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Chris Brady

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FYI almost all the creatures in the MM have terrible Strength (Athletics), especially in comparison to Strength-based characters like Fighters or Barbarians. Grappling is fun and effective.
To be fair, it's probably because of how their limbs work. Most monsters don't have the same range of arm motion a humanoid form has, so grabbing onto them shouldn't be that hard.
 

Chris Brady

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Years ago we played a AD&D as by the book as we could. We got to use grappling once....
In all of the Fantasy games I've run, I've never used the Grappling Rules that I can remember. Like seriously. If I HAVE, it's been so long I can't.
 

The Butcher

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In all of the Fantasy games I've run, I've never used the Grappling Rules that I can remember. Like seriously. If I HAVE, it's been so long I can't.

I did but only as a player. I mean, crap, a wight gets the drop on you and have no silver or magic weapons — what else are you going to do?

But then that was the same campaign (AD&D2) where the same character (human fighter) got disarmed by a hydra (houseruled fumble) and knocked out the last remaining head with a punch. Yay for unarmed combat, I guess?
 

Brock Savage

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Grapping in 5e is a fucking joke. :grin:
What's the punchline? Grappling in 5e boils down to a contested STR (Athletics) roll; that's clear and succinct compared to the rules in every previous edition. The procedures are described clearly and the effects are sensible. The mechanics can be re-fluffed and applied to a lot of two-fisted pulp action. I don't think 5e is perfect by any means but I feel like they did a solid job with grappling. Unfortunately the Grappler feat is terrible.
 

Chris Brady

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What's the punchline? Grappling in 5e boils down to a contested STR (Athletics) roll; that's clear and succinct compared to the rules in every previous edition. The procedures are described clearly and the effects are sensible. The mechanics can be re-fluffed and applied to a lot of two-fisted pulp action. I don't think 5e is perfect by any means but I feel like they did a solid job with grappling. Unfortunately the Grappler feat is terrible.
So you're saying they got a good grip on the rules?
 

Necrozius

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So anyway, in our 5e game last night, the debate came up around using magic to charm Undead.

By the book, I can't find any Undead that are immune to the Charmed condition. What do you folks think?

Edit: not including spells that can only target a "Humanoid". Undead mostly don't count as that.
 

Stan

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Huh, I hadn't noticed that. You could rule that mindless undead can't be charmed as there's nothing there. But making a ghoul your buddy might be interestig.
 

Necrozius

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Next up: illusions and mindless dead. Do they work? Do mindless skeletons and zombies react to illusions of, say, fire, pits, walls etc...?
 

Giganotosaurus

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Next up: illusions and mindless dead. Do they work? Do mindless skeletons and zombies react to illusions of, say, fire, pits, walls etc...?
I would say that if the creature would react to an actual pit/wall of fire/etc. then it would do the same with illusions. On the other hand, mindless undead typically have little in the way of self preservation, so they probably would just try to walk through a wall of fire anyways.
 

Raleel

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I would say that if the creature would react to an actual pit/wall of fire/etc. then it would do the same with illusions. On the other hand, mindless undead typically have little in the way of self preservation, so they probably would just try to walk through a wall of fire anyways.

yes, this is a question of senses and reasoning. will the undead avoid the pit? are the programmed to avoid the pit? if so, are they programmed to avoid the pit because they see it or because they know the layout?

I generally run mindless undead with life sense and not sight/hearing/smell/taste. Illusions don't work on them because most of those don't create illusionary life force. If you had one that did it, it would absolutely work on them.
 

Chris Brady

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Next up: illusions and mindless dead. Do they work? Do mindless skeletons and zombies react to illusions of, say, fire, pits, walls etc...?
I say no, because they don't 'see' the world the same way living creatures do. And technically, they're automatons.
 

TJS

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Next up: illusions and mindless dead. Do they work? Do mindless skeletons and zombies react to illusions of, say, fire, pits, walls etc...?
Yeah. Why not? Otherwise it's a pain. They may have no eyes, but we assume they can see normal walls and objects so...
 

Necrozius

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I say no, because they don't 'see' the world the same way living creatures do. And technically, they're automatons.
Yeah this is the main answer I find on the web in RPG communities.

