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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 24th April, 2018, 01:29 PM
    I wonder what the math of this actually is. Like, what is actually the odds that a 2d6 will beat a 3d6 or a 4d6? What is the odds 3d6 will roll higher than 4d6? So is it the case that 18d6 will roll higher than 8d6 at least 999 times out of 1000? And by comparison, what are the odds that 1d20+8 rolls higher than 1d20+18? AD&D definitely supports bringing low level characters...
    10 replies | 276 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 02:27 AM
    I'm pretty mixed on this proposition. On the one hand, I can't disagree that a Paladin could be done as a MC Fighter/Cleric (or the Eldritch Knight as a Fighter/Wizard). On the other, certain concepts seem like they shouldn't warrant a MC. Many of those are the ones with a D&D tradition (I find myself objecting to making Paladin MC, but couldn't care less about the Eldritch Knight -- if Paladin...
    287 replies | 11648 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 02:13 AM
    Or... Just a "berserker" sub-class for Fighter. I never said having a rager was silly, just coupling being angry with summoning animal spirits -- unless you're going for Captain Planet or Werewolf: the Apocalypse, which could both be considered "silly", as well.
    287 replies | 11648 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 08:46 PM
    That's some serious squinting you are doing there. Square peg into a round hole. Although neither side necessarily sold the war on these terms, the American Civil War was fought over slavery. And by "fought over slavery" I mean specifically that it was fought over the ethical and normative value of slavery, which happened precisely because the national cultural value was supposed to be "all...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 07:43 PM
    This theory reminds me of the 'all wars are religious' theory, in that you can sort of sustain it by providing a couple of examples if you don't squint too closely, but as soon as you list out every war and start checking it off and looking closely at the causes, the theory starts looking absurd. The Civil War wasn't fought over population pressure. The American Revolution wasn't fought over...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 07:01 PM
    I didn't think you would, and I was reluctant to ascribe to you any motives you had not yourself announced. But I did think you were bothered.
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 05:10 PM
    Since pemerton and I stopped talking over this very point, I don't feel its fair to him to continue to debate it. But after like the fifth thread where he described drawing a dungeon and stocking it and backgrounding it, and then described his play as some sort of revolutionary 'no myth' because in the course of play he invented one new element he hadn't fully detailed before, I decided I'd had...
    1530 replies | 51557 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 04:56 PM
    At this point, you are just making yourself look bad, especially since you are engaged in erratic uncontrolled blue on blue fire. But fine, if you want to get into a who knows more about WWII than the other one debate, I'm game. Almost all great wars are fought over ideology, and WWII is no different. First, as you would well know, WW2 was not a single war. It was a series of colonial...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 03:15 PM
    Yes, I do as a matter of fact. It may be possible that the 'Story Now, No Myth' gaming can produce believability, consistency, and coherence, but the poster in question does not in fact actually practice 'Story Now, No Myth' gaming but does a ton of world building and then claims that it is 'Story Now, No Myth' gaming. That's the most infuriating thing about these ongoing threads. What...
    1530 replies | 51557 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 12:51 PM
    With the 5E backgrounds, I think you could easily just roll Ranger into a woodsy background + Fighter class. I'd miss some of the "spec ops" bits, but not so much I'd have an internet rage quit over it. The Paladin could really just be a divine flavored Eldritch Knight knock-off. I see no reason why we need a bunch of variants for Paladin, anyway. The PHB sub-classes are mostly fine, but I...
    287 replies | 11648 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 02:40 AM
    I still just call it "bloodied". There aren't any in-game effects, but it's a handy term.
    143 replies | 4262 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 02:36 AM
    I voted for Artificer, Alchemist, and Mystic. Pretty much everything else I think is, at best, a sub-class of something else. Many of them don't even need that much and are already fully covered. Honestly, I think Alchemist should be one of the sub-classes of Artificer, but it was listed and isn't currently covered, so I clicked it.
    287 replies | 11648 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 02:22 AM
    Voted "Hate", but he's really only marginally worse than anything else the Realms have introduced. Really, I do not understand how anyone can make it through any of the novels.
    58 replies | 1760 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 08:39 PM
    Not really. I think I could explain it to you in a way you'd agree to, although, I do agree that anything as complex as the inaptly named 'Second World War' trying to sum up the causes in a single sentence is always going to come up short. Can't say that I disagree with you, but now is not the time for hashing out American politics. I totally agree that this would be the best way...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 07:18 PM
    Wheaton's Law broken. This is going downhill fast. :( You don't actually know how much political science he knows. I don't know how much political science he knows. Don't try to pull an argument from authority, especially when you might not be the authority in the argument. The 'or' is new. Not that long ago, it used to be an 'and'. Nations shared a history, religion, language,...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 06:57 PM
    Desdichado: 1) I know you know, I'm just making sure you understand I agree with the strength of your point even if we might quibble over the details. 2) Yes, so let's not go there. 3) I'm not. It is my nation, your nation, that first decided to transcend the old definition and do something the world had never really seen before. It was and is a fragile and beautiful experiment, and to a...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 06:28 PM
    Desdichado 1) You're right about the definition of nation. 2) Let's not get derailed over this. 3) e pluribus unum 4) I don't know that the lies go back that long, but I do think we've forgotten what a great experiment is at the heart of who we are as a nation. We've lost the plot. I can't discuss that further, because see #2. 5) Speaking of using language that might disguise your point,...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 04:02 PM
    Although we can't really get deep into it here because it's politics external to gaming, the irony of right at this moment in history treating "Turkish" as a nationality and an nationality alone boggles my mind. There are people dying at this moment over the definition of "Turkish", and whether it is a nationality, an ideology, or an ethnicity and how those different constructed communities...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 02:54 PM
    I wasn't able to detect the difference based on the content alone. Granted, I'd have to buy it to make a full and fair review, but since he is doing deliberate pastiche (Ga'el for Gaelic, for example) then in my opinion the level of respect he is showing the cultures in question doesn't rise up to what would be my own minimum standards. I was only able to read his website, watch his video, read...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 05:42 PM
    UPDATE: I knew this seemed familiar. The OP is a complete word for word copy of a prior post by a different poster. Is this SPAM? You asked for a lot more help than I have time to give, but I'll try to give some pointers to the main question - how to make a linear campaign not feel like they are being led around by the nose. 1) Adopt a broad-narrow-broad structure. A linear campaign...
    2 replies | 168 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 02:42 AM
    It actually depends on the target number. It's been a while since I ran the numbers, so I may be a bit off but the gist is that advantage gets better as the target number approaches 11 and worse as it approaches either end of the spectrum. Why? Just because of the way odds multiply. At a target of 11, you're essentially at a coin flip. That means that you've got a 50% chance of even caring...
    28 replies | 1126 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 11:53 PM
    I very much disagree, but I find I lack the spirit to hit this trail again. Suffice to say that I feel that when you put out something for public consumption, it very much ought to be with the expectation that you can get honest and nonjudgmental feedback, that people will view your work charitably and with good will, and that they will fall to negative views of you only with the greatest...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 08:13 PM
    Yes, I am. Or, more specifically, I'm emphasizing the intersection of our otherwise disparate beliefs. Seems a better thing to do than keep harping on the differences.
    30 replies | 654 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 06:28 PM
    That feels ironic coming from you. Since when has this ever mattered? Show me one case where someone who did research 'got a pass'. Show me one case where someone was offended and then was mollified by the big stack of index cards and footnotes that the author produced. There is not, and never really has been, such a thing as a monolithic definition of human. This is particularly...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 05:52 PM
    You have chosen well. And yet, for all of that, I can't imagine Mr. Rogers saying that he wanted to be a god, nor can I imagine so said, "I want to be a god." acting like Mr. Rogers. This power he sought after seems hardly like power at all to an untrained eye. Not only did he know what all power was for, but what he sought did not look like power to those that covet it.
    30 replies | 654 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 02:57 PM
    And so to the contempt of the weak in the mind's of the powerful they in doing so now add also fear, and they are subject to twice the persecution that they faced before. For although humanity has never shown any proclivity to being subjugated by fear, nonetheless humanity never seems to question the logic of attempting it. As two siblings will seek to assert their authority over each other by...
