more productive, my games move faster and have more player engagement. YMMV, and probably does; what works for me works for me, it's by no means universal. But, by golly, does it chap my backside when someone spouts ignorance like this. Which is probably karma for me doing it years ago.
  • 04:32 PM - robus mentioned iserith in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    Where do you draw the line? And if HP isn't a factor here, what is? Would you make the same ruling for an attack against an unsuspecting ogre? An unsuspecting Glabrezu? An unsuspecting Arch-Druid? An unsuspecting dragon? I'd adjudicate it just like any other action a PC might take. I think iserith and others have summed up my point of view well in that this is really just a case of action resolution. The player wants their character to take out the unsuspecting guard with a single arrow shot. As they have time to take the perfect shot and an arrow to the head seems likely to kill an orc outright I can see that the action is achievable but has a cost (if the ranger misses the camp will be alerted). In my OP I was setting the DC to simply be the AC of the orc (because again the ranger has all the time in the world) - but other factors might complicate the ability check (perhaps there's a strong crosswind, or it's raining, or its dark). In that case I might set a separate DC. As for these other situations I would probably rule differently. If the creature is suitably tough skinned enough then absolutely not, a single shot to kill is impossible, no roll required. An unsuspecting humanoid Arch-Druid? They can certainly try... :) And, absolutely, I'm not interested in applying this ...

Wednesday, 26th June, 2019

  • 12:40 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned iserith in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    D&D has always had a hard transition into combat from other play. And, D&D has always had a hard line in detail between combat and other play. Because of this, it makes it difficult to do things that are very near or even astride that line, like the situation in the OP. There will always be many that say that since you've touched on the combat pillar, the hard transition must be accomplished, else you're devaluing portions of the game, or violating parity between the PCs and the hordes of DM controlled NPCs operating in the DM controlled environment (an argument I find silly, as you might could tell, although I once was a vocal proponent of it). In this case, I think relying on the 5e core play loop offers insight, much as iserith and others have mentioned. The DM narrates a scene, players declare actions, DM determines success (often via mechanics), DM narrate results, repeat. This loop functions both in and out of combat -- it's universal to the entire game. In combat, it's more structured and the DM has more tools, but no one could say that the DM couldn't make a ruling for an outcome in combat, so let's go with that angle. Here, the goal and approach are clear, and you, as DM, are free to determine if the action is successful or not via whichever resolution mechanic you choose to use. The combat mechanics are there, very details, and could be used, but they are not required to be used to resolve a character action. You could modify them to suit your needs, and that's within the rules of the game. Now, practically, I'd be leery of letting this situation be an easy one. You might have elided the details prior, but I wouldn't let such a situation occur without having it embedded in a larger series of ...
  • 07:57 AM - Nevvur mentioned iserith in post Attacking defenseless NPCs
    To the OP, it's a surprise attack, and I don't think the rules books are unambiguous about how to handle the situation. So the question I'm hearing is, "Is this a good house rule?" IMO, it is. It works as you described, but I think iserith made the best suggestion at the top of the thread: As well, however, this strikes me as an obstacle in an overarching exploration challenge that only looks somewhat like a combat challenge. The task is neither impossible nor trivially easy. You could say there's an uncertain outcome and the meaningful consequence for failure is there - so some kind of roll is appropriate. I think it's fine to resolve it without relying upon the combat rules. Call it a Dexterity check with proficiency at disadvantage against a hard DC to account for range and the difficulty of ensuring a kill shot. Someone throws guidance or enhance ability on the ranger. Maybe he or she spends Inspiration. Go, teamwork. I understand and respect the positions stated by others pertaining to equanimity with NPCs, e.g. if you can one shot NPCs in this scenario, they should be able to one shot you, etc. As a GM, I've never given NPCs and PCs exactly equal footing, and frankly find it unfun when such policy is followed d...

