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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Today, 06:25 PM
    I've been considering adopting the following house rule, cribbed from Alcestis on the old WotC forums: "Enhancement Bonuses: The enhancement bonus of the weapon or implement used for an attack is added to its damage roll once for each die of damage in the base roll. This rule applies only to the damage dice listed in the power itself, not dice added by outside sources such as class features,...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Today, 04:18 PM
    Its not a snark! It may be an amusing analogy, but nothing about it is snarky. I didn't label it 'kitbashing', the statement was made that you could just kitbash 5e and it would whatever you wanted, so why are you complaining? Then you came back with this statement you're now claiming was the original point, but that wasn't how I interpreted the discussion at all! The genesis of this was the...
    2750 replies | 74590 view(s)
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  • LostSoul's Avatar
    Today, 12:30 PM
    The result of the reaction roll sets the number of successes needed in the skill challenge before three failures. "Uncertain, cautious, and wary", the most common result, is 6 and it goes up and down from there. That doesn't necessarily mean there will be any conflict, so there may not be any rolls needed. The PC only rolls when there is conflict and the way I determine that is if I don't know...
    195 replies | 25568 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Today, 03:32 AM
    I mean, you shifted the discussion from systems to what DMs could do, which is simply a wide-open and thus meaningless arena. Any random GM can hack on any edition of D&D until it becomes a clone of any other arbitrary RPG. This is just as true as it is that a guy with a blowtorch and sufficient know-how can turn a porsche into a dumptruck. Its sort of just trivially true, and altering the terms...
    2750 replies | 74590 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Today, 03:27 AM
    I will just be blunt because I'm tired of MM's hogwash, its hogwash, pure and simple. Dismissed out of hand. The game is the game, and even if different GMs can play a given game differently that doesn't change the fact of the game itself having certain characteristics. All I mean when I call 5e 'universal' is that the argument was effectively that it can be used as such, albeit with...
    2750 replies | 74590 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Today, 12:06 AM
    It's D&D. That means D&D elves are as different from Tolkien's elves as you make them.
    20 replies | 441 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:25 PM
    It's fantasy fiction about elves, isn't it?
    20 replies | 441 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    20 replies | 441 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:47 PM
    Right, what I would say is that Ovinomancer is shifting the goal posts. The question was about what the SYSTEM does, and he is trying to talk about what the GM can do, independent of system. BUT I would go further and say that systems like 5e ACTIVELY WORK AGAINST the sorts of play that you would see in a game like FATE. The way characters are designed in 5e vests all their abilities in their...
    2750 replies | 74590 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:45 PM
    Yes, think of the elves made thralls by Morgoth in the mines of Angband. For example, Gwindor, a Noldo, was a slave in Angband for fourteen years, where the strength and beauty of his body was ruined. He also lost a hand.
    20 replies | 441 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:28 PM
    OK, what optional tells me is that the game already has a set paradigm on which it works, independently of some sort of narrative mechanics (Inspiration and etc). So any such rules are going to be a secondary consideration, something added onto existing mechanics to tweak an existing system. OTOH the mechanics in FATE are the game, they're central to how it works and everything else is built up...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:50 PM
    As is also the case in nearly every other system out there so I don't think it really says anything about what a system can do.
    2750 replies | 74590 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:45 PM
    I'm not so sure about that, at least not without some caveats. It sounds less like "D&D can do this" and more like "the GM can do this." Your answer seems less about what the system can do and more about the capabilities of the GM, an agent independent of the system. And your second sentence kinda underscores this point; you do this, but the system does not inherently facilitate these sort of...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:54 PM
    Eh, I don't think they were TOO crazy. The Orbizard cheese was the one exception, but they did nerf that pretty early on with the 'one time only' change to the orb save penalty and changes to some of the items along the same lines (yea old Orb of Infinite Solo Suckage). Beyond that wizards were really moderately tame. Rituals gave them a dimension many other classes lacked as a given, but for...
    43 replies | 1099 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:09 AM
    Some posters seem to be arguing that a sorcerer is not comparable at DPR than a fighter because it is better off spending spell resources doing other more interesting stuff. I don't follow that argument. If a sorcerer can match, or come close to matching, a featless fighter in DPR, and is better off doing other more interesting stuff leaving the DPR to the fighter, that seems to show that a...
    401 replies | 15630 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 10:38 PM
    Well, maybe one option, that would start to resemble Major Boons, would be to allow an enhanced effect with the spending of a point. So feats could include an added component structured like "spend a Karma Point to..." This could also be a "point to guarantee a success" mechanism, which HoML likes to use a lot.
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 10:34 PM
    DMG2 doesn't really address companions and such in the inherent bonus rule, but I would hold that your companion would get inherent bonuses to attacks rolls and damage. This helps them a LOT in terms of being a viable option to make MBAs and at-will attacks, etc. By MP1 RAW they certainly tailed off in usefulness over levels, and only gained some minor relevance again in Epic if you took the...
    212 replies | 20098 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 10:26 PM
    Well, sure, but then you start to look at how it works... There wasn't the defense feat for using a staff back then, nor the feat for boosting your AC in cloth, etc. Staff is a two-handed weapon, so you couldn't play with the two-weapon feats either. That seriously limited your AC options. You could start with an OK AC, but it was hard to really keep up. Raging Storm requires CON and DEX,...
    43 replies | 1099 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 10:15 PM
    OK, this is a concrete claim. How would you address the sorts of styles of play which are typically addressed by the signature mechanics of FATE? (I would take these to be character aspects primarily, and how they are tied into the mechanics, I know this varies to some extent between incarnations of FATE-based games). For my part I see nothing in D&D which provides anything like the dynamics...
    2750 replies | 74590 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 09:49 PM
    At the risk of sounding like I'm accusing you of lacking a deep understanding of games, which I don't really intend this to convey... I once thought as you do. At that time, back in the early 80's and even up into the days of 2e's release, I just thought that the magic was to crack the nut of producing a truly good universal system. None of us really appreciated the limitations of the paradigm...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 09:35 PM
    At the risk of sounding like I'm reversing what I said before, there IS a fundamental sense in which, 4e aside, D&D has stuck to its original premise rather closely. The GM generates a world as a sort of 'challenge' or 'puzzle' to the players, who have NO input into its particulars (at least formally). The players assume persona and direct them based entirely on in-game knowledge and without any...
    2750 replies | 74590 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 09:24 PM
    D&D focuses on exploring exotic locales in search of treasure and the gaining of experience which advances characters on a power curve, giving access to ever greater supernatural reserves of durability, magic, etc. It isn't so much that you couldn't graft some sort of 'humanity' concept onto the core of D&D. Its that you'd have to also ditch many of the elements that make D&D what it is. XP...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 06:16 PM
    This reminds me of one of the Martial practices I made up that allowed one to spend time and effort (alah a healing surge) to reawaken the power in a device.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 05:49 PM
    This could in theory be done as a Martial Practice but I suspect it would be a must have anyway but it is very much a subset of Sensei. Martial Focus represents your personal independence alah the oath of independence / Riddle of steel so the enhanced beast reduces your maximum martial focus by 1.
    212 replies | 20098 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 05:12 PM
    To tell you the truth It all reminds me of somethings Gygax suggested about Spells being a Wizards magic Item treasure and how the Fighter +++ from 1e era who was considered a Warrior in 2e, ie the Paladins had Boons AND a limit on magic items. The connection has been there forever.
    42 replies | 1332 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 04:52 PM
    Boons Boons are attributes which characters have or which they gain by virtue of their race, class, level, and/or story. They may be rewards earned through adventuring, such as ancient magical treasures, they may represent knowledge gained by the character in the course of pursuing her career, or they may be things acquired by the character as a result of exposure to mystical forces beyond...
    42 replies | 1332 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 04:42 PM
    Yeah, its hard not to think of those as things that I would make into feats in 4e. At least they are blurring the lines a good bit. I think that was one of the things which convinced WotC not to push the idea. Not that it was bad, but it was hard to come up with a rule for contributors that said what was a feat and what was a practice. Luckily HoML doesn't have that issue...
    42 replies | 1332 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 07:17 AM
    So AbdulAlhazred what do you suppose a Feat costs in Karma Points It's sort of the step you took in merging things into boons ;)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 07:08 AM
    Love the damned if you do and damned if you don't action of the fighter class.
    170 replies | 7409 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 06:50 AM
    If I can conjure the gumption I think some tempting beast master powers would be a good addition to the Martial Power III collection.
    212 replies | 20098 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 06:43 AM
    "Sickem" requires a free hand. you attack the enemy adjacent but with a gesture send your beast to rake a distant foe. Your superior directions allow your beast an extra move action this round without invoking opportunity attacks during the movement. (certain beasts may be able to move thorough enemy spaces) during this move they may attack an adjacent enemy. This one might be similar...
    212 replies | 20098 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 06:30 AM
    I would need more of the requires hand free powers.... to counter point other enhanced two weapon powers. I am not thinking the At-will is the only area that it would need support for (TS ravaged the entire Range of levels )
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 06:27 AM
    I suppose standing still is a move action err why? (and probably not one encouraged in 4e combat anyway) Making my beast get inherent bonuses like it was a heirloom magic weapon was on the list... and so would be feats that boost the beast and the beast itself gaining a power akin to a magic item.
    212 replies | 20098 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 05:06 AM
    Well, this is the violence that Twin Strike did to the design space of 4e. By having this one grossly over-effective power the whole design of not just the ranger, but everything in the game which could have allowed relatively free exchange of at-wills between classes. TS is not, in and of itself, 'broken', that is rangers are quite effective due to it and the even better 'it has to beat TS to be...
    212 replies | 20098 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 04:43 AM
    The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea. They're one of the plethora of "this race are your enemies." They seek out pretty much any powerful source of magic to use to resurrect their god, Lakal. I guess there's some nuance there, good goal, bad means, etc. Shardminds aren't specifically 'psionic' any more than any other race, but their racial existence is related to the Far Realm, which is...
    21 replies | 942 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 04:36 AM
    I prefer controller focused builds anyway: so I am actually not arguing that. Not even sure I can care enough to develop the idea more completely LOL But every Beastmaster build I have seen out in the wild still takes and spams that twin strike. Further there was some definite disconnects with some of the visualizations = things like trading your movement to get it to move. Yeh I have to...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 04:16 AM
    Not entirely true, its a pretty good power for use by a front-line staff build. Wade in and let loose! The real problem is they failed to provide much else for such a build to DO with itself. There needed to be a whole set of close powers that let you do things like an ongoing damage aura (ala RoS), as well as powers that would slow, prevent shifting, slide, weaken, etc. nearby enemies. In...
    43 replies | 1099 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 04:13 AM
    I assumed you meant rear - view mirrors. I think if the class had been designed with enchanter et all style boosts in the very first place it could have been ok. But I do think they were explicitly enhancing the Wizard there doesnt seem a reasonable way to interpret things otherwise.
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 04:10 AM
    I argue there's nothing wrong with the beastmaster, it simply illustrates the utterly myopic nature of most analysis of 4e classes. The straight up MP1 beastmaster build is every bit as good as either the archer or the two-weapon builds. It simply trades a very small amount (less than 10%) damage output for other tactical and RP advantages of at least equal value. This is why WotC steadfastly...
    212 replies | 20098 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 03:48 AM
    Well, one thing is pretty true. A LOT of long-time D&D players are poor tacticians, in an absolute sense. Other editions pretty much make the game about some form of cleverness, either in terms of gaming the build rules, or in terms of exploiting, or at least knowing well, the spell lists. The tactics that do exist are relatively obvious ones (focus fire, get surprise, use terrain to make it...
    170 replies | 7409 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 03:35 AM
    Archer Ranger is actually an interesting case. It is possible to build and play it as a rather boring concept where you stand at the greatest range you can manage and stick things full of arrows as fast as possible (IE take as many off-turn attack powers as you can arrange, and any feats which let you amplify off-turn attack opportunities for example). The OTHER way is I think what BA was...
