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    Saturday, 19th May, 2018, 12:27 AM
    What are you expecting? That he acts like one of the Three Stooges? That he laughs maniacally like a cliche? That he raves like a lunatic? How boring that would be! His method is to act relatively calmly and entirely ruthlessly toward a crazy end. He’s far more menacing as a result (and far more in keeping with his character from the comics).
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    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 05:47 PM
    Are we missing the fact that he's the MAD TITAN here? You're basically second-guessing someone who demonstrably has a really effed up moral compass. There's not really much of a point to doing that since your views on what's rational are completely different. Of course, there may be all sorts of other limitations on what the stones can actually do. Can they really create resources on the same...
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    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 04:10 PM
    I play both PF and 5e and enjoy both - they both scratch slightly different itches and in slightly different ways that I appreciate. That said, I'm looking forward to the PF 2e play test. As much as I've enjoyed what they've done, the game was based on making sure that the 3.5-edition of D&D was still supported with 90% compatible material and they skipped putting a lot of effort into rewriting...
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    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 03:48 PM
    D&D has pretty much always been this way. The number of creatures with infravision in 1e/2e was very high. 5e's dark vision rules are definitely a nerf compared to previous editions, but I'm not actually complaining. I kind of like the change.
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    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 06:41 PM
    If there is a difference, then I think a responsibility to "not make it un-fun" sets too low a bar and GMs should expect more than "We won't make this suck for you" from his players. Nope, I expect my players to bring fun to the table, not lack of suck, and that includes fun for me.
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    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 04:58 AM
    Well, he is the Mad Titan. Would it seem less mad if all the destruction were still essentially Thanos's love letter to the personification of Death? It may seem like that's, at least, is a bit better thought out than annihilating half the population for population management - but it's still madder than a hatter.
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    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 04:01 AM
    Don’t think of it in that frame of mind. You can still be hit, the attacker may still have advantage because you don’t know from where the attack is coming. But you aren’t denied a reaction and you can act on your initiative because you feel that something is happening... though you may not know what.
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    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 04:01 AM
    Damn right they have a responsibility - they have a responsibility to themselves, to me as the GM, and to their fellow players to make the game a fun event for all of us. As GM, I may have a bit more responsibility, but that doesn't lessen the fact that if their play is bringing me or anybody else at the table down (including themselves), then they're doing it wrong.
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    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 04:32 AM
    Former California governor George Deukmejian has died.
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    Sunday, 6th May, 2018, 03:08 AM
    psst... that was last year.
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    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 11:00 PM
    I'm not sure about that. There's nothing magic about releasing them a year apart. The real and practical question is whether or not they have the capacity to complete the post-production work on a faster schedule. If they had the capacity, there's certainly no reason they couldn't release them 4-6 months apart. I think the market would respond positively and people would turn out to both as well...
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    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 10:36 PM
    Oh, I don't think we do in general. There are a lot of ways in which the MCU movies are about the right way to use power. But there's no need for the Avengers to do anything to put Thanos on his path or make him as they did with Ultron. In fact, if he was somehow the result of their actions, then that would probably be evidence of the movies stuck in too much of a rut since there would be no...
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    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 06:51 PM
    Oh, it's way more complex than that. Back when my parents were kids, they went not just for complete stories but also serial stories - the exact type of story the that the original Star Wars saga paid homage to and that the various large project movies we've seen over the last 18 years have incorporated. Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 1 and 2, the Hobbit. This isn't new...
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 1st May, 2018, 10:29 PM
    I'd probably go with Mutants and Masterminds over Champions for a game that was run over lunch times. Champions combat, while it follows some fairly straightforward principles, can run long and be fairly complex. Mutants and Mastermind's Toughness Save system allows me to run 2-3 fights in the time it would take us to run Champions combat vs typical supervillains.
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 08:20 PM
    May have to add another hero to the mix for part 2 - who here really thinks Loki is dead? I have my doubts.
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 07:09 PM
    Yeah, I think there's a good chance he will have lost at least one. That would motivate him to break the house arrest. Infinity War 2 - we know we've got Thor, Cap, Iron Man, Hulk, Widow, and Rocket. We know Captain Marvel is on her way, Hawkeye's an easy activation. Depending on Ant-Man and Wasp, they could make an appearance too. Adam Warlock is a possibility too considering we saw him...
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 07:03 PM
    Keep in mind that the majority of our view of Gamora's and Thanos's relationship has been based on Gamora's perspective - the playing off of rivalries between her and Nebula, the manipulation, the anger and betrayal. We know about those from her. I'm sure Thanos has a completely different take on them, certainly one colored by him being the Mad Titan and his generally effed up values, but one...
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 27th April, 2018, 02:00 PM
    Completely superfluous to whom? You, maybe. But don't assume your experience is the same as everyone's or defines the need of, in this case, the publication. Paizo learned fairly early on that not everyone buys adventures to play them or run them. They found that lots of people buy them simply to read them. Sometimes it's just for fun, sometimes I'm sure it sparks creativity that will be used in...
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 26th April, 2018, 08:53 PM
    Probably from one of the April Dragon Magazine articles. There was often some April Foolin’. I’m pretty sure at least on or two got included in a Best of the Dragon compilations back in the day. This one is just familiar enough I may be remembering from one of those publications.
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 26th April, 2018, 05:54 PM
    What if she were just contrasting that with a conventional orgy? Perhaps even a staid orgy?
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    Thursday, 26th April, 2018, 03:07 PM
    I laugh to keep from crying 😭
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 25th April, 2018, 07:19 AM
    If that's what you think you've done, you're quite a cherry picker. That wikipedia article you selectively quoted from specifically has a passage about world building as a bottom-up process in which the world is built by focusing on the immediate need - hey, like the denizens of a dungeon. Of course, that section draws heavily from a resource directly related to world building in RPGs. So, it's...
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 24th April, 2018, 01:46 PM
    Yeah, Hommlet is a lot more detailed. You could have said that you found that level of worldbuilding excessive and not what you favored and left it like that. I wouldn't know about the Chaos Scar adventures, but Return to Keep on the Borderlands wasn't a several hundred page tome. It was 64 pages - a substantial amount of it advice for new GMs about running adventures. It's actually a very...
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 24th April, 2018, 01:03 AM
    The difference between Keep on the Borderlands and Village of Hommlet is the amount of worldbuilding.
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 03:47 PM
    And yet, there you were, saying that it would be a railroad because, when faced with a PC searching for secret doors, the GM referred to the map of the room and told him that no secret door had been found because it relied on the pre-established map (aka "backstory") rather than the player's rolled check. The fact that there is such a thing as secret doors and they are reasonably appropriate to...
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 06:34 AM
    Telling a player that something is impossible or doesn't work without a check isn't a railroad. That you personally prefer to have outcomes determined by dice doesn't mean that outcomes that aren't determined by dice are railroads or that you should use that pejorative term for them. That's just you being a dick. Is it a railroad if the PCs hear something coming down the dungeon hall at them,...
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 22nd April, 2018, 04:16 PM
    You may object to it as a style of play, but there's no connection between that and the definition of railroad. If the presence (or absence) of the secret door is recorded and independent of either the GM's or the player's desires for it to be there at the time and the GM isn't goading the players one way or the other, how can its presence (or absence) possibly limit the choices of the players?...
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 22nd April, 2018, 05:23 AM
    It does indicate that you have a highly idiosyncratic definition of railroad. If your definition of a railroad includes the fact that there's an element in the setting that exists independent of the players having their PCs actually interact with it, I'm not sure I can trust your ability to communicate this and other concepts in a manner where there's any form of mutual understanding.
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Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018

