View Profile: Aldarc - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 12:18 AM
    What constant string? You are welcome to count up any ad hominems I may have said about you and then I would invite you to do the same regarding ad hominems you have said about me, include calling me "the worst" just now, and you may find yourself at the nasty end of a surprise that should spur some self-reflection. I'm not saying what I'm saying to get a reaction. The sooner you can get over...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:15 PM
    You are certainly getting into the miserable habit of insulting others. Second Wind and Action Surge are not on daily mechanics, but on short (and/or long) rest mechanics, which are not - to me at least - per encounter mechanics. Short rest mechanics simulate regaining energy from short bursts of exertion that can be potentially regained throughout the day with a modicum of rest. I think that...
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  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:37 PM
    The wizard covered all arcane magic user archetypes (putting an asterisk next to the bard) for more than half the lifetime of this game. It's these Johnny-come-lately classes that are superfluous. :p
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  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:32 PM
    Fluff isn't "just fluff". Fluff matters. Fluff is why we're playing this game rather than Bridge. And yes, a player and DM can work together to refluff the warlock as a book mage - there's certainly no reason why a form of magic must be modeled one way rather than another. The concern is internal consistency. It is one thing to say, "The warlock is how book magic works in our world." It is a...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:15 PM
    As you know, I'm hardly one to blow my own trumpet! Still, I've overcome my modesty to point out that (at the time of posting) that thread is number 6 on the list of hottest threads by XP. (And completeness obliges me to observe that numbers 3 and 12 are also threads that I started.)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:01 PM
    Despite how heated many of these threads get, I have increasingly found myself drawn to many such threads in General Roleplaying Games. Because a lot of the insight on game design, game theory, and play approaches provided by you, pemerton, Hussar, Maxperson, Lanefan, Manbearcat, Imaro, Bedrockgames, Tony Vargas, among many others unlisted, has been incredibly engaging for me, as it I can...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:59 PM
    Does the "innate magic" of a dragon mean it can be detected by means of Detect Magic? And does a flying dragon fall to the ground inside an anti-magic zone?
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:28 PM
    Your ad hominems and unsupported claims don't hold much weight here, Emerikol. I am not projecting onto "old school D&D." I hoped that would have been clear in reading my posts. I have only spoken for the worldview that D&D 5e presumes. I have even made that explicit on numerous points, as I have been clear to include "5e" to clarify that this pertains only to 5e. I have not looked into the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:12 PM
    Hriston, I'm somewhat partial to the "hang time" approach if only because it seems to open up some amusing possibilities, but your articulation of your approach to adjudication has been admirably clear. Also, for what it's worth, 4e goes your way (Rules Compendium, p 139): If the creature runs out of movement before landing, it also falls. However, if the jump was part of a move action, the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:41 AM
    Sometimes when talking about RPGs it's helpful to actually talk about RPGs rather than just make stuff up. From Ron Edwards: this isn't what most people are talking about, when we talk about non-railroady Narrativist play. This is kind of a consensual-storytelling, make-it-up-as-we-go, round-robin type thing. Frankly, it's pretty boring in most circumstances and tends to create wandering,...
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  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:40 AM
    And my power fantasies don't involve being born better than other people, but you don't see me ragging on sorcerers. Not all pacts are transactional and explicit - I would be immensely surprised if a Great Old One knew or cared what a "contract" is. But I feel like it is essential that it's voluntary in some way. If you have power for reasons beyond your control, you're more on sorcerer...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:13 AM
    No one denies that, or is unclear how, hp are used to communicate ideas from DM to PC. And no one denies that, or is unclear how, hp totals communicate a character's closeness to death. But this isn't what causes people to assert that hp are metagame. Here are some things that do cause that assertion (I am reporting from my own experience, both as a RPGer who was one of those who dropped...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:47 AM
    What does it refer to? I don't know what you're talking about, but I'm talking about stances, which is a notion that Emerikol brought into the thread, that Aldarc followed up on, and that absolutely is about establishing fiction. From the Ron Edwards essay that Emerikol's blog has copied and pasted: *In Actor stance, a person determines a character's decisions and actions using only knowledge...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:31 AM
    Does "loosely approximates real world physics" mean anything more than dropped objects fall, but dragons can fly without magical assistance? Physics, in the real world, isn't just a list of facts. The discipline is a set of interrelated principles stated in mathematical terms; the phenomena those principles describe are things that follow certain regularities in behaviour and causal...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 03:30 PM
    What does ".a loose approxiation . . . simulating in a loose manner" mean? You and Lanefan are saying that D&D uses real world physics. But it's measure of terminal velocity is different. So either G is different, or the way friction works is different, or . . . it's not physics at all, just common sense tropes!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 12:27 PM
    What about flying dragons, giant arthropods, fireball spells that exert no pressure, etc? Nonsense. You don't need to assume that actual physics is true in order to understand the basic physical behaviour of dropped objects, running people, etc. Most human beings have understood the basics of these things for most of human history without access to either real or imagined knowledge of physics....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 12:23 PM
    Huh?a That falling is caused by gravity - ie a universal force that all masses exert on all other masses - isn't easy to see at all. No human being knew it as recently as 400 years ago! It's hardly obvious that falling, in the gameworld, is an expression of universal gravitation. And as far as terminal velocity is concerned: a 200' fall inflicts 20d6 damage in AD&D, but few falling persons...
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  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 09:20 AM
    Yeah, one-handed swords tend to converge on about the same weight. And the use of any one-handed sword requires more arm strength than a two-handed sword, because, y'know, you're only using half the number of arms (and also leverage is not your friend). So if anything, the two-handers ought to be finesse weapons and the one-handers not. :p It'd obviously be outside the standard rogue...
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  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 07:11 AM
    And longbow archers use massive strength to bend their bows, and rapier fencers are hardly strangers to heavy thrusts, but 5E D&D still models archery and fencing with Dexterity alone, because the developers decided very early on (in 4E, really) that MAD is BAD. I have no doubt that under this design philosophy it would be perfectly appropriate to stat Oberyn, etc. as finesse fighters. And I have...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 04:45 AM
    I think that chaochou's point is that the answer could be 20 hp, or 3 hp, or 50 hp. Or 90% of hp remaining, or 10%, or 1%. In other words, there is no correlatoin between hp remaining (either absolutely or proportionately) and any particular state of the fiction. Which means that knowing the state of the fiction (which is what PCs know) doesn't settle any question about hp remaining. Which...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 04:37 AM
    I don't understand your point. The fact that certain beings (but not elves? who nevertheless can have children with humans) have to eat and sleep doesn't tell us anything meaningful about the physics of that world, if by "physcsc" we mean that discipline taught in schools and universities. Human being since time immemorial have known that dropped objects fall; likewise those in the gameworld....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 03:54 AM
    Would you care to elaborate on this? They seem to be synonyms to me, and when I Google a definition of magic I get "the power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces." I don't know what dictionary that is from, but it is the sort of thing I would have expected. This doesn't seem very simple to me. I mean, I'm told that quantum gravity is quite hard (I...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 02:14 AM
    I have to admit, I use the 5e morale rules and I find they work great. I'm probably not a real stickler for the details of the rules, but, typically I start rolling when it's obvious that the baddies are going to lose. Which is usually after about 1/3 of the baddies go down/lost HP. Adds a nice tactical element, and it means that it's a very viable tactic to spread the damage rather than focus...
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  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 10:13 PM
    Must have gone to a high school where the big, mean science geeks picked on all the poor, defenseless cool kids.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 07:58 PM
    Are you genuinely arguing in any good faith or from any desire for nuance when you write this stuff, Ovinomancer? Or are you being argumentative just for the sake of it? No, it is not an error. It is true that "human beings have water in them" and that "human beings are composed of water," though not in our entirety as the human person consists of a variety of elements and compounds. There is...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 06:03 PM
    Now I get it. You are misunderstanding me. Or perhaps arguing with me out of force of habit, but I will assume that you are arguing in good faith. Let's work with another example: water. Me: Human beings are composed of water. You and Max: Humans are not water, nor would we count as water. OR Me: Human bodies are naturally radioactive.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 05:32 PM
    The rock does not necessarily have "no source of power," as the PHB does say that every rock has the untapped potential energy of magic. We could speculate why souls are more valuable to devils than the magic potential of rocks - maybe in that new Mordenkainen book - but this seems beside the point. Probably not. Most people would not consider themselves being "electric" or producers of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 03:19 PM
