View Profile: billd91 - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
Tab Content
  • billd91's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:42 PM
    It's kind of the paradox with all time travel stories, isn't it? Are the events the way they are from the time traveler's perspective because they lacked their intervention or because of their intervention? If the intervention was suitably subtle to the known historical record, the time traveler wouldn't know until they went back and intervened.
    174 replies | 4503 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 08:11 PM
    They aren't the only ones reporting it. Hollywood Reporter's obit for Stan Lee.
    295 replies | 18216 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 07:47 PM
    It doesn't seem that mind boggling. If you can imagine a male having a functioning uterus, it's not that hard to imagine that the alien species must have some kind of genitalia that detects the sex of a fertilized egg and deposits it accordingly.
    174 replies | 4503 view(s)
    0 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 03:51 PM
    I think he's got something stuck in his brain incorrectly. The DMG lists the potion of invisibility as very rare, not legendary. That's the ring of invisibility, and that may be more appropriate. That said, I'll be reviewing the PDF for usefulness in my games.
    253 replies | 10283 view(s)
    0 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Saturday, 3rd November, 2018, 04:20 PM
    I'm not sure it encouraged it as much as expected that it could be an issue. But for me, I don't have time for games in which players squabble or compete for items. I've been in games in which players took items they couldn't make good use out of because they rolled higher and got first choice - picking the highest value item because of its value rather than its utility. If another player can...
    253 replies | 10283 view(s)
    2 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 1st November, 2018, 05:04 PM
    Willie McCovey, popular player with the SF Giants, has passed away. He was also, apparently, a favorite of Charlie Brown. https://www.gocomics.com/peanuts/1962/12/22
    295 replies | 18216 view(s)
    0 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, 06:32 PM
    You might find it, maybe, but how are the economics work? If the cost is based on the item's utility and not the local market, how is a village of a couple of hundred souls going to be affected by the massive influx of cash that would occur if the PCs bought it? How did the town get it and appropriately appraise it? They certainly couldn't have bought it since its value may exceed the value of...
    253 replies | 10283 view(s)
    0 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th October, 2018, 04:41 PM
    And I don't think it was intended to end up well for him. I think we'd have been seeing stories focused on how power corrupts - or at least tempts one into corruption - before Luke pulled his head out of his posterior and became a better man again. Pretty good, meaty stuff for a season of a superhero show. Unfortunately, unless Marvel relaunches from this point on whatever Disney online engine...
    21 replies | 693 view(s)
    0 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th October, 2018, 04:35 PM
    The issue with magic shoppes with more or less on-demand items isn't simply that magic is no longer rare and mysterious - it warps how characters are equipped. Quirky, sometimes-useful items get sold for the ol', reliable Big 6 (or their closest equivalents in 5e). It didn't help that too many of the multi-function items in 3e were overpriced to exacerbate that problem. That ended up being a much...
    253 replies | 10283 view(s)
    0 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th October, 2018, 06:35 AM
    Now, that's part of what I liked best about the episode - the villain wasn't some alien bent on enslaving (or eating) the human race. He was just an amoral ignoramus, a buffoon with no sense of responsibility, and too much power in the form of his wealth. That made it particularly topical - I just hope it ages well.
    174 replies | 4503 view(s)
    0 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018, 02:37 PM
    Chips/tokens are a useful tactic - plus, about a zillion board games use them these days for lots of their fiddly bits, so players are probably becoming increasingly accustomed to them. I've been using poker chips regularly in RPGs since the first edition of Mutants and Masterminds came out. We use poker chips in a 5e game that a friend of mine is running to represent inspiration. For the 5e...
    253 replies | 10283 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018, 05:43 AM
    Call of Cthulhu is still my favorite - the source material is pretty compelling and with a lot of awesome adventure material. Plus, questions like this give me a chance to flog one of the best RPG campaigns I've ever experienced, from both the player and Keeper side - The Masks of Nyarlathotep. Though I do have to say that It Came from the Late, Late, Late Show did have its charms. Having a...
    22 replies | 575 view(s)
    0 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 10:27 PM
    Indeed, but each of those situations has a calculatable probability of occurring within the set of all possible outcomes and the most likely results, even expected value, can also be calculated. It's actually kind of a fun exercise. That said, my calculations say the expected value of the bonus is more like +6/-6 than +5/-5 (in fact, it would round up to 7).
    253 replies | 10283 view(s)
    0 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 07:26 PM
    I'm doing the same with my Age of Worms adaptation... except for a few specific, plot-related items.
    253 replies | 10283 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 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.
    247 replies | 6593 view(s)
    1 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 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...
    247 replies | 6593 view(s)
    4 XP
  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 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.
    91 replies | 2672 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    1794 replies | 57198 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,...
    1794 replies | 57198 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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.
    13 replies | 689 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    1794 replies | 57198 view(s)
    3 XP
  • 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?
    1794 replies | 57198 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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?
    1794 replies | 57198 view(s)
    4 XP
No More Results
About billd91