    30 replies | 654 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 01:58 PM
    No, that's an observation by me about those that normally seek after or attain power. In other words, I'm condemning the powerful and the pursuit of power. You could almost say that I'm stating a rule which suggests that those that seek after power are inherently less worthy of respect, and those that forgo and eschew power are the ones that one ought to emulate and admire. I'm suggesting...
    30 replies | 654 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 04:14 AM
    No, that's not the problem in this case. He really does have a plan to share the power. He's really serious about it. In a sense, he's a very selfless person. The problems in this case are not something I want to specify, since my players haven't yet fully figured it out. But one problem that they have encountered repeatedly is that if you think, "At some point in the future, I'm going...
    30 replies | 654 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 01:17 AM
    He'd actually get along really well with the BBEG of my current campaign. I always wonder that the people who want to become gods and make other people into gods don't take a good hard look around at what the likely consequences of that would be. It's amazing how many otherwise truly intelligent people think that making themselves into a god would be a good idea.
    30 replies | 654 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 01:08 AM
    Most ordinary humans in my campaign are neutral. They are uninterested in philosophical questions and are simply struggling to survive. They treat philosophy something like a buffet, taking what they like from it, primarily from the standpoint of, "How does this benefit me?" Most of them are fairly cynical concerning the gods and philosophy and the like. The common complaint is that the...
    30 replies | 654 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 13th April, 2018, 08:52 PM
    I always thought it a beautifully written unplayable game. But then again, that could just be because it is about the concept of humor, and I have none.
    10 replies | 350 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th April, 2018, 09:48 PM
    Great advice. I went back with the idea that a sorcerer (favored soul) is infused with magic and really shouldn't have a dedicated skill. I like it. As long as you're handing out advice, care to proof my conversion notes? It's a conversion of a 5th level Aasimar Favored Soul. Since the excuse for class choice is just an outgrowth of the celestial blood, I just threw the whole class/race into a...
    51 replies | 2799 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th April, 2018, 02:17 AM
    Here's where I'm afraid I'm doing things "wrong". I don't want to just recreate D&D in Fate. If I do that, I may as well just keep playing D&D. I definitely want to keep using D&D for inspiration. I just don't want to be saddled by it. Maybe I just need to accept that D&D casters are crazy and that Fate might mean narrower focus, but better meat on the bones.
    51 replies | 2799 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th April, 2018, 01:51 AM
    I haven't read the original Dresden Files rules, but my understanding is that it was practically impossible to play wizards and straights in the same group. I have DFA, though, and it seems playable. I think Fate Accelerated is easier to do magic in than Core because Accelerated is considerably better suited to hand waving than Core. By the time you get to "I'm being Forceful" it really doesn't...
    51 replies | 2799 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th April, 2018, 11:13 PM
    So... I absolutely love the look of Fate. I ran a FAE one-shot and enjoyed it, even as I look back and see where I botched somethings. I'd love, love, love to switch to Fate Core. Here's my biggest problem: Magic. It's a big system and I've yet to see anything for Fate that really floats my boat. I want the variety of D&D, without the Vancian slots. All the examples seem to be either very...
    51 replies | 2799 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th April, 2018, 07:50 PM
    If a player is being indecisive or inattentive, I start counting to six. If they don't declare an action in that time, then they have taken some sort of 'delay' action automatically. But I don't keep a timer going generally, just occasionally verbally use one to remind a player that other players are waiting on them.
    12 replies | 367 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th April, 2018, 05:49 PM
    1) Tome of Horrors, 3e AD&D - Probably the best D&D bestiary of all time. 2) Monster Manual II, 1e AD&D - While the original monster manual was very good, it's also very uneven and very primitive. This book uses basically the same format but in a much more refined and polished manner, making one wish they'd gone back and redone the first to the same standard. 3) The Bestiary: Predators for...
    6 replies | 377 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th April, 2018, 06:08 PM
    This is the standard I use to judge a poster. Do you offer content? If someone yells, "Help!", are you sure to find that poster in the thread, offering up some useful constructive advice or something that you can use to make your game go? Raven Crowking was simply the most helpful, most generous, most overflowing with ideas poster ENWorld has ever had. Sure, in this thread, he was mostly...
    1530 replies | 51557 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 8th April, 2018, 04:21 AM
    Yes, you should. If you have a few days to spare, you should google Order of the Stick, start at the beginning, and read to the end. It is one of the great pieces of literature of our generation. It's like not being familiar with Charlie Brown and Snoopy, or Calvin and Hobbes. I was going to link you to a Wikipedia entry, but it's best that you just read the story. No one that has gamed...
    19 replies | 417 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 8th April, 2018, 04:12 AM
    The necromancy of this thread and reading through it reminds me of two things. First, how much I miss the presence of RC at Enworld. And secondly, how much I miss when at Enworld we argued over games and other "great clomping nerdiness".
    1530 replies | 51557 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 7th April, 2018, 11:45 PM
    The only 'rule' is was implying was don't create a character that is going to quickly get into violent conflict with the rest of the party. If you want to play Belkar Bitterleaf, fine. Just play Belkar Bitterleaf with the complexity and table value that the player of Belkar Bitterleaf has played the character.
    19 replies | 417 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 7th April, 2018, 08:37 PM
    So, never handle OOC problems with IC solutions. IC my character did not know which of the two characters was being less of an "inbred-donkey" as you put it. And I wasn't going to put myself in a situation of having my character choose on the basis of which player was less of an "inbred-donkey". So I had my character respond in a very IC way, namely something like, "As you all know, I'm...
    19 replies | 417 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 05:21 PM
    PvP is always touchy issue. One of the basic rules of playing RPGs is that you should never try to deal with out of game problems with in game solutions, and never try to deal with in game problems with out of game solutions. So one of the first things I'd try to do here is figure out what are the in game problems and what are the out of game problems. The problem you usually see in...
    19 replies | 417 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 07:05 PM
    Gygax as usual had grappled with this already. Gygax wanted to have mysterious magical items as well, but like me he must have recognized at some point that you couldn't do that with a trove of items divided around 12 players. But if you look in the 1e AD&D DMG, he did pretty much what you suggested - he demanded that in the case of artifacts the individual DM hide the information from the...
    28 replies | 798 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 01:42 PM
    I think he considered balance to be something that was the province of the DM and not the province of the rules.
    28 replies | 798 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th April, 2018, 04:43 PM
    Ok, since the OP has stated he had intentions for the thread, and since I fully empathize with starting a thread on EnWorld hoping to provoke vigorous discussion and instead basically getting crickets, I'll try to inject some controversy into the thread. There are two things that make a magic item special. The first is that it is unique. That's actually in my opinion a fairly low bar, and it...
    28 replies | 798 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th April, 2018, 03:01 PM
    I shouldn't have been succinct. If I'd known you'd wanted controversy, I would have tried to be more provocative.
    28 replies | 798 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th April, 2018, 03:00 PM
    This is an important point, that even Gygax frequently overlooked I think. Not that Gygax was big on balance, but his 'trap' cursed items was identified and in the hands of a creative party were extremely potent.
    28 replies | 798 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th April, 2018, 01:56 PM
    Well, I guess it depends on your group. If someone in my group has to run his kid to the hospital, I'm definitely not going to see that as a reason for him to not advance at the same time as the other PCs. It's also not a unilateral decision on "a reason I don't like". It's the group's social contract. Whatever social contract works for your group is appropriate for your group. I used to use...
    289 replies | 7770 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018, 07:19 PM
    It's punitive to withhold XP from the player whose wife is at home vomiting or who got sucked into mandatory overtime, this week. There's no fun in being forced to miss your recreational activity and to then be penalized by your friends for missing it, as well. If you've got players that don't show up for your game because they've decided to go see the latest movie or because their WoW guild...
    289 replies | 7770 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018, 01:50 AM
    Five players + a GM. Almost exclusively. Two others have GMed for a meaningful during, at some point. One last ran "Return to Temple of Elemental Evil" when it was fresh. The other was running "Tomb of Annihilation", last I new. I played in the former, which was the last time I actually played until I did a stint in the latter's "Curse of Strahd", last summer. Four males (including...
