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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Monday, 14th January, 2019, 09:50 AM
    This is what I'd use.
    20 replies | 553 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 09:09 AM
    We don't.
    17 replies | 442 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 09:49 AM
    Indeed! Imho, it's unplayable as a table-top RPG but it might have worked as the core of a computer RPG.
    26 replies | 824 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 09:40 AM
    I just tried to reply to Morrus in kind. I was only interested in learning if there was anything that qualified this Matt guy in any particular way to make a judgement on Tolkien's work. Apparently, that's not the case, so this is simply a case of:
    98 replies | 2897 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 09:46 AM
    Since the release of the 'Trail of Cthulhu' RPG, I actually wouldn't consider using any other system for a Mythos campaign. It actually puts the focus where it (imho) belongs: on the investigation. Also, it support both pulp action and a more traditional approach. There's an excellent conversion of 'Masks' available for free.
    21 replies | 1095 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 09:42 AM
    I'm sorry if you didn't like my (initial) post, assuming you actually bothered to read it. I thought the thread's title implied it was intended to also invite opinions on Tolkien critics in general. If I was mistaken I'll happily refrain from posting again.
    98 replies | 2897 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 09:34 AM
    I think it's better to roll it 20000 times for a more accurate result.
    7 replies | 303 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 09:31 AM
    Nope. I hated the first season (stopped watching after 2-3 episodes). Totally contrived cases and especially the supposedly clever but actually utterly dumb methods of solving cases. Idris Elba may be a great actor but that's not enough to carry a show with a bad script.
    6 replies | 236 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 09:23 AM
    While your being so helpful, let me ask you another question: Why should I care about his opinion?
    98 replies | 2897 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd January, 2019, 09:49 AM
    Who is Matt Colville? Anyway, when reading the German translation of 'The Lord of the Rings' I felt it was a really hard read because the descriptive parts were way too long and tedious. Several years later, when reading the original, I didn't mind them at all. I think that's for two reasons: 1) English tends to be more succinct than the German equivalent. 2) I had a much better idea what to...
    98 replies | 2897 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 10:48 AM
    In Germany, you don't get a choice. Every household has to pay for the public tv channels. I don't mind though, since I still use them a lot. My preference has shifted a bit, however, and these days I mostly watch documentaries and European tv shows. Arte is still my favorite channel with a very varied program and some excellent picks. I only have my netflix account for about 3 months, now,...
    17 replies | 617 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 10:39 AM
    I finished 'The Fifth Season' and have now started with 'The Obelisk Gate', both by N.K.Jemisin. I was pretty excited about the first novel in the 'Broken Earth' trilogy. It's exactly about what I enjoy most in my sci-fi novels: exploring a world that is quite different from our own. But it's even more enjoyable because there are also some striking parallels to our world that make you think about...
    23 replies | 603 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 10:23 AM
    Well, I finally watched 'Batman vs. Superman' and have to admit I liked it. But so far it's the only one of the new DC movies (haven't watched Wonder Woman, yet, though).
    23 replies | 762 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 10:16 AM
    When the party's engaged in overland travel, I normally only allow an extended rest when they've reached their destination, or, if it's a very long journey, whenever they stay at an inn/village/town/city for the night. When they're exploring a dungeon, there's also rarely a chance for an extended rest. However, my dungeons tend to be small affairs, so there typically aren't more than four...
    13 replies | 573 view(s)
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Wednesday, 13th June, 2018

