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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:09 PM
    1e attack progression is vastly more fine grained than it is in later editions - 4e and 5e in particular. The Fighter's first bump in attacks per round is 5/4, meaning that the get 1 extra attack every four rounds of combat. This is no advantage at all in combats that only last 3 rounds, and you could end up fighting for seven rounds and get only 1 extra attack. Fighters were reasonably...
    100 replies | 1487 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:03 PM
    I don't know that I would go that far. Advancement rates is in theory a legitimate way of achieving balance that might otherwise be difficult because advancement rate is highly granular. It's very clear that the 1e classes are widely imbalanced and its less clear how to make them balanced and retain the 1e feels and simplistic mechanics. The biggest problem with the 1e advancement rates is...
    100 replies | 1487 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 06:35 AM
    I don't think you've left me much of substance to reply to. Clearly I've opened up some old wound that still hurts, and as you even admit much of the reply doesn't pertain to my post, I'm going to just let it pass for the most part. But I do want to protest that however you read me, I did not and never claimed to encapsulate all of what Dragon contained in the early to mid 80s. Certainly I...
    142 replies | 4503 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 08:32 PM
    When I'm doing this sort of thing, I generally plan out a series of complications which the PC's are expected to handle. In other words, I hand wave away most of the ascent and skip to the exciting moments of it. The generic skill check thing is fine, but it's too generic. I'd tend to do things more like: 1) A footbridge on the trail collapses. This provokes one of the three checks to...
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 03:58 PM
    Let's not derail the thread with this little bit of explosive controversy. In 1e AD&D fighters could have exceptional strength. The only gender restrictions the game has ever had was the maximum exceptional strength of starting fighter class character was limited by race and gender. Thus, female gnome fighters maximum strength was lower than male half-orcs fighters (but actually higher than...
    100 replies | 1487 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 03:37 PM
    The fighter being heavily front loaded was not a flaw of 3e multiclassing, but a flaw of the fighter. It's the reason the fighter is a great class at low levels but is considered by many to be a tier 5 class - that is to say, an excessively narrow class which does not even perform well at it's stated party roll (in this case fighting). You have to fix the front loading of the fighter and give...
    100 replies | 1487 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 07:15 AM
    I was around then and I read the Dragon articles, and if you go back and read those early debates it is very clear that no one has a clear idea of how to describe what they are talking about. One word that you would have heard a lot in 1980 is 'realism'. Fans and designers tended to debate games in terms of how 'realistic' they they were, with the implication that mature and sophisticated...
    142 replies | 4503 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 06:53 AM
    I was a huge fan of the Mass Effect series before it went downhill. Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2 are notable in that they use very different combat mechanics. Mass Effect 2 is a tightly defined cover based shooter. Combat has to take place in special combat arenas where suitable waist high obstacles are found to make use of its cover mechanics. Mass Effect 1 on the other hand has no...
    142 replies | 4503 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 01:25 AM
    Not even remotely. The only thing that kept dual classing in check was it was almost impossible to have a character that could qualify to do it without cheating.
    100 replies | 1487 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 01:12 AM
    3E multiclassing was nearly perfect, and would have worked just fine if they hadn't have added PrCs and made just a few small tweaks.
    100 replies | 1487 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 10:20 PM
    I'm completely OK with adopting that definition, since only that definition can make "System Matters" true in the sense that you want to mean it - albeit I'm not sure that the way "System Matters" was originally defined was as broad as all that. However, the problem with adopting that definition is the bulk of those "not the rules" things can't actually be evaluated in the case of traditional...
    142 replies | 4503 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 10:11 PM
    Let me try to make a thesis out of this. In the late 90's and early 00's people began to try to think systematically about RPG design and develop a framework for describing RPGs. They contributed a lot of potentially useful terminology to the game and the exercise was itself really worthwhile, even if I'm not convinced any of their conclusions necessarily hold true. One idea that they hit...
    142 replies | 4503 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 09:48 PM
    Ok. That is a procedure of play, not a rule of the system. It has to do with how you prepare to play the game and think about playing the game, but it's not an inherent aspect of the game. You still could be playing traditional D&D and not have any of those things. I know, I was in a game that was largely without them as early as 1990. There could be vastly different procedures...
    142 replies | 4503 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 07:42 PM
    Classes using different advancement tables is probably something I would have tried to get rid of in any combined rules set. To the extent that I couldn't get rid of it in a rules system intended to invoke 1e AD&D nostalgia, I would definitely do some adjustments to the old tables to create better balance than they did.
    100 replies | 1487 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 07:25 PM
    For me, this is "back in the day". It's how I used the 1e AD&D reaction check (at least in part). I'd have go back and reread the 1e AD&D rules to see if that was the intention of the RAW, but the idea that you shouldn't let players get away with treating Charisma as a dump stat by having Charisma regularly and tangibly impact how the game proceeded is nothing new for me. If we are going to...
    142 replies | 4503 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 06:02 PM
    I considered this for a while as a project. There are a ton of things I've learned about rulesmithing since I ran 1e AD&D, and I've since read numerous old articles in Dragon magazine that I'd either never before encountered or didn't understand at the time which I'd want to incorporate into a rebuilt 1e AD&D. I think I could make rules that if I sent back to my past self would utterly wow me...
    100 replies | 1487 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 05:32 PM
    I notorious for house ruling the heck out of any game that I run, and the longer I run it the more I want to house rule it to smooth over any friction I've encountered in running a system. So every single system I run ends up borrowing liberally from original ideas, supplemental rules, or ideas I stole from other systems. I won't even begin to describe the rules I was using at my 1e table. ...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 04:41 PM
