View Profile: Lanefan - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:27 PM
    I believe that an important job (of the many jobs) that rules and DMs do, is validating player actions. If I rolled against a character ability that I invested in, and made it, I feel like I deserve it. If I just declare it happens... then that can come to feel invalid. There are narrative approaches that also work, although so far I find they serve smaller groups - one or two players - due to...
    467 replies | 8617 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:16 PM
    My gods I know what you mean. I constantly wish to be more a peacemaker, read others posts more carefully, understand their point of view with greater empathy. And then... :rant:
    467 replies | 8617 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:14 PM
    So as you know I work from a clear separation of player and character. There are a few reasons for this. "...you as a player determining how your character thinks, acts and talks." has been cited (PHB 181) and dwelt on. The first observation I can make is simple, "player" is on one side doing the "determining", and "character" is on the other doing "thinks, acts and talks". A second...
    467 replies | 8617 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:27 AM
    I'm a child of the nineties. I look fondly towards stuff like Friends, Seinfield, Sky Dancers, the Dreamstone, and the like. Granted, I'm not that fond of the prequels, but being that fond of Star Wars after the 80's is not really feasible. The OT was groundbreaking and highly influential, but that is the problem, everything made after the OT is heavily influenced by it, where once it was a...
    126 replies | 2260 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:34 AM
    You are basically describing me. n_n In a way I think that is the worst problem of the new trilogy, it doesn't seem to pander enough to children.
    126 replies | 2260 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:07 AM
    Except the 'vessel' is a lot smaller and less interesting inside, and there's no way to beam out or otherwise leave it. The 'vessel' does everything, as guided by the PCs stuck inside it.
    35 replies | 697 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:05 AM
    How can you possibly not be able to sell Napoleonic sea combat? That alone makes this worth playing! :) Blue - that declining-levels idea is brilliant!
    35 replies | 697 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 11:35 PM
    For me that isn't a point of differentiation: the players decide what they want their characters to do, and as part of narrating the outcome using the rules, the DM decides if a check should be made. Informally, a player could say "I'd like to make a Persuade check against" which is simply shorthand for describing that they want to persuade someone: the DM still decides if a check should be made....
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 10:06 PM
    The Outer Worlds is a fully single-player game.
    6 replies | 303 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 05:21 PM
    Indeed yes! I read through your posts carefully and grasped that (see my reply to @Charlaquin above). It's what I meant earlier about "exogenous rules". So while I can't agree that the RAW states or the game model requires, that it be played that way, I can certainly see that it is possible to play that way. Even that it has some advantages. For me the most straightforward way to understand it...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 05:11 PM
    That seems okay. The groups I play with don't play that way.
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 05:04 PM
    Looking at the arguments made, it seems like two rules are being added. The first states that for some skills, what is considered is between players, not between characters. The second states that for those skills, a resolution between players commutes to a resolution between their characters. The added rules make it possible to have uncertainty when applying a skill between a player-character...
    467 replies | 8617 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 04:40 PM
    For me, control can't be the deciding factor here. The DM doesn't control the PC when they call for a climb check or a perception check, any more than they do when they call for an insight check.
    467 replies | 8617 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 04:05 PM
    Is this possible paraphrasing intended? If the being is a fellow PC, then I would ask the player of the PC being grappled if the grapple has a reasonable chance of reducing their character's speed to 0 or not. To do otherwise would be to make an exception to the rule that the player decides how their character thinks and acts.
    467 replies | 8617 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 01:07 PM
    I also thought about U1 for our family game, but went with "Horror on the Hill", which is of course not "horror" at all. I only removed the Neanderthals because I found them somewhat offensive (i.e. the r* word). "Horror on the Hill" is very simple, it has practically no story at all, so it's all about exploration, but it has a range of classic monsters and a reasonable curve of difficulty as you...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 10:44 AM
    I've been there, and my children were several years younger than your when we started playing 5e, so here's what I have done for them: 1- pregenerated characters: have the characters completely designed and the character sheets printed out, so that you can start playing immediately; have 1-2 more characters than players ready, and let them choose which one to play; leave only the name, gender,...
    27 replies | 721 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 12:32 AM
    Interesting. Seeing as the OP is looking to make 5e more old-school and as I'm coming at this from an old-school perspective, low-level fights IME tend to be considerably longer than 3-5 rounds: 8-12 is far more common*. Higher-level fights are often short and sometimes very short - one-round battles are common enough not to raise any eyebrows. It's strange, in fact: higher-level fights take...
    43 replies | 1224 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 12:24 AM
    Again, take clock time out of the equation! In four attacks each warrior has exactly the same chance of maiming herself, whether novice or expert. That those four attacks take four times as long in clock time to occur for the novice is completely irrelevant. The bigger question is how many attacks does it take the expert to finish off her foe as opposed to the novice. If the novice can...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 12:17 AM
    When 2e came out our crew saw some of it as simply catching up to changes we'd already made to 1e (e.g. relaxed race-class level limits, no xp for gp thus slower advancement, Bards as a core class), some of it as complete garbage (e.g. all the stuff removed to assuage the moralists - we kept the lot) and a few bits of it as worth looking further into in hopes of adopting them into our existing...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 12:04 AM
    Which is exactly what I said. The odds of fumbling per attack never change, but as those attacks come more frequently in clock time so in tandem do the screw-ups. Rounds are game-speak for clock time. The odds of fumbling on any given attack never change: 1 in 20 (or whatever frequency the table uses). That the attacks come more frequently for higher-level types doesn't change this. ...
    43 replies | 1224 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 11:51 PM
    A campaign nobody would want to play in (at least after the first session): The PCs, via a hard railroad, meet in a tavern. They remain in that tavern, because no matter what they do they can only go to a) the kitchen, b) the washroom, and c) three guest rooms upstairs. That is the extent of their available world, and they cannot leave it by any means. The only NPCs they can interact with...
    35 replies | 697 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 11:32 PM
    This assumes, of course, that said wizard had gone through her entire load of spells the previous day, which at mid-high levels IME is extremely rare...they always keep something in reserve as a 'getaway car' or 'safety valve' that doesn't often get used, and in systems with hard-line spell memorization it's even rarer that they'd have pre-loaded exactly the spells they'd need that day. We put...
    43 replies | 1224 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 11:23 PM
    Was it? I know in 1e the spell you got at level-up training was random. Did that not carry over into 2e? (I know that by 3e you could choose)
    43 replies | 1224 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 11:21 PM
    Largely agreed. Overnight-plus-study/pray-time is and pretty much always has been the default for spell recovery, and changing this - while perhaps a daring idea - will have some major knock-on effects once you start play. The answer here is variable non-proficiency penalties. If you're trained in spear you might only be -1 when using a javelin or other similar weapon, but -2 when using...
    43 replies | 1224 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 04:28 PM
    So it seems like where we diverge is that I think of Persuasion as "just another game mechanic". And I don't think of agency as all or nothing. I think it is possible to lose agency over some things, without losing all agency. And I am not concerned that some agency can be lost to being grappled (speed 0 = no agency to move), being in the wrong circumstances (bright light = no agency to hide), or...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 11:57 AM
    I was thinking here of the Degrees of Failure option in the DMG, where a fail by 5 can result in disaster. The example they give is being thrown in a dungeon by a Queen, for a failed Charisma (Persuasion) check. If skills can be applied between characters, then a DM who uses Degrees of Failure could add a drawback. I agree with that, and would further draw attention to cases where for just...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 11:47 AM
    I like your examples, especially the first one that I've quoted. Some other ways to narrate it - Loss of Player Agency? "My character Dross will try to Stealth" "Dross is in the middle of a brightly lit room, so can't take the Hide action at present." (Loss of agency?) "Dross is under a Dominate Person spell right now, so can't try to do that!" (Loss of agency!) "Dross is under the...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 11:01 AM
    There are several modes that RPGs are run in. The above summarises one of them. There are others that are also traditional, where at 2a that call is made by the DM in their role as neutral arbiter, not either player.
    467 replies | 8617 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 10:54 AM
    So far as I can tell, you're committed to conflating player with character. I'm not. For me, characters have abilities that players don't have, so that in many cases player to player interactions can't decide the outcome of character to character interactions. It's common in debates relating to exogenous rules that one side or other "goes nuclear": speaking to how strongly people feel about...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 05:43 AM
    I'm not part of that audience either and I'm okish with TLJ -enjoyed some of it, but not enough to want to get a copy at full price-. I know a lot about the old extended universe from second hand though -like about Mara Jade, Ben Skywalker, and someone dropping a moon on poor Chowie-. Perhaps I sit more in the middle of this, I can see what bothers many of them, but most of it doesn't bother me,...
    126 replies | 2260 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 04:51 AM
    Nagol - there are three links in post 16. The first and third ones work fine for me. The second, or middle one, gives me the same error I noted above.
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 08:27 PM
    I'd like to rant a little about this whole business of things having meanings. I think I've said this here before years ago, but you know what ruined a large part of my love for Star Wars? The EU. Yes, you read that right. In my opinion the Expanded Universe was the worst thing that ever happened to Star Wars. Not because it's somehow bad to have more stories in the universe you like. No, that...
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 07:54 PM
    Because REDEMPTION ARC!! Woo!! (You have to throw your hands straight up in the air while you shout it for it to have maximum impact.) No, but seriously, because Darth Vader was apparently redeemed in his story (does Vader-ghost really signify that? I'm not entirely sure) a not insignificant portion of viewers also thought, and wanted, for Kylo to follow down that same path somehow. Or...
    86 replies | 1503 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 07:20 PM
    Not exactly. When the player states that this is something they have decided it is very unlikely their character will agree to, a DM can give them advantage, and give the face disadvantage. A DM can even stack a modifier for circumstances on top, if that feels justified, such as being convinced to kill his brother. In that case, it could also be made clear a risk of the character becoming...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 07:11 PM
    I can see that my point was not clear enough. The example isn't about who would win. It is about characters that have relevant abilities that are different from the abilities of their players. I'm not completely gullible, but as a player I'm more gullible than a Rogue Inquisitive with high Wisdom, Ear for Deceit, and Expertise in Insight is. This points out that player-to-player does not...
