The Thread In Which We Rant

jasper

Rotten DM
Dear D4 creators, "Oh my Gawd please make a standard. It put the number on the base or on the point"
Dear dice creators, "Have you ever heard of contrast? Clear and clean designs"
Dear metal dice creators, "You own me a new table or your life. Your choice!" Signed the spouse.
 

Sabathius42

Adventurer
Dear GMs:

1) I'm going to try my hardest to investigate your world to figure out the who/what/when/where/and why of all the things that are happening. This being said...when I am on session 10 of a campaign where strange jewelled eggs keep showing up randomly and the 1000th NPC doesn't have any information on the strange jewelled eggs i'm going to disengage and stop giving a crap about the strange jewelled eggs.

Then, during session 40 when you unveil the source of the strange jewelled eggs please do not be disappointed at my reaction (or lack thereof) as a player in your campaign. I checked out months ago from that storyline.

2) When you introduce an NPC that player(s) really enjoy interacting with then find a reason for the character to stick around. Maybe they just started as a random shopkeeper, but who is to say they weren't waiting for the right group to pick up a sword and hit the adventuring road?
 

Hussar

Legend
To Other Players:
Keep track of what is going on during combat and be thinking about what your character will do on your next turn, before your turn comes up. Nobody wants to stop the game while you decide what to do, review all your spells, recalculate your damage bonus, count range to the enemy, lose track of BBEG's mini, &c.
THIS THIS A THOUSAND FREAKING TIMES THIS !!!!!!
 

Hussar

Legend
Dear Players - PLEASE look at the campaign writeup before creating your character and make at least a tiny bit of effort to make sure that your character has SOME connection to the campaign or setting. NO you may not be an orphan. NO you did not come from far away. I'm tired of Man Without a Name characters. It's been done to freaking death. I've spent a considerable time coming up with a campaign setting here, the least you can do is spend 30 seconds coming up with a reason WHY this character happens to be in this campaign.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Dear Players - PLEASE look at the campaign writeup before creating your character and make at least a tiny bit of effort to make sure that your character has SOME connection to the campaign or setting. NO you may not be an orphan. NO you did not come from far away. I'm tired of Man Without a Name characters. It's been done to freaking death. I've spent a considerable time coming up with a campaign setting here, the least you can do is spend 30 seconds coming up with a reason WHY this character happens to be in this campaign.
"The Adventures of Broody Specialman, and his Band of Angry Orphans."
 

Greg K

Adventurer
Dear WOTC,
Give us class options and variant abilities that address classes breaking your own class design guidelines. Furthermore, if you are going to force subclasses under a class (e.g., under the rogue, because the rogue uses light armor and/or is the non-magicial skill specialist) and the introduction of the subclass breaks the design guidelines, provide new variant abilities or options for the core class to prevent breaking the design guidelines.

For those that have not watched the episodes Mearls Happy Fun Hour, Mike Mearls revealed he official class design guidelines and gone into more detail over various episodes. Early on, he also told his audience how they were finalized after several core classes were finished. Here is what I compiled.

1. Players should be playing the character they want to play at first level (Happy Fun Hour: Kraken Sorcerer 1/30/18; 19:24).

2. Core class abilities should be something that all character of the class would want. The core class should allow you to portray the character you want "without gaining abilities that you stop using, feel are irrelevant, or go against what your character is" (Happy Fun Hour: Fighter Warlord 3/16/18 11:50).

3. A core class with a subclass at 3rd level means that "the core class identity is much more distinct, much stronger, and impactful on the character" ("Acrobat Rogue". Happy Fun Hour 2/6/18). For example, all rogues pretty much use the same armor, similar weapons. They look the same and are good with skills, but the subclass is how they specialize ("Acrobat Rogue". Happy Fun Hour 2/6/18).
In contrast, a core class with a subclass at first level is "defined by the subclass and is driven by it"- a god of time and a god of war are very distinct and do very different things ("Acrobat Rogue". Happy Fun Hour 2/6/18).

