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Tabletop RPG |OT| I cast a spell

Ultron

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
839
I'm running a game of Microscope this weekend, looking forward to it as it sounds pretty different from stuff I've played before.

Doing this before running it again at a local convention the weekend after (Acadecon). And at that convention I'm also playing multiple in development games (a Castlevania inspired PBTA game, a Robotech/Mech game) and then some D&D, Monster of the Week and Tales from the Loop as some games I've played before and enjoyed. Really looking forward to a good weekend of a bunch of one shots.

Hey peeps, new on Era! Is there a Board Gaming OT or community thread in this place? I can't find one but maybe the users here can point me in the right direction... sorry for intruding!
Welcome! The board game thread is here: https://www.resetera.com/threads/board-gaming-era-ot-mostly-unplugged-gaming.2052/
 

Another

Member
Oct 23, 2019
233
Portugal
I'm running a game of Microscope this weekend, looking forward to it as it sounds pretty different from stuff I've played before.

Doing this before running it again at a local convention the weekend after (Acadecon). And at that convention I'm also playing multiple in development games (a Castlevania inspired PBTA game, a Robotech/Mech game) and then some D&D, Monster of the Week and Tales from the Loop as some games I've played before and enjoyed. Really looking forward to a good weekend of a bunch of one shots.


Welcome! The board game thread is here: https://www.resetera.com/threads/board-gaming-era-ot-mostly-unplugged-gaming.2052/
Thanks! I found it a few hours ago, for some reason the search feature wasn't giving me much to go on but uncle google was kind enough to point me in the right direction! Much appreciated regardless!
 
Mar 19, 2019
438
Hey, all! What are the best actual play Dungeons & Dragons podcasts for newbie DM's trying to better learn the craft through observation?
 

Ultron

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
839
Hey, all! What are the best actual play Dungeons & Dragons podcasts for newbie DM's trying to better learn the craft through observation?
Yay new DM! What kind of stuff are you looking to learn/see?

I think any of the popular ones like The Adventure Zone, Critical Role, Dimension 20 or Acquisitions Incorporated can all give you some good examples. I'll admit I haven't listened to a ton of smaller ones. I think it's just important to remember that the DMs on those are often professional actors or improv people or etc, they're playing for an audience and that they set a *crazy* high standard for the amount of prep and story engagement in the games they run. Don't feel like you need to set up a whole crazy world of your own design, voice a million NPCs, or have insane 6 month long arcs planned out just because that's what you hear on podcasts. But you definitely can take some good examples from most of these in terms of working together with your players, making storylines that engage the PCs directly, pacing, being a fan of what your players try and do, and just the general atmosphere of a game.
 

Grayson

Member
Aug 21, 2019
787
I honestly cannot recommend Aquisistions unless you’re in the mood for an off the wall look at me campaign 24/7.
 
Mar 19, 2019
438
Yay new DM! What kind of stuff are you looking to learn/see?

I think any of the popular ones like The Adventure Zone, Critical Role, Dimension 20 or Acquisitions Incorporated can all give you some good examples. I'll admit I haven't listened to a ton of smaller ones. I think it's just important to remember that the DMs on those are often professional actors or improv people or etc, they're playing for an audience and that they set a *crazy* high standard for the amount of prep and story engagement in the games they run. Don't feel like you need to set up a whole crazy world of your own design, voice a million NPCs, or have insane 6 month long arcs planned out just because that's what you hear on podcasts. But you definitely can take some good examples from most of these in terms of working together with your players, making storylines that engage the PCs directly, pacing, being a fan of what your players try and do, and just the general atmosphere of a game.
Well I wouldn't say "new" so much as inexperienced. I've DM'd a few times just not as well as I'd have liked to. :P

Thanks for the information and recommendations! I'll check these out. I already knew about Critical Role, so I guess I'll start there.
 

