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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Today, 04:41 AM
    Alright, back to the primary topic in the lead post. In 4e, I would probably handle the two Hoverpods as follows: HP 212; Bloodied 106 Initiative +21 AC 37, Fortitude 34, Reflex 35, Will 32 Speed 0, fly 8 (hover) Lasers At-Will Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature); +25 vs. Ref Hit: 2d8 + 7 damage.
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 12:48 AM
    That's a bit simplistic though. Because the resource free option is almost always less damaging than the resource. Direct damage 1st level spells outdamage cantrips at all but the very, very highest levels and, even then, it's not like 1st level and 2nd level resources are limited to direct damage. But, even just comparing direct damage, the resource expense nearly always results in dealing...
    97 replies | 2493 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:12 PM
    I mean these people have no integrity. They're rotten to the core. They spend their mornings kicking puppies while they twirl their evil mustachios and hatch vile plots for world domination. Ok, seriously. I think two classic examples of not playing the world with integrity would be: a) Post-hoc creating a block of an action declaration (maybe a spell cast or a piece of gear deployed...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:52 PM
    There is a substantive difference. However, the problem I see is the culture of D&D embracing the early 90s first principle of GMing that "there is no such thing as GM accountability for playing the world with integrity. The GM is only accountable for what they perceive will create the best story and most fun at the table." The problem with that first principle is that it relies upon (a)...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:46 PM
    But, we're not talking about 1d6 are we? A Burning Hands does 9d6 damage pretty easily. Certainly 6d6 virtually guaranteed. Yup, there's save for half, but, fare enough, many cantrips can outright fail. You have to be 17th level before you can deal even remotely equivalent damage. The fact that I've been dealing that kind of damage for the last 16 levels kinda makes up for things. For...
    97 replies | 2493 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:13 AM
    I question the OP's basic premise actually. The basic premise is that cantrips become more damaging than 1st and 2nd level spells. So, in play, we're likely limited to cantrips doing 3d10 for the most part, no? Very high level play doesn't come up all that often, so, for the sake of argument, let's ignore it. 1st level wizard spell damage: Burning Hands 3d6 to multiple targets...
    97 replies | 2493 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 11:48 PM
    That looks like great fun Morrus. Cool beans. Just as a thought though, would it not be easier to make the map mostly the full size of the page and then include the text of the encounters right in the rooms? Would seem like a more efficient use of space. And, just a nitpick, you forgot to label area 1 - the Entrance.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 03:51 PM
    I'm going to move the core part of this thread either later tonight or tomorrow, but I was thinking. The Skill Challenge above where the Fighter takes over the ATST vehicle? That would have involved: a) Leaping atop of it b) Ripping the hatch off c) Defeating the crew decisively in short order d) Figuring out/adlibing through the alien tech on the fly to pilot it
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 03:20 PM
    100 % agree with this. D&D World Causality Chain (so players can successfully infer odds/opportunity cost/outcomes based on some combination of world system mechanics + tropes + D&D's wonky mechanical artifacts + the sum total of their total experience and their personal experience under a specific GM) is absolutely central to skilled play in trad D&D. Its and discussion of this was central to...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 07:09 PM
    Quickleaf If you’re interested in treating it like a Basic Dungeon Crawl with Fail Forward, I suggest the following: 1) Scale the Exploration Turn/Movement Rate to your liking for the climb. I would have 3 rates though (Fast + Disadvantage on a Check/save to deal with an obstacle, Medium with no penalty, Slow and Advantage). This will create an interesting decision-point for the players...
    51 replies | 887 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 02:48 PM
    Starting from the bottom: 1) I never thought you were making a claim about the quality of Dragon (nothing I posted engaged with that). The claim you made that I was addressing (which it appeared to me you were making indispute of my “Trad vs 2nd wave” idea) was that there was an overwhelming pervasiveness of “realism sim” culture so embedded in D&D that the power of that signal was there in...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 06:24 AM
    @Quickleaf Use Exploration Turns and Wandering Monsters/Random Encounter clock. Per the DMG, the Dungeon Scale: 1) 20 sq/min (Slow - Advantage) 2) 30 sq/min (Normal) 3) 40 sq/min (Fast - Disadvantage)
    51 replies | 887 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 03:39 AM
    Some thoughts (that don't just pertain to the quoted text above but to other posts): 1) I agree with AA's post directly above. I'll elaborate: a) AD&D 2e moving xp for treasure/gold from the primary way to advance to an option was no small thing. b) AD&D 2e introducing "Roleplaying xp by way of DM fiat" was no small thing. c) AD&D 2e introducing xp awards for using noncombat...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 10:21 AM
    Well that just took a lot of the interesting out of both deities.
    41 replies | 1459 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 10:08 PM
    @Celebrim I don’t have time to read your response in detail and respond to it, but one thing sticks out at a quick look. You appear to be using “system” as an analog for “rules” and then evaluating my post based on this usage. I don’t agree with that usage. When discussing a game, when I say “system”, I don’t mean discrete parts. I’m talking about the integration of all of play...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 09:50 PM
    I definitely agree with what you’ve written above (never claimed differently). If I was forced to do 1st, 2nd and 3rd wave categories, I’d probably go: OD&D, Basic, Expert - 1st 1e - mostly 1st with some 2nd 2e - mostly 3rd with some 2nd and a smattering of 1st 3e - mostly 2nd with some 3rd and a smattering of 1st 5e - half 3rd, 1/4 2nd, 1/4 1st
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 08:47 PM
    Obviously you know I don't agree with this. I outlined upthread (somewhere near the beginning) what I felt are the most fundamental pieces of machinery/feedbacks that creates any singular sequence of play in traditional D&D and the holistic experience: 1) A mapped/keyed/scaled/stocked environment (primarily dungeon but possibly wilderness...where the game's machinery is put under...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, 05:24 PM
    The presence of a gnome in Athas "would not make Athas any less of a dangerous environment," but Dark Sun's tone and aesthetic is more than its dangerous environment. It's also its lack of orcs, gnomes, kobolds, and such. Why are these species extinct? Mass genocide by the champions of Rajaat. Would the genocide somehow be less of a genocide if a small pocket of gnomes still existed? No. It still...
