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  • billd91's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:07 PM
    The problem with that is - why would a shield bash be so good a move that you'd want to use an attack action to position the opponent for it? The opposite, of course, is manifest. I think it's tied to the attack action to make it a parallel to two-weapon fighting which is also a bonus action attack linked to an attack action.
    224 replies | 4690 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:44 PM
    I have to admit, I'm scratching my head at this a bit. Making someone vulnerable to your own attack by hitting them with a shield first is an old tactic - it was made famous by Roman legionnaires against the Celts. I can get behind making sure the PC is committed to the attack action - but that just means that taking any bonus action triggered by an attack action means that action is...
    224 replies | 4690 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:46 PM
    Almost certainly. Our core political and moral beliefs inevitably shape our perspectives and thoughts and those affect pretty much everything we perceive, say, and do - some a lot more strongly than others.
    49 replies | 785 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 02:00 AM
    If the GM says he wants run a game about X, and the player adamantly refuses to budge from his desire for it not to be about it X, is that bad playing? Who's in the right if they can't reach an accord? You and Hussar seem to think that it's the GM's fault, and not in any way the player's. Frankly, I'm sick of players wheedling out of the inconvenient consequences of the things they choose and do...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
    3 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 11:05 PM
    There are all sorts of choices a player may make and actions they may have their PCs do that have a cost to them in the course of a game. Is GM to ignore all of the ones the player happens to want to ignore? Where is the line drawn? If I have a player who wants to murderhobo his way across the landscape without negative social and legal consequences, but that's not the kind of game I want to run,...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 05:53 PM
    I have been known to call fights when they're particularly lopsided and the conclusion can't easily be changed. It generally requires the outclassed NPCs to be unable to take a PC down with their remaining abilities before I'll do it.
    10 replies | 290 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 05:22 PM
    Color me confused but a core concept should be something fairly prominent for the character - not really something to be backgrounded. And that means it should be available for complications. If being the motorcyle guy is your core concept, then it should account for something more than just getting from point A to point B. Captain America is a shield guy, but he doesn't use it just for looking...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 04:54 PM
    Depends. Do they take a fight outside? Then the bike and all of the other things standing around as potential collateral have been reintroduced as complications. Or maybe someone at the bar has has their suspicions raised by questions the PCs ask and doesn't want to be followed so they slash a tire, or is invulnerable to that too?
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 04:51 PM
    It isn't if you know all of the other players want to play it. Kind of dickish to stand in the way of all of your fellow players fun, isn't it?
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 04:57 AM
    But you're not talking compromise any more than you think I or 5ekyu are because you're insisting on the player's vision of their character over a DM's objections. You're telling us here that you're in favor of reaching an agreement as a compromise... as long as it goes the player's way. You're insisting the DM should give up his preferences in favor of the player's. I haven't seen you...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 04:45 AM
    It's not about hating the game. But it is about making sure the game is also what I as DM want it to be, not just the players. Like I've said many times around here, you can't force a DM to play a game he doesn't want to play any more than you can make players play in it.
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 04:41 AM
    Indeed, but notice.... they dealt with it in the foreground because it was a complication. They addressed it and maybe made it a standard operating procedure - but in fact, it's one that may be undone depending on circumstances. Suppose they end up in an anti-magic field (or willingly enter one), that hidden snake is an issue again. And by addressing the situation in a particular way, that snake...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 04:29 AM
    The skill challenges as presented in the 4e rules, at least DMG1, are highly problematic. If the DC to achieve isn't set very low, the need to have x successes before a lower number of y failures diminishes the chances of success well below a single die roll. Trying to have 10 successes before 3 failures is like running a race in which one runner has to go 100 meters while his opponent only has...
    53 replies | 1491 view(s)
    2 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 03:11 AM
    That may be, but if the whole patron thing is backgrounded, they canít even send ninjas or do anything to exact retribution for having their power stolen or conned out of them.
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 02:05 AM
    Wow. If thatís how you read my post, you need to read it again.
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 12:51 AM
    The DM is not your trained monkey. Are the player there just to entertain the DM and the other players? Nope. Theyíre there to entertain themselves too. Soís your DM.
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
    3 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 06:04 PM
    I don't think that's really what people are saying - they're saying that you must accept the complication those classes require. They don't typically involve MUST take certain actions by DM force - rarely does a paladin even face that. Rather, that you MUST accept the consequences of the way you play your character, or of the choices you make, when they interact in certain ways with the classes...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 06:37 AM
    Is someone actually saying they're going to forbid someone from taking the class or just saying they aren't signing on to a player wanting to hand-wave the complications inherent in the class?
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 06:34 AM
    The broader story of that double-length horror show of an episode doesn't need to change. But the fact remains, they dealt with a situation in which there was a perceived direct threat to the Enterprise. The fact that it was a single encounter rather than the whole plot line and was resolved with the situation remaining status quo doesn't mean it was effectively "backgrounded". Rather, it was...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
    2 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 06:28 AM
    I'm going to assume you don't have much experience with them because you're not correct. Early animal companions fall behind some of the higher level choices. As a 10th level druid, advancing the wolf through the animal companion upgrades is already falling behind the megaraptor option. Horses fall even farther behind. And at 16th level when the TRex becomes available, well, let's just say the...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 03:53 AM
    Withering personal attacks aside, they separated the saucer section because they believed the ship was under threat of destruction. Thatís not ďbackgroundĒ.
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
    3 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 07:08 PM
    I wouldn't describe it as a problem, rather, it was something that you couldn't necessarily take for granted. Followers at higher levels were a benefit, but could also be a liability because you needed to take care of them. If they died, they were gone forever and never replaced. While most were likely to be fairly normal, some could be pretty outlandish like a youngish copper dragon. Why would...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 02:59 PM
