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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Today, 11:20 AM
    In that case you currently have two accounts on each store, as thereís actually only one store. Both logins will work, whichever you go to.
    21 replies | 246 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Today, 11:19 AM
    Itís just how they brand/market the two skins. Same store though.
    21 replies | 246 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Today, 06:12 AM
    Heh. Two friends of mine got into a drinking contest at a larp. The only problem was, one of them was drinking vodka, and the other was (unbeknownst to the first) drinking water. It didn't end well for the first. No, really, it didn't end well. We almost had to take him to the hospital for alcohol poisoning. Because he was like, "Well, if she's not even feeling it, I *must* still be...
    12 replies | 237 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:22 PM
    Define "good". For example, if I am having one PC face off agianst one NPC, anything particularly complicated, or that will take up a whole lot of time focusing on how many vodka shots one player makes while the others sit on their hands waiting for their compatriot to become staggeringly drunk would not be "good". We wouldn't want to make one person the focus of the action for an entire...
    12 replies | 237 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:57 PM
    That's okay. Understanding may be achievable. Consider - fights are not the only thing in a D&D game. If a player (or group of players) is really interested in some aspect of the game other than fights, then maybe having the fights be deadly is not leading the players to their fun very well.
    34 replies | 621 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:41 PM
    "You're Marvel licensed by Fox. It is like if the Beatles were produced by Nickelback. Its music, but it sucks!"
    1 replies | 201 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:10 PM
    It's time to start voting for your 10 Most Anticipated Tabletop RPGs for 2019! Nominations were taken earlier this month, resulting in a list of nearly 60 games, and voting will remain open until Tuesday, December 4th. You may vote for more than one game. To qualify, a game must be a standalone RPG, NOT a supplement, setting, adventure, sourcebook, expansion, or accessory, it must be currently...
    10 replies | 1315 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:00 PM
    It's time to start voting for your 10 Most Anticipated Tabletop RPGs for 2019! Nominations were taken earlier this month, resulting in a list of nearly 60 games, and voting will remain open until Tuesday, December 4th. You may vote for more than one game. To qualify, a game must be a standalone RPG, NOT a supplement, setting, adventure, sourcebook, expansion, or accessory, it must be currently...
    10 replies | 337 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:58 PM
    I often think it's too easy to get into the TARDIS. A TARDIS is supposed to be the most advanced type of ship in the universe, so teleporting onto it shouldn't be easy. I wonder if she gave Kerblam! permissions or something?
    187 replies | 4924 view(s)
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  • darjr's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:51 PM
    What are you thinking of getting? Help I have analysis paralysis!
    3 replies | 175 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:38 PM
    Um, pemerton? You don't get to say what the OP meant. Really, deciding that the OP should follow *your* use of the terms is a bit on-the-nose ironic in a thread largely *about questioning definitions*. Please, if his form does not seem coherent, rather than tell him he is wrong, ask questions probing where your differences lie, hm? I think you'll find it far more constructive.
    18 replies | 333 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:35 PM
    I think it might be more clear to say, a prescriptivist thinks we have rules for language that we must follow. A descriptivist feels the rules describe the language as it currently is[, and that as use changes, the rules will change. There is a better view, IMHO. Right now, short term, if you want to be understood, you should follow the rules. Long term, it is empirically shown that...
    18 replies | 333 view(s)
    1 XP
  • darjr's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:32 PM
    https://www.dmsguild.com/blackfriday.php?affiliate_id=182934 Above links are my affiliate link.
    3 replies | 175 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:58 PM
    Not necessarily, no. Specifically, there are games where you do not take on a role of one of the characters and all players have sway over all characters within the narrative. This would not be a role-playing game, but would be a story-telling game. You see, this is a problem with making definitions - you need to consider the *entire space* within which you are making your definition. ...
    18 replies | 333 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:36 PM
    Great list! I agree with you on Forgetful and Spendthrift. You can use skills with any attribute as long as the GM agrees, so intimidation and Disfigured would be a good combo for a strong character. A STR (intimidation) check with the disfigured trait would be a good combo.
    3 replies | 108 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:19 PM
    Ravnica is joining Forgotten Realms, Eberron, and Ravenloft, as a setting available for creators on the Dungeon Master's Guild from today, November 20th. WotC made the following brief announcement last night: "Intrepid DM's Guild creators! Ravnica will be added as a setting on Dungeon Masters Guild tomorrow Nov 20th! (We will be coordinating day-of updates of the Ravnica setting...
    22 replies | 1115 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:04 PM
    As you may know, RPGNow and DriveThruRPG (and, indeed, all the community content sites like DM's Guild) are the exact same website owned by One Bookshelf (OBS), simply viewed through a different skin. The front page of each highlights different products, but the stores are the same store. Now, the "RPGNow" version of the store is being retired. OBS sent out the following email earlier...
    21 replies | 1820 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:15 PM
    There's another new class over on EN5ider, the 5th Edition Patreon, this week! Bloodweavers use the primal power coursing through their veins to enhance their own abilities, heal or bolster allies, and debilitate or kill their foes. Many fear them for their control over the substance of life but those that can see past this superstitious dread often find powerful allies. Recently on...
    9 replies | 262 view(s)
  • darjr's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:22 AM
    Itís open Tomorrow Nov 20th! Morrus https://twitter.com/dms_guild/status/1064688359258423296?s=21
    16 replies | 560 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:28 AM
    Any setup is fine, as long as the participants buy in to it.
    29 replies | 705 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 19th November, 2018, 11:52 PM
    People play for different reasons, of course. For some itís the social activity, and the game is just the conduit for that.
