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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 12:38 AM
    That makes absolutely no sense to me why someone would take such a hard line. Somehow building blocks (earth, wind, air and fire) in a world of magic are devoid of any Newtonian science because hey supernatural world. I guess the use of gunpowder is supernatural too?
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    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 12:08 AM
    20 hit points. Prove me wrong.
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 02:42 PM
    Better. As I said @Aldarc's position defines everything (animate or inanimate) as magical and given his interpretation of the core rule books (at least of 5e) it is fair. It is not something I adopt for my table but it is certainly an interesting idea, IMO.
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 01:42 PM
    Okay so a humanoid soul, essence of life, is a source of power which is valuable in the Nine Hells and elsewhere. A rock less so, because it doesn't have a soul, and therefore no source of power. But going back to the humanoid soul example, this reverts to whatever God creates (including life) is Godly (magical), hence the value in a humanoid soul. Therefore this position is creation is an...
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    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 01:26 PM
    @Aldarc's position is that both the Fighter and the Dragon are magical. Your comparison above compares a noun with an action.
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 10:38 AM
    So @Aldarc I guess for me it is interesting they use the words suffuse and permeate a lot in the texts you quoted from the books. One could possibly argue does that make mundane items/beings magical because of this invisible magical force which weaves through everything. You equated the magical essence to radiation - so you could say everything has been radiated but is that the same as saying...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 09:10 AM
    Your last line here - is this similar to the idea where if God creates everything hence we are all God or God-infused?
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Friday, 20th July, 2018, 09:05 AM
    Just to note in Mystara, magic and the supernatural existed long before the crash of the F.S.S. Beagle.
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 02:30 PM
    Detect Magic should be renamed Detect Everything
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 03:41 PM
    This is not something I have ever thought about before, but I would certainly allow a midway jump between turns at my table. It makes logical sense. On the face of it, it appears it would provide for some interesting roleplaying scenarios.
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 03:02 PM
    I'm pretty much a conservative DM playing a somewhat gritty-styled D&D. At times, I will question if I'm too unyielding and unforgiving, hence my initial post.
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 06:37 AM
    Just as a follow up. I've denied the player the change - not because I think it's too powerful or anything like that, but because it could set a precedent and it creates a situation where I feel like a hypocrite if I'm firm with the rules regarding everyone else.
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 05:13 PM
    So we have just started a new campaign at 3rd. They have had one session so far and he asked me if he could not change one of the levels to Warlock. Generally I am easy within the first two sessions on changing up a few things. Nope. Not affected.
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 01:51 PM
    I have a player who wishes to run with the theme of a Barbarian believing his totem animal is guiding him (i.e Warlock Patron). I have no issue with the theme, in fact I'm very much a fan of it. However he would like to modify two class features of the Barbarian and it is this request which is causing me concern, so I'd like to get the collective's input on the matter. He would like the...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 09:05 AM
    Annis Hag 14+1=15 Bheur Hag 22 Blink Dog 21 Boggle 22 Dryad 30-2=28 - Much too high Eladrin (Autumn) 12 Eladrin (Spring) 14 Eladrin (Summer) 14 Eladrin (Winter) 12 Green Hag 20
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Friday, 6th July, 2018, 08:37 AM
    Annis Hag 18 Bheur Hag 21 Blink Dog 21 Boggle 20 Darkling 10+1=11 Dryad 25 Eladrin (Autumn) 18-2=16 Eladrin (Spring) 18 Eladrin (Summer) 18 Eladrin (Winter) 18
    274 replies | 4662 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 08:50 AM
    Asmodeus 8 Baalzebul 7+1=8 Demogorgon 9-2=7
    409 replies | 8287 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018, 09:04 AM
    Asmodeus 15 Baalzebul 13 Demogorgon 17-2=15 Orcus 6+1=7
    409 replies | 8287 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 08:33 AM
    Asmodeus 17 Baalzebul 16 Demogorgon 15 Mephistopheles 14-2=12 Orcus 13+1=14
    409 replies | 8287 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Saturday, 30th June, 2018, 06:14 AM
    Asmodeus 19 Baalzebul 19 Baphomet 1 Demogorgon 20 Mammon 12+1=13 Mephistopheles 18-2=16 Orcus 14
    409 replies | 8287 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 07:11 AM
    Asmodeus 18+1=19 Baalzebul 21-2=19 Baphomet 13 Demogorgon 20 Glasya 4 Mammon 10 Mephistopheles 21 Orcus 16 Too soon to take out the Lord of Hell.
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th June, 2018, 01:53 PM
    Thank you for the links Ancalagon, they were great.
    347 replies | 11573 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th June, 2018, 08:56 AM
    Asmodeus 20 Baalzebul 21-2=19 Baphomet 14 Demogorgon 21 Glasya 12 Mammon 15 Mephistopheles 21 Orcus 16 Zuggtmoy 6+1=7
    409 replies | 8287 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th June, 2018, 08:16 AM
    20 years of high level play is impressive. I remember the one and only time I DMed high level 2e, I experienced your ALL over the map comment. :) As a burnt out DM coming out of 3.5e I absolutely loved the simplicity of the encounter design in 4e and the minion opponent was a great concept.
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th June, 2018, 06:07 PM
    I remember when someone's pile of words included half a dictionary....amazing how some person's vocabulary has evolved.
    171 replies | 5860 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th June, 2018, 05:54 PM
    I wonder who this sock puppet is.
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th June, 2018, 01:41 PM
    Asmodeus 19 Baalzebul 21 Baphomet 18-2=16 Demogorgon 20 Glasya 15 Mammon 19 Mephistopheles 20 Orcus 15 Zuggtmoy 14+1=15
    409 replies | 8287 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th June, 2018, 08:31 AM
    This I agree with 100%. There are a lot of things I disliked about 4e, but NOT their encounter design. Just a question because it has been a while for me - did terrain powers and the like not feature into the encounter design for difficulty? From your example the XP budget is completely filled up by monsters. This I very much don't agree with. There were quite a few 4e...
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th June, 2018, 06:27 AM
    Asmodeus 23 Baalzebul 21 Baphomet 18 Demogorgon 20 Geryon 10 Glasya 20 Mammon 19 Mephistopheles 22-2=20 Orcus 19 Yeenoghu 1
    409 replies | 8287 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th June, 2018, 11:24 PM
    Asmodeus 24 Baalzebul 21 Baphomet 18 Demogorgon 21 Geryon 14 Glasya 21 Graz'zt 1 Levistus 6 Mammon 22 Mephistopheles 21-2=19
    409 replies | 8287 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd June, 2018, 11:40 PM
    Asmodeus 23 Baalzebul 22 Baphomet 20 Demogorgon 21 Fierna 4 Geryon 18 Glasya 21 Graz'zt 3 Levistus 8 Mammon 23
    409 replies | 8287 view(s)
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  • Sadras's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd June, 2018, 09:16 AM
    Asmodeus 23 Baalzebul 25-2=23 Baphomet 20 Demogorgon 22 Dispater 7 Fierna 13 Geryon 20 Glasya 20 Graz'zt 8 Levistus 16
    409 replies | 8287 view(s)
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Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 05:28 PM - Aldarc mentioned Sadras in post Everybody Cheats?
    Aldarc I have no issue with you or how you play the game at your table. You have had more than enough opportunities to correct my perspective of your opinion on cheating, instead you chose to thought police me using an intimidation tactic. Strange route to go when you're concerned about people's perspectives of you. Keep in mind the only reason I responded was because of a new discussion with Umbran otherwise I considered our debate about cheaters closed. But that is the nature of forums. If you clearly remember I asked where does one draw the line for cheating....and no line was given. I apologise if you feel slighted (which you should not) but I stand by my assessment. Do what you feel is right.You may not have issue with me or how I play at my table, but I have an issue with you Sadras making continued assumptions. Yes, you asked me to draw the line. If you remember correctly I said that the line was contextual. That does not give you license to insert false words or positions into my mouth. Nor does that equate to "anything goes within the realm of cheating." When I call you out on making this assumption, you kept pressing and repeating it. You think that I had opportunities to correct your perspective? I did call out these assumptions. I thought that was clear. But, no. That's not how this works from any place of etiquette. You had opportunities to back off from your assumptions when they were repeatedly called out as assumptions. But you didn't and instead continued with "To me that gives off the impression that anything goes at your tablejust because there are worse things a player can do and because the game still continues swimmingly by your account." To which I responded: As the saying goes, "When you assume..." I didn't finish this statement, as I thought ...

