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    1. Board games with unique mechanics?

      Currently, I've been playing board games which always have the same kind of (standard) mechanics (worker placement, card drafting, etc), which after a while, starts to feel kind of the same but...

      Currently, I've been playing board games which always have the same kind of (standard) mechanics (worker placement, card drafting, etc), which after a while, starts to feel kind of the same but what changes is the theme.

      I'm looking for recommendations on board games which have unique mechanics. It could a completely new mechanic or simply a mechanic which already exists but then the game uses it with a twist.

      For example:

      • Trickerion use of worker placement but the workers have actually different values.

      • Tzolk'in and the use of gears.

      12 votes
    2. My first DnD character died. What should I do next?

      I've been playing a Tomb of Annihilation campaign with some friends the past few months, and we are all relatively new players (each of us having played about one campaign before). As far as I...

      I've been playing a Tomb of Annihilation campaign with some friends the past few months, and we are all relatively new players (each of us having played about one campaign before). As far as I know this is the first time any of us have been in a campaign where a PC dies. My level 4 wizard was suddenly and violently killed by a flesh golem.

      None of us are exactly sure how to proceed, and there's some disagreement. A few of the people in my party think that any new character should be a level or two behind the party in order to further dis-incentivize dying. I personally think that is too harsh, and luckily it seems like we are reaching a consensus that my new character should be the same level, but I shouldn't be able to play as the same race and class.

      This seems more or less reasonable to me, although to be honest I really enjoyed playing as a wizard so I wouldn't have minded doing so again. I'm mainly curious to hear how you all handle character deaths, and any tips you might have for making a new character mid-campaign.

      10 votes
    3. How do you feel board games have changed in the last twenty-five years?

      Everyone always refers to the coming of Eurogames a long time back, but I'm wondering about modern games. Where have they come? Where will they go? I'd say the art has gotten better, more...

      Everyone always refers to the coming of Eurogames a long time back, but I'm wondering about modern games. Where have they come? Where will they go? I'd say the art has gotten better, more eye-catching, but I'm more ambivalent about very recent (last five years) game mechanics.

      11 votes
    4. As a DM, I kinda hate Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

      I hate that enemies have so low armor class. In earlier editions, you had to be tactical, use flanking manoeuvres and charge attacks, prepare the right support spells, maybe even pick the Weapon...

      I hate that enemies have so low armor class. In earlier editions, you had to be tactical, use flanking manoeuvres and charge attacks, prepare the right support spells, maybe even pick the Weapon Specialization feat for your favourite weapon. In 5e, no need; just stand wherever, roll an attack, you'll probably hit. In addition to removing much of the tactics from the game, this makes it basically impossible for enemy spellcasters to use duration spells. Good luck succeeding on 4 concentration checks per turn.

      I hate that enemies' proficiency bonus is based on their challenge rating. No high-attack low-damage monsters here. Don't worry; the tank in your party will never need healing, any level-appropriate monster needs to roll ridiculously high on the dice to hit them! Everyone else just stay in the back and lob your bloody cantrips, and the battle will be over in 3 turns.

      I hate that attack cantrips do as much damage as a weapon attack (or more). Why even have weapons at all, when your cantrips do more damage than a longsword, with better range than a crossbow.

      I hate that cantrips scale with character level. No need to learn anything new for the rest of the game, your trusty Eldritch Blast will be your most powerful attack throughout. Especially when you get access to Greater Invisibility and don't need to rely on your bloody familiar for advantage on attack rolls.

      I hate that familiars can do help actions in combat. Advantage every turn! And since they're no longer a class feature but a spell, they're also available to fighters and rogues, no multi-classing necessary. And unlike in earlier editions there are no real consequences of losing your familiar. All you lose is 10 gp worth of incense to get them back, a pittance at higher levels.

      I hate that a long rest fully restores hit points. No need to ever stay in one place for longer than 8 hours, no need to conserve spell slots to do end-of-the-day healing, heck; no need for a healer at all really! And it gets worse when they reach 3rd level and get access to Leomund's Tiny Hut, and don't even need to find a safe spot to camp.

      I hate that wild shape is basically useless in combat, due to challenge rating restrictions and the lousy selection of beasts in the Monster Manual.

