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[D&D 5E] Nothing is true, everything is permitted.

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Posts

  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Because my core group meets so rarely, we take great pains to make sure everyone can make it for a weekend. And even then we might be short one dude who has to work that Saturday or the other dude who just couldn't get out of his kids dance recital or whatever. It happens.

    Also, to go back to an earlier conversation... once 4e rewrote the monster math, therefore invalidating my purchase and making me look the fool for trying to sell my group on a system "where everything is balanced, it works perfectly" I dropped it and while I liked it and understood that it got better, it was too late.

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited August 9
    my de facto rule is that character is either NPC’d by me in basic mode or they can entrust a proxy to pilot the character if i don’t have a place offstage for them to go

    either way that character has immunity to death while the player is not at the table

    Yeah who would kill a player's character while they were absent

    *Deletes post about bard being ritually murdered and eaten by the Yuan-Ti and the party while she was gone for the week*

    (I did text her that don't worry it's not all it's cracked up to be, you'll get a cutscene providing context next week)

    override367 on
    Fuselage
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    My DMs seem to like working missing characters into the session as objectives.
    Frank couldn't make it? Okay, the goblins broke into camp last night and kidnapped our Rogue, Death Wish Daryl when she fell asleep on watch. They have her chained up in the dungeon that we were just about to raid anyways, in the new wing that I'm hastily sketching onto the map now.
    So, instead of just killing the boss and grabbing the legendary gem: McGuffin, you also have to find DWD and get her out.

    Next session: Okay, Frank, good to see you're back. You're starting this session chained up in a dungeon that has, for the past week or so, begun smelling increasingly of dead and decaying goblinoids. You vaguly remember hearing some ruckus about a week back, but you had taken some blows to the head. Your memory of that time is foggy at best. But you're pretty sure these events are connected. Sure would have been nice if those intrepid goblin slaughtering adventurers hadn't utterly failed in their "Search for hidden doors" check and discovered the new wing of the dungeon that you're chained up in. Roll at disadvantage for picking your locks using improvised tools...

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
    IvelliusSniperGuyKasynMoridin889never die
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    We play a westmarches game when someone can't show up. Different folks DM, we get to try new characters and still build that "we play every week" commitment. D&D happens every week. No matter what.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
    Ivellius
  • KasynKasyn Registered User regular
    In my main group, we have no issue putting a campaign on hold for a week or even two or three if someone is available, because our group has really great chemistry and it just feels too weird to play without 1 of the 4.

    For this purpose we usually have a more casual campaign as backup, generally composed of the players who are most often available. It's been a pretty good compromise so far. It can be even more fun if you set the backup campaign in the world of your central one in some loose way.

    So for instance, my character in the main group is a river pirate captain / folk hero type, his crew and ship have been a major part of the game so far and are how we've been getting around the world. Every single member of the crew has a name, NPC statblock, and tiny blurb or two of backstory or character premise. My character in the backup campaign is one of those random crew members, set in the not-so-distant future. His lucky charm is a doorknob from my boat, and we have left it ambiguous as to whether or not that's something with a very grim implication for the fate of the ship and its other crew.

    FryIvellius
  • KhildithKhildith Registered User regular
    Last nights session:

    Things I expected to happen: Things

    Things I was prepared if the party did instead: many other things

    Things the party did: totally different things

    I love D&D!

    AldoElvenshaeKasynIvelliusLindRhesus PositiveMoridin889never diemildlymorbid
  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    I would not want them to change how monsters work in 5e to accommodate a more videogamey challenge rating system, I'd rather they just put out good encounter building guidelines

    There are any number of good sources online that talk about how to build a good encounter so it shouldn't be difficult for WOTC so I'm not sure why they haven't done it

    Just to go back to this;

    The fact that an incredibly frequent tidbit of advice for getting better at running combat in 5E is to run other games, thereby assuming these other games are better at teaching DMs to run exciting combats, makes me laugh a bit. Like, WoTC could absolutely post guidelines for making the wonky math of 5E work better, and they could have used 5E to make the DM's life easy (like in 4E) while also reducing math complexity. They chose not to.

    Dungeon World was helpful for me to run combats where I depend less on initiative order, and more on shitting spotlights to different venues of the fight. I'm not a particularly good DW DM (I have a hard time improv'ing realistic results to failures on the fly), but reading it helped me prep encounters better because it made me think about not just what the scene presented as, but also how players could interact with the scene (both failure and success).

