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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Today, 04:50 PM
    It's been 25 years or more since I played 1e, but I don't think you can move past an opponent in 1e. I think it's an illegal move. I think once reach melee you must stop your movement and enter it. Thus, any attempt to move past an opponent would fall under the above 'leaving melee' rules.
    63 replies | 1116 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Today, 06:04 AM
    I have never personally experienced the jerk DM problem, though I do think that there are people who just don't have the disposition to be a good DM. There is a stereotype frequently encountered in gaming with respect to PCs commonly called 'the powergamer' or in really old school 'the munchkin'. Removed of its pejorative connotations, this is a player who is motivated not only to win but to...
    9 replies | 229 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Today, 05:43 AM
    Although the rules are very badly organized, 1e combat bears a very close resemblance to 3e combat which was, I would think, very much designed to be a faithful by clearer, simpler, and more balanced and tactical derivation of it. A stronger example of 1e 'attack of opportunity' rules can be found on page 70 of the DMG, under the heading, "Breaking off from melee." "At such time as any...
    63 replies | 1116 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Today, 12:23 AM
    Yes, and it also lets you reroll 1's, which gives you an average of an extra .5 hit points per HD - or 11 hit points per HD. Ahh, yeah, you've extensively rewritten 1e AD&D IIRC. So, per the RAW that should stop at 9th. So, by the RAW, he'd have ~108 hp as a 19 Con 12th level fighter, which is a lot but not so much that it makes my eyes bug out. Barbarians and Bards can get into...
    63 replies | 1116 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:36 PM
    Morrus's answer is entirely correct. I will also note that the sort of hack you describe is quite common in gaming communities, legally dubious or not. For example, you might see someone hack the Mouse Guard RPG as a system for running 'Star Trek' or 'Harry Potter', and say, "Look, what do you think of this a write up for the TOS bridge staff?" Whether you'd get a cease and desist over...
    3 replies | 133 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:54 PM
    Honestly? This probably won't be a popular opinion... As a GM, they would not be allowed to do that. They would have to give some sort of speech, however stuttering and bad, and then roll the dice. The reason is that though the dice may govern how the speech is received, the content of the speech matters. If the character has 'Oratory +100' it may be the speech will be received as the...
    19 replies | 405 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:37 PM
    I think you've hit the high points, but... Collectibles, such as antiques. Generally, these have low value except to a few buyers that recognize and value them, and they tend to be fragile. Objects of art which are not made of expensive materials tend to be similar. Religious artifacts tend to be similar, in that you'll get a lot more for them from someone that considers them sacred...
    2 replies | 135 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:07 PM
    Good grief, what level is that fighter? I didn't realize you could hit numbers like that except as a high level Barbarian or a 20th level Bard. Let's say 18 CON, 9d10+36+3x = 137 => 26th level? Are you sure that they aren't being cheaty with the h.p. dice rolls, or are you allowed to take maximum hit points at every level?
    63 replies | 1116 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 11:34 PM
    1e AD&D's approach was much less harsh. For example, a longsword might have a -5 penalty to hit AC 0 armor. But, since AC was capped and high AC rare, without such penalities a PC was likely to be missing only on a 2 anyway. Besides which, the two-handed sword had such good all-around modifiers and damage, that if you were bothered by the weapon vs. AC modifiers, using a weapon like the...
    9 replies | 196 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 10:55 PM
    While that sounds intuitive, it practice fighter's in 3e tended to have lower CONs than wizards. The reason is that a fighter typically wants a combination of Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity, while a Wizard can safely dump stat everything but Intelligence and Constitution. In my experience the players of fighters typically don't want to completely neglect intelligence or wisdom,...
    63 replies | 1116 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 10:02 PM
    1e AD&D? The one thing I really miss from 1e AD&D is it had at least a nod toward certain weapons were more effective against lightly armored opponents and others were more specialized in attacking heavily armored opponents. A mace was far worse than a sword against an unarmored foe, but was on at least equal footing if not superior versus a foe in heavy armor. It wasn't unusual in my game...
    9 replies | 196 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 04:22 PM
    Absolutely, but I wanted to start out by saying that it wasn't inherently bad to go one way or the other. I think it depends on what 'cinematic' quality you are trying to achieve. 'Cinematic' is a word that is used often but vaguely defined in RPGs, but for these purposes by 'cinematic' I mean that the process of play tends to aid in imagining the scene. A game is more 'cinematic' the...
    63 replies | 1116 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 08:48 AM
    I thought about bringing that up a couple of times but I didn't want to appear to be telling you about your own country, which you surely know more about than me. Yes, Japan has a huge way to go on this. I may have the opposite bias. But if in fact our ugly affairs over here in the USA has had some sort of real positive impact outside the USA, then that really does truly hearten me.
    165 replies | 6173 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 08:45 AM
    I'm not sure that's at all clear. I'm not the only one, and probably not the first one, to link Zak S's public outing to the larger social gestalt. And in any event, it is I think much better to talk about the larger problem than to linger over the details of this particular tragedy except to the extent of, "How do we keep this from happening?" Not to me.
    165 replies | 6173 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 08:31 AM
    Now that is a good set of questions. And I really wish that if we were going to have another one of these debacles that it would have started there. I don't know the answer, because I don't have an insiders perspective. I can imagine two possible theories, but I don't know which one is true. a) Umbran's missing stairs theory. This seems to apply to several much bigger industry figures...
    165 replies | 6173 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 08:09 AM
    Oh that? No, that's not changing direction. That's marketing. That's not even something worthy of applause. That's an example of losing the plot along the way. Let's avoid getting into the Pope, as if we didn't have enough to discuss. Let's just say that I'm proudly a member of a community that has been protesting the Catholic church for like 400 years and leave it at that. I...
    165 replies | 6173 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 07:48 AM
    How much leeway do you think I got? I've already mentioned a few things outside of the realm of gaming. The problem is that I can't really explain where I was going with that. It's just going to snowball into a larger political discussion if I start bringing in examples, but I did point at some things that would make interesting reading for the interested student when I was trying to...
    165 replies | 6173 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 06:34 AM