    415 replies | 19298 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018, 01:37 AM
    My phone, which has a dice-rolling app and a bookmark to the Fate SRD. If I'm in a situation where it's "do or die", I'm running Fate Accelerated, though I'd use Fate Core for a campaign. If we want D&D, i've also got a bookmark to DND Beyond (as well as the app beta). Note: I don't love digital dice, despite having an app. If given a chance, I have several bags of dice (one for WoD, one for...
    9 replies | 282 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd April, 2018, 06:46 PM
    Still not heeding my warning that this will only lead to grief? The problem you have is that since orcs aren't real and aren't actually a part of real history, they have no natural environment at all. Anywhere you put them is going to be considered commentary on the real world and is going to offend someone. My advice is that the best place to put them would be somewhere that doesn't...
    6 replies | 295 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd April, 2018, 04:08 PM
    I started using milestone XP when we were going through PotA. My group is pretty darn good at guerrilla tactics and the "hit and run". We were all having fun, but it made things feel really empty if I didn't restock and strained suspension of disbelief, as well. If I did allow the cults to slowly recruit, I noticed the PCs started sliding ahead and things turned into a cake walk because the...
    289 replies | 7770 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 11:36 PM
    Unless the casters and non-casters were completely unbalanced to begin with, a nerf like this to casters would break the game. Whereas, if the casters and non-casters are completely unbalanced to begin with, a nerf like this probably would not really change that. What it would actually do is make casters into one trick ponies that would rely heavily on particular 'builds' in particular...
    23 replies | 611 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 11:36 PM
    Definitely, which is why I've been trying very hard to not bash anyone else's preferences. It's a game and it's all good. Some tables I wouldn't play at, personally. Others, I'd play at, but not sure I'd be a good GM for. My understanding is that they actually used Pentagon (or CDC or something similar) to come up with the lethality. I really doubt you're going to get more realistic. It also...
    131 replies | 5305 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 11:14 PM
    That part is perfectly true. If there is anything that I have learned from decades playing games, running games, and fiddling with rules it's that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything is a trade off. You never are going to get a three for three. There is no such thing as a perfect system; there is only a system that is perfect for you, and if you get even that much, count...
    131 replies | 5305 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 11:02 PM
    I can totally see where you're coming from. For me, it's a matter of prioritization. Given a set of rules that played fast; didn't require me to memorize a bushel of rules, tables, etc.; and had mechanics that worked with all those tiny "reality" bits, I'll take it. But, in the immortal words of Meatloaf, "Two outta three ain't bad." In my experience, every system makes pretty broad hand-waves to...
    131 replies | 5305 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 05:53 PM
    Regardless of the utility you have found in your conversations, what I frequently discover is that I get all these people saying how much they disagree with me, and then follow up that statement or thesis with a bunch of things that I do not in fact disagree with. Your examples are spot on to what I'm trying to communicate. I'm not going to give you any ultimatums, but I find it ironic you...
    90 replies | 3233 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 05:35 PM
    No, you actually perfectly agree with it. You prove that by example. The first example has actually occurred in my game. A player's father died, and he asked me to drop to the side a subplot concerning his PC's involvement with his estranged parents until he was ready to continue it. That's a perfectly reasonable request and I accommodated it. But notice the really important part of...
    90 replies | 3233 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 05:12 PM
    That sounds insane to me. If a table contract looks like that, it's quickly going to resemble a multipage legal consent form. People laugh (usually good naturedly) at my lengthy house rules, but if I'm up front with a social contract that goes into details like that, I'd fully expect the players to be justified in walking away slowly and then fleeing as soon as they got around the corner. ...
    90 replies | 3233 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 04:49 PM
    I fully concur with this. I also think that I don't need to implicitly state that my table contract assumes everyone is emotionally healthy adults when I'm playing with adults, nor do I think I need to explore the boundaries of my player's emotional health. Nor do I think it necessary to state that if it turns out your aren't emotionally healthy, it's you that are asking for allowances and...
    90 replies | 3233 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 04:37 PM
    Role Playing, before it became a term for a sort of game, was most commonly used to refer to a form of organized psychotherapy. One thing I actually refuse to do as a GM running games meant for entertainment is be anyone's therapist. If it really is the case that you have PTSD and I trigger that inadvertently, I don't really consider that my fault. I greatly sympathize with your situation, but...
    90 replies | 3233 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 02:28 PM
    I largely agree with this. Where I don't agree is if the rules act to create something visually interesting and exciting to imagine. My ideal combat system acts like I've said I want all my rules to act, "one implying and acting to affirm the other." The idea of having combat rules at all is that they are a generative system for creating a combat narrative, where the relationship between a...
    131 replies | 5305 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 01:49 PM
    And, this is where the conversation starts to make a lot of sense. I'm pretty much narrativist, with a enough gamism to keep it from becoming a writing circle and to indulge a few math fetishes, and just enough simulation to avoid blatant issues with suspension of disbelief. Note that I'm not a LARPer and that just seems weird, but no each his own. I'm here to play a game. I just see RPGs as...
    131 replies | 5305 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 01:35 AM
    Spells work in the dream world? Since when? Since when does time have a definite meaning in the dream world? Since when does how long you spend in the dream world have anything to do with how long you are in the real world. I'd flat out rule that spells don't work in the dream world. Or rather, anyone can cast spells in the dream world if they have enough Dreaming skill, simply by making...
    9 replies | 449 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 12:59 AM
    Magic items serve as a reward. You get something cool. That's awesome. Magic items serve as a means of differentiating your character. Your character becomes in part, "That guy that has the cool item." Magic items serve as plot McGuffins. They help propel the characters into conflicts or towards resolution of conflicts. Magic items serve as means of creating atmosphere. They can be...
    28 replies | 798 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 06:00 PM
    Perhaps. But if the same scale of, "It's too small to be my dinner so I'll ignore it", plays out with monstrous spiders, a spider that is 10 feet across would have a frog companion that is about a foot long. That might be big enough to eat a large fly, but would represent no real threat to the party. If it's big enough to be a significant threat to the party, it would probably be perceived as...
    10 replies | 245 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 04:15 PM
    Yes, but I don't just want to run a game. I'm trying to engage in an artistic and creative act of mythopoeic creation. (Pretentious, no? :) ) So if the rules get in the way of that, the rules have to change. Of the three pillars of gameplay identified by Forge, I'm very much firmly in the Simulationist camp as my primary aesthetic of play. The rules and the world have to make sense to me,...
    131 replies | 5305 view(s)
    3 XP
  • amerigoV's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 12:34 PM
    The web itself is a living thing and the spider (s) worship it as a god(des)
    10 replies | 245 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 05:34 AM
    I used to have a pet widow. They aren't exactly social creatures and they don't leave much for scavengers, so to build a whole dungeon around one isn't the easiest thing. It sounds to me like you've got more of a Hobbit style fantasy spider thing going. First of all, I'd use a lot of vertical terrain in this sort of dungeon. To me, it would be more like rappelling down hundreds of feet than...
    10 replies | 245 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 27th March, 2018, 03:54 PM
    The scenarios where I typically have house rules: a) There is absolutely no balance to the rules as written, leading to numerous win buttons which are used uncreatively, usually possessed by spellcasters. 3.5 is worse than 3.0 in this, in that 3.5 made a huge number of questionable changes to spell balance without play testing them, but it also includes the general problem of things like...
    131 replies | 5305 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Tuesday, 27th March, 2018, 02:46 PM
    While I've had experiences more akin to Celebrim, it's generally been limited to one of three scenarios: 1) a player having a bad day and being uncharacteristically argumentative and rules-laywerish, 2) a short-term or guest player, or 3) a horror story from one of my players who also played in another group. My core group is pretty solid and sane. This is actually the biggest reason why my...
    131 replies | 5305 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Tuesday, 27th March, 2018, 02:35 PM
    I think I get what you're saying, but I don't entirely agree. I think one advantage a lot of older games had is that they were created by folks who liked statistics and nerdly pursuits in the vein of military history. I'm not sure they did much more play testing than modern games, but the probabilities did a good job of modeling what they were intended to model (at least, close enough for...
    131 replies | 5305 view(s)
    1 XP
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About Celebrim

