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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 11:16 AM
    It's not clear how what you go on to describe invalidates what the player established. As you are presenting it here, there doesn't seem to be an moral or thematic aspect to the PC-mentor relationship.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 10:58 AM
    These things are completely dependent on context - there is no general implication of the sort you described. When you get to the theatre, you can pick up the tickets from the booking office requires getting to the theatre before the tickets can then be picked up. If you pick up a razor blade you might cut yourself is a warning about an event that might occur utterly concurrently with picking...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 10:25 AM
    I don't understand what your point about the context of choice is. Of course in the Curse of the Golden Flower it is only out of ignorance that brother and sister choose to sleep together. That's why the revelation that their relationship was in fact incestuous is so significant. And that revelation shows that, in this case, ignorance was not bliss. It was terrible. I won't spoil the movie any...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 09:50 AM
    Torog and Lolth both have published stats. Vecna and Bahamut also. And I imagine Tiamat (in a Dracomonicon) though I'm not sure. I remember adapting Bane stats from a Dragon mag, but they may be for an "aspect". The module H2 presents a skill challenge invovling Vecna. It's intended for mid-Heroic PCs, although when I used it I was adapting it to a low-Pargaon context.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 09:47 AM
    I haven't got my copy of Moldvay Basic ready to hand. I think it suggests that clerics are religious - I know we used to call our cleric PCs things like "Brother Simon" and I think we got that idea from the rulebook - but it doesn't have any rules for the GM to adjudicate deities independent of adjudicating alignment. I have been able to check the Rules Cyclopedia (which is a downstream B/X...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 09:32 AM
    I don't know much about Eberron, but you're wrong here about 4e. Gods in 4e are as tangible as you want them to be. In my 4e game, the PCs have killed two and visited the burial place of a third. The default cosmology of 4e makes the god's more active, and more "tangible", than any other D&D setting I know of. (And I'm including FR in this judgement.)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 09:18 AM
    For any non-railroad approach to RPGing, the gulf between unilateral GM stipulation and consequence resulting from failed action resolution in which the subject matter of the consequence was at stake is huge. If I fail some check where my relationship with my patron has been put at stake, then maybe the failure is narrated as backlash from my patron. (That's one approach to failed Faith checks...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 09:04 AM
    I don't play chess with people who knock over the board when they're losing. But that's not a principle about how to play chess; it's a principle about how not to waste my time with anti-social people! In the same way that no book on chess strategy suggests nailing the board to the table; so I'm not sure that discussions of RPGing approaches need to cover the equivalent terrain for this...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 08:41 AM
    Do you play 5e at all?nIn 5e the shock spell rolls a regular attack vs AC, with advantage if the target has metal armour. The default assumption in 5e is that armour protects against damage, and AC is a measure of protection. Where that is clearly inapplicable the game uses opposed checks, although often monsters roll vs AC for stuff like grabbing and pushing as part of their attacks.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 08:34 AM
    Yes, the nearest thing to a touch AC in 5e is an opposed Athletics or Acrobatics check to avoid being grabbed. A tree does not get to make such checks & is always grabbed. :) AC in 5e is always a measure of how hard it is to damage the target. You get some weird edge cases in 5e like it being an object interaction to pick up an unconscious character (unless the GM says it's an Action - but...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 08:28 AM
    Re cover bonuses - for ease of maths it makes sense that cover affects the target DC rather than impose a to-hit penalty, but barkskin is the kind of case that shows that AC as DC can be problematic for the fiction. So I would certainly house rule that cover bonuses don't count as part of the AC for barkskin & similar purposes. Conversely I'm ok with shield not affecting barkskin; the idea...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 08:06 AM
    Yes, this is my solution. Although adding half Prof to Init is a possibly-unintended quite big boost; still nothing like the Alert feat.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 05:55 AM
    Somwhat connected to this: In my Prince Valiant game one PC is the son of another: it wasn't planned that way, but after PC creation was done the two were nearly identical, and one was in his 40s and the other in his 20s, so it just made sense! Those two players obviously get to decide what their family, and their family relationship, is about. I as GM, and other players, of course are allowed to...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 05:37 AM
    This is a very narow account of the case. I'm going to present a stark example which I hope isn't offensive: A sleeps with B who is (as far as A knows) a stranger. A subsequently learns that B is A's sister. A thereby learns that A has committed incest. A may or may not care deeply about that - the world is full of different moral perspectives - but I think for most people there is no doubt...
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Today, 04:15 AM
    For what it's worth I believe in shared ownership of setting, more in terms of taking an active interest in it and responsibility for it's content than the freedom to do whatever we want with it. The GM is mostly responsible for it in the same way that players are mostly responsibility for their characters. Obviously there's some interaction there. No one is an island. This is a game where we...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:20 AM
    Sorry, what do you think is not weird? I thought it was weird that you have to state that "backgrounding" won't apply to major campaign elements (like a motorbike in a post-apocalyptic game) because that seemed self-evident. If that's what you're responding to, can you say a bit more because I didn't quite get it the first time!
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:14 AM
    How's that? Don't off-turn attacks pretty well always use up your Reaction?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:25 AM
    In any event it seems self-evident, such that it's weird you have to state it! Presumably, thought, some posters think that the GM has a unilateral power to define "major campaign element" - that this is not something where the players might also have authority. I can half-imagine this for some sort of club game, though even there it's not something I've ever encountered. For a social game...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:02 AM
    Some of the suggestions that getting sent on GM-initiated fetch quests or whatever by the patron is part of the "cost" of playing a warlock did make me think of this. It's as if the "cost" is content that (in the posited example) no one at the table (except perhaps the GM) wants.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:41 AM
    I wasn't focusing especially on the "hostile action" bit as that did not seem relevant to the work your example was doing. My point is that the example plays out no differently whether the trigger is "hostile action", "make an attack", "take the attack action", etc. Whichever wording is used, the in-fiction trigger is the drawing of a sword, the nocking of an arrow, or whatever it might be. I...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:08 AM
    Taking the attack action and making an attack are also real-world events. The latter also correlates with some event in the fiction. I already gave this example somewhere upthread. It shows that not all instances of making an attack are constituents of taking the attack action. It doesn't show that taking the attack action doesn't include, as a constituent, making an attack. The analogue in...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:56 AM
