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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:52 PM
    Record resource usage on a sheet of paper. Request that sheet be handed to you at the end of the session. Problem solved. I mean, your players should be recording resource usage as they go anyway. It's not like you're asking them to do anything special.
    42 replies | 960 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:46 PM
    For reactions it has both Protection fighting style, and Cutting words. On its turn it can: 1) Heal people or grant them temp HP (rally maneuver, spells, turn the tide) 2) Give them free attacks (Commanders strike), 3) Move them into position (maneuvering strike). 4) Give them advantage on attacks (Distracting strike) 5) Buff allies (Bardic inspiration, Bless, Heroism, Aid)
    21 replies | 337 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:04 PM
    I've run AD&D, BECMI and Pathfinder modules in 5E with minimal prep-work. Examples include Pazios Crown of the Kobold king, the entire Age of Worms adventure path, AD&D's Lost Island of Castanamir and more. Literally; a half experienced DM can run them on the fly no-worries at all. Monsters are a 1 for 1 swap most times, ditto with NPCs. DCs are made up on the fly (10 for easy, 15 for...
    10 replies | 325 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:18 PM
    For a Warlord: Battlemaster 3/ Crown Paladin 6/ Lore Bard 5 Other levels to suit. Feats: Inspiring Leader. Expertise: Persuasion, History Skills: Lots Ability Scores: Strength and Charisma
    21 replies | 337 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:04 PM
    Cavaliers can Mark each opponent they attack from 3rd level onwards. Each marked creature gets disadvantage to attack anyone other than you, and if they deal damage to anyone other than you, you get a free attack against them (bonus action, bonus to damage, with advantage) on your next turn. Add on Sentinel for even more fun. They also then provoke an AoO from you if they attack someone...
    21 replies | 337 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:19 PM
    Solamnic Knight should be a Paladin Oath. Ditto with the Knights of Takhisis. WoTL Sturm was a Fighter who simply followed the Oath. High Sorcery Wizard should be Wizard arcane tradition.
    61 replies | 14751 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:43 PM
    I got it straight away. An en:):):):)er is when the DM throws a Balor at a party of 3rd level PCs.
    42 replies | 960 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:40 PM
    I've been intrested in a 'Porcipine' build for a while. I had a Fighter 1/ Fiend Blade Lock 7 (V-uman, HAM) who (along with a friendly Cleric with Warding Bond) with Shadows of Mail that was pretty effective. He had 20 Temp HP from AoA, and reduced damage by 3 (HAM) and then halved it (Resistance from Warding Bond). The latter meant that AoA stayed 'up' for multiple encounters, dealing...
    21 replies | 337 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:24 PM
    You cant manage that in game? Like; get them to have a separate sheet of paper. On that sheet of paper resources are tracked. It looks something like this (Lets presume something complex like an 11th level MC character with a ton of resources - a 5th level Vengeance Paladin, 3rd level Battlemaster Fighter, 3rd Level Warlock; Vuman, Lucky feat, Rod of the Pact Keeper): ...
    42 replies | 960 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:54 PM
    I'd like to see some ToB style stuff personally.
    51 replies | 881 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:52 PM
    I've been trying to whack together a build that forces enemies to attack you (Sentinel, plus 3 levels of Cavalier fighter), while also making it a bad idea to attack you (Armor of Agathys, Hellish Rebuke, Shadows of Moil). Half Elf seems to work pretty good. Blade Pact, Hexblade, Sentinel, HAM, EA + PAM. Bonus points if you have a friendly Cleric nearby to cast Warding Bond on you. AoA...
    21 replies | 337 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:29 PM
    Great, but long rest resources dont come back at the end of a session. They come back once you've completed a long rest. I know it's convenient to 'long rest at the end of a session' for many, but as long as your Players are accurately tracking resources (and you audit the suckers with a few questions at the start of the next session) it shouldnt be a problem. ...
    42 replies | 960 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:56 PM
    Vuman Cavalier Fighter . Use a halberd for reach. From 1st level you have Sentinel (AoO if your target moves away (reducing their speed to 0) or attacks someone other than you). From 3rd level you can 'mark' creatures you attack; they have disadvantage to attack anyone other than you, and if they damage anyone other than you, you get a free attack against them the following round (at...
    21 replies | 337 view(s)
    3 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:47 PM
    Based on what players of the individual editions have said about what was required to make the game like their edition, I suspect they realized soon into the process that there was little they could do to make a majority of those players happy. No matter what they put in, they'd be a dollar short. So they did what they could to put in variant rules to help bridge the gaps between the 5E they...
    51 replies | 881 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 08:55 PM
    is not =to . A creature that makes 3 attack rolls against one target might only make one mighty swing. The inverse is also true; a creature that makes a single attack roll, might be stabbing his target multiple times. Same deal how a 'hit' with an attack roll, doesnt necessarily mean you actually strike your target with your weapon. They could dodge or parry the blow at the last second...
    117 replies | 3070 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 07:55 PM
    It's only an issue if you (the DM) let it be an issue. It's no different to a hidden creature initiating combat (which triggers initiative, possibly allowing an Alert combatant to go before the surprising hidden creature.) Your 'solution' to a problem that doesnt exist unless you (the DM) want it to, is to nerf the Rogue. I swear this is anti-rogue week. Threads on arbitrarily nerfing...
    117 replies | 3070 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 05:57 PM
    iserith replied to Is This Odd?
    Sure, and that argues for page-setting when playing with new players, just as would be the case in my view for playing any game with new players. I run a fair amount of pickup games (not as much as I used to) and the first thing on my table rules is: "Before doing or saying anything, remember to consider the goals of play by asking yourself, 'Is what I'm about to do or say going to be fun for...
    34 replies | 845 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 05:41 PM
    iserith replied to Is This Odd?
    Yes, I think what is frequently forgotten in these discussions is that the players, regardless of the situation, are obligated to pursue the goals of play, that is, everyone having fun and contributing to the creation of an exciting memorable tale. It's spelled out right in the rules. Whether you know the module backwards and forwards or not, your decisions as a player still have to achieve...
    34 replies | 845 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 05:32 PM
    iserith replied to Is This Odd?
    Yes. Players frequently replay my one-shots with full knowledge of what to expect, sometimes many times over. This just isn't a problem in my experience. That said, there is no module I have ever run as-is because they are in my opinion frequently terrible. Especially the plot-based ones. My question is less about what people's particular opinions are on this (which are varied and...
    34 replies | 845 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:56 PM
    iserith replied to Is This Odd?
    I personally would not say that.
    34 replies | 845 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:39 PM
    iserith replied to Is This Odd?
    It's not clear to me where the presupposition that players shouldn't be drawing on hard-won information even comes from. It seems to me to be as old as the hills but I don't really recall any rules books saying we should be doing this. And it certainly doesn't say that in the D&D 5e books. "Metagame thinking" is solely a risk to the player in that he or she might be basing character actions on...
    34 replies | 845 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:02 PM
    So dont run the race in combat rounds.
    117 replies | 3070 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 03:29 PM
    iserith replied to Double Dash
    You have to flip this around and make the fighter the quarry for this to work most of the time. Quarry gets a chance to hide at the end of every round as long as there is something to hide behind. Rogues are typically not too shabby at hiding which means the rogue will generally get away. This has to be taken into account in my view if an argument is to be based on the DMG chase rules. (There...
    117 replies | 3070 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 02:34 PM
