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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 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...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 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...
    374 replies | 8077 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:27 PM
    Why not CON? Like other stamina-related feats.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    374 replies | 8077 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    75 replies | 2006 view(s)
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  • 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.
    125 replies | 3548 view(s)
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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?
    374 replies | 8077 view(s)
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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).
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  • 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...
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  • 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.
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  • 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...
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  • 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.
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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..
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  • 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...
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 10:38 PM
    Ideas - I like rolling on the wandering monster tables (eg Xanathar's) to get ideas for encounters flowing. :)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 05:06 PM
    I find the biggest thing is getting into the minds of the npcs, as many as possible, and playing them from the internal aspect - so they have real motivations goals and personalities. I probably spend more time thinking about the world from the POV of the npcs than any other prep element. Of course a lot of npcs will inevitably share aspects of my irl personality, but hopefully the noble queen...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 04:06 PM
    Right. Which is not consistent with the suggestion that the player has total authority over what the character thinks and feels. But they're not free to come up with the answer because he is smelly. That is, they're not free to make their perceptions non-delusional. Again, the GM - by declaring that the chamberlain doesn't stink - is able to exercise control over what beliefs and sensations...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 03:33 PM
    I agree with all this. Darkvision and poison resistance seem like elements in action declaration and action resolution rather than performance/presentation, so I'll put them to one side. In most FRPGing, grooming one's beard, choosing one's food, not liking boat,s is all just colour. If my familiarity with the underground, or the distinctive histories or politics of my people, actually...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 11:37 AM
    This post is a follow-up to some of Manbearcat's posts in this thread, and to the idea - mentioned in the OP and taken up a bit since - that consequences can be implicit rather than express. I'm not sure how coherent it is, but it is trying to convey a thought I have. So, here's something from John Harper about making hard moves in Apocalypse World; I've bolded one sentence for emphasis: ...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 11:03 AM
    The religious teachings could be TN, or not - from what's said we can't tell. But at least we have a canonical grounding for the need to fight a combat to gain an upper-level title! Would Chariot of Eratsus have the same ring to it?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 09:45 AM
    Well tell me what you mean by performance, then. What do you mean by the performance of a character revealing the character to be (say) a dwarf? Who do you have conversations with? In the conversations I have, only rarely is the purpose to convey information (in the way that eg a newspaper or an encyclopedia does that). Typically the purpose is to generate emotional responses - to...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 09:29 AM
    You seem to be projecting.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 09:28 AM
    Well I do think more than 2% of the population are likely to be close to D&D 'evil', though the kind of people who helpfully fill in surveys may skew to lawful good I suspect.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 08:50 AM
    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...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 08:45 AM
    I think it's more that LNs identify more with traditional monarchical authority and the prince-saviour archetype, rather than anything about Prince William's own personality.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 01:08 AM
    I have used the words "literary" and "performance" in what I hope are reasonably clear senses. Theatre (typically) involves both. Salon repartee with Oscar Wilde or Dorothy Parker involves both. Conversation with friends typically invovles neither. I've also said - repeatedly, although lowkey13 may not have read those posts - that everything else being equal a mellifluous GM can be a good...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 12:53 AM
    If a character's race or background or motivations or capacities figure so little in the action of play, then to me the problem at that table is not one of an absence of performance! Conversely, if the only way I would know a player was playing a dwarf was because of his/her Scottish accent (or whatever) but it doesn't make any difference to what that character actually does in play, then why...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 11:14 PM
    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...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 10:19 AM
    Using ToTM means never having to say "Sorry, you're 5' short of the target" :)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 09:52 AM
    1 or 2 silver pieces a day was a living wage for thousands of years (in areas with a monetary economy), and yes Gygax did base his 1e DMG hireling wages off that. However he did not base his PHB gear costs off historical values; he says himself that they are wildly inflated. 5e says a skilled worker makes 2gp/day, which is ahistorical but tallies better with the 5e PHB prices. If you wanted...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 09:43 AM
    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...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 09:49 PM
    Again, interesting because we have agreement and disagreement here. I agree that the "simmer" (let's call it) of Game of Thrones has been essential to the cognitive workspace that viewers inhabit as they watch it unfold. But for my part, (more food!) oversteeping something can lead to a bitter, wrong-noted product. When I look at two of the primary character arcs that were just recently...