    I already gave examples. In Star Wars Luke romances with Leia. Later on he, and we the audience, discover they are siblings. This gives a very different - incestuous - meaning to that romancing. In JRRT's tale of Turin Turambar, the discovery that a relationship was in fact incestuous is the culmination of the story, and the point at which Turin realises that in many ways his life has been...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:08 AM
    That seems very similar to the orientation that Campbell descripbed not far upthread.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:36 AM
    That's what I take it to mean (subject to the suggestion from epithet and TwoSix that's come out upthread): taking the attack action means taking an attack, but doesn't require finishing taking all those attacks.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:34 AM
    It's not "technically impossible" for the drafter of a rule to be wrong about its interpretation. In fact its really rather common - in law, but in other contexts also.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:30 AM
    How does this have any bearing on a rule about the use of a bonus action? A bonus action is not a reaction. Not only is it not simple, to me it's not even coherent! You are stating a (purported) principle that pertains to bonus actions and reactions. That doesn't show that bonus actions are reactions. Given that the principle uses a notion that is not part of the definition and explanation...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:26 AM
    But that seems to be because there is no way to make wielding a light weapon a necessary component of TWF without that extra wording you've pointed to. Because that extra wording is performing that function, it cannot be uncontroversially inferred that it's performing a further function of the sort you suggest.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:22 AM
    I think you are running together conceptually/semantically distinct and metaphysically distinct. The example I gave upthread is brushing one's teeth: bruthing your teeth is a distinct concept/phrase from moving your toothbrush. But any occurence of an event that is brushing your truth is constituted, in part, by an event of moving your toothbrush.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:17 AM
    If you have to ask someone what they meant by their words - if the meaning is not self-evident in the written word - then it's not what was written, is it? Jeremy Crawford no doubt has his own opinion. It may even be what he had in mind when he wrote the rule, although that seems doubtful given that he himself has fluctated in interpretation: it seems far more likely that this is a sign of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:14 AM
    That's an odd example for you to put forward, because normally you'd expect that car when you start going to college, not when you graduate! EDIT: And once again beaten to the post by Yunru.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:11 AM
    Thanks, that's what TwoSix said also.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 06:06 PM
    Although the wording is entirely clear, I had a player dispute the wording on the basis that threads on the Internet were arguing about it. This was the last thing I needed in the middle of a game.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 06:01 PM
    This is a stipulation which has no grounding in natural language (which 5e is supposedly written in) and no support in the rules text. It's the insertion into interpretation of an external idea. The natural language example: From X takes a swing at Y you can infer that X has commenced moving his/her fist at some speed towards Y. That's it. There is certainly no implication that X's fist has...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 05:57 PM
    This seems to me to be another case of reading external notions into the rules. I don't think it helps. The rules don't distinguish starting an action from taking one. I don't think they use the notion of starting an action at all, do they? In 5e - which doesn't use a distinct declaration phase in the way classic D&D tends to and the way that many RPGs and wargames do - to declare an action...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 05:49 PM
    This isn't true for poetry, and it isn't true for legislation - both of which have received far more attention as objects of interpretation than RPG rules - so I don't see any reason to think that it would be true of the 5e rules. The "rules as written" say that the bonus action is enlivened when you take the attack action. What counts as taking the attack action? Contra Yunru, I think that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 05:40 PM
    The feat doesn't use the past tense "taken". It says If you take the attack action. And your attack action doesn't have to be over for it to be true that you are taking it. EDIT: I see that Yunru beat me to it. Also, this is a good illustration of the constitution of events one by another!:
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 05:37 PM
    Like I said upthread, there's nothing at stake for me in this ruling. I'm just intrigued by the discussion over interpretive method. Page 69 gives me this relevant text on bonus actions: You can take a bonus action only when a special ability, spell, or other feature of the game states that you can do something as a bonus action. . . . You choose when to take a bonus action during your...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 04:06 PM
    But what does this show, other than that some players have bad taste? So do some GMs - there's no reason that I know of to think that GMing selects for better taste than playing. How does this show that Gm authority is a better principle?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 04:04 PM
    Is the end of the campaign part of the campaign or not? If it is - if the GM delcares "And while you were out making the world safe for your family, your dear old dad racked up about one senseless murder a week" - then that is wrecking the game, and one vector of that wrecking is by trampling all over the player's play of the character (by completely and unilaterally changing its meaning). ...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:49 PM
    If you can't see the difference between elaborating on iconography consistent with the description of a deity in a shared background resource (the PHB) and changing the fundamental nature of a character's relationships - especially following multiple posts of mine, to which you've replied, empahsising the meaning of a character's action - then I'm not sure what to say. Or to put it another...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:44 PM
    It's very common to see "if" and "when" used interchangeably in these sorts of contexts, so - without more to suggest that it matters - I wouldn't treat this as significant. (Eg 4e is full of these sorts of stylistic but - from the rules point of view - meaningless variations which are simply the produce of different writers at different times.) The obvious concern with "if you make an attack"...
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:39 PM
    Here's the thing: In any social situation we are always constrained by the expectations and customs of the social group, even if we do not give voice to them. When I am playing a role playing game, despite the insistence of total theoretical freedom of action, I am constrained by what is socially acceptable to do at the table. When I run the game the same is true. This is the natural state of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:34 PM
    I am responding to the thread as I read it. To me it seemed very clear in a range of posts that the technical device of "backgrounding" that Hussar mentioned was just an instance of, or useful expostiroy proxy for, a broader range of considerations about how fiction is established, handled etc. I feel that my discussion with Sadras is operating under that understanding and while obviously we have...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:24 PM
    Either the reveals are part of the campaign, or they're not reveals - just speculations by the GM about how things might have gone.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:21 PM
    I guess I don't find the contrast between "scope" and "trigger" very helpful for understanding or parsing these rules. I mean, I feel that I could deploy that distinction to say that the "scope" of the Shield Master bonus action is a turn in which the Attack action is taken - and that action is taken (although not necessarily fully resolved, if I have an Extra attack) as soon as I attack on my...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:00 PM
    The murals aren't what the demands are that allegiance to god/patron/etc makes on his/her PC. They're colour. Reread the actual play example paying attention to the way in which the players declare actions for their PCs that reflect conceptions of what the demands are that are made by their gods etc. Notice how those demands come from the players, not the GM and yet also that (i) they are clearly...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 02:54 PM