    You could just have the NPCs or monsters do something other than mindlessly attack the PCs until slain. Perhaps they rush the PCs, try to steal something valuable, then run away. Maybe they trail the PCs at a safe distance, not making their intent known, and then when the PCs encounter something tougher, they jump into the fight to try to take out a single PC. You could also have it be a social...
    28 replies | 628 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 02:22 PM
    iserith replied to Is This Odd?
    I don't care if someone reads the Monster Manual during play. If the difficulty of my challenge is hugely affected by players knowing something about the monsters, then I've designed a poor challenge. I don't expect veteran players to pretend like they don't know something about a monster they've been fighting for years and years. Basically the same thing in my view. If I want the difficulty of...
    34 replies | 845 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 11:56 AM
    I ran a Call of Cthulhu campaign that took place in Evan's City (Pennsylvania), made famous by Night of the Living Dead. Several locations, such as the cemetery from the movie featured prominently in the campaign. The campaign didn't revolve around zombies however, but about a cult that was messing around with some sort of Lovecraftian timemachine. But it was fun to incorporate some actual...
    15 replies | 593 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 06:49 AM
    How on earth are you doing martial arts katas learnt as a Human... as a Wolf? How is the physcial form of a Wolf, capable of doing what a Human can? How? How is a Wolf deflecting arrows, or delivering a snap kick, grappling something (other than with a bite), or even simply punching someone? Like... if Jackie Chan was somehow turned into a Wolf, how on earth is the Wolf blocking...
    18 replies | 579 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 06:35 AM
    But it's castable as a bonus action, meaning it comes with an action economy buff. It allows someone who knows the spell to cast it and immediately take the Hide action (rendering themselves largely immune to most attacks). Reduced duration drops it a level; but improved action economy and usage brings it back up a level.
    10 replies | 371 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:40 AM
    I'm not sure. I'm a 40-something, white American who has lived and worked in a number of countries, mostly India, China, and Taiwan. Violence as entertainment is not an American or European anomaly. I've yet to encounter a culture where violence was not regularly depicted in their TV shows, movies, and books. American TV, movies, and many books do pretty darn well overseas as well. ...
    57 replies | 1652 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:16 AM
    Okay, you've convinced me.
    57 replies | 1652 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:11 AM
    They can attack and then dissapear and move away. Being invisible (but not yet hidden) they're immune to AoO's and most spells and class features that require a 'target you can see' (which is most of them). When they walk off, their opponent cant make an AOO against them. Their target then gets their turn. Presumably they walk over and attack the Ranger (at disadvantage due to...
    10 replies | 371 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:01 AM
    But they're not. Rogues are more manouverable in combat. Cunning action isnt some objective measure of a creatures overall speed; it's simply a class feature that models a Rogues greater manouverability in combat situations. In a leg race a Rogue with 30' movement speed is no faster than a Fighter with a 30' movement speed. The winner of such a race would be simply determined by an...
    117 replies | 3070 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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 | 457 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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.
    10 replies | 371 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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.
    117 replies | 3070 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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...
    117 replies | 3070 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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 | 457 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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.
    87 replies | 2846 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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...
    117 replies | 3070 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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...
    57 replies | 1652 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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.
    27 replies | 959 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th July, 2019, 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.
    44 replies | 1529 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 07:30 PM
    Getting 6 identical clones in Paranoia.
    44 replies | 1529 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 | 663 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...
    44 replies | 1529 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 | 185 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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,...
    117 replies | 3070 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...
    27 replies | 959 view(s)
    3 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."
    117 replies | 3070 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?
    156 replies | 6275 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 467 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 | 467 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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 | 663 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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...
    156 replies | 6275 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 2681 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 | 467 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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?
    87 replies | 2846 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 | 467 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.
    117 replies | 3070 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 | 467 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...
    87 replies | 2846 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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...
    87 replies | 2846 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...
    87 replies | 2846 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    87 replies | 2846 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 | 760 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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....
    87 replies | 2846 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...
    87 replies | 2846 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    87 replies | 2846 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 760 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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.
    156 replies | 6275 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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'.
    87 replies | 2846 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    87 replies | 2846 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 357 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    87 replies | 2846 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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?
    87 replies | 2846 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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),...
    107 replies | 3899 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.
    156 replies | 6275 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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. ...
    107 replies | 3899 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    156 replies | 6275 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.
    29 replies | 1431 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    53 replies | 2396 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    107 replies | 3899 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...
    156 replies | 6275 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    156 replies | 6275 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 06:08 AM
    Is there anything you can do to give him temporary HP? That should work.
    168 replies | 4021 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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,...
    27 replies | 959 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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. ...
    27 replies | 959 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 | 1147 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 07:42 AM
    They pretty much explored that idea with T3D.
    36 replies | 906 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 12551 view(s)
    0 XP
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Wednesday, 12th December, 2018