Which is why I don't think I want to play an illusionist in D&D any longer. Too vague and up to individual GM fiat or interpretation. Funny how all the other schools of magic are YES/NO, but illusions? Handwavey as FUCK. You can blow up a building, change reality, mutate creatures and fly. But illusions? lol at best the GM asks you to make a Deception check to determine how GOOD your illusion magic works.
 

Necrozius

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yes, this is a question of senses and reasoning. will the undead avoid the pit? are the programmed to avoid the pit? if so, are they programmed to avoid the pit because they see it or because they know the layout?

I generally run mindless undead with life sense and not sight/hearing/smell/taste. Illusions don't work on them because most of those don't create illusionary life force. If you had one that did it, it would absolutely work on them.

That's the problem with illusion magic. Each GM could have a different interpretation on how creature types "see" even though there are about a dozen vision types right there in the rules and few of them, if any, even mention illusions. Undead, Elementals, Oozes, Constructs, Demons and Devils, hell, even certain mundane animals could (and have been in my experiences) made invulnerable to illusion magic.

Here's a word to the wise: never make a character who specializes in magical trickery (Charms and Illusions). About half the creatures in the game can't be affected by your magic!

Unless you're playing in a low magic setting, I guess.
 

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Undead, Elementals, Oozes, Constructs, Demons and Devils, hell, even certain mundane animals
Yea there is a lot there. Undead feel like life force because they have the whole negative energy thing going on. Elementals I feel like have regular vision, but provided through magical means. Oozes are vibration. Constructs I would think are life force provided by magic. Demons and devils I think would have regular sight, but magically able to see through deception. Modern animals use a number of different senses and don’t necessarily get 90% of their information from sight like we do.

and I think that while 5e doesn’t spend oodles of time talking about illusions, it’s good to think about sensory input and where you get your information. This is partially why mental illusions are so powerful - you don’t care what the sensory input is, you just say what they perceive and they perceive it themselves. Illusion of a tiger? Mentally in the human it will be orange and black striped death, but to a mole it will smell of predator.

I recently made a school of sorcerers for another system that was all only one spell but broken up by senses. It included creating illusions of heat and balance and vibrations as well as the traditional senses, and they were very adept at combining them to create very very complete illusions. That illusionary cup of hot cocoa not only looks, smells, tastes, and sounds like a cup of cocoa, it feels warm, it vibrates the table when you put it down. It would look it under infravision.
 

Necrozius

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Yeah you'd think that magical illusions would be more than a purely audio-visual hologram. Looking a myth and legend, illusions were wholly real to everyone who witnessed them, regardless of their scientific sensory organs.
 

Fenris-77

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What's the punchline? Grappling in 5e boils down to a contested STR (Athletics) roll; that's clear and succinct compared to the rules in every previous edition. The procedures are described clearly and the effects are sensible. The mechanics can be re-fluffed and applied to a lot of two-fisted pulp action. I don't think 5e is perfect by any means but I feel like they did a solid job with grappling. Unfortunately the Grappler feat is terrible.
It's more about creatures not having athletics. Hugely strong creatures that should be nigh impossible to grapple are actually sad jokes, especially when expertise is involved. It's doesn't even come close to passing the laugh test for me.
 

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Which is why I don't think I want to play an illusionist in D&D any longer. Too vague and up to individual GM fiat or interpretation.

And responses like this are why I try hard to make illusion magic feel valuable. It's still difficult for me though. Illusions have a couple of things going against them.
a) In fiction, illusion works best with the element of surprise. By definition players cannot surprise the DM with illusions.
b) The ultimate goal of many illusions is to negate massive portions of combat/skill encounters, or prevent them altogether. If you are a DM focused on designing set pieces, illusions can cancel all that work. If you are a DM concerned about the other players wanting to get into fights or use their skills, illusions can cancel all that work.
c) The spells themselves are too broad and written vaguely.

Future editions need to split up some of those spells into more precise effects and actually USE the Intelligence saving throw.

DMs (including me) also need to let go of their video-gamey fixation on set pieces, D&D works a lot better that way. WotC can help them by not designing the game around the assumption of a certain number of combat encounters per day.

Funny how all the other schools of magic are YES/NO, but illusions?

The school of Enchantment would like a word with you.
 

TJS

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I would allow illusions to work on nearly anything providing they act like they can see.

