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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:50 PM
    Idea is disarm is due to hitting hand or arm.
    34 replies | 917 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:42 PM
    Winged kobolds are right there in the book!
    3 replies | 48 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:58 PM
    Thanks for feedback - player wants an old school Ranger, however she says she wants more damage on top of existing class abilities!
    11 replies | 192 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:31 AM
    While I'm not too fussed about the Battlemaster disarm maneuver which is a lot more powerful, I reckon I will change disarm attack to: Disarming: Attack is with Disadvantage (& can't attempt a disarm if already at disadvantage); if it hits then target takes half damage & makes a STR save at the higher of DC 5 or damage dealt (maximum DC 20) to not drop object. Save is with Advantage if holding...
    34 replies | 917 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:01 AM
    5e Rangers are often seen as weak. They do get Fighting Styles at level 2, which gives some potential design space for a boost. I came up with the following: Ranger Fighting Style - Favoured Foe: Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one Favoured Enemy you hit with a melee weapon or ranged weapon attack, if you do not have disadvantage on the attack roll. Damage increases +1d6...
    11 replies | 192 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:21 AM
    Classic (RC) D&D had a rule like this, I think it was +4 to hit vs unarmed opponent. It makes sense but I think in practice it's best kept to attacking the unfortunate Commoners, rather than worrying about whether the Wizard PC has a dagger in hand. I'd also count a shield as preventing advantage on the attack.
    34 replies | 917 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:21 AM
    I'm not familiar with the FR stuff S'mon, Hussar et al have mentioned. To me DragonLance seems obvious and far-and-away better movie-fodder than anything else D&D-ish that I'm familiar with. Another option would be to try for a sci-fantasy vibe that tries to ape some aspects of Dr Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy etc and do Dark Sun - but the relative suckage that was the John Carter movie...
    46 replies | 925 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:12 AM
    I definitely prefer attack vs AC with disadvantage, followed by an active save at a low base DC. It may need a lot of GM adjudication to prevent abuse, though. Some circumstances where I'd give Advantage, such as attacking from the rear or shooting from above, actually make a disarm less, not more, likely. I used these for the first time Tuesday running Watchers of Meng. Unsurprisingly no one...
    34 replies | 917 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:06 AM
    Cricket is umpired, not refereed, at least in the usage I'm familiar with. (I don't think you've got the match referee in mind.)
    166 replies | 6340 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:01 AM
    If you already have an X-bow loaded, you can shoot it without provoking an opp att. Whereas you can neither load nor shoot a regular bow - it'll always provoke an opp att.
    34 replies | 917 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:00 AM
    I don't think this is true at all. When I think of systems I've played over the past few years, I don't throw out large chunks of Prince Valiant or Burning Wheel. I wouldn't describe myself as throwing out large chunks of Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic, but that would depend whether you count not (yet) using story situations that have been professionally published as "throwing out large...
    166 replies | 6340 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:54 AM
    The best approach generally is the 3e one of doing it by setting, but have different settings vary by danger level, and start the PCs off in a level-appropriate zone. Another approach I use for high level PCs travelling a long way is to use the high level tables from XGTE, but greatly reduce the frequency of checks - I'm only rolling for significant encounters. Eg I had a level 19 dragonborn...
    9 replies | 187 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:47 AM
    If looking to do the 'cinematic universe' thing, I'd think using Forgotten Realms and adapted versions of some of the FR novels would be the way to go, treating the books as a buffet of options. The early novels both stand on their own and can tie in to later stuff. You can do versions of both Crystal Shard & Azure Bonds, then have protagonists team up later to fight another BBEG (Szass Tam,...
    46 replies | 925 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:38 AM
    This is the bit that I regard as mere assertion. It's not stated, nor implied, in any rules of any RPG I play. In my Moldvay Basic days, as a player I knew that swords hurt more than daggers because I read the variable weapon damage chart; and I knew that green slimes need fire because I read the Monster chapter. The rules directed me to read both bits, and drew no distinction between the two...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:35 AM
    But this is metagaming through and through! That is, had it been thought of earlier, then you would have authored other things differently. I mean, even if that's true, so what?
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:30 AM
    This, this, this . . . Especially make something up! And so often, that something itself need be nothing more than a sketch or a hint. For instance, And did he have ninjas helping him? Was he under a curse of Coventry? (Some Rolemaster supplement had such a thing.) In my Traveller game, we know that one of the main PCs regained consciousness in a damaged cold sleep berth stacked in a...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:18 AM
    I "laughed" your post because of the first 4 lines! But this is true too. And to satisfy some other posters, it's obvious that there are many systems which have zero chance of producing various experiences; this isn't anything unique to 5e, or AD&D. Eg you can't get BW out of MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic - it's not gonna happen no matter how you wish for it, because the system (i) makes action too...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:38 AM
    Its almost like... I don't know... call me crazy... but system matters! As to the last style (we've discussed this aplenty), it is almost surely the most popular form of TTRPGing on the market presently (for a myriad of reasons). During the playtest, I called D&D Next (which became 5e) AD&D 3e w/ some bolted on (meaning not integrated holistically) indie tech. But its play paradigm...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
    5 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:27 AM
    Over the Edge (a Jonathan Tweet RPG) includes a three-column essay by Robin Laws, "The Literary Edge" (at pp 1912-93 of my 20th Anniversary edition). I'm not going to type out the whole thing, but it has some interesting stuff to say about "metagaming" and about authorship of the shared fiction: Role-playing games changed forever the first time a player said, "I know it's the best strategy,...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:53 AM
    To me this all seems very obvious. Which is not to criticise you for posting it (on the contrary - XP given!) but rather to say that it's odd to me that this needs spelling out in such detail. I mean, the very first time a wandering monster appeared from around a corner that the PCs had themseles just walked around, the need to fit newly-authored elements into the established fiction arose....
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:33 AM
    Manbearcat - one moral of your posts is that there's no uniform thing good GMing (and hence no uniform thing jerk GMing). This can be set out in terms of both risks and skills. An obvous risk in GMing AD&D in a non-class dungeoncrawling context (and 2nd ed AD&D really brings this risk to the fore) is railroading/"Mother may I" - because the system simply lacks a mechanical framework beyond GM...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:23 AM
    This is my vote (maybe make drow dark purple?) :) One thing I like about Crystal Shard is it has a slightly adult, swords & sorcery tone in places, which was discarded in the sequels. I think the D&D movie should be at least a 12-rated.
    46 replies | 925 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 11:59 PM
    This reminds me of a Ron Edwards post that I've posted from time-to-time: if your "story now"/"scene framed" game sucks, what you probably need to work on is coming up with interesting situations!
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 11:51 PM
    Jesus man. You think my post above reveals me to have a bias issue? Yet your complete lack of analyzing the utterly obvious implications of what I wrote and instead going with with "look how biased you are(!)" instead...isn't your cognitive blind spot shouting from the mountaintop? Alright, since you won't do the math on my post, let me do it for you. At the risk of offending myself,...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 11:22 PM
    Here's Eero Tuovinen on the GMing demands imposed by (what he calls) "the standard narrativistic model" of RPGing: The GM might . . . needs to be able to reference the backstory, determine complications to introduce into the game, and figure out consequences. Much of the rules systems in these games address these challenges, and in addition the GM might have methodical tools outside the rules,...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 11:15 PM
    No. There is some established fiction - call it F. And there is a newly-introduced element - call it X. I am confident for any F, and for any X, there are indefinitely many ways of reconciling them as fictions - call these R. Any valid R will render it evident (if it's not already) why F happened given that X. You seem to be focusing on identifying possibilities that aren't R - call them...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 11:00 PM
    This thread isn't about it, and if you want to make a thread about it I'll participate, but how about a quick breakdown of what can go wrong when running a Powered By the Apocalypse game? Dungeon World since its been discussed? * Its difficult to improvise. * Its difficult to improvise while simultaneously managing the cognitive burden of integrating specific and differentiated character...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
    5 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 01:30 PM
    Are you suggesting that my life as a RPGer isn't "RL"?
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 12:53 PM
    The point is understood. It's generalisation to trolls still puzzles me, because (i) when I started playing the rulebook told me to read the monster chapter (so not secret), and (ii) whether or not I've read the book, once the monster's been encountered, it's continuing status as a "secret" in the GM's notes is a bit weird. To me, it seems very clear that the reason why new monsters and new...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 12:03 PM
    I've been playing RPGs for over 30 years. The idea that players who know about trolls have to pretend not to know is something that I've never encountered in real life. I'd not come across it until I encountered it on ENworld. Which I posted already upthread. Maxperson is the one who suggested that if a table is happy with not feigning ignorance about trolls, then they must also - by...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:59 AM