    170 replies | 7409 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 03:29 AM
    So, is the corollary that 4e was panned so much because (at least in PHB1/MP1 era) the Fighter was arguably the hottest class in the game?
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 01:54 AM
    I have an idea of balancing a Beastmaster after the use of an secondary weapon (usually a thrown one or with coordinated attacks this may be directly like the rangers full weapon) . To use beast master powers and benefits you have to have one hand free. (which is used communication through gestures with your beast). A beast coordinating with it's master to attack a single target is more potent...
    212 replies | 20098 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 01:45 AM
    The trader is a type of man appearing in the D&D Basic Rulebook (1981), the D&D Expert Rules (1983), and the D&D Rules Cyclopedia (1991). They are described as brave, good at fighting, wearing furs, and leading pack mules. They remind me of fur traders on the American frontier. The background features I might give such a character are: Feature: the Wagonmaster feature from the Caravan...
    9 replies | 268 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 12:41 AM
    Zardnaar -curious how I always think of you as Zardinaar- I like your thoughts on multiclassing. I just want to add, that Sorcerer/Lore Bard (likely Bard4/Sorcerer3+) is just plain good as a support/control caster, only Divine Soul comes close, but having less spells hurts it a little. Tons of spells known and tons of cantrips to play around. I prefer to start Sorcerer(for the CON proficiency),...
    26 replies | 780 view(s)
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  • LostSoul's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 06:43 PM
    Adding on: An evil or mischievous faerie started the whole thing to remove the queen from power. Finds the vats, breaks the seals and lets nature take its course; then complains about it to the queen. Or maybe the evil instigator isn't a faerie at all but someone who wanted the queen removed for other reasons, depending what's on your map.
    7 replies | 231 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 02:52 PM
    Over half of your wall-of-text is just snide, passive aggressive bickering. These aren't the sort of "arguments" that one should even respond to. It's not helping anything. Please chill down. So, Imaro, in meatbag communication I have found it extraordinarily helpful to let people know how the message of their speech come across, whether intentionally or not. Most people will say, "Oh, sorry...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 12:48 PM
    Most of my cosmologies are fairly boring and derivative. I prefer to keep the story focused on the material world, and I find most planar travel overrated. Bifold Model (1): Prime World and Spirit World. And done. Keep it safe and simple. It's the Avatar the Last Airbender model, and also the Dragon Age model. I use this model when I just want all "spirits" to be regarded as fae, angels,...
    86 replies | 2697 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 10:41 AM
    Trimming your post a bit. I would agree with that claim, at least based on your post that Campbell quoted and some of your comments before that. You have also left out another key point of Campbell's quote in this section: "I have never had the same sort of fun that Sorcerer provides in a mainstream game for any significant measure of time." And I do think that persistence and consistency...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 04:20 AM
    Designing the Martial Techniques is bringng home the interchangeability of things... ie your generic boon idea.
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 04:04 AM
    I'm sure you could use this idea with 4e. I originally thought of it, at least partly, as just a formalization of what was happening in my last 4e campaign. That is, you'd adventure for a while, and then something would happen and you'd get some treasure, and/or level up. We didn't bother with XP after the first few months of play, and then DMG2 came out with Grand Master Training and other stuff...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 03:53 AM
    Giving Thunderwave a range of 5 might help it too... ie pick a square up to 5 squares from you waves of thunderous power radiate forth pushing enemies back.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 03:06 AM
    And for me a vanilla ranger (who didnt pump a bunch of controller style feats) is phenomenally boring in play.
    170 replies | 7409 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 02:58 AM
    My players probably wouldnt mind easy mode things but I cannot help but feel a lot of interesting flavor gets washed away Beyond encounter powers what about them cantrips.
    43 replies | 1099 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 02:42 AM
    While the c# is for actual coders https://github.com/CBLoader There is also documentation for building the XML part files https://github.com/CBLoader/CBLoader/wiki
    5 replies | 217 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 02:32 AM
    You could get a Dragonling and have him become the vehicle for Arcane Blast (yes likely not end up used on Thunderwave except during the first very few levels). Might be able to get them to go exactlly the direction desired. (once per encounter)
    43 replies | 1099 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 12:21 AM
    utterly doable and I considered that myself when I first seen the 2d4 and the 4d4. There was an app someone came up with to aid creation of part files but I have not been able to find it.
    5 replies | 217 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 10:28 PM
    What I perhaps unfairly hear in your questions to Campbell essentially amounts to an unnecessarily defensive "More 'fun' in Sorcerer with this theme than D&D? Outrageous. How is this possible? You should be able to do this in D&D too" and therefore "Why bother with other systems when we already have D&D that could do that?" in the subtext. ("D&D is mother. D&D is father. D&D, über alles.") And...
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 06:39 PM
    An alternative thought: if the encounter power limitation of the suggestion above is a dealbreaker, what about modeling the effects on the various Feat add-ons that give bonuses to an At-Will Powers like Vigilante Justice Style, Harlequin Style, Daring Performer, etc.
    15 replies | 509 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 05:41 PM
    Say your GM was generous and, considering the relatively high entry requirement for a Ranger, allowed the player to swap out the Healer's Lore feature of Divine Healer for Battle Cleric's Lore. Is there a way to get the CB to add a Shield Bonus to AC to reflect this? Thanks!
    0 replies | 124 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 05:36 PM
    I would probably start with the Changeling's Trick racial power as a model: Minor Action, Bluff vs. Passive Insight, grants CA until EoYNT. Variations could use Diplomacy (of course) as the "attack" stat, and effects could be things like Mark the target, Pull or Slide the Target 2, etc.
    15 replies | 509 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 05:30 PM
    Definitely a holdover from 3E, as you note. Since there are no "ranks" in skills in 4E, I would require training in Bluff or Diplomacy, which each opening two of your minor effects. If the character has training in both Bluff and Diplomacy, open up all four effects.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 04:59 PM
    Ah that is to be expected considering Bilbo being where most of us first "saw" it used in battle. For 4e I would expect some explicit "forced" movement distances and such. How would you convert the idea to 4e?
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 03:24 PM
    That's but the tip of the iceberg. Depending on the context people can be referred to using the neutral pronouns normally reserved for inanimate things. (like a teacher used to say "Children are almost people"). And using masculine and feminine forms for inanimate things is more the rule than the exception in indo-european languages. In this case I thing that English is quite unique in its strong...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 02:37 PM
    I too would enjoy a follow-up from Campbell. I suspect there is an interesting conversation topic there waiting to erupt. Your post here seems focused heavily on the matter of "what," but I think that the underlying nature of Campbell's post was about a "how" issue. You could have multiple board games be about sorcerer player-characters "winning" by acquiring the most amount of power at the...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 02:30 PM
    Somehow I feel if this was a barbarians howl of fearsome might people would freak.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 10:18 AM
    That is how the player uses it... he is indeed a human with three. Thing I see is situationally it can have value until along comes Beguiling strands, which is like having the super expertise feats... which blow out a bunch of others that had flavor or situational value. Instead of adding options they effectively take them away (or with a player less tapped in to optimizing, build traps of...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 10:09 AM
    Now that is pretty complex... I remember seeing taunting rules long ago (might have been a house rule thing) and thought it might have been in the 2e kits (there was a taunt spell) but since I explored a lot of games it may have been from entirely different sources and I thought it was more like early 80s .
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 10:02 AM
    And this potentially very organic character growth I find intriguing...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 09:03 AM
    I'm not Campbell, but here's my take: he's not just talking about theme (colour, flavour); he's talking about actual game play. As soon as the experience depends on the GM trying to provide this experience - eg by making certain choices within much broader (or even non-existent) constraints around world-building, encounter design, establishing scenes, and resolving action declaraions - then...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 05:06 AM
    Anyway, yesterday's discussion segues into Character Advancement. I don't think we have to really dig into the mechanics of it, there's nothing exceptional there, and I haven't tried to write it up in great detail anyway. The main point HOW advancement happens! Character Advancement As explained above, each character has a level, which determines the sorts of challenges the...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 05:03 AM
    Right, I consider all 'Afflictions' to be magical in nature. The world is magic, magic is the world!
    42 replies | 1332 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 04:59 AM
    I am a terrible person I know...
    5 replies | 217 view(s)
    0 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 04:34 AM
    You added 'Evocation', eh? PHB1 era didn't have that keyword, you revisionist!
    5 replies | 217 view(s)
    0 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 04:21 AM
    Can be made a lot uglier though, and since it gives such a wide area of party friendly push it is just begging to be the sauce on my Wall of Fire, or Stinking Cloud. Its very easy to increase the area, and to increase the distance pushed. Probably not too many ways to increase the damage, but that just isn't the point. Anyway, tossing all the bad guys away from your allies just about when...
    43 replies | 1099 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 04:02 AM
    You launch a silvery bolt of force at an enemy Something I whipped up a while back used with CBLoader and the offline character builder file: magicmissile.part <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <D20Rules game-system="D&amp;D4E">
    5 replies | 217 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 03:59 AM
    When I said "a lot of D&D play" I didn't mean (necessarily) a lot of your D&D play. I'm talking about how various tables approach the game, rather than aspects of the game at any given table. I think there are plenty of tables (what proportion "plenty" equals can be an exercise for the reader) where beating the module is the game. And where the characters (as more than game pieces) and plot are...
    114 replies | 3031 view(s)
    0 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 03:22 AM
    I think D&D HAS evolved more than MOST games though. A lot has indeed stayed roughly the same, but over time the game has diffused and branched into various flavors, all within an overall genre. As you say, mostly niche games have simply come and gone and been replaced by more polished or different games, vs evolving in and of themselves. That's kind of what I was talking about. There's not a...
    2750 replies | 74590 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 02:46 AM
    Thunderwave is one my wizard player already picks ... he also picked the enlarge spell feat (which at least cannot affect Beguiling Strands) If he had that really strong wisdom secondary (he doesn't have that) he could probably have the push distance the same and by sacrificing a bit of damage he can choose toget an area of 4 In other words using supplemental feats and if you are strongly...
    43 replies | 1099 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 02:27 AM
    A lot of D&D play isn't about having a story. It's about the players beating the adventure using their PCs as the vehicles for doing that. It's a type of wargaming variant - like freeform wargaming (and unlike boardgames and some wargames), the fiction matters to adjudication and can be "played" directly by a skilled player without the need for mechanical mediation; but unlike a wargame each...
    114 replies | 3031 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 02:17 AM
    I ran a time travel scenario in my 4e game, and also ran an encounter with Ygorl, who in 4e is travelling backwards in time from the end of the world.
    25 replies | 555 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 12:44 AM
    If I understand this you are saying wizards encounters and dailies are going to take up most of the action economy past really low levels - so having an at-will that is comparatively over powered (or even oppositionally if most of the others are meh) but still quits being used mid heroic isnt a big worry because it is a short transition in the game?
    43 replies | 1099 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 12:32 AM
    perfectly in fact...
    43 replies | 1099 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 12:30 AM
    Assuming this is in response to this.
    43 replies | 1099 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 12:28 AM
    Well sure zero hp from psychic or some untyped and "run away run away" works. But I was specifically referring to the ability granted by the Intimidate skill... which was limited to bloodied enemies.
    43 replies | 1099 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th June, 2018, 09:21 PM
    Yes how do you intimidate minions into fleeing the battle when RAW they cannot be bloodied. (would declaring minions always bloodied for most powers cause problems? I do it anyway)
    43 replies | 1099 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th June, 2018, 07:11 PM
    That is an interesting take... I have also heard Beguiling Strands aka Thunderwave++ Freezing Burst aka Scorching Burst++
    43 replies | 1099 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th June, 2018, 03:13 PM
    Isnt requires tracking damage on minions sort of contrary?
    43 replies | 1099 view(s)
    0 XP
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Monday, 18th June, 2018

