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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 02:46 PM
    I believe you are applying an incredibly restricted view of past editions to win an argument rather than to accurately describe these games. As you are limited to saying that "it changes the god/cleric relationship," which is wholly subjective and requires an exceptionally narrow reading of the texts that ignores where what you say is not true, then it's clear that it Eberron does not actually...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 10:35 AM
    Respectfully, Morrus, that is not my intent here.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 09:49 AM
    Except it didn't. So this inhibition appears self-imposed by yourself. This may stem from the undercurrent of "play-to-win" approaches that seem to run through your games rather than "play-to-roleplay." If you are actually roleplaying in first-person in this world, as you have claimed as your preference, then why would you be metagaming unless you are playing to win some sort of board game? ...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 09:16 AM
    Actually, the clerics were still there. They just didn't get any spells because the gods stopped granting spells. Now THERE'S an example of deities taking a very active role in the setting. :D
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 09:14 AM
    Well, that's not exactly true. Basic/Expert, for example, doesn't even have gods. And clerics are certainly not beholden to anything. AD&D clerics were not really beholden to anything either. There were no mechanics for taking spells away from clerics who "misbehaved". And, a 1e cleric could serve multiple gods. There was certainly no indication that gods were close or distant. That was...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 09:12 AM
    Gorgon-excrement. The only fact is that you have failed in demonstrating that Eberron has changed the cleric class, leaving you only asserting that it did. You made the assertion that it changes the cleric class. It is not my place to disprove anything. Now prove your position that it does change the cleric class. What this says is that the cleric class changed between editions, which is...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 08:12 AM
    It does not, and you have failed to demonstrate how it is. That just makes you both wrong and foolish.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 07:57 AM
    It doesn't. It has followed the rules for clerics in every pertinent edition : 3-5e.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 05:47 AM
    I largely agree with what you're saying here, but, obviously, I don't have a problem with players walling off small bits. Note, that the bits being walled off are generally not going to apply to other players in any case - it's not like Player A is going to have much, if anything, to do with Player B's animal companion or warlock patron. So, really, I don't see a huge issue with a player...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 02:51 AM
    Not speaking for anyone else, but, I'd say that's fair. Well, all games really. After all, the DM determines the adventures, NPC's, and pretty much anything that isn't specifically player stuff - classes and whatnot and even then the DM has a large degree of control over that as well. In what D&D game doesn't the DM have virtually 100% control over the game? Even in a sandbox game, the...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 12:36 AM
    Dunno who you are implying. Certainly not me. Got any specifics you'd like to put on the table? No. Why would it? The basic premise is that the DM has 100% of the power. Using backgrounding means that the DM now has 99.99% of the power at the table. That tiny sliver that the DM is prevented from bringing into the forefront of play is also off the table for the player as well. But,...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 12:26 AM
    And, really, I think this is where most of the disagreement lies. To me, the patron is a minor class element. It doesn't really impact play and, IMO, leaving it out doesn't really change the class at all. Then again, I approach Warlocks from more a Binder perspective (never saw warlocks in 3e, although I played one in 4e where the binder DNA was more prevalent). So, to me, this is a minor...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:05 PM
    Except the class has not been altered, and you would be hard-pressed to demonstrate by any reasonable standards that it has. At first glance, on a very fundamental level, one offers a narrative check against a much greater power, while the other expands that greater power while weakening the weaker power.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:34 PM
    Wow. Never thought of it that way. And given the prominence of "themepark MMOs," that may also explain my general disdain of "themepark worldbuilding and adventures." If we were playing Eberron, how is playing a cleric of a backgrounded Balinor different from playing a cleric of Balinor? Eberron effectively backgrounds its pantheon of deities such that the focus can be on the ground-eye view...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:27 PM
    Never minding that Aldarc - do DM's really create 100% of their settings? I sure don't. I WANT my players to create stuff. You're a cleric of Cuthbert? Fantastic. You tell me what that means. You bring that up in play. You make that important in the game. You make the other players care about it. I'm just far, far too lazy to put a bunch of work into some player's background when they...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:47 AM
    This seems unreasonably hyperbolic; you are creating an artificial crisis. This is hardly the problem you are fabricating here. Let's consider another case that does not involve deities. I create a character with a backstory pertaining to my family clan that I have also invented. A new player joins the game or a PC dies and a player re-rolls a new character. Having heard about my character's...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:22 AM
    Oh, yes, absolutely agree with this. I probably wouldn't background stuff later on. Maybe I suppose. For example, the monk in my current Thule campaign has a bar. It's not meant as a major plot thing, just somewhere to hang his hat. It wouldn't bother me in the slightest if he said he wanted to Background the bar. I have no real plans for it, so, AFAIC, I give up nothing doing so. So...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:59 AM
    Yeah, I agree with this. It's mostly corner case stuff though. As a general rule, it's not terribly unfair to say that capture scenarios are a bad idea.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:39 AM
    Wow, that was faster than I thought. I found the pdf right away. Cool. Here's the text from Chronica Feudalis (p 6)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:34 AM
    Actually, I don't think it's weird. Look at the counter examples that have been tossed up. All the "whaddabout's" about backgrounding the Enterprise in a Star Trek game, backgrounding a T-rex or an Allosaurus, I'm sure there have been more. Just to go back a second though to the idea of the DM capturing the party off screen. Let's be honest here, most groups are going to not do this. It...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:24 AM
    Oh, man, it's been a while. I'm pretty sure it's Chronica Feudalis. I'd have to do some SERIOUS digging to find it. Hrm, should be on my RPGNOW library though. I'll do some diving.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:22 AM
    It is hands off though in the sense of backgrounding. Note, we have posited that the character's church is backgrounded - it will not be the focus of play. Things like history, setting, icons, are all part of the background. They are not integral to the game and the game isn't about those things. Note, backgrounding doesn't mean that the DM can't do anything with the backgrounded element. ...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:18 AM
    I'd point out that most of the ballooning has been done by those who are trying to "prove" that backgrounding is somehow bad. I mean, we started with a simple bear companion that somehow morphed into a T-Rex. :uhoh:
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:04 AM
    Obviously. Backgrounding can't be done for major campaign elements. If we're playing a post apocalyptic setting a la Mad Max, then backgrounding a motorcycle couldn't be done. Sorry, I thought we had made this clear earlier. Wow, that's harsh. O.O I guess it's because I value my players. It has taken me many years to build a solid group of people that I enjoy playing with week...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:53 PM
    I'm inclined to think that it's both, or certaintly not an either/or scenario. Discussion has been largely focused on exploring the boundaries, implications, and preferences around how Backgrounding was presented and GM/player issues related to that mechanic. Reading this, I wonder if you may be talking from different senses or understandings about "hands off" or "hands on" regarding...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:16 PM
    Actually I think you need to go back and review the thread... It's not "plain and simple" really. The discussion thus far has been incredibly fluid about what the boundaries may be. Some have taken an incredibly hard stance either way, even when depicting the opposing position, about what the discussed boundaries of the backgrounding a deity actually entail, while many other posts attest to a...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 10:06 AM
    Your definition seems to include at least one bit of "things I dislike." :p This too.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 09:48 AM
    I'm speaking less in terms of ownership but more in terms of membership and participation. And also consider how often players use pronominal possession to discuss games they play in. Without getting into the nitty-gritty, just recall some of the back catalogs of our disagreements. I don't think that anyone is advocating anything too extreme, so I think this is less of an issue than one...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 08:51 AM
    This backgrounding process is done in conjunction with the DM. It's negotiating the social contract of in-game play. If I communicated this in my direct discussions with you, then you would potentially have a point here. But as I did not in my description and examples, your entire "one man theater" schtick comes across as a grossly inaccurate farce. This presumption does not strike me as...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 07:08 AM
    Doing something someone else doesn't like doesn't necessarily make you a bad DM. That's true. Deliberately doing it to someone when you absolutely know that they don't want you to? That's a lot bigger issue, AFAIC. I mean, I loathe puzzles in RPG's. Don't mind mysteries, but, puzzles of the "Speak friend and enter" kind drive me straight up the wall. But, I also know that lots of people...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 07:03 AM
    Well, it wouldn't be a single fight would it? It would be that fight, plus the next at least one encounter which would deal with the repercussions of that. And, again, it's apples and oranges. You're talking about the DM forcing the entire group to do something they probably don't want to do. Which is going to have repercussions that last for at least one more encounter and likely more. ...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 12:04 AM
