View Profile: S'mon - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
Tab Content
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 08:18 AM
    I think I'm missing the illusion. Who is being deceived about what? With a level tolerance of (say) +/-3, I'm not sure it's a ton. But I think it's clear that 4e - as set out in the "tiers of play" in the PHB and DMG - assumes that the content of the fiction will steadily be changing as the game progresses. So it absolutely takes for granted that, at epic tier, we're done with keeping count...
    203 replies | 6344 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 08:14 AM
    Adopting a liberal interpretation of "PH" and "two words", I came up with the following: Fighting Man. Magic-User. Wu Jen. Thief-Acrobat.
    36 replies | 841 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:59 AM
    Multi-classing doesn't mean particularly serious level limits eg 7/11 for an elf F/MU, or 8/8 for a half-elf F/MU, assuming decent stats. You can also build by researching spells, by pooling items, by choosing which items to keep and which to sell, etc. As you say, the rules aren't that clear. And you can always use wands, which tend to have good casting times.
    203 replies | 6344 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:37 AM
    I'll agree on the easier arithmetic. I'm not sure about what you mean by "swingy" - if it's really an attack/defence treadmill then the "swinginess" is preserved just the same. This just leads back to the discussion about minions and swarms. In 4e I had more combats, and more interesting combats, involving giant hordes of weaker enemies than I ever did in AD&D or Rolemaster.
    203 replies | 6344 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:28 AM
    If you build for it, sure. Which you can do in AD&D as a F/MU, or using powerful Bracers of Defence, or . . . But the wizard/invoker in my 4e game didn't strike me as particularly atypical - and has always had Thunderwave ready to hand - but gets absolutely pasted in melee. That the precise consistency of the paste might differ from its AD&D analogue seems a secondary point.
    203 replies | 6344 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:21 AM
    Hence battle captain!
    36 replies | 841 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:54 PM
    S'mon replied to So...keelboats
    It's all Chinese.
    22 replies | 878 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:37 AM
    The concept of "protagonism" in RPGing is (I believe) relatively well known. If it's unclear what I have in mind, here's the relevant remarks from the OP: If (to further self-quote) "the game rolls off the GM's 'plot wagon' much as it would if you were performing an elf instead" of a dwarf, then the things I've described aren't happening - the player's narration clearly is not engaging...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:59 AM
    S'mon replied to So...keelboats
    I think it's established the Qeng Ho fleet did go all over and at the time Chinese ship technology was advanced. The problem was cultural.
    22 replies | 878 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:57 AM
    For warlord I would suggest the Tolkienesque battle captain. But anyway I agree it's not a problem if you're not using WotC's IP (ie neither their text nor their trade dress).
    36 replies | 841 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:52 AM
    Well, some people think that OSRIC is on the margins (or crossing the margins) of copyright infringement. S'mon and I have discussed this before - I'm a bit more doubtful of its legality than S'mon but he's the better IP lawyer of the two of us - so probably it's OK! (If only just.)
    36 replies | 841 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:21 AM
    Yes, in that context. I'll explain the qualification by way of an example from a specific system. Each PC in Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic has two Milestones. Here are two example milestones - one is from Captain America in the core rulebook, the other is one that I made up in collaboration with the player for the berserker in my Cortex+ Fantasy Hack Vikings game: MENTOR THE HERO 1 XP...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:40 AM
    I've not just heard rumours of, but have played through, counter-examples to this. Mostly in an AD&D 2nd ed context, but also CoC and Rolemaster. That's not my experience. You could perform your dwarf - reciting old bits of lore from the dwarvish halls, complaining about the quality of the local ale, remarking on the state of your beard, swearing oaths "by the Mountains of Moradin", etc -...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:50 AM
    I've got no idea where this comes from. As far as I know I'm the only Prince Valiant player who posts on these boards; am the only Cthulhu Dark player who posts on these boards; have played more Burning Wheel than most posters on these boards; am one of the relatively few posters whose primary point of reference for RPGing is not some version of D&D. I don't think anyone could say that I don't...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:38 AM
    At the risk of further controversy, I'll take up where you left off. One central feature of the D&D-as-wargame experience is that the player plays a single figure. This obviously creates some sort of invitation to performance ("playing out my guy"), protagonism etc. I wasn't playing in the mid-70s, but between reading around a bit and looking at some of the products that get published in the...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:25 AM
    Yes. I'm not sure a hit-points/damage "treadmill" is inherently more virtuous than a to-hit/defence "treadmill". And it seems to have some side-effects ("sack of hp" monsters, for instance) that 4e largely avoided. I will concede the following: many D&D players seem to regard a +2 to hit that is (roughly) matched by a comparable +2 to AC on the GM side as an "illusion" of advancement;...
    203 replies | 6344 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:00 AM
    Yes, I've done that. I get the setting in the sense of genre/colour/tone. Interesting. Maybe my use of "setting" is misleading, or just flat-out wrong? I'll try to explain what I was getting at, and why - for me - it's distinctive compared to what I'm more familiar with. Painting in broad brush strokes, and doing some classification on the run, I would say that I'm familiar with 3 main...
    19 replies | 428 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 12:23 PM
    I've been reading Vincent Baker's Apocalypse World rulebook over the past week or so, and noticed this. I didn't have it in mind when I started this thread, and as far as I remember I hadn't yet read it when I started this thread. But I've owned Apocalypse World for a while now and have skimmed the rulebook in the past, so maybe I have seen this and it was lurking somewhere in the back of my...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:43 AM
    My point was more narrow, I think, than what you've taken it to be. I was simply saying that the growing numbers on the PC sheet in 4e serve a purpose - namely, in conjunction with the published Monster Manuals they support a very clear "pacing", not at the encounter level or even session level but at the level of the campaign arc. Eliminating the level-bonuses on the PC and NPC/creature...
    203 replies | 6344 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:33 AM
    I'm not thinking so much of establishing setting in play - I've done that quite a bit in my RPGing. What struck me about the AW instructions is that the setting is itself the situation, in virtue of having no status quo.
    19 replies | 428 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:31 AM
    IMC a Simulacrum is AC 10 hp 10 all stats 10. Useful for putting a fake king on the throne, not for adding to party firepower.
    24 replies | 876 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:30 AM
    Well not for me. Just to point to two things that have come out of it: I've learned that your conception of what makes for good RPGing is quite different from mine. And I've discovered a surprising point of overlap between me and Bedrockgames. Given what you prefer, I can see why you want well-written boxed text in modules.
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:22 AM
    S'mon replied to So...keelboats
    One of my players did this https://simonsprimevalthule.blogspot.com/2019/03/ships-of-kalayan-sea-by-judith.html?m=1 I give Xebec sailing ship stats but base 6mph for a good one. Tartane has 100hp, DT 10, 3mph for a good one, needs 2 crew and can take 10 passengers and 5 tons cargo.