    I don't understand how you are using the notion of "character concept". I think I made it pretty clear in my post what I mean - that the meaning of the characer's actions can change (quite fundamentally) if it turns out that their relationships differed from what they thought they were. And I pointed to some well-known examples from literature and film. If you don't regard meaning in that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 02:50 PM
    The outlook that seems to be implicit in your post is what I was pushing against with my post. I knew there were going to be dwarves in our gameworld, because (i) there was a map with mountains in it (the interior gatefold cover map of B11 Night's Dark Terror) and (ii) dwarves are quite prominent in the default 4e setting. And obviously dwarves fight with goblins. But it would never have...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 02:41 PM
    Obviously the Attack action isn't the same as taking an attack (eg OAs permit taking an attack but aren't the Attack action). But given that the Attack action can - for those with Extra attacks - be quite compendious in its nature, and is amenable to being interrupted by other stuff - like moving - that is not part of the attack action, insisting that you haven't taken the attack action until...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 02:33 PM
    That's clever - sophistical even! It leaves me feeling strangely unsatisfied, but does (i) resolve my problem and (ii) seem to give the feat a purpose at lower levels (ie where there's no extra attack), so I'm not sure I can try and fault it on any rational ground!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 02:17 PM
    Well, I'm only going on the fact that Lanefan told Aldarc that doing something-or-other about dwarf gods and religion would require the permission of two GMs. Plus this repeated suggestion that the GM won't have fun if s/he isn't allowed to establish that dear dad (or in my game's case) dear mum waiting at home for the PC to return from the quest is really a serial killer or whatever. If...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 02:09 PM
    That's good advice. (My 4e table had worked out that Weapon Focus didn't help a sorcerer using a dagger as a spell-casting focus to do extra damage long before the words of the rules were changed to make this explicit.) But - hopefully without completely reopening what I gather is a long/contentious debate - how do those who think you can do the bonus action first, having the intention to...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 11:15 AM
    Dwarves have been mentioned in a few posts. When I started my 4e game, I told the players that I wanted to play as per the core rules defaults, and that within that constraint anything goes. I also said that each PC had to have (at least) one loyalty, and also a reason to be ready to fight goblins. So one player's PC was a dwarf fighter. He explained that, among the dwarves, one didn't come of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 10:15 AM
    I don't have much at stake in 5e rules interpretation, but I didn't find yours persuasive. (Which is not to say that I agree with what Jeremy Crawford and FrogReaver seem to be saying - read on!) When you take the attack action, you make an attack doesn't imply that the making of the attack is separate from and subsequent to taking the attack action. Here's an example sentence to...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 10:02 AM
    Your AC can't be less than 16. THAT IS ALL IT DOES. It's an incredibly simple spell that needs no interpretation, but people persist in trying to "But Whatabout ...?" it.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 09:52 AM
    I thought I should let you know that I felt a little dirty clicking "laugh" for your post!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 07:46 AM
    I think my views are similar but not identical. I think some parts of a character are foundational colour for that character and/or the way the character engages with the gameworld, and typically aren't put at stake in the actual play of the game. An example is in my Prince Valiant game - the premise of that system, and hence my game, is that at least some if not all of the PCs will be valiant...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 07:28 AM
    I don't think your "definition" helps. I regard nearly every GM technique you articulate on these boards as a recipe for railroading and abuse of power. You obviously disagree. These are evaluative judgements. You don't avoid that feature - and hence the fact that consensus is as unikely in this domain as in any other field of aesthetic judgement - by changing the terminology from "bad" to...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 07:22 AM
    I believe that it completely refutes the claim that has been made or implied by multiple posters in this thread that (i) if the player of a cleric or paladin or similar sort of character is allowed to establish what the demands are that allegiance to god/patron/etc makes on his/her PC, then (ii) those demands will have no consequences in play and will probably not even manifest in play such that...
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 06:22 AM
    Anyone else have it? I am still working my way through my copy. Really like most of what I am seeing so far. More thoughts to follow.
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 05:45 AM
    I am not really a fan of back-grounding as a formal mechanic - mostly because I think it reinforces playing a character concept rather than a character. I also think it encourages individual creativity over vigorous collaboration. I am not a fan of these walled off gardens we have the tendency to create in this hobby where we decide how exactly everyone else at the table is allowed to engage with...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 11:39 PM
    I'm going to post some extracts from an actual play report: If that's "one man theatre" or "no consequences" then guilty as charged.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 11:28 PM
    That surprises me! Although there are a wide variety of approaches expressed on ENworld (I'll point to eg Aldarc, TwoSix, Nagol in this thread), there is a default or dominant approach which is that RPGing = the GM establishes a fiction (which typically will take the form of some sort of "story") and the players' role is to work their way through that fiction. Hence any suggestion that players...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 11:24 PM
    You focus on things that I haven't mentioned (but presumably are important to you). I've not said anything about forewarning (or otherwise). I've said that I don't see what it adds to the game for the GM to try to direct the players play of his/her PC by dictating what the god/patron wants as something different from what the player would otherwise have that be. This is independent of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 11:28 AM
    What system are you talking about? In 5e a warlock is less flexible than a wizard. And at least notionally balanced, assuming 6-8 encounters in the "adventuring day" (the fewer encounters, the less powerful the warlock relative to the wizard). There is zero reason to think that the relationship is a "trade off" for power. And even if it was - how is it a "trade off" to have the PC bossed...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 10:06 AM
    My issue is that my point applies even to a DL-type game. It's one thing for the focus of the game to be on divining and playing through the GM's story. Not my thing, but I know a lot of people swear by it.; It's another thing for the GM to insist - in respect of certain characters/archetypes - that s/he is entitled to establish the true nature of the PC's backstory, defining relationship,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 08:58 AM
    Boots are different from horses are different from motorcycles are different from handkerchiefs. You're the one who asserted that motorcycles are relevant but boots not. Why? You're the one who said that in some games nothing is backgrounded? Sneezes, urination, etc are all things that - in such a game - I would assume not to be backgrounded. If in fact they are backgrounded, then it's not...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 06:42 AM
    You'd have to hurt yourself in the process, wouldn't you?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 06:24 AM
    Because? Where do the game rules tell me this? Upthread 5ekyu described a horse as the FRPG equivalent of a motorcycle. Why are horses different from boots? They're both there on the equipment list with a price next to them! (Well, in 5e they're subsumed into clothes, but I've never heard of a RPG where any clothes wear out from being worn, except one time in my Burning Wheel game where the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 06:10 AM
