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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Today, 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...
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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. ...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
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  • Mark CMG's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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#/
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  • 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.
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  • 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?
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  • 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.
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 04:07 PM
    You also assumed a lot about what I meant by my statement. Furthermore, you did not initially ask me anything when you launched into your assumptions. Being pulled into your game of "proving it" does not seem prudent for discourse in this thread especially not when you are being needlessly hostile.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:50 PM
    I lobbed bombs at no one. It was not directed at anyone in particular. I only noted that the traces of the Edition War have taken on new forms in a lot of Warlord in 5E threads. I have not accused you of being one. I did not even name names. I don't even think that most of the debate, vitriol, or criticisms in the Warlord thread are from "4aters." I do think though that your response has been...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:38 PM
    In principle, I think it offers the same as any genre/setting-focused RPG. Burning Wheel makes it easier to play a pseudo-European game than a pseudo-Asian one. (And the designer even comments on this in the rulebook, noting that some lifepaths will probably have to be changed if the group wants an East Asian flavoured game.) That's a limitation of the game, but it also yields a sense of...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:34 PM
    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.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:28 PM
    I'd actually go the other way around - it seems most interesting if the issue is all about escaping from the gnolls. (I'm thinking of Captain Haddock in the boat the first time he meets Tintin, in Crab with the Golden Claws.) If the escape is being adjudicated as some sort of skill challenge or via some comparable structured resolution system (5e has some stuff like this for the exploration...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:21 PM
    Ah, OK - in that case I retract the criticism of your teachers! For the sort of writing that I do and teach, making decisions about paragraphing - as one component of making decisions about structure - is a fundamental skill. A doctrine about minimum or even typical length would be no help at all.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:14 PM
    When I GM I would say that talk similarly to how I would in an enthusiastic hobbyist-type context. Eg if I'd been to a film with a friend and was talking about it afterwards. Or if, at work, I wanted to tell someone what I enjoyed about a seminar I went to. So probably a bit more focused than a supermarket chat. But still conversation.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:59 PM
    I know these questions are intended as rhetorical, but if I treat them as literal then the answer is I don't know. The game seems to be 3e D&D (Scarred Lands), but who are the PCs? Who are the players? Do they have any reason to give a toss about the glutton Titan Gaurak?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:35 PM
    Then, without being too mean about it, you had crappy English teachers. I'm a published author (of non-fiction). A big part of my job is teaching students (UG and PG) how to write. My partner is a published author (non-fiction, some poetry) and a high school English teacher. Most of her job is teaching students how to write. This thread is the first I've heard of this five-paragraph...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:13 PM
    It's pretty tangential to the thread topic, but there is something strange about being schooled on the meaning and connotations of "literary" by someone who asserts such bizarre stuff about the process and structure of wrting.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 02:11 PM
    Huh? Says who? Here are the first three paragraphs of REH's The Scarelt Citadel (which was the first story I Googled, knowing that REH doesn't write in too long-winded a fashion): The roar of battle had died away; the shout of victory mingled with the cries of the dying. Like gay-hued leaves after an autumn storm, the fallen littered the plain; the sinking sun shimmered on burnished...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 10:09 AM
    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. I would not mind if WotC polished and more cohesively integrated what they have in 5e first: class, subclass and feat balance, ability checks (and skills), inspiration/bonds, and...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 09:56 AM
    I would not prefer using the spellbook wizard for the 3e Psion. It seems like the Sorcerer would be a more appropriate fit. :erm:
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 09:05 AM
    But, that's entirely the point. We talk about the kobolds on the hill and we don't need a whole lot more than that, because, well, frankly, we're all experienced gamers and we know what a kobold is. At some point in our gaming history, someone has described a kobold to us. Probably several someones over the years. So, now, we can basically take it as read that we know what a kobold is and...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 06:12 AM
    Well, I did put it the other way round: the players don't find it interesting because, for them, it is not interesting/ Eg maybe the situation is something about kobolds on a hill, and the players (in general; today; because of the PCs they're playing; some combination of factors; etc) simply aren't engaged by that sort of situation. I don't know what a Vengaurak is. I know, therefore, that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 05:00 AM
    By this you're meaning not just gendered roles/classes/playbooks, but sex-based stat penalties? My guess - from the discussion of Conan in the OP - is that CapnZapp wants the play experience that would result from gendered classes/playbooks, but (1) isn't too familar with a wide range of RPGs beyond a certain sort of D&D, and (2) has a certain sort of "simulationist" sensibility that leads to...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 04:56 AM
    Interesting that no one talked about the Vengaurak on the hill. After all, itís a situation and itís just as clear as 14 kobolds. So. There is a Vengaurak on that hill. What do you do?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 04:33 AM
    OK. In that case I think it's fairly clear why two GMs might present the same situation with the same degree of clarity and at one table get buy-in while at the other table it falls flat. Or in other words, the answer to the question you posed here seems fairly straightforward: Those players who don't find it interesting are probably the ones for whom it is not interesting.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 04:28 AM
    CapnZapp didn't say that's how things are iRL. To the contrary, The phrase this world referst to the imagined world of the RPG, not real life. I doubt I would play the game that CapnZapp posits. I do play RPGs which, as part of their presentation of mediaeval life, note the significance of certain gender distinctions (Burning Wheel has some lifepaths that are women only; Prince Valiant has...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 04:02 AM
    To elaborate on my question, then: upthread Imaro seemed to assert, or at least very strongly imply, that whether or not a situation is interesting is a player-independent state of affairs. Do you agree? What do you think the GM should have regard to in coming up with situations? Lanefan, in other threads over many years, has posted that the GM should always author scenarios without regard to...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:54 AM
    Can I pick up on your example (bolded by me to call it out) and a possible risk in play? Not to denigrate the example, but to try to connect it into how I'm thinking about things. It seems to me that it is possible that the GM might narrate the koblds' drool and bloodshot eyes, hoping and intending to evoke a particular response and engagement from the players, only instead to trigger...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:22 AM
    I think there is another reason that books impose demands that are different from RPGing. The goal of a book (typically) is to evoke some sort of response in the reader in virtue of having read the book. This depends heavily on the craft of the narration, on its literary quality in the way the OP uses that phrase. Whereas the goal of a GM's narrration - I assert in the OP and reiterate here...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:07 AM
    It is very close to it. The notion of the craft of the narration is as good as any other way of putting it. For my part, the limitaion in what hawkeyefan says is the emphasis on clearly conveying the situation. I think this is important, but not sufficient. As per the OP, What matters to me is that the players feel the significance of the situations the GM describes - that they feel the...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 12:54 AM
    Curiosity peaked. Which three?
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 10:48 PM
    On the 13 kobolds on a hill. Ok. Itís conversation. Player asks, ďWhat do they look like?Ē Fairly reasonable question. Particularly if you trade kobolds for something new that the player has never seen before. Now describe your 13 kobolds without being literary. Do you really just say three foot tall dog men? Oh wait, wrong edition. Three foot tall lizard dudes armed with spears? ...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 02:15 PM
    I started the thread. Hussar is free to say what he likes about the dependence of much RPGing on the logic of genres (it's something I myself have been posting about for maybe 10+ years on these boards). But those things don't rebut the claim in the OP, which is pretty clear: I don't think Hussar has inadvertantely taken that for a claim that genre plays no role in RPGing. And your...
