View Profile: pemerton - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
Tab Content
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:46 PM
    Could, can, might, all just your preference. So, you are asserting that literally any implementation of this in some form, unspecified, is 'more realistic' than ignoring it? This is an absolute statement, eh? I won't even bother to address the absurdity of all this, its readily apparent to all. Max, your positions simply make no sense at this point. There isn't even a point in discussing...
    2274 replies | 67202 view(s)
    0 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:24 PM
    I don't really comprehend why the word 'realistic' is a good choice for this. I would choose possibly 'self-consistent' as one adjective, but there could be others. Anyway, I don't have any specific reason to dispute that a GM could be consistent, or even that they could have a well-developed 'internal logic'. I think these would be reasonable possibilities and you could then say "this is what I...
    2274 replies | 67202 view(s)
    0 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:17 PM
    I utterly disagree with you, dragons would never be able to fly if gravity worked as it does in the real world (certainly if things fell like they do in reality). So, clearly, there's a difference. How do you know that difference doesn't impact the deadliness of a 100' fall? You don't. I don't. Nobody does (at least I have yet to see a fantasy setting where actual physics, or whatever replaces it...
    2274 replies | 67202 view(s)
    0 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:11 PM
    There isn't any real way to know based on what you've said so far. It also depends on what we MEAN by 'realistic'. The following points spring to mind: First: you haven't specified what "become nicked and dull in combat with the need to sharpen the edge and work out the nicks, and rusting if not care for properly" actually means. How fast does this happen? What are the effects of nicked, dull,...
    2274 replies | 67202 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:04 PM
    IMC the Lich used regular ships to transport the contents of The Licheway. They only needed a skeleton crew.
    22 replies | 388 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:06 PM
    Garthanos started a thread 4e is not Pathfinder
    This in response to the structure and naming of the forum. /just saying
    3 replies | 86 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:44 PM
    Not sure this is exactly a perfect representation I wasn't even too picky about many accessories but... since character builder was mentioned. ====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ====== Aurelia Warleader, level 30 Deva, Warlord, Favored Soul, Exalted Angel Build: Tactical Warlord Archer Warlord Optional Choice: Standard Warlord Armor Features Warlord: Combat...
    25 replies | 1842 view(s)
    0 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:34 PM
    Careful how you sling around that 'everyone'. I think if you were to go back through my posting history on this forum or on rpg.net, or the old WotC D&D Community forums, if they still existed, you'd find I've never spoken in this fashion. I don't consider 'realism' to be a substantial axis on which to analyze most aspects of game play. In any case, the uses of this term, or analogous terms,...
    2274 replies | 67202 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:10 PM
    Hriston - I'm glad at least one poster found my OP clear enough! To elaborate - and I see what I'm saying in this post as consistent with the OP, and hopefully you will also - I don't see RPGing as primarily performance (in the artistic sense). Not for the GM - of course a melifluous GM can provide entertainment, but I don't see that as core. And likewise on the player side - thespianism is...
    20 replies | 402 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:00 PM
    I'm as averse to overly-pedantic debating as anyone, but this post leaves me a bit confused. Upthread you identified the honour duel as an example of making things worse, which would lead to turtling. Now you're saying you agree with me that it won't. And you're saying you don't see turtling issues. So I'm confused over what your views are, and what you're basing on experience and what is...
    1130 replies | 31130 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:46 PM
    double post deleted.
    2274 replies | 67202 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:28 PM
    Guess what: my games have as much of this realism you describe as yours. In fact, probably more of it, because at least some of the systems I run have rules and options for degrading armour, sharpening weapons, etc. In my Traveller game a wild animal crawled on board the PCs' shuttle. A faceplate was shattered by a sword blow. A NPC was caught coming out of the shower while a PC stole her...
    2274 replies | 67202 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:26 PM
    There seems to be a fair bit of wrangling going on in this thread over the definition of the word literary. I think it's pretty clear, however, from the context of the OP, that what is meant accords well with the standard definition found in Google dictionary, for example, "concerning the writing, study, or content of literature, especially of the kind valued for quality of form." I think the OP...
    20 replies | 402 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:54 PM
    Reread my post - I know you're saying this, and exactly what I deny. To retierate: there is more in the heaven and earth of the gameworld than is dreamed of in any GM's philosophy. GM decision-making isn't "informed decision-making", it's just one person's preferences for the fiction trumping another's. It's not more realistic that the inhabitants of the teahouse be decided by the GM rather...
    2274 replies | 67202 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:46 PM
    I think with 4e they took that approach as far as it could reasonably go. Then 5e was a big reaction against 4e, including 4e balanced item buying as part of PC building. So they did not give up after 3e - the 4e system was very well balanced, but in consequence many found it dull. I would guess Pathfinder 2 might be closer to what you want. 5e approach to magic was a reaction against what...
    157 replies | 136600 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:22 AM
    We played a Cthulhu Dark session not too long ago. No text, boxed or otherwise. It was pretty fun. This is a complete misdescription and misreading of what I said. One way to have your emotions aroused is to be an audience member to a performance. Another, different way - much more like real life! - is to have to make a hard choice. Rationality has nothing to do with that. Both rational...
    104 replies | 2828 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:39 AM
    Absolutely! But in my view the main job of a GM is not performing. It's establishing compelling situations, and helping resolve them (together with the other participants). I was thinking more about exhibiting emotional responses themselves, than evoking them in other participants. But that can happen too, eg when the whole table is on edge wondering whether a player will make a certain call,...
    104 replies | 2828 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:14 AM
    I have players write up session accounts, I have a blog for each game. In the Angry GM article that inspired this these are specifically discounted though since he doesn't think players will read them - and indeed they are primarilyfor my own benefit and enjoyment. I think the kind of player who does not remember and does not read account will not pay attention to a comprehensive recap either so...
    35 replies | 684 view(s)
    0 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:28 AM
    Yeah, judging from the posts between your's and this one, I think your kitten has died (to completely change analogies in mid-stream, but at this point who cares). Anyway, here's hoping Numidius will come back and continue with the fun ideas about bootstrapping story now with mechanics. I am not going to talk about whatever it is that killed the kitty, no more no more! ;)
    2274 replies | 67202 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:21 AM
    Yeh why fight the bad guys it's not like anything but greed is the motivation
    56 replies | 1510 view(s)
    0 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:17 AM
    No, Max, it is NOT a 'strawman'. It is a perfectly good solid reasonable argument. In order for your case to hold, 'more realistic' has to be an actual measurable defensible objective thing. So you would need to show how and why, and by what metrics, the GM coming up with a decision is 'closer to real life'. This is what we mean when we (or at least when I) talk about things being 'realistic'. I...
    2274 replies | 67202 view(s)
    3 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 11:45 PM
    Just to confirm I got home today and my 1st print DMG does indeed say "Requires Attunement!" I can only think my mistake must have come from referring to https://roll20.net/compendium/dnd5e/Ioun%20Stone#content which omits that.
    28 replies | 987 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 10:40 PM
    3e did not have rational magic item pricing - exhibit A being the wand of clw, but there are thousands more - so it could not have caused anything.
    157 replies | 136600 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 10:33 PM
    Never really seen 5e pcs get much in the way of items from official 5e adventures or hoard rolls. The good stuff comes almost entirely from tailored quests and commission/purchase.
    157 replies | 136600 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 04:53 PM
    Too bad that It would cost me way beyond that between postage and tariffs. Something I don't like too much about the Greyhawk map is that the most critical areas (Furiondy, Veluna and the Greyhawk plains) tend to be cut by page bindings or pages of multi-sheet maps.
    25 replies | 1175 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 09:00 AM
    Some recent threads have discussed aspects of GM and player narration in RPGing. Which hase prompted me to start this thread. My answer to the question in the thread title is a firm No. RPGing requires narration: GMs describe situations, and players declare actions for their PCs that respond to those situations. But I don't think the literary quality of that narration is important. What...
    20 replies | 402 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 08:07 AM
    I can only speak for myself. I use adventures because they have situations that I wouldn't have thought of myself. For instance, I wouldn't have though of The Crimson Bull scenario, which <spoiler alert> involves a bull that has turned crimson because an evil spirit has been trapped in it, and which has a cord made of hair tied around it which must remain in the grip of a righteous person at all...
    104 replies | 2828 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 07:29 AM
    Sure. I thought I gave some examples of my own along these lines. But in the approach I take (which, if I was running 5e, I would bring to bear - because in this particular respect I don't see 5e as that different from 4e), these would still require a check. But the DC required to persuade a Troll King to allow a fight between fighter and champion might well be lower than the DC to persuade a...