4. Taking a subclass should not fundamentally change the character, but further augment the concept. I accidentally deleted the reference for the first time it was said, but I believe it was the 1/30/18 (I will try to verify and update). It, or at least the first half was stated also on 4/4 (about 23:20).
For example, when taking your subclass, you should not be changing your equipment (Happy Fun Hour: Kraken Sorcerer 1/30/18; 19:24). The Valor Bard breaks this and Mike said that the Bard should have had its subclass at first level.

5. Given the above, core classes that receive their subclass at 3rd level should be should be "seeded with enough options at first and second level" to avoid an "awkward transformation" (Happy Fun Hour Kraken Sorcerer).
When coming up with his Vigilante (a.k.a Urban Ranger) subclass, Mike ran into the problem that the Ranger class itself had no features or options supporting an urban environment. This meant that a player wanting the subclass would be stuck with wilderness abilities that did not fit the concept before finally acquiring the subclass. This meant that the player did not get to play the character concept from the beginning and would then be stuck with unwanted features. Therefore, it broke 1 and 2 in my accumulated list. It would would lead to an "awkward transformation". To rectify the issue, he created new options and a variant feature.

With the release of the Swashbuckler and Scout Rogue subclasses, Thieve's Cant and even skill and tool proficiencies (e.g. Thieves' Tools) can raise issues with number 2 (irrelevant or forgotten abilities that the player does not want). Not t all Swashbucklers or Scouts are affiliated with the criminal world or thievery. Both subclasses are intended to also cover lightly armored skilled warrior types due to the Rogue's armor, skill selection, expertise, and equipment. While easy to address, and I had posted options on the boards for the Scout (a variant to replace Thieves Cant and another to swapping some proficiencies), it does not excuse the the designers for not addressing the issue officially. New DMs may not feel comfortable making such changes to the rules (I have encountered a few in prior editions ), some groups just want to stick to official rules and options, and, while I am not an AL player, it is my understanding that house rules are not legal in Adventurer's League. Thus, players may be stuck with abilities that go against the player's concept.
 
Last edited:
Take these rumors
, please!

-there are giant rats infesting Old Man Willers barn
The ring-leader's a white rat named Socrates.

-goblins are setting up camp in a nearby ruin
Well, they look like goblins from a distance - they're a hobgoblin youth scout troop, and they really are just camping - and working on their archeology merit badges.

-bandits are raiding a nearby trade route
Because the traders are evil, dealing in slaves, blood residuum, and conflict mithral from a distant elven civil war.

-a wyvern built a lair on Mt. Perilous
Sir Lancelot: We were in the nick of time. You were in great peril.
Sir Galahad: I don't think I was.
Sir Lancelot: Yes, you were. You were in terrible peril.
Sir Galahad: Look, let me go back in there and face the peril.
Sir Lancelot: No, it's too perilous.
Sir Galahad: Look, it's my duty as a knight to sample as much peril as I can.
Sir Lancelot: No, we've got to find the Holy Grail. Come on.
Sir Galahad: Oh, let me have just a little bit of peril?
Sir Lancelot: No. It's unhealthy.

...

Ok, ok, sorry about that, but seriously....
 

Tyler Do'Urden

Soap Maker
NO you may not be an orphan.
My policy is you can't just be an orphan.

Harry Potter? Orphan.
Frodo Baggins? Orphan.
Aragorn? Orphan.
Rand al'Thor? Orphan.

They were orphans, but they still had attachments to other people - in the first case dedication to his friends and working out his destiny; in the second and third cases to their surrogate fathers (Bilbo and Elrond); in the fourth case to the adoptive father he'd always thought was his "real" father (Tam).

Plenty of good orphan characters out there. Just don't be a simplistic unattached murderhobo about it!

(And here's what I don't get... why wouldn't you want attachments to characters and the game world. "Oh, the DM might make me go rescue them, or have obligations to them, or..." "DUDE, YOU'RE AN ADVENTURER! Save people, fulfill destinies and obligations, right wrongs... THAT'S WHAT YOU DO!" Why wouldn't you want that, rather than just going on mercenary quest of the week for 100 gp?)
 

