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Brock Savage

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The text for detect thoughts reads:
If the creature you choose has an Intelligence of 3 or lower or doesn’t speak any language, the creature is unaffected.
I imagine this was intended to cover creatures with an Intelligence of 3 or more that don't speak any languages such as Giant Apes. It's not a stretch to say this probably covers creatures who can understand languages but cannot speak them, such as the Hell Hound but that's DM call IMHO.

Screenshot 2022-07-19 211928.png
 
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AsenRG

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I noticed a while ago that in order for the Detect Thoughts spell to work, the target must be able to speak... for reasons, I guess. So a silence spell keeps you safe from mind probing. Also there's no rules for this, but punching a dagger through your larynx prevents others from reading your mind as well! As we all well know, mute persons have no thoughts... :closed:
I would assume that this is to avoid GMs having to verbalize the thoughts of non-sentient creatures?
 

AsenRG

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Brock Savage Brock Savage Yeah you're probably right. But definitions between such concepts as "doesn't speak" and "can't speak" don't translate well to my own language.. :thumbsup:
For the record, the difference doesn't translate well in my language, either. But I choose to give the designers the benefit of doubt and assume they didn't in fact make a funny mistake, but had the sensible reading in mind...:shade:
 

Fenris-77

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This is where whiteroom rules lawyers for 5E can get annoying. The 5E rule set is sprawling enough that it's not hard to find oddities like this. I have zero interest in debating the issue if I'm running the game though, I'll just say Nope, that's dumb, we'll play it this way... and move on.
 

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So what happens if you cast Speak to Animals and then cast Detect Thoughts?:grin:

The badger didn't have a language before but since you can now speak to it, evidently it does, so you can also detect its thoughts.

Actually that should work wth plants to if you use Speak with Plants.
 

robertsconley

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So what happens if you cast Speak to Animals and then cast Detect Thoughts?:grin:

The badger didn't have a language before but since you can now speak to it, evidently it does, so you can also detect its thoughts.

Actually that should work wth plants to if you use Speak with Plants.
RAW, doesn't matter it doesn't grant a beast the ability to speak, it only gives you, the caster, the ability to understand beasts. This means their characteristics of either low intelligence or inability to speak a language are still true.

From a practical standpoint do whatever fits how you view 5e magic in your setting. It won't magically :wink: break if you decide to rule differently.
 

TJS

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RAW, doesn't matter it doesn't grant a beast the ability to speak, it only gives you, the caster, the ability to understand beasts. This means their characteristics of either low intelligence or inability to speak a language are still true.
You do really need a language to tell the Wizard that there's an Umberhulk down the corridor and around the corner. The fact that the spell supposedly only grants the ability to speak to the caster just implies that it's a magical world where animals basically have their own language already. It kind of as if all the spells were just thrown together at one point by people who thought they'd be cool abilties to have inspired by random bits of fiction.
 

Chris Brady

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This is where whiteroom rules lawyers for 5E can get annoying. The 5E rule set is sprawling enough that it's not hard to find oddities like this. I have zero interest in debating the issue if I'm running the game though, I'll just say Nope, that's dumb, we'll play it this way... and move on.
Rule no. 1 in my RPG handbook. Don't like it, change it and let the players know. Discuss it before or after the game if it's really contentious.
 

AsenRG

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It kind of as if all the spells were just thrown together at one point by people who thought they'd be cool abilties to have inspired by random bits of fiction.
...you don't say:grin:!
I mean, what else would you base magic spells off of, FFS?

Also, I have a more entertaining thought in mind. If two casters who don't have a common language had Speak with animals prepared, but not Tongues, could they just cast it (assuming they could non-verbally communicate the idea) and then understand each other while speaking like animals:tongue:?
Or would they need to find a hellhound to serve as a translator:shade:?
 

AsenRG

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As soon as a game’s magic system falls apart due to things like “semantics” and “logic”, I feel ready to move along to a different system because at that point, the “magic” is lost to me.
...have you heard about that game called Mythras:tongue:? Or can we interest you in Sword of Cepheus:grin:?
 

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...have you heard about that game called Mythras:tongue:? Or can we interest you in Sword of Cepheus:grin:?
Heh yeah guilty as charged. It isn’t a secret that Mythras has spoiled D&D for me. But I still think that there’s potential with 5e if designers had the balls to slay a few more Sacred Cows. Or at least broaden “what is D&D”.

