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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:04 AM
    Thread here.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:31 PM
    Pelor is not listed in the 3.0 Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting book, and therefore playing a Pelor cleric in Forgotten Realms would be a change to the cleric class as per Maxperson. :p Also the 3.0 PHB flavor text for the cleric establishes that most humans follow Pelor. If most do not follow Pelor, then the Forgotten Realms changes the cleric class because fluff are rules. :p
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:23 PM
    Lol. This is far-fetched, even for you. I never said the bold. I said that its deities falls within the range of possible flavors that PHB discusses. You cannot play a cleric of Pelor in Forgotten Realms, so clearly Forgotten Realms has changed the cleric class. This is of the same nonsensical level, Max. Your argument is farcical and silly. It's difficult to believe that you mean it in...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:17 PM
    Congratulations, you just quoted text that supports how Eberron's clerics and deities fall within the "gamut" of flavor text that the 3e cleric supports. That does not mean that a campaign must have these other varieties and that not encountering them changes the cleric. It means that depending on your campaign (and deities therein), the nature of deities will vary. I'm glad that I can help you...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:53 PM
    Josiah Stoll I saw you've been looking at some other threads discussing GMing techniques. There's a range of approaches. The default on these boards emphasises GM-driven play (or APs where the GM channels the module author). What I'm going to talk about in this post/thread is a different approach. You might find it helpful, or not - all I can say is that it's been working for me for a long...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:34 PM
    Josiah Stoll, I've started a new thread and mentioned you.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:33 PM
    If the GM is just going to stipulate all this stuff, what is the player there for? To provide some emotional language and the odd tear? When I play a RPG I expect to be actually making decisions that matter. I'm not just there to emote my way though events the GM decides are taking place. A sponsor's heel turn does not invalidate the players' contributions, though. How can it?Because it...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:25 PM
    I did not talk about a PC whose goal is to keep his/her family on the straight and narrow. I talked about a PC (like Samwise Gamgee) who is going out on a quest to make the world a safe place again, and when it is done planning to come back to dear old dad (a la Sam Gamgee's Gaffer). Having the GM unilaterally decide that the Gaffer is a serial killer is just a way to kill of that character...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:14 PM
    Tackling this in some fashion seems pretty important. There's probably some stuff you can do as GM on the framing side of things; and also stuff that can be looked at on the resolution side too. "Fail forward" resolution in particular - it's a bit tricky in 5e because so much action resolution involves spells, but it can probably be used for ability check/skill check resolution. ("Fail...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:04 PM
    A lot of those responses seem aimed at a very GM-driven, "follow-the-bread-crumbs" style of play. If you're interested in talking about more player-driven play there are posters on these boards who can talk about that (me, Campbell, Manbearcat and others). The best place to start a thread on that would be in General RPG, as a lot of the relevant techniques are not 5e-specific.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:59 AM
    Are you suffering from a case of the Mandela Effect? It does match the 3e cleric as written, both fluff and mechanics. I don't think you are accurately remembering the 3e cleric as it was written. It gave a wide berth to a variety of clerics, deities, and playstyles. And Eberron did certainly not change the cleric class. :confused: Wouldn't that still make them options and not default...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:33 AM
    How do you know - did you poll them? 3E allows clerics who don't serve gods. Eberron has clerics whose service to gods is much closer to the 3E PHB's adherence to a philosophy. That's not a change - it's a manner of implementation.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:51 AM
    The idea that Eberron changes the rules for the 3E cleric class is just bizarre. A 3E cleric didn't even have to serve a god!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:40 AM
    If the GM decides that dear dad or whomever - the person or people the players' backstory framed as worthy folk - are in fact serial killers, than how was the character meant to carry it off? What did the player fail to do? What action declaration or player-side resource is mean to prevent unilateral GM decisions about the backstory element?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:37 AM
    But was the PC in your example conceived of and played as a defender of a worthy mentor?
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:24 AM
    Short answer is yes... longer answer I was first inspired when reading Amber Diceless Roleplaying. The game had a concept you might call sliding detail. In 4e some fights might be simplified down to a skill challenge. But in a more concrete way just having bad guys decide to cut and run often works fine with my non-murder hobo players.
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 11:59 PM
    I'm more of the idea that it's the other way around, one's own perspectives, thoughts, and morals shape our political views. Or at least it goes both ways. I have a problem with this -funny how we agree on lots of stuff but this isn't the case-, art is a fuzzy thing, but the one thing that makes art, art is intentionality. No intentionality, no art. No art, no statement. And the onus of...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 11:43 PM
    Are you confusing "options" for different styles of play with "default assumptions"? Also, isn't Faith and Avatars just about Forgotten Realms?
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 11:41 PM
    And the DMG 2...tied heroic exertion and rituals or other expenditures to gaining successes what happens if an HS gets spent appropriately by every party member and the wizard cast the right rituals because tpk is the alternative? The odds just went up signicantly...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 10:28 PM
    True, but meta-knowledge almost invariably exists. Players may know the GM. The players may know the setting. I disagree. But if the player of a cleric whose primary contribution to the setting is a deity and a dwarf clan is the most knowledgeable person of the GM's setting, then something is probably wrong with the GM. ;) And I still think that you are engaging in gross hyperbole. ...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 07:21 PM
    You're damned if you do and damned if you don't is fun. Sometimes you have to set it up AND sometimes you are a fighter ;)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 02:46 PM
    I believe you are applying an incredibly restricted view of past editions to win an argument rather than to accurately describe these games. As you are limited to saying that "it changes the god/cleric relationship," which is wholly subjective and requires an exceptionally narrow reading of the texts that ignores where what you say is not true, then it's clear that it Eberron does not actually...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 11:16 AM
    It's not clear how what you go on to describe invalidates what the player established. As you are presenting it here, there doesn't seem to be an moral or thematic aspect to the PC-mentor relationship.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 10:58 AM
    These things are completely dependent on context - there is no general implication of the sort you described. When you get to the theatre, you can pick up the tickets from the booking office requires getting to the theatre before the tickets can then be picked up. If you pick up a razor blade you might cut yourself is a warning about an event that might occur utterly concurrently with picking...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 10:35 AM
    Respectfully, Morrus, that is not my intent here.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 10:25 AM
    I don't understand what your point about the context of choice is. Of course in the Curse of the Golden Flower it is only out of ignorance that brother and sister choose to sleep together. That's why the revelation that their relationship was in fact incestuous is so significant. And that revelation shows that, in this case, ignorance was not bliss. It was terrible. I won't spoil the movie any...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 09:50 AM
    Torog and Lolth both have published stats. Vecna and Bahamut also. And I imagine Tiamat (in a Dracomonicon) though I'm not sure. I remember adapting Bane stats from a Dragon mag, but they may be for an "aspect". The module H2 presents a skill challenge invovling Vecna. It's intended for mid-Heroic PCs, although when I used it I was adapting it to a low-Pargaon context.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 09:49 AM
    Except it didn't. So this inhibition appears self-imposed by yourself. This may stem from the undercurrent of "play-to-win" approaches that seem to run through your games rather than "play-to-roleplay." If you are actually roleplaying in first-person in this world, as you have claimed as your preference, then why would you be metagaming unless you are playing to win some sort of board game? ...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 09:47 AM
    I haven't got my copy of Moldvay Basic ready to hand. I think it suggests that clerics are religious - I know we used to call our cleric PCs things like "Brother Simon" and I think we got that idea from the rulebook - but it doesn't have any rules for the GM to adjudicate deities independent of adjudicating alignment. I have been able to check the Rules Cyclopedia (which is a downstream B/X...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 09:32 AM
    I don't know much about Eberron, but you're wrong here about 4e. Gods in 4e are as tangible as you want them to be. In my 4e game, the PCs have killed two and visited the burial place of a third. The default cosmology of 4e makes the god's more active, and more "tangible", than any other D&D setting I know of. (And I'm including FR in this judgement.)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 09:18 AM
    For any non-railroad approach to RPGing, the gulf between unilateral GM stipulation and consequence resulting from failed action resolution in which the subject matter of the consequence was at stake is huge. If I fail some check where my relationship with my patron has been put at stake, then maybe the failure is narrated as backlash from my patron. (That's one approach to failed Faith checks...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 09:12 AM
