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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 06:18 PM
    The idea is that it disrupts the concentration needed to cast a spell. So I'm allowing cantrips with no check, since they are written to not require much effort in 5e. Re disarms, an opp att doesn't make sense to me, nor does allowing a DEX save to resist once the hit has occurred - DEX already factors into how hard it is to hit someone - but nor do I want it to be particularly easy to disarm....
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 06:11 PM
    Well the way I have it written, you can already shoot a crossbow without provoking an OA - you just can't load a crossbow without provoking an OA. :D
    14 replies | 293 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 06:07 PM
    Wow you're obnoxious! :-O
    14 replies | 293 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 03:24 PM
    On reflection I think it should not apply to cantrips, since they only take as much effort as shooting a bow.
    14 replies | 293 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 03:23 PM
    Bows - I really don't want them used in melee, I quite liked RC's "-20 to hit" rule so I'm not worried about 'too much'. If the archer is a Rogue they can bonus action disengage, otherwise they ought to have a backup melee weapon. Disarming - it's not supposed to be easy; disad to hit + STR/CON save vs typically DC 10 - do you think I made it too easy?
    14 replies | 293 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 03:19 PM
    Well you can always take a Disengage action if you don't want to eat the Opp Att!
    14 replies | 293 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 01:56 PM
    Here's some stuff from RuneQuest (Avalon Hill Deluxe Edition, 1993, p 8): The Player As a player, your first duty is to play within the limits of the characters you generate. Even though you are a chemistry major, for instance, your shepherd character cannot (without learning or training) stroll to a game world village and open an alchemy shop. Operating within your adventurers' limits...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 01:39 PM
    I think many readers of LotR would not agree with you that Aragorn's title was an "empty" one. Nor would everyone agree that Richard the Lionheart's claim to kingship is an "empty title" when he reenters England covertly to try and retake his throne from his sinister brother. I don't think the White Russians regarded their titles as empty either, but that is more debatable. So it's not...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 01:33 PM
    What's a realistic nobility-to-commoner ratio among PCs? Is it the same or different from the elf-to-dwarf ratio? The fighter-to-MU ratio?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:18 PM
    Yes and no! If it's really "no myth", then new challenges can be narrated! Or, in your "negotiate with the town" example, the GM can frame a situation (and associated check) that puts the PC's nobility to the test. This also takes me back to the alternatives to fiat (player or GM). Roll more dice!
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 11:37 AM
    The idea of all these is to work off the existing system to give some additional options, and a nod to versimilitude, without affecting regular gameplay. I'm pretty confident of all of them except maybe the Grappled Casting rule, which is designed more for lower-magic settings. Campaign House Rules - Combat The following incur opportunity attacks if done within enemy reach: Shooting a bow,...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 09:52 AM
    I think it's more that 'No Myth' (that's the phrase right?) :) where the player can inject significant world elements, such as his PC is a powerful noble of this town, without GM veto, can mess with the challenge of Gamist play - such as the intended challenge of negotiating safety with this town. I think it's uncontroversial that different play agendas can clash. In 4e the GM may have a...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 09:43 AM
    Plenty of obstacles do kill. Pits & chasms are an obvious example. PCs can get themselves killed trying to leap the chasm, or can try climbing down it - hopefully with rope - or go look for another path. Slow but deadly monsters are very similar in game effect.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 09:31 AM
    That sounds like the GM made a mistake not telling the players in advance that this was going to be a Curse of Strahd campaign. That doesn't make him a jerk, just foolish. If a player said "No, run Waterdeep Dragon Heist!" I think that would be jerkier. What should actually happen is that the group cancels the session until/unless they're on the same page. But GMs should always run the game they...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 07:46 AM
    Maxperson, why don't you post some examples of how GM-driven RPGing produced moments of dramatic choice for the players?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 07:44 AM
    But it's possible to resolve all this stuff during the course of play. And possible resolutions aren't hard to think of - anything from the PC has been travelling incognito to the PC has been banished because on the losing side of a power struggle to the PC's family is impoverished and hence the PC went out to try and make his/her fortune. Again we see three things: (1) A strong assumption...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Today, 07:39 AM