    1130 replies | 31130 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 02:49 AM
    This is where I disagree. My reasoning is similar to AbdulAlhazred's - that there is more in the heaven and earth of the gameworld than is dreamed of in any GM's philosophy. GM decision-making isn't "informed decision-making", it's just one person's preferences for the fiction trumping another's. Which is exactly what makes it not like real life!
    2274 replies | 67202 view(s)
    0 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 01:51 AM
    See, this is what I, generally speaking, dispute. My assertion is that even the most enriched of game world settings are so 'thin' in terms of detailed understanding of the processes and implications of the established facts, that any decisions made about what "is or isn't likely" are indistinguishable from pure opinion. The DM can indeed "make up stuff" and call it realistic, that doesn't make...
    2274 replies | 67202 view(s)
    3 XP
  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 01:47 AM
    They are available from DMs Guild. I have a bunch of the stuff, I've even remade the map from the folio to have a nice file I could print -I'm thinking I could have it printed on canvas or another textile-. It is huge, the thing is nearly 4'2"x3'3", even at 150dpi the file is over ten megs. I'd love to share it, but I'm not sure how kosher sharing it is. I mean I started from scratch and took...
    25 replies | 1175 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 10:47 PM
    MM still works pretty well so far but I can see future problems if I don't cap AC. Plenty of critters with +13 or +15 to hit. My son's PC got beat up by 3 fire giants not long ago.
    29 replies | 788 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 09:47 PM
    I use a version of the 5e DMG epic progression rules. I'm a bit stingier than what they advise but it can still result in powerful characters. Definitely not tarrasque as speedbump though, more ancient dragon is a tough fight for most solo PCs. So about the equivalent of 13th level in 1e. :D In Pathfinder a min maxed level 14 party was a lot more powerful than the epic-20 5e PCs, I definitely...
    29 replies | 788 view(s)
    2 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 09:40 PM
    Game isn't broken - just looking to the future. A lot of the enemies imc are converted from the Pathfinder stats and can work out pretty nasty in 5e, which has lower default magic assumptions.
    29 replies | 788 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 08:31 PM
    Just been using the standard DMG epic progression rules, tuned it down a little. Instead of 30 in all stats per DMG I cap at 30-28-26-24-22-20.
    29 replies | 788 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 08:29 PM
    Yup this is a high magic epic level 5e game set on Golarion, where ancient blue dragons are playthings of the Runelords.
    29 replies | 788 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 08:21 PM
    I do use 1 week long rests which helps with number of encounters. But level 20 characters have a ton of spell slots. It is very easy to make a level 20 pc with AC in the 30s even before epic boons, while monster to hit caps out around +19. I don't mind pcs min maxing for AC but I think a tarrasque should still have a chance to hit them. :)
    29 replies | 788 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 07:42 PM
    Yeah even without epic boons +19 to hit is doable. And AC in the 30s very doable which is more of a concern.
    29 replies | 788 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 07:38 PM
    EPIC PC :) Str 30 +10 prof +6 +2 weapon = +18 10 + CON 28 +9 Dex 19 +4 +3 shield +5 = 28 Sorry I was 1 out :)
    29 replies | 788 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 03:29 PM
    I do think players should be taking notes during play if they expect to do more than just hit things. I certainly do when playing, and some of my players are much better than me. My son doesn't need to take notes but he's young with a great memory. Adults really need to record NPC names, town names and such. If the game is all blending together that might be the GM's fault and a recap might...
    68 replies | 3556 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 03:23 PM
    S'mon started a thread 5e Capping AC and to hit
    After a few years running 5e at high level I think AC needs to be capped at 30, equivalent to -10 which was an official cap in some pre-3e editions. Looking at to-hit, a cap is less vital but I have decided to cap at +20 so that AC 30 is always a good defence. It is a lot easier to get AC into the 30s than to-hit over +20 though. My son's bbn-20 currently has AC 27 and attacks at +18. If he had ...
    29 replies | 788 view(s)
    1 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 03:14 PM
    Currently with tabletop games I do "very short reminder" if the PCs are mid adventure. When I was running megadungeon game or sandbox games I don't recall saying anything.
    35 replies | 684 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 03:00 PM
    Just saw where Zapp says he'll Report anyone who disagrees with his thread premises. :-O This attitude might possibly have some connection to his failure. People need to be able to say "X won't work because Y, but if we try Z..." and not be abused, never mind Reported!
    157 replies | 136600 view(s)
    1 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 02:21 PM
    Yes I would think a recap would be necessary for passive entertainment like streaming, unless the campaign was highly episodic. I guess re players I would worry it would tend to push them further into the passive recipient role, which ime Angry's advice assumes. imo the players are there to entertain me and each other just as much as I am there to entertain them. If they follow what is...
    68 replies | 3556 view(s)
    1 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 12:49 PM
    "Let's make DnD 4e again!"? :D I think rebuilding 4e with lessons from 5e would be a lot more practical endeavour than rebuilding 5e to function like 4e.
    157 replies | 136600 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 11:36 AM
    How often do you play? It seems to me that players who don't remember what happened last week must be incredibly bored/disengaged. I have one guy like that in one online game who just sort of tags along. But most players pay attention. IME all I need to do is say "So, you are heading into the hills to look for the evil temple" or wherever we ended last week. No way am I going over important...
    68 replies | 3556 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 11:23 AM
    Pretty sure my Primeval Thule players would accept a no items campaign. Just depends on the setting.
    157 replies | 136600 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 11:08 AM
    As best I'm aware Manbearcat and I exercise no influence over the hobby-gaming publishing industry other than as participants in the consumer side of the market. Whose fun do you think we're ruining? Are you saying we're morally obliged to pay for or advocate for boxed text modules so that others can derive their perceived beneift from them? The OP asked for views and preferences. I gave...
    104 replies | 2828 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 11:04 AM
    There are many ways to replicate the first-person uncertainty you describe. One is to make a Streetwise check, or Circles check, or . . . check (depending on system and precise context); another is to wait to find out what the GM has decided. The second of these doesn't make the game more like real life.
    2274 replies | 67202 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 10:50 AM
    I wanted to give my take on this example. So most of the time talking to the Troll King looks like something is going to be at stake: if that's not the case then we (that is, GM and players) can free-narration through it until we get to something that does involve stakes. Assuming, then, that there is something at stake in the conversation with the Troll King, like 5ekyu I call for a check....
    1130 replies | 31130 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 11:51 PM
    I was thinking of a context in which the interaction with the troll king (or whomever) is a high-stakes situation. (A skill challenge in 4e terms.)
    1130 replies | 31130 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 08:17 PM
    Alright, let me make sure what you're saying here. Is this something about forum etiquette? 1) LE made a statement that he felt hooked into/supported his position as it relates to boxed text. This was a statement about the focal points and values of beginner GMing or what the mainstream culture should push as the focal points and values of beginner GMing. 2) I feel like that statement...
    104 replies | 2828 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 05:08 PM
    I was responding to the particular point that you made in your post. I thought it was an interesting point, I have different thoughts on that particular cultural/TTRPGing value than you do, so I figured I'd contribute those thoughts.
    104 replies | 2828 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 05:05 PM
    On this bit here, it appears that you're bringing in posting history and other threads. On this point, I don't agree with your takeaway of my position (insofar as it seems like you're aggregating a wide variety of positions/issues/and opposition) when we're talking about the specific TTRPG and GMing issues of other threads. However, I definitely don't agree that your post directly above hooks...
    104 replies | 2828 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 04:31 PM
    I did check header though. Hmn will check again when back from vacation
    28 replies | 987 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 03:19 PM
    No, that was the fact. Pathfinder NEVER sold itself as a "fix" to 3.X. It was sold as a way for people who liked the D&D 3.X to play it with continued support.
    73 replies | 2204 view(s)
    3 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 02:37 PM
    Colville's GMing does look lame on Youtube but I am sure is fine for the players. Whereas Matt Mercer GMing is a lot like how I imagine myself to be. :D
    68 replies | 3556 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 02:31 PM
    Perfume of Bewitching and Moonblade are the ones that se common use imc. Recently had a perfumier reward a dashing noble for killing monsters in her back yard and I had an obvious choice...
    19 replies | 804 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 01:52 PM
    Not in mine - early printing?
    28 replies | 987 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 01:27 PM
    Although my trajectory into D&D was Holmes Basic ==> AD&D (1e) ==> (A)D&D (5e), I'd like to echo the sentiments expressed in this thread that Moldvay Basic is the cleanest, most elegant edition of D&D to have ever been published. I believe that's what accounts for its enduring popularity. Tom Moldvay took the rather <ahem> chaotic genius of Arneson, Gygax, and (to a lesser extent) Holmes's work,...
    32 replies | 1458 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 01:13 PM
    No, it was sold to allow gamers who liked 3.X to keep playing 3.X while D&D switched to 4E. Basically, its appeal was "keep mostly doing what you were previously doing." Even if I prefer 5E to PF1, even I can clearly recognize that this is an opinion masquerading as a fact. I only wish that you could recognize that what you see as problems or solutions are not some sort of universally held...
