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Laurefindel's page

3,507 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

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updated for prettiness...

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A few years back I participated in a thread where we were invited to roll 5 races and built a setting around those results. Thus the Dark Woods were born.

Although it needs formatting and polishing, here's a first draft toward a Guide to the Dark Woods.

thoughts and comments are welcome

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Zendikari Elves are associated with green mana. Your color is green. If you have more than one color, one of your colors must be green. (?)

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I don't think I want a PHB2. I like the self-contained-ness of 5e, but I'm the type of guy who like to work within an enclosed paradigm.

I'm afraid that more material will either create redundancy or invalidate already available options by providing better ones.

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I like the inherent STR bonus route.

A crossbow has a stock about the size of a shortbow, so base damage d6. But it's a super tight crossbow, one that needs a significant STR to pull. Give the shortbow an inherent 18 STR because of its mechanical advantage (so 1d6+4 damage) and the heavy crossbow 22 STR (for 1d6+6) damage.

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Hitdice wrote:
but I wish there were more (any?) low level legendary creatures in the MM.

Yes, me too. The Unicorn is a good example of it. Unfortunately, it is not an antagonist in most campaigns.

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Your 1st level ninja has 15 DEX (+2). Your 20th level ninja might have 20 DEX (+5)

So effectively you are going from +4 to +11

But bounded accuracy goes both ways, the AC of a high level character is not much higher than that of a low level character

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James Langley wrote:


~Place a majority of the features into a sorcerer archetype.
~Keep the feat, but it only grants a reserve (and only the absorb spell recharge) and the create spellflame feature.

This way, it would allow someone to use spellfire, but it would require a little bit more investment to get the meaty-goodness of the original concept (via levels in sorcerer).

Does this seem workable?

I understand the intention of making it a feat rather than a class. In theory, everyone can multiclass as a sorcerer (and the sorcerer gets its archetype at level 1, which is nice), but not everyone meets the prerequisites. Besides, the only class that could never get spellfire would be, ironically, the sorcerer since you cannot multiclass into your own class...

Breaking-up your spellfire feat into two or three feats could also work. Even if the final result is strong, ASIs are a rare commodity to trade.

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GreyWolfLord wrote:
I don't get the 5e love personally, but then, I pretty much love AD&D and D&D (the REAL D&D, meaning Original, B/X or BECMI) and would rather play them any day over 5e anyways. Heck, love Pathfinder even...though I view it...

I loved 2e AD&D, despite its small issues. I resisted the switch to 3rd ed for a long time, but I came to appreciate the enhanced customization options it brought. Of course by the time I switched, 3rd ed was already starting to become discouragingly bloated. Then came Pathfinder and the promise of a fresh start, it too became discouragingly huge IMHO.

For me 5e brought a nice balance of old and new, the houserule-friendliness of AD&D with the customization of 3rd ed. It's a nice modern game and a tribute to all its previous iterations. I have a nostalgic love for 2e AD&ad, but 5e is my favorite.

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it means that someone with a 14-15 INT is naturally just as knowledgeable as an average person trained in its field of study. At 18-19, you intuitively grasp concepts normally reserved to those with considerable experience (i.e. 9th level and up) or with experts (i.e. characters with a skill expertise).

With abilities caped at 20, I feel that it is easier to gauge what the ability scores mean. It used to mean that 12 was above average, 15 was "smart" and 18 was "genius", but in a world where adventurers reached INT scores of 25+, it didn't mean anything anymore.

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I think I lost my d20 once...

In all seriousness, we had our share of petty drama but compared to these stories, that's about how bad it would sound. I consider myself very lucky now.

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I wonder, are promotion completely random or are they based on the performance of your rookie?

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Oh, nice. Two spider races and two water races.

... and an undecided one...

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I had many good moments with my TTRPG groups, finding the "best" is difficult.

Some of my best moments where not even around a table but around a campfire, mostly RP sessions with few or no dice rolls. Another good moment involves us playing in a cold and damp cabin where the players' discomfort added much to the feel and atmosphere of the game.

One of the moments I'm most proud of as a DM is when I had my friend played a guest role in a Planescape game. His Forgotten Realms character died during our last game, and the player was not sure if he wanted to have his character raised or play a new one. So in the Planescape game, his guest role was a petitioner NPC, a newly deceased soul torn between acceptance of death and a vague feeling of unfinished business.

