View Profile: Hussar - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:37 PM
    Okay. I have been in two major gaming groups, both composed of good friends who can trust each other. One set while I was in America and another here in Austria. I have GMed and been a player alike. The snags in the games of 5E occurred at around the same places. Group USA: We had previously played through the entirety of Rise of the Runelords using Pathfinder. Afterwards, we switched to 5e...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:39 AM
    Though this says nothing about 5e on the whole, in terms of its worth or popularity, 5e D&D has become dead in the water for my TTRPG group.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 17th September, 2018, 01:57 PM
    Aldarc replied to Fantasy Africa
    Presumably in such a setting, blink dogs cry out in the night as they grow restless longing for some mercenary company and the PCs know that they must do what's right, as sure as White Plume Mountain rises like Olympus above the Flanaess Shield Lands.
    36 replies | 1044 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th September, 2018, 05:45 PM
    Its crazy, right? Its almost like nerds obsessively wringing their hands endlessly over a singular 4e power (Come and Get It) or "Damage On a Miss" powers as if they feel pressured to use that 1 CaGI power or those few baker's dozen of DoaM powers amidst the hundreds of other powers...instead of simply ignoring what the don't like and using something else. But that is unpossible (nerds...
    49 replies | 930 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th September, 2018, 03:42 PM
    Or, do like me, and change things up to keep the players off balance. I don't often like to really challenge my players, but when I do, they tend to enjoy it as much as regular heroic game play. It's the moments of high tension that adds spice to the game, IMHO.
    91 replies | 2512 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th September, 2018, 02:11 PM
    My point is that it's OK for the DM to use a monster or group of monsters intelligently. Play to their strengths. Fighting a lair full of goblins? Lots of traps, little ambushes, etc. If the party withdraws for some reason (like to rest), reposition enemies...have them fortify areas that they believe would be likely areas of incursion. It's OK to overwhelm PC's occasionally...as long as it's not...
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th September, 2018, 01:44 PM
    I don't know...you can effectively scare them with the right monster(s) and good tactics. Primary example: Last night, I was running my group (all 8th level) through Storm King's Thunder. They are currently dealing with the Fire Giants, and they had already entered the Fire Giants' lair once, killing a few of them, then withdrawing. Fire giants, being tactically proficient, went on a higher...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 7th September, 2018, 11:43 AM
    Aldarc replied to Norse World
    I immerse my time primarily in the Hebraic (and sometimes Greek and Aramaic) scriptures of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Tanakh and associated apocryphal and other West Asian/North African cultural texts. However, "scientific precautions" largely depends on the focus or approach desired in the study. It's not as if this issue regarding "scientific precautions" regarding polytheism comes up as...
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th September, 2018, 08:18 PM
    Legendary actor Burt Reynolds has died: https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/burt-reynolds-star-deliverance-smokey-185417744.html
    260 replies | 15938 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th September, 2018, 05:38 PM
    Aldarc replied to Norse World
    In biblical studies, I primarily deal with archaeology (and archaeologists) as it pertains to the Bronze and Iron Age West Asia, though my own focus is obviously far less historical/archaeological and more literary and ideological. Nevertheless, many of my peers in archaeology have impressed upon me the nature of their work as well as the frustration of how their data says one thing - often...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th September, 2018, 07:27 PM
    AA has a great post immediately above which answers most things, so I’ll just throw a few supplementary words out. Absolutely. Bigger and broader guns (hirelings and companions or squads of them) in order to offset Wizards ridiculous inherent scaling. Debilities give you -1 ongoing to an Attribute (eg “Concussed” -1 Wisdom) until a condition/trigger is met to alleviate the Debility....
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd September, 2018, 09:32 PM
    I'll have to refamiliarize myself with my thoughts in this thread. I don't have the slightest idea off the top of my head of what I was referring to! However, just a quick response to the 2nd paragraph here. I don't exactly agree that DW is "pretty much totally FLAT." I've run a game from 1-10 w/ 4 different melee playbooks; Arcane Duelist, Barbarian, Dashing Hero, Fighter. Each of those...
    240 replies | 22920 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd September, 2018, 03:37 PM
    Aldarc replied to Norse World
    No, I mean that a culture can be simultaneously polytheist and animist. A culture having animist practices and beliefs does not somehow erase the presence of polytheism within that same culture. Joseph Embley Emonds and Jan Terje Faarlund, English: The Language of the Vikings. Olomouc Modern Language Monographs, vol. 3, 2014. Of course, but here I would advise caution much as TheCosmicKid...
    48 replies | 2877 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd September, 2018, 11:24 AM
    Aldarc replied to Norse World
    One of the big problems with your argument is that you are treating animism and polytheism as mutually exclusive positions. The pre-Christianized Norse were likely both polytheistic and animistic. The idea that these Norse were not polytheistic or conceptually connected to comparable continental Germanic deities is laughable and again reeks of Norse exceptionalism, one of the biggest fallacies of...
    48 replies | 2877 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd September, 2018, 01:44 PM
    The Knight of the Crown is actually a simple implementation. I had created a subclass for the Crown knight, which I will post here, but any of the fighter subclasses will work. Being a member of the Crown knights is like joining a faction. Here's my Crown knight. Keep in mind that while it was playtested extensively, some of the newer subclasses work just as well (either the Cavalier or the...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 31st August, 2018, 09:14 AM
    Aldarc replied to Norse World
    Academia is a collective international effort and not something we necessarily leave to nations with invested political interests in shaping particular historical narratives about their cultures.
    48 replies | 2877 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 31st August, 2018, 08:58 AM
    Aldarc replied to Norse World
    Basically all just fancy talk for Norse Exceptionalism and Germanic Norse (obviously excluding the Finn/Sami) not being Germanic despite linguistic, historic, and genetic evidence. As CosmicKid says, you're wading into fringe theories.
    48 replies | 2877 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th August, 2018, 02:03 PM
    Aldarc replied to Norse World
    I don't know. This sounds like these archaeologists are attempting to position Norse religion as Norse exceptionalism that lies distinctly separate from similar religious forms from continental Germanic peoples.
    48 replies | 2877 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th August, 2018, 12:10 PM
    Aldarc replied to Norse World
    Not attempting to push your buttons here, but how are you coping with the whole Norse polytheism thing?
    48 replies | 2877 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th August, 2018, 12:07 PM
    Aldarc replied to PF2 PF2 Peeves
    I kinda like that. The "purer" they become elementally the more they suffer those elemental vulnerabilities. It also gives lesser elementals more reason to be on the frontlines of elemental planar conflicts and wars.
    40 replies | 2785 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th August, 2018, 11:14 AM
    The Three-Legged Father-Son Race
    91 replies | 2600 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 24th August, 2018, 09:21 AM
    This thread’s conversation has some similarity to the very large “DC 30...and 35?” thread I started a few years back that was eaten up by the last big board reboot. Just a few quick thoughts. 1) I don’t have my books with me and I haven’t run 5e for a few years, but the jumping rules seem abundantly clear: a- A character’s STR is the floor for their long jump in feet. b- An Ability...
    537 replies | 12046 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st August, 2018, 12:25 PM
    I agree with your summation, and I would also add with one of those points that "evil" deities are generally rare in real world religions or at least far rarer than D&D's typical pantheon offerings in its settings. Evil spirits and demons? Sure. But evil deities people actually worship? No. Instead the Law vs. Chaos motif (i.e., Chaoskampf) is far more prominent in real world religions. Also,...
    117 replies | 4357 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 20th August, 2018, 03:20 PM
    Yes. Uncomfortable Fact: The overwhelming majority of players will not care about your homebrew pantheon. The actual number of deities you create does not matter. But the more deities you create, the more likely your players will gloss them all. So I would focus on a smaller subset. What usually works best? None to twelve, possibly thirteen if you opt for using a Baker's Dozen concept. ...
    117 replies | 4357 view(s)
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Tuesday, 28th August, 2018