    73 replies | 2204 view(s)
    3 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 11:37 AM
    Well the issue is that 5e limits attunement to 3 items, so no ioun stone clouds. My preference is no attunement for that reason, but wondering what the intent was.
    28 replies | 987 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 11:14 AM
    Well, sure. But I was replying to a poster who said that the foot in mouth consequence would discourage the player of the fighter from declaring social actions. If a GM believes that to be the case, the solution is right there, ready-to-hand: frame the stakes differently!
    1130 replies | 31130 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 11:07 AM
    An unhelpful non-canonical answer - but in The Dying Earth RPG I'm pretty sure IOUN stones require attunement, which is presumably based on what Vance wrote in his stories. So surely that counts in favour of the SRD as opposed to the DMG!
    28 replies | 987 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 10:51 AM
    DMG does not mention attunement but SRD says Attunement. Which is officially true?
    28 replies | 987 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 10:40 AM
    Most published campaigns leave plenty of scope for downtime, a good thing imo. Currently running Princes of the Apocalypse and Rise of the Runelords. The former is very sandboxy by design. The latter can use downtime or not depending on how GM spaces the adventures. It is possible to run Runelords with no downtime and magimart or with plenty of downtime - personally in my 5e version it is a...
    157 replies | 136600 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 10:17 AM
    Action declarations sometimes have checks follow them. The action declaration, like the check itself, is an event in the real world. On the other hand, the action is an imagined event that (we pretend) occurs in the fictional world of the game. I think that keeping these things distinct aids clarity, especially when trying to compare different approaches to action resolution. For most...
    1130 replies | 31130 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 09:29 AM
    Well, Google gives me "waghalter in British. (ˈwæɡˌhɔːltə) obsolete. a person likely to be hanged." In the current context it's an Assassin level title from AD&D. (I can't remember which level - I want to say 2nd or 3rd.) Why would I want to fight this? Burning Wheel is one of my favourite RPGs, and The Adventure Burner was the book that, more than any other, helped me run a very successful 4e...
    32 replies | 1458 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 09:21 AM
    Manbearcat, such a good example! Well, I'll answer for my part (given that I'm advocating dot points over boxed text): I pay adventure designers to think of situations (characters, motivations, places pregnant with phantastical possibility, etc) that I can't think of myself. A good recent example: Jerry D Grayson's contribution to the Prince Valiant Episode Book, The Crimson Bull. No boxed...
    104 replies | 2828 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 05:25 AM
    So LE's post above presupposes a premise. I think it does that because many/most gamers have lived this premise and haven't been exposed to an alternative. But I know for a fact that new dogs that don't have to unlearn old tricks can be quick on the uptake of GMing paradigms that don't involve metaplot/setting tourism and GM Force. Last weekend I sat at a game where I was a PC for the...
    104 replies | 2828 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 01:38 AM
    That's not my experience. Someone recently posted an anecdote on these boards,of GMing two children: the older says to the younger "You scout ahead" and then, when the younger acquiesces, asks "So what do you see?" The younger replies by making up an account of what his/her PC sees - s/he didn't wait for the GM to say it! XP was awarded for this post. It's quite a while since I've...
    104 replies | 2828 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 01:20 AM
    Even here, for some of the reasons being give by other posters, there can be railroading or something like it (eg assumptions about how doors are opened, who moves where, etc). This is why I think that letting the GM know about the environment is very important; but the idea should be to support/facilitate/scaffold context-appropriate narration, rather than impose/presuppose a context. This...
    104 replies | 2828 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 10:34 PM
    This may be true, but it shouldn't be. Internalizing the deployment of metaplot or play trajectory (if in a confined site like a dungeon) via player-subordinating-Force (either because you learned under a GM who deployed it or because you read a module/ruleset that supports, or seems to, it) as a/the means for a game to achieve forward momentum is something that is not easy to unlearn. Its...
    104 replies | 2828 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 08:25 PM
    I think they would both be some variation of “You don’t notice any evidence that is lying”, but I also think it would come out in the initial description of the inscrutable character that s/he can’t be read, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise. On the other hand, I don’t think I’ve ever used an “inscrutable” NPC and agree that overuse of such would amount to a hosing.
    193 replies | 5336 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 05:41 PM
    My experience - both personally as a GM, and of other GMs - is that the hardest bit for most GMs (new or otherwise) isn't narration/describing stuff, but rather is managing the fiction via some other method than just railroading their plot over the top of player action declarations. The only authored adventures I can think of at the moment that try and respond to this, by providing support for...
    104 replies | 2828 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 04:17 PM
    The Rules Compendium is pretty good as a mechanical restatement, but as far as principles are concerned has several retrogade elements. Besides the one you mention, compare it's account of the GM function compared to the PHB: there's a significant lurch back towards advocacy of railroading.
    193 replies | 5336 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 04:07 PM
    I own and have read a copy of Fate Core. But it's not at the front of the queue! It's sitting behind HeroQuest revised and DungeonWorld, and also DitV - but I'd like to adapt the latter to something more fantastical than western.
    2274 replies | 67202 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 03:44 PM
    I'm honestly surprised that you haven't by this point. I think that there is a lot about the system and gameplay that you would like considering some of your game preferences.
    2274 replies | 67202 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 01:38 PM
    A Kickstarter just ended a few weeks ago (maybe) about a Savage Worlds setting inspired by Mario Brothers, Zelda, and other Nintendo games: Heroes of Terra: The Mushroom War for Savage Worlds. Obviously this is not 3.X, but it may provide some inspiration nevertheless.
    17 replies | 802 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 01:19 PM
    Except it didn't presume that; it only presumed compatibility with 3.X while offering a facelift. It made some adjustments - adding more layers as time went on - but it was not created to "fix" anything. It existed to maintain the 3.X framework that Paizo could use for their own publishing purposes. Combat is the most heavily emphasized pillar of the game. Our understanding of the rogue has...
    73 replies | 2204 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 12:32 PM
    Here is a good thread by isoue, from several years ago now, reading and celebrating Moldvay Basic.
    32 replies | 1458 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 12:29 PM
    It also says that players need to state an approach and goal. 4e DMG pp 74-75: Sometimes, a player tells you, "I want to make a Diplomacy check to convince the duke that helping us is in his best interest." That’s great - the player has told you what she’s doing and what skill she’s using to do it. Other times, a player will say, "I want to make a Diplomacy check." In such a case, prompt the...
    193 replies | 5336 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 12:21 PM
    To be honest this doesn't make sense to me, because the two things aren't related. The idea of a cost for failure is about what is at stake in an action declaration. If something is at stake then there is, almost inherently I think, a cost for failure - because if you fail you lose out on what was at stake. (And if nothing is at stake, then what would a check be for?) But the idea of...
    1130 replies | 31130 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 12:04 PM
    Or, conversely, if there's a particular way that one likes to play then choose games that work that way. But D&D gets put under a lot of pressure in this respect because of it's extremely wide uptake by RPGers with very diverse preferences.
    1130 replies | 31130 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 12:02 PM
    A question prompted by this: Suppose a player is playing Battle Master fighter. The rules establish this character as a tactical expert; but suppose the player - either deliberately, or because s/he can't do any better - plays the PC as tactically incompetent. Does this create an issue for you? And vice versa: what if the PC is (say) a bard with modest INT and nothing in his/her backstory...
    193 replies | 5336 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 11:10 AM
    Re fixing 5e magic item prices, I think the key is to return to the 4e model of x5 per Tier, not x10 per Tier. I am going with base price per permanent item of Common 200gp Uncommon 1000gp Rare 5000gp Very Rare 25000gp Legendary 125000gp With commissioned items x2 and 1 use consumables 1/4 not 1/2.
    157 replies | 136600 view(s)
    1 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 10:59 AM
    I do actually offer shopping lists to my 5e players in most campaigns. A curated list of 10 to 20 items works well IME for the first couple tiers. It gets trickier after that- pcs can easily afford any uncommon item and are looking to acquire very rares like +3 shield for the AC maximiser. As long as the GM deals with it on an individual basis rather than just hand over the DMG it still works. ...
    157 replies | 136600 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 10:53 AM
    3e item pricing is so appallingly bad I don't see how 5e is any worse. 4e is the only system with a functional gear buying/crafting build-a-bear minigame.
    157 replies | 136600 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 10:43 AM
    The smite spells are good because they stack with regular smite and you can burn 2 slots on one hit. Since I went to 1 week long rest and thus typically 6-8 fights per LR rather than the 2-3 typical of overnight LR I don't find Paladin overpowered vs Fighter. But it is still a powerful class. I think the big limiter for Pallies is they are melee only, even more than Barbarians.
    94 replies | 3122 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 07:33 AM
    Luke Crane? The Google+ link to his actual play report seems to have died, but he is as critical of AD&D and Expert as he is praising of Moldvay Basic.
    32 replies | 1458 view(s)
    0 XP
More Activity
About pemerton

