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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Today, 04:10 PM
    To me, there's no uncertainty here, so I'm not going to spend time rolling just to make it seem uncertain to the players. The NPC is making its true intentions known, so no ability check is needed.
    101 replies | 1904 view(s)
    2 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 03:54 PM
    Yes that's what I mean. Situation in which I would not give a check - I might give an auto success if it's blindingly obvious. I might (rarely) not give a check if for some reason the truth can't be down, eg they're using Insight vs a pre-programmed magic mouth or other artificial voice - the check might tell them it's a programmed voice, but probably not if the voice is lying. Normally though I...
    101 replies | 1904 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Today, 03:36 PM
    By "player requests Insight check" am I correct in understanding you to mean that the player declares his character is attempting to determine the true intentions of the truthful NPC? If so, is there a situation in which you wouldn't "give a check on request"?
    101 replies | 1904 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 02:57 PM
    I don't request an ability check. I'm talking about case where player requests Insight check vs truthful NPC. If I give a check on request I either say "You don't get a read on them" (Fail) or they notice signs of lying (if lying) or trustworthiness (if truthful). I don't say "You believe them" if a lying NPC succeeds on a Deception check vs Passive Insight, or "You don't trust them" if PC...
    101 replies | 1904 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Today, 02:02 PM
    I wouldn’t be inclined to ask for an ability check in this situation. Assuming the NPC isn’t trying to hide its true intentions from the PCs, and the player makes an action-declaration along the lines of trying to discern those intentions by observing its body language, speech patterns, manerisms, etc., I’d tell the player s/he doesn’t notice anything that would indicate the NPC is lying. To me ,...
    101 replies | 1904 view(s)
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  • chaochou's Avatar
    Today, 01:52 PM
    Have a look at Danger Patrol by John Harper. It's free and it's available here Even if you don't like it, it's a good source of ideas for what a knockabout pulp sci-fi action story game can look like.
    3 replies | 137 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:50 PM
    More from Over the Edge (p 196 of 20th Anniversary Edition): Could vs Should One creative block that often keeps GMs from winging an adventure successfully is clinging to what "should" happen instead of imagining what "could" happen. For example, the PCs come into Sad Mary's and ask what the crowd looks like. One way to answer the question is to refer to premises and deduce the logical...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:22 PM
    What am I ignoring? And on what am I wrong? Are you asserting that you don't accord overwhelming authority to the GM in ddtermining what PCs know? Are you denying that such an approach would be a very strong form of GM-gating? Do you disagree that thin PC background produces pawn stance? If so, what's the basis for your disagreement?
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:09 PM
    How much work are you prepared to do? Prince Valiant is fun and could be adapted to pulp, but some work would be needed. HeroQuest revised is pretty light (lighter than FATE), and could do this pretty well I think.
    3 replies | 137 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 06:18 AM
    (1) Not every rule is GM-gating. (2) There is a very big difference, in the play of a game (including a RPG) between rules, and discretionary gating. To elide that difference is to elide much of what is interesting/significant in game design. I actually just quoted you saying, of the bit about cooperation, that "The players working together just means that they shouldn't be jerks about...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Today, 05:37 AM
    Why? Why do you play this way? I would venture to guess it is a matter of practicality. All PC knowledge is uncertain. You cannot say what PCs know or don't know, except in a vanishingly small set of cases. What you are doing is establishing things based on some sort of criteria. Those criteria are inevitably related to how and why you play at the table. They are, inevitably, almost...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Today, 12:23 AM
    Well, of course, the ironic part is that classic D&D cannot REALLY handle divination or other "find out stuff" types of magic very well. It works OK to 'peek at the GM's notes' in terms of where the secret doors are, or something like that, but when it comes to deeper kinds of stuff these powers invariably include some sort of GM gate. The dead might not know, the power you commune with might...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:50 PM
    These things really exist to allow players who do NOT know something to have their characters find it out, or when they can't really remember stuff they might have learned 20 years ago. They are there to make the 'gotchas' go away, or at least gate them behind a check. Mostly they exist to support research. Particularly in classic D&D this was a big deal, skilled play meant you REALLY needed...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:54 PM
    I would point out that this also falls under Max et all's definition of meta-gaming. It should anyway! Logically and consistently, if you really play out the implications of what Max is saying, then players cannot call for any action whatsoever without ascertaining first what their PCs know. And to be really consistent, they should do so even in the negative case (where the player DOES remember).
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:21 PM
    Maxperson, here's you endorsing the extract I quoted from the RQ 3rd ed rulebook: There's nothing wrong with changing one's mind, but it makes the discussion easier to follow if one is clear about it. I don't understand how you can dispute that this is GM-gating.
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:38 PM
    You know, I'm tired of debating with people about what they don't like. This whole thread was supposed to be about how to make D&D do certain things better, and it INSTANTLY got sidetracked by people telling us that what we wanted was not to their taste and that they felt compelled to be insulted by the way pemerton drew a contrast. I'm about just talking about the subject at hand, and I thought...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    5 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:22 AM
    It also proves that you definition of "metagaming as cheating" is far from universal. Upthread, you were suggesting that nothing about the RQ instructions contradicted your own views. But now it turns out that there is such contradiction.
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:59 AM
    That only proves that you do not have a functioning creative relationship with your players.
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:37 AM
    Yeah, I want the players to be able to count on a relatively objectively evaluated mechanism to give them an answer to the question of whether or not what they have accomplished is enough to achieve the objective of the challenge. Nobody would quibble with this as an absolute baseline requirement for combat, so why would any other significant situation be different? Its odd that this dichotomy...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 11:54 PM
    And guess what else - the RuneQuest rules that I quoted upthread, which you asserted expressed the same view as you about "metagaming", assert the opposite from you. Which simply reinforces my contention that your idiosyncratic preferences as to what "metagaming" is permitted and what is not do not tell us anything about the nature of RPGing per se as an activity.
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 05:10 PM
    Or maybe take the chance to do something fun with it like the last time? http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?546123-So-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-fish!
    15 replies | 747 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 04:52 PM
    Here, fixed it for you...
    47 replies | 11209 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 02:42 PM
    The only definition of actor stance that I'm familiar with is Ron Edwards's: In Actor stance, a person determines a character's decisions and actions using only knowledge and perceptions that the character would have. This is a particular mode of or orientation towards action declaration. It says nothing about who gets to decice what knowledge and perception the character would have. ...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    2 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 09:45 AM
    Certainly makes sense to use 3d6 or 2d10 for ability checks instead of d20 for attacks and saves.
    20 replies | 646 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 09:36 AM
    My Primeval Thule game is serious by default, but I can never maintain a fully serious tone while GMing.
    35 replies | 1023 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 05:32 AM
    For me, this pretty much cuts to the heart of it. Every action declaration (not just resolution, but declaration) appears to be gated by the GM, who regulates what motives and beliefs the players are allowed to draw upon in making those action declarations. But you've said they need your permission to have their PCs recall something. I quoted you fewer than half-a-dozen posts upthread saying...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 05:27 AM
    Yes, I've pointed to this weirdness upthread, that the insistence on feigning ignorance precludes the experienced player from declaring actions that are open to the new player. Just another weirdness about it.
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 05:14 AM
    The thinking being referred to is thinking by the players. The PCs can't have metagame thinking unless you're playing a game like Over the Edge, which has a self-referential dimension within the fiction. I was going to post a reply to this but then saw that iserith posted exactly what I would have done. All I would add is that it's not true that a GM gets to adjudicate every declaration of...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 04:29 AM
    I don't see these as challenges. The sucess of Marvel and even DC movies shows that cheesy/cliche will draw big crowds if the production and the laughs are done OK. A half-successful LotR/Hobbit rip-off would be a good D&D movie!
    53 replies | 1336 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 04:17 AM
    Cortex+ (which I know through MHRP and the Fantasy Hack variants) is a dice pool system that is (according to designer commentary) designed to make it hard to caculate the odds - so shifting the emphasis to "I've got a handful of dice!" rather than "Have I got the right handful of dice?" It's true that the maths is hard, but that doesn't stop my players trying to optimise their pools!
    170 replies | 6973 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 04:09 AM
    Nothing wrong with being a cricket hater! But out of curiosity, are you from a cricket-playing culture, or looking at it as a horrified outsider? (And apologies if that dichotomy is too simplistic.)
    170 replies | 6973 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 03:58 AM