    You can attempt to cast a spell above your level - from a scroll. The Wizard IMC Lady Aeridnis just acquired a bunch of rare spell scrolls - she can either cast them from the scrolls, or wait until high enough level to transcribe them. I think it works well.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 05:18 AM
    I'm not being shortsighted. I'm saying that being offered a quest from my hermit to kill some orcs is not very dramatic or character-driven roleplaying (ie it lacks MEAT). This comes through in the questions you pose (as opposed to the "hundreds of other" that you leave as an exercise for the reader): Will the do what the hermit asks and abandon others that need them? How will they help...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:39 AM
    Your claim - which I have just quoted - was that if a player uses the uncle device to underpin an imputation to his/her PC of his/her knowledge about trolls, then that player will also want to use the same device to have the GM inform him/her about new, hitherto unknown weaknesses. But that claim was, and is, unfounded. ecause If a player don't actually know, then when playing an ignorant PC...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 01:08 AM
    I think this comment can be generalised: Maxperson's assertions about how PC knowledge, PC background etc are to be handled may be true accounts of how he likes to play the game, but find little support in D&D rules texts, esepecially 4e. This relates to what AbdulAlhazred said upthread about PC backgrounds and PC goals being the MEAT of play. If the only significance of befriending a...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:33 AM
    To me, it seems there are two uncontroversial ways it can become true in the fiction that a PC knows something: * The player has some knowledge and imputes it to the PC; * The GM informs the player of something that the the PC knows. The extent to which a GM is able to veto/gate the first approach will depend primarily on table conventions. Off the top of my head I can't think of any...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:45 PM
    I don't have any of the old alien modules, but have heard rumours of the Zhodani. I've done some free narration of "mystical" feats by the religious elite of Ashar, without trying to frame that within the technicalities of the psionics rules. There's no meta-currency in by-the-book Classic Traveller. There are three modes of improving a PC's stats/inherent abilities: * psionics...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:21 PM
    As GM I tend to do this stuff at the very end of the session, so anyone bored can leave! :)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:10 PM
    As GM I tend to do this stuff at the very end of the session, so anyone bored can leave! :)
    53 replies | 1816 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:47 PM
    Yeah. This line of conversation has borderline unnavigable for myself. When I’m talking about Discovery and Competition I have a particular meaning that doesn’t appear to be relatable to some. It’s central to player and mediated through a particular game’s principles and play priorities/goals. Competition is going to mean something slightly (or significantly) different in 4e than it...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:37 PM
    Sorry, this is incoherent: it can't be the case both that something is automatically known to the PC, and that it is known to the player but not the PC. So I don't know what you're trying to say here. The point that I, hawkeyefan and others are making is that there is no reaosn to doubt that it is character knowledge. If the player imputes the knowledge to the character, then the player is...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:04 PM
    I'm not sure I want my PC to be a food solution to the giant leech challenge, whether or not seasoned with salt!
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:46 AM
    To me that looks like a good challenge, since it suggests various solutions such as "Run away" and "Run away then come back with salt". I'm very much in favour of 'Run Away - Live to Another Day' as a food solution to many challenges. :) Another good solution for stuff like static traps and slow moving monsters is 'Go Around It'. I like these because they are not pixel-bitching tactics, they...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:39 AM
    No 5e rule that you can't add damage to something that does no damage?
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:28 AM
    Faction Renown seems like a good idea - it can be explicitly statted as an attribute, or eyeballed by the GM. In my Shattered Star/Runelords game I had the Pathfinders offer skill training between adventures - PCs could add additional skill proficiencies. You could have different factions provide training in particular proficiencies, eg a bard's college or actor's troupe > Perform, nobles...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:25 AM
    We played a session of Traveller yesterday. Following on from our previous session, the PCs all returned to their orbiting ship (some from another vessel in orbit; others from their on-world excursion); fired on and (thereby) degraded the computer of an an Imperial satellite that had stored transmissions concerning some of their on-world activities (but failed various checks to pick up...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:24 AM