    Good names is often in the eye (ear) of the beholder. Many Gygaxian names are memorable because they sound ridiculous. Many don't roll off the tongue at all - if you can even manage to give them a reasonable pronunciation.
    29 replies | 721 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 01:20 PM
    We clearly have very different ideas of dick moves. I wouldnít want to be the dick keeping my friends from playing the game they want to play. But then, weíre also willing to rotate games a season at a time so if someoneís out for the summer, itís no big deal, fall is coming. We donít want anyone grudgingly participating just to keep the gang together.
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 05:53 AM
    It depends on if Iím enjoying the writing. If itís good, 4 pages is nothing. If itís bad, a paragraph is a chore. And for the most part, I like the Paizo APs. Even if I donít plan on running specific ones or exposing all of an NPCís biography, I still have fun reading them. And thatís partly why they do include some copious detail - because there are people like me reading them.
    29 replies | 721 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 05:30 AM
    I donít just run games for my players. I run the games I want to run that they also want to play, and vice versa when one of them is GMing. If Rob or Stephen want to run a Vampire or Mechwarrior game and others want to play them, Iím OK with sitting out because I donít want to play either of them. And weíre all fine with that. After all, why should someone feel obligated to either play or run a...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 12:01 AM
    To a certain degree, there's a scale of shirking costs. A really mundane animal companion like a horse, dog, hawk, or even wolf are usually pretty compatible with settlements. Bears and wild cats are less so, but not that hard to have them lay low in a civilized area without causing a stir. But there's no way in hell I'm going to let a character put something really exotic on background. "Oh,...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 11:51 PM
    Indeed you could, but notice that a paladin involved in that situation still ends up making that choice - to pursue or not. Moral position staked. If the paladin pursues or seeks to corner them, then I'd say the player is definitely seeking to address the topic no matter what their stated position on backgrounding their oath.
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 07:59 PM
    It might not be something inherent about the surface, though, that made the climb uncertain. It could be just the fact that there's a swirling melee going on that interfered with the PC trying to make the climb. In that case, another climb check would be appropriate for a second attempt to clamber up the surface.
    18 replies | 532 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 03:23 PM
    I would certainly allow it. The Strength (Athletics) roll to climb something doesn't make much sense as a separate action for the round anyway since it's part and parcel of trying to spend your movement while climbing. So I wouldn't even charge you an action for coming in the first place - just movement. And Dash gives you another shot at movement, so it gives you another climb check.
    18 replies | 532 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 03:06 PM
    Oh, yeah. Advanced Squad Leader has been known to give units the Fanaticism trait to reflect particular scenarios such as Soviets defending factory spaces in the Red Barricades campaign game, and so on. It has significant effects on morale and the tendency for units to become pinned or cower. Other units have similar designations such as SS units that have modified morale rules when facing...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 05:59 AM
    I can see the suggestion that there's genre/setting fidelity as a motive - particularly now that D&D is, in essence, its own genre in which the terms "alignment" and "paladin" actually have meaning. But don't be too quick to dismiss the issue of balance, though that usually manifests in ways even more mechanically oriented than warlock/witch patrons and paladin oaths. So bear with me.... ...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 04:40 PM
    Micromanagement has been a problem, particularly with alignment, since the old days so I can certainly agree it's a peeve. But not everything is really micromanagement - and that's where a player and GM may have to come to terms. I don't consider it micromanagement to ding the PC for gross violations of their oaths or deity's ethos. For example, if a player thinks they can be a slaver while still...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 01:09 PM
    For the most part, yes. Iím not going to dictate what kind of PC to play, but I wonít allow a player to dictate how the campaign interacts with them. If a concept doesnít work for you in the campaign Iím running, find another one.
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
    2 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 8th October, 2018, 07:05 PM
    Given conflicting interpretations from Mearls and Crawford and overall lack of clarity, I'd say there's no intentional design going on with respect to how magic missile interacts with the evoker bonus OR with how it should be rolled. Letting magic missile slip through the cracks seems far more believable than intentionally packing multiple and significant changes to the magic missile's historical...
    73 replies | 2138 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 8th October, 2018, 06:09 PM
    Rolling once and applying that to each missile, particularly with the evoker bonus, is problematic. And it seems Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford differ on interpretations: https://twitter.com/mikemearls/status/487995399899074560 https://twitter.com/jeremyecrawford/status/557820938402947072?lang=en In case you're wondering, the evoker bonus makes a pretty big difference if added per missile...
    73 replies | 2138 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 8th October, 2018, 05:13 PM
    This wouldn't be the first time I think they've issued a weird ruling based on a literal yet non-obvious reading of the rules that comes as a surprise to most experienced players. Kind of makes me think they get backed into them rather than plan them.
    73 replies | 2138 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 8th October, 2018, 05:06 PM
    Scorching Ray then. If I target multiple targets and crit on one - do I ignore the crit, roll the crit on all targets, or ignore the idea that I roll the same for each one and treat the unit of concern as each individual ray rather than the spell? If the last, then why am I not doing the same with the individual magic missiles?
    73 replies | 2138 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 8th October, 2018, 03:39 PM
    I think the ruling brings up a number of problems. Does it similarly apply to damage with Mordenkainen's sword, Mordenkainen's faithful hound, and spiritual weapon? If the rules about rolling once per multiple targets takes the spell as the appropriate unit (rather than individual attacks or magic missiles), then it would stand to reason you roll once for them too.
    73 replies | 2138 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 03:46 PM
    The conceptual difference here is that's one fireball while each missile from the magic missile is a separate thing.
    73 replies | 2138 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 03:06 PM
    Of course they can provide basic acrobatic maneuvers. You don't need to make a strength (athletics) check to do a backflip, you don't need to do a strength (athletics) check to roll up onto a table to see a target over the bar fight, and you don't need to do a strength (athletics) check to keep your balance as you run along a precarious rooftop. Those are all better handled by a dexterity...
    74 replies | 1792 view(s)
    2 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 05:00 AM
    Of course the stats are going to seem particularly imbalanced if you redefine them to encroach on each other. You're perfectly free to call for a Dex (acrobatics) check to run across branches through trees by considering it a balance check, particularly if they're not really gaining height (and thus not really climbing) and not jumping to span significant distances.
    74 replies | 1792 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 07:19 PM