    467 replies | 8617 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 06:37 PM
    One distinct use of Insight, called out in the RAW, is to determine true intentions, such as when "searching out a lie". A good mechanic to apply in my case is a Contest: Rogue's Wisdom (Insight) against Barbarian's Charisma (Deception). A DM might arbitrate as follows - If B's result is higher, then R is deceived into believing that B thinks she's presenting the truth. "You trust her on this...
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 05:05 PM
    Why is that, exactly? It's bizarre. Their origin story is really simple, their group dynamic and powers are simple yet can have interesting combinations, and they have one of the best comic villains of all time in Doctor Doom and the rest of their usual villains are great too. How do you mess up the Galactus storyline? And their movies aren't getting better, but worse. I don't understand.
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 09:04 AM
    To be clear then, you are saying that if I (the Rogue Inquisitive character's player) say to you (as DM) "My character suspects she is being lied to. I want to make a Wisdom (Insight) to see if the Barbarian character is deceiving her. My character has Ear for Deceit and Expertise in the skill so she can't get less than a 15 here." As DM you'll allow the Contest of skills to be made and if my...
    467 replies | 8617 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 08:56 AM
    This is a great example and I think should be tested in its most distinct case, which is where character B is a Rogue Inquisitive with Ear for Deceit, high Wisdom, and Expertise in Insight, and the lying character is a Barbarian Totem Warrior, with low Charisma and no proficiency in Deception. It won't be common that a group's players will have social/psychological/investigative skills to match...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 08:36 AM
    My character has abilities that I as player do not have. Say my character is a Rogue Inquisitive with high Wisdom, Expertise in Insight and their Ear for Deceit feature. Possibly at the same time, the lying character is a Barbarian Totem Warrior who dumped Intelligence and Charisma, and has no proficiency in Deception. Were a DM to choose to let me have the benefit of my character's abilities, in...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 01:42 AM
    Tried it just now, using the 1e link from the page linked in the OP, and got this: ================================================= Corrupted Content Error The site at http://www.enworld.org/forum/showwiki.php?title=1st Edition AD and D Collectors Guide has experienced a network protocol violation that cannot be repaired. The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because an...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 01:34 AM
    Or should it be a three-quarterling, as it's a halfling (i.e. half a human) mixed with a full human... I once DMed a party who - in character! - had this very argument while in a combat, yelling at each other across the battle their reasons for quarterling or three-quarterling. Good times. :)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 10:28 PM
    Well, in organized play that's exactly the case: if a race is in an allowed book then it's allowed, and the DM has no choice. That same mentality bleeds over into home games*, leaving the DM stuck between either allowing something she doesn't want in her game or being the villain and saying no. * - perhaps a bit more controversially, I'll posit this mentality is far stronger now than it...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 10:04 PM
    Perhaps a simpler expression of model A is to say that there are no character intents. There are only player intents, and character acts. This conflicts with the RAW because you end up not deciding how your character "thinks", as "thinks" should include "intents" and you definitely aren't allowed to decide that for your character in any way that is separate from deciding it for yourself, the...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 09:31 PM
    Do you mean that it's really down to the individual group, with equal justice on either interpretation? In background analysis of games (game studies and philosophy of games) about a decade ago it was suggested that there is always a duality in the relationship of player to game. There is player as the real person, still a member of their society and culture, thinking about all kinds of things...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 09:06 PM
    In a case where the character is grappled. I as the player decide how my character acts. I decide it acts by walking away. Except, I think everyone agrees that it can't. I hope this demonstrates that what you're offering is really a unique exception. For every other mechanic in the game, the player decides how they want their character to think, act and talk. They don't decide whether those...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 08:57 PM
    In this case, its you as a player determining how your character thinks, acts, and talks. Player: I hit the orc. DM: Your character needs to make an attack roll. Player: I hide from Joe. DM: Okay, Joe we're using your character's passive Perception unless you're taking time to search, Bob make a Stealth check using your character's Dexterity (Stealth) skill. Player: I resist the...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 08:27 PM
    A case that troubles me is thinking about Strength (Athletics) for a grapple, versus Charisma (Persuasion) to persuade. You, as the player, can't determine that your character isn't grappled, if you lose the contest against an NPC's Strength (Athletics). You could well say "I walk away from the NPC", choosing not to ignore that your Speed has been made 0 in that situation: the skill check...
    467 replies | 8617 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 04:09 PM
    I think something like this line of argument is the most productive approach. In order to sustain a on-surface frank contradiction between say - allowing Athletics to grapple versus Persuasion to persuade - it seems right to go ahead and argue that there is something categorically different between Strength skills and Charisma skills. Wisdom is less clear, due to the common contest with Dexterity...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 03:55 PM
    I'm looking always to learn, not to paint you into a corner where you need to concede that I or anyone else is right. With that front and center, where I keep struggling with what you say is that it seems to contain a straight contradiction. On one hand, you say that some things can be decided with a die roll and that's all fine. In those cases, it seems like the PC/NPC involved was...
    467 replies | 8617 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 03:45 PM
    I do like campaign worlds in which unexpected races are prominent. It can be used to give that world a very distinctive feel, and it can allow development of more nuance in that race. I might like a world in which gnomes were the majority more than one in which they are a sideshow. Absolutely. I'm mainly just pointing out that the DM is allowed to have fun: they're one of the people at the...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 03:25 PM
    It came from you. More or less it sounds to me that all the three of you have failed. The face man player failed to want to impose his PC will on another player. You failed in siding with him and force a skill check to be the final arbiter. The Barbarian's player failed when he overreacted and tried to use something in-game against the first PC. But you are the DM so you have more...
    467 replies | 8617 view(s)
    3 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 02:34 PM
    Where I stall on this is the implication that when someone is hidden, and a character fails their passive and active perception checks, they just need to... look more intently? It implies that some but not all skills have no effect on characters. What I dislike there is the picking and choosing. An alternative is that how they follow the suggestion is up to the player. Player and DM can...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 12:50 PM
    I've experienced the same thing. The contention forces even players who would rather not worry about optimising, to optimise. These are well-conceived costs. Using a keyword allows the benefit to be targeted precisely. The spell slot cost provides a reason to not do it. The single check is good streamlining, and applying disadvantage doubles-down on producing a genuine decision. Do I stack,...
    27 replies | 619 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 10:40 AM
    This admits the possibility of an argument that successful skill use is like magical compulsion. Consider Dexterity (Stealth) skill use. PC Alice satisfies the requirements for a hide check and wants to hide from PC Barbie. She rolls 16 against Barbie's 13 passive Wisdom (Perception). According to the game mechanics, she is hidden. Barbie can't see her and doesn't know where she is. Clearly if...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 10:14 AM
    I think you're conflating two concerns here. One is - should a player character swing their sword at another player character? PC vs PC combat. That depends on groups, but for many groups the PCs agree they won't attack one another. A distinctly different concern is - if a player character swung their sword at another player character, and if they roll the attack die and it hits, then...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 09:38 AM
    Maybe its like saying, a DM should restrict what they want, when they want, but they shouldn't be a jerk?
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 09:34 AM
    I gnome what you mean. If there's someone out there who loves gnomes they should play them to their heart's content. They just can't expect me to do any work to create adventures for them. I'm a DM, not a servant.
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 05:45 AM
    I just learned about the whole Jessie J on Singer thing. Earlier this year she entered this chinese singing competition that they are reporting had a billion viewers. She won.
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 05:17 AM
    My mom is fully into the whole dream interpretation thing and she'd probably have a whole lecture stored up for what that means. I think it might mean you've had stress in your life recently that your subconscious is dealing with.
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 05:02 AM
    And here we go again:
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 04:50 AM
    Do you remember what sort of dreams you have when that happens? Edit: I fail at reading apparently.
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    7518 replies | 387149 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 03:16 AM
    I have not watched that, but your description really makes me want to. :D
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 02:58 AM
    Aloft? Magneto, is that you?
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 02:52 AM
    I'd really enjoy a classic-style Secret Wars with a Beyonder storyline. They'd be free to shake things up and smash the fragments of the franchise together without too many problems. As long as we'd finally get an on-screen Doctor Doom who was like, you know, smart. :p
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 02:31 AM
    I really like the visual aesthetic they are going for. Very colourful and energetic. Like Bioshoch Infinite crossed with Borderlands. :D
    6 replies | 303 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 12:11 AM
    Player: I enjoy gnomes and therefore you must enjoy them too. DM: You know I don't enjoy gnomes because I find them jarring. Especially for the kind of grittier fantasy I like to play? Player: I enjoy gnomes and therefore you must enjoy them too. DM: And you know I get to run one game, one night a week. The rest of the time I'm working or doing chores. It's important to me to enjoy that game....
    96 replies | 2745 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 11:49 PM
    Agreed. Ideally restrictions are tied to the campaign and made ahead of time. Well sure, if you push me on it, there could be reasons for other restrictions outside of that. You know what, I'll just do whatever I think makes the game good. . . . Hence, 5, but that should be rarer than 3 and 4.
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 11:40 PM
    Gnomes are an existential yuck. I have only two wishes with races. One, no gnomes. Two, clear demarcation between core and optional races. With an expectation that core are well-playtested and balanced with all other core material.
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 09:08 PM
    I voted all.
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 05:42 PM
    Yes. To offer a perspective, how many dice do players throw in combat? Maybe 4 for initiative, and perhaps 8 to as many as 40 per round taking into account attacks, extra attacks, bonus action attacks, saving throws, damage dice and death saves. So a combat is perhaps as many as a hundred throws, right? Maybe two hundred. The skill system lacks the nuance to consistently interesting for that many...
    59 replies | 1040 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 03:02 PM
    At tier 2, Attack action with Hand Crossbow with Crossbow Expert and Sharpshooter > Extra Attack with same > Bonus attack with same > Free attack with same... all with power-attack. Usually this combination has to wait to tier 3 to outstrip the two-handed heavy greatsword with GWM for damage. Is that intended?
    60 replies | 1039 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 02:08 PM
    jonesy started a thread Avengers Endgame Trailer