    Stars Without Number helped me build tools to make my world feel more real, and that my players were more a part of a bigger world, rather than everything only existing in relation to them.

    Blades in the Dark (and also SWN, but Blades was first for me) made me think more about how to treat player goals and desires, and how to give them mechanical effect in the fictional world space. Now, when the players have money, they commit to projects like improving their po-dunk village to attract tourist money, or investment cash, or adventurer's looking to problem solve, etc. Upgrading their cart allows them to travel faster, safer, and with more luxury when they arrive.

    TheAngryGM, Matt Colville, Perkins/Holkins/Mercer all helped me realize where on the scale of exposition / description I wanted to be on, and that I didn't have to prep a map for every single possible combat location. The CTeam and Dice Camera Action made me actually drop maps completely from my online games. My players struggled initially, but combats went from taking 90+ minutes to run, to ~40 minutes, and I'm working with them on getting that lower (a lot of the reason why combats still take so long is we started a new campaign and the martial classed players now play Spell Casters, and its taken them a while to grok some of the rules).


    The thing that really gets me is that the above games do all this GM-side service in 1 book. WoTC has the 3 core books, and they could actually be super useful! But...they're just...not?

    The player's hand book just concentrate on player-side options, and also talk about what it means to be a good player at a table full of friends vs strangers. It should talk about how to create a compelling back story, and how to use that back story to help you determine character actions. And also have charts that facilitate rule look up in play, particularly for level up / character creation moments, and *especially* for spell casters. Every time I teach a new person 5E, the look of relief on their face when I say "it's not you, this rulebook is kinda terrible" just belies the idea that the book couldn't be better organized, presented, and written.

    The Monster Manual is close to being great. It has a wide range of monsters, it has great art, and even limited amounts of evocative lore descriptions. However, coming from the perspective of new-to-Faerun, I absolutely would have loved some basic descriptions of how and why some of those monsters fight. Like, I can get from a goblin stat block how they prefer to operate, but it'd be cool if there was just more evocative language for how to describe actions, or how to run encounters featuring them. There's no way I'm going to be familiar with every single monster in all the splat books, but if I'm running a published adventure and don't know what a specific monster is, looking one up and seeing "prefers hit and run, won't fight to the death, only fights when at advantage" vs "elusive, fleeting, but fights to the death if bloodied" or any other short descriptive sentence of how to run a monster gives me way more ideas for how to use them in an encounter.

    And the Dungeon Master's Guide should really focus on the idea of teaching people what it means to be a good DM. Not just in 5E, but in general. To provide tools to run the game you want to run, and how to make all aspects of the game sing, as needed by you and your table. If you are already a good DM, it provides some tools, that with tweaking, can bring a lot of value to you. But to present it as *THE* Dungeon master's guide, and then not really talk about any of the things that will immediately come up when you first run a game is kind of funny.

    Diagnosed with AML on 6/1/12. Read about it: www.effleukemia.com
    ElvenshaeDarkPrimusRiemannLivesBlindPsychicSCREECH OF THE FARGMoridin889
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited August 10
    I still don't know what you mean by math complexity having anything to do with 5e's problems... there's less math in 5e than previous editions

    edit: to be clear I completely agree, as I pointed out earlier, that the game could really use simple ideas of behavior for monsters without having to consult other sources

    override367 on
    Sleep
  • KasynKasyn Registered User regular
    edited August 9
    I can definitely see how just a little bit more on the essence of each creature could go a long way, but guess I always just considered a lot of that stuff as open-ended on purpose, so as not to make DMs feel like they're doing something wrong when they customize monster behavior, and not to make them feel locked in to a default mode, like orcs always being aggressive or kobolds always being cowardly.

    The Runehammer video I posted a few pages back had an excellent set of principles for interesting encounter design. I've just never considered content like that to be necessary as a codified part of the actual game system, more like a structured way to articulate good design theory.

    That said, I doubt it'd ever hurt much for the books to try to make more of the monsters have a better baseline combination of theme and mechanics, or for the book to give a few conceptual ways to make combats less generic.

