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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Today, 02:33 AM
    It isn't that. It is just that, well the archetype itself is highly uninteresting to me. I cannot find any single thing about it that sounds even remotely appealing. Then there's this over exposition to it (it is one of the most popular classes out there), and seeing it used as an excuse for powergaming -if not actual munchkinism-. And of course being told over and over the last few years "Just...
    201 replies | 5490 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Today, 12:46 AM
    It's about thinking in first or third person. Player establishment of fiction has nothing to do with it, and is for these purposes just a distracting side-discussion. Not sure how you see this as director stance. Put it in third person "Jocinda hooks up with the local contraband dealers..." and it is, but in first person I see it as still being actor stance - there has to be a way to...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:44 PM
    No way to do that in core for a single-class Warlock, neither to learn the spell nor to get it as a magic item, unless I overlooked something.
    6 replies | 191 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:04 PM
    "Except where it is noted they are not", I wrote, under which all of these qualify. As an extension of my magic-physics theory (which gets kinda detailed) creatures like raccoons and humans can live on a non-magic world but "fantastic" creatures cannot - they need magic in order to exist. As an extension of this, magic-based creatures such as elves and dragons will weaken, sicken, and die if...
    580 replies | 12412 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:21 AM
    Baseline assumption: real-world physics are the same as game-world physics except where it is noted they are not (e.g most magic effects, most non-prime-material planes, etc.). Without this baseline assumption, the PH and-or DMG for any RPG system would be twice the size it is now with the added pagecount being a game-world physics textbook. Why? Because even for the simplest of things we...
    580 replies | 12412 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:13 AM
    I'm not expecting this to pass the test of hard science, just the test of does it give me enough of a foundation on which to build a coherent universal fantasy-physics that includes magic and can, if needed, include and explain the real non-magical world we live on. To that my answer is yes.
    580 replies | 12412 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:08 AM
    It's localized only in that the presence of (a) certain element(s)* suppresses it. On a world where such are not present, and in (most of) outer space and the other planes, it works just fine. :) * - I've never quite nailed down exactly which one(s), though I've long thought uranium could be a good option.
    580 replies | 12412 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 10:00 PM
    Sure it can! Just make "magic" a fifth universal force (to go with gravity, electromagnetic, weak, and strong) that some lifeforms in some places can access and shape and you're good to rock! My entire D&D physics concept is based on this simple premise. Lanefan
    580 replies | 12412 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 09:47 PM
    I seem to recall there was a "Fork Thread" button somewhere - maybe next to the "Reply to Thread" button below the last post? Clicking on this launched you into starting a new thread and put the links in for you, and (if memory serves) put a note in the original thread showing it had been forked, along with a link to the new thread.
    6 replies | 132 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 05:29 PM
    It all comes up to personal opinion. In my world, you have to really study decades to become a wizard -so no getting to multiclass into it-, and it requires all of your attention so no learning any skill or weapon, and the process warps your mind that you no longer are creative -so no multiing into rogue- and you have to do so much ugly stuff that your very soul gets corrupted to the point nobody...
    201 replies | 5490 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 02:55 AM
    u_u this thread is doomed...
    201 replies | 5490 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 12:22 AM
    Even though mutliclassing left me with an objectively worse character? (Wasted proficiency feats, too low Wisdom to cast paladin spells, unable to wear armor and still cast, not high enough constitution to be a good frontliner, not to mention that not being able to still spells later on almost gets my character killed more than once and I didn't learn spells I was planning to that could have...
    201 replies | 5490 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 11:50 PM
    Ok. I'm here. (Think of this as spam to subscribe to the thread)
    8 replies | 256 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 11:47 PM
    This is a character I played for over two years. In 3.5, I made a sorcerer, with a focus on weapons and low wisdom. I spent a feat on a martial weapon -as I think halberds and glaives are quite elegant-. I first I was playing my character as a bit of a trickster with a criminal past and ties to the mob -that came back to be a pain big time-. I was always roleplaying an admiration for warriors and...
    201 replies | 5490 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 08:40 PM
    Lanefan started a thread Fork-thread function
    Quite some time ago there was a function in here that let you "fork" a thread - in effect start a new thread as a split-off from an existing one, with links etc. built in. Does that function still exist, and if it does how does one access it? Lan-"thanks in advance"-efan
    6 replies | 132 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 08:32 PM
    As if this thread doesn't already have enough worms crawling around in it, you just had to go and open up another can of 'em. :) What you say here is the spark for what could become another thread, regarding mundane v magic. Me, I do look at it from what you're calling a modernist viewpoint but I don't think doing so messes up my actor stance. Reason for this: I long ago came up with an...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 08:14 PM
    Sorcerer was always the simple striker by virtue of always having the extra damage on, later slayer came and was even simpler. I suggest we move this conversation to the old eds' forum before you keep pounding a dead horse.
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 08:26 AM
    Lorelei will pursue at normal speed and uses her action to cast Eldritch Blast at the swamp giant again, if she is within range (120ft). Otherwise if she can see that she is out of range, she'll Dash in order to get closer but she will still stay far enough so that the monster can't suddenly turn around and attack her in melee, using her best judgement to estimate the distances. Feel free to...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 02:36 AM
    Sorry for being pedantic but the English teacher in me can't help it, it should be: Each has its own great parts, its own flaws and foibles, and its own missed opportunities. (D&D editions aren't people)
    201 replies | 5490 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 01:20 AM
    Spitballin' here, but could some of the death-spiral concerns (not all, as death spirals can be very suspenseful and tension-filled when they work right) be mitigated by having Harm work like this: 1. Someone gets hit by something hard enough to potentially inflict Harm (of whatever level except the death level) 2. The victim gets a save - success means no Harm done, stop here; failure means...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 09:23 PM
    I just think that, more simply, most DMs prefer to make those decisions themselves instead of rolling.
    67 replies | 1754 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 01:16 PM
    It is very hard to say, because such changes will have huge repercussions to class balance as well as to combat dynamics. I would not worry too much about the variant combat rules threatening fidelity to D&D. The way I see it, combat action economy is not essential to D&D tradition, and in any case in your game you can do what you want. But the part about being forced to actively choose...
    5 replies | 281 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 09:01 AM
    Lorelei will stick with the party if they initiate a chase, but will be cautious about straying off too far from the workers we're supposed to protect and will make this remark clear to the others
    62 replies | 1093 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 08:59 AM
    Sir Reginald 2018-07-18 07:58:01 1d20+4;1d6 1D20+4 = +4 = 7 1D6 = = 1 Charisma (Persuasion); Bardic Inspiration So total result is 8, if allowed to use Bardic Inspiration straight away, or 7 otherwise.
    243 replies | 4857 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 10:43 PM
    But my sorceress magic is in her blood, why would she stop having it just because she has learned how to fight with weapons and wear armor? Or because she made a deal with an entity of dubious standing and morals? All of them but wizard. Every race gets a +1 or two that can be put anywhere so that gives at least four stats 13 and over, make them strength, dexterity, charisma and wisdom...
    201 replies | 5490 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 10:38 PM
    I never even got close to downtown yesterday, because they'd shut down or redirected all traffic away from where the two presidents were traveling through. The only thing working properly was the subway. I did see all the advertisement billboards hijacked* by Amnesty International that read something like "Dear Mr. President. Please Make Human Rights Great Again". *I say hijacked, but I'm...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 10:09 PM
    When spelled properly - bulette - it certainly looks French; but that's a good question: what is the origin of the word? Or is it something someone - probably Gygax - made up?
    36 replies | 1221 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 09:33 PM
    Today I discovered that there exists this website called LibriVox which contains volunteer created free public domain audiobooks. For example, they have three versions of A Princess of Mars from the Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
    6731 replies | 357222 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 06:31 PM
    Sorry, Haven't caught with the full thread yet, so feel free to ignore me if something similar has come up. I'll take one page out of my heartbreaker: Hit points.- At first level you gain your class hit dice + you Constitution score in hit points. If your hit points drop below your constitution score, you fall unconscious. If your hit points reach 0, you die. You can avoid falling unconscious...
    118 replies | 3555 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 02:30 PM
    Sir Reginald takes a chair and sits down, then calmly takes out a small old pipe and takes a puff from it, except he forgets to light it up. "No need to get hot blooded here, we don't just pen people here, all we are interested in is setting things straight. We ask you questions, you give us answers. As for my word, I think my emblem speaks for me already, doesn't it?"
    243 replies | 4857 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 11:23 AM
    Unless by random chance someone put you on (or took you off!) ignore between the time the xp was given (locking in the post number it was tied to) and the time you clicked on it: the post number in the xp link now wouldn't match the post number in the thread, maybe... ::shrug:: ...I dunno. :)
    6 replies | 204 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 11:11 AM
    Re: xp for g.p. and other delights: Even though I've been DMing 1e (or close) for ages I've never given xp for g.p. Maybe I should, but even if I did it'd never represent all the xp, just a smallish portion. To the OP I suggest mixing it up. Give some xp for treasure (including stolen, to those who did the stealing!), give some xp for combat, give some xp for intentionally avoiding...
    59 replies | 1506 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 10:46 AM
    Except I don't see a narrator as actually having a character role in the show itself, with the exception of when the narration is done in character by a character who legitimately-within-the-show's-fiction could do it - example: Galadhriel, in character, narrating over the beginning of the first LotR movie. I mentioned this as an unusual possibility that somebody's likely tried. And there...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 10:31 AM
    Yeah, that works too. :) They might feel like filler to you, but that's only 'cause you know better. If the encounters are engaging and exciting the players won't know what's filler and what's not.
    9 replies | 220 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 09:01 AM
    I think that being able to split attack is the primary defining feature of 2WF. Without it, it becomes almost a cosmetic difference, except in corner cases (e.g. two magic weapons with different effects). But that unique feature is lost as soon as you would get Extra Attacks, at which point you can have at least 2 different targets per round no matter the choice of weapon. Uhm... isn't...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 06:10 AM
    Intelligence checks to recall important bits from the map?
    12 replies | 443 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 05:50 AM
    But then he'd spell it Robert Gulette, wouldn't he? :)
    36 replies | 1221 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 05:48 AM
    Cons I've been to usually schedule their blocks back-to-back e.g. 9-1, 1-5, 5-9 etc., so look to wrap up about ten minutes before the scheduled end of the block if you can - 15 minutes if it's a really big or spread-out con. Also expect to start about ten minutes late for the same reason; unless you're in the first block of the day in which case, start on time! :) Your adventure module also...
    9 replies | 220 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 05:34 AM
    Where my definition of playing a role is that an actor on a stage plays a role - the lines he speaks, his facial expressions, the movements he makes (subject to the spatial restrictions of the stage) are those of the character he's portraying in the stage play. The actors on stage don't speak in the third person (unless it's a really unusual play; Im sure someone's tried it). Playing the role...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 02:36 AM
    Agreed that the pigeonholes are a bit too much hole and not enough pigeon. That said, most players are going to kind of default (vaguely) to one stance, use that as a base to drift from, and then return. I guess I see the difference as being while both the author and director have a sense of character in that they've (usually) got a clear idea of what their characters are all about, what...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 08:34 PM
    Thanks! I have never read Volo's Guide unfortunately.
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 08:33 PM
    To be honest, they are a bit made up :P I wanted to have an XP increase because the monsters are a little better that their base version. I realized that the first level is worth more, but only if the monster gets a bump in HP, AC or attack damage, and since in my idea those depend on how the monster and the class match each other, I decided for cumulative XP increases that depend directly...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 08:27 PM
    Fine as far as it goes, but it also applies to situational knowledge disconnects as well as rules, hm? Ignored in all these defninitions (not just picking on yours here :) ) is the type of metagaming where a player knows something about the non-rules-related in-game situation that the character doesn't, and acts on that. Example: party Thief scouts ahead alone and gets ambushed and...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 08:22 PM
    I got your point; but Author and Director stance point away from playing the character as a person and more towards playing it as a pawn...which while fine for playing the game as a game doesn't meet my definition of playing a role. You didn't write the blog, but as you're who quoted it in here who else am I supposed to reply to? Yes; and in my opinion a veggie-burger isn't a real...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 02:53 PM
    I have just uploaded Light Character Classes for Monsters to the downloads area. Just for fun, I mocked up some rules for "light" versions of PHB classes to be used as templates for monsters. You can find the file here in the downloads section. Please use this thread for comments.
    4 replies | 220 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 10:49 AM
    Or "BOO-letty"?
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 10:48 AM
    Unless the social contract is "play your character as it would act were it a real person" (my preference) and let the chips fall where they may. The two parts of the blog you quoted are a bit contradictory in how they view Actor Stance. In the definition it says this stacne "does not necessarily include identifying with the character and feeling what he or she "feels," nor does it require...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 01:40 AM