    I can sympathize with the work issue. Personally, I'm a fan of having an Old Fashioned before bed. I don't have an issue. For the record, I am the original 'edition warrior'. I unapologetically advocated against the design choices in 4e from the very start. Based on WotC's hints about where they were going, the lack of transparency, the revocation of the OGL, and their disparaging...
    142 replies | 4503 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 05:44 AM
    I think that's all true. But the problem with that approach is not one I think a game from 1980 would have particularly concerned itself with - balance. Imagine we have a simple system, and we give the player an option of two classes - warrior and mage. The warrior is 50% more potent than the mage, but the mage has a power where he can be twice as potent as the warrior only there is a 1 in 6...
    31 replies | 752 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 05:17 AM
    None of that deserves a reply or seems in the slightest to be a reply. Are you posting drunk, or is the problem you are sober?
    142 replies | 4503 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 05:14 AM
    I don't have a clue what you mean, but I guess that makes us even because you don't seem to have a clue what I mean either. Have you ever taken a typical D&D player's handbook, flipped it to the start of the spells table, and really considered how much of the rules of D&D are in the spells? Without spells and spell-like effects, D&D borders on being a rules light engine. The fact that D&D...
    31 replies | 752 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 02:02 AM
    The vast majority of LA comes from having net positive attributes. Anything, whether an awakened animal or not, with net positive attribute adjustments needs to have some sort of +LA. Eventually, attributes exceed HD. That is to say, for some HD 'n', there is a HD 'n-m' where you'd rather play the character that forgoes 'm' HD if you have unbalanced stats. Pretty much everything that HD...
    7 replies | 278 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 01:46 AM
    So you are suggesting that everything you plan for is tightly scripted? Do you never plan encounters where you intend to leave things up to chance and player direction? Like, "Here is an NPC here. He has this personality, and this motivation, and is initially has a friendly attitude toward strangers, as modified by a reaction check based on player appearance..." Planned personality is...
    142 replies | 4503 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, 04:55 PM
    I can't tell. I mean, I really can't tell. The closest I can get is that the implications of the scene is that the PC's are fairly high level, and the wizard's comparative impotence suggests that magic is a weaker source of narrative power in 4e than in other D&D systems. I'm mostly quoting this post as a useful jumping off point for what has been bugging me this entire thread, because the...
    142 replies | 4503 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, 04:39 PM
    It's less a matter of deciding what NPC is important than it is a matter of deciding what part of the story you want to be scripted, and what parts you want to be unscripted. You can't however know whether the scripted or the unscripted scenes are going to have more impact or going to be treated as being more important by the players, and if you are doing your job right you won't be signaling to...
    142 replies | 4503 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th December, 2018, 12:17 AM
    Not every HD is worth having. Your bear character would be a lot more powerful if you traded every HD of animal for a HD of barbarian. The more animal HD you forego, the more you are powering up the character. That said, I was assuming from what you'd said earlier that you'd brought this character into an 9th level game, not a 16th level one. Against 16 CR foes, yes, this is definitely...
    7 replies | 278 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd December, 2018, 02:47 PM
    That's a fair statement, in theory, but is questionable in application. In worlds where half-elves are marginalized, they should start with a penalty to social interactions -- something like the 1E racial animosity tables, if you're a sadist. The minimum penalty you could really apply is a -1, which is what the +2 to charisma grants. So, the half-elf becomes a wash disguised as a bonus. If you...
    193 replies | 6312 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd December, 2018, 11:40 PM
    I have somewhat mixed feelings, but mostly come down on the side of half-things suck. No need for half-orcs or half-elves. I'm especially baffled at the current incarnation of half-elves where they're marginalized and semi-outcast by both elven and human society but somehow have a bonus to Charisma because they're what, likable, despite being second-class citizens? Especially good at begging the...
    193 replies | 6312 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd December, 2018, 11:19 PM
    Large Size, massively unbalanced stats, scent special ability, that more than makes up for the limitations. I'd consider it LA +2 or so. So an awakened Brown Bear is in the range of 10 ECL. By dumping the relatively useless 2 extra animal HD, you are definitely power gaming. Trading animal HD for barbarian levels is definitely min/maxing. Your equivalent to an 11th level character IMO. ...
    7 replies | 278 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd December, 2018, 02:44 AM
    He keeps insisting on saying things like AC 5 is higher than AC 0 even after I quoted the DMG showing it using the normal, natural, correct way of talking about 1e AC. And he keeps correcting people for using the terminology that AC 5 is below AC 0 that is right there in the DMG even after I showed him its in the DMG. It's not that he's confused about AC 5 being better than AC 0 - he...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st December, 2018, 11:40 PM
    We are discussing the history of THAC0 prior to its formalization in 2e.
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st December, 2018, 02:49 AM
    I have theoretical rules for allowing a wizard to use Spellcraft to cast a spell of any level, but they are tuned so to make it obvious why no one tries this - low chances of success, considerable hassle, and high penalities for near failures. There is this thing called 'Spell Burn' where you cast the spell without powering it, and so it powers itself with your soul. And if it kills you, then...
    31 replies | 752 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st December, 2018, 02:34 AM
    Once and for all, the THAC0 of a 1st level thief or wizard is 21 - not 20. I don't know where or why you assumed I couldn't calculate THAC0 since your whole argument depends on incorrectly assigning it. Calculated correctly, you need a 20 to hit a 1, a 19 to hit a 2, an 18 to hit a 3, and so forth. Viola, no +1 bonus against bad AC. But, you might protest, a 1st level thief or wizard only...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 03:49 PM
    Making magic feel dangerous involves making it mysterious and unpredictable. Conceptually, I've wanted to do that for nearly thirty years, and I've experimented with a wide variety of mechanics. What I've discovered is that mysterious and unpredictable magic is not really suitable for table top play unless you also are going to make magic super rare, because it imposes too many burdens on the...