    21 replies | 669 view(s)
    2 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 11:46 AM
    Unless there is time pressure, this is hard to make interesting. Some tension factors - Each success moves the characters higher up, making failure successively more catastrophic... though I guess anything above about 120' could be deadly. 550'/30 = 18 so potentially there are 18 checks here... no one is going to make (1-DC)^18 checks successfully... You've hinted there are checks...
    59 replies | 1040 view(s)
    1 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 10:41 AM
    Actually, just to comment on the intent. I think if you want to address the rapier/dagger thing, which Mearls discussed, it would be better done through a weapon property, such as (on rapier)... Balanced - If used for two weapon fighting, the weapon in the other hand has the same damage die as this weapon. One thing I like and dislike with your approach is it opens up the unlikely...
    60 replies | 1039 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 10:27 AM
    Here's a quick attempt to improve the wording... Fighting With Two Weapons When you take the Attack action and attack with a melee weapon that you're holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different melee weapon that you're holding in the other hand. Both weapons must be light, or one of them must be a dagger. Alternatively, if another feature or spell lets you...
    60 replies | 1039 view(s)
    1 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 10:04 AM
    I've been experimenting with a new class feature for Monks, looking at their bonus action contention. So far it seems to work mechanically and is fun to use, but I wonder what it has the potential to break or push over reasonable limits? All feedback really welcome. Refocus Starting at 5th level, you can push yourself beyond your normal limits for a moment. On your turn, you can take one...
    0 replies | 115 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 09:13 AM
    Once upon a time there was a game development studio called Interplay Productions. Interplay created a revolutionary game called Wasteland (which was, in retrospect, somewhat surprisingly published by Electronic Arts). Almost a decade later Interplay followed up with a spiritual successor. Fallout proved to be both a critical and a commercial success. There was also an actual sequel to...
    6 replies | 303 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 08:25 AM
    There are many which I really like to use as a source of quests and stories, but none is sexier than Shar.
    41 replies | 1495 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 05:49 AM
    I was a blank slate when I watched TPM. I wasn't interested in SW at all before that point.Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson and Ray Park hooked me into SW. ^_^ I'm sorry but you are incorrect, Finn's one and true love is Poe. n_n
    126 replies | 2260 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 12:38 AM
    Really? I would have sworn it was like half an hour at least. At least the reality ensues at the end pays off. Del toro definitively sold it. In fact I kind of like that part of TLJ, the crew constantly screwing up the million to one chances that Han and company routinely could achieve. That makes the original party more special by comparison. Honestly Rey, Rose, Finn and Poe are amateurs.
    126 replies | 2260 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 12:09 AM
    That's probably why I kind of like the Last Jedi, I went out of my way to arrive as a blank state to the movie theater. I avoided trailers, reviews, social networks and youtube channels. I had no pet theories, I just wanted to see how they were going to fix the mess left by the force awakens. Somehow they made everything worse, but the carnage was fun to watch. (Except for the casino scene, that...
    126 replies | 2260 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 11:59 PM
    Here's my probably unpopular take (Not including Solo, as I couldn't watch it. Star wars movies are supposed to last at least a month in exhibition. How was I to know this time would be different? No holiday Special as I never watched it) First let's start by the middle of the road The enjoyable movies.- Movies I like, that I could watch on a loop. 6 The Eewooks.- Fun light-hearted movie...
    126 replies | 2260 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 11:19 AM
    Usually people evaluate monsters stats without looking at the story, but I think you point out what is a remarkable feature of this monster: if you kill it, someone will be stuck forever in the negative energy plane. If you run the game with more focus on purposes and achievements, then "winning" an encounter with a Nightwalker gets a new definition, at least for non-evil PCs. And it...
    31 replies | 1149 view(s)
    0 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 09:50 AM
    You raise some great examples here, that emphasise the value of differentiating hidden from unseen on the basis of "location not known". In both examples, the creature (invisible, or in the box) may well be unseen. It's location however is known and it is prevented (by the grapple, by the box) from making it unknown. It could well be worth expressly calling that out. The movement...
    53 replies | 1055 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, 11:23 AM
    You don't need anything. Half-Elf and Half-Orc are there because of tradition, and THAT is definitely worth keeping around. The rules of the game evolve, and new races and classes can become new-traditional in time, but some things should stay the same of D&D will lose its identity and legacy across editions. Then, some people want as much symmetry as possible in the game, and the fact that...
    201 replies | 6863 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, 07:19 AM
    Restrictions are recipes. No restrictions is like having 4-5 cooks putting everything they want in the soup. It may work fine. Or you may end up with one cook putting indian spices, the second Mediterranean ingredients, another german sausages, and the last french cream. Which, who knows, maybe it's actually good, but maybe it's garbage. Restrictions, if well planned, provides a theme and can...
    96 replies | 2745 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th December, 2018, 11:28 AM
    If I-as-player know my character (any character!) has access to a wish right now, you can bet your left foot that wish is gonna get used right now. The only decision I'd have to make would be what to wish for, if not made obvious by the circumstances. Single-use items do get used IME, but only in dire situations. Potions of healing, for example, almost never get used unless a) the clerics...
    24 replies | 973 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th December, 2018, 10:51 AM
    I don't get why that would be a thing when she was in fact smiling in the first trailer. Or why that would have any bearing on either the quality of the trailer or that of the eventual movie. How many times did Josh Brolin smile in the Deadpool 2 trailer and why would anyone care?
    18 replies | 800 view(s)
    0 XP
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Sunday, 9th December, 2018

