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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 03:59 AM
    My guess is that they'll stay in the future. That way they can do new stuff, not have to worry about gaggles of complaining "fans" who want to do nothing but pick holes in things, and can actually move forward. New stuff to explore and all that. Destroying Leland did not destroy Control Derren. Control was destroyed by Star Fleet HQ at the end of the show. All they destroyed was a local...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 03:49 AM
    That was one of the best space battle scenes period. Any show. THAT'S how you do space opera battles. Excellent episode, fills up pretty much all the plot holes that people complained about, and, if that line about the next series being in the 33rd century is true, then folks will have to find all sorts of totally new things to whine about. :D Total win.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 12:05 AM
    No, I got the context. And, I'm going to stand pat. "I persuade the king, Persuasion 17" is a perfectly fine thing to say at my table. I have ZERO problem with it. In the context of the situation, it's going to be obvious what the player wants to accomplish - he wants the king to do something and that's going to come out in play. But, again, since I don't care about the approach and since...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:59 PM
    LOL. So, disagreeing is now denigrating? Perhaps you might have an easier time having a discussion without trying to characterize the other side as being completely unreasonable? Just a thought. See, to me, that's great. And, sure, I can see why that particular example works. But, that's the thing with examples, they tend to dovetail nicely into whatever point you're trying to make. ...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:18 PM
    Insufficient for you, perhaps. I have no such problem. Nor does it cause issues at my table.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:15 PM
    5ekyu answered this quite well but, I thought I'd repeat. The approach matters. The approach is defined by the player. The player can define an approach regardless of what the character he or she is playing. Thus, we are challenging the player. I am not interested in that. Perhaps a better way for me to phrase it is that everything the player does must be shaped by the character...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:34 AM
    I think that I would argue that the 3e playtesting was, by today's standards anyway, very, very minimal. Yes, they had a lot of eyes looking at it, but, nothing like what went through and is going through Pathfinder or 5e. There's a reason that, 5 years in, no one is seriously talking about broken stuff in 5e. No CoDzilla, no quadratic wizards, no massive power difference between classes. ...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:00 AM
    Some recent threads have discussed aspects of GM and player narration in RPGing. Which hase prompted me to start this thread. My answer to the question in the thread title is a firm No. RPGing requires narration: GMs describe situations, and players declare actions for their PCs that respond to those situations. But I don't think the literary quality of that narration is important. What...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:24 AM
    I'm going to disagree with you Pemerton. Having spent a lot of time reading stories to children, I can do the voice thing and tell a pretty good story as a performance. OTOH, my writing is largely garbage. I know my limitations. I really am not terribly good at it. That's what paying a decent writer is for. And, frankly, having played with more than a few DM's who have decent experience in...
    99 replies | 2581 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:18 AM
    Heh. Ok, fair enough. I over reacted. But, you have to understand what this looks like from my side of the screen. "We play this way..." "Well, I play this way because that's what the rules of the game says" "Yes, we get that but, we don't like that way, so we don't play that way." "Well, that's what the rules say and I am following the rules of the game. "But, we don't...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:07 AM
    I can only speak for myself. I use adventures because they have situations that I wouldn't have thought of myself. For instance, I wouldn't have though of The Crimson Bull scenario, which <spoiler alert> involves a bull that has turned crimson because an evil spirit has been trapped in it, and which has a cord made of hair tied around it which must remain in the grip of a righteous person at all...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:29 AM
    Sure. I thought I gave some examples of my own along these lines. But in the approach I take (which, if I was running 5e, I would bring to bear - because in this particular respect I don't see 5e as that different from 4e), these would still require a check. But the DC required to persuade a Troll King to allow a fight between fighter and champion might well be lower than the DC to persuade a...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:20 AM
    In case folks here think that I'm being unfair to iserith, I'd point out that in a handful of posts in the last two pages, he has pointed to the rule books no less than SIX times:
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:13 AM
    And my motto remains: Play the character you brought to the table, not yourself. I have zero interest in challenging the player. Nor, as a player am I interested in the DM challenging me rather than my character.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:12 AM
    This, so much this. And, right back to pointing to the PHB and the rules... I even SAID, straight up in the quote you quoted, that I'm not looking at the rules here. Good grief, can you not make a single response without appeals to authority? You complain about being attacked and having to defend yourself. Well, perhaps if you'd stop wrapping yourself up in the rule books EVERY SINGLE...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:07 AM
    No, actually, that's not quite true. You can see, over the publishing life of 3e and then 3.5, a constant upward power creep in modules. To the point where early 3e modules, like Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, are significantly less powered than later modules, like Savage Tides or other Paizo Dungeon modules. For example, a later development that you see is the addition of NPC...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:58 AM
    MNblockhead - That's a very good point. DM's Guild is absolutely chock a block with more material, and material from well respected content produces also, than anyone could ever possibly use. I get the idea that people want to revisit older TSR or WotC settings, sure, and that's fair, but, the notion that there isn't enough material out there really is indefensible. There's a TON of 5e...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:49 AM
    This is where I disagree. My reasoning is similar to AbdulAlhazred's - that there is more in the heaven and earth of the gameworld than is dreamed of in any GM's philosophy. GM decision-making isn't "informed decision-making", it's just one person's preferences for the fiction trumping another's. Which is exactly what makes it not like real life!
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:24 AM
    What are you talking about? The first twenty comments, seven of them call for Mearls to be investigated/fired. That's hardly few and far between. That's a third of the comments. Never minding the repeating of unsubstantiated claims as fact. Granted, I didn't spend an hour scrolling, I only went to about 30 or 40 tweets, but, I mean, come on. I'm not defending Mearls here, I'm not. He...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:17 AM
    Very different though. Nick Robinson worked for Polygon for 9 years. The company coming out and making a statement kinda makes sense in that context. Expecting the same reaction from and employee of WotC who cannot make statements for the company without passing it through a bunch of channels first about a freelancer who did some minor work for the company five years ago is a bit different. ...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:11 AM
    Just a thought though about how you can have kinda both setting guides and adventures - Dragon Heist is exactly that. DH is a massive setting guide for Waterdeep. Some 180 NPC's, history, and extremely detailed stuff about running an entire campaign within the walls of Waterdeep itself. It's pretty much the Paizo approach to adventure paths - half setting guide, half adventure. To me,...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:03 AM
    Out of this entire thread, I think this, right here, this specific approach, which isn't uncommon at all, is probably the biggest impediment to understanding, iserith's and company's style of play. To me, and, again, I'm not criticizing here, despite prior, ahem, perhaps less that tactful responses, to me, this illustrates why some of us really don't "get" iserith's approach. To me (I'm...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 11:51 PM
    Yeah, you don't do that. Not when you want job security. Piddling on the legal department at a major corporation is not conducive to long term job security. You keep your mouth shut and your head down. Because, even a statement like that, means that there is an opening for engagement. That he actually has "more to say" but, The Man isn't letting him. It's a total cop out, for one, since the...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 09:50 PM
    As far as WotC modules dripping with gold and magic, again, I'm not really convinced. I've only run Dragon Heist, but, I've played a good chunk of Princes, Ravenloft and all of the Giants module (and I mean all, we took on every single giant lair.) Hardly seemed like a lot of magic or money to be honest. We did wind up with magic items, sure, but, that's because we used the Xanathar's buying...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 11:08 AM
    As best I'm aware Manbearcat and I exercise no influence over the hobby-gaming publishing industry other than as participants in the consumer side of the market. Whose fun do you think we're ruining? Are you saying we're morally obliged to pay for or advocate for boxed text modules so that others can derive their perceived beneift from them? The OP asked for views and preferences. I gave...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 11:04 AM
    There are many ways to replicate the first-person uncertainty you describe. One is to make a Streetwise check, or Circles check, or . . . check (depending on system and precise context); another is to wait to find out what the GM has decided. The second of these doesn't make the game more like real life.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 10:50 AM
    I wanted to give my take on this example. So most of the time talking to the Troll King looks like something is going to be at stake: if that's not the case then we (that is, GM and players) can free-narration through it until we get to something that does involve stakes. Assuming, then, that there is something at stake in the conversation with the Troll King, like 5ekyu I call for a check....
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 09:17 AM
    Honestly, I believe that may be a good way forward. Sure, there's Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds, but, now that there are other VTT's coming on the market, you'd think that these other guys could license out as well. What was that new one? Astral? Looks gorgeous. And more VTT's on the market is better, IMO. I'm rather hoping that other platforms will start coming online too - Xbox or...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 07:14 AM
    I have to admit that I like boxed text. Heck, I really donít mind the presumptions usually because often they are either on target - the party did the expected thing - or they are probably more interesting than what Iíd come up with on the fly. Improv is not something I do well. So having that box there is usually a good thing for me. Then again, if I wanted to do rpg improv, DnD is...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 05:18 AM