    Gorgon-excrement. The only fact is that you have failed in demonstrating that Eberron has changed the cleric class, leaving you only asserting that it did. You made the assertion that it changes the cleric class. It is not my place to disprove anything. Now prove your position that it does change the cleric class. What this says is that the cleric class changed between editions, which is...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 09:04 AM
    I don't play chess with people who knock over the board when they're losing. But that's not a principle about how to play chess; it's a principle about how not to waste my time with anti-social people! In the same way that no book on chess strategy suggests nailing the board to the table; so I'm not sure that discussions of RPGing approaches need to cover the equivalent terrain for this...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 08:41 AM
    Do you play 5e at all?nIn 5e the shock spell rolls a regular attack vs AC, with advantage if the target has metal armour. The default assumption in 5e is that armour protects against damage, and AC is a measure of protection. Where that is clearly inapplicable the game uses opposed checks, although often monsters roll vs AC for stuff like grabbing and pushing as part of their attacks.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 08:34 AM
    Yes, the nearest thing to a touch AC in 5e is an opposed Athletics or Acrobatics check to avoid being grabbed. A tree does not get to make such checks & is always grabbed. :) AC in 5e is always a measure of how hard it is to damage the target. You get some weird edge cases in 5e like it being an object interaction to pick up an unconscious character (unless the GM says it's an Action - but...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 08:28 AM
    Re cover bonuses - for ease of maths it makes sense that cover affects the target DC rather than impose a to-hit penalty, but barkskin is the kind of case that shows that AC as DC can be problematic for the fiction. So I would certainly house rule that cover bonuses don't count as part of the AC for barkskin & similar purposes. Conversely I'm ok with shield not affecting barkskin; the idea...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 08:12 AM
    It does not, and you have failed to demonstrate how it is. That just makes you both wrong and foolish.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 08:06 AM
    Yes, this is my solution. Although adding half Prof to Init is a possibly-unintended quite big boost; still nothing like the Alert feat.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 07:57 AM
    It doesn't. It has followed the rules for clerics in every pertinent edition : 3-5e.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 05:55 AM
    Somwhat connected to this: In my Prince Valiant game one PC is the son of another: it wasn't planned that way, but after PC creation was done the two were nearly identical, and one was in his 40s and the other in his 20s, so it just made sense! Those two players obviously get to decide what their family, and their family relationship, is about. I as GM, and other players, of course are allowed to...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 05:37 AM
    This is a very narow account of the case. I'm going to present a stark example which I hope isn't offensive: A sleeps with B who is (as far as A knows) a stranger. A subsequently learns that B is A's sister. A thereby learns that A has committed incest. A may or may not care deeply about that - the world is full of different moral perspectives - but I think for most people there is no doubt...
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 04:15 AM
    For what it's worth I believe in shared ownership of setting, more in terms of taking an active interest in it and responsibility for it's content than the freedom to do whatever we want with it. The GM is mostly responsible for it in the same way that players are mostly responsibility for their characters. Obviously there's some interaction there. No one is an island. This is a game where we...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 08:05 PM
    Except the class has not been altered, and you would be hard-pressed to demonstrate by any reasonable standards that it has. At first glance, on a very fundamental level, one offers a narrative check against a much greater power, while the other expands that greater power while weakening the weaker power.
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 06:19 PM
    Hereís a restatement of the first bullet of Shield Master that I believe makes my preferred reading apparent: If you choose the Attack action as your action for your turn, you can use a bonus action at any time during that turn to try to shove a creature within 5 feet of you with your shield.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 02:34 PM
    Wow. Never thought of it that way. And given the prominence of "themepark MMOs," that may also explain my general disdain of "themepark worldbuilding and adventures." If we were playing Eberron, how is playing a cleric of a backgrounded Balinor different from playing a cleric of Balinor? Eberron effectively backgrounds its pantheon of deities such that the focus can be on the ground-eye view...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 10:47 AM
    This seems unreasonably hyperbolic; you are creating an artificial crisis. This is hardly the problem you are fabricating here. Let's consider another case that does not involve deities. I create a character with a backstory pertaining to my family clan that I have also invented. A new player joins the game or a PC dies and a player re-rolls a new character. Having heard about my character's...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 09:20 AM
    Sorry, what do you think is not weird? I thought it was weird that you have to state that "backgrounding" won't apply to major campaign elements (like a motorbike in a post-apocalyptic game) because that seemed self-evident. If that's what you're responding to, can you say a bit more because I didn't quite get it the first time!
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 09:14 AM
    How's that? Don't off-turn attacks pretty well always use up your Reaction?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 08:25 AM
    In any event it seems self-evident, such that it's weird you have to state it! Presumably, thought, some posters think that the GM has a unilateral power to define "major campaign element" - that this is not something where the players might also have authority. I can half-imagine this for some sort of club game, though even there it's not something I've ever encountered. For a social game...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 07:02 AM
    Some of the suggestions that getting sent on GM-initiated fetch quests or whatever by the patron is part of the "cost" of playing a warlock did make me think of this. It's as if the "cost" is content that (in the posited example) no one at the table (except perhaps the GM) wants.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 06:41 AM
    I wasn't focusing especially on the "hostile action" bit as that did not seem relevant to the work your example was doing. My point is that the example plays out no differently whether the trigger is "hostile action", "make an attack", "take the attack action", etc. Whichever wording is used, the in-fiction trigger is the drawing of a sword, the nocking of an arrow, or whatever it might be. I...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 05:08 AM
    Taking the attack action and making an attack are also real-world events. The latter also correlates with some event in the fiction. I already gave this example somewhere upthread. It shows that not all instances of making an attack are constituents of taking the attack action. It doesn't show that taking the attack action doesn't include, as a constituent, making an attack. The analogue in...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 01:56 AM
    I already gave examples. In Star Wars Luke romances with Leia. Later on he, and we the audience, discover they are siblings. This gives a very different - incestuous - meaning to that romancing. In JRRT's tale of Turin Turambar, the discovery that a relationship was in fact incestuous is the culmination of the story, and the point at which Turin realises that in many ways his life has been...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 01:08 AM
    That seems very similar to the orientation that Campbell descripbed not far upthread.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 12:36 AM
    That's what I take it to mean (subject to the suggestion from epithet and TwoSix that's come out upthread): taking the attack action means taking an attack, but doesn't require finishing taking all those attacks.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 12:34 AM
    It's not "technically impossible" for the drafter of a rule to be wrong about its interpretation. In fact its really rather common - in law, but in other contexts also.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 12:30 AM
    How does this have any bearing on a rule about the use of a bonus action? A bonus action is not a reaction. Not only is it not simple, to me it's not even coherent! You are stating a (purported) principle that pertains to bonus actions and reactions. That doesn't show that bonus actions are reactions. Given that the principle uses a notion that is not part of the definition and explanation...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 12:26 AM
    But that seems to be because there is no way to make wielding a light weapon a necessary component of TWF without that extra wording you've pointed to. Because that extra wording is performing that function, it cannot be uncontroversially inferred that it's performing a further function of the sort you suggest.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 12:22 AM
    I think you are running together conceptually/semantically distinct and metaphysically distinct. The example I gave upthread is brushing one's teeth: bruthing your teeth is a distinct concept/phrase from moving your toothbrush. But any occurence of an event that is brushing your truth is constituted, in part, by an event of moving your toothbrush.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 12:17 AM
    If you have to ask someone what they meant by their words - if the meaning is not self-evident in the written word - then it's not what was written, is it? Jeremy Crawford no doubt has his own opinion. It may even be what he had in mind when he wrote the rule, although that seems doubtful given that he himself has fluctated in interpretation: it seems far more likely that this is a sign of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 12:14 AM
    That's an odd example for you to put forward, because normally you'd expect that car when you start going to college, not when you graduate! EDIT: And once again beaten to the post by Yunru.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 12:11 AM
    Thanks, that's what TwoSix said also.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 11:28 PM