Arrrammis

Member
Oct 25, 2017
481
Hey, all! What are the best actual play Dungeons & Dragons podcasts for newbie DM's trying to better learn the craft through observation?
Some of my personal favorites:
Critical Role: The flashy, main D&D series that everyone watches. Really good, sometimes rules issues come up, but it's great inspiration and shows you some good practices for world building
The Unexpectables: If Critical Role is a soap opera, this is a saturday morning anime. Fun, positive atmosphere, some off-the-wall antics, and emotional beats that really catch you off guard. The DM MontyGlu is absolutely incredible, great and building fun scenarios and NPCs, but her food descriptions are deadly. Don't listen to any of the festival episodes on an empty stomach! Some of the players have a tendency to interrupt the DM, which can be annoying (Though many of these moments are edited out of the podcast), but overall this may be my favorite D&D podcast.
High Rollers: The british answer to Critical Role, really good DM and fun players, these campaigns can be a little more focused on homebrew and stories than mechanics, but that can be fun in its own way.

I personally couldn't get in to adventure zone or aquisitions inc. myself, but see enough people recommending them that it's worth you checking it out.
 

Jest

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,516
Hey, all! What are the best actual play Dungeons & Dragons podcasts for newbie DM's trying to better learn the craft through observation?
Critical Role is great but Matt Mercer sets a very high bar. You can also check out The Chain which is DM'd by Matt Colville for a different and much less forgiving style of DMing. There's also Roleplay on Itmejp's twitch channel, do other highly regarded DM's with unique styles.
 

Boogiepop

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,275
Okay, so I'm a newcomer to any of this, but been playing some D&D for the first time ever, kitchen table style with some friends. Well, though the DM of the group has obviously pretty far down the well, as he has boxes and boxes of minis and the like to set up scenarios and all that.

But after the last session, my one friend made a comment about how combat is what you just have to get through to get to the good stuff, and it's kind of been sticking in my head.

At the very least, when combat's forced down to doing what's on the sheet as intended, I do definitely find it pretty dull. Just whacking/blasting at stuff and rolling lots of dice isn't to my interest, really. (Similarly, we've been playing loose with continuity in that levels can just be what they need to be and we don't need to worry about keeping track of loot between quests and stuff, and are treating them more as standalone affairs. And honestly, don't think I'd be especially interested in doing otherwise.)

That said, obviously threat/danger existing through combat is still important, and we have had plenty amusing instances inside of combat, too. Like, first adventure with my similarly new to the game friend, we decided to take a long rest back from the dungeon we did while in the woods. The DM decided to use that as a lesson and had a Shambling Mound sneak up as we slept, and in the ensuing chaos, the dog we managed to adopt and force into the module got snagged. We desparately freed it (the DM admittedly likely being overly fair on account of not especially wanting to kill our dog), ran to a safe distance... and then decided we wanted vengeance, so we lured it back to the hut of the NPC who gave us the quest, as it was previously established that he had powerful magic skills, and forced him to get out of bed and deal with it.

Or like, the incident where we angered a drake that shot lightning that we really shouldn't have, which resulted in scrambling desperately back down a dungeon and outside, awkwardly climbing up the walls, and then eventually managing to collapse the whole damn thing on the creature. (This being the same dungeon I came up with the invention of combining a Kobald corpse with my polearm to make a "Kobald on a stick" to trigger traps and do an increasingly poor and disturbing job of using it as a puppet to trick the other Kobalds.)

So like, random stuff like that where we can get creative and wild with it is where the game feels really fun. But like, then there are inevitably the combat scenarios where you just kind of have to roll with it and say "I punch. I slash. The enemy slashes. Shoot the cantrip, etc" and that's where it gets dull for me, I'm noticing thinking more on it.

So yeah, any thoughts on that? Any suggestions on, say, what to try when I make a new character? Thus far I've just been a monk, which has been fine but my abilities in and of themselves don't seem to have a lot of flexibility. Any suggestions for something that'd allow me to get more creative when things start to feel too flat and there's nothing really good to use in terms of environmental stuff and random odds and ends I've collected? Or are there any other tabletop games you guys would suggest as an alternative to suggest giving a try to get that sort of feel?

