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What about a DnD’s Broom of Flying used as magical quaterstaff and longbow?

In DnD some people talk about "spear bows". To exaggerate this I came up with a Broom of Flying, which can be used as a quaterstaff and a longbow—both dealing magical damage as weapons made of a magic item.

Please help to find counter arguments, even to ban spear bows from game. There must be a reason, why medieval people aquired longbows only in a case of emergency as melee weapons (esp. when carried with the string relaxed), and never put a metal sting on its ends.

Where to find information about the official DnD5e books title creatures?

I’m wondering where did the title characters from the official DnD5e books come from. What are their lores in the world of DnD 5e. I want to know more about: Tasha, Xanathar, Mordenkainen and Volo.

Where can I learn more about their stories? Is there any official information? Or are they only some cool naming for the books?

Is there any information about them in their books?

How do dragons in the Forgotten Realms feel about The Cult of the Dragon?

There’s plenty of information around about The Cult of the Dragon in the D&D Forgotten Realms campaign setting. As the Realms Wiki summarises:

The Cult of the Dragon venerated dragons, evil dragons in particular, and specifically dead evil dragons.

However, I can’t find any sources to help me understand how the dragons might feel about this. Cultists come to them and offer them servitude and treasure in exchange for the dragon’s favour, which is fine. But most dragons are not stupid, and you’d imagine they’d be well aware of the cultist’s aims which is to turn them into Dracoliches.

Certainly, in older editions of D&D, the process of becoming a Dracolich involved ritual suicide, which isn’t something you’d have thought dragons would be particularly keen on.

So in general terms, how do dragons feel about encounters with the cult? Is it possible they might be hostile toward the cults’ entreaties? Or do these relationships tend more to develop into games of manipulation and counter-manipulation?

Question about dice notation

I’m trying to adapt GURPS 4th edition’s system creation system into a Python script and I’m trying to understand the dice notation.

In particular:

Roll 1d-4 (minimum 0) to determine the number of major moons orbiting a terrestrial planet. If the planet has no major moons, it will have 1d-2 (minimum 0) moonlets.

Modifiers (for both rolls): Do not roll if the planet is within 0.5 AU of the primary star, -3 if the planet is between 0.5 AU and 0.75 AU of the primary star, -1 if the planet is between 0.75 AU and 1.5 AU of the primary star, -2 if the planet is Tiny, -1 if it is Small, +1 if it is Large.

I’ve not seen the "1d-4" notation before, so my assumption would be that you role 4 sided dice (or in my case, get a random value between 1 and 4 inclusive) and apply modifiers to the result, e.g.: For a Small planet at 0.8AU from it’s primary I would: Get value between 1-4 Apply -1 to that value (between 0.75AU and 1.5AU) Apply -1 to that value as the planet is Small

The catch here, is that, if I’m reading the notation correctly (which I don’t think I am), 1d-2 means pick a value of 1 or 2 then apply modifiers, which will always results in 0 or less.

How do you read 1d-4 and 1d-2 ?

Heat Metal – Questions about the components

I’m a rookie DM with an even more rookie group of players. I have some questions about Heat Metal (2nd level transmutation).

It says you need a piece of iron and a flame. It also says the target of the spell is a manufactured metal object.

  • The piece of iron and the manufactured metal object are two separate objects, right? The caster needs to be in possession of the piece of iron, and the enemy would optimally be touching the manufactured metal (any metal – not just iron) object. Is that right?
  • Does the flame need to be close enough to the caster to touch (for example, if the caster would need to hold the piece of iron into the flame), or simply in the range of the spell? Intuitively I would have opted for the latter, as I’d imagine the caster would be drawing energy from nearby flames.
  • If there is no environmental fire nearby, would they have to use one action to light a fire with their tinderbox first? The PHB says "Don’t bother to keep track of material components with negligible cost. Assume you have all you need as long as you have your spell component pouch." Does that apply here? Obviously the flame doesn’t have a cost, so can I just assume the caster.. uhm.. has a flame in their pouch? Or can we say lighting a small piece of tinder is part of the spell action?

I guess some/all of these could be answered with "DM-fiat", but in that case I’d be interested in how seasoned DMs rule it 🙂

Thanks!

What do players and GMs like about combat? [closed]

What exactly is it that people are looking for out of RPG combat? I’m talking about their deep-down psychological motivations and desires.

If we’re going to assume a game being played, let’s assume D&D 5e, because I have some examples and some player-type buzzwords that we can all relate to. However, I can only speculate. I would love to see someone more qualified answer this.

My friend, first time DM, did a good job running Curse of Strahd. He was receptive to feedback throughout. After the campaign, I asked him some pointed questions as feedback (playing devil’s advocate). I was wondering what he thought his next step was for improving his GMing. He said something like "Combat could always be improved", "ok, how so?" (he did an AMAZING job with running combats and literally knows all the rules very close to 100% accuracy), "Encounters could be a bit more balanced", "ok, why do they need to be balanced?", "I don’t know, you don’t want combat being too easy, and not too hard" (red flag, this is showing lack of intention in his game)

I went on to analyzing all the players at the table, which I determined none of them cared about "combat balance":

  • 2 players just want the dungeon-crawl feeling of looting and gaining power through gear
  • 1 player is only interested in seeing all the interactions play out – the damage types, resistances, critical/fumble table rolls, counterspelling a counterspell, effects of being prone+grappled+blind+swallowed+unconscious+exhausted, etc.
  • 1 player likes the low-RP and spending time together at the table, and kicking-ass together

I pointed this all out to the DM, which to me looks like our table would benefit from having more "easy" encounters that pump us up, but all he could respond with was "Well, combat is a big pillar in D&D. Too easy, and it’s not a lot of fun. Same thing with being too hard". There were plenty of red-flags in his responses over the entire conversation, all of them indicating a need to defend D&D and the D&D mentality at all costs instead of identifying things that could improve his game and GMing.

My takeaway from that text conversation was a theory – an idea that maybe most players don’t care about combat, and rather that they like some other aspect stemming from combat. In the case of the DM, it looked like his enjoyment of playing and running both stemmed from exercising control. As a DM, he naturally has control. As a player, he’s a power-gamer, trying to gain control by gaming any advantage possible out of the rules or out of his back-story, sometimes adversarially. Deep-down inside, this DM has a psychological need to exercise control to protect his poor self-confidence and insecurities. It’s sad, but it’s a reality that I want to explore and understand better.

It makes me sad to see player insecurities manifest negatively at the table, especially since I do so much to promote an environment free of judgement.