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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 10:13 PM
    I have no real single standard, since it depends very much on the culture of the nation, the type of government, and how I envision this particular PC. In general, they always have a class and levels. There is very little else that they necessarily have in common, but usually... * It's assumed that rulers are reasonably capable, though not necessarily the most capable members of their...
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 07:30 PM
    I would say the difficulties of a GM finding players pale in comparison to the difficulties of a player trying to find a GM. The lack of GMs is the chief hindrance to the hobby. I have two younger relatives seeking groups closer to their age, but to no real avail. I GM in large part because no one else will, and not because I don't enjoy being a player.
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 07:33 PM
    No. Never. I don't mind them borrowing from MtG for D&D, but I very much don't want it to become MtG: the RPG.
    24 replies | 883 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, 01:06 PM
    Haha. I didn't even see the OP date. The thread just floated to the top and I jumped into the conversation. Also, just to clarify my grognard status, I'm not 35. I've been playing D&D for 35 years. I'll be somewhat coy about my actual age (more privacy than pride), but I'm roughly the same age as the game itself.
    423 replies | 20300 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 07:02 PM
    You are almost certainly right that the stars in a High Fantasy world would be different than our own, but there is almost nothing in the world that I'm less interested in than Astrology, so of all the things in the world that I would want to build an intricate novel system for, a unique take on Astrology ranks near the bottom. I am entirely happy to use a straight pastiche of real world...
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 11:45 PM
    Yes, I know, but that wasn't exactly where I was going with that. Don't get me wrong. I love that English is a beautiful, vibrant, living language, ever fertile, fecund and adapting words from other languages. I love that it has more words and more shades of meaning than any other language in the world, and that it is ever introducing words for ideas it had not previously known. That a...
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 09:53 PM
    Given the breadth that you've ascribed to politics, this is hardly surprising. You'd be harder pressed to define what isn't politics. Since you've used politics to mean everything, including its opposite, you're at a tautology. By politics you mean, everything, which is why 5a is closest to what you believe: "the total complex of relations between people living in society", despite the fact...
    91 replies | 2705 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 08:14 PM
    Not one I can make here. I've already made my point I think as sharply as it can be made. Like Umbran, I'm handicapped by the fact that you've veered off from discussing how politics impacts your gaming, into discussing politics period. This is hardly surprising though, since you've made it clear that for you all discussions are political and there is no such thing as apolitical discussion. ...
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 03:40 PM
    The single best 'silver bullet' moment in the history of my gaming occurred in a campaign I was in in college. One of the main plot threads of the story had coalesced around this civil revolt against an evil queen and her ruthless minions, eventually culminating in a siege of her fortress like capital city by an alliance of rebel forces lead by the party's Ranger - many of which were forest...
    7 replies | 409 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 02:43 AM
    One thing I enjoy about talking with you is your refreshing earnest honesty. If I had sought to put a strawman of my own devising in your mouth, I could not have conceived of one so thoroughly suited to my purposes. Thank you.
    91 replies | 2705 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 11:23 PM
    To echo this, not only does not have an impact or bearing the policies of governing a polity, but it may not even be about the policies of governing a polity. The vast majority of conflicts that I consider important aren't political conflicts. In my invented setting, the vast majority of invented governments have no bearing on nor are they intended to be comment on real world governments or...
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 11:10 PM
    No, but the reason that it does not is not something I can go into, because the explanation is political. ;) I think I can hedge around it though by way of analogy. Whether or not one eats pork is not for most people a religious statement. But for certain religious groups, it is. Of course, one would expect a very pious religious person might declare that his every action was in some way a...
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 01:12 AM
    It's made worse by the fact that I have a bad habit of losing or adding negatives as I type, often leading me to putting to words exactly the opposite of what I'm thinking in my head.
    91 replies | 2705 view(s)
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About Celebrim

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Past 6 years running a homebrew campaign using a rules set evolved from 3e D&D.
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Would very much like a one off in Dread or Fiasco from an experienced GM.

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Town:
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USA
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Past 6 years running a homebrew campaign using a rules set evolved from 3e D&D.
More information:
Would very much like a one off in Dread or Fiasco from an experienced GM.

Saturday, 10th November, 2018


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Thursday, 20th September, 2018

  • 07:41 AM - iserith mentioned Celebrim in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Celebrim: I know you know this because you've mentioned it before, but your posts are exceedingly long and dense. I really just don't have the time to address them in as equally a thorough manner. I don't want to sound dismissive because I do appreciate the effort, but this is really too much. I may not get to them for days and the thread will have moved on by then I suspect. If it hasn't then I can take the time to respond.