    Mummies live in deserts...Bulettes live in deserts...yeah, I see the connection there. :)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 11:15 PM
    Depends on whether one assumes a combatant is going all-out the whole time. I do assume this, and were someone to tell me their PC was intentionally not going all-out (pacing itself) I'd probably apply some sort of mechanical penalty e.g. -1 or -2 to hit.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 11:12 PM
    The Harm model is obviously going to be much better at providing (mostly) clear information to the player through the in-character observable effects of being hit. What this means is the player decisions will be based on simple observation...which could even be inaccurate at times: what if the chieftain goes to show off his strength but the rock formation makes its save? :) In that regards...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 11:01 PM
    Because while still functional they've clearly taken enough abuse that one more good wallop from anything is probably going to put them down. If a healer-type is paying attention she also might have seen how said minor wounds were delivered and by what, and how many there's been; and realize there's only so much a person can endure and that it's time to pull that person out of combat and do...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 10:45 PM
    Glad it went well! :)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 10:03 AM
    Yep, with emphasis on the second syllable. Lan-"and it seems someone else has learned the Raise Thread spell - check the date of the OP!"-efan
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 09:40 AM
    There's all kinds of minor injuries one can sustain without significantly affecting one's ability to do whatever. Scratches, bruises, minor cuts, a tooth knocked out: these are the clues that tell the other PCs (and the party healer, one hopes!) that you're getting kicked around a bit and could use some patching up, even as you keep on fighting. D&D as written certainly does need a lot more...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 09:28 AM
    Both of these take some time and concentration, I think. I haven't looked at 1e RAW for Monks in forever but I think the self-heal in particular takes a bit of time and isn't something done under duress. I'm not a huge fan of this, personally. I'd rather see it that if the Barb takes any damage there's a risk she rages then and there, and if she goes below half h.p. it's automatic rage if...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 09:08 AM
    My personal opinion : An encounter with lots of small monsters can benefit from doing lots of attacks (action economy) BUT it makes a HUGE difference whether they concentrate their attacks on a single PC or spread them around. A single powerful monster usually always focus on a single target (unless you make it change each round). Tactically, it is always convenient to focus fire. But...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 08:41 AM
    (I haven't read others' comments) As long as you understand the 2 rules are VERY unrelated. Critical hits occur statistically once every 20 attacks. At mid levels it is not uncommon for monsters to have multiattack. An encounter against 5 monsters with 2 attacks per round or 3 monsters with 3 attacks per round, means about one critical every 2 rounds, thus at least one critical per...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 10:17 PM
    Best D&D book I own: the 1e DMG. And it's not even close, though there's lots of other very good ones. Worst D&D book I own: well, define 'worst'. Worst as in "I bought this but I'm never going to use it, I only have it to maintain a collection" - probably the 4e DMG1 and PH. Worst as in "this is badly written/edited and the binding falls apart at one touch" - probably "The Seven Sisters"...
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 07:21 PM
    Knowledge is knowing that Frankenstein isn't the monster. Wisdom is knowing that Frankenstein is also a monster. Intelligence is knowing that Frankenstein's monster wanted to be called Adam. Trivia is knowing that the monster that Doctor Frankenstein created was never actually given an official name.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 08:53 AM
    That it worked out the same as 1e would do it is sheer luck. :) When it's organic like this was, perhaps. When it's done as part of a 1-20 plan-out as adip to gain some bennies without much if any in-character reason attached, then yeah, it's pretty meta. In 1e as written, you are correct. In the 1e variant I'm used to, he could have done it but it would have taken him a half-year or...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 08:44 AM
    At first glance, that's a very good question. All I can say is that over the long run in my own games (1e-ish, both DMed and played) fighters and other martial types have generally hung in there just fine*. Part of that is due, I think, to sheer durability: warrior types tend to have lots of hit points, wizard types not so many, meaning when the enemy blast effects hit the wizard types fall...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 08:27 AM
    In a game where you bump as you go and don't ever need to train, I'd agree. But in a game like mine that requires training in order to access (nearly all of) the benefits of a new level then for caster-types in particular it would almost be like school: what grade are you here to study? For divine types: what circle are you training for? For Monks, what belt are you aspiring to? For Bards:...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 08:22 AM
    No, it's more key to me the player. Me the DM doesn't care as much, other than I know my players are as frustrated as I would be were I in that situation. True. I just took a bigger hammer to the problem: bye-bye pre-mem. :) And so far it's worked out not too badly - the main thing I need to tweak is how many slots they get at what levels, but nothing major. (for added info: we took all...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 08:15 AM
    Though I'm just one example, that's not at all how it worked for my R-C. My original intent with him was that he'd be a Ranger all the way: I was trying to see if 3e would let me have the heavy tank-style Ranger I so loved in 1e. He was about 7 levels into his career before any thought of religion or Clericism came along, and once he got his 8th some things happened in-game that strongly...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 10:41 PM
    Why? Do you think it's broken to give Raise Thread to 1st-level posters? :)
    97 replies | 14081 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 08:15 PM
    When I played/ran games using pre-mem I saw it just about every time casters did their prep while in the field. Players would use info they had as players (e.g. knowing the DM's preferred monsters, seeing the module cover, etc.). But, this is to me a minor issue compared to this: with pre-mem a caster is often stuck with spells she can't use and a party is often stuck because the spell they...
    580 replies | 12412 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 08:08 PM
    Agreed, but some baked-in meta elements kinda just come with the territory. This is one. Hit points, in many ways, are another. Were it me, they'd already be committed to casting by the time the roll was made (in other words, the roll to succeed would come at the end of the casting process, at resolution, rather than at the start of it when the caster can still potentially bail out). This...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:59 PM
    I don't have any issue with the idea of a Ranger-Cleric...in fact the level numbers I've been quoting (R-8/C-2) are from a character I actually played up to that level. He went straight to R-8 as a single-class then due to some in-game developments he flipped to Cleric. I do have an issue - well, a series of issues - with how 3e's mechanics interact with the concept, and with 3e's...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 11:55 AM
    Monk with Magic Initiate, high-Dex Cleric in light armor, Divine Soul Sorcerer with good physical stats also work.
    201 replies | 5490 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 10:44 AM
    Vancian pre-memorization isn't really meta in and of itself; one can if one wants quite easily justify it within a setting as being how magic functions - you have to prepare the spells now that you're going to unleash later. But it almost inevitably becomes meta very quickly, as players try to guess what's coming up that day using information their caster character doesn't have. On the flip...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 10:37 AM
    The 'process' I'm referring to is the game-mechanical process of awarding and assigning xp after said monsters have been defeated, or missions accomplished, or diplomacy spoken, or whatever else earns xp in a given game. The character (via its player) has for the time being decided to focus it's activities on, say, thieving and sneaking (Rogue) more than on martial action (Fighter). A...
    580 replies | 12412 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 10:26 AM
    It is a failure of description, both designers' fault and players' fault. If you start seeing the Fighter more like a budoka or dedicated student of the martial arts as a way of life (whatever style, nothing to do with the oriental), it can be on par with all other classes. Instead people insists on thinking of the Fighter as a mere collector of useful techniques, and then blame it because is...
    201 replies | 5490 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 10:12 AM
    I wasn't really trying to say that, but yeah - xp are a necessary-evil form of meta. I'm more trying to argue that it's a higher degree of meta to assign the xp to a specific class after gaining a level (a la 3e) than it is to be assigning them to said class while working toward said level (a la 1e-2e).
    580 replies | 12412 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 10:08 AM
    Though I actually used it in the past for a couple of characters, I dislike multiclassing in all combinations. Each class is both a strong archetype and a flexible canvas for good players. I generally find that roleplay reasons for multiclassing are weak. IMXP the real reasons for most players are most commonly (1) believing they can get an advantage from combining the abilities of different...
    201 replies | 5490 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 09:51 AM
    Realizing that she has no chance at communicating with the monsters, and that everyone else is already attacking it, Lorelei casts Hex on the swamp giant (bonus action, range 90ft) followed by Eldritch Blast (action, range 120ft). two beams 1d10 force damage 1d6 necrotic damage push 10ft away Lorelei 2018-07-13 08:46:19 1d20+7; 1d10; 1d6 1D20+7 = +7 = 22 1D10 = = 2 1D6 = = 2
    62 replies | 1093 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 06:20 AM
    That happens when the player sucks, not the character. I've seen players incapable of doing anything but roll. They may stay idle until then, but the build doesn't matter. The vast majority of players are not like that, they contribute all the time with their ideas, leaving the resolution of tasks to the specialized PC does not threaten the fun. The Fighter's player suggesting where a trap...
    252 replies | 24299 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 04:31 AM
    Not Emirikol but this has caught my interest, at least on the surface of it. To answer your last question first, changing to a system like this would immediately up the 'gritty' factor by a whole bunch...maybe even too much; I wouldn't know until I tried it. But on first reading I also have some questions; though fair enough if you don't have the asnwers if this is something you just...
    580 replies | 12412 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 04:17 AM
    Sigh. Usually not; and nor does a hockey player lose a tooth in every game. Simply used as a real-world example of a minor but painful injury a player can (and often does) play through. If a dragon bit you twice and knocked out 25 of your 65 hit points in total there's all kinds of ways to narrate it: you've a couple of big-time bruises on your hip where the teeth caught you but didn't get...
    580 replies | 12412 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 04:01 AM
    Yes, and I just realized one more - see below. I'm not quite sure how you're arriving at this conclusion, but...OK. One other very signficant difference between my system (or normal 1e, for all that) and 3e is this: in my system you're putting xp into a class before you level up in that class - the end result clearly matches the process that got it there in that xp put into class A as I go...
    580 replies | 12412 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 03:01 AM
    We took nearly all the racial etc. maxima off ages ago as well. Multi-classing works the same for all races, other than some races simply cannot be some classes e.g. there are no Dwarf Magic-Users*. But an Elf and a Human, for example, multi-class just the same as each other in our system. Lan-"we don't allow Gnome Paladins either; and I can think of at least one poster on these boards who...
    580 replies | 12412 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 11:26 PM
    We find usually an x/x double-class character is vaguely equal to an x+1 single class, with some variance depending on what the particular classes are. The actual xp numbers mostly agree with this; remember the j-curve on the 1e advancement tables as written is pretty steep. The one double-class combination that throws all these nice generalities off is Ranger-MU* - both slow-advancing...
    580 replies | 12412 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 11:16 PM
    Which makes sense. At 25 of 65 you're like an athlete in a full-contact sport (being Canadian, obviously ice hockey is my go-to example) 2/3 of the way through the game - you've picked up some bruises and maybe lost a tooth, and are certainly a little fatigued, but you've still got enough left in the tank that you won't be an anchor on your teammates in the third period: you can play as well as...
    580 replies | 12412 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 04:24 PM
    After playing with Bladesinger for awhile, we agreed not to roll them for our campaigns. They're very strong in melee, and they're still full casters. That was too much for us.
    395 replies | 36617 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 08:56 AM
    Thanks for the suggestions. So the consensus seems to be that the second game is the bees knees. I notice that Ubisoft is selling an Ezio trilogy with II, Brotherhood and Revelations. Might check that out next. Didn't even know that that existed. Excellent. :D
    9 replies | 236 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 08:37 AM
    Uhm... do you really need to be still young for that? Because that is my reaction pretty much every time a new Sage Advice comes out :blush:
    70 replies | 6197 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 07:45 AM
    My personal preference on how I'd handle those problems: 1) I wouldn't change the ability scores of the monster, since they have other repercussion. If you want more damage, I would just add more damage dice. This is a very simple and self-contained change that directly achieves the wanted outcome (more damage) without other consequences. In our games, what has been scary about monsters with...
    20 replies | 1218 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 07:26 AM
    Mechanicall, yes; the bumps end up going like that. But the process feels more organic, if that makes any sense. Don't think Arcane Archer would have worked - dexterity wasn't exactly his strong suit. :) My idea was to make him a tank most of the time, using spells only for out-of-combat stuff like camp defense, detecting and identifying magic items, and so on. All I really ended up doing...
    580 replies | 12412 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 06:40 AM
    Maybe it's 2e that made this official, or maybe it never was, but we've house-ruled it this way since forever in 1e: your classes advance independent of each other. You determine the ratio of xp you're going to dump into each class - say, a F-MU that's 75% Fighter, 25% MU - and each class just bumps when it bumps. So you start as a 1-1 with 0 xp on each side. During your first few adventures...
    580 replies | 12412 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 06:28 AM
    That might be a bit more harsh than I'd be looking for, at first glance - I don't mind falls of up to 30 or 40' being survivable most of the time, if painful. But anything more than 50' or so should carry a risk of death or long-term injury, with the death risk sharply increasing as the distance fallen increases. Tons of mitigating factors to consider, though, which is why blanket rules are...
    580 replies | 12412 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 05:46 AM
    Muck to Rock? :) In a safe situation where the caster has time and a clear view, yeah, that's pretty much an auto-success. But in any situation where the caster is under any sort of duress there's the risk of interruption (a bigger issue in early D&D than in the recent versions) and, at least if I'm the DM, a roll to aim or place the spell where you want it to go; so no guaranteed success at...
    161 replies | 5192 view(s)
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Sunday, 22nd July, 2018