  • 11:18 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    If we are also using the dice to make the decisions, then why are we bothering to include players?Casting lots to resolve a disagreement among a group is not a thing that I or my group (or Luke Crane) invented. And using dice to establish parameters for choice, as part of playing a game, is not a new thing either. And in the context of RPGing, it's actually pretty standard. I know you're not talking only about this particular aspect of social mechanics, but that was the context in which Hussar made his post that you responded to. it looks like windmills and not real positions you're tilting againstYou must have missed billd91's 5-point reiteration of his reasons for agreeing with Lanefan that the technique I described is "worse than awful". And Lanefan's reiteration of his contention about the technique I described, although on different grounds from billd91's.

Tuesday, 1st May, 2018

  • 01:35 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    I think you're arguing against something no one is claiming, though. Is there a specific post or poster you had in mind? I may have missed it.Yes there is. I posted some examples - reported by others (Luke Crane) and reported by me, from the play of my own campaigns - where social resolution mechanics were used to settle disputes between players (and thus PCs) about what to do next. Lanefan and billd91 posted saying that what I described was awful - Lanefan doesn't like using mechanics to settle an argument at the table; and billd91 claimed it was a signficant abridgement of player agency. My view is that players agreeing to toss a coin doesn't abridge their agency; and that - by pretty strict analogy - players agreeing to be bound by the outcome of a resolution process doesn't either. The difference is that one requires specific roleplaying, the other does not. I can react to an in-game coin flip however I choose. (Anger, reneging on the agreement, relief, etc.) But apparently there are restrictions on how I am supposed to react to somebody else's Persuade roll. "You can react however you want, as long as you are persuaded."I'm not 100% sure what you have in mind here. I was replying to a post by billd91, which was in turn a response to a particular post of mine, about using a mechanical system to resolve an argument between players about what to do next. Here is a re...