    Marshal Troops it occurs to me rather deals with the "Warlords should be able to interact with masses of troops" thought which I have heard expressed more than a couple of times.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 06:06 PM
    Although the wording is entirely clear, I had a player dispute the wording on the basis that threads on the Internet were arguing about it. This was the last thing I needed in the middle of a game.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 06:01 PM
    This is a stipulation which has no grounding in natural language (which 5e is supposedly written in) and no support in the rules text. It's the insertion into interpretation of an external idea. The natural language example: From X takes a swing at Y you can infer that X has commenced moving his/her fist at some speed towards Y. That's it. There is certainly no implication that X's fist has...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 05:57 PM
    This seems to me to be another case of reading external notions into the rules. I don't think it helps. The rules don't distinguish starting an action from taking one. I don't think they use the notion of starting an action at all, do they? In 5e - which doesn't use a distinct declaration phase in the way classic D&D tends to and the way that many RPGs and wargames do - to declare an action...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 05:49 PM
    This isn't true for poetry, and it isn't true for legislation - both of which have received far more attention as objects of interpretation than RPG rules - so I don't see any reason to think that it would be true of the 5e rules. The "rules as written" say that the bonus action is enlivened when you take the attack action. What counts as taking the attack action? Contra Yunru, I think that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 05:40 PM
    The feat doesn't use the past tense "taken". It says If you take the attack action. And your attack action doesn't have to be over for it to be true that you are taking it. EDIT: I see that Yunru beat me to it. Also, this is a good illustration of the constitution of events one by another!:
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 05:37 PM
    Like I said upthread, there's nothing at stake for me in this ruling. I'm just intrigued by the discussion over interpretive method. Page 69 gives me this relevant text on bonus actions: You can take a bonus action only when a special ability, spell, or other feature of the game states that you can do something as a bonus action. . . . You choose when to take a bonus action during your...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 04:06 PM
    But what does this show, other than that some players have bad taste? So do some GMs - there's no reason that I know of to think that GMing selects for better taste than playing. How does this show that Gm authority is a better principle?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 04:04 PM
    Is the end of the campaign part of the campaign or not? If it is - if the GM delcares "And while you were out making the world safe for your family, your dear old dad racked up about one senseless murder a week" - then that is wrecking the game, and one vector of that wrecking is by trampling all over the player's play of the character (by completely and unilaterally changing its meaning). ...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:53 PM
    I'm inclined to think that it's both, or certaintly not an either/or scenario. Discussion has been largely focused on exploring the boundaries, implications, and preferences around how Backgrounding was presented and GM/player issues related to that mechanic. Reading this, I wonder if you may be talking from different senses or understandings about "hands off" or "hands on" regarding...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:49 PM
    If you can't see the difference between elaborating on iconography consistent with the description of a deity in a shared background resource (the PHB) and changing the fundamental nature of a character's relationships - especially following multiple posts of mine, to which you've replied, empahsising the meaning of a character's action - then I'm not sure what to say. Or to put it another...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:44 PM
    It's very common to see "if" and "when" used interchangeably in these sorts of contexts, so - without more to suggest that it matters - I wouldn't treat this as significant. (Eg 4e is full of these sorts of stylistic but - from the rules point of view - meaningless variations which are simply the produce of different writers at different times.) The obvious concern with "if you make an attack"...
    247 replies | 5433 view(s)
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:39 PM
    Here's the thing: In any social situation we are always constrained by the expectations and customs of the social group, even if we do not give voice to them. When I am playing a role playing game, despite the insistence of total theoretical freedom of action, I am constrained by what is socially acceptable to do at the table. When I run the game the same is true. This is the natural state of...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:34 PM
    I am responding to the thread as I read it. To me it seemed very clear in a range of posts that the technical device of "backgrounding" that Hussar mentioned was just an instance of, or useful expostiroy proxy for, a broader range of considerations about how fiction is established, handled etc. I feel that my discussion with Sadras is operating under that understanding and while obviously we have...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:24 PM
    Either the reveals are part of the campaign, or they're not reveals - just speculations by the GM about how things might have gone.
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:21 PM
    I guess I don't find the contrast between "scope" and "trigger" very helpful for understanding or parsing these rules. I mean, I feel that I could deploy that distinction to say that the "scope" of the Shield Master bonus action is a turn in which the Attack action is taken - and that action is taken (although not necessarily fully resolved, if I have an Extra attack) as soon as I attack on my...
    247 replies | 5433 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:16 PM
    Actually I think you need to go back and review the thread... It's not "plain and simple" really. The discussion thus far has been incredibly fluid about what the boundaries may be. Some have taken an incredibly hard stance either way, even when depicting the opposing position, about what the discussed boundaries of the backgrounding a deity actually entail, while many other posts attest to a...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:00 PM
    The murals aren't what the demands are that allegiance to god/patron/etc makes on his/her PC. They're colour. Reread the actual play example paying attention to the way in which the players declare actions for their PCs that reflect conceptions of what the demands are that are made by their gods etc. Notice how those demands come from the players, not the GM and yet also that (i) they are clearly...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 02:54 PM
    I don't understand how you are using the notion of "character concept". I think I made it pretty clear in my post what I mean - that the meaning of the characer's actions can change (quite fundamentally) if it turns out that their relationships differed from what they thought they were. And I pointed to some well-known examples from literature and film. If you don't regard meaning in that...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 02:50 PM
    The outlook that seems to be implicit in your post is what I was pushing against with my post. I knew there were going to be dwarves in our gameworld, because (i) there was a map with mountains in it (the interior gatefold cover map of B11 Night's Dark Terror) and (ii) dwarves are quite prominent in the default 4e setting. And obviously dwarves fight with goblins. But it would never have...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 02:41 PM
    Obviously the Attack action isn't the same as taking an attack (eg OAs permit taking an attack but aren't the Attack action). But given that the Attack action can - for those with Extra attacks - be quite compendious in its nature, and is amenable to being interrupted by other stuff - like moving - that is not part of the attack action, insisting that you haven't taken the attack action until...
    247 replies | 5433 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 02:33 PM
    That's clever - sophistical even! It leaves me feeling strangely unsatisfied, but does (i) resolve my problem and (ii) seem to give the feat a purpose at lower levels (ie where there's no extra attack), so I'm not sure I can try and fault it on any rational ground!
    247 replies | 5433 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 02:17 PM
    Well, I'm only going on the fact that Lanefan told Aldarc that doing something-or-other about dwarf gods and religion would require the permission of two GMs. Plus this repeated suggestion that the GM won't have fun if s/he isn't allowed to establish that dear dad (or in my game's case) dear mum waiting at home for the PC to return from the quest is really a serial killer or whatever. If...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 02:09 PM
    That's good advice. (My 4e table had worked out that Weapon Focus didn't help a sorcerer using a dagger as a spell-casting focus to do extra damage long before the words of the rules were changed to make this explicit.) But - hopefully without completely reopening what I gather is a long/contentious debate - how do those who think you can do the bonus action first, having the intention to...
    247 replies | 5433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 11:15 AM
    Dwarves have been mentioned in a few posts. When I started my 4e game, I told the players that I wanted to play as per the core rules defaults, and that within that constraint anything goes. I also said that each PC had to have (at least) one loyalty, and also a reason to be ready to fight goblins. So one player's PC was a dwarf fighter. He explained that, among the dwarves, one didn't come of...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 10:15 AM
    I don't have much at stake in 5e rules interpretation, but I didn't find yours persuasive. (Which is not to say that I agree with what Jeremy Crawford and FrogReaver seem to be saying - read on!) When you take the attack action, you make an attack doesn't imply that the making of the attack is separate from and subsequent to taking the attack action. Here's an example sentence to...
    247 replies | 5433 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 10:06 AM
    Your definition seems to include at least one bit of "things I dislike." :p This too.
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 10:02 AM
    Your AC can't be less than 16. THAT IS ALL IT DOES. It's an incredibly simple spell that needs no interpretation, but people persist in trying to "But Whatabout ...?" it.
    126 replies | 3150 view(s)
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Saturday, 20th October, 2018