    22 replies | 878 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:18 AM
    S'mon replied to So...keelboats
    For my Primeval Thule game we had to redo ships entirely based on Roman travel speeds, which were about twice DMG numbers - 4 to 6 knots being typical, half that if winds against you. Main ships are Xebec, a fast sailing ship, and Tartane a small ship or large fishing boat. 5e really feels the lack of any decent ship numbers imo. And the keel boat 1mph only makes sense if trying to sail upriver...
    22 replies | 878 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 08:47 AM
    A literary endeavour is one which aims at having the virtues of literature. An artistic endeavour is one which aims at having the virtues of art. An intellectual endeavour is one which aims to contribute to knowledge. Etc. One can interrogate each of these in more detail, obviously, but the basic notion is pretty clear. REH in writing the Conan stories is engaged in a literary endeavour. He's...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    3 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 07:12 AM
    I did local citizens and nobles in my Nentir Vale game, a mix in my Loudwater game. I am planning to run Red Hand of Doom with the PCs in service to the Lord of Brindol. In general I find natives works best for limited scope games about protecting the community, and an open start works best for long term games that can go anywhere. The latter - wandering adventurers - tends to bring more...
    18 replies | 425 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 07:05 AM
    Good question! This has major implications for the tone of the campaign. In my Primeval Thule game the PCs mostly arrived in Quodeth as wanderers looking to make their names, but include some natives. It tends to a Three Musketeers tone at times. In Princes of the Apocalypse the PCs were sent to Red Larch by their superiors to investigate the goings on. In Heroes of Modron the PCs serve...
    18 replies | 425 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 12:38 AM
    That's not what the OP is about. REH isn't high art either, but clearly Tower of the Elephant and The Scarlet Citadel are literary endeavours. Read the recent posts from @hakweyefan or uzirath. Those engage with the theme of the thread. Here a quote from you from a way upthread: Assuming that you haven't changed your mind, then this is something that we disagree about. And it's something...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 02:40 PM
    For what it's worth, my sense is that you don't agree! I think you've appreciated that, in the OP, I said that RPGing requires narration and description. And as I've read your posts, I think you are saying that that narration/description should aim, or be conditioned with an eye towards, formal quality. Even if I've misunderstood you in that respect, I think there are people in the RPG...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 12:36 PM
    I think, here, that you are pointing out that RPGing involves authorship. That's undoubtedly true. But authorship doesn't take us to literary endeavour in the sense intended in the OP, ie quality of wordcraft. Authorship is needed to bring fictions into being (for whatever sense of "being" is apposite for fictions). But bringing fictions into being doesn't depend upon literary quality. When...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 12:15 PM
    Good post. And for what it's worth, I would say that 90% of my efforts as a GM over the past 30 years has been focused on this issue, of coming up with compelling situations. (Although only for about half that time have I had a vocabulary for describing what it is I've been trying to do.) The RPG product that had the biggest initial impact on me, in this respect, was the mid-80s Oriental...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:48 AM
    Time deaf, space deaf, maybe just deaf deaf . . . Anyway, here are the two options again: My players aren't too tone deaf. They can tell that the second description paints more of a "word picture" than the first. But is RPGing about enjoying word pictures? On the player side, I think it's about doing - about playing your PC as protagonist in the imagined situation. Which description...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:35 AM
    There's an approach to cultural studies and the study of communication which make the point that all communication involves word choice, choice of tone, etc, and hence that - when considered through that lens - there is no distinctive contrast between (say) EM Forster's novels and the instructions you give your kid when sending him/her to the shops. That may be true as far as it goes, but it...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 10:54 AM
    The effect of the numbers in 4e, if you are working from the default Monster books and generally following the advice on encounter building, is that they progress the campaign through "the story of D&D". At the start of the campaign, the PCs will be confronting kobolds, goblins and the like; at the end of the campaign they will be confronting ancient dragons, demon princes and the like. ...
    203 replies | 6344 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 10:43 AM
    I've been reading the rulebook for Apocalypse World. It's not the first Vincent Baker RPG rulebook I've read, and the punchy style and unequivocal evocation of the spirit of the fiction and the expected feel of play is not surprising. There's one particular bit that I wanted to post about. Discussing how to set up and run the first session of a campaign, and having laid out the process for...
    19 replies | 428 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 10:08 AM
    I think the barbarian "can't roll under actual STR score" ability is great for checks and could be granted more widely.
    46 replies | 982 view(s)
    3 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 06:35 AM
    I find this works best: Short Rest still 1 hour, but only 3/day (so no spamming Temp hp or second wind) Overnight sleep recover 1 hp/level. Long Rest 1 week.
    53 replies | 1529 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 04:42 AM
    Steven Creech has passed. https://www.hshfuneralhome.com/notices/Steven-Creech https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-steve-creech-author-and-game-designer#/
    144 replies | 8280 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:38 PM
    In principle, I think it offers the same as any genre/setting-focused RPG. Burning Wheel makes it easier to play a pseudo-European game than a pseudo-Asian one. (And the designer even comments on this in the rulebook, noting that some lifepaths will probably have to be changed if the group wants an East Asian flavoured game.) That's a limitation of the game, but it also yields a sense of...
    104 replies | 2673 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:28 PM
    I'd actually go the other way around - it seems most interesting if the issue is all about escaping from the gnolls. (I'm thinking of Captain Haddock in the boat the first time he meets Tintin, in Crab with the Golden Claws.) If the escape is being adjudicated as some sort of skill challenge or via some comparable structured resolution system (5e has some stuff like this for the exploration...
    13 replies | 413 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:21 PM
    Ah, OK - in that case I retract the criticism of your teachers! For the sort of writing that I do and teach, making decisions about paragraphing - as one component of making decisions about structure - is a fundamental skill. A doctrine about minimum or even typical length would be no help at all.
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:14 PM
    When I GM I would say that talk similarly to how I would in an enthusiastic hobbyist-type context. Eg if I'd been to a film with a friend and was talking about it afterwards. Or if, at work, I wanted to tell someone what I enjoyed about a seminar I went to. So probably a bit more focused than a supermarket chat. But still conversation.
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:59 PM
    I know these questions are intended as rhetorical, but if I treat them as literal then the answer is I don't know. The game seems to be 3e D&D (Scarred Lands), but who are the PCs? Who are the players? Do they have any reason to give a toss about the glutton Titan Gaurak?
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:35 PM
