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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Today, 01:49 AM
    Because the world needs yet another port of Bunnies and Burrows?
    19 replies | 651 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Today, 01:49 AM
    Yawn. Anybody who comes at us with Popper's Paradox is nearly 75 years too late, I'm afraid. F for originality. For clarity, we do not tolerate intolerance and won't be persuaded to do so with linguistic tricks.
    2 replies | 82 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Today, 01:39 AM
    I am too much the optimist, I am afraid. I'd hope you'd learn to leave your issues at the door. Our policies clearly state, "We do not subscribe to the argument that tolerance means that we need to tolerate intolerance or that inclusivity means that we need to include non-inclusiveness." Your argument here isn't new, and it isn't constructive. Good bye.
    2 replies | 82 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Today, 12:21 AM
    It was in last week’s column. I know, because that meant it also featured in last week’s podcast!
    8 replies | 88 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Today, 12:05 AM
    We already have two long threads on this, so I'll close this one. :) http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?659557-That-Full-D-amp-D-Renault-Commercial-Is-Here-And-It-Features-Tiamat-And-Venger! http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?659378-See-Live-Action-D-amp-D-Cartoon-Characters-In-This-Car-Commercial
    1 replies | 81 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:08 PM
    Just re-read that story to check. First, it isn't, "they realize." It is Grey Mouser pontificating that the world is a bubble, with Fafhr basically telling him he's full of it and making things up. And it isn't that the stars are cities, and the waterspouts support planets. Mouser says that they are in a bubble - mostly ocean with the continents they know adrift on the inside of it. When...
    21 replies | 438 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:05 PM
    Wait a minute. They have magic enough to build a "magical Dyson sphere"... a magical structure that engulfs an entire star, but need to study magic? This idea hangs together much better if the Sphere itself is not magical at all. Tech aliens may need to study magic. Magic aliens, not so much. Also, if you haven't, go read Larry Niven's novel Ringworld. It doesn't bother with an entire...
    21 replies | 438 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:57 PM
    I think you are incorrect on both counts. Where, for example, did you find that Nehwon is such a world?
    21 replies | 438 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:14 PM
    That would not help, no. Folks, right now we have a nasty bug which means moving threads is a problem. It’s being worked on.
    82 replies | 3522 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:18 PM
    I had not read the book, but I wasn't "taken off guard" either. I'd heard some about it before play, and had what I thought was a good briefing from the GM. I had an idea of what I was doing, and wasn't put off by the idea. But in actual play, it just didn't do it for me.
    19 replies | 651 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:04 PM
    It’s completely up to the publisher what’s printed on the cover.
    55 replies | 1362 view(s)
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  • Umbran's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:24 PM
    I am guessing not, though I cannot be sure, of course. It sounds a whole lot like the actress Gin Torres (Zoe, from Firefly). But it perhaps more likely someone who is a series regular.
    14 replies | 312 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:14 PM
    Sorry, even I only have one of those! There’s PoD versions on DTRPG though!
    4 replies | 59 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:34 AM
    But how would you have night time inside a hollow sphere?
    21 replies | 438 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:25 AM
    Which bit do you feel is the bad customer service?
    2 replies | 116 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:24 AM
    Do what, now? Game of Thrones?
    21 replies | 438 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:03 AM
    OK folks! This experiment is over! Back to normal!
    8 replies | 2270 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:53 AM
    I do enjoy this hyper focus on what’s important!
    10 replies | 478 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:17 AM
    trappedslider I've meant to say this before, but please do make at least a minimal effort to format your posts to make them legible to other people. Five words followed by a URL without even a linebreak doesn't even qualify as a sentence, and screws up on some devices. This isn't Twitter.
    14 replies | 312 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:14 AM
    No, it sounds like it's a show about a man not in Starfleet. Man, that's an odd takeaway!
    14 replies | 312 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:54 AM
    Wanna share your findings? Or are you just taunting us? ;)
    14 replies | 312 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:49 AM
    You could choose your own publishing strategy, of course. If it were me, I’d be more focused and specific. I’d go single one-shot skirmish encounters with a range of parameters. I’d look at some of FFGs Star Wars skirmish stuff.
    73 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:32 AM
    Turning it into a “dungeon delve” system is the way to go. One-session tactical modules.
    73 replies | 1964 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:47 AM
    You just described the OSR movement! Except that quite often, they do find an audience.
    73 replies | 1964 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:13 AM
    Morrus replied to [4e] OSR Clone
    Edition wars haven’t been a thing for years. Language like “h4ter” is only used by those still trying to hang on to them. Please do not use terminology like that here again. Thanks.
    34 replies | 819 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:08 AM
    Morrus replied to [4e] OSR Clone
    Not if you want to build an enduring standalone brand of your own. Depends on your long term plans, I guess.
    34 replies | 819 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:05 PM
    Short term you make more money off a D&D or PF supplement. Long term, a core rulebook is a better investment.
    6 replies | 271 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:25 PM
