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  • Derren's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:37 PM
    So when you have normal planets, why all this backstory with the dyson sphere?
    24 replies | 532 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 07:16 PM
    A interesting followup question would be what effect being born in that village has on the PCs, especially in a feudal society.
    18 replies | 433 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 08:11 PM
    I only listed internal wars as the entire point of the council was to bring stability to the 6 kingdoms. There were more external and internal wars with external participation. And as I said, that were not all wars, just the ones I could find quickly. Inside the HRE someone was nearly always at war. And all that, at least partially, because the Emperor was weak thanks to the elective system and...
    110 replies | 2934 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 07:23 PM
    Derren replied to Firearms
    If you want "lesser" firearms go with rifling. That rifling increased accuracy was known for a long time, but it was very expensive to make and hard to reload properly. Those would be your "greater" firearms. The lesser ones would be smooth-bore muzzle loaders used by the masses.
    160 replies | 4908 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 07:16 PM
    Okay, lets go with that. 1435 to 1618 In that timeframe you had 4 wars between Brandenburg and Pomerania, the Landshut war of Succession, several conflicts between Württemberg and an alliance of swabian cities, the Old Zürich war and the Swabian War, just to name a few. There are more. All of those wars were internal to the HRE, had nothing to do with religion and the Emperor was powerless...
    110 replies | 2934 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 06:46 PM
    I am not so sure about that. HBO wanted D&D to make more episodes and even more seasons (it is their cash cow after all), only to be told by them they don't need/want it. And then they delivered something that disappointed fans, damaging the brand, and is especially criticized for being too rushed and that there should have been more episode. I don't think that HBO is all that happy about how...
    24 replies | 487 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:50 PM
    Okay, I give up. You are obviously not able to see a difference between the many internal wars inside the HRE, including before the reformation, and the, compared to that, rather peaceful live in France (at least as internal wars are concerned) and how an elective government system which lead to an nearly impotent emperor who was unable to check the power of his subjects played into that.
    110 replies | 2934 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:38 PM
    Again, you ignore all the wars inside the HRE before the reformation and there were a lot of them. Without a strong emperor, and the electors did the best to elect someone weak, the princes inside the HRE could do as they please, including waging war against each other, which they did often because of matters of territory or succession. Religion only later became just another reason to wage war...
    110 replies | 2934 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:24 PM
    Yes, but internal wars are something different. France with its centralism never had that much of internal strife as the HRE had. And as the goal of the kingdoms in GoT was to prevent further conflicts between the houses, choosing an elective succession is the worst possible idea as the HRE shows.
    110 replies | 2934 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:16 PM
    Not really. There were a lot of wars between the individual princes even before the reformation.
    110 replies | 2934 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 10:57 PM
    And yet there was constant internal strife and wars with the emperor too weak to prevent it.
    110 replies | 2934 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 08:34 PM
    Space combat in SF is kinda lacking once you know the winning formula, which is getting the biggest turret you can. That way you don't really need all that much of a shield as you can always present the enemy with your strongest side (the way the enemies skills are calculated the PCs will nearly always win initiative) and can blow away the enemy with a few shots. Only when the DM starts to...
    2 replies | 151 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 08:27 PM
    I don't think they do an "Arya goes west". The subject is much too touchy, especially if they do it GoT style, and it would throw away too much of the Westeros we know (although that hasn't stopped movie makers in the past). No idea if they use the "Evil Bran" idea, but that would be a major story and not simple a spinoff. Drogon will certainly play a role in one of the series I guess. Hes...
    24 replies | 487 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 08:15 PM
    Derren replied to Firearms
    Even outside of large battlefields 1800 is much too late for your vision of weapons. The 16th or 17th century like in the 30 year war would fit much better. And honestly, in my opinion I think the Warhammer Fantasy dwarves are much better. There they are the masters of firearms. Think about it, they are slow, so getting into melee is hard, usually have no mounts to ride on making the slowness...
    160 replies | 4908 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:34 PM
    Derren replied to Firearms
    Depends on the bayonet. The first plug bayonets, while looking like a knife, lack a handle so are awkward to hold. Socket bayonets are made to go around the muzzle and have no handle at all. Only very late in the development were sword bayonets which were supposed to be usable as sidearm. There were a lot of pistol-X variants made in the early days of firearms where the range was very...
    160 replies | 4908 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:25 PM
    Calling the Holy Roman Empire successful is stretching it quite a bit. Not to mention that it was very unstable, so exactly what they tried to prevent with going for an elective system.
    110 replies | 2934 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:56 AM
    Derren replied to Firearms
    Okay, but then don't forget that wet (cross)bow strings don't really work either. Crossbows are also far from silent.
    160 replies | 4908 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 11:45 PM
    Derren replied to Firearms
    Doesn't matter how large combats are, for the type of combat you want you are several centuries too late when you use Napoleon as example.
    160 replies | 4908 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 11:19 PM
    Derren replied to Firearms
    While there were combats like this, it was not how combat in that era looked like. A charge was usually only delivered when the enemy already wavered and often did not even result in a melee. The main way of fighting was done with muskets and there were a lot of different sequences (drills) who fires when to keep up a continuous stream of bullets or to allow manoeuvring without having to stop to...
    160 replies | 4908 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 07:27 PM
    This episode shows what has been wrong with GoT ever since they couldn't copy from the books anymore. The quality of the writing is several leagues below what GRRM delivered and its basic hollywood garbage with a plot copied from tvtropes full of holes, bad characters and to distract from that overblown CGI action.
    179 replies | 4215 view(s)
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  • Derren's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 01:22 AM
    I wonder if Thor will stay with the Guardians in future movies (if there are any). A bit surprised that Captain Marvel didn't had a bigger role in it and also that her arrival was totally different than in the trailer. I guess initially she came to earth and then started to look for Tony instead of simply finding him in space, but that was cut. Also, didn't they plan a Black Widow movie? I...
    176 replies | 4765 view(s)
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Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019


