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  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    4E had lore blurbs with relevant skill checks and their difficulties for each type of monster, and specific guidance on what stats you can learn with skill checks and which checks correspond to different kinds of monsters. Does 5E have anything like that? I don't recall.

  • TynnanTynnan seldom correct, never unsure Registered User regular
    As someone who never played 4e, it’s... I dunno, it is really awkward to be preached at about how 4e worked. It’s a system that I’m realistically never going to use. In my experience 5e works fine! And I’m not trying to compare it to 4e when I say that. Please don’t be militant at me for feeling that way?

    Anyway, some thoughts for 5e encounter design:

    -Not every fight has to be to the death. Most creatures won’t do this. They have goals and motivations and for most things, continuing to exist is somewhere quite high on the order of priority.

    -For a DM, this is a useful thing. It allows you to design an encounter and focus less on raw numbers and CR and more on tactics and motivation. Maybe you decide mid combat that an encounter would be too tough for what you intended your players to deal with. You can easily break an enemy’s morale and start using their actions to flee or to attempt to sound an alarm rather than to throw damage at your players. It’s also something that opens up RP for your players: what do they do when there’s someone in front of them doing something other than menace?

    -Not every encounter should be tuned to be the perfect challenge for your players. It’s okay for them to stomp their enemies some, even most of the time! Turning every encounter into a perfect Deadly battle where every action must be perfectly chosen is exhausting for everyone. Don’t do that. Having easy encounters helps play up the heroic fantasy side of things, and provides useful contrast for when you’ve got a truly dangerous opponent. It also cuts down on sleeping inside the dungeon, which is a real slog.

  • BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User regular
    What's the accepted concensus on what a PC can do so they can learn/remember the properties (immunities/vulnerabilities) a monster has? Free relevant Int check during their turn (alongside scenario relevant advantage/disadvantage/modifiers), have them disseminate the info in 6-second phrases to teammates within earshot?

    ____ ill likes fire!

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  • DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    3clipse wrote: »
    If folks are really delaying I think it's fair game to shoo them, either by saying something like "you have 30 seconds to commit to an action before I skip your turn" or "I'm going to start rolling for random wandering monsters if you don't keep moving."

    The guy that ran the first few games I ever played (who is the guy that I convinced to give D&D a try) had a little hourglass that he'd put on the table if people were hemming and hawwing too much during their turn in combat or if there was a situation in the game that called for a quick decision or something.

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    Cross Posting from the Painting thread!

    My Hero Forge Mini came in! Overall thoughts are that I'm happy, but will certainly do different things on the next one I do. Also XL minis are XL!

    changes I would make
    1. Don't do different skin tones in the same area to simulate lighting or other effects, the fidelity isn't there.
    2. Eye color doesn't seem to matter. As it didn't come through at all.
    3. small bits of metal don't come through, though large bits like a sword blade do.
    4. It definitely needs a wash and varnish touch up.

    So what I'm going to do is touch up some of the gold bits like buckles, his nose ring, etc. And then do a black wash. After that I'm going to hit a few sections with gloss varnish like the blade, jewels, potion and gold bits.

    Still though, if this mini is 90% of the way there then I still consider it a win. I think we'll see guides come out how to best select options to optimize the 3d print. I imagine the tech is going to get better too.

    rssu05mkfi79.jpg
    mypilrlei6is.jpg

    I've only ordered one Hero Forge mini in the past, partially because it ended up smaller than I expected (I wanted something closer to Nolzur's Large size minis but got something about the same size as a Nolzur's goliath minis). I'm generally more interested in using Hero Forge to make minis for established D&D characters with unique appearances, particularly larger characters, so I'm playing around with how big I can make them. However, I'm also concerned with how well some of these figures I'm trying to make would balance if printed out.

    Here's some screenshots of Hero Forge designs I've worked on:

    zha0gjqyv036.png
    rdo2nfmwmlbl.png
    sj3y1xszwwwc.png
    ek8fek8cgpda.png


    BTW, I also wish it were possible to make characters with extra arms, or tentacles, oversized claws, or characters who are very fat.

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  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    As far as balancing goes, a steel washer glued onto the base of a heroforge mini should add enough weight to let anything balance. Those 3d printed minis have no mass.

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  • DJ EebsDJ Eebs Moderator mod
    I got my kickstarter color mini reward and the quality actually seemed a little higher than I'd expected from the examples on their website

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  • tzeentchlingtzeentchling Doctor of Rocks San DiegoRegistered User regular
    This is an interesting alternative alignment chart, that moves away from good/evil towards selfish/selfless, which makes a lot of sense.
    w4klstcjqj23.png

    Reddit post about it here.

