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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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This 5e/OSR Zinequest dungeon looks promising.

Tomb of Immolation, 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
 
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