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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Today, 08:53 AM
    I'm a fan of Chinese "dragons" but I still really like the look of the 5e Gold Dragon. I think it keeps a lot of the flavor of the Chinese lóng ​, but is still something distinct.
    5 replies | 224 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 05:18 AM
    Almost all the time in my campaigns. The one time in the last three years that didn't happen, the PCs threw the dead PC in some kind of infernal machine they found in the dungeon and turned him into something like a revenant (and we used the UA rules for that).
    28 replies | 539 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Today, 02:32 AM
    Upon rereading the beholder's entry, I noticed that it can't deliberately target a magic item with its disintegration ray - only nonmagical objects and "creations of magical force". To me, that means that magic items that a creature is wearing or carrying when their body is disintegrated do not get destroyed. That seems to be in keeping with both the disintegrate spell and also 5e in general....
    22 replies | 537 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:59 PM
    How PC death is handled varies by campaign with me. In most of my campaigns and adventures, it's run as normal. If you die, you die, and the standard methods of bringing your back are available. In these campaigns, I encourage the players to have a backup PC at the ready so they can tap in a new characters (one that has already been "written in") and continue playing. My main concern here is...
    28 replies | 539 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:52 AM
    I tend to adapt my plot to what the players want to do. If they want to kill the emperor, run with it. Have them gather allies that have the same cause.
    6 replies | 303 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:38 AM
    And here I thought I would be alone in liking Masters of the Universe. The soundtrack is amazing too, and Frank Langetta is having such a great time as the villain.
    36 replies | 597 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:52 AM
    Many monsters and NPCs will have time-based powers through spells. The following spells could be given as spells or powers of creatures or NPCs: Time Stop (9th), Gental Repose (2nd), Contingency (6th), Slow (3rd), Haste (3rd) MONSTERS WITH TIME-BASED FLAVOR AND POWERS Gyno Sphinx and Enhanced Sphinx Gyno: Basic Rules , pg. 348 Enhanced: Lost Laboratory of Kwalish , pg. 10
    8 replies | 197 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:36 AM
    There is a Fighting Style for that - Protection. Its an amazing Fighting style, that is often overlooked for Defence. At-will (uses your reaction) disadvantage to an attack against an ally is huge. A shield wall of 10 spear+shield guys with that Fighting style, in 2 ranks of 5 x 5, imposing disadvantage on all incoming attacks against each other. The guys in the front rank have...
    81 replies | 1963 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:02 AM
    Aha. Makes sense, I guess. The beholder does have a few wonky effects (like the petrification ray having a Dex save rather than a Con save).
    22 replies | 537 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:20 AM
    MonsterEnvy: Thanks. Out of curiosity, what is the source of the line you've quoted?
    22 replies | 537 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:48 AM
    There are two active discussions in this forum that got me thinking about this. The first is: "What are your pedantic complaints about the D&D?" The second is "What are your favorite single game mechanics?" Participating in these discussions got me to thinking about mechanics, practices, and game aids that are often decried, or that I realize are not particularly elegant, but which I am...
    6 replies | 229 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:26 AM
    pukunui started a thread Disintegrations
    Hi all, During the last session of one of my campaigns, the PCs ventured into the Underdark, where they encountered a beholder. They rather foolishly decided to engage it in combat. While they ultimately managed to defeat it, one of their number was sadly disintegrated in the process. I now have two questions: 1) Did all of the PCs' magic items get disintegrated as well? Or are they...
    22 replies | 537 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 08:20 PM
    And its for exactly this reason that no one who actually has played Eberron before really needs to buy the upcoming hardcover Eberron book. Nor why anyone really needed to buy the Wayfinder's Guide. Or needed to buy the 4E Eberron Player's Guide or the 4E Eberron Campaign Guide. Or the 4E Adventurer's Guide To Eberron or the 3E Player's Guide To Eberron. All of them have and will be...
    34 replies | 1053 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 12:43 PM
    I agree with you. You're deliberately choosing not to enforce resource usage of your players... in a game with a central mechanic of resource management. That's entirely your choice, but surely you can see the problems here? You cant really put your hand up (as DM) and comment about anything to do with resource management and blame it on anything else but your decision you made not to...
    75 replies | 2231 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 12:30 PM
    I dont get how they 'forget' to use them. Remind them to do so. Heck, politely order them to do so. After each ability usage ask them to 'tick it off the list'. It's like someone 'forgetting' to write down the damage they've just taken or something. Surely you ensure they record that right? Do they forget to write down XP and magic items they find as well? I do character sheet audits...
    75 replies | 2231 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 12:19 PM
    Have you read the Multiclassing section of the PHB? It answers all these questions. A Wizard 1/ Warlock 1 has: 2 Wizard spell slots, that refresh on a Long rest. 1 Warlock spell slot, that refreshes on a Short rest. His Spells known are his Wizard spells (as a 1st level Wizard) and his Warlock spells (as a 1st level Warlock). He can cast his spells known through either class through...
    6 replies | 185 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st July, 2019, 04:36 AM
    The Goading attack maneuver (BM) imposes disadvantage on creatures attacks against anyone other than you. The Compelled Duel spell (Pal 1) does the same. Cavalier Fighters get 'marks' that do the same (and trigger a free attack if the ignore). The Sentinel feat gives you an AoO if they swing at someone other than you. Swashbuckler Panache also imposes disadvantage on creatures attacks against...
    81 replies | 1963 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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.
    75 replies | 2231 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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)
    81 replies | 1963 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    13 replies | 522 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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
    81 replies | 1963 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    81 replies | 1963 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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 | 14979 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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.
    75 replies | 2231 view(s)
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  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    81 replies | 1963 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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): ...
    75 replies | 2231 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 05:54 PM
    I'd like to see some ToB style stuff personally.
    100 replies | 2271 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    81 replies | 1963 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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. ...
    75 replies | 2231 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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...
    81 replies | 1963 view(s)
    5 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th July, 2019, 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 early in 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...
    100 replies | 2271 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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...
    123 replies | 3713 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...
    123 replies | 3713 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 | 897 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 | 897 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 | 897 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:56 PM
    iserith replied to Is This Odd?
    I personally would not say that.
    34 replies | 897 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 | 897 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Flamestrike's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:02 PM
    So dont run the race in combat rounds.
    123 replies | 3713 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...
    123 replies | 3713 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 687 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 897 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...
    50 replies | 1139 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 | 583 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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.
    11 replies | 457 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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. ...
    81 replies | 2700 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 19th July, 2019, 04:16 AM
    Okay, you've convinced me.
    81 replies | 2700 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    11 replies | 457 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    123 replies | 3713 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 | 472 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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.
    11 replies | 457 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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.
    123 replies | 3713 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...
    123 replies | 3713 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 | 472 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 | 2902 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    123 replies | 3713 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    81 replies | 2700 view(s)
    3 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.
    29 replies | 1125 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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.
    54 replies | 2061 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th July, 2019, 07:30 PM
    Getting 6 identical clones in Paranoia.
    54 replies | 2061 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 | 685 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    54 replies | 2061 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 | 187 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,...
    123 replies | 3713 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...
    29 replies | 1125 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."
    123 replies | 3713 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?
    163 replies | 7176 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 | 490 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 490 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 | 685 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...
    163 replies | 7176 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 | 2715 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 | 490 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 | 2902 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 490 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.
    123 replies | 3713 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 | 490 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 | 2902 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 | 2902 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 | 2902 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 | 2902 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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 | 774 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 | 2902 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 | 2902 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 | 2902 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 | 774 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.
    163 replies | 7176 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 | 2902 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 | 2902 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 | 371 view(s)
    0 XP
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Wednesday, 10th April, 2019

