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    Saturday, 20th April, 2019, 10:12 AM
    I'm planning to run a Pendragon scenario on Monday which will take place at Easter with the normal Christian religious activities taking place. Some of them have particular events associated with them. I suppose I'll be able to say afterwards whether it was good or not. I do remember one that was fun, a Paranoia adventure where Friend Computer had discover, "Commies hate Easter!" Therefore...
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Thursday, 9th May, 2019


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Sunday, 8th November, 2015

  • 12:35 AM - pemerton mentioned Bluenose in post Purple Dragon Knight = Warlord?
    ...ighters (and barbarians), assassins and thieves (and thief acrobats) do not cast spells at any level. (Though name level assassins and thieves can use scrolls.) Paladins don't cast spells until 9th level, and rangers don't cast spells until 8th level. So for the levels at which most play takes place, these are also non-spell-using classes. (And they couldn't use scrolls - other than the protection scrolls that everyone could use - and the spells they were able to cast were comparatively low level. An 8th level ranger casting one 1st level druid spell per day is not a high magic character.) Bards, due to their funky progression rules, spend a lot of time as non-casting fighters and thieves. Monks are non-casters, and don't ever get any overtly magical abilities (they can talk to animals and plants, and self-heal ie they are mystics). Clerics cast spells from 1st level but have very limited attack spell options prior to 5th level (and Flame Strike). I agree with Hussar and Bluenose that there is a big difference in feel and flavour between this game, and 4e or 5e. Also, expressing the view (i) that it would be a nice thing if WotC designed a warlord, and (ii) that the game contains the in-principle room and mechanical resources to make a warlord work, isn't demanding that WotC do anything.

Saturday, 7th November, 2015

  • 04:36 PM - Remathilis mentioned Bluenose in post Purple Dragon Knight = Warlord?
    Hussar and Bluenose... Slight error correction: Bards started at 2nd level. They had no spell slots at first, but gained one at 2nd level. They started with 1d4 spells (rolled randomly) and had to find more while adventuring. They also capped at 6th level magic (leading to the 2/3rds caster of 3e and 5e playtest) but his caster level = his bard level (which when paired with the rogue track was impressive). They had access to ALL wizard spells as well, rather than a unique list. (Yes, that meant magic missile and fireball). Doing a quick Tally: Non-magical classes in PHB1: BECMI: 4 (Fighter, Thief, Dwarf, Halfling) 1e: 4 (Fighter, Thief, Assassin, Monk*) 2e: 2 (Fighter, Thief) 3e: 4 (Barbarian, Fighter, Monk* Rogue) 4e: 4 (Fighter, Rogue, Warlord, Ranger) 5e: 4** (Barbarian, Fighter, Monk*, Rogue) * Assuming non-magical = no spellcasting, not no-supernatural abilities. ** Of course, EK, AT, and Wo4E give spellcasting to these classes, but unlike the other classes, it is possible to rema...

Friday, 30th October, 2015

  • 09:13 PM - El Mahdi mentioned Bluenose in post Warlord Name Poll
    ...n/Hauptman (root of Captain and too authoritative) Proconsul (the Pro- makes it too authoritative) Shepherd (too religious, too bucolic, too Firefly) Synergist (too boring, and sounds like some kind of psychic) Armiger (exclusively military and noble) Sherriff (too noble, too law enforcement) Impetro/Impetrus (too authoritative – Imperial) Adjunct (too subordinate, too Star Trek Borg - Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One) Prolucutor (the Pro- makes it too authoritative, sounds like the person is a professional talker, and is just too hard to say) Warden (too Ranger) Leader(zzzzzzzzzz…) @3e4ever ; @77IM @Aaron Of Barbaria; @AbdulAlhazred ; @admcewen ; @Aenghus ; @Ahrimon ; @Ainulindalion ; @airwalkrr; @Aldarc ; @akr71 ; @AmerginLiath ; @Andor ; @AntiStateQuixote ; @aramis erak; @Aribar ; @Arnwolf ; @Ashkelon ; @Ashrym ; @Athinar ; @AtomicPope ; @Azurewraith; @Azzy ; @Bawylie ; @bedir than ; @Bedrockgames ; @bert1000 ; @billd91 ; @Blackbrrd; @Blackwarder ; @Blue ; @Bluenose ; @brehobit ; @BryonD ; @Bupp ; @Campbell ; @CapnZapp; @CaptainConundrum ; @CaptainGemini ; @Carlsen Chris ; @casterblaster ; @CasvalRemDeikun; @cbwjm ; @ccooke ; @Celebrim ; @Celondon @ChameleonX ; @Charles Wright ; ChrisCarlson; @CM ; @cmad1977 ; @costermonger ; @Creamsteak ; @Crothian ; @Cybit ; @Dausuul; @Dayte ; @dd.stevenson ; @DEFCON 1 ; @Delazar ; @DersitePhantom ; @Diffan ; @discosoc; @D'karr ; @Doc Klueless ; @doctorbadwolf ; @DonAdam ; @Dragoslav ; @Duganson; @EdL ; @EditorBFG ; @Edwin Suijkerbuijk ; @Eejit ; @ehren37 ; @Elfcrusher ; @El Mahdi ; @epithet; @erf_beto ; @Eric V ; @eryndel ; @Evenglare ; @ExploderWizard ; @EzekielRaiden; @Fedge123 ; @fendak ; @FireLance ; @Fishing_Minigame ; @Flamestrike ; @FLexor the Mighty! ; @Forged Fury ; @Fragsie ; @Fralex ; @FreeTheSlaves ; @froth ; @Gadget; @Galendril ; @GameOgre ; @Garthanos ; @Ghost Matter ; @Giltonio_Santos ; @Gimul; @GMforPowergamers ; @Gnashtooth ; @Green1 ; @GreenKarl ; @Greg K ; @GreyLord; @Grimmjow ; @Grydan ; @G...

