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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Friday, 3rd August, 2018, 08:42 AM
    Where? This appears to be your first post here... Anyway, you may want to have a look at the D&D 3e supplement 'Magic of Incarnum'. It featured masks that (iirc) worked exactly like you imagine them.
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Friday, 3rd August, 2018, 08:37 AM
    I'm not sure if anyone's actually supposed to read this...
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    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 09:11 AM
    mmh, this popcorn sure is tasty :D
    211 replies | 3743 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 09:10 AM
    Combats in D&D 3e were longer than combats in 4e. They required fewer rounds of combat but took a lot longer to play through. This was mostly caused by page-long stat blocks with long lists of feats and spells that required looking them up and game effects that required you to recalculate ability bonuses and combat modifiers all the time. So, 4e combat was actually quicker _and_ more tactically...
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Monday, 30th July, 2018, 10:18 AM
    That matches my experience. I had started to re-read the original Dragonlance series at some point but quickly decided I prefer my rose-tinted memories to what's actually written. Reading the 'Prism Pentad' a second time wasn't as painful, but that was probably because I focused on making notes about what they tell of the setting for use in our RPG sessions. So, it's a good thing I...
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    Monday, 30th July, 2018, 10:01 AM
    Umm, yeah. Or rather, no. Best forget about it.
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Thursday, 26th July, 2018, 08:37 AM
    Well, if you ask pemerton, unless a sandbox allows you to build a _real_ sand castle, it's no sandbox!
    69 replies | 1963 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Thursday, 26th July, 2018, 08:32 AM
    Imho, the fewer rules, the better. Diseases (and curses) work best as plot devices.
    2 replies | 233 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Thursday, 26th July, 2018, 08:27 AM
    Murder Mice? Boardgame: Mice & Mystics RPG: Mouse Guard
    4 replies | 159 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Thursday, 26th July, 2018, 08:15 AM
    ??? wt...? Could someone please warn pemerton that his ENWorld account has been hacked? Someone is impersonating him, spouting nonsense! I'm not even sure where to start. I guess, for the sake of my health and sanity, I'll just ignore I've ever seen this post.
    169 replies | 3185 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Tuesday, 24th July, 2018, 08:36 AM
    Well, Maxis used to call their Sim series of computer games 'software toys', because: That pretty much exactly describes RPGs, don't you think? RPGs are more than 'just' games because they're so open. They provide you with a sandbox to play in as you like.
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd July, 2018, 08:57 AM
    My favorite is still 'Castle Ravenloft'. It's the most difficult and it had some great variety in the missions and boss monsters. Both 'Wrath of Ashardalon' and 'Legend of Drizz't' just streamlined the game's formula at the cost of variety. WoA had better magic items and Drizz't had better characters but in both cases the net result was too easy scenarios. The two latest entries 'Temple of...
    2 replies | 112 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 08:23 AM
    Ah, I think shamans and druids would disagree with you ;)
    957 replies | 21569 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 08:50 AM
    Curious indeed! I tend to mention it from time to time, especially when I'm bored.
    957 replies | 21569 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 08:43 AM
    Given that lycanthrope was a template in D&D 3e it's rather simple to create all kinds of weresnakes. I did so myself in my 3e campaign to create a 'naga' npc race.
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 08:38 AM
    Well, the article mentions, it'll be using the same system as the Blue Rose RPG. And the wikipedia article about the Blue Rose RPG says: Unfortunately, that's where I stopped reading. Because the next sentence says: So, it was a misunderstanding. The AGE system uses 3d6 and when you roll doubles you gain stunt points to use on some kind of maneuver. And that's pretty much all I know...
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 08:53 AM
    Oh dear, now the Ronin has mutated into a Roman :P I need to know more about the setting to tell if it's a bad fit - that's why I asked. Some important factors are the default tech level, the importance of space travel and the number and nature of alien species. But it's definitely interesting that its roots are an RPG campaign. In that case it would probably make sense to use an RPG system...
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 10:00 AM
    MoI was weird. I agree that DMG2 was mostly uninspired. The Spell Compendium, though, was an excellent investment, just like the Magic Item Compendium. While they surely didn't make for an exciting read, both were great reference books. 1e favorite: 'Fiend Folio', hands down. The worst? I cannot think of one. 'sleeper hit': 'Deities & Demigods'. Not much use for the actual game, but such a...
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 09:13 AM
    So, some quick googling seems to indicate this will use rules based on Green Ronin's d20 variant system? I've only read the first novel and haven't watched the tv show, yet, so I'm not sure if that's a good fit. What is it that makes the Expanse setting unique?
    12 replies | 444 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 09:06 AM
    I pronounce it exactly like the German word for hamburger, because I think it's hilarious :D
    36 replies | 1314 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 09:00 AM
    I particularly like the 'censored' sticker. Did it come with the minis? :D
    36 replies | 2091 view(s)
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About Jhaelen