    I don't assume he uses either. But I also don't make any assumptions that using a shovel is sufficient as a contact prevention protocol. Thoroughly sifting through a pile of mixed rubble is almost certainly going to involve both the hands, feet, knees, and any shovel the PC might be using. With a trap in general, if the character fails to notice it and interacts with what it protects, that...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 07:13 PM
    I generally don't allow Athletics and Acrobatics to sub for each other. Players make trade-offs in character design. Investing in one set of abilities means they aren't investing in another. I'm not keen on relaxing that too much. One of the worst things I thought D&D introduced was too many ways to shift skills or class abilities onto a single, overloaded stat. MAD is good for the game.
    74 replies | 1792 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 07:10 PM
    Not if they're picking up proficiency in both skills, it doesn't.
    74 replies | 1792 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 04:03 PM
    I'd be more likely to use the success of that first search check to determine if that hazard was spotted before the PC was exposed to it. If they beat the difficulty of spotting the hazard, I'll let them know about it, then they can take whatever precautions/informed risks they want.
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 03:51 PM
    What's the problem here? So the player made a good skill roll that didn't net him anything. So what?!? And if the player jumped the gun and rolled the wrong check, all the DM has to do is ask for the right one. The player did say he was going to search the pile of rubble. How much more "approach" were you hoping for? That they got out a shovel or described digging through the pile with...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 03:42 PM
    Honestly, this is nothing more than a GMing style issue. There's no need for rule support at all. 4e's books included it to encourage the development of that style. That's all.
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 12:37 AM
    Not as different as you'd believe. Going on a public site to recruit boys-night gaming not only applies to the specific game, but it also makes an impression for the broader hobby. Would you feel the same if an online game advertised "For whites only" as you do for a boys-night game? How about "For heterosexuals only"?
    130 replies | 3947 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 09:22 PM
    That might have made sense if it weren't for that fact that girl nerds were being picked on just as much by the jocks and mean girls. It doesn't explain how nerd boys needed a safe space from nerd girls.
    130 replies | 3947 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 08:50 PM
    Wow. People have been discussing things like this for years, posts in this thread even mention other ways women get discriminated against in the hobby, and your best effort at understanding is limited to a strength cap and no ethnic minorities in the art? Women have complained about the art for years - and some good samples can be found. Avalanche Press's d20 supplements come to mind as...
    130 replies | 3947 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 05:43 PM
    It doesn't matter if it's a broader cultural problem if that problem manifests itself in behavior within the hobby. Those of us within the hobby can work to change our subculture to correct the problems we have here whether or not those are being similarly addressed in the broader culture. But exactly what kind of good argument can be made for male-only safe spaces away from their female...
    130 replies | 3947 view(s)
    3 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th September, 2018, 12:25 AM
    Marty Palin, co-founder of Jefferson Airplane has passed away at 76.
    278 replies | 17193 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th September, 2018, 12:24 AM
    We drink but not excessively. Usually between 1-3 beers/ciders/glasses of home-brewed mead depending on tastes. It's when the whiskey comes out that we have to really start being careful, but that's rare. I don't think I've really been drunk playing D&D since my grad school days 20+ years ago.
    78 replies | 2026 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 28th September, 2018, 06:55 PM
    It may not look particularly "gotcha" in this instance, but his method of dealing with pickpocketing and not giving the PC a chance to notice without indicating their wariness sounds pretty much "gotcha" to me. I lost my taste for overly pedantic/pixel-bitching styles of play long ago. I frankly doubt iserith and I would see eye to eye on either of our DMing styles or would appreciate being in...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
    2 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th September, 2018, 06:54 AM
    I think for the most part they donít any more than D&D does. You can have just as much variation and avoid repetition in D&D as you can in Call of Cthulhu, Traveller, Champions, or any other non-leveling game as long as you choose to play it that way. The trouble is, games with more discrete level-ups like D&D and lots of computer RPGs (and even time waster tablet and social media games like...
    80 replies | 2226 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 03:43 AM
    Back in the days of 1e when the levels over 10th or so took a long (and I do mean long) time to gain the 100s of thousands of XPs to advance, we still played those characters... because they were fun to play and we were engaged in fun adventures. So... yeah, I'd consider playing in a campaign with no level-ups in sight.
    80 replies | 2226 view(s)
    4 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 08:58 PM
    I am consulting it for ideas in the conversion, taking some bits from it and doing some of my own. I'm finding it quite helpful. Thank you for putting your notes together and sharing them.
    28 replies | 1012 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd September, 2018, 03:31 AM
    Iím running Age of Worms in 5e. Itís going well.
    28 replies | 1012 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 11:36 PM
    Guidelines. Definitely guidelines.
    34 replies | 817 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 11:27 PM
    I do something similar. In 5e, remembering the 6 stats is easy enough, then I just ask: Me: "You got a proficiency you think might apply?" Player: "I got history and religion." Me: "History applies."
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
    2 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 01:51 PM
    Don't go blaming 5e for your DM's dumb call. The rules offer encouragement to adjudicate and only use rolls when success is actually in question - it's not the edition's fault your DM didn't heed that advice.
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
    2 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 04:10 AM
    I thought the Rogue arc was pretty good, for the most part, both in the way it launched us into the mystery of Carol's reappearance and Rogue's development from a villain into a student of Xavier's. But that doesn't mean I want to see it covered in the movies. The X-Men franchise had a good Rogue arc going, even if they did decide to not pursue it further to ride the Wolverine cash cow.
    15 replies | 900 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 02:18 AM
    Pfft. The DM has established that your character has existed and noticed things around him. There are hills worth dying on, but that doesn't strike me as one.
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
    9 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 12:32 AM
    Over the years I've learned a few things from other people I've played with, watching their GMing styles: 1) I've learned how to throw myself more into an NPC's role to make them more interesting for the players to interact with. A few gestures or quirks or even a voice can help with this a lot. 2) I've learned about engaging more than just the visuals when describing a scene - sound,...
    42 replies | 1264 view(s)
    3 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 12:25 AM
    I tend to ditch out of games more because of other players than the GM, but I also don't usually ditch out of face to face games, mostly just online where your likelihood of knowing the other players or GM is slim. And ultimately ditching is usually because of style differences. I once ditched out of an online Traveller game because the GM was having us roll for... everything. We were had...
    1309 replies | 33411 view(s)
    2 XP
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Tuesday, 16th October, 2018

