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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 03:41 PM
    We also think about pacing when cooking, but I would not call TTRPGS cooking either. :erm: At times the argumentation in this conversation feels like people are insisting that because cakes are made using flour and eggs that making pasta ergo is baking a cake.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 03:24 PM
    That second sentence also reminds me of the Edwards essay I posted a link to a little bit upothread. And what I'm really commenting on in this thread is my own relative unfamiliarity with GMing that sort of situation/"scenario". The closest I can think of is a certain sort of "tramp trader" Traveller, and that's not very close! See, this is what I look at and think would push me as a GM in...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Today, 10:40 AM
    But these are not distinctly literary notions. Pacing, character development, and tone, etc. all exist within film media, for example, but these are not regarded as "literary." This is a categorical issue.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 08:18 AM
    I think I'm missing the illusion. Who is being deceived about what? With a level tolerance of (say) +/-3, I'm not sure it's a ton. But I think it's clear that 4e - as set out in the "tiers of play" in the PHB and DMG - assumes that the content of the fiction will steadily be changing as the game progresses. So it absolutely takes for granted that, at epic tier, we're done with keeping count...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 08:14 AM
    Adopting a liberal interpretation of "PH" and "two words", I came up with the following: Fighting Man. Magic-User. Wu Jen. Thief-Acrobat.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 05:42 AM
    Really, you are not concerned about narrative techniques? At all? So, when you create a situation, things like tone, pacing, mood, character development, exposition, and a host of other things are not a concern at all? You create adventures like that random dungeon I posted a few pages back and you're good to go? Yeah, didn't think so. While I can see the point of RPGing =/= literary...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 05:37 AM
    Yup. And an RPG without performance or any sort of eye towards literary notions like pacing, character development, tone, etc, is a board game.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:59 AM
    Multi-classing doesn't mean particularly serious level limits eg 7/11 for an elf F/MU, or 8/8 for a half-elf F/MU, assuming decent stats. You can also build by researching spells, by pooling items, by choosing which items to keep and which to sell, etc. As you say, the rules aren't that clear. And you can always use wands, which tend to have good casting times.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:37 AM
    I'll agree on the easier arithmetic. I'm not sure about what you mean by "swingy" - if it's really an attack/defence treadmill then the "swinginess" is preserved just the same. This just leads back to the discussion about minions and swarms. In 4e I had more combats, and more interesting combats, involving giant hordes of weaker enemies than I ever did in AD&D or Rolemaster.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:28 AM
    If you build for it, sure. Which you can do in AD&D as a F/MU, or using powerful Bracers of Defence, or . . . But the wizard/invoker in my 4e game didn't strike me as particularly atypical - and has always had Thunderwave ready to hand - but gets absolutely pasted in melee. That the precise consistency of the paste might differ from its AD&D analogue seems a secondary point.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:21 AM
    Hence battle captain!
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:10 PM
    And then he began smoking and drinking because all the older kids were doing it too.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:01 PM
    I would truncate and streamline the 4E gameplay, learning a lot (ironically enough) from the innovations of the OSR and PbtA movements. Give a lot of options for every class but not an overwhelming amount that slows down play or leads to decision paralysis (a commonly cited problem with 4E). Maybe consider rewriting classes as PbtA-style playbooks so (nearly) everything a player needs is already...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:40 PM
    I honestly am having a difficulty of following the obfuscated use of "literary" in this thread. At times it seems equated variously with "text," "anything written" (not to be confused with 'text'), "narrative/story," "oral performance," "anything spoken/conversation," etc. The goal posts keep getting moved and obscured for the sake of claiming that whatever transpires in RPGs is "literature" or...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:37 AM
    The concept of "protagonism" in RPGing is (I believe) relatively well known. If it's unclear what I have in mind, here's the relevant remarks from the OP: If (to further self-quote) "the game rolls off the GM's 'plot wagon' much as it would if you were performing an elf instead" of a dwarf, then the things I've described aren't happening - the player's narration clearly is not engaging...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:57 AM
    For warlord I would suggest the Tolkienesque battle captain. But anyway I agree it's not a problem if you're not using WotC's IP (ie neither their text nor their trade dress).
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:52 AM
    Well, some people think that OSRIC is on the margins (or crossing the margins) of copyright infringement. S'mon and I have discussed this before - I'm a bit more doubtful of its legality than S'mon but he's the better IP lawyer of the two of us - so probably it's OK! (If only just.)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:21 AM
    Yes, in that context. I'll explain the qualification by way of an example from a specific system. Each PC in Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic has two Milestones. Here are two example milestones - one is from Captain America in the core rulebook, the other is one that I made up in collaboration with the player for the berserker in my Cortex+ Fantasy Hack Vikings game: MENTOR THE HERO 1 XP...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:40 AM
