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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 06:04 AM
    Like I said, for the price, fantasy grounds should be a hell of a lot better than it is. To give an example, the number of steps required to add something as simple as a single image is a bad joke. Find the pic, download it to your computer in the correct directory. Go back into fg find the file through the images tab, hope that you know the file name because good luck finding it otherwise....
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 12:27 AM
    I use Fantasy Grounds, but, I have to admit, I really have a love/hate relationship with it. Sure, as a DM, you get fantastic tools. Really great stuff for getting up and running. On the downside though, it's unbelievably expensive for what you get. I mean, an ultimate license is going to run you 150 bucks, another 150 bucks (maybe 100 depending on the discounts you get) for the core...
    14 replies | 267 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:03 PM
    Haven't your issues been mostly addressed already by Bawylie? Haven't others and I not already provided you with other possible alternative systems to look into for your purposes? I'll admit that it is difficult for me to find much gusto for the original thread topic anymore when you speak rudely and insultingly to me for disagreeing with your definition of metagaming. It zaps a lot of good will...
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:20 PM
    Just like raging. ;)
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:14 PM
    As it turns out, such pacing is called getting your "second wind."
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:24 PM
    And if you can control when you rage, why can't you control when you summon upon your reserves for a Second Wind? This mechanic reminds me of athletes who pace themselves and who know that they have reserves that they can draw upon for bursts of short-term energy.
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:23 PM
    Emerikol (and Lanefan and perhaps Saelorn ), you (and Lanefan) answered my question with a response about the implications on the gameplay paradigm; eg “it would make it more lethal.” This thread is about “metagame mechanics” and players making decisions based exclusively on (what you perceive as) observable phenomenon (biological, physical) from the character’s perspective. I’m looking for...
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 01:39 PM
    I don’t want to dig down too deeply into the rest of the hacking required, because I was trying to solicit solely the visceral reaction from Emerikol . I’m inthe same camp as Ratskinner ; the reaction to one type of mechanics or information organization versus another is primarily because of familiarity or the internalization of a set of stuff into a mental framework that you’ve settled into...
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 10:09 AM
    I think this, more than anything is why you rarely see groups hiring. And in my experience dms as well hate the idea. Too much paperwork.
    59 replies | 954 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 11:30 PM
    It seems absurd to say this when this is on the same level as, "Hey, I'm going to cast one of my level 4 spells, and then I will be out of spell slots of that level." The resource management of Vancian casting is simply part of the metagame. Call it a "necessary evil" if you like, but let's face it: metagaming is an intrinsic part of the D&D spell system. Again, lipstick on a pig. But it...
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 10:16 PM
    The character can know about lots of things that would still nevertheless constitute metagaming. The character can "know" that they still have a single Second Wind available. The character can "know" that they have one level-one spell left. The character can "know" the placement of allies and foes in combat despite the fact that the character is operating from the players have a tactical...
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:09 PM
    Part of the issue is that the entire vancian magic system works in the meta economy of spell slots and levels where you can cast X number of times per day. I usually prefer magic as "skill" rolls/checks (e.g., Blue Rose, True20). Keep casting until you fatigue yourself. This would also be fantastic for a fail-forward or success-with-a-cost subsystem. So the caster could "fail" the ability...
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 09:42 AM
    Have you even been paying attention to our conversation? :confused: IMHO, this is the metagame that the player does as part of the "strategic play" of the game. If you want to say that Vancian casting is 'magic,' then we may as well call Fate points 'fate.'
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 04:02 AM
    Emerikol, let me pose you a question. I'm not sure you've ever GMed or played under the following paradigm, so let me lay it out. Try to conceive of simply switching out the HP model from your current game for a low overhead system that handles it in fictional terms that also intersect with action resolution (what action declarations might be permissible, what may be penalized). It looks...
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 02:44 PM
    I had a Bladesinger in my Out of the Abyss campaign...I can see some of the criticisms around this class and how it can be construed as over-powered or over-shadowing the melee classes. However, I would like to explain how I was able to overcome this. First of all, their damage does not scale as well as a similar level melee class. They get a maximum of 2 attacks (3 if they are hasted),...
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 02:35 PM
    Divination. I see that "Whoever wins initiative" has the most votes. Well, with a diviner, it's likely that one of their portents will allow them to win initiative. On top of that, it's likely that one of their portents will allow the Diviner to inflict a failed save on one of their spells, particularly if it's a save-or-suck spell.
    38 replies | 1671 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 10:05 AM
    Such as? I'm a fan of Numenera, and I have been looking over the just-released-to-backers Numenera 2: Discovery and Destiny the past few days. It's probably in my top 3 favorite settings ever created. Though I like the Cypher system, I don't love it, and there are a few things that sometimes frustrate me when it comes to character creation and customization. But I sometimes think that comes...
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 01:39 PM
    Truth of the matter is that I do not know what new attributes I would create, because I also think such things would depend on my design goals for the system, and I have not created a new system yet. I would prefer attributes/abilities with distinct and clear non-overlapping functionality, and I agree with Angry DM that this is where D&D's Big Six fails hard. (This is also part of my...
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 06:51 AM
    This definition kinda begs the question, and I don't think that your assertion here is true. Yes. Does it matter? The point is not those. If you were forced to create attributes that were not the Big Six (or the Big Six renamed), what attributes would you create or use? (So no "they are perfect as they" are non-answers.)
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 12:44 PM
    Yeah, it's often just basic minor things like "the character knew a widow exists in this village" or even "Player 2 helped Player 1 defend themselves from being attacked by a ghost." Though if you don't have ghosts in your campaign, I'm sure you could just replace the word 'ghost' with 'rabid badger' or something. Blending player and character engagement is practically the definition of all...
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 04:19 PM
    Your rude, condescending tone that reeking of one-true-wayism you have been repeatedly called out for using for starters. Or maybe comments like this: Were we not supposed to bask in awe at your experience and expertise as you toot your own horn? Theirs or yours? :erm: Perhaps if you want people to be receptive to the sagacity of your arguments, you should work on your tone and how you...
    156 replies | 4663 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 12:20 PM
    It's similar with Beyond the Wall. However, BtW is more young adult oriented. It takes inspiration from the novels of Ursula LeGuin (Earthsea), Lloyd Alexander (Chronicles of Prydain), Tolkien (The Hobbit), and arguably the first few books of Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time), where it is often about relatively young heroes exploring beyond the bounds of their lifelong homes and grow into heroes....
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 8th July, 2018, 11:50 AM
    My take-away reading was the opposite here, though we likely refer to the same phenomenon. For me, this system makes world creation necessary - as in the process necessarily transpires - because it partially happens through the character creation process via playbooks. The major strength of this system is that it 1) alleviates some of the world-creation process from the GM, 2) it connects PCs to...
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Saturday, 7th July, 2018, 10:13 AM
    Have you looked into any of my TTRPG recommendations yet? I also have another: Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures. It combines Basic/1e OSR and more contemporary game design.
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 7th July, 2018, 04:08 AM
    Loads of emotion and personal stakes? Oh, noes, I have to get my multi-billion dollar company back because, if I don't, I'll only be the chosen one savior. Gee, yeah, totally see the stakes there. Like I said, the bad guy is a smarmy businessman who isn't actually all that wrong. Danny as CEO is a financial disaster. Like I said, the stakes are totally unimportant. If Danny fails, he's...
    33 replies | 867 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 6th July, 2018, 03:56 AM
    But, I think that's what makes Jessica Jones and Daredevil much better shows. Sure, JJ is an alcoholic, but, it's never "let slide" in the show. It's destructive as all get out. Watching JJ implode is a big part of what makes the show good. Same with Daredevil. His self-destructive tendencies cause so much of the plot. It's a big old dose of catharsis. And, there's the other point. ...
    33 replies | 867 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th July, 2018, 02:54 PM
    I have apparently missed it again because I do not see here where you state it. So what is your point here? That combat frequently involves death, killing, and violence? Is your grandstanding point really that insipid?
    156 replies | 4663 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th July, 2018, 12:56 AM
    Very good post here. I think each discrete part is very salient. I think the first part happens to be a big component of these conversations because a great many D&D players seem to have internalized an AD&D rules paradigm as representing something like the actual mental overhead that is going on in physical, hand-to-hand combat...when they, in all likelihood, have never engaged in actual...
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 11:38 PM
    Mustrum_Ridcully - you're spoiler tags don't work. Just finished the series. The season finale was not what I was expecting, although, to be fair, it's foreshadowed quite a few times in earlier episodes. Much more low key. For a show about an invulnerable strong guy, there are surprisingly few actual fights in the show. I'm still mulling over whether I really like the season, or if I'm...
    33 replies | 867 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 02:20 PM
    Indeed. If HP truly represented flesh, meat, or bodily wounds, then we can only conclude that as player characters level-up they gain more mass in flesh.
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 02:07 PM