  • 08:09 AM - Hussar mentioned pemerton in post Shootout at the D&D Corral
    Yes, pemerton, we're supposed to forget that pretty much every continent in the real world features caverns that are miles, if not tens of miles long. And, a bunch of unlooted tombs within walking distance? Egypt anyone? Heck, I live in Japan. You can't go ten feet without tripping over some tomb. Didn't some kid just find a thousand year old sword in a lake in Switzerland or Sweden or something like that? Again, I really get the sense that folks just don't really get how OLD most of the world is. It's not like America where the oldest man made structures are only a couple of centuries. I mean, heck, you can walk from Phnom Pehn to Angkor Wat in a few days (the river goes right there - by motorboat it's three hours), yet a city of over a million inhabitants was almost completely lost until the 19th century. Good grief, they discover tombs and whatnot pretty much weekly in places like Jerusalem. And this is a place that has been constantly inhabited for thousands of years. Good gri...

Friday, 19th October, 2018

  • 01:18 PM - Sadras mentioned pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    When did "character concept " get morphed into never being wrong? I'm not arguing for that. If I'm understanding @pemerton correctly he is discussing character concepts such as the one I stated which get blown away by unilateral DM fiat.

Tuesday, 16th October, 2018

  • 08:05 PM - Imaro mentioned pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ... I don't believe that it was. There were far too many ways, IMHO, for me to answer that question. Okay so give 3 examples of how it would have affected your characters actions, thoughts or anything else in the game... should be easy if there are so many you don't know where to begin. And you have the nasty habit of assuming the worst in what I write. I apologize for a bit of glib humor, but my intention here was not some sort of bad faith snark, so your accusations here are misplaced and insulting while also engaging in the sort of behavior you accuse of me. However, it would probably behoove us both to dial back our respective snark. Lol... calling snark out as snark is... insulting. Ok. I don't think that it does our discussion any favors here for you to assume that I am not. And when you frame the other side of a discussion in in the the manner you did above quotes (see where I asked above what DM you were speaking to if not your own)as well as agreeing with pemerton's continued use of bad DM to describe the other side... ... well it makes it a little hard to assume openness and a willingness to understand as primary goals. I don't think that this snarky, absurd argument is appropriate or fair. If you had asked me in good faith, I would tell you that I believe that this depends largely depends on the player and their own idiomatic preferences here. Some players would want the DM to play the warlock's patron because they want to engage this otherworldly entity. Some are fine with the DM having all the control around the NPCs in their backstory. That's fine. This absurd argument is not actually being touted. However, there are NPCs or story elements that a player may prefer the DM not to touch or bring to the foreground. It may be because of "jerk DMs" but also may be because that's not what the player wants their play experience to engage as a forefront element. Again, I believe that laying this at the feet of "jerk DMs" is looking for an easy ...
  • 11:51 AM - Sadras mentioned pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    @pemerton Simply put I view deities & patrons as NPCs. NPCs fall under the DM's purview. Loss of powers/benefits is a common trope. It may be effected poorly, it may also be done tastefully, just as in the comics. I'm not going to get into the when/how/why or how long powers/benefits are stripped for, there are too many variables. I will say the relationship between character and x was defined or decision points was indeed made by the player for his character when he/she went against the express wishes of his deity/patron. You seem discount that defining moment (which is not minor) and decision point, saying the DM just stripped away benefits/powers without any forewarning. I'd say the player would know full well what led his/her character to that point. But that's exactly my point. If the player's preference that the whole god/patron thing be "backgrounded" was respected then the god/patron would be happy. But for whatever reason the GM is inserting his/her own preference to decide that...
  • 02:56 AM - Maxperson mentioned pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    That clarification does little to better your argument. So the DM would enjoy the game less if they did not have the power to murder the character's family? The DM would enjoy the game less if they could not steal/destroy/sabotage a character's motorcycle? The DM would enjoy the game less if they left a character's deity/patron/cultus untouched as a foreground story element? How does this DM sound even remotely like a reasonable person and not a massive Richard? Can you please elucidate how would these things could possibly impact the DM's enjoyment of the game in a manner greater than or equal to the player's impacted enjoyment? Like pemerton, you are choosing piss poor examples designed to make one side look bad, rather than use the examples people have been giving. That's uncool. Earlier in the thread my example of having the warlock make a side trip to the Old Man of the Woods as the party goes through the forest. People thought small things were okay. One tried to tell me that even though the DM was bringing the patron directly into play to require a task, that it was still somehow background. Those sorts of things are okay. The other example mentioned where the patron becomes an villain would not be okay in my opinion, at least not without player approval. The former is part of the class obligations, the latter is not. There are many, many ways to enact these obligations. Do us all a favor and don't jump to the horrible ones as an attempt to prove your side of the issue. It doesn't work. If all the other players support the player in question wanting the warlock's patron background and find that ...