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  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    The names Revolutionary and Pacifist having the overlap feels weird to me, but it's likely only because of their normal meanings. I don't seem to find any issues with it at a glance.

  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    Spentna bunch of time making Hero Forge models for Archduke Mammon and his fugitive daughter Baelzra:

    j3jkqqgwn3gv.png
    rjgkh01bux1i.png

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  • SnowbearSnowbear Registered User regular
    I know I'm pages late on this but discussion about anti colonialist RPG. There Nahual. Here's a short blurb

    ""When our Spanish ancestors first arrived to this continent they were not alone, with them came their gods and their armies of angels. For our indigenous ancestors, these angels were not the incense vendors of the present day; they were emissaries of destruction. Between the sword of Cortés and the sword of St. Michael, the Archangel, there was no difference, and neither made a clean cut to the roots. The brujos resisted. Nahuales, the most powerful shamans, took on the task of fighting the invading angels."

    Basically you play as mesoamerican brujos (witches) and hunt angels, who are representative of the colonizers beliefs and gods

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  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    Oh yeah, I forgot about Nahual.

    Real interesting game, there. I mean, at least what I've seen of it; I'm pretty sure it's not properly out yet.

  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    Couple more beefy Hero Forge models:

    0eh1ra81vnlm.png
    ayjhcs1eq576.png

    Designing these is addictive! Now I need to actually get them made.

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  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    Surely there's a D&D thread where we can argue about whether 4E or 5E has more boring combat.

    We were talking about encounter building, and anyone who says that it's easier to assemble encounters for 5e than for 4e is either delusional or works for WotC.

    4e not only had the difficulty level for each individual monster, but suggested group encounters with appropriate monsters of similar theme / habitat, which I really appreciated. I think that the Monster Manual had better references tables as well, but I might be misremembering

    I always overthink difficulty level when statting encounters, especially when I know that if a fight is dragging I'll just arbitrarily slash an enemy's hitpoints behind the scenes

    D&D 5th at least has the table to work out CR

    WFRP had difficulty levels based on how hard a one-on-one fight would be against a Human Guard, which I found pretty useless considering the extreme swings in combat ability that could happen within a party

    ElvenshaeMarshmallow
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    With more skill based systems like Shadowrun or WFRP ultimately balance is kind of a pointless thing to chase so much as just presenting a proper puzzle box for the talents of the players to unpack.

    In general I always find myself snagging when I think of encounters as whether they'll be the 'correct' amount of hard/dangerous for PCs or try to think about the resource grind that D&D wants to be for making stuff.

    Much prefer things like Symbaroum or Star Wars where it's easy to bounce back from getting your ass kicked and combat happens pretty quickly. That way the GM can happily say the phrase 30-50 corrupted Aboars and have it be a dramatic scene rather than a death sentence that takes half a session to hash out.

  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    I ended up picking monsters with interesting abilities, and providing ways that the players could circumvent those abilities, so that they could overcome extraordinary odds with preparation and clever thinking

    Elvenshae
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 29
    Working on another Hero Forge design:

    us0243xmg6nu.png

    This is meant to represent Buer, a Duke of Hell in the court of Asmodeus himself that commands 15 legions of pit fiends. I'm having a bit of trouble posing him because, while I want him to wield a lance (that he hypothetically could transform into other weapons, like how some warlocks can), he's also described as having six tentacles on his back (I'm imagining these would emerge from the back of his humanoid half). I'd have to get tentacles from somewhere else and glue them onto the back, so I need to make sure I have enough space for all six. I'd also like to give some of these devils proper armor seeing as Descent into Avernus introduced the concept, but I l'd have particular difficulty with this guy (plus the clothing options on Hero Forge appropriate for a Duke of Hell are lacking).

    I imagine in battle this guy leads the charge in melee, striking one target with his lance while whipping those nearby with his six tentacles, all the while with his pit fiend underlings setting up walls of fire and bombarding with fireballs (Buer is immune to fire damage, naturally).

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 29
    As for combat encounter balance in 5E, I've found it's easier to judge at lower levels but much less so at higher levels. In my last campaign that ended at 20th the paladin defeated the archdevil Geryon in a one-on-one duel with one turn of divine smite attacks (Geryon had even won initiative but dealt nowhere near enough damage).