  • 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?

Tuesday, 9th April, 2019

  • 10:20 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?
    I like iserith's suggestion that Insight success reveals a bond, flaw, trait, etc. Failure, since it needs to have a consequence, would return a false...and possibly diametrically opposed...bond, flaw, trait. The only downside is that you either have to think really fast, or spend time preparing both the correct and incorrect values for any NPC your players might start interrogating.
  • 01:12 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?
    ...that I'd be remiss in making assumptions. Well, that seems to benefit you. But there are two things I'm seeing here. 1) How is asking to recall lore not a asking to roll a check? Sure, I, as a DM, have sometimes told people after asking that there is no need to roll, because it makes perfect sense they would know the thing, but it is the same question. I don't imagine most DM's would be much more or less likely to give you the information if you prettied up your question by asking "Does my character know what a Black Pudding is?" versus "Can I roll Arcana to see if my character knows what a Black Pudding is?" I agree with this analysis (surprise!). I hate the "knowledge" mechanic of D&D. There's no real consequence I could possibly level at this to justify a check under my preferred method (actions cause changes to the fiction on success and failure) outside of telling the player, that knows they just rolled poorly, that they know a wrong thing. Ew. I'm pretty sure iserith just ignores this problem and uses knowledge checks as kinda freebies that don't have a consequence outside of not confirming your suspicions (or gaining new knowledge). As I've said, I strongly dislike this. So, I avoid it -- poorly. I tend to provide information based on proficiency and backgrounds for free. You see an X, and are proficient in that thing or have experience in an area, well, you know stuff about it -- here's some game stats. Again, I don't use hidden information as the point of an encounter -- my players can know everything about all of the badguys and the encounter will still be fun because I don't care to play gotcha with abilities. In fact, I dislike this as a player, so I avoid it as a GM. This still leaves the knowledge skills in a weird place. So, I use them in the exploration pillar. You have religion? That's awesome for figuring out a ritual or ceremony detail that can help you do something. A recent example was a sarcophagus with a detailed carvi...

