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Two minor issues with the website: The RSS link links to the main page (the icon links to the feed, though). And I can’t actually see what I’m typing into this text box.

Make a list of possible classes she might play as and put it up as a vote-able bit here. do the same with races (or ROLL for it.) after that, we can send you a list of homebrew archetypes here, because of course she’d want something interesting~

Or if you are welded to the idea of her playing Mighty Mouse, I think we could oblige you and find you a fitting class/archetype homebrew for this~! I know of one for fighters and one for monks of the top of my head. (Power Ranger and Henshin respectively)

If you’re still taking suggestions, go look at page 206 of the 5e Monster Manual; the artwork *clearly* depicts Gaston (of Beauty and the Beast fame) wrestling a Werewolf.

There you go. Human Barbarian (who may or may not have picked up lycanthropy from his tussle…). Second highest stat has to be Charisma.

Fatal flaws should be obvious, really…

pretty sure Gaston was a ranger

I thought about that. To me, Rangers are somewhat dextrous (though you can strength-build them, but then you might as well go Fighter). Gaston doesn’t strike me as especially dextrous, clomping around in those boots.

Saying that, in hindsight, even if he’s not a Ranger, he’s more Fighter than Barbarian. Or maybe a horrible multiclass of all three.

Technically speaking, Candor & co can’t die either. But I imagine they can feel *pain*

I wonder what the psychological effects would be of suffering the pain of what should be certain, instant death over and over again and yet not only never dying, but being in perfect physical health? And spending every moment fighting the same monster that’s knocking you around constantly?

Remember kids: Cure Wounds only heals ‘physical’ wounds…

I think I needed this comic. Depression is pretty rough. It’s like going into a session with a “special” D20 that only rolls 1s; after playing for a short while you end up thinking “What’s the point?”

I love that you’ve used your medium for stuff like this. I hope Aaron is cool with it, because it’s helped me a bit.

Just a bit.

I maaaaay steal ‘Candor’ as a Warlock PC of my own as a sort of tenuous link to this comic. Call it karma. 😉

Hey, I’m glad something we’re doing is making a positive change out there. And I’d be super honored for you to bring one of our characters into your game!

And I went through my patreon rewards and made an older (but, I hope, relevant) one public for you (just in case) to bring the character to life at the table a bit.

Thank you so much!

I’ve been spending a week to think how best to reply. I know objectively it’s a small thing to make the token public, but it means a lot.

‘Candor’ is now in the hands of a complete novice. A BrewDog pub in Nottingham runs a D&D night every fortnight and I’m one of the DMs. I mostly run one-shot campaigns designed to introduce newcomers to D&D. One has been coming to us for a little while now, but she’s still not got the hang of character creation yet (To be fair, none of them have). But she did tell me she wanted to be a Warlock, so I thought “I know just the gal for you…”. So I wrote the sheet out (I even made sure she had 17 charisma, as per comic!), and explained about Tieflings and Warlocks in general.

I have a habit of ‘loaning out’ my PCs (though loaning out someone else’s PC is a first…). My favourite PC is ‘Gunthor’, a Mountain Dwarf who is an Artificer/Forge Domain Cleric. Basically your quintessential Dwarven Smith. Great character to play, though after an hour of trying to imitate his gravelly voice my throat goes on strike.

But I digress…

Anyway. I think the best way I can thank you is to sign up to Patreon and subscribe to you. Your comics make mondays bearable and you’ve proven to be a pretty awesome guy. It’s worth a couple of quid a month at least. 🙂

Thanks again.

<3 Thank you! I hope Candor serves your newcomer well! It's remarkably sweet of you to loan PCs out.

You're at the $5 tier, which is currently very slow to update yet. I like Arcana Check #1, but #2 is proving difficult to put together! That said, I appreciate your patronage a lot.


It’s a classic scenario though. I think Zee Bashew did a cool animation on YT about it (See “The deadliest thing in D&D”).

Speaking of water, I remember my first PC death. We were an extremely poorly-chosen group of characters (Two Fighters; a Barb and a Bard) and my DM liked to punish us for our lack of ranged attacks often (Vicious Mockery can only do so much). At one point we encountered an underground lake, with a ceiling full of what were made out to be stalactites. Turned out to be Ropers who were picking us off whenever we attempted to swim across the lake.

Picture this: The only way to traverse the lake is to swim (swimming check). If we swim, we get ‘grappled’ by the roper(s) and effectively held in mid-air. Our only way to hurt the ropers were to allow ourselves to be grappled (since the DM wouldn’t allow us to tread water and wield weapons simultaneously), and hurting the ropers would mean being dropped back into the water (another swimming check). Worse still, my PC – a Dwarven Fighter – was in full plate armour. So I got disadvantage on the swimming.

Eventually the inevitable happened: Everyone drowned. The End.

I… guess I’ll never flash the “ok” sign again…

Honestly? It’s a fad. If you use the gesture, I wouldn’t stop just because some belligerents decided to try to troll society as a whole. If you’re worried, just don’t do it for photos. This will pass, I’m almost certain.

Fun fact: the exact same symbol also means “asshole” in sign language.

The way I dealt with it as a DM was to tap into my “medieval geek” side. Many people, especially fantasy dwellers, don’t really care for how armor worked in real life, even though it could benefit them in certain ways. You didn’t just slap a hunk of steel onto your bare skin – it wouldn’t help much. Underneath the plate was a gambeson – a very thick, quilted armor which was actually a very good armor in itself (peasants and foot soldiers didn’t have anything better than that), and isn’t anywhere near as uncomfortable.
What I did as a DM was to let heavy armored guys doff only the plating and keep the gambeson on, which acted as a simple light armor, which already boosted their AC. And grabbing a shield, should you have one, is basically instant, yet potentially life saving.

I’ve never understood this whole thing with “cultural appropriation” and such.
I mean we play things like D&D to have fun being something we’re not.
Sure, maybe don’t make something that is actively pissing on another culture, but if you want to build a character around a stereotype go ahead. It’s not like actual Japanese people have a problem with the samurai becoming both stereotype and cultural icon.

I’m on the fence. I think if you’re doing something respectfully, it doesn’t matter who can see you, and that the inverse is true of disrespect. So if you’re a white person but you’re doing some sort of samurai cosplay, and you’re not going around making fun of Japanese accents or something, you’re fine even if someone gives you stink eye. But if you’re a white person and you’re being disrespectful of a culture some how, context starts mattering way more. Is the venue appropriate? Does context clarify your message somehow? etc. Odds are against you in many cases.

As for at the table, I’m more aware of it than anything. If someone asks someone else, “hey, please don’t do that,” it really needs to be the end of it.

The question is “how do you know when it’s disrespectful?”, since the interplay of what different cultures consider “inappropriate” etc. is a problem that has been around since, well, culture.

Honestly I think people should be perfectly free to be disrespectful towards cultures or anything really. You should be allowed to express your views and opinions whatever they might be, and others should be free to “boo” you, but censorship in any of it’s forms doesn’t solve anything, nor does demonization, just makes the problem grow in the dark instead.

Guess I’m just sick and tired of people making chickens out of a feather as it was.
Like the recent story when social media blew up because an American girl wore a traditional Chinese dress to prom. Other Americans shrieked “cultural appropriation”, Chinese people thought it was wonderful she liked their fashion enough to wear it to prom in favour of local fashion.

A good shorthand rule: if the people who wear the thing aren’t allowed to wear it / do it outside, but you are, it’s probably cultural appropriation.

That said, I don’t see any censorship at all on the topic. Censorship necessarily comes from a place of power. If you’re afraid to voice an idea because there might be consequences from people who can’t do anything to you but speak back, that’s not censorship — that’s free speech working as intended.

I’m not sure I follow. Are you referring to some form of process where people are prevented from showing off their cultural heritage in the shape of dress, mannerisms etc, in favour of outsiders putting on a perhaps unavoidably less accurate display?

And the censorship I’m talking about is the whole ordeal of “You are not allowed to do X because you’re not part of group Y and thus it’s automatically offensive” that I’ve personally encountered more times than I think is defensible. It’s gotten to the point where one can be shouted into silence on a topic because only people with certain group-identities are “allowed” to express themselves on the issue. Certainly, insider experience can be a most valuable asset, but the moment you shut out outside perspectives you’ve locked yourself in an echo-bubble where only your own perspective will be reinforced, for better, or more commonly, for worse. Especially considering the false confidence and arrogance that starts festering in anyone who goes unchallenged for too long.

True, censorship requires power, but you’d be surprised how much power can be conjured by an angry mob set in their ways. To pick a point out of V for Vendetta, only fools believe the people to be powerless. All they need is unity to focus that power on a common goal, be it for destruction or creation.

I’ll give you a practical, modern example: black children in predominately white schools are sent home from school for wearing natural hair styles. So when white people suddenly have “boxer braids” or afros, there is justified anger. That’s cultural appropriation. If the culture that it originated from isn’t allowed to do it, but you are, that’s the stem of the anger.

That’s why the term is “appropriation.” The practice has been taken from some group, usually a minority, and used or misused by some other more powerful group.

You might decide not to wear a black hairstyle because you’re afraid of what a black person will say to you. That’s a respectful decision, even if it’s not made from a place of respect. But the fear to not wear that hairstyle is largely unfounded. No mob will lynch you for it. You’re unlikely to be removed from an institute upon which you depend for it. And you’re unlikely to be confronted for it in public (but never say never.) The absolute worst thing that will happen to a white person who wears a black hairstyle is that they’ll be mocked online.