    I wouldn't even go this far. I think that most of the physical events/interactions in a fantasy game happen at a sufficiently high level of abstraction and granularity that common sense tropes are enough to sort them out. But do carts come to a halt because of friction, or because Newton's first law doesn't hold, or because the air impedes the motion of the earth? The D&D rules certainly...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 03:06 PM
    It's not Aldarc's position that I don't get! It's the position advocated by Emerikol and others.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 03:05 PM
    As I said, what the hell is "life force", and how is it not magical? It's certainly not a real or mundane thing! Multiple posterson this thread (you as one) have argued that action surge and/or second wind are metagame, because they are decisions taken by a player that do not correlate to decisions taken by that player's character.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 02:15 PM
    Also, life force - whatever the hell that is - isn't a magical phenomon, but a fighter choosing to draw on his/her reserves so as to push him-/herself hard is? I don't get that either.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 02:11 PM
    OK: in D&D can fly, although that would not be possible in the real world. Fighters in 5e can choose when to push themselves extra hard, knowing that if they burn their reserves now they won't get them back without a rest, which is not too different from how people in the real world can do that. But fighters' second wind and action surge in 5e are magical, while dragon flight is not? ...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 12:40 PM
    Dragons in D&D can fly, although that would not be possible in the real world. Fighters in 5e can choose when to push themselves extra hard, knowing that if they burn their reserves now they won't get them back without a rest, which is not too different from how people in the real world can do that. But fighters in 5e are magical while dragon flight is not? I don't get it.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 11:04 AM
    The 5e PHB backs up my position and then goes several steps further. It's time to admit that you were wrong, learn from your mistakes, and move on. And you accuse me of being dismissive and curt? :erm: This would get us into a debate of analogies and semantics. So again for example, the humanoid soul in D&D is magical. It is part of the humanoid person. Is the humanoid person magical? I...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 10:37 AM
    This has nothing to do with stance. Stance is an attempt to describe the relatoinship between player establishment of fiction and player motivation having regard to the player's special connection to the PC. It's not about talking in first or third person. Whether you prefer first-person or third person narration by players to establish action declarations and shared fiction is a completely...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 10:23 AM
    Maybe. Possibly to an extent. For me, it comes from how saturated with magic everything in D&D's worldview is and how the cosmology of the world have implications and effects in the Prime. Our norm is simply not their norm. Sure we cannot understand it and we inescapably think from modernist perspectives, but nothing about their world is "mundane" or free from magic. You can't be free from magic...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 09:58 AM
    Just for fun: In Rolemaster, the tiredeness and sore back from sleeping on the ground sounds like a -10 penalty or thereabouts; the vivid bruise sounds like -5; and the scraped knuckles are not a penalty. Given that the knuckles are still scraped that means that there has been no recent healing of concussion hits, so the character is probably down 5 or so hits from the knuckles. From the...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 08:51 AM
    I'm sorry. I misspoke in my glib. It is less a "debate" and more like a "Big Ole Can-o-Worms" that has involved many of the same people in this thread. Here is probably the most famous 250+ page leviathan: What is *Worldbuilding* For? Be careful. It gets ugly in there and diverges often from the central thread points.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 08:32 AM
    Yes, it is, and have a nice day. :D I'm glad you like it, since I would say that "neat setting concept" is the implied, baseline default setting of D&D. :D When you look at the rules and nature of the implied world, I would say that the world and everything it is naturally magical, but not to equally significant degrees. And so that would represent your conception of your world as...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 02:04 AM
    This blog on "no myth" sets out what is probably the typical way of playing "story now". The emphasis is on characters' dramatic needs, and the framing of situations to speak to those needs and generate drama out of them. I think this is what AbdulAlhazred has in mind as a default or standard approach. Here's a blog by Ron Edwards on the use of setting in "story now" play. It emphasises the...
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  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 10:45 PM
    I tried writing up a resource system that limited abilities on a per-opponent basis. I decided it'd be kind of annoying to track if it was the primary system for a class and you were throwing around lots of different effects with it. I still use the mechanic for one or two pressure-point-type attacks in a monk thing I'm working on, though - I figured it made sense, and it wouldn't be too hard to...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 03:42 PM
    Ah, but it is true. The world of D&D presumes that said world is inherently magical. Some things may have more magic than others, but that does not mean that everything is mundane and devoid of magic by our sensibilities. It is a world influenced by other planes of existence and you can use portals in the world to traverse them. The stars may have a bearing on the fate of mortals. The world may...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 11:08 AM
    "I felt a great disturbance in the Thread, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, 'Oh Heavens, not this debate again.'"
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 09:55 AM
    That entire world in D&D is presumed magical. You are trying to apply a modernist mindset that distinguishes between the mundane and the magical to a world that presumes a premodern worldview wherein the supernatural, magical, and irrational are infused into everything of the cosmos. Everything. In such a worldview, whether you are playing 0E-5E, there is no "just a mundane person" in this world....
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  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 05:40 AM
    How am I supposed to respond to this? You're attacking a position which you frankly state that you haven't even seen here. Whoever you're talking about aren't around to speak for themselves. And if I'm being honest, I have to suspect that your summary of their reasoning or lack thereof is not entirely fair to them, any more than your attempt to associate that reasoning-or-lack-thereof with me is...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 05:23 AM
    I suppose it depends on the viewer really. A table that lets you declare hits, for example, isn’t cheating by your definition since the table agrees. But they certainly aren’t playing by the rules either. Are they cheating or not? From their perspective probably not. But from any outside observer? I’d say yes they are.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 05:20 AM
    Given the plethora of healing available in 5e, I don’t think it would be unreasonable to think that combat evolves a bit and hacking downed targets becomes a lot more viable of a tactic.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 05:18 AM
    I’d say that as far as kitbash stuff goes, either will get the job done. Once you know the syntax that either program uses, it’s likely about equal.
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  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 09:42 PM
    So when other people adopt a definition of magic, it's "blithely accepting", and when they reject one, it's "bitterly denying", because definitions of magic are "arbitrary". But when you adopt a definition of magic, it's "reasonable", and when you reject one, it's because it's contrary to the "objective facts". And all this constitutes "engaging with the statements", and not "jumping to...
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  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 08:01 PM
    If you see irony here, then as experienced an edition warrior as you are, you have somehow failed to apprehend the fundamental nature of the disagreement you are currently allowing yourself to be trolled over. 5E eldritch knights can cast spells, which are described in the fluff as spells and justified by the character studying magic. 4E fighters could create effects which to many people seem...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 04:10 PM
    But what I appreciate about Fate in this regard is Stress and Consequences. Stress is not a traditional HP system, but is, instead, a more transparent about being a pacing mechanism representing your ability to remain in the action or scene. But you can potentially stay in the action longer if you choose to take Consequences that follow from the fiction: e.g., sprained ankle, publicly humiliated,...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 03:06 PM
    I would wager that the intent represents the sort of play that the game rules were designed to support and engender. Often nowadays, the writers will state their intent in the game book. Savage Worlds, for example, uses the slogan "Fast! Furious! Fun!" to describe its intended playstyle that harkens to its desire to simulate pulp action adventures through its gameplay. Ideally, the rules as...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 02:29 PM
    Links to four actual play examples.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 02:17 PM
    No. But knowing that you're in a skill challenge does help make decisions about what resources to expend (eg if I have a limited-used Nature buff, I might not use it on the first check if I'm still sussing out the fiction), and it helps you know what the payoff is for succeeding. It also establishes a context for making choices about how to engage the fiction: if its a complexity 5 skill...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 12:31 PM
    (1) It was an example of a potential solution, but I have no doubt that you could create such a solution that was more appropriate to your sensibilities. (2) I don't think that this interpretation necessarily needs to be understood as "magic." Ki, for me, is simply some form of latent energy (e.g., life? psionic? etc.) that permeates the world or life therein. The fighter may be "non-magical"...
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  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 07:06 AM
    Nope. Harry Potter doesn't get an exception here. It would have, if the chosen one had turned out to have been Neville Longbottom all along, but Rowling wimped out in the end. But for my money, the 1st worst plot device is chosen ones in general. Note how the quality of a Star Wars movie is correlates strongly and inversely with the chosen-ness of the protagonist: Luke-as-random-farmboy:...
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  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 06:47 AM
