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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 06:54 AM
    I was wondering if the Monster Vault or something I didnt have had some more formal mechanics for it. Minionizing an existing monster seems pretty simple increase its level by 5 or 6 give it half damage but static instead of a roll, remove special affects that complicate or create hindrances but retain movement ones add minion mechanic and..... If the creature was an elite you might make it a...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 06:37 AM
    Maximum is how many uses you can give to a single target
    8 replies | 176 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 06:36 AM
    As many as you like in the area if you have enough uses to expend I watched the video and I am pretty sure its a use expended per allly affected. And both Mearls chart and the one in the pdf are 2 uses at level 3. Unless I am seeing a cached version or something. It is table controlled based on level not equal to level.
    8 replies | 176 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 06:28 AM
    The chaos factor was definitely something I experienced...
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 05:55 AM
    2 uses total a day at level 3 each use confers 2D10 to one ally and expends one use, if I am understanding it correctly at level 3 and 2 it is 4D10 no matter what the party size is. "You can grant this benefit to yourself and as many allies as you wish in your focus, but you cannot expend more uses than you currently have." This class lacks action surge - Mearls sublass of fighter...
    8 replies | 176 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Today, 05:51 AM
    There are 2 ways you can mean this. Do you mean you want guidelines for making a swarm OF monsters of some sort? Or do you mean you want to change an existing stat block to represent a swarm? (IE reskinning with the added variation of including the swarm keyword).
    3 replies | 90 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Today, 05:42 AM
    This is why I say that you should, in that case, resolve things with Chainmail (or one of any number of other fine mass combat systems which have been published over the years). 4e's system is designed for small scale tactical combat between heroes, with swarms are sort of a tactical edge-case that adds a bit of variety (a monster that takes damage a bit differently and has a couple oddball...
    38 replies | 1086 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 04:53 AM
    Here is the transcription of the Happy Fun Hour design. Mearles video actually did mentioned building a Fighting style that felt Warlord Like but he didnt present one. https://thinkdm.wordpress.com/hfh/warlord-fighter But I actually thought of that.
    8 replies | 176 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 04:50 AM
    It is impressively presented isnt it. But I cannot honestly claim it as mine. Mearles was using the spell casting of the Eldritch knight and converting it to raw numbers using the table in the DMG as the basis for balancing his Tacticians Insight ability basically the numbers are his (and was built on top of the fighter class) hence where the attacks came in... It looks like this gave up...
    8 replies | 176 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 04:22 AM
    Skill challenges are probably my personal favorite interaction with this.... but there is a part of me that thinks playing it out in terms of explicit swarms might be interesting. 4e is already very tactical and Elite and Solo Swarms etc might make sense too. What happens when large adversarial swarms overlap. partially ;)
    38 replies | 1086 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 04:16 AM
    Nods... Figured it was invoking your thoughts enough to mention ;) Of note many of the things that 2e brought to the table a lot of people seemed to be houseruling in some sense it felt like the game was changing that direction off camera so to speak...the official rules were catching up, and generally speaking I thought it looked like a "good thing".
    21 replies | 645 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Today, 04:12 AM
    I still think that a battle is most effectively, in 4e terms, an 'adventure' (or maybe an SC if its not as important). Various things happen, but its ENTIRELY PC-centric. If the PCs direct units in battle, then they make some checks, if they fight, they make some checks, etc. I wouldn't really bother with giving units of 100's of creatures combat stats. Certainly some unique enemies might show up...
    38 replies | 1086 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Today, 04:06 AM
    Oh, well, in the context of being on the PLAYERS side, then that is a whole different analysis. The covering fire will be seen as a 'last ditch maneuver' sort of thing that the players will perhaps forget, but may nevertheless get something out of, worst case a futile attempt to avoid some damage. The shields are still kind of meh, but again are one of those sort of GOOJFC things. Light cognitive...
    151 replies | 4973 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 04:05 AM
    My current plan is to build up a bunch of swarms integrate the ideas with martial practices and alongside various martial controller builds and subclasses make my own Martial Power III. does that count ;) Marshalling Troops effectively let you hire troops for cheaper than normal and prices will be integrated with skill challenge and cost scenarios. (and comparable to rituals) Martial...
    38 replies | 1086 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Today, 03:43 AM
    In terms of (basically a layered companion character on top of the PC's portfolio) PC deployment, I think you're missing their context in terms of how they hook into the primary objective. 1) The primary objective overall is to (a) get into the mother ship (1000 feet up) and (b) dispatch the Far Realm aliens and their temporal machinations. In order to get 1000 feet up, you need to be...
    151 replies | 4973 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Today, 03:01 AM
    Didn't see this thread. I mentioned it in my thread (and elsewhere) that my thoughts on the primary changes from 1e and Basic/Expert to 2e weren't about rules organization, classes, bending the knee to mainstream outrage et al. There were a few very specific things that changed the culture of D&D play that were contemporary zeitgeist coinciding with (not coincidentally) 2e rules and ethos...
    21 replies | 645 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Today, 02:55 AM
    I wouldn't even consider these hoverpods a threat, given their damage output, at this level. 2d8+7, twice per round, meh. Ignore them! Or just pick them up in area fire and eventually they'll be crisped. They seem kinda uninteresting really. This is something that I have a problem with in some 4e monster design: Lasers - too weak to make an impression at this level, the actual damage...
    151 replies | 4973 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 02:29 AM
    Manbearcat has been making that argument over much more dramatic rules distinctions in later games and how things like NOT having save or dies or a presented timeclock based on wandering monsters and YES not having gold for experience points all generate different experiences.
    21 replies | 645 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 02:12 AM
    sure if you like
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 02:10 AM
    thanson02 I do not recollect having any problems but I basically installed it to a non-programs directory and as admin
    166 replies | 17884 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:24 PM
    Without understanding the story you have in mind, I can't really comment on this, but to me damage resistance and draconic language proficiency are more evocative of dragonborn's draconic heritage than darkvision. The default story of the pride and self-sufficiency of dragonborn clans doesn't evoke any particular connection with darkness. Then why elves? Why not take darkvison away from...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:10 PM
    That makes sense to me. I'd throw History in there with Dungeoneering and Endurance.
    151 replies | 4973 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:13 AM
    Garthanos started a thread A Marshal for 5e
    I think I have decided I rather like the Warlord as a Fighter Subclass it hearkens back to the 2e Warrior Lord descriptions of the fighter (The 2e fighter very much desscribed the fighter as both Weaponmaster and Tactician). So I am not sure about this though it does evoke rather strongly both the 4e Warlord along with using Mearls happy fun hour: subclass as a starting point. ...
    8 replies | 176 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:08 AM
    When interacting with temporal effects I tend to think of History skills to represent how well one is seated and aware of the "now" vs the "then" ,
    151 replies | 4973 view(s)
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  • Nemesis Destiny's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:05 AM
    Yes, we did those hacks in the runup to 3e, as suggested by WotC. One of our players was following development and found a blog or similar detailing how one would do so, and we did. Never looked back. We used many of those books. The blue ones, the green ones, and the hardcover black ones, as well as all the brown ones we could get our hands on. We have considered playing 2e again, but it...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:44 AM
    I managed to get it to install fairly recently
    166 replies | 17884 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:41 AM
    Flanking was a rule all the way back to 1e and a +2 unless you hit the sweet spot of being behind the enemy. (that would be +4) I am considering using something closer to the 1e version and allow a skill check when you have someone flanked to increase it to advantage. Skills used might be athletics, stealth, acrobatics, insite or deception. or maybe even intimidation to give your ally...
    33 replies | 8339 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:49 AM
    Forgot to handle this. In 4e, I would handle the localized Temporal issues caused by the Time Reaper with the Disease/Condition Track: Temporal Anomaly Attack: +25 vs Will when first entering the localized effect. Stage 0: The target recovers. Stage 1: The target's speed is no longer reduced and its penalty to defenses is -1 instead of -2. Stage 2: Initial Effect: The target's speed...
    151 replies | 4973 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:47 AM
    I guess I am really looking for methods to convert a monster into a swarm...
    3 replies | 90 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:17 AM
    Could have sworn that I had seen this enumerated some where.... or did I imagine it.
    3 replies | 90 view(s)
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  • Nemesis Destiny's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:00 AM
    I don't have a ton of experience with published adventures in ANY edition. Most of the 2e games I was a part of were *very* homebrew. I tried running a few when I DMed, but I agree with your assessment, so mostly went homebrew myself, and have continued ever since. I'll steal a short thing here and there, but largely do my own thing. Maybe that's why I don't "get" the reverence for "classic"...