Golems? Sure why not? Undead? Elementals? Yea of course. I'm just going to assume that sight is not purely biological in D&D.

Oozes - no probably not. And not anything with tremor sense.

I'd also note that the 3rd level spell Major Image says

It seems completely real, including sounds, smells, and temperature appropriate to the thing depicted. You can't create sufficient heat or cold to cause damage, a sound loud enough to deal thunder damage or deafen a creature, or a smell that might sicken a creature (like a troglodyte's stench).

So you should potentially be able to fool most things.

I'm not really sure what the official rulings are on these things in 5e. I don't really have enough respect for WOTC to care.

The biggest issue with specialist wizards is that all wizards are essentially the same, with only a few extra abilities to mark them out - so they will all end up using the same few best spells regardless of specialisation.
 

Brock Savage

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The biggest issue with specialist wizards is that all wizards are essentially the same, with only a few extra abilities to mark them out - so they will all end up using the same few best spells regardless of specialisation.
I've tried to correct this issue through setting balance (some spells are "lost", others known but not shared, others are sect-specific, clerics and druids must find spells like wizards, etc) but you are essentially correct. I think the same could be said for many 5e caster archetypes, at least in my experience. If a game presents any sort of resource and combat challenge whatsoever, a player is eventually going to learn the best and worst spells at each tier of play for their character (and it's almost always the same for a class regardless of archetype). At the end of the day I realize that from a design perspective it is about a billion times easier to balance so I can't fault WotC, I don't miss the "optimize or die!" days of 3x and Pathfinder.
 
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Stan

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I've been playing around with increasing the power of emotional state in the game through expanded inspiration rules. Instead of the binary inspired/normal, there are now 5 levels:

Pumped: In your very next combat or situation, you roll advantage on initiative and on your first roll. This cannot be saved and is also lost after a long rest.

Inspired

Normal

Uninspired: In your next combat or situation, you roll initiative with disadvantage and have disadvantage on your first roll.

Miserable: You have the effects of Uninspired in every combat or situation until you have a long rest.


Effects trend towards normal, moving one step towards normal after the effect is triggered. Receiving inspiration moves you up a level, receiving unispiration moves you down a level.

A successful intimidation attempt causes the target to become uninspired if they face the intimidator in combat. If the intimidation check succeeds by 10+, the target instantly becomes uninpsired.

If a character suffers a setback of sufficient level (DM judgment), they must make a Charisma save or become uninspired. For example, suppose a character triggers a trap and everyone takes a few points of damage; they feel like an idiot and must roll or be uninspired. Same thing if they trigger a rockslide that will take several hours of digging or if they had to slog through mud and rain all day.

Greater restoration removes a level of uninspiration. Maybe, if cast for the purpose, lesser restoration and calm emotions allow a new saving throw.

Maybe allow bardic inspiration to give a level of inspiration instead of the die effect.

Inspiration might also interact with fear and similar effects. If you start a battle pumped, you have advantage on saves vs. fear. If you start a battle uninspired, you have disadvantage on all saves vs. fear.

There's probably a potion, like magic cocoa, that removes a level of uninspiration.
 
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A couple of interesting 5e projects up on KS.

Crystalpunk is pretty much 5e Shadowrun.

Crystalpunk Campaign Setting for 5e, via @Kickstarter
 

Voros

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The folks at Tomb of Immolation just posted about this other 5e horror/D&D zine.

The Lights of Winthrop Manor 5E, via @Kickstarter
 

Stan

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These Zines are killing me. I've already backed ~6.
 

Andrew J. Luther

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Here’s a question for everyone...

I first started playing in grade 6 (1982) with the Moldvay Basic box, followed quickly by the Cook Expert set. Back then, we always created first level characters and played through B2, usually followed by X1. But the idea was that, even though deep down we knew that most of the "campaigns" would fizzle out before we cleaned out those caves, never mind actually exploring all the way to the center of the Isle of Dread, we still always started at first level with the expectation that we were starting a new campaign (because that's how the rulebook said it was supposed to be done).

Then we moved onto AD&D, and we completely changed how we played the game. Most of the time, someone would buy an adventure (G1 or I6 or whatever), and would say "create 6th level characters" (or whatever level was appropriate for the adventure), and then we'd play though that module. And once it was done, someone else would want to run a module they had bought, and we'd create brand new characters of an appropriate level for that adventure.

