View Profile: heretic888 - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Today, 05:03 PM
    Quite the thread! Surprised I didn’t notice it before. Just a few quick thoughts in relation to pemerton ‘s post on player-facing Skill Challenges . I’ve long been an advocate of transparency (including making everything player-facing) in mechanical archetecture of scene-based games. While 4e is a fiction-first RPG like Apocalypse World, it is not a free form RPG like AW. It’s more...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 01:54 PM
    If you want to have that discussion, you can necro the thread and respond to the posts there.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 01:14 PM
    Those daily abilities don't have to be hoarded/preserved., though. The "adventuring day" might involve one encounter, or a dozen, and it makes no difference to game balance. If the players all nova in the first encounter of the day, this doesn't allow wizards to outshine fighters. It's purely about pacing. Whereas other editions (and 13th Age) depend for balance upon an "adventuring day" that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:43 PM
    I think players need to know they're in a skill challenge if they're going to make reasoned choices about what resources to use (eg powers, action points, equipment, etc). In that respect I think the comparison to combat is apt. I don't see resolution as something separate from the "real" game.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 10:02 AM
    To be honest I don't remember any of that - it was a while ago now! I know that the paladin did stuff, as his player was the one who initiated the idea of taming rather than killing the bear. The fighter must have done something too, but I don't remember what that was: I have a vague memory of the bear being hostile to him, and him doing something in response (but I can't remember what, or...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 09:41 AM
    A follow-on from the previous post: skill challenges, like similar resolution systems in other (mostly indie) RPGs, work on the premises (1) that the GM is responsible for framing scenes, but (2) that the players are responsible for the choices that will determine how those scenes turn out. The significance of (2) is that it makes the scene, or encounter, the focus of play. There is no "the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 09:28 AM
    There are two things here - I had determined that the only way and hit the Orcs X times before the Orcs hit the PCs Y times. The latter is, more-or-less, what D&D combat looks like (where X and Y equals hit points divided by damage per hit). The former is about establishing stakes and modes of approach. There is nothing about a skill challenge as a mode of resolution that says that the GM...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 07:53 AM
    Succeeding at a check is something that takes place sitting around the table, in the real world, where a die was rolled, some number added to it, and the result compared to a difficulty. None of that happens in the fiction. In the real world, following the game mechanics as described in the PHB2, it goes more-or-less like this: Y's player rolls a Perception check, and X's player rolls (or has...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 05:12 AM
    For me, "linear adventures"/railroading are fun when the characters are fairly vibrant (and so there is fun to be had bringing my character to life as part of play, given the other main bit of play - making choices that shape the fiction - is not really happening) and the GM/module is providing an engaging story that the vibrant characters fit into well. I've enjoyed CoC played in this style,...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 03:12 AM
    I picture the specialist as being darn-near unplayable, like a 3e NPC class. Though, the mostly-daily is pedantic, I think it would work better as an all-at-will like the Stalwart. Maybe Wild-something for the mostly-daily type...? The point, though, is intentional imbalance favoring the 'Hero.'
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 02:55 AM
    One of the 4e descendant threads has something very akin to that... on 4enclave.org however my experience has been it's way way too easy to yank the game into being all about the specialist mayaps the problem is they become a specialist in so many things as they level instead of staying a narrow solution.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 02:28 AM
    The 4e rules are not a statement of in-fiction causal processes. They are a statement of processes of mechanical resolution. In this partiuclar case,succeeding on the Perception check (which is something a person at the table does, not something that a character in the fiction does) means that X loses hidden status, thus ceasing to be inivsible, and thus being able to be seen by Y's normal...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:09 AM
    In a linear adventure, where there is no adventure but through the door, /forward/ would be more litteral. But, sure, more broadly, point taken. I rather like that one. I suppose that, with 5e, the penduulum has swung back to more DM-directed styles...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 01:05 AM
    This is another example of terminology drift. "Fail forward" is a technique that was championed by certain indie designers. The 13th Age rulebook (p 42) describes it thus: A simple but powerful improvement you can make to your game is to redefine failure as “things go wrong” instead of “the PC isn’t good enough.” Ron Edwards, Luke Crane, and other indie RPG designers have championed this...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:04 AM
    Add some formal downtime-day requirement and that sounds like a perfectly reasonable alternative to the stat preq.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:39 AM
    Do you think this is true of combat also - that it makes no difference adjudicating combat as hp attrition, or adjudicating combat via a GM's freeform opinion of when the players have done enough to defeat their enemies?
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:34 AM
    I suppose the idea is that you're not getting trained up in the class for a long period, like you presumably would be for your first 'Apprentice' level, but are cramming to master the new class more quickly, which requires greater raw talent? Not a terrible thing. There's enough 'traps' as it is before adding MCing to the mix...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:32 AM
    And if X is hidden from Y, then X can't be seen by Y's normal vision. You keep talking about Y defeating X's cover (by "walking around the box X is hiding behind") - but doing that means that X is no longer hidden from Y, which of course means that (assuming that X has no other source of invisibility) X is no longer invisible to Y, and hence it is no longer true that Y cannot see X with normal...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:15 AM
    But, at 15, it's not even 'Green' yet...?
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:36 PM
    "Judge?" They still call GM's 'judges' over there? I thought that was a 70s wargaming thing...? ...sorry... anyway... It depends on the con, and I suppose varies regionally, so my experience may have no bearing, but cons often schedule at least some time between the end of one session and the start of another, so generally, just not going over time should keep you from having the problem...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:17 PM
    Darn it, now I have to go and agree with you. And we were having such a nice argument. ;) Sub-classes are in essence a way of hiding class proliferation. Instead of admitting you have 40 classes, some of them really kinda redundant, you bundle them under a few classes and call them sub-classes. They can, and in 5e do, stand in for specific MC combos, presumably, the most popular ones -...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:09 PM
    I was trying to hold up a darkly sarcastic mirror to the (miss)use of those terms, yes.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:47 PM
