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Staring Directly Into the Invisible Sun -- A Review Wednesday, 14th November, 2018 11:38 PM

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Saturday, 20th October, 2018


Friday, 19th October, 2018


Tuesday, 13th March, 2018

  • 01:23 AM - Cergorach mentioned Doctor Futurity in post Do We Still Need "Oriental Adventures"?
    ...or Green Ronin "Testament": They, and I'm quoting here, "We're taking great pains to be only as controversial as we need to be in order to make it a great gameable setting.". I suspect that they spend a ridiculous amount of time on it and if evaluated by religious scholars, it still wouldn't pass muster... The problem though with Christianity is not the religious scholars, it's the bigoted masses, and if you pay lipservices to them, chances are that your left alone... Gradine: The 'West' is thoroughly responsible for the Red China mess, although if the 'West' wouldn't have interfered it still might have ended in a mess, just a different mess. People should take a look at the Boxer Rebellion (and what preceded and followed it). Still, a LOT of the stories and history is still there. doctorbadwolf: I would say that Waterdeep (The City of Slendors) was inspired by the great cities of Europe at the height of the Renaissance (Bruges, Lyon, Lisbon, Seville, Venice, Florence, Pisa). Doctor Futurity: We're talking about OA, a WotC product. Then we're talking about replacing OA with a very specific setting that will have a very small interested audience, so low sales numbers. So that's not something WotC is interested in. And possibly a lot of Indies either, because they also need to pay the bills. Now, you could produce a small book, with high quality illustration, layout, editing and writing. But it would either price itself out of the market OR it wouldn't pay for itself, and especially indies can't operate that way. You could source cheap illustration, layout, editing and writing, but that often shows low quality and low appeal... I'm curious how well this 11 page GR product sold on East Asia ($3.95): https://greenroninstore.com/collections/atlas-of-earth-prime/products/atlas-of-earth-prime-east-asia-pdf Now people have done better and will certainly will do better again, but to date those haven't been that successful. Those are passion projects. Often not benefiting from go...

Wednesday, 2nd August, 2017

  • 05:38 AM - Hussar mentioned Doctor Futurity in post Licensed Role-Playing Games: Threat Or Menace?
    Thing is, Doctor Futurity, what makes the setting? Say I run Greyhawk using only the old original boxed set. Nothing else. Now, I can certainly do this. Fair enough. But, my Greyhawk game would barely be recognizable to anyone who's kept up with the setting. I'll give you an example. Recently played in a very excellent Dragonlance game. Tons of fun. Now, I freely admit that my DL knowledge pretty much ends about 1990. That's largely when I moved away from the books and the setting. I completely missed Saga, and the 3e additions. Now, the DM didn't. He loved the later stuff. And it did smack me in the face more than a few times. Forgotten Realms? I mean if I were to use the old Grey Box Forgotten Realms, sure, it would be FR. Sort of. I mean, the gods would largely be different, most of the FR elements that we take for granted today wouldn't be there - no Drow (IIRC), no expanded setting, a hell of a lot less races, so on and so forth. And a whole lot of blank canvas for me to do my own thing. ...

Wednesday, 24th September, 2014

  • 07:15 PM - Janx mentioned Doctor Futurity in post Art theft & copyright violation?
    Why not just send the cops to his house with a letter from the company alleging theft/fraud? You don't have to be a lawyer to bring charges against someone. I had an assistant stealing $20 copays up front. I didn't get a lawyer. I called the cops. They handled it. jh Good idea, but for some reason business operations are out of the jurisdiction of cops. Your assistant was local to you and the crime and the police. I don't know that camazotz can call the police in Shipman's town and get them to go to his house. Which is ironic, because online gamers can figure out where a rival lives and call a SWAT team in on them...