    172 replies | 3758 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 09:03 PM
    See, this is interesting to me (and one of the reasons I brought up gaming as a corollary or coincidental reference-point if you'd like). I've enjoyed the ramped-up pacing. If there is one complaint I've had about Game of Thrones and other modern media (Avengers Endgame, The Last Jedi, and Black Panther come to mind), its a combination of pacing and (mostly related) poor cutting (including...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 06:08 PM
    DW and AW work off of the "shared intuitions/understandings of the fiction" model above, very much. However, a couple things work in concert to constrain GMs very much: 1) The explicit, focused, clear Principles, Agenda, and Move structure. 2) The fact that the game will push back against you if you deviate from (1). 3) The fact that if you just follow (1) devoutly, the game works...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 05:59 PM
    Seems unlikely unless there's a big storm going on. But you could have slime-slippery slipway with DEX save/Acrobatics check or fall in. In general I think falling in the water should be a big deal, bull rushes, repelling blasts etc. And you could have seaweed, carnivorous fish or gators, or entangling nets, rusty broken spars etc under the water to make it really unhealthy.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 05:38 PM
    Its been far from perfect yes. But I enjoyed it because I enjoy media in a very focused way. Its probably similar to the way I enjoy my gaming. In fact, I would say that the issues that I've seen being put forth by hoards of people on Reddit and by personal nerd friends have great parallel to TTRPG incredulity and disdain. Unsurprisingly, on these boards at least, I'm often on the opposite...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 05:17 PM
    I’ll second that emotion. Loved it. Loved this season (save for perhaps 3-4 scenes and transitions...which is a minor quibble). Clearly I’m just a bad, shallow Game of Thrones’er.
    172 replies | 3758 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 04:12 PM
    There's a parallel here to saving throws. From the fact that, in mechanical terms, getting a save against a fireball is automatic, it doesn't follow that PCs don't have to try to save themselves. Rather, the mechanics take for granted that this is what PCs do. If a player describes his/her PC as standing unperturbed in the fireball making no effort to avoid or mitigate its effects, then...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 11:54 AM
    IMC - Nature is not Good or Evil in D&D Alignment terms, but can be both or neither. Druids and Druid organisations can be Neutral Good or Neutral Evil, but tend towards True Neutrality. You basically never get LG or LE Druids; CG & CE are rare but possible. The Lord Weird Slough Feg in the Slaine comic strip would likely be CE, and the Drune Lords as an organisation NE. But I think Feg was...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 09:57 AM
    Yeah I think the purchaser would need to have his measurements taken by the wizard-smith prior to Fabricating. I could imagine breastplates & helmets being mass produced in a range of sizes, though. It's the limb armour that would need the most individual tailoring. Edit: This reminds me - recently saw childrens' film "The Kid Who Would Be King" where Merlin Fabricates plate armour for the...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 09:04 AM
    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
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 08:57 AM
    Having Sending as a level 3 spell widely available - all Clerics get it on their spell list - is definitely the thing that has the most setting impact IME. Seen this in my 5e Wilderlands campaign. When armies are at war the level 5 Clerics (or just the MM Priests!) become incredibly important for coordination and communication. Assassins bump off those guys as a high priority, much more than the...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 08:50 AM
    Well maybe, but this requires a few things. 1. There has to be expensive armour in the setting - fine, this is the default. 2. The PC must have the proficiency to make that expensive armour naturally. 3. They must have easy access to all the materials necessary. By default I would probably limit the results of Fabrication with tool proficiency to the default 5e rules for item crating, ie...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 11:55 PM
    It would be interesting to see what you and others think of "the smelly chamberlain". Suppose that the players play their PCs as keeping their distance from the chamberlain, opening windows when he enters the room, etc - because the players have decided that their PCs think the chamberlain smells - while the GM, exercising his/her power to describe the environment, insists that the chamberlain...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 08:47 PM
    Plant growth - all this spell does is double land productivity. Which is a lot less than the difference between wheat farming and rice farming! So you get fat happy peasants for a generation, population doubles, back in the Malthusian Trap. Then the druid dies and famine strikes... :D
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 08:43 PM
    Since I've never seen PCs attempt to do either of these things, it seems to be a non-issue. Fabricate requires the actual raw materials, eg making plate armour requires (a) the PC could actually make plate armour normally and (b) they have the high quality steel and all the other bits & bobs necessary - eg leather, cloth padding etc. Usually in D&D this stuff costs half as much as the final...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 01:32 PM
    You seem to be setting up a contrast - performance intended to creata a mental image of who the PC is vs dice bot with a heart beat - that doesn't correspond to my own RPGing experiences. Central to player-side RPGing is action declaration. That's how the player reveals who his/her PC is. Whereas being a dicebot suggests that someone else (perhaps the GM?) is deciding what the actions are. ...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 08:33 AM
    Yes. The action declaration is premised on some other elements of the shared ficiton established by the players - something along the lines of that such-and-such a character believes such-and-such a thing, and has shared that belief with other PCs. If the GM is intending to introduce fiction that reveals the PC belief to be false, and it is established or implicit in the fiction that the PC is...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 06:41 AM