    Pretty sure it was clear that he was echoing things he knew were nonsense... but which seem to be "common use/understanding". It seems he also didn't get much out of them either but that seems different. (I kind of found Forge to be fun mental exercise of modelling those who model - LOL)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:46 PM
    Further off on a tangent, maybe I should ask in your HoML thread, but, with regard to quasi-classes, things that act like classes but combine with them, I've often thought that you could leave Role & Source independently 'floating,' so you could just choose Martial & Defender, instead of Fighter, say... But, other threads about resource mixes have me thinking if it wouldn't be kosher to have a...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:33 PM
    That's certainly a thing that can happen. 3.x was big on rewarding system mastery, and 4e both invalidated that mastery and greatly reduced the relative rewards for gaining & applying mastery of it. I got less bent out of shape by that than I did when the 6th ed of Hero did the same sorta thing - though, to be fair, the challenge of acquiring system mastery was greater (and quite...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:23 PM
    Though it varies with the group, D&D /is/ a social activity, and often a lot of play time is bled off in what is essentially socializing. What isn't bled off in rules debates, protracted planning sessions, or the table-top equivalent of 'pixel-bitching,' that is. So I'd say what you're experiencing is pretty normal, and what you're seeing is the result of video-editing, maybe awareness of being...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:52 PM
    It seems reasonably hostile to D&D, too, describing both as "incoherent." In this particular instance I was posting my impressions of how the boards tend to (miss)use Forge terminology. And, no, I have made a small effort, but never found much sense in the Forge. The Threefold Model made a little sense to me back in the day, but it still mainly came off as intellectualizing the essentially...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:32 PM
    It's assuming characters can do that. But, such is only optional in 5e, so when that option is exercised, the statement is "more true" in the sense that exclusivity is more pronounced and applies to more featuers. A lot of people balked at 1e MCing. Not that demi-humans could do it, but that they could do it with only certain class combos, and had level limits, and/or that humans couldn't...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:49 PM
    I think the idea of "being stuck at a closed door" is mostly a feature of GM-driven/railroad play. In "story now" play, the story just is that the PCs didn't go through that door, so some other thing happened. I don't know what Matt Colville has to say about it, but the structure of a skill challenge serves the same purpose as the structure of combat resolution: it establishes a mechanical...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:36 PM
    And 4e/WotC did?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:35 PM
    Just as a point of intellectual history: you do realise, don't you, that The Forge is quite hostile to White Wolf/Storyteller, and largely indifferent to D&D but with a mild sympathy for its classic/OSR version. For someone who gets worked up about what you see as falsehoods by critics of 4e, though, you don't hold back in posting nonsense about The Forge and the "threefold model". From...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:43 AM
    What would be a good name that was consistent with hp not being metagame?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:24 AM
    So how come, then, a Cure Light Wounds spell can heal most ordinary people (in classic D&D, B/X, AD&D and 3E) from dying or on their last legs, to full health?
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:49 AM
    Yes, but I should note that Story Now doesn't mean No Prep At All. You can certainly prepare potential encounters the PCs may face. However, in a Story Now context what you would also do is a) allow for multiple pathways for "defeating" the encounter, b) make sure each encounter is meaningful to the shared fiction, c) do not pre-prepare outcomes for any given encounter, and d) do not assume the...
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:24 AM
    We'll have to agree to disagree. ;)
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:56 AM
    That's fine, I'm certainly not attached to the name. I can only speak from my own personal experiences, where drawing upon one's willpower to do something intensely physically demanding is a) definitely a thing, b) something human beings can do of their own volition with practice and experience, and c) not something you can do as often as you want to (i.e., its a "limited use" ability we might...
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:46 AM
    Well, as I said before, I consider railroading to be much more common than most would probably be willing to accept. And it can be good fun with the right group and the right GM, so there's nothing inherently "wrong" with it.
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:41 AM
    Yep. As Tony pointed out earlier in the thread, Edition Warriors hijacked the jargon in order to demonize game systems they didn't like (in what context has "gamism" ever been used as anything other than a pejorative around these parts?). As opposed to the original intent of creative agendas, which was to talk about people's actual experiences at the table rather than dragging rules systems...
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:34 AM
    Right, not sure you're really disagreeing with what I've said here though. ;) My larger point is 4E will be an exceedingly unsatisfactory experience when railroaded because of its encounter-based design whereas in my experience railroaded games in certain other systems will produce more enjoyable play experiences. I believe this is a feature and not a bug, as 4E definitely has an anti-railroad...
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:29 AM
    It sounds like your issue is less with the concept than the name, then.
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:27 AM
    I'm sorry, Emerikol, but there are low-impact maneuvers that can only be used in specific circumstances but are highly effective when pulled off. This is what limited use martial exploits represent. Now, yes, you could represent these maneuvers by making a melee combat system that is incredibly detailed and complicated and give specific fictional triggers for when to pull these off. However, at...
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:14 AM
    True, but in this case it seems to owe to willful ignorance moreso than linguistic evolution. Its mostly the elements of 4E that make it amenable to Story Now play in general, although GMs are free to ignore much of these elements (and clearly quite a few did). I actually think the Skill Challenge framework is important here and how much it gets utilized by a 4E table (as well as how it...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:02 AM
    No, there are many options that are exclusive by class or race, for instance, or come at a different cost to different classes, etc... D&D has long moved towards classlessness, just never very far or fast. 5e is, as in so many ways, between the other WotC eds and the TSR eds, that way.
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:20 AM
    While I can't claim to be any kind of expert, I do have several years' experience training in wrestling, martial arts, and weightlifting. What I can claim, however, is that I categorically disagree with both of these statements and they do not mirror my real-life experiences in any way, shape, or form. I can also claim that other gamers I have spoken to who have similar background in martial arts...
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:59 AM
