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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:33 PM
    There were already two different human-like terminators in the very first movie. ;)
    15 replies | 186 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:22 PM
    1. I was confused and thought that they'd cast the same woman who is starring in the new Batwoman, but then I checked imdb and that's the actress who played Mindy Park (satellite control) in The Martian. 2. The cgi looks like plastic, especially the terminators. The rocket effect is superb, but the terminator that gets hit looks really bad right before it happens. I know it's visible only half...
    15 replies | 186 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:00 PM
    Thought for the day: has Carmen ever been to San Diego?
    8419 replies | 430869 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:16 AM
    So, a new Game of Thrones WTF Edition dropped, and it has an awesome Bran edit that already got cut out and made into a separate video:
    95 replies | 2485 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 04:41 AM
    Wayback Machine still has one snapshot of his site: https://web.archive.org/web/20150703064641/http://www.silverblades-suitcase.com/sj/htm/transparency.htm https://web.archive.org/web/20110801000000*/www.silverblades-suitcase.com/sj/htm/transparency.htm The larger images lead nowhere, though. It looks like Silverblade has been online this year, so you might try messaging him and asking if he...
    3 replies | 686 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:48 PM
    I waste it with my crossbow.
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:45 PM
    And to add: also without regard to HOW players and/or PCs will engage with them. (see above post re jokes about the kobolds for example).
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:43 PM
    What's wrong with that? You've laid out the description in hopes of getting a reaction, and you got one: the characters* joke about the kobolds' rough night last night. That the reaction isn't what you were hoping for...well, too bad. The point is that you succeeded in your goal, in that you drew a reaction. * - in this instance I'd 100% rule that the joke was made in character.
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:33 PM
    Yes. She's all four of these plus referee, game (re-)designer, and setting author.
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:29 PM
    If it's words on paper, it's literature. Literally. Using "literature" as a term that only applies to high-quality work is a redefintion of the word, though one that - sadly - has come to be somewhat accepted over time.
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:00 PM
    A glance at the stats they publish here every so often as to what's being played in the online tabletops (e.g. Fantasy Ground, etc.) gives at least a bit of insight into what's actually being played; and though it's an open question as to how reflective these numbers are of the overall community, they're pretty much all we have to go by. If - and I know this is a big jump, but I'll try it...
    179 replies | 5423 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:00 PM
    So what you're saying is that the dothraki and unsullied had to retreat, because ghost-Snow took out overlord Dany which caused their side to become supply blocked?
    95 replies | 2485 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:51 PM
    George has written an update regarding the last episode: http://georgerrmartin.com/notablog/2019/05/20/an-ending/
    95 replies | 2485 view(s)
    2 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 01:23 AM
    Not sure I get a vote, but here's one more for no more white walkers, please. I'd like to see A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, the collected story of Dunk and Egg.
    24 replies | 454 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 11:06 PM
    Captain Stark, the faceless wolf, the smiling death, bane of the far seas, slayer of kraken, silence of the seas, the wave that strikes like thunder.
    95 replies | 2485 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 07:40 PM
    Another thing about lost continuity. I know they never mentioned it on the show, but it's possible that the Unsullied are sailing to their doom. The Isle of Naath is home to butterflies which spread a plague to anyone who wasn't born there. That's the reason they are 'peaceful people' as Missandei said. They don't need to defend themselves. Outsiders who go there die. ...
    95 replies | 2485 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 12:15 PM
    Daario Naharis be like: "So wait, am I the king of The Bay of Dragons now?"
    95 replies | 2485 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 12:02 PM
    It really does seem so.
    95 replies | 2485 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 12:00 PM
    The running theme throughout the final season was the distinctive lack of continuity. Things that happened in previous episodes had very little bearing on the following episode/s. The Red Keep falls on Jaime and Cersei in the previous episode, and in the final we discover it was just a couple of well-placed bricks that hit them. If they'd moved 5 steps to the left they'd have been fine. Arya...
    95 replies | 2485 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 07:07 AM
    3.0 - because it's a very comprehensive system with vast design room for homebrew material. If you want a game that has a ready-made rule for (almost) every situation and you like fiddly bits, that is. I specifically prefer 3.0 over 3.5 because it was designed "organically" and it holds together better, while the revised edition was mostly a set of disconnected patches that created new...
    179 replies | 5423 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 04:16 AM

    95 replies | 2485 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 03:09 AM
    Can't decide if its 2e or 3.5. To me 2e will always have a mystique that nothing can compare with. If it had the sorcerer it would be perfect to me. On the other hand 3.5 is the whole opposite, it has the sorcerer and I feel comfortable with it.
    179 replies | 5423 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 02:50 AM

    95 replies | 2485 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 10:40 PM
    He's done both bad and good performances before and after Twilight. I think he's one of those actors who only brings to the table what the script contains. Good writing, good. Bad writing, bad.
    25 replies | 569 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 08:21 PM

