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    Yesterday, 09:56 PM
    Also, I think, people who like Paizo's APs and play them in the PF1 rules but are interested in seeing what Paizo can do without the constraints of the 3e engine.
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    Yesterday, 07:38 PM
    Not so odd, I'm thinking. Paizo has a few people who worked on 4e working for them now in their development of PF2. The influence is showing, unfortunately. But I'll give it a go just like I did with 4e.
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    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 10:42 PM
    Sometimes booze is a good decision.
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    Tuesday, 8th January, 2019, 10:09 PM
    That's simply not factual. Whether or not you feel he had a big ego, Kirk shows on multiple episodes that he's quite competent with the Enterprise's systems. There's no danger he'd plow into a gas giant. Unless she was smokin' hot. :rimshot:
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    Tuesday, 8th January, 2019, 06:37 AM
    Hey, I know all the buzzwords too and if you think that you should be able to hang the title of grognard on anyone complaining about an edition change after so short a development cycle, well you go ahead and appropriate it all you want. But you may not get the same respect.
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th January, 2019, 04:01 AM
    That would mean that 4e fans who prefer it to 5e are already grognards? Sorry, some of us have higher standards when accepting whether a term is correctly applied or not. And that's not it.
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    Tuesday, 8th January, 2019, 03:27 AM
    But we've already had dragons, dungeons, vampires, giants, retro, and quite a bit more classic D&D materials. Time for something different.
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th January, 2019, 03:12 AM
    Not really, no. There wouldn't have ever been grognards in role playing if they didn't accept the new game ideas when coming over from wargames. Plus, wargames also sometimes get updated editions and, if they're good, they thrive.
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th January, 2019, 03:07 AM
    More appeal than pirates? That's like saying some product other than chocolate chip cookies could have been baked on that schedule had the chocolate chip cookies not been baked. Some people might like the alternative product better, but honestly, quite a few are going to like the offering being made too.
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 05:56 AM
    Yeah, making magic items in AD&D was not for the faint-hearted. A lot depended on working with the DM to come up with a method and a cost for the whole affair. Most players, as far as I experienced, never bothered trying to make anything. They made do with whatever items they were able to find in their adventures - which, if you played modules, were actually fairly common. And yes, if you played...
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 05:58 AM
    At least with respect to cantrips, I'd say the market shows that's the case. Keep in mind it's not only in 4e and continued on to 5e, but it's also in Pathfinder. Granted, those cantrips in PF don't scale, but they still fill much the same role - giving the spell casters options on always having magic at their fingertips.
    203 replies | 6365 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd January, 2019, 05:56 AM
    Or if you’re willing to risk $10, you can always pick up the core rules PDF.
    28 replies | 1328 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 06:25 PM
    The origin of the spell back in the 1e days isn't solely relevant considering the spell's evolution. Clearly with 1 hour/level starting in 3e, it becomes pretty effective for resting and healing for parties. While it has always had relevance for hiding from a passing threat, it's probably even more consistently useful for getting into a safe place to engage in some healing away from prying eyes.
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th December, 2018, 10:59 PM
    I think most groups would be justified in telling that DM to knock it off or find another group considering it's pretty obvious that rope trick was written to facilitate a short rest in an otherwise dangerous environment.
    296 replies | 7129 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th December, 2018, 08:10 PM
    I would recommend that you don't assume that every character in a setting must match a stat block provided for the DM's convenience in the Monster Manual. I would also recommend that you don't assume that there are sufficient numbers (and distribution) of 5th level priests in a campaign to make this even remotely possible. That said, I still wouldn't make create food and water a ritual....
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th December, 2018, 08:02 PM
    It doesn't directly heal, but it's clearly in the realm of healing-enabling resources. So if someone wants to view it in a utility framework rather than a mechanical framework, I can totally see it being lumped in with healing spells. Honestly, it's a "Well, duh" kind of question.
    296 replies | 7129 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th December, 2018, 06:17 PM
    Is this a serious question?
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th December, 2018, 05:27 PM
    If it was a question of not liking the way PF interacts with a fantasy environment, then maybe. But if you hate PF mechanics, Starfinder is probably not for you.
    28 replies | 1328 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th December, 2018, 05:14 PM
    Mostly because some things shouldn't be functionally unlimited within an adventuring context - certainly not within the vision of the game's designers. Making them unlimited would take a significant chunk of the challenge out of the resource management that spell casters face. You're certainly free to house rule whatever you want, but you might start to find that those changes will affect how...
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th December, 2018, 04:13 PM
    It isn’t really any different. As I see it, they’re just elements of editing the game within the GM’s purview. But there are people out there who put an importance on the ‘integrity’ of the dice that borders on fetishistic.
    92 replies | 2788 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 05:57 AM
    And that's probably the moment the players will remember most about the end of the campaign - not the tough fight they still needed to complete. Tough fights are a dime a dozen - campaigns are full of them and they often bleed together in memory. But a weird event like that one? They'll remember that one.
    92 replies | 2788 view(s)
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  • billd91's Avatar
    Monday, 17th December, 2018, 03:49 PM
    At most party scenes, the group of adventurers is going to split up - at least one hopes they aren't constantly traveling around as a pack and swarming any other party-goer at the event. When they split up, you've got to jump the focus about between the PCs and the people they are interacting with so that no player is left sitting out of the action for too long. Put on your director's hat and...
    8 replies | 334 view(s)
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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.)