Friday, 12th October, 2018

  • 05:12 PM - Maxperson mentioned pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    So why couldn't the player and GM agree that the warlock's patron is one such NPC? I'm pretty sure I answered this multiple times in recent posts of mine. Pemerton but he does pose an interesting question here. In some D&D settings, such as Eberron, the primary deities are remotely distant and of questionable existence. So why couldn't a PC believe that they have received a vision from their deity during the campaign without any input from the DM? Sure, the player could have the PC be insane and have "visions" that aren't real, and that the PC attributes to the patron. That fails to have the player do his duty in portraying the patron as @pemerton says is the player's responsibility, though.
  • 03:39 PM - Maxperson mentioned pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    But what if - there are characters that exist in-world - that neither the GM nor the players control? There are millions of them. The vast majority of characters that exist in the game world are never encountered, and therefore never played by either the player or the DM. And that's really where the whole concept of Backgrounding seems to come in. I don't think anyone is suggesting that the warlock PC is playing the NPC Patron, but, rather, that the player and GM are both essentially hands-off with the patron. pemerton suggested just that in the post I responded to. He said, "Why can't the player decide My patron has sent me a vision that I should pursue X? Now the PC is serving the patron's will, but the player is not being told by the GM what his/he PC has to do.". If the DM isn't controlling the patron and sending the vision, then the player is the one controlling the patron and having that vision sent. It doesn't happen on its own.
  • 11:49 AM - Sadras mentioned pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    In short, if you can't handle the drawbacks don't try for the benefits. Perhaps, where the PCs are the story drivers, like at Pemerton's table, the players might be encouraged to push those drawbacks to the foreground as part of their drivers otherwise they might not have an interesting game or story to tell and it risks falling flat. At a different table for instance, where the DM is primarily the driver he/she is encouraged to bring those drawbacks to the fore to explore the characters' backgrounds, their allegiances/loyalties, their oaths, their alignment, their patrons...and thereby build the campaign story. So when @Aldarc and @pemerton say that relationship x is off limits, it's because they expect the characters to bring that to the fore, it is not the DM's job to meddle with that, whereas for say for me (and presumably you) we bring it to the fore to create a tighter connection for the pc to the story and the setting. Now when you have a player like in S'mon's instance who did not want background material brought to the fore, then it becomes a little messy. If the DM is doing it for every other PC except...

Thursday, 11th October, 2018

  • 03:49 PM - Sadras mentioned pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Like the races examples, its insisting that your character be exempt from the setting impacts of choices... which gets a no at my table. @pemerton and @Hussar If a player selects to play an elf or a dwarf, does the player also have narrative control over the thoughts and actions of the entire tribe, clan or race?

Wednesday, 10th October, 2018

  • 02:51 PM - Numidius mentioned pemerton in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    pemerton I read your Underdark report linked above. Man... Such a vivid, intense interaction 'tween the party, enemies, ambience/terrain, and rules/fiction. Now I'm having an idea 4e potential. I'd say my games are gonzo fantasy (as you used this term days ago in a reply), yours are a full-on hell of a ride. I totally second the positive influence of Claremont's narrative. Heck I grew up with his 13 (maybe more?) years long management of the X-men. I'd fairly say: unrivalled storytelling. Speaking of level drain, how about Storm's story arc? ;) (Paul Smith penciler? The duel vs Cyclops for leadership...)

Tuesday, 9th October, 2018

  • 12:44 PM - Sadras mentioned pemerton in post 5e GMs - Why or Why Not Wandering Treasure?
    The GM doesn't like how the PCs won, and so changes the outcome. So a combat is falling short of being challenging and maybe even entertaining (drama element), which can easily happen when you're converting modules from one edition to the next. You decide at some point as DM to add an additional critter or two, increase opponent hit points, add or improvise a spell or ability...etc The combat becomes enjoyable and no one is the wiser, except in this guy's case cause he lacked the necessary experience. Sure the outcome has been engineered, but @pemerton what does it matter if it is done in the moment, like your story now approach this is very much encounter now. :)

Sunday, 7th October, 2018

  • 02:55 PM - Numidius mentioned pemerton in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    pemerton (Excellent long explanatory post, wow) Quickly on Trollbabe: yes exactly as you say the player facing dice roll without direct opposition of the Skill Ch. in 4e, producing fiction and RP, is the base of TB resolution mechanic: As conflicts arise ( unlike 4e: emergent; not preplanned) and situation and goal is agreed upon, an arena of conflict is chosen (combat, social, magic ritual), number of successes before failures (1, 2, or 3), PC can reroll failures by spending resources/using relationships, ecc. until exaustion or ...death. The unusual rule is: the player describes PC failures, the GM PC successes (incorporating bits of the ambience around them, as well as minor NPCs, resources spent and the like). Of course is at first extremely rules light, concealing the complexity among metagame choices, fiction description, scaling fast across the campaign from 1st level like to planetary influence.