  • 09:13 AM - TheCosmicKid mentioned Jhaelen in post Mythological Figures: Thor Odinson (5E)
    In archeology in Norway, the term hof means a personal shrine in someones own home. But what does it actually mean in Old Norse? The term gođi is one of the later titles that the Icelanders invented for their jarl. Generally, it was his duty to inaugurate a new session of the ţing parliament, at which time he would invoke various nature spirits for a successful year.I think @Jhaelen already fielded this one, but I'll add that even if what you say is accurate (which it isn't), you are still describing a spiritual leader. Which you just said didn't exist. The Norse term gođ means something like ‘helpful nature spirits’, as opposed to ‘unhelpful nature spirits’ (jǫtnar and dvergar). Etymologically, it means something like ‘invoked one’, referring to those spirits that are called on to thank for helpful actions....as opposed to a god, who is invoked and thanked for helpful actions...? Note, when trying to translate the Christian concept of a god into the Norse worldview, a different Norse term, guđ, was used instead. Making the distinction is understandable given the cultural context, but they're just variants of the same underlying word with the same "invoked one" PIE etymology. The feminine form of gođi, gyđja, is even derived from guđ rather than gođ. And at the risk of stating the obvious, both are cognates of "god".
  • 06:17 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Jhaelen in post How to deal with solitary party member?
    ...ing stupid, it's even less of a problem. I recall one of my players' PC(s) dying three times in a single adventure: First he tried to charge over a hanging bridge while goblins at the other end were ready to destroy the supports, then he trampled into a grey ooze, and finally he tried to argue with a roper that had him firmly in its grasp (in case you're wondering: we played the D&D 3e 'Forge of Fury' module). He became a lot more careful after that, although he still managed to accumulate the most character deaths at the end of the campaign. I'd call this an example of D&D's mismatch between advertised fantasy adventure and reality as meat grinder crushing the spirit of the player who actually expected to play an action hero. And this is a point, be very careful not to just crush player's legitimate desire to really adventure (or do whatever) simply because conformity to the game's paradigm is uppermost in your mind. This particular player may not be a case of it, but the one that Jhaelen cites seems like EXACTLY that. Let them blossom.

Thursday, 3rd May, 2018

  • 12:14 AM - pemerton mentioned Jhaelen in post Looking for Advanced Role-Playing Content
    if you game has advanced beyond the need for encounter tables, what does that look like? How do you go about determining what encounters should occur, and where or when?I'm not Jhaelen, but I can answer for my part: when I use systems that don't involve encounter tables (which is every system I run except Classic Traveller), I determine what encounters occur based either on adjudication of player action declarations for their PCs, and/or based on what I thik the demands of pacing, theme, etc require.

Friday, 2nd February, 2018

  • 07:49 AM - Ratskinner mentioned Jhaelen in post Is D&D Too Focused on Combat?
    History shows us that a system which requires combat skills and non-combat skills to compete for character resources will almost invariably end with players investing in combat skills and ignoring the non-combat skills. Words don't work against zombies or otyughs, but swords are effective against everything. Games that use a unified system for everything tend to have worse balance issues than games which keep those activities segregated. I think that Jhaelen's idea there was to simply reduce combat encounters to be similar to some kind of skill challenge, not (necessarily) change the way skills are allocated. You could still pre-package the skills into Race/Background/Class, rather than let the player pick from each bag arbitrarily. IME with more than a few games that do something akin to that. It produces super-fast gameplay and (can) facilitate much better(IMO) storylines, just because speed. However, it doesn't usually produce the visceral tension that turn-based tactical combat like D&D can produce. (Capes, a quirky little superheroes rpg, is the one stellar exception that I am familiar with.)

Thursday, 25th January, 2018


Saturday, 6th January, 2018

  • 10:29 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Jhaelen in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    ...: shouldn't 'having fun' be its own reward? Rewarding good role-playing makes slightly more sense, but I still dislike the practice because some players _are_ good role-players and don't need (and usually don't care about) the extra xp. They're roleplaying because they consider it fun (i.e. see above). It's the players who struggle with role-playing who'd benefit most from a rule granting them extra xp to encourage them to give their best. But if you want to treat all your players fairly, they'll still always fall behind the players who are already good role-players. In other words: granting xp isn't a good choice if you want to encourage good role-playing. What you really want to achieve is that your 'problem' players realize that role-playing is fun! So, what works better, imho, is to give them more opportunities to be in the spotlight and reward their efforts with mostly immaterial things, like better contacts or allies. I agree with Campbell and (at least in part) with Jhaelen here. The issue I have with DMMike 's position above is that it seems to assume that GM-agnostic systemization of XP gain is either not feasible or undesirable. The GM doesn't need to be in any position to hand out XP. In the Powered By the Apocalypse systems that Campbell is bringing up, XP isn't "awarded" via one person's (likely opaque and cognitive bias-laden) adjudication. Its simply gained via transparent, focused triggers; eg did you fail on a move, did you make Desperate Action Roll, did you overcome a tough obstacle/threat via coercion, did your Vice get you into trouble. The GM's role in these things isn't in the awarding. The GM's role is in following the game's premise and the player cues, in framing the action whereby decision-points related to vice temptation, desperate situations, and dangerous NPCs that can be coerced are the central focus of play (and whatever else might part of the game's PCs' portfolio and xp triggers such as themes of heritage, beliefs, as...