    You guys keep doing you. The posting history makes clear what's what.
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 02:29 AM
    Yes, this link describes your argumentative style pretty well. Roleplaying a character who knows things without asking for DM permission to know them is not metagaming; it's just called "roleplaying." Your entire DMing approach has been advocating for players fishing for DM permission out of the wazoo. Including what the characters can know. How is that not MMI?
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    3 XP
  • darkbard's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 01:48 AM
    At this point, I hope we all might be less concerned with attacking the troll with fire than not feeding the troll, defined by Wikipedia as one who "In Internet slang starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 01:04 AM
    What do you like to say again? Oh, yes. False equivalence is false. Mother May I. Roleplaying a character and their headspace is not inventing a rule. I believe that it's called "roleplaying a character." You should try engaging those parts of the game some time. LOL. You just literally described how the Mother May I children's game is played. Both here and practically earlier as...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 01:02 AM
    I've been setting it as their 'Passive Deception' DC. What do you do?
    101 replies | 1904 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 12:46 AM
    Heh, yeah, as a player who enjoys sandboxing, I quite often want to tell the GM "Just tell us where to go!!" :D Conversely there are cases where the GM has boo-booed and set things up so we really don't want to go where she/he thinks we should, like the GM who presented our 1st level 3e PCs with an ogre-filled castle and expected us to attack it... We turned and walked away. The GM should be...
    812 replies | 54527 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 10:50 PM
    Idea is disarm is due to hitting hand or arm.
    36 replies | 1133 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 10:42 PM
    Winged kobolds are right there in the book!
    6 replies | 208 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 04:08 PM
    1) This is an assertion about your play preferences disguised as rules facts. Do I need to pull up your quote on facts and opinions again? ;) 2) Max, I think you need to actually demonstrate some awareness of how the game exists in a more open space than your own narrow reading of the game rules. One can also note, for example, that although you may say that there are no rules allowing...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 02:58 PM
    Thanks for feedback - player wants an old school Ranger, however she says she wants more damage on top of existing class abilities!
    13 replies | 265 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 01:57 PM
    Nope, have not playtested this. Both systems in Chainmail have combat phases like B/X. It's basically movement, then missile fire, then melee. My idea here was to strip that out of the "Simultaneous Movement" system as it has been for the "Move/Countermove" system during the evolution of turn-based initiative, introducing the same range of alternatives back into the current edition as is...
    12 replies | 411 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 11:31 AM
    While I'm not too fussed about the Battlemaster disarm maneuver which is a lot more powerful, I reckon I will change disarm attack to: Disarming: Attack is with Disadvantage (& can't attempt a disarm if already at disadvantage); if it hits then target takes half damage & makes a STR save at the higher of DC 5 or damage dealt (maximum DC 20) to not drop object. Save is with Advantage if holding...
    36 replies | 1133 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 11:01 AM
    5e Rangers are often seen as weak. They do get Fighting Styles at level 2, which gives some potential design space for a boost. I came up with the following: Ranger Fighting Style - Favoured Foe: Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one Favoured Enemy you hit with a melee weapon or ranged weapon attack, if you do not have disadvantage on the attack roll. Damage increases +1d6...
    13 replies | 265 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 10:21 AM
    Classic (RC) D&D had a rule like this, I think it was +4 to hit vs unarmed opponent. It makes sense but I think in practice it's best kept to attacking the unfortunate Commoners, rather than worrying about whether the Wizard PC has a dagger in hand. I'd also count a shield as preventing advantage on the attack.
    36 replies | 1133 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 10:21 AM
    I'm not familiar with the FR stuff S'mon, Hussar et al have mentioned. To me DragonLance seems obvious and far-and-away better movie-fodder than anything else D&D-ish that I'm familiar with. Another option would be to try for a sci-fantasy vibe that tries to ape some aspects of Dr Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy etc and do Dark Sun - but the relative suckage that was the John Carter movie...
    53 replies | 1336 view(s)
    2 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 10:12 AM
    I definitely prefer attack vs AC with disadvantage, followed by an active save at a low base DC. It may need a lot of GM adjudication to prevent abuse, though. Some circumstances where I'd give Advantage, such as attacking from the rear or shooting from above, actually make a disarm less, not more, likely. I used these for the first time Tuesday running Watchers of Meng. Unsurprisingly no one...
    36 replies | 1133 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 10:06 AM
    Cricket is umpired, not refereed, at least in the usage I'm familiar with. (I don't think you've got the match referee in mind.)
    170 replies | 6973 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 10:01 AM
    If you already have an X-bow loaded, you can shoot it without provoking an opp att. Whereas you can neither load nor shoot a regular bow - it'll always provoke an opp att.
    36 replies | 1133 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 10:00 AM
    I don't think this is true at all. When I think of systems I've played over the past few years, I don't throw out large chunks of Prince Valiant or Burning Wheel. I wouldn't describe myself as throwing out large chunks of Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic, but that would depend whether you count not (yet) using story situations that have been professionally published as "throwing out large...
    170 replies | 6973 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 09:54 AM
    The best approach generally is the 3e one of doing it by setting, but have different settings vary by danger level, and start the PCs off in a level-appropriate zone. Another approach I use for high level PCs travelling a long way is to use the high level tables from XGTE, but greatly reduce the frequency of checks - I'm only rolling for significant encounters. Eg I had a level 19 dragonborn...
    9 replies | 213 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 09:47 AM
    If looking to do the 'cinematic universe' thing, I'd think using Forgotten Realms and adapted versions of some of the FR novels would be the way to go, treating the books as a buffet of options. The early novels both stand on their own and can tie in to later stuff. You can do versions of both Crystal Shard & Azure Bonds, then have protagonists team up later to fight another BBEG (Szass Tam,...
    53 replies | 1336 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 09:38 AM
    This is the bit that I regard as mere assertion. It's not stated, nor implied, in any rules of any RPG I play. In my Moldvay Basic days, as a player I knew that swords hurt more than daggers because I read the variable weapon damage chart; and I knew that green slimes need fire because I read the Monster chapter. The rules directed me to read both bits, and drew no distinction between the two...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 09:35 AM
    But this is metagaming through and through! That is, had it been thought of earlier, then you would have authored other things differently. I mean, even if that's true, so what?
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 09:30 AM
    This, this, this . . . Especially make something up! And so often, that something itself need be nothing more than a sketch or a hint. For instance, And did he have ninjas helping him? Was he under a curse of Coventry? (Some Rolemaster supplement had such a thing.) In my Traveller game, we know that one of the main PCs regained consciousness in a damaged cold sleep berth stacked in a...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 09:18 AM
    I "laughed" your post because of the first 4 lines! But this is true too. And to satisfy some other posters, it's obvious that there are many systems which have zero chance of producing various experiences; this isn't anything unique to 5e, or AD&D. Eg you can't get BW out of MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic - it's not gonna happen no matter how you wish for it, because the system (i) makes action too...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 06:16 AM
    Sorry, I have to, how shall I put it?... call this as stretching for a certain type of answer. The fictional facts (@Pemerton's 'F') is only thinly known. All we really know any real detail about in the world is what was actually engaged in the fiction. Even if you count in all the things that GM and players assumed without them being brought out in the fiction this world is VERY VERY THIN. I...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    4 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 05:39 AM
    I have, in ages long past, witnessed games of D&D in which the DM literally did just that, kept all the character sheets and only doled out purely descriptive information that the PCs 'should know' (in his opinion of course). The idea, I assume, was to create some sort of genuine RP experience which was entirely true to some kind of ideal of perfect in character play. All of these attempts...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 05:38 AM
    Its almost like... I don't know... call me crazy... but system matters! As to the last style (we've discussed this aplenty), it is almost surely the most popular form of TTRPGing on the market presently (for a myriad of reasons). During the playtest, I called D&D Next (which became 5e) AD&D 3e w/ some bolted on (meaning not integrated holistically) indie tech. But its play paradigm...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    5 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 04:20 AM
    I'm not afraid of bad GMs actually. I am simply convinced that RPGs can provide improved play process and better results when the GM has certain structures to work with.
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hriston's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 03:54 AM
    A lot that became and is still part of D&D, including the initiative system, has its roots in Chainmail. The purpose of this thought experiment, rather than an attempt to fix anything, is to imagine how “simultaneous movement” could work if it was brought forward into the current edition in the same way that the “move/countermove” system was. Yes, as in the example when the orcs use the...
    12 replies | 411 view(s)
    0 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 03:36 AM