In that specific case, minorities are allowed to form private pressure groups, which is a power many of them haven’t had before. So if you’re feeling uncomfortable because of a few niche things you can’t do without suffering an incredibly minor consequence, welcome to the momentary, fleeting experience of losing privilege. 🙂

Typically – but not always – it comes off as people looking for something to complain about, near-exclusively levied against whites. People just like blaming others for their shortcomings. Sure, there’s some racist depictions out there (see: Mickey Rooney as I.Y. Yunioshi) but 99 times out of 100 these “cultural appropriations” are moral busybodies looking to be offended on behalf of a third party. (see: Tumblr telling a white girl she’s racist for learning about Japanese culture – when no Japanese people were offended.)

And I do see the example of kids hair down there, and feel the need to mention it’s argued as a sanitary issue in regards to lice outbreaks, the white kids aren’t allowed to wear their hair in those manners either for the same reason. But because people are so afraid of being called racist they now allot the privileges to create a health hazard to avoid the trouble, this is more notable in the army where women reserve the right to keep their hair, and african americans may wear cornrows (in certain divisions) or other allotted hair styles from a short-list.

Personally, I just think we should apply rules universally instead of constantly divvying people up into groups saying “you can say this” “only you can do that” “now you can’t do this” and so on. Allotted legal privileges for specific groups does not equality make 🙁


No, that’s not based in reality. Black hair styles are not somehow more prone to lice than others. And besides, as far as I’m aware, that’s not the excuse that’s being used to censor these girls’ outfits and hair.


I don’t really see a lot of people out there looking for some reason to take pot-shots at me. Chances are, if someone is telling someone else repeatedly that they’ve offended them, it’s probably a true statement. In any case, the examples I can readily conjure to my memory are complaints that sane people would respect.

There are definitely spaces online that exaggerate problems, though, and white people telling other white people what is and isn’t cultural theft is not really the healthiest use of our time.

How are there no other comments? This is brilliant stuff, hope it has a good audience! 😀

For what little it’s worth, I’d recommend being real careful about how much trust you extend to the youtuber in question. It wouldn’t at all shock me that the guy running roll20 is this sort of dirty word do-gooder, but Andrew is not in a position that he should be casting stones at anyone.

Oh? Why do you say that?

I don’t how much of the evidence remains these days, but back when people started to realize that DMs might possibly be able to make some money out of youtube, he made some dummy accounts to go troll other DMs and push exposure to his channel. After he was caught out, he posted an apology video and admitted to doing this.

He _sounds_ terribly sincere but he always sounds terribly sincere…it is one of his great gifts. I have a great deal of difficulty putting any faith in anything he says at this point, though, and would simply urge caution before jumping on any sort of bandwagon he’s driving.

I have to fundamentally disagree that white people *cannot* be the target of systematic racism in the US; that seems more an article of faith than one of fact. Mainstream systems are surely biased towards white people, sure, but once you go sufficiently far into leftist spaces, say the university admissions system, systematic anti-white bias seems entirely plausible. Just because it’s, similarly to roll20, probably done for cynical political reasons rather than a genuine understanding of value of diversity doesn’t mean it’s not racist. In fact, it might well be also racist against black people in different ways. That said. the fact that there’s little systemic racism against white people seems to be more a product of historical cultural power dynamics and economics than some sort of inherent fact that systems cannot be anti-white.

I sort of feel like roll20 would almost be better off if they straight up went max cynicism and said they need black people for marketing reasons. I think people, even on the left, already expect companies to be amoral profit maximizers anyways and thus would possibly be more understanding of that motive if it were made plain. Iunno. Like this, it just seems like they tried to play SJ and flubbed their roll, which makes them look bad to both sides.

Also, this may be relevant.

I’m going to challenge your assumptions.

First — a small one. No one whose thoughts are well respected in leftist or progressive circles thinks that white skin is the intrinsic reason for systemic racism. As you say, cultural power dynamics and economics are powering white supremacist vehicles, behaviors, and policies. Most white people aren’t bigoted. But all white people benefit from racism, whether they want this to be true or not. That’s uncomfortable to hear, but it’s also an unavoidable truth. Someone with power upholding a system that was taught to them can be completely unbigoted and perpetuating some regulation or fee or thought that is intrinsically pro-white or intrinsically anti-everyone else and they can do this without ever having a bigoted thought cross their mind. Remember that people are still alive who grew up being not allowed to marry inter-racially, vote, or attend white schools. Systems change the slowest of all other aspects of human culture, and our systems in the US were originally constructed around monied white land owners – the same group that is still benefiting primarily from those systems.

Second — I hold two degrees and have taught English and Communication at the collegiate level. I’m intimately familiar with university culture, and I assure you that the college admissions system is neither anti-white nor is it leftist.

I’m a leftist, so I will recognize things that are leftist – for instance, KU has a union for its student teachers, and this union organizes for higher wages. That’s pretty left. There aren’t ballbats and cat ears, but it’s left. The admissions system, however, is not leftist. If anything, administrators tend toward no ideology at all or else tend to lean right (with the exact center being a point where capitalism is no longer the dominant ideology.)

A lot of professors are leftists – of sorts – because while we may not be comrades, and we don’t have time, incentive, or power to fight against the loss of institutional power that’s creeping through US universities, some of us have definitely found that Marxism is an effective critical lens, especially in the humanities. In general, I’ll say that leftist professors are going to good on theory and eh on praxis.

But also a lot of professors aren’t leftist – it turns out that there are other valuable critical lenses in the world — and one of values of college is the broad spectrum of thought that students are exposed to. I’ve met plenty of conservative professors, libertarian professors, and I’d say the majority I’ve met are some brand of liberal. This might be a lesser challenge to one of your assumptions if you had previously thought that leftism was an aspect of liberalism; the two ideologies are diametrically opposed to one another.

So if the administrators aren’t leftist, and the professors are mostly not leftist, what makes university leftist? The answer, I think, is that it’s one of the few spaces that tolerates leftism, and people think that this means that the space is necessarily leftist itself. It’s simply not a true assumption – at least not in the US.

In fact, if we look at how absurdly expensive college has become (liquify a college textbook and it’s more expensive by gallon than oil), it’s clear that the only people who can afford to go are either privileged in some way (their family can take on some debt) or are willing to bet their future against the cost of attendance (so teenagers who overestimate their chances at a middle-class life. Student loans aren’t predatory though, it’s fine, nothing to see here.) That doesn’t attract leftists – but crippling debt and an exposure to Marxist thinking can certainly create a lot of leftists in a hurry, and I think we’re also seeing that. Crippling debt, I think, is a naturally radicalizing condition.

Anyway, university isn’t a leftist space. University is a space that tolerates leftism.

Now, looking back at university admission systems — are they anti-white?

The employees are mostly white. The bosses – deans, chairs, presidents, and other administrators — are mostly white. And the students that come in are mostly white. That smells as about as anti-white as college tuition fees smell leftist – so not at all. But maybe there is some intrinsic anti-white bias. Let’s suppose that the admissions system will look at a white 4.0 student and a Hispanic 4.0 student and accept one but not the other.

Eh… no. If they accept the Hispanic student at all, they’re going to accept both of the 4.0 students and cut out other students who perform worse… but probably not enough of those. They’re more likely to accept probably drop-outs and simply jam a few more students into every class and cram a few more sections into every under-paid adjunct’s schedule than they are to tell a bunch of white, underperforming high school grads that they should go be an electrician or a plumber and maybe give up on being a lawyer or a professional artist (cough). So that’s anti-white. But it’s also anti-everyone else, and to a degree, bigots within the system might accidentally insulate some person of color from debt, if that person bounces off the admission system and then goes to a trade school and learns to weld. That’s a pretty unlikely scenario in my opinion, though, so let’s just call the admission system anti-student, because it’s definitely flawed in the favor of… where does all that money go anyway? oh. Wealthy white land owners.

University isn’t an anti-white space. It’s increasingly an anti-student space.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.


“I sort of feel like roll20 would almost be better off if they straight up went max cynicism and said they need black people for marketing reasons.”

It worked for Nike. Zing!

“I think people, even on the left, already expect companies to be amoral profit maximizers anyways and thus would possibly be more understanding of that motive if it were made plain.”

Third assumption I’m going to challenge: leftism is not some haven for people of color. Progressives and anti-racists are definitely marrying leftist ideas, but I promise you that you’re going to find plenty of leftists who are, in one way or another, bigots.

But yes, I expect corporations to be amoral profit maximizers and so should you.

“Also, this may be relevant.”

It’s definitely and interesting article. I’m on the fence about how relevant it is.

Polyarmory is a subculture and gaming is a subculture, so I guess there’s connective tissue there, but I think there’s a LOT of contextual difference between the gaming subculture reaching out and saying “hey, people of color are welcome here” and the polyamorous subculture reaching out and doing the same thing, since fetishes don’t matter in gaming but they REALLY matter in sex (and unless porn hub has changed since two hours ago, racial fetishism is definitely a thing).

I think, though, that what matters in the gaming subculture is that we ensure that our media outlets have honest, transparent intentions and that within our subculture we are making sure that we’re doing our best not to chase people off.