    Heh, nice. Here are the actual definitions courtesy of the Big Model wiki: Gamism/Step On Up: http://big-model.info/w/index.php?title=Step_On_Up&redirect=no Narrativism/Story Now: http://big-model.info/wiki/Story_now Simulationism/Right To Dream: http://big-model.info/wiki/The_Right_To_Dream Basically, in a nutshell, "Gamism" is about overcoming challenges and doing strategic play in...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 10:26 PM
    Exclusivity is a key feature of class systems, yes. If any character can take any feature, at the same 'cost,' you have a classless system.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 10:19 PM
    AFAICT from the way they get used, they mean something like: Simulationism: An irrational, uncompromising, preference not for an actual simulation (like, say civil war re-enactment), but for bad games that are bad in the ways a game would have to become if it were adapted to function as a simulation, instead - even though the games in question simulate nothing. Narrativism: the Role half...
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 09:44 PM
    Of course, nobody actually uses those Forgite terms accurately anyway. When people call 4E "gamist", for example, I can't help but laugh and roll my eyes. 4E is probably the version of DnD least suited to a Step On Up creative agenda. Meanwhile it maps to "simulationism" pretty cleanly with its fidelity to heroic fantasy genre emulation. All of which ignores the fact that Forgite creative...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 09:06 PM
    Princess Bride reference wins the thread. ;)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 07:59 PM
    To be fair, The Forge had come up with those terms years before, a continuation of the Three-fold Theory that arose out of the edition-war-like (actually Storyteller v D&D) Role v Roll debate. And plenty of that, too, sure. ".... first casualty of war" and all that.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 07:42 PM
    To be fair, The Forge had come up with those terms years before, a continuation of the Three-fold Theory that arose out of the edition-war-like (actually Storyteller v D&D) Role v Roll debate.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 07:29 PM
    The Original OD&D 3, before the theif & paladin, map precisely to the 3 Sources in the 4e PH1. The 'Big 4' map less nearly to the 4 Roles, since the roles were so much more nearly balanced. Its been problematic since day 2, when the Thief came out, and established, that while it was OK for the magic-user to tap all the magic in genre & more ('cept healing), and for the cleric to you no...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 07:06 PM
    The GSL, compared to the OGL is an impediment to 3pp support. And, of course, the threat of renewed edition-war hostilities (it's not like they've really stopped, just tapered off), is an impediment to WotC. I thought OSRIC got some kind of permission? I've glanced at it, bits look to be virtually verbatim. There's hundreds of powers - per class - compared to yoinking the srd and having a...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 06:09 PM
    To model a wider range of characters without creating a class for each. Multiclassing options move a game from the class based extreme towards a build system. 3e is an example of a hybrid of the two, though still clearly on the class side since it preserves exclusivity with distinctions like class level, favored classes and exp penalties. 5e, as always it seems when compared to 3e, is muddled,...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 05:52 PM
    You are working very hard to make a clear, simple thing conform to your expectations of ambiguity and needless complexity. Simply repeating the same mistakes won't make them into a valid alternate interpretation. No, you are no longer Hidden in those instances. Once you are no longer Hidden, you are no longer Invisible to the creature that made the check or that you no longer have...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 04:28 PM
    In development Forerunner an OGL derivation of 4e concepts and core functionality without IP or copyright issues.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 03:58 PM
    I generally think I can make heroic tier characters in 4e feel pretty legendary or mythic ... how one handles minions and how both players and DMs presents things can be a huge difference. Although things could definitely be adjusted to make some of that easier.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 03:37 PM
    Theres always the name "Map makers who run away as much as possible and steal whenever they can til spell casters can kick everythings ass" but that is too long and the theme has already been taken.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 03:35 PM
    This post was removed from where I posted it in the first place so meh...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 01:41 PM
    It's an interesting juxtaposition. Obviously 4e, BW and Cortex+ Heroic (the three systems I work with at the moment) handle this very differently. 4e is closest to your (1), BW to your (2). Cortex+ Heroic is intermediate.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 12:23 PM
    Emerikol (and Lanefan and perhaps Saelorn ), you (and Lanefan) answered my question with a response about the implications on the gameplay paradigm; eg “it would make it more lethal.” This thread is about “metagame mechanics” and players making decisions based exclusively on (what you perceive as) observable phenomenon (biological, physical) from the character’s perspective. I’m looking for...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 11:32 AM
    On this occasion, we are in agreement!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 09:57 AM
    But why do you need "patching up", if they're not being impeded in their performance? In my experience, the actual play of hit points and healing is all about making sure no one drops below zero; but how do the PCs know that any given PC is close to dying, if all they can see as some random assortment of minor wounds? To give a concrete example. A PC has 30 hp. Scenario 1: s/he takes four...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 09:50 AM
    This is all just assertion. Even the bit about not being able to control when you urinate.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 08:11 AM
    In objectives, for instance, it's quite similar. 13A & 5e are both compromise takes on D&D, harkening back to the classic game; both intent on enabling TotM by default, both trying to balance classes with different resource mixes, and both deflating bonuses... The GSL. 4e can't be cloned. 3e & 4e were both pretty explicit that players could describe their characters' gear as they like...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 07:56 AM
    Not if it's just one of many things a character can acquire. It was also HD, attack & save matrices, and learning another crappy weapon every 5th level, back in the day. Kits (backgrounds) & schools since 2e, skills & feats since 3e, class features since 4e... Exclusive, yes, until you get into multiclassing to circumvent it.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 07:25 AM
    The "lots of..." I keep hearing in these discussions. I see no indications of PF2 being that game in any sense... certainly 13A was closer, and it wasn't close, at all. You'd be in good company, but little if it. D&D is just the easiest game to pull a groupbtigether around. Want to play something better, there's no shortage of games, the problem is finding a few other former-D&Ders...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 07:02 AM
    The context is 4e, in which Hidden and Invisible have precise, clear meanings. Since that's the context, you have been unequivocally proven wrong. No amount if ranting, dictionary definitions, or attempts to manufacture ambiguity are going to change that. But, only when the tangent drifted into that context. In 5e, you could have this whole argument in natural language, and, in the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 06:44 AM