    For those worried about what this means for the direction of dnd going forward. You should be worried. The most iconic elements of dnd are a direct result of competitive play. The most iconic modules, the push for RAW Uber alles. And many other things. If this proves to be very popular then, just like all those things you like about DnD, you can bet it will be incorporated into the...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 11:05 PM
    Honestly I think the basic issue is a disagreement over scale. For some, any limitation on dm authority is unacceptable. For me and I think others, I just donít see the big deal. The dm is going to play dozens of not hundreds of npcís. Taking one off the table just seems like such a minor thing to me. Same goes for scenario design. The dm is going to make and run dozens if not hundreds of...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 09:58 PM
    I mostly agree with you here, but my point earlier was that a DM and player can have multiple readings or expectations for what clerical play will entail even if they work with a preexisting setting pantheon. This is not being run from a 1e perspective. This is largely left open for the cleric in 5e. It only states that you pray or meditate when you desire to change your spells. It does not...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 09:52 PM
    /edit - whoops, sorry, nothing to see here. This line of discussion will not produce anything productive.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 05:46 PM
    The rules do not prohibit this playstyle either so an appeal to the inherent state of D&D is a nonissue, if not a non-sequitor argument. I am less concerned about imposing notions of D&D's inherent state and more about play in praxis. And when one looks at how D&D is played on online streaming games (e.g., Critical Role) or around tables, the notion of an inherent state of D&D falls flat on its...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 03:58 PM
    Do you have a better one then? I would say the greater danger that players fear is that the DM needlessly kills off these sort of characters for their own sake of sensationalized drama.* But I have seen and heard this royally backfire against self-assured DM in ways that have been disasterous for the desired attempts of the DM. The DM thought they were being clever and creating good drama for...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 01:29 PM
    You are mistunderstanding what construes an assumption. It's not an assumption to raise the possibility that the DM and player may not be on the same page regarding the PC's deity/patron/oath when initiating play and that this can only become obvious later into play. An actual error of assumption in this case would be assuming that the DM and player are on the same page when play begins. And my...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 11:18 AM
    It's funny. You keep insinuating that I'm somehow a special snowflake or entitled, or triggered, or whatever the heck. Hrm, let's do a side by side comparison shall we? You: Design a campaign you know a player will hate. Specifically uninvite said player so that you can run the game you want to run. Me: Goes the extra mile to take player preferences into consideration and has no...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 11:14 AM
    But, they aren't. That's been established multiple times in this thread that the trade off isn't one of power or mechanics. This isn't 1e where this sort of thing was done quite commonly (paladin oath, ranger wealth limitations, druid and monk fighting for levels, etc). And, it's been agreed, one of the few things that we're all pretty much in agreement about, that this has nothing to do with...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 11:11 AM
    Let's put it more directly then. If you know that one of your players would hate an idea, would you still pitch it?
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 10:21 AM
    Slight difference though. I'm presuming since you said you "once" went to a game, that it wasn't a long term thing. It's not like you had been playing with this group regularly for some time and then they changed, right? You were the new player at the table? Contrast to 5ekyu's example where this is a long time player who, presumably, had been enjoying games with the group before but had...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 04:38 AM
    I would just like to quote this because it is so rare that Imaro and I agree on anything RPG related. :D It's nice when people just understand the point that's being made. Makes me wonder if I'm explaining things clearly enough otherwise.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 04:35 AM
    Where is Captain America's shield when he's not using it?
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 04:34 AM
    FUnnily enough, this actually happened recently in our group. The group wanted to play Planescape. I've made no secret that I'm not a Planescape fan. I offered, quite sincerely, to back out and play on the alternating weeks (we alternate campaigns weekly) and let them have their fun. The group, as one, voted me down and decided to play another campaign. I have to admit, it meant a lot to...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 03:51 AM
    Did you not say that you had a player walk because you ran a game that he would not like?
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 04:29 PM
    Okay, cool. I likewise promise that I will show a similar willingness to listen in good faith. More or less. It may not be a case of not exploring hierarchical conflict, but a matter of which ones. A warlock player, for example, may not necessarily want a foreground exploration of their pact. They may be more interested in exploring the hierarchical conflict between themselves and their...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 03:33 PM
    I unsurprisingly disagree, and in no small part due to how you are just perpetuating your prescriptive flavor text fallacy here. You have not communicated well or demonstrated how the DM's enjoyment would be negatively impacted in a meaningful way. You have only stated the obvious: the DM would have less control over certain aspects of the player character and one less NPC. What has been lost...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 02:17 PM
    That clarification does little to better your argument. So the DM would enjoy the game less if they did not have the power to murder the character's family? The DM would enjoy the game less if they could not steal/destroy/sabotage a character's motorcycle? The DM would enjoy the game less if they left a character's deity/patron/cultus untouched as a foreground story element? How does this DM...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 02:03 PM
    Let's start with this little piece of rudeness. Regardless of what you may feel, my argument against your comparison is not being made on my part for the sake of argument. I am approaching this topic in good faith. This does, however, reveal about your lack of good faith when approaching mine. I genuinely have issues of disagreement with what you wrote, namely in recognizing differences in how...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 01:39 PM
    "may get told no" is perfectly fine. Will always get told no is where I think the problem lies.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 11:31 AM
    This illustrates the problem of media. These examples are not from cooperative tabletop games; these are stories driven by authors or writing teams. Tyrion is not a player character, as he does not have a player. George R. R. Martin authors the voice and agency of the character, and other characters that he chooses to include, while also facilitating the surrounding drama of the narrative. ...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 10:42 AM
    Oh, I totally agree. Personally, I wouldn't background these relationships. I think they're great. And, I have no real problems with a DM who uses them. That's fine. But, again, we're talking about a player who has specifically said they don't want this. They've made it very clear that this is not fun for them. To me, a good DM takes the preferences of his or players into account when...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 09:40 AM
    "The Age of Entitlement," when people dare to challenge the DM's own entitlement issues.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 09:28 AM
    ROTFLMAO. Dude, it's very, very likely that I'm older than you. This has nothing to do with age or entitlement. Note, even in the Leomund's Chest example, in the 5e example, there is no chance of the chest being found. Now, you do have to renew it every 60 days, but, that's hardly a big deal is it?
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 09:17 AM
    I see the point you are trying to make here, but I don't agree with it. The decision-making is still present for the player even post-character creation. The social contract is still in-effect. And both the player and DM can renegotiate that through and outside play. The player may have chosen a deity at character creation. But they may have done so under the impression (whether through their...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 03:58 AM
    Whoa, love that opening. Haven't seen these yet. I'm waiting for them to be released in Japan with subtitles so I can watch them with my daughters together. But, I have to say that this is VERY refreshing. For some bizarre reason, my Youtube home channel has been absolutely bombarded with youtube pundits kvetching about the fact that this is a woman doctor and how that's the destruction of...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 03:27 AM
    Now, why do you think that is? Why did they add that bit to D&D that only stuff that is not worn or carried is at risk? It obviously hurts verisimilitude. It's hardly believable that I can be killed by that firey dragon breath, but, my charred corpse is still wearing pristine clothes. Because, well, we've backgrounded that bit because it's not a lot of fun. It gets kinda pointless and...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 03:01 AM
    Kinda sorta. Those limits are placed within the writeup of the game. It's not like the player chose to put that limitation there. IOW, the player likes everything else about the class, just not this one, specific thing and is asking the DM if, in this campaign, we can shelve this one specific thing for this one specific character. And the DM's apparent answer is, "Nope. You chose this, you...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 12:49 AM
    Put it in other contexts. "Hey, we're going to go out for dinner every week for the next six months to a year but we are only going to go to restaurants you hate." "Hey, we're going to have movie night every week for the next six months to a year but we're only going to watch movies you hate." Yeah, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this isn't exactly the most friendly...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 11:29 PM
    It is a sign of dickishness, (not sure where indecency comes in) when you pitch that game 100% knowing that at least one of your players absolutely hates the idea that you are pitching. That's the very important detail you are leaving out here. When knowing that that pitch will cause one player to leave the game is a pretty strong sign of dickishness.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 10:08 PM