    What's the point of that, from a gameplay perspective, in circumstances where the player has already flagged that s/he is not interested in this sort of stuff? And how could it be that a GM can't enjoy the game unless it includes this - does that mean s/he always insists that at least one player play a feypact warlock? Well, the threat of the bike being stolen was the actual example given...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 06:07 AM
    I don't see what evil or personal morality has to do with it. Whether you're advocating bad GMing is a different matter. I can go into posts in the 5e forum and learn that it is "bad GMing" to find a fight with 3 ogres boring (only a "bad GM" can't make a "sack of hit points" interesting), or learn that it is "bad GMing" to have trouble managing the adventuring day (only a "bad GM" would frame...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 02:30 AM
    That doesn't say that the GM has sole authorship rights in respect of the setting. In fact, by describing the GM as the "ultimate authority" it implies the opposite! (ie that there are lesser, non-ultimate authorities - who presumably must be the players). If the GM says "No, you can't have dear dad waiting at home because in my setting all the dads are horrible" well OK, again I think I'd...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 02:29 AM
    GM: I don't like running a game with warlocks - it offends my sense of the setting/my sense of decency/I think they're broken/etc. I think that GM is perhaps a bit precious - though, as per TwoSix's game, there's a difference here between a pickup game at a club and a serious game which is expecting a high degree of commitment from all participants. But the case that has been discussed in...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 02:24 AM
    What does that have to do with any of the examples actually under discussion. If I as a player say "I want to play a warlock" and the GM - like 5ekyu, according to many posts upthread - is perfectly happy for me to run a fighter instead, then the GM doersn't want to run a game about patron's messing with their warlocks. We're not discussing a game where the GM's pitch is "Let's play a game in...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 02:03 AM
    I think there are two cases. If it's a case that the game is already about X, and the player asks to join in - a new player to an existing group, a pick-up game, or whatever - then the player is forewarned. But if (as in the examples that have been discussed) the X is something that only comes into the game because it's an element of the new player's PC - a motorcycle, dear old dad, the...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 12:31 AM
    Here's a simple answer - if a player comes into a game saying "I don't want to play a game about X" and the GM then proceeds to make the game about X, that is bad GMing. I'll leave that between you and that player. I'll also note it has nothing to do with the current discussion about motorcycles and warlock patrons. In the warlock patron discussion, no one is saying that they don't want the...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 12:20 AM
    Where do the 5e rules say that the GM has sole authorship rights in respect of non-PC setting elements? I've posted text that actually implicates the opposite: players can decide that their PCs are or are not affiliated with temples, can decide what their god wants from them, why their god called them into service, who mentored their fighter, who gave the fighter his/her starting gear, etc. ...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 12:12 AM
    Quite a way upthread I contrasted actions with do or don't put the motorcycle at stake. I'm just guessing, but it's probably because of the mechanical features of the class. One consequence of having a mechanically crunchy system with a largely arbitrary overlay of flavour over those mechanics (eg there's no reason why a class with the them of a warlock couldn't be mechanically structured as a...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 12:07 AM
    The attitude of the archbishop has nothing to do with WotC. It's the GM in your example who has decided that the archbishop cannot be influenced. This topic was discussed (in the context of Traveller, but the principle is the same) in this thread at the end of last year. My view is very similar to the one that chaochou stated in that thread: There's a recurring notion in this thread -...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
    1 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 07:39 PM
    I ran the first four books of both Runelords & Shattered Star in one campaign in 5e; PCs went from 1st to 18th though only one was there for the whole thing. http://smonscurseofthecrimsonthrone.blogspot.com/2017/10/ep-64-22-3064713-ar-on-mokmurian.html I don't recall any major issues - some boring static dungeons in Shattered Star, especially Book 4. The PF stats convert to 5e very easily, and...
    56 replies | 1427 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 07:23 PM
    You could grant high level abilities as E10 or E11 Epic Boons? Is that too late?
    15 replies | 414 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 02:54 PM
    What demands are you envisaging? What are they adding to the game? How would the game be worse off if the GM adhered to the player's request that there be no patron drama in the game?
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 02:51 PM
    The point I and others have made is fairly simple - a GM who (i) runs a game for a player who has clearly indicated that s/he doesn't want patron drama in the game, and (ii) insisted nevertheless on including such drama, is a bad GM. The suggestion that such a GM can't enjoy a game without mucking about with the patron of the warlock player who has indicated s/he doesn't want such mucking...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 02:43 PM
    I've already addressed this in a very recent post. As per the thread title, I gave three examples of when I had ditched a game because of poor GMing. One was of a game in which the culmination of three (or so?) sessions of play, which had as its sole narrative motivation collecting some MacGuffin for the PCs' patron, the patron betrayed the PCs. Lanefan suggested (or asserted? I haven't...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 02:35 PM
    For obvious reasons - if I want to play a motorcycle guy, then I want to play a motorcycle guy! Not a guy whose bike got stolen. Ditto if I want to play a warlock - I want to play my PC the warlock, not the GM's conception of what some Great Old One or whomever it is would want my PC to do. Wanting to play your character is the core mission of a player. So hardly the sign of a terrible one....
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 01:43 PM
    Let's cash this out in terms of an actual example - the player wants to have a PC with a motorcycle without having to worry about it being stolen; or wants to play a warlock with a patron without worrying about the patron turning on him/her. And so you're positing a GM who won't enjoy a game in which s/he can't declare the PC's bike stolen or won't enjoy a game in which s/he can't decide that...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 01:34 PM
    No. It came out of me saying that I ended a game which involved the GM having the PCs' patron betray them upon completing their mission. Lanefan and one or two other posters - I thought you were one of them - said that I was wrong to criticise the GM on this basis. And then someone seemed to assume that reference to a "patron" meant reference to a warlock's supernatural patron. EDIT because I...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 01:30 PM
    As you describe it, this is about social challenges/encounters. This can happen to a fighter as easily as a barbarian as easily as a wizard as easily as a cleric. But the proposition upthread was that a player of a cleric, warlock or paladin has - in virtue of choosing that class - authorised the GM to make decisions about what the players has to have his/her PC do to maintain the relationship...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 01:14 PM
    But my point is that it won't be 90% - with everyone rolling, chances are some are rolling at +0 or -1, unless it's an extremely broad set of useable skills.
    53 replies | 1491 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 09:24 AM
    So if Eldritch Blast DID use a spell focus then the DM could reasonably rule the bonus applied. :D
    42 replies | 1048 view(s)
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Thursday, 18th October, 2018