    In the run-up to 4E I had hoped they would move the term "feat" over to mean active extraordinary abilities, the nonmagical counterpart to "spell". 3E's usage for its mostly-passive modular character features never fit quite right, and its apparent original intent, that these features were rewards for feats of heroism, didn't last much beyond some noncommittal verbiage in the 3.0 PHB, as I...
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  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 08:50 PM
    Pssh. It was 4E. Everyone cast spells, some of them just pretended they didn't. :p I mean, that is what it's there for. The weapon and armor proficiency's a bit wonky, though. Awkward reality of the subclass system, and strong case for "level three is the new level one".
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  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 08:48 PM
    That would be my understanding of the rules as written. The new spell effect supersedes the old, therefore the new temporary hit points replace the "these hit points". If you want to recharge armor of Agathys, I highly recommend casting armor of Agathys again.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 02:25 PM
    Probably the adjective "draconian." It's more complicated than that. At the outset, you asserted that certain mechanics of the fighter were metagame mechanics. Those were controversial claims. People naturally disputed that they were as they do rationalize these mechanics from in-character perspectives. It does not constitute metagame for them even from your provided definition. But you also...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 01:54 PM
    If you want to have that discussion, you can necro the thread and respond to the posts there.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 01:14 PM
    Those daily abilities don't have to be hoarded/preserved., though. The "adventuring day" might involve one encounter, or a dozen, and it makes no difference to game balance. If the players all nova in the first encounter of the day, this doesn't allow wizards to outshine fighters. It's purely about pacing. Whereas other editions (and 13th Age) depend for balance upon an "adventuring day" that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 12:43 PM
    I think players need to know they're in a skill challenge if they're going to make reasoned choices about what resources to use (eg powers, action points, equipment, etc). In that respect I think the comparison to combat is apt. I don't see resolution as something separate from the "real" game.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 11:56 AM
    Goblins in Pathfinder are noteworthy singers, and several adventures print some of their songs.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 11:07 AM
    I'm not explaining myself well enough. It's not that FG is a bad program. It isn't. It does what it says on the tin, by and large. But, for 130 dollars I expect a HELL of a lot more than what it does.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 10:23 AM
    Incidentally, I don't think that "fail forward," "near success," or "success-at-a-cost" are contradictory in play, as one could implement all methods within the same game. "Success-at-a-cost," for example, is often a player-facing choice where the player decides that success is necessary and worth the risk of the cost. "Fail forward" is a GM-facing technique about interpreting the failure of die...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 10:02 AM
    To be honest I don't remember any of that - it was a while ago now! I know that the paladin did stuff, as his player was the one who initiated the idea of taming rather than killing the bear. The fighter must have done something too, but I don't remember what that was: I have a vague memory of the bear being hostile to him, and him doing something in response (but I can't remember what, or...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 09:41 AM
    A follow-on from the previous post: skill challenges, like similar resolution systems in other (mostly indie) RPGs, work on the premises (1) that the GM is responsible for framing scenes, but (2) that the players are responsible for the choices that will determine how those scenes turn out. The significance of (2) is that it makes the scene, or encounter, the focus of play. There is no "the...
    347 replies | 11573 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 09:28 AM
    There are two things here - I had determined that the only way and hit the Orcs X times before the Orcs hit the PCs Y times. The latter is, more-or-less, what D&D combat looks like (where X and Y equals hit points divided by damage per hit). The former is about establishing stakes and modes of approach. There is nothing about a skill challenge as a mode of resolution that says that the GM...
    347 replies | 11573 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 09:26 AM
    This is just false equivalence. It is fine and great to have a preferred taste for Actor stance. Where I take issue here is in the pragmatics of saying that you want 100 percent Actor stance to the exclusion of Author and Director. (Well that and the idea that in-character-speak roleplay should be preferred.) Though I disagree with Lanefan's position on in-character roleplay as the...
    595 replies | 12856 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 07:53 AM
    Succeeding at a check is something that takes place sitting around the table, in the real world, where a die was rolled, some number added to it, and the result compared to a difficulty. None of that happens in the fiction. In the real world, following the game mechanics as described in the PHB2, it goes more-or-less like this: Y's player rolls a Perception check, and X's player rolls (or has...
    199 replies | 6826 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 05:12 AM
    For me, "linear adventures"/railroading are fun when the characters are fairly vibrant (and so there is fun to be had bringing my character to life as part of play, given the other main bit of play - making choices that shape the fiction - is not really happening) and the GM/module is providing an engaging story that the vibrant characters fit into well. I've enjoyed CoC played in this style,...
    347 replies | 11573 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 03:27 AM
    Now, that is very true. The Fantasy Grounds community rocks on toast. They really are fantastic.
    30 replies | 791 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 02:57 AM
    Sure, you can make it easier and organize things. Totally agree. Doesn't change the point that each of those pictures take about five steps in order to use. As compared to drag and drop which every other VTT does. One other issue to bear in mind too is the ability to port forward on your router. This has been an issue for me since my router doesn't support port forwarding, requiring me...
    30 replies | 791 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 02:28 AM
    The 4e rules are not a statement of in-fiction causal processes. They are a statement of processes of mechanical resolution. In this partiuclar case,succeeding on the Perception check (which is something a person at the table does, not something that a character in the fiction does) means that X loses hidden status, thus ceasing to be inivsible, and thus being able to be seen by Y's normal...
    199 replies | 6826 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 01:05 AM
    This is another example of terminology drift. "Fail forward" is a technique that was championed by certain indie designers. The 13th Age rulebook (p 42) describes it thus: A simple but powerful improvement you can make to your game is to redefine failure as “things go wrong” instead of “the PC isn’t good enough.” Ron Edwards, Luke Crane, and other indie RPG designers have championed this...
    347 replies | 11573 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 12:41 AM
    (1) Pawn is a separate stance that the blog author details. (2) Playing a role when acting often does involve role switching as the actor is an interlocutor of the character. The director has a sense of character. The author has a sense of character. The actor has a sense of character. Neither director, author, nor actor inherently has a sense of character as pawn. This is why I find such...
    595 replies | 12856 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 12:39 AM
    Do you think this is true of combat also - that it makes no difference adjudicating combat as hp attrition, or adjudicating combat via a GM's freeform opinion of when the players have done enough to defeat their enemies?
    347 replies | 11573 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 12:32 AM
    I went with the 130 dollars that you insisted on quoting. For the sake of argument. It is about 300 dollars to run a 5e full featured game. But, fair enough, you do get a lot of bang for your buck for that second 150 bucks. I'll agree with that. But, you do kinda gloss over the steps needed to load an image. 1. Download the image to your computer and place it into the right folder...
    30 replies | 791 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 12:32 AM
    And if X is hidden from Y, then X can't be seen by Y's normal vision. You keep talking about Y defeating X's cover (by "walking around the box X is hiding behind") - but doing that means that X is no longer hidden from Y, which of course means that (assuming that X has no other source of invisibility) X is no longer invisible to Y, and hence it is no longer true that Y cannot see X with normal...
    199 replies | 6826 view(s)
    0 XP
  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 08:06 PM
    I disagree completely. Subclasses (and hybrid classes) are an inelegant way to handle multiclassing because each combination of classes requires a different rules entity, inflating the necessary amount of rules multiplicatively. You said it yourself: to get an uncovered combination, you have to homebrew. It eats up page count or creative time and energy to create each new combination. That is the...
    213 replies | 5815 view(s)
    0 XP
  • satbunny's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 07:44 PM
    Alternity?
    20 replies | 645 view(s)
    0 XP
  • satbunny's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:49 PM
    Savage World's has simple easy to run rules for "Allies" and associated combats. Many SW games I have read or run seem to have naturally included bands of same. It suggests that the decline of henchmen in more complex RPGs is a consequence of book keeping for player *and* GM.
    63 replies | 1266 view(s)
    1 XP
  • satbunny's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:46 PM
    He failed to deliver a big RPG project he had promised. IMHO various things broke him at the same time as this very big project. This happens. People are people. Kickstarter is not a store.
    63 replies | 1266 view(s)
    2 XP
  • satbunny's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:40 PM
    Read the developer notes. The default may have Witchers but they are rare. I suggest it's going to be a test of your player's maturity, can they cope with assymetric character mixes. Assymetric challenges will help. I have played such games before such as Stormbringer or Ars Magica and it's fine, but I know some don't like that.
    25 replies | 531 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 03:22 PM
    You may be more fixated on his use of "railroad" here - likely due to its pejorative connotation - but keep in mind that the "/" designates "and or," with the first element in that phrase being "GM-driven play" and I would personally place greater emphasis in what pemerton said on that than "railroad." I would estimate that a lot of GM-driven play does entail "being stuck at a door," because it...
    347 replies | 11573 view(s)
    1 XP
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Sunday, 22nd July, 2018