    31 replies | 752 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 03:45 AM
    I ran 1e AD&D tables for like 20 years, and I can't remember a single time I was consulting that part of the table. First, a quote from the DMG. Bottom of page 73: "Armor class below 10 is not possible except through cursed items. Armor class above 2 is easily possible due to magical bonuses and dexterity bonuses." - Gary Gygax So for all you claiming that I've gotten the terminology...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 09:08 PM
    Err, Celebrim grabs his DM screen and makes one row for each weapon Jasper wields. Then he grabs the Weapon vs. AC table from the Unearthed Arcana, modified the rows accordingly, factors in any magic item bonuses and adjustments for STR or DEX and now I know exactly what Jasper needs to hit anything without looking it up. I do this for each PC, then I binder clip the new sheet of tables to the...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 05:47 PM
    No, you don't, and no it isn't, and my aren't you tedious. This is silly. The fact that a 1st level thief or MU requires 20 to hit AC1 in 1e AD&D is something I accounted for already. The fact is that AD&D AC works opposite what you'd expect by having lower numbers represent higher ACs is not my fault but an artifact of the system, but if it makes you feel better I will simply use...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 03:36 PM
    You did. But you either didn't understand what I wrote, or you are hung up on terms of art regarding how we describe AD&D's counterintuitive AC. No, I understand perfectly how AC in 1st AD&D works. I played the game for nearly 20 years. I think the problem is that you are used to using one terminology for describing AC getting better, and I'm using a different one, but it is perfectly...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 03:20 PM
    In a very simple stripped down form, FATE probably is a rules light game. The reason that I don't think it is in practice a rules light game is precisely the way you say it bucks that trend. And all those extensions to the rules are exactly why it doesn't fit the definition I gave. Those extensions add complexity, increase the scope of the game, try to simulate something specific (the...
    22 replies | 860 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 06:11 AM
    Yay. I'm a successful RPG publisher. Who knew it was that easy?!?!?
    22 replies | 860 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 04:26 AM
    I think 'Over the Edge' is more admired than played, and it's recent kickstarter while decently successful garnered like 2000 supporters. That's a tiny tiny slice of what is overall a tiny industry. How you think about play, and how you prepare to play, and what procedures of play you adopt are almost entirely divorced from mechanics. I knew 1e groups that where build focused. ...
    22 replies | 860 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 02:50 AM
    Oh really? Then why the heck did you just repeat back to me everything I just wrote? It doesn't BY YOUR OWN EXPLANATION, WHICH IS REALLY JUST MY EXPLANATION REWORDED. The only time you'd get incorrect results would be against AC 0 or higher, which is like Red Dragon territory in 1e AD&D and unlikely to happen. AC's and defenses in general are miserably low in AD&D most of the time, even...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 11:34 PM
    FATE Accelerated to me feels like a stretch of the term 'rules light'. I agree with the 'rules medium' description. Rules light games tend to: 1) Have a complete game in a single supplement. 2) Use a single simple resolution mechanic for all purposes. 3) Avoid simulation of any sort. That is to say, at no point does the game attempt to model the particulars of a challenge, such as the...
    22 replies | 860 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 10:59 PM
    Just how often are 1st level characters going up against monsters with AC1 or better? If you calculate THAC0 correctly and intend to use it in place of the tables, the problem happens only for thieves or MU at AC 0 or higher when a THAC0 calculation implies you need 21 to hit, yet you could in theory still hit on a modified 20 using the table's repeated 20s rule. But your low level...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 05:41 PM
    In practice, the repeated 20's then 21's rule never came up in play anyway. Monsters which had AC's which were in that range were rare and pretty much never came into play at a time when the PC's would have been forced to use those rules. Conversely, even if PC's managed to get AC's that would have forced monsters into that part of the table, monsters very rarely had any bonuses to hit (much...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 05:25 PM
    I've hit the sobering realization that there is vastly more gaming that I would like to do than could be completed in a lifetime.
    157 replies | 5003 view(s)
    8 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 26th November, 2018, 10:05 PM
    I generally also concur with the overarching description of the history of the game. Early on, almost no two tables were using the same rules. Not only did different tables ignore wide swaths of the rules or use variant resolution systems knowingly or unknowingly, but many systems borrowed from BECMI knowingly or unknowingly as well. Almost every table had a list of Dragon articles with...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 26th November, 2018, 09:55 PM
    A lot of people have already hit on what I think is the problem. It's fashionable now to produce systems that have a single pervasive resolution mechanic that pervades the entire system. This produces a tightly coupled system where it is difficult to make modifications or to move subsystems in or out of the game. Personally, I think this is a huge mistake. No one resolution mechanic...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 25th November, 2018, 03:51 AM
    Faeries.
    11 replies | 466 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 23rd November, 2018, 04:59 AM
    In this world it would have to. The problem that I was trying to elucidate (see it there), was that I'm not sure that this association is as tenuous as all that. I'm not sure you can remove the association. Even if you try to start with a world reversed, it doesn't feel like it can last. Vampires are good aligned? Surely they'd have to stop feasting, stop polluting, stop dominating. And...
    14 replies | 420 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 02:48 PM
    I don't have a weird idea of angels. I have a correct idea of humans. Also, I can quote verses if you like. However, as you note, none of the official creatures actually are called or look like seraphims, cherubims, and so forth. We're talking about the D&D creatures here.
    14 replies | 420 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 04:35 AM
    Angels in hell. Demons in heaven. But aesthetic choices are not arbitrary. The angels, incarnate evil now, would soon find that their bodies constructed for gentleness and healing were too thin and frail for their new purposes. Thickness of limb, stoutness of form would be the new order of the day. Fingers composed for graceful art would be repurposed as weapons, becoming long talons. ...
    14 replies | 420 view(s)
    3 XP
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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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Saturday, 8th December, 2018

