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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Today, 02:55 AM
    u_u this thread is doomed...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Today, 02:24 AM
    I don't actually think that Story Now is necessarily opposed to some elements that are often considered 'world building' to at least a degree. Thus, for example, even fairly staunch advocates of Story Now 'Zero Myth' play would still say that you need a solid idea of the genre, and its good to understand the tone and general sort of content that will go into a game. At a slightly less far out...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 02:04 AM
    This blog on "no myth" sets out what is probably the typical way of playing "story now". The emphasis is on characters' dramatic needs, and the framing of situations to speak to those needs and generate drama out of them. I think this is what AbdulAlhazred has in mind as a default or standard approach. Here's a blog by Ron Edwards on the use of setting in "story now" play. It emphasises the...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 01:22 AM
    I will see if I can find the reference to the other models of resource use I mentioned and quote it here.
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Today, 12:22 AM
    Even though mutliclassing left me with an objectively worse character? (Wasted proficiency feats, too low Wisdom to cast paladin spells, unable to wear armor and still cast, not high enough constitution to be a good frontliner, not to mention that not being able to still spells later on almost gets my character killed more than once and I didn't learn spells I was planning to that could have...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:50 PM
    Ok. I'm here. (Think of this as spam to subscribe to the thread)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:47 PM
    This is a character I played for over two years. In 3.5, I made a sorcerer, with a focus on weapons and low wisdom. I spent a feat on a martial weapon -as I think halberds and glaives are quite elegant-. I first I was playing my character as a bit of a trickster with a criminal past and ties to the mob -that came back to be a pain big time-. I was always roleplaying an admiration for warriors and...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:14 PM
    Sorcerer was always the simple striker by virtue of always having the extra damage on, later slayer came and was even simpler. I suggest we move this conversation to the old eds' forum before you keep pounding a dead horse.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:42 PM
    Ah, but it is true. The world of D&D presumes that said world is inherently magical. Some things may have more magic than others, but that does not mean that everything is mundane and devoid of magic by our sensibilities. It is a world influenced by other planes of existence and you can use portals in the world to traverse them. The stars may have a bearing on the fate of mortals. The world may...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:07 PM
    They can’t cross the chasm on this turn, though, so what action should they declare for this turn if that’s their intent? It’s mostly the habit you have of telling me what I do, which you’ve just exhibited again, although what you say above is fine, except I’m not sure what you mean by “jump down”. I've been assuming a functionally bottomless chasm, but if jumping down and running across...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:58 PM
    Corporate amnesia..
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:08 AM
    "I felt a great disturbance in the Thread, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, 'Oh Heavens, not this debate again.'"
    339 replies | 10656 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:55 AM
    That entire world in D&D is presumed magical. You are trying to apply a modernist mindset that distinguishes between the mundane and the magical to a world that presumes a premodern worldview wherein the supernatural, magical, and irrational are infused into everything of the cosmos. Everything. In such a worldview, whether you are playing 0E-5E, there is no "just a mundane person" in this world....
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  • chaochou's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:50 AM
    No. It's simply illustrative that HP in D&D are metagame information. The OP defined metagame information and asked for games which may or may not use it to a greater or lesser degree. Metagame was defined as making decisions as a character without the information that character would have. I provided the information a player has: You're standing on a bridge leaning on your spear. You're...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:50 AM
    The GM describes the initial scene. I mean, each system often has a specific way for this to work, but in a sort of generalized Story Now concept the players might express some sort of 'kickers', things that served as a catalyst to making them become PCs (IE heroes or whatnot vs homebodies). The GM could then frame a scene around that. Barring that sort of thing, then a judicious reading of the...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:03 AM
    Right, the boon system IS a magic item construction system as well. You complete an adventure to find the mystic ingredients/unknown ritual/master smith/whatever and the reward is your new item!
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:36 AM
    Sorry for being pedantic but the English teacher in me can't help it, it should be: Each has its own great parts, its own flaws and foibles, and its own missed opportunities. (D&D editions aren't people)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:29 AM
    Well, the context is a pretty story now kind of a game, so the players SHOULD be doing stuff that is engaging their avowed interests. I mean, the GM could be a stinker and try to foist stuff on them, but its an odd kind of way to burden players, giving their PCs more levels! At least the way I play, the players decide something like "we'll take on a quest to climb the mountain in order to acquire...
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  • chaochou's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:38 AM
    No it's not. You accused someone of confusing meta with abstract. If all things are abstract then this is a worthless observation. The correct observation would be 'All things are abstract. There are subsets of abstract which are meta and not meta.' But you didn't. You drew a distinction between meta and abstract and then proceeded from that distinction to make your wholly unsupported...
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  • chaochou's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:05 AM
    Apologies, I misread your question, or its intent, or both. There certainly isn't a system that I'm aware of that captures all the things I described. But there are certainly systems that have a more convincing model than attrite to zero. Runequest and Rolemaster are good traditional examples of good sim systems. Runequest has hit locations with individual armour and hit points that can...
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  • chaochou's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:09 AM
    Not really. You said that hitpoints are abstract. Which is a pretty worthless statement. Stats, classes, armour class, spell slots, hit points, fate points, stress levels, moves, aspects - they're all abstract. RPG mechanics used for resolution purposes are always abstract. Since all game mechanics used for resolution are abstract, it follows that your argument ('You're confusing abstract with...
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  • chaochou's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 11:22 PM
    And how does being 'messed up' translate into D&Ds hit points? Well, let's see now: No pain, no shock, no keeling over winded, no fractures or breaks or sprains, punctures, no internal bleeding, no external bleeding, no concussion, no muscles tears or ligament damage, no fatigue, or loss of strength or balance, no change in perception. Get someone to smash you around with a baseball bat...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 10:45 PM
    Here's MechaPilot's stated action declaration: "I leap across the chasm to the extent of my remaining movement", so if she has 10 feet of movement left, her intent is to leap 10 feet out into the chasm. The result of such action is to fall, and sure there's some forward momentum, but this is a long jump which starts and ends at floor-level, so any forward movement beyond the 10 feet is taking...
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  • chaochou's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 08:39 PM
    I'm not wasting my time. You've already announced your head is firmly in the sand.
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  • chaochou's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 08:02 PM
    The trouble with D&D hitpoints is that they're such nonsensical rubbish - far beyond 'abstraction' and into the realms of gibberish - that they're not fun.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 07:26 PM
    Sorry Lanefan (yes, that is the sort of reply I was looking for) and @ Emerikol . I’ll get back to your guys’ responses as soon as I can. Pretty tied up. Yup, I was referring to Blades (also, I think you may have a different copy than mine because mine is H1 -H4; Lesser, Moderate, Severe, Fatal...no H5!)! Death Spiral is certainly a concern (because it’s not fun and not genre coherent)....
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  • chaochou's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 05:54 PM
    No it isn't. And none of your = signs amount to an argument. It's just empty gainsaying. Having fun playing a game is part of playing a game. it is not a decision made by a character. It is therefore both part of the game and explicitly metagame. To say hitpoints are designed the way they are because 'it is fun' means they have been designed based on metagame considerations. It's...
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  • chaochou's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 05:42 PM
    'Fun to play' is a metagame consideration. The characters are not deciding whether they are 'fun to play'. Having fun is metagame.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 04:10 PM
    But what I appreciate about Fate in this regard is Stress and Consequences. Stress is not a traditional HP system, but is, instead, a more transparent about being a pacing mechanism representing your ability to remain in the action or scene. But you can potentially stay in the action longer if you choose to take Consequences that follow from the fiction: e.g., sprained ankle, publicly humiliated,...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 03:10 PM
    We’re talking about combat. And no, I’m not arguing for my play style. I’m merely representing it.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 03:06 PM
    I would wager that the intent represents the sort of play that the game rules were designed to support and engender. Often nowadays, the writers will state their intent in the game book. Savage Worlds, for example, uses the slogan "Fast! Furious! Fun!" to describe its intended playstyle that harkens to its desire to simulate pulp action adventures through its gameplay. Ideally, the rules as...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 02:46 PM