    Fine. Parchment uses sheepskin. Papyrus needs papyrus plants. Whatever you are using - if you expect lots of books to be burned, those books must be printed on something! Whatever they are printed on must be made in major quantities. Again - whatever you are using, you still need a lot of it to produce enough books for book burning like what is being discussed here. Whatever those...
    17 replies | 463 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 07:42 PM
    I’m not familiar with either programme. I am sure they are both excellent.
    25 replies | 875 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 06:54 PM
    If you're going to UK Games Expo in Birmingham next week, here's where you'll find the EN World & EN Publishing stand. We'll have Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD books, plus the only 30 copies of Luna-1 in existence (first come first served!) -- come by and talk to us about EN World, 2000 AD, WOIN, D&D, our podcast, or anything else!
    4 replies | 434 view(s)
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 04:35 PM
    Only if your world also has the printing press, or magical equivalent, such that books are mass-produced*. Go try to write out an entire book longhand, legibly - at a quality that someone would actually want to buy. It is very time-intensive, and requires significant skill. If that's the way books are made, they remain expensive and rare, and mass burning an unlikely occurrence. ...
    17 replies | 463 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 04:15 PM
    Dogs in the Vineyard. I found the drawn out and extremely metagame conflict resolution squashed any and all dramatic tension from play.
    19 replies | 651 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 03:44 PM
    Beware short definitions. They tend to miss meeting. There is a connotation to "status quo" beyond that - the status quo is the existing state of affairs and that has been the state for some significant time. The status quo is the current state that is relatively stable or static, and has not been changing much. You do not refer to the status quo of a highly dynamic situation in which the...
    19 replies | 419 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 02:49 PM
    Archtypically, for a game like D&D, we buy (or write) a setting book, and then we have to assemble (or purchase) an adventure which takes particular elements of the setting, and places them in a current situation the PCs have to deal with. When we say "the setting is the situation" is to say we haven't bothered writing a whole darned book of setting, and then plucked elements out of it to make...
    19 replies | 419 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 02:39 PM
    A devil's den probably has the devil's home theater, the devil's sofa and mini-fridge, and the devil's ottoman.
    9 replies | 223 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 11:08 AM
    No, I didn’t forget. I wrote exactly what I meant to write. :)
    10 replies | 478 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 05:01 AM
    There's any number of works of sci-fi that include longer-life. However, it may not be the best source of plot points. "We all live longer now," isn't much of a story-driver in and of itself. And, in terms of visual media, it doesn't generate that much that is interesting to *see* on the screen. You get more mileage out of things that imply conflicts - like "the rich live long and better...
    11 replies | 276 view(s)
    0 XP
  • darjr's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 01:43 AM
    Chills
    14 replies | 312 view(s)
    0 XP
  • darjr's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 01:35 AM
    I see IP violation all over the place! The punishment should be an entire season of this! Stat!
    62 replies | 1831 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 12:04 AM
    Matthew Mercer (DM of Critical Role) and Stephen Colbert (host of The Colbert Report) played a game of D&D for Red Nose Day (the longstanding Comic Relief telethon event). It's just the two of them, one-on-one, in a 45-minute adventure! Red Nose Day is a longstanding British institution which traditionally takes place in March, founded in 1985, and raises funds for children in...
    25 replies | 2185 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:33 PM
    I thought the trailer looked great right up until the silly plane bit at the end. Did I see two Jumbo Jets crashing in slow motion with somebody sanding on top of one of them? Urgh.
    26 replies | 479 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:31 PM
    You mean post-T1. T1 introduced the T800. T2 introduce the T1000.
    26 replies | 479 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 09:21 PM
    The goals of play can be found with the following question - why are the *players* bothering to play. The mechanics are there to help the players attain the goals of play. For some, really interesting tactical wargaming may be a goal for play. For another, it may be emotional social roleplaying, and so on. Everyone has their reasons to sit at the table. XP, in and of themselves, are...
    47 replies | 1720 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 09:11 PM
    Well, if you don't do anything towards the goals, or even take on challenging issues, you don't get XP. Burning down a house is something anyone can do, and takes no special effort - oil, toches, whoomph! Done. Why should they get a reward for that? You aren't *entitled* to XP - calling this punitive is kind of like saying that, if you don't work, your employer is being "punitive" for not...
    47 replies | 1720 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Umbran's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 08:41 PM
    Broadly - have it result in action in which the PCs are at a clear disadvantage, but no so much of a disadvantage that they automatically lose.
    47 replies | 1720 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 07:42 PM
    We think this is fixed now (thanks to darjr). Please let us know if it happens again.
    33 replies | 592 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 06:54 PM
    Gritty Starfinder-compatible horror sci-fi setting Grimmerspace, which features writing by Sean "Sam Gangee" Astin, has launched on Kickstarter. It's a setting where advanced scientific civilisations encounter magic for the first time, and it doesn't go well. If you enjoyed The Styes, an adventure in WotC's latest adventure book for D&D, Ghosts of Saltmarsh, you'll be interested to...
    10 replies | 1899 view(s)
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Friday, 24th May, 2019