  • 08:31 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    ...f such happened, it would not mean the end of the rules of the universe except in that case. So sure, the D&D universe is no doubt different in many ways than our own. The key for me is that where the game is silent I fill in a cinematic version of our universe by default. <snip> without a specific magical rule, a person cannot do a second wind. Gravity has been known since man started walking. The theory of gravity and the various detailed scientific hypothesis etc... were not known. People knew though that when they throw a rock it comes down. When they fire an arrow it eventually hits the ground. So sure, I don't think we are talking about pointy headed theories and you are creating a strawman. There are things that even primitive people know about the world and a lot of those things they knew are true for D&D worlds. In some cases, the game being a game approximates our world and doesn't hit it dead on. As long as you are reasonable, it's fine.Look, you and Lanefan are the ones who mentioned nuclear forces. Someone else upthread who is not me mentioned atoms. These are not things that "have been known since man started walking". They are "pointy headed theories". My own view, clearly stated multiple times in this thread, is that D&D needs nothing more than common sense tropes. And choosing to surge, or getting one's second wind, is a common sense trope. I'm not much of an athlete, and even I have the capacity to push myself harder in a way that I can't keep up for very long. It is maddening to watch how far you guys will go to twist yourself into knots trying so very hard to "prove" that my preferences are purely arbitrary.No one has said they are arbitrary. They have said that your professed reasoning seems underdeveloped. For instance, how would the following lead anyone to conclude that you don't like action surge or second wind? Fighters and Rogues live within the limits of a cinematic reality as it relates to their innate powe...