    198 replies | 6660 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, 05:22 PM
    With a Secondary Skill and a buff from elsewhere (maybe spending a surge or a use of some kind of power), I suspect the Fighter and Rogue could up their odds of one of the two of them making their check by 50 %, so lets assume one succeeds and one fails and the mother ship deploys defenses (as happened in the 5e game) in the form of an L+1 combat (6050 * 3 = 18150 and change). Remember, in terms...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, 02:13 PM
    I can most definitely see that. I have grown a fondness for Golarion's fey-based gnomes so I would be more inclined to adopt that approach. And another part of me would have them return to being more akin to mythical earth spirits My halflings as goblinoids idea originally came about from musing whether there was any connection between the goblins and halflings native of Khorvaire in Eberron.
    198 replies | 6660 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, 02:02 PM
    If half-races seem uninteresting to you, it's also worth considering whether or not these half-races can be reskinned or altered as something else for your purposes. I have a variety of homebrews that I have used or keep in my back pocket, and I sometimes reflavor existing races so they fit better. This includes the aforementioned half-races. In one of my old games, half-orcs are not actually...
    198 replies | 6660 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th December, 2018, 10:58 PM
    Maybe the ban prevents the gods from exhibiting their fullpower on the planet, so gods get around this by having weakened versions of their avatars and such on the planet?
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th December, 2018, 03:09 PM
    Coming up with applicable, interesting failure outcomes is top 3 on the list of things GMs should constantly be working to improve. Yup. That’s spot on. That is pretty much exactly what Advantages are; player-facing currency to barter (4e’s equivalent of) Position down or Effect up.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd December, 2018, 06:24 PM
    So in the above complication (mothership would detect the incoming and would communicate some kind of request for authentication (looking for a "call sign" equivalent) via the heads-up displays in the two Hoverpods), the odds that one of them succeeds is probably in the vicinity of 33 %. The odds that both succeed is pretty remote. As such, we would be looking at a combat nested in the SC...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd December, 2018, 06:03 PM
    Quoting myself right quick (weird) and I'll answer the immediately above question. 1) Fighters are significantly more capable, and significantly more capable of mythical feats, out of combat than their traditional D&D counterparts. 2) Rogues (in particular, the swashbuckler/duelist archetype) are significantly more capable in combat than their traditional D&D counterparts. 3) Wizard's...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd December, 2018, 11:03 AM
    That’s not true. Bacteria as a species, heck most plants as a species are far far more successful than any vertebrate.
    378 replies | 5024 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st December, 2018, 02:53 AM
    Alright, a quick interlude. So we're at the point in this adventuring day where the following is true: * Aliens from the Far Realm are invading the material plane with their weapons, their vehicles, their tech, and their psychic attacks. The PCs are at the endgame and cutting through their forces in a direct assault upon their mother ship. * A Fighter has single-handedly taken down and...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 03:04 PM
    Raising this dead thread. Is there a reason why you prefer Apocalypse World over Dungeon World? And how would you "improve" Dungeon World so that it would be more to your own preferences?
    48 replies | 1852 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 02:53 PM
    I found the notion of the Primal Spirit (and associated power source) a nice touch in 4e's implied setting that distinguished the nature magic of druids from both clerics and wizards. It made druids more than nature priests or nature wizards. They were dealing with the spiritual and primal forces of a heterogeneously created world that resulted from a mix of divine power and the primordial...
    241 replies | 9053 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 12:02 PM
    Perhaps. But so did Sandpoint in Golarion, and yet it is considered one of the classic starting towns in Pathfinder. So is the iconic Village of Hommlet or Phandalin for that matter. Or Tristram in the Diablo series. Not every starting location needs to be as catchy as Sigil, Sharn, or Waterdeep.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 10:28 AM
    You would. You were born there. You grew up there. You have family and loved ones there. Who else will save your home town on the frontier borders of a dead, back-broken empire if not you?
    241 replies | 9053 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 07:23 AM
    Oh, well that sucks. Wonder if this is a Disney thing. They're going to bring all the Marvel titles together under the new Disney pay service, maybe?
    26 replies | 894 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 04:46 AM
    So I'm thinking the next thing we'd see in the above scenario would be the following: * The Wizard is flying up to the mother ship with Wraithform * The Fighter and the Rogue are flying up in Hoverpods Complication? I'm thinking the mothership would detect the incoming and would communicate some kind of request for authentication (looking for a "call sign" equivalent) via the heads-up...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 04:03 AM
    I think the difference would be most acutely experienced if you performed the following experiment: a) Run a 4e combat. b) Run a follow-on noncombat scene using Dungeon World and Apocalypse World/Blades Clocks (which may be as close as you get to 4th edition noncombat conflict resolution).
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 03:11 AM
    I'm not sure you can draw the parallel to film though. Film died because digital cameras became ubiquitous. And MUCH higher quality and easier to use. To the point where it's virtually impossible to distinguish a digital picture from a film one. The human eye just isn't good enough. But paper still has HUGE uses. While the push towards paperless offices has been ongoing for a decade or...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 12:52 AM
    Heh. Oh yeah, it does come down to different experiences. :D I mean, for me, a fighter with an 18 Str and 16 Dex, say, was pretty much par for the course. Wouldn't even bat an eye at seeing that. So, again, that's AC:0 without magic and easily achievable by 2nd or 3rd level. And, as far as modules go, it really depends. Quasqueton did a fantastic analysis of classic modules:...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 12:33 AM
    But... but... but... maps are COOL. :D The nice thing about using a map+text is that you can cram a LOT of information into a visual representation. I've always thought that most modules under use their maps quite honestly. Why don't adventure maps put the contents of each area right on the map? Add in a couple of more maps to represent movement and you can create a very dynamic adventure...
    50 replies | 1292 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 11:35 PM