Wednesday, 2nd September, 2015

  • 12:07 PM - El Mahdi mentioned Bluenose in post Warlording the fighter
    ...to a forced march, etc.) …look at mass combat rules… Rally the Troops Once per long rest, a Warlord can motivate and focus their group with a stirring speech (whatever group they are leading at the time, be it their adventuring group, a company, or a whole army). Doing so either allows all members of the group to recover hit points equivalent to the Warlord’s Wisdom or Charisma modifier times ½ the allies level (minimum of 1), or free all members of the group from non-magical fear (the Frightened condition), or reduce any effects due to exhaustion by one level. The group must be within hearing range of the Warlord, and only affects members not at 0 hit points. Command Actions (in-work) Individual tactics or maneuvers - based on Battlemaster maneuvers, 4E Warlord powers, etc. @fuindordm @Tony Vargas @GMforPowergamers @Hussar @cbwjm @epithet @MoonSong(Kaiilurker) @bert1000 EzekielRaiden @Manbearcat @Uchawi @Ashkelon @Eric V @pemerton @Jester Canuck @Bluenose @Minigiant @I'm A Banana @aramis erak @Warbringer @Leatherhead @ehren37 @Winterthorn @TheHobgoblin @Neonchameleon @Obryn @Imaro @nomotog @Ashrym @The_Gneech @Remathilis @Olgar Shiverstone @Sacrosanct @Gimul @Twiggly the Gnome @CapnZapp @MechaPilot @kerbarian @Psikerlord# @jgsugden @DEFCON 1

Saturday, 23rd May, 2015

  • 05:24 PM - garrowolf mentioned Bluenose in post Need American Revolution Naval help
    Bluenose Sounds like you know a lot about the subject! Cool! Well I've got a list of ships that I have converted so far. Maybe you could look it over and make some corrections? The information that I have been able to find has been of varying usefulness.

Saturday, 21st March, 2015

  • 02:22 PM - pemerton mentioned Bluenose in post The Best Thing from 4E
    ..., even if I didn't always achieve it. the Lordless Lands LL campaign I played in (GM'd by a librarian to the House of Lords) worked so well - it had an incredibly English sense of dark humour in the Fighting Fantasy/White Dwarf/TSR-UK style.That map looks like it could be straight from FF! Getting off-topic, Pendragon (own it, not played or GM'd it) seems to be a sim system (BRP) drifted over to dramatist play - or at least, it ought to work well that way? What do you reckon? This is a type of game I'd like to run fairly soon (thinking 'manor' type play, or 'Game of Thrones' at a lower level of world-power) - a group of PCs with ties of blood & loyalty, central set location (Deadwood/Castle Stark sort of thing) and a focus on character. I've been struggling with what system to use - considered using 4e D&D and Fallcrest, considered the Song of Ice & Fire RPG, considered Dragon Warriors, considered BRP (generic) or BRP-Pendragon.I've played only a little bit of Pendragon. Bluenose on these boards knows it well, I think, and might be able to give advice on its detachability from strict world/genre sim. I don't know SoIF, hence can't comment on it, but I can see why you're looking at RQ/BRP. For the game you are describing, I would absolutely recommend Burning Wheel - good for low power, does character focus and ties of blood and loyalty very well - but you may not want to have to pick up a new system. At a superficial glance it has quite a bit in common with RQ (detailed skill list, advancement by doing, gritty combat, good support for non-combat as well as combat) but in the details of play it is very different (players are expected to metagame advancement, to play their characters hard in pursuit of troubles and goals to earn the fate points that make sustained mechanical success more than remotely feasible). BW is far, far grittier than 4e - my running of Maiden Voyage ended up with the crew mostly dead, the ship sunk and the PCs adrift in the Wooly B...

