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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 03:30 PM
    What does ".a loose approxiation . . . simulating in a loose manner" mean? You and Lanefan are saying that D&D uses real world physics. But it's measure of terminal velocity is different. So either G is different, or the way friction works is different, or . . . it's not physics at all, just common sense tropes!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:27 PM
    What about flying dragons, giant arthropods, fireball spells that exert no pressure, etc? Nonsense. You don't need to assume that actual physics is true in order to understand the basic physical behaviour of dropped objects, running people, etc. Most human beings have understood the basics of these things for most of human history without access to either real or imagined knowledge of physics....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:23 PM
    Huh?a That falling is caused by gravity - ie a universal force that all masses exert on all other masses - isn't easy to see at all. No human being knew it as recently as 400 years ago! It's hardly obvious that falling, in the gameworld, is an expression of universal gravitation. And as far as terminal velocity is concerned: a 200' fall inflicts 20d6 damage in AD&D, but few falling persons...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:45 AM
    I think that chaochou's point is that the answer could be 20 hp, or 3 hp, or 50 hp. Or 90% of hp remaining, or 10%, or 1%. In other words, there is no correlatoin between hp remaining (either absolutely or proportionately) and any particular state of the fiction. Which means that knowing the state of the fiction (which is what PCs know) doesn't settle any question about hp remaining. Which...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:37 AM
    I don't understand your point. The fact that certain beings (but not elves? who nevertheless can have children with humans) have to eat and sleep doesn't tell us anything meaningful about the physics of that world, if by "physcsc" we mean that discipline taught in schools and universities. Human being since time immemorial have known that dropped objects fall; likewise those in the gameworld....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 03:54 AM
    Would you care to elaborate on this? They seem to be synonyms to me, and when I Google a definition of magic I get "the power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces." I don't know what dictionary that is from, but it is the sort of thing I would have expected. This doesn't seem very simple to me. I mean, I'm told that quantum gravity is quite hard (I...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Today, 03:30 AM
    Why wait until their next turn then? Theyíve declared an action. Itís the DMís job to narrate the result of that action. To me, the obvious result of making such a leap is that you land on the other side. Of course, the character gets extra movement that way, but if you consider it permissible then why not resolve it? My question is if itís really a permissible action declaration, given the...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Today, 02:49 AM
    Sounds interesting.
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Today, 02:43 AM
    Well, I don't think it is any more hostile to story than the 4e XP system, which is really already not TOO far off from the same thing (IE you adventure, you ALWAYS get a basically fixed amount of XP with little variation, and then you get some stuff along the way and level). This is just making things tighter and more explicit. You DO adventure to get stuff so you will level, or "and then...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:32 PM
    Yes, they have. They've declared they leap all the way across the chasm, not part way. That action won't be complete until they land on the other side on their next turn.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:58 PM
    Are you genuinely arguing in any good faith or from any desire for nuance when you write this stuff, Ovinomancer? Or are you being argumentative just for the sake of it? No, it is not an error. It is true that "human beings have water in them" and that "human beings are composed of water," though not in our entirety as the human person consists of a variety of elements and compounds. There is...
