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    posted a message on Poll: Campaign Books in D&D Beyond vs. Physical

    I've moved to digital. My print books sit on my shelf, even though I host the game. Why? A combination of:

    1. I don't like carrying around all the physical books I'd need to run the game. All I need is my laptop -- which I have, anyway, because I use an initiative tracking tool.
    2. It's easier to open 15 tabs in my browser for monster stats, etc. than to flip around in a physical book.
    3. I want my shelf space back. Also, I've realized I keep almost nothing with each change of editions. When 6E eventually comes out, I'll either move on or switch systems, in all likelihood. There's a 35+ year block of evidence to support that. So, "what about 20 years from now?" isn't really a thing.
    4. I don't really use much in the way of third-party stuff from the DMs Guild or elsewhere. What little I do use falls within the currently permitted ability for custom content. The exceptions are, frustratingly, the UA Ranger and a home brew Artificer (the UA one sucks).

    What would change my mind?

    1. If "errata" becomes a "living rule set" like with late 3.5 (polymorph, I'm looking at you) or the WotC digital offering for 4E. Fixing typos and adding clarity is one thing, but the rules I'm using should functionally match what my player is using from his physical, first printing PHB. If I ever find something (other than UA and the like) where that player actually has different rules than mine, we're done, on the spot. Of course, if WotC is going to do that to the rules, it's not just DDB that I'm done with. I'll pull out my physical books and use those, if I don't just walk away from 5E because I'm not dealing with actual rules changes mid-edition.
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Naming your characters?

    Depends. I seem to have a natural feel for phonology, so I usually just read or listen to a bunch of words in the native language (or closest Earth analog) and throw something out that "sounds right". That was fun when we were playing Mage: the Ascension and needed true names for Khemetan, Gaelic, and Latin magi. I'm sure native speaks would cringe, but I get it close enough for game atmosphere.

    If I'm in a hurry, feeling lazy, or just dealing with a horde of NPCs, I'll use a generator. Right now, the best I've found is here: http://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/ and we used it for the pseudo-Japanese names in the current campaign because I can't quite get the hang of Eastern linguistics.

    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Why do people use fake accounts?

    On previous PbP boards, I've known folks who'd create a new account for each character. To them, it was part of "putting on the costume". While I don't normally follow that practice, I have done it. I've also seen where the PbP account ended up getting slowly more OOC and became the "normal" account.

    If none of those fit your question, then I don't have a good answer. Based on the number of folks who seem to be missing your point, I suspect there's some context that isn't being shared. I don't know if that's purely innocent or whether you're fishing for ammo for something -- or just trolling someone in particular. Don't take that as an accusation. It's more just letting you know that without clarification, it's going to start looking a lot less like option #1.

    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Character Sheet: Manually track Hit Dice on short rest?

    I was referring to the web app (i.e. online character sheet). Sorry for the confusion.

    Now I'm super confused, too. I would absolutely swear that it was rolling dice for the player, Friday. Now, I see the same behavior you're describing, where it's all manual. I have no clue what we were doing, but it was, clearly, user error.

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

    Posted in: Bugs & Support
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    posted a message on Character Sheet: Manually track Hit Dice on short rest?

    My group has a pretty strong stance on "digital dice". They're bad in almost all cases.

    When trying to take a short rest, a player had rolled her hit dice and checked them off in the app and completed the short rest. The app automatically adjusted her hit points, which was somewhat annoying when she'd already been fighting with electronics most of the day (not gaming related). Even if she wanted to have the app roll for her, having to choose the number of dice all at once is counter to the actual rules, which allow you to roll one die, record the results, roll another dice, record the results, etc. Just a list of boxes is fine, if the player is rolling. If the app is rolling, each check should show the result independently.

    Am I missing something in the app for a better UX? This actually brought Friday's game to a halt as the three IT guys each took a turn looking at the app trying to figure out the "right" way of doing Hit Dice during a short rest. No one could figure out a way that wasn't clunky.

    Posted in: Bugs & Support
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    posted a message on Revised Ranger
    Quote from Grizzlebub >>

    I'm pretty sure the UA Ranger is lost to the bowls of the UA Nine Hells. They made it clear that they feel as though most people are only really unsatisfied with the Beast Conclave than with the entire class in general. As such I'd expect just a revised Beast Conclave before anything else.

    Not to get into "bad wrong fun", but I'd still prefer to see animal companions attached to Druid, not Ranger. So, I haven't done any comparison on the Beast archetype (not a fan of the word "conclave", either, since Rangers are loners, not part of secret societies). There really isn't any practical difference between the Hunter paths, though.

    As I indicated, above, the biggest improvement I see with the UA Ranger is in how they changed Natural Explorer -- the advantage to initiative and extra attack at the start of combat perfectly evokes the Ranger's ambush tactics without being overpowered or just being a Sneak Attack clone. I also like Favored Enemy doing a bit of extra damage instead of being little more than a ribbon, but I could live, either way.

    Those are both things that really don't impact any calculated stats, show up as new "actions" or the like, they'd be easy enough to represent as modified text on the sheet. Right now, the Ranger is the only PC in our group that can't be built in DDB. If it was one of the veteran players, I'd probably just tell them to remember to take the ambush attack and add the damage to favored enemies. Since it's my teenage daughter, who is still trying to remember to cast hunter's mark before attacking, I don't want anything inaccurate on her sheet -- so I'm helping her with a form-fillable PDF.

    Posted in: Bugs & Support
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    posted a message on Revised Ranger

    Regardless of the status at WotC, I'd still love to figure out how to make it work as home brew in DDB. The important parts (IMO) are changing the wording for Favored Enemy and Natural Explorer. Neither one really add anything that needs to get included in calculations, just notes on the sheet.