Tuesday, 17th February, 2015

  • 03:29 PM - pemerton mentioned Bluenose in post Where does the punitive approach to pc death come from?
    ...pectation that resurrection of dead PCs is available, then "death" isn't really death - it is a type of cash-soaking speed bump. Given that there are other cash-soaking speed bumps available which, on balance, might have less of an impact on verisimilitude, why not just go with them? Should I add 'in my opinion' to everything I write?No need, I knew it was your opinion. What struck me was that it expressed such a strong view about what "we, as players" have to do. If you were only stating what you, as a player, prefer to do than I don't doubt that you are correct! a player is likely to appreciate having attained a high level more, if said player has had to survive the campaign's hazards longer, as in from a low level.I don't think this is generally true. My reason for that is my own experience. I think that high level PCs are more likely to be memorable, everything else being equal, if the campaign lasts for a longer rather than a shorter time. I think this is similar to Bluenose's point: long-lasting play tends to be memorable. But in my experience if a campaign lasts a long time than a character who was brought in above 1st level, and played a significant role in that campaign, may well be memorable even though that character was not played all the way from the lowest level. In thinking of the longest-running campaigns that I've run, there were very memorabe and significant characters brought in at a range of levels above 1st: 2nd, 3rd, 7th, and mid-teens. It is the duration and depth of play, not survival per se, that in my experience makes the difference. The "accomplishment", such as it is, is not the player accomplishment of keeping the character alive, but rather the social/group accomplishment of keeping the campaign active and engaging.

Thursday, 5th February, 2015

  • 11:03 PM - pemerton mentioned Bluenose in post Schrodinger's HP and Combat
    AbdulAlhazred - I looked up Book 1 (Characters & Combat) when I got home. On the END issue: wounds taken to END in a given combat encounter do not reduce the number of available blows/swings in that combat, but do reduce the number of available blows/swings in the next combat. On the damage dice issue: the first wound comes all of one randomly-determined stat (creating the "ramp" you describe); if the character survives that, then damage dice can be split and allocated to stats as the player chooses. On Runequest - yep, as you said there is no death spiral other than bleeding. EDIT: Though, as Bluenose points out, there is body-part dysfunction which is a type of death spiral.

Sunday, 25th January, 2015

  • 12:45 AM - pemerton mentioned Bluenose in post What are the Roles now?
    ...ception of what the various character class roles were/are. Those rules take the form of advancement penalties for playing one's character outside allocated role. I believe that 2nd ed AD&D has something similar in its XP rules (fighters get more XP for killing, thieves for looting, etc) but I don't myself have a copy of the relevant DMG. In 3E, as far as I know, and in 4e, there are no rules that relate advancement to role. Hence my remark that descriptions of roles, in 4e, are merely guidelines. They tell you what your PC might be good at, given its mechanical capabilities. You 4E fighter might be a controller or a striker or whatever. Pointing out that a class can choose more than one role misses the point that the roles where much more directly bolted on to the mechanics.In what sense? Dealing damage in D&D has always been bolted very directly onto the mechanics. And as far as the "healer" role goes, it is absolutely bolted onto the clerical spell mechanics in AD&D. (As Bluenose pointed out upthread, and which you scorned for reasons that are opaque to me.) I can't recall anyone ever talking about their fighter being a "controller" or a "striker", not even in concepts that would pre-date those terms. <snip? The guys I played with never felt like they were playing "controller" fighters or "striker" fighters. They were playing fictional characters who were warriors. And this biographical anecdote is diffrent how? When you play 4e with these guys, do they think of their PCs differently? Or do you not play 4e with them? When I have played Rolemaster o AD&D, some players think of their PCs primarily in terms of mechanical capabilities - this fighter has a shield for defence but lower damage, this fighter has a two-handed sword for maximum offence - and others not. Likewise in 4e - some of my 4e players think in terms of role, but some - especially the wizard/invoker player - very clearly do not. (At least not in 4e terms. In 3E terms his PC is the ski...

Saturday, 16th August, 2014

  • 06:21 AM - pemerton mentioned Bluenose in post Class Analysis: Fighter and Bard
    The example used was, "if one PC can bypass hp, then every class should." <snip> You directly state that if a wizard had that ability but the fighter doesn't, then the wizard is better in and out of combat. Did you not read my posts talking about things like spell availability, interruptions, etc? These are all very important factors that need to be considered before anyone makes a claim that one class is more powerful than another. Not sure why you're ignoring them.There is no spell interruption in 5e for spells that take a standard action to cast. And the system of spell-memorisation means that availability is the most liberal it's been in any published version of D&D. And the fundamental question, which Bluenose has frequently asked, is this: how does it fit with either game balance or verisimilitude that the characters who are the masters of physical combat can't do anything like dazing, stunning, disabling, maiming, blinding etc (all of which happen in the real, non-magical world) while the characters that are the most versatile in the game also have all this versatility in combat?