    I've not just heard rumours of, but have played through, counter-examples to this. Mostly in an AD&D 2nd ed context, but also CoC and Rolemaster. That's not my experience. You could perform your dwarf - reciting old bits of lore from the dwarvish halls, complaining about the quality of the local ale, remarking on the state of your beard, swearing oaths "by the Mountains of Moradin", etc -...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:54 AM
    ask and ye shall receive. https://youtu.be/IGijGIZrGKc
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:52 AM
    I guess, at the end of the day, I'm just not seeing the division. If the DM and players are narrating their hearts out/doing their best to perform their characters, then protagonism is going to happen automatically. You can't perform your character without becoming the protagonist. It's just not possible. Conversely, you can't protagonize (to again, badly abuse the English language) your...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:50 AM
    I've got no idea where this comes from. As far as I know I'm the only Prince Valiant player who posts on these boards; am the only Cthulhu Dark player who posts on these boards; have played more Burning Wheel than most posters on these boards; am one of the relatively few posters whose primary point of reference for RPGing is not some version of D&D. I don't think anyone could say that I don't...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:38 AM
    At the risk of further controversy, I'll take up where you left off. One central feature of the D&D-as-wargame experience is that the player plays a single figure. This obviously creates some sort of invitation to performance ("playing out my guy"), protagonism etc. I wasn't playing in the mid-70s, but between reading around a bit and looking at some of the products that get published in the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:25 AM
    Yes. I'm not sure a hit-points/damage "treadmill" is inherently more virtuous than a to-hit/defence "treadmill". And it seems to have some side-effects ("sack of hp" monsters, for instance) that 4e largely avoided. I will concede the following: many D&D players seem to regard a +2 to hit that is (roughly) matched by a comparable +2 to AC on the GM side as an "illusion" of advancement;...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:00 AM
    Yes, I've done that. I get the setting in the sense of genre/colour/tone. Interesting. Maybe my use of "setting" is misleading, or just flat-out wrong? I'll try to explain what I was getting at, and why - for me - it's distinctive compared to what I'm more familiar with. Painting in broad brush strokes, and doing some classification on the run, I would say that I'm familiar with 3 main...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:53 AM
    Had to hunt a bit. Found one from Brazil. Interesting. Was that the voice of Michael from Discovery?
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:51 AM
    MarkB hits it on the head. SF is not fantasy. Creating worlds is not generally speaking, the goal of SF. It's part of the process, maybe, of reflecting on the real world, but, it's not a goal in and of itself. SF is inherently political, moreso than fantasy.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:45 AM
    Sigh. Taken down. Or at least blocked in my region.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:43 AM
    Really? So, you think there is a correct answer to what makes a good baseball player? An answer that everyone will agree with? Seriously? You honestly think the answer isn't "all of the above"? Or, better yet, what makes a good movie? or a good book? Or a good pretty much anything. Very, very few things can be reduced down to a single element that you should focus on to the...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:58 AM
    And the wonder is, they managed to convince folks that this was true. :D
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:40 AM
    Hussar replied to So...keelboats
    Umm, not even remotely. The Chinese were sailing around the world while the Vikings could barely leave the North Atlantic. Why would elves have better ships than everyone else? It's not like there's anything in Elven lore to suggest they make good sailors and, in fact, given that they don't usually like folks cutting down trees, it's not like they are big on building ships. I could see...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:34 AM
    I would have thought by now that the answer to that has been made pretty clear. They are BOTH important. Sometimes one might be more important than the other, but, at the end of the day, one without the other leads to crap games. A DM who only presents in simple sentences, never uses a compound sentence, never uses a simile or metaphor, never uses any literary technique whatsoever in his or...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:25 AM
    Ok, pemerton, we're back to literary=high art. So, yup, I agree with you.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 04:49 PM
    Okay. This was not a strand of discussion that I was engaging with my post but I will answer your question with earnest. * Here I take "some of these techniques" to refer to some of the things that I had listed: literary storytelling, cinematic storytelling, history, psychological therapy, etc. I'm not sure if using some of these techniques are core to running a game. When I look at early...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 01:33 PM
    So you want to make the psion a wizard subclass despite more appropriate classes existing because you love the 5e wizard so much? I can't find much sympathy with that position.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 01:15 PM
    The psion probably has more in common with a 5E sorcerer than a 5E wizard. No spellbook. Smaller range of powers known. The main overlap between the psion and wizard has been Intelligence. That said, I know that the psion is most commonly attached to Intelligence as its primary attribute, but I know a number of psionic fans who would wish that the psion was appropriately attached to Wisdom for a...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 01:11 PM
    His question was beside the point that I was making/discussing. Answering either 'yes' or 'no' to that question was irrelevant to that point.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 12:23 PM
