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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:15 PM
    As you know, I'm hardly one to blow my own trumpet! Still, I've overcome my modesty to point out that (at the time of posting) that thread is number 6 on the list of hottest threads by XP. (And completeness obliges me to observe that numbers 3 and 12 are also threads that I started.)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:59 PM
    Does the "innate magic" of a dragon mean it can be detected by means of Detect Magic? And does a flying dragon fall to the ground inside an anti-magic zone?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:12 PM
    Hriston, I'm somewhat partial to the "hang time" approach if only because it seems to open up some amusing possibilities, but your articulation of your approach to adjudication has been admirably clear. Also, for what it's worth, 4e goes your way (Rules Compendium, p 139): If the creature runs out of movement before landing, it also falls. However, if the jump was part of a move action, the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:41 AM
    Sometimes when talking about RPGs it's helpful to actually talk about RPGs rather than just make stuff up. From Ron Edwards: this isn't what most people are talking about, when we talk about non-railroady Narrativist play. This is kind of a consensual-storytelling, make-it-up-as-we-go, round-robin type thing. Frankly, it's pretty boring in most circumstances and tends to create wandering,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:13 AM
    No one denies that, or is unclear how, hp are used to communicate ideas from DM to PC. And no one denies that, or is unclear how, hp totals communicate a character's closeness to death. But this isn't what causes people to assert that hp are metagame. Here are some things that do cause that assertion (I am reporting from my own experience, both as a RPGer who was one of those who dropped...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:47 AM
    What does it refer to? I don't know what you're talking about, but I'm talking about stances, which is a notion that Emerikol brought into the thread, that Aldarc followed up on, and that absolutely is about establishing fiction. From the Ron Edwards essay that Emerikol's blog has copied and pasted: *In Actor stance, a person determines a character's decisions and actions using only knowledge...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:31 AM
    Does "loosely approximates real world physics" mean anything more than dropped objects fall, but dragons can fly without magical assistance? Physics, in the real world, isn't just a list of facts. The discipline is a set of interrelated principles stated in mathematical terms; the phenomena those principles describe are things that follow certain regularities in behaviour and causal...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 03:30 PM
    What does ".a loose approxiation . . . simulating in a loose manner" mean? You and Lanefan are saying that D&D uses real world physics. But it's measure of terminal velocity is different. So either G is different, or the way friction works is different, or . . . it's not physics at all, just common sense tropes!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 12:27 PM
    What about flying dragons, giant arthropods, fireball spells that exert no pressure, etc? Nonsense. You don't need to assume that actual physics is true in order to understand the basic physical behaviour of dropped objects, running people, etc. Most human beings have understood the basics of these things for most of human history without access to either real or imagined knowledge of physics....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 12:23 PM
    Huh?a That falling is caused by gravity - ie a universal force that all masses exert on all other masses - isn't easy to see at all. No human being knew it as recently as 400 years ago! It's hardly obvious that falling, in the gameworld, is an expression of universal gravitation. And as far as terminal velocity is concerned: a 200' fall inflicts 20d6 damage in AD&D, but few falling persons...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 04:45 AM
    I think that chaochou's point is that the answer could be 20 hp, or 3 hp, or 50 hp. Or 90% of hp remaining, or 10%, or 1%. In other words, there is no correlatoin between hp remaining (either absolutely or proportionately) and any particular state of the fiction. Which means that knowing the state of the fiction (which is what PCs know) doesn't settle any question about hp remaining. Which...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 04:37 AM
    I don't understand your point. The fact that certain beings (but not elves? who nevertheless can have children with humans) have to eat and sleep doesn't tell us anything meaningful about the physics of that world, if by "physcsc" we mean that discipline taught in schools and universities. Human being since time immemorial have known that dropped objects fall; likewise those in the gameworld....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 03:54 AM
    Would you care to elaborate on this? They seem to be synonyms to me, and when I Google a definition of magic I get "the power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces." I don't know what dictionary that is from, but it is the sort of thing I would have expected. This doesn't seem very simple to me. I mean, I'm told that quantum gravity is quite hard (I...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 03:19 PM
    I wouldn't even go this far. I think that most of the physical events/interactions in a fantasy game happen at a sufficiently high level of abstraction and granularity that common sense tropes are enough to sort them out. But do carts come to a halt because of friction, or because Newton's first law doesn't hold, or because the air impedes the motion of the earth? The D&D rules certainly...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 03:06 PM
    It's not Aldarc's position that I don't get! It's the position advocated by Emerikol and others.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 03:05 PM
    As I said, what the hell is "life force", and how is it not magical? It's certainly not a real or mundane thing! Multiple posterson this thread (you as one) have argued that action surge and/or second wind are metagame, because they are decisions taken by a player that do not correlate to decisions taken by that player's character.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 02:15 PM
    Also, life force - whatever the hell that is - isn't a magical phenomon, but a fighter choosing to draw on his/her reserves so as to push him-/herself hard is? I don't get that either.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 02:11 PM
    OK: in D&D can fly, although that would not be possible in the real world. Fighters in 5e can choose when to push themselves extra hard, knowing that if they burn their reserves now they won't get them back without a rest, which is not too different from how people in the real world can do that. But fighters' second wind and action surge in 5e are magical, while dragon flight is not? ...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 12:40 PM
    Dragons in D&D can fly, although that would not be possible in the real world. Fighters in 5e can choose when to push themselves extra hard, knowing that if they burn their reserves now they won't get them back without a rest, which is not too different from how people in the real world can do that. But fighters in 5e are magical while dragon flight is not? I don't get it.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 10:37 AM
    This has nothing to do with stance. Stance is an attempt to describe the relatoinship between player establishment of fiction and player motivation having regard to the player's special connection to the PC. It's not about talking in first or third person. Whether you prefer first-person or third person narration by players to establish action declarations and shared fiction is a completely...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 09:58 AM
    Just for fun: In Rolemaster, the tiredeness and sore back from sleeping on the ground sounds like a -10 penalty or thereabouts; the vivid bruise sounds like -5; and the scraped knuckles are not a penalty. Given that the knuckles are still scraped that means that there has been no recent healing of concussion hits, so the character is probably down 5 or so hits from the knuckles. From the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 02:04 AM
    This blog on "no myth" sets out what is probably the typical way of playing "story now". The emphasis is on characters' dramatic needs, and the framing of situations to speak to those needs and generate drama out of them. I think this is what AbdulAlhazred has in mind as a default or standard approach. Here's a blog by Ron Edwards on the use of setting in "story now" play. It emphasises the...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 07:26 PM
