When I was a kid, I told my mom I’d rather die than stay in the dark. I’d always been too scared to put that to the test, until tonight. I didn’t care about the consequences. I couldn’t live in the dark anymore.
Ray Terril in Justice League of America - The Ray Rebirth
Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire were intelligent children, and they were charming, and resourceful, and had pleasant facial features, but they were extremely unlucky, and most everything that happened to them was rife with misfortune, misery, and despair. I’m sorry to tell you this, but that is how the story goes.
In case you havent noticed I get 90% of my stucky content from @iamnotsebastianstan because Brianna is an actual real life saint who blesses my feed every day and I’m lowkey in love with her??? Go follow her she’s fab
Just wanted to say sorry for the lack of video edit posts lately. Been very busy with full time work and YouTube as well. It’s been fun but challenging to juggle both and still have time for making creative and JSE channel related things in my spare time and to be honest I just haven’t had the energy or motivation in the last few days for it either. I’m struggling to have time to even be able to watch Jacksepticeye’s content let alone make video edits or posts on it. I did watch Oxen Free yesterday and I’m gonna go watch today’s videos in a few here so yeah. Anyways, love you guys, you all are awesome and thanks for all your support!
Stay determined, LIKE A BOSS! @therealjacksepticeye
D&D is weird. I don’t mean as a concept, or even so much as a system - from what little I recall of earlier editions, 5e streamlines things quite nicely. Just I kind of want to find whoever wrote and edited this fucking Player’s Handbook and beat them half to death with oranges until they learn how to write accessible material.
One of the first things you have to keep in mind when you are writing a game supplement is that for every prospective player who will read every tiny shred of material, retain everything, ask for clarification with the GM about whether or not there are house rules for X or Y section, there are at least two more whose immediate reaction is to skim the material for things that interest them as players and go from there. That informs the structure of a sourcebook, right there. If you want players to understand shit, make damn sure you put the explanations for things in the sections that people are actually going to read.
Following on from that, sidebars are key. One of the huge problems that I encountered - not just from players but on my own bat - is that the layout of the sidebars containing class stats does not lend well to reinforcing that when they say ‘Skill’ in that list, they mean ‘Skill Proficiency‘. You figure it out eventually, but hell, I only figured it out because I’m like 16 episodes into Critical Role now so I know what people can and cannot roll. In their shoes, I’d have entitled the whole segment ‘Modifiers’ instead of ‘Proficiencies’, and instead of just having ‘Weapon’, ‘Armour’, ‘Skill’ etc, I’d have sprung for the extra words on paper and laid it out like this:
And so on. Reinforcing the word ‘Proficiency’ will get you used to using it, and using Modifiers as a chart title reminds you of what ‘Proficiency’ means in the context - that these things listed below are not the only things you can use; just the things you are most proficient at using.
It was like the example I used with @galleywinter - and which she added to in a way that perfectly illustrated my point, by the way; she might not be great at swinging a warhammer herself, but if you gave her a softball bat, she’d be better because she used to play softball and is used to the balance and the best way to swing the thing. The other example is Rey in The Force Awakens; her proficiency is with the quarterstaff, but she can use a lightsaber … if not particularly gracefully because her stance defaults to quarterstaff. Hell, even Finn can swing a saber … just he’s at disadvantage because he largely used ranged weapons prior to Maz shoving a saber hilt in his face.
Translation: you may not choose to take an action that would oblige you to roll something in which you not proficient. That does not mean I am not going to occasionally make you do it anyway. You can do things you’re not proficient in. You just don’t have as good a chance of doing them well as someone who’s proficient. The book states this, sort of, but it doesn’t reinforce it as well as it could. It lacks for concrete examples.
There are a few reasons why I tend to work very hands-on with players doing their character sheets. This is one of them; the book’s a bit vague unless you’re very familiar with the terminology, and even then … well, there’ve been so many changes between this and previous editions that even D&D veterans may have an issue with the streamlining in 5e because it’s not particularly well explained. Also, there’s the whole thing about house rules; sometimes a DM won’t even see the need for those until something comes up in character gen that goes, “Oh, hey, maybe this needs balancing for fairness to the whole group”. And then there’s finding and reinforcing the hooks that will bind the party, but that’s a whole other thing. Point is that the DM is god in this situation, and the PHB is a bit like the Bible - that is, written by people who are not god and whose words are subject to interpretation that will come out differently with every person that reads it so you can only ever be sure that you are operating by the Word of God if said God comes down from on high and tells you so.
I’m thinking that the best way of going about this is to do a sort of “Critical Tumbl 101″ post, or series of posts, here. Who we are, what we’re doing, what sorts of rules adjustments we’re using, some notes on the game world, that kind of thing.
…Of course, I’m also going to be recording games for future reference and, with the agreement of the rest of the party, we might consider posting them Critical Role style, possibly. But a lot’s going to depend on the players for that one because I wouldn’t want anyone to be uncomfortable on ‘camera’. I’ll still record, mind, but only because I want an easy reference point to what went on in previous games, and won’t make it public unless everyone agrees.