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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Today, 12:08 AM
    I'm not sure what work you intend "probably aren't going to" above. Are you working under some sort of internal causality of the local biome? Are working under genre logic? I guess the primary reason I'm not sure is because I'm certain that I've run enough journey conflict in 4e, Mouse Guard, Cortex+ Heroic Fantasy Exploration, Apocalypse World (where AUF, RaS, OYB and class playbooks do the...
    57 replies | 2229 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:11 PM
    Come now. It's not as if "Saying No" somehow represents an oppressed, pariah position in gaming. If it was really so unpopular as you woefully bemoan then there would be little need for a trifling handful of people to defend it. So "Saying No" has hardly become unpopular, given its continued hegemony in most games, but, rather, that some games outside of your self-imposed bubble have adopted...
    408 replies | 11071 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:10 PM
    Some follow-up: Most of my initial pitches with my players were done over phone messages. But as of last Friday, I managed to sit down with two of them for more of a brainstorming session about the initial Underworld pitch. They like the Underworld idea, and have expressed an interest in playing it. When I pressed them about system concerns, they basically gave me a blank check to write,...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:31 AM
    6 months or more? In order, I've run: 3 * B/X and RC 1 * Classic Traveler 5 * AD&D 2 * 3.x 3 * Dogs in the Vineyard 1 * Mouseguard 3 * 4e 2 * Apocalypse World
    51 replies | 1564 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 04:35 PM
    This seems to touch upon a problem that I have encountered with Inspiration. For some preferences, it's gimmick that is too intrusive; however, for other preferences, it does not do its supposed "gimmick" well enough. (I don't think I would do any justice to the positions by ascribing particular playstyles to these positions nor would I recommend that others attempt it.) There are certainly...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 12:24 PM
    Well if we were going with emulating the genre of fiction, we could even employ the fairy tale Rule of 3 trope. The first two places you visit will not have what you seek, but the third time will be the charm.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 10:20 PM
    So a quick thought on this: When you say "challenges to represent matieral changes in the fictional position of the PCs", I'm reading that as "engages with/challenges theme/premise." Is that correct? Assuming that is correct, I have the following thoughts on that. A D&D 4e game at Heroic Tier (broadly) has the following: (The game's broad premise of) * Danger expressed in a Points...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 08:57 PM
    Because then they would be lying. Wizards may not have known about the rape, sexual assault, or "in meat life" abuse, but they knew about a good chunk of the rest (up to 2014). Again, this is part of why people are still upset with Round 2 of tepid responses from Wizards of the Coast. During the development of D&D Next, Mike Mearls knew people found his inclusion upsetting. Victims voiced their...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 10:35 AM
    The idea that this backlash exists the result of a "mere allegation" downplays the scope and nature of these allegations (plural). In particular, it's that 1) these allegations are about an individual with well-known toxic behavior (and lots of red flags), 2) these allegations came from his ex-wife (among other women) - whom the individual in question used as a puppet account for shielding his...
    165 replies | 5938 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 08:26 AM
    That's fine. If you believe what I wrote is ban-worthy, then you have a report button available at your disposal. This is not my first conversation with iserith regarding inspiration, and I don't particularly enjoy being accosted with him self-promoting his brand of inspiration. I was not going to buy what he was selling then, and I'm certainly not buying it now. :erm:
    63 replies | 1439 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 01:05 AM
    A chief problem is that this presumes that there is a singular idea for what perfection entails or should entail. But based upon your own stated game preferences and ideals, that hypothetical game far from constitutes any notion of "perfect" that I would put forth. And I'll admit that this attitude also contributes to some of the aggravation I have our discussions.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 12:32 AM
    No, thank you. I'm not interested in buying snake oil.
    63 replies | 1439 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 06:34 PM
    I don’t have the time necessary to address the various points here, but one thing right quickly. There are more non-thematic pressure points in 4e than is being discussed: 1) There is an assumed, rolling level-1 fungible coin (which can come in the form of, or be used to purchase, residuum, favors/SC successes, Cohorts/Hirelings in the way of Companion Characters, funding Rituals, Mounts,...
    57 replies | 2229 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 04:54 PM
    Inspiration fails to be even a half-baked mechanic that has been easily forgotten, if ever remembered, at every table of 5e I have ever played.
    63 replies | 1439 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 11:07 AM
    That reading, billd91, does not seem fair to any of the parties involved, whether in their favor or against them.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 06:05 PM
    The problem with adjustments like the above, Max, is that the rider effects to stuff like this quickly either becomes clearly arbitrary or “not D&D.” The kinetic energy of a body at terminal velocity has less kinetic energy than that of an Ancient Dragon swinging its tail (even if for some strange reason you assume 2/3 the acceleration of a human punch). I think people can intuit that without...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 11:59 AM
    Using such lenient criteria what game isn't a rules light game?
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 01:56 AM
    In relation to my post above regarding balance and 4e, I'm going to invoke Blades in the Dark (seeing as we have a current Blades thread going). The rigorously calibrated baseline of that game is centered around early Scores (Encounters in 4e parlance) being against Of-Tier Gangs or Tier+1 Gangs. However, Harper's advice and all of the design (Character progression, Crew progression,...
    408 replies | 11071 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 12:52 AM
    One quick comment on balance. This comment will be invoking 4e (because that is what has been invoked), but at its heart, its a design question (as an input) and the related product of play (output). 4e's balance often gets invoked as if its (a) some sort of retardent to dynamism and (b) some form of perpetuator of status quo. That isn't correct for 4e (its actually not even in the realm...
    408 replies | 11071 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 15th February, 2019, 05:03 PM
    If I’m running Star Wars, I’m likely running Strike! (Which is the best 4e derivative) with their Vehicle module.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 15th February, 2019, 05:13 AM
    Alright, so back to this: So we're at 3:1 (Successes/Failures) in the SC. The PC keeping watch has heard a babe crying somewhere off in the dark. Let's say its the Drow Cleric of Sehanine. She also hears her a female's voice in her native tongue whispering a sad, hurried farewell and I love you. Footfalls then rush off in a direction away from camp. She rouses the camp quickly and...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 15th February, 2019, 01:59 AM
    In this scenario, a Quartermaster would be serving as more than just as a logistical manager (of provisions and campsite). S/he would be managing the crew, intuiting their individual moods/needs, and providing accordingly (a more hospitable - cozier, prettier view - spot on the knoll, a favored stew, a bigger portion, a kind word, perhaps a passage of a book to read). That all looks good...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th February, 2019, 07:05 PM
    Awesome hawkeyefan . I think it would be good (for yourself and prospective players) if you, Ovinomancer, the lead poster and anyone else who is playing Blades to post their play excerpts and a postmortem.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th February, 2019, 02:19 PM
    Act now! Plan later! And don’t talk yourself out of fun!
    32 replies | 1325 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th February, 2019, 02:11 PM
    Also, here I noticed that the you are not invoking the truename correctly, so your summoning spell may fail. I would suggest putting cthulhu42's name in a mention box directly rather than relying on the @ function. I will keep this in mind for player instruction once I get the opportunity to run the game. Were they the second series of videos he did? I seem to vaguely recall that his...
    32 replies | 1325 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th February, 2019, 04:02 AM
    Alright, so let us say the Perilous Journey is on the Kings Road from Fallcrest to Winterhaven. Roughly 50 miles, on Riding Horses, that is a day's travel skirting the northern wisps of The Cloak Wood and dead through the ruin-pocked moors of Gardbury Downs. 1) Everyone spends 1 Healing Surge. 2) Complexity 1, Level +1 SC (4 Medium DCs @ 13 and 1 Secondary Skill for +2) 3) Roles are...
    57 replies | 2229 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th February, 2019, 03:08 AM
    Let me clarify one thing right quick. I don't mean "don't try to win." I certainly don't mean that. I just mean "try to win with reckless abandon." The game will reward you for it (in several ways).
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th February, 2019, 02:57 AM
    So just a couple thoughts right quick. If they're from a background of careful, logistics-based, D&D hex/dungeon crawling where their decision-points are centered around creating "exposure-minimizing win conditions" for heroic characters, I would try to help them embrace the shift in Blades. It will invariably be revealed to them with more time playing, but they may enjoy the game more up...
