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[D&D 5E] Characters welcome.

DenadaDenada Registered User regular
edited November 30 in Critical Failures
6zc5mlo0vsmh.png


Have you heard of this hot new game that all the internet youths are going crazy for? Its popularity isn’t surprising, when you consider the features:
  • Fantastical characters
  • Interesting items
  • The opportunity to exercise your imagination to create your own stories and narrative
  • Random chance to keep things interesting
  • Gridless combat
  • Fun to watch on Twitch, depending on who’s playing
  • Tons of stuff to spend your actual money on if you want to
  • All the hottest memes
  • And best of all, it’s free to get started!

Yes, it’s easy to see why Fortnite has exploded in popularity. Quite a bit less popular is Dungeons and Dragons (known to insiders as D&D, or to inside insiders as DnD), which is basically the same game. Consider the features:

Version 5.0 of D&Dragons is what we talk about here. Like all great fans of great sports (both e and p), we comment on the underlying systems in place, how people play the game, why they’re bad at it, why the rules are terrible but also the best they’ve ever been except for how much worse they are than they used to be, argue about every possible aspect of the game, and generally just analyze it more than we actually play it.


Dungeons-n-D Five, it’s just like a video game!




Sub-OP addendum with actual information:
What You can Get for Free
  • The 5E Basic Rules are available in both PDF and web versions. Note that these rules do not include all of the available character options, monsters, and other material.
  • There is a 5E SRD. Same caveat applies about it not having everything. There are a lot of different versions of this out there, so just search engine it and use the one you like.
  • There's an amazing OneNote notebook that contains all of the freely (and legally) available 5E content that was out there at the time it was last updated.
  • There are a lot of character sheets, both official and unofficial. Pick one that makes sense to you. Yours truly just uses the standard one, but tastes vary.
  • There's Dragon+, which is a free digital magazine. I've never read it so I don't know if it's any good.
  • There are no full-content PDFs legally available.

What You Can Buy if You Want
  • The Starter Set is generally considered to be a pretty good option if you want to dip your toe in. The included adventure is well-liked by most, though it has a few gotchas that can sometimes trip up unsuspecting groups.
  • The Core Three books (Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual) are your standard initial investment.
  • Most of the official adventures are somewhere on the scale of fine to great. Your mileage will vary depending on your group, but they're all at least okay if you don't want to write your own stuff.
  • 5E content is available for purchase on a few different platforms. None of these digital purchases overlap, meaning if you buy into Fantasy Grounds, you'd have to pay again for Roll20 or D&D Beyond.
  • The DMs Guild is a branded DriveThruRPG sub-site that's full of D&D content, both official and third-party. Some of it is free. Some of it might be good.
  • Some companies produce accessories and other merch for D&D. These things can be nice to have, but aren't necessary for playing the game. Personally I like the spell cards, though they are a bit pricey.
  • There are no full-content PDFs legally available.

Where You Can Play
  • In-person with your friends is what most people want to do. The expected party size is one Dungeon Master with four Players. You can play with more or less players, and adjusting isn't really that hard. Really big groups can be hard to handle, but some DMs like them. If you want to (or have to) play as a duo of one player and one DM, go for it. It will be a different experience from "regular" D&D but it can be really fun.
  • You can also play online if in-person sessions aren't going to work for you. Roll20 and Discord are the big players in that space, but really you just need a way to talk to each other and maybe share a screen if you want to use a map. There are lots of different ways to do that.
  • Asynchronous online play can happen too, usually via PbP (Play-by-Post) games. We used to have a lot of those here in Critical Failures, but not so much anymore.

You Down With OPP?
  • There are lots of Other People Playing, and you can watch or listen to many of them. Penny Arcade has Acquisitions Inc and the C Team. There are a bunch of others that you can find on Twitch or on your podcast app of choice.

Denada on
SleepFuselageElvenshaeDarkPrimusAldoLindArcanisTheImpotentZonugalRhesus PositiveJPants
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Posts

  • joshgotrojoshgotro Queen CityRegistered User regular
    I think I'm going to give my party the option to explore Phandalin normally or give them (!) across the map. I just worry that we're going to spend the next four sessions in Phandalin.

  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    edited September 6
    I had a lot of trouble getting my group to leave Vallaki because every person they talked to wanted some kind of favor done.

    Smrtnik on
    steam_sig.png
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    joshgotro wrote: »
    I think I'm going to give my party the option to explore Phandalin normally or give them (!) across the map. I just worry that we're going to spend the next four sessions in Phandalin.

    Why not? Let them have the map to Phandalin. The art of the map might immerse them into the game more, and there is no harm in letting them see the layout and asking about the town. It would even facilitate exploration.

    "What's this building here? Number 4 on the map?"

    "Well, let's go find out!"

