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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Today, 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 | 396 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Today, 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 | 164 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Today, 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 | 1795 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 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 | 1795 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Today, 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 | 396 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Today, 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 | 2401 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Today, 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 | 1795 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    31 replies | 592 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Today, 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 | 765 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Today, 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.
    33 replies | 1074 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:30 PM
    Getting 6 identical clones in Paranoia.
    33 replies | 1074 view(s)
    3 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 606 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    33 replies | 1074 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 167 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 1795 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 765 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 1795 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:00 PM
    . . . Okay, I'll ask: How does the Linguistics skill work in Pathfinder?
    146 replies | 5231 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 448 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 448 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 606 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 5231 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 2635 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 448 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 2401 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 | 448 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 | 1795 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 | 448 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 | 2401 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 | 2401 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 | 2401 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 | 2401 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 | 712 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 | 2401 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 | 2401 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 | 2401 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 | 712 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 | 5231 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 | 2401 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 | 2401 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 | 2401 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 | 2401 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 | 3370 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 | 5231 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 | 3370 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 | 5231 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.
    20 replies | 1015 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 | 2197 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 | 3370 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 | 5231 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 | 5231 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 | 3128 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 | 765 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 | 765 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 | 867 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 | 12297 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 | 2030 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 | 12297 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 | 2030 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 | 12297 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 | 2030 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 | 12297 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 | 2030 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 | 12297 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 | 2030 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 | 12297 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 | 12297 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 | 1469 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 | 12297 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 | 2030 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 | 2030 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 | 12297 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 | 12297 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 | 2030 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 | 2030 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 | 2030 view(s)
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  • 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 | 12297 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 | 12297 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 | 12297 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 | 921 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 | 2030 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 | 921 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 | 2866 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 | 9837 view(s)
    0 XP
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Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 01:57 AM - Hussar mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...ate - then it makes perfect sense to discard that structure. Sounds like 4e to me. And that’s not a bad thing. I still think 4e is the best-designed edition of D&D, from a mechanical standpoint. Yeah, I can see that. 4e borrows heavily from more ... ummm... hippy dippy, pass the story stick style gaming that I really enjoy. :D So, yes, I approach most RPG's the same way. Handing over more and more load onto the players is something that I strongly approve of. Certainly not to everyone's tastes though. As far as what 5e would have looked like had it been written for experienced gamers, I would think it would be a lot closer to 4e, to be honest. Where you don't need to spell out all the hand holding that 5e does with "DM Empowerment" stuff. Experienced gamers, especially ones who have drifted away from D&D and tried other games, generally don't seem to have the issues that gamers who strongly seem to focus on D&D as their game of choice and see the rules, as you do iserith, as promoting a specific way of playing, rather than simply an a la carte selection of options to pick and choose from and then kit bash from other systems to create a game that is idiosyncratic to that specific table. The funniest thing about 5e is how similar people's play styles actually have become. Rather than the completely different experiences that people had with earlier editions, the notion of shared experience really has come to the forefront. Heck, the whole Streaming Play stuff is all about that shared experience. You wouldn't get thousands of people watching someone's live play game if that table's play style was too idiosyncratic to that table. There needs to be this shared approach for this to be popular. OTOH, I've never seen RPG books as a "How to Play" guide. I see them as a collection of ideas that I'm then going to pick and choose from to create a game for my table. Sometimes that game will be very, very close to what's in the books, and sometimes it'll...

Wednesday, 24th April, 2019

  • 10:33 PM - Hussar mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Sorry iserith - I'm only sporadically checking the thread and generally only to pick up the last couple of pages, I think I missed your questions. Since at least one poster in this thread has me on ignore, links don't work. If you have questions specifically for me, you'll need to repost them, not link to them. But, as far as your last post goes, seems about right. It works for you and it certainly is what the rules suggest, so, yeah, go for it. For me, it's needlessly clunky. Why go through so many steps to get to the same point. In your method, you need at least three steps to get to a resolution: Step 1 Player states a goal - I want to break down the door. Step 2 Player states a method - with a crowbar. (note, steps 1 and 2 can be combined) Step 3 DM calls for a check - Ok, give me an Athletics check with advantage. Step 4 Player makes check. That's at least 3 steps since steps one and two can be combined. In my way, it's a single step: Step 1 Play...

