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12:00 AM
Bah. These notes are in a shambles.
Me-from-three-years-ago was even worse at campaign organisation than I am!
And seriously, me-from-three-years-ago, was it really necessary to change the spelling of a guy's name when he went undercover if the pronunciation wasn't changed?
12:33 AM
@AlexP Undermountain makes more sense when you remember that Halaster backed up his insanity with godlike power. After his death (at the beginning of Expedition to Undermountain) all semblance of order began to rapidly fall apart
It doesn't have to make sense if the crazy guy in charge can simply force reality to conform to his delusions.
That's not "makes sense" in any way that really matters to me.
You're literally saying that "A WIZARD DID IT" explains why it is the way it is.
I mean, yes.
That is why people say "A WIZARD DID IT."
But there's not much you can really do with that information.
Yeah but unlike when that phrase is used for a handwave, "A wizard did it," is fundamental to understanding the sadistic logic of the place.
Failure to grasp Halaster's...difficulties...can and will get one killed
I'm saying that the Undermountain stuff I've seen leans towards being very static because there's very little of a discernible "ecology" to the place. Anything could just be everywhere, because godlike crazypants logic.
@AlexP Check out the 3.5 Expedition to Undermountain module. It does a lot better on explaining the ecology of those creatures that actually have to eat.
Obviously the golems and undead can be anywhere and don't give a single damn.
Do UM denizens have motives other than om nom nom?
12:43 AM
@BESW There's a bunch of sentient dudes hanging around doing stuff.
12:58 AM
(I just don't remember finding any of the stuff they were doing to be, like, compelling. YMMV and all that, I'm sure.)
@BESW That's a problem of many D&D adventure modules.
@BESW There's even a town under there. In the dungeon.
1:11 AM
Yeah, but overall the setting feels like a collection of unrelated set pieces that remain unchanging unless and until the PCs trigger their predetermined interactions/progress.
It's like a video game where the door in the alley is locked until you overhear the valet mention that the star's understudy is sick.
@PomfCaster Hi!
1:34 AM
@BESW Hello.
How's it going? Anything we can do for you?
@BESW Not too bad, just idling in chat rooms whilst at work.
@PomfCaster Fair enough. Are you passingly familiar with tabletop RPGs? (Dungeons & Dragons is the system most commonly known.)
@BESW Played 3.5e quite a lot at university with a bit of 4e and Shadowrun.
Ah, cool.
1:39 AM
Bampf! I return!
@ProfessorCaprion ....Kurt? Is that you?
Okay, I've got a question that I'm not sure if I can make appropriate for the site.
Naughty boy.
I've got a setting I designed for a D&D game that I want to use in a Fate Core campaign. However, I feel as though a good chunk of the setting was designed to take advantage of or work around issues specific to D&D 3.5 mechanics--kind of like how Mxy's blog entry here describes the influence of levelling and XP on adventure design.
My question is something about how to differentiate and extract the bits of a D&D 3.5 setting that only exist to accommodate that system's mechanical.... uniqueness.
Like, what are common markers of such elements, or has anyone written about this before?
1:51 AM
Hrm... that's an interesting question, really. It's almost like you're going from one extreme to the other, though; extreme mechanics to extreme narrative.
Or at least other ends of the spectrum.
I'm not sure it's a Fate-specific question. It's focusing on scrubbing the 3.5 from a setting, not infusing it with Fate.
Ah, well that could be a bit easier, then.
One thing I've already noticed: leaders are combat-ready. That's the hallmark of a system where social skill advance is tied to combat prowess.
So, do you think this is a problem that can be presented as an SE-appropriate question?
2:06 AM
Hrm... the problem being, I think it does largely depend on the system you're converting to.
@BESW There are numerous factions ranging from simple collections meant for self-defense to full-blown city-states and religious communities.
@BESW Although, in fairness: a lot of historical leadership did have to do with combat, just not always quite as directly.
Like, this dude totally duels his way to a new army and a new wife.
The first female pharaoh of Egypt was fat, cancer-riddled, diabetic and arthritic.