    32 replies | 1325 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 11:32 PM
    Thank you for sharing your experiences with BitD, hawkeyefan. Blades in the Dark is definitely on my "to play" list. Reading through (most of) the book was eye-opening in terms of how its rules mechanics push and reinforce the narrative, themes, and play style. Reading about it and playing it, however, can be two different things. So it will require corralling my group together to play this...
    32 replies | 1325 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 03:15 PM
    When I have some spare time, I’ll throw together a quick play example with your group’s PCs to illustrate how I see this coming together.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 11:32 AM
    - decouple Dexterity from Initiative
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 11:18 PM
    Yup. C1 SC could just be the default. ...can change the complexity of the Skill Challenge to C2 or C3, adding new "extra-role" obstacles that the PCs have to deal with (that will create new emergent "journey story" and possibly snowball into "extra-journey" story). The Pass of Caradhras could be C2, Level+2 (with particular Dangers the players would be made aware of beforehand; eg...
    57 replies | 2229 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 08:07 PM
    Here is one way to organize it in 4e: 1) Every day of a Perilous Journey by default costs a cumulative 1 Healing Surge to each member that they cannot regain until the Perilous Journey ends. 2) Every day of Journey requires the completion of a C1 Skill Challenge (level being that of the Journey): a) Quartermaster (folding Make Camp/Forage/Manage Provisions into one) b) Navigate c)...
    57 replies | 2229 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 05:10 PM
    I think that other people in this thread are operating from their own notions of realism rather than yours. You seem to constantly move the goalposts regarding what constitutes "realism," so it does become quite vague, useless, and meaningless. You have suggested, for example, that the presence of dragons in D&D also constitutes "realism," as the idea for dragons exists in the real world. This is...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 02:39 PM
    So any and everything? Again, you seem to argue using self-redundant words devoid of practical discursive meaning.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 12:33 PM
    As a general reminder, Max previously cited the simple fact that an RPG has a longsword listed as a weapon and the mere presence of healing mechanics as evidence of realism in RPGs and the valuing thereof. Max may be genuinely employing an exceedingly large, if not vague, sense of what constitutes realism.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 11th February, 2019, 11:55 PM
    This is a really great post and interestingly timed. On Friday I was thinking about starting a thread titled "The Implications and Utility of 'No' on Play."
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 11th February, 2019, 03:28 PM
    It's up there with "your dad beating up my dad is unrealistic, so I changed the rules to allow my dad to beat up your dad."
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th February, 2019, 11:49 PM
    I'm going to refer you guys to The Perilous Wilds supplement for Dungeon World (by Lutes, Strandberg, and Widjaja) Its an $8 PDF or $12 PDF and soft cover. Its beautifully put together and absolutely brilliant. Thought its for PBtA, it has great cross-system applicability (particularly those with conflict resolution mechanics, roles, and complications/costs/Fail Forward) as it cogently...
    57 replies | 2229 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th February, 2019, 05:39 PM
    Just going to use these two pieces to bridge into a quick post. I don't agree with either of these positions above. 1) I'm not sure why your thought is that there is a preconcieved endpoint to darkbard 's game here. I don't see anything in the lead post that implies that. 2) If there is a preconceived endpoint (the group will travel from x to y and arrive unscathed in n time),...
    57 replies | 2229 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th February, 2019, 12:55 AM
    Here is the way I see it: You are missing the point. In fact, you are even doubling-down here on the objectionable problem in your "clarification" here. I did not construe it as an attack on a poster's character nor did I think that you were saying that players are youngsters. The problem is your crass characterization of an entire generation of people. Let me spell this out for you then so you...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 06:58 PM
    No worries. I have to catch up on some various lines of thought and questions. I don’t have the time right now and likely won’t tonight. Probably tomorrow.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 05:01 PM
    Yeah, let me double down on Aldarc ‘s “I don’t always xp posts where I’m in full, or even partial agreement with the author.” I’ll gladly xp stuff I disagree with just because I like the effort to communicate or the way a point was put or how tempered it was amidst hostility. My xp is pretty arbitrary, because I’m not reading posts chronologically in threads like I used to. I’m just scanning...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 04:56 PM
    Imaro and Sadras Reread my last paragraph. You’ve completely inverted what I said. I basically said “the table dynamic of skilled play works UNLESS the GM screws up and plays asversarially. There is no assumption about adversarial play. It’s the opposite. Regarding MMI. It’s a concept that attempts to communicate by making a comparison of the dynamics of content introduction being...
    239 replies | 6574 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 04:51 PM
    (1) I disagree with your baseless characterization of "the new generation" and its relevance to the discussion. (2) This is triangulation. (3) I have no oversight over the criteria by which Pemerton provides the XP that he does. Those reasons are his alone. I know from my own experience, however, that I do not always award XP with posts that I find myself in full or partial agreement. I...
    239 replies | 6574 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 03:50 PM
    Outsider Perspective: Is this line of debate going anywhere productive? It seems like instead of debating the placement of goalposts or the number of angels that can dance on the AC of dragons, that the participants should reset and refocus their lines.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 03:43 PM
    Which I would call having a conversation, i.e., the parole of play. Declarations of any sort do not exist in isolation - no matter how much you may like the neatness of subatomic divisions of actions - but contextually as part of play. Declarations are textual, metatextual, and contextual. Normally, I would liken this perspective to bullcrap. However, the critical difference is that bovine...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 03:04 PM
    Lanefan and Bedrockgames , I’ll get a reply up afterwhile on my thoughts on your responses. A few thoughts on this: 1) The issue I personally have with the anti-competition social dynamic you’re referring to is a few-fold. A - Humans stratify their peer groups and greater social arrangements via the establishment of dominance hierarchies. This is done via competition. It is a...
    239 replies | 6574 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 03:47 AM
    So in sum, you're still engaging in semantics for a pointless pissing contest... bucko. Edit: My general issue is that the declaration of intent and declaration of action operate in tandem as a standard part of play and parole. Sometimes players (and the GM) will emphasize the action over the intention or the intention over the action, but the general goal is the declaration of the fictional...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 10:57 PM
    This fake dichotomy between action and intent is less transparent than the lot of you are making it out to be. "I swing at it with my mace," for example, conveys both the action that is transpiring (regardless of intent or success) as well as the general intent to hit 'it' with the PC's mace. The GM may ask for a roll to adjudicate the success of this as an attack; however, the action and the...
    239 replies | 6574 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 07:29 PM
    Exactly. It depends on the system and it depends upon specific artifacts of the system: 1) Tons (most) systems have various forms of player fiat; “I cast Prestidigitation/Mage Hand and do Fantasia thing x” doesn’t get mediated. 2) Plenty of systems require knowing both action and intent so Failure can be Forward (expresses as a complication of intent).
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 06:59 PM
    Of course, but I have nevertheless heard many people speak well of how 4e illuminate a difference between druids and other spellcasters through the primal source in 4e. A few people here on this forum have even indicated that they still maintain the primal source as a quasi-canonical explanation for druidic powers. There was a difference between Fey and Primal even in 4e. PHB2 suggested that...
    32 replies | 1121 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 04:24 PM
    I'm kinda surprised, if not disappointed, that no one has mentioned the 4e Druid so far, especially given how 4e was really the first edition that distinguished the identity of the druid from both the cleric and wizard via the Primal magic source.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 07:26 PM
    I don’t have the time to commit to reading through each of the PCs right now, but I will afterwhile and give you some PC-centric stuff to consider. My time is short, but I’m going to take a brief moment to disagree with @pemerton on a few things as this is probably the only TTRPG issue we discuss where there is daylight between our views. 1) A game like Dogs features significant wilderness...
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    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 05:57 PM
    I don’t think all of human interaction is just the accrual, expenditure, and costs of social capital...but I think we could reduce it to that (in the same way I often see TTRPG participant roles reduced to that).
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 04:57 PM