    No, seriously, who is this mysterious someone that I should talk to, and what do you think I should talk about with them?
    165 replies | 6173 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 06:28 AM
    At this point, I'm not even sure what you are going on about. What reason do you think I have? What is the point of the above post? Who is this mysterious someone that I should talk to and what do you think I should talk about with them? Did I not make very clear, twice now, that I wasn't uncomfortable with the topic of sexual harassment, but that I was unhappy about this conversation? ...
    165 replies | 6173 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 06:07 AM
    No, but stating "There's probably a reason Celebrim feels uncomfortable when these issues come up." in the context of a conversation about sexual harassment and rape is, per: "Say how you feel or what you think, but be careful about ascribing motives to the actions of others..." It's a vague rule, but if it doesn't apply to innuendo concerning my sexual past, I'm not sure when it could ever be...
    165 replies | 6173 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 05:34 AM
    Because it's an egregious violation of the forum rules. Not that I ever report anyone, but I appreciate the irony. I've made it perfectly clear that the subject of sexual harassment isn't one that I'm uncomfortable with, or uncomfortable discussing - much less condemning. What I am uncomfortable with, as you put it, is this discussion and not the topic generally. And I have a lot...
    165 replies | 6173 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 04:51 AM
    Just thought I'd quote that before you get a chance to think better of it.
    165 replies | 6173 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 04:43 AM
    Oh please. It's more than obvious that all your assertions have nothing to do with my stance. I have no problem with speaking out against sexual harassment, although, speaking out against sexual harassment hardly takes much bravery in this day and age. As some have pointed out in this thread, there are tons of sexual harassers out there taking a stand against sexual harassment. Harvey...
    165 replies | 6173 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 10:17 PM
    There is no right or wrong answer here. It depends on the conventions of the story you are trying to create.
    63 replies | 1116 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 09:42 PM
    I've largely just let this thread run it's own course without comment, but since you're making a big show of how you are reporting and blocking people... I don't think that comparison was remotely fair. While his comparison may have been an exaggeration, it certainly wasn't comparing those two things you've claimed at all. He wasn't comparing the actions of women reporting accusations,...
    165 replies | 6173 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 08:53 PM
    I'd have to review the spell list for 1e, but the real game breakers tend to be things like Wall of Stone, Harm, Find the Path, Disintegrate, Word of Recall, Feeblemind, Death Spell, Anti-Magic Shell, Hold Monster, Teleport, etc. Add on top of that the problem that damage from spells like magic missile or fireball don't cap, and by 13th level they are starting to become real problems. Very few...
    23 replies | 547 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 04:13 AM
    Are we moving from defending Zak to pointing out the hypocrisy and inconsistency of those that are now so anxious to show they are condemning him? I might be aboard such an argument depending on how it is made or meant, but I don't imagine that it would do any good to make it here. Make it on a blog post if you like on your own forum. Don't borrow someone's soap box to do it. I don't...
    165 replies | 6173 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 03:13 AM
    Not all allegations are created equal. Some are more substantial and believable than others.
    165 replies | 6173 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 03:42 PM
    I have played at high levels, but relatively little of my high level play was 'earned' - that is to say began at low levels and worked my way up to high levels as the game was 'intended' to be played. I have played 1e AD&D up to 12th level. I have some higher level play at up to 18th level, but in those occasions characters were created as high level characters as a 'one shot'. Generally...
    23 replies | 547 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 08:27 PM
    While I agree that this is true, it's also true that the reason fighters are tier 4 is that they aren't even very good at dealing out damage in combat, and there are critics of 3.X who have pointed out that the most powerful melee combatants of basically any level are not fighters. Indeed, I've seen arguments that a 3rd level wizard can out perform a fighter even in melee combat. So while...
    17 replies | 569 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 04:22 PM
    Celebrim replied to Rappan Athuk
    There were a few inspired encounters in Rappan Athak, but mostly the adventures creativity was confined to using 3e's monster creation and modification rules (advancement, templates, class levels). As such, it's an excellent resource for the time it was created in how you can use 3e's rules to create truly unique and dangerous monsters, and it does expose a modern player to some old school...
    10 replies | 453 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 03:48 PM
    The issue that concerns the OP is this. What you've described is fairly straightforward and playable in the vast majority of situations. But there is an asymmetry you don't mention, which is namely, higher level spells. The vast majority of spells always require just a standard action to cast. As a spell-caster levels up, he gets more efficient spells that do more with a single standard...
    17 replies | 569 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 06:06 AM
    It's not really that important to me. I can't say that there would often be a situation where it was important to a story what traumatic injuries lead to character death, and in my experience permanent maiming tends to be an even more unsatisfactory end to a character than death. Any system that get fascinated with such things is unlikely to be one where you can have a lot of character...
    63 replies | 1116 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 15th February, 2019, 05:54 PM
    Beware the Meth Hound and the Barghast, and shun the fumigatous Banderstash.
    38 replies | 961 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 07:32 PM
    I believe that the root of most creativity is mistakes. You fill out the blank areas in something vaguely seen or remembered, and you've created something new. I also believe the pun to be the highest form of humor. And I could totally see myself having a lynch mop, link dog, animated word, ore mage, ettercrap, gibbering mother, or invisible talker in my game, played completely seriously. ...
    38 replies | 961 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 06:54 PM
    You could argue that bypassing SR and anti-magic fields was important and with some items I'd accept that argument (especially a save or suck item), but to me considering we are talking 4d6 fire damage it's just not a big deal. Anti-magic fields are a rare thing in most campaigns, and fire resistance is not. Mostly, this just isn't a god tier weapon that has all the features a PC would want, so...
    7 replies | 279 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 05:52 PM
    If you look at this in D&D terms, it might be a little more empirical as to what we are talking about. (I'm going to discuss 3e because that's what I'm familiar with, but you can translate this into 5e.) Hitting a stationary man sized target is DC 5. If the range increment of a pistol is say 30 feet, then we'd expect even a novice to hit a paper target fairly reliably. This is especially...
    99 replies | 3988 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 03:45 PM