    Rand564: from your description of events in your game, I can't tell how they came about at the table, in the course of game play. Eg was the spread of the fire in the city your establishment of a consequence for a failed check by a player, or was it you as GM freely narrating stuff that you thought logically followed from the actions the players had their PCs take? The same question applies...
    9 replies | 283 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:39 AM
    But that generates my next question: these PCs know enough about what "dungeoneering" is to understand what a proper "combined arms" force looks like; but are completely ignorant of trolls' vulnerability to fire. They know that dungeons have traps that the "sneaky-types" might spot and disarm; they know that dungeons have monsters who will hurt them, thus generating a need for healing; but...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:36 AM
    And this idea, of the player keeping keeping hp scores secret, was a widely-discussed technique around 40 years ago. But I don't think it's much in vogue anymore.
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:32 AM
    How do you know? I have no idea how to reason out either of the things you mention; and I certainly know more about troll vulnerabilities than some of the polearms listed on Gygax's weapon table. This is what I mean when I say you are making arbitrary assertions. Nothing in the rulebooks of any version of AD&D supports this claim. It's purely a table convention for your game.
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:25 AM
    But this is just poor management of the fiction: introducing an element which contradicts what's already established (in this case, the absence of tracks on a muddy road). (And as per hawkeyefan's post, without introducing something else - like a magic spell or charm of traceless passage - to explain away the seeming inconsistency.) If a player is going to write in new bits of fiction, it...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:10 AM
    But surely you can see that this begs the very question at issue: why would the character not know? You are posting as if those who disagree with Maxperson are spinning nonsense out of whole cloth. But in my case I have the whole of the play tradition that I started with on my side: the rulebook told me to read it, so I did; articles in White Dwarf, by people like Lewis Pulsipher and Roger...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 08:50 AM
    Then why do you think a RQ rulebook admonition against using real-world chemistry in playing one's PC equates to, or implies, an admonition against using one's knowledge of trollish vulnerabilities in playing one's PC?
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 12:38 AM
    Even if a setting is working as a Point of Light theme (which the classic standards of modern D&D's prepackaged, high resolution settings - eg Forgotten Realms - fundamentally do not), there is still going to be communication that significantly exceeds that of European Middle Ages and Feudal Japan (which weren't short on communication themselves). - Adventurers are going to be coming back...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 12:05 AM
    Not if its a Schrodinger's Gorge spanning a river (with egress into the safety of the forest on the other side) and you've got an overwhelming enemy force chasing you on horseback through the badlands (and the success or failure of the Skill Challenge is riding on this last action declaration/Group Check!)!
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 11:50 PM
    How is knowing about trolls because I've played the game and/or read the rulebook the same as using my knowledge of real-world chemistry?
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 11:44 PM
    It's never been obvious to me that the troll thing is a secret - because the first version of D&D I played was Moldvay Basic, and as per the instructions to new players I read the monster section. And I did the same when I got the Expert book. The idea that players who know about the troll weakness, but whose characters have never encountered a troll, would pretend to be ignorant about the...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
    3 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 09:58 PM
    I need my print PHB and MM to run the game. I dislike using electronics at the table and would not play a digital only dnd.
    44 replies | 1267 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 03:09 PM
    I have not suggested, nor even remotely hinted, that the RQ text is insincere. I think it's compoletely sincere. And it doesn't say the same things as some posters in this thread have suggested is definitive of good roleplaying. Gygax's AD&D rulebooks talk about the importance of party composition, but they have no discussion of the idea that playing one's PC should be guided by considerations...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 03:04 PM
    What systems do you have in mind? I assume D&D. EDIT: Depending on system, killing a PC may be a consequence of failed action resolution on the part of the player; a framing device on the part of the GM; or sheer fiat narration of the fiction. Which it is is relevant to whether or not it constitutes sentimentality in action resolution.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 02:58 PM
    Nor am I. I'm responding to Maxperson's claim that it is cheating to (i) impute my knowledge of troll weaknesses to my PC, and (ii) to explain this, within the fiction, as stuff I learned from my dear old uncle. All "cheating" means here is that Maxperson doesn't like it. But he presents it as if it is something more. And his argument for the "something more" rests on a general critique of...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
    4 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 02:18 PM
    I highlighted the bolded bit only because surely a better choice would be to retire to the thermal baths.
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 02:15 PM
    No he's not. In 2000, Ron Edwards wrote a very praising review of Hero Wars. In 2003, he discussed setting-based "story now" play, again putting forward Hero Wars as an example. In 2011, he wrote the "setting dissection" that I linked to upthread, that is, a fuller account of how to run setting-based "story now" games (unsurprisingly, HeroWars/Quest again figures as a prominent example). In...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
    4 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 01:53 PM
    There is a point that may have come up earlier in this thread, or perhaps in another one - I remeber I was responding to Campbell - that I want to come back to: the role of GM sentimentality. In the campaign with the fox and the nobles and so on, the resolution of the campaign saw the PCs acting in defiance of Heaven. In addition to the edict-disobeying fox, there was a paladin whose patron...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 10:40 AM
    I've never had a player decide that his/her PC was a noble during the course of play. But I have had a player do something similar. At the start of the campaign we thought his PC was an animal (fox) that had been able (through meditation and other appropriate practices) to transform itself into a human (inspired by the movie Green Snake). At the start of the campaign the character was living...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 09:22 AM
    But we already know the answer to the bit that I've bolded - the PC was not accompanied by any entourage, given that absence of such entourage is already an established element in the fiction. (Subject to corner cases - maybe as part of collaboration between players, another PC is revealed to have been an entourage all along!)
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 09:11 AM
    There's no "field" because there are no "adventures" in the D&D sense, at least as I run it. The PCs don't go "into the field" to adventure, and then return to a "safe place" for downtime. The PCs do their thing as their motivations and capabilities dictate. There are rules for having an entourage as an element of one's PC. But they don't depend upon any idea of, or contrast between, "at home"...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 08:34 AM
    Cthulhu Dark
    4 replies | 282 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 08:22 AM
    The big issue for me, in the setup Maxperson describes, is how do we know how many children are eaten? In a skill challenge, this can be managed through failures - each failure is more children dead. But in other D&D versions, which have no rule for determining children eaten per orc-time-mile-unit, it becomes GM fiat. So the stakes and the action resolution become somewhat illusory.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 08:19 AM
    To relate this to AbdulAlhazred's posts: a really strong set of assumptions underlies this post. Some of those are sociological/economic: that a noble family has readily available assets that it is able to repurpose at the behest of the character. As a matter of human history this isn't always true; in the context of a fantasy RPG it's even easier not to proceed on the basis of its truth. ...
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    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 07:39 AM
    Providence knows, and that's virtually everything in Tolkien's world. There's no reason in the fiction why a 20-something year old, inexperienced wizard could not have inherited a fortune of many thousands of gold pieces. But the standard D&D rules for starting money make this impossible, purely for balance reasons. One fantasy RPG that makes it possible to be a wealthy yet novice wizard is...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 06:07 AM
    These are really strong posts. They capture what I was trying to get at upthread with some remarks about "cargo cult" and similar. That is to say, particular design/play features that can work well as elements in a "skilled play" game simply don't make any sense in other RPGing contexts. Hence treating those particular design/play features as if they're part of what it means to roleplay makes no...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 05:49 AM
    I don't care whether you think he's an expert or an amateur. The point is that he shows how a game can proceed with metagaming about "the party", "team cooperation" etc - which helps us identify the presence of such metagaming advice in the RQ rules.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 02:02 AM
    No they're not. They're also talking about sticking together and cooperating as a party ("the participants work together for a common goal"). By way of contrast, here's an extract from some advice from Ron Edwards on how to run a setting-focused game using a set of rules that doesn't directly address the issue: Preparation 1. Choose a location. The group must discuss and become...
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    4 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 01:45 AM
    The text advises players to inform their declared actions by considerations of the need, in the real world, to maintain harmony at the table. That second thing is "out of character knowledge" - the characters don't know that they are pieces in a game whose participants can't easily have fun if the characters don't hang out together in a more-or-less friendly fashion.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 01:42 AM