Thursday, 26th April, 2018

  • 05:50 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned billd91 in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    ...at bias, they just should be do so judiciously or rarely.) On both sides, this really is irrelevant as to who's rolling - the player or the NPC. However, for Camp 1, NPCs rolling checks against PCs tends to be viewed as irrelevant or unwanted. This is because the player can still do whatever they want, so the die roll is largely meaningless in regards to player decisions. Therefore, Camp 1 tends to adopt playstyles where NPCs don't initiate rolls against players but instead use their skills as challenge difficult benchmarks against player declared actions. Camp 2, however, seeing the information imparted by the rolls as binding, sees NPC initiated rolls as just another method for rolls to bind players and so doesn't draw a distinction between NPC initiated or player initiated rolls. But, the real core difference here isn't if NPCs checks can bind PCs, but how the results of a check are viewed -- is the result of a check informational or binding? Clearly, myself and iserith, billd91, and other are in Camp 1 -- checks are informational. Tony's and others are Camp 2. One camp or the other aren't better, but this explains the core philosophical issue that divides this discussion (I believe, at least). So, looking to other areas of the game beside social checks, does this continue to play out? Well, we'll have to divide checks into two categories: informational checks (which I'm discussing above) and those checks used to accomplish a task (like lockpicking). As for what constitutes the difference between a task resolution and an informational check, I going with whether or not you'd describe the result as something the PC knows or thinks is informational, if you instead describe a change to something outside of the PC that's task resolution. Firstly, for task resolution checks, I think both Camps engage the game the same way -- a success means the task is accomplished. There are other considerations for failed checks that I'm not going to go into in this po...

Tuesday, 17th October, 2017

  • 10:22 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post RPG Combat: Sport or War?
    I'd like to stress that when playing a 'grittier' RPG system, you have less freedom, in a way: Since combat is lethal, it's something that must be avoided at all cost. Players _must_ come up with ways to overcome their opposition by means other than open combat, otherwise your campaign is going to be short-lived.For me, this illustrates the point I've been making upthread, to Saelorn, Shasarak and billd91. In a genuinely grim & gritty RPG, ambushing someone with a sword, or a crossbow, should be (more-or-less) as dangerous as dropping a rock on them. It's purely an artefact of D&D's mechanics, which rates a sword at d8 or d10 but leaves the rating of a boulder to the GM, that results in a fighter being unable to kill someone in a weapon ambush but able- at least at the tables of those GMs mentioned - to kill someone with a boulder ambush. Which once again relates back to Aenghus's point, that the effectiveness of the boulder vs the sword turns primarily on end-running around the damage rules. It's entirely an artefact of mechanics, not of "narrative first". In a "narrative first" game involving people of "flesh and bone" (to quote Saelorn), an ambush with a sword or bow should be capable of lethality. (And in games like RuneQuest, Rolemaster, Burning Wheel, etc - ie with broadly simulationist action resolution mechanics - it is.) But D&D chooses to subordinate lethality and gri...

Thursday, 5th October, 2017

  • 02:56 PM - Coroc mentioned billd91 in post Charisma- Good ability ... or OMNIVOROUS DESTROYER OF D&D?
    billd91 do not get me wrong, i do not want to downvalue Cha to the 1st/2nd ed uselessness. I like how 5e gives every stat a purpose, but otoh i would have sometimes prefered the 3 saving throws of 3e because these add much more to believabilty and causality and make powerbuilds more interesting (E.g. resilience feat to get a powerbuild which is strong in all saves). If you view it the way -- oh a very charismatic Person (political leader / beautiful Lady e.g.) and you want to charm them, you canthink that they are eventually very used to people trying to get their favor, so even with to magical attempt they are more resistant -- and all makes sense again.

Wednesday, 2nd August, 2017


Tuesday, 25th July, 2017

  • 08:40 AM - Sadras mentioned billd91 in post Do you miss attribute minimums/maximums?
    Thanks @billd91. Something to watch out for then if and when I implement the change. Just regarding the two abilities you spoke of: Our table plays with encumbrance, so carrying capacity/movement is something the players do consider. We currently have travel movement and combat movement on the character sheets. Combat movement is only used when they drop their backpack with items. The party consists of a Sorcerer, Cleric, 2 x Wizard and a Fighter/Wizard. 4 out of the 5 classes have low STR. With regards to Leadership - I would also add the 5e Attunement rule. PCs would be deciding against number of attuned items vs bonuses to their social skills.

Wednesday, 14th June, 2017

  • 05:20 AM - FrogReaver mentioned billd91 in post Why I Am Starting to Prefer 4d6 Drop the Lowest Over the Default Array.
    billd91 This is not the statistical fallacy example you are looking for. In fact, if you brought this up as an example of using statistics/percentages to lie in a class the students would rightfully stare at you like you are crazy. The percentage in this case tells the story much better than those stating "but it's just a difference of +2" as if it's understood that a difference of +2 is universally known to always be insignificant!.

Friday, 21st April, 2017

  • 03:12 PM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    Let's be honest, now. You present techniques you dislike in the worst ways possible and always find examples to showcase it poorly!I've provided very few examples of other techniques. But the one about the attempt to reach out to the court, and failing for reasons of secret backstory, Lanefan embraced. The one about the attempt to separate the baron from his advisor being foiled by an unknown fact of kidnapping was embraced by Maxperson. And the one about no Calimshani silk being available due to off-screen turmoil was embraced by both Lanefan and billd91. And you gave XP to billd91's post embracing it! How are these presenting "secret backstory" techniques in the worst way possible? And if so, why are those who like to use secret backstory in their games embracing them?