  • 02:11 AM - Nagol mentioned Lanefan in post Echohawk's Collector's Guides Broken?
    Tried it just now, using the 1e link from the page linked in the OP, and got this: ================================================= Corrupted Content Error The site at http://www.enworld.org/forum/showwiki.php?title=1st Edition AD and D Collectors Guide has experienced a network protocol violation that cannot be repaired. The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because an error in the data transmission was detected. Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem. ============================================ I'm using Firefox on a desktop. EDIT: Tried it again a few moments later, same thing, so not a one-time glitch. Lanefan Lanefan, if you're still around, do me the favour of trying the matching link in my post #16 (it's the 2nd link)?

Sunday, 18th November, 2018

  • 02:27 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ... one or two hits but doesn't have the threat. A minion actually doesn't hit that hard - eg a 10th level minion does the same average damage on a hit as a 1st level standard.; a 20th level minion does the same average damage on a hit as a 6th level stanard.; a 30th level minion does the same average damange on a hit as an 11th level standard. In any event, these "functions" correspond to differences in the fiction: the reason the minion can be killed in one hit is because it is outclassed. That's not a mysterious notion. It might have a chance to get one whack in the meantime. That's not a mysterious notion either. I raised the idea of Gygaxian naturalism as a way to understand why people are often bothered by minionization and other situational abstraction devices.And I've made the point that "Gygaxian naturalism" has nothing to do with how combat stats are established for a monster. Gygaxian naturalism is about the "secondary reality" and it's naturalistic character. The issue Lanefan and (maybe) you have with minionisation isn't about naturalism but about a certain sort of prioritisation of mechanics over fiction - ie for whatever reason you can't think about how tough an ogre is compared to a town guard or a knight without first assigning AD&D-type stats to each of them. It's as if JRRT couldn't have written LotR without first assinging AD&D stats to each principal character and then dicing it out! In an RPG, the game rules are a big part of what creates the secondary reality.Says who? That's not the case for Classic Traveller. That's not the case for Marvel Heroic RP. That's not the case for Call of Cthulhu. That's not the case for Tunnels & Trolls. That's not the case for HeroWars/Quest. That's not the case for Prince Valiant. That's not the case for AD&D Oriental Adventures. Perhaps the most richly realised RPG setting of all time is Glorantha. It has multiple systems designed for play in it (RuneQuest and HeroWars/Quest). In systems that propound ...

Saturday, 17th November, 2018

  • 07:14 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...giving pixies an ability to know alignment. There is also this: you can't build a "real" world without stats for sheep and cows and horses and such, because you never know when the PCs might need to kill one. If we put aside the rather narrow thought that you only need mechanics when killing is in the offing (eg we could easily have a mechanical system that reflects that sheep are easier to herd than cattle), nothing prevents there being stats for sheep and cows and horses in 4e. (Horses are statted in the MM. Sheep and cows could pretty easily be extrapolated from that by someone who wanted to.) Gygaxian naturalism (as defined in the link I provided) is NOT realistic. It doesn't pretend to be. The reason I used "secondary reality" is because there's an internal consistency to it.There is no lack of internal consistency in an ogre being beatable only by a whole host of fresh-faced heroes, while being barely even a speed-bump for Sir Lancelot. That was my initial point to Lanefan. Thus ogres having dramatically different stats depending on the PCs' stats is quite alien and runs counter to the secondary reality established by, say, the monster stats.Only if you don't understand the system, and so assume - contrary to the system design - that stats are an opponent-neutral description of a creature. This is really the crux of it. Naturalism - Gygaxian or otherwise - is a property of fiction. Blade Runner has naturalism in a way that (say) the Princess Bride doesn't. It's not about mechanical methodologies. Thus, and to reiterate, JRRT created "secondary realities" without needing game stats. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created a "secondary reality" without needing game stats. The connection between stats and secondary reality is a prison of your own making, inherent in neither the notion of secondary reality nor the notion of RPG stats. It's either an inability or an unwillingness to think about the fiction, and the mechanics as a device for engaging and ch...

Friday, 16th November, 2018

  • 09:44 PM - rmcoen mentioned Lanefan in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Lanefan you are using the minion mechanic and then slamming it for being different. Accepting the use of the minion mechanic - which exists for "cinematic fantasy" battles, primarily - means accepting the intent of them as well. The "minion ogre", as the quoted contributor described, is still an ogre; it's just the PC's view of it on teh advancement track. Up the mountain at level 1, equal at level 10, far below at level 16. No reason to waste 2 hours of table time battling out what is already known for the "ogre vs. high paragon" battle.. Maybe it lands a hit, maybe it doesn't, battle is over.
  • 11:40 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Two further comments: (1) If, as Parmandur suggested upthread is widespread according to Mearls, someone wants to have an RPG experience which is mostly about GM-mediated fiction and story revelation, then conflict resolution/closed scene resolution will be unnecessary, and task resolution with no system-established finality will be fine - the skill check in effect becomes an element of colour that the GM weaves into the unfolding narration of the ingame situation. This seems to me to be an assumption many modules from the mid-80s on make about how the game will proceed, at least out of combat. (Eg if the PCs fail to find the dirt in the safe because they fail their safecracking roll, then they'll find it in the waste paper bin or in a note on a dead henchman or whatever.) It's hard to see how the "path" in an AP would work without this sort of thing. (2) Contra Lanefan and maybe some others, it's simply not true that differential XP tables in AD&D made fighters stronger than wizards at mid-to-upper levels. A 6th level wizard needs 40,000 XP compared to a fighter's 35,000; a 7th level wizard needs 60,000 XP compared to a fighter's 70,000; and from there it only gets better for the wizard through 13th level (1,125,000 for the wizard compared to 1,250,000 for the fighter). Parity is reestablished at 14th level (both need 1,500,000) and then the wizard falls behind again because s/he needs 375,000 rather than 250,000 per level gained. The effect of the MU XP table is to make initial progression hard for MUs, but just at the point where they power up - around 6th/7th level - the MU rockets off, and it's not until the widely unplayed mid-teen levelss that things change again. The only class that actually needs more XP than the fighter at mid levels through name level and thereabouts is the paladin. (Cf a ranger, who needs 650,000 to get to 11th where...

