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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 08:46 AM
    By traveling back in time you create a new timeline. There's never any paradox because your old timeline remains completely unaffected. Or am I missing something?
    42 replies | 902 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 08:42 AM
    Not all players appreciate such twists. When you pitch your campaign to them, they're going to make certain assumptions that influence the way they create and plan for their PCs. E.g. I once had this idea of starting a 'Mage: The Ascension' campaign, only to kill off all PCs during their first story to switch over into a 'Wraith: The Oblivion' campaign. Such an approach is rather risky. Expect at...
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    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 08:33 AM
    Well, in general I prefer it if RPG system are custom-designed to fit a particular setting. Assuming the designers know what they're doing, the result will always be better than trying to shoe-horn an existing, generic rule system into the setting; see "The One Ring" as a perfect example. There's a second aspect to your question, though: When using a setting based on novels or movies, you...
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    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 08:53 AM
    I've had tons of fun playing my Dragon Magic Sorcerer.
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    Tuesday, 12th June, 2018, 08:54 AM
    Overlooked this somehow: That is exactly what you should do. Why adjust your challenges if the PCs are being stupid? Let the players learn from their mistakes. My motto is that a dysfunctional party is a problem that solves itself. Normally it shouldn't take more than one TPK to get their attention... And if it's just a single PC that is being stupid, it's even less of a problem. I recall one...
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th June, 2018, 08:40 AM
    It's been a while since I played Runequest, but I cannot remember a single incident where a character hit himself due to a fumble. Losing limbs (or heads) was a quite common occurrence, though. I really liked how lethal ranged weapons were in Runequest (especially the once that could impale).
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th June, 2018, 08:29 AM
    Nope. I once included a 'flashback' episode where the PCs got a chance to play through a past event, but I'd never include actual time-travel.
    42 replies | 902 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Monday, 11th June, 2018, 09:36 AM
    Sooo, he doesn't mind sitting out the combat encounter with the seven other players having a good time? Then, I guess, there's no problem at all. It also seems that in your games it isn't dangerous to go off on your own. If you want to discourage that behavior you may want to want to change that. I've had a player in my campaign whose character was a one-trick pony with maxed out stealth...
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Monday, 11th June, 2018, 09:16 AM
    The Sword Coast map looks great, but the dungeon maps are way too busy for my taste.
    2 replies | 331 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Monday, 11th June, 2018, 08:46 AM
    In other words you actually agree that even if magic items are for sale, it's not a way to burn money. P.S.: Looks like this thread exploded over the weekend. TL;DR, unfortunately :(
    114 replies | 3082 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 08:53 AM
    Umm, yeah. I think your examples are increasingly far-fetched in order to prove your point. When we're at a point where 'a particular item’s history does not include any known instance of being sold does not mean that NO items of that kind were ever sold.' there's no meaningful discussion to be had. OF COURSE, you cannot ever absolutely claim that something does never happen. There are no...
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    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 08:45 AM
    A Transformers spin-off? Yuck!!!
    4 replies | 252 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th June, 2018, 08:34 AM
    Easily. In the Ars Magica RPG it's the default. In fact, supplying mundanes that do not belong to your Covenant with magic items is reason for exclusion from the Order of Hermes. In addition, almost all magic items are designed to only work for their intended recipient. They're useless for anyone else. In many RPG systems and settings, there's a distinction between 'high magic' and 'low...
    114 replies | 3082 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Monday, 4th June, 2018, 09:07 AM
    What the heck is a swatch bucking movie? (English isn't my first language, so my apologies if it should be obvious...)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Monday, 4th June, 2018, 09:03 AM
    +1.
    6 replies | 275 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Monday, 4th June, 2018, 09:01 AM
    Well, if you play in a campaign without any way to buy magic items and the players aren't interested in building castles (which none of my players ever was), then accumulating wealth is indeed rather futile and doesn't work as an incentive.
    114 replies | 3082 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Monday, 4th June, 2018, 08:58 AM
    Are you looking for a modern or a sci-fi setting? For a modern setting I really like the new World of Darkness core rules. Just stay away from any of the 'monster' books (Vampire, Werewolf, etc.) and you have the perfect system to run a mystery campaign in the style of the X-files tv show.
    52 replies | 4097 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Monday, 4th June, 2018, 08:50 AM
    Yep, 'Ashen Stars' is definitely my 'Star Trek' RPG system of choice :)
    48 replies | 1362 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th May, 2018, 03:41 PM
    Hmm, perhaps D&D?
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th May, 2018, 08:35 AM
    Yet, many people do own several variants of the same game, including re-themes: Risk, Risk Legacy, Risk: Europe: Risk: The Lord of the Rings, etc. One of my friends owns every edition of 'Axis & Allies'. Once a player has determined that she likes a certain (kind of) game, she tends to look for games that are similar. I'm seeing this every day in the Recommendations section on BoardGameGeek. ...
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Tuesday, 29th May, 2018, 09:30 AM
    Imho, because 'Star Wars' is basically just 'Fantasy in Space'. Star Trek also feels a lot more restrictive, since all PCs have to belong to the Star Fleet.
    48 replies | 1362 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Monday, 28th May, 2018, 08:21 AM
    That's what we did. And in my experience that was a really good call. Whenever anything in the character builder triggered a "wow, now _that's_ awesome!" reaction, it was from Dragon magazine. Also, sometimes players wouldn't pay attention to the source of the power of feat they'd chosen and during the game when they'd first try to make use of it everyone went like: "you can do WHAT?!" I.e. I...
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Friday, 25th May, 2018, 10:10 AM
    Well, if I'm the GM and I'm no longer having fun, I'll tell my players and quite likely just quit the campaign. I wouldn't say it's a 'responsibility' of players to ensure I'm having fun, but it definitely helps if they don't get on my nerves all the time ;) There can be reasons that don't have anything to do with the players, e.g. a kind of 'burnout'. As always, talking to your players regularly...
    56 replies | 2261 view(s)
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  • Jhaelen's Avatar
    Friday, 25th May, 2018, 10:02 AM
    We still meet. depending on what we agreed on, we'll either play a regular RPG session or turn it into an evening of board games. We 'solved' the problem for our RPG campaigns by having a pool of 10-12 players and we'd play if a certain minimum of players had time (three or four). Each player also had two characters so we had some flexibility and could ensure that a healthy mix of roles was...
    19 replies | 595 view(s)
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About Jhaelen