Basic Information

Date of Birth
December 31
About billd91
Location:
Verona, WI
Disable sharing sidebar?:
Yes
Sex:
Male
Age Group:
Over 40
Social Networking

If you can be contacted on social networks, feel free to mention it here.

Twitter:
billdunn91

Statistics


Total Posts
Total Posts
10,388
Posts Per Day
1.70
Last Post
Thirteenth Doctor - First Season - Thoughts? (SPOILERS WELCOME) Yesterday 04:42 PM

Currency

Gold Pieces
2
General Information
Last Activity
Today 01:17 AM
Join Date
Wednesday, 6th March, 2002
Home Page
http://billsflix.blogspot.com/
Product Reviews & Ratings
Reviews Written
3

4 Friends

  1. knasser knasser is offline

    Member

    knasser
  2. Mark CMG Mark CMG is offline

    Member

    Mark CMG
  3. MintMMs MintMMs is offline

    Member

    MintMMs
  4. Tovec Tovec is offline

    Member

    Tovec
Showing Friends 1 to 4 of 4
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tuesday, 13th November, 2018


Monday, 12th November, 2018


Wednesday, 7th November, 2018


Tuesday, 6th November, 2018


Sunday, 4th November, 2018


Saturday, 3rd November, 2018


Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018


Monday, 22nd October, 2018


Friday, 19th October, 2018


Thursday, 18th October, 2018


Wednesday, 17th October, 2018



Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018

  • 09:28 AM - Hussar mentioned billd91 in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    I have found the opposite to be true, actually. Rerolling initiative every round has generally been to the party's benefit, despite some "exciting" moments. It creates unpredictability, which the player characters (being more versatile) can take advantage of better than typical NPCs. This has been true of a party level 5 - 7, and a party 11 - 13. I might be the case that rerolling init made the lowest levels more difficult, I haven't tried that. As billd91 said, anything that increases randomness benefits the DM's side of the equation. The players have to get lucky every time. The monsters only have to get lucky once. Sure, it might benefit the PC's and it likely will. But, when it helps the other side, which should also happen fairly frequently, it can radically up the difficulty of an encounter. As far as realism goes, well, that's not a consideration for me. I accept that D&D combat is largely abstract, so, trying to make it more realistic is, to me, just not something I really want to deal with. If I did, I'd wind up rewriting the entire combat section to the point where I might as well play a game that actually has realistic combat. :D