I am just hating everyone in this whole damn party.
The paladin’s a casual’esk video gamer who seems most intent with pushing the plot and being a bit goofy
The rogue’s a hipster who I liked at first, but the sudden disconnect from reality and complete lack of basic knowledge is jarring
The Ork is a min/maxing munchkin who forgets the “RP” in “RPG”
And the Tiefling is your archetypical “5e is the only game that exists” snowflake insistant on making everything everyone elses fault and making weeby japanese references and being “unique”.

…As someone who has been playing RPGs for 20 years now and GM’ing for 15 of those, I hate how *perfectly* you have captured the essence of the types of players you’ll find these days. I raise my drink with a glare. xD

One DM to another, maybe its time to hang up the dice if you hate your players so much. I’m in the middle of the player age range. Not old enough to have been playing for decades but older than the teens and early twenties kids joining the hobby in its current resurgence and I gotta say: Adapt or die. The old ways were not actually better.

$4 to get that first stretch goal — someone get your neighbor’s SO’s sister’s work buddy to order the $5 level!

I need to pick up the pace on social media again, but I’m currently working on something that I think will make the Patreon more interesting — largely because I suspect everyone who wants a book already has one.

Which is more than fine! It just means my efforts go back to trying to get this in front of new readers. =)

I do appreciate your constant enthusiasm and support though. I don’t know what I’d do without you.

Point of information: A cube 5 feet on a side has a volume of 125 cubic feet. A cube labeled “5 cubic feet” should be [cube root of five] feet (or about 20 and a half inches) on a side.

For this purpose, “5 foot cube” is better than “5 cubic feet”.

/end rant. ^_^

I am hearing this a lot on reddit too, but my wife (working on her PhD in math) tells me they’re the same thing.

Very confusing. I’m going to change it eventually though, just because so many people are saying it.

The link Angela R. Slater provided below actually has, in the next paragraph, the point I was making:
“It is important to understand that volume is proportional to the cube of the linear dimension. Thus, if all linear dimensions are tripled, the volume becomes 27 times (3 3 ) as great; if all linear dimensions are cut to 1/12, the volume becomes 1/1,728 (1/12 3 ) as great. A volume of 1 ft 3 is therefore equal to 1/27 yard cubed (1/27 yd 3 ) or 1,728 inches cubed (1,728 in 3 ).”

Likewise, if you increase the measurement of each side by five, the volume increases by 125.

Rolling a new character is fun the first, maybe second time. If you’re constantly dying and making new characters…thats just tedious.

Reminds me of one scene I ran, where players opted to make camp for the night in a cave – on the other side of a sheer cliff. The level 10 ranger tied off the rope fine, everyone got across safely (except the ranger’s wolf – poor thing was at -6 by the time he finally swung it across without banging it headfirst into the wall), and it was his turn to climb down to the rest… He started off with a series of nat 1-3’s to untie the rope, tying himself to the cliff multiple times and taking some damage. Then he coiled the rope neatly… and proceeded to botch a looong series of climb checks, although he made every acrobatics check to catch a ledge and halve his fall damage (except one, which netted him a dislocated shoulder and disadvantage on all climb checks until he fixed that – and he botched his first heal check too). He eventually made it across, having taken well over 60 damage; had he failed a couple more of the acrobatics checks he may very well have been defeated by a cliff and his assumption that he didn’t need a safety rope.
Later on, of course, continued bad luck turned into a curse, and any time he or his wolf got near the top of a cliff they would somehow fall off it. Somehow, neither one has died yet.

In 3.5e the dungeon master’s guide had a chart for appropriate character wealth per level. It’s good to tell just how much gold the players should have, or for outfitting characters that are created at higher levels. No matter where I looked, 4e and 5e didn’t have that chart.

Page 133 of the 5e DMG gives a very rough guideline for how much treasure characters should have around each level. I have been ignoring it successfully for a while.

Basically, there are a number of treasure hoards that 5e expects players to find as they progress. It’s not as useful as the 3.5 chart, but I think they wanted to give DMs more space, and indy publishers more room for home brew systems.

Well, an easy way to deal with this problem in particular, in my experience, tends to fall into the category of “damaged gear”.

Armor is supposed to take a pounding in a fight, so to use the fullplate as an example, whenever the wearer falls in combat, you can either choose to roll behind the screen, or just straight up say “Alright, that guy’s armor? It’s busted beyond use. No more good than scrap metal now.” Same goes for weaponry. It’s how my regular GM handles not giving us more than he’s prepared to dole out, while also allowing for access to items he definitely wants someone in the party to have.

Now, getting that piece of gear to the person he thinks should actually -have- it? That’s a different story entirely. I’m not gonna lie, the party is full of generallist players, only one of our guys does the “min-max” thing, and only because he likes his anti-heresy Imperialists.

“I use the word “racism” to always mean systemic racism. When I mean something else, I tend to just say “bigot.” Or “asshole.” I’m clever that way. White people in the US can’t really be targeted by systemic racism. They can be targeted by bigotry.”

(Definition of racism
1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2a : a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles
b : a political or social system founded on racism
3 : racial prejudice or discrimination)

According to you, the first and third definitions in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary don’t exist because they say nothing about systems or power. Do you not understand that most words have multiple meanings and that refusing to recognize that is regressive?

Did you not know that dictionary definitions, when there is more than one definition for a single word, is usually ordered by frequency of use? By choosing to pretend the first definition of Racism doesn’t exist, you are saying the most commonly used version of the word is unimportant.

I’m sorry but the fact is undeniable, NolanT said something very racist. Does this alone make him racist, no, stupid things get said occasionally. However, considering this is not the first time he has said something anti-white, we may have to consider the possibility that he is racist against white people.

We did something similar in a campaign once when trialling the ‘Artificer’ playtest for 5e. Between that and a Forge-Domain Cleric, we got it into our heads that not only could we make decent money off the trinkets made, but due to the Forge-Domain Multi-class any item that required some sort of smithwork was pleasing to the God of the Forge.

The DM took the ‘DM says no’ route and railroaded us back on track. I think looking back, what the DM should have done is run us out of business. Set up competitors that undercut us on price, or have someone in the town square spreading rumours that we are evil spies and our trinkets are bugged with ‘sending stones’ to listen in on conversations.

I mean, being eventually run out of town would be worth it for the plot and intrigue alone.

Was… was this comic in response to my comment before on the loot thing? … Also: This is genius, but I feel like there are easy methods to go around it all. I mean, the last time we attempted to derail it… an entire town got blown up by a death ray of magical energy, and only maybe a fraction of the towns people were saved by our uh.. let’s see if I recall the description right. “Interdimensional tavern home-base” that had a tavern owner that was implied to be some sort of unknown deity with an interest in the party’s well-being. And not just our characters, but several “parties” (which I mean, makes sense why this tavern would also look after a few other groups of varying levels in 4e that were in no way related to the “main group”. ) But we had been rescued by the NPC we were supposed to have recruited to stop the big ol’ death ray, instead being shoved through a portal. All because we wanted to actually sift through the books in the library that was nearly three hundred floors deep, while some of us wanted to chat up the rainbow-haired elf lady with ADHD….and still others wanted to piss off the library’s quiet-enforcing golem security system…. Not as bad as the time it took a kobold druid polymorphing into a wolf to dig a den when nobody thought to pull out a torch in a blizzard to stave off the cold though.

Nope! Not to you.

It’s not to anyone specifically, actually. It was to Reddit, which gave me 100 of the essentially same three comments over and over again. And over again after that.

Also? Players wanting to read every book in a huge fantasy library used to be my DMing nightmare situation. I refused to ever give books as loot for the longest time.

Then I realized I could just say things like, “it’s a book of poetry by someone with an elvish name” and then together a gold value and weight. Before this I’d been trying to describe them in much more purple ways on the fly.

Now I’m fearless about books.

I’m fairly certain that the profits they make can be undercut almost entirely by a few things:
1, merchants: guilds were a big thing back in the day to prevent journeymen from flooding the market with goods of equivalent value, ultimately undercutting profits. The system ultimately collapsed at the time of the French Revolution/Industrial Revolution. No need to have an overly complex plot to drive them out of town, the merchants and tradesmen will simply put their foot down and force them out. They have the clout to do so.

2, distance: Dungeons are far away from towns, villages, and so forth. While such goods could be useful, the immediate problem lies with transport. Wagons are useful, but they are expensive, and the horses/mules/donkeys are expensive to maintain. They aren’t like a simple car, that you turn on and off. If you decide to own, that’s a constant cost you are paying. If you decide to rent, or pay a teamster to assist, that’s also going to be an expensive prospect. Oh, and it’s assumed you are paying for their provisions, security, etc. The road is dangerous….

3, economy: 5e does mention that coin is fairly rare among the common folk. I know most people abstract this, so I consider it a minor objection among those I present. But, the adventurers would be getting paid in pigs, grains, and garden vegetables for the most part, as well as some fabrics, or other goods local to the area. That stuff takes up volume. Now, if they are setting up to sell in a town, this might be less of a concern.

Even in a coined society, the most common denomination are going to be found most often. There isn’t a central bank that can exchange 100 copper for 1 gold coin. And even if you do have such a complex banking system in world, they also consider the costs of moving goods around, alongside the other risks at hand.