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Friday, 20th April, 2018

  • 10:06 PM - Imaro mentioned Celebrim in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    ...e available beyond just foot, should I not find what I want here in Karnos and decide to try elsewhere? Are there any unusual local customs or modes of dress etc. that I need to be aware of? Etc., and I haven't even got to nation-region-world-astronomy questions yet. If much of this wasn't provided ahead of time (i.e. this part of the world wasn't built) then I - as would, I suspect, many players - would be asking most of these questions before I ever get around to declaring an action! Even if the questions don't directly inform my action declaration right now they'll inform my general approach later; and very little of this is stuff players should be expected to just make up on their own (and if they do then the GM has to be scribbling like a madman to record all of it in the interests of future consistency - why not just do this work beforehand when you've time to relax and think it through?) Just wanted to comment on this part of your post as it ties back to the point I think @Celebrim was making earlier in the thread... mainly that @pemerton doesn't play a strictly no myth game. He's stated that he uses pre-authored content including geography, deities, names, places, etc. I think the confusion arises because he then creates a distinction (which honestly I'm still not necessarily clear on where the line is actually drawn) between the things he pre-authors and world-building. However my understanding on no myth gaming (and I don't claim to be an expert) is that everything is created during play. What I feel like @pemerton has done is created a hybrid of the two styles while claiming it's no myth which is actually serving to confuse alot of the issues. Personally I'd love if someone could point to some actual play video or streaming of no myth gaming... the only one I can think of that uses no myth gaming is the episode on Tabletop where they play FATE... and the only thing they establish before play is the State the game takes place in. EDIT: Just to note the...
  • 05:59 PM - Ancalagon mentioned Celebrim in post Cultures in D&D/roleplaying: damned if you do, damned if you don't
    I wouldn't put it as strongly as you Celebrim , but I do thank you for the kind words. And you are correct that I am troubled by a set of "rules" that seem limiting and short sighted. If a goal is to be respectful of others (and this seems laudable), and the pursuit of that goal results in gaming/fiction/etc that pretends others don't exist... then we have failed to attain that goal.

Thursday, 5th April, 2018

  • 04:31 PM - Pauper mentioned Celebrim in post What SHOULD be the purpose of magic items in an RPG?
    Within the D&D universe (and the universes deliberately designed to be similar to it, such as Pathfinder's Golarion and Hackmaster's default universe, etcetera), magic exists as a tool -- it is defined, has specific effects, and requires explicit factors to be in place (class, level, components, etc.) before it can be used. In that sense, the 'why' of magic items in D&D is that they are tools that can be used by classes that don't otherwise get to use magic (healing potions are probably the ur-example here), or they are tools that can be used by classes that do get magic to either do magic they don't normally get to do or do so magic they do get to do more efficiently. I have a good deal of respect for Celebrim and his desire to make magic 'numenous', but as he points out, execution is much harder than conception, and D&D as a system has basically given up on making magic items 'special' save in a few specific instances where 'special' equates more with 'powerful' than with 'exotic'. The way most players approach magic items has adopted this pragmatism: if you ask a player what the purpose of a magic weapon is, his answer will likely be that it's to bypass the defenses of monsters resistant to non-magical weapons. This is a big reason why players complain when a DM is seen as 'stingy' with magic weapons -- players don't like to feel 'ineffective', even if the resistance to non-magic weapons is an intentional game design decision. Fifth edition has tried to reduce the importance of magic items, and has even taken steps to reduce the 'characters are magic item carrying platforms' concept of Third and Fourth edition D&D, but some players insist on collecting loads of magic items because th...

