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Dragon Reflections #16 – Gygax Fights Back! Sunday, 4th November, 2018 09:57 PM

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Wednesday, 1st November, 2017

  • 05:35 AM - Henry mentioned rknop in post Everybody Loves Lovecraft?
    I don't think it's so much the geography of the universe, as the vast, malevolent alien intelligences. To me, both are inextricably linked in Lovecraft's stories. Descriptions of things like Azathoth, Yog-Sothoth and Shub-niggurath make them not so much malevolent, as unfathomable, both us of them and them of us. The "speck on a speck in a speck" mentioned by rknop is very indicative of how the Old Ones and the Elder Gods are described as seeing humanity - S.T. Joshi has even stated his belief that Lovecraft's correspondence indicates a sort of "pseudo belief system" Lovecraft is knowingly inventing to personify or (for lack of better term) anthropomorphize that sense of unmeasurable infinity. To me Cosmicism (Lovecraft's selling point as it were) is defined in part by the geography of the universe.

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Monday, 5th November, 2018


Sunday, 4th November, 2018

  • 10:56 PM - M.T. Black quoted rknop in post Dragon Reflections #16 – Gygax Fights Back!
    Oh, OK. That much I knew. I was expecting some sort of lore reason why they didn't have proficiency in a sword. But, yes, I get it; the proficiency rule means that you don't need a lore reason to completely forbid trying it. Of course, this is hardly new with 5e. 3e had a similar system. Lots of other RPGs have something similar. (Probably the earliest one I'm aware of is skill defaulting in GURPS, but I'm sure there were things before that.) That's true, but I found the weapon proficiency systems in earlier versions to be a bit clunkier (I don't know about 4e as I never played it). The way 5e handles weapon proficiency feels really seamless to me, very elegant. Perhaps I'm over-thinking it!
  • 08:48 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted rknop in post Dragon Reflections #16 – Gygax Fights Back!
    What is 5e's answer to the question of why clerics and wizards can't use swords? They can, they're just not very good at it without some training of some sort, e.g., from racial proficiencies with weapons such as the elf has. This answer has been around for a while, it's not new to 5E.
  • 07:50 PM - M.T. Black quoted rknop in post Dragon Reflections #16 – Gygax Fights Back!
    What is 5e's answer to the question of why clerics and wizards can't use swords? They deal with it using the weapon proficiency system, which I think is a very elegant subsystem in the game. Vanilla wizards and clerics *can* use a sword, but they don't get to add their proficiency bonus to attack rolls, and the flat math means you are really not going to pick up a sword unless you can get proficiency through multi-classing or a feat or something. Modern offensive cantrips also mean the "sword issue" is much less of a big deal for wizards nowadays.

Thursday, 6th September, 2018

  • 02:39 PM - Warpiglet quoted rknop in post X & O For More Fun
    I will walk away from any table that insists on using some sort of system like this. This is feeding into forces in our society right now that encourages everybody to do everything they can to figure out why they should feel traumatized or victimized. Do some people legitimately feel traumatized or victimized? Yes, absolutely. Should people at an RPG table have respect? Yes, absolutely. This system, however, <i>encourages</i> you to <i>find ways</i> to decide that you're traumatized or victimized. (It suggests that the GM use the system early to "model the behavior" and normalize it.) Nobody will ever get over the things that traumatize them -- or, let's face it, just irritate them -- if we systematize ways to make it so that anybody can at all times avoid thinking or talking about something they don't want to think or talk about. And, yes, I know RPGs are for fun and escapism, not for therapy, so it's not the place to confront serious issues. This, however, is a mechanism to take ...

Sunday, 12th August, 2018

  • 11:13 PM - Koloth quoted rknop in post Conventions All Report Record Attendance
    Weird; what happened 1995-2008? I know that AD&D was on the decline in the early 90s, and those were the bad Lorraine Williams years. But 3e came out ca. 2000, and I would have expected a boom then. Somewhere in there was the .com economic downturn. Add in that D&D v2 was long in tooth and had a few years of poor of support due to TSR issues and you will probably find your answers. I think it took WOTC a few years to convince the masses that D&D was back and would be properly supported and for that to translate to convention attendance growth.

Friday, 27th July, 2018

  • 10:13 PM - R_Chance quoted rknop in post Dragon Reflections #6: A Star (Trek) is Born
    Guy has recently also been brought on board at SJ Games to be the line editor for the 30-years-later relaunch of The Fantasy Trip, the RPG that started with Melee and Wizard from Microtactix. http://www.sjgames.com/ill/archive/July_07_2018/Guy_McLimore_Steps_In_As_Fantasy_Trip_Line_Editor Excellent news! Thanks for the link.