  • 10:06 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...is is insistent on the point doesn't answer the point. The idea of the DL-style game is that at least the players provide a bit of colour and a few minor decision points. But if the GM is also establishing the most important bits of PC colour, telling me what decisions are and are not appropriate for a worshipper of XYZ, etc - well, what's left for the player to do? ut no one's offered a reason why a player playing a cleric or warlock whose god/patron is happy with what s/he does, or playing a motorcycle-riding vampire, would wreck the game.I was under the impression the god/patron was not happy (being played by the DM).But that's exactly my point. If the player's preference that the whole god/patron thing be "backgrounded" was respected then the god/patron would be happy. But for whatever reason the GM is inserting his/her own preference to decide that the god/patron is not happy. For what reason? If the GM thinks the player is just a wrecker - which eg was the implication of billd91's reference upthread to "murder-hoboing" - then as Aldarc has said, that's a social problem that can be resolved by a sensible conversation among participants. It's not an aspect of game play at all. But if the issue is not that the PC is wrecking things - eg if the PC was playing a wizard or a fighter or whatever no one would have any issues - then why is the GM needing to insert his/her conception of what the patron/god wants in favour of the player's conception of the same? How is that improving the experience? Telling me that we're not talking about story-now play doesn't help - even within the follow-the-GM's-trail paradigm, I dont understand what this is supposed to be adding to the play experience. In fact when the PC played a warlock in my game and chose a darker patron, I asked him what he wanted me to explore, how much had he developed the patron and how much input he wanted from me.That seems to imply that you are interested in identifying and respecting the player's ...