Monday, 8th April, 2019

  • 04:57 AM - pemerton mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...ily require invoking a Move to do so. Furthermore (and the Move you cited is a great example of this) in a lot of cases there is no objective reality to the world until it is described. To me this is very much in the same spirit as 5e, and contrasts to how I think a lot of people (including myself) played earlier editions of D&D.This is interesting. I don't think there's anything contentious in your description of DW! And I tend to approach most RPGs that way because it's my preferred approach (and I avoid RPGs that probably won't work with it) - at the moment I've got active Classic Traveller, Prince Valiant, BW, Cortex+ Heroic, Dying Earth and 4e campaigns that use some or other variant on this general approach. (And yes, too many active campaigns relative to time available!) I think that the way you characterise 5e as being similar might be more contentious (not to say it's wrong, but may be not universal), and I'm curious to see what response you might get. For instance, iserith's approach seems to require the GM establishing key elements of the fiction (like, to stick with the toy example that's been kicked around a bit, the presence o the door knob of the viscous fluid that's a contact poison). I see his approach as, in many ways, quite close to a classic Gygaxian "skilled play" approach. But if I'm in error here I'll await correction! (For full disclosure, I'm not a 5e guy but I saw this thread was started by S'mon, and I'm always interested in S'mon's ideas about RPGing, which is why I dropped into it.) EDIT: After replying to your (Elfcrusher's) post I saw this post which I think relates to my point. Quoting it isn't meant to be combative or trying to drive any wedges, but rather to try and identify some of these differences in approach which give each table it's own "flavour" of RPGing. This is why people are saying you’re mischaracterizing the method. You’re making it sound like if you give any description at all, you can “bypass the check.”...
  • 02:52 AM - pemerton mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Yes, I know. I play Dungeon World. Honestly I find this conversation a bit surreal. I'm not even sure how to respond. One of us totally doesn't understand what the other is talking about. Or possibly both of us.Well, I think there are (at least) two alternatives to Oofta's approach. iserith is describing one. I think Ovinomancer may be describing something a bit different, but he can clarify that if he wants to. I'm not sure what your overall position is. Both alternatives equate action declaration with describing something that happens in the fiction. This is a contrast with Oofta, Hussar, etc. In iserith's approach to 5e, following such an action declaration the GM then adjudicates this to determine whether or not a check is required, and if so how hard it is. As he puts it, the ultimate player goal is to avoid the risks of the dice. I see this as a type of puzzle-solving play, though (obviously) not like solving riddles or chess puzzles. By way of contrast, in DW, DitV, Burning Wheel, Prince Valiant, HeroWars/Quest, Maelstrom Storytelling, The Dying Earth, etc (just to name some of the games I'm familiar with that adopt this alternative approach), there is no avoiding the risks of the dice, assuming that something is actually at stake. (If nothing is at stake, th...

Sunday, 7th April, 2019

  • 03:29 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?
    ...e time when people say it in my game it is. That other 20%? I ask for clarification. I encourage more descriptive play, but that may be as simple as "I use [INSERT SKILL] by doing [INSERT DETAIL]". Why do you so badly want to say "I rolled a 17 perception!" rather than, "I take a minute and carefully look over the door for traps?" I mean, really, you're entirely focused on an aesthetic choice of declaration and entirely missing the point -- with goal and approach I do not have to do the assuming you're happy to do in 80% of your rolls. Further, it's never always obvious if your assumption matches the player's -- ie, it's not a hard line at your made up 80/20 split where you always, always know if this is a 79th percentile declaration or an 81st. I never have this problem because it's always 100% I have the player tell me. Further, there is NO time savings to your method. I've played both ways, remember. I was on your side of this discussion 3 years ago and was quite rude to iserith in the process because I didn't get it, either, even though I really thought I did. I know how you play because I played that way and made your same arguments. And, I can tell you from experience, I get more done in a single session than I did before, with no less time for bsing and silly interruptions. You keep asserting that letting players call for checks quickly skips boring interactions, but that's not my experience -- my experience is that I don't have to put in the boring interactions anymore for them to be something to skip over. How are you [I]not diminishing the values of investment in skills if a person can just describe what they're doing to get an automatic success*? Studied inattention, again. You've been told that the DC of a check or possibility of autosuccess isn't dependent on magic words, but on the overall situation. Take the poisoned doorknob example. If I had a PC who had time, was trained in poisoner's kit, and said, "I carefully wipe off the doorknob...

Saturday, 6th April, 2019

  • 03:04 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?
    What some people refuse to accept or acknowledge is that finding/removing traps descriptively is boring for a lot of people. They may have focused their limited options on being the greatest trap finder/remover they can be so they want to be rewarded by using the skill now and then. No one refuses this. No one is saying doing it your way is wrong, or lesser. We've been asked how we do it and have responded. I find it really weird that there's this pushback that, after asking how we do things, you take it as us telling you that you play wrong. Like, really odd. I actually love that you play differently from me. I love this because you have fun when you do. That's the best outcome for our shared hobby -- that lots of people enjoy it and tell others. And, that's all I'm doing here, and all iserith and Bawylie and Elfcrusher are doing: telling others how we enjoy our hobby. I'm not a terrible person for advocating for my play any more than you are. So, can we kindly (and this is for the whole thread) dispense with the outraged imagined injuries -- they don't actually exist. You cannot quote anyone saying that they don't think that some people would find removing traps descriptively boring, you can only impute that yourself. So, stop imputing it. But describing in detail how they counteract yet another contact poison? Snooze time. Not to mention, why is it always contact poison? And why would pouring fermented grape juice on it do anything at all? Why would anyone else at the table care? I think if anyone started doing this at my table, I'd start throwing in alcoholic mimics that pretended to be poisoned door handles. :hmm: In order: I don't ask them to. I ask for an approach and goal -- in the case of removing contact poison, it can be any reasonable approach,...