    You do have a point, how many imaginary children the imaginary orcs ate is a bit of an 'angels on the head of a pin' sort of a question. Still, classic D&D guarantees the PCs NOTHING. Even if they give up every possible thing they could stake which would plausibly provide them an edge its perfectly acceptable for the DM to simply state that they find a pile of bones at the end of the trail. I've...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 03:34 AM
    The part where you actually manage to establish that this is knowledge that the PC doesn't have.
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 03:27 AM
    Over the Edge (a Jonathan Tweet RPG) includes a three-column essay by Robin Laws, "The Literary Edge" (at pp 1912-93 of my 20th Anniversary edition). I'm not going to type out the whole thing, but it has some interesting stuff to say about "metagaming" and about authorship of the shared fiction: Role-playing games changed forever the first time a player said, "I know it's the best strategy,...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    2 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 03:24 AM
    While I agree it isn't presented so as to highlight all the drama, there seems to be quite a bit inherent in the situation. I've certainly watched movies with much weaker plots! I mean "can we catch up with the orcs before they eat our children" seems like a fairly dramatic concept for an adventure to me... I agree it is presented in a rather DM-driven way, and the system that is assumed lacks...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 02:53 AM
    To me this all seems very obvious. Which is not to criticise you for posting it (on the contrary - XP given!) but rather to say that it's odd to me that this needs spelling out in such detail. I mean, the very first time a wandering monster appeared from around a corner that the PCs had themseles just walked around, the need to fit newly-authored elements into the established fiction arose....
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 02:33 AM
    Manbearcat - one moral of your posts is that there's no uniform thing good GMing (and hence no uniform thing jerk GMing). This can be set out in terms of both risks and skills. An obvous risk in GMing AD&D in a non-class dungeoncrawling context (and 2nd ed AD&D really brings this risk to the fore) is railroading/"Mother may I" - because the system simply lacks a mechanical framework beyond GM...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 01:55 AM
    mmm, no, that would be MTG Arena. D&D Beyond isn't an in-house project, and MTG being MTG is way a bigger phenomenon worldwide.
    44 replies | 1355 view(s)
    1 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 12:23 AM
    This is my vote (maybe make drow dark purple?) :) One thing I like about Crystal Shard is it has a slightly adult, swords & sorcery tone in places, which was discarded in the sequels. I think the D&D movie should be at least a 12-rated.
    53 replies | 1336 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 11:59 PM
    This reminds me of a Ron Edwards post that I've posted from time-to-time: if your "story now"/"scene framed" game sucks, what you probably need to work on is coming up with interesting situations!
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 11:51 PM
    Jesus man. You think my post above reveals me to have a bias issue? Yet your complete lack of analyzing the utterly obvious implications of what I wrote and instead going with with "look how biased you are(!)" instead...isn't your cognitive blind spot shouting from the mountaintop? Alright, since you won't do the math on my post, let me do it for you. At the risk of offending myself,...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 11:22 PM
    Here's Eero Tuovinen on the GMing demands imposed by (what he calls) "the standard narrativistic model" of RPGing: The GM might . . . needs to be able to reference the backstory, determine complications to introduce into the game, and figure out consequences. Much of the rules systems in these games address these challenges, and in addition the GM might have methodical tools outside the rules,...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 11:15 PM
    No. There is some established fiction - call it F. And there is a newly-introduced element - call it X. I am confident for any F, and for any X, there are indefinitely many ways of reconciling them as fictions - call these R. Any valid R will render it evident (if it's not already) why F happened given that X. You seem to be focusing on identifying possibilities that aren't R - call them...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 11:00 PM
    This thread isn't about it, and if you want to make a thread about it I'll participate, but how about a quick breakdown of what can go wrong when running a Powered By the Apocalypse game? Dungeon World since its been discussed? * Its difficult to improvise. * Its difficult to improvise while simultaneously managing the cognitive burden of integrating specific and differentiated character...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Hriston's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 04:16 PM
    Here's an example adapted from the 1st Ed. PHB, p 105: A party of 5 characters -- a wizard, a cleric, a rogue, a human fighter, and a dwarf fighter surprise an illusionist with 6 orcs. The opponents are 30’ distant. Orders for Round 1 wizard: cast sleep on the location of the opponent group cleric: cast silence on the illusionist's location rogue: move into the area of darkness to the...
    12 replies | 411 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 01:30 PM
    Are you suggesting that my life as a RPGer isn't "RL"?
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 12:53 PM
    The point is understood. It's generalisation to trolls still puzzles me, because (i) when I started playing the rulebook told me to read the monster chapter (so not secret), and (ii) whether or not I've read the book, once the monster's been encountered, it's continuing status as a "secret" in the GM's notes is a bit weird. To me, it seems very clear that the reason why new monsters and new...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 12:03 PM
    I've been playing RPGs for over 30 years. The idea that players who know about trolls have to pretend not to know is something that I've never encountered in real life. I'd not come across it until I encountered it on ENworld. Which I posted already upthread. Maxperson is the one who suggested that if a table is happy with not feigning ignorance about trolls, then they must also - by...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:59 AM
    Rand564: from your description of events in your game, I can't tell how they came about at the table, in the course of game play. Eg was the spread of the fire in the city your establishment of a consequence for a failed check by a player, or was it you as GM freely narrating stuff that you thought logically followed from the actions the players had their PCs take? The same question applies...
    9 replies | 288 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:39 AM
    But that generates my next question: these PCs know enough about what "dungeoneering" is to understand what a proper "combined arms" force looks like; but are completely ignorant of trolls' vulnerability to fire. They know that dungeons have traps that the "sneaky-types" might spot and disarm; they know that dungeons have monsters who will hurt them, thus generating a need for healing; but...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:36 AM
    And this idea, of the player keeping keeping hp scores secret, was a widely-discussed technique around 40 years ago. But I don't think it's much in vogue anymore.
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:32 AM
    How do you know? I have no idea how to reason out either of the things you mention; and I certainly know more about troll vulnerabilities than some of the polearms listed on Gygax's weapon table. This is what I mean when I say you are making arbitrary assertions. Nothing in the rulebooks of any version of AD&D supports this claim. It's purely a table convention for your game.
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:25 AM
    But this is just poor management of the fiction: introducing an element which contradicts what's already established (in this case, the absence of tracks on a muddy road). (And as per hawkeyefan's post, without introducing something else - like a magic spell or charm of traceless passage - to explain away the seeming inconsistency.) If a player is going to write in new bits of fiction, it...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:10 AM
    But surely you can see that this begs the very question at issue: why would the character not know? You are posting as if those who disagree with Maxperson are spinning nonsense out of whole cloth. But in my case I have the whole of the play tradition that I started with on my side: the rulebook told me to read it, so I did; articles in White Dwarf, by people like Lewis Pulsipher and Roger...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 08:50 AM
    Then why do you think a RQ rulebook admonition against using real-world chemistry in playing one's PC equates to, or implies, an admonition against using one's knowledge of trollish vulnerabilities in playing one's PC?
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 06:13 AM
    Right. I kind of naturally thought of it in terms of 4e, but this is a really big problem with running games which focus on 'story' using classic versions of D&D (or 3e or 5e either). There is simply no framework for regulating what winning and losing mean. This is why projecting a 'combat like' system into all aspects of the game is so revolutionary in 4e. I found nothing more telling in the...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 06:02 AM
    Right, you might have some sort of resource(s) that represent (IE are explained as) 'being a noble', but they're still simply based on some dice pool or set of character distinctions, and the other players' PCs equally have 'stuff'. Some might actually work out to be more advantageous than others, or players might deploy them with greater or lesser skill at play, but they should have roughly...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    1 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 05:46 AM
    But he isn't, really. There is a lot more too it than that. How often do 5 random people meet in a bar and suddenly become an indivisible team of highly cooperating members? How often do 5 rootless people (OK, usually) manage to even know how to cooperate well with others? I mean, its all HIGHLY implausible from the get go. Nothing about it strikes me as even faintly likely or reasonable given...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 04:38 AM
    I notice a lot of good arguments in favor of the idea that the future is digital. But all of them ignore a simple fact: All of these digital tools are ancillary second party products, and WotC isn't a digital developer -for the most part, MTG arena notwithstanding-. Their main business is in cardboard, with only a relatively small crew for MTGArena. The development and maintenance costs of...
    44 replies | 1355 view(s)
    1 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 03:50 AM
    I have to agree with pemerton, this IS meta-gaming. The players know that they need to work together in order to have an enjoyable game experience. There's no reason for it which arises within the game, except secondarily as a lampshade over the fact that it is driven by necessary table dynamics. This is why problems like thieves and paladins not being able to get along are an issue, because the...
    1838 replies | 49880 view(s)
    4 XP
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Monday, 25th March, 2019