4, revolt risk: congratulations, by providing even crappy weapons and armor to the peasantry, you have increased tenfold the chance of an armed revolt. In the DMG of AD&D it’s noted that peasants weren’t permitted to maintain arms or armor. From what I understand of history, although I haven’t explicitly looked this up, monarchs and lords did not let their people maintain arms to relieve revolt risks. Some exceptions, and permitting would allow for the landless noble and mercenary troops, but the common peasant? Hell no.

Consider these factors, in a campaign, and if the merchants don’t run them out of town, the town guard will, and the local lord, if not the monarch himself. The disaster that selling “worthless pig iron” to peasants could be fairly massive, even if the weapons aren’t used next month. Come a famine, or a tax increase, or some unjustified brutality, and now you have a lord dangerously outnumbered.

Worst comes to worse, throw a few rust monsters at them. Scare the shit out of them as you destroy a few thousand GP in armor.

Just a few cents to possibly alleviate DM suffering.

This reminds me of something I saw on Social Media. A group encounters two doors. One door is locked; the other is unlocked (but still closed). A Gargoyle stands between the two doors and says that one door “unleashes Hell”; the other to your required destination. Which door do you go through?

First comment on that? “I punch the Gargoyle in the face. Hard.”

And they say Chaotic Stupid is not an alignment….

I am half white[European mutt] and half Asian [Chinese, and Huns from the step] I got a lot of serious hate, and for the first seven years of my life, physical abuse, from members of my Asian relatives simply for the horrible crime of being born half WHITE.
However you slice it, racism is simply racism, be if for corporate gains, some perversion of “social justice”, or just simple hatred for someones genetics.
As someone who’s dealt with racism towards white people for a big chunk of my life, and someone who has gone out of her way to promote what I originally saw as a fantastic website for table top roleplay gaming, this honestly hurts me very deeply.
Not more importantly, but to some significance, it puts a spot of somewhat unpleasant work in front of me.
I absolutely refuse to continue supporting the site after this.
Which means I now have to change all my roll 20 specific art support, and resource dump groups to general online tabletop gaming, and change up the descriptions of 200+ pieces of art I personally posted up for people to use in roll 20.
But hey, whats one more white persons support, right?

I’m very sorry you experienced that. 🙁

I’m offended at Roll20’s little stunt too. They made zero staffing changes as a result, so their corporate policy is obstensibly unchanged.

There are plenty of other options for us to DM online, but I still haven’t had the time I want to explore them. Definitely let me know what site you settle on. I’m very interested in alternatives.

Just out of curiosity, but how does this Death Door rule work!?
Is it like in The Darkest Dungeon, where you got a % chance of not dying upon taking damage on 0 Health, or does it work like the ability Zombies have, where the Damage is added to the DC!?

This is great, I just thought about that yesterday and wasn’t really sure how I felt about the matter. So gimme your thoughts!

I guess no one would argue that it’s awesome to play a character from a different background. After all, that’s one of the main hooks about DnD or RPGs in general – being able to become someone else entirely.

So then I saw a picture of a group dressing up as their DnD characters and I thought how I would manage a dress-up as one of my characters. One is a Shou monk and another a Mulan bard. And I figured that it’s alright to pretend at something in a fictional world, but as soon as you transition that stuff to our real world (i.e., cosplay them) there’s a context to consider.
Hence, I decided that personally I’d draw the line at colouring my face a different colour (considering that the different human origins stem from the real world or bear at least a certain similarity) because that just reminded me too much of blackfacing.
This might appear a bit inconvenient to players, but it would probably be folks who never encountered any discrimination themselves, meaning, a bit of empathy on the side of the players would be in order.

This doesn’t have much to do with playing certain characters*, it’s just my 2 cents on a similar topic that went on in my head.

Love the comic, it really hits home with a lot of the scenes <3

*stereotype is boring anyway

Honestly, I don’t see anything wrong with saying, “I am Hideyuki Sokugawa, Samurai from Ido Province. I have come to kill goblins.”

The problem would come if the players started bucking their teeth and pulling their eyes taut and speaking in a mocking, broken accent. In other words, respect comes into play. Sure, maybe there isn’t a Japanese person at the table, but letting the other players know that someone thinks “these traits are okay to mock” is probably going to make another player uncomfortable, and assuming that any of this rubs off on someone else at the table, it propagates horrible stereotypes.

If someone wants to make a cross-racial, cross-gender character and they play it honestly and respectfully, I can’t see myself stopping them.

Which is more meta? I don’t think it’s clear-cut.

Candor the character knows about hags (see, previous encounter) and the player is using that character-appropriate knowledge to make a decision.

Renauldo the player is rationalizing away the decision as “meta” in order to have the character stay and get the game-level benefit of loot.

Renaldo the character is getting the very character appropriate benefit of treasure – items to help him in battle, or to sell for gold. It’s something he would have seen before. Renaldo the character also was still in the skull when Candor the character, outside the cave/skull, gave her explanation of why they need to leave.

Renaldo the character did not hear Candor’s explanation about the hags. He would have to use metaknowledge in order to know they have to leave before more hags show up. Thus with no “real” reason to leave, he is staying to look for/receive the treasure he believes is there.

Moments like these, I file under “assume most characters are not in fact stupid, inept, and ignorant”. Even if the players don’t think of it, the characters were clearly concerned about how much the bridge could withstand, and they’re right there in the “fictional world” looking at the bridge and at their hulking compatriot. This doesn’t require a narrative approach or anything (for those allergic to such), just treating the characters as “people-who-could-be-real”.

To me these “gotcha!” moments tie back to an older approach to RPGs that treated the PCs as “playing pieces” for the players in a “freeform boardgame”.

I want to play with GM’s like that. If you can have that happen, and it’s just played off for a laugh before the game continues on as planned, that’s what i want out of a good time.

Most GM’s i’ve been with would have looked through the books for appropriate additional damage/rolls, then thrown the planned direction of the session/campaign out the window.

One of the popular variant rules from way back to AD&D was ‘wound levels’ with Hit Points. Divide the hit point percentages into about 5 levels, and the more health you lose the more incapacitated your character begins. Start with things like limping; your movement speed is slowed. Then maybe bleedouts. Then maybe broken limbs; not being able to move unaided. And then being on the verge of passing out, before the inevitable ‘0 HP’ brings what by this point is sweet, merciful death.

I’d be tempted to run a campaign like this. It’d stop players from pulling the kind of stupid shit you regularly see. But on the flipside, seeing people successfully pull off stupid shit is kinda why most of us play D&D in the first place.

Mutants and Masterminds does something similar for it’s damage. Each degree of failure (each increment of 5 under the DC) has a harsher penalty, the last one resulting in incapacitation. Each of the lesser degrees of failure however provide negative modifiers to future rolls, and more severe failures can impose conditions like exhaustion.

As far as a system to replace roll20, I can say from personal experience that if you’re looking for an immediate buy-and-use application and if you don’t really care about the availability of any kind of scripted automation and don’t mind your customization capability being limited by the , FG is probably your best bet.

If you’re like me, and would much rather have a system that will do boring repetitive things for you (line-of-sight, automated traps, etc.) that provides a fairly easy-to-use web interface for players, while being willing to accept a still-very-developmental product, GMForge is the better option, hands-down.

(If you’re looking for something that provides robust automation, handles line-of-sight and vision reasonably well, and is 100% open-source, I’d direct you towards MapTool, as long as you can live with the fact that anyone not on the host’s LAN, including people on a VPN, is entirely unable to connect reliably due to the structuring of the Java-based communications protocols…)

Of those three, GMForge seems best positioned to eventually, one day, provide a full-spectrum suite of tools that can do, or be made to do with some additional JavaScript coding, whatever you want.

Full disclosure: I have used all of the VTT options covered (including roll20, as well as some others); I am currently using GMForge, and I hope to continue to be an active participant in the GMForge development community going forward. (Shameless self-promotion: I’ve published a mod for GMForge, for the Pathfinder RPG, that integrates support for pulling characters from HeroLab portfolios and updating GMForge based on saved changes to the portfolios during live play.)

I’m now trying to think of the best course of action for them. The Hut is safe so long as Candor remains in it.

I did think they could use ‘Move Earth’ to try and tunnel out, but not only is it not a Warlock spell, but Candor would have to be the one to cast it, and she can’t leave the Dome.

The only thing I can think of off the top of my head would be outside interference, like an Umber Hulk burrowing through (and then attempting to murder the party, naturally) or, say, a Black Dragonborn Coffeelock using Move Earth to save their asses… 😛

Candor recasts the spell at the edge of the dome, moving it. The characters clear the rubble from one side to the other. Rubble cannot collapse on their dome. When the rubble is cleared, Candor recasts again. They do this until they reach something that isn’t rubble. Since they’re about 500 feet underground, this is probably bedrock. RIP.

Move dome so some rubble is inside it.

Arrange rubble to raise the floor height.

Recast from new floor level, taking care to only let a “dodgeable” amount of rubble in.

Repeat ascending.

I grabbed a copy of the 5e PHB to stat something up, and because I was tired of not knowing what people were talking about.

And I spent forever trying to find this feature, until I came back to this comic and was reminded that it was part of PF 2e, not D&D5e.

Way late to the party on this one, but in addition to the point above re: “damaged” armor/weapons, there’s also the non-trivial question of how my merry band of erstwhile murderhobos- I mean, *my lovely players*- are schlepping around fifteen sets of plate armor that each weigh 65lb. I tend to avoid demanding nickel-and-dime accounting of carry weight, but my players wanting to haul around an extra couple of tons in scrap metal is definitely something that would result in a very severe Spock eyebrow and a “how exactly are you doing this, in-character?” Even with magical storage, a bag of holding is like what, 400lb of capacity?