Thursday, 2nd November, 2017

  • 01:22 PM - pemerton mentioned Jhaelen in post Odd request for help: I need a mathematician!
    I think that Jhaelen is right. I assume I would need to limit the tapestries down to fewer results and if the generator rolls for one, then it would roll again for determining which of the 500 tapestries is the final result.That is the "intermediate table" that Jhaelen refers to. Deciding the numbers for that intermediate table isn't a maths problem, it's just deciding how often do you want tapestries vs paintings.

Thursday, 19th October, 2017

  • 08:59 PM - Blue mentioned Jhaelen in post What are you reading? - October 2017
    I've been reading your posts for a long time Jhaelen, and I never would have guessed that English wasn't your first language. You have a great command of English as well as use of idiom.

Wednesday, 30th August, 2017


Thursday, 13th April, 2017

  • 04:35 PM - DMMike mentioned Jhaelen in post Can I Make Polymorph a First Level Spell?
    Jhaelen: the description says "form or appearance," so yes it's illusory, and yes it's real. Depends on the caster. It's not permanent, by the way, since the caster needs to exert will (spend an action) each round to maintain it. You could also do it the way Lamentations of the Flame Princess handles the Summon spell. You're rolling the dice on a disaster happening every time you summon. This sounds like too much fun. At the least, this is a second level spell, in that it's strictly better than Disguise Self - which allows you to make much more limited cosmetic changes. Secondly, the spell you've described is not 'fluff only', because it does effect fictional positioning. 1) Suppose it lets you polymorph into a barstool, a fluffy bunny, or a goblin. Will NPC's now react to you as if you were a barstool, a fluffy bunny, or a goblin? Only if there was a 100% chance that it would not alter the behavior of NPCs would this be 'fluff only'. 2) Suppose I polymorph into a songbird? Do ...

Monday, 6th February, 2017

  • 11:18 AM - Quickleaf mentioned Jhaelen in post First time making a "serious" dungeon! How do you do it?
    DMMike I always forget about OGRE. Thanks for reminding me! And yes, "dungeon" is often D&D's quirky shorthand for "lair." Jhaelen Maybe that was part of my thinking in the past. I saw plenty of examples I felt were sub-par so I kind of avoided it. Only after years of DMing and writing do I finally feel like I have what it takes to design a big dungeon well. One of the first questions posed in 3e Dungeoncraft is What is the function of your dungeon in your campaign setting? Before you set pencil to paper, you need to decide how the dungeon fits into your campaign setting. Take a moment to consider why the dungeon exists, how it interacts with the rest of the world, and what purpose it (and other dungeons) serve in the grand scheme of things. You could just say that dungeons are the ruins of a forgotten civilization, but many other interesting possibilities exist. Death Trap... Near Frontier... Agent of Evil... Legendary Location... The Bizarre... My hunch is Krak al-Mazhar fits as a Legendary Location... Dungeoncraft also lists 10 possible traits of legendary locations. Here's how I see those applyin...

Monday, 9th January, 2017

  • 11:56 AM - fuindordm mentioned Jhaelen in post Interspecies conflict in sci-fi campaigns
    Thanks for the input everyone. Jhaelen, Reasons for conflict abound... once multiple species are sharing the same world or habitat. What I was looking for was reasons for conflict that could justify the risk of destroying expensive starships, under the assumption that starships cost a significant fraction of a civilization's economic output to rebuild. Naturally, if building starships is cheap, even massive ones like the Enterprise or the Galactica, then species will fight each other for more petty reasons.