Monday, 18th June, 2018

  • 03:01 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Lanefan, billd91 - Tony Vargas's reply makes the point that needs to be made aboout "realism" in a hit point paradigm. As far as narration of hp loss and zero hp is concerned - if you're narrating hp loss, and dropping to zero hp, in surgical detail, and then having your suspension of disbelief disrupted by the recovery that the game rules provide for, well, I would suggest changing your narration! As I posted upthread, as a former RM player/GM, and someone who was pretty familiar with the drfit from AD&D to RM, RQ etc in the 80s/early 90s, it remains very strange to see posters arguing for AC-&-hp combat on "realism" grounds, and to be distinguishing AD&D or 3E from 4e on that basis. Also, someone upthread (maybe Sadras) mentioned tinkering - the most trivial tinkering possible to a RPG is to change the short and extended rest durations in 4e or 5e. (I don't know how common it is with 5e; based on dicsussions on teese boards it was extremely common with 4e.)

Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018

  • 01:27 AM - Sunseeker mentioned Sadras in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    I think there is a little concern that it is thrown around a bit too liberally nowadays. It has a proper meaning and shouldn't be applied to half the people you see the press using it for. For example "trolling" doesn't make someone Alt-right. No. Because what you and Sadras are missing is that while everybody trolls only the Alt-Right has made trolling those specific groups that disagree with their ideology part of their ideology. It is their primary method of attack, and they do so aggressively and brutally. People who support white-supremacists and nazi propaganda and such as part of campaign to troll people are universally on the alt-right. You're free to disagree with me of course, but I'm going to fall back on my political science background and my years of being involved with this sort of stuff to say I know what I'm talking about.