    172 replies | 3931 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 06:58 PM
    1e. ccs hits many of my reasons for this in a post upthread. This puts the rest far better than I could: Thanks for saving me the typing. :)
    179 replies | 5423 view(s)
    2 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 09:32 PM
    Yikes. That cyborg girl came really close to losing a finger there.
    8419 replies | 430869 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 09:29 PM
    Why did you say that name !? Seriously though, he might be ok. If they come up with a good script. :p
    25 replies | 569 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 08:19 PM
    This guy's a War Cleric, then? And yeah, I'll argue. :) Shame to lose his Cleric side, but replacement Fighters are dime-a-dozen in any town...
    51 replies | 1326 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 08:13 PM
    I agree completely. Problem is, for purposes of presenting a common-to-all 'survey question' I couldn't think of a way to frame it as a level of anticipation without having it be a bit premeditated. I could have framed it more like "On 1-10, how would you rate a session you had just played where the whole session was spent on in-character conversation that didn't advance the story but did...
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 08:06 PM
    Unfortunately, it isn't what a module looks like...but it certainly could be, because really - at the absolute root of it all, what more does a DM need? (well, perhaps a few things - see below) It doesn't have its own backstory incuded? Great! 95+% of the time included backstory in a module is just wasted space for me: I'm going to ignore it and replace it with my own anyway. Even the...
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 06:22 AM
    Combine 9 and 6 into this: keep a game log, preferably online or somewhere where players can access it during the week. Tell them that one of their duties as a player is to read the log between sessions. (obviously you keep your own notes as DM as well for thigns that aren't (yet) public knowledge). As for fumbles - love 'em. But not on every natural 1, nor should crits happen on every...
    38 replies | 987 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 06:05 AM
    We've recently been thinking of theme songs for our characters - sure a vast array of options out there. I once had a player roll up a character based on a metal song ("Knock Them Down" by Thor - character was a hell-bent fighter). As for presentation, I try to use different voices (and facial expressions when I'm not too busy laughing) for different characters and usually seem to get it...
    51 replies | 1326 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 05:51 AM
    All looks good except for one element that'll become problematic if a large group of PCs are drawing from a small Deck: repetition of effects. Once the first three PCs have drawn a couple of cards each it'll start becoming obvious what's in the mini-Deck and subsequent PCs (or NPCs!) will base their choice to draw or not too much on that element. Sulotion: use a bigger Deck. Instead of the...
    3 replies | 280 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 05:41 AM
    For these purposes it doesn't matter. The session consists of the characters sitting on a ship, or around a campfire or at some other uninterrupted down-ish-time, just carrying on a conversation that's all done via in-character role-play at the table. This conversation could reference stuff the characters have already done/met in the established fiction (i.e. they're telling war stories from...
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 11:35 PM
    Quick survey for the regulars here: Let's say that for whatever reason you know going in that tonight's session, where you're playing a well-developed character you're familiar with and enjoy playing, is highly likely to consist of nothing but in-character roleplaying and interactions with other PCs (and maybe NPCs) with no story progress likely to be made and maybe little if any reference to...
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 11:26 PM
    Which is a fundamental difference between us: as far as I'm concerned entertaining others and being entertained in return are the heart and soul of RPGing (including LARP here); and are what make it a different - and more enjoyable - kind of activity from almost any other.
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 11:13 PM
    Thing is, what you dismiss as 'colour' is often at the very heart of portraying one's character in terms of how and what it thinks, its opinions on various aspects of life, and visualization. If I make it clear over time that my Dwarf is fastidious about grooming his beard and his choices of food, it can reasonably be assumed that fastidiousness extends into other aspects of his life -...
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 10:56 PM
    Well, knowing the twists and turns a conversation took to get to where it is can be useful. If all one reads is the first post and the last few pages it's easy to just end up rehashing topics that have already come and gone within the discussion. Which can, sometimes, lead to misunderstandings and confusion. No way round it.
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 10:05 PM
    George R. R. Martin Wanted More 'Game of Thrones'
    172 replies | 3931 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 08:50 PM
    Edit: meant to post this in the What Are You Listening To? thread. They released it two days ago. :D
    172 replies | 3931 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 01:17 PM
    One episode left. It's been a crazy ride. Whatever else I might think about how things have been going at least it's been entertaining. What I would like to happen: - Throne room. Dany orders Drogon to kill Tyrion for treason. Jon Snow does nothing. - Tyrion reveals his real father was a Targaryen, Drogon refuses to act. - Dany orders Grey Worm to kill Tyrion. Jon Snow does nothing. -...
    172 replies | 3931 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 10:29 AM
    Action declaration is but one avenue of revealing who a PC is, and by no means the primary one. What mostly reveals who a PC is, at least in terms of how the other PCs perceive her, are the words she says and how she says them when interacting with the other PCs through direct roleplay*. This is where player performance comes in - a player or GM who puts some expression and-or voice talents...
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 10:20 AM
    Problem with that is, every person at the table is going to end up with a different mental image of what each character looks like. Better if the player - who in theory has final say on her own character's appearance - comes up with a mental image of that character then either finds something close to that image online or (if talent and skill allow) draws it herself. Then everyone has a common...
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 10:08 AM
    That's because it is, most of the time. And that's when you're just "being yourself". When you're trying to play a role (which is the very definition of acting) in a role-playing game then yes, it's all to some extent performance. Denying the whole concept just because you don't like it seems a bit over-the-top somehow.
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 09:59 AM
    You might not need it, but some of us do. Ideally the GM is giving as much portrayal and expression and voice to each of her NPCs as each player is to her character(s); of course some GMs are better at this than others and those that aren't any good at it are better off not trying. That said, a GM who can't act is in my view starting at a disadvantage over one who can. I'm not talking about...
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 09:17 AM
    I do nothing, because I do not play an economy simulation game, I play a game of adventures. A PC doesn't become a Druid so that she can work as a farmer, or a Wizard so that she can work as a carpenter...
    135 replies | 5469 view(s)
    6 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 09:26 PM
    Ugh. On the one hand, why would he make that up? On the other, who told him that? We've been burned far too many times by GRRM himself regarding book releases. I'm wary of believing anything about asoiaf until it happens. :hmm: That was surprisingly good. Even after all the seasons, all the actor swaps for Gregor, and all the hype placed upon it.
    172 replies | 3931 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 02:02 PM
    I have an idea on how to explain Drogon's dominance this episode. Euron only managed to get three scorpions constructed and their crews trained. The ones that killed Rhaegal. The rest of the scorpions were literal cardboard cutouts. Dany figured it out because she is also a cardboard cutout this season.
    172 replies | 3931 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 10:34 AM
    Here is a show of atletisism.. athlethesisi.. athlathlethism.. he go fast:
    8419 replies | 430869 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 10:07 AM
    I wouldn't really say that they had special gifts (beyond their training), but they were doing crazy martial arts moves in the fight scenes. Running on walls. Making ridiculously high jump kicks and stuff. Thanks for reminding me about Space: Above and Beyond. That show had one of the best plot twists when they find out why the aliens were attacking them.
    10 replies | 324 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 09:59 AM
    I am afraid there is very little within the standard rules... I was thinking Magic Initiate first but it really only works with cantrips e.g. Shocking Grasp. Sadly, the 1st level spell granted by this feat can only be cast with a 1st level slot, so the feat is not very valuable for picking a damaging spell since it'll never scale. Anyway, you already have Thunderspell and can scale it if you...
    12 replies | 433 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 09:56 AM
    It feels like there's 5 episodes of plot development missing from in between episodes three and five. Did I really just see northmen killing unarmed soldiers and civilians just because Grey Worm went crazy? Like, were those former Bolton men, or what? Jon was right there and they just go in and slaughter people without even waiting for his command? What?
    172 replies | 3931 view(s)
    2 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 10:06 PM
    I don't know if anyone remembers this (or even saw it), but there was a television show called Freedom that aired back in 2000. 20 episodes that were haphazardly put together about a group of resistance fighters who are trying to fight back against a coup in the USA. I remember the show having a really small budget and that totally showing, but I really enjoyed it. It only aired once here, and...
    10 replies | 324 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 09:14 PM
    Only just saw the movie yesterday (it was awesome), and I haven't had a chance to read through everything here yet, so apologies if someone already mentioned this. In their interview on Ellen Brie and Scarlett mentioned that when Brie was shooting her scenes for Endgame they hadn't even started with the Captain Marvel movie (didn't even have a script), so Brie had no idea at all what the...
    176 replies | 4736 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 09:25 AM
    And you're invested in this example because (I think it's Thurgon) is your character, which only makes sense. But the question is this: during this scene, to the several other players just sitting there watching, how entertaining are you and the GM? Are you boring them to tears, or keeping them engaged? I mean, like it or not you're playing to an audience of more than just yourself...so how...
