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  1. J

    D&D General The DM Shortage

    I don't know how much truth there is to the notion of a DM shortage but I'd love to think it's real for purely selfish reasons. Now I can imagine myself as an endangered golden unicorn, prancing in the twisty woods as I'm hunted by players starved for a fleshed-out and emotionally resonant...
  2. J

    One D&D Permanently Removes The Term 'Race'

    "Hmm...yes, I do believe we have a copy of "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection" in our fiction section. It was transferred from our inter-dimensional archives, so there was a titillating theory that the academics were sensible in another crystal sphere. But of course that was...
  3. J

    One D&D Permanently Removes The Term 'Race'

    Many people tend to say 'political' when 'cultural' is more accurate. We're not litigating or voting on what's appropriate, but we are trying to come to an inclusive consensus via cultural channels - like community forums. So yes, every choice has to be made from a cultural perspective when...
  4. J

    D&D 5E Why is animate dead considered inherently evil?

    I think I generally agree with you. Your 'french fries' post made it seem like a flippant choice, but this post makes it seem more thoughtful. If it becomes an interesting aspect of the story, some shame the character has to carry with them until they atone for the immoral but necessary action -...
  5. J

    How Do You Tell a Group: "Maybe This Isn't for Us?"

    I'm not familiar with The Enemy Within. I did a little reading to get an idea of scope. It seems like the characters need to be really invested in the notion of saving the empire from the forces of chaos. What's the hook in the campaign to make the players feel protective of the empire and the...
  6. J

    D&D 5E Why is animate dead considered inherently evil?

    Of course there's a difference. Think if the taboos in your own life that you consider inviolable, circumstances be damned. Death might be preferable. Now imagine, for a druid, it's floating around that level. It's going to seem silly, like "an oath not to eat french fries" to an outsider, but...
  7. J

    D&D 5E +4 magic items - page 285 - Creating a New Magic Item

    I'm imagining 'Green Destiny' from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. A sword so magnificent that it encourages foolish overconfidence and leads to the death of all but the most wizened wielders.
  8. J

    D&D 5E How do societies communicate across distances in your world?

    In my version of Forgotten Realms, The Grand Temple of Waukeen is also the central bank of Amn. The Council of Five see the Temple as honorable, neutral arbiters in trade and necessary to Amn's trade dominance. The Temple has developed an infrastructure of clerics in major trade ports who can...
  9. J

    D&D General What do your gods actually do day to day?

    Auril - She spends her days in the guise of old woman in a warm little cabin, with a puffy owl as a companion. The chill wind and frost are her portfolio but she dislikes the darkness and hate overtakes her when her marrow is cold. Azuth - He's afflicted with a type of dementia that occurs in...
  10. J

    D&D 5E Why is animate dead considered inherently evil?

    D&D cribs from, and is inspired by, fantasy literature that often does uses aspects of medieval society. My point - and the point many posters have made - is the OP's question is best answered in the context of culture, not RAW.
  11. J

    D&D 5E Why is animate dead considered inherently evil?

    Imagine a necromancer trying to explain to horrified villagers that a deceased's soul always makes a clean separation from the body - thus making postmortem animation a morally neutral enterprise - because a spellbook told him so. "No no, good villagers, there's no need to drag the town cleric...
  12. J

    The 25 Best Sci-Fi Movies of the Last 15 Years

    A. Seen 23 out of 25. Haven't seen A Quiet Place or The Endless. B. I'd add Melancholia and Coherence. C. Interstellar and Dune are rated too high. Under the Skin is rated too low. Rogue One shouldn't be on this list.
  13. J

    D&D General Technology in D&D, the IRL Timeline, and Pausing It.

    A few suggestions: Gunpowder and fossil fuels are notorious for attracting fire elementals, even when not in use. Additional safeguards must be put in place before any large-scale application, making the costs and risks much more than in the real world. Moveable type and the printing press are...
  14. J

    D&D 5E Calimshan, Thay, Anauroch - Thousands of miles apart, interchangeable artwork.

    Small rant... The newest Thay supplement has some lovely artwork but it has me wondering why much of the architecture and clothing is so similar to representations of other quite distant Faerun regions, like Calimshan and Anauroch. Except for the presence of the Red Wizards, it's nearly...
  15. J

    Defining Religions in Your Campaign

    Another great piece on designing religions when worldbuilding. But, at this point, I'm less interested on how to construct realistic, thoughtful religions and much more interested in how to communicate the cultural impact of those religions in play, especially for non-cleric PCs and laymen NPCs...
  16. J

    D&D 5E How does that Fighter, Barbarian or Rogue become king? Bring on the Feat

    I allow PCs to substitute their proficiency bonus for their Charisma bonus in situations where reputation is more important than personal magnetism. Here are my guidelines... 1) Have the NPCs actually heard of the PC? This depends on the structure of the campaign. Just use your best judgement...
  17. J

    What Do You Expect of Published Adventures?

    My expectations have been ground low. I'd just like... 1) Underlings that aren't mindlessly devoted cultists. Sure, they can be cultists, but give them some logic and motivations that make sense (to them at least) and a blurb or two on ways to deal with them besides killing them. 2) A story...
  18. J

    D&D 5E Why do cities in Faerun have fortified walls?

    I suppose you're right. This may be rolled into a gripe of mine that a setting that doesn't reflect the passage of time in it's culture, architecture, clothing, etc., is basically a dreamscape or theme park. It's more of an IP than a compelling world.
  19. J

    D&D 5E Why do cities in Faerun have fortified walls?

    But the walls in most of the art and maps look contemporary of a civilization with a 15th - 16th century sensibility. They're either updating their defenses for offenses that don't exist...or cities in Faerun in the late 1400s looks the same as they did centuries ago.