    How is it an edge case? In a mediaeval campaign few people will have grown up in stone buildings, especially if you treat "advantages" like noble birth and the like as benefits to be rationed by the GM. And how does it prove anything less than your suggestion, upthread, that a character who grew up in a desert wouldn't know much about trolls? If my example is an edge case, then why is yours...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:56 AM
    Really? You know this for sure? Even if the PC background is being born and raised in a peasant village, living in mud-and-timber housing? But you're equally sure that they won't know what a troll's weakness is? It does baffle me that you cannot see that this is a completely arbitrary way in which to draw lines about what player knowledge a PC is or is not permitted to draw upon. Why are...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 11:41 PM
    But Manbearcat, surely you realise that only "gamists" who wan to play D&D to WIN accept the sort of Schroedinger's Feywild you are describing here! Real roleplayers learn about the Feywild by reading about it in a book published by TSR/WotC.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 11:35 PM
    This is all arbitrary, though. The notion that there is some contrast between "unique" and "variant" is barely a rules construct, as opposed to a table convention. It's easy to decide that a creature's vulnerability will be reflected in its appearance or constitution in some form which is evident to those trained in arcane or occult ways. What does this mean, though? What is an "unusual" bump...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 10:19 PM
    - Money, and the stuff that comes with money. Lands, followers, influence, palaces et al. - Magic items. - Tool proficiencies and Languages can be acquired without leveling up in 5e. - Personally I have given out additional skill proficiencies as awards, and I find this works well. It creates broader characters rather than much more powerful ones.
    22 replies | 468 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 10:11 PM
    On Competition So what you're saying here is that in your table's hierarchy of play priorities, (your perception of) "good roleplay" is a higher priority than "competition". To wit, when play at the table puts these two priorities at tension, "competition" becomes subordinate (possibly to the extent of rendering it null) to (your perception of) "good roleplay". Is that correct? (if its...
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  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 02:05 PM
    J. Michael Straczynski has reported on his Facebook page that Larry Ditillio has passed https://www.facebook.com/officialjmspage/
    80 replies | 3938 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 01:23 PM
    But if the player already knows the answer then there is nothing to figure out. That's the point I've been making for many posts now. I've been posting this too, for about the same number of posts: if a puzzle is desired, then come up with one that the player's don't know the answer to.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 12:17 PM
    The version of WEG d6 Star Wars I played/ran (1e) required it for any use.
    9 replies | 225 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 12:13 PM
    For what you're going, for it sure seems like a Bbn-2/Rog-3/Ftr-1 (Protection style) would work a lot better. Then you could reckless sneak attack on your turn with your shortsword, and still have a reaction to use your shield to impose disadvantage on enemy attacking your ally. Enemies will have a lot of incentive to attack you - you're both granting advantage vs yourself, and imposing...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 12:10 PM
    I think AbdulAlhazred and Hussar already responded to this - if my PC can know how to check for traps, etc, because that's "what people know how to do", then s/he can know about trolls because that's "what my uncle taught me as a kid".
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 11:59 AM
    You've changed your mind on this? I think you might be running two things together: a player deploying knowledge s/he already has, and imputing that knowledge to his/her PC; and a player seeking to acquire new knowledge.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 11:28 AM
    Have you told the players what you want them to do? I'm not talking here about plot elements and story colour. I'm talking about the practical play of the game - some of the stuf you've posted in this thread, like:
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 10:56 AM
    I'm not seeing any 'Gatekeeping'. He made a debatable* assumption about how genuine CR's players & emotions are. *OK, I would say 'wrong' :D - but I feel this is just about subjective impressions. Whereas 'Gatekeeping' is someone saying 'No you can't come in here'.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 10:36 AM
    I've been known to roll d6s for NPC vs NPC, but if so it's more "kill on a 6" - if you are still going to the effort of deducting NPC hit points you might as well invest in a pile of d20s, decide how many attacks each side gets, and just roll them en masse. You can add up damage and deduct that many enemies whose hp are exceeded, but it's more realistic to assume around 50% of damage is 'wasted'...