    Sorry Lanefan (yes, that is the sort of reply I was looking for) and @ Emerikol . I’ll get back to your guys’ responses as soon as I can. Pretty tied up. Yup, I was referring to Blades (also, I think you may have a different copy than mine because mine is H1 -H4; Lesser, Moderate, Severe, Fatal...no H5!)! Death Spiral is certainly a concern (because it’s not fun and not genre coherent)....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 02:29 PM
    Links to four actual play examples.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 02:17 PM
    No. But knowing that you're in a skill challenge does help make decisions about what resources to expend (eg if I have a limited-used Nature buff, I might not use it on the first check if I'm still sussing out the fiction), and it helps you know what the payoff is for succeeding. It also establishes a context for making choices about how to engage the fiction: if its a complexity 5 skill...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 10:10 PM
    I definitely agree. Take Blades in the Dark, for example. It’s has 3 phases of play: Free Play Score Downtime Each of those are effectively “scenes” or multiple scenes. However, only in certain cases (eg the GM deployment of a Clock or Opposing Clocks - very much kindred to 4e) will scene resolution be cemented in mechanically (rather than “organically”).
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 07:17 PM
    @MwaO I’m not sure what you’re disagreeing with in my post. Can you hone in on the aspect you’re disagreeing with? Are you saying that you don’t believe there are inherent advantages to having closed scene resolution machinery player-facing or there aren’t inherent disadvantages to making the situation only GM facing? If you feel that way, could you maybe talk about other scene-based...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 05:03 PM
    Quite the thread! Surprised I didn’t notice it before. Just a few quick thoughts in relation to pemerton ‘s post on player-facing Skill Challenges . I’ve long been an advocate of transparency (including making everything player-facing) in mechanical archetecture of scene-based games. While 4e is a fiction-first RPG like Apocalypse World, it is not a free form RPG like AW. It’s more...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 01:54 PM
    If you want to have that discussion, you can necro the thread and respond to the posts there.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 01:14 PM
    Those daily abilities don't have to be hoarded/preserved., though. The "adventuring day" might involve one encounter, or a dozen, and it makes no difference to game balance. If the players all nova in the first encounter of the day, this doesn't allow wizards to outshine fighters. It's purely about pacing. Whereas other editions (and 13th Age) depend for balance upon an "adventuring day" that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 12:43 PM
    I think players need to know they're in a skill challenge if they're going to make reasoned choices about what resources to use (eg powers, action points, equipment, etc). In that respect I think the comparison to combat is apt. I don't see resolution as something separate from the "real" game.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 10:02 AM
    To be honest I don't remember any of that - it was a while ago now! I know that the paladin did stuff, as his player was the one who initiated the idea of taming rather than killing the bear. The fighter must have done something too, but I don't remember what that was: I have a vague memory of the bear being hostile to him, and him doing something in response (but I can't remember what, or...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 09:41 AM
    A follow-on from the previous post: skill challenges, like similar resolution systems in other (mostly indie) RPGs, work on the premises (1) that the GM is responsible for framing scenes, but (2) that the players are responsible for the choices that will determine how those scenes turn out. The significance of (2) is that it makes the scene, or encounter, the focus of play. There is no "the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 09:28 AM
    There are two things here - I had determined that the only way and hit the Orcs X times before the Orcs hit the PCs Y times. The latter is, more-or-less, what D&D combat looks like (where X and Y equals hit points divided by damage per hit). The former is about establishing stakes and modes of approach. There is nothing about a skill challenge as a mode of resolution that says that the GM...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 07:53 AM
    Succeeding at a check is something that takes place sitting around the table, in the real world, where a die was rolled, some number added to it, and the result compared to a difficulty. None of that happens in the fiction. In the real world, following the game mechanics as described in the PHB2, it goes more-or-less like this: Y's player rolls a Perception check, and X's player rolls (or has...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 05:12 AM
    For me, "linear adventures"/railroading are fun when the characters are fairly vibrant (and so there is fun to be had bringing my character to life as part of play, given the other main bit of play - making choices that shape the fiction - is not really happening) and the GM/module is providing an engaging story that the vibrant characters fit into well. I've enjoyed CoC played in this style,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 02:28 AM
    The 4e rules are not a statement of in-fiction causal processes. They are a statement of processes of mechanical resolution. In this partiuclar case,succeeding on the Perception check (which is something a person at the table does, not something that a character in the fiction does) means that X loses hidden status, thus ceasing to be inivsible, and thus being able to be seen by Y's normal...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 01:05 AM
    This is another example of terminology drift. "Fail forward" is a technique that was championed by certain indie designers. The 13th Age rulebook (p 42) describes it thus: A simple but powerful improvement you can make to your game is to redefine failure as “things go wrong” instead of “the PC isn’t good enough.” Ron Edwards, Luke Crane, and other indie RPG designers have championed this...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 12:39 AM
    Do you think this is true of combat also - that it makes no difference adjudicating combat as hp attrition, or adjudicating combat via a GM's freeform opinion of when the players have done enough to defeat their enemies?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 12:32 AM
    And if X is hidden from Y, then X can't be seen by Y's normal vision. You keep talking about Y defeating X's cover (by "walking around the box X is hiding behind") - but doing that means that X is no longer hidden from Y, which of course means that (assuming that X has no other source of invisibility) X is no longer invisible to Y, and hence it is no longer true that Y cannot see X with normal...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 01:49 PM
    I think the idea of "being stuck at a closed door" is mostly a feature of GM-driven/railroad play. In "story now" play, the story just is that the PCs didn't go through that door, so some other thing happened. I don't know what Matt Colville has to say about it, but the structure of a skill challenge serves the same purpose as the structure of combat resolution: it establishes a mechanical...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 01:36 PM
    And 4e/WotC did?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 01:35 PM
    Just as a point of intellectual history: you do realise, don't you, that The Forge is quite hostile to White Wolf/Storyteller, and largely indifferent to D&D but with a mild sympathy for its classic/OSR version. For someone who gets worked up about what you see as falsehoods by critics of 4e, though, you don't hold back in posting nonsense about The Forge and the "threefold model". From...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:43 AM
    What would be a good name that was consistent with hp not being metagame?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:24 AM
    So how come, then, a Cure Light Wounds spell can heal most ordinary people (in classic D&D, B/X, AD&D and 3E) from dying or on their last legs, to full health?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 01:41 PM