That took us through a good chunk of high school.

It was only in very late high school that we really started what would be termed a real campaign. And it wasn't D&D, but RuneQuest 2E (around 1987), that became the first game where we played the same campaign for a couple of years of weekly play. That was followed by WFRP 1E in 1989 that ran for two years, and from then on it was campaign play all the way.

Did anyone else have a period where you played individual modules as one-offs, one after the other, with no thought to any continuity between them? For us, we managed to play through so many classic adventures (White Plume Mountain, the various Against the Giants modules, Descent Into the Depths of the Earth, Forbidden City, Ravenloft, the Desert of Desolation series, etc.) this way, but I know other people played through them as part of ongoing campaigns.

So how did your D&D gaming happen?
 

Stan

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We often did modules but would use a level appropriate character if available. It wasn't a consistent group, just whoever could make it. So players 1, 2, and 3 might do module A, then players 1, 3, 4, 5, would do module B. We usually did 2 characters each as the modules expected 6-8 characters and we usually had 2-4 players. Mixing and matching meant weird things like 2 characters having Blackrazor in a later module.
 

Justin Alexander

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Did anyone else have a period where you played individual modules as one-offs, one after the other, with no thought to any continuity between them? For us, we managed to play through so many classic adventures (White Plume Mountain, the various Against the Giants modules, Descent Into the Depths of the Earth, Forbidden City, Ravenloft, the Desert of Desolation series, etc.) this way, but I know other people played through them as part of ongoing campaigns.

Yes, although characters would often be reused. Some of my earliest D&D experiences were with a group of five or six people in 5th grade. We all had a stable of PCs we had created. We all DMed. Sometimes it was a module we'd created; sometimes it was a module we'd bought. But it was someone saying, "I've got an adventure!" and then the rest of us grabbing one or more of our PCs to run through it.
 

Voros

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Here’s a question for everyone...

I first started playing in grade 6 (1982) with the Moldvay Basic box, followed quickly by the Cook Expert set. Back then, we always created first level characters and played through B2, usually followed by X1. But the idea was that, even though deep down we knew that most of the "campaigns" would fizzle out before we cleaned out those caves, never mind actually exploring all the way to the center of the Isle of Dread, we still always started at first level with the expectation that we were starting a new campaign (because that's how the rulebook said it was supposed to be done).

Then we moved onto AD&D, and we completely changed how we played the game. Most of the time, someone would buy an adventure (G1 or I6 or whatever), and would say "create 6th level characters" (or whatever level was appropriate for the adventure), and then we'd play though that module. And once it was done, someone else would want to run a module they had bought, and we'd create brand new characters of an appropriate level for that adventure.

That took us through a good chunk of high school.

It was only in very late high school that we really started what would be termed a real campaign. And it wasn't D&D, but RuneQuest 2E (around 1987), that became the first game where we played the same campaign for a couple of years of weekly play. That was followed by WFRP 1E in 1989 that ran for two years, and from then on it was campaign play all the way.

Did anyone else have a period where you played individual modules as one-offs, one after the other, with no thought to any continuity between them? For us, we managed to play through so many classic adventures (White Plume Mountain, the various Against the Giants modules, Descent Into the Depths of the Earth, Forbidden City, Ravenloft, the Desert of Desolation series, etc.) this way, but I know other people played through them as part of ongoing campaigns.

So how did your D&D gaming happen?

That is exactly how we played as kids and teens too!

We started to sponteously play what is now called a 'sandbox' based on the Night's Dark Terror and later the City of Greyhawk as the base.

Then we discovered CoC, Top Secret S.I., CP2020 and Pendragon. Unfortunately only CoC stuck for extended sessions.
 

Fenris-77

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Yeah, middle school and highschool was the one module at a time period for my buddies and I as well. We also started with the B2 X1 playloop and then branched out into AD&D when we could afford the rules.
 

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Anyone get Candlekeep mysteries? Is this one worth buying? 17 or so short adventures that are supposed to be different from the normal dungeon crawling...

Most of the reviews I've read feel more like advertisements. 'Curious to hear any feedback from actual gamers not on WoTC's payroll...
 
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