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  1. GMMichael

    Helmets: Under-Used but Over-Important

    I just watched a video of a warrior going into a to-the-death duel. He grabs his helmet, but to take it off, not put it on. Now I'm wondering: Why do shields commonly get special treatment (rules) in TRPGs while helmets do not? Should rules assume that wearing armor means wearing an...
  2. GMMichael

    How do you, as a PC, prep for your next game?

    Rumor has it that game masters spend some time preparing for a game session before they show up. But are they the only ones? What do you do, as a player-character, before the game? What should you do? Would the game be better off if all the players spent as much time preparing as the GM does?
  3. GMMichael

    You just gained a hit point! -Creative thinking-

    Picture it: you're at the gaming table, playing a character. Someone at the table has used a rule that gives your character one additional hit point. How has your character changed? What's different?
  4. GMMichael

    Poll: What's your level of rules modification?

    Let's find out how ENworld feels about new rules! This poll applies to game masters and players. I suppose the latter would be voting on what they would propose for their game or would just like to see in their game. If your answer is, "well, it depends..." then choose your most...
  5. GMMichael

    Composition Tools Inaccessible

    An update in the last few days (forum or Windows, I don't know) has rendered the composition tools (bold, insert image, emoji, etc.) inaccessible to my Seamonkey (Mozilla) browser. They seem to work fine with Microsoft Edge :geek: Is there a setting I need to change in Seamonkey? It tells me...
  6. GMMichael

    How many hits can a mook take?

    When I want a skirmish to go quickly, I skip the combat rules and just use a simple conflict - a few rolls from each player to decide what happens. The PCs usually win this because the opponents are mooks and the PCs have better things to do. Skipping combat rules means skipping damage rules...
  7. GMMichael

    Level Up (A5E) 3.99 Edition

    The creation of Advanced 5e can be seen as an evolutionary step: 3.00 edition From the primordial muck of AD&D 2e came some innovations: simplified saving throws, THAC0 became an attack bonus, and skill proficiencies became skill points. 3.50 edition Partial actions removed, swift, immediate...
  8. GMMichael

    Your Ruling: Magical Sleep

    Sleep spells, also known as "the monster stops defending itself" spells. Are they always 1st-level spells? Why? Should the level be higher? The fifth edition of Sleep doesn't grant a saving throw, and the target "falls unconscious." That could end the spell pretty quickly, if the target was...
  9. GMMichael

    How Do You One-Shot?

    I have no idea how the Cast of Thrones game finished, but it seems that everyone had a good time at it! It seemed to use the standard formula: hey you, do this, and report back to me. Which is straight-forward, but it doesn't provide for much cohesion or originality. Are these necessary in a...
  10. GMMichael


    I'm running a non-D&D online game with a couple of seats open for drop-in players (Roll20), and I'm finding that some players can't quite wrap their heads around a non-D&D rule set. It's more of an issue when play wanders away from role-play and into rules-dense territory, like combat. If...
  11. GMMichael

    Morale Checks - How Would You?

    In-game: four heroes, well known across the reach but not yet beyond it, sit near a campfire with their Mordenkainen's Instant Carriage parked nearby. There's a rustling in the darkness, and sure enough, those tenacious, infamous, wicked gnomes spring screaming from the trees. They're out for...
  12. GMMichael

    Surprising the GM, or, Random Content in Dungeons

    Lend me your experience! I want to put some random generators in a game module. I know they've been around for a while - I still have the loose-leaf random monster encounter tables from AD&D 2e. But have you seen or used a random dungeon generator? Would you run a dungeon crawl without...
  13. GMMichael

    Flying without Magic in D&D, or, Your Favorite Non-Pass/Fail System

    Having just finished the Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, it occurred to me that there is a way to fly in D&D without using magic, wings, spells, a boarding pass, or any of that other nonsense. You just have to throw yourself at the ground. And miss. If you fail to hit the ground...
  14. GMMichael

    Drop-in Roll20 Game - help/ideas/discussion

    I'm about to open the floodgates on a new VTT (roll20) game - allowing random players to drop in. I figure that I can limit some of the chaos by requiring the use of pre-gens, but I still have some big questions like: Should there be a story explanation for the apparent personality disorders...
  15. GMMichael

    Frankenstein's RPG (Mad Scientist Game Design)

    It's (pronounced) FRANKENSTEIN... Doctor Frankenstein assembled a human (or monster) with beautiful features, which as we all know, became something hideous once it came to life. What kind of RPG would you like to create, with beautiful parts, that would probably be something disastrous once...
  16. GMMichael

    Weekday evening, MST, dark ages fantasy, LFP!

    Hi folks - I'm starting a campaign on Roll20, and have a few seats open. The game day is flexible, depending on player needs. This link goes to the recruiting and info page, but I think you'll need to be signed-in to Roll20 for it...
  17. GMMichael

    Saving the Bard

    I like to bash on the bard, because well, what kind of adventurer brings a lute to a swordfight? It doesn't help that Monty Python makes them seem counter-productive: ...and Final Fantasy gave them the special ability to Hide... ...but I secretly :censored: think that the bard should be...
  18. GMMichael

    Drowning in (Character Sheet) Details

    A post on the D&D 5e version of Charm Person got me thinking - 5e implemented the perfect system to handle the Charm Person spell, but they didn't utilize that system. Rather than spending 10+ lines describing how Charm Person works, the spell description could be: You become a Bond of the...
  19. GMMichael

    I only run D&D when I need to establish a player base

    I found the titular assertion intriguing. The D&D part is obvious - there are 40 million D&D players out there (is what I read, anyway). What's this establishing-a-player-base? Do you, as GM, curate a game group? Do you, as a player, play D&D just long enough to find other players who match...
  20. GMMichael

    5E Recycling 5e

    Fifth edition D&D is probably the greenest D&D yet, being recycled from the rules of 3.5e and 4e, as well as highly available in digital format. How can we make it greener? I thought some roll-recycling would be in order. If you roll 4d6-drop-lowest for your ability scores, keep your first...