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    posted a message on Lore bard - can't add new spell

    That wasn't quite it - it was a confluence of events dealing with having this character since just after the beta. A lot of changes have been made to how spells are handled via magic items and so on and so forth. I had a few spells in my spell list that were due to my having a magic item early on (which didn't add to your character in those days, you had to enter the spells in) which I had forgotten to clear out once the Magic Item-spell actions syncing was implemented.

    Add to this the fact that apparently since the last time I leveled the character up and now, they changed the Bard's Spell Management to not show Magical Secret spells anymore - not entirely a good move, as this makes it more difficult for a Bard to unlearn and retrain his magical secrets spell for a Bard if he desires at later levels (I believe you now have to so by actually going into the Manage Levels section and changing out the spells in the relevant levels, which still lists all the non-Bard spells without any tags as to spell source, so you'll have to have another tab open).

    Tl;dr: not broken, just changed from what I had been used to for the past year and a half.

    Posted in: Bugs & Support
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    posted a message on Lore bard - can't add new spell

    As of this recent last log in, my lore bard isn't able to learn his new spell. He's got 16/15 with the exclamation point next to it, but he's always had that as his Lore bard early Magical Secrets ability gives him two extra spells known over the regular bard. This is the first time I've run into a problem adding spells to him.

    https://www.dndbeyond.com/profile/Gwalxavad/characters/486067

    Posted in: Bugs & Support
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    posted a message on Encounter Builder - Feedback & Development Alpha Information
    • Let us know how you use / modify official encounters for your home games.

    So, since I was typing on my phone earlier, I completely forgot to reply to this one - 

    At the moment I have three homebrew campaigns going that published adventures don't exactly fit.. That said, as a Legendary Bundle owner, I often look at the published adventures for inspiration. I might not run the entire adventure, but I might lift certain aspects that fit within my storyline. This can vary between certain mechanics and moods- I have one group using Tomb of Annihilation exploration rules with a more Curse of Strahd Gothic (Southern Gothic in this case) setting, I have another group that was delving into a Tiamat like cult, so used episode 4 of Rise of Tiamat as an  idea/easy encounter layout. I also look forward to running the Waterdeep series mostly as is once we wrap up one of the current campaigns - and so I've been thinking about how I use/modify official encounters.

    The main thing is, I know published adventures are supposed to be run for 4-5 players. I run between 6-8 players in each game. So I'll plug the encounters from the published adventures into Kobold Fight Club  and use the automation from that site to determine what the expected difficulty of that encounter is with what the published source tells me is the desired level of adventurers. Then I'll plug in my adventurers and adjust the number of enemies to match the difficulty. If I think the enemies in the adventure are too stale given the higher numbers I might throw in a few creatures of a similar CR or one thematically similar creature of a higher CR to balance things out. The same philosophy would apply if I were trying to run a party of 2-3 through the adventure, just scaled down instead of up.

    Speaking for myself, as a DM, the main thing I want to know whether running a published or completely brand spanking new encounter is just how hard is this encounter going to be on my players, all things being equal.

    Posted in: Encounter Builder Feedback
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    posted a message on Encounter Builder - Feedback & Development Alpha Information

    So, to answer "

    • Let us know what you are looking for when making or running an encounter."

    Look at Kobold fight Club. It's got a great feature set for building encounters without violating WotC's trademarks- xp difficulty thresholds, environment, creature type, and so on. What DnD Beyond can bring to the table is the ability to save encounters, instantly list monster stats, and basically provide an at a glance view of everything that's needed during a fight. 

    I understand some users want to be able to import player characters over from their campaigns, which is great - but also have an ability to select just the number of PCs and their level(s) for the builder. 

    And 

    • Let us know how you currently build encounters for your home game.

     

    At the moment my DM prep workflow for tabletop encounters looks like this: Go to Kobold Fight Club, balance out an encounter to the desired difficulty for my number of players and their level, come back to DnDBeyond and input the monsters into one of the extensions that's been published by other users (such as d&d Toolbox or Beyond Help) to view stats and the like. Then I throw monster names into Improved Initiative and I'm ready for the evening. 

    Online games are slightly different- it's just Kobold Fight Club and then go to roll20 - though I have been keeping DnDBeyond open in another tab(s) to quickly view monster stats without cluttering up my map space. 

    Being able to do everything via just this site would be an immense help (and Chrome will stop being angry at me for the number of tabs extensions I run!) - especially if all the built encounter information can be viewed on one page. For monsters I would highly suggest displaying a small tooltip statblock and then a pop out like the creatures section of the Character viewer.

    Posted in: Encounter Builder Feedback
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    posted a message on Which virtual tabletop should I use?
    Quote from MarkSkarr >>

    Gwalxavad said:

    As far as the modules go, yeah, purchasing there can speed up the set-up time a little (I really don't use modules, so can't say too much) - but it's still a lot faster to save the player version of a map from DnDBeyond, import it into roll20, set up with Fog of War (for the free version) or Dynamic Lighting than it is to assemble a set of dungeon tiles, minis, and so on and so forth.

