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Thursday, 16th November, 2017

  • 11:04 AM - Hussar mentioned prosfilaes in post The Most Important Design Aspect of Hobby RPGs Is The Pure Humanoid Avatar
    Yeah, I'm not really convinced that we must play humanoid avatars in order to properly role play. I've played far too many SF games to think that's true. While D&D is rooted in the idea that your PC will (most likely anyway) be pretty close to humanoid, even within that general outline, there's a huge amount of variance. As prosfilaes says, the idea that it's somehow easier to role play a century old elf, or a millennia old vampire than a hydra isn't really borne out in play. I remember a neat anecdote in Dragon years ago talking about how the writer played a Darkmantle PC with a 2 Int. He would only speak in two word sentences. "Door?" "Not door." That sort of thing. The whole point of roleplay is to make the attempt to place yourself in that persona and try to make it as believable as possible.

Saturday, 11th November, 2017

  • 06:22 AM - pemerton mentioned prosfilaes in post Why D&D is not (just) Tolkien
    ...ource management figures barely at all in Conan stories. D&D mechanics are all about shorter, fast paced adventures and larger than life heroes. Those are things that clearly support exactly what he said because that was most assured not how Tolkien wrote, but match Liber, Howard, et all. The overwhelming majority of D&D adventures were completed in a couple sessions that took from a day to maybe a week or so to completeóthe same amount of time as most of the individual stories of Elric, Fafhrd, and Conan. If you can only come up with one example from several authors and dozens of stories that do fit that pace, then it doesnít exactly support your position.Hour of the Dragon is another REH Conan story that unfolds over a significant period of time. A Witch Shall be Born is another. This is from memory - I haven't gone back to look over them to see how many others fit this description. (The Scarlet Citadel happens over multiple weeks, but is not as extended as the others I and prosfilaes mentioned.) The quote you posted from Gygax didn't use the phrase "fast paced", but if he did use that phrase I would assume him to be talking about the writing rather than the rate of passage of ingame events. REH's writing is manifestly more fast-paced than Tolkien's. Presumably Gygax would have agreed with Moorcock's criticism of JRRT in "Epic Pooh". Compared to the creatures Conan, Fafhrd, The Grey Mouser, and Elric were fighting on a regular basis, Tolkien characters were very much not the larger than life epic heroes. REH's Conan fights humans, giant snakes, the occasional undead wizard, were-hyenas, living statutes, and the odd abomination from another dimension (eg the demon in Phoenix on the Sword, the plant with its roots in hell in The Scarlet Citadel). JRRT's characters fight orcs (ie humans in funny make-up), worgs (comparable to were-hyenas, I guess), trolls (comparable to living statues, I would say), some ancient undead kings, and ancient abominations like Shelob...

Sunday, 28th May, 2017

  • 12:30 PM - Libramarian mentioned prosfilaes in post Consequence and Reward in RPGs
    No one is denying that it existed though. We know that it existed. What's being denied is that this was the only way that games were played back in the day and that now we only game to participate, rather than be challenged. You (and shidaku and prosfilaes) were in several posts pursuing the claim that classic gamist D&D doesn't exist as an internally consistent and functional way to play. As I said earlier classic D&D has many interesting analogies with the game of poker, which I hope you agree has a significant skill component. The skills stressed can broadly be called risk management and adaptability. If you turtle, you're jeered by the other players and you get fewer XPs and magic items. But if you're rash, you bust and have to start over. You play the hand you're dealt as best you can to tilt the odds in your favor. This involves a little bit of mathematical calculation, metagame knowledge, a feel for the fantasy subgenre informing the game, reading the DM and coolness under pressure. It certainly feels challenging and some are certainly better at it than others. The purpose of randomness in D&D is just as it is in other games, to present the players with unexpected situations so they have to pay attention and adapt ra...