Basic Information

Date of Birth
November 9, 1971 (47)

Statistics


Total Posts
Total Posts
20,294
Posts Per Day
4.36
Last Post
Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour? Yesterday 04:10 PM

Currency

Gold Pieces
61
General Information
Last Activity
Yesterday 04:55 PM
Join Date
Friday, 21st July, 2006
Product Reviews & Ratings
Reviews Written
0

23 Friends

  1. AbdulAlhazred AbdulAlhazred is offline

    Member

    AbdulAlhazred
  2. Aldarc Aldarc is offline

    Member

    Aldarc
  3. Balesir Balesir is offline

    Member

    Balesir
  4. Campbell Campbell is offline

    Member

    Campbell
  5. chaochou chaochou is offline

    Member

    chaochou
  6. darkbard darkbard is offline

    Member

    darkbard
  7. DMZ2112 DMZ2112 is offline

    Chaotic Looseleaf

    DMZ2112
  8. Garthanos Garthanos is offline

    Member

    Garthanos
  9. heretic888 heretic888 is offline

    Member

    heretic888
  10. Hriston Hriston is offline

    Member

    Hriston
  11. LostSoul LostSoul is offline

    Member

    LostSoul
  12. Lynda Lawless Lynda Lawless is offline

    Member

    Lynda Lawless
  13. Manbearcat Manbearcat is offline

    Member

    Manbearcat
  14. Mark CMG Mark CMG is offline

    Member

    Mark CMG
  15. MoonSong MoonSong is offline

    Member

    MoonSong
  16. Nemesis Destiny Nemesis Destiny is offline

    Member

    Nemesis Destiny
  17. Neonchameleon Neonchameleon is offline

    Member

    Neonchameleon
  18. pacdidj pacdidj is offline

    Member

    pacdidj
  19. Pentius Pentius is offline

    Member

    Pentius
  20. rabindranath72 rabindranath72 is offline

    Member

    rabindranath72
  21. S'mon S'mon is online now

    Member

    S'mon
  22. steenan steenan is offline

    Member

    steenan
  23. tomja tomja is offline

    Member

    tomja
Showing Friends 1 to 23 of 23
Page 1 of 15 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Saturday, 20th April, 2019


Friday, 19th April, 2019


Thursday, 18th April, 2019


Wednesday, 17th April, 2019



Page 1 of 15 1234567891011 ... LastLast
Page 1 of 81 123456789101151 ... LastLast