Saturday, 21st July, 2018

  • 03:30 PM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Again with the deliberate refusal to see that D&D is just engaging a loose approximation of real world physics. So what if "terminal velocity" occurs at 200', rather than 450'. It's a game. It doesn't need to match real life exactly. Simulating physics in a loose manner is just fine.What does ".a loose approxiation . . . simulating in a loose manner" mean? You and Lanefan are saying that D&D uses real world physics. But it's measure of terminal velocity is different. So either G is different, or the way friction works is different, or . . . it's not physics at all, just common sense tropes!
  • 04:37 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    ...bjects fall unless acted on in a different way, require cutting objects to be sharp, require creatures to eat and sleep, have thrown objects go a much shorter distance than ones projected by a mechanical instrument, have blunt objects smash, and so on without it being Newtonian physics. If it were anything else that was simulating our physics, they would have explained it to us in the rule books like they do with everything else that is different.I don't understand your point. The fact that certain beings (but not elves? who nevertheless can have children with humans) have to eat and sleep doesn't tell us anything meaningful about the physics of that world, if by "physcsc" we mean that discipline taught in schools and universities. Human being since time immemorial have known that dropped objects fall; likewise those in the gameworld. But that tells us nothing about whether or not the gameworld is governed by universal gravitation, let alone the strong and weak nuclear forces that Lanefan has referred to. Newton's first law of motion is not self-evident. Einsteinian physics even moreso is not. And the existence of those nuclear forces is self-evidently not self-evident!

Friday, 20th July, 2018

  • 09:18 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Everybody Cheats?
    ...r set of rules that not only differed from any of the published versions, but changed frequently and often changed to suit the given circumstances at the table. <snip> if the intention was to follow the rules closely, I don’t find it very likely that they would have added rules that would take away that adherence to the written rules. He gives you the ultimate power, not just to interpret the rules, but to change them. Gygax in effect says to the DM that it's your game to design and play as you like. (e.g. see the first couple of paragraphs in the preface - he sets this tone with the first words in the book!)None of this is relevant to what I posted. I didn't say anything about following the rules closely or not changing the rules. I talked about the sort of adjudication that the GM was expected to engage in. For instance, how can anyone think that Gygax's DMG would support fudging combat outcomes when, in the first page of the introduction (those opening paragraphs that Lanefan mentions), he says that while a GM is entitled to disregard a positive wandering monster roll where the players are playing well but getting unlucky and hence having their session spoiled, a GM should not have the wanderers appear and then allow the PCs to easily defeat them or escape from them, because that would be "contrary to the major precepts of the game." What are those precepts? That players who play well should have their PCs propser, and that those who play with little skill should have their PCs suffer the consequences. This could hardly be clearer across his PHB and DMG. The precepts that underpin "rule zero" as some in this thread are presenting it - that is, that every outcome at every moment of play, that the signficance of every player decision and every player die roll is, in principal, a matter over which the GM is entitled to exercise unreserved fiat - are not found at all in Gygax's AD&D books. His sole focus is on (what he calls) "skilled play".

Wednesday, 18th July, 2018

  • 07:26 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Sorry Lanefan (yes, that is the sort of reply I was looking for) and @ Emerikol . I’ll get back to your guys’ responses as soon as I can. Pretty tied up. I think you're confusing abstract with meta. Hitpoints and damage in D&D is abstracted, yes, but not metagame. As a hane mechanic, death spirals may appeal to a sense of realism, but they aren't fun to play. Abstracting injury to hitpoints may not appeal to realism, but it's much more fun to play. The harm levels in BitD, which Manbearcat was coyly referring to with his posts, work better from a realism stance and fit the narrative intent of those rules, but they quickly act like a death spiral. A L2 harm is seriously imparing in a range of situations while L3 is crippling. L4 harm is pretty much one last desperate effort before being done. L5 is death (mbc fudged the levels a bit). And that's allowing for BitD's mechanics of pushing to ignore or reduce the harm for an action. I love BitD, but I'm always careful with using harm a...

Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

  • 01:33 PM - Maxperson mentioned Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Yes and no one has said that on this thread. No one is trying to force everyone else in every other group to play their way. They are talking about what they prefer in THEIR games only. That is not onetruewayism. Not sure how anyone could possibly enforce such an idea anyway. @Lanefan has said straight out that his way is the only way to roleplay, and he's said it more than once. That's One True Wayism. You're either playing it his way if you want to roleplay, or you aren't roleplaying.