    43 replies | 1210 view(s)
    8 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Monday, 19th November, 2018, 09:53 PM
    That being said... "the rules are descriptive" is insufficient as a definition. If nothing else, it fails to differentiate role-playing games from story-telling games, which I expect we would find are also descriptive. It probably also fails to differentiate from some forms of simulation games - like SimCity, where within a domain, you are largely allowed to do whatever you darn well feel like....
    18 replies | 333 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Monday, 19th November, 2018, 09:35 PM
    I think pointing out that there are some actions that are not allowed is missing the point. Yes, my character doesn't have the wings, spells, or magic items that allow them to fly, so they cannot fly. That doesn't make the game suddenly 100% prescriptive. I think the central point is still there - if you are playing chess, you have a list of allowed moves, and *everything else* is...
    18 replies | 333 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 19th November, 2018, 08:32 PM
    Social interaction isnít *that* hard. Iím afraid there isnít a rulebook.
    214 replies | 3941 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 18th November, 2018, 08:35 PM
    Quite enjoyed todayís episode. Felt a lot more old school. Workers disappearing, a little less sombre than some episodes have been this year. Nothing new, just a traditional Who episode ó weíve seen cheery polite killer robots like those dozens of times before, but thatís OK.
    187 replies | 4924 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Sunday, 18th November, 2018, 08:17 PM
    I thought they just made a reference to that in the episode, but I don't recall the precise dialog.
    187 replies | 4924 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 18th November, 2018, 04:12 PM
    Calm down, please folks. The last thing I expected to see on this site was people shouting at each other about how iTunes works.
    124 replies | 3594 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Sunday, 18th November, 2018, 03:54 PM
    I note that "the encounter is hard" and "there is penalty for losing" are NOT the same thing.
    34 replies | 621 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 17th November, 2018, 08:24 PM
    10% waiting for the late guy 25% getting ready to play 15% waiting for somebody to come back from a cigarette break 15% random interruptions while somebody tells an unrelated anecdote 20% combat 15% misc gaming
    6 replies | 209 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 16th November, 2018, 09:22 PM
    Ah. Not all random encounters are intended for you to fight and win. Sometimes, you randomly encounter things that you are supposed to then avoid at all costs.
    54 replies | 1422 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 16th November, 2018, 08:54 PM
    And the usual suspects show up instantly like bad pennies. Thatís two of the trifecta. One to go. @jimmifett and @Derren, donít post again in this thread, please. Jimmifett, it would be nice if you posted about something else sometimes, but since as far as I can make out the only reason you post in this community is to decry any hint of inclusiveness, it's time for you to leave.
    214 replies | 3941 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 16th November, 2018, 06:49 PM
    Inconceivable!
    305 replies | 18573 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 16th November, 2018, 06:44 PM
    Following an online backlash regarding the content of their recent publications, White Wolf Publishing has just announced some big changes, including the suspension of the Vampire 5th Edition Camarilla and Anarch books, and a restructuring of management. White Wolf's Shams Jorjani made the following announcement about an hour ago: "Hello everyone, My name is Shams Jorjani, VP of...
    214 replies | 7447 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 15th November, 2018, 08:01 PM
    WOIN's "W-Series" of adventures/settings continues with Santiago: A Myth of the Far Future, based on the novel by Mike Resnick. Can a group of bounty hunters track down the most notorious bandit in the galaxy before their rivals do? Catch the most wanted criminal in the galaxy! Bandit, murderer, known to all, seen by none... has he killed a thousand men? Has he saved a dozen worlds? His...
    3 replies | 1112 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 15th November, 2018, 05:12 PM
    WOIN's "W-Series" of adventures/settings continues with Santiago: A Myth of the Far Future, based on the novel by Mike Resnick. Can a group of bounty hunters track down the most notorious bandit in the galaxy before their rivals do? Catch the most wanted criminal in the galaxy! Bandit, murderer, known to all, seen by none... has he killed a thousand men? Has he saved a dozen worlds? His...
    3 replies | 130 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 15th November, 2018, 11:10 AM
    For the next two weeks, we''re going to try something new. This is an experiment, and there is a reasonable chance that it might not work out. For the next two weeks you may put your promotional/publisher posts in the relevant game forum. So if you have a Kickstarter for a new D&D 5E book, you may put it in the 5E forum instead (that's instead, not as-well-as). If the forums end up being...
    2 replies | 426 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 14th November, 2018, 05:32 PM
    Morrus and Peter are joined this week for an epic-length episode by Rodney Thompson, designer on Star Wars SAGA Edition, Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Lords of Waterdeep, Destiny 2, Dusk City Outlaws, and currently on Kickstarter: Spectaculars. In the news, we have the release of Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage and Guildmasterís Guide to Ravnica, financial troubles at John Wick Presents,...
    0 replies | 932 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 11:56 PM
    Oh, I see! What we in the hobby like to call "dice"! :D
    5 replies | 302 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 09:40 PM
    But it isn't his move. His move only happens on his own turn, and it is the cube's turn.
    35 replies | 934 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 04:57 PM
    He could fall prone, or we could call it disadvantage on Strength and Dexterity checks for both the fighter and wizard until the situation is resolved.
    35 replies | 934 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 02:53 PM
    I'd say "official" is nothing, but "default" is Forgotten Realms, if I were to distinguish between the two terms.
    9 replies | 476 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 02:15 PM
    What is "RNG"? I"m not familiar with that terminology.
    5 replies | 302 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 02:05 PM
    Presumable every action she takes deletes somebody from the perspective of a time traveller.
    187 replies | 4924 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 12:07 PM
    Doesn't solidify until experienced? I've not heard that one.
    187 replies | 4924 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 11:27 AM