    Elvenshae
  • doomybeardoomybear Hi People Registered User regular
    wizards gimme my fluffy 'yena people as pcs

    gimme

    gimme gimme

    what a happy day it is
    Mostlyjoe13
  • joshgotrojoshgotro Queen CityRegistered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    joshgotro wrote: »
    I think I'm going to give my party the option to explore Phandalin normally or give them (!) across the map. I just worry that we're going to spend the next four sessions in Phandalin.

    Why not? Let them have the map to Phandalin. The art of the map might immerse them into the game more, and there is no harm in letting them see the layout and asking about the town. It would even facilitate exploration.

    "What's this building here? Number 4 on the map?"

    "Well, let's go find out!"

    That's why I'm giving them the option.

  • NarbusNarbus Registered User regular
    Ken O wrote: »
    My weekly Curse of Strahd game was last night and ooof it was a rough one.

    Last session we reached the Amber temple, took out 3 Flaming Skulls, the barbarians, and an Amber golem.

    This session we fought the 3 remaining flame skulls, a poltergeist, and then walked down to the open chamber with the giant statue and the Arcanaloth.

    First our paladin was fooled by some kind of illusion and took a finger of death. Then we got smacked with chain lightning that dropped one the warlock and the paladin. He disappears into the inky blackness of the statues head. Our cleric spends two rounds throwing out big heals. Irena was hanging behind and warns us that something else is coming down the hall. On my bard's turn I Healing Word the warlock back above 0 (he dropped twice in this fight so far) and decided we're in over our heads and need to do something drastic. I hurl a four bead necklace of fireballs at the statues head. I don't know how much it hurt the Arcanaloth but there was a big explosion and some screaming. Our monk doing monk things starts climbing the statue to get up there. The halfling rogue decides to follow him. Just then Irena screams as some weird one eyed creatures come from around the corner.... And that's where the session ended for the night.

    Before all that happened though there was an event that really gut punched me though. To give more background detail my Bard started with a Instrument of Illusion and Cloak of Billowing, both minor magic items. Except for the Scroll of Greater Restoration they found (he will save the cat girl!), he hasn't cared about the magic items the group came across. The party pretty much gave him the fireball necklace because he hadn't called dibs on anything else. The earlier magic items just weren't cool to him. The Ivory drinking horn? Oh yeah. The giant goat skull to mount on his carriage, better believe it. I feel this attitude is important for what comes next.

    We're in a hall with a dead mage and have just defeated the hopefully last 3 Flameskulls. I'm standing right near the mage's body and someone says, "Dio, check out that staff." I do and I get a message from the DM. "You have a new personality trait, "I crave power above all else, and will do anything to obtain more of it." I double check with him, but there is no saving throw or anything. Another message tells me it will be there until we leave Ravenloft. So I have no idea if Remove Curse or Greater Restoration will help me and this point, it's too new. Hell maybe dropping to 0HP will do it like a ghost possession.

    Out of game I'm super stressed due various real life stuff like bills and fighting my home insurance company so this probably hit me way worse than it really is. But it seems like sucked the fun out of my super fun character. And holy crap I need something that is just fun right now. Sorry for the wall of text, I need to vent to someone that would understand it all this nonsense.
    Yeah, Barovia is supposed to be dark, but those items are still kinda poorly designed, and the DM should have somehow gotten your buy-in. Since the DM already passed the responsiblity for sorting this out onto you, there's about three ways to handle it.
    1. Just go power mad. This is the boring option.
    2. Talk to the DM about you wanting to get rid of the curse. I can think of a bunch of ways to turn that into its own engaging sidequest, with moral choices that would be Barovia-appropriate.
    3. Get creative with what "power" means. Could mean the power of information, even a specific type, or the power of charisma. You might feel compelled to get as much sweet gear as possible to impress those around you.

    Good luck!

    Ken Ooverride367JustTeeMostlyjoe13
  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited September 7
    I have now been running 4-6 games of DnD every week for 2 years.

    I don't post much anymore, but there are people here who will love this delicious irony. I am actually starting the new store campaign next month, with me revitalizing my concept "A Race Around Eberron in 80 Days". It actually works really well for a shared campaign, especially if one party really wants to be Dick Dastardly*.

    *Already rules in place that parties can't overtly attack or kill one another, but there is no rule about getting a marauding band of Gnoll mercenaries to do it for you...

    Aegeri on
    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
    Ken Owebguy20Endless_SerpentsZonugalRhesus PositiveIvelliusTerrendosMatevMostlyjoe13never dieHavelock2.0
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    I can't wait for the DungeonPass next month

    Mostlyjoe13
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    I’m about to run the Dungemost and Dragonest campaign I can, wish me luck!

    KhildithNipsArcanisTheImpotentIvelliusMostlyjoe13
  • KhildithKhildith Registered User regular
    edited September 7
    Tonight was my monthly Curse of Strahd session in which I am a player.