    28 replies | 667 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 10:28 AM
    I think there are a a lot of points of difference that can be identified. Even with the plot-type stuff, does a repeat player with a new PC have to walk his/her PC into the pit? Make the same bad guess at the riddle?
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 10:25 AM
    Have you playtested it? If so, let us know how it worked. I don't like the sound of everyone writing orders for every character every turn - I'd think that would slow things down even more. I'd rather have a phased side-based approach as in Moldvay B/X.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 10:22 AM
    S'mon, what you say about the forgiving nature of 5e seems consistent with other remarks about the system. I didn't mind the way 4e handled some of these things (though I'm not sure if it was deliberate design or byproduct): the real "trick" is bringing the serious fire attack to bear on the troll. Even for a party of veterans that creates a tactical challenge, in the context of an otherwise...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 10:20 AM
    I wouldn't bother with that. To start with, do what feels right and make the game your own. 5e is very much designed for that approach. If you are having specific issues then message board discission can be useful for seeing how others do it.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 10:02 AM
    Shields shields shields. Albeit in d6 Star Wars shields are pretty useless for single-seat Fighters, since they require me to allocate one of my dice to shield operation when I could be using it to dodge or shoot better.
    9 replies | 225 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 09:25 AM
    I agree. There was a cool scene recently in my Primeval Thule game where the party encountered a sewer ooze, the Dhari barbarian leapt to the fray, cleft it in twain... and found himself fighting two sewer oozes. But for that to happen it required the veteran player in the group to keep silent, for her to not warn her fellow player, and allow the scene to play out. That is very un-Gygaxian...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 02:14 AM
    Yeah, that's why I said way upthread there's a collision of expectations. It's a while since I've looked through a RuneQuest monster listing, but at least in my memory they don't exhibit the same lists of immunities, vulnerabilities, etc. And I think there's a logic to that. Ron Edwards, in his "story now" essay, talks about "karaoke RPGing". He's got in mind a slightly different context,...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 01:03 AM
    Yeah I guess so - I'd probably first give everyone an INT (Nature) check, then if they all failed they'd have to wait until they saw it regenerating before I'd give a second check. I think this kind of thing would be player-GM negotiated, and normally I'd be happy with "OK, it's well known that trolls are vulnerable to fire" in any case where the result seemed to break immersion. I don't use a...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 12:56 AM
    I think lying has different dimensions, though - in the case you describe the player just has to let the NPC go past. (Iin a skill challenge framing, that could be treated as one of three failures.) But in the troll case, if the player was in fact a newebie s/he could experiment with fire, etc however much s/he liked; but how does this work for the player who is not using the information? Roll...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 12:07 AM
    Political games IME work well when you have multiple competing factions and the PCs can choose who to ally with and who to oppose. Works best with ambitious & self-aggrandising PCs, so not the reactive superhero model - that means not the Three Musketeers model either, even though that may look ostensibly like a political/intrigue setting.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 12:04 AM
    I find the problem is with large numbers of medium-threat monsters, the "Steading of the Hill Giant Chief" problem. Recently in online text chat game the 5 PCs vs 10 giants & a dire tiger took us 3 hours.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 11:18 PM
    Yeah, I've noticed that this is an issue - there are a lot of bag-of-hp, low damage monsters. Your solution of half hp & x2 damage works well for some cases. As an alternative you can double damage and reduce the number of monsters - if you put the number to 2/3, with x2 damage, the overall encounter threat level stays constant. In practice I tend to do more like +50% damage and 3/4 numbers. A...
    62 replies | 1805 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 08:01 PM
    If you're designing around a level, I recommend starting at a lower level and letting the PCs grow into it. Eg for 4th, you could start at 3rd.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 07:21 PM
    /golfclap But you forgot “kick them in the business when the attempt to declare actions, roll dice, or rebel and leave the premises!” And yes, Flashbacks (a la Blades in the Dark) is the best way to handle something like this. It’s unclear what system is being used, but Blades’ Flashbacks cost Stress, so tax the PC some sort of meaningful resource and give them a fictional advantage they...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 06:44 PM
    He's trying to exclude Critical Role from The Community? :-O