    But hereís the question. Utility relative to what? Other magic items? In a vacuum that doesnít work. You cannot ignore campaign when defining utility. Monsters may vary in difficulty depending on the group but we know that. We KNOW that cr is based on a 4-6 pc group using standard array stats and no magic items. So we can adjust from there. And really the cr system is only for dms anyway to...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 11:51 PM
    I was thinking of a context in which the interaction with the troll king (or whomever) is a high-stakes situation. (A skill challenge in 4e terms.)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 03:19 PM
    No, that was the fact. Pathfinder NEVER sold itself as a "fix" to 3.X. It was sold as a way for people who liked the D&D 3.X to play it with continued support.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 01:13 PM
    No, it was sold to allow gamers who liked 3.X to keep playing 3.X while D&D switched to 4E. Basically, its appeal was "keep mostly doing what you were previously doing." Even if I prefer 5E to PF1, even I can clearly recognize that this is an opinion masquerading as a fact. I only wish that you could recognize that what you see as problems or solutions are not some sort of universally held...
    69 replies | 1982 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 11:14 AM
    Well, sure. But I was replying to a poster who said that the foot in mouth consequence would discourage the player of the fighter from declaring social actions. If a GM believes that to be the case, the solution is right there, ready-to-hand: frame the stakes differently!
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 11:13 AM
    Whoosh. The sound of a point being missed. Meh. My point is and always has been, why add a confusing element to a product when there is no reason to. That you can turn the book is really beside the point. And, just to add, what ranting or hyperbole? What, that the overwhelming majority of maps, and certainly nearly all RPG maps are drawn north to the top? How is that hyperbole? ...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 11:07 AM
    An unhelpful non-canonical answer - but in The Dying Earth RPG I'm pretty sure IOUN stones require attunement, which is presumably based on what Vance wrote in his stories. So surely that counts in favour of the SRD as opposed to the DMG!
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 10:58 AM
    The point I was trying to make before, but, apparently wasn't clear, is that "utility" is a very, very nebulous concept. What is useful in one campaign can be pretty much useless in the next. And, if you baseline a specific concept of utility, you wind up shoehorning the game into that concept because the pricing will always be based on a specific premise. Unless you want to have ranges for...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 10:17 AM
    Action declarations sometimes have checks follow them. The action declaration, like the check itself, is an event in the real world. On the other hand, the action is an imagined event that (we pretend) occurs in the fictional world of the game. I think that keeping these things distinct aids clarity, especially when trying to compare different approaches to action resolution. For most...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 09:29 AM
    Well, Google gives me "waghalter in British. (ˈwśɡˌhɔːltə) obsolete. a person likely to be hanged." In the current context it's an Assassin level title from AD&D. (I can't remember which level - I want to say 2nd or 3rd.) Why would I want to fight this? Burning Wheel is one of my favourite RPGs, and The Adventure Burner was the book that, more than any other, helped me run a very successful 4e...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 09:21 AM
    Manbearcat, such a good example! Well, I'll answer for my part (given that I'm advocating dot points over boxed text): I pay adventure designers to think of situations (characters, motivations, places pregnant with phantastical possibility, etc) that I can't think of myself. A good recent example: Jerry D Grayson's contribution to the Prince Valiant Episode Book, The Crimson Bull. No boxed...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 04:33 AM
    And sure. If the dm wants to go ahead and create all that description, what is actually saved by losing the boxed text? Someone is making the narration. Might as well be someone with time and an editor.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 04:30 AM
    Yeah I have to agree with Maxperson here. Utility is extremely campaign dependent. I mean I just played the Storm Kings Thunder modules. At the tail end, my cleric got a mace of disruption. Frankly I didnít care. We had met zero undead in 11 levels. Why would I attune to this? OTOH, in our Ravenloft campaign, I would have given rather a lot for that item. Now, what is the ďutilityĒ...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 01:38 AM
    That's not my experience. Someone recently posted an anecdote on these boards,of GMing two children: the older says to the younger "You scout ahead" and then, when the younger acquiesces, asks "So what do you see?" The younger replies by making up an account of what his/her PC sees - s/he didn't wait for the GM to say it! XP was awarded for this post. It's quite a while since I've...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 01:20 AM
    Even here, for some of the reasons being give by other posters, there can be railroading or something like it (eg assumptions about how doors are opened, who moves where, etc). This is why I think that letting the GM know about the environment is very important; but the idea should be to support/facilitate/scaffold context-appropriate narration, rather than impose/presuppose a context. This...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 11:53 PM
    So you folks read books printed on a Gutenberg press huh? The last three or four hundred years of map making apparently isnít good enough to set the standard. Did it used to be different? Sure. No argument. But, again, Iíll be waiting for your Rpg book examples. Still. I mean if itís so easy to find examples then show me. Iíll gladly eat crow. Heck the one link to maps so far was 100%...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 05:41 PM
    My experience - both personally as a GM, and of other GMs - is that the hardest bit for most GMs (new or otherwise) isn't narration/describing stuff, but rather is managing the fiction via some other method than just railroading their plot over the top of player action declarations. The only authored adventures I can think of at the moment that try and respond to this, by providing support for...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 04:17 PM
    The Rules Compendium is pretty good as a mechanical restatement, but as far as principles are concerned has several retrogade elements. Besides the one you mention, compare it's account of the GM function compared to the PHB: there's a significant lurch back towards advocacy of railroading.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 04:07 PM
    I own and have read a copy of Fate Core. But it's not at the front of the queue! It's sitting behind HeroQuest revised and DungeonWorld, and also DitV - but I'd like to adapt the latter to something more fantastical than western.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 03:44 PM
    I'm honestly surprised that you haven't by this point. I think that there is a lot about the system and gameplay that you would like considering some of your game preferences.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 01:38 PM
    A Kickstarter just ended a few weeks ago (maybe) about a Savage Worlds setting inspired by Mario Brothers, Zelda, and other Nintendo games: Heroes of Terra: The Mushroom War for Savage Worlds. Obviously this is not 3.X, but it may provide some inspiration nevertheless.
    17 replies | 792 view(s)
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 01:19 PM
    Except it didn't presume that; it only presumed compatibility with 3.X while offering a facelift. It made some adjustments - adding more layers as time went on - but it was not created to "fix" anything. It existed to maintain the 3.X framework that Paizo could use for their own publishing purposes. Combat is the most heavily emphasized pillar of the game. Our understanding of the rogue has...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 12:32 PM
    Here is a good thread by isoue, from several years ago now, reading and celebrating Moldvay Basic.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 12:29 PM
    It also says that players need to state an approach and goal. 4e DMG pp 74-75: Sometimes, a player tells you, "I want to make a Diplomacy check to convince the duke that helping us is in his best interest." Thatís great - the player has told you what sheís doing and what skill sheís using to do it. Other times, a player will say, "I want to make a Diplomacy check." In such a case, prompt the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 12:21 PM
    To be honest this doesn't make sense to me, because the two things aren't related. The idea of a cost for failure is about what is at stake in an action declaration. If something is at stake then there is, almost inherently I think, a cost for failure - because if you fail you lose out on what was at stake. (And if nothing is at stake, then what would a check be for?) But the idea of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 12:04 PM
    Or, conversely, if there's a particular way that one likes to play then choose games that work that way. But D&D gets put under a lot of pressure in this respect because of it's extremely wide uptake by RPGers with very diverse preferences.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 12:02 PM
    A question prompted by this: Suppose a player is playing Battle Master fighter. The rules establish this character as a tactical expert; but suppose the player - either deliberately, or because s/he can't do any better - plays the PC as tactically incompetent. Does this create an issue for you? And vice versa: what if the PC is (say) a bard with modest INT and nothing in his/her backstory...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 09:31 AM
    Look, CapnZapp, I get what you are looking for, but, frankly, it's just not feasible in the 5e ruleset. It really isn't. 3e and 4e both took their mechanics from how earlier editions of the game were being played. If you played AD&D, you were absolutely dripping in magic items. Either from playing AD&D modules, or using the random treasure charts, AD&D presumed a huge number of magic items...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 08:08 AM
    I am gobsmacked. This is just astonishing. It's been almost 5 years now and 5e is STILL in the top 100 of all books on Amazon.com :wow: PHB is #68. What really blows me away is books like SCAG are still in the top 1000. Holy crap that little book made a lot of money for WotC. Even the worst selling stuff, like the oldest of the modules, are still around 10000 (ish). That's just...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 07:33 AM
    Luke Crane? The Google+ link to his actual play report seems to have died, but he is as critical of AD&D and Expert as he is praising of Moldvay Basic.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 03:25 AM
    Now, this, this I can largely agree with. But, again, we have to not forget run time. A single season of TOS was three seasons of Discovery. Even later Star Treks usually had about 20-25 hours per season. When you're running such shorter seasons, you simply don't have the time to develop characters like Nog or Garek or Morn. But, to me, that's a pretty reasonable criticism.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 12:28 AM