Monday, 16th January, 2017

  • 05:06 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    And when, new players come into D&D and hear troll, most are not thinking Poul Anderson's version which is the basis for the D&D troll. They hear the world troll and are probably are thinking of the troll in "Billy Goats Gruff", the war troll from The Lord of the Rings movie, or the trolls The Hobbit movie which are completely different from Poul Anderson's version. So, by the same token, perhaps we should rename the D&D troll to something else. The next version of D&D shouldn't just exercise lore, it should exercise the monster names as well! Remathilis, your post doesn't address Greg K's point. The D&D troll doesn't help new players orient themselves in the gameworld. I remember finding it weird (and not very Billy Goat Gruff) 30 years ago. I don't think Anderson's work is any more familiar today. So my question is - why are you, and billd91, and Shasarak, insisting that the reason you value lore is because of the epistemic function it serves? Whereas examples like this show that in many cases there is no such epistemic function. Likewise, the fact that module writers don't feel beholden to it undermines its supposed epistemic function (eg players of RttToEE can't infer that they won't meet any blue dragons, and hence don't need to memorise lightning resistance spells, simply because they are not entereing into a desert). Despite these cases where lore apparenlty doesn't serve any significant epistemic function, you nevertheless still seem to value it! Why not articulate those reasons, instead of setting out a purely instrumental account of its value which doesn't seem to do justice to your evident passion for it? (A conversation that TwoSix tried to kick off not too far upthread.)

Friday, 13th January, 2017

  • 05:09 PM - Jacob Marley mentioned billd91 in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    And then the value of the lore is . . .? I mean, if an individual GM is free to place a blue dragon wherever s/he likes; and WotC is free to publish adventures with blue dragons wherever they like; then what work is the lore doing? Eg how is it creating a "shared experience"? I'm not arguing that lore creates a shared experience, that is billd91's argument; he can defend it. For my purposes, the value of lore is to serve as an inspiration for my game. If I like the lore presented I'll use it; if not, I'm fine with changing lore to suit the needs of my campaign. I am also fine with WotC changing lore to suit the needs of a changing consumer base, or to open up story-telling possibilities. My objection was to using RttToEE as an example of a blue dragon violating established lore as 3.0/3.5 made it clear that environment lore was mutable. As to what work lore can do if it is readily changeable - When I ran my 3.5 West Marches-style sandbox, I did make use of the environment lore. Blue dragons existed on the random encounter tables for temperate desert hexes. My players knew that by entering a temperate desert hex there was a chance of encountering blue dragons. They also knew that there was a 5-25% chance of roll on a neighboring hex. This meant that if they encountered a blue dragon outside of a temperate desert hex, the...
  • 03:05 PM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    Lore doesn't create a shared experience. Playing the game does that. Lore just helps(many peopl greatly) color the shared experience that the players are creating. It absolutely helps with the shared experience, just as work you do helps with it.When billd91 talks about "shared experience" he is meaning shared across groups, not within groups. If lore is essentially ignorable - eg the MM says blue dragons like desert but every blud dragon actually encountered in play is an exception like the one in RttoEE - then how is that shared experience being created? Your blue dragon was the RttToEE one; my blue dragon was another exception, living in a forest; etc - where is the shared experience built on common lore? Some aren't that creative. Others don't have the experience yet and don't want to step out onto that limb.What limb? If it's OK for Monte Cook to ignore the MM and put a blue dragon wherever he wants, what is going to happen to a GM - rookie or otherwise - who does the same thing? What is the (metaphorical) risk of falling of this (metaphorical) limb? The MM writers do occasionally make those changes, and it throws off some DMs and players who rely lore and who know about the prior lore.Throws them off how? And how worse than the...

Tuesday, 3rd January, 2017

  • 02:31 PM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    ...nd the minutiate of its PS progeny. (And as far as repurposing is concerned - have you read Worlds & Monsters? They had deep regard for what came before. To pick on our favourite eladrin, for instance, they explain in detail why the Feywild, magic-oriented high elves and the fey outsiders of Arborea warranted unification.) this time more successfullyI assume you mean here "commercially successfully". You haven't given any real explanation of why it should be regarded as a greater aesthetic success. Or more successful form the point of view of gameplay. I actually kinda like 4e's take on the lore, once you remove it from any previous context.Some of us like 4e lore within its context (previous and current). D&D and its history and traditions is not the sole province of PS fans and 4e critics. Old-school players want light-lore or multiple choice versions because its world-building friendly. Newer players prefer the model of "one lore" that is shared among all players.But billd91, who presumably thinks of himself as old-school (or, at least, not newer) longs for the shared experiences of the old late-70s/early-80s module days. I'm an old player who has really no interest in world-building (I prefer indie-style "world emerges through play") but is happy with light lore, or multiple choice lore, or rich lore where that is interesting. Because, as I 've said, I will take what I want and ignore the rest.