Wednesday, 4th April, 2018

  • 09:40 PM - Gradine mentioned Celebrim in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    I'm not going to touch the broader debate except to mention for full disclosure that my sympathies lie a lot more with the individualist concerns of the grassroots movements. Perhaps you missed it, because my original post read "how is the academic definition useful?", but I realized my mistake and edited it to say "how is the academic definition useful here?" That's a fair point. I suppose I was just trying to cover my bases? To be honest, it seems like both of you are guilty of attributing nefarious motives to the other, and that's driving a lot of the frustration. Because, of course, once you see someone attributing nefarious motives to you, it's only natural to think they must have nefarious motives for doing so... To be perfectly honest, I have a significant amount of respect for Celebrim; he's intelligent and logical and I genuinely get the sense that his heart is honestly in the right place. He's in fact said as much about me as well (well, the heart-in-the-right place bit, anyway, I'm not sure what he thinks about my intellectual or logical capacities at this point :-P). I do have a tendency to let my heart get ahead of my head in discussions such as these, and get heated and say things which I kind of mean but which are unkind and unhelpful and usually apply to other people within the conversation, which tend to come out because I don't tend to reply to those individuals. Which is, I'll admit, pretty awful of me. These are all things I've been working on but clearly haven't mastered yet. And I can also see how I do try to shoehorn in other subjects that I really feel are really relevant at the time but in hindsight are maybe... relevant-adjacent, I'll say. Relevant from my perspective, sure, but probably way more of interest to me than anyone else in the thread. ...
  • 06:37 AM - Hussar mentioned Celebrim in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    I'm not offended by worthless ideas. I'm also not in the minority here. Race is of absolutely no issue in the game as it stands. At least not to any appreciable number of people. Then how do you explain the change in Pathfinder? If it is of absolutely no issue, then, why is the #2 game changing it and why have a number of other RPG's changed it as well? And, frankly Maxperson, how is it possible to have a conversation with you when you absolutely refuse to acknowledge the other side's point? Whether you agree or not, fair enough. But, you're starting the conversation with "anyone who complains about this is such a tiny minority who shouldn't even be acknowledged". That makes it pretty hard to have any sort of conversation. And, as another point, I'd like to thank BryonD for illustrating my point. Having internalized his own interpretations to such a degree that he cannot even consider that those interpretations aren't actually part of the game. Compare that to Celebrim's elf example, that at least isn't counter-factual some of the time. In AD&D, since the rules were silent on the issue, any interpretation is equally valid. Of course, that means that the "nurture" interpretation is just as valid as the "nature" one. Now, after AD&D, the "nature" interpretation is flat out false since it actually contradicts what's written in the game. Like I said, I'm not terribly fussed abou this. Just bemused that people who spend this much time thinking about the game are so blind to their own internalizations.

Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018

  • 12:26 PM - Hussar mentioned Celebrim in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    ...t. Oh, totally agree. What a DM does in his or her own game is none of my or anyone else's business. That's groovy. What bemuses me though is when people mistake their homebrew for what is actually in the game. They've done it a certain way for so long that they are no longer even aware that they have made changes and then start to argue that the way they've done it is somehow the "right" way of doing it, despite not actually being supported by the game itself. And, frankly, I agree that I wouldn't really want the game to be changed so much that race/origin/whateverdahellwefinallysettleon is a la carte. A baseline elf has elven weapon proficiencies. I'm groovy with that. That's the baseline. If you want to deviate from that (such as AngryDM has) then go right ahead. But, as an argument that somehow those proficiencies are innate to elves is actually not supported by the game. Granted, I'm banging the drum here on a single example, and I don't really mean to pick on Celebrim here actually. It was just something that stuck in my head. The argument is that race is the best term because race encapsulates elements that are not necessarily captured by, say, species because of the existence of magic. And, sure, darkvision (or whatever you want to call it) or trance, yup, that's pretty inherent in being an elf. But, that is still covered by terms like heritage or ancestry.
  • 09:29 AM - Hussar mentioned Celebrim in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    What amuses and bemuses me the most in these types of topics is just how much people have internalized their own interpretations to the point where they can no longer distinguish their own idiosyncratic takes from what is actually stated in the game. For example, angryDM talks about the elf raised in a human city not being proficient in longswords and bows. Celebrim then claims that such proficiencies are the result of the nature of elves. Elves innately know how to use swords and bows. Only problem with that is that it's not true. It's certainly not true in 5e where, while high and wood elves get it, drow do not. They are all elves after all. If it was innate to being an elf, then everyone would have the same thing. Drow aren't proficient in any bows. Plus, it's specifically called out as Elf Weapon Training. Kinda says it right there in the title. In 3e, it's also called out as training - "Elves esteem the arts of swordplay and archery , so all elves are familiar with these weapons" (3e PHB p 16). 2e is silent on the issue - elves simply gain +1 to hit with bows and swords. There is no background given whatsoever. So, angryDM's point is pretty valid. For a good chunk of the game's history, elves do not gain any innate understanding of swords or bows. So, why does being an elf grant automatic proficiencies?

Thursday, 29th March, 2018

  • 01:09 AM - Hussar mentioned Celebrim in post Do You Use Your RPG Rules as Written?
    Heh, it's nice to agree with Celebrim, just for the novelty of it. :D Yeah, I'm pretty solidly gamist, with a dose of narrativist in my play, so, yeah, Sim play is pretty much bottom of my list of priorities.

Wednesday, 28th March, 2018

  • 01:58 AM - Hussar mentioned Celebrim in post Do You Use Your RPG Rules as Written?
    To be honest, I look at your list, Celebrim, and pretty much shrug and play on. These things just don't bother me. Web doesn't work because it needs two anchors? Ok, fair enough. It just doesn't work. 1/day non-magical powers? Fantastic. It's a game, it needs balance. No skin off my nose. Like I said, it just doesn't bother me. I simply cannot get up the energy to get bothered by this stuff anymore. I just want to play. If the game says X and X is fun? Good enough for me.

Monday, 26th March, 2018

  • 11:44 PM - Hussar mentioned Celebrim in post Do You Use Your RPG Rules as Written?
    Celebrim - whereas I ran 3e/3.5 for quite a few years and rarely had any of the issues that seem to trouble you so much. We just didn't. The game ran best when we just stopped trying to fiddle with it. Again, it's all about different experiences. It has very little to do with stability and more to do with the fact that I have zero interest in learning another game, particularly someone's home-brew one. Again, I just don't. Note, RAW =/= you must accept every single book. Where is that part of RAW? RAW means that the rules that you use, you follow. Not, just because it's in a book somewhere, that we're not using, we still must abide by. That would be bizarre to reference a book that no one is using.
  • 01:51 PM - Mercule mentioned Celebrim in post Do You Use Your RPG Rules as Written?
    Now, here is one area where we are in 100% agreement. I've largely come to the same conclusions that you have here. Yes, it's fun to bang out new mechanics, but, watching what people post has made me realize that many people are very bad at it. Like you say, they either set the numbers too high or too low and wind up with mechanics that just aren't all that good. I'll agree with this, too. I'd say I'm better than average, but that doesn't mean I always get it right the first time. Even the pros play test stuff. Heh, it's funny Celebrim, while I was writing my answer to Mercule, I did have you in mind when I mentioned 3 inch binders. :p And, I know, from your posts, that you spend incredible amounts of time on your game. Fantastic stuff. But, I also know myself well enough that I would be a very bad fit at your table. I just would. The constant rule changes would bug the heck out of me and I would wind up spending far more time whinging about this or that rule change than actually playing. :D I've gotten very used to playing in groups where RAW is generally the baseline we're all working from. From 3e onwards, the groups I played in and DM'd have generally tried to adhere to RAW. It works better for us. I'm not interested in playing amateur game designer nor am I interested, particularly in indulging anyone else's amateur game designer proclivities. I just want to play the game that we've agreed to sit down and play. I didn't have a 3" binder, but I did use one of those legal accordion folders and I'm p...
  • 02:35 AM - Hussar mentioned Celebrim in post Do You Use Your RPG Rules as Written?
    ...ad an idea about what they wanted to achieve the rules change that they were proposing rarely achieved that. Some where the equivalent of Monte Haul GMs that were handing out treasure in the form of broken rules, and others where the equivalent of death dungeon DMs that wanted to change the rules to "keep players in their place". Most of my posts from that era consisted of me trying to explain to some young DM why they probably shouldn't change the rules until they had a bit more experience and a very concrete reason why they wanted to change something and what they hoped to achieve by that change. Now, here is one area where we are in 100% agreement. I've largely come to the same conclusions that you have here. Yes, it's fun to bang out new mechanics, but, watching what people post has made me realize that many people are very bad at it. Like you say, they either set the numbers too high or too low and wind up with mechanics that just aren't all that good. Heh, it's funny Celebrim, while I was writing my answer to Mercule, I did have you in mind when I mentioned 3 inch binders. :p And, I know, from your posts, that you spend incredible amounts of time on your game. Fantastic stuff. But, I also know myself well enough that I would be a very bad fit at your table. I just would. The constant rule changes would bug the heck out of me and I would wind up spending far more time whinging about this or that rule change than actually playing. :D I've gotten very used to playing in groups where RAW is generally the baseline we're all working from. From 3e onwards, the groups I played in and DM'd have generally tried to adhere to RAW. It works better for us. I'm not interested in playing amateur game designer nor am I interested, particularly in indulging anyone else's amateur game designer proclivities. I just want to play the game that we've agreed to sit down and play.

