View Profile: Umbran - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Today, 12:07 AM
    acpitz 1 Please review The Forum Rules. Please pay specific attention to the section on inclusivity. EN World is an open and inclusive community - we support all gamers, regardless of their race, religion, sexuality or gender. If you aren't open to that, EN World is not the place for you. Continued posting against the LGBTQ community will not be tolerated. Period. If you feel a need...
    104 replies | 2329 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:32 PM
    There are four. Saltmarsh Acquisitions Inc Eberron Avernus
    24 replies | 763 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:38 PM
    I was watching early GoT and a lot of the Winterfell stuff really reminded me of Robin of Sherwood.
    44 replies | 1317 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:58 PM
    Am I right in saying that you have to buy something on Amazon to rate it? And the street date was yesterday? I’m betting these people haven’t even read it yet!
    35 replies | 1321 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:58 PM
    Nope. Perhaps in other places on the internet, that'd be a reasonable assumption, but not so much here. That's not how our moderation staff, or I, or the board software works. We rarely edit posts - generally only to add a note or to cut out a bit that is in flagrant violation of The Rules. If something you've written gets official moderation attention, you will generally leave a post in...
    31 replies | 408 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:08 AM
    I always love the idea of 3D terrain, but transporting it and setting it up always puts me off the idea. It looks lovely, and I’m sure it really adds to the game, but the logistics of it!
    7 replies | 160 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:03 AM
    Huh. Now that IS odd. What on Earth could cause that all of a sudden? The software hasn’t changed recently. I’m away until tomorrow night, but we might have to disable the post report button if it’s suddenly doing that. The software technically shouldn’t even *allow* a blank post, or one with less than (I think 3?) characters.
    31 replies | 408 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:01 AM
    What is this about, acpitz 1? You appear to be a new member who has decided to start insulting us. Something up?
    31 replies | 408 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:49 AM
    That's not how I would interpret 5-stars.
    35 replies | 1321 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:39 AM
    Definitely no Arya sequel: https://www.comicbookmovie.com/tv/hbo/game_of_thrones/game-of-thrones-wont-be-getting-a-sequel-series-maisie-williams-comments-on-aryas-fate-spoilers-a168497
    23 replies | 392 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:38 AM
    Presumably west of Westeros is Americos? Westeros is - kinda - Great Britain (GRRM has even said the Wall is Hadrian's Wall, and he came up with it while visiting there). Essos is kinda continental Europe and Asia. Sothoryos we don't know much about, but I'd guess it has things in common with the African continent. So that leaves the ocean to the West, over which are GRRM's version of the...
    23 replies | 392 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:32 AM
    Well, presumably 1 star and 5 stars are equal extremes, unless you don't agree with them. It's a binary world these days - things are either the best thing ever or the worst thing ever.
    35 replies | 1321 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:40 AM
    So, in a meta sense, he married his best friends ex-wife. What's just weird.
    437 replies | 17750 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:56 PM
    Hmm. Question: why does Renly think he has a claim? Stannis does (in fact he’s the rightful heir), and Joffrey does via deception, but where does Renley’a claim come from? (I say all this knowing that it doesn’t matter because at the end is a dragon).
    14 replies | 356 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 10:45 PM
    I’m not sure how both you and capnZapp are continuing to reply to me, but I have had you both blocked for a while. I would like to clarify that circumventing the privacy features on this forum, whether it’s me or anybody else, will get you permanently banned. We take the privacy controls seriously.
    14 replies | 356 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 09:19 PM
    The PCs aren't special. Okay, fine. Having an 18 strength, even for a man, seems pretty special... If heroism comes from *actions*, that doesn't really inform what stats should be allowed in game. Maybe there's loads of people out there with good stats, but they don't take action that uses them in heroic manners...
    104 replies | 2329 view(s)
    0 XP
  • darjr's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:28 PM
    _NewbieDM_ thanks for this! Just subscribed to the feed!
    31 replies | 1700 view(s)
    0 XP
  • darjr's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 06:37 PM
    I’d vote for no more rules. Yea.
    31 replies | 1700 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 06:07 PM
    Just finished s1. At the end of the first season Dany burns her captured midwife slave alive for failing her. “You will . But I don’t want your screams. I only want your life.” She was full of vengeance from the start.
    14 replies | 356 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 05:46 PM
    More specifically, when you are talking about a large fanbase, they aren't one, "the fanbase". They are a loose aggregation of different subgroups, who get different things out of the works. Each one will allow for different subversions of expectations, and often there isn't much overlap - a subversion that works for one subgroup becomes the hill another will die on. It becomes a game of,...
    8 replies | 215 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 05:37 PM
    Folks, You are making it personal. Please stop. Thanks.
    165 replies | 4813 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 05:06 PM
    I’ll move this to the promotions forum for you. Good luck with the Kickstarter!
    7 replies | 160 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:50 PM
    Here's a closer look at the upcoming D&D Essentials Kit. D&D Essentials Kit (September 3rd; June 24th in the US) Boxed Set Everything you need to create characters and play the new adventures in this introduction to the world’s greatest roleplaying game. Dungeons & Dragons is a cooperative storytelling game that harnesses your imagination and invites you to explore a fantastic world...
    67 replies | 4748 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:33 PM
    Oh, he was there, then?
    31 replies | 1700 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 12:58 AM
    No zombies, please! Don’t mind a deep history series, but the zombies were always the part of GoT I was least interested in. Walking Dead is tedious enough! Arya in her own on a brand new continent could be fun, though that’s a totally new show basically, with just the one character to link it to the rest.
    23 replies | 392 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 10:14 PM
    Humans help define and reinforce their moral and ethical positions via their stories. The idea that stories are not reality, and therefore should have no influence on the real world, ignores much of the purpose of human storytelling - and flies in the face of how good stories have significant emotional impact on people. "Grown-ups," are the people on the planet who do the most senseless...
    104 replies | 2329 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 09:18 PM
    Television does not always give you the luxury of knowing how you are going to be allowed to end your story. My understanding is that the decision to have the 7th and 8th season be brief was a business decision made after that (and other issues we could point to) were already in motion. When they cut your episode count, you have to cut material. Such is the nature of television at the moment....
    89 replies | 2130 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 05:42 PM
    Morrus replied to What the Hell?