Thursday, 19th April, 2018

  • 08:48 PM - Lanefan mentioned Sadras in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    If I may, I'd say this could have been a great opportunity for a check, but not to make the party do anything. ... 1. The party gets their way, but at a possible cost. ... 2. The party will have to re-evaluate their plans. ... Either way, the import of the check should be clear -- the result is what will happen and it will not be open to continued rehashing. The first and last line I've quoted above are at odds; because if the outcome is (2) then the party ARE being made to do something they clearly don't want to do. Further - and worse - is the "not open to continued rehashing" bit; which flat-out says you're using the check as a means of cutting off further roleplay. As the primary agency players own in the game is that of being able to roleplay their characters, this seems an obvious instance of using game mechanics to limit player agency. Sadras handled this exactly right, IMO, by letting the argument take as long as required to play out and leaving mechanics right out of it. And that last bit is an important thing I've embraced about checks. If the dice are rolled, the situation changes. I work to do this for every check, to make every check meaningful. Being open about this and setting stakes can be a method, but I find I don't always have to set explicit stakes especially since my players have adjusted to this method. Picking a lock, even, can be more fun if a failure leads to a change in circumstance. An example, for my last game: the rogue attempted to pick a rusty lock on an old treasure chest and failed. I narrated that a pick had become wedged into the lock and was stuck in the mechanism. The player now had the choice to try to pick the lock but break the tool at the same DC, or attempt to save the tool but break the lock at the same DC. The failure put a resource (the lockpick) in jeopardy and made that f...

Wednesday, 21st February, 2018

  • 06:31 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    On causation - prompted by Sadras, and (I think) consistent with what AbdulAlhazred has been posting. In AD&D, a dragon gets combat bonuses when defending its young. Does that mean that, in the world of D&D, only dragons are driving to great effort to protect their children? No, it means that the designers, who lavished a lot of attention on dragons, thought this was an interesting idea to call out in respect of them, and so wrote in the bonus. Again in AD&D, a fireball can't be cast underwater, while a lightning bolt turns into a sphere rather than a bolt. But can a fireball still be cast with full effect in a raging cyclone? Why does an electric eel's "lightning" attack work normally underwater? Again, this isn't about causation in any meaningful sense - it's about using mechanics to try and convey some idea that seems interesting and fun. The designers cared about underwater, but not so much about tropical storms. And were not all that interested in trying to model the actual physical behaviour of bolts of ...

Monday, 19th February, 2018

  • 01:31 PM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    EDIT (and call out to Sadras) - this post is best read together with the one just subsequent to it, which tries to catch up on some more of the thread action over the course of the (Australian) day. Sadras, AbdulAlhazred - re actual and hypothetical play examples. chaochou gave two hypothetical examples: (1) GM establishes dramatic need, GM provides solution. (2) Player establishes dramatic need, player provides (ultimate) solution. I've already posted multiple times in this thread that I am more conservative than chaochou on the boundary between GM and player content introduction. So it's proabably not surprising that my actual play example falls somewhere between (1) and (2)! The player builds and plays a PC who (i) seeks world domination, (ii) is a wizard who is part of an ancient group of wizards with connections to the now-long-lost Suel Empire, and (iii) isn't afraid to traffic in dark arts. I offer up a pathway to the possibility of world domination in the form of Vecna, a wizard...

Friday, 16th February, 2018

  • 04:14 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    The problem we're up against, however, is that for some of these guys game worlds and other imaginary constructs don't have facts. This is not correct. (I mean, as a technical matter it's probably clearer to describe a fiction as having content rather than facts, but that's orthogonal to the main point.) No one is disputing that the game world has content. What is being discussed is who gets to author it. To say that if the GM says there are no footprints there, that's a fact you have to deal with is simply to say the GM gets to author that without regard to play input (eg input delivered in the form of action declarations). No one is disputing that a RPG can be adjudicated in that fashion. The OP simply asks "why"? And it doesn't answer that question to say "Well, because that's how we do it." I mean, I know that's how you do it, but why do it that way? (And to make it clear, some posters have given interesting answers to the question - most recently, Sadras.)

Thursday, 15th February, 2018

  • 09:27 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...r way: introudcing, as a new fictional element, a death - of the previously-mentioned orc - is no different, as a process of authorship, from introducing, as a new fictional element, a discovery of a map in the previously-mentioned study. To put it yet another way: the metaphysics of authorship does not track the metaphysics of the imaginary events that are being authored. So causal differences that are fundamental in real life events are not fundamental to imagining those real life events. It is possible to introduce an additional constraint on authorship if one wishes: this person, the RPG player, can only participate in processes of authorship where the subject-matter of that authorship is an imagined event (like killing an orc) that does not involve introducing new material into the fiction that was not causally produced, in the fiction, by that player's character. But a constraint of that sort has no metaphysical backing behind it - its justification has to be aesthetic. Sadras has provided that sort of justification in a post not far upthread of yours: I guess, for me, the hidden backstory provides the 'mystery and adventure' I would desire as a player. <snip> The challenge and enjoyment for me is to uncover the mystery AND survive the adventure. <snip> Because the one is about the survival of combat (the tactical part of the game) and the other is part of the intrigue, the location to explore, the mystery to unravel the puzzle to solve. Because we have hit points for combat, but donít have social points and exploration points for the other pillars. That is not to say I'm not fond of SC mechanic. Because that is how the game was originally envisioned. And despite the OP which is an attempt to differentiate between old and contemporary style of D&D Ė it is still roleplayed very much the same rather than different.Thanks for the reply! I would want to differentiate social and exploration. In the context of the current discussion soc...

