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  • darjr's Avatar
    Today, 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 | 136 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Today, 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
    2 replies | 223 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    166 replies | 4348 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    9 replies | 283 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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 | 419 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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. :)
    106 replies | 3361 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.
    67 replies | 2068 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...
    54 replies | 1075 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 | 154 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?
    8 replies | 561 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 | 154 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...
    166 replies | 4348 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,...
    166 replies | 4348 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.
    106 replies | 3361 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.
    67 replies | 2068 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 03:06 PM
    Did you buy D&D books before DMs Guild existed?
    67 replies | 2068 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 | 138 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 12:43 PM
    Merged the two threads for you.
    14 replies | 498 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 12:24 PM
    Just 4 days left for nominations.
    69 replies | 1136 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...
    47 replies | 1437 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 | 4444 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 08:13 PM
    Both it and Iron Fist were cancelled last month.
    54 replies | 1075 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.
    47 replies | 1437 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 05:36 PM
    Wow! That's quite impressive! Are the career paths completely random generated?
    1 replies | 118 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 01:20 PM
    That is going to be awesome. Batwoman, Superman, Lois Lane...
    54 replies | 1075 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 06:23 AM
    Except, if you weren't before, you now definitely are getting into condescending attack territory. Not so great, there. Please do not stoop to this sort of thing again. Keep it civil. Don't make it personal - if you are addressing the qualities of the speaker, rather than the logic or factual content of the argument, you are basically putting a bullet in the brain of your argument, for all...
    96 replies | 3107 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 12:08 PM
    Moved to the Kickstarter promotions forum for you.
    1 replies | 161 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 11:50 AM
    D&D books are a lot like buses. You wait ages for one, and then suddenly two are released on the same day! Anyway, today's the day that Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage hit game stores, so this is your reminder to head on down to your friendly (or not so friendly) local (or not so local) game store and grab your copies! They'll hit Amazon and other stores on...
    30 replies | 2255 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 11:38 AM
    In this week's episode, Morrus and Peter are joined by guests Grant Howitt and Chris Taylor to talk about their roleplaying game Spire and the sourcebook currently on Kickstarter, Strata. In the news, we have more previews of Dungeon of the Mad Mage, more details on RPGSports, a statement from Wizards of the Coastís president on the state of Dungeons & Dragons, a tease of a new setting, a new...
    1 replies | 557 view(s)
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 09:36 PM
    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...
    51 replies | 1290 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 06:44 PM
    Rodney Thompson. You may remember him from such games as Star Wars Saga Edition, Lords of Waterdeep, Dungeons & Dragon 5th Edition, and Dusk City Outlaws (to name just a few). He's back with a new superhero RPG, Spectaculars, and he's been kind enough to send me along an exclusive preview of the game! I backed Dusk City Outlaws on Kickstarter, and was super-pleased when it arrived....
    10 replies | 1402 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 03:08 PM
    Moved to the Kickstarter promotions forum for you! :)
    2 replies | 189 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 02:45 PM
    D&D is a very high magic genre.
    31 replies | 1124 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 01:12 PM
    Instructions are in first post. :)
    69 replies | 1136 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 10:25 PM
    I make that 14 DEFENSE. 3d6 is 11. 4d6 is 14. SOAK and DEFENCE are two different things. DEFENCE is how hard it is to hit you. SOAK is how much damage your armour lets you ignore.
    2 replies | 138 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 09:07 PM
    The theme of the campaign is industry vs magic. I feel that removing either of those things pretty much guts the campaign.
    10 replies | 327 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 04:25 PM