    No, you don’t. The desired fiction implicit in the player’s action declaration is that the character is aiming for a point only part-way across the chasm. The stated intention is for forward momentum to end there. Why would I deny the player the result of their stated action declaration?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 02:29 PM
    Links to four actual play examples.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 02:17 PM
    No. But knowing that you're in a skill challenge does help make decisions about what resources to expend (eg if I have a limited-used Nature buff, I might not use it on the first check if I'm still sussing out the fiction), and it helps you know what the payoff is for succeeding. It also establishes a context for making choices about how to engage the fiction: if its a complexity 5 skill...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 02:00 PM
    Yes, but the DM’s job is to then narrate the result of that action, which in this case, if you’re only jumping part-way across the chasm, is “You fall.”
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 12:31 PM
    (1) It was an example of a potential solution, but I have no doubt that you could create such a solution that was more appropriate to your sensibilities. (2) I don't think that this interpretation necessarily needs to be understood as "magic." Ki, for me, is simply some form of latent energy (e.g., life? psionic? etc.) that permeates the world or life therein. The fighter may be "non-magical"...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 08:45 AM
    also serious thread drift going on here...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 08:37 AM
    WRT to that I think the point is that it is story shaping the character and players are part of creating that story so both depending on how "led" things are - however insert the concept of wish lists and they become story driving activities. Cuh Culain basically had a series of training adventures near career beginning where he went around finding masters to learn his feats... Some where...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 06:08 AM
    Yeah, like PrCs or a bit like level dips in some sense. I don't know PF well at all, so I can't comment on archetypes. Its more powerful in that it subsumes all these different 'languages' (the feat language, the PP language, the ED language, the item language) of 4e, so now things are more general. So, the leveling... I inverted the concept of level advancement. Instead of leveling up to get...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 05:28 AM
    Yeah, that's basically the way Strike! works, but then you're relegated to having powers which are basically either Role Powers (ick, what makes a power a 'defender' power particularly?) or Source based (not so bad, but still hard to do right IMHO). That might be cool, BUT it has the issue of resource models. That is it is hard to see how a Stalwart and a Specialist would both live on the...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 04:23 AM
    For me, it has nothing to do with ending your turn in mid-air. That doesn't bother me at all. For me, it's that, to be permissible, the player's declared action for their turn should be within the character’s capability. The action declaration, “I leap across the chasm”, is fine when the character has enough movement to get across on this turn. The same action declaration doesn’t work in my...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 03:24 AM
    It won't effect game balance because there's only one resource management paradigm and all classes follow it. In classic D&D its a HUGE advantage to the wizard to have 5 minute workdays. He can expend spells with abandon and then just memorize them all again before the next day's encounter. Whereas the fighter and thief gain basically nothing, they can swing their swords all day and their...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 02:38 AM
    4e seems to be all-in for transparency in combat, though there have been discussions around things like "are minions declared as such or just described and its left to the players to figure it out" or "do you tell the players the monster's hit point totals" etc. The same question of course can be asked about SCs. My opinion is that the players are collaborators and its fruitless to keep things...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 02:34 AM
    But 4e is MUCH less a per-day gated game, and much more a per-encounter gated one than other editions of D&D. 'classic D&D' doesn't really have per-encounter resources at all. The main party resource, spells, are always per-day, as are hit points (essentially). I can't think of a good example of a per-encounter resource in AD&D at all, beyond maybe "thieves can only backstab once per encounter",...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 01:57 AM
    Right, I agree with you there. It can work reasonably well for CoC or other very 'tight-genre' type games where you want a specific sort of experience. I mean, CoC is pretty much the poster child since the end result is ALWAYS "you're brain was melted by horrors from beyond" or at best that you narrowly avoided the funny farm THIS time, but now that your SAN is down to 12... (yeah, I had a...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 01:33 AM
    We can guarantee that isn't an intentional... but it might not be a coincidence.
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 10:43 PM
    But my sorceress magic is in her blood, why would she stop having it just because she has learned how to fight with weapons and wear armor? Or because she made a deal with an entity of dubious standing and morals? All of them but wizard. Every race gets a +1 or two that can be put anywhere so that gives at least four stats 13 and over, make them strength, dexterity, charisma and wisdom...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 10:10 PM
    I definitely agree. Take Blades in the Dark, for example. It’s has 3 phases of play: Free Play Score Downtime Each of those are effectively “scenes” or multiple scenes. However, only in certain cases (eg the GM deployment of a Clock or Opposing Clocks - very much kindred to 4e) will scene resolution be cemented in mechanically (rather than “organically”).
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 07:17 PM
    @MwaO I’m not sure what you’re disagreeing with in my post. Can you hone in on the aspect you’re disagreeing with? Are you saying that you don’t believe there are inherent advantages to having closed scene resolution machinery player-facing or there aren’t inherent disadvantages to making the situation only GM facing? If you feel that way, could you maybe talk about other scene-based...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 06:31 PM
    Sorry, Haven't caught with the full thread yet, so feel free to ignore me if something similar has come up. I'll take one page out of my heartbreaker: Hit points.- At first level you gain your class hit dice + you Constitution score in hit points. If your hit points drop below your constitution score, you fall unconscious. If your hit points reach 0, you die. You can avoid falling unconscious...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 05:03 PM
    Quite the thread! Surprised I didn’t notice it before. Just a few quick thoughts in relation to pemerton ‘s post on player-facing Skill Challenges . I’ve long been an advocate of transparency (including making everything player-facing) in mechanical archetecture of scene-based games. While 4e is a fiction-first RPG like Apocalypse World, it is not a free form RPG like AW. It’s more...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 02:25 PM
    Probably the adjective "draconian." It's more complicated than that. At the outset, you asserted that certain mechanics of the fighter were metagame mechanics. Those were controversial claims. People naturally disputed that they were as they do rationalize these mechanics from in-character perspectives. It does not constitute metagame for them even from your provided definition. But you also...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 01:54 PM
    If you want to have that discussion, you can necro the thread and respond to the posts there.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 01:14 PM
    Those daily abilities don't have to be hoarded/preserved., though. The "adventuring day" might involve one encounter, or a dozen, and it makes no difference to game balance. If the players all nova in the first encounter of the day, this doesn't allow wizards to outshine fighters. It's purely about pacing. Whereas other editions (and 13th Age) depend for balance upon an "adventuring day" that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 12:43 PM
    I think players need to know they're in a skill challenge if they're going to make reasoned choices about what resources to use (eg powers, action points, equipment, etc). In that respect I think the comparison to combat is apt. I don't see resolution as something separate from the "real" game.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 11:56 AM
    Goblins in Pathfinder are noteworthy singers, and several adventures print some of their songs.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 10:23 AM
    Incidentally, I don't think that "fail forward," "near success," or "success-at-a-cost" are contradictory in play, as one could implement all methods within the same game. "Success-at-a-cost," for example, is often a player-facing choice where the player decides that success is necessary and worth the risk of the cost. "Fail forward" is a GM-facing technique about interpreting the failure of die...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 10:02 AM
    To be honest I don't remember any of that - it was a while ago now! I know that the paladin did stuff, as his player was the one who initiated the idea of taming rather than killing the bear. The fighter must have done something too, but I don't remember what that was: I have a vague memory of the bear being hostile to him, and him doing something in response (but I can't remember what, or...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 09:41 AM
    A follow-on from the previous post: skill challenges, like similar resolution systems in other (mostly indie) RPGs, work on the premises (1) that the GM is responsible for framing scenes, but (2) that the players are responsible for the choices that will determine how those scenes turn out. The significance of (2) is that it makes the scene, or encounter, the focus of play. There is no "the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 09:28 AM
    There are two things here - I had determined that the only way and hit the Orcs X times before the Orcs hit the PCs Y times. The latter is, more-or-less, what D&D combat looks like (where X and Y equals hit points divided by damage per hit). The former is about establishing stakes and modes of approach. There is nothing about a skill challenge as a mode of resolution that says that the GM...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 09:26 AM
    This is just false equivalence. It is fine and great to have a preferred taste for Actor stance. Where I take issue here is in the pragmatics of saying that you want 100 percent Actor stance to the exclusion of Author and Director. (Well that and the idea that in-character-speak roleplay should be preferred.) Though I disagree with Lanefan's position on in-character roleplay as the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 07:53 AM
    Succeeding at a check is something that takes place sitting around the table, in the real world, where a die was rolled, some number added to it, and the result compared to a difficulty. None of that happens in the fiction. In the real world, following the game mechanics as described in the PHB2, it goes more-or-less like this: Y's player rolls a Perception check, and X's player rolls (or has...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 05:44 AM