    It's a 'Scorching Ray' cast at 7th level of ability, 5 times per day, with a say 20% reduction in cost due to the severe range increment constraint and another 20% reduction in cost for requiring an exotic weapon proficiency. I'd price that at like ~8,400 gp. Compare with a 'Wand of Scorching Ray', 50 charges, with no range increment for 10500 g.p., but requiring having scorching ray on...
    7 replies | 279 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 11th February, 2019, 05:52 PM
    As largely ineffectual as weapons. While there have been plenty of attempts to improve on the rifled slug and buckshot, there are still no loads I'm aware of that are more effective and reliable. Dragon's breath in particular isn't really designed to be a weapon, but rather a pyrotechnics show. You might as well take a Roman Candle and fire it at the target. Damage to unprotected eyes is...
    99 replies | 3988 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th February, 2019, 04:10 AM
    While I find the setting as a whole too 'grimdark' for my taste, the imagination on display in Golarian (Pathfinder's setting) is second to none, and I'd be happy to liberally steal from the setting. (And, for that matter, for a 'grimdark' setting, it's pleasantly happy to allow itself a primary color palette which is nice.) Forgotten Realms is in fact one of the worst published settings of...
    6 replies | 403 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 08:51 PM
    Pistols: Not currently a military weapon but their origins are in a military weapons, specifically as weapons for cavalry and naval personnel during boarding actions. The pistols designed as military weapons are generally much larger and longer barreled than those that are used for personnel protection (such as which are issued to officers or carried by civilians). Many of the early Naval and...
    99 replies | 3988 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 05:06 PM
    I think this is kind of the $64K question. For me, "default" assumptions about the D&D mythology is that guns don't fit, ergo, they aren't relevant and this is a pointless conversation. That said, I've realized it actually depends on the game's tone and/or setting. Being a political geek, I'm reminded of polls that show, say, Trump (used for convenience because it's current) winning or...
    99 replies | 3988 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 01:30 AM
    Are they really though? There isn't a lot of sign that being a wizard is more expensive than being a gunslinger. It took a very long time in real life before armies without melee soldiers dominated battlefields. I keep firearms out because I don't like what they do to low level play where firearms increase the lethality of the game in ways that aren't so great. But once the heroes...
    99 replies | 3988 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 06:15 PM
    Wait, what? Longbow points go right through anything but double layer mail ('chain') without hardly slowing down. The rise of the longbow and the crossbow was a big reason behind the rapid development of plate armor. The longbow will absolutely penetrate a gambeson ('padded') without much difficulty. While a gambeson will dissipate a lot of the energy of the shaft, you're still going to end...
    99 replies | 3988 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 03:39 PM
    Seems workable. Rates of fire that high weren't achieved until the mid 19th century. Depending on the ignition technology in use, the rate of fire might vary between 1 per 10 rounds and 1 per 3 rounds. Well, that's not a ban so much as a nerf. Are you suggesting that characters in the setting are prevented from picking up a sword or spear?
    99 replies | 3988 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 02:56 AM
    Great, Extra Credits. Even though I'm very familiar with Extra Credits, and it has over the years influenced heavily how I think and talk about gaming, it's always good to spread the word around. But, it still doesn't address where I'm going to with this question, which is your assertion that the mythology of the weapon rather than its physical properties ought to define it's mechanics. ...
    99 replies | 3988 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 01:35 AM
    Well, yes, but in no way have you explained what that has to do with mythology. A Colt .45 Single Action Army or a Winchester 1873 is a significantly different piece of technology from a 17th century wheellock pistol, and even if I paid absolutely no attention to mythology at all and merely tried to simulate those weapons by "ballistics and/or forensics" the difference between the impacts that...
    99 replies | 3988 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 10:33 PM
    Just curious, but how would you go about doing that? And which mythology do you have in mind?
    99 replies | 3988 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 05:51 PM
    If I was going with real time simulation of movement within a turn, I'd use something like the 'impulse' system in Star Fleet Battles, where your movement was evenly distributed across a turn. You'd have to make a completely new method of determining what drew an attack of opportunity from movement though to apply this to melee combat, otherwise faster creatures could always evade without...
    17 replies | 569 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 06:00 AM
    Enya. Loreena McKennit. Secretly elves. Also the Tolkien ensemble does some elvish music, and it's usually not as alien as I would like, but is probably a close approximation. Look for "Ai! Laurië Lantar".
    13 replies | 438 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 04:46 AM
    Oh that. Yeah, you aren't even going to touch that with this change. You need to make a much bigger set of changes. The most effective one that has worked for me is no longer increasing the DC of the spell's saving throw with the level of the spell. That in and of itself does so much to bring balance to things, because it brings spellcaster's back to the problem they faced in 1e where...
    17 replies | 569 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 10:10 PM
    Glad to hear you are restoring sanity to your game. Yes, often the way to restore sanity is for players to play by the rules they claim that they want. One problem D&D has always had was that offense tends to great excel defense, to the point you can get into situations where the average combat lasts less than one round. As for your experiment, you are going to be trading off good and bad...
    17 replies | 569 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 08:41 PM
    Long Term Campaigns: 80-400+ hours AD&D 1e (three), D&D 3.X (two), Gamma World 3e, Call of Cthulhu 5e Short Campaigns: 30-80 hours WEG Star Wars 1e, Chill 2e. Fizzled Games: 8-30 hours GURPS, VtM, Exalted, SIPS (two) One Shots: < 8 hours
    53 replies | 1628 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 05:44 PM
    Good advice. I dispute the claim that this is a good man. He may be a practical man. He may have something that looks like a good intention and he may not be self-interested, but I have a hard time assigning "good" to the behavior of spreading disease to the poor parts of town. The alignment descriptor I'd associate with that behavior is 'lawful evil', an alignment associated with...
    7 replies | 289 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 04:32 PM
    If you are looking to Star Trek for inspiration, you have one of two choices. Either you can keep the traditional view of the Drow as lawful evil, and go with that - Elven Space Nazi's or some such. In which case, the Romulans as evil space elves are perfectly valid models to operate off of, especially as presented in the original series. (Side note, the original Romulans were presented as...
    13 replies | 438 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 04:40 AM