    Some general CoS spoilers.
    I had a goodish session but I'm noticing an issue that may severely gimp my character in combat. Everything we fought this session had either resistance to magical damage or straight immunity, meaning my dex character is pretty screwed. The only magic item I have access to is the Blood Spear which is super flavorful but is purely strength based. I can use it but I have a similar chance to hit with it as I would going sharpshooter on my bow and even with resistance 1d6+14/2 beats 1d6+3.

    Looking back over the logs on roll20 I had over 100 damage negated this session, and I don't really have a ton of support options so I'm feeling less and less helpful in combat. Everyone but me has magical damage either through cantrips, spells, or super awesome magic gear like the Sunsword.

    I like my character's story and personality, but I get the feeling I'm not going to find a magical bow or something in Barovia, so going dex was a bad call. I managed to beg a few silvered bolts off a friendly NPC, but that will last all of one fight and then I'm back in the same boat.

    Maybe it was just a bad night, but I'm starting to worry that literally everything past this point is going to require magic or silver to damage it effectively.
    This brings me to another point, why isn't there a Dexterity Spear option? The agile spear wielder is a pretty common trope in fantasy and without asking the DM to homebrew something you can't really accomplish it as far as I can tell.

    Khildith on
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    Is the DM giving out random or plot based loot? They should know your character well enough that they should have re flavored the spear for you before you got it.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • KhildithKhildith Registered User regular
    edited September 7
    I get the feeling we're doing only whats in the book as far as loot goes. We've found several strength based magical items so far and the only one which could be used by a dex character is the CoS
    Sunsword
    , which was handed specifically to our paladin for plot reasons I totally understand.

    I haven't read or played the adventure before so maybe there is a bunch of dex gear out there and we're blindly walking past it!

    Khildith on
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Aegeri wrote: »
    I have now been running 4-6 games of DnD every week for 2 years.

    I don't post much anymore, but there are people here who will love this delicious irony. I am actually starting the new store campaign next month, with me revitalizing my concept "A Race Around Eberron in 80 Days". It actually works really well for a shared campaign, especially if one party really wants to be Dick Dastardly*.

    *Already rules in place that parties can't overtly attack or kill one another, but there is no rule about getting a marauding band of Gnoll mercenaries to do it for you...

    Where do you run games because that sounds like the dopest premise.

    Does this mean the whole campaign is on a shared clock as well, and as such how does actually being in front work... is there like group init to determine who's session is first?

  • FryFry Registered User regular
    Narbus wrote: »
    Ken O wrote: »
    My weekly Curse of Strahd game was last night and ooof it was a rough one.

    Last session we reached the Amber temple, took out 3 Flaming Skulls, the barbarians, and an Amber golem.

    This session we fought the 3 remaining flame skulls, a poltergeist, and then walked down to the open chamber with the giant statue and the Arcanaloth.

    First our paladin was fooled by some kind of illusion and took a finger of death. Then we got smacked with chain lightning that dropped one the warlock and the paladin. He disappears into the inky blackness of the statues head. Our cleric spends two rounds throwing out big heals. Irena was hanging behind and warns us that something else is coming down the hall. On my bard's turn I Healing Word the warlock back above 0 (he dropped twice in this fight so far) and decided we're in over our heads and need to do something drastic. I hurl a four bead necklace of fireballs at the statues head. I don't know how much it hurt the Arcanaloth but there was a big explosion and some screaming. Our monk doing monk things starts climbing the statue to get up there. The halfling rogue decides to follow him. Just then Irena screams as some weird one eyed creatures come from around the corner.... And that's where the session ended for the night.

    Before all that happened though there was an event that really gut punched me though. To give more background detail my Bard started with a Instrument of Illusion and Cloak of Billowing, both minor magic items. Except for the Scroll of Greater Restoration they found (he will save the cat girl!), he hasn't cared about the magic items the group came across. The party pretty much gave him the fireball necklace because he hadn't called dibs on anything else. The earlier magic items just weren't cool to him. The Ivory drinking horn? Oh yeah. The giant goat skull to mount on his carriage, better believe it. I feel this attitude is important for what comes next.

    We're in a hall with a dead mage and have just defeated the hopefully last 3 Flameskulls. I'm standing right near the mage's body and someone says, "Dio, check out that staff." I do and I get a message from the DM. "You have a new personality trait, "I crave power above all else, and will do anything to obtain more of it." I double check with him, but there is no saving throw or anything. Another message tells me it will be there until we leave Ravenloft. So I have no idea if Remove Curse or Greater Restoration will help me and this point, it's too new. Hell maybe dropping to 0HP will do it like a ghost possession.