  • 03:14 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    Creation is a prelude to play even if it occurs during play - that's the bit you can't seem to grasp here.You're mistaken - I understand what you're saying, I just know that it's not true. Here's one way I know it's not true: X is set up for Y entails that X occurs prior to Y entails that X is not simultaneous with Y. And also: X is a prelude to Y entails that X occurs prior to Y entails that X is not simultaneous with Y. Your equation of creation with set-up is leading you into obvious contradiction. And there's an obvious solution: abandon that equation, and actually look at what is happening at the table where the game is being played. The biggest obstacle to having serious discussions about how RPGs work is this tendency to insist on dogmatic frameworks that have no foundation in the full variety of RPG play. (Typically they idealised versions of a type of 70s or 80s D&D play. Which is weird in Hussar's case, because I know that he's played plenty of non-D&D RPGs.)
  • 03:03 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    ..., as part of playing the game, imagine a world in which these characters are inhabitants. A player's moves consist in declaring actions for this character, which aren't just moves in the traditional boardgame sense, but are also understood as intentions to change the fiction that this character is part of. Another, distinct set of "moves" consists in establishing the rst of the shared fiction beyond these characers and their players' action declarations. In most RPGs on the traditional model, the GM does this. The rules of the game (which may include various sorts of "mechanics", but may also confer direct authority on one participant to sauy what the shared fiction shall be) are used to help determine the outcomes of these moves.The self-quote is from the first page of this thread. I was the first poster in this thread to identify creation of a shared fiction as a key element in RPGing. That's not in dispute. What's in dispute is what I have bolded in the two quotes from Hussar: that creation is preparation for play rather than, itself, a key component of RPG play. No argument in favour of that proposition has been put forward in this thread. It's not true to my own experience. And it seems to rest on an unsound generalisation from two ways of playing D&D: (i) the GM draws a dungeon map and writes notes, and the heart of play is the players declaring moves that enable them to learn what the GM created and thereby make it true, in the fiction, that their PCs are looting the dungeon; (ii) the GM writes up a series of events - a scenario, like DL or any of dozens of post-DL modules/APs - and then the players "play through" the adventure. But as far as my own episodes of play, which I've posted an linked to are concerned: when I tell the players, ie my friends, who are sitting with me about a dining room table, "You're at a market in Hardby. A peddler of trinkets has an angel feather for sale. He says its from the Bright Desert," I'm not getting ready to pl...