Tuesday, 28th May, 2019

  • 06:07 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...d secret doors in the given game, but it can be for other reasons. If your players are experienced and know the Monster Manual pretty well, then they might not see value in recalling lore on monsters, which argues for changing up the monsters (if that will be fun for everyone). So it might be worth examining the game you're presenting to see if that is adding to the game-induced impetus to dump Intelligence. So I've been struggling a bit with coming up with some meaningful consequences for failure of knowledge checks when fighting monsters. On a success, the PC recalls some helpful lore On a failure, the PC doesn't recall lore (which falls a bit flat since that is essentially "nothing happens") Perhaps better: On a failure, the PC doesn't recall lore and the enemy becomes offended at the PC's probing, if not somewhat confused, stare down. Enemy will gain advantage on next attack against PC. I know we don't have a specific example here but, in general, what might you do, iserith?
  • 05:57 PM - Fenris-77 mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    iserith I agree with you - the Ranger would seem to be a great candidate for that. However, in order to be able to do that you mostly need to slight your actual core abilities to fight and track stuff. Like I said, this is eminently fixable in a given campaign given a GM with a desire to do so, and my issue (problem? whatever...) isn't with specific games, but rather with the optics and feel of our common frame of reference characters. This wasn't supposed to be contentious (not that you personally have been contentious about it). I don't like the feel of exemplar heroes with multiple negative attributes in common areas based on class.
  • 02:48 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    If I may, at this late juncture... This argument is about something that's entirely downstream of the real issue, which isn't being address clearly enough (although iserith has touched on it repeatedly): what a character thinks is irrelevant to the game structure. The game let's players have the authority to declare actions for their characters. This is, really, the only authority players have outside of character build (creations and leveling). What a character thinks is just something the player establishes as color for the action declaration if they care to do so. So, of course the player has complete authority over what the character thinks, because the rule say that they player has complete authority over what the character tries to do. You cannot have the latter if you have restrictions on the former. So, in the case of the thunderwave scrolls, the player has the authority to declare this action for their character. What the character is thinking here is color -- it's not important at all; the game doesn't care at all. If, however, the player wants information from the setting, then they can establish an action declaration for how their...

Friday, 24th May, 2019

  • 06:20 PM - jaelis mentioned iserith in post Control Flame in Combat?
    Personally, I wouldn't let you use the clothing as fuel. But if they are standing on something flammable, sure. I agree with iserith that the create bonfire mechanic seems applicable.

Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

  • 09:27 PM - 77IM mentioned iserith in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    ...enging issues, you don't get XP. Burning down a house is something anyone can do, and takes no special effort - oil, toches, whoomph! Done. Why should they get a reward for that? IF burning down the house doesn't do anything towards the goals, then there's no XP to get, and no XP to "lose." So I agree with that part. My point was that, if the house is full of dangerous enemies, then burning it down definitely DOES do something towards the goals. It does a lot. Awarding or withholding XP based on the PC's method of achieving the goals turns one of the primary decisions the players get to make into a meta-game decision. Rather than "How should we overcome this challenge?" it becomes "How does the DM want us to overcome this challenge?" IF burning down the house doesn't do anything towards the goals, then why did the players decide do it? My players are not stupid people. If that really seems like the best course of action, maybe I've miscommunicated somehow? I agree with iserith that the players do bear some responsibility for making "fun" decisions instead of purely pragmatic ones. For example, for most PCs, the purely pragmatic decision is to sell most of your starting gear and become a farmer. ;) My group of PCs literally met at a bar (location 8, the Empty Net) and decided to adventure together for purely meta-game reasons. One thing I'm considering is giving characters a Wisdom (Insight) check to get "hunches" about the consequences of major actions. Like, "maybe you'll miss important clues if you burn the house down." This would really just be an excuse for me to tell them things at a meta-game level, without breaking immersion. I'm hesitant though, because for some people doing that would break immersion even worse.