  • 02:55 PM - Sadras mentioned Celebrim in post When did mixing editions become unusual?
    Many of these variants are bringing ideas from older D&D editions or other systems to 5e. I think we are possibly in the Golden Age of system mixing actually. And you haven't even mentioned the variant Inspiration/Fate like rule mixing, the converted 2e Complete Guides for 5e, the converted 3e Prestige Classes and the homebrewed 4e Epic styled 5e. @Celebrim the playerbase might have tinkered more with the very imperfect systems of 1e, 2e and BECMI which is understandable, but in terms of system mixing I'm in agreement with @dave2008 - 5e seems to win this category.
  • 03:39 AM - Manbearcat mentioned Celebrim in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    ...their precious setting, NPCs, and metaplot utterly railroading an entire generation of players. GM's Calvinballing/Fudging/Forcing/Illusionisming their passive players through setting and metaplot tourism until their players became either (i) completely disenfranchised or (ii) so utterly annoyed that they just murderhoboed the setting/ignored the metaplot to utter ruin because the only way they could actually influence the gamestate was through violence/combat. The number of anecdotes and refugee players that fled other games into my own game during that period was truly absurd. I've never seen anything like it before or since. And I sat in on plenty of games and talked to GMs and entertained tons of conversations that bore out this idea of unmitigated authority for GMs to basically be the only active player at the table with the players doing little but characterizing a personality and rolling some dice (and hoping the resolution mechanics actually mattered). 2) My guess is Celebrim never played much Basic (1-3 and solely dungeons) or Expert (4-14 and expansion into wilderness but using the same machinery, principles, and procedures) (most people didn't play Champion/Master/Immortal...some played RC)? Exclusively played AD&D? The Gygaxian prose in AD&D (even though he explicitly called out the game as not realistic and not intended to be a simulation) vs Moldvay, Cook/Marsh made an enormous difference in the rules text. Basic and Expert's rules and prose read as (abstract) "game" while AD&D (even if not intended as a simulation) read as granular content generation rather than (abstract) "game" facilitator. I think there is a marked difference there. When I talk about "system matters", I'm working off a premise of "intentful or thoughtful design (as a holistic/integrated product)". Does anybody actually think Environment Scaling/Movement Rates + Exploration Turns + Wandering Monsters/Random Encounters + Gold for XP (and not for monsters) is just a happy acc...