    I've been reading Vincent Baker's Apocalypse World rulebook over the past week or so, and noticed this. I didn't have it in mind when I started this thread, and as far as I remember I hadn't yet read it when I started this thread. But I've owned Apocalypse World for a while now and have skimmed the rulebook in the past, so maybe I have seen this and it was lurking somewhere in the back of my...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 11:12 AM
    Just to continue on my last post. An interesting situation delivered poorly will result in a bad game as the session stumbles along at a glacial pace because the GM fails to communicate the situation to the players. OTOH a poorly thought out situation where the players have no stake in the outcome probably wonít be saved by good presentation. So at the end of the day, you are asking...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:43 AM
    My point was more narrow, I think, than what you've taken it to be. I was simply saying that the growing numbers on the PC sheet in 4e serve a purpose - namely, in conjunction with the published Monster Manuals they support a very clear "pacing", not at the encounter level or even session level but at the level of the campaign arc. Eliminating the level-bonuses on the PC and NPC/creature...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:35 AM
    Yes, which still put it below casters like clerics and druids. But that was the best that psionics had to offer in 3.X so I would say that it did a better job then of power parity. Regardless of its terminological origins, psionics basically has entered general parlance for a type or flavor of "magic" within both science-fantasy - because the moment you introduce psionics into a world, it...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:33 AM
    I'm not thinking so much of establishing setting in play - I've done that quite a bit in my RPGing. What struck me about the AW instructions is that the setting is itself the situation, in virtue of having no status quo.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:30 AM
    Well not for me. Just to point to two things that have come out of it: I've learned that your conception of what makes for good RPGing is quite different from mine. And I've discovered a surprising point of overlap between me and Bedrockgames. Given what you prefer, I can see why you want well-written boxed text in modules.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:28 AM
    Hussar replied to So...keelboats
    Well, the problem you get into here is anachronism. A schooner is a 19th century ship. A Galleon is late 16th Century and later. A carrack is essentially the Santa Maria and you wouldn't really see anything more advanced than that, certainly not a schooner. It really depends on how far down the rabbit hole you want to dive with this. There's so much there. But, an open water ship...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:02 AM
    pemerton. Nice tautological definitions there. Until such time as youíd care to plant the goal posts, this discussion regardless of how much blather you want to add, is pointless. óóó hawkeyefan - I would tell such a new DM that there is no single most important thing but rather dming, like any creative exercise is a combination of multiple factors that need to be addressed.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:29 AM
    Yes, because the question was beside the point.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 08:47 AM
    A literary endeavour is one which aims at having the virtues of literature. An artistic endeavour is one which aims at having the virtues of art. An intellectual endeavour is one which aims to contribute to knowledge. Etc. One can interrogate each of these in more detail, obviously, but the basic notion is pretty clear. REH in writing the Conan stories is engaged in a literary endeavour. He's...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 05:13 AM
    ROTFLMAO. Oh, goodie, we're right back to swirling around the rabbit hole of what does "literary" mean. Yay. See, folks, this is why this thread is 50 pages long, and you can talk about pemerton being clear with what he meant all you like, but, this is about as clear as mud. REH is "literary"? Seriously? A minor genre author who wasn't good enough to actually publish a novel and is...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 03:21 AM
    Nope. Still agreeing pemerton. You made your point. RPGing isnít high art. Well done you.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 12:38 AM
    That's not what the OP is about. REH isn't high art either, but clearly Tower of the Elephant and The Scarlet Citadel are literary endeavours. Read the recent posts from @hakweyefan or uzirath. Those engage with the theme of the thread. Here a quote from you from a way upthread: Assuming that you haven't changed your mind, then this is something that we disagree about. And it's something...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:46 PM
    Considering we're 50ish pages down this rabbit hole and you have multiple posters obviously not understanding the point, including myself, I'd argue that it wasn't quite as clear as maybe you think. As I said, if the OP had simply stated, "Is RPGing high art", then this thread would be 2 posts long. As it is, it was a total waste of time and energy because everyone kept flailing around...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 09:35 PM
    Ah. My post is a lot less funny now that they deleted the spam account.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 09:31 PM
    Nope pemerton. I 100% agree with you. Any earlier disagreement was because of the misleading and vagueness of the OP. If you had simply said, Is RPGing high art?Ē This thread would be three posts long. Instead you used a bunch of word salad verbiage that obfuscated your point and then couldnít be bothered to clarify your point when it was obvious that most here didnít get what you were...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 06:15 PM
    The question seems beside the point of whether we should equate these things.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 05:25 PM
    I think that a GM should probably be aware of storytelling techniques to inform and improve their games, but not necessarily literary ones. Literature is one form of storytelling. But GMing could also take cues from cinematic techniques. (Which doesn't make RPGs "film".) Plus, one could be aware of historiography and "Gesichte" to inform your stories, but that does not make RPGs history....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 02:40 PM
