Counter Monkey – Don’t Be That Guy

The Spoony One | Sep 12 2012 | more notation(s) | 

How to be a team player– or more importantly, not be that guy who gets everyone else killed.

  • Merost

    Uh Spoony? For two years you hardly put out any content at all, and now a new video EVERY DAY??? O_o

    • C.j. Jackson

      because Spoony is awesome!

    • Das_Bass

      He got his groove back

    • Katrin

      Its easier when you don’t have to collect footage or edit. But I do love me some Counter Monkey.

      • Jovan Stipic

        counter monkey is awesome :D but i do wish for some more awesome content but than again its amazing how fun it can be to just watch 1 guy talk about a board game,and i think only spoony can do that

        • Malcomb Bell

          o.0 Well you have to realize that the whole time hes doing this he’s essentially ass raping him self by playing FFXIII. So if I had to guess I would say he’s making these to dull the pain between playing/recording footage for the videos he is going to do on it. These videos are his happy place to escape to from the dark cesspool that is the Final Fantasy series.

          • exploda

            Yeah he has to talk about real RPG’s after suffering through such garbage.

  • André Milani Marcos

    Spoony should go back to reviewing old obscure pc games… that’s why I came here in the first place

    • Nick Burns

      No. You came here to watch SPOONY review those games, Spoony’s the one who decides which videos he makes – if these are the ones he enjoys making then we should let him do so.

    • Brandon Blank

      Eat all of the dicks, Counter Monkey is great.

    • Brian Daege

      Don’t like? Don’t watch.

      • antiquarius

        You are an idiot.

        • ShipoftheLine

          ++++ The fanboy-argument “DONT LIEK IT DUHNT WAHTCH!!!” is always dumb, but in this case it also doesnt make any sense :D

          By the way, I love the counter monkey series. Still hate Fanboys though that cant handle a bit of critisism.

  • Wonderful_Person


  • picklesandtwigs

    I love this series!

  • Derrick Davis

    You are so amazing Spoony… seriously… everytime im having a bad day I just listen to you :)

  • Jon Sukanen

    Another great way to set a thief up is to make a wizard/cleric use darkness and get the rogue set up with ultra vision :)

  • Louis Gonzales

    Great videos, Spoony and Oreo! :D

  • Loss Thief

    “Quick, thief, flank that barbarian!”
    “I can’t!”
    “What? Why not?”
    “…I’m not that kind of thief.”
    “Get your shit together, Matthew!”

  • bogger3k

    In 3rd edition at least backstab damage wasn’t doubled on a critical hit.

    • Sverre Røs

      ……and that’s a good thing?…….

  • laverinth

    Every Counter Monkey makes me wish I’d actually gotten to play D&D with a group at some point. -_-

    • ace42

      Don’t wish; do. A lot of tabletop RPGs can be run gridless, and thus without any tools. I’m running a DC Adventures game via Facebook ATM, and so far no problems whatsoever. Doesn’t even require people to mess up their schedules. Sign-up for the D&DNext playtest and get the materials for free and set up a game with friends; or DL a copy of the old AD&D ruleset. Hell, I could easily set up a Shadowrun 4th edition game for people here via Facebook if they wanted to play.

      • _____

        but is it not kinda hard with people that start playing and then suddenly just dissapear for months or all together?

        • ace42

          It’s a lot easier than trying to play a sit-down campaign with people who suddenly quit turning up. The periodic nature of the medium actually gives the GM a lot more time to do their thing, which means you can have a bigger player-pool without it hurting the game; which builds in some redundancy if people quit the game or become temporarily unavailable. Players just have to be aware of the limitations of the medium, and that if they go AWOL for extended periods their character will find themselves knocked unconscious, comatose, or possibly even dead if they drop them in sticky situations; and likewise the GM may have to make decisions on their behalf if they aren’t available. It also means that the party can split, and the GM doesn’t have to worry about neglecting some of his players because they’re not sitting around bored in real-time.

          Most people can get on facebook semi-routinely; with the rise of wifi hotspots and smartphones some acquaintances of mine are perpetually on Facebook even when they aren’t actually “available”; so you can actually rely on players being able to stick to the commimtent they make when they elect to play.

          • EHM

            why is this downvoted

          • ace42

            You tell me – haters gonna hatez I guess?

          • Kyle Rybski

            Probably because why would that be especially a feature of online campaigns?

          • Marisa Mockery

            That sounds pretty cool. Do you have any links to this? I’d be up for it.

          • ace42

            The D&DNext playtest material is available from their site for free:
            I’ve only seen it run at a table, and Chris Perkins loves his props, but from scanning the materials it looks like it is heavily inspired by AD&D and 3rd Edition, and can be run gridless relatively easily.
            Can see the guys from Penny Arcade, PVPOnline, and Wil Wheaton playing it live at this year’s PAX Prime here:

            If you don’t have any RPG related stuff at all, you can save yourself some dice by using the virtual dice roller:

            For any RPG you’re going to need a copy of the core rulebooks; available via Amazon and other retail sources. For obsolete (abandonware) game systems where availability is limited, you might have no other option apart from downloading them via torrent sites or file-sharing sites – which feature numerous archives of RPG gaming sets both new and old.

            As for games that work particularly well without having to use extraneous tools:
            Paranoia (25th anniversary editions) is a very amusing choice, and particularly suited to the medium as it handles spacial relationships in a particularly abstract way.

            Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition / DC Adventures has very sophisticated character generation and super-power mechanics, which is both a blessing and a curse, but also doesn’t require particular attention to the spacial relationships between characters. Will appeal to comic book / Anime fans.

            Star Wars D6 (West End Games published) – is also abandon-ware now. Great for people who want to recreate the amusement found in Darths and Droids.

            Call of Cthulhu is onto it’s 6th (30th anniversary) edition now, but the rule-changes for recent versions have been fairly minor AFAIK. For people who like lovecraftian horror.

            Shadowrun 4th (20th anniversary) Edition is a lot more complicated, mechanically, than the previously mentioned games, but is also more mechanically satisfying and intricate in that respect. For people who like their cyber-punk.

            The current edition of D&D (4th edition) requires a battlegrid to run and really needs to be run in real-time, but is the best choice if you have players who are coming at traditional RPGs from a war-gaming or MMORPG background; but as Friar Zero recommends in a previous post, Maptool from is a solid tool if you need to run the game in real-time or using a map. All the above games can be run via that program if social-media sites prove unsuited to your group.

            As I said, just need to find a group of 3-7 people who want to play the same RPG, make sure they are all have the core rulebook(s) for that game (or at least are passingly familiar with the setting and rules), get one of them to man up and be the DM, and set up a social-media group / forum where you can post your moves and you’re good to go. It’s not particularly hard.

    • Friar Zero

      There are a plethora of Virtual Table Top systems that allow you run and play D&D with a grid, maps, tokens, and some even handle the math for you.

      I highly recommend Maptool from and roll20. Both great places to find players and games. There are games being posted all the time and plenty of people around to help you learn new game systems and the software.

  • Joshua Wartooth

    Oh God, the Marauder Shields tee. Just when I thought Spoony couldn’t possibly get any more awesome.

  • Charles M Taylor

    Glad to see you touch on tabletop gaming. It’s been a while since I’ve seen you cover that.

  • Renaissance_nerd

    Greese spell + lit torch = napalm baby!

  • Crippen

    Like so many things, the answer to rust monsters is also the Utility Wizard. Drop a Web or a Grease spell and let the fighters perforate them with arrows.

  • Jordan Selby

    Love these Counter Monkey’s, Spoony! Keep them up, and keep them long! We have no problem watching a lengthy video. Personally, I love them all the more.

  • Piggy Destroyer

    Funny thing, I created an alchemist in pathfinder who was basically a bomber, but I did have a feat that made it so I could choose not to hit my team, but I still managed to burn down most of a forest by hitting a giant spider with one of my bombs. Not my intention.

    • Rakkrakk

      That’s why alchemists should rather go for various acids or go for the supporting role. xD

  • Jonathan Wooten

    Well I hate to say it but if I played D&D I could see myself being “that guy” from time to time because I wasnt thinking straight. So. Yeah… >.>

  • Mursa ArtDragon

    Hehe, I hate to admit I was that guy once. in our pathfinder games
    though it seems we only do that hitting of the other guy when a roll of
    nat 1 comes up. However I do want to share with you a funny story about
    this Spoony. This kinda goes into that botchmania type of story. I know
    it may be a lot to read, but you tell us so many stories I thought you
    might like hearing some.

    In a King maker campaign we have a
    gunslinger, a wizard, 2 melee fighters (I believe one is a fighter and
    the other a barbarian) and my character. I’m playing a Tengu con-artist
    bard (Who is cursed to lie but I’m not going to go over that) He ends up
    having like a con o 8 and a strength of 9, but cause hes some what a
    thief in his back story I gave him a good dex. So he tended to throw
    stuff in fights. I would stay back about 15 feet and throw shit into
    combat, this tended to not be a big problem cause how we used the rule.

    one battle we had to face some sort of demon dogs I can’t remember what
    they were called but we started the battle by me drawing their
    attention into a room and the two melee characters start chopping them
    up as myself, the wizard, and the gunslinger stay back and go ranged. At
    this point the barbarian is keeping these mobs from heading towards the
    ranged guys. I roll to throw a dagger… I roll a one, we call high low
    on percentiles, I fail, hits the barbarian in the back with a dagger.
    Next up is the gunslinger, who after watching me stab the barbarian in
    the back goes to fire at these dogs, and again a nat one, Barbarian
    takes a bullet to the back. Now this is the point you think we would
    learn better, bu the wizards turn comes up. Their is a story Id like to
    tell with this wizard but to make it short he had only hit one thing the
    entire campaign, out of like 12 battles. Well he hit something alright,
    nat one on the attack roll.

    At this point the barbarian is just
    welling while fighting “You bastards, stop fucking helping me!” luckily
    the barbarian made it out ok. now Id like to say I don’t know all the
    rules with the game, maybe we are playing wrong with the nat 1 rule, or
    magic or gun rules were done wrong. I don’t really want to make this
    about rules, its just a funny, true story and I just hope you all enjoy

    • Blackbot

      Going strictly by RAW, you don’t hit your friend when shooting into melee. But it seems like a plausible house rule to hit your friend with a nat 1, especially if you’re shooting right through the field he occupies.

  • Renaissance_nerd

    oh yea rust monsters can eat me, ran into one whorusted the sorcs magical scimitar causing it to snap causing a chain reaction of all our magic itemss exploding. my character only survived with 2 HP and he was basically naked.

  • Elizabeth Pollock

    I’d really like to play some sort of beginner D&D type of game, but every time I look into it I get overwhelmed :( The books are huge and there’s so much stuff to learn, it seems becoming a brain surgeon would be less intense… It all seems so fun though!

    I’d be a linguistics or animal training based thief and I’d always have a ranged weapon, a blunt weapon and a small slashing/piercing weapon, even if I had to find/make them all myself, and I’d always have bags ^_^ I really like the idea of being able to glance into other cultures and worlds (in a non supernatural/magickal way) in a useful way though so either languages or animals are a must.

    Now, to just translate that into a character sheet and get into a beginner’s game, that’s where things get tricky >_<

    • Michael Sweeney

      Try the Beginner’s Box by Paizo, it’s what I’m using to teach my niece how to play, also depending on where you’re from is a place to find players

    • ScreamingDoom

      D&D is not very newbie friendly. It’s too married to its war gaming roots, which is why there is that byzantine labyrinth of rules. Newer editions are much, much better in that regard (at least, the rules are typically more consistent), but are also much less flexible.

      I’d recommend starting out with something like the Cortex or nWoD systems. They’re much easier to grasp and don’t have the overly-complex war gaming baggage weighing them down. Those games typically focus on the Roleplaying aspect of an RPG, as opposed to the combat which is D&D’s forte.

  • MichaelT

    I’m not totally sure, but I think this is the first time we’ve ever heard Oreo speak. :)

    • marabackman

      Unusually deep voice for such a small dog.

  • Bryan Ray Bonar

    Spoony, man! I cannot tell you how amazing my experiences with rogues have been. I have 3 characters which I consider THE holy trinity of all my characters, and of those three, one is a rogue.