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 01:34 AM - Bawylie mentioned iserith in post Brainstorming TotM
    ...big set-piece "Marvel Battles", but I was curious if there are other DMs out there who have the same issues using TotM in 5E. The biggest issue I see with TotM in 5E is that it puts all the stress for managing and directing the flow of the action on the DM. I think this strips a lot of agency from the players, and can leave the DM with all the blame if the fight "goes south". What, as a DM, are your experiences with narrative combat in 5th? Are there any special tools or systems you use to make it more accessible for your players? I think it’s wise to divide the combat encounters between big set pieces and minor skirmishes. Because by doing that, you can spend your prep time designing your set piece encounters while leaving “trash” combat encounters (random encounters, unexpected fights, etc.) to a very quick and improv-friendly rules set. If I were in your shoes and table-time was at a premium, I would run my minor skirmishes narratively. (I can’t emphasize enough how important iserith ‘s advice is, so definitely keep a “Go back to 1” post-it handy). Anyway for narrative skirmishes, I want to dispense with absolute positioning in favor of relative position. You see this is some of the rules sets mentioned up thread. For me, there are only two zones/areas I need and two I *might* need. I need: 1.) the Melee. Everyone who’s in the melee can move around and hit anyone else in the melee. These combatants are all engaged, close, whatever you want to say. They’re in melee. 2.) at Range. Everyone not in the melee is at Range. When you’re at range, you can shoot spells or missiles into the melee or at anyone else at range. I might need: 3.) Above - aka “the dogfight” for aerial combats or higher platforms. 4.) Below - aka “the pitfight” for submerged or lower platforms. That covers basically every range/area I need for a quick and dirty narrative combat. Special considerations: •Anyone can move into or within the melee freely, but anyone leaving it must Disengage (...

Thursday, 9th May, 2019

  • 06:10 AM - Hussar mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    *ducks back in, waving a white flag* Totally, totally not trying to start anything. Honest. I just want to point something out iserith. When three different posters, at least, at three different times - myself, Oofta and now Tony Vargas, all come to the same, or at least very similar conclusions based on what you are posting, perhaps, and I'm not saying this is true, but, perhaps, the point you are trying to make isn't as clear as you think it is. I mean, you're dismissing Tony Vargas because apparently he's been scarred by edition wars. You dismissed oofta so hard that he's still on your ignore list. You dismissed my points as well. I'm not saying you're wrong here. I'm not trying to pick a fight and my horse in this race is long dead. I'm just saying that perhaps, just maybe, your point could be misconstrued. I mean, heck, once you actually pointed out an actual example, I realized that there is not much difference between your table and mine, I just don't insist on such strict adherence to formula - I skip steps. Otherwise, the end results between your table and mine are probably pretty close. How...

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 03:43 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    But you haven't answered the underlying question. Does Francis the Guard exist? Can the player track them down in that town, now that they have pulled that from their backstory? I'll try to answer that, and maybe this will help pemerton, too, who keeps trying to get me to define this boundary. Francis the Guard exists if that suits my purpose. He exists only in the player's imagination otherwise. Or he died. Or maybe he does exist, but this isn't Francis. As iserith points out, the player has absolute control over the character's thoughts and beliefs, and the DM has absolute control over the environment. Both may cede some of that authority if they want, but that is going outside the rules. Now, I think your question (and maybe pemerton's...I may be wrong) is really asking the question of how you define a clear boundary, to prevent players from trying to grab too much of the DM's authority. That what's needed is some kind of clear rule, that can't be debated or refuted, right? No. Wrong. This isn't a problem of unclear rules. This is a problem of players sometimes being jerkwads, and I don't need rules to protect my games against jerkwads. I have a door for that. I also don't need rules to protect me from jerkwad DMs. This door is a magical door, and it also works, albeit in a slightly different manner, as protection against jerkwad DMs.
  • 03:37 AM - Chaosmancer mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...nsider that a perfectly fine thing for you to assert. Trouble is, it doesn't change the fact that you will get no special treatment from me unless your character also has spent CharGen resources on whatever lore skills are necessary to actually learn facts about monsters. If you, as a player of a character that has no lore skill regarding monsters, assert that your character was told a lot of stuff, the very fact that your character does not have a bunch of points spent on monster lore proves that what you were told was probably incomplete, or common knowledge, or just plain wrong. The facts on your character sheet disprove your claim of special knowledge - or else they don't. That call out to your background may perfectly explain why you do have all that lore on your character sheet. Or it may just explain that natural 20 you rolled to identify this particular monster. Again, according to some of the people I've been discussing this with, you are completely wrong. In fact, iserith went so far as to state in the insight thread that a player never has to justify why their character knows something. There is no roll, there is no story, the player says their character knows earth elemental are vulnerable to thunder damage, so their character knows that. Now, iserith was also very quick to state that assuming what you know is accurate is a dangerous thing, because the DM could have changed anything and your assumptions might be woefully inaccurate, but I disagree with the premise, not the exception. It was why I disagreed with the Elder telling you all the monster secrets, that everyone seemed to agree was perfectly okay. No CharGen resources needed, no lore rolls required, you know what your character thinks, therefore you know those facts about those monsters. However, when it turned to a social event where a roll could be bypassed, the player was outside the rules of the game, as everyone has stated repeatedly. That was why I brought this up, because o...