Saturday, 20th October, 2018

  • 09:51 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned billd91 in post 5E's "Missed Opportunities?"
    ...than a +1. If you need a 2 you have a 95% to succeed normally, and 95% + 5% * 95% = 99.75%, agains slightly less than +1. This is the minimum. If you need an 11, you have a 50% normally, and a 50% + 50% * 50% = 75% with advantage. That's the equivalent of +5. This is the maximum. Your +/-6 to +/-7 is outside the range of what is possible. That mean it is likely not the average. You may want to double check you math. One common mistake I've seen is working out to roll 2d20 and subtract the higher fromt he lower. That's really comparing advantage (best for 2d20) with disadvantage (worst of 2d20). It's clear if you work it out as percentages what it can be for every target. Man, these arguments hurt me because there's this weird thing where everyone tries to map a normal distribution onto a flat distribution via +/-. It's wrong in a technical way. But, I'm an engineer, so that's probably just my bag. That said, the above is the right wrong way to do it Retreater, billd91. The "bonus" that advantage applies differs depending on what the target number on the d20 is for success. It's greatest in the middle, where it increases the chance of success by 25%, and weaker on the ends where it's bit less than a 5% bump. If you need to roll a 20, advantage helps by almost doubling your chances from 1/20 to 19/400, but if you need an 11, advantage increases your chances from 10/20 to 15/20. If you need a 2, advantage bumps you from a 19/20 to 399/400.

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.)


Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
No results to display...

Sunday, 11th November, 2018

  • 05:41 PM - Umbran quoted billd91 in post Thirteenth Doctor - First Season - Thoughts? (SPOILERS WELCOME)
    It doesn't seem that mind boggling. If you can imagine a male having a functioning uterus, it's not that hard to imagine that the alien species must have some kind of genitalia that detects the sex of a fertilized egg and deposits it accordingly. Folks need to read up on biology a bit before going into such things. You folks are making this way too complicated, and you are trying too hard to bind an alien species that only superficially looks human to human mechanisms and structures. I mean, think for a second, if a male can bring a baby to term, it quite obviously doesn't mean the same thing as "male" does in humans. Even on Earth, not all species determine sex of a child based only on the chromosomes of the fertilized egg. For some, for example, *temperature* during incubation of an egg is the determining factor. Heck, some species on Earth can change sex after they are born! So, stop thinking in terms of sex determination by the fertilized egg itself! So, the number of possibl...

Wednesday, 7th November, 2018

  • 02:35 AM - smbakeresq quoted billd91 in post 5E's "Missed Opportunities?"
    I'm doing the same with my Age of Worms adaptation... except for a few specific, plot-related items. Did you see the Age of Worms conversion here by Tormyr? Itís good. I am on part 6. Donít worry about too many magic items early, you will need them and you get less later.

Saturday, 3rd November, 2018

  • 08:23 PM - Lanefan quoted billd91 in post 5E's "Missed Opportunities?"
    I'm not sure it encouraged it as much as expected that it could be an issue. But for me, I don't have time for games in which players squabble or compete for items. I've been in games in which players took items they couldn't make good use out of because they rolled higher and got first choice - picking the highest value item because of its value rather than its utility. If another player can make better use of it in adventures, from my perspective, that's a spite choice. And I'm not playing spite games.And this is exactly the reason to use an equal-value division system - it makes such spite-choosing pointless. You're still inevitably going to have situations where players/PCs quite reasonably compete for items, e.g. there's one Ring of Invisibility in the treasury and all five party members think they can put it to good use, and that's fine. (here this situation would almost certainly end in a dice-off) First edition encouraged--in some places even assumed--a competition among PCs...

Thursday, 1st November, 2018

  • 04:41 PM - Winghorn quoted billd91 in post Unmasking Masks of Nyarlathotep
    The first time I experienced this as a player, we finished it in the spring term of 1989 - so about 14 weeks of once/week sessions with the original 5 locations (no Australia chapter). We had a group of about 8 experienced players so we'd hit a city, fan out, and run down clues. We really did get a lot done. And in the end, we all went through an average of 2 PCs each. Unless they were 12 hours long apiece, just 14 sessions is a pretty stellar pace for rocking through MoN, even the original version.