    As I've said, I'm suspicious of appeals to popularity in any form. On top of that, consider what it meant to be a 4e fan. It meant you gave the new ed a fair chance, even when negative reviews cane out, even as the edition war heated up, and misinformation became common wisdom. They gave it enough if a chance to come to understand and appreciate a very different game. 4e fans may be...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 06:34 AM
    Especially since your title is Heros of Myth and Legend. You doubly need to assure the awesome is explicitly enabled and encouraged. If your title was Adventurers Guild not so much or Lost Treasure finders not so much.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 04:20 AM
    Why not? An AD&D monk can control when s/he goes into a cataleptic trance that feigns death, ro when s/he recovers lost hit points by way of self-healing. A 3E or 5e barbarian can control when s/he gets really angry. Why can't a 5e fighter control when s/he gets his/her second wind? I think there is some tension here. You don't seem to regard "moderately unrealistic" hit points as magic,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 03:59 AM
    Or JRRT, who is about as sentimental as Disney. I think one solution to this is one that Gygax at least gestures towards in his DMG: narrate it one way (Disney-esque) for PCs, but otherwise for monsters and NPCs who won't be coming back. You probably won't be surprised that I regard 4e as the most coherent presentation of hp-as-sentimentality-towards-the-heroes: that's why they can be...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 03:28 AM
    If someone suggested that it was outrageous for a wizard to shoot a bow, and there was a response of "cast Magic Missile", I don't think that would create much controversy. Similarly, using DEX/Stealth is how a non-caster achieves the functionality of an Invisibility spell. My initial reply to you was mostly intended as humour; what's surprised me is that has generated all this contoversy. ...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 02:25 AM
    I think that really is a big takeaway from this discussion taking a standard action is competing with at-wills... so aid other, aid defense, aid attack and the like have to be on a fairly similar scale because of it.
    32 replies | 1207 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 02:18 AM
    The distraction of a Mark is a type of distraction and depriving enemies of opportunity actions is another 4e is very broad in this regards...
    32 replies | 1207 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 07:29 PM
    Basically help someone who is focus fired on that way.
    32 replies | 1207 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 07:16 PM
    Aid defense should affect defense against all enemies if you still wanted it. I think they forgot from the ground up that the everyman abilities would effectively compete in the action economy with at-wills.
    32 replies | 1207 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 06:47 PM
    Give a fighter something to boost it up was my thought. True about the obsolescence of Aid Defense but they already made it automatic no roll with errata.
    32 replies | 1207 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 05:17 PM
    If we start enumerating stunts for high end abilities (strength over X lets you do things like these) we might to let those mythic stuff happen.... but are you going to enumerate long distance teleporting that way?
    35 replies | 907 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 05:09 PM
    Heroes Shout, Hurl into Space, Wrestling with Death.... Quasi-Instant Social connections, Sequestering/Hiding an item, Preventing death "after they die" . I think we have a need for permission to achieve mythic extremes. This needs communicated a Mage gets it easily almost by default.
    35 replies | 907 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 04:38 PM
    Remember a fighter can throw an improvised rock and mark an enemy while delivering damage. If we want that to be valuable for them... it will take more. (d4 psychic damage +?) Or perhaps it can cause the enemy to grant combat advantage to adjacent creatures
    32 replies | 1207 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 04:31 PM
    I think you misunderstood what I meant maybe or maybe not. it might mean you want to take the long haul if you have high CON... but does that mean you can always choose to do so? It means you do athletics better when you can repeat and retry and take a longer time to finish ... generally where failures are allowed. Something allowing few or no repeats requires the precision. ...
    60 replies | 2621 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 02:54 PM
    Just paying attention to the taunter is kind of a basic success I am thinking a bloodied opponent might do the full switch targets and considered marked, ie if primarily a melee combatant rushing away without shifting at the taunter next turn in addition to losing opportunities as described. I am now thinking about AbdulAlhazred and his Homl with different degrees of success.' I think...
    32 replies | 1207 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 01:39 PM
    I don’t want to dig down too deeply into the rest of the hacking required, because I was trying to solicit solely the visceral reaction from Emerikol . I’m inthe same camp as Ratskinner ; the reaction to one type of mechanics or information organization versus another is primarily because of familiarity or the internalization of a set of stuff into a mental framework that you’ve settled into...
    416 replies | 8721 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 09:21 AM
    Who said there is a problem? I find it tends to help things that I and my players are on the same page. If the GM is either going to move quickly through the blocking obstacle, or else there is an overnight rest and encounter opportunity, I'm not really seeing the meaningful choice or trade off. Why does the passage of ingame time, and the passage of time at the table dealing with that extra...
    416 replies | 8721 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 09:07 AM
    You're wrong about 4e - it's in the rules for Stealth in the PHB2 that a succesful Stealth check makes you invisible to the person you're hiding from, which means that they can't see you with normal vision. (Depending on the circumstances, they may be able to see you with Blindsight or Tremorsense.) And as I've already said, 5e refers to being unseen - which in many circumstances is...
    196 replies | 6467 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 09:02 AM
    You're not selling me on 5e!
    196 replies | 6467 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 09:00 AM
    The ingame explanation is the same way s/he knows s/he is breathing, or hurting - s/he feels it. There's no "gradually increaasing". You start being able to memorise (say) 1 1st level spell. Then you can memorise 2. Then you can memorise 1 second level spell as well. Then 3 1st and 2 2nd. (I'm using the AD&D charts.) Each step up corresponds exactly to a class level - so if you treat...
    416 replies | 8721 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 06:52 AM
    Asking questions of the DM in 5e is slightly off. The PC does not have a hot line to an omniscient being (well unless he has access to powerful divinations). Rather, the player needs to declare an action - as simple as trying to remember or put together anything he might already know, or searching, seeking out experts, questioning witnesses or whatever. Once a player has an action the DM is...
    29 replies | 693 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 06:42 AM
    It's whatever/however the DM narrates it to be. I see no reason to presume that. In fact, even assuming a DEX(stealth) check will be called for is presumptuous. Any action declaration by any player of any character in any circumstance at any time can be narrated by the DM as failure or success at the DMs sole discretion. Your assumption is unwarranted, and, yes, they are.
    196 replies | 6467 view(s)
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About heretic888