Thursday, 6th December, 2018

  • 10:08 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Celebrim in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    @Celebrim I don’t have time to read your response in detail and respond to it, but one thing sticks out at a quick look. You appear to be using “system” as an analog for “rules” and then evaluating my post based on this usage. I don’t agree with that usage. When discussing a game, when I say “system”, I don’t mean discrete parts. I’m talking about the integration of all of play premise/goals, codified rules + the handling of exceptions, the expectations of each participant, and the broad procedures (including conversation/flow of information/how stuff enters play) of play...working in concert (or working at odds in some cases) to create a play experience. EDIT - I’ll read through your post and have a fuller response on the coming days.

Thursday, 22nd November, 2018

  • 06:08 PM - Josiah Stoll mentioned Celebrim in post What would happen if you reversed all the alignments for all the creatures in the Monster manual?
    Celebrim What if we removed the association between “light” and “good?” It would start with the angels going mad, I think. They would stream out of the heavens in a starry host, wiping out mortals in droves for some perceived fault. The demons would be those who rebelled against this violence. Cast out and hunted in the light, they retreated into the only safe place they could find- the shadows of the Underdark. Lloth in this world would be using her plotting and magic for good, and the Drow would follow her lead-creating a genuinely awesome matriarchal society. Also of note: this would explain why the goblins and orcs want to build a castle underground and why the elves and dwarves want to murder them so bad.

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.


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Monday, 10th December, 2018

  • 02:28 AM - OverlordOcelot quoted Celebrim in post Blending the D&Ds
    1e attack progression is vastly more fine grained than it is in later editions - 4e and 5e in particular. The Fighter's first bump in attacks per round is 5/4, meaning that the get 1 extra attack every four rounds of combat. While I'm sure there's a set of rules used by people playing 1e that did this, the PHB and UA rules didn't - PHB has attacks of 1/1, 3/2, 2/1 (at 1/7/13 for fighters) and UA has specialist attacks at 3/2, 2/1, and 5/2 at those same breakpoints. (Missile weapons had different rates of fire, but none with 5/4).
  • 01:47 AM - Garthanos quoted Celebrim in post Blending the D&Ds
    the M-U in 1e AD&D is reasonably balanced provided you don't get to heavily into illusion abuse and follow all the rules for casting a spell. Never saw a DM do it well once (including me) they were either dramatically overpowered or underpowered with a narrow window in the middle and sometimes the overpowered was at level 1 with a sleep spell. That is to me an in theory vs an in practice issue I am sure it is possible for my 9th level fighter to have not felt like a sidekick but pretending it actually worked out that way at most tables does not seem honest. Its wearing pink glasses about tradition.
  • 01:11 AM - Garthanos quoted Celebrim in post Blending the D&Ds
    1e attack progression is vastly more fine grained than it is in later editions - 4e and 5e in particular. The Fighter's first bump in attacks per round is 5/4, meaning that the get 1 extra attack every four rounds of combat. This is no advantage at all in combats that only last 3 rounds, and you could end up fighting for seven rounds and get only 1 extra attack. Fighters were reasonably balanced until Weapon Specialization came along and broke them completely. LOL how is a single class balanced in a game where other classes go from useless to overwhelming the statement is not meaningful. Balance is dependent on context ie balanced with regards to what? (Thief was useless even at high level it never got its shine in the sun without bizarro world adventure designs)