    For my next campaign I'm going to pretty much ignore the encounter building guidelines at higher levels. The bad guys will stack the deck as much in their favor as possible, and if the PCs find themselves overwhelmed they can retreat and figure out how to use the Intel they've gained (alternatively they could invest more in getting intel and making plans before showing up at the enemy base).

    I'm also pre-planning the tactics and defenses of major antagonists so I won't be forced to make them up on the fly if the PCs just teleport into a place I haven't actually designed yet.

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 29
    I've already written up a five page document for what the currently intended BBEG of my next campaign, the winged yuan-ti abomination cleric Seghulerak, has prepared to deal with intruders.

    These include:


    - Seghulerak amasses her yuan-ti and bound demon troops and has injury poisons applied to their weapons.
    - Captives are sacrificed by Seghulerak to prepare her Rakdos Riteknife; the corpses are turned into undead minions with Animate Dead.
    - Seghulerak summons her marilith ally Zuvexus with a candle of evocation just before entering the battle chamber. Zuvexus herself summons a small number of additional demonic minions.
    - Seghulerak pre-casts spiritual weapon, spirit guardians, and death ward.
    - The battle chamber is a sixty foot tall room whose bottom half is under the effects of a Forbiddance spell against celestials and whose upper half is shrouded in magical darkness. The chamber is filled with essence of ether inhalation poison, which she and her allies are immune to. Several chaotic evil candles of evocation have also recently been lit (which, while within their dim light, grant Seghulerak and her allies advantage on Attack rolls, Saving Throws, and Ability Checks; in addition, they allow her to cast 1st-level cleric spells she has prepared without expending spell slots. Various spell glyphs are also present, ready to aid yuan-ti and demons while harming anyone else. Stone Shape is used to seal the exits.
    - Seghulerak herself alternates between commanding her troops or casting spells (such as Silence to hinder enemy spell casters) from the magical darkness and swooping down into the radius of a candle of evocation to attack with the Lash of Shadows, a reach weapon that can inflict various poisons (including a petrifying one).
    - If Seghulerak and her forces win, the party is captured. The yuan-ti decide what the best use for each character could be. For example, plans might be concocted to make extensive use of Modify Memory and perform a ritual to turn the character into a willing yuan-ti agent.
    - In the event Seghulerak anticipates a loss, she retreats above the affect range of the Forbiddance spell and casts Plane Shift to retreat to a secret demiplane called the Serpent Reliquary.

    Seghulerak's primary weakness is that she posseses the Book of Vile Darkness, which disappears if the attuned individual performs a good act. Out of paranoia the Book will leave her and take away the powers it has granted, she refuses to cast buffing or healing spells on anyone but herself. Further, should Zevexus still be present if she decides to retreat, Seghulerak will be torn on whether to try and Plane Shift the marilith to safety. On the one hand, Zuvexus is a powerful ally in Seghulerak's evil plans. However, Seghulerak has found she has developed a fondness for the marilith despite her yuan-ti nature's suppression of her emotions. Seghulerak fears that the Book might judge her risking her own chances at escape to let Zuvexus Plane Shift with her to be an act driven more by selflessness than pragmatism, meaning the Book would depart along with the power it grants. There's also the matter of Zuvexus' own persona; would being abandoned by Seghulerak be an affront to her, or would Zuvexus consider it a wise tactical decision? Would Zuvexus appreciate being rescued, or would she rather fight to the end and be banished to her home layer of the Abyss to be resummoned later?

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited June 29
    Just found a mini that first came out in 2016 in limited qualities that I really, really want.

    The company is out of stock, and the only website I've seen selling them is charging a little over $100. It is a 70mm tall mini, but damn.

    EDIT: Just bought it. Paid about $115 dollars for a BBEG figure that for all I know I may never use in a game.

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  • DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    Just found a mini that first came out in 2016 in limited qualities that I really, really want.

    The company is out of stock, and the only website I've seen selling them is charging a little over $100. It is a 70mm tall mini, but damn.

    EDIT: Just bought it. Paid about $115 dollars for a BBEG figure that for all I know I may never use in a game.

    Pics plz!

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  • BucketmanBucketman Call me SkraggRegistered User regular
    So I mentioned my wife was going to run the next campaign we do. We had some...tension about her original pitch vis a ve baby eating monster. Well our own monster (one of our cats) knocked over a cup of dirty paint water all over her D&D notebook and she lost everything she had planned.

    She just game me her new pitch. Partially inspired by True Blood.