Sunday, 2nd November, 2014

  • 11:45 AM - Hussar mentioned prosfilaes in post Chess is not an RPG: The Illusion of Game Balance
    Here's a thought I think nobody has come upon... Just about every RPG has a section at the front - "What is an RPG?" This is to explain to the really new, uninformed player what the thing is about. Why aren't we referencing those in this discussion? I referred to this several times upthread and got told by prosfilaes that the forewords to RPG's are meaningless.

Tuesday, 28th October, 2014

  • 12:46 AM - Hussar mentioned prosfilaes in post Chess is not an RPG: The Illusion of Game Balance
    ...age40#ixzz3HOJmQ01w I'm not sure that it serves no practical purpose. For example, for all the problems with Forge criticism, it has given people a set of tools with which to talk about RPG's. Now, I'm not saying that Forgisms are right or they should be taken as gospel. Of course they shouldn't. But, to simply dismiss it as "academic" is a disservice as well. When Robin Laws comes along and talks about the different kinds of players you find around an RPG table, that's no different. No one is 100% one kind of player or another, but, it is useful, both as a self reflexive tool and as a means for resolving table issues, to be able to point to some fairly commonly accepted definitions of play style and talk about them. I think it's very useful to have these sorts of classification discussions. It forces people to examine pre-conceptions about different games. In particular, it can really shine light on why a game might be better or worse at some kinds of activities. prosfilaes - why wouldn't Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea be considered Science Fiction. It's got all the basic themes right there - an examination of how man fits in with his world through technology. That's fundamental SF right there. To be fair, some of the really early SF, particularly the Pulp stuff, is kind of its own thing. Much of it is simply an adventure story with some ray guns and space ships tossed on. None of the SF themes are there. Compare to H. G. Wells, where, even though it's very negative towards science (after all, the only thing that saves mankind is a microbe), it's still a story about what it means to be human in the face of the alien. Rolling this back around to RPG's, you cannot ignore the text of the game if you are going to classify it. I don't trust forewords to accurately reflect how the game is being played, or even necessarily how the game is designed to be played. Read more:

Tuesday, 14th October, 2014

  • 01:50 AM - pemerton mentioned prosfilaes in post Supplemental books: Why the compulsion to buy and use, but complain about it?
    The difference in positions is really about what happens when the limits are reached - when a topic is hit at which no more compromise is possible. My view is that there really is no such point. If the group is committed to gaming together - which, as prosfilaes has emphasised, is a simple fact of the matter for many groups - then compromise will have to be achieved. Much like, if a group is committed to going to the movies together, then compromise will have to be achieved. If there are individuals who aren't committed to the group, then of course they can just walk. But then, as prosfilaes and Hussar have observed, when they walk they might take others with them. If you treat the choice to game as basically a transaction among anonymous games (eg as might be the case at a convention or in a club), with no overriding obligations of participation in a collective endeavour, then you have no basis for complaining about "player revolts" or similar activities. this is the sort of discussions that should be going on around every gaming table. <snip> I look at threads like this and wonder why these sorts of issues aren't being discussed in rule books. We spend thirty pages detailing different ways of sticking a sword in someone, bu...

Monday, 6th October, 2014

  • 06:51 AM - pming mentioned prosfilaes in post Prestige classes in Next?
    Hiya. Well, prosfilaes and GMforPowergamers, I don't think the DM handled it correctly then. The player should give the DM a rough outline of his characters current goals. If/when they change, the player needs to inform the DM. It is the DM's job to keep notes on this kind of thing (nobody said DM'ing is easy...contrary to popular 3.x/PF/4e belief, the DM needs to do a LOT of behind the scenes prep to keep a well run and interesting campaign...just flinging dice for monsters is simply not going to cut it). As for "teachers and training", that seems to be a DM fault. In the example GMforPowergamers gave, everyone at the table agreed to something (teacher/special training), and then added what I can only see as being convoluted or extensive rules for 'time spent in training'. Obviously they didn't work for that game (or the next)...but the old saying "dont' throw the baby out with the bathwater" comes to mind. Maybe a reduction in the mechanical rules would have sufficed. Maybe letting this "training" happe...

