Hoar Spirit

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RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter. 997 posts (1,044 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 6 aliases.

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There's not much new analysis needed; we've had the mystic theurge to kick around for ten years. The basic lesson of MT analysis is that caster level and high-level slots are persistently better than "versatile" low-level slots with lower caster level. Any MT build is automatically a worse spellcaster than a pure build of the better of its two caster classes. What keeps the MT out of the "never" bin is that full-progression spellcasting is good enough at high levels that you can still have a viable MT character built around a full-progression class.

So, MT-centered paladin, ranger, and inquisitor combinations with 3/4 BAB arcane classes are consistently, persistently inferior to the 3/4 BAB arcane classes alone, which have better spellcasting before you go into the better class features and equal or better BAB.

MT-centered paladin and ranger combinations with full arcane casters could be viable since they're built on the base of a full-progression caster, but they are completely crushed by deliberate Eldritch Knight/Arcane Archer types of builds. There just isn't enough paladin/ranger spell power to justify any significant degree of MT when you could take full-BAB levels that also level your arcane spellcasting. If you're replacing some pure wizard advancement with MT near the top end in a EK build, okay, but it's minor filler.

Any combinations of 3/4 BAB divine class and a full arcane caster winds up with lousy BAB and HP, because that's what arcane and MT classes bring to the table. They can be mighty casters, but they shouldn't use weapons against anything with a CR in the neighborhood of their level.

Full divine caster MT combinations with 3/4 BAB arcane classes can be viable, though they start behind the 3/4 BAB progression. Holy Vindicator can fill in to boost that BAB; that puts you further behind in cleric spellcasting, but cleric spellcasting is good enough the result might come ahead of a 6-level caster anyway. If you want a "fighter/mage/cleric", a magus/cleric/holy vindicator/mystic theurge can scratch that itch and not be a total write-off. But it'll be a pain to build.

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Jeraa wrote:
*(Come on, the metric system is all based on multiples of 10.

Well, yes, if you use the parochial, human-centered base ten number system instead of the far more fundamental and basic binary system seen in, for example, nearly ever computer ever made.

If you use the binary system, the only measurement units that even approaches easy usability are US units, which at least has a sensible system of fluid volume. In binary, 1 gallon = 100 quarts = 1,000 pints = 10,000 cups = 100,000 gills = 10,000,000 ounces = 100,000,000 tablespoons = 10,000,000,000 drams.

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Artanthos wrote:
Neither the bag of devouring nor animate dead would work. Given that even disintegration and wishes do not stop the Tarrasque from spontaneously reforming, lesser magics are unlikely to succeed.

So, how'd you come to the conclusion that a bag of devouring is a lesser magic? If you yank out any of true resurrection, miracle, or wish to try to bring back someone consumed by a bag of devouring, what happens? Oh, yeah, 50% chance of permanent failure. Looks like it's literally evenly matched with those spells to me, and certainly a lot mightier than a mere disintegrate (which would be overcome by any of them).

Artanthos wrote:
Feeding the Tarrasque to a bag of devouring would result in spontaneous reformation either next to or inside the bag. (resulting in a destroyed bag)

Actually, reformation, if possible, would happen inside the extradimensional creature for which the bag of devouring is a mere "feeding orifice". You're invited to guess at what chance the tarrasque would have there, but, since we don't have any information that's PF canon beyond that a wish only gives a 50% chance of bringing something back, it's hardly certain the tarrasque can manage it.

SPACEBALL12345 wrote:
As far as the bag, you are right, that probably won't work. It needs an hour to digest.

That's what happens with ordinary matter. With creatures, a bag of devouring pulls them in as a free action, and then the creatures drawn within are consumed in 1 round.

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I would suggest gnomes have the best chance of defeating the tarrasque, and only if we run out of them should other beings be tried.

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DM_Blake wrote:
I do not know what you are, but your "mouth" seems too small for the task,

Yep, it looks small. But there's nothing that says I have any limit on the size of creature I can swallow in one gulp. And you regenerate . . . where? You don't have any body left, not anything, not even the bit of stuff left after after a disintegrate. You're just gone. Even effects that don't need a body only have a 50% chance of allowing recovery from me.