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 06:17 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    @Charlaquin and @iserith raise an excellent point, which maybe will clear up some of the confusion. Players do, after all, often say a lot more than, "I attack." They describe where they move. They say which target they are going to attack. They use bonus actions. They invoke special abilities. The expend resources. Notice this is not just the "narration" you keep invoking. It's not that they wrap colorful adverbs around the actions. They are describing specific things they are doing to achieve their goal. And those decisions have mechanical impact. The other two pillars have far, far fewer mechanics designed to support them, so to make those pillars as rich you need to give the players some leeway to be creative. As I suggested above, maybe they go fetch a ladder, or stack up some crates, to climb a wall. I'm glad the game doesn't have specific class mechanics for activities like these; I'd rather leave it to improvisation and DM judgment. But that doesn't mean there shouldn't be mechanical eff...

Friday, 19th April, 2019

  • 06:05 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Ya know. A DM who posts stuff about D&D on the internet, and people actually read/listen to. Oh! Like Bawylie and iserith? (On a totally unrelated note: Bawylie...check your messages.)
  • 03:20 AM - Hussar mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    In case folks here think that I'm being unfair to iserith, I'd point out that in a handful of posts in the last two pages, he has pointed to the rule books no less than SIX times: I don't see anything in the game that suggests the DM should "enforce players actually playing the characters they made." Yes, that's what I saw a lot of people doing in D&D 3.Xe and D&D 4e, particularly the latter. Mechanics first, fiction second. As an aside, with regard to attack rolls, the DMG has this to say: "Call for an attack roll when a character ties to hit a creature or an object with an attack, especially when the attack could be foiled by the target's armor or shield or by another object providing cover." I don't see any reason, given a reading of the rules for D&D 5e, that anyone should assume there's going to be a roll in all situations. We have to examine the fiction first. It's none of the DM's concern in my view and, so far as I can tell, nothing that is supported by the rules of the game. The PHB suggests that a player...
  • 12:49 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    First off, I think not knowing the PCs’ stats is an Iserith thing, not a “middle path” thing. I personally do like to know what all the PCs stats are, cause I find it helps me build challenges appropriate to the party. That said, I do think you’re right on the money in terms of this being the core of our disagreement. I’ve seen it referred to as “challenge the character, not the player” to put a spin on it that favors your style, I’ve described it as placing success and failure on the player’s decisions over random chance, which I think casts my style in a more positive light. But at the end of the day, this is what it’s about, one way or another. Personally, I HATE when the result of the die roll determines what the character does or says. It’s MY character, I should be the one to decide what they do or say, not the dice. If at any point the result of the roll overrides my agency as a player, the dice are overstepping their role, in my opinion. Now, I’m well aware that others feel differently, and that’s fine. Some people find, the idea that t...
  • 12:03 AM - Hussar mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I would not. I don't have the foggiest idea what the PCs' stats are for one, and no matter how charismatic or well-spoken the player is, everything I'm judging still boils down to a goal and approach. The dump stat will come into play if and when the die is cast and, given how swingy a d20 is, it probably doesn't matter all that much unless the DC is particularly high. Out of this entire thread, I think this, right here, this specific approach, which isn't uncommon at all, is probably the biggest impediment to understanding, iserith's and company's style of play. To me, and, again, I'm not criticizing here, despite prior, ahem, perhaps less that tactful responses, to me, this illustrates why some of us really don't "get" iserith's approach. To me (I'm repeating myself deliberately so as to at least try to show that I'm only speaking for myself and not making any broader statement other than my own personal preferences), the notion that the DM doesn't "have the foggiest idea what the PC's stats are" is not something I would ever do. One of the few things I actually do try to enforce during the game is that you will play the character you brought to the table. No amount of talking will change that. So, no, you don't get to make with the talky bits and avoid a check. You will almost always make a check, because making the check is how I enforce players actually playing the characters that they made. If you have no skill in persuasion and you have an 8 Cha, you don't actually say whatever it is you, the pla...