Saturday, 4th October, 2014

  • 05:22 AM - pemerton mentioned prosfilaes in post Does RAW have a place in 5e?
    ...ear pressed against the turf. . . . At last he rose, and now his friends could see his face: it was pale and drawn, and his look was troubled. "The rumour of the earth is dim and confused," he said. "Nothing walks upon if for many miles about us. Faint and far are the feet of our enemies. But loud are the hoofs of the horses. . . . [T]hey are drawing ever further from us, riding northward. I wonder what is happening in this land!" Also on pp 270-71: If a man must needs walk in sight of the Black Gate, or tread the deadly flowers of Morgul Vale, then perils he will have. I, too, despaired at last, and I began my homeward journey. And then, by fortune, I came suddenly on what I sought: the maks of soft feet beside a muddy pool. But now the trail was fresh and swift . . . Along the skirts of the Dead Marshes I followed it, and then I had him. Aragorn seems like he could track someone across cobblestones! There is also a broader issue here, similar to one that KarinsDad, prosfilaes and I are discussing. Aragorn notes that "by fortune" he came upon Gollum's trail. In a novel, it is the author who gets to dictate strokes of fortune. What about in an RPG? I think KarinsDad is expressing a view where it is the GM who gets to decide whether or not the player benefits from fortune (eg the GM decides, in advance of any trackig roll, whether or not a neckerchief has been dropped). The "say yes or roll the dice" approach allows the player to exercise control over such fortune, in part by rolling the dice. So part of building up your PCs tracking skill is making it more likely that, when you try and track, you will have the fortune to come upon clear signs of passage. As I've said, a good DMG would discuss the various approaches and the different sorts of affects that they have on gameplay, and how the rules of the game can be deployed in these various ways.

Friday, 3rd October, 2014

  • 10:34 AM - pemerton mentioned prosfilaes in post Does RAW have a place in 5e?
    ...les adjudication issue, since, even by RAW, there was no way that the player could have detected the bomb. KarinsDad simply set up a Kobayashi Maru scenario and ran with it. It's a rules issue in the sense that the player thought that he was entitled to a dice roll in that situation. He's not. That's a DM adjudication. "When the rule is used" is a DM ruling issue, just like "how the rule is used".I think it both game expectations and rules. How action declaration should be handled is undoubtedly a rules issue, but it is not a rules issue very often discussed in D&D rulebooks, and expectations vary very widely across the player base. For instance, you can see KarinsDad here arguing that the GM has the authority to "say no" to an action declaration without explaining why (in terms of backstory) or even making it clear that the PC has failed (the player in this scenario certainly didn't know that there was a bomb his PC had failed to discover). My inclinations lean strongly towards prosfilaes suggestion of say "yes" or roll the dice. I think this is consistent with Moldvay, who says "There is always a chance". But applying this maxim doesn't settle the issue. There's still the need for a setting of DCs (I favour 4e's methodology over Moldvay's, and obviously - given they're both D&D methods - D&D has room for either approach). And, even more importantly for KarinsDad's example, there's the methodology for framing action declarations. For instance, it seems that the player in question believed he was framing an action "I make sure the spaceship is safe", and KarinsDad believed that, relative to the threats facing the ship, the player didn't have adequate resources to frame such a declaration (eg no X-Ray vision), but instead of expressly making this metagame issue clear he finessed it via ingame fiction ("You look around and don't find anything dangerous") and then went on with his narration. I think a really good DMG would make clear all these different options and...