Friday, 5th October, 2018

  • 02:23 PM - Maxperson mentioned pemerton in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    Only if Hussar and/or Pemerton are playing at the same table as Maxperson. :lol: Hussar maybe. I'm pretty sure pemerton isn't the kind of person to disrupt a game. If he didn't enjoy it he would probably just be polite about it and let me know he wouldn't be playing again, or be one of the players to talk to me about the ruling afterwards.
  • 08:56 AM - clearstream mentioned pemerton in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    ...t positions haven't changed in the slightest? I don't think that's what they're trying to say - rather that the relative status of the participants with respect to the contest hasn't changed. So if they tie in a footrace, it doesn't imply they haven't moved, just that their status relative to each other hasn't changed. In other words, they ran the race, got to the finish line, but neither could claim victory over the other. For RAW, we're working literally so pedantic is called for. Say A and B get 15, C 12, D 11. You are saying that A and B crossing the line in equal first place is remaining the same as before the contest. That's a stretch, and the approach taken requires a house rule for cross-compares. That is why I said with "approximately equal justice" above. It's no more of a stretch - no more of a house rule - to say that the generality of the DM decides the DC includes that the DM might decide the DC based on other creatures check. Pragmatically, that works equally well. @pemerton I find myself not disliking your approach, but not seeing it as less a house rule or more justified than the alternative approach. Certainly I think finishing a race in any place does a poor job of remaining the same, unless all finishers tied! That said, I agree with @Jester David who suggests this is perhaps simply poor choice of words. When looking at RAW of course, choice of words is what we have and we can't make guesses about designer foibles. For RAI, sure. In the end, I don't think it matters who claims the high-ground because the case of multiple competitors is not clearly covered by the rules at all. Just the same as how far is further than your usual jump distance. Instead, they've acknowledged diversity of needs and provided tools good enough for a DM to apply on the fly. I think that's what Mearls is getting at and why he is happy about their approach to 5th. I don't think he means ignore those tools (a possible implication), rather I think he means apply them as you need...

Thursday, 4th October, 2018

  • 05:55 PM - iserith mentioned pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I haven't played Dungeon World, but this is disheartening. I was understanding it as a game that steps away from dice instead of one stepping toward them. It also makes me appreciate FFG's narrative dice a bit more: if you're going to be looking at dice just to tell the story on a frequent (?) basis, seeing icons instead of numbers may be easier on the right-brain. I'm not sure what you mean by stepping away or towards the dice, but the way Dungeon World works is the players and DM have a conversation about what's going on with the characters in the context of the setting and sometimes that conversation will trigger moves. Those moves are typically resolved with dice. The GM doesn't get a say about whether a move triggers. It triggers when it triggers and the results stand. The GM is bound by the rules. In this example, pemerton's call that this is a Discern Realities move looks correct to me because the trigger is "When you closely study a situation or person...". If successful (10+ on 2d6+Wis), the player gets to ask 3 questions of the GM from a list of questions which include "What happened here recently?" or "What here is useful or valuable to me?" The answers you get are always honest ones, even if the GM has to make it up on the spot. An answer to the second question I mentioned might be "Nothing," and that's just fine. If the player rolls 6 or less though, that's a failure. The character earns XP and the DM can now make a move - reveal an unwelcome truth (there are rot grubs in the rubble) perhaps or show signs of an approaching threat (the ground shakes and dust rains down from the ceiling). Now the players do their thing in the face of that which may trigger more moves.

Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018

  • 07:13 AM - Hussar mentioned pemerton in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    When in doubt, set a DC and roll some dice. Literally can't be wrong. But, in the ring case, it's not a simple DC. After all, what happens when all three succeed? Do you then compare the checks? In that case, why have a DC in the first place? In any case, pemerton has the right of it. There is no difference between a contest and rolling initiative, other than a specific ruling regarding ties.

Monday, 1st October, 2018

  • 05:33 PM - Hriston mentioned pemerton in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    It's a special case. You can't just allow everyone to go whenever as that breaks combat and makes combat unplayable, so an ability check is necessary. Specific beats general. As @pemerton has already pointed out, initiative doesnít have to work the way it does in 5E. You could have all the action in a round resolve simultaneously, or use side initiative. Another suggestion Iíve seen made on these boards is to forego rolling initiative at the beginning of combat, waiting until conflicts in timing arise in the course of events and resolving each of those conflicts with an opposed DEX check. Clearly, turn-based initiative is a deliberate design choice in 5E, not a necessary one. Also, the way the game has chosen to keep each characterís turn separate is to call into question the certainty of when each characterís turn will happen. It resolves that uncertainty with a DEX check, which measures a characterís ability to move and act quickly and is compared with the other results to establish a ranking. None of this is necessary for turn-based initiative. Each player could make an unmodified roll or draw straws if the goal is only to establish a turn order. The choice of a DE...

Thursday, 27th September, 2018

  • 08:38 PM - Lanefan mentioned pemerton in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    ... better reflection of the fog of war than a) locked-in initiative order and b) giving high dex types a continuing advantage all the way through the combat. Dexterity as a stat has enough going for it already, without this. That said, if plied with enough beer I might be talked into having dex matter for the first round only, to reflect how quickly you can react, draw your weapon, ready your spell, or whatever. In D&D, 5th Ed., that's called taking the Ready action. You still want to take that action first so the opportunity you're waiting for doesn't pass you by. If I'm a heavy fighter and we're facing a bunch of opponents I want to see where they're going - are they trending to our left, to our right, focusing on a particular party member, or what - before I move to engage. I don't want to commit myself to the wrong part of the line and get stuck there, which could easily happen if I move too soon. A low initiative, or a held action from a higher one, is fine here. And pemerton here's an example of natural character action being in conflict with RAW game mechanics. Because the initiative order is locked in, the game mechanics thus force me to want to have the highest init. I can so that each round I can act before as many opponents as possible. But if I want to wait during the first round and react to how the fight develops I'm mechanically hosing myself for the whole combat by moving myself down the locked-in initiative order. Direct conflict: for the first round the mechanics want fast while the character wants slow, while in subsequent rounds both the character and mechanics want fast and I'm stuck with slow. Re-rolling each round, or using something like Mearls' variant, solves this to a large extent and is also far more realistic - but it's not RAW. Lanefan
  • 02:52 PM - TwoSix mentioned pemerton in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    ...llcaster is passive" paradigm. I'll reference 2e here, since I know it better than 1e or OD&D. At high levels, spellcasters gain abilities that require active events in the narrative to occur. A wizard CAN attempt spell research to broaden their capabilities. A wizard CAN attempt to enchant a new magic item. Heck, the 2e DMG rules on how a spellcaster can make a magic item are almost strikingly modern. The wizard sets a goal of "making magic item X", and the DM and player have a negotiation on what narrative steps must occur in order for that item to be made. (Granted, there's still a lot of random rolls and DM has overall final say, but hey, 1989!) Contrast that with the fighter, for whom an army just kind of shows up if he has a castle. The army, at least, gives the nonspellcaster some broader control over a larger narrative, but it still functions at mostly cross purposes with a game whose fundamental drive is to challenge larger and larger supernatural threats. CC: pemerton
  • 06:36 AM - doctorbadwolf mentioned pemerton in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    pemerton fascinating stuff, for sure. I dont enjoy skipping past the ďplaying outĒ of scenes, so much, for anything thatís going to have any narrative weight. A lot of the best moments Iíve had in TTRPGS was roleplaying those scenes out, inhabiting the character. By those scenes, I mean ones that can b resolved in character, without dice rolling. Seduction gets a fade to black resolution.


