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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 11:45 PM
    Yes, I know, but that wasn't exactly where I was going with that. Don't get me wrong. I love that English is a beautiful, vibrant, living language, ever fertile, fecund and adapting words from other languages. I love that it has more words and more shades of meaning than any other language in the world, and that it is ever introducing words for ideas it had not previously known. That a...
    80 replies | 1429 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 09:53 PM
    Given the breadth that you've ascribed to politics, this is hardly surprising. You'd be harder pressed to define what isn't politics. Since you've used politics to mean everything, including its opposite, you're at a tautology. By politics you mean, everything, which is why 5a is closest to what you believe: "the total complex of relations between people living in society", despite the fact...
    80 replies | 1429 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 08:14 PM
    Not one I can make here. I've already made my point I think as sharply as it can be made. Like Umbran, I'm handicapped by the fact that you've veered off from discussing how politics impacts your gaming, into discussing politics period. This is hardly surprising though, since you've made it clear that for you all discussions are political and there is no such thing as apolitical discussion. ...
    80 replies | 1429 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 03:40 PM
    The single best 'silver bullet' moment in the history of my gaming occurred in a campaign I was in in college. One of the main plot threads of the story had coalesced around this civil revolt against an evil queen and her ruthless minions, eventually culminating in a siege of her fortress like capital city by an alliance of rebel forces lead by the party's Ranger - many of which were forest...
    3 replies | 128 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 02:43 AM
    One thing I enjoy about talking with you is your refreshing earnest honesty. If I had sought to put a strawman of my own devising in your mouth, I could not have conceived of one so thoroughly suited to my purposes. Thank you.
    80 replies | 1429 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 11:23 PM
    To echo this, not only does not have an impact or bearing the policies of governing a polity, but it may not even be about the policies of governing a polity. The vast majority of conflicts that I consider important aren't political conflicts. In my invented setting, the vast majority of invented governments have no bearing on nor are they intended to be comment on real world governments or...
    80 replies | 1429 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 11:10 PM
    No, but the reason that it does not is not something I can go into, because the explanation is political. ;) I think I can hedge around it though by way of analogy. Whether or not one eats pork is not for most people a religious statement. But for certain religious groups, it is. Of course, one would expect a very pious religious person might declare that his every action was in some way a...
    80 replies | 1429 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 01:12 AM
    It's made worse by the fact that I have a bad habit of losing or adding negatives as I type, often leading me to putting to words exactly the opposite of what I'm thinking in my head.
    80 replies | 1429 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 04:56 PM
    I would certainly not suggest that my opinions - political or otherwise - do not influence what I think of as a villain or how my villains behave. But I'd like to think that the relationship is subtle and indirect. And whether it is or not, I doubt the average player could tease out what question of particular interest to me is represented by a character. The reason for this - and I consider...
    80 replies | 1429 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 05:47 PM
    A couple of times when the party has turned undead which are now cowering, I've just called the fight after a round or two because it's literally just hacking apart zombies until they stop moving at that point. Basically, if there is no chance the party will take further damage or need to spend further resources, it's over but the narration.
    11 replies | 353 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 09:36 PM
    Yeah. This definitely is appealing. I'm kinda wondering whether it requires prior buy-in for the narrative dice to work or if the mechanics would pull narration out of reticent players. This is where Fate (among others) appeals to me, as well. 5E D&D has a "sweet spot" of 5th-10th levels (or so). I can deal with the 1-3 "training" levels, but have been starting games at 3rd. I've also made...
    38 replies | 1076 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 09:07 PM
    I picked it up when it was on sale for something like $12.50. I liked a lot of what it tries to do and would happily play it. Ultimately, it wasn't enough to suck me away from D&D because I wanted something lighter weight and I felt that Genesys is almost exactly as "heavy" as D&D. Yes, it lacks levels and classes are much more suggestions than straight-jackets (which I consider to be a huge...
    38 replies | 1076 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 06:24 PM