Thursday, 11th September, 2014

  • 07:10 PM - Balesir mentioned prosfilaes in post What will happen to 4th edition?
    Wow, not sure I would agree with this at all... So you're saying that the changes to OD&D to get AD&D were fairly small, let's just say I think they are fairly different games but I can accept that you disagree. As someone who ran D&D for a while with the AD&D Monster Manual (because it came out first) alongside the OD&D booklets, then added the PHB (next printed) and, finally, the DMG (just before moving on from D&D altogether for a bit), it should be no surprise that I agree with prosfilaes. AD&D was basically a dressed up OD&D (note - OD&D, not Basic). Also weren't most of the first rpg's you're speaking of created as a reaction to be "not D&D" in some way?? I don't think they were, no. They were created to "rectify" a range of perceived flaws in D&D, which naturally made them somewhat different, but I don't think merely making "something different from D&D" was a design aim for any of the early designers, though I may be wrong as I haven't quizzed them on this. I don't think you can have a base game that started the hobby and then claim it didn't change itself from it's beginnings as much as games that were actively seeking to distance themselves from it... the logic in that comparison seems slightly flawed. I think the point about "innovation" may be slightly misdescribed. I don't see that D&D has ever been particularly innovative in the sense of "adding something new to the whole field of roleplaying" since it was first published. What it has tended to do, h...

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Saturday, 3rd March, 2018

  • 04:55 AM - lkj quoted prosfilaes in post [UPDATED] Most D&D Players Prefer Humans - Without Feats!
    It's expensive to run polls, and this came from the lead developer, not market research. Maybe they have taken effort to control for sampling bias, but maybe they just pulled some numbers out of the database and tossed them out there to generate press and discussion. I don't know if they're doing serious market research on D&D at this level. Sure. We agree that we don't know. AD
  • 02:56 AM - Azzy quoted prosfilaes in post [UPDATED] Most D&D Players Prefer Humans - Without Feats!
    It's expensive to run polls, and this came from the lead developer, not market research. And you know that the lead developer isn't using data from market research how?
  • 01:45 AM - lkj quoted prosfilaes in post [UPDATED] Most D&D Players Prefer Humans - Without Feats!
    Do you want to propose some other way they could have reached a random sample of D&D players? Or are you claiming they did use a polling firm, which I did not rule out, even if I consider it highly unlikely? For a random sample of D&D players, they need some way to reach the D&D player who does not interact with WotC online or through Adventure League. Since the PHB doesn't have a registration card, they have no way of knowing who might be playing D&D except by random polling. And since I'm on a crazy posting kick-- There are ways to model and control for sampling bias. I obviously don't know how they do their analyses or what ancillary data they take to detect bias (none of us do). But I'd be very surprised if a company doing market research would just ignore such bias. It's against their interest to do so. AD
  • 12:58 AM - Morrus quoted prosfilaes in post [UPDATED] Most D&D Players Prefer Humans - Without Feats!
    Yes, yes, I can know. If you claim that "Most D&D players prefer..." then "an optimally provisioned statistical sample" can only come from a random sample of D&D players, including groups that are playing in home games. The only way to get that random sample is to get a random sample of people and survey the D&D players; otherwise, whatever source you have is going to be a biased sample. Unless WotC is using polling firms, there's no way they could possibly reach a random sample of D&D players. Thatís not knowing. Thatís speculating. You have no information whatsoever about this data, or how it was gathered. You donít even have a hint.

Friday, 2nd March, 2018

  • 11:53 PM - Morrus quoted prosfilaes in post [UPDATED] Most D&amp;D Players Prefer Humans - Without Feats!
    We know that how this data was acquired was not from an optimally provisioned statistical sample, either, unless WotC has hired a polling firm to cold-call people and ask about their D&D characters, and even that has its problems. You know nothing of the sort. Thereís no way you can know. The only thing you know, the one single thing you know, is that Crawford tweeted some info. Thatís all you know. Well, you probably know he wonít do it again now.
  • 04:03 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted prosfilaes in post [UPDATED] Most D&D Players Prefer Humans - Without Feats!
    Okay, but that type of decades of data is incredibly hard to integrate. As people have pointed out, he can't have decades of data on the feat question, since all non-5E editions have either required feats or not included them, and it gets complicated about how to integrate information about low-level characters into that feat data. I trust the race data more, but it's still pretty rough, especially if it's from decades of data. And an important question is what does it mean for us, and it's hard to say without some more details. That's information that could come from more detail about the data; it's possible D&D has a lot of new, short-term players that play humans, and this applies mainly to them. I think these are very good points, particularly about not differentiating segments of players. I also question how good the analyses they do are. I have no insight into their data or internal processes, of course, but speaking as someone in the profession of statistics I've not been super impressed...