    In the last game I ran, I tried to have the vast majority of encounters contain some sort of special dynamic that was above and beyond just statblocks vs. PCs. Changing terrain, the impact of weather on combat and mobility (I had a particularly memorable combat on a ship going through a storm, the semi-randomized effects worked out beautifully), different new monsters coming in (a buffed up, armored up Rust Monster showing up after the party thought they were out of the woods when they killed a normal one). The key, I think, is to marry these additional dynamics to the environment or setting or flavor that's going on, make it actually compelling and not just an added layer of complexity, and make it impactful in some meaningful fashion without being hugely arbitrary or oppressive.

    I always found it to be one of the more fun parts of being a DM, sketching out creative encounters. I had a fairly standard tavern brawl combat turn into a very dramatic escape-from-a-burning-building deal midway through, with the fire being added and growing at various initiatives.

    I approached a lot of these customizations somewhat similarly to how 5E does Complex Traps, which they introduced in one of their UAs here. Worth looking into.

    Kasyn on
  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    I think what really annoys me about the 5e DMG is how much space it wastes on stupid random tables. Because it's all so halfassed. Everything is a random table with a handful of entries. All "Roll for the NPC's Name" then the table is a d4 lookup whose options are "1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, 4) Drizzt".

    It's like they were trying to pander to grognards but didn't want to put in the effort to make the tables useful. The 1st ed DMG is how you do fucking tables. But they didn't want to have their book be like 400 pages of small print double column charts with no artwork.

    Couple other examples are like the Potion Miscibility chart or the Wild Magic Surge charts. Those are absolutely pathetic compared to those exact same charts from 1st or 2nd edition. If you are going to pander to grognards and clutter up the book with random tables they need enough variability and options to be useful.

    JustTee
  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    Are there any good rare magic items for an beastmaster ranger?

    I'm having a look through the dungeon masters guide and other than bows, there isn't anything else that seems even mildly interesting.

  • joshgotrojoshgotro Queen CityRegistered User regular
    Finesse Short Sword (Light, Throw, Go Fetch)

    Here me out. The Go Fetch tag means instead of issuing a command and wasting your attack round, your beast goes and rips it out of the target.

    Sure. I guess +1 to atk and dmg.

  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    I'm using the UA beastmaster, my wolf has seperate turns.

  • joshgotrojoshgotro Queen CityRegistered User regular
    Blake T wrote: »
    I'm using the UA beastmaster, my wolf has seperate turns.

    Then no...

  • Mostlyjoe13Mostlyjoe13 Evil, Evil, Jump for joy! Registered User regular
    I was all ready to kick off a Starfinder game with a crew...and they drop Eberron 5E on me. Ah! Now I'm torn.

    PSN ID - Mostlyjoe Steam ID -mostlyjoe
    Elvenshae
  • iguanacusiguanacus Desert PlanetRegistered User regular
    Depending on how your DM would handle it there's an item from one of the published adventures that lets natural attacks count as magical for overcoming resistances. Technically animals can't attune to it (or any) magic items but whatever.

    Outside of the old standbys the magic item selection is pretty lacking. Xanathar's added some fun little magic items, but not much else. You could try going over some older editions or Pathfinder magic item books, I'm a big fan of 2E's Encyclopedia Magica which were a 4 volume collection of every magic item ever put into a published adventure by TSR or in an issue of Dragon or Dungeon magazines.

    I dunno, I take you seriously on some topics and dick rider is your profession
    SleepElvenshaejoshgotro
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited August 10
    .
    iguanacus wrote: »
    Depending on how your DM would handle it there's an item from one of the published adventures that lets natural attacks count as magical for overcoming resistances. Technically animals can't attune to it (or any) magic items but whatever.

    Outside of the old standbys the magic item selection is pretty lacking. Xanathar's added some fun little magic items, but not much else. You could try going over some older editions or Pathfinder magic item books, I'm a big fan of 2E's Encyclopedia Magica which were a 4 volume collection of every magic item ever put into a published adventure by TSR or in an issue of Dragon or Dungeon magazines.

    Encyclopedia magica is one of the best sources of all time for 5e.

    You gotta massage the items some times, but it is a wealth of ideas

    My players love when i pull out that blue book and start rolling

    Sleep on
    Elvenshaeoverride367Moridin889
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    So that turtle-man race I was cooking up is done.
    @Mostlyjoe13
    I not certain if you’re running it or playing, but if the former have you considered leading one setting into the other?