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Requesting idea: Magic Masks Friday, 3rd August, 2018 08:42 AM
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Tuesday, 14th August, 2018


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Monday, 16th July, 2018


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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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Friday, 3rd August, 2018

  • 10:03 AM - Saelorn quoted Jhaelen in post FRP RPG sucks
    I'm not sure if anyone's actually supposed to read this...I think it's supposed to be a joke post, or possibly a parody, but Poe's Law is also a thing.
  • 09:28 AM - CapnZapp quoted Jhaelen in post It’s LAUNCH DAY For The Pathfinder 2 Playtest!
    I would hope so. PF1 is definitely too complex for my taste (these days). While I can still handle the complexity with some effort (and precious time), neither my DM nor my fellow players are up to it. And that's a really bad thing.My players would LOVE the super-crunch of Pathfinder. And to be honest, so would I. As a player. As the DM, simplified monster/NPC stats that give up any notion of following the same rules as PCs is a must. Any game where it takes longer to create a NPC than for the player characters to kill it is right out. So 5E is a compromise. Which is more important: getting to play that lovely crunchy (and minmaxed to oblivion) character? Or playing at all (at least with me as the gamesmaster)...? [emoji6]

Friday, 27th July, 2018

  • 08:25 AM - Maxperson quoted Jhaelen in post Everybody Cheats?
    I've seen plenty. Now, a perfectly spherical one? Of course not. A perfect sphere only exists in theory. It was a joke, dude. The discussion is over. He failed to prove that I am cheating, which I can't be since the rules allow me to alter die rolls. All that's left now is to joke around for a bit.

Thursday, 26th July, 2018

  • 11:18 AM - pemerton quoted Jhaelen in post The Sandbox and the Railroad
    Well, if you ask pemerton, unless a sandbox allows you to build a _real_ sand castle, it's no sandbox!Sometimes metaphors help. Sometimes they don't. A real sandbox lets me play with real sand. A RPG allows me to say stuff and be told stuff. There are different ways for deciding what I can say, and what I might be told - including moving a (real, or perhaps notional) gamepiece around on a map. But none of those ways much resembles playing with sand. As far as the oft-mooted "railroad-sandbox continuum" - it's not one. Dungeon World is a well known RPG that, if played in accordance with the rules, is neither railroad nor sandbox. (Further examples could easily be given.)
  • 10:22 AM - Lanefan quoted Jhaelen in post An Army in the Dungeon
    Err. There's something wonky with the forum software, I guess. I could see the image in the preview, but after submitting the post, it was gone. I tried inserting as an image and attachment. Now, though, I can see the image. Really strange!Maybe it just takes some time for the system to catch up? ::shrug:: Maybe ask about it in Meta, if it happens again. :)

Tuesday, 24th July, 2018

  • 08:54 AM - pemerton quoted Jhaelen in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    games that allow players to create and tell their own stories.That pretty much exactly describes RPGs, don't you think?It also seems to describe all storyteling games, most dolls and similar sorts of toys, etc. RPGs are quite a bit more specific than that. RPGs are more than 'just' games because they're so open. They provide you with a sandbox to play in as you like.Well, I can't build sandcastles with a RPG; whereas I can with a sandbox. (With at least some RPGs I can pretend to build a sandcastle, but that's not the same as actually building one.) Even if we confine ourselves to storytelling; and even if we build in further assumptions that the story is going to be created not by the players just sitting around telling stories but via the mediation of some process wherein one player establishes an initial situation, and other players bring distinct characters into that situation; and then some process is used to work out how the situation changes from those characters engaging with...
  • 01:22 AM - Thomas Bowman quoted Jhaelen in post An Army in the Dungeon
    You mean in D&D 5e? In most RPGs you can still roll up characters on notebook paper. There are many more things to track now then back with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. An Advanced Dungeons and Dragons character Sheet looks like this: http://www.seads.org/images/Chareter1.JPG You notice proficiencies/skills/languages are a bit of an after thought A typical character sheet on notebook paper would have the name, physical description if that, it would have the six ability scores, Movement, Armor class, Saving throws, hit points wounds and weapons. Skills were more or less optional, these characters were perfectly playable without them, and there were no feats. in the old days, I could roll up an entire ship's crew of 100 people, just by rolling the six attribute scores 100 times, give them armor class, THACO, and hit points and they would be ready to roll.

