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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 12:48 AM
    That's a bit simplistic though. Because the resource free option is almost always less damaging than the resource. Direct damage 1st level spells outdamage cantrips at all but the very, very highest levels and, even then, it's not like 1st level and 2nd level resources are limited to direct damage. But, even just comparing direct damage, the resource expense nearly always results in dealing...
    97 replies | 2435 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:46 PM
    But, we're not talking about 1d6 are we? A Burning Hands does 9d6 damage pretty easily. Certainly 6d6 virtually guaranteed. Yup, there's save for half, but, fare enough, many cantrips can outright fail. You have to be 17th level before you can deal even remotely equivalent damage. The fact that I've been dealing that kind of damage for the last 16 levels kinda makes up for things. For...
    97 replies | 2435 view(s)
    2 XP
  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:05 AM
    Eh. I'm with you on the difference between swords, but Charlequin is right that allowing a d8 and a d6 together, cost free, is not a great idea. Yes, arming sword plus handaxe was doable, but it certainly wasn't a common historical fighting style. It doesn't strike me as crazy to require a combat style or feat to pull it off. Parrying Fighting Style: If you are wielding a one-handed weapon in...
    60 replies | 1013 view(s)
    0 XP
  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:59 AM
    I enforce hand use pretty rigorously: if you have two weapons in your hands, then you aren't doing anything else with those hands that round. Especially if you're a rogue, having a free hand is recommended for any climbing, rope-swinging, pocket-picking, or tossing of caltrops in which you might wish to engage. But I also know a lot of groups find this level of attention to who has what in...
    60 replies | 1013 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:13 AM
    I question the OP's basic premise actually. The basic premise is that cantrips become more damaging than 1st and 2nd level spells. So, in play, we're likely limited to cantrips doing 3d10 for the most part, no? Very high level play doesn't come up all that often, so, for the sake of argument, let's ignore it. 1st level wizard spell damage: Burning Hands 3d6 to multiple targets...
    97 replies | 2435 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 11:48 PM
    That looks like great fun Morrus. Cool beans. Just as a thought though, would it not be easier to make the map mostly the full size of the page and then include the text of the encounters right in the rooms? Would seem like a more efficient use of space. And, just a nitpick, you forgot to label area 1 - the Entrance.
    50 replies | 1292 view(s)
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  • Lord Mhoram's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 05:27 AM
    Given that player agency was the thing that caused my negative reaction.. this would be perfectly fine to me.
    316 replies | 5547 view(s)
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  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 12:17 PM
    This, exactly. There is a happy middle ground between "I'm the DM, and I know better than you how your character ought to be roleplayed" and "PCs are super special snowflakes who don't play by the same rules as other people in the world". Persuasion and Deception affect the character's information input, just like Perception and Investigation. What the character does with the information is up to...
    316 replies | 5547 view(s)
    1 XP
  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 10:25 AM
    Just spitballing: - When you make an attack while dual-wielding and miss, if you don't have advantage, you can make a second attack with your off-hand weapon as part of the same action. - When you make an attack while dual-wielding, if you do have advantage, you can "split" the advantage, treating each of the two die rolls as a separate attack roll for one of your weapons. This would give...
    60 replies | 1013 view(s)
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  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 10:09 AM
    Mearls has mentioned that TWF rules which don't involve making two attack rolls don't test very well. I guess it puts players at too much of a remove from the fantasy of, y'know, having two weapons.
    60 replies | 1013 view(s)
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  • Lord Mhoram's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 07:22 AM
    I read your initial post differently - this isn't something that I would be comfortable with... but it isn't a deprotagonizing as I originally thought.
    316 replies | 5547 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lord Mhoram's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 07:20 AM
    We play very different games. My group (which admittedly has been together for 20 years) never does PvP in combat or in social skills. It is understood when a game is created that the PCs want to be heroes (we tend towards superhero and high fantasy) - so that kind of stuff doesn't happen. As for your first paragraph - sure - assuming all of that conflict is PC vs PC. You pulll out the dice...
    316 replies | 5547 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Lord Mhoram's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 07:13 AM
    I agree it happens, but it should NEVER be the result of a die roll of one player vs another - it's between the players and characters. That is what takes it out of roleplaying - the Barbarians player is not being allowed to roleplay his character the way he envisions him. Maybe that has social consequences later (such as 5eyku noted) but the idea of going along should not be forced on him by...
    316 replies | 5547 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lord Mhoram's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 06:50 AM
    I don't know if that is a typo, but it is perfect roll playing to make the character/player do what the charismatic guy wants, but bad roleplaying.
    316 replies | 5547 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Lord Mhoram's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 06:47 AM
    But social contract trumps role-playing, in my opinion. Making this player do something he doesn't want to do because of skill and "roleplaying" is no better than the CN jerk who screws everything up and says "I'm just roleplaying my character". Who knows - maybe the Barbarian had a situation like what happened in game as part of the player's mental construction of that character and backstory,...
    316 replies | 5547 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Lord Mhoram's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 06:24 AM
    In my opinion the play has complete control of his character's choices unless affected by mind control/charm kind of spells. To me using a skill (even a social skill) to influence another character is tantamount to using combat skills (like swinging a sword) at that character. Personally If I had a GM that made my character "go along" because another character used a social skill on me- thus...
    316 replies | 5547 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 10:21 AM
    Well that just took a lot of the interesting out of both deities.
    41 replies | 1459 view(s)
    0 XP
  • TheCosmicKid's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 09:43 AM
    I feel like creating a "main gauche" weapon distinct from the "dagger" would be clunky and not very 5E. I'd rather just give the dagger an "extra-light" property which allows a weapon to be used for off-hand attacks even if the main-hand weapon isn't light.
    60 replies | 1013 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, 05:24 PM
    The presence of a gnome in Athas "would not make Athas any less of a dangerous environment," but Dark Sun's tone and aesthetic is more than its dangerous environment. It's also its lack of orcs, gnomes, kobolds, and such. Why are these species extinct? Mass genocide by the champions of Rajaat. Would the genocide somehow be less of a genocide if a small pocket of gnomes still existed? No. It still...
    198 replies | 6656 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, 02:13 PM
    I can most definitely see that. I have grown a fondness for Golarion's fey-based gnomes so I would be more inclined to adopt that approach. And another part of me would have them return to being more akin to mythical earth spirits My halflings as goblinoids idea originally came about from musing whether there was any connection between the goblins and halflings native of Khorvaire in Eberron.
    198 replies | 6656 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, 02:02 PM
    If half-races seem uninteresting to you, it's also worth considering whether or not these half-races can be reskinned or altered as something else for your purposes. I have a variety of homebrews that I have used or keep in my back pocket, and I sometimes reflavor existing races so they fit better. This includes the aforementioned half-races. In one of my old games, half-orcs are not actually...
    198 replies | 6656 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th December, 2018, 10:58 PM
    Maybe the ban prevents the gods from exhibiting their fullpower on the planet, so gods get around this by having weakened versions of their avatars and such on the planet?
    241 replies | 9052 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd December, 2018, 03:57 PM
    I see it as closer to something Luke Crane talks about in his Adventure Burner - the stakes are implicit in the situation, and thus - as the situation changes - can themselves change. This depends on a group who are reasonably familiar with one another's approach to play, so that the players can tell (from experience) when I am increasing or stepping back the pressure; and so that I can tell...
    19 replies | 580 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd December, 2018, 12:46 PM
    I tend to make it up as I go along!
    19 replies | 580 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd December, 2018, 11:03 AM
    Thatís not true. Bacteria as a species, heck most plants as a species are far far more successful than any vertebrate.
    378 replies | 5013 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd December, 2018, 10:33 AM
    This is why I like the RC version - it's notion of "advantage" is something of a rules bolt-on, but it helps smooth over some mathematical problems. But this is very different from my experience. I focus on the right sort of fiction rather than skills. And then let the players make a call about how they want to tackle the fiction. I don't adhere religiously to the DMG notion of "taking turns",...
    19 replies | 580 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st December, 2018, 03:43 PM
    I think the easiest way to use THACO or similar while maintaining the AD&D progression is to overwrite the second 20 and subsequent numbers with a consecutive progression (so 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 21 becomes 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26) and treat a roll of 20 on the d20 as scoring 25.
    61 replies | 1934 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st December, 2018, 03:26 PM
    You beat me to it!
    26 replies | 814 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 03:04 PM
    Raising this dead thread. Is there a reason why you prefer Apocalypse World over Dungeon World? And how would you "improve" Dungeon World so that it would be more to your own preferences?
    48 replies | 1850 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 02:53 PM
