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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Today, 02:24 PM
    The show ended pretty much how I expected it to (I called Bran winning the throne 2 seasons ago). I do have some complaints about the continuity. Last episode, especially...what was the point of Arya finding the white horse? Did she become death? Was she dead and the horse was taking her home? D&D: "Nah, my bad...forget that scene! Red herring and all. Oooo, look!! Shiney Dragon...
    30 replies | 553 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 12:00 PM
    Having a Psion class is a good call. I agree with CapnZapp that a lot of past psionic archetypes could easily be ported to subclasses of preexisting classes: * Psychic Warrior: Fighter Subclass * Soul Knife: Monk or Rogue Subclass * Wilder: Sorcerer Subclass * Ardent: Bard or Cleric Subclass
    10 replies | 392 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 11:53 AM
    I voted for 4E. My foray into D&D technically began with me trying to figure out "whiskey tango foxtot is going on?" during two final sessions of 2E before the group planned on switching to 3E which would soon release. So 3E was really my actual first D&D system. It was new and fun, and I have probably played more games using 3E's d20 skeleton than any other system. So I have a lot of...
    75 replies | 1974 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 07:15 AM
    I just realized that there is a very simple test we can perform to prove my point. Can I play a character in your game that is 100% outside of genre? So, an elven wizard in a Call of Cthulu game or a Battlemech Pilot in your D&D game, or whatever. Can I sit down at your table with a character that is completely wrong for the genre of your game and play that character? If you just said no,...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 07:02 AM
    pemerton - perhaps I missed it, but, the point I brought up about using literary techniques, IMO, does speak strongly to the notion that we do need "literary qualities" in an RPG. Without trope, theme, character, and the like, an RPG is simply a really complex board game. All of these aspects, all of these literary techniques, be it clarity of explanation, foreshadowing (which, Bedrockgames, I...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:45 AM
    Honestly, I think two things are very true in this thread. 1. People have equated literary and performance with "flowery language". That is not what's meant and has never been meant. Literary or performance simply means HOW the material is presented in the game, either in written form or in oral during a session. Literary carries additional connotations of utilizing various literary...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:06 AM
    Sorry. I didnít realize I had to give more evidence. 1e modules almost all had boxed text. Tomb of Horrors, one of the earliest modules has a picture gallery to show players. Until recently, setting guides were very, very popular books with hardcore fans who are dedicated to the canon of the setting. On and on. Hundreds of pages in Dragon dedicated to the performance end of running a game....
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 10:39 PM
    Considering that 5e now dominates the market, online play at least shows almost 70% of all RPG sessions are 5e, and 5e is selling in droves, would you care to restate your point that "lots of people" think like me that you've made a few times in the last few pages? Brushing it off as "marketing" seems a bit self serving no? You don't care for it, so, it's just marketing, and not core to an...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • steenan's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 08:40 AM
    I'm not against making some character concepts gender-specific. But I'm definitely against making some character concepts legal, but painfully suboptimal. It wastes time for players who need to filter out such options and is a trap for these who start with a concept and don't notice in time that it doesn't work. The alternative is making restrictions hard and explicit. In a PbtA setup, you...
    38 replies | 800 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:07 PM
    Heh. I feel like such a dunce. I never made the connection between Merric and MT Black. :). No wonder I like his DMs Guild stuff.
    11 replies | 304 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:05 PM
    If the literary is unimportant, then why do DMGíd include dungeon dressing sections, most of which has little to no mechanical impact?
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:00 PM
    Not really. In all three examples the character simply moves from A to B. Content wise there is virtually no difference. There is no action declaration other than moving.
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 08:31 AM
    But, even in third person, it can still be performative. "Grgur walks cautiously down the hallway, looking carefully to see if there is anything out of place" is perfomative - you have desciptors like "cautiously" and "carefully". Compared to "Grgur strides down the hall." Both are third person, but, both are using language specifically chosen to evoke a particular scene. A non-descriptive...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 05:43 AM
    What module does not have a rough script? I have several years of Dungeon Magazine as well as a pretty hefty collection of other modules, and, AFAIK, a rough script is exactly what a module is. Heck, if you make a simple dungeon crawl, all that really is is a flowchart with decision points of a rough script. In what way is a module not a rough script? It tells you what happens where and...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 01:12 AM
    So, in your mind, an RPG is akin to technical writing? No emotion whatsoever. The only emotional connection comes when you put together that shelf, as it were? I would imagine, as well, when writing academic papers, that evoking an emotional response would not be the point either. But, when writing a scenario for an RPG, evoking an emotional response very much IS the point.
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:48 AM
    What's wrong with having a familiar explore an entire adventure area? Isn't that what a familiar is for? Heck, currently, our group wizard animates zombies, has the zombie carry the familiar and a torch, and wander about 100 feet ahead of the group. :D Seems a pretty good idea to me.
    25 replies | 787 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:46 AM
    What do you think a module is? If not a rough script? Since this whole conversation came out of the notion of using boxed text for modules, it does seem rather apropos. Come right down to it, what do you think happens in most RGP sessions? Do you really believe that most RPG sessions don't have a rough script, typically written by the GM, although, that can vary with more "pass the story...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:41 AM
    Again, considering the immense expenditure companies incur in technical writing, I'm going to say that you are very, very wrong here. It matters a LOT how instructions are written and, for example Ikea, ease of use is often a strong motivator for sales. You're claiming that so long as the information is there, how it's presented doesn't matter. There's a mountain of evidence out there that...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:30 AM
    Nope. You are wrong. It's as simple as that. The point of a letter is to communicate information. That it moves you is because it's from a family member, not the fact that it's a letter. The identical letter, with identical words, written by a complete stranger likely won't engender any emotional response. Since I don't play with family members, it's very unlikely that my friend will...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 03:49 PM
    This! This is my exact problem with it!
    64 replies | 2297 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 02:19 PM
    No, I don't. I don't like it. What role does it fill? What does it add to the core group of classes that isn't already covered by those classes? My personal opinion, mind you...but it doesn't seem to fit well.
    64 replies | 2297 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 02:18 PM
    No.
    67 replies | 2401 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 01:54 PM