Saturday, 10th December, 2016

  • 04:13 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    ... in 4e aren't "Good" in alignment, they can be any alignment so they are just as likely to have a chaotic good bent as a lawful evil one... You as a DM are choosing to give them a CG bent. That's my point. The suggestion that 4e eladrin have nothing more in common with 2nd ed AD&D eladrin than they do with djinns is odd. Needless to say, I don't agree. 4e eladrin are other-planar elves of a CG bent. (There are exceptions - the Prince of Frost et al - but that is surely addition, not rewriting!) 4e djinn are continuous with earlier edition djinn, too. And are unaligned - which is something of a return to the original neutrality. (On the alignment of genies - Book 2: Monsters and Treasure tells us that Efreet tend to be Chaotic, and Cook/Marsh Expert sticks to this; whereas in the original MM they are N (with LE tendencies); and then the d20srd tells us that they are Always LE - despite these rather dramatic changes to "canon", which seem comparable to the Storm Giants changes that billd91 is concerned about, I don't ever recall seeing many complaints, nor reports of gross confusion resulting from uncertainty among players as to the alignment of Efreets, or genies more generally.) So you're saying both official alignment as well as the entire cosmology changed... and yet Eladrin (a race tied to cosmology) somehow stayed the same as they were in the previous 3 editions even with said changes?The tropes are preserved - they are otherworldy elfin creatures of a CG bent. The details change - how could they not when the cosmology changes? It may be that you are not sensitive to the distinction between continuity of tropes and continuity of fictional details - this is what is suggested by your comparison of changes in comic book lore to having Superman be an ordinary person who is super-good at computer programming. If so, fair enough. I think that the 4e designers were very consicous of this distinction, and they explain - in Worlds & Monsters - how it affected t...

Saturday, 5th March, 2016

  • 07:55 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Boy, that escalated quickly...
    ...n, and is still not being allowed to get to the real action. Hence the significance, here, of say yes or roll the dice. And looking at this from another angle: if the GM did want to treat sneaking in as high stakes, and was adhering to say yes or roll the dice, then the failure should have been more dramatic: the PCs are spotted climbing the wall, and captured, and are brought before the sister to be interrogated/put into the same prison cell as the sister/etc - whatever makes sense given the context in which the sister is in the house, and which gives effect to the failure while still pushing towards the goal. But, in fact, from everything both Hussar and the GM of this scenario have posted, it's not a say yes or roll the dice game at all. It seems to be a very traditional game in which the GM establishes the backstory and the players then work there way through the scenario discovering what that backstory is, and if they don't, or they get it wrong, combat ensues. As billd91 says, that's a valid playstyle, but if it is turning sour for a participant the GM can hardly put the blame on someone else's shoulders. In this sort of game, the onus is on the GM to make sure it all works out as fun. As a player, I don't expect the DM to allow me to control the movement of enemy troops or the conditions by which I'm allowed unfettered access to a dangerous zone. I wouldn't really want to play a game where I did have such control for any real length of time. I'd expect the DM to have a reasonable set of obstacles set between me and my goal, and I'd expect to either have to overcome those obstacles, or abandon the goal.Sure, in the traditional sort of "explore the backstory" game the players don't get to exercise control over the fiction via eg knowledge checks, I-meet-up-with-my-old-friend-Lando checks, etc. And the GM doesn't author or adjust the backstory in real time either, to reflect the dynamics of play or the goals of the players. And action resolution is d...

Wednesday, 24th February, 2016

  • 09:55 PM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Monte Cook On Fumble Mechanics
    Err... so depleted resources don't increase the challengeThis was answered by billd91. Your retort was that you can think of "GM intrusions" that don't increase the challenge either. To which my retort is, those don't sound like very good "GM intrusions". As well as what billd91 said - which was a relatively extreme case of a high level character facing a single orc - there is a more typical way in which resource depletion doesn't increase the challenge. Unless the PCs are expected to exhaust the bulk of their resources in each challenge/situation, then depleting resources needn't increase the degree of present challenge. Rather, it makes future challenges potentially more difficult. I normally see the results of a failed check as 'nothing happens'. This isn't typical in classic D&D: *A failed reaction check in classic D&D may leave the NPCs/monsters hostile. *A failed climbing check often results in falling. *A failed pick pockets check has a reasonable chance of being detected by the NPC whose pocket was to be picked. *A failed check to open a lo...

Friday, 11th December, 2015

  • 06:04 PM - Reinhart mentioned billd91 in post Failing Forward
    billd91 wins the prize! Fail Forward is nothing new. People just didn't always have a clever term for it. Every competent GM uses fail forward in some way at some time. If you think that you don't then you likely are thinking of the term in a narrow and loaded manner. The usefulness of naming and defining a concept like Fail Forward is that you can communicate more effectively about it. New GM's don't have to learn about these things through trial and error, and game designers can consider how they fit into systems involving task resolution and dramatic tension.