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 12:00 PM
    Having a Psion class is a good call. I agree with CapnZapp that a lot of past psionic archetypes could easily be ported to subclasses of preexisting classes: * Psychic Warrior: Fighter Subclass * Soul Knife: Monk or Rogue Subclass * Wilder: Sorcerer Subclass * Ardent: Bard or Cleric Subclass
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 11:53 AM
    I voted for 4E. My foray into D&D technically began with me trying to figure out "whiskey tango foxtot is going on?" during two final sessions of 2E before the group planned on switching to 3E which would soon release. So 3E was really my actual first D&D system. It was new and fun, and I have probably played more games using 3E's d20 skeleton than any other system. So I have a lot of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 11:18 AM
    This is fine if, by literary endeavour, you means an activity that deploys and/or relies upon some devices used in literary composition. But that's not what the OP meant, and I think it is fairly clear what the OP did mean: quality of composition, with particular reference to the narration and descriptions used by the GM. Using genre tropes and policing genre boundaries doesn't really bear...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 07:15 AM
    I just realized that there is a very simple test we can perform to prove my point. Can I play a character in your game that is 100% outside of genre? So, an elven wizard in a Call of Cthulu game or a Battlemech Pilot in your D&D game, or whatever. Can I sit down at your table with a character that is completely wrong for the genre of your game and play that character? If you just said no,...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 07:02 AM
    pemerton - perhaps I missed it, but, the point I brought up about using literary techniques, IMO, does speak strongly to the notion that we do need "literary qualities" in an RPG. Without trope, theme, character, and the like, an RPG is simply a really complex board game. All of these aspects, all of these literary techniques, be it clarity of explanation, foreshadowing (which, Bedrockgames, I...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 03:27 PM
    Why not CON? Like other stamina-related feats.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 03:23 PM
    This is highly contingent on (i) system and (ii) ingame situation. To give one example, based on Burning Wheel: I stride down the hall sounds like a Conspicuous test, while I move cautiously down the hall looking carefully for anything out of place looks like a Perception check, perhaps also Stealth and/or Inconspicuous. In Prince Valiant the first might be a check on Presence, the second on...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 05:45 AM
    Honestly, I think two things are very true in this thread. 1. People have equated literary and performance with "flowery language". That is not what's meant and has never been meant. Literary or performance simply means HOW the material is presented in the game, either in written form or in oral during a session. Literary carries additional connotations of utilizing various literary...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 01:06 AM
    Sorry. I didnít realize I had to give more evidence. 1e modules almost all had boxed text. Tomb of Horrors, one of the earliest modules has a picture gallery to show players. Until recently, setting guides were very, very popular books with hardcore fans who are dedicated to the canon of the setting. On and on. Hundreds of pages in Dragon dedicated to the performance end of running a game....
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 10:39 PM
    Considering that 5e now dominates the market, online play at least shows almost 70% of all RPG sessions are 5e, and 5e is selling in droves, would you care to restate your point that "lots of people" think like me that you've made a few times in the last few pages? Brushing it off as "marketing" seems a bit self serving no? You don't care for it, so, it's just marketing, and not core to an...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:07 PM
    Heh. I feel like such a dunce. I never made the connection between Merric and MT Black. :). No wonder I like his DMs Guild stuff.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:05 PM
    If the literary is unimportant, then why do DMGíd include dungeon dressing sections, most of which has little to no mechanical impact?
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:00 PM
    Not really. In all three examples the character simply moves from A to B. Content wise there is virtually no difference. There is no action declaration other than moving.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:52 AM
    Notice that you've got three different action declarations here. Two of them are contrasting: * Grgur walks down the hallway, be cautious and looking carefully to see if anything is out of place. * Grugr strides down the hallway. And one is less specific: * Grugr moves down the hallway.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:47 AM
    Not at all. Imaro is the person who introduced clarity as a desideratum. My point was that clarity is not really connected to literary quality, and pointed to instructions as an example. If you agree that instructions don't typically display literary quality, then I think you should agree that - to the extent that clarity matters in RPGing - then that doesn't really bear on the issues...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:24 AM
    Thanks for the heads up - I've deleted the stray material in that post. As per the OP, it came from multiple recent threads. One was the boxed text thread. Another was the action declaration thread ("DC to know a NPC is telling the truth"). In that second thread, there were some posters who seemed to equate describing a PC's action as a component of action declaration with a florid or literary...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 08:31 AM
    But, even in third person, it can still be performative. "Grgur walks cautiously down the hallway, looking carefully to see if there is anything out of place" is perfomative - you have desciptors like "cautiously" and "carefully". Compared to "Grgur strides down the hall." Both are third person, but, both are using language specifically chosen to evoke a particular scene. A non-descriptive...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 05:43 AM
    What module does not have a rough script? I have several years of Dungeon Magazine as well as a pretty hefty collection of other modules, and, AFAIK, a rough script is exactly what a module is. Heck, if you make a simple dungeon crawl, all that really is is a flowchart with decision points of a rough script. In what way is a module not a rough script? It tells you what happens where and...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 01:12 AM
    So, in your mind, an RPG is akin to technical writing? No emotion whatsoever. The only emotional connection comes when you put together that shelf, as it were? I would imagine, as well, when writing academic papers, that evoking an emotional response would not be the point either. But, when writing a scenario for an RPG, evoking an emotional response very much IS the point.