Monday, 27th August, 2018

  • 12:27 AM - Lanefan mentioned Hussar in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    ... response to failed Aura Reading check, that an angel feather is cursed). Here we disagree; I see pretty much all RPG creation as coming under set-up and certainly all RPG creation that comes from the GM. Play: declaring the Aura Reading and then having it fail via game mechanics Creation: deciding the feather is cursed in response to this failure, along with any associated narration thereof Play: whatever the player/PC does in response to this creation piece. Why and how do I make this distinction? That the feather is cursed is something that is and becomes a part of the setting and - taken retroactively - was therefore actually in place all along within the game world. That's set-up. And telling the players that they're at a market is not "the very definition of creating a scenario". In Moldvay Basic, a "scenario" is a premapped and pre-described dungeon, with some motivating backstory built in. In the DL modules, a "scenario" is a pre-authored sequence of events. Hussar has described scenarios by reference to events eg "wooing the widow". You are at a market. There is a seller of magical trinkets who claims to have an angel feather from the Bright Desert. What doyou do? is not a scenario. It's a bare situation. It's not "game creation" - it's playing the game (ie the GM saying stuff about the PCs' situation, as a prelude to and invitation to the players saying stuff about what their PCs do). You call it scene framing. I call it scenario creation. Same thing, and it's all set-up. Likewise You come upon a Large Steading that Reeks of Smoke and Worse. That turned out to be an invitation to make an ally of a giant shaman after trying to trick the giant chieftain by selling him his own ox. The existence of both ox and shaman were the result of successful player action declarations. Remind me what the "game creation" is here again, as opposed to the playing of the game?Creation, whether by player or GM, brought the ox and shaman into existence with...

Sunday, 26th August, 2018

  • 04:47 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    Well it's creating an essential element of the game, without which the game cannot be played. Er...telling the players that their PCs are at the Hardby market* is the very definition of creating a scenario. The players then take that scenario and interact with it (i.e. play through it) via their PCs: in this case someone looks for and finds a peddler of tokens and feathers and seeks to buy an angel feather, etc. * - along with, I have to assume, some descriptive narration and-or trope-based examples of what the PCs see there - the bustling crowds, the weather, some examples of goods and wares available, etc. I'll leave this one to Hussar , as that's his term not mine. In this particular example: the Hardby market (created by you, I assume) and Hardby itself along with whatever other parts of the Greyhawk setting you used (created by the Greyhawk authors, as modified by you). Creating the setting is, in an RPG, a part of creating the game. However, say it with me slowly: creation/set-up - does - not - always - have - to - occur - in - advance - of - play - to - still - be - creation/set-up.You're treating creation and set-up as synonyms, or at least as co-referring. But they're not. Some RPG set-up is not creation (eg choosing house rules, or optional rules, or whatever). And some RPG creation is not set-up (eg deciding, in response to failed Aura Reading check, that an angel feather is cursed). And telling the players that they're at a market is not "the very definition of creating a scenario". In Moldvay Basic, a "scenario" is a premapped and pre-described dungeon, with some motivating backstory built in. I...
  • 11:07 AM - Lanefan mentioned Hussar in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    Building PCs insn't creating a scenario, or a game to "play through". Well it's creating an essential element of the game, without which the game cannot be played. Telling the players that their PCs are at the Hardby market is not creating a scenario, or a game to "play through". Er...telling the players that their PCs are at the Hardby market* is the very definition of creating a scenario. The players then take that scenario and interact with it (i.e. play through it) via their PCs: in this case someone looks for and finds a peddler of tokens and feathers and seeks to buy an angel feather, etc. * - along with, I have to assume, some descriptive narration and-or trope-based examples of what the PCs see there - the bustling crowds, the weather, some examples of goods and wares available, etc. What exactly is your claim about RPGs being "game creation engines", and how does that claim apply to the two examples I've given. I'll leave this one to Hussar , as that's his term not mine. What game was created in advance of play?In this particular example: the Hardby market (created by you, I assume) and Hardby itself along with whatever other parts of the Greyhawk setting you used (created by the Greyhawk authors, as modified by you). Creating the setting is, in an RPG, a part of creating the game. However, say it with me slowly: creation/set-up - does - not - always - have - to - occur - in - advance - of - play - to - still - be - creation/set-up. I've half a hunch that Maxperson and I are agreeing on this bit, if maybe not on much else. :) Lanefan
  • 05:11 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    Lanefan, Hussar Building PCs insn't creating a scenario, or a game to "play through". Telling the players that their PCs are at the Hardby market is not creating a scenario, or a game to "play through". What exactly is your claim about RPGs being "game creation engines", and how does that claim apply to the two examples I've given. What game was created in advance of play?

Saturday, 25th August, 2018

  • 06:38 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    ...rio being "played through". From the descriptions of the set-up - which are not missing anything - you can't even tell what happened next, let alone what had happened by the end of the scenario: you can't predict the NPCs, or the locations, or the actions. Nor could have I, or the players. before you can do more detailed attention to training the young son how to be a knight, you MUST create something to play off of."Something to play off" is not a scenario. It need not be anything more than a simple game element, which in this instance already existed - the son. "Playing off" is just another way of saying engaging the fiction. It doesn't have to mean playing through a scenario. Lanefan: I don't know why you're trying to persuade me that playing a RPG involves creating fiction. I think I was the first person to make that point in my thread. But creating fiction need not be preparing for play - as you say - nor need it be using the game creation engine to create a game - as Hussar says. It can just be playing a RPG.