    Where did this come from? I am assuming the GM - that is, I am assuming that it was not a player action declaration or an element of player-atuhored background that made the witch a focus of play. I am also assuming that this came from the GM, in the sense that the leader, and the leader's connection to your family, were not things that resulted from player action declaration nor from an...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 01:37 AM
    Who established these conventions, and the contrast they draw between "class" and "background" - Lanefan's table? Your complaint was that it is unrealistic to permit significant numbers of PCs of noble background. But now you say you are happy with realism giving way to a "convention" whereby a signifcant nunber of PCs are MUs or highly-trained warriors. Well maybe at some tables there is a...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 11:41 PM
    Well, I think your interpretation makes no sense. How can it be true both that there is a universal metagame ban and that players are told to cooperate so as to make the game work? The latter is precisely an instruction to metagame!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 11:32 PM
    Well, clearly an RPG can be more like a book that's still being read. A lot of RPGing seems to take this form, as best I can tell. But I agree with you that RPGing is better when it is approached through the lens of group authorship as much as group audience. I think that brings out what is strong in RPGing (the collective creation) while reducing the impact of what is weak in RPGing...
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    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 11:25 PM
    My comment really was intended as rhetorical humour. But given you've offered a literal reply: why would one expect any given party of characters to be a representative sample of the gameworld society as a whole? Society as a whole, in the typical fantasy game, is farmers and pastoralists. But in my experience very few players player farmers or herders. Eg if 1 in 5 PCs is a MU, that's a much...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 11:10 PM
    I think this is an extremely shallow reading of LotR. Aragorn's status as the rightful king is fundamental to his character from the moment he enters the story. Assuming you use the standard D&D rules for starting money, aren't they exactly an example of this?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 10:57 PM
    What interpretation? Do you disagree that "there is no statement of any universal metagame ban"? Do you disagree that "the approach to rules questions, and the emphasis on collaboration/consensus rather than GM rulings and GM decision-making" is interesting? As Numidius posted, it talks about player knowledge of chemistry, not player knowledge of the gameworld. It encourages metagaming -...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 06:18 PM
    The idea is that it disrupts the concentration needed to cast a spell. So I'm allowing cantrips with no check, since they are written to not require much effort in 5e. Re disarms, an opp att doesn't make sense to me, nor does allowing a DEX save to resist once the hit has occurred - DEX already factors into how hard it is to hit someone - but nor do I want it to be particularly easy to disarm....
    34 replies | 917 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 06:11 PM
    Well the way I have it written, you can already shoot a crossbow without provoking an OA - you just can't load a crossbow without provoking an OA. :D
    34 replies | 917 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 06:07 PM
    Wow you're obnoxious! :-O
    34 replies | 917 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 03:24 PM
    On reflection I think it should not apply to cantrips, since they only take as much effort as shooting a bow.
    34 replies | 917 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 03:23 PM
    Bows - I really don't want them used in melee, I quite liked RC's "-20 to hit" rule so I'm not worried about 'too much'. If the archer is a Rogue they can bonus action disengage, otherwise they ought to have a backup melee weapon. Disarming - it's not supposed to be easy; disad to hit + STR/CON save vs typically DC 10 - do you think I made it too easy?
    34 replies | 917 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 03:19 PM
    Well you can always take a Disengage action if you don't want to eat the Opp Att!
    34 replies | 917 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 01:56 PM
    Here's some stuff from RuneQuest (Avalon Hill Deluxe Edition, 1993, p 8): The Player As a player, your first duty is to play within the limits of the characters you generate. Even though you are a chemistry major, for instance, your shepherd character cannot (without learning or training) stroll to a game world village and open an alchemy shop. Operating within your adventurers' limits...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 01:39 PM
    I think many readers of LotR would not agree with you that Aragorn's title was an "empty" one. Nor would everyone agree that Richard the Lionheart's claim to kingship is an "empty title" when he reenters England covertly to try and retake his throne from his sinister brother. I don't think the White Russians regarded their titles as empty either, but that is more debatable. So it's not...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 01:33 PM
    What's a realistic nobility-to-commoner ratio among PCs? Is it the same or different from the elf-to-dwarf ratio? The fighter-to-MU ratio?
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 12:18 PM
    Yes and no! If it's really "no myth", then new challenges can be narrated! Or, in your "negotiate with the town" example, the GM can frame a situation (and associated check) that puts the PC's nobility to the test. This also takes me back to the alternatives to fiat (player or GM). Roll more dice!
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 11:37 AM
    The idea of all these is to work off the existing system to give some additional options, and a nod to versimilitude, without affecting regular gameplay. I'm pretty confident of all of them except maybe the Grappled Casting rule, which is designed more for lower-magic settings. Campaign House Rules - Combat The following incur opportunity attacks if done within enemy reach: Shooting a bow,...
    34 replies | 917 view(s)
    1 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 09:52 AM
    I think it's more that 'No Myth' (that's the phrase right?) :) where the player can inject significant world elements, such as his PC is a powerful noble of this town, without GM veto, can mess with the challenge of Gamist play - such as the intended challenge of negotiating safety with this town. I think it's uncontroversial that different play agendas can clash. In 4e the GM may have a...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 09:43 AM
    Plenty of obstacles do kill. Pits & chasms are an obvious example. PCs can get themselves killed trying to leap the chasm, or can try climbing down it - hopefully with rope - or go look for another path. Slow but deadly monsters are very similar in game effect.
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 09:31 AM
    That sounds like the GM made a mistake not telling the players in advance that this was going to be a Curse of Strahd campaign. That doesn't make him a jerk, just foolish. If a player said "No, run Waterdeep Dragon Heist!" I think that would be jerkier. What should actually happen is that the group cancels the session until/unless they're on the same page. But GMs should always run the game they...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 07:46 AM
    Maxperson, why don't you post some examples of how GM-driven RPGing produced moments of dramatic choice for the players?
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 07:44 AM
    But it's possible to resolve all this stuff during the course of play. And possible resolutions aren't hard to think of - anything from the PC has been travelling incognito to the PC has been banished because on the losing side of a power struggle to the PC's family is impoverished and hence the PC went out to try and make his/her fortune. Again we see three things: (1) A strong assumption...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
    2 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 07:39 AM
    You can attempt to cast a spell above your level - from a scroll. The Wizard IMC Lady Aeridnis just acquired a bunch of rare spell scrolls - she can either cast them from the scrolls, or wait until high enough level to transcribe them. I think it works well.
    36 replies | 808 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 05:18 AM
    I'm not being shortsighted. I'm saying that being offered a quest from my hermit to kill some orcs is not very dramatic or character-driven roleplaying (ie it lacks MEAT). This comes through in the questions you pose (as opposed to the "hundreds of other" that you leave as an exercise for the reader): Will the do what the hermit asks and abandon others that need them? How will they help...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 04:39 AM
    Your claim - which I have just quoted - was that if a player uses the uncle device to underpin an imputation to his/her PC of his/her knowledge about trolls, then that player will also want to use the same device to have the GM inform him/her about new, hitherto unknown weaknesses. But that claim was, and is, unfounded. ecause If a player don't actually know, then when playing an ignorant PC...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 01:08 AM
    I think this comment can be generalised: Maxperson's assertions about how PC knowledge, PC background etc are to be handled may be true accounts of how he likes to play the game, but find little support in D&D rules texts, esepecially 4e. This relates to what AbdulAlhazred said upthread about PC backgrounds and PC goals being the MEAT of play. If the only significance of befriending a...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 12:33 AM
    To me, it seems there are two uncontroversial ways it can become true in the fiction that a PC knows something: * The player has some knowledge and imputes it to the PC; * The GM informs the player of something that the the PC knows. The extent to which a GM is able to veto/gate the first approach will depend primarily on table conventions. Off the top of my head I can't think of any...
    1774 replies | 47433 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 11:45 PM
    I don't have any of the old alien modules, but have heard rumours of the Zhodani. I've done some free narration of "mystical" feats by the religious elite of Ashar, without trying to frame that within the technicalities of the psionics rules. There's no meta-currency in by-the-book Classic Traveller. There are three modes of improving a PC's stats/inherent abilities: * psionics...
    5 replies | 234 view(s)
    1 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 03:21 PM
    As GM I tend to do this stuff at the very end of the session, so anyone bored can leave! :)
    53 replies | 1928 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 03:10 PM
    As GM I tend to do this stuff at the very end of the session, so anyone bored can leave! :)
    53 replies | 1928 view(s)
    0 XP
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Friday, 22nd March, 2019