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To get rid of the tarrasque, FEED IT TO ME.

"Creatures drawn within are consumed in 1 round. The bag destroys the victim's body and prevents any form of raising or resurrection that requires part of the corpse. There is a 50% chance that a wish, miracle, or true resurrection spell can restore a devoured victim to life. Check once for each destroyed creature. If the check fails, the creature cannot be brought back to life by mortal magic."

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Berk the Black wrote:
Formians? As in originally from the Clockwork Nirvana of Mechanus?

No, as in originally just another inhabitant of the material plane (AD&D Monster Manual II, 1983), and then from Arcadia (Planes of Law boxed set, 1995). They were only moved to Mechanus in 3e (2000).

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Artanthos wrote:
6 gnome adventurers walk into a bar....

And then what? Does it have a happy ending, or do the adventurers survive?

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John Kretzer wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
like rust monster licks.
So hw many licks does it take to get to the middle of a Iron Golem?

The world may never know.

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AnnoyingOrange wrote:
There will likely be people looking to dig up all those abilities to get as many attacks as possible right now

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting . . .

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EldonG wrote:
I suddenly have this overpowering urge to build a gnome pally. :p

You'll want to optimize. The ideal array for a 15-point buy gnome paladin is:

STR: 7 (5 after racial mod)
DEX: 8
CON: 7 (9 after racial mod)
INT: 18
WIS: 16
CHA: 8 (10 after racial mod)

Put your favored class bonus into a skill, and be sure to take lots and lots of Professions, because you want to be able to do anything. Your feat should be Skill Focus in one of the professions, so you're really good at it.

Now you're ready to go into the first-level dungeon to fight kobolds with your mighty, uncovered gnome paladin fists.

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Letting a gnome live.

(Or at least it should.)

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On the one hand, baby goblins are disgusting creatures.

On the other hand, maybe they'll eat the paladin.

I don't know. Is the paladin a gnome?

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LazarX wrote:
I feel that 4E was an honest attempt to address a few of the major concerns that many people have had with almost every Edition of D+D all the way up to 3.5, in particular the quadratic/linear disparity of spellcasters vs combat classes.

Which is why they put dragonborn and warlocks in core, adopted a core cosmology that looked like nothing else in D&D history, redefined archons from lawful good angels to chaotic evil elementals, made halflings taller, et cetera, et cetera? That was all to end class disparity and fix math?

Yeah, I've got to amend my previous explanation. There are three reasons as to why 3.x is still around:

1) The OGL made it easy for third parties to keep it alive.

2) The GSL and non-cooperation on the part of Wizbro gave third parties a financial reason to keep it alive.

3) The designers of 4E didn't even try to make a new edition of what you might call "Greyhawk-style" D&D; they decided to make their own vision of D&D, substituting their own story elements from the ones that had sustained D&D for 30 years. This left the market of people who liked "Greyhawk-style" D&D (as opposed to "a fantasy roleplaying game that I can find other players for") wide open for the first time ever.

Previously, there had been no way to reliably distinguish the "Greyhawk-style" market from the "likes fantasy roleplaying, plays D&D because it's easiest" market, because they both bought the same thing. A major problem Wizards ran into was that they didn't realize they were separate markets.

They could have hedged their bets by making a "Greyhawk-style" setting, but not realizing they were making a bet they should hedge, they instead blew up the Forgotten Realms.

They could have accidentally avoided making the market split also a system split by having worked with the 3PPs and using the OGL. There's a decent chance that Golarion would have been basically implemented under 4e rules in such a case, with lots of in-the-setting-book "classic flavor" rules. (In this second case, Wizards could have then noticed that split, and could have moved to recapture the market without changing editions by mating a "Greyhawk-style" Essentials release with a Greyhawk campaign setting release).

But, with all three elements in place, you get what happened.

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How to make a Mystic Theurge:

Play a gnome. Take 8 levels of ranger. Add 4 levels of bard. At 20th level, you'll be casting as a 16th level ranger and 12th level bard!

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Yes, yes, please boycott our lairs. That'll show us! In fact, set up picket lines to stop adventurers from entering them! At least for the next few weeks.

