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    posted a message on Drawing Up a Few Weapons

    I see, where are you are going to with the design (fully embracing fantasy), but yo might want to give them a more "usable" look:

    The short sword has the some problems with balance and body mechanics
    - the leaf shaped blade is OK, although too short for a sword compared to the hilt. (a Mainz type gladius e.g. should give you some better idea for proportions)
    - the grip is round, which is bad for edge alignment, the wire wrapping is historical accurate, although it was most likely done with a twisted wire.
    - the ornamental rings at the top of the grip will be very uncomfortable for the wielder of the blade and would not be there on a sword made for field service
    - the weapon, considering it looks to be made completely out of metal will be off balance and too heavy; the cross guard looks like a very solid piece of iron

    Take a look at ancient greek Xiphos swords (and others from the bronze age), if you want to keep the leaf blades appearance

    Posted in: Arts & Crafts
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    posted a message on Drawing Up a Few Weapons

    More on historical warkhammers:

    They are usually shorter than your blade type weapons (roughly around 70 cm) and can have three different "protrusions" at the weighted end:
    1. a spike/pick to punch through parts of the armour that are thinner, usually closer to the edges of the plates or the helmet (or parts of mail)
    2. a blunt, hammer to deal massive percussive damage and bend armour plates (a bent piece of armour hinders the movement and makes you more likely to be subdued)
    3. a spike on top, which could be used to stab at eye slits or over a bever (not so common, but you can see see one in the picture above)

    The hammer head could have small points at the corners (looks kind of a crown) which should help the head to bite into the armour and not glance off. The second picture also shows langets, which protected the wooden shaft of the hammer from getting damaged by blades and to make breaking the shaft from the impact less likely. One handed versions, like the one depicted are around 1kg in weight. Two handed versions of this type of weapon are most likely called differently, like "pol(l)axe" and they are a knight's anti-plate weapon on foot in the late medieval time and renaissance period.

    Posted in: Arts & Crafts
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    posted a message on Help me paint my character model please!

    The armour you could do with a light grey, azure wash and silver dry brushing (because of the white dragon scales).
    For contrast, use a "gunmetal" colour for the sword and brass crossguard and pommel. Is that a torch in his left hand? (orange/red wash/yellow dry brush).
    The cloak you could match to the colour scheme of the weapon (dark brown, black wash, tan dry brush) for some sort of "heavy fur/wool cloak. I would add a trim of gold/brass on the edges so it does not look that prominent and because it has no texture.
    The base should be dark, like medium grey, black wash and some light grey dry brushing. Nothing fancy with the candles, white and flames like the torch.

    Posted in: Arts & Crafts
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    posted a message on What races might have left an astral ship behind on the material plane?

    Do old 2nd edition Spelljammer ships count as astral ships? (since not yet updated to 5e)

    Space faring elves had the butterfly like "Man o Wars", which were magically grown and kind of "living". Not knowing anything about the maintenance of the magical growth, the ship could break down and "die", limiting the time the players can use it.

    Any other Spelljammer that uses a "magical furnace" can work too, because it might simply run out of fuel and the players do not know how to "burn" magical items properly. I am mainly thinking about Spelljammer, because the ships were very exotic looking and not just regular sail boats with cloth wings.

    Posted in: Dungeon Masters Only
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    posted a message on Question from a DM: How to interpret Medicine checks

    My take on the "problem"

    The Cleric's player probably doesn't want to play a "murder hobo", but is limiting himself and his game play by only wanting to heal. While this can work well outside of combat, it is limiting him way too much in "classic combat". I think he should change a bit. Just sitting in the back isn't enough.
    - Help action in a fight. He could pair up with another melee fighter (5 feet limit for help action) and use a shield and mace /quarterstaff just to mess with the foe and grant the ally advantage to the attack or willingly be the first to move, so the AoO (as a reaction of the foe) is "wasted" on him and not the ally.
    - be close to the ally for Guidance and Resistance. You can touch your ally to cast the spells on you allies.

    Don't forget, we will get other spells later (now at only level 3 he is quite limited) that work well, without direct involvement in combat. Non Concentration ones are: Command (Flee, drop Weapon, Surrender),  Sanctuary, Aid, Warding Bond etc.

    Outside of combat, you have multiple options to make him shine as a healer, just by allowing him to heal some hitpoints when using a healer's kit (like his wisdom modifier once a day on each person). He could get a bonus to his charisma check after treating some villagers for free when the party comes to small village. He could treat diseases and fractured bones if you want to deviate from the "pool of life force" concept that is D&D's hit points (falling damage you have describes sounds like a broken foot or a strained ankle).