    Weapons EVERYWHERE, man. I mean, knives in the boots, special knife vest with 10 knives hidden under her cloak, knives in wrist sheathes. Elbows, knees, wrists, boots, all concealing spring-loaded blades. There were even these awesome gauntlets that fired crossbow bolts from under them. That was freaking sweet. Best thing though were these tiny little 1 damage mouth darts, Fukimi-bari. She’d conceal them as facial piercings (2 in her lips, one in her tongue) and if someone got too close or caught her without the rest of her weapons? Shotgunned in the face with 3 damage, plus a shit-ton of sneak-attack dice. I tell you, you carry that many concealed weapons on you, and you hide them well, you catch EVERYONE by suprise.

    It was like Assassin’s Creed meets V for Vendetta when she walked into a room. Bodies hit the freaking floor. But this was all built around a set of feats, I can’t remember all of them, but one of them was called “Flick of the Wrist” where you could draw and throw a weapon in one action so fast that you actually caught someone by suprise. I tell you, there are plenty of creative ways to make a rogue lethal as hell.

  • Mateusz K.

    My charactare is always a hafling rogue – with a mighty short bow (1d6 + 1/2/3 depending on strenght). You can backstab with a short bow – and it is GLORIOUS! Add point blank shot and enemies can suck it.
    WHat you need for flanking is mobility feat, available after dodge. In the song and silence expansion booklet there was some feat for tumbling behind enemy’s back – but there was so much needed for it, It was useless for most characteres.

    I’m in Spoony heaven – so many new vids!!!

  • Ased Zazx

    Spoony, have you played Ravenloft before? Can you tell us stories about it?

    It’s almost Halloween and the mention of zombies and skeletons only begs for more.

  • marabackman

    “That guy”..! *shakes fist* But even worse than him is the guy who gets everyone killed because he wants to be the “comic relief”. And even worse than that? Two or more guys who want to be the “comic relief” and constantly try to one-up each other…

  • Katrin

    I have had that alchemist. And tonight at game our alchemist started getting excited about all the bombs he had. He didn’t answer when I asked him about his throwing stats, so I didn’t follow him into battle. No one’s been hit yet, but I feel luck will not always be with them.

    I did buy extra sacks, but I’ll have to get a club. Counter Monkey is improving my preparedness!

  • Mavros St. John

    I call this: Bad Judgement Call
    One time, my party entered a mining city. I was playing a Cleric at the time, so my character went to bed early so they can go to adventure at midnight. My character wakes up, and the dwarf, let’s call him Simon, comes in two full bandoliers of Dynamite. My character, even though I was listening to him make the purchase across the table from me goes, “You blow the rest of us up, and the mace is going up your ass, shorty.” He replies with, “That CAN’T happen, I’ll be careful”. Guess what he does the very next fight…
    After the battle is over, I walk over, my armor needs to be repaired, and I bash him over the head, and take his money to buy myself some new armor. The DM couldn’t stop laughing, and allows me to do it, I mean, I DID heal him afterwards…
    He learned his lesson…or so I thought…
    The very next city, I go Gathering Information for a weapon’s dealer, and when I get there, there he is, CRAFTING EXPLOSIVE ARROWS!!! I flipped my S**t!

  • Chee Moon Yeo

    One of the best back-up plans in fantasy gaming: always carry a knife.
    Seriously. A knife can be incredibly useful, and not just in combat. Whether it’s a dagger hidden in your boot, or a standard knife in a hip sheath, alway, always try to get and keep a knife.
    Many of the novels and gamebooks I’ve read had a person in a situation where the only thing that kept him/her from losing their life was their knife. Either it grabbed you in one of its hands, had one of its tentacles wrap around your foot, or tackled you and knocked you to the ground, trying to get on top and bite you/throttle you/whatever. Whatever the situation, you’ve lost your primary weapon.
    In some cases, you could even try to pick certain type of locks using a dagger at the risk of destroying the tip of the blade.
    Always carry a knife.
    Ah, grenadiers. The ones who love to make things burn or blow up.
    Those are the ones you really have to keep an eye on.
    Flamethrowers are cool, but they’re also a death sentence.

  • xm75

    So a double sided battleaxe of silver and cold whatever should cover all bases?

    • Mavros St. John

      um…what about piercing and bludgeoning…it’s a slashing ONLY weapon, unless you want to do non-leathal with the handle…

  • Das_Bass

    You’re going to make me the best noob ever. That DM won’t know what’s coming!

  • sbkMulletMan

    I loved how throughout the whole video, you can see a genuine frustration and anger in Spoony’s voice and even see it in his eyes, because he is clearly remembering each and every one of “those guys” that did the stupid thing he’s saying not to do. I just know there are so many more stories not being said here!

    As for dirty tricks, I got a kick out of the mention of the grease spell because back when I briefly played Dragonlance, there was a bar room brawl that just turned into an all-out clusterfuck of chaos and disorder (we were trying to get an important key off of somebody and the situation got out of hand), and our wizard used grease and did it very effectively. The target of the spell just kept slipping and sliding and was essentially immobile throughout the brawl. Another dirty trick one of our companions did as a way to safely hide from the chaos was to grab onto my horns (I was a minotaur fighter) and ride me like a rodeo bull as I ran around, doing my job. So he was kind of “that guy” who was more concerned for his own safety than helping us achieve our goal, but he was a thief, so it fit his character, and the whole thing was good for a laugh. That’s why I got a chuckle out of hearing Spoony mention the grease spell, heh.

    This was one of those Counter Monkeys that I wish could just go on for hours. I love hearing stuff like this, it really held my attention (and kept me from going to bed, heh)

  • Kim Torstensson

    i had a guy kill our cleric with a crossbow after shooting us 5 times that game he was our wizard no trust him any more

  • HiltsuPeku

    Oh fire, the best element to fuck the players over with x)
    My players almost burned down a tavern fighting orcs, thankfully they could lay the blaim on the orcs as the owners weren’t present at the time.
    I think our wizard has set three boats on fire, two of which were their own. She also had the brilliant idea of casting burning hands INSIDE a cart, that didn’t go too well…

  • Charred Newt

    A piece of advice to the spellcasters: if you can afford it, get yourself a wand. At the end of the day, when you’re out of spells, it may save your life.
    It doesn’t have to be a damage focused one like Fireball (if they break they explode in your face, and the DM knows it really well), just one of those useful little bastards that maybe you didn’t include in your regular list. My bard bought a Hideous Laughter one, and it’s one hell of a purchase: they may be twice my size with a giant fucking cleaver in each hand, they still won’t be that effective when they’re rolling on the floor. On the subject, spells of this kind with a Will ST are great against fighters and the like, keep them ready.

  • Lukas Hägg

    One thing that Spoony got way wrong here, precision damage (sneak/backstab) in 3.5/PF isn’t multiplied on a crit.

  • Darby Bryan-Dye

    I won MVP in a massive 10 man party for 4th edition using my rogue. My rogue was dodging in and out of this massive melee combat, shifting around and backstabbing enemies, and then moving out of range of the heavy hitting baddies. I ended up doing fully half the damage of the entire combat. Though sadly it ultimately resulted in my characters death (at level 3) and my group was so impressed with me, they went on a special quest just to get him rezzed.

    In the DCC system (created by Goodman games, check it out its awesome) when you make a ranged attack into melee you only have a chance to hit your allies if you miss. Missing an enemy gives you a 50/50 chance to either hit your ally or have your weapon skitter into the darkness. Also any ranged weapon (javalin, dagger, sling stone, arrow) has a 50% chance to break if it doesn’t hit a target. Because lets face it, you throw that javalin into a stone wall, its probably going to snap the head off.

    Its really fun at low level in the DCC since you start off as a group of 0 level peasants, with no armor and no real weapons and jack all for hit points (1d4+con mod). One of your friends has a sling and he starts firing into melee. There is a good chance he can kill you outright. One of my players tested his luck untill the first time he threw a dart into the back of his ally. managed to do 2 points of damage to a character with 4 HP. After that he decided never to fire into melee again. Lesson learned.

  • smek2

    Woha, blinding someone with powdered glass? Spoony is giving street fighting tips now ;)

    • Kyle Rybski

      That moment in that game was amazing.

      Spoony: ‘I stuff some of the glasses in the sack and smash it against the floor.’
      Mike: ‘The servants are watching you like you’ve lost your mind.’
      Spoony: ’OK, well…’
      Mike: ‘One girl walks up to you, “Sir, was there something wrong with the glassware?”
      Spoony: ‘Nope, everything was wonderful, thanks. Hey, can I get a refill?’
      Mike: ‘… “Very well, sir.”’
      Spoony: ‘You’ll see where I’m going with this.’
      Mike: ‘I hope I don’t.’

      [About half an hour later, versus some Baned-out goliath or something…]

      Mike: ‘You’re taunting him as you approach?’
      Spoony: ‘Yeah, I’m sauntering right up to him, “Hey, ugly!”’
      Mike: ‘You realize you’re now standing about eye level with his waist.’
      Spoony: ‘Yeah. And then I hurl my bag of crushed glass in his eyes.’

  • SpaceCommando

    Hey Spoony any chance of more counter monkey on vampire: the masquerade. i’d like to see what you think about it as an RPG?

  • Bob Daniels

    Why can you not slash with a spear?
    That’s what you actually do irl with those things you know.
    It’s not just poking, those things got an edge for a reason.
    And why can’t you just use a spear like a stick to beat things to do your blunt damage?
    D&D is weird.

  • David Gibson

    I fought a zombie with a rapier, I pinned it to a wall so my friends could crush it.

    •äsk/1190425036 Christian Charlton-Träsk

      You mean slash it? Crushing only makes the zombie flat, not dead :P

  • SpielenWir

    Is there any chance we could get some Call of Cthulhu-stories?
    Or a video on CoC in general?

    Anyway, I love Countermonkey! Keep up the great work.

    Greetings from Vienna.

  • Varroqu

    Oh god, I remember the first time I played Dungeons and Dragons. It was fourth edition, and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. The party consisted of a Half-Elf Fighter, an Elf Ranger, an Elf Cleric, and a Dragonborn Sorcerer (me.) The party walked into a town, only to see it being ravaged by goblins, fairly standard low level encounter, right? Well, the DM threw a twist. He put a Dark Paladin and an evil Dwarven Cleric. They nabbed our cleric, and hopped into the town’s fountain, mumbling some spell and poof, they disappeared. So, naturally, we started getting our asses kicked. Me, being the Numb nut that I was at the time, decided to ‘go cowboy’ and rescue our cleric. Rolled for Arcane Lore and perception check, made both roles and realized I could follow them wherever they went.

    Turns out that was the worst idea I have ever had. It teleported me into a shadow realm where I couldn’t speak, move, or see anything. All of my items were gone as well. Few turns later, I was crushed by some enormous beast, then my corpses popped back into the normal dimension, only to land on our Half-Elf fighter who was busy with two or three goblins at the time. So I single handedly killed my entire party. Except for the Cleric. We presume she was sold into slavery.

    • Blackbot

      Sounds more like a douchebag DM than your fault, really. Throwing this stuff at a completly new player is just nasty.

  • MFlorian

    “Huhuhuh. Rust Monster. Fuck yo’ armor!”

    I love this series.

  • Chuster M. Merino

    That t-shirt… screams win.

  • pharaoh025

    So basically, what you’re saying with “don’t specialize” is, think “Pokemon”. Makes sense.

  • Wade Seewald

    cowtrips = d4

  • Guus van Voorst

    This was hilarious, because I remember this too… One of our team members decided to carry Dynamite with him, and he botched his roll, an blew himself up in a millions pieces. Therefore, he had no way to come back, unless we found anything that resembled him… XD
    I am not that guy btw, I also benefit from what the class can bring you. I also prepare support spells for my wizard in combination with offensive spells. I also found out that Bluff in 3.5 is a great skill to use for a Rogue to sneak attack without the help of allies. In case, you really have nobody to support you. It requires a Standard Action, which you have at least 2 on Level 8 and beyond. With Improved Bluff, you can do it in a Move Action if needed.

  • DarkBee

    This is why I carry around 20 weapons in Borderlands: 1 of every class (except Eridian) and a variety of elemental pistols/repeaters and sniper rifles.