Sunday, 14th October, 2018

  • 05:26 AM - Maxperson mentioned billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    But, who's forcing the DM to do anything here? If anything, I'm giving less work for the DM. The DM no longer has to worry about what to do, if anything, with this patron. The player is not interested in playing that out. Why would you, as a DM, knowing that the player isn't interested, bring it into the game? Again, who is it for? It's not for the player. It's not for the other players. So, the only person it's for is you, the DM. You want to bring it into the game purely for your own enjoyment, knowing that the player doesn't want it. Are you deliberately misunderstanding billd91, or do you genuinely not understand that if the DM wants a game where he controls the NPCs, he's forced to play a game he doesn't want to play if players can force him not to play the patron? We're talking about one small change to one character that isn't going to affect ANYTHING. If it's not going to affect anything, the player shouldn't have a problem with the DM playing the patron.
  • 04:26 AM - Hussar mentioned billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...t of play) and those orc children escaped. And, after the third, fourth, tenth time, most groups are just going to take it as read anyway. This is the point I keep coming back to. We already Background tons of stuff in play because it's not terribly interesting. How many groups actually, consistently, track spell components? How many groups worry about paying the monthly living expenses? So on and so forth. Sure, you might do it from time to time, but, realistically, it just fades back and becomes a non-issue. Do you seriously destroy a wizard's spell book every time he falls in water? Or gets fireballed or whatnot? Naw, you just take it as read and move on because it's too much of a PITA. Here, we have examples that only really affect one player and the DM. The rest of the group couldn't likely give a toss about it. Do you seriously care how we hide the Druid's animal companion every single time? The funny thing about this conversation is that some posters, like billd91 and 5ekyu are framing it as a powergaming thing. But, look at that warlock's patron. There's two sides to that. Sure, if you have an active patron, then the patron might ask the PC to do something. But, it also works the other way. There's times when the PC can and should be able to call upon his or her patron for help - be it information, or contacting other NPC's or whatnot. By backgrounding, the player loses that side of things as well. Sure, the DM can't force behavior from the player, but, by the same token, the player cannot expect to get anything as well.
  • 12:25 AM - Hussar mentioned billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    At this point its pretty obvious you just want to keep inventing things to claim others have said... as i have never said anything that the GM can "force" your character to take certain actions. this was explained in great detail one or more times since you keep mixing and mashing the Gm and the patron. Nor have i said anything about forcing the paladin to take certain actions. That you choose to keep trying to portray it that way is very highly illustrative - so, thanks. wow, you agree with billd91 in the post before this, but, tell me I'm inventing things. :erm: What exactly, then, do you mean that I must accept the consequences of choosing a class if you aren't going to force anything?

Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018

  • 06:52 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    It's much more than 10 outcomes! Say there are 5 people, we need a contest between each, first, and then... the pain begins... Say this is what happens A beats B A beats C A loses to D A loses to E Seems like A is in the middle of the pack, but... D loses to C E loses to B No idea where this is going, but now we need to resolve... everyone against everyone...I think the assumption that billd91 has made is probably the same as the one that Hriston has made explicit: each participant makes only one check, which is compared vs the check of all the other participants. So if A beats B but loses to E, that means that E beats B, which precludes the contradictory situation you are concerned about. The thing I don't get in this discussion is: how do you and Maxperson handle an attempt by three people to be the first to grab the ring? You couldn't do it the way you've described (independent binary checks) because of the risk of contradiction. So presumably you'd do it . . . just the same as initiative is done! (Except for having some differerent approach to handlling ties.)

Monday, 18th June, 2018

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

Sunday, 17th June, 2018

  • 09:31 AM - Lanefan mentioned billd91 in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    (1) It's not "more reallistic". It's different, but it's not realistic. billd91 already covered this one, so...what he said. (2) What makes you think a 4e PC who swoons in combat, and then recovers to fight on, has "had the livin' tar beaten out of him/her"? Maybe you're into nonsense narration, but I'm not. Even in the most gamist and-or disconnected versions of what hit points represent in any edition that I've seen posted in those arguments, a common theme is that going to (or below, pre-4e) 0 h.p. means you've taken enough of a beating that if left untended you're quite possibly going to die. The rules of all editions also have it that going to or below 0 is auto-death (0e), is auto-death* if not treated or cured quite soon (1e-2e-3e), or presents a significant risk of death if not treated or cured quite soon (4e-5e). These deaths aren't being caused by fainting. So to suggest someone repeatedly going to or below 0 within a short time "has had the livin' tar beaten out of him/her" is "nonsense narration" falls well below your usual standard, sir; and...

Thursday, 31st May, 2018

  • 01:42 AM - pemerton mentioned billd91 in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    I don't think its the minis themselves so much as a heavy rule dependence on the spatial reality of the game. The early edition rules about space and positioning were easily handwaved. Not so much with 3e or 4e.That's what I said! But the biggest thing requiring almost pinpoint positioning of melee combatants was weapon reach - could you reach your intended foe or not? Not everyone cared too much about this, but in 1e RAW it's a thing.Rounds in AD&D are 1 minute, movement rates as 10s of feet per minute, and there are no rules for actually positioning in melee - only for getting cut down when you try to disengage from it! So while weapon reach can matter (eg in establishing first strike in a charging situation; for establishing how many soldiers can work together or fight one another in a confined space; etc) I don't actually see how you need minis/tokesn to track the ways in which it matters. (And I see that billd91 has made much the same point.)

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...