For example: I bet it would be easy as hell to strip 5e’s magic system and replace it with Dungeon Crawl Classic’s, or Beyond the Wall’s system.
 

Mankcam

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Heh yeah guilty as charged. It isn’t a secret that Mythras has spoiled D&D for me. But I still think that there’s potential with 5e if designers had the balls to slay a few more Sacred Cows. Or at least broaden “what is D&D”.

For example: I bet it would be easy as hell to strip 5e’s magic system and replace it with Dungeon Crawl Classic’s, or Beyond the Wall’s system.
Yeah D&D's magic system really should be left behind, it still really bugs me.

The spells themselves are fine, but the whole forgetting them and restudying mechanic has never worked for me.
Perhaps it's good for Alchemists, that way the spell trappings are actual potions that need to be replaced. But if they are magical casting skills, then I think having variable DC for variable casting level works fine, with optional setting-dependent mechanics for failure consequences.
Something along those lines sounds much better for me.

They could also introduce optional random Critical Hit charts to spice combat up a bit.
 
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Stan

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Yeah D&D's magic system really should be left behind, it still really bugs me.

The spells themselves are fine, but the whole forgetting them and restudying mechanic has never worked for me.
Perhaps it's good for Alchemists, that way the spell trappings are actual potions that need to be replaced. But if they are magical casting skills, then I think having variable DC for variable casting level works fine, with optional setting-dependent mechanics for failure consequences.
Something along those lines sounds much better for me.

They could also introduce optional random Critical Hit charts to spice combat up a bit.

With 5e, it's a bit different. You can remember a set number but casting doesn't cause forgetting, just uses a spell slot. You can use a memorized spell as many times as you want, including upcasting. From coding, the idea of keeping a limited number of things fresh in your head at a time makes sense to me. Things that I haven't used in a while, I often have to do a quick check of their syntax.

Spell slots are a convenient way to track effort. You could replace it with a skill roll with a DC that increases for previous spells that day, but I think most people would find it less fun.
 

Mankcam

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With 5e, it's a bit different. You can remember a set number but casting doesn't cause forgetting, just uses a spell slot. You can use a memorized spell as many times as you want, including upcasting. From coding, the idea of keeping a limited number of things fresh in your head at a time makes sense to me. Things that I haven't used in a while, I often have to do a quick check of their syntax.

Spell slots are a convenient way to track effort. You could replace it with a skill roll with a DC that increases for previous spells that day, but I think most people would find it less fun.
Yeah I also mean spell slots as well - it's much better than actually 'forgetting' a spell, but it is a similar mechanic where you only have access to so many of your spells at a time - primarily for the sake of game balance, but there are other ways to do this that don't break immersion for me.

I can certainly see real-world logic in keeping complex information fresh in your mind (like spells), but I would of preferred that portrayed with higher DC for spells that are not recently studied.

It is such an easy fix for me, but it's just one that I think would be more logical in the core rules.
 
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Brock Savage

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5e without Ability Scores

When I think of D&Disms that have outlived their usefulness the first thing that comes to mind is Ability Scores. What's the point? The Ability Score Modifier is, in fact, the actual Ability Score since at least 2000 when 3.0 was released.

So like, what's the fallout if I just abolished the OG Ability Score and relied solely on the Ability Score Modifier? I can't think of any consequences besides a brief period of adjustment while players adapt to the new paradigm. Standard array optimized for variant humans grants a total of +8 points. Is there any reason I shouldn't tell players they get 7 points to distribute at character generation with nothing above 3 to start? With the option that they can put one score at -1 for an extra point somewhere else.
 

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Ability mods (no scores) + proficiency die optional rule would be pretty neat.

edit: and import DCC’s Fighter mighty deeds with that proficiency die for even more fun (theoretically).
 

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5e without Ability Scores

When I think of D&Disms that have outlived their usefulness the first thing that comes to mind is Ability Scores. What's the point? The Ability Score Modifier is, in fact, the actual Ability Score since at least 2000 when 3.0 was released.

So like, what's the fallout if I just abolished the OG Ability Score and relied solely on the Ability Score Modifier? I can't think of any consequences besides a brief period of adjustment while players adapt to the new paradigm. Standard array optimized for variant humans grants a total of +8 points. Is there any reason I shouldn't tell players they get 7 points to distribute at character generation with nothing above 3 to start? With the option that they can put one score at -1 for an extra point somewhere else.
Back when WotC announced their first D20 Star Wars game, I made the bold prediction that it would do away with Ability Scores and just keep the modifiers.

