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    [–] [No Spoilers] Chronicles of Exandria vol 1 question MrNotSoBright 2 points ago in criticalrole

    Oh wow! Yeah, I'd be a bit careful going too far into the book for a while. Maybe wait another 30ish episodes to really dive into it. You're not going to want anything spoiled, because this arc is absolutely amazing.

    [–] [No Spoilers] Chronicles of Exandria vol 1 question MrNotSoBright 3 points ago in criticalrole

    It chronicles up through the end of the Chroma Conclave arc.

    [–] Post stream discussion [Spoilers] MrNotSoBright 2 points ago in mattcolville

    Same. I feel like a PC death should be "earned", either because you made a bad decision, whittled through all your options, took a big risk, or sacrificed yourself willingly. In this case, though, it felt like Lars had a 0% chance and absolutely no choice in the matter

    [–] New adventurer guild MrNotSoBright 2 points ago in DnD

    If they're in a large city, then things like heists and attacks on gang locations can be fun. Many cities also have some form of "undercity" (as simple as sewers or as elaborate as a lost civilization) that could have some interesting hooks.

    If the city is really big, it might have something like a zoo. What happens if a few beasts escape and the zoo comes to the party asking that they track and re-capture them, then bring them back to the zoo without killing or permanently maiming them? That sounds like an interesting mission with some unique challenges. It would also give you a chance to play with some weird creatures you might not otherwise have a reasonable chance to use in any other situation.

    If they really like that city and have some investment in it, maybe it is attacked and the party has to try and help defend it. Maybe this is a siege, or a dragon or two, or beings from the Underdark breaking up into the city to take hostages (mindflayers, duregar, drow?).

    [–] [Disney] Sorry if this has been asked before; but since Pluto and Goofy are both dogs why can only Goofy speak? MrNotSoBright 17 points ago in AskScienceFiction

    They may both be within the same taxonomic family, but they are not the same species, in the same way that Humans and Apes can exist simultaneously. Pluto is simply a different branch of the Caninae family.

    [–] [Spoilers C2E49] Is It Thursday Yet? Post-Episode Discussion & Future Theories! MrNotSoBright 12 points ago in criticalrole

    Technically, Reincarnate would allow for "permanent transformation", and that's just a 5th level spell. My guess is that the Goblins have a Hag or something like that in their midst.

    [–] [Spoilers C2E49] Is It Thursday Yet? Post-Episode Discussion & Future Theories! MrNotSoBright 26 points ago in criticalrole

    My guess is that it wasn't a "class" so much as a creature type. Probably a Hag or something along those lines, whose Reincarnate spell is a bit homebrewed to decide what the person comes back as, because, normally, you would roll a d100, and goblin is not one of the options.

    [–] Triboar - How do you run the first bits? MrNotSoBright 3 points ago in stormkingsthunder

    Yeah, by no means am I advocating for doing what I did. It was awesome, but it was also some of the hardest DMing I've ever done. My players love combat and getting the most out of their abilities, so a shitload of combat that they felt SUPER invested in was exactly what they wanted. In few circumstances would a massive battle like what I did be a reasonable approach, but I'm relatively new to DMing, so I decided to take a leap and see what happened.

    I do think waves are a good idea, because they might think that's it and start burning resources, so when you finally blindside them with another set of enemies, potentially even harder than the ones they're already fighting, they're forced to start making some hard decisions.

    Keep in mind that the book seems to make it pretty clear that the party is NOT supposed to "win" the encounter. They are supposed to be shown just how powerful the giants are and how much of a threat they are to everyone. In that regard, I may have failed a bit, but, to be fair, the party used all of their resources fantastically, coordinated tactically, and made the most of every round they got. I'm very proud of them.

    [–] Triboar - How do you run the first bits? MrNotSoBright 3 points ago in stormkingsthunder

    The battle I ran was not quite what is described in the book. I turned it up to 11.

    Each player also got to control one of the townsfolk they had befriended (Darathra, Ghelryn Foehammer, Narth Tezrin, the Order of the Gauntlet guy, Darz Helgar, and a half-orc bartender).

    There were 3 waves.