    I was once a beginning GM. The adventures I ran (most of which I also wrote) didn't have boxed text. It may be essential from a market point of view. I don't think it's key to training. More GMs were trained by Moldvay Basic than just about any other edition, and that was not a boxed text edition: neither B2 nor X1 has boxed text. Clear descriptions are an important part of what a module...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 11:55 PM
    Can you say a bit more about how you would narrate this outcome? What I've got in mind is the following: would you narration distinguish between an absence of clues because the NPC is inscrutable and an absence of clues because the NPC is not lying?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 11:46 PM
    I think AD&D startd with the Monster Manual.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 06:16 PM
    Most interesting? Dunno about that, but, there's no doubt that the series definitely places him at the center of the story lines. As it does with Janeway as well. Is there any real doubt here that either character is the main protagonist on the show? Here are two characters that get the most screen time overall, and whose decisions and actions drive the plot for pretty much every episode. ...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 01:48 PM
    I think dot points does two things: (1) Separates establishing the fictional content from narrating that content; (2) Separates establishing the fictional content from determining what the players, and/or the PCs, know about that content. Boxed text tends to make especially strong assumptions about (2). That's why I don't like it. It encourages presuppositions abouit what it is in the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 11:42 AM
    Not a fan. I want clear descriptions (dot points are good), but the actual narration is something that I prefer to arise organically out of play. EDIT:The availability of information to the players, via their PCs or otherwise, is the sort of thing that I prefer to arise organically out of play.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 11:12 AM
    Stumbled across this headline: https://comicbook.com/gaming/amp/2019/04/14/dungeons-and-dragons-boxed-text-adventures/ Fierce Debate Breaks Out Over 'Dungeons & Dragons' Boxed Text in Adventures So where do you come down?
    99 replies | 2581 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 10:21 AM
    I want to add: Moldvay Basic is also a really clearly presented set of D&D rules. It's better in this respect than the original books, than either edition of AD&D, than 3E or 4e. It sets out clear procedures for character building, for the processes of play (adventure turns, encounters, combat resolution), for GMing, for scenario design. This made it very playable. Which helps explain the degree...
    32 replies | 1454 view(s)
    8 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 10:15 AM
    Here we can see the outlines of different approaches to RPGing. I want to draw out one contrast: between (1) consequences for failure as a prior, necessary condition to call for a check (Charlaquin's approach) and (2) consequences for failure as a subsequent condition mandated by a prior decision to call for a check (my preferred approach, perhaps sometimes Ovinomancer's approach). In...
    1128 replies | 30801 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 10:11 AM
    Simplest answer - most bought. They sold the hell out of those red and blue boxes for Basic and Expert rules. To the tune of millions. No other single D&D product has come anywhere near that kind of penetration. B2 is the best selling module because it was bundled with the Basic set. This was the height of the fad days and everyone and their mother got one of these boxes. Now, I think...
    32 replies | 1454 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 10:06 AM
    I'm still utterly baffled by this whole "Mary Sue" criticism. I really am. What has she done that merits this? Is she a better fighter than anyone? Well, no, she routinely gets her ass handed to her. Is she a better pilot? Well, no, Lorca and Pike as well as others are better pilots. Smarter? Nope. Solves every problem when no one else can? Nope. Better engineer maybe? Nope, there are...
    272 replies | 9651 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 05:06 AM
    Well, to repeat what I said upthread, I think the most natural way to handle this is to (i) have the GM call for a check at a given DC on the basis of difficulty, or stakes, or prima facie uncertainty, or whatever else is the trigger for a check in that particular game; then (ii) apply the character ability to resolve that check, which may result in no d20 being rolled because success is...
    1128 replies | 30801 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 02:07 AM
    If that's not your intent, then why repeat it pretty much every post?
    193 replies | 5305 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 01:39 AM
    OK, but then "I listen at the door" is pretty concrete. "I ride my horse across the plain, hastening to Hardby" is pretty concrete. But at least some posters are suggesting that those sorts of action declarations lack sufficient precision. I'm not wanting to put everyone in the same box - I already think I posted upthread that I get a different impression from your posts than (say)...
    1128 replies | 30801 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 01:29 AM
    I wanted to second Satyrn's remark that it is possible to "telegraph" traps, to establish fiction that trap-interested players can pick up on, without introducing contradictions. What those might actually look like - bloodstains, mismatched tiles, holes in the wall, etc (I'm just parroting Ovinomancer here) - would depend on mood, context, past narration, etc. I'm also not sure how many of...
    1128 replies | 30801 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 12:53 AM
    I can see that that would make a practical difference to play culture, but is not a distinctive feature of the mechanics. And it seems that that is still a part of the 5e play culture (at least at Hussar, etc's tables) and so affects how 5e plays there. A possible system difference for 3E would be the list of skill DCs associated with various tasks/obstacles. Do 5e modules or the 5e DMG...
    193 replies | 5305 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th April, 2019, 01:13 PM
    Re playing 5e, my play time is finite and there are some features of 5e that make it quite unattractive to me as a set of RPG rules. But as far as the topic of this thread is concerned - roughly, the adjudication of ability checks - is concerned, I don't see what you do in 5e that makes it particularly distinctive from (say) 3E. (I can see the differences from 4e: fewer ways to mitigate the...
    193 replies | 5305 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th April, 2019, 04:05 AM
    This is just a brief interruption to note that this thread is now #2 on hottest threads, behind Q&A with Gary Gygax. Well done all, and carry on!
    2250 replies | 66627 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th April, 2019, 03:57 AM
    I think these things are closely related: what for some RPGers is "playing the game" or "framing the scene with sufficient specificity" is, for others, an excessive focus on detail, and an excessive insistence by the GM on precision of description (which is described, pejoratively, as "pixel bitching" or "Mother may I?"). The Basic PDF (p 61) offers the following on searching rooms, desks and...
    193 replies | 5305 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th April, 2019, 02:59 AM
    I personally think this issue of vagueness vs adequate precision is a matter of taste - not arbitrary taste, but still a wide range of table variation based on local expectations, context, experience with adventure design and adjudication, etc. Which to some extent relates to Hussar's "pixel bitching" complaint: one table's sufficiently precise action declaration is another's overly detailed...
    1128 replies | 30801 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th April, 2019, 02:49 AM
    A bit of a tangent - but what do you mean by I, the GM, would not have allowed that roll by a player to fail?
    1128 replies | 30801 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th April, 2019, 12:46 AM
    Or, conversely, it may, depending on the group, produce more optimal results. It's almost like differing play styles and priorities at the table are more important than advice written in RPG books. But, hey, what do I know. I'm not trying to repeatedly prove my way is the better way. I just know that the way I play is the best way for my table.
    193 replies | 5305 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th April, 2019, 02:24 PM
    Thatís my point. There is nothing in the original module about the layout of the town. It is literally left to the dm to design the town. As in the module TELLS you to make your own map. So yup has to fit in an A4 page. Great. It certainly does that. Itís perfectly scaled for that. Still no reason to put north in the wrong place.
    207 replies | 8959 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th April, 2019, 12:48 PM
    Well, the designers did say - repeatedly - that 5e would enable people to enjoy their D&D experience. That is, part of the pitch was that it was in many ways not a new game. So if people have a certain way they were used to doing things in, say, 3E, then it's not unreasonable to expect 5e to support that also.
    1128 replies | 30801 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th April, 2019, 09:06 AM
    There just might be a reason you keep getting the same argument over and over iserith. From lots of different people with various playstyles. Never minding things like, well, that big old poll right there that says that the overwhelming majority of people don't agree with you. Just a thought.
    193 replies | 5305 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th April, 2019, 05:38 AM
    I'm not saying it's impossible as an event at a gaming table! But I find it easy to imagine that in a lot of contexts, as a GM, that would not give me enough information to adjudicate it. I'd have to ask the player to elaborate.
    1128 replies | 30801 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th April, 2019, 05:26 AM
    As I said upthread, I think that the rules in the Basic PDF are amibguous as between the two options, of learning clues or understanding feelings and true intentions. But personally I find your threshold for violating player agency a bit hard to work out. I assume that you allow the GM to say things lilke "Cresting the hill, you see a large castle with 4 round towers" or "In front of you is an...
    193 replies | 5305 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th April, 2019, 05:19 AM
    I've bolded two phrases in Chaosmancer's post where the imagined actin declaration includes an approach by the PC (listening, and using his/her sense). The one which refers to a desire to notice an ambush beyond the door doesn't mention an approach, but I would say at many tables an approach is implicit there: assuming the PC isn't clarivoyant or telepathic, then the noticing will be dependent on...
    1128 replies | 30801 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th April, 2019, 03:40 AM
    LOL. That was a LOT of shuttles. Someone has been reading their Star Fleet Battles I think before writing this episode. Really draws straight from how the old game played out a lot of times. At least, that's how we played it. As far as using the Command Codes go, well, that was something of a massive plot hole that they added into the show. I mean, there were numerous TOS episodes where,...
    272 replies | 9651 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th April, 2019, 03:25 AM
    I loved that they put Pike back in his gold uniform too. Those old uniforms do look great on the screen. Really pop in the dark backgrounds. If I did have a complaint about Disco is that everything is so darn dark all the time. It's kinda nice to see some bright colors once in a while.
    40 replies | 888 view(s)
    0 XP
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Tuesday, 2nd April, 2019