    The problem I have with answering this question is the Drow as presented are utterly incoherent. They seem to come from the mindset, partly the fault of Gygax, that 'chaotic evil' was more evil than evil, and they seem to have been aligned as 'chaotic evil' purely to represent them as ultimate evil rather than out of any coherent philosophy. I have no conceptual problem with a chaotic evil...
    13 replies | 438 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Sunday, 3rd February, 2019, 12:37 AM
    I don't know that I've overseen a true TPK. The times I've come close, though, it was just the end of the adventure/campaign and we started a new one. That's how Curse of Strahd ended (actually, we liked the characters enough, we reconned/meta-gamed enough that we decided the characters were ejected from Ravenloft, instead, and built a campaign in a brand new world around the characters. Edit:...
    26 replies | 1221 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd February, 2019, 10:39 PM
    I haven't had intraparty conflict come up in game I was running in a really long time. What I typically see falls more under 'Loonie' behavior than full out social dysfunction. The player's aesthetics of play lead them to want to start unnecessary trouble, to take wacky actions, and be disruptive without actually having their characters commit crimes against other members of the party. ...
    82 replies | 3269 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 09:57 PM
    :) I confess I am very opinionated. Yes, I know, but I'm a software developer, and I use 'queue' so often that I generally don't realize I've used the wrong spelling unless I reread what I wrote. Other common mistakes on my part: leaving off a negative such a 'not', exchanging or/our/are for one of the other, misuse of the apostrophe, or exchanging their/there/they're. I know what it...
    82 replies | 3269 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 04:19 PM
    I have a beef against some so called 'sandbox' DMs. There are some DMs out there that think they run a sandbox, but they don't. The secret to running a sandbox is that you have to be willing to prep vastly more material than you need or intend to use. Indeed, that is my definition of a sandbox. If you aren't prepping material you don't intend to use, you aren't running a sandbox. In a true...
    82 replies | 3269 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 06:21 AM
    Oh, I agree. But that doesn't make the initial phases of the adventure less on rails. I think his frustration is that he's presented with a puzzle that doesn't have an immediate solution. He tried kicking on the goads only to get slapped down, and that just fed into his sense that this wasn't a fair scenario. Once he got over the shock a bit, and started to deal with, "OK, this just is going...
    82 replies | 3269 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 03:21 AM
    If any of my players are on this forum, I've already been honest to the point of bluntness, in person. I'm also pretty sure I know when you're ticked at me and what for. Passive aggressive sucks, so just speak plainly. (Yes, I know the OP was being sarcastic, but I figured I'd be pointed.)
    55 replies | 2859 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 03:12 AM
    Well, yes. But, I think it's not stretching the term to any breaking point to say that the transcript of an RPG is a story, or to say that one possible goal of playing an RPG is to produce a worthwhile story. After all, I think if you will reflect, you'll recall that you have over the years produced many a memorable story while playing an RPG, and while hanging out with friends from time to...
    82 replies | 3269 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 01:58 AM
    I admit that at first glance, most people think I have a somewhat heterodox view of metagaming. I know it is popular to blame metagaming for everything, just as once upon a time it was popular to attribute to 'realism' the solution to everything. But I believe both are based on fundamental misunderstandings. I didn't object originally because your first statement was not as absolute as...
    82 replies | 3269 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 01:12 AM
    I would very strongly say that it is. Well, for certain values of 'believable'... maybe... we could be playing 'Toon', 'Paranoia', or even 'Star Wars', none of which are particularly believable. But more to the point, an RPG is not supposed to represent a believable place. A "believable place" in and of itself is not an RPG. An RPG is not a setting. The RPG is what transpires in the...
    82 replies | 3269 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 10:53 PM
    - emphasis added The point of the term is that the player's characters should fit that definition. Protagonizing the PC's is considered normal and good. The DMing crime is normally to deprotagonize the PC's, so that they are no longer the major characters of the story being told in the game. I just started the 'Skull & Shackles' adventure path last night (as a player for a change!) and...
    82 replies | 3269 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 10:00 PM
    Most of these terms are Forge speak, or at least coined by someone heavily influence by The Forge back in the early '2000s' and who have an interest in formalizing how we talk about games - such as The Alexandrian. I don't know who exactly coined this one, and I really wish someone would publish a dictionary. Of course, the problem with the dictionary is that I'm not sure anyone has the...
    82 replies | 3269 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 08:54 PM
    As with most semantic arguments, probably not, though I have just tried to explain exactly how I understand the term. I believe the formal definition of the term involves giving players a guarantee that they will have both agency and be central to the story that they create. Well, to begin with, I don't think that's remotely close to the idea behind the RPG jargon "protogonism", so you...
    82 replies | 3269 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 05:39 PM
    It is a minor but hardly mortal sin for the DM to provide only one interesting thing for the players to do. It is a mortal sin for the DM to provide nothing to do. It is not a sin for a player to be uninterested in the story or opportunities the DM has provided to avail himself of, though perhaps the player and the DM ought to have talked about this a bit more before hand. It is not a sin...
    82 replies | 3269 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 05:14 PM
    I don't think I understand this one. I think you mean to relate this back to your second point, "enforcing preferred outcomes", but there has never been a time in the history of D&D where the PCs weren't protagonized, and deprotagonizing the PC's as I understand the term is a terrible sin. PC's are protagonized when they are given advantages relative to ordinary persons in the world and...
    82 replies | 3269 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 12:02 AM
    Hmm... I wonder what percentage of the comments will be inspiration. My first solution to Inspiration not getting used was to go out and buy a handful of just hideous d20s. Something no sane person would buy, so it stood out and caught the eye. Then, I assigned one to each player. No checking the box. If you had the die in hand, you had inspiration. If you used inspiration, you rolled that,...
    29 replies | 1273 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th January, 2019, 11:48 PM
    I wouldn't go quite that far, but I've definitely bought into the Savage Worlds idea of trappings. If there's no statistical difference, don't create another entry -- at the least, be OK with the fact that it's just a new name for the same stats. Most times, there's no need for statistical difference. Trying to force the issue is a low ROI.
    72 replies | 2504 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th January, 2019, 11:29 PM