It's not the end of the world either way and I've still been having fun overall. Just something that's been on my mind since my friend brought it up, is all.

Tldr: Like exercising creativity and getting wild with stuff, and having to play by the book with combat can feel boring. Any tips?
 

Jest

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,516
Okay, so I'm a newcomer to any of this, but been playing some D&D for the first time ever, kitchen table style with some friends. Well, though the DM of the group has obviously pretty far down the well, as he has boxes and boxes of minis and the like to set up scenarios and all that.

But after the last session, my one friend made a comment about how combat is what you just have to get through to get to the good stuff, and it's kind of been sticking in my head.

At the very least, when combat's forced down to doing what's on the sheet as intended, I do definitely find it pretty dull. Just whacking/blasting at stuff and rolling lots of dice isn't to my interest, really. (Similarly, we've been playing loose with continuity in that levels can just be what they need to be and we don't need to worry about keeping track of loot between quests and stuff, and are treating them more as standalone affairs. And honestly, don't think I'd be especially interested in doing otherwise.)

That said, obviously threat/danger existing through combat is still important, and we have had plenty amusing instances inside of combat, too. Like, first adventure with my similarly new to the game friend, we decided to take a long rest back from the dungeon we did while in the woods. The DM decided to use that as a lesson and had a Shambling Mound sneak up as we slept, and in the ensuing chaos, the dog we managed to adopt and force into the module got snagged. We desparately freed it (the DM admittedly likely being overly fair on account of not especially wanting to kill our dog), ran to a safe distance... and then decided we wanted vengeance, so we lured it back to the hut of the NPC who gave us the quest, as it was previously established that he had powerful magic skills, and forced him to get out of bed and deal with it.

Or like, the incident where we angered a drake that shot lightning that we really shouldn't have, which resulted in scrambling desperately back down a dungeon and outside, awkwardly climbing up the walls, and then eventually managing to collapse the whole damn thing on the creature. (This being the same dungeon I came up with the invention of combining a Kobald corpse with my polearm to make a "Kobald on a stick" to trigger traps and do an increasingly poor and disturbing job of using it as a puppet to trick the other Kobalds.)

So like, random stuff like that where we can get creative and wild with it is where the game feels really fun. But like, then there are inevitably the combat scenarios where you just kind of have to roll with it and say "I punch. I slash. The enemy slashes. Shoot the cantrip, etc" and that's where it gets dull for me, I'm noticing thinking more on it.

So yeah, any thoughts on that? Any suggestions on, say, what to try when I make a new character? Thus far I've just been a monk, which has been fine but my abilities in and of themselves don't seem to have a lot of flexibility. Any suggestions for something that'd allow me to get more creative when things start to feel too flat and there's nothing really good to use in terms of environmental stuff and random odds and ends I've collected? Or are there any other tabletop games you guys would suggest as an alternative to suggest giving a try to get that sort of feel?

It's not the end of the world either way and I've still been having fun overall. Just something that's been on my mind since my friend brought it up, is all.

Tldr: Like exercising creativity and getting wild with stuff, and having to play by the book with combat can feel boring. Any tips?
You pretty much have answered your own question on this one. If the stats and numbers in the combat isn't interesting enough, then you just think outside the box to make things more interesting. A good DM will roll with your ideas, giving you the space to see them through even if they end up going horribly sideways.

As your monk levels, it will gain access to new skills that should help stoke your creativity, even if they're not the most numerically effective options. You can also look into Feats as you level that can give you more options.

Now, there are definitely some classes that lend to easy creativity.. Sorcerer with Spell Shaping or an Arcane Trickster Bard for example... But pretty much every class will have options for some cool thematic fodder which can play into unique approaches to encounters. I'm of the mind that the limits on such things are primarily within the mind of the player and the flexibility of the DM.
 

Speely

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
4,730
Tldr: Like exercising creativity and getting wild with stuff, and having to play by the book with combat can feel boring. Any tips?
For D&D specifically, at lower levels your breadth of abilities to make combat more interesting is quite a bit smaller than the options you have in choice to create the kinds of fun scenarios you detailed (and they do sound fun!) I.e. you have more agency over what happens leading up to potential combat than you do over how you "combat."