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  • chaochou's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:27 PM
    Yet again you trot out this laughable lie. I've already established that HP are abstract and meta. So I haven't confused anything. You, on the other hand, don't have a single argument. You've established, quite literally, nothing which demonstrates that D&D HP are not a metagame device. You simply assert it, completely without justification, over and over again. Here it is again, so even...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:45 PM
    They can state that. I would then let them know how much of it they can accomplish on their turn, that they can make it as far as the edge of the chasm, but that jumping across will happen on their next turn. I would then give them a chance to refine their action declaration. I agreed with what you said, that I "would tell them that they cannot leap across the chasm this turn because they...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:03 PM
    Now I get it. You are misunderstanding me. Or perhaps arguing with me out of force of habit, but I will assume that you are arguing in good faith. Let's work with another example: water. Me: Human beings are composed of water. You and Max: Humans are not water, nor would we count as water. OR Me: Human bodies are naturally radioactive.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:32 PM
    The rock does not necessarily have "no source of power," as the PHB does say that every rock has the untapped potential energy of magic. We could speculate why souls are more valuable to devils than the magic potential of rocks - maybe in that new Mordenkainen book - but this seems beside the point. Probably not. Most people would not consider themselves being "electric" or producers of...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:29 PM
    It all comes up to personal opinion. In my world, you have to really study decades to become a wizard -so no getting to multiclass into it-, and it requires all of your attention so no learning any skill or weapon, and the process warps your mind that you no longer are creative -so no multiing into rogue- and you have to do so much ugly stuff that your very soul gets corrupted to the point nobody...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:19 PM
    I wouldn't even go this far. I think that most of the physical events/interactions in a fantasy game happen at a sufficiently high level of abstraction and granularity that common sense tropes are enough to sort them out. But do carts come to a halt because of friction, or because Newton's first law doesn't hold, or because the air impedes the motion of the earth? The D&D rules certainly...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:06 PM
    It's not Aldarc's position that I don't get! It's the position advocated by Emerikol and others.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:05 PM
    As I said, what the hell is "life force", and how is it not magical? It's certainly not a real or mundane thing! Multiple posterson this thread (you as one) have argued that action surge and/or second wind are metagame, because they are decisions taken by a player that do not correlate to decisions taken by that player's character.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:15 PM
    Also, life force - whatever the hell that is - isn't a magical phenomon, but a fighter choosing to draw on his/her reserves so as to push him-/herself hard is? I don't get that either.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:11 PM
    OK: in D&D can fly, although that would not be possible in the real world. Fighters in 5e can choose when to push themselves extra hard, knowing that if they burn their reserves now they won't get them back without a rest, which is not too different from how people in the real world can do that. But fighters' second wind and action surge in 5e are magical, while dragon flight is not? ...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:40 PM
    Dragons in D&D can fly, although that would not be possible in the real world. Fighters in 5e can choose when to push themselves extra hard, knowing that if they burn their reserves now they won't get them back without a rest, which is not too different from how people in the real world can do that. But fighters in 5e are magical while dragon flight is not? I don't get it.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:04 AM
    The 5e PHB backs up my position and then goes several steps further. It's time to admit that you were wrong, learn from your mistakes, and move on. And you accuse me of being dismissive and curt? :erm: This would get us into a debate of analogies and semantics. So again for example, the humanoid soul in D&D is magical. It is part of the humanoid person. Is the humanoid person magical? I...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:37 AM
    This has nothing to do with stance. Stance is an attempt to describe the relatoinship between player establishment of fiction and player motivation having regard to the player's special connection to the PC. It's not about talking in first or third person. Whether you prefer first-person or third person narration by players to establish action declarations and shared fiction is a completely...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:23 AM
    Maybe. Possibly to an extent. For me, it comes from how saturated with magic everything in D&D's worldview is and how the cosmology of the world have implications and effects in the Prime. Our norm is simply not their norm. Sure we cannot understand it and we inescapably think from modernist perspectives, but nothing about their world is "mundane" or free from magic. You can't be free from magic...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:58 AM
    Just for fun: In Rolemaster, the tiredeness and sore back from sleeping on the ground sounds like a -10 penalty or thereabouts; the vivid bruise sounds like -5; and the scraped knuckles are not a penalty. Given that the knuckles are still scraped that means that there has been no recent healing of concussion hits, so the character is probably down 5 or so hits from the knuckles. From the...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:51 AM
    I'm sorry. I misspoke in my glib. It is less a "debate" and more like a "Big Ole Can-o-Worms" that has involved many of the same people in this thread. Here is probably the most famous 250+ page leviathan: What is *Worldbuilding* For? Be careful. It gets ugly in there and diverges often from the central thread points.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:32 AM
    Yes, it is, and have a nice day. :D I'm glad you like it, since I would say that "neat setting concept" is the implied, baseline default setting of D&D. :D When you look at the rules and nature of the implied world, I would say that the world and everything it is naturally magical, but not to equally significant degrees. And so that would represent your conception of your world as...
