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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:58 PM
    bah double post
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:56 PM
    I'm not hugely familiar with the rules of baseball, but if they are anything like the laws of soccer, the official rules spend far more time discussing the conditions of play than they do how to play. For example, in the laws of soccer, the rules describing what is proper footwear to wear when playing soccer are the longest section of the rules, and the rules describing uniforms (including...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 06:36 PM
    I have severe difficulty seeing this working except as a comic device in settings like Disc World and 'Harry Potter'. Most anachronisms I note tend to be accidental things ships with 14th century sailing technology but which also have a "crow's nest" or expecting professional journalism to exist in a basically medieval culture. I try to avoid these things myself, and when I do mix and match...
    14 replies | 249 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 09:34 PM
    Personally, I don't think you can remove HP from the game and have it still function -- at least not without reworking enough other mechanics such that it is no longer recognizable as D&D. I really think you have two options: 1) Put whatever fluff you need to around HP so that it no longer causes pain. My preference is that hit point is an abstraction that incorporates some elements of skill...
    62 replies | 2017 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 09:43 PM
    True, and they can blur at the edges. For example, you can implement both hit points and a wound track by having statuses that come into effect when you have various fractions of your max hit points. One of the biggest problems I have with 5e though makes this tough to adapt to 5e, and that is that in an effort to get rid of the fiddliness of prior editions they introduced a very elegant...
    62 replies | 2017 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 07:47 PM
    You could, except the games that implement static single digit hit points tend to have highly aggressive 'wound tracks' where each loss of hit points carries with it a commiserate debuff, which tends to change the problem from "every attack is save or die" to "every attack is save or suck". And while that leaves you with some opportunity to respond, typically you have relatively few options to...
    62 replies | 2017 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 07:36 PM
    I've used declarations, in the past -- like the speed factors from 1E AD&D, among others. They always seem to cause more problems than they solve. Sure, it might seem a bit odd, 3/4 of the way through a six second round, to switch from drawing your greatsword and cleaving the orc to walking to the far side of the melee and laying hands on the wizard. But, that's better than having all 5 PCs...
    48 replies | 1421 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 07:06 PM
    To be totally honest, I haven't even memorized the skill list for 5E, and I've been GMing it since the Basic Set came out (before the PHB). After 35 years of playing games, I just throw out a potential skill name and let the players pick one close to it. So long as it makes sense, it's all good. I'm very, very much a fan of the idea that the brutish barbarian uses Athletics to hoist himself over...
    47 replies | 1263 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 06:47 PM
    I've watched a couple episodes and enjoyed them, but I don't like it well enough to replace my existing TV time. On the other hand, I listen to a ton of podcasts while driving or cleaning house. I've considered adding CR to my rotation but haven't because: 1) That's a lot of back episodes to manually queue up and manage space for (even with a higher-end iPhone, I've had podcasts eat up a...
    91 replies | 3313 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 05:23 PM
    Most people don't understand what hit points do. The main advantage of hit points is that they make encounters mostly predictable. You can estimate how much damage monsters will do, and how much damage monsters will take, and assess whether that outcome is one that is reasonable. If you don't have hit points, you can't predict how things will play out, because everything devolves down to...
    62 replies | 2017 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 03:37 PM
    I have tried several times, but I just can't. And this is coming from someone who has been known to watch 2 or 3 hour livesteams of someone playing 'Path of Exile' or 'They are Billions'. I think it is great that some apparently highly skilled players and a highly skilled GM are out there representing my hobby and helping to elevate play and be aspirational to a younger audience... ...
    91 replies | 3313 view(s)
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  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 02:05 PM
    J. Michael Straczynski has reported on his Facebook page that Larry Ditillio has passed https://www.facebook.com/officialjmspage/
    81 replies | 4119 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 05:33 PM
    Never ever plan for a party to be captured. If you are going to run a capture scenario, run it as a fait acompli at the beginning of the game. If you really want the players to experience the capture, run it as flashbacks or dream sequences where you don't have to control how it ends. I suppose I should explain that statement. The purpose of running a scene is to find out how it ends. ...
    17 replies | 468 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 12:48 AM
    I like this guy.
    14 replies | 412 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 03:31 PM
    The "Paladin"* in my group is wearing armor made from the hide and scales of an adult sea dragon and has a rust proof mithril Morningstar, so would probably end up Hoovering up most or all of the XP from an encounter with rust monsters, no tears involved. *(Actually Champion of Aravar, God of the Dead, with the Guardian and Travel portfolios, but that is so much incomprehensible gibberish, so...
    14 replies | 412 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 03:23 PM
    The irony wasn't lost on me either. But seriously, how long have we argued with each other and you don't know that I don't see that sort of comment as an attack? I'm perfectly fine with laughing at myself. I can see where you are going there, but as a DM I'm playing to have fun. Being a DM is work, and I don't expect to be the one doing all the heavy lifting or the only one with a...
    53 replies | 1940 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 01:03 AM
    Not my favorite but very high up there. One of the things I like about stirges is their ability to stay relevant over a large range of levels. You can throw a stirge at a party at 1st level, but they truly scale up with numbers. They're even nastier under my house rules than normal because I have a 'clinch' maneuver and stirges have improved clinch which makes them really hard to hit once...
    14 replies | 412 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 07:36 PM
    While I think a lot of the discussion in your "Changing the Combat Parameters..." thread, in this case the OP is reporting about a combat that occurred at 2nd level when the math shouldn't in fact be broken. Again, I think this goes back to the fact that the Soldier template (and especially the elite Soldier) is well known to lead to grindy long duration fights. Your suggestions while some of...
    10 replies | 410 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 04:50 PM
    Soldiers are pretty infamous in 4e for producing grindy fights. I'm anything but a 4e expert, but speaking from my perspective, I hate resolving encounter design issues with metagaming. That is to say, you could probably resolve this in a number of ways, none of which are going to be very satisfying conceptually: a) You could avoid using foes that have high defenses, like soldiers, and...
    10 replies | 410 view(s)
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  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 01:22 AM
    I don't mind if they squeeze off the occasional fart joke and I prefer dry humor.
    307 replies | 11166 view(s)
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  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 12:22 AM
    According to Stephen Buonocore, who has posted this news to Facebook, Brian "Big Mac" Mccarthy has passed. https://www.facebook.com/brian.mccarthy.73157203
    81 replies | 4119 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th March, 2019, 02:30 PM
    The problem with that is that D&D largely eschewed that viewpoint right from the beginning, and continually evolved away from it until by the time you get to 3e there is definitely the impression that magic is merely the physics of the D&D universe, and wizards are analogous to scientists. The D&D wizard has almost no counterpart in real world magical traditions - which in real world magic tend...
    45 replies | 1493 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 11th March, 2019, 03:39 PM
    Or, what process of play is used to establish when the "bangs" happen? Who gets to decide when the downtime happens, or The Haven is reached, and why? Compare the classic AD&D haven/delve format where the players initiate a rest by deciding they've run out of resources and need to exit the mega-dungeon, with Mouse Guard where the rest (in this sense) can only happen on the player's turn in...
    21 replies | 474 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 11th March, 2019, 02:26 PM
    Star Trek has an episodic structure. All problems are always resolved by the end of the episode and at the beginning of each episode the Enterprise is whole, restored, and the party fully recovered from their trials. If the Enterprise is not a secure haven, then the space between episodes certainly is one. It's also true that there are ton of TOS episodes where almost all the drama depends on...
    21 replies | 474 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 11th March, 2019, 04:39 AM
    Because of D&D's particular resource allocation structure, the need for a secure 'home base' is absolutely critical if you are to avoid excessive PC deaths. In my parlance, I refer to the home base as 'the Haven'. The haven is where you can go to be relatively sure of not having a further encounter, or that if you do have the encounter it will be in your favor. The haven is essential because...
    21 replies | 474 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 11:04 PM
    Currently playing Pathfinder, "Skull & Shackles" campaign. I'm a player, which is a first in over 20 years, and a very nice change of pace after so much GMing. Have on hiatus a homebrew 3.0e D&D campaign with hundreds of hours in it that I plan to pick back up 'soon-ish'. Finished playing just a few weeks ago a long running Call of Cthulhu 5e campaign. Had fun but my main group is more of...
    50 replies | 1451 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th March, 2019, 03:39 PM
    Anyway, back on target, I think I've covered the points that I need to make in order to start going after the things that were axiomatically assumed earlier in the thread. First, the author's intent does matter. It's irresponsible to go up to a work, merely react to it, and then assert that somehow your reaction to it was anything more than your reaction to it. Your reaction may be...
    624 replies | 15012 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th March, 2019, 03:17 PM
    Regardless of whether they are mislabeling or demonizing, those personalities are referring to Postmodern critical social theory which does exist. We have even a few strident supporters of it on the boards.
    624 replies | 15012 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th March, 2019, 03:12 PM
    I think you should read through that again, because you're misunderstanding. The points go like this. a) I declare someone else's interpretation is wrong. b) That person responds by declaring my interpretation is wrong. c) But that person who just asserted I was wrong cannot also and at the same time believe everyone's interpretation is right. Somehow they have to believe that both...
    624 replies | 15012 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th March, 2019, 03:54 AM
    Just like this, "They are wrong." See how easy that was. If you like, and you didn't get it the first time, I can demonstrate it again. Oh sure, they can disagree. They can say I'm wrong. But if they even as much say that I'm wrong, it suggests their argument is something that they don't understand and is unsustainable in the long run. It may be a two way street or it may not be, but...
    624 replies | 15012 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th March, 2019, 12:43 AM
    No I don't, but I do get to laugh at them - or mourn for them - depending on how much they get it wrong. Communication is a two way street, and I am not solely responsible for it occurring. No, I am not. You can recite that sort of crap all you like, but it doesn't make it true. At the very least, this is a point which is well recognized as debateable and over which reasonable people...