    I found the notion of the Primal Spirit (and associated power source) a nice touch in 4e's implied setting that distinguished the nature magic of druids from both clerics and wizards. It made druids more than nature priests or nature wizards. They were dealing with the spiritual and primal forces of a heterogeneously created world that resulted from a mix of divine power and the primordial...
    241 replies | 9052 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 12:02 PM
    Perhaps. But so did Sandpoint in Golarion, and yet it is considered one of the classic starting towns in Pathfinder. So is the iconic Village of Hommlet or Phandalin for that matter. Or Tristram in the Diablo series. Not every starting location needs to be as catchy as Sigil, Sharn, or Waterdeep.
    241 replies | 9052 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 10:28 AM
    You would. You were born there. You grew up there. You have family and loved ones there. Who else will save your home town on the frontier borders of a dead, back-broken empire if not you?
    241 replies | 9052 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 10:00 AM
    Frankly, I think even running a 4e combat then a DW combat would show that players roll the dice isn't the same as only players make mechanical-type moves (I'm bracketing deal damage - I don't think that would change the outcome of the experiment).
    145 replies | 4711 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 07:23 AM
    Oh, well that sucks. Wonder if this is a Disney thing. They're going to bring all the Marvel titles together under the new Disney pay service, maybe?
    26 replies | 893 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 03:11 AM
    I'm not sure you can draw the parallel to film though. Film died because digital cameras became ubiquitous. And MUCH higher quality and easier to use. To the point where it's virtually impossible to distinguish a digital picture from a film one. The human eye just isn't good enough. But paper still has HUGE uses. While the push towards paperless offices has been ongoing for a decade or...
    157 replies | 5004 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 01:20 AM
    I think that upfront stakes when it's something like cross the river or persuade the corpse to talk to you via Speak wtih Dead is fine. But when the challenge is more complex in the fiction - eg a somewhat open-ended negotiation - and is meant to involve many checks (complexity 4 and 5 is probably my "many checks" as opposed to "few check" zone), then I think more capacity for evolution of the...
    19 replies | 580 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 12:52 AM
    Heh. Oh yeah, it does come down to different experiences. :D I mean, for me, a fighter with an 18 Str and 16 Dex, say, was pretty much par for the course. Wouldn't even bat an eye at seeing that. So, again, that's AC:0 without magic and easily achievable by 2nd or 3rd level. And, as far as modules go, it really depends. Quasqueton did a fantastic analysis of classic modules:...
    24 replies | 996 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 12:33 AM
    But... but... but... maps are COOL. :D The nice thing about using a map+text is that you can cram a LOT of information into a visual representation. I've always thought that most modules under use their maps quite honestly. Why don't adventure maps put the contents of each area right on the map? Add in a couple of more maps to represent movement and you can create a very dynamic adventure...
    50 replies | 1292 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 12:21 AM
    In 4e combat, players roll all the dice won't give it the same dynamic as a skill challenge, because the GM is still declaring actions for NPCs/monsters that have an action economy, generate mechanical states of affairs that interact with the player-side mechanics, deplete PC hit points, etc. Even if a player rolls a "defence" die, it is the GM who forces "OK, roll a defence die" having...
    145 replies | 4711 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 11:35 PM
    Spurred by this conversation, I revisited the Tal'Dorei Campaign Book. There is scarcely a Dawn War. The divine/primordial conflict a furtive murmur in the book. It's hardly as mythic as I was led to believe. :erm: But fleshing out a mythos in an adventure is far different than its marginal presence in a published setting book. Who are the dead gods of Exandria? These dead gods (e.g., Gorelik,...
    241 replies | 9052 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 11:01 PM
    I think that this speaks to your preference to have things spelled out for you. You want an explicit setting, not that you would be short of those in how most published settings are presented. I liked having Nentir Vale as an implied setting that was GM-empowering. It wasn't flat. It invited you to explore its contours. Mercer may have a Dawn War and the planes, but it falls flat for me. It...
    241 replies | 9052 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 11:00 PM
    I combine these with the clearer mechanical structure of the Rules Compendium. The idea of multi-stage can be adapted/generalised, I think - as the situation unfolds, the fiction changes in such a fashion that certain past states are now guaranteed to be in the past (eg in the negotiations, it's clear that the major NPC is no longer going to believe XYZ about the PCs), and the parameters for...
    19 replies | 580 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 10:32 PM
    Good for you. I prefer Nentir Vale as it was, so I guess "bust" for you then. You claim to like Mearls's taste while also professing to prefer a mythological take? That's some Lolz. Once you get past your 4ate, you could see that Nentir Vale had some flavor, some hooks, and actual myth.
    241 replies | 9052 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 10:28 PM
    Savage Worlds has two-page adventures. Most don't have maps. I used one to run a game of Fate. It's not exactly difficult.
    50 replies | 1292 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 10:16 PM
    Why are people presuming that maps are needed for a 1-page adventure?
    50 replies | 1292 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 10:01 PM
    Nah. Tal'Dorei bores the Mumm-Ra Everliving Crap out of me. Nentir Vale felt more like a toolkit for GMs, which is why I wanted it published. Look, Parmandur, nothing is stopping you from ignoring the 4e Nentir Vale and Mike Mearls's Nentir Vale for Tal'Dorei and its oh so highly complex pantheon of the 4e PHB + 1 Extra Sun God from Golarion and never look back. But I prefer Nentir Vale.
    241 replies | 9052 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 09:55 PM
    Not a fan of Tal'Dorei. Nentir Vale feels like a Sandbox world. Tal'Dorei feels like I'm playing in someone else's homebrew.
    241 replies | 9052 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 09:50 PM
    Nah.
    241 replies | 9052 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 09:49 PM
    Opera Voice (tenor in B major): "Il portafoglio Ť mobile!" It's more normal than you think. There have been some fairly large changes in editions for a lot of industry games out there: Der Schwarze Auge, Fate/Fudge, Warhammer, 7th Sea, etc. Edit: Added link in case reference was lost.
    157 replies | 5004 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 09:29 PM
    Greyhawk's mess of a mythology fits better from a sociological or history of religions perspective - likely yours as a "mythology buff" - but not necessarily from a literary perspective where this Chaoskampf mythology represents an objective reality. The Dawn War is a real thing in this world. That would kill, reorganize, and compress a lot of pantheons. However - and I say this as someone...
    241 replies | 9052 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 06:07 PM
    I personally find this difficult to believe. The idea that there will not be any major changes to D&D in the future just because it is presently riding high in popularity seems somewhat short-sighted. It's inevitable. Popularity and tastes of the game will change. Many of the edition changes in D&D often represent these changes of tastes and game design philosophies. Personally, I know from...
    157 replies | 5004 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 01:59 PM
    I would also argue that this made the Nentir Vale excellent for newcomers to D&D. The Greyhawk pantheon, for example, can be Byzantine for someone new to the setting. There is a reason why the 3e PHB presented a more concise list instead of redundant sun gods. It seemed fairly clear that 4e sought to follow the 3e PHB in this vein of approach. That criticism is definitely valid. IME...
    241 replies | 9052 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 10:21 AM
    I've used skill challenges for resolving social tension, interrogation, traversing the Abyss (that one wasn't my best), sneaking through an enemy camp, cleansing corrupted angels, taming a bear and dispelling a water weird, trashing Torog's Soul Abattoir, surviving an audience with Yan-C-Bin and then persuading some maruts that it's not the end times, and other stuff too. It's a versatile...
    19 replies | 580 view(s)
    4 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 10:06 AM
    The two RPGs I flagged upthread as rules-light - Prince Valiant and Cthulhu Dark - can be played without significant prep. The rules for Cthulhu Dark fit on a single A4 sheet. I had printed them out years ago, and brought them along to the session. I read them to the table while we ate lunch. We then played with no prep beyond that. The rules for Prince Valiant are longer than that. I had...
    22 replies | 862 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 08:34 AM
    I'm just starting this. A really cool adventure for embedding the group into a setting. And, it's going to be a springboard for DotMM, so, I'm going to drop all sorts of hints and goodies. So far, haven't gotten much further than planning out renovating Trollskull manor. There's some fantastic stuff over on Reddit on this, so, I'm going to ... erm... use that for inspiration (ie steal...
    92 replies | 10969 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 08:29 AM
    Funnily enough, back in 1e whenever we got wishes, we just saved them for resurrections. We knew that the DM wouldn't monkey paw a wish like that and it was just a great "get out of jail free" card. I haven't given out wishes in a game in so long it's ridiculous. Kinda like dragons. I haven't dropped one of those into an adventure in FAR too long.
    24 replies | 968 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 08:01 AM
    Well, there's a boatload of examples at the One Page Dungeon Contest: This was last year's winner.
    50 replies | 1292 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 07:52 AM
    I dunno. Negative AC's at fairly low levels wasn't all that hard to achieve. Plate, shield and a decent DEX got you to -1 or -2 and you could do that by 2nd or 3rd level pretty easily. +1 plate and +1 shields were pretty common magic items in many modules, so, that gets you to -3 or -4 pretty easily. Tap in some other goodies, like, say, Vault of the Drow or Queen of the Demonweb Pits for...
    24 replies | 996 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 06:43 AM
    There's another point to remember as well - the growth of the market. We'll have to see what 2018 brings, but, year on year, 5e has been explosively growing the RPG market. Honestly, I'm not sure if D&D has ever seen this degree of sustained growth before. Boom and bust? Sure. But, we're not seeing any evidence of bust yet. Just very strong growth. It's certainly a healthier business cycle...
    157 replies | 5004 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 03:03 PM
    This has happened with my group as well.
    92 replies | 4403 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 02:42 PM
    The actual Fate engine is fairly light IMO, capable of being boiled down to aspects, fate point economy, a four action resolution system, and stress/consequences. It spends most of its page count trying to illustrate its system through examples. I would say that it falls on the heavier side of rules light or lighter side of medium (YMMV). It's very much an adaptable system toolkit that can be...