Wednesday, 31st October, 2018

  • 09:28 PM - Lanefan quoted billd91 in post 5E's "Missed Opportunities?"
    You might find it, maybe, but how are the economics work? If the cost is based on the item's utility and not the local market, how is a village of a couple of hundred souls going to be affected by the massive influx of cash that would occur if the PCs bought it? How did the town get it and appropriately appraise it? They certainly couldn't have bought it since its value may exceed the value of everything else in the village... There's many ways to explain in the fiction how some spectacular item ended up in a small farming village; and then later came on to the market. The classic is, of course, Bilbo and his mithril shirt. That shirt - which was worth more then the rest of the Shire put together - would have either wound up in the mathom house or come on to the market, had Bilbo died heirless. Here the proceeds would likely have gone to the Shire as a whole, generating a lot of happy Hobbits. Another option is that the village is where some major adventurer has retired to, and said ad...
  • 06:41 PM - Elfcrusher quoted billd91 in post 5E's "Missed Opportunities?"
    You might find it, maybe, but how are the economics work? If the cost is based on the item's utility and not the local market, how is a village of a couple of hundred souls going to be affected by the massive influx of cash that would occur if the PCs bought it? How did the town get it and appropriately appraise it? They certainly couldn't have bought it since its value may exceed the value of everything else in the village... What standard do you follow on the pricing and what are the downstream effects of it? Although I really hope, for several reasons (none of which have to do with particular animosity toward @CapnZapp), that WotC never publishes an official price list, what would be kind of cool is an expansion of the system in Xanathar's for buying/selling magic items to incorporate both location and another, somewhat arbitrary factor, to represent high/low magic. That is, a small village that happens to be very magical (e.g. a moon elf enclave founded around a magical well) will have d...

Tuesday, 30th October, 2018

  • 08:43 PM - Umbran quoted billd91 in post Marvel's Iron Fist Season 2 - Much Better
    And I don't think it was intended to end up well for him. I think we'd have been seeing stories focused on how power corrupts - or at least tempts one into corruption - before Luke pulled his head out of his posterior and became a better man again. Pretty good, meaty stuff for a season of a superhero show. Exactly. And I thought that fall could very well be set up to leave him in a good place for Heroes for Hire to make sense. This process would probably have enough besmirching that he's no longer super-respected in Harlem. The endorsement deals fall through, he needs cash, and so on.
  • 08:37 PM - Lanefan quoted billd91 in post 5E's "Missed Opportunities?"
    The issue with magic shoppes with more or less on-demand items ... This is the key element right here: on-demand. 3e dropped the ball here, either by design or not, in that magic available in a place was based simply on total value. Players were then often left to assume anything they wanted up to that total value was available, and thus it became an on-demand system - even more so with the ease of PC item creation starting at low-ish levels. isn't simply that magic is no longer rare and mysterious - it warps how characters are equipped. Quirky, sometimes-useful items get sold for the ol', reliable Big 6 (or their closest equivalents in 5e). It didn't help that too many of the multi-function items in 3e were overpriced to exacerbate that problem. That ended up being a much bigger change to the way D&D was played when considering the evolution of the game from 1e through 3e than, I think, anybody expected.Agreed. If there's to be a magic item economy - and I've no problem at all if t...
  • 12:48 PM - Morrus quoted billd91 in post Thirteenth Doctor - First Season - Thoughts? (SPOILERS WELCOME)
    Now, that's part of what I liked best about the episode - the villain wasn't some alien bent on enslaving (or eating) the human race. He was just an amoral ignoramus, a buffoon with no sense of responsibility, and too much power in the form of his wealth. That made it particularly topical - I just hope it ages well. On the other hand, itís weird for a Who episode not to feature an alien at all.

Thursday, 25th October, 2018

  • 10:40 PM - MoonSong quoted billd91 in post Do your Political Views shape how your villains and heroes act?
    Some of my favorite works of sf/f involve unusual politics and social structures. The Nehwon stories by Fritz Leiber, the Bas-Lag novels by China Mieville, the Majipoor chronicles of Robert Silverberg, the Viriconium stories of M. John Harrison . . . For my roleplaying game campaign I prefer players who are either fellow-libertarians, or simply interested in politics even if they don't agree with me. I work backwards. I don't particularly care for potential player's politics. And any politics will be window dressing to the campaign/plot. I mean I'm a luddite with a particular disdain of A.I., but you'd be hard pressed to ever find a campaign that is about seizing the means of production and topple down the evil robot overlords...

Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018

  • 06:46 AM - Lanefan quoted billd91 in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    That's what we did in 1e and 2e and, frankly, it sucked. Effects like the monk's stun could be really good or really bad, all based on having to reroll initiative. And it wasn't one darn bit more realistic than setting the order and just running through the list cyclically. The only thing it did that might have been a positive was make turn order unpredictable - which was OK for characters that didn't have to track round-based durations. The very unpredictability is what makes it more realistic. What happens when initiatives are locked in is that players start metagaming and making plans based on who goes when in the order; which should in theory be close to impossible on a chaotic fog-of-war battlefield. Re-rolling, while not completely eliminating this, serves to greatly mitigate it. Both systems are abstractions, but I do like the one where we deal with initiative numbers once and once only and I never really have to consult them again. I find it a lot more user friendly, both as a ...
  • 06:06 AM - epithet quoted billd91 in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    Unpredictability is, in the long run, usually bad for the PCs. They are subject to a lot of it over the course of a game since they're at the center of all action that involves it. It has been my experience that the PCs are the cause of much more unpredictability than the dice are, and they usually find annoying ways to exploit it to their advantage.

Saturday, 20th October, 2018

  • 02:15 AM - Blue quoted billd91 in post 5E's "Missed Opportunities?"
    Indeed, but each of those situations has a calculatable probability of occurring within the set of all possible outcomes and the most likely results, even expected value, can also be calculated. It's actually kind of a fun exercise. That said, my calculations say the expected value of the bonus is more like +6/-6 than +5/-5 (in fact, it would round up to 7). If you need a 20, you have a 5% normally, and a 5% + 95%*5% = 9.75%. Slightly less than a +1. If you need a 2 you have a 95% to succeed normally, and 95% + 5% * 95% = 99.75%, agains slightly less than +1. This is the minimum. If you need an 11, you have a 50% normally, and a 50% + 50% * 50% = 75% with advantage. That's the equivalent of +5. This is the maximum. Your +/-6 to +/-7 is outside the range of what is possible. That mean it is likely not the average. You may want to double check you math. One common mistake I've seen is working out to roll 2d20 and subtract the higher fromt he lower. That's really comparing advantage ...

Friday, 19th October, 2018

  • 11:59 PM - MoonSong quoted billd91 in post Do your Political Views shape how your villains and heroes act?
    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. I'm more of the idea that it's the other way around, one's own perspectives, thoughts, and morals shape our political views. Or at least it goes both ways. My larger point is this: when you create art (and all forms of storytelling, even collaborative storytelling, is art; yes, even "beer-and-pretzel D&D",) you are making a statement about yourself and your world. Even if you don't mean to; even if you're actively trying not to. This is because no art, no story, springs forth fully-formed from the head of Zeus. Inspiration is not a bolt of lightning from nowhere. Every aspect of what we put into our storytelling comes from the culture, the world we live in. We like to say that we consume it, but the reality is more that it inundates us. No matter how hard we might try, we cannot escape...
  • 10:46 PM - DM Dave1 quoted billd91 in post 5E's "Missed Opportunities?"
    Advantage/disadvantage is only equivalent to +5/-5 if the target number you need on the d20 is around 10-11. The further you get toward the 1 or toward the 20, the less of a bonus it gives. If you need a 19-20 to succeed, advantage only gives you the equivalent of +1. And if you need more than 20 to succeed, advantage won't help you whatsoever, whereas a flat +5 would allow you to roll the equivalent of a 25 on a d20. Otherwise, I do like backgrounds the way they are, but i do think they could have gone a bit further. Not sure if it is a missed opportunity, but there is room to develop the background aspect further. Same with inspiration, i think they could have gone further with what benefit inspiration could give, but as it stands it a nice and simple addition to the game. I wish having inspiration could give you something, perhaps an ability relating to your race or background, in addition to spending it to gain advantage on a roll. Advantage/disadvantage and bounded accuracy are my fav...

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...


billd91's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated

Most Recent Favorite Generators/Tables

View All Favorites