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Monday, 14th January, 2019

  • 06:23 PM - Morrus quoted billd91 in post Top Games Played On FG In 2018: D&D, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds
    Same as it ever was. D&D may be a gateway to other games (in fact, I’m sure it is) but not for everyone. Large numbers of players have never sought out any other RPG throughout D&D’s history. It doesn't need to be everyone though. A small company can pay its employees very well and make a great profit on a much smaller number of customers. Look at something like Monte Cook Games as an example. It doesn't need D&D figures to give everybody involved a comfortable lifestyle.
  • 05:22 PM - Twiggly the Gnome quoted billd91 in post Top Games Played On FG In 2018: D&D, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds
    Same as it ever was. D&D may be a gateway to other games (in fact, I’m sure it is) but not for everyone. Large numbers of players have never sought out any other RPG throughout D&D’s history. Yeah, coming to this realization let me finally grok the "competing with its self" narrative regarding campaign settings. For me, back in the day, Planescape was competing with Mage the Ascension for my RPG dollar. For the D&D only player, Planescape was competing with Forgotten Realms. :erm:

Wednesday, 9th January, 2019


Tuesday, 8th January, 2019

  • 03:15 PM - Immortal Sun quoted billd91 in post tail wags dog: streamers want to say 'aaargh' so we are getting a pirate adventure
    Hey, I know all the buzzwords too and if you think that you should be able to hang the title of grognard on anyone complaining about an edition change after so short a development cycle, well you go ahead and appropriate it all you want. But you may not get the same respect. Being a long-time 4E fan, the respect of grogs is something I am completely disinterested in.
  • 07:01 AM - Charlaquin quoted billd91 in post tail wags dog: streamers want to say 'aaargh' so we are getting a pirate adventure
    Hey, I know all the buzzwords too and if you think that you should be able to hang the title of grognard on anyone complaining about an edition change after so short a development cycle, well you go ahead and appropriate it all you want. But you may not get the same respect. Grognard isn’t a respectable title, and no one is trying to appropriate it. If you want to take pride in being a humbug, knock yourself out, but it’s not something people call you with the intent of being flattering. And again, 3e is nearly as old now as 1e was when 3e was new, so if you’re still thinking of it as “newfangled,” you might want to check a calendar. The funny thing about the way time works is that things that were new 20 years ago aren’t new any more.
  • 04:51 AM - Charlaquin quoted billd91 in post tail wags dog: streamers want to say 'aaargh' so we are getting a pirate adventure
    That would mean that 4e fans who prefer it to 5e are already grognards? Well, more specifically 4e fans who refuse to play 5e (of which I don’t think there are many - we grumble, but we still play 5e.) But yes. Sorry, some of us have higher standards when accepting whether a term is correctly applied or not. And that's not it. Right, hence my comment about “who cares about earning the respect of people who gatekeep a term meaning ‘stodgy and unwilling to change’ from people they feel aren’t stodgy and unwilling to change enough?”
  • 03:57 AM - Charlaquin quoted billd91 in post tail wags dog: streamers want to say 'aaargh' so we are getting a pirate adventure
    Not really, no. There wouldn't have ever been grognards in role playing if they didn't accept the new game ideas when coming over from wargames. Plus, wargames also sometimes get updated editions and, if they're good, they thrive. That’s just silly. Every new edition of every game loses some fans. Those lost fans become grognards. I’m not saying this is the only meaning of the term, I’m saying this is what it has meant in my experience. A person who plays an outdated edition of a game instead of the most current one. FWIW, it is the second most popular meaning of the term on urban dictionary, right after “hardcore wargamer.”
  • 03:41 AM - 3catcircus quoted billd91 in post tail wags dog: streamers want to say 'aaargh' so we are getting a pirate adventure
    Not really, no. There wouldn't have ever been grognards in role playing if they didn't accept the new game ideas when coming over from wargames. Plus, wargames also sometimes get updated editions and, if they're good, they thrive. I look at grognards (such as me) as people who were around in the early days and know obscure things like *why* game rules are the way they are, what the evolution of the game is and how it came to be that way, etc. Ask someone who started out playing D&D with 3ed why different classes have different hit dice and you probably won't get, for example, an answer that details that fighters get d10 hit die but in OD&D, they used the same hit die as the other classes (just more of them)...
  • 03:16 AM - 3catcircus quoted billd91 in post tail wags dog: streamers want to say 'aaargh' so we are getting a pirate adventure
    More appeal than pirates? That's like saying some product other than chocolate chip cookies could have been baked on that schedule had the chocolate chip cookies not been baked. Some people might like the alternative product better, but honestly, quite a few are going to like the offering being made too. Yep. Maybe quite a few will like, in this case, pirates. But the people who like pirates, if they are in the minority, shouldn't be allowed to dictate to the majority, who might, say, want vampires or dragons. He seems to be stating that streamers are a minority of all D&D players who seem to be dictating what WotC should be developing. The other side of that coin is that if no one *else* is speaking up, then only those who *are* are going to be listened to.

Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019

  • 08:23 PM - Jester David quoted billd91 in post Does Rope Trick Heal?
    The origin of the spell back in the 1e days isn't solely relevant considering the spell's evolution. Clearly with 1 hour/level starting in 3e, it becomes pretty effective for resting and healing for parties. While it has always had relevance for hiding from a passing threat, it's probably even more consistently useful for getting into a safe place to engage in some healing away from prying eyes. Right, but the spell isn’t 1 hour/ level anymore. And you can’t even cast it at a higher level to make it last eight hours. They didn’t seem interested in replicating its 3e uses. The designers probably looked at how it worked in all editions and tried to emulate its most classic implementation. Honestly, they were updating dozens of spells in a very short span of time. I doubt they gave secondary spells like that much attention, likely just doing a quick and dirty update, and instead focusing on previously problematic spells, game breaking spells, and the benchmark spells. We’ve probably given ...

Sunday, 30th December, 2018

  • 07:47 PM - Lanefan quoted billd91 in post Worlds of Design: When There's Too Many Magic Items
    This assumes that the magic item pricing actually reflects the item's utility value - 3e's system tried to do this but had some pretty notable failures (mainly every Big 6 item vs any situational item). 3e's item values were in some cases OK and in others completely out to lunch. Were I ever to run a 3e/PF game (highly unlikely!) I'd re-do item values from top to bottom before play began. 1e's item values aren't perfect either, but they're a bit closer to the mark overall than 3e. The way things generally run in the games I play in is we go by consensus. Someone proposes a few magic item assignments and we discuss what makes the most sense for the party as a whole. We eyeball things to make sure that nobody is being neglected, but if there are occasional imbalances because there are only items that make sense for one of the PCs, we're generally OK with it and work on balancing things in the long run. It helps that we've been playing together for years and trust each other as players, b...
  • 06:33 PM - FrogReaver quoted billd91 in post Does Rope Trick Heal?
    Is this a serious question? I couldn't believe it was a serious stance either.
  • 06:26 PM - Mistwell quoted billd91 in post Does Rope Trick Heal?
    Is this a serious question? Yes. TreantMonk has been on about this topic for years and I very much suspect Mike Mearls views the spell from this perspective too. The question is what purpose does this spell serve in the rules, rather than how do characters in the game view it.

Tuesday, 25th December, 2018

  • 06:38 PM - 5ekyu quoted billd91 in post DMs! Have you ever had a “boss encounter” turn into a cakewalk? What happened?
    It isn’t really any different. As I see it, they’re just elements of editing the game within the GM’s purview. But there are people out there who put an importance on the ‘integrity’ of the dice that borders on fetishistic.It's not the integrity of the dice, not at all. It's the integrity of the campaign. We agreed on the rules at the beginning and it did not include the GM changing the rules to let the players and their characters task roll successes or failures be jusrpt set aside by the GM when he prefers a different result. On the other hand, the GM having scenarios eith lotsa enemies in different places arriving at different times and making choices about who does what for what reasons is wholly within the agreed boundaries. But, for me, it's more about choices and it's far more than the final campaign climax cuz there are quite a few story climaxes thru a long campaign. If I accept that I can/will adjust at the end, last minute, when a single die toll or two is a game breaker then ...