Also, I need . . . 17 crossbows. For my giant wa—um, Completely Peaceful Purposes machine.

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You know, these claims it could regenerate after I ate it? They're giving me indigestion.

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Take Boat wrote:

Two damage rolls is a disadvantage in the case that your target has energy resistance (quite common) but that's really missing the point.

Snowball deals the same or more damage than the Scorching Ray at level 4-6 AND has an excellent bonus effect on a failed save AND no SR AND it's a level lower AND it's a less resisted element.

If you have Intensified Spell it's strictly better for a few more levels on top of that.

And, again, it's a druid spell, which does not get fixed by just changing the school. "Oh, hey, we're going to give druids a better blast spell at first level than the benchmark 2nd-level wiz/sorc blast." Seriously?

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Tacticslion wrote:
eeding Big T (in bite-sized chunks) to a Bag of Devouring is a surprisingly viable solution, actually, if Big T can be cut into enough pieces rapidly enough

Nah, forget pieces. Big T is one creature. When he's helpless, stick his toe in me, and there's a 60% chance I suck him down, consume him in one round, and he's gone. If not, stick a different toe in me next round.

Yeah, it might seem silly that I can consume one creature without any statement about size, when I've got a limited capacity for objects. But, really, I'm that good with living prey. And I like my interpretations like I like my food - RAW!

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Beat on it until it can't move, then feed it to me.

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Jaelithe wrote:
There is a reason they call it META-physics, after all.

Yes. Because Aristotle's book on the subject was traditionally placed immediately after his Physics in collections of his writings, thus getting the name, "after Physics". Just like afternoon is called that because it's after noon.

You want to play etymology games, first learn actual etymology.

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Yeah, pearls of power give you another casting, beyond your normal limit. They were doing that in the game for 25 years before spontaneous spellcasters were added to the rules.

(The Black Pearl and Gold Pearl were magic items in the 1975 D&D Supplement II: Blackmoor that allowed casters an additional casting depending on class; spontaneous casters didn't come along until D&D 3rd Edition in 2000.)

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Pendagast wrote:
Please don't assume how long I have been playing.

So, you're saying you were in either Dave Arneson or Gary Gygax's pre-publication games? Because, even if your entry to the game dated back to buying the very first copy of D&D off the press, and immediately sitting down and playing, you started playing after evil PCs, monster PCs, non-evil orcs, and vampire PCs were all already in the game.

Yes, they were discouraged in later books. So? That doesn't change that they were already there.

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Pendagast wrote:

Well see this is a problem that results from changes in the game... over the years.

[ . . . ]

This why Evil alignments weren't allowed. Why Giants weren't PCs, why all orcs were evil and if you became a vampire you were an NPC.

Original D&D couldn't ban evil alignments, because it didn't have evil alignments. Same with B/X, BECMI, and Rules Cyclopedia. None of those had bans on chaotic characters in their three-alignment system, either. Holmes Basic had LE and CE alignments, and didn't ban PCs of those alignments - it specifically said, "Players may choose any alignment they want and need not reveal it to others." AD&D 1st Edition shipped with an evil-only class in the PHB, and not a word in either the PHB or DMG against evil PCs. The AD&D 2nd edition PHB in its alignment chapter explicitly says there is no prohibition on playing characters of evil alignment.

So, evil PCs being allowed isn't remotely new.

Now, on the subject of giant characters, let me quote the 1974 D&D's Men & Magic booklet, page 8:

Other Character Types: There is no reason that players cannot be allowed to play as virtually anything, provided they begin relatively weak and work up to the top, i.e., a player wishing to be a Dragon would have to begin as let us say, a "young" one and progress upwards in the usual manner, steps being predetermined by the campaign referee.

Yep, right there in the very first booklet for the very fist published version of the game, we've got a section saying it's fine to play "virtually anything", with a dragon as the example. Giants seem tame by comparison.

Just as obviously, orcs weren't all evil, because there was no evil alignment. But that's not all; they weren't even all of the "bad guy" chaotic alignment. Yep, over on page 9 of Men & Magic, orcs are established as being either chaotic or neutral.

And, finally, the cleric class was invented as a reaction to a PC vampire, Sir Fang, in Dave Arneson's game. That's right, PC vampires have been around longer than PC clerics.