    First wave was cannon fodder from the south to set the stage and try to get the party to waste some higher level spells and resources. Just one big, destructive group of relatively squishy goblins and orcs, one of which was on a warg for some annoying hit and run flanking maneuvers. They were chasing down two of the town guard to try and give the party some urgency to attacking them.

    The second wave, this time from the east, came in while they were embroiled in that initial combat. I had a large boulder come flying in, crashing through The Lion's Share to announce the coming of giants. One giant came rushing in with 2 ogres, a retinue of orcs and goblins, and a few dire wolves/bears. This sort of split the party a bit and let them know shit was getting real.

    Finally, I had the "strike team" come in from the northeast; the other giant, carrying the dowsing rod, and accompanied by orcs on dire wolves rushed in to try and quickly find the piece of the vonindod while everyone else was distracted.

    Like I said earlier, it was almost 3 full, 4ish hour sessions that ended in a rout of what surviving orcs and goblins were still around once both giants had been brought down (one of which was due to a natural 20 from the ranger, who was firing an arrow of Giant Slaying they had gotten earlier).

    Darathra's tower was toppled. The Lion's Share, Hyuth's mansion, the bar, and several shops were destroyed. The central campground was torn to shreds.

    Darathra shares her involvement with the Harpers and sends them off toward Everlund to meet with her boss and explain what is going on.

    All in all, it was an absolute blast. My players still bring it up a year later, and they sometimes bring up going back to Triboar to check in.

    [–] Triboar - How do you run the first bits? MrNotSoBright 3 points ago in stormkingsthunder

    The orcs and goblins were camping in and around a big cave, and upon entering they were greeted by a giant helmet and the dowsing rod thing they use to find pieces of the Vonindod leaning up against a wall near a gigantic tent. The giant wasn't there, though.

    The clues they found were, of course, knowledge that there is a giant around (though they didn't know what kind), as well as, in the tent, a rough map of Triboar with a small "x" and question mark noted over Darathra's tower. They also now knew that people were being captured and questioned about guard numbers and unseen defenses.

    So they now knew there is a giant with some orcs and goblins under its employ that have some interest in Triboar. They start thinking there's going to be some sort of detective mystery where they need to find whatever the giants want before them, but the next morning the town was attacked. I think part of the reason it worked is because they had really fallen in love with the town, so sneaking in a hint that something was on the horizon did help build suspense. I could see how a party that didn't think much of the town wouldn't get much from that hint.

    It was still an immense surprise to them, especially when TWO fire giants show up, along with a small army of orcs, goblins, ogres, and dire animals.

    [–] Triboar - How do you run the first bits? MrNotSoBright 5 points ago in stormkingsthunder

    I ran Triboar for a group of 6 who were also coming off LMoP.

    There are a few good things in the town that you can get some mileage out of, but I found that you kind of have to work for it, as, on the surface, it doesn't seem like you're given much.

    I had a lot of fun with Darathra. She is an old adventurer, so she instantly recognizes the party for what they are, allowing you to talk to them rather frankly and with no room for bullshit. She knows how adventurers do their thing. She's a member of the Harpers, which will be an important thread moving forward, and it also means she is connected and well-versed in the goings-on of the world. I found that it was easy to sort of "self-insert" into the game as a DM through her without doing anything particularly "meta", and my players loved the dry sense of humor I gave her. She's good for giving the party a mission or two. I used the excuse that there just aren't enough of her town guard to investigate certain things, so she'd appreciate their help for coin.

    The corral in the middle of town where people can set up camp is a good chance for them to meet some random and interesting people. I decided to invent a member of the Order of the Gauntlet for them to meet since I wanted to use them more later, particularly since I knew my party was going to be heading north, sorta toward Hawk's Nest, where the Gauntlet has a base.

    I turned the abandoned hotel that's in town into a sort of haunted house and decided to connect it to Hyuth, the guy with the gargoyles on his mansion. People talking about weird noises coming from the inn, even though its been abandoned for years. They go in, find a bunch of zombies and ghouls, then go into the basement. More undead, and a devilish ritual circle with Hyuth standing near it. They battle, he summons a devil and escapes. Shenanigans with the devil. There's a tunnel that connects the inn to his house, so now they can go pillage that place and have a final showdown with Hyuth.

