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Gnomish Workshop

Gnomish Workshop: People Building

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Eighty Two on 22nd September 2021. (Sound of grinding gears) Ryu: What is he doing in there?  Lennon: Maybe he's upgrading ROSTRO?  ROSTRO: If you are interested, my processing faculties were largely taken up with an analysis of persona synthesis and optimal configuration techniques of same.  Ryu: If we don't take an interest, is Ostron going to wake up?  ROSTRO: Probability suggests it is not a likely outcome. Lennon: Ugh, fine, what are you on about this time? (The screen powers on)   When creating new characters for a campaign or a one-shot, a frequent point that gives both players and DMs pause is the issue of ability scores....

Gnomish Workshop: Living on the Edge (of Unconsciousness)

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Seventy Eight on 25 August 2021. (Gnomish workshop door opens) Lennon (in obnoxious good mood): Hi anyone here? ROSTRO: Please state the nature of the mathematical inquiry. Killer DM: Oh good! Lennon, maybe you can help with something. Lennon (still in plastic good mood): Bye, I need to go dive in a gelatinous cube! Killer DM: So when I said "maybe you can help" what I actually meant was "get your pasty bald self in here, you're helping." Lennon: Look, my Charisma increased as a warlock, I still can't help installing things in the machine. ROSTRO: My physical chassis does not require any modification at this time. The...

Archives of Candlekeep: Whips of Chains Excite Me (Shadar-Kai)

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Seventy on 23 June 2021. Lennon: CHAIN DEVIL! (Eldritch Blast strikes) Ryu (surprised & angry): YA!! Lennon! Lennon: Sorry, sorry. Ryu: Oh you're lucky I have a high Dex! How could you possibly think I was something summoned from the nine hells!? Lennon: Well the Killer DM- Ryu: Isn't here! It's just me! And you're lucky. You think you'd have any better chance of hitting her? Or being alive afterward? Lennon: Well Ostron's been opening up portals all the time, how do I know what's going to sneak through? Ostron: Two. I opened one portal to bring in a consultant, and the other one to get Tony to sub in...

Gnomish Workshop: Oathbreaking

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Sixty Six on 19 May 2021. Lennon: All right, I've got it! Ryu: For the last time, you cannot make a flumph your patron. Lennon: No, no, no, I've got all that sorted. See, I'm just going to ignore my patron. Ostron: I'm sorry, what? Lennon: Yeah. See, I've been looking into it and, as far as I can tell, there's no downside. Ostron: How is that possible? Your patron is why you have all your abilities. Don't they go away? Lennon: Nope. Ryu: Well that's not fair; Paladins and Clerics have to follow their god and everything or they get slapped, why do you get a free pass? Lennon: Actually,...

Gnomish Workshop: Rolling Initiative

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Fifty Three on 17 February 2021. Lennon: Oh good, Ostron. I have some questions for you. Ostron: I did not tell the beholders to do that to your bed, you brought that on yourself. Lennon: No, It's fine, the squeezing effect actually helps with lumbar support when I'm sleeping. Ryu: Um...

Gnomish Workshop: What is a Death Spiral

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Thirty-four on 16th September 2020. Ryu: Ostron had something for us in the workshop? Lennon: Yeah, though I'm a little confused by- (ROSTRO starts up) Ryu: Oh joy, I'm going now. Lennon: No, I am not dealing with the machine on my own, come on. Ryu: Fine. Hello ROSTRO. ROSTRO: Please state the nature of the mathematical inquiry. Lennon: No, you. ROSTRO: Ostron appears to have been analyzing the nature of death spirals. Ryu: That doesn't sound good at all. Is he okay? Do we need to get Gath in here? ROSTRO: A death spiral does not refer to any extant or lingering metabolic issue. Please refer to the output crystals as I begin. On multiple...

Wisdom of the Masters: Resistance, Vulnerability and Monsters

This article was first broadcast in Episode One Hundred Two on 1st January 2020. Ryu (coughing): Why is there suddenly smoke everywhere? Ostron! What did you do in the workshop? Ostron (muffled): This wasn't me; I was trying to find a way to charge ROSTRO's power cells faster and then heard all the coughing. Ryu (still coughing): What is that thing on your face? And can you clear this out? Ostron (muffled): One gust of wind coming up. Wind blowing Ryu (deep breath): Much better. (sarcastically): Oh look. We have one unconscious Lennon lying on the floor with a bunch of open potion bottles and a cauldron. Why am I not surprised? Ostron (pop): Because your memory is...

