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D&D General what is the worst homebrew you have seen?


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I think I need Ibuprofen just thinking abut trying to run that game!

Ah yes, the boot, one of the deadliest weapons in the 2e PHB.

I don't want to side with the munchkin, but didn't detonate effectively cause damage to everyone in a range around the detonated object?

(I tried to google it but I saw the suggestion when I typed detona was "detonate dead popes". It puzzles me.)
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
I don't want to side with the munchkin, but didn't detonate effectively cause damage to everyone in a range around the detonated object?

(I tried to google it but I saw the suggestion when I typed detona was "detonate dead popes". It puzzles me.)
So here's the power in question. Being forced to pull out my book, look it up, and make a ruling at the table, while I was trying to juggle a 20 character combat was not fun, let me tell you. I learned a long time ago that if a player tells you what their power does, there's a strong chance it doesn't work the way they think it does, lol.

Detonate.jpg

Detonate2.jpg

So the power states it works on plants, inanimate objects, and animated undead (skeletons and zombies). You'll note it's area of effect is "one item" and also "8 cubic feet", but the power states it does 1d10 damage to all vulnerable objects the psionicist chooses to attack within 10 feet, with a save vs. breath weapon for half damage ("all" is apparently no more than 8 cubic feet). Now if you roll a 20 when initiating the power, it says that "everyone" within 10 feet of you is attacked, which seems to imply that detonate has the power to damage people, but my reading of the power is that otherwise it never states it does damage to anything other than an object, plant, or undead.

The player argued, of course, that it made no sense that all these exploding items wouldn't deal damage like the shrapnel of a grenade. I certainly could see it, but that's not what the power says it does (again, by my reading). I honestly don't remember what I said at the time, but I was pretty annoyed (pro tip: do not try to run a game for 20 players!) at this point, so I probably told him to detonate sand.

I'm curious how other people would rule, and if my reading was incorrect, though at this point it's largely moot- I don't see anyone begging me to run a 2e game, let alone wanting to be psionic (more's the pity; as wacky and unbalanced as 2e was, I have nostalgia for those days).
 

Thank you for this detailed reply. I was unfazed by psionics at the time, but I ruled it like it could damage people -- possibly because I was a teenager at the time.

I hadn't understood that the 20 players in it meant they were 20 around the table. You're probably a world champion for having done that. I stall at around 6... can't imagine 20. I thought you had a group of 20 playing "in the campaign" as is, different groups in the same world. Wow!
 

That is Mork Borg, two aisles over...

(I tried to google it but I saw the suggestion when I typed detona was "detonate dead popes". It puzzles me.)

My ruling (and I had to read it a couple of times to arrive at it, in the comfort of my own home, not in the middle of a game with 20 players) would be that based on the use of the term objects, Detonate only affects inanimate objects with the d10 damage unless you roll a nat 20. It would've been far more productive, and within the scope of the rules, for the player to destroy the orc's weapon or armor.

So here's the power in question. Being forced to pull out my book, look it up, and make a ruling at the table, while I was trying to juggle a 20 character combat was not fun, let me tell you. I learned a long time ago that if a player tells you what their power does, there's a strong chance it doesn't work the way they think it does, lol.

View attachment 269041
View attachment 269042
So the power states it works on plants, inanimate objects, and animated undead (skeletons and zombies). You'll note it's area of effect is "one item" and also "8 cubic feet", but the power states it does 1d10 damage to all vulnerable objects the psionicist chooses to attack within 10 feet, with a save vs. breath weapon for half damage ("all" is apparently no more than 8 cubic feet). Now if you roll a 20 when initiating the power, it says that "everyone" within 10 feet of you is attacked, which seems to imply that detonate has the power to damage people, but my reading of the power is that otherwise it never states it does damage to anything other than an object, plant, or undead.

The player argued, of course, that it made no sense that all these exploding items wouldn't deal damage like the shrapnel of a grenade. I certainly could see it, but that's not what the power says it does (again, by my reading). I honestly don't remember what I said at the time, but I was pretty annoyed (pro tip: do not try to run a game for 20 players!) at this point, so I probably told him to detonate sand.