    22 replies | 862 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 11:07 AM
    Plus one random Golarion deity...
    241 replies | 9052 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 04:27 AM
    I'm just starting to run Dragon Heist, and, yeah, I can see why some people wouldn't like it. It's much more of an adventure outline than an adventure path. It's VERY open ended with a bajillion NPC's and it does hand a great deal of work off to the DM to bring it to the table. This is not something you can just sit down and play. Plus, since a lot of it is very sandboxy, it's a style...
    92 replies | 4403 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 04:13 AM
    Sorry, that last post got away from me a bit, but, I just have one more thought. Something to think about with the 3e/3.5 era is that 4.33 years into that, we had what, a dozen or more 3pp publishers banging out d20 games that directly competed with D&D. Mutants and Masterminds, Blue Rose, and so on. The 3pp weren't working with WotC, particularly, because everyone was burying their OGC...
    157 replies | 5004 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 04:09 AM
    I'm just starting a new campaign with Dragon Heist. Now, for a bit of background, this is the first official D&D adventure path I've run since... errr... Savage Tides back in the tail end of 3e. Wow, it's been that long. And, something that REALLY slapped me in the face is how different things look now than then. WotC's AP's aren't really just AP's anymore. They are a core book for an...
    157 replies | 5004 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 26th November, 2018, 05:06 PM
    I appreciate more elegant solutions like this.
    167 replies | 4340 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 26th November, 2018, 04:51 PM
    I will join the chorus of mixed feelings. On the one hand, I appreciate that the Nentir Vale is getting some public recognition and not buried through any guilt by association with 4e. On the other hand, I dislike many of the proposed changes that Mike Mearls has voiced for his homebrew rendition of it, such as the Dawn War deities being prior mortals. (This even seems antithetical to the spirit...
    241 replies | 9052 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 26th November, 2018, 05:59 AM
    Is that a city with a maze behind it? That would be cool to expand on.
    213 replies | 82135 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 26th November, 2018, 05:41 AM
    Doctor Who has trod that ground more than a few times. Scenes from different parts of history that are pretty ... colorful? I guess that's a word. :D 17th century? Not terribly unheard of. Europeans had been in North America by a century by then. Trade with India and China had been pretty well established. It wouldn't exactly be something you'd see every day, but, not unheard of either....
    218 replies | 6138 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Sunday, 25th November, 2018, 06:19 PM
    I would look into the magic of Dresden Files Accelerated as well. Some of the powerful Rune magic, for example, may require rituals or other powerful effects can only be used so many times before requiring a Terms and Conditions service performed for the appropriate patron/deity. That seems like it would be fairly easy to hack for RuneQuest.
    145 replies | 4711 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 24th November, 2018, 08:24 AM
    I agree with Ratskinner that d20 is not light. I've never played Fate but I'ver read the Fate Core book and it gives me a vibe of being, in play, comparable in heaviness to MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic, which I've played quite a bit and wouldn't call light. I've played a fair bit of Classic Traveller recently and it can move at a pretty quick pace, but I think it has too many subsystems to count as...
    22 replies | 862 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 24th November, 2018, 07:53 AM
    But it doesn't tell you what to move. You can make whatever permitted move you like. Huh? In chess there are no characters, so you can neither take control of them nor be prohibited from doing so. My point is that an RPG also has prohibited moves. I've participated in a lot of ENworld threads, as you know, about player and GM functions. And the most common refrain I here on those threads is...
    22 replies | 620 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 11:34 PM
    I enjoyed your post. Classic Traveller has a reaction roll system. Two comments on it: (1) In this thread from around a year ago, discussing options for the PCs in my Traveller game, an approach to GMing was being articulated by one poster which is neither of the two you describe. That approach was clearly averse to using reaction rolls to determine how NPCs respond to player/PC gambits,...
    145 replies | 4711 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 11:19 PM
    I've been taking seriously that this thread is in General, not D&D. Though even in AD&D there have been rules for duels of honour - Unearthed Arcana and Oriental Adventures had these, under labels like vanquishing and subdual.
    42 replies | 1114 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 08:19 AM
    Chess actually tells you EXACTLY what you can move. You cannot make a move that is not prescribed by the rules, full stop. In play, 100% of your moves are prescribed by the mechanics. In an RPG, I could say that the Duke gives me his horse, depending on the fiction that has been established in play. It is possible. Although, fair enough, probably unlikely. :D And, note, you are...
    22 replies | 620 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 05:58 AM
    It doesn't break the maths. Obviously having opponents 7 levels higher will put the maths under pressure, but the way you get an interesing level + 7 encounter is through increasing the number of threats. Obviously an 8th level cmbat encounter will cream a 1st level party; and an 18th level one will be pretty hard for an 11th level party; but Manbearcat is talking about epic tier. Here's...
    145 replies | 4711 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 02:30 AM
    Earlier this year I ran a session of In a Wicked Age. PC stats are Covertly, Directly, For Myself, For Others, With Violence, With Love. One of the PCs was a zombie with the highest stat With Love. He had died in a plague, and come back to life driven by the desire to find his love whom he'd left behind in death.
    42 replies | 1114 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 01:35 AM
    The respect is mutual*, which is why I'm puzzled by you going along with this presciptive/descriptive thing. I took Mearls to be pointing to a change in D&D to make it more commercially popular. And also to change the rules so that fewer rules confer permissions on the player, and more rules confer permissions on the GM. (By "narrative" play I think Mearls means GM-narrated outcomes of player...
    22 replies | 620 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 01:00 AM
    The "mechanics" of chess don't tell you what to do, other than make a move. In a RPG there are permitted and prohibited moves too - eg in a typical game of D&D, a player's move can't be "The Duke of Geoff rides out from his castle to gift me a warhorse." When you say "based on whatever they feel they can attempt at the time" you're describing a main rule for RPG play: the player's move must...
    22 replies | 620 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 12:56 AM
    Even against monsters, fights can end with surrender, or parley. And fights needn't be against monsters (in the strict sense). They can be against other people, for honour or truth or other values. The AD&D Unearthed Arcana and Oriental Adventures had generally applicable rules for duels of honour (subdual, vanquishing). So even D&D hasn't always regarded the stakes of combat as death. ...
    42 replies | 1114 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 12:38 AM
    Hriston, thanks for replying to my old thread! Your last paragraph caught me a bit by surprise - I hadn't guessed from the earlier passages that the betrayal played out so contentiously at the table. I've always felt that NPC treachery is treacherous terrain for a GM, and it seems that your experience confirmed that. The parleying you decribe I also found interesting - though I was a bit...
    3 replies | 1093 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 21st November, 2018, 04:34 AM
    I'd point out that you folks had repeatedly told me that there is no difference between RPG's and other games during the setup phase. None whatsoever. So, things like what your class can do and what equipment you have, is all part of the set up phase and is the same as other games. But, and maybe I wasn't clear here, I was speaking about RPG's during play. If we accept that everything that...
    22 replies | 620 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 21st November, 2018, 12:00 AM
    Why do D&D players use 6 stats for their PCs? Because the rulebook tells them to. That's a prescription. Why do players of 5e D&D have fighters with action surge; whereas players of 3E D&D have fighters with +1 per level BAB; etc? Because the rulebooks tell them to. That's more prescription. Would you like to elaborate on how RPG rules are interestingly different from the rules of chess, as...
    22 replies | 620 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 20th November, 2018, 11:55 PM
    The stakes of combat need not be death.
    42 replies | 1114 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 20th November, 2018, 02:45 PM
    This thread is in General, not just D&D. Recently my group has been playing a mostly non-deadly RPG: Prince Valiant. In our session on Sunday there were 6 combats, all jousts, none deadly. No one knew who would win before the fight started, though they could pick a favourite by the relative size of the dice pools. The stakes in most of the jousts were no more than honour - defeating an...
    42 replies | 1114 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 20th November, 2018, 09:26 AM
    But do difficult encounters have to be confined to combat? I don't think so personally.
    42 replies | 1114 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 20th November, 2018, 08:51 AM
    I don't play many storytelling games, but earlier this year I did play A Penny for My Thoughts. It's not an RPG. This came through very clearly when one of the players had to leave, and went to hand over the page of notes made playing the game: "Here's my character - I mean, my narrative!" Here are some differences: (1) each player is the locus of his/her own shared fiction, but these fictions...
    22 replies | 620 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 20th November, 2018, 04:38 AM
    Personally, I don't see any point in differentiating "story telling games" from RPG's since story telling games ARE RPG's. And Sim City, while you have a great deal of freedom, is very prescriptive. You can only build what the game lets you build. You may not build anything else. Other than what the game permits me to do, there is nothing else I can do in the game.
    22 replies | 620 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 20th November, 2018, 01:55 AM
    This "descriptive vs prescriptive" thing was basically incoherent when Mearls said it, and that hasn't changed. Here's an example of a prescriptive rule: How do you work out what hapens when you declare as an action that you cover the moon in inivislbe whale scrotum? By following such-and-such a procedure. Many RPG rules look like this. Here's one sort of descriptive rule: the rule that...
    22 replies | 620 view(s)
    2 XP
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Friday, 26th October, 2018