    Yeah, I'm done here. Pemerton's off using definitions that are just way out in left field and I honestly have completely lost whatever point he was trying to make. Every criticism is brushed off as a "non-sequitur" and not even remotely addressed. Bedrockgames cannot even be bothered talking about what the rest of us are talking about. I'm rather tired of simply talking past each other. ...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 11:25 AM
    I tend to take a pretty negative view of the player who "just plays himself as a dwarf" (or whatever). To me, this player is a giant black hole sucking all the life and enjoyment out of the group, contributing next to nothing. Now, before anyone jumps up and down, I'm certainly fine with making allowances - a new player for example who just hasn't really gotten into a character. Fair...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 10:34 AM
    Whoa, hang on. No one is saying color is the only thing. We are saying that color is just as important as content. There's a significant difference. Or, put it another way, content bereft of color is tasteless.
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 09:25 AM
    Put it another way. Two players choose English Gentleman and Butler for their descriptors. According to you folks both characters should be indistinguishable from each other.
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 09:17 AM
    Hrm, so, your Butler player never references anything? Zero description. We're supposed to guess that he's a butler and proper English Gentleman by the fact that he does what exactly? The player never attempts to sound like a butler or English for that matter? Never tries to affect a different diction? Nothing? His responses in no way give any clue about what he is?
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 09:14 AM
    Good grief Bedrockgames, how many times do you need it explained? I KNOW, since you've entered this thread, I've explained the points pretty clearly at least twice. Now, you might disagree with the points, fair enough, but, complaining that you're not understanding it because no one is taking the time to explain it seems a bit disingenuous.
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 03:17 AM
    Seriously? You have no problem with players who play non-humans exactly the same as human characters to the point where no one at the table knows the race of the character? That it comes as a surprise when it is revealed (you're an elf? Really? Since when?)? Well, takes all kinds I suppose. To me, it's no different than any other aspect of your character. A successful portrayal of a...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 03:06 AM
    If canon is important to you and you don't like it when the writers ignore stuff, then, do NOT watch later Voyager. I'm really not a canon guy (shock, surprise), but, even I am looking at the last couple of seasons and going, "WTF?"
    357 replies | 13788 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 12:25 PM
    There's way too much of a wall of text up there to answer everything, but, I think this gets to the heart of it: Well, let's see. I'd probably talk about growing up underground, reference my appearance by mentioning the beard and spend some time grooming it. I'd probably reference relations between my people and various other people as being different than everyone else's. My food...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 07:02 AM
    See, I think we're talking past each other. Presentation is simply the manner in which you convey information from the DM to the players (or vice versa). Presentation can be full on thespianism or bare bones minimalism, but, in any case, it's still presentation. You and pemerton, for some reason seem to be stuck on this idea that presentation needs to be speaking in funny voices. It's not. ...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 05:13 AM
    I reject the notion that rpgs are closer to conversations than performances. They just arenít. The purpose of a conversation is to convey information. The purpose of performance is to elicit emotional response. Thereís so much more to an rpg than just the transference of information. I would hope that players always have in mind that they are there to help the table have a good time, not just...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 04:22 AM
    Ah. Weíre back to performance = funny voices and everything else is apparently content. Well if thatís the definition youíre insisting on working from then sure youíre 100% right.
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 12:00 AM
    Umm nope? I pretty clearly defined performance as being anything that is not content. Others amended that to be presentation, which, in hindsight is probably a better way of saying things. pemerton has pretty strongly argued that presentation is not very important and that content is all that really matters. That the scenario regardless of how that scenario is communicated to the players is...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 03:18 PM
    I don't think that anyone asks this, especially given (1) the Greek etymology of "angel," and (2) the long history of "angels" in the West Asian religions (out-of-which came Christianity) that predate the Hellenistic thought you list. (Also, I'm fairly certain that the Chaldean Oracles and Neoplatonism are date to the time after early Christianity.)
    67 replies | 2401 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 03:06 PM
    I also had an issue with how Cersei "died." I think it would have been much more satisfying to have one more scene with Jaime and Cersei buried beneath the rubble together, and Jaime reaching over to choke Cersei to death so that she wouldn't have to suffer. It would have fulfilled the Valonquar prophecy, too.
    172 replies | 3744 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 02:22 PM
    It was entertaining, yes. I have some serious criticisms about it, however. Mainly in the fact that the sudden transformation into madness for Danaerys wasn't believable for me. Yes, I know that she has been showing signs of this over the past few episodes, and my criticism is also tempered by the fact that the show-runners are actually limited on the number of episodes and time to show this plot...
    172 replies | 3744 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 10:53 AM
    Well said Lanefan. One of my biggest pet peeves is when one player turns to another at the table and says, "What race is your character again? Were you human or elf?" Because, to me, that just screams that the performance of that player is so flat and uninteresting that the fact that this character isn't even human isn't readily apparent at the table. I'm not talking about someone...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 04:10 AM
    Careful. Your bias is showing just a teeny bit there. I'd argue that removing Zak S's name from a book and refusing to have anything to do with him after it's definitively shown that he is a scumbag, is hardly throwing "a valuable employee... under the bus" to "appease the influencers". Funny how refusing to work with abusers and whatnot is "en vogue social values". :erm:
    75 replies | 5879 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 04:05 AM
    Meh. The fact that some would love it shows that it's an idea that has legs. "I love it"or "I hate it" isn't a criteria for what is a TTRPG. I mean, heck, I've had entire sessions that have barely, if at all, referenced any mechanics. Does that mean I'm not playing D&D? Or I'm doing it wrong? Lots of folks look at the books of D&D as the starting point, not the ending one.
    13 replies | 669 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 12:48 AM
    Amber Diceless would like to have a word. As would a huge swath of TTRPG's which don't rely or even heavily rely on mechanics. The notion that unless we're throwing dice, it's not really an RPG needs to die in a fire.
    13 replies | 669 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 10:12 PM
    Is this kinda like losing that loving feeling?
    12 replies | 10140 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 09:49 PM
    Again, interesting because we have agreement and disagreement here. I agree that the "simmer" (let's call it) of Game of Thrones has been essential to the cognitive workspace that viewers inhabit as they watch it unfold. But for my part, (more food!) oversteeping something can lead to a bitter, wrong-noted product. When I look at two of the primary character arcs that were just recently...
    172 replies | 3744 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 09:03 PM
    See, this is interesting to me (and one of the reasons I brought up gaming as a corollary or coincidental reference-point if you'd like). I've enjoyed the ramped-up pacing. If there is one complaint I've had about Game of Thrones and other modern media (Avengers Endgame, The Last Jedi, and Black Panther come to mind), its a combination of pacing and (mostly related) poor cutting (including...