    Yeah. They used to get around that with the "fixed point in time" technobabble but they don't do that any more. But all of it's the past for the Doctor, so every alien stopped is altering history.
    187 replies | 4924 view(s)
    0 XP
  • darjr's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 04:58 AM
    darjr replied to 4e PDF bundles?
    Here is an easy link for you. The rules compendium is awesome. It's my affiliate link, FYI. https://www.dmsguild.com/browse.php?filters=0_0_0_0_0_45349_0_0&affiliate_id=182934
    4 replies | 273 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 12:02 AM
    Umbran started a thread Stan Lee - Excelsior!
    I know this is mentioned in the Remembrances thread, but the man had such an impact on genre fiction, I think he deserves his own thread. Mr. Stan Lee, one of the fathers of modern comic books and superheroes, has passed, at the age of 95. https://www.npr.org/2018/11/12/106322838/a-marvel-of-a-man-stan-lee-dead-at-95
    7 replies | 448 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 07:00 PM
    They're definitely doing the "teaching history" part of Doctor Who, aren't they? I agree that the Doctor was just a bystander in this episode. All they did is witness events.
    187 replies | 4924 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 05:06 PM
    I don't have kids myself, but I have some very recent experience with this... One of the players in my regular game wanted his 13-year-old daughter to learn about D&D. But, having your father run the game is pretty lame, and can lead to some weird dynamics, so he asked me to do it - I ran a game for the dad, the kid, a friend of hers, and my wife (who is a kid of unofficial godmother to the...
    10 replies | 424 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 12:16 PM
    Last month EN5ider, the 5E Patreon, introduced the Geomancer class. In this week's article, Josh Gentry provides you with three new geomancer orders - Order of the Apothecary (mystical healers), Order of the Architect (builders and protectors), and Order of the Rune Knight (wielders of elements in war). Illustrated by Julio Rocha and Tan Ho Sim. Recently on EN5ider: #239....
    3 replies | 1017 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 12:33 AM
    By "before" you mean in a different system. I guess if you value your gut reaction over actual play experience, there's not really much to debate, is there? You're right - you the way you feel about this game you haven't played yet is how you feel. :)
    137 replies | 5516 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 09:47 PM
    In donít think you as a publisher is the target audience of the book. Itís you as a gamer.
    147 replies | 4751 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 09:44 PM
    For me it was flight, until I realised that flight without an accompanying invulnerability was a death sentence. One mistake...
    55 replies | 1240 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 09:10 PM
    Takes 6 blunt damage. Second question, takes 11 blunt and 1 fire damage.
    4 replies | 226 view(s)
    0 XP
  • darjr's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 06:28 PM
    Hmmmm it's almost like a clue of some sort. Why would WotC do that?
    9 replies | 1086 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 06:08 PM
    99% of the time the damage type won't matter, so you can deduct the SOAK from the total. The STR bonus applies to his base damage, not to the exploit, so it goes to the bunt damage should that info be needed. The times it will matter are if the target has SOAK to only blunt or only fire, in which case it could only reduce those portions of the total.
    4 replies | 226 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 06:05 PM
    Science interjection - you've got it a little messed up. Arthropoods have two separate issues as they get large. One is weight - the materials used in exoskeletons are not particularly strong. It cannot carry the same weight that bone can - so, if they get too big, arthropod exoskeletons will break legs, and the like. This can be gotten around by fundamentally changing the materials used...
    187 replies | 4924 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 05:41 PM
    Folks need to read up on biology a bit before going into such things. You folks are making this way too complicated, and you are trying too hard to bind an alien species that only superficially looks human to human mechanisms and structures. I mean, think for a second, if a male can bring a baby to term, it quite obviously doesn't mean the same thing as "male" does in humans. Even on Earth,...
    187 replies | 4924 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 04:46 PM
    I'd agree with everybody else that I'd play the game before trying to adjust it. You can very rarely get a good feel for a game until you've played it.
    137 replies | 5516 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 03:26 PM
    Because it occurs to me, as an ironically curious consequence of that, that if WotCís goal was hypothetically to sell books to you specifically, opening the DMsG has therefore lost them sales rather than gained them.
    147 replies | 4751 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 03:06 PM
    Did you buy D&D books before DMs Guild existed?
    147 replies | 4751 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 12:48 PM
    Generally speaking, SOAK (and immunities etc.) have to apply to all damage types. The non-SOAKing of armour is slightly awkwardly phrased, though, I'll admit! Basically, if you have *been* poisoned (gas, food, atmosphere, etc.), armour isn't going to help you. If the poison is on a weapon, then sure, armor will help. It's all about the delivery system.
    2 replies | 191 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 12:43 PM
    Merged the two threads for you.
    22 replies | 746 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 12:24 PM
    Just 4 days left for nominations.
    74 replies | 1540 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 06:18 AM
    Maybe. But doing that would be dumb. See below.... The king isn't always surrounded by guards and knights? Since when? He's got an entire castle of them around him, and no, you can't just come in 'cause you feel like it! He's got personal guards at least outside his chambers, if not within, *all the time*. His chambers have the nation's top clerics and wizards laying protections upon...
    57 replies | 1927 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 12:19 AM
    Iíve seen you randomly bring up your personal politics in the form of MRAs in two threads (that Iíve noticed) in the last couple of days. Not sure why. Please donít do that. This isnít the place.
    155 replies | 4567 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 08:13 PM
    Both it and Iron Fist were cancelled last month.
    55 replies | 1240 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 06:27 PM
    Kings and queens to not typically hold their position due to right of personal arms or personal physical prowess. They hold the role by tradition and political acumen. Any writeup that gives them some understanding of History, a decent Insight, and decent scores in, say, Diplomacy, Deception, and Persuasion would do.
    57 replies | 1927 view(s)
    0 XP
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Tuesday, 20th November, 2018