    It's an interesting juxtaposition. Obviously 4e, BW and Cortex+ Heroic (the three systems I work with at the moment) handle this very differently. 4e is closest to your (1), BW to your (2). Cortex+ Heroic is intermediate.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 12:23 PM
    Emerikol (and Lanefan and perhaps Saelorn ), you (and Lanefan) answered my question with a response about the implications on the gameplay paradigm; eg “it would make it more lethal.” This thread is about “metagame mechanics” and players making decisions based exclusively on (what you perceive as) observable phenomenon (biological, physical) from the character’s perspective. I’m looking for...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 11:32 AM
    On this occasion, we are in agreement!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 09:57 AM
    But why do you need "patching up", if they're not being impeded in their performance? In my experience, the actual play of hit points and healing is all about making sure no one drops below zero; but how do the PCs know that any given PC is close to dying, if all they can see as some random assortment of minor wounds? To give a concrete example. A PC has 30 hp. Scenario 1: s/he takes four...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 09:50 AM
    This is all just assertion. Even the bit about not being able to control when you urinate.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 04:20 AM
    Why not? An AD&D monk can control when s/he goes into a cataleptic trance that feigns death, ro when s/he recovers lost hit points by way of self-healing. A 3E or 5e barbarian can control when s/he gets really angry. Why can't a 5e fighter control when s/he gets his/her second wind? I think there is some tension here. You don't seem to regard "moderately unrealistic" hit points as magic,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 03:59 AM
    Or JRRT, who is about as sentimental as Disney. I think one solution to this is one that Gygax at least gestures towards in his DMG: narrate it one way (Disney-esque) for PCs, but otherwise for monsters and NPCs who won't be coming back. You probably won't be surprised that I regard 4e as the most coherent presentation of hp-as-sentimentality-towards-the-heroes: that's why they can be...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 03:28 AM
    If someone suggested that it was outrageous for a wizard to shoot a bow, and there was a response of "cast Magic Missile", I don't think that would create much controversy. Similarly, using DEX/Stealth is how a non-caster achieves the functionality of an Invisibility spell. My initial reply to you was mostly intended as humour; what's surprised me is that has generated all this contoversy. ...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 01:39 PM
    I don’t want to dig down too deeply into the rest of the hacking required, because I was trying to solicit solely the visceral reaction from Emerikol . I’m inthe same camp as Ratskinner ; the reaction to one type of mechanics or information organization versus another is primarily because of familiarity or the internalization of a set of stuff into a mental framework that you’ve settled into...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 09:21 AM
    Who said there is a problem? I find it tends to help things that I and my players are on the same page. If the GM is either going to move quickly through the blocking obstacle, or else there is an overnight rest and encounter opportunity, I'm not really seeing the meaningful choice or trade off. Why does the passage of ingame time, and the passage of time at the table dealing with that extra...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 09:07 AM
    You're wrong about 4e - it's in the rules for Stealth in the PHB2 that a succesful Stealth check makes you invisible to the person you're hiding from, which means that they can't see you with normal vision. (Depending on the circumstances, they may be able to see you with Blindsight or Tremorsense.) And as I've already said, 5e refers to being unseen - which in many circumstances is...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 09:02 AM
    You're not selling me on 5e!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 09:00 AM
    The ingame explanation is the same way s/he knows s/he is breathing, or hurting - s/he feels it. There's no "gradually increaasing". You start being able to memorise (say) 1 1st level spell. Then you can memorise 2. Then you can memorise 1 second level spell as well. Then 3 1st and 2 2nd. (I'm using the AD&D charts.) Each step up corresponds exactly to a class level - so if you treat...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 06:32 AM
    One implication seems to be that in 4e you can play a ninja without using magic - you can have a rogue whose ability to stay hidden (by dint of camouflage, distraction, stillness, etc) is just that good - but in 5e, at least according to other posters in this thread, you can't.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 06:29 AM
    Someone (maybe FrogReaver?) upthread posited that the suggestion in the OP was as absurd as a fighter declaring that s/he turns invisible. My response to that was that a fighter turning invisible equals making a DEX/Stealth check. In 4e that is literally true - a successful Stealth check makes you invisible. (As per the rules that I have already quoted twice upthread.) In 5e it is not...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 06:15 AM
    There is no need for combat reslutoin to involve metagame, just as there is no need for (say) climbing resolution, or swimming resolution, or resolving a friendly game of darts, to involve metagame. For instance, in combat each combatant makes a roll, adjusted appropriately by armour, weapon, etc, and the higher roll wins. Much as one might resolve a game of darts. The fact that D&D...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 11:29 AM
    I don't see what your issue is, then, with the ranger/cleric in 3E. The cleric does the odd bit of melee fighting, and wanders through some interesting terrain! Which is what a ranger does.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 11:24 AM
    There is also the opening sentence, that says that "he GM decides when circumstances are appropriate for hiding", as well as the bit that says "under certain circumstances, the GM might allow you to stay hidden as you approach a creature that is distracted, allowing you to gain advantage on an attack roll before you are seen." Presumably it is also possible in the world of 5e for someone who is...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 08:19 AM
    I agree with Tony Vargas in having a different view of this. In 4e, you get XP for playing and (via the parcel system) get treasure for earning XP, so magic items aren't a reward either. The "rewards" in 4e (as in, stuff that isn't a guaranteed result of playing the game, and which is obtained, or not, based on player decisions) are either in the fiction ("story rewards"), or else the thrill...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:34 AM
    In 3E the "process" is defeating monsters. They might have been defeated via swordplay, or a mighty spell, or by being tricked into running off a cliff. The XP system is indifferent to these nuances. So what would it even mean to be "consciously trying to improve a specific set of abilities"? In your system, does a player have to use a ranger weapon to put XP into the ranger class? Cast...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 04:05 AM
    If you're not talking about cheating, then what does it mean for a chess player to "game the system" and thereby "win more often than s/he should"? Do you mean not giving the other player an appropriate handicap? That's on the borderline between rules and courtesy. In party-based D&D, though, what is it to take advantage of a fellow player? And what are the loopholes, unintended consequences...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 04:02 AM
    Emerikol, let me pose you a question. I'm not sure you've ever GMed or played under the following paradigm, so let me lay it out. Try to conceive of simply switching out the HP model from your current game for a low overhead system that handles it in fictional terms that also intersect with action resolution (what action declarations might be permissible, what may be penalized). It looks...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 03:59 AM
    But in this case, you can just read the mechanics of encounter powers and the like into the physics of the world. Just like a character knows that being hit by a longsword will never maim or cause serious bleeding, but will simply whittle away staying power, so s/he knows that once between hour rests s/he can make an extra spurt of action (or whatever else it is that is on a short rest recovery...
    603 replies | 13181 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 01:38 AM