  • 10:06 PM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post Keep On The Borderline
    so many people today complain about player agency and railroading and how terrible the old school days were, and yet, when they look at modules such as B2, they are concerned about the lack of hooks within the module itself. But are they the same people? I personally think the Caves - as mapped and stocked - are not terribly interesting for "story now" play (to use the term Aldarc has been using in this thread). The idea of the Caves, on the other hand, is part of what underpins the Keep, and I think the Keep can be fun for Story Now play because it does have an internal logic: various NPCs (evil priest, castellan, etc) trying to do their thing within the context of a bastion against the Chaos. I've used the module twice - once about 30 years ago, once a few years agao as per the post linked upthread - and both times it's the Keep that has been the site of action. And both times I've used bits and pieces of the Caves - moslty the evil temple - but not always keeping the B2 geography and often not even keeping the B2 contents (which is the opposite of what Monayuris has talked about) but keeping some ot the theme of the Caves. To provide a point of contrast, X2 Castle Amber is another old module that I've used twice in the past 20 years, but it doesn't lend itself to the same treatment as the Keep. Or at least, if it is I haven't worked out how to do it! B...

Monday, 1st April, 2019

  • 05:23 PM - Celebrim mentioned Aldarc in post Keep On The Borderline
    The problem with the statement that "Keep on the Borderlands" is a great module because you can make it your own is that the same can be said of absolutely every adventure. There isn't an adventure out there that can't be filled out, clarified, rearranged or rewritten into a great adventure. Claiming that an adventure is great because you can make it your own is equivalent to claiming that a game's rules have no problems because you can always house rule them. I have no problem with the idea that you ought to make a module your own. If you read through my posts on the boards you'll find that I consistently advise new DMs that no module really should be run out of the box without prep. What I have a problem with is the idea that something is good because it needs more prep and DM input than usual, and especially when that module is included in a box set for a "basic game". Aldarc: I put it to you that something is suited well for Sandbox and "Story Now" play, if and only if it is internally coherent. B2: Keep on the Borderlands is not internally coherent out of the box. It is in fact one of the least internally coherent modules ever published. Can it be made internally coherent? Sure, but only with great effort and imagination. By internally coherent, I mean that a player is rewarded for imagining the environment and making assumptions based on the environment, because there is an underlying reality being simulated. But B2 in fact does not describe a setting with an underlying reality. It describes a setting which is largely incomprehensible and which requires major acts of subcreation to turn into anything which actually made sense, like explaining what motives the tribes have for living in close proximity despite hating each other, or explaining what economic activity allows the situation described to continue (how do the tribes eat, get drink, ...