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Saturday, 20th October, 2018

  • 08:55 PM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    If the GM is just going to stipulate all this stuff, what is the player there for? To provide some emotional language and the odd tear? When I play a RPG I expect to be actually making decisions that matter. I'm not just there to emote my way though events the GM decides are taking place. Because it makes them pointless, or reveals them to have a completely different significance from what they appeared to - and in a context where the players had no control over that because the players had not choice but to take on the fetch quest (as that was the game the GM was offering). In the specific instance of the game you left, and without knowing any more than you've told us, I'd posit from what you say here that the GM's first mistake came long before revealing or even planning for the sponsor's deception: he didn't give you options as to what your first adventure might be, when GMing a table full of players who wanted to be able to make meaningful choices. Which, to be fair, is a frequent ...
  • 03:16 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    How do you know - did you poll them? 3E allows clerics who don't serve gods. Eberron has clerics whose service to gods is much closer to the 3E PHB's adherence to a philosophy. That's not a change - it's a manner of implementation. Why would I have to poll anyone? The rules say they do. It says that every reasonably well known god has clerics. It goes to say that some, not many, not most, not all, but only some, can be clerics of things like an ideal. That makes the vast majority of 3e clerics, clerics of a god per RAW. It's in the Religion section on page 30.
  • 02:37 PM - Josiah Stoll quoted pemerton in post Why does 5E SUCK?
    Josiah Stoll, I've started a new thread and mentioned you. Are you sure? Not getting any pings yet...
  • 02:21 PM - Josiah Stoll quoted pemerton in post Why does 5E SUCK?
    ...("Fail forward" is often misconceived as "partial success" or "success at a cost". I'm meaning something a bit different from that - a new thread would be a better place to discuss in detail if you're interested.) I would love to be a part of that. Iím on mobile, so youíll need to start the thread, I think. To some extent that's up to the player, provided you're doing your job as GM! But in terms of providing "entry points", is there anything useful to be found in his/her background? I donít have the character sheet on me. Is there anything that I should advise players to think about when it comes to backgrounds?
  • 08:18 AM - 5ekyu quoted pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    If the GM decides that dear dad or whomever - the person or people the players' backstory framed as worthy folk - are in fact serial killers, than how was the character meant to carry it off? What did the player fail to do? What action declaration or player-side resource is mean to prevent unilateral GM decisions about the backstory element? See, there is the disconnect. *IF* "keeping my family on the true and narrow way of good" is a vital part of the PC's concept and nature, then the PC should be actively engaged in doing that. So, at the very least, that means maintaining regular communication and visits back home, regular check-ins and insights into their daily life etc to make sure they are on the right and narrow path that will satisfy this PC that his life has meaning. With those stated efforts (and more) the issue of "do i catch dad the serial killer and then do what my beliefs require" or "do i find out dad is having troubles and get a chance to intervene" and "do i see my...
  • 01:58 AM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    The idea that Eberron changes the rules for the 3E cleric class is just bizarre. A 3E cleric didn't even have to serve a god! But the vast majority did, and those gods were close and personal. If Eberron doesn't match that, it doesn't match the 3e cleric class as written. That's fine. I already understand that Eberron changed the cleric class for that setting. A class is more than just the mechanics.

Friday, 19th October, 2018

  • 09:35 PM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I don't understand what your point about the context of choice is. Of course in the Curse of the Golden Flower it is only out of ignorance that brother and sister choose to sleep together. That's why the revelation that their relationship was in fact incestuous is so significant. And that revelation shows that, in this case, ignorance was not bliss. It was terrible. I won't spoil the movie any further, but the proper response is not "soul searching". And it's simply not true that in these sorts of contexts the character concept remans the same eg if my concept of my PC is as upright in all things, and then it is revealed via unilateral GM fiat that I have in fact committed incest, my character concept is blown away. And a new concept is also added, unilaterally: uwitting committer of incest. If my concept of my PC is stalwart defender of worthy folk and then it turns out via unilateral GM fiat that the folk in question are serial killers, my character concept is blown away. And a new c...
  • 09:08 PM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I have been able to check the Rules Cyclopedia (which is a downstream B/X variant, based on the Mentzer version) ... ]A cleric is a human character who is dedicated to serving a great and worthy cause. This cause can be an Immortal being dedicated to a specific goal or attribute; sometimes the cleric is serving only his alignment, and has no interest in immortal beings. The D&D game does not deal with the ethical and theological beliefs of the characters in the game. That last sentence looks like nothing more than a blatant appeasement to the BADD and Satanic panic crowd. Awful. Unfortunately you're not recalling correctly. The 6th/7th thing is mentioned in the DMG (pp 38-39) and also in the PHB (p 40), although the latter presents it as applying to 5th level spells also. And in both places the possibility of spells being withheld for wrongful conduct is also discussed. There is no mechanic as such, but the GM is authorised to use authority in this respect. I thought so - thanks fo...
  • 02:51 PM - Derren quoted pemerton in post Shootout at the D&D Corral
    Well, I do see the point. It's easy to write and doesn't require a whole lot of work and people buy it. So, why bother actually doing any of the real work when fans will just buy yet another high level over view setting and do the work themselves? And I thought giving the players only rough guidlines for their money and leting them work out the details was 5Es big selling point... The only mortal setting I've used in a level 1 to 30 4e campaign is the one on the inside cover of B11 Night's Dark Terror. It's in the neighbourhood of 100 miles x 200 miles. It has mountains for dwarves, hobgoblins etc; forests for elves, goblins, etc; a few villages and a couple of towns/cities; a swamp; some plains and hills including burial mounds. What else does a D&D campaign need? (A fair bit of action has taken place in the Underdark - beneath the hills and mountains - and on other planes. That doesn't create a demand for a bigger mortal realm. Also, of course it's understood that there are places...
  • 12:28 PM - Sadras quoted pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    It's not clear how what you go on to describe invalidates what the player established. As you are presenting it here, there doesn't seem to be an moral or thematic aspect to the PC-mentor relationship. Perhaps I wasn't clear or I'm misunderstanding. One of the examples in your post, was the concept of stalwart defender of worthy folk which is essentially most good-doing adventurers. By protecting and hiding the teacher (a criminal and werewolf) from the authorities he becomes the sucker according to your post and the character concept is blown away.
  • 10:59 AM - Sadras quoted pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I assume it was planned, as it had all the hallmarks of ye olde raileroade. So in one of my prior campaigns, there was a PC swordmage whose arcane teacher was an alchemist/potion brewer and a bit of a ladies man. Nothing much else was developed by the player. From here on it is DM driven: Anyways the teacher went on the run as a hit had been placed on his him (Black Seal Warrant - Minrothad Guilds). The why is not relevant for this discussion. Between long periods of him being gone, he would appear and ask for assistance from his ex-student the PC (monies, hideout, certain components), until one day, it was uncovered that he had attacked and brutally murdered a fellow ally NPC. Long story short, the teacher was revealed to be a figurehead of the lycanthropic organisation operating within the duchy, the same organisation that had numerous of their plans foiled and members slain at the hands of the PCs. Many subtle and not so subtle clues had been provided along the course of the campaign. As...
  • 10:05 AM - Sadras quoted pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Torog and Lolth both have published stats. Vecna and Bahamut also. And I imagine Tiamat (in a Dracomonicon) though I'm not sure. I remember adapting Bane stats from a Dragon mag, but they may be for an "aspect". The module H2 presents a skill challenge invovling Vecna. It's intended for mid-Heroic PCs, although when I used it I was adapting it to a low-Pargaon context. Exactly, not many as I said. If that is the instance why Maxperson made the claim, it is certainly one way to look at it, but I do not need stats/mechanics to make deities more/less present or active. I mean we have been discussing how the class fluff does not need to be reflected in the mechanics to play a major role in game, so to now flip flop and say because stats of deities are not reflected it makes them more distant seems a little....weak. Again this is a very big if as I have no idea why Maxperson made that claim. This is all guess work for now.
  • 09:38 AM - Sadras quoted pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I don't know much about Eberron, but you're wrong here about 4e. Gods in 4e are as tangible as you want them to be. In my 4e game, the PCs have killed two and visited the burial place of a third. The default cosmology of 4e makes the god's more active, and more "tangible", than any other D&D setting I know of. (And I'm including FR in this judgement.) Maxperson I was also wondering about your claim about 4e deities being distant. Do you make this distant claim because many of their stats have not been published, as opposed to the previous editions?
  • 08:18 AM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    This is a very narow account of the case. I'm going to present a stark example which I hope isn't offensive: A sleeps with B who is (as far as A knows) a stranger. A subsequently learns that B is A's sister. A thereby learns that A has committed incest. A may or may not care deeply about that - the world is full of different moral perspectives - but I think for most people there is no doubt that A did something when sleeping with B that is different from what A thought was happening. (A movie I watched recently in which just this scenario occurs: The Curse of the Golden Flower. Another well-known historical/fantasy film where something similar happens: Excalibur, where Arthur sleeps with his sister who is pretending to be Guinevere by dint of shapechanging magic - thereby replicating the very magical trick that led to Arthur's conception.) Learning that one committed incesst isn't just forming a hindsight view. It's learning the nature of an act that - at the time the act was commit...