    624 replies | 15012 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 11:21 PM
    My friend, I handwave nothing away. :) And ok, with that further explanation, I think we are actually on pretty close to the same ground.
    624 replies | 15012 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 11:16 PM
    Well then, I rest my case. I insist I'm not actually off topic, but that it is necessary to establish a few points before I attack some points that are axiomatically assumed by the earlier discussion.
    624 replies | 15012 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 11:09 PM
    Oh wow. Ok... I don't even know how to respond to that, other than to say I hope you are wrong, and I hope more in the audience didn't have a take away that extreme. Yet, comparable to Hitler? I think Erik could have made a much more powerful villain had he been more sympathetically portrayed and been more nuanced. I had sympathy for the character owing to his background and his anger...
    624 replies | 15012 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 11:01 PM
    I never got the sense that was so from the movie. To me the center of the conflict was who was the rightful king, and if you wrap that up successfully it's a simple act to countermand Eric's order before any death and destruction occurs (considering an hour or two flight to London at supersonic speed, plus a couple hours to get organized, because no military operation just happens instantly). ...
    624 replies | 15012 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 10:44 PM
    I think you misunderstand me. I don't think anyone denies that 'Black Panther' takes on a serious issue, and that it has at its heart and intellectual disagreement that has echoes of serious real world intellectual disagreements. The fighting is how the movie works on a superficial level, but the things that elevate the movie from just being another superhero movie are its willingness to...
    624 replies | 15012 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 10:04 PM
    Actually, the opposite. That he realized his depiction of Orcs was morally problematic is true, but his solution to the problem was not to go in the direction of a more humanized redeemable creature, but rather to go in the exact opposite direction - to present Orcs as less human creature which was entirely a puppet of the will of its evil master/creator. Tolkien's fundamental issue...
    624 replies | 15012 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 09:51 PM
    Nope. Rant away. You'll hear no complaints from me. Understand though that as much as I admire your attempts to rectify the blandness of most D&D monster's ecologies, taxonomies, and lore, I still do not think there is one right answer here. I admire your thoughtfulness and your intention to entertain and give the setting more depth and more color, but however a DM wants to go about doing...
    21 replies | 1051 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 06:00 PM
    I have no orcs in my setting. The role of orcs in my setting is held by 'goblinkind'. Goblinkind is one of the six races of mortal free peoples. Their chief Maglubiyet the Flame-Eyed God is the eldest deity, and is in a sense the senior deity of all creation. Certainly he thinks himself the rightful king for the universe. After the gods-war, which was started by a quarrel between the god...
    624 replies | 15012 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 04:11 PM
    My D&D setting assumes that the physics of the world correspond roughly to the physics ancient peoples believed the world had. a) There are four material elements and basically everything material is composed of combinations of those four elements. b) Things that move are animated by spirits, and are thus alive in some sense and move according to internal rules and will rather than external...
    45 replies | 1493 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 03:32 PM
    You lose your guest bedroom and need a U-Haul to game at someone else's house?
    27 replies | 1074 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 03:13 PM
    I usually apply a 'squeezed' penalty of -4 on attack rolls and -4 to AC, and I treat the space as difficult terrain. I also increase fumble chance (fumbles threaten on natural 2 or lower), but if you don't have fumbles in your game that may to be meaningful. Some swung weapons, usually those whose only mode of damage is 'slashing' or 'bashing', can't be employed normally if you lack room to...
    2 replies | 196 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 01:40 AM
    You've done some editing so I'm going to back off a bit. My answer is still "No." But when you start addressing something as broad as "gaming", things get complicated.
    624 replies | 15012 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th March, 2019, 11:01 PM
    Yeah, well don't let your players know that. From a balance perspective, 3.5 was terrible. Before it came out, the big arguments were over whether or not Haste and Harm were broken as written and needed errata (remember those?). 3.5 came down on the side of nerfing the spells, so my expectation was that 3.5 would take a look at overall spell power (clearly the worst designed part of...
    113 replies | 5937 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th March, 2019, 08:56 PM
    I agree. I very quickly banned all divine wands as soon as I noted the issue. Although the CLW wand is the worst offender, the problem isn't specific to it. A quick perusal of the wand, staff, rod options available to clerics in 1e shows that this is a major oversight, as the sort of cheap spell on a stick devices the rules generalization made available just don't exist in earlier...
    113 replies | 5937 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th March, 2019, 05:35 PM
    Mine would be: 1. 3e/Pathfinder (I have an existing homebrew rules set) 2. 5e 3. 1e/2e (any attempt to run this would result in a game so house ruled it would be difficult to determine which rules set I was playing) 4. 3.5e (I'd run this as basically core only to avoid the issues of bloat.) 5. 4e/4e Essentials (At this point and below I can't see myself ever running or playing a game.)...
    113 replies | 5937 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th March, 2019, 04:43 PM
    There is only one Rules Light system that I admire and think is suitable for running a long running game under, and that's 'Dogs In The Vineyard'. Ironically, I would never actually use 'Dogs In the Vineyard' for its intended setting, but for example, if I wanted to run a Star Trek game, I'd use 'Dogs In the Vineyard' as a the engine for that. Indeed, almost any story where most of the...
    15 replies | 578 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th March, 2019, 04:35 PM
    The problem with the word realistic is the same that it has been since its ubiquitous use in the 1980's, namely that too often 'realistic' is used to pretend that subjective preferences are objective truths. Can you rationalize the 4e system to create in game meaning for the rules? Sure. You can go further and suggest it has verisimilitude to certain sorts of genre. But you can't actually...
    113 replies | 5937 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 4th March, 2019, 10:55 PM
    I guess the problem then is I'm struggling to understand what you are saying. Most of the play of D&D I'm familiar with involves a combination of words and dice. Sometimes it happens in D&D that you can win without dice, but I'm unfamiliar with a circumstance in D&D where you can win without words. I've encountered players that dump stat Charisma and then imagine that they can avoid the...
    53 replies | 1940 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 4th March, 2019, 09:07 PM
    Let's not start that again. 4e models a very different reality than the one 1e does, not the least of which is Gygax never suggested that hit points ought to be easily recoverable from a night's rest. Let's not pretend otherwise. You can fully describe the reality that 4e models and defend it without resulting to spurious claims that it isn't any different than the one modelled by 1e. There...
    113 replies | 5937 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 4th March, 2019, 08:05 PM
    The answer is "Yes." A game can concentrate it's complexity in preparation while having a simple mechanical resolution mechanic. If a game does that, the player's have a one time investment in complexity, but after that their experience of play tends to be fairly smooth. Some proponents of the HERO system will make this claim, that all the complexity is front-loaded in the options and set up...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 4th March, 2019, 06:18 PM
    I agree with the overall thrust of your observation, although I think you confuse your argument by using 'realistic' to describe what you are going for. You'd actually I think be clearer by dropping realistic from your discussion and just say, "4e is extremely good at modeling expertise", which is I concur one of the problems I have with 5e's approach is that it doesn't model expertise or...
    113 replies | 5937 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 4th March, 2019, 04:29 PM
    The best way to describe my tables is that I only allow second party material in my game, in that my tables tend to be so heavily house ruled that there is little point in using any documents but my house rules. In general, I make no distinction between first party material (published by WotC for D&D example) and third party material (published under the OGL by Green Ronin for example). ...
    23 replies | 787 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 4th March, 2019, 03:48 PM
    Well, I disagree VERY strongly, on two grounds - one minor and one major. My minor disagreement is that even in real life, verbosity is not equivalent to eloquence. If you can make your point in a few words, do so. At the very least, all of your words should be essential to conveying your meaning, and as much as possible you should avoid redundancy. When I ask a player to RP, I'm expecting...
    53 replies | 1940 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 4th March, 2019, 03:22 PM
    As a practical matter, few players of 3.Xe edition had regularly fired fireballs or longbows at things 100's of yards away. Large distances like that existed solely because in real life, we know longbows were used in combat over great distances, and rarely did anyone try to game them (if they did, they probably ended up changing the rules). One thing that 4e did is that it dropped any attempt...
    113 replies | 5937 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd March, 2019, 09:21 PM
    Celebrim replied to New to DM'ing
    While it could be true that the problem a GM faces is that he has bad players, I much prefer to start any discussion with a GM on the assumption that the problems you are facing or could be facing are the GMs fault and can be corrected with GM skill.
    18 replies | 710 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd March, 2019, 08:07 PM
    Celebrim replied to New to DM'ing
    1) Start small. Your best bet is to pick up some published module to start. Don't decide as a new DM that you are going to do everything on your own. 2) Work hard. If you are running a published adventure read it several times and take notes, just like if you were preparing for a test. Even if you are running a published module, the amount of preparation you are going to need to do is...
    18 replies | 710 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd March, 2019, 05:49 PM
    I think it is vague, poorly defined, and we don't agree on what the definition is... but I don't think that it is subjective. I just think the idea represented in 'complexity' is complex enough that it is hard to offer up an accurate description. Competing definitions don't necessarily mean that there isn't something real underneath the confusion. It just means no sees clearly (yet). (A...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 1st March, 2019, 11:12 PM
    Ok, that's good to hear, because you really can't run a science fiction game with a lot of combat if you want your combat to be realistic. If you are familiar with Traveller, why don't you just use Traveller? Personally, I'd probably run D20 Modern/Future and homebrew what I needed, or use N.E.W./O.L.D. but I'm not sure that either would meet your criteria for enforcing sufficient bullet...
    13 replies | 602 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 1st March, 2019, 09:36 PM
    Well, it depends on what skills and weapons you give to the bad guys. But straight out of the box, Chewbacca can certainly run through a blaze of stormtrooper fire, dodge or shrug off the blasts,and maul the armored foes with his bare hands, much less some sort of melee weapon. This goes back to what I'm trying and failing to communicate, that how deadly you want a system to be depends...
    13 replies | 602 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 1st March, 2019, 09:16 PM