  • 03:52 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    ...ie is also cast. After all, the most consequential actions, the most dramatic circumstances, all involve dice. It’s only natural to reach for the dice when something is important to us. Some games even push the drama such that EVERY action must be important and therefore necessitate dice. I agree - it’s not distrust or disrespect. It’s more like ‘ratification’ maybe. But the trap you can fall into is inadvertently substituting the ceremonial ritual for the drama it is intended to resolve. Which, IMO, is why you sometimes see play devolve into “I roll perception,” “I diplomacy the guard,” “Can I roll Arcana here?” And of course none of these things are actions that an adventurer might be carrying out - they’re game mechanics. I kind of want to try a 5E game without any dice at all. I wonder if I can keep the drama and uncertainty or if it just turns into a math problem. Yeah, fair enough. I should have added the caveat that once you understand the rationale that iserith and Ovinomancer so eloquently expressed in this thread, and you still refuse to let the players just narrate their reactions, then it's an issue of trust and respect.
  • 01:37 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    .... Maybe it'll make him change his mind, or maybe it'll provide a new avenue for discussion, or maybe it won't. If I don't ask, only the latter is sure to obtain. What he does at his table isn't going to effect you and I think this thread has done a lot to show that both sides are right,neither side 100% but enough that we can understand that yeah people are viewing things differently and that's ok. Neither side is engaging in bad or hurtful game play, it's just a difference of opinion in a rpg that aims to have much of it left up to the players and DM. Oh, goodness, someone has forgotten their on a discussion forum. Of course it won't affect my table -- or will it? Because, in that 3 year old thread that was linked a few pages ago about NPCs using skills against PCs, I was on your side of the argument. Go read it, you'll see. I made a lot of the same arguments you and Ratskinner are making (and ccs). But, starting in that thread, and in a few more where I got mad at iserith (I've accused him of trolling, too, much to my future embarrassment), I started looking at how I run games, what I was doing, and realized that a lot of my dissatisfaction was how I was running -- what luggage I was bringing with me. I've changed my style since then, sought out a few good non-D&D games to sample different concepts altogether, and fashioned a different playstyle that's much more iserith and Bawylie that my old one. So, yeah, maybe this is the start of a change and maybe it isn't, but whether or not it affects my table right now, this is still a discussion forum where we talk about pretending to be elves. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the argument that we forget that we are all on the same side. We love rpg's! There are few enough of us out there lets agree to disagree and still hold each other in a positive light. You told us what you would do, how you feel about it and why. That's cool man, I would have no issue with playing in that game. That...

