Search results

  1. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D General Players who take Excruciatingly long turns: solution?

    A few have mentioned calling out who is on deck each turn, and this does help. I also break up every round into a declare and act phase. At the start of each round, I ask the players what their intentions are in broad terms: melee, ranged, spell, other. They may, but are not required to...
  2. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D General What does "magic" mean? [Read carefully, you can't change your vote]

    I answered from the perspective of "What is magic in D&D", which to me is heavily influenced by a combination of 3rd edition and my preference for "Psionics is different". In other words, magic is a particular type of supernatural power, often manipulated via spells and magic items but not...
  3. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D 5E What's really useful on a DM screen?

    I use InDesign these days, but in the past LibraOffice Writer and Calc were my go-to for their solid implementation of styles. I’ve heard great things about Affinity Publisher as well.
  4. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D 5E What's really useful on a DM screen?

    A GM screen has two purposes: To provide information that I need at the table so that I don't have to open a book. To add to the atmosphere of the table. For #1, what I need changes over time. When I'm first learning the system, I'll need rule references for combat, chases, DCs, etc. Once I've...
  5. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D 5E Redesigning the Monster Block - What four things do you put first, right after the name?

    As others have pointed out, the stat block has to serve two competing needs: combat and adventure design. Because combat always happens at the table, whereas adventure design happens before, I think the stat block has to be optimized for combat and put AC, HP, Speed, etc. at the top. But, that...
  6. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D 5E Monster Entries, what stuff do you want?

    As a GM, there are a couple things I would find useful: A table for "what are they doing". The blog d4 caltrops has been building d100 lists for this, and they're awesome. For monsters that are likely to appear in groups or often in an adventure, a table of distinct features I can use to...
  7. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D General Retrieving Arrows after a Combat

    I don't think my method is an accurate reflection of reality. Arrows are fairly sturdy. But it's simple and generally believable, which is enough. I've even considered reversing the rule, allowing you to recover all arrows that miss, but you lose all that hit. While I find it less believable...
  8. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D General Retrieving Arrows after a Combat

    This is how I do it as well. If you miss, your arrow flies off into the forest and is lost, or breaks against the dungeon wall. Otherwise, you can collect it. It keeps the bookkeeping to the same moment as the attack.
  9. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D 5E What might the "increase in product" look like?

    I wouldn't assume that they'll keep releasing settings at the recent rate. Demand for settings might be fairly sated by the recent releases, though I still think a Planescape book would be a good idea, and there's still no quality book on the Forgotten Realms. Instead, the release schedule will...
  10. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D 5E Why do so few 5E monsters have save proficiencies?

    I suspect monsters don't get save proficiency very often to ensure that monsters fail saves more often than players. Exceptions are made only when that extra high defense is a significant part of the monster. Personally, I'm content with that, as it's one fewer thing to check when running monsters.
  11. Jeff Carlsen

    Worlds of Design: What the Future Holds for RPGS - Part 2

    With streaming and podcasts being an ever-growing part of the community, I think we'll see a trend toward games designed to play well to an audience. Streamlined rules, easy adjudication, flavorful key abilities, etc. Basically, rules that only show themselves on stream when they're doing...
  12. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D 5E To boxed text or not to boxed text

    I do not favor boxed text in the form of a verbose description intended to be read to the players verbatim, set apart from the room description through typography. I tend to skip over it when I run a publish adventure, then find trouble when important details are in the boxed text and not...
  13. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D 5E Are components (V,S,M) and schools in spell writeups really necessary for spells anymore?

    Spell components are important to me, and I would like to have material components revisited to be a more tangible resource again, but one that isn't too laborious to track. But I'd be happy to be rid of the schools of magic as they currently exist. Instead of 8 broad and vague schools, I'd...
  14. Jeff Carlsen

    Level Up (A5E) What is the vision of the high level fighter?

    I think answering this question effectively requires defining what high level D&D is supposed to look like, something I don't think has ever been done effectively. Each group is left to kind of define it for themselves, but the one thing that's consistant is that none of it's mundane. Whether...
  15. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D 5E Options past 3rd level

    I think the Paragon Path and Epic Destiny of 4e was a broadly good idea. When you enter a new major tier of play, you make a choice that defines your character for that tier. For 5e, having such a decision to make around 10th or 11th level would be good. At that point the game becomes much...
  16. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D 5E Dungeon room description

    Agreed. I would likely only do "all rolls" if it were intended for me alone. Though, to be fair, advantage is only ever applied to attacks, saves, and ability checks. But your core point stands. Taken too far can harm clarity or end up omitting valuable details. It's a difficult skill to...
  17. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D 5E Dungeon room description

    I've been doing a lot of thinking about this sort of thing myself, especially after spending some time with the Mothership RPG and The Hole in the Oak which focus a lot of terse, evoctive writing and thoughtful formatting. In the example below, in which I've taken some liberties, I focused on a...
  18. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D 5E Hypothetical 50th Anniversary Core Rulebooks

    I'd like to see a PHB as a minor, backward compatible revision that pulls in some of the better ideas from Xanathar's and the like. For the Monster Manual and DMG, I'm open to more substantial revision, as these are toolkits for adventure building and can always be improved.
  19. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D General Why are spells grouped into "levels"?

    For spells, we use Order when referring to levels in character. But I agree with the premise of reducing the number of levels, since the difference between levels is pretty arbitrary except when it comes to damage output. I'd go with four spell levels, one for each tier of play. That seems like...
  20. Jeff Carlsen

    D&D 5E What official 5E content do you want to see more of?

    Yes, and I like them very much. I'm imagining something similar, but with a larger scope, more adventures, and over a larger range of levels.