Monks do get more mechanically interesting in combat as you gain more options to move around and do cool wuxia -type stuff, but in the end, lots of the combat in D&D comes down to "lots of ways to achieve x, but oftentimes x is required." Monks are kind of a class made for people who like the 5E combat system, actually, as they offer a way to interact with it in more ways that explore the basic parts of combat rather than subvert them.

Spellcasters and skill monkeys open this up a bit. Bards are great because they are good at skills and have lots of spells and abilities that can shape encounters outside of "I do damage with thing," and Arcane Tricksters are the epitome of "throw a wrench into almost any situation" in or out of combat. To wit: at 9th level, a single-class Arcane Trickster can sneak up on and incapacitate groups with more consistency than any other class or subclass. This can help you avoid combat encounters that are not hard-wired by your DM, and once they ARE in combat, they are versatile enough that your options will at least be varied and interesting.

Basically, spells and skills can open up lots of things. Bards and Wizards/Sorcerers, Rogues (especially Arcane Tricksters but also Thieves,) and even Warlocks (Pact of the Chain or Tome) give lots more opportunities to do creative and unexpected things in and out of combat than Monks or Fighters, etc.

Monks, especially at lower levels, are perhaps not an ideal choice for someone who wants to be creative in combat. I love them, but I kinda enjoy the nuts and bolts of base 5E combat. The most creative I have ever felt was playing a straight-up Lore Bard. I feel like it's the most potentially creative subclass in the game, and that Bards are just generally very versatile.
 

kai3345

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,485


Hey gang, not sure how kosher this is here, so if it's not I'll remove it. But my friends and I recently started up an actual play podcast using Monster of the Week. It's about a punk band in a beach town taking monster hunting jobs to pay the bills. We're 6 episodes deep and I'm really proud of what we've made so far. If that sorta thing might interest any of yall, here's a LINK to listen to the show on all the big podcast apps (iTunes, Spotify, Pocketcasts and a few others)

Hope you guys enjoy it!
 

deimosmasque

Member
Apr 22, 2018
1,905
Tampa, Fl
So I have two things going on right now.

First, the question.

My best friend, and my best friend's mother both played D&D. They are using 5th edition and I will admit that my knowledge base there is rather lacking. Their GM is saying that he's about to run an adventure for characters that are not in his current campaign. He's recommending level 17 characters.

My best friend came to me today asking besides doing spells and feets and such. What should a character at level 17 have compared to a character at level 6.

Using my previous edition knowledge, been doing D&D on and off so 2nd edition. I said that the character should probably have at least three weapons that have magical capabilities of + 1 + 2 or + 3.

And they should have some sort of the Defense magic items that have + 2 r + 3 capabilities.

My question is as far as D&D goes in the 5th edition. Should a level 17 character have those sort of things?

Outside of my advice to new players with additions that I'm not 100% familiar with. My partner and I have just started a Powered by Apocalypse game. We are using the Worlds in Peril rule system for a super hero game that is a What If?

The game is set after Avengers versus X-Men. But what if is that the Phoenix Five never happened and instead Cyclops was given the power of the Phoenix and turn dark almost immediately.

In this version of events, Professor Xavier and Emma Frost worked together to try to shut down Phoenix Cyclops. The ending results in Professor X dying, as well as Cyclops.

Emma emerges as the hero of the day. Having a similar dramatic moment as Cyclops had in the original Dark Phoenix Saga.

The results are instead of Havok, Emma is tapped as the leader of the Avengers Unity Squad.

I walked through the initial Red Skull story, we're basically the Red Skull stole Xavier's brain. My partner decide to end that story very interestingly. Emma outclassed him on the Astral plane and then broke his neck in the physical plane.

With a wonderful line of " you want Charles Xavier has abilities, then take the limitations it requires"

We are contuing the story tomorrow. Wanted to known if ERA wanted a LP of it.
 

Wunder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,754
So I have two things going on right now.