    In earlier editions, there were modifiers to your stats due to age, and the analogous abilities guarded you against the negative stat modifiers. Nowadays? It is mostly fluff. It may matter for some long running campaigns and worlds - if a second campaign is set later in the same world, who is alive, and what state are they in? I, personally, have not run a 5e campaign in which it...
    39 replies | 1100 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 02:53 PM
    Mearls answered this question on Twitter, describing at length how the D&D 4th edition he wanted to make differed from the one which was actually published back in 2008. "Hard to answer, because the 4e I wanted to do and the 4e we ended up publishing were different on a fundamental level. I wanted classes to have different power acquisition schedules, and more thematic ties between...
    667 replies | 6571 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 02:41 PM
    A couple of years ago, John Wick's 7th Sea 2nd Edition smashed tabletop RPG Kickstarter records by raising a phenomenal $1.3M - a record which has only been surpassed once since, by Matt Colville's $2.1M Strongholds & Streaming. Unfortunately, it seems that the company is running into financial difficulties. The company had some sad news to share in a Kickstarter update to backers...
    34 replies | 4846 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 02:31 PM
    It should be on DTRPG and RPGNow soon too!
    6 replies | 418 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 01:57 PM
    A couple of years ago, John Wick's 7th Sea 2nd Edition smashed tabletop RPG Kickstarter records by raising a phenomenal $1.3M - a record which has only been surpassed once since, by Matt Colville's $2.1M Strongholds & Streaming. Unfortunately, it seems that the company is running into financial difficulties. The company had some sad news to share in a Kickstarter update to backers...
    34 replies | 893 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 12:50 PM
    At 150m households worldwide, I donít think Netflix counts as a limited audience any more. In the last few years itís grown into one of the most watched media outlets on the planet. Give it another few years, I reckon it will dwarf even the largest regular networks.
    21 replies | 803 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 10:52 AM
    As the release of Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage closes in (Friday!), here's a quick roundup of all the previews which have snuck out of WotC HQ over the last few weeks! Take a peek at these images from Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage, as featured on Fantasy Grounds. There is the start of level 19 from Waterdeep: DotMM. It involves a crashed Spelljammer, where the crew is...
    39 replies | 2203 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 11:51 PM
    Even if you were supposed to roll it, how did you manage to roll 48 on 6d6?
    4 replies | 175 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 11:17 PM
    Yikes. No, you don't roll it. Your SPEED is 6: 3(d6) + 2(d6) + 1(d6). it's the *size* of your dice pool, not a roll of your dice pool. Your CLIMB is 3 (half your SPEED without the running added on, rounded up).
    4 replies | 175 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 08:19 PM
    That shouldn't be there. It's an old mechanic which didn't make it into the final version of the WOIN rules. I'll note it as errata.
    4 replies | 199 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 05:34 PM
    It means write it down, yep. The exploit itself will tell you about any usage restrictions, if there are any. Hmm. Where does it say that? That looks like a minor errata.
    4 replies | 199 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 04:57 PM
    At 5th level, you get access to third level spells: Fireball, lightning bolt, and so on. Being able to blast away with 8d6 of damage is not enough payoff for you at that point?
    60 replies | 1701 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 04:52 PM
    Or just Google, "Convert 125 cubic feet to gallons."
    12 replies | 1337 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 01:18 PM
    I wasnít a fan of this episode. The monster reminded me of the Slitheen, and the self destruct unit you can just pick up and chuck out the window seemed rather pointless. It was basically ... serviceable filler, I guess.
    166 replies | 4348 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 12:35 PM
    The conspiracy continues in Flint's dark underbelly. Now at the kingís command it is time for the Royal Homeland Constabulary to rip this threat from its shadowy womb beneath the haunted mountain named Cauldron Hill and thrust it into the light of day. While they pursue that mission, two other forces are at work in Flint: a cult of dwarven assassins who want to disrupt a peace summit,...
    4 replies | 639 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 09:47 PM
    Silverhair, might I suggest you invest a little more into these marketing threads than just a url and list of numbers? I canít imagine youíre getting much benefit from these?
    3 replies | 234 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 09:32 PM
    I'm pretty sure torturing people is the *end* of the road to evil, not the start. The start is, like, shoplifting or something. I can't think of much worse you can do to an individual than torture them.
    27 replies | 764 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 02:02 PM
    Thatís what an evil person would say!
    27 replies | 764 view(s)
    4 XP
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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...