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:55 AM
    u_u this thread is doomed...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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
    Yesterday, 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
    Yesterday, 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
    Yesterday, 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
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 11:50 PM
    Ok. I'm here. (Think of this as spam to subscribe to the thread)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 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
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 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
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 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
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 02:07 PM
    They canít cross the chasm on this turn, though, so what action should they declare for this turn if thatís their intent? Itís mostly the habit you have of telling me what I do, which youíve just exhibited again, although what you say above is fine, except Iím not sure what you mean by ďjump downĒ. I've been assuming a functionally bottomless chasm, but if jumping down and running across...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 01:58 PM
    Corporate amnesia..
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 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.'"
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 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
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 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
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 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
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 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
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 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
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 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
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 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
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 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
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 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 . Iíll get back to your guysí 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 itís 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
    Weíre talking about combat. And no, Iím not arguing for my play style. Iím 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 donít. The desired fiction implicit in the playerís 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 DMís job is to then narrate the result of that action, which in this case, if youíre only jumping part-way across the chasm, is ďYou fall.Ē
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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 characterís capability. The action declaration, ďI leap across the chasmĒ, is fine when the character has enough movement to get across on this turn. The same action declaration doesnít 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",...
    340 replies | 11237 view(s)
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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...
    340 replies | 11237 view(s)
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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.
    41 replies | 1403 view(s)
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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...
    200 replies | 5282 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 10:10 PM
    I definitely agree. Take Blades in the Dark, for example. Itís has 3 phases of play: Free Play Score Downtime Each of those are effectively ďscenesĒ 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 ďorganicallyĒ).
    340 replies | 11237 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 07:17 PM
    @MwaO Iím not sure what youíre disagreeing with in my post. Can you hone in on the aspect youíre disagreeing with? Are you saying that you donít believe there are inherent advantages to having closed scene resolution machinery player-facing or there arenít inherent disadvantages to making the situation only GM facing? If you feel that way, could you maybe talk about other scene-based...
    340 replies | 11237 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    118 replies | 3540 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 05:03 PM
    Quite the thread! Surprised I didnít notice it before. Just a few quick thoughts in relation to pemerton Ďs post on player-facing Skill Challenges . Iíve 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. Itís more...
    340 replies | 11237 view(s)
    2 XP
  • 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...
    568 replies | 12046 view(s)
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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.
    340 replies | 11237 view(s)
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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...
    340 replies | 11237 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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.
    340 replies | 11237 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 11:56 AM
    Goblins in Pathfinder are noteworthy singers, and several adventures print some of their songs.
    29 replies | 811 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    340 replies | 11237 view(s)
    5 XP
  • 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...
    340 replies | 11237 view(s)
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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...
    340 replies | 11237 view(s)
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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...
    340 replies | 11237 view(s)
    1 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 didnít notice it before. Just a few quick thoughts in relation to pemerton Ďs post on player-facing Skill Challenges . Iíve 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. Itís 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 sceneís 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, theyíre 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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Saturday, 21st July, 2018

  • 03:38 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    What does ".a loose approxiation . . . simulating in a loose manner" mean? You and @Lanefan are saying that D&D uses real world physics. But it's measure of terminal velocity is different. So either G is different, or the way friction works is different, or . . . it's not physics at all, just common sense tropes! OR it's D&D physics, which loosely approximates real world physics. D&D physics loosely approximates real world physics all over the place. Hell, during 1e Dragon put in articles on how to make D&D physics more like real world physics.
  • 03:23 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post Everybody Cheats?