Thursday, 18th April, 2019

  • 10:18 PM - Mort mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    What more could you want? Why would you need or want to adjudicate the two scenarios differently? You wouldn't. But the initial response by iserith made me think that he would allow the same chance of success from both characters in the social situation and that struck me as wrong. Maybe I misinterpreted.
  • 10:11 PM - Mort mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I'm not seeing the problem, here. What do you think should happen?My problem with the first part was iserith seemingly stating that the charisma of the PC wouldn't really matter (which is why I asked for clarification) The second part was me responding to the assertion that if a check was called for the roll would likely not matter that much. As to what do I think should happen? I think in a social situation, the high Cha trained character should have an easier time navigating the environment.
  • 07:01 PM - Bawylie mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Nevermind.
  • 05:20 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Yeah, I think a lot of the kvetching over the possibility of players tossing out actions and backing out repeatedly until they get a result with odds they like is overblown. It’s a “problem” that only really exists on paper, but in actual play doesn’t really come up.This. I was thinking on why I didn't see this at all (except for the occasional understanding mismatch iserith mentions) is that if we're at the point of a check, it's because the player has akready decided what they want to do. It's important to stress that the situation isn't something I've placed as a generic challenge but rather one placed because it engages the characters' interests and needs. The players should already want to have their characters act because the outcome is something that natters to them. As such, declarations are already aligned with player gials and they aren't seeking an easier way past -- they want to do this thing. Barring complete understanding mismatches, natch.

Tuesday, 16th April, 2019


Monday, 15th April, 2019

  • 06:39 AM - MNblockhead mentioned iserith in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    Didn't know about the Handbook Helper. I'll be following those. There are a number of Internet DMs who have gotten me to change my thinking and try new approaches to running games. Angry DM convinced me to get stop fiddling around with Paizo combat pads, initiative tents, etc. and go back to pen and paper. DM Scotty from DM Craft showed me how easy and satisfying gridless play could be. iserith helped me get more disciplined in my thinking about various mechanics, which has helped me run smoother games. Matt Coleville convinced me to adopt and adapt 4e skill challenges for use in my 5e games.
  • 04:13 AM - Warforged DK mentioned iserith in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    iserith and Bawylie totally opened my eyes to a better way to play D&D. DISCLAIMER: The use of the word "better" in this post is meant entirely subjectively, and is not intended as a denigration or dismissal of the views of other participants in roleplaying games. Even if they are playing the game wrong. Although I've not played with either of them, I lurked and followed their posts way back from the old WotC servers in 4e. iserith has taught me a ton about DM-ing and I've used many of his scenarios in play. I remember the post-wars of him vs SageAtopTheMountain or some pretentious name like that. Bawylie has a lot of great insight to the game towards making it more fun.

Sunday, 14th April, 2019

  • 11:00 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    Seriously though: has the Internet ever changed your mind about the way you run your game? Tell us a story. iserith and Bawylie totally opened my eyes to a better way to play D&D. DISCLAIMER: The use of the word "better" in this post is meant entirely subjectively, and is not intended as a denigration or dismissal of the views of other participants in roleplaying games. Even if they are playing the game wrong.

Saturday, 13th April, 2019

  • 09:06 AM - Hussar mentioned iserith in post Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?
    Yep, that's generally how this argument gets presented, historically speaking: "Well, any amount of describing the environment is telling the players what their characters think or believe, so..." Right on cue. There just might be a reason you keep getting the same argument over and over iserith. From lots of different people with various playstyles. Never minding things like, well, that big old poll right there that says that the overwhelming majority of people don't agree with you. Just a thought.
  • 03:59 AM - Chaosmancer mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Say, Pot, have you met my friend, Kettle? Yeah, I guess I come across a little hostile towards the idea of trying to enforce speech patterns (and that came out hostile too), but I've mostly been defending myself for the past week, so I'm going to be a tiny bit bristly. I think you two would get along, you have so much in common. Also, tone is hard in these sort of discussions. A sarcastic "Yes, you are right my confusion comes from you saying I'm not declaring actions when I am declaring actions" might not come across fully. Then again, I'd like to point something out. I'm not quoting the rulebook at people. Which is what I was objecting too. See, iserith has been quoting the same passage of the book for this entire thread. Saying the exact same thing, over and over and over. If you want to compare my typed out answers to that, well, I can't stop you. However, the comparison between my debate and a repeated "read the rules on page 15 of the Player's Handbook" is stretching it in my opinion. I don’t demand that players never say they roll Perception or chastise them for doing so. I ask that they tell me what they want to accomplish and how their character goes about it. They can be as specific and detailed as they like, or as simple and general as they like, so long as they provide me with the two things I need to adequately adjudicate their action without making assumptions or dictating what their character does - namely, a goal and an approach. Saying “I roll Perception” doesn’t provide me with that. Maybe it is enough for you to be comfortable adjudicating an action. Bully for you. A goal and an approach. "I want to ro...