    Spurred by this conversation, I revisited the Tal'Dorei Campaign Book. There is scarcely a Dawn War. The divine/primordial conflict a furtive murmur in the book. It's hardly as mythic as I was led to believe. :erm: But fleshing out a mythos in an adventure is far different than its marginal presence in a published setting book. Who are the dead gods of Exandria? These dead gods (e.g., Gorelik,...
    241 replies | 9053 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 11:01 PM
    I think that this speaks to your preference to have things spelled out for you. You want an explicit setting, not that you would be short of those in how most published settings are presented. I liked having Nentir Vale as an implied setting that was GM-empowering. It wasn't flat. It invited you to explore its contours. Mercer may have a Dawn War and the planes, but it falls flat for me. It...
    241 replies | 9053 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 10:32 PM
    Good for you. I prefer Nentir Vale as it was, so I guess "bust" for you then. You claim to like Mearls's taste while also professing to prefer a mythological take? That's some Lolz. Once you get past your 4ate, you could see that Nentir Vale had some flavor, some hooks, and actual myth.
    241 replies | 9053 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 10:28 PM
    Savage Worlds has two-page adventures. Most don't have maps. I used one to run a game of Fate. It's not exactly difficult.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 10:16 PM
    Why are people presuming that maps are needed for a 1-page adventure?
    50 replies | 1292 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 10:01 PM
    Nah. Tal'Dorei bores the Mumm-Ra Everliving Crap out of me. Nentir Vale felt more like a toolkit for GMs, which is why I wanted it published. Look, Parmandur, nothing is stopping you from ignoring the 4e Nentir Vale and Mike Mearls's Nentir Vale for Tal'Dorei and its oh so highly complex pantheon of the 4e PHB + 1 Extra Sun God from Golarion and never look back. But I prefer Nentir Vale.
    241 replies | 9053 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 09:55 PM
    Not a fan of Tal'Dorei. Nentir Vale feels like a Sandbox world. Tal'Dorei feels like I'm playing in someone else's homebrew.
    241 replies | 9053 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 09:50 PM
    Nah.
    241 replies | 9053 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 09:49 PM
    Opera Voice (tenor in B major): "Il portafoglio č mobile!" It's more normal than you think. There have been some fairly large changes in editions for a lot of industry games out there: Der Schwarze Auge, Fate/Fudge, Warhammer, 7th Sea, etc. Edit: Added link in case reference was lost.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 09:29 PM
    Greyhawk's mess of a mythology fits better from a sociological or history of religions perspective - likely yours as a "mythology buff" - but not necessarily from a literary perspective where this Chaoskampf mythology represents an objective reality. The Dawn War is a real thing in this world. That would kill, reorganize, and compress a lot of pantheons. However - and I say this as someone...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 06:07 PM
    I personally find this difficult to believe. The idea that there will not be any major changes to D&D in the future just because it is presently riding high in popularity seems somewhat short-sighted. It's inevitable. Popularity and tastes of the game will change. Many of the edition changes in D&D often represent these changes of tastes and game design philosophies. Personally, I know from...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 03:12 PM
    I No worries! This isn’t a derail (and details are fine so long as they’re interesting!). This hooks into some of my comments above about how Skill Challenges work and GM responsibility. Just like in Dungeon World (and PbtA systems), the players are rolling all the dice. However, both GM and players are “making moves” that impact the gamestate. The GM’s moves in a Skill Challenge...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 01:59 PM
    I would also argue that this made the Nentir Vale excellent for newcomers to D&D. The Greyhawk pantheon, for example, can be Byzantine for someone new to the setting. There is a reason why the 3e PHB presented a more concise list instead of redundant sun gods. It seemed fairly clear that 4e sought to follow the 3e PHB in this vein of approach. That criticism is definitely valid. IME...
    241 replies | 9053 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 08:34 AM
    I'm just starting this. A really cool adventure for embedding the group into a setting. And, it's going to be a springboard for DotMM, so, I'm going to drop all sorts of hints and goodies. So far, haven't gotten much further than planning out renovating Trollskull manor. There's some fantastic stuff over on Reddit on this, so, I'm going to ... erm... use that for inspiration (ie steal...
    92 replies | 10976 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 08:29 AM
    Funnily enough, back in 1e whenever we got wishes, we just saved them for resurrections. We knew that the DM wouldn't monkey paw a wish like that and it was just a great "get out of jail free" card. I haven't given out wishes in a game in so long it's ridiculous. Kinda like dragons. I haven't dropped one of those into an adventure in FAR too long.
    24 replies | 968 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 08:01 AM
    Well, there's a boatload of examples at the One Page Dungeon Contest: This was last year's winner.
    50 replies | 1292 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 07:52 AM
    I dunno. Negative AC's at fairly low levels wasn't all that hard to achieve. Plate, shield and a decent DEX got you to -1 or -2 and you could do that by 2nd or 3rd level pretty easily. +1 plate and +1 shields were pretty common magic items in many modules, so, that gets you to -3 or -4 pretty easily. Tap in some other goodies, like, say, Vault of the Drow or Queen of the Demonweb Pits for...
    24 replies | 996 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 06:43 AM
    There's another point to remember as well - the growth of the market. We'll have to see what 2018 brings, but, year on year, 5e has been explosively growing the RPG market. Honestly, I'm not sure if D&D has ever seen this degree of sustained growth before. Boom and bust? Sure. But, we're not seeing any evidence of bust yet. Just very strong growth. It's certainly a healthier business cycle...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 05:23 AM
    So through these two encounters, my guess is that we'd see something like: * Rogue down 3 Surges and probably a Daily Attack, a Daily Item, and a Consumable. * Wizard down 2 Surges and probably a Daily Attack, maybe Paragon Path Daily or a Utility (such as Arcane Gate to let the Rogue and Wizard more easily traverse the battlefield in their efforts to handle the Hoverpods and AT-STs) and a...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 07:37 PM
    Yeah. It’s not happening. Here is the interesting/frustrating thing. An epic level Fighter jumping up and climbing upon an AT-ST, ripping off its hatch, jumping in and killing the crew, navigating the alien technology. That’s all too gonzo. But confronting a Collosal Red Wyrm in mortal, physical combat, and winning...completely legit? I think if you asked your average person (who...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 03:03 PM
    This has happened with my group as well.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 02:42 PM