    Well, see, with 4e at least, the mechanics are pretty clear. So I would consider this to be a mechanically significant change, and thus a little beyond reflavoring. I mean, you could argue for instance that an ability to hide your sword is on par with many feats, or many magical item properties. It could be a grey area in other games that are less precise, and I'd consider it a fairly minor perk...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 05:40 AM
    My feeling is that it affords the players with an assurance that they are getting a result and that the stakes are controllable. In other words, in 3e/5e style play with unstructured use of skills there are no guarantees at all. Any particular effort you make may be enough to accomplish the goal, or it may be an almost meaninglessly insignificant increment towards the goal. It may not even be...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 05:12 AM
    For me, "linear adventures"/railroading are fun when the characters are fairly vibrant (and so there is fun to be had bringing my character to life as part of play, given the other main bit of play - making choices that shape the fiction - is not really happening) and the GM/module is providing an engaging story that the vibrant characters fit into well. I've enjoyed CoC played in this style,...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 04:18 AM
    Oh, I'll go further. People are foolish to criticize others for simply wanting to play a certain game. Beyond that there's nothing wrong with a 'railroad'. I think its best to do it explicitly and consciously as a means of play, and not accidentally and covertly, but I'd say the same about any mode of play if I thought about it for a second. I mean, 'player agency' doesn't really factor in, nor...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 02:55 AM
    One of the 4e descendant threads has something very akin to that... on 4enclave.org however my experience has been it's way way too easy to yank the game into being all about the specialist mayaps the problem is they become a specialist in so many things as they level instead of staying a narrow solution.
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 02:32 AM
    Yeah, obviously a lot of people fell into that trap with SCs. OTOH if you took it to the other extreme, where the situation was highly dynamic and the choice of skill was a real decision between different approaches, which lead to different fictional positioning going forward, etc. that could be very gamist as well (in heretic888's Big Three sense of gamist), allowing for a lot of thought and...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 02:28 AM
    The 4e rules are not a statement of in-fiction causal processes. They are a statement of processes of mechanical resolution. In this partiuclar case,succeeding on the Perception check (which is something a person at the table does, not something that a character in the fiction does) means that X loses hidden status, thus ceasing to be inivsible, and thus being able to be seen by Y's normal...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 01:05 AM
    This is another example of terminology drift. "Fail forward" is a technique that was championed by certain indie designers. The 13th Age rulebook (p 42) describes it thus: A simple but powerful improvement you can make to your game is to redefine failure as “things go wrong” instead of “the PC isn’t good enough.” Ron Edwards, Luke Crane, and other indie RPG designers have championed this...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 12:41 AM
    (1) Pawn is a separate stance that the blog author details. (2) Playing a role when acting often does involve role switching as the actor is an interlocutor of the character. The director has a sense of character. The author has a sense of character. The actor has a sense of character. Neither director, author, nor actor inherently has a sense of character as pawn. This is why I find such...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 12:39 AM
    Do you think this is true of combat also - that it makes no difference adjudicating combat as hp attrition, or adjudicating combat via a GM's freeform opinion of when the players have done enough to defeat their enemies?
    339 replies | 10656 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 12:32 AM
    And if X is hidden from Y, then X can't be seen by Y's normal vision. You keep talking about Y defeating X's cover (by "walking around the box X is hiding behind") - but doing that means that X is no longer hidden from Y, which of course means that (assuming that X has no other source of invisibility) X is no longer invisible to Y, and hence it is no longer true that Y cannot see X with normal...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 07:47 PM
    Pretty sure it was clear that he was echoing things he knew were nonsense... but which seem to be "common use/understanding". It seems he also didn't get much out of them either but that seems different. (I kind of found Forge to be fun mental exercise of modelling those who model - LOL)
    339 replies | 10656 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 03:22 PM
    You may be more fixated on his use of "railroad" here - likely due to its pejorative connotation - but keep in mind that the "/" designates "and or," with the first element in that phrase being "GM-driven play" and I would personally place greater emphasis in what pemerton said on that than "railroad." I would estimate that a lot of GM-driven play does entail "being stuck at a door," because it...
    339 replies | 10656 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 02:51 PM
    Which you could also do from an Authorial or Directorial stance. These are not necessarily contradictory stances, as it were, when it comes to the expectation of "acting like a real person." But my point was that the social contract of expected play (e.g., "please go along with the GM's adventure that they put work into," or "my character is being too disruptive to the enjoyment of other...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 01:49 PM
    I think the idea of "being stuck at a closed door" is mostly a feature of GM-driven/railroad play. In "story now" play, the story just is that the PCs didn't go through that door, so some other thing happened. I don't know what Matt Colville has to say about it, but the structure of a skill challenge serves the same purpose as the structure of combat resolution: it establishes a mechanical...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 01:36 PM
    And 4e/WotC did?
    339 replies | 10656 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 01:35 PM
    Just as a point of intellectual history: you do realise, don't you, that The Forge is quite hostile to White Wolf/Storyteller, and largely indifferent to D&D but with a mild sympathy for its classic/OSR version. For someone who gets worked up about what you see as falsehoods by critics of 4e, though, you don't hold back in posting nonsense about The Forge and the "threefold model". From...
    339 replies | 10656 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 12:02 PM
    The turn ending is not the reason for ending your move. It’s quite the opposite. When the player has used as much of their movement as they wish and taken their action, etc., their turn ends. It’s a matter of the player doing that and then voluntarily being done with their turn. The same is true in both play examples. As for why the player decided not to use every foot of movement available,...
    147 replies | 3502 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 08:41 AM
    Sure, but the problem IMHO is that I think that 100 percent pure Actor Stance is an inherent impossibility. In the context of theatrical drama, the Actor is a also a part-time Author and Director. The Actor is interpreting the character, but that interpretation will be guided by their own Authorial sense. And we may take "Authorial sense" here as a conglomeration of the Actor's understanding of...
    484 replies | 10476 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:43 AM
    What would be a good name that was consistent with hp not being metagame?
    484 replies | 10476 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:30 AM
    Not 'less able' in the absolute sense, but 4e militates against, or at the very least facilitates the divergence from, railroaded GM-driven scripts. You can do Story Now with 4e, quite easily. Even in more traditional play the game has the character that players are much less reliant on GM interpretation of the situation for fictional positioning and such. So GMs have a lot less leverage to...
    339 replies | 10656 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:24 AM
    So how come, then, a Cure Light Wounds spell can heal most ordinary people (in classic D&D, B/X, AD&D and 3E) from dying or on their last legs, to full health?
    484 replies | 10476 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:23 AM
    Welllllllllll, if the player actually literally is true to the reflavoring in the sense that NOTHING in the mechanics is impacted at all, then there should be no effect. At least in terms of the mechanical inputs to the game. As for the FICTIONAL inputs, and the implications in terms of fictional positioning, there's clearly an impact there. I am not sure it is proper to call it out as 'abusive',...
    339 replies | 10656 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:18 AM
    Well, someone might have meant them this way, but it would be a caricature of how many of us use these terms, whether they're used in some sort of 'correct' way according to some place called 'The Forge' where I have neither ever posted nor ever read anything much. I mean, you're being sarcastic, but these can be useful terms. I agree they were often just tossed about by those wanting to tar...
    339 replies | 10656 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:13 AM
    Just classes by another name. That was the upshot of my experiment, I could call it something else, but I just ended up with effectively 3 classes, or you could call them 'power sources', whatever. And then I'd still have to make a bunch of 'sub classes'. It seemed an experiment that was pointless. So I simply settled on mostly how 4e parsed it, several power sources that are loose but generally...
    46 replies | 1312 view(s)
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 04:49 AM
    Yes, but I should note that Story Now doesn't mean No Prep At All. You can certainly prepare potential encounters the PCs may face. However, in a Story Now context what you would also do is a) allow for multiple pathways for "defeating" the encounter, b) make sure each encounter is meaningful to the shared fiction, c) do not pre-prepare outcomes for any given encounter, and d) do not assume the...
    339 replies | 10656 view(s)
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 04:24 AM
    We'll have to agree to disagree. ;)
    339 replies | 10656 view(s)
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 03:56 AM
    That's fine, I'm certainly not attached to the name. I can only speak from my own personal experiences, where drawing upon one's willpower to do something intensely physically demanding is a) definitely a thing, b) something human beings can do of their own volition with practice and experience, and c) not something you can do as often as you want to (i.e., its a "limited use" ability we might...
    484 replies | 10476 view(s)
    3 XP
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Friday, 20th July, 2018

