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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 04:57 PM
    I have remained consistent in my position regarding this realism debate throughout this entire thread, which is what I have been consistently arguing, and I even linked my initial post in this thread. Don't get frustrated with me just because I want to remain on topic. No, I said that I understand how/why the buzzword is used for the purposes of marketing the mechanics. I think that it is...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 04:15 PM
    Having played through a lot of the 3.X system and Pathfinder, I have a soft spot for the system framework. I may dabble in PF2, but I don't see that myself going heavily into PF2 either. Not because of 5E, but because I have other games on my shelves that tickle my fancy more. I am nevertheless hoping that PF2 does well because I loathe the hegemony that 5E is increasingly exerting on the...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 04:02 PM
    I am familiar with the use of the buzz phrase "more realistic," but I often don't find it exists as a particularly meaningful phrase. En5sider's use seems more like marketing jargon preying upon popular naivety than being indicative of actual substance, and I don't fault them for that. Edit: I would clarfiy that "more realistic" is mostly vacuous; however, the link saying that they will...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 03:35 PM
    I disagree. Everyone brings their own notions about what "more realism" means, but that does not mean that a singular understanding is equally shared. It just means that everyone has their own set of expectations. This brings us back to one of my first posts in this thread that started this mess with Max: Emphasizing here my earlier point that appeals to "realism" typically masks other play...
    2317 replies | 68644 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 02:53 PM
    Though 2E Planescape gave us playable tieflings, 4E rebranded the tieflings that have since propagated in 5E. As to why they are popular? Probably because there is a more baked-in story with tieflings. The game can't just write "these are elves, and we already assume you know what and how elves are." So offering more baked-in story in the writing for tieflings gets a lot of imaginations...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 02:45 PM
    This likely ties into how and why PF2 developed as it did. 3.X had a lot of moving parts and subsystems (e.g., skills, feats, classes/PrCs, alt. racial/class features, etc.). Pathfinder took those and then introduced more (e.g., archetypes, traits, more class features, hybrid classes, etc.). Pathfinder 2 at least seems to be an attempt for Paizo to step back and ask, "Okay, how we do take all...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 01:19 PM
    Much like the WoW Vanilla concept of the "hybrid tax,"* what you describe here died in practice across subsequent updates. Damage in WoW (or other MMOs) was relatively equalized among roles because there was less incentive utilize some classes over others in group content (e.g., dungeons, raids, etc.). However, a DPS rogue and a DPS warrior will have different mechanics for how they distribute...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 12:08 PM
    Heh. You could always tell when ratings needed a boost. “Quick T’pol, strip down and oil up!”
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 12:05 PM
    No. You can’t. Xanathar’s for example will not require every single subsequent module and supplement to assume anything. It has no impact on the game as a whole. None of the 5e supplements do. That’s because they’ve been extremely careful with game balance. But bolting on a magic item economy changes nearly every aspect of the game. To the point where a character with bespoke magic items...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 10:13 AM
    Again, I'll stack up the first two seasons of TNG, DS9, Voyager or Enterprise vs the first two seasons of Discovery any day of the week. Or, if we're comparing apples to apples, the first two seasons of Discovery vs the first season of those four shows. Same number of episodes after all. No contest as far as I'm concerned.
    332 replies | 11208 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 08:05 AM
    Meh, needless hair splitting. If there's a ladder, there's no check at all. Why would there be? Or, if they stack crates, then again, there's no check. But, again, if the player simply states, "I climb the wall, Athletics 17", I am not going to stop him and ask what he's doing. Needlessly adding all these superfluous elements to the example is just pointless. I move here, I attack that...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Today, 07:01 AM
    Good OP for discussion! If you broadly distilled TTRPGing down to its absolute minimum constituent parts, I think, as you've said, the answer has to be a firm "no." However, I think there is going to be some overlap in specific moments of play that may not be possible to divorce entirely from an investment in quality of form. For instance, a few things come to mind. 1) When I'm...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 03:04 AM
    Well, no, I don't think you do actually. You ask the players to narrate how they attack? How they make a saving throw? By and large, I don' think it's too contentious to say that most tables don't expect a "How" statement before any of those checks. Nor do we generally make "how" statements for physical skill checks - how are you jumping? how are you climbing the wall? how are you doing a...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:48 PM
    I'm not going to get terribly concerned about how you want to describe the guy who fails 50% of the time or more. That's not really the point. The point is, the untrained guy, as 5ekyu points out, fails social checks that carry any sort of real penalty at least half the time. Again, not a very persuasive person. And, since, by the rules, if the NPC is actively hostile, the untrained, low Cha...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:47 PM
    Well, that depends on the DC no? Whether Easy, Moderate, Difficult or Hard. They will fail Moderate checks 50% of the time and Moderate checks are typically run of the mill, every day sort of checks. Nothing too outlandish. Convincing your professor to give you an extension on your essay sort of checks. :D But, we're talking a fairly difficult task - a not sympathetic NPC who doesn't...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:47 AM
    I’ll take your word on game of thrones. Don’t watch it at all. But, again, comparing it to other Treks is not unreasonable. First two seasons of TNG is painful. Never minding Yar’s character being essentially a cardboard cutout. And again, I found the last two seasons of DS9 just painful. I had to force myself to watch just because I wanted to know how the story ended. Tastes are...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:37 AM
    Yeah, I don't think we're going to come to any consensus here. I feel that the performance art of DMing is far more important than you seem to.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:35 AM
    Battlestar Galactic shared virtually nothing with the old series. Yet did extremely well. Doctor Who shares very little with old Who and yet is more popular today than it ever was. The Transformers movies did fantastically well, despite ejecting nearly all lore. The notion that you have to adhere to canon to satisfy fans just isn't born out by what happens. Granted, lots of properties do...
    332 replies | 11208 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:12 AM
    But, imagine two DM's. Same scene, both are good DM's, so, let's not go down that particular road. Both are good DM's with good players. It's a healthy table. The only difference is one DM presents exactly what you just said: There is a room with covered furniture etc. No presentation skills, no, for lack of better word, acting ability. The other is a DM who is a skilled story teller,...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:06 AM
    Now, that last bit? Yeah, I won't really argue with you there. I'm not really a fan of the character either. The whole, "Well, I'm a convicted criminal, sentenced to life in jail, but, hey, all that gets forgiven even though I started a war that killed billions. " Like I said, I'm not a huge fan of Michael as a character. But, the continuity arguments I never really understood. Never...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:21 AM
    ROTFLMAO. See, this is what blows me away. This insistence to use canon as a club to beat people into submission while at the same time completely ignoring canon. Let's take Deep Space 9 as an example. You talk about how they didn't have the capability of building ships. Really? Two class 4 industrial replicators rebuilt an entire planet - Bajor - after the occupation. 12 would have...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:05 AM
    But, pemerton, you rarely have anyone else in the kitchen when preparing a meal. You aren't making any sort of presentation while cooking, because, well, typically you're by yourself. OTOH, during a game, a DM is always presenting. The DM is presenting every single element of the game that isn't being presented by the other players. Of course DMing is a performance. I'm actually a bit...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st April, 2019, 10:45 PM
    Is it important? I would say maybe. Can it be important? I would say definitely. The difference between a DM who has no presence and no story telling chops and one who does is massive. You're basically arguing that if I presented all my game from the DM's side in a flat monotone, no excitement, no emotional reaction, that my game would be just as good as if I was animated, and used some good...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st April, 2019, 10:39 PM
    You're presuming that the decision to erase Discovery and the spore drive from the records is based on any sort of in universe reason rather than pandering to the whiniest branch of fandom. Squeaky wheels and all that.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st April, 2019, 10:36 PM
    Ok, now, say that they do. Would you accept that future modules and supplements do not reference this list at all? Is that okay? So, future monster manuals (or whatever they do) will present monsters baselined on the core rules, modules will award magic items regardless of price, that sort of thing? That, using this magic item chapter will render every other supplement unusable as is to...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st April, 2019, 12:07 PM
    Derren, you’ve now spent two years doing nothing but complaining about how bad this show is. At what point does hate watching become pathological? It’s not about not criticizing the show. We’ll all do that. But when a “fan” feels the need to take a weekly constitutional on every single episode, week in and week out without a single positive thing to say, well, at that point you become what...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st April, 2019, 04:14 AM
    I’d love a Pike led Star Trek but omg can you hear the howls of hatewatchers pissing and moaning about how many twists a gold braid should have? Hope the listen to fans.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st April, 2019, 04:06 AM
    I dunno. 4e and 5e have both largely avoided it entirely. One by embracing the magic item economy and presuming that it was part of character growth. The other by divorcing the game entirely from magic items as a measure of character growth. Simply repeating non sequitors isn’t a counter argument. How do you explain the power creep of 3e modules? Particularly considering that 3e is the only...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st April, 2019, 04:00 AM
    How things have changed. A few years ago WotC was pilloried for offering a dnd Beyond sort of subscription service. Now the exact same thing is touted as the better option. Irony tastes great.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st April, 2019, 03:45 AM
    Will this be available on fantasy grounds?
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th April, 2019, 03:59 AM