  • 10:21 AM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post D&D storylines for a movie?
    I'm not familiar with the FR stuff S'mon, Hussar et al have mentioned. To me DragonLance seems obvious and far-and-away better movie-fodder than anything else D&D-ish that I'm familiar with. Another option would be to try for a sci-fantasy vibe that tries to ape some aspects of Dr Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy etc and do Dark Sun - but the relative suckage that was the John Carter movie might put producers off swords-and-planet type stuff. I'd add - the fact that setting purists might get irritated by this or that change is as relevant to a D&D film's commercial prospects as the changes made by Peter Jackson to canonical LotR ie not relevant at all!

Thursday, 21st March, 2019

  • 02:16 PM - TaranTheWanderer mentioned S'mon in post Some combat house rules to peruse or ignore
    ... the gollem's adamantine sword and destroyed it with its own weapon. That was epic. I don't want to ban that kind of thing from my game and, from first hand experience, I know it's not going to turn into a disarm free-for-all. It just won't. And, actually, locked gauntlets was a thing(in 3e, at least. I'm not sure about the real world). People didn't use them much because they had a significant drawback that You just can't draw any other weapons or potions or do anything with your hands (like stabilize a fallen comrade). So, if I were to put in undisarmable magic weapons in my game (which I wouldn't because they'd be totally unnecessary), I'd give them a similar drawback. But as I mentioned above, you don't have to like a rule to help someone make one up for their game. If you think it's not balanced, then that's fair enough. No need to expand any further. It's just not helpful to tell someone "I hate that" when they are looking for feedback for how to do something. S'mon What did you think about using passive attacks as a base DC? I'm wondering if that dc is too low. If you want to make it difficult, and want to use disadvantage, I'd attach a reasoning. Rapiers aren't designed for disarming, so disadvantage but a sai doesn't have disadvantage. I also think there should be a drawback for disarming otherwise it takes away from the uniqueness of the Battlemaster. A battlemaster should be good at disarming and shouldn't have a drawback. Meanwhile the Champion, risks losing his own weapon if he tries it. (or something like that). Despite liking disarming, I have to agree that it shouldn't become so easy that it's commonplace. I think 5ekyu has a valid concern.