Tuesday, 21st May, 2019


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Sunday, 21st April, 2019

  • 12:07 PM - Hussar mentioned Derren in post Star Trek Discovery not getting any better I fear.
    Derren, you’ve now spent two years doing nothing but complaining about how bad this show is. At what point does hate watching become pathological? It’s not about not criticizing the show. We’ll all do that. But when a “fan” feels the need to take a weekly constitutional on every single episode, week in and week out without a single positive thing to say, well, at that point you become what Tor.com calls a fangoober.

Saturday, 20th April, 2019

  • 03:59 AM - Hussar mentioned Derren in post Star Trek Discovery not getting any better I fear.
    My guess is that they'll stay in the future. That way they can do new stuff, not have to worry about gaggles of complaining "fans" who want to do nothing but pick holes in things, and can actually move forward. New stuff to explore and all that. Destroying Leland did not destroy Control Derren. Control was destroyed by Star Fleet HQ at the end of the show. All they destroyed was a local instance that was controlling (heh) the fleet. Can't pilot all those ships remotely with all the subspace relays down now can they? And, I'm sorry, but that fight scene was AWESOME. Sure, the bulkhead thing was lame, but, let's not forget, they did actually tell you that with the bulkheads closed, they'd still lose a big old chunk of the ship - which they did. With the bulkhead open, the whole ship would be lost. Does make you wonder what they make the bulkheads out of. :D And, as far as the shuttles go, I would assume that they did have the shuttles - they did just fight a major war against the Klingons. Every Star Fleet ship would still be geared up for that. Which means lots of shuttles. That's not even breaking canon if you're a Star Fleet Battles fan. As far as using it against the Klingons, how often did we actually see a battle with the Klingons after the first epi...

Tuesday, 12th March, 2019

  • 09:48 AM - Hussar mentioned Derren in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    So you have to go back 40 years and 3 editions to find something to support your theory. And why is this relevant today? Seems it has already been corrected. Derren, once again this has been asked and answered. IIRC, more than once. It would help if you would go back and read the thread before asking us to repeat what's already been discussed. It makes it difficult, and honestly, rather frustrating, to keep having to justify why we're having this discussion every five pages or so whenever someone else comes in the door. Why not presume that we've actually already discussed this, and presume good faith? The same presumption we should extend to you and not presume that you are simply trying to derail the thread, no?
  • 12:57 AM - Hussar mentioned Derren in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    That is another good point about the video. In the video I think, if I remember, someone accosts an Asian person who is getting on a bicycle and asks the question. So it is clearly different from people who have an existing friendship. It is sort of like asking someone their religion based soley on their appearance. Hussar, you had mentioned your experience in Japan and Korea informing your thoughts on this. I am just curious what that experience was if you don't mind sharing. Let's just say that I have a pretty good sense of what minorities go through. Not to an extreme, but, I'm certainly sympthetic. When you travel around, asking people where they are from is a great conversation starter, because most people like talking about their home town. I think this is one of those things where what bothers Asian people is there is no visible reason to think they are not American and they often get asked that question to mean "what part of Asia are you from?". Yup. This. Derren - the question has been asked and answered. I don't feel a need to repeat the answers.