    21 replies | 645 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:27 AM
    I'm a child of the nineties. I look fondly towards stuff like Friends, Seinfield, Sky Dancers, the Dreamstone, and the like. Granted, I'm not that fond of the prequels, but being that fond of Star Wars after the 80's is not really feasible. The OT was groundbreaking and highly influential, but that is the problem, everything made after the OT is heavily influenced by it, where once it was a...
    126 replies | 2264 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:34 AM
    You are basically describing me. n_n In a way I think that is the worst problem of the new trilogy, it doesn't seem to pander enough to children.
    126 replies | 2264 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 09:47 PM
    What you seem to be describing is that D&D is generally not played in director stance. You control the decisions and actions of your character only. You don't control aspects of the environment or other characters. Being grappled by another character or having another character successfully hidden from you are things outside of your character and therefore not under your control as a player. What...
    484 replies | 9021 view(s)
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  • Nemesis Destiny's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 09:25 PM
    For what its worth, I still use IE on Win10 and it works fine, when the tools aren't offline because they "accidentally" unplugged the computer in the basement that holds the 4e tools. Win+R iexplore.exe Works like a charm.
    88 replies | 23322 view(s)
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  • Nemesis Destiny's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 09:15 PM
    I always get terrified when the compendium breaks that this is *it* and they've switched it off for good, and I missed the official press release. How about "no" and you should be lucky you continue to get my sub money, WotC. Maybe make a product I like again, and I'll continue buying it. lol
    88 replies | 23322 view(s)
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  • Nemesis Destiny's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 08:53 PM
    Most people? Can't speak to that. For me, certainly not the case. 2e hit right in my "gaming prime" - loads of free time, age of discovery, people to play with - but it's not my preferred edition. I like it, I remember it {mostly} fondly, but as a game it doesn't push the buttons the way 4e does, for me. And I was super optimistic going in to 3.x - what a disappointment that turned out to...
    21 replies | 645 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 06:38 PM
    I assume it depends on whether the "story" envisaged for each race calls for it in the eyes of the designers. If dragonborn have a narrative association with darkness in your campaign, that would be a good reason to add darkvision. If balance between races is a concern, you could remove their damage resistance or one of their language proficiencies in exchange. Actually, elves live...
    178 replies | 4681 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 03:22 PM
    Garthanos replied to Iconic Bard?
    Taliesin and Merlin... were Bard for me. In D&D lands that means a healthy dose of Druid flavor. They were teachers and inspiration of heroes at minimum. Fighter/Mage/Thief is more Gypsy to my mind. Which is still pretty interesting flavor nothing wrong with it quite fun in its own right.
    7 replies | 183 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 12:19 PM
    it does have a measure of elegance doesn't it.
    33 replies | 8339 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 12:10 PM
    interesting... One could use the 1e/4e flanking rules where you only get a +2 this makes it more of a choice less of a no duh In the 1e rules if it was from behind it would be +4 something closer to advantage but then you have to track facing. Perhaps you could use a stealth check when flanking so that your attack gets full advantage.
    33 replies | 8339 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 04:41 AM
    Alright, back to the primary topic in the lead post. In 4e, I would probably handle the two Hoverpods as follows: HP 212; Bloodied 106 Initiative +21 AC 37, Fortitude 34, Reflex 35, Will 32 Speed 0, fly 8 (hover) Lasers At-Will Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature); +25 vs. Ref Hit: 2d8 + 7 damage.
    151 replies | 4973 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 04:35 AM
    Just found Heroes of Battle and it looks like it has really interesting presentations which could be invoked as part of skill challenge and similar things. Almost feels like 4e in some ways.
    38 replies | 1086 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 04:10 AM
    I agree. Although even 1e is a bit vague on exactly how space and movement work once you get 'engaged' in melee, the game very definitely assumes a sort of 'battle space' where everything has a location and you can make measurements (and nominally it has a scale). This is all directly descended from the original D&D rules, which resolved combat using Chainmail, with the exception that indoor...
    166 replies | 17884 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 03:51 AM
    My first attempt at GMing Dragon Quest was for a player who never decided to do anything based on dozens of differing cues to participate in the story in different ways I just started forcing him to react and he complained later about the other guys having the initiative all the time. He never took the initiative and never had a goal, passive is the worst.
    151 replies | 4973 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 03:41 AM
    yeh the trolls not only undermined the best designed D&D we have had they have to crow and crow about winning and ruin any community we might try to have.
    166 replies | 17884 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 03:29 AM
    One of my favorite misrepresentations of 1e came out during the Next Play Testing... where people claimed it didnt have flanking and opportunity attacks LOL. What did they think facing and "breaking off from melee" were? For 5e fans 10 minute short rests after every battle assumed. And the classic hit points are meat assertion has many quoteworthy refutations
    166 replies | 17884 view(s)
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  • Nemesis Destiny's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 03:18 AM
    My apologies if I came across defensive, but my prediction from post #104 basically came true. I have not been able to participate or even read a 4e thread on here since 5e got announced without it being derailed by people that don't even play that edition. It's very, very tiresome, because it's the same old stuff, over and over. It's frustrating in the extreme. It's why I haven't posted much...
    166 replies | 17884 view(s)
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  • Nemesis Destiny's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 01:22 AM
    That's not the point though. Flanking was still a thing. Being denied your shield bonus from facing was still a thing. Attacks from behind were a thing. And so was higher ground, and a pile of other baggage from the wargaming days. If your only point is selectively raising things that were semi-unique to 4e, all you're doing is bashing it in a veiled manner. There's nothing unique to 4e that...
    166 replies | 17884 view(s)
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 10:14 PM
    I know I'm a little late to the party here, but I wanted to speak on this... I think a lot of people generalize DW to the entire PbtA school of games way, way too much. There are other PbtA games, designed by Vincent Baker even, where the MC rolls dice for NPC declarations (see Freebooting Venus, among others). Also, in Apocalypse World proper (especially 2nd edition) the battle moves are...
    151 replies | 4973 view(s)
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  • Nemesis Destiny's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 10:09 PM
    So you have 10 years on me. Appeal to authority isn't going to cut it. Lots of different spells could be used to create those effects, plus there was grappling, tripping, bull-rush (we did this often before 3.x - it's a basic concept). Command, scare, spook, turn undead, to name a few. Any spell that could force a creature to flee, or act as you wished, and I remember many being used in my 2e...
    166 replies | 17884 view(s)
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  • Nemesis Destiny's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 09:44 PM
    Ok, minor details. Not all that important to the point. We didn't know about it until after the takeover, so we thought it was new. *shrug* So no abilities or spells could pull, push, or slide before 4e? More classes may have gained access to specific abilities that spelled out a character's ability to create movement effects, but the concept is not new and not underrepresented prior. The...
    166 replies | 17884 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 07:12 PM
    I mean these people have no integrity. They're rotten to the core. They spend their mornings kicking puppies while they twirl their evil mustachios and hatch vile plots for world domination. Ok, seriously. I think two classic examples of not playing the world with integrity would be: a) Post-hoc creating a block of an action declaration (maybe a spell cast or a piece of gear deployed...
    151 replies | 4973 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 05:52 PM
    There is a substantive difference. However, the problem I see is the culture of D&D embracing the early 90s first principle of GMing that "there is no such thing as GM accountability for playing the world with integrity. The GM is only accountable for what they perceive will create the best story and most fun at the table." The problem with that first principle is that it relies upon (a)...
    151 replies | 4973 view(s)
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  • Nemesis Destiny's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 04:54 PM
    Measuring in inches implies mini use just as much as squares, IMO. My first experiences were with 1e, so seeing everything in inches, my first question was, "why?" Answer: It's based on a minis wargame where this is standard practice, and you can still do so, if desired. But, it was always clear that this was unnecessary. However, the bulk of my play experience in my younger days was in 2e,...
    166 replies | 17884 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 11:27 AM
    Thanks for the analysis that isn't as divergent as I remember, I am going with your thinking. Also sorry about wandering significantly off topic into dredgeville on this thread I think that is my fault.
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 09:31 AM
    I feel like there is a substantive difference between gaming the fiction and gaming the DM. I think just as we can expect and hold players accountable for playing their characters with integrity we can expect and hold GMs accountable for approaching play with curiosity and playing the world with integrity.
    151 replies | 4973 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 06:50 AM
    Every time gaming the DM is considered a skill it makes me cringe
    151 replies | 4973 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 05:43 AM