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:48 AM
    What's wrong with having a familiar explore an entire adventure area? Isn't that what a familiar is for? Heck, currently, our group wizard animates zombies, has the zombie carry the familiar and a torch, and wander about 100 feet ahead of the group. :D Seems a pretty good idea to me.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:46 AM
    People spend millions of dollars painting buildings, too. That doesn't show that painting buildings is per se an artistic endeavour - maybe it is (if we're painting St Peters), maybe it's not (if we're painting a block of flats to protect the exterior against the weather). I'm a published author in a natural language based but technical discipline. (Or in fact two such disciplines: law and...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:46 AM
    What do you think a module is? If not a rough script? Since this whole conversation came out of the notion of using boxed text for modules, it does seem rather apropos. Come right down to it, what do you think happens in most RGP sessions? Do you really believe that most RPG sessions don't have a rough script, typically written by the GM, although, that can vary with more "pass the story...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:41 AM
    A complication for me in responding to Lanefan's question is what is the story which is not progressing?
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:41 AM
    Again, considering the immense expenditure companies incur in technical writing, I'm going to say that you are very, very wrong here. It matters a LOT how instructions are written and, for example Ikea, ease of use is often a strong motivator for sales. You're claiming that so long as the information is there, how it's presented doesn't matter. There's a mountain of evidence out there that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:36 AM
    Yes. This is my point, so I'm not sure why you frame this as disagreeing with me. But this is exactly what I'm talking about. As I posted I think in my last reply to you, I don't understand what role you think action declaration and the distinctive player role in a RPG are doing. As you describe it, it would make no difference if everyone was working through a rough script but improving the...
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:30 AM
    Nope. You are wrong. It's as simple as that. The point of a letter is to communicate information. That it moves you is because it's from a family member, not the fact that it's a letter. The identical letter, with identical words, written by a complete stranger likely won't engender any emotional response. Since I don't play with family members, it's very unlikely that my friend will...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:30 AM
    That's actually not what the OP says. Colour, obviously, is fundamental to heaps of RPGing. (Maybe not some classic dungeoncrawling.) I don't think the word "colour" appears in the OP. The OP does say RPGing requires narration: GMs describe situations - that narration and description will involve colour. My claim is about the focus of, and foundation of, emotional engagement in RPGing. As...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 02:42 PM
    I think that Choose Your Own Adventure books and boardgames are not very satisfactory vehicles for participating in a situation. Their structured natures make them relatively poor vehicles for protagonism. Video games I can't comment on. And I'm not denying that there are people who enjoy RPGs because they are entertained by performances or give entertaining performances. I'm denying that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 02:39 PM
    Really? That's a surprise to me. When I read a letter from a family member I'm not really worried about the spelling or puncutation, let alone it's literary merit.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 02:30 PM
    It's not my distinction, actually. I never used the word content. That's Hussar's word. Hussar has suggested that I am eschewing description, but here's the OP: My point in this thread has been consistent: that what is distinctive about RPGing is that it engages by way of participation in situation, not performance to an audience. I don't think it's that hard to understand, whether...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 02:21 PM
    The point is simple: a novel probably won't move you if it's poorly written. A letter from a family member is likely to move you regardless of how it's written. RPGing is more like the latter than the former. It's about moving people through shared engagement with an imagined situation, not entertaining people by performing for them.
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  • Aldarc's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 02:18 PM
    No.
    67 replies | 2445 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 02:15 PM
    This is important. You are right about fluidity: actual play doesn't manifest discrete types or moments of the neat types we use in analysis and criticism. Some of what I had in mind in my post that you responded to is elaborated in my posts to Hussar just upthread. Here's a passage from Christopher Kubasik that also captures what I had in mind: The tales of a story entertainment are...
    566 replies | 10951 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 01:54 PM
    Yeah, I'm done here. Pemerton's off using definitions that are just way out in left field and I honestly have completely lost whatever point he was trying to make. Every criticism is brushed off as a "non-sequitur" and not even remotely addressed. Bedrockgames cannot even be bothered talking about what the rest of us are talking about. I'm rather tired of simply talking past each other. ...
    566 replies | 10951 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 12:16 PM
    I have no idea what the bolded bit has to do with the topic of this thread. What players contribute to the game is protagonism. Which in a RPG primarily takes the form of action declaration (though I think I have a thicker notion of action declaration than some other posters on these boards). Perhaps I've misunderstood something - but I've repeatedly posted about the centrality of action...