    85 replies | 2813 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 06:43 PM
    I sometimes use monster average damage, mostly to take off a load from me in larger fights, or if it's a buckets-of-dice breath weapon. Works well, does speed things up.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 02:05 PM
    "You can't act on information your PC does not know." IME players accept the mediation of the dice, assuming the target number is at all reasonable. In a game with no knowledge skills one could roll vs INT, eg d20 roll under INT in Moldvay B/X. Something like this came up once in my 4e game - a player (guarding the southern exit from Stonefang Pass) knew a traitorous (Zhent agent) NPC was...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 11:49 AM
    The GM policing action declarations in this way does seem to contain hints, at least, of "Mother may I". If the player knows the answer, how is the PC stuck? What's the point of putting puzzles in the game, but then not letting players who know the answer solve them? It absolutely baffles me. But if the player knows (because an experienced player) yet fails the check, how do you handle...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 09:21 AM
    Re trolls, I remember having fun playing in a 4e D&D adventure where we met a troll coming out of the water. I immediately yelled: "It's a Scrag! They can only regenerate in water! Get it onto the land!" I was pretty sure there was no such rule or monster in 4e, but was interested to see where the GM would go with it - he had it regenerate normally on land, which was ok. It would have been...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 09:11 AM
    Flashback seems reasonable. The main thing is: Never run a railroaded capture scene. Always be honest with the players. If they are going to be captured, then fade to black & say something like "Two days later, you awake in a prison cell, your village in ruins..."
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 08:44 AM
    I took a cue from 4e for my Primeval Thule campaign, and start PCs off with their full CON score plus maxed hit die for their first level hp. HP at higher levels still increase normally. Somewhat counter intuitively, this big boost in level 1 hp greatly lessens the feel of hp inflation you get under the standard system - a 4th level PC does not feel like they're in a different genre from a 1st...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 08:37 AM
    S'mon replied to Command: Flee
    The more I think about this, the more I think "Flee!" should always force a Dash action.
    45 replies | 1742 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 06:00 AM
    I would push this further, at least in the troll case. How does it count as a win to be allowed to use fire vs a troll if you already know that that's how one beats trolls? In his/her first ever troll encounter, a player wins by figuring out to use fire. It's impossible to replicate that win (short of a bout of amnesia or similar). Future encounters with trolls don't provide any opportunity...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 05:52 AM
    This is all about PC building, and how the player and the GM's conceptions of the shared fiction are to be integrated. Should the GM yield to the player? Should the player yield to the GM? Different systems make different suggestions, and different tables operationalise those suggestions in different ways. But it doesn't tell us anyting about whether the GM is entitled to direct a player to...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 05:50 AM
    Why is it metagame knowledge? If the PC recognises the creature as a troll, and knows that it is vulnerable to fire, then this is just the player playing his/her character. To me, your number (3) seems rather contrived. The player is not reasoning what would my character think? The player is reasoning what story can I tell about my character to license the use of fire to attack this troll?...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 05:31 AM
    The qualification "in games" is redundant. Preclusion does not equate to inclusion in any circumstance. This is self-contradictory - they're not a puzzle, they're just something to work out so as to better succeed in the game! Playing my character as ignorant of something that I, the player, am not ignorant of is a textbook example of alienation! You played with Gygax and co? The only...
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    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 01:37 AM
    Dissociation, even!
    1515 replies | 41821 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 01:06 AM
    There's certainly an intermediate possibility here - the player can describe elements of the courthsip, which help frame checks etc beyond just "I woo VIolette", without having to actually narrate "Oh Violette, your hazel eyes do move me so . . . " etc.
    53 replies | 1816 view(s)
    2 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 08:20 PM
    "Let's move on"? I have to say though I have never encountered this issue!
    53 replies | 1816 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 05:36 PM
    I'd rule: Once you declare an Attack action you can use bonus action to shove. You either make your attacks or waste your Action.
    53 replies | 1602 view(s)
    5 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 05:18 PM
    If you're willing to do a bit of conversion, 1e AD&D Ravenloft 2: The House on Gryphon Hill is perfect for this situation.