    Then, without being too mean about it, you had crappy English teachers. I'm a published author (of non-fiction). A big part of my job is teaching students (UG and PG) how to write. My partner is a published author (non-fiction, some poetry) and a high school English teacher. Most of her job is teaching students how to write. This thread is the first I've heard of this five-paragraph...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:13 PM
    It's pretty tangential to the thread topic, but there is something strange about being schooled on the meaning and connotations of "literary" by someone who asserts such bizarre stuff about the process and structure of wrting.
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:11 PM
    Huh? Says who? Here are the first three paragraphs of REH's The Scarelt Citadel (which was the first story I Googled, knowing that REH doesn't write in too long-winded a fashion): The roar of battle had died away; the shout of victory mingled with the cries of the dying. Like gay-hued leaves after an autumn storm, the fallen littered the plain; the sinking sun shimmered on burnished...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 09:52 AM
    Bonuses beat flavour, but bonuses + flavour beats just bonuses.
    31 replies | 811 view(s)
    4 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 09:49 AM
    I find in my Thule game, with a 1 week long rest in between expeditions, with the expeditions typically taking 1-4 weeks to reach the adventure site, it all works out very well. The PCs naturally tend to face 6-8 encounters between LRs, which gives the recommended class balance between SR and LR classes.
    53 replies | 1529 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 06:12 AM
    Well, I did put it the other way round: the players don't find it interesting because, for them, it is not interesting/ Eg maybe the situation is something about kobolds on a hill, and the players (in general; today; because of the PCs they're playing; some combination of factors; etc) simply aren't engaged by that sort of situation. I don't know what a Vengaurak is. I know, therefore, that...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 05:00 AM
    By this you're meaning not just gendered roles/classes/playbooks, but sex-based stat penalties? My guess - from the discussion of Conan in the OP - is that CapnZapp wants the play experience that would result from gendered classes/playbooks, but (1) isn't too familar with a wide range of RPGs beyond a certain sort of D&D, and (2) has a certain sort of "simulationist" sensibility that leads to...
    104 replies | 2673 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 04:33 AM
    OK. In that case I think it's fairly clear why two GMs might present the same situation with the same degree of clarity and at one table get buy-in while at the other table it falls flat. Or in other words, the answer to the question you posed here seems fairly straightforward: Those players who don't find it interesting are probably the ones for whom it is not interesting.
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 04:28 AM
    CapnZapp didn't say that's how things are iRL. To the contrary, The phrase this world referst to the imagined world of the RPG, not real life. I doubt I would play the game that CapnZapp posits. I do play RPGs which, as part of their presentation of mediaeval life, note the significance of certain gender distinctions (Burning Wheel has some lifepaths that are women only; Prince Valiant has...
    104 replies | 2673 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 04:02 AM
    To elaborate on my question, then: upthread Imaro seemed to assert, or at least very strongly imply, that whether or not a situation is interesting is a player-independent state of affairs. Do you agree? What do you think the GM should have regard to in coming up with situations? Lanefan, in other threads over many years, has posted that the GM should always author scenarios without regard to...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:54 AM
    Can I pick up on your example (bolded by me to call it out) and a possible risk in play? Not to denigrate the example, but to try to connect it into how I'm thinking about things. It seems to me that it is possible that the GM might narrate the koblds' drool and bloodshot eyes, hoping and intending to evoke a particular response and engagement from the players, only instead to trigger...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:22 AM
    I think there is another reason that books impose demands that are different from RPGing. The goal of a book (typically) is to evoke some sort of response in the reader in virtue of having read the book. This depends heavily on the craft of the narration, on its literary quality in the way the OP uses that phrase. Whereas the goal of a GM's narrration - I assert in the OP and reiterate here...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:07 AM
    It is very close to it. The notion of the craft of the narration is as good as any other way of putting it. For my part, the limitaion in what hawkeyefan says is the emphasis on clearly conveying the situation. I think this is important, but not sufficient. As per the OP, What matters to me is that the players feel the significance of the situations the GM describes - that they feel the...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 10:39 PM
    IME having 7 day LR (so no LR during adventure) Encourages the PCs to press on & complete mission Encourages PCs to avoid unnecessary fights Encourages packing potions of healing etc Encourages running away Generally encourages treating the dungeon as a real & threatening place rather than a theme park.
    53 replies | 1529 view(s)
    3 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 10:36 PM
    I use 7 day long rests. No LRs in dungeons. It greatly increases the excitement & tension when the PCs are exploring a dungeon deep in the wilderness.
    53 replies | 1529 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 10:29 PM
    You ain't from around here, are ya, stranger? :angel:
    104 replies | 2673 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 07:59 PM
    I think a setting where sexual dimorphism in PC stats works is King Arthur Pendragon, since it is emulating Arthurian fantasy.
    104 replies | 2673 view(s)
    1 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 07:56 PM
    It does not make much sense to have stat mods by sex in Conan - it would disadvantage playing Belit Valeria or Red Sonja type PCs. OGL Conan used stat mods by race. It worked ok but as a part-Celt I resent Cimmerians receiving an INT penalty! :)
    104 replies | 2673 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 07:38 PM
    City book - I prefer the original CSIO to the 3e version, whereas the 3e WoHF is much better than 0e IMO. Adventures - most are too high level. Good ones include Caverns of Thracia, the Ilhiedrin Book and Lost Man's Trail. Dyson Logos' stuff also fits great in Wilderlands. And you need encounter tables, the 5e ones in XGTE work well. I have also used the old White Dwarf adventures The...
    6 replies | 321 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 07:35 PM
    I use the 3e WoHF box plus the Player's Guide for map and flavour, been running it many years - still great. :)
    6 replies | 321 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 02:15 PM
    I started the thread. Hussar is free to say what he likes about the dependence of much RPGing on the logic of genres (it's something I myself have been posting about for maybe 10+ years on these boards). But those things don't rebut the claim in the OP, which is pretty clear: I don't think Hussar has inadvertantely taken that for a claim that genre plays no role in RPGing. And your...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 11:18 AM
    This is fine if, by literary endeavour, you means an activity that deploys and/or relies upon some devices used in literary composition. But that's not what the OP meant, and I think it is fairly clear what the OP did mean: quality of composition, with particular reference to the narration and descriptions used by the GM. Using genre tropes and policing genre boundaries doesn't really bear...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 03:27 PM
    Why not CON? Like other stamina-related feats.
    13 replies | 413 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 03:23 PM
    This is highly contingent on (i) system and (ii) ingame situation. To give one example, based on Burning Wheel: I stride down the hall sounds like a Conspicuous test, while I move cautiously down the hall looking carefully for anything out of place looks like a Perception check, perhaps also Stealth and/or Inconspicuous. In Prince Valiant the first might be a check on Presence, the second on...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    1 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 08:48 AM