    I don't understand. Basically, I think anything above +1 effective DC per 1 increase in spell level (the way Heighten Spell works) is going to be broken. The 'Christmas' tree refers to a somewhat standard list of ability boosting and protection items that every character of every class wants to obtain in 3.X - amulet of health/belt of health, cloak of protection, gloves of dexterity,...
    3 replies | 218 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 02:51 PM
    This. If you're a podcast person, I can't recommend Manifest Zone enough. It's Keith Baker having topical conversations about Eberron with some knowledgeable, active community members. Kristian Serrano is an incredibly charismatic host, as well, which makes the whole thing sound very professional (to the best of my knowledge, none of the folks involved are media professionals).
    17 replies | 634 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 03:45 AM
    Breaching spell is probably reasonable, but compare the advantage obtained from Luring Spell with the advantage of a Heightened Spell. Luring spell could easily be used in 3.X to make a spell all but impossible to save against, which is already a huge problem in 3.X in that saving throw DC generally outstrips saving throw bonuses, forcing you to make use of a 'Christmas Tree' and a suite of...
    3 replies | 218 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 10:27 PM
    1) No, in general, you can't use a wand created by a different class to cast arbitrary spells from that class. Wands are spell-trigger items, and to use a spell-trigger item you must have the spell on your own class list. So, unless 'Spell Storing Item' appeared on your own class list, you could not use a 'Wand of Spell Storing Item'. Moreover, even if you could, I don't think a 'Wand of...
    5 replies | 221 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 02:33 PM
    Based on what you said, I think Savage Worlds is your best bet from the systems with which I'm familiar. If you want something really off the wall, though, pick up the core World of Darkness book and/or Hunter: the Vigil (which is more mundane than The Reckoning). The base Storyteller/ing system is actually light until you start adding the various "race" rules. If you hate dice pools, you're...
    38 replies | 1076 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 09:06 PM
    Mechanically, nothing. I don't have any serious quibbles with the rules. Fluff-wise, too much Realms. Of course, nothing short of taking it out back, beating it with a shovel, then burning what's left is actually going to please me, so take that with a salt mine.
    1824 replies | 158010 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th September, 2018, 05:10 AM
    I don't recognize the poll as constituting a linear scale. I'm a fairly low gonzo DM. I believe heavily in internal consistency and depth of setting. But there are some weird assumptions being made pertaining to the seriousness and depth of a setting based on genre alone that I don't understand. Eberron and mage-punk do not strike me as inherently more gonzo than a medieval game. A...
    53 replies | 2222 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th September, 2018, 02:49 AM
    Table #: Dragon Attacks and Damage for Exceptionally Large Dragons HD Bite Claw Wing
    84 replies | 3657 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 28th September, 2018, 11:25 PM
    Platinum Dragon (Bahamut) Frequency: Unique No. Appearing: 1 Armor Class: -10 Move: 9”/30” E Hit Dice: 28+168 (392 hp) % in Lair: 90% Treasure Type: H x 4, I x 4, P x 4, Q x 4, R x 4, S x 4, T x 4, Z x 4 No. Of Attacks: 6 Damage/Attack: 7d10, 6d6, 6d6, 2d8, 2d8, 4d8
    84 replies | 3657 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th September, 2018, 09:36 PM
    I said 2 & 3. Some attempt at ecology is good, but I don't actually want to think about it hard enough to make it really work. Just get me to suspension of disbelief level. If you have a rat bastard at the table picking things apart, then call him a rat bastard, tell him to go play GURPS or Phoenix Command and move on. I'd default to how I interpret #3: baseline of medieval Europe tech and...
    53 replies | 2222 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th September, 2018, 08:57 PM
    Monster/creature rules tend to be very system specific, so I'd kind of have to know what system you are planning on running. If you are talking about D20 rules system, Betabunny's 'Beastiary: The Predators' is the best resource for D20 mundane creatures. You can use that as a starting point for creating mutant monsters.
    3 replies | 315 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 09:53 PM
    Now, all of this I can get behind. There is definitely an expectation of improvement and 5E has it to a higher degree than 1E (but lower than 3E). It was the "zero to hero", specifically, that I disagreed with. In the earliest incarnations of the game, a 1st level character was just good enough to warrant a separate figure, rather than a stand, on a battlefield. They weren't "zero", but they...
    80 replies | 2236 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 07:18 PM
    Eh... I don't think I agree. It might be fair to say "D&D has become about zero to hero," but that wasn't always the case and is not baked into it. When I was playing AD&D, in college, one game ran from 1st level to 4th or 5th level over the course of the school year. The next fall, I ran a "sequel" campaign that took those characters to maybe 8th (depending on class XP table). We gamed pretty...