Tuesday, 11th December, 2018

  • 11:20 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    Yes. In games I run just being a PC offers you no particular protection. PCs & NPCs can effect each other, NPCs can effect other NPCs, And PCs can effect other PCs. Protection from what? "Persuade" isn't an offensive spell. EDIT: As others have said earlier, @iserith's method treats all examples in the exact same way: 1) Something is described 2) Players state goals and methods (or DMs state goals and methods for NPCs) 3) If outcomes are uncertain, roll some dice So let's look at all four combinations: An NPC tries to persuade another NPC: Both are under control of the DM. If he so chooses (say, if he wants to leave the result to chance rather than insert his own bias) he can roll Persuade and use the result. A PC tries to persuade an NPC: The target is under the control of the DM. Again, if he wants to avoid relying on his own biases, he can as for a Persuade roll, and then interpret accordingly. That is, a high roll doesn't automatically mean the PC gets whatever he wants. A PC tries to persuade another PC: The target is under the control of the player. If the player thinks the outcome is uncertain he/she is free to ask for the first player to roll Persuade to get a sense of how persuasive their character was, and can use that to help in...
  • 08:38 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    To be fair, the title of the thread is “skills used by players on other players.” PvP is the main point of contention here. The reason agency is bound up in the discussion is because agency is a big part of why many DMs don’t allow PvP. Yes, I realize that. But there are factions disagreeing about two things...PvP and agency...and much of iserith's argument (which I ascribe to) has nothing to do with PvP, it only informs the way he handles PvP. The way you would handle an NPC trying to persuade a PC is exactly the way you handle a PC trying to persuade another PC: You simply ask the targeted player "What do you do?" It's perfectly consistent and 100% in line with RAW, but when some people get frustrated trying to prove otherwise they seem to fall back on, "Well, if you want to houserule away PvP that's your business." His argument has nothing to do with PvP.
  • 08:32 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    It’s about one character trying to convince or deceive another. Some DMs like to resolve that with an Insight check, some like to do it with a Persuasion or deception check, some do a contest of both... And, as I noted previously, it's further complicated because we're entangling two issues: PvP and agency. Honestly I think this whole debate would be more clear if we stuck with a scenario where an NPC was trying to persuade a PC. The most important parts of the debate would still be there, without PvP clouding the issue. Earlier somebody said something about @Blue also using house rules, and he responded that "not allowing PvP is a house rule" or something like that. But I think the person meant how he is using skills in general. (Funny how I can't remember now if I said something or it was iserith or Ovinomancer....)
  • 02:13 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    Since iserith said that he'd handle the same situation one way if the speaker was an NPC and another if the speaker is a PC, we've already proven there is uncertainty. There wouldn't need to be a check for an NPC if there wasn't.No. You're not following. iserith can determine if the situation is uncertain fir an NPC because that's in his control. He could also have determined it automatically succeeded or failed. His choice in that example was not axiomatic. If it's a PC, then the DM doesn't have that choice at all, the player does. Again, the step where confusion exists is #3. There are three choices there -- success, no roll; failure, no roll; and uncertain, roll required. You are fixating on the last and ignoring the other two. iserith could also have said no check was needed for the NPC.
  • 01:22 PM - Blue mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    In all your cases, you get to 3 and decide that the PC's declared action is uncertain. @iserith gets there and applies the rule that players get to say what they think and decides there's no uncertainty: it's whatever the players say. Iserith is 100% consistsnt in his adjudication. Since iserith said that he'd handle the same situation one way if the speaker was an NPC and another if the speaker is a PC, we've already proven there is uncertainty. There wouldn't need to be a check for an NPC if there wasn't.
  • 01:08 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    When talking about consistency in applying the rules that's for the DM, not the players. It's 100% consistent. Again, the play loop is: 1. DM describes environment. 2. Players declare PC actions 3. DM determines if actions are auto success, auto fail, or uncertain. If uncertain, call for checks. Added is the rule that players have the sole power to decide what their PCs think. In all your cases, you get to 3 and decide that the PC's declared action is uncertain. iserith gets there and applies the rule that players get to say what they think and decides there's no uncertainty: it's whatever the players say. Iserith is 100% consistsnt in his adjudication. If I had to point at the confusion, it would be that you've interalized a play concept from eariler editions that mechanics are to be preferentially used to resolve conflicts. 5e has moved away from that (though you can still do it) with how it structures play. Now there's a distinct pass to determine auto success/failure and only then go to checks. In this latter case, the guideline that players have full control over thier PC thinkings and feelings means that for questions on that front are the players' purview, not the DM's. You clearly do not have to be agree with this, but that doesn't mean it isn't well thought out or consistent.

Monday, 10th December, 2018

  • 08:57 PM - Beowülf mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    @iserith is asking a valid question. By “skill usage” do you mean a player saying “I will use my Persuade skill” or do you mean the player narrating an attempt to persuade, and the player/DM who controls the target deciding the outcome is uncertain and asking for an ability check? (Because, as has been pointed out repeatedly, the former case is not RAW 5e.) On another note, it seems the waters are being muddied because the scenario in question involves TWO contentious aspects: the use of social skills on players and PvP. We could break this into two topics: What happens when a player tries to Grapple another player? What happens when an NPC tries to persuade a PC of something? Although answers will differ, for any one person the answers shouldn’t change when recombined back into the original question.
  • 03:16 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    I just don't allow any offensive actions between party members, including convincing and casting charm spells and whatsoever. I also don't tell my players what they should do. They can try to do whatever they want. If my party can't decide which plan to follow, I allow them to all roll persuasion to see which plan to go for (because my second unwritten rule is no splitting up). So in the situation at hand, I'd say you can tell the player that the other PC sounds convincing, but it's still the player's decision if he listens to it or not. I used to play that way, too. I highly recommend you at least try iserith's method of the target narrating the result. I've found that when you simply ban PvP some players get frustrated. I mean, that is loss of player agency, in its rawest form. But if you let them do it, then have the target narrate the result, the aggressors tend to be a little bit disappointed/frustrated, but not as offended/outraged as when you just tell them they can't do it. I've found it really defuses the situation, and can sometimes become quite funny. (Of course, if you play with a regular table and when you said "No PvP" everybody nodded in agreement, none of this is an issue.)
  • 12:16 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    ...your players and say I will not stop the PVP this will lead to if you start engaging each other that can be fun too but when you start killing each other and get attacked a man down on the next encounter don't blame me for being under powered as a group … Also, if I have a player that's always starting PVP problems instead of a rare one off, I would pull them aside as tell them look, your hurting other players fun... once in a while it fine, but If I feel like your hurting the overall play of the group I am going to have to either kick you from the group or create divine intervention when you start causing problems and nether of us want that so please keep your character in check so I don't have to. To your bold, no, absolutely not. Your GM was indeed doing it wrong, but that doesn't mean that any asked for use of a skill requires a roll. Again, if you ask the king to give you his kingdom, do you get to roll for that and win? Nope, some things don't happen. This is why I follow iserith's method of insisting on an approach and goal. Using that I determine if the outcome is automatically successful, impossible, or uncertain. If uncertain, I use the goal and approach to set DCs, using 10-15 as the baseline that requires good reason to exceed. But, I, as DM, only have authority over the entire game that's not the what the PCs think and want. So, when anything impinges on that, it's the player of that PC that gets to determine if a thing is successful, impossible, or uncertain, not me. That said, your DM was doing it wrong. Your ability to act should not, in any way, impact how effective your character is. I have players that act almost all the time, and some that mostly use third person declarations. They all get the same chances at the table.