    This seems presumptuous, though disputing your claim opens up further conversation that I doubt would be particularly productive for our mutual purposes here. Thank you, though I do think that you implying that Fate is a "metagame style rpg" comes across as belittling. But I am also arguing that metagaming is a core and inescapable part of gaming.* There are metagaming mechanics that you find...
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 11:32 AM
    Is there much of a point to miss? On one hand, you seem to be arguing that death happens in roleplaying games, which is a banal argument to make. On the other hand, you are arguing that death "IS the point of combat," which is demonstrably false and any time someone provides counter-examples and counter-opinions, you cast your net wider. I suspect that there are reasons to make 'em less...
    156 replies | 4663 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 04:55 AM
    Heck pcs having standard hps are the norm in 5e. And, Rand hps for monsters so I can fudge is a pretty weak argument from my POV.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018, 09:57 PM
    Wait, what? I live in a polytheistic country - Japan. And, I'm going to tell you right now that there ARE standardized rituals, and uniforms for priests and standardized holy days in Shinto. I'm not sure what kind of polytheism you are thinking of, but, most religions, whether mono or polytheistic, have pretty standardized rituals and holy days and easily recognizable priesthoods.
    119 replies | 3537 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018, 01:36 PM
    Ovinomancer , TwoSix , @ anyone else... I feel like digging down really deeply on the TLJ/4E tradition deviation comparison may (a) not be something that anyone else in this thread cares about and (b) while works into 4e’s “essence”, it may push the bounds of threadcrapping (and my next response would be long). What do you guys think? Anyone else care about that topic?
    171 replies | 5747 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018, 12:59 PM
    I hope you don't presume here that my PCs don't. :erm: It is inherently a fool's errand. You are correct that "it's easier to play true to character if what you know as a player matches what you know as a character," but this is striving after wind. There is an inherent disconnect and power imbalance between player and character knowledge that Neonchameleon overviews quite well. So for me...
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018, 09:25 AM
    Counterpoint: The theatrical trailer for Babe reveals that he will succeed as a sheepherding pig and that some grand audience will cheer for him. So yeah, we know but are presumably watching anyway. I don't think anyone is necessarily advocating the complete removal of death for the PCs. The issue raised by Vincent Baker is having uncertain outcomes serve as the primary method of creating...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 05:02 PM
    Well, personally, I didn’t think 4e had much in the way of problems with its skill set up. In 4e noncombat conflict resolution and stunting, there are only a few relevant parts to action resolution and micro-story-progression when it comes to characters: 1) Can this PC realize their archetype through play (conflict framing > action resolution > story output)? 2) Through the realization...
    60 replies | 2557 view(s)
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  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 03:30 PM
    Of note is Armor of Agathys for the Bladelock. In my Tomb of Annihilation game, our bladelock uses this spell (only able to cast 2 spells at 5th level, which is often Armor of Agathys and Hex or Hellish Rebuke depending on the situation) to devastating effect when fighting mobs with either multi-attack or multiple mobs. With 15 temps and inflicting 15 damage each time he's hit (until the temps...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 02:19 PM
    I am a big fan of Fate, including aspects and fate points, but I recognize that it is not for everyone. So if you just like fudge dice and skill trees, then perhaps you should look into Fudge. There is a reason those dice you love are called "fudge dice" after all. Buf if you enjoy game design analysis as a "gamer junky" then I would recommend reading The Book of Hanz, which is a series of...
    388 replies | 7883 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 01:04 PM
    I'm not sure if I would say that he "hates bonus actions," but he has voiced dissatisfaction with how they work: Most definitely.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 12:21 PM
    Hussar started a thread What no Luke Cage love?
    Haven’t finished the series yet but I’m liking it a lot more than the first season. Tighter story and better characters. Two thumbs up.
    33 replies | 867 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 11:45 AM
    You are presenting death as the ends of combat, but I find that death, even in combat, is not an end but a means. Hypothesis: The main point of most combat in RPGs is not the risk of death. Most RPGs, including many D&D, frame combat as an obstacle to the goals of the PC for them to overcome (e.g., proceeding to the next room, retrieving the item/person, the countdown clock, etc.). Combat...
    156 replies | 4663 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st July, 2018, 06:16 PM
    Sorry for the delay in getting back. Alright, so my thoughts: I definitely agree with TwoSix's first thought above: a) "I imagine there's a decent correlation between those who disliked 4e and those who disliked TLJ for the same reasons; it didn't match their expectations of what "D&D" or "Star Wars" should be." I also saw on the TLJ thread on these boards that there are...
    171 replies | 5747 view(s)
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  • Rechan's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st July, 2018, 06:08 AM
    Ahh, then the third installment must have been when WotC took over Dungeon, but hadn't converted to 4e yet. Thanks!
    3 replies | 185 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 30th June, 2018, 04:21 AM
    There is a significant range between "clerics never act like anything other than fighters with a spell list" and "clerics must have daily/hourly rituals which must be detailed out." I would just like to see cleric (and paladin and druid) players actually acknowledge that they have a patron diety once in a while and do anything at the table to make that part of the game.
    119 replies | 3537 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 11:30 PM
    Not quite. I'm saying that the D&D 3e engine (i.e., the d20 System) essentially remains the core of many systems, such as D&D 4-5e, Pathfinder, 13th Age, Shadow of the Demon Lord, etc. But that core 3e skeleton has its flaws, shortcomings, and pitfalls. But how do you address those flaws? 4e was one such response, and one underrated in its influence. Pathfinder (aka "3.75e") kept closer to...
    269 replies | 7550 view(s)
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  • Rechan's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 11:27 PM
    Trying to track down some Dungeon PDFs from before it went completely digital. I used to own the hardcopy of two, before they were lost in a move, and I know the third one was in Dungeon issue #50, which was posted on WotC's site in PDF form. The specific adventures are the Victor St. Demaine 3 parter, set in Eberron. If anyone knows how to get ahold of these easily, I'd appreciate it. A...
    3 replies | 185 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 09:48 AM
    As per the article and my own experience? Not so much. If you only picked up the 3.0 and 3.5 PHB? I could definitely see that. But in the context of the post-3.5 PHB publishing cycle? You could definitely see the trend towards 4e, and there was already a call for portions of the design philosophy of 4e. And though Pathfinder fans would loathe to admit it, such voices were still prominent in their...
    269 replies | 7550 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th June, 2018, 03:57 PM
    @Pauper I’m doing a poor job of communicating. There is clearly a large outcry over TLJ from SW traditionalists/the base. I’m not referring to them. I’m invoking a specific cross-section of folks who: 1) Identify as part of the SW base.
    171 replies | 5747 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th June, 2018, 03:47 PM
    My take is that DMG1 didn’t have nearly a clear enough voice (while DMG2, design articles, and Dungeon articles were all very consistent) . There was an editor problem or a “too many cooks in the kitchen” problem with the writing/handling of various chapters and instruction. While myself and others saw it clearly in various 4e game tech and instruction, there are many others who didn’t see it....
    171 replies | 5747 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th June, 2018, 02:28 PM
    Ted Serious Thank you for the response, but perhaps the thrust of my post wasn’t clear (as your response doesn’t hook into it). I was commenting on the curiosity of the non-universal application of the “don’t piss off your traditionalist base” axiom. 4e was routinely decried for its violation of it (we constantly heard the “New Coke” cautionary tale). Meanwhile, The Last Jedi (which...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th June, 2018, 02:21 PM
    I would be hestitant to use this language. You can't be truer than what happened, and 4e did evolve out of the late 3e materials. But right now we are seeing multitude of reactions to the Pathfinder 2 preview materials akin to "that looks like 4e," and "that looks like 5e," with other fans noting "that was already in late PF1 so this still looks like PF." So it does seem that 3.X d20 system...
    269 replies | 7550 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th June, 2018, 01:45 PM
    If we are talking about THE 3pp publisher for psionics built on the 3.X engine in a thread about what we want for psionics in 5e, then I would say that you should at least not be surprised or dismissive when they are named.
    273 replies | 13738 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th June, 2018, 01:33 PM
    Thank you for finding and sharing both articles. Even as someone who enjoyed 4e, that was enlightening. This also makes me curious about several other possible "what if scenarios." What if 4e had been more similar to 13th Age? And now, what if 4e had been more akin to what we are seeing with Pathfinder 2e?
    269 replies | 7550 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th June, 2018, 01:55 AM
    Let me extend things a little bit to talk about cost as the relevant piece... So chao is talking about Sorcerer here, but its relevant. So the PC's big brother is the best man he ever knew. Raised him when their parents died. Is a retired, legendary Dog who lost his gun-fighting hand when a nasty infection from a wound took it that he got rescuing a child straight from the jaws of a...
    156 replies | 4663 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th June, 2018, 06:18 PM
    Do you mean my words per post have decreased or my posts include less arcane language? There are a reason for both of those things. My vocabulary hasn’t evolved (organically) so much as I’ve worked very diligently to talk and write differently. Sometimes it takes. Sometimes I revert (but usually in person where I don’t have time to agonize over communicating more “accessibly and pithy”). ...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th June, 2018, 05:59 PM
    It’s not enough “vomit a pile of words all over the screen while wandering aimlessly for a thought” to be me!
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th June, 2018, 04:05 PM
    This may not the thread for it, but I mentioned it in another thread. There is a very significant overlap in long term Star Wars fans/traditionalists and D&D (no surprise as these were two of the seminal zeitgeists of that era). I would think that one of the takeaways of 4e (essence) is: “Don’t piss off your traditionalist base.” 4e was and has been relentlessly murdered for that.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th June, 2018, 08:47 AM