And the whole concept of blue-bloods laughs at the notion of combat-ready leadership.
So... yes, leadership is often combat-related, but not as inextricably linked as the D&D mechanics demand.
I've seen D&D stuff with non-combat leaders. How forced it feels kinda depends on how "high-level" the setting is, I think.
It's not that crazy if one country is led by a cleric 9 and the other is led by a {some NPC class} 4.
(And you wave your hands and act like hit points are plot armor.)
(Which you have to do anyway.)
But, yeah.
Anyway, afk for a couple hours.
2:20 AM
The problem with D&D is... a great start for any number of sentences, really.
However. The problem with D&D and low-level leaders is that high-level PCs inevitably look around for people they can knock over in a minute.
If anyone in the setting can utilize scry-and-die, the setting collapses.
Though didn't 4e fix that, mostly?
I also recall people being unhappy with a more integrated WHFB and WHFRPG that occurred in 2nd edition or so. Before that, they shared backstory and flavor, but nothing more. And then suddenly Emperor Karl Franz was not just an astute politician, but also a griffon-riding badass general (with a mini and everything).
The wargame of people hitting each other with huge hammers has bled into the roleplaying game of grime and misery and occasional heroic sacrifice.
I'm sure similar stuff has happened to L5R.
2:28 AM
@AlexP Sort of. High-level rituals are quite world-breaking. There was one that basically allows instantaneous transportation of an army.
Which basically ruins kingdoms as a construct.
@BESW, AW/DW's fronts are very useful in creating a living world around PCs. There are multiple blog posts praising them.
2:48 AM
(This coffee shop has WiFi, and my friends aren't here yet.)
Warhammer Fantasy Battles - the wargame
You can probably guess the other one :)
Got any useful links about DW fronts?
/AW fronts
The DW gazetteer appears to be down, unfortunately, so you can't just read it.
On a related note, I think I want an e6 feel to this setting. High level spells are Big Freaking Deals.
Also, do fronts lend themselves to stories about super-prepared Chessmaster enemies?
Hrm. Depends on how you want to portray them, I guess. One way to do a Chessmaster is to cheat as a GM and just have them always be prepared for whatever PCs are doing.
2:54 AM
Hmmm. This is making me reevaluate my entire story premise....
> Generally speaking, the impending doom shouldn't be a world-ending event or you force your players to choose it. Impending dooms should be sinister enough to get your players' attention but not so dire that they have no other choice but tackle it.
The style of the game would change significantly depending on whether the PCs are expected to prevent all or even most Impending Dooms or not.
One is juggling the troubles until they're all resolved, the other is making tough choices and living with consequences.
Friends are here. Ttfn
The more reasonable the big picture, the more angles there are to tackle it.
4:00 AM
My original concept was, to put it in terms of fronts, that every front tied into one major hidden front which, without the influence of the PCs, would have a catastrophic impending doom signalling the end of the entire island city-state the campaign was set in.
So no matter which front the PCs chose, they would ultimately still be tackling the Chessmaster's plan.
So, a meta-front that gets advanced by other fronts. Works.
Fronts are usually a write-up of what would happen without PCs, and it tends to end poorly. Unless some of the triggers are caused by an expected PC action.
What about "good" fronts?
@BESW Those aren't fronts?
Like, an NPC is working independently to undermine the Chessmaster. Is that a front with an Impending UnDoom?
Yeah, those don't require PCs' intervention.
4:14 AM
"Everything turns out okay in the end" isn't exactly "Barf forth apocalyptica."
@BESW My guess would be it depends on how you're looking at these things.
If you're just using them as a kind of "what is happening in the world" shorthand, then knock yourself out.
If you're trying to follow the AW/DW GM advice in order to have the fronts do "what it says on the tin," I think they basically have to be impending negative events. Because of how they fit into the moves.
Okay, one other thing about fronts: do they include "plan B"?
My understanding is that the events aren't 100% defined. The big bad portal will open and... what happens next? Who knows! But that mostly the "plan B" is more at the level of the individual actors (represented by Dangers) rather than the fronts themselves.