  • 03:32 PM - Imaro mentioned pemerton in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...s much as it seems to be ruffling some feathers are at their most basic level character descriptors (around beliefs, relationships, problems, etc.) which D&D 5e also contains in the form of Ideals, Bonds, Flaws etc. that the player or GM can draw on for roleplay in order to get a bonus fo some type to a roll (Compel in FATE/Inspiration in 5e). Scene framing simply IS the process with FATE, every scene in the game exists in relation to the needs/goals/aspects of the PCs. Now, FATE itself is a sort of boilerplate, not a system that you just play. You have to 'flesh it out' and part of that process would involve certain types of decisions. That would include whether or not your game is a zero myth, story now sort of game, or if it focuses more on some predetermined elements. So it isn't possible to be completely definitive in terms of what that process is in FATE. Correct me if I'm wrong but this isn't an actual mechanic it's GM'ing procedures which, at least going by some of pemerton's posts can be used in nearly any system if that;s how the GM enjoys running his game. In general the process is simply that the players define what they want to do in some fashion, via backstory, build choices, aspects (mainly in FATE), and maybe other things. The GM then frames a scene in terms which directly challenge the beliefs/goals/interests of the characters in terms of what they decided those were. FATE, IIRC then allows players to use FATE points to add or change some of the elements introduced by the GM. Play proceeds with the dice determining whether or not character's achieve their objects in the scene or not, and at some point the scene ends (IIRC there are some rules about when this happens) and the GM frames a new scene, or play proceeds in a purely narrative fashion so as to set up the next conflict. So is it that you feel the advice for running a game like this is lacking in D&D because none of what you've described above is determined by actual mechanics... ...