    Out of game I'm super stressed due various real life stuff like bills and fighting my home insurance company so this probably hit me way worse than it really is. But it seems like sucked the fun out of my super fun character. And holy crap I need something that is just fun right now. Sorry for the wall of text, I need to vent to someone that would understand it all this nonsense.
    Yeah, Barovia is supposed to be dark, but those items are still kinda poorly designed, and the DM should have somehow gotten your buy-in. Since the DM already passed the responsiblity for sorting this out onto you, there's about three ways to handle it.
    1. Just go power mad. This is the boring option.
    2. Talk to the DM about you wanting to get rid of the curse. I can think of a bunch of ways to turn that into its own engaging sidequest, with moral choices that would be Barovia-appropriate.
    3. Get creative with what "power" means. Could mean the power of information, even a specific type, or the power of charisma. You might feel compelled to get as much sweet gear as possible to impress those around you.

    Good luck!
    That's actually a great idea. Dio should totally interpret this as trying to get a sweet and powerful amp for his guitar. Crank up the reverb, and rattle Strahd's castle to the ground!

    Ken O
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited September 7
    The more I think about how I frequently resolve issues with published campaigns I think I realize that they really need instructions for less experienced DMs

    I don't think it even tells you anywhere "you should change important magic weapons into types of weapons your players can use", you're running a campaign for your players and not a diablo 3 real money auction house after all

    That staff in curse of strahd is another example, it doesn't tell you the item is cursed, so it doesn't tell you how players can remove the effect. By raw since it's not a curse, Dispel Magic would work, but you don't know what the spell level of the effect is - so again the DM has to wing it

    I'm a big fan of some of the published modules but this kind of guidance really shouldn't be hard (so far running Tome of Annihilation it does a pretty good job with this though)

    override367 on
    SleepJustTee
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Yea, the last edition of D&D that incorporated the concept that magic items should be appropriate to the characters and who had clear defined rules was 4e. Don't expect to be getting that again anytime soon.

    ElvenshaeJustTeeMostlyjoe13
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    IIRC, 4e was the ONLY edition to tell GM's to tailor loot to the players. Never mind "should" it was almost a "must". And while I get that concept, being a game played by real people and all that, I always had a hard time with that in the narrative.

    How does one justify having a giant fuck-off maul, the same maul that is just perfectly suited to the party's Goliath barbarian, just lying around in the treasure room of a tribe of pixies? What possible use would a hunk of metal that weighs more than their entire village be to them?

    SleepSmrtnikLeztaMostlyjoe13
  • FryFry Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    IIRC, 4e was the ONLY edition to tell GM's to tailor loot to the players. Never mind "should" it was almost a "must". And while I get that concept, being a game played by real people and all that, I always had a hard time with that in the narrative.

    How does one justify having a giant fuck-off maul, the same maul that is just perfectly suited to the party's Goliath barbarian, just lying around in the treasure room of a tribe of pixies? What possible use would a hunk of metal that weighs more than their entire village be to them?

    Option 1. Pixies worship the giant fuck-off maul as an idol

    Option 2. You don't have to have giant fuck-off mauls lying around in the world for your goliath to find. I am a big fan of weird one-time magical effects flowing into the existing items the PCs are carrying around, with the end effect being "ok now your maul is +3 and has the flaming property" or whatever. Maybe the pixies did some sort of ritual enchantment as thanks for the party fighting off some trolls or whatever?

    ElvenshaeSleepHexmage-PARhesus PositiveJustTeeMostlyjoe13The Hanged ManhlprmnkyNyysjanHellerbooyTynnan
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited September 7
    That doesn't mean all the loot has to be tailored to your party, but enough of it should be that they actually have equipment

    Obviously your gimmick party of 5 rogues finding 5 magical sets of studded leather and 5 magical shortbows in the dragon's horde is a bit ridiculous

    override367 on
    Frywebguy20Sleep
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    I’m okay with random loot to be honest, on the assumption the party will find a use for it on their own, but obviously keep tabs on what everyone has got and dish out particular items so they keep up with each other.

    Maybe the orc fighter has to wait until they fight an ogre to get a relevant new weapon while the elf ranger got a new bow first as the party travelled through Faewood earlier, but they’re all getting something fun when it makes sense.

    FrySteelhawkSleep
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    oh and that doesn't mean the loot has to be ideal

    your strengthpeople want platemail and greatswords or mauls and your rogues want shortbows and shortswords and your bards want instrument of the bards. That doesn't mean they have to get their christmas list

    If your strength warrior gets a magical spear (although if they have the great weapon master feat for all that is merciful let them use it while two-handing the weapon) and chainmail, your rogue finds a hand crossbow and leather armor, and your bard gets a wand of fireballs - you still provided magical gear for your party!

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited September 7
    I’m okay with random loot to be honest, on the assumption the party will find a use for it on their own, but obviously keep tabs on what everyone has got and dish out particular items so they keep up with each other.