They are not branching, typically. But you can always change the front in response to the game.
4:19 AM
(and if it helps you think about it, you absolutely can have several triggers for one step, or even a couple of branches of steps leading to the same Impending Doom)
That's definitely the kind of thing I'm working on.
4:42 AM
(B/X D&D, you are kinda creeping me out right now.)
^ This picture is why.
@AlexP [squint] What... is that?
They are murdering that goblin.
Or at least the thief dude is murdering the goblin.
And then the beardy guy thinks you shouldn't, maybe?
And Mr. Bascinet doesn't really care.
I guess this is supposed to be "chaotic vs. lawful bicker, neutral is all like MEH"
5:45 AM
@lisardggY [wave]
6:15 AM
Could I get someone to look at a question before I post it, maybe tell me if it's going to get righteously closed?
Hey, now I get to see your name there.
[grin] That's why that email account doesn't know my real name.
@BESW It still feels a bit broad and open-ended.
Instead of an open-ended list of game elements, you have an open-ended list of links to essays on game elements.
I'm not asking for lists of game elements; I'm asking for how to identify a certain class of game elements.
That's, like, a procedural answer.
It's a bit unclear, since the central bit is the bulleted list of game elements.
6:26 AM
[fiddles with]
> I assume lists of the actual elements themselves would be prohibitively long/silly, so I’m asking for procedural advice on how to recognize them when I see them.
Modified the formatting to de-emphasize the examples.
That helps.
I try to make a point of doing something prohibitively silly every single day.
@Problematic You're the one who keeps moving my benchmark.
6:41 AM
[doffs hat]
@Problematic So, do you think the question will get kicked off the Stack?
@BESW Gut check: yes.
Stand by for actual thoughts to follow.
So you're looking to understand the principles behind how mechanics inform design, which I think is an awesome topic, but it seems too... big... for the Stack to handle it properly.
At very least, it would take a laser focus and an iron grip to keep it from turning into either a battlefield or a circus.
Conclusion: you should write that book, and I would buy a copy. I would buy ten copies.
As a side note, I now have a personal goal to work the phrase "cirque de sang" into casual conversation this week.
@3Doubloons Hi!
4 hours later…
10:43 AM
@Julix Hi!
What's new?
I'm more crazy than normal...
my mind can't wrap itself around the idea of running a simulationist sandbox goblin campaign
I'm still not sure exactly what that means, what it looks like.
i don't have the players yet, but I'm realizing roll20 might actually be something for me and the potential for finding the right people where ever they may be is there -- but the efforts would be craaazy
I'm a fan of playing in other people's sandbox.
10:45 AM
"Simulationist" is meaningless without saying what you're simulating.
However, there's so much material out there (some of which is conflicting) - that it's really hard to integrate.
I'm looking at simulating the Inner Sea region
of pathfinder
If you mean "realistic," that's a totally different thing.
so that planet that starts with a G... forgot the name. Golarian or something
Not necessarily realistic, but not as limited by the crunch
You can simulate Loony Toons or Doom.
Yep. one sec
10:48 AM
"Simulationist" means "I want the game to feel like <insert existing product/genre here>."
Players are lost. They keep walking until they decide otherwise. Say there's a river. They decide to follow it one way. They come to a bridge with a path leading away from the forest (other side) or back into the forest. The follow the road and start recognizing the area. They end up back at the Goblin camp.
So what you want is a setting with pre-determined details?
They did fumble some survival rolls that would have helped them figure out they were going the wrong way, but ultimately they chose the direction in which to go.
This is hypothetical by the way, my players didn't get lost
I'm not entirely sure I want that. But I want to consider it honestly and thoroughly. Want to see if it's doable
and then I'll look at if it's worthwhile
It's doable under one of two circumstances.
Because even if I reject it ultimately (cause while getting lost is a legitimate choice for the character given his knowledge it might be a suboptimal choice for the player who's being deprived of entertainment caused by quest).