    Well, I agree Starfinder is not what you want, since Starfinder is probably closer to Warhammer 40k in theme and assumptions. I do think you should limit your desire for realism some what. When you say things like "A modern or scifi character who regularily runs through heavy suppression fire unharmed..." it suggests to me that you are asking for realism without having ever actually played...
    13 replies | 602 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 1st March, 2019, 12:19 AM
    So, this was developed for 3e, but this is my stats for a hand gonne: 14th Century Hand Gonne: Dmg: 1d10+1, 19-20/x3; Range Increment: 25í; Penetration: +3; Accuracy: -1; Reload: 2 full rounds; Weight: 8lb. Penetration means the armor bonus of the target is reduced by 3 (which negates armor for 5e purposes). Accuracy -1 means that you have an inherent -1 penalty to hit. The weapon can...
    1 replies | 168 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 11:36 PM
    I guess I should add to this that no edition of D&D has ever claimed that hit points represents the ability to just shrug off hits. There is a false dichotomy that frequently comes up in this discussion that amounts to 'meat/no meat', and Gygax explicitly rejected that interpretation. If your are playing D&D, and a couple of arrows hit you doing say 13 damage, we know absolutely nothing about...
    13 replies | 602 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 07:22 PM
    Regardless of the game system I use, it always seems to take me 3-5 hours of prep per hour of play time that I want to have. And for me at least, it seems to require nearly that much even if I'm running a prepared published module. To only spend four hours prepping a session is astonishing to me. Normally I'd spend 10-20, and I'd only get below that if I had a sandbox which I'd invested in...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 06:29 PM
    You really have to decide whether you are wanting a game of hard sci-fi or whether you are going more for science fantasy (star wars, star trek, fifth element, etc.) or a more space opera feel. Realistically speaking, you can only have fantasy heroes in an age where defensive technology vastly exceeds offensive technology. That's why two of the great ages of fantasy are the Early Bronze,...
    13 replies | 602 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 06:10 PM
    Back in the late 70's, early 80's, when I was a wee munchkin, I had an older cousin that played Traveller and to a large extent it was obvious his enjoyment of Traveller was much as a solo game of world building as it was the collective RPG experience. Though I think Traveller might be the definitive example of that, there are similar examples from other games, CharOp and monster modifications...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 06:02 PM
    Sure, but if the strong nuclear force in our hypothetical universe is too weak to support the creation of helium (because the protons fly apart), we still might have a sea of hydrogen awash in neutrinos, free neutrons and a bunch of other detritus left over from the big blow up. Deuterium, Tritium? Agreed, but that goes back to my point. Since to describe the U238 atom we also...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 06:58 AM
    This is a CharOp view of what spells are for, and indeed very much a 'card players' view of what an RPG is about. It has some relevance, but I don't think a list of optimized puzzle solvers is the only thing that a system like D&D needs to be doing with spells. Still, what I object to is redundant spells. For example, over the long run any edition of D&D tends to end up with an over abundance...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 06:14 AM
    I think one of the things that the 4e designers were trying to do was make the complexity do a better job of making interesting choices at all times, at least within what they considered the core gameplay of D&D, which was the skirmish combat. Some people really enjoyed it. Some people didn't. I agree though that D&D rules sets tend to be bloaty and complicated. For example, over time...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 05:58 AM
    You sound like the expert in this, but it seems to me that I can describe all the what it is by simply identifying where all the constituents are. That is to say, in both universes I could simply say: proton, electron, proton, electron, etc. And as long as I labeled where all the parts where and where they were going (ignoring some known problems with that), I would still have a complete...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 03:08 AM
    At this point, it's clear that this isn't going anywhere.
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 02:03 AM
    Eureka! I mean, that's not all that this thread is about, but it is a necessary insight to fully understand the conversation. So, suppose you had an RPG that came with a little box something like Alexa, and during combat if you declared an attack, the box would magically spit back a detailed summary of the results of your attack that paid attention to all the factors involved in the attack...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 01:52 AM
    - emphasis added Garbage in. - emphasis added Garbage out. You continue to define things circularly.
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 01:41 AM
    Yes, but that is just a truism. You might as well say good complexity is good and bad complexity is bad. You've just used fancy words to connotate 'good' and 'bad' in this context. The question you should be asking is, "How much complexity do I want, and why?" Back to the World's Simplest RPG. It's a complete system. However, some problems with the system are immediately forth...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 01:33 AM
    Beat me to it. I was just coming to say: Because they ugly.
    41 replies | 1706 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 01:29 AM
    Well, start with a Wikipedia article on 'complexity'. *Beats head against wall* Ok, I'll take a different tack. Rules Light inherently supports less granularity in the resolution. The proponents of Rules Light tended to mock the idea that you needed to have fine grained resolutions, and as a result tended to create games that do not as an element of the resolution process give...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 01:24 AM
    No, you are persisting in using a poor definition. I've offered up better definitions, but you've neither quibbled with them, nor offered your own, nor accepted them. Instead, you are continuing to talk in a circle without even so much as acknowledging the argument I'm making. So in short, this conversation is probably coming to an end. I'm not going to get into refuting that because...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 12:43 AM
    Detail in resolution is, unsurprisingly, a definition of complexity or not a bad pass at one. The positive traits are the complexity. You can't separate the two things. Complexity has to do with emergent properties of a system. You don't attain complexity without having at least some properties that occur across different scales. Absolutely. We should strive to make this game...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 12:21 AM
    All of them. I feel I have to break out "The World's Simplest RPG" again. It has one rule: Rule #1: Whenever any proposition is made, flip a coin. On heads, the proposition succeeds. On tails, the proposition fails. By your argument this game now contains all the positive traits that a game can have. Reading you statement just above this one, I again insist we need a definition of...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th February, 2019, 11:36 PM
    Now, I think we are going to need a definition of 'complexity', because I don't feel that that is sustainable at all. Complexity is a good thing. Indeed, it's one of the best things, maybe the best things there is. If we tweaked the fundamental constants of the universe such that the universe was made of nothing but hydrogen atoms, it would contain the same amount of information but none of...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th February, 2019, 10:25 PM
    I'm not familiar with Girl Genius, but I've encountered the concept in many other contexts. I confess a lot of my internal ideas of how fey think is set by the portrayal of Tinkerbell in Barrie's 'Peter Pan' (and for that matter of Pan himself). For instance he has one comment about Tinkerbell to the effect of her mind is too small to contain more than one thought at a time which I find very...
    9 replies | 373 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th February, 2019, 10:05 PM
    One thing that I find if you start attempting to model the various factors involved somewhat reasonably is that what works on a battlefield doesn't always work for someone whose job is to explore steaming jungles, trap filled tombs, lightless caves, and reeking mires. One advantage that swords have over pole axes, however much all other things being equal on a tournament floor the pole axe...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th February, 2019, 09:34 PM
    I don't know how sophomoric it is, or at least I don't want to think of it as sophomoric because I reasoned along similar lines (just with different math). There is also canonical justification for this reasoning. According to the lore of the elven deities', they are long lived because Labelas Enoreth gave them the gift that time would pass slowly for them. Thus, it's a very major portion...
    9 replies | 373 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th February, 2019, 08:40 PM
    So fey are a big part of my campaign world as well (homebrewed 3.0e D&D) to the extent that 3 of the 10 or so PC races are fairies, the most common of which tends to be the Sidhe, and I can only give you my answers. I don't think there are any one right answers, but hopefully this will give you some inspiration. Fey can reproduce by biological means, but this is actually quite rare. One...
    9 replies | 373 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th February, 2019, 06:12 PM
    That's an extraordinarily deep and useful question, and my way of answering it depends on me discussing what I think an RPG is, and what I think makes a good and successful RPG. My answers are radically different than the conventional ones The Forge offers, so bear with me. So to begin with, I believe an RPG is a game of structured make believe story-telling that is composed of a collection...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th February, 2019, 04:19 PM
    Well, that little bit of pretense and calling what other designers and players do 'badwrongfun' in technical language goes back nearly two decades, but the movement away from complexity has been going on for nearly thirty years now. So, a bit of background. In the 80's, design in RPGs was wide open and we barely had language to talk about the issues of design. There was a lot of good design...
    168 replies | 6537 view(s)
    9 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th February, 2019, 06:55 PM
    My players seemed to universally appreciate them, but this could be because I was dealing with players with 10-15 years of experience who were by that point seeking novelty from their games, and my particular house rules contributed to my table having a very different flavor than they'd become accustomed to. Also, as I said, I didn't force play to slow down to accommodate the rules. While I...
    16 replies | 569 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th February, 2019, 06:03 PM
    There are two reasons I think it was ignored, and one is the one you point out here. Looking up on a table is slow. But cross referencing two tables is too slow, slowing down play to a crawl. My solution for this was to not do it, but instead combine the two tables into one before starting play. At most tables, the procedure of play probably looks something like this. A 6th level...
    16 replies | 569 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th February, 2019, 08:56 AM
    First, before I answer your question, the most important thing to realize about RPG's is that your processes of play are more important than your rules. That is to say, how you choose to play the game actually dominates over the experience of play compared to what rules you use to adjudicate the dicey stuff. You can play basically the same game with every edition of the game. So beware...
    113 replies | 5937 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd February, 2019, 04:50 PM
    It's been 25 years or more since I played 1e, but I don't think you can move past an opponent in 1e. I think it's an illegal move. I think once reach melee you must stop your movement and enter it. Thus, any attempt to move past an opponent would fall under the above 'leaving melee' rules.
    68 replies | 1737 view(s)
    2 XP
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Past 6 years running a homebrew campaign using a rules set evolved from 3e D&D.
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Friday, 15th March, 2019