Sunday, 9th December, 2018

  • 11:13 PM - Garthanos quoted Celebrim in post Blending the D&Ds
    1e attack progression is vastly more fine grained than it is in later editions - 4e and 5e in particular. The Fighter's first bump in attacks per round is 5/4, meaning that the get 1 extra attack every four rounds of combat Oh right smacks forehead been too long 4e doesn't use the same more attacks technique for increasing ability it is much more gradual in part because it starts at a higher point if you start your 1e at level 5 and going to level 10 was the same distance as level 10 in 4e its about that gradual ... note with dailies and encounters and the like providing spikey booms (which are a bit like instead of one every 4 rounds its once per encounter or once per day) and over all power spikes are more I hit paragon level and I hit Epic levels. (neither of which is doubling defensive or offensive power) and are something everyone gets. These are thematically at least along the lines of getting Name level capstone abilities. 5e does use the poof I am twice the attacker offensively I...
  • 10:28 PM - Garthanos quoted Celebrim in post Blending the D&Ds
    I don't know that I would go that far. Advancement rates is in theory a legitimate way of achieving balance that might otherwise be difficult because advancement rate is highly granular. It's very clear that the 1e classes are widely imbalanced and its less clear how to make them balanced and retain the 1e feels and simplistic mechanics. The fighter getting a new attack is not very fine grained nor is the leap from not having a fireball to having one. Balancing them to me means making sure those bumps happen in synchronicity (I picked an example that I think might actually be concurrent and in one of the levels that might be starting to be more balanced than many didnt I). I cannot look at character levels in 1e land and say this characters is more powerful than that and I think that undermines the games design including adventure design. And as you said they didnt do a good job using it even if it could have had the desired effect.
  • 07:03 PM - Garthanos quoted Celebrim in post Blending the D&Ds
    Classes using different advancement tables is probably something I would have tried to get rid of in any combined rules set. To the extent that I couldn't get rid of it in a rules system intended to invoke 1e AD&D nostalgia, I would definitely do some adjustments to the old tables to create better balance than they did. I consider the differing advancement a concession saying we did badly in the design and level does not mean power its almost meaningless.