I think I can learn a lot from considering it
10:51 AM
mmmh that will be hard to play in roll20. Roll20, like most mapping programs, needs you to have maps for encounter locations pre-deployed
Yeah, but you can draw on the maps too, and I'm a fast drawer
also that only matters for battle maps anyways, otherwise I can pull up scenery shots for all I care. Players don't need to see the big picture, but I want it to be there... :D
Either a) you limit the range of the area to a very small region, like a Treasure Island type location, or b) you're okay with having general notes on everything but only filling in the details as the players arrive in an area--so you know the general idea of what they'll encounter, but you don't have the specifics pre-made.
If you do B, how do you manage the details later?
The alternative is c) going mad from creating, documenting, and keeping track of thousands of bits of information that your game will never actually use.
How do you record the details that you came up with so that if they return later it's still the same
Alternative c. also has the problem that you have to pull up the reference as fast as you could have made it up
But I'm not at the "is it worth it" stage yet, I'm still in the consideration phase where I'm asking is it even possible at all?
I will definitively start with a small region to test it. - goblins may be fast runners, but they're easily distracted so they don't travel far. So it wouldn't have to be too big a region for quite a while... hopefully
10:55 AM
@Julix That requires active recording, like making notes reflecting on the game at the end of every session.
@Julix Of course it's possible! But you spend weeks/months on the prep before you can ever begin the game, and a large amount of the work is never used.
@BESW that doesn't make it possible yet. because you have to pull up the reference fast enough in game. - with so much content it doesn't matter if it's your own or someone else's you can't be familiar with it all at the same time
(And, frankly, it's a little boring because unless you're also constantly updating the unseen parts of the setting, the party's actions have no effect on the other parts of the world.)
@Julix So your question is one of in-game data access? Easy, just memorise it all.
@BESW I'm not a computer, and my DM strengths don't include fast calculating nor infinite memory.
(Actually, I'm partly serious. If you spend as much time as it takes to create that much of the setting beforehand, you're living and breathing it. I've done it, and needed only minor notes on each area to bring the details to mind.)
You refer to your more details notes on the area the party's in before you start each session, and if they move to a new area you call for a snack break to review that area's notes.
@BESW I'd prefer a solution that makes it possible for someone who didn't create the content to present it... but I guess even with normal modules you can tell when the DM has to constantly read up on what's happening in the next room if he's not prepared enough --- while an improvising DM would instead have the documenting problem, where the last room you were in suddenly changes cause he forgot what he last said
10:59 AM
How detailed are we talking, anyway? Are you giving every citizen of the village a name, favourite colour, childhood crush, and shameful secret?
Are you determining how many squirrels are in each acre of forest and where they've buried their winter nut stashes?
@BESW hahaha, goblin digs a random hole... wow. you just found the winter nut stash... such wow. :D
Because at the end of the day if you want to truly, actually, literally pre-construct an entire setting so that every single possible issue or question or problem is already addressed...
Here are some important questions my players have needed to know the answers to:
@BESW Only things that are predictably relevant to the story. If that nut stash does become relevant I'll make it up then, or randomize, or what ever. But whether or not there's a village 2 days that way (in case the goblins do cross the bridge) matters.
Does the mayor snore?
How far apart are the rail supports on this bridge?
Is the merchant lonely?
That's a really good point.
11:03 AM
Is the dwarf sensitive about her weight?
Has the innkeeper ever seen a drow before?
Is the smog in the magic district inflammable?
I would want a few facts for the Mayor ahead of time so I can roleplay him when they first interact with him. A few mannerisms perhaps. But if the first interaction is them breaking in and he's sleeping and they'll kill him and his silence is a warning to his wife....
then it would be relevant to the role play
That one came in because someone was stealing the money purse from his bedside table.
so again my question is it even possible? - and the answer at this detail level is no, because info would be infinite, and thus how would you retrieve it fast enough (can't search through all the info for what you need to know)
How much does this elephant statue weigh?
What happens if you're five minutes late to a meeting with Ciang the Arm?
Are the engravings on this wall deep enough to hide a spy camera?