Tuesday, 12th June, 2018

  • 05:18 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned pemerton in post Towards a Story Now 4e
    ... should usually be done in consultation with the player. Alternate Traits Strengths, weaknesses, and goals are simple basic types of traits. They are meant to be easy to define and clear in their application. However they aren't the only possible kinds of traits. Players and GMs should feel free to come up with others. 3 is a nice simple number of traits to keep track of and doesn't clutter the character sheet too much, but characters may have more or fewer traits as desired. Boons and Afflictions An affliction could manifest itself as a trait. This could be a curse for instance which causes a character to behave in a new/different way. Such a trait might overwrite an existing trait the character has, changing his personality, or it might simply be an additional trait at the GM's discretion. Likewise a trait could be a boon. For example a character could be granted 'fearlessness' as a strength by some sort of powerful magical agency as a boon in reward for service. Comments? Dr pemerton? ;)

Sunday, 10th June, 2018

  • 02:28 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned pemerton in post Wrote an adventure, need feedback!
    ...mething else, entirely (like a skill challenge to corner the bandits, with the combat to capture/exterminate them not played through), or complicating it with some other objective that makes it more difficult. I'm not sure what your point is here. Consistency with what? There's no world run by rules in which all bandits must be 8th level standard creatures which making them level 13 minions is inconsistent with. The world is not numbers. If he makes some 13th level minions and calls them 'bandits' they are simply a certain set of bandits who are fairly minor plot devices! He could thus make the encounter 16 minion bandits and a standard leader (or make it 20 minion bandits, a standard lieutenant, and an elite bandit leader to make it a bit tougher encounter). Now its a fairly numerically substantial band which seems logical, but most of them will melt before the PCs, after perhaps mounting a brief threat, leaving their leader(s) to decide when to call uncle. Anyway, I agree with pemerton on the levels of things. I'd also alter the Spinagons to something of 13th level. Actually, as the encounter is written, its a pretty easy encounter, one 13th level standard and 4 8th level standards. Simply upleveling the Spinagons would work, but you could also do something more interesting. Perhaps Hathag has 4 daughters! Another option would be to make Hathag into a Solo, which is a pretty standard sort of concept here. The summoned creatures can then be minions, and you could rework the ability so that one or two are summoned every round, or at certain intervals. Another option here would be to make the whole thing more interesting. How about Hathag has gotten worried about the PCs, noting how they're potentially tough enough to take her out, and she's in the midst of opening a portal to Hell! Best get that closed before too much stuff comes out... (I know, this is a well-worn cliche situation, but as it stands the whole encounter is quite static, it will be a dud, trust me). ...

Friday, 8th June, 2018

  • 08:09 PM - aramis erak mentioned pemerton in post RPGs And Eurostyle Games: When Opposites Attract
    ...ly. FASA-Trek, by comparison, had TOS Genre enforcement in the Character Generation, in the ship combat systems (both STRPG 1E core's, and ST III boardgame tie-in), and in the extensive gear lists. What it didn't do well is capture the rapid flowing feel of TOS brawls. STA can do those brawls, and the TNG "snapshots across the room from cover," and the TOS:A Piece of the Action thompson submachinegun drive by... but unlike FASA, if allowed to drop down to just rules, without the colorful flourishes, there's no ST feel left, in the same way that Puerto Rico, St Petersburg, King Me!, Colosseum, ticket to ride, or Reiner Knizia's Knights are respectively math/economy engine, ibid, hidden agenda bidding, Asset auction and set completion, rummy variant with a bizarre scoring system, yachtzee variant with a bizarre scoring system. Conan, Mutant Chronicles 3rd, and Star Trek all use one engine, with light mechanical theme changes, and heavy use of fluff text to define the intended genre. pemerton - Most boardgames have a shared emergent story - it's just not a character driven one. Listen to the Power Grid or Advanced Civ "No S__t, there I was..." stories. Or any consim. Or even Settlers of Catan. Players will see story in their play almost any time they can "empathize with the pieces"... Twilight Imperium players especially, speak of their factions in a personified way, as to Advanced Civ players; Diplomacy players tend to see their opponents as the story element, but still, it forms a narrative that, when exceptional, becomes a legend amongst the players (and the bane of us waiting in line at the FLGS register). Making stories is one thing that humans are genetically adept at doing - EVERY culture has the ability to tell stories (with the possible exception of the dozen or so uncontacted known tribes), and to relate the actions of others, including fictional others.
  • 04:05 PM - Jay Verkuilen mentioned pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    ...l to bits, leaving dragonborn and tieflings, respectively. Nerath had more recently fallen to a horde of gnolls after their last king did something really stupid. So the Nentir Vale is implied as being a northern march of what was once Nerath but is now abandoned. Nothing about what's to the north of it, south of it, etc., and its walled off by mountains. Who do they trade with? No clue. As I recall at the time the argument was that they wanted to leave room for the DM to make their own Nerath unique, but I'm totally with Lanefan that sketching out the world is why I pay a game designer; I can then fill in the details. And that's why I said "self-serving laziness" upthread. It's like when someone says "he adds a nice synergy to the company" but really means "I hired my nephew because he's my sister's son." But of course, this also is just a matter of different priorities. Fallen empires is pretty far from unique, too: That's pretty much World of Greyhawk to a T. On that point with @pemerton, I agree, what was unique about 4E was the more cosmological stuff.