Thursday, 19th November, 2015

  • 05:00 AM - Lanefan mentioned billd91 in post DM's: what do you do with players who miss time?
    That strikes me as an intentional misinterpretation of Lanefan's position. My interpretation would be more along the lines that NPCs and PCs follow the same basic rules of life behind the scenes. They aren't just narrative foils for the PCs, they have as much existence in the campaign world as the PCs have.Thanks, billd91 - not only did you save me the typing but you put it better than I probably would have. :) Lanefan

Friday, 30th October, 2015

  • 09:13 PM - El Mahdi mentioned billd91 in post Warlord Name Poll
    ... craft guild rank, or academic/musical) Headman/Hauptman (root of Captain and too authoritative) Proconsul (the Pro- makes it too authoritative) Shepherd (too religious, too bucolic, too Firefly) Synergist (too boring, and sounds like some kind of psychic) Armiger (exclusively military and noble) Sherriff (too noble, too law enforcement) Impetro/Impetrus (too authoritative – Imperial) Adjunct (too subordinate, too Star Trek Borg - Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One) Prolucutor (the Pro- makes it too authoritative, sounds like the person is a professional talker, and is just too hard to say) Warden (too Ranger) Leader(zzzzzzzzzz…) @3e4ever ; @77IM @Aaron Of Barbaria; @AbdulAlhazred ; @admcewen ; @Aenghus ; @Ahrimon ; @Ainulindalion ; @airwalkrr; @Aldarc ; @akr71 ; @AmerginLiath ; @Andor ; @AntiStateQuixote ; @aramis erak; @Aribar ; @Arnwolf ; @Ashkelon ; @Ashrym ; @Athinar ; @AtomicPope ; @Azurewraith; @Azzy ; @Bawylie ; @bedir than ; @Bedrockgames ; @bert1000 ; @billd91 ; @Blackbrrd; @Blackwarder ; @Blue ; @Bluenose ; @brehobit ; @BryonD ; @Bupp ; @Campbell ; @CapnZapp; @CaptainConundrum ; @CaptainGemini ; @Carlsen Chris ; @casterblaster ; @CasvalRemDeikun; @cbwjm ; @ccooke ; @Celebrim ; @Celondon @ChameleonX ; @Charles Wright ; ChrisCarlson; @CM ; @cmad1977 ; @costermonger ; @Creamsteak ; @Crothian ; @Cybit ; @Dausuul; @Dayte ; @dd.stevenson ; @DEFCON 1 ; @Delazar ; @DersitePhantom ; @Diffan ; @discosoc; @D'karr ; @Doc Klueless ; @doctorbadwolf ; @DonAdam ; @Dragoslav ; @Duganson; @EdL ; @EditorBFG ; @Edwin Suijkerbuijk ; @Eejit ; @ehren37 ; @Elfcrusher ; @El Mahdi ; @epithet; @erf_beto ; @Eric V ; @eryndel ; @Evenglare ; @ExploderWizard ; @EzekielRaiden; @Fedge123 ; @fendak ; @FireLance ; @Fishing_Minigame ; @Flamestrike ; @FLexor the Mighty! ; @Forged Fury ; @Fragsie ; @Fralex ; @FreeTheSlaves ; @froth ; @Gadget; @Galendril ; @GameOgre ; @Garthanos ; @Ghost Matter ; @Giltonio_Santos ; @Gimul; @GMforPowergamers ; @Gnashtooth ; @Green1 ; @GreenKarl ...

Saturday, 31st January, 2015

  • 07:42 PM - Manbearcat mentioned billd91 in post Can a PC perform a miracle with a stat/skill check?
    ...I wrote above about GMing and system is directly in relation to that and that alone. It has nothing to do with techniques that follow from resolution procedures nor does it have to do with the GMing principles that underwrite those techniques. GMs will have a top-down agenda and principles and techniques for various component parts of play. I was trying to just dig down on this very specific component part of system, what it naturally presupposes, and in what direction it pushes play toward. With that said, I want to try to quickly address the lines of evidence that have drawn me toward the conclusion that 5e's ability check system is predicated on DCs and actions expected to be declared that are a direct expressions of phenomenon and what is objectively happening in the gameworld. Hence, they are attempting to model process. @pemerton did a good job just upthread of outlining a few of the larger lines of evidence already. I'm going to go there and elsewhere to elaborate. @billd91 and keterys have good posts contrasting objective/subjective although I don't agree with all of bill's conclusions. I think the nuance has a pretty dynamic effect on play as it directly feeds into other aspects of play and component parts of system (of which I'm going to stay away from breaking down for just a moment as I want to focus this post). First and foremost, several things that Mearls said about 5e's design ethos in articles during development were insightful: 1) Advocacy for "natural language" versus "metagame language/jargon" in the rules' text. 2) The "Narrative Cohesion" mini-essay which was sort of a kinder/friendlier version of the Alexandrian's Dissociated Mechanics essay. 3) Bounded Accuracy allowing for GMs and players to be able to "associate DC values with in-world difficulties." Both 1 and 2 push my perception that 5e aims to (a) hide/obscure the metagame and (b) present the game-world's phenomenon (as understood by the 1st person perspective of charact...