The NPC was of course my friend's deceased character, but I managed to hide it from him until the end of the session when the story reached its climax. So after a brief adventure in the planes, his character returned to our group in FR, reincarnated as an aasimar.

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Freehold DM wrote:
lucky7 wrote:

Rememberto ignore Dr. Vahlen's about explosives: she's French, and no amount of fragments is worth the life of a soldier.

Any recruits stick out yet?

none yet, other than the veteran. It turns out I am in a weird tutorial, and most things are locked down.

Yes, the first game is the tutorial game. Only one survives the first encounter in Germany, and the first three or four encounter are pretty much scripted. After that you are in full control of the game. And by in control I mean you can finally build satelite uplinks...

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lucky7 wrote:

Rememberto ignore Dr. Vahlen's about explosives: she's French, and no amount of fragments is worth the life of a soldier.

Any recruits stick out yet?

I though she was German? But yeah, troops before artifacts.

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Finally finished Ennemy Within. The Volonteer was Juan "Crash" Delago. my sqad leader and sole survivor of the tutorial mission (and of the original four after Pixie's death).

Ironically, it is the Uber Ethrereal's mind control attempt on my gene-modified heavy that spelled his death (can't recall the name, but one that deals damage to the mind controller). Live by your sword, fall by your sword...

All and all, I really enjoyed that game. I'm glad I resisted reading all the guides and spoliers on internet, and save-cheat my way through (except a few mission in the beginning), that made the game very "real" as I was evolving with my operative, with few twists and nasty surprises (like Site Recon in Newfoundland, for which I now realise how unprepared and underquiped I was)

It's funny how you get attached to your operatives; I don't recall feeling the same with the orininal game. I'm starting a second wave game now, but I have the feeling my first crew will always be the one I'll remember.

commander out.

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Freehold DM wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:

Aaaaah, the aliens are invading my base! MY BASE!

And I only have three of my guys, plus two xcom guards with basic rifles. S*$$, there are mutons all over the freaking place, and chryssalids too. Not sure how we're supposed to get out of this one!!!

[edit] ok, got reinforcement, major Barnes to the rescue with two more troopers!

are they killing your dudes?

Things started to look really grim. I was flanked from both sides in the map room, with three cyberdisks and their drones on one side and berserkers on the other. My heavy just barely survived the berserker's assault, and the rest got bombarded by cyberdisks' grenades, wounding most of my soldiers and killing one of the base staff member. Then a door opens, and I'm thinking "alright, this is the end"...

But it wasn't an enemy, it was my best healer support coming as reinforcement! Her combat drug smoke grenade shielded my troops just long enough to wipe the cyberdisks and berserkers without further casualties.

The rest of the fight wasn't exactly a walk in the park, with some of my troops mind-controlled and my over-confident assault basically melee-ing with mechtoids, but nothing as nerve-racking as the map-room fight. While the infirmary will be crowded for a while, that X-COM base guard was the only casualty. What a fun mission!

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Aaaaah, the aliens are invading my base! MY BASE!

And I only have three of my guys, plus two xcom guards with basic rifles. S%&*, there are mutons all over the freaking place, and chryssalids too. Not sure how we're supposed to get out of this one!!!

[edit] ok, got reinforcement, major Barnes to the rescue with two more troopers!

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nerco-ing this tread because I got the game for my son this Christmas. Had a day off today and tried the game myself. Having played a bit of the original game and Terror from the Deep, I was treading on familiar grounds...

Game started good, a bit of save-cheatging but not overly so. I was about to loose North America when a well timed terror mission allowed me to keep panic under control. New satellites where their way, things where good...

Then a pair of mutons appeared behind my squad when my assault revealed their location while dashing. Crap. Overwatch failed to connect, and two lucky crits take both my snipers out dead-cold. No time to mourn, show must go on.

Then I get a council mission to Newfoundland Canada. If you played it you probably know which one I mean. Some of my best friends are from Newfoundland, so of course I accept. I even take Canadian rookie Barnes (who I decided was a Newfie) with us on the field for our first mission without sniper back-up.

wow, I was in for a ride worthy of Aliens/chryssalids extravaganza! I had never encountered more than two (on that Terror mission), and now they are spawning at a rate of 1-3 per round! And I have to cross their nest AND make it back to evac ?!? With more of them bursting out of sharks all over the place when I'm racing back ?!? Damned, lost two more experienced soldiers that day, my two assaults, and I considered myself lucky I didn't lose more. Barnes made it back however, but I fear she will never be the same...