Sunday, 9th December, 2018

  • 04:49 PM - Beowülf mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    I think there’s a problem with the language “use Persuasion on” another player. You don’t use skills on targets in 5e. You try to Persuade somebody. Or you try to jump over a pit. Or recall some lore. If the DM thinks the outcome is both uncertain and meaningful, he may ask for an ability check. I guess that repeats the gist of what iserith and others are saying, but the (mis)phrasing jumps out at me.
  • 05:42 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    ...the player gets to decide what their PC thinks. Period. If they think the other PC is lying, they think that. If their suspicious, they think that. No rolls are called for. In other words, what the PC thinks isn't ever uncertain -- it's what the player says -- so there's never a need to roll. If a player was unsure or in the dark if another player was having their character lie, would you require the player be informed, or does this play out in-game at the character level? However you envision that occuring. Saying that all players automatically recognize all lies may be a true at your table but isn't particularly useful in the realm of "all tables" for furthering the discussion. Especially AL games where people may not be there week to week or may join a game already in progress, where factions give out secret missions, etc. Why would I reach for dice to resolve if a player is uncertain if another player just lied? Seems weird. I know you really want to know how iserith (and others) would use the mechanics to solve your proposed conundrum, but the answer is we wouldn't -- it's not an issue for mechanics, but for players. This may be unfulfilling, but it's what it is.
  • 01:43 AM - DM Dave1 mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    Nothing. But social skills are what we are discussing here. The way I handle PvP at my table(s)...and trying to Persuade or Intimidate another player is very much PvP...is that the target of an attack gets to narrate the result, with no dice rolling. So if player A attacks player B with a sword, player B simply gets to describe what happens. And I do have players who will willingly say, "Ok, I get hit and take X damage..." Others will say, "I duck and the sword whistles over my head." Sometimes they'll attack back, sometimes they'll just keep dodging until the attacker figures out that in my game it takes two to tango. (Thanks to either iserith or Bawylie, I can't remember which, for introducing me to this approach.) And, yeah, since Persuade is really an attack on another character, so the target gets to decide what happens. That is my favorite approach to player-on-player action. While it does sidestep the game system and the usual task resolution (roll a d20, etc.), the tradeoff is voluntaryism and consent. Someone disinterested in engaging in that way can opt out. Someone interested in engaging in that way can opt in and build on what’s happening. I can’t even tell you how much shenanigans you skip in a kids/young adults game when you do pvp this way. Here’s what I do, for any PvP action whether physical, social, or otherwise: The action is resolved, as per the conversation of the game: the player initiating the action describes what they want to accomplish, and how their character attempts to accomplish it, in which terms of the fiction. The DM determines the results of the action, potentially calling ...

Saturday, 8th December, 2018

  • 07:28 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    ... demand people act a certain way, but the adjudication you are espousing can only result in exactly that. (As a side note, your choice of wording calls to mind the disingenuous language politicians sometimes use to promote policies that have unseemly ulterior motives...) This isn't theory I have done this in the past. I used to think the same way others do and social skills were for npc's only. Over time the players would swap out social characters for pure combat builds and when asked about it would say"why should I make a social character? They are gimped when using their abilities around the people they are around the most. 90% of my characters interactions are done with the same totally immune people who don't seem to ever want to role play their characters in such a way as to allow my characters strengths to shine. No Thanks" And this makes no sense to me. Are they emphasizing their combat skills because 90% of the time they are around other PCs and need to fight them? As @iserith suggests, maybe you're not giving your players enough social interaction with NPCs.
  • 04:12 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    Why? I mean you specifically mentioned social skills and not other skills. What separates Social skills from other skills? Nothing. But social skills are what we are discussing here. The way I handle PvP at my table(s)...and trying to Persuade or Intimidate another player is very much PvP...is that the target of an attack gets to narrate the result, with no dice rolling. So if player A attacks player B with a sword, player B simply gets to describe what happens. And I do have players who will willingly say, "Ok, I get hit and take X damage..." Others will say, "I duck and the sword whistles over my head." Sometimes they'll attack back, sometimes they'll just keep dodging until the attacker figures out that in my game it takes two to tango. (Thanks to either iserith or Bawylie, I can't remember which, for introducing me to this approach.) And, yeah, since Persuade is really an attack on another character, so the target gets to decide what happens.

Wednesday, 28th November, 2018

  • 05:34 AM - Quickleaf mentioned iserith in post How do you do secret doors?
    ...reward of some kind. Are you willing to at a minimum spend 10 minutes looking for the secret door you suspect is there, risk a wandering monster check, and then spend another 10 minutes and risk a second wandering monster check trying to figure out how to open it? What is everyone else doing while you're doing this? What if the gnolls that control this section of the dungeon come calling? How do you prepare yourselves? I was reflecting on how you do secret doors as a risk-vs-reward aspect of exploration, and I'm wondering if "secret door" might be an umbrella for a 3 separate concepts. The secret path, the secret passage, and the magic secret door. A secret path is something like the hidden West Gate into Moria or the pass of Cirith Ungol into Mordor. The sense of discovery comes from locating the path. It often (though not necessarily) circumvents a threat or allows stealthy movement behind enemy lines. This type seems well-suited to the sort of exploration techniques you use iserith. Then there's a secret passage which is the sliding bookshelf or trap door concealed under the rug. There isn't much sense of discovery in the passage itself, rather the discovery comes from whatever cool thing lies beyond the passage. It often leads to hidden treasure or a special beneficial area (e.g. a safe resting spot). This type seems to be the default assumption in the D&D rules of the sorts of "secret doors" PCs are encountering. And then theres the magic secret door which is exemplified in Harry Potter's Diagon Alley, which is entered by going through an inn and tapping a wand against exactly the right spot on the brick wall. Another classic example would be the Dwarven Door into Lonely Mountain which can only be opened by moonlight on Durin's Day. The sense of discovery mostly comes from figuring out the trick to using the secret door, and often (though not necessarily) that trick involves magic. This is the type of secret door I'm thinking of when I talk about wonder,...