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Where Do They Get Their Money, Part One Wednesday, 20th June, 2018 08:57 AM
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Thursday, 21st June, 2018


Wednesday, 20th June, 2018


Tuesday, 19th June, 2018


Saturday, 16th June, 2018


Thursday, 14th June, 2018


Wednesday, 13th June, 2018


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Friday, 8th June, 2018


Tuesday, 5th June, 2018


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Wednesday, 30th May, 2018


Tuesday, 29th May, 2018


Monday, 28th May, 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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Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 02:40 PM - Umbran quoted Jhaelen in post Time Travel in yourgame?
    By traveling back in time you create a new timeline. There's never any paradox because your old timeline remains completely unaffected. Or am I missing something? To be clear - nobody has ever done this, so what happens when you do it is fiction, and we get to choose. For example, Mr. Bowman, above, says that if you travel in time, you *cannot* end in a state that removes the reason you traveled back in time. That's *his* restriction. He feels that's the appropriate logic. But that's a choice for metaphysics in his world. It isn't the most common choice - usually, you see a person travels in time, changes the past, and comes forward again. Kennedy lived (thanks to them), so they have no reason to go back to the Grassy Knoll, but they do not remember the new history, and come back not knowing, for example, that Madonna is now President of the USA. While Mr. Bowman refers to Timeless, the show doesn't rigorously use his metaphysic in general. This may not be obvious at first, be...
  • 01:37 PM - Eltab quoted Jhaelen in post Origins Award Winners
    Given the outcome, I'm quite glad, the Echo representatives were too naive to think of such an option. That award was an abomination, anyway. I mean, how would you feel about "50 shades of gray" getting a Pulitzer price? That's just ridiculous. Yassir Arafat somehow was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, despite never having good-faith pursued peace in his life. I wonder what the REAL qualification list was that year? (P.S. not wanting to derail thread with politics but the historical example was too memorable to ignore.)
  • 09:24 AM - R_Chance quoted Jhaelen in post Where Do They Get Their Money, Part One
    Yeah, but how does it improve the game? I think, it would quickly get old having to use a calculator when going shopping. Even the Ars Magica RPG which is otherwise very accurate in presenting an authentic medieval setting gets rid of weird exchange rates to improve gameplay. Besides, if you want to be _really_ accurate, then there's no fixed exchange rates, anyway. There'll be plenty of barons, dukes, and whatever who have permission to mint their own coins. And theses coins will all be different in weight, purity, etc. Also, the 'cabbage seller' mentioned above will probably not accept any coins. He'll expect to barter cabbages for some other goods or services he currently needs. Weird as it seems after about 40 years the math is easy :) It's flavor really. Just another small thing that separates the game setting from mundane life. There are tons of cultural and social variations that are part of the setting too. Feudalism, for one. In a world where people have levels and monsters exist f...

Tuesday, 19th June, 2018

  • 01:38 PM - Eltab quoted Jhaelen in post Origins Award Winners
    Unfortunately, the number of sales is absolutely NOT indicative of quality, whatsoever. ... and I said that volume should be 'a factor', not the final determination. No I hadn't heard of the Echo Music Prize, before or after they covered themselves in not-glory. Way back when, Ed Sullivan told the Rolling Stones to tone down their lyrics if they wanted to appear on his show; the Echo people had the same option.