Thursday, 8th December, 2016


Tuesday, 28th July, 2015

  • 04:26 PM - steeldragons mentioned Jhaelen in post Psionics Hits Unearthed Arcana
    Jhaelen , it's not you. You're not old...or rather, more likely, I am comparably "old" to you. hahaha. But, while I can't speak to app's or i-anything at all, I can tell you as far as the WotC site, it's not "modern web design"...it's a BAD poorly designed site. It IS confusing. It IS (for no discernible reason I can see) difficult to use/find anything. So, at least in that, chin up! It's not you. :cool:

Wednesday, 1st October, 2014

  • 10:29 AM - steenan mentioned Jhaelen in post Rewarding Proactive Play
    I have encountered people who were shy or short on ideas. In general, I neither kicked them out nor forced them into spotlight. I run the game normally and they usually stay in the background. They don't do much (there is much more talking than fighting in my games typically), but having them in the game hurts nobody. I ask for feedback quite often and when I see that something caught such person's interest, I pursue this theme. I create opportunities for them to gain something by being proactive. I allude to facts in their backgrounds they never mentioned - either confirming or denying these gives me something to work with. Some of them decide that RPGs are not for them. And some gradually open up. There are a few players who, when I started playing with them, only rolled dice for combat or were afraid of any spotlight. After a year or so of playing they became main actors in the campaign. But I definitely agree with Jhaelen that if a player told me something in the general tone of "It's your job to entertain me; don't expect any effort on my part.", I'd show them the door without thinking twice.

Wednesday, 14th May, 2014

  • 09:21 PM - garrowolf mentioned Jhaelen in post Starship Graphics
    @gameprinter - Oh I see. Sorry about that! Jhaelen - Hey! I asked Stardock and they don't mind!! Woot!!!

Wednesday, 19th February, 2014

  • 02:43 AM - Quickleaf mentioned Jhaelen in post The 4e Solo Thread
    Jhaelen Ah, well truthfully I've only had a handful of PC deaths between my last 4e campaign and my current...one from a foreshadowed coup de grace, and two from falling / friendly fire. It would appear my players are their own worst enemies ;) Anyhow, back to the topic of Solo Monsters! I think I've got a list of rules for solo design / major topics that should be covered in a design document: Monster damage equivalence (e.g. solo should be worth 3-5 monsters' DPR) Multi-attacks (connected to above, what is impact of choosing one type of multiattack vs. another? For example area attack vs. opportunity attack vs. minor action attack vs. dual basic attacks) Schrodinger's stat block (i.e. needs to adapt to party size) Action recovery (including mitigating attack penalties) Auras (what makes a good solo aura? how to use effectively in encounter?) Replacing "save ends" powers with something more suspenseful & increasing player agency...you don't just make a saving thr...

Monday, 25th November, 2013

  • 05:32 PM - SkidAce mentioned Jhaelen in post What's your favorite trap?
    Well, as mentioned, I don't particularly like traps, but these 'living' traps are even worse. They are too obviously specifically designed by the DM to screw the players, without regard for making any actual sense. I hate that kind of meta-gaming arms-race. Cloakers and lurkers we love. We consider them a natural evolution of magical creatures. Ears seekers and rot grubs, we tend to agree with Jhaelen.

Friday, 1st November, 2013

  • 10:04 PM - Sword of Spirit mentioned Jhaelen in post Sorting RPG Systems
    @Morrus I didn't originally put in genre because so many games are multi-genre, and I'm looking for defined options in each category. But after putting some thought into it, I think including genre is probably a good idea to make the list as useful as possible. @Jhaelen I don't suppose you have an .exe or java version of that application available? @amerigoV How would you choose to classify Savage Worlds? @Steenen Good call. "Realism" is a bit messy. I'd be willing to split it up if I could come up with a couple of clear categories (and I'm not too keen on the name actually--I wrote the OP up on the fly without spending time on refinement). The main thing I'm trying to get at is a combination of how gritty the game is for "normal" inhabitants, and how well the physics model reality versus a more forgiving high action movie. Character power falls more into genre. For instance, Exalted is based around playing fantastically powerful beings, but the Storyteller system that it uses is probably the lower end of adventurous. I'd therefore categorize Exalted as adventurous. I could definitely use a better term than "realism," though. I tend to refer to the vulnerability to influences concept you are talking about as character identity, or player cont...