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Thursday, 18th October, 2018

  • 09:57 PM - 5ekyu quoted billd91 in post I was right about Shield Master
    The problem with that is - why would a shield bash be so good a move that you'd want to use an attack action to position the opponent for it? The opposite, of course, is manifest. I think it's tied to the attack action to make it a parallel to two-weapon fighting which is also a bonus action attack linked to an attack action.The rule did not state you lost your attacks, but obviously it could be worded better. Why would you find it useful to bonus action bash someone to thoe ground after attacking them? Setting up others in your combat, perhaps those with the -5 +10 feats - making shield mastery a more support fest than a give me more hits fest- which seems more in keeping. Allowing you to move away, now that any AO of theirs will be st a disad. Costing them movement so they may not be able to get to you if you move away or as far of they have another target. Are these as good as getting all that plus advantage on your main attacks - of course not. But then we are into assessing the balan...

Tuesday, 16th October, 2018

  • 04:35 AM - Hussar quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Color me confused but a core concept should be something fairly prominent for the character - not really something to be backgrounded. And that means it should be available for complications. If being the motorcyle guy is your core concept, then it should account for something more than just getting from point A to point B. Captain America is a shield guy, but he doesn't use it just for looking good in publicity photos. Mal Reynolds is the starship guy, so the starship isn't just for getting around from point A to point B. If it's a core concept, it's something you should be challenged on from time to time, sometimes at at your initiation as a player, sometimes on mine as a GM (though, of course, if this were Mutants and Masterminds, there'd be a hero point in it for you because that's how complications work in that game). If you want to be the dinosaur riding ranger as a core concept, fine. Just recognize that it's not going to give everyone a good impression and it can't go everywhere you...
  • 04:34 AM - Hussar quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    It isn't if you know all of the other players want to play it. Kind of dickish to stand in the way of all of your fellow players fun, isn't it? FUnnily enough, this actually happened recently in our group. The group wanted to play Planescape. I've made no secret that I'm not a Planescape fan. I offered, quite sincerely, to back out and play on the alternating weeks (we alternate campaigns weekly) and let them have their fun. The group, as one, voted me down and decided to play another campaign. I have to admit, it meant a lot to me that they did that. That was very, very cool. So, yeah, I'm a big believer in consensus when dealing with RPG's. As a DM, I would never, ever insist that we played a campaign when I knew that one of my players would bow out. Guess I'm a lot more willing to put what other people want ahead of what I would like to do.
  • 02:24 AM - pemerton quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    If the GM says he wants run a game about X, and the player adamantly refuses to budge from his desire for it not to be about it X, is that bad playing?What does that have to do with any of the examples actually under discussion. If I as a player say "I want to play a warlock" and the GM - like 5ekyu, according to many posts upthread - is perfectly happy for me to run a fighter instead, then the GM doersn't want to run a game about patron's messing with their warlocks. We're not discussing a game where the GM's pitch is "Let's play a game in which you're warlocks and I get to play your patrons who mess with you." The GM's desire to do that is entirely conditional on the player playing a warlock. Mutatis mutandis for the motorcycle. I'm sick of players wheedling out of the inconvenient consequences of the things they choose and do in the campaign. <snip> you've been pretty clear with the badwrongfunist asshattery.So I'm an asshat but you're just expressing reasonable preferenc...
  • 12:31 AM - pemerton quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    There are all sorts of choices a player may make and actions they may have their PCs do that have a cost to them in the course of a game. Is GM to ignore all of the ones the player happens to want to ignore? Where is the line drawn?Here's a simple answer - if a player comes into a game saying "I don't want to play a game about X" and the GM then proceeds to make the game about X, that is bad GMing. If I have a player who wants to murderhobo his way across the landscape without negative social and legal consequences, but that's not the kind of game I want to run, am I still expected to run that game for him?I'll leave that between you and that player. I'll also note it has nothing to do with the current discussion about motorcycles and warlock patrons. In the warlock patron discussion, no one is saying that they don't want the player in their game - 5ekyu and others have repeatedly said the player is welcome to play a fighter, wizard, sorcerer etc. In the motorcycle example, which is from a...
  • 12:07 AM - pemerton quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    You're missing a step, perhaps it is tacitly implied, but I'm including it here for clarification purposes. (ii) the DM agreed to the terms of the player <snip> You are right how dare I roleplay a NPC true to form. <snip> And yet, in 5e if a DM does not believe there is any uncertainty he has no need to call for a roll. I feel it is unfair to blame the DM when these are the rules as per 5e, if anyone is to blame its WotC, right?The attitude of the archbishop has nothing to do with WotC. It's the GM in your example who has decided that the archbishop cannot be influenced. This topic was discussed (in the context of Traveller, but the principle is the same) in this thread at the end of last year. My view is very similar to the one that chaochou stated in that thread: You just want your tedious railroad rubbish to go elsewhere and you view your version of the situation as more important than anyone else's. <snip> Again, you're just disparaging someone else's contribu...

Monday, 15th October, 2018

  • 11:14 PM - Yunru quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    In-fiction obligations limit PC (and by extension player) freedom of choice in what gets done and are therefore, yes, a penalty. Example: Joe-the-PC is a Cleric to a war deity whose primary goal is the elimination of Orcs and whose Clerics are expected to help with this task whenever possible or else risk repercussions. Party and PC have various options on what to do next, one of which is dealing with some Orcish raiders and another of which looks (for whatever reason) far more interesting in the eyes of both the players and the in-fiction PCs...including Joe, but his obligation to his deity sends him out after the Orcs anyway; and possibly right out of the party for a while unless they go with him. This isn't the GM bossing the PC around*, it's the player's own intentional choice of class and deity rearing up and saying hello. Player chose that deity because it looked like good old kill-'em-all fun and he liked the idea of the combat advantages and blessings that deity gave when fig...