  • 02:24 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned pemerton in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    ...ental questions are mostly determined by the genre conventions and similar things. The oft-cited Cthulhu Mythos example works well here. We all know what the primary geography is in the CM world, its an early-20th-Century Earth with certain locations which form focal points, Eastern Massachusetts and NE, certain regions in the South Pacific, remote Antarctica, the Arabian Desert, etc. What exists in these places is fairly established, as a general thing. The creatures which are likely to be encountered, Great Old Ones, Elder Gods, the Great Race of Yith, Fungi from Yuggoth, Deep Ones, shoggoths, etc. are all pretty well known quantities in terms of how they function in the milieu. So a lot of 'world' is already 'built' here. This would also be the case in a Middle Earth, a Marvel Universe, etc. Even if the world is less fixed by the conventions of a specific genre niche, Story Now is certainly not going to be hurt by using some pre-existing overall setting. You can do it in WoG as pemerton has, or FR, or 4e's PoL world. The key element is that there's no fixed story. It is only 'world now' to the extent that overly specifying the world beforehand can create constraints which are then hard to break when the story would be better for it. Different people feel that there are different ideal balances. Dungeon World wants 'a map with holes in it', zero myth advocates for no map at all. What is unlikely to be considered Story Now is a game where you have a whole bunch of encounter areas that are already set up with pre-ordained elements which focus on things that their author wanted to have in them. The things that show up in the Story Now story are things that the players have indicated are supposed to show up, could show up, or would take the story in the direction they want if they did show up.

Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

  • 05:03 PM - Manbearcat mentioned pemerton in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Quite the thread! Surprised I didn’t notice it before. Just a few quick thoughts in relation to pemerton ‘s post on player-facing Skill Challenges . I’ve long been an advocate of transparency (including making everything player-facing) in mechanical archetecture of scene-based games. While 4e is a fiction-first RPG like Apocalypse World, it is not a free form RPG like AW. It’s more kindred with Dogs, Fate, Cortex+ in that (a) the resolution of scenes gets cemented in mechanically and (b) an aspect of the mental overhead that players must assimilate is how their action declarations map to the mechanics and how the fiction and the scene’s resolution (both current and the finality) orbit around those declared actions and attendant mechanics. Without all the relevant information that a player would have in scene-based resolution games, they’re not able to manage the game part of the game. That negatively impacts (a) their ability to positively impact the fiction in the way that they wish and (b) it just slows play by increasing table handling time of each action declaration (as more ...

Wednesday, 11th July, 2018

  • 01:39 PM - Aldarc mentioned pemerton in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    ...ess, Initiative, Agility, Dexterity, Intelligence, Willpower, Fellowship). But what if we went the other direction? Could one potentially do this with three stats? Sure. And I find such a simplification tempting for an OSR style game if our design goals harken back to the days of basic, streamlined gaming. The Cypher System uses "Might, Speed, Intellect." And a few other systems also using something akin to this: e.g., "Strength, Agility, and Intelligence." The One Ring uses (from what I recall) "Body, Heart, Wits." We could probably also include the similar schema of "Body, Mind, and Spirit." Warrior, Rogue, & Mage uses... wait for it... "Warrior, Rogue, and Mage" as the ranked attributes. This profession-oriented system reminds me of the Fate game Jadepunk that has players rank the professions "Aristocrat, Engineer, Explorer, Fighter, Scholar, and Scoundrel" as skill groups / attributes. Firefly (Cortex system) uses "Physical, Mental, and Social." I usually lean on pemerton's greater familiarity with Cortex for greater clarity. So I would possibly work with something like the above. Maybe expand it four, if I felt it would be suitable for the game design: e.g., Physical Power (Strength/Brawn), Physical Finesse (Dexterity/Agility), Mental Power (Spirit/Willpower), Mental Finesse (Wits/Intellect). We could even play around with this schema. Just brainstorming off-the-cuff here. You could even entertain the possibility of using this four-attribute schema for other derived stats. Okay, so maybe Physical Power plus Mental Power equals your Hit Points, or how much Resolve/Mettle you have. Or your Physical Finesse plus Mental Finesse determines your initiative. Or your Mental Finesse plus Mental Power determines your Magic potential. It really just depends on what you want. Mix and match as desired. So to answer your question, possibly 3-4 attributes.

Wednesday, 4th July, 2018

  • 01:22 AM - Neonchameleon mentioned pemerton in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    On the metagame and how I view it. Hopefully this will help us to dispense with the debate about what I think it is. Indeed. It just convinces me that we have an extremely different understanding of the world - and I think yours appears to derive more from historic Dungeons & Dragons rules rather than from the real world. 1. There was little or no metagame in D&D core books from 3e back. pemerton has already pointed out a few that are metagame and explicitly pointed out as such by Gygax. 2. No. I cannot enjoy a game if anyone in the group is playing using metagame constructs. Why do you care how other people have fun if it doesn't directly impact yours? Why do you want to force their understanding of the world to match yours like this? Any martial daily is unquestionably so for me. So saving any sort of potential combat attack energy resource across combats is absolutely not something I believe happens. I consider this pair of sentences to be far more telling than you intended it to be. I believe that inside of an individual combat that the opportunity to deliver an extra big blow is almost never the character's decision alone. Well, obviously. If it was the character's decision alone then we wouldn't bother rolling attack rolls. We'd just say it hit. But if you watch any combat sport from boxing to MMA to professional wrestling (and yes I know wrestli...

Monday, 2nd July, 2018

  • 06:06 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned pemerton in post Towards a Story Now 4e
    ... Balancing on a small precipice is arguably still running with a terrain so difficult skill and dex over whelm the value of strength even if it is involved. I look at it this way. Players have a lot of freedom in HoML to decide how they're approaching the fictional challenges, including Inspiration and Practices, plus 'page 42' style improvisation. If a PC has Acrobatics trained, then the player is going to leverage that and describe some sort of narrative where the character overcomes her obstacle using speed and coordination instead of either fitness or strength. There's also still such things as 'secondary checks' and 'aid another' which can factor in as well. I think its EASIER to lean of Athletics, and maybe most characters don't need both skills trained, but I don't really feel like I must 'fix' this. In fact, where in 4e the fact that many skills were relegated to fairly niche uses was a bit problematic, I think it is a lot less so in Story Now kind of play. I wonder what pemerton and Manbearcat, and Lost Soul think about that? How about you Gilladian?