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Sunday, 20th May, 2018

  • 03:35 PM - Maxperson quoted billd91 in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    No, they are not and they never have been. Particularly not in a private forum. There are forms of speech that have never been protected by the courts from yelling "fire" in a crowded theater to "fighting words". As far as tolerance goes, how can intolerance be tolerated and still have a tolerant society? Tolerance must be defended. The only speech that has been limited is that which either directly causes or has a high likelihood of directly causing physical harm to someone, like yelling fire in a theater. It's a False Equivalence to equate that to other forms of speech that you feel should be disallowed. The reason for it to be disallowed in the theater example is that you have conflicting rights, and a person's right not to be physically injured by you is stronger than your right to say words. As for tolerance, the U.S. has already achieved perfection. Say all the hate speech you want and it's tolerated(as it should be in a society that has free speech). Act on it by harming an...

Saturday, 19th May, 2018

  • 09:24 PM - Riley37 quoted billd91 in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    So do not assume all European-descended caucasians are as “white” as every other one in the eyes of racists. They are not. That's a fact. Jewish, Roma, Irish, Iberian, Slavic, and many others, all fall somewhere on the sliding scale of racism, to those who consider Anglo-Saxon heritage as the pinnacle, the Platonic ideal of whiteness. Nuances vary by location; an Irish background in Tokyo, and an Irish background in London, both differ from the experience of Irish background in Boston, which in turn varies by neighborhood. Americans with Iberian surnames can encounter racist friction. Americans with Iberian surnames, *and* ancestry from the pre-Columbian populations of the Americas, can encounter even more friction, because they tend to have darker skin and "mestizo" features. Americans with Native ancestry, and *any* surname, tend to experience mistreatment. (The way that the USA considers anyone whose ancestors lived north of the Rio Grande in 1488, as an entirely separate category from a...
  • 12:30 AM - Morrus quoted billd91 in post Avenger's Infinity War *Spoiler* Discussion
    What are you expecting? That he acts like one of the Three Stooges? That he laughs maniacally like a cliche? That he raves like a lunatic? How boring that would be! His method is to act relatively calmly and entirely ruthlessly toward a crazy end. He’s far more menacing as a result (and far more in keeping with his character from the comics). I don't know what that means. I watched a film. I didn't expect anything, and I haven't read the comics.

Friday, 18th May, 2018

  • 10:12 PM - Morrus quoted billd91 in post Avenger's Infinity War *Spoiler* Discussion
    Are we missing the fact that he's the MAD TITAN here? We’re not missing it. The movie is. That’s not a thing in this film.
  • 08:49 PM - Umbran quoted billd91 in post Avenger's Infinity War *Spoiler* Discussion
    Are we missing the fact that he's the MAD TITAN here? You're basically second-guessing someone who demonstrably has a really effed up moral compass. No. I'm noting that they don't actually establish his madness in the movie! He's presented as entirely rational. Every leader in history who has presided over war has had to do the calculus of, "Is the end I/we seek worth the lives it costs." The vast majority of them are not considered mad - so being willng to have people die for an end is not, itself, sign of madness. If he is correct, that the future of the Universe is doomed unless the excess population is culled, then he may not be considered "mad" at all, as he is saving people in the long run, and is at worst Maciavellian in his appraoch. He even presents a pretty solid example - his homeworld, that was consumed by its own population. Again, his conclusions that something drastic must be done to save all worlds with sentient life seems supported by evidence! He only beco...

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018

  • 11:53 PM - Sadras quoted billd91 in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    Indeed they do. My daughter and her friends wear their costumes about the con, in their events and panels, in the bathrooms, in the hallways, and even in the connected mall's food court. And that is their absolute right to do so unmolested by asshats - easy targets or not. Was just discussing a tinder date (1st) a girl friend of mine recently went on with someone who made it obvious he was there for the immediate hookup and nothing else. Despite all the signals she had given him that she was not interested in a booty call, he still kept encroaching on her space and touching her leg etc. Anyways, he leaned for a kiss and that's when she burped. Purposefully. She had also eaten loads of garlic. Again purposefully. :) EDIT: Surprisingly it did not deter him.

Monday, 14th May, 2018

  • 08:41 PM - Umbran quoted billd91 in post Player Responsibility for the GM's Fun??
    If there is a difference, then I think a responsibility to "not make it un-fun" sets too low a bar and GMs should expect more than "We won't make this suck for you" from his players. Nope, I expect my players to bring fun to the table, not lack of suck, and that includes fun for me. To each their own, I usppose. I'm not a fan of giving the players a responsibility to do things because the GM will personally be entertained by it. Their play, in general, should be entertaining to me, and if it isn't, I'm not at all sure it is the player's job to fix that.