You don't like evil PCs? You don't like "monster" PCs? You don't like non-evil orcs? You don't like PCs who are turned into vampires remaining PCs? Fine, you're fully entitled to your opinion. But they aren't a result of the game changing; they've all been in the game longer than you've been playing.

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James Jacobs wrote:
He's been called a wizard AND a rogue before, but one of those is wrong (unless he's multiclassed, which is possible). He could well be a wizard, but my research for Inner Sea Magic suggested that route was not correct and that we actually wanted him to be a rogue. We'll sort it out some day.

Pfft. It's obvious. Gyr is an arcane trickster.

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The way to exploit the new rulings, I think, is to have a monk who uses one highly-enchanted temple sword with both hands.

This gives you an interesting hybrid of the two-weapon fighter and two-handed weapon fighter approaches. This monk makes the the same number of attacks as the two-weapon fighter, but is getting his full Str bonus on every blow (instead of half Str damage on half the attacks, because flurry means full Str on all blows), and a 3:1 Power Attack ratio on damage (because Flurry of Blows doesn't do anything to Power Attack's increased damage for using two hands on the weapon).

This monk doesn't even think about the AoMF; he's using an enchanted weapon to do damage like a standard two-handed-weapon fighter, not unarmed strikes.

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I know of no official developer clarification.

My personal view is that since quinggong is quite specifically presented as an archetype, not merely a list about generally substitutable monk abilities, it should be construed as an archetype that modifies all of slow fall (4th), high jump (5th), wholeness of body (7th), diamond body (11th), abundant step (12th), diamond soul (13th), quivering palm (15th), timeless body (17th), tongue of the sun and moon (17th), empty body (19th), and perfect self (20th) by making them swappable, and thus is incompatible with any monk archetype that touches any of those features.

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MSRPs over time:

AD&D 2E Dungeon Master's Guide (192 pages)
Price in 1989 dollars: $18.00
Price in 2003 dollars: $26.71
Price in 2012 dollars: $33.59

AD&D 2E Player's Handbook (256 pages)
Price in 1989 dollars: $20.00
Price in 2003 dollars: $29.68
Price in 2012 dollars: $37.32

D&D 3.5 Dungeon Master's Guide (320 pages)
Price in 1989 dollars: $20.18
Price in 2003 dollars: $29.95
Price in 2012 dollars: $37.67

D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook (320 pages)
Price in 1989 dollars: $20.18
Price in 2003 dollars: $29.95
Price in 2012 dollars: $37.67

Paizo Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook (576 pages)
Price in 1989 dollars: $26.79
Price in 2003 dollars: $39.75
Price in 2012 dollars: $49.99

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I seem to recall that back in 2000, Necromancer Games did an incorporate-by-reference for the OGL in one of their products (with the OGL itself on their web page with a URL ion the product? It's been a while, I'm not 100% certain on the details), and it was talked about, and the resulting consensus on the mailing list was that it was not actually an acceptable approach, and I don't recall anyone doing it since.

On the other hand, there's a moderately common case of multi-file downloads where the collection of files as a whole was treated as the work, and the complete OGL with full Section 15 was one separate file among the multiple files.

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Cost? A sling has a cost of —.
Encumbrance? A sling has a weight of —.
Ammo? You can use scavenged rocks, for Ghu's sake.

Just mark it down on your character sheet right now. Seriously, right now. At absolute worst, you'll simply never use it. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need a (backup) ranged weapon with a not-horrible range increment, it'll be there, having had no negative effects on you at any point.

This, really, is where the Ultimate Equipment class kits screwed up. There should have been a sling in every one of them (with maybe an exception for the wizard, since they alone are not proficient).

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sunbeam wrote:
I'm sure all these non-rogue ways of dealing with traps work, but my mental picture of a Rogue is a guy with lockpicks jammed between his teeth muumbling "Red Rune or Blue Rune?"


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Cheapy wrote:
I missed that too. Where is it listed as racial HD only? Huh.