Saturday, 17th November, 2018

  • 02:15 AM - Maxperson mentioned Derren in post What's the point of gold?
    I tend to use the view of tool proficiencies provided in XGtE not the stricter PHN minimal reading. "assumes that a character who has proficiency with a tool also has learned about facets of the trade or profession that are not necessarily associated with the use of the tool." So spotting someone palming cards is a place I would allow your cards proficiency to apply even tho the cards are not in your hand being used by you. That's fair. We just have two ways to get to the same point. Either way it happens, though, it was achieved through the 5e rules, so Derren is still wrong with his assertions. I would more be inclined to suggest they create a custom background than a new skill to further their concept. A custom background is what I was suggesting. Two skill/tool proficiencies. But we are discussing different addresses in the same neighborhood and their merits, so we are much closer than those who deny that neighborhood even exists or who cant seem to find it with a GPS, Google maps, a road atlas and an eagle scout... so it's all good. Absolutely.

Friday, 16th November, 2018

  • 08:54 PM - Morrus mentioned Derren in post Big Changes At White Wolf Following Controversy
    And the usual suspects show up instantly like bad pennies. That’s two of the trifecta. One to go. @jimmifett and @Derren, don’t post again in this thread, please. Jimmifett, it would be nice if you posted about something else sometimes, but since as far as I can make out the only reason you post in this community is to decry any hint of inclusiveness, it's time for you to leave.

Thursday, 18th October, 2018

  • 10:03 PM - Hussar mentioned Derren in post Shootout at the D&D Corral
    For monsters you need a place for them to live which is not right next to the local village, so you need to put some distance between the civilized places and the uncivilized places. Sure. But, when it takes a day to travel 10 miles, just how much distance do you actually need? Derren mentions Odysseus. Yeah, that's kinda my point. He sailed the Med. You realize that's about half the size of the Sword Coast right? The entire Odyssey takes place in an space considerably smaller than the Sword Coast. And yup, Muslims travelled to Mecca. Doing the Hajj is a once in a lifetime event that many don't actually do AND we're talking people who lived in the area. It's not like they were traveling much more than a thousand miles and many would be far, far less. Monks traveling to India. Ok. But, as you say, from Constantinople. While still very impressive, it's STILL a shorter distance than what is represented in the Sword Coast. And again, let's be honest here, we're talking a tiny, tiny fraction of the population. No, travel was not common. And, my point being that you certainly don't need these massive, ginormous settings to run an RPG. Good grief, the Sword Coast is larger than EUROPE. And that's just a pretty small slice of the Forgotten Realms.

Tuesday, 31st July, 2018

  • 04:24 PM - Sadras mentioned Derren in post American Indians Colonize the Old world in 1250 BC
    Cultural minefield is a nice way of saying don't be racist. That someone else has been racist in the past so that it's ok to be racist, is possibly some of the worst advice I have ever heard. This has nothing to do with racism, the fact that a few detractors on this board decided to bring in the issue of racism in a what-if fantasy game is on them. So @Derren is 100% right - the OP should pretty much ignore them.

Wednesday, 24th January, 2018

  • 12:42 AM - pemerton mentioned Derren in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...a dungeon, that the players are going to explore and loot? That seems completely unrealistic for 1st level PCs, given the level of some of the NPCs. But if the Chief Priest is intended to figure as a NPC quest giver, or as an element of backstory, then by all means tell us that he wears a magnificent neck ornament with a bejewelled cudgel hanging from it, but we don't need to know about his secret compartment, do we? Okay, this might relate more to the other thread we are discussing (which I haven't yet got back to), but I have to ask. Given that the characters CAN attempt to deviate from the intended plot line, is the gaming style a railroad?Well, different people have different views as to what counts as a railroad. An interesting discussion came up in this thread, which I had started to get some ideas on the current situation in my Classic Traveller game. When chaochou started suggesting some ideas about how the players might try and infiltrate and take the NPC starship, Derren replied by explaining why - given various elements of the GM-authored backstory that he was imputing (not based on anything I'd said about my game, but based on his own intuitions, I think, plus maybe some 1980s Traveller sourcebooks) - chaochou's ideas wouldn't work. Derren kept saying that the players should look for more information. chaochou and I made the point that, in the context of a RPG, "looking for more information" means, in effect, making moves that will trigger the GM to read out/paraphrase/make up more backstory. And the point of this seemed as Derren was calling for it seemed to be, in effect, to channel the players towards Derren-as-GM's preferred resolution of the situation. (Ie finding the "right" answer for how to defeat the NPC conspiracy.) chaochou described this as a railroad, on the basis that the GM has already conceived of a correct series of outcomes, and the players can't succeed unless they go along with that preconception. The fact that the players c...