Wednesday, 7th February, 2018

  • 09:51 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned Sadras in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... GM's conception of the concerns/themes/direction of play. As I posted just upthread of this, the idea that there is no interesting difference here strikes me as no more plausible than the idea that conversing with a friend is no different from reading a script to them. What about a third option? Where the person actually has plans with their friend and thinks ahead of time "I've got to remember to ask about the family, and work, and if he's had any chance to play D&D". And then introduces those topics that are known points of interest to the friend, and then they discuss them. Conversations aren't always this purely spontaneous occurrence. And to be honest, when they are, they can be crappy. Everyone's bumped into someone unexpectedly and not had anything to say, and then later on realized "oh I should have mentioned X". Sometimes, preparation is good. Same with a game. As for the disconnect....there has clearly been some confusion, no? I don't really want to speak for Sadras, but I don't think it was hard to realize s/he meant the apparent disconnect about framing versus pre-authorship. If I had to guess, I think perhaps this may be most relevant at the very start of play, before the GM has player action upon which to frame what follows.

Sunday, 21st January, 2018

  • 04:11 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    One problem. Different player rolled a successful skill check that gave him or her information about the original storyline that conflicts with the new, better storyline. Player knows it was successful. Now the GM needs to have it not conflict.If I've understood this properly, this is not what I'm talking about. Upthread, Lanefan, Sadras (I thinks) and Arilyn all endorsed the follow two propositions: (1) If some bit of fiction (let's call it X) is written down in the GM's notes, but has not yet been established, the GM is permitted to change it to something else (Q) during the course of play, if s/he thinks that Q will make the game better. (2) If X is written down in the GM's notes, and during play a player declares an action for his/her PC that cannot succeed if X is true (eg the player looks for the map in the study, but the GM has already written down in his/her notes that the map is hidden in a bread bin in the kitchen), then the GM is entitled to rely on X to declare that the declared action fails (and so can, for instance, tell the player that the search for the map in the study fails without having regard to the outcome of any action resolution mechanics). I assert: in a game that is GMed in accordance with propositions (1) and (2), the outcomes depend primiarliy upon the GM's opinion as to what make...