    So you think that when Gygax refers to fudging combat dice being contrary to the major precepts of the game, he's wrong? About his own game? I think it's irrelevant to the power that he gives the DM. He's right that it's contrary to the major precepts, but as he also acknowledges that the game belongs to the DM and the DM has the Gygax given ability to change every last precept as the DM sees fit, that he is right just doesn't matter.
  • 03:21 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Huh?a That falling is caused by gravity - ie a universal force that all masses exert on all other masses - isn't easy to see at all. No human being knew it as recently as 400 years ago! It's hardly obvious that falling, in the gameworld, is an expression of universal gravitation. And as far as terminal velocity is concerned: a 200' fall inflicts 20d6 damage in AD&D, but few falling persons will reach terminal velocity in a 200' fall. That's just a figure that someone settled on for some reason or other, and it's become tradttional. Again with the deliberate refusal to see that D&D is just engaging a loose approximation of real world physics. So what if "terminal velocity" occurs at 200', rather than 450'. It's a game. It doesn't need to match real life exactly. Simulating physics in a loose manner is just fine.
  • 09:21 AM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    I don't understand your point. The fact that certain beings (but not elves? who nevertheless can have children with humans) have to eat and sleep doesn't tell us anything meaningful about the physics of that world, if by "physcsc" we mean that discipline taught in schools and universities. Human being since time immemorial have known that dropped objects fall; likewise those in the gameworld. But that tells us nothing about whether or not the gameworld is governed by universal gravitation, let alone the strong and weak nuclear forces that Lanefan has referred to. Newton's first law of motion is not self-evident. Einsteinian physics even moreso is not. And the existence of those nuclear forces is self-evidently not self-evident!Baseline assumption: real-world physics are the same as game-world physics except where it is noted they are not (e.g most magic effects, most non-prime-material planes, etc.). Without this baseline assumption, the PH and-or DMG for any RPG system would be twice th...
  • 09:13 AM - Lanefan quoted pemerton in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    This doesn't seem very simple to me. I mean, I'm told that quantum gravity is quite hard (I haven't studied physics mysefl beyond high school); presumably it's no easier to explain how the notion of "lifeform" and "accessing a fifth universal force" are to be reconciled and integratd with existing knowledge of physics.I'm not expecting this to pass the test of hard science, just the test of does it give me enough of a foundation on which to build a coherent universal fantasy-physics that includes magic and can, if needed, include and explain the real non-magical world we live on. To that my answer is yes.
  • 08:12 AM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post Everybody Cheats?
    If a party deserves to have these beasties inflicted upon them, that is another matter, but in the example above it is assumed that they are doing everything possible to travel quickly and quietly to their planned destination. . . . When they have done something stupid or have not taken precautions, then let the dice fall where they may! There is nothing magical about that precept. My own RPGing doesn't really adhere to it. But all that means is that I can't find advocacy, of my own approach to RPGing, in Gygax's DMG. Nor can those who adhere to the expansive reading of "rule zero". Not only is there nothing magical about that "precept," but it's not even a precept. That's an example of Gygax giving his advice/opinion on what the DM should do. It's nowhere close to being a precept/rule.
  • 08:05 AM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Would you care to elaborate on this? They seem to be synonyms to me, and when I Google a definition of magic I get "the power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces." I don't know what dictionary that is from, but it is the sort of thing I would have expected. A synonym is just a word that is similar to another word, not a word that is exactly the same as another word. Supernatural doesn't equate to magic. Just the unknowable or beyond the current understanding of the laws of nature. I don't understand your point. The fact that certain beings (but not elves? who nevertheless can have children with humans) have to eat and sleep doesn't tell us anything meaningful about the physics of that world, if by "physcsc" we mean that discipline taught in schools and universities.I think the failure to understand is deliberate on your end. It's pretty easy to see that falling is caused by gravity, and that the farther you fall, the faster your fall and you ...