    Small point of order - I didn't. But as we all know, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet! (Ie, in less literary terms, what matters isn't labels but phenomena.) Obviously there's a lot of room between is equally important and doesn't matter at all. Upthread I said that, everything else being equal, a mellifluous GM is a good thing - though I also agree with Bedrockgames that,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 06:32 AM
    Clear enough, but it doesn't capture what I'm talking about, because - for instance - it renders ordinary conversation a species of performance. That usage is fine enough for a certain sort of cultural studies or communication theory seminar, but doesn't map onto what I'm saying in this thread. Correct. Evard's tower is in the game because there is a character - Aramina - who wants spell...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 03:52 AM
    So, tihs is dead on-topic. And, to me, is strange. I'll relate it to something you've posted recently in another thread - not as "gotcha", but because I'm trying to work out where you're coming from. In that other thread, you were discussing approaches to adjudication, and expressed a preference for swift adjudication rather than (what you saw as) a lot of needless narration. But...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 03:43 AM
    This is all consistent with what I was trying to say in the OP. Further unexpected agreement!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 03:40 AM
    I can't answer for Chaosmancer, although I get the sense that he (? I think) and I have some similar views here. The things the player characters believe, the things they say to one another, etc are a part of the gameworld as much as anything else. If a character is telling another character something about earth elemental, then that belief and conversation is part of the fiction. Now when...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 05:59 PM
    S'mon replied to Firearms
    Well for a renaissance setting the weapons need to be a lot cheaper, and count as simple weapons. PCs should be using a brace of pistols, and I wouldn't expect a PC to carry a musket, it's more something you'd see an enemy squad carrying.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 11:45 AM
    S'mon replied to 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...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 09:19 AM
    One alternative would be to say that only Cantrips can be Readied, and don't need to be pre-cast. Still makes casters better than multi-attack classes (and Warlocks a *lot* better), but not as much as Free Readying.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 09:13 AM
    Well I guess IMC they remain NPCs, and so ultimately under GM control. But I let player administer the crunch, and of course PCs can tell the critter to do stuff. A resummonable Familiar might do something suicidal if instructed, but a Ranger's animal companion probably won't, though it will take risks to help its companion humanoid. :D
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 05:31 AM
    Not always, in my experience. But in any event, what is the advantage in having the guard by my old friend Frances? Does the GM have no challeng to put before the players (and their characters) except that of getting past the gate? Huh? I don't think that the main purpose of RPG rules is to curb, or manage, dysfunction. They're to guide the play of the game. I don't think my table is...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 04:12 AM
    I've made no assertion about your experience, or anyone else's but my own. I've said nothing about whether or not what you are doing is RPGing. As for your analogies: some unpunctuated writing is interesting avant gardism; most is just bad writing. Mutatis mutandis for film and theatre. I'm not making a claim about what can be done in avant garde RPGing. I have expressed an opinion about...
    374 replies | 8077 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 04:00 AM
    I don't understand where this "monotone" red herring is coming from. I have compared RPGing to a certain sort of structured conversation. Maybe I just hang out with unusual people, but I can't think of anyone I know who converses in a monotone. People talk more loudly, and/or more quickly, when they are excited. They snap when they are angry or frustated. In short, they manifest emotions and...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 02:56 AM
    I think we are broadly agreed on this. Perhaps a first! This, too, is very much in the neighbourhood of what I'm saying.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 03:30 PM
    You seem fairly outraged by my posts in this thread, but I didn't compare anyone's game to movies with terrible actors or unpunctuated writing. Which appears to be what you're doing here. What makes a movie with terrible acting suck is that a movie is, to a significant extent, constituted by its acting. But what about RPGing demands thespianism? I'm playing my character. I'm exploring...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 02:01 PM
    S'mon replied to Firearms
    page 268
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 10:57 AM
    IME once our moon druid hit level 10, she only ever shaped to Elemental forms. The damage resistance to non-magical attacks and the great powers of earth and air elementals are too good not to take, even at 20th. She occasionally does fire elemental to enshroud some nasty enemy, but usually it's earth for clobbering or air for evasion. Air + wildshape spellcasting is a nice combo. Before...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 10:39 AM
    In order to do 4d6 per attack he's presumably not using a shield, so his AC won't be very good, while he occupies a 4x4 area, making him a huge magnet for enemy attacks. IME Large PCs are often a liability to their own side, especially in a confined battle space, as they block access routes - it takes 25' of movement just to get past one through the area they occupy.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 10:01 AM
    This seems to point towards dysfunctionality at the table. Also, what does trusting the DM to tell a good story have to do with anything? When did D&D referees become storytellers?! Also also, there's this undercurrent in the thread that the player, by establishing that the guard is his/her PC's friend Frances, is somehow "cheating" or unfairly/improperly subverting a challenge. As if the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 12:39 AM
    I think your GM was meant to say "He seems to be truthful"! Whether that's mere semantic sleight of hand, or a substantive compliance with a principle for allocating narrative authority, I'm not sure. Well, quite. There's always been some ambiguity in how D&D presents its equipment rules: is the starting gp total a resource pool for equippage-by-way-of-points-buy (which is how I've...