Saturday, 15th December, 2018

  • 09:22 AM - Imaculata quoted billd91 in post Rate the Star Wars Movies
    We're going to have to agree to vehemently disagree on that point. Rey's ancestry being nobodies was a fantastic choice and I hope Abrams doesn't track back on it. It's about time one of the Force-using protagonists embodies the return of the Force to being the birthright of anybody and not just a Skywalker. My issue with it, is that it is no answer at all. The first movie sets up an expectation that there is a reason for Rey's powers... and then the conclusion to that plot hook is that there is no answer... I don't find that very compelling writing. It is a twist of a sort for sure... but was that really the best they could come up with? And this movie flipped the table each time. Suddenly we're out of our comfort zone and unhappy. (And then people complain about every Marvel movie being the same.) Sometimes when you flip the table, all you're left with is a mess. So a double Anakin who only had a mom? But... doesn't that just create more questions? (How? Why?) And it makes her a w...

Thursday, 13th December, 2018

  • 07:21 AM - 5ekyu quoted billd91 in post Skills used by players on other players.
    Notice also the page before it where there are other die rolling suggestions discussed, as well as page 174 of the Players Handbook which pretty much just highlights uncertainty. Given the variety of approaches mentioned, I'd still say the edition's pretty agnostic on the issue.Yup. PHB specifically provides for ability scores the option of just not making progress or some progress with setback. Also the part of the dmg there about consequence of failure is given context by the paragraph it finishes and the immediately following bullet point questions. The former puts it as a conclusion of examples of tasks too easy to fail. The following bullets spotlight the when to roll criteria as basically can succeed and can fail both being true - just stated as inelegantly as double negatives. No mention of consequences there at all. So, they provide three approaches and the middle ground is simply listed as one many use, but even it doesn't list consequences in its "if both are no" criteria. But i...
  • 07:21 AM - iserith quoted billd91 in post Skills used by players on other players.
    Notice also the page before it where there are other die rolling suggestions discussed, as well as page 174 of the Players Handbook which pretty much just highlights uncertainty. Given the variety of approaches mentioned, I'd still say the edition's pretty agnostic on the issue. I would say that the PHB and the DMG work together here which is why you will almost always see me quote both. And the methods described in the previous section are simply a matter of difference for the respective DMs as to what is uncertain and what is meaningful. Only one of those methods, however, is without potential drawbacks at least according to the DMG.
  • 06:37 AM - iserith quoted billd91 in post Skills used by players on other players.
    That's your take on it - but 5e seems pretty agnostic on that as an issue. The focus I'm seeing isn't on there being meaningful consequences for failure - just uncertainty in the outcome. See DMG, page 237: "Only call for a roll if there is a meaningful consequence of failure."
  • 04:29 AM - 5ekyu quoted billd91 in post Skills used by players on other players.
    Is it really necessary to have a consequence other than lack of success? Most things sort themselves out - fail a knowledge check, don't know the potential info; fail the detection check, don't detect the treasure or threat. Does there really need to be the risk of something more stacked onto that? I don't worry about the chorus of "Can I roll, too?" because I have all the characters in position to either know or detect the same thing make the check. Then I start with the lowest roll in giving out results of what they know/perceived/whatever.5e defines failure as either not making any,progress *or* some progress with setback... So you have solidly defined in the rules two outcomes for ability check failures the GM can call on as they see fit. I for one, mix them up a lot, some of both. So, pile on rolls can have risk applied and so the risk is present even if it doesn't happen. I dont follow the doctrine of only rolling when bad stuff might happen - given those two options presented in th...
  • 02:02 AM - iserith quoted billd91 in post Skills used by players on other players.
    Is it really necessary to have a consequence other than lack of success? Most things sort themselves out - fail a knowledge check, don't know the potential info; fail the detection check, don't detect the treasure or threat. Does there really need to be the risk of something more stacked onto that? I don't worry about the chorus of "Can I roll, too?" because I have all the characters in position to either know or detect the same thing make the check. Then I start with the lowest roll in giving out results of what they know/perceived/whatever. There needs to be a meaningful consequence of failure in order for there to be an ability check because that's one of the two criteria by which the DM calls for a roll. It's up to the DM to decide what that means in context though, so reasonable people can disagree on what is or isn't meaningful in the abstract.


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