Monday, 7th October, 2013

  • 12:29 AM - Challenger RPG mentioned Jhaelen in post How to Design a Village in 5 Easy Steps
    ...ideas is just what you're looking for. @delericho : I think that's a fine idea. I guess, dealing with fantasy, I tend to come up with names first and purpose afterwards, but that's not really how it is in the real world. I guess it's just a liberty I take 'because I can'. I'm sure your way would make more sense. @Hand of Evil : Excellent idea. I think it would be a good idea for anyone to add this step when designing a village. It would definitely add a ton of realism to what you're creating and give you even more ideas to go with. I'd also point out that this could be something really crazy or imaginative from fantasy like: "Because all single women over 22 were cursed to live here in the 12th age" etc. Thanks for the link, too. @Morrus : Yes, thanks. I really enjoy creating name generators myself (for various things) but I guess I was always too greedy/lazy to share them. I still have a dozen or so sitting around my hard drives and papers somewhere. Thanks for sharing! @Jhaelen : Yes. What can I say, when I'm wrong, I'm wrong. :) @Dwimmerlied : Thanks. You're most welcome. @haakon1 : Very cool. Thanks. Kind of makes me wish I lived in England. @Derren : Yep. :) *** Regrettably, this will be my last column here on En World. I would like to thank Mr. Morrus for giving me the opportunity to write for his fine website, and I'd like to thank all the great people who are my fellow columnists for being so supportive and writing their own great material. I've had a some chuckles reading a few of your pieces. Thank you to everyone who read one or more of my columns. I really appreciate your time, and thank you for spending it with some of my writing. There are few things in life I enjoy more. Also, special thanks to anyone who commented. Good or bad, the feedback has been great. I've learned a few things and laughed pretty hard as well. While I'd like to continue writing these articles (they're great fun) reasons of time and business have interfered. At...


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Monday, 14th January, 2019


Wednesday, 9th January, 2019

  • 04:56 PM - Retreater quoted Jhaelen in post D&D: The Board Game?
    Imho, the reason there's no dungeon crawler able to offer you the same experience as Hero Quest back in the day is that you're not the same person you were back in the day. We sat down to play a session of Hero Quest last year and it really wasn't great. It was kind of fun to revisit the game for nostalgic reasons, but boy have board games evolved since then! However, having said that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx8sl2uC46A I can agree that nostalgia is likely a big factor, but I think I would still like certain things about the game: ease of play, quick pace, GM interaction, etc.

Monday, 7th January, 2019

  • 09:13 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Jhaelen in post Matt Colville, and Most Tolkien Critics, Are Wrong
    I just tried to reply to Morrus in kind. I was only interested in learning if there was anything that qualified this Matt guy in any particular way to make a judgement on Tolkien's work. Apparently, that's not the case, so this is simply a case of: https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png Two things: A, what useful thing do you think you're contributing with this? 2, no. Matt is an extremely popular voice in nerd circles, who last year broke 1 million dollars with a kickstarter for a 3pp dnd product. You unfamiliarity doesn't indicate anything about the value of his criticism of a thing. He's also a writer with a dedicated following, who wrote the first run of the Critical Role graphic novelisation. There just...isn't really a context in which he's just some random yahoo talking about LOTR. 3, even if he was just some rando, you're aggressively missing the point of this thread. If you don't care about what the thread is about, go find one that you do care about the topic o...

Saturday, 5th January, 2019

  • 10:45 PM - MarkB quoted Jhaelen in post How to test the balance of your d20
    I think it's better to roll it 20000 times for a more accurate result. That'll get you loads of data, but it'll probably also wear down the die to the point where you'd want to replace it.