    So Mab, the Queen of Darkness, has been crossing over when she can and mating with mortals and spawning children. They have weird powers and shes using them to try and open a permanent portal between the Feywilds (specifically her kingdom) and the mortal realm. Also if they kill one of their siblings, they get even more power. So she had the weak ones culled by the stronger and is using them to sow chaos. The characters don't know it but they are also all children of Mab and feel drawn to the area where the most powerful are gathering to start the final push to open the portal.

    I love it. I also asked her if I ever told her about Baulder's Gate, and I hadn't I guess. I love that she came up with this on her own. I am excited!

    On another note, thinking of the character I had in mind (the Loxodon Paladin), it probably won't work for this group since EVERYONE else is also melee. So I was thinking of trying a Sorceror or Warlock since I've never done either.

    Weird that a Wild Magic Sorceror doesn't have to roll on the Wild Magic table at set times, but just when the DM decides to have them do it.

    BahamutZEROmrpakuJacobkosh3clipse#pipeMsAnthropyRhesus PositiveElvenshae
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Bucketman wrote: »
    So I mentioned my wife was going to run the next campaign we do. We had some...tension about her original pitch vis a ve baby eating monster. Well our own monster (one of our cats) knocked over a cup of dirty paint water all over her D&D notebook and she lost everything she had planned.

    praxis

    JacobkoshDarmakDarkPrimus3clipseDelduwathMsAnthropyElvenshaesarukun
  • DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    edited June 29
    I am about this close to just buying like a fuckload of different RPG sourcebooks just because of the art or the setting or the mechanics and it's a lot of money for all at once but I wannnnt eeemmmmmm.

    Namely I'm looking at

    Spire: The City Must Fall
    Symbaroum
    Blades in the Dark (got the .pdf in the itch.io bundle but I want a hardcopy)
    Overlight
    Paranoia
    Troika! (another one I got in the itch bundle)
    Starfinder

    I also want to get a copy of Mage: The Awakening but I can't find any new copies of it

    I probably won't ever convince my group to play any of these, but I still want em

    Darmak on
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  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    I can give you an internet stranger's unsolicited thoughts on two of those, if you want it.

    Blades in the Dark is fantastic. Both the mechanical systems in play and the setting presented are great right out of the box. On top of that, it has quickly become a base system for a bunch of other games, and while many of those are full releases with the basics adequately repeated, it's a game that I would consider worth it just for the sake of understanding other games. The one thing I could say against it is that it's a fairly narrow lens game - you're definitely playing criminals of some description, and the setting, while very good, doesn't necessarily have the whole genre openness of many other RPGs.

    Spire is one I have more equivocal feelings on. The setting is, I think, absolutely fantastic. There's great writing in there, some really cool ideas for how the city works and who the characters are and all that (accompanied by frequently gorgeous art). I don't love the system though. It's fine, but feels a bit inelegant a lot of times, and the game doesn't have great GMing advice to smooth things out. Quite frankly, at times I think about converting it over to a Forged in the Dark system, as it covers a lot of similar terrain. But as a book to read for ideas and the pleasure of RPGs, it's still top tier. I will point out as well though that the sequel game, Heart, also exists and might be worth looking into (I personally prefer Spire, but I think it's a matter of taste).

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  • #pipe#pipe Cocky Stride, Musky odours Pope of Chili TownRegistered User regular
    edited June 30
    Bucketman wrote: »
    Weird that a Wild Magic Sorceror doesn't have to roll on the Wild Magic table at set times, but just when the DM decides to have them do it.

    That is how it is written, but every time I've played in a group with a Wild Magic sorcerer, they've rolled a d20 surge die every time they use a spell slot, and they've rolled on the table immediately whenever they use Tides of Chaos.

    Rolling on the Wild Magic Surge table is one of the best things in the PHB and honestly I think it's criminally underused. Some variant rules I've come across to increase surges are
    • Roll a d20 every time you use a spell slot, add the level of the slot you used to the triggering roll (which is to say a 1st level spell triggers on 1 or 2, a 2nd level on 1,2 or 3 etc)
    • Roll on the table whenever the character is knocked unconsious in battle
    • Roll on the table if the character crits/crit fails a spell attack
    • Roll on the table at DM's discretion whenever something extremely surprising or upsetting happens to the character, in or out of combat

    One of my favourite pieces of home brew I've ever found was the d10,000 Surge Table. It brings such ridiculous nonsense into games in the best possible way for fun roleplaying.