    Went with 1e as the definitive edition. For actual play I prefer Swords & Wizardry, an ODnD clone. Interesting how different these results are from what is recorded as being played out in the wild, where BX clones are popular and 2e and 4e are unloved.
    203 replies | 6344 view(s)
    1 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 11:30 AM
    S'mon replied to Firearms
    The genre convention is that people who get hit fall over. Very unlike DnD.
    160 replies | 4903 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 11:27 AM
    S'mon replied to Firearms
    High velocity wounds tear rather than cut, and are much more deadly than knife or arrow wounds. It is a myth that bullets don't do much damage. A small bullet wound is a good bit deadlier than a large knife wound. You can compare injury to death rates on eg crime stat reports. Mind you, even most bullet wounds are not immediately fatal.
    160 replies | 4903 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 07:48 AM
    I use Pathfinder AP parts 5 and 6 and sub in 5e monsters or convert. Works well even at 20th.
    9 replies | 460 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:52 AM
    Notice that you've got three different action declarations here. Two of them are contrasting: * Grgur walks down the hallway, be cautious and looking carefully to see if anything is out of place. * Grugr strides down the hallway. And one is less specific: * Grugr moves down the hallway.
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:47 AM
    Not at all. Imaro is the person who introduced clarity as a desideratum. My point was that clarity is not really connected to literary quality, and pointed to instructions as an example. If you agree that instructions don't typically display literary quality, then I think you should agree that - to the extent that clarity matters in RPGing - then that doesn't really bear on the issues...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:24 AM
    Thanks for the heads up - I've deleted the stray material in that post. As per the OP, it came from multiple recent threads. One was the boxed text thread. Another was the action declaration thread ("DC to know a NPC is telling the truth"). In that second thread, there were some posters who seemed to equate describing a PC's action as a component of action declaration with a florid or literary...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:46 AM
    People spend millions of dollars painting buildings, too. That doesn't show that painting buildings is per se an artistic endeavour - maybe it is (if we're painting St Peters), maybe it's not (if we're painting a block of flats to protect the exterior against the weather). I'm a published author in a natural language based but technical discipline. (Or in fact two such disciplines: law and...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:41 AM
    A complication for me in responding to Lanefan's question is what is the story which is not progressing?
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:36 AM
    Yes. This is my point, so I'm not sure why you frame this as disagreeing with me. But this is exactly what I'm talking about. As I posted I think in my last reply to you, I don't understand what role you think action declaration and the distinctive player role in a RPG are doing. As you describe it, it would make no difference if everyone was working through a rough script but improving the...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:30 AM
    That's actually not what the OP says. Colour, obviously, is fundamental to heaps of RPGing. (Maybe not some classic dungeoncrawling.) I don't think the word "colour" appears in the OP. The OP does say RPGing requires narration: GMs describe situations - that narration and description will involve colour. My claim is about the focus of, and foundation of, emotional engagement in RPGing. As...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    2 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 08:44 PM
    Oh definitely. If you have the materials you can make the product (if you have the skill).
    129 replies | 5128 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 02:42 PM
    I think that Choose Your Own Adventure books and boardgames are not very satisfactory vehicles for participating in a situation. Their structured natures make them relatively poor vehicles for protagonism. Video games I can't comment on. And I'm not denying that there are people who enjoy RPGs because they are entertained by performances or give entertaining performances. I'm denying that...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 02:39 PM
    Really? That's a surprise to me. When I read a letter from a family member I'm not really worried about the spelling or puncutation, let alone it's literary merit.
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 02:30 PM
    It's not my distinction, actually. I never used the word content. That's Hussar's word. Hussar has suggested that I am eschewing description, but here's the OP: My point in this thread has been consistent: that what is distinctive about RPGing is that it engages by way of participation in situation, not performance to an audience. I don't think it's that hard to understand, whether...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 02:21 PM
    The point is simple: a novel probably won't move you if it's poorly written. A letter from a family member is likely to move you regardless of how it's written. RPGing is more like the latter than the former. It's about moving people through shared engagement with an imagined situation, not entertaining people by performing for them.
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 02:15 PM
    This is important. You are right about fluidity: actual play doesn't manifest discrete types or moments of the neat types we use in analysis and criticism. Some of what I had in mind in my post that you responded to is elaborated in my posts to Hussar just upthread. Here's a passage from Christopher Kubasik that also captures what I had in mind: The tales of a story entertainment are...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 12:16 PM
    I have no idea what the bolded bit has to do with the topic of this thread. What players contribute to the game is protagonism. Which in a RPG primarily takes the form of action declaration (though I think I have a thicker notion of action declaration than some other posters on these boards). Perhaps I've misunderstood something - but I've repeatedly posted about the centrality of action...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 12:08 PM
    I don't know what you have in mind by never references anything. We're playing a RPG. So there is a lot of talking. Exchanges between participants are the main currency of play. Action declarations are spoken. The player describes what his character is doing. I would hope it's obvious that, in denying that RPGing is a literary endeavour characterised by performance, I am not asserting that it...
    685 replies | 13262 view(s)
    1 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 08:41 AM
    Sorry I was going by the 5e version, like most people I keep forgetting about the merged boards. (edit) Both versions say "Product" though the 5e examples make it clearer..
    129 replies | 5128 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 06:20 AM
    Yes, I was thinking of areas like the classical Mediterranean world where silver moved around fairly freely and there was a monetary economy. Not economically depressed and resource poor regions like Europe in the Dark Ages through High Medieval, when the Arab conquests and piracy had cut off Mediterranean trade. Generally this increased the value of silver but the main impact was silver (or any...
    129 replies | 5128 view(s)
    1 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 06:10 AM
    A ruby or diamond is not a manufactured item. They're not things you can fabricate. The spell seems pretty clear what it's capable of.
    129 replies | 5128 view(s)
    0 XP
  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 06:05 AM
    There are good tables in the DMG to roll on for locations and plots. For monsters there are the XGTE tables or free online ones. For stuff, my players loved it when I said to roll on the PHB Trinkets table to see what they found.
    12 replies | 466 view(s)
    0 XP
More Activity
About S'mon