    172 replies | 3744 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 06:08 PM
    DW and AW work off of the "shared intuitions/understandings of the fiction" model above, very much. However, a couple things work in concert to constrain GMs very much: 1) The explicit, focused, clear Principles, Agenda, and Move structure. 2) The fact that the game will push back against you if you deviate from (1). 3) The fact that if you just follow (1) devoutly, the game works...
    43 replies | 1934 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 05:44 PM
    It was her revenge for everyone freaking out about the damned Starbucks cup that was left on-screen last episode...
    172 replies | 3744 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 05:38 PM
    Its been far from perfect yes. But I enjoyed it because I enjoy media in a very focused way. Its probably similar to the way I enjoy my gaming. In fact, I would say that the issues that I've seen being put forth by hoards of people on Reddit and by personal nerd friends have great parallel to TTRPG incredulity and disdain. Unsurprisingly, on these boards at least, I'm often on the opposite...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 05:17 PM
    Iíll second that emotion. Loved it. Loved this season (save for perhaps 3-4 scenes and transitions...which is a minor quibble). Clearly Iím just a bad, shallow Game of Thronesíer.
    172 replies | 3744 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 07:59 AM
    I loathe the Dyson Logos stuff. It's boring, dry and looks for too 80's for me. Give me a full color map a la Cartographer's Guild any day of the week. I ejected every single map from my Dragon Heist module and replaced them all. It's to the point where I'm really on the fence about the new Saltmarsh modules simply because of the inclusion of Dyson Logos cartography. .............. Ok,...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 10:38 AM
    This seems closer to the Eberron approach. Some of the deities are depicted as dragons that would not otherwise seem obvious based upon the alignment of the deities or the MM alignment of the dragons. And this phenomenon is likewise encountered with dragons in the world of Eberron. Eberron only suggests that chromatic dragons are more susceptible to the influence of the "daughter of Khyber" named...
    44 replies | 1323 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 07:13 AM
    Frankly, playing an RPG isn't a conversation. I don't pretend to be someone else during a conversation (generally), nor am I trying to convey that new person to everyone else around me during a conversation. So, yeah, I'd say that's where the greater disconnect lies. Playing an RPG and particularly role playing during an RPG, while still of course using language, is not a conversation. A...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 06:15 AM
    I'd also point out that there are numerous characters that are killed in the Avengers movies. Is Vision fridged? He didn't get a funeral. His death is a major motivation for Scarlet Witch. Does that count as fridging. He was also killed to further Thanos' story, so, what's the difference between Vision and Black Widow? As I recall, didn't Thanos kill The Collector as well, for exactly the...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 06:10 AM
    Without a common framework of language, all we are doing is talking past one another. I'd hardly call defining content vs performance as "new terminology". It's using the words pretty much as they come out of the dictionary. A little context. This thread spawned out of a discussion about boxed text in modules. pemerton argues that the boxed text is pointless since all you need is the...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 04:53 AM
    Ok, let's boil it down even further. Content is what you do at the table. What is the situation about? What needs to be done? Performance is how you communicate that content to the players. Is that clear enough?
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 04:48 AM
    I don't adventure in every hat and cape in the setting though. I DO adventure in Evard's Tower. And if Evard's tower's description is essentially "a tower", then well, why is it even a tower? Because wizards live in towers? Again, maybe this is because I play exclusively online. The images that I use in my game are rather painstakingly chosen or created. I could simply use an "O" with a...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 01:57 AM
    Yeah, that typically happens when folks can't agree on working definitions. Yup, some of the things that are included in "performance" might not be important at your table. Cool. But, that doesn't follow that performance isn's important. It's not like speaking in the 3rd person suddenly removes the "performance" aspect or speaking in 1st person is necessary for performance. Go back a...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 04:37 PM
    It would potentially limit how they are called or how we understood their natures. But I'm not sure if it is reasonable that D&D (and its world of magic) would be restricted to a Middle Age conception of science, philosophy, or alchemy.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 03:05 PM
    Note no one is claiming it is more important. Just very important.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 03:04 PM
    Celebrim. Yup. Iíd largely agree with that.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 04:10 AM
    But, again, it's not like this is a male centric viewpoint. There are lots and lots of women who react exactly this way to being able to have children. It's entirely plausible. There are numerous papers that support the psychological effects of a hysterectomy on women. Never minding being violated in such a way that you are forcibly sterilized. And, I keep coming back around to the fact...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 04:04 AM
    Is character backstory external to the character? I realize that you would say, resoundingly, yes, it is. I'm not sure it's so cut and dried as that though. For a lot of groups, or at least mine :), character background extends beyond the skin of that character. Things like friends, mentors, family, etc, is part of creating a character and I frequently extend authority to the players to do...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 02:19 AM
    Totally agree that effort is the key here, rather than degree of professional acting ability. The simple fact that you are trying is, by and large, more than good enough. "mysterious", "sinister", "great master" - these are all important elements of performance, not of content. None of those elements matter one whit about the letter written by your mother. Yet, you include all this...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 02:09 AM
    Oh, sure, and I have certainly seen more than a few dysfunctional players and tables. But, isn't true. Or, at least, it's isn't always true. There are more than enough players out there that aren't interesting en eking out some advantage all the time. It might take a bit of hunting to find them, but, by and large, they are out there in pretty decent numbers. And, frankly, I think...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 01:55 AM
    Becoming a cold hearted killing machine wasn't because she was sterile. She was forcibly sterilized as part of her transformation into a cold hearted killing machine. Why would anyone even think that her "dark side" moment is because of her forced sterilization? The forced sterilization was a symbol of the horrific things they did to her to turn her into a monster, not the reason she became a...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 01:37 PM
    Thankfully you have linked the article here. If you look under other names for Tiamat, you can see the tranliteration of the Akkadian cuneiform sign value "TAM.TUM" and TI.AMAT," both of which were names alternatively used for the mythological figure. The link between a TAM.TUM/TI.AMAT in Akkad (Mesopotamia) and a TÍmtum in Ugarit (northern Levant) should not be difficult, especially given their...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 09:08 AM
    It's your familiar, henchman, whatever. You deal with it. You, the player, make it as important as you wish in the campaign. I've got enough balls to juggle without worrying about stepping on your toes with some familiar or animal companion.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 07:16 AM