    You are impressing no one but yourself with this sort of attitude. Sorry that your illustration was terrible and phrased poorly. You want to talk about RPGs? Fine. Then do so. But it does not help your case when you use false illustrations as part of generalized statements that are demonstrably untrue and then act all uppity towards others. What does your posturing achieve here? The term...
    156 replies | 4663 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th June, 2018, 06:53 AM
    Ummm... there are a lot of movies, series, or plays that may feature fist fights, brawls, or other forms of physical conflict where there is no "risk of death" but simply in externalizing inner emotional conflict between characters. It may just be a mild-mannered person who finally throws a punch to show (1) they have "grown a spine" or (2) show how debased/desperate their situation has become...
    156 replies | 4663 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th June, 2018, 05:35 AM
    It’s not cheating if it’s fun? Fun for who? And how do we measure that? Since fudging is generally secret, the players can’t judge. Note, kit bashing is another kettle of fish. That’s above board and tacitly agreed upon by all participants. If fudging isn’t cheating then why do dms keep it secret?
    359 replies | 7838 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th June, 2018, 05:32 AM
    Whereas I think that’s just sophistry and silly buggers semantics. Try this. Change a die roll in any dice game other than an rpg and see what happens.
    359 replies | 7838 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th June, 2018, 07:35 PM
    Just checked back on this briefly. That is a great and extremely insightful post @Pauper . Just a couple of thoughts on those lines: 1) An appropriate analog to your “don’t leave adventure design in the hands of those that don’t know your system” for this thread (and every other one dating back to 2008) on “the essence of 4e” would be... “Don’t let people who - don’t/didn’t play your...
    171 replies | 5747 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th June, 2018, 04:24 AM
    I've never understood this approach to clerics. Ok, you're an adventurer. Cool. That means you're probably wandering around rather than hanging out in a specific temple. Great. But, at the end of the day, you should be a CLERIC. As in a mortal representation of whatever diety (or philosophy depending) that you worship. Which means you should have a boat load of elements that tie you to the...
    119 replies | 3537 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 25th June, 2018, 05:34 PM
    I can give you another lesson worth learning from Game of Thrones - particularly from my own experience with the Song of Ice and Fire community - is that this "fear of death" regarding beloved characters can also trigger a different emotional reaction than suspense to cope with the constant threat of death: emotional detachment/divesting from characters and the story. If you are afraid for the...
    156 replies | 4663 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 25th June, 2018, 10:41 AM
    I believe it is called Green Ronin's Book of the Righteous, and it is the best supplement for pantheons bar none. (None of the official D&D pantheons, but better than most D&D devised.)
    119 replies | 3537 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th June, 2018, 11:51 PM
    This I could really get behind. Ways to ground a cleric into the setting so that she isn't just a wizard with healing spells. Being a cleric (or a druid) should have huge impacts on how that class is played. Yes, it's more limiting, but, at the same time, I'd rather that cleric players start with "I'M A CLERIC" rather than just another caster.
    119 replies | 3537 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th June, 2018, 10:52 AM
    Isn't that Luke essentially did with "the Force"?
    156 replies | 4663 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd June, 2018, 09:43 AM
    Stunts are mostly built around three ideas (though there are more): (1) Add a New Action to a Skill: Use skill A instead of skill B under certain circumstances. e.g., "Backstab. You can use Stealth to make physical attacks, provided your target isn’t already aware of your presence." (2) Add a Bonus to an Action: Usually a +2 bonus to skill action in certain circumstances (e.g., "Gain a +2...
    2862 replies | 82844 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd June, 2018, 12:31 AM
    Since all HP come back on a long rest, did you mean this works on a short rest? Not sure what this is supposed to do.
    27 replies | 1188 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Raunalyn's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd June, 2018, 06:16 PM
    Let's say I'm a 6th level wizard. My moon's in High Sanction. I now count as a 7th level wizard for the purposes of spell-casting. I don't get to learn any new 4th level spells, but I do get the extra spell slots associated with a higher level spellcaster, and I can cast my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level spells at 4th level if I am able to do so (since I have a 4th level slot). Let's say I'm a 7th...
    51 replies | 2547 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd June, 2018, 10:55 AM
    In Imaro's defense here: in Fate fate points can also be used to power powerful stunts. So you are correct that if you are spending fate points for the +2/reroll or declaring a story detail, then you are invoking aspects. But there is another channel for fate points in the form of stunts. These sort of stunts are rare and up and by far not the primary mode of spending fate points, but they do...
    2862 replies | 82844 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd June, 2018, 06:27 AM
    The "hill" in question is an iceberg, floating in the ocean. Ice is, typically, pretty slippery. So, no, it's not random DC's. The east side of the iceberg is pretty sheer and slopes down to the west, which is more passable. Think of a right angled triangle floating in the water. A DC 15 to climb a nearly vertical ice wall seems about right. A DC 10 to walk up a sharp slope (it's about 20...
    65 replies | 2692 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd June, 2018, 01:27 AM
    It was certainly a feeling out process early, but we all adjusted after that. They had: 1) Pre-Divine Power Chaladin which featured very poor melee control, single target effects, but Lay On Hands for support. 2) A skirmishing Melee/Bow Ranger without Twin Strike, no multi-attacks (just skirmish stuff), but it did have Fox's Cunning immediate Reaction (Encounter). 3) A...
    171 replies | 5747 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd June, 2018, 01:04 AM
    I'd say there isn't much of a difference, when you remove monsters/NPC's from the equation to be honest. But, by the same token, simply making traps bigger/stronger/faster isn't really a change either. If a chest has a poison needle trap at 1st level and a magical aura lightning trap at 15th, well, it's still just a trapped chest. Only difference is, the magical trapped chest becomes the...
    65 replies | 2692 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd June, 2018, 12:45 AM
    I was speaking more along the lines here of tactical combat. 5E Advantage/Disadvantage has undoubtedly been an effective mechanic for streamlining certain subsystems of play between 3E and 5E. It's also something fairly easy for GMs to apply as a general rule of thumb or eyeball gauge for when it applies as well as for new players to grasp. Advantage does, however, get kinda dull or rote when it...
    2862 replies | 82844 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st June, 2018, 09:54 PM
    Not really the point though. Sure, magic can be evocative. But, in a S&S game, magic should never be the go-to solution of problems. It should be the absolutely last resort. Certainly not the first option. In vanilla D&D? Go for it. But, in order to get the kind of feel in the game that I wanted, I needed to get rid of a lot of magic out of the system. If you're tired of 25 foot...
    65 replies | 2692 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st June, 2018, 09:44 PM
    No, not particularly. I tended to use more "beast" type monsters and a LOT of weird stuff like gibbering mouthers and whatnot, but, no, I didn't really need to change anything. Why would I? And, note, NPC's could and did have at-will magic. Blasting away at the party is perfectly fine. :D Not sure why I would need to remove at-will effects from the baddies.
    65 replies | 2692 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st June, 2018, 09:11 PM
    Saelorn The very first game I ran TPKed the very first fight. This was a game with 1 player who has played since the 70s, one that has played since the 80s and another noob to TTRPGs (but a Chemist and extremely good at puzzle solving and proficient at tactical and strategy games). They built a group that had absolutely 0 force multiplication and 0 synergy, virtually no control, no ability...
    171 replies | 5747 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st June, 2018, 08:28 PM
    I already did this. So from what I gather from the clarity you shed below, it means "you must be high for this argument to work..." I would say creating Bonds, Flaws, and Ideals do not do the same. Let's go back to something that I quoted earlier that talks "at a high level" what aspects do: Maybe BFIs touch lightly on the first if one is generous here, but they do nothing in regards to the...
    2862 replies | 82844 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st June, 2018, 01:26 PM
    Ok, let me take back what I said above. The essence of 4e is as the greatest Rorschach Test in RPG history. If you have it in you to be an obsessive and insufferable jilted lover, it may bring that out in you to confront and defeat, or not, at the peril of your present and future relationships.
    171 replies | 5747 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st June, 2018, 01:20 PM
    Yeah, I could get behind that. And, really, the barbarian didn't faze me too much, despite getting some built in rituals. Makes the whole "nature priest" thing work pretty well. Honestly, it just never came up. And, note, while PC's couldn't be full casters, NPC's certainly could. So, you could go find a wizard to do something for you (hopefully) and the setting does have clerics.
    65 replies | 2692 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st June, 2018, 12:43 PM
    Are you familiar with Mike Mearls's Iron Heroes book that he did as part of Monte Cook's Malhavoc Press? It was just a heavy Sword and Sorcery game with a lot of mundane classes and only one spellcaster*: the Arcanist. * At least until a Companion released the Spiritualist. I'm fairly certain that this was the book that got Mearls the job at WotC too.
    65 replies | 2692 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st June, 2018, 10:11 AM
    Keeping in mind that this is also the same director and co-writer of every Mad Max film (and Happy Feet).
    156 replies | 4663 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st June, 2018, 08:10 AM
    Kinda sorta. I find that clerics and druids get enough slots that they can generally have a few rituals in the bag if they want. But, really, I don't mind rituals all that much. Then again, simply ejecting all the full casters solved all those problems straight out, so, yeah, not an issue in this game.
    65 replies | 2692 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 07:45 PM
    Ovinomancer Going to work backwards. 1) I’m talking about the play default. 2) I’m talking about players skilled in the system. 3) What I’m saying with respect to Blades vs D&D is probably more perceived “loss condition”, “actual loss condition”, and the general brutality of play.
    2862 replies | 82844 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 04:44 PM
    Here is your moment to plug and self-promote: is there a particular game or setting of yours that best demonstrates this skill system in action? Are you familiar with Index Card RPG? It is essentially a stripped down basic version of d20 D&D. It forgoes a skill system, but instead just uses your attribute bonus for ability checks. Some tasks essentially have Hit Points, rated in Hearts (1...
    2862 replies | 82844 view(s)
    0 XP
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Thursday, 21st June, 2018