This specific concern is actually why I’m wary about handing out a Portable Hole, as it lists the dimensions of the space, but doesn’t dictate a weight limit, meaning the players could conceivably just toss in everything that’s not bolted to the dungeon floor (and may make a concerted effort to remove said bolts, in certain cases).

You know, coincidentally I had just thrown together stats for a Christmas Treant. It’s basically the same as a normal treant but large instead of huge, casts dancing lights 3/day, resists cold, and is even more prone to catching on fire than a regular treant

Xmas Treant
Size/Type: Large Plant
Hit Dice: 7d8+35 (66 hp)
Initiative: -1
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 19 (-1 size, +0 Dex, +10 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 19
Base Attack/Grapple: +5
Attack: Slam +8 melee (2d6+5)
Full Attack: 2 slams +8 melee (2d6+5)
Space/Reach: 15 ft./15 ft.
Special Attacks: Animate trees, dancing lights 3/day, double damage against objects, trample 2d6+13
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 10/slashing, Cold resist 5, low-light vision, plant traits, extreme flammability
Saves: Fort +8, Ref +12 Will +7
Abilities: Str 20, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 12
Skills: Diplomacy +3, Hide -9*, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (nature) +6, Listen +8, Sense Motive +8, Spot +8, Survival +8 (+10 aboveground)
Feats: Improved Sunder, Iron Will, Power Attack
Environment: Temperate forests
Organization: Solitary or grove (4-7)
Challenge Rating: 7???
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually neutral good
Advancement: 8-16 HD (Huge); 17-21 HD (Gargantuan)

Animate Trees (Sp)
A treant can animate trees within 180 feet at will, controlling up to two trees at a time. It takes 1 full round for a normal tree to uproot itself. Thereafter it moves at a speed of 10 feet and fights as a treant in all respects. Animated trees lose their ability to move if the treant that animated them is incapacitated or moves out of range. The ability is otherwise similar to liveoak (caster level 12th). Animated trees have the same vulnerability to fire that a treant has.

Double Damage against Objects (Ex)
A treant or animated tree that makes a full attack against an object or structure deals double damage.

Trample (Ex)
Reflex DC 22 half. The save DC is Strength-based. Skills: *Treants have a +16 racial bonus on Hide checks made in forested areas.

Extreme Flammability
In addition to taking half again as much (+50%) damage as normal from fire (regardless of whether a saving throw is allowed, or if the save is a success or failure) a holiday treant also takes a -2 penalty to saves against fire and a -4 penalty to saves to avoid catching on fire

Spell-like abilities
3/day- dancing lights

Sure there are a lot of powerful builds out there, but you have to be wary. Some of them only get broken past level 12 when the party is starting at level 1.

What’s wrong with “the morning star shores”? What else would it have been called?

I think it’s a “sounds a lot like” name in place of a name used in an official product or work of fiction, most likely D&D-related. I just can’t place it at the moment, through the general fog of my illness.

Weapon + Words for where water meets land. Think Faerun.

This reads like a goddamn jojo episode, it’s just missing the color inversion

One of my characters has a background ability like this because the ability I got from his background would’ve never worked due to his guild being disbanded. The ability is called “I KNOW YOU” I can just point at someone once a session and say “Dave is that you? How the fuck did you get here?” And me and the DM then have to improvise how I know this random person

Personally I allow characters to be carried over into future campaigns (of appropriate levels). Most of my regulars have multiple characters of various types and levels that fit (loosely at times) the different campaign types I DM. Of course at some point they gain WAY too many magical items or abilities. Then I give them the choice to either make a new character OR have something happen to the too powerful character to knock it down to the campaign’s level. Head injury, curse, theives, magic accident, etc. Typically something funny, random and reversible (at my digression). Or I can always pull out a campaign and say it happened BEFORE (insert previous campaign here) and thus ANY items or character improvements gained AFTER that (obviously) don’t exist yet.
Anyway…just found your stuff and will be joining your Patreon soon. 💖

I’m looking forward to the Gishy. I’m imagining stuff like conjuring weapons and shields. Costs a spell slot, and disappears when sheathed, but count as magical (obviously) with no known resistances?
Also the shields. There are all kinds of things that can be done with those.

And it comes at a good time – Bladesingers are all the rage at the moment.

pretty cool! is the goliath race unchanged excluding the name? or did you mix in some draconic stuff?

Unchanged, for now. We might tack on a breath attack, or swap Mountain Born for something with a bit more of a copper dragon feel.

Because nothing’s better for an iron helm than acid breath spewing through those air vents!

I’m just surprised they went with a sledgehammer when they can finally justify grabbing a shovel as primary weapon because clerics aren’t allowed to use swords.

The visor must be spring-loaded, crafted by gnomish artificers to pop up or down at the touch of a small lever on the side, specifically for the breath weapon (and looking cool).

As for clerics and swords… is that still a thing in 5e?

Honestly, I don’t know if it is or not-after seeing what 4th edition played like I stuck with Pathfinder. As for the helm, I think it would be more amusing to watch him blast through it and watch the helmet smoke afterward because comic. That might impose visibility penalties, though..

A) I see where the new Reynauldo is coming from, but the helmet of Rey is all we have ever seen of him. Changing the helmet this much means it could almost as well be a completely new character. I get that with a new race comes different features and therefore new helmet, but i think it should be a lesser change than this, so that the similarities help the viewer make more of a bridge between the two figures as one single character.

B) Is there a way to make an account around these parts? I can’t see a button anywhere, and so thought it was reserved for Mr. Bartholomew, but now i see zophah has an icon too.

Hey, I added a log-in button. It just now occurred to me everyone doesn’t have / use wordpress’s (admittedly byzantine) gravitar system. Let me know if you’re allowed to set an avatar as a subscriber. If you can’t, I’ll hack something out.


We actually tried to do Reynauldo as a dragonborn / halfdragon without changing his design. The joke was that he looked exactly the same but his helmet gained a snout. We didn’t get very far with the design tho. Something about it didn’t shiver Zach’s timbers.

I don’t want to come across as too critical, because i actually don’t have that much of a gripe with Rey’s new design. But thou did ask for thoughts, and so i oblige. Now, keeping that in mind:

That image you replied with is basically the EXACT opposite of what i am trying to suggest now.
The face/helmet was changed, the rest stayed the same. I propose the notion that that specific helmet is significant to the easy identification of the character, and so my suggestion is that everything BUT the the helmet should change, or at the very least that the helmet should resemble the original more than the current design. So, IMHO: Keep the design posted way up above, with the dragons arms and neck, but reduce (don’t remove) the helmet’s snout, and maybe remove the wing-ornaments or something.

Also, pressing register seems to have made me an account for this site only, not wordpress in general? IDK, but Gravatar won’t accept either of my email or my username as legitimate accounts.

Ok doke. I’ll see what I can do tonight.

Now, i’m new to wordpress (Maybe i’m not even that, i’m still not sure if what i made with your link counts as a wordpress account or not), so maybe i’m missing something here, but if you already have that wordpress integration, why not just have the register link make you a proper wordpress account? Then you wouldn’t have to bodge anything together. Or go to using Disqus or something, so that one dosn’t have to make an account for one specific webcomic.

It just clicked that the main cast now as a 50/50 tail ratio.

I read that there was some concern with Rey’s new look and I want to say I think you guys did good. the armor and helmet keeps him grounded in the old character while the Draconic elements add some nice newness. The arms into dragon paws?/claws?/hands? especially accentuate his silhouette.

Thanks! His look definitely got the most attention. In the Patreon feed, we did a podcast discussing the thoughts behind the new designs. Reynauldo has evolved A LOT from his inception (he was supposed to turn into a bad guy!) so sticking to his spirit involved figuring out what, exactly, that was.

Price on cut stone? Minimum mining cost for a ton of anything is one ounce of gold so quarry stone (76 tons per 10ftx10ftx10ft granite stone) prices at 76 ounces of gold. 16 ounces per pound. 4.75lb gold per thousand cubic feet of quarried granite stone. Thats 10gp/lb=47.5gp (old dnd) or 50gp/lb= 237.5gp(new dnd) per thousand cubic feet of stone.

My musings as I go through Bardic Songs

1) General concept: Love it. Personal opinion is that all Charisma casters should be weird and not miscable with everything else, or all be Spell points and applicable only across CHA casters as different facets of applying your will to the world. This is one step farther than “Bard spell slots only”, but might strike a good balance as a separate spell system that is still more than one class. As a note, I would fold all Paladin non-Aura abilities into this (LoH, and spells), to make it all fueled by this reserves. Sorcerors would be Metamagic and spells.
But enough of that. Back to the Bard

2) Adding Performance to Concentration: I am wary of this as it is a double up, and I am not sure how often that actually happens in 5e. However a subsitution of a Performance Check for a Concentration save (which is essentially switching Charisma in for Constitution) would work to me. It does make them SAD, but it also means that they cannot take a hit as well if they don’t invest in CON. And CHA is a “weak” save anyways, so I think it balances.

3) Do the songs count as “spells known” or can the Bard just pick up the general ones as they level and seek out sheet music? I know they are usually “innate” casters, but there is something to be said to comparing Bardic music to a Ritual casting style of magic.