    I'm almost always the GM, and a couple of my players have been in my group for over 25 years, so it's really hard to distinguish between personal quirks and table customs, at this point. Here goes: Skill names are malleable. Over the course of 35 years of gaming, I've played 6 editions of D&D and about 20 other systems. I really don't care if you call it "spot", "perception", "notice",...
    55 replies | 2859 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th January, 2019, 09:51 PM
    One of the few things that I carried over from 4E was the mental concept of "bloodied" at half hit points. Above half, I narrate any hit as a near miss, slap to the armor, etc. As soon as an attack drops a bad guy to/below half, though, real blood has been drawn and I start to narrate things like you're saying. It's a way of announcing "poop just got real" and even my players have started...
    55 replies | 2859 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 28th January, 2019, 11:14 PM
    "That's what my character would do" isn't actually the root of the problem, but a symptom of it. I mean, isn't everyone just doing what their character would do? The root of the problem is creating a character that doesn't have the personality to be a functional member of a group, which is often a symptom of being the sort of player that doesn't have the personality to be a functional member...
    27 replies | 1200 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 28th January, 2019, 10:45 PM
    There are all sorts of generally anti-social behavior that drive me nuts. Players that get super-aggressive and OOC angry over something that other players do IC or when they don't get there way just drive me to distraction. Probably the number one RPG crime is simply "being a jerk". Specifically, when your actions as a player are motivated by anger, envy, pride or selfishness, you are being...
    82 replies | 3269 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 28th January, 2019, 07:40 PM
    Yeah, I 'fixed' this issue by ruling that wands were arcane only devices. You could not create a wand for divine spells. While some limited range of staffs from the older editions could be used by Clerics, the vast majority were M-U only. Opening up wands to divine casters not only made wand creation easier, it provided options that they'd never had before. In my opinion, given the buffs...
    20 replies | 1379 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 28th January, 2019, 06:25 PM
    I used to run GURPS. GURPS had this idea that everything should be quantified, so that characters could be balanced with each other. Consequently, every one of the characters close relationships was supposed to be classified and quantified according to whether it was an ally, or a mentor, or a dependent or whatever. The relationship adjusted the points the character was theoretically worth. ...
    37 replies | 1183 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 28th January, 2019, 02:03 AM
    As for how I actually handle initiative... I use an app. It rolls the NPCs automatically and individually (go ahead and try to plan around 25 goblins each with their own initiative count) and I ask the players for their number. Just keep hitting "next" to call whose turn it is. I guess that also means no one actually knows the initiative order until the end of the first round. No one has ever...
    144 replies | 4338 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 28th January, 2019, 01:59 AM
    That'd be the start. Really, this is the sort of behavior that keeps lighter systems on my radar -- Fate, especially. I'm currently happy with 5E, but I would go insane with even one player that used metagame knowledge to that extent. Don't get me wrong, I love tactical games, especially board/war games that reward a certain level of system mastery and/or "4D chess". That's just not what I want...
    144 replies | 4338 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 28th January, 2019, 01:06 AM
    Thanks. I did find that, via the Google, but it doesn't really have much meat to it. I still don't "get" the system. Does the "Lead Narrator" rotate by session, scene, some other mechanic? Or is it just a new way of talking about troop-type play from Ars Magicka? Is every die roll d12 v d20? That seems crazy random, which isn't what I'd think of for narrative play. Is there enough of a...
    2 replies | 229 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 26th January, 2019, 08:40 PM
    No, if you look at a time line, they developed at about the same time - they all were introduced into Europe around the 13th-14th century. Cannons, gonnes, plate, and trebuchet all developed nearly simultaneously in the West. The impetus behind plate armor initially was the crossbow and the longbow could easily penetrate mail even at fairly long ranges. Gradually as the "hand gonne" and...
    99 replies | 3988 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 26th January, 2019, 08:24 PM
    Yeah, they had this theory even back in the 18th century, and the problem with it is statistically it was wrong even then. It was actually more the other way around. Even in wars in the 17th century, wounds from bayonets were actually pretty rare. The musket volleys were doing most of the damage, and commanders that relied on the bayonet charge tended to get their troops cut to pieces. ...
    99 replies | 3988 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 26th January, 2019, 08:14 PM
    Well, so much of this depends on your assumptions, and that's to not even get into the whole problem of hit points are a narrativist device and not a simulationist device. They exist to provide characters plot armor more than they exist to model real world wounds. For example, let's say we are playing 3.X edition. Commoners have the same 4 h.p. on average, but they don't instantly die until...
    99 replies | 3988 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 26th January, 2019, 03:25 AM
    1) The gods are exceedingly active in my homebrew setting, both in an active role as persons and through the machinations of their respective cults, which collectively have a larger day to day role in the every day affairs of society than say the Catholic Church in medieval society. My inspirations here are decidedly Etruscan or Hindu in origin. This is polytheism to the max, because it's...
    34 replies | 13891 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 25th January, 2019, 09:00 PM
    I was in middle school when I started playing 1E AD&D. After hitting a high enough level, the group encountered Demogorgon and beat him (middle school, remember). One of the books (L&L or DMG, probably) had a line about gods having a 1% chance of hearing their name, if you called it out. The same was true for demon lords, but we interpreted that as a "blind hearing" on their part that might...
    34 replies | 13891 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 25th January, 2019, 08:50 PM
    Or... Just roll two d120 for everything. That way, you can have your d% and eat it, too.
    8 replies | 327 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 25th January, 2019, 08:46 PM
    Not presently playing. Have played within the last 5 years, but only as a one off. Played extensively from the early 80's to the early 90's. Modified versions of the UA tables, both as a balancing factor and for flavor reasons. Hitherto, I would use the UA version as written. However, if I were to ever go back to the game in any serious manner, I'd probably produce a variant...
    26 replies | 1037 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 25th January, 2019, 03:55 PM
    The front page news mentioned Shadowrun Anarchy, which is powered by the CUE system. I couldn't find much, online, about how the CUE system plays, other than it's light-weight and narrative. I saw one mention that said it's GM-less, which makes it sound like it goes even further that Fate in being narrative driven. That seems an extremely odd choice for a game with as much combat potential as...
    2 replies | 229 view(s)
    1 XP
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Friday, 22nd February, 2019