In the moment I would pull up what ever image I have of that world as pre-created and then make something up that's congruent with that image.
11:08 AM
@Julix Right, so your question becomes unanswerable because a) you haven't set a limit on the level of detail you feel the need to prepare, and b) it's impossible to know how quickly you're able to retrieve data--it depends on your memory, your ability with computers, whether you have to mutter the alphabet song under your breath...
but that requires familiarity with the image. I can't pull up that kind of information from a data bank. - Thus why computers can't GM properly because they don't know how to react to strange inputs
And we have no idea how quickly you feel it's necessary to retrieve the data anyway.
Ideally quick enough to not slow down the game, that is without really interrupting the game at all. -- then again if the characters chat amongst each other you'd not be interrupting
You're asking for a flat "possible/impossible" answer to a question based on a dozen different "good enough," "quick enough," "detailed enough" vagueries.
@BESW linky?
11:09 AM

 BESW's Spoil-Lair

CAUTION: High chance of plot. Not for BESW's players.
@BESW very true
Back when I was playing AD&D, I had quite a deep familiarity with several regions of the Forgotten Realms, from reading sourcebooks and playing the relevant computer-games.
Could I have run a sandbox campaign there? Sure. Not because I had every location and person memorized, but because I was familiar enough with the terrain to improvise.
@BESW defrosted
If I have a group that's okay with me taking five minutes to look up the gender of the barkeep, that's quick enough.
@waxeagle Thanks!
@BESW always
11:11 AM
So I wrote notes on what happened in sessions to refer to later on, but frankly, I don't remember really using them.
@BESW I don't know if such a group exists. I don't know what parameters would work well... That's why I'm asking for other people's experience. With what parameters is it possible.
Either I remembered it later on, which was great, or I forgot and my players reminded me, which was also fine, or we both forgot, so I invented something else.
I listened to a goblin game on youtube. Bloodmoon Goblins. All they did was steal a pig. And I listened to it and enjoyed it... :D
I once ran a session which primarily involved attempting to catch a chicken.
Q: What tools are useful to organize a GM's campaign notes?

digitaljoelThere are plenty of tools available to organize campaign notes. I've tried 4x6 cards, files on my computer, notebooks, and more. I have thought of trying mind mapping software such as FreeMind, note taking applications like Evernote, or even setting up a wiki somewhere. What tools (electronic ...

You might find that useful, @Julix.
11:15 AM
There's apparently an introductory lv1 adventure for Pathfinder that involves catching runaway farm animals.
51 favorites. I faved it
My GM integrated that (rather smoothly) into one of our campaigns.
@BESW thanks for sharing
@lisardggY haha, sounds awesome
With +91/-2 votes, 50 favourites, and 47 answers, it's obviously a topic which concerns many people and for which there is no universal answer.
strange, just edited my old post accidentially
It had a very sandboxy feel to it. The gob chief was hungry so they go out to find food. Survival check says you could catch something and lists a few locations where and what they could do. And that there's a lumber jack outpost thingy not too far away and though more risky they might have food. They pitch the idea amongst one another and go do that. and hilariousness begins. - There happen to be other goblins there and they plan to co-operate, but the others run off with the good stuff.
Could have gone many other ways, mainly because the players could do what they want the and the world was ready to react appopriately
11:21 AM
I have a slightly different notion of what a sandbox is than some of the posts in that thread, by the way.
For me, a sandbox isn't a pre-determined world; it's a campaign without a pre-determined plot.
You can have a campaign with a detailed pre-built world and still run the campaign on rails.
@BESW yeah, if for example you build a long dungeon with 1 door in each room. there's only forwards and backwards... sounds like a rail road
The distinguishing feature of the sandbox isn't the knowledge that the GM knows everything about everywhere, it's that you're free to go wherever you like.
right, but in order to create that where-ever meaningfully I either have to make stuff up on the spot (and document the results in case you come back) or have it prepped. If you want to go somewhere (no matter when the work is put in or how) content has to be generated.