  • 04:50 PM - Hussar mentioned Celebrim in post Role-Players vs. Actors
    Heh. Good, Celebrim, you took that in good fun. :D Posting can be tricky sometimes and I didn't want to rub things the wrong way. That being said, again, I don't see it as my job to move anyone "out of their comfort zone". That zone is comfortable for a reason and I have zero interest in trying to push anyone in any direction. If they want to go all thespian on me, great. If they want to say, "I diplomatize the NPC" that's equally fantastic. To me, it's not about entertaining me. It's about knowing that I provided a fun experience for the group. If everyone is happy, I'm happy. I don't need the players to entertain me. Then again, I do not view D&D as any sort of "art". It's a game. I just played Cribbage with a buddy for three hours over beer. It was pretty much the same experience as a 3 hour D&D session. Lots of fun. I don't treat D&D as a learning or growth experience. It's my fun time to unwind and decompress. Accepting how others want to engage the game has led to me having...
  • 09:05 AM - Hussar mentioned Celebrim in post Role-Players vs. Actors
    Well, I disagree VERY strongly, on two grounds - one minor and one major. My minor disagreement is that even in real life, verbosity is not equivalent to eloquence. If you can make your point in a few words, do so. At the very least, all of your words should be essential to conveying your meaning, and as much as possible you should avoid redundancy. . /snip I'm sorry Celebrim, but, the irony of this statement just about made me blow my coffee all over my computer. :D Really not meant as an attack. Honest it's not. Just honestly really, really funny. ---------- As a DM, I'm not there to police how other people play the game. If Bob likes to just say, "I bluff the guard" then, groovy. He's not the talky type. No problems. He's probably fun in other ways. Cool, not a problem. Getting all judgemental about it just seems to me to lead to really bad games. If Bob's a kick in the door type player, why try to strong arm him into being something he's not? If he's not terribly interested in the talky bits, then don't force him to do the talky bits. Move on over to the other folks that do like to do the talky bits. Like I said, I really don't have any strong preference. So long as we're having a good time, I couldn't care less about judging the quality of someone's play.

