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    Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon's Masters Guide
    • Not sure if this is the right place to post this but I saw it and thought "I know several ZUers who would think this is cool" so here it is.



      Basically Geek and Sundry have a new show/campaign:
      • Deborah Ann Woll (Karen Page from Daredevil) as DM
      • and... (probably better if you just watch the video)
      Display Spoiler

      • Sam Richardson (Richard Splett from Veep) as Gnomish Ranger
      • Matthew Lillard (Stu Macher from Scream, Shaggy from Scooby Doo) as Dragonborn Sorcerer
      • Janina Gavankar (Luna Garza from True Blood, McKenna Hall from Arrow) as Half-Elf Rogue tomb raider
      • Charlie Cox (Daredevil from Daredevil) as Half-Elf Rogue pirate
      • Kevin Smith (Silent Bob and director of various movies) as Tiefling Warlock private detective
      • Simone Missick (Misty Knight from Luke Cage) as Human Paladin


      I'm not a G&S subscriber because I have no money for nice things but if I had money I'd possibly think about considering subscribing at some point in the not near future... so if anybody does subscribe, please let me know if it's actually any good because I'm interested just to see these people play together
      Too many cooks

      The post was edited 3 times, last by ibLeo ().

    • At last, an update on my Fetchling Monk.

      She’s really terrible at being a monk.

      I dunno what’s up with the rng seed for the dice rolling site we use, but she ends up doing stupidly well on skill checks and is so bad in combat that she whiffs all crossbow attacks (even though she has a higher attack bonus using the damn thing than her own fists) and punched the paladin with a critical failure.

      Though I suppose it’s fitting, since the “monestary” she trained at was actually a traveling circus.
    • Campaign Management.

      So I've been running Princes of the Apocalypse (mostly on-and-off) for about two years now. And I've gone through a few attempts at steamlining my management of campaign notes that haven't really been successful.

      I started out trying to use Scrivener as a one-document/app shop for dumping all my notes, backgrounds, encounter sheets, etc. But since we switch up our hosting location for our game, hauling my computer around wasn't really feasible and I ditched that pretty quickly.

      So for the majority of the campaign I've been relying mostly on physical resources and shuffling a lot of paper around. I print off encounter sheets for each section so I don't need to flip around the Monster Manual or PotA appendix, usually a copy of the dungeon/location maps as well. Plus my notebook where I make quick-reference campaign notes. It works pretty well, especially since I found an encounter sheet that auto-populates all the monster info so I don't need to manually input everything anymore.

      BUT prepping for the next section of the campaign, the amount of paper I'm going to have to print for all the encounters is making me balk (trying to live that low-footprint lifestyle, plus it just seems like I'm replacing page-flipping with loose paper shuffling). I'm going to experiment with just having the encounter sheets digitally again (since I've gotten a smaller laptop since starting the campaign), but I'm wondering if anyone has any tips/resources on campaign management?

      I looked a little bit at Roll20 and DnD Beyond, but it seems like I'd have to rebuy a lot of the materials which is a no-go, and even if not it seems like those are best utilized if everyone in the campaign is using the platform, and I don't see that happening since we're already a ways into the campaign.
    • So I play a halfling warlock in the game I'm in with some friend. The party is pretty bloated these days though because every now and then someone brings in a brother or their kid. So we have 9 party members and a couple of them are a terrible combination of really cautious and really insistent. DM drops a hint in descriptions several times that the abandoned dwarf fortress built into a mountain that bandits we're fighting are holed up in doesn't have a back entrance. The dwarf in our party had a skill that basically told us there was likely a cave-in and that's why it was abandoned in the first place. Dragonborn sorcerer kept insisting we make a wide sweep around the mountain to look for one anyway so we didn't have to fight our way through the front door. We find some stuff that gave us fluff info about the setting, but it was an entire session to get that.