Friday, 5th January, 2018

  • 02:28 AM - pemerton mentioned Derren in post Should the PCs try and capture the NPC starship?
    ...succeed, but in any other game there are better and worse choices for any situation. The players can of course attempt your simple trick, but that is risky as it depends on the crew of the other ship to be stupid (without any evidence to support this) or on thr boat to be damaged, again without any evidence that this is the case. <snip> the enemy captain might have exactly the flaw you describe. But do the PCs know that? Thats why information gathering is so important. You find out who you can bribe, blackmail or turn and then act on that knowledge. You do not make plans hoping that people you have no information of have the exact flaw that you need.Following up on this line of discussion (which is slightly tangential to the ostensible topic of the thread, but relevant generally to RPGing involving conspiracies, wacky plans etc): I think chaochou's point (at least in part) is that, in the context of a RPG - where everything is fiction - there is no evidence in the sense that Derren refers to, except by dint of GM authorship. Which means that if the players have their PCs to take steps to gather such "evidence", this means - in effect - that the players are waiting around for the GM to feed them more plot and backstory. Hence chaochou's characterisation of it as railroading. Conversely, if the game is to have content othe than that authored/pre-judged by the GM, then either (i) the players get to write it (this is what happens under "say 'yes' or roll the dice" GMing when the GM says 'yes'), or (ii) we have some other process for generating it (this is the "roll the dice" side of the aforementioned slogan). Traveller doesn't expressly call out "say 'yes' or roll the dice", but can be played in more-or-less that way, I think, as there are dice rolls for nearly every aspect of content generation and resolution! In the paticular context we're discussing here, the basic dice roll would be a reaction roll (perhaps with a negative DM if it is established in the fi...

Sunday, 24th December, 2017

  • 11:27 PM - Hussar mentioned Derren in post Tension, Threats And Progression In RPGs
    In general, these genre discussions follow the same pattern. "I like X, I don't like Y, so, my chosen genre definition will include X and exclude Y". IOW, people's genre definitions are a reflection of their own personal preferences and not grounded in anything remotely approaching an objective viewpoint. It's simply tribalism. I would differ with Derren in one way. While I agree that combat without any risk of dying is probably boring, this simply doesn't apply to D&D. While 5e is a lot more forgiving than, say, OD&D, it's still quite possible to whack a PC. The question becomes, what odds? What odds of the PC getting killed are high enough to be fun without being so high that the game becomes frustrating for the players?

Monday, 14th August, 2017

  • 01:02 AM - Connorsrpg mentioned Derren in post Esper Genesis : 5E Sci-Fi Art Sneak Peak and Gen Con Plans...
    I don't think Derren was 'writing this one off'. But he has a very valid point. I often find it very hard describing all the 'hits' when lasers & bullets start flying. Such systems don't seem deadly enough and describing endless grazed shots etc can sound odd. Whittling down of HPs has proven to be odd for me in these systems too. But yes, hopefully Starfinder addresses these issues.

Monday, 3rd July, 2017

  • 07:11 PM - Satyrn mentioned Derren in post Why wimpy SLING damage and range?
    The battlefield is a pretty specific case, and even in those times, quite rare. Even the soldiers who wore plate on the battlefield would spend much more time not wearing it than wearing it. That is exactly what I was getting at. I mean, Riot Gear is what the cops wear when they go out on what is the closest thing in their line of work to a battlefield. But I think Derren is applying "rare" to the situation differently than we are, so the conversation is failing a little. He seems to have interpreted the first poster's use of the word as applying to "how many suits of plate exist in the world," while we're applying it to "how often people in possession of a suit actually wear it."