    If I had one wish for conversation on this board (I have more than one), it might be that we didn’t frame TTRPG participant roles as this unprincipled construct devoid of focus and restraint...constrained only by loss of social capital (eg “All that can happen is a player walk-out”). All of human activity (being animals that organize socially) can be reduced to loss or gain of social capital...
    239 replies | 6574 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 03:12 PM
    I am not suggesting phrasing with my inquiry, especially since it puts the cart before the horse. But when I read , it seems like what proceeds from the "therefore" is the actual underlying issue. In fact, my question to you is more in line with . This is to say that the "unrealism" creates cognitive dissonance that disrupts your play priority of immersion. So there are things that disrupt your...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 02:50 PM
    So Illusionism then? A couple thoughts. 1) I’ve brought up GM covert application of Force (to dictate GM preferred outcomes, to ensure GM plot and GM preferred play trajectory) many times on these boards. I’ve been told many times that the deployment of Illusionism isn’t a go-to in certain forms of GMing (in particular, the AD&D 2e style that emerged around Dragonlance and matured with...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 01:07 PM
    So does this mechanic disrupt your prioritization and sense of roleplaying immersion? Then what kind of game discussion is it? Quite true. And this says nothing about the diseases involved in healing from combat. I know that I have mentioned it before, but a member of my group is a surgical nurse who complains about healing in D&D. Though for him the deeper issue of "realism" is the sense...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 06:40 AM
    Is this Heroic Tier? I'm just going to assume so. If you could provide the Character Themes, I could come up with some specific stuff based off off that. Heroic Tier generically: Hopelessly Lost! Perhaps wicked fey constructed an illusory road so they took a wrong turn at Albequerque and stumbled through a Crossroads into some terrible parallel (and very dangerous place in the...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 12:41 AM
    That is absolutely true, and I earnestly believe that is valid for those people. But if a player approaches us and tells us that they want us to run a game with greater realism, then we are placed in the position of having to unravel and tease out from them how that means for them and how they want that realism applied more palpably. Fair enough. I agree that natural recovery is something...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 10:28 PM
    I'm afraid this is a false equivalence, and it's framed such that only way that you will show me good faith is if accept a certain premise as true and you are also presuming in bad faith that I am not showing good faith in my argument. So no, this does not swing both ways. It swings with you showing bad faith towards me and then doubling down on it as if they held equivalent moral weight. :erm: ...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 09:12 PM
    It seems as if you are looking past my words so you can preach from atop your soap box. I'm not trying to play the sort of "you don't know any better" gotcha game that you are depicting this as here, and it is hardly an inquisition. I would personally appreciate a modicum of good faith from you. So please stop trying to presume my argument as being rooted in arrogance or a desire to be dismissive...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 08:15 PM
    I believe that there are people who say that they do, but then apply that broad (if not exceedingly vague) criteria selectively in their games, and that this tells us more about their preferences for the actual play experience they want the game to cultivate. And I believe that this latter point is more meaningful and practical than the call for realism itself or offering the trite remark that...
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    4 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 06:44 PM
    D&D (and Heartbreakers) * D&D 3.X & 3.5 * True20 * Arcana Unearthed/Evolved * Pathfinder 1e * D&D 5e So most of my longer-term campaigns happened under the auspices of the 3e d20 system. Though this is less about my preferences and more about time and the group. Other Longer Campaigns
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 06:19 PM
    First, I am incredibly thankful for Ovinomancer's cogent response. I hope that clarifies some of the matters for you. But I hope that I can expand on that excellent post with some additional points of my own. Sure. But one of the interesting things about Blades is the decision of what Action (out of typically 12 total) to use for a situation rests with the player. The GM does not get to...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 06:17 PM
    My apologies then. I perhaps inferred too much from your response to my post here: ... where you seem to downplay D&D as a game striving for realism while shifting the terms of discussion to "believable." And your final point here: Seemed congruent with my point about how this was a matter of setting expectations of "knowns" in game play for players. That said, I do hope that my own...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 05:42 PM
    Your personal attacks and strawmen aside, if you read my arguments in good faith, you would know that it is not about minimizing realism, Max. It's about acknowledging how "realism" itself is typically not the actual goal for self-professed advocates of "realism." This is why I asked you: And similarly before: The point is not that realism is not present in RPGs (that's your strawman) - and...
    408 replies | 11071 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 02:48 PM
    @Maxperson Do you mean something like “baseline familiarity centered around our own physical systems?” Gravity is a thing, some interactions transfer more energy than others, nonparasitic plants need light for photosynthesis, humans (and animals like them) express themselves based on biological and social imperatives. Stuff like that? I don’t think (broadly) that anyone would disagree with...
    408 replies | 11071 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 02:33 PM
    Sadras, it seems like this topic is somewhat system dependent. As I have been reading through a lot of DW and Blades in the Dark, those systems come to mind more readily when reading through some of this discussion. In Blades of the Dark, task resolution rolls lack DCs since success and failure is baked into the result of the die pips. Instead, the player decides which Action ("skill") to use,...
    239 replies | 6574 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 10:31 AM
    Why are you using the term "realism" in such a meaningless way? :erm:
    408 replies | 11071 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 02:59 AM
    Let me just say one thing. This head-on-a-swivel, constantly fretting over shadows of Forge bogeyman framing of this conversation is completely absurd. There is nothing I've written in here that is Forge inspired or really even relates to any "mainstream" (yeah, I know) Forge essays or posts. The term "gamestate" isn't Forge jargon and is pretty universal in any game theory analysis (for...
    408 replies | 11071 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 12:44 AM
    Let me clarify what my intent was with that post (and the other posts around it). When I invoked "entitlement to absolute authority over content introduction", I wasn't referring to an inevitable outgrowth of a regime of GMing of the sort we're discussing here. I was invoking the possible operant conditioning landmine of such a regime (particularly for evolved chimps like us that have...
    408 replies | 11071 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 12:36 AM
    Although I know this is snark, I have two thoughts: 1) "Daddy" here would be the designer, not the GM (it only works that way). 2) It does actually carry explanatory power that way if the intent is being appreciative of a certain sort of empowerment.
    408 replies | 11071 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 12:31 AM
    That's interesting. This is actually a really good point and a good contribution. It would have been nice if discussion emerged around it. I have some underdeveloped thoughts on why that is (in standard D&D), but I'm not certain. I'll have to think on it some more.
    408 replies | 11071 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th February, 2019, 04:48 PM
    How? I have some lint in my pocket. Does it stand to reason then that I value lint? :confused: Have you considered that "realism" is simply a byproduct of some other game value and not an end value in itself? My contention is that I believe that most proponents of "realism" in TTRPGs mistakenly confuse "realism" as an end value in TTRPGs. You are missing the forest for the trees here. ...
    408 replies | 11071 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th February, 2019, 11:32 AM
    Even ignoring the fantastical elements within the most popular genre of TTRPG play, I'm not sure if I would call it 'realism' by any reasonable metric. Often that appeal to realism is selectively applied, if not prejudiciously, by both the game system and the participants, typically with some other goal or value in mind. 'Realism' is likely a smokescreen for some other issue(s). This is to say, I...
    408 replies | 11071 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th February, 2019, 02:27 AM
    1) I don't dislike the style. I have run sandbox campaigns repeatedly in my life in multiple systems (as I said above..did you miss that?). 2) On refugees: The overwhelming majority of players in my games (70+ for sure) over the last 35 years have been refugees from games of the precise style we're speaking about that have failed due to GM issues (of which I've spoken a bit about). I've...
    408 replies | 11071 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th February, 2019, 01:29 AM
    Let me just say one thing about "Bill" and: There is a problem with this that is similar to the error classical economists have made when assuming free markets are efficient and self-regulating because of the belief that individual people and collectives (a) can model the volatility of complex downstream interactions, (b) respond coherently to incentives and disincentives, and (c) tend...
    408 replies | 11071 view(s)
    1 XP
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Friday, 15th February, 2019