      Back to the main problem, I'm a halfling warlock specced into Eldritch Blast super hard. I'm in a party of guys who almost all of have fucking dark vision. So most of the time they insist on attacking at night, and I don't have dark vision. So a lot of my time in the last few fights have been "Wait for someone with a light to get close to an enemy", if i want to take advantage of my 600 foot range eldritch blast.
    • I can't imagine playing with a party of 9, holy cow :/

      ---

      Adding to my "build a character you don't hate" guide above here's an attempt at tactical advice for first level characters in each class. Trying to help first time players answer the question "what should I be thinking about" in combat and - as a huge sub-theme - get parties talking to each other about their approach to combat. Critique would be great:

      Intro to Play Patterns


      Rogue

      You are a rogue! In combat situations you deal extra damage to your enemies by striking their vital areas with well-placed attacks. If you and your party get the drop on your foes you can make your first attack from hiding for easy sneak attack damage. After your enemies notice you things are a little more difficult: in order to keep scoring sneak attacks you’ll need to join in melee combat on the front lines. You’ll be vulnerable when up close and personal with your enemies so make sure your allies know to protect you.

      Some things to remember:
      You score sneak attack damage when you make an attack with advantage: an attack made with help, or an attack against a creature that is blinded, paralyzed, restrained, stunned, or under the effects of a spell like faerie fire. If your allies can create these conditions for you you’ll be able to stay out of melee more easily.
      Sometimes you’ll be the first to move and you won’t be in position to sneak attack yet. Consider holding your action if you need to wait for a better context to act.
      You can score sneak attack damage using an attack of opportunity if you and your party can force an enemy to move away from the frontline. This is an optimized result for a rogue. The dissonant whispers spell is an example of a good way to do this. Talk to your party about these kinds of options.



      Sorcerer

      You are a sorcerer! You can take 4 cantrips at first level, which gives you twice the versatility of most other casters. With the ability to target up to four different defenses you optimize your play by identifying where your enemy is most vulnerable. Listen for clues in the description your DM gives you of a foe’s appearance and behavior – are they slow, weak, frail, or stupid - and trust your intuition.
      You also have two first level spell slots at your disposal and you can maximize the damage you get out of these slots with area of effect spells like Burning Hands and Thunderwave. Molding enemies into configurations required by these spells is largely the responsibility of your frontline melee fighters, so talk to them about your needs.

      Some things to remember:
      You can move through ally and enemy spaces, treating them as difficult terrain, as long as your speed is high enough. Sometimes the best way to set up a good Thunderwave is to bowl straight through the frontlines. If you’re a storm sorcerer you can even fly out again no sweat.
      It helps to have a good idea which of your allies have good dex and con saves: a rogue can probably jump out of the way of a burning hands while a fighter can tank a thunderwave, if it comes to that.



      Barbarian

      You are a barbarian! In combat situations you throw yourself headlong into melee, holding the front line of combat with the other close-quarters combatants on your team. Twice a day you can rage and gain a number of offensive and defensive benefits. In order to make the most of your rage you’ll need to leave the frontline and meet an enemy or two in single combat away from your allies. This will force some enemies to waste their attacks against your superior defenses, or else choose to run from you and take damage from your rage-enhanced opportunity attacks.

      Some things to remember:
      It rarely makes sense to rage in short combats or fights against single large enemies. Save your rages for drawn-out battles against groups of foes, and for battles against monsters with a position-based strategy like wolves or kobolds.
      Grappling is one of the things that gets easier when you rage. If your enemies have grouped together you can grab one and drag it away in order to break up pack tactics or protect your allies from its damage.
      Poison is the most common damage type on low level monsters which you’re not protected from while raging. If you’re up against snakes or spiders you might want to hold back on the rage.


      Bard

      You are a bard! In combat situations you control the pace of combat, with abilities that increase the rate at which your party deals damage (to speed combat up) or sacrifice some of your own damage in order to slow the rate of damage from your opponents (to slow combat down).
      The first question you should ask yourself at the start of every battle is whether you want a quick combat or a slow one. A good rule of thumb is just to look at the number of combatants on both sides. If your party outnumbers your opponents and can do more with each round then you want more rounds in combat; slower is better. If your party is up against a horde of enemies then priority one is cutting down foes as quickly as possible. You want a fast pace.
      Some things to remember:

      Vicious mockery is an all-purpose cantrip for slowing combat down. You give up some of your damage in order to (hopefully) blank the damage dealt by an opponent. Minor Illusion requires more creativity but if you can build an illusion that causes an enemy (or two!) to waste a turn entirely then things are going spectacularly. First level spells than can slow combat include bane, charm person, cure wounds, hideous laughter, sleep, and silent image.
      Your best tool to speed combat up is your bardic inspiration. Using a bonus action on a turn when you wouldn’t have had anything else to do with it improves your team’s action economy and raises your overall damage output. On the spell-casting side of things faerie fire can help speed combat up, but in many cases it’s better to just pull out a weapon and jump in to combat.