  • 03:12 PM - jgsugden mentioned Hussar in post My Experiment with 5e - No Classes with Cantrips
    I think a skill system can handle this pretty well. How? Inherently your options are static. You might be able to jump slighylyvfarther or break down a slightly thicker door, but your problem solutions remain substantially the same. The key feature of skill resolution rather than spell resolution that Hussar is pointing to is (i) the need to engage the fiction in action declaration and resolution, and (ii) the lack of auto-success.[quote]I understand this is what he is seeking, but that is apples and oranges with my point. He wants a certain low magic feel, but my point is that one style being used throughout an entire campaign doesn' eveolve as much as a system that starts there, then adds layers of magic over and over and over to evolve constantly. Also, as to (i) - Spells do not mean you don't engage the fiction. If magic feels like you're shutting down the engagement with the fiction, you're forgetting how wonderful and exotic magic should be. Listen a bit to Critical Role podcasts/videos for some good evocative use of magic that might feel better to folks that get bored by magical solutions. As to (ii) - I see three tiers when it comes to approaching problems with magic: 1.) You have no magic that assists, 2.) Magic helps but does not solve the problem, 3.) Magic bypasses the...
  • 12:10 PM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post My Experiment with 5e - No Classes with Cantrips
    ...the types of challenges PCs face. As PCs obtain more tools and gain the ability to bypass certain types of challenges, the game introduces newer challenges that take more advanced capabilities to confront. This is a problem for PC types that do not have evolving capabilities that handle these challenges, but it does provide benefits: Things do not get old and players feel like their characters are evolving. If you're still wrestling with how to get the amulet that sits on a floating pedestal that hovers above a 100' wide canyon when you're 15th level, the PCs don't feel that different than a 3rd level party. If, however, that amulet is in an extradimensional pocket protected by animated energy motes ... the PCs don't feel like they're in Kansas anymore. They've graduated... although the S&S tpe PCs don't feel like they have as much to offer in these challenges.I think a skill system can handle this pretty well. The key feature of skill resolution rather than spell resolution that Hussar is pointing to is (i) the need to engage the fiction in action declaration and resolution, and (ii) the lack of auto-success. You can get those features while allowing high level PCs to do things with their skills that are superhuman in capability.