Wednesday, 27th June, 2018

  • 08:47 AM - Aldarc mentioned pemerton in post Suspense in RPGs
    ...in it?In a D&D campaign? No. It's par for the course and part of the expectations of the game, essentially in the social contract that you will kill monsters. Though again, this says nothing about whether said "death-dealing conflict" has any actual suspense or whether the "death-dealing conflict" even creates said suspense or tension. We are not in a D&D thread, however, but a General RPG thread and multiple non-lethal/deadly RPGs exist. Does the threat of death exist in a No Thank You Evil campaign? Nope. Does a threat of death exist in a Fate super game? Potentially, but generally not because the conventions of the genre coupled with Fate's "being taken out" rules often leads to situations where the heroes find themselves defeated but alive. And this last point is where I would drive my own point. The "risk of defeat" does more to create suspense in RPGs and other previously listed media than the "risk of death," with death being but one form of defeat. And this gets back to pemerton and Vincent Baker's original point that connects suspense with "victory." Simply surviving or "not dying" is not inherently victory. "Dying" and the "risk of death" in physical conflicts do not necessarily generate any real suspense. Building tension between "victory" and "defeat" drives a lot of conflict and suspense in many campaign narratives more so than simply risk of death and survival. For many games, IME, the suspense of the campaign, adventure, or session does not rest on the fulcrum of death, but, rather, on the player-driven question of "how will I be required to achieve victory?"
  • 05:31 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned pemerton in post What is the essence of 4E?
    ... different mechanics (slightly). What seems WEIRD to me is how nothing seems to get harder in 5e! Its bizarre, and sometimes problematical. Most of all it doesn't fit with the paradigm of play that 4e uses, which is tuned to its rules structure, so the two work in concert. That's the best test of things, does it work in the way intended? It does! So do the encounter building rules in the DMG work? Are five level 25 monsters an moderate challenge for five level 25 PCs? Is Orcus in the Monster Manual a decent challenge? Yes and no. Orcus is a decent challenge, yes, when thematically treated LIKE ORCUS. If you put the Orcus stat block in sphere world and play a theorycrafted combat then nope, it won't work. If you even follow the advice in the DMG on building encounters, and logically extrapolate it to epic encounters, which aren't really the focus of DMG1's advice, then it does work. In the case of Orcus, that means you are NASTY! Go take a look at the descriptions of 4e battles @pemerton has posted, nothing sounds like it was problematic there! So, can I make a nasty Orcus encounter that follows the 'rules' of DMG1? Yup! It will be a level 35 encounter, with level 35 terrain of the nastiest sort. I have 235,000 XP for my encounter budget, and Orcus (level 33 Solo Brute) takes 155,000. So I have 80,000 XP left in my budget. Lets suppose I choose to utilize 3 level 30 standard monsters, that's 57,000, so I have 23,000 left, which will get me 5 level 30 minions give or take 1000 XP. Now, I can have WHATEVER terrain and terrain powers and etc. I wish, there's no XP budget for those (yeah, you can maybe overdo it, but this is a CAPSTONE encounter of a whole campaign, so not really). I can fill the place with necrotic energy. Lets be nice and use an inverted Pillar of Life, at epic tier this will suck 15 hit points out of any character within say 3 squares (and we can put a bunch of them around). Then we can position the main combat area such that there are places where PC...

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 10:12 PM - Jay Verkuilen mentioned pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Do you mean the guy who thinks that Encumbrance and Strength is a measure of how injured you are? I would not put too much stock into his "quotes". I can't say I frequently agree with all of the views of @pemerton , but I'm pretty sure he can copy from the 1E DMG just fine. You can get a good idea by reading what he wrote. Indeed you can, and the notion that a combat round is a minute in length and summarizes a substantial set of exchanges in battle along with the interpretation of hit points as not being meat points is Gygax's. I'm not near my copy of the DMG1E at the moment. However, I did find this quote from an article in Dragon #24, 1979 "The Melee in D&D": Hit points are a combination of actual physical constitution, skill at the avoidance of taking real physical damage, luck and/or magical or divine factors. Ten points of damage dealt to a rhino indicated a considerable wound, while the same damage sustained by the 8th level fighter indicates a near miss, a slight wound, and a bit of luck used up, a bit of fatigue piling up against his or her skill at avoiding the fatal cut or thrust. So even when a hit is scored in melee combat, it is more often than not a grazing blow, a scratch, a...
  • 09:57 PM - Jay Verkuilen mentioned pemerton in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    You seem sincere and I wish that I could just take your assurance that was the case and on the other hand there is just no evidence that was true. The relevant quote from the DMG1E was posted already by @pemerton somewhere in this thread. I was looking for it but can't find it. I'll post it later tonight. As to what Gygax actually thought before he wrote that, well he's dead so who the heck knows for sure. I marked my speculation as speculation. From what I understand, Gygax was a pretty old skool wargamer, mostly focused on the numbers. According to Wikipedia Arneson and Gygax got the idea of hit points from a naval wargame; the original idea was developed by the US Navy in the 1920s!

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.


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Friday, 20th July, 2018

  • 12:00 AM - Plane Sailing quoted pemerton in post A Tale Of Two Bestiaries: Looking At The Fiend Folio And Creature Catalog In POD
    The stunjelly/living wall and shadow demon I get - but can you say a bit more about what your thinking was behind the qullan? (If you can still remember 40 yeras on!) For sure (it doesn’t seem that long ago). For starters, the name was pure gamesmanship. I guessed that they would have monsters alphabetically arranged, and figured that providing one with an initial Q would enhance my chances of getting one in... a valid assumption, as it turned out. I wanted some humanoid foes which looked like a lowish level threat, but with the confusion aura to add some extra unpredictability into the mix. I also liked the idea of a charm spell being particularly dangerous to them (via the ‘feedback effect” tm). The kind of thing which could be discovered accidentally and then which clever players could take advantage of in the future. It’s nice that the original inspiration for them has essentially turned up in later games as well. I consider those to be my step-grandchildren, as it were! C...