    If you roll a 4247, for example, during battle the target of the spell which triggered the surge hears overpoweringly loud calliope music
    If you roll a 8251, All goblins within 10 miles become vegetarian pacifists
    If you roll a 9918, The planet breaks loose from the Sun's gravity

    There is also this table, which adds a d20 to the d100 roll to determine the severity of the effect (1-3 on the d20 causes an "extreme" effect, 4-9 a "moderate" effect and 10-20 a "nuisance" effect) giving more likelihood to something silly happening than something drastic.

    As a DM, all three of those would make me completely ecstatic. But then I also understand that a lot of players and DMs aren't like me and don't like randomness in their games ruining their meticulously planned encounters or disrupting their expertly designed characters. I love it.

    #pipe on
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  • 3clipse3clipse I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    #pipe wrote: »
    Bucketman wrote: »
    Weird that a Wild Magic Sorceror doesn't have to roll on the Wild Magic table at set times, but just when the DM decides to have them do it.

    That is how it is written, but every time I've played in a group with a Wild Magic sorcerer, they've rolled a d20 surge die every time they use a spell slot, and they've rolled on the table immediately whenever they use Tides of Chaos.

    Rolling on the Wild Magic Surge table is one of the best things in the PHB and honestly I think it's criminally underused. Some variant rules I've come across to increase surges are
    • Roll a d20 every time you use a spell slot, add the level of the slot you used to the triggering roll (which is to say a 1st level spell triggers on 1 or 2, a 2nd level on 1,2 or 3 etc)
    • Roll on the table whenever the character is knocked unconsious in battle
    • Roll on the table if the character crits/crit fails a spell attack
    • Roll on the table at DM's discretion whenever something extremely surprising or upsetting happens to the character, in or out of combat

    One of my favourite pieces of home brew I've ever found was the d10,000 Surge Table. It brings such ridiculous nonsense into games in the best possible way for fun roleplaying.

    If you roll a 4247, for example, during battle the target of the spell which triggered the surge hears overpoweringly loud calliope music

    If you roll a 8251, All goblins within 10 miles become vegetarian pacifists

    If you roll a 9918, The planet breaks loose from the Sun's gravity


    As a DM, all three of those would make me completely ecstatic. But then I also understand that a lot of players and DMs aren't like me and don't like randomness in their games ruining their meticulously planned encounters or disrupting their expertly designed characters. I love it.

    I'm sorry what

    sarukun
  • TynnanTynnan seldom correct, never unsure Registered User regular
    3clipse wrote: »
    #pipe wrote: »
    Bucketman wrote: »
    Weird that a Wild Magic Sorceror doesn't have to roll on the Wild Magic table at set times, but just when the DM decides to have them do it.

    That is how it is written, but every time I've played in a group with a Wild Magic sorcerer, they've rolled a d20 surge die every time they use a spell slot, and they've rolled on the table immediately whenever they use Tides of Chaos.

    Rolling on the Wild Magic Surge table is one of the best things in the PHB and honestly I think it's criminally underused. Some variant rules I've come across to increase surges are
    • Roll a d20 every time you use a spell slot, add the level of the slot you used to the triggering roll (which is to say a 1st level spell triggers on 1 or 2, a 2nd level on 1,2 or 3 etc)
    • Roll on the table whenever the character is knocked unconsious in battle
    • Roll on the table if the character crits/crit fails a spell attack
    • Roll on the table at DM's discretion whenever something extremely surprising or upsetting happens to the character, in or out of combat

    One of my favourite pieces of home brew I've ever found was the d10,000 Surge Table. It brings such ridiculous nonsense into games in the best possible way for fun roleplaying.

    If you roll a 4247, for example, during battle the target of the spell which triggered the surge hears overpoweringly loud calliope music

    If you roll a 8251, All goblins within 10 miles become vegetarian pacifists

    If you roll a 9918, The planet breaks loose from the Sun's gravity


    As a DM, all three of those would make me completely ecstatic. But then I also understand that a lot of players and DMs aren't like me and don't like randomness in their games ruining their meticulously planned encounters or disrupting their expertly designed characters. I love it.

    I'm sorry what

    IF YOU ROLL A 9918, THE PLANET BREAKS LOOSE FROM THE SUN’S GRAVITY.

    DarmakZonugalReynoldsgavindelchrishallett83ShadowenBucketmanRhesus PositiveToxElvenshaeLord PalingtonKristmas Kthulhusarukun
  • DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    edited June 30
    Tynnan wrote: »
    3clipse wrote: »
    #pipe wrote: »
    Bucketman wrote: »
    Weird that a Wild Magic Sorceror doesn't have to roll on the Wild Magic table at set times, but just when the DM decides to have them do it.