    Maybe the orc fighter has to wait until they fight an ogre to get a relevant new weapon while the elf ranger got a new bow first as the party travelled through Faewood earlier, but they’re all getting something fun when it makes sense.

    context is important, if you're running Princes of the Apocalypse its less of a big deal but if you're doing curse of strahd and the paladin is smiting the universe with a sun blade and your wizard is screaming unlimited power while spraying down werewolves with cones of cold out of a Staff of Frost, your rogue standing there with a spear he can't really use will just feel bad

    It's easily solved by either A: letting someone use a spear with their dex by two handing it after a few fights to practice with it, B: making the spear a different kind of weapon in the first place, or C: saying the spear's magic is tied to the blade not the shaft, so you can just break the top off and use it as a dagger

    override367 on
    joshgotroFryElvenshaeZonugalJustTee
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Fry wrote: »
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    IIRC, 4e was the ONLY edition to tell GM's to tailor loot to the players. Never mind "should" it was almost a "must". And while I get that concept, being a game played by real people and all that, I always had a hard time with that in the narrative.

    How does one justify having a giant fuck-off maul, the same maul that is just perfectly suited to the party's Goliath barbarian, just lying around in the treasure room of a tribe of pixies? What possible use would a hunk of metal that weighs more than their entire village be to them?

    Option 1. Pixies worship the giant fuck-off maul as an idol

    This is exactly the kind of bullshit hoop that a GM "had" to jump through, to deliver these expected magic items to the players in a timely fashion to avoid tears. :)

    override367Sleep
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    edited September 7
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    Fry wrote: »
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    IIRC, 4e was the ONLY edition to tell GM's to tailor loot to the players. Never mind "should" it was almost a "must". And while I get that concept, being a game played by real people and all that, I always had a hard time with that in the narrative.

    How does one justify having a giant fuck-off maul, the same maul that is just perfectly suited to the party's Goliath barbarian, just lying around in the treasure room of a tribe of pixies? What possible use would a hunk of metal that weighs more than their entire village be to them?

    Option 1. Pixies worship the giant fuck-off maul as an idol

    This is exactly the kind of bullshit hoop that a GM "had" to jump through, to deliver these expected magic items to the players in a timely fashion to avoid tears. :)

    "You're absolutely right, Madam Goliath Barbarian. It doesn't make any sense that these pixies would be in possession of a gigantic magical maul, and so it disappears in a puff of logic and glittering smoke.
    "Now, Mr Ranger, do you have any questions about the provenance of the magic long bow that the pixies also have in their possession?
    "...I didn't think so.

    see317 on
    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
    ElvenshaeDarkPrimusFencingsaxRhesus PositiveJustTeenever dieGreenNyysjanTynnan
  • NarbusNarbus Registered User regular
    D&D could also stand to have more magical effects that aren't necessarily damage oriented. One of my players got his dwarven thrower enchanted so that, 3/day, when he throws it, he teleports to wherever it lands instead of it returning to him. A quick way to move around the battlefield, not just murder things harder.

    see317webguy20joshgotroDaenrisElvenshaeZonugalDarkPrimusSleepNipsAegeriFencingsaxSmrtnikRhesus PositiveIvelliusJustTeeJPantsMostlyjoe13never dieGennenalyse RuebenNyysjan38thDoeTynnan
  • AbbalahAbbalah Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    Fry wrote: »
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    IIRC, 4e was the ONLY edition to tell GM's to tailor loot to the players. Never mind "should" it was almost a "must". And while I get that concept, being a game played by real people and all that, I always had a hard time with that in the narrative.

    How does one justify having a giant fuck-off maul, the same maul that is just perfectly suited to the party's Goliath barbarian, just lying around in the treasure room of a tribe of pixies? What possible use would a hunk of metal that weighs more than their entire village be to them?

    Option 1. Pixies worship the giant fuck-off maul as an idol

    This is exactly the kind of bullshit hoop that a GM "had" to jump through, to deliver these expected magic items to the players in a timely fashion to avoid tears. :)

    I mean, they didn't have to - the inherent bonus system (and the boon system, to some extent) let you get away without tailoring loot to your party.

    As did the fact that the books didn't try to tell DMs that players couldn't buy gear with the gold they found, which made it pretty straightforward to go "pixies had a thematically appropriate doodad that was worth money, and there's a guy in town selling magic shit who has a cool maul for sale" if you didn't want to have them find an item directly.

    4e told DMs to tailor loot to their party, explained that it was necessary because the game mechanics expected certain numbers from the characters, and gave them advice for how to do so, then also gave them rules for several systems that they could use instead if they didn't want to tailor loot.

    5e tells the DMs they don't have to tailor loot, gives them no particular systems for doing so if they want to, and insists that everything is up to the DM's largely uninformed, unguided discretion - and then also expects the party to get a certain amount of loot as they level just like 4e did, but obfuscates that fact so that it's difficult to account for if you don't dissect the game's math in order to preserve players' immersion or whatever.

    One of these scenarios involves a lot more bullshit hoops than the other.

    RiemannLivesElvenshaeJustTeeTerrendosNyysjan
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited September 7
    Oh yeah, I try my best to follow the Sting from the Hobbit style of magic weapon.