Thursday, 19th July, 2018

  • 01:03 AM - LordEntrails quoted rknop in post Core Rules Alternative Cover Gift Set
    Which game company does not release their stuff as PDFs? I am not aware of any. Suffice to say that the vast majority of them do. WOTC is an outlier by not releasing their core books as PDF, even if they are not the one and only outlier. ... I had thought that those qualifiers were obvious. Thank you for proving my point. Your statements were unqualified and false as written. ...which is great if you've bought Fantasy Grounds and want to use it. If you don't want to be locked in to that one proprietary format, then it's no good. This is especially true for Fantasy Grounds if you aren't playing a VTT game. What format that does not lock you in to a single proprietary application is there that's better than PDF? Buying a permanent license of FG and the 5E products on FG is cheaper (by far) than buying the books alone through your FLGS. If your requirements/criteria for what you want are set so that only a PDF will suffice, then nothing else matters and you will never be happy with Wo...
  • 12:44 AM - Jester David quoted rknop in post Core Rules Alternative Cover Gift Set
    Which game company does not release their stuff as PDFs? I am not aware of any. The #3-4 RPG is Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars. There are no PDFs. Suffice to say that the vast majority of them do. WOTC is an outlier by not releasing their core books as PDF, even if they are not the one and only outlier. How many others release the Basic Rules for free? Have an SRD that allows 3rd Parties to make compatible content? How many have a DMsGuild that allows you to sell your fan content? I think it’s a managerial issue blocking PDFs. I think the D&D team would do them if they had the chance. But even if WotC did allow PDFs, I think a lot of people would just be complaining that WotC is charging $30 or whining that they should somehow be free with the purchase of a physical book.