    That is how it is written, but every time I've played in a group with a Wild Magic sorcerer, they've rolled a d20 surge die every time they use a spell slot, and they've rolled on the table immediately whenever they use Tides of Chaos.

    Rolling on the Wild Magic Surge table is one of the best things in the PHB and honestly I think it's criminally underused. Some variant rules I've come across to increase surges are
    • Roll a d20 every time you use a spell slot, add the level of the slot you used to the triggering roll (which is to say a 1st level spell triggers on 1 or 2, a 2nd level on 1,2 or 3 etc)
    • Roll on the table whenever the character is knocked unconsious in battle
    • Roll on the table if the character crits/crit fails a spell attack
    • Roll on the table at DM's discretion whenever something extremely surprising or upsetting happens to the character, in or out of combat

    One of my favourite pieces of home brew I've ever found was the d10,000 Surge Table. It brings such ridiculous nonsense into games in the best possible way for fun roleplaying.

    If you roll a 4247, for example, during battle the target of the spell which triggered the surge hears overpoweringly loud calliope music

    If you roll a 8251, All goblins within 10 miles become vegetarian pacifists

    If you roll a 9918, The planet breaks loose from the Sun's gravity


    As a DM, all three of those would make me completely ecstatic. But then I also understand that a lot of players and DMs aren't like me and don't like randomness in their games ruining their meticulously planned encounters or disrupting their expertly designed characters. I love it.

    I'm sorry what

    IF YOU ROLL A 9918, THE PLANET BREAKS LOOSE FROM THE SUN’S GRAVITY.

    WELL FUCK YEAH, SIGN ME THE FUCK UP
    Straightzi wrote: »
    I can give you an internet stranger's unsolicited thoughts on two of those, if you want it.

    Blades in the Dark is fantastic. Both the mechanical systems in play and the setting presented are great right out of the box. On top of that, it has quickly become a base system for a bunch of other games, and while many of those are full releases with the basics adequately repeated, it's a game that I would consider worth it just for the sake of understanding other games. The one thing I could say against it is that it's a fairly narrow lens game - you're definitely playing criminals of some description, and the setting, while very good, doesn't necessarily have the whole genre openness of many other RPGs.

    Spire is one I have more equivocal feelings on. The setting is, I think, absolutely fantastic. There's great writing in there, some really cool ideas for how the city works and who the characters are and all that (accompanied by frequently gorgeous art). I don't love the system though. It's fine, but feels a bit inelegant a lot of times, and the game doesn't have great GMing advice to smooth things out. Quite frankly, at times I think about converting it over to a Forged in the Dark system, as it covers a lot of similar terrain. But as a book to read for ideas and the pleasure of RPGs, it's still top tier. I will point out as well though that the sequel game, Heart, also exists and might be worth looking into (I personally prefer Spire, but I think it's a matter of taste).

    Thanks for your thoughts! I hadn't even looked to know Spire had a sequel, so I'll check it out too! :)

    Darmak on
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  • PetesalzlPetesalzl vorpal blade in hand Registered User regular
    one thing i would add to the good/evil, lawful/chaotic concerns is that i don't think a lot of times people take into account the societal norms when considering that sort of thing. games normally take place in a fantasy world in a fantasy time period and our beliefs don't always fit. this obviously isn't an excuse to say murder-hoboing is lawful good because your character comes from a society that approves that sort of thing (unless that's the setting). but to use a real world example from our history, the medieval crusades were a bunch of people murdering each other cause they didn't agree on each-others beliefs, and you can be certain there were a number of murders that considered themselves lawful good, doing gods work etc. so if a fantasy civilization doesn't consider orcs to have the same rights as others, that their godless heathens, its not a stretch to have a paladin go murder the lot of them and still think they are being lawful good.
    IMO

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    I don't always vorpal blade, but when i do it goes snicker-snack.
  • gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    I have two separate parties running through MOUNT GHIDORAH.

    The first group, run on Sundays using 4e, yesterday entered the slag pits at the edge of the mountain. There they encountered the mutated slaves who melt down worthless tribute into residium and source metal. They encountered the FIRE FORGEMASTER, the WATER FORGEMASTER, and befriended the kobold LEDGERKEEPER in about 3.5 hours of fighting and exploration.