Thursday, 19th July, 2018


Wednesday, 18th July, 2018

  • 02:17 AM - Ted Serious quoted pemerton in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    And 4e/WotC did? Yes. They drove their fans away. Paizo does not want to do that with Pathfinder 2. They will not make the mistakes WotC did with 4e.
  • 01:57 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted pemerton in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    For me, "linear adventures"/railroading are fun when the characters are fairly vibrant (and so there is fun to be had bringing my character to life as part of play, given the other main bit of play - making choices that shape the fiction - is not really happening) and the GM/module is providing an engaging story that the vibrant characters fit into well. I've enjoyed CoC played in this style, and also Pendragon - using pregens to ensure vibrant characters that fit into the story. I personally don't like it so much for "rootless wanderer"-type D&D, as the story in that sort of RPGing tends to be pretty thin. Right, I agree with you there. It can work reasonably well for CoC or other very 'tight-genre' type games where you want a specific sort of experience. I mean, CoC is pretty much the poster child since the end result is ALWAYS "you're brain was melted by horrors from beyond" or at best that you narrowly avoided the funny farm THIS time, but now that your SAN is down to 12... (yeah, I had a...
  • 12:07 AM - Shasarak quoted pemerton in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Those daily abilities don't have to be hoarded/preserved., though. The "adventuring day" might involve one encounter, or a dozen, and it makes no difference to game balance. If the players all nova in the first encounter of the day, this doesn't allow wizards to outshine fighters. It's purely about pacing. So again, how is that any different from any version of DnD other then making Fighters use the exact same mechanics as Wizards? How is everyone novaing on the first (and only) encounter of the day not going to affect game balance? How is that not going to affect pacing? Whereas other editions (and 13th Age) depend for balance upon an "adventuring day" that has enough encounters, or the threat of them, to balance wizards and other casters against fighters and thieves/rogues. 13th Age formalises this into a rule of "one full rest after four encounters". 5e relies on the GM ensuring an "adventuring day" of the right length. Which then generates a pressure towards GM managed ficiton and ...

Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

  • 10:48 PM - Shasarak quoted pemerton in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    I think players need to know they're in a skill challenge if they're going to make reasoned choices about what resources to use (eg powers, action points, equipment, etc). In that respect I think the comparison to combat is apt. I don't see resolution as something separate from the "real" game. I guess in the real game you dont need to know you are in a Skill Challenge to have your character make reasoned choices about what resources to use. Like in the Dire Bear example, do I need to know that I am in a skill challenge to recognise that the Ranger using Nature skill is probably the optimal strategy to use? Your approach definitely makes sense if you are jumping the game from Scene to Scene though.
  • 02:26 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    If you want to have that discussion, you can necro the thread and respond to the posts there. Threads wander and you brought it up as an example of a skill challenge. That makes it fair game for discussion here, but okay... I'm not going to bother looking up the thread to necro it.
  • 01:49 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Here's a concrete example, from actual play, that shows that the two things are separate: "The ranger and the wizard made Nature checks. The ranger was adjacent, so reached out to the bear. The wizard, however, was at range, giving rise to the question - how does he actually calm the bear? Answer: he used Ghost Sound to make soothing noises and Mage Hand to stroke it. The sorcerer wanted (i) to back away so as not to get slammed in case the bear remained angry, and (ii) to try and intimidate the bear into submission. I (as GM) asked the player how, exactly, the PC was being intimidating while backing up? His answer: he is expending Spark Form (a lightning-based encounter power) to create a show of magical power arcing between his staff and his dagger, that would scare the bear. A successful Intimidate roll confirmed that the light show did indeed tend to subdue rather than enrage the bear." So your example of a party working together in a skill challenge is a party working at odds with it...
  • 01:38 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post Would you allow this?
    Succeeding at a check is something that takes place sitting around the table, in the real world, where a die was rolled, some number added to it, and the result compared to a difficulty. None of that happens in the fiction. Correct. In the game that success translates into the PC seeing a hider with normal vision. [quote]In the real world, following the game mechanics as described in the PHB2, it goes more-or-less like this: Y's player rolls a Perception check, and X's player rolls (or has already rolled) a Stealth check. The roll for Y beats the roll for X, and so Y's player succeeds on the opposed check. Hence X is no longer hidden from Y. Hence X is no longer invisible to Y. Hence Y can see X with normal vision, and does so.[/quote[ And in the game world it goes like this. Y's character walks into the room. X's character has already hidden(13 stealth). The roll by Y's player was a 15, so Y's character sees X with normal vision, which means that X is no longer hidden. X's ch...
  • 10:30 AM - Shasarak quoted pemerton in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    To be honest I don't remember any of that - it was a while ago now! I know that the paladin did stuff, as his player was the one who initiated the idea of taming rather than killing the bear. The fighter must have done something too, but I don't remember what that was: I have a vague memory of the bear being hostile to him, and him doing something in response (but I can't remember what, or whether or not it was successful). I do have a memory that, even once tamed, the bear was not friendly to the fighter! Which maybe suggests that whatever the fighter tried failed. As far as successes and failures are concerned, I don't know what I did in that scenario. It was before I learned Manbearcat's technique of using dice, laid out clearly on the table, to represent successes and failures. Ok, thats alright. I have found that in most scenarios it is hard to fit one or two of the PCs in like maybe the Fighter in this Bear scenario, while the Ranger is in his element. Obviously it depends on your...
  • 10:23 AM - Aldarc quoted pemerton in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    The idea of "fail forward" as "near-success", or "success with complications", has become increasingly common. In this variant usage, the forward is precisely that the PC gets to proceed in the direction the player hoped. Whereas the Luke Crane-type "fail forward" is a technique that is intended to support player-driven RPGing, by substituting dramatic outcomes of player-delcared checks for a GM pre-authored storyline. But the more recent, and increasingly common, "success with complications" notion of "fail forward" is a technique for facilitating GM pre-authored storylines, by ensuring that no "unpassable" obstacles get in their way.Incidentally, I don't think that "fail forward," "near success," or "success-at-a-cost" are contradictory in play, as one could implement all methods within the same game. "Success-at-a-cost," for example, is often a player-facing choice where the player decides that success is necessary and worth the risk of the cost. "Fail forward" is a GM-facing technique about...
  • 10:16 AM - Shasarak quoted pemerton in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    A follow-on from the previous post: skill challenges, like similar resolution systems in other (mostly indie) RPGs, work on the premises (1) that the GM is responsible for framing scenes, but (2) that the players are responsible for the choices that will determine how those scenes turn out. The significance of (2) is that it makes the scene, or encounter, the focus of play. There is no "the adventure" or "the story", because until a scene/encounter is resolved no one (player or GM) knows what the state of the fiction will be, and hence no one knows what the elements of subsequent scenes will be. 4e is very distinctive among editions of D&D in facilitating this sort of play because it doesn't rely on "the adventuring day" or a similar concept to balance asymmetric resource suites, attrition of resources, etc. I really dont see that 4e does not rely on the adventuring day. Everyone has Daily abilities, they all get a certain number of Healing surges per day with Action points that reset ev...
  • 09:44 AM - Shasarak quoted pemerton in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    There are two things here - I had determined that the only way and hit the Orcs X times before the Orcs hit the PCs Y times. The latter is, more-or-less, what D&D combat looks like (where X and Y equals hit points divided by damage per hit). The former is about establishing stakes and modes of approach. There is nothing about a skill challenge as a mode of resolution that says that the GM must, or should, establish the stakes and the modes of approach (although it is likely that the GM will play some role in relation to this simply because, 4e being a fairly traditional game in its allocation of player and GM roles, the GM has a preeminent role as adjudicator of fictional positioning and the broader "logic" of the fiction). Here's a concrete example, from actual play, that shows that the two things are separate: The scenario I ran yesterday (from the Eden Odyssesy d20 book called "Wonders Out of Time") called for a Large bear. I wasn't sure exactly how many 10th level PCs would b...
  • 08:49 AM - Shasarak quoted pemerton in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Do you think this is true of combat also - that it makes no difference adjudicating combat as hp attrition, or adjudicating combat via a GM's freeform opinion of when the players have done enough to defeat their enemies? If I had designed an encounter in a room that had a certain number of Orcs guarding a certain number of Pies and I had determined that the only way to win was for the Party to hit the Orcs X number of times before the Orcs hit them Y number of times then I would agree that does look a lot like a Skill Challenge.
  • 02:44 AM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post Would you allow this?
    The 4e rules are not a statement of in-fiction causal processes. They are a statement of processes of mechanical resolution. In this partiuclar case,succeeding on the Perception check (which is something a person at the table does, not something that a character in the fiction does) means that X loses hidden status, thus ceasing to be inivsible, and thus being able to be seen by Y's normal vision. Horse pucky! From perception: "Opposed Check: Perception vs. Stealth when trying to spot or hear a creature using Stealth. Your check might be modified by distance or if you’re listening through a door or a wall (see the table)." From skill training: "Training in a skill means that you have some combination of formal instruction, practical experience, and natural aptitude using that skill." From using skill: "When you use a skill, you make a skill check. This check represents your training, your natural talent (your ability modifier), your overall experience (one half your level), other...
  • 02:08 AM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post Would you allow this?
    And if X is hidden from Y, then X can't be seen by Y's normal vision.X can be seen by Y's normal vision. It just takes a perception roll, and if that fails, then try again until you find Y. You're still confusing "is not seen," which results from a failed roll, with "can't be seen," which means that it's not possible to ever see. You keep talking about Y defeating X's cover (by "walking around the box X is hiding behind") - but doing that means that X is no longer hidden from Y, which of course means that (assuming that X has no other source of invisibility) X is no longer invisible to Y, and hence it is no longer true that Y cannot see X with normal vision. Yes, it means that X is no longer hidden BECAUSE X WAS SEEN BY NORMAL VISION. The seeing happens first. Also, I note you left out perception checks which I have also mentioned.
  • 01:09 AM - Tony Vargas quoted pemerton in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    As Luke Crane presents it, the forward in "fail forward" is not that the PC gets to go forward in the desired direction. It's that the events of play keep going forward, although in some way that is at odds with the player's intent in having declared the action. In a linear adventure, where there is no adventure but through the door, /forward/ would be more litteral. But, sure, more broadly, point taken. In the 13th Age rulebook, the description of "fail forward" goes on: A more constructive way to interpret failure is as a near-success or event that happens to carry unwanted consequences or side effects. The character probably still fails to achieve the desired goal, but that’s because something happens on the way to the goal rather than because nothing happens. I rather like that one. But the more recent, and increasingly common, "success with complications" notion of "fail forward" is a technique for facilitating GM pre-authored storylines, by ensuring that no "unpassable" obsta...