Thursday, 23rd May, 2019


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.


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Sunday, 26th May, 2019

  • 12:25 AM - Eltab quoted Umbran in post Burning books question
    If you are still back in the Dark Ages, then you probably don't have enough books that mass book burnings would be something a power would feel a need to do. There simply wont' be enough copies of a particular manuscript to gather up to make a pile worth burning. As part of the equivalent of 'the Vandals sacked Rome' in the game world, set fire to the city's library. Somebody else spent hundreds of years accumulating all those texts. The educated classes will remember your name (not fondly) for generations thereafter. Of course you can only do this once, but it will powerfully make a point.

Saturday, 25th May, 2019

  • 09:07 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted Umbran in post Setting Idea: Arcane Dyson Sphere
    I think you are incorrect on both counts. Where, for example, did you find that Nehwon is such a world? In one of the stories (I think it might have been "Trapped in the Sea of Stars") Fafhrd and the Mouser go on a long sea voyage to the other side of the world, where they realise that the "stars" are the lights of cities on the other side of the sphere, and waterspouts they encounter actually support planets an other heavenly bodies.

Friday, 24th May, 2019

  • 10:00 PM - Saelorn quoted Umbran in post Systems You Left after One Bad Experience
    Dogs in the Vineyard. I found the drawn out and extremely metagame conflict resolution squashed any and all dramatic tension from play.Out of curiosity, had you read the rulebook beforehand, or were you taken mostly off-guard by the mechanics?
  • 08:46 PM - WaterRabbit quoted Umbran in post Burning books question
    Only if your world also has the printing press, or magical equivalent, such that books are mass-produced*. Go try to write out an entire book longhand, legibly - at a quality that someone would actually want to buy. It is very time-intensive, and requires significant skill. If that's the way books are made, they remain expensive and rare, and mass burning an unlikely occurrence. *Implying paper is mass produced. Which implies significant logging industries, etc... Paper is definitely not implied as there are and were alternatives. Paper does not imply logging either as it can be made from a variety of different plant sources. Also "books" aren't really implied either as there were and are alternatives. But without a way to mass inscribe the medium, books are going to be rare. However, given the prices for books in the PHB, the standard D&D assumptions would imply they are just uncommon, so it implies a process of inscribing somewhere between handwritten and full print...
  • 06:05 PM - LordEntrails quoted Umbran in post Burning books question
    Only if your world also has the printing press, or magical equivalent, such that books are mass-produced*. Go try to write out an entire book longhand, legibly - at a quality that someone would actually want to buy. It is very time-intensive, and requires significant skill. If that's the way books are made, they remain expensive and rare, and mass burning an unlikely occurrence. *Implying paper is mass produced. Which implies significant logging industries, etc... Magical equivalent is probably pretty simple to justify in a world with "Mending" spells and printing presses with Tinker Gnomes. But, that is one of those idiosyncrasies many of us envision in our Fantasy RPGs. We want the medieval Europe from our fantasies, but with magic and elves etc, but we don't want it to impact the "technology" or culture of our fantasy in other ways. But, anyway, magic or simple printing presses could produce a book in a week maybe less. Rather than the ~5 years it would take a monk to c...

Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

  • 09:27 PM - 77IM quoted Umbran in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    Well, if you don't do anything towards the goals, or even take on challenging issues, you don't get XP. Burning down a house is something anyone can do, and takes no special effort - oil, toches, whoomph! Done. Why should they get a reward for that? IF burning down the house doesn't do anything towards the goals, then there's no XP to get, and no XP to "lose." So I agree with that part. My point was that, if the house is full of dangerous enemies, then burning it down definitely DOES do something towards the goals. It does a lot. Awarding or withholding XP based on the PC's method of achieving the goals turns one of the primary decisions the players get to make into a meta-game decision. Rather than "How should we overcome this challenge?" it becomes "How does the DM want us to overcome this challenge?" IF burning down the house doesn't do anything towards the goals, then why did the players decide do it? My players are not stupid people. If that really seems like the best course ...

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.


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