For my sandbox games (and I love sandbox games), it's more of an AW/DW approach.
11:25 AM
Apocalypse World/Dungeon World. Its philosophy is that you put big blank spaces in your world and see what makes sense to put in them when you get there.
from the players perspective anywhere they haven't interacted with yet is blank
So I'd put "swamps" or "jungle" on a big part of the map and wait to see what happened.
Random and pre-gen isn't too different either, since you could randomly create all the content ahead of time and then document it. Only difference is that makes it have the data retrieval issue rather than the data generation. Not sure if it takes longer to find the notes for that piece of forest on what the dice said when you created the forest or just roll something right now.
See where it says "mermaids"? I had no idea what went in there when I made that map.
Ditto "uncharted." (Though I thought it was probably the back of a giant turtle, I had no idea what was on its back.)
We never went to the uncharted island, so I still don't know.
Randomizing openly might reduce immersion by breaking the illusion that the world is real (or at least exists as reality for those characters), or increase immersion as they can see the world being created in front of their eyes... -- same goes for rolling random encounters I guess.
11:30 AM
But the mermaids turned out to be an advanced Atlanean-like civilization of water-adapted humans with massive superiority complexes and access to some epic-level spellpower.
(Basically a shameless underwater/magical ripoff of the Cetagandans from Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga.)
sweet. :-)
I'm also still unsure what Bas looks like, aside from heavily-fortified.
(And I only know that because I was big into obvious naming conventions at the time.)
I think we talked about that before, but I had a GM pull up a wight and then a werewolf as a random encounter because she wasn't using any kind of setting based encounter table that time - and so it felt out of place due to lack of setting/context. I felt much like I was playing a complicated board game rather than participating in a story telling experience. Which is fine. Beating it up was still fun. -- But I guess in my own games I want to never have that feeling creep in :D
If you want randomisation and immersion, you need to be more careful than that GM was.
I went through a period where I built carefully hand-picked random encounter charts.
Sounds tedious...
11:37 AM
Heck, at one point I had Excel files with about two dozen different random encounter charts based on location, climate, and nearby settlements, and I'd match them together to create a new semi-custom list for every area.
haha. and the conversation makes another full circle
Then I realised that unless my players' only reason for playing D&D was to fight monsters for no particular reason, random encounters are a waste of my players' time.
After that the only "random" encounters I ever threw at them were secretly relephant to something more important.
Yeah, but if you're low level goblins lost in the forest and walking deeper into it random encounters can become very plot like... stayin alive, stayin alive, uh uh uh aaaah, stayin allliiiiiiiiiiiiiveeee :D
Yup. Different kind of game.
See here the random encounter wouldn't be very random... I remember in some module an important monster (if not encoutered elsewhere before) had a certain chance of being at it's lair at arrival, else he'd be roaming in the forest. Realistically it wasn't chance that would make him be in one room or another but say time of day, or something, but that's more detail than that particular character deserved. Basically randomizing here has all to do with simulating realistic character behaviour...
11:44 AM
Which begs the question: which is more important, realistic behaviour or interesting behaviour?
Well to some degree they overlap. It's nice when the characters seem believable.
It's realistic to wander through the woods all day and never have a dangerous encounter with anything because none of the beasts are hungry enough to mess with a group of five noisy strange things.
That's why some random encounter charts have "nothing" entries.
Like you show up at the dragons lair and the dragon ain't home. Left a note "Nephew is sick. Don't steal anything, I swear I'll chase you down, have magical mark on all my stuff. Congrats on making it this far though, here's 100 gold. I'll be back in three days tops, if you still want to fight."
But seriously, if you're rolling on a random encounter chart are you doing it to see what's realistically going to happen, or are you doing it because you want to fight a monster?
I'm honestly rolling it because I want to see what will happen, not because I want anything in particular to happen
However, having people decide who's watch it is every night and repeatedly rolling is just boring... also something I learned with that GM.
11:48 AM
This is where realism, game convention, and social engineering meet.
However who was awake when the dice turn bad matters if anything does happen...