Wednesday, 18th July, 2018

  • 11:10 PM - LordEntrails quoted rknop in post Core Rules Alternative Cover Gift Set
    What are the better formats? And, more to the point, how do you get D&D on those formats? Reading online doesn't cut it, because one can't always count on having an internet connection when one is out gaming. A priority app is no good, as it will expire eventually; a PDF is going to be usable for the foreseeable future. Let's see, a better format than PDF... something that allows drag and drop copying/linking. Something that can be shared with multiple players simultaneously. Something that weighs milligrams or less. Something that does not require a subscription. Something that doesn't require an internet connection. Something I keep locally so if the provider goes out of business or changes their terms of service I can just walk away from and keep what I purchased. Oh, you mean Fantasy Grounds modules. Nice. Glad that's the format I've bought all my 5E stuff in.
  • 10:58 PM - LordEntrails quoted rknop in post Core Rules Alternative Cover Gift Set
    I won't debate functionality with you. Because in a way you are right, if all I want to do is get to my neighbors, shoes work really well. But if I want to get 20,000 KG to my neighbors, or I want to go 20 KM shoes suck. So if all you want to do is read formatted text then PDF does that for you. Good for you. which is why every other game company releases all their stuff as PDFs. Is flat out wrong. You're attempting to strengthen your case with an absolute that is a fallacy. No point in discussing that further. ... While all of these may do some things that PDFs do not, none of them serve the purpose that a simple PDF would serve. That is, having a file in a non-proprietary format that you can read on whatever device and with whatever software you want to read it with. A simple electronic copy of the text and layout that does not require regular subscription fees to maintain. Another pair of fallacies, 1) you can not read a PDF on whatever device you want with whatever software you w...
  • 07:47 PM - Jester David quoted rknop in post Core Rules Alternative Cover Gift Set
    But not the core books -- the ones that are necessary to play. The rules that are necessary to play are the Basic Rules. Which ARE available as a PDF. And a free one.
  • 08:19 AM - delericho quoted rknop in post Core Rules Alternative Cover Gift Set
    ...and you know what format you still can't get the core books in? PDF! When is WotC going to realize that we're in the second decade of the 21st century? I'm with you. But unfortunately it's pretty clear now that WotC won't be putting any of their current-edition material out in PDF form. So it doesn't look like we'll ever be seeing PDFs of these books. (Well, until the next edition... but I don't think there will ever be another new edition either.) Though, fortunately, my record on predictions is... poor.
  • 06:48 AM - MNblockhead quoted rknop in post Core Rules Alternative Cover Gift Set
    Both Document Viewer (https://f-droid.org/en/packages/org.sufficientlysecure.viewer/) and PDF Viewer (https://pdfviewer.io) do quite a good job with game PDFs on Android. What are the better formats? And, more to the point, how do you get D&D on those formats? Reading online doesn't cut it, because one can't always count on having an internet connection when one is out gaming. A priority app is no good, as it will expire eventually; a PDF is going to be usable for the foreseeable future. mach1.9pants suggests that one could save PDF from D&D Beyond. Could I buy D&D beyond, save a PDF of (say) the Player's Handbook, and then have a PDF that would work just like all my Pathfinder PDFs? I've googled around, and have not seen an indication that D&D Beyond works this way. AFAIK DnD Beyond's offline reader is only available for iOS at this point. So for offline use, yes, you are quite limited to which devices to use (iPADs and iPhones basically). But, I have to say, that reading the ...
  • 06:04 AM - mach1.9pants quoted rknop in post Core Rules Alternative Cover Gift Set
    Is this a print of the web page, or the actual laid out PDF of the book? While the former is usable, it's not at all the same as the latter. Print the Web page, it prints in a mobile friendly format, No extraneous stuff. But no links etc, and displaying one chapter at a time. Only a little effort to make your own. Give it a try, it's free
  • 05:15 AM - mach1.9pants quoted rknop in post Core Rules Alternative Cover Gift Set
    Both Document Viewer (https://f-droid.org/en/packages/org.sufficientlysecure.viewer/) and PDF Viewer (https://pdfviewer.io) do quite a good job with game PDFs on Android. What are the better formats? And, more to the point, how do you get D&D on those formats? Reading online doesn't cut it, because one can't always count on having an internet connection when one is out gaming. A priority app is no good, as it will expire eventually; a PDF is going to be table for the foreseeable future. mach1.9pants suggests that one could save PDF from D&D Beyond. Could I buy D&D beyond, save a PDF of (say) the Player's Handbook, and then have a PDF that would work just like all my Pathfinder PDFs? I've googled around, and have not seen an indication that D&D Beyond works this way. Yup, but it is one chapter at a time ( so you'd have to merge, and link if you want those) - just 'print' the browser page> save as PDF. Sign up for DDB, free account, and trial it with the Basic Set for nothing :)
  • 04:56 AM - MNblockhead quoted rknop in post Core Rules Alternative Cover Gift Set
    ...and you know what format you still can't get the core books in? PDF! When is WotC going to realize that we're in the second decade of the 21st century? That all not having PDFs does is hurt their sales. You get people like me who have ignored 5e altogether because of the lack of legal PDFs. Then you get the people who might have purchased a legal PDF, but because it wasn't available, found it another way. There's no way that the unavailability of legal PDFs fights piracy; it just inconveniences and/or drives away their legitimate customers. WOTC! WAKE UP! I would almost certainly have purchased at least one or two of the core books in hardback by now if it were possible to get legal PDFs for them. (Better if you got a free PDF with the hardback, which most companies do nowadays.) I don't understand why anyone would want a PDF. I find larger documents to be cumbersome in PDF and I've yet to find a PDF reader that renders PDFs well on mobile devices. As others have said, there are bette...
  • 02:23 AM - mach1.9pants quoted rknop in post Core Rules Alternative Cover Gift Set
    It offers things PDFs do not, but it doesn't fill the need that PDFs fill. It's a proprietary service to which you subscribe, and that require you to be online. A PDF would be a book, in electronic format, that you can read on whatever device you want. What's more, as with the physical book, you buy it, and then you have it; no need to pay for a regular subscription on top of what you've paid to get the book in the first place. The existence of D&D Beyond does nothing to reduce the need for PDFs. It's a whole different thing. Sorry you've got DnD Beyond wrong. Once you buy the book, it is yours forever with no subscription required. Also you can download the books and use them offline in the app. Same as a PDF except you will need the DnD Beyond app to still work. I am sure one day it will not, but before then, as mentioned up thread, save the book as a PDF from DnD Beyond for future use. Then you have both

Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

  • 11:29 PM - Demetrios1453 quoted rknop in post Core Rules Alternative Cover Gift Set
    no need to pay for a regular subscription on top of what you've paid to get the book in the first place You don't need to pay a subscription to access what you've purchased on D&D Beyond. You only need to do so if you want to share your purchases with others, remove ads from the site, or add more character slots.


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