      Wizard
      You are a wizard! In combat situations you control the pace of combat, with abilities that increase the rate at which your party deals damage (to speed combat up) or sacrifice some of your own damage in order to slow the rate of damage from your opponents (to slow combat down).
      The first question you should ask yourself at the start of every battle is whether you want a quick combat or a slow one. A good rule of thumb is just to look at the number of combatants on both sides. If your party outnumbers your opponents and can do more with each round then you want more rounds in combat; slower is better. If your party is up against a horde of enemies then priority one is cutting down foes as quickly as possible. You want a fast pace.

      Some things to remember:
      Frostbite is an all-purpose cantrip for slowing combat down. You give up some of your damage in order to (hopefully) blank the damage dealt by an opponent. Minor Illusion requires more creativity but if you can build an illusion that causes an enemy (or two!) to waste a turn entirely then things are going spectacularly. First level spells than can slow combat include cause fear, charm person, fog cloud, hideous laughter, shield, sleep, and silent image.
      Your best tool to speed combat up is your familiar. Brining a familiar into the fight improves your team’s action economy and raises your overall damage output. It can also allow a rogue to make sneak attacks from a distance continually (although unless you’ve chosen an owl familiar then your just swapping out one risk for another, as your familiar will need to be on the frontline). On the spell-casting side of things you speed up combat by switching into blaster mode and letting loose with your most damaging spells or cantrips.


      Figher/Monk/Paladin/Ranger

      You are a front liner! In combat you define the border between the party’s “territory” and the enemy’s. Depending on how you read the field of battle you either charge forward aggressively and engage or set a defensive posture and bait opponents into approaching.
      Where should the party be? Where can the team stand in order to inconvenience the enemy? How can you force opponents to make ranged attacks through cover when they’d rather be in open melee? Or goad them to attack the well armored warrior when they’d rather be attacking the squishy mage? Is there a way to force an opponent to give up their action altogether?
      If a positional advantage can waste even one enemy turn then that’s a gain on the order of a whole first level spell slot (just look at command). As a fighter, monk, paladin or ranger it’s your job to find those advantages.

      Some things to remember:
      At first level, many enemies will not have ranged attacks. In these cases, starting the battle from a distance can be an incredible advantage for your party. If the battle strategy is to wait until the enemy approaches then you should consider holding your action to meet their approach with an attack. Held actions are only worth it at levels 1-4 so enjoy this option while it lasts.
      Rogues rely on you to help them make sneak attacks. Blasters rely on you to shape the field for their area-of-effect spells. Concentration casters rely on you to keep them undamaged. Even at first level, you can only do your job well if your understand each of their party members and their needs. Talk to your allies!


      Cleric


      Cleric (Frontline)
      You are a cleric! Furthermore, you’re a cleric that has chosen to serve your god on the frontline in battle, helping the other melee characters to define the frontline and mitigating as much enemy damage as possible.
      All the advice given to a fighter at this level – see above – also applies to you. Your primary concern in combat is positioning. Beyond that, though, you’re also doing your best to keep an eye on your allies’ HP and the initiative order. You care a *lot* about the initiative order.
      The goal of healing in combat is preventing your teammates from losing their turns. When a teammate follows you immediately in initiative order this is always easy: if they are down when your turn starts then you heal them, if they’re not you don’t.
      When a teammate takes their turn long after you things are more complicated. How likely do you think it is that the teammate will take significant damage before their turn? How likely are you to be the difference between them falling and staying up? These are the questions you are always asking yourself.

      Some things to remember:
      Cure Wounds is almost never an appropriate spell to cast in combat. Giving up a whole action for 2 more points of health (on average) compared to Healing Word – cast with a bonus action you probably weren’t going to use anyway – is just a bad plan. Save Cure Wounds for after the fight, if you have to prepare it at all.
      Just because you’re on the frontline doesn’t mean you have to swing a weapon. Many cleric subclasses can continue to attack with magic even from melee range. You should still have a weapon ready for attack of opportunity, however.