Wednesday, 14th November, 2018

  • 03:04 PM - Aldarc mentioned Lanefan in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...ary losses are Save-or-Die and some spell nerfs. Spellcasting has on the whole become much easier and far more lucrative. While some may rightfully say "yes, but when the game is played correctly...", I place greater value in praxis here. How are games commonly being played? I find that more informative. Because this does and will impact the reception of the game and its trajectory going forward. Now, the justification for "improving" the ease and reliability of spellcasting was for the sake of fun. I think that's fair. And I do find it enjoyable myself. But these burdens were often explicitly used in the past to justify the scope of their cosmic power and "win button" limited resources. And there has not really been anything that offsets the loss of these burdens. The increased technologizing of magic - its industrial automation? - has overwhelmingly favored spellcasters in this game. Meanwhile, the fighter... (see above). Just to be clear, likely to the disappointment of Lanefan ;), I am not advocating here a return to the normal of 1e and AD&D. But I do think that the shift in the class fantasy, class mechanics, and advantages/disadvantages between spellcasting classes and the fighter over time do reveal an imbalance of consideration with the respective classes. And these changes do impact the sort of narrative control options at the disposal of the wizard and fighter across editions. 4e was undeniably a controversial autocorrective regarding this imbalance, but few would dispute that it presented the most even playing field over any edition. So I am at the very least sympathetic to 4e for what it accomplishes in that regard.
  • 06:55 AM - Manbearcat mentioned Lanefan in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...rtent. 3) Amusingly, only the Wizard's Arcana ultimately failed due to Disadvantage (where he didn't want to spend Portent on it (he attempt to start the second hoverpod for the Fighter). But no matter...just uplevel Fly). 4) Overall, the character most impacted by Disadvantage (from The Time Reaper) and Advantage (Magic Resistance on all of the Grays) in this scenario was easily the Wizard; the Arcana above, all 3 usages of Portent spent to offset it (that wouldn't be available for the showdown with The Harvester with its Lair Actions), and 2-3 saving throws that would have failed on the Mass Suggestion were instead made successful due to Advantage. Despite that (and in part because of it as he turned both of the Rogue's failures into successes because the Rogue didn't have any means to deal with the Disadvantage problem)...the Diviner UTTERLY_DOMINATED the overall gamestate change of the session. And still had way more than enough resources available for the "boss fight." @Lanefan Just saw your post. Yup. Given your tastes, it makes sense that Portent and things like Legendary Resistance wouldn't be your cup of tea.

Tuesday, 13th November, 2018

  • 04:49 PM - Aldarc mentioned Lanefan in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ... heavy SnS elements to settings like Greyhawk, when this work backwards, using a D&D system for a SnS setting, then the fit becomes incredibly awkward and cumbersome. This is one of the problems I have, for example, regarding using 5e or even Pathfinder for Primeval Thule. It seems that there are far better rule systems than D&D 5e for the sort of SnS world Primeval Thule wishes to evoke. I would probably consult Savage Worlds, Warhammer, PbtA/Blades in the Dark, and a few other systems first, including even Blue Rose AGE. That said, it does seem weird to me that in the larger-than-life epic heroic fantasy of D&D, the martial capabilities and physical prowess of the fighter seem restricted to a greater degree than similar martial characters of the SnS genre. Or we may perhaps more appropriately say that the "fantasy" of the fighter does not grow in equal proportion to wizards. This is not strictly speaking a matter of mechanical Linear/Quadratic power, but of the class fantasy. As Lanefan posted earlier, the imagined fantasy essentially entails "take more hits" and "make more hits" as opposed to the wizard wielding cosmic powers of the universe. Magic items should probably not be regarded as a great "equalizer" given how magic-wielding characters likewise have access to magic items. Incidentally, it seems as if Pathfinder 2 likewise views this as an issue that presents cognitive dissonance given how the capability of skills were stated as being expanded to permit fighters and rogues to perform more fantastical physical feats the combined skill tier and level system.

Monday, 12th November, 2018

  • 04:11 PM - Sadras mentioned Lanefan in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    As far as theatre of the mind is concerned, whatever floats your boat. In AD&D I don't bother tracking precise distances because they don't matter - there is no tracking of in-melee movement in AD&D, so the only question is whether someone is close enough to shoot or close enough to be engaged in melee. As Lanefan mentioned AoE spells very much care about precise distances. But the systems being compared were not AD&D and 4e but rather 5e and 4e. As far as I can tell @Manbearcat and I are the only posters in this thread who regularly play non-D&D systems (like MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic, Prince Valiant, and the like) that use conflict resolution mechanics that proceed as a 4e skill challenge does - first, establish feasibility in the fiction, then use the system framework to set a difficulty. I'm not sure what this has anything to do with that what we are discussing and doesn't everyone first establish feasibility in the fiction and then use the system framework to set the difficulty? Surely our disagreement stems from what is and isn't feasible in the fiction and not necessarily yours and Manbearcat's appreciation of the skill challenge mechanic. Instead of imputing views that have no connection to the ones I'm actually articulating Strongly disagree. The example was raised that 10 DM...

Wednesday, 31st October, 2018

  • 08:26 PM - Satyrn mentioned Lanefan in post Random "table" with an inbuilt memory ... (sort of)
    @Lanefan directed me to this thread after I mentioned making wandering monster tables tied to a dungeon's randomly determined "daily status." I could see using this to determine daily status, except that most of the time I'm just essentially picking the starting location and don't need to track it over time. However, I Just realized how this could work to track some things once the status has been determined. When the players enter Goblin Territory and the current status is "Orcs are invading" a hexflower could determine the orcs' progress. It seems to me like "orcs win" would be at the top with "orcs driven out" at the bottom. What would be the starting square? Since the players would be entering the territory while the invasion was underway, it'll work perfectly fine if I randomly pick one of the hexes (other than the win/lose spots), but what if the players are there when the invasion begins? Edit: The Goblin Territory comprises 5 zones (plus homebase), and I'm picturing each hex in the...

Monday, 29th October, 2018

  • 11:36 PM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Or to summarize it more succinctly... Someone brings up a play style (or component thereof) and decides to add that unless you play this way (or with these procedures) you are a bad DM... thread explodes.Just to be clear: I posted about some experiences that had caused me to leave games. Lanefan and others then posted to say that I was wrong in my view that those experiences were examples of bad GMing, and that I did the wrong thing in leaving those games. So I think you've got it slightly backwards - I've been told I'm not doing my duty as a RPG player because I don't want to play with (what I regard as) bad GMs who produce crappy play experiences. Pretty much... especially when the question is left open enough as to be a justification for listing anything a DM does that I personally don't like or agree with.I don't see what's wrong with that. As per the OP, this thread is about experiences of bad GMing that have led a player to leave a game. Of course people are going to post about what they don't like!