Friday, 5th April, 2019

  • 11:33 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?
    ...res and mechanisms that can be beaten by low level magics or common gear? Sounds like screen doors on submarines to me. But, each of us has our own tastes and thresholds for what we want our worlds to be like. Give me a hallway with floor tiles that are dangerous if you get cockatrices released by guards at other side (extreme weight breaks thru dropping statue into moat below) or that after triggered by guard your getting feared and running (or just forced to retreat) proves to be a major problem. Heh. I'll be honest, although I fail more often that I succeed, I do at least try to use examples as they are presented without trying to get too bogged down by the details. The point about the contact poison on the door was, "How do you resolve a simple (or fairly simple) trap"? While the example is kinda silly, the point is well made. How different groups handle this sort of stuff really drills down to the basics of the differences between tables. Obviously my game and say, iserith's are probably fairly different. :D I don't do things the way iserith does. For me, I guess the basic problem in this discussion is that I'm perfectly willing to admit that iserith's approach is perfectly fine. I just wish folks would stop telling me how wrong I am for not adopting their approach and how if I just understood what they were trying to tell me, I'd switch right over. No. I do understand. I understand very well. I'm just not interested.
  • 10:23 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?
    ...aten **unless** there is an active threat. Imple, reasonsble traps are used in places in conjunction with an active defense scheme. So, if you are inside long abandoned ruins you may see the first one or two of these, potentially broken due to neglect and be able to just practically walk around them. But later on, you might find a similar place where the undead make a world of difference to that walk-around trap's threat level. But if you are in an active thriving establishment, likely as not each snd every one of those guarded traps will be a tough but to crack and a festure thst raises the threat of rather mundane foes by a good amount. I suppose one does have to wonder why the ghouls wouldn't have been destroyed by this trap long ago. It's not like ghouls just sit in one room and never move. :D Now, I'm all for adding traps to encounters as part of the encounter. Pits, elevation, spider webs, that sort of thing, that's great. So, on one hand, I really, really like iserith's setup here. It's really cool. I just wouldn't play it out in the same way. The important bit for me is the ghoul encounter, not how they get past the trap. The fact that the trap would be active and be part of the encounter is more important to me as well. Honestly, I'd more likely have the ghouls and the trap be encountered at the same time, rather than the way this is set up. Just a preference, mind you. I can certainly see how Iserith's scenario would be loads of fun as well.
  • 06:22 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?
    ... it out 3) Someone asks to roll the dice and I have to give them the answer if they succeed. And three is boring, it is just a die roll with no narrative attached, and one is boring because there is nothing except an automatic answer. So really, I find riddles boring in games, because you either have the answer or you don't. Similiar to a Con I was at where the GM brought a really beautifully carved puzzle box full of different puzzles we had to solve to get past a section of his game. We set aside our character sheets, because none of it mattered. And actually we solved the first step immediately because the guy righting our clues down wrote them in the wrong order, and accidentally wrote them in the order that was the actual puzzle sequence. These only challenge "how smart are the players at the table today" not "how intelligently can they leverage their characters in this challenge", which is how I interpret that saying. By the way, even though this isn't what iserith meant by riddle, I wholeheartedly agree with everything you wrote here. I hate riddles in D&D. And I also hate the kind of "challenges" that are puzzles with specific solutions. You know, "Ok, surrounding the boss are three pillars: one red, one blue, one green. On the floor are cyan, magenta, and teal tiles...." Blech.
  • 05:36 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?
    ... And three is boring, it is just a die roll with no narrative attached, and one is boring because there is nothing except an automatic answer. So really, I find riddles boring in games, because you either have the answer or you don't. Similiar to a Con I was at where the GM brought a really beautifully carved puzzle box full of different puzzles we had to solve to get past a section of his game. We set aside our character sheets, because none of it mattered. And actually we solved the first step immediately because the guy righting our clues down wrote them in the wrong order, and accidentally wrote them in the order that was the actual puzzle sequence. These only challenge "how smart are the players at the table today" not "how intelligently can they leverage their characters in this challenge", which is how I interpret that saying. That is an assumption made at your table, perhaps, but that is not part of the game in any official sense. You'd have to convince iserith of that is seems. He's been stating for the last dozen pages that the rules explicitly state there is no check if there is no ambiguity in the result. The only type of people I would have be so good at lying that it would be impossible to tell would be gods and archdevils or archfey. Otherwise there would be a chance of success. If there is a chance of success, but it is unlikely... you still get to roll, because there is a chance of success. So, if no roll is called for and you aren't talking to a diety level power, then it is fair to say that the rules have led you to there having been no chance of failure, can't fail because they were telling the truth. Perhaps I wasn’t clear. There is absolutely nothing in the 5e rule set that says if an NPC is lying there is something a player can say or do that always results in an Insight check. Lying is the Deception skill. Deception is counter by Insight. If a PC is lying the NPC can make an Insight roll to determine t...
  • 03:20 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?
    ...k picks, a small mirror mounted on a metal handle, a set of narrow-bladed scissors, and a pair of pliers. Proficiency with these tools lets you add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to disarm traps or open locks. Huh, you're right, totally useless for finding traps. I could use the file to poke depressions, or the mirror to look at things from a different angle, or the scissors to cut any cloth or thin coverings away that might conceal mechanisms. Totes useless. You keep saying that we're looking for magic words, or testing the player's ability to solve problems, but when presented with a situation where "i use my thieves tools to search for traps" it's you that's saying this is impossible whilst everyone that keeps telling you we don't use magic words is dumbfounded that you would say so. Of course it's a valid approach. We don't have a preferred solution, we have problems that the players tell us how they're going to solve. I'm dead certain Bawylie and iserith (and myself, for certain) are not looking for the one approach we have written in our notes because there are NO approaches written in our notes, only the problems. I never know how the players are going to solve a trap -- it's fun to find out how they do it. Like, maybe, a ranger not using a light source getting caught in a trap where the dwarf decides to head-charge the trap and bust it to free his friend. Never saw that coming.