    I'm not part of that audience either and I'm okish with TLJ -enjoyed some of it, but not enough to want to get a copy at full price-. I know a lot about the old extended universe from second hand though -like about Mara Jade, Ben Skywalker, and someone dropping a moon on poor Chowie-. Perhaps I sit more in the middle of this, I can see what bothers many of them, but most of it doesn't bother me,...
    126 replies | 2264 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 04:54 AM
    ummm jump from 1 to 2 attacks is a big jump its a jarring dramatic bump in ability and its not even after a significantly larger numbers of levels 5 vs 4? however I remember being at low levels an excruciatingly long time in ADnD compared to modern games so that is even stretched out more in terms of player experience (which is to my mind the fair measurement) anyone got a scale that measures...
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 04:36 AM
    Well no its still the same as paragon because you don't get the epic gonzo stuff at level 10. (And you arent fighting Demogorgon and the like at level 6 just because the campaigns end at 10.) People still do campaigns which are all within 1 tier. Yes the context included embarrassing monty haulisms and people being ultra conservative with magic items and not so with spells for the mage, and...
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 04:11 AM
    I also met people who claimed their characters had acquired multiple copies of every item in the dmg in their multiple bags of holding ... I think there were reasons people were cautious.
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 03:53 AM
    I saw wizards getting the entire contents of a levels worth of spells in one treasure taken from an npc wizard ... and arm bands giving them plate armor caliber armor class. And not particularly any more weaponry or armor for fighting types The lack of expected treasure except maybe random treasure tables for me was always a negative thing note the above was he result of a DM trying to be...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 02:56 AM
    Its still more gradual than the 5e boom at level 5.
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 02:54 AM
    From the AD&D DMG "The testing grounds for novice adventurers must be kept to a difficulty factor which encourages rather than discourages players. If things are too easy, then there is no challenge, and boredom sets in after one or two games. Conversely, impossible difficulty and character deaths cause instant loss of interest" And later "Creatures inhabiting the place must be of...
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 01:47 AM
    Never saw a DM do it well once (including me) they were either dramatically overpowered or underpowered with a narrow window in the middle and sometimes the overpowered was at level 1 with a sleep spell. That is to me an in theory vs an in practice issue I am sure it is possible for my 9th level fighter to have not felt like a sidekick but pretending it actually worked out that way at most...
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 01:11 AM
    LOL how is a single class balanced in a game where other classes go from useless to overwhelming the statement is not meaningful. Balance is dependent on context ie balanced with regards to what? (Thief was useless even at high level it never got its shine in the sun without bizarro world adventure designs)
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 01:05 AM
    or actually +3 off focus and +2 race and +2 off of background and +2 maybe off of Theme... yes skill just went nutso.
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 11:13 PM
    Oh right smacks forehead been too long 4e doesn't use the same more attacks technique for increasing ability it is much more gradual in part because it starts at a higher point if you start your 1e at level 5 and going to level 10 was the same distance as level 10 in 4e its about that gradual ... note with dailies and encounters and the like providing spikey booms (which are a bit like instead...
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 10:28 PM
    The fighter getting a new attack is not very fine grained nor is the leap from not having a fireball to having one. Balancing them to me means making sure those bumps happen in synchronicity (I picked an example that I think might actually be concurrent and in one of the levels that might be starting to be more balanced than many didnt I). I cannot look at character levels in 1e land and...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 10:07 PM
    I would consider adding to 5e a general proficiency bonus that was +1 per 2 levels to many things to break open the higher level awesome sauce. (The bounded accuracy thing seems to defeat the flavor text of the various tiers by keeping mundane obstacles perhaps too challenging when you are high level)
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 10:01 PM
    I was considering letting Warlords and those with Noble background get a DMs best friend +2 bonus on all the skill checks interacting with them from intimidations/bluff/diplomacy or exploiting historical battle lore etc i am not familiar with Battlesystem. I think if 4e had a healthy set of Swarms that might be the first step without going too far afield. I am also curious about...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 09:46 PM
    The +2 or 3 for weapon proficiency didnt serve a great purpose, what did it do? disguise the AC which tended to be a couple points higher than other defenses. In practice how many times do characters pick up an weapon they arent proficient in? This could be an argument for just putting them at a 5e style disadvantage when they do.
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 09:37 PM
    I might be interested in seeing that. In 5e at some level Mearls took the flavor text of 2e for the fighter and said yup one Warlord is a type of Fighter. Battlemaster is a nod to that - the prototype Warlord he put out in a video is also a sub type of fighter you could call a chess master styled warlord and it's pretty interesting. It looks like it might have saving throw issues and like...
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 09:18 PM
    By keeping the numbers in the same arena... yeh that is one of the gains on the trade off of bounded accuracy I think... I do understand the motivation.
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 09:01 PM
    Making general adventuring arena completely distinct is something I could definitely support. However I have also noticed one could go the other direction as many of the mechanisms of more interesting combat actions relate to skills like intimidations and bluffs and diplomacy relating to feints/false openings ie deceptions and in general manipulating enemies and inspiring allies. I have...
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 08:54 PM
    hmmm isnt that basically the same problem 3e had
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 08:48 PM
    Thanks I rather like the Fort/Ref/Wil for the saving throw arena it can tame the flux. This is the saving throw value impression I have based on frequency of use I have seen. Am I getting this right? Con>Dex>Wis>Str>Cha>Int. Strength seems like the best of the secondary saves and Con the best of the primary ones so the fighter gets both bests
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 08:41 PM
    Well it is pretty minor though I agree it meant that a base line multi-class feat was a bit overpowered comparatively for someone who wanted versatile non combat ability, you had to be really shooting for specific broad skill set to end up taking a straight skill training feat. Why does my fighter need to dabble to be as skillful as most other classes was kind of derp on the non-combat balance...
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 08:34 PM
    Ah could you elaborate?
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 08:15 PM
    Oh and I forgot how backgrounds and themes also brought multi-classing elements to your character. I could build a ranger that felt more like a 1e ranger ( than either of the two weapon rangers in 3e or 4e) using a Fighter class plus various of the above.
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 08:10 PM
    I am a great necromancer lots of interesting thoughts need revisited once in a while. That and I am just getting interested in 5e.
    50 replies | 5583 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 07:57 PM
    The monsters are boring in comparison to 4e ones at minimum because of it (and maybe you are right about them being weak a 4e ogre smash people to the ground with every swing is a lot more interesting and also powerful than the 5e counter part) Yes the scaling defenses (and skills too) I rather like they capture heros getting all around awesome as they level. Ability score caps with old...
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 07:50 PM
    I remember mcing oldschool to be very restrictive feeling? 3e was simple and freeform but very abusable as you have said. However it looks like 5e fixed 3e multi-classing by removing the front loading factor of classes. 4e used arguably 2 complex methods of multiclassing one is a dabbling multiclassing bound to the feat system. Which is pretty flexible and can be engaged throughout the...
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 07:03 PM
    I consider the differing advancement a concession saying we did badly in the design and level does not mean power its almost meaningless.
    102 replies | 1573 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 05:36 PM
    Mearles hinted a finish of his Warlord fighter subclass might be appropriate to Darksun
    50 replies | 5583 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 05:33 PM
    That is how I used Darksun in 4e... almost exactly. Except not necessarily super strong.... more like super inspiring huge bright heroes who are a bold light in the dark of this other world. Turning an assassin into a freedom fighter, freeing slaves left right and center. Carrying healing inspiration around in your pocket.
    50 replies | 5583 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 03:51 PM
    I'm going to move the core part of this thread either later tonight or tomorrow, but I was thinking. The Skill Challenge above where the Fighter takes over the ATST vehicle? That would have involved: a) Leaping atop of it b) Ripping the hatch off c) Defeating the crew decisively in short order d) Figuring out/adlibing through the alien tech on the fly to pilot it
    151 replies | 4973 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 03:20 PM
    100 % agree with this. D&D World Causality Chain (so players can successfully infer odds/opportunity cost/outcomes based on some combination of world system mechanics + tropes + D&D's wonky mechanical artifacts + the sum total of their total experience and their personal experience under a specific GM) is absolutely central to skilled play in trad D&D. Its and discussion of this was central to...
    151 replies | 4973 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 08:59 AM
    Aren't you already? I consider these discussions to be a significant source of ideas and material for my game ;) Does this mean I have to add credits? Next you'll want royalties! :P
    31 replies | 806 view(s)
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Monday, 3rd December, 2018