    Is it set in the 70s or in the future?
    26 replies | 913 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 03:13 PM
    You seem to forget one of GRRM's stated purposes in writing the series - to teach genre fans lessons about how things don't work out the way they want them, to specifically defy your narrative expectations.
    89 replies | 2130 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 03:10 PM
    It wasn't original. They were writing to GRRM's outline. Each episode costs something like $10 million to produce. To get it remade, you don't need a petition with 1 million signatures. You need $100 million.
    89 replies | 2130 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 11:57 AM
    So did Bran basically plan all this from the start?
    89 replies | 2130 view(s)
    1 XP
  • darjr's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 03:32 AM
    Mistweeeeeeellllllll!!!!! :)
    70 replies | 4288 view(s)
    0 XP
  • darjr's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 03:31 AM
    Spoiler swag! Not spelljammer Warforged. Ebberon
    70 replies | 4288 view(s)
    1 XP
  • darjr's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 03:29 AM
    On stream now
    70 replies | 4288 view(s)
    1 XP
  • darjr's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 03:23 AM
    Concert stream is still going. And I have a few new favorite bands! The concert has been cool.
    70 replies | 4288 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 11:23 PM
    Buying a book from them doesn’t make them your slave forevermore. They’re allowed to make new things. This is not a betrayal. :)
    37 replies | 691 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 09:09 PM
    They’re moving to a new edition. I thought that was clear. :)
    37 replies | 691 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 05:42 PM
    Sunday's surprise? G.R.R.M. is a lost Targaryen, and takes the Iron Throne.
    70 replies | 4288 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 02:24 PM
    Oh, they won't say it feels threatening here. This is a put your money where your mouth is, rhetorical question of self-exploration thing. To see whether folks are actually threatened, you have to *do* it, not just talk about it. And you have to lay all the implicit social baggage that comes with the stereotypes into the game as well. And yes, not everybody will feel uncomfortable. ...
    104 replies | 2329 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 12:59 PM
    Welcome to this free 12-page preview of A Touch More Class, the upcoming sequel to EN Publishing's bestselling A Touch of Class. This preview contains 12 pages of the full 101-page book and includes the Savant, which is just one of the nine new character classes included in the full book. This book will be launching on Kickstarter very soon! Download the 12-page preview from DTRPG...
    1 replies | 617 view(s)
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 04:02 AM
    It's just a game. It's just a movie. It's just a book. It's just a joke. It doesn't matter if I meant it as a *joke* right? It is "just" a thing, until that thing harms someone. Until that thing imposes limits for no good reason. Until that thing gets repeated enough that we let the sense of the fiction bleed into reality. Our stories don't take place in a vacuum. They take place...
    104 replies | 2329 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 01:21 AM
    Taking 5E out of the equation, what’s your favourite D&D edition — and why? I spent the longest time with 2E, but the launch which excited me most was 3E. I think I’d vote 2E, but it’s close. For poll purposes, OD&D includes everything and overlapping before 1E, including BECMI, etc. Even Chainmail, if that’s anybody’s vote.
    165 replies | 4813 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 01:16 AM
    I *never* give release dates. But these errata have been collated and are in layout.
    28 replies | 1390 view(s)
    0 XP
  • darjr's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 11:38 PM
    Baldurs Gate: Discotecha in Hell. Or Planescape.
    70 replies | 4288 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 09:58 PM
    Morrus replied to Firearms
    I dunno. I saw a “large knife wound” on Game of Thrones. It made Ned Stark’s head fall off.
    157 replies | 4418 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 09:56 PM
    All we know is what’s on that crowdfunding page. We’re just reading the same page you are. :)
    37 replies | 691 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 09:36 PM
    At this point, it sounds like you know it better than me. :)
    37 replies | 691 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 09:24 PM
    The page itself clarifies it better than I could. But amongst several other things it includes both a PF2 edition of Kingmaker and a 5E Bestiary.
    37 replies | 691 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 08:55 PM
    Place your bets! What will it be?
    70 replies | 4288 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 08:21 PM
    Morrus started a thread Game of Thrones s1e1
    ‪Watched the first ever ep of Game of Thrones again today, first time in 8(?) years. So... (a) everybody looks so young (b) the lower budget shows (c) it feels like a 1980s BBC show and (d) you’re gonna die, & you’re gonna die, & you’re gonna die, & you there are also gonna die. ‬ Lots of dead men walking. The pacing is much much slower than I’m used to from that show (and I’m not just...
    14 replies | 356 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 02:09 PM
    Quickstarters are a big thing these days, and typically it doesn’t greatly affect the funding total. The sense of urgency adds incentive. In fact, the opposite is often true — long Kickstarters can do worse; 40 day Kickstarters do worse than 30 day ones, for example.
    37 replies | 691 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 01:16 PM
    I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt. Keaton and Ledger were both highly derided choices until they proved to be excellent. Actors act!
    25 replies | 564 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 11:37 AM
    Paizo's Kingmaker 10th Anniversary crowdfunding campaign, which is taking place on Game On Tabletop, has been extended until June 4th. They sent out the following email this morning! "When we first launched the Kingmaker 10th Anniversary campaign on Game On Tabletop, we heard from Pathfinder players worldwide wondering why the campaign was only two weeks. For some, the campaign timing...
    37 replies | 4621 view(s)
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 05:05 AM
    All with images that showed how very, very similar to the original the Axanar use was. I mean, really, anyone looking at it can see that they're intended to be the same. More than "similar". There are no "generic" ships on the list that I can see. There are very specifically Federation, Klingon, and Vulcan ships, following visual designs set in canon Trek sources.
    22 replies | 487 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 04:49 AM
    One person's annoying is another person's, "Well, its about time."
    17 replies | 641 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 10:28 PM
    eBay for me again then, I guess.
    283 replies | 12230 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 09:34 PM
    Michael Keaton is special, though. The dude can make the *Vulture* into a credible villain on the big screen, for crying out loud. That speaks to me of some sorcery that is not easily duplicated without blood oaths to powers mankind is not meant to know....
    25 replies | 564 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 09:32 PM
    Nope. I didn't see much point. I liked Dark Knight, but honestly, Batman isn't the character that makes that movie interesting. And Bane has never really struck me as compelling. Neither the titular character nor the villain were draws, so I didn't bother.
    25 replies | 564 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 09:19 PM
    The character is from several editions back. Wow. Your clerics must not use their Wisdom much. When you cheese off the party tank and cleric, they don't need to fight you. They need to just stand aside at the right time.