Friday, 20th July, 2018

  • 10:58 PM - Shasarak quoted pemerton in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    But fighters in 5e are magical while dragon flight is not? I don't get it. That does sound pretty strange when you say it like that.
  • 10:09 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    The D&D rules certainly don't answer this question. I don't know of any FRPG that does. Because they don't have to answer that question. It's self-evident. It would be ludicrous for a game like D&D to have objects fall unless acted on in a different way, require cutting objects to be sharp, require creatures to eat and sleep, have thrown objects go a much shorter distance than ones projected by a mechanical instrument, have blunt objects smash, and so on without it being Newtonian physics. If it were anything else that was simulating our physics, they would have explained it to us in the rule books like they do with everything else that is different.
  • 10:00 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    As I said, what the hell is "life force", and how is it not magical? It's certainly not a real or mundane thing! Not everything that is supernatural has to be magic Multiple posterson this thread (you as one) have argued that action surge and/or second wind are metagame, because they are decisions taken by a player that do not correlate to decisions taken by that player's character. From my first post on the topic. #28 by my reckoning. "There have been many times in my life when I'm in the middle of playing sports, or wrestling or arm wresting, when I've been very tired and running out of energy. During those times, while actively participating, I can focus myself and over a bit of time, gather some energy together for a burst of strength and speed. Then it fades and sometimes I can't do it a second time(and sometimes I can). That burst can be #'s 2-4. #1 is the only one you mentioned that I would view as metagaming. The rest just quantify what I've done and make mechanics out of ...
  • 09:46 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post Everybody Cheats?
    Likewise. What do you think Gygax means when he says that fudging a combat with wandering mosnters would be contrary to the major precepts of the game? I think he means exactly what he says. He says that there are rules(precepts) and that it's the DM's game to alter as he sees fit with the carte blanche authority Gygax writes into 1e. Then he warns against altering the precepts without a lot of thought as it can go badly, and gives an opinion(not a precept) about how he feels the DM should do things. It's very straight forward, but you will only write in half of what he says, leaving out the parts that prove you wrong.
  • 08:30 PM - Tony Vargas quoted pemerton in post Everybody Cheats?
    Yes, it does support that. That's what carte blanche does. It supports everything the DM wants. Well, the DM supports everything he wants, unhindered by any part of his carte not being blanche... What are those precepts? The carte blanche you just mentioned: the DM is final arbiter of the rules, so anything that does or does not happen in his game happens because he allowed it to happen, or made it happen. Nothing happens because a player decision or die roll result or a rule or interference from sunspots or a benign deity (unless you count the DM as benign) made it happen. What do you think Gygax means when he says that fudging a combat with wandering mosnters would be contrary to the major precepts of the game? What do you think Gygax means when he says that fudging a combat with wandering monsters would be contrary to the major precepts of the game? A question so important, we had to ask it twice (I know, you asked it of two different people, but if you ask a question around h...
  • 05:11 PM - Ilbranteloth quoted pemerton in post Everybody Cheats?
    No. At the time there was no "the story". There is exploring the dungeon. What do you think Gygax means when he says that fudging a combat with wandering mosnters would be contrary to the major precepts of the game? Every adventure they published had some background and story to it, however thin. But my point was that his example specifically references ignoring or adjusting the die roll for the purpose of more exploration that ďwould be particularly exciting.Ē If you want to choose to believe that there was no story (which we know is not the case for all people playing D&D at the time because prior to AD&D Ed Greenwood was already playing D&D where the fiction was more important), the purpose was exploration, which serves the same purpose that story serves now. To answer the question about the precepts of the game, itís all about exploration and the activities they happen within the game. Itís not about following the rules without intelligent input. If the purpose of the rules was sp...