    My guess is that they'll stay in the future. That way they can do new stuff, not have to worry about gaggles of complaining "fans" who want to do nothing but pick holes in things, and can actually move forward. New stuff to explore and all that. Destroying Leland did not destroy Control Derren. Control was destroyed by Star Fleet HQ at the end of the show. All they destroyed was a local...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th April, 2019, 03:49 AM
    That was one of the best space battle scenes period. Any show. THAT'S how you do space opera battles. Excellent episode, fills up pretty much all the plot holes that people complained about, and, if that line about the next series being in the 33rd century is true, then folks will have to find all sorts of totally new things to whine about. :D Total win.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th April, 2019, 12:05 AM
    No, I got the context. And, I'm going to stand pat. "I persuade the king, Persuasion 17" is a perfectly fine thing to say at my table. I have ZERO problem with it. In the context of the situation, it's going to be obvious what the player wants to accomplish - he wants the king to do something and that's going to come out in play. But, again, since I don't care about the approach and since...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 11:59 PM
    LOL. So, disagreeing is now denigrating? Perhaps you might have an easier time having a discussion without trying to characterize the other side as being completely unreasonable? Just a thought. See, to me, that's great. And, sure, I can see why that particular example works. But, that's the thing with examples, they tend to dovetail nicely into whatever point you're trying to make. ...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 11:18 PM
    Insufficient for you, perhaps. I have no such problem. Nor does it cause issues at my table.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 11:15 PM
    5ekyu answered this quite well but, I thought I'd repeat. The approach matters. The approach is defined by the player. The player can define an approach regardless of what the character he or she is playing. Thus, we are challenging the player. I am not interested in that. Perhaps a better way for me to phrase it is that everything the player does must be shaped by the character...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 09:34 AM
    I think that I would argue that the 3e playtesting was, by today's standards anyway, very, very minimal. Yes, they had a lot of eyes looking at it, but, nothing like what went through and is going through Pathfinder or 5e. There's a reason that, 5 years in, no one is seriously talking about broken stuff in 5e. No CoDzilla, no quadratic wizards, no massive power difference between classes. ...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 08:24 AM
    I'm going to disagree with you Pemerton. Having spent a lot of time reading stories to children, I can do the voice thing and tell a pretty good story as a performance. OTOH, my writing is largely garbage. I know my limitations. I really am not terribly good at it. That's what paying a decent writer is for. And, frankly, having played with more than a few DM's who have decent experience in...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 08:18 AM
    Heh. Ok, fair enough. I over reacted. But, you have to understand what this looks like from my side of the screen. "We play this way..." "Well, I play this way because that's what the rules of the game says" "Yes, we get that but, we don't like that way, so we don't play that way." "Well, that's what the rules say and I am following the rules of the game. "But, we don't...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 03:20 AM
    In case folks here think that I'm being unfair to iserith, I'd point out that in a handful of posts in the last two pages, he has pointed to the rule books no less than SIX times:
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 03:13 AM
    And my motto remains: Play the character you brought to the table, not yourself. I have zero interest in challenging the player. Nor, as a player am I interested in the DM challenging me rather than my character.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 03:12 AM
    This, so much this. And, right back to pointing to the PHB and the rules... I even SAID, straight up in the quote you quoted, that I'm not looking at the rules here. Good grief, can you not make a single response without appeals to authority? You complain about being attacked and having to defend yourself. Well, perhaps if you'd stop wrapping yourself up in the rule books EVERY SINGLE...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 03:07 AM
    No, actually, that's not quite true. You can see, over the publishing life of 3e and then 3.5, a constant upward power creep in modules. To the point where early 3e modules, like Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, are significantly less powered than later modules, like Savage Tides or other Paizo Dungeon modules. For example, a later development that you see is the addition of NPC...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 02:58 AM
    MNblockhead - That's a very good point. DM's Guild is absolutely chock a block with more material, and material from well respected content produces also, than anyone could ever possibly use. I get the idea that people want to revisit older TSR or WotC settings, sure, and that's fair, but, the notion that there isn't enough material out there really is indefensible. There's a TON of 5e...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 12:24 AM
    What are you talking about? The first twenty comments, seven of them call for Mearls to be investigated/fired. That's hardly few and far between. That's a third of the comments. Never minding the repeating of unsubstantiated claims as fact. Granted, I didn't spend an hour scrolling, I only went to about 30 or 40 tweets, but, I mean, come on. I'm not defending Mearls here, I'm not. He...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 12:17 AM
    Very different though. Nick Robinson worked for Polygon for 9 years. The company coming out and making a statement kinda makes sense in that context. Expecting the same reaction from and employee of WotC who cannot make statements for the company without passing it through a bunch of channels first about a freelancer who did some minor work for the company five years ago is a bit different. ...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 12:11 AM
    Just a thought though about how you can have kinda both setting guides and adventures - Dragon Heist is exactly that. DH is a massive setting guide for Waterdeep. Some 180 NPC's, history, and extremely detailed stuff about running an entire campaign within the walls of Waterdeep itself. It's pretty much the Paizo approach to adventure paths - half setting guide, half adventure. To me,...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 12:03 AM
    Out of this entire thread, I think this, right here, this specific approach, which isn't uncommon at all, is probably the biggest impediment to understanding, iserith's and company's style of play. To me, and, again, I'm not criticizing here, despite prior, ahem, perhaps less that tactful responses, to me, this illustrates why some of us really don't "get" iserith's approach. To me (I'm...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 11:51 PM
    Yeah, you don't do that. Not when you want job security. Piddling on the legal department at a major corporation is not conducive to long term job security. You keep your mouth shut and your head down. Because, even a statement like that, means that there is an opening for engagement. That he actually has "more to say" but, The Man isn't letting him. It's a total cop out, for one, since the...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 09:50 PM
    As far as WotC modules dripping with gold and magic, again, I'm not really convinced. I've only run Dragon Heist, but, I've played a good chunk of Princes, Ravenloft and all of the Giants module (and I mean all, we took on every single giant lair.) Hardly seemed like a lot of magic or money to be honest. We did wind up with magic items, sure, but, that's because we used the Xanathar's buying...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 09:17 AM
    Honestly, I believe that may be a good way forward. Sure, there's Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds, but, now that there are other VTT's coming on the market, you'd think that these other guys could license out as well. What was that new one? Astral? Looks gorgeous. And more VTT's on the market is better, IMO. I'm rather hoping that other platforms will start coming online too - Xbox or...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 07:14 AM
    I have to admit that I like boxed text. Heck, I really don’t mind the presumptions usually because often they are either on target - the party did the expected thing - or they are probably more interesting than what I’d come up with on the fly. Improv is not something I do well. So having that box there is usually a good thing for me. Then again, if I wanted to do rpg improv, DnD is...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 05:18 AM
    But here’s the question. Utility relative to what? Other magic items? In a vacuum that doesn’t work. You cannot ignore campaign when defining utility. Monsters may vary in difficulty depending on the group but we know that. We KNOW that cr is based on a 4-6 pc group using standard array stats and no magic items. So we can adjust from there. And really the cr system is only for dms anyway to...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 08:17 PM
    Alright, let me make sure what you're saying here. Is this something about forum etiquette? 1) LE made a statement that he felt hooked into/supported his position as it relates to boxed text. This was a statement about the focal points and values of beginner GMing or what the mainstream culture should push as the focal points and values of beginner GMing. 2) I feel like that statement...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 05:08 PM
    I was responding to the particular point that you made in your post. I thought it was an interesting point, I have different thoughts on that particular cultural/TTRPGing value than you do, so I figured I'd contribute those thoughts.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 05:05 PM
    On this bit here, it appears that you're bringing in posting history and other threads. On this point, I don't agree with your takeaway of my position (insofar as it seems like you're aggregating a wide variety of positions/issues/and opposition) when we're talking about the specific TTRPG and GMing issues of other threads. However, I definitely don't agree that your post directly above hooks...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 03:19 PM
    No, that was the fact. Pathfinder NEVER sold itself as a "fix" to 3.X. It was sold as a way for people who liked the D&D 3.X to play it with continued support.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 01:13 PM
    No, it was sold to allow gamers who liked 3.X to keep playing 3.X while D&D switched to 4E. Basically, its appeal was "keep mostly doing what you were previously doing." Even if I prefer 5E to PF1, even I can clearly recognize that this is an opinion masquerading as a fact. I only wish that you could recognize that what you see as problems or solutions are not some sort of universally held...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 11:13 AM
    Whoosh. The sound of a point being missed. Meh. My point is and always has been, why add a confusing element to a product when there is no reason to. That you can turn the book is really beside the point. And, just to add, what ranting or hyperbole? What, that the overwhelming majority of maps, and certainly nearly all RPG maps are drawn north to the top? How is that hyperbole? ...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 10:58 AM
    The point I was trying to make before, but, apparently wasn't clear, is that "utility" is a very, very nebulous concept. What is useful in one campaign can be pretty much useless in the next. And, if you baseline a specific concept of utility, you wind up shoehorning the game into that concept because the pricing will always be based on a specific premise. Unless you want to have ranges for...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 05:25 AM