Sunday, 25th March, 2018

  • 12:28 AM - pming mentioned Celebrim in post What Has Caused the OSR Revival?
    Hiya! @Celebrim, I think I get where you are coming from. From what I gather, you're arguing that having "stuff" in the rules, available to the players, helps fuel their imaginations and helps them reach for goals that are otherwise not mentioned/suggested. Is that a fair assessment? If it is...then I agree. I am a firm believer that a two or three sentence description of an "adventure" (for example) serves a much better purpose than a two or three page description of it. I guess the "less is more" paradigm is at the fore in this case. For example, I would rather have a paragraph in the PHB, under Magic-User say something like: "Magic-Users are always striving for more knowledge. Many will head down various intellectual pursuits such as astronomy, geography/geology, flora and fauna, biology, etc, trying to find new ways in which the great mysteries of magic can be understood, harnessed, and used for creating new spells, items, construction, and so forth". I would much rather have that (and I thi...

Tuesday, 13th March, 2018

  • 07:42 AM - Hussar mentioned Celebrim in post When Fantasy meets Medieval Europe
    Thomas B - don't let Celebrim worry you too much. I'd amend his claims to be closer to, "If you post this on En World with the pretensions that you are an expert and that any and all criticisms can be brushed away" then you might have problems. Otherwise, nobody is going to bother you in the slightest about this. We reap what we sow after all.

Thursday, 8th March, 2018

  • 10:54 PM - Grogg of the North mentioned Celebrim in post Poll: Gaseous form vampire is surrounded...is it "stuck"?
    The spell allows you to pass through "Mere cracks" so I would say yes. I will also agree with Celebrim that a creature that completely takes up its square would prevent movement, such as a gelatinous cube. Its movement would also be impeded if you could surrounded it with liquid (some sort of wall of water?) or if you had something like Wind Wall cast.

Wednesday, 7th March, 2018

  • 10:14 PM - doctorbadwolf mentioned Celebrim in post When Fantasy Meets Africa
    @Celebrim no one, anywhere, is saying that you can’t tell stories that are about a black woman if you’re a white guy. They’re saying that you do not have the relevant experience to tell a story that is about the specific experience of being a black woman in America, for instance, when you are a white dude. As for the idea that there are no struggles that aren’t common to “the human experience”...that is literally just blatant nonsense.
  • 11:05 AM - Aldarc mentioned Celebrim in post Your single favourite RPG book?
    Without question, Green Ronin's "The Book of the Righteous".This was my first thought too. IMHO, it was really the first book from the d20 3.X era that got religion right in terms of making a living pantheon and series of cults. Fundamentally it got something incredibly basic right, namely, "you do realize that people will actually want to worship/venerate these gods, right?" Honorable Mentions: mainly for being settings that influenced how I think about settings, and I respect a certain degree of coherency of the the first two listed settings in particular. * Eberron Campaign Setting Book * Numenera * Blue Rose (and the True20 book) Also, Fate Core (and Accelerated). I think that Fate Accelerated presented a more concise depiction of how Fate works, so it made a lot of it digestible for me when I was first looking into the system. I don't think that the writing is all that great, as Celebrim mentions, but once you get past the "pedestrian" writing, there are a lot of gems. I do think that some of the better explanations of the basic rules actually come from some of their other games (e.g., Atomic Robo, Young Centurions) or from 3rd party published settings (e.g., Jadepunk).
  • 12:41 AM - Hussar mentioned Celebrim in post When Fantasy Meets Africa
    ...a at all. If you got to be extra respectful to Africa but you can safely portray any non-English European ethnic group as a bunch of drunks that love to fight, guess which group is going to be your "ethnic color"? If some extra wheel starts spinning in your head when you see pictures of people with different skin color than you that causes you to treat that presentation differently, that ought to be a great big huge warning flag about something other than what you are looking at. That extra wheel doesn't help the industry become "more inclusive". It just is a big red flag to avoid any sort of controversy (sort of like what this thread might be with respect to publishing articles about Africa). This is total bull. There are any number of norse inspired modules that don't look like this. Heck, bullywugs? Seriously? And, we've even got historically (semi) accurate D&D supplements like the 2e Viking supplement which at least tries to be somewhat grounded in history. IOW, no, Celebrim, you are absolutely wrong here. Sure, there might be double standard modules like you describe, but, there are also ones that aren't. Which isn't true in D&D of anything African inspired. Which is the whole point.

Tuesday, 6th March, 2018

  • 03:43 PM - Doug McCrae mentioned Celebrim in post When Fantasy Meets Africa
    Celebrim Looking back on content I've created in the past I would say that I have fallen into the trap of associating black people with animals. For example in a superhero scenario that had about 40 characters there was one black NPC and I made her a Tigra type. On another occasion I used the wereleopard bit as the main antagonists when the PCs visited West Africa. In thinking about this and interrogating my choices I certainly don't think I'm being "deeply thoughtful and intellectual" but I do, quite strongly, feel that it's the right thing to do. Regarding treating fantasy Viking land in the same way, the big difference is that today in Western society people of Scandinavian heritage are not subject to discrimination due to beliefs about their lack of intelligence and propensity to violence that are rooted in 19th century scientific racism and people of sub-Saharan African heritage are. I don't see awareness of a double standard as itself being a double standard. If it is then it's a po...