Tuesday, 17th January, 2017

  • 02:59 PM - 77IM mentioned Derren in post Keep Your Powder Dry! Part 1: Firearms for Fantasy Campaigns
    Derren Spoiler Alert: These are extremely early firearms and are presented as inferior to crossbows in almost every way. The harquebus is a simple ranged weapon dealing 1d10 damage and carrying a nasty host of drawbacks regarding weight, range, loading time, chance of misfire, stench, etc. So it's marginally more effective than a light crossbow at close range (short range is 25 feet!) but sucks otherwise. The article does have some good explanations of WHY early armies adopted such lousy weapons; the short version is that it's much easier to train soldiers to fire a gun than to use a longbow or heavy crossbow effectively (in D&D terms, simple vs. martial proficiency) and the ammunition is cheaper to produce and transport (which is not borne out by the rules presented; ammunition is as expensive as bolts and weighs a bit more). This article seems reasonably well researched and certainly "feels" historically accurate me, although I don't know a whole lot about early firearms, other than what I...

Sunday, 13th November, 2016

  • 03:45 PM - Platostotle mentioned Derren in post Putting Characters on Trial
    Derren The rulers are divided. At least one of them is good and will not allow the party to be killed or jailed indefinitely without a trial. The trial would be held in secret. The white dragon was the muscle behind a group of dragon cultists. When the party started killing cultists, the dragon attacked. The players should be able to plead self-defense, but no one else saw the beginning of the fight.

Tuesday, 31st March, 2015

  • 11:49 AM - Charles Rampant mentioned Derren in post Player stronghold
    ...ving role as companions in Bioware games. As the tenants have fled, there is no income from the castle lands, meaning that I can quietly ignore the accountancy side of things, at least at first. And, having played a fair bit of Pendragon, I can see all the benefits for downtime that this gives. The players will have a reason to allow the winter months to pass in downtime - they have a sweet castle to chill in. And then they get summoned to Spring Court, good place to meet and greet with the kind of people that give quests out... One alternative option to inheriting the Earldom is, I guess, to go for the shared tenancy option suggested by Tony Vargas which allows for the group dynamic to stay normal; the king offers the castle to them as heroes, to tend over and rule for as long as they live. I don't normally like 'adventuring' to be a recognized profession, but it wouldn't hurt in this case. That way it can also be given some gloriously goofy title, like Griffon Lodge or something. Derren is totally right to voice concern over random strongmen wandering in and stealing royal land, and I'm keen to avoid ruining the verisimilitude of a semi-feudal setting.* I have asked my players if they are interested in this. I don't see any point in trying to spring a surprise like this on them, since it would be fairly fundamental to how the campaign plays, and they could very rightly complain that they didn't sign up for this style of campaign. * Fun fact: I work in a History department, and the medievalists get very upset if you use this word. Apparently it is a modern word that describes so many different legal and social structures as to be essentially meaningless. :D

Friday, 13th March, 2015

  • 12:29 AM - Hussar mentioned Derren in post What's the point of gold?
    ..., magic items aren't available, players very rightly are going to point to the DMG and ask why. And, of course, once you add in a price list, now you have to design the game to follow the idea that PC's will have access to those magic items. You completely break the idea of bounded accuracy which is predicated on the idea that no, you can't simply throw cash at your character and upgrade. 3e built that presumption right into the game. Monsters were designed around the idea that a PC of a given level would have a certain number of magic items, which meant a certain range of AC and attack and damage bonuses. There's a reason you have 42 AC dragons in 3e. And a very good reason you don't in 5e. If you get a price list in an Unearthed Arcana article, then fine and dandy. That's fantastic for you. I hope you do. What I don't understand is why you insist on forcing your play style on everyone else. Mirtek - again, why can't you use the 3e pricing? What's stopping you? Derren - you ask if the party wizard is the only one capable of casting Continual Flame - again, you're forcing demographics onto other people's games. What's wrong with the party PC being one of the very few out in the world who actually could cast this? I mean, Dragonlance is based 100% on that demographic. Wizards are very few and far between and almost universally live in a few places and clerics are unheard of prior to the War of the Lance. So, why should my Dragonlance world have every noble's house lit with Continual Light torches? 3e demographics is not the only way to play D&D.

Wednesday, 11th March, 2015

  • 11:49 PM - Hussar mentioned Derren in post What's the point of gold?
    ...s. If players were "having fun" with magic items, wouldn't we have seen more diversity? Instead, we got character after character with identical equipment - everyone HAS to have that stat boost item, every HAS to have that AC boost and save boost and whatever boost item. Seven years of playing 3e/3.5 and not one player EVER asked to buy Sovereign Glue. About the most out there item I ever saw bought was a Lyre of Building and that's only because we were playing a naval based campaign and in that context, a Lyre of Building is insanely powerful - make your ship 100% impervious to all damage for an hour at no cost with the possibility of further 100% invulnerability with successful skill checks. Thing is, in 5e, you don't NEED these items. That's the whole point of bounded accuracy, which, AFAIK, actually works. Your character doesn't need those bonuses just to keep up with the scaling monster stats because the monster stats DON'T SCALE. ((Well, other than HP anyway :D)). Derren asks if buying a castle comes with a title. Isn't that up to me, the DM to decide? Do I really need the DMG to give me permission here? Sure, the extra information he asks for, historical castles and whatnot, would be nice, but, jeez, can't I just open up Wikipedia and get the exact same information? It's not 1979 anymore. The DMG is not my primary source of setting information. That's not "make it up", that's DMing 101.