It's always seemed natural to me as the D20 core mechanic is heavily influenced by the system Tweet designed for Ars Magica. It has stats which normally range from -5 to +5. It felt like he kept the Ability Scores out of obligation.
 

Brock Savage

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Ability mods (no scores) + proficiency die optional rule would be pretty neat.

edit: and import DCC’s Fighter mighty deeds with that proficiency die for even more fun (theoretically).
I know I keep pimping Into The Unknown all over the Pub but it did a great B/X treatment of 5e. One of the coolest things was stripping class and archetype bloat down to the four basic food groups: Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Wizard. Each class has one choice during character gen that is roughly equivalent to a feat and in the Fighter's case it is Fighting Style. You have the normal choices like two handed weapons, sword and board, and sharpshooter but it also has Mighty Deeds which is by far the most awesome choice.

MIGHTY DEEDS
Add 1d8 to any physical ability check, attack roll or damage roll you are proficient in. You can use this ability before or after making the roll

You may perform Mighty Deeds a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus per long rest.

More Deeds: You replenish your uses of Mighty Deeds with a short rest as well as a long rest
 

Baulderstone

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I know I keep pimping Into The Unknown all over the Pub but it did a great B/X treatment of 5e. One of the coolest things was stripping class and archetype bloat down to the four basic food groups: Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Wizard. Each class has one choice during character gen that is roughly equivalent to a feat and in the Fighter's case it is Fighting Style. You have the normal choices like two handed weapons, sword and board, and sharpshooter but it also has Mighty Deeds which is by far the most awesome choice.
I have that as well, and if I ever run 5E, I am going to use as much from Into the Unknown as I can.
 

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5e without Ability Scores

When I think of D&Disms that have outlived their usefulness the first thing that comes to mind is Ability Scores. What's the point? The Ability Score Modifier is, in fact, the actual Ability Score since at least 2000 when 3.0 was released.

So like, what's the fallout if I just abolished the OG Ability Score and relied solely on the Ability Score Modifier? I can't think of any consequences besides a brief period of adjustment while players adapt to the new paradigm. Standard array optimized for variant humans grants a total of +8 points. Is there any reason I shouldn't tell players they get 7 points to distribute at character generation with nothing above 3 to start? With the option that they can put one score at -1 for an extra point somewhere else.

^This should be the way...

Seriously, Ability Scores at this point exist to appease sacred cows and screw over people who roll odd scores.
 

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^This should be the way...

Seriously, Ability Scores at this point exist to appease sacred cows and screw over people who roll odd scores.
I remember back in the early D20 days, the justification for keeping Ability Scores was that it provided a half step during advancement, but who enjoys buying a half step that does nothing?
 

Brock Savage

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I have that as well, and if I ever run 5E, I am going to use as much from Into the Unknown as I can.
You know how one of the great strengths of B/X is that it is an excellent template for genre emulation and "making D&D your own" so to speak? Into the Unknown is the same way. It's 5e stripped to the very core with some subtle but excellent changes to character abilities. For example, all the useless spell focus and common components are simply gone.

When I read the character classes I feel inspired to tweak those templates just like when I read B/X. Off the top of my head it took me like ten seconds to come up with a solid Assassin variant for the Rogue. I am thinking of doing a cyborg or lizardman race/class as proof of concept.
 

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You know how one of the great strengths of B/X is that it is an excellent template for genre emulation and "making D&D your own" so to speak? Into the Unknown is the same way. It's 5e stripped to the very core with some subtle but excellent changes to character abilities. For example, all the useless spell focus and common components are simply gone.

When I read the character classes I feel inspired to tweak those templates just like when I read B/X. Off the top of my head it took me like ten seconds to come up with a solid Assassin variant for the Rogue. I am thinking of doing a cyborg or lizardman race/class as proof of concept.
You should share that here if you do.
 

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I remember back in the early D20 days, the justification for keeping Ability Scores was that it provided a half step during advancement, but who enjoys buying a half step that does nothing?

Exactly. The benefit was that it complicated ability score progression and buffer effects by making you track odd scores that don't give you anything in the hopes that maybe an odd buffer increase might give you that extra point you need to get an actual bonus.

OR

They could just make both, the score and the buffer the actual bonus instead of making you track empty values on both ends.
 

TJS

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5e without Ability Scores

When I think of D&Disms that have outlived their usefulness the first thing that comes to mind is Ability Scores. What's the point? The Ability Score Modifier is, in fact, the actual Ability Score since at least 2000 when 3.0 was released.