  • 08:43 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Umbran in post Big Changes At White Wolf Following Controversy
    ...n general is struggling with figuring out how to assess, no one really seems to know how to guage things yet. Especially with the added complexity of bot networks, astroturfing, and other shennagins. So if we want to discuss this topic, I think we need to do a lot of research. Internet and Word of Mouth are very complex topics today. It's not very complex at all. When my ox is being gored, then it's faux outrage by officious busybodies acting out of spite and partisan motivation who were never customers and probably couldn't spell cat if you provided them the "c" and the "a." When someone else's ox is being gored, then it's a genuine and heartfelt boycott by people that are personally affected by the terrible decision and deeply hurt because they had previously trusted the entity that they are now forced to boycott due to deeply held and universal principles. ...pretty sure this is true, not just for this, but for all things. OTOH, given the general tenor and intelligence of @Umbran and his posts, I do have admire the chutzpah behind a post that is the equivalent of, "Sit down and edumacate yourself before you post on the internet."

Wednesday, 14th November, 2018


Tuesday, 6th November, 2018


Sunday, 28th October, 2018

  • 12:46 AM - Hussar mentioned Umbran in post Worlds of Design: What Makes an RPG a Tabletop Hobby RPG?
    ... doesn't feature mechanical advancement as a thing. I've even run games like this before. I think the general problem here is is we're trying to define a genre. And you can never define a drama by its borders. There will always be bleed in and out from other genres. It's like trying to define "forest". Just how many trees does it take to make a forest? You can't really say. But, we all know what a forest looks like. It's one of those semi-vague concepts that works in the middle but gets kinda tricky at the edges. Saying that many RPG's have progressive improvement is hardly contentious. Saying that RPG's need progressive improvement to be an RPG would be false, but, as a general rule, saying that an RPG has progressive improvement generally is not a totally unfair thing to say. While there are RPG's that don't, there are many, many that do. And, certainly in most mainstream RPG's (say, any game with more than about 100k players) progressive improvement is a feature. Umbran - disagreeing with you is not the same as ignoring you. But, fair enough. I'll let this horse lie. :D

Monday, 15th October, 2018

  • 10:26 PM - pemerton mentioned Umbran in post "DnDSports": Competitive Play With Prizes
    I remember the D&D Open at Gen Cons of old - competitive dungeoncrawling isn't a new thing - but 5e is such a floofy rules set, I can't see this ending well. (The Open also promoted a really weird and boring playstyle of minimal RP and everything sacrificed in the name of time, so there's that.)I don't see how 5e is very different from AD&D in respect of most aspects of adjudication. It's combat positioning/movement rules are in some respects more fiddly, but presumably this will be resolved on a grid to handle that fiddliness. Also Umbran, Satyrn, what have you got against darts?!

Sunday, 23rd September, 2018

  • 05:09 PM - doctorbadwolf mentioned Umbran in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    ...rs. We have over a DECADE of content on our shelves right now. But... somehow we need more? We don't need annual class content, let alone the bi-monthly class supplements of 3e and 4e. No one goes through content that fast. First of all, I didnít say we need more. Please stick to what Iíve said when replying to me. Iím not particularly interested in answering for other people. I personally see the phb as too limited to really satisfy the needs of my group, but the only thing missing right now is stuff that is favorite material for my group, like playable gnolls, and worthwhile orcs and kobolds. Weíre fairly resigned to homebrew on those specific examples, unfortunately. Again, how many campaigns a single group can get through in a span of time doesnít matter nearly as much as you want it to, because the preference for more options isnít about that. What youíre missing, again, is that a given player isnít generally interested in all of the classes, or all types of concepts, and as Umbran pointed out, more choices is about crafting a character, not so just about replayability. But even in the realm of replayability, a dozen classes isnít really a dozen choices per player, because most players arenít interested in concepts found within all dozen classes. And there are broad concepts that 5e is light on still, so while Iím cool with what is out, and new stuff is mostly gravy (other than very specific stuff from previous editions, like Eberron races, artificers, etc) itís entirely understandable why some folks arenít satisfied with the current options. But, moving back to the actual issue at hand, itís not that there arenít enough options, as such, for many players. For many players, it is that a given character only has so many decision points, and choosing ďassassinĒ or ďBeast MasterĒ locks you into a progression all the way to level 20, with very little choice other than feats, of which there arenít that many. What the game needs, is for every class to have an alt...

Thursday, 20th September, 2018

  • 10:53 PM - Hawk Diesel mentioned Umbran in post When a Lightning Bolt spell met the floor ...
    TallIan and Umbran I totally agree with you guys. Like any tool in the DM's toolbox it shouldn't be overused or used flippantly. There needs to be some intention that will add to the story and the fun of the table. Like I said, in that specific scenario I'd probably just have the cultists blast the player and themselves, because it would be a fitting sacrifice they might make for their demon patron. And I think that doing things that can unfairly target a player's character or changing how powers work without a good reason/explanation is poor form. A DM has only as much power as the players allow, since that position comes with the trust that you are going to run the game fairly with fun in mind.