     

    It doesn't take too much time to set up a player version of a map from D&D Beyond in TTS.  And, if like me, you have a persistent table you use from session to session, you can already have all the figures you're going to need and can just copy/paste them and put them where you want them.  Fog of war, still working on, but, fortunately, my players can firewall that sort of thing.

     

     

    Heh - I should have specified - I meant tiles and such at an actual physical table. Especially if, like me, you game elsewhere other than your home. Setup time could take quite a while if I cared all that much - I generally use Theater of the Mind when playing real life, though do have an erasable map, tiles (and now 3d printed tiles- I love this thing!), and minis for things like big set pieces. Most of the time, any smaller battle logistics questions are solved using a spare dice rolling tray and spare dice.

    I haven't used TTS to be able to compare the experience of that versus Roll20, but my online group tends to get complacent when already familiar with tools (I could never convince them to try out the Syrinscape remote player).

    Posted in: Dungeon Masters Only
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    posted a message on Which virtual tabletop should I use?
    Quote from Guak953 >>

    Thanks for all the suggestions in this thread. 

    I did some research into some of the options available that were suggested.  As far as I can tell for VTT apps there's only two that are licensed D&D games that also support other licenses.  They are Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds.  From what I can tell even though both offer free play it's a limited account and you won't be able to really enjoy the full games for D&D.  You'll still have to purchase the virtual books to get the most out of the software or play with someone who has a higher tier account (and the books).  While you could build your own game, purchasing the licensed campaign modules speeds up the setup time for your campaign.  These licensed VTT are not compatible with one another so if you play from on one you'd have to repurchase the licensed books on the other.  D&D Beyond purchases are not compatible with either software.  Both apps don't appear to use 3D models or animations (I could be wrong).   That's pretty much the gist of what I understand for those two apps.  

    Tabletop Simulation seems to be really flexible.  It is supported by the Steam Workshop so there are tons of "free" add-ons you could get to support the game.  Some of the purchased models are animated.  D&D Beyond is compatible because Tabletop Simulation is exactly like playing on a real tabletop.  It's all in 3D and the system requirements aren't very high end.  There will be more setup time because there aren't any licensed Wizard of the Coast D&D modules to buy.  Tabletop Simulation is 20 dollars on Steam right now (Jan 2019).  I think you could also play in VR too, but I'm not entirely sure.  Also, I don't know if there's a really good way to do Fog of War in TTS.  

     

    I can't speak to Fantasy Grounds, but I can to Roll20 - you don't need to have purchased the books or have a full subscription to play with others who do. I pay for the Pro tier subscription and everyone who plays in my campaigns gets access to all the features I have like dynamic lighting and can all see the content I've personally purchased. I can even set up a game and assign DM to someone else and as long as the game itself was started by me, they have access to all my cool toys.

    As far as the modules go, yeah, purchasing there can speed up the set-up time a little (I really don't use modules, so can't say too much) - but it's still a lot faster to save the player version of a map from DnDBeyond, import it into roll20, set up with Fog of War (for the free version) or Dynamic Lighting than it is to assemble a set of dungeon tiles, minis, and so on and so forth.

    That said, it's really only useful (in my opinion) as a way of playing online with a VTT. If you're playing a home game and just want to display a map on a monitor, there are a lot of better options which are all free- such as MapTools.

    Posted in: Dungeon Masters Only
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    posted a message on Beyond Help Chrome Extension

    So, wow! This one tool helps a lot with with cutting down on my transferring published adventures to OneNote. Mad props, man!

    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Newish DM needs answer to Leomund's Tiny Hut

    Really, the Hut is intended to stop random encounters during the night - or at least ensure the characters stay safe enough to get their 8 hour long rest before having to deal with any creatures smart enough to say, camp out beside the Hut.

    The strategies DMGorani posted above would work, but they're not something I'd recommend doing often. Use them sparingly, at dramatically appropriate moments (oh, gods, they've got spellcasters! It's getting real guys). Done too often, it makes the players feel like they've wasted a spell (in the case of a ritual like Tiny Hut, either a page in a spell book, or even worse a spell known). That creates a game where the focus becomes players trying to outwit the DM instead of characters trying to outwit specific enemies or situations.

    Posted in: Dungeon Masters Only
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    posted a message on How to print maps

    After you click on a map to open it in either Chrome or Firefox, right click and select "open image in new tab". Right click on the image in the new tab  and select "save image as". BAM! It is now downloaded and you can take it to Staples. 

    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Exp for Absent Players

    My online group doles out encounter xp and roleplay xp at the end of each session (about enough xp for a medium encounter for the highest level in the party, though we go up to hard and deadly if the group had some stellar rp that night). We usually designate someone to run the character in combat if we have an absent player. We give encounter xp to the character, while rp xp goes to the players present. We've found this helps keep characters close in level and not "punish" people who have life interfere, while rewarding people who show up.

    My real life table does milestone leveling.

    Posted in: Dungeon Masters Only
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    posted a message on Trends among DM's.