Friday, 11th May, 2018


Thursday, 10th May, 2018

  • 04:51 PM - RedJenOSU quoted billd91 in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    No, in a perfect world, anybody could let their hair down, relax, dress in any manner they choose, get a drink at the convention hotel bar, get wasted in a suite party... and not be judged, sexually harassed, discriminated against, or become the victim of a sex crime. You will have to abolish the sex instinct in all men to accomplish it. That is a giant crock of :):):):):):):):)! Are you seriously saying that men are unable to control their bodies and prevent sexual attacks? Study after study has concluded that sexual attacks rarely if ever have anything to do with being overcome with sexuality. Sex crimes are almost always about displaying power over the less powerful. If Sex crimes were about sex, we'd have a long list of lesbian sex offenders attacking other women. If you can't control your penis, then grow up and do something to control it. It is not mine or any other woman's job to control your body.
  • 05:16 AM - Calithorne quoted billd91 in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    Oh, those poor men and their inability to stop victimizing women. Whatever will they do? That's MRA bull :):):):) right there - that men have to extinguish the sex instinct to behave like decent human beings to women. I heard on the news that a professor is now in trouble for yelling "Lengerie Department" at an elevator, and a woman filed a complaint against him. Carts are taking men to the guillotine over trifles.
  • 05:03 AM - Calithorne quoted billd91 in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    No, in a perfect world, anybody could let their hair down, relax, dress in any manner they choose, get a drink at the convention hotel bar, get wasted in a suite party... and not be judged, sexually harassed, discriminated against, or become the victim of a sex crime. You will have to abolish the sex instinct in all men to accomplish it.
  • 04:12 AM - Calithorne quoted billd91 in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    Well, there are a lot of women who have avoided cons because they don't want to be mashed on by drunken louts and guys who think they're Mr Suave, stared at by awkward oglers, be inappropriately touched by Mr. Handsy because they dared to show a bit of cleavage when dressed as Power Girl, or raped because they got drunk at the suite party. So there you go. I understand there's a problem. However, I noticed that you lumped in awkward oglers with rapists. If you can't see the difference between these behaviors, one which is legal, and one which isn't, then there's a problem.

Tuesday, 8th May, 2018

  • 05:49 PM - Umbran quoted billd91 in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    The BDSM community focuses on that, in no small part, because they have to in order to thrive as they push beyond what polite society would consider normal boundaries. If they didn't build in their own, clearer boundaries and aggressively defend them, I'm sure they'd fracture because they'd be swamped with bad actors who thought they could get away with literally anything. WIth respect, the bad actor issue is secondary, and that's important for this discussion. A nominally *good* actor, if left to intuit or read between the lines, will get it wrong occaisionally. And in that community, if they get it wrong, they are committing assault, sexual assault, and/or rape. The clear lines and requirement of clear consent are necessary to prevent the basic misunderstanding that turns what was intended to be a good experience for all into trauma and a crime. What behavior is acceptable and desired between people is context dependant. Consent is what informs you of what context you are in. ...

Sunday, 6th May, 2018


Thursday, 3rd May, 2018

  • 05:06 PM - shidaku quoted billd91 in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    Wow. Just :):):):)ing wow, man. The level of misogyny in some posts in this thread has been really astonishing. For someone who self-admitted to not interacting with women other than his wife for 30 years, he sure seems to know a lot about the way women operate!
  • 05:06 PM - Doug McCrae quoted billd91 in post Hidden
  • 05:02 PM - Thomas Bowman quoted billd91 in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    Wow. Just :):):):)ing wow, man. The level of misogyny in some posts in this thread has been really astonishing. I'm not saying all women will do this, so this is not misogyny. There are some evil women out there however just like their are evil men, to admit this is not misogyny. The result is this man has to keep seeing this woman in order to keep her silent and keep his marriage going, otherwise that mistress can do some damage to his marriage or even worse, she could accuse him of sexual harassment or even rape. In essence she could rape him by holding the threat of imprisonment over his head if he does not continue this sexual relationship with her! This would be involuntary sex, thus rape, she could even rip her clothes and claim it was a sexual assault, she could prove he had sex with her, and they guy wishing to stay out of jail would have no choice but to keep on having sex with her, and would have to face the legal consequences to end it. This is definitely possible as all women...
  • 03:05 PM - pemerton quoted billd91 in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    "The girl" isn't there for you to "get". She's not a product on the shelf or a prize to be one. It's not your responsibility to go "get" her. Nor is it her responsibility to respond positively to you or that "someone else" because you made the "first move". This whole approach and attitude sounds like the kind of entitled BS that leads to creeps describing themselves as 'incels' when the truth is they have a toxic attitude toward women.There's some surprising stuff being said in this thread; the poster you replied to is at the more extreme end of this. He seems bizarrely lacking in self-awareness in the way he talks as if his default audience is other men wondering how they can "get" women; if in fact he is being deliberate than I think it's probably even worse.

Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018

  • 11:15 PM - jimmifett quoted billd91 in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    I notice there are still no actual statistics or studies being cited. I simply no longer wish to communicate with you. Should I take my time to provide legit statistics, you and your ilk will attempt to twist or dismiss them just as shikaku did after I pointed out that his(her?) numbers where factually false. You are set in your narrative, unwilling to see from any other perspective, and denigrate others that do not agree with you, proving no rational debate can be had. This thread is no longer worth my attention, and for good measure, I'll just block you and be done with it. Have a frabjous day.


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