Thursday, 23rd August, 2018

  • 11:37 PM - Chaosmancer mentioned Hussar in post Revised Ranger update
    @Hussar, your quote is at the bottom. Sorry for the long read, but I prefer multi-quoting to making multiple posts. I didn't imply it I said it. And it was accurate, as we were discussing topics which had already been discussed in the thread earlier, and you were asking for a list that had already been listed and discussed earlier. Why are you trying to imply or say you had read it? I was not attacking you, I was making an accurate observation that we were re-treading old ground. I never asked for a list. I stated that there are very few spells that actually allow you to add beasts to your party, because most spells that summon actually create fey. You decided to list a bunch of spells to prove me wrong, the majority of which did not add a beast to the party. Now, I'll grant, I've been in this thread for over a week and it stretches nearly 400 posts, we might have talked about how conjure animals creates fey before and I might have forgotten. I don't have a steel-trap mind to remember ...
  • 01:36 PM - Maxperson mentioned Hussar in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    ...like a great many other games. B is where we disagree. Creating a secret door is not set-up. It's creation, yes, but the only thing that happens prior to the player in a No Myth game creating a secret door in game play is the thought to do so. Thought is not set-up. If it was, then literally all game play in or out of RPGs would be set-up. Even something as simple as me having my PC say to a guard, "How's the wife and kids?" involves me thinking of what to say before hand, and creating that dialogue, which could be considered to be interaction set-up. Set-up involves more than just a thought process immediately before creation. Yes, this is true. But what shuffling cards for a card game does not include is having to draw and paint some new and different cards for each game even during play, which is more analagous to what happens in an RPG when background and-or setting are (in some cases) prepared beforehand and (in all cases) expanded on during play. Okay, but other than @Hussar attributing that to me via several Strawmen, nobody I can remember has said that those are equivalent forms of set-up. The rules say to draw something, as opposed to trying to act it out or give synonyms or move pawn-to-king-4. As a result of this, you draw something (and yeah, drawing for Cagney would stump me too). And as I mentioned to @Hussar, the D&D rules say to create a scenario. Another difference between Pictionary and any RPG that just occurred to me: in Pictionary, any creation that happens is temporary: the pictures you draw for that particular round have no influence or use beyond that round. Your picture of Lacey, for example, won't be at all relevant two rounds later when you're trying to represent Hogwarts School in a drawing; and when you play again next week will have probably long since been tossed in the recycle bucket. Maybe so, but they will still be laughing at my horribly bad drawing of Cagney Even my stick figures end up lopsided. ;)
  • 12:48 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    ...ny, the bits that were exciting, the bits that were surprising, etc. Even while a campaign is still on-foot, individual bits of fiction created for it might cease to be relevant. In a Moldvay Basic game, if the PCs enter a dungeon and have a random encounter with 2 giant rats, it's highly unlikely that particular bit of fiction will ever matter to anything that happens again. That might be true even of a random encounter with 2 hobgoblins! - depending on the approach the GM takes to integrating random encounters into the non-random components of the dungeon setting. Trying to analyse RPGs through the metaphysical status of their fictions is in my view a dead end, as well as being an almost surefire way to make assertions that won't hold true. (Maybe she's not a widow at all but everyone just thought she was . . . that could happen easily enough in my game, and even more easily in a game with time travel, or memory horror, or dimension hopping, or whatever else aspects to it.) Hussar is on the right track by focusing on the process of play rather than its product: the fiction produced by playing a RPG isn't inherently different from any other fiction produced in some other way, and if we go more abstract, the "artwork" produced by playing a RPG isn't inherently different from any other "artwork" produced in some other way, including by the play of some other game. His mistake is to generalise a process that is true for most D&D play (both pre-and-post DL), and for quite a bit of play that is pretty similar to D&D, but that isn't true of RPGing in general.

Tuesday, 21st August, 2018

  • 01:18 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Hussar in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    ...interesting gray area. A true TotM collective-storytelling or pass-the-conch game would be perhaps the one type of game where prep and play largely become one and the same once play begins. An RPG using story creation mechanics as in your example would lead to a bizarre situation where play causes prep to happen - the use of the mechanic is play but the result kinda falls under prep! Further engagement with the door thus created is, obviously, play. How is it obviously play? The nature of the door being able to be opened seems like it would be prep, because someone has to create that bit of fiction. Is it locked? Prep. Does it open inward or outward? Prep. Pin hinges or pivot? Prep. All of these things, according to your framework, are prep. The play is... not sure what the play is, when so much is prep. Your framework is what's bizarre, not the play description. Absent the requirement to define the creation of fiction happening during play as prep so as to save Hussar's definition, the bizarre drops away and you just have a game.