  • Obstreperous
  • Aiddon

    trust me when I say I can attest to this advice; my very first D&D character was a vampire thief who didn’t fight a lot but during our climactic battle with a bronze dragon he SCREWED that thing up because of flanking and the fact that he was dual-wielding rapiers. Thieves during combat can be very powerful if you think strategically

  • Blackbot

    In Pathfinder, Damage isn’t usually decreased relative to the damage taken (eg. if you do 20 damage it takes 5, if you do 40 damage it does 10…), but by a fixed amount. Skeletons, for example, take 5 damage less from every weapon that isn’t a blunt one.
    Meaning a Flanking Rogue with a Rapier can still fuck them up pretty quick, and every Fighter worth his money will devastate them, too – at least at later levels, not necessarily on first level.

    • doresh

      That Damage Reduction is also in 3.5. Not sure about 3.0 though

  • Stuart

    That whole ‘specialising weapons’ lesson is one I learned the hard way on my very first game of Dungeons and Dragons. I was late joining due to stuff, too, so I ended up joining as a level 3 Ranger with a Paladin, a Barbarian and a Cleric. Very first session, we end up fighting a ghost. Ghosts can only be hurt by magic and enchanted weapons, and as I’m sure the people reading this have noticed, we didn’t have a wizard. The only magic we had was the Paladin’s Smite Evil and the Cleric’s 3 daily spells. Needless to say I was slightly annoyed at the GM at this point, but unfortunately the campaign had to be disbanded a few weeks later anyway.

  • TheCheshireOne

    I’ll admit, I’ve played the guy throwing flasks.
    Though I try and limit it, with using knives and having utility flasks like smoke and such.
    Or by using oil so that I have to ignite it separately.
    I know that one day I might end up dust in the wind, but I try and make sure I won’t take the party out with me.

  • jaap rutten

    I have that guy in the party I currently play in. He’s a complete wildcard cleric that runs off on his own, wants to play evil and good because of the spells it gives him, can’t decide what to stick with and refuses to heal people from time to time for stupid reasons.
    One time we were in combat in a cave and we needed some light and he decided to cast light. So far so good, but then he needs to decide what to cast it on. I was holding off a gang of orcs and he had healed me the previous turn, so he casts the freaking light spell on my nose. Of course our DM immediately dished out penalties to AR and AC (which was fair, a DM should punish fucking up) so now we were all kinds of screwed. We managed to make it out okay because no crits were rolled on the enemy side (a small miracle in and off it self with all the Falchions they were wielding, but it could have resulted in a TPK if I fell.

    Also about the pathfinder campaign Spoony,
    Kaylyn (Marzgurl) was in the party and carried some big ass sword (If I remember correctly, she had a sword at least) but she couldn’t participate because her computer had just broken down. Had she been around, the party would have probably been fine. I’m also pretty sure at least one other guy actually had a slash weapon but didn’t use it. Still they made a lot of mistakes, spreading thinly and taking big risks on their own. In the end the Orthello the warhorse saved the day (from a TPK).

  • Alex Stockwell

    If you’re a wizard, have a spell for fire, ice, and lightning. I’ve found that shoving a lightning bolt up someone’s ass is useful way more often than setting them on fire. And if you run into the Balrog, or a red dragon, or a fire elemental, or a fire giant, or whatever, you can freeze its ass.

    • doresh

      It certainly doesn’t help that almost all evil outsiders are immune against fire – plus around 2 other elements, so untyped damage spells can be very useful, too.

      • Adell

        A fucking succubus owned a low level party I was in precisely because it was resistant to a lot of basic elements.

        • doresh

          Oh right, I forgot: If an evil outsider is NOT immune against an element, it’s probably resistant to it… <_<

          Well, just another reason why every wizard should have Magic Missile XD

  • Alex Stockwell

    Also, have you played a game called “Castle of the Winds”? It’d be interesting to see you do an episode on that. One thing that’s interesting about it is there’s bolt and ball spells for all three elements.

  • Jeremy K.

    Question on rust monsters:

    What if your character is a monk/sorcerer (no armor except for Magic Armor) and is predominantly melee?

    • Michael Curry

      Run. Why? Because I am guessing you are still carrying coins and jewelry on you that it will want to eat. Rust monsters eat metals that can… rust. So ferrous metals used for like belt buckles, maybe buttons, etc will still draw it if hungry enough.

      • Jeremy K.

        Fair point.

    • Randall Bohannan

      Hell, If i was a monk with no metal gear, put a leash on that puppy and make it a pet! Between your chuck norris moves and his appetite, you will rule! :P

  • Sandahl192

    When one of our guys became troll paste, the only way we could save him from certain death was by setting him on fire. His affinity was so high that he healed with fire. Of course my character had to go find his ghost and bring him back. He was hit so hard that his ghost ended up getting lost.

    One of our main tactics when mediation fails is setting this guy on fire and having him tank.(If not him than another meat shield) Funny thing, when we first learned of his affinity, my character would constantly troll him by randomly setting him on fire. The fire was rather hard on his armor though. It took awhile for us to get him some armor that wouldn’t burn away everytime he immolated himself.

  • LoneWolf343

    I think that people frown on utility spells because MMOs and other such games do not have very much room for improvisation, so utility skills and spells are much less useful in those games, and players that are used to those systems are no longer trained to be creative.

  • Drew Taylor

    Dude, this video is great so far (haven’t seen it all), but it has to be said. I LOVE THAT SHIRT! Seriously, its just awesome.

  • amishman

    god hearing spoony talk about tactics and planning makes me think back to my thief i was the man with him countless sessions when ever i D&D as a player i was usually my thief and was a royal pain in the dm’s ass like a cross of batman and MacGyver where he always had a plan and was prepped for anything from bluffing like a boss into parties like Michael Weston to escaping a packed tavern. My all time favorite story has to be when our party had to gather intel from a castle member during a massive banquet so I robbed a noble man of his clothes and used my bluff to walk right in and even managed to sneak a dagger in, from there made my way upstairs where I literally pulled a Zorro move and sliced the candler rope and made it drop setting the place on fire setting people fleeing into the streets found said family member and “made them talk” and left out a window with a rope and no one suspected it was our group.

  • Cody Meyer

    I have two stories where separating from the party has killed me and saved me (sort of).

    The initial story surrounds my first character, it was my first real set of D&D sessions, and the DM was sort of letting us feel out how to get through this stuff. He’s not the type of guy to build up a his own custom settings, so it was a pre-made campaign. I was playing as a half-elf Necromancer (not a great choice because A) necromancers in 2.0 were usually evil and b) any type of elf in that system couldn’t be necromancers from what I remember) .. So we end up going around the countryside and come upon a fort that was lorded over by an old Paladin. His son, enamored by his father’s tales of adventure, wanted to join our party to go out into a swamp that has “untold treasures.” I was against this idea, but out-voted, we went along with this kid’s plan. So we continue to mosey about the countryside when we suddenly get into a fight with (I THINK) dire wolves.. Everyone is pretty screwed, and watching everyone sort of drop like flies, my “flight” instinct kicks in and I just bolt out of there.. (Yeah, cowardly move, but I lived to fight another day, no less..) I spent an entire day sprinting, running to a cottage with a local druid living there.. we both go back, and everyone else is pretty much dead. So I’m the last one left, and as life can be a double-edged sword, I have to be the one to go to the Paladin to explain to him that our party got his kid killed…. “Awkward” doesn’t quite describe it…

    Another example where I get killed, and this is really how it usually works out: I’m a thief in a party wandering the Underdark (we ended up going down there in a lot of campaigns, and no offense to our DM, it got a little stale.. ) I was lucky enough to have the “Cloak of the Bat” which allows for flight and invisibility if you don’t move. We’re wandering about in the depths of these caves below the crust of the earth, and as we’re moving around we get into a fight, we’re taking count of what we killed, and our available paths. Out of whatever thought process I was running on at the time, I decided I wanted to scout ahead on one path.. coming across a stone maze.. So, rather than navigating a maze of possible death, I float over it.. flying towards the center, which has a tree with diamonds growing in it.. Greed takes hold, I’m curious.. I sit down on one of the walls on the inner circle of the maze, picking up some rocks and tossing it into the area of the tree.. Turns out the area is guarded by a monster composed of 4 legs and a large mouth which hops out of the ground and eats the rock.. Okay, so I decide to toss a rock out and as the rock is in the air, and jump out to the tree.. BIG mistake, as I don’t count on there being another one of the monsters IN THE CEILING.. so my ass gets eaten and the party has to go, navigate the maze and kill the monster.. by then I’m already dead, so yeah… so much for that plan.. powerful lesson in NOT LEAVING THE PARTY.

    Will Wheaton can attest to this (His character split from the party and died in an acid trap)… so yeah, don’t split from the party. :)

  • Jesse Vaillancourt

    Half way through this video I paused it, got up and went to my local crafts store and bought some supplies to make some pixel art stand ups after seeing the ff6 and team rocket ones in your room, now imma unpause and make crafts :D

  • afbee

    There is no rule in the 3.5 players handbook that says if you miss while firing into melee that you will hit one of your team mates. In fact you take the -4 penalty just because your character is TAKING SPECIAL CARE to not hit ally. I would understand hitting an ally on a botch, but otherwise your DM is just being a dick. All precise shot does is take away the penalty.

  • Randall Bohannan

    Other good items to carry in a low lvl D&D campaign. Chalk(handy for marking dungeons/messages/etc… a ball of twine–handy for wrapping/tying up packages, tents, exploring labyrinths. Small bag of leaves/sticks–spread them around campsites/doorways as a poor man’s sound alarm as intruders step on them if they approach you. Small bag of fake/poor grade gemstones—make for good bribes to low intelligent foes sometimes, or bait for greedy thieves–they look valuable after all, at first glance. Wooden tent pegs-for tents(!), spiking doorways open/shut, killing vampires/rust monsters. Silver arrows/crossbow bolts–cheaper than weapons, and useful to attack were-monsters at range where you don’t risk infection. A spare hammer as a weapon; a hammer is like superglue, its always handy for 1000 tasks. Continual light spell stone encased in clay–little expensive but handy if you need sudden light and its not exposed in case you are hit with continual darkness beforehand. A first-aid kit/bandages or the like (handy if the cleric goes down). A poison kit if available (extra save to poison is very handy if you are magic shy or low level). Small shovel-trust me–1000 uses. Hand mirror–signaling, checking around corners without exposing yourself, useful if durable-made from polished steel or such. Backup hidden lockpick set NOT on the party thief. Hide them in like a hidden boot on the cleric. If npc guards lock your party up, they WILL check the thief for such gear, but who ever checks the priest/mage for such stuff? A loadstone on a string–always helps to have a compass, esp underground or when lost.

    • Vismutti

      Oooh, those sound like some really nice advice. *takes notes*
      Just an idea btw: I’m not sure how useful they’re in D&D but I’d imagine it’d be a good idea to always carry a sling around. I mean it’s cheap and light, takes up no space. Wouldn’t it make a good back-up ranged weapon? (I really don’t know about the D&D rules for slings but they used to be pretty damn serious weapons. Not as accurate as bows, unless going against a bow on a windy day (smaller projectile -> less wind effect), but handy and effective anyway.)

  • Fiddlewheel

    How about a crossbow modified to shoot flasks of Alchemists Fire? Would that even be plausible?
    Well anywho, I always go for the feat Point blank with the bow, for there will always be close combat, and I would do better DPS better with the bow.
    And by the way, a sword might not do much against skellies, but how about greatswords? or at least Axes? For I can easily see that an axe can cut through the bones of an skeleton. Axes seem like a slashing/semi blunt, because of its power and weight. Doesn’t work on stone or anything like that of course, but bone? I can see that happening. Allthough I would still go big club of clubbing on them, say hello to mister tree-trunk!
    Love the series Spoony!

    • Adell

      I guess you could like fasten a flask of alchemist fire to the bow, but that definitely wouldn’t fire correctly. Maybe some with a craft skill could make an arrow where the tip is actually like a small canister filled with alchemist fire. Upon impact with a creature, it would dent it open and cause it to explode (like a bomb or torpedo or something similar to that effect)

      • Fiddlewheel

        mmh, you wouldn’t get area of effect, and probably a weakened effect, but then again you get probably something like an additional d6 of fire damage on it, at the cost of maybe -2 penalty to hit?
        Fire arrows that are not magical, they would probably be useful in given situations.
        Or, just do a hail of arrows with it from a small unit of bowmen.