  • 03:01 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned pemerton in post What are your favorite Skill Challenges.
    To answer Garthanos original question: I don't know that I have a favorite exactly. The DMG2 has some good advice and RC has a good clear write up. There are a couple other books that touch on the subject tangentially, but nowadays I live with mostly my own advice. I stick to the RC implementation, technically, but I really like being looser most of the time than any of the books suggest. However I'll agree with pemerton that Complexity 1 and 2 challenges are usually PRETTY tightly focused and work well in the original 4e style.

Thursday, 29th November, 2018

  • 02:06 PM - darkbard mentioned pemerton in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    Sure mate. I'll get a post up either tonight or tomorrow about Strike!'s action resolution and how 4e could crib it. It's certainly not my intention to derail the current focus of this thread from how the framework of 4E's structure makes for a different game than "trad" D&D; your analysis of how these scenes (might) play out is fascinating! Nevertheless, pemerton posted this regarding how combat differs from SCs in another thread, a further difference between mechanics like Strike!, DW, and PbtA engines in general versus 4E that was implied in some of the discussion of this matter but rather clearly and explicitly stated thus: "The need for pressure [in Skill Challenges] is fundamental, because only the players are declaring actions and rolling dice (very different eg from 4e combat or HeroWars/Quest extended resolution)." Anyway, do carry on with the regularly scheduled program! :]
  • 02:35 AM - Garthanos mentioned pemerton in post What are your favorite Skill Challenges.
    OK I admit this thread was inspired by pemerton mentioning 3 of his and I lost the links... they were nicely elaborated ones and I was kind of hoping to bring out anyone elses ;)

Sunday, 25th November, 2018

  • 07:04 AM - Garthanos mentioned pemerton in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    ...spot and yes the healing surge is a possibility I was considering - it could involve a long stare where you are obviously measuring him and making him nervous as well as the more elaborate interactions (though arguably this rogue would likely have been trying to figure this guy out the moment it started becoming a negotiation could cut back time element mildly - but increased time tension due to shooting for the more awesome result is great). One of the aspects I really like about "The Perfect Price" is how the prices can be or arguably should be just as much in terms of story as they are in terms of economy. Also I think the fact that the price you come up with is very much about giving the subject what they value makes it heroic in a way... even Loki is a hero here. I said it earlier but I am going to double up I feel I am developing the practices because they contribute to the not entirely common language of awesome which can be achieved by paragon and epic heroics (even if like @pemerton you do not use them). Not just because they help balance the scales between casters and non-casters in out of combat situations.

Friday, 23rd November, 2018

  • 05:31 PM - Hriston mentioned pemerton in post Keep on the Borderlands shenanigans
    pemerton, you're welcome! I'm glad I finally got around to it. So far no one has chided me for posting in a three-year necro, so I guess I made it in on time. :) The betrayal by the jolly priest wasn't so much contentious as it was both surprising and disappointing for the player. This was a solo game, but I was running the adventure as-written, so he was encouraged, both by me as DM and by some of the NPCs he met, to surround himself with a party of NPCs. In hindsight, I think this was a little unfair. I played the priest as close to Gygax's description as I could, presenting him as a warrior against evil in all of its forms. The one red flag that seemed to give the player pause in accepting the priest into the party was that he didn't want any share of the treasure, claiming that thwarting evil was his only goal, whereas the hill dwarf fighter insisted on a full share and the mercenaries' fees weren't exactly cheap. The player ignored these misgivings, however, and not wanting to tip my ha...