    Yes. The language is far more open and subject to interpretation than your intentionally restricted reading. It does not mean that the DM is mandated to include these elements. It does not mean that the player is mandated to play them. It does not mean that the player has to agree to the DM's use of these elements. The fluff informs the design of the archetype, but it does not control it. It...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 08:21 PM
    No, it is how you think the rules should be played. If the rules were as clear cut as you think, we would not be having such discussions. These obligations are not absolute. They are things that the DM can opt to insert into the game, but that does not make it a rule to insert them into the game. You may want to withdraw your strawman; nowhere are we discussing altering mechanics. The class...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 05:18 PM
    How you think the game should be played (or how it is played at your table) does not make it true about the game rules system itself.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 06:16 AM
    Nobody is saying the DM should not control the NPC's. We're saying that this one specific NPC, that only impacts one PC and no other PC can ever interact with, gets taken off the table. Infinity-1 while smaller than infinity is still pretty damn big. Losing control of one NPC and making a player happy seems a pretty small price. Claims that this is going to ruin the game for the DM seem a bit...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 05:01 AM
    But, who's forcing the DM to do anything here? If anything, I'm giving less work for the DM. The DM no longer has to worry about what to do, if anything, with this patron. The player is not interested in playing that out. Why would you, as a DM, knowing that the player isn't interested, bring it into the game? Again, who is it for? It's not for the player. It's not for the other players. ...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 04:26 AM
    And fair enough. But, again, at the end of the day, what changed? The animal companion is still hidden and fades into the background (not the mechanical version, just, not in the front of play) and those orc children escaped. And, after the third, fourth, tenth time, most groups are just going to take it as read anyway. This is the point I keep coming back to. We already Background tons of...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 04:17 AM
    When the choices are, "Play the way I want to play or don't play that character", I'm going to say that that is the DM forcing things on the player. I dunno, I see things like having a discussion and reaching an agreement as compromise where both sides are happy. You certainly haven't presented any options other than "my way or the highway". Doesn't sound like there is much to discuss is...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 04:12 AM
    Seriously? You're going to hate the game and not have fun because that one character doesn't have to deal with his or her patron? Really? And note, if we go with the way 5ekyu has described his games, if the player doesn't want to deal with the patron, that player should play another character. In which case you aren't going to get to play the patron anyway. If playing the patron doesn't...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 12:45 AM
    See, at the end of the day, I really have to ask, who is all this for? I mean, the other players probably don't care too much about my character's relationship with his patron. I obviously don't care (as an example. I would actually not background this, but, I'm using myself as an example) because I want to background this element. So, exactly who is this for? "Mr. DM. I really liked that...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 12:25 AM
    wow, you agree with billd91 in the post before this, but, tell me I'm inventing things. :erm: What exactly, then, do you mean that I must accept the consequences of choosing a class if you aren't going to force anything?
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 10:31 PM
    Question for 5e GMs who are concerned with the player of a Warlock or Cleric or Divine Soul Sorcerer not having the nature of their bargain, pact, relationship mediated by the GM. 5e isn't a tightly balanced game. GMs, in order to balance the game (intraparty and party: obstacle and party:adventuring day), have to deploy a hefty amount of extra-system or nonstandard obstacle manipulation (in...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 06:41 AM
    Yes. 5ekyu has flat out said, and others have said too, that if you want to play a class, you MUST accept everything about that class or don't play that class. So, if you play a warlock, you MUST accept that the DM has control over your patron and can force your character to do things. If you play a paladin, you MUST accept that the DM can force you to take certain actions. If you play a...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 06:39 AM
    Sigh. Still missing the point. Even if you add that one, ok, great. Now 20% of the episodes feature a threat to the Enterprise. Whoopee freaking do. The point I was making was that even if you DID background the Enterprise, 80% of the stories remain unchanged. Which was the point I was trying to make. That Backgrounding hardly changes games as much as people are making it out to. That...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 06:30 AM
    They separated the saucer section because the writers wanted to show off this cool new thing the Enterprise could do. :D But, in any case, even had they not separated, how would the story actually change? AFAIK, nothing. It simply wouldn't change the outcome or even the progression at all. Sure, and by and large I agree a fun little bit might be for the Patron to ask the Warlock to...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 02:34 AM
    Argh, sorry about the multiple posts. It is a rather busy thread. But, stepping back a second here because people, including myself, seem to be getting lost in the weeds a bit. What are we actually talking about here? I mean, how much of an impact would Backgrounding actually have on a campaign? Sure, if your campaign focuses on warlock/patron relationships and the entire party has...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 02:26 AM
    Now, let's roll this around to what's actually being discussed. The DM comes to you and tells you, you have to do X because the dragons are telling you to do X. If you don't do X, you will no longer be a sorcerer. After all, you "chose" to have this patron relationship. It's perfectly acceptable, according to you, for the DM to use that relationship. So, the DM exercises his or her power...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 02:18 AM
    Sauntering my way through a lot of pages. This is a busy thread. But, it is good to see that someone here gets precisely what I'm talking about. If you don't like how I describe things, I suggest rereading Nagol's posts. He puts it perfectly well, gets the point immediately and can likely answer any questions better than I can.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 02:15 AM
    You're seriously going to take Maxperson's interpretations of anything at face value? After THIS thread? Really? I mean, right off the bat, he he put's Encounter at Farpoint as an example of the Enterprise being threatened. It's not. It wouldn't matter if the crew were on the Enterprise or on Earth when Q shows up. The Enterprise is just background stuff there. It's totally not...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 02:08 AM
    You mean like a 3e paladin's mount? That's summonable and dismissible at will? Or the 5e version of the same with the Mount spell that paladins get? Or that evoker wizard that gets to avoid allies with his fireballs? Guess 5e is too video gamey.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 01:57 AM
    I.e. Backgrounded. :D
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 04:11 PM
    There may be a miscommunication of terms here. Hussar much earlier discussed a mechanic in another system called the 'Background. We are not necessarily talking "small b" background, in a general sense, or the 5e sense of the Background.' In this other system - from what I understand - the players designate a few things about their characters are essentially placed in the "background" of...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 03:32 PM
    When a player express to the DM that there are things that they would not like to deal with in the campaign with their characters and then the DM does it anyway in a manner that does not respect those requests? Yeah, sorry, I don't care how offended you get about it, but I would definitely say that calls the basic human decency of the DM into question.
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 03:27 PM
    But what if - there are characters that exist in-world - that neither the GM nor the players control? And that's really where the whole concept of Backgrounding seems to come in. I don't think anyone is suggesting that the warlock PC is playing the NPC Patron, but, rather, that the player and GM are both essentially hands-off with the patron.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 03:17 PM
    But as you have apparently already established that a GM can coerce a warlock with their patron regardless of the PC's consent or how this may contradict with what the player wants, it's difficult for me not to wonder how that is not a DM lacking respect for their players. ;)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 10:27 AM
    Mainly in the sense that the player wants it to be a marginal part of their play experience or something that is not the focus of said experience. It's simply not the sort of story that the player wants to experience or deal with. Why shouldn't it? Oh noooos! Will no one ever think of the poor oppressed DM?! Probably depending on how slippery you make that slope.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 08:43 AM
    Hence our discussion of the Patron as a possible player-selected Background feature. Again, consent is key here. Here's the feature: the current campaign adventure path is irrelevant to the interests or even whims of the Patron. :p
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 08:12 AM
    Here's the thing, the warlock flavor text establishes that the player has input as to how that relationship will play out: This right here implies that the player is establishing their expectations for play with the DM. That is not the DM dictating the terms of the pact and the patron to the player. That is most definitely space that suggests the possibility of "backgrounding" the pact. It...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 07:45 AM
    On the Enterprise. I was a bit curious about this, so, I did a bit of Wikipedia diving. Of the first three seasons of Next Generation, there are 74 episodes. Of those 74 episodes, 14 actually feature the Enterprise as anything other than just a background set - either the ship is threatened directly, taken over by aliens, or is somehow central to the plot of the episode. So, 14 out of 74...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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Thursday, 18th October, 2018