Monday, 23rd July, 2018

  • 01:56 PM - MidnightBlue quoted Jhaelen in post From Games Night to TV Chillout Night – Tales From the Loop TV Series Announced
    Since you can terminate your subscription monthly, I don't mind. The cost for 1 month is equal or less than the cost of buying a season of a tv show on DVD. Since I almost never watch something a second time, it's actually better for me this way. If I like something, I watch it over and over again. So it is definitely worthwhile for me to buy the DVD/BluRays of those shows. I don't know how many times I've binged Leverage, Burn Notice, Moonlight, The Dresden Files, Royal Pains, Covert Affair, Suits, Heroes, Warehouse 13, Star Trek, Barney Miller, Spartacus, Haven, Lost Girl, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica (both series), Farscape, or any number of TV seasons I own. As long as DVD/BluRay players don't go the way of the Dodo or laserdisc player, I'm good. =)

Wednesday, 18th July, 2018

  • 07:58 PM - JacktheRabbit quoted Jhaelen in post The Expanse RPG by Green Ronan
    Oh dear, now the Ronin has mutated into a Roman :P I need to know more about the setting to tell if it's a bad fit - that's why I asked. Some important factors are the default tech level, the importance of space travel and the number and nature of alien species. But it's definitely interesting that its roots are an RPG campaign. In that case it would probably make sense to use an RPG system that is close to the one used in the original campaign. If it's true that it was a d20 Future campaign, then Green Ronin's True20 system should be a fairly good match. Default tech level is no FTL, a ship can travel to the outer planets in a few months, gravity is all thrust or spin based, and the only alien in the first 3 books are all derivatives of an ancient alien device sent to the solar system a few billion years ago and recently released called the proto-molecule. As to the importance of space travel, if you play the game like the books are written then you will spend at least 75% of the t...

Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

  • 10:40 AM - Morrus quoted Jhaelen in post The Expanse RPG by Green Ronan
    So, some quick googling seems to indicate this will use rules based on Green Ronin's d20 variant system? I've only read the first novel and haven't watched the tv show, yet, so I'm not sure if that's a good fit. The AGE system isn't a d20 system.

Monday, 16th July, 2018

  • 11:33 AM - Hand of Evil quoted Jhaelen in post The Witcher RPG to Debut At Gen Con!
    Well, the former isn't all that different from the Magi in the Ars Magica RPG: The gift manifests as a kind of magical aura that causes unease in mundane animals and people. It's why they usually hire companions to deal with people and prefer to spend their time locked up in their labs to conduct research, learn spells and create magic items. Regarding the latter: Did they clarify at the seminar if all players are supposed to portray witchers? Unless they're going for troupe-style play like in Ars Magica, it would be tricky to rationalize. Not all players will be Witchers. The game (at the time of the seminar) had the players being other classes. From what I gathered, classes were not picked but rolled(?), Witchers were to be rare as a class. Not sure how this would play out with a normal group but may work for a small group. Note: at the time of the seminar, they listed a lot more classes. The seminar left me with less than warm and fuzzy and thinking they better have put in t...
  • 10:57 AM - Kris quoted Jhaelen in post Kris' all new miniature thread
    I particularly like the 'censored' sticker. Did it come with the minis? :D I just figured (since this is a family friendly place) that it's better to be safe than sorry (as folks seem to be easily offended nowadays :erm: ).
  • 10:42 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Jhaelen in post Baldur's Gate Designer Leaves Bioware To Form D&D Publishing Company
    I'm so glad you showed up here to make this post. Otherwise I'd have had to crack a joke about that ;) As someone working in the software industry myself, I can definitely sympathize with his decision. A couple of years ago I also came up with the idea to turn one of my computer game concepts into a board game instead. Ambitious computer games require large teams of specialists to work for years until their game is ready to be released. It requires much fewer resources to do the same thing in the world of pen & paper. Which basically means only lowest common denominator computer games get made. It's what, 25 years since Baldur's Gate was published? And in all that time no one has managed to make a better translation of D&D to the digital medium. I think we have reached the point of computer game saturation, and getting out is a good idea.