Thursday, 22nd November, 2018

  • 08:01 AM - Hussar mentioned pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...e bigger issue here, and the reason I think that posters like Imaro and BryonD come to such different conclusions when talking about 4e is that there are two very fundamentally different approaches to how to look at mechanics. The reason that, say (and I'm just using you as an example here, not intended at all as any sort of attack on you) BryonD comes to such different conclusions about Page 42 is that he is looking at the rules as discrete elements in the game. Which is fine when talking about 3e and AD&D. The rules were meant as discrete elements. Healing was largely divorced from anything else - you either healed naturally in down time or you healed magically. 3e had some in combat healing, true, but, again, that was 100% magical. Healing is a discrete element. But, 4e doesn't work that way. 4e is very much holistic. You can't just look at Page 42 and come to conclusions. You also have to look at the entire game and then come to conclusions, which is why posters like pemerton and others have such different reactions. They don't see Page 42 as a discrete element, divorced from everything else. You also have to include the advice in the DMG like "Get to the action" and the tiers of play and the implications of those tiers. You don't have super doors in burned out shacks in Epic level play because, if you're following the advice in the game, you will never go into a burned out shack in epic level play. Why would you? Epic level play you should be dealing with gods and major demons and stuff, not wandering around The Keep on the Borderland. These issues just don't come up, if you follow the game holistically. This is why everyone keeps talking past each other. You're fundamentally not speaking the same language. Sure, BryonD is 100% right about Page 42 not making a lot of sense. That's 100% true if you view Page 42 as a discrete element divorced from the rest of the game. Same way as (I forget who made the excellent point) is 100% right in saying t...

Wednesday, 21st November, 2018

  • 04:34 AM - Hussar mentioned pemerton in post Defining RPG's Take 2 - Prescriptive vs Descriptive
    I'd point out that you folks had repeatedly told me that there is no difference between RPG's and other games during the setup phase. None whatsoever. So, things like what your class can do and what equipment you have, is all part of the set up phase and is the same as other games. But, and maybe I wasn't clear here, I was speaking about RPG's during play. If we accept that everything that happens before play is simply "set up", then we can ignore pretty much all the things you've brought up pemerton. Choosing class, stats, whatnot, that's all set up. And, you and others were pretty emphatic that that's the same in all kinds of games. In play, however, is where the difference is seen. Players can choose actions based not on what the rules tell them to do, but based on whatever they feel they can attempt at the time. And the mechanics don't actually tell you WHAT to do. They tell you HOW to resolve that declaration from the player, up to and including, sometimes, just make something up.

Monday, 19th November, 2018

  • 02:29 PM - darkbard mentioned pemerton in post More Prince Valiant Actual Play
    Can you say a little more, pemerton, about character archetype choices? From reading these reports, it is clear one can play a knight (duh), and one of your players has chosen a wandering minstrel type. What other archetypes are permissible in the game?
  • 02:28 AM - Imaro mentioned pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Breaking down a door would definitely be an Athletics check at my table, and might even be in the books as an example. If the DM and table don't think a particular challenge would need to be rolled for by Konan the Kongqurer, then the book advises not asking for a roll. DM judgement. Emphasis mine... This as part of the resolution system in 5e keeps getting overlooked by pemerton and others asking what can a 15th level fighter do that a 1st level can't... the answer being whatever the DM, informed by the fiction, decides. In 5e it's clear that if there's no chance for an action to succeed then no roll should take place.

Saturday, 17th November, 2018

  • 09:41 PM - Imaro mentioned pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Not sure how to state it, as it seems fairly intuitive to me: both games, being RPGs, are story using some mathematical systems as a bone. Both put story as a priority, and both are easily modded too desire. Maybe I'm not understanding what fiction first means... if 4e has tiers and those tiers are defined by fiction and said fiction then informs resolution... is that fiction easily disregarded or changed? And if so what is the difference between that and 5e as some posters such as pemerton and Manbearcat discussed earlier in the thread?
  • 04:17 AM - Jay Verkuilen mentioned pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...m over all things. Nor am I arguing for 3E style stat blocks, where the monsters were built in the system and had as much detail as a PC. However if you want write them all up with things from how they are at all tiers (with a tier of farmer/apprentice level being populated by level 1 minions. Tiers of play is very, very much a 4E concept. It was hinted at in BECMI due to the way those books were published but not really part of the game otherwise. Shrug its kind of ridiculous to worry about why the 1e soldier in the monster manual didnt have an elaborated strength - doing the same thing with minions is not less so. Not quite sure what you're arguing here, but that's not the point I was trying to make. In 1E and 2E, monster stat blocks were decidedly thinner than monster stat blocks were in 3E, which was the pinnacle of the complete stat block. The issue is that, in the 4E framework and unlike essentially any other edition, an ogre has grossly different stats. According to @pemerton, fiction says the ogre is the same ogre but the representation of the ogre shifts. I'm not saying that's wrong. From a game-mechanical standpoint it might be useful. If you like it, knock yourself out, but it's one of those aspects of 4E that often rubbed people the wrong way. Other people found the 4E design very liberating. As I've said before, I thought 4E had some good ideas but overall disliked it and hated DMing it. I had played RuneQuest before D&D the D&D people thinking they were doing anything naturalistic always made me laugh. Gygaxian naturalism (as defined in the link I provided) is NOT realistic. It doesn't pretend to be. The reason I used "secondary reality" is because there's an internal consistency to it. Keep on the Borderlands is probably one of the best illustrations of that. It really doesn't make sense in a larger scheme of things. I mean, where to those monsters get food from? But it does in terms of how Gygaxian dungeon areas work, with the Great Chain of B...

Thursday, 15th November, 2018

  • 03:12 AM - Parmandur mentioned pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...le in comparison to earlier edition casters and if you picked a ranger it can be very low tactical element even before essentials other than deciding who do I attack twice with occasional how hard. 5e seems to have less short term emphasis - part of the thing that allowed short term to be more interesting was action points (and milestones) and they were an everyman tool not fighter action surge. Second wind too was an everyman. Encounter powers too were a part of it, much more immediate than the 5e analog. Yeah, most of the action economy elements were the same across Classes. And I can abstractly appreciate the elegance of making it the same...but I tend to think Mearls is right in the original post (if I can remember that far back!) that 4E may have better received if it retained more asymmetrical Class design. (Anti-Edition War disclaimer: I never had a strong or emotionally charged negative reaction to 4E, still don't, and may have had a positive reaction if my DM was pemerton, Garthanos or Manbearcat ; I'm interested in understanding the phenomenon of the "New Coke" reception, in myself and others, not telling people they are pretending to be an Elf Wizard the wrong way. I've found this thread very interesting in uncovering my subconscious disappointment with the purely symmetrical action economy, but still think 5E just has the 4E Skill system with streamlined math)

Monday, 12th November, 2018

  • 05:44 PM - Imaro mentioned pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    You can totally ignore that type of mythic fantasy in 4e too. Refluffing is a thing in 4e, make good choices that reflect realistic options, get table agreement that's the style of play that is supposed to happen. Done. But the mechanics of the powers still speak to that type of fantasy... earlier someone quoted something along the lines of "When you die for the first time today..." It's pretty hard to refluff casual self-resurrection as "realistic"... even D&D realistic Honestly this is baffling me we have @pemerton claiming mythical fantasy is an inherent part of 4e but then you're saying it's casually easy to remove or ignore it... which one is it?
  • 05:08 PM - Imaro mentioned pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    I think for me it is not so much that 5e does not have supernatural martial characters as I'm not so much of a fan of that genre. It is more that casters do not have as many setbacks and have too many auto abilities as well as non-cost powers (cantrips). Thankfully 5e allows for a fair amount of system tinkering and so that issue, if it is an issue at one's table, can be solved. I think this is one of the biggest difference between 4e and 5e (not that the tools, advice, etc. are absent from 5e as pemerton claims). 5e makes it so that you can totally ignore this type of fantasy and still play up to level 20 and beyond...or if you want a DM can implement Epic Boons and let the advice on Mythic fantasy in the DMG inform his adventures and have a game based in mythic fantasy. 4e gave you one choice... implement mythical fantasy or stop playing at a certain level... which probably rubbed those not looking for mythic fantasy the wrong way.