    51 replies | 1323 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 08:58 PM
    Have you looked at that list? It isn't like, "You have things that vaguely resemble Vulcans." It is, "You have things specifically called Vulcans, that look and act the same, have the same culture, and *have the same personal names* as character in copyrighted materials." Axanar was not people making something broadly inspired by Trek, or an homage. They were making Trek fanfic in movie...
    22 replies | 487 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 08:50 PM
    Is that your favourite phrase?
    218 replies | 16768 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 08:45 PM
    I think that I haven't seen the Dark Knight Rises, Bats v. Supes, or Justice League, and this casting is not likely to change that pattern.
    25 replies | 564 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 08:20 PM
    I think most of us here are so removed from being "new players" that we have forgotten what makes it easy or difficult. Anecdote, not data, but I taught a couple of 13/14 year-olds to play 5e, and they found it plenty accessible. One of them quickly went off to put together a game with her peers, who also had zero difficulty picking it up. We could have a long argument about what's more...
    46 replies | 1724 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 08:07 PM
    Red Sonja thinks this is a bad idea, which probably isn't as consistent with Howard's writing as you present here.
    104 replies | 2329 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 07:10 PM
    Yup. I guess they were under an embargo.
    283 replies | 12230 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 06:54 PM
    I've read some nice analysis of writing that puts it like this: It isn't that they are being "extemporaneous" - they are still following the outline G.R.R.M. gave them. It is that with a fixed number of episodes left, they had to allow the plot to drive events, rather than characterization. The show's problem is that now characters must get from A to B for the big finishes, whether doing so...
    46 replies | 1724 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 06:45 PM
    If you didn't see lawsuits flying about DS9 vs B5, you wouldn't see them here. The shared ideas are very general, and copyright only applies to specific expressions. Everyone can see the homage, but not so much any direct copying. Also, given the involvement of Brannon Braga, I am pretty sure The Orville folks know exactly where the line is.
    22 replies | 487 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 04:18 PM
    Go ahead. Argue with the orc with the 18 Str, heavy armor, a battleaxe, *and* your party's healing magic, about his musical tastes. I'm sure you'll enjoy the fruits of that discussion.
    51 replies | 1323 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 04:10 PM
    If you are on a mobile device (smartphone or tablet), that may be a function of your device's browser.
    5 replies | 179 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 03:46 PM
    It doesn’t say one way or the other about how these things will be released.
    18 replies | 423 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 03:17 PM
    Major Cubicle 7 announcements seem to be coming in hourly at the moment. If it's not Age of Sigmar, or Warhammer 40K Wrath and Glory, it's.... a 2nd edition of their 2011 Tolkien role-playing game, The One Ring! And this one has "Lord of the Rings" in the title! The new game will be called The One Ring – The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game, and is set 25 years after the defeat of...
    18 replies | 7300 view(s)
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 02:56 PM
    Yep. I'm just talking about the Fabricate spell, and what it could accomplish. Making perfect crystals from dust does not seem to be its purview. Yes. Spell components, in general, speak to gold piece value, rather than weight or size. Effectively, the spell component needs *value attributed by people* to be used, which is interesting and appropriate for magic.
    129 replies | 5113 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:00 PM
    I’m struggling with all the Arrowverse superhero shows right now. Flash has lost its sense of fun, Arrow is boring, Legends is just slapstick. Supergirl is currently the best of them.
    22 replies | 487 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:26 AM
    The Amazon sales rankings suggest otherwise.
    30 replies | 866 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:11 AM
    Not as written they don’t, no. Hi-Ex rounds and electricity damage are the best ways to fight robots.
    2 replies | 147 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 10:09 AM
    A Brazilian commercial for a new Renault car has used some iconic imagery from the 1980s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon series, depicting the characters of Hank the Ranger, Eric the Cavalier, Diana the Acrobat, Presto the Magician, Shiela the Thief, and Bobby the Barbarian with real actors. Scroll down for the actual commercial.
    37 replies | 4955 view(s)
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 02:20 AM
    Note: "the quality of objects made by the spell is commensurate with the quality of the raw materials." Is sawdust high quality wood? No. That says to me that if you use sawdust, you're goign to end up... with the equivalent of modern compressed fiberboard, like used in lots of IKEA furniture. Do that with ruby dust.. you get this cloudy ball of compressed bits, not a single flawless...
    129 replies | 5113 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 08:33 PM
    Dude. Give some slack for it being an *idea*, not a polished work for publication, hm? There needed to be? Doesn't common sense apply at this stage? I mean, in your game, do the players say, "Okay, before we begin, I spend a month hunting down (checks calculations) 432 rats, which pose no physical threat to me. I slay them, and go up a level,"? If not, suggesting that would be...
    20 replies | 571 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 07:57 PM
    Did a bit of quick reading from work... The whole idea of "you could fall in and nothing happens" as you approach a supermassive black hole, is not what it appears. It is really talking about your approach (like, you don't get sphagettified). And there's no discontinuity at the event horizon... However, after that, things get messy. Fast. It turns out that any choice of coordinate...
    437 replies | 17750 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 06:29 PM
    I think so. Freyar might correct me. But, light follows geodesics. From the event horizon inwards, there are no geodesics that ever carry you *farther away* from the singularity, iirc. They all spiral inwards to varying degrees. Each time you take a step towards the singularity, there is no going back out. There may be some exceptions, especially for black holes with high rates of spin. ...
    437 replies | 17750 view(s)
    0 XP
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Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 06:10 PM - acpitz 1 mentioned Umbran in post Completely Blank Posts?
    What is this about, acpitz 1? You appear to be a new member who has decided to start insulting us. Something up? As I said in reply to Umbran I stand corrected. But in these times of shadow banning is a norm it's just very suspicious that posts disappear like that.
  • 10:10 AM - Dannyalcatraz mentioned Umbran in post Completely Blank Posts?
    Morrus Umbran darjr I think I may have discovered the trigger for the posts disappearing: every one I know of that got blacked out was reported.
  • 07:44 AM - Dannyalcatraz mentioned Umbran in post Completely Blank Posts?
    Morrus Umbran darjr As I noted above, I’ve personally encountered two blacked out posts by spammers (whom I subsequently banned). The text wasn’t merely color matched to the back, because the reported text didn’t show even when I quoted it to check. What had been there was simply gone. Something odd is going on.
  • 06:54 AM - Dannyalcatraz mentioned Umbran in post Hidden