    So LE's post above presupposes a premise. I think it does that because many/most gamers have lived this premise and haven't been exposed to an alternative. But I know for a fact that new dogs that don't have to unlearn old tricks can be quick on the uptake of GMing paradigms that don't involve metaplot/setting tourism and GM Force. Last weekend I sat at a game where I was a PC for the...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 04:33 AM
    And sure. If the dm wants to go ahead and create all that description, what is actually saved by losing the boxed text? Someone is making the narration. Might as well be someone with time and an editor.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 04:30 AM
    Yeah I have to agree with Maxperson here. Utility is extremely campaign dependent. I mean I just played the Storm Kings Thunder modules. At the tail end, my cleric got a mace of disruption. Frankly I didn’t care. We had met zero undead in 11 levels. Why would I attune to this? OTOH, in our Ravenloft campaign, I would have given rather a lot for that item. Now, what is the “utility”...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 11:53 PM
    So you folks read books printed on a Gutenberg press huh? The last three or four hundred years of map making apparently isn’t good enough to set the standard. Did it used to be different? Sure. No argument. But, again, I’ll be waiting for your Rpg book examples. Still. I mean if it’s so easy to find examples then show me. I’ll gladly eat crow. Heck the one link to maps so far was 100%...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 10:34 PM
    This may be true, but it shouldn't be. Internalizing the deployment of metaplot or play trajectory (if in a confined site like a dungeon) via player-subordinating-Force (either because you learned under a GM who deployed it or because you read a module/ruleset that supports, or seems to, it) as a/the means for a game to achieve forward momentum is something that is not easy to unlearn. Its...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 03:44 PM
    I'm honestly surprised that you haven't by this point. I think that there is a lot about the system and gameplay that you would like considering some of your game preferences.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 01:38 PM
    A Kickstarter just ended a few weeks ago (maybe) about a Savage Worlds setting inspired by Mario Brothers, Zelda, and other Nintendo games: Heroes of Terra: The Mushroom War for Savage Worlds. Obviously this is not 3.X, but it may provide some inspiration nevertheless.
    17 replies | 813 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 01:19 PM
    Except it didn't presume that; it only presumed compatibility with 3.X while offering a facelift. It made some adjustments - adding more layers as time went on - but it was not created to "fix" anything. It existed to maintain the 3.X framework that Paizo could use for their own publishing purposes. Combat is the most heavily emphasized pillar of the game. Our understanding of the rogue has...
    95 replies | 3101 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 09:31 AM
    Look, CapnZapp, I get what you are looking for, but, frankly, it's just not feasible in the 5e ruleset. It really isn't. 3e and 4e both took their mechanics from how earlier editions of the game were being played. If you played AD&D, you were absolutely dripping in magic items. Either from playing AD&D modules, or using the random treasure charts, AD&D presumed a huge number of magic items...
    176 replies | 137577 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 08:08 AM
    I am gobsmacked. This is just astonishing. It's been almost 5 years now and 5e is STILL in the top 100 of all books on Amazon.com :wow: PHB is #68. What really blows me away is books like SCAG are still in the top 1000. Holy crap that little book made a lot of money for WotC. Even the worst selling stuff, like the oldest of the modules, are still around 10000 (ish). That's just...
    5 replies | 327 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 03:25 AM
    Now, this, this I can largely agree with. But, again, we have to not forget run time. A single season of TOS was three seasons of Discovery. Even later Star Treks usually had about 20-25 hours per season. When you're running such shorter seasons, you simply don't have the time to develop characters like Nog or Garek or Morn. But, to me, that's a pretty reasonable criticism.
    332 replies | 11208 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 06:16 PM
    Most interesting? Dunno about that, but, there's no doubt that the series definitely places him at the center of the story lines. As it does with Janeway as well. Is there any real doubt here that either character is the main protagonist on the show? Here are two characters that get the most screen time overall, and whose decisions and actions drive the plot for pretty much every episode. ...
    332 replies | 11208 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 11:12 AM
    Stumbled across this headline: https://comicbook.com/gaming/amp/2019/04/14/dungeons-and-dragons-boxed-text-adventures/ Fierce Debate Breaks Out Over 'Dungeons & Dragons' Boxed Text in Adventures So where do you come down?
    117 replies | 3442 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 10:11 AM
    Simplest answer - most bought. They sold the hell out of those red and blue boxes for Basic and Expert rules. To the tune of millions. No other single D&D product has come anywhere near that kind of penetration. B2 is the best selling module because it was bundled with the Basic set. This was the height of the fad days and everyone and their mother got one of these boxes. Now, I think...
    34 replies | 1976 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 10:06 AM
    I'm still utterly baffled by this whole "Mary Sue" criticism. I really am. What has she done that merits this? Is she a better fighter than anyone? Well, no, she routinely gets her ass handed to her. Is she a better pilot? Well, no, Lorca and Pike as well as others are better pilots. Smarter? Nope. Solves every problem when no one else can? Nope. Better engineer maybe? Nope, there are...
    332 replies | 11208 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 02:07 AM
    If that's not your intent, then why repeat it pretty much every post?
    193 replies | 5368 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th April, 2019, 12:46 AM
    Or, conversely, it may, depending on the group, produce more optimal results. It's almost like differing play styles and priorities at the table are more important than advice written in RPG books. But, hey, what do I know. I'm not trying to repeatedly prove my way is the better way. I just know that the way I play is the best way for my table.
    193 replies | 5368 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th April, 2019, 02:24 PM
    That’s my point. There is nothing in the original module about the layout of the town. It is literally left to the dm to design the town. As in the module TELLS you to make your own map. So yup has to fit in an A4 page. Great. It certainly does that. It’s perfectly scaled for that. Still no reason to put north in the wrong place.
    207 replies | 9137 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th April, 2019, 09:06 AM
    There just might be a reason you keep getting the same argument over and over iserith. From lots of different people with various playstyles. Never minding things like, well, that big old poll right there that says that the overwhelming majority of people don't agree with you. Just a thought.
    193 replies | 5368 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th April, 2019, 03:40 AM
    LOL. That was a LOT of shuttles. Someone has been reading their Star Fleet Battles I think before writing this episode. Really draws straight from how the old game played out a lot of times. At least, that's how we played it. As far as using the Command Codes go, well, that was something of a massive plot hole that they added into the show. I mean, there were numerous TOS episodes where,...
    332 replies | 11208 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th April, 2019, 03:25 AM
    I loved that they put Pike back in his gold uniform too. Those old uniforms do look great on the screen. Really pop in the dark backgrounds. If I did have a complaint about Disco is that everything is so darn dark all the time. It's kinda nice to see some bright colors once in a while.
    43 replies | 1078 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 12th April, 2019, 08:49 AM
    Unfortunately, it also makes zero sense if you play that way. Because, you can go from 2 strikes to 100% unharmed, without magic, in 1 hour. So, how could that wound actually be creeping you closer to death when you can spend HD, second wind, whatever, and be completely unharmed? Now, sure, we can talk in terms of the game that you are closer to death. But, until you shuffle off the mortal...
    75 replies | 1931 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 12th April, 2019, 08:06 AM
    Hang on. Nope, not in 5e you're not dying when reduced to 0 HP. You are potentially dying, but, depending on the dice, you very well might not be. Thus, you cannot narrate anything that leads to death until you've failed that third death save. You simply don't know. But, sure, the player can describe potential contradictions, but, that's the player's problem, not mine.
    75 replies | 1931 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 12th April, 2019, 06:49 AM
    To be fair though, it does work both ways. Now, capture is a bit different, because in 5e, that's actually not that hard to do. You can already simply narrate that you didn't kill the target after you've dealt damage. But, yeah, it opens up all sorts of options, for both the DM and the players. In any case, the DM is always the dominant stake setter. Has to be since he's controlling all the...
    75 replies | 1931 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 12th April, 2019, 06:37 AM
    No, you're claiming that other people are claiming this and you're the only one saying it. Which is what I meant. I guess I should have been clearer. IOW, you're the one who is apparently putting words in people's mouths, which... apparently, you have now realized and have retracted. Good, that gets somewhere. Now, not being a mind reader, how was I supposed to know that. ...
    193 replies | 5368 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 12th April, 2019, 12:36 AM
    You are, I think, the only one here claiming that "you must role-play it that way". No one else, I think, has made that claim. And, considering over 80% of folks here seem to agree with how the skill works, I think your "lost of people" might be a tad bit of a confirmation bias. Since, really the only way you can really narrate a successful check to determine if an NPC is lying is to tell...
    193 replies | 5368 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 12th April, 2019, 12:08 AM
    Celebrim - I'd say you're right. There's no real functional difference in saying that you are spending HP vs losing HP. At the end of the day, you are down 9 HP either way. The difference is in perception. Because D&D has never actually modeled process simulation at all, despite protestations to the contrary, HP loss in the traditional method doesn't make a lick of sense. You cannot...
    75 replies | 1931 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th April, 2019, 10:16 AM
    Unless it has been changed, I believe that PF2 will require that spellcasters will require using at least one of their three actions per round to maintain a concentration spell.
    255 replies | 14476 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th April, 2019, 09:59 AM
    I'm a fan of the original Leonard Cohen version and the John Cale cover, whose arrangement has probably been the greatest influence on subsequent covers.
    105 replies | 3715 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th April, 2019, 09:18 AM
    Heh. All you boys and girls need now is a Warlord discussion in here, and you have covered all the bases.
    1168 replies | 33016 view(s)
    0 XP
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Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019