      Cleric (Backline)
      You are a cleric! Not a heavy armored warrior cleric, but a wise and discerning priest or priestess that would rather not muck about in melee. In combat you attack from range with some reasonably powerful cantrips (especially if you choose the Death, Nature or Arcana domains) but more than that you get to be the first member of the party to embrace concentration-based spell casting.
      Concentration spells such as bless reward you for (a) casting them early (b) at the beginning of long fights in which (c) you don’t take much damage. Getting the most out of a concentration spell is often a whole-party effort. It depends on your ability to quickly identify a context in which the spell will be good, the ability of the spell casters controlling the pace of the fight to drag things out, and the ability of the front liners controlling the geometry of the fight to keep you safe. Talk to your party, and make sure everyone knows what a good combat for bless look like.

      Some things to remember:
      Taking either the arcana domain or nature domain gives you access to the frostbite cantrip and the ability to slow combat down, which is something you’re interested in.
      Healing is never going to be as potent a use of your spell slots as a well-used buff spell, but sometimes the situation is dire you have no choice. Keep an eye on your party’s health, following the rules described above for a frontline cleric.


      Warlock

      You are a warlock! What really defines your play pattern is short rests. Of all the first level classes you are the one that cares the most about your party’s short rest schedule because each short rest recharges your spell slot and maybe (depending on which pact you took) your pact feature as well. Your primary concern in combat is to pay attention to the pace of play and the needs of the party in order to identify the best place to use your rechargeable abilities.

      Filling in the gaps after that - at first level you’ve already chosen a subclass and that choice has a lot of ramifications.
      If you’ve chosen pact of the archfey, for example, and taken Minor Illusion as a cantrip and Sleep as one of your spells then your play pattern is going to closely resemble a wizard or bard.
      If you’ve chosen pact of the hexblade and taken Greenflame Blade as a cantrip and Wrathful Smite as a first level spell then your play pattern ends up looking a lot like a fighter’s.
      If you’ve chosen pact of the fiend and taken eldritch blast and a second damaging cantrip and have burning hands as a first level spell then you’re blasting approach looks something like a sorcerer.
      Regardless of your pact, if you’ve decided to stay out of melee entirely and use the concentration-based hex as your first level spell of choice then you end up with a play pattern a lot like a back-line cleric.
      Know your build, and play appropriately.


      Druid

      You are a druid! One day soon you’ll be able to shape shift into terrifying beasts or summon hordes of animals, elementals, or fey to do your bidding… but for now you’re just kind of a place holder. Sorry. First level is rough on a druid.
      You play as a sort of midrange jack-of-all-trades. You can join the frontline and use the shillelagh cantrip in order to deal a respectable amount of damage, although it’s a vulnerable position given your physical stats are probably poor. In this mode you can devote your spell slots to healing… you’re as likely to be healing yourself as much as anyone else. You can contribute to decisions about positioning (see the fighter’s card for more info) but ultimately you’re going to follow the lead of other, beefier melee fighters.
      You can also hang back and provide support and/or control from the backline, doing a poor imitation of bard or wizard and generally leaning on the frostbite cantrip. You can contribute to decisions about pacing (see the wizard’s card for more info) but ultimately you’re going to follow the lead of more versatile control casters.

      Some things to remember:
      When druids choose their subclass at level two they go in one of two very different directions – they either become solid defenders or they become concentration-based casters that need to be defended. Although you are neither of these things at level one you should try to play in the role you will soon have so that your party finds the right rhythm.
      Entangle is a unique spell for the druid that can turn the tides of combats when no other first level spell can. Look for opportunities to cast this as they might be your rare opportunity to be the big damn hero at level one.
      ~~~
      Although postsocratics like St. Augustine and Judith Butler explored a diverse set of ethical and metaphysical ideas, their unifying feature as a movement was a principled refusal to speculate upon which of the four elements the world was made out of.
      ~~~


      boxes is the best human and I am going to get her a kitten or 2 kittens

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Foo ().