Sunday, 11th November, 2018

  • 07:33 PM - Garthanos mentioned pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...death early on and in paragon and maybe even takes an ability to do battlefield medic but pictures it as him barring death from the injured. And later mid paragon when this fairly Herakles like hero says I want to save the life of my friends dying wife by Wrestling death perhaps I can just roll with that seeing death idea and get drunk on fancy wines to see death himself I want to challenge him for her soul, exactly 3 days after her death. Perhaps this becomes more balanced when it is gatewayed just like the raise dead ritual - Note late heroic is when the Cleric can plop down expensive incense and raise someone who has been dead for quite a while 100 percent reliably. Note I just rolled out raising the dead via something like an athletics application (or maybe an actual fight and have the whole party be guided by the one) because the help action on the magical forge is getting a bit boring OK the fact that it got rejected while being so basic does make it noteworthy example - @pemerton EDIT : I actually had a player whose character had an ability which was mostly a flavor of seeing dead spirits as they died - long long ago when we were playing with DragonQuest I think actually. (not really more than a healing check might do)... He was an elven bard of the winds with very dark over tones and sort of anti-assassin characteristics. So the Herakles with combat medic who saw death would be entirely in line with that.
  • 01:45 PM - Imaro mentioned pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    I dont know how typical your example of a skill challenge is but for many Fighters the chances of adding a success look pretty grim with the given examples of skills to use. Given that you need to hit between high 20s to low 30s for a success the player needs to come up with a narrative way they can swing an Athletics or Survival check into convincing the Aspect of Moradin to help. Well here's a list of examples and there usage in another Epic skill challenge from the epic tier adventure "Test of Fire" where both Athletics and Stealth uses are suggested... again in a totally mundane...but with bigger numbers...type of way. I just find it strange that if mythic feats like the one pemerton described (shoving one's hands into a furnace to hold an artifact while it is being forged) are the inherent fiction in epic level 4e... well why do the examples in official adventures seem so mundane? It's almost as if it isn't inherent in 4e but instead what pemerton has chosen the fiction to be in his epic level 4e games (which is a great thing but again something that can be done in 5e as well)... I mean when using stealth why aren't the characters commanding the stuff of shadows to cloak themselves? Why when using Athletics do they need to leap from barge to barge or find a narrow point to leap the length of the canal shouldn't an epic warrior with athletics just be able to make a leap across it's entire breadth at even it's widest point? Skills Use the following general descriptions as a guideline for the types of activities the heroes can attempt with each of this challengeís primary and secondary skills. All checks in the challenge are made using an adventurerís...
  • 08:02 AM - Imaro mentioned pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Was I talking about your point or Hussars point? Because I really can not see that one 4e DM allowing a character to plunge their hands into a forge is evidence that every 4e DM would allow it, or indeed any other DM. The 4e system is designed to force Players who want to maximise their chances of passing a skill challenge to try and use their best skills in anyway that the DM will allow. I would imagine that the best system of DnD for creating magical items was actually ADnD because the adventure was in the assembly of the materials required rather then in the process of creation itself. Good point... are there any official 4e Epic adventures where something like the forge example @pemerton gave is a part of an official skill challenge or check? I was glancing through an epic tier adventure from Dungeon called "Those Once Loyal" and the skill challenges and checks I saw seemed pretty mundane (with the epicness seeming to come from the opposition as opposed to the capabilities of the PC's). I've included one below but I have to say none of the suggested uses of skills comes close to sticking one's hands in a searing hot magical forge to help in the creation of an artifact. In fact compared to that the skill uses below (though admittedly having large DC's) seem downright tame to the point of well almost being ordinary uses against bigger things. So I'm hoping someone can provide examples of the types of things being cited here as inherent to 4e epic tier and not just how a particular DM chooses to run their game at epic tier. Common Cause The aspect grieves for your troubles, but his own loyalty to Bahamut blinds him to your true purpose. Level: 28 (XP 26,000) ...
  • 07:08 AM - Sadras mentioned pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    @pemerton and in part @Hussar You have pushed for the merits of a defined skill table at various levels and/or mentioned 5e DM's giving varying DCs on skill checks as issues of the game. I'm wondering if you have the same contempt, because it can only be described as contempt after so many posts, with TotM. Let us face it TotM can produce some varied results, not all DMs will have the exact same picture in their mind and certainly players will have different ones. I'm wondering if you are consistent in your contempt for unsurety across the board or if you're just cherry-picking?
  • 04:27 AM - Imaro mentioned pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ... I see it harped on as a major problem is on forums like this and it's usually by a handful of 4e fans who are trying to convince others to be outraged enough about it to actually care as much as they seem to. As long as they are having fun playing the fighter in 1e, 2e, 3e or 5e, and I doubt they'd continue to play a game if they weren't (cue the how irrational people can be argument :yawn: ), they just don't care about this "imbalance" between classes that you feel they should be making an issue about. they probably look at it in the vein of if they wanted to play a magic wielder or a ki channeling monk they would. Instead they picked a fighter and they are a-ok with playing that class because it is fun for them. On a side note I find it interesting that the game that supposedly "corrected" this still had fighters with the lowest amount of skills, nealry all combat focused powers, nothing equivalent to rituals, and still ultimately relied on DM fiat to allow things like pemerton's forge scene. You want to know what baffles me? How proponents of 4e can claim that edition actually fixed this supposed disparity between the magic wielders and the martial classes.

Saturday, 10th November, 2018

  • 07:16 PM - Imaro mentioned pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    No, not really. I will admit DMs are pretty likely to do that, to keep things interesting, but the scale is very manageable and flexible. Thinking about this, I also just noticed that it is literally impossible for any PC to hit a DC 30, until Level 5...that is, until Tier II. So a certain gating is definitely built into the system. Lol... I made this point earlier to @pemerton. That there are in fact things that can be accomplished by higher level PC's that can't be by lower level PC's (from a mechanical standpoint). The difference I think in the approaches, and maybe where @pemerton ' s contention is, is that 4e tells you these things are part of the epic tier and they involve this specific fiction... while 5e says these are beyond the ken of certain men and you the DM decide what that is in your particular campaign. I think pemerton wants the game to define these things for him while I (and I think others) rea happy to decide what these things are for ourselves in any particular camapign. The fact that official adventures seem to rarely if ever use these DC's (thus also not attaching a specific fiction to them) would seem to reinforce this notion of the DM defining what falls into those extreme DC's. EDIT: I want a more mythical campaign... Fighters sticking their hands into forges of creation to hold an artifact while it is created become doable at...


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Monday, 10th December, 2018

  • 10:14 PM - heretic888 quoted pemerton in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    Frankly, I think even running a 4e combat then a DW combat would show that players roll the dice isn't the same as only players make mechanical-type moves (I'm bracketing deal damage - I don't think that would change the outcome of the experiment). I know I'm a little late to the party here, but I wanted to speak on this... I think a lot of people generalize DW to the entire PbtA school of games way, way too much. There are other PbtA games, designed by Vincent Baker even, where the MC rolls dice for NPC declarations (see Freebooting Venus, among others). Also, in Apocalypse World proper (especially 2nd edition) the battle moves are the only basic moves that don't have a "on a miss, prepare for the worst" clause (what other PbtA games sometimes call a hard move). There is a reason for that and its because every "round" you're in battle the MC is automatically making moves against you (exchanging or inflicting harm are standard MC moves and happen every time you make a battle move, not ...