    Posted in: Rules & Game Mechanics
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    posted a message on What Does It Mean by Being a Cleric Adventurer?

    The inherit problem of the Cleric in D&D is that was originally based (if you read class descriptions from 1st & 2nd edition) on the knight's of the crusades and their religious orders - Templars, Teutonic Knight's etc.). That's why fighting in armour is still one of the core ability of D&D clerics. The paladin's core is being on a quest (for the holy grail, if you want to go back to the original inspiration), the cleric's core is to serve (a divine power or a clergy of the divine power).

    Back to your problem: Why does a cleric "adventure"? Some ideas I used in the past when playing a cleric (not all will fit D&D rules, but you should get an idea)
    > A cleric with a "travelling domain" (e.g. Hermes) will be on the road with caravans. His job is to keep travellers safe, so seek out new routes of travel, new means of travelling (air ship !!), apprehend bandits, make deals with inn owners, buy new horses ...
    > A cleric with a "duality domain" will get visions telling him to shift the balance into one direction or the other. Evil cultists need to be hunted down, but also a smuggler should be freed from prison, because the order in the city has slowed down development and more chaos is needed to shake things up.
    > A cleric of a "war domain" will have different roles in war times and during peace. In war times, he wants to be where the fighting is, to help the side his god favours. In times of peace he will be the reminder that all peace will end eventually and you have to prepare for battle. He will try to train new troops, write fighting manuals, build castles etc.

    Posted in: Cleric
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    posted a message on Co-Dming?

    Are you thinking about taking turns or actual co-DM'ing?

    Taking turns would not need as much preparation a co-DMing the same over arcing story. Back in the old days, I was the main Dm for our group, but we had a player that frequently play tested adventure modules that got published in a fanzine. That meant he took the module and inserted it into the main story as a side quest. When the adventure was over, we switched roles again. Our player characters were sidelined during that time (e.g. they watched the camp, while the others explored the castle) or switched over to be NPCs during the adventure, mostly doing stuff in the background and got "controlled" by player suggestions.

    For a co-DM'ing campaign that is closely woven together, there will always be the problem of "DM knowledge" if you just switch characters in the same adventure. I am not sure if a Dr. Jekyl & Hyde body swap could work (never tried). What I have experience with is adventuring with two different groups in the same homebrew world (and their actions affecting each other), but that is pretty much forcing two different characters on every player and not just the two DMs.

    Posted in: Dungeon Masters Only
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    posted a message on Traveling Ideas

    Dungeon World has a similar system for travelling, which determines how fast you move ("pathfinder" role), who much provisions you spend ("provisioner") and how you can prepare for danger on the road ("watcher"). Failing your roll (or not having someone to fill that role, because each player can fill only one) means a longer travelling time, more rations needed or something bad happening (a wheel breaks, a mule runs away, you are surprised by bandits etc.).

    Posted in: Tips & Tactics
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    posted a message on Critical Role - Campaign 2 Discussion Thread
    Quote from AdmiralChry >>

    There were a lot of great moments throughout this episode! Having Ashley back was great, and I loved the test of strength for her from the Storm Lord.

    Side note: I did not watch Campaign one.

    Although I like to see Ashley coming back (because I like her as a person), I don't like Yasha being so stoic and dull. I have watched the Stream of Many Eyes from a few months ago (because of Deborah Ann Woll) and Ashley's Half Orc Cleric was as "uninspired" as Yasha. That's when I started to ask whether Pike from Campaign 1 was as uninteresting when watching Ashley play here.
    The other "guest stars" have done great characters so far (Twiggy was a blast) and Yasha looks so pale compared to them.

    But back on the episode:

    The Ukatoa plot has reached a point for me, where my interest has started to fade. I pay less and less attention to details and start to shake up locations of the "orbs" and the "seal/gate temples". Avantica used her orb at one temple, Fjord still has one orb in his chest, the third one is where? And the next temple?
    Matt Mercer has given us an update on the war in the Empire, which should be the next big plot to return to after a big show down with Fjord's arc in the next one or two sessions (?).
    I want to know more about Caleb's goals, Nott's plan to use a "powerful Caleb" for her own cause and Beau as a "secret agent".

    PS: if you have not seen the Nightmare before Critmas one shot, watch it. Over four hours of your lifetime well invested, IMHO.

    Posted in: Streams & Video
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    posted a message on Help woth town name

    I would make my Gnomish based on Latin, because it is a very technical language, so the Common "Three green hills" town, would be tribus viridi collis or "Tribiviricoll" in Gnomish. Dragonborn could call it "Emerald Hills" or perhaps after their victory over the giants "Giantsbane".