Now i'm out of snipers AND assaults... oh wait! Barnes has taken "Double Down"'s fallen shotgun and filled-in the role!

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may Itchy die of a thousand horrible deaths by his hands.

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I love Tolkien-style pseudo-europeano-centric games. I also love anime fantasy games. What I don't like is awkward clash of genres within a game.

I prefer games with strong (and relatively narrow) themes. Mostly, I enjoy games centered on the characters. If a DM is skilled enough to make multiple genres mix without the wonky awkwardness, there are no limits to what the characters can be (and where their inspiration come from).

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In regards to Rey and lightsaber

Her lack of mastery shows, especially earlier in the combat. She often tries to poke with the lightsaber, only to be easily deflected by Kilo Ren. She looses ground to an already wounded adversary and seem to be trying several ways to get around him. We know she is a good fighter, Kilo Ren is handicapped by his wound (from a weapon that otherwise blows three stormtroopers in one shot) and well, the force needs to awake at one point I guess.

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MeanDM wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:

I'm really digging the new FFG's Star Wars RPG series (Edge of the Empire, Age of Rebellion and Force and Destiny)

Does that use a unique system, or D20 rules?

Original system using custom dice (with no numbers). Chris Mortika's link has it all.

TL:DR version: You build a dice pool according to your Abilities (stats) and skill. You declare your intended action, roll the dice then narrate how you succeeded or failed based on the result. Unlike most RPGs, the outcome is not binary. You can succeed but with a threat (something bad), fail but with advantage, succeed the roll with a despair (which typically trigger an opponent or environmental reaction etc. Its a very narrative game.

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Chris Mortika wrote:
MeanDM wrote:
Does that use a unique system, or D20 rules?

Original system. Here's an ad page.

I would like someone more familiar with the three games ("edge of Empire" "Age of Rebellion" "Force and Destiny") to explain the differences between the games. I own one of them. Do I have to buy the other two? Are they compatible?

It's the same game packaged in different themes

All use the exact same rules and character creation toolkit, but with different careers and specializations each introducing slightly different abilities. The main difference is the obligation/duty/morality concepts (which should be seen as "flaws" for the characters, but rather opportunity to tie in with the story)

obligation (used in Edge of the Empire) is your relation with the galaxy's underworld (with great ships comes great debts)

duty (used in Age of Rebellion) is your relation with the rebellion (with great ranking comes great responsibilities)

morality (used in Force and Destiny) is your relation toward good and evil (with great powers comes great moral conflict)

The games are completely compatible, but you don't have to buy the two other books. About 80% is repetition of the same rules and guidelines. The remaining 20% is mainly about careers and specs, a few ships and equipment, a few adversaries and background information.

Force and Destiny introduces Jedi-like careers and specs, combine the force powers introduced in Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion plus a few more. I've heard quite a few people (including myself) purchasing F&D in addition to either EotE or AoR.

Our present game has two F&D character and one EotE in a cat-and-mouse game between us, gangsters and imperial inquisitors.

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JoelF847 wrote:
On a different note, what was up with Chewie's bowcaster being so badass?

In Edge of the Empire's (FFG's Star Wars RPG) language, it got fully modded.

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I like unexpected sequels because it forces the film makers to ponder on the consequences of the previous movie. How is humanity now that it has alien tech, knows about alien existence (and threat), that nations had to work together to overcome these invaders. How did the world cope with the destruction of every capital city and the inevitable wastelands?

There's matter for an excellent film with that alone. Unfortunately, this will probably be hand-waved for more explosions and destruction...

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Mark Norfolk wrote:

Regardless of of what I think of not-so-true-blue Rupe, not having those strient chords at the start seems wrong somehow.



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Werthead wrote:
baron arem heshvaun wrote:
We also see the female pilot Jessika Pava.

Played by Jessica Henwick who was in GAME OF THRONES last year. Unusual for a STAR WARS actor to be playing a character with the same name.

Should we guess the plot?










"I've got a bad feeling about this."








Will the fanfare play now that Disney owns the franchise?

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Tacticslion wrote:
People dying in the original series:(...) Boba Fett (...)

I refuse to believe that boba fett is dead :)

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Obi Wan does die in ANH. I'm pretty sure that if ANH had been filmed after the prequel trilogy people would have screamed for his death...