Tuesday, 19th March, 2019

  • 10:12 PM - CubicsRube mentioned S'mon in post Some combat house rules to peruse or ignore
    S'mon i have the same issue with ranged weapons in melee. I'd even be tempted to disallow ranged weapons in melee at all. I don't see how a person is to stand still and draw a bow or swing a sling and still defend themselves.

Sunday, 17th March, 2019

  • 10:22 AM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    S'mon, what you say about the forgiving nature of 5e seems consistent with other remarks about the system. I didn't mind the way 4e handled some of these things (though I'm not sure if it was deliberate design or byproduct): the real "trick" is bringing the serious fire attack to bear on the troll. Even for a party of veterans that creates a tactical challenge, in the context of an otherwise well-designed 4e encounter, that requires some figuring out. And sometimes the sequencing won't work out for whatever reason, or the fire attack will miss, and the troll will get its regeneration to work. Also, I think the veteran staying quiet is a bit awkward (and I agree not Gygaxian), but not as bad as having to exercise that "silence" in respect of one's own PC. That's the bit I really can't wrap my head around!

Monday, 11th March, 2019

  • 01:37 PM - Hussar mentioned S'mon in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    I ask white friends/acquaintances who don't appear to be ethnic English where they are from, yes. If someone has eg an Irish accent I may ask which part of Ireland. I asked my player who turned out to be Greek where she was from, a couple weeks ago. I think "Where are you from?" is better than "What's your ethnicity". I understand why the interaction of various cultural elements in Anglo settler countries (USA, Australia, Canada, NZ) has caused the offence-taking to arise. That doesn't make it a good thing. I think I should recuse myself from this thread now. I had a good discussion and learned a fair bit. *Takes a very deep breath.* I'm really sorry S'mon. I value your contribution to the thread and I certainly don't want to chase you away. Again, totally letting my own hang ups get the better of me. You in no way deserved that. This is a really touchy subject for me, and I reacted poorly. /edit - weird multipost stuff corrected. I'd also point out that the video makes it really, really clear that the two people don't know each other. It's one thing to ask a friend/acquaintance - that's kinda just polite conversation. It's very much another when someone does it to a stranger, which is what the video is talking about. The presumption that anyone who looks Asian must be born in another country is, unfortunately, very common and for some reason, being Asian seems to attract this sort of thing far more often than it should. Imagine if, on a reasonably frequent basis, complete strangers accosted you to question whether or not you are a "real" ((insert whatever country you live in)). It gets very tired, very quickly.

Saturday, 9th March, 2019

  • 02:28 PM - Hussar mentioned S'mon in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    But, that's the issue isn't it S'mon? What would be the problem with having Ronnie Chang play Frodo? I mean, Elijah Wood isn't English but there was no problem with having him play Frodo. Does Tolkien even really physically describe hobbits? Other than big hairy feet and usually curly brown hair, I'm actually struggling to remember much physical description. So, what's the problem here? Hassan Minaj as Sam? ((Ok, I've been watching a lot of Netflix lately. :D))
  • 09:22 AM - Hussar mentioned S'mon in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    The US especially has a history of racism towards east-Asians which colours American reactions towards certain tropes. Not really sure I'll buy that one. See Sax Rohmer and Fu Manchu for a pretty clear example. /editted to change to Sax Rohmer, which has led to a rather odd quoting by S'mon. Totally my fault.

Friday, 8th March, 2019

  • 06:35 PM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    S'mon - I've worked out which adventure I was thinking of. Not The Lichway, and not Halls, but Pool of the Standing Stones. Braken the LE cleric "has had a special suit of plate forged which allows the molestation of females without removal". By default he is in "the fur-draped four poster bed . . . with one of the village maidens". Fully armoured, natch, due to his armourer's ingenious design. Meanwhile in the "Boudoir Area" (cf "Braken's Bedroom") we have Prisilla the LE female MU (her sex is called out expressly; Braken's is left to be inferred from pronouns). She is "[u]sually to be found in [her] bed - sometimes but not always alone". It's almost like there's some sort of recurring patern here . . . maybe even a trope . . .
  • 04:16 PM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I'm not sure "GM decides" covers the same ground though as "Mother May I". The GM decides a lot of things in general, and so it makes the terminology a bit vague. As I've been using the term GM decides in this thread - which I think is pretty close to what S'mon has in mind - I've been meaning the GM decides what changes occur in the fiction as a result of a player declaring an action for his/her PC. I'm pretty sure that that is what the OP in the progenitor thread of this thread had in mind in using the phrase "Mother may I" - the connection between that latter phrase, and the GM decides method of action resolution, being that if a player wants to produce change X to the shared fiction, s/he has to guess what action declaration might lead the GM to decide to change the fiction in way X. The contrast, then, is with action resolution methods which allow a player to change the fiction in way X without that having to be mediated through GM decision-making about outcomes and consequences - D&D combat is mostly an illustration of such a method, provided X is make it true in the fiction that such-and-such a charcter/creature is dead, and the RPGs that I play tend to use similar action resolution methods for a range of non-combat matters also. ...

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019

  • 01:24 PM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Pemertonian Scene framing is a thing because he has people who like his ideas and follow them. I am not suggesting he is a cult leader or anything. but he is a poster who people listen to."Permertonian Scene Framing" is a phrase coined by S'mon who is a poster on these boards with a post-count similar to mine; who (like me) is an academic in an English-language law school; whose politics are different from mine (I think I can say that much without breaking board rules); whose opinions I generally respect and whose commentary on RPGing is almost always worth listening to; who thinks I have interesting things to say about 4e, sometimes accepts I have interesting things to say about OSR/"free kriegsspiel", but who (I believe) thinks I'm wrong in this thread. To characterise S'mon as my "follower" is ridiculous! Without being mawkish and without wanting to exaggerate the intimacy that is possible on a message board (we've never met in person), I would characterise S'mon as a friend.