4) Not sure if I can critique College of Metal, but I love the image

All in all, I love the idea of this. I think my ideal would be to have all non Magical Secrets Bard spells be Bard songs, with a few lesser “ritual songs” that can allow for improving Hit Dice rolls and the like. Perhaps each subclass gains a few “trade specific songs” like bonus spells, with the rest being snippets that the Bard needs to hunt down or develop for themselves.

Thank you for sharing your ideas, and for the awesome comic!

Good stuff! Thanks!

I may have worded it badly, but my intention is that to maintain concentration on a Bardic Song, you are just making a performance check. I will go through and make sure that’s what it actually says.

Why can’t they just try to lead the dragon to the keep?

There’s the potential issue of a dragon so large that it only really gives “ignored” and “TPK” options to characters at their level.

Reverie has discipline that few i’ve played with seems to be aware exists. I have even played with a few players that would have blown at the first hint of a possible TPK because “This is obviously a situation where we need it, so the GM must want me to use it to further the plot”.

Knowing that blowing the horn would release a villain, I don’t think I’d ever blow the horn unless it would save at least 100 innocents in immediate peril. The karmic cost just doesn’t seem justifiable otherwise. That’s also assuming I’m not playing an evil or chaotic character.

This is why I’m lukewarm on puzzles… unless carefully handled, they so often come down to some crucial detail that the players missed, or something the DM considers obvious that the players don’t, or players off on a tangent that has nothing to do with how the puzzle actually works, or players paranoid about the consequences of trying it and getting it wrong, or…

In Changling: the Lost, there is a horn that when blown, will force a True Fey to complete a task for the one who blew it. This comes with costly caveats, though:
1. Given the system, the True Fey are the villains and notoriously selfish and aloof to the point of fulfilling any task the way they want it done.
2. for the next 4 hours, four children will disappear from their homes and be whisked away to the True Fey’s domain where they will live out the rest of their lives mutated and in slavery.
3. once finished, the horn will teleport to the next group of changelings, who are given the same caveats for using it.

a pal of mine cooked up a pyromaniac monk called smokey the bare
he wore a hat that read U.S. forestry service
if asked he would explain that his noble organization was enacting there final attempt to rid the world o those abominations called “trees” it stood for “ultimate solution”
as you might guess no such organization existed and this nudist burn victim “save for the hat” was as much a delusional lunatic as he looked

Cokkie Monster – Bugbear Barbarian. As a young bugbear he stole some cookies and fell in love with them Really regretted murdering that family first because they couldn’t bake any more for him. Now, in his lair, slaves are forced to bake cookies for him night and day to sate his craving.

To me, D&D is always at least ridiculous with maybe a dash of cosmic horror. Kinda like an 80s cartoon version of Conan the Barbarian.

Plus, considering what level 1 go through to level up, going from Level 0 to level 1 could be done with a training montage.

Congrats, Bart.

This is in your wheelhouse — you already deliver great comics. 😉

this might be me nitpicking, but shouldn’t “wait you guys rehearsed this.” have a ? at the end, or was is supposed to be a statement?

It’s a statement, not a question. Only intonated statements, ie. statements used as questions, have a questionmark at the end. Thus we can infer that the statement isn’t intonated – she isn’t seeking reassurance on the statement, she’s just stating it. No puzzlement, just realisation. Think “I see what you did there” moment.

Great news on the Kickstarter.

Back in the days when adversarial GMs were in some circles considered “the norm” and “doing it the right way”, splitting up the party really was a terrible idea. Plus we’ve all seen enough horror movies to know that you never go alone. 😉

I think the “Don’t split the party” thing is more of a stylistic choice. The GM and players always need to make sure they are on the same page about what kind of campaign it will be, and where it lies on the realism-fantasy scale, not in setting but in logic, should be part of that. Realistic logic -> People do things alone ALL THE TIME, why should they constantly stay together? Fantastic logic -> There could be a dozen orcs around every corner, if we split up we’ll just draw the attention of more enemies at the same time.

I told my group no major splits because going back and forth between people at 2-3 different places just didn’t make for fun gameplay, causing major downtimes for the ones I couldn’t currently play with.
Granted, I’m not very good at splitting my attention too, but it just wasn’t fun, neither for me nor for them.

Regarding the “Don’t Split the Party” kinda rule, I’m of the opinion that the party splits up at it’s own risk. No, I’m not there to seek the deaths of the PCs. That’s not dramatic, and very quickly most DMs won’t have any players anymore. But them splitting up, and running into a full force orc patrol, is both realistic and dramatic, because the world doesn’t tone it down, just because the party is split in two. That’s how the world should work, although a lot of stories with many DMs have flexible stories that fade in and out, as they are attempting to handcraft a story, in a way it perhaps shouldn’t be done. One common theme of this, is the bad guys intentionally spreading out their shots and attacks over multiple party members. If it’s some mindless zombies, that makes sense. If it’s a top squad of the evil king, they should be smart, and vicious, because of training, and discipline. If the heroes walked into a room with those guys, and weren’t totally prepared, they should have to turn tail and run, or risk permanently losing a character.

If the DM makes it clear that yeah, sometimes running into a full war band at level 1 is a possibility, or a lonely goblin at level 13, it shouldn’t be an issue or a matter of complaint. The DM can’t exactly explain all of his reasoning, because secrets and plot. Some DMs have done this, some haven’t. I’m inclined towards the more brutal side, as that isn’t as prone to making the world bland by DM fiat, although accidentally, and it emphasizes the world is very dangerous.

The trick I think is trying to rationalize who would, and wouldn’t among the NPCs commit to this action, and how much IC information that NPC would have about who to target in the midst of combat. Some might be intelligent enough, wise enough, or disciplined enough to know, “kill the wizard first,” “knock the cleric unconscious,” or “total coup de gras on the fighter,” even without formal intel on a party, from a past set of experiences, or ambient knowledge, dependent on the setting. For example, if magic is rather common, and battle wizards easily identifiable, at the start of a given combat, there was probably an attempt by the enemy to turn them into a pincushion, or negate their ability to throw a fireball.

Too late for more cohesive thoughts. Cheers folks.

I love stuff like this in my games. “You open the door to find an innocuous, nondescript room with a mountain of treasure inside. Chests ajar and overflowing with gold; you think you see a jewel-encrusted sword hilt sticking out of one of the piles… there are beautiful goblets and other artifacts, but the dim lighting means you need to go a bit further inside to really get the full picture. What do you do?”

And then sit and watch the party stew on it for an hour. Because if something looks too good to be true, it usually is.

Sometimes I won’t even booby-trap it. Fortune favours the brave – literally. Or sometimes I’ll quietly set a timer of 60 seconds. If someone hasn’t rushed in to loot what they can, the floor beneath the treasure collapses and the loot is gone forever.

Also: The epicentre of the fireball was behind the Medusa, so even if fireball = light, it would reveal a silhouette of a figure. Is it a Medusa? Or is it Reynauldo’s wife with bed hair? WHO KNOWS? In any case, Reynauldo can’t see her eyes, so the conditions for Petrifying Gaze weren’t met.


Except, as you can see by the light in the comic and by the fact that the light from fireball would distribute at least 20 feet in any direction, she would have side lighting as well (and the fact that it looks like the fireball’s epicenter was to her right), which would allow her eyes to be illuminated.


I joke, but I imagine it’s like this:

PS I’m just messing with ya, please don’t take this as a serious response.

Also also: How did you not know Light Clerics could use Fireball? It’s the main reason why the subclass is so attractive.

…says the guy who didn’t realise Clerics know every spell in the Cleric Spell List until Zee Bashew did a video on it…

Weather-related headaches are usually pressure-based. My solution – which usually works within 15 minutes – is 3 standard-size ibuprophen and 1 24-hour sudafed. This is approximately a dose and a half of ibuprophen, so be careful about further doses.

Tell Zach to feel better. 🙂

A friend of mine has recurring migraines, and one of her solutions is to get a smoothy (she likes the Island Detox Green from one of the chains, add extra ginger and vitamin C), and go for deliberate brain freeze.

Brain freeze is caused by the blood vessels in the roof of the mouth that share blood flood with the brain contracting from the cold, and then relaxing — the renewed rush of blood is what caused the sensation. This can help normalize blood flow in and out of the brain, and offer some relief.

But is it non-GMO, clean, gluten-free, free-range, and paleovegan?

My wife has celiacs, so all fairy food on this channel is gluten free.

I’d just eat the chocolate mousse until the effects become permanent, can’t really see the downside here 😉

“Look, it’s another dungeon entrance too small for your antlers. You’re on guard duty all adventure again.”
“I don’t care if you’re sick of sleeping in the open, we aren’t paying another tavern for the damage you do to the walls every time you bash into them.”
“Of course I’ve been giving you stealth penalties, nobody is going to believe a coat rack in the wild or miss seeing those things.”

I feel like the drawing is backwards from the explanation, as it looks (to me) like the opening is the leading front of the reverse rocketry system.

Granted, my brain is breaking along with the Conservation laws which are uncool and thus don’t apply to the Rule of Cool (or Funny).

Good strip! May steal this idea for my own use.

A related question: how do you open the bag underwater without getting sucked into it? That’s one heck of a pressure differential. By a similar token, when you open it in atmosphere you ought to create a pretty strong local breeze…maybe it doesn’t pay to think too closely about this stuff. 🙂

This reminds me of the Flying Gnome trick. Only for water travel rather than air travel.