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019

  • 11:18 PM - Dannyalcatraz mentioned Celebrim in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    Celebrim I didnít miss any of that. I think youíre missing my point- raised by your friend: Wakanda- an advanced nation that escaped the yoke of European colonialism- still had visual aesthetics and internal dynamics that played into very old, stereotypical narratives. Killmonger didnít sue. Tíchalla wasnít under a threat of impeachment. Instead of a codified, legalistic approach, the struggle between the two was ďsettledĒ by personal combat. AFAIK, the last time this was proposed in Africa was in 1978 when hulking former Olympic boxer (and accused cannibal) General Idi Amin challenged the much older and frailer President Julius Nyerere to a boxing match to settle the war between Uganda and Tanzania. Not necessarily the best context into which the Killmonger/TíChalla fight nestles. Itís jarring. BUT, because itís a superhero movie in a superhero context, that doesnít matter. We handwave it away because comics.

Saturday, 2nd March, 2019

  • 09:28 PM - Ilmater mentioned Celebrim in post New to DM'ing
    Celebrim That is what I would like to believe. Table running skills.... how do I gain proficiency in that? lol
  • 08:31 PM - Ilmater mentioned Celebrim in post New to DM'ing
    Celebrim Thanks for taking the time to type that all out. It helps

Wednesday, 27th February, 2019

  • 05:51 PM - innerdude mentioned Celebrim in post Why the hate for complexity?
    ...gn and a lot of bad design, but one very common complaint about D&D is that the design was bad because it wasn't 'realistic', and there was a general sense in much of the community that many if not all of the problems tables encountered in a game was do to a lack of 'realism'. Various systems of Traveller and GURPS might also be worth looking at, and a trip into the world of GULLIVER (a modification of GURPS) would also be worthwhile. This led to a fetishization of realism as a goal of game design, which can be seen in extremely complex games of the period - HERO, and Rolemaster might be a very good examples, though the pain points in that complexity come up at different points. Since the goal of RPGs started out as basically 'Simulation of the World', the attributes of a system which were considered very admirable in a system were that it would be universal (able to simulate everything) and realistic (able to produce a simulation that produced intuitive or 'correct' results). @Celebrim sums it up pretty well here, with the key idea being, why the need for complexity? What does the complexity actually positively accomplish either at or away from the game table? Ostensibly the goal early on for creating more complex games was realism. The thought was that in order to more accurately "simulate" real-world processes and phenomena, you had to create rules systems that operated at a highly granular level. The problem with doing this is that implementing that complexity at the table---making skill checks, running details combat scenarios---became so cumbersome that many players ended up rejecting the resulting play experience. If "realism" really was the end-all, be-all to a quality RPG experience, then Rolemaster, GURPS, HERO, Runequest, etc., would have long ago gotten a much larger footprint into the TRPG "cultural identity," but they haven't. What little experience I have with these types of systems is with GURPS, but I was always struck by the irony of the attitu...

Monday, 25th February, 2019


Friday, 22nd February, 2019

  • 09:56 PM - Immortal Sun mentioned Celebrim in post Role-Players vs. Actors
    As a sort of clarification, I don't care how people say things, because the dice are the true translators between our world and the game world. As Celebrim says above, bad IRL words are likely to go over well when a character has high social skills, while good IRL words may not be received well if he character has low social skills. I've run into too many people who attempt to game the system via fancy words, thinking that better words will help them "win" social situations. Which is why I refuse to give anyone any more or any less than a +2/-2 for what they actually say, and only if it lines up or falls against one of the NPCs personality elements. IE: being rude to the King will always get your a -2. I currently have a player who hasn't quite figured out why people treat them poorly...after being a condescending tool to the NPCs first. They just get uppity that NPCs aren't "respecting" them, and I suspect there's a player issue here I'll have to deal with soon. Anyway... The other problem for me is "orators". In more common society they're called "talkers". I appreciate a well-worded statement as much as the next person, bu...

Thursday, 21st February, 2019

  • 11:03 AM - Hussar mentioned Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    /snip I ask in case my future facecrime causes the progress police to ask me to leave social media for the good of my family. And, again, demonizing and dehumanizing the other side. And you wonder why you have so much trouble having a conversation? I got the word from you Dad! No really, all funny aside, it's right there in what I quoted from you. You can hardly expect me to think you'd get upset when I was using your own words./snip Wait, what? Umm, you realize that I was quoting Celebrim there right? In the post where I'm talking about dehumanizing the other side? So, no, you didn't get the word from me, you got it from Celebrim. You folks are the ones insisting that the mob with pitchforks is out to get you for holding your opinions. And, again with the hyperbole. Going to jail for facecrimes? WTF? Sigh. Yup, par for the course. Derail the discussion as much as possible and then stand back with wide eyed innocence about how it's the other side that's totally unreasonable. I'm just so freaking sick of it. I'm done.
  • 08:57 AM - Hussar mentioned Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    I suppose, at the end of the day, the question is less, "what should we do" but, rather, "is there anything we can do, and if there is, is it worth doing?" Because, I will agree with Celebrim on this, there really isn't a whole lot we can actually do. For me, I would be taking people like this off the "special guest list" at conventions and getting the word out to let people make an informed decision about whether or not they want to buy this person's product. Beyond that, really, there isn't a whole lot we can do. In this specific example, it really has no personal impact. I never bought any of Zak S' products and, if you hadn't told me that his name was in the PHB, I wouldn't have actually known. But, as I mentioned back a few posts, other threads like this HAVE affected my buying practices. I don't use any Frog God stuff anymore. Is there anything more I could actually do? Nope. Not realistically. But, getting the word out is a goal in and of itself, IMO.
  • 08:23 AM - Hussar mentioned Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    But, Celebrim, the topic isn't #Metoo, or #Believeallwomen or Roman Polanski or the connection between harassment and the porn industry. Every single one of those things are not what's being talked about here. The only thing you've brought up, that's even remotely directly connected is Zak S's original rise in geek stardom. And, again, no one is talkign about going any further than excluding him from the hobby community, so, the whole "maybe I ought to walk away slowly from the mob with its pitchforks and torches and schadenfreude" is really out in left field. So, to me anyway, bringing in all these things is just derailing the conversation. These are your issues. These are things that concern you and I respect that. But, this is not the place for that conversation. This is the place for us, as a community, to talk about how to deal with this specific issue. Which is the only way that this conversation can possibly be useful. Broadening the scope to what you are talking about will sw...
  • 07:47 AM - CleverNickName mentioned Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    Celebrim, I thought your post was very thoughtfully written, and I appreciated that you were able to express your stance on a very charged topic in a poignant manner even if I disagree. This part struck a chord with me. I don't think we are actually turning some social corner. I think mostly #metoo is advanced for self-centered reasons and I see no sign things are going to get better. I don't think taking a stand is going to make abusers less likely to be abusive. I think real progress and change is made one person at a time, through personal and meaningful relationships. But we are turning a social corner. People on talk radio and television can't stop talking about how things are changing and how confusing it is. Some comedians are complaining about how they can't tell the same kinds of jokes they used to, workplaces now have mandatory sexual harassment training, the Pope is no longer denying but actively speaking out against sexual assault within the church. Maybe it's not a ful...
  • 06:54 AM - Hussar mentioned Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    He probably was very well trained, in the Duluth Model. This is true. And it's great when one side consistently gets to decide that disagreement is bad behavior. It has a real chilling effect on the disagreers... Very good point, it's why I decided to stop being silent here today. Oh please. Are we really going to go down this road? Let's compare things shall we? A poster here, after repeatedly violating board rules in numerous threads, specifically compared what we're doing to murdering innocent people (lynching) and got banned. After months, if not years, of bad behavior. Every possible opportunity was afforded to this individual before getting ejected from the community. And this is chilling? Or, (sorry about this Celebrim) the comparison between state sponsored public torture of political prisoners by one of the most repressive regimes in modern history (Maoist China) and the MeToo movement. :uhoh: See, there's disagreement and discussion and then there's stuff like that. And EVERY FREAKING DISCUSSION we have about harassment in the hobby brings out these exact same comparisons. Every time. We have to wade through post after post after post of hysterical hyperbole and people trying to derail the conversation (join me in deploring porn? WTF?). If people were actually capable of being able to talk about this issue without dragging in all their own personal baggage and ludicrous hyperbole, we'd actually maybe be able to do something constructive. But, no, just like every other time this has come up, we have to flail around blindly. It's incredibly frustrating.