    If you mean "cheating", just come out and say it. And then tell us what cheating looks like in D&D, or RQ, or . . . Given that the rules expressly suggest this, how can it count as "gaming the system"? And why don't we just call this playing well? As we would in chess, cricket, poker, or any other game?
    59 replies | 1512 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 01:29 AM
    What edition are you referring to? I already quoted the 4e rules for Stealh, and will quote them again (from PHB2, p 222): success on a Stealth check means "You are hidden, which means you are silent and invisible to the enemy". So it's not true, in 4e, that to become invisible requires something beyond successfully making a Stealth check. In 5e, the rules for hiding don't use invisibility...
    199 replies | 6829 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 11:34 PM
    This depends on edition. It's true for Gygax's AD&D. It may or may not be true in 2nd-ed era, Dragonlance-style play, depending on the conventions that apply at a given table. It's not true for all those 5e tables using "milestone" XP. In my own experience it's not true for 4e, where - especially once the full suite of XP rules from the DMG, DMG2 and Essentials is being used - XP is basically a...
    59 replies | 1512 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 01:22 PM
    A "pounding" that doesn't slow her or impede her performance in any way. And what does "I did take a hit or two" mean when your PC has been fighting a dragon? It only got in a couple of bites?!
    603 replies | 13181 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 11:18 AM
    Casting a spell, or memorising/preparing one, also requires "specific circumstances and actions" which may need GM adjudication to resolve. Likewise the OP's suggestion that the player of a wingless or wing-scarred character might declare that those wings are magically regrown. That action in a RPG is in some fashion subject to adjudiction doesn't seem that significant a point.
    199 replies | 6829 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 11:12 AM
    I agree with the inverted commas, which means I don't really agree that any system can be "gamed" by players. Playing a system as it is meant to be played isn't gaming, it's just playing. It seems to me that the notion of players "gaming the system" is a result of years (decades) of groups using Gygax's AD&D resolution mechanics for games that don't have the same play goals as Gygaxian...
    59 replies | 1512 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 02:53 AM
    In 4e there were the following paragon and epic tier rogue abilities, that required training in Stealth: * You must already be hidden to use this power. You are invisible until you leave your current square. No other action that you perform makes you visible. * You must already be hidden to use this power. You are invisible until the end of the encounter or until you end the effect by...
    199 replies | 6829 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 02:37 AM
    I think this is quite an idiosyncratic view. I would say that the reality of the D&D world is that people suffer light, serious and critical wounds, suffer maiming (which requires Regeneration to heal), and have mystical "life essence" which some undead can drain and which requires Restoration to restore. Nothing in an D&D rulebook or setting has ever made me think that hit points are the...
    603 replies | 13181 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 02:18 AM
    From Gygax's DMG, p 85: If the relative value of the monster(s) or guardian device fought equals or exceeds that of the party which took the treasure, experience is awarded on a 1 for 1 basis. If the guardian(s) was relatively weaker, award experience on a 5 g.p. to 4 x.P., 3 to 2, 2 to 1, 3 to 1, or even 4 or more to 1 basis according to the relative strengths. For example, if a 10th level...
    59 replies | 1512 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 01:53 AM
    Classic D&D has many action declarations that are auto-successes - eg I cast Transmute Muck to Rock, assuming the character is a magic user of sufficient level who has memorised that spell. But a lot of people describe that as "creative casting", not "dull".
    164 replies | 5366 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 11:37 AM
    On Attributes: the attributes in In a Wicked Age are interesting: * Covertly * Direclty * For myself * For others * With love * With violence These are rated with dice, and every action uses two of them for its resolution.
    603 replies | 13181 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 06:17 AM
    DW = Dungeon World.
    59 replies | 1512 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 06:15 AM
    Emerikol - there was a whole generation of fantasy RPGers who, because they disliked metagame mechanics, dropped D&D for metagame-free systems like RQ, RM and the like. (At the time, these were promoted as "realistic" systems.) Those systems all drop AC. They all drop combat-as-hp-attrition. (Though they may use hp for other purposes - as meat points in RQ, as a measure of bruising, blood loss...
    603 replies | 13181 view(s)
    4 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 05:20 AM
    Or when one or both sides regard negotiation as demanded by honour or morality or custom. Or when one or both sides think they are better talkers than fighters. Or when one or both sides believe negotiation is more likely to deliver desirable results. Aragorn negotiates with Sauron's armies, once Sauron has been defeated, because that is what will serve Gondor's interests, and what is fitting...
    164 replies | 5366 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 04:21 AM
    Isn't that called making a DEX/Stealth check?
    199 replies | 6829 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 04:06 AM
    I thought the point of playing OSR systems is to have the classic D&D experience - and XP foe gold is pretty central to that. Otherwise, why not play DW?
    59 replies | 1512 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 01:46 AM
    I don't know anything about video games, but I think I missed the unsavoury monetisation schemes of 4e. I bought the books I wanted, but not the ones I didn't (Draconomicons, Eberron, most of the adventures); I didn't buy any miniatures (which in any event were being sold well before 4e was released); I paid for a couple of months subscription to DDI around 2011 to download all the Dragons and...
    347 replies | 11689 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 09:33 AM
    This doesn't seem very controversial to me. Here is a somewhat comparable thing that happened in my 4e game. Roleplaying in a RPG tends to mean "playing one's character". This is one way of playing one's character. Someone who describes the furniture in his/her PC's house isn't "not roleplaying" just because the purchase and arrangement of said furniture happened at some earlier, unspecified...
    199 replies | 6829 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 04:57 AM
    Classes and roles are fundamental to 4e PC building - much more so than in 3E or 5e. To get rid of them would be to rebuild from the ground up.
    347 replies | 11689 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 02:35 AM
    WotC is a commercial publisher - it is always trying to maximise profits! Every time posters on these boards celebrate the commercial success of fifth edition, they are celebrating WotC's maximisation of its profits. As far as respect for customer base is concerned - I'm not 100% sure what that means, but 4e did not contain dangerous components, or involve any sort of fraudulent...
    347 replies | 11689 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Neonchameleon's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 11:12 PM
    On the contrary. This is a public thread and one entitled "a discussion of metagame concepts in game design". If it was one entitled "Emerikol's type of games" that would be different. But he says he wants purple paints but not yellow ones. He's perfectly welcome to say he doesn't like matt purples and only wants gloss ones. But this doesn't give him the right to arbitrarily declare a matt purple...
    603 replies | 13181 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Neonchameleon's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 08:57 PM
    What matters to me is what actually happens within the gameworld. My speculations about anything else including how and why other people made their decisions are just that. Speculations. To know for certain would require telepathy. Next time don't call playstyles objectionable if you don't want fire returned. And when I made a suggestion about simple spellcasters you rejected it.
    603 replies | 13181 view(s)
    2 XP
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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.