Friday, 12th April, 2019

  • 06:30 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?
    ...es, the DM is trampling on my character.... ...and somehow I thought that was also coming from D1Tremere. So I've made a couple of references to D1Trememe mitigating his early statements, but that was you. :-/ Sorry...I've made a muddle of it. Ok, now that's just being petty. The obvious implication here is that the NPC is, in fact, attempting to deceive. Cheese weaseling, "his true intention is to mislead you" is, again the same meaning as "you think he's lying". Yeah, bowing out again. This sort of pedantic babble is just too frustrating and the cherry blossoms are out. Yeah, ok, guilty. That was a glib response. My real response is: yes, your'e right, there's no way to use Insight as a lie detector without telling the player, in some form, what their character thinks. And that's a major reason why Insight shouldn't be used as a lie detector. I'd much rather have hints and clues be revealed, and let the player decide what the character thinks. Or reveal (as per @iserith) bonds, flaws, etc...and again let the player decide what the character thinks.

Wednesday, 10th April, 2019

  • 08:34 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?
    I agree with you, that was a great example - made even greater by its use notes. An alternative approach would be: "Hey, it doesn't seem like any character choices mattered here, and that you were determined they would arrive at this one (and only one) solution. Is that the case or is there more you didn't tell us? What would you have done if they just didn't get it?" That would have been an example of what I meant by "those genuinely interested in discussing this approach." (And, by the way, I'm still just the disciple. @Bawylie and @iserith are the masters.) Your assumption that you knew the answers to those questions, plus your sarcasm/snark, sorta makes me wish you'd put me back on ignore.
  • 05:29 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Who says it "completely hinges on ignorance"? I know the only way to truly kill a Flame skull is to sprinkle the remains with holy water. No matter what character I make, this is a thing I know. Maybe they wanted this to be a cool moment for the cleric, to have them act as the holy person of the group. But my Barbarian from the Gladiator pits knew the answer before any even thought to ask the question. I will also guarantee that across about 20 different players I am aware of, I can only think of two besides myself who might know that. And that is because both of them have also been DMs for years. I have enough advantages as a player, why shouldn't I try and limit myself in terms of knowledge, by asking the DM if they are okay with me knowing certain facts? Why does this seem to flabbergast people so much? I'm totally with @iserith on this one: if you (and the rest of your table) think this kind of thing is important, then why the $#%& do you use pre-existing monsters like Flame Skulls, putting players into the position of having to pretend to be ignorant? Why not just create your own? Or at least tweak the official monsters to have new/different secrets?


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Sunday, 26th May, 2019

  • 03:36 PM - Remathilis quoted iserith in post Pre-Campaign Handouts
    My assumption is that players will never read anything I prepare for them in this regard. (I know I won't read it, so I do not expect that of others.) That's been my experience as well. They will never read it. If they do read it, they will never remember or reference it, and 90% of the time, it gets tossed into a folder or the back is used to track HP and treasure on. Part of the reason I have abandoned homebrew worlds was watching hours of work go into documents for players who just wanted to adventure and didn't give two craps if it was on Faerun, Ebberon, or my homebrew setting.

Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

  • 08:53 PM - 77IM quoted iserith in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    Man, I don't know if I'd want to live in a world where as DM I'm not encouraging stupid actions. LOL, I don't want to discourage stupid actions, either. ;) So much of the advice on this thread sounds really punitive to me. "Deny them XP! Give them a bad reputation! Let them know they've screwed up the adventure and now the town will be destroyed! Nyaaaah!" This is boring to me. I seek a world in which every player decision, smart or stupid, leads to ever more interesting decisions...
  • 06:39 PM - Elon Tusk quoted iserith in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    Is hurting enemies and destroying traps in a house by setting it on fire from the outside so different than disarming traps and killing monsters that are restrained by Hold Monster? It's a different method. It could harm innocents inside or destroy items or clues, but using a fireball in combat often has collateral damage. Is burning a house different than shooting a fireball into a cave? If creatures inside the house aren't killed, they will likely take damage. They might even flee the house to keep from taking more damage in which case the PCs could have readied action to attack them. Burning down a house is not the usual method of tackling the problem; I'm not sure how you could say its not more inventive than the normal way of going room by room and fighting what's there. I don't see how a sandbox campaign would automatically consider burning down a house a failure. The thing with burning down the house is that as with any particular course of action the players consider, they ar...
  • 03:08 PM - Yaarel quoted iserith in post Incorporeal Movement
    That is my reading, though I would say a sword is also an object. I think the main thing here is that incorporeal movement is just that - movement. Push a sword through this creature and it will take damage. If it instead moves through the sword, it takes no damage unless it ends its turn on the sword. That too is a confusing part, because the ghost is only ‘resistant’ to weapon attacks. So it is semi-solid so that a sword *can* damage it.
  • 02:51 PM - Yaarel quoted iserith in post Incorporeal Movement
    "For the purposes of these rules, an object is a discrete, inanimate item like a window, door, sword, book, table, chair, or stone, not a building or vehicle that is composed of many other objects." (DMG, pg. 246) Walls are also considered objects. They are mentioned in this section as well. Yeah, the example mentions a sword hitting a ‘wall’. I assume the wall is the object, not the sword. But where it says ‘not a building’, can easily seem to mean a wall is not an object. Later, a castle wall is called a ‘big object’. It seems the ‘building’ is an exception because it is actually an assemblage of separate objects. Thus each individual object needs to be considered. Such as the hit points of a glass window, versus the hit points of a thick stone wall.

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 06:36 PM - Chaosmancer quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    It's frankly hard to say what's at the core of this discussion anymore. What I do know is that if you want to call "thinking" an action, then because of the rule that players determine what the characters think, then there can be no ability check here since there is no uncertainty as to the outcome. The character thinks what the player says he or she thinks. *sigh* You know, I know why we keep going in this circle. Because you could care less about players using out-of-character knowledge, seemingly in any form. But this is also why a lot of people see Intelligence as a dump stat, because two of the biggest uses for Intelligence are Investigation and knowledge checks. Oh sorry, Intelligence checks using proficiency with the intent to recall lore. But, if players get to determine that they already know the lore, then there is no need for those checks. If they just tell you they know something, then that is what they know. The only check upon that is that they might be wrong out of the...
  • 07:31 AM - Charlaquin quoted iserith in post Brainstorming TotM
    I prefer maps and tokens and use Roll20 even for in-person games. But one thing I learned about TotM is that the standard play loop is even more important and the DM is well-served by internalizing that process and using it. The standard play loop is (1) The DM describes the environment, (2) The players describe what they want to do, and (3) The DM narrates the results of the adventurers's actions. The key thing here (and this applies to any game, not just TotM) is that this is a loop, meaning that after you've narrated the result of someone's action and their turn is over, start back at (1) The DM describes the environment. Many DMs just go "Okay, John, you're up next..." skipping over (1) and going straight to (2). By doing so, this opens up the floor to questions about who is standing where and what the current PC is in the position to do. A side conversation ensues between the DM and player that interrupts the flow of the game while everyone gets back on the same page. With a map and tok...
  • 02:07 AM - Saeviomagy quoted iserith in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    This is supported by the "Degrees of Failure" rules in the DMG, page 242. What is old is new again! Right... and in this case, our max-level, max-strength, trained in climbing figher (edit - argh, barbarian succeeds automatically!) can feel confident that he can attempt a moderate climb and not risk death! Effectively reducing DCs by 5 feels better than where DCs are currently, because it brings results into the 'cannot possibly fail' region more often, but it's still an across the board change that requires the DM to do a lot more than is written into typical skill checks, and will still often be invisible.
  • 01:09 AM - Chaosmancer quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    How the character thinks is in the control of the player, not the DM. As a result, there is no uncertainty - the character thinks whatever the player says he or she thinks. That debate seems to be the core of this, no? So, since you know my position is not the same as yours and you asked "why is there a check" did you not expect that this would be how things would go? You wanted to know which action caused the check, "thinking" was the action. No doubt. Slow Clap, great sarcasm. But yeah, this stipulation causes more complications as we discussed in the last thread. As you know. And again, you knew my opinion, so what did you expect me to say here. The players in the example did not attempt to recall lore. One said he or she wanted to go buy some scrolls. The other said, only after the incredulous DM raised an eyebrow or the like, that he or she suggested a reason for the aforementioned task to the other character. No attempt to recall lore here. If there was, I mig...