  • 02:30 PM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Yet in the Duchess example the fictional content you're trying to influence is the roleplaying of an NPC - which in theory is supposed to be GM territory.Whose theory? That's the whole point of my post, which is an elaboration of one aspect of what (I take it to be that) Aldarc is saying. Some people like to play a RPG in which the GM decides everything that happens except (perhaps, if there is no fudging of the combat rules) who gets beaten in fights. Others don't. And it's hardly a new idea. I already cited Classic Traveller which has rules which allow the players to declare actions which result in NPCs acting one way or another. Moldvay Basic also includes reaction rules, and examples of the players declaring actions which are intended - as mediated by those reaction rules - to determine the behaviour of NPCs (some hobgoblins). Both Classic Traveller and Moldvay Basic also have morale rules, which are another set of mechanics for determining NPC behaviour. do you agree or disagree that the roleplaying of NPCs is the purview of the GM?As a general rule it is the purview of the GM in the same way that it is the purview of the GM to decide what a NPC does in combat. But if a NPC is dead, the GM is bound by that. If a NPC is subject to a Suggestion ...
  • 12:54 PM - Sadras mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    @Aldarc, I'm going to try discuss the topic from a different angle. Please point where I might have presumed too much or gone off course. I presume you play with a group of friends and there is a mutual respect for one another at the table. I presume you trust these friends to be fair. Do you find it that much of a stretch and that much less fun to have one of these play D&D in the traditional sense? If the answer is yes, why?
  • 09:35 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Because the player is not the DM and cannot narrate the results. This goes to the heart of your argument with Aldarc. Where is this rule stated - that a player can't change the fiction?