Tuesday, 4th December, 2018

  • 08:46 AM - dave2008 quoted pemerton in post Mythological Figures: Odysseus/Ulysses (5E)
    This may be a difference of taste - I tend to prefer considering how a system (in this case, D&D) can do a character based on its range of mechanical options, rather than its PC build constraints. Especially if those constraints are already known to struggle with producing mythic/literary results! However, I think the approach of this series is a more interesting puzzle IMO. As an NPC monster build it is relatively easy to make Odysseus (or by using epic boons and/or past lvl 20 options in the DMG), but limiting to a max lvl 20 PC building is an interesting challenge that can sparks creativity (and discussion) in a way an NPC / Monster build does not. There can be value in the struggle. EDIT: I also struggled to get behind the concept of this thread initially. Building Thor as a PC just seemed crazy to me, but I fully embrace this exercise now. I would never do this if I were to make some of these character, but that is some of the fun of it. The interesting part is trying to see how fa...
  • 07:28 AM - dave2008 quoted pemerton in post Mythological Figures: Odysseus/Ulysses (5E)
    This doesn't fully address some of the comments, though, like Why is STR so lacking when Odysseus was renowned for his strength. There are feats in this build (eg Brilliant) that could be traded for STR without apparent loss. I agree. I am not saying I agree with where he put the stats, I am just explain why he didn't simply use a bunch of 18s. The point of the series is to present an NPC and then discuss why and what we would do differently within the concept of the series (NPC made with PC rules using point-buy / standard array). This was pretty thoroughly reviewed with Conan I believe. EDIT: Mike usually jumps in and explains his choice and then we can discuss some more if you so desire. I think one thing he should address is why Str is so low. Also, the OP does say So the build is intended to be a NPC, not a PC, and there is no requirement in the 5e rules that a "real person" NPC follow PC build rules - eg NPCs have proficiency bonuses that follow their CR, not their PC level (ins...

Monday, 3rd December, 2018

  • 01:09 PM - Sadras quoted pemerton in post What are your favorite Skill Challenges.
    I think that upfront stakes when it's something like cross the river or persuade the corpse to talk to you via Speak wtih Dead is fine. But when the challenge is more complex in the fiction - eg a somewhat open-ended negotiation - and is meant to involve many checks (complexity 4 and 5 is probably my "many checks" as opposed to "few check" zone), then I think more capacity for evolution of the stakes is needed. Just as might happen in combat. I think without the possibility of development there is the risk of the dreaded "dice rolling exercise" to choose between two pre-determined paths. Similarly to your Soul Abattoir and collapsing Shadowfell example where you had not worked out what would happen on a failure? It allows you to avoid the "death" option and to use an alternative. This informs me that setting the stakes is not something enforced at your table, and so it is something the DM (you) might offer if you want the players invested.
  • 12:19 PM - Garthanos quoted pemerton in post What are your favorite Skill Challenges.
    The Soul Abattior example I linked to upthread involved escaping from a collapsing part of the Shadowdark. I don't know what would have happened had the players failed, but not a TPK. The phrase temporarily trapped, lost, injured (insert Garthanos wishing for elaborated affliction rules) and taking a new path entirely comes to mind.... ie all paths lead to something interesting. Heck failure can be more interesting. SC guideline - "Plan for failure" subclause make it interesting.

Saturday, 1st December, 2018

  • 04:30 PM - dragoner quoted pemerton in post Need idea about player spaceship landing on planets
    You beat me to it! Thanks, I also like the ecological impact of MarkB it could be something like a fusion rocket. Depending upon the setting and the society, you could go for an ecological angle. The shuttle is designed with atmospheric flight in mind, and has a propulsion system that works well for that context. But the ship's engines produce waste products including radioactive particles, dangerous carcinogens etc. ...

Friday, 30th November, 2018

  • 12:23 PM - Garthanos quoted pemerton in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    Frankly, I think even running a 4e combat then a DW combat would show that players roll the dice isn't the same as only players make mechanical-type moves (I'm bracketing deal damage - I don't think that would change the outcome of the experiment). Oh I do not think having players roll is exactly the same perhaps its just the first step... hmmm maybe I am thinking we could bring the "normal combat" much closer to a standard conflict resolution by having the DM describe enemy offense then players describe how they are dealing with it and having a set of established defense side mechanics... more elaborate and inspiring (and tactical since this is 4e) than just that make a defense roll. I am interested in how one can achieve that idea of having the two contexts mirror one another better without tossing the starting point. Maybe intermediate steps are not "to the point enough"
  • 04:03 AM - Manbearcat quoted pemerton in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    In 4e combat, players roll all the dice won't give it the same dynamic as a skill challenge, because the GM is still declaring actions for NPCs/monsters that have an action economy, generate mechanical states of affairs that interact with the player-side mechanics, deplete PC hit points, etc. Even if a player rolls a "defence" die, it is the GM who forces "OK, roll a defence die" having declared an action for the NPC. Whereas in a skill challenge the GM is only changing the fiction. It's pretty different, at least in my experience. I think the difference would be most acutely experienced if you performed the following experiment: a) Run a 4e combat. b) Run a follow-on noncombat scene using Dungeon World and Apocalypse World/Blades Clocks (which may be as close as you get to 4th edition noncombat conflict resolution).
  • 02:05 AM - Garthanos quoted pemerton in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    In 4e combat, players roll all the dice won't give it the same dynamic as a skill challenge, because the GM is still declaring actions for NPCs/monsters that have an action economy, generate mechanical states of affairs that interact with the player-side mechanics, deplete PC hit points, etc. Even if a player rolls a "defence" die, it is the GM who forces "OK, roll a defence die" having declared an action for the NPC. Whereas in a skill challenge the GM is only changing the fiction. Not totally disagreeing but I feel if you are targeting pressure on the PCs it very much should be fiction that induces - I will solve this issue responses out of the PCs. Now what I see is that the players are more free in the SC to figure out what action they react with not a predefined one like that defense roll, which for me makes it potentially very interesting.

Thursday, 29th November, 2018

  • 11:38 PM - darkbard quoted pemerton in post What are your favorite Skill Challenges.
    The idea of multi-stage can be adapted/generalised, I think - as the situation unfolds, the fiction changes in such a fashion that certain past states are now guaranteed to be in the past (eg in the negotiations, it's clear that the major NPC is no longer going to believe XYZ about the PCs), and the parameters for future states have been changed or at least narrowed (eg now the question is whether the NPC will ally with the PCs or simply send them on their way). I'm kind of divided on this. On the one hand, I absolutely agree that the Skill Challenge must be dynamic, flexible, malleable; that the fiction (and attendant pressure) must morph to accurately represent the PCs' progress towards their goal. However, on the other hand, I've always tried to adhere to the advice given about SCs (and similar mechanics in other games) to make sure the terms of success and failure are clearly articulated and agreed upon before engaging the mechanics. It therefore becomes a very delicate balancing acts at...
  • 05:32 PM - heretic888 quoted pemerton in post What are your favorite Skill Challenges.
    I've used skill challenges for resolving social tension, interrogation, traversing the Abyss (that one wasn't my best), sneaking through an enemy camp, cleansing corrupted angels, taming a bear and dispelling a water weird, trashing Torog's Soul Abattoir, surviving an audience with Yan-C-Bin and then persuading some maruts that it's not the end times, and other stuff too. It's a versatile framework. The thing any GM can always work on is thinking about how to keep the pressure on the PCs (and thereby the players) in a way that respects the fiction. The need for pressure is fundamental, because only the players are declaring actions and rolling dice (very different eg from 4e combat or HeroWars/Quest extended resolution). But equally fundamental is the need to honour the players' successful checks on the way through - not such a big deal if the challenge is complexity 1, but a very big deal if we're talking complexity 12 and so having to narrate up to 11 successes while leaving the possibilit...