    For what it's worth, my sense is that you don't agree! I think you've appreciated that, in the OP, I said that RPGing requires narration and description. And as I've read your posts, I think you are saying that that narration/description should aim, or be conditioned with an eye towards, formal quality. Even if I've misunderstood you in that respect, I think there are people in the RPG...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 01:56 PM
    A lot of the pieces are there in 5e. It would probably be easier to use 4E Essentials as the basis since there is more overlap there.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 01:55 PM
    Ahh, ok, so, we're at the "literary=Shakespeare" end of the spectrum. Ok, fair enoguh. As I said, I agree with you, if that's the definition of literary you want to work with.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 01:52 PM
    A druid that taps into the world spirit/mind or psychic energies that connects every living creature. A ranger who adapts psionic attacks and defenses so they can better stalk the abberations that threaten the natural order of the world.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 12:36 PM
    I think, here, that you are pointing out that RPGing involves authorship. That's undoubtedly true. But authorship doesn't take us to literary endeavour in the sense intended in the OP, ie quality of wordcraft. Authorship is needed to bring fictions into being (for whatever sense of "being" is apposite for fictions). But bringing fictions into being doesn't depend upon literary quality. When...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 12:15 PM
    Good post. And for what it's worth, I would say that 90% of my efforts as a GM over the past 30 years has been focused on this issue, of coming up with compelling situations. (Although only for about half that time have I had a vocabulary for describing what it is I've been trying to do.) The RPG product that had the biggest initial impact on me, in this respect, was the mid-80s Oriental...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 12:10 PM
    Henry - Savage Tide. :D But, yeah, the print magazines were brutal, apparently. The US Postal service and the distribution channels were insane. Something like a 6 month lead in time - a magazine is published in January and you don't get paid until June sort of thing. Meaning you have massive amounts of capital wrapped up that you can't actually use. Constant issues with delivery and...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 12:03 PM
    A cogent and interesting point. :D I am convinced.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 12:00 PM
    Huh. How, exactly, do you inhabit the fiction in a conversation? Look, if you're simply asking if RPGing is about creating the next great novel, then, sure, no, it's not. No one is going to mistake an RPG session for high art. If that's the bar you're setting, then, fair enough, this conversation should have ended long ago, because, well, frankly, no one would argue that the goal of play...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:49 AM
    OTOH, it is not sophistry or equivocation to point out that in role play we distinguish between in character and out of character speech. Something you would never do in a conversation. You would, however, make that distinction in a literary sense - narrator and narrative. The constant switching between first and third person is also something you typically don't do in a conversation about...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:48 AM
    Time deaf, space deaf, maybe just deaf deaf . . . Anyway, here are the two options again: My players aren't too tone deaf. They can tell that the second description paints more of a "word picture" than the first. But is RPGing about enjoying word pictures? On the player side, I think it's about doing - about playing your PC as protagonist in the imagined situation. Which description...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:35 AM
    There's an approach to cultural studies and the study of communication which make the point that all communication involves word choice, choice of tone, etc, and hence that - when considered through that lens - there is no distinctive contrast between (say) EM Forster's novels and the instructions you give your kid when sending him/her to the shops. That may be true as far as it goes, but it...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:22 AM
    His intent was clear. 4e has a more restricted license for developing potential content whereas 5e does not. So if one wants to expand content for something more 4e like (or an evolution thereof), then 5e would potentially serve as a better chassis due to its less restricted license. So how would one do that. If you wouldn't, then that's fine. Zardnaar, I would also look at the d20 3.X...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:14 AM
    I did a Fate one-shot set in a fantastical version of Renaissance Venice. The one shot adventure though was actually based on a Savage Worlds one-shot set on a college campus. The premise was that a merchant family had acquired a small island on the outskirts of the city which they planned to use as a storehouse for their shipping business (and contraband). The island belonged to a group of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 10:54 AM
    The effect of the numbers in 4e, if you are working from the default Monster books and generally following the advice on encounter building, is that they progress the campaign through "the story of D&D". At the start of the campaign, the PCs will be confronting kobolds, goblins and the like; at the end of the campaign they will be confronting ancient dragons, demon princes and the like. ...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 10:43 AM
    I've been reading the rulebook for Apocalypse World. It's not the first Vincent Baker RPG rulebook I've read, and the punchy style and unequivocal evocation of the spirit of the fiction and the expected feel of play is not surprising. There's one particular bit that I wanted to post about. Discussing how to set up and run the first session of a campaign, and having laid out the process for...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 08:40 AM