Saturday, 20th January, 2018

  • 11:01 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...u are using a setting in which a great deal of the worldbuilding has already been done for you - but it's still worldbuilding. If your question is "what is the purpose of the DM doing pre-game prep work?" that's fine, you can ask that question - but stop berating people for using the term worldbuilding in its actual meaning rather than what you think it means.I hadn't intended to berate. But I'm trying to ask about a technique - not simply "Why do we have setting in our RPGs?" but "What is a certain way of establishing that setting - ie where the GM authors significant elements of it in advance - for?" I feel I was clear enough, between the original post and clarifications that followed it, that a number of posters have offered answers to that question. (And I offered an answer myself, in the context of classic Gygaxian D&D, but went on to express doubts that that particular function is so salient in contemporary D&D play. Some posters have offered doubts about those doubts - eg Sadras - which seem to me to be highly relevant to the thread topic.)
  • 07:30 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    I think having a large tool box is maybe the best way to go? Lanefan' s GM toolbox is filled with a selection of good traditional tools, and he is suspicious of those "newfangled" toys. pemerton, on the other hand, loves the "newfangled" toys and is ignoring the old ones, finding fault in their ability to help construct stories.I'm not sure what you think I'm ignoring? I understand how to declare action delcarations unsucccessful, without rolling, based on my conception of what would make for good fiction; I just don't do it. And as I posted just upthread of this, I think there is a big question here that I'm hoping we can now address - a lot of the distractions and underbrush having been cleared away: Sadras and Lanefan have said that the GM can change backstory up to the moment it is revealed/established in play; but they also clearly think that the GM can rely on unrevealed, secret backstory to declare failures in the way I've described just above. What governs the GM's decision in this respect? If the GM sticks to the secret backstory when s/he likes it; but then changes it when s/he thinks of something s/he likes better - so that the players' decision to search for the map in such-and-such a place will automatically fail, with no check, if the GM decides to stick to his/her original idea that the map is actually on the other side of the world; but may succeed, if the GM decides that this new suggestion is better - then how is that not railroading? It is the GM who is deciding all the outcomes, based on what s/he thinks does or doesn't make for good fiction. I think a good GM should have a full toolbox with goodies from the many years the hobby has existed. Being flexible and ada...
  • 06:14 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...erent thoughts. That's what I'm getting at here.Understood, I think. This means that the GM is playing a very big role - s/he is the artist, and the players the (crtically engaged) audience. I mean yes some tables fundamentally change the world the campaign takes place in...but really that was part of the art to being with, the ability to change what exists within it. There are some worlds where this is not a fundamental aspect of the art and play is more akin to a choose-your-own-adventure story, there are pre-written "holes" that the players are expected to fill. In other campaigns the players are a "new variable" capable of changing up the existing dynamic written into the campaign. The "art" of the built world is either designed with the players ability to change the world, or it isn't. The latter can range anywhere from something more akin to an art viewing to a choose-your-own-adventure.This is very clear, thank you. I'm interested to see what others think of it (eg Sadras, innerdude, Nagol, Manbearcat, redrick).
  • 05:00 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    In many ways, they do the same thing, itís just the puzzle is a little different, less constrictive, and possibly more complex. Instead of a relatively simple puzzle of doping out the best way to maximize treasure within a single dungeon, they might be working on visiting all of the adventuring sites in the region, foiling the impending invasion of the orcsish legion, stopping the predation of a wicked dragon, or just visiting interesting places.The last of these doesn't sound like a puzzle at all. As for the others, as I posted not far upthread (in response to Sadras and MarkB), I'm curious about how the puzzle-solving works, when there are so many (imaginary) elements in play which can introduce parameters to the puzzle to which the players have no access (in practical terms). I donít see those as unsolvable, but then I donít really buy into describing RPG gaming, even limited to dungeon crawls, as puzzles to solve. Unless the puzzle is figuring out how to have fun pretending to be a halfling Paladin or half-orc summoner.Right. As the OP said, I think puzzle-solving play is not so common in contemporary RPGing. Given that it's not, then, what is worldbuilding for?
  • 03:59 AM - pemerton mentioned Sadras in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... there yesterday" "Sorry, when you get there you see the shop has been burned down" - the GM doesn't decied the shop has been burned down as an outcome of the action resolution (eg the player failed a "Talk to contact in shop" test) but rather has notes that say that, on such-and-such a day, or triggered by such-and-such an event, the shop will burn down. That is an example of the GM using the fiction that s/he has prepared in advance to determine the outcome of a player action declaration. In classic D&D, where the fiction in quetion is the dungeon map and key, these sorts of events give the players the information they need to help solve the puzzle ("I look behind the tapestry to see if there is a secret door there" - the GM consults notes, reples (with no check) "No, there's not"). But what do they do in non-puzzle solving play? Or in play in which the "puzzle" is not, in practical terms, solvable by the players. (For more on that last point, see my reply just upthread to Sadras.)

Friday, 20th October, 2017

  • 01:10 AM - Hussar mentioned Sadras in post The Fighter Extra Feat Fallacy
    I gotta got with Tony V on this one. Sadras' example is exactly what I mean when I say the fighter isn't bringing anything to the table that another class isn't. Sure, the fighter can swim that extra distance. Once. Meanwhile, the rogue is doing it every round, a higher level ranger is doing it every round, a monk has the bonus base speed to make up for it (and can spend Ki for extra speed FAR more often than a fighter can surge), a barbarian has bonus speed and advantage on swim checks if he wants. So, what is the fighter doing that other classes can't? And can't do far more often than the fighter can? IOW, what advantage to the group is there to have a fighter and not another class? The thing is, most of these other classes are certainly competitive in combat, they are contributing quite acceptably in combat. No one, I think, is arguing that a rogue, ranger, monk or barbarian is lacking in combat. They might not be the top of the list, but, they're not far behind either. And, while holding their own in co...

Tuesday, 10th October, 2017

  • 01:57 AM - Mistwell mentioned Sadras in post The Fighter Extra Feat Fallacy
    ...ve no problem with you stepping up and being counted ("One!") as someone willing to put concept first in that very sub-optimal way. It's when you assert: That I have to point out all the logical reasons there really probably wouldn't be at all common. (Oh, and, of course, they'll be rendered less common by being instantly killed at first level by anything that happens to dish them 10hps.) I disagree. And I think this is a matter of conflating your experiences with general experience. I think a LOT of games are not combat-fests. I have seen so many games that are role-playing first, that can go for four sessions in a row without a single combat. I know lots of players who literally would not care if their PC died as long as it was a good death that made sense in the world. This idea that people will automatically optimize - I really don't think it's as common as message boards (which tends to attract rules-focused people) lead one to believe. Y'know, I think you called Sadras out on that, but I couldn't find where he actually did the first bit. You're right! Sorry Sadras. I meant Saelorn who said this: A fighter who increases their Charisma instead of a useful stat is a liability to the party, and they're going to get everyone killed. Don't be that player, who puts their own character quirks ahead of their responsibility as part of the team. Either build a functional character who is competent at their job, or go play a video game so you're not dragging down everyone else. And even if you do have some selfish, self-absorbed player who increases their Charisma up to 16 (because they don't care who else suffers from their poor choices), they will still never be able to reliably hit DC 11. I don't know what kind of game you're running where anything that really matters to a level 17+ character will still be hinging on a DC 10 check.Sure, you can always invoke obscure optional rules, or make up new rules of your own, to address shortcomings within t...