    9 replies | 292 view(s)
    1 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 12:35 PM
    One area I am particularly sympathetic to abstracting it to a die roll is romance - not too uncommon for a male player to be keen on a romance sub plot but not keen on playing out the courtship in character!
    53 replies | 1816 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 12:16 PM
    No, you can do whatever you like at your table. I don't care.
    53 replies | 1816 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 12:06 PM
    Well you're right that I'm talking about my own preferences, and what I enjoy. I don't have a duty to put up with stuff I don't enjoy - if I'm a player I'll leave that game, if I'm GM I'll drop the player or drop the game. But, I certainly don't see players who seem highly invested in a scene but refuse to speak in-character. Frankly, I pretty much never see players who refuse to speak in...
    53 replies | 1816 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 10:36 AM
    I will 'pass' third-person play in social scenes, but for me it comes across as a signal that the player or GM is not interested in the scene and wants to move on. So as GM I'll use third person (or second person - "You spend several hours in polite conversation" - if I don't want to play something out, perhaps because not much is at stake, or it just doesn't look interesting. I never require...
    53 replies | 1816 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 10:36 AM
    Based on what you've posted, I would very strongly advise against this. The players' main goal seems to be to save the kid. GM-fiatting that they fail would look like "rocks fall" to me - ie killing, not saving, the campaign. From my perspective, this looks like your problem. The players want to save the boy, but you are trying to get them to ignore that element and go on fetch quests instead....
    20 replies | 486 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 10:21 AM
    Well, I'm saying that - in 4e - the player can impute his/her knowledge to the PC. Not that s/he has to. In your shard example, if the player wants to play his/her PC as ignorant that seems much easier than in the troll case (because there's no bad action declaration s/he's making when s/he knows what a good one would be). But if the player wants to play his/her PC as knowing, then sure. In my...
    1515 replies | 41821 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 10:14 AM
    I suspect I would fail at Doug McCrae's table but perhaps pass at S'mon's. I like characters - especially PCs - to be clearly drawn. For me, that doesn't have to mean first person speech - that varies at my table, depending on player, mood, stakes, etc - but I like a player's action declarations for his/her PC to reveal the character as a character. And as a GM I try to present situations...
    53 replies | 1816 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 09:54 AM
    Retreater - the DMG2 has a good discussion of "circular paths". I've sblocked a post of mine from 2010 where I described some changes I made to H2 maps to increase their circularity: Another map-type change you might look at is to have pits, fires or whatever else behind your front-line soldiers that encourage your players to attempt forced movement even if their PCs are not optimised for...
    10 replies | 356 view(s)
    2 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 09:44 AM
    If Bob's not interested in doing the talky bits, he can play the strong silent type. It only hurts my enjoyment if he insists on playing the party Face and says "I Bluff the guard", when most or all of the other players could have done much better. I once had a guy like that at my table and it was terrible. :(
    53 replies | 1816 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 09:38 AM
    OK, let me try it another way: what do you anticipate as a likely outcome to this inquiry? We're talking about a very specific context of inquiry here: the PC is in a combat, declaring combat-type actions (including attacks in most cases); the PC almost certainly knows that fire is a viable attack form; the player knows that fire is a required attack form. When, and under what conditions,...
    1515 replies | 41821 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 09:20 AM
    I remember suggesting this back c 2009 as a way of using Diplomacy or Streetwise to contribute to a secret/magic door skill challenge in 4e - I spoke with a , who taught me some passwords in one of the ancient tongues. My recollection is that some posters found it a controversial suggestion. 4e doesn't have a Stress resource, but the GM could certainly set a higher difficulty for such an...
    1515 replies | 41821 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 08:47 AM
    I read a few dozen - good stuff!
    53 replies | 1816 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 08:13 AM
    Well, I've posted from time-to-time about my Burning Wheel game where one PC's main goal was to redeem his balrog-possessed brother. In my current Traveller game, the initial patron was the friend of one PC, the (one-off, James Bond-ish) lover of another, and the fencing rival of a third. To me, good RPGing requires that the PCs be clearly embedded in the setting and situation - that's...
    1515 replies | 41821 view(s)
    0 XP
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Tuesday, 19th March, 2019