First, the question.

My best friend, and my best friend's mother both played D&D. They are using 5th edition and I will admit that my knowledge base there is rather lacking. Their GM is saying that he's about to run an adventure for characters that are not in his current campaign. He's recommending level 17 characters.

My best friend came to me today asking besides doing spells and feets and such. What should a character at level 17 have compared to a character at level 6.

Using my previous edition knowledge, been doing D&D on and off so 2nd edition. I said that the character should probably have at least three weapons that have magical capabilities of + 1 + 2 or + 3.

And they should have some sort of the Defense magic items that have + 2 r + 3 capabilities.

My question is as far as D&D goes in the 5th edition. Should a level 17 character have those sort of things?
I would have your friend just consult the DM on the scope of the adventure rather than anything else. 17th level characters would likely have those items, maybe not full +3 weapons and armor, but likely a handful of other magical items as well. But I would imagine the DM has something in mind rather than just a random mash of 17th level characters with a varied backstory?
 

Daytak

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,839
Detroit, MI
Is the new repacked Tyranny of Dragons set good for a starter DM? I initially wanted to homebrew a campaign but am struggling with finding a good flow.
 

Speely

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
4,730


Hey gang, not sure how kosher this is here, so if it's not I'll remove it. But my friends and I recently started up an actual play podcast using Monster of the Week. It's about a punk band in a beach town taking monster hunting jobs to pay the bills. We're 6 episodes deep and I'm really proud of what we've made so far. If that sorta thing might interest any of yall, here's a LINK to listen to the show on all the big podcast apps (iTunes, Spotify, Pocketcasts and a few others)

Hope you guys enjoy it!
Sold! I just picked up MotW and absolutely adore it. Aside from just being a really freaking cool game, the book has really useful GM/Keeper wisdom that is v useful. I am starting to brew up a campaign myself, so I am looking forward to seeing what y'all have created :)
 
Mar 19, 2019
438
I put down everyone's podcast suggestions and followed them on Spotify! I started with The Adventure Zone.

I was almost lost when the first guy admitted to only playing 4e but it got an audible chuckle out of me when said "Yeah, avoiding Dungeons & Dragons is kinda what I did. For many people it was like the last patch of nerdom, so no matter what I could always say 'Yeah, but at least I don't play D&D'. But, uh, hey. At least LARPing exists now". Also I like that pretty much all the players are new. Let's me see how pros deal with newbie players.

Not Another D&D Podcast seems fun too. What's the popular opinion on it?

It's an Actual Play podcast about the "campaign after the campaign", focusing on the world as it exists after a previous hypothetical campaign in which all of the staple fantasy world-saving antics have left the world worse for ware.

It's a campaign about how all of the typical world-saving D&D shenanigans -- coaxing the isolationist elves into the war, raising the rightful heir ro the throne to his position of power, etc. -- has unforeseeable consequences. The heroes of the hypothetical previous campaign have gone into hiding since their world-saving heroism backfired as the elves faced extinction, the rightful heir proved his inability to rule, so on and so forth.

And now it's the "true" campaign's heroes' job to step in and clean up the mess.
 

Wunder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,754
I put down everyone's podcast suggestions and followed them on Spotify! I started with The Adventure Zone.

I was almost lost when the first guy admitted to only playing 4e but it got an audible chuckle out of me when said "Yeah, avoiding Dungeons & Dragons is kinda what I did. For many people it was like the last patch of nerdom, so no matter what I could always say 'Yeah, but at least I don't play D&D'. But, uh, hey. At least LARPing exists now". Also I like that pretty much all the players are new. Let's me see how pros deal with newbie players.

Not Another D&D Podcast seems fun too. What's the popular opinion on it?

It's an Actual Play podcast about the "campaign after the campaign", focusing on the world as it exists after a previous hypothetical campaign in which all of the staple fantasy world-saving antics have left the world worse for ware.