    • Baroncognito
  • Jannick Hegelund Hverkeltoft

    Actually in 3e Sneak Attack doesn’t double when you crit. Good point though, playing a Rogue is all about positioning. Used to pay a Drow Rogue/Assassin and got huge bursts when flanking against people. Oh and beware that monsters immune to crits are also immune to attacks

  • ViolentFace

    I’ve got a general question regarding D&D. Everyone in my group is pretty new to the game and we’re running our DM’s first campaign. Thing is, I’m not really having much fun with the game, mostly because i keep missing dice rolls and I can’t do anything competently.

    So here’s my question: am I supposed to feel like I have very little control over things? I keep whiffing on attacks, I keep missing checks on things, I keep getting second to last initiative even though my initiative is the highest in the party- is this normal? Every game I’ve played, i just suck so bad, and is it just luck? Or are characters supposed to suck most of the time in this game?

    • Jannick Hegelund Hverkeltoft

      anytime Dice is involved the game will be a little random, sometimes we get lucky and sometimes you don’t. We’ve all had that session where we just suck and i once had a session where i did nothing but critical hit. So do the only sensible thing…. blame it on the dice and get some new ones :). Oh, i don’t know what you are playing, but at least read over your class features and learn your class carefully, that will make you much more valuable in the game

    • doresh

      What numbers are you rolling? Sounds like you have VERY bad luck at rolls Oo

      • ViolentFace

        I rarely roll higher than a 10. I know it’s just luck, but is it normal to be so unlucky?

        • doresh

          Guess that’s the problem, because you generally want AT LEAST 10 when it comes to challenges suitable for your level.

          And this bad luck is definitely not permanent. You’ll roll better eventually. Just think positively ;)

    • NickCaligo42

      First: What kind of character are you playing and how are they equipped?

      Second: What doresh said, what kinds of rolls are these?

      Third: You playing Pathfinder, 3rd edition, 4th, what? Depending on the game, one of several things is going on:

      1 – You are experiencing abnormally poor luck. Half the time you ought to be rolling over 10, and generally if you roll over 10 or even a few points under you’re good, so long as it’s something your character is competent at. Think, like, 75% rate of success for things your character is supposed to be good at.

      Bad luck CAN be helped depending on what game you’re playing, in that Pathfinder and 4th edition feature “Action Points” that allow you to get re-rolls. Best thing you can do is talk to your DM about including those if the dice are shitting on you. Also, this might seem ridiculous, but if you’ve got friends that are more successful, try borrowing their dice. As Spoony explained in the d20 Live video, a lot of dice are made in a rock tumbler and come out un-evenly balanced. There’s a chance–slim, mind you–that you’ve ended up with the ones that consistently weight themselves to the most miserable side.

      2 – You’ve done an especially bad job putting together your class and don’t know what you can do. It sounds crass, but newer editions of D&D make that a frightfully easy trap to fall into unless you’re some kind of rules encyclopedia or have a friend helping you out. These are ridiculously number-crunchy games where you’re expected to stack your modifiers as heavily in your favor as possible. If you don’t, you’re going to feel pretty worthless.

      As an example, I’ve got a friend who had a Rogue named Dyne Wright. He role-played this guy awesomely, but had STR that put him in the negatives. He didn’t know about weapon finesse or weapon focus, so his accuracy was miserable, and even if he rolled good he couldn’t hit anything — not even on a sneak attack, and even if he got a hit, he couldn’t do much damage. He didn’t know about flanking, so he didn’t take advantage of it. He didn’t think to use a bow instead. Meanwhile, he took almost no ranks in sleight of hand or climbing. Lots in Stealth, but once hidden he really wasn’t able to do anything. And it’s not that this guy was dumb or anything, he just didn’t know all the tricks and feats that he wasn’t taking advantage of.

    • Rakkrakk

      You either were using extraordinarily shitty dice or you quickly rolled up your character eager to play rather than thoughtfully prepared. My first game was like that as well and lasted exactly 1 session. I basically TPK’d my party by botching and throwing alchemist fire behind me. Only my character survived. He’s ratfolk and his new name is Burnt-Tail.

      That or you had a statistical anomaly in terms of luck. Happens to everybody in at least one campaign.

  • Angus Livingstone

    Fuck LordKat.

  • Joshua Daniel Hahn

    This session is dedicated to Marauder Shields. His sacrifice will not be forgotten.

    • Drew Taylor

      I was thinking the same thing. I would like to propose a moment of silence for Marauder Shields, who died to try and save us from the horrible ending.

  • Moritz Lorey

    Not many people can just talk about something and make it good. Spoony makes it awesome. Thats what made “Wrestle! Wrestle!” work too. Keep going!

    • marabackman

      I especially love the old vlog that originated the term, when TNA was bad even by its own standards. ^^

  • Steven Black

    I love rogues. Flanking is all about setting it up. The skill, Tumble, is sick for getting through attacks of opportunities to get to people’s backs. Then again, my rogue(s) took out Tiamat (yeah twice).One was intentionally the total arc of the campaign. Conundrum Paradox in DnD3e, Gnome, Rogue/Illusionist/Arcane Trickster, ended up with a pretty slick short sword +5 and sliced her to bits from behind (But if Tiamat fought like she should, we should have probably died. Thankfully Dan and Eric hadn’t seen Circle Strafe). The other one had me end up in Epic levels with a Godslaying Dagger in DnD3.5e. A halfling thief who had some Prestige Class that made him the master of throwing weapons and daggers. It was brutal. Assassin for the gods. AD&D 2nd edition was Lament, evil thief who made it to Second Level before the campaign fell apart (as evil campaigns do). His shtick was a sort of terrorist who was anti-church and anti-temple, bombing temples. Sort of my anti-paladin, since my paladin I had played had just died. That sneak attack every round in 3rd is just sick. Since I played ADnD2e as a rogue, total difference.

    Oh yeah, as a Game Master myself, I hate status spells. The damage dealing spells don’t scare me at all. Those status effect spells though do a lot of annoying things like lockdown with sleep that make it so my Game Master Characters cannot act. That’s much more frustrating than just raw damage. Icy Surface in Earthdawn is basically Grease, its disgustingly efficient. When you limit you opponent’s maneuverability, you limit their options. But if you are gonna be that damage dealing Fwakoom caster, make sure to take Force, Sonic, Fire, Ice, Lightning, etc. More options, is greater chance one will work. And Dnd loves resistances.

    Oh I’ve been that guy. Nero, my fire obsessed Horror Stalker. Strangely never botched his roll for throwing oil flasks, but we all know he would have blown himself up if the campaign hadn’t ended to a 7 day flood (That’s a long story).

    Shooting into melee. I got that guy in my campaign right now. An Elementalist throwing fireballs right into melee. Hitting his own allies. I love it. The other Players hate that guy.

  • Bryan John Sauriol

    Amen to back up the thief! I pretty much had to crack out a calculator and pie charts to convince the party members to flank with me.

  • Alexander Wood

    Oh, jeez, I remember the game Spoony ran with the TGWTG guys… Sean… WHY U NO SNEAK ATTACK?!

  • Thomas Kelley

    This video is why Eladrin are best wizards. They get an automatic longsword proficiency, and not only that, but you can take a feat to use the longsword as an arcane implement.
    Suddenly the Eladrin wizard’s fire spells aren’t working? Oh well, he’s still slinging at least 1d8+4 damage, if he’s smart.

  • Der Neger

    Awww, i remember when Counter Monkey was about Spoony telling funny, cool or insightful stories from his games. Now its just generic complains that wouldnt even come up in most other games. Im sad now.

    • doresh

      With “I remember”, do you mean “Bardic Knock Spell” or “Circle Strafe”?

  • doresh

    Pathfinder made it a bit easier for fighters to prepare in advance since any magic weapon with an enhancement of at least +3 can bypass certain forms of damage reduction, with +5 weapons being able to ignore any DR – except for those that can only be bypassed by certain damage types, as well as DR that flat out cannot be bypassed.

    And yeah, overspecialisation can bite wizards in the arse. There’s a reason why those classic “elemental mages” (fire mage, ice mage,…) are not part of the system – at least not the core rules (Pathfinder introduced those in the Advanced Player’s Guide, though).
    Heck, even if you absolutely HAVE to be such a wizard: Also memorize other elements – kinda like how every clever dragon probably knows a few spells from an opposite element than his own, just to screw with “prepared” enemies XD

    Oh, and alchemist fire can be REALLY useful if you be careful and know how to use it, especially if you’re fighting some dumb undead monsters.

  • Malcomb Bell

    I loved the video Spoony! I’m still working on my custom d20 system, and ideas for it. So far I’ve decided to say “fuck this 1 time period shit If we managed to go out into space there would surely be races far more primitive than us and there would be races so advanced the could ass rape us by blinking an eye”. If there’s anyone interested in checking it out when its done send me a pm or something!

  • Jonathan Smith

    It’s embarrassing how excited I get when I see a new Counter Monkey. Spoony is really spoiling me lately.

  • Cody Ward

    It’s video’s of awesome anecdotes and the like that make me really sad I’ve never been able to actually be in a D&D game. All my friends have, but I’m usually the odd man out when it comes to schedules. =/

  • magnusk_98

    I get that impression that Spoony hasn’t really read the changes from 3.x to Pathfinder or, in some cases, even from 3.0 to 3.5 .
    Not that this is really irritating, because I remember all those editions and the differences can be subtle. Hell, it took several years for my group to just notice how incorporeability now works in PF.

  • Erik Kowalsky

    I fucking love these Counter Monkey videos. Just now I wanted to watch you rant for a little while and lo, a new video is up already!

  • Guest

    Can I be that guy who shoots into melee if I’m the dedicated archer and have precise shot? Cause that means no penalties for me.

  • Adrian Burt

    I’m playing a Rogue in Pathfinder. I got a sneak attack on a goblin leader with character levels. I got critical. 23 total damage. It was spectacular.

  • Randall Bohannan

    My 10 top ten list of 1st level spells. Here is my list of spells for starting wizards/sorcerers that give the most bang for their buck, and will greatly improve your usefulness & party survival. Also, don’t dress like Gandalf or you will have a giant target over your head.
    10. Silent Image–by creating a hologram basically of you or an object, you can spring ambushes, trick guards, distract people, the list goes on and on. Think Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hologram wrist generator in the original total recall. Even without ghost sound(which improves it x2), its got long range, duration concentration & save will only if interacted with. Its only limit is your imagination.
    9. Alarm–limited only by its duration of 2 hrs/level, it can be set to silent or audible–cheap to use, and keeps parties from falling easily to those late night ambushes that DMs love to spring.
    8. Disguise Self-Very handy spell that is limited by short duration of 10min/lvl, it can change clothing, armor, & gear–you don’t even have to look like yourself. Doesn’t change your racial look but otherwise you can look like the background people in an environment you don’t belong in. Infiltrate guard houses to get schedule routes, sneak into noble’s castles as a guard or butler, etc. Best to not interact with others as they get a will save; if unavoidable, pick the dumb looking types or isolated people.
    7. Nystul’s Magic Aura–depending on the setting, & morality of the campaign, use this on a masterwork weapon to convince the local pawnshop that its a +3 sword of sharpness, and pull a fast con on him. If the npc uses a idenify & fails his will save, he will be convinced. For a small investment, you could reap a huge return in gold! Best used if you intend to get out of town very quickly however. Using a disguise spell ahead of time might be good advice too. Don’t pull this too often though–your DM will get you if its done too much, trust me. Research how your DM buys/sales magic first though–if hes thought about it, he prob will have safeguards vs this kind of crime (or should have).
    6. Obscuring Mist-At low lvls, you will fight creatures like kobolds, orcs & such that, while weak, love to make up for it by using ambushes, ranged weapons, and such. Negate their advantage by creating your own 100% concealment. Great for situations when you need to withdraw as well. Good with feats that negate/reduce concealment modifiers.
    5. Grease–Not just a catchy musical, use this offensively w. foes on stairs, ledges, ramps, cliff-sides, etc, where it’s basically unavoidable. Going on those ships Spoony warned you about? Use this on a friend who is under attack by the giant squid and he has a +10 bonus to avoid grapple attacks. Defensively, it can make for great cover if cast behind you as you withdraw. Use this on enemies with poor reflex saves to coat grease on a weapon/object they are holding -Great Swords, staffs, and holy symbols come to mind.
    4. Color Spray–This spell is amazing at low level! As a 15ft cone effect, this spell can devastate entire groups of orcs/kobolds/etc –will save negates but otherwise can knock out(2d4 rds), blinded & stunned for 1d4 rds, then stunned for 1 rd! DMs will HATE this spell as it can literally make or break an encounter. Keep in mind-he will eventually include enemy casters to use it against you too-watch for caster types!
    3. Sleep–Similar to Color Spray, this spell is brutal at the first 5 levels! Watch Spoony’s Leaping Wizards if you haven’t seen it yet to understand why. 2-3 enemy casters use this on your party & it can be a TPK! It can be used to neutralize foes without harming them, ending bar fights or riots for example. Most city guards that employ casters would likely have this rdy to go at all times. Best used on foes with poor will saves (fighter or rogue types).
    2. Unseen Servant–This utility spell is simply amazing. While it cant attack directly, it can do anything a man servant could do. It would have about as much strength as a 14 yr old(carry 20 pounds and/or drag 100 pounds), fetch, pick up stuff–its literally limited only by your imagination, range of 30ft min, & no attack rolls allowed. Lasts 1 hour/lvl too; your own personal butler. While it can’t make an attack roll, there is nothing that says it can perform actions that would have negative consequences–hold a candle to a rope that is holding a chandelier over enemies, pull a lever marked “DO NOT PULL”, pour oil over a section of floor and apply a torch, etc etc. Glowing orange gem surrounded by a blast crater in the room up ahead? Have Jeeves pick it up. The list just goes on and on.
    1. Charm Person–I can NOT stress enough how amazing this spell is. 9 times out of 10, having the right friend in the right place at the right time will win the day for you. Trapped in jail? Good thing your best friend is the guard. Need information from a snooty official? Your his best friend. Trying to infiltrate the bad guys castle? good thing the outer guard is your BFF to let you inside “for just a few minutes”. Try to use outside of combat for maximum effect, but if your forced to, use on foes with poor will saves–5 orcs attacking you suddenly becomes 4 orcs vs you and your new best friend that while he won’t attack his buddies, might try to stay between you and them to save his friend, talking them down. Of course you could use it unethically to seduce an npc, I would strongly warn you against this if it violates your alignment and/or ethical code-a used npc would be a dangerous future foe -they DON’T forget what you did after all–& can bring the law against you at the very least. This spell is limited only by your imagination & language skills.