Sunday, 15th July, 2018

  • 12:23 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    I'm not sure but at low levels probably not a lot but at higher levels it would keep you more cautious. I'm guessing. Assuming various powers that attack Harm 3 or Harm 4 come into play more at high levels, and the boxes don't change, then of course the threat of death would be high at any level. Perhaps unmanageably high but again I'd have to see an entire system to know for sure. I am happy enough with a moderately unrealistic system like hit points for a high fantasy super heroic game. I might also enjoy a less super heroic game. In such cases maybe WOIN or GURPS or even RQ would work. This is a totally different axis from metagame. I wouldn't want a metagame mechanic in any of those games if I had a choice. I think I could enjoy any of those games otherwise but I'd still favor the high fantasy game of D&D style the most. Emerikol (and Lanefan and perhaps Saelorn ), you (and Lanefan) answered my question with a response about the implications on the gameplay paradigm; eg “it would make it more lethal.” This thread is about “metagame mechanics” and players making decisions based exclusively on (what you perceive as) observable phenomenon (biological, physical) from the character’s perspective. I’m looking for your response in relation to that. So let me go a bit further and perhaps you can comment on this. A 10th level Fighter is challenging a trio of Stone Giants on the edge of their plateau which sits 70 feet above the ground. Situation 1: a) He has 100 HPs and the only chance the fall has to kill him is if he’s been significantly worn down in combat by interaction with the Stone Giants and their clubs (that are as big and weighty as him) and thrown boulders. b) As he waded in he sees a show of strength by the Stone Giant Cheieftan; the impact of one of these clubs and/or thrown boulders utterly ruins a ...

Sunday, 8th July, 2018

  • 08:55 PM - pming mentioned Lanefan in post Level Advancement and In-Campaign Time
    Hiya! Lanefan ahhh...got it. I didn't read the whole thread, obviously. (dusts off "Dunce" hat and places it on head for the rest of the day) In game-time, if I was so inclined, perhaps bringing in the 'training rules' for when a PC has enough XP to gain a level could be used? I'm thinking of the 1e/Hackmaster4 method wherein once a PC has enough XP to gain a level they stop gaining XP until they "go train and contemplate" what they have learned...by spending GP's and time. I never really used them because, well, my Players PC's don't gain levels very quickly and it's never bothered us. But in the 1e/HM4 rules, the DM assigns an overall rating (1 to 4; 1 as Excellent, 6 as Poor), taking into account pretty much everything the Player has done at the table. Roleplaying, problem solving, tactics, pretty much everything. That number, times the characters new level, is the number of weeks it takes to 'level up'. It also costs, iirc, some ridiculous amount of GP's to pay for everything during that time...

Saturday, 7th July, 2018

  • 12:55 AM - Sunseeker mentioned Lanefan in post Level Advancement and In-Campaign Time
    ...ended downtime and career change could lead to a second Background. Okay, the question was mostly aimed at "Can the time be mechanically productive as well as story productive?" What I was hoping not to hear was Oofta's answer that "no matter what you do you can't fundamentally gain anything other than story." Because, lets me honest: I don't need a TTRPG group to come up with a creative story for what my PC does on their own. That's like, my other other hobby. I think you're picturing a much more adversarial relationship between me and the players. I just say "Okay guys, you won. The bad guy is defeated and the town is safe. No obvious threats around right now. What are you doing to do with your new free time?" and the players understand this is an opportunity to pursue their individual character development. Then I basically just say "Six months pass .. and you see the bat signal." No, that's fine. I was mostly curious on the level of detail you were willing to get into. See Lanefan who will basically run a side-adventure for a secondary group of characters during the downtime if that's where people want to go. I think I was pretty clear in the OP that this is exactly what I'm doing. You don't give out any form of advancement when it doesn't involve killing stuff? I'm a little unclear on your answer. Both are fine. It really doesn't effect anything. Downtime is an opportunity to have a different kind of fun, not homework. If it doesn't affect anything, why do it? On the contrary, the PCs are all split up during downtime, off pursuing their solo stuff. The wizard is off to the Tower of High Sorcery to take his Test; the barbarian is following a prophecy into the desert; the cleric is rehabilitating the shrine they just finished clearing of monsters; and the bard is returning a sword they found to its rightful owner. What if they don't? What if they stick together, as a group, doing a group thing? I guess if you think my running the campaign this way is a ...

Thursday, 28th June, 2018

  • 11:24 PM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    That doesn't sound 'ignored' to me. If something were burning through me I wouldn't feel ignored, at all, I'd feel quite put-upon. I'd likely get steamed about it. is the "ignores armor" clause there to indicate the fire bypasses any damage reduction due to armour worn (which makes sense) or to indicate the fire cannot damage or affect armour at all (which doesn't make sense)?I asssume Tony Vargas's contribution is meant to be comic. But Lanefan's seems literal, as if he really doesn't know how to choose between those two readings!

Wednesday, 27th June, 2018

  • 06:31 PM - Sadras mentioned Lanefan in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    If the wizard (or anyone else) fails to save then anything carried also then has to save, as per the 1e DMG. And yes, this has caused loss of all kinds of things, spellbooks and scrolls among 'em. @Lanefan it is impressive to have found a group of players that enjoy that much admin. I'm imagining several copies of spell books and their locations along with the specific number of spells included for each spell book. Is that about right?

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 03:42 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Lanefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    So you are claiming that at a high level and in a general sense D&D 5e Bonds/Flaws/Ideals and Inspiration can't serve the same purpose as Aspects... Yeah we are just going to have to agree to disagree. While it is up to the group to push those mechanics to the forefront in D&D it is also up to the group in a FATE game to engage with aspects and the FATE economy as opposed to skills, stunts, etc. So no I've seen no valid push back on this only when it comes to details and whether they can perfectly mimic the FATE mechanics as opposed to the general purpose... which again I'll state I never claimed. I also fail to see where the push back against the looser rules for idelas/bonds/etc. being an advantage in D&D (for a group of players with more diverse tastes) has been countered or pushed back on... Well, arguing about 'tastes' is a fruitless endeavor. I have never mentioned 'taste' at all... I think, as I just told Lanefan, we need to be explicit and concrete and talk details. I don't know what 'at a high level' means. I know specific situations at tables and categories of similar situations at tables as their generalization. So, I would say, in general, when a player wants to do something like have his character's 'aspect' (generally a qualitative thing) be reflected concretely in the game situation, that is to have some real mechanical and procedural heft, then FATE is more likely to be able to meet that need. This is kind of general though. We cannot say that there is NEVER a case where 5e's Inspiration/Bonds system will deliver this. It could, but since Inspiration isn't actually tied explicitly to PIBFs, which have no defined mechanical impact AFAIK. There's a vague "the GM might give you inspiration if you play in a way that reflects your traits" but it doesn't even say if it is positively or negatively! (IE you would GAIN inspiration for taking actions beneficial to your character if they happen t...

Tuesday, 19th June, 2018

  • 10:22 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...h the two fireteams - the PCs got surprise, in part because of the boost from those skills, and so dominated the situation) and assaulting the base. I didn't make much of the close range and hand-to-hand combat which was an element of the session. This didn't feel remotely like D&D, as the Traveller rules produce a large amount of "dropped to zero but not dead", which is pretty much the opposite of D&D, and results in short anti-climactic combats rather than dramatic ones. (This may or may not be a good thing, but it's clearly different.) Well, if you want 4e, forcing bloodied enemies to surrender via intimidation.Which completely bypasses the general combat resolution system. It doesn't play at all like emotional or mental stress, or similar complications, in Cortex+ Heroic. As I opined, up-thread, 40 years of pounding the baroque D&D peg into holes of every description, with however large a hammer it might take, can leave one convinced of its maleability.As far as I know Lanefan has not played any RPGs but D&D, and has not read many others either. So I'm not just going to take his word as to how flexible D&D is, and how much it can emulate other systems!
  • 03:06 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Lanefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Its not a snark! It may be an amusing analogy, but nothing about it is snarky. I didn't label it 'kitbashing', the statement was made that you could just kitbash 5e and it would whatever you wanted, so why are you complaining? Then you came back with this statement you're now claiming was the original point, but that wasn't how I interpreted the discussion at all! The genesis of this was the question about why people weren't just using 5e. We answered it. Um, no. We have a very different interpretation of the post that stated this side discussion. Lanefan brought up kitbashing, but neither AImaro or myself have, like, at all. You're smearing different lines of argument from different posters together to discredit everything. So lets reset and answer the question AGAIN! We aren't using 5e because your milquetoast 5e version of compelling aspects is not even close to providing the kind of experience that you would get with FATE. Its that simple. I don't know how else to put it. The mechanics of 5e do not support what the mechanics of FATE support. Yes, 5e has some minor bolt-on that can do 10% of what FATE's core mechanics are. That may be fine for some people. It is close, for a bit, but, yes, then it's gone because the 5e system doesn't cater to it as well or as often as Fate does. Was I not clear about that? I thought I was clear about that. I did say that FATE does it better, right -- yes, yes, I think I did say that, more than once in more than one response to you. Instead, you seem to have replaced what I actually said wi...