Thursday, 6th September, 2018

  • 01:29 PM - Oofta mentioned Celebrim in post [Homebrew] In a godless campaign what do you with clerics?
    Celebrim: Obviously you believe that the "divine" descriptor means something universal. I disagree ... it's just a label for a type of magic. Since there is no "source" for most magic users other than material/somatic/verbal components I don't see why paladins need anything other than their oath. You do still have to get the components right, which is why it takes time and practice to cast higher level spells. The book is quite clear, unlike clerics paladins do not necessarily get their power from their oaths. Ultimately there's no real answer other than "whatever the fiction of your world dictates". So that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Saturday, 1st September, 2018

  • 04:11 PM - dave2008 mentioned Celebrim in post Revised and rebalanced dragons for 1e AD&D
    I'm also starting to disagree with giving the Green Dragon 1d6 scaled breath weapon damage since it results in a noticeable underperformance when compared to the Black and Blue on either side of it. I'm not that keen on it for the White but am more accepting of it since it's the weakest of Chromatic rather than being stuck right in the middle like the Green. Well, one reason Celebrim is doing that is that the cloud attack covers a greater area, so in theory it does more damage across the group. Thus, the total damage is balanced. However, I doubt that really has much of factor in play. I know if my group is planning to take on a dragon (or they encounter one) the make sure to spread out. You are unlikely to catch more than 2 in a cone or cloud. The cloud is theoretically more damage, but I don't think it is practically (to PCs anyway - henchmen is a different story) I'm more inclined to make it something HD related without age categories mattering, either a simple (or simplish formula) like X dice per Y HD (or X dice per Y HD plus A points per B bonus HP) or use the "add breath weapon column to Dragon Attacks table" solution. Yes, I am starting to think the same thing. It is a simple solution if you use HD, seems to solve all problems (age, size, and type). It is just a matter of determining how much damage per HD is the right amount. Heck, it co...

Tuesday, 21st August, 2018

  • 07:54 PM - Lanefan mentioned Celebrim in post The Min-Max Problem: Solved
    Celebrim, if your definition of failure is to fail the overall task, not just to have some setbacks along the road, then it is very different from mine. As a storytelling GM, overall success is assumed - the only failure I as a GM push for are temporary setbacks/quirks. For example, death happens only at the player's option in my games. There's micro-failure e.g. you blow your open-locks roll and the door stays locked, and macro-failure e.g. you set out to rescue the kidnapped princess but instead manage to kill her by mistake. I have no problem with either type of failure. Stuff happens. Some, like you, don't like macro-failure; and I can see where that's coming from if you're looking to tell a continuous story and the players are cool with it. Some, however, can't even handle micro-failure; which is why we're seeing things like fail-forward (which in agreement with Celebrim I see as a faulty term) creep into the lexicon. 'Nuff said. Succeed/fail: rules that set up a dichotomy o...

Thursday, 16th August, 2018

  • 08:20 PM - Lanefan mentioned Celebrim in post Tink-Tink-Boom vs. the Death Spiral: The Damage Mechanic in RPGs
    Death spiral mechanics are fine provided players are willing to have their adventuring parties do something rash like stop and rest for a few days - or even go back to town - to allow the injured a chance to recover. And in time-sensitive adventures they provide a wonderful choice for the players/PCs - do we stop and risk running out of time, or do we press on and risk running out of characters. Love it! :) The system we use ends up more or less like Celebrim 's in practice: most of the time you're in TTB land but if you get really clobbered you're into death spiral territory. We also have a potentially-unconscious range between fully functional (above 0 h.p.) and dead (at -10 h.p.). I'd like to bring in some sort of staggered mechanic; the problem there is finding a simple way to make it work equally well at very low and very high levels, I haven't found one yet and so this remains but a theory.

Thursday, 2nd August, 2018

  • 12:26 AM - Hussar mentioned Celebrim in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    While meta-game mechanics may frequently try to tie into the in game fiction, there is no actual requirement to do so. There's no in-game reason why second wind works. It just does. Or, to use another example, what in game fiction am I engaging with when using the life path character generation method of Traveller? Celebrim - interesting link. I could definitely see your point.

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.