So like, what's the fallout if I just abolished the OG Ability Score and relied solely on the Ability Score Modifier? I can't think of any consequences besides a brief period of adjustment while players adapt to the new paradigm. Standard array optimized for variant humans grants a total of +8 points. Is there any reason I shouldn't tell players they get 7 points to distribute at character generation with nothing above 3 to start? With the option that they can put one score at -1 for an extra point somewhere else.
Yeah, but does it really matter other than being inelegant?

I mean what do you actually get from changing it? You wouldn't design a new system from scratch that way, but given everybody already knows how it works anyway what would be the point of cleaning it up?

The bigger problem with ability scores is the poor breakdown in what they cover.
 

Brock Savage

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Yeah, but does it really matter other than being inelegant?

I mean what do you actually get from changing it? You wouldn't design a new system from scratch that way, but given everybody already knows how it works anyway what would be the point of cleaning it up?
I agree that it is not an earth-shattering change but it my case it is a small but important step towards my goal of GM-less character creation with a minimum of hassle.
 

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Yeah, but does it really matter other than being inelegant?

I mean what do you actually get from changing it? You wouldn't design a new system from scratch that way, but given everybody already knows how it works anyway what would be the point of cleaning it up?

The bigger problem with ability scores is the poor breakdown in what they cover.
I ran a lot of 3E, and it was a legitimate player annoyance when they got an attribute bump. If your players receive something that is supposed to be big reward, and their reaction is frustration, then there is a problem with your system.
 

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I ran a lot of 3E, and it was a legitimate player annoyance when they got an attribute bump. If your players receive something that is supposed to be big reward, and their reaction is frustration, then there is a problem with your system.
Well yeah but that problems been solved.

You now always get a +2, so you never get a bonus that amounts to nothing.
 

Brock Savage

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5e Foraging
Foraging in 5e is so lame. Don't even get me started on the hand wavey Outlander feature. I find it odd that B/X had superior exploration rules 40 years ago. How can 5e foraging and hunting be improved to make it more interesting and fun without adding a lot of complexity? On the heels of that, does it need to be improved? I only have so much time in the day and every minute I spend making heartbreaker rules is a minute not working on gameable content.

I mean, I suppose the food doesn't have to be tasty, nourishing, or risk free but I don't want to be a dick DM either. Ideas?

Rolls dice. "The barbarian is able to secure enough swamp rat and brackish water for everyone while on the march, please make a CON save."
 

Fenris-77

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5e Foraging
Foraging in 5e is so lame. Don't even get me started on the hand wavey Outlander feature. I find it odd that B/X had superior exploration rules 40 years ago. How can 5e foraging and hunting be improved to make it more interesting and fun without adding a lot of complexity? On the heels of that, does it need to be improved? I only have so much time in the day and every minute I spend making heartbreaker rules is a minute not working on gameable content.

I mean, I suppose the food doesn't have to be tasty, nourishing, or risk free but I don't want to be a dick DM either. Ideas?

Rolls dice. "The barbarian is able to secure enough swamp rat and brackish water for everyone while on the march, please make a CON save."
Honestly, I don't think 5E was even trying to be a food and water resource management game at all. They wave a hand in that direction, but it's trivialized by any number of spells and class features.
 

Brock Savage

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Honestly, I don't think 5E was even trying to be a food and water resource management game at all. They wave a hand in that direction, but it's trivialized by any number of spells and class features.
5e is an elegant fantasy combat and spell system tacked on to an RPG that tries to be all things to all men instead of picking a lane.
 
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Necrozius

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Yeah some class features of the Rangers and Druids completely remove a portion of the game that some players do find interesting. By that I mean journeying through unknown lands. In D&D, you never have to worry about getting lost, finding the quickest or safest path, finding food and clean water, safe places to camp or avoid ambushes and traps in the wilderness.

WotC assumes that all players despised most of the Lord of the Rings.
 

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Honestly, I don't think 5E was even trying to be a food and water resource management game at all. They wave a hand in that direction, but it's trivialized by any number of spells and class features.
That was really my only issue with 5E. There were too many character abilities that sanded off the potential for tension.
 

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That was really my only issue with 5E. There were too many character abilities that sanded off the potential for tension.
The real tension in 5E is me asking myself is fuckwad going to be able to find the rule he's looking for on his 6 page character sheet before I stick a fork in my eye out of sheer boredom.
 
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