Basic Information

Date of Birth
December 21, 1972 (46)
About S'mon
Location:
London England
Disable sharing sidebar?:
No
Sex:
Male
Age Group:
Over 40

Statistics


Total Posts
Total Posts
18,418
Posts Per Day
2.91
Last Post
So...keelboats Yesterday 04:54 PM

Currency

Gold Pieces
32
General Information
Last Activity
Today 12:11 AM
Join Date
Friday, 18th January, 2002
Home Page
http://nentirvalecampaign.blogspot.co.uk/
Product Reviews & Ratings
Reviews Written
0

10 Friends

  1. Campbell Campbell is offline

    Member

    Campbell
  2. Gentlegamer Gentlegamer is offline

    Member

    Gentlegamer
  3. Kerranin Kerranin is offline

    Member

    Kerranin
  4. Manbearcat Manbearcat is offline

    Member

    Manbearcat
  5. Mark CMG Mark CMG is offline

    Member

    Mark CMG
  6. Neonchameleon Neonchameleon is offline

    Member

    Neonchameleon
  7. pemerton pemerton is offline

    Member

    pemerton
  8. Pentius Pentius is offline

    Member

    Pentius
  9. RedTonic RedTonic is offline

    Member

    RedTonic
  10. Zelda Themelin Zelda Themelin is offline

    Member

    Zelda Themelin
Showing Friends 1 to 10 of 10
Page 1 of 7 1234567 LastLast

Friday, 24th May, 2019


Thursday, 23rd May, 2019


Tuesday, 21st May, 2019



Page 1 of 7 1234567 LastLast
Page 1 of 9 123456789 LastLast

Saturday, 25th May, 2019

  • 07:52 AM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post [4e] OSR Clone
    at time's I've looked up something in OSRIC and it seemed word-for-word identical.Well, some people think that OSRIC is on the margins (or crossing the margins) of copyright infringement. S'mon and I have discussed this before - I'm a bit more doubtful of its legality than S'mon but he's the better IP lawyer of the two of us - so probably it's OK! (If only just.)

Tuesday, 16th April, 2019

  • 01:54 PM - Sadras mentioned S'mon in post Deconstructing 5e: Typical Wealth by Level
    Look, @CapnZapp, I get what you are looking for, but, frankly, it's just not feasible in the 5e ruleset. It really isn't. The fact that no game system or designer has pulled it off or done any better than Gygax kind of indicates it can't be done. How good any magic item is depends on to many intangibles. Despite me not 100% agreeing with @CapnZapp regarding rarity, I don't believe the above statements are quite true. I mean what you need is a base for the cost of magic, it should not be so difficult to tabulate. Then what you need are (1) multipliers for high and low magic campaigns, (2) Consumable or Permanent enchantments, (3) Utility and (4) Rarity (Tiered - perhaps as per @S'mon's post). It just requires some work which I think WotC would rather not invest but I think it would be worthwhile in the long run, but that is just me. @CapnZapp, funny enough despite all the negative feedback you endure on this board for the issues regarding Rests, Feats and Magical Items I certainly appreciate the conversations and sometimes solutions that arise from the community. I'm satisfied with the Rest variant that arose from that mammoth thread and I'm using the amendments to some of the Feats I felt needed sprucing up. The Magical Item creation/cost has always, ALWAYS, been a thorn in my side. I just need to hunker down one full week and fix it into something I'm comfortable with for myself and my table. All this time, I have been evaluating cost of items on what feels good with guidance from the book. Slowly building a list that way. It has worked, but every time I dread the question as to what is available... especially as the PCs reach higher levels and travel to mo...

Monday, 8th April, 2019

  • 04:57 AM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...RPGs that way because it's my preferred approach (and I avoid RPGs that probably won't work with it) - at the moment I've got active Classic Traveller, Prince Valiant, BW, Cortex+ Heroic, Dying Earth and 4e campaigns that use some or other variant on this general approach. (And yes, too many active campaigns relative to time available!) I think that the way you characterise 5e as being similar might be more contentious (not to say it's wrong, but may be not universal), and I'm curious to see what response you might get. For instance, iserith's approach seems to require the GM establishing key elements of the fiction (like, to stick with the toy example that's been kicked around a bit, the presence o the door knob of the viscous fluid that's a contact poison). I see his approach as, in many ways, quite close to a classic Gygaxian "skilled play" approach. But if I'm in error here I'll await correction! (For full disclosure, I'm not a 5e guy but I saw this thread was started by S'mon, and I'm always interested in S'mon's ideas about RPGing, which is why I dropped into it.) EDIT: After replying to your (Elfcrusher's) post I saw this post which I think relates to my point. Quoting it isn't meant to be combative or trying to drive any wedges, but rather to try and identify some of these differences in approach which give each table it's own "flavour" of RPGing. This is why people are saying youíre mischaracterizing the method. Youíre making it sound like if you give any description at all, you can ďbypass the check.Ē When the reality is, a check is called for when the described action would logically have a possibility of success, a possibility of failure, and a consequence for failure. This means checks will commonly be called for in dramatic situations, and rarely be called for otherwise.The idea of an action logically having a chance of success, or failure, seems to me to require that the in-fiction context already be established at least to some significant...