  • 09:02 AM - Sadras mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    @Hussar, I think the background idea has some merit. At session 0 most of what comes up is - selecting a setting, cosmology, level of magic, the difficulty, playable races/classes, published material allowed, house rules, genre...etc. What hardly or never comes up (at least at my table) is what each player perhaps likes least. It would be a good way for the DM to gauge what would be most enjoyable at the table by backgrounding some of these story components Whether I'd agree to background something as pivotal as a Warlock's patron would largely depend primarily on my knowledge of the player and his/her maturity level, length of the campaign and the overall campaign story.

Wednesday, 17th October, 2018

  • 03:57 PM - Aldarc mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...t the GM wasn't hands off regarding the deity... he created history, setting, icons, etc. about the deity. that's not hands off that's very much hands on. You were hands off about a very specific aspect of the deity but this is more akin to collaboration (which many posters including myself are ok with to an extent) as opposed to the deity being backgrounded by the player so that the DM must be hands off. You can't argue these things are part of a players concept and not be touched when it comes to the father example but then claim they are irrelevant in this one.Reading this, I wonder if you may be talking from different senses or understandings about "hands off" or "hands on" regarding Backgrounded elements, and this may be leading to some of the all-around confusion or disagreement. But based upon most discussion from the various positions, it would seem that most agree that player/DM cooperation for establishing characters and their anchor into the world is good and healthy. Hussar, to save a bit of time with hunting for a needle in a haystack, what was the name again of the RPG you mentioned that had this Background mechanic? It may be helpful to examine how the mechanic or rule is worded. It could help us all re-focus our efforts in this thread.
  • 03:34 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I am responding to the thread as I read it. To me it seemed very clear in a range of posts that the technical device of "backgrounding" that Hussar mentioned was just an instance of, or useful expostiroy proxy for, a broader range of considerations about how fiction is established, handled etc. I feel that my discussion with Sadras is operating under that understanding and while obviously we have different views about what makes for good GMing I don't think there are any conceptual or terminological confusions affecting our discussion. (Maybe Sadras will correct me on that!) The argument about whether "backgrounding" prevents consequences was premised not on the fact that it is "not a focus of play" (as per Imaro's post just upthread) but on the fact that "the DM is hands off about it" (from the same post). I have posted an example in which the GM was hands off about the demands of allegiance - ie the players decided this - but in which consequences most definitely ensued. That is sufficient to refeute the claims made. If soemone now wants to say that all the action really is not in regard to the GM being hands off but rather t...

Tuesday, 16th October, 2018

  • 06:10 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...ead my example of having the warlock make a side trip to the Old Man of the Woods as the party goes through the forest.What's the point of that, from a gameplay perspective, in circumstances where the player has already flagged that s/he is not interested in this sort of stuff? And how could it be that a GM can't enjoy the game unless it includes this - does that mean s/he always insists that at least one player play a feypact warlock? I get what your saying. I was in a game once where we were playing pirates. The problem? The DM started us without a boat and not even near the water. Several sessions later and we never did mange to get a boat for the pirates campaign. However, there's a world of difference between having your bike stolen, and running out of gas and being inconvenienced. Jumping to the horrible DM example that almost never actually happens, doesn't give you a win in the discussion.Well, the threat of the bike being stolen was the actual example given from Hussar's actual play. But let's take running out of petrol. What does that add to the game? Do you keep track of how much leather is left on the soles of PCs' shoes? You might think that that is a snide question, but it's intended literally. In real life, shoes wear out - I know this from the experience of wearing them out by running in them. But I've never played in a RPG where this "consequence" is kept track of, and where the players therefore risk having their PC suddenly inconvenienced by a hole in his/her shoe. The bigger point is that, in RPGing, we "background" stuff - as in, disregard it and/or take it for granted - all the time. If a player has said that s/he wants to treat his/her PC's motorcycle in this way, what reason does a GM have for doing otherwise?
  • 02:05 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ... player to adapt to the table if you wish to play.I think there are two cases. If it's a case that the game is already about X, and the player asks to join in - a new player to an existing group, a pick-up game, or whatever - then the player is forewarned. But if (as in the examples that have been discussed) the X is something that only comes into the game because it's an element of the new player's PC - a motorcycle, dear old dad, the Lord of Battle as divine patron, etc - then I stand by my view. The game was proceeding swimmingly without the GM having anything to say about the Lord of Battle, so why does that have to change? What is wrong with a game where Vlad's motorcycle never gets stolen? In one game, the pcs can start as humans, in another as older vamps hundreds of years old with established territories. In one game, they can be members of a well structured principality. In another scrambling for survival on the run in a chaotic region.And do you think that the game Hussar was describing, where the player just wanted his PC's bike to be an element of character colour that didn't get stolen, was a game of hard-knock scarbbling for survival on the run in a chaotic region?
  • 12:31 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...umably if no one described his/her PC's motorcycle the issue wouldn't even come up - certainly in the few V:tM sessions I've played the mode of transport didn't seem to matter.) That may be a somewhat more extreme example than wanting to keep a motorcycle free and pristine from any and all interference or wanting to take a huge pet dinosaur into any densely packed urban environment, but it's the same sort of topic.No it's not. Wanting to have a motorcycle that doesn't get stolen isn't a game style thing at all. Wanting to have a warlock whose patron doesn't hose him/her isn't a game style thing at all. If the player never mentioned the motorcycle, the game woud progress identically but with no cycle theft. Mutatis mutandis if the player played a fighter rather than a warlock. As far as the ranger's animal companion is concerned, you are the only poster to mention taking a huge dinosaur into a densely packed urban environment - which is an actual contradiction in the fiction. Hussar suggested that the ranger's bear not cause any headaches or issues when left hanging around the fringes of the village, or something along those lines. The bottom line: I think GMs who want to micromanage their players' colour and backstory for PCs are bad GMs full stop. And those who want to micromanage the actual fiction that unfolds in the game - so that a good chunk, or even most, of the players' play experience becomes finding out what the GM has decided the fiction shall become - are GMs whose games I will avoid or walk from. (As per my three examples in my first post in this thread.)