  • 01:34 PM - Sadras mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I have allowed rolls like that, but the DC is generally significantly higher since the players almost always ask me who is in the taverns they go to, so I have a good idea of who has been around to talk and adventuring groups are uncommon. This might be a reason of some of the disconnect that occurs here between the various posters. You seem to play a highly detailed game whereas pemerton primarily focuses on story-moving scenes, so that level of character engagement with the setting that your table experiences is glossed over fairly quickly by him - thereby it makes sense for Pemerton's table to use a die roll for knowledge gained to cover the RPing aspect (conversations, books read, tales listened to) that your table actually experiences as part of the roleplay. I switch between the two styles during a session, depending on pacing. I have certainly moved towards a faster paced game of late, given that my playtime has been reduced to 6-10 hours per month if we are lucky. :(

Sunday, 24th March, 2019

  • 05:38 PM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    You know, I'm tired of debating with people about what they don't like. This whole thread was supposed to be about how to make D&D do certain things better, and it INSTANTLY got sidetracked by people telling us that what we wanted was not to their taste and that they felt compelled to be insulted by the way pemerton drew a contrast. I'm about just talking about the subject at hand, and I thought that since I basically hacked 4e to do this stuff, here's the essential parts of what I did and why (there are plenty of other things, but they really are not very relevant to this discussion, like altering some of the math). 1. I fixed some of 'the math' so that skill/ability checks and all types of attacks actually follow the same progression in practice, and can thus be mixed together. This is probably the least important change, but it delivers on the promise of true universalism in 4e's mechanics. You can now make a skill check as an attack, it works. 2. I broke check results into graded categories, so you can have total success at a check, or limited success, or you can fail (or even fail really hard, although that distinction is less important in general and probably could be eliminated). This allows a sort of DW-esque "well, you managed to jump the chasm, but now..." 3. Everything, except...

Saturday, 23rd March, 2019

  • 08:47 AM - Sadras mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Yes, I've pointed to this weirdness upthread, that the insistence on feigning ignorance precludes the experienced player from declaring actions that are open to the new player. Just another weirdness about it. @pemerton, @hawkeyefan and @Aldarc: @Maxperson's game (and he can correct me where I'm wrong) advocates for actor stance, not necessarily for first person dialogue but for the character behaviour/thought process. So yes at times, probably many, the player will know more than the character about the in-game fiction, as the player dives into the role of the character. Added to the above, at Maxperson's table the players may not create backstory fiction on the fly as that could be seen to circumvent much of the player knowledge-character knowledge divide and allows one short cuts/maybe even considered as a cheat in the roleplay (actor stance). From Maxperson's PoV, he is not gating anything or playing a degenerate form of MMI. He, as referee, is ensuring that everyone follows the roleplay in actor stance. Hence metagaming is an abomination in his eyes as is the circumventing of any kind of actor stance by players inputting backstory fiction or any in-game fiction which could viewed as a cheat....

Friday, 22nd March, 2019

  • 04:08 PM - Aldarc mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    The DM is the one that decides these things, unless the DM changes how the game runs. There are no rules allowing players to make up backgrounds on the fly, or to just decide the players know things about the game world. The DM is the one that decides whether it's a yes, no or uncertain which requires a roll. Thank you for sharing that you don't understand metagaming and the DM's role, though.1) This is an assertion about your play preferences disguised as rules facts. Do I need to pull up your quote on facts and opinions again? ;) 2) Max, I think you need to actually demonstrate some awareness of how the game exists in a more open space than your own narrow reading of the game rules. One can also note, for example, that although you may say that there are no rules allowing players to make up backgrounds on the fly there are also no rules that prohibit it. Normally there freedom exists within the spaces where rules are silent rather than restrictions. So pemerton is correct that this is just your unsupportable assertion. 3) Perhaps most damningly, your post, most especially the first sentence, is a glaring admission that you operate by Dungeon Mother-May-I when it comes to character knowledge. The DM decides = The Mother decides when it comes to giving the other participants permissions in play.
  • 02:39 PM - iserith mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ..."metagame thinking" in my D&D 5e games (from my table rules document): "'Metagaming,' defined here as using player skill or knowledge that a character might not necessarily have, is fine as long as it's fun for everyone and helps contribute to an exciting, memorable story. Assumptions can be risky though so it's skillful play to verify your assumptions through in-game actions before making choices based on them." So, sure, go right ahead and hit that troll with fire. You just better pray that I didn't change the stat block (which I frequently do) and I hope you were listening when I telegraphed that this troll is different. Discouraging it by explicitly or implicitly saying "You can't take that action because I've arbitrarily decided your character doesn't know about trolls' weaknesses" goes against the rules about a player deciding how his or her character thinks and acts. And anyway, if the character needs a justification for that action, the player can just apply the process that @pemerton outlined which is exceedingly easy to do on the fly, e.g. "My dear Aunt Sally told me about fire killing trolls in nursery rhymes." (The character was raised Aunt Sally because adventurers' parents are always killed, obviously. Probably by trolls.)