Monday, 17th September, 2018

  • 11:44 PM - pemerton mentioned Umbran in post Boss Monsters? I Just Say No!
    You could argue that Sam and Frodo have to deal with a boss monster at the Cracks of Doom - but instead of it being a physical manifestation of Sauron, it's the corrupting influence of the ring - an alternative boss monster, if you will. Plus, they manage to avoid his gaze throughout much of their final approach - a boss monster defeated primarily by stealth rather than beaten down. <snip> Even Aragorn faces a similar boss conflict (of wills rather than violence) when he reveals himself in the Palantir to Sauron, provoking a premature attack on Minas Tirith.How often are these sorts of moral, spiritual, and mental conflicts the climax in tabletop FRPGing? I don't really think it's to the point that they involve an antagonist (Sauron). The salient point, in the context of this discussion, is that the confrontation, and its resolution, is not a violent one. There's no reason at all in principle why this can't be handled by a RPG - contrary to what Umbran suggested upthread, it doesn't require greater storytelling ability to make the struggle with Sauron non-violent in these ways. But D&D has tended to lack the mechanics to handle it (with skill challenges in 4e something of an exception).
  • 08:33 PM - MarkB mentioned Umbran in post Running an actual heist?
    XP to Umbran for mentioning Leverage. I've only played one session of it, but it's very well-suited to this. As I recall, one thing in particular that it incorporates which is a staple of the genre but very difficult to pull off in a traditional D&D game is the fake-out ending - that point in every heist movie where it seems like the bad guy's won and the good guys have all been caught, and then it turns out to have all been part of the plan. Effectively, if the players earn enough 'plot coupons' during the execution of the heist, they can retcon in some extra piece of planning or deception that will get them out of trouble during the endgame.
  • 03:51 AM - Janx mentioned Umbran in post Science: asteroid vs. hero physics
    Rule #1 - when someone asks for help, they don't generally tell you their problem, they tell you their preferred solution. That is not always the *best* solution, or even a good one. So, the word laser was in there for a reason.... Dude, you're a RPG player, yes? Since when is remaining within the initial parameters part of your operating system? :p Just a note to both my EN friends Umbran and [mention]Nagol[/Nagol], I appreciate BOTH of your approaches to my problem. As Nagol notes, I've framed it a certain way based on something in my story. There's a crapton of detail I left out which might support why I did it that way. OR I might be missing an obvious alternate solution (like in the asteroid one, where I had one idea and there had to be others). There COULD be other alternatives in this story. I've thought of many of them (because I know the full list of talents and powers the hero has). I also haven't thought of some. I'd hate to say I thought of all the obvious ones, because I'm sure there's one more on that list and I'll look like an idiot :) Since Umbran likes thinking off the grid, consider that our hero has a background in stage/street magic. Sleight of hand, etc. He gets to approach the bad guy as he's finishing setting up. Monologue, tussle, countdown, bang. Lots of them. He's never been here before, the bullet deflection tech is mobile and ...

Monday, 10th September, 2018

  • 02:45 AM - Lanefan mentioned Umbran in post X & O For More Fun
    It's not mind control! It's an easy way to speak up. That's it. It doesn't magically pass binding international treaties, or pass sentences in a court of law or anything. Words like "democracy" and "tyranny" are absurd hyperbole in this context. It's social interaction, not law.I was responding to Umbran , and my statements simply follow on from his use of "tyranny". And while we're on about terms, tapping a card (at least the way it's presented in the OP) is not really "speaking up"; as speaking is in fact neither involved nor - as presented - allowed to be. I couldd get behind this at least to some extent if actual speaking - as in debate, discussion, consensus, give-and-take, allowable disagreement, etc. - was an inherent part of the system. But it's not, thus making this idea both a) poorly conceived* and b) horribly open to abuse. * - as are, IME, a great many things involving non-negotiability. As soon as someone says something - be it a method of operation, a rule, a system, whatever - is non-negotiable or non-debateable my immediate response is "why?". Sometimes the reasons are obvious (e.g. workplace safety, or a sensible school essay deadline) and that's fair enough; other times they aren't (usually involving an authority that doesn't like to be questioned and-or ...
  • 01:29 AM - pemerton mentioned Umbran in post X & O For More Fun
    I also find it interesting that you completely side-stepped my earlier points about the X-card player's responsibilities. Is the GM supposed to never be intimidating again? Are they supposed to sideline that villain? Should they abandon attempts at tension? Tell me then, at what point is it that the X-card player is imposing to the extent that they should simply find a new group? Because if the answer is "never" then I suspect that this is the fundamental root of our disagreement.You ask these questions like they are knock-down rhetorical points! As opposed to things that can be worked out through the ordinary techniques of social interaction once the situation has cooled down. (Which seems to be exactly what happened in the episode that Umbran described.)

Tuesday, 7th August, 2018

  • 04:07 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Umbran in post Forum Suddenly Switched How Named Are Displayed?
    Agreed. If I don't get my daily dose of feeling bad that @lowkey13 is higher level than me, I don't really feel like I visited ENWorld. You think that you feel bad ... imagine how @Umbran feels when he sees it! "Here I am, making a positive contribution to this website as a contributor and moderator, always being positive and on-track, and this guy, THIS GUY JUST MOCKS PALADINS FOR A FRIGGIN' LIVING!!!??!!! Just goes to show you- people, they like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis ... you can't trust people."

Monday, 6th August, 2018

  • 03:01 PM - SkidAce mentioned Umbran in post Forum Suddenly Switched How Named Are Displayed?
    ... a gut reaction, much as you say. "I don't know why I don't like this, however RAGE!" However, an initial reaction , such as not liking blue text on a bluer background, missing functions, etc (just general examples) is valid initially and over time. Its actual feedback. Then of course there are ways of implementing change to reduce the "shock". Unfreeze, Change, Refreeze. Probably not a process you want to use in a widely vocal internet arena, you would be overwhelmed by getting folks to buy into the concepts, but some of the concepts could be used. Post a thread in Meta "Going to Test Layout?" Finally, it depends on goals, if the change initiator wants the change, for reasons (speed, cost savings, preference, etc.) then the longer you go past the initial change, the easier it is to keep it. As it becomes the new norm, people get tired of mentioning it, or new folks don't even know there was a change. Anyway, not a show stopper, thanks for the discussion with us Umbran.