Thursday, 25th October, 2018

  • 09:17 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    On despotism: clearly describing a ruler as an enlightened despot is not intended as a slander! And if one takes away the enlightened, or puts it inverted commas, that's not a slip-up but a deliberate expression of opinion about whether enlightened despotism is a genuinely feasable or desirable mode of government. Likewise in the D&D context: if someone deliberately describes a certain GM-ing approach as despotic, and when pushed to include the "englightened" doesn't do so, that suggest they think that approach is inherently at odds with good RPGing. Just because you disagree with them doesn't mean they've made a terminological error: they've conveyed exactly what they mean to convey! To me, the principal virtue of RPGing as an activity, which distinguishes it from wargaming, boardgaming and watching a film with friends, is the collective participation in creating a fiction. The sort of approach to GMing that Aldarc is characterising as despotic seems to push against that virtue; it certainly doesn't seem to push in favour of it. Another virtue of RPGing is skilfully playing the fiction - this is a secondary consideration for me, but still important as it is one of the things that distinguishes RPGing from pure storytelling. This virtue can be reconciled with GM authority over the fiction, provided that the GM is fair in adjudication. This is why classic D&D advice like that found in Moldvay Basic or Mike Carr's B1 places such emphasis on fairness in GMing. But frankly, ones the fiction gets more complicated than the pretty simple situations found in classic D&D dungeon-crawling I think the distinction between fair adjudication of the players playing the fiction and deciding what the outcome is based on one's own conception of where the fiction should ge becomes increasingly hard to maintain. For instance, deciding what happens when I (as my PC) poke a wall with a 10' pole can be a matter of fa...
  • 03:26 AM - Maxperson mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Ovinomancer - what is the proper term then for a table where one person holds all (or at least the vast majority of ) the power at the table? You might not like the word despot, but, that's precisely what a "traditionalist" DM is. I'm sorry if you find that overly antagonistic, but, at what point should we call a spade a pointy digging tool? And this statement is EXACTLY why you and Aldarc are assuming that the DM will act in bad faith. Despot is NOT the proper term as a despot uses his power in a cruel and oppressive way, which is the opposite of how the vast majority of DMs use it. In what way is a "traditionalist" DM not a despot? We've seen arguments in this thread alone that the DM is the ultimate authority over all things that happen in the game. We've seen arguments in this thread alone that the DM determines who can sit at the table. We've seen arguments intros thread alone that the DM can overrule the preferences of any or all players at any time. See above. Absolute power does not equal despotism. Nor is the statement that the DM CAN overrule the preferences. The ability to do so(fact) does not mean that the DM will do it.

Wednesday, 24th October, 2018

  • 11:57 PM - Hussar mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Unless that "culture of attitudes and privileges" is abused, there's zero reason to distrust it. This distrust is nothing more than an assumption that the DM will act in bad faith. You're basically claiming to distrust the sword, and not the person who is wielding it. The sword doesn't do anything by itself. I was going to answer this, but, Aldarc just answered it much better than I could. Ovinomancer - what is the proper term then for a table where one person holds all (or at least the vast majority of ) the power at the table? You might not like the word despot, but, that's precisely what a "traditionalist" DM is. I'm sorry if you find that overly antagonistic, but, at what point should we call a spade a pointy digging tool? And, really, if you honestly missed the level of tongue in cheek there in that post, that's gotta be at least a little bit on you. /edit to add: In what way is a "traditionalist" DM not a despot? We've seen arguments in this thread alone that the DM is the ultimate authority over all things that happen in the game. We've seen arguments in this thread alone that the DM determines who can sit at the table. We've seen arguments intros thread alone that the DM can overrule the preferences of any or all players at any time. In what way is that not a despot?

Sunday, 21st October, 2018

  • 12:48 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...things like an ideal. That makes the vast majority of 3e clerics, clerics of a god per RAW. It's in the Religion section on page 30.That every god has clerics doesn't entail that every cleric has a god. As far as your reasoning about the "vast majority", what is the size of the overall set, and what is the size of the Eberron set? In fact these are all potentially unlimited in size, given that we're talking not just about clerics actually played but clerics conceivably played, so they don't have a meaningful ratio at all. If it matches the 3e fluff as written, then I can play any or all of the 3e PHB clerics in Eberron and have my god up close and personal.The 3E "fluff" is about 3E clerics in general. Eberron clerics are only a subset of 3E clerics. So there's no reason to expect them to exhibit various properties with the same frequency as those properties are distributed over 3E clerics as a whole. So even on your own terms, your arguments are silly. EDIT: I see that Aldarc has made a similar point upthread.

Friday, 19th October, 2018

  • 10:11 PM - TwoSix mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    So you would have no trouble with an Eberron game where the gods came down and talked to their clerics, issuing orders? Not Aldarc, but as an Eberron fan, I admit I'd be curious as to see how someone would run the game with activist deities like the Realms.

Thursday, 18th October, 2018

  • 12:27 PM - Hussar mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Never minding that Aldarc - do DM's really create 100% of their settings? I sure don't. I WANT my players to create stuff. You're a cleric of Cuthbert? Fantastic. You tell me what that means. You bring that up in play. You make that important in the game. You make the other players care about it. I'm just far, far too lazy to put a bunch of work into some player's background when they cannot be bothered bringing it to the table themselves. And, as a player, I tend to play the same way. I bring that stuff to the table. I don't mind doing the legwork for my own character. It is my character after all. And, I'll try my hardest to bring it to the table and make it interesting to the other players. I wouldn't expect the DM to write all sorts of material for something just for me.
  • 12:11 AM - Lanefan mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Well, I'm only going on the fact that Lanefan told Aldarc that doing something-or-other about dwarf gods and religion would require the permission of two GMs. I guess I'd better expand on what I meant by that: one DM would be the actual DM of the game, while the other would be Aldarc as the inventor (and thus, one assumes, the best authority) of the deity I'm trying to worship. (side effect here is that it creates an obvious inequality among players at the table, but in my case being "less equal" is voluntary as it's what I've signed up for when choosing this class and deity)

Wednesday, 17th October, 2018

  • 02:17 PM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Wow, it is almost as if you believe or at minimum suggest that the rest of us pregen/mold every PC's background?Well, I'm only going on the fact that Lanefan told Aldarc that doing something-or-other about dwarf gods and religion would require the permission of two GMs. Plus this repeated suggestion that the GM won't have fun if s/he isn't allowed to establish that dear dad (or in my game's case) dear mum waiting at home for the PC to return from the quest is really a serial killer or whatever. If those apparent assertions that the GM gets to control all backstory and NPCs aren't really assertions that the GM gets to control all backstory and NPCs then someone's going to have to translate them for me, because I'm taking them literally. And taken literally that's what they say. Whereas I just gave an actual play example in which the player controlled a whole heap of backstory including a whole heap of NPCs.
  • 09:10 AM - Sadras mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I've said that I don't see what it adds to the game for the GM to try to direct the players play of his/her PC by dictating what the god/patron wants as something different from what the player would otherwise have that be. It is a fair question - so what could it add? Off the top of my head: 1. Provide some direction for a player whose character appears lost or without purpose (they exist); 2. To explore various roleplaying opportunities - crisis of faith, test of one's loyalty/integrity, betrayal...etc EDIT: Also I take issue with the word 'direct' (see below) - particularly in the second instance. The first is the GM directing the player in the play of their PC. The player directs their character. The DM provides opportunities for roleplaying exploration.