    The actual Fate engine is fairly light IMO, capable of being boiled down to aspects, fate point economy, a four action resolution system, and stress/consequences. It spends most of its page count trying to illustrate its system through examples. I would say that it falls on the heavier side of rules light or lighter side of medium (YMMV). It's very much an adaptable system toolkit that can be...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 11:07 AM
    Plus one random Golarion deity...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 05:28 AM
    So getting back to the L+5 combat above. It would be a combat where the 3 PCs would have to deploy some daily resources to pull out, for sure. Much like my last group (with no dedicated Leader), I would anticipate each member of this group having multiple ways to trigger their own surges or allies' surges. This is what I would anticipate (riffing off of Garthanos's speculative declaration for...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 04:27 AM
    I'm just starting to run Dragon Heist, and, yeah, I can see why some people wouldn't like it. It's much more of an adventure outline than an adventure path. It's VERY open ended with a bajillion NPC's and it does hand a great deal of work off to the DM to bring it to the table. This is not something you can just sit down and play. Plus, since a lot of it is very sandboxy, it's a style...
    92 replies | 4404 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 04:21 AM
    You're understanding me correctly. To be clear: Opportunity cost in terms of... If I forgo this Move Action to get in position (instead spending it to push toward success in a relevant SC) to use x Standard Action for Combat I'll have to use lesser effective y Standard Action. Or, more difficult still, consider the course of action that Garthanos carved out above: Fighter spending...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 04:13 AM
    Sorry, that last post got away from me a bit, but, I just have one more thought. Something to think about with the 3e/3.5 era is that 4.33 years into that, we had what, a dozen or more 3pp publishers banging out d20 games that directly competed with D&D. Mutants and Masterminds, Blue Rose, and so on. The 3pp weren't working with WotC, particularly, because everyone was burying their OGC...
    157 replies | 5004 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 04:09 AM
    I'm just starting a new campaign with Dragon Heist. Now, for a bit of background, this is the first official D&D adventure path I've run since... errr... Savage Tides back in the tail end of 3e. Wow, it's been that long. And, something that REALLY slapped me in the face is how different things look now than then. WotC's AP's aren't really just AP's anymore. They are a core book for an...
    157 replies | 5004 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 27th November, 2018, 11:40 PM
    Here are the issues as I see them: Combat: A substrate upon which fictional positioning and how it relates to gamestate (the two creating a feedback loop until the conflict has been resolved), action economy, and related opportunity cost dictate moves made and attendant outcomes. vs Skill Challenge: A substrate upon which fictional positioning and how it relates to gamestate (the two...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 27th November, 2018, 12:26 AM
    Agreed. This is completely true. My take on this was they just had to formulate stuff in books for adventure design. Later books and Dungeon Magazine spoke out against this. I'm sorry, but all of this is utterly untrue. Utterly so. Again, if the fictional situation doesn't support an action declaration or a genre trope by way of action declaration...its simple. Its not doable. And...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 26th November, 2018, 08:01 PM
    First off, I would HIGHLY recommend purchasing the game for both 4e advocates and non-advocates. Its an incredibly well put together game and the creators should be rewarded for their hard, excellent work. Broadly: Non-combat does have a few scene resolution frameworks. However, its primary engine is PBtA-esque: 1) Declare action and pick up d6 2) If (Dis)Advantage, take 2d6 and...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 26th November, 2018, 07:38 PM
    I could see this being done with a Complexity 1, Level 22 (its basically a Contest so against this tank and its crew) SC. Move Action (equivalent) for the action economy of the challenge for the Fighter. I could see: 1) Mighty Sprint Encounter Power Athletics vs Medium to run > leap > climb to the top. 2) Improvised Attack (to wedge his greatsword in there to leverage the top off, so...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 26th November, 2018, 05:06 PM
    I appreciate more elegant solutions like this.
    167 replies | 4344 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 26th November, 2018, 04:51 PM
    I will join the chorus of mixed feelings. On the one hand, I appreciate that the Nentir Vale is getting some public recognition and not buried through any guilt by association with 4e. On the other hand, I dislike many of the proposed changes that Mike Mearls has voiced for his homebrew rendition of it, such as the Dawn War deities being prior mortals. (This even seems antithetical to the spirit...
    241 replies | 9053 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 26th November, 2018, 05:59 AM
    Is that a city with a maze behind it? That would be cool to expand on.
    213 replies | 82135 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 26th November, 2018, 05:41 AM
    Doctor Who has trod that ground more than a few times. Scenes from different parts of history that are pretty ... colorful? I guess that's a word. :D 17th century? Not terribly unheard of. Europeans had been in North America by a century by then. Trade with India and China had been pretty well established. It wouldn't exactly be something you'd see every day, but, not unheard of either....
    219 replies | 6147 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 25th November, 2018, 08:04 PM
    Sure mate. I'll get a post up either tonight or tomorrow about Strike!'s action resolution and how 4e could crib it.
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 25th November, 2018, 08:01 PM
    Alright, so I think we can at this point see how the opening framed situation (mechancially, Skill Challenge Level + 2 Complexity 1; parley) could snowball into the follow-on combat as a consequence of failure: Level + 5 (failure at end of SC leading to +2 buff to Encounter Budget) Combat (arising from failure above). Level 28 Combat @ 13000 * 3 PCs = 39000 XP budget I would probably break...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 25th November, 2018, 06:44 PM
    Yup. I absolutely agree. With 4e, this could have been accomplished via the Dungeon Worlding of resolution. It would have fit well with the system. Strike! (4e hack) goes this route and pulls it off pretty damn well.
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 25th November, 2018, 06:19 PM
    I would look into the magic of Dresden Files Accelerated as well. Some of the powerful Rune magic, for example, may require rituals or other powerful effects can only be used so many times before requiring a Terms and Conditions service performed for the appropriate patron/deity. That seems like it would be fairly easy to hack for RuneQuest.
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 25th November, 2018, 06:33 AM