Monday, 18th June, 2018

  • 03:01 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Lanefan, billd91 - Tony Vargas's reply makes the point that needs to be made aboout "realism" in a hit point paradigm. As far as narration of hp loss and zero hp is concerned - if you're narrating hp loss, and dropping to zero hp, in surgical detail, and then having your suspension of disbelief disrupted by the recovery that the game rules provide for, well, I would suggest changing your narration! As I posted upthread, as a former RM player/GM, and someone who was pretty familiar with the drfit from AD&D to RM, RQ etc in the 80s/early 90s, it remains very strange to see posters arguing for AC-&-hp combat on "realism" grounds, and to be distinguishing AD&D or 3E from 4e on that basis. Also, someone upthread (maybe Sadras) mentioned tinkering - the most trivial tinkering possible to a RPG is to change the short and extended rest durations in 4e or 5e. (I don't know how common it is with 5e; based on dicsussions on teese boards it was extremely common with 4e.)

Friday, 15th June, 2018

  • 01:22 PM - Imaro mentioned Lanefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...m it... but has the "what" and whether D&D can produce it been satisfactorily established? We could even play with this idea within the context of D&D's own editions. Why should I try to make 5E D&D into 1E D&D to recreate a type of consistent fun I had with 1E when I could just play 1E D&D? I would think that 1E could support certain styles of "D&D gameplay" better than either 3e, 4e, or 5e could. And if system did not matter for the sort of "fun" you could have or that the system supported, then why should h4ters get upset with 4e? Because it was a more narrow design than what they had before? The reaction could happen if in fact 4e lost some/much of the flexibility of accommodating play styles that it's previous edition had (and let's be real with the OGL and the numerous products based on 3.x it was a very flexible game... especially if one was open to exploring variants). But again this is jumping the gun we haven't established the what or the how and now we're discussing @Lanefan 's #4 question. How you phrase or go about it? And how exactly is that? I haven't insulted anyone, I haven't ascribed anything to a poster... I've stated my thoughts and suggested a way to go about discussing it. This seems more based in the fact that you don't agreee with my thoughts then any actual "way" I've phrased or went about posting. But please if I have done any of these things show me an example... Then that you would be your reading of my character whereas I was talking about my reading of your post, particularly the subtext. Nope not reading your character asking about a pattern in your posting. I don't know you well enough to read your character but I know we've run into the issue of you mis-reading my "subtext" before and here we are again... at a certain point rather than write a long parargraph about what you thing I'm trying to say it might be better for you top take my posts at face value or actually ask me before posting what you think the "hidden" mean...

Friday, 8th June, 2018

  • 04:12 PM - Jay Verkuilen mentioned Lanefan in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    ... There is a bit about the Nentir Vale, which is supposed to be in the far north of Nerath, essentially a border march of some sort. Sadly, there's no information about what's to the south except vague implications. Do they provde a map of where those empires used to be, or notes/info on what they did or were known for? No, they didn't. They mentioned three empires: Arkhosia, Bael Turath, and Nerath. They tell you Arkhosia and Bael Turath were in a war and had fell to bits, leaving dragonborn and tieflings, respectively. Nerath had more recently fallen to a horde of gnolls after their last king did something really stupid. So the Nentir Vale is implied as being a northern march of what was once Nerath but is now abandoned. Nothing about what's to the north of it, south of it, etc., and its walled off by mountains. Who do they trade with? No clue. As I recall at the time the argument was that they wanted to leave room for the DM to make their own Nerath unique, but I'm totally with Lanefan that sketching out the world is why I pay a game designer; I can then fill in the details. And that's why I said "self-serving laziness" upthread. It's like when someone says "he adds a nice synergy to the company" but really means "I hired my nephew because he's my sister's son." But of course, this also is just a matter of different priorities. Fallen empires is pretty far from unique, too: That's pretty much World of Greyhawk to a T. On that point with @pemerton, I agree, what was unique about 4E was the more cosmological stuff.

Saturday, 2nd June, 2018

  • 09:46 PM - Lylandra mentioned Lanefan in post Comfort withcross gender characters based on your gender
    You've never seen a Conan or Bond like character? Yikes, Conan as turn-on? No, I've never seen anyone who played their barbarian like a sexy walking stick. Usually, these characters are played as power/competence fantasies by male players. What I did see were women portraying gay male characters as their wish fulfilment and/or - see Lanefan s comment - way to explore their sexuality. They were rarely sticks, most of them did have a personality, but I guess they'd carry many toxic stereotypes about gay men that would make them feel uncomfortable. (google Yaoi if you'd like to inquire further.) Not getting this whole "imaginary sexy doll" idea. Since the player doesn't get to have sex with his own character, even imaginary sex. At worst he'll be having sex with imaginary NPCs while imagining himself in the body of a female character. I'm trying to understand how playing a female character as a male would ever work as a sexy doll idea? There is this third-person narrative kind of play ("She does XYZ") besides the fully immersive first-person play ("I do XYZ") where players play their characters, but not *as* their characters. It is far more common than you'd think. Also, there is not much of a difference - besides having full "remote control" of the character - between a character in an RPG and a character...

Tuesday, 15th May, 2018

  • 12:57 PM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Lanefan, my concern about class balance of mechanical effectiveness isn't so much about the sort of idiosyncratic tactical scenarios you describe, but systemic effects. Eg if one PC has a whole suite of spells that s/he can bring to bear on the situation, while the other PC has only his/her wits, then (everything else being equal) the first PC seems to have a mechanical advantage. The typical solution to this in D&D (and the prescribed solution in 5e) is to set things up so that the second PC has to string those spells out over X encounters. Which is the whole "fixing of the future" thing I mentioned in my post. (I would add: this issue is not unique to D&D. Eg it comes up in Rolemaster too.)

Saturday, 12th May, 2018

  • 03:06 PM - Maxperson mentioned Lanefan in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    So I take it you think Lanefan is wrong to have said there is a reason in favour of worldbuilding, namely, that otherwise there is a serious risk of a hodge-podge world. I assume you are going to take him to task for confusing "bad GMing" with some objective risk. Or, alternatively, this whole pseuo-moralising attack on Hussar is nonsense. Yes, I think that's it. You are assuming that a hodge-podge world is inherently bad, rather than Lanefan simply not liking a hodge-podge world. All of these things are just likes and dislikes of individuals. Many people don't care if some things don't line up exactly in a world. Lanefan does.