Thursday, 26th June, 2014

  • 05:54 PM - Tovec mentioned Bluenose in post Uh... since when was this an issue.
    @Bluenose - there you go again with your outrageous suggestions that there are non-magical ways for people to become dazed, blinded, crippled or maimed in warfare. Where's the verisimilitude in that! I actually have no problem with fighters poking out people's eyes or damaging them in ways that cause certain status conditions. So long as they have to succeed on the attack roll and don't get the effect as a consolidation prize I am okay with things like what @Bluenose describes. What considerations? There was an excellent thread on the WotC forums about this - about the ways that DoaM doesn't interact with the rules - but at the moment I can't find it. However off the top of my head, (mis?)remembering common complaints from that thread and from my past ones; poison, high-dodging/dex characters (pixies), high natural armored characters (dragons), 4e style minion rules/low HP creature rules (some seem to think it doesn't/shouldn't *kill* them, ever, but as written it does no problem), damage ...
  • 09:55 AM - Sadras mentioned Bluenose in post Things that the non-magical Fighter could do
    Bluenose, most if not all of your ideas can be incorporated into the Fighter's manoeuvres with superiority die. There are some others that could be stolen from the Beastiary playtest pdf: Commander Trait (from the Hobgoblin) and Disciplined (from the Human Warrior)...etc
  • 09:16 AM - pemerton mentioned Bluenose in post Uh... since when was this an issue.
    Bluenose - there you go again with your outrageous suggestions that there are non-magical ways for people to become dazed, blinded, crippled or maimed in warfare. Where's the verisimilitude in that!

Wednesday, 25th June, 2014

  • 10:30 AM - pemerton mentioned Bluenose in post 15 Petty Reasons I Won't Buy 5e
    ... around 20% per attack will be noticeable in play. That's all just presentation. "100% percent more" makes it sound like a lot, but it's still just a mere 20th of your rolls. Not a big deal. You're still playing games with ratios. Yes, 1/10 is double the output of 1/20. It's still 1/10. Of all your d20 rolls, 1 in 10 will be a success that would have been a failure without the item.And if you're dealing an average of 10 damage on a hit, that's another +1 to damage. Before we actually apply the damage bonus from the weapon. I don't think that will be invisible in play. Both 3E and 4e contain feats that grant no bonus to hit but a +2 bonus to damage. Those sorts of feats are fairly popular, because they give a noticeable increase in character damage output: around +25% for a character with 16 STR wielding a longsword. More generally - it can't be true both that magic weapons give you an advantage in play, and that they make no difference in play. EDIT: Following on from Bluenose's post above, the higher the other bonuses on the character the less a +1 weapon will contribute - eg prof gains, stat gains etc. But "fewer buffs" is meant to be a catchcry of the edition; and at higher level typical enemy ACs will increase at least a bit, I think, soaking up some of those prof gains.

Friday, 16th May, 2014

  • 07:05 PM - pemerton mentioned Bluenose in post Simulation vs Game - Where should D&D 5e aim?
    ...esolved using a simple skill check or as a skill challenge, depending on its context within the adventure unfolding at the table. Whoa there, tiger! That sounds like some DM fiat to me.Framing mechanics isn't fiat, at least in the sense that that has been debated in old threads. Deciding outcomes is fiat. I'm not sure what the point of that semantic distinction is.Because a rule is a norm or procedure for yielding a resolution. Genre expectations aren't rules. They're closer to models, illustrations or paradigms. Reality certainly works by rules. Sure, but reality itself is not a rule. And when I use reality as a measure of plausibility in an RPG, I'm not (normally) whipping out any trusty laws of motion. I'm more often projecting from my own knowledge and experience (eg that carts have wheels, that one-legged people are slower than two-legged, that friendly folks will grett you as they pass, that libraries have books with pages with ink on them, etc). I also agree with Bluenose - at least in my RPGing, principle of sociology and history, philosophy and theology (and occasionally even economics) are more important than physical laws for making sense of what is happening. In all three cases, there are boundaries that demarcate what can and cannot occur.Rules tend not to demarcate what can occur, but dictate it. As a general rule, the game is not going to break because a player's PC got to do what the player wantedIf that's really the case, we ought to throw out the rulebook.I don't see why, at least not for my own case. I don't have an especially strong sense of what you use the rules for. (Worldbuilding? But I'm not sure how. Resolution during play? Your procedures for play aren't very clear to me.) In my own case, they are used to build game elements (eg monsters, PCs, etc) and to resolve players' action declarations for those game elements over which they have control (mostly their PCs). In the context of resolving action declaration, the rules p...

Tuesday, 21st January, 2014

  • 12:04 AM - pemerton mentioned Bluenose in post Why Balance is Bad
    ...More generally, action resolution that proceeds without trying to model ingame causal processes tends to rely on a degree of abstraction. The same sort of issue you raise about maps would also be raised by trying to mix a hit location system with a D&D-style hit point system. Did the PCs see the gorge in their previous travels? Will it still be there in a few sessions? It would seem to me, that once the gorge is established in play, it would always be there. Nothing has to be set in stone until you have presented it to the players.What Hussar and Incenjucar say here seems right to me. But that's not the issue. The gorge appearing is fine. It's that for some reason the gorge disappears after its existence has been established in play. I doubt hero quest does that.Heroquesting happens in a mythical realm, where things can change depending on how the hero-quester engages the myths and heroic figures that underpin that realm. This is a bit of a corner case, and I think Bluenose is right that it probably wasn't what Derren had in mind. The problem with this is that when a class is say, 90% good at social and 10% good at combat, or even 0% good at combat, it means that other classes have to make up for it. Couldn't the GM just build weaker combat encounters?