    Umm, they were sent to retrieve the stone. They already had motivation. The death of Black Widow in no way motivates Hawkeye to do anything. Still not seeing it. Again, this is reaching pretty hard. Fridging is a very, very specific trope. It's when you kill off the female character pointlessly for the sole purpose of motivating the male protagonist. That is very much not true here...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 03:27 AM
    Sorry, but, which part aren't you following? I thought I was pretty clear in my definitions.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 03:26 AM
    Fair enough. But, that's not really a problem with shared authority. That's a problem with Bob or the DM. If everyone is earnestly attempting to make the game better, then there shouldn't be too many problems. Meh, it's as simple as, "Well, everyone at the table has a stake in making the game as interesting for everyone as possible." The notion that the DM, by virtue of the DM, somehow...
    570 replies | 19573 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 12:27 AM
    But, what if the poster is reporting satisfaction with their game experience? Why point out the "rules book from some other game" to those posters? What are you trying to prove? No one who is arguing with you here is saying, "Well, my game sucks, but, I'm not doing it your way." What you've gotten as counter arguments is, "We are running games that work quite well but, we aren't doing what...
    570 replies | 19573 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 12:13 AM
    Just to add to what Imaro said, and hopefully clarify the point of this thread. At least, to the point to which I understand it anyway (which, given previous history, might not be understanding what's going on at all... :p) From what I understand, we are positing that there are two main elements of an RPG - what I've termed content and what I've termed performance. I define content, in the...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 11:56 PM
    Yeah, no. A female character dying is not "fridging" the character. Fridging means that you are providing a male protagonist a motivation that is entirely based on the needless killing off of a love interest character. Black Widow dying was neither needless (as someone had to die, be it BW or Hawkeye), nor does it provide any real motivation for the male protagonist(s). It's not like they...
    176 replies | 4700 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 09:44 PM
    Heh. I can just imagine the sound of a thousand greyhawk purist screaming in impotent fury at this group. Warms my heart it does.
    74 replies | 3549 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 09:41 PM
    And with a Black Widow movie coming, is she really dead?
    176 replies | 4700 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 03:27 PM
    Why? Do you find it unrealistic? :p
    2689 replies | 84817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 09:43 AM
    So here is the playlist for the Oblivion Oath PF2 Campaign led by Jason Bulmahn YouTube. You can tell that while there are more moving parts in PF2 than 5E, it honestly does feel lighter and more streamlined than PF1.
    158 replies | 9176 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 09:04 AM
    Meh. Humans are over rated. :D Ok, that was a joke. But, the thing is, sure, you're playing music for your friends and family. Great. But, you still actually perform no? You try to play the music in such a way that everyone enjoys it. Look, I'm not saying that content isn't important. Of course it is. But, to use your playing guitar example, if content was all that mattered, then,...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 06:10 AM
    *ducks back in, waving a white flag* Totally, totally not trying to start anything. Honest. I just want to point something out iserith. When three different posters, at least, at three different times - myself, Oofta and now Tony Vargas, all come to the same, or at least very similar conclusions based on what you are posting, perhaps, and I'm not saying this is true, but, perhaps, the...
    570 replies | 19573 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 12:49 AM
    Well, I'd say that rather depends on how you define "performance". Is a live performance the same as a recorded one? I wouldn't say so. I'd never sit and do nothing but listen to a single band's music on CD for hours on end. But, I'd certainly go to a concert by that band and listen for a few hours. Heck, live music, frequently, isn't even as good as what you get on a CD, but, I'll still go...
    372 replies | 8043 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 11:42 AM
    But you proceeded all this by appealing to how these weapons would work in real life - your own subjective sense of what is "realistic" - and that assertion could be disputed by people who actually know better than you about the subject matter. You are just ignoring reality when it's inconvenient for your game while also appealing to your sense of reality about that same matter.
    2689 replies | 84817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 04:21 AM
    The before and after shebang as well. ;)
    296 replies | 12369 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 03:20 PM
    That was my takeaway
    176 replies | 4700 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 03:06 PM
    Not all appeals to authority are irrelevant. The point being is that not everyone would necessarily agree with your assessment. Case in point proven. As long as you are not going into this expecting that your outcome is the only acceptable one.
    2689 replies | 84817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 02:33 PM
    Honestly? Neither.
    62 replies | 2877 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 02:31 PM
    From the perspective of "realism" I'm not sure if actual experts would necessarily agree with your assessments that mostly attempt to provide post hoc justifications for the provided weapon damage. If I merely muttered that water was wet, you would still feel compelled to tell me that my statement was a red herring/strawman/false dichotomy, that water is dry, and go out of your way to insult...
    2689 replies | 84817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 02:10 PM
    But weapon size is not necessarily an indicator of damage. A spear does 1d8 damage but a common spear is larger than a longsword. A quarterstaff does 1d6 damage is but is also larger than a longsword. Why does a mace deal 1d6 damage when a longsword deals 1d8 damage?
    2689 replies | 84817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 01:23 PM
    Not quite, though I extend my apologies for using the word "gamist" as an adjective as I had not intended to invoke or appeal to Forge terminology, simply an adjectival form of "games."
    2689 replies | 84817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 09:39 AM
    You are presenting a strawman here (if not multiple ones), and I'm sure you will get some XP kudos from Maxperson for it. ;) The reason for comparing different TTRPGs is that a singular TTRPGs generally do not have multiple subsystems for whether they "model wind" or not. They usually either do or do not because systems generally come as pre-packaged systems. We can look at singular systems...
    2689 replies | 84817 view(s)
    0 XP
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Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 02:15 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Another thread that has fallen victim to the PRP(Pemerton Redefinition Program). I started the thread. Hussar is free to say what he likes about the dependence of much RPGing on the logic of genres (it's something I myself have been posting about for maybe 10+ years on these boards). But those things don't rebut the claim in the OP, which is pretty clear: RPGing requires narration: GMs describe situations, and players declare actions for their PCs that respond to those situations. But I don't think the literary quality of that narration is important. What matters to me is that the players feel the significance of the situations the GM describes I don't think Hussar has inadvertantely taken that for a claim that genre plays no role in RPGing. And your claim that I'm derailing is itself derailing. Asking whether activity A answers to aesthetic criteria X of activity B is standard stuff. Eg is movie-making a theatric endeavour? or is house-painting an artistic endeavour? The only people I know who regularly turn this sort of question into debates about the meaning of words - as oppo...