    So in Blades in the Dark parlance that would be setting Position and Effect. 4e handles this pretty much the same way, it just doesn't explicate it like that. So the default Position in Blades in the Dark is Risky with Controlled and Desperate being on opposite ends. The default Effect is Standard with Limited and Great being on opposite ends. Trading Position for Effect or vice versa...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 25th November, 2018, 03:22 AM
    That actually makes a lot of sense. I could see it going down like this: 1) Fighter succeeds at Endurance check to stoically accept the laser fire square in the chest armor (effectively in Dungeon World terms "Defy Danger Con") that would lead to (a) 3rd success (vs 1 failure) and... 2) The commander and his heavy armor brigade realizing they've been sent on a suicide mission. He...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 25th November, 2018, 01:40 AM
    I consider traditional D&D to be 1e and Basic (I never played OD&D). 2e and 3e move off of the trad conception of the game a few nuanced but significant ways in terms of machinery and play priorities. 5e much more closely resembles a mash-up of 2e and 3e (particularly in ethos) than it does 1e and Basic, but it be drifted there with a little effort; xp for Treasure/Gold only, no Feats,...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 25th November, 2018, 01:31 AM
    Alright. Let me get back to it. I like this Garthanos. This would, of course, be taking place before/in the stead of the Fighter's move and the fiction subsequent to that. However, I'm not sure about Insight as the triggered skill for the action declaration. It seems to me that it would go one of two ways: 1) History if the Rogue is pulling out some kind of "if you destroy our world,...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 24th November, 2018, 07:13 PM
    I’m going to answer this in relation to my above post as it lets me append another facet of this (which is another aspect of robust PCs): The fact that 4e PCs/a group is robust to (a) significant deviation in workday (both in intraclass balance and group staying power), eg 1 mega-difficult encounter all the way to a 12 encounter (or more...that’s the most I’ve done) workday, is a feature for...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 24th November, 2018, 05:59 PM
    So I have 4 thoughts for this: 1) Much of the “problem” (insofar as it may be a problem) is in GM timidity/neutrality in framing of situation/conflict and in consequences. If a GM hard frames a particular PC into a focused complication that they have to deal with RIGHT NOW (or there will be consequences), it crystallizes the situation such that responses (and respondees) will fundamentally...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 24th November, 2018, 04:54 PM
    Let me unpack my thinking on this a little more. The Wandering Monster Clock machinery isn’t just a system of discrete parts. It works in concert, holistically, in order to engender the play experience. This is why when people were claiming that 5e could reproduce the actual 4e play experience (because a widget here, a bit there, a bob here each bore some kind of recognizably 4e aspect to...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 23rd November, 2018, 02:05 AM
    Alright, so we've gone over Monster Reaction Rolls vs intentional GM pressure on thematic portfolio. Let us get back to how this may work out in 4e. To recap: Quite clearly, we have a Star Wars like situation where a group of NPCs in vehicles are threatening the PCs. The Wizard begins with a request for parley in their Far Realm language. The commander probably opens and peers out of...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 23rd November, 2018, 01:17 AM
    I definitely agree with this. I think the matter is made worse (a) when folks are averse to playing different kind of games (doesn't even have to be TTRPGs...could be Eurogames) and (b) when a culture becomes insular and averse to self-reflection/analysis. And that can be any culture. Its not great when players of rules-lite systems don't understand the mental framework that responds to a...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 04:09 PM
    Alright, continuing on. I'm going to extend this little bit of a digression to talk about Trad D&D (for this, I'm using Basic and 1e) vs 4e, 5e, and Torchbearer. One of the primary pieces of machinery in Trad D&D is Monster Reaction Rolls/Table. When the PCs encounter a Wandering Monster or a Random Encounter, the disposition of a creature is often unfixed (except for things like Oozes,...
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 08:19 AM
    Chess actually tells you EXACTLY what you can move. You cannot make a move that is not prescribed by the rules, full stop. In play, 100% of your moves are prescribed by the mechanics. In an RPG, I could say that the Duke gives me his horse, depending on the fiction that has been established in play. It is possible. Although, fair enough, probably unlikely. :D And, note, you are...
    22 replies | 620 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 21st November, 2018, 07:37 PM
    @Joshua Randall Not a lot of time, but in short: Deeeeeeeffinitely do not agree. Of the two games I GMed 1-30 and the other game where I GMed a section of it (it was a DW campaign that we switched to 4e for one level - 27 - just as an experiment), the OVERWHELMING % of Epic Tier Combat encounters featured budgets between L+4 to L+7. It’s easily enough done by:
    145 replies | 4734 view(s)
    2 XP
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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.
  • 12:15 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...hematics, and stuff that happens every day outside your hometown. If you argument hinges on nothing more than "that's what folks say" (with presumably your choice of folks being credible) the whole of your argument boils down to their credibility.]"What foks say" is largely the opposite of authority (unless you're talking about stuff that happened at the shopping centre down the street). The key being this - is there evidence other than the perceived authority?Evidence available to whom? What's the evidence that New York was settled before the 18th century? Other than a book (= the dreaded "authority"!) But the key part is A2A can be reasonable- if the source is credible and supported by evidence.An argument that can be reasonable is not a logical fallacy. It's not even an informal fallacy. As Wikipedia notes, it's defeasible. Given that basically every argument anyone ever runs outside of mathematics is defeasible, that's not a very telling blow against it. As far as Hussar's claim is concerned, two things: (1) Either Hussar's an English teacher, or has been working hard to maintain the online facade of being an English teacher for over a decade. Given that there's little reason for someone to do the latter, and given that his reports about English teaching and challengs of cross-cultural education have always seemed coherent enough to me, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt. (2) I'm not an English teacher - I'm an academic lawyer and philosopher - and I know that Hussar is 100% correct when he says that Maxperson is 100% wrong to say that " 'On a hit, roll damage' is equal to 'On a miss, don't roll damage.' It's just the way language works." The instruction that, on a hit, one must roll damage, doesn't forbid anyone from rolling damage on a miss. It probably implies that "On a miss, you don't need to roll damage" but the absence of an obligation isn't the same thing as being forbidden - the absence of an obligation is consistent wit...