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Saturday, 20th October, 2018

  • 02:13 AM - dco quoted Doctor Futurity in post The New Savage Worlds Is Storming Kickstarter
    Different strokes, different tastes, etc. Savage Worlds isn't for everyone, so no worries if you don't like it. However, the game plays fast. If you're saying it doesn't, I'd say that's a user issue rather than a system issue. You should find an experienced group to try it with. None of the problems you identify manifest at my table, and the game is definitely fast (and furious). Combat: There is initiative that runs faster than it seems but it's slower than avoiding an initiative phase each round like a lot of other games. Anyone can attack up to 3 or 6 times using rapid attack, those attacks are open ended so they can involve more than rolling dice one time for each attack. You still can do more actions on the round like test of wills, etc. Edges can give you more attacks like counterattack and first strike. There are oportunity attacks or rolls to avoid them if you have some edge. Defenders can decide to roll full defense. Damage is open ended and it also can involve more dice rolling. You ca...
  • 01:43 AM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Doctor Futurity in post Worlds of Design: “All About Me” RPGs (Part 2)
    Yeah....I feel like maybe "players with issues" is not the same as a methodology or playstyle. Absolutely and I've played with hardcore power gamers who are super tactical and not at all fun to be around, too. Someone who plays their character more like it's a piece in a Clix game isn't fantastic for me either. "All about me" might better fit games where the focus is heavily on the players, but I would not think that that play style automatically precludes the need for immersion, verisimilitude and cooperation with the other players....so cases like the author of the article describes strike me as even breaking the "all about me" concept, since it damages the ability of the other players at the game to enjoy the experience (including, of course, the beleaguered GM who must enforce the concept of physical laws and limits, or what passes for such in the shared fictional headspace). Yeah, I agree. I also believe the options are not mutually exclusive. I run a pretty player-focused campaign for ori...
  • 01:30 AM - Elfcrusher quoted Doctor Futurity in post Worlds of Design: “All About Me” RPGs (Part 2)
    (EDIT 2: And question to Elfcrusher....so the question is, if you as player are confronted with a DM who says, "that's not physically possible," but otherwise turns down the attempt with presumed grace....are you okay with that? Well, I tend to favor the same kind of games the OP does, so I'm personally more than ok with "that's not physically possible." My favorite RPG is The One Ring, which is less fantastic/heroic/gonzo than D&D by a long stretch. So I'll answer the more general question, which would be "What would you do if a DM surprises you by doing something very different from what you're used to, but explains his approach respectfully?" 1) Even without grace, I'll at least stick out the rest of the session. 2) If it turns out it was fun, I might play with that DM again. 3) If it's REALLY fun, I might reconsider how I've been playing the game.

Friday, 19th October, 2018

  • 11:54 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Doctor Futurity in post Worlds of Design: “All About Me” RPGs (Part 2)
    Not really defending/arguing in favor of the OP, but I think his implication was not "I don't see eye to eye with this guy on whether his PC can lift a heavy stove" but rather that it seems like he thinks he needs to (or is required/expected to) default to the player's expectations under the play style he identifies as "all about me." That is the part I find weird....if someone was in a gritty D&D game I was running and said, "I flip the iron wood stove across the room," I'd explain it weighed a half ton and ask what his lifting capacity was.....problem solved, and lesson learned from the other guy about the setting and system expecations. But if this was...say...Cypher System with superheroes or enhanced beings I'd be like, "Level 7 check and spend some points!" So the thing I see as odd is not him griping about the concept, but the implication that he has encountered this contradiction in expectations from people who appear to think the game's design and intent is to cater to their power fantasy,...
  • 10:36 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Doctor Futurity in post Worlds of Design: “All About Me” RPGs (Part 2)
    The story describes some pretty outrageous behavior I've never seen at any game table, and I'm not even sure what game systems would lead players to think such things were possible. I also am not sure that the "semi-military" distinction vs. "all about me" distinction is nuanced enough.....at best, I could conceive of some scenarios in the above situation that might stem from a FATE or Super hero type game system vs. most other RPGs that would not allow such to happen if it was physics defying/immersion shattering. I agree. "Description" in the original post is judgment. The described table isn't likely one I'd want to be at, but one that's totally semi-military seriousness probably wouldn't be too much fun either. Anyway, this seems like a false dichotomy to me imposed on what's a continuum that ranges from, say, Toon to Millennium's End as if those were the only two styles of play. I never liked Toon or intentionally comedic RPGs in general, but when we played Millennium's End many years ago, the...

Wednesday, 17th October, 2018


Tuesday, 9th October, 2018

  • 03:04 AM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Doctor Futurity in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    Food for thought....I haven't really found this issue to be one which bothers me, but I can see your logic. The main reason I fail to see it as a serious issue is twofold: first, DC 23 for saves is exceedingly rare until late in the game, and second, the odds of guaranteed crippling failure at high level are very situationally dependent. Yes, I can agree that could be a problem if those situations crop up a lot (e.g. DM regularly uses foes that hit the weak spots all the time), at least in the sense that the PCs may feel like their chance of success must be greater than it allows for (without making effort to build the PC toward that end goal). A lot of that depends on those possibilities being in play but I know from having either played or looked through a lot of the WotC stuff that they have quite a number of such monsters. On your idea of one attack hitting for two or more saves with different effects, I think the idea itself is neat regardless of whether it is considered a fix for this issu...