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Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 03:21 PM - 5ekyu mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...l in this manner. DM: Sets the DC for Athletics check based on the player's statement. The DC could be anywhere from automatically successful (i.e., using a ladder) to impossible (bare-handed while trying to carry everyone else in the party on his back up a wall made of ice). Player: Rolls if necessary. DM: Narrates the success or failure of the action. Now maybe that is what you meant, but then you misunderstood/misrepresented the person you were responding to. The point they and others were making is that you cannot make a roll much less determine the chance of success unless you have a clear understanding of the player's goal. This interaction loop applies to combat, social, and environmental interactions. The only real difference is that for combat, many of the variables are already predetermined (AC, to hit bonus, damage to be applied, etc.). The other two pillars have many more undefined variables that cannot be set until a clear statement of action is made.I admire Hussar and Oofta for their persistence in agsin climbing down the morphing shifting rabbit hole offer up, but hey, evetybody's got to have a hobby. I find the ladder funny and just tha latest swerve retread so I will toss in a line or two which I am sure clearly shows I misunderstand the wonders of the approach. I (and Hussar I suspect and many others) consider cases in which **as GMs** we provide a wall the PCs might need or want to get over **and** a ladder they can just pick up (or crates they can stack) and use as **not an obstacle** or **not a challenge**. Its the equivalent to "I get out of bed" or "I eat lunch" and so on and so on. They dontvrise near the level of challenge, obstacle or as I tend to specify "challenge that matters." The only way these have significance worth their "resolution" is if something else makes it a challenge - like bad guys en route do you havevtimevyo stack or are you better off preparing to fight using crates stacked up as cover - not ladder. In all my...