Saturday, 8th December, 2018

  • 02:48 PM - Manbearcat quoted Celebrim in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    I don't think you've left me much of substance to reply to. Clearly I've opened up some old wound that still hurts, and as you even admit much of the reply doesn't pertain to my post, I'm going to just let it pass for the most part. But I do want to protest that however you read me, I did not and never claimed to encapsulate all of what Dragon contained in the early to mid 80s. Certainly I know that it contained art work, interviews, original games, supplemental material of all sorts, comics and so forth and I don't see how mentioning these things is a rebuttal. I was never attacking the quality of Dragon. Starting from the bottom: 1) I never thought you were making a claim about the quality of Dragon (nothing I posted engaged with that). The claim you made that I was addressing (which it appeared to me you were making indispute of my “Trad vs 2nd wave” idea) was that there was an overwhelming pervasiveness of “realism sim” culture so embedded in D&D that the power of that signal was th...
  • 02:36 PM - dave2008 quoted Celebrim in post When did mixing editions become unusual?
    I can't speak of 5e with a lot of confidence. While there is a lot of talk of "rulings not rules", my suspicion is that the tables nearly as monocultural as 4e with respect to mechanics, as there is simply not a lot of material out there, and 5e I think so far has very much focused on a single very popular style of play and appeals mainly to groups that play in that manner. I see nothing like the recognition that a system that works well for combat might not work so well for chases/evasion, mass combat, or what have you and I don't think that many 5e tables have yet focused on dynastic play or any of the other sorts of things that 5e simply hasn't mentioned much in the thus far published rules. However, that's all just a guess. I'm going to disagree here a bit. Now I come form the days when we mixed 1e & BECMI because we didn't realize they were different. However, my options we also extremely limited to what was at my local game store. With 5e and the internet (and decades of experienc...
  • 08:06 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Celebrim in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    I was around then and I read the Dragon articles, and if you go back and read those early debates it is very clear that no one has a clear idea of how to describe what they are talking about. One word that you would have heard a lot in 1980 is 'realism'. Fans and designers tended to debate games in terms of how 'realistic' they they were, with the implication that mature and sophisticated gamers would naturally gravitate toward the more realistic systems. A very good example of this mindset comes from the introduction of the GURPS rulebook where it says: "The basic rule system emphasizes realism. Therefore, it can fit any situation - fantasy or historical, past, present or future." This is exactly the opposite of the conclusion of the "system matters" people. Here are rules that can fit any game you would want to have, claims the author. How do you know this is true? Because they are realistic. This system is inappropriate for nothing! This is Steve Jackson saying this, one of the big...
  • 07:43 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Celebrim in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    I was a huge fan of the Mass Effect series before it went downhill. Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2 are notable in that they use very different combat mechanics. Mass Effect 2 is a tightly defined cover based shooter. Combat has to take place in special combat arenas where suitable waist high obstacles are found to make use of its cover mechanics. Mass Effect 1 on the other hand has no unified combat mechanics. It makes no distinction between environments where combat can take place and where combat will not take place. I overwhelmingly prefer Mass Effect 1. It does so much with combat that Mass Effect 2 simply cannot do. Since it doesn't use any special rules and has a single engine for both combat and non-combat, pretty much any terrain can become combat terrain. So for example, there are sequences where you are fighting what are basically zombies, and the zombies can appear in stair cases and in all sorts of tight cramped environments that they just couldn't in Mass Effect 2. ...
  • 03:39 AM - Manbearcat quoted Celebrim in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    ...their precious setting, NPCs, and metaplot utterly railroading an entire generation of players. GM's Calvinballing/Fudging/Forcing/Illusionisming their passive players through setting and metaplot tourism until their players became either (i) completely disenfranchised or (ii) so utterly annoyed that they just murderhoboed the setting/ignored the metaplot to utter ruin because the only way they could actually influence the gamestate was through violence/combat. The number of anecdotes and refugee players that fled other games into my own game during that period was truly absurd. I've never seen anything like it before or since. And I sat in on plenty of games and talked to GMs and entertained tons of conversations that bore out this idea of unmitigated authority for GMs to basically be the only active player at the table with the players doing little but characterizing a personality and rolling some dice (and hoping the resolution mechanics actually mattered). 2) My guess is Celebrim never played much Basic (1-3 and solely dungeons) or Expert (4-14 and expansion into wilderness but using the same machinery, principles, and procedures) (most people didn't play Champion/Master/Immortal...some played RC)? Exclusively played AD&D? The Gygaxian prose in AD&D (even though he explicitly called out the game as not realistic and not intended to be a simulation) vs Moldvay, Cook/Marsh made an enormous difference in the rules text. Basic and Expert's rules and prose read as (abstract) "game" while AD&D (even if not intended as a simulation) read as granular content generation rather than (abstract) "game" facilitator. I think there is a marked difference there. When I talk about "system matters", I'm working off a premise of "intentful or thoughtful design (as a holistic/integrated product)". Does anybody actually think Environment Scaling/Movement Rates + Exploration Turns + Wandering Monsters/Random Encounters + Gold for XP (and not for monsters) is just a happy acc...