    570 replies | 19575 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 06:20 PM
    So my SFBB arrived this morning, and while it looks fantastic, naturally I'm already set to tweaking it. These modifications are the fruit of a lot of play in other d20 based systems though, so I have a fair idea now what works. Simon's Starfinder Beginner Box House Rules Epic-4 Rules module The Box has 4 levels. This module allows for long term play using just the box. At Level 4, every...
    1 replies | 187 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 03:21 PM
    I haven't kept secret my reasons for talking about this stuff. I think that the rules the GM controls the environment, the GM narrates the consequencdes of action, the player decides what his/her PC thinks don't settle all questions of authority. There are aspects of the environment - stuff (equipment) and people (friends and family) - which are (apt to be conceived of as) extensions of the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 02:42 PM
    I agree that RPGs are games. But it would be a cold day in hell before I'd trade in my RPG time for euchre! I'm not sure that content quite captures what I'm talking about, although it's clearly in the neighbourhood. It's the participatory creation, which - on the player side - is about response as protagonist. It would be a sad thing if the best pitch we could make for RPGing is Would you...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 02:40 PM
    Your memory is correct - I've never played BitD. The only PbtA game I've played is a bit (not a lot) of Dungeon World.
    374 replies | 8077 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 02:32 PM
    Nor does rolling a certain result on a die cause weapons to break down. We're talking about systems for deciding what happens in the fiction. Having a deadly result somewhere in the middle of the charts doesn't affect the odds of rolling an unmodified deadly result, but does change the odds of getting a deadly result if Ambush skill is used to modify a crit.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 08:52 AM
    I've snipped the middle because I think the top and tail are closely connected. I want to build on the idea of a live performance. I don't know if you play any music yourself - I'm a (very) amateur guitarist, who plays for his own pleasure, sometimes for friends and family, occasionally for students. These are all contexts where who I am, who it is who's making the music, matters as much or...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 07:36 AM
    Well I think it's a choice between Battlemaster and Paladin, since the trope guy is a warrior first, so Bard does not fit. Bards are more a support type character in most fiction with groups, not the leader. The Paladin save bonus aura fits, but the spell powers only fit a few characters like Jedi knights and possibly King Arthur types. Overall for most games a Fighter with good Cha seems...
    63 replies | 2617 view(s)
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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 you’re mischaracterizing the method. You’re making it sound like if you give any description at all, you can “bypass the check.” 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


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.)


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Sunday, 19th May, 2019

  • 11:33 PM - Tony Vargas quoted S'mon in post Favourite D&D edition that’s 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 “large knife wound” on Game of Thrones. It made Ned Stark’s 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 it’s 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% C’mon, S’mon! You’ve 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 Goods’ 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 can’t 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.

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

  • 03:03 PM - Parmandur quoted S'mon in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    I get the impression it's successful in standard industry terms, but not in "Pathfinder 2010" terms and certainly not in "5e D&D 2018" terms. Well, sure, probably not, but why would anyone expect that...?
  • 12:17 PM - dnd4vr quoted S'mon in post Changing Expertise, Adding Double Proficiency
    This sounds like you have a pretty low bar for ridiculous. :D I do generally give Large creatures advantage to not be shoved around by Medium creatures, unless the Medium is a Bear Totem barbarian, Goliath or similar. But generally I'm happy for shove-based PCs to be good at shoving. There is a vast difference between being "good" and succeeding "with impunity". It would have been nice if the DM had given the large creature advantage, especially since it was a quadruped, but he didn't because the character "has expertise." When you watch a man-sized PC knocking gorgons (probably 1500 lbs or more...) on their butts over and over, I think he failed once out of a dozen times in the battle, yeah... I call it ridiculous.


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