Tuesday, 16th October, 2018

  • 11:28 PM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    To be perfectly honest, it didnít really occur to me that this would be contentious.That surprises me! Although there are a wide variety of approaches expressed on ENworld (I'll point to eg Aldarc, TwoSix, Nagol in this thread), there is a default or dominant approach which is that RPGing = the GM establishes a fiction (which typically will take the form of some sort of "story") and the players' role is to work their way through that fiction. Hence any suggestion that players should exercise some control over establishing the fiction will be contentiouos.
  • 11:24 PM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...ls her deity to sod off. I'm talking about a player who has a view of what loyalty to his/her PC's god demands; and am asking what it adds to the game for the GM to contradict that view. Patrons may be demanding. Enemies of your Patron might hunt you down.Surely the difference between these two things is obvious. The second is some character-relative flavouring of the challenges that it is the job of the GM to put before the PCs (and, thereby, their players),. The first is the GM directing the player in the play of their PC. And Imaro: if my conception of my player is as having a loving family waiting upon the PC's return from the quest, and you as GM decide unilaterally that in fact my father is a serial killer, you've brutally overridden my conception of my character. You, personally, may think that people are in no way defined by their relationships. I, with the vast weight of historical and sociological scholarship as well as common sense on my side, disagree. And Aldarc: you description of cleric play is quite consonant with my own experiences as player and GM. The idea that a PC's values, faith etc won't manifest in play unless the GM is there playing a god or patron as a "sockpuppet" is ludicrous. It's enough to point to the vast quantities of literature and film in which character's faith manifests itself although God never appears in the story. I find The End of the Affair a particularly striking example.
  • 10:06 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...idea of the DL-style game is that at least the players provide a bit of colour and a few minor decision points. But if the GM is also establishing the most important bits of PC colour, telling me what decisions are and are not appropriate for a worshipper of XYZ, etc - well, what's left for the player to do? ut no one's offered a reason why a player playing a cleric or warlock whose god/patron is happy with what s/he does, or playing a motorcycle-riding vampire, would wreck the game.I was under the impression the god/patron was not happy (being played by the DM).But that's exactly my point. If the player's preference that the whole god/patron thing be "backgrounded" was respected then the god/patron would be happy. But for whatever reason the GM is inserting his/her own preference to decide that the god/patron is not happy. For what reason? If the GM thinks the player is just a wrecker - which eg was the implication of billd91's reference upthread to "murder-hoboing" - then as Aldarc has said, that's a social problem that can be resolved by a sensible conversation among participants. It's not an aspect of game play at all. But if the issue is not that the PC is wrecking things - eg if the PC was playing a wizard or a fighter or whatever no one would have any issues - then why is the GM needing to insert his/her conception of what the patron/god wants in favour of the player's conception of the same? How is that improving the experience? Telling me that we're not talking about story-now play doesn't help - even within the follow-the-GM's-trail paradigm, I dont understand what this is supposed to be adding to the play experience. In fact when the PC played a warlock in my game and chose a darker patron, I asked him what he wanted me to explore, how much had he developed the patron and how much input he wanted from me.That seems to imply that you are interested in identifying and respecting the player's preferences about the backstory, colour etc of his PC. Tha...
  • 12:20 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    A deity is not a PC. This makes it either an NPC or a setting element and thus puts it under the control of the DM.Where do the 5e rules say that the GM has sole authorship rights in respect of non-PC setting elements? I've posted text that actually implicates the opposite: players can decide that their PCs are or are not affiliated with temples, can decide what their god wants from them, why their god called them into service, who mentored their fighter, who gave the fighter his/her starting gear, etc. You're making a bunch of assumptions here, the biggest of which is that the DM has somehow changed the parameters of this deity between char-gen and nowThis isn't true at all. To quote from Aldarc's post that you quoted (but appear not to have read closely): they may have done so under the impression (whether through their reading of the setting materials or what the DM told them) that their choice would engender one style of play experience for their character. The player could then be understandably upset when the DM seems to have conned those expectations. Or the player may have designed their cleric PC with their reading of the deity only to be caught off-guard by the DM's radically different reading of the deity or their arrangement. It's blindingly obvious that a GM and player might both read a description of a god as a god of justice and mercy and yet that lead to a different play experience, if adjudicated/imposed by the GM, from what the player had anticipated.

Friday, 12th October, 2018

  • 11:49 AM - Sadras mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    In short, if you can't handle the drawbacks don't try for the benefits. Perhaps, where the PCs are the story drivers, like at Pemerton's table, the players might be encouraged to push those drawbacks to the foreground as part of their drivers otherwise they might not have an interesting game or story to tell and it risks falling flat. At a different table for instance, where the DM is primarily the driver he/she is encouraged to bring those drawbacks to the fore to explore the characters' backgrounds, their allegiances/loyalties, their oaths, their alignment, their patrons...and thereby build the campaign story. So when @Aldarc and @pemerton say that relationship x is off limits, it's because they expect the characters to bring that to the fore, it is not the DM's job to meddle with that, whereas for say for me (and presumably you) we bring it to the fore to create a tighter connection for the pc to the story and the setting. Now when you have a player like in S'mon's instance who did not want background material brought to the fore, then it becomes a little messy. If the DM is doing it for every other PC except for one, then it feels like they're leaving him/her out. Lan-"I think I'm in a minority of one on this, but for some reason I've always despised 'animal companions' for Druids and Rangers - familiars for casters are bad enough"-efan Curiously why?

Thursday, 11th October, 2018

  • 04:46 PM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...happens to my character, not what the GM thinks would be interesting to happen if s/he were playing my character. @pemerton and @Hussar If a player selects to play an elf or a dwarf, does the player also have narrative control over the thoughts and actions of the entire tribe, clan or race?I don't know about the entire race. But the details of the dwarf clan in my 4e game were decided by the player of the dwarf, not by me. The player of the drow worshipper of Corellon invented the Order of the Bat, a drow secret society of Corellon worshippers dedicated to overthrowing Lolth and undoing the sundering of the elves. Another player invented the fallen city of Entekash, sacked by humanoids, from which his player was a refugee. What happens when the player of a warlock/paladin/cleric et al, requests/decides how the relationship works, and then starts playing/acting like an assassin when they are a cleric of Bahamut? (Basically ignoring any contradictions in the relationship)What Aldarc said - if it's a problem, talk about it. So you're policing out of game? Why is it ok to police (judge character actions) out of game and not in game?If everyone enjoys a game with an assassin cleric of Bahamut - maybe it's a low-grade black comedy - then no one has to talk about anything. But if (as seems to be the implication of SkidAce's question) the play of the character is spoiling the game, then that's a social problem, like any other sort of behaviour that spoils a cooperative leisure activity. Why would I try and resolve a social disagreement by making a move in a game? If someone is talking too loud at the chess club, I don't deal with that problem by trying even harder to checkmate him/her!

Thursday, 4th October, 2018

  • 04:26 PM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Let me illustrate with an example: The players are in a dungeon, and they enter a room with (among other things) a pile of rubble in it. There is nothing in the pile of rubble, it is just dungeon decoration. Tom: I search the pile of rubble! (Starts rolling Search check) 20! DM: You find nothing of interest. Tom: -But I rolled a 20! All of this can be avoided if the DM is the one calling for a check, or in this case not-asking for a check. My first thought in response to this was (1) why is the GM calling out stuff that s/he has already decided won't matter ("dungeon decoration") and (2) the player hasn't specified what s/he is looking for. Like Aldarc I enjoy "fiction first" play, but I think that is a bit orthogonal to your example - because in Dungeon World a player who declares I search the rubble is closely studying a person or situation, which automatically triggers the Discern Realities move (DW p 68). And the Dungeon World rules say (p 18) that When a player describes their character doing something that triggers a move, that move happens and its rules apply. If the move requires a roll, its description will tell you what dice to roll and how to read their results. . . . Everyone at the table should listen for when moves apply. If itís ever unclear if a move has been triggered, everyone should work together to clarify whatís happening. Ask questions of everyone involved until everyone sees the situation the same way and then roll the dice, or donít, as the situation requires. So at least as I read the DW rules, there is no reason why a player who declares I search the rubble shouldn't then pick up his/her 2d6 and roll...