Friday, 7th December, 2018

  • 11:11 PM - Quickleaf quoted Celebrim in post How to make an encounter with falling great distances interesting and dangerous, but not deadly?
    What leaps out at me is: Respect. The quicker the players make it to the top, the better they get treated. Like, if the players rocket their way up (taking shortcuts and never resting) the aaracokra monks treat them as grand "Fliers Who Never Leave The Ground" and treat them like champions, while if they dawdle, resting every chance they get, the monks treat them as worthless nobodies. The players will probably end somewhere in between, so get treated well if they're closer to rocketing up, or just tolerated if they struggle up but pushed a little. Totally. :) I've crafted a story that Aerdrie Faenya once sacrificed her wings to uplift humanity (which is reflected in how the aarakocra saint Asharra running the monastery can give up her wings temporarily to magically bestow flight upon the PCs). Purportedly, the monastery holds a white feather of Aerdrie Faenya who made an arduous ascent up the holy plateau without her wings and left a feather with the monks at Kir Sabal. This story is ...
  • 02:37 PM - Advilaar quoted Celebrim in post Blending the D&Ds
    3E multiclassing was nearly perfect, and would have worked just fine if they hadn't have added PrCs and made just a few small tweaks. 3e Multiclassing was a very positive step away from the level limit demihuman multiclassing and nonsense dual class rules of 1/2 e. But, 3e left itself prone to "cherry picking" since many classes, like the fighter were heavily front loaded with class features. I'd use 5e's multiclassing. You get the good saves of the first class. If both classes were spell casting classes, the spell slots stack somewhat and stay relevant even at higher levels since the effectiveness is not based on spellcaster level, but on ability modifier. Unlike 4e hybrid/ multiclass rules, you get to keep most of the first and second classes features nor gimp yourself past level 10. The classes are not so front loaded, but you still get good benefits from taking a level or five of a class. I am guessing most here that had 1e/2e stuck all with campaigns below level 5 or 6. Where 1e/2e tru...
  • 06:27 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Celebrim in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    Let me try to make a thesis out of this. In the late 90's and early 00's people began to try to think systematically about RPG design and develop a framework for describing RPGs. They contributed a lot of potentially useful terminology to the game and the exercise was itself really worthwhile, even if I'm not convinced any of their conclusions necessarily hold true. One idea that they hit upon was the idea of "system matters". Now, I'd argue that this is something they had to hit upon in order to do the thing that they were doing. It was a necessary pre-condition for the exercise. And, to some extent I agree with it. I would certainly never argue that the system doesn't matter at all. But there is I think a gotcha in the idea of "system matters" that if you overlook, can lead to wildly erroneous conclusions. I think that this statement is clearly not supportable from my experience. As early as the mid-late 1970's there many diverse opinions on different sorts of rules and already much...
  • 05:00 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Celebrim in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    The really serious question is why do you decide to treat one scene as scripted and another not. It seems you've already predecided that the reason to do this is based on the importance of the NPC. What does that mean to you? This is similar to the questions which drove me to the design of HoML, where there are NO SUCH THINGS as individual checks. If a conflict doesn't exist, then there are no dice, and if one does, then it is a challenge. Thus you can't make checks outside of challenges (which include combat encounters in HoML terminology). Now, there ARE 'general challenges' which follow basically the 4e SC rules, and 'combat' (or technically the slightly broader category of 'Action Sequences' which might potentially include other combat-like time-critical situations where you want to use action economy). So there's still SOME sort of dichotomy there, but if you were to interact with an NPC and it was part of some sort of conflict resolution then you wouldn't have a choice in HoML about...
  • 02:27 AM - Garthanos quoted Celebrim in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    For me, this is "back in the day". It's how I used the 1e AD&D reaction check (at least in part). I'd have go back and reread the 1e AD&D rules to see if that was the intention of the RAW, but the idea that you shouldn't let players get away with treating Charisma as a dump stat by having Charisma regularly and tangibly impact how the game proceeded is nothing new for me. If we are going to dispense with that, regardless of the edition, we should just get rid of Charisma completely and rely on player charisma. No doubt I agree but I can use my charisma to scare them or fool them or make sure the enemy or hopefully not enemy pays attention to me or various other things on a long laundry list. Hence the various charisma skills in 4e its still an expression of player agency by character action though. I have evolved a little bit with respect to something like a 3e Diplomacy check. Players attempting diplomacy are not allowed to make the proposition, "I make a diplomacy check to get the NP...
  • 01:51 AM - Zardnaar quoted Celebrim in post Blending the D&Ds
    Not even remotely. The only thing that kept dual classing in check was it was almost impossible to have a character that could qualify to do it without cheating. Rolling a 17 wasn't that hard.
  • 01:22 AM - Zardnaar quoted Celebrim in post Blending the D&Ds
    3E multiclassing was nearly perfect, and would have worked just fine if they hadn't have added PrCs and made just a few small tweaks. 3.X MCing was more abusable than the old dual classing rules from AD&D.

Thursday, 6th December, 2018

  • 09:37 PM - OverlordOcelot quoted Celebrim in post When did mixing editions become unusual?
    Where are you reading some THAC0 table that says it started at 21 for anybody? Yes, that's the thing that I keep pointing out and certain people keep wanting to say doesn't count as taking the '6 20s' section of the table into account. I had responded again to some other stuff, but I'm really done with them at this point, I've reposted enough times.
  • 08:47 PM - Manbearcat quoted Celebrim in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    The traditional approach to play in a PnP RPG is that you are simulating the world and therefore there is nothing that is not a matter of play. Rather than seeing the purpose of the rules to be to tell you how to play, followers of this traditional paradigm see the rules only as a means of resolving uncertainty or conflict resolution. Traditional rules sets rarely have a strong proposition filter which tells you which propositions are legal. They only have suggested tools for resolving propositions and some sort of table agreement, often unstated, for filtering propositions. In play in the 1980s through mid 1990's this proposition filter was usually, "Is it realistic...", where 'realistic' meant very different things to different people. What really mattered for these tables was how they were thinking about play, not the rules set they were using. With the same rules set, they could have generated virtually any sort of play or any sort of transcript of play, simply by thinking about h...


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