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  1. arscott

    Campaign/Setting ideas that really USE the Icons

    I'm running planescape with 13th Age, using the Icons as Sigil's factions (there's a thread a bit way down about the factions I use, but there's no reason someone who like the original 15 factions can't simply use those as Icons). I'm also playing in a game created by my friend, who homebrewed...
  2. arscott

    When your regular DM can't (or doesn't want) to DM for a while, how do you prefer to rotate DM duties?

    For a while, one of my game groups was running Indie games that were really built around the idea that each campaign would be no more than a handful of sessions long--so if one GM was a bit burnt out, another one would step up to take their place. In the past, in campaigns I've run, I've also...
  3. arscott

    Planescape: Help me brainstorm factions [update: includes new factions]

    So, seeing that folks here gave me a lot of good guidance, I thought I'd share what I finally came up with. I decided I'd have 13 factions (b/c 13th age), and that none of the original 15 factions or factols would be on the list (the idea being that the Lady of Pain had specifically banned them...
  4. arscott

    Judgment and Rudeness About D&D Alive and Well

    There's a big difference between "D&D leads to suicide" and "D&D is the tool of Satan"--and there's no need to turn every mention of a D&D related urban legend into another battle in the culture war. After all, I'm pretty concerned about things that lead to suicide. If I were misinformed about...
  5. arscott

    Planescape: Help me brainstorm factions [update: includes new factions]

    I'm definitely going for "something very close to, but not exactly like, the great wheel". I'll be using the term "Wheel of Heaven" in my game. I'm opening the game with Expedition to the Demonweb Pits--but I feel like the demonic pact at the center of that adventure is a bit weak--so I'm...
  6. arscott

    What makes us care about combat balance in D&D?

    As Zeuel said. And importantly, these experiences don't really happen in D&D4e. It's damned hard to make an ineffective character. Similarly, although the systems are hugely different, I haven't seen it happen in Dungeon World or any of the other PbtA games either. Nor Cortex Plus. (Though...
  7. arscott

    What makes us care about combat balance in D&D?

    Consider the following goals: 1)each player at the table should have the opportunity to enjoy role-playing their character 2)a player that makes a choice of ability during character creation should have the opportunity to be satisfied with that choice rather than being regretful he didn't make...
  8. arscott

    What makes us care about combat balance in D&D?

    Agreed. The downside, though, is that all of that careful balancing went into creating a combat system that was mechanically balanced and fine-tuned toward whiffy, dragging encounters--which I think was a major reason for its commercial failure. Balance is important, but don'g forget that...
  9. arscott

    What makes us care about combat balance in D&D?

    Here's an example: In D&D, the characters and monsters both get turns, so it's possible that a character who isn't at all effective in combat ends up nevertheless bearing the brunt of a monster attack. In DW, the 7-9 results of various moves and the whole system of moves as conversation help to...
  10. arscott

    Looking for tips for upcoming aquatic campaign

    Dude: Spelljammer. All that cool "riding about in space on flying boats" stuff is pretty easily adaptable to "riding about on the ocean in non-flying boats".
  11. arscott

    What makes us care about combat balance in D&D?

    I'd argue that balance is just as important in DW and Cortex+ as it is in D&D. It's just that the nature of those other two systems makes balance easier.
  12. arscott

    Planescape: Help me brainstorm factions [update: includes new factions]

    [Update: Based on help from here and elsewhere, I've come up with factions for my game, which are detailed in another post below] Well, I'll probably be using 13th age for the system, actually. But I'm in love with the 4e cosmology, and it's take on gods, elemental lords, and other powers. I...
  13. arscott

    Adventure Scale

    Great. So the high level wizard can teleport to other planes, and the high level theif can actually pick dwarven locks! Am I bad for wanting feats of skill that are as impressive in their own way as the feats of magic that high level wizards and clerics can perform? Or even DCs low enough...
  14. arscott

    are you more interested in 5e or numenera?

    Monte Cook comes off like an awkward has-been these days. And 5e seems like it's combining the worst bits of each edition. I love Trail of Cthulhu, so I'll at least consider 13th age. There are a lot of cool ideas there, but I'll have to give it a closer look to see if it's right for me.
  15. arscott

    D&D 5E 5e/Next Cosmology

    "The Lands Beyond the Wind", 4e Dark Sun's version of the feywild, was probably the single coolest thing that the 4e version did. It combined the ideas of the feywild being a reflection of the natural world and Defiling as destroying the natural world to give us a plane that's being torn to...
  16. arscott

    Adventurers and Nonadventurers, Wandering and Downtime

    Ars Magica had some cool mechanics to that effect. You had two PCs, and you picked one of them to go out on an adventure. The other stayed at home and trained--and usually learned more than the adventuring one.
  17. arscott

    If they're serious about "flatter math," then WotC needs to deal with ability scores.

    Two things: First: I want it to be just fine to play a character with a 16 in their primary ability. And at least okay-ish to play a character with a 14 in their primary ability. This was true of all the editions up through 3e. (1e Paladins and such excepted). In 4e, you basically had to...
  18. arscott

    Solutions to the 15 minute adventuring day: carrots and sticks.

    Tony Vargas hit upon my preferred solution: Make Spells no more powerful than swords. 3e already had it half right, at least when it came all those spells that did 1d6/level damage. The difference between fireball and cone of cold did the same amount of damage, even though CoC was higher...
  19. arscott

    D&D 5E How Can D&D Next Win You Over?

    In order to win me over, Next would have to meaningfully address all of the problems with 3e and earlier that were addressed by 4e. 4e had a solution to the power disparity between casters and non-casters 4e combat math worked all the way from level one up into epic. 4e had monsters that...
  20. arscott

    Who cares about Otiluke, Mordenkainen, Rary and whatever geezer names they trot out.

    I think it would be great if every wizard spell had a cool vancian name. But having a few random, lesser used spells with such names while the rest are unimaginative descriptions like "cone of cold" and "lightning bolt"? Not that great. Mordenkainen I like. It's a cool, fantasy sounding...