Thursday, 21st March, 2019

  • 03:50 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    .... I don't think Maxperson has been advocating against people discussing the game during play (or rulings the GM makes). He is talking about players using out of character knowledge to inform their actions in play. A ban on that kind of meta gaming is in no way contradictory with what the text advises. Here is the wikipedia definition: Metagaming is a term used in role-playing games, which describes a player's use of real-life knowledge concerning the state of the game to determine their character's actions, when said character has no relevant knowledge or awareness under the circumstances. This can refer to plot information in the game such as secrets or events occurring away from the character, as well as facets of the game's mechanics such as abstract statistics or the precise limits of abilities. Metagaming is an example of "breaking character", as the character is making decisions based on information they couldn't know and thus would not make in reality. I have to agree with pemerton, this IS meta-gaming. The players know that they need to work together in order to have an enjoyable game experience. There's no reason for it which arises within the game, except secondarily as a lampshade over the fact that it is driven by necessary table dynamics. This is why problems like thieves and paladins not being able to get along are an issue, because the game mechanics and necessary process of play actively conflict! Everyone who's ever seen this happen at a table knows this is absolutely meta-gaming, and it goes on at a low level in every game. The characters get along, like, and trust one another in a way that is HIGHLY unnatural for real human beings, and it is utterly at the service of the table, something which does not exist within the game itself.

Wednesday, 20th March, 2019

  • 07:51 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...ch as they want to have interesting things happen in the game. Even when a book's still being written the author almost certainly has some clue as to what makes each significant character tick and a bare-bones idea about its background. As Aragorn has come up as an example I'll use him: at what point did JRRT decide Aragorn would be a hidden king? (my guess is it came pretty early on, before pen was seriously put to paper) No idea, really. Who knows how many versions of the story he went through, or if he wrote it in chronological sequence or what. Either way, I'm sure there were some things that surprised even Tolkein during the writing. And I think that's part of the disconnect here. You seem to want the players to get as close to being the actual characters as possible, from a mental standpoint. Think like them, act like them, and so on. I kind of view it as being an observer and also a writer.....like I get to watch and enjoy a show that I'm also helping to write. pemerton had a recent post about this that I think explained it really well. The sense I'm getting from some in here is that yes, it always has to be approved if the system allows it. Well, it depends on the system, right? In D&D, I don't think there are existing rules for allowing such on the fly content creation, so if people wanted this in their game, they'd have to kind of homebrew it, or port it from other systems and tweak accordingly. But in other games, it's just part of the assumed mode of play. If that's the case, then yes, it should always be allowed, right? How could this be so is only one of the questions that will arise, however, and probably the easiest to answer. Much harder if not impossible to answer is the question "What would have happened differently in the fiction had this been known all along, at least by that PC's player and the DM?"; and that's always the very first question that leaps to my mind. And the problem is that if anything would or...
  • 05:32 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ... weather tables in Kriegspiel games. EVERYTHING was a challenge to the player, his knowledge and skill at play of the game. Any advantage imputed to a player (his PC) HAD to be earned because this was a competitive game! At the same time, skill must produce advantages, so there was always the nut of a problem there. The irony is that the lesson "never give the players anything for free" was fully absorbed, but the actual context of skilled play dungeoneering was lost! There is no reason, from a standpoint of how a game should or must work for these things to exist anymore, unless you really do play very much like Dave did (and if so, that's great). But in terms of modern D&D play these restrictions are, well, highly restrictive! And they carry with them a sort of antagonistic play paradigm where a main part of the DM's job is to crack down on players, to make them toe some sort of line and not get out of hand. Its weird, and to be perfectly honest Maxperson a lot of your responses to pemerton kind of reek of it. It isn't to put down any style of play, it just REALLY does seem very unexamined, like this is maybe how I would have thought if this was 1974 and D&D was just starting.

Tuesday, 19th March, 2019

  • 05:32 AM - Maxperson mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I'm not being shortsighted. I'm saying that being offered a quest from my hermit to kill some orcs is not very dramatic or character-driven roleplaying (ie it lacks MEAT). And you are wrong, since it adds drama in one or more of the manners that I stated. If you don't like it, it doesn't cease to be meat. @pemerton is not the one true god of MEAT who knows the one true way to serve it. This comes through in the questions you pose (as opposed to the "hundreds of other[s]" that you leave as an exercise for the reader): It's neither my job, nor necessary to spell out all the ways it can happen. I provided more than enough examples. Let's take a well-known example and contrast: Luke Skywalker has to choose between abandoning his family who are dependent upon him to help them with their farm and upsetting the hermit who knew his father and can mentor him into a wider world; Later on, he has to choose between abandoning the hermit to his fate, as the hermit directs him to and helping the hermit who will otherwise surely die, even though the hermit doesn't want this help; Later on again, he has to choose between abandoning his friends and upsetting the hermits who have placed their hope in him as the last of their order. Those aren't the only choices that Luke has to make, but are the main he...

Monday, 18th March, 2019

  • 04:59 PM - Numidius mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...pt halt. To me there is no benefit to hiding this information from my players or their characters.Seems legit and perfectly reasonable. But let's take nothing for granted: How do you know for sure the God of Death will not take offense? More: that moment of uncertainty from the Player couldn't foresee an important instance of play, I dunno: a dilemma for religious priests in the setting? (Or at least for the Pc?) that even a responsible Gm takes for granted, because see the OP? What I'm saying is that not only a Gm telling the world is not like reality, also it is not like The Setting. I'm sure your game is awesome (like everyone's poster here), but things run smoothly and fine until they don't (see the Chaotic Barbarian's Lawful Wife Incident up-thread). Eg: in my game with the thermal bathers things reached a point in which the Gm would not support my lonely Pc in town because in his mind my requests were "beyond realism". But infact I only needed a sort of Patron Check like in pemerton Classic Traveller game, to propel the story forward. We reached the point where we were not supported anymore by agreement and did not have a rule to refer to.
  • 11:16 AM - Aldarc mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    By bringing in player knowledge, it's no longer about PC vs. troll, it's player vs. game. It's what you know vs. what the game has in front of you.Incidentally, player vs. game is a guiding tenet and point of identity for the OSR community. They largely agree this was the principle focus of the "old school D&D" era. And this is congruent with what pemerton and AbdulAlhazred have said. I know that Bedrockgames also has experience with the OSR community and games, so he may also have some insight to shed on this issue as well. This player vs. game approach also underlies the "Second Zen Moment" in Matthew Finch's "A Quick Primer for Old School Gaming," which became a rallying cry for rediscovering the old school play of OD&D, D&D B/X, and 1E among the OSR community. Second Zen Moment: Player Skill, Not Character Abilities Original D&D and Swords & Wizardry are games of skill in a few areas where modern games just rely on the character sheet. You don’t have a “spot” check to let you notice hidden traps and levers, you don’t have a “bluff” check to let you automatically fool a suspicious city guardsman, and you don’t have a “sense motive” check to tell you when someone’s lying to your character. You have to tell the referee where you’re looking for traps and what buttons you’re pushing. You have to tell the referee whatever tall t...