Under "Creating a Skeleton" in the Bestiary:

Hit Dice: A skeleton drops any HD gained from class levels and changes racial HD to d8s. Creatures without racial HD are treated as if they have 1 racial HD. If the creature has more than 20 Hit Dice, it can't be made into a skeleton by the animate dead spell. A skeleton uses its Cha modifier (instead of its Con modifier) to determine bonus hit points."

Under "Creating a Zombie" in the Bestiary:

Hit Dice: Drop HD gained from class levels (minimum of 1) and change racial HD to d8s. Zombies gain a number of additional HD as noted on the following table.

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Hama wrote:
Damn...born five years too late...but i am older then when the internet began to acutally be used by a lot of people...does that count?

Hmmmph. I have graph paper maps of dungeons that are older than you. Now get offa my lawn.

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Ryan Dancey explained this a number of years back. The only creatures from the 3rd edition Monster Manual that were declared PI were monsters that Mr. Dancey, the Brand Manager at the time, thought:

1) WotC had good title to, and
2) WotC could actually make money from by licensing for non-game products (t-shirts, plushies, et cetera).

The only monsters that, in the opinion of Ryan Dancey in 2000, met both those criteria were "beholder, gauth, carrion crawler, displacer beast, githyanki, githzerai, mind flayer, illithid, umber hulk, yuan-ti". So they were reserved, while everything else in the 3rd edition Monster Manual was released.

Eventually, of course, WotC started putting out monster books without releasing anything into the SRD, and so it looked like the monsters they released were the special exception, rather than the reverse. But originally, the approach was release everything except for a handful.

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Githyanki fighter/magic-users of 4th/4th level were specifically called "gish" back in the original Fiend Folio (page 43). The githzerai had their own fighter/magic-users of 3rd/3rd level called "zerths" (p.45).

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Cheapy wrote:

Millions of wizards prancing around in their haramaki's, curiously all from eastern themed nations.

Thank god I don't have to allow everything :-D

You don't, but they're PFS legal . . . which the armored kilt at least has the grace to not be.

pauljathome wrote:
Eh. Wands of mage armor are cheap and, until you can afford to enchant the haramaki to +4 or so, at least as effective.

There are cases where the wand works better, yes. But compare bracers of armor, and the haramaki comes out ahead almost everywhere. The haramaki is cheaper for the AC than the bracers the whole way up. It uses a slot your wizard would otherwise have open (so if you want spellguard or arrowmaster's bracers, for example, nothing's in your way). It can accept flat gp amount special abilities (like the hostelling property to protect a familiar, witches take special note).

The bracers aren't strictly obsolete (they can give +7 or +8 to AC, they're cheaper as de facto ghost touch armor), but they sure approach it.

TheRonin wrote:
Wait, does the Armored Kilt reduce your movement speed to 20 ft? I've been playing that wrong all this time!

Combined, an armored kilt and light armor (like a haramaki) counts as medium armor. You're still -0 armor check and 0% ASF, but speed (at least arguably) drops to 20.

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Yeah, you can't use any of that in PFS.

For pricing custom magic items, though, that's the implicit cost in the item prices as published. GMs always should use their judgment as to whether to allow a custom item at all, and then use it again on the pricing.

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I note the Dispelling weapon power (+1 bonus equivalent, UE p.140) adds "an additional bonus equal to the weapon's enhancement bonus" to "a barbarian's spell sunder or sunder enchantment combat maneuver check".

You might not need the extra bonus, of course, but since it's easy to overlook that it benefits spell sunder, I thought I'd point it out.

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The just-posted yesterday guide to AM BARBARIAN

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bugleyman wrote:
The Dunning-Kruger is strong in this thread...

Yes, when someone comes in and based on second-hand restatements of incomplete information declares something "sounds like a train wreck", the Dunning–Kruger is strong with him, and he infects the thread where he posts with it.

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EDekar wrote:
Actually, I know that we're starting in a desert region and that we'll be up against undead. How long it will last I don't know, but if that sways opinion at all it's something to consider.



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The NPC wrote:
Also, the powers have manifestations that say "Hey something is up over here."

A display takes a mere DC (15 + power level) concentration check to suppress.