Saturday, 20th April, 2019

  • 03:26 PM - Hriston mentioned pemerton in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    There seems to be a fair bit of wrangling going on in this thread over the definition of the word literary. I think it's pretty clear, however, from the context of the OP, that what is meant accords well with the standard definition found in Google dictionary, for example, "concerning the writing, study, or content of literature, especially of the kind valued for quality of form." I think the OP intends to put some emphasis on the "quality of form" part of this sort of formulation of what makes something a literary endeavor. I'm sure pemerton can correct me if I'm off-base about this. I think RPGing is not a literary endeavor when examined in this light, because the focus is not on the quality of form of the content of the fiction being generated through play, but rather on the content itself and its potential to engender participation. This is why responses to the effect that it can be literary in this respect are a bit orthogonal. It's just not the main focus of the activity. One wonders why so many posters would rather engage in a semantic discussion over the meaning of literary instead of engaging with the content of the OP, but perhaps further inquiry into the motivations for doing so will shed some light on that question.
  • 12:34 AM - Maxperson mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...rgument. Frogreavers argument was that it was more realstic, not that it mirrors reality. To attribute "mirrors reality" to him and then argue against it is a classic Strawman, not a solid argument. In order for your case to hold, 'more realistic' has to be an actual measurable defensible objective thing. No it doesn't. It just has to be recognizably more realistic. This idea you have that there must be some measurable number for it is just plain false. I'm sure most people would agree that cold blooded premeditated murder is more evil than theft. What are the measurable numbers for how evil those two things are? If you can come up with them and then prove those numbers to be factually true, I'll start working on numbers for realism. Until then... So you would need to show how and why, and by what metrics, the GM coming up with a decision is 'closer to real life'. This is what we mean when we (or at least when I) talk about things being 'realistic'. I don't think pemerton intended the phrase 'not like real life' to be taken in an absolute way, as in "it is different from real life in some arbitrarily small way." Instead I feel reasonably confident (given that he was commenting on my post in which I held that is wasn't AT ALL like real life) that Pemerton meant something similar, that real life and 'the GM deciding' are simply nothing like each other. He has been twisting arguments about the realism scale into "mirroring reality" for years and in multiple threads. There is no mistake on my part about this. To be perfectly honest, I don't think that any other way of deciding is MORE realistic than the GM deciding. I don't even think that realistic is an option and THAT IN AND OF ITSELF is the 'strawman', the argument that one way has some realism advantage. Nothing in FRPG play is at all realistic. Some of it has logical cogency with reality on some basic suppositions (gravity works, though even there you can't explain dragons without an excepti...
  • 12:17 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    This is still a Strawman, as well as a Red Herring. Nobody is saying that it's "like real life." That's you twisting the argument and distracting from the point. We're saying that it's MORE realistic or in the case of Frogreaver, that it's "closer to real life." We are not saying that it is mirroring the real world. How about you respond without twisting arguments and attempting to move the point away from what people are talking about? No, Max, it is NOT a 'strawman'. It is a perfectly good solid reasonable argument. In order for your case to hold, 'more realistic' has to be an actual measurable defensible objective thing. So you would need to show how and why, and by what metrics, the GM coming up with a decision is 'closer to real life'. This is what we mean when we (or at least when I) talk about things being 'realistic'. I don't think pemerton intended the phrase 'not like real life' to be taken in an absolute way, as in "it is different from real life in some arbitrarily small way." Instead I feel reasonably confident (given that he was commenting on my post in which I held that is wasn't AT ALL like real life) that Pemerton meant something similar, that real life and 'the GM deciding' are simply nothing like each other. To be perfectly honest, I don't think that any other way of deciding is MORE realistic than the GM deciding. I don't even think that realistic is an option and THAT IN AND OF ITSELF is the 'strawman', the argument that one way has some realism advantage. Nothing in FRPG play is at all realistic. Some of it has logical cogency with reality on some basic suppositions (gravity works, though even there you can't explain dragons without an exception). So, fine, you aren't 'mirroring the real world', but this is a red herring, as nobody claimed you said you were. What you said is you're more realistic. I say t...

Friday, 19th April, 2019

  • 10:20 PM - Maxperson mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Not to speak for pemerton, but I think that's what he disagrees with. The idea that a GM making a decision yields a more realistic result than other methods. It doesn't matter whether he agrees with it or not. If that's his position he is wrong. While you could likely provide examples of a GM making a decision that seemed to result in a more "realistic" (by which I think we mean something like "mathematically likely") outcome, others can just as easily provide examples where a player makes a decision that results in a more "realistic" outcome. If I say that something in the game happens because I saw a pink bunny in my dreams, that's completely unrealistic. If I say the same things happens in the game because of a random die roll, that's less unrealistic, chance plays into events even though the odds will be weighted in the real world far differently than a die roll. If I know in a general way how things usually go in the real world and decide to approximate various chances of the same event happe...

Thursday, 18th April, 2019

  • 03:11 AM - FrogReaver mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    pemerton The game world both is and is not like real life. There are similarities and differences. Pointing out the differences doesn't negate all the similarities. From a players perspective that is roleplaying a character the game world often feels and functions like the real world because he is viewing the game world through the characters perspective. From that perspective going to a tea-house is no different than going to a tea-house in real life. You see neither the real life person or the in game character have any awareness about the processes external to them that cause anyone to be at the tea-house when they visit. They only know if someone is or if someone isn't there when they visit the tea house That's what we mean when we say the game world is like real life. From these first person perspectives there's uncertainty about who you will find in the real world tea house and who the character will find in the game-world teahouse. Now, obviously the processes that determin...

Wednesday, 17th April, 2019

  • 08:10 PM - ParanoydStyle mentioned pemerton in post Why is the shortest lived edition, still one of the most popular?
    pemerton thanks! Why would I want to fight this? Burning Wheel is one of my favourite RPGs, and The Adventure Burner was the book that, more than any other, helped me run a very successful 4e D&D campaign. I've never played a Ron Edwards game, but his essays and posts on The Forge are brimming with insight and useful advice. Just one example: As someone who ran Rolemaster for nearly 20 years, I learned more about that system and why it has the break points that it does from Edwards' "Right to Dream" essay than one would get in a lifetime of reading through the official ICE forums. Cool. I've never had the pleasure of actually playing Burning Wheel but I've heard exclusively good things about it from all corners. I don't think Luke Crane has any enemies--certainly no out ones, considering he's the head of Games at Kickstarter--but I learned a few years back that lots of people in and around this industry carry vendettas against Ron (for mostly really stupid reasons, I'd add).

Monday, 15th April, 2019

  • 01:30 PM - Sadras mentioned pemerton in post To boxed text or not to boxed text
    Is it nostalgia, maybe, but I think the boxed text helps separate the immediate PC information from DM information when scene framing and reflects it in a way that is easy for narration. That said, pemerton's idea of dot points does the same thing in a way, and then the issue would have been to dot points or not to dot points so I don't believe it changes the conversation much.

Friday, 12th April, 2019


Monday, 8th April, 2019

  • 07:13 PM - Oofta mentioned pemerton in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I seem to be falling flat on my face in expressing what is just my opinion and way of doing things. What I thought at the time was just light-hearted sarcasm is upsetting people and I get too caught up in the argument/debate at times. In any case, different people play for different reasons, I make no claim one way or another that my way is better. If I don't understand something, it's okay. It's difficult at best to really understand other people play style without actually being at the table. In addition, not every DM is going to work for every player. That's okay. pemerton: I will allow for an insight check on someone telling the truth, in general I won't ask for one. People only get vague answers for insight checks something like "they seem to be telling the truth" or maybe "they seem to be a bit nervous, but your not sure why". So I never tell anyone with 100% certainty that someone is lying or telling the truth with an insight check. It's just a skill, not magic. Even if an NPC is using deception, the insight check won't be a guarantee more of a feeling that they're hiding something or their unconsciously glancing at someone or something nervously. I always allow people to ask if they can do any skill check. I'll only tell them they can't if it should be obvious from the perspective of the PC that it's not possible. Superman may be able to leap buildings with a single bound, PCs by and large cannot. But otherwise they're always allowed to try even if it will fail because it reflects the effort. I don't care if I know the skill check won't...
  • 06:15 AM - Maxperson mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Where in 13th Age’s quoted rules says the situation can be solved in another way? I think you misinterpreted the text. "Cannot be solved by just killing the creatures they ran from", means that they can solve it another way. The just cannot solve it by killing that one group. Had they meant that it cannot ever be solved if they run, they would have said that. There is no misinterpretation on my part. There may be another rule that says that it can't ever be solved, but if there is pemerton won't share it.
  • 12:23 AM - Maxperson mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Who says the PCs will succeed? In order to do that they don't just need to rescue a few prisoners or track down a few threatening monsters. Those tasks are likely ones they will face, and success in every one of a graded series of tasks with ever greater stakes and consequence is required to reignite the fires of civilization and create a new Age of Light. It is absolutely quite possible that the PCs can succeed in some of the immediate tasks, but by accepting/being forced to accept failure in others they might in the end reach a point where the darkness tightens its grip on the town and then the light goes out. For all their work only crumbling ruins and perhaps a few furtive survivors who have accepted the necessity of making peace with the forces of darkness are left. This is a viable campaign outcome. If the bold is possible, then THAT'S a terrible price. However, the rules pemerton showed said for the consequence to be one that the PCs can't overcome by beating the monsters that made them run, which means that the PCs can fix it another way. It doesn't say that the failure should be unfixable.