  • 08:47 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    It's about thinking in first or third person. Player establishment of fiction has nothing to do with it, and is for these purposes just a distracting side-discussion.What does it refer to? I don't know what you're talking about, but I'm talking about stances, which is a notion that Emerikol brought into the thread, that Aldarc followed up on, and that absolutely is about establishing fiction. From the Ron Edwards essay that Emerikol's blog has copied and pasted: *In Actor stance, a person determines a character's decisions and actions using only knowledge and perceptions that the character would have. * In Author stance, a person determines a character's decisions and actions based on the real person's priorities, then retroactively "motivates" the character to perform them. (Without that second, retroactive step, this is fairly called Pawn stance.) * In Director stance, a person determines aspects of the environment relative to the character in some fashion, entirely separately from the character's knowledge or ability to influence events. Therefore the player has not only determined the character's actions, but the context, timing, and spatial circumstances of those actions, or even features of the world separate from the characters. Each of these is about what a player of the game determines ...

Saturday, 21st July, 2018

  • 12:35 AM - Hussar mentioned Aldarc in post Everybody Cheats?
    ...ing often centers around not altering the roll of the dice. You get what you get. However, the halfling lucky trait says that if you roll a 1, you can reroll it. That is not cheating in any way (well, you might "cheat death" as a result, but that's not the kind of cheating we're talking about). If the rules explicitly say, "Rolling behind the screen lets you fudge the results if you want to" and the group decides this is a rule that they accept, then it is not cheating for the DM to do so. It's that simple. /snip of massive amount of verbiage. Therein lies the disagreement. Simply writing it into the rules that you can cheat doesn't suddenly make it not cheating. It's that you've changed the rules to make yourself feel better because, while everyone knows that you are cheating, you don't have to call it that. That's the whole point of the original article. We added these allowances to allow the DM to "fudge" the rules so we didn't have to call it cheating. But, like Aldarc says, let's call a spade a pointy digging implement. It's cheating in everything but name.