  • Malidictus

    I don’t play D&D so I don’t have any stories, but I do remember “critical miss” occasions from Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura. You roll a critical miss, all that damage goes into you. I remember so many instances of somehow managing to shoot myself with a fucking Looking Glass Rifle that’s as long as I am, and taking critical damage. I’ve DIED from those because my guy was an engineer and didn’t have that much health.

    A friend of mine had one better, though. He had Gar, the World’s Smartest Orc with him, and I think for lack of money had equipped the man with a dagger. Well, Gar rolls a critical miss, he rolls a critical hit on himself… And cuts his own head with a dagger. Graphically. Like Fallout, Arcanum had “brutal kill” animations, and Gar lost his head on camera. From his own dagger. I’m not even sure how that’s possible, but Gar managed it.

  • Laura Rola

    Fun Pathfinder tool for starting distracting fires: Level-0 spell Spark. Verbal or Somatic, so you will almost always be able to use it. Light torches, set papers on a desk on fire, light a pile of leaves, pretty much anything flammable and unattended. One of those spells like Light, Detect Magic, or Prestidigitation that pretty much anyone who can cast should take.

  • Randall Taylor

    I know that guy because that’s how i beat Baldurs gate as a kid. If i even suspected trouble ahead i would save, bomb it with napalm, and advance. Didn’t do much collateral damage to the party, but when i played the game a few weeks ago i did get into few issues with color spray. Three of my party knocked out and subsequently executed thanks to me being a dumbass with magic.

  • Bryan John Sauriol

    3.5 survival kit: Quarterstaff, Scimitar, Light Pick, Longbow/Crossbow.

  • MrRuse

    That guy… is un-FUCKING-believable.

  • CaptainDingaling

    Man another D&D RPG tutorial… what happend to the Funny Counter Monkey stuff?

  • MrRuse

    Ah but on a more serious note, it’s a matter of improvising. Your
    claymore’s not working because the target is immune to slashing? Turn it
    90 degrees in your hands and hit it with the flat. Or hold it the other
    way around and Mordhau a motherfucker. Spear’s not hurting skeletons? A spear is a shaft with a pointy end, just wield it as a quarterstaff. Arrows not dealing damage? Disregard bitches, acquire rocks. Target immune to crushing damage? Put a spike on your hammer. Rapier’s not working? Fisticuffs for you, ruffian! Lycans fucking you up? Get a silver ring and choke that werewolf like the bitch it is. Fey ruining your day? Get a Dwarven smith to make you an iron belt. Using a spiked chain? There are all sorts of uses for that! (though I do not recommend climbing it) Ten foot poles? Turn them into ladders with some rope! Have to flee through a street full of beggars and thieves? Drop some coin!

    The possibilities are endless!

  • machomuu

    That LordKat impression made my day.

  • Roger Smith

    Ooo. I like grease, because it has an offensive use too ontop of its defense/trap applications.

    My Setup: An enemy is running away. Your Barbarian is chasing him down; he’s still within range. Grease the enemy’s boots; he better hope he makes that reflex save. Being on the ground with a raging barbarian and his greataxe over you is not a good thing.

    Granted it works better if the enemy has boots, but also think about using it on their weapons. A greased sword is impossible to use effectively.

    Here’s another example, combining a level 0 utility spells and a magic item. I played a Duskblade once (the arcane fighter equivalent of a cleric), and we were a little higher level. I made it so he would be proficient in bluff and disguise (high int gave him a little leeway in cc skills), being an infiltration kind of character. Why? He had a Hat of Disguise (+10 to disguise checks). And duskblades get free level 0 spells ontop of their “known” ones, one of the ones? Ghost Sound. So he can literally make his voice change and if need be, cause himself to sound somewhere else…Or as someone else. He literally once imitated a queen. To the point where it should’ve been illegal how well it worked out.

    Remember, just because a spell DOESN’T do damage…doesn’t mean it can’t cause it. Always think “how can I make this utility spell useful?”

  • ace42

    I didn’t find “conga-lines” to be an issue in 4th edition. The defenders’ abilities, feats, and items often give perks to adjacent team-mates which quickly out-perform a flat +2 bonus to attack rolls.

  • MechaVelma

    Never had a guy that fired into melee. We actually had fairly intelligent people running in the groups I was in. I did manage to annoy a lot of people just because I had an uncanny knack for reading faces and reading people in general and I could tell what cliches the DMs wanted to use, so I would stay out of their traps while everyone else just walked right into them.

    Basically there are two types of people that look for escapism the most in society, the highly intelligent and the sociopathic. I’ve encountered a couple sociopaths and they just suck the joy out of everything they’re involved in and players, and in my experience, DMs are just not worth playing with.

  • CBirds


    • TheCrimsonSpire

      I only noticed until half way into the video. When I did, I cheered with amazement. Oh MS, we will miss you.

  • Michael Sporzynski

    The early Counter Monkey videos with the stories about who did what, and the hilarious delivery – I loved them. The recent ones are getting more and more meh. I still watch them, but they are just okay.

    But, although I do miss the reviews and especially the Let’s Plays – the number of videos being put up is still great. A lot of okay videos still equals a lot of entertainment.

    So, I’m content – yet I still await something spectacular. Even as Counter Monkeys go, there were some really fun ones (like the Manure Golem one…). But I don’t mind having to wait a while to see the next truly brilliant video.

  • doresh

    Oh, speaking of using your available resources right…

    Hirelings. At least before someone picks the Leadership feat, it can be pretty handy to have some dudes guardin the horses outside the dungeon or carry the torches and the loots inside the dungeon. And although the might be a bit costly at early levels, it’s exactly there where warrior hirelings are the most useful.
    And heck, at high levels (and within reason depending on the region you’re in), the party might rent an entire mercenary army to solve their problem XD

  • Jake Willson

    Oh sweet FSM, hearing the term “that guy” makes me remember the horror stories of Luke, That Guy incarnate, and what his poor companions suffered through

  • Reven The Light

    Spoony! As a DM, I really appreciate your show! I was wondering if you can use my question as a theme for another CM.
    So, I’ve been a DM for about… 3-4 years, granted, I’m a DM on a forum RP, but still. So, for a while I was getting new players and I noticed a pattern – only 1 out of about… 10 players will pick a Good character and only 1 out of 20-30 will pick a Villain, the rest of them are Neutral, Neutral-Evil. And not that I’m against that, and It’s probably just my luck, but these characters are so boring… Most of these guys are usually just pick characters that don’t care about anything, don’t have any motives and story they just say “I’m neutral, and since I’m like partially evil so I can do what ever I want… I guess… Wait… What do I want?” And it becomes a bit pointless. I also noticed, that most “heroes” of your Counter Monkeys are characterized not by their “side” but by their “class”.
    So, back-story out of the way, I was wondering, have you ever encountered or DMed with/as an Interesting and Involving Neutral character?
    And I know that you don’t like to argue about alignments, but were there any good examples of a character that actually used this “side” in a good/interesting way?

    • Derek Thomas

      I’d like an answer to this too. I wonder if he’ll read it.

    • smaco

      He actually talked about that in one of his earlier Counter Monkeys, I think. I think it was “the prisoner dilemma”? Im not entirely sure, tho

      • Reven The Light

        He did talk about that, and it is one of my favorite CM’s, but it was more of a “We have a story piece/situation, and now we will discuss how different alignments will behave here”.
        What I wanted to hear is something like a… How a character can be good and memorable not because how awesome with skills or “dirty moves” he was, but more of a character or a story arc he/she played.
        You know how in the end of Alice in Wonderland Spoony just said “Yo! We got a Universe-boat and all the Universes to ourselves! Let’s get all the b***es!” something like that only a bit longer xD

    • ace42

      One way to make people care about alignments is introduce demons into the plot. People will get a lot more interested in being good when their souls are at risk of being drawn into hell for living unjust lives. Ditto for introducing deities of a certain alignment who won’t respond well to supplicants of differing alignments.

      If you’re using an older ruleset that still has items based on alignment, start making them the focus of the campaign. Who’s ever heard of a mystic weapon of legend that responds to the apathy and ambivalence of the person wielding it? However, a holy weapon of zealousness that punishes the fickle, that’s another story.

      Also, “neutral” isn’t the same as 4th edition’s “unaligned.” “True Neutral” in 3rd edition represents a zealous commitment to neutrality – like a Druid who promotes the natural balance of the world; Chaotic Neutral is like an anarchist; Lawful Neutral is like someone who cares for rules for rules sake. None of these three flavours of alignment are “I have no alignment”, and failing to act according to these precepts could be seen as “acting outside of alignment” and thus point out that persistence could result in the person having their alignment permanently changed to something more in keeping with their actions; which in older editions incurs a mechanical penalty, and in more recent editions can result in their Gods shunning them – which can heavily impair the efficacy of Divine power source characters.

      People can often sense alignment, either via Insight / Wisdom or through magic (sensing someone’s aura). While an NPC might not be able to tell if the person they are talking to is lying or not from an insight check – and maybe the player they are talking to isn’t lying – they might be able to discern that the player’s character is infact not a GOOD person, and thus the NPC is reluctant to trust them. That’s a free excuse to increase the DC of persuasion / diplomacy / whatever skillchecks. And as the player is neutral, not evil, it also means that it can be used to punish Intimidate skill-checks too!

      Whenever your players try to plead an advantage with an NPC (Oh, we saved your village; we rescued the prince; etc) – that’s carte blanche for your NPCs to go “Well, if you were a GOOD person, that might be convincing. But you’re not a good person – you just did it for the money!”

      Bluff, Diplomacy, etc is not mind-control; so if an NPC has it (rightly) in their head that the players aren’t good people (are mercenary, etc), players can’t just assume some skill-rolls will get them into good graces; and may have to perform additional tasks, or forgo rewards, etc in order to make up for their alignment.

      You can create roleplaying situations out of even “neutral” alignments, it’s not a get-out-of-jail-free card.

      As for “unaligned” in 4th, a lot of this applies, but it’s a different take on the matter. It’s “Not having a stake in the war between good and evil” rather than describing an ethical / moral standpoint. This means that good and evil forces in the world can fixate on pulling the characters to one side or other of the conflict, fighting over their souls. Keep a balance sheet of the choices they make, and use that to determine how the sides react to them.