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Sunday, 22nd July, 2018

  • 08:47 AM - pemerton quoted Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    ...she is worried about where his/her PC will be on the GM's alignment graph, or because the session is going to finish in 5 minutes, or because everyone else at the table is sick of the banter between the elf PC and the dwarf PC, or . . . . then we have author stance roleplaying. And I frankly doubt that there are many tables where this sort of decision making by players never happens. I want the decisions you make to be based on information your character knows and be an action that your character could initiate. <snip> As long as what you state is something your character could realistically do as the character, that is fine.That incorporates actor stance, author stance and director stance. All the examples I just gave are actions the character could initiate and can be based on information the character knows - that is the retroactive justification part of author stance. There are director stance examples that also fit that bill, such as the ones I have discussed with Lanefan. if I say to the DM "I am going to the thieves quarter and see if I can find out who murdered joe" that is fine. I am doing something my character could do. As long as joe being dead isn't being made up or the existence of the thieves quarter isn't getting made up at that very moment, things are fine. But if the GM hasn't yet decided whether or not there is a thieves' quarter, then this is just like example I discussed with Lanefan. Maybe the GM vetoes it. But if s/he goes along with it - and some GMs will - we have director stance. This is why I think that an all actor stance game is impractical. Because unless the gameworld is an incredibly sparse environment then the players will be establishing all sorts of elements of the environment (however trivial these might seem) which are outside the influence of their PCs - director stance! And to make another, related, point: it's just an error to equate stance with mechanics. Games that have no metagame mechanics (eg RQ) can...
  • 08:31 AM - pemerton quoted Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    ...f such happened, it would not mean the end of the rules of the universe except in that case. So sure, the D&D universe is no doubt different in many ways than our own. The key for me is that where the game is silent I fill in a cinematic version of our universe by default. <snip> without a specific magical rule, a person cannot do a second wind. Gravity has been known since man started walking. The theory of gravity and the various detailed scientific hypothesis etc... were not known. People knew though that when they throw a rock it comes down. When they fire an arrow it eventually hits the ground. So sure, I don't think we are talking about pointy headed theories and you are creating a strawman. There are things that even primitive people know about the world and a lot of those things they knew are true for D&D worlds. In some cases, the game being a game approximates our world and doesn't hit it dead on. As long as you are reasonable, it's fine.Look, you and Lanefan are the ones who mentioned nuclear forces. Someone else upthread who is not me mentioned atoms. These are not things that "have been known since man started walking". They are "pointy headed theories". My own view, clearly stated multiple times in this thread, is that D&D needs nothing more than common sense tropes. And choosing to surge, or getting one's second wind, is a common sense trope. I'm not much of an athlete, and even I have the capacity to push myself harder in a way that I can't keep up for very long. It is maddening to watch how far you guys will go to twist yourself into knots trying so very hard to "prove" that my preferences are purely arbitrary.No one has said they are arbitrary. They have said that your professed reasoning seems underdeveloped. For instance, how would the following lead anyone to conclude that you don't like action surge or second wind? Fighters and Rogues live within the limits of a cinematic reality as it relates to their innate powe...

Saturday, 21st July, 2018

  • 12:27 PM - pemerton quoted Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Baseline assumption: real-world physics are the same as game-world physics except where it is noted they are not (e.g most magic effects, most non-prime-material planes, etc.).What about flying dragons, giant arthropods, fireball spells that exert no pressure, etc? Without this baseline assumption, the PH and-or DMG for any RPG system would be twice the size it is now with the added pagecount being a game-world physics textbook. Why? Because even for the simplest of things we need to know how (or if!) this stuff works, the most obvious example being gravity.Nonsense. You don't need to assume that actual physics is true in order to understand the basic physical behaviour of dropped objects, running people, etc. Most human beings have understood the basics of these things for most of human history without access to either real or imagined knowledge of physics. As far as gravity is concerned, do planets in AD&D orbit the sun, or vice versa? What is the relatoinship between the earth and ...
  • 03:54 AM - pemerton quoted Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Not everything that is supernatural has to be magicWould you care to elaborate on this? They seem to be synonyms to me, and when I Google a definition of magic I get "the power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces." I don't know what dictionary that is from, but it is the sort of thing I would have expected. Just make "magic" a fifth universal force (to go with gravity, electromagnetic, weak, and strong) that some lifeforms in some places can access and shape and you're good to rock! My entire D&D physics concept is based on this simple premise.This doesn't seem very simple to me. I mean, I'm told that quantum gravity is quite hard (I haven't studied physics mysefl beyond high school); presumably it's no easier to explain how the notion of "lifeform" and "accessing a fifth universal force" are to be reconciled and integratd with existing knowledge of physics.
  • 12:44 AM - Hussar quoted Lanefan in post Everybody Cheats?
    /snip Have some shivers, then; because like it or not it is the DM's game in the end. Why? Simple: players are replaceable, but if the DM stops playing there is no game. /snip Having replaced more than a few DM's at groups, I'd say that this is not true. DM's are pretty replaceable. Granted, "a" player is pretty easily replaceable. But, players? Not really. I've seen campaigns completely fall apart after losing 2 of 5 players. And, really, if you've replaced all your players, you aren't playing the same game. You are playing something loosely based on the old game, but, it's very much not the same. I find the idea that the game 80% belongs to the DM is just a giant red flag. I have gotten to the point where I have zero interest playing at this kind of table. It's really kinda like fudging. The older I get, the less tolerant I am of fudging. I sit down to play D&D. Which is OUR game. I have very, very little interest in playing YOUR game. And I certainly don't want ...

Friday, 20th July, 2018

  • 11:50 PM - TwoSix quoted Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Sure it can! Just make "magic" a fifth universal force (to go with gravity, electromagnetic, weak, and strong) that some lifeforms in some places can access and shape and you're good to rock! My entire D&D physics concept is based on this simple premise. Lanefan I have a difficulty picturing a universal force that's also localized, but more power to you if it makes your cosmology feel cohesive.
  • 10:56 PM - Aldarc quoted Lanefan in post Everybody Cheats?
    It's that the GM is imposing their will over the game, when in theory they otherwise don't have that capability. That the actions of the player and the luck of the die aren't the deciding factor, but the GM is. It's a question of how much power the GM has, more than it is the mechanics of that power. People get hung up on fudging, but if the GM tells you after you complain that before they made the roll they determined that under these particular circumstances there was a bonus applied to the roll, and that's why it occurred, people have less of an issue with that. It's no longer fudging.Though I think you get to some really fantastic nuances in your argument, I also see other issues at play. (1) Double-Standards for the Same Behavior: Where there is already a gross imbalance of power, this particular imbalance becomes noticeably irksome when it comes to "fudging" and the double-speak used to preserve it for GMs while also castigating players who engage in it. And when pushed, the appeal ...
  • 10:37 AM - pemerton quoted Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    I'll take horribad character-speak over player-speak any day; as at least the horribad character-speaker is trying, and the results are almost always amusing and-or entertaining.This has nothing to do with stance. Stance is an attempt to describe the relatoinship between player establishment of fiction and player motivation having regard to the player's special connection to the PC. It's not about talking in first or third person. Whether you prefer first-person or third person narration by players to establish action declarations and shared fiction is a completely separate thing. For instance, the following bit of narration (which also, in some systems, involves action declaration), is first person - but director stance: Player (speaking in character): I hook up with the local dealers in contraband to get hold of some XYZ. In Classic Traveller that's a prelude to a Streetwise check; in Burning Wheel to a Circles check; in a typical D&D game there is no associated action declarati...
  • 10:16 AM - CapnZapp quoted Lanefan in post Fork-thread function
    Quite some time ago there was a function in here that let you "fork" a thread - in effect start a new thread as a split-off from an existing one, with links etc. built in. Do you remember how it looked like? How did it work, as it were. (Not on the server side, obviously, but how did users interact with the fork and what was different from merely starting a new thread?)
  • 09:18 AM - pemerton quoted Lanefan in post Everybody Cheats?
    ...r set of rules that not only differed from any of the published versions, but changed frequently and often changed to suit the given circumstances at the table. <snip> if the intention was to follow the rules closely, I don’t find it very likely that they would have added rules that would take away that adherence to the written rules. He gives you the ultimate power, not just to interpret the rules, but to change them. Gygax in effect says to the DM that it's your game to design and play as you like. (e.g. see the first couple of paragraphs in the preface - he sets this tone with the first words in the book!)None of this is relevant to what I posted. I didn't say anything about following the rules closely or not changing the rules. I talked about the sort of adjudication that the GM was expected to engage in. For instance, how can anyone think that Gygax's DMG would support fudging combat outcomes when, in the first page of the introduction (those opening paragraphs that Lanefan mentions), he says that while a GM is entitled to disregard a positive wandering monster roll where the players are playing well but getting unlucky and hence having their session spoiled, a GM should not have the wanderers appear and then allow the PCs to easily defeat them or escape from them, because that would be "contrary to the major precepts of the game." What are those precepts? That players who play well should have their PCs propser, and that those who play with little skill should have their PCs suffer the consequences. This could hardly be clearer across his PHB and DMG. The precepts that underpin "rule zero" as some in this thread are presenting it - that is, that every outcome at every moment of play, that the signficance of every player decision and every player die roll is, in principal, a matter over which the GM is entitled to exercise unreserved fiat - are not found at all in Gygax's AD&D books. His sole focus is on (what he calls) "skilled play".
  • 03:50 AM - pemerton quoted Lanefan in post Everybody Cheats?
    In 3e-4e-5e monster h.p. are standardized only if you want them to be. Ditto damage.In 4e a monster stat block tells you what its hit points are. These are calculated by a formula that factors in monster level, monster role, and monster CON. There is no provision in the rules for changing the hp without varying one or more of those parameters. There are some tables that systematically reduce monster hp in the interest of expediting combat resolution, but that's not something the rules contemplate. And going the other way - increasing a monster's hp without increasing other stats - is really changing its role (say, form standard to elite), and there's good reason, if doing that, to make other concomitant changes, such as upping its action economy to elite levels, giving an appropriate XP award for an elite, etc. In 4e most monster damage is listed as a die roll plus adds. And the rules make no provision for standardisation, although it probably wouldn't do any harm for a GM to just ca...