Saturday, 27th October, 2018

  • 01:30 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    All this shows me is that the 5e designers are just as capable of making mistakes as anyone else. If your fiction is tightly coupled to the order of dice rolls made at the gaming table, then the mistake is on your end, not in the game rules.Right. The game rules are what they are. They can be inconsistent, eg if one rule contradicts another with no apparent way for resolving the contradiction; but that's not the case here. The Shield spell not being liked by Lanefan doesn't mean that it's a mistake. I've been consistently arguing for blind declaration (e.g. that a spell such as Shield must be cast before the to-hit is rolled). The 'time travel' piece (e.g. waiting to cast Shield until you not only know you're hit but how much damage you'll take, so if it's just a few h.p. you can let it pass but if it's a heavy blow you can cast to undo it) is merely a subset of that argument.That might be a statement of your preferences. It's not relevant to making sense of the 5e rules, though. 5e is not a blind declaration game.

Friday, 26th October, 2018

  • 02:05 PM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    The ideal is not to have the foreknowledge of damage as that meta is likely to influence ones decision. By providing that information upfront you reduce the importance of the decision and by extension the fun IMO. The unknown variable provides a risk factor... If someone casts a Sleep spell on you and rolled the sleep damage upfront, you would know if you would be affected and then it would be obvious if you should Counterspell or not. If the sleep damage is rolled only after you declined to Counterspell it makes for a more exciting resolution.I agree that blind declaration is sometimes more exciting. If less tactical. But that's not the argument that Lanefan and Maxperson were running. They were talking about "time travelling", not what makes for more or less fun at the table.

Thursday, 25th October, 2018

  • 05:32 PM - Hriston mentioned Lanefan in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...at the same time as long as the results are announced separately by the roller, with time between for interrupts. "Roll 18 for 6 damage!" is poor, as any reaction is going to force some sort of retcon. (part of this for me is that AFAIC once the damage has been announced at the table it's also occurred in the fiction, meaning it's now too late for reactions) "Roll 18!" * "You hit." ** "6 damage" is better, as there's at least a chance to interrupt with a reaction. (though better if the interruption comes at '*' rather than at '**') But shield triggers off a hit. That damage was rolled concurrently with the attack doesn't invalidate that the trigger has been satisfied. That page is about house rules for the game. If the DM house rules attack and damage to happen at the same time, it's on him to figure out how to run the shield spell. For myself, I'm not going to engage that house rule so it will never be an issue for me. It's a page and a half on table rules, similar to Lanefan's table rule that roll results are entered into the fiction as specific outcomes upon being announced. I'm not sure what you mean by "happen at the same time", but the table rule suggested by the DMG is for the two rolls to happen at the same time. Presumably, in the fiction an attack hits and does damage at the same time as well, but if it misses of course no damage is done, and the intent of shield is clearly to turn a hit rolled at the table into a miss in the fiction.

Thursday, 18th October, 2018

  • 08:18 AM - Sadras mentioned Lanefan in post Survivor Halloween 2018 5e Undead- Wraith WINS!
    DOWN VOTES ARE A MASSIVE 3 Ghoul 9 Revenant 5-3=2 Shadow 7 Skeleton 13 Wight 12 Wraith 21+1=22 No more vampire, no more lich, no more death knight, no more demilich - all the good ones are gone. So, if something pathetic must win this I'm pulling for the underdoggiest of the underdogs: Skeleton for the win! I fear you have lost your way Lanefan. I will pray for you.

Wednesday, 17th October, 2018

  • 02:17 PM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Wow, it is almost as if you believe or at minimum suggest that the rest of us pregen/mold every PC's background?Well, I'm only going on the fact that Lanefan told Aldarc that doing something-or-other about dwarf gods and religion would require the permission of two GMs. Plus this repeated suggestion that the GM won't have fun if s/he isn't allowed to establish that dear dad (or in my game's case) dear mum waiting at home for the PC to return from the quest is really a serial killer or whatever. If those apparent assertions that the GM gets to control all backstory and NPCs aren't really assertions that the GM gets to control all backstory and NPCs then someone's going to have to translate them for me, because I'm taking them literally. And taken literally that's what they say. Whereas I just gave an actual play example in which the player controlled a whole heap of backstory including a whole heap of NPCs.
  • 07:22 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...ly transformed by the revelation at the end of the book. And in a RPG, the meaning of my PC's actions - when framed against an understanding of dear dad waiting for me back at home - is completely transformed once it is revealed that dear dad is in fact a serial killer. A variant of this - pertaining not to a family member but to an instigating NPC patron - was the GM flaw in the third of the three campaigns that I mentioned in my first post in this thread: betrayal by the patron completely changed the meaning of a MacGuffin quest which had no narrative logic to it except that we were fetching a MacGuffin for a patron because that was the situation the GM had presented us with. It reveals the PCs as suckers and patsies. And in the context of a RPG, it also reveals the players as the GM's patsies - the GM has lured us into the game with the promise of a mildly interesting fetch quest for a NPC, and it turns out we were sucked in and were really telling quite a different story. Lanefan upthread asks - but was the fetch quest fun to play out? Answer: not terribly, it was pretty mid-grade RPging, but tolerable because the group (including the GM) was a group of friends who had RPGed together for quite some time. But mid-grade RPGing with friends can be fine when you have (as we all then did) the time on your hands. What made it less than fine was the GM move of unilaterally changing the meaning of something that was outside player control and that no player action had ever put at stake. Sadras describes this as "story now" sensibility. My memory for when this happened is a bit hazy, but I want to say some time around 1993 to 1995. So something like 10 years, certainly more than 5 years, before Ron Edwards wrote his "Story Now" essay. In a group who at that time played Rolemaster almost exclusively (the game in question was a RM one). I point that out so as to make the point that objecting to this sort of GMing is not some super-radical new-fangled thing.

Monday, 15th October, 2018

  • 02:43 PM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    To be fair, one of the early portions of the debate was about a gradual build up of a patron to make it the master villain... now whether that was a warlock patron idk.I've already addressed this in a very recent post. As per the thread title, I gave three examples of when I had ditched a game because of poor GMing. One was of a game in which the culmination of three (or so?) sessions of play, which had as its sole narrative motivation collecting some MacGuffin for the PCs' patron, the patron betrayed the PCs. Lanefan suggested (or asserted? I haven't gone back upthread to check) that I was wrong to say that this game sucked, and that I should have hung around for 10 or so sessions of nothing happening except the GM playing out his own story about a treacherous patronj as part of setting up a long-term villain. I expressed the view that that would have been a total waste of my time, which was I didn't do it. The idea that players would sit through 10 sessions of play watching the GM - in effect - play with him-/herself is absolutely ludicrous to me. But anyway, for some reason some poster or other decided that all patrons are warlock's supernatural patron's and decided to assert that, when it comes to a player playing a warlock, then the GM is absolutely entitled to play the game with him-/herself and the player just has to suck it up. I disagreed, along with soe others - the last many pages of this thread record the upshot of that.
  • 01:34 PM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    This dialog on NPCs that come out of player choices for their pcs started with literally backstory parents iirc. No. It came out of me saying that I ended a game which involved the GM having the PCs' patron betray them upon completing their mission. Lanefan and one or two other posters - I thought you were one of them - said that I was wrong to criticise the GM on this basis. And then someone seemed to assume that reference to a "patron" meant reference to a warlock's supernatural patron. EDIT because I saw this: You left out "play non-clerics, non-warlocks etc"What's in the scope of the "etc"? Maxperson has mentioned paladins. You've mentioned guildmembers. What about family members? Are you saying that the player either play "The Man with No Name" or else - in virtue of playing a PC who actually has some sort of social grounding in the setting, is giving the GM unrestrained licence to do as s/he wishes with that backstory? How far does it go? Is the GM at liberty to decide that the PC's beloved brother is really a serial killer? That the PC's spouse is having an affair? That the PC's child has been possessed by a demon? All unilaterally, without reference to player preference for the game or the outcomes of action resolutio...