Saturday, 6th April, 2019

  • 02:55 AM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post How to deal with death in RPG?
    The root is not generally about pacing.I didn't suggest any general root. It made a suggestion about a particular issue in a particular context. Nagol provided more information in response (fleshing out the meaning of "slowly") which corrected my misapprehension. The root is that GMs can, with effort, come up with some really cool stuff, but sometimes players don't engage with that stuff, or they choose to disengage once they have already bought in. <snip> You might say, "Well, I never use elements in my games that I can't prep rather quickly, so this is not an issue for me."I would, and did, say that - like S'mon - I don't have disappointing sessions. Some posters appeared to be sceptical of this. I'm not sure what you have in mind by "really cool stuff"; and I'm not sure what your threshold is for disappointment. Just having a look through my 4e prep folder on my computer, there are 60-odd files. There seem to be about 4 that (as best I recall) I never got to use: a fey forest encounter, a haunted fey swamp encounter, an aboleth encounter and an epic-tier shadowdark encounter. Each of these might be an hour or more of work statting up creatures. (I don't think I have any unused maps.) The shadowdark encounter could potentially be stepped up to 30th level and so be mechanically usable given the current state of the campaign, but I'd be surprised if the action were ever to return to the shadowdark. These could have been fun, i'm sure; but the stuff that actually happened was fun too. The sessions weren't disappointing because I didn't get to use this stuff, and (eg) the feywild action that...
  • 02:23 AM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post How to deal with death in RPG?
    It's not the system assuming group play. The scenario framing provided group risk.That second bit is what I was trying to get at with "resolving the stakes for the other players". I think a system that allows that to happen - D&D certainly has this feature, and so does Rolemaster, Traveller, CoC, etc, because they don't have mechanical devices for separating consequences from the extrapolation of in-fiction causation - generates expectations for how the group should work at the table. Either, as S'mon has suggested, intra-group dissent/unravelling is accepted (and the obvious risk here is degeneration of the game) or else there are strong norms about respecting group decision-making. Upthread I said "My players are consscius of the need to manage group tensions, and are sensitive also to whether or not the game depends on 'party' play (see eg 4e D&D, which is, vs Burning Wheel or Cortex+ Heroic Fantasy, which is not)." That's pointing to the same general issue.

Thursday, 4th April, 2019

  • 11:52 PM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post How to deal with death in RPG?
    Okay, so, if you never experience this, you probably want to listen more, and try to advise less. I mean, really - how mansplainy is it to suggest solutions when you have never actually knowingly dealt with the problem?Look, two things: S'mon posted that he doesn't have disappointing sessions, a couple of other posters expressed surprise/incredulity, and I posted that my experience is like S'mon's. And I posted a couple of reasons that I think explain why I and my players enjoy our sessions. Lots of other people post accounts of how they run games and how they think that's good/bad (eg I see dozens of posts thse days about "session zero" - is that now "mansplaining"?). For my part, when I have things I want to improve in my game I read stuff by other people who have achieved in their play what I'm looking for. The other thing: I've seen tables, back in my club days, which have players who do some of what has been described upthread. And I think that the stuff that S'mon and I have posted is relevant to what I've seen ar those tables. In particular, I think framing the GM's role as storyteller in any literal sense puts the burden for a "fun" session on the weakest rather than the strongest part of RPGing as an activity...
  • 03:34 PM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post How to deal with death in RPG?
    There are times when players are trying an approach, and are frustrated, or it rubs them the wrong way. They say "screw this," and do something else. Imagine the party is in a long, boring negotiation with a bad guy, and the barbarian finally gets fed up and says, "Screw this!*" draws his axe, screams and leaps.... That's the kind of thing we are talking about. Radical alteration in party direction, typically due to dissatisfaction on either the player's or the charcter's part.I don't think this makes me depart from my earlier post, where I said my experiences are like what S'mon described. The "long, boring negotiation" that you describe, resulting in player frustration/dissatisfaction, isn't a part of my play experience.

Friday, 29th March, 2019

  • 03:40 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned S'mon in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    ...fake door. Same result, ever so slightly different style. As I tried to explain to you yesterday, in the other thread, the result is very different on a failure. Failed rolls have consequences, so asking for a roll that then fails means a consequence for failure is applied. Sure, success states look similar, but the failure states for each vary greatly, so, no, it's not the same. I get how people follow this way of running their games and what they do but when it comes to why I'm at a bit of a loss. It's probably just that I keep hearing that "it's the rules". I think the rules are more of a guideline than hard-and-fast rules on this one. Some people just like rolling dice or stating intent by phrasing it as a skill check so I let them. But even if it is the rules, so what? If people want to know what the rules text says, read the book. Ask for advice and I'll let you know what works for me. Well, again, I explained it quite a few times in the other thread. You, like S'mon above, seem to be judging how our style works from how your play. So, for you, you'd introduce the unbreakable door and then have players roll dice to try to break it to find out it's unbreakable. I don't do that at all. I'm going to straight up tell them it looks unbreakable, and, if they try, I'll narrate a failure outright with additional info like 'it doesn't even budge.' But, here's the thing, if I introduce an unbreakable door, finding out it's unbreakable is not the point of the challenge. It'll be part of some other challenge where it's being unbreakable is an obstacle to be overcome through other means. The fact that dice aren't rolled to figure out the door is unbreakable is totally unimportant to my style, because the dice will be rolled on other actions that do matter to the challenge I present. Playing in my style doesn't mean it looks just like your play only with no rolls sometimes you'd ask for rolls, it means we've prioritized the play in a slightly different wa...

Thursday, 28th March, 2019

  • 11:16 PM - pemerton mentioned S'mon in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Not to be a dink, but as a critical theorist, Ron Edwards was a heckuva biologist. Or, more generally, when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. There is certainly nothing wrong with academic critiques of RPGs (and the accompanying jargon), but it's a bit much to use obscurantist* terms that are certainly not generally accepted, and to continue to refer to those definitions and to an essay that is hardly universally accepted in order to make your points.I'm not the one who introduced Forge terminology into this thread. Sadras introduced discussion of "stance", and Maxperson embraced it. I think S'mon may have been the first poster to use GNS/GDS terminology, but my memory on that is hazier. But if other posters want to use that termnology, I'm happy to engage with it.

Friday, 22nd March, 2019

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

Thursday, 21st March, 2019

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

Tuesday, 19th March, 2019

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

Sunday, 17th March, 2019

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

Monday, 11th March, 2019

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

Saturday, 9th March, 2019

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

Friday, 8th March, 2019

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

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019

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

Friday, 1st March, 2019



Page 1 of 9 123456789 LastLast
No results to display...