Sunday, 30th April, 2017

  • 08:51 AM - Libramarian mentioned S'mon in post How do players know they are in the "wrong" location in a sandbox campaign?
    ...s caution. If the PCs do survive an overleveled location then they get correspondingly greater rewards. One of my issues with 5e for sandboxing is it's too easy for the PCs to prevent or ameliorate everything bad that can happen to them outside of an outright TPK. So the difference in danger levels is not very subtle: you're either in basically safe territory, or TPK territory. This makes it too compelling from a minimax perspective to stick to the "right" path. In a system with more random individual PC deaths (like 1e), even the "easy" areas are still kind of scary so there's more incentive to be bold because if you stick to easy areas you're still going to run into a poisoned needle or cursed scroll or something eventually anyway. It's important in a sandbox that there is no path with negligible risk. Otherwise that's too obviously the right path. There should not be safe areas and dangerous areas. More like meaningless death areas and glorious death areas :devil: It sounds like S'mon uses the death of NPC companions to punish the players without killing off PCs, which is interesting.

Monday, 24th April, 2017

  • 09:21 PM - Igwilly mentioned S'mon in post On character wealth an d game balance
    The general philosophy in 4e is that, basically, the rules are abstractions for certain purposes, not the ultimate rules and facts of the gaming world. S'mon did a lot of the work for me, but I’ll add: the cost of components is what the PC pays for such components. With a merchant. The system was devised for adventurers buying and selling stuff, not merchants. The rest of the economy works in any way the DM wants to work. In addition, there are rules regarding damaging objects. In fact, almost every power that target living beings can affect objects too, at the DM discretion; such tricky terrain effects are, in fact, encouraged; and add to that page 42.

Friday, 21st April, 2017

  • 06:13 AM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post Judgement calls vs "railroading"
    ... inconsistent with the Gygaxian mechanics (eg chances to open doors, to find secret doors, for thieves to pick pockets, etc), and then publishes a whole series of modules that don't seem to make picking pockets, opening doors or even cooking food for that matter very significant aspects of play. To the extent that it has a design, it is (i) to enable players to build PCs that have a fair bit of colour, and (ii) to enable the GM to run a game in which the (limited because inherited from Gygaxian skilled play) mechanics play at best a modest role in determining how things pan out. It suits the late-80s/90s GM-driven approach pretty well, but not much else that I can see. 3E I can't comment on, and 5e I won't. But 4e also doesn't really set out to support multiple styles of play. It pushes back very hard against GM management of the fiction during combat, for instance, simply because of the range and depth of resources that it gives players (via PC build elements, action points, etc). S'mon has posted an anecdote about his first 4e session (which I will try to get right), where he played a fighter whose first round action was a charge across the room, then an attack with a strong (daily or encounter) power, then an action point to enable a second attack with a strong (daily or encounter power - which ever one was left), as a result of which the BBEG was dead. (Without knowing the actual PC build, I will speculate that base damage was 1d8+5, so that the two powers, one 2w and one 3w, would do 5d8+10, or around 30 average damage, which with a bit of luck is enough to kill a typical 1st or 2nd level NPC/monster.) The GM got quite upset, because this wasn't what s/he had had planned for the encounter: s/he was not expecting the deployment by a player of his action resolution resources to make such a significant impact on the fiction independently of GM mediation. Now one person's "lack of support" is another person's "look what I can do with a nudge, a wink and a few house...