Similarly, Qui Gon kicks the bucket in Phantom Menace. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the main characters is killed in Force Awakens.

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This one is about rolling stats: Everyone rolls a "4d6 drop lowest" series, including the GM.

Then every player is allowed to pick one of the rolled series and assign it in the order they want. Multiple players can pick the same series. Villains and NPCs will be create using these stats as well.

This way everyone gets to roll, no one is stuck with crappy stats while the lucky guy sits on its awesome series.

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SmiloDan wrote:
I miss Planescape.

Me too. I also I miss DiTerlizzi...

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I actually love the Realms. I don't mind that there are high level NPCs. The setting embraces the fact that D&D is a game ranging from level 1 to 20 (or more since FR acknowledges epic levels).

I like that some NPCs can remain mentors, or nemesis (sometimes both!), even for high level characters. PCs are only as trivialized as much as the DM let them.Perhaps the Realms are more easily abused by ego-maniacal DMs however; I could see that happening.

[edit] 5e and its bounded accuracy helps in that regards; a single 20th level characters can no longer single-handedly wipe all the monsters of an area, and hiring low-level PCs and raising armies seem to have a purpose again.[/edit]

The game can be played on so many levels (no pun intended), there is more than enough room for heroes to coexists without stepping on each other toes.

What I don't care about is the canonization of novels and that is usually discarded in my games, or at the most, vaguely echoed. Regardless of the setting, be it Forgotten Realms, Star Wars or Middle Earth, it's hard to have players follow the footsteps of Luke Skywalker or Frodo Baggins without feeling like playing second violin. A good DM finds its action further away from the main flag characters.

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While I can appreciate a DM who has sunk a lot of time and energy writing details and making sure the setting makes sense, I can also appreciate DMs who put their energy in other aspects of the games, finding props, building maquettes and models, drawing characters and locales, acting life-like NPCs, using their storytelling skills etc. to keep me immersed in their universe.

Writing connections and details is one way to keep your players immersed (and the one I usually go for myself). Even if the players don't seem to "care" it is something they notice, it allows them to get a good feel of the world and be part of a living, believable universe.

But other DMs have proven to me that it isn't the only way. Some have played the "rule of cool" well enough to make me forget about all the loose ends and far-fetched elements of a setting.

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Mark Hoover wrote:
How do you folks feel about a setting when you're a player?

I want the setting to captivate me, I want to be pleased with its aesthetics and feel that I can get easily immersed in this universe.

Blatant lack of cohesion, coherence or common sense can snap me out of immersion and ruin the setting for me, but I can take a certain amount of realistically disbelieving "facts" in exchange for cool and immersive "facts". Whatever the basic premises, it needs enough internal cohesion for me to be able to extrapolate on the setting.

I other words, not everything needs to be explained (or be explainable) but it needs to make enough sense to keep me immersed. It's a fine balance between the unnecessarily realistic and the too-much-gonzo, but I find that with age, I became more tolerant to lack of realism.


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A setting needs to be something the players can relate to, in some way. "Realism", verisimilitude and "making sense" are things we can easily relate to because that's our reality, but they are not the only things that can hook players to a setting.

Star Wars is one of my favourite fantasy/sci-fi settings, but it rapidly falls apart when you try to make sense out of it. That's because its aesthetics compensates for its lack logical coherence with what we know of astronomy.

So a fantasy world does not need to make sense, but suspension of disbelieve only goes so far and the setting needs something else to keep players (and DMs) interested.

I don't know the setting you're talking about, but if you're like me, the only way you can forgive its lack of "realistic feel" is to find the things that really set it apart from other settings and focus on that.

I hope this makes sense (pun intended)


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Blue_Drake wrote:

Time is a bit of an issue, my group is all 40+ in age and we only meet once a week, and I consider us very lucky to be able to do so! I know many groups struggle to get regular sessions going.

I think for me as GM the different systems would keep it fresh, but I'm not sure my players would enjoy it. I'll talk to them about it and see how they feel. Hearing your opinions has helped.

I would suggest to start with two, alternating from week to week, while keeping the third RPG on the back burner. There will be a time where a campaign reaches a conclusion, or the group decides that one game is not as thrilling/interesting/easy enough, then give the third option a try.

I'm in a similar situation and as I'm approaching 40 myself, I have only so much time/energy I can dedicate to RPG. We're currently playing two games and I like that dynamic, but I feel like a third game would dilute the immersion too much.