      I hate that the only logical combat use of Polymorph is turning into a dinosaur. Prepare for the inevitable discussion around the table: Can my character turn into a tyrannosaurus rex, even if they've never seen one? No? But, uuuuuh, they saw a picture of one in a book at the library!

      I hate that you can use Counterspell to counterspell someone else's attempt at counterspelling your own spell.

      I hate that any character can use any skill. No need for a rogue, just hand those Thieves' Tools to the character with the highest Dexterity, they'll get that door open.

      The worst thing is that this game went through lots and lots of play-testing before it was released. The developers must have known about all of these issues and chosen not to change them, meaning that none of these are bugs; they're all features! This is how the developers intended the game to be!

      Did I forget any of your peeves about the game? Add them in the comments. Alternatively, comment with what you love about 5e, let's add some positivity to this rant.

      13 votes
    5. Tips for making a first DnD character?

      I'm starting a virtual campaign with some friends soon, and this is my first time making a DnD character (I have DMed once in the past when we were all starting out). I'm super excited and just...

      I'm starting a virtual campaign with some friends soon, and this is my first time making a DnD character (I have DMed once in the past when we were all starting out). I'm super excited and just kind of delving in now and finding all of it very fun.

      We're going to be playing the Tombs of Annihilation campaign which I understand can be a difficult one for beginners. I am right now leaning towards making a Wizard character since I think that is most in line with my irl personality and would be easiest to roleplay, but I'm kind of overwhelmed by the options available to me!

      Does anyone have tips on ways to stay organized and make sure I'm building a balanced character? Common pitfalls to avoid for a beginner? Tips for playing a wizard? I'm open to any and all suggestions, both about character design and newbie tips in general.

      11 votes
    6. How to start a DnD campaign with your friends?

      Times are tough and isolation is getting to everybody, we've been playing some easy jackbox games with my friends on Google Hangouts, when the idea came to me: Why not start a DnD campaign? I've...

      Times are tough and isolation is getting to everybody, we've been playing some easy jackbox games with my friends on Google Hangouts, when the idea came to me: Why not start a DnD campaign? I've never ever played one, just watched some Youtube (Geek and Sundry, Mathew Colville), and definitely never though about hosting one until now.

      After looking around, there are a lot of cool resources for running one, Roll20 seems to be the most popular and praised for ease of use. Rules are very well written into it and all the tools needed to deal with the mechanics are in. So technology-wise I think we're set.

      Now I have a lot of questions on how to get an adventure running. Do I just get an official DnD guide book, do I just rip off the White Orchard level from Witcher 3 to start off or do I come up with some generic fantasy land? I'd like to run a small adventure in one night, just to get a taste of it and maybe branch it off later if everyone is up for it.

      For characters I think it would be easier for me to come up with 8-10 pre-generated ones for a group of 4-5 people (with specific people in mind) to tailor it a little bit for my group, but still present some variety, while smoothing the learning curve and lowering the barrier to entry. Feels like a decent idea.

      I'm still not sure where to start with this expansive world and I'd love to hear for seasoned DMs an players here on Tildes. How did you start your first game, what was the setting? How do I gently introduce players to mechanics? How do I deal with unpredictable situations?

      And most importantly, how do I make sure everyone is having fun?

      18 votes
    7. What do you do with 51 character levels?

      My gaming group got to talking at our last game about how long we've been playing. Most of us were at 20+ years. I asked them if they'd ever played a 20th level character, and the answer was a...

      My gaming group got to talking at our last game about how long we've been playing. Most of us were at 20+ years. I asked them if they'd ever played a 20th level character, and the answer was a unanimous no, so that's something we're going to remedy with the next campaign.

      I got to fiddling around with characters and noticed that 5e caps itself out nicely once you hit 20th. No matter what you create, the limits on action economy, maximum spell/attacks, stats/scores all give rise to a nice plateau. The hit points getting huge is the biggest change, so you just end up trading healing word whack-a-mole for characters that can actually take some real punishment and using power word heal. Needs a wound mechanic so that going down has lasting consequences even if you get right back up, but that's easily workable.