Sunday, 28th October, 2018

  • 03:15 PM - Maxperson mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ENWorld is the only forum I know where "appeal to authority" is treated as a fallacy rather than good evidence! Why would a fallacy not be treated as a fallacy? Also, @Hussar claimed to be an English teacher, but that he immediately engaged in an Appeal to Authority in his post, and then in the following post engaged in an Ad Hominem attack, causes me to doubt that claim. An English teacher should know better. I've never been to France or spoken to a French government official. How do I know France's capital is Paris? I learned it from an authority! Fallacious me! The fallacy would be if you presented as your only proof that France's capitol is Paris, that an authority said so. If you engaged other arguments, such as maps, news sources, a french citizen you spoke with, and so on, it would not be an Appeal to Authority to also mention that a geography teacher taught that to you. Edit: Authorities can also be wrong. As an attorney, you should be well aware of that fact, since your profession engages in dueling experts on a regular basis, where you have authorities making opposing claims on important parts of the case. They both can't be right, and it'...

Thursday, 25th October, 2018


Monday, 22nd October, 2018

  • 11:51 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    And do we also wind up with message boards choked with hyperbolic unrealistic examples like these? No thx.Right. If one reads Hussar's post, or the text of the game he posted, T-Rexes walking unnoticed through town has nothing to do with it.

Saturday, 20th October, 2018

  • 08:15 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Shootout at the D&D Corral
    Hussar, absolutely. I've never lived in a non-settler colony country, but I've been a tourist in Egypt, in Morocco, in Zanzibar, in Palestine and Israel. And I have run an interesting campaign set in a fantasy version of feudal Japan!

Thursday, 18th October, 2018

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

Wednesday, 17th October, 2018

  • 03:57 PM - Aldarc mentioned Hussar in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...t the GM wasn't hands off regarding the deity... he created history, setting, icons, etc. about the deity. that's not hands off that's very much hands on. You were hands off about a very specific aspect of the deity but this is more akin to collaboration (which many posters including myself are ok with to an extent) as opposed to the deity being backgrounded by the player so that the DM must be hands off. You can't argue these things are part of a players concept and not be touched when it comes to the father example but then claim they are irrelevant in this one.Reading this, I wonder if you may be talking from different senses or understandings about "hands off" or "hands on" regarding Backgrounded elements, and this may be leading to some of the all-around confusion or disagreement. But based upon most discussion from the various positions, it would seem that most agree that player/DM cooperation for establishing characters and their anchor into the world is good and healthy. Hussar, to save a bit of time with hunting for a needle in a haystack, what was the name again of the RPG you mentioned that had this Background mechanic? It may be helpful to examine how the mechanic or rule is worded. It could help us all re-focus our efforts in this thread.


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Tuesday, 11th December, 2018

  • 02:52 PM - Morrus quoted Hussar in post Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
    And, unfortunately, people who get into sciences can be just as dogmatic as anyone else. I mean, you're apparently absolutely sure that your model of the universe is correct despite the fact that it hasn't actually been proven and remains largely theoretical. I mean, heck, NASA says you're wrong: https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/review/dr-marc-space/dark-sky.html That does not contradict anything I said. I'm a little more comfortable believing NASA than you, @Morrus. What a weirdly aggressive thing to say.
  • 04:52 AM - Umbran quoted Hussar in post Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
    There's a difference though. EVERYTHING Einstein, Hawking and Newton have done have been falsifiable. Every single thing. So, no, they are doing very real science. Postulating completely unverifiable elements to make your equations work is not good science. Well, postulating things that are not verifiable, even in theory, is not good science. Postulating stuff that you just haven't figured out how to verify *yet* is fine. A whole lot of chemistry, atomic, and particle physics went or currently goes this way.
  • 01:15 AM - dragoner quoted Hussar in post Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
    We cannot test for dark matter. We just have to take it on faith because it balances our own equations. No, we can see the effect of dark matter through gravitational lensing, even if we can't see it.
  • 12:54 AM - Morrus quoted Hussar in post Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
    But, the thing is, because of the Big Bang, all the stars in the universe existed in a much smaller space at the beginning of the universe. While I realize more stars are being created, it doesn't really matter. All the light from every star in the universe has already reached us. Again, that's the way it was explained to me. Seems to make sense to me. But, hey, I'm flexible. Somebody explained it wrong. The universe expands faster than the speed of light. Remember, the speed of light relates to movement within space-time, not the expansion of space-time. But, as far as rules go, the basic, fundamental rule of science is things must be falsifiable. If it's not falsifiable, then it isn't really science. Since we cannot actually falsify dark matter in any way, it remains entirely theoretical and will remain so until such time as we can figure out a way to actually test for dark matter. IOW, how can you be doing science when nothing you do can actually be tested? We can test for, s...
  • 12:26 AM - Morrus quoted Hussar in post Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
    I thought the "is space infinite" question was largely resolved. If space was truly infinite, then the night sky would be solid white with stars. In an infinite universe, you would have infinite stars, therefore, from our point of view, there would be almost no space between the stars in the night sky. At least, that's the way it was explained to me. Nope. The universe is 14B years old. Space is more than 14B light years in diameter. If light moved at infinite speed, then yes, it would all reach us at the same time and it would all be white. But it doesn't - the light further than 14B light years away from us hasn't reached us yet. If space was *infinite* then the light from stars an infinite distance away would take an infinite amount of time to reach us, so we'd never see it. But, @Morrus, I'm certainly no anti-scientist campaigner. Just pointing out that in one branch of science, the rules get... err... relaxed somewhat. What rules? And again, I ask, what is this "leeway" they're ...