Saturday, 25th May, 2019

  • 09:31 AM - mach1.9pants quoted S'mon in post So...keelboats
    I think it's established the Qeng Ho fleet did go all over and at the time Chinese ship technology was advanced. The problem was cultural. we're talking real world not sci fi! ;) Maybe you mean Zheng He, who Qeng Ho was named after, I think And it's certainly not established, very much debated "There is still much debate about issues such as the actual purpose of the voyages, the size of the ships, the magnitude of the fleet, the routes taken, the nautical charts employed, the countries visited, and the cargo carried." But still impressive stuff, even the bits that are not debated

Friday, 24th May, 2019

  • 09:38 PM - Draegn quoted S'mon in post Simulacrum - How strict do you treat the "Can't Learn" clause?
    IMC a Simulacrum is AC 10 hp 10 all stats 10. Useful for putting a fake king on the throne, not for adding to party firepower. Or a queen who needs a heir yet does not have the time to spend producing one in a more traditional manner. Who would the heir love more? Queen mom or Simulamom?

Sunday, 19th May, 2019

  • 11:33 PM - Tony Vargas quoted S'mon in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    Interesting how different these results are from what is recorded as being played out in the wild, where BX clones are popular and 2e and 4e are unloved. Consider that this is being asked in 5e forum. The most effusive praise I've heard of 5e has come from 2e fans. 0e/1e/OSR and 3.x/PF fans have their things, so may not drop by here. 4e fans, by definition, were those most willing to give a new ed a chance. So what you're seeing isn't absolute popularity of editions, but a prevalence of 2e & 4e fans within the 5e community. Or, y'know, D&D eds may just be like Star Trek movies.... ;P

Saturday, 18th May, 2019

  • 09:58 PM - Morrus quoted S'mon in post Firearms
    High velocity wounds tear rather than cut, and are much more deadly than knife or arrow wounds. It is a myth that bullets don't do much damage. A small bullet wound is a good bit deadlier than a large knife wound. I dunno. I saw a ďlarge knife woundĒ on Game of Thrones. It made Ned Starkís head fall off.
  • 08:18 PM - Tony Vargas quoted S'mon in post Firearms
    High velocity wounds tear rather than cut, and are much more deadly than knife or arrow wounds. It is a myth that bullets don't do much damage. A small bullet wound is a good bit deadlier than a large knife wound. I've heard all sides in such debates way too much to get into it, there's political issues fueling different sides, and it involves autopsy-level detail that'll never be modeled with a hp system. The takeaway is that lots of things can kill you, where guns stand out is in how easy they make it, regardless of size/strength/skill of either party involved. The genre convention is that people who get hit fall over. Very unlike DnD. 'cept for 4e, iff, by 'people' you mean 'minions.'

Thursday, 16th May, 2019

  • 06:45 PM - Dannyalcatraz quoted S'mon in post The economics of Continual flame
    Sorry I was going by the 5e version, like most people I keep forgetting about the merged boards. (edit) Both versions say "Product" though the 5e examples make it clearer.. Yeah, I figured I should include the 5Ed version, just in case. I would suspect- from the examples given- that Fabricate works on more than one material at a time. Clothes are made with more than wool or cotton, for example, because of the dyes and threads. Though itís possible to build bridges with just wood, usually there is use of metal nails and/or rope.
  • 07:46 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted S'mon in post The economics of Continual flame
    You don't need rubies for the spell. In a world where fabricate exists, any gemstone will do (as long as it is of reasonable quality). The jadeite mine provides a caster with a barrel of chips of crystal. One casting of fabricate later, there is a ruby 5ft across sitting on the bench. A ruby or diamond is not a manufactured item. They're not things you can fabricate. The spell seems pretty clear what it's capable of. Hmmm...The 3.5Ed version: You convert material of one sort into a product that is of the same material. Creatures or magic items cannot be created or transmuted by the fabricate spell. The quality of items made by this spell is commensurate with the quality of material used as the basis for the new fabrication. If you work with a mineral, the target is reduced to 1 cubic foot per level instead of 10 cubic feet. You must make an appropriate Craft check to fabricate articles requiring a high degree of craftsmanship. The 5Ed version: You convert raw materials i...
  • 05:53 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted S'mon in post How do you handle the "economy killing spells" in your game?
    I suggested to James Jacobs of Paizo that this dire lack of people in the setting (Golarion) was likely due to setting cultural norms - like widespread birth control, Right to Choose, same sex or trans marriages, women in the (adventuring) work force... ...He didn't seem too impressed. :D Cute.
  • 01:14 AM - The Glen quoted S'mon in post How do you handle the "economy killing spells" in your game?
    If I was running Mystara in 5e I'd definitely have Alphatian mage-smiths Fabricating away happily. The Alphatian economy is based off magic. In most settings, possibly not a single Wizard knows the spell Fabricate. It's not something I've ever seen a PC Wizard research. I definitely find that it is Cleric spells that are the issue. Most settings have Priests like the MM level 5 caster be pretty common. If they are like PCs they have access to the full Cleric spell list and can swap out every time they finish a long rest. Major temples may have *lots* of Priests and even a level 9+ high priest. This is where the GM really needs to be careful when it comes to world building, and think about how much magic he wants in his campaign world. Glantri requires its students to create magic items to sell. Most of the nation uses magical devices as appliances and other labor-saving inventions. They don't export much but if you can get there with money and aren't one of the classes or races th...

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

  • 09:06 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted S'mon in post YouGov D&D Alignment Survey - how many Britons identify as Chaotic Evil?
    They weren't asked "Are you CE?" per se - they were asked When it comes to defence spending, which comes closer to your view? Britain should increase spending on the armed forces so we can ensure we are protected against threats and remain a global power 43% Britain should not increase spending on the armed forces so the money can be better spent elsewhere on things like education and healthcare 40% and If you had to choose, which of the following sets of values would you say most closely resembles your own: Honour, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability 29% Freedom, adaptability, and flexibility 17% An even split between the two 46% Thinking about the way you live your life, do you think it would be most fair to describe yourself as... Good 63% Neutral 30% Evil 2% Címon, Símon! Youíve never been handed a questionnaire that you had no interest in and considered not taking your answers seriously- answering at random- or deciding to mess with the resu...
  • 07:40 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted S'mon in post YouGov D&D Alignment Survey - how many Britons identify as Chaotic Evil?
    This is incredible! https://yougov.co.uk/topics/lifestyle/articles-reports/2018/09/21/dungeons-and-dragons-one-three-britons-are-neutral Eg on public figures: Among the Lawful Good group the public figure they like most compared to other groups is Theresa May. By contrast, the public figure that Chaotic Goods like most compared to other groups is Jeremy Corbyn. Two further Labour figures top the lists, with Neutral Goodsí most preferred public figure being Labour MP Margaret Hodge and True Neutrals liking former Home Secretary David Blunkett. Among Lawful Neutrals the most relatively favoured figure is Prince William, while Chaotic Neutrals have a thing for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. I would pin pretty much all of those named people (along with most of the population of my country) as Evil.