Friday, 1st March, 2019


Tuesday, 26th February, 2019

  • 07:19 AM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post Worlds of Design: What Game Designers Need to Know About IP
    S'mon, any thoughts on how that sort of analysis might/would extend to RPGs whose derivation from D&D (in terms of story elements and the way they are set up as elements for play) is fairly transparent? (Assuming they're not licensed under the OGL or some other licence.)
  • 07:06 AM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post Worlds of Design: What Game Designers Need to Know About IP
    S'mon, I don't know the "Spears" case but will look it up when I get a chance. I know the other one because when it was being argued a copyright colleague was discussing it with me, precisely around the interesting issue of what constitutes non-literal/non-textual copying. I've obviously got nothing useful to contribute to the technical analysis (and certainly am not going to try and one-up Laddie J) but in my mind, probably going back to those conversations with my colleague, are notions like the "structure" or the "conceptual architecture" of a work. When it comes to RPGing, it seems that so few cases are run - in part, I assume, because it's not really worth anyone's time and/or money - that it will be a long time before any of the relevant issues are properly sorted out in relation to this particular genre of work.

Monday, 25th February, 2019

  • 01:59 PM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post Backgrounds: Use 'Em or Lose 'Em?
    S'mon, it's like you're channelling The Forge! I'm intrigued by how 13th Age does backgrounds - they are the source of skill bonuses, but directly, not via the intermediation of background-granted skills. So it becomes more like a free-descriptor system. As you're describing the 5e PHB backgrounds, it sounds like they don't have the strengths of free-descriptors because their mechanical impact does get mediated through goodies that they give you; and they don't have the strengths of "kickers" or relationships because they leave all of that to be made up anyway. That said, I thought the Hermit's discovery looked like it could be interesting - have you had any play experience with it?
  • 01:54 AM - Manbearcat mentioned S'mon in post Why does the stigma of the "jerk GM" still persist in our hobby?
    Nothing to add but great posts steenan and S'mon !

Sunday, 24th February, 2019

  • 01:33 AM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...hat some posters post as if there is some a priori notion of what it is to play a RPG, and then read system details, techniques etc through that prism. Which is (I would say) exactly what you are pointing to. And as Manbearcat has pointed out, it's what Ron Edwards was disagreeing with 15+ years ago in his "System Matters" essays. And, indeed, you can see it right here: Board games and card games have very strong constraints on what you can or cannot do. This is far different than an RPG where it's open ended and usually you can try things that the game itself hasn't spelled out for you. The open nature of RPGs lends itself to people tinkering with rules, and applying various playstyles to any given game.First, we see the move from the open nature of RPGs to tinkering with rules. This already assumes a certain sort of game design - subsystem based, with the subsystems reflecting various sorts of activities identified by categories of inficiton task. As per my conversation with S'mon upthread, classic D&D and Classic Traveller both exemplify this sort of design, though - in my view, for the reasons I explained - I find Traveller more successful. But as soon as we look at a different sort of game design - say, Fate or Cortex+ Heroic - we see that the subsystems in those games are not defined by reference to inficiton tasks but rather by reference to narrative or mechanical (typically the two are closely related) function. I can't remember all the Fate categories (I think there are 4) but they include Overcome an Obstacle and Create an Advantage (or stuff along those lines). In MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic there is Inflict Stress, Inflict Complication, Create Asset, or Step Bac a Trait (which includes Recovery actions). And every action that can be declared falls into one of those categories. So when a player comes up with a novel idea (I read the rune to see if they tell us where we are in the dungeon) that doesn't require a novel subystem, as that is easily resolved as a...

Monday, 18th February, 2019

  • 08:55 AM - MNblockhead mentioned S'mon in post Pathfinder Pawns: How do you store them?
    As Richards and S'mon, I store my Pathfinder and Kobold Press cardboard pawns in the original lattices, but then I put these in clear sheet protectors in three-ring binders. For other flat minis, such as paper minis that I print and cut for Arcknight flat plastic minis, I organize them into envelopes with the category or creature name written on them, which are then stored alphabetically in boxes. I'm considering moving the cardboard pawns into the envelops so I have just one system.

Sunday, 20th January, 2019

  • 02:44 AM - Libramarian mentioned S'mon in post S'mon's New XP System
    Outside of sacred cows, what is the "weirdness" of 0 XP combats? Should you get an XP for negotiating a good deal on a stay at the inn? Or are some things trivial and not really worth an XP? To use a real world example, how much does your ability to drive from improve from an uneventful daily commute? Milestone XP ignore combats completely, except as one method towards an end. Many game systems that aren't trying to emulate D&D don't give any character advancement specifically for combat either. The weird bit is giving character advancement for some work-a-day tasks and not others. I fear that the difference between insignificant and significant encounters will not seem as definite to the players as the difference between zero and some XP. In which case it might feel arbitrary or even railroady when S'mon decides not to award XP. 1 XP vs. 2 XP offers just enough granularity to make it clear to the players that they can advance without abiding by the DM's definition of significant play, albeit slowly. If an encounter were truly pointless, then I imagine the monsters would immediately flee or surrender, in which case I would not award XP for slaying them. Likewise I'm not suggesting awarding XP for killing random peasants/noncombatants.

Saturday, 19th January, 2019

  • 05:24 AM - 77IM mentioned S'mon in post S'mon's New XP System
    This is extremely similar to an idea I had the other day: a) 100 XP to level up, regardless of your level. b) Easy encounter: 5 XP. Medium: 10 XP. Hard: 20 XP. Deadly: 40 XP. c) If you prefer quest awards instead of encounter awards, just pick the % of a level you think it's worth. Like, "This major quest is worth 2/3 of a level" = 66 XP. If you want, you could scale this up/down based on character levels, e.g., "This level 8 side quest is worth 60 XP at levels 1-6, 50 XP at levels 7-9, and 25 XP at levels 10-20." (You could do a smoother curve or just a direct linear scaling of [base quest XP * quest level / party level], but that gets kinda mathy and defeats the point of a simple "every level is 100 XP" system.) Divide these numbers by 10 and you have S'mon's system, almost exactly (except I would be slightly more generous with the Deadly encounters because, uh, they're deadly).

Monday, 14th January, 2019

  • 09:48 AM - Sadras mentioned S'mon in post [Very Long] Combat as Sport vs. Combat as War: a Key Difference in D&D Play Styles...
    My experience with sandbox-style play with the various editions very much aligns with S'mon's. It might also be the case that 5e is also more familiar (BECMI, 1e and 2e) to me. With 3e I felt that combat could become too swingy and there were all these details the GM had to concern him/herself with. With 4e I felt that combat needed to be properly structured, plus like S'mon said easy combats were just a complete waste of time. Therefore it is no surprise the 4e story-now crowd very much pushed the concept that combat needed to propel story - especially in a system that is known for becoming combat-sluggish.