Sunday, 14th October, 2018

  • 01:07 PM - 5ekyu quoted billd91 in post Adventures with extensive backstory
    Good names is often in the eye (ear) of the beholder. Many Gygaxian names are memorable because they sound ridiculous. Many don't roll off the tongue at all - if you can even manage to give them a reasonable pronunciation.I tend to go a different route in naming. I go on the assumption that the pcs are not speaking english and that we are speaking english. So, i often convert their names from the syllable-salad-sing-song to actual real names from modern day or historical earth cultures. Then i can adopt or appropriate earth cultures language traits and naming schemes for the various cultures or regions. Maybe elves use french or asian, maybe dwarves use germanic or irish. You get the picture. I find it makes the names to characters more memorable, more consistent etc and especially useful with homebrew worlds.
  • 11:15 AM - pemerton quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    You get a lot of people talking about "meaningful choices" around here but only seem to want those to matter if the consequences are goodThis is what I'm calling out as nonsense - I mean you clearly don't think you're describing your game, and I know you're not describing my game, and I'm going to hazard a guess that you're not describing Hussar's game either - so whose game do you think you are describing? Which goes back to my point - is the best the GM can think of to challenge my Hells Angel's PC stealing my motorbike? To me it just seems like incredibly weak GMing. I know that sort of thing is basically compulsory in high level AD&D if wizard PCs are to be kept within some semblance of balance, but there are almost no RPGs out there as poorly mechanically balanced as high level AD&D. The motorcycle example came from a Vampire game, I think - but it could equally apply to any modern-setting RPG. When the players in my Marvel Heroic game wanted their PCs to get from DC to Tokyo they j...
  • 08:41 AM - 5ekyu quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Indeed, but notice.... they dealt with it in the foreground because it was a complication. They addressed it and maybe made it a standard operating procedure - but in fact, it's one that may be undone depending on circumstances. Suppose they end up in an anti-magic field (or willingly enter one), that hidden snake is an issue again. And by addressing the situation in a particular way, that snake may be something the PC can activate and bring back into the situation, if they leave it hidden in a barn somewhere, they wouldn't be able to do so. Except that's not what you're doing with things like the animal companion or the guy's motorcycle in the other game. In both cases, the player really wants to have them when they, they just don't want to have to deal with them. You get a lot of people talking about "meaningful choices" around here but only seem to want those to matter if the consequences are good - not if they're a PITA. I'm not going to run my games that way. If you choose to play wi...
  • 07:35 AM - 5ekyu quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Indeed, but notice.... they dealt with it in the foreground because it was a complication. They addressed it and maybe made it a standard operating procedure - but in fact, it's one that may be undone depending on circumstances. Suppose they end up in an anti-magic field (or willingly enter one), that hidden snake is an issue again. And by addressing the situation in a particular way, that snake may be something the PC can activate and bring back into the situation, if they leave it hidden in a barn somewhere, they wouldn't be able to do so. Except that's not what you're doing with things like the animal companion or the guy's motorcycle in the other game. In both cases, the player really wants to have them when they, they just don't want to have to deal with them. You get a lot of people talking about "meaningful choices" around here but only seem to want those to matter if the consequences are good - not if they're a PITA. I'm not going to run my games that way. If you choose to play wi...
  • 05:01 AM - Hussar quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    It's not about hating the game. But it is about making sure the game is also what I as DM want it to be, not just the players. Like I've said many times around here, you can't force a DM to play a game he doesn't want to play any more than you can make players play in it. But, who's forcing the DM to do anything here? If anything, I'm giving less work for the DM. The DM no longer has to worry about what to do, if anything, with this patron. The player is not interested in playing that out. Why would you, as a DM, knowing that the player isn't interested, bring it into the game? Again, who is it for? It's not for the player. It's not for the other players. So, the only person it's for is you, the DM. You want to bring it into the game purely for your own enjoyment, knowing that the player doesn't want it. Good grief, talk about mountains out of molehills here. We're talking about one small change to one character that isn't going to affect ANYTHING. But, now it's forcing a DM t...
  • 04:12 AM - Hussar quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    The DM is not your trained monkey. Are the player there just to entertain the DM and the other players? Nope. Theyíre there to entertain themselves too. Soís your DM. Seriously? You're going to hate the game and not have fun because that one character doesn't have to deal with his or her patron? Really? And note, if we go with the way 5ekyu has described his games, if the player doesn't want to deal with the patron, that player should play another character. In which case you aren't going to get to play the patron anyway. If playing the patron doesn't really matter for the DM's enjoyment (since the DM is perfectly fine if the player plays a different character) then what difference does it make at the end of the day?
  • 01:38 AM - pemerton quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    What are we actually talking about here? I mean, how much of an impact would Backgrounding actually have on a campaign?I've got no objection to what you go on to say about Backgrounding. The discussion of warlock patrons was initially triggered by me talking about PCs being betrayed by a (non-Warlock, conventional) patron. And I'd instanced that as an example of a GM move that caused me to leave a game (or, to be more precise, to let a game die). But this discussion of warlock patrons and backgrounding has only reinforced my preference. I have zero interest in RPGing with a GM who sees the point of the game to drive his/her personal plot preferences in disregard of the protagonism of the players. And the idea that the player of a cleric, warlock etc is getting some "unfair advantage" if the GM doesn't muck them about with demands from god or patron is ridiculous. Why is RPGing better or more fun because the player of the cleric has goals set for her by the GM rather than herself? Whi...
  • 01:19 AM - 5ekyu quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    The DM is not your trained monkey. Are the player there just to entertain the DM and the other players? Nope. Theyíre there to entertain themselves too. Soís your DM. Over time, i have found in my play and with my group that we all enjoy more a style of game where "meta-gamey" stuff like gimmick points (hero points, drama points, momentum - leading to changed outcomes or scene editing or direct authorship in play) are sub-systems we find less appealing and even distasteful. We don't use inspiration in 5e for instance or based advancement or xp on "outcomes or milestones of story." Over time, i have found in my play and with my group that we all enjoy a more consistent setting, where the same kind of "drama control" doesn't play a role or become noticeable. That requires that when the tiefling walks into a bar that dislikes tieflings or suspicious of tieflings etc - they tiefling doesn't wave his "get out of chosen complication drama free" card except by the use of things like disguises o...