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 10:39 PM
    IMDb is listing Harry Lloyd (aka Viserys Targaryen) as playing Charles Xavier on the final season.
    2 replies | 555 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 10:02 PM
    Oh boy.. Kit Harington was doing an interview on PopBuzz when he was asked to describe the season finale with one word and he blurts out "disappointing". He then quickly tried to take it back by saying epic instead, but his tone of voice didn't change. Then Entertainment Tonight tried asking Emilia Clarke if she was happy with how things ended. She chuckles in a very uncomfortable and...
    60 replies | 1967 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 06:25 PM
    They are ok. I don't have issues with Bless, but I do dislike Guidance spammability, and this HR takes it away. Although I am not very fond of changing Guidance to a mass spell. It gives it a very different feel... I am ok with Guidance representing a single-target boost. I just don't like how it can be cast continuously.
    16 replies | 696 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 10:03 AM
    I let the players design and roleplay their familiars/companions freely. Until combat starts... then I control their actions. I've normally seen pets abused in combat when player-controlled, not outside of it.
    25 replies | 809 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 03:36 AM
    This is a cool guide. Just a couple of precisions: Remember to include a link to the free Elemental Evil Player's Guide. That one has cool cantrips and races. Sorcerers can be damage dealers, but that way lies quick resource depletion and nova damage. Another -better (IMO)-way to play them is focusing on buffing/debuffing. They are the only full caster proficient at Concentration saves and the...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 11:37 AM
    Dare I ask, how big? Was your map laid out on the floor of an aircraft hangar? :)
    2689 replies | 85071 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 11:35 AM
    This difference is worth noting. For my part I'm mostly concerned with realism (or authenticity) in the content of the fiction - the ends - rather than so much the mechanical processes used to get there - the means. That said, there's means that make it easier* to achieve these desired ends and means that make it more difficult; and not all of these means are necessarily hard-coded rules. ...
    2689 replies | 85071 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 11:16 AM
    Good question. In 1e a mace did d6+1 to non-large foes where a longsword did d8 - exactly the same average but the mace didn't have the option of doing 1 or 8. One could argue there's in fact some realism behind this: a longsword hit could just nick you (1 pt damage) but any hit from a mace is more likely to pack some punch (thus starts at 2 pts damage). At the other end a longsword, being a...
    2689 replies | 85071 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 11:07 AM
    Ahhh now I have to get the thing.
    53 replies | 3456 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 10:59 AM
    All true, yet even there within that framework one can, if one wants, hew closer to or farther from the realistic. If you're referring to 4e (and if not, to what are you referring) and thus trying to imply 4e was less abstract than the other D&Ds, you're off the mark all round. One of the main reasons 4e was rejected was because it was too abstract. The mechanics give a framework, within...
    2689 replies | 85071 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 10:51 AM
    In fairness, pemerton also sometimes references 4e D&D and - a bit less often - Moldvay Basic D&D; both of which were a fair bit closer to the mainstream in their day. That said, I'm not sure he runs/ran either system entirely as written (but then, do any of us?) preferring instead to overlay a story-now aesthetic on them. Also, if memory serves he's more into Burning Wheel than BitD, but I...
    602 replies | 11718 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 09:26 AM
    Trippy as ever. Is that finally (a young) Professor X at 0:48? The first season of the show was great and while the second took a long time to really get itself off the ground the finale was amazing. Hoping that the third has learned its lessons from what worked and what didn't. Here's a kind of series recap by a fan:
    2 replies | 555 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 11:29 PM
    Aha! I thought so. :D The strangest thing about them is that they've been doing music since 1994-96 (different names in the beginning), but as far as I can tell they've never been on a movie soundtrack.
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 11:00 PM
    You've never heard them before? Duuuuude:
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 08:42 AM
    To continue on this line of thought: In the books the trees were supposed to be windows that the Old Gods looked through to see what was happening in the world. That's why marriage ceremonies in the North took place beside them. Greenseers like Bran used that same method to see things. I don't remember exactly, but I think it wasn't like a exact window analogy, but more like they could see the...
    60 replies | 1967 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 05:56 PM
    The new scorpions are far more powerful than I initially thought. Having watched the sea scene again it looks like Tyrion's ship wasn't even being targeted. It was anchored behind the ship with Grey Worm, and it looks to be getting hit through the other ship. That's a railgun.
    60 replies | 1967 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 04:52 PM
    Ouch.
    60 replies | 1967 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 08:55 AM
    Playing or running Basic D&D is free, or less than 5 bucks if you count dice. Playing Standard D&D requires the PHB, which costs at most 50 bucks, but you can find it for less, or you can even just use the SRD. Running Standard D&D requires the PHB and MM, so you are within 100 bucks. Anything else (even the DMG) is optional, but between the SRD and UA you can easily add a lot more at no...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 08:45 AM
    I don't think it's about "screwing" the rules, but simply using the rules, and proficiency rules (meaning: proficiency bonus by level) are for PCs. NPCs do not follow the same rules (they don't even have a "level") and can be anything. The DMG might have guidelines for creating NPCs and monsters, and those guidelines may also include proficiency bonus assignment, but they aren't rules. So it's...
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  • jonesy's Avatar
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 08:27 PM
    Good. If they're not required to play analytic PCs (in other words, not required to do their own work when it comes to information gathering, risk-outcome-reward analysis, and so forth) then one of two outcomes must naturally follow: - the analysis is done for them, meaning they're very likely to get information that a) by luck or design they might not otherwise acquire and b) is always...
    43 replies | 1961 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 06:03 PM
    She knows he is the nominal leader of the North. And she should know from rumours and spies that there are divided loyalties among their people as to who's really in charge? We know that they have spies in the north as Qyburn knew really fast about the army of the dead heading towards Winterfell.
    60 replies | 1967 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 04:18 PM
    In the words of my father: "You know the real reason why Arya said no to Gendry is because she's all about the reality of the situation. Dany can't make him a lord. She's always assuming things are true before they are. She's not the queen, and it's possible she never will be."
    60 replies | 1967 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 02:47 PM
    Divide and conquer? If either Jon or Dany dies, the other becomes stronger as most of the disputes between their sides evaporate.
    60 replies | 1967 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 02:31 PM
    The problem: pets. The solution: no pets.
    23 replies | 1151 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 01:40 PM
    There's a general problem on the show with the incredible accuracy of bows overall. Last episode we got a scene where Arya shooting a wight threatening Sandor was treated as an amazing shot. But was it really? Jamie's archers were able to hit a flying dragon. Theon was shooting ravens out of the air at the Twins. Ramsay just generally. All of those are elite archers, but have we actually seen...
    60 replies | 1967 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 12:46 PM
    That scene made the least sense of everything this season. After all that Jon and Ghost went through that is what the show leaves us with?
    60 replies | 1967 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 12:11 PM
    Bronn did use one all by himself, and re-armed it rather quickly. The ones used against Dany's fleet do have whole teams using them. I just realized that I accidentally said that Ghost was with Robb. Shame. :p
    60 replies | 1967 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 10:57 AM
    Ambushed by Euron "I Am The Storm" Greyjoy: - Balon (So sorry, but you are not the storm. Fly away now.) - Yara at the Kingsmoot. (So sorry, but you are not the queen of the Ironborn. Run away now.) - Yara and her fleet. (Say hello to The Storm, niece. RIP the Sandsnakes.) - Theon with her fleet. (If Theon had been a full Ironborn he'd have worn full battle armor, and wouldn't have...
    60 replies | 1967 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 12:00 PM
    The Landlady is Rey's mother, confirmed?
    135 replies | 3750 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jonesy's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 01:20 AM
    Around the time that I graduated from there this little show began to air: Edit: and to those perceptive amongst you, yes indeed it is 3 am here, and I am having trouble sleeping. But it is sunday so that's fine.
    8419 replies | 430869 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Saturday, 4th May, 2019, 11:47 PM
    If guesses were tresses there'd be all those messes on mornings with all that bed hair.
    8419 replies | 430869 view(s)
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  • jonesy's Avatar
    Saturday, 4th May, 2019, 11:34 PM
    I guess. *shrug* I'm just living in such a super different world now that I'm not even sure if I could relate to meeting myself from back then. It's almost like somewhere along the line I turned into my dad (and he says that too).
    8419 replies | 430869 view(s)
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Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 04:50 AM - uzirath mentioned Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Almost. It also qualifies that as "especially" valued for superior or lasting artistic merit. That word "especially" allows for crappy literature as a part of the first definition. I looked up "literature" specifically, rather than "literary." (This was in response to Lanefan's statement: "If it's words on paper, it's literature.") Even for "literary," though, the "esp." qualifier suggests that the term is commonly used in a more selective fashion. It can certainly be used more broadly and often is (as is the word "literature"). My only point is that it's hardly new or unusual for speakers to limit it to mean written works "of the kind valued for quality of form."