Friday, 4th January, 2019

  • 11:43 PM - Nebulous quoted Jhaelen in post Call of Cthulhu as a Horror Game
    Since the release of the 'Trail of Cthulhu' RPG, I actually wouldn't consider using any other system for a Mythos campaign. It actually puts the focus where it (imho) belongs: on the investigation. Also, it support both pulp action and a more traditional approach. There's an excellent conversion of 'Masks' available for free. If I ran it again that's what I would do, Trail + the Pulp rules.
  • 04:32 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Jhaelen in post Matt Colville, and Most Tolkien Critics, Are Wrong
    I'm sorry if you didn't like my (initial) post, assuming you actually bothered to read it. I thought the thread's title implied it was intended to also invite opinions on Tolkien critics in general. If I was mistaken I'll happily refrain from posting again. I’ve no issue with your initial post. If I did, I’d have replied to it in similar fashion as I did the last one. Asking why you should care who the guy in the video in the OP is, is a useless post. If you intended to find out who he is beyond being a guy in a video, you could have actually asked that. Otherwise, I can’t imagine any useful motivation for that post.
  • 12:36 PM - Morrus quoted Jhaelen in post Matt Colville, and Most Tolkien Critics, Are Wrong
    While your being so helpful, let me ask you another question: Why should I care about his opinion? It’s just a video sparking off a conversation. If you’re not interested, there are plenty of other threads.
  • 09:35 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Jhaelen in post Matt Colville, and Most Tolkien Critics, Are Wrong
    While your being so helpful, let me ask you another question: Why should I care about his opinion? Why post in a thread for no purpose other than to rudely question the validity of the thread? If you can’t be bothered to watch the video, you are free to just keep scrolling. No one is forcing you to post in any given thread.

Thursday, 3rd January, 2019

  • 12:08 PM - Morrus quoted Jhaelen in post Matt Colville, and Most Tolkien Critics, Are Wrong
    Who is Matt Colville? The person in the video in the OP.
  • 02:56 AM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Jhaelen in post Burning Questions: What Do New DMs Need to Know?
    Nope. Ignore alignments. Ban them from your games. Or even better: play an RPG that doesn't have an alignment system. That seems like odd advice for a new DM running... D&D, though I saw from a later post you're suggesting playing another game entirely. At least in the USA, D&D is hands down the most common game and is likely to be what people are going to get players for. If you say "hey, let's play DSA" most potential players will say "huh, what?" Pathfinder is an option but it's just D&D in most ways and I wouldn't think something that rules-heavy is a good starting game, though that might depend. It's got alignment anyway. Rather than thinking of alignment per se, I think the main issue is very self-interested or PVP type behavior. This is very challenging for a DM in the best of times, but it's really tough on a new one. While rules certainly can't stop someone from murder hobo behavior, I do think starting out saying "we're playing heroes" or something like that is a good idea. Th...

Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019

  • 06:06 PM - Celebrim quoted Jhaelen in post Burning Questions: What Do New DMs Need to Know?
    Nope. Ignore alignments. Ban them from your games. That impulse always struck me as a particularly aligned one, which foretold a good bit about the actual moral universe the game would explore.
  • 05:02 PM - Ryujin quoted Jhaelen in post Aquaman (Spoilers!)
    Well, I finally watched 'Batman vs. Superman' and have to admit I liked it. But so far it's the only one of the new DC movies (haven't watched Wonder Woman, yet, though). You may well find that Wonder Woman skews the curve for you a bit and resets expectations somewhat higher in future.
  • 10:43 AM - Cergorach quoted Jhaelen in post War is Hell in Ulisses Spiele's Wrath & Glory
    I could never fathom why there are W40k fans. Imho, everything about the setting and the game is terrible. But it's rather futile to argue about tastes... Originally it plundered just about every dark sci-fi source there was (Dune, Alien, etc.), so it's not so strange it was popular back in the day. I agree that the game itself is mediocre at best, the setting is indeed terrible, and that is why some (enough) like it. ;-)
  • 10:16 AM - cthulhu42 quoted Jhaelen in post Burning Questions: What Do New DMs Need to Know?
    Nope. Ignore alignments. Ban them from your games. Or even better: play an RPG that doesn't have an alignment system.So you're advice for new DMs is to not play D&D. Awesome. For those new DMs that do want to play D&D, establishing a moral baseline can be hugely helpful. Many young players see D&D as an outlet for immature murder fantasies, or a way to be destructive with no real world consequences. The alignment system, as archaic and unpopular as it is, can help focus a group toward cooperative, heroic goals, and that's a huge help to a new DM, no matter what system they're playing. But that's just my experience after 37 years of running RPGs. Take it with a grain of salt.