Friday, 17th March, 2017

  • 05:56 PM - The Fighter-Cricket mentioned S'mon in post Combats and Ressources (again...) - How to condense Adventures
    Thanks for all of your advice! Right now I think I'll try to solve the issue with the Tweet Fix (wonder why it is called that). I will tell the party that the surroundings of Stonefang Pass are too dangerous (and too damp :) ...) to get an extended rest. I'll also fiddle with combat difficulty a bit and see how it works out. Thinking longer about the whole thing I also wonder if 4E really was specifically intended initially to have the 4-5 encounter "workday". DMG2 speaks about that in the segment "Pacing" but I really didn't find any other official info on that. S'mon makes a good point imo if he says that none of the HPE adventures really cared about that kind of pacing. Only the Encounters program had this built into its mechanics (as I re-read some of it thanks to the mention of Rolenet). I always thought about 4E's challenge being about how to survive a fight with tactics (i.e. movement, HS management, battlefield control etc.) and also about when you use your daily ressources in the long run. So would you say that the long run isn't as important as it looks like and the main challenge being about the single encounter? Wonder what you guys think about that.

Saturday, 25th February, 2017

  • 04:14 AM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post Martial Practice : Blood Demand
    ... you could get a few copper pieces. Most games aren't quite that crazy, but there was still a real sense that getting a good item was a SCORE, not just some checkbox that was mandated by being level 3 or whatever. By replacing the risk/reward ratio system of older D&D the game has lost its aspect of 'taking a gamble'. Even if you run a game as a sandbox, the players know what treasure they'll get. You don't have that sort of option anymore to say "well, you COULD go down the stairs to level 2, the treasures are bigger..." so to speak. <snip> Admittedly, gambling with your character is not always very compatible with developing the character and story; it can be though. I mean, many heroes take a big risk, its a part of the job, and its good if there's a big material reward there, something to signify that. I agree that the contrast with AD&D is huge. As you and Tony Vargas are discussing, you can probably depart (at the risk of player disgruntlement, I guess) - and I think S'mon has departed too. And I in my (still fairly new) Dark Sun game we will be using inherent bonuses, which means probably treasure will be much more haphazard than in my main 4e game. But there is another D&D tradition that has always had issues with the dungeoneering gamble approach: the sword gifted to the fighter by the hermit cleric in the Foreword to Moldvay Basic; the daisho of OA Samurai (and as best I remember it James Wyatt, in his 3E version of OA, essentially converted 3E's wealth-by-level guidelines into a system of treasure parcels for OA characters, to make the treasure system more consistent with the desired tropes); the elven cloaks gifted by Galadriel; etc. The fact that 4e just went ahead and did this (even if under a misleading heading), rather than faffing around with some sort of halfway house like wealth-by-level guidelines, I thnk is just another sign of the delibereatness and the crispness of its design. It knows what it wants to do, and it just does it!

Friday, 24th February, 2017

  • 03:19 AM - Neonchameleon mentioned S'mon in post Speculation about "the feelz" of D&D 4th Edition
    ...the range of experiences in my regular group they are all going to know more about a range of things things than I am and are going to ask about it (the latest was panic buying in a city on the edge of revolution). And I'm going to know about things they don't. Also I like it when newbies try to DM. And I have never had a DM, new or veteran, who hasn't done some things better than I do. And I've never had a DM, new or veteran, that hasn't at some point made me think I could do things better. We all have different skills in different areas. This above all else is why I can't stand pure DM fiat; I find the game works better and is more realistic and immersive when it's a synthesis of the table (and if it's meant to be pure DM fiat I wonder what I'm paying for - what I want is a robust system that helps me do better than I would if there weren't rules and helps bring us to the same page without worrying about different people at the table having different angles in a bad way). Oh, and S'mon, yup, Drago's great!

Tuesday, 26th April, 2016

  • 08:50 AM - Sadras mentioned S'mon in post 4th to 5th Edition Converters - What has been your experience?
    How many (very ballparkish) waves until the PCs falter, do you guys think? Yes I know there are several variables and this can't be answered with absolute precision. Just give me a "I'm a pro D&D vet and x waves sounds in the ballpark" answer. In that kind of a scenario, craploads is the right answer. I've never tested this, but I'm willing to put my head on the block and say over 100 waves easy provided the orcs don't get smarter and retreat. So between 100 waves and endless! Fatigue would most likely kick in first. You have 3 PCs with a combined 7 attacks with the two warriors getting around +8/+9 (if not more) to hit against AC13. That is around 20% or less of a chance to miss. They're dropping a wave more often than not EVERY round. And those that remain require a 15 or higher to hit. As @S'mon said the AC would be 20 or more. Our Battlemaster is level 9, and his Armour Class is 20/21. My experience with a Barbarian is strictly theory-crafted. No one has yet selected to play a Barbie at out table, but on paper he looks like a beast. The major area of danger I see is the Bounded Accuracy one. Even with their respective damage reduction, the PCs will be getting hit a LOT. And healed a LOT, don't forget the support class which will also be 12TH level. Regarding Bounded Accuracy, it mostly depends on the initiative order. That is key. Compare that to canon fodder to hit vs AC in AD&D and 3.x. Those ridiculously in favor of the PCs (and 3.x was the most bloody awful iteration of the Fighter there could have been from STs, to default melee control, to the basic action economy working against their fundamental attack mode, etc) All I'm saying that IMHO the 5e Cleave option is not half as impactful as you suggest, that is all. In a pretty specific scenario sure the Clea...