Wednesday, 18th February, 2015

  • 02:12 AM - Trit One-Ear mentioned Derren in post Developing new plot line - Rebellion!
    ...ly, thanks for all the comments and support! This is getting the wheels turning. I haven't decided what the King's secret to his long life was yet. This idea that it may have had something to do with his children is actually really interesting... going to file that away for later, either as a rumor or the truth. I'm in a bad habit of making plot characters male by default, which is something I'm working on. As such, the suggestion that the king have a daughter, not a son, is something I'm going to adopt. I've been getting better about gender representation, and this will be another step in the right direction. Add to that the idea that there is a grandchild who survived, and is in fact older than the young daughter, and we have an interesting dynamic to play with. Older male heir, however he is a generation "below" the younger female heir. Infinitely more interesting. Perhaps the grandson even sides with the rebellion then, leading to conflict within the royal family. As for Derren's notes on dungeon crawls etc, I would ultimately love this to be a more intrigue focused game. I'm leaving it a little open ended to see how engaged with all this courtly drama my players end up being, and if they take to it, we'll focus much more on the intrigue. If they feel like they want to kick down doors for a while, I'll let their successes and failures in the dungeon crawls influence the flow of political events. We tend to focus on a more on story than anything else so the character development will be the main focus regardless. Thank you all again for reading my mass wall of text, and commenting with such great insight! Trit

Thursday, 22nd January, 2015

  • 03:18 PM - Sage Genesis mentioned Derren in post Werewolf Damage Immunity Question
    Derren: Respectfully, if you want that level of world-simulation out of your RPGs then D&D might not be the best game for you. No edition of D&D was ever built with that kind of internal consistency. It came kind of close with 3e, where damage resistance meant that huge flying rocks could do damage while a flung pebble couldn't manage to go over the reduction. But now in 5e it's only full/half/none. Simpler but with a sacrifice of granularity. There is no in-game explanation. It's a system abstraction.


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Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

  • 11:35 AM - Imaculata quoted Derren in post Game of Thrones Spin-offs: News & Speculation
    I am not so sure about that. HBO wanted D&D to make more episodes and even more seasons (it is their cash cow after all), only to be told by them they don't need/want it. And then they delivered something that disappointed fans, damaging the brand, and is especially criticized for being too rushed and that there should have been more episode. I don't think that HBO is all that happy about how D&D handled the last season. I doubt D&D's contribution to HBO will be judged based on just the last season. They have had so much success with this show, that I don't think they care that the last season under performs. I think they are mostly happy that the show ran so long and pulled in so much revenue for them.

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 11:43 AM - Imaculata quoted Derren in post Game of Thrones Spin-offs: News & Speculation
    With D&D being busy with Star Wars there is a chance that they get good writers instead. It wouldn't surprise me if internally those two will be blacklisted by HBO. I'm pretty sure you are incorrect. HBO is unlikely to share our sentiments about those two. Game of Thrones was HBO's pride and joy for years. It was pretty much the only reason to have an HBO subscription. D&D's writing may have gone downhill as they surpassed the books, but their efforts to adapt the books into a succesful tv show will not be ignored by HBO. All D&D have to do is tell HBO they want to make a new show, and HBO's response would be "How many piles of cash do you need?"