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 04:02 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    tell us about how you see RPGs working. For instance, what do you see as the role of situation in RPGing. Why do you think the narratie crat with which a situation is presented is so important?What is it that you think we've been doing this whole time? It's not engaging in playstyle wars or pushing a playstyle agenda.To elaborate on my question, then: upthread Imaro seemed to assert, or at least very strongly imply, that whether or not a situation is interesting is a player-independent state of affairs. Do you agree? What do you think the GM should have regard to in coming up with situations? Lanefan, in other threads over many years, has posted that the GM should always author scenarios without regard to which players and/or PCs will engage with them. Do you agree? Upthread Hussar has complained about players who just want the GM to "roll up the plot wagon". What do you think the players have a duty to bring to the table? For instance, do you think the players have a duty to be enthusiastic about the situation the GM presents? Not at all far upthread Bedrockgame posited a contrast between GM as storyteller/entertainer and GM as facilitator/adjudicator. Do you think this is a useful contrast? If so, which side of it do you favour? If not, why not? Upthread - both a long way upthread, and in my past few posts - I've made some comments about what I see as possible tensions between a GM issuing an invitation to respond via narration and a GM aiming at literary quality in his/her narration. Do you agree that those tensions obtain? If so, what do you do about it? If no, why not...

Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 03:21 PM - Maxperson mentioned Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Thanks for this clarification (I had a similar question to @pemerton). I would have been a solid 10 for this in my gaming years in high school, college, and in my twenties. Now, in my forties, time is at more of a premium and gaming is more infrequent, so I do like to see the plot moving. But I'd still likely be at a 7-8. I do love it when role-playing happens during a game for no purpose other than to have a good time exploring our characters. My only hesitation is that I often find that this works best when it arises spontaneously. I'm less interested in the idea of everyone doing their homework and then sharing the cool stories they created than I am in spontaneously generated material in response to unexpected questions and prompts. I'm in between you and Lanefan I don't mind taking time to discuss old times with other PCs, but I'm also going to want to talk to the captain about what we can expect on the voyage and at the port we are heading to. Perhaps climb up the crows nest and watch for ships in the distance with the crew member, while talking to him about the captain and other officers, in order to get a better gauge on what kind of people they are. And so on. I don't mind the entire session being discussion, but I don't want to spend the entire time just shooting the breeze amongst the other players.

Tuesday, 14th May, 2019

  • 10:53 AM - Hussar mentioned Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Well said Lanefan. One of my biggest pet peeves is when one player turns to another at the table and says, "What race is your character again? Were you human or elf?" Because, to me, that just screams that the performance of that player is so flat and uninteresting that the fact that this character isn't even human isn't readily apparent at the table. I'm not talking about someone simply forgetting. We all do that. I'm talking about the other three or four players at the table having zero idea what species the character is. It drives me straight up the wall. Granted, it's a pet peeve, so, it bothers me more than it probably should, but, it does get to the heart of what we're talking about. The performance/presentation/whateverdahellyawannacallit is so flat and uninspired that folks at the table have zero idea what you are actually portraying.

Saturday, 4th May, 2019

  • 02:00 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Lanefan This is all well and good....although the Non-Living Meat Ward seems to be about as troubling as Otilukeís OCD Sequential Backpack Exploder spell! Iíll grant you that the D&D method ďbeatsĒ the Blades method in relation to sequentiality. Iíll say that I absolutely understand the reason that you prefer that method. My point is that the Blades method ďbeatsĒ the D&D method in that it reflects the knowledge and capability of the character and removes the limitation that the playerís knowledge places on the character. So, given this, would you agree that each method appeals to realism, albeit a different aspect of realism? And if you can, then can you see why Iím saying that which works best for a given person is just a matter of preference? If not, then please quantify the two methods for me using an actual metric other than opinion in order to prove one is more realistic than the other.
  • 10:24 AM - Aldarc mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Lanefan, I find that there is sometimes disconnect between your assumption regarding how D&D should be played and how other tables often play it: i.e., your play preference vs. broader play praxis. Equipment is one such case. At many tables I have seen, and this may also be a generational thing (though hopefully you can refrain from past condescending attitudes about "newer" players), the table doesn't really care about the equipment/resource minigame. The DM/Table may simply rule that a player having a particular piece of equipment is reasonable though it was never previously established on the character sheet, in the fiction, etc.

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 09:10 AM - Aldarc mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ... and be good to go again (e.g. a hockey player does a shift on the ice, recovers for a few minutes on the bench, and is good to go for another shift) but if your finger gets mashed that's gonna hurt for days.I don't necessarily think that it matters. From what I recall, and maybe Maxperson can clarify his views, but he plays (per RAW) in 5E that the first half of hit point loss is luck, fatigue, abstracted that do not reflect actually being "hit" while the second half of hit point loss are "meat" hits. However, 5E does not make a distinction with how the first half (fatigue/luck) are recovered versus how the second half (meat) are recovered. In fact I am not sure if D&D makes a distinction between the recovery of HP. The closest is maybe subdual damage from 3E though subdual represents damage inflicted meant to subdue. Star Wars in 3E distinguished between wounds and HP. One could make the argument that D&D does this by distinguishing between HP damage and ability score damage. But Lanefan, I'm not sure that this is a clear cut valid point at least without not scrutinizing the assumptions that our own games (namely D&D) about these sort of things.