Saturday, 3rd March, 2018



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Tuesday, 24th April, 2018

  • 10:27 PM - Doug McCrae quoted Celebrim in post Killing In The Name Of Advancement
    Call of Cthulhu doesn't really expect any sane investigator to have any question in their mind regarding whether destroying mythos creatures is fundamentally good. "Poor devils! After all, they were not evil things of their kind. They were the men of another age and another order of being. Nature had played a hellish jest on them—as it will on any others that human madness, callousness, or cruelty may hereafter drag up in that hideously dead or sleeping polar waste—and this was their tragic homecoming. They had not been even savages—for what indeed had they done? That awful awakening in the cold of an unknown epoch—perhaps an attack by the furry, frantically barking quadrupeds, and a dazed defence against them and the equally frantic white simians with the queer wrappings and paraphernalia . . . poor Lake, poor Gedney . . . and poor Old Ones! Scientists to the last—what had they done that we would not have done in their place? God, what intelligence and persistence! What a facing of the ...
  • 06:51 PM - Flexor the Mighty! quoted Celebrim in post Killing In The Name Of Advancement
    I've always thought Call of Cthulhu's advancement system was one of the most elegant systems in gaming because it simulates so many intuitive ideas about how people get better at doing something. In terms of the tension between being heroic and killing things, I often find that at some level this idea can be taken too far the other way as well. A famous example would be Batman's relationship with the Joker, where the fact that Batman refuses to take the life of a psychotic murderer results repeatedly in the death and suffering of hundreds or thousands of people. A moral system adopted to explain a comic book code doesn't work very well when the tropes of the setting change, but at no point does the story deeply address the philosophy of pacifism and the challenges that adopting pacifism has for remaining moral. Occasionally the story lines might address the challenge departing from pacifism raises for the hero, but it almost never makes an honest assessment of the reverse. Thus, we have...
  • 03:49 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Celebrim in post Characters of different power levels in Zero to Hero type games
    I wonder what the math of this actually is. The math on damage, in Hero is linear, +1/5, what that represents, though is geometric 2^(n/5), so +5 STR, +1d6 when you punch someone, but you can lift twice as much... The biggest problem I'm having with the later editions zero to hero model that assumes replacement characters of the same level as the dead/retired character is conceptually figuring out where those replacement characters come from. Its not really much of issue, Raise Dead kicks in fairly early, and characters get more durable at higher levels, anyway. In 3e, replacement characters became an issue in one group I was in, because a player would get bored with his current build and want to swap. Or, a PC would die, be stripped of his gear, then the fully equipped (to suit the build) replacement would show up.
  • 02:40 PM - CapnZapp quoted Celebrim in post Characters of different power levels in Zero to Hero type games
    AD&D definitely supports bringing low level characters into the party better that more recent editions. The biggest problem I'm having with the later editions zero to hero model that assumes replacement characters of the same level as the dead/retired character is conceptually figuring out where those replacement characters come from. When the party was low level, adding a character of 1st-4th level was fairly trivial. The demographics assumed such characters were relatively common, and it was easy to assume the hero was replaced by some local hero. But as the party has leveled up, they've diverged from the assumed demographics more and more and become more and more the 'big darn heroes' of the setting. At this point, character replacement is getting more and more challenging to conceptualize. If the party is six levels deep in the lost hidden dungeon of great doom, and the party is of a level that they are regional superheroes, it becomes harder and harder to hand wave away where this ...
  • 01:48 PM - Nagol quoted Celebrim in post Characters of different power levels in Zero to Hero type games
    I wonder what the math of this actually is. Like, what is actually the odds that a 2d6 will beat a 3d6 or a 4d6? What is the odds 3d6 will roll higher than 4d6? Reasonably low: about 22% of the time 2d6 will beat 3d6. About 26% of the time 3d6 will roll higher than 4d6. So is it the case that 18d6 will roll higher than 8d6 at least 999 times out of 1000? And by comparison, what are the odds that 1d20+8 rolls higher than 1d20+18? It's somewhere in that area, but a bit more extreme. About 99.9978% probability 18d6 wins. 1d20 + 18 vs 1d20 + 8 is really 1d20 + 10 vs 1d20 and the side with the bonus wins about 86.25% of the time.

Saturday, 21st April, 2018

  • 07:25 PM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Celebrim in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    Since pemerton and I stopped talking over this very point, I don't feel its fair to him to continue to debate it. But after like the fifth thread where he described drawing a dungeon and stocking it and backgrounding it, and then described his play as some sort of revolutionary 'no myth' because in the course of play he invented one new element he hadn't fully detailed before, I decided I'd had enough. I have no desire to argue over your personal experience. I'm glad whatever new approaches you've adopted have led to success for your group. Although I will say "all the stories drive by players backgrounds" doesn't in and of itself mean you are playing no myth, it just means you've given your players agency to tell the stories that they want to experience. And you can do that within a 'no myth' framework on in a 'low myth' or 'high myth' classical sandbox. 'No myth' literally means that the GM does not decide anything before he starts play, and on the fly changes things based on the d...
  • 04:37 PM - Ancalagon quoted Celebrim in post Cultures in D&D/roleplaying: damned if you do, damned if you don't
    I didn't think you would, and I was reluctant to ascribe to you any motives you had not yourself announced. But I did think you were bothered. I think he read the start of my post, got angry, and missed the conclusion - which changes the meaning of the message. I think that there must be something wrong with how I structured said post. I believed that the title (damned if you don, damned if you don't) would be sufficient to alert the reader. But I spent a fair amount time on the "damned if you do" part, and only (re) introduced the "damned if you don't" part at the end and didn't elaborate much on it... and people missed it. If I was to re-write this OP for (haha) publication, I would elaborate more on that, and I would have a proper intro and conclusion (the good old "this is what I'm going talk about, I talk about it, this is what I talked about"). But as it was a forum post, and some readers don't have the patience for walls of texts, I kept it brief. Ah well.
  • 05:20 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Celebrim in post Cultures in D&D/roleplaying: damned if you do, damned if you don't
    That's some serious squinting you are doing there. Square peg into a round hole. Although neither side necessarily sold the war on these terms, the American Civil War was fought over slavery. And by "fought over slavery" I mean specifically that it was fought over the ethical and normative value of slavery, which happened precisely because the national cultural value was supposed to be "all men are created equal...". The north would have had no problem with slavery as an economic institution if it did not have a significant population that opposed it for moral and religious grounds. You can't put two different cultures into the same nation, so by 1860 you had a situation where you had two nations trying to live under the same political umbrella and the South's move to secede only was a final acknowledgement of that reality. It wasn't fought over population pressure, and none of your evidence actually links up. You gave a series of stand alone sentences that neither support each oth...