    Posted in: Homebrew & House Rules
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    posted a message on Celestial Warlock and Summon Greater Demon
    Quote from Bbeards13 >>

    The thing is, Summon Greater Demon has a chance for the demon to break free from your control, and start attacking whatever is nearby. It is a calculated risk. Generally speaking, a rogue Celestial isn't going to go off and attack the party if it breaks free from your control. 


    What about a being like "Justitia", the blind goddess of justice as inspiration? The celestial summon could simply not be able to "see" who is friend or foe and due to his "order" will smite everyone where it got summoned. It is not the decision of the being in that moment. It is the "sword" and not the hand that guides it.

    Posted in: Warlock
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    posted a message on Making Magical items

    Well, perhaps go for "interesting" rather than "fun" items?

    - "Item description": think about Daario Naharis from Game of Thrones, who has daggers with hilts shaped like naked women; you could also go for a historical weapon, like a "Langmesser" instead of a generic one handed sword (with the Messer having a Nagel at the cross guard providing addition protection for the backside of the hand)
    - "normal + enchanted = magical": You have a special flask blessed by Bacchus himself that turns wine into a healing potion if it is kept in the flask for a fortnight. The more expensive the wine is, the more potent the potion will be.
    - "hardly any combat value": A cloak that can change it colour once a day (but only provides a bonus to hide if you role play well at the DM's decision); A pot of cooking, that can boil water without the need of a camp fire or a hearth
    - an item with "personality": what about the shrunken head of a missionary the players take from the corpse of the shaman on a cannibalistic tribe? That thing actually talks and due to the wisdom and knowledge of the deceased person, it grants an advantage on Religion and History rolls. Of course "Father Brown" is a bit grumpy and wants to be treated well (like not be stuffed in a pocket all the time)  

    Posted in: Dungeon Masters Only
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    posted a message on Half Orc Parentage

    I have seen half-x races treated in these forms the past decades at my and other tables (it makes no difference between half elf or half orc here:
    - split parentage: mother is of one race, father of the other; this was reserved for rather rare occurrences with the half-races not very prominent in the world
    - "designed" race in the past: perhaps a bit controversial; In one case, the ancient Elves needed more soldiers to fight off a demonic prophecy and due to their slow phase of reaching adulthood, they took humans as their "second companion" for a limited time and had children that were trained for battle against the prophecy;
    - established mixed race society: the mixed race very much forms a cultural society over many generations, because they were isolated from the (mostly human dominated world). This is pretty much how the ethnicity of people in the Caribbean would be described today. They live in distant mountain valleys, on islands or in special parts of a large city. The parents would have a mixed heritage and anything between "a quarter this and three quarters that" would generally qualify for that type.

    The behaviour at your table is kind of disturbing for me.

    Posted in: Story & Lore
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    posted a message on Martial Spear - Home Brew

    Well, you could go with the Spear Mastery feat for pretty much what you want from a Hoplite to be. I personally find it a bit odd that the spear does not get a "reach" from the start for proficient use, but that's the odd rules of D&D 5e when it come to historical accuracy, I guess.
    From personal experience the ability to fight people at "kind of melee" range stops at a around seven feet (or perhaps eight, if you are tall). You can't shorten or change your grip to react to opponents getting past the point. This also applies to use single handed both over and under arm.
    The fighting power of Hoplites comes from their fight in formation (both from the spear and the shield that is specifically designed to cover the soldier to your left by the way it is held/strapped).

    PS: Hoplite spears grew longer and would be considered pikes during the Hellenistic period.

    Posted in: Homebrew & House Rules
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    posted a message on Armoured soldier reference (14th century footman kit)

    D&D is very much stuck in the 1970s "I know arms & armour from the movies" mode, even today (*eyes Studded Leather*) so I thought I could share my armour, and try to match it to some D&D rules and how your NPCs should be depicted in game.

    First, what can this picture represent: This is something a fighting footman in company of a knight (or low status nobleman) would wear in a fight (he is prepared for). The armour is "munitions grade", so in terms of the plated pieces not custom made for the soldier (or me in particular). The (chain) mail and padded cloak (or footman's gambeson, if you will) is fitted .
    Lets start from the bottom and work ourselves up to the top of the picture.