Monday, 16th July, 2018

  • 10:15 PM - Shasarak quoted pemerton in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    I think the idea of "being stuck at a closed door" is mostly a feature of GM-driven/railroad play. In "story now" play, the story just is that the PCs didn't go through that door, so some other thing happened. I dont know if I would agree with DM driven play other then the DM making a "mistake" during his map creation phase and/or expecting the Party to know the Elven word for "Friend" to get through the door perhaps. I guess in a sandbox game having a door that you can not get through is not really a problem in that there are other things to do. I don't know what Matt Colville has to say about it, but the structure of a skill challenge serves the same purpose as the structure of combat resolution: it establishes a mechanical finality which means that the outcomes are driven by player actions declarations and their resolution, rather than the GM's opinion as to where the fiction should go next. I dont really see that the DM picking an arbitary number of successes before the narrati...
  • 07:48 PM - Garthanos quoted pemerton in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    For someone who gets worked up about what you see as falsehoods by critics of 4e, though, you don't hold back in posting nonsense about The Forge and the "threefold model". Pretty sure it was clear that he was echoing things he knew were nonsense... but which seem to be "common use/understanding". It seems he also didn't get much out of them either but that seems different. (I kind of found Forge to be fun mental exercise of modelling those who model - LOL)
  • 05:52 PM - Tony Vargas quoted pemerton in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Just as a point of intellectual history: you do realise, don't you, that The Forge is quite hostile to White Wolf/Storyteller, and largely indifferent to D&D but with a mild sympathy for its classic/OSR version. It seems reasonably hostile to D&D, too, describing both as "incoherent." you don't hold back in posting nonsense about The Forge and the "threefold model". In this particular instance I was posting my impressions of how the boards tend to (miss)use Forge terminology. And, no, I have made a small effort, but never found much sense in the Forge. The Threefold Model made a little sense to me back in the day, but it still mainly came off as intellectualizing the essentially bogus Role v Roll 'debate.' "Pound for pound, Basic Role-Playing from The Chaosium is perhaps the most important system, publishing tradition, and intellectual engine in the hobby - yes, even more than D&D. It represents the first and arguably the most lasting, influential form of uncompromising Simulationist...


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