Saturday, 18th May, 2019

  • 05:05 PM - Imaro mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I think we are confusing things because we are talking about abstract general concepts and using them as proxies to fight over specifics. What I am pushing back against is the idea put out there that GMs should engage in a style of narration that is flavorful and literary in nature. I much prefer a more conversational style that isn't consciously performative. That doesn't mean I list off bullet points. It means I am fairly concise, not particularly emotive like an actor would be, and that I am talking to my players like I talk to my friends. I see it much more as a conversation like Permerton does. The impression I am getting from posters like Hussar is they value things like the GM speaking in voices, using evocative words to paint a picture and atmosphere, etc. I am not into that as a player or as a GM. I will give a brief description of what is there, then say "What do you want to do". If an NPC is talking, I speak as the character. But I am not shifting voices or performing. But this is arguing over degrees... the point is it's still there even in your gameplay example above when you speak as the NPC... you're literally just saying you only want X amount while Hussar wants Y amount which is fine, but it's still there in both games which is why I feel it is core. Unless you can totally excise something out without loosing quality in your gameplay... I feel it is core. I would say my style is laid back and it isn't too concerned about peoples' performances. My main interest is whether I am having fun and people are engaged with what is going on in the game. I am what I call a 'roll off the couch and play GM'. I don't look...
  • 03:10 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I think ďgood writingĒ and ďpresentationĒ are getting mixed up here. For something like a pre-written game module, the quality of the writing may or may not be relevant to the game. For some GMs, that may be the selling point that inspires them to use the material. Certainly, in such a case, the quality of the writing matters. However, for other GMs, itís more a matter of the content within the module. It can be minimalist in how the information is presented....maybe simply a list of bullet points. In many cases, this might be all thatís needed, and the GM in turn can make this information compelling to his or her players. Take the dungeon shared by @Hussar a few pages ago. On its own, itís a bare bones approach to an adventure. But Iím sure I could take that map and key and tuen it into something fun at the table. Sure, Iíd embellish and add to it during play....mostly based on what my players seem to find interesting. Ultimately, the quality of the content in a published adventure may or may not matter. It may be the thing that inspires the GM or it may be an obstacle to actually running the game. How that information is then presented to the table is another matter entirely. A GM can take an incredibly well written and evocative bit of writing and pare it down to its basic components and share that with his players. Likewise, a GM can take a list of bullet points and can breathe life into then in how he chooses to share them with the table. I think these are two separate things, and while both are fundamentally necessary, the importance of each will vary from table to table.

Thursday, 16th May, 2019

  • 02:30 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    You realize this is the OP's original distinction... right? The OP who you have continually agreed with...right?It's not my distinction, actually. I never used the word content. That's Hussar's word. Hussar has suggested that I am eschewing description, but here's the OP: RPGing requires narration: GMs describe situations, and players declare actions for their PCs that respond to those situations. But I don't think the literary quality of that narration is important. What matters to me is that the players feel the significance of the situations the GM describes - that they feel the pull to action, and the threats of inaction. That is, that the situation engage and motivate the players as players, not as an audience to a performance. My point in this thread has been consistent: that what is distinctive about RPGing is that it engages by way of participation in situation, not performance to an audience. I don't think it's that hard to understand, whether or not you agree with it.
  • 02:15 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...tart thinking more about the cultural significance of my beard, describing the intricate braids and beads that represent various elements of my character's background. Eventually, a good GM picks up on this and may develop hooks and connections. Maybe we meet another dwarf whose "beard writing" reveals something about them. Or we end up in a scenario where my beard is threatened (or I need to be in a clean-shaven disguise). I never consciously declared to the GM that these things are central features of my character, but over time these story elements can grow and become more significant. This sort of promotion and demotion of roleplaying elements seems to be a significant component of most games that I've played, regardless of the system.This is important. You are right about fluidity: actual play doesn't manifest discrete types or moments of the neat types we use in analysis and criticism. Some of what I had in mind in my post that you responded to is elaborated in my posts to Hussar just upthread. Here's a passage from Christopher Kubasik that also captures what I had in mind: The tales of a story entertainment are based not on the success of actions, but on the choice of actions; not the manipulation of rules, but the manipulation of narrative tools. The primary tool is Character. Characters drive the narrative of all stories. However, many people mistake character for characterization. Characterization is the look of a character, the description of his voice, the quirks of habit. Characterization creates the concrete detail of a character through the use of sensory detail and exposition. By ďseeingĒ how a character looks, how he picks up his wine glass, by knowing he has a love of fine tobacco, the character becomes concrete to our imagination, even while remaining nothing more than black ink upon a white page. But a person thus described is not a character. A character must do. Character is action. Thatís a rule of thumb for plays and movies,...
  • 02:00 PM - Bedrockgames mentioned Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I responded pretty directly to the individual points you were making Hussar. Not sure how else you want me to engage the discussion.

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019


Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 05:23 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...old friend Frances - I ask her to let us through the gate! is an example of the player deciding what his/her PC does, thinks and feels. Nor do I think it's enough of an answer to say that players have no authority over any aspect of the fiction except action declaration and associated bodily movements by their PCs. Page 33 of the Basic PDF says that "Characters are defined by much more than their race and class. Theyíre individuals with their own stories, interests, connections, and capabilities beyond those that class and race define." There are sidebar examples throughout the PDF of two characters (Tika and Artemis) who are distinguiished - as those sidebars emphasise - on the basis of non-mechanical details of the fiction. That seems an invitation to players to make up similar stuff for their PCs. Deciding on Ideals and Bonds seems also to invite the player to make up people and places that their PCs care about and are connected to. In the context of this thread, I think that Hussar has made it fairly clear that one reason he doesn't like the "goal and approach" method of action resolution is that it privileges the GM's conception of key aspects of the ficiton over possibly differing conceptions held by the players. Others obviously disagree, taking the view that exercising such authority is the prerogative of the GM. But upthread, Elfcrusher gave an example of a player authoring shared fiction invovling the stories told to a young PC by trial elders. I don't think many posters regarded this as a usurpation of the GM's authority. The general response to my post seems to be that the player deciding that the gate guard is her/his PC's childhood friend Frances is a usurpation of the GM's authority. But in some other recent threads I've seen criticisms of a GM narrating failure as some sort of oversight or carelessness on the part of the PC as a usurpation by the GM of the player's authority over deciding what his/her PC does, thinks and feels. Likewise there's a wide...

Wednesday, 1st May, 2019

  • 11:22 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...official" 5e answer is. It's something where I would expect very significant table variation. My own approach would be either (3) or (4) - which one would depend on further issues of how the game is being played, what the role of pre-authored GM notes are, etc. If adjudicating via (4), then a failure would impose a penalty/disadvantage on the subsequent check. If adjudicating via (3) then a failure also needs to give a penalty, but that might have to be more concrete than an abstract mechanical thing and what that might be would depend very much on context. And to finish with a slightly different matter . . . What I've been trying to accomplish (and, yes, your caustic dismissiveness has at times led to me reciprocating with the same) is to see if you acknowledge any middle ground between the player using personal persuasiveness to manipulate the DM and purely mechanical rolling of dice with zero creative problem solving on the part of the player.I could be misunderstanding Hussar, but I don't see that the concern is with "personal persuasiveness" in the used car salesman sense, but rather with being able to cleverly pitch solutions which will impress the GM. Example roll-circumventing action declaration which are rather obvious, like using ladders to climb walls or using keys to open locks, clearly don't fall within the scope of Hussar's concern. But I can't imagine those are the examples that "goal and approach" advocates have in mind when they advocate their position, either, as those would be very banal examples of a clever approach obviating the need for a check.