Monday, 20th August, 2018

  • 02:02 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    ....This is bollocks. A player declaring an attack for his/her PC is not prep - it's playing the game. Yesterday, in the session that I ran, at one point we had to work out whether or not one of the PCs was married or widowed. That became relevant because of events that had happened in play - namely, the emergence of an opportunity to woo a recently widowed noblewoman. That is not preparing to play, it's playing the game. It's not "pseudo-preparation" either - if the game is not on rails, then no one knows what might happen during play, and hence what fiction might need to be established as part of play. Another major difference in your system is that it's not just you doing these on-the-fly prep steps; your players are doing some of it as well, probably without realizing it. Contrast this with a more traditional game where the DM does nearly all the prep, whether ahead of time or on the fly.What's your point here? That I'm not playing RPGs? That the definition of RPGs that you and Hussar are advocating doesn't capture the way I play RPGs (which is not terribly radical as soon as you look beyond the parameters of traditional D&D RPGing)? If the former, I disagree - what do you think I'm doing, then, when I think I'm playing a RPG? If the latter, well that's my point - the two of you are advocating a definition that only fits a limited range of approaches to RPGing, namely, those in which the GM designs a scenario or dungeon in advance and then runs the players through it. But that's not the only way that RPGs are played. Other games don't have this, which is all I'm trying to point out.Other non-storytelling games don't have authorship of fiction. That's verging on tautology. But they do involve steps that replicate steps that might be part of set-up - I already gave an example of drawing a new hand of cards during the course of the play of a board game.
  • 07:27 AM - MichaelSomething mentioned Hussar in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    So according to Hussar , Super Mario Maker wouldn't count as a game either?
  • 02:58 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    Lanefan, Hussar - the idea that one is "setting up" a game while playing it is silly. Yesterday before our RPG session a few of us (not me) were playing a boardgame. After each turn the player had to draw some cards. Is that "set up" that happens at the same time as playing the game? Or is it just playing the game? If the former, then Hussar's distinction between board games and RPGs collapses. If the latter, then why are RPGs being analysed differently? when the PCs in my game, for example, decide to grill some random shopkeeper for information and I-as-DM suddenly have to dream up a random shopkeeper in response, that dreaming-it-up bit is in fact a part of game set-up. Game play, from my side, is when I role-play this shopkeeper as he interacts with the PCs. Put another way, as the random shopkeeper is a) in theory going to be the same whether prepped now or prepped a long time ago, and b) in theory now becomes a part of my game's setting, dreaming him up right now falls just as much und...

Saturday, 18th August, 2018

  • 08:12 PM - Lanefan mentioned Hussar in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    Hussar - I don't understand why you describe one aspect of playing the game as creating the game. When I think of "creating a game" I think of game design. But when I decide in the Traveller game that Lt Li (the initial patron) is part of a bioweapons conspiracy, that's not game design. Is it? I think what Hussar is saying (and I know he'll correct me if I'm wrong :) ) is that there's more to creating the game in an RPG than simply designing the rules; and that your-as-GM decision that Lt Li is part of a conspiracy comes under game creation rather than game play. In more clear-cut situations, the game creation and set-up phase is pretty much finished before game play begins: you don't start making chess moves before all the pieces are on the board where they should be, and a traditional DM doesn't start running an adventure before she's got it all mapped out and stocked. But in the way you play RPGs I'd say the creation and set-up phase never really ends and very much overlaps with the ac...
  • 12:28 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    Hussar - I don't understand why you describe one aspect of playing the game as creating the game. When I think of "creating a game" I think of game design. But when I decide in the Traveller game that Lt Li (the initial patron) is part of a bioweapons conspiracy, that's not game design. Is it? The approach to RPGing where your description seems most apt is classic dungeoncrawling, where mapping and stocking the dungeon is highly analogous to designing a (very complex) board for a boardgame. But I don't think most of your RPGing looks much like that, or anyone else's really these days except for an old school or OSR minority.

Thursday, 16th August, 2018

  • 10:14 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    ...ses, and we came up with a reason why he was also heading to the tournament (it involved horses, but I can't remember now whether he was looking for buyers, or sellers, or just to admire the many horses that would be on display). I used a total of three "episodes" - what in D&D terms would be considered "mini-scenarios" of 1 to 3 pages each - to provide material for the session (both fiction and stats). One I had read before and so knew what I was looking for when I hunted through the core rulebook to find it. The two others are in the "Episodes" supplement which I hadn't read before, and I chose one on the basis of authorship + theme (Kenneth Hite, "The Wild Hunt") and the other based on theme alone (it was a tournament scenario, and I can't remember the author's name but it wasn't someone I recognised). Elaborating on the scenarios - eg providing NPC motivations and responses in the tournament - and connecting them together was something that I did as we went along. Contra Hussar's claim, we were able to open the rulebook, read it, or at least the relevant bits of it - obviously it's longer than most boardgame rulebooks - and then start playing. This is exactly the sort of play experience that makes me think that Hussar is write to focus on scenario as a key element of RPGing but is making a mistake in seeing it as an intermediate step that takes "game creation engine" to "game". Scenario is key because shared fiction is key - and the rules of a RPG can tell you when you need to establish some shared fiction, and they can tell you subject matters for that fiction, and they can even give suggestions for that fiction (eg as the Prince Valiant "episodes" do). But in the end the people at the table have to actually construct that fiction, because that's part of the core activity of playing a RPG.

