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    posted a message on Verbal and Somatic components

    My games have a baseline assumption that spellcasting is obvious. Anyone watching or listening knows that you are doing something magical.

    The goddess of magic is vain. She wants to see and hear your devotion to the magister's art.

    Want to hide spellcasting? Use silence or darkness or multiclass into sorcerer.

    Posted in: Rules & Game Mechanics
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    posted a message on Half Orc with a GreatSword ?
    Quote from Cporter5 >>

    so basically if you are a half orc you are nerfing yourself by using a great sword ? 

     Yes.

    The mechanic is there to encourage the trope of barbarians and axes.

     

    Posted in: Rules & Game Mechanics
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    posted a message on What alignment would an honourable barbarian be?

    Here's my take on it:

    Good/Evil is about what lines you are willing to cross.

    Imagine a personal honour code of "I don't let foes escape from my rage."

    A good barbarian might chase foes, but abandon the chase when it gets dangerous for onlookers and innocents. An evil barbarian might continue chasing, not caring about collateral damage.

    Both of them can justifiably describe themselves as "honourable".

    Posted in: Tips & Tactics
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    posted a message on Taking the "Hide" action during combat?
    Quote from David42 >>
    It only states that if you are unseen and unheard (as determined by passing a stealth check) then you are hidden from that particular opponent and someone yelling about where you are does not, in any way, affect your stealth status relative to the first foe.

    On the other hand, common sense and the English language say that you aren't hidden from someone who knows exactly where you are.

     

    Posted in: Rules & Game Mechanics
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    posted a message on Ideas on how to handle PCs who constantly steamroll encounters

    Escort Quest!

    Mouahahahahahaha.

    For extra evilness, make the escorted character(s) suicidally stupid and/or curious.

     

    Posted in: Dungeon Masters Only
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    posted a message on Taking the "Hide" action during combat?
    Quote from DMThac0 >>

    1: Rogue: I run behind that wall and hide.

    If the NPC can see behind the wall then the rogue cannot attempt to hide. The NPC knows exactly where the rogue is (which is, you know, the opposite of hiding).

    If the NPC can't see behind the wall and therefore can't see the position of the rogue then the rogue can attempt to hide. The attempt includes trying to move silently, trying to not raise dust or disturb foliage, etc. If the rogue's player's DEX\Stealth roll beats the GM's WIS\Perception roll then the rogue is actually hidden (as per the game condition). 

    In this case the NPC doesn't know anything more specific than "the rogue is behind the wall somewhere, maybe, they might have moved, I'm not sure." 

    Quote from DMThac0 >>

    2: Rogue: I run into the building and hide inside, I'll snipe from a window. 

     

    Again, if the NPC can see inside the building (e.g. blindsight, scrying) then the rogue cannot attempt to hide.

    If the NPC can't see then the rogue can attempt to hide, as above. 

    Quote from DMThac0 >>

    3: Rogue: I dive into the shadows, they're all human so they can't see me in the dark. 

    If the NPC can see the rogue (maybe they have truesight or darkvision from a spell or race) then the rogue can't attempt to hide.

    If there is only one shadow and no way to move out of it without being observed, then the rogue cannot attempt to hide because the NPC knows exactly where the rogue is. They would get the benefits of being unseen but not hidden.

    If there are lots of shadows then the rogue can attempt to hide. As always, the attempt might be automatically successful or require a contested roll depending on circumstances (rule 0 of RPGs).

    Quote from DMThac0 >>

     All three situations would, in your game, completely negate the hide action because at least one npc could see and call out the position of the player who is trying to hide?

    If that's the case, and all creatures are assumed to have 360 degree vision at all times, how does one successfully hide in your game?

     Not at all. You are using a strawman fallacy.

    What I am saying is:

    If an observer knows exactly where you are then you can't attempt hide from that observer. Hidden means that the observer either doesn't know your location or doesn't know you are even there at all. Being hidden is more than just being unseen.

    Additionally, if you are hidden from one foe but not hidden from another then the second foe will try to tell the first foe where you are. If they can do this then you are no longer hidden.

    Posted in: Rules & Game Mechanics
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    posted a message on I aim the fireball above the monster's head

    In my games, circles are squares and everything either fills a square or leaves it empty. It makes things faster but loses some tactics (for example, the tactic above wouldn't work).

    I games where it does work, I have to ask, why are you doing this? Targeting a fireball so that it only hits one target is a waste of an area of effect spell. Why not just hit the target with an 3rd-level chromatic orb or magic missile? Why not just nudge it with a burning sphere?

    Posted in: Rules & Game Mechanics
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    posted a message on Taking the "Hide" action during combat?
    Quote from DMThac0 >>
    Quote from David42 >>

    There is nothing in the rules that says you can't be hidden from some creatures and not from others so taking a hide action to be hidden from one creature is not prevented by being in line of view of a team mate.

     

    Combatants talk. If you are hidden from one kobold but not another, a shout of "rogue's behind that wall" means you are not hidden from either.

     That's an interesting view, and does definitely create a circumstance where a creature's position may be given away, however does that mean the information is accurate? Does that mean they are no longer hidden from view? Does that mean they are no longer unheard?