Thursday, 16th May, 2019


Saturday, 11th May, 2019

  • 01:55 AM - Hussar mentioned Umbran in post Avengers: Endgame SPOILER THREAD
    But Darth Vader didn’t become a Sith because he was sterile.* I mean, really- imagine if the window into the Vader’s darkness revealed he became what he was and corrupted himself because he was infertile. But somehow, this is OK with Black Widow? * “Duh!”, as his kids might say. Becoming a cold hearted killing machine wasn't because she was sterile. She was forcibly sterilized as part of her transformation into a cold hearted killing machine. Why would anyone even think that her "dark side" moment is because of her forced sterilization? The forced sterilization was a symbol of the horrific things they did to her to turn her into a monster, not the reason she became a monster. And then, when she destroys a family, she begins to try to redeem herself by switching sides - the whole "red ledger" thing. At the end, she balances the ledger by saving a family through her own self sacrifice. As I said, I'm really not seeing the issue here. Umbran, if the only thing you took out of my entire argument was that line, then, sure, there isn't much to talk about here. Talk about cherry picking an argument. Gamora? Maybe, you might be able to make the argument, because the death of Gamora drives Quill. But, even then, that's stretching pretty hard. Not every female character that dies is a fridging. Sometimes, it's actually ok to kill off female characters. Heck, why isn't the death of Vision being touted as fridging? Seems to be the driving force behind Scarlet Witch after all.