Monday, 22nd April, 2019

  • 05:32 AM - Sadras mentioned Hussar in post Star Trek Discovery not getting any better I fear.
    Hussar I think the posters were blocked from the various threads not from Morrus himself. As for GoT, TWD and Battlestar Galactica - they don't have the history of a show like ST with 5 series and a dozen motion pictures. The ST following is big...so people will watch it because they're ST fans. Some will obviously complain of continuity. Some of just poorly thought out storyline. And others of both. The protagonist exacerbates the issue since she is not likeable.

Monday, 15th April, 2019

  • 10:21 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Why is the shortest lived edition, still one of the most popular?
    I want to add: Moldvay Basic is also a really clearly presented set of D&D rules. It's better in this respect than the original books, than either edition of AD&D, than 3E or 4e. It sets out clear procedures for character building, for the processes of play (adventure turns, encounters, combat resolution), for GMing, for scenario design. This made it very playable. Which helps explain the degree of penetration that Hussar describes.

Sunday, 14th April, 2019

  • 03:57 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?
    ...ow suppose that, in a game, what is taking place is not the search of a bedroom with bureaus but (say) the search of a workouse that was the site of arson; or the search of a town to see where some stolen horses are stabled; or the search of a library containing hundreds of feet of shelving holding many hundreds of volumes. None of these would be out of place in a D&D game. How is the bedroom search example to be extrapolated to those cases? What details is the GM obliged to narrate in framing the situation? What details is a player obliged to narrate in declaring an action? In the rulebook example, the GM doesn't seem to have described what clothes are in the bureau; does the GM have to describe what books are on the library shelves? Where the shelves are in the building? Whether the building has north or south facing windows? If so, which volumes are faded by the sun to what degree? I think framing this discussion as one of following vs disregarding the rules as opposed to, say, Hussar's and Reynard's dfferences of preference and playstyle, is actively unhelpful.
  • 02:59 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Ok, fair point. I was scanning for the pattern I use [approach] to accomplish [goal], so in each case Perception sounded like the approach, and I read, for example, "listen for an ambush beyond the door" as a goal. If he had just said, "I listen for an ambush beyond the door" I can see that being a goal and an approach. However, I will say that in each case the approach is awfully vague. Especially "use my senses".I personally think this issue of vagueness vs adequate precision is a matter of taste - not arbitrary taste, but still a wide range of table variation based on local expectations, context, experience with adventure design and adjudication, etc. Which to some extent relates to Hussar's "pixel bitching" complaint: one table's sufficiently precise action declaration is another's overly detailed pedantry. This is also why some posters keep coming back to notions of "sufficiently detailed" decriptions, despite being told it's not about quantity of detail, nor its luridnesss, but about precision. Think about other contexts, too. Is "I attack the orc with my sword!" enough? That's about as vague as "I listen at the door." Or does the player have to declare a more detailed combat move? Does it make a difference if the player wants to feed in a Battlemaster manouevre - eg does the player have to describe how s/he is wrongfooting the orc, or whatever? Is it enough for the player of a bard to declare "I flirt with him to see what information he might drop"? Or does the player have to perform the actual words, mention the placing of the hand on the arm, etc? The last time this sort of thing - ie flirting with a NPC to learn information - came up in a game I was refer...

Saturday, 13th April, 2019

  • 04:18 PM - oreofox mentioned Hussar in post Sneak Peek At Ghosts of Saltmarsh Maps
    This version is "setting agnostic", so it could be any river. I am referring to this image that Hussar posted a few replies above mine: http://www.enworld.org/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=105330&d=1552310131 This map looks to be made by Mike Schley, or someone very good at replicating his map style. On this map, there are numbers within circles, and 2 names: "Saltmarsh" at the top, and "Kingfisher River" on the left side. This is typically called a "DM Map", and those circled numbers will coincide with some text within the book detailing what is in the locations the numbers are. Mr Schley normally sells high res version of both the DM Map, and a "Player Map" which doesn't have the numbers. However, they do have the names still on them. So, the "player map" version of this Saltmarsh map will still have "Saltmarsh" and "Kingfisher River" on them (if he is consistent with his previous maps). Orienting the map to have North at the top, will make it look like this: https://i.imgur.com/6hv9eWB.jpg Turning the map screws with the name of the town, name of the river, and the distance...

Friday, 12th April, 2019

  • 01:22 AM - Celebrim mentioned Hussar in post How do you handle hit points?
    Hussar: I concede that since this be a matter of human instincts, I may in fact just not get it. I don't think that D&D's wound abstractions produce nearly as much of a potential for contradiction as you suggest. I also don't think D&D dictates who is responsible for the color of the fiction in as far as it impacts the players, and I certainly think in the absence of guidance the players are free to narrate the consequences of their own failures and successes. Indeed, at my table I try to keep a hard and fast rule that as the GM I will never dictate to the players how they feel and try to as much as possible never dictate to them how their characters respond to events, either by thought, word, or action. And, if a player insisted on dictating their own successes and failures, I'd be quite happy with that (few players I've played with want that much burden to produce narration and description though). So, whether a player sees self-narration as a bonus or a burden isn't somethi...

Thursday, 11th April, 2019

  • 02:17 PM - Laurefindel mentioned Hussar in post How do you handle hit points?
    If you choose not to spend them, what happens? Like @Hussar said, then your character suffers the full consequences of the attack or hazard. If your opponent wanted to kill you - the most frequent situation - then it succeeded and your character is dying, unstable, and you have to roll death saving throws. If the opponent just wanted to slap you behind the head, then you allowed it to do so, probably without further complications. The most obvious muddy corner is whether you keep the hp you have when you can't spend enough to negate the attack (i.e. you have 4 hp left and receive 10 damage). We know by this interpretation that you couldn't avoid the consequence and become dying, but do you still have 4hp? That's where the DM needs to stay consequent with RAW and rule that if character with 0 hp is dying, a dying character has, by definition, 0 hp (otherwise it would be stable and conscious). A character that cannot spend enough hp to negate an attack becomes dying and drops to 0 hp. There might be some mental gymnastics to do with things like...

Monday, 8th April, 2019

  • 02:52 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Yes, I know. I play Dungeon World. Honestly I find this conversation a bit surreal. I'm not even sure how to respond. One of us totally doesn't understand what the other is talking about. Or possibly both of us.Well, I think there are (at least) two alternatives to Oofta's approach. iserith is describing one. I think Ovinomancer may be describing something a bit different, but he can clarify that if he wants to. I'm not sure what your overall position is. Both alternatives equate action declaration with describing something that happens in the fiction. This is a contrast with Oofta, Hussar, etc. In iserith's approach to 5e, following such an action declaration the GM then adjudicates this to determine whether or not a check is required, and if so how hard it is. As he puts it, the ultimate player goal is to avoid the risks of the dice. I see this as a type of puzzle-solving play, though (obviously) not like solving riddles or chess puzzles. By way of contrast, in DW, DitV, Burning Wheel, Prince Valiant, HeroWars/Quest, Maelstrom Storytelling, The Dying Earth, etc (just to name some of the games I'm familiar with that adopt this alternative approach), there is no avoiding the risks of the dice, assuming that something is actually at stake. (If nothing is at stake, then the GM should just "say 'yes'" and try to work with the players to progress the fiction to something where there is something at stake.) The point of the player's account of what his/her PC is doing is to provide fiction that is able to be extrapolated either in success or failure. The emphasis of play i...