Wednesday, 7th November, 2018

  • 03:36 PM - Ristamar mentioned iserith in post Is Ranged really better than Melee?
    But this is the total opposite of correct play from your players - heavy armor weighs so obscenely much that Dexterity reigns utterly supreme under variant encumbrance. The weight difference between heavy and light armor is so great that it dwarfs the additional carryweight having a higher strength gives you. A 10 Strength player in Studded Leather can actually carry 2lbs more than a 20 strength player in Plate. (sidebar: variant encumbrance is an incredibly badly designed optional rule) That's an incomplete comparison, only valid if you absolutely have to maintain full movement speed at all times (often not important for the lumbering armored tank). If iserith's players need to be able to grab as much loot as possible, the PC with 10 STR sees his carrying capacity fall off a cliff while the 20 STR guy in plate can lug around another 100 pounds before hitting the next penalty. That being said, I do wish there were more ways to mitigate encumbrance aside from moving items to magic bags and pack animals. As such, I've added benefits to Medium Armor Master and Heavy Armor Master that halve the effective weight of the armor being worn when calculating carrying capacity.

Friday, 26th October, 2018

  • 07:35 PM - Satyrn mentioned iserith in post How do you encourage players to interact with the environment?
    I just ran my players through a level 12 adventure that had a fair number of puzzles and unusual features to the area--nothing that would cause player death, but stuff that had cool and interesting effects. For example, a pole that could be climbed, which would reverse gravity so that characters could walk on the ceiling. Most of the features didn't trigger combat, and the ones that did weren't anything the party couldn't handle. But I think my players were trained on the Tomb of Horrors, because they wouldn't touch anything if they could help it, and thus almost missed rescuing the person they had come to find. Any suggestions on how I can encourage players to touch things and try stuff out? Do I have to promise them these things will never trigger combat to stop them from "turtling"? iserith will tell you to hide the bulk of the treasure in secret caches rather than on monsters, so if the players don't go searching they'll stay poor. I've been awarding reduced XP for killing monsters, and instead giving the bulk of XP for rooms mapped out, secrets discovered, etc. (They still often want to kill monsters, but so they can find out what's behind the door they're guarding. )
  • 01:32 AM - daviddalbec mentioned iserith in post Passive Perception better than Active Perception?
    I think iserith and I are on a side that says that PP is there to model... basically exactly what it says in the PHB, things done repeatedly or secretly, and we think it works fine to do that. In my interpretation, which I think differs minorly from his, I DM such that there are things which PCs do as a matter of habit (repeatedly), and so the rogue rolling to check for traps every 5' would just use PP or PI, the druid smelling for orc every room would use passive, etc. It's up to the DM, judging partially from previous PC action, to decide what characters might sensibly be aware to detect using PP. Also asking if the conditions merit disadv, or if there is possibility of success in those conditions at all (in which case you don't call for a check at all, you don't call for a check if a PC is attempting to catch water in a net). I think a character could be aware of multiple factors at once, and iserith seems less willing to let characters be aware of "dangers" while doing something like navigating,...


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Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

  • 07:16 PM - Tony Vargas quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I mean, I get why someone would want to find their preferred playstyle is supported by the rules, but I think we'd need to look to D&D 4e for that, not D&D 5e. In the former, I'm way more open to players establishing fiction outside of their characters because the rules of that game support it. In D&D 5e, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Of course, in 5e the DM can allow players to establish as much fiction (their own backstory, environment, equipment, relationships to NPCs, etc) as he feels fits the group's style and makes for a good game experience. The system doesn't 'support' it in the sense of requiring it or providing specific mechanics, but it's wide-open to it. You even could graft FATE's tagging of aspects, for instance, directly in if you wanted to, just by making it part of declaring an action on the player side. (It might seem silly to those unfamiliar, but for a simplistic example, if the DM describes a room as 'shadowy' the player could tag that aspect to enable sneaking through t...
  • 07:03 PM - Celebrim quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    The boundaries seem pretty clear to me as far as the rules of the game are concerned, but in any practical sense who may establish what is going to vary quite a bit from table to table. While I take a hard line on what the rules say, at the table I may be perfectly willing to accept Frances is an old friend of a character if the player makes that offer. I might as well. I might very well agree that the encounter is more interesting if it turns out that this otherwise nameless mook is the potentially important NPC "Francis the Guard". But then, in both cases it is the GM making the judgment call here, not the player. There are games that allow the player to narrate details about the setting, but they then generally have some sort of rules that limit how that player may do so. A game that does not limit what a player may narrate about the setting, violates Celebrim's First Law of RPGs: "Thou shalt not be good at everything." Specifically, unlimited unregulated fiat power granted to...
  • 11:04 AM - pemerton quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Funny, my answer was in the 2nd half of my post, but you only quoted the first half. Here; I'll re-post it for youI didn't realise that you were referring to equipment in that passage. I'm surprised that you think equipment - which is a central feature of D&D RPGing - is some sort of marginal or "twlight" example of game play. So, no, I'm not going to argue about which side of the line mundane equipment carried by the character lies.Well, I wasn't asking you to argue! But I was wondering if you agree with me that - clearly, it seems to me - the player gets to narrate taing stuff out of his/her (which is to say, his/her PC's) backpack My surprise that you think the rules are ambiguous on this is genuine, given how central equpiment is. My own view is that the way equipment is to be handled is clear. And that it's an obvious exception to the "GM narrates environment" principle. As for equipment, I would say most groups as a matter of practicality permit the player to establish during...
  • 03:41 AM - Chaosmancer quoted 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