Thursday, 6th September, 2018

  • 06:48 PM - Yaarel mentioned Aldarc in post Norse World
    Aldarc, I appreciate your last post attempting to constructively contribute to this thread. I would appreciate keeping discourse at a high register.


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Saturday, 8th December, 2018


Wednesday, 5th December, 2018

  • 05:49 PM - hawkeyefan quoted Aldarc in post Do We Really Need Half-Elves and Half-Orcs?
    The presence of a gnome in Athas "would not make Athas any less of a dangerous environment," but Dark Sun's tone and aesthetic is more than its dangerous environment. It's also its lack of orcs, gnomes, kobolds, and such. Why are these species extinct? Mass genocide by the champions of Rajaat. Would the genocide somehow be less of a genocide if a small pocket of gnomes still existed? No. It still qualifies as genocide. But it does defang some of the Sorcerer-Kings, or at least Nibenay, "Bane of Gnomes." Part of the appeal of Dark Sun to me is that some of these typical D&D races are utterly extinct, especially gnomes. I don't think that a player should presume that they can bring any and everything to the table, especially if the GameMaster or rest of the table agrees to a play within a setting. The player should probably engage in communication with the GM or participate with an openmind in a Session 0 before declaring that they will play a gnome in Dark Sun. I agree wholeheartedly about ...
  • 02:05 PM - delericho quoted Aldarc in post Do We Really Need Half-Elves and Half-Orcs?
    If half-races seem uninteresting to you, it's also worth considering whether or not these half-races can be reskinned or altered as something else for your purposes. Yep. I often enjoy having my halflings as a type of goblinoid... For me it's gnomes who are, essentially, goblins.

Monday, 3rd December, 2018

  • 09:40 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Aldarc in post Nentir Vale Coming to Dungeons and Dragons
    My preferences are for about a further 20% detail;) I like 4e and POL (despite not playing in Nentir vale - we played in POL version of Mystara). But I have two slight issues with POL and Nentir vale as written. One is a question of realism - where do the people in Fallcrest get their food and survive if kobold colonies are 10 miles away? Another is the the stakes in POL - I think the 'lights' have to really shine and be worth the PCs frighting for. I am not sure they do in Nentir vale setting. Would anybody miss Fallcrest if it fell? So yeah I think a good campaign in a POL mind set is great - but I think Mearls takes pushes it away from what I prefer form POL setting. This is a problem that comes up a lot for me in "psuedo-dark ages means life should be super dangerous" games. The actual dark ages weren't nearly as dark as such games want to be, but they don't account for the difference in terms of how people actually life their daily lives. You would. You were born there. You grew up...

Friday, 30th November, 2018

  • 11:42 AM - Raith5 quoted Aldarc in post Nentir Vale Coming to Dungeons and Dragons
    You would. You were born there. You grew up there. You have family and loved ones there. Who else will save your home town on the frontier borders of a dead, back-broken empire if not you? Fair point. I just mean that I would like for Fallcrest to be a touch more noteworthy and distinct - which means fleshing it out a touch more - it just feels too generic to me.
  • 12:53 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Aldarc in post Nentir Vale Coming to Dungeons and Dragons
    ...s fighting for the side of the Astral Sea against the Primordials and Demons. :erm: Yep. As someone who likes the setting, and the show, I have to agree with all of that. I do love his Raven Queen, though. His characterization of her is just wonderful. Most definitely. There was never any doubt how monsters or players could fit into the setting. It oozed with plothooks and insights for the world. Absolutely! The article that introduced playable gnolls, or the one that intoduced playable minotaurs, didn't just give us enough info to make a character, it also told us about the history of the world, and of two terrifying demon lords, and about the nature of free will in this world. See this is what's confusing for me... when you speak to things like Paragon Paths, Epic Destinies and the PHB... Aren't these the same ones for Forgotten Realms? And for Dark Sun? And for Eberron? So is that specifically Nentir Vale lore or generic lore for all campaign settings that used the PHB? Aldarc hit this nail on the head in his reply, so I'll just add that each one had it's own story, and most of the time you could plant that story in any world, because they didn't involve anyone that wasn't necessary. If the story involves the demon prince that most minotaurs serve, it doesn't randomly throw in the Raven Queen, so as long as that demon prince is in your game, you can use that lore. While doing that, they also fleshed out the implied world of 4e, ie Nentir Vale. The point of the implied setting was that you could easily just plug it into any home game that mostly used the lore of the PHB, or could just fill in blanks in your setting with bits of PoLand, but the world itself stood on it's own if you wanted it to, and I think fans surprised and maybe confused the designers by how much we liked it.