Monday, 9th October, 2017

  • 01:10 AM - Harzel mentioned Sadras in post Counterspell - Do I know my foes' spell before I counter?
    First, this comes up relatively rarely. I do not often include NPC spell casters with counterspell on their list. If overused the players at my table find counterspell annoying. But in those rare instances wherean NPC is capable of casting counterspell, I do indeed only roll for spells that would be counterspelled. No point in checking for a cantrip. I could indeed check every time, but the end result would be the same. If the cantrip is recognized, it won't be counterspelled. If the cantrip is NOT recognized it won't be counterspelled. No point in checking. I have to agree with @Sadras here - that doesn't sound legitimate. But perhaps I have misunderstood. Perhaps you could expand briefly on why the cantrip would not be counterspelled if not recognized. I guess if the NPC never counterspelled unknown spells, that would be ok.

Tuesday, 12th September, 2017

  • 09:01 PM - Lanefan mentioned Sadras in post Point Buy vs Rolling for Stats
    ... roll-under was, frankly, a terrible resolution method.What makes you say that? It's always seemed an elegant enough mechanic...easy to use, easy to grok, and easy for a DM to modify to account for ease/difficulty of the specific situation. And, it made every stat point relevant...which matters in a system where in most other ways only even numbers make a difference. What killed it was 3e where stats well into the 20s seemed relatively commonplace. One fix is to find some fiddly thing for odd stats to do. Another is to drop the pretense of 3-18 stats, and just use the mods, straight up. So PC stats would range from -1 to +5, rather than 8 to 20.Assuming one uses point-buy or array only. The real range is actually -4 to +5. Sadras - one easy fix for strength might be to give the to-hit bonus on even stats and the damage bonus on odd stats - thus 14 = +2/+2, 15 = +2/+3, 16 = +3/+3, etc. Not sure how many other stats have anyhting as easily splittable, though. Lanefan

Friday, 25th August, 2017

  • 02:54 AM - Hussar mentioned Sadras in post Resting and the frikkin' Elephant in the Room
    /snip Encounters don't have to be run in order for them to have been encounters. /snip What? Now we have quantum encounters? Sorry, ENCOUNTER is a game specific term. It requires certain things to happen and enough chance of failure that you can earn XP. Simply living through your life doesn't gain XP. Or do your PC's gain XP in downtime activities? After all, that would be fair, no? If NPC's continue to gain XP while not actually adventuring, then why don't your PC's? What's the rate? An encounter that isn't run ISN'T AN ENCOUNTER. It's narration by the DM. It's not a case where encounter mechanics inform world building. Sadras - the problem I have with your example is, so what? Since the PC's never actually see any of this - other than maybe a throwaway line of "Well, you see more Flaming Fist on the streets than usual" - what difference does it actually make to the game? And, frankly, most players aren't even going to notice or care. You could easily narrate this as "The Flaming Fist guards aren't prepared for these threats. That's YOUR job." And, let's be honest here, that's a pretty specific example. I've never read the module you are referring to, but, don't the increased danger encounters only apply to the PC's? So, no one else in the city would even notice the increased danger. Why would they apply more broadly. Just because fire fighters see fires on a weekly basis doesn't mean anything to the rest of the world.


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Saturday, 21st July, 2018

  • 04:45 AM - pemerton quoted Sadras in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    20 hit points. Prove me wrong.I think that chaochou's point is that the answer could be 20 hp, or 3 hp, or 50 hp. Or 90% of hp remaining, or 10%, or 1%. In other words, there is no correlatoin between hp remaining (either absolutely or proportionately) and any particular state of the fiction. Which means that knowing the state of the fiction (which is what PCs know) doesn't settle any question about hp remaining. Which means that knowledge of hp remaining is metagame knowledge, and declaring actions on the basis of such knowledge is metagaming. Somehow building blocks (earth, wind, air and fire) in a world of magic are devoid of any Newtonian science because hey supernatural world. I guess the use of gunpowder is supernatural too?If fire is a fundamenal element, then it is not combustion by way of oxidation as it is in the real world. Hence, whatever gunpowder is in that world, it is not something with the chemical properties and associated behaviours of gunpowder in the real wor...
  • 01:40 AM - TwoSix quoted Sadras in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    That makes absolutely no sense to me why someone would take such a hard line. Somehow building blocks (earth, wind, air and fire) in a world of magic are devoid of any Newtonian science because hey supernatural world. I guess the use of gunpowder is supernatural too? Not sure why it's a "hard line", considering it doesn't affect the game one iota. It's just a semantic discussion, like most of the threads that get long and involved around here.
  • 01:11 AM - Elfcrusher quoted Sadras in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    20 hit points. Prove me wrong. Let me see if I can kill you in one hit with a longsword. There's no way my strength is 18, so even on a crit I can't do 20 points. If you live, I'll accept your claim.
  • 12:54 AM - Maxperson quoted Sadras in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    That makes absolutely no sense to me why someone would take such a hard line. Somehow building blocks (earth, wind, air and fire) in a world of magic are devoid of any Newtonian science because hey supernatural world. I guess the use of gunpowder is supernatural too? Let's not forget those "magical" space ships and androids from the Barrier Peaks.
  • 12:48 AM - Maxperson quoted Sadras in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    20 hit points. Prove me wrong. That mosquito that bit you this morning took 1 away. You only have 19.