Gnomish Workshop: Adventurers are the 1%

This article was first broadcast in Episode Ninety Seven on 20th November 2019. Lennon: And here I was so holding out hope that my day wasn't going completely downhill. Killer DM: Awww does someone need a hug? Lennon: I will pay you money if you never ever say that again. ROSTRO: Probability analysis suggests you possess insufficient physical currency to facilitate that transaction. Lennon: Yeah, because I'm pretty sure Ryu stole it! Killer DM: Don't look at me, she was doing that long before my favorite accessory settled upon her brow. ROSTRO: Your current predicament would quite easily be remedied by engaging in a quest or adventuring excursion. Lennon: Really? Killer DM: Oh yes darling there's gold practically littering the ground...

Gnomish Workshop: Critical Bonuses

This article was first broadcast in Episode Seventy Three on 22nd May 2019. Lennon: Right, so I thought we covered critical hits? ROSTRO: I would classify the information previously discussed as a primer on the general category. If you direct your attention to the display crystals, we can proceed. Lennon: What if I close my eyes and start running? KDM: Then you'll hit the door, dear, I've just locked it. Now come along...

Gnomish Workshop: How Do You Crit?

This article was first broadcast in Episode Seventy Two on 15th May 2019. ROSTRO: Your information on critical hits is alarmingly deficient. Please consult the output crystals and confer with my colleague. Lennon: I think I'd rather go meet with HR. KDM: Lennon, don't make me use hold person. Critical hits are a primary goal of many players in combat, with good reason; the ability to roll twice as many dice when doing damage usually means the character's hitting harder than usual. If you have a character such as a rogue making a sneak attack or a paladin using smite, the number of extra dice rolled can cause...

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Gnomish Workshop: Hidden Advantages

This article was first broadcast in Episode Sixty-seven on 3rd April 2019. Lennon: By the rollacks of Ralishaz, not again! Ryu: What happened? Lennon: Well, how would you describe… that? Ryu: Well, Ostron's unconscious neatly laid out on the floor of the Workshop again… there are absolute piles and piles of dice around… so either he miscast a sleep spell and knocked himself out, or...

Bounded Accuracy

This article was first broadcast in Episode Twenty-Four on 16th May 2018. Ryu: Lennon? Why did we just get a delivery of 500 yards of parachute cord? Lennon: Oh did that show up? Great! Yeah it’s a research project I’m doing about bounded accuracy. Ryu: Okay...

Probability

This article was first broadcast in Episode Twenty-One on 25th April 2018. Ryu: Are you sure about this? Lennon: I think we have to Ryu: I'm getting the hat Lennon: No, no… Let’s just let him have this one. Ryu: You're REALLY sure? I mean, last time some people didn't wake up for days. Lennon: Well, we can dress it up as a public service. Insomnia is a real issue for a lot of people. Now, breathe in… and out… ok, go get em! Ryu: Okay… Hey Ostron? What'cha been working on in the Gnomish Workshop?     With all of this talk of Mordenkainen’s Mayhem, and the Mike Mearls...

Five Room Dungeon Design

This article was first broadcast in Episode Nineteen on 11th April 2018. Ryu: Hey Ostron! Good to see you back in one piece! Whatchya doing there? Ostron: Oh, trying to come up with something for my next session. I know the players are likely to make it to a dungeon, but I have no inspiration for layout, monsters, or even what's lighting the walls. Ryu: Well, you could always use the Five Room Dungeon technique Ostron: Isn’t five rooms a little restrictive? Lennon: Not if you do it right.     See, whilst you may look at modules, even the shorter ones like those presented in Tales from...

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Healing Without Healing

This article was first broadcast in Episode Fourteen on 7th March 2018. Lennon: Ok, so I’ve been thinking about our Ixalan adventure… well, mis-adventure… and I think I’ve gotten to the bottom of it. We need a cleric. Ryu: No we don’t Ostron: Right -- a paladin would probably be better. They can absorb more damage. Ryu: Wrong again Lennon: Ok, well what do you suggest? Ryu:  Well, I find that depends on how you look at it.   The easiest way to guarantee blind panic in most players is to drain the group’s healer of spell slots or hit points. Some players refuse to engage in a...

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The Twelve Days of Bonuses, Part 1

This article was first broadcast in Episode Four on 20th December, 2017. Lennon: Hey Ryu, what’ve you got there? Ryu: Oh this? It’s just a magic item I found in the Gnomish Workshop Lennon: Looks like a santa hat. Hmm, let’s see the item card: Hat of the Killer DM. When equipping this hat, make a constitution saving throw (DC15). On a failed save, the wearer becomes the Killer DM for the remainder of the segment. You may repeat the saving throw once per round. This sounds cursed. Ryu: I’m gonna put it on Lennon: That doesn’t seem wise---ok, you did it anyway. Ok, make...