    Heh. As a DM, I *love* the Lucky feat. My players tend to roll really awesome in combat and social interactions (and yes Persuasion/Deception/Intimidation checks are your friend - RP is great and all, but lets get some mechanics to back it up. If you do really well in the RP portion, that's what the Advantage mechanic is for!) without the Feat but tend to fail the most when it comes to Exploration - Perception, Investigation, Survival, History, Nature, Religion - the most optimized characters for these rolls almost always tend to hit at least 1 below the DC. Have all the Luck you need!

    That said, there is a statistically unbelievable number of times a player at my table with the Lucky feat tends to roll the exact same number they rolled before. 

    Posted in: Dungeon Masters Only
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    posted a message on Trends among DM's.
    Quote from BHVI >>

    Personally, I'm happy to bend the rules if it will make the players experience more enjoyable. 

    I personally see D&D as a sort of social event, but with a common goal and purpose in mind. For that reason, I think limiting what players can do (outside of letting them break the game just for the sake of breaking the game, and then not saying 'okay, yeah, this is too much, sorry but I cant allow that') is rather pointless. The memories you make with a group of friends is WAY more important to me than following rules that are almost made to be modified, tweaked, and improved to whoever is at the tables liking. 

     I will *definitely* agree with this to a large degree. That said, I think the one thing to keep in mind is that D&D *is* a game. By all means, establish ground rules with players. Feel free to adjust said rules as play goes on. Make sure everyone is having fun. Allow RP opportunities for those who love RP. Allow mechanical opportunities to those who love systems. Be all things to everyone.

    But, above all be transparent. Let everyone know which house rules are in effect. Use the mechanics in favor of the game. When you set a DC beforehand, stick to it, while letting your players do whatever they can to beat it. Failure makes just as good a story as success- sure, you wanted an info dump on that DC 10 History check, but the player rolled a 1. You can make it up later somehow, while also giving a good in-scenario story effect ("punishment") for the failure.

    This might be controversial, but roll in the open as a DM. Your players will feel it that much more when the boss rolls a 9 but stills hits a 20. Sure, the paladin getting hit while wearing plate mail is always eye opening. But really, having your player seeing the low roll, doing the calculation, and knowing how screwed they really are? Priceless. AND even better when they manage to take the guy down despite all reason.

    DCs, dice, randomness? They are your friends. Playing by the rules is a great playstyle when everyone knows what those rules are. Greedily keeping all info behind the screen and looking for ways to screw players over is a sure road to a bad campaign - as is giving them everything on a silver platter and "fudging" in their favor. They know when they roll a 2 and you still give them stuff (excluding higher level proficiencies and expertise, in which case, roll with the greatness they have achieved).

    Table Top RPGs are unique. They are a constantly instanced version of a game, using the greatest processor evolution has developed. Mechanics *are* important for making the game an actual game. The DM is there to to shape that into a story.

    Posted in: Dungeon Masters Only
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    posted a message on [Mega-Thread] Character Sheet Revamp Feedback

    I'm going to have to chime in with others about the "improved" mobile version of the site. I tend to get a lot of brand-new-to-D&D (or to 5e) players at my table as "guest stars" who might sit in a session for a game or two. Used to be I'd just create the character in desktop then take along my tablet(s) for them to use as a character sheet. The ability to swipe between screens  made navigating much easier for them than the current button navigation the revamp system uses. A new player might not have any idea if something I ask them for is going to be a feature, or ability, etc, and the new button navigation could be overwhelming. One of those newer players has joined my table more permanently and uses his phone for his sheet, so this is no minor quibble I'll only run into once every few weeks.

    The desktop version of the layout is stellar. I'm really enjoying it. That said, I'm also probably joining a round of choruses (this thread was 30 pages when I started this) about missing info that should really be included on the sheet - Things like current sneak attack dice for Rogues is currently missing (or at least I'm not able to find it on a cursory overview of the character sheet, which is just as bad).

    The PDF export so far is a *huge* improvement. Part of the reason I was taking my tablet for guest players was because the old PDF export was near useless- whatever time was saved building the character in DnDBeyond was lost going over the PDF and editing it to make the darn thing actually make sense. This is something I can actually print out for a player and have a good expectation that more veteran players will be able to glance at and be reminded what abilities they have on call and the newer players will actually have a usable resource that the other players at the table can help them navigate. The page reference in the Features & Traits sections and Spells is a very nice touch!

    All in all, you guys have done a great job on getting this update out- I haven't been this excited about DnDBeyond since it left Beta and we could actually start using non-SRD info in the character builder!

    Posted in: D&D Beyond Feedback
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    posted a message on Trends among DM's.

    Bleh. There should only be one reason for banning something as being OP - not because it's going to overpower your precious encounters, but because it runs roughshod over other players (the reason I ban the last Mystic UA - it made other players playing other classes feel superfluous at lower levels).

    That said, Feats are optional rules. If I'm running a game with new players,  I'll disallow feats for the first ASI until the players have more of a basic grasp on their own class, racial abilities, and backgrounds. 

    Posted in: Dungeon Masters Only
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    posted a message on Tome of Foes release time?

    Yay! Any reason it's not showing up in the Compendium section?

    Posted in: General Discussion
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