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

  • 08:29 PM - Satyrn mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Quoting Myself For Great Justice! That was me for most of 3e! I meant to also say that I started DMing so much better when I adopted what I think of as the AD&D mindset. I didn't change the rules of 3e, I just started asking the players "whaddya do?" instead of n telling them whatta do. And then 5e came along doing the same! I wasn't even part of the playtest . . . I'm glad you were, though, @iserith. :p
  • 03:41 AM - Chaosmancer mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I would say that D&D 4e prior to Essentials with its embrace of "Yes, and..." and encouragement of the DM to accept ideas outside the character's control that the player proffers could be such a game. There's a sidebar in the D&D 4e DMG that uses an example from one of the designers wherein the player suggests there is a trap on a statue that is protecting a treasure. The DM rolls with it, they play out the trap challenge, and the player's character gets the treasure. But even that requires the DM's assent and the limits (the designer above remarks that HE would be the one to decide what treasure it was!) are likely understood formally or informally in the form of a table rule. I wasn't planning on jumping into this thread, and this post is far back in this thread, but were you iserith, not the one who told me repeatedly in the insight thread that the DM cannot and should not tell a player what they think? This was your justification for players having knowledge of monsters that they otherwise might not have, because the player got to decide what was reasonable for them to know, and the DM could never tell them that they could not think that. So, since this "Francis the Guard" example evolved from the "Orc Elder" example of hearing stories which told them the weaknesses of monsters, where does it go to far? Is the player correct about having been raised in an orphanage? Is the player correct that they were raised with a boy named Franics at said orphanage? Is the player correct that Francis and the PC were very close and dear friends? Is the player correct that this guard looks like Francis? Is the player correct that this guard is Francis? Is the player correct in that Francis the Guard still thinks of them as a friend and wants to help them out? ...

Monday, 6th May, 2019

  • 08:22 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    @Elfcrusher, I'm with @5ekyu on this. I don't place traps randomly. I don't use them very often and when I do it's in fairly obvious locations an situations. As I've stated before, when I do I rely heavily on passive checks. "Obvious locations" is a form of telegraph. If a player is thinking, "This door to the treasure room is probably trapped" then we are talking about player skill, right? That's why the only way to not telegraph, at all, is to place them randomly. Or maybe you had a different idea in mind when @iserith and others started talking about 'telegraphing'? Maybe you thought, oh, I don't know...how about: signs that say "trap here". If so, I'm glad we had this little chat and cleared that up. Now, I think 'obvious locations' is a particularly uninteresting form of telegraphing. Sure, it still relies on player skill, but not a very engaging or rewarding form of player skill. Or really very much skill. I never get that little rush of satisfaction, the one that I get when overcome something novel and interesting, just because I remembered to check for traps in an obvious place. But, hey, it's telegraphing. I've never had a 5E game devolve into checking for traps every 5 ft. Has anyone on this thread ever claimed they were in a game where that happened? Because it seems to be a strawman. "Devolve"? No. Play that way in the early 1980's because that was what the adventures required, and even because it seemed fun at the time? Sure. And, anyway, I was pretty clear that I was just tr...