Wednesday, 12th December, 2018


Tuesday, 11th December, 2018

  • 10:17 AM - Dioltach quoted Jhaelen in post What ten foot hallways really look like.
    We definitely didn't know exactly what we were doing and our first fight against two orcs proved to be the end of our short adventuring careers... In my first attempt at running a game, I pitted three 1st-level Adventurers against four Trolls. It was over very quickly ... Actually, my friends and I have been playing the old 1st edition again, with some house rules, and we're having great fun.
  • 04:10 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Jhaelen in post 4E WotC Tools dead?
    then why did the rules measure movement and spell ranges in inches? It's quite clear there was an underlying assumption, players would be using miniatures. I agree. Although even 1e is a bit vague on exactly how space and movement work once you get 'engaged' in melee, the game very definitely assumes a sort of 'battle space' where everything has a location and you can make measurements (and nominally it has a scale). This is all directly descended from the original D&D rules, which resolved combat using Chainmail, with the exception that indoor areas were mapped 1" = 10' instead of 10 yards. They even have a scaling of AoEs and ranges so that everything takes up the same inches underground that it does above (in other words, the game is really played in inches, not yards or feet). Early D&D play ALWAYS had minis. In fact there was a standing rule in our game club (which had a few 100 members) that you couldn't run a character unless you had an accurate figure for it. If the only dwarf you h...

Monday, 10th December, 2018

  • 09:57 AM - Zardnaar quoted Jhaelen in post 4E WotC Tools dead?
    then why did the rules measure movement and spell ranges in inches? It's quite clear there was an underlying assumption, players would be using miniatures. Its what they used. DMG (1E) page 10 makes it very clear miniatures are optional. They are an aid or "might be". Also early D&D is not consistent. BECMI for example uses feet and its generally what is used as an example of simplicity and its better for theatre of the mind. There is an A in AD&D for a reason. B/X IMHO is the superior ruleset, 1E is better in regards to the feel of it, its bloody awful trying to play as is. Not sure if anyone actually ran it 100% as is, from what I have seen in played its run more like B/X with more class and race options and more spells. Never used minis well into the 3E era, I would like to say 3.5 but the 1st time I used them was in another group late 2002 with 3.0 and it was because they used them. With AD&D/BECMI we used graph/math paper or winged it. Its a bit disingenuous to claim 4E is not more ...

Monday, 26th November, 2018

  • 10:43 PM - MarkB quoted Jhaelen in post Worlds of Design: Fantasy vs. Sci-Fi Part 2
    What makes faerie tales and fables (and maybe myths, as well) different from the Fantasy genre is their purpose. Imho, they're first and foremost meant as allegories. Fantasy is usually 'just' entertainment. I always felt that Tolkien's work was a strange beast and doesn't really fit in well with the rest of the Fantasy genre, because it's been an attempt of creating a modern myth. But maybe I'm just overthinking things... To at least some extent, much of the fantasy genre exists because LotR created that modern myth. Many works live within and explore the narrative boundaries laid out by Tolkien's works, drawing upon their established tropes whether to play them straight or subvert them. Even those that grow beyond those boundaries still often use them as a basic foundation, relying upon a shared thematic understanding for the initial reader buy-in. To me, what distinguishes whether a work feels like science fiction or fantasy is not the essential plausibility of the setting's tra...
  • 04:33 AM - TheZigZagist quoted Jhaelen in post Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
    Clearly, the question is already wrong. There's no "we". I'm the only real being in existence. Everything else is just fabrications of my mind. A fellow solipsist I see. How ironic. lol


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