  • Chris Lauderdale

    Crits don’t double sneak attack damage.

    There is no chance to hit your ally in 3.5 when firing into melee by default.

    Then again, earlier editions were a lot less merciful. Trust me, 1st edition was fucking SAVAGE.

  • dmwdp001

    Pro Tip: If you’re ever playing a wizard in a campaign with firearms, be very, very careful with your fire spells.

    I was playing such a character during an adventure where the party was pressuring a group conspiring to assassinate a nobleman and tracked them to an old warehouse full of kegs of dwarven ail. When we busted down the door the conspirators and their musket wielding lackeys where in one corner discussing plans. My character rolled the best init and since the enemies where all bunched together I did the logical thing and threw a fireball at them, a which point our DM literaly facepalmed. He then explained that kegs where actually filled with smuggled gunpowder, and that my character just tossed a fireball into a warehouse packed to rafters with high explosives. Oops.

  • Olivier Bilodeau

    I think in RPG’s the acronym DPR should be used an not DPS since the unit of time is rounds

  • Dan Schuett

    I had “That Guy” with the fire throw a flask of alchemist fire on the deck of a wooden boat, at sea. Another Guy used to do one better than arrows into melee, he’d toss grenade weapons into melee. Our fighters are trying to take down an Ogre, or a Troll and suddenly they’re engulfed in fire, or splattered with acid.

  • Justin Alexander

    Oh god, the guy who always carries explosives because he thinks he can be tactical with that shit…uuugh.

    The ONE time I played d20 Modern with a group of local friends, we were using the rules where monsters exist in secrecy…I forget what they’re called exactly, but it was basically like the Dresden Files. We were part of a specialized agency that handles unruly monsters and dark wizards and stuff. So we all make our characters, and one guy, thinking he’d be smart, decides his guy is going to be an ex-demolitions expert. He spent almost ALL of his money on C4. His reasoning was “Hey, unlike all those other conventional explosives, C4 can only be detonated by electrical current! It’s not like the first fireball I take is going to be the end of us!”

    So you got this guy who’s working in CIVILIAN AREAS carrying around enough explosive power to level a city block. Seriously, he had like 40d6 worth of explosives on him. But he doesn’t USE them for a few games, he relies on his gun instead as we’re hunting down crap like…gremlins. But then we catch wind of this vampire who might be pulling some strings and such, and like the dutiful (read: stupid) party we are we decide to make this our priority at level 4. Well, we run up on this vampire thinking that the DM would never just TPK us for tracking down a plot thread, but the first thing that happens is the vampire looks intently at the explosives guy, says “Press the button,” and…

    Fuck that guy, man. Fuck him!

    • Carl Eusebius

      I think you’re talking about Dark Matter for the short-lived Alternity game. Or, whatever Dark Matter mutated into when it became part of the d20 System.

      I once ran a Dark Matter game in which the players played themselves, drawn into the secret X-Files-ish world of the Hoffman Institute. They could only take skills they themselves actually possessed. It worked out pretty well, because one guy was a network administrator (computer/hacking skills), one guy was a nurse (first aid), one guy was in the Army and another had had home defence training with a handgun (guns), one guy knew tae kwon do (unarmed/martial arts), etc. With only two guys who could shoot worth a damn, the party had to rely on noncombat solutions to problems.

  • exploda

    Lovin’ all the new Counter Monkeys. My favorite web series. Probably the nerdiest thing ever, but that’s why I love it so much.

  • Erich Williams

    I don’t know about the older D&Ds, Spoony, but in Pathfinder and I think 3.5, daggers only do piercing. Which is stupid unless it’s a stiletto, but I know a lot of stickler DMs. I do have a realist DM however who house-rules real-world weapon effects in like being staggered by hits from something really heavy. A greatsword won’t just cut you, it will knock you back or down. A rapier won’t do jack against full plate unless you somehow slip between the seams or score a visor shot. A fireball to the face won’t just burn you, it’ll scare the HELL out of you. Like the whole acid in Tempus’ face thing.
    By the way, there’s a feat that lets archers fire into melee without risk of hitting allies. Any archer that’s not an idiot in Pathfinder takes it, since everyone with bigger than Light armor wades into melee. Archers can be just as bad as rogues, especially if they’re ninjas. Sneak attack at twice a rogue’s range or better with a composite bow? Yes please!

  • Lynn Hansen

    As far as covering physical damage types goes, a morningstar is a pretty awesome choice. For just 8 gp, you get 1d6 bludgeoning *and* piercing damage.

  • Troll_B

    There’s no rule in 3.5 or 4e where you hit your ally for firing into melee. That’s a homebrew rule only. Your DMs are assholes.

    • Drakedragon

      I don’t know about 4e, but I know 3.5 had a penalty for firing into melee, unless you took a specific feat to eliminate it. It was no homebrew feature.

      • Troll_B

        You took a -penalty- for firing into melee, but you were never in danger of hitting your ally. That is a homebrew rule.

  • Ashleigh Dale

    This is exactly why I tell archers to get Precise Shot… goddamn arrows in my butt!

  • Jim Thorpe

    spoony Play Some Fucking Dungeon World, Okay

  • Jim Thorpe

    also i’m fuckin really hype about all these new counter monkeys. you’re pretty much the only guy doing what you do, and you got a hell of a knowledge on d&d and certain other rpgs

  • Jim Thorpe

    also lmao at the callback to “i’m not that kinda thief”

  • Wout Oostendorp

    Solving the Conga Line: If you are being flanked, you can’t flank.

    • Rakkrakk

      That’s the first houserule I thought of when the Conga Line was brought up.

  • Arstra

    I wanna ask and this may seem off topic but where do we find out about live sessions? I would love to be there as they happen. Also I am loving Counter Monkey. Please never stop making these.

  • Baroncognito

    I’ll admit, in previous editions, where you had even odds of hitting a team-mate, it was annoying when other people shot into melee, but these days, I don’t care.

    I’ve been in so many fights in hallways and small rooms where if people didn’t use ranged weapons, they couldn’t participate in the fight.

  • Lauri Markkula

    I’m hoping to see Spoony talk about D&D Next. That ars article, while seemingly quite biased, did pique my interest in it a lot.

  • Shauna

    Thiz guy…is un-FUCKING-believable!

  • WWYC54

    Great advice, but….

    *glares at the Marauder tee*


    What. the. Hell?

    I remember watching your livestream Q & A (or rather a recording or it that didn’t have the fucking questions shown), and I remember how you acted during that.

    It almost made me have no sympathy for your Ultima 9 review.

  • CheshireBat

    While I’m not really learning anything new from these episodes, it’s nice to hear from another veteran (read: shellshocked) GM.

    The alchemist fire deal did make me cringe, and the note of dynamite in western games was appreciated too. I had a player lug around 20 sticks of dynamite. On his person. Not even in a crate on a wagon or anything. 20 sticks. On him. That resulted in a complete and immediate party wipe out.
    Of course, this was Deadlands. It’s not a bad idea to have a little dynamite, just in case you run into something particularly gruesome, but please, please, limit yourself and keep it properly stored.

  • Zach Miller

    Spoony: To be fair, I did deserve to self destruct that night. There was NO reason for me to be raised. (Being ‘possibly’ the pyromaniac from the story?)

  • angela

    I get a little confused with all the weapons they have. They have so many fancy-named swords and clubs and things, it almost feel like their trying to distract you with a exodic desgins. Sometimes all you really need is a large stick and a good swing.

  • Amesang

    The fear of having to shoot into melee is EXACTLY why the first archery feat I gave my Pathfinder ranger was “Precise Shot,” especially since she’s still low-level. Granted at her current state she does more damage with her cold iron greatsword than she does with her composite longbow and its +4 Str bonus (and, really, depending on your DM and/or the world setting it shouldn’t be hard getting a cold iron weapon even at 1st level, since in 3rd Edition D&D and Pathfinder they just cost double the normal, non-masterwork price of a weapon — it’s adding magical enhancements to it that gives it its extra expense).

    At the time she also carried three flasks of alchemist’s fire, but that was due primarily to my memories of playing “Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar,” when I would try and funnel enemies through a small passage and throw a flask of oil at them when they bottlenecked. Understandably, there’s is ALWAYS the fear that the wrong hit at the wrong time will set them all off, lighting her up like a Christmas tree.

    Regrettably I didn’t give her a club as a part of her starting gear when I first began playing, but if the game ever gets going again (and she escapes the castle she was infiltrating) it’ll be on her list of new equipment to pick up (unless she can grab a warhammer, first); I’ll soon be adding empty sacks to that very list, a simple item I’ve often overlooked in the past (at least she made use out of her crowbar, but time will tell if she’ll ever use her shovel, sewing needle, or steel mirror).

  • Misroi

    Yeah, I ran into “that guy” during one of the last Living Greyhawk mods in the region. We were fighting a siege crab (literally, a giant enemy crab), and it had grabbed me in one of its pincers. I’m struggling to escape, but really, it’s mathematically impossible – the thing was so massive that its static bonus was higher than I could feasibly total, even if I get a natural 20.

    So, I’m stuck there. The cleric is throwing every heal spell he’s got to keep me from dying, and it’s a lost cause. The fighters are doing what they can, but the thing’s got a massive AC, and more HP than God Himself. Then That Guy, playing his sorcerer pipes up.

    “I cast Disintigrate on it.”

    We’re dumbfounded. We look at him, like he’s just said that one of us have sprouted a new head, or that a Libertarian actually has a chance for the presidency. “What the hell, dude!”, I ask him. “That could hit me!”

    He either didn’t hear me, or didn’t care, because he continued casting. The big problem here? Grappling was screwed up in 3.5. I mean, really screwed up. I’m pretty certain you can get a PhD in theoretical mathematics if you actually can explain to someone exactly how grappling works. One of the most ridiculous rules was that if you were firing into a grapple, you had to roll randomly to see which grappler you hit. The worst part? The game didn’t tell you how to determine this, which meant that each DM got to decide – was it 50/50? Less than that? More? Who knows! If the DM liked you, maybe the odds were in your favor. If you said some things about his sister, well, guess the odds aren’t with ya.

    So, yeah. This thing’s the size of a small keep, and somehow there’s a 50/50 chance that it hits me instead of the crab. Fortunately, it doesn’t. Here’s the kicker – the spell’s got a Fortitude save, and if it makes the save, it only takes about 5d6 damage, which is a drop in the bucket for this thing. His spell goes off the way he intended it, and it doesn’t even slow the crab down. There’s another round of beating on the thing, and it becomes very clear that, after another round of being crushed, there’s no way I’m going to survive one more round of this. I tell the GM that I bow my head and make my peace with my god.

    Then, That Guy’s turn comes up again. “I cast Disintigrate again.”

    “WHAT THE FUCK, DUDE?!?” That Guy looks at me quizzically, as though I’d said that his facemask was slipping, and I could see the serpentine features beneath it. “Why are you trying to kill me?”

    This manages to get through his thick skull, and he does something else. I don’t honestly know what his second spell was, but it wasn’t another Disintigrate.

    So…yeah. I’ve gamed with That Guy. Fuck That Guy.

    • draxo

      Sounds more like your DM was being dumb and ‘that guy’ there. There is no feasible way he should have ruled it was a 50/50. That was probably an ‘only on a roll of a 1′. Size is a big factor.

      • Misroi

        I agree, it’s a stupid call. The fairest way I’ve seen is to count the squares in the profile for all grapplers, and assign a percentage chance based on that. So, in this example, the seige crab takes up 16 squares, and I take up 1. That’s right about a 6% chance I get hit with the Disintigrate, which is pretty close to your “only on a roll of a 1.” *shrug* Still, bad tactics.

    • CareerKnight

      If you were about to die anyway I don’t see the harm in him casting disintegrate again unless someone else had a better idea on how to save you before the crabs next turn.


    Keep up the Dnd stuff your stories got me to go back to a game store and get into pathfinder after not playing since 3rd edition. Thanks Spoony.

  • Dan Schuett

    Also don’t be that guy who shouts war cries. Or more accurately realize there’s a time and place for it. Paladins have always been the biggest problem for this, because then that guy won’t even be reasoned with, but fighters do this to. You’re going along and come upon a band of enemies who haven’t noticed you yet. Then before or while an ambush is being planned out they announce their presence to the world getting the attention of not only this group, but any group within earshot, and if you’re in a cave, or a crypt, or a keep, or anywhere with a lot of stone and not many doors, sound travels a long damn way.