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 11:46 PM - Zardnaar quoted Derren in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 6---THE END
    Again, you ignore all the wars inside the HRE before the reformation and there were a lot of them. Without a strong emperor, and the electors did the best to elect someone weak, the princes inside the HRE could do as they please, including waging war against each other, which they did often because of matters of territory or succession. Religion only later became just another reason to wage war but was hardly the only one. I'm not ignoring it up there were other wars elsewhere . Look at the 20th century with entirely different forms of government. Or the War if the Roses which GoT is based on. You're going to have wars regardless.
  • 11:30 PM - Zardnaar quoted Derren in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 6---THE END
    Yes, but internal wars are something different. France with its centralism never had that much of internal strife as the HRE had. And as the goal of the kingdoms in GoT was to prevent further conflicts between the houses, choosing an elective succession is the worst possible idea as the HRE shows. HRE had lots if religious strife and different cultures. Westeros only really has one plus Dorne. The 7 is also the default faith for most of Westeros with a little old God's in the north. France had big problems with the reformation and the decentralized nobles.
  • 09:56 PM - Zardnaar quoted Derren in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 6---THE END
    Calling the Holy Roman Empire successful is stretching it quite a bit. Not to mention that it was very unstable, so exactly what they tried to prevent with going for an elective system. It lasted a very long time and it's not like anything else is that stable either. In their world it makes sense no point gambling on over throwing a dynasty when you can get elected. In theory it would keep the blood bath down.
  • 07:30 PM - jasper quoted Derren in post Mythological Figures: Anne Bonny (5E)
    What exactly is the reasoning behind her levels? I admit, I have not dug far, but I don't really see why she would be better than most no name pirates of that age. Pss. You make a name for yourself, you get a free level or two.
  • 01:16 AM - Celebrim quoted Derren in post Firearms
    Doesn't matter how large combats are, for the type of combat you want you are several centuries too late when you use Napoleon as example. That's at least partially true. By the time you get to the Napoleonic Wars, melee weapons are basically obsolete as weapons of war and Kobold Avenger's vision of how wars in that era played out is actually as you say a century or two too late. The thing is though, it would take a bit over 100 years before everyone would really realize that and adjust tactics accordingly, and many of the commanders in that period did believe - sometimes against the evidence of their senses - that battles were fought in the way Kobold Avenger described. And on the other other hand, the usual conditions that the PC's are expected to fight in is nothing like warfare. My advice to @[Kobold Avenger] if he wants more shock and charge tactics to prevail would be to limit firearms technology to matchlocks and maybe wheellocks. By the time you get to Flintlocks the day...

Sunday, 19th May, 2019

  • 12:23 AM - Kobold Avenger quoted Derren in post Firearms
    While there were combats like this, it was not how combat in that era looked like. A charge was usually only delivered when the enemy already wavered and often did not even result in a melee. The main way of fighting was done with muskets and there were a lot of different sequences (drills) who fires when to keep up a continuous stream of bullets or to allow manoeuvring without having to stop to fire. Add to that coordinated attacks together with cannons and even rockets. This is where genre conventions come in over other concerns, what's described here is mass combat and while I'd certainly would like to think about mass combat rules (which I'm not satisfied with any of the iterations from Unearthed Arcana), there's also the D&D (or any RPG) conceit that many character vs character encounters aren't going to be starting from 100's of feet away. If PCs are involved, then things are going to be within melee range relatively soon, and that's not counting the involvement of magic and all sorts...

Monday, 13th May, 2019

  • 07:51 PM - lowkey13 quoted Derren in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 5
    This episode shows what has been wrong with GoT ever since they couldn't copy from the books anymore. The quality of the writing is several leagues below what GRRM delivered and its basic hollywood garbage with a plot copied from tvtropes full of holes, bad characters and to distract from that overblown CGI action. Well, I would say that the biggest issue is the bizarre and self-inflicted limitation of having two seasons with a combined 13 episodes to wrap up the story. Look- the books as a blueprint were amazing for plot, but there was a LOT of heavy lifting in translating it to the screen- those scripts didn't write themselves. The writing, for the most part (as well as the acting) is still great; the issue is the plotting. Simply put, I'd argue that when D&D (heh) decided that they'd end it in 13 episodes, despite HBO wanting more, they didn't give themselves enough room to breathe. That's been the biggest problem- too much plot, too little time, so a show that has previously focused on...

Sunday, 5th May, 2019

  • 11:22 PM - Koren n'Rhys quoted Derren in post Shadowrun Sixth Edition Announced!
    You assume that the audience of Shadowrun consists out of people who do not want to play Shadowrun. Not at all. I know that I want to play not-Shadowrun. I do assume, however, that Catalyst has the feedback to say that thier Shadowrun audience wants something different and less crunchy than 5E. Otherwise they would not have put the time and money into writing 6E to replace it.