Saturday, 4th August, 2018


Thursday, 26th July, 2018

  • 12:10 PM - pemerton mentioned Umbran in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    ...e D&D rules tell them to, move pieces (literal or notional) around maps in accordance with the D&D rules for doing so, etc. Until someone actually uses the guidelines of the RPG to create that adventure, there's nothing to really do with an RPG.This isn't true either. When I wanted to play Classic Traveller with my friends, we sat down and started playing: PC gen; world gen; patron gen; GO! (Further details here.) They're playing Against the Giants. They're playing whatever campaign they happen to be playing. We use RPG's to create the campaigns which is essentially the game that we play, whether it's some massive dungeon crawl or some high rp court intrigue game. Or combinations thereof. And the campaign that I play is distinct from the campaign you play. Unless we're using the same module, it's virtually impossible for two campaigns to share any points of similarity. Doesn't that mean, at that point, we're essentially playing different games?I mostly agree with Umbran and Tony Vargas on this. Was I playing chess, or the Sicilian defence? Presumably both. Was I playing D&D, or Against the Giants? Presumably both. Maybe there's a better analogy? I see RPG's as having three levels. At the top, you have the RPG itself which we use to build a campaign. At the next level, you have the campaign which, in my mind, is the game that this group is going to play, and at the third level, you have the session, which is roughly analogous to a single instance of the game. For most games though, you only have two levels. The game and the instance. You don't use charades, to use the example, to build a specific kind of pantomime game that players then play. You just play instances of charades. There's no higher level tier, such as what you get with RPG's.Does what you say apply to My Life with Master? DitV? Even The Dying Earth? And even for RPGs that have "the campaign", how is that different - in a structural sense - from dealing a hand? Or ag...

Monday, 16th July, 2018

  • 08:03 AM - Coroc mentioned Umbran in post CHRONOMANCER: WotC's new meta-setting?
    Umbran #9 Exactly this, i once did Castle Forlorn, a small ravenloft domain campaign, with very forgiving Players thankfully where the Players could not know history of the place and ran into lots of Trouble: Potential Spoiler: The Castle has 3 different states in 3 different times, as well as the arch Nemesis of the Setting who has 3 different forms at each Point in time. All of that is well explained if you read it and makes sense, but here comes the Twist: So you got your map with the Castle layout which alters depending on which year you are in, and on several points you switch the time you are in. Of course the Players do not know about this and do not notice, unless they very carefully map the whole thing themselves and make notes. The adventure suggests such things as clues to the Players like when the Players fight something in one room and cast a fireball the walls might be scorched black in two of the dungeons points in time but perfectly shiny in the past. So you basica...

Thursday, 28th June, 2018

  • 03:33 PM - Skyscraper mentioned Umbran in post Death and Storytelling
    If the point you are going to make is, "if the game isn't written for it, don't do it," then I think your point is made, and you are done here. Thanks for your input. If, instead, you want to recognize that this hobby has a 40+ year history of home-brewing and adjusting games to meet our needs, then please take part as if modifications, adjustments, and accommodations are reasonable approaches. Because, you see, with a little thought, I expect Rules, setting, story, and PCs can be made to work together, even if that wasn't a specific things written into the rules by a designer years ago. With respect, Umbran, I believe that 5ekyu 's input is constructive, even though he appears surprised of something that appears to be rather the common default approach. In fact, if you're willing 5ekyu, you could provide some practical example of how you implement post-life story into your setting?

Tuesday, 26th June, 2018

  • 05:27 PM - Skyscraper mentioned Umbran in post Death and Storytelling
    Cool discussion. 5ekyu: you seem to have a rare proactive story approach to PC death. This is great. (Really!) However, I believe you are the exception. At least, from what I have read here and other forums, and in games I have played, PC death is either avoided in some fashion; or if it occurs, then the PC is just dead and swiped under the rug, and the game goes on. It is rare (again, only as it appears from personal play experience and reading on forums) that there are strong story elements linked to PC (or NPC) death. It's not never heard of, just rare. D&D in particular does not suggest that as a default assumption. In many adventures, the authors specifically suggest to have back-up characters in case of PC death. A bit like Umbran, I'm not arguing that this is good or bad; just that the default, and IMO most common, experience in many RPG's regarding death, is to have the PC stop being part of the story, and a new PC being incorportated instead. PC-story #1 stops, and PC-story #2 starts. To those that commented that this is a game, not a story: while I understand that gaming aspect of it all, as opposed to writing book, playing a RPG is not equivalent to playing a board game either. Story, achieved notably through role-playing, is central to such a game. At least, in my experience, it is. I've stopped playing to kill-loot-repeat quite a while ago. We're building something around storytelling, within the structure of a game. To the suggestion to have only party stories, and no PC-specific stories, in a campaign: that's one way to handle it. I like to have PC-stories also, both as a player and as a DM. It's obviously challenging with respect to PC death - thus the inception of this thread :) All that said...

Sunday, 24th June, 2018

  • 05:06 AM - Let's Greenfield mentioned Umbran in post Excel and Massive Campaigns
    Yeah, that's all spot-on, @Umbran. I really don't know MS Office-just started with it(I have been a complete luddite for a decade, or so)-so I was hoping I saw a solution to a new problem. I'll have to look into Access. But, I also agree that the maintainence will probably wind-up being too much of a hassle. " Could you expand on what the problem is you think it would help with?" @Dannyalcatraz, "the problem" is that I'm essentially author of a giant soap-opera, more so than a rpg. Everyone is the campaign (Greyhawk) winds-up being affiliated with each character somehow, or is planting the seeds for such. As I put together more interesting encounters, or plot-threads, it becomes helpful to know that Character X actually ran into Character Y so many seesions ago. Or that it take two degrees of separation to get to Bad Guy X, that otherwise wasn't obvious to the players. My game sounds like it's based purely on plot-twists, but it's just shook-out that it's a massive conspiracy kind of thing. And it's obviously a mil...