Monday, 11th February, 2019


Friday, 8th February, 2019

  • 11:56 PM - Coroc mentioned Celebrim in post Guns in D&D - A Hot Take
    @Celebrim Wait, what? Longbow points go right through anything but double layer mail ('chain') without hardly slowing down. The rise of the longbow and the crossbow was a big reason behind the rapid development of plate armor. The longbow will absolutely penetrate a gambeson ('padded') without much difficulty. While a gambeson will dissipate a lot of the energy of the shaft, you're still going to end up with a barbed arrow sticking in you 4-5" deep. Remember, many 13th and 14th century knights would be wearing mail over a gambeson, the longbow would frequently penetrate the combination to a depth of 2-3" (driving cloth and broken rings into your body as well), especially at ranges under 75 yards. And given the rate of fire, once you started to get hit and were now in shock and debilitated, you'd quickly turn into a pin cushion. Nope, it will not except eventually at point blank range and it just won't penetrate plate as many other weapons will not penetrate plate The kinetic energy of a heavy...
  • 05:10 PM - Coroc mentioned Celebrim in post Guns in D&D - A Hot Take
    Celebrim #62 You are right with your statements about Longbow RoF vs loadedweapons aka crossbow medieval gun etc. What you do not take into account is that the Longbow is totally ineffective versus any sort of plate armor, mostly ineffective vs. chain and even with padded armor you would stand good chances to be unhurt if the longbow hit you on a covered body part. Remember back then injury meant high risc of infection and people dying from arrows which according to some historians was the highest fatality cause in warfare back then died because of a) The arrow caused a scratch which good infected b) The arrow did lethally hit some unarmoured area of the body (only likely if there were many unarmoured troops or many arrows flying) What they did certainly not die from was c) the Famous English Longbow with a Bodkin arrowhead (surpassed in terms of penetration power only by the fanboi Katana with 5000 foldings of steel) punching a hole in the (partially pistol bullet proof...

Thursday, 7th February, 2019

  • 05:20 AM - Immortal Sun mentioned Celebrim in post What kind of music do they listen to?
    Fair enough. We approach this from different enough angles that I wonít be much further help on the cultural front. Perhaps. But finding out what I don't want to do is just as important as figuring out what I do want to do. So you've been tremendously helpful so far. Even Celebrim whose ideas are way out of line with what I'm planning has been extremely helpful, even if I don't utilize his ideas for the primary culture, I will likely purloin many ideas for cultural offshoots. As for music, it might be useful to also get an idea of what Elven music sounds like. Where are some elves when I need them!? Also, this planet is theirs, right? So, no fear of going topside at night? Yep. I haven't totally settled on the "how" of that though. So, wood instruments would be a fairly new thing, but also a very ancient thing. Maybe look into rare string instruments and woodwinds, as well as weird inventions in those categories? I'm not entirely sold on the "wood is new" idea. But I suspect this will come up when I look into "elven" music anyway.

Wednesday, 6th February, 2019

  • 11:35 PM - Gradine mentioned Celebrim in post The Battle Continues Over "Childish Things"
    ... significant factors of trolling: substituting the lowest-hanging fruit possible as representative of the whole. But he is not asking questions in a condescending tone. I would suggest that it is probably you framing it in your head as being a condescending tone because you dont like the guy. Thats just a normal human thing to do. It is not condescending to ask someone who claims that their holy text is literally true to explain something from it, or to ask why what they say is different to what that text says, or to ask why current federal policies are based on a Bronze age philosophy that the founding fathers specifically hated. I think you are ignoring the condescension due to your own biases. Trust me, it's there. It might be occasionally be subtle (not that subtlety is a particular hallmark of Maher's oeuvre) but it is there. In the tone of voice, the choice of words, the facial expressions (which are a particular hallmark of Maher's oeuvre), the body language. And as Celebrim so keenly points out, it's also present in the editing; the simple choice of subject. "This is who leads their religion," he says sneering, not literally of course but in the fact that of all the Christian pastors and priests he could have interviewed he chooses the scummy megachurch huckster. "These are their beliefs," he adds with a chortle, again not literally but sub-textually when he chooses to show off the obviously fringe wackos and their "humans rode dinosaurs" nonsense. Note the emphasis on "their"; remember that the audience for this movie is not religious people. It is "let's laugh at the silly monkeys in the zoo" level of cathartic, mean-spirited pablum. Trolling, in another word. Maybe the Senator is right, maybe there should be an IQ test for people that want to run for public office. IQ tests are total garbage; the joke from this bit was that the Senator inadvertently dunked on his own intelligence, with the unspoken subtext from Maher (editing!) being th...
  • 06:11 PM - John Out West mentioned Celebrim in post Help with city-based campaign
    Celebrim 104586
  • 05:51 AM - Immortal Sun mentioned Celebrim in post What kind of music do they listen to?
    ... The Drow don't look at life, the universe and everything like the rest of us do. But me the puny human DM is still limited in making them something presentable to the other puny humans at the table. I like the recently put forth idea of Lolth representing a "lawful, but evil" alterative to Correllions "Chaotic and indifferent". After being led on an exodus from the elven world eons ago, upon discovering their mistake the Drow chose to double down on their decisions rather than abandon them. Resulting in a society with a powerful level of cognitive dissonance that even though they know there are holes in their boat so to speak they are inclined towards traditionalism, religiosity and fanatacism. With the addition of some generally accepted level of breeding programs, eugenics and society over family; I think I would reasonablly generate a society that is at fairly functional (at least in game-time terms) but terrifying to "dig into", and most people don't. I do like the ideas @Celebrim presents for at least the counter-culture elements. For as much as the government tries, it can't control everything and that is what it manifests in. A thing to decide ahead of time is, what vision of the Drow is your starting point, before that 1000 years of development? Is there an edition youíre working from in terms of lore, or are you building your own take on the Drow? Fair. To kind of generally respond to @Celebrim that's certainly not the take I'm going for and yes, I realize that what is "established" is not really sustainable, but then looking at a lot of SyFy there's always an "evil empire" of sorts to, if nothing more, present an opposing viewpoint to the otherwise "American" or "Federation" approach to things. I'm not terribly concerned if a singular Drow empire lasted a thousand years, but functionally lets say the Drow had their own world, all generally inclined in a drowish direction that eventually reached space-faring capacity. I suppose I'd be looking at some...