Friday, 20th July, 2018

  • 05:09 PM - TwoSix mentioned Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    That someone in the real casting a cantrip would mean we have serious misunderstandings about the nature of our universe is totally not what I get from Aldarc's posts. It seems that he's still saying what he started with: everything is magical in D&D land; there is no mundane. He says thus to support the argumebt that every nechanic can be narratively supported in fiction as "it's magic." It's pretty much the same idea, phrased differently. If magic is possible, it's a magical universe. There's no way for magic to exist as some sort of "plug-and-play" extension that attaches to an otherwise mundane universe in a way that makes sense, despite genre conceits. (I'd allow that exceptions exist if the magic is actually some sort of highly advanced science, like in Mark Lawrence's Broken Empire trilogy.) This argument is nade to counter Emerikol's statements as to Emerikol's preferences in play. Aldarc is on record as saying that Emerikol stating Emerikol's preferences in play is really an attempt to say the those preferences are better than others in general and must therefore be countered. So, we end up with "everthing is magic...
  • 04:38 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    But that isn't the point. The point is that if someone became capable of casting even the simplest cantrip in the real world, it means that our materialistic, mechanistic view of the universe is wrong, and our entire universe is actually something different than we think it is. That's the point Aldarc is making.That someone in the real casting a cantrip would mean we have serious misunderstandings about the nature of our universe is totally not what I get from Aldarc's posts. It seems that he's still saying what he started with: everything is magical in D&D land; there is no mundane. He says thus to support the argumebt that every nechanic can be narratively supported in fiction as "it's magic." This argument is nade to counter Emerikol's statements as to Emerikol's preferences in play. Aldarc is on record as saying that Emerikol stating Emerikol's preferences in play is really an attempt to say the those preferences are better than others in general and must therefore be countered. So, we end up with "everthing is magic because there's a weave or a statement about magic permearing things." I really have no problem with a looser statement that magic is, by default, common in D&D, or even a argument that mechanics can be explained as magic. It's the "everything is magic" b...
  • 03:27 PM - TwoSix mentioned Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    No, the PHB hints that magic is pervasive, not that everything is magical. That's a neat setting idea though, sounds like something I did in a 4e campaign -- people used minor rituals for mundane tasks, eg swweping the floor. But that isn't the point. The point is that if someone became capable of casting even the simplest cantrip in the real world, it means that our materialistic, mechanistic view of the universe is wrong, and our entire universe is actually something different than we think it is. That's the point Aldarc is making.
  • 03:06 PM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Better. As I said @Aldarc's position defines everything (animate or inanimate) as magical and given his interpretation of the core rule books (at least of 5e) it is fair. It is not something I adopt for my table but it is certainly an interesting idea, IMO.It's not Aldarc's position that I don't get! It's the position advocated by Emerikol and others.
  • 02:42 PM - Sadras mentioned Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    But fighters' second wind and action surge in 5e are magical, while dragon flight is not? I still don't get it. Better. As I said @Aldarc's position defines everything (animate or inanimate) as magical and given his interpretation of the core rule books (at least of 5e) it is fair. It is not something I adopt for my table but it is certainly an interesting idea, IMO.
  • 01:26 PM - Sadras mentioned Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    But fighters in 5e are magical while dragon flight is not? I don't get it. @Aldarc's position is that both the Fighter and the Dragon are magical. Your comparison above compares a noun with an action.
  • 10:47 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    ... the Ranger and Druid description as well: D&D presupposes an incredibly different composition of human beings and the natural world. The world operates by a different set of physics and metaphysics. This presents the idea that nature - by which we should not distinguish between humans and everything else - has an inherent magical power. There is not even a concept of mundane words and music in D&D! The bard description, for example, asserts this about "the worlds of D&D": But why stop there? Let me drop this 5E PHB piece as well: So, yes, Ovinomancer, D&D does indeed have a baseline presumption about magic that amounts to more than a "neat setting idea." Also, I just noticed Maxperson, that 5e established that this includes "every rock" in D&D as well. /mic dropI'm happy that you feel you got in a burn on your setting idea. For the record, I agree D&D has a high level of magic assumed, but still think your claims go past that. Still a neat setting idea. /picks up the mic Aldarc accidently dropped and hands it back
  • 10:38 AM - Sadras mentioned Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    So @Aldarc I guess for me it is interesting they use the words suffuse and permeate a lot in the texts you quoted from the books. One could possibly argue does that make mundane items/beings magical because of this invisible magical force which weaves through everything. You equated the magical essence to radiation - so you could say everything has been radiated but is that the same as saying everything is radiation? I'm not entirely convinced on this line of thought. However, if you go with the idea that whatever God creates is Godly then I don't have a counter argument. Nothing springs to mind. :) In any event interesting chat. PS: One of my high level campaigns is touching on philosophical and cosmological topics in-game as the characters are trying understand the multiverse/setting, this would be a great additional subject to incorporate in their investigation. So thanks. ;)

Thursday, 19th July, 2018

  • 02:15 PM - Sadras mentioned Aldarc in post Everybody Cheats?
    @Aldarc, out of interest, does it make a difference to the terminology you prefer if the act is transparent? i.e. if the insert preferable word occurs in the open is it cheating in your view? The only reason I ask is because the USA Pres is allowed to make executive orders, but it is not classed as unconstitutional, similar in a way to the DM who is allowed to fudge without it defined as cheating, as that authority and power is given to them by the positions they fill.

Sunday, 15th July, 2018

  • 04:20 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    ..., wraiths and other level-draining undead, then? Or magic item creation in 3E? I think you are wrong here. This is just character skill. Your character knows his spells and their capabilities. He knows their relative power. <snip> I love preparation of spells because I want to reward good preparation. Choosing the right equipment is another form of preparation because I don't allow the PCs to pack everything under the sun. Right? My players pack all sorts of things especially at lower levels to give them an edge in the dungeon. Chalk, string, a candle, oil, iron spikes, etc... If they don't pack it they don't have it. The wizard is figuring out his spells. There's no metagame involved with picking generally good spells. The wizard knows which spells are generally good. <snip> A PC wizard who knows that certain spells are very good in a general way and selects those, is not acting on any knowledge it does not possess, so no metagaming is happening.Following Aldarc's reasoning, choosing equipment in D&D also has a strong metagame aspect to it: iron spikes, 10' poles, Find Traps, etc - the logic of all these is established by the D&D dungeoneering framework. Again, layering a veneer of infiction rationale over this doesn't change the underlying logic.

Saturday, 14th July, 2018

  • 09:00 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    ... a class level - so if you treat Vancian memorisation as an in-fiction thing, then the wizards can rank themselves exactly based on their memorisation ability, and that ranking will correlate exactly to class levels. (At least up until 8th level. At 9th level and above it is complicated because some wizards with INTs that are too low don't get the 5th or higher level slots.) You are assuming that they are picked due to anticipated obstacles. A great many of them are picked because they are generally good, not because of any obstacle the player thinks is coming. Metagaming could happen, but is not in any way an inherent part of vancian casting.No, that's not what I'm assuming. Of course some spells are chosen because - given the nature of D&D play, which itself has a high metagame component (eg players know that, everything else being equal, they are more likely to have to successfully fight orcs than to successfully balance a ledger) - they are generally good. My point, and Aldarc's as I understand it, is that (i) the whole categorisation of spells into levels, which are available to players in the form of slots per spell level, is an obvious gameplay device, and that (ii) its function as a gameplay device is to set up the opportunity for skilled players to do their stuff by optimising their load out. Layering a veneer of in-fiction rationale over the top of it doesn'lt change these features. And it's no coincidence that metagame-repudiating systems like RQ and RM don't use anything like it for their magic systems.
  • 06:15 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    ...that way. Those explanations take away any metagame aspects of the system, because the PC is making all of the choices in character for in character reasons. My point is that to the wizard, fireball might happen at level 2, 6, 12 or 18 for all he knows. All he is aware of are those changes as he gradually grows stronger. In fact, to the wizard there probably are no levels at all. He just gradually gets stronger and more knowledgeable. Think of yourself in your career. If you have been in it for any length of time, you are very much better at it than when you started, but you couldn't truly name me a level that you were at. The levels themselves are metagame.If Vancian slots aren't metagame, then the wizard, in the fiction, knows exactly when s/he has the ability to memorise more spells of a given level. Which means that s/he can identify the levels s/he is earning as s/he earns them. There is no "gradually growing stronger" at all. But in any event, none of this goes to Aldarc's point. Vancian spell casting is a wargame mechanic, that creates a little sub-game of choosing the right spells to defeat the anticipated obstacles. The fact that a veneer of in-fiction rationale is layered over the top doesn't change that about it. I have not seen as i recall players in games i played in or gmed every saying anything like "this gm likes abc so...". They sure might say "these show signs of..." Or "we keep encountering" or "the travelkers we passed said they heard..." etc etc etc. As for both that and the wrong spells ready, if its key to you the gm that they move quickly past whatever is blocking their progress, the most obvious ways to deal with that are them getting info along the way that lets them know (we came thru there yesterday and the bridge was out) or finding another resource (this troll we kilked, looks like he has been killing and we found this scroll of flying as well as a partial map of our destination.) If its not key they cross it quickly, ...