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Wednesday, 24th October, 2018

  • 07:39 PM - Michael Silverbane quoted Celebrim in post [Poll] Vote For The Top 10 Horror RPGs!
    Has anyone ever played enough of these games to have an informed opinion, or are we all basically going to vote for the limited selection of games we've experienced? Probably the latter, though I did play a few of these games (Beyond the Supernatural, Call of Cthulhu, Kult, Dark Conspiracy, and World of Darkness) concurrently, so maybe that counts for something.

Saturday, 20th October, 2018

  • 12:02 AM - Gradine quoted Celebrim in post Do your Political Views shape how your villains and heroes act?
    Don't get me wrong. I love that English is a beautiful, vibrant, living language, ever fertile, fecund and adapting words from other languages. I love that it has more words and more shades of meaning than any other language in the world, and that it is ever introducing words for ideas it had not previously known. That a dictionary would be updated doesn't bother me. But, and I think I've hinted at this plenty, I think there that a certain philosophical faction is deliberately abusing lovely English for their own ends, robbing words of their meaning and twisting them until they mean their opposites, or worse, until they mean nothing. If everything is politics, then the word is meaningless, because it doesn't distinguish anything and its use its applicable to everything. Once there was a line of meaning drawn around the thing that was politics, and things lay outside of it. Therefore, it was a useful label which people could use to communicate ideas. Now it is just a tawdry weapon peo...

Friday, 19th October, 2018

  • 10:06 PM - Gradine quoted Celebrim in post Do your Political Views shape how your villains and heroes act?
    Given the breadth that you've ascribed to politics, this is hardly surprising. You'd be harder pressed to define what isn't politics. Since you've used politics to mean everything, including its opposite, you're at a tautology. By politics you mean, everything, which is why 5a is closest to what you believe: "the total complex of relations between people living in society", despite the fact that the very fact that '5a' suggests its a marginal and uncommon definition and not what most people mean by the term. My favorite dictionary of all is still Webster's 1828, which defines politics thusly: "POL'ITICS, noun The science of government; that part of ethics which consists in the regulation and government of a nation or state, for the preservation of its safety, peace and prosperity; comprehending the defense of its existence and rights against foreign control or conquest, the augmentation of its strength and resources, and the protection of its citizens in their rights, with the preservation ...
  • 09:27 PM - Gradine quoted Celebrim in post Do your Political Views shape how your villains and heroes act?
    Not one I can make here. I've already made my point I think as sharply as it can be made. Like Umbran, I'm handicapped by the fact that you've veered off from discussing how politics impacts your gaming, into discussing politics period. This is hardly surprising though, since you've made it clear that for you all discussions are political and there is no such thing as apolitical discussion. Unlike some, my politics aren't privileged here, so I must stop following this particular thesis around. That's fair. I do want to take up a different one, but before I do, my critique of your position does not depend on you having made a logical error or conflating the meaning of the word 'politics'. I consider your position logically coherent, but I'm highly critical of your position anyway for reasons that I've been able to only suggest - and which you confirmed. Also fair, and I can easily imagine where you would go with that, given our previous conservations. That out of the way, you...
  • 04:29 PM - Gradine quoted Celebrim in post Do your Political Views shape how your villains and heroes act?
    One thing I enjoy about talking with you is your refreshing earnest honesty. If I had sought to put a strawman of my own devising in your mouth, I could not have conceived of one so thoroughly suited to my purposes. Thank you. One of the things I've always enjoying about talking with you has been your willingness to engage in debate on good faith. So, other than the back-handed compliment, did you have a point to make? Hardly. There are multiple (at least three) meanings of "political" in play. Your point is only proven if they are conflated, but they aren't actually the same. The problem with your designation with there being multiple meanings of "political" (which I'll allow) is that they are distinctions without a difference. They are conflated; we wouldn't use the exact same word to describe all of them if they weren't. Let's pare this down to its fundamental level (I have a tendency to go off on tangents and lose my point, after all). My original assertion that starte...