  • 09:40 AM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    ... pulling a sword and attacking. Here some other mechanic - be it surprise or flat-footed or whatever else - is required to determine who gets to act right away vs. who is caught off guard. Otherwise what ends up happening all too often is that the dice don't match the intended-by-the-player narrative: Max pulls out a sword and swings, thus triggering initiatives, but somehow ends up near the bottom of the initiative order even though his supposedly acting first is the reason they were rolled at all! Personally, I often find this quite annoying when it happens. Hriston has already discussed this - if Max loses initiative, then (among other things) we learn that he is not very quick on the draw! It's certainly not unheard of in genre fiction for the villains to try and get the drop on the hero, only for the latter to react unexpectedly quickly and turn the tables! In 4e, Max might well get surprise if the others involved don't succeed on an appropriate Insight or Perception check. S'mon has given some suggestions for how 5e would deal with this.

Friday, 12th October, 2018

  • 02:51 PM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ... talk to me because they're scared of my bear, or whatever, is just making me suck more! What happened to all the people who are intrigued by this guy with a tame bear? The real world is full of those sorts of people, so why not the gameworld? Background as its been described doesn't have anything to do with spotlight time or negation of drawbacks. It's about not using an element as a driver for play. The player is signaling "I'm including something that might look like a plot hook. Please don't use it; I don't want to bother with this. It exists because I thought it appropriate, but exploring it is not interesting to me." So the PC might have a spouse and child "somewhere" (like Winger in Glen Cook's Garrett series), but the player doesn't want them to appear, whether threatened, in need, or angry at abandonment.Right. I don't use this "Background" system - I've never encountered it as a formal device until Hussar mentioned it in this thread. As I've been discussing with S'mon, there is some stuff that is implicitly not to be understood as up for grabs as subject matter of play; but at my table this is all established through informal cues, not via a formal device. But the idea that if the GM can't put pressure on the player of the warlock by having the patron boss the PC around then the player is getting a free ride is absolutely bizarre to me! Do those who think this not have any other ways they can imagine putting pressure on a warlock PC? What do they do when their players decide to play sorcerers instead? If you guys want to agree that the patron is a potatoAnd this is an instance of exactly what I mean. Is it really not possible for someone to play a warlock in your game without you treating that as an invitation to take radical control of that PC's story focus/direction? And as an invitation for the PC to be hosed in some fashion by a GM-controlled patron? I mean, suppose the PCs meet at a tavern and get given quest X. Why can't the player d...
  • 11:55 AM - Sadras mentioned S'mon in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    In short, if you can't handle the drawbacks don't try for the benefits. Perhaps, where the PCs are the story drivers, like at Pemerton's table, the players might be encouraged to push those drawbacks to the foreground as part of their drivers otherwise they might not have an interesting game or story to tell and it risks falling flat. At a different table for instance, where the DM is primarily the driver he/she is encouraged to bring those drawbacks to the fore to explore the characters' backgrounds, their allegiances/loyalties, their oaths, their alignment, their patrons...and thereby build the campaign story. So when @Aldarc and @pemerton say that relationship x is off limits, it's because they expect the characters to bring that to the fore, it is not the DM's job to meddle with that, whereas for say for me (and presumably you) we bring it to the fore to create a tighter connection for the pc to the story and the setting. Now when you have a player like in S'mon's instance who did not want background material brought to the fore, then it becomes a little messy. If the DM is doing it for every other PC except for one, then it feels like they're leaving him/her out. Lan-"I think I'm in a minority of one on this, but for some reason I've always despised 'animal companions' for Druids and Rangers - familiars for casters are bad enough"-efan Curiously why?

Thursday, 11th October, 2018

  • 03:49 PM - Sadras mentioned S'mon in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Like the races examples, its insisting that your character be exempt from the setting impacts of choices... which gets a no at my table. @pemerton and @Hussar If a player selects to play an elf or a dwarf, does the player also have narrative control over the thoughts and actions of the entire tribe, clan or race?
  • 09:25 AM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    If warlocks, paladins and clerics in this world can choose to have any conflict or blow back or de facto obligation from those "agreements" locked away, why do all those who fo have those restrictions accept them? Are the rest of the warlocks, clerics and such in the world just dolts who got suffered in by a flim flam man?You seem to be equating the player and the PC. No one (as far as I'm aware) is saying that the PC decides what the patron wants. I (at least, but maybe Hussar is sympathetic?) am saying that, as a player and as a GM, I expect the player of a cleric or warlock or whatever to establish the requirements imposed by his/her god/patron/etc. I've never found this to be a problem: eg if a player wants to play an assassin or freebooter then they simply choose not to play a cleric of Bahamut (much as S'mon suggested upthread).

Wednesday, 10th October, 2018

  • 09:26 AM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post 5e GMs - Why or Why Not Wandering Treasure?
    So a combat is falling short of being challenging and maybe even entertaining (drama element) <snip> The combat becomes enjoyable and no one is the wiser S'mon didn't say the GM notices the combat failed to entertain and so spices it up. He said the GM thinks the PCs won too easily and so throws in more enemies. I am responding to that: the GM wanting to change an outcome. And you introduce the notion of "no one is the wiser". In my view this just doubles down on the GM manipulating outcomes. If the issue is about entertainment, then there is no reason why the GM needs to keep what s/he is doing secret. Here's an example from my own RPGing: As the PCs continue through the tunnels, I described them coming to a cleft in the floor, and got them to describe how they would cross it. The drow sorcerer indicated that he would first fly over (using 16th level At Will Dominant Winds) and then . . . before he could finish, I launched into my beholder encounter, which I had designed inspired by this image (which is the cover art from Dungeonscape, I think): http://www.komarckart.com/cov_19.jpg I'm not sure exactly what the artist intende...

Monday, 8th October, 2018

  • 08:38 PM - Rya.Reisender mentioned S'mon in post Magic Missile. How have you and how do you roll the damage.
    S'mon Well, I certainly would require my DM to follow Sage Advice. But I also haven't played D&D before 5e. I'm not sure if Sage Advice even existed before 5e. At the very least in old times where not everybody had internet, it makes a lot more sense that you made your own rulings without consulting any "rules guy". Even 10 years ago, most people already had internet, but not everyone had a smartphone to look everything up on the fly, so even then it was still better to just make a ruling on the fly. So yeah, I guess it's reasonable that this is just a modern trend, mainly because it's easily possible to follow RAI now, while it used to be tedious before.

Monday, 17th September, 2018

  • 07:23 AM - Hussar mentioned S'mon in post Boss Monsters? I Just Say No!
    I think S'mon largely has the right of it. Many of us cut our teeth in D&D through modules. And modules, by and large, are set up for the big showdown fight at the end of the module. There are notable exceptions, of course, but, they are notable BECAUSE they are exceptions. Heck, how many of us got our start in Keep on the Borderlands which has about a dozen boss fights at the end of each cave?

Monday, 7th May, 2018

  • 12:16 PM - Sadras mentioned S'mon in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    OTOH, if you know that that person is doing a number of things that potentially might set off some alarm bells, SHOULDN'T you say something? If that person is surfing sites to research how to make a pressure cooker bomb, makes comments that, while are in no way illegal, but, are somewhat alarming, and whatnot, isn't it your responsibility to step up here? Sure, but there is a massive difference between making a rape comment over a DotA/HoN game and researching how to make a pressure cooker bomb. I guess I got my back up because @S'mon made a comment about repetitive behaviour and misinterpreted talked to with distracted by cleavage and somehow got 'outed' as an offender and everyone seemed ok with it. :erm: I mean you have your obvious trolls and sock-puppets and then you have those engaged in earnest discussion who might have points of disagreement with you*. The point is, do not treat everyone who disagrees with your as some troll/sock-puppet. *You - the general you not you (Hussar) personally.

Sunday, 16th July, 2017

  • 01:46 PM - Lylandra mentioned S'mon in post Cheliax, Empire of Devils
    ...t the Dawn of Time to defeat and bind Rovagug, the Rough Beast. You could certainly play up this 'Auld Alliance' aspect, you could even have a somewhat sympathetic LN Thrunist Inquisitor seek out the Saranrae Paladin's aid against the threat of a Demonic or Far Place incursion, replicating the ancient cycle once more... :) And have the PC richly rewarded by Thrune when successful. Of course this all suits Asmodeus' own plans just fine... Also this. Asmodeus (as a deity) is the eldest god alive. He doesn't give a damn for mortals per se and even cares less for whom else they worship unless they are fine that he is the most powerful and his rule is absolute. This is reflected in Cheliax by the fact that shrines to other gods and even priests of them are allowed, but they have to ceremoniously admit that Asmodeus is the God of Gods. So unless your Paladin went on a Holy Crusade in Cheliax or started preaching against Chelian doctrine, he'd not be challenged at all. If you consider what S'mon said, your Cheliax episode could culimate in one big temptation for your Paladin. He might like the respect and power given to him. He might like the absolute order and draconian "justice". For his worship of Sarenrae: Be sure to offer him rituals of cleansing within his temples after his job is done. Sarenrae (and most gods) is not stupid. She knows her follower's hearts. So as long as the Paladin stays true in his faith, she will not let him fall from grace for paying lip service to Asmodeus in order to stay alive. This would be completely up to him and his actions. However, themes like this are not for every player or GM. If you feel like being unable to handle it, then don't. Don't go there unless you are absolutely sold on the idea. Evil themes and societies dominated by evil hierarchies are hard to portray sensibly. Using a black&white "darkness, corruption, injustice, torture everywhere" scenario then yes, such a society would not stay stable for long. For example, think a...