Wednesday, 4th July, 2018

  • 12:22 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Aldarc's post makes an important point - there is no contrast, in general, between enjoys metagame mechanics and does not care about immersion in character. Rather, the metagame mechanics are part of the techniques used to achieve immersion.

Wednesday, 27th June, 2018

  • 12:00 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post Suspense in RPGs
    Fudging is a red herring in relation to Vincent Baker's remarks. The play of a RPG can establih that something is at stake in action resoution, and that the players care about that, without any need for GM fuding. I also think a focus on the risk of PC death is spmewhat misplaced. I do'nt think the threat of protagonist death is necessary to create suspense. And in RPGing, relying on that as the sole, or principal, means of creating suspense can tendsto be unsatisfying for the sorts of reasons Tony Vargas and Aldarc have given just upthread.

Tuesday, 26th June, 2018

  • 01:38 AM - Maxperson mentioned Aldarc in post Everybody Cheats?
    But, as I recall in this thread, you talk about booting players for cheating. So, you must have encountered it at least once in your gaming experience.I've encountered a few, yes. The large majority of them have been trustworthy. What does that have to do with the author of this thread's article who claims numbers that he doesn't produce, and which, given this quote by @Aldarc "So now we need to know something about the methodology here. And so I did a search in the Google book document for "interview." I cannot see the full excerpt, but there is a small snippet that reads "In addition to participant observation, I conducted lengthy interviews (one to three hours) with two dozen gamers. Although the interview subjects are neither a random sampling nor systematic sampling of gamers..."" shows that the survey in being used is highly questionable. It's not a proper sample size and was gathered under questionable methods. Further, since I remember seeing someone earlier say that the survey was from 1983, I'd bet that most of those two dozen gamer were 25 or younger. The young cheat more. http://articles.latimes.com/2009/oct/29/local/me-dishonest29. And, let's not forget, there is a very fine line between "fudging" and "cheating". It's a pretty rare DM who has never, ever, fudged anything in any game at any time.The line may be fine(and I don't agree that...

Friday, 22nd June, 2018

  • 11:42 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    In Cortex+ Heroic the action is not called "create an advantage" but rather "create an Asset". Otherwise it works very similarly to what Aldarc describes, with two exceptions: (i) only one Asset can be used at a time; (ii) an Asset doesn't adjust the result but rather adds a die to the pool. As well as Asset's there are stunts (bonus dice triggered by spending points) and resources (bonus dice triggered by spending points which are more constrained than stunts in when you can generate them, and may be rated differently, but last for longer). Here's an example from our viking game: Meanwhile (I can't quite remember the action order) the scout has climbed up onto the top of the pallisade, gaining an Overview of the Steading asset, and the troll has remembered tales of Loge the giant chieftain, gaining a Knowledge of Loge asset. And the berserker - who has the Deeds, Not Words milestone which grants 1 XP when he acts on impulse - charged through the open gate at the giant, inflicting d12 physical stress. But the swordthane - who was hoping to learn more about his quest - used his Defender SFX to take the physical st...

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 05:02 PM - Sadras mentioned Aldarc in post Everybody Cheats?
    I would strongly encourage that you reconsider what you think is implied about this poster's character based upon your own assumptions before I explicitly tell the mods what I think about what yours. Aldarc I have no issue with you or how you play the game at your table. You have had more than enough opportunities to correct my perspective of your opinion on cheating, instead you chose to thought police me using an intimidation tactic. Strange route to go when you're concerned about people's perspectives of you. Keep in mind the only reason I responded was because of a new discussion with Umbran otherwise I considered our debate about cheaters closed. But that is the nature of forums. If you clearly remember I asked where does one draw the line for cheating....and no line was given. I apologise if you feel slighted (which you should not) but I stand by my assessment. Do what you feel is right.
  • 03:42 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Aldarc in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... in FATE. I didn't set out to prove that you were 'wrong that 5e can do all that FATE can do', I set out to prove that your assertion that FATE is just "FUDGE with a few narrative elements slapped on it". This assertion was, frankly, completely wrong! It gave the whole discussion a character that produced inaccurate conclusions. I simply corrected it, perhaps with zest, but it was simply a correction. Because at this point I wanted to clarify my actual argument so YOU understood my position (which as I stated before you seem to be making a habit of misconstruing). If my position is unclear how are we going to have an actual discussion about it. You will always view and approach my posts as if I am trying to one up or prove something I'm not and that will most definitely color the conversation (as it already has since the past couple of posts I've gotten from you have been filled with that snark you felt so keen to lecture me on earlier.). You have been somewhat inconsistent, as Aldarc accurately pointed out in his response to your last post before this one. I am happy to take it that you have clarified your position here. FATE is not simply a skill-based system with some traits tacked on. If this is an accurate assessment of your current position, then we can proceed from there and need not beat expired equines anymore. :) I'm willing to discuss but it has to be in good faith and without viewpoints and arguments being ascribed that were never made and honestly you don't seem like that's the place you want to approach this from right now. But please if you really would like some discussion and an exchange of viewpoints then let me know and I'd be more than happy to engage you. Its not necessary for me to recapitulate what I stated above, so I won't. My position is as it has been. 5e has some fairly superficial and minor 'trait' attributes which loosely couple to an Inspiration mechanism. FATE OTOH is a system which is entirely driven by aspects as its universal...


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Monday, 23rd July, 2018

  • 12:51 AM - Emerikol quoted Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Sure, but (1) you are conflating terminology, as in your above example you mention, you talk of character stance rather than actor stance, which gets into the issue pemerton raised on the distinction of Actor Stance and being in-character. And (2) gameplay happens in a nebulous imagined space and not a cross-country drive of the American Midwest accessible with Google Maps. It is not an objective reality, but instead it is an imagined space that essentially being constantly negotiated between the GM and the players. Within this negotiation of the game world, stances naturally and instinctively change. Okay in my campaign world, I detail things out a LOT. So I will know if a tavern exists. I don't make stuff up on the fly all that much. I might make up a minor detail but not the existence of a business. So the confusion may be on that point. This example also does not touch upon the other common author stance example I mentioned, namely the whole "I need to find a reason for my...