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 05:31 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...g the DM should be judging the efficacy of a player's stated approach to the goal is telling the person choosing to be DM about his or her role in the game.I follow, but actually am now a bit more puzzled (not by you - by the overall logic of the situation) because of the post of Elfcrusher's that I've posted. (The emphasis is original, though I've changed it from italics to underlining so as to maintain it in the quote format.) And maybe "intrigued" would be a better word than "puzzled" - I'm not sure, but will post on. Judging that an approach would work very clearly requires a robust sense of a not-too-mutable fiction. But (as you say) the player is permitted to exploit the mutability of fiction to make sense of his/her play of the character. For this to work requires - I think - very clear boundaries around what is mutable in the hands of the player, and what the GM is permitted to rigdily establish in advance of adjudicating the "woulds" and "coulds". I think that (eg) Hussar's use of fortune very close to the framing, and postponing nearly all of the narration to afterwards, might be one way of trying to manage (by trying to avoid) this need for boundaries. EDIT: I saw this just after posting: Who's to say the character can't know these things? You, as the DM? Sure. But maybe your player disagrees. Maybe he/she says, "There was a village elder who was a great adventurer in his youth, and as a child Gord the Barbarian sat at his feet and listened to all his stories." Now, you, as DM, may want to overrule that and say, "No, it's my game world and that didn't happen." But in that case the problem isn't metagaming (as AngryDM has done a great job of explaining) it's a problem between you and your players.Presumably if the player disagrees, in the context of disarming a trap, about what would work because even one's grandmother could do it without trouble, the GM is expected to have the last word. But in the PC backstory case, and the action de...

Sunday, 28th April, 2019

  • 05:56 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?
    And let's talk about traps that aren't telegraphed for moment, and see if we can figure out what exactly the gameplay for this is supposed to look like. Option 1: Every 5' Square The players are just supposed to all make Investigation and Perception checks every 5', and hope that somebody in the party rolls high enough. I'm not saying this is how it must be played; just trying to cover all bases here. Can we all agree this one is not a desirable outcome? Analysis: didn't we stop playing this way in about 1980? Option 2: Passive Perception If anybody's passive score is high enough, the trap is discovered, otherwise it's not, with no decision-making by the player. This might be what some refer to as "challenging the character" (or "challenging the build", as it were.) Analysis: In addressing @iserith's trapped hallway, @Hussar claims that once the Perception check succeeds no further explanation/input by the player is required; the DM can infer that a trap of which the party is aware is also successfully avoided. So it would seem that the players don't actually need to do anything here: if their passive Perception is high enough, nothing else happens. Otherwise the trap is triggered (presumably with some narration by the DM: "It's a poison arrow trap, you take X piercing and Y poison damage.") Instead of actually doing all this work behind the DM screen during play, it might be more expedient to add up the average damage of all the traps, multiply by the odds of the trap being triggered, divide by the number of people in the party, and just have everybody reduce their hp by that number. You could speed things up even more by not reducing damage and instead having everybody check off the spell slots and HD necessary to negate all that damage. Option 3: Clues There's some clue that challenges players...oo...
  • 01:50 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...** knowing the Raven Queen story - their character does. The second is it seems an example of my #4 - both are required (if I read it tight) because specific language skills in character *and* a riddle answered in player are required. Riddles do not have to be player only, no argument there. They just fo seem to be that way quite often.I think at my table they're probably closer to your 1 (? I'm not sure I'm remembering your categories correctly), in the sense that there is not going to be any check made. At the table, the discussion is all between the players, playing their characters - so eg in the second you see the player of the paladin declining to take part because he's not interested in debating "good" ideals; and in the first, he is the one who is most excited about being in the Mausoleum of the Raven Queen, and so it's not a coincidence (although also not guaranteed) that he is the one who works it out first. I don't know 100% how this fits into your conception, or Hussar's, or Elfcrusher's - I would say it is challenging the player's ability to inhabit and play as his/her character. And of course it takes for granted that the player is immersed in the fiction of the campaign (riddle 3) or its moral logic (riddle 2). I think the first riddle - the one I can't remember - was probably weakest in this repsect because it didn't draw enough on that immersion.

Friday, 26th April, 2019

  • 01:42 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?
    I don't know what to tell you, man. The D&D 4e Rules Compendium is the most up-to-date version of the rules, whether you choose to adopt them or not. They tell us how to play the game and that includes players asking to make skill checks and the DM almost always saying yes.This is where I start to have a bit of sympathy for Hussar's view about the significance of "how to play rules" vs the actual play of the mechanics at the table. I mean, you seem to be telling me that I played 4e wrong because I played in accordance with the published "how to play" advice which was, in a late release, modified/watered down for no very clear reason. Suppose that, for whatever reason, WotC changes the "how to play" rules in publisehd versions of 5e. Would that mean that, retrospectively, it turns out you've been playing 5e wrong for all these years? In my view that would be a silly view to take. And I think it's equally silly for you to tell me that I should recognise this huge contrast between 4e and 5e about player and GM roles when, in fact, I played 4e in accordance with the published rules and thus did not experience any such contrast! (And to be clear, I'm not disputing that there is a difference - I've identified it multiple times in this thread - but it's a difference about the principles according to which a ch...

Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 02:37 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?
    ...had lost control of the campaign, and wanted to reestablish that control.) I quite the game a session or two after that, and I heard that it ended not long after. If details are important, add them. Add in an extra level of interaction. But if it makes sense for the story for there to be a somewhat difficult to climb run-of-the-mill wall I may include it. Unless it's important I get past it with as little muss and fuss as possible.To me, this would seem a good reason not to call for a check at all, because nothing is at stake.. Just narrate the climbing of the unremarable wall and keep moving until something more significant comes up. So, just to be clear, yíall would allow a player to roll (and potentially fail) to perform a task that you didnít initially plan to require a roll to succeed on, simply because they announced that they were making a check? Thatís actually how you would all rule in that situation?For my part, it would depend. If the DC is zero/automatic (as per Hussar's comments upthread), no. But if what's going on is a mismatch between GM and player expectations as to whether something is at stake, it might be time for a re-calibration in our understanding of the situation. Either way, I couldn't imagine it playing out like Elfcrusher's example.

Wednesday, 24th April, 2019


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...