Wednesday, 18th July, 2018

  • 02:56 PM - Thomas Bowman quoted Lanefan in post How do you pronounce "bulette"
    When spelled properly - bulette - it certainly looks French; but that's a good question: what is the origin of the word? Or is it something someone - probably Gygax - made up? That's one of the reasons they are hard to spell, French words have a lot of extraneous letters that don't help in the pronunciation of the word. I am notorious for misspelling French words that have been adopted by the English language but have kept their troublesome French spelling.

Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

  • 01:28 PM - Maxperson quoted Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Except I don't see a narrator as actually having a character role in the show itself, with the exception of when the narration is done in character by a character who legitimately-within-the-show's-fiction could do it - example: Galadhriel, in character, narrating over the beginning of the first LotR movie. In How I Met Your Mother, Ted often starts to narrate a bit. He's telling the stories to his kids. There are a few other shows and movies where the actors stop in the middle, turn to you and narrate a bit. It's not common, but it happens. I mentioned this as an unusual possibility that somebody's likely tried. And there you've got an odd situation: yes they are acting, but they're playing the role of a speaker or narrator who is in turn telling the audience what a character does and-or says. They're not directly portraying the character itself. This three-tier process (actor-speaker-character) can't happen in a typical RPG because the actor and speaker are always the same perso...
  • 09:24 AM - Shasarak quoted Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Where my definition of playing a role is that an actor on a stage plays a role - the lines he speaks, his facial expressions, the movements he makes (subject to the spatial restrictions of the stage) are those of the character he's portraying in the stage play. The actors on stage don't speak in the third person (unless it's a really unusual play; Im sure someone's tried it). Playing the role of a PC at a game table is, IMO, the same thing; and it's where the "role-playing" side of the game comes from. I agree that one can play the game perfectly well while referring to one's character in the third person but I don't see it as meeting the definition of role-playing. Acting is role-playing, by its very definition: an actor plays a role. Personally I love me some third person Wrestler roleplaying.
  • 07:12 AM - MNblockhead quoted Lanefan in post Please share advice for running first game at a convention
    Pacing is something you can only control to a certain not-great extent, unless you go full-on hard core railroad. You can run the same module for 5 different groups and they'll almost certainly take 5 vastly different amounts of time to play through it, even if all the players in each group know the game system halfway well.Lanefan What about multiple endings? If a group is less experienced certain challenges can be throw out. Basically easy mode. Then you have the standard version for what you would expect most groups to be able to get through. But if you have a group that through luck or skill moves forward much faster than you anticipated, have an alternate ending. The big bad reveals the that mayor who hired you actually was behind the whole thing and set you up. I want to have extra encounters/challenges to help control pacing, but I want to make sure that whether I use 2 or 5, nothing feels left out and nothing feels like "filler."
  • 05:55 AM - Maxperson quoted Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Where my definition of playing a role is that an actor on a stage plays a role - the lines he speaks, his facial expressions, the movements he makes (subject to the spatial restrictions of the stage) are those of the character he's portraying in the stage play. The actors on stage don't speak in the third person (unless it's a really unusual play; Im sure someone's tried it). Playing the role of a PC at a game table is, IMO, the same thing; and it's where the "role-playing" side of the game comes from. I have to side with everyone else on this one. Your way(which is also my way) is just one way to roleplay. It's the only style where I can immerse myself into the game, so I enjoy it much more than the other methods. I agree that one can play the game perfectly well while referring to one's character in the third person but I don't see it as meeting the definition of role-playing. Acting is role-playing, by its very definition: an actor plays a role. So does a narrator. It's ...
  • 03:02 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    And here's where I disagree with both of you: player-speak can give some excellent game play but in the end that's all it is - a player playing a game. The player isn't even trying* to inhabit the character, think what it thinks, speak the character's words, etc. LARPs have it right - you become the character whose role you're playing. A tabletop game ideally is the same sort of thing, only without the costumes and active movement. * - at least, not to an observer. Internally to herself the player might be quite actively doing all of these things, but if it's not reflected in her actual play then what's the point? Lan-"speaking from an idealist point of view here, well knowing reality always blunts ideals"-efan Ah, you've mistaken one kind of role-playing (acting/inhabitation) with the general case of roleplaying. If I always refer to my character in the third person, that's still roleplaying -- I'm playing the role of the character in the game. Acting isn't required, although y...
  • 12:41 AM - Aldarc quoted Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    I got your point; but Author and Director stance point away from playing the character as a person and more towards playing it as a pawn...which while fine for playing the game as a game doesn't meet my definition of playing a role.(1) Pawn is a separate stance that the blog author details. (2) Playing a role when acting often does involve role switching as the actor is an interlocutor of the character. The director has a sense of character. The author has a sense of character. The actor has a sense of character. Neither director, author, nor actor inherently has a sense of character as pawn. This is why I find such arbitrary categories unhelpful. As the blog writer says, we often switch as players between these stances seamlessly and unconsciously. Saying that we should stay in Actor stance does not seem like a useful ethic for roleplay. It seems instead like an enforcement of "onetruefun." Roleplay of a character "as a real person" involves far more depth than merely what the Actor role ...

Monday, 16th July, 2018

  • 11:18 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Lanefan in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    ...rent voice or accent or whatever, I'm referring to simply saying the actual words that your character would say rather than using player-speak. I'm playing Jocinda in a combat situation, Falstaffe is one of my fellow party members. The DM has just informed me that I've noticed an enemy sneaking up on unaware Falstaffe... 1. "Falstaffe, look out on your left!" 2. "I warn Falstaffe that he's got an enemy sneaking up on him." 3. "Jocinda warns Falstaffe that he's got an enemy sneaking up on him." See the difference? The first puts me in the action - I'm playing the role of Jocinda and saying what she would say. The other two leave me remote from Jocinda the character, the third a bit more so than the second, and in some situations (probably not this specific example) both might even bog things down if the DM or another player for whatever reason needs to know exactly what words I'm using. The first is role-playing. The third is game-playing. The second is somewhere in between. Lanefan p.s. Another aspect to this: at times in the past a hard-line enforcement of "if you say it, your character says it" has been the only way to shut down all the disruptive side-chatter and table talk.All three are roleplaying.
  • 05:46 PM - MNblockhead quoted Lanefan in post How do you pronounce "bulette"
    Or "BOO-letty"? This reminds me of Jonathan Teatime in Terry Pratchett's Hogfather, who insists on everyone pronouncing his surname as Teh-ah-tim-eh. I have a simple sense of humor and it always gives me the giggles. I'm always walking in and around pronunciation landmines at work given the very international environment I work in. I try my best to pronounce names correctly (i.e., the preferred pronunciation of the person so-named), but when I fail and run aground against someone who takes themselves too seriously, I can't help but needle them a bit. Especially since so many who take issue with how you pronounce their name make little effort to learn the pronunciation of names in languages they are unfamiliar with.


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