Monday, 18th June, 2018


Friday, 15th June, 2018

  • 03:06 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Jhaelen in post Revised 4E Wizard Class with Freeform Spellcasting System
    I've had tons of fun playing my Dragon Magic Sorcerer. I'm glad. One thing I noticed about roles was that they did have very different appeal. Some strikers, like the Archer Ranger lent themselves to very simple, but, apparently, still fun, modes of play, while others could get a little more elaborate. Controllers, OTOH were more involved, while Leaders invited you to pay careful attention to what your allies were doing, as well as managing your character.
  • 09:21 AM - Sadras quoted Jhaelen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Do you feel that FFG's Star Wars RPG was inspired by CCG's, as well? Sorry, I cannot comment because I have never played or looked at the FFG's Star Wars RPG. It is probably blasphemous to say this on these boards (not going to make any friends), but I was never interested in playing a Star Wars RPG - thematically the fantasy space opera never appealed to me. I prefer the harder sci-fi settings.

Wednesday, 13th June, 2018

  • 06:17 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted 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.
  • 02:51 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Jhaelen in post Towards a Story Now 4e
    It's been a while since I played Runequest, but I cannot remember a single incident where a character hit himself due to a fumble. Losing limbs (or heads) was a quite common occurrence, though. I really liked how lethal ranged weapons were in Runequest (especially the once that could impale). Lethality is cool. I don't think it would mesh well with a narratively focused game that features a fair amount of combat as a major activity! Or at least such a game would have to involve a lot of character death at least, with attendant difficulties.

Friday, 8th June, 2018

  • 10:20 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Jhaelen in post How different PC motivations support sandbox and campaign play
    Umm, yeah. I think your examples are increasingly far-fetched in order to prove your point. When we're at a point where 'a particular item’s history does not include any known instance of being sold does not mean that NO items of that kind were ever sold.' there's no meaningful discussion to be had. There is always going to be a serious disconnect between written fiction. Writers concentrate on moving the stories forward, without needing to look at mechanics. The writer has complete control. RPGs are based in mechanics, and are cooperative fictions. Ignore Fantasy stories for a minute, and instead look a gangster fiction. How many times in the setting of Mario Puzo’s Godfather fiction do people use guns? Now, how many times does Puzo detail the history of a weapon? Does a lack of that detail imply that commerce in guns does not exist? Do we make that assumption? If not, why would we assume that people of Middle Earth wouldn’t sell magic items, just because JRRT doesn’t ta...

Tuesday, 5th June, 2018

  • 09:50 PM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Jhaelen in post How different PC motivations support sandbox and campaign play
    Easily. In the Ars Magica RPG it's the default. In fact, supplying mundanes that do not belong to your Covenant with magic items is reason for exclusion from the Order of Hermes. In addition, almost all magic items are designed to only work for their intended recipient. They're useless for anyone else. In many RPG systems and settings, there's a distinction between 'high magic' and 'low magic', e.g. only 'low magic' items like potions are ever sold. This is e.g. the case in 13th Age or the 'Dark Sun' setting. So, while there may be _some_ magic items for sale, they aren't in sufficient supply to provide a way to 'burn' your money. Essentially covered in post #51. The one way I could see a “no commerce” setting working long term is if all magic items- at least those over a certain “hedge witch/alchemist” level- were not universally usable. They’re attuned to a certain class, species, bloodline or even a particular person, for instance, and won’t work for anyone else. As I continued...

Monday, 4th June, 2018

  • 12:46 PM - Hand of Evil quoted Jhaelen in post Solo: Star Wars A Flop?
    What the heck is a swatch bucking movie? (English isn't my first language, so my apologies if it should be obvious...) and my spelling is horrible...swashbuckling...gee, I am bad and English is my only language. :) Swatch Bucking is trying to ride a colorful wrist watch. :)
  • 09:43 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Jhaelen in post How different PC motivations support sandbox and campaign play
    Well, if you play in a campaign without any way to buy magic items and the players aren't interested in building castles (which none of my players ever was), then accumulating wealth is indeed rather futile and doesn't work as an incentive. I’m curious, how does one run a campaign without any way to buy magic items? To paraphrase Dr. Ian Malcom, “Commerce...uh...finds a way.”