Friday, 3rd May, 2019

  • 07:16 PM - Koren n'Rhys quoted Derren in post Shadowrun Sixth Edition Announced!
    I just hope they haven't given in to the "rules light" demand from the mass market. Yeah, good point. No publisher should want to cater to the desires of their audience... SR will never be "light", so I think you're safe there, but it's pretty clear that they need to swing back in the other direction. People want something playable - in between 4/5E level crunch and the storygames style of Anarchy. Personally, I'm looking forward to more Anarchy books since they are nice to pull lore from to use in another system.

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 07:08 PM - Abstruse quoted Derren in post Shadowrun Sixth Edition Announced!
    Seems like they continue with the "Anarchy" push they already had in No Future instead of Shadowrunners just being a cog in the machine of earlier lore. I just hope they haven't given in to the "rules light" demand from the mass market. I'm going to work on getting time with Jason Hardy to sort out some things, but the fact that their design philosophy was 300 pages for the core rules and there's still a 50 page gear chapter means we're still getting the crunchy-fun Shadowrun we know and love...just with more flexible systems.

Friday, 19th April, 2019


Wednesday, 17th April, 2019


Monday, 15th April, 2019


Sunday, 7th April, 2019

  • 08:54 AM - Hussar quoted Derren in post Star Trek Discovery not getting any better I fear.
    We already have seen Borg like behaviour in the last few episodes, the resemblance of Controls speech to the iconic "resistance is futile", the general similarity of controling persons through nanobots and when Ash discovered that Leland was controlled the pattern on his face resembled what a Borg infection does. And in this episode the Control technology have taken on the same green colour normally associated with Borg. Meh. I'll buy it when I see it. These are all pretty much standard tropes in the whole "computers are going to kill us" stories. There's as much connecting this to the Borg as the Matrix, or, as was mentioned, Star Gate. I mean, sure, it could be. But, they'd have to do some serious retconning here. The Borg are considerably older than the Federation. Like, by thousands of years. So, our time traveling Control would have to time travel back tens of thousands of years, to the Gamma Quadrant and set itself up. Then it would have to completely forget about humanity ...

Saturday, 30th March, 2019

  • 02:48 PM - Hussar quoted Derren in post Star Trek Discovery not getting any better I fear.
    She could have removed it when she was convinced that Leland was up to no good instead of leaving it so that it can be restarted by a single press. But either way, the Discovery could have simply stopped the transmission by unplugging their communication array. They could have also destroyed the data by transferring it into a shuttle, PADD, whatever and disintegrating that. Piece by piece if for some reason only a futuristic 20 year old suit has enough memory for it as the data somehow can be partitioned and copied (duplicated+deleted) just fine. Well, no, they couldn'T download it into a shuttle or PADD, because it's too big. They did make a point about the suit having massive memory (they used quantum. hehe. solves everything) and thus could actually contain the sphere data. I think they're strongly hinting that the sphere data is somewhat intelligent. It certainly reacts when threatened, so, that's not totally out there.
  • 12:43 PM - MarkB quoted Derren in post Star Trek Discovery not getting any better I fear.
    She could have removed it when she was convinced that Leland was up to no good instead of leaving it so that it can be restarted by a single press. But either way, the Discovery could have simply stopped the transmission by unplugging their communication array. They could have also destroyed the data by transferring it into a shuttle, PADD, whatever and disintegrating that. Piece by piece if for some reason only a futuristic 20 year old suit has enough memory for it as the data somehow can be partitioned and copied (duplicated+deleted) just fine. Or, if it really came to it, evacuated the Discovery and destroyed it. I do have to wonder, if the Sphere data's self-preservation protocols were so strong, whether their plan really had any serious chance of working in the first place. It seems entirely likely that it would have happily allowed itself to be copied and propagated far and wide, but would then have disabled the protocols that would delete the original.
  • 02:33 AM - Hussar quoted Derren in post Star Trek Discovery not getting any better I fear.
    As the other thread is apparently for blind admiration only I post this here: So they really go with "Our absolute certain 100% double and triple checked test we mentioned so often are absolute unfailable were wrong". Right.... And now we also have pseudoborg. Hopefully they won't go into the "Control created the Borg" direction, but the way the writing is it wouldn't surprise me. Deleting the data is impossible? With that much at stake there are ways to delete the data 100% the physical way. Especially when they can freely move the data around. Stopping a transmission is also possible easily be destroying or disconnecting hardware. But where should the drama then come from? Well, to be fair, the only way those tests could be wrong is if the pilot was someone who had been confirmed as dead for the past 20 years, so, yeah, I'm not really going to take them to task for discounting the possibility. "Yes, our test is really freaking accurate. It's you Michael. Unless, of course, co...


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