Monday, 15th October, 2018

  • 01:03 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...s relevant to gameplay. In any modern-era game that I can imagine, a motorcycle is just colour - a way of filling out the narration "I get from A to B" and of justifying my PC's fondness for leathers - until the player chooses to stake it. I'm riding my bike across the Arizona desert to try and warn my coven before the evil ghouls find them and eat them! That's putting the bike at stake - make a riding check, on a fail maybe the bike breaks down, or as you're leaving a petrol station you find yourself surrounded by rivals from the Gypsy Jokers or whatever (as seems appropriate in the GM's judgement). I park my bike outside the pub where I'm meeting my friends for a drink. That's not staking the bike on anything - and I stand by my opinion that a GM who can't think of anything better to do at that point then have the bike be stolen is a lame GM. The idea that we'd actually spend time at the table discussing how the PC is protecting the bike from theft - which is what happened in Hussar's game - just adds to the lameness.
  • 12:09 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    It's not a price, though. It's simply a function of the class. If you play a cleric, paladin, or warlock, you are choosing to have a being who you have obligations to. When those obligations come calling, it's something you already agreed to by choosing the class and it's bad faith for you to get upset about. Unless you and the DM make an agreement before the game begins for it to be otherwise.(1) Hussar is describing a system for establishing such agreements and is being told that players who would do such a thing are bad players seeking to avoid "consequences". (2) As I have repeatedly posted, there is no logical connection between PC cleric has obligations to a god and GM is entitled to impose demands/directions on player's play of his her PC. This is because the player is perfectly capable of establishing his/her PC's obligations. I read the cleric class description in the 5e Basic PDF (pp 20-21): Clerics are intermediaries between the mortal world and the distant planes of the gods. As varied as the gods they serve, clerics strive to embody the handiwork of their deities. No ordinary priest, a cleric is imbued with divine magic. . . . The gods donít grant this power to everyone who seeks it, but only to those chosen to fulfill a high calling. Harnessing divine magic doesnít rely on study or training. A cleric might learn formulaic prayers and ancient rites, but the...

Sunday, 14th October, 2018

  • 11:26 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    But if a VtM game did have.a scene story or plot where gas in the tank was crotical to,the resolution, i sure wouldnt call that lame without knowing whether the players enjoyed it.But we know the answer to this - Hussar described a game in which the player did not want the bike to be at stake in the game. And various posters - including you, I think - said that that was a bad player trying to avoid "consequences".
  • 11:32 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Are you deliberately misunderstanding billd91, or do you genuinely not understand that if the DM wants a game where he controls the NPCs, he's forced to play a game he doesn't want to play if players can force him not to play the patron? Nobody is saying the DM should not control the NPC's. We're saying that this one specific NPC, that only impacts one PC and no other PC can ever interact with, gets taken off the table. Infinity-1 while smaller than infinity is still pretty damn big. Losing control of one NPC and making a player happy seems a pretty small price. Claims that this is going to ruin the game for the DM seem a bit overblown to me.I want to go further than Hussar - a GM who even regards this as a price is a GM with a flaw that I would not want to play with. The GM's basic function in a RPG is to provide the players with obstacles and antagonism that they can pit their PCs against. The details can vary dramatically - from mapping and stocking a dungeon, to coming up with a Dragonlance-like series of set piece encounters to be worked through, to "indie"-style scene framing. But that provision of obstacles and antagonism is the basic function. Playing NPCs is a means to that end: they are elements in the obstacles/antagonism (whether as framing or as consequences) or else they are mere colour. A GM who regards it as a "price" that a player wants to put some limits or offer some direction in respect of those things is (in my view) just about the lamest GM imaginable. This is why, as these arguments are set out, I am actually becoming more sympathetic to Hussar's description of it as an ego thing: because we seem to be talking about a GM who i...
  • 11:15 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    You get a lot of people talking about "meaningful choices" around here but only seem to want those to matter if the consequences are goodThis is what I'm calling out as nonsense - I mean you clearly don't think you're describing your game, and I know you're not describing my game, and I'm going to hazard a guess that you're not describing Hussar's game either - so whose game do you think you are describing? Which goes back to my point - is the best the GM can think of to challenge my Hells Angel's PC stealing my motorbike? To me it just seems like incredibly weak GMing. I know that sort of thing is basically compulsory in high level AD&D if wizard PCs are to be kept within some semblance of balance, but there are almost no RPGs out there as poorly mechanically balanced as high level AD&D. The motorcycle example came from a Vampire game, I think - but it could equally apply to any modern-setting RPG. When the players in my Marvel Heroic game wanted their PCs to get from DC to Tokyo they just narrated it as travelling in a Stark private jet (one of the PCs being War Machine) - it's so far in the "background" it's just taken for granted! There was plenty of action waiting for them in Tokyo without needing to worry about whether or not they suffer a random North Korean missile firing at their jet! In my Classic Traveller ...
  • 01:48 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...ut. EDIT: Here's another example: I don't think that's really what people are saying - they're saying that you must accept the complication those classes require. They don't typically involve MUST take certain actions by DM force - rarely does a paladin even face that. Rather, that you MUST accept the consequences of the way you play your character, or of the choices you make, when they interact in certain ways with the classes you've chosen or the situation around you. I think your spin on it really is a mischaracterization - and an extremely uncharitable one at that.How is RPGing better because the GM threatens to stop you playing a paladin, warlock or whatever - "consequences of the way you play your character" - unless you pursue XYZ side quest or barmaid rescue or whatever it is the GM decides would be fun. To me that just seems like the pits. Can the GM not think of some way to challenge my PC which speaks to what I envision as my PC's goals, raison d'etre, etc? Hussar's "force" means that the GM will force a player to do something to maintain his patron relationship and the powers that result from it. Our point of view is that a patron can not like something a character does and pull the power but the player still has free will to do what he or she wants when that situation comes up.And I make the same point to this: if the GM can't think of anything more interesting than framing a choice as "Do this thing I want your PC to do or else forfeit your PC abilities", how badly must that game suck? I have been on the receiving end of the "kobolds" babies" situation more than a few times, but only ever once by any single GM. That is because when it was my "paladin" or "lawful good" he was bringing into question - i said in essence "as a devout follower of the teachings and faith my character should know what the most acceptable answer from those teaching to this quandry are - maybe even a few not the best but ten hail marys attonement options as well....