    80 replies | 2236 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 05:15 PM
    Celebrim replied to OotS 1141
    Part of me really applauds the wonderful world building and the tying together of multiple story threads. Part of me is saying, "When you go that big, you don't make the problem seem more epic; you make it seem less." I have a suspicion though now about where things are going, and I think it is going to make up for my disappointment with shrinking his scale by making the problem bigger.
    4 replies | 300 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 08:12 PM
    There wasn't so much confusion as I was pointing out how at odds this approach was to my stated aesthetics of play, namely that all adjudication of fortune should be based wholly or primarily on factors that occur in the setting (properly in the fictional positioning). As such, I felt if you'd been paying attention you'd know that I wasn't interested in that as an approach. But your answer...
    57 replies | 1140 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 07:32 PM
    Sometimes. If the monster is hard to describe, is something that has changed significantly from a prior edition, or the picture will freak someone out (hello arachnophobes). Everyone has seen pictures of goblins and orcs, so we don't worry about it. Showing the Glabrezu to the new player, though.... that's fun.
    30 replies | 709 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 07:28 PM
    With the Wayfarer's Guide out and the Eberron AL set to start (in earnest), this week, I'm tempted to switch settings and ease back on my adventure prep time. But.... I've never even read through the AL adventures. I'd heard, at one point, they weren't real good for playing in a normal campaign. But, that was quite some time ago. So, are they something you can use like an adventure path? Are...
    9 replies | 344 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 07:18 PM
    Sounds extremely 'gamist' to me. Why three? What is 'round' in game universe? What does each roll represent in the game universe? You can therefore probably imagine at this point how well I receive that as a process of resolution. Yes, it solves a problem but only from a particular point of view as to what the problem is.
    57 replies | 1140 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 06:56 PM
    Well, part of that assumes that "state a goal and approach" was intended as a hard rule-like process of play and not just good guideline for how to encourage good interactive RP. The fact that you've reimagined at least one skill - insight - to make it more active and less passive suggests that what you call "in line with the other skills" is a more ubiquitous problem. For me, it's a...
    57 replies | 1140 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd September, 2018, 02:14 AM
    I'm not sure that I insulted you, and certainly didn't do so on purpose, but if you feel insulted I apologize. You are correct that I made assumptions about your process of play that may not be true, and I know how annoying it is to be misunderstood. It's a particular peeve of mine, so I apologize for any misreading of your statement. Ok, so the way knowledge skills are written in 5e is...
    57 replies | 1140 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 10:24 PM
    Ok, sure. But for me that relies way too much on DM whim, and further it fails a verisimilitude check. Properly speaking, the NPC's notice of the players suspicion shouldn't depend on a contest of the NPC's deceptive skill vs. the PC's perception, but rather on the contest of the NPC's perceptiveness versus the PC's deceptive skill. It's quite possible for a character to be deceitful but...
    57 replies | 1140 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 10:11 PM
    I leave it up to the player to decide their own aesthetic preferences. This only gets to be a problem when players are deeply invested in those preferences and they contradict, such as the "step on up" player complaining that the thespian isn't pulling their weight in the fight versus this werewolf, while the thespian complains that the guy with competitive aesthetics is ruining the story by...
    57 replies | 1140 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 09:45 PM
    Generally speaking, for me the check to recognize the monster and recall facts you've heard about the creature about comes before someone suggest "we need to kill it with fire". Since so many of my monsters are homebrew to one degree or another (a troll is a 12HD fairy in my game, not a 6HD giant) this is pretty darn essential to play. But if a player recognizes a troll (rather than a...
    57 replies | 1140 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 09:00 PM
    The traditional response is to imply that I'm an immoral person who probably needs to psychiatric care and that people like me need to be sterilized and have their children taken away for the collective good, then proactively run to the moderators to tell them how impolite I am so that they can get away with it.
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 08:49 PM
    I suppose so. In an 'ideal' system I suppose we'd make a second secret 'wisdom' check after failing any sort of mental social skill check in order to determine how oblivious the character actually is to his own failure - he doesn't realize his joke wasn't funny and went over like a fart and he's the only one laughing, and so forth. But seeing as we are usually testing perceptiveness in the...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 08:12 PM