Monday, 26th June, 2017

  • 08:33 AM - clearstream mentioned S'mon in post adventurers in your world: common or rare?
    ... I've been thinking about this along the same lines as you, and wondering if our goal should be less about knowing how many there are, and more our chances of finding one?! Not sure if this could work, but behold - the DC to find PC table "DC to find PC" Polity size_____Tier 1_____Tier 2_____Tier 3_____Epic+ 100s___________10_________10_________20_______30 1000s__________5__________10_________15_______25 10,000s________5__________5__________15_______25 100,000s_______0__________5__________10_______20 1000,000s______0__________0__________10_______20 Of course the title is tongue-in-cheek, as the idea is we're finding character-class equivalent NPCs who will mostly be represented by abstract MM stat blocks. As a further caveat, I believe 5e DCs could meaningfully scale to 40. If you think so too, then this table might be improved using higher DCs for Tier 3 and Epic+. Could it work to introduce rolls to suggest headcount spreads e.g. d10xN where N is a factor based on polity size? @S'mon @SkidAce

Wednesday, 21st June, 2017

  • 04:53 AM - L R Ballard mentioned S'mon in post Is This Magic Item Overpowered for 5e?
    ...ended charge merely suppresses the power of a magic item for a month rather than drain its power? That's Satyrn's original suggestion: Okay. Here's how I would probably end up using the item if I was presented with it in an adventure module: I'd change it up as I suggested, making it suppress magic rather than destroying it. But I'd also give it charges like a 5e wand. But Satyrn's position still seems open to modification: I'm not really sure I'd change the behaviour of one-use items in a conversion. That way I hew close to the original (an obvious goal I think) and since they're one use-items they're not likely have a long lasting effect on ghe campaign if indeed the item was overpowered. The standard behavior of the 2e version of the rod of cancellation is to completely drain the item's power. Would changing the rod's effect on magic items and giving it charges constitute "a change [of] the behaviour of [a] one-use item . . . ."? On to the incense of meditation, S'mon observes: Seems overpowered to me. For 5e I suggest +1 to spell level, eg casts inflict wounds as 8th level slot when using 7th level slot. And Satyrn offers: I did like S'mon's 5e-ish take on the dust, though, having it treat spells as though they were cast in a higher slot. Thanks for clarifying S'mon's remarks: I did not draw the inference that the incense of meditation should grant +1 to the spell level rather than yield maximum results for the spell. Is that the idea? Use the incense of meditation, and gain +1 spell level for any applicable spell effects?

Tuesday, 20th June, 2017

  • 10:52 PM - Satyrn mentioned S'mon in post Is This Magic Item Overpowered for 5e?
    Thanks. I can see introducing the incense before an epic-level quest. Of course, FRE1 is not an epic-level quest. So, if the incense of meditation doesn't make the converted FRE1, what is a fitting substitute magic item to pair with the rod of cancellation? I'm asking Satyrn this question, but anyone who's reading along, please feel free to recommend a substitute. I'm not really sure I'd change the behaviour of one-use items in a conversion. That way I hew close to the original (an obvious goal I think) and since they're one use-items they're not likely have a long lasting effect on ghe campaign if indeed the item was overpowered. I did like S'mon's 5e-ish take on the dust, though, having it treat spells as though they were cast in a higher slot.

Friday, 9th June, 2017

  • 05:12 PM - Hussar mentioned S'mon in post Let's Not Save The World...Again
    S'mon - It may have been in the Marvel comics. Fair enough. I'll admit, my Conan experiences is far more De Camp. I didn't read the original Howard stories until much later. The problem I have with the article is the same as I have with the other articles. These articles take a very, very narrow view of the genre and then try to make broad claims. And, I gotta think that its deliberate. I mean, the article talks about how back in the day, It used to take a lot less to make us feel heroic. Guns and ships and criminals used to be good enough, as in the stories of Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, and even James Bond as written by Ian Fleming, not as he's known from movies. In pulps, it was enough to defeat a gang or an unusual villain. But, that's not even true. We've got Burroughs and "A Princess of Mars" and subsequent stories being published in 1912. World spanning plot. Hardly a local story about "guns and ships and criminals". Never minding tr...

Thursday, 8th June, 2017

  • 11:26 PM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post Let's Not Save The World...Again
    ... destroy The World.I think this is not a weakness of "save the world" but rather a weakness of the GM! A prioritising of the setting over the play of the game. because we've never jumped the shark, the campaign world remains in good shape for future campaigns.Whereas my approach is to use new worlds. Even when I'm suing GH for the Nth campaign, it doesn't have to be the same GH. I'm not obliged to have regard to past failures to "save the world". My main players simply aren't the sort to want to save the world. Threats have to feel local, regional at a pinch, for them to bite. And part of that is because they're not the sort to commit to a campaign past level 10 or so. So, yeah, local or regional is better... which is a shame because I'm still longing to run a Pemertonian, Epic-level, multiplanar extravaganza at some point. (And pemerton, I know you're not a fan of fanboys, so I hope you won't take offence at "Pemertonian".... ;) )I'm happy to accept "pemertonian"! - I think S'mon coined it a few years ago now, for relatively lowbrow, D&D-fantasy scene-framing GMing.

Tuesday, 30th May, 2017

  • 06:21 AM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post Consequence and Reward in RPGs
    Manbearcat, S'mon I don't know the MMO scene and so won't venture there. I don't know sports very well either, but I don't think that comparison quite fits this case: a group of casual basketballers knows that what they are doing only gets its logic from some more "serious" version of the same activity (ie competitive basketball). Music is similar: my guitar playing is pretty ordinary, and I'm never going to be any sort of serious performer, but I think about the meaning and quality of what I'm doing when I play my guitar using the same framework that I use to think seriously about real musicians. Whereas the "participationist"/"tourism" RPGing is intended by those who do it, I think, to have a meaning and value and so on that is different from classic dungeon-crawling.