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Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 12:37 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    All of these aspects, all of these literary techniques, be it clarity of explanation, foreshadowing (which, @Bedrockgames, I accept that you do not use, but are present in MANY modules), pathetic fallacies, language to evoke tone and mood, the use of in medias res techniques. Flashbacks. Since we're going to start quoting from esoteric RPG's that virtually no one plays, I've played 3:16 Carnage Beyond the Stars which uses flashback as a major element of the game. Never minding games like Amber Diceless and the like which force the players to use language to define in game events. Being present in many modules doesn't make something core or essential. Also, the techniques you are discussing are techniques a lot of GMs don't use. I'd say there is a pretty big stylistic divide around many of those. Not saying they are bad, or not fun. Just things like flashbacks are definitely not for everyone. Starting in medias res, is not for everyone. I come from a much more traditional approach than ma...
  • 12:26 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Can I play a character in your game that is 100% outside of genre? So, an elven wizard in a Call of Cthulu game or a Battlemech Pilot in your D&D game, or whatever. Can I sit down at your table with a character that is completely wrong for the genre of your game and play that character? Not all people care about genre. I care about genre. So I would consider genre when such a character was present. But I know plenty of GMs who don't and the thing they would consider, rather than genre, is the setting and whether your character makes sense. Genre emulation is great. Not everyone is into it.
  • 12:23 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I just realized that there is a very simple test we can perform to prove my point. Can I play a character in your game that is 100% outside of genre? So, an elven wizard in a Call of Cthulu game or a Battlemech Pilot in your D&D game, or whatever. Can I sit down at your table with a character that is completely wrong for the genre of your game and play that character? If you just said no, then literary is core to your game. Because the only justification, really, is that such a character is breaking genre. If the literary was of so little importance that it doesn't even rate at your table, then you should have not so much as a quibble when I show up to your Pendragon game with a Deadpool knockoff. Sure, you can argue about power problems, but, I can always come up with genre breaking examples where the power levels wouldn't be an issue (a jedi in a D&D game for example) but, there is zero chance that a DM would let me play it. Thus, Rpging is a literary endevour. I consider...
  • 11:18 AM - pemerton quoted Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I just realized that there is a very simple test we can perform to prove my point. Can I play a character in your game that is 100% outside of genre? So, an elven wizard in a Call of Cthulu game or a Battlemech Pilot in your D&D game, or whatever. Can I sit down at your table with a character that is completely wrong for the genre of your game and play that character? If you just said no, then literary is core to your game. Because the only justification, really, is that such a character is breaking genre. If the literary was of so little importance that it doesn't even rate at your table, then you should have not so much as a quibble when I show up to your Pendragon game with a Deadpool knockoff. Sure, you can argue about power problems, but, I can always come up with genre breaking examples where the power levels wouldn't be an issue (a jedi in a D&D game for example) but, there is zero chance that a DM would let me play it. Thus, Rpging is a literary endevour.This is fine i...

Sunday, 19th May, 2019

  • 11:23 PM - Henry quoted Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Henry, I SO am stealing that line for my next D&D session. :D I canít take credit for it, sadly ó Stu Venable from Happy Jackís RPG Podcast is frigginí hilarious. :)
  • 03:23 PM - pemerton quoted Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    In all three examples the character simply moves from A to B. Content wise there is virtually no difference. There is no action declaration other than moving.This is highly contingent on (i) system and (ii) ingame situation. To give one example, based on Burning Wheel: I stride down the hall sounds like a Conspicuous test, while I move cautiously down the hall looking carefully for anything out of place looks like a Perception check, perhaps also Stealth and/or Inconspicuous. In Prince Valiant the first might be a check on Presence, the second on Brawn. The consequences for failure on either check is also likely to be quite different. It's certainly not a given that all that matters is that the PC moves from A to B. And if that's all that is at stake, ie if nothing turns on the description of how the character moves, if it's mere colour, then maybe we're getting a bit of establishment of character. That can be done whether the character is said to stride down the hall, walk purposefully...
  • 01:24 PM - Riley37 quoted Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Honestly, I think two things are very true in this thread. 1. People have equated literary and performance with "flowery language". That is not what's meant and has never been meant. Literary or performance simply means HOW the material is presented in the game, either in written form or in oral during a session. Or in non-verbal, non-linguistic forms. You mentioned the Tomb of Horrors picture gallery. Any map which is more illustrated than the "no-frills" minimal map. If I draw a picture of my PC, that's also presentation of material. Use of figurines; if a figurine is more expressive than a chess piece, then that figurine is part of presentation, because it influences the mind's eye. Mercer uses a lot of voice sound effects; those are not words, and they are part of his attempt to give players a shared understanding of what's happening in the story.
  • 01:07 PM - DM Dave1 quoted Hussar in post Bethesda Comments On Accusations Of Plagiarizing D&D Adventure
    Huh? Search how? Google search? That's not going to turn anything up - a minor NPC in a module on DM's Guild? None of that will come up in a Google search. 106557
  • 01:04 PM - Riley37 quoted Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Did you engage various tropes of the genre? Then you are using literary devices. I don't use literary devices when I run games. Lots of people do not use them. BRG, you don't use any genre tropes when you run games? Who are these "lots of people" who run TRPGs without using genre tropes? Could you name, say, five of them? I've done a lot of TRPG that's squarely within the stock genres, such as Western, superhero, swords & sorcery, science fiction, horror; and a bit outside those genres, such as a Fiasco game set in the newsroom of a TV news team. But even that Fiasco game involved tropes: the idealistic journalist who wants to bring The Truth to The People, the ruthless career climber, the secret extra-legal government program, Who's Got The Tape (as if no one would make backup copies), the villain digging himself into tragic ruin, and so forth.
  • 10:56 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Honestly, I think two things are very true in this thread. 1. People have equated literary and performance with "flowery language". That is not what's meant and has never been meant. Literary or performance simply means HOW the material is presented in the game, either in written form or in oral during a session. Literary carries additional connotations of utilizing various literary devices. Did you use pathetic fallacy during the session? Did you use foreshadowing? Did you engage various tropes of the genre? Then you are using literary devices. Again, literary has a lot more connotation than that. But I don't use literary devices when I run games. Lots of people do not use them. Especially something like foreshadowing because I try not to plan future events. But what you say here just isn't true in the thread, and it is an example of why I am so wary anytime people propose new language like this (especially when they do so taking existing terms with loaded meaning). You keep ...
  • 07:25 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Hussar in post Bethesda Comments On Accusations Of Plagiarizing D&D Adventure
    Why would Bethesda be pursuing legal action? Against their own writer? How? What action would they be pursuing? At worst, they fired the writer and moved on. There wouldn't be the slightest chance of Bethesda suing anyone here. It may not be their own writer. They may have contracted it out to an advertising agency. In which case Bethesda may want to sue the agency for reputational damage. And Bethesda could still be on the receiving end of legal action, in which case they may need to countersue. Whist the injured party has not expressed any interest in bringing it to court, there are those with a vested interest in seeing that it does - the lawyers.
  • 03:23 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Sorry. I didnít realize I had to give more evidence. 1e modules almost all had boxed text. Tomb of Horrors, one of the earliest modules has a picture gallery to show players. Until recently, setting guides were very, very popular books with hardcore fans who are dedicated to the canon of the setting. On and on. Hundreds of pages in Dragon dedicated to the performance end of running a game. Endless player handouts and other goodies to use at the table. Entire libraries of gaming music. For something thatís not essential, it sure has gotten a ton of attention over the years. Again is a module without boxed text still a module? If yes then Boxed text isnít essential. And I never said setting books were not good or important. I love setting books. Where you and I disagree would be on his they should be written, what kind of art they ought to have, etc.
  • 12:11 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Brushing it off as "marketing" seems a bit self serving no? You don't care for it, so, it's just marketing, and not core to an RPG. OTOH, I'd argue that the, by far and away, most popular RPG's EVER have deeply relied on presentation - all the way from Dragonlance and the unbelievable production values of the time, to modern AP's like Pathfinder and 5e - have all had presentation as a core value of the game. Never minding a fair library of DM/GM advice over the years that does focus fairly strongly on presentation, or, as we're using it in this thread, the literary. D&Dís popularity didnít begin with Dragonlance. Sure adventure paths are popular. But that doesnít make them essential features or core parts of the RPG experience. Adventure paths are not required in the least
  • 12:09 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Considering that 5e now dominates the market, online play at least shows almost 70% of all RPG sessions are 5e, and 5e is selling in droves, would you care to restate your point that "lots of people" think like me that you've made a few times in the last few pages? Brushing it off as "marketing" seems a bit self serving no? You don't care for it, so, it's just marketing, and not core to an RPG. OTOH, I'd argue that the, by far and away, most popular RPG's EVER have deeply relied on presentation - all the way from Dragonlance and the unbelievable production values of the time, to modern AP's like Pathfinder and 5e - have all had presentation as a core value of the game. Never minding a fair library of DM/GM advice over the years that does focus fairly strongly on presentation, or, as we're using it in this thread, the literary. No. I never said a majority of gamers think like me. But just because something is popular or fashionable, doesnít make it core or essential to the medium. And...