Thursday, 7th June, 2018

  • 10:47 PM - Mistwell mentioned pemerton in post The final word on DPR, feats and class balance
    ...lowed by: And then you have the fundamental notion that offense means you get to choose (which enemy dies first). What defense means, is that the enemy is given the choice to ignore your greatest asset. In short: by skipping your impervious behemoth, they're attacking the weakest link. So even before we go into specifics, of course offense is going to carry the day! It's comparing Panzers to the Maginot line. Now, if D&D had offered a robust aggro system then I could have seen a point. If defensive tanks were given the power to control the actions of enemies. But it doesn't. It just does not. (There is experiments with token abilities but nothing that really approximates the power of the World of Warcraft Warrior main battle tank)... And I really am having trouble taking the detractors seriously. If offense meant that you got perhaps one point of attack value or two points of damage for a point of defense, then again: maybe you do have a point. And I know people like pemerton was aware of that thread and those posts, because he XP'ed them and replied to one of them. And then we get a separate thread (this one) from CapNZapp for his "final word" on the DPR topic that he's been riffing off lately. Get it now?

Wednesday, 30th May, 2018

  • 11:14 PM - Manbearcat mentioned pemerton in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    AbdulAlhazred and pemerton , let me wander around my head aloud for a minute. This is kind of where my brain was going: * I was thinking about the parallels of Blades in the Dark and the Mexican Drug Wars particularly in the states of Sinaloa and Durango (which has also spread plenty elsewhere). I was thinking about how when a vacuum of power emerges (where a cartel which has dominated the drug trade without rival in a particular area suddenly has the head of its snake cut off or is defaced/defanged), the place goes from a (very) relative order and placidity to an eruption of sustained barbarism, violence, and destabilization. The locals are besieged emotionally, physically, and economically due to the cartel warfare. That is how you end up with the extreme transformation of Ciudad Juarez in only a few short years. * I was thinking of parallels in Blades in the Dark where Bluecoats, Council-members, and Magistrates can be bought off in order to (a) get in on the action and (b) "keep the peace (status ...
  • 03:52 AM - Manbearcat mentioned pemerton in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    @pemerton , I'll check out your thread at some point in the future and post some comments. I haven't played In a Wicked Age, so that is very interesting (and obviously VB is my favorite designer). I just logged on briefly because I had a thought and this seemed like a decent enough repository for a game premise. In a Points of Light sort of world where humanoidkind (I guess that would be the word?) is pressed on all sides by an encroaching darkness (a la 4e or Beyond the Wall or Torchbearer or Blades in the Dark), a despotic power-broker and apex predator of the magnitude of an Elder/Ancient Dragons demanding monthly tribute (or something not too overwhelmingly punitive) becomes a stabilizing force for a region. It is by no means "the perfect good", but its "good enough" in light of the alternative. Its slaying (by adventurers perhaps) or disappearance (perhaps a pilgrimage, perhaps ascendance) creates a vacuum of power and profound destabilization to the local ecosystem. The disorderly, i...

Friday, 25th May, 2018

  • 01:48 PM - Imaro mentioned pemerton in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    I think there are a variety of factors at work in terms of different game preferences and the relative popularity of various games. It is probably fruitless to make anything but guesses and any such exercise is likely to end up reeking of our various biases and whatnot. But yes, there are some 'just like to kick back' players. I haven't found that story focused games necessarily turn them off. Most of them are OK with BEING engaged, they're just not so into going to a lot of effort to make that happen on their own. They can often play a game like mine and have plenty of fun. Either they mostly ignore the big driving 'stuff' and take on a smaller role, or they tie their 'wagon' to another character that is run by a more proactive player. You can certainly encourage this sort of thing if it works for them. I don't see this as much different from the guy who plays in a module and just hangs on the second ranks taking his turns and acquiring his treasure and XP split. First @pemerton ... just wanted to say in your recent posts you summed up what I was (trying to say??) saying earlier and apparently were able to avoid accusations of disingenuous behavior/posting. Perhaps I'm not expressing my thoughts correctly but thanks for re-stating it (in a more clear manner??). My biggest issue with players like this and games like FATE (which for the record I do play and enjoy) is that they don't want to do the lengthy character creation that is involved in creating a character for said game (especially the more involved older versions of FATE). Either they haven't and don't enjoy thinking in that much depth about a character they haven't played yet or they just want to get to playing the game. And yes I know FATE can do the design a character during play method but IME, this becomes an exercise where I as the GM, often through prompting (Hey there's a locked door did you want to make one of your skills lockpicking?) am basically building their character for them. I thi...
  • 06:03 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned pemerton in post Cosmology Timeline?
    I have to second darkbard and pemerton, its a very flexible cosmology. I THINK you can work out the sort of default historical sequence by very careful reading and deduction (though the official material is not all consistent). Still, its just lots of little bits of stories that only provide a very broken and partial view of what might have happened. I certainly wouldn't worry about trying to be 'canonical'. Nothing in 4e assumes that.

Thursday, 24th May, 2018

  • 05:13 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned pemerton in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...l 1, depending on build. Either way, 4e PCs have powers, maybe a theme, a background, etc. I'm going to step back here as I feel like I posted in good faith with comments and thoughts around your post even asking for further comment from you around ideas you presented... and it was taken as some kind of attack on you. I'm not sure how we discuss things if questioning and differing views are looked at in that way so I'll retract my questions at this point... though I will say when you claim a specific games mechanics create "meatier" worldbuilding (thus associating a value judgement with it) but don't really go into depth around why this is...you should expect people to question it, especially in what is supposed to be a discussion. Not to continue a 'fight' that obviously nobody was really interested in having, but I can understand why Aldarc asked the question about 'fishing' and how he probably felt when he made this comment. I've heard a lot about how certain people feel like pemerton is down on their styles of play. It OFTEN seems to those who might be on the 'other side' (loosely, not sure there is one) of this divide that we're being cast as 'those weirdos over there that like funny games', to put in terms we probably all identify with who started playing RPGs at a young age. Every time I hear about how my version of this is somehow a 'fringe' style of play, which seems to implicitly be a way of saying that its not really as good as the 'regular' way, I kind of cringe a little. I hear people say they don't intend that, but the same people come back after pemerton when he basically says the same thing, that he isn't putting their kind of play down. I mean, I have mixed feelings. I don't like to think its 'wrong' to discuss why maybe more people play one way than another, or whatever. It can be pretty hard to keep it from seeming like there's an unspoken agenda though! Even if there really isn't one.