Sunday, 28th April, 2019

  • 03:26 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I think people are capable of recognizing reality in an imagined space, and if they can recognize reality when they "see" it, they can recognize shifts in it. It can't really be quantified for the reasons I've given, but they can tell if something is becoming more or less realistic. But, if you read the posts earlier discussing the way BitD introduces an element into the game via its architecture and mechanics which could be seen as more realistic, but where that realism is in terms of 'authenticity of the narrated outcome' vs 'authenticity of the process' (which Lanefan argued for) then you must know that at least these two deeply differing sorts of realism exist, and yet not everyone seems to recognize them, or consider them to be effective at increasing authenticity. It is really just not as simple as 'subsystem X which arbitrates injection of element Y into the game, where element Y exists in the real world is the definition of realism and everyone recognizes that'. Where that true, then your criticisms, or those of lowkey13 etc. would all be super accurate, but they're not because there really truly is no one single agreement about this. Ovinomancer cares about reality of outcomes, but Lanefan cares about process (and I assume he would say that outcomes take care of themselves to some degree).

Friday, 26th April, 2019

  • 03:59 PM - Zhaleskra mentioned Lanefan in post How much do you care about "balanced" dice?
    Lanefan I would never destroy a die that has been rolling poorly for me, though I do "ground" dice that continue to fail me sometimes. Even though the grounding period may be over, some still haven't hit a table, if only because I'm not playing in person as much.
  • 05:09 AM - Maxperson mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Interesting... Don't you guys (I mean you, Lanefan, and there have been a couple others) often discuss things in terms of playing a game in which the PCs are NOT picked out by fate. Where in fact they are simply nobody special, unless perhaps they actual manage to forcefully inject themselves into the wheels of fate (and I would assume this to be a difficult process which rarely succeeds). So, I wouldn't think you would advocate for the use of encounter tables which would require such an interpretation. I mean, even in a 'you are nobody' type of game maybe PCs draw a little attention, make a few enemies, etc. and see more action than Joe Farmer, and I doubt you'd find that objectionable to a certain degree. Still, I am just curious what your take is on this Gygaxian/Anesian design element which was particularly prominent in AD&D. While I have a similar playstyle to Lanefan and some others, we do have our differences. I like that the PCs are heroes of destiny. What I don't do is have only people of destiny allowed to be members ...
  • 03:55 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    The same goes for any system in which the PCs encounter lots of monsters/deadly encounters, which is a good many of them, probably most, and maybe even all of them. It helps to think of the PCs as fated in some way. THEY encounter deadly things with this kind of frequency, but the world at large generally does not. The tables are built for them. Interesting... Don't you guys (I mean you, Lanefan, and there have been a couple others) often discuss things in terms of playing a game in which the PCs are NOT picked out by fate. Where in fact they are simply nobody special, unless perhaps they actual manage to forcefully inject themselves into the wheels of fate (and I would assume this to be a difficult process which rarely succeeds). So, I wouldn't think you would advocate for the use of encounter tables which would require such an interpretation. I mean, even in a 'you are nobody' type of game maybe PCs draw a little attention, make a few enemies, etc. and see more action than Joe Farmer, and I doubt you'd find that objectionable to a certain degree. Still, I am just curious what your take is on this Gygaxian/Anesian design element which was particularly prominent in AD&D.

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 03:25 PM - Sadras mentioned Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    When I play a RPG I am not going to experience fear because of the referee's narration. That's a response appropriate to a book or film, perhaps, but not a RPG. I think your quote bolded by @lowkey13 is quite interesting. I remember some Dungeon articles back in the day provided advice on various methods for GM narration to inspire gothic horror and a sense of unease in the players for horror-themed campaigns. In that sense, I see the importance of form being on par with the content. @Lanefan touched on this in his post upthread. Sometimes DMs impose a distinct tone using sentence structure, music and props to evoke a certain mood. In those instances I would say the GM narration is very much a literary endeavour.
  • 02:56 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    When I used to prep everything, I already had all the consistent information available at my fingertips. When did it last rain in this spot in Lanefan's game? I would be fairly surprised if a ready answer exists to this question in most cases. How hard or soft is the soil? What exact sorts of undergrowth and conditions prevail on and around this trail? Without knowing these things there isn't any way to assign some sort of probability to the question of whether or not orc tracks are likely to be spotted. In fact it is merely a supposition, one designed to support a particular opinion about different types of game play, which leads to this 'orc track objection'. A variation on Lanefan's objection would seem to be the following: * The players ask about the colour of the ceiling in the dungeon room; * The GM, who has no notes on this (in my experience it's rare for module descriptions to note ceiling colours), narrates that it's red; * The players note the following inconsistency and/or lack of telegraphing - no spots of red paint on the floor or walls were mentioned, and yet there are no drop sheets in the dungeon inventory!...
  • 02:32 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    The only "weakness" you've pointed to (by way of bolding @Lanefan's post) is that because I don't pre-author I won't have pre-authored material to establish which path is the more travelled. That's self-evident. (Tautological, even.) But you were defending Lanefan's claim that this will lead to inconsistent fiction. That is what @Hawkeye and I are denying. This makes no sense. If you go down the right path and observe no tracks, then either (i) there's no village, or (ii) for some reason there are no tracks to find. (Eg it's a village of ghosts.) I don't even see any real need to go this far. When did it last rain in this spot in Lanefan's game? I would be fairly surprised if a ready answer exists to this question in most cases. How hard or soft is the soil? What exact sorts of undergrowth and conditions prevail on and around this trail? Without knowing these things there isn't any way to assign some sort of probability to the question of whether or not orc tracks are likely to be spotted. In fact it is merely a supposition, one designed to support...
  • 02:11 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Yes, this is exactly what I mean by referring to unarticulated assumptions about how RPGing "must" be. Well, presumably there are some Manhattan-ites who have the privilege of living their lives in that very fashion! (I live in a country which is rather peripheral in world terms, but am conscious that there are peripheries of the periphery whose inhabitants have to engage with my situation in a way that I don't have to engage with theirs.) But one wouldn't expect to encounter those particular Manhattan-ites posting in a "rest of the world" forum. Just stick to the I-heart-NYC ones, and maybe even particular subforums. It is the posting on the 'rest of the world forum' to inform the guy who got lost in the backwoods of Maine that finding your way is a simple procedure of going down to the next cross street and turning right or left as needed. TBH, I just find the objections that are made to narrative play to be essentially 'spherical cows'. Lanefan complains that 'inconsistencies will arise', yet in 1000's of sessions of actual play I have seen little sign of any of these inconsistencies. Nor has classical play convinced me that GMs are particular apt at attending to every possible inconsistency. I can't say I believe that there is any greater likelihood that any given GM running a game in 'classic' style is more likely to do so than that the players and GM in a scene framing exercise will produce narrative which seems consistent. Thus these sorts of objections and observations, particularly as they aren't based on comparing styles of play both of which the commentator has experience with, are really just sort of 'sphere world' kind of objections. You can invent them, hypothetically they might arise, but in terms of actually playing actual RPGs they simply don't become concerns.