Friday, 29th March, 2019

  • 01:39 PM - Maxperson mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...n Author stance play, yet I mostly use "I" statements and talk in funny voices. I'm making decisions from my player point of view and then coming up with PC motivations. Any time I decide not to murder that elf after being caught in another fireball because that elf is a PC, I'm in Author stance even if I play my character as grumbling about that damn elf and making theeats. It's my player motivations that decide, not the PC's. Yeeeeaaaah, this isn't what they do. When we had a player whose PC caught us with a fireball for the third time, our PCs told his PC that the next time it happened we would kill him, and we would have. It didn't happen again. We play the PC's desire, not the desires of the player. By that I mean no stance, as defined, cares about that form of metagaming. You can decide that your character knows about trolls in Actor stance quite easily, because if the character knows it, it's part of the character's knowledge. Nobody has argued that, though. Aldarc tried to bring that into this discussion, too. It wasn't relevant, then, either. However, as I said above, if you have your character act like they don't know when the player knows because of the player's desire to not engage in the player concept of metagaming, you're in Author stance by definition. Nobody has argued that, either. We are not acting like the character doesn't know, because of the player's desire not to engage in metagaming. We are saying that the PC knows or doesn't know based on things like pre-established background, skills, etc., and if the PC doesn't know, then having the PC use that player knowledge anyway would be metagaming. Thanks for playing, Let's Bring in the Strawman, though.
  • 08:40 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    So, that city kid whose closest experience with a forest is the last salad he ate is going to have a working knowledge of forests? That dwarf whose spent his entire life underground understands forests? That acolyte who grew up in a temple in Waterdeep has a working knowledge of forests? Right. This is a version of a point that someone ( Aldarc? AbdulAlhazred) made upthread - that the reason why knowledge of trolls is out because it's "metagame" knowledge, yet knowledge of how to find traps, secret doors and the like is in (together with the knowledge that they are likely enough to exist that they are worth searching for), because it's in-character knowledge, is quite obscure.

Saturday, 23rd March, 2019

  • 08:47 AM - Sadras mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Yes, I've pointed to this weirdness upthread, that the insistence on feigning ignorance precludes the experienced player from declaring actions that are open to the new player. Just another weirdness about it. @pemerton, @hawkeyefan and @Aldarc: @Maxperson's game (and he can correct me where I'm wrong) advocates for actor stance, not necessarily for first person dialogue but for the character behaviour/thought process. So yes at times, probably many, the player will know more than the character about the in-game fiction, as the player dives into the role of the character. Added to the above, at Maxperson's table the players may not create backstory fiction on the fly as that could be seen to circumvent much of the player knowledge-character knowledge divide and allows one short cuts/maybe even considered as a cheat in the roleplay (actor stance). From Maxperson's PoV, he is not gating anything or playing a degenerate form of MMI. He, as referee, is ensuring that everyone follows the roleplay in actor stance. Hence metagaming is an abomination in his eyes as is the circumventing of any kind of actor stance by players inputting backstory fiction or any in-game fiction which could viewed as a cheat. You and others (the col...

Monday, 18th March, 2019

  • 09:24 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ..., for instance, that traps in stonework figure prominently in the game, either because they've read the books or they've been brutally educated in a 1st level dungeon - and it gets imputed to the player's PC. Imagine a RPGer whose first game was Classic Traveller. Doors, traps and all the other paraphernalia of D&D dungeoneering play no role in Traveller, and a player could be a first-rate Traveller player but be very unskilled in a D&D game because unfamiliar with the tropes and expectations of dungeon exploration. That wouldn't in any sense make his/her PC unrealistic or unreasonably ignorant! What knowledge checks? If I can have an uncle that knows about monsters that I have knowledge of, I can have an uncle that knows about monsters that I as a player do not have knowledge of and that he has told my PC about. I have no idea where you're pulling this from. Self-evidently you're not describing your own opinion of the situation. And you're not describing anything that I, or Aldarc, or hawkeyefan has suggested. So whose game, whose play, do you think you're pointing to here. I'll start with 4e, because that's the version of D&D I know best. In 4e, there are three ways it can become the case that a PC can know something: (1) The player imputes knowledge; (2) The GM tells the player something that the PC knows, whether because of ingame situation (eg "You're in a windowless room") or because of background (eg "You remember that, as a child, all the householders in the village would sprinkle salt on the doorstep on the night of the full moon"); (3) The player succeeds at a knowledge check which obliges the GM to tell the player something that the PC knows (in some circumstances a successful ritual may augment or take the place of the check). There is no way a player, in 4e, can establish a background element that obliges the GM to tell the player stuff that the GM knows without requiring a knowledge check. That I have an adventuring uncle might be a...

Sunday, 17th March, 2019

  • 11:35 PM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...and "variant" is barely a rules construct, as opposed to a table convention. It's easy to decide that a creature's vulnerability will be reflected in its appearance or constitution in some form which is evident to those trained in arcane or occult ways. I've never checked for traps for real in my life, but I can still check for them. You are just searching for things that are out of the ordinary and indicate that a trap is presentWhat does this mean, though? What is an "unusual" bump on a stone wall or statue? What is an unusual component of a door handle? People aren't born knowing these things. Gorgons and Medusae are not basic monsters. The average person is not very likely to know about them.Again, this is just stipulation. If you want to treat D&D as a board game to "win" and not an RPG, then doing this is the way to go. I avoid playing with gamist people, though, so it's not an issue I or my players have.And this is uncalled for. For many players (me, I suspect Aldarc), the essence of roleplaying is "inhabiting" one's character, and declaring actions from that position of inhabitation. And the objection to your treatment of troll vulnerability, in the context of a player who already knows what it is, is that it inhibits inhabitation because instead of playing my PC from within, I have to step outside and speculate about what a person who, unlike me, is ignorant of trolls, might do. It is a move from first to third person; a move from sincere inhabititon to alienated authorship.

Wednesday, 13th March, 2019

  • 06:13 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Aldarc Ovinomancer Sure. You guys are right. I mean, whether we're talking about politics, or religion, or playstyle preferences, or steak/sushi .... ...or someone saying that maybe it's not a communication issue ... the real problem is people just don't understand you well enough. Got it! Carry on. I'm back out of this thread, because I'm too dense to understand y'all. :)
  • 02:45 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Wouldn't you say that this is probably the crux of contention? ;) The extent of the "problem" is generally exaggerated. I'm not so sure. All you are doing is creating a post hoc in-game justification for the metagaming (with big spoonful of self-delusion) rather than actually stopping the metagaming. :erm: Value system differences. I believe what Lanefan is putting a high value on is inducing a mental state during play which is focused on "thinking like the character", not on achieving goals or narrative, nor anything else particularly. Narrative serves then simply as a medium by which the proper inputs arrive at the players and they can adjust their pretended character mental state and shared understanding of the fictive world they form a part of. Other things are there, gamist considerations, player goals, etc. but only in a secondary place. At least this is how it looks if idealized, actual play is rarely so clear-cut. Aldarc is not really THAT interested in the character mental state and maybe it is simply a part of the general fiction state which conditions how the game proceedes. It may have mechanical constraints and systems associated with it, etc. The content of the fiction and narrative, and the fun derived from "doing cool stuff" (or something) prevails. I'd note that D&D (even 4e) has an absolute insistence on PC's thought process being entirely free of mechanical constraints. The unspoken assumption being that this is the domain of 'RP' in which it is the player's job/prerogative to model the PC's mental state without constraints. Well, I would note that there ARE some constraints, but they seem, mostly, to be aimed at insuring more consistent modeling. Alignment for instance, ideally, provides a scaffold on which to hang the character's different proclivities and traits (albeit it doesn't necessarily work too well). Alignment change punishments then simply show up as 'sticks' to encourage this ...