Also, are you planning on DMing both/all three games?


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Minor HP rule (made to "humanise" high level characters and diminish reliance on magical healing)

Instead of representing connecting blows, Hit Points represent tiring parries, narrow escapes, minor injuries, favourable environment, dumb luck and other “close calls”.

  • Calculate your 50% hp mark (rounded down). That’s your weary threshold. Mark it somewhere convenient. When your hp drop below this mark, you’re weary. This has no mechanical effect other than allowing you to complain about feeling weak.

  • You gain an amount of hp equal to your weary threshold with a 15-minute rest. Good night of sleep restores you to full hp. Cure spells and magical healing function as RaW. But even scratches can prove to be deadly; poisons and disease also function as RaW.

  • There’s a new condition in the game: wounded. You acquire this condition upon receiving a critical hit, failing a saving throw causing damage or running out of hp. Nonlethal damage never cause a character to become wounded. When you’re wounded, you CAN’T regenerate hp past your weary threshold until the condition is removed.

  • The wounded condition is removed after receiving a successful Heal (long-term care) check, or by receiving magical healing. If the character is dying, it MUST be brought back to positive hp with a successful Heal (treat deadly wounds) check before long term care can be attempted. A seriously injured character may take several days to treat as per Heal skill rules.

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    Whether a book is well or poorly written is not necessarily relevant for the making of a movie. The general plot is what the scenarist are after. If the story's good, then it has potential for a great movie.

    I'm glad that they are doing something in a published setting and not some generic fantasy world. Now it can bare the name (or subtitle) of D&D.


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    Darklord Morius wrote:
    My campaign idea is a typical fantasy setting but with animals instead of humans, dwarves and elves...

    This reminds me of my homebrewed setting with no humans, elves, dwarves and other typical PC races

    Always wanted to play it, never found an occasion to...

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    Always wanted to make a LEGO rpg game. Make your hero(es), everything WYSIWYG with stats for the different minifig accessories. DM spends two days building the next battle map...

    I'd be cool, but hello $$$

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    LazarX wrote:

    If you want to research go for it...

    That's the idea, but your first response to the OP sounded like "don't bother, it's not going to work".

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    LazarX wrote:
    I would suggest that for these purposes, game play considerations are far more important things to consider than historical accuracy.

    But one can take clues from historical observation, usually to keep to the genre. Things like "peasant house didn't have a chimney but an open fire at the center of their house" or "high medieval castles didn't have a dedicated dining room" can help to set the right atmosphere. Research shouldn't be discouraged even if gameplay can sometimes take precedence.

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    Zombieneighbours wrote:
    Does anyone have a good source for the physical dimensions of various medieveal buildings?

    It varied depending on period and whether the house was in town or in the countryside. Village houses were pretty small and rectangular, dirt floor, one level sometimes with beds in the loft (something like 12' x 20'). Out-buildings where used for shops, farms animals etc.

    Farms in some region they where bigger and housed extended families, including the pigs, goats and other farm animals. With time they got quite big with many attached out-buildings.

    Town houses of the low middle age were much bigger, three to five stories high with shape matching the existent streets. Most public buildings where long and narrow to allow more natural light. Town houses were narrow and not very deep, like 20' x 20'.

    You should have a look at the Encyclopedie Medievale from Violet le Duc if you can find it (I believe it was translated in English). Also, renaissance buildings where very similar to those of the low middle age, at least for the private buildings, and it is easier to find source about that era.

    Unfortunately, most sources will cite examples of public buildings, castles and cathedrals; its hard to find info about the common-folk housing.

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    Running a campaign with my son and one of his friend.

    At age 11, they start to be able to synergyse their abilities and use basic strategies. While the maths of 3e/Pathfinder were not above their grade level, all those perksy +1 here and -2 there were dragging things down. 5e fixes that.

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    25. Fairies lose their invisibility when they sneeze; that's why you pepper your belongings.

    26. Daisies help to ward off possession. That's why maiden wear crown of daisies and why you wear one by your heart.

    27. Always enter a dungeon and other haunted place backwards. This way spirits will think you left instead of entered

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    BigDTBone wrote:
    Yes, both "because dragons" and "because realism," are actually cover-ups for "because I don't like it."

    Both can also be "because that's the genre and/or setting I propose for this game"

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    SmiloDan wrote:
    Each fills a really fun niche! :-D

    That I agree with

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