    OMG. You are now like most honored among all internet posters. I'm not sure I've ever had such a graciously unadorned apology. I should take a screen shot of that. You are like restoring my faith in humanity. So, for my part, I apologize for how aggressive I get in these debates. I once had a friend, a good friend mind you, tell me that arguing with me was like taking a 2x4 to the face. ...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 08:07 PM
    Meta-game knowledge used to bother me a lot as both a DM trying to run a setting and a player trying to be true to my character. After 30 years, I tell my players not to sweat it. The reason is that once you have meta-game knowledge there is no way to 'un-have' it. Even if you try not to react to it, that in itself is still being influenced by it. So I no longer worry about meta-game...
    57 replies | 1140 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 07:55 PM
    Read it again. Read it again. You rolled another 1, and didn't realize it. If you'd read it again you'll find that I offered up "move silently" specifically as an example of something where they character would receive immediate feedback, and therefore it made sense for the player to roll there own dice. I linked "move silently" to things like attack rolls and climbing a wall as...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 06:08 PM
    I think the answer here is make that insight check behind the screen and report the results to the player. The player should not know that they failed an insight check. The character doesn't know that they failed an insight check, so why should the player have that knowledge? With that change, all problems go away.
    57 replies | 1140 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 05:26 PM
    Both. So, one thing I agree with is: "The players deserve to know what to expect." And the reason for that is less "the players need to know the rules" than "one predicate for the claim that you are judging fairly is that your rulings are consistent and ultimately predictable". You can't be a fair judge of the game if your ruling largely on the basis of whim and fiat. But one thing that...
    34 replies | 824 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 04:48 PM
    These days, I could handle it by providing the players character sheets that did item saving throws for them with a button push (all my players use the excel character spread sheets I provided at the start of the campaign anyway). The reason I've never gone hard core on item saving throws even though I conceptually love the idea of that is the design headaches it presents to the DM if they...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 03:55 PM
    Yeah, I might concede that. I haven't done anything from BECMI beyond 'Companion' level, and when I used that material it was with AD&D PC's, but certainly BECMI had spent more time working out the numbers it needed and wasn't afraid of them.
    88 replies | 3533 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 03:36 PM
    That's been basically true for anything above about 12th level since the game came out in the '70's.
    88 replies | 3533 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 03:06 PM
    I'm a pretty hard core simulationist, and I believe that the purpose of game rules is to create a model of the world. For most things that we are modelling there should be a certain verisimilitude to the real world. That is the mechanics should model our own life experiences so that the results are familiar to us. You implicitly understand this when you write: So I think we are in...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 02:34 PM
    I'm totally OK with both choices. In fact, I probably could enjoy playing at a table where both were true provided the DM had no major flaws. I'm just not nearly as picky regarding style, and actually prefer a DM to express more of his artistic personal style when running a game. The best DMs I've had, even when running official content, personalized them and expanded on them and developed...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 02:29 PM
    I can just imagine the conversation with my wife if I decided to leave my job because I wanted to become a pen and paper game designer. My brother has often chided me for not trying to get published, and my response has always been my expected return on initial investment is under $1 an hour. There is no way the writing would be anything other than a labor of love. But I've a few writing...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 12:19 AM
    Maybe so. But as a show of hands, how many players here are comfortable with a DM that privileges a process of play that allows him to deny you fortune tests when he wants to mess with your character? One thing that in my experience players don't like is a feeling that they were being treated unfairly. How many players have you had who would be ok in the long term with ideas like, "You...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 10:57 PM
    You still don't resolve the problem that if the player knows the result of his own fortune test, then the player has unreasonably high confidence in the presence or absence of threat - confidence that it is not clear the PC should share. If he "rolls a 20" or whatever indicates great success with the fortune mechanic, he can proceed with unreasonably high confidence knowing that there is a low...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 09:26 PM