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 05:10 PM - CleverNickName quoted iserith in post Long Rests in Dangerous Places -- What if NOPE?
    If you "can't camp" in the dangerous forest, where you imagine "a safe place to camp" would be?Sorry, I missed this question yesterday. To answer your question, I dunno man, I'm just trying to work my brain muscles here. Maybe there's a defensible cave or a well-defended camp of friendly elves nearby that is relatively safe. Maybe the druid or wizard could use an Arcana check to find a nearby nexus of leylines where Tiny Hut coud be cast. Maybe the ranger could find a safe location with a high enough Survival check. Or maybe there's nothing that can be done: you need to get home before dark no matter what. Honestly it sounds like you just want more exploration challenges in your D&D experience which is perfectly doable without messing with long rests. The resting issue is resolved with time pressure. For exploration which usually includes logistics, there just has to be meaningful travel pace (tying into time pressures), Activities While Traveling with useful trade-offs between tho...
  • 01:01 AM - CleverNickName quoted iserith in post Long Rests in Dangerous Places -- What if NOPE?
    Honestly it sounds like you just want more exploration challenges in your D&D experience which is perfectly doable without messing with long rests. The resting issue is resolved with time pressure. For exploration which usually includes logistics, there just has to be meaningful travel pace (tying into time pressures), Activities While Traveling with useful trade-offs between those activities, ration tracking, weather, and random encounters. I would also suggest the variant encumbrance rules which will increase the incentive for pack animals and hirelings.I don't really want to mess with long rests either. It's just a thought exercise, trying to look at this new staple of D&D from a new angle. I'm not writing house-rules or anything. I suddenly noticed how dependent my group has become upon them, and wanted to step back and look at them.
  • 12:44 AM - CleverNickName quoted iserith in post Long Rests in Dangerous Places -- What if NOPE?
    Did the DM telegraph to the players that there were rival adventuring groups in the area? That is also a good time pressure. I bet it was more the gotcha that made the players salty.Could be; he told us there would be consequences but we just assumed it meant more, bigger monsters. It had never occurred to us that we could fail a mission without ever rolling initiative.
  • 12:16 AM - Satyrn quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    No reason you can imagine, anyway. As established upthread, particular knowledge about earth elementals is not required to buy scrolls of thunderwave. The barbarian might just like the sound it makes, as it reminds him or her of stormy nights on the steppe, safe under the protection of a yurt, drinking fermented aurochs milk with Frances who later became a town guard. One day, in the somewhat-distant future (or maybe tomorrow if the opportunity arises) I am gonna reply to some post of yours with a joke that references Frances the town guard. Perhaps the joke will be about how Frances the town guard considers himself such an experienced guard he decides he need not bother reading the newest edition of the legal code, and goes about happily enforcing outdated laws
  • 12:15 AM - CleverNickName quoted iserith in post Long Rests in Dangerous Places -- What if NOPE?
    The Five Minute Workday can be corrected with time pressure in the form of quest timers and/or wandering monsters. On occasion, players have used Stealth skill checks to hide while resting or sleeping, such as covered in soil, camouflage, or so on. Depending on circumstance, it has worked.I'm not saying that long rests are a bad thing, or that taking them too often is something that needs to be corrected (personally I think they are, but that's a topic for a different thread.) I'm curious about how the game would change for your table if Long Rests in dangerous areas just wasn't possible for any reason like in an old-school CRPG. It's not about outsmarting or evading the Grue; I'm asking everyone to imagine that the Grue will always eat you no matter what you do, even if you're in a Tiny Hut. What then? For me, it's hard to see a downside. Resource management would be a huge problem for my group, since we have become accustomed to the Five-Minute Workday. Most of our gold would get s...