Tuesday, 12th March, 2019

  • 12:16 PM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...very PC will have the ability to do meaningful amounts of fire damage, and so their is a tactical challenge in bringing the right sort of damage to bear against the right target. Another obvious approach would be to make the whole thing mechanically more abstract: a character has to succeed at some sort of knowledge or inspiration check in order to then generate a change in the game state which enhances attacks against the troll (the change could simply be a changed status, or perhaps a bonus die like an asset in Cortex+ Heroic). But this isn't consistent with D&D's approach to knowledge, equipment, etc - which assumes players are free to choose what their PCs are doing (subject to what's on their equipment list), rather than gating those choices behind successful checks. Which takes us back to the general territory of the contrast between D&D and something like DW's Spout Lore and Discern Realities moves. EDIT: I think there's some overlap, and synergy, between this post and Aldarc's just upthread of it.

Saturday, 9th March, 2019

  • 06:43 PM - Aebir-Toril mentioned Aldarc in post Do orcs in gaming display parallels to colonialist propaganda?
    ...e are setting appears to be affecting quality and peoplesí ability to express themselves fully. I understand why you are framing it this way. But I think you are barking up the wrong tree. And again, I want to emphasize,you can characterize this as a lack of concern for certain people on my part if you want but that absolutely isnít what is going on here. Like I said earlier I think this kind of stuff often makes it harder to resolve some of the inequities we are discussing. I also think it approaches infantalization. I donít fault you for disagreeing. Weíve simply reached different conclusions here. I can tell you are motivated by good intentions. I do wish you could see my good intentions as well. I didn't want to get involved in this conversation originally, but it has been fairly stimulating and surprisingly civil, so I have decided to join. I agree that the censorship of art can reduce the quality of expression, but I think that you have misunderstood the exact purpose of Aldarc's posts. Aldarc is stating that, in media, it is denigrating and harmful to recreate steryotypes merely because they are "appealing". Please correct me Aldarc is I am incorrect. Best regards, Aebir-Toril.

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019

  • 02:21 PM - Sadras mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...ike you said some time back it is not worth it - it does nothing for the conversation. My attempt was to rather use his definition of MMI against his own playstyle, but if one plays with that much transparency (monster knowledge checks) and less of a player-puzzle, that argument falls flat as I discovered. My definition of MMI is much narrower, probably similar to yours I presume, but Pemerton sits very firmly in the other tent so from his POV any GM adjudication (no matter how justified) reflects as a MMI. I borrow ideas from all games (DM or Player-centric) so even though I'm in the opposite tent, I don't view the Say No as something negative but rather as another tool in the art of DMing that I can call on - whether it be for rule-of-cool, internal consistency or to punish players (KIDDING). Having said that - the play reports, with the limited information, from @AbdulAlhazred 5e were in my definition heavy within MMI territory. Having said that, it means nothing much given that @Aldarc views my Frost Giant write-up as MMI and our table does not. @Numidius play report on the other hand is just something else completely. I mean WTF!

Tuesday, 5th March, 2019

  • 02:34 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Aldarc, Lanefan - I've got a lot of actual play reports on these boards, so they would give a pretty good idea of what I have in mind by drama/excitement/thematic choice. Over the past 6 to 12 months the two campaigns I've played the most have been Prince Valiant and Classic Traveller. In Prince Valiant the drama is often social as much as physical adventure - whom to befriend, whom to snub, whom to woo. In Traveller the drama can be social/political, but more often is sci-fi adventure/thriller. In Sunday's session, the players (as their PCs) had to make choices that include: (i) how to deal with arms smugglers they encountered in orbit, while engaging in their own undercover activity; (ii) whether to break into an installation they were spying on; (iii) what to do when pursued after deciding not to enter the installation (that pursuit was a direct consequence of the decision they made at (i)); (iv) how to handle being interrogated, once they surrendered; (v) in one case, whether or ...

Saturday, 2nd March, 2019


Wednesday, 27th February, 2019

  • 11:48 PM - Maxperson mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I refer participants who reach Aldarc's current level of frustration with Max back to Max's post on 21 April, 2018, here, wherein he confesses that he deliberately "twists" (his term) what others are saying in an intellectually dishonest move: "For my part, once I get frustrated with someone who continually misrepresents what I am saying or doing with my style of play, I'll begin to toss back all the same "twistings" at that person to show that it can be done to their style as well. My hope is that they will see as they start defending what they perceive as an incorrect application to their playstyle, and come to the realization that what they are doing accomplishes nothing." Here's the relevant part. "For my part, once I get frustrated with someone who continually misrepresents what I am saying or doing with my style of play, I'll begin to toss back all the same "twistings" at that person to show that it can be done to their style as well." So what you are saying is that Aldarc has been continually misrepresentin...

Sunday, 24th February, 2019

  • 01:54 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...(IE the PCs go to every bar and dive in the town and post messages or something similar for a week).Good point. Which in my mind just reinforces the point I was making, that an action declaration we look for sect members at the teahouse doesn't generally bring with it any particular assumption about how long is spent on the endeavour, and certainly doesn't imply a quick look for 10 minutes then heading off elsewhere. However, most other games, at that time or others, really didn't talk about time. <snip> This is a pretty common pattern for games in this time period. They may note some few specific situations where a time cost exists, but there isn't really a coherent concept in these games of time as a structured resource or some explicit way to manage it or use it dramatically (drama is rarely mentioned in these early games). It is generally just assumed that time is the purview of the GM and may come into play in whatever way he sees fit.To me, at least, this connects to Aldarc's recent post about system assumptions and the like: what we see in a lot of late-70s/early-to-mid-80s games is a "cargo cult"-like emulation of certain features of D&D without serious consideration of why one would emulate them. So eg we get healing times in games like CoC, RM, etc which ultimately are mere colour in play, because the passing of time has no cost except insofar as the GM decides otherwise. (RQ is an exception, because time not spent healing can be spent training; and BW builds fairly extensively on this idea, further adding in a systematic living cost/maintenance system.) Our term for this is "rubber time". It usually happens when a party's in town for some downtime <snip> But in the field time is very important even when the mission itself isn't time-sensitive: spell or effect durations, resource consumption, time taken to recover from injury - all of these and a bunch of other things need to be somewhat carefully tracked. Never mind tracking a split party...

Wednesday, 13th February, 2019

  • 12:09 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...cting to each other. Perhaps the goblins all start to rush. But what if 3 pull out crossbows? Goblins will react by getting out of the way. The PC will react by trying to get to cover or low to the ground. The crossbow goblins maybe aim lower, or maybe move to get better position. And on and on. That just can't be effectively modeled and even if you try, it will take huge amounts of real time to play out a combat like that.Hogwash, Max. You just got done saying realism is a spectrum and any move towards the deep end is good enough for you to satisfy your goal of realism (for the sake of realism). Yet, here, you've set up another new (false) dichotomy that games either have to be gamey UGoIGo or there has to be constant reaction abilities (which you still see as just a finer grained UGoIGo for some reason). You just said it's not enough to move towards the deep end of the realism pool, you have to meet your new goalpost of high fidelity realism or you've failed. That's why Aldarc said you move goalposts. In reality, many systems do a better job of simultaneous combat. HERO, Powered by the Apocalypse, etc. Many of these also model injury better. Some are more granular thar D&D (HERO), some less (PbtA).

Saturday, 9th February, 2019

  • 05:01 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Aldarc in post Introducing Complications Without Forcing Players to Play the "Mother May I?" Game
    Yeah, let me double down on Aldarc Ďs ďI donít always xp posts where Iím in full, or even partial agreement with the author.Ē Iíll gladly xp stuff I disagree with just because I like the effort to communicate or the way a point was put or how tempered it was amidst hostility. My xp is pretty arbitrary, because Iím not reading posts chronologically in threads like I used to. Iím just scanning here and there as time allows and, if Iím interested, Iíll throw some words at the conversation.