    :) Yes, I noticed that too late. Obviously. I defined it pretty exactly I think in the essay you didn't read, albeit I've never attempted to move from the Aristotelian definition I offered to a more Socratic one. But, loosely speaking, railroading is a collection of processes of play that a GM can utilize to ensure a predetermined outcome to a scenario that the GM desires. A...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 08:46 PM
    Haha, yeah. I read other rules systems and listen to podcasts (theory and mechanics, I've never understood the appeal of actual play) for a variety of games. I don't even bother, anymore. My players just roll with it when I say, "Give me a Notice check." "You mean Perception?" "Sure, that'll work." I've also gotten to a place where I realized the players often have off the wall, but very...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 08:30 PM
    So, when a thief checks for traps, if the DM checks secretly on the players behalf in order to remove the metagame information of knowing what the dice roll was, then that's grounds for abandoning a game? Similarly, if a DM secretly makes a spot check, to determine if the PC's noticed the slithering tracker upon entering a room, because the DM did not want to impart the metagame knowledge that...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 08:19 PM
    Well, in a strange way, I continue to be impressed. You continue to be very coherent with your process of play, following it consistently and unswervingly to its logical conclusions. I can't fault the rigor of your thinking. But on the other hand, you've laid down an ultimatum regarding your minimum standards of play, that as best as I can guess would drive every single player I've had in...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    9 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 08:08 PM
    Asking for an approach to an obviously active task, sure. I do that to, from everything from search to diplomacy. But what is actually at contention here is not the obviously active tasks. I don't think anyone is actually asserting that it is a commonly used approach for the DM to demand search checks, and then proceed to describe to the player how they search the room, or to demand climb...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 01:26 PM
    It depends. As a baseline, I voted for "equal to lowest level PC". That includes the departed because it only takes one time of having a player get his character shivved in order to catch up to the leader before I say, "Let's not do that again." You never come out ahead from dying. The most generous is break-even. Currently, we use milestone advancement, so it'd be "same as everyone else". Do...
    46 replies | 1164 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 07:35 AM
    Do you have any idea how tiresome that gets as a player (or a DM) by even the sixth session, much less the sixtieth or the hundred and sixtieth? That's one of those things like in the some of the Indy games books I read, where the idea might read well in the example, but sure as heck doesn't work in play after about three hours of play which makes me wonder if the Indy designer has even played...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 07:30 AM
    iserith: Well, at least I think I understand where you are coming from now. I had totally misunderstood the thrust of your argument, hence your confusion over why I was talking about rail roading. I had thought you were standing on the principle of player agency. In fact it seems more the case now that you explain yourself is that you are standing on the principle of the rules are the rules,...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    9 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 01:45 AM
    I used to be the self-appointed monitor of the 'house rules' forum back when we had a specific house rules forum. It didn't get much traffic, but it was more interesting to me than most of the rest of the site (which I mostly ignored at the time). There were tons and tons of bad house rules offered up for the approval of the people in the forums, often with the most earnest sincerity and even...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 01:36 AM
    Because plenty of fortune mechanics in all traditional RPGS - including ability checks and including those in 5e - resolve other things about the fictional position other than the PC's actions. For example, they may resolve passive challenges or resolving resisting things that are happening to you happening to you. Which in my opinion is besides the point. In the basic RPG decision loop...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 01:14 AM
    In no fashion have I ever said that a DM ought to say what a PC is doing. It is after all a player's character. My contention with you is that in no fashion do ability checks, skill checks, savings throws, or any other fortune test necessarily state what the PC is doing either. I'm struggling really to understand that contention of yours. In the 30 years I have playing, I've never had...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    0 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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My Game Details
Town:
Columbus
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Ohio
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USA
Game Details:
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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Thursday, 20th September, 2018