    Tonight I ran the exact same scenario for the Monday night group using Dungeon World. I've never run Dungeon World, and only one person in the group has ever played it. They completed the same overall scenario in less than an hour and a half. As the first time GM, I feel like maybe Apocalypse World is not a good match for dungeon delve campaigns? I noticed a distinct pattern, even in the first session, that combat seems to be alternating between Hack'n'Slash and Defy Danger, treated like standard attack rolls.

    I've got all sorts of weird topsy turvy stuff planned for MOUNT GHIDORAH:
    A great savanna where the mountain beef is grown, including a false sky
    Deep crystal caves where an ancient seer predicts the fate of the world
    The domains of the Elite Four - Mothra's elegance, Jet Jaguar's surreal magic distortions, (Mecha) Godzilla's organic vats hiding cold metal steel, Rodan's over the top death arena...

    Just not sure that these set pieces are going to match well with Apocalypse World's actual system. Or I could just be terrible at GM'ing it since this is my first time.

    I've got a book! Angels, innovations, and the hubris of tiny things: Seraphim
  • DelduwathDelduwath Registered User regular
    Darmak wrote: »
    I am about this close to just buying like a fuckload of different RPG sourcebooks just because of the art or the setting or the mechanics and it's a lot of money for all at once but I wannnnt eeemmmmmm.

    Namely I'm looking at

    Spire: The City Must Fall
    Symbaroum
    Blades in the Dark (got the .pdf in the itch.io bundle but I want a hardcopy)
    Overlight
    Paranoia
    Troika! (another one I got in the itch bundle)
    Starfinder

    I also want to get a copy of Mage: The Awakening but I can't find any new copies of it

    I probably won't ever convince my group to play any of these, but I still want em
    I agree with Straightzi re: The Spire - the setting, the writing, and the character classes (the flavor, especially) are off the chain. I likewise agree that the system feels inelegant. I should mention that I have like no practical experience running or playing RPGs, I'm very much an armchair RPG nerd (the armchair is made of dozens of RPG books that I buy and never play), so take that with a grain of salt.

    One thing that I will say about the system is that it will literally, obviously fuck your character up. Just reading the stress system makes me feel stressed out. The premise of the game is that your are a revolutionary, and building the revolution will kill you; it's more a question of how much you can do before you're broken and cast down. So, I think it's kind of appropriate in that respect. On the other hand, some parts of it feel really swingy - like a random roll will decide whether or not you take some mental stress or whatever, and if you do then that's a Big Deal and if you don't then it's fine. I guess that can lead to good drama if you come into it knowing that your booze-knight might semi-randomly die, and you have some juicy death scene you're ready to play out for your buddies.

    The other very specific gripe that I have is that the original Kickstarter had an early draft of the rules where all the classes' top-tier abilities were described in narrative terms, not mechanics. So it was something along the lines of: "The Firebrand [an actual leading-the-underclasses-in-the-streets-to-glorious-revolution type] becomes the very idea of revolution, can instantly appear wherever a crowd of people gathers and sings a song about rebellion". This really really worked for me; I like the idea that the most powerful abilities are beyond the reach of the rules, especially in a narrative-heavy game like this. If I remember correctly, there were some OWD Vampire books that listed the 10-dot powers for each Discipline as "Plot Device"? Yes, this is what I want. And then the final rules came out and all the top-tier abilities had mechanics attached to them and I was like "...oh".

    But the art in the book is increda, and the imagination that was poured into the setting is enough to jump-start anyone else's.

    Darmak, thank you for reminding me about Overlight; I'd been meaning to check that out ages ago, and completely forgot about it. The other thing that I forgot about, and was remind of by your "RPG book with pretty art" comment, was Emberwind. I think it was mentioned on this very forum some time ago, I checked out their free previews, and thought it was fairly novel and definitely had some banging art. I think it's out now? I should read some reviews. Or, you know, rush out to order the book and then read the reviews.

    Also, if you're looking for interesting RPGs with pretty art, have you checked out Fellowship? (I will never stop banging Fellowship's drum, even though I've literally never played it.) I think it's a really pretty book, and I think a lot of the ideas in the game are interesting and inspirational, even if you never actually get to play the game or ultimately decide that the game isn't for you.

    Darmak
  • ZonugalZonugal The Holiday Armadillo I'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
    I haven't DM'd in such a long time.

    I forgot the thrill of it all.

    I am become the Storyteller.

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  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    edited June 30
    gavindel wrote: »
    I have two separate parties running through MOUNT GHIDORAH.