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I have DM'd 4E off and on since it came out over 2 years ago, but don't get to play as often as I'd like.
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Monday, 16th July, 2018



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Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

  • 02:32 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned heretic888 in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    ...vance. The 3 room Delve format of adventures for example rather then a free form Cave of Chaos adventure. I know that in my group the skill challenge mechanic felt more like using your skills to solve a puzzle rather then using them in a Narrative sense, which is why I would have classified it as a Gameist mechanic rather then a Narrative one. I know that in my experience there was very much a feeling of looking through your Skills to find the best one and then trying to somehow fit that to the situation, very much the opposite of eschewing any kind of predetermined plot. In any case it is very interesting to try and look at these situations from a different angle. Yeah, obviously a lot of people fell into that trap with SCs. OTOH if you took it to the other extreme, where the situation was highly dynamic and the choice of skill was a real decision between different approaches, which lead to different fictional positioning going forward, etc. that could be very gamist as well (in heretic888's Big Three sense of gamist), allowing for a lot of thought and preparation. DMG2 said a few things about this that should have been in DMG1's presentation, like "SCs should span some significant amount of plot" (liberal paraphrase). I think that IMHO though COMBAT was much better in non-setpiece style. I didn't plan encounters much at all by the end of my last 4e campaign. I just ran them almost ad-lib. I'd go through what I thought was likely to happen and pick out stat blocks that would probably work in situations I imagined coming up, but often they didn't and I'd just use something else. One thing that did demand was a lot of familiarity with the MMs, but it worked well. As I've said before, they were so highly dynamic that there was little to worry about in terms of a given encounter coming 'unraveled'. Again, the DMGs failed to come up with this approach, which was sad.