Thursday, 9th May, 2019

  • 03:55 PM - SkidAce mentioned Umbran in post GMs are an endangered species!
    Umbran , you are bringing sensibility to the parody of the sky is falling thread. Methinks thou dost protest too much....;)
  • 02:37 AM - DMMike mentioned Umbran in post GMs are an endangered species!
    You too can help the endangered species. Just for pennies a day your can help restore the species. Send $99.99 to Jasper add redacted redacted. That is just 27 cents a day. Oh who are we kidding just send DMMike 1 issue of prophylactics, 3 lipsticks, 3 pair of nylon stockings, Mickey can pay his own way to vegas. You forgot heels. I could work some wonders with heels. Umbran: ask, and ye shall receive: good DMs are non-existent. Spencer Crittenden: not seen since 2017. Wil Wheaton: no Titansgrave since 2015. Looks like everyone's in a bad mood today. I could have called the thread RPG Trends That Undermine the Traditional GM Role, but isn't that a little boring? Seriously, (I know, hardly the thread for it, /and/ out of character for me) GM - and, especially, DM - scarcity is self-correcting. The harder the game is to GM, the scarcer GMs become, the greater the 'reward' for DMing. The easier a game is to run, the more players can hop into the GM role when there aren't enough to go around. The system will tend towards equilibrium, even if the dynamic seems to favor one or the other. This actually is the thread for it. Although I'm not sure I buy it; if a game is hard to GM, doesn't that mean that people just choose a different game to play?

Wednesday, 1st May, 2019

  • 12:29 PM - pemerton mentioned Umbran in post Stakes and consequences in action resolution
    ... failing is bad" is not what I have taken that to mean. <snip> Or reading the next few posts, is knowing the consequences for an action are simply bad, and that failure will have an effect on the game, all you were going for? Because if that is the case, then I see no reason to tell the players this before every single roll, which was what I was arguing against in the original thread.I've honed in on these bits of your post because I think they might be the best place to start. I personally think the issue of telling - if that means explicitly stating as a precursor to the roll - is a bit of a red herring, because in RPG play, especially among participants who are used to playing together, there are many ways to convey information and establish expectations other than explicit telling. But I think reducing what is conveyed to [/I]consequences for an action are simply bad[/i] is not correct. And that's really what I see as the focus of the discussion. It's not irrelevant - Umbran canvassed, upthread, that a consequence of spilling might be good (eg if it stops the BBEG getting the fluid) and that's a possibility that is excluded in the context of my play example - but it's too simplistic. What's the nature of the badness? Who is implicated? What sorts of things might be required to effectively respond to it? I've played games in which the answers to those questions are known only to the GM, and the players can't act on them except by way of either (i) guesswork, or (ii) declaring actions that will get the GM to release the answers, or bits of them (which is the analysis/study I referred to in my OP). Whereas in my example, the player knows the parameters of the answers to those questions without having to guess and without having to engage in further action declarations. The player knows that the badness will pertain to something that the player has put forward as significant in the game (in virtue of his PC build) - the master/servant relationship, the prop...

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 04:29 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned Umbran in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Yes, my character has no training whatsoever in persuasion and a below average Cha, but, because me the player can do good talky talky, I don't need to spend any resources there because I know that most of the time anyway, I can convince my DM that I don't need to make a check. Play the character you brought to the table or bring a different character. Umbran, did you include this one in the spreadsheet?
  • 12:33 AM - pemerton mentioned Umbran in post Good, Evil, Nature, and Druids
    Umbran, I'm not talking about colloquial anthropomorphisation - "negative charges want to be near positive charges" and thst sort of thing. What I'm saying is that there are, in fact, in the real world of religion and philosophy (some forms of Buddhism and Hinduism, some forms of Hellenic philosophy, a certain reading of Aristotle, etc), people who think that (i) there are natural laws which will preclude evil people from experiencing certain forms of wellbeing and/or capacity, and (ii) that this has nothing to do with decisions by a sentient being to punish or otherwise withhold benefits. Positing a similar thing in the gameworld is therefore, in my view, quite coherent. And doesn't require supposing that the nature in question is sentient, or is "taking steps", to punish the evil.

Monday, 29th April, 2019


Thursday, 18th April, 2019

  • 05:32 PM - doctorbadwolf mentioned Umbran in post How much do you care about "balanced" dice?
    @doctorbadwolf Well, yes, with age reading dice from afar can be a challenge. But I think I've found the answer: That works too! But yeah, I actually see fine. I’m the only one of my friends who doesn’t need glasses at all, so far. We just all roll in our little space on the table, and call out the result. We kinda suspected one of our friends of using (accidentally) loaded dice, because she rolled so high so consistently we let her roll everyone’s stats for one shots, and we had to change gambling and hacking rules to require more successful rolls bc of her die results and their consistency, but it help true even when she rolls other people’s dice. And before you try it, @Umbran we already tested it with 200 rolls. She legitimately rolls higher, on average. Sometimes things are just weird.:cool:

Monday, 15th April, 2019

  • 11:30 PM - Mercurius mentioned Umbran in post Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi argument
    I'm not "standing against that stated hope," Umbran. In truth, I agree with you and am not at all opposed to your hope - although would extend this to hoping that the film creators don't pander to any demographic if it in any way compromises creativity and verisimilitude - whether it is pandering to misogynists and racists on one hand, or people who think that every real world demographic has to be represented on screen on the other, even if it doesn't fit in with the world-building. I simply took issue with the implication that not liking something equates with being misogynist (or whatever). You've mostly cleared that up. I remain unclear whether we're talking about a large number of misogynists or mainly a vocal (and hacking) minority - and I'm not sure if that can be adequately proven. I take for granted (unfortunately) that such folks exist, but I do question whether they are as prevalent as the counter reaction would imply. I have watched several Youtube videos that bash TLJ, but none of them veered into blatant or even implied...