Monday, 22nd April, 2019

  • 01:58 PM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...ng, by others. Until you explain what you mean by "adding in" real world elements, only you know what you are thinking of. I mean, AbdulAlhazred and I already gave the example of a D&D GM narrating a miss as due to a dulled blade, which is perfectly possible under the existing D&D rules. And I gaven the parallel Traveller example of explaining a PC's stats as the result of a heart condition. But by "adding in" you seem to have in mind the introduction of some sort of mechanical subsystem (like the AD&D system for disease); which then invites points of the sort that the two of us have made, such as that such systems don't increase realism if they yield unrealistic results in the fiction. Until you try and explain what you mean by "adding in" real world elements, and why some forms of "adding in" count differently from others, you're not going to get much traction for your assertion. And you're certainly not going to persuade me that my campaigns are "less realistic" than yours or Lanefan's, given that you're both running D&D variants whereas I'm running systems (Burning Wheel, Classic Traveller, heck even Prince Valiant in some respects) that are far more gritty than D&D is capable of being given it's core mechanics of class, level and hit points. And even the non-gritty systems I'm running (Prince Valiant in some of its respects; 4e D&D; Cortex+ Heroic) establish a fiction at least as verisimilitudinous and rich in descriptive details (including dropped weapons, various sorts of injuries, locations and the people who inhabit them) as anything either of you has pointed to in your own games. Such inconsistent authoring is unavoidable with the style of play you engage in. Or do you really expect me to believe that before any player authors anything in the fiction, you guys stop and go over ever single thing ever authored in that campaign to see if it results in any type of inconsistency and cease that specific case of authoring if it does?Hang on - are you telling m...
  • 06:47 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...re realistic, is very odd. I'm saying that if I want to add in a bunch of diseases that exist in the real world to my game, that increases the realism.What does "add in" mean? My Traveller game includes chronic diseases as elements in the fiction: for instance, we have a high-STR/low-END PC whose backstory includes (in order to explain this apparent disparity) chronic heart disease. But there is no mechanical subystem for dealing with this. It's just fiction introduced retroactively to explain a mechanical outcome. And as I already posted, not any old "adding in" will increase the realism of the game. If every NPC has smallpox, that's not realistic. If every sword breaks every time it is swung, that's not realistic. Etc. Realism isn't just about the presence of certain phenomena: it's intimately connected to their incidence, their imagined genesis, etc. You don't pre-author, so your style has that inherent weakness.The only "weakness" you've pointed to (by way of bolding Lanefan's post) is that because I don't pre-author I won't have pre-authored material to establish which path is the more travelled. That's self-evident. (Tautological, even.) But you were defending Lanefan's claim that this will lead to inconsistent fiction. That is what Hawkeye and I are denying. If there are a tribe of orcs down the trail of both your game and Lanefan's, only in his game will I be able to find orc tracks down the right path if the tribe has not been authored yet in yours.This makes no sense. If you go down the right path and observe no tracks, then either (i) there's no village, or (ii) for some reason there are no tracks to find. (Eg it's a village of ghosts.) Once you author the tribe, the lack of tracks is a glaring inconsistency to Lanefan.But why would anyone author inconsistent fiction? I mean, yes, inconsistent fiction is inconsistent. That's a tautology too. But why would someone author such a thing?
  • 06:01 AM - Maxperson mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I did read his post. He didn't mention "things" that "my style" doesn't take into account. It's right here... But there's a bigger picture to consider: first the easy one, whether the right-hand path being more travelled makes sense with what has been determined in the fiction leading up to this point; and second the harder one, whether that determination now is going to risk leading to things appearing later that should have (or could have) been known or telegraphed sooner. In a pre-mapped situation the GM [and maybe everyone, depending whether a) the map is already known or b) someone in the party has flight capabilities and went up to scout] will in theory know what both paths lead to before the party get to the junction, and that knowledge will then inform the tracking results. Internal logic is maintained. You don't pre-author, so your style has that inherent weakness. If there are a tribe of orcs down the trail of both your game and Lanefan's, only in his game will I be able to find orc tracks down the right path if the tribe has not been authored yet in yours. Once you author the tribe, the lack of tracks is a glaring inconsistency to Lanefan. These sorts of inconsistencies will grow and grow as your game goes on and more and more is authored. It's a weakness of your playstyle and a strength of his, just as your playstyle has strengths that his doesn't and his has weaknesses that yours doesn't. It's not some slight against you that your style is weak in areas. All styles have strengths and weaknesses. This is just one of yours. I know that Lanefan's game is weak in areas that I find important, because he has said as much. For instance, he has made it clear that he authors scenarios and adventures without regard to evinced player interests and PC builds. Just as he knows that yours is weak in areas that he finds important. For my part, I'm more forgiving than he is. My game falls in-between both of yours...
  • 04:44 AM - pemerton mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...M already knows that the left path leads to an orcish village while the right path leads to a rarely-used dock on a lake then the GM could have in various ways telegraphed or breadcrumbed these things earlier had the opportunity arisen. But if the GM doesn't know these things then she can't telegraph anything; she can't describe elements of the scene that might very logically be there (e.g. that the traffic on the left path is probably all orc) because she has no way of knowing yet that they would exist. Which of these do you think I haven't thought of? The fictional elements, like orc villages and little-used docks? The storytelling techniques, such as that narration should build on what has already occurred? I've thought of these things. The first sort are pretty common tropes in FRPGing. The idea of building on established fiction, and certainly not contradicting it, is very commonplace. Keeping it in mind is in fact one of the ways to avoid the inconsistencies that yoiu and Lanefan seem to think are inevitable in "no myth" RPGing. The richness of your game does not invalidate his examples or prevent those sorts of things from occurring in your game. There are many different areas of game play and a game can be very rich in some areas, and deficient in others. I'm sure Lanefan's game is weak in areas that you find important, just like yours is weak in areas that he finds important. That doesn't mean that your game is less rich than his. It's just lacking in areas that he prefers.I know that Lanefan's game is weak in areas that I find important, because he has said as much. For instance, he has made it clear that he authors scenarios and adventures without regard to evinced player interests and PC builds. But you and Lanefan are making a very concrete assertion about a particular alleged weakness in my game - namely, that my gameplay does (because it must) contain inconsistencies in the fiction that result from "no myth" narration. I'm denying this, and...
  • 03:08 AM - Maxperson mentioned Lanefan in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    What things? Did you read his post? He stated some examples pretty clearly. If you're not interested in that competition, then instead of making false claims about other people's fictions - eg in that case that it must be riddled with inconsistency - start thinking, instead, about the reasons why they're making their claims. The richness of your game does not invalidate his examples or prevent those sorts of things from occurring in your game. There are many different areas of game play and a game can be very rich in some areas, and deficient in others. I'm sure Lanefan's game is weak in areas that you find important, just like yours is weak in areas that he finds important. That doesn't mean that your game is less rich than his. It's just lacking in areas that he prefers. For instance, Lanefan has made it clear that he thinks it is an inconsistency if a surprise emerges in play that has not been previously foreshadowed. But, in fact, in real life surprises occur all the time. People discovered dinosaur fossils around 200 years ago and were surprised. The first time I visited London - a city of millions of people, of whom I knew about half-a-dozen - I bumped into the sister of a friend of mine, whom I'd not seen since my friend's wedding nearly 8 years earlier, walking down the street. There was no foreshadowing beyond my having heard, sometime in the intervening 8 years, that she'd moved to Britain. Go back and re-read his last post. He states clear examples of what he is talking about. This is part of why I dispute that GM decides for...