Monday, 18th June, 2018

  • 08:43 PM - Satyrn mentioned Hussar in post My Experiment with 5e - No Classes with Cantrips
    ...but one more thing to consider: D&D used magic to 'escalate' the types of challenges PCs face. As PCs obtain more tools and gain the ability to bypass certain types of challenges, the game introduces newer challenges that take more advanced capabilities to confront. This is a problem for PC types that do not have evolving capabilities that handle these challenges, but it does provide benefits: Things do not get old and players feel like their characters are evolving. If you're still wrestling with how to get the amulet that sits on a floating pedestal that hovers above a 100' wide canyon when you're 15th level, the PCs don't feel that different than a 3rd level party. If, however, that amulet is in an extradimensional pocket protected by animated energy motes ... the PCs don't feel like they're in Kansas anymore. They've graduated... although the S&S tpe PCs don't feel like they have as much to offer in these challenges. Does this match what you saw during your experiment, Hussar?

Monday, 11th June, 2018

  • 11:34 AM - Ratskinner mentioned Hussar in post Jon Peterson posts Mordenkainen in 1974
    ...lking about the facts in the encounter, and my buddy was talking about the facts on his sheet. I half wanted to say in character "what is a proficiency bonus?" Keep on managing your stats and playing based on your stats if that makes you happy. I will play in the moment, and if the stats serve my play so be it, and if they don't I will cope. But I certainly would never think about not taking a logical course of action because I might lose a +2 proficiency. I wouldn't even be thinking about such a thing. I don't know why you would think a DM should ban me from making an in game realization. Why would a DM ban good playing, which is what paying attention is. I wouldn't play with a DM who banned me from using my head. I see the difference, but I reject the notion that they are edition-centric. I've seen similar differences in playstyles in other game systems. Heck those kinds of differences are why people invent other systems and prefer one edition over the other. As Hussar pointed out, a 1e player might act the same way with even more mechanical influence on his decision. My group right now has a guy who runs at the first sign of non-optimisation, regardless of edition (and we just left a period of playing AD&D and Boot Hill).

Thursday, 31st May, 2018

  • 08:33 AM - Mouseferatu mentioned Hussar in post MTOF: Elves are gender-swapping reincarnates and I am on board with it
    So, Hussar, I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you overall. There are elements of Planescape I'm not fond of, too, and would prefer they hadn't become the default. But a lot of what you're talking about predates Planescape. Demons and demon lords all coming from the Abyss, all that? That's 1E planar lore, prior to Planescape as a setting.

Wednesday, 30th May, 2018

  • 09:37 PM - Sunseeker mentioned Hussar in post Comfort withcross gender characters based on your gender
    I'm going to foolishly wade into this thread once more and see if perhaps, I can be more clear. I come to the table with a character (we have, at this point, reached Hussar's "cypher" point). Through simple introduction, I explain the character is an elf, and female. NOW! I have established that my character is not myself (a male human), from this point forward, the presentation of this elf female is largely in my hands. If I am playing a fairly culturally-normative elf female, then per @MechaPilot this character should uphold certain established cultural norms and values. I may need some assistance from the GM from time to time since me, the IRL male human, wouldn't know the ins and outs of the elf society I come from, or how women are treated and behave in that society. BUT! It is highly common for adventurers to be exceptions rather than norms. Perhaps I have a particularly stronk elf, who is a bit of a pyro that likes getting drunk and generally being loud. Most people, regardless of the particulars of any homebrew elf-culture, would compare that to traditional elf cultures (such as portrayed in Tolkein) and agree that's not normative. In ...
  • 02:56 PM - Yaarel mentioned Hussar in post MTOF: Elves are gender-swapping reincarnates and I am on board with it
    Hussar You complain that 5e changed the Monster Manual. I complain 5e changed the grey elf and changed the sun elf, and changed the eladrin elf.

Tuesday, 29th May, 2018

  • 10:41 AM - Sadras mentioned Hussar in post MTOF: Elves are gender-swapping reincarnates and I am on board with it
    ...o the game. And it makes other folks happy. What's in it for me to oppose that? What am I gaining? Or, better yet, what are you gaining by opposing this? @Yaarel talks quite extensively about the change in elven lore. Thing is, it's not really a change. 1e limited elves to 12th level magic users. Until 3e, elves were NEVER the greatest wizards in the game. In 3e, baseline elves didn't gain an Int or Cha bonus at all, so, nope, other than some campaign specific variants, elves were not the greatest wizards in the game. It wasn't until 4e with Eladrin that the lore and the mechanics actually matched - eladrin wizards were among the best in the game. But, we don't HAVE eladrin in 5e. Not in core anyway. Core 5e elves fit best with 1e to 3e elves. So, his entire complaint ignores what's actually written in the game. So, I'll ask again, what is the cost to you to have this in the game? I'm coming in rather late into this debate and I have not read the entire thread - but @Hussar to be fair to @Yaarel don't you argue along similar lines when it comes to D&D cosmology as presented in the books? How do you differentiate between yours and his argument?

Thursday, 24th May, 2018

  • 02:49 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Hussar in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    Sure I can imagine another reason, but Gygax wasn't some raging racist. So given the incredibly unlikely possibility that he decided to make elves with racism in mind, or the incredibly likely possibility that he didn't, I'm not going to assume racism. They don't hate men. Just because you can draw parallels in the real world, doesn't make those parallels the intended reason for something. Correlation does not equal causation. Unless you can PROVE that misogyny is what caused Gygax to create drow, rather than just trying to imagine what an evil matriarchal society might be like, assuming the worst doesn't accomplish much other than to drag someone's name through the mud. Can you prove that misogyny is the reason for his decision? So, here's the problem. And this is why I can't agree with Hussar and his otherwise completely reasonable post which noted the problematic issues with drow, but said it was important to just concentrate on the current issues. If you don't know where you came from, how do you know where you're going? Notice the amount of pushback a simple observation like this has caused? No one said, "Hey, that EGG, he was a raging racist and sexist who was trying to advance white power and males uber alles with the drow!" No, instead people were discussing, in fairly reasonable terms, how depictions of the drow reflected a lot of baggage- racial and sexist baggage. And that's the problem when you attempt to take Hussar's reasonable suggestion and just move on; if people wish to disregard the structural issues of the past that were glaringly obvious, how can we address the structural issues of the present or future, which may be a little more subtle? It is neither an attack, nor a defense, to say that EGG was not a racist. I don't believe that the origin...

Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018


Saturday, 12th May, 2018

  • 09:22 PM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Hussar in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    On the other thread, when I've suggested this is one thing that worldbuilding is for, there has been a lot of disagreement. Most posters on that thread seem to deny that one function of worldbuilding is to establish stuff for the GM to tell to the players. I think the difficulty isn't in denying that it is to 'establish stuff for the GM to tell to the players.' I think they are objecting to the entire concept of analyzing play from a standpoint of what the people at the table DO. They want to only look at what is going on fictionally. Beyond that they wanted to emphasize the tentative, provisional, and incomplete nature of what was world built in order to reduce its significance to being more of a way to establish general character knowledge, mapping of genre tropes to their instantiation within the given milieu, and as a 'convenience feature' for the GM. This lead, more or less directly, to a rather long drawn out debate between Hussar and others about exactly where 'world building' ended and 'adventure design' (or whatever terms you want to use, don't drag me into that) began. Of course, YOU pretty much relegated adventure design itself to the category of world building back in the start of the other thread ('What is World Building For?'). I assume there was, long ago, a similar debate in this thread. I happen to agree with you that for the purposes of analysis the two activities are closely related, but obviously for someone who wants to kind of pass off world building as a sort of side activity it becomes convenient to draw a stronger line between them. So that might be ANOTHER way in which worldbuilding was 'denied' to be a source of information to dictate to players, because the people who did the denying called it something else! Nevertheless, your central assertion, that material produced by the GM exists for the purpose of telling the players how things are in the game world rather than establishing it by...
  • 11:28 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    Or else it's because it has no inherent property of good or bad, so calling it bad is wrong. You can dislike it, but it can't be bad. I can like it, but it can't be good.So I take it you think Lanefan is wrong to have said there is a reason in favour of worldbuilding, namely, that otherwise there is a serious risk of a hodge-podge world. I assume you are going to take him to task for confusing "bad GMing" with some objective risk. Or, alternatively, this whole pseuo-moralising attack on Hussar is nonsense. Yes, I think that's it.
  • 11:09 AM - pemerton mentioned Hussar in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    ...rld provides a foundation for the action of a story." which completely refute his argument that any part of building the world that deals with plot is not worldbuilding.Again, worldbuiding may have the goal of creating context. It doesn't follow that all context is worldubilding. And nor does it follow that all RPGing even has some context. There is no context to B1 other than "Let's earn some XP by exploring a dungeon." The context for S1 (Tomb of Horrors) is similar. The context in B2 is marginally thicker, but only marginally. Likewise S2 (White Plume Mountain), which is - by the way - another single-building adventure. Going back to Tomb of Horrors, contrast S1 with the Return to . . . version, which (I understand by reputation - I've never read it) does engage in a whole lot of worldbuilding, establishing all this backstory to try and make the dungeon actually make sense in the context of a consistent, coherent world. This seems to me to be exactly the sort of distinction Hussar is drawing, between adventure design and worldbuilding. You believe he's stating personal preference and applying these reasons to... himself only as opposed to making a general statement about why he believes world building is bad in general? If so that seems like an interesting way of interpreting his statement, and certainly not how I read it. I don't blame you for your preferences, and I'm sure they've formed as a result of your actual experiences, but I don't think they are universal enough to consider worldbuilding as bad. I just don't think it's all that different from any other tool the DM can use....they can be used effectively, or they can be abused.Let's take it, for the sake of argument, that Hussar's comments are grounded primarily in personal preference grounded in personal experience. Are hawkeyefan's grounded in anything more robust or objective? I doubt it. In other words, the claims worldbuilding is not bad is not grounded more firmly than the claim tha...

Friday, 11th May, 2018

  • 09:53 PM - Maxperson mentioned Hussar in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    I think your splitting hairs. I don't think so. A good analogy for this would be if Hussar said, "I don't like vehicles, because they're too big. Cars, trucks, semis, and airplanes are just too much. That's why I ride a motorcycle. That's not a vehicle." Pointing out that a motorcycle IS a vehicle, just a smaller one that he does like is not splitting hairs. It's similarly not splitting hairs to point out the fact that he does worldbuild, even if on a smaller scale.
  • 06:27 PM - Aldarc mentioned Hussar in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    Hussar restated his points in the post I quoted, I chose it because it's a clarification of his position in this thread... and it calls into question problems around worldbuilding as a whole not as they pertain to his preferences...Then I will leave that to Hussar to clarify, as I can only speak for my own reading of the situation in the context of the thread. But I do hope that you better understand the contextualization of my own response to you.
  • 06:12 PM - Imaro mentioned Hussar in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    Let's retrace our steps a bit for contextualization because this entire line of thinking is becoming absurd, and I have little desire to perpetuate that absurdity. I disagreed with Bedrockgames's assertion and kinda spiteful characterization that Hussar was expressing his opinion "as an absolute" and that "Hussar has the answer for everyone." This runs counter, IME, to how I see Hussar expressing his viewpoints in the context of the wider conversation. You asked what then we were discussing. And in the context of this entire conversation, one portion of that is Hussar's preferences rooted in and based on his general observations about worldbuilding as an enterprise of RPGs. I am talking about the wider context of his conversation in this thread. You then asked for my reading on a specific passage. My reading of this passage is again tied to my understanding of Hussar's argument in this entire thread, and I do think that his post in question that you quoted is led by those preferences. Hussar restated his points in the post I quoted, I chose it because it's a clarification of his position in this thread... and it calls into question problems around worldbuilding as a whole not as they pertain to his preferences...
  • 05:59 PM - Aldarc mentioned Hussar in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    But I was asking about that specific passage... Him having done both in the thread means he has made general statements about worldbuilding while you claimed he was only stating preference.Let's retrace our steps a bit for contextualization because this entire line of thinking is becoming absurd, and I have little desire to perpetuate that absurdity. I disagreed with Bedrockgames's assertion and kinda spiteful characterization that Hussar was expressing his opinion "as an absolute" and that "Hussar has the answer for everyone." This runs counter, IME, to how I see Hussar expressing his viewpoints in the context of the wider conversation. You asked what then we were discussing. And in the context of this entire conversation, one portion of that is Hussar's preferences rooted in and based on his general observations about worldbuilding as an enterprise of RPGs. I am talking about the wider context of his conversation in this thread. You then asked for my reading on a specific passage. My reading of this passage is again tied to my understanding of Hussar's argument in this entire thread, and I do think that his post in question that you quoted is led by those preferences. Aldarc, I share a lot of Imaro's sentiments here. I think you and Hussar are trying to have it both ways, on the one hand saying "this is just my opinion and if you object you are reacting because you feel morally judged", on the other hand saying "...
  • 04:20 PM - Aldarc mentioned Hussar in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    ...finition, instead of "admitting" to a false one, then that's on you. It's no sweat off my back if some faceless person on the internet doesn't have respect for me. :)However, we are not discussing whether an orange is an apple or an apple is an orange. 'Apples' and 'oranges' are physical objects that have physical properties that we can ascertain. We are discussing what constitutes the definition for an abstract concept that pertains to fiction-making: e.g., "Mary Sue," "Anti-hero," "Second World," etc. LOL He posted this example as a definition of his worldbuilding. "Worldbuilding is the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe. ... Developing an imaginary setting with coherent qualities such as a history, geography, and ecology is a key task for many science fiction or fantasy writers"Yes, and you and you alone misread what he quoted to mean "the entire world" and then proceded to gloat in song and dance that you got Hussar to "refute" a point that he never made. "LOL," indeed. But he intentionally left out these portions of the link. "Worldbuilding often involves the creation of maps, a backstory, and people for the world." which lists people and for RPGs would include monsters.Simply pulling monsters from a monster manual, however, would likely not fall within the conventional usage or sense of "worldbuilding." Again, to echo Bedrockgames, I think that this is you splitting hairs. "From a game-design perspective, the goal of worldbuilding is to create the context for a story. Consistency is an important element, since the world provides a foundation for the action of a story." which completely refute his argument that any part of building the world that deals with plot is not worldbuilding. It's says that the freaking goal of worldbuilding in a game is for the story(plot).Did you have a reason for intentionally leaving out the following sentence? "However, J. R. R. Tolkien described the go...
  • 04:07 PM - Imaro mentioned Hussar in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    Want to address this and get some clarity first but I'll get to your other points later... One would certainly hope that you would know that before you chose to wade into it. There are multiple divergent conversations at play here though. On this point, however, I think that Hussar is clearly discussing his own preferences that he would like expressed in published materials. As to the rest of the conversations? That might be a bit much to summarize. So just to be clear, when Hussar posts... Ok, perhaps a point form list of how I think that world building is bad might be a good idea. I. How Worldbuilding is Bad for the DM/Table Worldbuilding takes away from time that could be spent writing the actual adventure. The more time the DM spends detailing Elven Tea Ceremonies, the less time he or she has to write an actual adventure. Some DM's become very, very attached to their creations. To the point where any attempt by the players to change that creation will be met with very stiff resistance. The possibility of the "Tour Des Realms" campaign where the PC's are basically just tourists in the game and are expected to make the appropriate oohing and ahhhing noises at the DM's wonderful creation. The narrowing of possibilities in the game. The...
  • 02:38 PM - Maxperson mentioned Hussar in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    Lol... what a way to dismiss the other side of a conversation... Don't address their responses and counterpoints, just declare their perspective as emotionally driven and use a bad analogy (oh the irony) to characterize their responses as both illogical and ill-infomed. See it's this type of declaration that gets conversations emotionally driven. That seems par for the course. Take a look at him saying that I'm arguing in bad faith for sticking to the definition of worldbuilding, and not accepting Hussar's re-definition of the term to mean the opposite of what the definition Hussar provides says is the goal of worldbuilding in a game.