Monday, 25th April, 2016

  • 10:09 PM - Sadras mentioned S'mon in post 4th to 5th Edition Converters - What has been your experience?
    That is, unless folks are running with the Cleave module to amend the Fighter loss of "reaping" and the Mark module to partially (but certainly not wholly) amend the "sticky melee" change. Based on our table's experience, I have to agree with S'mon here, the Cleave option is not a noticeable effect when dealing with mooks, we use it - but it is tactical positioning that plays a much bigger role especially for Battlemasters.


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Tuesday, 15th May, 2018

  • 01:46 PM - Gibili quoted S'mon in post Getting Dangerous With The Elite: Dangerous Role-Playing Game
    I think the genius of Elite was in its content generation systems that created the sandbox to play in. What GM-side procedural content generation tools does the RPG have for creating the sandbox? Rather than using tools, I've always achieved that by: * The DM's imagination at the time and ability to improvise. * Ideas spun off from the player's comments whilst they play. Always a great source of things to give the team things to do. * The DM writing scenarios in a modular manner which can be dropped into any location with only minor changes, or changes that can be improvised at the time, thus allowing the players to go where they wish and do what they want. * The DM having a thorough knowledge of the sandbox world, what is going on across the sandbox, who the main movers and shakers are, so that it doesn't matter where the players go, the DM knows what is going on and can thus accomodate such freedom of movement. It's a kind of framework upon which you can hang specific scenarios. What y...

Sunday, 13th May, 2018

  • 06:44 PM - Eltab quoted S'mon in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    we never had booth babes at RPG cons here I attended a con where one individual wore a chainmail bikini - not just preparing for the Costume Contest. I had the good sense to keep a distance, bridle my tongue, and keep my hands at my sides. I still stared some, though, because it was snowing outside, not warm inside (too much glass where walls should be) and I wondered how she avoided being covered in goose bumps. I don't know what she thought of all the extra attention she got.
  • 06:38 PM - ardoughter quoted S'mon in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    Thanks for the reminder about libel laws Umbran - that's enough to explain it. I do think there are cultural differences - eg we never had booth babes at RPG cons here - but I don't know if they affect the incidence of harrassment or not. I really doubt that they would make much difference. It does not take many men at anything or anywhere to create an harassment problem as long as women feel that it is more trouble than it is worth to report it. It will continue.
  • 06:03 PM - Umbran quoted S'mon in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    You guys like to publicise stuff as in this very thread. I have no reason to believe you would not do the same for incidents in the UK. "It isn't pushed in my face by someone else, so it must not happen." Does that make sense to you? A few notes: Until rather recently, conventions did not have formal policies that made harassment a specific things one could report an incident of. Twenty years ago, if a woman got groped in an elevator, there was nothing she could do about it. Now, at some cons, there's a formal process for reporting such things. However, conventions to *NOT* make a practice of telling the public how many incidents got reported. Getting that information requires direct contact with convention staff who are willing to give you that information. When you get a specific report, it is of a high-profile case, where some geek-relevant industry bigwig gets outed as a jerk. A lawyer can correct me if I am wrong, but British media has to deal with different libel la...
  • 05:18 PM - Elfcrusher quoted S'mon in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    You guys like to publicise stuff as in this very thread. I have no reason to believe you would not do the same for incidents in the UK. Wait...are you saying that every, or even most, harassment incident at Cons ends up in a thread here? Oh lord. I suspect the incidents that get posted are the ones that involve "public figures" in the gaming world. And even then it's only (by definition) the ones where somebody reports it and that report becomes public. And even then I doubt it's all of them. The vast majority of incidents are not going to get reported or involve a name gamers would recognize.
  • 03:51 PM - Umbran quoted S'mon in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    OTOH I don't think I've ever seen a report of harassment from a convention here. Why would you expect to? Do you think your favorite cons are going to hunt you down, and tell you straight up the number of harassment incidents they had last year? Have you ever looked for reports on harassment? Are you the person women who were harassed at the con would turn to to talk about it? This is one of the oldest defensive points for men. "*I* didn't see it or know about it therefore it must hot happen!" Because your personal experience counts as data? A great many things go on in the world that you are not personally aware of.
  • 11:24 AM - Elfcrusher quoted S'mon in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    OTOH I don't think I've ever seen a report of harassment from a convention here. Are you a Con organizer? If not, then that's not a very meaningful data point.
  • 11:20 AM - Elfcrusher quoted S'mon in post Getting Dangerous With The Elite: Dangerous Role-Playing Game
    I think the genius of Elite was in its content generation systems that created the sandbox to play in. What GM-side procedural content generation tools does the RPG have for creating the sandbox? Ahhhh...now we're making progress. I could see how content generation tools could make it easier for the GM to improvise in a sandbox setting. However, I'm not sure that makes the RPG itself more suited to sandbox play. It makes it easier to GM the game, but that's not the same. I guess it's a matter of semantics, that is, of whether you want to consider the inclusion of such tools intrinsic to the game itself. I can easily imagine content generation tools for CoC, but since they aren't included in the default game one might argue that the "game isn't as suited for sandbox play".
  • 11:07 AM - Bluenose quoted S'mon in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    Here in England they definitely do. OTOH I don't think I've ever seen a report of harassment from a convention here. So maybe US conventions need different rules for a different culture. :erm: There's a reason Dragonmeet has a harassment policy.

Friday, 11th May, 2018

  • 10:13 PM - Elf Witch quoted S'mon in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    Re the OP, and I do take eg Elf Witch's points seriously... One thing I noticed about the Gencon policy is that it does not give a definition of harassment. Legal definitions typically involve repeated inappropriate behaviour, so following someone around oggling them could well count - and if asked to desist certainly would count IMO. An undesired sexual comment usually does not meet legal definitions of harassment. Would it be beneficial for Convention policies to give at least an indicative idea of what constitutes harassment? There are some behaviours that the perpetrator clearly knows are not welcome or appropriate, and these perpetrators are not going to be deterred by any code. But there is a lot of marginal activity too (such as some of what SPF is accused of) that may be appropriate in some contexts but not in others. And social mores change too, behaviour typical in 1978 may be seen as reprehensible in 2018. Would an indicative list of behaviour considered inappropriat...
  • 02:21 PM - jasper quoted S'mon in post Can a Critical Hit miss?
    .... I guess in that circumstance -....ambush then double-20 - I'd declare the PC's bolt had impaled a passing squirrel. :) Suddenly an angry Moose charges the party yelling "you killed Rocky!" After overdrawing your pcs Visa and MasterCard it wanders away looking for a Mountie.