Sunday, 7th April, 2019

  • 11:18 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    One thing I don't believe you have answered, Hussar, is my hypothetical scenario about the players that just want to sit in the tavern...in the sense that they don't actually narrate where they go and who they talk to and what they search...and just want to roll Investigation to solve the mystery without having to describe any actions on their part. I'm intentionally choosing an extreme case, of course, but that seems to fit the description of how you play: you aren't requiring the players to figure out likely leads, you are letting their characters do it.This seems to raise questions like (1) Who at the table gets to frame scenes, and decide what "the action" is?, and (2) How are action declarations able to be framed? For instance, if the GM has authority over framing scenes, then it seems that the players won't be able just to have their PCs sit around in a tavern. And if the PCs are sitting in a tavern, what sorts of Investigation checks can they declare? Or, more generally, what sorts of actions can they declare? In Hussar's ...
  • 02:07 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...L] by doing [INSERT DETAIL]". Because if that approach is equally effective as "goal and method" you are training your players to skip the goal and method, nudging your game closer to a bland series of dice rolls. How are you not diminishing the values of investment in skills if a person can just describe what they're doing to get an automatic success*? Because those who don't invest in the skills are much less likely to get automatic successes? (Seriously, I don't understand how this one could not be understood...) Why is finding/disabling the once in a blue moon trap/secret door with a couple of dice rolls a deal breaker for you if you aren't the person doing it and it takes a minute or so to resolve? It's a minor speed bump I put in for flavor, not the focus of the game for me. Even if it happens very rarely, if it exists in your game it exists in your game, and then players feel they either need to say "I use (skill) to search for traps!" at every door and chest, or @Hussar's fears are realized and they start going through a pre-flight (or pre-kick-in-the-door) checklist on every portal. Why is it a big deal if the DM wants to keep the players guessing about whether or not the PC is using deception by having people roll an insight check? [I]*I don't know how many people do this, but at least some do or they have not made it clear if they ever call for a roll. I think you left a word or two out of that one, but I get the gist. This one is mostly me. 1. NPCs don't "use deception" they lie. Or leave out details. Or exaggerate. If and when it comes down to a contested roll, their success at doing so may be determined with an appropriate ability check. (Just have to get our terminology straight.) 2. For me this is not a rules thing, it's a flavor thing: most of the time I think it's more interesting and immersive for the players to have some uncertainty about what the truth is. We could spend all day listing books and movies that would have been bor...

Thursday, 4th April, 2019

  • 11:07 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I'll agree that even when you're "challenging the character" you're still challenging the player, just in a different way. So it comes down to, in a really coarse sense: do you challenge the player's ability to remember rules, or do you challenge their ability to narrate creative solutions? @Hussar says he doesn't want to advantage some players over others, because it's all about the characters, but doesn't his version of "challenge the characters" advantage those who are good at memorizing rules? Or did I just repeat what @Bawylie was saying?
  • 03:05 PM - iserith mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    If you like that ability, it seems we agree that doing whatever you can do (including attaining 11th level as a rogue) to mitigate the swinginess of a d20 is a good thing, right? If that's so, then we've made progress! The good news is that any character can do that by trying to remove uncertainty and/or the meaningful consequence of failure. But, again, you can't win 'em all and sometimes you're going to have to roll. So this is a great class feature to have when you fall short of outright success, and not everyone can do that. Floating this back up in hopes that Hussar will respond to it. Because if we can agree that reducing the impact of a d20 is a good thing as a player, then we might actually get somewhere.
  • 02:39 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Hussar: I guess we just play differently then. I don't want to force my players to be glib actors, but I do want them to solve problems using their own noggins, probably because that's what I like, too. I like that little thrill of, "Heh...I just figured out something cool." Think Zork, not WoW. But, yes, you're right: that is testing the player, not the character, maybe not in acting ability but in thinking ability. I'm ok with that. And I guess in that regard the people I game with are different than the people you game with. BTW, you never answered my question. If the player states "I study her closely looking for hints that she's not telling the truth. I'm trying to glean clues from body language, speech habits, and changes in mannerisms." what do you do? Ignore them? If you ask for an insight check since that's the definition of the skill, what's wrong with them saying "I make an insight check?" If you tell them they can't do that, how is that not telling them w...
  • 11:33 AM - Numidius mentioned Hussar in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Hussar, would you elaborate on how aren't so different your 4e and 5e games? On 4e combat, from what I understand, it looks similar to the crunch heavy Swords&Sorcery boardgame I played last year. Also curious about 2e vs 5e fighters ;)

Tuesday, 2nd April, 2019

  • 06:47 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Hussar in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...h beanbags is not considered to be lethal force, despite them occasionally killing someone. Shooting them with a gun is lethal force, despite the fact that many people survive. I'm applying the similar standards to the game, which makes it more realistic. But its not that the beanbags do some 'other type of damage', they just don't do MUCH damage. Shoot someone point blank with a beanbag, its bad news, or shoot them 10 times with them, still bad news. I mean, D&D's hit points are obviously simplistic in some sense, as is the concept of 'damage' purely an abstraction, but the point still stands. There's no real divide between what is and isn't potentially lethal. You can construct a perfectly plausible narrative that leads to either the target being dead or being disabled for ANY attack, right? Beyond that pemerton et al are right that 4e certainly lacks such a division. Its simply not MECHANICALLY correct talk about lethal and non-lethal types of damage in either that game, or as Hussar points out, in 5e either. Classic D&D also lacked such a distinction (there was a sidebar in 2e IIRC with some optional rules, and 1e had a rule that only applied to dragons).

Monday, 1st April, 2019

  • 09:27 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    P.S. Chill. The HP thing was a joke. You know ... ha ha? Friendly conversation not going into attack mode because of a difference of opinion? Ok, fair enough. It can be hard to infer tone in forum posts. Caustic/snarky response retracted. Back on topic, let's compare/contrast with Investigation for a moment. Let's say that the PCs are trying to solve a mystery, and in one of the locations the DM has set up there is a document stuck on the bottom side of a drawer. @Hussar's approach, taken to an extreme, wouldn't even require the PCs to leave the tavern. It might go something like this: DM: "Ok, what do you do?" Player: "I make an Investigation check...24!" DM: "Ok, you go across town and search an office, and under a drawer you find a document..." I suspect that's not how Hussar or you would play it. You would require the PCs to actually go to the office first, and then maybe roll Investigation. But if you do I might use Hussar's argument: you are "keeping players in their place" by relying on "DM interpretation" and "not allowing them to use the skill as it's written." (Not because I believe in the argument, but to illustrate the fallacy.) It's the same thing Hussar is arguing, right? If they use the Investigation skill and are successful, it should mean they successfully investigated. Here's the thing: it's perfectly valid to play that way. Especially if you think the investigation is the boring bit that you have to get through before combat...
  • 03:06 PM - Oofta mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I can't for the life of me understand how somebody would be unable to see the difference. (Perhaps a failed Insight check?) There's also this: if Insight literally works as a lie detector, it would be the only "skill" that represents something that doesn't exist IRL. Wait, D&D has to be realistic now? Did I suddenly gain a HP number I don't know about? :hmm: While I may or may not run my game quite like Hussar, it's his table and his ruling. I'd be fine with his interpretation. As far as tension between player and DM ... again not sure I'd state it exactly that way but I don't see anything where he's advocating an adversarial relationship. But I agree to the gist. The players are in control of their PCs and if they want to do a take an action represented by a skill check, in general they can. If they ask to shoot an arrow at the moon, I'll point out that their PC knows they can't hit the moon. If they insist on rolling anyway (or just rolled first) I'll simply point out that it does nothing. Different strokes for different folks. Different styles for different games. P.S. Human lie detectors may not exist in real life, but they are a pretty common trope in fiction.
  • 01:15 PM - Maxperson mentioned Hussar in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    This is not a good argument. From the fact that fireballs sometimes kill people, but sometimes just knock them out, it doesn't follow that there are two types of damage. You've already stated that, in your game, some people caught in a fireball, or in red dragon's breath, survive while others do not. That doesn't mean there are two types of fire damage in uyour game - lethal and non-lethal. It just means that some fireball attacks are not fatal. Ahh, a veritable Strawarmy has attacked overnight. See my response to Hussar, which you also knew before you posted that. Huh? There's no time travel. The player doesn't make the decision until after the target hits 0 with the lethal damage type. If the player makes the decision to make the fire soft and cuddly in order not to potentially kill the target, he has to rewind time to retroactively make that change to the fireball BEFORE it hits the target. And there's nothing unreleastic about a player making decisions about the effect of an attack made by his/her PC. The effect has already happened before the decision is made.