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Monday, 16th July, 2018

  • 02:35 AM - Myrdin Potter quoted Hussar in post Roll 20, Fantasy Grounds, or other VTT?
    I use Fantasy Grounds, but, I have to admit, I really have a love/hate relationship with it. Sure, as a DM, you get fantastic tools. Really great stuff for getting up and running. On the downside though, it's unbelievably expensive for what you get. I mean, an ultimate license is going to run you 150 bucks, another 150 bucks (maybe 100 depending on the discounts you get) for the core three books means that this is a 200-300 dollar program. Tack on a couple of extra books and you're looking at a 4-500 dollar program. This is NOT a 300 dollar program. As noted, if you buy the ultimate license at full price (not on sale), then it is $150. It is pretty easy to wait for a sale and pay around $120. But with that license, none of the players need to pay for a license. If it is 4 players and one DM, then the cost is $30 each at full price. You cannot add the price of the books in, that is WoTC material. Plus, no 5e book is $50 on FG. Regular price is $30 ($29.99). They go on sale ...

Sunday, 8th July, 2018

  • 04:49 AM - Umbran quoted Hussar in post How big's the RPG market?
    But, even of DM's, how many DM's are like me that buy the core books and maybe one book every two years? My "gotta catch'em all" days died in early 2e. Well, you didn't say "The number of gamers who buy *all the books* is a tiny, tiny fraction." I'm saying the GM and maybe one player in five buys some stuff. I am agreeing that it isn't a majority, but it isn't "tiny, tiny" either.

Saturday, 7th July, 2018

  • 03:52 PM - Umbran quoted Hussar in post How big's the RPG market?
    Why surprised? It's always been thus. The number of gamers who buy books is a tiny, tiny minority of players. I dunno if "tiny, tiny minority" is appropriate. If we say every GM, and then one in five players, on broad average, I think that'd be about right - and that's 20% of players. A minority, but not a *tiny* minority.
  • 02:50 PM - Umbran quoted Hussar in post What no Luke Cage love?
    Loads of emotion and personal stakes? Oh, noes, I have to get my multi-billion dollar company back No, dude. The company isn't the thing at all. You seem to have entirely missed it. The entire show is about *family*, loyalty, and personal identity. The company is merely a McGuffin around which to have conflict to test these things. Like I said, the stakes are totally unimportant. If Danny fails, he's STILL Iron Fist. Again, you've misidentified the real conflict for Danny, and therefore miss the stakes. In K'un-Lun, he was an instrument, a tool, a living weapon. Not a person. In his teens, his development *as a person* was arrested. He leaves in large part to discover who the heck he really is. And, like most people, he feels he is largely defined by his family, so he tries to return to it. The stakes are, for Danny, whether he really is just a sword to be used by others. The stakes, for him, are not dissimilar than for, say, Jean Valjean in Les Miserables - Who ...

Friday, 6th July, 2018

  • 08:05 PM - Emerikol quoted Hussar in post How big's the RPG market?
    Let's be honest here. There are very, very few hobbies out there as cheap to enjoy as roleplaying. This can't be emphasized enough. Compared to almost any hobby RPG's are really cheap. I have two hobbies. Reading rpg rules and playing rpgs. The former hobby makes more money for the industry than the latter but it's a team effort.
  • 04:48 PM - gyor quoted Hussar in post 5e needs a Faiths and Avatars style book
    Wait, what? I live in a polytheistic country - Japan. And, I'm going to tell you right now that there ARE standardized rituals, and uniforms for priests and standardized holy days in Shinto. I'm not sure what kind of polytheism you are thinking of, but, most religions, whether mono or polytheistic, have pretty standardized rituals and holy days and easily recognizable priesthoods. I'm pretty sure it's the 2 dimensional understanding of religion during the Roman Empire.
  • 04:33 AM - Umbran quoted Hussar in post What no Luke Cage love?
    But, I think that's what makes Jessica Jones and Daredevil much better shows. Sure, JJ is an alcoholic, but, it's never "let slide" in the show. It's destructive as all get out. Watching JJ implode is a big part of what makes the show good. She doesn't implode *because of the alcohol*, though. The alcohol is presented as a result of her problems, not a cause of them. The alcohol is treated as "self medication" for her other issues, and itself doesn't get in her way - she never loses a fight for being drunk, does she? And I know a number of people who love JJ, and think that her hard-drinking is there to show that she's badass, because ability to hold one's liquor is seen as a sign of strength. Those are the reasons why I think of it as being normalized - especially the hard-drinking as a sign of strength. But, then you've got Iron Fist. The bad guy is a somewhat smarmy businessman? Ummm, really? I'm not really into watching a superhero show that focuses on boardroom dealing...

Thursday, 5th July, 2018

  • 12:13 AM - Lanefan quoted Hussar in post Everybody Cheats?
    As I recall, don't you roll 5d6 drop 2 for chargen? I seen to recall that from another conversation. No, that's us who do that. (though Max might do so as well, I think you're remembering our crew)