Thursday, 7th February, 2019

  • 11:27 AM - Sadras mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I'd be infinitely curious to hear from the One-True-Sandboxers out there if they really do like "sandboxing" the whole time----or if the "sandboxing" portion of the campaign is just a ramp-up to get their hooks into the game world / plot so they can start pursuing stuff that matters to their character. I'd like to think I run a very Sandbox-styled game and the reason for this is twofold: (1) To truly give the PC's choice to pursue their desires; and (2) To, for lack of a better word/phrase - don't kill me @Aldarc, run a realistic or the illusion of realistic styled campaign. I run a mish-mash of storylines and published modules/AP all happening concurrently, but I provide opening for the PCs to 'escape' all that. It could perhaps mean a lot of effort lost on my part, nevermind the AP's purchased, but I'm willing to sacrifice that for our table. So far the PCs have decided to remain on the train (many tracks). :) EDIT: To answer your question - For a campaign, it is the style I prefer to run, so the answer is yes. If I were only running a module then it would be less sandbox-y and that would be established at session 0 where you'd get everyone's buy-in.
  • 05:17 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...e looking for some other thing and realism is just a means to that end. Why would that question make you hostile? It isn't challenging your preferences, it isn't saying you're wrong to want to play how you play, it's asking you to consider if there's another goal you're aiming for but misidentifying because you haven't stopped to really think it through. I used to be you, man, used to fret of realism, used to fret over how much my game "made sense". So, I get it. And, it's likely we want different things, even when I thought like that, and I certainly don't think my current play is in any way better or superior to how I used to play except that it's better for me. Still, being able to actually talk about how games work, what they incentivize, how they do it, is very interesting because I'm still on my journey, but you get mad when asked what your journey is. I don't get it. Or, rather, I do, but I hope you might realize how silly it is to be mad about this kind of question. Aldarc has been pleasant in his posts. If you're taking offense, you're looking for it.


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Thursday, 18th April, 2019

  • 06:30 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Aldarc in post What Would You Want from PF2?
    No, it was sold to allow gamers who liked 3.X to keep playing 3.X while D&D switched to 4E. Basically, its appeal was "keep mostly doing what you were previously doing." Even if I prefer 5E to PF1, even I can clearly recognize that this is an opinion masquerading as a fact. I only wish that you could recognize that what you see as problems or solutions are not some sort of universally held truths. Despite all your grandstanding, you barely seem to evidence awareness of Pathfinder 2's game design or new changes that have been announced. For example, NPC generation in this case. (These developments were already present in 4E. :p) Nope. Don't scapegoat 4E for class concept historical developments already present in 3E. Also Rogues had just as much out of combat focus any the Ranger, if not more, had the most skills (not counting Bardís unlimited multiclassing and the Bard of All Trades feat), and just as much access to the skill challenges system as anyone else. Once Marti...

Wednesday, 17th April, 2019

  • 04:19 PM - amethal quoted Aldarc in post What Would You Want from PF2?
    No, that was the fact. Pathfinder NEVER sold itself as a "fix" to 3.X. It was sold as a way for people who liked the D&D 3.X to play it with continued support.That's certainly how I saw it at the time. You had the "3.5 Thrives" poster, the refusal to give fighters extra skill points, the dialing back of some of the innovations in the Beta. Of course, it turned out that there were dozens of tiny (and not so tiny) changes - we were still discovering new spell changes years later - and some of the decisions were questionable (let's make wizards even more powerful than in 3.5, what sorcerers need is to be able to manifest claws for 6 or 7 rounds per day, darkness spells should create shadowy light, barbarian rage should be micromanaged on a round per round basis rather than being useable x times per day ...) However, then the Advanced Class Guide came out, where they felt more able to express themselves rather than being tied to the past (even if we can argue about how much of that was pe...
  • 03:10 PM - CapnZapp quoted Aldarc in post What Would You Want from PF2?
    No, it was sold to allow gamers who liked 3.X to keep playing 3.X while D&D switched to 4E. Basically, its appeal was "keep mostly doing what you were previously doing." That's after the fact. No product ever is sold as "more of exactly the same".
  • 08:17 AM - CapnZapp quoted Aldarc in post What Would You Want from PF2?
    Except it didn't presume that; it only presumed compatibility with 3.X while offering a facelift. It made some adjustments - adding more layers as time went on - but it was not created to "fix" anything. It existed to maintain the 3.X framework that Paizo could use for their own publishing purposes. Oh come on - it was sold to fix the previous editions. Just like every upgrade in the history of the world is. My point is: 5E fixed 3E in a way that 3.5 and PF doesn't even come close to. That 5E does other stuff too is beside the point. The actual egregious issues in d20 are actually fixed and not just facelifted in 5E: LFQW and NPC build complexity, to name the two I'm most concerned with. The point of making a game that builds upon this is that WotC threw out a lot of babies with the bathwater when fixing this: * they made the game a bit too simple * they made charbuilding way too un-complex * whole subsystems got the shaft, and magic items and high-level play are two obvious...

Tuesday, 16th April, 2019

  • 07:10 PM - GreyLord quoted Aldarc in post What Would You Want from PF2?
    Except it didn't presume that; it only presumed compatibility with 3.X while offering a facelift. It made some adjustments - adding more layers as time went on - but it was not created to "fix" anything. It existed to maintain the 3.X framework that Paizo could use for their own publishing purposes. Combat is the most heavily emphasized pillar of the game. Our understanding of the rogue has changed partially because tabletop roleplaying does not exist in a vacuum. And in so many other media, namely video games, rogues have already made the transition to something akin to a combat striker. Before 3e came out and people started complaining about an underpowered Rogue, which CRPGs did this? James Bond would have been more of an Assassin or maybe a Ranger (an argument might even be able to be made about a Paladin and almost definitely more akin to a Monk or Mystic in earlier versions of D&D) class, which arguably was different than the Rogue class. Even up until 3.5 the assassin was st...
  • 04:07 PM - pemerton quoted Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I'm honestly surprised that you haven't by this point. I think that there is a lot about the system and gameplay that you would like considering some of your game preferences.I own and have read a copy of Fate Core. But it's not at the front of the queue! It's sitting behind HeroQuest revised and DungeonWorld, and also DitV - but I'd like to adapt the latter to something more fantastical than western.

Thursday, 11th April, 2019

  • 11:27 AM - CapnZapp quoted Aldarc in post Pathfinder 2E or Pathfinder 1E?
    Unless it has been changed, I believe that PF2 will require that spellcasters will require using at least one of their three actions per round to maintain a concentration spell. This sounds cautiously promising, if it really means you can sustain three spells at most (if you don't do anything else). Of course, the real question will be what spells require Concentration in the first place. Remember, 5th edition didn't just introduce Concentration as a mechanic. They also ruthlessly and unsentimentally applied it to almost every spell that buffs or debuffs. This is why the impact to the 5E play experience is so pervasive.