Saturday, 19th May, 2018

  • 01:27 AM - TheCosmicKid mentioned pemerton in post Pathfinder 2's Armor & A Preview of the Paladin!
    Then enlighten me. Give me one example of objective morality. I gave you six names to look into. I think pemerton mentioned a couple more. You yourself brought up Kant. You don't have to agree with them -- they certainly don't all agree with each other -- but if you want to be a meaningful part of this metaethical conversation, you do have to take them seriously. I can assure you, the professional philosophers who argue against them do. If you tried this "there is no debate" line on any of them, I can only imagine you would get the same response you've gotten from me and pemerton.

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018

  • 09:46 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned pemerton in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Are you confused, or are you snarkily and passive-aggressively pointing out that they should have said "character" rather than "player"? And then, the following, rhetorical question: Are you sure your approach is a good use of anyone's time? I am confused. pemerton had made it very clear that he separates the terms player and character precisely, and had held others to this standard. He had the opportunity to correct if he was mistaken but continued without doing so, even doubling down on the usage. Given his statements on usage, I'm trying to work with him. I'm doing my level best to engage pemerton as he's indicated he wants to be engaged. And rhetorical questions are rarely a good use of anyone's time.

Tuesday, 15th May, 2018

  • 12:48 AM - Lanefan mentioned pemerton in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    As a complete aside: in our session this past weekend my character found herself in a bazaar in a strange city looking to purchase, among other things, a feather. pemerton , I thought of you... :)

Saturday, 12th May, 2018

  • 02:49 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned pemerton in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...gn game theory who have likely developed their own set of jargon, but I am not. And perhaps this even points to a gap in the conversation. Yeah, but it's just my own vain sentiment. A whim. A want. A desire to go beyond what we have as it seems that we are too attached to these terms and all their associated baggage. I can't help but shake the feeling that these terms do a massive disservice to all gamers and their preferences. I think what does a massive disservice is that so many people are so afraid of any analysis that they have gotten themselves in a tizzy over Ron Edwards, The Forge, and GNS terminology (and anything else that has spun off from it) because that suites their purpose in derailing attempts at thoughtful analysis. The fact that no other alternative analytical theory and terminology has arisen, anywhere, says more to me about the community than it does about the analytical technique. Now, I'm not really a huge fan of GNS as a theory, or its terminology, but like pemerton, I have to have something to describe what I observe and think, and at least those are terms that we all have SOME idea what they mean, even if they're pretty flawed. Now, Ron long ago closed The Forge (its been 6 years AFAIK since posting was disabled there), and whatever he's said since then has been much more in the form of writing games as far as I can tell. I really don't follow the guy or care that much what he's on about now, but my guess is he got tired of the stink people raised and wanted to spend his time on actual gaming. Presumably someone else will come along at some point and establish some other analytical framework. When that happens maybe I'll use it, and maybe I won't.

Friday, 11th May, 2018

  • 07:23 AM - Gammadoodler mentioned pemerton in post Pathfinder 2's Armor & A Preview of the Paladin!
    pemerton, Based on your expressed intent, there are some mixed messages included here. "It's not about how Paizo does it, it's about the one true appropriate way to define it by literary heritage". So, it's not that Paizo is wrong, but they're also not right? I'm legitimately curious here, where are you you trying to plant your flag, and for what? Dismissing Aragorn as being a ranger kinda wasn't the point, though I'm perfectly willing to stand by it (There was a lot of running or hiding from no-win situations rather than head-on confrontations with them in honorable combat; it wasn't Aragorn solo on the bridge with the balrog). I'm sure there is a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B here. The larger point is that as, king, he makes the rules, so it's not like he has to really concern himself with the law. I may be way off base, but I suspect that most GMs wouldn't immediately allow one of their PCs to include "rightful king" in their backstory without some significant cautiona...

Tuesday, 8th May, 2018


Saturday, 5th May, 2018

  • 04:16 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned pemerton in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...m myself, so I have a fairly good idea. Even if we are less harsh in our analysis, its still hard to find a game that REALLY lives up completely to your standards, because it means there virtually isn't going to be any sort of backstory. I mean, your problem now is actually that story creeps in so easily, and its so hard not to draw it along and help it happen. So, I don't want to be argumentative with you, I think your commentary is pretty fair and its not like its ridiculous or anything. I do get what you are saying. I think its, again, one of those things where there's a degree of truth in what different people say. Maybe nobody is precisely correct all the time. I think a built world implies a lot of things, including plots, which are likely to become actual in play. Sometimes that will be because a player wanted it thus, and sometimes not. Yes and I (as well as a few other posters who have addressed this)am recognizing that qualitative component by addressing the fact that @pemerton's limiters on player agency are different. However when one starts from a position of wanting to understand something (I assume that was the point of the OP in this thread) but then turns it into a comparison/competition where not only do they use negatively skewed language to describe the other playstyle but also define the parameters of the comparison and the nature of the "win" conditions well it's apt to irritate those who probabnly feel like the entire thread was a bait and switch that has been pulled on them in bad faith. It feels less like I want to understand and more like I drew you in to this so I could tell you how much better my style is and force you to defend your own. Yeah, I don't feel defensive. I feel misunderstood by some people, but I think there's actually a pretty reasonable amount of mutual understanding here. Some people got chapped a little and I think some of them talked themselves into some questionable positions that kind of irritated me a little bit. T...

Friday, 4th May, 2018

  • 01:48 PM - Imaro mentioned pemerton in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... that a traditional game with worldbuilding is a "Choose your own adventure" game. It's like me claiming Story Now is just a "Let the dice make whatever up in the moment" game. It's a simplistic statement that's mildly insulting and fails to capture the nuances of the playstyle. The very genesis of the story is also QUALITATIVELY different, and this gets back to what Hriston said before, there's a qualitative dimension to this whole 'agency debate' thing. You cannot simply spit out numbers, or even relative measures, like Maxperson is doing. It simply doesn't work. He's also correct, IMHO, in his analysis of the very nature of 'agency' itself, which is that nobody who seriously has the sort of philosophical credentials to be serious about defining it is going to say that actual humans have '100% agency'. Many might say exactly the opposite! Yes and I (as well as a few other posters who have addressed this)am recognizing that qualitative component by addressing the fact that pemerton's limiters on player agency are different. However when one starts from a position of wanting to understand something (I assume that was the point of the OP in this thread) but then turns it into a comparison/competition where not only do they use negatively skewed language to describe the other playstyle but also define the parameters of the comparison and the nature of the "win" conditions well it's apt to irritate those who probabnly feel like the entire thread was a bait and switch that has been pulled on them in bad faith. It feels less like I want to understand and more like I drew you in to this so I could tell you how much better my style is and force you to defend your own. The point is, players in pemerton's game are not simply given choices of circumstances within which they must have their characters navigate. They have a higher level input, to help determine what those circumstances are, the very process of creation of them, from the very beginning. It may be that...
  • 07:39 AM - Maxperson mentioned pemerton in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Maxperson's posts yelling "railroad" at pemerton's play examples is NOT how this topic should be engaged. I only began that after pemerton's repeated and incorrect depictions of my playstyle as "railroad" and "choose your own adventure". He just kept on ignoring the corrections and explanations. Once I'm sure that a person is just willfully insulting the playstyle, I throw his actions back at him.