Wednesday, 30th May, 2018

  • 06:25 PM - Umbran quoted Jhaelen in post Star Wars, Star Trek, and Gaming
    Hmm, perhaps D&D? I was, of course, referring to turning to the Dark Side in Star Wars games. Talk about your restrictive rules - can't even force choke people! What's up with that? :p
  • 02:26 PM - Umbran quoted Jhaelen in post Star Wars, Star Trek, and Gaming
    One of my friends owns every edition of 'Axis & Allies'. Once a player has determined that she likes a certain (kind of) game, she tends to look for games that are similar. I'm seeing this every day in the Recommendations section on BoardGameGeek. Meh. Using BoardGameGeek to imply things about the general game-playing population is like using EN World to talk about the general RPG crowd. Most players aren't posting on either site, so the sites aren't representative. Imho, 'Star Trek' simply isn't sexy. ... So, instead of playing officers in a rigid organization with restrictive laws, you're troubleshooters looking for a mostly legal way to make easy money. Okay, so "sexy" is "being able to act without oversight". What "restrictive law" does the Federation have that doesn't appear on pretty much any world other than the Prime Directive? You realize that only applies in a small number of the possible scenarios a Trek game can cover, right? And the Jedi, they have no rule...

Tuesday, 29th May, 2018

  • 01:23 PM - Umbran quoted Jhaelen in post Star Wars, Star Trek, and Gaming
    Star Trek also feels a lot more restrictive, since all PCs have to belong to the Star Fleet. Given that many of the characters on DS9 and Voyager were not Star Fleet, there's a misconception there. Kind of like saying that it isn't Star Wars unless there are Jedi PCs. And then considering Solo.
  • 10:09 AM - delericho quoted Jhaelen in post Star Wars, Star Trek, and Gaming
    Imho, because 'Star Wars' is basically just 'Fantasy in Space'. Star Trek also feels a lot more restrictive, since all PCs have to belong to the Star Fleet. One reason all of the Trek series* take place right on the frontier of known space (whether because it's on a "five year mission", an outpost right by a newly-discovered wormhole, or because Voyager has been dragged into a whole other quadrant) is precisely to reduce the impact of Starfleet - both in that the heroes can't rely on the fleet to come back them up, and also in that the fleet can't just impose their morality on the crew. If Kirk wants to impregnate alien cultures with his influence, there's nobody around to stop him. * I should note that I haven't seen Discovery, so that might be an exception.

Monday, 28th May, 2018

  • 02:56 PM - MwaO quoted Jhaelen in post What Do You Feel is Necessary or Recommended?
    That's what we did. And in my experience that was a really good call. Whenever anything in the character builder triggered a "wow, now _that's_ awesome!" reaction, it was from Dragon magazine. Also, sometimes players wouldn't pay attention to the source of the power of feat they'd chosen and during the game when they'd first try to make use of it everyone went like: "you can do WHAT?!" I.e. I disagree that it took a lot of foresight or clever (ab)use of synergies to find exceptionally strong options in Dragon magazine. Note, that I'm not necessarily talking about broken stuff; often the choices from Dragon were just strictly better than anything else. Eh? Most of the stuff that's really exceptionally strong is in books. Occasional Dragon option hits an angle that nothing in any book does, but… As an example, Flame Spiral, Demonskin Adept, +2/3/4 bonus damage to Fire feat, +1/3/5 Shard to implement, Staff of Expertise, Accurate Staff, Dual Implement Spellcaster, Arcane Admixture(to ma...

Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018

  • 02:27 PM - Hussar quoted Jhaelen in post Avenger's Infinity War *Spoiler* Discussion
    That's because the general idea of reducing a population in order to save them (or their environment) _is_ rational, as has already been pointed out in this thread. It's the over-generalization and scope that turns it into madness. I recall reading about the 'advantageous' side effect of wars of reducing populations. There's definitely precedence. I think it's more a question of morality than rationality. I.e. other methods of regulating population growth may be less questionable. But, that's not how culling works. You don't cull once and then walk away. You cull periodically. That's what hunting seasons in North America actually are. There's a reason that we have those seasons and the limitations on the number of animals killed. The notion that you can cull once and walk away is completely irrational. And, frankly, wars have never really reduced populations. At least, not in the longer term and even in the short term. Good grief, we've killed more people in wars in the last h...
  • 05:19 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Jhaelen in post What Do You Feel is Necessary or Recommended?
    I'd especially recommend the 2nd Draconomicon because it provides some excellent insight into making the various good-aligned dragons into great villains. If you don't care much about dragons, my two other favorite books from the 4e era were 'The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea' and 'The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos'. Apart from providing great background info about the 4e cosmology they were full of material ready to be inserted into your games: story hooks, encounters, terrain features, etc. I also liked 'Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site' a lot. It's a very detailed description of a rather weird dwarven settlement with countless npcs, story hooks and even a small campaign outline. IT had everything that all of the 4e adventure modules lacked. Draconomicons were cool in terms of adding a lot of interesting color to dragons, and a LOT of ideas for how to use them in campaigns. The added types are cool, though I think there are already SO many that it is a l...


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