Thursday, 10th May, 2018

  • 03:24 PM - kenmarable quoted S'mon in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    Re the OP, and I do take eg Elf Witch's points seriously... One thing I noticed about the Gencon policy is that it does not give a definition of harassment. Legal definitions typically involve repeated inappropriate behaviour, so following someone around oggling them could well count - and if asked to desist certainly would count IMO. An undesired sexual comment usually does not meet legal definitions of harassment. Would it be beneficial for Convention policies to give at least an indicative idea of what constitutes harassment? There are some behaviours that the perpetrator clearly knows are not welcome or appropriate, and these perpetrators are not going to be deterred by any code. But there is a lot of marginal activity too (such as some of what SPF is accused of) that may be appropriate in some contexts but not in others. And social mores change too, behaviour typical in 1978 may be seen as reprehensible in 2018. Would an indicative list of behaviour considered inappropriat...
  • 12:58 PM - Sadras quoted S'mon in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    Re the OP, and I do take eg Elf Witch's points seriously... One thing I noticed about the Gencon policy is that it does not give a definition of harassment. Legal definitions typically involve repeated inappropriate behaviour, so following someone around oggling them could well count - and if asked to desist certainly would count IMO. An undesired sexual comment usually does not meet legal definitions of harassment. Would it be beneficial for Convention policies to give at least an indicative idea of what constitutes harassment? There are some behaviours that the perpetrator clearly knows are not welcome or appropriate, and these perpetrators are not going to be deterred by any code. But there is a lot of marginal activity too (such as some of what SPF is accused of) that may be appropriate in some contexts but not in others. And social mores change too, behaviour typical in 1978 may be seen as reprehensible in 2018. Would an indicative list of behaviour considered inappropriate be hel...

Monday, 7th May, 2018

  • 09:57 PM - the_redbeard quoted S'mon in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    Maybe I could have phrased my post better, but I certainly didn't deserve the responses I got. For the record, I have never spoken to a woman's cleavage. I do sometimes find cleavage distracting, especially in a professional context. Billboards with cleavage sometimes cause male drivers to crash - there is an automatic 'brain freeze' reflex which men cannot help. If a dog can be trained to wait for permission before eating food, you'd think a human male could handle a similar level of restraint. At the very least, please put the effort into training yourself so you can drive safely if not for the sake of the women you encounter and your relationships with them. If that's what it takes, dudes. Train yourself to wait for permission. Rover can handle it, I'm sure you can too.
  • 07:53 PM - Jeanneliza quoted S'mon in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    Maybe I could have phrased my post better, but I certainly didn't deserve the responses I got. I agree, just poor phrasing doesn't mean you deserved an attack. But how I dress, where I go, what I say doesn't mean I deserve to be assaulted or harassed. My attitude doesn't mean I deserve to be attacked. My gender doesn't mean I deserve to be attacked. And perhaps, just perhaps, when you guys are forced to make the same statements we have made in our own defense forever, and resent it every bit as much as we do, maybe then we move forward and heal both sides.

Sunday, 6th May, 2018

  • 10:23 AM - Mouseferatu quoted S'mon in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    But on reflection I think you are actually non-ironically making a personal attack against me, calling me a potential harasser? Calling you a "potential harasser" isn't a personal attack. As far as she's concerned, you are. As far as she's concerned, so am I. So is any man she doesn't know well and trust. That's the entire point, and the entire problem in our hobby, and our society, that needs fixing. Like it or not, the sad fact is that women have very good reason to err on the side of being too suspicious than not suspicious enough. And men taking that personally, or fighting against efforts to solve the problem, just makes it worse. The fact that you're treating that list of questions as an accusation, as a list of "harassing behaviors," when it was clearly stated that it wasn't--but was, instead, merely a list of things that, if you've done, should inspire further self-reflection--is not helping your case.
  • 09:34 AM - prosfilaes quoted S'mon in post Hidden
  • 09:18 AM - Riley37 quoted S'mon in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    ...reme behaviour doesn't require a pattern. But on reflection I think you are actually non-ironically making a personal attack against me, calling me a potential harasser? If a woman posted "2+2=4", and you responded with "So you're saying 2+2<4? That's not fair!", then I would just shrug, because at this point it's an established pattern. You're taking Afrodyte's politely worded request as a personal attack. You COULD answer "no, that's more than I choose to share with you at this time" or you could just say "no" and let that be a full sentence. Apparently the scenario of "Smith asks Jones for something, Jones says no, Smith accepts that answer and moves on" is unfamiliar to you. It's a scenario outside of your known range of human interactions, and also beyond your imagination. It's more and more apparent, with each of your posts, that AfroDyte has you accurately pegged. And not in a good way. If a woman were attending her first EN World con, and she told me "I met someone named S'mon and he offered me a ride in his vehicle. Should I trust him, or should I err on the side of safety and treat him as a potential harasser?"
  • 08:30 AM - Afrodyte quoted S'mon in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    At first I thought you were seeking to demonstrate that threatening behaviour such as your above statement can be a one off, that sufficiently extreme behaviour doesn't require a pattern. But on reflection I think you are actually non-ironically making a personal attack against me, calling me a potential harasser? Is that a no?
  • 06:55 AM - Afrodyte quoted S'mon in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    Sure, many actions could constitute harassment if done repeatedly, but the phrase was "Have you ever". Can I have your legal name, social security number, current address and a clear and recently taken picture of yourself, please?


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