  • 04:49 AM - Maxperson mentioned Hussar in post Sage Advice Compendium Update 1/30/2019
    ... isn't allowed by the RAW. Right? Bonus actions are not actions, and the bonus action rules clearly state you get to decide when to take the bonus action on your turn (unless there are timing requirements in the bonus action itself). To use your example, you could: - Move - Attack action, take first swing - Move some more - Take a bonus action without timing requirements, because this qualifies as "any time on your turn" - Move a little more - Take second swing, completing the Attack action - Action Surge - Move a little more - Take a second action It's not my argument. If actions are naturally divisible like 5ekyu and other are claiming, then you can in fact trigger the Action Surge in the middle of your Attack Action or Cast a Spell Action. There's no inherent timing conflict built into Action Surge that would prevent it. You get to choose when to take your action, and you get to choose when to Action Surge. However, if actions are not naturally divisible like Hussar and I are saying, you could not do that. You would need a rule that explicitly allows you to use it during the action, such as reaction rules or smite.

Tuesday, 12th February, 2019

  • 08:57 PM - Lanefan mentioned Hussar in post Monster spawned by a typo
    ...menestra, the original creator of the Lynch Mop realized she had made a significant discovery...once she recovered from the beating administered by said Lynch Mop...and set about trying to replicate what she had done, only in a manner less dangerous to herself. She succeeded, and went on to become very wealthy through selling her design to other wizards; some of whom went on to refine her design and add the pack tactics. Construction of a Lynch Mop requires a mop, on which are cast in sequence Enchant An Item, Golem, and Animate Dead over a 24-hour period. Not less than 3000 g.p. of fine gold dust must be included in the casting of Golem; this dust is sprinkled over the mop and - if the spell is successful - absorbed by it. A Lynch Mop can be given no orders or instructions whatsoever. On completion of the spell sequence it animates and then acts as noted above. Note that construction of a Lynch Mop is generally considered a non-Good act. Lan-"have fun, everyone; and thanks Hussar !"-efan

Friday, 8th February, 2019

  • 02:32 PM - jasper mentioned Hussar in post The Battle Continues Over "Childish Things"
    @Hussar I guess my point is, if adults aren't reading Shakespeare and kids are, then doesn't that place Shakespeare largely in the same reading bracket as comic books? After all, it's not like kids can't understand Romeo and Juliet or get the nuances of A Merchant of Venice. It's not like these are really all that subtle. ... No. Because great adults of the school critic a lum, have proclaim Shakespeare and Melville are GREAT LITERATURE. And we must force it down you rugrats throats so you can be educated. Other wise you will start thinking Avengers are literature. And then we have trouble right here in River City.

Wednesday, 16th January, 2019


Tuesday, 15th January, 2019

  • 03:09 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Hussar in post Titans - Surprisingly Good if a bit uneven
    rather than just focussing on Dick Um .... Anyway, Hussar and Tonguez, I am a sucker for there DC Universe shows, and I didn't know this had released on Netflix (thanks!). How is the maturity level for teens (say, a mature 12 year old)?