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Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 12:17 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Yes. She's all four of these plus referee, game (re-)designer, and setting author. I agree with most of these. I just don't agree with the story teller part. I cut my teeth at the height of GM as story teller in the 90s. Played that way for a long time and realized it wasn't for me at all. I am not there to tell the players a story. I am there to facilitate a campaign.
  • 10:18 AM - Aldarc quoted Lanefan in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    Lump PF in with 3e and its lead here becomes quite large. Lump some close-hewn OSR games (DCCRPG, Hackmaster, et al) in with 1e (and-or 0e?) and they'd about match 4e. I'm not aware of any systems that are as closely derived from 4e as these other examples are from their respective editions.13th Age is probably one of the closest "kin systems" of 4E, being developed by the lead developers for both 3E and 4E. For Everyone: I also found a great Angry GM article where he reflects on 4E. He is critical in many places, but he is also incredibly open about the aspects he loved. Here is one part where he talks about the lore cohesion of 4E, which is something that I mentioned before: But, letís talk about the story aspects of D&D 4E. Because that was another aspect I really loved. There was a very richly defined world in D&D 4E Ė in the CORE PRODUCTS Ė unlike any other default D&D world. Most editions of D&D take the ďeverything fantasy and the kitchen sinkĒ approach and they treat all...

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 11:12 PM - uzirath quoted Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    If it's words on paper, it's literature. Literally. Using "literature" as a term that only applies to high-quality work is a redefintion of the word, though one that - sadly - has come to be somewhat accepted over time. I completely sympathize with this position when it comes to resisting snooty academics* who might only grudgingly accept Lord of the Rings (for example) as real literature, but the fact is that the word "literature" has been used in a restrictive sense for at least as long as it has been used to mean anything printed. Ye olde OED lists "written work valued for superior or lasting artistic merit" before it lists "printed matter of any kind." It includes quoted examples of people using the word in its more restrictive sense, and even of people complaining about how some other people are using it too broadly. (From the Daily News in 1895: "In canvassing, in posters, and in the distribution of what, by a profane perversion of language, is called Ďliteratureí.") So I don't th...
  • 09:11 PM - Parmandur quoted Lanefan in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    A glance at the stats they publish here every so often as to what's being played in the online tabletops (e.g. Fantasy Ground, etc.) gives at least a bit of insight into what's actually being played; and though it's an open question as to how reflective these numbers are of the overall community, they're pretty much all we have to go by. If - and I know this is a big jump, but I'll try it anyway - one can assume people are more or less playing their favourite edition or system, then it would seem to generally go in order 3e, 4e, 1e, 0e, with 2e sometimes nowhere to be found. Lump PF in with 3e and its lead here becomes quite large. Lump some close-hewn OSR games (DCCRPG, Hackmaster, et al) in with 1e (and-or 0e?) and they'd about match 4e. I'm not aware of any systems that are as closely derived from 4e as these other examples are from their respective editions. Another consideration is that end-of-life-era 2e is so much polymorphed from release-era 2e that they're almost two completely...
  • 08:59 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    If it's words on paper, it's literature. Literally. Using "literature" as a term that only applies to high-quality work is a redefintion of the word, though one that - sadly - has come to be somewhat accepted over time. But words on paper is kind of meaningless in terms of this discusdiin. My issue is words on paper is being used in order to get toward much bigger statements about how RPGs should be like literature. If the argument was just RPGs should have words on paper, I wouldnít be disagreeing so much
  • 08:52 PM - cbwjm quoted Lanefan in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    A glance at the stats they publish here every so often as to what's being played in the online tabletops (e.g. Fantasy Ground, etc.) gives at least a bit of insight into what's actually being played; and though it's an open question as to how reflective these numbers are of the overall community, they're pretty much all we have to go by. If - and I know this is a big jump, but I'll try it anyway - one can assume people are more or less playing their favourite edition or system, then it would seem to generally go in order 3e, 4e, 1e, 0e, with 2e sometimes nowhere to be found. Lump PF in with 3e and its lead here becomes quite large. Lump some close-hewn OSR games (DCCRPG, Hackmaster, et al) in with 1e (and-or 0e?) and they'd about match 4e. I'm not aware of any systems that are as closely derived from 4e as these other examples are from their respective editions. Another consideration is that end-of-life-era 2e is so much polymorphed from release-era 2e that they're almost two completely...

Saturday, 18th May, 2019

  • 05:48 PM - Blue quoted Lanefan in post New and Improved Rules for Running The Deck of Many Things
    All looks good except for one element that'll become problematic if a large group of PCs are drawing from a small Deck: repetition of effects. Once the first three PCs have drawn a couple of cards each it'll start becoming obvious what's in the mini-Deck and subsequent PCs (or NPCs!) will base their choice to draw or not too much on that element. Sulotion: use a bigger Deck. Instead of the original 13 (which is too small), use something like the Harrow Deck which has (52? 54?) cards in it. It's a bit edition-specific to 3e if I recall; I had to rewrite some of the cards to suit my 1e-based game and if you're running 5e you might have to do some rewrites there too. But it's worth it, if only for the greater randomness. Perhaps drawn cards do not immediately reappear. Perhaps they do in 10 years. So there's a reason to lock decks up - keep them for use at a later point, especially as you start to know what cards are in the deck. This avoids the repetition, gives a reason for guard...

Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 09:19 PM - Umbran quoted Lanefan in post On Presentation, Performance, and Style- Players and DMs
    This guy's a War Cleric, then? The character is from several editions back. And yeah, I'll argue. :) Shame to lose his Cleric side, but replacement Fighters are dime-a-dozen in any town... Wow. Your clerics must not use their Wisdom much. When you cheese off the party tank and cleric, they don't need to fight you. They need to just stand aside at the right time.
  • 08:48 PM - Satyrn quoted Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I agree completely. Problem is, for purposes of presenting a common-to-all 'survey question' I couldn't think of a way to frame it as a level of anticipation without having it be a bit premeditated. I could have framed it more like "On 1-10, how would you rate a session you had just played where the whole session was spent on in-character conversation that didn't advance the story but did advance the PCs' chaacterization?", and almost did; but the unavoidable variable there that would prevent clear answers would be "What was the conversation about?". I like the original version better. Because there's no way to know how I'd rate the specific session after the fact. I mean, I've never had a session like that that I'd rate highly, but I fully expect it's possible I could thoroughly enjoy it. Theoretically. But your original, I can answer well. I would totally dread such a session because the odds are it won't be a session I enjoyed. Or in analogy: Your original was asking me how much I...
  • 06:51 PM - Satyrn quoted Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Quick survey for the regulars here: Let's say that for whatever reason you know going in that tonight's session, where you're playing a well-developed character you're familiar with and enjoy playing, is highly likely to consist of nothing but in-character roleplaying and interactions with other PCs (and maybe NPCs) with no story progress likely to be made and maybe little if any reference to the story at all, and little if any chance of combat (unless the PCs decide to throw down vs each other for some reason). It's not a bookkeeping session, though. Maybe you've decided to play out in detail some discussions the PCs have while on a long ship voyage. On a scale of 1 (dread) to 10 (bursting) how enthusiastic would you be when looking forward to the session. I'd be somewhere between 8 and 10, with the variance dependent on situation. 1. That's not why I play D&D. That stuff can be fun, and is fun, but I really don't want a whole session of that. I probably don't want more than 10 minutes...
  • 04:18 PM - Umbran quoted Lanefan in post On Presentation, Performance, and Style- Players and DMs
    I mean, come on - bagpipes? :) Go ahead. Argue with the orc with the 18 Str, heavy armor, a battleaxe, *and* your party's healing magic, about his musical tastes. I'm sure you'll enjoy the fruits of that discussion.
  • 02:53 PM - uzirath quoted Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    For these purposes it doesn't matter. The session consists of the characters sitting on a ship, or around a campfire or at some other uninterrupted down-ish-time, just carrying on a conversation that's all done via in-character role-play at the table. This conversation could reference stuff the characters have already done/met in the established fiction (i.e. they're telling war stories from past adventures), or could reference their backgrounds and histories ("so how did you end up here anyway?"), or their outlooks toward things ("if the Duke upped his taxes by half, would you pay them?" "When you raid a village of Orcs, do you kill the young?") - whatever, as long as they're talking in character. Thanks for this clarification (I had a similar question to pemerton). I would have been a solid 10 for this in my gaming years in high school, college, and in my twenties. Now, in my forties, time is at more of a premium and gaming is more infrequent, so I do like to see the plot moving. But I...
  • 12:41 AM - pemerton quoted Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...you're playing a well-developed character you're familiar with and enjoy playing, is highly likely to consist of nothing but in-character roleplaying and interactions with other PCs (and maybe NPCs) with no story progress likely to be made and maybe little if any reference to the story at all, and little if any chance of combat (unless the PCs decide to throw down vs each other for some reason). It's not a bookkeeping session, though. Maybe you've decided to play out in detail some discussions the PCs have while on a long ship voyage. On a scale of 1 (dread) to 10 (bursting) how enthusiastic would you be when looking forward to the session. Maybe a 3. I want there always to be some forward momentum. I donít mind the occasional dip into in character discussions. In my experience, those usually remain story focused, though. An entire session spent having a conversation that has little to no impact on the game doesnít really do much for me.A complication for me in responding to Lanefan's question is what is the story which is not progressing?
  • 12:32 AM - hawkeyefan quoted Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Quick survey for the regulars here: Let's say that for whatever reason you know going in that tonight's session, where you're playing a well-developed character you're familiar with and enjoy playing, is highly likely to consist of nothing but in-character roleplaying and interactions with other PCs (and maybe NPCs) with no story progress likely to be made and maybe little if any reference to the story at all, and little if any chance of combat (unless the PCs decide to throw down vs each other for some reason). It's not a bookkeeping session, though. Maybe you've decided to play out in detail some discussions the PCs have while on a long ship voyage. On a scale of 1 (dread) to 10 (bursting) how enthusiastic would you be when looking forward to the session. I'd be somewhere between 8 and 10, with the variance dependent on situation. Maybe a 3. I want there always to be some forward momentum. I donít mind the occasional dip into in character discussions. In my experience, thos...

Thursday, 16th May, 2019

  • 11:43 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Which is a fundamental difference between us: as far as I'm concerned entertaining others and being entertained in return are the heart and soul of RPGing (including LARP here); and are what make it a different - and more enjoyable - kind of activity from almost any other. And this is why the discussion isn't really going anywhere, it is about this divide. I certainly don't mind being entertained by others, I just don't see it as why I am there to game. I am there for the immersive experience and for the interaction with my friends. If I viewed it as them being there to entertain me, it just feels strange. Doesn't mean the session isn't lively, people don't talk in character, or that people don't make one another laugh (they frequently do). It just isn't consciously performative.
  • 11:41 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Quick survey for the regulars here: Let's say that for whatever reason you know going in that tonight's session, where you're playing a well-developed character you're familiar with and enjoy playing, is highly likely to consist of nothing but in-character roleplaying and interactions with other PCs (and maybe NPCs) with no story progress likely to be made and maybe little if any reference to the story at all, and little if any chance of combat (unless the PCs decide to throw down vs each other for some reason). It's not a bookkeeping session, though. Maybe you've decided to play out in detail some discussions the PCs have while on a long ship voyage. On a scale of 1 (dread) to 10 (bursting) how enthusiastic would you be when looking forward to the session. I'd be somewhere between 8 and 10, with the variance dependent on situation. When I was younger, I would be into this. As I got older, I wanted a better mix of role-play, events, challenges and development.

Tuesday, 14th May, 2019

  • 11:08 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I'm not talking about "silly voice when it isn't appropriate" and I don't think anyone else is either. I'm talking about a) voice appropriate to the character whose words are being spoken and to a lesser extent b) voice appropriate to the scene being narrated or described e.g. the horror-scene example noted upthread. Well, the poster I was responding to was talking about a silly voice being used in an inappropriate situation (I wasn't responding to you, I was answering the question directed to me in this post): I feel like I am talking presentation in general and you are focusing on a specific example in our exchanges... So let me go extreme to try and stress my general point... would you be ok with them doing say a silly voice for a horror game?
  • 11:06 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    You might not need it, but some of us do. Ideally the GM is giving as much portrayal and expression and voice to each of her NPCs as each player is to her character(s); of course some GMs are better at this than others and those that aren't any good at it are better off not trying. That said, a GM who can't act is in my view starting at a disadvantage over one who can. . Again, this is just a matter of preference. I am sure this does enhance the experience for you. What you have to understand is for me, and for a lot other people, when the GM starts 'acting' or when the GM insists on doing funny voices and behaving like a voice actor, I dislike it. I much prefer a dry, casual delivery from someone who is good at describing things clearly or selecting the right words to evoke a situation, than someone who thinks they are reading a book on tape. But all we are here is in the realm of preference, not in the realm of the basic things that constitute an RPG EDIT: Just to clarify this, I do know...
  • 11:04 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Denying the whole concept just because you don't like it seems a bit over-the-top somehow. No one is denying the concept. We are questioning the language being used (because it is advancing an argument about playstyle----and this is very clear in Hussar's posts), and we are saying it isn't half of the RPG experience (which is literally what posters like Hussar are saying). Make no mistake, a GMing and player style is being advocated here and that style is being advanced through the language of this discussion. There is no visible utility in dividing the RPG experience into these two categories other than to suggest performing for the other players at the table is essential to the gaming experience. Very few here would deny the importance of presentation, or of being invested. But a lot of people bristle at the idea of 'performance' because that is a playstyle issue (not an essential part of play).
  • 11:00 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Lanefan in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I agree that sometimes less can be more - give me a simple easy to read map any day over an artistic nightmare such as the maps in many DCCRPG modules, for example. But, at other times more can be more; and in this category I put character descriptions and-or images. And this is a fine preference to have. But it is just that: a preference. It isn't an essential aspect of roleplaying.


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