It's a campaign about how all of the typical world-saving D&D shenanigans -- coaxing the isolationist elves into the war, raising the rightful heir ro the throne to his position of power, etc. -- has unforeseeable consequences. The heroes of the hypothetical previous campaign have gone into hiding since their world-saving heroism backfired as the elves faced extinction, the rightful heir proved his inability to rule, so on and so forth.

And now it's the "true" campaign's heroes' job to step in and clean up the mess.
Naddpod is good, but I eventually dropped off because I felt it was really hard to track their longer combats. They also play really loose with spells and end up homebrewing some magic items to keep their adventure going without really having to rest, which is fine but I just didn't really like it coz i had no idea what the stakes were going into a battle.

Also, I don't believe Griffin is a very experienced DM either, but I haven't really listened to TAZ past the first arc.
 

kai3345

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,485
ooo that art looks awesome. sounds like it uses the same rules as tales from the loop. anybody ever played that?
 

Keasar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,735
Skövde, Sweden
ooo that art looks awesome. sounds like it uses the same rules as tales from the loop. anybody ever played that?
I have the book and not played it, but the system is pretty good from what I read and a friend of mine swears by Mutant: Year Zero saying it's great. So that is an endorsement for that. Plus they got all those awards for -everything- so far they've made, so it's probably in good hands.
 

ArkkAngel007

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
1,683
Loving the new UA Class Feature variants. There are still some shortcomings and odd variants, but most of it is welcome. I'm especially glad for the cantrip and spell versatility for the non-prepared classes. It gives just a little bit of options without stepping into the cleric/druid field.

Speaking of Free League, their Alien RPG should be shipping this month. I've already received my digital players guide, though I haven't sat down with it to see how it compares to say Tales From the Loop.
 

Wunder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,754
Question for any 5E players/DMs out there: How do I handle saving throws against mounted combatants? There was a scenario in my last session where a player had cast lightning bolt that pierced through 3 Wights each riding a Warhorse Skeleton. I was about to roll a Dex Save for all 6 creatures but a player piped up and said that if they were mounted only the horses would roll. I couldn't really find anything that specifically talked about this scenario aside from the Mounted Combatant Feat, which was irrelevant. Did I rule it wrong? If all 6 do make a save, what happens when the rider saves but the horse doesn't, does the rider get dismounted?
 

Daytak

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,839
Detroit, MI
I’d just say the riders make a DEX save at Disadvantage. They can react but they are definitely slowed down due to being mounted.
 

Jest

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,516
Question for any 5E players/DMs out there: How do I handle saving throws against mounted combatants? There was a scenario in my last session where a player had cast lightning bolt that pierced through 3 Wights each riding a Warhorse Skeleton. I was about to roll a Dex Save for all 6 creatures but a player piped up and said that if they were mounted only the horses would roll. I couldn't really find anything that specifically talked about this scenario aside from the Mounted Combatant Feat, which was irrelevant. Did I rule it wrong? If all 6 do make a save, what happens when the rider saves but the horse doesn't, does the rider get dismounted?
Honestly this seems like it would be up to your discretion as DM, as are all things that aren't explicitly listed in the DMG or PHB.

Lightning Bolt is listes as hitting all creatures in a line for 100ft in a 5ft spread. So one square/hex wide.

Since it's a bolt that originates from the caster (as opposed to coming down from the sky) you have plenty of room to rule on it. You could have it hit all 6 or you could ask the player to specify if they're aiming at the lead horse or the lead rider (determining if it hits only horses or only riders as a result).

In a case where it hits horses and riders and a horse fails while the rider passes you could have the rider automatically dismounted or judge whether the horse would fall depending on how badly they failed the saving throw.

So say the save they have to make is 15. A Dex saving throw of 1-6 results in the horse taking full dmg, fallling, and tossing the rider and 7-14 results in horse taking full dmg but only faltering and rider maintaining control, and 15 and up is half damage and no change to the horse.

You can even take it more granular if you choose, factoring in things like the horses are skeletal so lightning wouldn't be as effective at making them stumble or fall compared to something like say Thunderwave.