    I may have gone a little overboard, but I turned a "missing son" mystery into an early encounter with orcs and goblins in the employ of the fire giants. Basically, the fire giants were recruiting the help of orcs and goblins in the area, and as part of their initial "recon" were having them go out and capture people at night for questioning. A group of goblins, being dumb goblins, grabbed a kid not knowing the difference between a child and a grown halfling. The party dealt with the threats and rescued the people, but they also found clues that something was about to happen.

    By then, they had spent about 3 days in town, made a few friends, got some good loot and leveled up once before I threw the Siege of Triboar at them. I also homebrewed the battle a bit to be much larger in scale, each of them getting to play one of the characters they had befriended while in town in addition to their own. It was an epic slog that lasted almost 3 sessions and ended in the death of both fire giants. A lot of the town was destroyed, though, and a lot of people died. No PC deaths, though.

    Let me know if you have any specific questions!

    [–] CMV: Capitalism is the best economic system and is responsible for most of our modern prosperity MrNotSoBright 3 points ago in changemyview

    I'm not OP, but my guess is that his argument is that for there to be true equality of opportunity, which you consider "good", then we should do away with those things that either boost or stifle someone's opportunities outside their own merit, such as inheritance.

    If Equality of Opportunity is a positive thing worth striving for, then, theoretically, one way to accomplish that would be to stop the flow of capital and debts between generations in a family line; regardless of how well or how poorly your parents did, everyone starts at ground-level.

    When you die, everything that would have otherwise been inherited by next of kin would instead be sold by the government and all funds would be put into health and education budgets.

    Granted, I don't necessarily think that is a good system by any means, but there is some merit to the argument. I also don't believe that removal of inheritance would, on its own, do much to stifle inequality. There are way too many variables at play for that.

    [–] A survey that I use in my games during character creation. [OC] [Resources] MrNotSoBright 103 points ago in DnD

    Fuck Be and everyone that lives there. Their practices are barbaric and it is clear they've never read Hamlet.

    [–] [No Spoilers] Making a Vestige MrNotSoBright 1 points ago in criticalrole

    First of all, vestiges are Legendary weapons (potentially higher depending on the viewpoint), meaning that each of them are one-of-a-kind, and were used to fight powerful celestial beings. They are similar to "Items of Legacy" from back in 3.5e, which are essentially just weapons and armor that level up with the character or with certain acts/rituals.

    So, that bonus to attack and damage rolls is probably going to go up to a +3 or +4, the bonus to spell attacks and DC will probably go up to +2 or +3, and I would probably do something like remove the need for physical ammunition as more of a flavor thing (maybe they manifest as lightning bolts or an electrical arc as you pull on the string)

    The second level of the Vestige is when I would probably start adding in the secondary abilities, like the bursting arrow and charges. You could also have the attack, spell, and DC bonuses go up with advancements. So you might start with a +2 weapon with a +1 to spells and DC (+2/+1), but once it is exalted, maybe you've suddenly got a +3/+2, or eventually a +4/+3 weapon, that ALSO has powerful abilities.

    The damage boosts seem pretty good as is. I might also add one final level to the charges such that, once fully exalted, maybe you have the ability to expend all 4 slots to do something crazy, like cast Call Lightning.

    [–] Humanoid question MrNotSoBright 1 points ago in DnD

    The easiest answer is that Hold Person only affects creatures with the type "humanoid", like Drow and Bugbears and Gnolls and Grungs. Humanoid is an actual creature type, like abomination or beast.

    Hold Monster affects everything else

    [–] What comics should I look into? MrNotSoBright 1 points ago in graphicnovels

    I feel like Saga is divisive because it seems to lack substance and does almost nothing revolutionary or particularly "unique", but is gorgeous and a super fun ride. That sort of mindless fun where if you put too much thought into it you actually start detracting from the experience.

    As one of the first graphic novels I read after getting back into comics after like a decade hiatus, I absolutely LOVED Saga. After having read a number of others now, I still look fondly back on it, and will definitely get Saga Book 3 when it eventually comes out, but I understand where some of the detractors are coming from.