Hussar

Legend
Oh, I agree. The orphan character as an archetype is certainly fine. I mean, there are certain backgrounds that pretty much scream orphan or at least character with few strings in the background. No worries. It's just that when every character, every campaign, stretching back years is like this, I get a bit peevy. If I were a parent in D&D Land, I'd bloody drown any child that showed the slightest inclination towards being an adventurer and claim self defense in court.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Oh, I agree. The orphan character as an archetype is certainly fine. I mean, there are certain backgrounds that pretty much scream orphan or at least character with few strings in the background. No worries. It's just that when every character, every campaign, stretching back years is like this, I get a bit peevy. If I were a parent in D&D Land, I'd bloody drown any child that showed the slightest inclination towards being an adventurer and claim self defense in court.
That’s what got Herod in trouble. Just sayin’.
 

Nagol

Unimportant
My policy is you can't just be an orphan.

Harry Potter? Orphan.
Frodo Baggins? Orphan.
Aragorn? Orphan.
Rand al'Thor? Orphan.

They were orphans, but they still had attachments to other people - in the first case dedication to his friends and working out his destiny; in the second and third cases to their surrogate fathers (Bilbo and Elrond); in the fourth case to the adoptive father he'd always thought was his "real" father (Tam).

Plenty of good orphan characters out there. Just don't be a simplistic unattached murderhobo about it!

(And here's what I don't get... why wouldn't you want attachments to characters and the game world. "Oh, the DM might make me go rescue them, or have obligations to them, or..." "DUDE, YOU'RE AN ADVENTURER! Save people, fulfill destinies and obligations, right wrongs... THAT'S WHAT YOU DO!" Why wouldn't you want that, rather than just going on mercenary quest of the week for 100 gp?)
Primarily because some DMs don't use just attachments as sources of dramatic need, they use them to try to emotionally torture players: "Ah ha! You are too late! The love of your life is now a ghoul infected with lycanthropy and carries a nycadaemon seed in her belly! Bwa ha ha! And the town that the group has adopted was targeted by the world destroyer! See what happens to those that you love!".

Other DMs refuse to leave the common history alone and desperately need to fiddle and add unwanted secret stories to reveal: "Ah ha! What you thought of as a loving mother is really an evil lich bent on <stupid plot #13>. All those memories of growing up in a loving house are now moot! Why don't you like the plot focus?".

Other DMs over-rely on the same set of hooks for dramatic need -- exactly how many times do I need to rescue Lois Lane before I cut all ties?

Other times, the player wants to build attachments organically as play develops as opposed to stipulating such attachments in the past because, frankly, there is no stipulated attachment on the player's part that can match one developed during play.

Or maybe because the player doesn't want a starring role in this ensemble cast and the more attachments that pre-exist for the DM to (ab)use, the more likely he will be thrust into such a role.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Dear Players, "No I will not include the new weapon which you think is uber, cool, and most powerful! This includes light sabers, light bo staves (Dart Maul thingy), Krull throwing disk, Zena's Frisbee, etc. Just reskin a weapon and ASK NICELY I may give it a bump."
***
Dear gamers of Rotten Dm, "Never ever give him a starbucks triple mocha. again."
***
Dear posters and gamers of Rotten DM, "Ignore the above post. They lie. I was not dancing on the con tables while was dming. They have not pictures to prove it."

****
Dear gamers, "CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELVES!" Signed mom.
 

Sadras

Adventurer
To Other Players:
Keep track of what is going on during combat and be thinking about what your character will do on your next turn, before your turn comes up. Nobody wants to stop the game while you decide what to do, review all your spells, recalculate your damage bonus, count range to the enemy, lose track of BBEG's mini, &c.
These days, as DM, I give them a slow 10 seconds before moving on to the next person. Hopefully they will have figured out what to do before the end of the round of combat otherwise they risk losing their turn.

Dear players
Besides @Eltab's brilliant post
Kindly bother to update your characters sheets on Obsidian Portal.
Please familiarise yourself with the basic notes that have been uploaded.
Do remove the nasty habit of just name dropping skills without purposeful action, hoping the DM does all the creative legwork for you in an open skill challenge.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Dear players,
Not all characters need to have a Tragic Backstory™.


BTW, Aragorn isn't actually an orphan. His father may have died when he was small, but his mother apparently died well after he came of age.
 

Advertisement

Top