And you want to avoid metagaming, and such, so I think routines is a good way to deal with that. If there's a standard order, then the GM can do all the rolls quickly and take up less time for finding out we had a good night's rest
Then again some people like the tension of not knowing if something's about to eat their sleeping characters, though since the rolls still happen (just faster) I don't think they'd lose much over it... :-S
1 hour later…
1:14 PM
@Lord_Gareth And so does the Spoil-Lair.
1:41 PM
@Lord_Gareth was that a "good morning people" or a "I'm not working on a project right now"?
1:53 PM
@RobLang Hi!
2 hours later…
3:32 PM
Stupid Polymorph preventing my Su from working >_>
4:18 PM
heh. Building a gish is not that easy.
wow, the hot questions list seriously drives traffic
and the worst questions end up there
4:50 PM
@waxeagle Oh?
@Lord_Gareth 3d6 vs 1d18
poor question, my answer has 12 upboats already, top answer has nearly thrice that...
Y'know, there's this interesting little weapon enhancement in Pathfinder that makes you roll 5d4 instead of 1d20 on your attack rolls
@Lord_Gareth interesting. very strongly centered distro
I do feel your pain on that question.
though only slightly more strongly than 3d6+2
but crits are rightout
4:55 PM
Makes it harder to miss, though
You can still theoretically critical, but you can now no longer ever roll a 1
@Lord_Gareth right, but it's a .1% chance
@waxeagle Keen rapier?
@Lord_Gareth ~12% (16-20 if my google fu works)
They start at 17-20, keen doubles that to 14-20 or so
makes it ~35% which is the sameish
4:59 PM
Fair 'nough
Considering how popular the ability to take 10 on attack rolls was for Crusaders I'd argue it's worth it
so you keep your crit range, can't fumble and have a center dominated distribution
nice combo
@waxeagle Easy question where anyone can determine if an answer is good or not.
@Zachiel very true
it's not too hard to literally write out all the permutations
@waxeagle I once wrote out all the permutations of 4d6, discard lowest, to determine the chances of rolling each result in D&D character creation.
Seeing AnyDice do that way faster kinda irks me.
See @waxeagle, the questions I hate come in two varieties: the ones that deal in contested topics where one side has no idea what they're talking about (Vow of Poverty) and social questions about how to handle mechanics at the table (because it picks fights)
5:09 PM
[Thinly disguised question about how I don't like player X, but I've framed it to focus on how do we deal with behavior Y that is not desired]
@MadMAxJr Yep, pretty much this.
Vow of Poverty and its cousin questions deal in situations where one side has hard numbers and mechanical proof, which the other side ignores while slashing their wrists and screaming that we don't get the game.
VoP, Monk, etc are all like that.
[My DM is a bad DM because I cannot exploit X loophole. How can I otherwise exploit X?]
Vow of Poverty.. Was that from.. uh. I forget what it's called. The 3.x really really good guy book that is opposite the Book of Vile Darkness?
@MadMAxJr Book of Exalted Deeds, yes. When it first came out, the common thought was that it was very powerful and needed restraining
About a month and a half of actual play later, it turned out that VoP was one of the most insultingly wretched trap options to ever serve as noob bait
Sadly there's still a substantial population of players who refuse to believe that it's anything but god tier power
aaaaaaaaaand rep cap'd
I formulated a theory: VoP might be good, but it's too situational to be reliable. It works only against some types of opponents, in some tactical situations, with some DMs
I personally know a guy who made a lvl 10 monk with AC 100 and stopped some epic monsters by standing at the door. Very powerful. But really situational.
5:16 PM
@Zachiel Thing is, it's only tolerable in those situations, because unless the DM straight-up never gives out magical items you're always better off not taking VoP and using the wealth instead.
unless the DM = situational. You know there is a bunch of (insert pejorative adjective here) DMs that like to run low magic D&D.
Until the guy with vow of extraordinarily large amounts of wealth comes along... Then they should cancel each other out, like in physics.
And if you happen to be in that situation, yes, yes, yes, VoP can be good. But please don't tell everyone it's always OP, because that is NOT TRUE.