    - The boots are contemporary ones, but they have almost no heels or thick soles, which makes them as close as possible to medieval turn shoes. For going out to battle they would have leather soles, perhaps with some nails for grip (on grass, in fields and in the woods). They would be quite slippery on stone tiles and quite noisy (think about stealth checks in D&D or difficult terrain if you want to dash or take full movement on a polished marble floor of a temple or the duke's ball room)

    - The shin guards are mild steel and they cover the whole front of the lower leg. They are strapped to the leg by two leather straps each. Currently, they are not attached to the padded parts on the upper leg. this makes them quite uncomfortable when running and they would slow down movement. Cuts would be ineffective against this type of armour. Any stabbing attacks would most likely glance off to the side. Blunt force might deform the shin guards, but should not break bones. In D&D terms, those would be the cheapest plate armour thing you could get at an armourer or taken from a defeated foe. They work, but have some restrictions, because they are not made for you individually.

    - The "Diechlinge" protect the thighs. They are like some chaps made out of padding (not leather). Historically that padding would be layers of linen with horse hair padding in between. They are attached to a belt, so they weight is on the hips (the shin guards should be attached to them as well at the knee to get weight off the leg for better movement and walking speed. Since the padding overlaps with the coat, this provides good protection against cuts (so many layers of cloth and hair) and a decent protection against blunt force. This is vulnerable to piercing damage though, like arrows, spears and other pointy things. D&D rules are quite bad with body part protection. While the lower legs are in plate (which translates more to heavy armour), the upper part falls more into the light armour category. You have a very good flexibility and almost no movement restrictions in the complete leg armour. I would not impose any stealth disadvantages to this part of the kit.

    - The torso is protected by a gambeson with a chain shirt covering most of the torso and the upper arms. My shirt is butted mail, which would be the cheapest way to do it (but it is handmade by myself, which increases the emotional value to me). Good quality historical mail would be riveted. Padding and mail provide great protection against slashing damage and cutting, and decent protection against percussive weapons and piercing. Fitted mail doesn't dangle around like in cheap reproduction armour, where you can often see floppy sleeves. In D&D terms, this would be a medium armour, because you would always wear a gambeson or some arming jacked under the chain shirt for comfort. This is fine for temperatures between 10° and 15°. Fighting in this kit or summer times are horrible. You heat up a lot, you sweat a lot and you will lose a lot endurance if you don't drink enough to replace the loss.

    - The arms show some "poor man's" compromise armour. The vambraces on the forearm are stripes of metal riveted on a leather backing. This is more effective than mail, but less effective than a full plate canon. It can be fitted to the arm very tightly though and also serves as a protection of the inner side of the arm, if you shoot a powerful bow. The hourglass gauntlets are a bit too wide for me (you can see that in my right hand holding the sword), but would be some "pick up part" from the battlefield, if your knight would allow you to keep it. Those simple gauntlets protect the wrists very well (without any articulation in the gauntlet), but leaves the fingers exposed. Taking a look at that from a D&D perspective, I would rate this section of the armour as medium again, because you have such a mix of types on the arm and the elbow has no protection except the gambeson. You could wield a spear (most likely the weapon of choice for the footman), a side arm as a backup (like the arming sword in the picture) or a dagger. You would not use javelins, bows or a crossbow with this. The rigid design of the hourglass gloves interferes a lot with precise body mechanics. The unexpected elephant in the room in terms of disadvantages is the noise the gauntlets make. You knock them into other parts of the armour, the hilt of the sword when carried and into each other a lot.

    - Head protection. You have three layers again: a padded coif, a coif made out of chain mail and a kettle helmet. This is where the armour composition really is focused on the role of the foot soldier. The greatest threat than can come unexpected is ballistic missile fire and mounted foes hitting you from above. The rim of the kettle helmet provides excellent protection against these types of attack and your shoulders have two layers of padding and chain to protect you. The open face is a problem and would be addressed with either a flap covering the lower face or a plated piece of armour strapped to the neck covering the throat. I prefer visibility and the ability to breathe (and everyone who has every worn armour knows why). D&D rules pay no attention to the helmet being the first piece of armour a soldier would probably get. The head and face are perhaps the most vulnerable parts of the body and even a small cut, e.g. on the forehead will make you lose your vision, when blood trickles into your eyes.

    Some rule shenanigans that came to my mind I wanted to add now:
    - It takes a very long time to get into the armour (you start from the bottom and you work yourself upwards). 1 minute for just donning the padded coat might be doable. 5 min for a medium set is impossible, even with help. all those buckles and things that need to be tied (twenty on my set) take a lot of time. It would be worse with a full plate armour set, which might not even possible alone (that's why you had squires)
    - Standing up from prone position in medium or heavy armour is difficult not only because of the extra weight, but because the center of gravity is shifted upwards a lot. It is very easy in the rules

    If you have conquered the wall of text, I hope you liked this as some background information for you NPCs or armoured player characters.

    Posted in: Arts & Crafts
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