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 12:11 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...thread, Elfcrusher gave an example of a player authoring shared fiction invovling the stories told to a young PC by trial elders. I don't think many posters regarded this as a usurpation of the GM's authority. The general response to my post seems to be that the player deciding that the gate guard is her/his PC's childhood friend Frances is a usurpation of the GM's authority. But in some other recent threads I've seen criticisms of a GM narrating failure as some sort of oversight or carelessness on the part of the PC as a usurpation by the GM of the player's authority over deciding what his/her PC does, thinks and feels. Likewise there's a widespread view that it would be usurpation for a GM to decide that a PC didn't do what the player has said s/he does, because the GM thinks it is inconsistent with the PC's stats. These boundaries aren't crystal clear to me, and I'm a pretty experienced RPGer. I don't find them clearly articulated in the 5e Basic PDF. I'm sure I could get by in iserith's game playing a "man with no name"-type character, but nothing in these threads has given me any indication of how I might go about playing a character who is genuinely embedded in the social context of the gameworld - even though the Tika/Artemis sidebars, and the more general tenor of chapter 4 of the Basic PDF, all give me the impression that the game is focused on such embedded individuals. Goal and approach is - as I understand it - all about engaging the fiction so as to mitigate the difficulty of the challenge (or, perhaps, aggravating it so as to earn Inspiration). I'm not disputing that a boundary can be articulated which explains why I pull out my crowbar and use it to lever the door open is OK but There's my old friend Frances, one of the guards now - I ask her to let us through is not. I'm just saying that I haven't seen it articulated yet. And although you emphasise not carrying baggage from one game to the next, at the moment the only grasp I am getting on the boun...
  • 05:23 AM - pemerton mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...pthread, Elfcrusher gave an example of a player authoring shared fiction invovling the stories told to a young PC by trial elders. I don't think many posters regarded this as a usurpation of the GM's authority. The general response to my post seems to be that the player deciding that the gate guard is her/his PC's childhood friend Frances is a usurpation of the GM's authority. But in some other recent threads I've seen criticisms of a GM narrating failure as some sort of oversight or carelessness on the part of the PC as a usurpation by the GM of the player's authority over deciding what his/her PC does, thinks and feels. Likewise there's a widespread view that it would be usurpation for a GM to decide that a PC didn't do what the player has said s/he does, because the GM thinks it is inconsistent with the PC's stats. These boundaries aren't crystal clear to me, and I'm a pretty experienced RPGer. I don't find them clearly articulated in the 5e Basic PDF. I'm sure I could get by in iserith's game playing a "man with no name"-type character, but nothing in these threads has given me any indication of how I might go about playing a character who is genuinely embedded in the social context of the gameworld - even though the Tika/Artemis sidebars, and the more general tenor of chapter 4 of the Basic PDF, all give me the impression that the game is focused on such embedded individuals. It's somewhat related in that players being able to establish this sort of thing during play can mitigate or aggravate the difficulty of the challenge to the player. A player establishing that the character is old friends with the guard, who is presumably the obstacle in the challenge, may be mitigating the difficulty. Conversely, a player establishing that the character has a strained relationship with the guard (perhaps as a means to portray a personal characteristic and earn Inspiration) may be aggravating the difficulty of the challenge to the player.Goal and approach is - as I understa...


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Wednesday, 17th July, 2019

  • 03:10 PM - BlivetWidget quoted iserith in post Swarms of animated objects
    The RAW is that like creatures share initiative anyway. I forgot this, and thought it was an optional rule because it's not how everyone plays. PHB189 says you are very much correct. Solution to my problem was sitting in the core rulebooks the whole time... thanks for the reminder!
  • 02:41 PM - BlivetWidget quoted iserith in post Swarms of animated objects
    It's not really about banning the spell I'd never consider it. But it doesn't take much looking around these forums to see that's a common response to rules and often spells people don't like at their table. I have a strong inclination towards RAW, but if letting the objects share initiative seems to work for people, I think that may be the best solution. Thanks for your thoughts, everyone.
  • 01:43 AM - BlivetWidget quoted iserith in post Swarms of animated objects
    The mob rules worked fine, but also working in my favor is that the table rule is that if you're the sort of player who can't manage this sort of spell without bogging down the turn, you simply don't cast it. The player has a responsibility here in my view. (Same for summons, pets, etc.) Indeed, that's exactly what I want to avoid - banning spells based on inconvenience. And let's face it, nobody can manage an extra 10 creatures without it bogging down the turn. Their very existence on the battlefield will slow everyone down, in fact, no matter how good of a job they do (all the LOS and AoO complications). That's why I'm looking to swarms. I do like your idea of just using the average damage, though. As an alternative idea, we could let groups of tiny objects share initiative and move together. Up to 8 tiny creatures can fit in a 5x5 medium-creature cube. So 10 tiny creatures could easily be treated as two medium "creatures" with multiattack (one per tiny creature). Using average dama...