Tuesday, 14th August, 2018

  • 06:05 PM - Eric V mentioned Hussar in post Revised Ranger update
    Hussar, I agreed with you earlier that the class works. I use it myself. I am concerned, however, that it might be a bit over-the-top in some of its abilities, and wanted the professionals (with more expertise in this area than me) to give it another pass, like it was originally intended. That desire is not coming from a min-maxing place, and it's boorish to assume that it does.

Wednesday, 8th August, 2018

  • 08:15 AM - Coroc mentioned Hussar in post Sage Advice: Plane and world hopping (includes how Eberron and Ravnica fit in D&D cosmology)
    ...e advantage of making it all fit with each other. Even in the DM Guide they offer different world philosophies, e.g. Heaven Hell Prime (shadow) for something very basic, Great wheel, Axis etc. The only time you really need something logic is when you are doing the following: 1. And precondition: You are a DM who sticks to the published material (mostly) true to the letter, especially on things like canon 2. You decide to connect two or more official primes (Or planescape) in a campaign. For every other scenario NOTHING has to be done, Eberron works fine with its own philosophy of the planes (Better eventually than with some shoehorned great wheel), Dragonlance works well with its Philosophy and any of the primes of the official settings are far easier to shoehorn into a homebrew plane arrangement - aka axis instead of wheel - than to be implemented into the planescape universe which is a great setting, but on its own, and not as an INTERPLANAR SUBWAY of some sort. Btw Hussar help me out here, I am not at home and cannot look it up: Tiamat / Takishis was put into one of the nine hells layers as far as I can remember, ?whereas in Dragonlance 1e she was from the abyss? I think they also did change her alignment from CE to LE at some point for that? Am I correct?
  • 03:59 AM - SkidAce mentioned Hussar in post Sage Advice: Plane and world hopping (includes how Eberron and Ravnica fit in D&D cosmology)
    I agree with Hussar on the implications if you buy into the Planescape setting. If you don't use it (I don't) then many of those things are not true. And, possibly, WotC could publish a setting, or adventure that didn't use or even mention Planescape.


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Wednesday, 19th September, 2018

  • 01:09 AM - TheCosmicKid quoted Hussar in post Arguments and assumptions against multi classing
    I'm trying to remember just how long SAelorn has had me on ignore because of the spanking received for pushing the ludicrous notion that all meta gaming is bad and cheating. Fun to see the points being repeated in quotes being spanked just as hard. It's just so toxic to the hobby. He's not even really listening to the counterpoints, because he can't even conceive of a universe where his opinion is not the objective truth. If anyone else gets tired of him, the easiest way to get him to ignore you is to suggest that the Belgariad might not be particularly good.
  • 12:34 AM - iserith quoted Hussar in post Burning Questions: What's the Worst Thing a DM Can Do?
    Don't let the door hit you on the way out. I mean, good grief, if the DM cannot make any assumptions at all, the game is going to grind to a mind numbing halt as every five seconds the DM has to stop and ask, "what are you doing?" because he cannot assume that during the dinner scene, you have to tell the DM every single time you take a bite of food. And, of course, then the DM gets in the poop for things like, "Well, you didn't say that you were doing that..." Sorry, mind reading is not part of the DM's job. And forcing the group to endure endless "what do you do" questions because I cannot make any assumptions is the fastest way for a player to suck all the fun out of a game. I'm not asking for mind-reading. Just don't ask me to make a check before you ask me what I'm doing.

Tuesday, 18th September, 2018

  • 02:33 PM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Arguments and assumptions against multi classing
    Does make me feel bad though for the RPG refugees I keep having to give shelter to after they have such incredibly poor experiences at some tables. :( And it's such a PITA having to treat their gamer PTSD and get them to realize that D&D is a shared game where everyone at the table is equal. Yep! Makes me grateful that my players don't try to pull ridiculous shenanigans like a 5 int genius or a 5 strength strongest man in the world. The trauma that sort of thing causes has given me many players over the years.
  • 02:24 PM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Arguments and assumptions against multi classing
    Threads like this remind me of the hours that I wasted playing terrible games with terrible DM's. *shudder* Does make me thankful for the group I have though. Good! You should be happy with the group you play with.
  • 12:16 AM - Shasarak quoted Hussar in post Dragon Reflections #11 - The Sorcerer Speaks!
    I gotta say though, what's with the slave girls in the background of the cover? Yeesh. o_O