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Monday, 16th July, 2018

  • 11:34 PM - Emerikol quoted heretic888 in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    I'm sorry, Emerikol, but there are low-impact maneuvers that can only be used in specific circumstances but are highly effective when pulled off. The debate is who controls those circumstances. The player? If so then it is unlike the real world. Such circumstances in the real world are presented as opportunities. This is why I actually like the Pathfinder concept of any roll exceeding the to hit score required is a critical. It reveals talent beating inferior talent without going metagame. The problem with a fixed number of encounter powers is that these powers come into play regardless of the skill of your adversary. The reality is that against really bad enemies you'd pull of special manuevers a lot more often and against someone super skilled you would not. This is what limited use martial exploits represent. Now, yes, you could represent these maneuvers by making a melee combat system that is incredibly detailed and complicated and give specific fictional triggers for w...
  • 01:35 PM - pemerton quoted heretic888 in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    To be fair, The Forge had come up with those terms years before, a continuation of the Three-fold Theory that arose out of the edition-war-like (actually Storyteller v D&D) Role v Roll debate.Just as a point of intellectual history: you do realise, don't you, that The Forge is quite hostile to White Wolf/Storyteller, and largely indifferent to D&D but with a mild sympathy for its classic/OSR version. Obviously, I don't put much stock in the Forge, creative agendas, GNS, Threefold theory, or Roll v Role.For someone who gets worked up about what you see as falsehoods by critics of 4e, though, you don't hold back in posting nonsense about The Forge and the "threefold model". Simulationism: An irrational, uncompromising, preference not for an actual simulation (like, say civil war re-enactment), but for bad games that are bad in the ways a game would have to become if it were adapted to function as a simulation, instead - even though the games in question simulate nothing.From "Simulationism...
  • 05:14 AM - Shasarak quoted heretic888 in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Yes, but I should note that Story Now doesn't mean No Prep At All. You can certainly prepare potential encounters the PCs may face. However, in a Story Now context what you would also do is a) allow for multiple pathways for "defeating" the encounter, b) make sure each encounter is meaningful to the shared fiction, c) do not pre-prepare outcomes for any given encounter, and d) do not assume the PCs will ever face your encounter. I would also add I think 4E does not do the "dungeon delve" format of adventure very well at all and that most 4E adventures are poor examples of what to do with the system (with the possible exceptions of Reavers of Harkenworld and Madness at Guardmore Abbey). Ha, well that could explain the problems that I had trying to use that Screw Driver as a Hammer then. ;0) Guardmore Abbey was far too late for me, I had stopped buying official adventures before then. I think the key here is to begin and end with the fiction during each "turn" of the skill challenge ...
  • 04:28 AM - Shasarak quoted heretic888 in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    True, but in this case it seems to owe to willful ignorance moreso than linguistic evolution. Mmmhmm, I am not sure I would put it down to willful ignorance. There are definitions of Games, Narrative and Simulation already that do not seems to match 100% with your definitions. Its mostly the elements of 4E that make it amenable to Story Now play in general, although GMs are free to ignore much of these elements (and clearly quite a few did). I actually think the Skill Challenge framework is important here and how much it gets utilized by a 4E table (as well as how it gets used) is probably a pretty good indication of how much Story Now play is happening there. The MM math and Rule 42 also makes improvisational, non-scripted play much easier to pull off compared to typical DnD structural elements. The length and complexity of 4E encounters makes meaningful Stakes as well as alternatives to victory other than Kill All The Orcs pretty important to successful play. Player-authored Quests (w...
  • 04:01 AM - billd91 quoted heretic888 in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Yep. As Tony pointed out earlier in the thread, Edition Warriors hijacked the jargon in order to demonize game systems they didn't like (in what context has "gamism" ever been used as anything other than a pejorative around these parts?). As opposed to the original intent of creative agendas, which was to talk about people's actual experiences at the table rather than dragging rules systems through the mud. They're certainly more "useful" for the purpose of edition warring rather than understanding game theory, if that's what you mean. No, and I don't think they were hijacked by edition warriors than anyone else - they were hijacked by people who thought that the GNS approach was convoluted and, ultimately, useless. Simulationist, gamist, and narrativist work far better and more easily among gamers to describe rules and the various tensions they exhibit between simulating some process, making it more playable but more abstract, and reflecting a story-telling element manipulated by the playe...
  • 03:59 AM - Maxperson quoted heretic888 in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    That's fine, I'm certainly not attached to the name. I can only speak from my own personal experiences, where drawing upon one's willpower to do something intensely physically demanding is a) definitely a thing, b) something human beings can do of their own volition with practice and experience, and c) not something you can do as often as you want to (i.e., its a "limited use" ability we might say). I have no problem abstracting such athletic or martial exploits as "encounter powers" or "short rest abilities" or whatever. It 100% matches my experience in sports and martial arts. It's not my thing and I didn't enjoy 4e, but I'm all for everyone playing the type of game that they enjoy, and 4e had its place.