Monday, 13th May, 2019

  • 04:56 AM - Kobold Stew quoted S'mon in post How do you handle the "economy killing spells" in your game?
    Since I've never seen PCs attempt to do either of these things, it seems to be a non-issue. This to me is the central issue. Have your players' characters tried to do this? If they haven't (the focal characters of the world), then why would anyone else? For me the transformative spell is Lesser Restoration -- curing blindness by third-level clerics. When I've tried to play this, it's been frustrated. But it's prepared every day by my clerics and druids. I would love a party to use the spell to attempt to remove blindness and disease from a kingdom or a continent.

Saturday, 11th May, 2019

  • 05:44 PM - Psyzhran2357 quoted S'mon in post Firearms
    I suggest musket 2 actions to reload, pistol 1 action to reload (but make the pistol a Light weapon), and increase musket damage to 2d8. A musket ball was a massive chunk of lead you definitely did not want to get hit by, but definitely not a practical skirmish weapon beyond the first shot! To be kind to high level warriors I'd let them use 1 attack for a reload action, so a Fighter-20 could potentially shoot a musket twice in 6 seconds! :eek: Edit: And if you want heavy crossbows resembling historical ones they should be at least as slow as the musket, and do a lot more than 1d10 damage, likewise - I use 2d10 at short range (unlike a musket ball x-bow bolt effectiveness drops off fast with range). The 5e stats make them more like (slightly less) light crossbows. I assume the reason this was not implemented RAW is because sitting out a turn doing nothing isn't fun. The way things are, you're at least getting a chance to get a hit in every turn. Besides, the only classes that can use t...
  • 03:00 PM - Parmandur quoted S'mon in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    $50 pdf certainly seems high for a kickstarter. $80 for the print version, when I'd expect to pay around $60 retail for the AP hardback. Not to mention needing to pay more to get a second book to use it with PF1 or 5E, the two systems people would most likely want to use...

Friday, 10th May, 2019

  • 05:00 AM - Yaarel quoted S'mon in post Large size characters
    My son has a magical half-giant 5e PC. ... Extra die to weapon damage. ... Works fine. Its true, when players play moreorless straightforwardly, the 5e system seems to handle alot of abuse. Mainly by relying on the DM to monitor and rule-zero situations. My experience DMing a Large character from level 5 to level 20 makes me suspect that this is not balanced. I had a PC playing a medium-sized hill giant, and we decided that at 5th level, he could grow to Large size instead of getting Extra Attack. So, rather than making two attacks with a maul at 2d6+Str, he would get one attack at 4d6+Str. Seems balanced, right? If you do the math, it's actually a downgrade. Except that this player figured out how to get extra attacks, via frenzied rage, haste, and Great Weapon Master. I shudder to think what would have happened if he'd had Extra Attack as well. The other players became jealous and complained about it, and I had to balance the character on the back-end by giving out very few Large-siz...

Thursday, 9th May, 2019

  • 04:21 AM - MNblockhead quoted S'mon in post Printing maps - how to do this affordably & with minimum headache?
    I just print the important bits of maps at 1" scale on A4 paper using my inkjet printer & glossy cardstock, which gives much better results than regular paper. For larger maps I tape a few together. I find the main thing is to print out the likely encounter areas, the rest can be lightly sketched on a reusable battlemat. Yes. If you want to get really fancy, and plan to reuse them, get some cheap foam board from the dollar store and use spray-adhesive to glue the printed maps to the foam board. Of course that makes it a bit less convenient to store and travel with. When I didn't have access to the large-format printer/plotter, I would print on Letter-sized paper and piece together. The big hassle was trimming the white space on the margins as my printer can't print to the very edge. So, I started using my Silhouette paper-cutter to do all the trim work. Which got me to thinking... I then started loading the images into the Silhouette Studio software and drawing cut-lines for ...

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 05:52 PM - TheSword quoted S'mon in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    The line I quoted was about a "system that doesn't grow", not about "material" - which could be adventures, campaign settings and such using the system without adding any more rules. I think everyone likes to see new material in the latter sense. How do you support that supposition? D&D, Pathfinder, WFRP, Adventurers in Middle Earth (the systems I have experience with) are all releasing new rules, options and supplementary information. I suspect players of these systems probably pathfinder and 5e dnd alone represent a large proportion of players given there prominence in the industry. Surely everybody prefers playing in a living system rather than a dead one. Incidentally I would include campaign materials and adventures as examples of a living system. You canít separate the text and artwork of a campaign book from the rules that support that.
  • 03:59 PM - zztong quoted S'mon in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    The line I quoted was about a "system that doesn't grow", not about "material" - which could be adventures, campaign settings and such using the system without adding any more rules. I think everyone likes to see new material in the latter sense. Yeh, right on. A "dead" system can be convenient for a DM. You won't find players clamoring to use the "latest thing." I would add that sometimes even a "dead" setting can be convenient too. You won't wake up to find that somebody has decided that Tieflings (Forgotten Realms) and Goblins (Golarion) are now living in your cities or that suddenly Gnomes are monsters (D&D 4e). You won't find the deities have changed or that magic went nuts and clobbered a continent or region. The trade-off between continuity and convenience can be a tough choice.
  • 01:38 PM - Remathilis quoted S'mon in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    I don't think this is a question that even occurs to most players of most RPGs.And yet... AD&D 1e players, whose system was no longer supported as of 1989, still bought new material (either converting 2e stuff back, or later using OSR stuff). So while technically an RPG is never lacking for new material as long as you have a clever DM and some inspiration, even the deadest system's players still clamor for new material.
  • 01:21 PM - CapnZapp quoted S'mon in post Crafting Items - Expert Craftsman vs Adventurers
    AFAICS the 5e rule for NPC smithing is the same as the 1e one - "DM decides". The DM may decide from a primarily dramatic/story, world-simulationist, or even gamist (challenging the players) perspective. Gygax tended to favour world-sim by default and provides some aids for that. Just a note: you quoted me, but the text was in turn a quote by someone else.


S'mon's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated

Most Recent Favorite Generators/Tables

View All Favorites