    An enchanted weapon is finely made, beautifully shaped and engraved, and does something neat that you need to make use of, not a +1 to X.

    Edit:

    I’ve straight up said to the players of the campaign I’ve just started if they want more damage to spend their gold on mercenaries.

    Endless_Serpents on
  • webguy20webguy20 Registered User regular
    The biggest issue with 5e and loot is resistance, as stated ealier. I dont really care about the + to hit or damage, though nice. Getting your damage halved or completely negated really sucks, especially in a setting where there are no items to buy or quest for.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited September 7
    5th edition, despite any claims to the contrary by various wotc people, really seems balanced around people that hit things with things doing magic damage of some sort around 6th level

    This doesn't even mean you need to give them a magic weapon, letting your party's wizard enchant their stabstick to be considered magical damage by grinding up a diamond and spending a night on it is another option

    override367 on
    ElvenshaeSleepwebguy20
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    "magic items should be rare and speshul" is code for "magic items should be cool and have a story" but they don't actually say that

    i plan to allow my group to buy magic items, and find them, and even make them (or have them made) and every one of them will obviously be customized and have a story

    if they had said "magic items are all somewhat unique and have a background" it would have made everyone a lot happier

    ElvenshaeSteelhawkJustTee
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Abbalah wrote: »
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    Fry wrote: »
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    IIRC, 4e was the ONLY edition to tell GM's to tailor loot to the players. Never mind "should" it was almost a "must". And while I get that concept, being a game played by real people and all that, I always had a hard time with that in the narrative.

    How does one justify having a giant fuck-off maul, the same maul that is just perfectly suited to the party's Goliath barbarian, just lying around in the treasure room of a tribe of pixies? What possible use would a hunk of metal that weighs more than their entire village be to them?

    Option 1. Pixies worship the giant fuck-off maul as an idol

    This is exactly the kind of bullshit hoop that a GM "had" to jump through, to deliver these expected magic items to the players in a timely fashion to avoid tears. :)

    I mean, they didn't have to - the inherent bonus system (and the boon system, to some extent) let you get away without tailoring loot to your party.

    As did the fact that the books didn't try to tell DMs that players couldn't buy gear with the gold they found, which made it pretty straightforward to go "pixies had a thematically appropriate doodad that was worth money, and there's a guy in town selling magic shit who has a cool maul for sale" if you didn't want to have them find an item directly.

    4e told DMs to tailor loot to their party, explained that it was necessary because the game mechanics expected certain numbers from the characters, and gave them advice for how to do so, then also gave them rules for several systems that they could use instead if they didn't want to tailor loot.

    5e tells the DMs they don't have to tailor loot, gives them no particular systems for doing so if they want to, and insists that everything is up to the DM's largely uninformed, unguided discretion - and then also expects the party to get a certain amount of loot as they level just like 4e did, but obfuscates that fact so that it's difficult to account for if you don't dissect the game's math in order to preserve players' immersion or whatever.

    One of these scenarios involves a lot more bullshit hoops than the other.

    Agreed, but in 4e the inherent bonuses and boons did not come about until later on the product cycle (low magic Dark Sun campaign, iirc). Early on, 4e told DM's to ask players for a wish list, and then the expectation was where for those lists to be filled.

    Sleep
  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    IIRC, 4e was the ONLY edition to tell GM's to tailor loot to the players. Never mind "should" it was almost a "must". And while I get that concept, being a game played by real people and all that, I always had a hard time with that in the narrative.

    How does one justify having a giant fuck-off maul, the same maul that is just perfectly suited to the party's Goliath barbarian, just lying around in the treasure room of a tribe of pixies? What possible use would a hunk of metal that weighs more than their entire village be to them?

    Original, Basic and early 1st ed D&D didn't need such tailored loot because they hadn't yet gone too far down the road of using specialization to try and compensate for the problem of magic users becoming so much more powerful than fighters.

    If your character can use any weapon with equal ability then it's fine if you find a magic Fauchard-Fork when you had been using a Guisarme-Voulge.

    ElvenshaeSteelhawkSleepJustTee
  • AbbalahAbbalah Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    Abbalah wrote: »
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    Fry wrote: »
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    IIRC, 4e was the ONLY edition to tell GM's to tailor loot to the players. Never mind "should" it was almost a "must". And while I get that concept, being a game played by real people and all that, I always had a hard time with that in the narrative.

    How does one justify having a giant fuck-off maul, the same maul that is just perfectly suited to the party's Goliath barbarian, just lying around in the treasure room of a tribe of pixies? What possible use would a hunk of metal that weighs more than their entire village be to them?

    Option 1. Pixies worship the giant fuck-off maul as an idol

    This is exactly the kind of bullshit hoop that a GM "had" to jump through, to deliver these expected magic items to the players in a timely fashion to avoid tears. :)

    I mean, they didn't have to - the inherent bonus system (and the boon system, to some extent) let you get away without tailoring loot to your party.