Sunday, 14th October, 2018

  • 01:31 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...alking about here? I mean, how much of an impact would Backgrounding actually have on a campaign?I've got no objection to what you go on to say about Backgrounding. The discussion of warlock patrons was initially triggered by me talking about PCs being betrayed by a (non-Warlock, conventional) patron. And I'd instanced that as an example of a GM move that caused me to leave a game (or, to be more precise, to let a game die). But this discussion of warlock patrons and backgrounding has only reinforced my preference. I have zero interest in RPGing with a GM who sees the point of the game to drive his/her personal plot preferences in disregard of the protagonism of the players. And the idea that the player of a cleric, warlock etc is getting some "unfair advantage" if the GM doesn't muck them about with demands from god or patron is ridiculous. Why is RPGing better or more fun because the player of the cleric has goals set for her by the GM rather than herself? Which is what Lanefan and (I think) 5ekyu and others are talking about. EDIT: Here's another example: I don't think that's really what people are saying - they're saying that you must accept the complication those classes require. They don't typically involve MUST take certain actions by DM force - rarely does a paladin even face that. Rather, that you MUST accept the consequences of the way you play your character, or of the choices you make, when they interact in certain ways with the classes you've chosen or the situation around you. I think your spin on it really is a mischaracterization - and an extremely uncharitable one at that.How is RPGing better because the GM threatens to stop you playing a paladin, warlock or whatever - "consequences of the way you play your character" - unless you pursue XYZ side quest or barmaid rescue or whatever it is the GM decides would be fun. To me that just seems like the pits. Can the GM not think of some way to challenge my PC which speaks to what I en...


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Wednesday, 12th December, 2018


Tuesday, 11th December, 2018

  • 11:16 PM - MNblockhead quoted Lanefan in post CHALLENGE: Campaigns that NOBODY would want to play in
    ...er the PCs have of their own. Looking out the windows shows an endless prairie of wheat fields in all directions except a rough cart track leaving to the north, all suitably narrated to reflect the time of year. How to (maybe?) make it awesome: The tavern building is mobile - it can 'walk', it can fly, it can go underwater or travel through interstellar space, etc., and it can communicate externally as directed, but it can't in any way think for itself - but the PCs have to figure this all out. After that the goal of the PCs is not to themselves adventure but to a) learn how to guide/steer/operate the building, b) to teach the building how to do certain things e.g. fight for itself, conceal itself, etc., and then c) to use their collective skills and abilities to guide it through a series of adventures and-or to a series of interesting places. Their means of interacting with said adventures and places is the building: the PCs tell it what to do and-or 'say' and it does so. Lanefan Right, so you turn it into the medieval fantasy version of Star Trek. The characters all man the "bridge" of their space/dimension faring vessel.
  • 01:52 AM - OverlordOcelot quoted Lanefan in post Trying to make 5e more oldish and want some people's opinions
    I very much like the idea of individual weapon proficiencies, reflecting the in-game notion that a fighter - while vaguely handy with any weapon hence their lower non-prof penalty - has his-her own particular weapon preferences, and those are what he-she has chosen to focus on. I don't like it, and more importantly I don't think there's anything realistic about the kind of narrow weapon proficiencies that 1e and 2e had. People who were competent, experienced melee fighters didn't need large amounts of training to switch from a sword to a spear to an axe, or worse from a sword to a slightly smaller sword or from a poleaxe to a poleaxe with a spike on the back. I mean, can anyone find a historical source that troops switching from one style of polearm to another needed months or years of training to learn the new one? Tiny numbers of weapon proficiencies just isn't realistic. If it floats your boat go for it, but don't do it in the name of realism. The point of small-weapon initiative...
  • 12:54 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Lanefan in post Trying to make 5e more oldish and want some people's opinions
    Again, take clock time out of the equation! In four attacks each warrior has exactly the same chance of maiming herself, whether novice or expert. That those four attacks take four times as long in clock time to occur for the novice is completely irrelevant. The bigger question is how many attacks does it take the expert to finish off her foe as opposed to the novice. If the novice can kill her foe in 8 attacks and the expert can kill her foe in 8 attacks then the chance of fumbling at some point in those combats is precisely the same for each. That the novice's fight lasts 8 clock-time rounds where the expert's only lasts 2 has no bearing on any of this. Flip side: the same, of course, is true of critical hits.It's interesting that your counterargument is that the legendary warrior, who trades blows with angels and demons, has exactly the same chance of maiming herself through ineptitude as the rookie guard per maneuver and that this is okay. Further, on the context of 2e where combat...
  • 12:21 AM - jmartkdr quoted Lanefan in post Trying to make 5e more oldish and want some people's opinions
    But if the number of attacks required to win a fight remains roughly the same as levels increase then so does the fumble chance per combat. Why would you think that ever happens? Fights take the same number of rounds, or slightly more, as levels increase. Fights at 1st level tend to be 3-5 rounds. If the same number of attacks were happening, fights at 5th would take 2-3, and at 11th would take 1-2, and at 20th would take 0-1.
  • 12:11 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Lanefan in post Trying to make 5e more oldish and want some people's opinions
    Which is exactly what I said. The odds of fumbling per attack never change, but as those attacks come more frequently in clock time so in tandem do the screw-ups. Rounds are game-speak for clock time. The odds of fumbling on any given attack never change: 1 in 20 (or whatever frequency the table uses). That the attacks come more frequently for higher-level types doesn't change this. That said, a step back to look at how many attacks it takes to finish a combat might say something. If at low level it takes on average a warrior 8 attacks to win a fight (each with a 1/20 fumble chance) but at high level it takes a warrior 16 attacks to win a fight (probably due to damage output not keeping up with opponent h.p. increase) then one could rightly state the high-level warrior's chance of fumbling over the course of a whole combat is higher - in this case exactly double. (and note the number of rounds this all takes is inconsequential in any case) But if the number of attacks required to win a...
  • 12:09 AM - Saelorn quoted Lanefan in post Trying to make 5e more oldish and want some people's opinions
    Was it? I know in 1e the spell you got at level-up training was random. Did that not carry over into 2e? (I know that by 3e you could choose)At least when I played 2E, you didn't automatically learn any new spells when you gained a level. If you were a level 5 wizard, but you never found any scrolls or captured any spellbooks, then you were still casting level 1 spells. The ability to learn a spell automatically was restricted to specialist wizards, and was the primary benefit of specializing.

Monday, 10th December, 2018

  • 11:38 PM - Sabathius42 quoted Lanefan in post Trying to make 5e more oldish and want some people's opinions
    The chance of messing up, when pushing the edge of one's skill, doesn't change much as the skill improves. Except that, mechanically, it DOES change as skill (level in this case) improves. A fighter who attacks once every round has a 1 critical fumble every 20 rounds. A fighter who attacks twice every round (most melee classes in 5e) will have 2 critical fumbles every 20 rounds. A fighter who attacks three times a round (monks and many martial classes who have feats) will have 3 critical fumbles every 20 rounds. Having a static number that is a fumble penalizes any character rolling attack dice more often. Now, if you have a hybrid system for fumbles beyond the static "rolling a 1" then you can mitigate this however then you are designing a game that goes against the simplicity of 5e design. DS

Sunday, 9th December, 2018

  • 02:15 AM - Morrus quoted Lanefan in post Echohawk's Collector's Guides Broken?
    Tried it just now, using the 1e link from the page linked in the OP, and got this: ================================================= Corrupted Content Error The site at http://www.enworld.org/forum/showwiki.php?title=1st Edition AD and D Collectors Guide has experienced a network protocol violation that cannot be repaired. The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because an error in the data transmission was detected. Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem. ============================================ I'm using Firefox on a desktop. EDIT: Tried it again a few moments later, same thing, so not a one-time glitch. Lanefan I have never even heard of that error message.... this is so far above my pay grade. Not a clue.
  • 02:11 AM - Nagol quoted Lanefan in post Echohawk's Collector's Guides Broken?
    Tried it just now, using the 1e link from the page linked in the OP, and got this: ================================================= Corrupted Content Error The site at http://www.enworld.org/forum/showwiki.php?title=1st Edition AD and D Collectors Guide has experienced a network protocol violation that cannot be repaired. The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because an error in the data transmission was detected. Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem. ============================================ I'm using Firefox on a desktop. EDIT: Tried it again a few moments later, same thing, so not a one-time glitch. Lanefan Lanefan, if you're still around, do me the favour of trying the matching link in my post #16 (it's the 2nd link)?