  • 03:49 AM - Maxperson quoted heretic888 in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Well, as I said before, I consider railroading to be much more common than most would probably be willing to accept. And it can be good fun with the right group and the right GM, so there's nothing inherently "wrong" with it. I agree. Years ago on the D&D forum a DM was asking about railroading, because his players wanted to play in a "Quantum Leap" campaign where they just hopped from one place to another and couldn't leave until they fixed the problem that brought them there. That's a fine way to do a railroading scenario. If the players are on board, have at it. By and large, though, it's a DM with an issue and the players are having a miserable time.
  • 03:23 AM - Maxperson quoted heretic888 in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    It sounds like your issue is less with the concept than the name, then. Name is concept, though. If a game calls a long distance run over several miles a sprint, rather than a marathon, either the name or concept is wrong. The name sprint evokes one concept, a short, fast race, and the name marathon evokes a completely different concept. The name has to match the concept or the game has failed in that instance.
  • 03:19 AM - Maxperson quoted heretic888 in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    My larger point is 4E will be an exceedingly unsatisfactory experience when railroaded because of its encounter-based design whereas in my experience railroaded games in certain other systems will produce more enjoyable play experiences. I believe this is a feature and not a bug, as 4E definitely has an anti-railroad design philosophy underlining a lot of its features. I believe that railroading is an exceedingly unsatisfactory experience in any edition of pretty much any RPG. I only say "pretty much any RPG," because I suppose there might be one out there I don't know enough where you're supposed to railroad and it's fun. :p
  • 03:16 AM - billd91 quoted heretic888 in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Basically, in a nutshell, "Gamism" is about overcoming challenges and doing strategic play in a risk/reward style of game; "Narrativism" is about eschewing any kind of predetermined plot (think of it as the polar opposite of Railroading) and focusing play on visceral human issues like emotions, relationships, and moral dilemmas; and "Simulationism" is about exploring the features and themes of a setting or genre. By these criteria, 4E is fairly difficult to do Gamist play compared to other versions of DnD because of its focus on encounter-based design and little in the way of long-term strategic planning (although there were modifications such as those of the Fourthcore communities that tried to focus the game more on Step On Up play); 4E can be tilted to Narrativist play with fairly little work through its reward cycles (Quest XP and Skill Challenge XP specifically), explicit allowance of player-authored content and "reskinning", and broader conflict resolution mechanics compared to other ver...
  • 02:27 AM - Maxperson quoted heretic888 in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Its mostly the elements of 4E that make it amenable to Story Now play in general, although GMs are free to ignore much of these elements (and clearly quite a few did). I actually think the Skill Challenge framework is important here and how much it gets utilized by a 4E table (as well as how it gets used) is probably a pretty good indication of how much Story Now play is happening there. The MM math and Rule 42 also makes improvisational, non-scripted play much easier to pull off compared to typical DnD structural elements. The length and complexity of 4E encounters makes meaningful Stakes as well as alternatives to victory other than Kill All The Orcs pretty important to successful play. Player-authored Quests (which feed into the game's reward cycles) and other player-chosen fictional tags (themes, paragon paths, epic destinies) are other ways to emphasize Story Now play as well. Of course, tables can ignore or de-emphasize all these elements (a popular example is the milestone-based levelin...
  • 01:34 AM - Maxperson quoted heretic888 in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    In weightlifting in particular, being able to fire yourself up and draw upon deep reserves of stamina and willpower is very, very, very important and pretty much critical to success. In martial arts, going all-out 100% of the time isn't going to do anything other than tiring yourself out. That's not a second wind, though. Read the link above. There are different methods you use when being physical. Focusing willpower to go beyond your normal stamina limit is not the same as a second wind kicking in.
  • 01:32 AM - Emerikol quoted heretic888 in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    While I can't claim to be any kind of expert, I do have several years' experience training in wrestling, martial arts, and weightlifting. What I can claim, however, is that I categorically disagree with both of these statements and they do not mirror my real-life experiences in any way, shape, or form. I can also claim that other gamers I have spoken to who have similar background in martial arts or other athletic disciplines tend to share my perspective on the matter. In weightlifting in particular, being able to fire yourself up and draw upon deep reserves of stamina and willpower is very, very, very important and pretty much critical to success. In martial arts, going all-out 100% of the time isn't going to do anything other than tiring yourself out. Limited-use martial maneuvers or athletic exploits are an abstraction to be sure, but its abstraction that rings true to reality in my experience. I think when it's said someone is going all out in this context they mean they are strivin...
  • 01:25 AM - Shasarak quoted heretic888 in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Heh, nice. Here are the actual definitions courtesy of the Big Model wiki: Gamism/Step On Up: http://big-model.info/w/index.php?title=Step_On_Up&redirect=no Narrativism/Story Now: http://big-model.info/wiki/Story_now Simulationism/Right To Dream: http://big-model.info/wiki/The_Right_To_Dream Basically, in a nutshell, "Gamism" is about overcoming challenges and doing strategic play in a risk/reward style of game; "Narrativism" is about eschewing any kind of predetermined plot (think of it as the polar opposite of Railroading) and focusing play on visceral human issues like emotions, relationships, and moral dilemmas; and "Simulationism" is about exploring the features and themes of a setting or genre. By these criteria, 4E is fairly difficult to do Gamist play compared to other versions of DnD because of its focus on encounter-based design and little in the way of long-term strategic planning (although there were modifications such as those of the Fourthcore communities that tried t...