Wednesday, 10th April, 2019

  • 10:09 PM - Azzy quoted Aldarc in post Keep On The Borderline
    Keep on the Borderlands is that song that keeps getting covered, remixed, and sampled by artist after artist, decade after decade. You look at the original and you may not think much of it - its not as hip as contemporaneous standards - but it nevertheless endures as a font of nostalgia, inspiration, and innovation. It probably even exemplifies the 4e design concept of the "point of light" campaign, where a small speck of law, order, and civilization was opposed by a chaotic, untamed wilderness. Great, you just implied that KotB is the equivalent of the song Hallelujah... The original is understated, but it has been covered brilliantly (but usually poorly) by many artistómany putting their own spin on it (but most just coloring by numbers and giving it no depth). And it's been so done to death (typically poorly) that you twitch whenever you hear someone new cover it.
  • 02:32 PM - Ancalagon quoted Aldarc in post Pathfinder 2E or Pathfinder 1E?
    For Pathfinder 2?No, PF1
  • 02:17 PM - Ancalagon quoted Aldarc in post Pathfinder 2E or Pathfinder 1E?
    If every 5E class used warlock-style invocations and ASI/feats were more common... Also, are there even 2000 feats in PF2? That I agree with as well. I would have thought that the sheer popularity and positive reception of the Arcanist would have taught them otherwise.There are 2000 feats and 1200 traits, or vice versa, according to the srd site.
  • 12:10 PM - CapnZapp quoted Aldarc in post Pathfinder 2E or Pathfinder 1E?
    As did I, but I also noticed a LOT people who did not want PF2 to move in the direction of 5E. I fully understand that for many Pathfinder fans, 5E is a red blanket. It might not be as clear as it ought to be, but my position isn't really "be more like 5E" but "don't un-fix the solutions brought by 5E". A PF2 game can come across as quite different from 5E while still having learnt the lessons of that game's design. For instance, IMNSHO several spells (and much of the basic magic framework) have been comprehensively fixed in 5E in a way no previous edition have ever come close to. Unravelling that progress would be a huge step backwards for a game released in 2019. Does that mean Wizards must be hamstrung by attunement and concentration and spell slots in the exact same way as in 5E? No. But does it mean "I don't like 5E, let's ignore what it brings to the table" is a reasonable idea? Hell no. Not in an era with millions of new gamers that only really know a singl...
  • 06:25 AM - Staffan quoted Aldarc in post Pathfinder 2E or Pathfinder 1E?
    Funny thing though. Throughout the PF2 playtest, no one on the Paizo forums were clamoring for PF2 to be like 5E. If anything, quite the opposite. I was, at least in parts. For example, I dearly wish they'd get with the program and use Arcanist/neo-Vancian casting instead of Vancian.
  • 06:06 AM - Ancalagon quoted Aldarc in post Pathfinder 2E or Pathfinder 1E?
    Funny thing though. Throughout the PF2 playtest, no one on the Paizo forums were clamoring for PF2 to be like 5E. If anything, quite the opposite. So it would be refreshing if you would acknowledge that maybe you are truly not the core audience that Paizo is designing PF2 for and maybe what you want out of the game is not what Paizo's core audience wants. This will be improved somewhat. I recall Paizo saying that monster/foe creation will be more akin to its easier Starfinder iteration. It's not that different from reading through the Warlock invocation list.I agree with you that he isn't the target audience, although I think some of his ideas have merit. Your comparison of feats and the warlock invocations is ludicrous. Are there 2000 invocations? No.

Tuesday, 9th April, 2019

  • 08:47 PM - zztong quoted Aldarc in post Pathfinder 2E or Pathfinder 1E?
    As did I, but I also noticed a LOT people who did not want PF2 to move in the direction of 5E. I can agree with that. The tone of the boards changed noticeably during the Playtest. A lot of the voices advocating for alternatives left. Much of the dissent focused on retaining more of PF1, but... and this is just my opinion... there were folks advocating for changes that remind me of 5E. I don't post much on the Paizo boards anymore. I recognize Paizo invests a lot of effort trying to keep them cordial, but the remaining audience clearly wants PF2.
  • 07:16 PM - zztong quoted Aldarc in post Pathfinder 2E or Pathfinder 1E?
    Funny thing though. Throughout the PF2 playtest, no one on the Paizo forums were clamoring for PF2 to be like 5E. If anything, quite the opposite. So it would be refreshing if you would acknowledge that maybe you are truly not the core audience that Paizo is designing PF2 for and maybe what you want out of the game is not what Paizo's core audience wants. I dunno. I frequented the Paizo boards and participated in the playtest. A number of us were calling for changes that I think would make PF2 more like 5E. The various discussions of changing +1 per level to something smaller (like +1/2 per level) was expressing a desire for something like bounded accuracy. On several occasions I mentioned that having now seen a system (PF2) with a great many smaller-effect Choices, I'd much rather have fewer larger-effect Choices which rings a bit closer to 5e. I come to this discussion from PF1 and the PF2 playtest, having not yet played 5E. I'm awaiting the full PF2 to make a decision, but the PF2 Pl...

Monday, 8th April, 2019

  • 02:19 PM - Maxperson quoted Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I disagree. I don't necessarily think that this is true. If something cannot be fixed by killing the creatures, it does not mean that other solutions are available; it only suggests that it cannot be fixed by killing the creatures. The toaster cannot be fixed by killing the creatures who broke it, and moreover the toaster can be damaged beyond repair and incapable of being fixed through other ways. A toaster would have to be run over by a semi or something to be damaged beyond repair, and even then it could probably still be fixed. It just wouldn't be worth the effort or price to do so. The same applies to almost everything we build. Had they meant that the failure was to be unfixable, they would not have limited that statement to the creatures. They would just have said that retreating causes an unfixable campaign loss. They didn't do that, because there are other means to fix the loss.

Friday, 5th April, 2019


Thursday, 4th April, 2019

  • 06:12 PM - S'mon quoted Aldarc in post Keep On The Borderline
    Thinning out the number of occupants or combatants in the Keep, which honestly a medieval keep should not have too many retainers anyway, seems like an easy fix though. I recall reading Harlech Castle had a standing garrison of 30 men.
  • 05:00 PM - wakedown quoted Aldarc in post Pathfinder 2E or Pathfinder 1E?
    The point is not whether or not you prefer needing a feat to do these things. I am merely discussing the presumed scope and tone of the fantasy. /facepalm Well, I'm down to play Fate anytime... As I read the PF2 Playtest, I didn't feel like it was be presuming a more legendary tone than it's 1e, 2e or 3e forebears (or its 5e cousin). The page and a half of Legendary Feats where most were a few lines ("Your swim speed is equal to your land speed", "When you Squeeze you move through tight space at full speed", etc) didn't spark any legendary daydreaming for me. I'd imagine for Paizo this game space is something they would explore later in a "Mythic Adventures 2.0" type book and what they have now is kind of this awkward bolt-on to the skill/feat rules where they wanted to have a token end cap for each skill. Given PF1/2 is mostly a 3e chassis, I feel like I found more "legendary" inspiration from Complete Scoundrel's Skill Trick system if I was looking for something codified into c...
  • 04:30 PM - wakedown quoted Aldarc in post Pathfinder 2E or Pathfinder 1E?
    I think that one of the biggest fallacies of gaming is the idea that D&D can do everything well... To be clear, I very much adored the 3e/PF1 era of D&D. Every edition is different and this one had some staying power, which is why I followed it to PF1 vs 4e. Different editions of D&D play differently, but what we remember decades later are the stories we told more than anything else - the unique stories we couldn't get elsewhere that are unique to our group relative to others, that played the same adventures. Typically regardless of the rules or editions, crazy antics will come down to a series of fortunate and unfortunate rolls, and where the d20 is involved that's 1s and 20s (or as close as possible). This was the disappointment with codifying "Legendary" skills in PF2. A "Legendary Thief" (pg168) can "steal an object that is actively wielded.. You must do so slowly and carefully, spending at least 1 minute and significantly longer for items that are normally time-consuming t...


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