Monday, 9th July, 2018


Friday, 6th July, 2018

  • 07:40 PM - Wystan quoted Jhaelen in post Hidden
  • 04:30 PM - Gladius Legis quoted Jhaelen in post For the good of video games, Anthem needs to fail hard
    You are definitely mistaken there, unless your definition of 'Mass Effect fan' happens to be 'everyone who disliked Mass Effect 3'. Nope. I am right. You mean like Blizzard? How dare those EA dudes follow Blizzard's example! Did you miss the SINGLE-PLAYER part in your feeble attempt to be condescending? Of course you did. Whether you like it or not, micro-transactions are here to stay. They help ensure that the video game company makes a profit, allowing them to produce more games in the future. It's literally a small price to pay ;) You seem proud to be part of the problem with AAA video gaming today. Wow, a personal anecdote serving as proof - I'm impressed! Or, I would be, if I weren't able to counter that with a personal anecdote myself: A buddy of mine who is a big Mass Effect fan (who even managed to convince me to buy the game myself) felt that ME3 wasn't as strong as the previous two, but still definitely worth playing. And he is wrong.

Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018

  • 05:33 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Jhaelen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Well, I think it's not easy to design good solo monsters in 4e. Also, presumably, it's hard to design challenging epic monsters. It certainly must've been hard for Heinsoo & company to design good solo monsters, since it took them until MM3 to get it right. But, now that it's been done, and we see what's needed, it's pretty easy. Epic monsters aren't hard to design, either, by the numbers. Epic PCs do start to approach the sheer number of options and game-warping abilities that casters tend to get in the low double-digits in other eds (though nothing like 3.x polymorph shenanigans or scry/buff/teleport is ever enabled in 4e, even at 30th), so that's not a big problem, either. But, epic encounters, epic challenges, and especially Epic feel take some thought. The danger with a perfectly useable/challenging epic encounter is that it can end up feeling no different from a Paragon encounter, just with bigger numbers (before the DMG2, when Paragon was still a bit fuzzy, a one-off epic game ...
  • 10:31 AM - Tonguez quoted Jhaelen in post What no Luke Cage love?
    I'm definitely with you regarding most of these tv shows. especially the ones by CW (Arrow, Flash, and presumably Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and Black Lightning). These are just teenie-soaps. I was also quite underwhelmed by Gotham and stopped watching in the middle of the first season. I continued watching Agents of Shield , though. While the first two season were just okay, the third and later seasons were a lot more interesting. Anyway, I think the Netflix Marvel tv shows are a completely different beast. They focus on character development and storytelling and the 'heroes' aren't very 'hero'-like, at all. Your wife is quite right: you should give Jessica Jones a chance! i agree, I've also stopped watchiong the CW shows out of share boredom. I also gave up on season 1 of SHIELD but came back at season 4 and have been impressed since then. Gotham also gets better and as next season looks like its going to be the Batman year 1 arc it wont be too long before it fades into history....

Saturday, 30th June, 2018

  • 05:46 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Jhaelen in post What is the essence of 4E?
    That's an excellent point and it's indeed something that happens quite often. In our 4e games this was always a discussion-starter: "Hmm, so our Ranger is already out of surges again. Shall we continue, nonetheless? How's everyone else doing? Alright, since everybody else is still fine, take good care of our Ranger and make sure to keep him out of trouble. On we go!" This is why sources of healing that don't require the expenditure of healing surges are so important and desirable. It's something all of the players were looking out for. The most common source were Leader Dailies, but there are a few others, as well. It also reminds me of the 'Healing Standard' our party managed to get hold of in our first adventure. We quickly decided it was the "MIP" of our group: it saved our a**** in countless encounters that might otherwise have resulted in TPKs. In case you don't recall what I'm referring to: Yeah, I gave BSoH to the first party that I ran 4e for in 2008. It was a great way to kind of sm...

Friday, 29th June, 2018

  • 05:25 PM - Les Moore quoted Jhaelen in post Everybody Cheats?
    I'm not sure I'd call that 'cheating' (just like several of the examples given in the article don't constitute 'cheating' for me), but it's definitely something I don't like. In my games RAI always beats RAW, and since I'm the GM, I'm the final arbiter about what's intended and what isn't. I always discourage my players to visit or read the so-called "Character Optimization Boards". As I like to point out, it's not possible for a player to gain any advantage by abusing unintended cheese. The reason is that a player can never 'win' against a GM: If players start to overdo it and optimize their characters too much, all they'll achieve is that I'll be designing correspondingly harder encounters for them. Players are better served spending their creative energy to create a fun character with a believable and interesting background and personality traits. IME, there is always a way to develop a trait, or advantage, over time, with work and character molding. But I have to agree there are things w...


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