    Is there a way to have a subclass remove or override a feature of a base class? I'd be fine with creating a "UA Hunter" subclass, and moving on.

    Posted in: Bugs & Support
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    posted a message on Adding spell list access to a subclass

    That wasn't it, but the example did show me what I needed. Apparently, what I was doing just granted a single additional spell to the PC, when the feature is gained. I didn't notice because this is handled when the character is in "edit mode" while just picking normally granted spells is easier in "view mode". Instead, I needed to use the fields in the Basic Information section of the main subclass page, which automatically twists up after you leave and return to that page.

    So, I got it working. Thanks for the link.

    Posted in: Bugs & Support
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    posted a message on Adding spell list access to a subclass

    This one is probably user error, but I just can't figure it out....

    A have a player who made a PC with a UA version of Divine/Favored Soul, and he thinks it'd change his character too much to switch to the publish version. No worries. I'll just add the subclass into DDB and go.

    I can't get the Cleric spell list to show up for him to choose his known spells. I've tried a bunch of variations in the "Spells" area of my "Divine Magic" class ability, but to no avail. Help!

    Posted in: Bugs & Support
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    posted a message on Bag of Holding = Accidental Death Trap?

    A bag of holding is pretty much just a big Santa Claus bag (at least it was in 1E and I've never shaken that image). There's also no magically summoning something by reaching in with your hand. It's clearly bigger on the inside and you need to rummage around to find it. It's best used to just throw in all the assorted crap you find in the dungeon and then dump it in the inn room/hideout when you get done. If you turn it upside down, stuff falls out. If you look in it, it's not real clear what you see, but I'd lean towards a bag-sized window with whatever the most recent loot added visible on top and just far enough down to make it make sense to bunch up the top and wrap some cord around it. Anyway, I digress...

    I have a hard time imagining a way for Ireena to get into the bag without either dumping the hag, showing her corpse, or just plain stepping on her -- maybe if they had a ton of coins tossed in on top, but I've run CoS and money really isn't a thing. I'm also at a loss as to why the PCs think it's safer to stick their "damsel in distress" in a bag with a fiendish witch  than any other means of disguise -- not a cuddle I'd volunteer for. So, I think it's logical that the PCs will notice the corpse before Ireena gets in. But, players come up with the darnedest things, so I try not to think too hard. Watch what the players do with the bag and narrate accordingly.

    Posted in: Dungeon Masters Only
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    posted a message on Eberron: The World That We Won't Forget.

     

    Quote from Wolfmind77 >>

    A question for all you Ebberon fans, and forgive me if it's already been answered...

    If one of the new settings being revealed later this year is not Ebberon, how (under the current books and RAW) would you simulate one of the "Children of Winter" druids?

    Would it be a new Druid circle, has someone published one under the Homebrew classes, or is there a way to simulate this with current rules?

     
    Looking at the 3E feats for Child of Winter, they just gave vermin-related abilities for shape-shifting and animal companion. The former doesn't really change the power level, so I'd hand-wave it, and the latter is rather moot for 5E.
    The most dead-simple way to emulate CoW for 5E is to take the UA Circle of Spores and reflavor it a bit. I think the bonus spells are fine. If you change "fungal" and "spores" to some variation of "shadow" or "necrotic" in all the class abilities, they largely still make sense. Even the Symbiotic Entity is just a glorified false life and smite combo.
    If it makes you feel better, you could create a "Circle of Winter" sub-class based on Spores and tidy up the wording a bit. If you do that, I'd probably look to replace Fungal Infection with something else. I get that the CoW play with the dark side of nature, but zombies seem a bit too far. (Note, I've never actually used CoW in a game, so I might be missing something with the theme.)
    Posted in: Story & Lore
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    posted a message on Eberron: The World That We Won't Forget.
    Quote from kristianserrano >>
     We're specifically avoiding it for a number of reasons, but primarily because we don't want WotC to put us in their crosshairs.
     
     <snip/>

     

    That makes sense and I kinda suspected it might be along those lines. Here's my feedback, then:

    1) I put some miles on my car and tend to fill the time with podcasts. There are several where I think, "I hope those ads give them enough money to keep this up." Yours is one of just a couple that I think, "Wow. I'd be willing to just flat-out hand them money to make sure they can keep going." (FWIW, the Mike Duncan "History of Rome" and "Revolutions" are the other.)

    2) If I ever end up at a con or something where one of you guys happen to be, dinner or the first round of drinks is on me. I appreciate the quality work y'all do and it's a lot of fun to listen to. Thanks.

    Posted in: Story & Lore
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    posted a message on Eberron: The World That We Won't Forget.

     

    Quote from kristianserrano >>

    Just a heads up, we ran into some conflicts with scheduling, and we're trying for next week to record. Hopefully that'll mean two episodes in October.

     Yeah, this is an old post to quote, but it's relevant....
    I love Manifest Zone and would love to help keep it going. Have you guys considered using Patreon or otherwise monetizing it?
    I'm sure you're all doing it because you love the setting. But, having it fund the occasional game accessory (or, at least break even on the cost of production/hosting) wouldn't be a crime.
    Posted in: Story & Lore
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    posted a message on [Mega Thread] Focused Feedback - Campaign Management

     

    Quote from Raven_Guy >>

    2. PC character sheet changelog. It’s not that I don’t trust my players, but I’ve seen things on their sheets and thought, when did they add that? Ideally it would ignore temporary changes (using spell slots, HP loss/gain) and alert on equipment/currency adds. Doesn’t have to be a heavy log, something akin to the forum update bell.

    I'm actually more paranoid about players "forgetting" to check off their slots, correctly record prepared spells, or stuff just resetting between sessions, even if we left off with a "roll for initiative" moment.
    Posted in: D&D Beyond Feedback
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