Saturday, 13th October, 2018

  • 03:33 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    How does it signal what the player doesn't want?I'm talking about the system Hussar described, where by putting a PC-related story element into the (capital B) Background, a player is establishing that it will not be brought into play by the GM.

Friday, 12th October, 2018

  • 04:13 PM - Nagol mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...up backgrounds: The first is attempting to discover the origin of a shard left by his parents and actively pursues this in the campaign. The rest is left up to the DM. He continues to provide information which I tie into what I have I have planned. He is happy with this arrangement. The second is attempting to bring his fallen deity (dead god, long story) to former glory by reigniting the god's divine spark. He is actively attempting to find a way to do this, again with the DM providing the way. The third drew up a detailed background about his past. I have tied it into the theme of the AP we are currently playing. No issues. Players 4 and 5 did not provide me with anything and that is how I have left it. One of them has a writing-type phobia which I barely understand, the other is presumably lazy. :) I believe you are conflating two different things: a PC background which literally provides information on the PC's pre-play experience and Background which as described by Hussar is a game element that takes some of those things on the PC background and informs the table that they effectively exist as colour only. Neither the player nor the DM are to use them as resources or hooks for play.
  • 04:11 PM - Aldarc mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    How does it signal what the player doesn't want? If the player went to all the effort to draw up a background, to me that is an obvious indication that the player would like his background to matter somehow.There may be a miscommunication of terms here. Hussar much earlier discussed a mechanic in another system called the 'Background. We are not necessarily talking "small b" background, in a general sense, or the 5e sense of the Background.' In this other system - from what I understand - the players designate a few things about their characters are essentially placed in the "background" of narrative play, in the sense that the GM will not touch upon them and they are not necessarily things that the player wants as focal points of play. For example, if the PC "backgrounds" their family, then the GM would not introduce orcs into the campaign who would murder them, which would bring them to the foreground of play. Or another player may "background" the racism or exoticism of their dragonborn PC, because they do not want to repeatedly play through "we don't serve your kind here" scenarios every time they enter a town or bar. So by the players using this "background" mechanic, then they would be effectively signalling what they do not want to se...
  • 02:51 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...who insists that all the townsfolk try and kill my bear, or won't talk to me because they're scared of my bear, or whatever, is just making me suck more! What happened to all the people who are intrigued by this guy with a tame bear? The real world is full of those sorts of people, so why not the gameworld? Background as its been described doesn't have anything to do with spotlight time or negation of drawbacks. It's about not using an element as a driver for play. The player is signaling "I'm including something that might look like a plot hook. Please don't use it; I don't want to bother with this. It exists because I thought it appropriate, but exploring it is not interesting to me." So the PC might have a spouse and child "somewhere" (like Winger in Glen Cook's Garrett series), but the player doesn't want them to appear, whether threatened, in need, or angry at abandonment.Right. I don't use this "Background" system - I've never encountered it as a formal device until Hussar mentioned it in this thread. As I've been discussing with S'mon, there is some stuff that is implicitly not to be understood as up for grabs as subject matter of play; but at my table this is all established through informal cues, not via a formal device. But the idea that if the GM can't put pressure on the player of the warlock by having the patron boss the PC around then the player is getting a free ride is absolutely bizarre to me! Do those who think this not have any other ways they can imagine putting pressure on a warlock PC? What do they do when their players decide to play sorcerers instead? If you guys want to agree that the patron is a potatoAnd this is an instance of exactly what I mean. Is it really not possible for someone to play a warlock in your game without you treating that as an invitation to take radical control of that PC's story focus/direction? And as an invitation for the PC to be hosed in some fashion by a GM-controlled patron? I mean, suppose the PC...
  • 09:13 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...she reached 10th level. It never occurred to me that the bear was meant to be a problem for her. (2) Suppose the caravan was "backgrounded" against theft - how would that hurt the game? There are a million-and-one scenarios that can be played involving a caravan. You played one of them. If the caravan were backgrounded against theft, you'd play one of the other million. I mean, there's a whole range of scenarios that are implicitly "backgrounded" at many tables - PCs don't get ambushed while urinating; captured PCs don't get raped; in FRPGs there are few encounters that bring the PCs (and thereby the players) into confrontation with the social realities of mediaeval life (I've never come across a published adventure that tackles in any serious way the infant mortality rates and life expectancy of the mediaeval peasantry). We don't deal with these things because no one finds the prospect appealing, and there's plenty of other stuff that can be dealt with. How is the sort of thing Hussar is talking about any different? What are we actually losing here? It's not like this is a balance issue at all. <snip> Is this really too much of a limitation on a campaign? Are people really that incapable of building a Star Trek campaign that doesn't feature the Enterprise being taken over by aliens?Exactly this.
  • 12:59 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...is morning) Really bad example to make a point for the conversation.Even allowing for the badness of the example, this is just bizarre to me. The games I play that involve magic items have rules (express or implicit) for how items are awarded to PCs. The GM often has a strong mediating role in respect of that. The rules also tell us what the typical bonuses are that are granted by a patron to a follower - namely, the class abilities! The idea that the GM needs to police the role of the patron as a figure in the fiction so that players won't gift themselves benefits outside the rules is just bizarre in so many ways! Just like apparently theft--proof motorcycles for free in VtM, you are not backgrounding the bike, just the bad stuff that comes with having a bike - it seems.If I had a PC with a bike as core part of the character, I would expect to have the bike come under threat only in ways in which other core parts of PC identity come under threat. If - as per the approach Hussar is suggesting - that is "never" than fine. In a more gritty game, it might be a result of a failed check. But the idea that the GM would just decide the bike gets stolen is bizarre. As far as bears are concerned, when the PCs in my 4e game were 1st level they tamed a bear. It wandered around with them for a session or two. I can't remember exactly what we did about it when the PCs arrived at a forester's steading, but I don't think it was that big a deal. It would be pretty crappy GMing, in my view, to undo ther players' success in taming the bear by having the NPCs kill it or refuse to let the PCs keep it with them or whatever. And doubly so if it was a class feature that had been paid for with PC build resources. There is a difference and a significant one in a game where expressly it is the purview of a player to create whole swaths of non-pc content to support their character and those games like 5e where it is not setup that way - especially if it comes with questioni...