Thursday, 18th October, 2018

  • 11:49 PM - Gradine quoted Celebrim in post Do your Political Views shape how your villains and heroes act?
    To echo this, not only does not have an impact or bearing the policies of governing a polity, but it may not even be about the policies of governing a polity. The vast majority of conflicts that I consider important aren't political conflicts. In my invented setting, the vast majority of invented governments have no bearing on nor are they intended to be comment on real world governments or my preferred real world policies or political structures. Indeed, many of the invented governments of my setting are literally impossible in the real world. For example, it is not possible in the real world - as I think most of us will agree - to have a government were the dead literally rule over the living, and where all legislative and judicial positions in the government are filled by ghosts. So questions about that form of governance really can't have direct bearing on the real world anyway (though of course, analogies could be found and explored). But besides which, rarely do I have a pla...
  • 11:38 PM - Gradine quoted Celebrim in post Do your Political Views shape how your villains and heroes act?
    No, but the reason that it does not is not something I can go into, because the explanation is political. ;) I think I can hedge around it though by way of analogy. Whether or not one eats pork is not for most people a religious statement. But for certain religious groups, it is. Of course, one would expect a very pious religious person might declare that his every action was in some way a religious expression, because he believed that religion was an all encompassing all embracing all important aspect of ones life. And for that person, it would be certainly true that everything he did was religious. But one is not compelled to believe that that person's view is necessarily true. Or, if that is still too controversial, imagine the situation of a highly fanatical sports fan who always wore his teams colors, decorated his house in his teams colors, attended every game, and largely arranged his life around sports and supporting his team. One could reasonably believe him when he said that e...

Wednesday, 17th October, 2018


Tuesday, 25th September, 2018


Monday, 24th September, 2018

  • 08:25 PM - 5ekyu quoted Celebrim in post An "Insightful" Question
    There wasn't so much confusion as I was pointing out how at odds this approach was to my stated aesthetics of play, namely that all adjudication of fortune should be based wholly or primarily on factors that occur in the setting (properly in the fictional positioning). As such, I felt if you'd been paying attention you'd know that I wasn't interested in that as an approach. But your answer shows that there is still a huge disconnect with what I'm even talking about: Whereas, I would have answered a round is about six seconds. Whereas, I would have answered that each roll resolves some doubtful proposition about how a character interacts with the setting. Whereas, I would have said the goal of the process is to resolve the action that logically occurs within the setting given the choices being made by the players in a way that had strong verisimilitude to the setting. As such, what the roll is resolving is always a predicate to the mechanical resolution, and I can never know how many...
  • 07:39 PM - 5ekyu quoted Celebrim in post An "Insightful" Question
    Sounds extremely 'gamist' to me. Why three? What is 'round' in game universe? What does each roll represent in the game universe? You can therefore probably imagine at this point how well I receive that as a process of resolution. Yes, it solves a problem but only from a particular point of view as to what the problem is. Well, ok, i was only giving the mechanical side of the process so maybe that was a bit of the conbfusion if there really was confusion. a round is a defined game term and covers basically the period of time from one characters turn to their next. used as short hand - i used it to define a non-immediate task. Each roll is - like all skill check rolls - the resolution of a set of actions towards a task/objective. One roll might represent a craftsman spending 2 days on an art piece that was expected to take a week. One roll might represent a character doing research at the library on the ruins they spotted on the way into town. Another subsequent roll might be that c...
  • 07:12 PM - 5ekyu quoted Celebrim in post An "Insightful" Question
    Well, part of that assumes that "state a goal and approach" was intended as a hard rule-like process of play and not just good guideline for how to encourage good interactive RP. The fact that you've reimagined at least one skill - insight - to make it more active and less passive suggests that what you call "in line with the other skills" is a more ubiquitous problem. For me, it's a non-problem. It's only a problem if you are insisting in applying a validation filter on all player propositions that they must "state a goal and an approach" and that otherwise it is not a proper proposition. Attempting to control the processes of play to achieve a particular game experience is a very post-Forge Indy like approach to the game, but I'm not sure that it is a necessary one. It's more of a preferred style. The danger is that you end resolving a non-trivial number of propositions by fiat. You've basically forced yourself to adopt a process of play were all knowledge is either known (100% cha...
  • 01:58 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Celebrim in post An "Insightful" Question
    I'm not sure that I insulted you, and certainly didn't do so on purpose, but if you feel insulted I apologize.  You are correct that I made assumptions about your process of play that may not be true, and I know how annoying it is to be misunderstood.  It's a particular peeve of mine, so I apologize for any misreading of your statement. No problem.  Thanks. [/quote] Ok, so the way knowledge skills are written in 5e is forcing some degree of incoherence on your procedures of play because you don't think they work according to the pattern the other skills are designed with, namely that the other skills assume active, goal oriented, tangible activity?  Is that a fairer summation of the situation in your opinion?  Because, I agree that that is true, though in my case that wouldn't bother me.  I certainly do most of that with Int based 3e skills and would consider that valid things to be doing with even 3e skills, with the exception of not feeling the need to allow non-clerics to hallow ground b...