Wednesday, 3rd April, 2019

  • 12:12 PM - Aldarc mentioned pemerton in post Keep On The Borderline
    ...tween) has a name or personality is a selling point for KotB. The point of modules is I think largely to save the DM work. The funny thing is, Keep does this for the HARD PART (the mapping, the dungeon stocking, the logistics) and doesn't do it for something easier and more basic (giving characters names and/or personalities, giving the PCs a motivation to be there/go to the caves). But I mean, what I also understand is that it's from a different era and comparing it to the standards of today is pretty absurd. I think Adventurers Will Adventure To Adventure For The Sake Of Adventuring was pretty much all the motivation you needed in 1979. But a lot has changed since then.I like that it is partially blank. It reminds me of advice for running Dungeon World. Don't draw out everything in a scene, but instead intentionally leave things blank that will be filled and revealed through play. But the game already had rules: i.e., D&D B/X. But what I personally like about KotB is similar to what pemerton says below: I personally think the Caves - as mapped and stocked - are not terribly interesting for "story now" play (to use the term Aldarc has been using in this thread). The idea of the Caves, on the other hand, is part of what underpins the Keep, and I think the Keep can be fun for Story Now play because it does have an internal logic: various NPCs (evil priest, castellan, etc) trying to do their thing within the context of a bastion against the Chaos. The idea of the Caves and the environment around the KotB spurs my imagination because IME sometimes less is more. I think there is a reason why D&D keeps returning to different iterations of the Keep. There is something about it that drives our imagination for adventure in a way more than what can be explained simply as nostalgia.
  • 09:29 AM - Hussar mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    But, pemerton, you have to remember, all things 4e have cooties. It cannot possibly be that anything 5e has any even remote resemblance to anything 4e otherwise, that would contaminate the game and we cannot possibly have that. So, we see folks who will move heaven and earth to display the "obvious" differences between the games so as to justify years of widdling upon a system and then turning around and liking what is, for most parts, the same system. If folks didn't then they'd have to admit that 4e was actually a quite good game, and that's impossible. It couldn't possibly be true because that would mean that folks may have been mistaken in their ardent dislike and repeated attacks on a game and its fans. Since that can't be true, then, it's obvious that 4e and 5e are totally different. :-S :erm::uhoh:
  • 03:05 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...ing word play arguments. Aldarc makes a valid point about definitions. But there are still broadly accepted meanings of words. When people say lethal it is pretty obvious they mean "this has potential to kill someone", not "this 100% absolutely will kill every person in every single circumstance." The only time your use of the word makes sense is in an after the fact statement like "The fireball proved lethal for Harry". Clearly if he wasn't killed by it, then the word is not applicable in that case. But this doesn't work either, as now ANY attack whatsoever, surely any sort of kick, punch, etc. must be labeled as lethal, as all of them do have potential to kill and have actually done so. Nor is the term 'lethal' normally used in a formal legal context. Instead the term 'deadly' is used, and most often, as in 'deadly force' to mean something which actually killed someone. I don't disagree that we are being precise where and we can find lots of imprecise uses of English, but the point pemerton was making is not some sort of hair-splitting, it is the key point! In 4e and 5e (and maybe others) you can't say an attack was 'lethal' or 'deadly' until the situation has been fully resolved, and it is allowed for players to decide if a killing blow has ACTUALLY been struck. This doesn't require any sort of 'time travel' or cause the game to become any more unrealistic than it would otherwise be, AFAICT.

Tuesday, 2nd April, 2019

  • 02:41 PM - Aldarc mentioned pemerton in post Keep On The Borderline
    In other words, I wrote a whole essay worth of questions, but rather than address any of them, you're going to say, "Well, that's just your opinion man." Nor are you going to attempt to counter my assertions. Ok, fine.The point of my post was not to debate Forge terminology, merely to point to the fact that KotB has been used for such purposes and its open-endedness. So, yes, most of your "essay" was irrelevant hot air. I would suggest engaging me using cogency over verbosity. Furthermore, if you wish to debate how pemerton ran KotB, then I would advise you to discuss the matter with the appropriate person.
  • 06:47 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...If I stab someone with a knife I will. If something can reasonably be expected to cause death, it would be lethal force. Just look at police use of force. Shooting someone with beanbags is not considered to be lethal force, despite them occasionally killing someone. Shooting them with a gun is lethal force, despite the fact that many people survive. I'm applying the similar standards to the game, which makes it more realistic. But its not that the beanbags do some 'other type of damage', they just don't do MUCH damage. Shoot someone point blank with a beanbag, its bad news, or shoot them 10 times with them, still bad news. I mean, D&D's hit points are obviously simplistic in some sense, as is the concept of 'damage' purely an abstraction, but the point still stands. There's no real divide between what is and isn't potentially lethal. You can construct a perfectly plausible narrative that leads to either the target being dead or being disabled for ANY attack, right? Beyond that pemerton et al are right that 4e certainly lacks such a division. Its simply not MECHANICALLY correct talk about lethal and non-lethal types of damage in either that game, or as Hussar points out, in 5e either. Classic D&D also lacked such a distinction (there was a sidebar in 2e IIRC with some optional rules, and 1e had a rule that only applied to dragons).

Monday, 1st April, 2019

  • 04:27 PM - Aldarc mentioned pemerton in post Keep On The Borderline
    The thing about Keep on the Borderlands is that it is intended to be an environment that you need to make your own. This is the key to B2... its not a quest type adventure, it is an environment that has no clear goal but leaves it up to the group to make of it what they will.I agree with your post here, and I believe that these are the primary points that I would like to highlight. I think that it lends itself well to both Sandbox and Story-Now play. I seem to recall that pemerton has a campaign diary somewhere about him running KotB with either Dungeon World or Burning Wheel.

Sunday, 31st March, 2019

  • 01:15 AM - Hussar mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Maxperson, yoiu keep making claims like this, tossing them off casually as if they're self-evident. But they're not. In my 4e game, characters falling off cliffs is really quite frequent. One character picked up a pair of winged boots to help deal with the problem. But, pemerton, would you say that this is a regular occurrence in every D&D game you play/run or just idiosyncratic of that one campaign, among the dozens (if not more) that you've run/played over the years? Because if it's the latter, and I suspect it is, then, yeah, saying falling off cliffs if fairly rare in games is among one of the few points that Maxperson has made in this thread that I actually agree with.

Saturday, 30th March, 2019

  • 01:27 PM - Numidius mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Very good examination pemerton The last bit: Fidelity seems the key word. I was looking for a counter catch-phrase to Story Now, when talking with friends, because usual terms like Narr, Trad, immersion, simulation, are not immediately understood from casual gamers... and The Right to Dream (while I love it) seems a bit off for the purpose of identify easily a type of play. "Story Now" and "Fidelity Always" sound very appropriate Semper fidelis! ;)

Thursday, 28th March, 2019

  • 02:07 PM - Maxperson mentioned pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Your literalist reading seems like it is breaking the contextual spirit of the statement. I know you like to twist words and play at semantics, but this seems pretty intellectually dishonest. It seems appropriate to paraphrase what you wrote to @Hussar: "Try using your ability to understand context, and not use some inane 'But he didn't spell out PC motivation by name. Hur hur!' as some sort of 'counter' to my argument." Yeah, that applies here too to your reply to @pemerton. :p You don't specify "only," unless you mean only. Here, for example, is a blog entry from Socratic Design talking about Stance Theory: What is Stance Theory, Part 1. It elucidates a bit on Actor Stance: So you found someone else who is of the opinion that motivation is necessary. How does that have anything to do with The Forge's definition? And as I said, the motivation for the PC is there in the forest example. It's not a deep motivation, but it is in fact a motivation of the PC. Here's a tidbit you forgot to bold in your quote above. "The player is not manipulating the scenery or objects in the imaginary world, just the character from the character’s own perspective." When I have my PC declare that he is going into the forest to find a trail, not only is he using his own motivation of "I want to see what is in the forest," but he is also the one who is manipulating things from his own perspective. What I describe is in fact actor stance. It's just not based on deep mo...