    Wow. That's what you got from what I wrote? Where did I even remotely suggest that 1st person or 3rd person is preferable? Heck, I mostly play in 3rd person personally, so, I really have no idea where you are getting this. Are you seriously saying that "Hey that looks like the critter from Men in Black" is an in character speech? That your NPC's would "get" the joke and react to it as...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 08:36 AM
    No one is disagreeing with this. Not a single person. What's being disagreed with is the notion that content is all that matters. That regardless of the language used to present that situation or content, it will be interesting to the players solely on its own merits as content. To me, this is flatly false. You can have the most fascinating situation ever written, but, if it's presented...
    698 replies | 13433 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 12:39 AM
    Now, think about this 1st person argument for a second. You will, presumably, choose to speak in a certain way and use certain words in an attempt to "portray a character", right? You wouldn't proclaim, in character, in a fantasy game, "Hey, that looks like the critter at the end of Men in Black!" That would be considered out of character, no? So, as soon as you add in that criteria - what...
    698 replies | 13433 view(s)
    2 XP
  • darkbard's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 01:35 PM
    Are you familiar with Posterazor? It may take a bit of fiddling to get each map to exactly 1" squares, but it does precisely what you want.
    5 replies | 222 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:25 PM
    True, but, that is generally how ratings are done. That's why most reviews skew so high. Really, a 7/10 should be a pretty high rating, it's higher than the majority of other similar stuff out there. But, unfortunately, what it really means is that it's a barely adequate product because the baseline is 9 or 10 out of 10. Same goes for 5/5. It makes reviews pretty much pointless in most...
    41 replies | 1931 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:20 PM
    How so? You've been pretty clear here. A more "literary" approach is not something you enjoy. And that's groovy. I'm not saying you should. But, you've repeatedly stated that you don't want certain kinds of description and that you would not enjoy a game that employed certain types of description, specifically a more literary style rather than a less formal, more conversational style. ...
    698 replies | 13433 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:11 PM
    This is probably my favorite thing about 4e as well. The mechanics, the races, the classes, the characters, the monsters, and the cosmology are integrated into a cohsesive thematic whole by the its mythic lore. It still influences a lot about a number of my game worlds. And you can also tell that it influenced the world of Critical Role too.
    78 replies | 4929 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 11:23 AM
    perhaps a better question might be, "Should an RPG attempt to being a literary endevour". To which, I would answer a resounding yes. That I will try and fail doesn't bother me too much. But that we shouldn't try at all? That's just sad. And, since we're not limited to D&D here, what about games like The Dying Earth where being "literary" is part and parcel to play. Not only is it...
    698 replies | 13433 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 10:19 AM
    So which class chassis did you use for the soulknife and wilder? I assume you used a fighter for the psychic warrior.
    92 replies | 2940 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 10:18 AM
    13th Age is probably one of the closest "kin systems" of 4E, being developed by the lead developers for both 3E and 4E. For Everyone: I also found a great Angry GM article where he reflects on 4E. He is critical in many places, but he is also incredibly open about the aspects he loved. Here is one part where he talks about the lore cohesion of 4E, which is something that I mentioned...
    203 replies | 6427 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 04:42 AM
    Steven Creech has passed. https://www.hshfuneralhome.com/notices/Steven-Creech https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-steve-creech-author-and-game-designer#/
    144 replies | 8303 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:10 PM
    But, apparently it does because at least Bedrockgames insists that the words that are added matter a LOT. To the point of not liking a game that adds the wrong words - as the Vengaurak example shows. So obviously word choice is extremely important.
    698 replies | 13433 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:07 PM
    Hang on. I got taken to task by pemerton not too long ago for including all these things on conveying dwarfiness at the table and got told it wasnít content. It was in fact pointless color that adds nothing to the game. So which is it?
    698 replies | 13433 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:02 PM
    So what? Youíre telling me that both answers would equally evoke a response? That neither one would make the slightest difference in tone or anything at the table? You must have the most time deaf players in the world.
    698 replies | 13433 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 04:32 PM
    I agree that the psion should be different from the wizard, but the argument becomes more challenging with other cases, especially with the idea of cramming all psionic archetypes into a singular mystic class. The psychic warrior, for example, fills an incredibly similar niche as the eldritch warrior. So it would be possible to put a psionic twist onto the fighter chassis to create the psychic...
    92 replies | 2940 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 04:29 PM
    Please don't equate my "won't" (for the sake of the thread) for "can't". Okay. I apologize that I misread your tone. Yes, Sacrosanct, statements like this are an assumption about what I was meaning: Or this: Or rude dismissive comments like this: But nowhere here did you ask for me to support my claim when you initially responded. You launched into a rant assuming what I wrote while...
    203 replies | 6427 view(s)
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Sunday, 26th May, 2019