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

Thursday, 21st February, 2019

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

Monday, 11th February, 2019


Friday, 8th February, 2019

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

Thursday, 7th February, 2019

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

Wednesday, 6th February, 2019

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

Friday, 1st February, 2019

  • 03:16 AM - Hussar mentioned Celebrim in post What are the biggest RPG crimes?
    Celebrim - Good luck with that conversation bud. Keep it up a couple more posts and SAelorn will whack you on his ignore list. Come and join the club. SAelorn has been banging this particular drum for YEARS without varying a beat, regardless of how reasonable an argument you make. I would seriously suggest just backing away slowly. :D List of Player Crimes: Not bothering to inform the group when going to be late or absent. Good grief, there is no excuse for this. Completely ignoring the rest of the table. Pretty much about anything you want to talk about. Rules lawyering without actually learning the rules first. Taking ridiculous amounts of time to do simple tasks and forcing the rest of the group to wait. I once had a player whose turns took more time than the entire table combined. :uhoh: Creating characters deliberately counter to the DM's intended game. List of DM Crimes: Allowing ego to drive table decisions. Using "aha gotcha" moments as a substitute for c...

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.


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Saturday, 23rd February, 2019

  • 08:52 PM - Lanefan quoted Celebrim in post Decapitation and lethality in your game
    It's been 25 years or more since I played 1e, but I don't think you can move past an opponent in 1e. I think it's an illegal move. I think once reach melee you must stop your movement and enter it. Thus, any attempt to move past an opponent would fall under the above 'leaving melee' rules.House rule? I don't see this in the DMG...though of course it's always possible I missed it. The only thing mentioned that can provoke an attack is disengaging from melee, as already noted above.
  • 08:39 AM - Lanefan quoted Celebrim in post Decapitation and lethality in your game
    Although the rules are very badly organized, 1e combat bears a very close resemblance to 3e combat which was, I would think, very much designed to be a faithful by clearer, simpler, and more balanced and tactical derivation of it. A stronger example of 1e 'attack of opportunity' rules can be found on page 70 of the DMG, under the heading, "Breaking off from melee." "At such time as any creature decides, it can break off the engagement and flee the melee. To do so, however, allows the opponent a free attack or attack routine. This attack is calculated as if it were a rear attack upon a stunned opponent. When this attack is completed, the retiring/fleeing party may move away at full movement rate..." Needless to say, with such dire penalties on breaking off combat, it was not something that was very often worth attempting. The 3e rules are generally fairer and allow more mobility than 1e. Scattered about, you'll find similar prohibitions against doing things while in melee that are ...
  • 03:04 AM - Lanefan quoted Celebrim in post Decapitation and lethality in your game
    Yes, and it also lets you reroll 1's, which gives you an average of an extra .5 hit points per HD - or 11 hit points per HD. We've never used that bit - a 1 is a 1. Ahh, yeah, you've extensively rewritten 1e AD&D IIRC. So, per the RAW that should stop at 9th. So, by the RAW, he'd have ~108 hp as a 19 Con 12th level fighter, which is a lot but not so much that it makes my eyes bug out. Barbarians and Bards can get into the 130s, but both classes are difficult to advance in their own way. 5 + 60 + 45* + 12th would be over 108, probably more like 115. We don't give max h.p. at 1st. * - a very conservative guess at his cumulative Con bonus, as I forget at what level his Con got to 19. If it was 19 all the way the 45 would be 55. It's actually a little less than 1/2 of a HD - fighters get 3 hp, thieves 2 hp, and M-U 1 hp per level after maxing out their HD. Thieves do get maximum 10HD to the fighters 9 though, and M-U get 11HD so that somewhat narrows. The CON bonus for hit po...
  • 12:01 AM - Lanefan quoted Celebrim in post Decapitation and lethality in your game
    Good grief, what level is that fighter? I didn't realize you could hit numbers like that except as a high level Barbarian or a 20th level Bard. Let's say 18 CON, 9d10+36+3x = 137 => 26th level? Are you sure that they aren't being cheaty with the h.p. dice rolls, or are you allowed to take maximum hit points at every level?First off, 18 Con gives +4 per level; and for most of his career he's been Con 19 (a mostly-Orc Part-Orc) which in our system gives +5*. He's 12th level, and got I think 11 full rolls as that's what our system allows; only at 12th did he hit the slowdown. He'd have got a d6 - no bonus for Con but high Con sets a floor) for body points at 1st level; I think he has 5. Those never change. After that he's just rolled fairly well for fatigue points almost every time, and always with someone watching as any important rolls like this are always done on the table. So, 5 bp + 11d10 fp + [somewhere around 45 for cumulative Con bonus] + whatever he got at 12th.** * - which...