  • 03:23 PM - TwoSix quoted pemerton in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    I wouldn't even go this far. I think that most of the physical events/interactions in a fantasy game happen at a sufficiently high level of abstraction and granularity that common sense tropes are enough to sort them out. But do carts come to a halt because of friction, or because Newton's first law doesn't hold, or because the air impedes the motion of the earth? The D&D rules certainly don't answer this question. I don't know of any FRPG that does. Sorry, I tend to think of "common sense" and "Newtonian mechanics" as pretty much synonymous. :)
  • 02:42 PM - Sadras quoted pemerton in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    But fighters' second wind and action surge in 5e are magical, while dragon flight is not? I still don't get it. Better. As I said @Aldarc's position defines everything (animate or inanimate) as magical and given his interpretation of the core rule books (at least of 5e) it is fair. It is not something I adopt for my table but it is certainly an interesting idea, IMO.
  • 02:34 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Also, life force - whatever the hell that is - isn't a magical phenomon, but a fighter choosing to draw on his/her reserves so as to push him-/herself hard is? The wizards used that life force and converted it to magical power. 1) Fighters don't convert anything to magic, and 2) a fighter drawing on reserves in a reasonable manner to push himself isn't something anyone here has objected to.
  • 02:05 PM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post Everybody Cheats?
    None of this is relevant to what I posted. I didn't say anything about following the rules closely or not changing the rules. I talked about the sort of adjudication that the GM was expected to engage in. Carte blanche to do anything you want is not relevant? Then what is? For instance, how can anyone think that Gygax's DMG would support fudging combat outcomes when, in the first page of the introduction (those opening paragraphs that Lanefan mentions), he says that while a GM is entitled to disregard a positive wandering monster roll where the players are playing well but getting unlucky and hence having their session spoiled, a GM should not have the wanderers appear and then allow the PCs to easily defeat them or escape from them, because that would be "contrary to the major precepts of the game." Yes, it does support that. That's what carte blanche does. It supports everything the DM wants. Now, Gygax himself? No, he probably wouldn't support that, which is why he told the DM...
  • 01:26 PM - Sadras quoted pemerton in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    But fighters in 5e are magical while dragon flight is not? I don't get it. @Aldarc's position is that both the Fighter and the Dragon are magical. Your comparison above compares a noun with an action.
  • 01:22 PM - Ilbranteloth quoted pemerton in post Everybody Cheats?
    But the game is described as a wargame. The rules are "guidelines" for adjudicaiton of the ficiton, of PC development, etc. There is not the least hint that the GM might just make up outcomes because they are "good for the story"/"good for the fun of the participants". And he then goes on to give two examples: allowing the PCs (and thus players) to discover a secret door leading to a new dungeon area (ie content introduction); and treating a death result against a skilled player who got unlucky as maiming or unconsciousness instead (which I mentioned in my post). He also says that the GM's adjudication should take into account what the monster has done in reducing a PC to zero hp; and that the GM should always give a monster an even break. There is not the least suggestion that something like the White Wolf "golden rule" should apply - ie that the GM is expected or entitled to fiat outcomes in the interests of "the story". That doesn't come into D&D books until 2nd ed AD&D. (When the game...
  • 06:40 AM - Maxperson quoted pemerton in post Everybody Cheats?
    In Gygax's AD&D books, the role of the GM as arbiter is primarily amount managing the introduction of content when random rolls deliver undesired outcomes (I think I posted the relevant passages somewhere upthread). This makes sense in a game with a large amount of random content generation, some of which is meant to feed into the generation of challenges but which a GM is in a position to judge to be going too far in posing needless frustration (or, if we're talking about treasure placement, is going too far the other way in generosity). But when it comes to action resolution, the only example of GM arbitration that Gygax suggests is treating a death blow to the PC of a player who played well but gog unlucky as some sort of unconsciousness or maiming instead, and even there he stresses that the fiated consequence must take into consideration what the monster has done (ie won the combat vs that PC). No. It happens in 1e just like I showed you early on. Know the game systems, and you wil...


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