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Monday, 6th May, 2019

  • 10:11 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post Stakes and consequences in action resolution
    A very high-level glance at this thread shows me this, rightly or wrongly: a general distaste for, and active avoidance of, any role-play of in-character information gathering.Well, Aldarc has given one counter-example. Here's another: in our first session of Cortex+ Heroic Fantasy, one of the first actions taken by the scout PC was to climb atop a pallisade to see what was inside it (mechanically, this established an Overview of the Steading asset). In the next session, the same PC was the one who read mysterious symbols to ascertain that they were, in fact, a map of the dungeon (mechanically, this eliminated a Lost in the Dungeon complication). Gathering information is a tactic that some PCs use to achieve their goals. What the OP is focused on is techniques for establishing and signalling stakes and consequences to the players that don't require them to play "analytic" PCs.

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 04:03 AM - pemerton mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Players that choose gear all by themselves before approaching a challenge, without a sort of linkage to how their characters would do it in their fictional world, looks pretty gamist to me.In what way? I'm not following. I would think adventurers would equip themselves between their travels. Are you inferring that they do not confer with each other or with others/specialists before equipping? If we look at D&D solely, then we are looking at a system (or series of related systems throughout time) that has its own set of assumptions about the cultural norms, rationalities of the game, and how it nominally should function.I've quoted Aldarc here in the context of Sadras's response to Numidius because it seems highly apt in that context even though that wasn't quite the context Aldarc was responding to. I took Numidius to be referring to the standard approach for equipping a new PC in D&D, which is (i) to roll (or, in more recent editions, otherwise establish) starting money, then (ii) choose equipment from a list which has various items (with a particular focus on combat gear, and then travelling gear, and less focus on (say) household furnishings or cute trinkets) and prices next to them, with (iii) this often being done more-or-less independently by each player, or - if there is collaboration - the collaboration being purely in terms of ensuring not too many iron spikes and ensuring enough oil and lanterns. And the poiint that I took to be the main one is that this process doesn't bear any close resemblance to what is happening in the fiction, which is that (i) this character lives in a quasi-mediaeval economy whe...

Monday, 29th April, 2019

  • 07:47 PM - Lanefan mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    How does hit point recovery work? Because if you dodge 3 "hits"(rounds) before killing the goblin and your hit points are not fully restored 60 seconds later, it does not at all reflect physical drain as it happens in real life. It doesn't take more than a few seconds to recover from a few dodges and swings. 18 seconds of exertion won't tire your for long.If I'm reading Aldarc correctly, that system doesn't have any means of completely avoiding damage ("endurance drain") - though it seems you can try in the fiction to avoid being hit, you'll be hit anyway. Put another way, every attack hits at least to some extent with the only variable being how much damage is inflicted. That said, a question for Aldarc : Maxperson may have a valid point, I think, in questioning how long it takes to recover endurance loss suffered through avoided attacks (i.e. simple combat exertion) vs non-avoided attacks. I say "may have" above in that the answer will largely depend on the answer to a bigger question: whether endurance drain is seen as fatigue (easy to recover) or "meat" damage (not so easy to recover) or a combination of both, or whether the game system bothers with such distinctions. In the realism-authenticity debate this matters because 99% of the time fatigue "damage" is easier to recover from than "meat" damage - after hard exertion you can recover for a ...

Friday, 26th April, 2019

  • 11:43 AM - Sadras mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Okay due to the number of responses I have only responded to @Aldarc's comment so far, other points I either agree with or haven't really gotten around to them or do not form part of the conversation topic I'm interested in. I also provided a short synopsis of many of the responses below as it makes it easier for me to gather my thoughts. Feel free to correct. I don't agree because this seems like a binary viewpoint of combat defense that evaluates realism in terms of whether a system has an AC mechanic or not. It's overly simplistic, lacking scope of how other games perform a similar function with different mechanics. Some games use counter combat rolls. The DM rolls (defense/combat) and the player rolls (defense/combat), and the success of the attack is in the difference. Is that more or less realistic than AC? Other games have the player roll defense, whether using dice polls or defeating a static difficulty number. Is that more realistic than AC? Many systems use armor as damage absorption/reduction. Is that more or less realistic than AC? I can...

Wednesday, 24th April, 2019

  • 04:30 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...ubsystem, etc.) would mean that this TTRPG less closely mirrors {real life or the period in which the TTRPG is occurring}. So, for example, in AD&D (1e), the inclusion of item saving throws (p. 80) makes the game slightly more realistic, as it would make the game more closely mirror something that happens in real life (the possible destruction of items from effects). This shouldn't be a difficult concept. Most people who aren't fighting it understand it instinctively. That said, there are a number of common issues with realism in TTRPGs which mean that realism is not a "good thing" in and of itself*: 1. Realism isn't perfection. Let's look at that saving thrown table on p. 80 again; is it accurate? No. Of course not. It is an approximation of effects, that (TBH) are numbers that are completely pulled out of EGG's posterior. However, and this is the key factor, does it make the game more closely mirror reality than the absence would? Yes, it does. I think this example was raised by @Aldarc with the Disease axample (DMG, pp. 13-14). Do the disease chances and tables mimic real life spread of diseases? No. Of course not. But do they make the game slight more "realistic" (in terms of having some provision for disease that is otherwise absent) than without them? Yes. The idea that perfect is the enemy of more realistic is a bizarre one, as the only perfectly realistic system is the one you are in right now- and AFAIK, it's not a game (although people debate that, maybe this is just a really good simulation). 2. Realism isn't always good. So, this should go without saying (although, again, this has been said and repeated for more than 40 years), but it here it goes. When I go and see Star Wars (for example), do you know what I like? PEW PEW PEW battles in space. Is that realistic? NO. Of course not (and I hope I don't need to explain why on this website). But it's fun and awesome, and I don't Neil DeGrasse Tyson telling harshing on it. It's the same with games- you know that...

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...