Sunday, 15th July, 2018

  • 10:19 PM - Tony Vargas quoted heretic888 in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Of course, nobody actually uses those Forgite terms accurately anyway. AFAICT from the way they get used, they mean something like: Simulationism: An irrational, uncompromising, preference not for an actual simulation (like, say civil war re-enactment), but for bad games that are bad in the ways a game would have to become if it were adapted to function as a simulation, instead - even though the games in question simulate nothing. Narrativism: the Role half if the Role not Roll debate, fanatically dedicated to the proposition that bad rules make good games, and that it is impossible to RP if you touch dice. If you must touch dice, their relationship to the all-important narrative should be as abstract & non-deterministic as possible. Gameism: the Roll opposite of Narrativism, gameists are shunned and reviled for their bizarre expectation that any RPG, by virtue of the G, could in any way be held up to any standards of what makes a game any good at all. (And, if I could squeeze a...

Monday, 25th June, 2018


Monday, 28th May, 2018

  • 06:58 AM - Saelorn quoted heretic888 in post Looking At The Pathfinder 2 Wizard Class
    Weapon accuracy bonus *and* fighter weapon talent class feature *and* the occasional bonus from charging or using weapon powers that target NADS. In other words, asserting the Fighter and Wizard have the same attack bonus is not accurate at all and a misrepresentation of how 4E actually works.The wizard can also have minor situational bonuses, and combat advantage. Another reason why the similarity is more apparent in 5E is that minor situational bonuses are replaced with Advantage, which doesn't change the number involved. Even if the fighter tends to be at +1 over the wizard, due to weapon talent, they still have the same primary stat + half level + enhancement bonus. There's never a point where someone is attacking with anything other than their main stat, unless you're doing something wrong. Then again, this is an online criticism of 4E so I guess inaccurate misrepresentations are pretty much just business as usual, neh?Don't look for enemies where none exist. This is a criticism of Pa...
  • 05:29 AM - Saelorn quoted heretic888 in post Looking At The Pathfinder 2 Wizard Class
    So, am I the only one that's going to point out that a Fighter and Wizard in 4E *don't* have the same bonus to their respective specialties (weapon attacks vs magical attacks)? Fighters typically have +3 to +4 more than Wizard.If you're talking about the weapon accuracy bonus, then that's balanced by AC being ~3 points higher than the other defenses. Both fighter and wizard are still adding their primary stat + half level + weapon/focus bonus to their attack rolls, and all of those numbers will be virtually identical for everyone in the party. It's somewhat more apparent in 5E, where spell attacks are made against AC, and there will be huge stretches where everyone is at +7 to hit.

Saturday, 26th May, 2018

  • 07:57 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted heretic888 in post Conan vs the Swarms of Soldiers.
    So, to apply this to a 4E styled game, you could have thematic lists of martial powers --- say, a Twin Blade style, Great Weapon style, Shadow Assassin style, Commanding Presence style, whatever --- and each class would have variable access to different lists. From the examples I gave, the Fighter can choose powers from Twin Blade and Great Weapon, the Rogue from Twin Blade and Shadow Assassin, and the Warlord from Great Weapon and Commanding Presence. So, there would be some schools that overlap with classes but not every martial class would have access to every martial power (which, to me, just diminishes the color of each class --- might as well just have a classless game at that point). The classes could also have class features that modify or enhance their use of powers from specific schools they have access to (i.e., both the Rogue and Fighter have access to Twin Blade powers but their respective features make the former more striker-y and the latter more defender-y when they use them). An...

Sunday, 20th May, 2018

  • 05:23 PM - Garthanos quoted heretic888 in post Conan vs the Swarms of Soldiers.
    When it comes to the "common pools of martial powers" approach, I quite like what was done with 3.5's Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords. There were nine schools of martial maneuvers --- analogous to schools of spells --- that 3 classes chose their powers from. However, not every class had access to each school so there was still a good deal of variability and thematic focus for each class. Each class also had a handful of class features that interacted with martial maneuvers in ways specific to them. Tome of Battle did manage to drip with flavor.


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