    Sleep
  • DecatusDecatus Registered User regular
    Khildith wrote: »
    Last nights session:

    Things I expected to happen: Things

    Things I was prepared if the party did instead: many other things

    Things the party did: totally different things

    I love D&D!

    Yeah, we’re pretty much the best party. I do like my friend MrCool (Myrkul) and how he lets me make new friends all the time. Though, the new friends are pretty smelly...oh well, I’m sure we’ll get used to them.

    PSN: donthaveone83
    KhildithElvenshaeoverride367
  • KhildithKhildith Registered User regular
    Decatus wrote: »
    Khildith wrote: »
    Last nights session:

    Things I expected to happen: Things

    Things I was prepared if the party did instead: many other things

    Things the party did: totally different things

    I love D&D!

    Yeah, we’re pretty much the best party. I do like my friend MrCool (Myrkul) and how he lets me make new friends all the time. Though, the new friends are pretty smelly...oh well, I’m sure we’ll get used to them.

    At some point -someone- is going to notice you raising an undead army, and then you'll have words with the local constabulary!

    Sleep
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Khildith wrote: »
    Decatus wrote: »
    Khildith wrote: »
    Last nights session:

    Things I expected to happen: Things

    Things I was prepared if the party did instead: many other things

    Things the party did: totally different things

    I love D&D!

    Yeah, we’re pretty much the best party. I do like my friend MrCool (Myrkul) and how he lets me make new friends all the time. Though, the new friends are pretty smelly...oh well, I’m sure we’ll get used to them.

    At some point -someone- is going to notice you raising an undead army, and then you'll have words with the local constabulary!

    The words will be "Braaaaaaaiiiiiinnnnnnssss" and "OHGODSIT'SEATINGMEOHGODS!"

    omgbfz5lzi1s.png
    Steam: Elvenshae // PSN: Elvenshae // WotC: Elvenshae
    The Disappearance of Inigo Sharpe: Tomas à Dunsanin
    Ken ODecatusFryMoridin889never die
  • DecatusDecatus Registered User regular
    Yeah, I’m honeslty curious how this whole thing is going to end up. Obviously, having a dead priest of Myrkul stuck in my head isn’t really a sustainable thing, and I think that the whole “turning our enemies into zombies” thing is starting to really concern the party Paladin. Oh well, I’m sure it’ll all end just fine.

    PSN: donthaveone83
    ElvenshaeSleep
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited August 10
    Blake T wrote: »
    Are there any good rare magic items for an beastmaster ranger?

    I'm having a look through the dungeon masters guide and other than bows, there isn't anything else that seems even mildly interesting.

    ring of spell storing is pretty great on rangers

    5 hails of thorns plz

    override367 on
    Sleep
  • AmarylAmaryl Registered User regular
    I think what really annoys me about the 5e DMG is how much space it wastes on stupid random tables. Because it's all so halfassed. Everything is a random table with a handful of entries. All "Roll for the NPC's Name" then the table is a d4 lookup whose options are "1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, 4) Drizzt".

    I have the 5e dm screen, an half a section is used up with a random name generator table with a bunch of vowels. And every session I roll a random name, say it out loud and we laugh because not a single one has been something that sounds like a name i'd use. And then the next random npc they interact with has that stupid name and the entire party sighs. I could cover it up with a chinese restaurant menu and get better names.

    JustTeeElvenshaeFry
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    I tried the name generator once, saw that Alejandro was an option to give to a sweettalking illusionist and only fake-rolled behind the screen.

    No ragrets.

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
    Elvenshae
  • joshgotrojoshgotro Queen CityRegistered User regular
    @iguanacus These Encyclpedia Magica entries are amazing. Good tool.

    SleepNips
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Amaryl wrote: »
    I think what really annoys me about the 5e DMG is how much space it wastes on stupid random tables. Because it's all so halfassed. Everything is a random table with a handful of entries. All "Roll for the NPC's Name" then the table is a d4 lookup whose options are "1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, 4) Drizzt".

    I have the 5e dm screen, an half a section is used up with a random name generator table with a bunch of vowels. And every session I roll a random name, say it out loud and we laugh because not a single one has been something that sounds like a name i'd use. And then the next random npc they interact with has that stupid name and the entire party sighs. I could cover it up with a chinese restaurant menu and get better names.

    I mostly use it for town names. Especially when that town might not remain relevant forever

  • Ken OKen O Registered User regular
    I think the first time you get a new ability you should get to use it at advantage, or the save against that new ability should be at disadvantage.