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Tuesday, 20th November, 2018

  • 09:32 PM - KenNYC quoted Umbran in post Do You Think Encounters Should be Difficult?
    That's okay. Understanding may be achievable. Consider - fights are not the only thing in a D&D game. If a player (or group of players) is really interested in some aspect of the game other than fights, then maybe having the fights be deadly is not leading the players to their fun very well. Then don't have fights, have something else that has stakes involved, like traps or puzzles. Sorry, even after your post I still don't understand. It doesn't have to be fights, it could be traps, puzzles, a murder mystery storyline, anything really, but you need to have stakes. What I am seeing here is not a defense of enjoying other aspects of the game, but rather a defense of low to no stakes D&D. You will win every fight, solve every riddle, remove every trap because you enjoy other aspects of the game. I love most aspects of the game and I prefer to never roll dice and role play my way through every encounter and trap. That said, if a pack of wolves comes my way, they shoul...
  • 08:06 PM - Rygar quoted Umbran in post Big Changes At White Wolf Following Controversy
    With respect - since the company publishing these "provocative" things can no longer publish them if they don't make money, the idea that they are not concerned with commercialism was naive - either on their part for thinking it, or on ours for believing it. You miss what is probably the larger issue at hand - White Wolf first published a WoD game in 1991. Internet Explorer was released in 1995. Their initial popularity came in a time before what most folks today think of as "the internet", and the heightened communication that has developed with it. In the past, it was easier to avoid the negative consequences of being "provocative" than it is today, because word gets around to people who care more quickly, and their voices are more easily heard. I think we need to be *very* careful and *very* analytical here. I think it's critical to differentiate between word of mouth amongst the customer base, the potential customer base, individuals who have no interest in being a customer, and...
  • 07:48 PM - TrippyHippy quoted Umbran in post Big Changes At White Wolf Following Controversy
    With respect - since the company publishing these "provocative" things can no longer publish them if they don't make money, the idea that they are not concerned with commercialism was naive - either on their part for thinking it, or on ours for believing it. You miss what is probably the larger issue at hand - White Wolf first published a WoD game in 1991. Internet Explorer was released in 1995. Their initial popularity came in a time before what most folks today think of as "the internet", and the heightened communication that has developed with it. In the past, it was easier to avoid the negative consequences of being "provocative" than it is today, because word gets around to people who care more quickly, and their voices are more easily heard.I did actually mention the influence of the internet on this situation, either here or in some other thread. The only point of disagreement I may possibly have with this statement is whether its a good thing. I'd also note that other moveme...
  • 04:38 AM - Hussar quoted Umbran in post Defining RPG's Take 2 - Prescriptive vs Descriptive
    That being said... "the rules are descriptive" is insufficient as a definition. If nothing else, it fails to differentiate role-playing games from story-telling games, which I expect we would find are also descriptive. It probably also fails to differentiate from some forms of simulation games - like SimCity, where within a domain, you are largely allowed to do whatever you darn well feel like. And, as in previous discussion, I submit that we are talking about a genre definition - aim for a definition by inclusion, rather than exclusion - talk about what helps make a game an RPG, not what eliminates a candidate from being one. Or, to be self-referential, the definition should be descriptive, not prescriptive :p Personally, I don't see any point in differentiating "story telling games" from RPG's since story telling games ARE RPG's. And Sim City, while you have a great deal of freedom, is very prescriptive. You can only build what the game lets you build. You may not build an...

Monday, 19th November, 2018

  • 11:47 PM - TrippyHippy quoted Umbran in post Big Changes At White Wolf Following Controversy
    We aren't really talking about what should be allowed in art, though. We are talking about whether a particular publisher makes a particular work available as a part of their business. Remember that classically, a painter or sculptor got to make *one single copy* of a work. Thus, distribution through a business arrangement is a separate consideration from the creation of the art itself.This is a tricky issue to answer, because White Wolf was founded on the principle of creating roleplaying games as art. The initial appeal of the games were that they were provocative, and throughout their rise as a company they wrote copious essays and defences on the notion of art vs commercialism and freedom of expression. It's why they actually wanted to print uncensored things in the Black Dog license (go and read HōL), and they even attempted to establish the Null Foundation as a non-profit company for games (it failed) to be published under. You can pick up on a lot of the sense of movement in ...
  • 02:15 AM - D1Tremere quoted Umbran in post Big Changes At White Wolf Following Controversy
    *blink* Art is, in the end, about human experience and feelings and thoughts. Taste, morality, public opinion - these are the very lifeblood of art. With respect, *ALL* art gets peer reviewed, unless it is art that nobody but its creator ever sees. Art is subject to the thoughts and opinions of every single member of the audience. Engaging the minds of others is part of the (some say the only) point to making art at all! Putting out art is making yourself vulnerable to judgement. I think we are using different ideas of peer review. Any one can critique art, no one should have the right to choose for another what should be allowed in art.

Friday, 16th November, 2018

  • 07:08 PM - Scott DeWar quoted Umbran in post IN REMEMBRANCE---2018 AD
    William Goldman, screenwriter of among other things "The Princess Bride", has died at the age of 87. Inconceivable! I don't think that word means what you think it means.
  • 01:39 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Umbran in post Deleted Posts

Thursday, 15th November, 2018


Saturday, 10th November, 2018

  • 11:21 AM - Garthanos quoted Umbran in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Aside from the main argument... Um, not quite. We learn that Thor is not the God of Hammers in Thor: Ragnarok. It is *AFTER* that, in the next Avengers movie, that he learns that for some things he does still need a weapon, and gets one made. And definitely helps make it.