Friday, 15th March, 2019

  • 11:26 AM - Sadras mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    pemerton I don't think we disagree on this. I was just describing a particular style of play. Can this style of play lead to dangerous character situations (troll example) requiring what some might describe as a disconnect to occur? Sure. As for what Gygax intended, I leave that for the experts who new him, played with him and have read much of what he has written, I'm in no position to comment on that.
  • 05:53 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I guess it depends if the BBEG plans are widely obvious in the setting, or they are inside the Gm notes. I'd say go with DW's Discern Reality Move to find out (risking an unexpected twist in case of failure) or with any Strategy skill check. If the game involves high level Pcs deeply rooted in the setting, why not having a new hi-lev Pc being the Good Twin/Brother/Former Comrade of the Evil Boss? I mean, what's the problem? I'd go further and say this kind of thing is GOLD. I am thrilled when a player takes this sort of initiative. There are like 1000 awesome things I can do with this as a GM! And another 1000 the player can do as well, it is so cool. I'm guessing that pemerton feels roughly the same way, its possible to frame a LOT of different scenes off of this sort of relationship and knowledge. Quite dramatic ones, and probably quite interesting to the player who would think of this background.

Thursday, 14th March, 2019

  • 02:07 PM - Maxperson mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    It's been some time since I've read the 4th edition rules, but I'm pretty sure that every edition of D&D has dungeon masters discretion written in. The player can't write up whatever they want into their characters backstory without talking about it with the DM first, yes? Otherwise what's to stop someone from making their character a former best friend of the BBEG's and by being that already knowing some portion of the BBEG's plans? I know that knowing that trolls don't like fire seems like common knowledge, and is quite a bit smaller issue than that, but is it really and wouldn't you still need to talk to the DM about it? pemerton enjoys a certain style of play, which is fine. What he does, though, is instead of admitting that he's house ruling something, he tries to use weak justifications to "show" that the game is supporting his playstyle in ways that it really isn't. 4e explicitly says to discourage metagaming, not to let players use knowledge of the game world to their advantage, and gives the players knowledge skills explicitly designed to be the vehicle to finding out monster knowledge of weaknesses and such. Yet because 4e doesn't have the words, "PCs only get knowledge of monsters from knowledge skills" or something similar, pemerton is using that as "proof" that 4e allows metagame knowledge of monsters and only rolls those skills when the player doesn't know.
  • 02:44 AM - Maxperson mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    And Spout Lore is akin to making a Intellegence (knowledge) check, while Legend Lore hides this sort of agency to learn such knowledge (much like many other things in D&D) behind a spell. He wasn't talking about the spell. He was talking about the Bard's knowledge class ability. You mean after all these discussions where y'all repeat the same misunderstandings, errors, and baseless assumptions regarding basic points about other playstyles and how other games are played and we are forced to repeat ourselves in explaining the basics all over again even after y'all claim to get it? You may understand it, but hopefully you can appreciate how we are often led to believe that y'all don't. :erm: You mean much like you, @Ovinomance, pemerton and others continually misrepresent/misunderstand our playstyle? Calling it "Mother May I", "Railroading" and more, just because it's a DM facing style? I get what you mean.

Tuesday, 12th March, 2019

  • 05:03 AM - Maxperson mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...rt that and forces the players to play out the scenario in some arbitrary "when-is-it-okay-to-use-fire" encounter, then yeah, I'd say that DM is forcing a "Mother May I" situation, and he's possibly ignoring his players' desires for play. The players have to ask "Mother May I use Fire?" and the DM sits back and says "No" until some arbitrary point where he then decides "Okay, yes, you can use fire." So I'm going to counter with the players being the jerks. They went into a game knowing that the DM doesn't allow metagaming and by virtue of sitting down to play, they agreed to those terms. Going back on it later with the troll is fairly jerkish behavior. And once again, denial does not equate to "Mother May I." There is no objective definition of the term as it relates to RPG play, as this thread has proven. Metagaming being out of character knowledge being brought into the game is the standard(by far the most common) definition. Sure, you'll get corner cases like pemerton who like to try and redefine things to fit their narratives, but that doesn't work and just ends up causing arguments. Maybe your unyielding opinion on what the term means is the obstacle to actually listening to what others are saying? Would you say that you see why I use the term Mother May I, and it's just a case of you wish I'd use another term? Or are you unclear of what the actual issue I'm describing may be? To be honest, it's a pejorative no matter what your intent behind the use, so I really don't care why you are using it. It's a term that does not belong in civil conversation. What about the non-binary third option; the DM allows some metagaming? I mean, I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of D&D games fall into this category, so it seems odd to leave it out. If he allows some metagaming, he allows metagaming. You either allow it(in whole or in part) or you do not. No. You know the differences between these two examples, so stop treating the...

Monday, 11th March, 2019

  • 03:22 PM - darkbard mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    you seem to be far more concerned with analysing the mechanics and letting the fiction just tag along. To reiterate what I just said: in my experience players will create the fiction that they want, consistently with what the mechanics make room for. As GM I don't need to police the fiction; but when deciding what game to play, and when adjduciating a system as GM, I do need to understand how its mechanics work. pemerton addresses this above, but I just wish to emphasize the point: system; at least as much as genre tropes, social conventions, aesthetic preferences, etc.; necessarily restricts or unlocks how the players engage the fiction. Understanding what the system does allows a game to become fiction first, if that is the desired outcome; poor comprehension of system blocks allowing engagment of the fiction first, as players stumble their way through mechanics and play directives that work with or against their desired fictional outcomes. For this reason, I think it vital to understand not only a single game system but many: only in the comparison can one see the possibilities and limitations of a particular system. (This is why it sometimes becomes frustrating conversing with you, Lanefan (even though you are generally quite pleasant in your interactions): when others suggest you look at other systems (like, actually read the rules books) so that you stop viewing everything through your con...

Sunday, 10th March, 2019

  • 10:25 PM - Maxperson mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    My categories were already taking subjectivity into account. There are 3 types of games. 1) Games that work. 2) Games that don’t work. 3) Games that partially work. Are you really saying that there are no games of D&D that fall into category 1? Obviously, where a particular game is would be a subjective thing. You might think a game is working fine, and I may think it’s working okay, and yet another person thinks it’s awful. That’s all fine. But objectively there are those three categories. Would you agree with that? What I am saying is that categories 1 and 3 are the same category. Right now, my game is category 1. If pemerton were to join my game, it wouldn't work for him and I would go into your category 3, even though I didn't change anything about my game. Subjectivity controls whether games work or partially work. Category 2 involves those games that are Railroad, "Mother May I"(if it exists outside of a white room, and other games that involve bad DMing. As I’ve said in a couple of posts, we need to try and be aware of context and intent. If you didn’t quite grasp the fact that MMI was not really being used pejoratively in the OP, okay that’s fine....but in the subsequent clarifications and qualifications that have been made, have you realized it? pemerton is not the only one using the term in this thread, and it really should have been dropped as a term immediately when people began taking offense at the pejorative. Second, for some, a system where there is even a possibility that the GM can at any point in time bend the game to his desires is one that some folks don’t enjoy. Even if t...
  • 09:38 PM - Dannyalcatraz mentioned pemerton in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    And increasingly, we have to consider our potential audiences as multicultural, multiethnic, gender diverse, multi-aged, etc. So we have to be more cognizant of when we toss around faux insults in our fiction lest we actually insult real people. We don’t have to agree with complainants, but we also can’t handwave away complaints without at least a modicum of questing for the truth. My words here just triggered a thought in me. Between me, Smon and pemerton, I think the sun essentially does not set on this thread. I mean, I KNOW it’s the internet, and it’s open 24/7, but between the three of us, we cover 3 pretty widely spaced locations within what used to be the British Empire.
  • 03:53 PM - Aebir-Toril mentioned pemerton in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    Including the vast majority in Kenya, Iran and India? Including the vast majority of Indigenous Australians, Native Americans and Maoris? @pemerton, I don't agree with @Bedrockgames on all topics that he/she/they have mentioned in this thread, but this seems like a pretty unfair interpretation of his/her/their words.