Saturday, 24th February, 2018

  • 08:22 PM - aramis erak quoted prosfilaes in post News Digest: New D&D Licensed Products, Steve Jackson Games Annual Report and New Products, International Tabletop Day, and more!
    I think a lot of PoD stuff will be out there. I also don't think the line will be as neat as "core rule books"; Paizo will still be printing adventure paths, whereas a lot of core rule books are already PDF only. Color books on 8.5x11 or A4 paper are really awkward to use in PDF form, so I suspect that's going to be part of the dividing line; if they have enough money to print in full color, they're likely to continue printing in full color. Is that what they're trying to do? I'm expecting more of a fancy reprint for RPG fans who like cool reprints. Include a bunch of stuff, add a bunch of notes, etc. Any way, if they set up the Kickstarter right, I suspect they won't lose money on it, and what's being your own boss for if not for being able to do vanity projects? The announced (but not yet set up) KS plan is to do the boardgame side as a KS, and see how it goes, plus PDF reprints of those items SJ has rights to.
  • 12:03 AM - Hussar quoted prosfilaes in post [UPDATED] DM's Guild No Longer Allows Creator Logos On Product Covers
    First place, if you want to say Pathfinder is D&D, then you're changing the rules of the game. Then I have to wonder if MacOS X really is different from Windows; the difference between Windows 1 (or even 3.1) and 10 is far greater than the differences between Windows 10 and MacOS X. We're looking at fairly classic WIMP (windows, icons, mouse pointer) interfaces either way, with Windows 8 being the outlier. Even without that question, Windows has never really been threatened by Macs. Sure, 10, 20% of the population may use alternate operating systems, but it's been the top of the heap since Windows 3.1. If you include MS-DOS, it's been there since the dominance of the IBM PC around 1984. The only thing that's threatening Windows dominance is if you count smartphone OSes, in which Android is beating it. So actually I think the comparison between Windows and D&D is pretty close. True. I'd say the comparison between Windows and D&D is pretty close. But, the original comparison was Apple ph...

Friday, 23rd February, 2018

  • 07:01 AM - Wallraven quoted prosfilaes in post [UPDATED] DM's Guild No Longer Allows Creator Logos On Product Covers
    The idea that there is any real competition in the RPG market is kinda ignoring history. There's D&D and then there's everyone else. You could use that argument against Apple fans, too. BlackBerry fans probably did. I don't think Hasbro is so complacent about the matter. Apple was very close to going bankrupt in the 90s, before Microsoft bailed them out...
  • 06:05 AM - Earth2Carnifex quoted prosfilaes in post News Digest: New D&D Licensed Products, Steve Jackson Games Annual Report and New Products, International Tabletop Day, and more!
    Is that what they're trying to do? I'm expecting more of a fancy reprint for RPG fans who like cool reprints. Include a bunch of stuff, add a bunch of notes, etc. Any way, if they set up the Kickstarter right, I suspect they won't lose money on it, and what's being your own boss for if not for being able to do vanity projects? I was just speculating, at this point no one but Steve Jackson and his inner circle know what he is thinking, but if I were him, in todays market, I would definitely be thinking about an RPG that has a low cost to entry and a nice gentle learning curve, which sounds a lot like TFT and nothing like GURPS.

Saturday, 17th February, 2018

  • 07:36 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted prosfilaes in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    And searching for a Skill Challenge leads me to . Now I would define solving a mystery as being something that the players might do by asking the right questions, no skill check needed; by finding the right places to apply skills in ways that have low difficulty; or by ridiculous DC checks against people who wouldn't talk unless they've been persuaded by the best diplomat and finding minute evidence in areas that have scoured clean. How you boil that down to two numbers and claim to be fiction-connected, I'm not sure. I don't think his math is actually super RELEVANT. He is correct, to an extent, in math terms, but I'd first note that this is an OLD article and the updates to the SC system continued long after it was written, so all the DCs changed again (and their rate of change changed too), the +5 for using a skill disappeared, and a few other things. Now, those alone would only move you around on his chart, but the ...