Sunday, 22nd July, 2018

  • 10:05 PM - Lanefan quoted Aldarc in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Despite how heated many of these threads get, I have increasingly found myself drawn to many such threads in General Roleplaying Games. Because a lot of the insight on game design, game theory, and play approaches provided by you, pemerton, Hussar, Maxperson, Lanefan, Manbearcat, Imaro, Bedrockgames, Tony Vargas, among many others unlisted, has been incredibly engaging for me, as it I can apply those insights and approaches to games outside of D&D.Ditto here, though my applications would be more to the games I run and play in. As you know, I'm hardly one to blow my own trumpet! Still, I've overcome my modesty to point out that (at the time of posting) that thread is number 6 on the list of hottest threads by XP. (And completeness obliges me to observe that numbers 3 and 12 are also threads that I started.) In other words, you're a good firestarter... :)
  • 09:28 PM - Emerikol quoted Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    You are certainly getting into the miserable habit of insulting others. I am tiring of the constant string of insults from you. You are the worst except for the guy with the C in his name so my patience is straining. I cannot believe you really think the thoughts you think as opposed to just saying what you say to get a reaction. Second Wind and Action Surge are not on daily mechanics, but on short (and/or long) rest mechanics, which are not - to me at least - per encounter mechanics. Short rest mechanics simulate regaining energy from short bursts of exertion that can be potentially regained throughout the day with a modicum of rest. I think that the idea of short rests - for all their flaws in how they interact with daily rest powers - probably do a better job than encounter powers for associative mechanics. Well per period then. But just to throw out pretty big counter examples to the bold: setting up camp and how to do daylong marches. Again those are nothing...
  • 05:38 PM - Maxperson quoted Aldarc in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Despite how heated many of these threads get, I have increasingly found myself drawn to many such threads in General Roleplaying Games. Because a lot of the insight on game design, game theory, and play approaches provided by you, pemerton, Hussar, Maxperson, Lanefan, Manbearcat, Imaro, Bedrockgames, Tony Vargas, among many others unlisted, has been incredibly engaging for me, as it I can apply those insights and approaches to games outside of D&D. Agreed. I love learning new things and seeing how others do things, and I sometimes test out some things from here in my games to see how they are received. I may argue hard, but don't think that it means that I don't take things in. Thank you for engaging in these discussions with me. :)
  • 05:33 PM - Maxperson quoted Aldarc in post Everybody Cheats?
    I had also quoted this paragraph before. My reading of this paragraph in the 5e DMG, much like the preceding paragraph on players fudging, does not seem so much to be about permitting DM fudging as legal, but, rather, simply an admission that it happens and that DMs use the DM Screen as a means to "cleverly" enable their own cheating. Jaywalking does not become legal just because most law enforcement looks the other way or finds it beneath their trouble. The cops don't give advice on when and how to Jaywalk, though. The 5e rule does. It's a rule, not simply an admission that it happen.
  • 04:08 PM - pemerton quoted Aldarc in post Everybody Cheats?
    My reading is that the DM's position as judge is contextualized rather than unilateral. The assertion that "the Dungeon Master's word is law!" is, for example, contextualized within a discussion on arbitrating player disagreements and arguments, whether that is between players or the players and the GM.Unsurprisingly, I agree! It says that the DM will act as a judge, arbiter, and final word when situations arise that are not covered by the rules. Fudging, however, more often the not occurs in cases that are covered by the rules. Right, this is the sort of thing I tried to do with my 5-fold analysis of "rule zero" upthread. It's pretty uncontroversial, in most RPGs which have a traditional GM role at all, that the GM adjudicates the fiction if that has come under question (eg "Is my character in a position to jump across the chasm?"). And because classic D&D has no general resolution mechanics, but only particular ones (dealing with doors; fighting; a few other bits and pieces), it c...
  • 03:28 PM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Aldarc in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    I'm sorry. I misspoke in my glib. It is less a "debate" and more like a "Big Ole Can-o-Worms" that has involved many of the same people in this thread. Here is probably the most famous 250+ page leviathan: What is *Worldbuilding* For? Be careful. It gets ugly in there and diverges often from the central thread points. Oh, come now, it was a triumph of expostulation...:cool:

Saturday, 21st July, 2018

  • 11:40 PM - Emerikol quoted Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    And so that would represent your conception of your world as opposed to 5e's implied default setting. Nothing is stopping you from that interpretation or set of houserules. I hope that you do have fun with it.. Aldarc, I know you like to be "sensational" with your radical ideas. Please just know that you are making yourself look like a fool by claiming that is the implied D&D setting. You have no basis for it. Your examples are lame. So keep poking. I'm starting to think you aren't really seriously discussing this issue. You just keep making up extreme statements to try to get people upset. It's common place for many on here to project back crazy ideas into old school D&D but you are talking it to a new height. The game has mundane characters. Except where explicitly defined differently, we expect the world to work as ours does. We don't expect a peasant farmer of which there are millions more than there are adventurers to suddenly whip out a magic power. We don't expect horses to fly. We expect them to be ridden on the ground. The examples could go on forever but please stop wasting our time with this train of thought. The old move the goal posts and claim the game never was th...
  • 10:52 AM - pemerton quoted Aldarc in post Everybody Cheats?
    That strikes me as a false dichotomy, though it may be of benefit to you and your players, so I am glad that you find value in this approach. But I myself can't see much of a causal connection between "I want my players immersed in their characters" with "therefore, I prefer near absolute control as a GM and a separation of powers." While these issues may be casually connected via other related issues, GM Autocracy and Player Character Immersion do not seem causally connected.I certainly do not find AD&D a particularly immersive game. My PC is rather poorly defined, and the world is very hard to grasp with the concreteness that I grasp the real world as I move through it. Of "classic" RPGs, BRP type games GMed in a certain style are highly immersive. Of "contemporary" games, my favourites are 4e and Burning Wheel, though I suspect I could also get pretty into Dungeon World, and find that pretty immersive. DMs can and are replaceable, and they have been in a number of games that I have...