Page 1 of 81 123456789101151 ... LastLast
No results to display...

Saturday, 20th April, 2019

  • 08:04 PM - Riley37 quoted pemerton in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    if a new(-ish) GM asked me what is the one thing to do to make his/her game better, I would recommend working on managing framing and consequences to maintain player engagement, rather than (say) working on the portrayal/characterisation of NPCs. That is true if TRPG is literary, and it is also true if TRPG is not literary.
  • 04:42 PM - Immortal Sun quoted pemerton in post To boxed text or not to boxed text
    We played a Cthulhu Dark session not too long ago. No text, boxed or otherwise. It was pretty fun. This is a complete misdescription and misreading of what I said. One way to have your emotions aroused is to be an audience member to a performance. Another, different way - much more like real life! - is to have to make a hard choice. Rationality has nothing to do with that. Both rational and irrational people experience emotions when they have to make decisions. The last session in which I was a player (as opposed to GM) I explored the tower of the Great Master and demon summoner Evard. There, I discovered old letters writen by my mother to Evard, suggesting that the latter was my grandfather. I burned them. The emotions I expereinced weren't resulting from the GM's performance. They were resulting from my inhabitation of my character and the situation. That's what makes it RPGing, rather than storytelling and acting. I get what you're saying a little better but... I'm still...
  • 04:19 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Suppose that the GM has to deicde what the PCs find in the evil overlord's zoo. The GM had a dream the previous night of a pink bunny, and so decides that that's what's in the zoo. That's no less realistic than rolling the result on the Random Zoo Enclosure Table; nor than deciding based on the GM's theory of what's more or less likely to be found ina a zoo. Which is my whole point. Decision-making based on what the GM thinks is realistic does not produce outcomes that are more realistic, or true to life, than decisions made using other processes. The fiction doesn't become less realistic because it includes cultists in the teahouse on the basis of a Streetwise roll rather than a GM decision. Really? You're seriously arguing that weapon degradation happening due to a pink bunny dream is as realistic as a DM coming up with probabilities based on real world weapon degradation and going with a roll based on those odds?
  • 03:55 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    To retierate: there is more in the heaven and earth of the gameworld than is dreamed of in any GM's philosophy. This is irrelevant to whether or not something is more or less realistic. The game uses these aspects of real life with longswords. 1. they have an edge. 2. they are made of metal(primarily). 3. they have hilts. 4. they do damage. There may be others we could come up with, but those 4 will do. Longswords have that level of realism in D&D. Are you really arguing that if I add becoming nicked and dull in combat with the need to sharpen the edge and work out the nicks, and rusting if not cared for properly, that my addition does not more closely match how longswords work in the real world?
  • 01:46 AM - Darth Solo quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    This thread is a spin-off of this thread. Its immediate trigger is the following post: In real life, people move through a physcially-structured environment where events happen in accordance with causal processes. Notions of request, permission, decision etc have no explanatory work to do in relation to real-life causal processes (except for a rather narrow range of phenomena involving interactions between human beings). At a RPG table, in the situation being described in the posts above, the players give rise to an idea - our PCs find some sect members at the teahouse - and they suggest that that idea should be an element of the fiction that is being collectively created at the table. The GM then decides whether or not that idea actually does become part of the shared fiction, and communicates that decision to the players by telling them what it is that their PCs find at the teahouse. That causal process has very little in common with the causal processes that bring it about that, i...

Friday, 19th April, 2019

  • 10:06 PM - Chaosmancer quoted pemerton in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    If you've got players turtling because of the fear of failure then to me that's a sign that you're not using fail forward at all. (Or else it's a sign that they don't want to play the game - I don't know how common this is, but I have had strange experiences in club games where there are players there who clearly don't want to be playing.) A quick note on this, it is generally my newest players who are turtling, lacking confidence and not wanting to mess up. After a few sessions, generally, they start coming out of their shells. For the character, of course having to fight an honour duel is a bad thing. But for the player, that's exactly what playing the game looks like, isn't it? And fighting the honour duel with the Troll King's champion is more interesting than fighting Random Monster #101. In more general terms, unless the player is planning to finish playing the game, having things get worse in the fiction doesn't stop the game being exciting and engaging. So it seems we've be...
  • 06:29 PM - uzirath quoted pemerton in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    My answer to the question in the thread title is a firm No. I rarely have firm answers to questions about RPGs can or cannot be. I've played in so many games over the years that have entirely different premises and aesthetic sensibilities. I agree with you to the extent that playing or running an RPG is not equal to writing or reading a novel. But RPGs can certainly have many literary characteristics, as Ralif Redhammer pointed out: We draw influences from a variety of sources, after all. Two of the published AD&D modules are inspired by the works of Lewis Carroll. Many years ago, I ran a campaign that was pretty much Hamlet. Not in quality, mind you, I'd never go that far. But the plot was directly taken from Hamlet, albeit with an evil wizard and whatnot. And we can absolutely have a "finely crafted narrative" in gaming. The difference is that that narrative creates itself collaboratively, as we play, rather than being written out. I played in a great Traveller campaign o...
  • 05:32 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    This is where I disagree. My reasoning is similar to AbdulAlhazred's - that there is more in the heaven and earth of the gameworld than is dreamed of in any GM's philosophy. GM decision-making isn't "informed decision-making", it's just one person's preferences for the fiction trumping another's. Which is exactly what makes it not like real life! This is still a Strawman, as well as a Red Herring. Nobody is saying that it's "like real life." That's you twisting the argument and distracting from the point. We're saying that it's MORE realistic or in the case of Frogreaver, that it's "closer to real life." We are not saying that it is mirroring the real world. How about you respond without twisting arguments and attempting to move the point away from what people are talking about?
  • 02:48 PM - Immortal Sun quoted pemerton in post To boxed text or not to boxed text
    I can only speak for myself. I use adventures because they have situations that I wouldn't have thought of myself. For instance, I wouldn't have though of The Crimson Bull scenario, which <spoiler alert> involves a bull that has turned crimson because an evil spirit has been trapped in it, and which has a cord made of hair tied around it which must remain in the grip of a righteous person at all times if the spirit is not to escape. I guess this Prince Valiant example just doesn't strike me as very creative since it's pretty typical Judeo-Christian mythologizing. I like the presentation to be useful, in the sense that the copy-editing is sound, the maps clear, and the prose readable. But I'm not looking at the module to be impressed by its presentation or flair (and I find a lot of RPG material, especially from WotC, to be over-written). I want stuff that I can use. As I said in my initial post, I've got the internet for that. But as I got at in my first post, box-text and bullet-points ar...
  • 01:32 PM - 5ekyu quoted pemerton in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Some recent threads have discussed aspects of GM and player narration in RPGing. Which hase prompted me to start this thread. My answer to the question in the thread title is a firm No. RPGing requires narration: GMs describe situations, and players declare actions for their PCs that respond to those situations. But I don't think the literary quality of that narration is important. What matters to me is that the players feel the significance of the situations the GM describes - that they feel the pull to action, and the threats of inaction. That is, that the situation engage and motivate the players as players, not as an audience to a performance. And player narration should, in my view, engage with and build on this fiction in ways that display the player's view of the fiction, perhaps challenge other players (and even the GM), that make the other pariticpants go "I didn't see that coming!" This is how I see RPGs, with their emphasis on participation in the creation of a fiction that is st...
  • 12:46 PM - 5ekyu quoted pemerton in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Sure. I thought I gave some examples of my own along these lines. But in the approach I take (which, if I was running 5e, I would bring to bear - because in this particular respect I don't see 5e as that different from 4e), these would still require a check. But the DC required to persuade a Troll King to allow a fight between fighter and champion might well be lower than the DC to persuade a Troll King to let the PC go. To me, this raises the question of how much should failure snowball? This is very system dependent, but my overall take is that if the players are unsuccessful and so their PCs are captured by the Troll King, then they can expect to have to make some suboptimal moves. A bit like when a fight goes bad and the wizard has to start declaring melee attacks. That was me, not Charlaquin. As per a post I made not too long ago days-wise but maybe 100+ posts upthread, there are different approaches possible and this thread is bringing out some of those differences. Just to mention so...