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Monday, 18th June, 2018

  • 03:00 PM - billd91 quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    In LotR, JRRT is ambivalent about Frodo's fate after being stabbed with a troll spear. It turns out that Frodo is OK. ??? That sentence makes no sense to me. I strongly doubt JRRT had mixed feelings about Frodo’s fate when the orc chieftain speared him.
  • 01:58 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Most of this seems to be about how the game handles resource management (which, as far as hp are concerned, had always been a thing for every class). But doesn't seem to me to be particularly evocative of "cool down" rates. I know that a lot of people complained about the 4e resource recovery framework, because in D&D only spell casters and 3E barbarians have daily recovery abilities. But I don't see how this remotely relates to being an MMO. 4E clearly drew on three types of games that were quite current at the time: MMOs, CCGs, and miniatures skirmish games. It's got a much stronger family resemblance to these types than prior editions had. So there aren't definitive features but I do think a lot of older players were bothered by them, and, of course, there were folks who really loved them. The people I know who really loved 4E were the biggest MtG, minis game, and MMO heads. I don't think this was an accident. I don't dispute that it reminded you of City of Heroes. It reminded s...
  • 07:13 AM - Tony Vargas quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    But the fact that you're fine and dandy at 1 hp in AD&D, so that every injury in AD&D is one that causes death unless tended to in which case it lays you out for a week, causes no issues? And the total absence of debilitating or lasting injuries, too. The explanation of hps going back to the 1e DMG, combined with the system eschewing any sort of wound spiral or lasting injury, makes it clear that it can't be modeling any too-serious/difficult-to-recover-function-after injuries, right up to actual death. Its unrealistic, of course, but, having accepted it, actually more consistent to allow hp recovery in a short time - second wind, HD/Surges, martial healing, non-physical damage, &c. (Whereas death saves, for instance, are easily treated as a metagame mechanic rather than a marker of ingame status.)Death saves are OK at modeling the uncertainty the reader/viewers (and presumably other characters in the story) have when a character 'drops' in a genre story. Not great, but a bit bett...
  • 07:08 AM - Shasarak quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    But the fact that you're fine and dandy at 1 hp in AD&D, so that every injury in AD&D is one that causes death unless tended to in which case it lays you out for a week, causes no issues? I'm not the one who raised the AD&D zero hp rules as a marker of realism, precisely because the above is not very realistic! That is true, being almost dead and then being brought back to life and only having to rest for a week is not very realistic. But in any case it is simply not true that having 1 hp left in ADnD means that you are "just fine and dandy". It would mean that any injury is going to be the one that potentially kills you. As you yourself say, descrbing your 1hp character as "just fine and Dandy" is simply nonsense narration. Frankly Gary Gygax himself does a much better job of describing such a character in his explanation of hps. (Whereas death saves, for instance, are easily treated as a metagame mechanic rather than a marker of ingame status.) Which is exactly the Schrodinger approa...
  • 04:03 AM - billd91 quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Lanefan, billd91 - Tony Vargas's reply makes the point that needs to be made aboout "realism" in a hit point paradigm. Not really. Everyone’s going to have different tolerances for the differing levels of abstraction, even in variations on dealing with hit point loss and recovery. Assuming that just because there’s one level of unrealism going on means that any other level must be accepted is really just a fallacy. As far as narration of hp loss and zero hp is concerned - if you're narrating hp loss, and dropping to zero hp, in surgical detail, and then having your suspension of disbelief disrupted by the recovery that the game rules provide for, well, I would suggest changing your narration! No surgical narration is required to see a disconnect in starting death saves and being at 100% after just a night’s sleep and finding it jarring, even in the fantasy genre. It’s one of the elements of 5e I’m not too keen on myself, and I otherwise really enjoy the game.
  • 03:50 AM - Tony Vargas quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    As I posted upthread, as a former RM player/GM, and someone who was pretty familiar with the drfit from AD&D to RM, RQ etc in the 80s/early 90s, it remains very strange to see posters arguing for AC-&-hp combat on "realism" grounds. Indeed, I wasted much breath (actual face to face conversation) back in the day, defending hps, AC, saves (esp poison saves), and the 1 min round, from "realism." Realism was still a real(npi) thing, then, there were more wargamers still in the hobby relative to kids like myself, and realism must've been much more important in the context of historical wargaming. - the most trivial tinkering possible to a RPG is to change the short and extended rest durations in 4e or 5e. (I don't know how common it is with 5e; based on dicsussions on teese boards it was extremely common with 4e.) It's a variant right in the 5e DMG.

Sunday, 17th June, 2018

  • 06:25 PM - Tony Vargas quoted pemerton in post The final word on DPR, feats and class balance
    . If a sorcerer can match, or come close to matching, a featless fighter in DPR, and is better off doing other more interesting stuff leaving the DPR to the fighter, that seems to show that a sorcerer is just better. Sure, the Sorcerer, the most lack-lustre of the 5e full casters, flirts with strict superiority to the fighter, the premier ('best' at fighting, with weapons) 5e non-caster. Not exactly a shocker, and not exactly strict (strict being a very easy bar to avoid), but still, a terrible defense of the sorcerers specific DPR build and fighters perennial lack if versatility. I understand the argument that a sorcerer (or archer) needs a melee fighter for defence, which gives the fighter a distinctive support role. It's essentially a (social) class style argument about (character) class. The fighter should know his place and offer himself as a target as he grinds out DPR in melee, so his betters may take the decisive actions that swing the battle. The Sorcerer should know his pl...
  • 09:31 AM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    (1) It's not "more reallistic". It's different, but it's not realistic. billd91 already covered this one, so...what he said. (2) What makes you think a 4e PC who swoons in combat, and then recovers to fight on, has "had the livin' tar beaten out of him/her"? Maybe you're into nonsense narration, but I'm not. Even in the most gamist and-or disconnected versions of what hit points represent in any edition that I've seen posted in those arguments, a common theme is that going to (or below, pre-4e) 0 h.p. means you've taken enough of a beating that if left untended you're quite possibly going to die. The rules of all editions also have it that going to or below 0 is auto-death (0e), is auto-death* if not treated or cured quite soon (1e-2e-3e), or presents a significant risk of death if not treated or cured quite soon (4e-5e). These deaths aren't being caused by fainting. So to suggest someone repeatedly going to or below 0 within a short time "has had the livin' tar beaten out of him/her...
  • 05:08 AM - billd91 quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    (1) It's not "more reallistic". It's different, but it's not realistic. On a continuum between realistic and not realistic - the older school version is definitely a number of steps closer to the realistic end than the 4e/5e version. It's still far from it, but that doesn't mean you can't compare their relative position on that scale. This isn't just "different", this is different in a particular way that offers a bit more of a nod to the necessities of time (and having to get out of a hazardous environment altogether) in order to recover from a serious beatdown.

Saturday, 16th June, 2018

  • 09:56 PM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    A caster who for whatever reason knows no spells at the moment (e.g. has run out for the day) still has the 'spellcasting' ability. Seriously? In that case encounter powers aren't class abilities either, because a character who has used all his/her encounter powers and has not had a chance to rest has only the ability to regain them, but not to use any.Sigh. A wizard or magic-user always has 'spellcasting' as a class ability, as opposed to a fighter who does not. A ranger always (or should always!) has 'tracking' as a class ability even if she's currently blind, deaf, and tied up in a cave somewhere; as opposed to wizards who never get tracking as a class ability. Having an ability as a class feature and whether you can actually use that ability right this minute are two completely different things; which is also true for encounter abilities. In Gygax's DMG, recovery from negative hit points takes 1 week of rest (DMG p 82): Any character brought to 0 (or fewer) hit points and th...
  • 09:16 PM - Flexor the Mighty! quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Just to be clear, then: you do think that 4e is a tactical skrimish game with RP tacked on? I think it moved too far in that direction for my tastes but it didn't hit the Frostgrave territory to be sure.

