Recent content by Jay Verkuilen

  1. J

    5E Nobody Is Playing High Level Characters

    (Referencing crawling through all the levels.) Don't get me wrong, I like a long campaign, too. I'm still running something I started in 1999, which ran off and on until 2007, then restarted in 2013 with more substantial biweekly sessions from 2016 on. The PCs started at level 4 in Saltmarsh...
  2. J

    5E The Challenge Rating Goldilocks Thread- Too Hot, Too Cold, or Just Right?

    Yes, absolutely. The math works much better overall across the entire game at the low levels. WotC made some choices that let the math get away from them at higher levels. Unquestionably this is true and I'd add that the players themselves matter. If players don't make tactically sound...
  3. J

    5E The Challenge Rating Goldilocks Thread- Too Hot, Too Cold, or Just Right?

    CRs are no more than a rough guide. One has to take the strengths and weaknesses of the party and the players in mind. Obviously a group without a cleric or Oath of Devotion paladin fighting a bunch of undead will be in for a much harder time than one with a cleric and a paladin. Players who...
  4. J

    5E The Challenge Rating Goldilocks Thread- Too Hot, Too Cold, or Just Right?

    I use KFC a good bit (can't recall the last time I went to a KFC, but that's a different kind of chicken). I find it useful to get an idea of the ballpark I tend to budget for a Deadly encounter but split it up somewhat. The other big benefit it has is listing out monsters along with their...
  5. J

    5E Nobody Is Playing High Level Characters

    It probably is. That assumes one starts at level 1 and goes up. Someone else upthread pointed out that a good way to run a higher level game is to explicitly start there. Say, choose the tier of play and start at the bottom of each tier. Supers games tend to work this way because the GM chooses...
  6. J

    5E Nobody Is Playing High Level Characters

    Seriously, it's not that hard if one can break through the wall of motivated skepticism that seems to get thrown up whenever something even slightly off the worn track gets suggested. The DM says "Hey, the next three sessions will be with B team characters" or plan adventures in a four session...
  7. J

    5E Nobody Is Playing High Level Characters

    It's the 6 level itch. :eek: Yes, this is very much a problem with one of the the design principles of D&D, which strongly enforces niche protection. It's exacerbated by the zero-to-hero mentality. One thing that can help is to be fairly generous with rebuilding or character swaps.
  8. J

    5E Nobody Is Playing High Level Characters

    The other cool thing is that retainers can become PCs if someone finds them compelling enough. One of my favorite PCs, the halfling fighter Buckminster "Bucky" Burrmaster II, started that way. He had a fairly short career from level 5 to level 7 (this was in 2E Greyhawk), having rebelled against...
  9. J

    5E Nobody Is Playing High Level Characters

    I played a lot of "ensemble cast" kind of D&D over the years. IMO this is often a lot better than the zero-to-hero one character per campaign approach. It can be very hard to sustain interest in a character over that long of a stretch, although rebuilding can help as can having the DM focus on a...
  10. J

    In Forgotten Lawsuit, TSR Sued Wizards of the Coast

    Ah, that makes total sense!
  11. J

    In Forgotten Lawsuit, TSR Sued Wizards of the Coast

    Thanks for not arguing in bad faith. As can be seen from my other posts, I dug up a bunch of evidence which more or less said my memory was correct, a few trivial details aside (e.g., Westlaw versus Lexis Nexis).
  12. J

    In Forgotten Lawsuit, TSR Sued Wizards of the Coast

    It would be weird to have been in Peoria, though I suppose it's possible. Lake Geneva is in Wisconsin and Peoria is in Illinois. It's probably four hours' drive away and in a different state, whereas Milwaukee is about an hour from Lake Geneva and Chicago is an hour and a half. I elaborated my...
  13. J

    In Forgotten Lawsuit, TSR Sued Wizards of the Coast

    TSR was notorious for threatening legal action at the time. For instance, there was a lot of fan-made material at that point. Much of it was hosted on university-owned servers (which was very common at the time across the entire web then) and so when they decided to stomp on it, universities...
  14. J

    In Forgotten Lawsuit, TSR Sued Wizards of the Coast

    TSR at the time was known for being really litigious. I recall a lawyer on the D&D Usenet group digging out some of their cases that were available on Lexis Nexus. It was quite evident they were frequent flyers in the Wisconsin court system and that the judges were really sick of them.
  15. J

    In Forgotten Lawsuit, TSR Sued Wizards of the Coast

    TSR of the early to mid '90s was generating some of the absolute best material for D&D ever produced, but the company itself was rotten.
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