Thursday, 4th April, 2019

  • 04:16 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?
    ...lications where approach can be easily assumed. In fact, I think you've said exactly this. So, really, this complaint isn't that asking fior approach is a problem, it's that you're comfortable assuming approach from an ask to roll. This leads to the former issue above -- lack of consequence. Most of your examples of how you let players ask for rolls are absent consequence for failure. Before you go defensive, look at it. An ask for an insight check results in no change on a failure. The character suspected but doesn't know before the roll, and nothing changes after the roll. Same for looking for a trap -- the failire state is exactly the same as before the roll. In fact, this approach kinda lends itself to weird play because the player knows his character failed but has to play as if they don't know? The goal and approach method has, as an additional method, a failure state that is different from the state prior to the roll. As a broad approach, these failure states vary. iserith has said he might tick a wandering monster clock for a failure in some games, letting the character know they failed and can try again but still changing the situation to become more dangerous. I prefer more immediate changes, such that a failure thwarts the goal directly (so failing an insight check may end the social encounter or cause a damaging social gaffe). Regardless of preference for failure states, the approach will inform the failure state. Again, I'll provide an in play example from a recent session: The party knew they were entering an old temple complex full of traps. In the first hallway, there was a trap, a set of false doors that would snap shut to seal the hallway if a pressure plate was triggered. The party had their gloomstalker ranger scout ahead. Mindful of alerting possible enemies, he chose to advance down the hallway without a light source, relying on darkvision. This meant than the DC 12 passive perception check to notice deep groves on the floor showi...
  • 01:11 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?
    ... and success/failure dictates what the character has to believe, regardless of what the player wants.) So traps are pointless in D&D for you? People in your game should never invest in skills to find or disable traps? I don't believe there is such a skill in 5e. On the other hand, it can be quite fun. Let's say the check barely fails. "You start to disable the trap and there's a slight clicking sound. You realize that if you move a muscle there's a slab of stone that will fall on you, crushing you and blocking the passage. What do you do?" Now it's a team effort/scramble. Does the BDF use his athletics to try to push the stone back? Does the rogue try to give instructions to the wizard on how to reset the catch that is still barely holding the stone? Is there an inscription on the stone you can now see that could have religious meaning? Do the other PCs just ask where to send his personal effects and wish him luck? ....aaaaaannnnd you just described what iserith has been evangelizing. Regardless of how you decide to adjudicate disarming the trap, once he fails all those options that you just listed are players taking actions based on the scene as described by the DM. The DM can now either grant success, grant failure, or ask for a dice roll if the outcome is uncertain.