Saturday, 13th October, 2018

  • 06:39 PM - 5ekyu quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Is someone actually saying they're going to forbid someone from taking the class or just saying they aren't signing on to a player wanting to hand-wave the complications inherent in the class? I have been saying since the beginning, if the Gm and polayer cannot agree on the nature of the patron warlock arrangement and pact, they can play another class. Same thing goes for cleric and his god/temple and their standards. if you do not want the parts of the class that are really at its core, if you want to cut out all that stuff and the "baggage" that comes with it so much you cannot reach a compormise and agreement with the GM, yeah try another class. Same would be if you would not agree that your choice of animals or race carried the obvious established issues as well.
  • 06:19 PM - Kobold Boots quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I don't think that's really what people are saying - they're saying that you must accept the complication those classes require. They don't typically involve MUST take certain actions by DM force - rarely does a paladin even face that. Rather, that you MUST accept the consequences of the way you play your character, or of the choices you make, when they interact in certain ways with the classes you've chosen or the situation around you. I think your spin on it really is a mischaracterization - and an extremely uncharitable one at that. I think that what I've learned over my last year back at this site is that there are some folks (and I'm not pointing at anyone in particular) that have the ability to tee off of one post, develop a very good response to the original, and then put blinders on for any response thereafter - at least in regards to tone. You're spot on with consequences, not actions. Be well KB
  • 06:41 AM - Hussar quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Is someone actually saying they're going to forbid someone from taking the class or just saying they aren't signing on to a player wanting to hand-wave the complications inherent in the class? Yes. 5ekyu has flat out said, and others have said too, that if you want to play a class, you MUST accept everything about that class or don't play that class. So, if you play a warlock, you MUST accept that the DM has control over your patron and can force your character to do things. If you play a paladin, you MUST accept that the DM can force you to take certain actions. If you play a class with a pet or a race the DM thinks is weird, you MUST accept that the DM can (and by implication will) force play onto you. The only option the player has is to choose another class or not play in that game. That's been repeatedly stated.
  • 06:39 AM - Hussar quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    The broader story of that double-length horror show of an episode doesn't need to change. But the fact remains, they dealt with a situation in which there was a perceived direct threat to the Enterprise. The fact that it was a single encounter rather than the whole plot line and was resolved with the situation remaining status quo doesn't mean it was effectively "backgrounded". Rather, it was very much foregrounded so they could show off something they thought was cool. Sigh. Still missing the point. Even if you add that one, ok, great. Now 20% of the episodes feature a threat to the Enterprise. Whoopee freaking do. The point I was making was that even if you DID background the Enterprise, 80% of the stories remain unchanged. Which was the point I was trying to make. That Backgrounding hardly changes games as much as people are making it out to. That backgrounding this or that element by and large won't impact the larger game. Just like backgrounding the Patron won't actually...
  • 06:30 AM - Hussar quoted billd91 in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Withering personal attacks aside, they separated the saucer section because they believed the ship was under threat of destruction. Thatís not ďbackgroundĒ. They separated the saucer section because the writers wanted to show off this cool new thing the Enterprise could do. :D But, in any case, even had they not separated, how would the story actually change? AFAIK, nothing. It simply wouldn't change the outcome or even the progression at all. So, now we are shifting to backgrounding certain specific things but only when playing modules where they wont matter? If you are discussion a specific module (presumably with some sort of by the module as written caveat) and using that module to say *in this content the warlock patrton aspect is not important* then why do we need to background it? modules or Aps as they are called now do not normally assume specific classes and specific sub-classes and so do not often make ties to key features which require them - so by definition th...


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