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

Thursday, 6th September, 2018

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

Saturday, 1st September, 2018

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

Tuesday, 21st August, 2018

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

Thursday, 16th August, 2018

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

Thursday, 2nd August, 2018

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

Friday, 20th April, 2018

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

Thursday, 5th April, 2018

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

Wednesday, 4th April, 2018

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

Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018

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

Thursday, 29th March, 2018

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

Wednesday, 28th March, 2018

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

Monday, 26th March, 2018

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

Sunday, 25th March, 2018

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

Tuesday, 13th March, 2018

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


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Saturday, 20th October, 2018

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

Friday, 19th October, 2018

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

Thursday, 18th October, 2018

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

Wednesday, 17th October, 2018


Tuesday, 25th September, 2018


Monday, 24th September, 2018

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

Saturday, 22nd September, 2018

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

Friday, 21st September, 2018

  • 10:28 PM - Gradine quoted Celebrim in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    The traditional response is to imply that I'm an immoral person who probably needs to psychiatric care and that people like me need to be sterilized and have their children taken away for the collective good, then proactively run to the moderators to tell them how impolite I am so that they can get away with it. I feel personally attacked by this post :p
  • 10:02 PM - Oofta quoted Celebrim in post An "Insightful" Question
    Generally speaking, for me the check to recognize the monster and recall facts you've heard about the creature about comes before someone suggest "we need to kill it with fire". Since so many of my monsters are homebrew to one degree or another (a troll is a 12HD fairy in my game, not a 6HD giant) this is pretty darn essential to play. But if a player recognizes a troll (rather than a character) and says, "Oh, these things have to be killed with fire.", I don't chide them for it. What's he supposed to do, pretend for a few rounds that he doesn't know to burn a troll before allowing himself to behave rationally? How could he ever know how many rounds it would take him to figure it out, or that absent his metagame knowledge he might have on a whim decided to open with burning hands or scorching ray anyway? It's not worth sweating, and if I was really that invested in this fight with the troll I should have taken into account the player's metagame knowledge as a possibility. Though, I don'...
  • 09:58 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Celebrim in post An "Insightful" Question
    I think the answer here is make that insight check behind the screen and report the results to the player. The player should not know that they failed an insight check. The character doesn't know that they failed an insight check, so why should the player have that knowledge? With that change, all problems go away.Or, alternatively, have consequences that don't involve deceiving players. I know this is a style of play that has long tradition, and I'm not attacking it. I'm illustrating a different path (which I unabashedly advocate for). A failure doesn't have to mean you don't know or think the opposite, it can mean the NPC notices your suspicsion, doesn't like it and reacts accordingly. The "accordingly" takes into account the social situation and the NPCs motivations. I'm making an effort to have PC failure be reflected in the world, not reflected in the PC. They take actions that cause things. Now, that said, I'm still mostly at loose ends for knowledge checks. I can't seem...
  • 09:00 PM - 5ekyu quoted Celebrim in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I suppose so. In an 'ideal' system I suppose we'd make a second secret 'wisdom' check after failing any sort of mental social skill check in order to determine how oblivious the character actually is to his own failure - he doesn't realize his joke wasn't funny and went over like a fart and he's the only one laughing, and so forth. But seeing as we are usually testing perceptiveness in the first place, I prefer to just simplify and make a single die roll. If that die roll is secret then its up to the player to be oblivious to his failure or not as he sees fit, and I don't have to tell them how to react and risk playing their character for them. For a great many mental tasks we simply do not have any feedback regarding how well we are doing until trip over the metaphorical or literal tripwire. Not giving the player the actual roll of the fortune die to determine observation skills is simple and obvious way to simulate this, and its pretty much been the normal procedure on 'find trap' sort ...
  • 08:54 PM - Oofta quoted Celebrim in post An "Insightful" Question
    Meta-game knowledge used to bother me a lot as both a DM trying to run a setting and a player trying to be true to my character. After 30 years, I tell my players not to sweat it. The reason is that once you have meta-game knowledge there is no way to 'un-have' it. Even if you try not to react to it, that in itself is still being influenced by it. So I no longer worry about meta-game knowledge and I no longer have to get into arguments about what a character should know or should not know and let players just run the character however they like, metagame knowledge and all, nor do I consider acting on metagame knowledge to be cheating. The trick is to avoiding metagaming is simply to not get any metagame knowledge in the first place. It's the attempt to acquire metagame knowledge you should haven't (like flipping through the DMs notes when he's in the bathroom or buying a copy of the module being run) that is actually problematic, and the only part I'd consider 'cheating'. Thus, I just...
  • 08:37 PM - 5ekyu quoted Celebrim in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    OMG. You are now like most honored among all internet posters. I'm not sure I've ever had such a graciously unadorned apology. I should take a screen shot of that. You are like restoring my faith in humanity. So, for my part, I apologize for how aggressive I get in these debates. I once had a friend, a good friend mind you, tell me that arguing with me was like taking a 2x4 to the face. I know I'm a bombastic abrasive person quite often, and it's easy to get justifiably irritated with me. Honestly, compared to some, i find you refreshing. You at least discuss from logic as opposed to dogma and are open to other ideas. Now enough of this being nice on the internet crap - consider yourself insulted in some odious fashion and your parentage questioned in some dubious way.


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