That's a lot of words but essentially my first paragraph is the TL;DR. It's all about how you want your combat to play out and how much detail and complexity you and your players like. You can make it technical and require additional sub-checks/saves or keep it straight forward and fast. There's benefits and preferences to both styles.
 

absolutbro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,450
No reason for riders to make the save at disadvantage. The whole thing is hand wavey to begin with. I would say you did it correctly: 6 saves. 3 for riders, 3 for mounts. If rider has the Mounted Combatant feat (or similar ability) the mount would either take half or no damage depending on failing/passing the save. In cases where the rider is okay but the mount did not survive, there's a small chain of events:

1. the mount goes unconscious (or dead) and thus falls prone. (per page 292 of the PHB)
2. the rider must either use their reaction to dismount and land on their feet, or fall prone within 5 feet of the (now unconscious or dead) mount. (per page 198 of the PHB).
 

Grayson

Member
Aug 21, 2019
787
The new playtest (optional) dnd 5e Class Feature Variants. IMO they really mix up the game in a positive manner and as they are table by table, feature by feature they don’t have to if you’re happy.

Find em here
 

absolutbro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,450
The Ranger changes are probably my favorite thing in there: they take incredibly situational binary powers and allow you to swap for something that is useful in more general circumstances instead. Nothing in there for my Rune Knight, but meh, that's a fun character already.
 

Speely

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
4,730
The Ranger changes are probably my favorite thing in there: they take incredibly situational binary powers and allow you to swap for something that is useful in more general circumstances instead. Nothing in there for my Rune Knight, but meh, that's a fun character already.
That's how I feel about my Bladesinger. Wizards in general are already great, and rn my BS feels super fun. I guess Wizards don't really need more options. They got some more spells anyway, which is nice.
 

Nappuccino

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
5,167
Naddpod is good, but I eventually dropped off because I felt it was really hard to track their longer combats. They also play really loose with spells and end up homebrewing some magic items to keep their adventure going without really having to rest, which is fine but I just didn't really like it coz i had no idea what the stakes were going into a battle.

Also, I don't believe Griffin is a very experienced DM either, but I haven't really listened to TAZ past the first arc.
It was Griffin's first time as dm. I wouldn't listen to TAZ if you're looking for ways to introduce players to a rigid "these are the rules" style of playing. Griffin kinda lets them get away with anything that is good for the story/humor. Which, to be honest, is a great way to introduce new players to RPGs.

Some of the later arcs lean hard into Griffin's narrative and roleplay choices take a back seat. But most seem to think the result is worth it :)
 

benj

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,446
Hey—does anyone know of any good articles or essays on the central design philosophies of specific DnD editions, or on the specific problems that editions were trying to solve? Hoping to find information for every edition, but obviously anything on even one edition would be very helpful. I'm especially interested in anything on changing considerations around skill checks, mechanical expertise, and rules guiding DMs to structure challenges in specific ways.

I found this old twitter thread which is great:

Hoping for more like this—really interested in learning about what the higher-level design decisions were in moving from one iteration to the next.
 

mclem

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,205
A random half-memory that I'm hoping that someone here might just be able to help with:

I seem to remember, in the earlyish days of the modern internet (I'm thinking mid-to-late 90s), happening across a document - pretty sure we're talking plaintext back then - that detailed a huge number of really creative traps. I've got half a mind that one may have been a room with a mirrored floor, and when you entered it you found out that that was, in fact, mercury, although I may have read that elsewhere. Also, lots of creative uses of Gelatinous Cubes.

I've been wracking my brain trying to think where I'd have encountered it; it would have been roughly the same vintage as when I first discovered the Evil Overlord List, but that too may have been around for somewhat longer. It would certainly have been passed around in the same sorts of places.

Does this ring a bell for anyone?
 

Noisy Ninj4

Member
Oct 25, 2017
680
A random half-memory that I'm hoping that someone here might just be able to help with:

I seem to remember, in the earlyish days of the modern internet (I'm thinking mid-to-late 90s), happening across a document - pretty sure we're talking plaintext back then - that detailed a huge number of really creative traps. I've got half a mind that one may have been a room with a mirrored floor, and when you entered it you found out that that was, in fact, mercury, although I may have read that elsewhere. Also, lots of creative uses of Gelatinous Cubes.