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Monday, 18th March, 2019

  • 08:18 PM - Saelorn quoted Celebrim in post Removing Hit Points from the Game
    You could, except the games that implement static single digit hit points tend to have highly aggressive 'wound tracks' where each loss of hit points carries with it a commiserate debuff, which tends to change the problem from "every attack is save or die" to "every attack is save or suck". And while leaves you with some opportunity to respond, typically you have relatively few options to do so. They also tend to have mechanics that allow for more than a single point of damage to occur at once.A wound track is a reasonable HP alternative. I mean, there's a huge difference between an HP system and no system, but the difference between an HP system and a wound track is not necessarily that significant. Even if the first wound gives the equivalent of Disadvantage on every check, that can present an interesting choice in terms of action economy, whether you hide from the fight (and thus deprive your team of a meaningful action each round), or risk serious injury in order to keep contributin...
  • 07:22 PM - Saelorn quoted Celebrim in post Removing Hit Points from the Game
    There is a corollary to that and that is that without hit points, players lose the ability to react to changing circumstances. If you don't have hit points, then when something goes bad, it tends to go back completely and without chance of recovery. One moment someone is fine and the next someone is dead. No one gets a chance to adjust their tactics to deal with a problem.If you remove all HP, then that's true, but it's not necessarily true if you keep HP and simply remove their progression. You could play a reasonable game where everyone had 3hp, and a successful hit deals 1 damage. That would give you plenty of opportunity to adjust your approach depending on how much damage you'd taken. The problem with 5E, in particular, is that HP are so numerous and healing is so generous that there's no need to adjust tactics. You may as well charge straight at those bandits, because it doesn't matter whether or not you get hit, because you'll be fine either way. The worst case scenario is you sp...

Friday, 15th March, 2019

  • 11:01 PM - BoxCrayonTales quoted Celebrim in post Mind if I pedantically complain that monster manuals butcher myth/folklore/fairytale?
    D&D is a game about killing monsters, so if the monsters don't already to conform to that role, then they either need to be changed to fit or omitted from the game. Other games are not about killing monsters, so if you really want to give the creatures a fair shake, then you'd be better off dealing with them there. If you really want an accurate take on the wendigo (for example), then you shouldn't look for it in a game that assumes every problem can be fixed with a sword.Iíve always been frustrated by the inordinate focus on violence in RPGs. Plenty of fantasy stories resolved encounters with non-violent solutions. Iím not suggesting adding mental/social hit points or using a genuinely universal task resolution mechanic a la Risus, but I wish the rules had offered XP for any method of conflict resolution. Well, if we're going to be pedants here, no, it is not creatively bankrupt to re-imagine monsters as something different from their lore. However, taking my pedant hat off and look...
  • 04:45 PM - CleverNickName quoted Celebrim in post Stirges have cemented themselves as my favorite D&D monsters at this point...
    The "Paladin"* in my group is wearing armor made from the hide and scales of an adult sea dragon and has a rust proof mithril Morningstar, so would probably end up Hoovering up most or all of the XP from an encounter with rust monsters, no tears involved. Indeed you would! That's the perfect build for defeating rust monsters (and probably heat metal spells, if you switch to a wooden baseball bat.) *(Actually Champion of Aravar, God of the Dead, with the Guardian and Travel portfolios, but that is so much incomprehensible gibberish, so settle for "Paladin" because functionally that's what he is.)Yeah, my "paladin" isn't a Paladin either. They're a dragonborn Cleric of Bahamut, Thunder Domain, Soldier background, and a figurine of wondrous power (obsidian steed) for their mount.
  • 09:05 AM - Hussar quoted Celebrim in post Role-Players vs. Actors
    Well, I disagree VERY strongly, on two grounds - one minor and one major. My minor disagreement is that even in real life, verbosity is not equivalent to eloquence. If you can make your point in a few words, do so. At the very least, all of your words should be essential to conveying your meaning, and as much as possible you should avoid redundancy. . /snip I'm sorry Celebrim, but, the irony of this statement just about made me blow my coffee all over my computer. :D Really not meant as an attack. Honest it's not. Just honestly really, really funny. ---------- As a DM, I'm not there to police how other people play the game. If Bob likes to just say, "I bluff the guard" then, groovy. He's not the talky type. No problems. He's probably fun in other ways. Cool, not a problem. Getting all judgemental about it just seems to me to lead to really bad games. If Bob's a kick in the door type player, why try to strong arm him into being something he's not? If he's not terribly interested in the talky bits, then don't force him to do the talky bits. Move on over to the other folks that do like to do the talky bits. Like I said, I really don't have any strong preference. So long as we're having a good time, I couldn't care less about judging the quality of someone's play.
  • 05:08 AM - Flexor the Mighty! quoted Celebrim in post Stirges have cemented themselves as my favorite D&D monsters at this point...
    Not my favorite but very high up there. One of the things I like about stirges is their ability to stay relevant over a large range of levels. You can throw a stirge at a party at 1st level, but they truly scale up with numbers. They're even nastier under my house rules than normal because I have a 'clinch' maneuver and stirges have improved clinch which makes them really hard to hit once one of them is on you (they're using your own body as cover). Once you hit the point that a swarm of stirges is no longer so much of a problem you can keep them relevant through concealment and terrain, and at even higher levels by giving them templates - I'm personally fond of air elemental and fire elemental templated stirges. We seem to have similar taste in traps as well. I like traps that provoke a lot of party teamwork and cause damage over extended periods, because I want a trap to be an encounter and not just ticking hit points off of your character sheet. Other monsters I adore: Meph...
  • 01:41 AM - darkbard quoted Celebrim in post I keep bottle-necking the heroes (advice)
    While your suggestion to house rule improvised combat maneuvers that allow for forced movement or evasion might have some merit in some systems, in the case of 4e it violates the entire spirit of the game to let players improvise stunts that give them forced movement options since 4e explicitly silos maneuvers as centrally important CharGen building resources. I can think of few game systems were stunts break the underlying game system to a larger degree than they would in 4e. Fixing this problem would I think be extremely challenging, as you'd need to come up with a balance that made such stunts worthwhile without making them ubiquitously attempted actions This is incorrect. 4E *encourages* improvised moves that make use of terrain, force movement, etc. Dynamic tactical combat *relies* on such, in fact. From the DMG, pg. 42: "Example: Shiera the 8th-level rogue wants to try the classic swashbuckling move of swinging on a chandelier and kicking an ogre in the chest on her way down to th...