Monday, 17th September, 2018

  • 07:49 PM - S'mon quoted Hussar in post Arguments and assumptions against multi classing
    Heck, I just ran a campaign with no classes with cantrips. Any class with a cantrip was off the table. I was trying an experiment (and it worked pretty well too) and I made that very clear to the players - I wanted to see if 5e works as a low magic game. It does. That being said though, I did run into a LOT of resistance. Three of the six players tried to "one off" caster characters as their concept. It did get kinda frustrating. And, in the end, because we wound up with like 3 rangers and a paladin, there was still a fair bit of spell casting going on. That reminds me of the time I pitched a low-magic, swords vs sorcery campaign, & asked for PCs 'like Conan' - so of course I got a Tiefling Warlock, a Revenant Warlock, a Goliath Warden... the only PCs that really worked were the two human Fighters I created as pregens.
  • 06:04 PM - Koloth quoted Hussar in post Dragon Reflections #11 - The Sorcerer Speaks!
    That's not two gals on the wagon, unless one of them has a beard. So, no, those are man boobs. :D But, yeah, not really sad that this sort of thing has been left by the wayside. Nothing tells women that they are welcome in the hobby like every depiction of a woman either being a whore or a slave. Hadn't finished my morning mug of tea when I first saw the post. Now that I look again, could be a bearded lady as part of a carnival show. The wagon does have that look to it. And the little critter in the brown robe with the shackled creature in tow looks like they could have wandered off Tatooine from Star Wars. Wonder if the artist was inspired by SW just a bit when this cover was drawn?
  • 02:29 PM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Arguments and assumptions against multi classing
    Ladies and gentlemen, I present Exhibit A. Words mean something. D&D uses many, many words that correspond to the real world. Barbarian, cleric, fighter, wizard, rogue, sword, dagger, mace, spear, elf, dwarf, human, and on and on and on and... Barbarian corresponds to the real world equivalent of barbaric tribes, Conan, etc. At no time in the real world were street urchins considered to be barbarian hordes. If you want to change the meaning for your game, have at it. Enjoy. For my games, I'm going to retain the intended meanings of those words.
  • 01:22 PM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Arguments and assumptions against multi classing
    Rolling back to the Street Urchin Barbarian for a second, because this, in my mind, gets to the heart of the issue of the disconnect between DM and Player. @Maxperson is insisting that Street Urchin doesn't fit with the barbarian class because street urchins aren't physically strong and barbarians are. The image just doesn't fit, in his opinion. But, here's the rub, when you actually READ the description of Street Urchin in the PHB you find: And because they are pure city, while barbarians are all about being away from the city in a barbarian tribe. An urchin that becomes a barbarian would need to have lived enough of his life in a barbarian tribe to remember it, before being taken or moving to the city and becoming an urchin.
  • 12:00 PM - Koloth quoted Hussar in post Dragon Reflections #11 - The Sorcerer Speaks!
    Work! WORK for our entertainment, I say! :D Immensely enjoying the columns. Also immensely enjoyed your module Expedition To the Lost Peaks. Had a blast with it. One of my players collected a bunch of the "medicine" cubes and uses them routinely to this day. I gotta say though, what's with the slave girls in the background of the cover? Yeesh. Notice the whole cover. Guessing related to one of the fiction pieces. The little guy has a slave in tow. Presumably to sell to the folks on the wagon. Or he just purchased same and is wrapping up the transaction. At least it isn't just slave girls, the loincloth guy looks to be shackled as well. Wondering if the two gals in the wagon engage in a slightly different business. They don't seem too happy with either the little guy or the critter in tow. Adds to the possibility he just arrived to the wagon rather then is in the process of finishing a transaction. Enjoying the look back. Doubt we would see bare female breasts on a Dragon ...
  • 10:59 AM - S'mon quoted Hussar in post Arguments and assumptions against multi classing
    To me, therein lies the difference. You are being pretty up front here. You don't like the multiclassing rules, so, you disallow them. You're not trying to say that the rules are broken or bad or anything else. Just expressing your preference. Which is fine. It would be helpful if more DM's were more upfront about their personal preferences instead of trying to justify them. Yeah; I mean I have my reasons and I was talking about them yesterday with my Sunday group. But if people at another table get a thrill out of building optimised (or incapable) multi-class PCs, or whatever it is they like doing with that nonsense, it's no skin off my shin. :p
  • 09:32 AM - 5ekyu quoted Hussar in post Arguments and assumptions against multi classing
    Rolling back to the Street Urchin Barbarian for a second, because this, in my mind, gets to the heart of the issue of the disconnect between DM and Player. Maxperson is insisting that Street Urchin doesn't fit with the barbarian class because street urchins aren't physically strong and barbarians are. The image just doesn't fit, in his opinion. But, here's the rub, when you actually READ the description of Street Urchin in the PHB you find: Huh, sounds like a high Str and Con barbarian would fit this background perfectly. Surviving the elements, constantly fighting, and surviving through strength. Sounds like a barbarian to me. See, this is why I have such a problem with the argument that DM's put forth that "X doesn't fit in my setting". Because, most of the time, they just haven't actually read what X is, and are just going with the gut reaction."Because, most of the time, they just haven't actually read what X is, and are just going with the gut reaction." Who you gonna believe...
  • 08:56 AM - staticdrifter quoted Hussar in post Boss Monsters? I Just Say No!
    ROTFLMAO. Yeah, because Fytor and Father Generic were never a thing back in the day. Endless combat scenes and hack and slash have been part of the hobby since day one. People tend to forget that we came from WARGAMES. And in wargames, you fight scenario after scenario until you stop. "Git off my lawn" type rosy colored nostalgia glasses rememberances of "how it used to be" forget the fact that, well, lots of us have been around the hobby for thirty or forty years. And lots of us remember when D&D was the game you played when you didn't want story. It baffles me to no end when people try to rewrite history.And lots of us gave up wargames because D&D gave us story that wasn't a one - sided rewrite of a historical event. We wrote and played stories that were new and occasionally one of us wrote a book about our travels and adventures. If all you did was fight and die, you didn't play D&D, you skipped to the"exciting" parts and played Wargames with fancy dice.
  • 08:08 AM - Grainger quoted Hussar in post Boss Monsters? I Just Say No!
    I think you just answered your own question though. As you say, many, many genre fiction stories end with a boss fight. It's not like this idea just came out of nowhere. It's been part and parcel to the genre since pretty much day one. Sure, but I never said that wasn't the case. My point is that D&D has huge possibility. We are not constrained by genre unless we want to be.
  • 07:40 AM - Grainger quoted Hussar in post Boss Monsters? I Just Say No!
    I think @S'mon largely has the right of it. Many of us cut our teeth in D&D through modules. And modules, by and large, are set up for the big showdown fight at the end of the module. There are notable exceptions, of course, but, they are notable BECAUSE they are exceptions. Heck, how many of us got our start in Keep on the Borderlands which has about a dozen boss fights at the end of each cave? True. But when we look at examples of genre fiction, how many of them end in a boss fight*? Lord of the Rings (the book) has plenty of combat, but my overwhelming impression is of arduous travel. It doesn't end in a boss fight per se (although the struggle for the ring at the Crack of Doom counts as an action scene). Lord of the Rings is won by two basically normal people enduring. Most of it is walking. Hey, maybe we should have a lot more "walking simulator" in D&D!** We don't know how the Game of Thrones TV series is going to end, but - violent as it is - I wouldn't say its story peaks a...
  • 07:25 AM - Grainger quoted Hussar in post Boss Monsters? I Just Say No!
    Meh, Sturgeon's Law applies just as much to RPG's and people's home games as anything else. Bemoaning that fact won't actually do anything. True, but we're here to discuss playing and running games, and to hopefully make them better.
  • 06:57 AM - Grainger quoted Hussar in post Boss Monsters? I Just Say No!
    Funny you mention Shakespeare. Hamlet ends with a big sword fight. Lear ends with a big sword fight. Romeo and Juliet doesn't end in a big fight, but, does have tons of fighting in it. Same with Henry V. And there's always Macbeth. Ending in a big fight is hardly rare in Shakespeare. Some of his best known works end in fights. I knew someone would say something like that, and I tried to pre-empt it in my post. Bear in mind that the discussion I was having was drifting away from "boss fight" and I was accused of being reductive about action movies. So, unlike action movies, I don't think anyone would argue that Shakespeare is just a series of fights or action scenes. The world of storytelling is a lot more than that. Yes Shakespeare has fights in it, but it's is an example of fiction that is simultaneously funny (if much of the humour is now lessened with time), exciting and profound. But that was just one example: in the wider scheme of all possible stories, action movies are vacuous...