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Tuesday, 19th March, 2019

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

Sunday, 17th March, 2019

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

Monday, 11th March, 2019

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

Saturday, 9th March, 2019

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

Friday, 8th March, 2019

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

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019

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

Friday, 1st March, 2019


Tuesday, 26th February, 2019

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

Monday, 25th February, 2019

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

Sunday, 24th February, 2019

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

Monday, 18th February, 2019

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

Sunday, 20th January, 2019

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

Saturday, 19th January, 2019

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

Monday, 14th January, 2019

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

Friday, 11th January, 2019

  • 03:45 PM - darkbard mentioned S'mon in post [Very Long] Combat as Sport vs. Combat as War: a Key Difference in D&D Play Styles...
    Well, my answer, maybe different from 7 years ago, is that the acquisition and desire to use the special silver sword LEAD to the existence of the shapechangers being framed into the action (though it is perfectly possible that they were foreshadowed before the sword came up too, but then some other reason would exist to believe that the players were interested in fighting such creatures). This puts forth pretty nicely the response I was formulating to S'mon's post above about 4E being ill-suited to "proactive sandboxing," presuming that what he means by this is a kind of Story Now play! Adherents to such play such as yourself, pemerton, Manbearcat, I, etc. have been beating the drum that 4E is the edition of D&D that most facilitates such play, though perhaps S'mon has not played with a group that grokked the possibilities of the system. (But even if that is so, one of the near-universally praised elements of 4E, even by detractors, was the ease of GMing wrt putting together a balanced encounter (especially on the fly), which would seem to lend itself to "sandboxing" regardless of play philosophy!)

Monday, 26th November, 2018

  • 04:53 PM - lowkey13 mentioned S'mon in post On Variability, House Rules, Research, and the 1e/5e Difference
    So, something that came up recently was a discussion about "1e" and what a typical campaign was like. One of contributors to that conversation brought up the example of this page as typical for 1e (h/t S'mon ) - http://immortalshandbook.com/shrine.htm Now, I know better than to yuck on someone's yum, but I would say that this particular example definitely falls on the severe outer spectrum of play for 1e. But I think it's helpful to interrogate both why I think I can make that assertion that it is atypical of play, as well as why it cannot be rules out completely, in order to make some observations about 5e. I'm going to subdivide this into various subgroups of issues. 1e/2e. The first thing that leaps out, of course, is that it is clear that the character was an amalgamation of 1e and 2e rules, made more clear by the timing (a campaign starting in 1988; second edition started in 1989). While 2e is often referred to as a standardization of 1e, the differences are both subtle (in verbiage) and substantial (in options). Even basic things, such as critical hits, became more widespread after being absent from the codified rules of 1e. 1e/1.5. Without putting too fine a point on it, Unea...