Thursday, 11th October, 2018

  • 04:01 PM - SkidAce mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I personally dont have these issues with any group I have ever played with, I suspect cause we talk about it. But both sides (I am taking neither side) of this discussion seem to argue from the best side of their point. I.e. The character still has a code, just doen't want it as a game focus all the time (good example with the Captain America paladin Hussar) I.e. The world is full of restrictions and contracts that certain characters must follow to make sense. (several examples). So here is my theoretical question; What happens when the player of a warlock/paladin/cleric et al, requests/decides how the relationship works, and then starts playing/acting like an assassin when they are a cleric of Bahamut? (Basically ignoring any contradictions in the relationship)
  • 03:49 PM - Sadras mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Like the races examples, its insisting that your character be exempt from the setting impacts of choices... which gets a no at my table. @pemerton and @Hussar If a player selects to play an elf or a dwarf, does the player also have narrative control over the thoughts and actions of the entire tribe, clan or race?


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Friday, 19th October, 2018

  • 01:48 PM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Well, that's not exactly true. Basic/Expert, for example, doesn't even have gods. And clerics are certainly not beholden to anything. It is true. I specified edition for a reason. The first edition is, well, 1e and the last edition is 5e. Basic isn't an edition. It's a different game of D&D than ran prior to and concurrently with the editions. Even then, it did have gods, but you found out about them later. They were called Immortals and they had names like Zeus, Odin and Frey. AD&D clerics were not really beholden to anything either. There were no mechanics for taking spells away from clerics who "misbehaved". And, a 1e cleric could serve multiple gods. There was certainly no indication that gods were close or distant. That was left entirely up to the DM. 2e goes even further. You don't even need a god to be a cleric in 2e, same as 3e. You could serve a concept and still get spells and whatnot. No indication that they were close or distant? They had to personally co...
  • 09:47 AM - pemerton quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Basic/Expert, for example, doesn't even have gods.I haven't got my copy of Moldvay Basic ready to hand. I think it suggests that clerics are religious - I know we used to call our cleric PCs things like "Brother Simon" and I think we got that idea from the rulebook - but it doesn't have any rules for the GM to adjudicate deities independent of adjudicating alignment. I have been able to check the Rules Cyclopedia (which is a downstream B/X variant, based on the Mentzer version) and can report that its description of the cleric class (p 13) says the following (which I'm 95% confident is not found in Moldvay Basic): A cleric is a human character who is dedicated to serving a great and worthy cause. This cause can be an Immortal being dedicated to a specific goal or attribute; sometimes the cleric is serving only his alignment, and has no interest in immortal beings. The D&D game does not deal with the ethical and theological beliefs of the characters in the game. AD&D clerics were no...
  • 07:45 AM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    And, really, I think this is where most of the disagreement lies. To me, the patron is a minor class element. It doesn't really impact play and, IMO, leaving it out doesn't really change the class at all. Then again, I approach Warlocks from more a Binder perspective (never saw warlocks in 3e, although I played one in 4e where the binder DNA was more prevalent). So, to me, this is a minor class element. Yep. It's definitely a perspective thing.
  • 05:55 AM - pemerton quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Let's consider another case that does not involve deities. I create a character with a backstory pertaining to my family clan that I have also invented. A new player joins the game or a PC dies and a player re-rolls a new character. Having heard about my character's clan or watching me play, the player thinks it would be cool if their new character also came from this same clan that I created, possibly as a sibling or cousin. It makes for a great plot hook and easy way to seed the new character into the group. I am inventor of this clan and its history, status, etc. "(and thus, one assumes, the best authority) of the [clan they are trying to roleplay]." Somwhat connected to this: In my Prince Valiant game one PC is the son of another: it wasn't planned that way, but after PC creation was done the two were nearly identical, and one was in his 40s and the other in his 20s, so it just made sense! Those two players obviously get to decide what their family, and their family relationship, is about...
  • 01:21 AM - Imaro quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Dunno who you are implying. Certainly not me. Got any specifics you'd like to put on the table? I believe pemerton's general approach to gaming is characterized by the setting not being the DM's but instead the groups... I believe Manbearcat is similar in his tastes and well TwoSix pretty much said it was his preference when he responded... but I wasn't sure since I haven't interacted directly with him as much as the other two posters I listed. I honestly don't know what your general approach is though I will admit you seem very pro-player entitlement and much less enthusiastic about anything that maintains or establishes DM empowerment. No. Why would it? The basic premise is that the DM has 100% of the power. Using backgrounding means that the DM now has 99.99% of the power at the table. That tiny sliver that the DM is prevented from bringing into the forefront of play is also off the table for the player as well. But, when the DM brings something up in game, it's not backgrou...
  • 12:48 AM - Derren quoted Hussar in post Shootout at the D&D Corral
    But, again, we're talking tiny, tiny proportions of the population. Ok, Hercules travels to Spain. He's a demi-god. Not exactly your average individual. All this aside though, my basic point is we don't actually need these massive, sprawling settings. I'd much prefer a smaller, much more detailed setting. Something along the lines of Ravenloft or the Dragon Heist setting of Waterdeep. I mean, if the Lord of the Rings setting can be contained in an area slightly smaller than Europe, I'm thinking that it's not all that hard to set most D&D campaigns in an even smaller setting. The entire Hobbit travels about 1000 miles. And that's an entire campaign. Again, let's not forget, a heck of a lot of empty space in there. Heck, most of the action (not all, I agree) of Song and Ice and Fire takes place in England and Scotland. I think it's a mistake that designers generally make to create these settings which have quite unrealistic spaces. It's not needed. It's not like England or F...