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Friday, 22nd March, 2019

  • 07:28 PM - Traycor quoted S'mon in post D&D storylines for a movie?
    I would probably keep Elminster to cameo appearance only It would be very difficult to keep Elminster from coming off as a Gandalf clone. Ancient, old-man wizard with a pointy hat who has divine powers and fights with sword and staff. If used, he'd need heavy alteration.
  • 05:27 PM - Krachek quoted S'mon in post Homebrew Ranger Fighting Style - Favoured Foe
    Thanks for feedback - player wants an old school Ranger, however she says she wants more damage on top of existing class abilities! Make hunters mark scale like a cantrip! hum that will be too much! Finally your idea is not so bad for an increase damage. Link it to a magic item. It is the more safe way to make gift to players.
  • 03:27 PM - dnd4vr quoted S'mon in post Homebrew Ranger Fighting Style - Favoured Foe
    Thanks for feedback - player wants an old school Ranger, however she says she wants more damage on top of existing class abilities! Then your idea works pretty well. Old school as +1 hp/level of damage against giant-class opponents. Averaging you d6s works close enough IMO.
  • 01:57 PM - Hriston quoted S'mon in post Simultaneous Initiative (Adapted from Chainmail)
    Have you playtested it? If so, let us know how it worked. Nope, have not playtested this. I don't like the sound of everyone writing orders for every character every turn - I'd think that would slow things down even more. I'd rather have a phased side-based approach as in Moldvay B/X. Both systems in Chainmail have combat phases like B/X. It's basically movement, then missile fire, then melee. My idea here was to strip that out of the "Simultaneous Movement" system as it has been for the "Move/Countermove" system during the evolution of turn-based initiative, introducing the same range of alternatives back into the current edition as is found in the original edition (0th Ed.). I agree that writing orders sounds cumbersome, but I'm not sure how else to do the sort of blind action-declaration for which the idea of simultaneity would seem to call. (edit to add: I gave an example up-thread of the sort of written declarations I have in mind for this, but I have to admit that the actions descr...
  • 11:03 AM - Cap'n Kobold quoted S'mon in post Some combat house rules to peruse or ignore
    The idea of all these is to work off the existing system to give some additional options, and a nod to versimilitude, without affecting regular gameplay. I'm pretty confident of all of them except maybe the Grappled Casting rule, which is designed more for lower-magic settings. Campaign House Rules - Combat The following incur opportunity attacks if done within enemy reach: Shooting a bow, except a crossbow Reloading a bow, gun or similar weapon Standing from prone Picking up an object (such as a dropped weapon) from the floor and standing back up The following use up half a character's movement: Standing from prone (as per RAW) Picking up an object from the floor and standing back up Mounting or dismounting a mount. Grappled Casting: A character who attempts to cast a spell while Grappled must make a CON save at DC 10 or else lose the spell. If Restrained or Grappled & Prone, the save is with Disadvantage. Mobbing: When multiple attackers of the same size category surr...

Wednesday, 20th March, 2019

  • 09:51 PM - Shiroiken quoted S'mon in post Some combat house rules to peruse or ignore
    The following incur opportunity attacks if done within enemy reach: Shooting a bow, except a crossbow Reloading a bow, gun or similar weapon Standing from prone Picking up an object (such as a dropped weapon) from the floor and standing back upI'd be alright with most of this, but did you mean Reloading a Crossbow? Otherwise you have 2 attacks of opportunity for using a bow, which is pointless since you only get 1 reaction per round (and even cool effects only give you 1 per turn). Really improves the crossbow over the bow, but overall ranged while in melee becomes ugly (which I'm okay with). The following use up half a character's movement: Mounting or dismounting a mount.This is already RAW. Grappled Casting: A character who attempts to cast a spell while Grappled must make a CON save at DC 10 or else lose the spell. If Restrained or Grappled & Prone, the save is with Disadvantage.I would require the save, but only lose the action, not the slot. The loss of action is horribl...
  • 05:53 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted S'mon in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Plenty of obstacles do kill. Pits & chasms are an obvious example. PCs can get themselves killed trying to leap the chasm, or can try climbing down it - hopefully with rope - or go look for another path. Slow but deadly monsters are very similar in game effect. But a chasm is passive, so you can choose to engage it or not, and it can be defeated with ropes, spikes, etc. Sure, it is dangerous, but it isn't by any means a 'gotcha!'. Pits likewise, unless they're hidden somehow. In that case my comments on randomly placed traps apply. If a covered pit appears in a context where it makes sense and is either expected, expectable, or simply an element like 'damaging terrain', then its fine.