Monday, 8th October, 2018

  • 09:54 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Doctor Futurity in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    I disagree that its crummy maths, and I think its designed to create characters with two key strong points and four exploitable weak points. I don't have a disagreement with the goal; I do think the math is messed up and things could be better. The Issues with the DCs become noticeable against very potent opponents, but it makes the ability to engage high level PCs with lower CR challenges much more feasible and interesting. I think you're mixing two things up here... not sure. I'm trying to keep the latter without the former, although I do think the game starts to break down without using mob rules when you have hordes of lesser foes due to the grind. Essentially I'm arguing that it's a good thing not to let save DCs get too high, although one might want to control bonuses too. The main reason is to maintain the ability to threaten characters without totally locking others out of being able to do things. My own experience with D&D in general is that the DCs simply aren't tough enough fo...
  • 06:55 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Doctor Futurity in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    Just want to pop in to say that I personally see the way saves work as a huge feature of 5e rather than a bug. I love the fact that high level characters have to account for their weaknesses and have to rely on their team to take down threats that target those flaws. I'll second this. The way saves work in 5E is effectively a fix that I've wanted since the 1st edition days of the game. It rendered interesting combats at high level an actual fun experience. Please don't misunderstand me, I still want high level threats to be hard! However, I think what you guys are citing as good is a side effect of crummy math, not an actual intended feature. Side effects aren't things you rely on. What you want to do is find a way to get the feature (high level stuff being hard) without the unintended consequences. The problem with really sky high DCs, such as 23 or more is that many characters essentially have 0 chance of breaking free of the effect unless the party is very good at buffs. I'd like things to b...

Friday, 21st September, 2018

  • 04:44 PM - GKG_Alan quoted Doctor Futurity in post Big Fantasy Adventure in a Tiny Dungeon
    What age range is the Hatchling Edition aimed at? My son loves RPGs but he's only 7 and we tried "No Thank You, Evil!" which is fun but still requires a parent to coordinate...I'm hoping there's a set out there which is aimed at younger readers so they can also enjoy the game without the lurking parent. (Don't get me wrong, I like gaming with my son for family events but if Dad is supervising then I can just as easily run Cypher System or something which he can learn through play just as easily. A kid-friendly RPG would, I hope, be something a kid can read. My son regularly learns board games and teaches his friends, so hoping something like that exists. I got in to Basic Otus Cover D&D at age 10 and that was about age appropriate as I recall, as an example.) Hey! Hatchling Edition is perfect for him then! He might need some help with terminology (we tried hard, and had kids proof read it! But it's always a sliding scale).

Wednesday, 19th September, 2018

  • 05:26 PM - Muso quoted Doctor Futurity in post New D&D Monsters and More in Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica
    THat's why a lot of people (myself included) aren't happy that Eberron only got a PDF release on dmsguild.com. Totally agree. I mean....I want new stuff, but I also want the old stuff updated and treated with respect, too. I totally agree with you. Also, I would like to see the old D&D players and fans that asked for the old settings to be treated with more respect. I am not against new settings, I am against top-down commercial operation (like D&D 4E).