Wednesday, 3rd April, 2019

  • 10:53 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?
    A key difference to our approaches is that what you know determines whether or not the players do an insight check. Not sure what you mean by "do an Insight check". A) If you mean the players state they want to use Insight ("Can I roll Insight?" "And me, too?"), then here I'm totally with iserith: the players should state what they do and the DM will determine if an Insight check is called for. B) If what you mean is that the DM calls for an Insight check, then I don't think I'm changing much. If the players say, "I'd like to look at her body language and listen carefully to her words and see if I can get any clues as to whether she's being truthful" then I can either ask for an Insight check, or just decide to give them the clue, and say, "Well, all she's said is that she hasn't seen him, not that she hasn't heard from him, or tried to contact him..." and see if they take the bait. As far as the players are concerned the letter could have been a forgery. Or maybe she did write the letter but ensured it would never be delivered and she's just covering her tracks. To be clear - I have back-and-forth conversations with NPCs all the time. But in this scenario you aren't resolving a contest so the players now know she's telling the truth, at least about the direct answ...
  • 06:42 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?
    ... believe the NPC is lying. Depends on specifics. Scenario: they're talking to the estranged sister of an NPC they're trying to find, who claims not to have seen him in years. Clue: The DM let the heroes find a letter she wrote to him only months ago. NPC: "No, I haven't seen him in 11 years, ever since (fill in backstory)" Player (using clue): "And you haven't tried to contact him in all this time?" NPC: "Oh, I've tried to contact him, all right. Just a few months ago I sent a letter to an inn I know he used to frequent, hoping it would get to him. Never heard anything back." The fact that she didn't try to hide the existence of the letter should be a strong hint she isn't lying. And now they have another clue, by asking her which inn she sent the letter to. If the players get stuck, a successful Insight check might prod them with a clue to the clue. "You notice she hasn't said anything about trying to find him, just that she hasn't heard from him." EDIT: And I'll add that iserith is entirely right: the other way you could do this is to generate bonds/flaws/ideals/theoneI'mforgetting and on successful Insight checks reveal those, and should provide hints as to the situation. Scenario 2: The NPC is lying. See above with appropriate results. I never say "they're lying" it would be "they don't seem to be telling the truth" or "they seem to be hiding something. Failed insight? "They seem to be telling the truth". "Why would I try to contact that ungrateful wretch?" (Again, Insight for a clue to a clue.) Scenario 3: The door is trapped. If the PCs have declared ahead of time they're being cautious I'll ask for an investigation to find the trap. In no way does that mean they grab the contact-poison covered door handle. I may ask for checks now and then even on untrapped doors, depends on the game and mood I'm trying to set. If the PCs are moving at a normal pace, I'll probably use passive investigation possibly with an increased DC. If the PCs are mov...
  • 07:04 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?
    Would just like to say that there have been some really fantastic points raised in the past couple of pages. And I sincerely mean that for both sides of the fence. I know I come across as abrasive. I can't help it. I try to write in a pretty formal style which, I know annoys folks. I've never been able to break the habit. Anyway, the two examples above that iserith is using are really excellent IMO. Needless to say, I would rule them slightly differently. :D :p In the first example, the fighter is trying to bluff the bandit king. How this would work at my table would likely be (and, remember, I use Fantasy Grounds which allows players to make rolls that only the DM can see - it does speed things up considerably). Note, it's also entirely possible that this would be done in first person, I'm not going to bother here just because it's quicker. Imagine the in character speech happening. Some of my players do, some don't. Fighter - Ok, I tell the bandits we have a posse of 40 warriors outside, they must surrender. ((Rolls on the Die Tower - cannot see the results)). DM - ((Results are high enough to beat the bandit's insight)) - With disgust they lower their weapons and you take them prisoner. DM - ((Results Fail)) - They see through your bluff and attack (honestly, probably the most likely outcome). ((Resuts Fail)) - The B...

Monday, 1st April, 2019

  • 11:14 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?
    Now let's look at the document taped under the drawer: iserith's argument, taken to the extreme, would require a player to state: "I take out all the drawers and look at the bottoms." And I think Hussar is making some assumptions that iserith would play it that way. I suspect, though, that iserith would not require the players to state that action...unless he had provided some sort of clue or signal that this is what they should do. Just like the existence of the office. Not quite. As I understand it, the way this would be done would be, if the players simply stated they were searching the office, the DC would be X. If the players stated they were checking out the furniture in the office, the DC would be Y. If the players stated they were taking out the drawers and looking at the bottom, they would automatically succeed. Is that a fair interpretation? iserith? Where X>Y, so, stating a general approach will succeed less often than a more specific approach and a very specific approach will always succeed, presuming it's the right approach...
  • 09:27 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?
    ... written." (Not because I believe in the argument, but to illustrate the fallacy.) It's the same thing Hussar is arguing, right? If they use the Investigation skill and are successful, it should mean they successfully investigated. Here's the thing: it's perfectly valid to play that way. Especially if you think the investigation is the boring bit that you have to get through before combat and looting. (And, honestly, some adventures are so poorly written that I might be tempted to skip over the entire thing with a single Investigation roll.) But even though it's valid, I think most of us believe this is abstracting the fiction too far. That the PCs have to at least have the initiative to go to the office. And also (this is important) the PCs know there's an office. Right? You don't just plop them in a city and wait for them to say, "I search every office in the city." The DM has, at some point, introduced the office. Now let's look at the document taped under the drawer: @iserith's argument, taken to the extreme, would require a player to state: "I take out all the drawers and look at the bottoms." And I think Hussar is making some assumptions that iserith would play it that way. I suspect, though, that iserith would not require the players to state that action...unless he had provided some sort of clue or signal that this is what they should do. Just like the existence of the office. So What Good is Investigation? Q: So if players are required to state, "I look under the drawer", what's Investigation used for? A: To resolve uncertainty. Here is an example of how I might use it: The players have to solve a "needle in a haystack" search with time pressure. I don't want to actually roleplay out searching the haystack, so I'll require a certain number of successes, and count the attempts. Bad (or unfortunate) stuff happens at certain increments. (Note that if there's no time pressure, I won't require a roll.) I'll confess, I'll also use it when I just hav...
  • 08:26 AM - Bawylie mentioned iserith in post Rope Tricked!
    It’s like a micro-scenario. I could drop this in almost any dungeon with light edits. I might’ve used suffocation rules after the drop. But as to how I’d solve it? I think I’d go for the wood beam and try to relay it across the pits. For the ghost, plan A is obviously to have Sacred Cow attempt to turn undead. Failing that, and Phineas’ intentions made manifest to the party, We’d have to go for the rope. If anyone were caught I wonder if we might get under them and either catch/soften the blow, or see if we could keep the rope from going taut. Though, as a rope of climbing under Phineas’ control, I wonder if it could be commanded by him to strangle. iserith - how would you rule that? Could we hold up a hanging adventurer from underneath or would the commanded rope prevent that?