I'm curious how other people would rule, and if my reading was incorrect, though at this point it's largely moot- I don't see anyone begging me to run a 2e game, let alone wanting to be psionic (more's the pity; as wacky and unbalanced as 2e was, I have nostalgia for those days).
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Thank you for this detailed reply. I was unfazed by psionics at the time, but I ruled it like it could damage people -- possibly because I was a teenager at the time.

I hadn't understood that the 20 players in it meant they were 20 around the table. You're probably a world champion for having done that. I stall at around 6... can't imagine 20. I thought you had a group of 20 playing "in the campaign" as is, different groups in the same world. Wow!
I don't know, it's actually one of the low points of my DMing career. Session 1 was actually pretty fun, but by Session 2, cracks were forming, and Session 3 ended with me packing up my books and walking out on the group because some of the players felt it was a great idea to engage in PVP with one another, which is something I have never had the patience for.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
That is Mork Borg, two aisles over...



My ruling (and I had to read it a couple of times to arrive at it, in the comfort of my own home, not in the middle of a game with 20 players) would be that based on the use of the term objects, Detonate only affects inanimate objects with the d10 damage unless you roll a nat 20. It would've been far more productive, and within the scope of the rules, for the player to destroy the orc's weapon or armor.
If I can be forgiven for this continued sidetrack on Detonate...

So the weird thing is, by the 2e rules, (page 58 of the revised "black" DMG), "the roll to hit and hit points do not apply" when equipment is subjected to danger. Instead you roll on the Item Saving Throw table, and even then, only if the object is unattended- if attended, you only check to see if items are damaged fails a saving throw against an attack.

So unless an object has stated hit points, it would follow that an item saving throw be made. Now the text of Detonate talks about a Breath Weapon save, but that's not on the list of things items have to save for, which includes "acid attacks, crushing blows, disintegration, falls, magical fires, normal fires, cold, lightning bolt, and electrical". So in this case, it seems that a ruling might be to give a character or NPC a breath weapon save to avoid Detonate's effect, and then if they fail, determine what the item saving throw should be (Crushing Blow perhaps).

Inanimate objects do have hit points, mind, but the rules only concern themselves with things like cutting ropes, doors, barrels, and so on. And even then, you need a weapon that deals the appropriate damage type- a club isn't much use against a rope. Some items are given example hit points (a wooden door might have 1d20+30 hit points, a chair 1d8+1), but in a lot of cases, it's up to the DM to decide.

As a result, it feels like the creator of Detonate was either unfamiliar with the rules in the DMG, or was used to house rules of some kind. It seems like the intent was to create a psionic version of the shatter spell, without actually referencing shatter in any way (which causes items affected to save vs. crushing blow, and does damage to crystalline-based creatures).

*As an aside, while the DMG ruled that damage to weapons and armor was temporary, and repaired in the field, the Complete Fighter's Handbook had some optional rules for destroying armor. In this case, the armor had "damage points" based on it's type and materials. You deduct one armor point for each attack that hits the character (and it's one damage point no matter how much damage the attack did to the character). Plate mail, for example, has 35 "damage points".
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I'm curious how other people would rule, and if my reading was incorrect, though at this point it's largely moot- I don't see anyone begging me to run a 2e game, let alone wanting to be psionic (more's the pity; as wacky and unbalanced as 2e was, I have nostalgia for those days).
Logic indicates shrapnel damage, but I'd say that neither RAW nor RAI suggests that it would actually cause any damage to living beings. The "everyone" is probably a typo, since I don't think this book was put through much, if any, editing, playtesting, or even theorycrafting.
 

Convoluted descriptions and the duplication of existing D&D spells as things that aren't spells have ever been amongst the reasons I hated psionics before 5e finally said "no, they're spells and we're going to use the system we've got in place."

As a result, it feels like the creator of Detonate was either unfamiliar with the rules in the DMG, or was used to house rules of some kind. It seems like the intent was to create a psionic version of the shatter spell, without actually referencing shatter in any way (which causes items affected to save vs. crushing blow, and does damage to crystalline-based creatures).
 

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