Friday, 20th July, 2018

  • 05:32 PM - Aldarc quoted Sadras in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Okay so a humanoid soul, essence of life, is a source of power which is valuable in the Nine Hells and elsewhere. A rock less so, because it doesn't have a soul, and therefore no source of power. But going back to the humanoid soul example, this reverts to whatever God creates (including life) is Godly (magical), hence the value in a humanoid soul. Therefore this position is creation is an exercise in magic and therefore whatever springs forth from this creation would carry a semblance of magic. That seems like a reasonable position to have. The rock does not necessarily have "no source of power," as the PHB does say that every rock has the untapped potential energy of magic. We could speculate why souls are more valuable to devils than the magic potential of rocks - maybe in that new Mordenkainen book - but this seems beside the point. I don't know if the in-game NPC farmer in the medieval fantasy world would believe himself to be magical or have an essence of magic about him. My i...
  • 03:06 PM - pemerton quoted Sadras in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Better. As I said @Aldarc's position defines everything (animate or inanimate) as magical and given his interpretation of the core rule books (at least of 5e) it is fair. It is not something I adopt for my table but it is certainly an interesting idea, IMO.It's not Aldarc's position that I don't get! It's the position advocated by Emerikol and others.
  • 02:34 PM - TwoSix quoted Sadras in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Your last line here - is this similar to the idea where if God creates everything hence we are all God or God-infused? Basically, I have trouble reconciling the idea that things like atoms and electromagnetic forces exist in the same universe where the building blocks of the universe are air, earth, fire, and water. Either a universe is mechanistic or it's supernatural, it can't be both. We just use Newtonian mechanics to understand basic interactions in a fantasy universe because it's easier for us to imagine.
  • 02:11 PM - pemerton quoted Sadras in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Your comparison above compares a noun with an action.OK: in D&D can fly, although that would not be possible in the real world. Fighters in 5e can choose when to push themselves extra hard, knowing that if they burn their reserves now they won't get them back without a rest, which is not too different from how people in the real world can do that. But fighters' second wind and action surge in 5e are magical, while dragon flight is not? I still don't get it.
  • 11:04 AM - Aldarc quoted Sadras in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    but still think your claims go past that. Still a neat setting idea.The 5e PHB backs up my position and then goes several steps further. It's time to admit that you were wrong, learn from your mistakes, and move on. /picks up the mic Aldarc accidently dropped and hands it backAnd you accuse me of being dismissive and curt? :erm: You equated the magical essence to radiation - so you could say everything has been radiated but is that the same as saying everything is radiation? I'm not entirely convinced on this line of thought.This would get us into a debate of analogies and semantics. So again for example, the humanoid soul in D&D is magical. It is part of the humanoid person. Is the humanoid person magical? I would say "yes."
  • 10:23 AM - Aldarc quoted Sadras in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Your last line here - is this similar to the idea where if God creates everything hence we are all God or God-infused?Maybe. Possibly to an extent. For me, it comes from how saturated with magic everything in D&D's worldview is and how the cosmology of the world have implications and effects in the Prime. Our norm is simply not their norm. Sure we cannot understand it and we inescapably think from modernist perspectives, but nothing about their world is "mundane" or free from magic. You can't be free from magic anymore than you can be free from radioactive forces. It happens to you and within you all the time. The game even presumes that you are infused with magic. We see this idea of the pervasiveness of magic in the wizard flavor text: Drawing on the subtle weave of magic that permeates the cosmos, wizards cast spells of explosive fire, arcing lightning, subtle deception, and brute-force mind control.Or with spellcasting: Magic permeates the worlds of D&D and most often appears in the...

Thursday, 19th July, 2018

  • 03:42 PM - Aldarc quoted Sadras in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    That's not true. In D&D a rock is just a rock, but an earth elemental is magical. A tree is just a tree, but a treant is magical. A person is just a normal mundane person, but a wizard uses magic. And so on. There's lots of magic in the D&D world, but the world itself is not magical as a whole. This holds true even with the other planes. If your PC went to Hell and encountered a river of lava, that lava would be mundane lava, not magical lava.Ah, but it is true. The world of D&D presumes that said world is inherently magical. Some things may have more magic than others, but that does not mean that everything is mundane and devoid of magic by our sensibilities. It is a world influenced by other planes of existence and you can use portals in the world to traverse them. The stars may have a bearing on the fate of mortals. The world may follow a magical destiny foretold from before. Magic is an inherent part of the physics of the world. For us it is metaphyics, but for D&D characters, it i...