Thursday, 18th October, 2018

  • 03:42 PM - 5ekyu quoted pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    In any event it seems self-evident, such that it's weird you have to state it! Presumably, thought, some posters think that the GM has a unilateral power to define "major campaign element" - that this is not something where the players might also have authority. I can half-imagine this for some sort of club game, though even there it's not something I've ever encountered. For a social game with friends I find it almost inconceivable! Lose one hand and you're not welcome back to cards night!More like, you have been an a$$, the other players are fed up to various degrees and you dont get to reload your next replacement PITA, bye. My games also come with "it's on you to keep your character in good with the party, not me and not the PC stamp on your characters forehead. So, if your character portrays one of the many tropes which leads the others to decide "let's send this guy packing" dont expect me to save you, run you solo or for you necessarily to get to "reload" some new jerk to inflict on t...
  • 10:43 AM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    Of course! It's a discussion about the nature of 5e's intitiative rules, and 5e uses turn-by-turn combat resolution very similar to 3E and 4e. Yes it does, but it doesn't have to. Neither do 3e and 4e, for all that. Hriston has already discussed this - if Max loses initiative, then (among other things) we learn that he is not very quick on the draw! Which blows up the player-intended narrative of his swing being the thing that in fact starts the fight. It's certainly not unheard of in genre fiction for the villains to try and get the drop on the hero, only for the latter to react unexpectedly quickly and turn the tables! True, but it's overused there too and happens far more often than random chance would dictate. In 4e, Max might well get surprise if the others involved don't succeed on an appropriate Insight or Perception check. S'mon has given some suggestions for how 5e would deal with this.Saw those. Another option in a case like this might be to just peg Max's initiative a...
  • 08:38 AM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I already gave examples. In Star Wars Luke romances with Leia. Later on he, and we the audience, discover they are siblings. This gives a very different - incestuous - meaning to that romancing. But still doesn't change anything that was done, said or felt at any time before that knowledge was obtained. All that changes is the hindsight view of it. And we're not talking about what one might think on seeing Star Wars 4-5-6 for a second or third or seventieth time, when that meta-knowledge is already in the audience's consciousness. We're talking about the viewer's first time through, without the benefit of hindsight, as we will always be* in an RPG discussion. * - unless you can think of anyone who's ever said "that campaign was so great, let's repeat it verbatim!"; I sure can't. :)
  • 08:34 AM - Hussar quoted pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    In any event it seems self-evident, such that it's weird you have to state it! Presumably, thought, some posters think that the GM has a unilateral power to define "major campaign element" - that this is not something where the players might also have authority. I can half-imagine this for some sort of club game, though even there it's not something I've ever encountered. For a social game with friends I find it almost inconceivable! Lose one hand and you're not welcome back to cards night! Actually, I don't think it's weird. Look at the counter examples that have been tossed up. All the "whaddabout's" about backgrounding the Enterprise in a Star Trek game, backgrounding a T-rex or an Allosaurus, I'm sure there have been more. Just to go back a second though to the idea of the DM capturing the party off screen. Let's be honest here, most groups are going to not do this. It never works as well as the DM thinks it will and it's, by and large, considered a very bad idea. It's ri...
  • 08:28 AM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    My summary is perhaps biased because I think Hriston is right. The questions are: Is rolling initiative an aspect of combat resolution? Is rolling initiative a type of stat-check contest? Hriston answers yes to both questions, along the following lines: If a player (for a PC) or the GM (for a NPC) declares a combat-ish action (attacking with a weapon, fireballing, etc) then (i) the combat rules are activated, and (ii) two sides (in the typical case, at least) are in opposition in respect of the just-commenced battle. The fact of (i) refers us to the combat rules, which say to do various stuff at the start of combat including determining initiative for each participant. The fact of (ii) helps us understand how and why determining initiative is a type of stat-check contest: we have these opposed entities, each trying (literally) to get and retain the initiative in the battle that has just commenced, and so we use DEX for this (because it's the quickness/reaction time stat...
  • 07:45 AM - Shasarak quoted pemerton in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Some of the suggestions that getting sent on GM-initiated fetch quests or whatever by the patron is part of the "cost" of playing a warlock did make me think of this. It's as if the "cost" is content that (in the posited example) no one at the table (except perhaps the GM) wants. In your sleep you are visited by your Gawds Angel. As you prostate yourself before its glory you hear its majestic proclamation. "You have not been tithing enough to the Church. It is 10% of the Gross not Net, you knew the rules when you signed up. No more spells until you pay."


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