Saturday, 18th May, 2019

  • 05:35 AM - Riley37 quoted Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Not really. In all three examples the character simply moves from A to B. Content wise there is virtually no difference. There is no action declaration other than moving. "looking carefully to see if anything is out of place" isn't an action declaration? In D&D 5E, I'd interpret that as taking the Observe action each six seconds, while moving at base rate. Similar rules apply in Hero System. If a guard were watching Grugr, then that guard might notice Grugr's caution. If the declaration were "Grugr strides down the hallway, as if Grugr owned the place", that gets a different response - possibly leading to the guard assuming that Grugr is a familiar, regular guest, rather than a cautious intruder. In real life, there's certainly a difference between how guards respond to the former and to the latter, so I'd want the same difference to apply in the narrative.

Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 08:06 PM - Lanefan quoted Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    A perfect example of a dungeon that is pure content without any literary elements would be the dungeon I attached to this post. Would anyone say that this is what a module looks like?Unfortunately, it isn't what a module looks like...but it certainly could be, because really - at the absolute root of it all, what more does a DM need? (well, perhaps a few things - see below) It doesn't have its own backstory incuded? Great! 95+% of the time included backstory in a module is just wasted space for me: I'm going to ignore it and replace it with my own anyway. Even the one-line "dungeon history" that's given is more than I need. It doesn't have boxed descriptions? Fine - though a case could be made to add them for the benefit of those new to DMing. It doesn't have pre-gen characters? Again fine, and again a case could be made for adding them in either for one-off play or as NPC ideas for the DM to add to an existing party if so desired. It doesn't indicate where the wandering mo...
  • 01:15 PM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    But, even in third person, it can still be performative. "Grgur walks cautiously down the hallway, looking carefully to see if there is anything out of place" is perfomative - you have desciptors like "cautiously" and "carefully". Compared to "Grgur strides down the hall." Both are third person, but, both are using language specifically chosen to evoke a particular scene. A non-descriptive would simply be, "Grgur moves down the hall". That's content without performance. Description isn't automatically performance. If you describe something in third person, you aren't performing the act of being cautious or careful, and you aren't performing by stepping into character(first person). Look at it like this. When the director tells the actor playing Hunter Maximus that Hunter is stalking his prey quietly through the jungle, he is not performing anything. When the actor playing Hunter starts moving quietly through the jungle in front of the camera, stopping occasionally to look for s...
  • 12:58 PM - jasper quoted Hussar in post When it comes to mounts, familiars, and minions, who gets to control them at your table, the player or the GM?
    What's wrong with having a familiar explore an entire adventure area? Isn't that what a familiar is for? Heck, currently, our group wizard animates zombies, has the zombie carry the familiar and a torch, and wander about 100 feet ahead of the group. :D Seems a pretty good idea to me. I disapprove of this action. Signed Stubbs.
  • 11:52 AM - pemerton quoted Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    "Grgur walks cautiously down the hallway, looking carefully to see if there is anything out of place" is perfomative - you have desciptors like "cautiously" and "carefully". Compared to "Grgur strides down the hall." Both are third person, but, both are using language specifically chosen to evoke a particular scene. A non-descriptive would simply be, "Grgur moves down the hall". That's content without performance.Notice that you've got three different action declarations here. Two of them are contrasting: * Grgur walks down the hallway, be cautious and looking carefully to see if anything is out of place. * Grugr strides down the hallway. And one is less specific: * Grugr moves down the hallway. I don't know why you think that the extra information in the two contrasting declarations doesn't count as "content" in the way you're using that word - that extra information is all about what Grugr is doing. And I don't know why you think this shows that RPGing is importantly...
  • 11:47 AM - pemerton quoted Hussar in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    So, in your mind, an RPG is akin to technical writing? No emotion whatsoever. Not at all. Imaro is the person who introduced clarity as a desideratum. My point was that clarity is not really connected to literary quality, and pointed to instructions as an example. If you agree that instructions don't typically display literary quality, then I think you should agree that - to the extent that clarity matters in RPGing - then that doesn't really bear on the issues raised in the OP. The comparisons that I have made to the sort of communication that takes place in RPGing are other forms of more-or-less intimate communications where artifice and literary quality are not pre-eminent concerns, such as conversation and letters. These don't evoke emotions because of their literary qualities. They invoke emotions because they pertain to things the interlocutor cares about. In conversations and letters, the caring is about actual things that matter to the interlocutor. In RPGing, the caring is...


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