    566 replies | 10951 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 12:08 PM
    I don't know what you have in mind by never references anything. We're playing a RPG. So there is a lot of talking. Exchanges between participants are the main currency of play. Action declarations are spoken. The player describes what his character is doing. I would hope it's obvious that, in denying that RPGing is a literary endeavour characterised by performance, I am not asserting that it...
    566 replies | 10951 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 11:25 AM
    I tend to take a pretty negative view of the player who "just plays himself as a dwarf" (or whatever). To me, this player is a giant black hole sucking all the life and enjoyment out of the group, contributing next to nothing. Now, before anyone jumps up and down, I'm certainly fine with making allowances - a new player for example who just hasn't really gotten into a character. Fair...
    566 replies | 10951 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 10:34 AM
    Whoa, hang on. No one is saying color is the only thing. We are saying that color is just as important as content. There's a significant difference. Or, put it another way, content bereft of color is tasteless.
    566 replies | 10951 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 09:25 AM
    Put it another way. Two players choose English Gentleman and Butler for their descriptors. According to you folks both characters should be indistinguishable from each other.
    566 replies | 10951 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 09:17 AM
    Hrm, so, your Butler player never references anything? Zero description. We're supposed to guess that he's a butler and proper English Gentleman by the fact that he does what exactly? The player never attempts to sound like a butler or English for that matter? Never tries to affect a different diction? Nothing? His responses in no way give any clue about what he is?
    566 replies | 10951 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 09:14 AM
    Good grief Bedrockgames, how many times do you need it explained? I KNOW, since you've entered this thread, I've explained the points pretty clearly at least twice. Now, you might disagree with the points, fair enough, but, complaining that you're not understanding it because no one is taking the time to explain it seems a bit disingenuous.
    566 replies | 10951 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 03:17 AM
    Seriously? You have no problem with players who play non-humans exactly the same as human characters to the point where no one at the table knows the race of the character? That it comes as a surprise when it is revealed (you're an elf? Really? Since when?)? Well, takes all kinds I suppose. To me, it's no different than any other aspect of your character. A successful portrayal of a...
    566 replies | 10951 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hussar's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 03:06 AM
    If canon is important to you and you don't like it when the writers ignore stuff, then, do NOT watch later Voyager. I'm really not a canon guy (shock, surprise), but, even I am looking at the last couple of seasons and going, "WTF?"
    357 replies | 13901 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 04:06 PM
    Right. Which is not consistent with the suggestion that the player has total authority over what the character thinks and feels. But they're not free to come up with the answer because he is smelly. That is, they're not free to make their perceptions non-delusional. Again, the GM - by declaring that the chamberlain doesn't stink - is able to exercise control over what beliefs and sensations...
    580 replies | 20655 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 03:33 PM
    I agree with all this. Darkvision and poison resistance seem like elements in action declaration and action resolution rather than performance/presentation, so I'll put them to one side. In most FRPGing, grooming one's beard, choosing one's food, not liking boat,s is all just colour. If my familiarity with the underground, or the distinctive histories or politics of my people, actually...
    566 replies | 10951 view(s)
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  • Hussar's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 12:25 PM
    There's way too much of a wall of text up there to answer everything, but, I think this gets to the heart of it: Well, let's see. I'd probably talk about growing up underground, reference my appearance by mentioning the beard and spend some time grooming it. I'd probably reference relations between my people and various other people as being different than everyone else's. My food...
    566 replies | 10951 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 11:37 AM
    This post is a follow-up to some of Manbearcat's posts in this thread, and to the idea - mentioned in the OP and taken up a bit since - that consequences can be implicit rather than express. I'm not sure how coherent it is, but it is trying to convey a thought I have. So, here's something from John Harper about making hard moves in Apocalypse World; I've bolded one sentence for emphasis: ...
    43 replies | 1954 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 11:03 AM
    The religious teachings could be TN, or not - from what's said we can't tell. But at least we have a canonical grounding for the need to fight a combat to gain an upper-level title! Would Chariot of Eratsus have the same ring to it?
    68 replies | 2229 view(s)
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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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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.