Friday, 16th February, 2018

  • 02:23 AM - pemerton quoted prosfilaes in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    No, this is a "Level 7 Complexity 5" skill challenge. This is not a "Level 7 Complexity 5" with a note that a failed Endurance check to cross The Barrens, a PC loses a healing surge. You can make anything work with enough kludges like that, but at the same time, you're making it more complex and less predictable.I'm not sure what your point is. You said that a creature stat block introduces fiction. And I replied that the same is true of a skill challenge "stat block", which includes (eg) notes on difficulties of various actions that might be attempted, consequences for failure (like the one I mentioned), etc. And I'm not sure why you describe notes on consequences as a "kludge" - this is a core part of the system (see 4e DMG p 76, and further elaboration in the DMG2).

Thursday, 15th February, 2018

  • 09:53 AM - pemerton quoted prosfilaes in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    So, exactly the same as real life but with "the world" replaced by "the GM"? In real life you can try and try to find foot prints all you want, but if they aren't there, they aren't there.The absence of foot prints is a result of causal processes that actually took place in the world (eg the person didn't go there; or the earth was very hard; or etc, etc). The absence of foot prints in a RPG mystery resolved in a "hidden backstory" style is because the GM decided not to author any such element of the fiction. Playing a game and having the outcomes of my moves stipulated by another participant is not remotely the same thing as actually carrying out an investigation. It may make for good or bad game design and game play to give a participant such a power of stipulation. But comparing it to the reality of engaging with an independently and objectively-existing world gets us nowhere towards considering those matters. So tossing questions at someone and getting responses back is totally diff...
  • 09:44 AM - pemerton quoted prosfilaes in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    And searching for a Skill Challenge leads me to . Well, this statement at the end of the post you quoted is mistaken: "combat isn't an all-or-nothing situation. Careful strategy can massively swing the results. A single failure to hit is usually irrelevant. The characters can trade daily powers and action points to help. It's possible to recover from a bad situation. None of this is present in the skill challenge system. It's all or nothing." A skill challenge isn't all or nothing - the players might lose the challenge overall, but make some important change in the fiction on the way through. And a skill challenge does permit the expenditure of resources to help - this is discussed in the DMG and further elaborated in the DMG 2 - which is one way of managing the need for more successes relative to failures in a more complex challenge. (And as AbdulAlhazred has already indicated, the RC has further information and a...
  • 07:58 AM - aramis erak quoted prosfilaes in post So what exactly is the root cause of the D&D rules' staying power?
    Most of the reviews of the original D&D have implied that calling it a public beta test might be generous, that nobody could take the original books and play without having played with someone else and having learned all the things not written down. I don't exactly doubt the 60-70% figure as a figure useful for business majors. I'm just unconvinced that it means a whole lot without a lot of understanding of what's being counted and what isn't. Even when it does... Rifts vs Torg. Rifts 1990 for both. Rifts was scheduled for later, but got rushed out the door, and took a lead. Meanwhile, Torg was 3 months late, and many thought it derivative of Rifts, despite the adverts starting earlier. They're both "invading Realities" settings, but Torg is the one that suffered despite higher production quality and a more sensible approach to the invasion of alternate realities.
  • 06:14 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted prosfilaes in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Color me unexcited. It doesn't even feel like a game at that point. I don't want to leave the fiction open; I want to entangle it in the rules. Clue/Cluedo is quite simplistic, but "by a process of elimination, find the who, how and where" is way more exciting than "make a series of fiction-disconnected dice rolls". Look at D&D combat, of just about any edition; there's a host of complex decisions to make. If an ogre and goblin attack the party, do you try and bring down the ogre first to stop him from doing more damage, or do you take out the goblin quickly to avoid having to worry about him? Every good game is filled with options that interact with each other in complex ways and the odds on each option, especially in the long run, are not clear. Then you completely failed to understand what the point of a Skill Challenge is. Where do you get the idea that it is 'a series of fiction-disconnected dice rolls", that is THE EXACT OPPOSITE of what an SC is. The whole point of it is there's a plot an...