     

    What I was meaning was if the Rogue was not hidden from some foes.

    For example, the rogue ducks behind a wall and stealthily moves to the other end, successfully hiding from the goblins on the other side of the wall. However, there is a goblin on this side of the wall, who can clearly see the rogue. It yells to its mates, "The rogue is behind the wall near the far end!" with the result that rogue is now hidden from no-one.

    The rogue does have cover from the first two goblins, so ducking behind the wall did have some benefit. However, when she pops up to take a bowshot at the goblins, she wont have advantage from hiding.

    Posted in: Rules & Game Mechanics
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    posted a message on Taking the "Hide" action during combat?
    Quote from David42 >>

    There is nothing in the rules that says you can't be hidden from some creatures and not from others so taking a hide action to be hidden from one creature is not prevented by being in line of view of a team mate.

     

    Combatants talk. If you are hidden from one kobold but not another, a shout of "rogue's behind that wall" means you are not hidden from either.

    Posted in: Rules & Game Mechanics
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    posted a message on Use Object Action Vs. Interact with Environment.

    I rule that the "free object interaction" can only be used for quick, simple actions. Draw a sword. Close a door. Grab a potion bottle from a belt loop. Stuff food in your mouth. Uncork a wine bottle with your teeth.

    Things that require care and concentration require an Action. Sheathing a sword (without stabbing yourself). Closing a door quietly. Putting something down on the ground so that it doesn't break (which covers the firepot example above). Grab a potion from a satchel or pouch. Drink a potion (which is a specific Action of Use a Magic Item). Eat food without making a mess. Put the cork back in a bottle.

     

     

    Posted in: Rules & Game Mechanics
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    posted a message on Deceiving your players

    I ran a game many years ago where I came at this from a slightly different angle. I sat down with the players and said, "Right, we are going to conspire against your characters." All of us players knew the betrayal was coming, but the characters didn't. 

    Essentially, I was challenging the players' ability to roleplay. All of them rose to the challenge and the game went really well.

    Up to and including the end, where most the PCs died in the betrayal. When I gave the players the choice to decide characters' fates, they decided that it would be a better game if the PCs didn't realise the deception until the end. 

    Posted in: Dungeon Masters Only
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    posted a message on I don’t understand WIS saving throws

    From the PHB.

    Wisdom reflects how attuned you are to the world around you and represents perceptiveness and intuition.

     

    A Wisdom saving throw is looking at an illusion and noticing inconsistencies, or intuitively knowing someone's true motives, or perceiving a hidden agenda.

    A foe casts phantasmal killer at you. With a successful Wisdom save, you notice, "hey, that monster isn't casting a shadow, maybe its not real and I don't have to be frightened."

    A foe casts charm person at you. With a successful save you intuit, "hey, this person isn't actually my friend!"

    A foe casts polymorph at you. With a successful save, you use your connection with the world around you to resist this unnatural thing happening to your body.

    Posted in: Dungeon Masters Only
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    posted a message on Taking the "Hide" action during combat?
    Quote from Tim >>

    Yes, but tall grass is easy to hide behind and so is thick underbrush in a forest. 

    Tall grass and thick undergrowth is also very good at obstructing vision. If the rogue is far enough away that the foe can't track them by the movement of the top of the grass then they are far enough away that they are unable to attack the foe.

    This is why the Wild Elf feature is so useful. They can hide and attack in situations where no-one else can.

    Posted in: Rules & Game Mechanics
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    posted a message on Taking the "Hide" action during combat?
    Quote from mrgeners >>

    I've read the rules up and down but I can't find anything specifically saying this isn't possible. Can you really just hide during combat whenever you want RAW? 

    It depends on whether the character can actually hide. The Hide Action is not a button you push to magically become hidden. The character has to get out of sight of every foe (you can't hide from just some of them because the others will tell their allies), they have to be able to move somewhere else unseen, and they have to be able to do it stealthily (no carrying a magical glowing sword!).

    For example, if a rogue ducks behind a tree, I rule that they aren't hidden. Everyone knows where they are. "The archer is over there, behind that tree!"

    If, however, they duck behind a wall then move along the wall intending to pop up somewhere else, they are hidden. "The archer's behind that wall! Ow, no, they are over there now arrgghh!"

     Finally, the character still has to roll a DEX (stealth) ability check contested against WIS (Perception) checks from each and everyone else.

    As an aside, if the rogue does hide, and then gets taken out, they better not be expecting a ranged healing spell...

    Posted in: Rules & Game Mechanics
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    posted a message on Player betrayed party Lost Mines of Phandelver
    Quote from JCAUDM >>

    …you need to have a discussion about whether this type of action broadly is cool to have in your group…

    QFT. The usual assumption of RPGs is that the player characters are the heroes of the story. If one of the players is breaking this then it's time to make sure everyone at the table (including the GM!) is OK.

    If the answer is "yes" then go for it. 

    If the answer is "no" then the player of the barbarian needs to modify their actions or retire that character and create a new one that is going to work for everyone at the table.

    Advice for those of you thinking of starting a game: situations like this are what Session 0 is for.

    Posted in: Dungeon Masters Only
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