Wednesday, 28th November, 2018

  • 02:42 PM - Aldarc quoted pemerton in post Rules Light Games: Examples and Definitions
    I love Fate, but I think its just on the edge of what I would call "light", and some of the published implementations actually cross over that line for me. (naturally a matter of taste.) Honestly, since the advent/dominance of a singular resolution mechanic, many games are fairly "light" in their core mechanics. However, the devil is in all the details added by those listy things. I think the recent editions of D&D are good good examples of this. The basic D20 mechanics aren't very heavy at all, but when you add all the different spell effects, maneuvers, conditions, etc. the system gets very heavy in play. (Even without those, the specificity of the movement rules would make D&D fairly heavy.) This is why Fate is on the line for me. The core mechanics are actually a bit more complicated than D20 and involve more decision points for players on each turn. However, by avoided all the "listiness", it plays much more lightly than D&D. (At least IME, IMO, etc. etc.) I've never played Fate but I...

Sunday, 25th November, 2018

  • 02:41 AM - Garthanos quoted pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Admittedly this didn't come online until late heroic, and then really took off in paragon - maybe that's the point I'm missing. It was definitely @Tony Vargas point of view with Martial Controllers or atleast the polearm build one. I am looking at medium range Warlord style enemy manipulating martial controller.

Saturday, 24th November, 2018

  • 08:12 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    What RPGs do you have in mind here? Narrative is an ambiguous term in these contexts, but when I think "narrative RPG" I tend to think anything by Ron Ewards, Vincent Baker or Paul Czege - and then things like Burning Wheel, Prince Valiant, Marvel Heroic/Cortex+, HeroWars/Quest, and other "indie"-style games. 4e brought some of these sensibilities into a "mainstream" RPG. Things like FFG's narrative dice mechanics, mostly. Give players ways to directly impact the narrative as storytellers, don't make it a matter of what symbols show up on the dice. With respect to this martial controller thing, I feel the game already provided it - the fighter in my game, especially when he switches from mordenkrad to polearm (he is a dwarf who can work with both hammers and axes), is a controller. It's almost impossible to get past him, or to get out once you go in close. (Forced movement, stopping movement, immobilisation, prone, slow - in effectively unlimited quantities.) Admittedly this di...
  • 07:24 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    This is also true in my case. For nearly 20 years my primary RPG was Rolemaster. I also played various games on the side: AD&D, and various BRP variants like Stormbringer/Elric, CoC and RQ. I noticed the arrival of 3E, and played a small amout of it, but it didn't seem super-exciting to me. The announcement of 4e came at the same time as a second long-running RM campaign was coming to its conclusion, and also as our group was undergoing reconfiguration due to some members moving to the UK, resulting in merging two groups (with some overlap in membership, and the other of which had been playing 3E) into one. It was obvious from the get-go that (i) 4e would have a mechanical heft comparable to RM, and (ii) it would be almost the opposite of RM in its approach to mechanics, adjudication and the relationship between these things and the fiction. Over the past decade or thereabouts I've often posted that 4e fully delivers on the Gygaxian conception of hp and saving throws as a "fortune in t...

Friday, 23rd November, 2018

  • 03:12 AM - Parmandur quoted pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Can you say what you mean by "narrative"? In most RPGs, the basic process of play is that a player declares an action which in some fashion engages the shared fiction, and then a check (or comparable resolution process) is established and undertaken. Common examples are things like "I poke the floor in front of me with my 10' pole" or "I raise my hand in a signal of peace to the goblins" or "I cast a fireball spell". In many RPGs, there are some actions whose declation in the fiction more-or-less equates to performing a mechanical move in the game. In Gygax's AD&D, for instance, declaring "I listen at the door" enlivens a particular mechanical process (which contrasts with "I poke the floor in front of me with my 10' pole"). In 5e, declaring "I attack the goblin with my sword" or "I shoot the goblin with Magic Missiles" enlivens a particular mechanical process (the combat rules, and the casting rules, respectively). In most RPGs, there are also actions whose declaration enlivens no partic...
  • 01:30 AM - Ratskinner quoted pemerton in post Do You Think Encounters Should be Difficult?
    I've been taking seriously that this thread is in General, not D&D. Though even in AD&D there have been rules for duels of honour - Unearthed Arcana and Oriental Adventures had these, under labels like vanquishing and subdual. Oh, I agree. But, OTOH, this forum (AFAICT) is mostly populated (and thus informed) by D&D "heavy users". Thus, I think that informs the common responses even to questions in this subforum. I mean, if you're playing Blades in the Dark, you generally want to avoid unnecessary killing because bodies increase the Heat you take on the score. (Naturally, assassinations are the exception to this.)
  • 01:17 AM - Manbearcat quoted pemerton in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    I think so much confusion in play across systems came about by trying to fit square pegs into round holes, as it were, where the system mechanics facilitate some (but not all) roles for its participants and push hard against others. I definitely agree with this. I think the matter is made worse (a) when folks are averse to playing different kind of games (doesn't even have to be TTRPGs...could be Eurogames) and (b) when a culture becomes insular and averse to self-reflection/analysis. And that can be any culture. Its not great when players of rules-lite systems don't understand the mental framework that responds to a rules-heavy simulationist system just like its not great in reverse (or any of the many conflicts over play priorities). (1) In this thread from around a year ago, discussing options for the PCs in my Traveller game, an approach to GMing was being articulated by one poster which is neither of the two you describe. That approach was clearly averse to using reaction rolls...
  • 12:49 AM - Shasarak quoted pemerton in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Without 4e I am pretty sure I wouldnt have had much renewed interest in D&D. This is also true in my case. It is not a surprise. You guys are exactly who the 4e developers were targeting.

Thursday, 22nd November, 2018

  • 10:39 PM - Ratskinner quoted pemerton in post Do You Think Encounters Should be Difficult?
    I'd reiterate - why do the stakes have to be death? There's no connection between "no chance of losing" and fighting to the death. PCs can lose fights without dying - they get captured, they yield to a superior opponent, they suffer shame, etc. In real life people fight without death being the outcome, and perhaps even moreso in genre fiction. Not that I'm saying the stakes of any encounter or even combat encounter should be death...but! That's all that the basic mechanics address (HP attrition mediated by resource depletion and tactics). I think players tend to lean on the mechanics of the game (whatever game is being played) and in D&D this leads them to address all combats (sometimes all encounters) this way. IME, if there aren't mechanical consequences or at least a framework to directly inform the fiction, there is a large segment of gamers who just won't care. This is what I mean by D&D not being tuned for anything other than this one kind of dungeoneering narrative. Not that ...


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