Thursday, 29th November, 2018

  • 11:41 PM - SkidAce quoted Aldarc in post Nentir Vale Coming to Dungeons and Dragons
    I think that this speaks to your preference to have things spelled out for you. You want an explicit setting, not that you would be short of those in how most published settings are presented. I liked having Nentir Vale as an implied setting that was GM-empowering. It wasn't flat. It invited you to explore its contours. Mercer may have a Dawn War and the planes, but it falls flat for me. It doesn't have the same mythic flare. I read through the Tal'Dorei Sourcebook and thought nothing but "meh." I read Tal'Dorei and loved it. Great job on Mercer's part. But, I'm not going to use that pantheon for my world. Just doesn't fit.
  • 11:10 PM - Parmandur quoted Aldarc in post Nentir Vale Coming to Dungeons and Dragons
    I think that this speaks to your preference to have things spelled out for you. You want an explicit setting, not that you would be short of those in how most published settings are presented. I liked having Nentir Vale as an implied setting that was GM-empowering. It wasn't flat. It invited you to explore its contours. Mercer may have a Dawn War and the planes, but it falls flat for me. It doesn't have the same mythic flare. I read through the Tal'Dorei Sourcebook and thought nothing but "meh." Well, I do prefer to read things that have character and flavor put into them, yes. Stuff like "in-universe" narration, or stories. If it's something that expects me to build it entirely...why do I need the book if it isn't going to provide some bricks?
  • 11:06 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Aldarc in post Nentir Vale Coming to Dungeons and Dragons
    To a certain extent, I also think this is the pantheon of gods that PC's are likely to interact with (at least indirectly). Is there an orc god(dess) of agriculture? Orcs got to eat too, so there is probably one someplace (maybe an unnamed Exarch of Gruumish), but outside of orcs and aficionados of agricultural deities (or Trivial Pursuit), most people couldn't tell you his/her name. Even learned wizards would probably have to look it up. Now if there was suddenly an influx of EVIL agriculture, that could change..... Exactly. For every god in PoLand, there are a hundred exarchs and contradictory interpretations. Nah. Tal'Dorei bores the Mumm-Ra Everliving Crap out of me. Nentir Vale felt more like a toolkit for GMs, which is why I wanted it published. Look, Parmandur, nothing is stopping you from ignoring the 4e Nentir Vale and Mike Mearls's Nentir Vale for Tal'Dorei and its oh so highly complex pantheon of the 4e PHB + 1 Extra Sun God from Golarion and never look back. But I prefer N...
  • 10:53 PM - Parmandur quoted Aldarc in post Nentir Vale Coming to Dungeons and Dragons
    Good for you. I prefer Nentir Vale as it was, so I guess "bust" for you then. You claim to like Mearls's taste while also professing to prefer a mythological take? That's some Lolz. Once you get past your 4ate, you could see that Nentir Vale had some flavor, some hooks, and actual myth. No 4ate here, maybe some 4Endifference: I actually like the outline, but it never really got fleshed out and was a bit flat as presented. Mearls take is, indeed, pretty fun. Mercer's is better, but he took the time to flesh it out for publication.
  • 10:22 PM - Parmandur quoted Aldarc in post Nentir Vale Coming to Dungeons and Dragons
    Nah. Tal'Dorei bores the Mumm-Ra Everliving Crap out of me. Nentir Vale felt more like a toolkit for GMs, which is why I wanted it published. Look, Parmandur, nothing is stopping you from ignoring the 4e Nentir Vale and Mike Mearls's Nentir Vale for Tal'Dorei and its oh so highly complex pantheon of the 4e PHB + 1 Extra Sun God from Golarion and never look back. But I prefer Nentir Vale. Good for you. The DMG has it as an example of how to construct a pantheon, as well. For my money, if they bother bringing the NV back in any way, Mercer or bust. Mearls having a show makes it more likely, and I like his take as well. But time will tell. A flat, featureless "DM's Kit" isn't so useful, because I already have mythology books that are better for that as is. Give me some flavor, some hooks, some actual myth.
  • 09:58 PM - Parmandur quoted Aldarc in post Nentir Vale Coming to Dungeons and Dragons
    Not a fan of Tal'Dorei. Nentir Vale feels like a Sandbox world. Tal'Dorei feels like I'm playing in someone else's homebrew. The NV as presented was a little flat. Tal'Dorei gives it life.
  • 09:53 PM - Parmandur quoted Aldarc in post Nentir Vale Coming to Dungeons and Dragons
    Nah. You could put any of the Nentir Vale stuff in Tal'Dorei, without changing a thing. While I think it would be cool to see some expanded Nentir Vale stuff, Tal'Dorei is probably as close as it will come.
  • 09:34 PM - Parmandur quoted Aldarc in post Nentir Vale Coming to Dungeons and Dragons
    Greyhawk's mess of a mythology fits better from a sociological or history of religions perspective - likely yours as a "mythology buff" - but not necessarily from a literary perspective where this Chaoskampf mythology represents an objective reality. The Dawn War is a real thing in this world. That would kill, reorganize, and compress a lot of pantheons. However - and I say this as someone focusing my current career on mythological perspectives - the NV and its Dawn War feels far more mythological than Greyhawk. That's the thing though. If I wanted that sort of mythological realism, I would play RuneQuest rather than Greyhawk (or any other D&D setting). Tal'Dorei got a sourcebook. Nentir Vale and the Dawn War is still waiting for one. Nothing has been officially consolidated and published yet. Tal'Dorei has the Dawn War, and all of the gods thereof, presented in a very attractive package.
  • 07:10 PM - Parmandur quoted Aldarc in post Nentir Vale Coming to Dungeons and Dragons
    I would also argue that this made the Nentir Vale excellent for newcomers to D&D. The Greyhawk pantheon, for example, can be Byzantine for someone new to the setting. There is a reason why the 3e PHB presented a more concise list instead of redundant sun gods. It seemed fairly clear that 4e sought to follow the 3e PHB in this vein of approach. That criticism is definitely valid. IME Greyhawk's multi-ethnic pantheons were part of its desire to develop a sense of pseudo-realistic history, such as its waves of human migrations into the Flanaess. (I also think that Gygax enjoyed a bit of whimsical incoherence.) I don't think, however, that NV necessarily desires to evoke that sort of pseudo-realism by creating multiple cultural pantheons. Instead, Nentir Vale seemed to prefer taking a more intersectional approach that drew on the Chaoskampf motif from multiple cultural pantheons to create a singular mythic pantheon for its setting. The setting placed greater emphasis on the mythic over the hi...
  • 06:14 PM - Parmandur quoted Aldarc in post 4.33 Years in: What Now for 5E? (and have we reached "Peak Edition?")
    I personally find this difficult to believe. The idea that there will not be any major changes to D&D in the future just because it is presently riding high in popularity seems somewhat short-sighted. It's inevitable. Popularity and tastes of the game will change. Many of the edition changes in D&D often represent these changes of tastes and game design philosophies. Personally, I know from my own track record in this hobby that I would and will lose prolonged interest in D&D without those rule upheavals. It undeniably kept my interest fresh and renewed my sense of experiencing the game anew. It's why I jumped from 3 to 3.5e. It's why I jumped from 3.5e to both Pathfinder and 4e. It's why I jumped from PF/4e to 5e. I don't think that I would likely come back if it's just "LotR D&D." I will need more than lipstick on a pig. In contrast, I can pick up Catan. I don't need an update. I can play it for a quick game one day. Put it back on my shelf. And then I will return to it later when enoug...

Wednesday, 28th November, 2018


Sunday, 25th November, 2018

  • 06:42 PM - Garthanos quoted Aldarc in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    I would look into the magic of Dresden Files Accelerated as well. Some of the powerful Rune magic, for example, may require rituals or other powerful effects can only be used so many times before requiring a Terms and Conditions service performed for the appropriate patron/deity. That seems like it would be fairly easy to hack for RuneQuest. Oh it is entirely possible other elements could be leveraged, RQ seemed like a solid base platform lacking grand sense of heroic scale which was promised by D&D (and sometimes/eventually delivered) and Fate has the potential to Model that without getting too gritty or complex about But RQ also lacked them battlefield roles which I have come to love - And I think introducing fighting styles based around that with the sense of richness I get in 4e D&D might be a much larger task. Aspects might do some of that in broad terms but.. And then there is the heroic turn around fight pacing model. ;)

Wednesday, 21st November, 2018

  • 05:14 AM - Garthanos quoted Aldarc in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Part 2 I do not mind at-will cantrips, but I think it's a matter of what and how. Cantrips seem appropriate for tying to an ability/skill check system. But you can also scale them back or toss out things like attack cantrips. Aside from wizards attack rating fading to nothing Darts were insane ... one could reflavor them as Runes that screamed off of your stave during battle and were recovered afterwards by touching injuries or by performing a ritual which coincidentally cost as much as the darts. I suppose a sympathetic dm might provide a rune staff which gave one significant bonuses on your dart use I mean rune casting.

Sunday, 18th November, 2018

  • 01:07 PM - Lanefan quoted Aldarc in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Minionization does not strike me as odd or inconsistent with notions of in-game naturalism. It's not as if humans have the same stats in this world. Some humans take more or less hits to go down in this same universe. Yes. But any one given human usually takes about the same amount of punishment before going down, and usually reacts to pain in a consistent way, and usually has roughly the same "stats" (str-int-wis-etc.) from one day to the next. None of these things change based solely on whether that person is confronted by an angry kitten or by an angry tiger. The same applies to all creatures...and by logical extension should thus apply to all creatures in the fantasy world as well. Not all NPCs are heroes. Not all NPCs have classes. Game Master adjust the stats of creatures all the time consistently in inconsistent ways. Minions are simply one method for GMs to adjust the stats of monsters to reflect different monster strengths.GMs adjust things, sure. But once those adjustments a...


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