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Tuesday, 19th March, 2019

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

Monday, 18th March, 2019

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

Sunday, 17th March, 2019

  • 05:43 PM - robus quoted S'mon in post Back after about 29 years
    I wouldn't bother with that. To start with, do what feels right and make the game your own. 5e is very much designed for that approach. If you are having specific issues then message board discission can be useful for seeing how others do it. Not sure about the case for inspiration, as that seems like icing on the cake, but adjudicating actions is a key part of the baking and very poorly explained in the core books. Iserith’s guide is an enjoyable tour through the various ability and skill checks and really illuminates 5e’s approach to resolving those actions.
  • 04:32 PM - iserith quoted S'mon in post Back after about 29 years
    I wouldn't bother with that. To start with, do what feels right and make the game your own. 5e is very much designed for that approach. If you are having specific issues then message board discission can be useful for seeing how others do it. Yes, and we'll see you back here promptly with those aforementioned "specific issues" after running the game like it's some other game. Always happy to help with that!
  • 01:22 PM - robus quoted S'mon in post Do you Critical Role?
    I'm not seeing any 'Gatekeeping'. He made a debatable* assumption about how genuine CR's players & emotions are. *OK, I would say 'wrong' :D - but I feel this is just about subjective impressions. Whereas 'Gatekeeping' is someone saying 'No you can't come in here'. Ha, well I’m not sure gatekeeping is quite that direct. :) It’s more about questioning someone’s credentials and finding them wanting (and thus making the questionee unwelcome). So implying a game is fake (by lacking “real players”) seems like questioning their D&D credentials, and by implication the credentials of any others that find that game valid. I’m mostly sure it was just inartful phrasing, but I was pushing back to check. Just trying to clarify my stance, and that;s probably enough from me. Is it Tuesday yet? (When i get to enjoy the show on YouTube... :) )
  • 11:48 AM - Zardnaar quoted S'mon in post So You Are in a TIE Fighter?
    Shields shields shields. Albeit in d6 Star Wars shields are pretty useless for single-seat Fighters, since they require me to allocate one of my dice to shield operation when I could be using it to dodge or shoot better. Isn't that only when you want to change the shields facing? My players chose shields as well. They had normal TIEs and I think SR 15 shields were 2k credits. TIE might survive an X wing shot. TIE advanced wore a critical hit from a proton torpedo RIP. NPC death by X Wing.
  • 11:39 AM - pemerton quoted S'mon in post Bree-Land Region Guide: A Review
    Tolkien himself just threw in all kinds of random monsters, like the tentacle critter outside Moria or the rock-throwing giants in the mountains. I think a genuinely Tolkienesque game would do the same. Instead we all fixate on just reproducing slavishly what was in the books.Karaoke RPGing! There's a lot of it going around.
  • 02:14 AM - pemerton quoted S'mon in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I think the point is that the Gamist challenge of the trick monster causes difficulty for immersion when player knowledge and PC knowledge differ.Yeah, that's why I said way upthread there's a collision of expectations. It's a while since I've looked through a RuneQuest monster listing, but at least in my memory they don't exhibit the same lists of immunities, vulnerabilities, etc. And I think there's a logic to that. Ron Edwards, in his "story now" essay, talks about "karaoke RPGing". He's got in mind a slightly different context, and gives Over the Edge as his example: This is a serious problem that arises from the need to sell thick books rather than to teach and develop powerful role-playing. Let's say you have a game that consists of some Premise-heavy characters and a few notes about Situation, and through play, the group generates a hellacious cool Setting as well as theme(s) regarding those characters. Then, publishing your great game, you present that very setting and them...
  • 12:56 AM - pemerton quoted S'mon in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    "You can't act on information your PC does not know." IME players accept the mediation of the dice, assuming the target number is at all reasonable. In a game with no knowledge skills one could roll vs INT, eg d20 roll under INT in Moldvay B/X. Something like this came up once in my 4e game - a player (guarding the southern exit from Stonefang Pass) knew a traitorous (Zhent agent) NPC was lying to her, because player had seen some previous RP, so we rolled NPC Bluff vs PC Insight to see if the NPC could bluff his way past her. He rolled well and succeeded. The player was happy with this approach.I think lying has different dimensions, though - in the case you describe the player just has to let the NPC go past. (Iin a skill challenge framing, that could be treated as one of three failures.) But in the troll case, if the player was in fact a newebie s/he could experiment with fire, etc however much s/he liked; but how does this work for the player who is not using the information? Ro...


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