Friday, 20th July, 2018

  • 10:25 PM - Maxperson quoted Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Now I get it. You are misunderstanding me. Or perhaps arguing with me out of force of habit, but I will assume that you are arguing in good faith. Let's work with another example: water. Me: Human beings are composed of water. You and Max: Humans are not water, nor would we count as water. OR Me: Human bodies are naturally radioactive. You and Max: Humans are not radiation. Your counterpoint strikes me as an absolutely absurd argument to make that would be beside the point that seems to make a semantic leap from what is meant by "are magical." The issue is that in game terms, saying something is magical has specific meaning, and it doesn't mean a rock, though it might mean a Roc. Some of us like to not have terms muddled into uselessness, and a claim that the entire D&D universe is magical does just that.
  • 10:22 PM - Maxperson quoted Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    But your point speaks to what I have been saying. Ki energy exists within all people. We are told as much by the monk flavor text in the PHB. This would categorically include fighters, as fighters are people. As such, fighters can hypothetically draw on this energy. We are only told that monks have named this energy and that they learn to manipulate it in ways particular to them. That does not somehow erase the existence of said energy within fighters or other creatures. And the point being is that this life energy that exists within fighters is likely the "reserve power" that they use for their action surges and second winds. They are not performing magical healing or haste in the same manner as clerics or wizards, but they are still likely drawing upon the magical energy that flows through their own being. Your interpretation is A way it can be explained, but there's nothing saying that the latent energy in the rock isn't from the outside magical force that flows through it, or even sits i...
  • 09:19 PM - Lanefan quoted Aldarc in post Everybody Cheats?
    If it allows cheating, then cheating occurs and it remains cheating. That cheating forms part of the game does not alter the nature of the act. If a game specifically in its rules allows cheating then by definition a player can't cheat, in that part of the definition of cheating is to go outside the rules...and so you end up with a paradox. It's not a matter of whether the GM can or cannot engage in these things, but that these things should be independently delineated and justified. If we presume that the GM is the final arbiter of the rules, then some GM Fiat is necessary. Groups and individuals may prefer changes to the rules that are more suitable to their games. That's fine. But investing this into a singular person who can change this on their whims - whether it is done for the "greater good" (Greek chorus chants: the greater good) of the group or not - sits at odds with my own sensibilities that seeks a greater democratization of power and a deconstruction of the GM as Game God. ...
  • 06:48 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Now I get it. You are misunderstanding me. Or perhaps arguing with me out of force of habit, but I will assume that you are arguing in good . Let's work with another example: water. Me: Human beings are composed of water. You and Max: Humans are not water, nor would we count as water. OR Me: Human bodies are naturally radioactive. You and Max: Humans are not radiation. Hm. If you're intent is to say that humans have water in them, then you're making an error by saying humans are composed of water. If this is the case, the issue is on your conveyance, not our taking you at your word. However, what you are saying is that everything is magical because there's a background pervasive field of magic. This could be true but it also can not be true. To touch above, humans having wayer in them doesn't mean diamonds do, too. Magic can be pervasive yet the mundane can also exist. Your counterpoint strikes me as an absolutely absurd argument to make that would be beside the point that...
  • 04:47 PM - kenmarable quoted Aldarc in post Everybody Cheats?
    FM Fudging: Let's call a spade a spade and just admit that it's cheating. Nice try, but I think a massive amount of the several hundred messages in this thread are debating whether that thing is actually a spade or not. ;) Hand waving away the entire discussion convinces no one. If it allows cheating, then cheating occurs and it remains cheating. That cheating forms part of the game does not alter the nature of the act. And that is as logically contradictory as a 3-sided square. Cheating means breaking the rules. If the rules allow it, it isn't cheating, it's following the rules - by definition. The statement "The rules allow cheating." is either a logical contradiction or using specialized (or Bizarro World) definitions for those words that are far from their actual, normal use.
  • 03:22 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    The 5e PHB backs up my position and then goes several steps further. It's time to admit that you were wrong, learn from your mistakes, and move on. No, the PHB hints that magic is pervasive, not that everything is magical. That's a neat setting idea though, sounds like something I did in a 4e campaign -- people used minor rituals for mundane tasks, eg swweping the floor. And you accuse me of being dismissive and curt? :erm: Well, you did do the original /mic drop, yes? Or are you implying my comment wasn't i response to yours? And, as I said to you when you questioned ne via message, I've never denied I can occasionally be caustic. I don't, however, become incensed when others point it out. This would get us into a debate of analogies and semantics. So again for example, the humanoid soul in D&D is magical. It is part of the humanoid person. Is the humanoid person magical? I would say "yes." Sorry, you've begged the question. Where does it say the humanoid soul is magical?
  • 03:13 PM - Ilbranteloth quoted Aldarc in post Everybody Cheats?
    His words establish the GM as a dictatorial autocrat. It's worth questioning Gary Gygax's position on game mastering. His authority on the matter may not be a position worth preserving, as it likely reflects an agenda that privileges his authority. Might Gygax as a Gamemaster who prefers gamemastering not have incentives to provide greater latitude of powers to his preferred play position? It backs this power in a rationality of the "greater good of the players," but is that just smoke and mirrors for preserving and propagating his power? There are game systems that limit/restrict the responsibilities and capabilities of the DM/GM/MC/Narrator/etc. In a number of systems (e.g., Cypher System, Powered by the Apocalypse, etc.) the GM does not roll. They are incapable of Fudging dice rolls. Powered by the Apocalypse provides a list of what a GM is permitted to do via GM-exclusive 'moves.' The Cypher System even affords the GM to create rules-narrative exceptions via GM Intrusions. S...
  • 02:35 PM - Ilbranteloth quoted Aldarc in post Everybody Cheats?
    If it allows cheating, then cheating occurs and it remains cheating. That cheating forms part of the game does not alter the nature of the act. This is one thing that I just disagree with. If the rules allow something, then by definition it cannot be cheating. The context of cheating often centers around not altering the roll of the dice. You get what you get. However, the halfling lucky trait says that if you roll a 1, you can reroll it. That is not cheating in any way (well, you might "cheat death" as a result, but that's not the kind of cheating we're talking about). If the rules explicitly say, "Rolling behind the screen lets you fudge the results if you want to" and the group decides this is a rule that they accept, then it is not cheating for the DM to do so. It's that simple. It's not a matter of whether the GM can or cannot engage in these things, but that these things should be independently delineated and justified. If we presume that the GM is the final arbiter of the rules, ...
  • 02:30 PM - Maxperson quoted Aldarc in post Everybody Cheats?
    Groups and individuals may prefer changes to the rules that are more suitable to their games. That's fine. But investing this into a singular person who can change this on their whims - whether it is done for the "greater good" (Greek chorus chants: the greater good) of the group or not - sits at odds with my own sensibilities that seeks a greater democratization of power and a deconstruction of the GM as Game God. And you aren't alone in that. That's why so many games were created that minimize that sort of thing, and why groups of like minded people congregate. The same thing holds true for those of us who enjoy fiat greatly and like a DM with that sort of power. Assuming he isn't a douche and doesn't abuse it. One of the guys in my group was more like you, but recently(a few years ago) started DMing. More and more as he sits on that side of things, he's appreciating DM fiat and what it can do for the game. Right now he sits somewhere between you and me on the spectrum I think. ...
  • 02:00 PM - Maxperson quoted Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    But why stop there? Let me drop this 5E PHB piece as well: So, yes, Ovinomancer, D&D does indeed have a baseline presumption about magic that amounts to more than a "neat setting idea." Also, I just noticed Maxperson, that 5e established that this includes "every rock" in D&D as well. /mic drop So they made it like the force, where magic flows through everything. They did not make everything into magic. You pick up that rock and throw it at a creature weak to magic and it's not going to have any increased effect. That rock is mundane. The force flowing through it is not. You can draw magic from the rock, but the rock is not magical. Suffused with magical energy is not the same as being magical. /hands the mic back
  • 01:42 PM - Sadras quoted Aldarc in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    This would get us into a debate of analogies and semantics. So again for example, the humanoid soul in D&D is magical. It is part of the humanoid person. Is the humanoid person magical? I would say "yes." Okay so a humanoid soul, essence of life, is a source of power which is valuable in the Nine Hells and elsewhere. A rock less so, because it doesn't have a soul, and therefore no source of power. But going back to the humanoid soul example, this reverts to whatever God creates (including life) is Godly (magical), hence the value in a humanoid soul. Therefore this position is creation is an exercise in magic and therefore whatever springs forth from this creation would carry a semblance of magic. That seems like a reasonable position to have. Touching on something you mentioned earlier about us viewing things in a modernist mindset: I don't know if the in-game NPC farmer in the medieval fantasy world would believe himself to be magical or have an essence of magic about him. My impression...


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