  • 03:34 PM - gyor quoted Aldarc in post The Final Announcement from The Descent Live Stream: Eberron Hardcover
    Not really. They play to different campaign hooks, themes, and even aesthetics. Most of Khorvaire is actually rural. Many of the nations that broke away from the Five Nations of Galifar are also fairly non-urban too. And the nation of Cyre, which used to contain many major cities, also is now a smoldering wild magic wasteland. Across the ocean, both Aerenal and Xen'drik are mostly jungles. While the urban fantasy and cityscapes are commonly marketed for Eberron, it has a LOT of wilderness, nature, and rural areas. The way it was intended? If you knew anything about Eberron, then you would know that is ignorance talking. Let's look at #1 on the list of 10 Things You Need to Know About Eberron (ECS p.8): "If it exists in D&D, then it has a place in Eberron." Eberron was intentionally written to be inclusive of all D&D content at the time of 3E. In fact, 3E arguably does not even represent Eberron "the way it was intended" once you realize how much was changed, inserted, and rewritte...
  • 03:23 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Aldarc in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    This. But not so coincidentally, 5e Warlord threads are also what attract a lot of 4aters. . Edition warring against 4e is stuff like "That's not real D&D, it's an MMO". It's not "Warlord fans can't seem to agree what they want because in all of these threads, everyone who is a fan wants different things" or "You can still achieve the warlord concept in 5e by doing x, y, and z. Not exactly like 4e, but that would be impossible based on the core design differences." There are one or two people who might attack 4e, but not even close to "a lot". Show me quotes of people who repeatedly personally attack Rob Heinsoo. It's been 7 years since 5e was announced and we still have people taking pot shots at the character, integrity, ethics, and intelligence of Crawford and his team. There seems to be a lot of, and Tony's response to me and attacks on me prove, attitudes that if you don't praise 4e, then you're a 4hater. That's simply nonsense. Criticizing 4e doesn't automatically make o...
  • 03:01 AM - Yaarel quoted Aldarc in post State of the mystic
    Having a Psion class is a good call. I agree with CapnZapp that a lot of past psionic archetypes could easily be ported to subclasses of preexisting classes: * Psychic Warrior: Fighter Subclass * Soul Knife: Monk or Rogue Subclass * Wilder: Sorcerer Subclass * Ardent: Bard or Cleric Subclass In my case, a Wizard psionic subclass as long as it is competitively potent, can probably fulfill my need for a 3e Psion.

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 08:13 PM - the Jester quoted Aldarc in post State of the mystic
    Having a Psion class is a good call. I agree with CapnZapp that a lot of past psionic archetypes could easily be ported to subclasses of preexisting classes: * Psychic Warrior: Fighter Subclass * Soul Knife: Monk or Rogue Subclass * Wilder: Sorcerer Subclass * Ardent: Bard or Cleric Subclass Agreed- in fact, I have long since homebrewed three out of four of those.

Thursday, 9th May, 2019

  • 11:16 AM - Lanefan quoted Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    But weapon size is not necessarily an indicator of damage. ... Why does a mace deal 1d6 damage when a longsword deals 1d8 damage?Good question. In 1e a mace did d6+1 to non-large foes where a longsword did d8 - exactly the same average but the mace didn't have the option of doing 1 or 8. One could argue there's in fact some realism behind this: a longsword hit could just nick you (1 pt damage) but any hit from a mace is more likely to pack some punch (thus starts at 2 pts damage). At the other end a longsword, being a stabbing weapon, could carve through more vital bits on a good strike (thus 8 pts maximum) where a mace is only ever going to hurt you on the outside, though sometimes painfully (so max 7 pts damage).

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 01:22 PM - Maxperson quoted Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    But you proceeded all this by appealing to how these weapons would work in real life - your own subjective sense of what is "realistic" - and that assertion could be disputed by people who actually know better than you about the subject matter. You are just ignoring reality when it's inconvenient for your game while also appealing to your sense of reality about that same matter. What I have been saying, and I think you know it, is that we look at real life for the connection and idea of how they work, not exactly how they would work real life. When I look at swords in real life having edges, that's not a subjective interpretation. When I look at swords having hilts in real life, that's not a subjective interpretations. When I look at them being primarily made out of metal in real life, that's not a subjective interpretation. When I look at them getting dinged up when used or the blade dulling, that's not a subjective interpretation. When I look at them breaking during use, more often...
  • 02:33 AM - Maxperson quoted Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Not all appeals to authority are irrelevant. The point being is that not everyone would necessarily agree with your assessment. Experts are irrelevant, because you only need an expert if you intend to mirror reality as closely as possible, which is not generally the goal of realism in D&D. It's certainly not my goal. All it takes for the level of realism I seek is for me to have a system that generally works towards representing something in real life. It doesn't have to be accurate or even anywhere remotely close to being accurate. Case in point proven. It was a joke, hence the winky face you seemed to have missed. And do you seriously expect not to be corrected when you are wrong?