Friday, 5th April, 2019

  • 03:56 PM - Nagol mentioned Umbran in post How to deal with death in RPG?
    ...example, again to the extent that it is meant to be a negative example, the issue would seem to be that the one player was able to make a choice that resolved the stakes for the other players. I think that can be a big issue, especially in systems that assume group play and so group win/loss. Neither were about pacing. The Ars Magica campaign had about a 5 minute conversation with the lady before one player got antsy and worried the person on point was being too circuitous as opposed to the other players who thought she was being careful and delicate, as urged. The CHAMPIONS campaign the players were aware of the danger to several PC loved ones. The group had decided a direct frontal assault was too risky and spent maybe three minutes working out a plan when on player decided that's not an approach his character would take and he unilaterally did the whole out in the open call out. Both were about one player trampling on the agreed approach for the group. In effect, as Umbran put it: "There are times when players are trying an approach, and are frustrated, or it rubs them the wrong way. They say "screw this," and do something else."

Saturday, 30th March, 2019

  • 04:27 PM - DMMike mentioned Umbran in post Why the hate for complexity?
    What I'm trying to get at is that the shortness of the rules isn't always a good judge of their complexity and that fiat is actually a very high complexity feature of a rules set. Fair, but GrahamWills used a good starting point, because the coin-flip RPG is literally the simplest RPG possible, given my stipulation that GM "resolution" is removed and replaced with GM permission-or-denial. Umbran explained properly that GM fiat will be a feature of any(?) role-playing game, so my question is: can having more rules actually simplify a game, by virtue of limiting Rule Zero? For something we can wrap our hands around (and strangle): I opened up my copy of the D&D Rules Compendium. There are over 50 types of actions listed, divided into 5 (or so) categories. Which, upon reflection, makes me think that D&D 3.5 is actually a rules-heavy game, since that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Wednesday, 20th March, 2019


Friday, 15th March, 2019

  • 10:36 AM - pemerton mentioned Umbran in post Stop and See the Sights - Campaign Advice
    I'm wondering if I should save my campaign by 1) killing the kidBased on what you've posted, I would very strongly advise against this. The players' main goal seems to be to save the kid. GM-fiatting that they fail would look like "rocks fall" to me - ie killing, not saving, the campaign. Numerous plot threads are left dangling. Work is going unused. <snip> I introduce factions that offer to help the group if the party agrees to do a simple mission for them. Their response is "we don't have time-we have to find the boy!"From my perspective, this looks like your problem. The players want to save the boy, but you are trying to get them to ignore that element and go on fetch quests instead. I'd suggest presenting situations that actually involve their attempt to rescue the boy. Whether you do that in the pre-planned way that Umbran suggests (I seem to recall that Umbran GMs a lot of GUMSHOE) or the improv way that I personally would approach it seems secondary. The primary thing is to actually engage your players with the thing they care about. You may be able to do that using one/both of your cities, or not - but again that seems secondary from the point of view of saving your campaign.

Wednesday, 13th March, 2019

  • 04:35 PM - DMMike mentioned Umbran in post Who Wants A Labyrinth RPG?
    "Smell bad!" Umbran - I hear you on the Gloomhaven. As long as the price point is significantly lower though, I'd love to try a few games of this.


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Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 08:44 PM - tomBitonti quoted Umbran in post The Orville Season Two - Thoughts?
    Did a bit of quick reading from work... The whole idea of "you could fall in and nothing happens" as you approach a supermassive black hole, is not what it appears. It is really talking about your approach (like, you don't get sphagettified). And there's no discontinuity at the event horizon... However, after that, things get messy. Fast. It turns out that any choice of coordinate system runs into trouble, and you have to start talking about coordinate-invariant qualities. But then it becomes near impossible to speak about what happens to say, a human's body. You have funny things happen depending on whether you enter traveling in the direction of the hole's spin, or against the spin. Ugly. This seems to be on point: https://web.stanford.edu/~oas/SI/SRGR/notes/SRGRLect10_2007.pdf Some main points are this, from page 3, regarding a non-rotating case: This reflects the fact that for the in falling object, it is always in a freely falling frame, an ever shrinking IRF. ...
  • 06:04 PM - acpitz 1 quoted Umbran in post Completely Blank Posts?
    Nope. Perhaps in other places on the internet, that'd be a reasonable assumption, but not so much here. That's not how our moderation staff, or I, or the board software works. We rarely edit posts - generally only to add a note or to cut out a bit that is in flagrant violation of The Rules. If something you've written gets official moderation attention, you will generally leave a post in the thread (usually in red text or orange text), or issue a warning or infraction (which you'd see in your private messages) informing you that you've gone over a line, so that you can adjust your approach. Next time, if you have an issue with a mod, you might want to try talking to us, rather than making accusations. Around here, we prefer trying to work things out, rather than butting heads. Not that we promise to always let you have your way, or agree that what you've said is allowable, but we are generally willing to at least talk things through. I stand corrected! It's just very very s...