  • Herman Cillo

    This is great advice Spoony. I wish I’d had some of this told to me when I started in D&D, as I suffered. But:

    Oh do I know the perils of bad spell choices. My sorcerer Lukas Aran was the culmination of all the failures of prior spellcasters and the willingness to listen to advice when it was given.

    GREASE. Anyone who can get grease as a spell, should. Grease is one of the best spells in D&D 3.5. It can bring some enemies to their knees and it’s surprisingly useful at higher levels. From level 1 to level 10 (when I couldn’t keep playing the character due to Living Greyhawk ending.) it was always useful. ANYTHING that wasn’t especially dexterous was vulnerable to suddenly being prone like the Three Stooges on Ice. It can disarm AND it’s effective on big nasties like Hydras.

    Glitterdust is close behind. Enlarge Person is useful for upping the damage of the fighter. Expeditious Retreat came in handy constantly. Magic Missile is actually better after level 2 because its damage scales. Bull’s Strength, Cat’s Grace and the other stat boosters are good too. Don’t bogart the buffs either!

    If the fighter is stronger, he hits harder and more often. If the rogue is more dexterous, he’s gonna hit more and get hit less. Magic Weapon is good just in case. Shield and Mage Armor keep you alive and against ghosts, they’re a godsend.

    Ray of Enfeeblement can turn some fights around by reducing the enemy’s accuracy and damage.

    Fireball is Ok, but getting an elemental substitution feat that lets you sub in another type of damage on the fly is even better with it.

    Wall of Ice. This spells has saved entire parties. Do you need a round of breathing room to heal and get the party on their feet? Wall of ice. Don’t want to face two flanking groups of enemies in an alley? Wall of ice. Granted, the specific use is “divide the enemies, buy time.” But that is a better waste of a spellcaster’s time than mere damage because it prevents damage to the party.

    Another good spell is Fly. Just, Fly. It provides mobility, speed, and it reduces the advantages of the flying enemies.

    Haste. Haste is another REALLY GOOD spell. Extra movement, bonus on to hit rolls, a bonus to AC. Just the speed alone is worth it. The rest is just gravy.

    Oh, and SOMETHING that bypasses Spell Resistance.

    And that’s just the spells I know. Spoony though, he’s covered a LOT of other issues new players and foolish players have.

  • Calum Brough

    our barbarian once came up against a skeleton and a zombie at once. his greatswoord was naturally useless on the skeleton. so he grappled the zombie, and threw it at the skeleton as a bludgeoning weapon while raging. and then he rolled a 20.

  • Lars-Erik Utberg

    That means that the alchemist must take “delayed explosion” on discoveries immediately after second level in Pathfinder seeing as throwing bombs is their main combat ability.

  • strifesong

    As someone who generally plays a Rogue in his Pathfinder campaigns, I’m linking this video to all the parties I play with from now on. Good lord I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been left hanging thanks to dumbass ‘leaders’ scouting ahead and doing stupid shit like setting off traps and getting into battles on their own. It’s disgusting.

  • Sam Park

    just saw a comic by Penny Arcade, it gave out an idea about D&D for the Wii-U, 3 to 4 people uses the Wii-Mote to customize and fight with there characters, while the guy with the Wii-U Tablet being the dungeon master, what do you think, is it a bad or good idea?

    • Luke Liszewski

      Concept is promising, but the execution will more likely than not botch it

  • David Frigon

    I’m loving the Marauder Shields shirt. XD

  •ühle/100002761159113 Chris Kühle

    Every Roman Soldier had two small Javelins called Pilums. Those had about a half a meter long tip that would pierce and then bend on impact. This way you could make shields useless, prevent people from removing the tips or even lock shields together from a phalanx, meaning two guys could not seperate their shields anymore. Of course the lengh of the tip also meant it could pierce your shield and then still hit you in the face. And remember, all of the roman, bog standart legionairs carried two of those…so before your army even got their first swing in, youd face a wall of javelins.

    It sounds to me the DM of a D&D campaign has alot of leeway in how things are supposed to happen…he can be very realistic and logical about things, and have stuff like “I run at the Ork and stab it” while on a frozen lake either be a funny failure “you slide around on the ice for a bit, realising you CANT RUN ON ICE”, miss the ork and slide past him, or “You fall to your knees as you picked up speed, slide on them towards the ork, spear extended, and impale it through the guts!” which actually sounds like a pretty fun kill…

  • Bruno Alves Marques

    PLEASE RUN A GAME FOR MY GROUP….put them in their place.

  • Momatottotiasos

    About sacks…reminds me of an adventure in which me and another friend was supposed too seek out this library filled with old books and we were gonna get paid per book and get xp according to how many we brought back with us… We had like a bag of holding each. We could bring the whole fucking library with us, it was amazing!

  • Layla Sayuri Kadan

    What is the new video play Spoony uses?

  • Derrick Bird

    I know this isn’t a Q&A place but I have a D&D-related problem that is up your alley and I figure that you’d like to have some fodder for another Counter Monkey episode. I am going to be DMing a game with some friends and a previous DM (another friend) gave all the party members a ridiculously overpowered item each (i.e. lvl 8 Paladin was given a Holy Avenger etc.). WAY too powerful to justify giving them at their current level. I know that this will cause some balance issues but I don’t want to just take these away from them via the old “lost-your-gear-in-a-shipwreck” trick because they’ll feel cheated and that isn’t fun for anybody. If you have ran into a similar situation how did you deal with it? What advice do you have?

  • TreWolfie

    I am that guy with the grenades, always. Always with the grenades.
    I do however also take a pair of feats to avoid screwing over my friends; a luck-based feat to give me a luck pool and another that lets me use luck to make a natural 1 into a natural 20.

    And the firing into melee is why I keep arrows of seeking about, assuming I’m not playing a dedicated archer, so that I can do that without trouble. They ignore cover bonuses/penalties for archery, i.e. the guy on your team.

    My point is if you feel the desperate need to be that guy, then you better make damned sure you take account and find ways to do it without screwing over your team.

  • RedSquareBear

    10,000 CP is like 100 gold. Is that even worth it?

    • Dan Schuett

      if sack < 100 gp I'd think so. Just like I used to tell waiters I worked with who complained about small tips, "Free money is free money."

      Wait how heavy are 10,000 coins?

  • likalaruku

    If you’re fighting skeletons & no one has a blunt weapon, chuck rubble at it; Skeletons are always at places with bricks & stones & large chucks or rock.

    I want to play D&D with DM Spoony XD

  • likalaruku

    Yeah, I can picture the stories in my head. Maybe Spoony should turn Counter Monkey into a book.

  • Dan Schuett

    Tip for fighters who find themselves lacking a blunt weapon, use your shield. I’ve seen so many fighters forget that there are rules for using your shield as a blunt weapon (or piercing if it’s got spikes). Or if you’re wearing gauntlets your unarmed strike counts as armed use that. It’s not a lot of damage but it’s something.

  • IHeart28

    “Don’t be that guy” Lesson learned, lived and loved ;). Really funny counter monkey this time, I’ll be sure to keep a clear head when playing D&D. Really enjoyed this spoony

  • Cellidor

    I actually had an incident with Alchemist fire rather recently. I was getting help creating my character since I’m still somewhat new, and the person helping me said I should always have some alchemist fire just in case, so he gave me three of them. First combat I’m in, I run over to kill someone, they use grease, I, being a fighter, utterly fail it, and moreso by rolling a 1, fall on my ass, set myself and my nearby companions on fire, thus dealing 21 damage to myself before I actually got to do -anything-. I’m never using alchemist fire after that. ಠ_ಠ

  • Lucy Ashby

    Love the whole thief rant…I had a rogue/sorcerer multiclass who had ‘summon monster’ just so she could create someone to flank with if the rest of the party had charged off to be heroic

  • Dan Schuett

    In a recent session I ran into a new breed of “That Guy.” Don’t be that guy who cuts the rope. I was lowering myself down into a pit and before going down I’d secured a rope to myself and anchored it. Now the instructions I’d left the party with were, “If the rope goes tight pull me up.” because we couldn’t see the bottom. On my way down I lose my grip, rope goes tight, and I slam against the wall. Still not at the bottom, still not able to see the bottom. That Guy, seeing the rope very suddenly go taught, decides to cut it. I fell a good 30 ft and it’s only because my DM let me roll Tumbling for half damage (not how the skill works I know) that I survived.
    So the party can’t see me, and I can’t hear their shouts, so they get the idea of sending someone else down after me. Again they secure him with a rope and as he’s making his way down he slips. That Guy leaps into action and cuts the rope again. So that’s how the session ended 2 of us stranded at the bottom of a pit, we got a light going so at least we can see, and plotting how we’re going to murder That Guy. I console myself in the knowledge that we’re the only two who thought to bring rope, so I have no idea how the rest of the party expects to get down here.

  • Love!

    A lot of the player advice Spoony brings up in these videos is also good MMORPG strategy. Or at least FFXI strategy. Thieves are all about the Sneak Attack in FFXI too.

  • Kevin Ward

    ive always wanted to get into DnD ever since i was a lil kid watching my older bros and cousins play in the late 80’s. ive read all the dragonlance books, got into all those rpg video games.. but never able to play dnd. is the dragonlance rpg game anygood? i loved the books, id love to hear spoony talk about a DL rpg game. he makes dnd seem soo fuun

  • Haakon Løtveit

    Caltrops: Weaponized d4s.

    If you think that’s silly, try stepping on one.

    Also, if you have weapon focus or something, can’t you use your spear to slash, or the guard of the rapier to smash?

    Many spears had blades on them IRL, so you could easily claim that you have a Scandinavian style spearstaff instead of an Irish rapparee.

    But if you’re wielding it like a simple weapon? You only know how to poke with it.

    Same with Longswords and larger: If you know how to wield it, you can swing at people with the pommel.

    Of course, DM might demand minus to damage, and that you have appropriate feats, but I personally think it’s better than walking around with five hundred weapons on them.

  • Freddy Duran

    I find this funny…i just rolled a theif a session ago and i had no idea what sneak attack was. And just last session i bull rushed through an unknown door with my barbarian skald(19 AC 4th Level 4e) and dodged 90% of the OAs that were thrown at me…i did get to bloodied later after missing 2 encounter powers but still, i think whenever i do something stupid my luck meter builds up

  • uninspired_username

    I know Spoony hammers home that thieves should always flank, but honestly, ANY melee character should flank enemies whenever possible. Even though they don’t get sneak attack damage, anyone can still get a flanking bonus to their hit chance when they attack an enemy from behind, if I’m not mistaken. I know that’s how it is in 3.5, and while I’m not super familiar with 4th edition, I don’t think they changed the rule for it.

  • Melissia

    Scatter tables <3

    Such glorious things happen in scatters in Dark Heresy :D

  • bloodhowl

    Hihihih..! Rust monster..! ^^

  • Louis Deschênes

    I don’t know if it has been mention but my two weapons of choice are usually a longsword and a morningstar. In the rule for the morningstar it mention that it does both piercing and blunt damage. And if memory serves well it does a decent d8 of damage.

  • Zipper Dragon

    Could you count a dagger as a blunt weapon if you say ‘I hit the skeleton with the hilt of my dagger’

    • Rakkrakk

      Eh, with a dagger if at all you either get a penalty to hit AND 1d2 damage instead of 1d4 or just 1d2 damage instead of 1d4. Now, with the giant bihanded broad-sword the hilt is designed as a monsterslaying part of the weapon so there would a penalty on the damage if any.

  • Jay VanGundy

    The Dynamite actually just happened to a friend of mine. Wiped the whole party. XD

  • Sean Rivera

    I had a barbarian who is one of those paranoid types who carried every kind of weapon. He had a greataxe, an adamantine hammer, throwing axes, mithral gauntlets, and a cold iron morning star. All I needed was a magic weapon.

  • Zipper Dragon

    One of my other character, I loaded him up, head to toe with explosives, cuz I wanted him to be a medevil version of Deidara from Naruto, so when I yel ‘Getoutt the way!’ My party fucking moves, cuz when I’m doe, there only a crater left.