Monday, 10th December, 2018

  • 04:20 PM - FrogReaver quoted Hussar in post Cantrip Auto-Scaling - A 5e Critique
    But, we're not talking about 1d6 are we? A Burning Hands does 9d6 damage pretty easily. Certainly 6d6 virtually guaranteed. Yup, there's save for half, but, fare enough, many cantrips can outright fail. You have to be 17th level before you can deal even remotely equivalent damage. The fact that I've been dealing that kind of damage for the last 16 levels kinda makes up for things. For the majority of campaigns, 2d10 is the norm with maybe a couple of levels of 3d10 at the tail end of the campaign. 1st level spells are still seriously outdamaging any cantrip, in addition to often having rider effects like Thunderwave. Or something that deals ongoing damage as a bonus action like Flaming Sphere. There isn't a cantrip out there that's going to deal that kind of damage. For most of the game it's a non-issue and in probably 95% of sessions people won't even be a high enough level to see cantrips doing more damage than 1st level spells cast in 1st level slots. And as we have seen...
  • 07:48 AM - FrogReaver quoted Hussar in post Cantrip Auto-Scaling - A 5e Critique
    I question the OP's basic premise actually. The basic premise is that cantrips become more damaging than 1st and 2nd level spells. So, in play, we're likely limited to cantrips doing 3d10 for the most part, no? Very high level play doesn't come up all that often, so, for the sake of argument, let's ignore it. 1st level wizard spell damage: Burning Hands 3d6 to multiple targets (considerably more damaging than any cantrip) Magic Missile 3d4+3 no saving throw and no failure. Probably on par with a cantrip really. Thunderwave - 2d8 to up to potentially 48 targets (extremely unlikely, but, that is the maximum) (far more powerful than any cantrip) So, other than magic missile, all the direct damage wizard spells at 1st level are still considerably more effective than any single cantrip. This is actually the path I originally thought this discussion would go down. Not about whether the logic I used to derive my result was valid, but instead if things like aoe and auto hit and ha...
  • 02:27 AM - Kramodlog quoted Hussar in post Review Dragon Heist, Mad Mage, and Ravnica!
    Can't remember who said it but, it still holds very true: The tendency of consumers to conflate personal tastes with objective quality is nearly universal. I agree. Ravnica's campaign guide is objectivaly bad for a campaign setting, but you know D&D is good. It reminds me of how people defended the quality fo 4e products and we all know how that ended.
  • 01:32 AM - Umbran quoted Hussar in post Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
    Heh, I've always kinda wondered why astronomers get to create magic forms of matter just to balance their equations. :D They don't create it. They merely figure out that it is there. Astrophysicists and high-energy physicists get to do it because they are the ones with the expertise to make educated guesses, and will get to the bottom of it faster than a random Joe on the street. Anyone who was, a short while ago, noting that "we don't know everything" should not have an issue with the idea that, every once in a while, we do find a new thing!
  • 12:49 AM - dragoner quoted Hussar in post Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
    Heh, I've always kinda wondered why astronomers get to create magic forms of matter just to balance their equations. :D They get a whole lot more leeway than everyone else it seems. They don't. Math is the language of the unseen universe. Even something that is incorrect adds to the body of knowledge, knowledge that is valuable in and of itself. Everything gets put through the same rigor eventually, and it either stands or falls upon it's own merit. Some fields, such as astrophysics, is going to be more theoretical due to the lack of empirical evidence, that is just the way it is going to be.
  • 12:05 AM - Morrus quoted Hussar in post Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
    Heh, I've always kinda wondered why astronomers get to create magic forms of matter just to balance their equations. :D They get a whole lot more leeway than everyone else it seems. Leeway by whom? For what?

Sunday, 9th December, 2018

  • 11:59 PM - Morrus quoted Hussar in post How would you design one page adventures?
    That looks like great fun Morrus. Cool beans. Just as a thought though, would it not be easier to make the map mostly the full size of the page and then include the text of the encounters right in the rooms? Would seem like a more efficient use of space. And, just a nitpick, you forgot to label area 1 - the Entrance. I didn’t draw the map. These are converted from existing adventures I commissioned for EN5ider.