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 10:48 PM - Zardnaar quoted Umbran in post How To Subvert Expectations (Correctly) 101
    More specifically, when you are talking about a large fanbase, they aren't one, "the fanbase". They are a loose aggregation of different subgroups, who get different things out of the works. Each one will allow for different subversions of expectations, and often there isn't much overlap - a subversion that works for one subgroup becomes the hill another will die on. It becomes a game of, "...you can't please all of the people all of the time." Marry that with how pretty much all the fan subgroups feel entitled to have the exact form they want, and it gets ugly. I'm open to most stories as long as they don't butcher existing lore and characters. Luke for example. 4E nuking the Realms was a bridge to far 3.0s wasn't to bad. I'm big on character development and world building. Special effects only to enhance the story. Not a massive fan of transformers for example. There's certain franchises I don't know that much about but I know enough that you don't mess with them (Ba...
  • 09:34 PM - Nagol quoted Umbran in post If there's one game where stat differences are justified, what game would that be?
    The PCs aren't special. Okay, fine. Having an 18 strength, even for a man, seems pretty special... If heroism comes from *actions*, that doesn't really inform what stats should be allowed in game. Maybe there's loads of people out there with good stats, but they don't take action that uses them in heroic manners... Well, yeah there's loads of people with good stats. About 1 person in 40 has an 18 in a stat. Most don't use them in heroic manner. That's why they're not protagonists.
  • 09:28 PM - Immortal Sun quoted Umbran in post Hidden
  • 09:19 PM - acpitz 1 quoted Umbran in post If there's one game where stat differences are justified, what game would that be?
  • 08:38 PM - MarkB quoted Umbran in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 6---THE END
    You seem to forget one of GRRM's stated purposes in writing the series - to teach genre fans lessons about how things don't work out the way they want them, to specifically defy your narrative expectations. And these days people have genre expectations based upon tropes established in Game of Thrones. I wonder whether he considers that a success or an irony. Did he break the wheel, or merely forge some new spokes?
  • 02:23 PM - Maxperson quoted Umbran in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 6---THE END
    Each episode costs something like $10 million to produce. To get it remade, you don't need a petition with 1 million signatures. You need $100 million. Just a nitpick, but it's $60 million. If it was 10 episodes they would have had more time to end things without so much being rushed to conclusion.

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 07:46 PM - RangerWickett quoted Umbran in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 6---THE END
    You seem to forget one of GRRM's stated purposes in writing the series - to teach genre fans lessons about how things don't work out the way they want them, to specifically defy your narrative expectations. Oh that's nonsense. There's fantasy tropes of the hero fighting a heroic duel and saving the day and winning the princess. That stuff he's pushing back on. But then there's just good storytelling. You don't devote 2 seasons to a character gaining a skill only to have her not even bring up that she has that skill. And especially in GRRM's writing, characters are supposed to act realistically, and I'm pretty sure a realistic Arya would tell people who want to kill Cersei that she has "one neat trick to kill Cersei."
  • 06:37 PM - DMMike quoted Umbran in post GMs are an endangered species!
    the 5e/classic-D&D approach to helping GM's flourish (is) to make it /hard/ to DM, making it a prestige position since fewer players can make the leap, and to incentivize it with built-in privileges (DM Empowerment ftw). . . So keeping the bar for DMs high is a good idea, in that sense of image, too. 5e is "easy as pie". Are we talking about the same game, here? Part of me likes the idea of putting the GM in a prestige position (and one way to do that is by making GMing a difficult task), but another part says that everything is disposable these days, so why not just dispose of a game if it's hard to find a (good) GM for it? Sorry - that last part was the little marketer on my shoulder telling me that everything must appeal to the masses (although that is a rule that D&D, as a brand, must follow). If GMing is (or should be) a prestigious, difficult thing to do, why is the DMG the most prominent, and for me the only, example of clearly setting GMs apart from PCs? ...taking th...
  • 06:32 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Umbran in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 6---THE END
    And that's one of the main things I appreciate about the ending and this season - we didn't get entirely what we expected. I certainly would've lost the betting pool on Bran becoming king. The ending worked for me. Bittersweet, sad, and hopeful at the same time. And really, it's probably the only ending we're going to get for the book series. And I don’t think it’s as happy-ish as it might seem at first glance. Dorne has always chafed at being part of the Seven Kingdoms – seeing the North’s example, I think they’ll secede from the Six Kingdoms. I doubt the idea of an elected monarch will last – all it’ll take is someone with the power and clout to make their heir a ruler. As for Arya, in the history books GRRM wrote, other people have decided to go sailing to the west…it never goes well. You seem to forget one of GRRM's stated purposes in writing the series - to teach genre fans lessons about how things don't work out the way they want them, to specifically defy your narrative expectation...
  • 04:04 PM - Gladius Legis quoted Umbran in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 6---THE END
    It wasn't original. They were writing to GRRM's outline. The plot points weren't original, but everything D&D wrote in the later seasons to connect the dots, so to speak, was their own material.