  • Ellis Archuleta

    In one of my campaigns, I play a halfling thief. After saving a kings son, I was rewarded with an entire fleet manned by minotaur. Every time I go anywhere, I bring two of my minotaur with my, Grunt and Monster. They are extremely useful for flanking. I have the two of them get on either side of the monster and take my damage as I use rolls and tumbles to backstab and get away before I take any damage.

  • Benjamin Brown

    Don’t be that guy…

    …who uses AOE spells or attack items in a very confined space. “You’re in a 15x15ft room and your team’s fighting the orcs.” “I cast Fireball/Cone of Cold/Chain Lighting/I-hate-my-party-and-am-secretly-sucidal spell!!” If we survive these, then the mage will be getting a severe talking too (read: beat down, stripped naked, tarred, feathered and thrown in the nearest river). If your ass teleports away, then hand over your character sheet to the GM now, because we will make it our mission to find you and deliver said talking.

    …who directly steals from other party members (pick pockets, swap good for bad, etc). You are almost guaranteed to not be the smartest/wisest person in the group, and it’s only a matter of time (usually little) before they figure out what’s going on and set traps to catch you doing it (if they don’t, they’re playing the character wrong). Then the beatings/flayings commence in full for the character (and player if they’ve been assholish enough).

    …who, with a Charisma of 7 and no social skill ranks at all, immediately usurps party negotiations with the Duke from the PC Bard who has an 18 Charisma and 10 ranks in Diplomacy. *You* chose to be the Barbarian, simmer down and accept your role! Likewise, don’t swing the door open before the Rogue can sneak over and check for traps, don’t charge the large group of enemies before the mage can use AOEs or the archer can shoot at them from range, etc.

    …who creates a character designed *specifically* to screw with/over the rest of the party. Don’t play the curious fey that always uses attack wands without any Use Magic Device, the conjurer who regularly summons beasts he has no control over (Rat Swarms, for example) near the party, etc. The GM’s monsters are more then capable of tearing us apart *without* your help, thank you very much!

  • G-20

    I have a friend who at our first game botched up an attack with his Sword of Defending +1 by getting a natural one three times in a row to confirm the critical failure. The DM gave him like three more chances, feeling a bit sorry for him since this was his first encounter and first session in dnd ever. So guess what, He rolled three more natural ones. The DM’s eyes were wide as fuck as he saw the rolls and said “I’ve never seen anyone screw up this badly…” So my friend died by breaking his sword of defending as his foe parried the attack, the piece that broke of flew into the air and pierced his neck straight through and killed him instantiation.

  • Erica Smith

    I always carry a sack of flour. Cheaper than magical reagents to find invisible people, it’s flammable, and puts out chemical fires (so many DMS don’t know oil fires can’t be put out with water).

  • kamrom dechu

    Im reluctant to over-prepare, because well.. I over-prepare and then everyone gets mad.

    Like the time I figured out how to kill a red dragon by drastically reducing the temperature in its cave, and then getting him to breath fire. It SHOULD’VE collapsed the cave, but the DM was all “No.”

    • Rakkrakk

      It shouldn’t have, because that isn’t how that works.You need rince and repeat and the dragon won’t let you.

  • Akahru

    The firing into melee part reminded me of an encounter i had, we were playing 4th edition, i was a warlock. I can’t remember the exact encounter, but we were in a narrow hallway where i was in the back of the party trying to sling spells over the wall of party members in front of me. (not a smart move as i am thinking about this) Well i curse one of the guys in front and try to hit him with Witchfire. I roll a natural 1. The set up of the party was our two tankier people in front,our warlord and healer in the middle and me and i think the thief in the way back. I hit the warlord in the back of the head with the spell. it causes an attack roll penalty, and since i was a fey pact warlock it was around a -4 to attack rolls. the player wanted to kill me.

  • Dan Schuett

    In my current group I’m always going cowboy, which is weird cause my character is not in any way built for combat. I just always end up by myself, behind enemy lines, with only one way out. So my only option is to take an, “if I’m going down I’m dragging you to hell with me” attitude and just rush out guns blazing, and somehow I survive.

    Maybe the group just abandons me because to be fair I’m also That Guy who throws grenade weapons into melee. It’s one thing to shoot into melee where you might hit somebody it’s another to guarantee it.

  • Darkfire Destiny

    My most prepaired char came with

    A club
    A spear
    A longsword
    A hammer
    A longbow (composite)
    A Cold iron Longsword
    A silver rapier
    and a buttload of travel gear.

    Not counting my armor

    The group was going nuts with their magic gear and when i was the only one prepped to fight an enemy they always thanked me XD

    Bless moradin for a bag of holding for all my non essential gear

  • Daniel Tilson

    Dual wield specialization rogue. level up a lot. get behind the bad guy. Stab a lot.

    I like to call this strategy “The Blender.” ^_^

    If your rogue isn’t flanking every attack on things that can be sneak attacked, you’re doing it wrong.

  • Piccolo

    Funny thing, my most prepared 3.5 character only had ONE weapon. An Adamantium crowbar nicknamed the Doorbell. MIND you he was a warlock with utility powers and the ability to hit someone at touch AC with a range of 300 ft. God warlocks are fun.

  • Zefram Mann

    Liked because I lol’d.

  • Mistah FixIt

    Re: Getting a club – Clubs are free, but I have a better suggestion, whenever possible – get a fuggin’ Morningstar. it does two of the three primary damage types simultaneously (Bludgeoning and Piercing) and it’s a SIMPLE weapon. Anybody can use a Simple Weapon, so everyone SHOULD have a morningstar, in my opinion. Add a shortsword to that, and you have all three damage types covered, and you haven’t even come close to busting your meagre Lv. 1 budget yet.

    Also YES! For the love of God, carry a silver weapon; ANY silver weapon! Even if its just a dagger! There are so many things in DnD that can be killed with silver, you really have no excuse not to have a silver weapon. Add 20gp to the cost of your shortsword to have it alchemically silvered. Boom; two problems solved without any additional inventory space lost. I’ve never run into Fey in combat, but yeah, having a Cold Iron club (a length of rebar?) would be a good idea too.

    Swarms? You could buy (a COUPLE) flasks of Alchemist’s Fire or Acid… Or better yet, wick flasks of lamp oil ahead of time and throw those! If you use lanterns instead of torches (like I do) then do it! Ye Olde Molotov Cocktails! The lamp oil’s not gonna do you any good if you’re dead, and if you don’t use them, you can just remove the wicks later. You can also use these to Zoidberg the fuck out of a fight by dropping them behind you, like a caltrop bag. Nobody hates you so bad they’ll risk fucking Napalm burns to kick your ass. Lamp Oil is one item that can do at least three jobs, which is my favorite kind of item.

    Re: buy useful gimmick items – sacks, lumps of chalk, soap, a COIL OF ROPE. Oh my god, the number of problems that could be solved if someone had just thought to buy a couple feet of hemp rope. (I cut bits off to make wicks for the lamp-oil flasks, as an example.) Crowbars make good clubs (Ohai bludgeoning damage! Ahahah…) and you can bust doors / locked chests with them as an improved strength check.

    • Rakkrakk

      About silver weapons: The best parties have an alchemist on hand. I forget in which game, but there is one where it is an entire class on it’s own. And they are useful in so many ways BESIDES pyroing the own party to doom. For example: Saving money by creating them potions, if an alchemist is your friend(or in case of the beginning party members likes to be around people who keep’em alive) they are not going to ask for more money than the ingredients cost. Or a small flask of acid can be used in so much more ways than throwing it at enemies. Corrode the inside of a lock for example, with the right acid a thief’s botch can be rectified. Or if you have to interact with the Dead Nations in planescape it helps being able to create embalming fluid to help ghouls and zombies postponing the nth death for a while longer. Or generally being very versitile in spreading chemical life and death in favor of the party.

      … Now I wanna play as an alchemist. Ratfolk, preferrably.

      • Fueldrop

        The game you’re thinking of is Pathfinder. Advanced players guide introduced the alchemist.

        Also, Advanced Race Guide introduced the Ratfolk. Happy bombing!

        • Rakkrakk

          Realised that 5 minutes after posting the comment. xD

          Though currently I ask myself if I could combine shrapnel with acid… Although that would probably too evil for lawful neutral.

          • Daniel Tilson

            Acid would probably eat the shrapnel.

            A sadistic bastard COULD toss a bag of salt on a guy after the fighter cuts him a bit though….

          • Rakkrakk

            Hm… Depends. What if I used powdered glass? Glass is virtually unaffected by a lot of acids. That and if I made the bombs multilayered… But that would require VERY high skill.

          • Daniel Tilson

            Acid also doesn’t usually explode… It’s a spash weapon.

            Though in theory, you could design a weapon that would explode, as well as shooting acid and shrapnel everywhere.

            It would have to be some kind of hard container that wouldn’t break on impact, but that would set off the explosive in the middle, which would then burst the container, hurling glass and acid everywhere.

            Would be easier to design in Vampire than in D&D, as things like that are more easily done with modern technology.

          • Rakkrakk

            Actually a little research tells me that gunpowder was available around the time of the middle ages, just mostly located in china.

            Again, it would be a question of high skill with knowledge from a land far away, wouldn’t jell with the character I’m using right now, but for future reference that actually could be done.

          • Daniel Tilson

            Could be done, yes. If the DM allowed what would be advanced technology for a standard D&D game.

            Even if the timing was similar, you have to consider that, with magic available for those with even a little money, would technology progress at all? and if it did, would it move as quickly? Or in the same ways?

            Also what effect would the explosion have on the acid if any.. I don’t know, I tend to avoid playing with things that can melt my face… Kindof an odd quirk I know. But yea. If you want to spray acid everywhere, the energy substitution metamagic feat is your friend. Turn a fireball into an acid ball and hurl it at their face.

          • prattle

            don’t play a ratfolk then, play as their 3.5 brethren, the nezumi they come from a far away land, rokugan (read: feudal japan) it’s a race in oriental adventures, enjoy

          • Rakkrakk

            Ratfolk will work just fine, they are traders with a possibly continents spanning networks, after all.

  • Rakkrakk

    Not well, but hilariously.

  • Fueldrop

    Our group has every character carry at least 1 dagger and 1 club each, with the exception of the cleric who wields a morning star instead of a club. Everyone who’s proficient with one also carries a sling as a light-weight ranged weapon (Wizards aren’t proficient with them automatically, so I don’t see much point in carrying one if my net to hit is -3)

    • Daniel Tilson

      Pretty much everybody is proficient with a light crossbow. It does more damage (for anyone without a strength bonus,) and has a greater range.

      • Matrim

        Except that slings are free, weigh nothing, and you don’t have to buy ammo for them if you don’t want to; while crossbows cost 50 gold, weigh 8 lbs (which can be a lot for, say, the wizard), and if you run out of bolts you can’t just pick up some rocks to use.

        • Daniel Tilson

          A light crossbow is 35 gold and 4 pounds.

          slightly less than 1/6th of a light load for a character with an 8 strength.

          A sling with that 8 strength would do a max damage of 3, 6 on a crit. Max on the crossbow, 8, 16 on a crit regardless of strength.

          While the rules allow you to use rocks with a sling, those rocks are not as dense as the standard bullets, and thus reduces damage even further, along with giving an attack roll penalty. -1 to hit, and the damage reduces 1 size category. Making the weapon a D3 damage instead of D4, thus, with the -1 from a low strength, suddenly you can only do 1-2 damage, 2-4 on a crit.

          That doesn’t mean it’s worthless, but there are better choices.

          • Matrim

            In Pathfinder a light crossbow is 50 g and 8 lbs

            And, yes, using rocks reduces damage and accuracy, but it’s still an option. If you run out of crossbow bolts, you have no options at all.

          • Daniel Tilson

            Nope, that is still a heavy crossbow.

            Light crossbow is the next line down on the table. 35g and 4 lbs.

            The better option is to not choose. Bring them both. You said it yourself that the sling weighs nothing. Though 1 sack of 10 bullets weighs as much as the crossbow and one load of 10 bolts. So if you’re really that worried about weight, you may have to skip the bullets and only use rocks. (if you can find any. It’s not a guarantee.)

    • Peace1986

      Most DM’s I play with will allow you to use a crowbar as a club.
      A friend who played a barbarian once used a portable ram as blunt melee weapon.
      If you give a good reason, your DM will allow you to give items extra uses.

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