Friday, 20th April, 2018

  • 08:04 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Celebrim in post Cultures in D&D/roleplaying: damned if you do, damned if you don't
    This theory reminds me of the 'all wars are religious' theory, in that you can sort of sustain it by providing a couple of examples if you don't squint too closely, but as soon as you list out every war and start checking it off and looking closely at the causes, the theory starts looking absurd. The Civil War wasn't fought over population pressure. The American Revolution wasn't fought over population pressure. If we listed out the all the armed conflicts in the world since 1800, most of them would not be fought over population pressure. Population pressure can contribute to a war being fought and it is certainly the reason that stone age tribal bands of hunter-gathers go to war but it's not the singular explanation for all wars. And you'll notice that I gave myself a bit of an out in that I didn't actually say all wars had an ideological basis; I said that all great wars have an ideological basis (or I could have just as well said a cultural basis, because IMO that amounts to muc...
  • 07:24 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Celebrim in post Cultures in D&D/roleplaying: damned if you do, damned if you don't
    At this point, you are just making yourself look bad, especially since you are engaged in erratic uncontrolled blue on blue fire. But fine, if you want to get into a who knows more about WWII than the other one debate, I'm game. Almost all great wars are fought over ideology, and WWII is no different. First, as you would well know, WW2 was not a single war. It was a series of colonial wars that merged together over time as the great powers of the day were drawn into it. There were five major participants and many minor participants and not every participant was even fighting the same war. Of the major participants, Germany had colonial and imperial ambitions in Europe, but really over the entire world. Part of that was the chip on the shoulder Germany had from its late unification compared to England or France, and the fact that it's central position in Europe meant that it didn't have easy ocean access to the rest of the world. Part of that was the crushing of Germany's imperia...
  • 04:27 PM - Arilyn quoted Celebrim in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    Yes, I do as a matter of fact. It may be possible that the 'Story Now, No Myth' gaming can produce believability, consistency, and coherence, but the poster in question does not in fact actually practice 'Story Now, No Myth' gaming but does a ton of world building and then claims that it is 'Story Now, No Myth' gaming. That's the most infuriating thing about these ongoing threads. What pemerton actually does is engage in heavy myth, high preparation gaming, and then if at any point he improvises anything in the process of play because he improvised that one thing he hadn't prepared for, he claims he's doing 'Story Now, No Myth'. His examples repeatedly bear this out. Improvising something on the fly is not the same as 'Story Now, No Myth', no matter how hard you may claim it is. Fundamentally, that's the reason these threads are such an incoherent mess. pemerton will spend pages detailing all of his world building and preparation, and then he'll call that 'Story Now, No Myth' in utt...
  • 03:57 PM - Gradine quoted Celebrim in post Hidden
  • 03:25 PM - Desdichado quoted Celebrim in post Cultures in D&D/roleplaying: damned if you do, damned if you don't
    I hadn't expected you to be. I'll admit that I had hoped otherwise, But c'est la vie. I've little energy and even less time to waste on those who wear their lack of empathy as a badge of honor. By rejecting the very basis of the thread you've demonstrated that you have nothing of actual value to add to this discussion, and are only here to troll, or, as the kids say these days, :):):):)-post. This conversation is not for you. Go away. LOL. If you're going to PLONK me, at least have the dignity to not flounce around about it trying to get my attention with your drama. Not really. I think I could explain it to you in a way you'd agree to, although, I do agree that anything as complex as the inaptly named 'Second World War' trying to sum up the causes in a single sentence is always going to come up short. Oh, I doubt it. I've done a very extensive survey of both not only the causes of WWII, but also the causes of the US involvement in such. The idea that WW2 was fought so that Americ...
  • 05:41 AM - Ancalagon quoted Celebrim in post Cultures in D&D/roleplaying: damned if you do, damned if you don't
    I have my suspicions that you are vastly misapprehending the sentiments, intentions and subtly of thought of the original poster, and in any event, even if you are not, as I've repeated multiple times in this thread, it would be best if we all started off on the right foot of assuming the best of each other. And, once again, I know you don't care and I respect that, but not everyone here thinks the best of tolerance and there is another unfortunate turn of phrase there. ... I'm not even sure whom he's talking about when he mentions the virtue signaling. Was it me? Was it other posters? Who knows? Desdichado As for the original premise of the thread; are we suggesting that the Forgotten Realms or the Belgariad are now "problematic" because they didn't use some bizarre moving target specification to avoid offending any hypothetical people by referencing a culture in a shorthand manner? Because that's where this goes; what the O/P suggests that "we all know is not OK" was the stock in...

Thursday, 19th April, 2018

  • 09:34 PM - Imaro quoted Celebrim in post Hidden
  • 08:13 PM - Desdichado quoted Celebrim in post Cultures in D&D/roleplaying: damned if you do, damned if you don't
    3) I'm not. It is my nation, your nation, that first decided to transcend the old definition and do something the world had never really seen before. It was and is a fragile and beautiful experiment, and to a very large extent WWII was fought over whether such an experiment could endure. Any day now, it might stop, and it won't be one side that will be to blame for losing the plot. That's an extremely... imaginative interpretation of the causes and motivations involved with WW2. As to who will be to blame for "losing the plot;" I have no doubt that there are many who are small-minded and petty enough, after running face first into the brick wall of reality, will turn in anger to the very people who were telling them, "Hey, watch out for that wall up ahead!" and find some numbskull way to blame them for reality not conforming to their delusional wishful thinking. But I already expect that. For that matter, I already see that on a regular basis. That's no longer a case of me saying that s...
  • 07:41 PM - Ancalagon quoted Celebrim in post Cultures in D&D/roleplaying: damned if you do, damned if you don't
    Although we can't really get deep into it here because it's politics external to gaming, the irony of right at this moment in history treating "Turkish" as a nationality and an nationality alone boggles my mind. There are people dying at this moment over the definition of "Turkish", and whether it is a nationality, an ideology, or an ethnicity and how those different constructed communities interplay with each other.It wasn't the goal, but the second arc of my campaign, as it traveled east, explored what being Turk meant as it saw many "versions " of the Turks. The Seljuk Empire was diverse and there were other branches beyond that (the Kimeks, the Altai...) with very different beliefs and cultures... but they all thought of themselves as Turks. If oral history in my family is to be believed, I am of Turkish descent, although perhaps Anatolian would be more accurate...

Wednesday, 18th April, 2018

  • 02:12 AM - Schmoe quoted Celebrim in post Cultures in D&D/roleplaying: damned if you do, damned if you don't
    <snip a whole lotta text> Does there? You see I get a feeling from these statements and the ones that follow them that I might be much more willing to call out a lot of different cultures as being evil and not just the usual white suspects. But on the other hand I also feel that there is vastly more humanity in the members of those cultures than you are used to conceding. You see, where I'm standing the line is drawn above all of us and we all far short of it, not just the Nazis. We're all on the wrong side of the line, and that means ironically we all make the cut. And if anyone gets killed out of this, it's only because they represented a clear and present danger and killing them was the tragic only and last available solution to preventing the triumph of evil and worse horrors. I kinda find it weird that your like, "If the Nazi's are active combatants you can mow them down as faceless enemies, but the Turks... I wouldn't go that far." Like if I'm telling a war story I have some moral obl...
  • 01:18 AM - Gradine quoted Celebrim in post Cultures in D&D/roleplaying: damned if you do, damned if you don't
    I very much disagree, but I find I lack the spirit to hit this trail again. Suffice to say that I feel that when you put out something for public consumption, it very much ought to be with the expectation that you can get honest and nonjudgmental feedback, that people will view your work charitably and with good will, and that they will fall to negative views of you only with the greatest reluctance. On that basis rests pretty much all of civil society. Moreover, by making this argument I think you are making a huge cop out. You claim it's simpler than people make it, but then you have no revealed that you only if people never actually publish their thoughts but instead keep them private. Well, then it turns out your assertion that it is simple is completely hollow and weak, and in fact when you actually address the questions of the OP the way that I read them, then you concede that they are really complex and further fail to offer any real answer beyond that, yes indeed it is complex. Th...

Tuesday, 17th April, 2018

  • 08:14 PM - Gradine quoted Celebrim in post Cultures in D&D/roleplaying: damned if you do, damned if you don't
    That feels ironic coming from you. This is consistent with what I've said in the past, though I have evolved on the issue somewhat since the last time we went on this rodeo. Since when has this ever mattered? Show me one case where someone who did research 'got a pass'. Show me one case where someone was offended and then was mollified by the big stack of index cards and footnotes that the author produced. I'll get to this later when we hit the "minefield" paragraph, but it matters a great deal that the OP's audience is "his players" and he's not thinking about publishing. Putting something out for public consumption is a very different beast altogether. And I don't mean that to say that, if you're only running for your players, that's license to be as racist as you want to be. I mean that, he's running the material for, presumably, people he can trust and, again presumably, people he can expect to get honest and nonjudgmental feedback on. I suppose I am presuming too much, but I tend to...


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