Tuesday, 19th March, 2019

  • 10:10 PM - CubicsRube quoted S'mon in post Some combat house rules to peruse or ignore
    Wow you're obnoxious! :-O There's a reason i blocked them over a year ago!
  • 06:45 PM - 5ekyu quoted S'mon in post Some combat house rules to peruse or ignore
    Wow you're obnoxious! :-O and the post about *me* has nothing to do with the issues presented. you said it wasnt supposed to be easy. you asked if it seemed to easy *after* listing the save and the disad as if they were seriously making it hard to do. So i went thru those point by point with very basic simple dnd 101 intro class examples of how they hit this and that. Like i said, dont know if you did not do that basic analysis before saying you thought it was "not easy" for the reasons you spotlighted or if you were spinning/selling/posturing... but it seems likely one of those must be true. Do you really think, did you really think it thru, realized the advantage cancels hit odds and how it would hit the bards and other dex type swingers and conclude "yeah thats gonna be a hard disarm"? That seems a lot less likely than either of the alternative (didnt actually check it out or selling) i suggested.
  • 06:41 PM - TaranTheWanderer quoted S'mon in post Some combat house rules to peruse or ignore
    The idea is that it disrupts the concentration needed to cast a spell. So I'm allowing cantrips with no check, since they are written to not require much effort in 5e. Re disarms, an opp att doesn't make sense to me, nor does allowing a DEX save to resist once the hit has occurred - DEX already factors into how hard it is to hit someone - but nor do I want it to be particularly easy to disarm. Hm, maybe the DC should be the greater of 5 or half damage, rather than 10 - I used 10 as that's the base DC for Concentration checks, but maybe that's too high. Putting it at 5 further discourages mooks from attempting a disarm, and favours sneak-attacking Rogues & big-damage types, which makes sense to me. To me, an AoO makes as much sense as AoO anywhere else. I mean, if you aren't carrying a weapon and you're trying to disarm someone who has one, it makes sense that they get a shot at you. In any case, I just mentioned it because that's how it worked in 3e. TBH, if a player randomly a...
  • 05:45 PM - TaranTheWanderer quoted S'mon in post Some combat house rules to peruse or ignore
    Campaign House Rules - Combat The following incur opportunity attacks if done within enemy reach: Shooting a bow, except a crossbow Reloading a bow, gun or similar weapon Standing from prone Picking up an object (such as a dropped weapon) from the floor and standing back up This was all standard in 3e. I like it. A feat that removes disadvantage should also remove the AoO. So crossbow expert would allow you to shoot in melee without an AoO. I would also allow movement (standing/picking up an item) to not allow OA if the target uses all their movement to do so. I'm tossed on this idea. While I like it, Why would you take a disengage action if you can just use up all your movement to pick it up and attack? If someone is close enough to AoO, then you don't need the extra movement anyways. The other option is to do as 5ekyu said and have it use up an action. The following use up half a character's movement: Standing from prone (as per RAW) Picking up an o...
  • 04:22 PM - 5ekyu quoted S'mon in post Some combat house rules to peruse or ignore
    Bows - I really don't want them used in melee, I quite liked RC's "-20 to hit" rule so I'm not worried about 'too much'. If the archer is a Rogue they can bonus action disengage, otherwise they ought to have a backup melee weapon. Disarming - it's not supposed to be easy; disad to hit + STR/CON save vs typically DC 10 - do you think I made it too easy?As stated, I think frequent disarms are a big disconnect to a genre where special weapons are a thing and where certain write-ups imply fewer weapons in use. I think it pushes too much towards the stack if weapons with legs modrl. As for easy, csnnot figureboutbif you haven't thought this thru or are leaving it out on purpose to make the disarm look harder than it is. Its relatively easy to get advantage on attack rolls and not all that hard to hit that many foes. So, you are really talking using disarm ***not when it makes you roll with disadvantage *** but using disarm when it means you roll normal instead of advantage and a hit is still l...
  • 02:32 PM - dnd4vr quoted S'mon in post Some combat house rules to peruse or ignore
    The idea of all these is to work off the existing system to give some additional options, and a nod to versimilitude, without affecting regular gameplay. I'm pretty confident of all of them except maybe the Grappled Casting rule, which is designed more for lower-magic settings. Campaign House Rules - Combat The following incur opportunity attacks if done within enemy reach: Shooting a bow, except a crossbow Reloading a bow, gun or similar weapon Standing from prone Picking up an object (such as a dropped weapon) from the floor and standing back up The following use up half a character's movement: Standing from prone (as per RAW) Picking up an object from the floor and standing back up Mounting or dismounting a mount. Grappled Casting: A character who attempts to cast a spell while Grappled must make a CON save at DC 10 or else lose the spell. If Restrained or Grappled & Prone, the save is with Disadvantage. Mobbing: When multiple attackers of the same size category surr...
  • 12:18 PM - pemerton quoted S'mon in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I think it's more that 'No Myth' (that's the phrase right?) :) where the player can inject significant world elements, such as his PC is a powerful noble of this town, without GM veto, can mess with the challenge of Gamist play - such as the intended challenge of negotiating safety with this town. I think it's uncontroversial that different play agendas can clash. In 4e the GM may have a "Negotiate with Town" Skill Challenge set up, which could be messed with by a player (who's read Robin Laws ijn the 4e DMG2) :D just declaring it was his home town.Yes and no! If it's really "no myth", then new challenges can be narrated! Or, in your "negotiate with the town" example, the GM can frame a situation (and associated check) that puts the PC's nobility to the test. This also takes me back to the alternatives to fiat (player or GM). Roll more dice!
  • 04:06 AM - Hussar quoted S'mon in post Role-Players vs. Actors
    As GM I tend to do this stuff at the very end of the session, so anyone bored can leave! :) Love the irony of the double post. :D LOL
  • 03:18 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted S'mon in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    To me that looks like a good challenge, since it suggests various solutions such as "Run away" and "Run away then come back with salt". I'm very much in favour of 'Run Away - Live to Another Day' as a food solution to many challenges. :) Another good solution for stuff like static traps and slow moving monsters is 'Go Around It'. I like these because they are not pixel-bitching tactics, they should be fairly apparent to and useable by almost anyone who'd paying attention. I don't actually have an issue with 'this is unbeatable', in that case it isn't a monster, it is just some sort of obstacle you aren't prepared to beat. Of course most such obstacles don't kill you! Walls don't kill you, but you can't go through them (at least without special stuff). So, what should be true then is that the leeches/salt thing should be automatically known to the PCs, just like the impermeability and durability of walls is. Once the players see that the PCs will need salt, then they can arrange for it, o...

Monday, 18th March, 2019

  • 06:47 PM - Arilyn quoted S'mon in post Bree-Land Region Guide: A Review
    Tolkien himself just threw in all kinds of random monsters, like the tentacle critter outside Moria or the rock-throwing giants in the mountains. I think a genuinely Tolkienesque game would do the same. Instead we all fixate on just reproducing slavishly what was in the books. Yes, I agree. Tolkien was always tinkering with Middle Earth, which resulted in some inconsistencies, and it doesn't matter. As a game, we can add things, play around with events, and it can still feel like Middle Earth. There's room for more heroes, other than the ones from the books. Never tried AiME, but have a lot of enjoyment from The One Ring. Great game.
  • 12:04 PM - pemerton quoted S'mon in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    food solution to many challengesI'm not sure I want my PC to be a food solution to the giant leech challenge, whether or not seasoned with salt!
  • 11:35 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted S'mon in post Can Sharpshooter be used with a Net?
    No 5e rule that you can't add damage to something that does no damage? There may be one, but I don't know of it. It certainly creates issues if no damage type is specified.
  • 12:45 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted S'mon in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I agree. There was a cool scene recently in my Primeval Thule game where the party encountered a sewer ooze, the Dhari barbarian leapt to the fray, cleft it in twain... and found himself fighting two sewer oozes. But for that to happen it required the veteran player in the group to keep silent, for her to not warn her fellow player, and allow the scene to play out. That is very un-Gygaxian 'Skilled Play'. 5e D&D uses the old trick monsters, but is sufficiently forgiving that you can get away with stuff like that, where old-school D&D would be much more punitive - two ochre jellies might TPK a beginner party. There's not too much tension between the approaches with one-attack-to-figure-out creatures, but trolls that keep on regenerating create a major disjunction. I think a typical solution (apart from ruling 'everyone knows') is to switch to fire after the first attacks don't work. It's not particularly satisfactory, and I normally go with 'everyone knows'. If I want a Gamist challenge I...


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