(For those not familiar: Take a Gnome Wizard/Sorcerer. Cast Reduce on self, then use Mage Hand to pick yourself up, up and away! Great for escaping those combat situations you just can’t win.)

Reduce. The target’s size is halved in all dimensions, and its weight is reduced to one-eighth of normal.

The hand can’t Attack, activate magical items, or carry more than 10 pounds.

just make sure you weigh at most 80 pounds.

quotes from roll20 btw

Yes. I don’t need the descriptions recited, thank you.

Also from Roll20 is that Gnomes weigh – on /average/ – 40lbs. A reasonable argument could be made that a Gnome of particularly slight build could weigh as little as 30-35lbs (considering the average weight of a human is 137lbs yet I have friends who weigh as little as 90lbs).

As for excessive amounts of gear: That’s why we keep the big, dumb Barbarian around, right? That and Bags of Holding are a thing.

Actually, since it states in the description that sharp objects can pierce it from inside and destroy it it would theoretically pressurize water inside the 64 foot cubic space similar tot he first bathysphere test. Unfortunately you would have to cut it off at this point as eventually it would suck in so much water it ruptures, destroying itself and the water within. Unless the inside and outside just stabilize and the bag is now filled with a lot of water.

But I’ll bet you can put in a +3 shortsword and have it turn into a non-magical dagger. ^_^

There was an entire thread on the GITP 5e forums about whether the Pact of the Blade warlock’s ability to bind a magical weapon turns the magical weapon bound weapon into a non-magical pact weapon exactly like the summoned pact weapon… or whether the ability to choose the form of the destructor, er… the pact weapon means you can turn a Flametongue Longsword into a Flametongue dagger or longbow by binding it and them summoning it.

The entire thing was a dumpster fire of dueling rules-lawyering and micro-parsing snippets of the rules text.

(I may be stalling while the pun-gears grind…)

Your post made me realize that the micro-parsing is the thing I hate most about D&D.

And the thing is, I think both sides were wrong.

If I were going to rule on it, I’d just say that the bound magical weapon stays that specific magical weapon, and when it’s summoned, it’s always that magical weapon. If any other weapon is created with the class feature, it’s just a normal created pact weapon with no magic from the bound weapon.

To me, that seems the most balanced, the most equitable, and the most player-friendly.

>If the bag is overloaded, pierced, or torn, it ruptures and is destroyed

He’s only going to suck up 8 cubic feet of water, before this happens. Presuming there isn’t already stuff in the bag. All of his stuff inside is now gone, and depending on the rules, he might be joining that crap in the Astral plane.

All of which is to say, magic items are dangerous, even the relatively simple or mundane ones. The enchantment must be really self contained and simple if it simply exists with no consequence.

Paying attention to these rules makes the game more interesting, to see how they recover after dredging themselves up from the flooded chamber, now cold, wet, wounded, and lacking all of their regular gear that would resolve that problem. And they’ll probably be hungry after a while. It also allows gold to retain it’s value, because of the cycle of lost and recovery.

It always made more sense to me that bags of holding used tesseract space, while portable holes used extradimensional space. That’s why bad things happen when you put them together. =)

It’s EXTREMELY rare for my party. We’ve been playing for two years on the same characters and only now because we’re in possibly the worst situation possible is the DM requiring us to think about back up characters. With the level of thought and depth and character growth (and, admittedly, using them to process our own complicated traumas and reactions to them), it’d be hard to just drop them after the first 12 sessions.

When I’m DMing it’s kinda the same thing. I haven’t run a campaign nearly that long yet, but I do want my players’ characters to stay alive so we can do the story instead of catching up new PCs all the time. Does it come real close to death sometimes? Do players forget thanks to what they go through that I said I’ll do what I can so they don’t die? Sure, so there’s an element of loss and risk and weight to the game, but them not dying is a firm thing for me.

“Don’t spoil their fun, guys” is exactly the attitude I have as a DM. If it’s not exactly to the rules but it sounds plausible, sure, why not? Unless it doesn’t fit the tone of our game and is completely ridiculous I’m usually fine with stuff. I once had two players spend an out of game and excitable half an hour plotting out the perfect shopping list according to the value of items as found in the Player’s Handbook and older, forgotten sources. They presented it to me with a breakdown of the party coffer and exactly how much work at what trades they’d have to do to get the rest of the money they needed; and they did it with such pride at having done a good job that I didn’t have the heart to tell them I was nowhere near that strict! So I just congratulated them for their work and wrote the story around it.

Reynauldo seems like the kind of person to try to abuse Bladesinger Wizard/Monk multiclass.

Properly min/maxed, they can get their AC to 40 or above – the highest official enemy attack bonus is the Tarrasque, at +19….literally every single enemy in the game has to roll a nat20 to hit that build.

*Notes the location, river-flow wise, of the Tanner’s shop, relative to the Brewery.*
*Heads back upstream a hundred yards before refilling waterskins.*
Yeah, I’ll be drinking imported wine while in Beohern, thanks. ^_^

Beohern’s ales all have a unique taste and smell that no other town can quite replicate.

Served alongside tiefling ale at discerning establishments across the realm.


What’s probably less obvious is, the Brewer was there first. The local lord is really big on sobriety, however, and he leased the upstream parcels to a tanner and a stable for a song. No, really. One rendition of “Happy Birthday”, (although this was BEFORE WB’s lich-like grip on that song was severed, so there WAS a LITTLE hell to pay…)

As an Edmonton resident I can say that in a few hundred years that village will regret developing on both sides of the river.

Well, if they didn’t, there would be the possibility that someone will set up a rival town on the other side of the river, making it harder to regulate the tanning industry’s waste disposal. ^_^

It also may lead to names like “Beohern, Alsace” and “Beohern, Beohern”, or “Beo” and “Hern”….

>Go to the East
I’m sorry, I don’t know what you mean.
>Go East
I’m sorry, there is no road there.
>Go Witches House.
I’m sorry. I don’t know what you mean.
>Go House
Before you stands a simple cottage. Dried herbs hang from the eaves. There is a cleared circle surmounted by a ring of bare earth, as if the grass has been killed through multiple applications of salt, to the left of the path. The stubs of several candles can be seen on large rocks placed both inside and outside the circle.

It’s… so bright.

Yeah, I fucked up bad. I am not a developer. 🙁

Sadly, my webpage skills are about 20 years out of date, CCS and this crazy white-on-white design that’s “trendy” now are beyond me.

The white design is an accident. I accidentally deleted my CSS. It should be gone now.

New reader going through the archives. Just want to present a different take on the whole “Don’t split the party” thing.

Personally, it’s got nothing to do with adversarial DMs or fracturing party strength or whatever. If you split the party, suddenly the DM has to keep track of (at least) twice as many things at the same time as usual. Plus, when the DM is focusing on one fraction of the party, nobody outside that group is getting to interact with the game. Basically, splitting the party reduces the amount of game time everyone except the DM gets, unless we’re looking at a situation where the players have multiple characters so they can be in each of the split parties — and even then, it’s still a bigger workload for the DM (especially if they’re having to adjust things on the fly to accommodate the abbreviated parties).

This is not to say you should NEVER do it. Just that you should be aware of the costs, and preferably have a plan to deal with them beforehand.


Usually the only time that splitting the party reasonably comes up in my games (reasonably as in not because of party drama) is because of recon, which is definitely valid, and an activity I suggest for players who have fun watching their friends’ shenanigans. Then I can text them snippets of information, and when I tag them back in they’ll have stuff to share.

So it’s tainted wheat? You don’t need a mill to have wheat… the mill turns the wheat into flour… just saying

Me: “Wow, this is a great story arc! Lots of twists and ‘cloak and dagger’-esque clues; and a Big Bad that’s genuinely tricky to pin down! I wish I were a part of this party…”
Others: “YoU dOn’T nEeD a MiLl To HaVe WhEaT! RRREEEEEEEEEEE!”

Pretty sure that the mill itself is irrelevant, it is just a cover. The mill is because it is thematically appropriate. They aren’t milling things and then selling poisoned flour, they are using it as a front to sneak poisoned wheat into the town’s supply.

It could be a barber shop for all Rothsfire cares, as long as everything below it is intact and it is far away enough to not arouse suspicion.

I love this ability as well

In my setting idea, I steal from the concept of Old Ones of the Deep vs. the traditional gods of the D&D campaign (Greyhawk).

Kuatoa are mutated humanoids “who have returned to the Deep”. They still possess a soul (an alien sense of ego to the psionically inclined Old Ones), and are used to essentially manufacture “Godsbane” to assault the shore.

Cyclops are similar, but instead forge powerful arms and armour that none of the Clerical Powers want you to have.

Wait… why is Snorplopt attacking ships? Is the Eye of the Coast a lawful good deity that came into being on the coast of an evil nation that engaged in slavery? Are the ships in fact human traffickers disobeying the law? This is a surprisingly deep plot. A whole campaign could come into being here centered around the awakened lesser deity of a lighthouse.

Does a god created by the Kuo-Toa collective power reflect its actual purpose and history, or their frightful misperceptions of it?

Is that lighthouse still going to act as a protector of ships and sailors, a beacon to the lost, as it was before… or is it going to be a baleful towering form with an unblinking search eye of fire and a mind-shattering mournful voice that stomps across the shore spreading the same terror it always caused the Kuo-Toa for all those decades?