Saturday, 15th September, 2018

  • 04:40 AM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Arguments and assumptions against multi classing
    Since when are Barbarians the "peak of human strength"? You are adding definitions here that don't actually exist in the game. Note, it's not 3e. Barbarians gain exactly ZERO bonuses to strength. Nothing. Heck, in our current D&D game, both the cleric and the paladin are stronger than the barbarian (to be fair, the cleric has Gauntlets of Ogre Power, but, still, there's nothing preventing me from becoming stronger than the Barbarian). Heck, Barbarian as a class gets exactly zero class benefits from a high strength. All of their class benefits are derived from Dex and Con. They can't wear heavy armor, so, they don't need Str there. They have one Strength based class skill - Athletics. Sure, they get advantage on Athletics and Strength checks while raging, but, again, they get that regardless of whatever their strength actually is. You are inserting what you think that a barbarian is without any actual references to what the class says. Which has been my issue here all the way alo...
  • 04:07 AM - cbwjm quoted Hussar in post Arguments and assumptions against multi classing
    Saying that barbarian is a Str based class is kinda like saying rain is wet. Of course it is. My issue is with the idea that barbarians are somehow the "peak of human strength". There are other Str based classes in the game. And you can certainly play a 16 Str barbarian every effectively. Heck, even a 14 Str Barbarian works.Well it sounded from your earlier posts that you didn't think this was the case by saying they get almost no benefit from strength. They may not be peak, but with rage they can definitely gain more mileage out of their strength score than a similarly scored fighter could get. This might be where the arguement for peak is coming. I agree that a 14 works. Any class works with a 14, less than a +2 bonus to your main stat and I think you're going to have a bad time.
  • 03:49 AM - cbwjm quoted Hussar in post Arguments and assumptions against multi classing
    Well, that's true. I forgot that capstone. But, to be fair, it doesn't really counter my point. A single capstone power that is almost never seen in play isn't really a big thing is it? And, 5e uses the term "strength attacks" because if they say melee, then a barbarian can't use thrown weapons while raging without losing his rage. Now, to be fair, most barbarian PC's are going to be pretty high strength. 16 at 1st level (if human) is pretty likely. Although 15 isn't unheard of. Strong, but, no stronger than any other human character. The notion that barbarians MUST be one thing or another is what I'm arguing against.Strength attacks also means that using a finesse weapon or a bow for instance doesn't benefit from rage, the class needs strength to really benefit from rage otherwise the class defining ability is pretty useless.


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