Tuesday, 16th July, 2019

  • 10:28 PM - BlivetWidget quoted iserith in post Swarms of animated objects
    It's a good goal, since creating so many creatures really bogs down the game if you don't have a good way to deal with it. (and other good thoughts) Yes, I definitely agree with most of your thoughts! I would expect it to take 2 fireballs to destroy the tiny objects entirely though, since they are quite dexterous (many will probably pass their save). And there would be collateral damage, since some of the objects might be in amongst foes by the time someone can drop a fireball on them, and all would definitely be by the time a second fireball can be used. The fireball would need to be cast at level 5 to be statistically likely to drop them in one go (which isn't a terribly good use of a spell slot). As for strengths, the resistance to AoE seems to just come with the territory of swarm creatures. Not sure if there's a solution to this, or if there even needs to be one. As for weaknesses, the loss of action economy in compressing them into a single creature is sort of in the same boat. ...

Wednesday, 10th July, 2019

  • 05:49 PM - DMZ2112 quoted iserith in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    In my games, if the Monster sees you going into your hiding spot (and that's objectively where you are) you cant hide relative to that monster; your Stealth check to Hide fails. A Rogue that pops down into a box (in full view of the enemy) and closes the lid, cant Hide. His Stealth check fails; the enemy monster knows exactly where he is. It's a different case if the Box concealed a secret passage in the floor and the Rogue used that to slink off and Hide. It's a matter of context. Honestly, I think that is how I would prefer it to work, but it is not the assumption the rules make. The rules assume that if the rogue is not engaged (or actively being targeted by a ranged or spell attack), the rogue can slip out of sight. I know I just got done saying that game designers are full of s**t, but the key is whether or not a bad rule makes the game less fun. In my opinion, Reliable Talent makes the game less fun, while rogues being able to hide during combat makes the game a lot more fun. Nerfi...
  • 05:12 PM - DMZ2112 quoted iserith in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    Oh my gods, six pages. Thank you all for taking the time to respond. 75% success against a garden-variety monster, under adverse conditions, seems pretty reasonable to me. If you want to have a particularly alert guard, you can give it proficiency, or even expertise, in perception. You are not wrong, but this is not in line with your original proposal. You said that high-level rogues should have the chance to sneak when no one else could. I agree with that idea, but that is not what this is. This is a high-level rogue having a chance to be detected when anyone else would be detected as a matter of course. To actually get to the point where such a rogue feels challenged, the monster would require a truly ridiculous bonus to their roll, well in excess of +10. Seems you have a good handle on it and don't need my advice. Enjoy it! I hope I didn't shut you down, Ovinomancer; I have a tendency to speak in absolutes that is easily interpreted as a lack of interest in discussion. I'm not ...