Thursday, 8th November, 2018

  • 09:50 PM - lowkey13 quoted Umbran in post Does 5e need its own, original TOMB OF HORRORS?
    Gygax's people had settled into a particular playstyle, and were bragging about their ability. Gygax decided to "show them a thing or two", and gave them an atypical experience - a thing that looked like the typical dungeon crawl, but wasn't. It was tough, in large part, because it defied the playstyle many had become accustomed to. The thing is, we are not many, many years later. We have explored many playstyles. You can't stack together a bunch of clever traps, and *surprise* the players with that, because they've already seen that in ToH (and any number of videogames). There's a major creativity barrier in just finding a valid style that is outside the various common playstyles, but it still comprehensible, and provides the proper sort of challenge for the players of today. And, I think there's a major argument to be had around the question of whether the original ToH is "fair" in anything other than the karmic sense of it being okay to stick it to those who have become arrogant...

Wednesday, 7th November, 2018


Tuesday, 6th November, 2018

  • 04:59 AM - Jester David quoted Umbran in post WotC's Nathan Stewart Teases New D&D Setting Book in 2019
    True: they have been bending over backwards to avoid that, which seems to be working well so far. I just remember Rich Baker talking about the Realms in 2009 or 2010, and how they remade it with the Spellplague based heavily on complaints of people who didnít play in the Realms, and just assumed Realms fans would accept the changes and keep playing in the setting because it was the Realms. They just took it for granted the fans would respond favourably and keep playing in the world. I'm not sure the bulk of the audience at this point is going to be "alienated" by not having a whole lot of concern over "canon" in the game. They've had several years apparently selling very well without much concern for canon. Why, now, would it suddenly become alienating? True. But weíre not talking about a general product but a (theoretical) FR product. Fans of canon will be a higher percentage of the audience.
  • 12:56 AM - gyor quoted Umbran in post WotC's Nathan Stewart Teases New D&D Setting Book in 2019
    I'm not sure the bulk of the audience at this point is going to be "alienated" by not having a whole lot of concern over "canon" in the game. They've had several years apparently selling very well without much concern for canon. Why, now, would it suddenly become alienating? Lots of fans are concerned with FR canon, that is why Lore You Should Know episodes are done.
  • 12:37 AM - Panda-s1 quoted Umbran in post Burning Questions: Why Do DMs Limit Official WOTC Material?
    And that's probably one too many. Please, don't call people names, or ascribe character flaws to them due to choices about how his group pretends to be elves. And, if you do, and you seem to get away with it, don't continue to publicly belabor the point. :/ That's not who I was calling a coward, but okay. It's just a little frustrating to deal with; I wish I could be this openly indignant about some of the names I've been called before (not in this thread, before anyone tries to jump on me for exaggerating). I just honestly feel like even if I didn't say coward some people in this thread would still be blasting me with hyperbole because of saying someone could be a bad DM (I'm not the only one who's had to deal with this here either). Oh I forgot the splat book name at the time of the writing. It was Complete Paladin's Handbook. Published for 2nd edition around 1 May 1994 https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Paladins-Handbook-Advanced-Supplement/dp/1560768452 The Name of the play...

Monday, 5th November, 2018


Saturday, 3rd November, 2018

  • 07:36 PM - gyor quoted Umbran in post Are D&D Ravnica and MtG Ravnica the same?
    I was noting that the *GAME* does not. The canon is irrelevant to play. So, then, I return to the question - Why do we care if they are the same? canon enhances immersion for people like me, we enjoy it.
  • 04:39 PM - Arilyn quoted Umbran in post Can of spinach
    And, just so you know, canning, as such, is an invention of the 19th century. Bottles, jars, and cans regular enough for the purpose imply a whole lot of other technology that may not fit in your game world. Yes, might seem odd, but since it's a can of spinach, I'm assuming a certain amount of whimsy. Also, the typical "medieval" DnD campaign often contains a lot of elected officials, peasants who are free to wander where they will, a mix of arms and armour from various cultures and time periods, light sticks, tanglefoot bags, heaps of gold, little actual trade, and so on. Canning? Why not?

Friday, 2nd November, 2018

  • 09:06 PM - gyor quoted Umbran in post Are D&D Ravnica and MtG Ravnica the same?
    If you are playing a role playing game, what is canon for that game is important, as it impacts play - if you are playing in the Forgotten Realms, whether Elminster exists or not can make a difference to how the game turns out. Whether you are playing in a world that went through the Time of Troubles or not may matter. The canon story helps determine what is in play. In play of M:tG, the fictional canon is irrelevant. You have a deck of cards - that determines what it in play. The canon story is merely a pleasing entertainment that runs alongside the game play, inspirational only - you can't reach into the canon to pull things that aren't in your deck. Since one of these games doesn't actually care about the canon, why do we care if they are the same? The MtG players do seem to care about the canon a lot, perhaps because of the novels and stories.

Wednesday, 31st October, 2018

  • 08:32 PM - Shasarak quoted Umbran in post Toril as a Counter-Earth
    Won't work. Your sensory inputs, measuring systems, and mental processes are all part of the simulation. If the simulation lags, then *you* lag. And... as if someone simulating an entire friggin' Universe has issues with processing speed? "Waitaminute! I just got 2+2=5! That means that no only are we a simulation, but we are being run on a Pentium chip!!1!" :p The main thing with experiments is that it is hard to discus the results before running the experiment. Although it would be cool to be able to lag out the entire universe.


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