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 11:39 PM - Toledo quoted iserith in post Long Rests in Dangerous Places -- What if NOPE?
    The Five Minute Workday can be corrected with time pressure in the form of quest timers and/or wandering monsters. Heck, in my group, we normally get a wandering monster check (from a D4 to a D10 check) any time we stop to do a 10-minute ritual spell. Sucks for us - over half of our encounters are normally random encounter monsters. Also, in one campaign, we get a level of exhaustion if we sleep in medium-heavy armor; therefore we have to take off armor to sleep. Nothing better than being a fighter with AC 11 or 12 and expected to hold the center of the line. I've had more encounters where I've almost died coming out of a slumber to fight than staged encounters. IF I can find a master armorer, there is a rumor we (I) could get fitted plate armor which means you can sleep in it and the wearing encumbrance weight would be reduced in half. Honestly that would be better for my character than +2 plate. Sigh....
  • 06:31 PM - Celebrim quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    How the character thinks is in the control of the player, not the DM. As a result, there is no uncertainty - the character thinks whatever the player says he or she thinks. You'd think that would be easy to explain and without controversy. There's just nothing in the rules to support [mental checks to be allowed to perform some action]. It's an approach that appears to be derived from other games and a particular gamer culture. It's a bizarre form of 'mother may I'. I don't doubt you are right that it's not unusual, but it can't be logically supported IMO by any tortured path. There are plenty of GMs and even some players that seem frustrated by and even offended by the undeniable fact that the player's mind extends into the game universe and interacts with it. GMs and players with an aesthetic of simulation feel this somehow invalidates the game in some fashion. The player is supposed to be pretending that he's whatever character he created, and if the player brings any o...

Saturday, 18th May, 2019

  • 05:47 PM - Chaosmancer quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Yes, if the player declares an action that has an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure. In this example, including what you added, we have two action declarations: (1) The barbarian wants to go to Ye Ole Magick Shoppe to buy some thunderwave scrolls for the wizard and (2) The wizard's player wants to retroactively give the barbarian a reason to take the aforementioned action to satisfy what appears to be an incredulous DM's questions about the validity of the action declaration. So what is the Arcana check for? What uncertain outcome does it resolve? What is the meaningful consequence for failure? Or, if you decide you don't like that rule, what actually happens if the wizard's player botches the Arcana check? Does the wizard not have the knowledge to retroactively give the barbarian a reason to buy the scrolls? If so, does that mean the barbarian's action declaration is made invalid and he or she can't take that action at all? Okay, let us take this a bit at a tim...

Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 02:32 AM - Chaosmancer quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    What is the Arcana check for? I don't see an action declaration from the wizard in your breakdown. I'll assume that was a serious question. For seeing if the wizard's character does actually know that knowledge. Arcana is the skill linked with knowledge about elementals and their strengths and weaknesses after all. And as a DM, I can call for checks, correct? That's not the DM's problem. It's up to the players to play their characters effectively. I'm not saying it is a problem, but you keep using it as a defense. Everything is fine, because the smart play is to verify. But, just because it is smart does not mean that is what the player will do. And you know what is a DM problem? The players not having fun. Which is something which I could see happening in extreme cases of this whole discussion. My players do because they have an incentive to. As an example from my current Eberron campaign, the players found a chamber in the dungeon containing crates covered in brown ...

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

  • 04:48 PM - lowkey13 quoted iserith in post On Presentation, Performance, and Style- Players and DMs
    Paladins. Lots and lots of paladins. Preferably gnomes dual-wielding rapiers. If the game ever drags, all I have to do is "could I have more gnomes? More paladins?" The answer of course is always YES! (•_•) ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) YEAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I have a penchant for silly names in my games, both as a player and DM, because I find them funny and, because others find them funny, they are more memorable. Presenting NPC names this way is good for retention. I struggle to remember NPCs with the usual fantasy RPG names, but you don't forget even minor NPCs like the Marguul bugbear gladiator, Dikpik the Unsolicited, who showed up without notice to harass the PCs or one of the players remarking "You're smaller than I expected." I .... hmmm..... you know, I have to admit, I didn't expect you would be a fan of the punny names. Then again, the pun is the highest form of humor. I learned that in 6th grade. Or from a Cheech and Chong movie. But I rep...
  • 03:34 PM - Hriston quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I can't really speak for the social contracts at anyone's table but my own. From the perspective of the rules though, that expectation does not hold up well in my view since the outcome of all action declarations are decided by the DM who is empowered to use the rules to inform his or her decision but is never beholden to them. (This necessarily includes something as simple as taking rope out of a backpack, even if this is probably too granular for most groups in a practical sense. It is an action declaration after all.) Because of this, as a player, I have absolutely zero expectation that the things on my sheet will matter in all situations, though if the DM is consistent in his or her application of the rules and the internal logic of his or her setting, I can probably reliably predict that it will or will not matter. Sometimes I will be wrong though. If the DM is not consistent, then all bets are off. This argues for consistency in the DM's approach, whatever it may be, more than anythin...


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