Thursday, 18th April, 2019

  • 07:47 PM - Chaosmancer quoted pemerton in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I have made no such claim. I claim that my way of doing things encourages players to look for ways of resolving actions that don't have a chance of failure or don't have a cost for the attempt or consequence for failure. In contrast to your assertion that my way of doing things punishes players and in so doing makes them rely on their best skills. I am not attacking your way of doing things, I am defending mine. You keep suggesting that my way of doing things is somehow not "just asking the players to tell me what they want to do, and being prepared for things to become skill checks." This is not the case. Then why is it, when I opened this conversation, I was told, well actually you should do it this way. Since, all I do is let players tell me what they want to do and am prepared for things to become skill checks? Why do you keep telling me that we do things differently, when in the end we do them the same way? I don't have a plan. It is not my role as DM to come up with a plan...
  • 05:46 PM - Immortal Sun quoted pemerton in post To boxed text or not to boxed text
    @Manbearcat, such a good example! Well, I'll answer for my part (given that I'm advocating dot points over boxed text): I pay adventure designers to think of situations (characters, motivations, places pregnant with phantastical possibility, etc) that I can't think of myself. A good recent example: Jerry D Grayson's contribution to the Prince Valiant Episode Book, The Crimson Bull. No boxed text. Here're the opening paragraphs: EPISODE TYPE: Assistance. The heroes are asked to help deliver a bull to an ancient pagan ceremony Begin With: It is a rainy day as the Adventurers travel down a muddy rural path. As the heroes round the bend, the see an overturned cart and scattered bodies of peasants. A single old man lies beaten and moaning against a tree. In his right hand, he holds a silken black rope tied to a large Highland red bull. The bull eyes the Adventurers passively, but does not leave the old man’s side. I can't remember how I narrated this opening, but the resulting session was full o...
  • 05:37 PM - LordEntrails quoted pemerton in post To boxed text or not to boxed text
    * LE's statement could be construed as topic drift (either because it plain is or because it isn't an outright truism) but isn't absolute topic drift. The only way it becomes actual topic drift is if someone voices their disagreement and related conversation ensues. Can I vote for this one? Can I just say that I'd much rather be talking about the genesis of GMing and then discussing how that hooks into the utility (or the problem) of "boxed text"? Then start a thread! Nor would I have the use of such classic, box-free scenarios as B2. Part of what makes B2 usable by me is that it presents a place (the Keep) and a series of situations (the proximity of the Cves; the evil cleric; etc) but no pre-supposed plot in the form of boxed text. And see this is why when I was 10 years old we thought B2 sucked and was useless. Because we didn't know what to do with it. Now a days I would have no trouble using B2. But that's because I had boxed text to train educate me on one way of DMing. ...
  • 03:15 PM - Elfcrusher quoted pemerton in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I wanted to give my take on this example. So most of the time talking to the Troll King looks like something is going to be at stake: if that's not the case then we (that is, GM and players) can free-narration through it until we get to something that does involve stakes. Assuming, then, that there is something at stake in the conversation with the Troll King, like 5ekyu I call for a check. In my case this is not so much connected to "player vs character", but to the principle of "say 'yes' or roll the dice", which Luke Crane (BW Gold, p 72) glosses this way: Unless there is something at stake in the story you have created, don't bother with the dice. Keep moving, keep describing, keep roleplaying. But as soon as a character wants something that he doesn't have, needs to know something he doesn't know, covets something that someone else has, roll the dice. . . . When there is conflict, roll the dice. There is no social agreement for the resolution of conflict in this game. Roll the di...
  • 03:15 PM - FrogReaver quoted pemerton in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    There are many ways to replicate the first-person uncertainty you describe. One is to make a Streetwise check, or Circles check, or . . . check (depending on system and precise context); another is to wait to find out what the GM has decided. The second of these doesn't make the game more like real life. From the character perspective both of those methods emulate real life. From a God perspective neither of those methods emulate real life. However the dm just deciding gets much closer to real life than rolling dice. The dm can make informed decisions and include much more into the decision making process than dice ever dreamed of.
  • 02:42 PM - lowkey13 quoted pemerton in post To boxed text or not to boxed text
    (2) If the preference for boxed-text was universalised then I wouldn't be able to purchase excellent products like the Prince Valiant Episode Book. Nor would I have the use of such classic, box-free scenarios as B2. Part of what makes B2 usable by me is that it presents a place (the Keep) and a series of situations (the proximity of the Cves; the evil cleric; etc) but no pre-supposed plot in the form of boxed text. So, one more time. Not everyone plays Prince Valiant. In my experience, you are the only person I am aware of that plays that system. The reason I bring this up is because, for example, if I were to regularly use examples of Amber, the Diceless RPG (a system I very much enjoyed in the early 90s) in a thread about the use of boxed text in D&D Modules, then people would rightfully be confused. It does not shed light - instead, it obfuscates, as D&D tends to have certain idiosyncrasies that other systems do not. B2, OTOH, is a good example, slightly ruined by the fact that it is a ...
  • 12:03 PM - 5ekyu quoted pemerton in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I wanted to give my take on this example. So most of the time talking to the Troll King looks like something is going to be at stake: if that's not the case then we (that is, GM and players) can free-narration through it until we get to something that does involve stakes. Assuming, then, that there is something at stake in the conversation with the Troll King, like 5ekyu I call for a check. In my case this is not so much connected to "player vs character", but to the principle of "say 'yes' or roll the dice", which Luke Crane (BW Gold, p 72) glosses this way: Unless there is something at stake in the story you have created, don't bother with the dice. Keep moving, keep describing, keep roleplaying. But as soon as a character wants something that he doesn't have, needs to know something he doesn't know, covets something that someone else has, roll the dice. . . . When there is conflict, roll the dice. There is no social agreement for the resolution of conflict in this game. Roll the dice and...
  • 11:24 AM - Sadras quoted pemerton in post To boxed text or not to boxed text
    (2) If the preference for boxed-text was universalised then I wouldn't be able to purchase excellent products like the Prince Valiant Episode Book. Nor would I have the use of such classic, box-free scenarios as B2. Part of what makes B2 usable by me is that it presents a place (the Keep) and a series of situations (the proximity of the Cves; the evil cleric; etc) but no pre-supposed plot in the form of boxed text. I'm not buying what you're selling. B10 is (1) an excellent product worth purchasing (2) that you can still use well despite the boxed-text

Wednesday, 17th April, 2019

  • 05:03 PM - LordEntrails quoted pemerton in post To boxed text or not to boxed text
    Last weekend I sat at a game where I was a PC for the first time in 15 years (the last time was a Dogs in the Vineyard one shot).... This is a great story. And has almost nothing to do with boxed text or pre-written narration. It has very little to do with the discussion even though it is about a new GM. It has nothing to do with the OP because its not about a pre-written adventure etc so how can it add value to the discussion of boxed text? All it does is support the premise that many have made that different people learn and play in different ways. Begin With: It is a rainy day as the Adventurers travel down a muddy rural path. As the heroes round the bend, the see an overturned cart and scattered bodies of peasants. A single old man lies beaten and moaning against a tree. In his right hand, he holds a silken black rope tied to a large Highland red bull. The bull eyes the Adventurers passively, but does not leave the old man’s side. I can't remember how I narrated this opening, ... And...


pemerton's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated

Most Recent Favorite Generators/Tables

View All Favorites