Friday, 22nd February, 2019

  • 11:15 AM - Lanefan quoted Celebrim in post Decapitation and lethality in your game
    While that sounds intuitive, it practice fighter's in 3e tended to have lower CONs than wizards. The reason is that a fighter typically wants a combination of Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity, while a Wizard can safely dump stat everything but Intelligence and Constitution. Depends on the Wizard type; a charmy-type will also want Charisma as high as possible; and at least 13 in any case if you ever want Leadership. (then again, the main wizard-type I played in 3e had rather poor stats across the board other than 15 Int, I think her Con might have eventually made it up to 12* but I was putting her boosts into Int and Cha as I wanted Leadership) * - very late in her career she got hold of a +4 Con-boost item which got it to 16...and then she died. In my experience the players of fighters typically don't want to completely neglect intelligence or wisdom, because they end up with no useful skills and poor Will saves. The result is that they tend to rely on less CON and rely more on...

Thursday, 21st February, 2019

  • 09:12 AM - evileeyore quoted Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    I don't believe the problem is we have a "rape culture", and so I don't think that a cultural movement is going to dent this. Ahhhh.... mmmm... Let me break this into its two constituent parts: I don't believe the problem is we have a "rape culture"... Agreed. ...and so I don't think that a cultural movement is going to dent this. And I disagree. Clearly the movement has made coming forward easier. Let me say that again: Clearly the movement has made coming forward easier. That is an unconditional good on its own. Will it stop or slow criminal acts on it's own? Ahahahahaha. No. Criminals gonna criminal... but... it does mean more victims will come forward, perpetrators will be prosecuted, and hopefully this will result in a reduction. Because, I will agree with Celebrim on this, there really isn't a whole lot we can actually do. About Zak? We can have the discussion about whether he can ever redeem himself (and thus by extension any further individuals who get kicked out of the Club of Respectable People Allowed to Have a Career). I ask in case my future facecrime causes the progress police to ask me to leave social media for the good of my family.
  • 08:55 AM - evileeyore quoted Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    ...posted.... /looks at what was just written, recognizes the social currency forever spent... :| Some comedians are complaining about how they can't tell the same kinds of jokes they used to, workplaces now have mandatory sexual harassment training, the Pope is no longer denying but actively speaking out against sexual assault within the church. [musical notes and sing-song voice] One of these things is not like the other... [/notes and voice] And yes, I do think there is a connection between some modern political movements and Maoist China. For me it's more a connection between the progress movement and Modern China with it's Social Credit Score. Thankfully we aren't there yet... or... wait... I hope that no further awards to Zak or forthcoming... Is Zak unredeemable? Can he never make amends for his abusive past? Is his Social Credit Score forever to be null? "Santa Baby". "Baby It's Cold Outside", but yes exactly. But, Celebrim, the topic isn't #Metoo, or #Believeallwomen or Roman Polanski or the connection between harassment and the porn industry. Every single one of those things are not what's being talked about here. It's all linked. It's all one big movement. One big ball of progress being shoved in multiple directions. In some directions, it's been great. In others, it's not good. And, again, no one is talkign about going any further than excluding him from the hobby community, so, the whole "maybe I ought to walk away slowly from the mob with its pitchforks and torches and schadenfreude" is really out in left field. Will the mob ever allow him back? If it's a definitive no, and I'm pretty sure it's a definitive no, maybe you can see our hesitation to trust your mob with those pitchforks and fiery brands.
  • 08:31 AM - Hussar quoted Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    I take heart that a few notable well known figures got what they had coming, if even by accident. What makes me sad is that we clearly as a society didn't change. We just incorporated new hashtags on to the banners of political purity, and then went after the entirely wrong targets for the entirely wrong reasons. Sometimes, but may be not always, the comedians have a point. Don Quixote had a better sense of what to tilt at and why. It's extremely important to distinguish between stuff that is relatively innocent and stuff that is not and not make the whole thing collapse out of ridiculousness. Maybe it's because I'm not American and I don't live in the US. I live in a country where up until about two or three years ago, major corporations had no local harassment policies. I live next to a country of over a billion people where this year is the first year a civil sexual harassment case is being heard. The notion that things like #Metoo have had no impact is really ignoring the massive impa...
  • 08:31 AM - CleverNickName quoted Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    I learned monsters were real when I was 13, and I didn't learn it from fairy tales. You know what? I should have stopped reading right here: Oh that? No, that's not changing direction. That's marketing.That was my cue, and I missed it. Goodnight everyone.
  • 08:30 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    I don't think we are actually turning some social corner. I think mostly #metoo is advanced for self-centered reasons and I see no sign things are going to get better. While some may be co-opting #MeToo for self-centered reasons beyond revealing hidden predators*, it has given voice to victims of criminal activity that historically goes unreported more often than not. Some of the people revealed were- up until now- untouchable. Not so much anymore. And that’s a good thing, in my book. * I haven’t seen any evidence of that happening in significant numbers myself
  • 07:46 AM - CleverNickName quoted Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    Celebrim, I thought your post was very thoughtfully written, and I appreciated that you were able to express your stance on a very charged topic in a poignant manner even if I disagree. This part struck a chord with me. I don't think we are actually turning some social corner. I think mostly #metoo is advanced for self-centered reasons and I see no sign things are going to get better. I don't think taking a stand is going to make abusers less likely to be abusive. I think real progress and change is made one person at a time, through personal and meaningful relationships. But we are turning a social corner. People on talk radio and television can't stop talking about how things are changing and how confusing it is. Some comedians are complaining about how they can't tell the same kinds of jokes they used to, workplaces now have mandatory sexual harassment training, the Pope is no longer denying but actively speaking out against sexual assault within the church. Maybe it's not a ful...
  • 06:31 AM - Immortal Sun quoted Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    At this point, I'm not even sure what you are going on about. What reason do you think I have? What is the point of the above post? Who is this mysterious someone that I should talk to and what do you think I should talk about with them? Did I not make very clear, twice now, that I wasn't uncomfortable with the topic of sexual harassment, but that I was unhappy about this conversation? And so far as that goes, to the extent that my feelings are political and religious, what makes you think I'm not involved in conversations about those topics elsewhere where they are appropriate and expected? Enjoy the thread then.
  • 06:21 AM - Immortal Sun quoted Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    No, but stating "There's probably a reason Celebrim feels uncomfortable when these issues come up." in the context of a conversation about sexual harassment and rape is, per: "Say how you feel or what you think, but be careful about ascribing motives to the actions of others..." It's a vague rule, but if it doesn't apply to innuendo concerning my sexual past, I'm not sure when it could ever be applied. But, let's presume you didn't mean it how it sounds. Speaking of ascribing motives to others, pot meet kettle. I actually took great care to choose my words as to not imply you are responsible for some kind of bad behaviour. My words meant exactly what they said: that you have a reason for feeling uncomfortable and that talking about those things helps. See, this is the problem with assuming the people on the other side of the discussion are all liars and thieves. You start assuming things about their motives. Reading into their words and finding things that aren't there. Well, first of all, if there was a personal story, ...
  • 05:50 AM - Immortal Sun quoted Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    Because it's an egregious violation of the forum rules. Not that I ever report anyone, but I appreciate the irony. Telling someone they ought to talk about the things that make them uncomfortable is a violation of the rules? I've made it perfectly clear that the subject of sexual harassment isn't one that I'm uncomfortable with, or uncomfortable discussing - much less condemning. What I am uncomfortable with, as you put it, is this discussion and not the topic generally. And I have a lot reasons for that, but ironically the letter of rules here at EnWorld make it against the rules to even tell you the first reason for that that comes to mind. Somehow, I doubt telling a personal story of what particularly makes you so uncomfortable is against the rules. I went and re-read the rules before I hit post, they're surprisingly short. I'm not sure which rule you seem to be accusing me of breaking. Since this entire thread is against the RAW, and you've been freely posting in it, perhaps you...
  • 05:10 AM - Immortal Sun quoted Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    Just thought I'd quote that before you get a chance to think better of it. Why? Because you assume I'm a liar? Because you assume I'm trying to trick you? Because I can't be earnest in the things I say? There's a reason I'm not engaging in this discussion. One side wants to have a discussion. The other side wants to pretend everyone else is a bunch of liars. I meant it honestly. If discussion of this subject makes you uncomfortable, you should talk about that. Talking helps.
  • 04:12 AM - Umbran quoted Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    ... to talking about game mechanics and the art and science of RPGs? ... I'm still sad. You are scared. You are sad. So we should all be silent, and not talk about such matters. I am sure, you are not comfortable. My sympathies for that. But I am sure Zak's victims were not comfortable. I am sure my wife was not comfortable when she was sexually harassed by a member of a convention staff a couple of years back, either. Being silent wasn't what dealt with that convention staff member. People were silent about Zak, and that didn't seem to make anyone safer. It looks like if we remained silent, Zak would still be able to victimize others. If we remain silent, other men will not recognize that such behavior will not be acceptable any longer, and they will not know of the consequences. And the young daughter of a friend of mine, who I recently taught how to play, who has become a GM in her own right, will have to suffer, because no change happens in silence. Silence, Celebrim, is tacit acceptance of the bad behavior, in a practical sense. So, no, your discomfort is not sufficient to stop this discussion.
  • 12:28 AM - Gradine quoted Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    In short, I don't agree with any of you and I find pretty much all this talk from just about everyone embarrassing, dangerous, and decidedly anti-social. Seriously? I'm supposed to be, what, embarrassed? Are you upset that our conversation about how to handle this very real and serious issue within our hobby of sheltering and supporting serial abusers, harassers, assaulters (oh I'm sorry, I meant "politics") is getting in the way of your conversations about very important, very serious "game mechanics and the art and science of RPGs?" Frankly, your holier-than-thou attitude and condescension is completely at odds with not only your constant unwillingness to confront social, community problems as an actual community, but your active antipathy towards such actions. You, as always, live your life like we're in some sort of fantasy world, where bad actors act in a complete vacuum because of their singular personal demons and not because of any broader cultural factors, such as, oh I don't ...