Sunday, 31st March, 2019

  • 04:21 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Unless I've missed something, I don't recall that @Elfcrusher has made any significant "rules-based" arguments that inform his or her approach in this thread. He or she often makes ones based on his or her take on realism instead plus just general preference. And @Ovinomancer suggests that Insight can be used for more tasks than determining truthfulness. Unless you're talking about someone else? Just because some of us agree on the approach doesn't mean we all think of it the exact same way or arrived at the same conclusion by the same path. Please feel free to respond to or refute someone's assertions. But please do not lump us all together as if we perfectly agree or assert that any one of us has an obligation to say anything about our respective positions. We are individuals, not identity groups. Yup. Honestly I can't figure out where Hussar thinks the inconsistency or contradiction is. I'm not you (@iserith). Your explanations in this forum have helped me understand the game differently and have improved my DMing, but that doesn't mean we interpret things in exactly the same way. The funny thing is that I read Hussar's (and others') posts and I think, "Yup, I could have written that once upon a time."


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Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 03:10 PM - Jester David quoted Hussar in post Star Trek Discovery not getting any better I fear.
    Again, I'll stack up the first two seasons of TNG, DS9, Voyager or Enterprise vs the first two seasons of Discovery any day of the week. Or, if we're comparing apples to apples, the first two seasons of Discovery vs the first season of those four shows. Same number of episodes after all. No contest as far as I'm concerned. You're right. DS9 wins. The first four episodes of DS9 are amazing. Emissary is the best pilot of any Star Trek show, setting up the conflicts and personalities of all the cast. You walk out of that not just knowing what the story of the series will be, but the interactions, dynamics, and motives of the cast. Battle Lines (episode 13) is a dramatic shake-up for Bajor that has lasting consequences, building off the growing focus on Bajoran politics. Duet (episode 19) is a masterpiece and one of the best episodes of the series. And the finale, In the Hands of the Prophets, is dramatic and tense without having to rely on explosions and gratuitous SFX, with the tensio...
  • 02:56 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Meh, needless hair splitting. If there's a ladder, there's no check at all. Why would there be? Or, if they stack crates, then again, there's no check. But, again, if the player simply states, "I climb the wall, Athletics 17", I am not going to stop him and ask what he's doing. Needlessly adding all these superfluous elements to the example is just pointless. Yes, exactly. If they stack up creates there is (or might be) no check at all. I thought you were opposed to the player finding alternate solutions to obstacles? This entire time we've been talking about doing things like stacking crates to solve problems. That is, coming up with solutions that maybe the DM hadn't considered. Not adding colorful adverbs to the act of climbing, which is how you keep describing it. I move here, I attack that orc, I use my bonus action to cast Hunters Mark on that target is, to me, no different than, "I climb the wall, Athletics 17". Because, unlike you, I don't ask the players for an atta...
  • 02:46 PM - WaterRabbit quoted Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Meh, needless hair splitting. This isn't needless hair splitting. You made a statement that isn't correct. If other hadn't I would have. Before any roll is made, a statement of intent or action by the player must precede it -- this isn't narration. Without a such a statement, how do you know what to roll? The narration is the result of the action. Climbing a wall is a perfect example: Player: I climb the wall in this manner. DM: Sets the DC for Athletics check based on the player's statement. The DC could be anywhere from automatically successful (i.e., using a ladder) to impossible (bare-handed while trying to carry everyone else in the party on his back up a wall made of ice). Player: Rolls if necessary. DM: Narrates the success or failure of the action. Now maybe that is what you meant, but then you misunderstood/misrepresented the person you were responding to. The point they and others were making is that you cannot make a roll much less determine the chanc...
  • 02:35 PM - iserith quoted Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Meh, needless hair splitting. If there's a ladder, there's no check at all. Why would there be? Or, if they stack crates, then again, there's no check. So the approach to the goal of getting over the wall matters then, eh? Some approaches can also be automatically successful without reference to the dice or the character's ability scores? This is progress! Now apply that discovery to other goals a player might describe.
  • 02:02 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Meh, needless hair splitting. If there's a ladder, there's no check at all. Why would there be? Because people sometimes fall off ladders.
  • 01:26 PM - Oofta quoted Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Meh, needless hair splitting. If there's a ladder, there's no check at all. Why would there be? Or, if they stack crates, then again, there's no check. But, again, if the player simply states, "I climb the wall, Athletics 17", I am not going to stop him and ask what he's doing. Needlessly adding all these superfluous elements to the example is just pointless. I move here, I attack that orc, I use my bonus action to cast Hunters Mark on that target is, to me, no different than, "I climb the wall, Athletics 17". Because, unlike you, I don't ask the players for an attack roll. The players don't have to ask me to cast Hunter's Mark or whether or not they can move to that location. You're claiming that there isn't any difference, but, that's the primary difference all the way along. In your method, which has been repeated over and over and over again, the player CANNOT CALL FOR A SKILL CHECK. That's been the common refrain all the way along. Yet, in combat, the player calls for eve...
  • 11:49 AM - CapnZapp quoted Hussar in post Deconstructing 5e: Typical Wealth by Level
    There are some very practical reasons beyond you casual dismissal why this isn't being done. You could use that exact same reasoning to shoot down any supplement you don't like, so I'll simply ignore it.
  • 11:38 AM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I'm not going to get terribly concerned about how you want to describe the guy who fails 50% of the time or more. That's not really the point. The point is, the untrained guy, as 5ekyu points out, fails social checks that carry any sort of real penalty at least half the time. Again, not a very persuasive person. And, since, by the rules, if the NPC is actively hostile, the untrained, low Cha character (Cha 8) has zero chance of success, I'd say that he's not very persuasive. But, the point being, I'd rather you make the check first and then narrate. Solves all the inconsistency issues and falls in line with every other d20 roll you ever make. You don't narrate before an attack, you don't narrate before initiative, you don't narrate before a saving throw. You can't narrate before most other checks as well - physical checks is what I'm thinking here. You can't narrate a climb before you make your check. So, I simply follow the same method for all checks - make the check first and th...
  • 10:19 AM - Sadras quoted Hussar in post Star Trek Discovery not getting any better I fear.
    Again, I'll stack up the first two seasons of TNG, DS9, Voyager or Enterprise vs the first two seasons of Discovery any day of the week. Or, if we're comparing apples to apples, the first two seasons of Discovery vs the first season of those four shows. Same number of episodes after all. No contest as far as I'm concerned. I dunno, T'Pol is all levels of hot :p
  • 05:54 AM - iserith quoted Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Well, no, I don't think you do actually. You ask the players to narrate how they attack? I do. I need to know who you're attacking and with what and sometimes more detail than that. Isn't that the case at your table? How they make a saving throw? Sometimes, but as the rules say, saving throws are distinct from attack rolls and ability checks in that they are an instant response to a harmful effect and are almost never done by choice. A fireball spell calls for a Dexterity saving throw as the character's defense (like armor class is a defense against attack), for example. Other times, situations can arise that call for a saving throw that aren't laid out as neatly as in a spell description, when the character is subjected to a harmful effect that can't be hedged out by armor or a shield. In that case, I'll need to know how the player might have his or her character attempt to defend against it e.g. dodge out of harm's way, withstand an effect that subsumes personality, endure a hazard tha...
  • 05:37 AM - Charlaquin quoted Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Well, no, I don't think you do actually. You ask the players to narrate how they attack? How they make a saving throw? By and large, I don' think it's too contentious to say that most tables don't expect a "How" statement before any of those checks. I expect the players to at least state what target they intend to attack, and with what weapon or spell, which is exactly as much narration as I expect from any action - a goal and an approach. With saving throws, I narrate what the character can observe about the triggering incedent (“you feel a tile sink beneath the weight of your foot and hear a ‘click,’ what do you do?” or, “the dragon takes a deep breath, and you can see its gullet bulge as it prepares to exhale, what do you do?” The goal in this case is implicit (as goals often are) - avoid whatever danger is triggering the save. Based on the player’s approach, (I pull up my shield and try to block whatever is coming,” or “I tuck and roll out of the way,” I might grant advantage or impose...
  • 05:32 AM - Elfcrusher quoted Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Well, no, I don't think you do actually. You ask the players to narrate how they attack? How they make a saving throw? By and large, I don' think it's too contentious to say that most tables don't expect a "How" statement before any of those checks. Nor do we generally make "how" statements for physical skill checks - how are you jumping? how are you climbing the wall? how are you doing a backflip? Not really, do you? So, while these are all checks which have uncertain outcomes and certainly consequences for failure, we generally don't ask for any narration before the roll. I simply apply that same standard to all d20 rolls. Unless I'm misunderstanding the point you are trying to make, I think this is still showing a fundamental misconception of what goal-and-approach is. It's not simply narration. It's not describing "how" you are climbing the wall, it's describing how you overcome the obstacle of a wall being in your path. And maybe the way you do that is indeed by climbing, ...
  • 12:23 AM - Charlaquin quoted Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    But, the point being, I'd rather you make the check first and then narrate. Solves all the inconsistency issues and falls in line with every other d20 roll you ever make. You don't narrate before an attack, you don't narrate before initiative, you don't narrate before a saving throw. You can't narrate before most other checks as well - physical checks is what I'm thinking here. You can't narrate a climb before you make your check. So, I simply follow the same method for all checks - make the check first and then deal with the fallout. Whereas at my table, you can’t make a check before you’ve narrated an action with an uncertain outcome. I too follow the same method for all checks - describe what you want to accomplish and how your character attempts to do it, and if the outcome is uncertain, I’ll ask for a check.