So, a ninth-level psion wants to use a 5th level power without any display. He accordingly totals up his +9 from level, +6 from ability score (starting 15 allocated, +2 racial bonus, +2 from level stat bumps, +4 from appropriate item = 23), and +4 from taking the Concentration feat, and rolls 1d20+19 versus a DC of 20. Hey, he succeeds on a 1 or higher, and can't roll lower than a 1.

So, yeah. Silent and still equivalent, every single time, at no cost in metamagic rods or casting time or spell power or feats — except one feat any caster benefits from anyway.

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Take Boat wrote:
UMD relying on Charisma is even more confusing than sorcerers.

Charisma for casting is only confusing if you assume that the world is entirely mechanistic, governed by inexorable laws.

If you assume the game world is animistic, full of invisible spirits in everything which can be communicated with, suddenly Charisma makes perfect sense. The sorcerer (oracle, paladin) has a sort of right/power/authority to call on the spirits derived from his bloodline (the touch of the gods), then uses Charisma to issue the commands. The better he is at bluffing/persuading/commanding the spirits, the more effective the results.

In UMD, you obviously aren't the kind of person who can normally use the device, otherwise you wouldn't have to rely on UMD. So, instead, you're trying to convince the anima/spirit/kami of the device to do what you want anyway, and the better you're able to bluff/persuade/command it, the more likely you are to get positive results.

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Ashiel wrote:
Monks have been here since 1E.

Actually, monks haven't been here since 1E. They've been here since original D&D ("0E") — Supplement II: Blackmoor, copyright 1975.

Which is to say, they've been a playable class in published D&D longer than bards, druids, or illusionists, never mind barbarians. They've been in the game longer than demons, mind flayers, or the Hand and Eye of Vecna; the drow are D&D newbs compared to monks.

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"Sandbox" does not mean, "The monsters all sit in their holes waiting for the adventurers to come along. The adventurers can retreat and rest every time they clean out two rooms, and then come back and pick up where they were." The monsters have brains, too.

PCs who regularly attempt 15-minute workdays in one of my games will regularly run into foes who, alerted by the initial attack, have organized and prepared themselves to meet the return of the PCs with maximum force. Opposition that is survivable as 4 separate encounters of CR equal to APL is a bit trickier as a single organized ambush.

And then the battered surviving members of the party (if any) will find the opposition sensibly hid the treasure while the PCs were gone the first time. So now the PCs can in their seriously weakened state search around for it in an unexplored dungeon . . . or retreat poorer for the resources they expended defeating the foe.

Strategic surprise is a valuable asset. Parties that waste it should regret their profligacy, whether or not they're working under a time limit.

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Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
James, why did you sell me to a Chelaxian?
When did I do that? (And probably because the price was right?)
You don't even remember? It was that fat tavern owner who needed servants, and you sold me for a tankard of ale. WHY?

Because that's what heroes do.

Now go get me another tankard of ale!

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ValmarTheMad wrote:
WotC probably assumed that when they killed their support of 3.5e that the OGL would die a quiet death along with it. I doubt they expected their lack of support to turn against them and lead to the situation they're in now or they'd never have let the OGL be written as it was.

Nope. The OGL worked exactly as it was supposed to.

The Open Game License was specifically and intentionally designed back in 2000-2001 to be an immediate, active poison to all non-Open Game Licensed roleplaying games, with an expected toxicity in direct proportion to how closely the non-Open Game Licensed game resembled D&D. This was explicitly stated by its creator, WotC employee Ryan Dancey, at length. The idea was that, by releasing D&D under the OGL and poisoning everything that wasn't OGL, D&D (and WotC) would prosper.

The tremendous effectiveness of the poison deliberately designed and spread by WotC-2001 was demonstrated at length when WotC-2008 was stupid enough to try releasing a game strongly resembling Dungeons & Dragons under a different license. The OGL worked exactly as intended by WotC-2001; it was WotC-2008 that screwed up by trying to work against the WotC-2001 strategy.

There is one and only one way for D&D 5th to avoid the same poisoning; be released under the Open Game License. If 5th is not, it will be poisoned just as surely as 4th edition was. If 5th is released under the OGL, it will prove to be as immune as 3.x was. Releasing 5th under non-OGL terms will not kill the OGL any more than the release of 4th under non-OGL terms; it will cripple 5th edition the way 4th was.

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