Wednesday, 8th January, 2014

  • 03:21 PM - pemerton mentioned Bluenose in post Why the claim of combat and class balance between the classes is mainly a forum issue. (In my opinion)
    ...ally moved beyond the player/GM dichotomy. Iif you find GNS useful, by all means employ it. I just find it really doesn't work for me (and I don't buy into it) so I tend to react negatively when it feels like folks are pushing its concepts on me I think some people, such as pemerton, S'mon and Neonchameleon are missing the fact that while they may not enjoy playing in railroads with meta-plots and little to no "protagonism" apparently some/many people do. In what way am I missing that fact? All I've said is that I don't like that sort of play, and that I've welcomed refugees from it into my games. If others love it that's no skin of my nose, as long as they don't try and tell me that I'm not really roleplaying. As for this implication that I'm some sort of terminology-pushing elitist - innerdude was the one who (i) introduced GNS terminology into this thread, (ii) for the purpose of arguing that gamists have no place in RPGing. It is only the three posters you mentioned, plus Bluenose and LostSoul, who have made the point that gamism is where the RPG hobby began, and is - from the Forge point of view, among others - a completely viable, vibrant and unobjectionable form of RPGing. Here's an interesting post excerpt from the Evil Hat website by Rob Donoghue (co-creator of FATE) concerning indie rpg's being equated with the Forge and his feelings on the Forge.... Since he clearly draws a distinction between himself and "members of the Forge" I'm starting to believe that Fate isn't a Forge game.I don't see himself distingusihing himself from "members of the Forge" - which furthermore would be dishonest, wouldn't it, if the forum for his game was based at The Forge. (Unless you are working with some other definition of "message board member" that I'm not familiar with.) Frankly it seems to me that he is trying to avoid being tarred with the Forge's brush, despite selling a game which strikes me as pretty "indie" by any typical measure (eg player protagonism via ...

Thursday, 28th November, 2013

  • 03:11 PM - pemerton mentioned Bluenose in post Religions in D&D
    I don't feel I'm communicating very successfully, except perhaps to Bluenose who seemed to get what I was talking about in a post or three upthread. What kind of "rich sense" are you looking for? <snip> this is precisely why I find books like Faiths & Pantheons useful, because they make it clearer how I might possibly play a priest of Mielikki.But if you look at the sources I mentioned - Arthurian romance, LotR, and even narrative histories like Seward's - they don't really read much like Faiths & Pantheons. They don't give us abstract or decontextualised lists of things that paladins like and don't like and do and don't do. They tell us particular stories, and describe particular personalities, and thereby convey something about an ethos and a certain sort of orientation in life. That's at least part of the "rich sense" that I'm looking for. Making sense of this religion in terms of the values that it sees as important for, and motivating of, human endeavour. What do you think it's missing that prevents you to find this page useful.For instanc...

Monday, 25th November, 2013

  • 09:38 AM - pemerton mentioned Bluenose in post Religions in D&D
    ... religion front-and-centre is because they do not have the mechanics, nor the broader orientation/approach to play, that would make it front-and-centre. I think this is related to the "modelling" approach to many fantasy RPG rules - they aim at modelling, in various ways, physical events such as swordfights and lockpicking, and even when they don't model these (eg D&D's hp and AC don't really model very much) they determine outcomes by reference to them. Whereas nothing in these rules typicaly models either the processes of, or the outcomes of, religious commitment as experienced by the religious person. Hence religious commitment becomes essentially neutralised in play, while mechanistic, physicalistic explanation are foregrounded, either expressly in the rules, or by allusion (as we model luck, for instance, by the generation of random numbers through the rolling of dice - how does this take at all seriously notions of providence, divine fortune and the like?). chaochou and Bluenose have mentioned Runequest and Glorantha upthread, which tries to replace physicalistic and mechanistic explanations with mythical ones. (Though I'm personally not sure that RQ's ultra-simulationist mechanics are the best tool for conveying this.) Of versions of D&D, I think 4e goes furthest in integrating religous commitments and religious motivations into players' choices for their PCs, for instance via its distinctive build options for religious characters (even the fact that paladins can wield their weapons with CHA rather than STR takes us closer to the idea of expressing sainthood or divine grace in combat, rather than brute strength powered up by a Bless spell). But there is scope to go a lot further.

Thursday, 10th October, 2013



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Friday, 19th April, 2019

  • 06:18 AM - Kersus quoted Bluenose in post What are you currently playing?
    Running the Pirates of Drinax campaign with Mongoose Traveller 2e. How is this going? I'm about to run the Fall of Tinath, my first 2e (only 1e was Cowboys vs Aliens the rest being CT).

Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018

  • 02:31 AM - Wolfpack48 quoted Bluenose in post Need a system recommendation
    Something from the d100/BRP family would be my suggestion. Take Delta Green or one of Call of Cthulhu's supplements for play later than the default 1920s era, and add one of the fantasy versions for more magic. They certainly meet all five conditions. Although I have to say that I don't see why Savage Worlds wouldn't work if you have it, as while I don't really like it myself it's perfectly fine for longer campaigns. I believe Chaosium is bringing back the "big yellow book" for Basic Roleplaying -- it really is a versatile system, and easy to pick up if you have ever played Call of Cthulhu. Here's a review: https://youtu.be/eKsGft6VhGM

Sunday, 5th August, 2018

  • 03:16 PM - tomBitonti quoted Bluenose in post American Indians Colonize the Old world in 1250 BC
    A small correction, the New World had plenty of domesticatable plant species (rice, maize, potatoes, and many others). It was large animals that could be domesticated that were rare (the llama, alpaca, and perhaps the Turkey). There are a number of reasons why the lack of those would have a severe impact on farming (ploughing, for instance, is much less efficient). There's also an argument in Diamond's book that in Eurasia east-west transmission of a variety of food plants was much easier because they'd stay within a climate zone, where the Americas north-south alignment meant the south American civilisations couldn't utilise most central American crops because the climate wasn't suitable. What that suggests is that if there's contact between different regions of the Americas with different civilisations, then they might develop extensive trade networks to exchange unusual goods. That could be the start of a technological revolution that would bring Americans to Europe, although prevailing wind...

Monday, 30th July, 2018

  • 02:37 PM - Thomas Bowman quoted Bluenose in post American Indians Colonize the Old world in 1250 BC
    They get sick from all sorts of diseases that they've never been exposed to but which are common in Eurasia, the Eurasians wait till they're weakened by this and massacre most of them, keeping some as prisoners to teach them how to make all these wonderful devices. Old World Diseases celebrates another victory. I didn't say conquering three continents would be easy. You know what started the slave trade? Malaria, it is an African disease brought to the New World by Europeans, and Europeans and Indians kept dying of it, so that made it uneconomic to use indentured servants south of the Mason-Dixon line, so they brought in black slaves as they had a natural resistance to that disease. What would the American Indians do if they tried to conquer Africa and mine out its gold and diamonds? The answer seems pretty obvious. The fact that Indians would keep dying tends to discourage settlers trying to make a home for themselves in Europe as well.

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018

  • 11:18 AM - Bagpuss quoted Bluenose in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    There's a reason Dragonmeet has a harassment policy. To be fair most Con's nowadays have a harassment policy, it's just the done thing to do, that way if something occurs you have a policy to point to. Anyone starting a convention should have a harassment policy in place, just like they should show people where the fire exits are. Having a policy doesn't point to it happening (ie: you needed to introduce a policy because of an incident), or not happening because you have a policy (which every suddenly obeys because it exists). Unless you happen to know of an incident that prompted Dragonmeet to introduce the policy? The intro to their policy said they were introducing in response to reports at other conventions.

Sunday, 11th March, 2018

  • 11:18 PM - pemerton quoted Bluenose in post Adventure In The Far Future With Traveller Second Edition
    The Kinunir from Adventure #1 and the Annic Nova from Double Adventure #1 are closer to the first in age, though they're not standard PC ships.I have these (Kinunir in PDF, Annic Nova in hard copy) but as you say they're not "classic" ships. Have you seen the latest kickstarter campaign for the Element Class Cruiser box set? I'd say that a Classic Traveller fan ought to get a lot of worth out of those blueprints, for example.I'll have a look. So far the only shipboard action that has happened in my campaign is on board the laboratory ship St Christopher - which is from the old White Dwarf adventure Amber to Red, and has deck plans (and is different from the Type L). In my campaign it's one of the main vessels associated with a bioweapons conspiracy.

Saturday, 10th March, 2018

  • 12:36 PM - TrippyHippy quoted Bluenose in post Adventure In The Far Future With Traveller Second Edition
    The only thing that's different in terms of content is that the Core Rules include a short section describing a subsector in Trojan Reach Sector which an area Mongoose are giving a lot of attention for their adventures and campaigns (Pirates of Drinax just arrived for me!), and the Starter Set has a different set of materials in Book 3. Do note that unlike most other previous versions of Traveller, there's no simple starship design rules in the core rules. I've read comments that this makes the 2nd edition unusable. I'm not sure how people could argue it's unusable because of this. There are a selection of iconic crafts in the core rules to run with but, in this edition, they've decided to contain all the ship design rules collectively in the High Guard book. This means that they are more fully integrated in one place, while I've played in many groups now who are happy to just own a Free Trader or Scout ship or whatever, and never go near designing their own ships from scratch at all. ...