    It may be "overrated", but I think there are perfectly good and understandable reasons for that. It is very accessible, and very accessible media tends to end up being considered "overrated".

    [–] Tips for a first time DM with little to no experience or money? MrNotSoBright 2 points ago in DnD

    If you have a printer and an internet connection, you've got minis. There is an absolute metric fuckton of tokens out there. If you don't want to go that route, you can use literally anything as minis. When I first started playing we used Mancala pieces and checkers and it worked just fine.

    Roll20 or things like it can be a good choice, as it is free and there are a lot of easy to use resources available.

    As for tips on being a DM, here are a few:

    1) The game is not DM vs. Players. Your goal as a DM is to make sure the players are having fun, which should, in turn, cause you to have fun. YOU are not trying to defeat the PCs, you are just controlling the things that are. You are the narrative.

    2) The concept of "Yes, and..." is your best friend. One of the primary rules for good improv is being able to take what is handed to you and expand upon it. The "yes, and..." mentality helps ensure that player actions have meaning while moving things forward. Players WILL do things you either didn't plan for or don't particularly want to happen, but as the DM you have some responsibility to at least let them try to see it through. If, in the end, that means they deal with consequences, so be it.

    3) Don't get super bogged-down by rules. There are a shitload, and a lot of them have some very weird and largely undefined interactions. Most rules will be learned over time as you use them. If you're ever unsure and the answer can't be easily found, just do what sounds/feels right. In the end, you're God in this world, so your word is law.

    [–] [Star Wars] What would happen if the Galaxy experienced a ''Galaxy wide blackout'' MrNotSoBright 4 points ago in AskScienceFiction

    If it was a quick, one-time thing, like an EMP, so that technology could be recreated, then you're going to get a bit of a different answer than if you mean that "electricity outside of what biology requires is now impossible forever".

    In the galaxy that allows for technology to be remade from scratch, you're going to have a massive arms race and scramble for usable scrap, resources, and knowledge. Small, successful pockets will build feudal-style states that may quickly blossom into the beginnings of new empires or even entire cultures. The first to rediscover FTL or Hyperspace travel will have an absolutely incredible advantage until another figures it out. In this galaxy, war is the norm and it is what defines how cultures develop.

    In the galaxy that stops all technological progress as we know it forever, things will be very bad for a while. An absolutely astounding number of people will die, mostly due to starvation, as the means of production and supply lines stop instantly. Certain planets that subsist almost exclusively on imports, like Coruscant, are utterly doomed to become tomb-worlds after the ravenous populace finishes tearing each other apart.

    In this scenario, there is actually very little fighting overall, at least as time goes on. The initial resource wars will be brutal and primitive, but they will be short-lived. Most planets will find an equilibrium where pockets of people can exist in small, agricultural societies, but population growth will be severely stunted without the production capabilities once possible. If there is any technological progress, it will be in bio-tech; selective breeding and genetic manipulation to create beings capable of doing things only a technological society could dream of doing. We're talking living space ships, bio-weapons, and purpose-built creatures (or colonies of creatures) meant to act as meaningful forms of advanced production to support large populations again.

    [–] Any recommendations for an adventure graphic novel? (Like LOTR or Mouse Guard) MrNotSoBright 2 points ago in graphicnovels

    Yeah, in #4 things start getting a bit wonky, but #5 turns that timey-wimey multi-reality weirdness up to 11. It's actually kind of hard to follow.

    [–] Any recommendations for an adventure graphic novel? (Like LOTR or Mouse Guard) MrNotSoBright 2 points ago in graphicnovels

    Not quite as much of a classic "adventure" as something like Lord of the Rings, but I really enjoyed The Woods by James Tynion and Michael Dialynas from Boom! Studios.

    Essentially the story of an entire high-school - students, faculty and all - randomly being transported to the surface of some moon somewhere in the universe. It is an incredibly alien, violent, and unforgiving landscape, and the school only has whatever supplies/resources were within its walls.

    It is sort of a mystery/thriller with a lot of action and some good character conflicts that slowly unfolds to explain what happened, why they are there, and what they can do with their situation.

    It is a finished story with 9 total volumes.