Friday, 11th January, 2019


Thursday, 27th December, 2018

  • 05:44 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Hussar in post No Magic Shops!
    ...not my job to yuck on their yum. Some people really enjoy that. They should just enjoy it with others who do so- not me. And, to be honest, I sometimes put in a temporary prophylactic ignore even if *I* am engaging in that. If I am 1% responsible, or 99% responsible, for behavior I don't like, it allows for a cooling off period and then I can go and evaluate whether or not this is a person I want to converse with (is it the other person, or me, or a combination?). I have lots of great discussions here with people that disagree with me. And I learn a lot from them. What I don't enjoy, and what usually ends up poorly, is when someone feels the need to "challenge me" because ... well, they can do that with someone else. You want to discuss something with me? Great! You want to challenge me and argue about arguing? No thank you. So I think we have slightly different ideas when it comes to what a discussion really means. It's not that I don't have discussions - it's just that, as @Hussar and others have pointed out, certain individuals tend to be a little more aggressive in their ... discussions. Which is great in some places, with some people, and not so great with others. This is supposed to be a fun place for people to discuss their hobby, and that's how I treat it. :)

Monday, 10th December, 2018

  • 04:21 PM - Sadras mentioned Hussar in post Cantrip Auto-Scaling - A 5e Critique
    This is a tall order. You want the cantrip to be effectively weaker than 1st level damaging spells, so no quadratic power up, but also useful enough to use as a viable action presumably at those higher levels? But maybe not? Maybe balance is of no concern and it is purely thematic and your idea of magic in the setting? Other than making cantrips a limited resource the only other option I can think of would be roll over the damage dealing cantrips into first level and give bonus spell slots. Both those mess a little with balance but then again it depends on the theme of the campaign. For example, in @Hussar's Savage Worlds campaign their table agreed to nix cantrips. EDIT: Magic is one of those areas where special consideration by the DM is required when designing his/her gaming world. So keeping damage-dealing cantrips at their base perhaps ensures that cantrips are really only viewed as play-play magic for those with true arcane/divine power, at least for that setting.

Thursday, 22nd November, 2018

  • 01:35 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Defining RPG's Take 2 - Prescriptive vs Descriptive
    ...at good at it. And so a game - like a RPG - that says "Player moves must engage the relationship between the protagonist who is the centre of the player's action declaration, and the rest of the fictional environment in which s/he finds him/herself" is going to produce wildly varying action declarations. And if the rules then say "The game includes a referee who will adjudicate the outcomes of such declarations", those adjudications will vary quite a bit as well. (Over the past few years, I've participated in multiple thread about that, with particular reference to adjudication of declarations of actions for high level non spellcasters in D&D.) All this has nothing to do with prescriptive vs descriptive. The rules of a RPG don't describe anything. They set out permissions, limitations, requirements, procedures for doing things, etc. That's what makes them rules. The mechanics of a RPG are a subset of those rules, and mostly they set out procedures but often also requirements. Hussar wants to bracket PC build mechanics, so let's look at some others: The DM calls for an ability check when a character or monster attempts an action (other than an attack) that has a chance of failure. (Basic PDF, p 58) Every character and monster has a speed, which is the distance in feet that the character or monster can walk in 1 round. (Basice PDF, p 63) The game organizes the chaos of combat into a cycle of rounds and turns. A round represents about 6 seconds in the game world. During a round, each participant in a battle takes a turn. The order of turns is determined at the beginning of a combat encounter, when everyone rolls initiative. Once everyone has taken a turn, the fight continues to the next round if neither side has defeated the other. (Basic PDF, p 69) Those are all prescriptions. They state procedures to be followed in the context of various sorts of action declarations. And obviously the examples could be multiplied. As far as I can tell, the real diff...

Friday, 16th November, 2018

  • 03:44 PM - Yaarel mentioned Hussar in post Worlds of Design: Fantasy vs. Sci-Fi Part 2
    Hussar What the Norse understood to be ‘magic’ (seiđr) was achieved by the forces of ones own mind (hugar). What the 1950s science fiction writers understood to be ‘psionics’ (psi + electronics) was achieved by the forces of ones own mind (psyche). These are tautologically identical concepts. In this case, the ‘fantasy’ and the ‘science fiction’ are the same, except the choice of language to describe it. It is easy to have a ‘science fiction’ movie in a Viking Era setting, where the ‘mindforces’ (hugar) accompanies a plausible explanation. Actually, the movie Outlander resembles such. It is a Viking movie where the dragon is a space alien. To me, I can find no meaningful distinction between fantasy and science fiction. I am comfortable with the need of scifi (aka speculative fiction) to be able to represent both.
  • 01:25 AM - Yaarel mentioned Hussar in post Worlds of Design: Fantasy vs. Sci-Fi Part 2
    @Hussar I use ‘scifi’ and ‘speculative fiction’ as synonyms ... because scifi has fewer syllables ... and enjoys an official sticker on the spines of many library books ... and is the kind of thing that shows up on the Syfy channel. In other words, the obsolete distinction between ‘science fiction’ and ‘fantasy’ seems nonuseful. But the broad category of scifi (aka speculative fiction) along with a multitude of distinctive subgenres seems useful.

Monday, 12th November, 2018

  • 07:53 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    I keep saying that this is a problem with 3e/4e/PF and you keep focusing on 4e, trying to turn this into a “vs 4e Edition war”. But this isn’t 2008 and I have zero interest in that kind of discussion...I don't have any views about 3E. I've played only a very small amount of it, and as a design I think it has a number of well-known problems. The most interesting thing to be about 3E is that if you apply a level-bonus to AC but call it "natural armour" then many RPGers will regard that as a simulation even though it is just a label with no meaning in the fiction whatsoever (ie the best possible magic armour is +5 plate for around +14 AC, while there are natural armour bonuses in the 30s - what is "natural armour" that is so much better than what the best smith can possibly forge?). Mutatis mutandis for many other aspects of 3E. I agree with Hussar (from past threads, not this one) that PC build in 4e owes quite a bit to 3E. But encounter build/design and action resolution in 4e is wildly different from 3E - very much to the benefit of 4e!

Sunday, 11th November, 2018

  • 07:08 AM - Sadras mentioned Hussar in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    @pemerton and in part @Hussar You have pushed for the merits of a defined skill table at various levels and/or mentioned 5e DM's giving varying DCs on skill checks as issues of the game. I'm wondering if you have the same contempt, because it can only be described as contempt after so many posts, with TotM. Let us face it TotM can produce some varied results, not all DMs will have the exact same picture in their mind and certainly players will have different ones. I'm wondering if you are consistent in your contempt for unsurety across the board or if you're just cherry-picking?
  • 04:43 AM - Imaro mentioned Hussar in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...hat the examples that I have in mind as illustrating what 4e permits, and as thereby marking the difference between the systems (eg 15h level fighters cutting down phalanxes of hobgoblins (statted as swarms), the forge scene, etc) are properly not feasible in 5e (because even a 15th level fighter should be threatened if surrounded by 20 hobgoblins, should most likely have his/her hands burn off if shoved into a forge, etc). I don't care whether or not anyone else wants to play a game in which 15th level fighters are capable in that sort of way. I'm simply explaining why the 4e framework makes stuff possible - encourages it, even - which the 5e framework does not. I want that stuff even if no one else does. To put it even more bluntly - I'm not trying to show that 5e players are irrational. I'm rebutting the suggestion that 4e does not offer anything different from 5e. It obviously does, and this thread has only underlined that fact. Which is why I was replying specifically to Hussar who seems to want a different conversation than you do.