Wednesday, 4th July, 2018

  • 11:50 PM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Everybody Cheats?
    As I recall, don't you roll 5d6 drop 2 for chargen? I seen to recall that from another conversation. Not quite. It's 4d6 straight down, but I give them the option to have 2 rolls at 5d6 drop 2, and 2 rolls at 3d6 straight up. It's a gamble they sometimes take and sometimes don't. So, realistically, not really much of a chance of a low score and very good chances of high scores. IOW, cheating in anything but name. First, it's not what I give. Second, I play in a game where the DM does give 5d6 drop the lowest 2 and low numbers still make it into stats a lot of the time. He plays a harsher world, though, so the higher stats are sort of a necessity. Edit: Third, even if it was 5d6 drop 2 the entire way, it's still not cheating in any form whatsoever, since they would be following a rule that I made, so it's not possible for it to be cheating, or even fudging. Hell, it's not even unfair since they would all get it.
  • 10:14 PM - Lanefan quoted Hussar in post Everybody Cheats?
    As far as "keeping the numbers secret" goes, in 5e, monster HP are standardized - well, that's been true since 3e. And, damage isn't random either - your monsters deal average damage. Granted, I think most groups randomize damage. In 3e-4e-5e monster h.p. are standardized only if you want them to be. Ditto damage. But, don't you tell your player's the save DC when they make a saving throw? I do. "The spell hits you, make a DC X Wisdom save to resist". Never. I just say something like "Somer, you need a saving throw". Sometimes she'll in-character know or guess against what, other times (e.g. a hidden caster or any psionic attack) she won't have a clue. EDIT to add: I do it this way because in cases where it's not obvious what she's saving against, if she fails the other characters might not know what happened to her and-or what caused it, only that she's down or acting funny or whatever. And because the characters don't know the players shouldn't know either. I've never un...
  • 08:54 PM - gyor quoted Hussar in post 5e needs a Faiths and Avatars style book
    Wait, what? I live in a polytheistic country - Japan. And, I'm going to tell you right now that there ARE standardized rituals, and uniforms for priests and standardized holy days in Shinto. I'm not sure what kind of polytheism you are thinking of, but, most religions, whether mono or polytheistic, have pretty standardized rituals and holy days and easily recognizable priesthoods. Wicca too depending on domination, some traditionalists for example do rituals sky clad.
  • 03:10 PM - Les Moore quoted Hussar in post Everybody Cheats?
    Sorry, I misspoke. Standard HP/level are a norm, not the norm. The other option is, of course, rolling. It's been so long since I actually rolled HP's, that I honestly forgot that some people still do this. Good grief, it's been almost ten years now for me. 4e and then 5e. Heck, even in 3e we typically took standard HP values. Kinda like die rolling characters. Again, it's been so long since I've done that, I've kinda forgot that it's a thing that people do. I wonder if there's any sort of correlation there. Between people who prefer larger degrees of randomness in their game and also prefer to fudge. IME, there is, but, that's just purely anecdotal. Part of the point of the game, at least for us, is to "roll the bones". I guess what you do must be fun (?) but it wouldn't be the same without dice. Some of us harken back to before the planet's crust cooled, and we used 4D6 as the basis for all rolls, in the early times, before polyhedrals were widely available. Gran...
  • 08:56 AM - Sadras quoted Hussar in post Everybody Cheats?
    It's been so long since I actually rolled HP's, that I honestly forgot that some people still do this. Good grief, it's been almost ten years now for me. 4e and then 5e. Heck, even in 3e we typically took standard HP values. Kinda like die rolling characters. Again, it's been so long since I've done that, I've kinda forgot that it's a thing that people do. I would like to try it again, but it is not something my current table would relish, and I'm unwilling to flex my DM muscle within our social contract for that. However, with a new group of players it should be easy to incorporate.
  • 08:55 AM - Imaculata quoted Hussar in post Everybody Cheats?
    I wonder if there's any sort of correlation there. Between people who prefer larger degrees of randomness in their game and also prefer to fudge. IME, there is, but, that's just purely anecdotal. I doubt it. You could just as easily see correlation between people who prefer to let the die fall as they may, and also being against fudging.
  • 05:35 AM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Everybody Cheats?
    Heck pcs having standard hps are the norm in 5e. And, Rand hps for monsters so I can fudge is a pretty weak argument from my POV. Standard hit points are not the norm. You can take it or roll, your choice. It's not even presented as an optional rule. It's baked in that you can roll, so rolling for hit points is as much the norm as just taking the average.
  • 02:01 AM - Maxperson quoted Hussar in post Everybody Cheats?
    As far as "keeping the numbers secret" goes, in 5e, monster HP are standardized - well, that's been true since 3e. And, damage isn't random either - your monsters deal average damage. Granted, I think most groups randomize damage. They are not standardized as far as hit points go. What 3e and later editions do, is give you an average hit point amount to use if you don't feel like rolling the hit points up individually, much the same way that you can choose the average hit points for your PC if you don't want to roll them. It allows DMs to be lazy about it if they wish(and I do it a lot).

Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018

  • 11:09 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Hussar in post Everybody Cheats?
    I've never understood the idea that DM's need to hide information. Get it out there. The players are smart enough that they're going to know the monster's AC after the second or third attack anyway, most of the time, so, why keep it a secret? Playing keep away with game stuff just slows the game down. It goes way back. The DM wasn't just supposed to keep the map secret, because not getting lost and puzzling out where secret treasure vaults might be hidden was a major part of the challenge, and to keep die rolls, hps, etc hidden to keep the players guessing with their tactics, but also to keep knowledge of the rules, themselves, from the players, as much as possible, always staying ahead of them in terms of rules knowledge (system mastery, we might say today). The Gygaxian DM (like the Sith Master) keeps his players (apprentice) on the hook with the continuous promise of deeper secrets and greater power.
  • 11:00 PM - Kobold Boots quoted Hussar in post Everybody Cheats?
    As far as "keeping the numbers secret" goes, in 5e, monster HP are standardized - well, that's been true since 3e. And, damage isn't random either - your monsters deal average damage. Granted, I think most groups randomize damage. But, don't you tell your player's the save DC when they make a saving throw? I do. "The spell hits you, make a DC X Wisdom save to resist". I've never understood the idea that DM's need to hide information. Get it out there. The players are smart enough that they're going to know the monster's AC after the second or third attack anyway, most of the time, so, why keep it a secret? Playing keep away with game stuff just slows the game down. A good rule of thumb to use at tables when your players have access to all the books is to state that the monster statistics in the manuals are guidelines and not facts. Two good things happen here. 1. You can fudge hit points freely at your leisure and kitbash the monsters as you see fit. 2. Rangers, Druid...
  • 10:36 PM - Aldarc quoted Hussar in post Everybody Cheats?
    As far as "keeping the numbers secret" goes, in 5e, monster HP are standardized - well, that's been true since 3e. And, damage isn't random either - your monsters deal average damage. Granted, I think most groups randomize damage. But, don't you tell your player's the save DC when they make a saving throw? I do. "The spell hits you, make a DC X Wisdom save to resist". I've never understood the idea that DM's need to hide information. Get it out there. The players are smart enough that they're going to know the monster's AC after the second or third attack anyway, most of the time, so, why keep it a secret? Playing keep away with game stuff just slows the game down.For the last few sessions of gameplay, I have tried using a method popularized by Hankerin Ferinale (aka Runehammer of Drunken and Dragons) where everything in an encounter space or "room" has a single DC for rolls (e.g., AC for monsters, DC for skill checks, saving throws, etc.), and I put a d20 with the DC-side-up...
  • 03:52 AM - pemerton quoted Hussar in post Everybody Cheats?
    ...he 70s, there was a lot of arguing over this issue, so not sure that Gygax quotes really strengthen anyone's position. There is also the problem that Gygax's own views shifted over time, and were often contradictory.This is true. My point is that to claim that D&D has always been about the GM doing whatever s/he wants to ensure "fun" is not correct. It's a type of homogenisation of different RPGing experiences. No one thinks that downhill skiing, water skiing and cross-country skiing are exactly the same, even though all involve skis. No one thinks that canasta and bridge are exactly the same, even though both involve playing cards. Yet there is this repeated notion, in this thread and many others on these boards, that there is a single thing called RPGing and a particular GM approach is what GMing is. When that notion is in play, it makes it very hard to talk about different sorts of RPGs, different sorts of RPG techniques, different styles of play, etc. EDIT: This post from Hussar raises some similar points: Well, that's fair. Then again, why am I playing a game I don't like? Hopefully the rules of the game I'm playing are cool to me, otherwise, why bother?Part of the homogenisation that goes with "all GMing includes permission to fudge, "rule zero", etc" is this idea that the rules of the game don't matter, and that differences in rules don't produce different experiences. (Except for 4e, which is bad because it makes it harder to weave your magic as GM.) As far as magicians go, I'm not expected to do anything other than be an audience. I'm not expected to actually perform and the performance doesn't revolve around me. At an RPG session, the entire group is expected to contribute to the "performance". Which becomes problematic when at least some of the group isn't playing above board.Another part of the homogenisation is the idea that players are, overwhelmingly, audience. The idea that the GM might be the audience for the players, and that t...


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