      I was bored and threw another twenty levels on for a 40th level character, and then another 11 for a meaningful dip into a third class. Just cap the character's proficiency bonus at +6/20th and nothing really changes except you have a far larger bag of tricks at your disposal. Twelve feats is like candyland. I'm anticipating some of my players are going to get ferret shock trying to keep up with their spell lists during combat. Too many choices, they'll make a hilarious mess out of it and it'll be fun. I have a tiny hourglass sitting on the table to keep the pressure up, I'm sure that'll get some use.

      I told them to pick their favorite character they've played over the years that they want to revisit and make the best version they can, complete with character history, holdings, etc. They also have to explain everything on their sheet - every level, feat, item, holding, etc all have a story attached. You're a monk? Where and when did you get that training, etc.

      Then one of my players turned me on to the epic level book for 5e from 2c gaming. It's perfect, plugs right into the limits and takes them up a bit, but also adds all sorts of epic madness. Every class/archetype gets its own ten level epic prestige class. That's the 'real' 21-30 I can use for their advancement. I can also torment them with the prestige evolutions from the campaign setting we'll be using. There's plenty of advancement to be had this way despite already being at 51st level. I'm working in all of their existing characters from adjacent games as well, so we've got a ready made pool of henchmen.

      I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of spelljamming and planar travel in this campaign. There's probably a gods war in there somewhere too. I have my 2nd Edition monster manual binders right here, and a third of the critters in them can give these characters nightmares for days. I'm figuring I'll be making heavy use of Illithids as one of the main threats, that trailer for Baldur's Gate 3 has them back in vogue again. Psionics is such a wonderful foil for magic.

      So what kind of character would you build if you were making a character that's already the master of his/her/its? tiny corner of the D&D universe? What do you do with those 51 character levels?

      Any races allowed, of course. Racial abilities are the least of it at this point. Origin can be from any campaign setting, past or present.

      9 votes
    8. Tell me about your RPG campaign

      Hey folks, I haven't posted in a hell of a long time and thought why not get this going again. So when I last posted I think my Paladin had just been basically killed off and I wrote up a druid....

      Hey folks, I haven't posted in a hell of a long time and thought why not get this going again.

      So when I last posted I think my Paladin had just been basically killed off and I wrote up a druid. Well this one has been amazingly fun to role play, being that he has lived most of his life in solitude he has no social skills and tends to do things that can be a little off at times. Our merry band of misfits had cleared a small towns problem warerats who turned out to be a family of Gnomes who lived there, while trying to console the final member of the family Rolen (my druid) felt the best way to give emotional support would be to congratulate the young Gnome on becoming the head of the family. This actually broke the whole table for about a minute, the DM sat in silence for a moment, laughed, tried to role play the distraught girl but failed epically.

      We have also got another campaign going with a few of the same guys as the bigger campaign, this one is mostly homebrew. The first character I made I really wasn't happy with so spoke to the DM and we worked out how to kill her off and introduce the new character I made, completely homebrew this one and it's again been far more fun. He is a Dwaf Shaman whose ancestors speak to him constantly, sometimes good and sometimes not so much.

      So what has been happening in your RPGs? anything big, fun or just want to chat about? painted anything cool? got new dice? anything at all.

      18 votes
    9. Any tips for painting miniatures?

      My D&D group mostly used Lego for the longest time, but we recently decided to give miniatures a shot because we were adding more people and I only have so many minifigs to share (unless you want...

      My D&D group mostly used Lego for the longest time, but we recently decided to give miniatures a shot because we were adding more people and I only have so many minifigs to share (unless you want Stormtroopers in your fantasy setting, that is!). A few weeks ago we met up to paint our miniatures for our new campaign and I think that was the most relaxing, calming thing I've ever done. We all sat in silence basically, noobing our way through the painting process and we had a lot of fun.

      My character is a sheltered rich southern man who sounds a bit like a mix between Colonel Sanders and Foghorn Leghorn. He's a sorcerer and despite how is mini ended up looking, he does not cast bubblegum -- https://imgur.com/fr4tc6Z

      But anyway, looking at it now there are some obvious spots where I messed up and certainly some things I'd do differently now. But until I'm able to get my hands on another miniature, I was wondering if anyone here had experience with painting miniatures and would be able to share some advice?

      11 votes