    Nothing sucks more than being excited to use a new toy and then have it been completely ineffective the first time you try it.

    I'm certainly not speaking from experience or anything.....

    http://www.fingmonkey.com/
    Comics, Games, Booze
    joshgotrooverride367ElvenshaeDarkPrimusnever die
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    That’s an interesting idea @Ken O though I guess you could still be in-training with it, and your first real success with it is your breakthrough moment. ...I still might steal it though.

    The Last Gasp Grimoire is a quality establishment for your generator needs by the way.

    https://www.lastgaspgrimoire.com/generators/

    https://www.lastgaspgrimoire.com/generators/npc-birthing-sacs/

    never die
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    Amaryl wrote: »
    I think what really annoys me about the 5e DMG is how much space it wastes on stupid random tables. Because it's all so halfassed. Everything is a random table with a handful of entries. All "Roll for the NPC's Name" then the table is a d4 lookup whose options are "1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, 4) Drizzt".

    I have the 5e dm screen, an half a section is used up with a random name generator table with a bunch of vowels. And every session I roll a random name, say it out loud and we laugh because not a single one has been something that sounds like a name i'd use. And then the next random npc they interact with has that stupid name and the entire party sighs. I could cover it up with a chinese restaurant menu and get better names.

    the revised DM screen doesn't have the name generator on it

    Sleep
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Amaryl wrote: »
    I think what really annoys me about the 5e DMG is how much space it wastes on stupid random tables. Because it's all so halfassed. Everything is a random table with a handful of entries. All "Roll for the NPC's Name" then the table is a d4 lookup whose options are "1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, 4) Drizzt".

    I have the 5e dm screen, an half a section is used up with a random name generator table with a bunch of vowels. And every session I roll a random name, say it out loud and we laugh because not a single one has been something that sounds like a name i'd use. And then the next random npc they interact with has that stupid name and the entire party sighs. I could cover it up with a chinese restaurant menu and get better names.

    the revised DM screen doesn't have the name generator on it

    I have both, I forget which one has the encounter distance table but it's the table I end up using the most.

  • CarnarvonCarnarvon Registered User regular
    I recommend Final Fantasy Tactic's random names for being 95% usable while being a few hundred names strong.

    joshgotroKasynXagarElvenshaeTorgaironMoridin889
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    I use realmworks and I have a category of npcs called "Random People", there's 30 individuals in there with a tag for race/age/sex and if I click on them I have bonds/flaws/ideals, so I always have people ready when my players flag down a rando and want to know their name, occupation, political opinions, and first time they fell in love

  • KasynKasyn Registered User regular
    For my latest NPC naming needs I consulted the Deadspin Name of the Year bracket archives.

    That's how I ended up with Bucky Worboys, Mahogany Loggins, and Gandalf Hernandez on my ship's crew, to name just a few.

    IvelliusElvenshaenever die
  • joshgotrojoshgotro Queen CityRegistered User regular
    Waltrude the ambiguous one

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    I think xanathar's has a bunch of name tables that are okay

    SleepSmrtniknever die
  • NyhtNyht Registered User regular
    edited August 10
    So I looked into Dwarven Forge on their newest kickstarter. I always loved their stuff and had the very basic set, which I got as a kid for Christmas.

    Looking at the prices for the kickstarter, I am 100% happy it exists and love the idea of getting it. But I then went online to Amazon and just bought some new battle mats for 34 dollars as I didn't have $2000 that I would have needed for DF >_>

    The quality is really amazing on those new sets, though. It just feels like you don't get a lot for the money which is why I started to get into this whole foam homemade stuff and trying it out.

    EDIT: And to be clear I still think the DF stuff is totally worth it if I DID had the money given the time, effort, and quality that goes into that stuff. So I'm not saying by any stretch it's unreasonable.

    Nyht on
    JustTeeNips
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    If you're serious about having DF style environments and have a hundreds $ budget but not DF $ budget, a cheap 3d printer and Openforge with some time to sand and paint produces pretty decent results

    I'm lazy so I literally just primer spray the stuff but my players are still quite pleased to have 3d environments with functional little doors and tiny chests and tables

    NyhtJustTee
  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    edited August 10
    I almost always use The Onomastikon, which has thousands of real historical names from around the world.

    Xagar on
    joshgotroJustTeeElvenshae
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