Saturday, 3rd November, 2018

  • 06:21 PM - Imaro mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I don't give my wife special treatment, her character has the same risk and rewards as anyone else. She wouldn't want it any other way, nor would I when she'd DMing. However, I'm realistic in that as much as I like my players they could get a job out of state (or I could) tomorrow. I know my wife is going to be in my campaign for the long haul. So yes, her vote on what the next campaign is going to be and whether we allow option ___ has more weight than others. This brings up another interesting axis on Hussar 's objective player over DM stance... What if the DM is more committed to playing than the player? If I have a player who hates horror games but is often late or cancels often enough to be noticeable (but we still enjoy playing with him in a casual sense)... should their preference still be held in higher regard than mine as the DM who shows up to every session? Should their preferences hold as much weight as everyone else's in the group? This is why I don't like this blanket... "Not catering to a player" = "Bad DM" rhetoric. Way to many factors to make that a blanket statement.

Friday, 2nd November, 2018

  • 01:04 PM - Imaro mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Now, that being said, I would say that there are differently levels of justification for things. I don't want X because I don't like X and I'm the DM so, what I say goes, is a pretty darn weak argument. If that's the best justification you can come up with, well, at that point, I'm of a mind that I'll just suck it up and let the player have their way because it means that the player will be more invested in the game. I'll address the direct response to me a little later but I did want to touch on this... Does this work in reverse? If a player's justification is that I don't want to play X because I don't like X and we agreed to only play games everyone liked so what I say goes do you as a DM consider that an equally weak argument? Is there a point where the player should just suck it up and let the DM have their way? If so what is it. This is what I'm trying to figure out with you Hussar, because while I get where you're coming from in a general sense I am also getting the impression that compromise from your point of view is the DM always conceding to the players. Now if that;s the case just state it as opposed to claiming compromise when the player never has to. It's similar to the question I asked previously... if you always concede to the player at what point do they actually need to be open minded or adaptable?

Thursday, 1st November, 2018

  • 01:05 PM - jasper mentioned Hussar in post Burning Questions: Why Do DMs Limit Official WOTC Material?
    Hussar Every Dining out hussar votes steak, steak, steak, steak, steak, steak,. Some times Fried shrimp with steak. The rest of us vote on variety. Sooner or later Hussar is going lose the vote. So he has to learn to got along with reasonable demands. Or hit Steak and Shake alone this Taco Tuesday. Sorry If I told the group the Convoy/Train/Plane leaves at 1600 hrs 2 times before the event, 2 times in the ride to the event. 2 times at the event. And at 1545 I tell you to be ready, you turn and run away deeper in the con. You are the one with problem. So Matt Mercer must allow me to use my Vulcan with wolverine claws, phaser, and magical missile or he is a bad DM. Got it.

Tuesday, 30th October, 2018

  • 03:11 PM - Imaro mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...sagree with you, I do also think refusing to play in a game that everyone in your (presumably stable and long-standing) social group wants to play is a bit gauche. Unless the game or campaign concept is bringing up some kind of psychological issue, the fun of hanging with your social group should trump the relative negative feeling towards the game as a whole. I think they key here isn't the DM's pet campaign or the player for whom the particular system is a bęte noire, but the other players in the group. If they're ambivalent about the DM's concept, better for the DM to make a change. If they're enthusiastic, though, the player with the problem may have to be the one to change their attitude. Granted, this probably points more to the importance of saving strong aesthetic considerations for the internet, and not bringing them into casual social encounters. Nobody wants to hear your "TLJ ruined Star Wars" diatribe at the office Christmas party. :) This is pretty much where Hussar 's blanket "Bad DM" characterization of this falls flat for me. There seems to be this sentiment that the DM is supposed to be extraordinarily flexible, accommodating, not really own anything, cater to players, etc. But I don't see this line of thinking ever reflected back towards players (admittedly by some though not all posters in this thread). As a player if I'm not feeling what the DM has suggested but the rest of the group is cool with it... why would I force him to change it and why is he a bad DM if he doesn't cater to me specifically? If I have that big of a problem with it (to the point that I refuse to play) why am I not being held to the same standard of... friendship, camaraderie and social enjoyment should trump your lpersonal wants... that apparently DM's should be held to?

Monday, 29th October, 2018

  • 06:05 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    There is a difference in arguments between, "X is true, because Y is an authority" and "X is true, because of X, Y, and Z reasons", even if those reasons are from various authorities. One is a fallacy, and the other is not.In the abstract, sure. But here is Hussar's argument: X is true because I believe X, I'm an English teacher, and therefore I would know. And here is your argument: X is true because I read it in a book, and the book is right because the people who wrote it would know. Those arguments are both appeals to authority. Fallacies are fallacies. Period. If you engage in one it doesn't automatically make you wrong or right, but it does make the argument logically invalid.Maxperson, every argument I have ever seen you run is logically invalid. (I have never seen you make an argument in mathematics or logic.) Practally every argument every human being has ever made in the history of humanity is logically invalid. The argument that If you jump off the roof of a bulding, you will fall is logically invalid. That doesn't make it a bad argument; it just means that it is defeasible by contrary emprical evidence. That an argument is not logically valid doesn't make it a bad one. That my best reason to believe X is that someone w...
  • 01:32 AM - Maxperson mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ... the status of Paris as the capital of France are authorities is enough to prove my point! There is a difference in arguments between, "X is true, because Y is an authority" and "X is true, because of X, Y, and Z reasons", even if those reasons are from various authorities. One is a fallacy, and the other is not. I'm not an attorney. I'm an academic lawyer. And yes, authorities can be wrong. That's why argument from authority is defeasible. But as I already posted, practically every bit of inference you engage in is defeasible. For a good discussion of what bits of your "knowledge" you would have to erase if you resolved to accept only non-defeasible inference I recommend Bertrand Russell's The Problems of Philosophy. Short answer: practically all of it. Fallacies are fallacies. Period. If you engage in one it doesn't automatically make you wrong or right, but it does make the argument logically invalid. All of these things you are mentioning are irrelevant to whether or not @Hussar made an Appeal to Authority as his only response to my argument. Not only was it an Appeal to Authority, but his next response was an Ad Hominem attack. If he really is an English teacher, he should know better.