Saturday, 8th December, 2018

  • 11:01 PM - ad_hoc quoted Lanefan in post Ridding D&D of All Races - Multiple Choice Poll
    Well, in organized play that's exactly the case: if a race is in an allowed book then it's allowed, and the DM has no choice. A very, very small amount of the player base plays in those games though. That same mentality bleeds over into home games*, leaving the DM stuck between either allowing something she doesn't want in her game or being the villain and saying no. Well, the PHB splits up races into 'common' and 'uncommon'. On uncommon races: 'They don't exist in every world of D&D, and when they are found they are less widespread...' So the precedent of not allowing races (except the 4 common ones) starts in the PHB itself.

Tuesday, 4th December, 2018

  • 02:37 PM - Maxperson quoted Lanefan in post On Wishes and Magic Item Shoppes and Gold: The Paradox of Choice
    Single-use items do get used IME, but only in dire situations. Potions of healing, for example, almost never get used unless a) the clerics are out of spells and-or b) someone is bleeding out right now and for whatever reason* there isn't a healer who can get there fast enough. With one general exception, scrolls get used when it makes sense to do so; the one general exception being spell scrolls where the user can already otherwise hard-cast the spell (e.g. a 10th-level mage with a scroll that has Fly and Haste on it; these being spells she already has in her book). I don't look at it like that. If I'm a wizard and I have a scroll with Haste and Fly on it, that's a fantastic opportunity for me to memorize two other spells in their places. The additional spells increase the odds that in any given situation I will have a useful spell.

Monday, 19th November, 2018

  • 09:44 AM - Jhaelen quoted Lanefan in post Solo Campaign: Awkward or Awesome?
    From the player side, I find solo gaming leads to more decision paralysis as I've nobody to bounce ideas off of other than the DM.I suppose that could happen. There's definitely a higher danger to get stuck, i.e. failing to come up with an idea how to make progress. But it could also work in your favor. When playing with a (large) group it isn't uncommon that one or several characters find a clue, and the rest of the group isn't aware of it. I.e. as a whole they already have all the puzzle-pieces, but for one reason or another they don't realize it. A single player will always be aware of the full picture.

Sunday, 18th November, 2018

  • 02:00 PM - pemerton quoted Lanefan in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    So if I'm reading this right, a 4e DM isn't supposed to design encounters or stats or DCs neutrally and impartially? How the heck does one possibly run a proper sandbox site-and-exploration-based campaign in 4e if that's the case? And how the heck is anyone supposed to write and publish a mass-market 4e adventure module without first knowing the players and-or PCs that'll be playing through it at every table?Plenty of people have run sandbox 4e. They just don't use minions in the way we've been discussing in this thread. (Woah! Who would have thought that 4e could be modular too?) I personally don't think 4e is terribly well suited for that sort of RPGing - I think it doesn't get the best in the system. But it's no skin of my nose if others want to play 4e games like that. As to whether there can be 4e modules - plenty were published (and many of them featured minions and solos). I don't think many were terribly good, but for that reason I didn't use them. Selling modules is probab...
  • 12:57 PM - pemerton quoted Lanefan in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Neither. I get the point, and disagree with it to such an extent that AFAIC it might as well not exist.I think you're running together preference and analysis. The fact that you don't like a system isn't a reason not to acknowledge how it works. The mechanics and the fiction are symbiotically locked together. For an RPG to be playable one really cannot exist without the other. The fiction drives the mechanics, and then the mechanics drive the fiction, and then the fiction drives....it's a mobius loop.And this is exactly how 4e works. The fiction tells us what the mechanics are (eg is the ogre a minion, a standard or a soloe). The mechanics then generate new fiction (eg is the ogre dead or alive). Etc. And within the fiction each creature (including PCs!) has absolute - not relative, but absolute - mechanical valuesThis makes no sense. An ogre has an absolute degree of toughness. But not absolute mechanical values. Mechanics aren't part of the fiction. They're devices for resolving a...
  • 12:52 PM - Garthanos quoted Lanefan in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Its "real" hit point total is the only one that matters. See mechanics first
  • 01:39 AM - pemerton quoted Lanefan in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    But they're not equally tough at all! One has a pile of hit points, one has a lesser pile of hit points, and one has one.I can't tell if you're being deliberately obtuse, or just completely missing the point. (1) The toughness is established in the fiction. The mechanics are subsequent to the fiction, nor prior to it. They are a device for resolving conflict between the ogre and a PC which reflect the relative toughness of ogre and PC. (2) In mechanical terms, a creature in D&D has many components - AC and other defences/saving throws, hit points, special resistances, to hit bonus, damage on a hit, number of attacks per round, etc - all of which contribute to its toughtness. Roughly speaking, if you step up a creature's defence while stepping down its hp, and step up its to hit bonus while stepping down its damage on a hit; or, alternatively, step down its defence while stepping up its hp, and step down its to hit bonus while stepping up its number of attacks per round; then you can m...
  • 12:56 AM - Garthanos quoted Lanefan in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    That's just it - I haven't really come up with anything that's a) workable, b) not ridiculous and-or fiction breaking, and c) not just as applicable to another class. And I've looked at both in-combat and out-of-combat ideas over the years. All good ideas but all would be equally applicable - or maybe even more so - to a swashbuckler-type light fighter or ranger. side note: if I ever do redesign fighters (a long way down my priority list) one of my goals would be to come up with a separate 'swashbuckler' class whose bread and butter would be stuff like this. To be honest I did not back in the day have anyone want to play the thief (even without knowing the classes issues) These days the Rogue seems to be be a favorite archetype at my house... thinking I married one LOL
  • 12:51 AM - pemerton quoted Lanefan in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    a 1e fighter got extra attacks because his enemies were low hit dieOnly after she'd spent a round fighting them and realized a) how pathetic they were and b) that they didn't have any tougher backup in their midst. (just a single tough-enough creature in the batch blew up this ability)These are house rules. The AD&D PHB doesn't contain either of them. Here is the rules text (from p 25) - it is a footnote to the Fighters', Paladins', & Rangers' Attacks per Melee Round Table: This excludes melee combat with monsters (qv) of less than one hit die (d8) and non-exceptional (0 level) humans and semi-humans, ie all creatures with less than one eight-sided hit die. All of these creatures entitle a fighter to attack once for each of his or her experience levels There is no need to spend a round. And there is no effect on the ability if tougher creatures are present. A 3rd level fighter confronting three goblins and their hobgoblin captain can attack the three goblins. As written, the fighter cou...

Saturday, 17th November, 2018

  • 10:32 PM - Garthanos quoted Lanefan in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Truth be told, in general I've found the basic fighters in our 1e-like games to be more than capable of holding their own and that they don't really need any further design-level help. I've got far bigger fish to fry in any case: thieves Oh aye the thief was even more problematic and needed attention more so and maybe a DM who was talented could have managed to keep the 9th level fighter feeling relevant but that thief was a terribly useless third wheel unless the DM made the adventure very bizarrely different. What ideas are you thinking to help that one? One of the things I mentioned earlier was that 4e could have done much better by the Thief by not following the consistent Damage Dealer model of the Rogue. Things like being able to hamstring enemies on the run or make attacks that get blood in their eyes. once in a while give em a spike with a dirt in the eyes move that reenables there sneak attack. maybe some larger area effect tossing of dart or dagger barrage Works b...


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