Monday, 17th September, 2018

  • 08:18 PM - Nathaniel Lee quoted Doctor Futurity in post New D&D Monsters and More in Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica
    THat's why a lot of people (myself included) aren't happy that Eberron only got a PDF release on dmsguild.com. Totally agree. I mean....I want new stuff, but I also want the old stuff updated and treated with respect, too. I'm ambivalent one way or another about Eberron as a setting -- I didn't play 3/3.5/4E and the idea of the world, at least at a high level, isn't that interesting to me for the most part -- but I do agree that if they're going to introduce a whole new campaign setting they shouldn't half-ass it as a DM's Guild only release. I personally would have preferred an update of Mystara or Krynn... or even a re-introduction of Spelljammer or Planescape.
  • 05:22 PM - Muso quoted Doctor Futurity in post New D&D Monsters and More in Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica
    But that's changing the basis of your argument. If you're arguing "we should get revisions of old content before a new setting," then you and I aren't going to disagree...I would have liked all the old settings to get updates. But your original argument I was respondng to was that Ravnica didn't count as a new setting. Which I was disagreeing with. Sorry for that, it is difficult to be clear in another language and I apologize for my terrible english. My point is: I find disturbing that after a lot of people asked for the old settings updated for the new edition, the designers come out with Ravinca that is a setting from another game. It is clearly a commercial operation to drag in people from Magic. It is something that you can do, but after that the fan base of your game (D&D) is happy with the old settings, not before. I would have preferred a completely new setting, not something asked by no one (that smells like T$R). I fear that the next time the designers will came out with a new book featurin...
  • 04:48 PM - Muso quoted Doctor Futurity in post New D&D Monsters and More in Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica
    Your argument would work better if I could go back to any prior edition and play in Ravnica. Which I can't, so I'm going to suggest that this does fit the "new" category. For me it's 100% new since I haven't played MTG in at least 15 years and have no idea what Ravnica is about. More amazingly it is not FR or any of the same old same old setting D&D has done to death over the decades. The fact that they are extrapolating from a card game setting is irrelevant. It is relevant because in a survey dated two years ago (if I remember well the date) a lot of people asked for the old D&D settings updated for the present edition. A lot of time passed because thay have to come out first with the first major rule expansion (Xanathar's book). OK, now it is time for the settings and I would like to have what we asked for: the old D&D settings (or almost some of them) before this new setting (from another game). After Planescape, Dark Sun, Eberron and maybe something else Ravnica should be fine. Not before.

Sunday, 16th September, 2018

  • 12:24 AM - hawkeyefan quoted Doctor Futurity in post X & O For More Fun
    I think my suggestion is that maybe if you've reached the point where the visual queue is needed then a breakdown in communication (and understanding) has already failed. Worth noting though that I am not arguing this is not a good tool for tables with unknowns (like convention games) where it may not be possible to establish precedent/understanding in advance. Yes, absolutely. My comment was more of a joke than anything. I think that public games and convention games are likely the only place where this type of thing may be handy. In a home game amongst friends, if it’s needed then there are bigger problems.

Saturday, 15th September, 2018

  • 07:21 AM - Henry quoted Doctor Futurity in post New Survey
    When it got to the "Which of these editions have you DMed/Played*" I was able to check them all.....wooooo yay old age! *I assume it asked "played" if you had never DMed. But it asked me which I'd DMed iirc. Bad memory also a sign of old age sigh. Yeah, more than once in that survey, I moved to the next page with every option on the current page checked off. :)

Wednesday, 12th September, 2018

  • 12:16 AM - hawkeyefan quoted Doctor Futurity in post X & O For More Fun
    ....to those saying, "But you should be able to accommodate this person," let's be clear that I am in no way qualified to provide for or handle their psychological issues, nor do I wish to be put in the position of having to do so. It's my responsibility and right to recognize when my own failings prevent me from being able to help them with theirs. Likewise, I do not want to accidentally contribute to their limitation by pure error of omission or unfamiliarity with their needs, and as such feel it is important that I be able to state clearly that I cannot assist on those grounds. Perhaps, if no one else can do so, then I might be able to step up and do the best I can.....but only because I feel empathy for their situation, not because I am in any way qualified or trained to be able to aid them in their special needs. This is an understandable take on it. Now....if only there was a clear and simple visual cue that could be implemented that could help the average player or GM navigate such a scenario...

Sunday, 26th August, 2018


Wednesday, 15th August, 2018

  • 08:19 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Doctor Futurity in post Gale Force Nine Sign Master License for Dune ‘Games’; Modiphius Designing RPG!
    Dune, done properly, could make for a really rich, dark future SF setting. Fading Suns was clearly strongly influenced by Dune. It had a lot of great material. The system was shaky, though. I'd have been much happier playing or running it with something like 2D20, that's for sure.
  • 01:29 PM - Malovech quoted Doctor Futurity in post Star Wars RPG Delves Into The Clone Wars!
    Amazing news would be to see FFE start providing support for the D6 System iteration of Star Wars that the recently released an anniversary edition of. Even just some web support would be amazing. Seeing that clean, easy to use edition out after trying the symbol dice mechanic just makes me pine for the easier D6 System all the more. I think this pretty much any time news about FFG's version of Star Wars comes out.


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