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Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 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...

Tuesday, 14th May, 2019

  • 07:48 PM - Tony Vargas quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    No more than anyone should expect me to perfectly execute the approach I use and discuss here on enworld, especially after three or more Jamesons. But I know what I'm supposed to be doing per the rules and I try. So, yes, you imagine that the rules assume perfection on the part of the DM. It's OK. That's how I see it, too. Afterall, if they're not working from that assumption, they'd have to put checks on the DM's role which would set the rules above the DM rather than vice-versa. It's maybe not the best way of saying - like I said 'trusting the DM' is a more tactful way of putting it than 'assuming perfection.' Perhaps another way of putting it is that the rules assume the DM will have a better chance of knowing/implementing what's best for his group, specifically, than the designers would. A lot of words to say "People can play how they want." Which is and has never been in dispute. To say that the game is actually down with that. I mean, people /can/ play any ed, or any gam...
  • 06:53 PM - Tony Vargas quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    "Social contract" exists as what the DMG calls "table rules" which are not the rules of the game. These will vary from table to table. IDK. The rules of the game probably wouldn't function too well without certain assumptions in that social contract. Change the rules or change the contract, so long as you to get them working together at that table. I don't imagine the rules contemplate a situation where the DM isn't performing his or her role properly, being a text on how to play the game in its respective roles. So you do imagine the rules assume perfection from the DM? ;) That's fair, actually. While the DM won't be perfect, he is presumably good enough for his group. I still think that those who believe the player has a right to declare fiction outside of the character during play have a lot of work ahead of them to show any rules support for their position. It's just not there in this game like it may be in other games. (And to repeat what appears to be a necessary refra...
  • 03:25 PM - Chaosmancer quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I think Celebrim establishes a good line here: The player is free to draw upon hard-won knowledge to inform how he or she has the character act. The limit is when the player is not acting in good faith and has, as you suggest above, read the module and presumably didn't tell anyone. I think a player not being forthcoming about this many people would consider rude or worse. But sometimes my players replay my one-shots to try out a different character or approach with a new party. It can work just fine even with perfect knowledge. But anyway let's say that the player does say "earth elementals are vulnerable to thunder damage" then says he or she wants to go Ye Olde Magick Shoppe to buy some scrolls or thunderwave for the party wizard to use. You know as DM that THESE earth elementals have no particular vulnerabilities to thunder damage. Let's up the ante and say that the characters have never encountered earth elementals before. Let's go one step further and say the character is an Int-8 bar...

Monday, 13th May, 2019

  • 07:53 PM - Hriston quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    "Social contract" exists as what the DMG calls "table rules" which are not the rules of the game. These will vary from table to table. The social contract encompasses things like expectations and the rules of the game the group has agreed to play. I think an expectation that your character's capabilities work the way your character sheet says they do could fall under that for some groups, although admittedly not for others. I have already given good reasons, based on what the rules describe as the DM's role, why the DM may decide that the player's action declaration to take the rope out of the character's backpack may fail. Those reasons might be that the DM needs to mediate between the rules and the players (e.g. no enough actions left to do it right now) or set limits (e.g. the rope was used in a previous location and not recovered). I don't imagine the rules contemplate a situation where the DM isn't performing his or her role properly, being a text on how to play the game in its re...
  • 07:27 PM - Celebrim quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Right. My point being that nobody can really say that a social contract applies to all tables and, given how it will vary, it's not something that helps show an approach is a breach of the social contract. It might be for some and not for others. I think from the perspective of the rules the DM gets to say what the outcome of every action declaration is. Some might not like this or outsource some of this to the players, but that does little to show the game's support for players establishing fiction outside of their control. Right. So from the perspective of the rules, the DM decides what every rules outcome of an action declaration is. But a social contract might govern who gets to narrate what part of the consequences of that action is, because in D&D the rules themselves are usually silent on who owns the narration in cases where the player character is the focus of the narration or the results. Consider the attack declaration. The player declares, "I attack the ogre.", rolls...
  • 06:30 PM - Celebrim quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    "Social contract" exists as what the DMG calls "table rules" which are not the rules of the game. These will vary from table to table. Typically, a social contract exists to cover things that are so basic to the process of play, that the game either forgets to or doesn't bother to call them out. It's the usually unspoken agreements that a table comes to make the game playable for their particular group. It usually has at its basis, "We all cooperate.", and expressions like, "No one plays an evil character unless we all agree to play evil characters." or "Regardless of the alignment of the characters, we all work together to achieve the party goals."
  • 05:31 PM - Hriston quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    But who decides that there is an "automatic outcome" to casting a fireball or seeking help from the PC's temple? The DM, always. Yes, that's true. But it reminds me of the example up-thread of the player declaring s/he pulls a length of rope out of his/her backpack when the player believed that item was in his/her inventory. The DM has the authority to declare an outcome other than what the player expects, but, without a good reason, it seems like a breach of the social contract.
  • 04:48 PM - Hriston quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    They may be listed on the character sheet, but as the outcome of all action declarations are decided upon by the DM, I don't think where they are listed says anything about the player controlling the fiction in this regard. The player controls the fiction as it concerns how the PC thinks, acts, and talks. To me, it follows that automatic outcomes of PC actions are also examples of the player controlling the fiction. For example, if I decide my PC casts fireball and I have that spell listed on my character sheet, I have a spell slot available, etc., then I have controlled the fiction to the extent that the effects of the spell take place in the fiction. I think the same can be said of calling on the priests of my temple for assistance if I have Shelter of the Faithful listed on my character sheet. By doing so, I have controlled the fiction to the extent that the priests offer assistance as long as my request meets the conditions of the feature.
  • 03:40 PM - Hriston quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I think they would inform but not constrain the DM's narration of the outcome of the adventurers' outcome. This may seem like splitting hairs, but we have to take any rule into the context of the idea that the rules serve the DM, not the other way around. In this case, it may well be likely that the DM always says the character can (for example) get an audience with a noble or help from his or her temple; however, in the realm of infinite fictional possibilities, that might not always be the case and the DM decides the result, not the rules and not the player, even if the rules inform the DM's decision. Thus, I would say background features such as the ones you quoted fall short of demonstrating that some NPCs are "extensions of the PC." In a practical sense, it might look and operate that way if it always works, but it's not an exception to the standard adjudication process. Okay, but what I'm talking about is that background features that give reliable access to (and outcomes from) NPCs are...