@MadMAxJr I'm sure this guy will cancel the VoP guy from existance, not quite sure of the opposite
Anyway, @Lord_Gareth... any ideas on how not to lose your Supernatural abilities while swapping Str and Dex with some monster's?
Maybe I should make this into a question
I mean, I'm happy this prevents me from working uber-shapechange into my build, but right now I'm stuck with no polymorph at all on my gish
5:22 PM
Vow of Extraordinary Wealth. Never have less than 10,000g/level on you!
...And you die if someone casts disjunction? XD
@MadMAxJr DM: In copper pieces.
@Zachiel Exalted Wild Shape. Draconic Wild Shape
That said, @Zachiel, check the text on the Shapechange spell again
Upon death, you terraform the land beneath your corpse into a mausoleum of a magnitude equal to your wealth upon death. At level 10, 15, and 20, you may add a dungeon level to your tomb, consult table 7-3 for populating the dungeon levels based on total wealth at time of death.
IIRC it grants (Su) abiliteis
5:28 PM
@Lord_Gareth It grants (Su) abilities of the creature you're turning into. I need the (Su) abilities from my class.
@Zachiel Why would you lose them?
Because you lose all your (Su) when you polymorph
> You gain all extraordinary and supernatural abilities (both attacks and qualities) of the assumed form, but you lose your own supernatural abilities.
Are you arguing I lose my race's (Su) only?
That's the only leeway I can spot
I'm...not actually sure. I've never seen someone lose class features when shapeshifted but that might just be a persistent houserule or misunderstanding.
Maybe @KRyan can help?
If the ability says you lose Su, that would be all of them. There's no qualifier on that
Alternate Form for example does it differently, where you keep your existing Su (but don't gain the ones of the new form)
@Tridus There may be another rule elsewhere that deals in this, though. That's why I'm hesitant to say something unilateral.
It could just be a persistent mistake
But it might also be a rules-conflict the community landed on one side of
5:33 PM
@Lord_Gareth Same way usually humans don't lose their extra feat or extra skill ranks when polymorphing, even if they should.
@Lord_Gareth True. The shapechanging rules are nothing if not confusing.
Need to check if polymorph any object lets me retain my (Su) - I don't really care about not gaining those others when I can just cast a non-persistent shapechange to take care of that.
Must also find a high Int, not Sarrukh creature with ok Str and Dex to morph into for combat. Possibly pouncing.
@Zachiel They do, so long as they don't require an appendage that you no longer have
LIke you can't have a breath ewapon if you turn into something without a head
"You retain all supernatural and spell-like special attacks and qualities of your normal form, except for those requiring a body part that the new form does not have (such as a mouth for a breath weapon or eyes for a gaze attack). "
(Su) I care for are Incantatrix's metamagic shenanigans
Need to look for creatures now, or defaultig to eladrins
Eladrin. Double-elves.
5:49 PM
Ah yes, a question about Druids wearing full plate and then wild shaping to keep the armor bonus while losing the other penalties
That's such delightful cheese
@MadMAxJr That'd be LeShay.
@Tridus I've integrated my comment and yours into my answer, feel free to rewrite/cancel yours
I'd have been a lot happier with Wild as an armor property if the armor check epanlties and such still applied, but just saying "sure you can have boatloads of AC for free" annoyed me
@Zachiel Cool I'll remove the comment :)
@Tridus don't worry. (at least in 3.5) wearing wild armor and shield means not using any armor enchantment
@Zachiel How so?
@Zachiel Ah, I see what you mean now. Those properties wouldn't work while shifted
It's still a case where you shift into something with good natural armor and then get a bunch of extra AC from the wild armor. IT's not so bad on what Druids can normally wear, what I don't like is cheesing something like dragonhide full plate without proficiency and avoiding the penalties
(Course, a DM can respond in kind by using the dragonhide rules to say "sure, go kill a colossal dragon and you can make that armor")
(But that kind of thing doesn't tend to lead to a fun game)
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