Would it have caused them terror? Although amphibious they were primarily aquatic. This indicates a life underwater where a bright light would shine down in the darkest times (I presume lighthouses are generally dark on clear days). Although they may associate the light with storms (thus an act of punishment) they would also associate it with good times (clear nights) where fish gather (they tend to be drawn to lights I hear). So although a vengeful god, the light itself brings them no heat yet is watchful. Normally bringing abundance to the faithful but at times smiting them for their sins (storms = waves).

I did not realize that Isekai was a thing.

Is my life better or worse now that I do?

I feel like Bart would be a Lore Bard and Zach would… probably be a Mystic; it’s the class that can get literally and figuratively as far away from social interaction as humanly and superhumanly possible whilst still being slightly OP.

The cellphone wouldn’t work, reactions to it would be perhaps meh–depending on the world’s magic level–and any (PC proposed) means to recharge it would result in the harddrive being melted.

The gun would have finite uses, and the large sound would attract attention low level parties would not like. Reloaded ammunition is not safe, and I doubt many people know the recipes for any type of gunpower, much less the advanced forms used in modern rounds.

The motorcycle would run out of fuel pretty quickly, and I really doubt the PCs would want to drag the motorcycle along until they can find someone that sells kerosene, which even then would be too thick for the engine to use….

I could and would make it work. My setting kinda has elements of this already, since the Church came from the 3rd Century Mediterranean. A gun or motorbike hardly compares to some of the other relics of forgotten eras. The problem is no one would speak English. Rectified by a kind cleric, or the appropriate spells, but it would certainly suck for the first few months without an understanding of common (a Greek derivative)
at the very least.

It would be quite interesting to try this idea out, though I think perhaps it would require some setup work, and a few alterations, perhaps along the lines of reincarnation or something of the like if people object to what would otherwise be a human only party–until people start dying and reincarnating, or rolling new characters from inside the world.

Really reminds me of *How to Avoid Death on a Daily Basis* in concept. The book’s first few chapters would probably be roughly equivalent to the first few days in any foreign, near alien world.

The real benefit of the cell phone is as a plot hook. When they check their fully charged phone they can’t get a signal… but it says they have full bars. Moving in a direction eventually decreases the bars as you get farther away from the source. What is the source the cell phone is picking up? Probably very bad news.

Interesting. I’d probably just connect it to an ICBM silo to be perfectly honest, but with the spelljammer stuff, it can offer a lot of potential.

The real question is, would they discard the phone once it dies. How far is far enough away to decrease a bar as well.

This gives me somewhat malicious ideas for my own campaign. Well done sir.

Ah… isekai. I could wreck that campaign with a single item and what I know. DON’T let them bring a book. One person with the Anarchist’s Cookbook would be like unto a god. Speaking of which, after watching Goblin Slayer again I finally decided to figure out what “Fire Mixture” would be. I conclude it would be Ammonium Nitrate. Dissolved in water it creates an endothermic reaction to the point that it is used to make ice packs and is commonly used to make cheap explosives.

Tell them yes, then make them make characters using this trash fire. Done ‘properly’ you don’t get to know the impact of your decisions until you’ve flipped to the page for your class, so the four of them would either cheat character creation or pick what they think means practically their current characters and have to cope with massively different themes and skill sets.

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Regarding the commissions:

I might have to get in on this for another character, since this one isn’t part of a published work I could have art done for the character I first thought of having drawn during the Issue 2 Kickstarter.

For anyone considering this, I have to say that Bart and Zach are really easy to work with, and happily take feedback on the rough draft. Zach did an incredible job translating my description and reference art into the character art.

That is pure genius and extrodinary luck. Such a party-pooper, that GM ;p

In other news: The login button is gone? I’m sure there’s a reason, and i wound up having something to say much less of the time than i’d anticipated, so it’s fine.

As a nod to the fact that Smokey the Bear is (probably) a Werebear: ‘Thieves Can’t Prevent Forest Fires’.

Also: SO GLAD to see Zach has finally caved into doing commissions. I love his art style; I love the Rhocian Mini from the Kickstarter, and I can’t wait to see how Red Wildblood turns out. 😛

Yeah… never give a zoanthrope a “natural alignment” that lets them be good. This removes any sort of conflict from the situation. His “dark secret” is that he can turn into a mountain of muscle, claws, and fangs with no real drawbacks because it is lawful good for the Smokey the bear jokes. Also, don’t let your players play the character while transformed unless you can truly trust them to roleplay, otherwise it’s just another path to power for them.

Why a wereBEAR, a mostly solitary beast known for aggression and hunger as its dominating motivations has a LAWFUL GOOD alignment is a mystery to me. Meanwhile werewolves, a beast that depends on teamwork and social stability within the pack, is chaotic evil.

Go with the old school method. Will save to maintain alignment when they transform and GM/DM takes control of the character until the transformation ends. Keeps stuff like this from happening if for no other reason they’ll then be sitting around waiting for the full moon to be over. “What a terrible night to have a curse.”

I think it’s a reference to either Beorn from “The Hobbit” or Winnie the Pooh from “Winnie the Pooh”

Or possibly the Care Bears now that I think of it, it even sort of rhymes depending on how you pronounce it.

Now that kind of gives me an idea for an eberron character. A half-elf werebear artificer with the mark of storms who is literally just Grumpy Bear

Don’t intellect devourers A. Replace the brains of their victims, and B. Teleport instead of burrow into the skull? I guess you guys are probably using a different ruleset or edition.

Belmont with a whip?
OP right there.
They get once-per-day Grand Cross, proficiency with a wide variety of offhand weapons, and high level characters can hypothetically channel enough power (requires a level of cleric or paladin fyi) to annihlate a large building.

Only main issue is fairly slow speed until higher levels.

I have dealt with all these type, but bear no resentment – even toward the ones who have to be reminded to “get off Facebook”. The shared movie quotes are fun. It’s great to see people playing to their strengths and improvising, and not getting too upset when they miss.

Do you think Snorplopt’s Eye beam would be like Sacred Flame, but buffed? It could do 4d8 Radiant/Fire damage, and cause disadvantage on stealth based Abilities/Sneak Attack, and Perception based skills/saves for a turn or two. It it gets damaged on anywhere other than the head, it could regenerate by assimilating stone, giving it new limbs and maybe 1d6+10 health. It’s stats could be equal or close to a Cloud/Storm Giant, considering it’s size. It could also have a weakness in that it’s Eye takes times 1.5 damage

Tables I play at tend to be so anti-metagaming that they end up nerfing their characters with their play, or at least insulting their intelligence.

…Says the guy that went an entire encounter against a Troll without once remembering I have a fire breath weapon… But at least Red Wildblood now knows you can’t just hack a Troll to death with a normal Greatsword! Not at 3rd level, anyway…

This is one of my biggest stumbling blocks with tabletop gaming: the disconnect between what *I* know and what my *character* knows. Though in my case, usually it’s the case that my character knows something that I don’t, because they’re much more familiar with the setting and lore, having lived in it for 30-odd years. It’s irritating to have them make a decision that’s completely nonsensical given their understanding of the universe.

I can see people having trouble with it. I don’t but I’m pretty sure I have some sort of disorder given the wide variety of characters I have played and how easily I have switched between them… A good idea would be look at your applicable knowledge skill (mostly for gms) and the challenge rating of the creature. The higher the challenge rating the less likely people are to survive and therefore the less likely the tale was told and information began disseminating. Other modifiers can also apply like how prevalent the monster is in real world folk lore but CR vs Skill Ranks should be a good starting place. No player’s character should know anything about the Jabberwock for instance because even talking about it can cause it to seek you out and kill you. This is also the reason Vorpal weapons should be limited in your campaign. Whenever someone makes one the Jabberwock puts them on its hit list.

I think we have arrived at some parallel to the old trolley problem 😛

“On one track, there is a minor character fated to die based on how this encounter was written.
On the other track, there are 5 major characters, 2 of which are almost necessary to get a rare artifact.
The trolley is going on the minor character’s track. There’s a switch you can flip to redirect it to the major character’s track, but-”
“So, we need to flip the switch so we can defy destiny and save the minor character!”

Look at that little girl’s eyes! That’s obviously a charm effect. You know you else has dominating gaze? Vampires.

Don’t worry though, there’s an easy way to test for vampires. Stake ’em through the heart, and if they die, they’re a vampire. I myself have used this highly effective test many times, and I’ve never been wrong.

I’ve seen all four types in the wild, at the gaming table, as a GM. There have been a few times when it’s been so ridiculous that I could only laugh. Out loud. Uncontrollably. Nothing bothers Serious Gamer more than the GM falling out of the chair laughing.

I can see a manipulative DM putting a child deep in a dungeon like that because the floor boss has a soft spot for mother/fatherhood and decided to take care of them. This gives a chance to RP away a boss fight if the players are clever… and don’t kill the girl.

Nah. That’s ridiculously touchy feely. Go with the, “she’s the late day snack for a vampire” route. All the guilt if they kill her and no rationalization that she was probably gonna grow up evil because she was raised by the BBEG we killed. Also makes more sense.

Late to the party, but in my group, we houseruled out pretty much all sources if instant-death, and enemies won’t intentionally kill a downed party-member while there’s still other threats to them nearby. Which effectively means if I don’t screw up combat balance massively (which so far I haven’t), deaths only happen due to player stupidity. We had one bard die so far.