    As did the fact that the books didn't try to tell DMs that players couldn't buy gear with the gold they found, which made it pretty straightforward to go "pixies had a thematically appropriate doodad that was worth money, and there's a guy in town selling magic shit who has a cool maul for sale" if you didn't want to have them find an item directly.

    4e told DMs to tailor loot to their party, explained that it was necessary because the game mechanics expected certain numbers from the characters, and gave them advice for how to do so, then also gave them rules for several systems that they could use instead if they didn't want to tailor loot.

    5e tells the DMs they don't have to tailor loot, gives them no particular systems for doing so if they want to, and insists that everything is up to the DM's largely uninformed, unguided discretion - and then also expects the party to get a certain amount of loot as they level just like 4e did, but obfuscates that fact so that it's difficult to account for if you don't dissect the game's math in order to preserve players' immersion or whatever.

    One of these scenarios involves a lot more bullshit hoops than the other.

    Agreed, but in 4e the inherent bonuses and boons did not come about until later on the product cycle (low magic Dark Sun campaign, iirc). Early on, 4e told DM's to ask players for a wish list, and then the expectation was where for those lists to be filled.

    True, but it was only two years into 4e before inherent bonuses showed up in a published book - we're four years into 5e, with less clear support and guidance for either playstyle.
    "magic items should be rare and speshul" is code for "magic items should be cool and have a story" but they don't actually say that

    i plan to allow my group to buy magic items, and find them, and even make them (or have them made) and every one of them will obviously be customized and have a story

    if they had said "magic items are all somewhat unique and have a background" it would have made everyone a lot happier

    This is important too, I think. Part of the impetus for 5e's 'players can't buy magic items unless you say they can' silliness is that they want an out for when some item they print inevitably becomes problematic. Their intended out is to say 'well, as DM, you have control over which items exist in your world, so if you think that one's bad, just don't put it in'.

    Which is broadly fine, but there's a huge difference between 'items are unavailable except for the specific ones you allow' and 'items are available except for the specific ones you don't allow', and the latter does both a better job of solving that particular problem and a better job of matching both player expectations and the apparent expectations of the system.

    My suspicion is that the reason they chose the former is the same as the reason they keep saying 'the system doesn't expect you to get magic gear' when it's patently not true: "gear treadmill" was a complaint people made pretty loudly about 4e, so they wanted to be able to promise that 5e totally solves that problem with its radical new math system where the math doesn't expect you to get magic gear at all! The problem being, you can't actually actually solve that problem without undermining some other pretty fundamental assumptions about what DnD is, because as a designer you know perfectly well that most campaigns - including the ones you are going to publish yourself - are going to involve giving everyone some amount of magic gear, because that's what people do in DnD. And if you know that everyone is going to have magic gear, and you know that magic gear is going to make characters stronger than they'd be without it, and you don't balance around those facts, you're going to continually undershoot the difficulty rating of your stuff. So you incorporate the assumption of magic gear into your difficulty math because you kind of have to for your difficulty estimates to be readable to other people, and now you're immediately back at 'wah gear treadmill'.

    So what do you do? The answer for 5e seems to be flatten the math so that the differences don't become as apparent as quickly and the gap between a basic magic item and a top-end one is smaller (hence, 5e items go from +1 to +3 instead of +1 to +5 or more like in previous editions). But that just shrinks the problem instead of solving it, and you need to be able to market your new edition as having solved this problem so...you just say you have, safe in the knowledge that most people aren't going to check your math. That creates a bunch of other problems - your system is less readable to a new DM, you end up giving bad guidance on things in order to stick with your marketing message, you have to obfuscate some of your mechanics (which makes them harder to understand and use), you create differing expectations about what a 'normal' game looks like, eventually some people are going to check your math and realize you were bullshitting, and so on - but those problems take a while to manifest, and what're your customers really gonna do once they start to notice them? Argue about it on the internet?

    ElvenshaeFryKhildithRiemannLivesJustTee
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    "magic items should be rare and speshul" is code for "magic items should be cool and have a story" but they don't actually say that

    i plan to allow my group to buy magic items, and find them, and even make them (or have them made) and every one of them will obviously be customized and have a story

    if they had said "magic items are all somewhat unique and have a background" it would have made everyone a lot happier

    I always liked the idea that basic, magically enhanced items aren't so terribly uncommon that it's well within the narrative for a group of adventurers to have several. Whether they're actually magic items or just made through magical means or whatever.

    Actual, powered items? Yeah I like there to be a story to them.

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  • ZonugalZonugal The Holiday Armadillo I'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
    If you are going to give out your basic +1 longswords you should add some flavor onto them.

    Give them a name. Give them a history? Maybe the player can write something up.

    Either way, make them feel like treasure.