Wednesday, 20th February, 2019

  • 11:36 PM - Hussar quoted Celebrim in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    The level of hyperbole does not help the conversation: I am scared, deeply and actually scared, by how much we seem to be trying to reinvent the struggle session and a bunch of other ugly things. I actually had to google that term. Hadn't run across that one. But, comparing government controlled public torture for the purpose of removing political enemies to something like the #MeToo movement is so unbelievably blind it's bordering on deliberate. Good grief, the Chinese #MeToo movement just changed the Chinese laws THIS YEAR to include a legal definition of sexual harassment. China will have it's FIRST civil sexual harassment case in history, THIS YEAR. And, while I realize that EN World is supposed to be apolitical, these are important issues. And, it's helpful, I believe, to spread the word among the hobby. Particularly considering the history of our hobby as a primarily male dominated one whose demographics are changing pretty rapidly.
  • 10:33 PM - Umbran quoted Celebrim in post Decapitation and lethality in your game
    There is no right or wrong answer here. It depends on the conventions of the story you are trying to create. Though, there is also some space to discuss implementations. If you want a system that has some more lethal elements, what's the best way to achieve that? Is it by having a decapitation chance, or just overall lower hit points? Can you get 80% of what you want from playing E6? Would that be good enough? And so on...
  • 08:17 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Celebrim in post High Level Play - Your Experience
    Generally speaking, the RAW of D&D for all editions of the game starts breaking down around when 6th level spells come online, and it requires a great deal of skill and inventiveness on the part of the DM to not have a skilled group of players with high level characters just running wild with little real challenges. That's reasonably fair. A lot of things could mess up the classic game, some even earlier than that, but certainly by the time you were using Enchant an Item and it's ilk, there'd be issues. In the classic game. And, not surprisingly since it evokes the classic game so well, in 5e, of course. In 3.x, by the time you had 4th level spells you were quite possibly seeing real problems. Thus E6. But, right or wrong, you just can't say "for all editions" and "6th level spells" in the same breath: 4e didn't use the traditional spell-level progression, at all, so there was no nth-level spell marker. For that matter, when the classic spells that had been 6th level did finally come...


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