Sunday, 11th June, 2017

  • 11:18 PM - Lanefan quoted Bluenose in post Why FR Is "Hated"
    If one person out of a million is level 18 and then you have twice as many at each lower level, that's a lot more than one in ten with class levels. One in four, roughly. Relevantly for this thread, it's pretty clear that FR doesn't bother to follow that rule, hugely inflating the number of high-level NPCs.I suspect that, other than a few specific classes that limit the number of very high level people (e.g. Monk, Assassin), it's not as simple an equation as just doubling for each lower level. It'll be more like a J-curve - lots and lots of low-level types (relatively speaking), nowhere near as many mid-level types, but those mid-level types will then have a better chance of surviving to become high-level types. Also, keep in mind that the distribution of those low level types among the classes probably won't reflect the makeup of the average adventuring party. Many - maybe most - of the low-levels will have those levels in fighter, earned during army or militia tours. Next most common wi...
  • 08:39 PM - Zardnaar quoted Bluenose in post Why FR Is "Hated"
    If one person out of a million is level 18 and then you have twice as many at each lower level, that's a lot more than one in ten with class levels. One in four, roughly. Relevantly for this thread, it's pretty clear that FR doesn't bother to follow that rule, hugely inflating the number of high-level NPCs. It was not always X2 per level. It started at 1 in 10, ended at 1 in a million and lvl 17 characters were twice as common as level 18. As I said the problem was people tend to think of populations of millions as a modern day thing but some of the large pre industrial nations and Empire had populations of millions. France 20-30 million Ottoman Empire 30 million Rome 50-120 million (estimates vary) Byzantium varies but around 10 million after loss of lands to Islam. China various dynasty, 100-400 million. UK 1700 5 million Castille 1492, 4 million Aragon 1492 1 million Scotland 1700 1 million even with 1 in a million being level 18 a lot of nations are going to have at least 1 level 1...
  • 06:50 PM - Demetrios1453 quoted Bluenose in post Why FR Is "Hated"
    If one person out of a million is level 18 and then you have twice as many at each lower level, that's a lot more than one in ten with class levels. One in four, roughly. Relevantly for this thread, it's pretty clear that FR doesn't bother to follow that rule, hugely inflating the number of high-level NPCs. But that's only a (debatable) point for previous editions. Where are all those high-level NPCs in 5e books, now that a century, two land-altering catastrophes, and a magical plague have passed? As I said previously in the thread (although it's now well buried pages ago), a look-through of the gazetteer of the North in SKT shows that the area is now filled with commoners, nobles, scouts, tribal warriors, and veterans, with only a few more powerful NPCs scattered about (a couple of archmages in Everlund, a random vampire, and some dragons)...

Monday, 5th June, 2017

  • 05:44 PM - Morrus quoted Bluenose in post Full Power To The Plasma Cannons: Demoing Starfinder Combat At The UK Games Expo
    I think it would be hard to justify 'non-obvious' solutions in a space combat situation in a game where there's unlikely to be much terrain and where the situations and suggestions that might come from the players are really difficult to assess in terms of plausibility because there's the fictional and IRL examples either don't exist or don't agree with each other. Can I fire my mega-torpedo inside the tractor beam that I've locked onto a hostile hull so the force fields that make up the tractor beam protect it from point defence fire and it's sure to hit? Star Trek and Lensmen have very different resolutions to that, and Starfinder probably isn't giving me the information I need to adjudicate it - in part because, if that information is in the book, then it's another option on the list to pick from. Though given how much I like Armada that compariosn does it sound more like a game I'd like to give a try. Some other previews had made that less likely. I dunno. I played a space combat last ...
  • 08:40 AM - Winghorn quoted Bluenose in post Full Power To The Plasma Cannons: Demoing Starfinder Combat At The UK Games Expo
    Board game mechanics covers everything from games of counter placement on a board (Go, Carcassonne), through set collecting (Ticket to Ride), co-operatively overcoming a somewhat random enemy through use of varied powers (Pandemic, Forbidden Desert), PvP tactics and/or strategy, even semi-RPG games (Mice and Mystics) and quite a few other things. Which board game do you think this space combat is like, and what makes it have board game mechanics when other non-ToTM games don't? I would say there are a few things that separate even a grid-based RPG from a boardgame. The biggest, perhaps, is that RPGs give you much bigger scope for non-obvious solutions - dropping a chandelier on a foe rather than attacking them, or stealing some guard uniforms and trying to bluff your way through the dungeon. I wouldn't attempt to score a few extra points in Settlers of Catan by infecting my sheep with mange before trading them away, however, and even in semi-RPGs like Mice & Mystics you're still expected to st...