    The first group, run on Sundays using 4e, yesterday entered the slag pits at the edge of the mountain. There they encountered the mutated slaves who melt down worthless tribute into residium and source metal. They encountered the FIRE FORGEMASTER, the WATER FORGEMASTER, and befriended the kobold LEDGERKEEPER in about 3.5 hours of fighting and exploration.

    Tonight I ran the exact same scenario for the Monday night group using Dungeon World. I've never run Dungeon World, and only one person in the group has ever played it. They completed the same overall scenario in less than an hour and a half. As the first time GM, I feel like maybe Apocalypse World is not a good match for dungeon delve campaigns? I noticed a distinct pattern, even in the first session, that combat seems to be alternating between Hack'n'Slash and Defy Danger, treated like standard attack rolls.

    I've got all sorts of weird topsy turvy stuff planned for MOUNT GHIDORAH:
    A great savanna where the mountain beef is grown, including a false sky
    Deep crystal caves where an ancient seer predicts the fate of the world
    The domains of the Elite Four - Mothra's elegance, Jet Jaguar's surreal magic distortions, (Mecha) Godzilla's organic vats hiding cold metal steel, Rodan's over the top death arena...

    Just not sure that these set pieces are going to match well with Apocalypse World's actual system. Or I could just be terrible at GM'ing it since this is my first time.

    Dungeon World and 4E are pretty much on opposite sides of the spectrum there, yeah (short of like, Venture or something). I think DW can work for a dungeon delving sort of game, but it's going to ask different questions and provide different answers.

    Overall DW is less focused on the particulars of combat from swing to swing and more the general outcome. A single hack and slash could be an axe chop, or it could be a minute of back and forth until someone lets their guard down. In that, I would suggest pacing your combats around that and using that flexibility. Split the party up, let half of them handle the front lines while the others go for a primary objective. Make combat something harder to actually initiate - maybe you need to find a silver sword to actually hurt your foe, and can spend time looking for that. And ask questions during the combat - the how doesn't matter as much as it would in D&D, in the sense that it's not prescriptive, but you can still dig into it, and a descriptive how (or maybe a why, for that matter) can be equally valuable.

    Straightzi on
    Maddoc
  • MaddocMaddoc I'm Bobbin Threadbare, are you my mother? Registered User regular
    4e is good if you enjoy tactical combat, that isn't to say that it can't be utilized as well as other editions of D&D to tell a story, but it certainly is a combat focused rule set, and the narrative and conversational mechanics like skill challenges is much lighter than the combat rules.

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  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    edited June 30
    Yeah to be clear, while I am overall much more into more narrative games these days, 4E is my favorite version of D&D because I believe it does what I want out of D&D best. If I don't want crunchy tactical dungeoneering, I'm not going to play D&D in the first place, but if I want that, 4E can deliver.

    And while I'll talk a lot about Dungeon World and I think it's a good alternative to D&D if you're looking for a more narrative game, I also think it's heavily flawed and isn't actually the game that people want it to be most of the time, much like D&D itself.

    Straightzi on
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  • MaddocMaddoc I'm Bobbin Threadbare, are you my mother? Registered User regular
    Dungeon World is certainly an odd duck, it feels like trying to trick people who equate role playing with D&D into branching out into other styles of games.

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  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    Its a weird one because PTBA games are more or less built around genre emulation and DW is explicitly about emulating a specific era of D&D.

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  • gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    Yeah, I'll have to play with alternative framings. Dungeon delving as an activity has a rather fine granularity - locks, keys, square feet, corners, line of sight, movement timing. Moving to a rules light system, you more or less abandon that granularity. To give an example:

    Players entered the room of the forge firemaster. They see three chests in back, all gleaming with a magical aura.
    One player uses the investigation roll, partial success, to ask "what looks important in here?"
    I glance at my notes. "Uh, well, the three shiny glowing chests?"
    "Oh."
    "Yeah. Honestly, that's kind of obvious. I'll let you ask something else."

    We'll see if Dungeon World survives. This group cut its teeth on 5e, and our one player outright admitted she found the lack of any initiative order very frustrating in the new system.

    I've got a book! Angels, innovations, and the hubris of tiny things: Seraphim
  • DelduwathDelduwath Registered User regular
    Maddoc wrote: »
    Dungeon World is certainly an odd duck, it feels like trying to trick people who equate role playing with D&D into branching out into other styles of games.
    I thought this was its explicit objective?

    MarshmallowElvenshaeDarkPrimus
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