Monday, 22nd April, 2019

  • 10:09 PM - Parmandur quoted Hussar in post Would you rather we get more setting neutral content than adventures?
    How things have changed. A few years ago WotC was pilloried for offering a dnd Beyond sort of subscription service. Now the exact same thing is touted as the better option. Irony tastes great. Personally, I don't use D&DB or the other online options, nor did I ever personally have a problem with D&DI (which I suppose you are referencing). A couple big differences in the current setup, I would wager, are the lack of monopolizing by one tool (you can get official 5E material on D&DB, Fantasy Grounds and Roll20) and that the books are not really at a disadvantage to the online versions (given the light nature of the rules and avoidance of errata).
  • 06:25 PM - Rhianni32 quoted Hussar in post Would you rather we get more setting neutral content than adventures?
    MNblockhead - That's a very good point. DM's Guild is absolutely chock a block with more material, and material from well respected content produces also, than anyone could ever possibly use. I get the idea that people want to revisit older TSR or WotC settings, sure, and that's fair, but, the notion that there isn't enough material out there really is indefensible. There's a TON of 5e material out there. There is a crazy amount of good quality material out there. I think what people mean by "I want more setting material" they mean "I want more setting material from the old settings that I played in 2nd edition when I was a kid so I can get my nostalgia fix by reading new material and not just update my own old books to 5ed."
  • 03:23 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Well, that depends on the DC no? Whether Easy, Moderate, Difficult or Hard. They will fail Moderate checks 50% of the time and Moderate checks are typically run of the mill, every day sort of checks. Nothing too outlandish. Convincing your professor to give you an extension on your essay sort of checks. :D But, we're talking a fairly difficult task - a not sympathetic NPC who doesn't really want to help you and doesn't believe you. So, DC 15, likely. Meaning that our 0 bonus character fails 75% of the time (or thereabouts). 1 in 4 is not exactly great odds. Not impossible sure, but, far more likely to fail. Thus, our zero bonus character is sticking his foot in it about three times more often in the clutch than succeeding. Or, to put it another way, this guy is terrible at convincing anyone to do anything. I think the point he is making is that somebody without "training" (by which I assume you mean proficiency) and 10 Cha, or even 8 Cha, is really about average: no bonuses, or ...
  • 03:07 PM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Well, that depends on the DC no? Whether Easy, Moderate, Difficult or Hard. They will fail Moderate checks 50% of the time and Moderate checks are typically run of the mill, every day sort of checks. Nothing too outlandish. Convincing your professor to give you an extension on your essay sort of checks. :D But, we're talking a fairly difficult task - a not sympathetic NPC who doesn't really want to help you and doesn't believe you. So, DC 15, likely. Meaning that our 0 bonus character fails 75% of the time (or thereabouts). 1 in 4 is not exactly great odds. Not impossible sure, but, far more likely to fail. Thus, our zero bonus character is sticking his foot in it about three times more often in the clutch than succeeding. Or, to put it another way, this guy is terrible at convincing anyone to do anything.A lot here depends on gameplay and GM. But first, the actual rules. DMG tules 5ebon social skills once you get down to the nuts and bolts... Friendly (your sympathetic or inc...
  • 01:35 PM - SkidAce quoted Hussar in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Because, to me, regardless of that character's bonds and traits, the fact that he has no Cha bonus and no training in persuasion generally means that every time he opens his mouth, he's sticking his foot in it. He is, in fact, terrible at persuading anyone to do anything. Would this example not make them average? And as such as likely to succeed as ti fail? (50/50 ish?)
  • 10:40 AM - pemerton quoted Hussar in post To boxed text or not to boxed text
    But, imagine two DM's. Same scene, both are good DM's, so, let's not go down that particular road. Both are good DM's with good players. It's a healthy table. The only difference is one DM presents exactly what you just said: There is a room with covered furniture etc. No presentation skills, no, for lack of better word, acting ability. The other is a DM who is a skilled story teller, can use body language, tone, and tempo to really hammer home meaning. Which table would you rather sit at? To me, presenting interesting situations is of course part of good DMing. But, the other side of it, during play, the performance side of it, is equally important.We are disagreeing on your last sentence. I don't think that acting/performance is of equal importance. Everything else being equal, a melifluous GM is a good thing, but in my experience it's not normal that everything is equal. Especially when it comes to how published material articulates what matters to GMing and RPGing.
  • 08:39 AM - Sadras quoted Hussar in post Star Trek Discovery not getting any better I fear.
    But, the continuity arguments I never really understood. Never minding that they've now answered pretty much all of them. IOW, had folks just waited a bit, the writers would have backfilled the holes just like Trek has always done. I can only speak for myself here - for me it depends on the continuity argument. I didn't mind so much with Discovery because I felt that the writers would have had a plan eventually. Personally I didn't like the new Klingon look with their monstrous hands (how the hell did they build anything with that) but I was willing to forgive that for the storyline purposes. What annoys me though, is this notion that just because I happened to like this or that Trek, that somehow I'm owed something by the writers and the show. This feels like a tricky concept and I'm not going to do this justice...but the short version being people buy into something, spend hours invested in it and I guess they feel betrayed when the creators decide to go in an unexpected dir...


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