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 01:56 PM - Maxperson mentioned Umbran in post Everybody Cheats?
    Cheating can disrupt the group, but it is not that simple of a causal relation. Again, the language you adopt here is far too absolute for my liking or experience. And that assumption is a fairly major crux of the disagreement. Whether that is true for your table or not, that is not inherently true nor should we regard it as true. I'll take your word for it that you can Umbran are just fine with cheaters cheating in your games. I know I'm not. I also know that none of my players are. And further, nobody that I've ever talked to in person has said that they were fine with it. I'm reasonably sure that you guys are in a small minority of people.

Wednesday, 30th May, 2018

  • 01:27 PM - Hussar mentioned Umbran in post Comfort withcross gender characters based on your gender
    ...as a property of race or gender. Yuan-ti and Warforged are not among the PHB list of core races, but one of the core races is scaly. Hussar seems to think that unless Boris's words and deeds, as roleplayed, signal Boris's gender, then no, the table would not. Perhaps you and he disagree? Hunh. Apparently this Hussar disagrees with previous Hussar. Why do you ask about the helmet? You're the one demanding that everyone *perform* a character's gender. From what you've posted early, you should be clearly establishing, on the regular, *by narration*, that your character is a manly man; failure to do so, is failure to role-play properly. Either that, or perhaps "you gotta roleplay it so strongly and stereotypically that everyone notices" a rule for female characters, and not a rule for male characters? Is male the default, core gender, and female a splatbook variant? Nope. Jeez, I even REPOSTED my arguments above. Did you miss the bit where I totally agreed with Umbran that simply using a bloody gender specific PRONOUN was enough to satisfy me? Look, I get the idea that I've rather touched a nerve in people by even suggesting that their perfectly crafted character could be better portrayed, but, sheesh, do you really have to start inventing things to be annoyed about? One more time for the slow of reading. SO LONG AS THE PEOPLE AT YOUR TABLE RECOGNIZE THE SALIENT FEATURES OF YOUR CHARACTER I AM HAPPY. How you achieve that is totally up to you. Heck, something as simple as actually using a female miniature at the table would be good enough. ((Granted I always play on virtual tabletop, so such a thing is pretty bloody easy to achieve))


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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.
  • 05:18 AM - Shasarak quoted Umbran in post Toril as a Counter-Earth
    Except, of course, you can't. In The Matrix, the trick is managed by way of having the people have existence *outside* the simulation, and so in part not subject to the simulation's rules. If, however, you are a fully simulated being yourself, you are 100% beholden to the rules of the simulation. How could you then generate an event that isn't part of the simulation, to show that something else exists? The Simulation Hypothesis is what we call "non-falsifiable". There is no experiment that, even in theory, could possibly refute the statement, "The universe is a simulation." For any evidence you have that we are not in an simulation, there is the answer, "But that evidence is itself simulated." Non-falsifiable statements are outside the realm of science. One way that I have seen being suggested is to try an experiment doing something fast enough that you can essentially see if the simulation lags trying to process the data. Kind of like the deja vu cat.
  • 04:35 AM - pemerton quoted Umbran in post Worlds of Design: What Makes an RPG a Tabletop Hobby RPG?
    Set aside your personal table for a moment, because we aren't talkign about you, but about games in general. In the game as written the basic intent is that you pick up a pre-generated character and play through an Event. The next time you played, you pick up a different character, and play a different Event, and any improvement you made in the first Event is not relevant to the second. So, I ask again - does it count as improvement if it only lasts for one instance or short arc of play?An "event" might last for half-a-dozen sessions or more. If my PC is getting more effective over that time (in virtue of spending the XP I accrue to improve my numbers, eliminate disadvantages, etc) then I count that as improvement. I've got not reason to think that my intuitions or my table's perceptions are particulary at odds with the norm here. From the point of view of design, you could also see this as a way of reconciling the defeault use of pre-gens with a degree of player choice in respect of...
  • 02:33 AM - Thomas Bowman quoted Umbran in post Toril as a Counter-Earth
    Um. Yeah. That's what "non-falsifiable" means. Even if it isn't true, you can't *prove* it isn't true, even in theory. People toss out things like "most likely explanation". It doesn't mean anything. The explanation is not Shrodinger's Cat, that could be anything until we figure out which one it is. There is only one explanation - it is 100% likely. All others are 0% likely. That we don't know which it is does not create a probability distribution. Let us be clear - there is *nothing* that cannot be explained another way. You can *always* come up with another non-falsifiable explanation that explains it. You can stack them infinitely - turtles all the way down. By current understanding, you'd be incorrect. The Universe (as physics currently seems to tell us) is infinite. Not just "very large", but truly infinite. The likelyhood of humanity evolving on any given planet is very small, but non-zero. In an infinite space, so long as a thing is not completely...