Thursday, 18th October, 2018

  • 10:43 PM - Thomas Bowman quoted Hussar in post Shootout at the D&D Corral
    Sure. But, when it takes a day to travel 10 miles, just how much distance do you actually need? Derren mentions Odysseus. Yeah, that's kinda my point. He sailed the Med. You realize that's about half the size of the Sword Coast right? The entire Odyssey takes place in an space considerably smaller than the Sword Coast. And yup, Muslims travelled to Mecca. Doing the Hajj is a once in a lifetime event that many don't actually do AND we're talking people who lived in the area. It's not like they were traveling much more than a thousand miles and many would be far, far less. Monks traveling to India. Ok. But, as you say, from Constantinople. While still very impressive, it's STILL a shorter distance than what is represented in the Sword Coast. And again, let's be honest here, we're talking a tiny, tiny fraction of the population. No, travel was not common. And, my point being that you certainly don't need these massive, ginormous settings to run an RPG. Good grief, the Swo...
  • 10:27 PM - Derren quoted Hussar in post Shootout at the D&D Corral
    Sure. But, when it takes a day to travel 10 miles, just how much distance do you actually need? Derren mentions Odysseus. Yeah, that's kinda my point. He sailed the Med. You realize that's about half the size of the Sword Coast right? The entire Odyssey takes place in an space considerably smaller than the Sword Coast. And yup, Muslims travelled to Mecca. Doing the Hajj is a once in a lifetime event that many don't actually do AND we're talking people who lived in the area. It's not like they were traveling much more than a thousand miles and many would be far, far less. Monks traveling to India. Ok. But, as you say, from Constantinople. While still very impressive, it's STILL a shorter distance than what is represented in the Sword Coast. And again, let's be honest here, we're talking a tiny, tiny fraction of the population. No, travel was not common. And, my point being that you certainly don't need these massive, ginormous settings to run an RPG. Good grief, the Swo...
  • 09:16 PM - Thomas Bowman quoted Hussar in post Shootout at the D&D Corral
    So what? Wizards or casting clerics mean I need more geography? :erm: For monsters you need a place for them to live which is not right next to the local village, so you need to put some distance between the civilized places and the uncivilized places.
  • 07:33 PM - Derren quoted Hussar in post Shootout at the D&D Corral
    I guess I missed those stories where King Arthur traveled to China. Or Beowulf traveled to Africa. Let's not forget that the population densities back then would be a fraction of what they are now. England in the Middle ages had a population (depending on who you ask) of about 2-3 million. It's currently about 60 million. We're looking at 95% of the current population of just England not existing at the time. That leaves a LOT of empty space. And it's not like anywhere else was much different. Sure, there was trade. But, there's a trick to that. It was very, very rare for traders to do the whole route. Sure, Marco Polo went to China, but, most of that trade was done in stages. Mostly because most people don't leave home for 16 years. And, let's be honest, how many of those pilgrims died on the road? We're talking a tiny percentage of the population traveling more than a few days away from home. Like I said, if we go by medieval population densities, suddenly we don't ...
  • 05:17 PM - Imaro quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I'd point out that most of the ballooning has been done by those who are trying to "prove" that backgrounding is somehow bad. I mean, we started with a simple bear companion that somehow morphed into a T-Rex. :uhoh: Well when you introduce a concept that posters aren't familiar with and explain it with a broad sentence or two you should expect an ask on clarification/limits/etc. The ballooning mostly happened because every time the limit was pushed and the question of backgrounding was asked, the answer was... Yeah, and if you don't allow them to do it you are a bad DM. So I think people were just trying to get a feel for what the boundaries of this new mechanic were, which seemed to boil down to anything the campaign isn't focused on (of course it also seemed like backgrounding could be used in order to declare something as outside the focus of the campaign before it even started... but honestly I'm a little unclear on that). To be honest the rules you posted later seemed to defin...
  • 04:37 PM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Never minding that Aldarc - do DM's really create 100% of their settings? I sure don't. I WANT my players to create stuff. You're a cleric of Cuthbert? Fantastic. You tell me what that means. You bring that up in play. You make that important in the game. You make the other players care about it. I'm just far, far too lazy to put a bunch of work into some player's background when they cannot be bothered bringing it to the table themselves. And, as a player, I tend to play the same way. I bring that stuff to the table. I don't mind doing the legwork for my own character. It is my character after all. And, I'll try my hardest to bring it to the table and make it interesting to the other players. I wouldn't expect the DM to write all sorts of material for something just for me.I never create 100% of my setting. I do about 40-80% of the campaign specifics after seeing the specific PCs and specific backgrounds, backstories etc. I encourage them to provide people, places and thin...
  • 04:07 PM - TwoSix quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Yeah, I agree with this. It's mostly corner case stuff though. As a general rule, it's not terribly unfair to say that capture scenarios are a bad idea. I have a problem with a capture scenario when it's written into the storyline as an auto-lose. I don't have a problem with capturing the PCs as a result of failing a combat, or failing some skill/exploration challenges. It's a fair consequence to frame, to my mind, when the PCs have really botched something up.
  • 03:54 PM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Actually, I don't think it's weird. Look at the counter examples that have been tossed up. All the "whaddabout's" about backgrounding the Enterprise in a Star Trek game, backgrounding a T-rex or an Allosaurus, I'm sure there have been more. Just to go back a second though to the idea of the DM capturing the party off screen. Let's be honest here, most groups are going to not do this. It never works as well as the DM thinks it will and it's, by and large, considered a very bad idea. It's right up there with trying to run labyrinths and DMPC's on the list of DM BAD IDEAS. :D So, most groups won't do it. But, think about it for a second. Capturing the PC's is hardly a genre breaking event. It happens all the time in genre fiction. And, really, it's often quite plausible as well. But, still, we, as DM's don't do it. Because we know our players will hate it. It's a pretty good example of the sort thing that gets backgrounded for exactly the same reason - because no one at the table ...
  • 01:44 PM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Never minding that Aldarc - do DM's really create 100% of their settings? I sure don't. I WANT my players to create stuff. You're a cleric of Cuthbert? Fantastic. You tell me what that means. You bring that up in play. You make that important in the game. You make the other players care about it. I'm just far, far too lazy to put a bunch of work into some player's background when they cannot be bothered bringing it to the table themselves. And, as a player, I tend to play the same way. I bring that stuff to the table. I don't mind doing the legwork for my own character. It is my character after all. And, I'll try my hardest to bring it to the table and make it interesting to the other players. I wouldn't expect the DM to write all sorts of material for something just for me. I've had players create classes, feats, prestige classes, their home towns, and more. I have to approve the stuff, but I love when they create for the game.
  • 01:40 PM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Obviously. Backgrounding can't be done for major campaign elements. If we're playing a post apocalyptic setting a la Mad Max, then backgrounding a motorcycle couldn't be done. Sorry, I thought we had made this clear earlier. It shouldn't be allowed for major class elements, either.
  • 01:34 PM - TwoSix quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Never minding that Aldarc - do DM's really create 100% of their settings? I sure don't. I WANT my players to create stuff. You're a cleric of Cuthbert? Fantastic. You tell me what that means. You bring that up in play. You make that important in the game. You make the other players care about it. I'm just far, far too lazy to put a bunch of work into some player's background when they cannot be bothered bringing it to the table themselves. And, as a player, I tend to play the same way. I bring that stuff to the table. I don't mind doing the legwork for my own character. It is my character after all. And, I'll try my hardest to bring it to the table and make it interesting to the other players. I wouldn't expect the DM to write all sorts of material for something just for me. Well, I do think a lot of the players in the loyal opposition do expect the DM to create everything, and that the sphere of influence for a player within the setting is exactly one PC wide. Granted,...
  • 09:20 AM - pemerton quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Actually, I don't think it's weird.Sorry, what do you think is not weird? I thought it was weird that you have to state that "backgrounding" won't apply to major campaign elements (like a motorbike in a post-apocalyptic game) because that seemed self-evident. If that's what you're responding to, can you say a bit more because I didn't quite get it the first time!
  • 08:51 AM - Lanefan quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Just to go back a second though to the idea of the DM capturing the party off screen. Let's be honest here, most groups are going to not do this. It never works as well as the DM thinks it will and it's, by and large, considered a very bad idea. Tell that to the writers of the old A-series modules. There's an auto-capture in there, and it leads to some potentially very interesting play afterwards (for the first half of A4 anyway; the second half is kinda painful and IMO best done differently somehow). It's right up there with trying to run labyrinths and DMPC's on the list of DM BAD IDEAS. :D Labyrinths and mazes can be great fun once in a while, but it's easy to overdo it. So, most groups won't do it. But, think about it for a second. Capturing the PC's is hardly a genre breaking event. It happens all the time in genre fiction. And, really, it's often quite plausible as well. Agreed. But, still, we, as DM's don't do it. Because we know our players will hate it. Are you...
  • 08:42 AM - Lanefan quoted Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I'd point out that most of the ballooning has been done by those who are trying to "prove" that backgrounding is somehow bad. I mean, we started with a simple bear companion that somehow morphed into a T-Rex. :uhoh:Bears can wildshape too, didn'tcha know? It says so right here in this rulebook that I...erm...uh...can't seem to find right now, but I know it's in there! ;)


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