Saturday, 22nd September, 2018

  • 12:21 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Celebrim in post An "Insightful" Question
    Ok, sure. But for me that relies way too much on DM whim, and further it fails a verisimilitude check. Properly speaking, the NPC's notice of the players suspicion shouldn't depend on a contest of the NPC's deceptive skill vs. the PC's perception, but rather on the contest of the NPC's perceptiveness versus the PC's deceptive skill. It's quite possible for a character to be deceitful but clueless or guileless by sensitive. And further this later contest is quite independent of the first one, so that a character could suspect that someone is suspicious independently of whether you successfully detected them lying. So while your 'solution' may work for you, from where I'm standing it less accurately reflects the game world and its conceits than mine and treats the player far less fairly, in that one of the things I don't do players is impose failures on them without a chance of resisting. The only consequences failures have are the immediate and logical ones. If testing perception the o...

Friday, 21st September, 2018

  • 10:28 PM - Gradine quoted Celebrim in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    The traditional response is to imply that I'm an immoral person who probably needs to psychiatric care and that people like me need to be sterilized and have their children taken away for the collective good, then proactively run to the moderators to tell them how impolite I am so that they can get away with it. I feel personally attacked by this post :p
  • 10:02 PM - Oofta quoted Celebrim in post An "Insightful" Question
    Generally speaking, for me the check to recognize the monster and recall facts you've heard about the creature about comes before someone suggest "we need to kill it with fire". Since so many of my monsters are homebrew to one degree or another (a troll is a 12HD fairy in my game, not a 6HD giant) this is pretty darn essential to play. But if a player recognizes a troll (rather than a character) and says, "Oh, these things have to be killed with fire.", I don't chide them for it. What's he supposed to do, pretend for a few rounds that he doesn't know to burn a troll before allowing himself to behave rationally? How could he ever know how many rounds it would take him to figure it out, or that absent his metagame knowledge he might have on a whim decided to open with burning hands or scorching ray anyway? It's not worth sweating, and if I was really that invested in this fight with the troll I should have taken into account the player's metagame knowledge as a possibility. Though, I don'...
  • 09:58 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Celebrim in post An "Insightful" Question
    I think the answer here is make that insight check behind the screen and report the results to the player. The player should not know that they failed an insight check. The character doesn't know that they failed an insight check, so why should the player have that knowledge? With that change, all problems go away.Or, alternatively, have consequences that don't involve deceiving players. I know this is a style of play that has long tradition, and I'm not attacking it. I'm illustrating a different path (which I unabashedly advocate for). A failure doesn't have to mean you don't know or think the opposite, it can mean the NPC notices your suspicsion, doesn't like it and reacts accordingly. The "accordingly" takes into account the social situation and the NPCs motivations. I'm making an effort to have PC failure be reflected in the world, not reflected in the PC. They take actions that cause things. Now, that said, I'm still mostly at loose ends for knowledge checks. I can't seem...
  • 09:00 PM - 5ekyu quoted Celebrim in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I suppose so. In an 'ideal' system I suppose we'd make a second secret 'wisdom' check after failing any sort of mental social skill check in order to determine how oblivious the character actually is to his own failure - he doesn't realize his joke wasn't funny and went over like a fart and he's the only one laughing, and so forth. But seeing as we are usually testing perceptiveness in the first place, I prefer to just simplify and make a single die roll. If that die roll is secret then its up to the player to be oblivious to his failure or not as he sees fit, and I don't have to tell them how to react and risk playing their character for them. For a great many mental tasks we simply do not have any feedback regarding how well we are doing until trip over the metaphorical or literal tripwire. Not giving the player the actual roll of the fortune die to determine observation skills is simple and obvious way to simulate this, and its pretty much been the normal procedure on 'find trap' sort ...
  • 08:54 PM - Oofta quoted Celebrim in post An "Insightful" Question
    Meta-game knowledge used to bother me a lot as both a DM trying to run a setting and a player trying to be true to my character. After 30 years, I tell my players not to sweat it. The reason is that once you have meta-game knowledge there is no way to 'un-have' it. Even if you try not to react to it, that in itself is still being influenced by it. So I no longer worry about meta-game knowledge and I no longer have to get into arguments about what a character should know or should not know and let players just run the character however they like, metagame knowledge and all, nor do I consider acting on metagame knowledge to be cheating. The trick is to avoiding metagaming is simply to not get any metagame knowledge in the first place. It's the attempt to acquire metagame knowledge you should haven't (like flipping through the DMs notes when he's in the bathroom or buying a copy of the module being run) that is actually problematic, and the only part I'd consider 'cheating'. Thus, I just...


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