Friday, 15th June, 2018

  • 02:45 AM - Shasarak quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    And what is the occurrence? There are no serious injuries (we can tell that from how it heals and how it doesn't impede; plus the magic rules tell us that if anything got chopped off we'd need regenerate, nor cure X wounds, to heal it). What damage resistance amounts to is more like When fire is being used, tieflings are able to take it better than ordinary people or If you're wearing adamantine armour, then mundane weaponry is less of a threat to you. I guess you are right that the game has changed with the new Video Gamer mentality so that you no longer have any serious injuries. In ADnD however that was not the case and if you were knocked into negative hps you required weeks to recover. So yes if 5e is your basis of looking at HPs, AC etc I can see how you may get the impression that they correspond to nothing in particular.
  • 02:16 AM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    (And in AD&D you had to reference the book for every class if you wanted to look up spells, thief ability chances, or - for fighters in particular - weapon vs armour charts. To the extent that people copied all this down onto their PCs sheets, likewise for 4e PCs.) Ditto for feats etc. in 3e / 5e. In all versions of the game you were kind of expected, as part of being a useful player, to note your character's abilities on its character sheet...with one exception: a typical spellcaster would soon enough have enough spells, some with quite lengthy write-ups, to force you to have handy the book(s) containing those write-ups. More recently, it's now possible to put the spells online so everyone at the table can look 'em up all at once without having to argue over who gets the book next: a vast improvement! As for fighters, remember in 1e you'd only be proficient with 4 or 5 individual weapons, gaining another every so many levels; so writing out the space-speed-etc. details for each profic...
  • 12:22 AM - Tony Vargas quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    "Purist for system" simulationism. That's not the only mode of simulationism that Ron Edwards discusses. That begs the question, does Mr. Edwards even know what a 'definition' /is/, because he seems wholly unable to construct one, or at least work himself up to the point he's willing to spit one out... OK, waitaminit: Simulationist: Purists for System: ...FUDGE...BRP...GURPS...the Hero System...d20 So, basically, core & universal systems, regardless of design philosophy, balance, functionality, or level of complexity? ...oh, here's a real gem... we need to distinguish between Simulationist elements vs. coherent design - the former have certainly been widespread, but mainly in incoherent games, with AD&D and Vampire as the chief examples. So, isn't Incoherence like hypocrisy is for a post-modern critic: the only sin left that can be decried? Is it a coincidence that the chief examples of incoherence were representatives of the two most-dominant RPGs of 90s? D&D and it's c...

Thursday, 14th June, 2018

  • 09:00 PM - Tony Vargas quoted pemerton in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    3. Determining whether those mechanics in fact more-or-less accomplish what they were intended to without too much persuasion by the DM and-or players 4. Determining whether D&D, as the mainstream game, is capable of achieving something close to the same result Is (4) also "without too much 'persuasion' by the DM and/or players?" Or is the first hypothetical game held to RAW, while D&D is let off the leash? As soon as the experience depends on the GM trying to provide this experience - eg by making certain choices within much broader (or even non-existent) constraints around world-building, encounter design, establishing scenes, and resolving action declaraions - then the play of the game takes on a different character. I don't know how Campbell would describe it; for me it is a certain type of insipdness, because the GM is not him-/herself playing full-tilt within the parameters established by the game, but rather making the rules at the same time that s/he purports to follow them.I'd ...
  • 07:01 PM - Imaro quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Most of this seems to be about how the game handles resource management (which, as far as hp are concerned, had always been a thing for every class). But doesn't seem to me to be particularly evocative of "cool down" rates. How is a tiered standardized time frame to regain powers for every class not evocative of a cool down rate in say WoW? From WOWpedia The term cooldown is defined as a period of wait time before a spell, ability, or item power can be used after a prior spell, ability, or item power. Often referred to by the pseudo-acronym "CD". 'Cooldown' may refer to: -The period of time after using a spell, ability or item before it can be used again. Many powerful spells and abilities have lengthy cooldowns, encouraging players to exercise forethought in choosing the best moment to use them. Some abilities have no cooldown and can therefore be used as often as desired (provided any other requirements are met). -The period of time after using almost any spell or ability in which it...
  • 06:50 PM - Imaro quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Spells are class abilities! Yes but until 4e not all classes cast spells... and yes since you are being purposefully obtuse I'm being just as obtuse in labeling all powers spells in 4e... The official character builder wasn't part of the PHB, was it? (I thought that was 3E at launch.) But in any event I'm not sure how that is relevant. Do cards become more MMO-ish if they're in an official character builder rather than an official supplement? Why does whether it was part of the PHB matter or not? When someone created a character sheet with WotC official tool for doing such... it created cards for powers. And this connects to the game being a card game/MMO/CRPG how? Because cooldowns mimic the daily/encounter/at-will nature of powers and card games abilities are very precise mechanical bits with a spattering of fiction on them ... just like the powers in 4e. This was all stated and explained numerous times earlier in the thread. You may not agree but asking it over and ove...
  • 06:34 PM - aramis erak quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    So in RM, a roll to hit is literally that - a roll to see if weapon contacts body. There is a chart that reflects different sorts of armour, which encoude the principle (true in the fiction, and at least purportedly grounded ina real-life principle) that heavier armour makes it harder to dodge blows, but will reduce the damage they inflict. In RQ a roll to hit is slightly different - it is a roll to see if an attack forces the opponent to parry or dodge to avoid being struck. If the parry or dodge check then fails, the blow does strike. There is then a further mechanical process to determine if armour absorbs/deflects the blow. Rolemaster uses 10 second combat rounds... and does NOT define a result doing damage as a single hit, either. The term given for damage is "concussion hits" - which implies multiple hits. The combination of time, the ability to shuffle OB into DB, and the term hits being used for damage, all imply it's not one attack=1swing. Now, GURPS, a roll to hit is in fact ...
  • 02:52 PM - billd91 quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    The weird thing about this, for me, is that spell cards, magic item cards, etc, existed for AD&D. And AD&D also had abilities with precise "refresh rates": hit points, spell recovery, lay on hands, etc. Indeed there were some of those things - yet the spell cards and magic cards were used by a fairly small minority of users, in my experience. They were a rarely seen convenience. Daily refresh rates also benefit from being very easy to conceptualize and grasp - those activities apparently tire the wielder out, sleep refreshes. Very easy to see how the abstraction relates to a concept of reality. Plus there's the issue of what contributes to what overbears. I love garlic - I put it in a lot of the things I cook where it enhances the flavor. Yet I don't put it on corn flakes, in my beer, or my ice cream or in absolutely everything I cook because then it would be an overwhelming element. Someone might choose to do so, someone else might avoid it all entirely. I like some resource management, I l...
  • 01:04 PM - Sadras quoted pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    The weird thing about this, for me, is that spell cards, magic item cards, etc, existed for AD&D. Yes true, but the actual PHB (not some D&D gimmick accessories) presented the powers in card blocks. Presentation matters a lot. And AD&D also had abilities with precise "refresh rates": hit points, spell recovery, lay on hands, etc. The AEDU was hard coded into the system for EVERY class.


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