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Monday, 25th March, 2019

  • 01:30 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    More from Over the Edge (p 196 of 20th Anniversary Edition): Could vs Should One creative block that often keeps GMs from winging an adventure successfully is clinging to what "should" happen instead of imagining what "could" happen. For example, the PCs come into Sad Mary's and ask what the crowd looks like. One way to answer the question is to refer to premises and deduce the logical result. Sad Mary's is on the Plaza of Fowers, and lots of artists live in that area, so you deduce that the crowd has more than its share of artistic types. That's deduction: that's interpreting what should happen. On the other hand, you could answer that same question by deciding what would be interesting. A bunch of off-duty peace officers, guns in evidence, could be hanging around. There's nothing in the [setting] text about Sad Mary's that says that peace officers frequent the place, but it's not impossible. And it's interesting, especially if the PCs have been to Sad Mary's a gew times already and...
  • 01:27 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    What am I ignoring? And on what am I wrong? Much of what I have said in this thread. Are you asserting that you don't accord overwhelming authority to the GM in ddtermining what PCs know? Standard book authority is not overwhelming. And as I have said(and you ignored), I don't even engage in the full book authority. Are you denying that such an approach would be a very strong form of GM-gating? Why do you think DM gating is always a bad thing? Do you disagree that thin PC background produces pawn stance? If so, what's the basis for your disagreement? Probably because they aren't pawns. They are in actor stance. You are incorrectly attributing pawn to my style of play. Pawn is specifically an aspect of Author stance, and one can which involve metagaming. Relevant quote from the link, "In Author stance, a person determines a character's decisions and actions based on the real person's priorities, then retroactively "motivates" the character to perform them. (Without t...
  • 01:17 PM - Sadras quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Could vs Should One creative block that often keeps GMs from winging an adventure successfully is clinging to what "should" happen instead of imagining what "could" happen. Speaking for myself (but I don't believe my case to be uncommon), due to RL and time constraints, I got forced into winging it, and the frequency of being thrust into that situation increased as my responsibilities as an adult grew. With everything else one keeps practicing, I became more adept at it. I believe you have to find the right balance for oneself. There are still a few things that throw me off still, especially if it relates to world-building, but as for normal in-game creativity that doesn't phase me as it once did. I imagine the noble background example though might touch on the world-building aspect and that is why some might prefer not to wing it. It certainly does require a little more flexibility on the part of the DM in this regard. EDIT: Forgot to add, my thinking is the world-building decisions are mor...
  • 06:43 AM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    (1) Not every rule is GM-gating. (2) There is a very big difference, in the play of a game (including a RPG) between rules, and discretionary gating. So what. You have yet to show even a shred of evidence that all DM gating is bad. Gating is how games run. I actually just quoted you saying, of the bit about cooperation, that "The players working together just means that they shouldn't be jerks about ideas on what to do." That rule says in a nutshell that the players shouldn't be jerks to one another. Failing to cooperate =/= being a jerk. It can mean that, but doesn't automatically mean that. Also, your description of what the book says as "you can't use player knowledge if the PC does not know about that knowledge" is not very precise, and fails to identify the actual point at issue, which is who gets to decide what a PC knows? The RQ book actually says that "your first duty is to play within the limits of the characters you generate. Even though you are a chemistry ma...
  • 03:07 AM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Maxperson, here's you endorsing the extract I quoted from the RQ 3rd ed rulebook: You are conflating two different things. You are conflating my personal opinion that there is a standard definition of metagaming that is not the only definition of metagaming, and what I said about the RuneQuest rule, which is not my opinion on the definition of metagaming. What I said about the RuneQuest was only to point out that it says in the rule YOU brought to the thread, is that you can't use player knowledge if the PC does not know about that knowledge. I also pointed out how the rule was wrong about cooperation being necessary. There's nothing wrong with changing one's mind, but it makes the discussion easier to follow if one is clear about it. You are too good with language and have too clear a memory for me to believe that you weren't aware of my position regarding metagaming definitions(as I've said it multiple times in this thread, or that the above conflation was accidental. I...

Sunday, 24th March, 2019

  • 10:54 PM - AbdulAlhazred quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    The thinking being referred to is thinking by the players. The PCs can't have metagame thinking unless you're playing a game like Over the Edge, which has a self-referential dimension within the fiction. I was going to post a reply to this but then saw that @iserith posted exactly what I would have done. All I would add is that it's not true that a GM gets to adjudicate every declaration of "I recall such-and-such." For instance, if during a session of play the PCs met a shady broker at the merchant's house, and then the next session one of the players says (in character) "Remember that broker we met - let's track her down," the GM is not entitled to call for a INT check which, if it fails, prevents the player from making that suggestion. Contrast: if the player recalls his/her PC being introduced to the broker, but has forgotten the broker's name, and says to the GM "I try and recall her name," then the GM is entitled to call for an INT check which - if it succeeds - will oblige the GM to ...
  • 02:18 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    It also proves that you definition of "metagaming as cheating" is far from universal. I never claimed it was universal. I said it was the most commonly used definition(the standard definition), and it is. There are others.
  • 03:38 AM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    And guess what else - the RuneQuest rules that I quoted upthread, which you asserted expressed the same view as you about "metagaming", assert the opposite from you. Yes it did, and the fact that we can play the game and have fun without cooperation being necessary proves the RuneQuest rule wrong.