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Friday, 22nd February, 2019

  • 10:34 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Hussar in post Pages From The Upcoming Nautical D&D Book!
    I don't know how many constitute many. I do try to avoid making broader statements without evidence. And, I'd point to the fact that even "thin" supplements like SCAG are still selling far, far more than any single title of the same age for any other edition, outside of core books. Seems like they are doing something right. So the only metric is success in the marketplace?

Thursday, 21st February, 2019

  • 02:50 PM - oreofox quoted Hussar in post Pages From The Upcoming Nautical D&D Book!
    As I recall, al'Qadim was always in Forgotten Realms, albeit a fairly distant part of it. I honestly don't know much about Al'Qadim. I just know the adventures set within it had a different heading than Forgotten Realms. Though I am sure Maztica and Kara Tur did as well, and I know they are attached to the Forgotten Realms world. Ravenloft was opened up AFTER Curse of Strahd. Meaning that DM's Guild becomes a giant resource for anyone wanting to run Curse of Strahd. IOW, DM's Guild wasn't competing with CoS but rather was busily banging out supplements FOR WotC's adventure. Same goes for the latest modules too. Dragon Heist has enough DM's Guild supplementary material to run for 20 levels. Easily. There's fantastic supplements for a module. This is what's different today. The notion that modules now get supplementary support. It's amazing really. That's what I was actually trying to get at. Set this aquatic adventure in Greyhawk, which will open up the setting for dmsguil...
  • 12:49 PM - Ryujin quoted Hussar in post Marvel's Iron Fist Season 2 - Much Better
    Well, at least it's only one paywall, rather than many. Only one paywall if that's all that you want. The proliferation of paywalls is getting rather ridiculous.
  • 10:27 AM - Mustrum_Ridcully quoted Hussar in post Marvel's Iron Fist Season 2 - Much Better
    Oh, right. forgot about that. It's so weird that all the stuff that get's put behind paywalls in the States gets released on Netflix overseas a little bit later - ST:Discovery, Teen Titans, and a bunch of other stuff. Now if Netflix Japan could just get with the program and get some of the newer seasons, that would be nice. First five seasons of Supernatural only? Seriously? :p Netflix is a paywall. It's just one you already paid for.
  • 09:52 AM - evileeyore quoted Hussar in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    Nice. We're a "mob" now. And you wonder why you are having trouble having this discussion with people. I got the word from you Dad! No really, all funny aside, it's right there in what I quoted from you. You can hardly expect me to think you'd get upset when I was using your own words. :P And, how can anyone actually answer that? Rhetoricals aren't meant to be answered. But you could answer how you'd feel. How long do you think he should be banished from our "No Bad Peeps Club"? A year? Forever? What would it take for you except his redemption arc was genuine? (hypothetically presuming he ever bothers trying to become a better person) Maybe my Magic 8 Ball of future prediction of how much people will accept sexual predators into their hobby will result in better answers. Ah, so never. He can never rise above his past misdeeds, he will forever be a sexual predator. Okay, at least there is honesty in that. Seriously, how is, "We're not going to buy this guy's p...
  • 09:27 AM - Zardnaar quoted Hussar in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    I suppose, at the end of the day, the question is less, "what should we do" but, rather, "is there anything we can do, and if there is, is it worth doing?" Because, I will agree with Celebrim on this, there really isn't a whole lot we can actually do. For me, I would be taking people like this off the "special guest list" at conventions and getting the word out to let people make an informed decision about whether or not they want to buy this person's product. Beyond that, really, there isn't a whole lot we can do. In this specific example, it really has no personal impact. I never bought any of Zak S' products and, if you hadn't told me that his name was in the PHB, I wouldn't have actually known. But, as I mentioned back a few posts, other threads like this HAVE affected my buying practices. I don't use any Frog God stuff anymore. Is there anything more I could actually do? Nope. Not realistically. But, getting the word out is a goal in and of itself, IMO. I do not b...
  • 09:12 AM - evileeyore quoted Hussar in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    I don't believe the problem is we have a "rape culture", and so I don't think that a cultural movement is going to dent this. Ahhhh.... mmmm... Let me break this into its two constituent parts: I don't believe the problem is we have a "rape culture"... Agreed. ...and so I don't think that a cultural movement is going to dent this. And I disagree. Clearly the movement has made coming forward easier. Let me say that again: Clearly the movement has made coming forward easier. That is an unconditional good on its own. Will it stop or slow criminal acts on it's own? Ahahahahaha. No. Criminals gonna criminal... but... it does mean more victims will come forward, perpetrators will be prosecuted, and hopefully this will result in a reduction. Because, I will agree with Celebrim on this, there really isn't a whole lot we can actually do. About Zak? We can have the discussion about whether he can ever redeem himself (and thus by extension any further individuals w...
  • 08:55 AM - evileeyore quoted Hussar in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    Are we really going to go down this road? Clearly. This attempt at discussion chilling is noted. Let's compare things shall we? Not actually concerned with one guy who probably did deserve it, we all saw how he posted.... /looks at what was just written, recognizes the social currency forever spent... :| Some comedians are complaining about how they can't tell the same kinds of jokes they used to, workplaces now have mandatory sexual harassment training, the Pope is no longer denying but actively speaking out against sexual assault within the church. [musical notes and sing-song voice] One of these things is not like the other... [/notes and voice] And yes, I do think there is a connection between some modern political movements and Maoist China. For me it's more a connection between the progress movement and Modern China with it's Social Credit Score. Thankfully we aren't there yet... or... wait... I hope that no further awards to Zak or forthco...
  • 08:48 AM - Celebrim quoted Hussar in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    Maybe it's because I'm not American and I don't live in the US. I live in a country where up until about two or three years ago, major corporations had no local harassment policies. I thought about bringing that up a couple of times but I didn't want to appear to be telling you about your own country, which you surely know more about than me. Yes, Japan has a huge way to go on this. I live next to a country of over a billion people where this year is the first year a civil sexual harassment case is being heard. The notion that things like #Metoo have had no impact is really ignoring the massive impact it has had. Is it perfect? Of course not. But, focusing on things that have gone badly while ignoring the good seems a poor way to go forward. I may have the opposite bias. But if in fact our ugly affairs over here in the USA has had some sort of real positive impact outside the USA, then that really does truly hearten me. And, AGAIN, you are trying to derail the conversat...
  • 08:45 AM - Celebrim quoted Hussar in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    But, Celebrim, the topic isn't #Metoo, or #Believeallwomen or Roman Polanski or the connection between harassment and the porn industry. I'm not sure that's at all clear. I'm not the only one, and probably not the first one, to link Zak S's public outing to the larger social gestalt. And in any event, it is I think much better to talk about the larger problem than to linger over the details of this particular tragedy except to the extent of, "How do we keep this from happening?" the whole "maybe I ought to walk away slowly from the mob with its pitchforks and torches and schadenfreude" is really out in left field. Not to me. So, to me anyway, bringing in all these things is just derailing the conversation. These are your issues. These are things that concern you and I respect that. But, this is not the place for that conversation. This is the place for us, as a community, to talk about how to deal with this specific issue. Zak does get any more industry honors. We ...
  • 07:48 AM - Celebrim quoted Hussar in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    And this is chilling? How much leeway do you think I got? I've already mentioned a few things outside of the realm of gaming. Or, (sorry about this Celebrim) the comparison between state sponsored public torture of political prisoners by one of the most repressive regimes in modern history (Maoist China) and the MeToo movement. :uhoh: The problem is that I can't really explain where I was going with that. It's just going to snowball into a larger political discussion if I start bringing in examples, but I did point at some things that would make interesting reading for the interested student when I was trying to 'reach across the aisle' and find some common ground. And yes, I do think there is a connection between some modern political movements and Maoist China. I don't think that the #metoo movement is a problem, and I welcomed the long overdue house cleaning in the movie industry (and the gaming industry?), but I do think it has gotten hijacked in ways that are detri...
  • 07:12 AM - billd91 quoted Hussar in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    Well, I dunno exactly what I’m supposed to do but I do know that threads like this have certainly influenced where I spend money in the hobby. So it has had an effect at least on me. What else I’m supposed to do kinda escapes me. Threads like this have made me more aware of the problems in our gaming subculture. I think as a result of that, I do approach situations with a different perspective and I watch for harassing behavior now more than I would have without the awareness level. I also find I am more likely to speak out rather than let it blow on by. None of that means I always agree on the right approach to something or agree with every allegation or claim, but I do evaluate them differently.
  • 04:13 AM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Hussar in post Pages From The Upcoming Nautical D&D Book!
    Did someone's T1-4 spontaneously combust because PotA came out? Is there some reason you couldn't run that original module anymore? No, of course not. Nothing actually changed for that person. Not a single thing. They are just as able to run the original T1-4 today as they were years ago. Absolutely, although many of those modules are rather difficult to get except perhaps in PDF form. But, now, people have a choice. They can run the original T1-4 set in Greyhawk, or they can run PotA set in Forgotten Realms. Choice is good. It's a new take on an idea. <snip> If they rewrite the Slave Lords modules and place them in Forgotten Realms, as an example, who cares? Why should that bother anyone. If you insist that the Slave Lord modules MUST be in Greyhawk, run the original modules. Why does it hurt you so much that I get what I want? Partly it's because the other settings are getting nothing and as @epithet noted, can't even publish on DMs Guild. Fans of that work, correctly, pe...
  • 12:53 AM - MGibster quoted Hussar in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    I'm not sure I'd go that far as to say we endorse his behavior. But, removing the credits does say that we don't. I'd like to point something out real quick since this came up in earlier statements. This is a great example of disagreement without endorsing bad behavior. It also shows that we don't have to be afraid of disagreeing with one another.
  • 12:47 AM - epithet quoted Hussar in post Pages From The Upcoming Nautical D&D Book!
    ... Good grief, I've seen Romeo and Juliet performed as street theater using 1950's hot rods instead of swords. That's about as far from "canon" as you can get. But what I didn't see was a bunch of Shakespeare fans jumping up and down because the canon was changed. Some liked the show, some didn't. But that was based on the production, not on some self invented image of what Shakespeare "should be". If they rewrite the Slave Lords modules and place them in Forgotten Realms, as an example, who cares? Why should that bother anyone. If you insist that the Slave Lord modules MUST be in Greyhawk, run the original modules. Why does it hurt you so much that I get what I want? I suppose the big difference is that no one owns Romeo and Juliet. The performance of a 1950s hot rod version of a Shakespearean work does not in any way prevent another troupe from performing it in a way that is more faithful to the original work. The refusal of WotC to open the Greyhawk setting on the DMs Guild, h...