Thursday, 14th March, 2019

  • 09:59 PM - Myrhdraak quoted Celebrim in post I keep bottle-necking the heroes (advice)
    While I think a lot of the discussion in your "Changing the Combat Parameters..." thread, in this case the OP is reporting about a combat that occurred at 2nd level when the math shouldn't in fact be broken. Again, I think this goes back to the fact that the Soldier template (and especially the elite Soldier) is well known to lead to grindy long duration fights.. 4th Edition is in no sense broken. It is built to run 5 challenging combat encounters per day, whatever your level. However, if you want more of a 5e like gameplay, where there is more of a mix of encounter challenge level (some minor, some medium, and some challenging), and maybe more smaller skirmishes before the big boss fight, then you might benefit from some tweaking of its parameters. This might result in fewer challenging battles where you face a wall of Soldiers, maybe only 2 out of 9 instead of 2 to 3 out of 5. Your suggestions while some of them might work, go back onto the problem that I called out with all metagame s...
  • 05:08 PM - Retreater quoted Celebrim in post I keep bottle-necking the heroes (advice)
    Soldiers are pretty infamous in 4e for producing grindy fights. I'm anything but a 4e expert, but speaking from my perspective, I hate resolving encounter design issues with metagaming. That is to say, you could probably resolve this in a number of ways, none of which are going to be very satisfying conceptually: a) You could avoid using foes that have high defenses, like soldiers, and thereby speed up the fight. b) You could have first waves composed of minions, which would collapse quickly and therefore allow the party space to get into the room before engaging the main force. c) You could use kid gloves on the party by having the opposition behave in ways that weren't tactically optimal, such as delaying or spreading out. d) You could metagame by handwaving the party getting into the room, and then actually applying the rules only when in your opinion the fictional positioning was optimal for fun. This is called calling the bang, but note also that this is a railroading technique...

Tuesday, 12th March, 2019

  • 04:24 PM - Umbran quoted Celebrim in post Do you design worlds according to fantastical physics?
    It's important that at a superficial level the world works in an intuitive manner, otherwise the learning curve for a player in the setting is too steep. Players need to have some idea what the stakes of a proposition are likely to be, and if you are playing a world where that is not intuitive you might want to run a 'fortune at the end' type system so that the stakes are given or negotiated out in front. Agreed. The reason most fantasy world is basically, "real-world, with individuals who can produce special effects," is to allow the player's life-experience-trained intuition to hold sway most of the time. But under the surface, things can be as bizarre as you are willing to make them. Personally, I feel we actually live in such a universe. We think we know how things work, but the more you look at the universe at scales that don't normally come into play in our day to day experience, the weirder and more baffling the universe gets. I mean that whole double slit experiment thing.....

Monday, 11th March, 2019

  • 04:11 PM - jmucchiello quoted Celebrim in post Where's Our D&D Theme Park?
    so you don't have a ready fan base of movie watchers eager to get the 'Tomb of Horrors' experience. Does this mean dead, your soul sucked into a gem, or just naked, opposite alignment, and opposite gender (with apologies to those non-binary among you).
  • 03:28 PM - Riley37 quoted Celebrim in post Need for a Home Base
    All problems are always resolved by the end of the episode and at the beginning of each episode the Enterprise is whole, restored, and the party fully recovered from their trials. If the Enterprise is not a secure haven, then the space between episodes certainly is one. True of the episodes. Variably true of the movies and novels, but that's irrelevant to your point. In D&D terms, Kirk and Spock begin each episode with full Hit Points (and spellcasting capacity or other ability uses, as appropriate). So for TRPG, that raises the distinction of a safe haven between the action played out in a game "episode", whether that's a session or a story arc across a few sessions, versus a safe haven where no threats will arise *during* the story played out in sessions. Safe enough to rest (and recover HP etc.). Some TRPG tables have "downtime" assumed between sessions, others don't. I'm interested in whether the story has "on stage" scenes in which the PCs can confer, reflect, debate, etc., with...
  • 08:40 AM - S'mon quoted Celebrim in post Need for a Home Base
    The haven is essential because when you run out of hit points and spells, you must be able to have a secure long rest to recover. And if you don't have that, then you suffer death by attrition. Particularly true in my 5e games with 1 week LRs! Though I do allow overnight hp recovery (1/level), so a few classes like Fighter Rogue & Warlock can get by without LRs if they absolutely have to.

Friday, 8th March, 2019

  • 09:39 PM - Man in the Funny Hat quoted Celebrim in post Mind if I pedantically complain that monster manuals butcher myth/folklore/fairytale?
    Nope. Rant away. You'll hear no complaints from me. Understand though that as much as I admire your attempts to rectify the blandness of most D&D monster's ecologies, taxonomies, and lore, I still do not think there is one right answer here. I admire your thoughtfulness and your intention to entertain and give the setting more depth and more color, but however a DM wants to go about doing that, I'm OK with - even if it is pointedly ignoring folk-lore or doubling down in D&D's misunderstandings. Ditto.

Thursday, 7th March, 2019

  • 10:47 PM - lowkey13 quoted Celebrim in post Momo is Still Not Real (But Memes Are)
    and that they are usually inclined to want other people (especially people they care about) to share those beliefs. Eh. I would never join any club that would have me as a member.
  • 09:40 PM - SatanicPanic1985 quoted Celebrim in post Momo is Still Not Real (But Memes Are)
    And, this isn't just limited to religion. An atheist will surely say, "God does not exist. I believe there is sufficient proof in the world to establish the truth that God does not exist. This belief is inherently superior and grounded in more evidence than past superstitions. My belief is correct." If he does not make these assertions, then on what grounds does he call himself an atheist? I would reframe this as follows: "I believe there is insufficient evidence in the world to establish the truth that God does exist."
  • 04:17 PM - lowkey13 quoted Celebrim in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    Anyway, back on target, I think I've covered the points that I need to make in order to start going after the things that were axiomatically assumed earlier in the thread. It is time for you to step away from the discussion. Do not post in the thread again. (If you didn't see this prior to posting, you should probably delete your post before getting modded)
  • 03:22 PM - Umbran quoted Celebrim in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    Speaking as someone who writes with a great deal of passion... Too much passion. And not enough cognizance that you are speaking to another human being. Keeping to highfalutin' language does not keep you from going over the line several times. Insulting their schooling as a cause for their disagreement with you, and referring to their writing as "literary masturbation" is pretty much tops for arrogance, making it personal, and being dismissive. It is time for you to step away from the discussion. Do not post in the thread again.
  • 08:27 AM - Hussar quoted Celebrim in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    /snip This is a straw man. No one is granting the author power to tell you what to think. I am not even saying other intrpeations of a work can't be of value. I am just saying authorial intent, in my view, exists, can be deciphered to an extent, and is probably one of the more important aspects of a work. But acknowledging all that, doesn't mean the author can tell me what to think. I can still think the author's work is terrible. Acting as if intent doesn't matter though, it ignores the whole reason the person created the thing in the first place. And that matters a lot because it helps explain the historical context. Obviously that isn't the end of the conversation though. There is intent, but there is also impact. And impact is important too. Ummm... Just like this, "They are wrong." See how easy that was. If you like, and you didn't get it the first time, I can demonstrate it again. Oh sure, they can disagree. They can say I'm wrong. But if they even as much say that I'm wrong, i...
  • 01:01 AM - Hussar quoted Celebrim in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    No I don't, but I do get to laugh at them - or mourn for them - depending on how much they get it wrong. Communication is a two way street, and I am not solely responsible for it occurring. How do you get to declare them "wrong"? It's a two way street right? Or, is it a one way street - your way? No, I am not. You can recite that sort of crap all you like, but it doesn't make it true. At the very least, this is a point which is well recognized as debateable and over which reasonable people can and have disagreed, so presenting it as if it was some sort of incontrivertable objective fact that doesn't need to be supported does not reflect well upon you. Indeed, I think the whole line of reasoning behind that statement, which was conveyed to you through some means (because I doubt you would have made the leap on your own), in my opinion doesn't reflect well on those that made it. If you want to put forth that argument, feel free and muster your logic and evidence, but on no...


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