  • 10:15 PM - Chaosmancer quoted iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I think the finding of the trap is the least interesting part about them. It's figuring out how to bypass or disable them that is the real challenge. That's the thing, right? There's basically nothing interesting or exciting or suspenseful about the occasional trap going off because nobody's passive Perception was high enough. What's interesting is knowing the trap is there, coming up with a plan to avoid/disarm it, and then crossing your fingers that it works. And the problem with just "rolling to disarm" is that you know you're doing the correct thing. The optimal strategy, for the "use a skill" crowd, is to pick the guy with the highest bonus and have him roll. You aren't left wondering, "Is this the right way to do it? Should we have tried something different? Wait...maybe I'm not ready yet." And it's that wondering while you wait for resolution, whether or not there's a die roll, that adds to the suspense. A.k.a. "immersion". Sure, but unless they are pretty elaborate traps...
  • 09:36 PM - Elfcrusher quoted iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I don't know about "immersion" which I consider a laughable buzzword that gets thrown around like "metagaming," but depending on how a trap is presented and adjudicated by the DM, it can basically be just random number generation affected by whatever choices the player made during character creation. Whether anyone finds that fun is up to them. That's why I put "immersion" in quotes. Usually it used to mean, "My favorite form of realism is rigidly adhered to." As if the player is so absorbed in the game they forget that it's not reality, until somebody swims in plate armor or falls 100 feet without dying uses fire on trolls, or whatever. And then suddenly they find themselves sitting at a table covered in dice, minis, and empty mountain dew cans, going "WTF...I thought I was fighting the Lich King. Man, that totally blew my immersion." No, I'm just using it to mean the player is feeling emotions that are something like what their imaginary character would be feeling. E.g., you are te...
  • 08:59 PM - Elfcrusher quoted iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I think the finding of the trap is the least interesting part about them. It's figuring out how to bypass or disable them that is the real challenge. That's the thing, right? There's basically nothing interesting or exciting or suspenseful about the occasional trap going off because nobody's passive Perception was high enough. What's interesting is knowing the trap is there, coming up with a plan to avoid/disarm it, and then crossing your fingers that it works. And the problem with just "rolling to disarm" is that you know you're doing the correct thing. The optimal strategy, for the "use a skill" crowd, is to pick the guy with the highest bonus and have him roll. You aren't left wondering, "Is this the right way to do it? Should we have tried something different? Wait...maybe I'm not ready yet." And it's that wondering while you wait for resolution, whether or not there's a die roll, that adds to the suspense. A.k.a. "immersion".

Sunday, 5th May, 2019


Friday, 3rd May, 2019

  • 11:53 PM - robus quoted iserith in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    I find the easiest thing to do and the least prone to a mismatch in expectations is that the DM calls for the ability check and the player adds the skill proficiency that he or she thinks best aligns with his or her description of what the character is doing. This also means the DM need only work about 6 things (the ability scores) rather than all of the skill proficiencies. This method assumes that there's trust at the table and the players are playing in good faith, describing what they want to do and applying the appropriate skill proficiency to that effort as they see it. I pushed back on Satyrn a bit at that idea, but you’re both probably right. If there’s trust then it should be fine, and, of course, if there’s not trust then there are going to much bigger issues than a skill proficiency battle :)
  • 08:18 PM - Nebulous quoted iserith in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    That's a common way of playing and, for many, it works just fine. But it can lead to dissatisfaction with D&D 5e as a result since it is at odds with the game's design and you end up with the situations you describe. When someone isn't happy with the system, it's almost always this issue in my experience, being a fundamental process of play. It's basically playing this game as if it's some other game. See the section on "How to Play" in the introduction of the PHB, plus the section entitled "Ability Checks" in PHB Chapter 7. The DM always calls for the ability check. The player can ask which skill proficiency applies to the ability check, but that's it. See also the DMG, page 237, "Using Ability Scores" and pages 236-237 "The Middle Path." The idea here is you want your players to describe what they want to do which necessarily includes what they hope to accomplish (goal) and what they do in order to accomplish it (approach). Reasonable specificity is required, but don't fall into th...
  • 07:05 PM - Nebulous quoted iserith in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    Your conclusions are supported by the rules. The DM is the only one who can call for checks anyway (not the players) and he or she does that only if the outcome of the task described by the player has an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure. If one or both of those elements are not in place, there is no roll - the task succeeds or fails and is narrated by the DM accordingly. I think we regularly flub this then. Usually a player enters a room and says, "I'm make a perception check." or "I'm going to check the door for traps." and rolls. "Or, "I don't know what this monster is, I'll make a Nature/Arcana check to learn about it" (hoping of course, in all cases, for a nat 20). Could you tell me expressly where the rules state that the DM calls for the checks, not the players?
  • 11:35 AM - pemerton quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    In fact I encourage that sort of thing. The player has participated in world-building without changing the game state to gain advantage, and maybe even has given me some hooks for the future.What's the objection to the player changing the game state to gain advantage? Isn't that something that good players try and do? What in the fiction lets me, as GM, know how difficult this task will be? I don't see anything, which makes any DC set entirely arbitrary -- it can't be grounded in either mechanics or the fiction. This is the first problem.It's never been clear to me exactly how a 5e GM is meant to decide that some action has an uncertain outcome, or not, and how the DC is to be set. You seem here to be suggesting "objective" DCs - in the sense that the difficulty corresponds to or reflects (roughly) the in-fiction causal processes. Similar to a process-sim type game and unlike (say) Dungeon World or 4e. When I wondered whether this might be a problem that you're seeing in the example I...