Monday, 29th May, 2017

  • 08:25 AM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post Consequence and Reward in RPGs
    ...g wizard what's the harm?) and probably the rule should be dropped - an early case of D&D cargo cult-ism about rules, where the rule lingers on even though its rationale has faded. more plotzy games have been part of the hobby since very early. <snip> when you look at D&D's wargaming roots, frequent death makes perfect sense. No one cares when their three meeple on the Ukraine in Risk get munched. You pick up the pieces, and put them right back on the board next round. Given that all the pieces are identical, who cares if you lose one? However, that wargaming root ran smack dab into the impulse for theatricalism that is part and parcel to the hobby as well. Lots of people play RPG's to create a story. Which means that revolving door PC's don't work very well. I don't think I'm saying anything controversial here. Which is why I've had a real problem wrapping my head around the notion that this is something new.It's not new. The OP knows it's not new, because - as S'mon has pointed out - he was advocating against that sort of "story" play back in the late 70s and early 80s. I think the OP is making a claim about trends - that more contemporary gaming has the "participationary" rather than "challenge" focus. I don't know enough about contemporary games to have a view. I barely know enough about contemporary RPGing to have a view about the little niche of gaming. But - following on from my recent exchanges in this thread with Libramarian and S'mon - I would tentatively assert that one feature of 5e might be argued to be a rather low degree of lethality (comparable, let's say, to 4e, and not, say, to Moldvay Basic) packaged in such a way as to make the game feel more like the classic experience than 4e is ever going to (for instance, by packing that non-lethality into targeted class abilities like Spare the Dying, Revivify, etc rather than making it overt in each PC via the Second Wind/other healing surge/death-and-dying rules). Which probably make...

Sunday, 28th May, 2017

  • 12:56 PM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post Consequence and Reward in RPGs
    I think you were exaggerating earlier as to the gulf between the classic D&D style and typical contemporary D&D play. There's tons of dungeoncrawling in the WotC APs and my sense is most groups play to "beat" them in a basically gamist way.My thoughts on this probably suffer from too much spectating at a distance, but I'll share them anyway - it's a messageboard, right! I think that there are two salient differences between contemporary AP play and the "classic" style. (1) The idea of "story" plays a much bigger role now than it once did, which creates pressure towards completion (and hence designing for being able to be completed), which puts pressure on the system - both mechanics and GMing techniques - to reduce lethality vs PCs. One manifestation of this I remember discussing with S'mon a while ago (and in my memory he agreed with me, but maybe my memory has some bias in it!), is when the tactical challenge becomes something like a suduko - "Given that this is beatable by a standard party, and we're a standard party, what's our optimal resource deployment configuration to beat it" - which I think is pretty different from what Luke Crane describes. Milestone levelling would be another. Yet another is building in failsafes for clues and other info to make sure the "plot" doesn't become derailed. Some of this will take the form of "success at a cost" (if you need the GM to feed you the clue, you suffer for it or get some weaker version of it), but personally I find "success at a cost" as an alternative to failure (whether classic "blank wall" failure or indie "failing forward") to be a rather insipid device. (2) The actual process of play, I think, involve less exploration and less exploitation of fictional positioning. So the idea of making one's own luck has less pur...
  • 08:54 AM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post Consequence and Reward in RPGs
    S'mon, thanks for the reply.

Monday, 22nd May, 2017

  • 01:22 AM - J.L. Duncan mentioned S'mon in post Consequence and Reward in RPGs
    I remember reading Lewis' articles in White Dwarf ca 1984 and he was pretty obstreperous back then too, so I don't think y'all special snowflake Millennials should get too het up about it, he was slagging off the kind of people who liked gonzo Arduin Grimoire style play long before you were born... :p S'mon; I prefer... "before you were an itch in your Daddy's pants." Just remember kids, I will be passing out participation trophies and the end of this comments section (too combative?) :lol:Seriously though, good article. Unlike some here, I think it is appropriate to evaluate the trend in specific RPG (and see how that has changed) rather then blanket them all together. I'm going on 40-ish and the changing trend of what a RPG does or what is supposed to do can cause a gap based on player generation... And get off my lawn, while you're at it.


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Friday, 19th October, 2018

  • 09:49 AM - 5ekyu quoted S'mon in post Barkskin *Might* Be the Worst Spell Description I've Ever Read
    Yes, the nearest thing to a touch AC in 5e is an opposed Athletics or Acrobatics check to avoid being grabbed. A tree does not get to make such checks & is always grabbed. :) AC in 5e is always a measure of how hard it is to damage the target. You get some weird edge cases in 5e like it being an object interaction to pick up an unconscious character (unless the GM says it's an Action - but even then still automatic) but hitting them for damage is still vs their AC which by RAW often includes their DEX bonus.Th edge case for unconscious AC still holds - the touch/grab is automatic cuz its an unassisted contest. The strike forcdsmage is made with advantage yo represent the lack of resistance but still has to "win" damaging thru the attack roll ( possibly with autocrit) But the designers did acknowledge that was done intentionally to let the quick and easy disadvantage mechanic handle that to avoid changing ability score bonuses and figured valued or derived stats on the fly for normal play.

Thursday, 18th October, 2018

  • 09:13 AM - Sadras quoted S'mon in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    I've probably used all of these depending on the circumstances, but for 5e I think simply giving Max advantage on the init check is the most elegant solution. We have used this or with Max rolling but having a minimum 10 + Initiative Modifier.

Wednesday, 17th October, 2018

  • 06:30 PM - jasper quoted S'mon in post Barkskin *Might* Be the Worst Spell Description I've Ever Read
    Although the wording is entirely clear, I had a player dispute the wording on the basis that threads on the Internet were arguing about it. This was the last thing I needed in the middle of a game. Yeap that player is barking up the wrong tree.
  • 02:17 PM - CapnZapp quoted S'mon in post Barkskin *Might* Be the Worst Spell Description I've Ever Read
    Your AC can't be less than 16. THAT IS ALL IT DOES. It's an incredibly simple spell that needs no interpretation, but people persist in trying to "But Whatabout ...?" it.No.
  • 12:02 PM - UngeheuerLich quoted S'mon in post Barkskin *Might* Be the Worst Spell Description I've Ever Read
    Your AC can't be less than 16. THAT IS ALL IT DOES. It's an incredibly simple spell that needs no interpretation, but people persist in trying to "But Whatabout ...?" it. No matter what armor you wear. That is an additional descriptor that makes it more complicated and leaves it open to interpretation. So if it had less words it would be easier but still counterintuitiv. Allowing it to stack with conditional bonuses would make it easier to explain. Or actually rewrite that spell. Make it: you treat it as chain armor (AC 16 no dex bonus). Even if it now has offensive uses against very dextrous heroes, it has concentration requirement so what.