Tuesday, 9th July, 2019

  • 10:21 PM - Fenris-77 quoted iserith in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    No insult is intended. Certain of your specific objections seem rooted in issues of spotlight management and other issues that are not the fault of the game. I make no judgment as to what you should or shouldn't do in your own game, only that some of your objections are easily solved without modifying the rules.Ok, cool. Lets call it some but not all of my problems then. That leaves us broadly on the same page and no one is upset. I can live with that.:cool:
  • 07:46 PM - 77IM quoted iserith in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    House rules are fine, but the issue in this situation for me is that the players always determine how their characters think and what they do and say. That means there is never uncertainty as to the outcome of the NPC's attempt to persuade and thus no ability check. What if there IS uncertainty, on the part of the player, as to what their character thinks and does and says? In that situation, shouldn't the DM call for an ability check of some sort? It might be analogous to knowledge checks: "I try to recall the lore about grungs..." = roll Intelligence (History or Nature) against a static DC "I struggle with whether or not to take the grung's offer..." = roll Wisdom (Insight) against the grung's Charisma check This is certainly how I run NPCs when I DM. If I'm certain what the NPC is going to do, then the PCs can't make a Charisma check to determine the outcome (this is how I interpret "Charisma is not mind control"). It's only when I'm uncertain what this particular NPC is going ...
  • 03:39 PM - Fenris-77 quoted iserith in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    I think they're okay for D&D standards. But almost nobody uses them in my experience because I don't think many DMs actually read the DMG.No, no they don't.:p The problem is that 'ok for D&D standards' is still pretty abysmal generally. What we have is a group of unevenly turn out ideas that are kinda sorta loosely connected because they are about the same thing (social interaction). What we don't have is any kind of actual system with rules that are designed to work together, and that's what I'd like, so I'm going to bang it out myself. I don't think there's any reason that D&D can't have a useful and serviceable system for social interaction either - just saying "the game isn't designed for it" is lazy thinking IMO (replying to someone else upstream). The basic tools are there for sure, and the rules in the DMG are where I'm starting too - there are some good ideas there buried under the dreck. The rogue isn't being skipped and it isn't really planned though - at least no more than combat ...
  • 05:30 AM - Fenris-77 quoted iserith in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    "Party balance" in what sense? Why is it bad that this character can do a thing well and others can't? Wouldn't it be the case that this expert won't be able to do other things as well in this or the other two pillars? Also, how is "deception in the hands of a creative player" troublesome? Setting aside that the DM decides whether there is a roll or not in the first place, what's the actual trouble here? That the NPCs get messed with? Because, if so, that's kind of what the characters do, right?Your missing my particular context. In an intrigue campaign, you're putting additional emphasis on skills, and you are going to tend to have parties with more homogeneous skills sets as a whole (deception, investigation, stealth etc). That one character isn't niche anymore, and his massive skill check takes away any real interest other party members are going to have in using that skill. It also makes it difficult to build narrative tension by providing appropriate challenges. Example one: Lets say t...
  • 05:00 AM - Fenris-77 quoted iserith in post A Reliable Talent for Expert Stealth
    Why do you think that is a problem?Because you can't challenge the party, only that particular character? The whole 3rd pillar is bare enough of nuance that this is, or often can be, a pretty significant barrier to party balance. Deception in the hands of a creative player can be especially troublesome when the mod is high enough.
  • 04:44 AM - Fenris-77 quoted iserith in post Expertise is RUINING THE GAME!
    Out of curiosity, if you have a problem with expertise, do you also play the game such that players ask to make or declare they are making ability checks?As opposed to the GM telling them what ability to roll? On a separate note, I have decided to dub problems of this nature, ones where there is significant difficulty aligning massively differential stats within a party, the Glitterboy Conundrum. Trademarked.

Monday, 8th July, 2019

  • 03:23 PM - nobody69.420 quoted iserith in post Player's Attention
    First, ask for them to pay attention, then ask them what about the game isn't holding their attention. From your own observation, what parts of the game are they tuning out on? What can you do to minimize those parts of the game or make them more interesting? Thanks!

Thursday, 4th July, 2019

  • 04:30 PM - Garthanos quoted iserith in post No Magic Shops!
    I'm playing it as written, thank-you-very-much: DMG, page 136: "In your campaign, magic items might be prevalent enough that adventurers can buy and sell them. Magic items might be for sale in bazaars or auction houses in fantastical locations, such as... the planar metropolis of Sigil." Think you are right and so are DMs in earlier editions who didnt have magic item shops... though the game did give those dms more tools and guidelines for it if you wanted it.

Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019

  • 06:19 PM - Uller quoted iserith in post Camping outside the BBEG's door: yea or nay?
    ...then said DM isn't also putting them into situations where they have no chance of success. In such games, the players choose to get themselves into those situations given an informed choice and typically have many ways of dealing with it rather than head on. ... Right...but from the player POV there is also a bit of a social contract that they will follow the adventure presented by the DM rather than go down rabbit holes. So miscommunications can happen. As DM I think I am presenting a few different choices, one of which is obvious folly while the players end up focusing on on the obvious and not the folly because they are thinking the other side of that contract is the DM won't present challenges that are too hard. the I try to use a rule of three for this situation. I'm running Forge of Fury right now (SPOILERS!!!). My players typically use stealth and subterfuge rather than brute force. But for some reason they chose brute force on their approach to this one... The road...
  • 06:03 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted iserith in post Camping outside the BBEG's door: yea or nay?
    I think what gets left off in the last few assertions that are floating about is that, in a game where the DM isn't concerned with any particular conclusion so long as it's fun, exciting, and memorable (even if it's bad for the characters), then said DM isn't also putting them into situations where they have no chance of success. In such games, the players choose to get themselves into those situations given an informed choice and typically have many ways of dealing with it rather than head on. In such a game, the DM telegraphs the level of the threat and leaves it up to the players to engage or not and how. So it's not really a binary as it is often presented. They have a choice, they can confront the villain or the world ends. They have been putting it off, trying to become more powerful, gather allies and weapons, but in the end they can confront evil head on or they can die. Or both.
  • 05:50 PM - DMMike quoted iserith in post Camping outside the BBEG's door: yea or nay?
    Comic for illustrative purposes. +1 for Gauntlet reference. I think what gets left off in the last few assertions that are floating about is that, in a game where the DM isn't concerned with any particular conclusion so long as it's fun, exciting, and memorable (even if it's bad for the characters), then said DM isn't also putting them into situations where they have no chance of success. In such games, the players choose to get themselves into those situations given an informed choice and typically have many ways of dealing with it rather than head on. In such a game, the DM telegraphs the level of the threat and leaves it up to the players to engage or not and how. So it's not really a binary as it is often presented. And thank you. There may be "no chance of success," but that doesn't mean that there's also no chance of having fun, and it doesn't mean there are no options. But then, there's always that group of players that just ignores all of the GM's clues about how bad the decision ...
  • 01:10 AM - Blue quoted iserith in post How Would You Build And Play A Necromancer
    How much are your minions going to bog down the game? Absolutely with iserith on this one. Get buy-in from your whole table, describing it in the worst possible way so you don't minimize the impact. If they *are* good with it, one bit of advice someone else had for summons that I loved was to put them on cards and let the other players in your party run them if they would like. So they have things to do and not as long between getting to roll dice, even if it's for a minion of yours.

Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019

  • 04:50 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted iserith in post Camping outside the BBEG's door: yea or nay?
    Make clear the risks and trade-offs inherent in the challenge, then let the players make their own decisions. Err on the side of giving "too much" information rather than too little. Use whatever contrivances you can think of to impart that info in a way that makes sense in context. Perhaps a grizzled veteran adventurer faced such a challenge before and made the mistake of doing battle with the villain while spent - the resulting battle cost him his legs and what could have been a lucrative career in adventuring. Or whatever. What it sounds like to me is that they have to plan on conserving resources, which is not an unreasonable proposition in my view considering the game has at least some focus on resource management. Now you just have to remind them of this so that they're not operating under a different assumption. What follows will thus be fair, even if they fail. My players are experienced enough to understand the risks. The difficulty is in coming up with a choice other than "let your...
  • 03:15 AM - Dausuul quoted iserith in post How Would You Build And Play A Necromancer
    I think the biggest concern above all is: How much are your minions going to bog down the game? Yeah, that is certainly something to be aware of. In my case I'm not too worried, because I DM on the regular and I'm used to managing large groups of monsters efficiently. And since I can only give one order per round, which all of the minions then follow, and the minions in question have Int 3, there's no question of putting together elaborate strategies where this zombie goes here and then that zombie makes a shove attack and then that zombie tries a squeeze play. It's more "Each of you attack the nearest monster" and then a bunch of attack rolls. With average damage, it shouldn't take any longer than some of my fellow players spend planning their turns. I do need to spend some time crunching the numbers on grapples and shoves, though, since opposed rolls will slow things to a crawl. I plan to work out a table or something so it's possible to execute a grapple/shove with just one die roll, with...


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