Saturday, 23rd March, 2019

  • 03:37 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    When the RuneQuest books say that players should have their PCs cooperate because that is necessary for the game to be fun, that's an example of advocating author stance - that is, making decisions for one's character based on real-world (or, if you prefer, metagame) priorities (in this case, having fun playing the game). I would be absolutely gobsmacked if there is not quite a bit of this in Maxperson's game. Even Lanefan on these boards, who is more purist than Maxperson about the issue of "artificial" cooperation between PCs, has told anecdotes of doing stuff with one's PC because it's fun/exciting in the real world. Which is to say that even Lanefan plays in author stance from time-to-time. I want the player to play and be their PCs, acting as their characters would, even if that means PCs coming into coming into conflict with one another or going off to do their own thing. The PCs cooperate when they should in character, and don't when they shouldn't. And guess what! The pla...
  • 08:47 AM - Sadras quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Yes, I've pointed to this weirdness upthread, that the insistence on feigning ignorance precludes the experienced player from declaring actions that are open to the new player. Just another weirdness about it. @pemerton, @hawkeyefan and @Aldarc: @Maxperson's game (and he can correct me where I'm wrong) advocates for actor stance, not necessarily for first person dialogue but for the character behaviour/thought process. So yes at times, probably many, the player will know more than the character about the in-game fiction, as the player dives into the role of the character. Added to the above, at Maxperson's table the players may not create backstory fiction on the fly as that could be seen to circumvent much of the player knowledge-character knowledge divide and allows one short cuts/maybe even considered as a cheat in the roleplay (actor stance). From Maxperson's PoV, he is not gating anything or playing a degenerate form of MMI. He, as referee, is ensuring that everyone follows the roleplay in actor stance. Hence metagaming is an abomination in his eyes as is the circumventing of any kind of actor stance by players inputting backstory fiction or any in-game fiction which could viewed as a cheat....
  • 06:45 AM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    For me, this pretty much cuts to the heart of it. Every action declaration (not just resolution, but declaration) appears to be gated by the GM, who regulates what motives and beliefs the players are allowed to draw upon in making those action declarations. It might appear that way to someone who doesn't understand the playstyle, but it is not that way in my game. But you've said they need your permission to have their PCs recall something. I quoted you fewer than half-a-dozen posts upthread saying that very thing. No. I said when the attempt involves uncertainty about whether or not the PC knows something, the DM has the authority to adjudicate it and call for a roll. He can say yes of course, and if there is good reason he will rarely say no. The vast majority of the time the die roll determines whether or not the PCs recall something, not the DM. Below is what I said about this. "The into section of 5e. The players decribe to the DM what they want their characters to do....
  • 06:38 AM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    All I would add is that it's not true that a GM gets to adjudicate every declaration of "I recall such-and-such." For instance, if during a session of play the PCs met a shady broker at the merchant's house, and then the next session one of the players says (in character) "Remember that broker we met - let's track her down," the GM is not entitled to call for a INT check which, if it fails, prevents the player from making that suggestion. You're right about the DM not having to adjudicate things recalled that involve what the PC has encountered during game play. It's the stuff that isn't from game play that's at issue here. So yes, if the players have encountered a broker and one of them remembers, he can freely say, "Remember that broker we met - let's track her down." However, if they haven't encountered a broker during game play, whether or not any PC knows of one is in doubt, so an attempt to recall a broker would involve an Int check to find out. The DM has authority to adjudicate ...

Friday, 22nd March, 2019

  • 07:23 PM - MichaelSomething quoted pemerton in post Why the hate for complexity?
    Cricket is umpired, not refereed, at least in the usage I'm familiar with. (I don't think you've got the match referee in mind.)And complexity over roles already rears its ugly head!
  • 01:31 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    This is the bit that I regard as mere assertion. It's not stated, nor implied, in any rules of any RPG I play. In my Moldvay Basic days, as a player I knew that swords hurt more than daggers because I read the variable weapon damage chart; and I knew that green slimes need fire because I read the Monster chapter. The rules directed me to read both bits, and drew no distinction between the two bits of knowledge I gained. And nowhere did they say that the GM could direct me to pretend I didn't know one or the other or both. Maybe such a rule is stated in the 2nd ed AD&D DMG? I've never read that book. The into section of 5e. The players decribe to the DM what they want their characters to do. You want your character to remember what a troll's weakness is. The DM narrates the results after deciding yes, no or uncertain which requires a roll. Read the exchange where the player experienced at the game doesn't just know what a gargoyle is. He "has a feeling" that the gargoyles may not...
  • 05:38 AM - Manbearcat quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    @Manbearcat - one moral of your posts is that there's no uniform thing good GMing (and hence no uniform thing jerk GMing). This can be set out in terms of both risks and skills. An obvous risk in GMing AD&D in a non-class dungeoncrawling context (and 2nd ed AD&D really brings this risk to the fore) is railroading/"Mother may I" - because the system simply lacks a mechanical framework beyond GM decides for making important decision about the fiction outside of combat. We can see this in the orc cannibilism chase situation: AD&D barely has the mechanics to determine whether or not the PCs forgoing rest lets them catch the orcs (at best their are movement rates, but nothing for determining whether eg the orcs get slowed by a flooded creek or twisted ankles), let alone for determining how frequently and how many children the orcs eat. That particular risk simply doesn't arise in (say) Burning Wheel, which has robust mechanics for resolving an indefinitely wide range of conflicts. A risk that ar...
  • 01:13 AM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    No. There is some established fiction - call it F. And there is a newly-introduced element - call it X. I am confident for any F, and for any X, there are indefinitely many ways of reconciling them as fictions - call these R. Any valid R will render it evident (if it's not already) why F happened given that X. Of course. But let's add a few more variables, shall we? Let's say F fiction was established at time 1, and X is being introduced somewhat later at time 2; and the fiction that came between these events is, in sum total, FF. Back at 1, F was established using the known information at the time - information of which X would have been a part had it been introduced at or before 1; and from there FF proceeded. Now we get to 2, and X is introduced. And while you can come up with many versions of R that maintain FF, my contention is that had X been known at 1 then the resulting fiction could just as easily have been GG or HH or II or JJ by now - all different fictions that a...

Thursday, 21st March, 2019

  • 09:22 PM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    And this idea, of the player keeping keeping hp scores secret, was a widely-discussed technique around 40 years ago. But I don't think it's much in vogue anymore.And there's a valid question to be asked as to whether this trend has been a good or bad thing; and the answer is probably some version of "both" for most of us. But that generates my next question: these PCs know enough about what "dungeoneering" is to understand what a proper "combined arms" force looks like; but are completely ignorant of trolls' vulnerability to fire. Exactly. They might not know a thing about what they're potentially going to face but they know, or have a vague idea at least, what resources are available to them before going out to face it. And even then if they decide to run out a party consisting of nothing but thieves I ain't gonna stop 'em, and they'll learn in-character where their shortfalls lie. :) They know that dungeons have traps that the "sneaky-types" might spot and disarm; they know that dun...
  • 09:07 PM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    But this is just poor management of the fiction: introducing an element which contradicts what's already established (in this case, the absence of tracks on a muddy road). (And as per hawkeyefan's post, without introducing something else - like a magic spell or charm of traceless passage - to explain away the seeming inconsistency.) If a player is going to write in new bits of fiction, it shouldn't be too hard to reconcile it with what's gone before. To reiterate a point made by AbdulAlhazred upthread, the established fiction of most RPG campaigns is pretty thin, meaning that the reconciliation task is not normally going to be that demanding.That depends, I suppose, on whether you're only looking at trying to make the new element fit in with what's established (which, as you say, is often not that hard to do) or whether - and here's my sticking point - you're looking deeper to see if the new element would or could have caused anything already established to have been established differently...
  • 01:46 PM - Bedrockgames quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Are you suggesting that my life as a RPGer isn't "RL"? No. I am saying it is exceedingly common in real life. That is literally all I am saying.
  • 01:41 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    But that generates my next question: these PCs know enough about what "dungeoneering" is to understand what a proper "combined arms" force looks like; but are completely ignorant of trolls' vulnerability to fire. Sure, why not? Basic tactics is far more common for a group to understand than very specific monsters that are not seen commonly, or for the vast majority of monsters, EVER, in towns and cities. There's no good reason why you would treat them the same, other than perhaps that it helps you win the game easier to have that monster knowledge. They know that dungeons have traps that the "sneaky-types" might spot and disarm; they know that dungeons have monsters who will hurt them, thus generating a need for healing; but they don't know which of those monsters is vulnerable to what sort of damage the wizard might do. Again, sure, why not? Knowing dungeons have bad things in general is not even close to being the same as somehow having knowledge of which specific monsters are in...


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