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Sunday, 26th May, 2019

  • 03:44 PM - Maxperson quoted Aldarc in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    But these are not distinctly literary notions. Pacing, character development, and tone, etc. all exist within film media, for example, but these are not regarded as "literary." This is a categorical issue. But they ARE literary notions, because they exist in written works. Just because they do not exist ONLY in written works does mean that they are not literary techniques. Also, many do consider film to be literary since film is a representation of written media(the script).
  • 12:38 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Aldarc in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    But these are not distinctly literary notions. Pacing, character development, and tone, etc. all exist within film media, for example, but these are not regarded as "literary." This is a categorical issue. There is also this. Personally I find the hardest of these to force into an RPG is character development. At least the way it would be handled in a novel or book. Similar with pacing. In novels and books the director or writer has total control over what characters do and how quickly they do it. They can plan character arcs and develop their characters in a way that gives cohesion to the story. In an RPG I can't control if a player wants to fullfill some kind of character arc. By the same token, I can't control if my NPCs survive or succeed in all their plans, because the X factor of player characters. There are systems that provide tools for this. But many don't have those kinds of tools. I do run my NPCs as if they are player characters, so if a player kills an NPCs daughter, it is lik...

Saturday, 25th May, 2019

  • 04:20 PM - Bigsta quoted Aldarc in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    And then he began smoking and drinking because all the older kids were doing it too. And at the end of the movie he realizes he gave up his original uniquely designed monster friends in favor of hit point bags that can occasionally cast spells.
  • 03:38 AM - pemerton quoted Aldarc in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I'm not sure if using some of these techniques are core to running a game. When I look at early D&D, for example, these things do not really seem all that prevalent at all. The dungeon crawl is often regarded as the quintessential TTRPG experience (at least per its most popular system: i.e., D&D), but that mode has minimal integration of these techniques (apart from the historical veneer of Euro-medieval aesthetics). It's more of a puzzle game than narrative storytelling. And this is something even that the OSR movement has lifted up and run with as a lauded feature of "old school" TTRPGs. It's part of the talking OSR points about "challenging the player and not the character." It's behind the repeated mantra of D&D being about "killing monsters and looting their stuff." This is not to say that you can't use some of these techniques in your game or can't have them inform your storytelling or play preferences; however, I don't necessarily think that these are inherently core to running a TTRPG...

Friday, 24th May, 2019

  • 06:28 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Aldarc in post State of the mystic
    Yes, which still put it below casters like clerics and druids. But that was the best that psionics had to offer in 3.X so I would say that it did a better job then of power parity. I'd never complain about a class being 'only' Tier 2. ;) The 3.x Sorcerer, for instance, Tier 2, but a better class design with more potential for engaging play and covering more potential character concepts than the Wizard, IMHO. Regardless of its terminological origins, psionics basically has entered general parlance for a type or flavor of "magic" within both science-fantasy - because the moment you introduce psionics into a world, it essentially becomes fantasy (hello, Star Wars) - and more traditional fantasy as well. I can't agree. The point of psionics is that it is magic scrubbed of fantasy, religious, mystical or superstitious trappings, and draped with scientific ones, instead. Allow that "psionics is magic," and there is no difference between psionics and magic, at all, it's superfluous. You're ...
  • 03:26 PM - Imaro quoted Aldarc in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Yes, because the question was beside the point. No the question was pretty much on track for the thread but I respect your desire not to answer it.
  • 01:59 PM - Yaarel quoted Aldarc in post State of the mystic
    So you want to make the psion a wizard subclass despite more appropriate classes existing because you love the 5e wizard so much? I can't find much sympathy with that position. Heh. I care about flavor, and I care about official support flavor. It matters to me. The 5e Wizard is a spontaneous caster like the 3e Psion is. While I agree Intelligence is probably the least important mental stat for Psionics, the fact is, the 3e Psion is an Intelligence mage. The flavor of the Wizard is neutral. It has a great spell selection to pick useful spells with appropriate flavor. It is a good chassis. The 5e Wizard mechanics are elegant and appropriate for the 3e Psion. The flavor is accommodating too. The Wizard is an ideal candidate. Also, the 5e Bard is a spontaneous full caster, a great candidate for the 3e Psion. It has the Charisma that I love. Already has most of the spells with the flavor I am looking for for a Telepath and Psychometabolic, Regarding the 5e Sorcerer, I dislike its ...
  • 01:28 PM - Yaarel quoted Aldarc in post State of the mystic
    The psion probably has more in common with a 5E sorcerer than a 5E wizard. No spellbook. Smaller range of powers known. The main overlap between the psion and wizard has been Intelligence. That said, I know that the psion is most commonly attached to Intelligence as its primary attribute, but I know a number of psionic fans who would wish that the psion was appropriately attached to Wisdom for a change. I dont disagree. But I just cant get into the 5e Sorcerer. In the 3e, the Sorcerer was early on the only option for nonvancian casting. Even then, at high tiers, the sorcerer was significantly underpowered compared to the Wizard, the red-headed step child playing second fiddle, while the 3e designers were intentionally punishing players who disliked vancian casting. Anyway, now that the 5e Wizard is itself a spontaneous caster, I love the 5e Wizard. In contrast the 5e Sorcerer is kinda pointless. And the Sorcerer point system feels too klugy and clumsy. Also, in my circles the word Ďsorcere...
  • 01:08 PM - Maxperson quoted Aldarc in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Yes, because the question was beside the point. You don't know what his point was. You shouldn't assume things.
  • 01:08 PM - Yaarel quoted Aldarc in post State of the mystic
    Dreamscarred Press did an incredible job of adapting and EXPANDING 3.5 psionics for Pathfinder. You could even run a full party with nothing but their psionic classes, including a Vitalist as a healer. I liked the 3.5e and 5e Psionic systems, but I also like skill-based psionics such as the 3.X Psychic Handbook (Green Ronin), Blue Rose (also Green Ronin), or the sci-fi OSR game Stars Without Number (Sine Nomine). I also liked Starfinder's Mystic class, which basically rolled the Psion, Cleric, Shaman, and Druid all into one Wisdom-wielding mystical class of telepathy, enlightenment, and insight. Yeah, Dreamscarred Press transmits well the beauty and the enthusiasm of the 3e psionic fans. It builds from the Expanded Psionic Handbook. This 3e psion is my favorite version of psionics in the D&D tradition. To translate the 3e Psion into 5e, a psionic archetype for the 5e Wizard works well. (Heh, and of course, it wont have a literal spellbook.) Either, the Psion Wizard wont need a spellbook...
  • 07:42 AM - Maxperson quoted Aldarc in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    The question seems beside the point of whether we should equate these things. You didn't answer his question.

Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

  • 06:18 PM - Imaro quoted Aldarc in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    The question seems beside the point of whether we should equate these things. Uhm...ok.
  • 05:51 PM - Imaro quoted Aldarc in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I think that a GM should probably be aware of storytelling techniques to inform and improve their games, but not necessarily literary ones. Literature is one form of storytelling. But GMing could also take cues from cinematic techniques. (Which doesn't make RPGs "film".) Plus, one could be aware of historiography and "Gesichte" to inform your stories, but that does not make RPGs history. Furthermore, I should also think that a GM should be aware of interpersonal issues, but that does not make RPGs psychological therapy. Do you think using at least some of these techniques is core to running a game?

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 03:07 PM - the Jester quoted Aldarc in post State of the mystic
    So which class chassis did you use for the soulknife and wilder? I assume you used a fighter for the psychic warrior. Yep! I did soulknife as a monk type, and wilder as a sorcerer.

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 10:07 PM - the Jester quoted Aldarc in post State of the mystic
    Curiosity peaked. Which three? Psychic warrior, soulknife, and wilder.
  • 06:32 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Aldarc in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    Lobbing bombs at people not the game is the core of the edition war. More like the fallout, the collateral damage - and what made forums blaze in the flames of hell, and gave mods all over the internet ulcers, of course. Not to mention the undiagnosed tragedy of Post Traumatic Edition War Syndrome. This. But not so coincidentally, 5e Warlord threads are also what attract a lot of 4aters. Again pointing out how the Edition Wars have transitioned into the 5e era and the contrast between 4e fans and 4aters with 5e. Sure, you do see continuations of the edition war in those threads, it's inevitable when you think about it. The Warlord was introduced in 4e, and it's a valid enough poster boy for some of the stand-out abominations 4e perpetrated: classes balanced via Martial types having dailies (and casters at-wills, but that's OK, cf 5e cantrips), embracing Gygaxian hp rationalizations, formalizing roles, surge-based healing, 'dissociated mechanics,' etc. So, all those complaints get re...
  • 04:12 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Aldarc in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
  • 03:57 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Aldarc in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    I have not accused you of being one. I did not even name names. . It doesn't matter if you accused me personally or not. That's not the point, and wasn't what I was asking. You said it brings out a lot of 4e haters. So prove it. What are all of these comments that "a lot" of people are making that show they are haters.
  • 03:50 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Aldarc in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    You are assuming a lot here about the very little that I said. I would recommend not incensing yourself into a rage about your assumptions. My comment was not directed at you. If you are not a 4ater, then my comment would obviously not apply. You said "Warlord threads bring out a lot of 4e haters." There's no assuming done by me on that. Your words are there. So who are "a lot" of these people who are 4e haters in those threads? If there are "a lot", I'm sure you have a pretty decent sized list. And again, your post is pretty ironic, accusing me of making a lot of assumptions when you just accused me of incensing myself into a rage. You're doing the same thing Tony did when he accused me of gravedancing and implying I'm all hurt and upset 4e is still around. The both of you aren't doing a very good job of showing how 4e fans are better than others...
  • 03:46 PM - billd91 quoted Aldarc in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    You are assuming a lot here about the very little that I said. I would recommend not incensing yourself into a rage about your assumptions. My comment was not directed at you. If you are not a 4ater, then my comment would obviously not apply. Does it matter if it was directed at Sacrosanct or not? Lobbing bombs at people not the game is the core of the edition war.


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