  • 04:57 AM - tomBitonti quoted prosfilaes in post So what exactly is the root cause of the D&D rules' staying power?
    I'm sure other games designed by other folks did come up with many of these elements. I can't believe there's no war game pre-D&D where units have individual hit counts. There are war games pre-D&D where units are of different classes. The way it came out would have been much different, but D&D is not the one true origin for many of these things, especially outside the RPG world. Iím vaguely remembering reading that a key differentiator of D&D was the shift from units to individuals. I didnít think the assignment of numerical values was very new, nor the idea of class ó which maps pretty well to type. Applying HP, which started as a statistical measure of a unit, to individuals, seems integral to the transition. Advancement feels like the difference between veteran and non-veteran units, and not very new. The experience system does seem new. Thx! TomB
  • 02:57 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted prosfilaes in post So what exactly is the root cause of the D&D rules' staying power?
    The N1500 (released 1972) was a tape-based machine that used a format called VCR, as linked above, not to be confused with VHS or Betamax. That clearly predates Betamax from 1975. It did beat the Sony...and it was ďnot ready for primetime: The Philips VCR system was only marketed in the U.K., mainland Europe, Australia and South Africa. In mid-1977, Philips announced they were considering distribution of the format in North America, and it was test marketed for several months. Because the format was initially designed only for use with the 625-line 50 Hz PAL system, VCR units had to be modified in order to work with the 60 Hz NTSC system. Unfortunately, for mechanical and electronic reasons, the tape speed had to be increased by 20%, which resulted in a 60-minute PAL tape running for 50 minutes in a NTSC machine. DuPont announced a thinner videotape formulation that would allow a 60-minute NTSC VCR tape (and roughly 70 minutes in PAL), but the tape was even less reliable than previous form...
  • 02:33 AM - shidaku quoted prosfilaes in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    No, WH40K is grim-dark. If you told me we were doing Pathfinder, but with differences on the level of Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed, I'd be thrilled. The whole Tolkien-pastiche/Greyhawk/FR thing is getting tired for me; "our gnomes are eight feet tall and launched the last dwarf into spaaaace" would get me to clear my schedule in a heartbeat to play. Oh yeah. But that's what I mean, a Pathfinder game can do this. A WH40K really can't get rid of the grimdark. You can certainly choose not to take the grimdark to 11, but it's still gonna be a little grimdark. I see there's a problem, but it looks like the DM never even really tried to produce a player-managable form of the world, or at least failed. The fact they have so much material, likely not meant for player eyes, seems neither here nor there. Yeah, I'd be fairly happy at this point if we had even gotten a 10-page paper documenting major kingdoms, people's and history.
  • 02:18 AM - hawkeyefan quoted prosfilaes in post So what exactly is the root cause of the D&D rules' staying power?
    OED1, volume 3, from the 19th century, gives one meaning of class as "A number of individuals (persons or things) possessing common attributes, and grouped together under a general or 'class' name; a kind, sort or division. (Now the leading sense)" with a quote dating from the 17th century. Gygax neither invented the label "class" nor gave it a meaning much different than the one it had. I'm sure other games designed by other folks did come up with many of these elements. I can't believe there's no war game pre-D&D where units have individual hit counts. There are war games pre-D&D where units are of different classes. The way it came out would have been much different, but D&D is not the one true origin for many of these things, especially outside the RPG world. Careers and archetypes are entirely reasonable tools for any game that has human characters. If you're looking in the light of D&D, it's easy to see those as copies of D&D; then again, if I handed a D&D 5 PHB to someone f...

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