Friday, 7th December, 2018

  • 04:25 PM - Parmandur quoted Hussar in post Review Dragon Heist, Mad Mage, and Ravnica!
    Well, a lot of that is carry over from a long time ago. Obviously, when 1e changed over to 2e and Gygax's ouster from TSR, Greyhawk basically got shelved. And, of course, FR was then brought very, very much into the foreground. There's still a lot of hard feelings from fans over this. Throughout 2e, the system that is known for its settings, Greyhawk got very little loving and what little it got was largely crap. The Greyhawk 2e modules were bad to worse - Puppets? Gargoyles? Yeesh. Then 3e comes along and Greyhawk gets a big shot in the arm. It's the base setting for the game! Wow. And then... well... nothing. Paizohawk probably has more actual 3e support than Greyhawk ever got in 3e. WotC, despite making Greyhawk the baseline setting, pretty much buried it in later books. And, then, FR gets what, half a dozen or more beautiful full color source books including the FRCS. Add that to 4e's complete retreat from Greyhawk and now 5e hasn't exactly done anything either, and...
  • 03:39 PM - Nebulous quoted Hussar in post Review Dragon Heist, Mad Mage, and Ravnica!
    Well, a lot of that is carry over from a long time ago. Obviously, when 1e changed over to 2e and Gygax's ouster from TSR, Greyhawk basically got shelved. And, of course, FR was then brought very, very much into the foreground. There's still a lot of hard feelings from fans over this. Throughout 2e, the system that is known for its settings, Greyhawk got very little loving and what little it got was largely crap. The Greyhawk 2e modules were bad to worse - Puppets? Gargoyles? Yeesh. Then 3e comes along and Greyhawk gets a big shot in the arm. It's the base setting for the game! Wow. And then... well... nothing. Paizohawk probably has more actual 3e support than Greyhawk ever got in 3e. WotC, despite making Greyhawk the baseline setting, pretty much buried it in later books. And, then, FR gets what, half a dozen or more beautiful full color source books including the FRCS. Add that to 4e's complete retreat from Greyhawk and now 5e hasn't exactly done anything either, and...
  • 03:09 PM - CapnZapp quoted Hussar in post Review Dragon Heist, Mad Mage, and Ravnica!
    Well, to be fair, there is not such thing as a "homebrew" setting as a single thing. Homebrew is limited to a single table and pretty much means that those who homebrew have taken themselves out of the market. Well, not really. I've read a big reason for the dominance of the Realms is that lots of homebrewers accept that setting as an acceptable source for their homebrewed worlds. That is, something like: of all 5E customers, half is using their own world, 25% are using Forgotten Realms and then every other setting is in the low single-digit numbers. So if half of homebrewers consider Realms content acceptable for their worlds, a whopping 75% of all customers are potential buyers of Realms material, many many many times the next best selling setting. This certainly explains why WotC keeps publishing Realms books in my mind. And it means homebrewers aren't necessarily out of the market. Instead, they probably contribute to the continued dominance of Forgotten Realms.
  • 02:33 PM - SkidAce quoted Hussar in post Review Dragon Heist, Mad Mage, and Ravnica!
    Well, to be fair, there is not such thing as a "homebrew" setting as a single thing. Homebrew is limited to a single table and pretty much means that those who homebrew have taken themselves out of the market. Running homebrew for over 30 years has not taken me out of the market. I like examples and I scavenge parts. 103550
  • 01:07 PM - CapnZapp quoted Hussar in post Review Dragon Heist, Mad Mage, and Ravnica!
    Not generating buzz on En World, maybe. I dunno. The FB Dragonheist site has 2000 members and is pretty active, with posts by Mr. Greenwood on occasion. The https://www.reddit.com/r/WaterdeepDragonHeist/ subreddit has 1800 users and new posts daily. It's sitting in the mid 400's on Amazon.com, what, six months after release? DotMM and Dragonheist are the top two modules WotC has out in terms of sales on Amazon right now. There's a couple of dozen supplementary adventures and background products for Dragon Heist on DM's Guild, many of them done by Guild Adepts. How much better do you expect a module to do? What would you consider "generating buzz"? Why are you asking me this? I am merely responding to a thread where the lack of buzz topic came up, and like others, offer my suggestions for explanations. Why don't you go talk to the poster that started this (sub-)topic.

Thursday, 6th December, 2018

  • 04:44 PM - CapnZapp quoted Hussar in post Review Dragon Heist, Mad Mage, and Ravnica!
    Speak for yourself CapnZapp. It IS a heist, just that the players aren't the ones heisting. Big deal. Get over it. And a plotless megadungeon is something people have been asking for for YEARS. That does not change either of two facts: 1) the modules still aren't generating buzz and my main point, 2) this is likely not because they're set in the Realms.
  • 02:05 PM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
    Well, at the moment we can conclusively rule out FTL travel. Just as we once conclusively ruled that the Sun revolved around the Earth, sure. Again, we have to be completley wrong in our understanding of physics for that to be true. This is false. We just have to have an incomplete understanding is all. And we do have an incomplete understanding. IOW, magic. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. So sure, I guess you can call tech magic if you like.
  • 12:08 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Hussar in post Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
    Well, at the moment we can conclusively rule out FTL travel. No, we cannot. Again, we have to be completley wrong in our understanding of physics for that to be true. No, we wouldn't. Take Newtonian physics, for example. It's not right -- it doesn't do relatively -- but it's still extremely useful and oft used. You still learn it in school and in college (most of Phys I and II are Newtonian). But, it is still wrong. It's just so minorly wrong at non-relativistic speeds that it usually doesn't matter. Sometimes, though, that wrongness is critical. Take GPS, for example, as it's already mentioned in thread. You can do satelittes without relativity, and we had and still mostly do. But the extremely precise timing of GPS failed, even at relatively (heh) low orbital speeds, due to the very small error in Newtonian physics caused by lack of relativity. That was corrected for, and niw you get ads on your phone when you're near Starbucks. Ain't technology grand? We can be almost entir...


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