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

  • 02:51 PM - Maxperson quoted Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    From the perspective of "realism" I'm not sure if actual experts would necessarily agree with your assessments that mostly attempt to provide post hoc justifications for the provided weapon damage. Aside from being an Appeal to Authority, experts are irrelevant here. If I merely muttered that water was wet, you would still feel compelled to tell me that my statement was a red herring/strawman/false dichotomy, that water is dry, and go out of your way to insult me. Water isn't wet. Things that have water on them are wet. ;) I am not sh*tting on this to win or because of any horrors that either you or LowKey13 falsely project onto my past to redirect my statements into some sort of PTSD. Cut this out, Max. You are being unduly rude and making personal attacks. I'm sorry that you cannot conceive the idea that others would hold opinions different to your own, but I am being genuine in my argumentation and disagreement with yours. And there are better ways to resolve that than makin...
  • 02:16 PM - Maxperson quoted Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    But weapon size is not necessarily an indicator of damage. A spear does 1d8 damage but a common spear is larger than a longsword. A quarterstaff does 1d6 damage is but is also larger than a longsword. Why does a mace deal 1d6 damage when a longsword deals 1d8 damage? The damaging portion of a spear is smaller than the damaging portion of a sword. The same with the staff. The function of a spear is to give reach to the weapon portion at the end, which is a bit bigger than a dagger, but can be thrust harder. It really should be reduced back down to d6. A quarter staff is blunt and only really uses the ends to deal damage with, so it deals a bit less than a longsword. A mace also uses a smaller portion of the weapon to deal damage and is blunt, so it deals less than a longsword. It all makes sense when you look at it from a realism perspective. You should give it a try some time to understand realism, rather than just poo pooing on it because you want to win or because of some horror ...
  • 01:38 PM - Maxperson quoted Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Not quite, though I extend my apologies for using the word "gamist" as an adjective as I had not intended to invoke or appeal to Forge terminology, simply an adjectival form of "games." Okay. Realism exists in games, too. The system that D&D uses to evoke realism with regard to weapon damage is escalating damage dice based on weapon size. From daggers at d4 to greatswords and mauls at 2d6 in 5e. Knowing how D&D models real life weapons, it's easy to see why it's more realistic for longswords in D&D to do a d8 damage rather than d10. This is also why attempts to compare two different systems inherently fail. They use different systems, so comparisons are useless. There's not a lot of comparison that you can do between D&D's d8, and Rolemaster's flat damage based on what you roll plus your crit if any.
  • 01:16 PM - Maxperson quoted Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    You basically just described gamist justifications and not realist ones. Hmm. Looking at the forge I see Gamist, Narratavist, and Simulationist. No Realist. You're confusing yourself with terms again. Realism exists in all three of the above game types. ;)
  • 10:44 AM - pemerton quoted Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I'll let someone more well-versed with those days to go down this rabbit hole.The bit of that rabbit hole that I ignored was the completely unsubstantiated assertion that the meaning of "realism" in RPGing has changed in the past 40 years. Obviously I missed that memo (despite playing Rolemaster continuously from early 1990 to late 2008!). You basically just described gamist justifications and not realist ones.Are you suggesting that if I open a book about weapon-inflicted wounds, or fighting styles, it won't catalogue weapons by die size?
  • 03:06 AM - Maxperson quoted Aldarc in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    And EGG notably refers to the entire realism matter as "an absurd effort at best considering the topic!" while engaging the matter. His position is comparable to the position many of us here also have: it's an inherently absurd, futile effort. So it sounds as if EGG did not really think that realism was something that could be feasibly modeled in the game, and he even puts 'realistic' in quotes with a tinge of irony. His position is not one that either you or pemerton. Gygax came from Wargaming where realism meant get as close to reality as possible. Realism no longer means what he was talking about with that statement, and if you actually read 1e and 2e, he supports realism as it means today all over the place. Gygax with how he designed his games actually supports my position far more than he supports yours. And what remains unresolved: how the frak do you objectively compare the modeling of realism between games? Let's imagine that all else being equal, what is more realistic? A ...


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