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Apr
16
comment Accurate Population Scale of Forgotten Realms Cities
Heh, and the whole city is about 400 feet long East-West. OK, so typical population density changes with time, but the city I live in (Oxford) has population 150k and is about 5-6 miles across, more populated in some wedges than in others. The medieval resident population was probably never a lot more than 5000, and the old walls (13th century) were about 2 miles in circumference according to one source, making the walled part of the city roughly 3000 feet across. Not that it was actually round, but the distance from what we now call "westgate" to "eastgate" is in that ballpark.
Apr
14
comment Are Half-Elves immune to the paralyzing property of a Ghoul's Claw action?
You can play the "counts as both parents species" both ways though. They are an elf, that's true. But they are a human, and a human is a "creature other than an elf or undead", so take your pick. You could end up putting yourself in a very hair-splitting situation, where if the rule says "elves are immune to ghoul's touch" then half-elves would be immune, whereas if the rule says "humans are affected by ghoul's touch" then they're affected. If in doubt, they go numb down their left hand side only ;-)
Apr
10
comment When does a flying creature start and end falling?
@SevenSidedDie: I'm no expert, but I'd guess a raptor actually dives at rather more than its uncontrolled fall rate. If it's "knocked prone" and falling, then it'll be wings and feathers in all directions. Which is not to say your rule of thumb is a bad one, after all raptors are largely optimised for diving. A pigeon might not dive so impressively.
Mar
26
awarded  Nice Answer
Mar
25
comment How to deal with players asking for an “infodump”
@NoAnswer: if they refuse to pick then circumstances will pick for them. Given the options Bankuei offers, if they're told they can have two and they try to pick 3 including "fast", then time will simply pass and their deadline will come and go without getting to "detailed". If the three includes "cheap" then they'll blow their budget before getting to "detailed". Suppose you want to catch a bus, and I tell you you can get to the bus stop any two of "walking, on time, having eaten breakfast". You don't get to say "oh, I'll do all three". You either run, or skip breakfast, or miss the bus!
Mar
25
revised How do I introduce a larger-than-the-game villain (so that the players can beat him one day)?
added 220 characters in body
Mar
25
answered How do I introduce a larger-than-the-game villain (so that the players can beat him one day)?
Mar
24
revised Problems with Party Formation: “You're the DM, you can figure it out.”
added 56 characters in body
Mar
24
revised Problems with Party Formation: “You're the DM, you can figure it out.”
added 72 characters in body
Mar
24
revised Problems with Party Formation: “You're the DM, you can figure it out.”
added 72 characters in body
Mar
24
answered Problems with Party Formation: “You're the DM, you can figure it out.”
Mar
4
comment Does shillelagh require actual wooden weapons?
... so it's irrelevant whether 5e formally separates into flavour and rules or not, anything that's pure fluff you can regard as flavour. At least until you're in a situation where it makes a practical difference which objects in the vicinity are and are not "imbued with nature's power". I still don't think the answer follows though :-) There must be wood for the same reason there must be a weapon: the effect states its existence. It's just like if a spell effect said, "the target's ears turn into a wolf's: for the duration they hear better". No ears, no spell unless by house-rule.
Mar
4
comment Does shillelagh require actual wooden weapons?
@SevenSidedDie: I think the point here is that you can read the spell as having multiple effects: (1) the wooden part of the weapon is imbued with nature's power (no mechanics, therefore "flavour"). (2) you can use your spellcasting ability etc. It doesn't actually say that (1) is a prerequisite for (2), only that they're both effects. But I don't agree with that reading, since in context of spell effects where you expect reasonably precise wording, reading "the wood" as "all wood in the weapon, perhaps none" is a reach IMO. It should say "any wood" if that was intended.
Mar
4
comment Experience Awards For Role-Playing; Should I keep it?
@user23715: indeed, rubber-banding can take the competition out of anything ;-)
Mar
3
comment Experience Awards For Role-Playing; Should I keep it?
"I don't want it to seem like I'm forcing my roleplay style on him" -- are you sure you don't want to do that? His "roleplay" style is to pretend to roleplay in order to get the XP award. And he's not even pretending very effectively, you've rumbled his copying. This is your game too, you don't have to make people feel that all styles (including that one) are equally desirable and equally rewarded. Surely your original goal in setting the rewards, was to jigger (if not force) your players towards your preferred play styles.
Mar
1
comment Are low level spells required to be worse than all higher level spells?
Even if there were such a rule, specific spell effect descriptions trump general rules, right? So you can't use any such principle to come with results "in direct contradiction with the stated rules of the spells in question", but no doubt anyone making these interpretations does so in case they believe are not in direct contradiction with the stated spell rules. Rather, they're using comparisons with other spells to interpret possibly-ambiguous spell descriptions.
Feb
23
comment What are the consequences of eliminating the experience points cost to craft magic items?
Once the XP cost is gone, the value of the crafted good should be the value of the raw materials plus the value of the labour put into it. That's right, Marxism in the mainline! ;-) One possible way to achieve that is to increase the cost of materials, thus setting the profitability of craft-sell exactly where you want it.
Feb
18
comment Casting sleep on an opponent in water, bad day for them?
@MattThrower: right, but Margorie the clever assassin hopes to take advantage of the fact that the suffocation mechanic does no damage (and therefore, she hopes, doesn't wake you) until you "drop to 0HP and are dying" all at once. If the suffocation mechanic did damage gradually then it would be clear that according to the rules you wake (at the latest) whenever the first little bit of damage happens.
Feb
18
comment What's fair compensation for creating a one-armed drow?
So tell me, was the first thing this character did in play to invent the harmonica neck rack? ;-)
Feb
18
comment Casting sleep on an opponent in water, bad day for them?
So personally I might rule that falling over into water that you're already wading in doesn't wake you up instantly (for consistency with the fact that falling prone doesn't), but being unable to breathe does wake you up after a round or so. The same would apply if you smothered a Sleep-ed character with a pillow: they'd wake up fairly soon and try to escape the grapple. Better to stab them. The point about cold water and the dive-reflex is well made, though. If the DM rules that throwing water into the face of a Sleep-ed character wakes them (like a slap), falling into water should too.