I've been wracking my brain trying to think where I'd have encountered it; it would have been roughly the same vintage as when I first discovered the Evil Overlord List, but that too may have been around for somewhat longer. It would certainly have been passed around in the same sorts of places.

Does this ring a bell for anyone?
Maybe Grimtooth's Traps?
 

Brashnir

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,104
The new playtest (optional) dnd 5e Class Feature Variants. IMO they really mix up the game in a positive manner and as they are table by table, feature by feature they don’t have to if you’re happy.

Find em here
Wow, the Bard, Sorcerer and Warlock Spell Versatility ability are massive buffs to those classes. Being able to replace one spell on your known list (Or Cantrips!) per day adds so many more options than being able to swap one out per level.

Edit - and by buff, I don't necessarily mean a direct power buff in combat, but the added utility of being able to swap in very situational spells like Legend Lore, Teleportation Circle, Tongues, Water Breathing, etc. without needing to keep them in a permanent Spells Known slot really adds a ton of much-needed (especially for Sorcerers and Warlocks) utility to the classes.

All spellcasters being able to swap out Cantrips during level-up is a long-needed addition as well. It was kind of dumb that you could never swap them out before. Our group had house-ruled this into existence a long time ago, but I'm glad it's a semi-official thing now.

As noted above, the Ranger updates look great, as does the Monk's Ki-Fueled strike.

The Rogue's Aim ability finally squashes the very silly thing that ranged Rogues do, with ducking behind the same pillar/corner every round and bonus action hiding to get advantage. It also lets melee rogues use the same feature, closing the power gap a bit.

All in all, a lot of good stuff there, though my current group's composition doesn't get the greatest benefits from it.
 
Last edited:
Mar 19, 2019
438
Thanks to everyone's recommendations I've really gotten into The Adventure Zone and, through it, My Brother, My Brother, and Me and the rest of the McElroy family's works. I'm going to pick up The Adventure Zone graphic novels here soon. Thanks to everyone's great podcast recommendations!
 

Speely

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
4,730
Our party just wiped in the Dungeon of the Mad Mage. My last action was to Misty Step above an undead beholder in an attempt to ride it. Good times. Luckily we are taking a break from the podcast, so listeners will not have to cringe their way through that awful encounter.
 

Boogiepop

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,275
So I was planning on trying out a new character with my group and wanted to go the extra mile, so I was messing around with Hero Forge for the first time. So my question is should I go with the regular or premium plastic, or try something like Impact Miniatures? Tried doing some research on my own (which is how I found out about Impact to begin with), but I'm still left feeling uncertain on which to use.
 

StaffyManasse

Member
Oct 28, 2017
861
I DM'd the first Big Bad encounter for our playgroup. I had a feeling it's going to be a hard one, so I made sure to give them options to gain the edge.

They did not gain the edge. Quite the opposite really. But it was in character so it's all good.

This is basically what happened:



Baddies and their henchmen dead. Out of four PC's one dead, two unconscious barely escaping death and the cleric miraculously left standing. Was the first time they really struggled with a combat encounter so I think it was suitably epic. The player with the dead character was cool about it as the character dying made for a decent character arc.

Next session will be the aftermath.
 

absolutbro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,450
So I was planning on trying out a new character with my group and wanted to go the extra mile, so I was messing around with Hero Forge for the first time. So my question is should I go with the regular or premium plastic, or try something like Impact Miniatures? Tried doing some research on my own (which is how I found out about Impact to begin with), but I'm still left feeling uncertain on which to use.
I haven't looked at Impact (though I will now), but I definitely think the premium plastic is worth the price increase if your figure has any fine details at all. I have a pair of dragonborn figures and the difference in facial detail is noticeable. The regular plastic has a lot "softer" look, no fine edges at all. If your figure is mostly solid surfaces (like someone in plate armor) then the regular plastic should be fine.