Tuesday, 30th October, 2018

  • 10:28 PM - pemerton quoted Umbran in post Worlds of Design: What Makes an RPG a Tabletop Hobby RPG?
    This may be interpretation of "improvement". If you play Monopoly, are you "improving" if you gather a lot of cash? Does a change count as "improvement" if it only exists within one instance or arc of play, and is then discarded? Well, my understanding of Monopoly is that gathering a lot of cash is winning/ In MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic it is possible for PCs to improve by earning XP without succeeding in their goals, because a PC's milestones - which trigger XP accrual - are independent of a PC's goals. I think this generates play which is quite similar to comics (or at least the Marvel comics of the 70s through mid-90s, which are the ones I know well) in which character development and transformation arcs are somewhat independent of the minutiae of the plots they are engaged in, which to some extent provide a backdrop to that development. Eg Wolverine can demonstrate trouble with his temper whether he is being captures by the Brood or beating up on Hellfire Club thugs. I find this aspect ...
  • 07:16 PM - Thomas Bowman quoted Umbran in post Toril as a Counter-Earth
    Except, of course, you can't. In The Matrix, the trick is managed by way of having the people have existence *outside* the simulation, and so in part not subject to the simulation's rules. If, however, you are a fully simulated being yourself, you are 100% beholden to the rules of the simulation. How could you then generate an event that isn't part of the simulation, to show that something else exists? The Simulation Hypothesis is what we call "non-falsifiable". There is no experiment that, even in theory, could possibly refute the statement, "The universe is a simulation." For any evidence you have that we are not in an simulation, there is the answer, "But that evidence is itself simulated." Non-falsifiable statements are outside the realm of science. You can't falsify it, but it remains a possibility that you can't disprove either. So if a planet appears in the Solar System and it is populated by humans among other races, I would think the explanation of "we're living in a...
  • 04:41 PM - billd91 quoted Umbran in post Marvel's Iron Fist Season 2 - Much Better
    I thought season 3 of Luke Cage was set up for, "Luke decides to become a dumpster fire." There is no way, "hero decides to personally fill the crime lord power vacuum he created," ends up well for him. And I don't think it was intended to end up well for him. I think we'd have been seeing stories focused on how power corrupts - or at least tempts one into corruption - before Luke pulled his head out of his posterior and became a better man again. Pretty good, meaty stuff for a season of a superhero show. Unfortunately, unless Marvel relaunches from this point on whatever Disney online engine they start up, we'll never know.
  • 04:35 PM - TwoSix quoted Umbran in post Worlds of Design: What Makes an RPG a Tabletop Hobby RPG?
    I have played in Magic: the Gathering closed deck tournaments in which the winner of a match got cards from the loser, improving the deck. The deck becomes my avatar, we have improvement. The "cooperation" point is a bit sketchy anyway, as a lot of RPGs have PvP elements. The GMed adventure... is a gladiatorial combat tournament between captive mages, with the referees as the GMs! Voilŗ! MtG is now a Role Playing Game! That's interesting, actually. Obviously, MtG isn't an RPG. But if you put some kind of narrative framework in place where the players are all powerful planewalking mages, and the resolution mechanic would be actual games of Magic, could you generate something that looked like an RPG? I think it's difficult but not impossible to do so, and it speaks to an idea I'd float that "fiction with game elements on top" is more RPG-like, and "game with fiction elements on top" is more board game like. I mean, I wouldn't say that either Talisman, Monopoly, or Uno is an RPG, but...

Monday, 29th October, 2018

  • 01:53 PM - pemerton quoted Umbran in post Worlds of Design: What Makes an RPG a Tabletop Hobby RPG?
    I've said this before but what makes a game an RPG is pretty clearly a "family resemblance." This kind of searching for a clear logical boundary in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions/defining features is, therefore, bound to fail. It serves very little useful purpose. There are simply going to be a lot of counter-examples or features that don't quite work out "What is an RPG?" is a meaningless question. An RPG is whenever a group of two or more people get together to play "Let's Pretend" using some form of codified rule system for handling disagreements about what happens next. I think that the "avatar"/preteneding to be someone else aspect is pretty central to most RPGs. Likewise some sort of resolution system, though many RPGs have only ad hoc or highly-GM mediated rules for resolving conflicts. The resolution system focused around actions declared by the players for their "avatars" helps distinguish a RPG from a non-RPG cooperative storytellling game. Another element that I ...
  • 03:02 AM - Hussar quoted Umbran in post Worlds of Design: What Makes an RPG a Tabletop Hobby RPG?
    Yes, but the article doesn't seem to get that. Genre definition is generally inclusive - if you have enough of the tropes or characteristics, you belong, whether or not you also have other characteristics, or some common ones are missing. And a given example might easily be part of multiple genres, and that's fine. Many folks are not terribly comfortable with genre definitions, because they aren't clear cut, black and white things. They are fuzzy around the edges, and there's usually a lot of edge. Inclusive definitions often don't allow one to definitively *prove* correctness of a proposition. The article, however, seems to be aiming at a more exclusive approach - if you have these specific things, you are an RPG, if you don't have them, you're not. And, it seem slike a lot of folks disagree both with the exclusivity, and with the choice of characteristics. Yes, I'd pretty much agree with all of that. Like you said, genre is this very fuzzy mess. While you can usually point t...


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