Sunday, 19th May, 2019

  • 10:35 PM - acpitz 1 quoted Umbran in post If there's one game where stat differences are justified, what game would that be?
    It's just a game. It's just a movie. It's just a book. It's just a joke. It doesn't matter if I meant it as a *joke* right? It is "just" a thing, until that thing harms someone. Until that thing imposes limits for no good reason. Until that thing gets repeated enough that we let the sense of the fiction bleed into reality. Our stories don't take place in a vacuum. They take place within a cultural context, a social context. Our stories say things about the story-tellers. Our games say things about the players. What do you (the reader, not acpitz specifically) want your game, your stories, to say about you? As you say, "Our games say things about the players." If players are not grown-ups and cannot make the difference between fantasy and reality, then yes, you should not explore any mentally challenging areas that might need some control of ones emotions and such. Then it's better to play teletubbies RPG or something other laalaa-land. Then again if your group is ad...
  • 06:03 PM - Celebrim quoted Umbran in post If there's one game where stat differences are justified, what game would that be?
    Oh, they won't say it feels threatening here. This is a put your money where your mouth is, rhetorical question of self-exploration thing. LeGuin's "Left Hand of Darkness"? Brin's "Glory Season"? I'm struggling to understand just what you are going here or what you think will happen. I'm hesitant to project or imagine how anyone - much less a hypothetical someone - would react to something else, and I wonder equally whether this discussion of the "sheer amount of baggage" itself smacks of denigrating stereotyping.
  • 06:13 AM - Psyzhran2357 quoted Umbran in post How do I go back to the mobile version of the website?
    Clear cookies probably? It worked, but it logged me out of everything else, so that sucks. If you are on a mobile device (smartphone or tablet), that may be a function of your device's browser. Don't see an option for that. I got to the desktop website by pressing the big button syaing "Deaktop Version", but the desktop website has no way to go back to the mobile website.
  • 05:35 AM - Celebrim quoted Umbran in post If there's one game where stat differences are justified, what game would that be?
    If anyone here wants to do such a thing at their table, well it is their table. But, if you *really* want to claim it doesn't matter, then flip it - make it so *women* have the strength, and the men are weaker. Seems like a reasonable thing to do for a science fiction novel. You could then speculate on the conditions that caused this state of being to come about, presumably paralleling the conditions that make say females the larger stronger of the sexes in eagles and spiders. I doubt anyone is going to feel threatened by that speculation.
  • 05:34 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Umbran in post If there's one game where stat differences are justified, what game would that be?
    . But, if you *really* want to claim it doesn't matter, then flip it - make it so *women* have the strength, and the men are weaker. One set in the alternate universe of Je ne suis pas un homme facile, for instance. Or, for us older fellas who may not have netflix, any of those 70s battle of the sexes spoofs, like Queen Kong or Star Maidens.

Saturday, 18th May, 2019

  • 06:10 PM - DMMike quoted Umbran in post Thinking about an advancement system
    There needed to be? Doesn't common sense apply at this stage? Nope. This is the Internet. If you can only roll when the GM tells you to, then the method of play becomes convincing the GM that you should be allowed to roll. If you can only advance when there would be a consequence for failure, then your job is to convince the GM that the consequences would be meaningful. The rules put the GM in the position of playing the bad guy, who resists your attempts at having fun. There is a good point here, although I'm about as happy with the packaging as Umbran is. Advancement by (conflict resolution) failure means there's no advancement if the GM doesn't ask for conflict rolls. In such a situation, yes, the player has an incentive to try and roll. Which is bass ackwards to me, since it drives me nuts when players roll before they role. Percentile system. Everything is a skill. You improve with failure. Every time you fail a skill check, the skill improves by 1%. Technically they can go over 100% (modifiers might bring it down). Hmmm. Definitely easy to abuse though. Find lots of easy tasks and repeat. Though I guess you’d stop failing them, so your score would remain static. Better tie intelligence into this. The skill improvement percentage depends on how well the character's grey matter works. And if skills can reach superhuman levels, you're going to need level caps too.
  • 11:13 AM - Doc_Klueless quoted Umbran in post GMs are an endangered species!
    I think most of us here are so removed from being "new players" that we have forgotten what makes it easy or difficult. Anecdote, not data, but I taught a couple of 13/14 year-olds to play 5e, and they found it plenty accessible. One of them quickly went off to put together a game with her peers, who also had zero difficulty picking it up. We could have a long argument about what's more accessible, but wherever it sits relative to 4e, 5e is "easy as pie".Absolutely. While my daughter had a grounding in RPGs via Savage Worlds, she took to D&D5e like a fish to water and almost immediately started running games for her friends. Her second best friend played in only a couple of her sessions before volunteering to run D&D5e. So, for her circle of friends, it was super easy to pick up and take off with. Might also help that I have all the books via DND Beyond and they all have access to them through a campaign I made for them using my Master subscription. As such, it's almost a $0 inves...
  • 01:59 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Umbran in post The economics of Continual flame
    Yep. I'm just talking about the Fabricate spell, and what it could accomplish. Making perfect crystals from dust does not seem to be its purview. Agreed.


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