    10gfu9v.jpg
  • GlaziusGlazius Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    IIRC, 4e was the ONLY edition to tell GM's to tailor loot to the players. Never mind "should" it was almost a "must". And while I get that concept, being a game played by real people and all that, I always had a hard time with that in the narrative.

    How does one justify having a giant fuck-off maul, the same maul that is just perfectly suited to the party's Goliath barbarian, just lying around in the treasure room of a tribe of pixies? What possible use would a hunk of metal that weighs more than their entire village be to them?

    Yeah, okay, I'll be That Guy: pixies canonically glamer things so they're wieldable by pixies, whoever originally crafted them. The pixie queen drops the tiny stone stick in the barbarian's cupped hands and it BWOMPs back to original size in a comically N64-era feat of polygon scaling. Huh. Looks like fomorian make. Good job, pixies!

    Hexmage-PAMoridin889SmrtnikRhesus PositiveJustTee
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Glazius wrote: »
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    IIRC, 4e was the ONLY edition to tell GM's to tailor loot to the players. Never mind "should" it was almost a "must". And while I get that concept, being a game played by real people and all that, I always had a hard time with that in the narrative.

    How does one justify having a giant fuck-off maul, the same maul that is just perfectly suited to the party's Goliath barbarian, just lying around in the treasure room of a tribe of pixies? What possible use would a hunk of metal that weighs more than their entire village be to them?

    Yeah, okay, I'll be That Guy: pixies canonically glamer things so they're wieldable by pixies, whoever originally crafted them. The pixie queen drops the tiny stone stick in the barbarian's cupped hands and it BWOMPs back to original size in a comically N64-era feat of polygon scaling. Huh. Looks like fomorian make. Good job, pixies!

    I love the image of a pixie trying to reward a Goliath Barbarian with a pixie weapon, and the Goliath patiently and politely trying to explain that even the mightiest of pixie weapons would be barely more than a toothpick in their hands.
    Finally acquiescing to the insistent pixie, the G puts out a hand and is dragged to their knees as the pixie sized maul returns to it's full size and weight.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
    override367NarbusSleepElvenshaeFencingsaxHexmage-PAMoridin889SmrtnikRhesus PositiveToxJustTeenever dieHavelock2.0
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    this actually happened in the game I'm playing as a pixie sorlock, I have a tiny bow of enormous size (statistically a longbow), it's about a foot tall, an inch shorter than my character, I handed it to the druid to use and it bwampfed up to be almost a 6 foot tall greatbow, she rolled 2 on acrobatics, fell over and broke stuff, yucks were had all around

    see317ElvenshaeRhesus Positive
  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited September 8
    Sleep wrote: »
    Aegeri wrote: »
    I have now been running 4-6 games of DnD every week for 2 years.

    I don't post much anymore, but there are people here who will love this delicious irony. I am actually starting the new store campaign next month, with me revitalizing my concept "A Race Around Eberron in 80 Days". It actually works really well for a shared campaign, especially if one party really wants to be Dick Dastardly*.

    *Already rules in place that parties can't overtly attack or kill one another, but there is no rule about getting a marauding band of Gnoll mercenaries to do it for you...

    Where do you run games because that sounds like the dopest premise.

    In the games store that I own in Australia :)
    Does this mean the whole campaign is on a shared clock as well, and as such how does actually being in front work... is there like group init to determine who's session is first?

    Yes and no. It's actually much more complicated than the simple sounding premise, because parties are tied to specific patrons.

    Not all of them actually care about winning the race. An important piece of background about Eberron is that they had a massive war that lasted around 100 years, until one of them dramatically exploded and forced a peace treaty (of sorts). Travel between countries is still incredibly vexed and it's not so easy to just waltz over from one place to another. So if you need to do something multiple places it can take months or even years to get permission to enter certain regions.

    Unless, you have a short cut already worked out ahead of time.

    Edit: After running what can only be described as 100s of hours of 5e, from things I wrote myself to official modules there is absolutely no way that the game is built without assuming magic items in mind. It absolutely 100% is essential for several classes, which is why as a good example Monks are simply granted it by default at around 6th level or so. Because you become utterly non-functional when all of your damage is being entirely negated or halved. Lycanthropes for example are entirely immune to everything that isn't silver or magical, which means they are a 500gp brick wall for low level characters. Several adventures have Lycanthropes in low level areas, such as Princes of the Apocalypse which has a wereboar (I think we've even discussed this in a past thread).

    5e absolutely hides that it needs magical items, but it also inherently just assumes that the DM will fix things through pure common sense and fairness.

    Aegeri on
    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
    ElvenshaeJustTee
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    It's always good to see you posting again @Aegeri :)

    After so many hours of 5E, what's your opinion of it vs 4E? Would you rather be running 10 games of one vs the other, or is it all kind of a wash with enough experience?

    ElvenshaeJustTee
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