Wednesday, 20th February, 2019

  • 03:41 PM - Umbran quoted Hussar in post Marvel's Iron Fist Season 2 - Much Better
    Could be that DC makes the move over to Netflix as well... DC already has its own streaming service here in the US, so that's unlikely.
  • 03:37 PM - oreofox quoted Hussar in post Pages From The Upcoming Nautical D&D Book!
    Why would it be wrong of you to care? Well, your caring means that you are actively working against anyone else who might want to see a different take on an older idea. Your caring about canon stifles creativity and creates a hostile environment among fans who don't feel that a single decision point (do we place this module in this or that setting) forty years ago should be forever binding. IOW, your Tomb of Horrors would not spontaneously combust if they did "invalidate" it with a mega dungeon in Chult. You could still run it, read it and enjoy it. And, I get the bonus of being able to enjoy a new take on an old idea. I guess my basic point is, new ideas don't invalidate old ones. Unless they do. So far, WotC has been good about including "In Other Worlds" in their adventures, for the very real possibility someone isn't running FR but wants to run the adventure. PotA's other worlds describes placing the adventure in and around Hommlet, the site of the previous 2 Elemental...
  • 09:47 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Hussar in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    You asked, I answered. This is true of ALL businesses in a capitalist system. Capitalism has no morals. Even Adam Smith understood this, but people generally ignore his writings on morality and ethics, and just focus on Wealth of Nations.
  • 07:21 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Hussar in post Marvel's Iron Fist Season 2 - Much Better
    Never minding that, they're also diving straight back into comic book fare with The Umbrella Academy. Here, at least, we're also getting the DCU stuff on Netflix as well, including the new Teen Titans. Could be that DC makes the move over to Netflix as well as other comic book companies like Dark Horse and the like. I was thinking along those lines myself. It would be gutsy if they did a Dark Horse Swiss centered on Titan, including his insanity and death. Or maybe Astro City. Or Powers. Or Cerebus.
  • 06:11 AM - Sword of Spirit quoted Hussar in post Pages From The Upcoming Nautical D&D Book!
    Why? Why be beholden to decisions made decades ago just because it's canon? Who cares? I care. Why would it be wrong for me to care? :confused: I was talking with a friend who is unhappy about the de-canonization (and overwriting) of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. I enjoy Star Wars, but couldn't care less about the canonical status of the EU. As I was trying to figure out his thought process...I realized it's exactly how I feel about D&D canon. D&D, Star Wars, Marvel, whatever. You get attached to it. It is both official and it is yours. And then someone decides that it is no longer official--in fact official is something completely different. They have taken from you that opportunity to use a common frame of reference with other fans of your recreational franchise of choice. They talk about how TSR split the fan base with too many campaign settings*, but this is splitting the fanbase. That said, in general, I like how they've handled this sort of thing in 5e. TFtYP gave ...


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