Wednesday, 11th July, 2018

  • 08:39 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Sadras in post Player asked for a favour: MC Barbarian-Warlock
    I have a player who wishes to run with the theme of a Barbarian believing his totem animal is guiding him (i.e Warlock Patron). I have no issue with the theme, in fact I'm very much a fan of it. However he would like to modify two class features of the Barbarian and it is this request which is causing me concern, so I'd like to get the collective's input on the matter. He would like the Barbarian's Rage and Reckless Attack to be powered via emotion (Charisma) and not brute Strength (refer underlined). He is wanting to MC into a Warlock, specifically the Hexblade (refer Xanathar's page 55) because of the below power, so he'd like to synergise the two. HEX WARRIOR Whenever you finish a long rest, you can touch one weapon that you are proficient with and that lacks the two -handed property. When you attack with that weapon, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength or Dexterity, for the attack and damage rolls. RAGE (refer PHB) When you make a melee weapon Attack usi...
  • 06:48 AM - FrogReaver quoted Sadras in post Player asked for a favour: MC Barbarian-Warlock
    Just as a follow up. I've denied the player the change - not because I think it's too powerful or anything like that, but because it could set a precedent and it creates a situation where I feel like a hypocrite if I'm firm with the rules regarding everyone else. Probably a good call. Some groups can handle a hypocrite DM. Other's cannot. Whatever makes for the most fun.

Tuesday, 10th July, 2018

  • 06:18 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Sadras in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    IMO crassly gamist is something where the game mechanic is out front and center. It's a mechanic that may well work but it's only a mechanic and doesn't have any kind of integration with the fiction. You can spin it that way as hard as you like, you're still talking about a mechanic, and likely a game, that is probably strictly superior, as such. "Integration with the fiction," for instance, is very much a function of the imagination and buy-in of the players (and/or GM, depending on where the game puts it's emphasis). In 5e, for instance, it'd be mainly on the DM's shoulders to make, say Second Wind make sense 'within the fiction,' while in 4e it was up to the player to describe whatever power he was using at the moment in a way that worked for his in-fiction conception of his character. IMO a clever but unintegrated mechanic shouldn't be how the game runs all the time, though of course all games will have some rules like this, e.g., spell slots and the action economy being two exa...
  • 02:35 PM - 5ekyu quoted Sadras in post Player asked for a favour: MC Barbarian-Warlock
    I have a player who wishes to run with the theme of a Barbarian believing his totem animal is guiding him (i.e Warlock Patron). I have no issue with the theme, in fact I'm very much a fan of it. However he would like to modify two class features of the Barbarian and it is this request which is causing me concern, so I'd like to get the collective's input on the matter. He would like the Barbarian's Rage and Reckless Attack to be powered via emotion (Charisma) and not brute Strength (refer underlined). He is wanting to MC into a Warlock, specifically the Hexblade (refer Xanathar's page 55) because of the below power, so he'd like to synergise the two. HEX WARRIOR Whenever you finish a long rest, you can touch one weapon that you are proficient with and that lacks the two -handed property. When you attack with that weapon, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength or Dexterity, for the attack and damage rolls. RAGE (refer PHB) When you make a melee weapon Attack using Strengt...
  • 12:47 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Sadras in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    So clerics at your table may Counterspell? I guess so! It hasn't been some massive boost, mind you, and enemy casters get it too.

Thursday, 28th June, 2018

  • 03:56 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Sadras in post What is the essence of 4E?
    Just a question because it has been a while for me - did terrain powers and the like not feature into the encounter design for difficulty? From your example the XP budget is completely filled up by monsters. Nope! Traps have an XP value, they're really just a variant on a monster in effect, so those would count. However, you can make the terrain as gnarly as you want, it has no XP 'budget' (how would you calculate such a thing, its just not really possible). Likewise terrain powers don't technically belong to a 'side', so they lack any XP cost. Obviously a GM can place them in such a way, and put conditions on their use, which virtually make them gifts to one side or the other, but such is life! I'd also note that DMG2 provides for Monster Themes, which also have no XP cost, yet they definitely tend to increase the potency of monsters, at least slightly. You can do even more radical stuff, like have skill challenges, or checks of whatever sort (hazardous terrain is a basic one) that suck u...

Wednesday, 27th June, 2018

  • 08:33 PM - Lanefan quoted Sadras in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    That could be both exploited---oh boy could that be exploited if you were slick about it---and helped ensure that fireball was super dangerous to cast into blind spaces. I understand why 3.X and subsequent editions got rid of that but think a lot got lost by making spells so much safer.Too safe, IMO: an aspect I very quickly came to dislike about 3 (and later, 4-5e) spell design Never mind that a long time ago we also put in a rule that the caster of any such spell had to roll to aim it properly - usually pretty easy, but rolling a 2 and having your fireball wreck on an obstacle halfway to its intended destination...yeah, there's risk when using this magic stuff. :) @Lanefan it is impressive to have found a group of players that enjoy that much admin. I'm imagining several copies of spell books and their locations along with the specific number of spells included for each spell book. Is that about right? Not really. Just some people getting clever about how their books are protected...
  • 02:24 PM - kenmarable quoted Sadras in post Everybody Cheats?
    This is not what the discussion is about. A lot of it is starting to sound pretty accusatory that those who are fine with DM fudging are bad and wrong. However, I've also found it amusing to see more accusations of "sophistry" in this thread than in my philosophy classes. ;)


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