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 05:18 PM - Celebrim quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I advise the players to keep everything in terms of an action declaration as that is what I'm on the lookout for since that is when I have to adjudicate. I even discourage asking questions of the DM, if those questions can be answered by taking action in the game world. "How many doors are in this room?" is better stated as "I look to see how many doors there are in this room..." in my view. The stop-n-chat with the DM interferes with the flow of the game in my view, plus questions are often a form of out-of-game risk mitigation as the players fish for the best solution. Now that is fascinating. Backing up a bit, one of my big obsessions in RP theory is the notion of a propositional filter. That is to say, what propositions does the GM recognize as valid propositions which then require him to come up with some sort of resolution, and what propositions the GM rejects as invalid that need to be stated in a different manner. It's my theory, and this is a big part of "Celebrim's Second La...
  • 04:08 PM - Elfcrusher quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I advise the players to keep everything in terms of an action declaration as that is what I'm on the lookout for since that is when I have to adjudicate. I even discourage asking questions of the DM, if those questions can be answered by taking action in the game world. "How many doors are in this room?" is better stated as "I look to see how many doors there are in this room..." in my view. The stop-n-chat with the DM interferes with the flow of the game in my view, plus questions are often a form of out-of-game risk mitigation as the players fish for the best solution. I think it's also good to just develop the habit of engaging in particular way. The answer to "what's wrong with just saying 'I roll Skill X' when it's obvious?" is the same as the answer to "What's wrong with not using my turn signal when there's nobody there?"
  • 03:47 PM - jayoungr quoted iserith in post Want to shake things up: Doorways, Scouting, Caution
    Again, the lack to me is the absence of z concrete reason they want to interact. If you are relying on "why not pick it up?" you are hanging your results on their paranoia. Well, in this particular adventure, they needed the item because it was one of four things they needed to unlock the door to the final chamber. But it's just one example of a pattern that's driving me a little crazy. Honestly, I think it's probably too late to train these players not to be ultra-cautious. What I need is tools to overcome that caution in specific situations. When the players are done with the adventure, do they typically have a lot of resources, especially hit points, remaining? Yes, they do. That's partly because they're a large group of high-level characters and I'm still trying to learn how to challenge them, though. (I've run a game up to level 20 before, but there were only four PCs in that game, and this one has six.)
  • 05:23 AM - pemerton quoted 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...
  • 05:02 AM - Hussar quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...with you actually. I honestly think that the difference between us is pretty small at the end of the day. Really, about the only difference is that I will skip the step where the DM calls for a roll, sometimes. Otherwise, most of our scenes will play out exactly the same. I recently had a perfect example come up in our Dragon Heist game last session. During the session, the PC's finally retrieve the Macguffin, only to be ambushed by Bregan D'arthe (sp) drow. Fight ensues. During the fight, half the party runs away with the Macguffin, leaving the other half of the party to slow down pursuit. One of the PC's left behind announces that she will show the fake Macguffin that the party has (that they picked up in an earlier session) and declare that she has the real thing, in order to confuse the pursuers. She then rolls a Deception check without me asking. I roll Insight checks for the drow and play continues. Now, as I understand it, the big difference here between me and iserith is that iserith will call for that Deception roll rather than the player simply going ahead and doing it. Our group skips that step simply out of expediency really. We're all experienced gamers and most of us have DM'd for a lot of years. We know, pretty accurately, what declarations will call for a roll without being told. Again, it's simply an extension of play experience and experience with playing with each other. OTOH, I doubt that the outcome would be any different at iserith's table. And, really, I suppose this is a good example of goal:method, with the change that we skipped a step. Now, frequently, again because we've played together so long, we don't even need to make a declaration - it's a common enough action that it's just understood. "I scout ahead - Stealth X" is a perfectly acceptable thing to do at my table, again, because everyone understands exactly what's going on and there's no need to add in the extra steps of the DM asking for rolls. So, yes, ise...
  • 01:40 AM - Hussar quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I don't think you do. You use your talky-talky words like a big boy or girl and tell the DM what you're doing and what you're hoping to accomplish. Pointing to a line on your sheet isn't telling anyone anything. "I diplomatize the guard" is only 75% real words and lacks a clear approach or goal. Oh, right, I have to point to my character sheet while saying the words, "I have the noble background. I have a letter proving it." Like I said, I've been running goal:method all the way along. It's surprisingly easy to follow this method. Excellent. I like it when we all agree.
  • 01:24 AM - Hussar quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Not everyone, no. But the approach is as I demonstrated: To tell the guards the PC belongs there by virtue of his or her noble privilege (and possibly by showing the scroll of pedigree). Oh hey, I'm not arguing. I'm agreeing with you. Pointing to a line on my character sheet is totally different than saying, "I diplomatize the guard, 25". I totally see the difference now. It's night and day.
  • 01:02 AM - Hussar quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...to see proof of the claim (if they aren't familiar with the PC), since anyone can claim to be noble, which the player may have in the form of a scroll of pedigree (noble starting equipment). If the scroll is produced, then the character is permitted entry (automatic success). If it is not produced, an ability check may follow depending on how the player has the character respond. The challenge to the player is to get the character past the guards. The difficulty is made very low by applying the background feature and pedigree scroll. But, there was no approach. Other than a decision I made at character generation. Aren't there two parts to your approach? Sure, there's a goal here, but, what's the approach? I'm not drawing on anything. .... Y'know what? I just realized that I've been playing goal:approach all the way along. If all it takes for an approach is being able to point to a line on my character sheet, well, hell, the only real difference between my table and iserith's is I tend to let the players call for rolls. And not even all the time. Sometimes I, as DM, call for rolls too. Wow, iserith's goal:approach system is so broad and vague that EVERYONE is doing it. Well done you sir, you've convinced me. Everyone who has ever sat down to play an RPG is using goal:approach methodology.


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