Sunday, 12th May, 2019

  • 11:55 PM - pemerton quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Was it a claim of absolute or final authority? AFAICT, even under the hard-core, don't-tell-me-what-my-character-thinks ethos, the GM can place an environment that's at odds with everything he thinks.It would be interesting to see what you and others think of "the smelly chamberlain". Suppose that the players play their PCs as keeping their distance from the chamberlain, opening windows when he enters the room, etc - because the players have decided that their PCs think the chamberlain smells - while the GM, exercising his/her power to describe the environment, insists that the chamberlain doesn't smell. Whose view prevails? What is true in the fiction - does the chamberlain smell? are the PCs hallucinating? can the GM insist that the PCs in fact don't think the chamberlain smells? The idea that each can have absolute authority over a domain - PC beliefs/feelings; the rest of the gameworld - with no possibility of contradiciton isn't tenable, in my view. I don't find any contradic...
  • 04:57 PM - Chaosmancer quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    If you're fine with the them going to buy the scrolls without explanation, why care with an explanation? The DM is just there to adjudicate the action of buying the scrolls, nothing more. A player might say "Hey, everyone, earth elementals are vulnerable to thunder damage." But there's nothing there for the DM to do. Because intent matters? The narrative weight of actions can change depending on the intent behind them, and require different adjudications? Really, the entire point of the example has been to show that players can take actions with player knowledge beyond just simply attacking something in combat. Maybe they buy items specifically to defeat an enemy they have never researched, maybe they break into the shop to steal a wish scroll they only know about because they read the module, maybe they use knowledge from the books to confront a powerful being in disguise as an old man and use a clue they were supposed to get later down the line to trick it into fighting against the...
  • 08:33 AM - pemerton quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    If the DM does not care that the PC went to buy scrolls presumably good in a fight against earth elementals with no explanation whatsover, then why would someone care if they do so after saying "earth elementals are vulnerable to thunder" or words to that effect? Does something meaningful change about the action declaration at that point?Yes. The action declaration is premised on some other elements of the shared ficiton established by the players - something along the lines of that such-and-such a character believes such-and-such a thing, and has shared that belief with other PCs. If the GM is intending to introduce fiction that reveals the PC belief to be false, and it is established or implicit in the fiction that the PC is an expert (eg my archmage, or Chaosmancer's diabolist), then we have the possibility of tension if not outright contradiction. Whose vision has to yield? If the answer is the player's, then Chaosmancer and I think that contradicts the clam that the player has autho...
  • 03:40 AM - pemerton quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    If you're fine with the them going to buy the scrolls without explanation, why care with an explanation?I can't answer for Chaosmancer, although I get the sense that he (? I think) and I have some similar views here. The things the player characters believe, the things they say to one another, etc are a part of the gameworld as much as anything else. If a character is telling another character something about earth elemental, then that belief and conversation is part of the fiction. Now when it's speculation about esoteric arcane matters, if the belief diverges from the truth that probably doesn't create any issues for the fiction - though in some circumstances (eg the PC is an archmage) it might. But if the conversation is about the character's hometown and childhood friends, then all of those beliefs turning out to be false would be rather odd. Is being an inveterate liar, or someone who is utterly deluded about his/her childhood, part of the player's conception of the character? Ch...


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