Sunday, 4th June, 2017


Wednesday, 31st May, 2017

  • 10:29 PM - Mercule quoted Bluenose in post Why FR Is "Hated"
    Ah, the prime reason why Elminster et al can't ever be plausibly proclaimed not to be Mary Sues. They're doing something as vital as saving the world, off-screen, and succeeding every single time. In fairness, they only have to fail once for it to be a non-issue.
  • 01:46 PM - Maxperson quoted Bluenose in post Why FR Is "Hated"
    Ah, the prime reason why Elminster et al can't ever be plausibly proclaimed not to be Mary Sues. They're doing something as vital as saving the world, off-screen, and succeeding every single time. Unless they die. I can walk into my game at any time and Elminster can fail. He might also be sitting on his ass somewhere oblivious to the world ending danger the party is taking on. He's not a god. He doesn't know everything. The point is, the PCs will ALWAYS(assuming a halfway decent DM) be the center of things in a D&D campaign set in the Realms. No amount of Elminsters will ever be able to stop that.

Sunday, 28th May, 2017

  • 10:25 PM - Dynel quoted Bluenose in post What system would you use for gritty fantasy?
    Frankly if you're getting rid of that much the reason to play D&D at all - especially since you're still going to get the inflation in hit points that make danger a much more relative term past the early levels than it is in most of the games being suggested. Yeah, I agree with you, Bluenose. I don't think 5e D&D can do gritty very well / at all, and taking out bits and pieces to make it "more gritty" makes it less D&D. I share that opinion, sir. 1e/2e would certainly be a better choice over 5e but even they wouldn't be the best choice, not by a long shot. GURPS is probably you best best for low fantasy. You design it from the ground up, so there's no need to take anything out. It'll only have what you put in. Zweihander, the new WFRP retroclone, is also a good choice. I own it and it's pretty dang nice. Out of the two, I think GURPS would probably be slightly better.

Wednesday, 18th January, 2017

  • 11:33 PM - iserith quoted Bluenose in post Modeling Uncertainty
    There's one very obvious problem with asking the player to describe how they're doing something. Sometimes the player knows more than the GM about a subject in the Real World. If their RW knowledge isn't applicable, then how can they answer the question without your input? Let's take the poisonous mushrooms question from the OP. If I tell you I'm looking for a valvo, do you know where and what that is? What colour are the gills? Is there red on the cap or stem? There are other things I'd look for examining a mushroom, but that's two simple ones. You can certainly stop the game to look up what those things mean, or maybe you know the answer, but then there's an awful lot of subjects where it's not easy to find information on some things and you won't know the answer. How do you then determine whether the player is suggesting something reasonable and adjudicate accordingly? Speaking for myself, what I'm looking for is an action declaration that allows me as DM to have to assume very little ...
  • 08:53 PM - Bawylie quoted Bluenose in post Modeling Uncertainty
    According to Satyrn, if a player wants to know if a mushroom is poisonous they don't have to explain anything about how they're doing it, just declare that they're inspecting it. And certainly you can go on and ask the player what they mean; the problem being that if you don't know then it's very easy for them to confidently declare something utterly wrong that you still might believe. I don't believe there are many GMs who've never encountered antagonistic players (or players with antagonistic GMs), so that's a situation you're going to have to face where some player knows you don't know the correct answer and bluffs you into believing what they want. And then roll to see what the character knows. That's how I'd do it, but there are people who seem to want to know How the Player would do something. The "how" is clear. Inspection. Some combination of handling and visual inspection. Then we get into setting a DC. If I don't know the outcome of the inspection (I don't), it's not going ...
  • 08:16 PM - Satyrn quoted Bluenose in post Modeling Uncertainty
    There's one very obvious problem with asking the player to describe how they're doing something. Sometimes the player knows more than the GM about a subject in the Real World. If their RW knowledge isn't applicable, then how can they answer the question without your input? Let's take the poisonous mushrooms question from the OP. If I tell you I'm looking for a valvo, do you know where and what that is? What colour are the gills? Is there red on the cap or stem? There are other things I'd look for examining a mushroom, but that's two simple ones. You can certainly stop the game to look up what those things mean, or maybe you know the answer, but then there's an awful lot of subjects where it's not easy to find information on some things and you won't know the answer. How do you then determine whether the player is suggesting something reasonable and adjudicate accordingly? That player is bringing in real world knowledge that may not be applicable to fantasy mushrooms. The player just needs to ...
  • 08:14 PM - Bawylie quoted Bluenose in post Modeling Uncertainty
    There's one very obvious problem with asking the player to describe how they're doing something. Sometimes the player knows more than the GM about a subject in the Real World. If their RW knowledge isn't applicable, then how can they answer the question without your input? Let's take the poisonous mushrooms question from the OP. If I tell you I'm looking for a valvo, do you know where and what that is? What colour are the gills? Is there red on the cap or stem? There are other things I'd look for examining a mushroom, but that's two simple ones. You can certainly stop the game to look up what those things mean, or maybe you know the answer, but then there's an awful lot of subjects where it's not easy to find information on some things and you won't know the answer. How do you then determine whether the player is suggesting something reasonable and adjudicate accordingly? That's why you ask for action and intent. "What are you trying to do, and how do you go about it?" Also, we don't preten...


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