Monday, 15th October, 2018

  • 09:01 PM - biktin quoted S'mon in post DM advice needed - my party one-round BBEG's
    I ran the first four books of both Runelords & Shattered Star in one campaign in 5e; PCs went from 1st to 18th though only one was there for the whole thing. http://smonscurseofthecrimsonthrone.blogspot.com/2017/10/ep-64-22-3064713-ar-on-mokmurian.html I don't recall any major issues - some boring static dungeons in Shattered Star, especially Book 4. The PF stats convert to 5e very easily, and 5e has far fewer I Win buttons. About the most I added was a couple of summoned owl bears to the final battle with Mokmurian, mostly an excuse to use my owlbear minis! I generally increased hit points and damage by +50% from Pathfinder numbers, while AC was typically divide by 2 & add 5. I've used a few converters, but it takes a while and actually I've found re-skinning existing monsters to be fun and quick. For example the Wyverns in Fortress of the Stone Giants were swapped with elder shadow drakes from tome of beasts. I'm finding the AP a bit too combat-oriented for my taste but to be h...
  • 11:41 AM - Nagol quoted S'mon in post Doh! Killed my party with a skill challenge
    I think for future reference, you need to understand that DC 15 'moderate' means 'moderate difficulty within a character's area of expertise'. That might work if the players can choose their relevant ability and it is 3 successes before 3 failures, which is how I tend to run this sort of thing. If you want most PCs to succeed most of the time you use DC 10 'easy'. Even at DC 10 I would not expect to see 10 successes before 3 failures, so it sounds as if the PCs had basically no chance. Actually, if dropping the DC to 10 raised a single roll's success probability to 90% from 65%, then the overall rate of success jumps from <16% to > 88%. To get at least 50% requires over 75% single-roll success probability ( 75 is 39%, 80 is 55%). The system is very sensitive to change.

Sunday, 14th October, 2018

  • 09:56 PM - Azzy quoted S'mon in post WOTC is hiring a new Game Designer for D&D
    Some people like having families, children... Families are overrated, and do you really want to bring children into this dystopia?
  • 09:10 PM - 5ekyu quoted S'mon in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I suspect the difficulties around my own son's birth and his mother's emergency Caesarean may have contributed to my using this as a theme a couple times.Absolutely. In ye olde days, frankly, no topics appropriate to the setting were off limits, and usually if it's our gang of old farts, thsts still the case. But in today's age I have seen a need to be more expansive in some policies and references just because my old fart gaming is no longer even close to the average gamer demographics. Course there was that time we had a player go practically catatonic on us because she did not tell us the "severe phobia about snakes" she put in as a character disadvantage (and got points for) was actually hers, so that when "snakes on a scout ship" scenario kicked it up a notch, things went south irl. Later on we did change the character and explain again that the things there that she chooses are things the players **wants ** in the story but the character likely hates or loves to hate etc.
  • 08:28 PM - Mistwell quoted S'mon in post WOTC is hiring a new Game Designer for D&D
    Odd, you posted that half an hour after I edited the post you're responding to with the same factoid. Sorry about that...my kid had a slime emergency and I got pulled away from the laptop, and then came back later to finish the post :)
  • 07:54 PM - 5ekyu quoted S'mon in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Risk of death in childbirth actually has been a major of focus of play in my D&D games, twice that I can recall. The more recent time, Quillax the Druid put immense effort into successfully delivering the child of Titus Scarnetti, and defeating the Curse of Lamashtu (Pathfinder's demon goddess of monstrous birth) on mother and child. I got the impression that Quillax's player considered this one of the more satisfying experiences in the whole campaign, moreso than the usual killing of monsters.Obviously this will vary by campaign and setting. In a magical world where there are magical means to purify water, cure disease, create nourishing berries and where the goddesses favoring mothers, hearth, fertility etc actually exist and there are rituals and entreaties to them within the common lore, a practice of just assuming the non-magical earth environmental ratios such as negative outcome pregnancies and infant mortaility can come under scrutiny or at least be questionable. Not to mention ...
  • 07:22 PM - Mistwell quoted S'mon in post WOTC is hiring a new Game Designer for D&D
    If they do pay a living wage that's great. That's not what I'd heard elsewhere. The only number I can recall was from about 10 years ago, and it was a WoTC games designer making ca $35,000, which didn't seem very livable to me. Also the comments I saw recently on a rate-your-employer website for WoTC included frequent comments about not getting paid enough to live on, being dependent on partner's income. Their average salary is $75K.
  • 07:06 PM - bedir than quoted S'mon in post WOTC is hiring a new Game Designer for D&D
    Is it normal to not list a salary range in this kind of job advert? Seems odd to me. Talking of which... How many regular posters here get paid less than Mearls & Crawford? :D In the entertainment business (games, music, movies, tv, sports) most jobs don't list salaries. You will not be paid what you are worth because there are 1000s of people who will accept less to do the job. These are prestige gigs that are not about money, but about experience.
  • 06:35 PM - Yunru quoted S'mon in post Do bracers of archery benefit ranged spell attacks?
    Is this using the shortbow as a weapon though? A spell focus is not a weapon IMO so I don't think this works out per RAW; the wording is too narrow. Doesn't matter, it's still being made with the weapon. Whether you're using that weapon as a weapon, foci, or camping aid it's still using the weapon.
  • 06:17 PM - Jester David quoted S'mon in post WOTC is hiring a new Game Designer for D&D
    If they do pay a living wage that's great. That's not what I'd heard elsewhere. The only number I can recall was from about 10 years ago, and it was a WoTC games designer making ca $35,000, which didn't seem very livable to me. Ten years is a long time and a lot of inflation. It'd be closer to $41,000 now. Assuming the money they paid D&D designers and developers at the tail end of 4e is the same as they're paying at the height of 5e. Also the comments I saw recently on a rate-your-employer website for WoTC included frequent comments about not getting paid enough to live on, being dependent on partner's income. Link? Okay, being a game designer is not going to be a highly lucrative job. It's not up there with lawyer or doctor. The question is: does a job that makes you happy and that you enjoy doing worth making less money? How much is your happiness and enjoying your work worth? Because any amount of money above the minimum doesn't necessarily buy you happiness. It buys you stuff...
  • 03:58 PM - Parmandur quoted S'mon in post WOTC is hiring a new Game Designer for D&D
    Is it normal to not list a salary range in this kind of job advert? Seems odd to me. Talking of which... How many regular posters here get paid less than Mearls & Crawford? :D Mearls owns a house in the Seattle area. I'm sure the pay is competitive.
  • 03:30 PM - Morrus quoted S'mon in post WOTC is hiring a new Game Designer for D&D
    Some people like having families, children... Hasbro pays just fine.
  • 03:10 PM - Jester David quoted S'mon in post WOTC is hiring a new Game Designer for D&D
    Some people like having families, children... And so do Crawford and Mearls. So the wage is probably enough to support kids. And being able to support the basic needs of your family is kinda the definition of "livable".
  • 02:58 PM - Jester David quoted S'mon in post WOTC is hiring a new Game Designer for D&D
    How many regular posters here get paid less than Mearls & Crawford? :D Does it matter? If you get to go to a job every day with cool people and work on a game you love and make products that make people happy, why does any wage above "livable" matter?

Saturday, 13th October, 2018

  • 03:07 AM - Hussar quoted S'mon in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    Had a drop-in player play a level 5 elf wizard with CON 10. Got hit by a CR 5 Wraith, took 22 damage and went straight from full to zero! Then rolled double 1s on an Inspired CON save and was dead in 2 rounds, arising as a Spectre. Heh, my ranger in a 5e Ravenloft game dump statted Con. 8 Con FTW baby. :D


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