View Profile: Libramarian - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:39 PM
    Here's the thing: In any social situation we are always constrained by the expectations and customs of the social group, even if we do not give voice to them. When I am playing a role playing game, despite the insistence of total theoretical freedom of action, I am constrained by what is socially acceptable to do at the table. When I run the game the same is true. This is the natural state of...
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 06:22 AM
    Anyone else have it? I am still working my way through my copy. Really like most of what I am seeing so far. More thoughts to follow.
    1 replies | 102 view(s)
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 05:45 AM
    I am not really a fan of back-grounding as a formal mechanic - mostly because I think it reinforces playing a character concept rather than a character. I also think it encourages individual creativity over vigorous collaboration. I am not a fan of these walled off gardens we have the tendency to create in this hobby where we decide how exactly everyone else at the table is allowed to engage with...
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 02:58 PM
    Yeah. Personally, I favor an approach where Arcana and Religion become a sort of supernatural Perception when trained.
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 06:00 AM
    I am a Silver subscriber and can't seem to change either my Profile Picture or Avatar.
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 04:41 AM
    Here's how I see things: We all have a variety of desires for what we want to experience in a given game, particularly one as ill defined as modern D&D. We also have our own boundaries for what we will not tolerate in the game. The idea that expressing these desires or boundaries should be cause for ridicule does not sit right with me. It can only ever be a good thing to know what everyone is...
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 12:36 AM
    How else as a DM/GM expected to meaningfully adjudicate the consequences of success and failure except through fictional positioning? What you can find with just a close inspection of eyes will differ from sifting through it with your hands which will differ from using a shovel. Making decisions based on your reasoning about the fiction is like the core skill of playing a role playing game. I get...
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 07:02 PM
    My own experience with 5e is that it is ill suited for Theater of the Mind. We are talking about a game that has extremely variable movement ranges (our current party ranges from 20 ft to 35 ft), a host of knock back effects, auras of varying ranges, area of effect attacks of varying ranges, and effects that key off of proximity. I mean if you don't care about getting this stuff right it's not a...
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Friday, 27th July, 2018

  • 04:43 AM - pemerton mentioned Libramarian in post The Sandbox and the Railroad
    ...ons that will engage one or more of those fictional elements. (The most stereotypical version of this: the heroes are in a tavern and here rumours of a nearby dungeon.) Play unfolds from there, with the players (via their PCs) learning about more and more of the fictional elements established in advance by the GM, and declaraing actions for their PCs that engage with those elements. (This is often described as "exploration".) Note that the "in advance" needn't mean before the first session. But it does mean prior to the players learning about them through the play of their PCs. The limit case of "in advance" is rolling on a random table to supply the material needed for the GM to tell the players what it is that their PCs are learning about. But I think most people's experience is that a fully-randomised sandbox is likely to be a bit unsatisfactory from the excitement point of view! Clever design of the elements - eg in the sort of way Emerikol has talked about upthread, and as Libramarian has described in older threads - is better for producing engaging sandbox RPGing. The main difference between a sandbox and a railroad is that in the latter the GM authors the main events (and the elements that constitute them), whereas in a sandbox the GM authors the main elements but the events (both which events occur and what sequence they occur in) are initiated by the players. In a sandbox there is no such thing as a "side quest" in the way that there is in a railroad. In any event, we can now see what a RPG that is neither railroad nor sandbox might look like, because it's not as if those two things cover the field of ways in which fictional elements and fictional events might be generated. For instance, we can imagine the players generating the elements but the GM establishing events. We can imagine players generating both elements and events, with the GM's role then being adjudication rather than authorship. And, because RPGs unfold over (real world) time, we can also...

Thursday, 20th July, 2017

  • 06:05 PM - TheCosmicKid mentioned Libramarian in post Do you miss attribute minimums/maximums?
    I'm sorry, but any choice you make when designing your game is a choice you make for a reason. Presumably the reason is that you believe that that choice will make your game better. That your game would be worse without it. And when that choice is bound to be deeply unpopular (as sex-based stat adjustments have been for a very, very long time) you are going to be asked to justify why you feel your game is better with them and worse without them. Otherwise you wouldn't even bother to invite the controversy, right?I think you and @Libramarian are saying the same thing in different ways. I think Libramarian could stand to improve the way he's saying it, because currently it comes off as... not so good ("a few sensitive men"? *sigh*). But ultimately you both agree that inviting the controversy makes the game worse and that's a decisive reason not to use sex-based ability adjustments. Yes, many (though not all!) of those things are harder to simulate than simple stat adjustments, but if simulation is really the goal isn't that hard work going to be worth it? Laziness isn't a trait I normally associate with simulationism. [...] If that answer is really "I want to model the real world as much as possible, but everything else is just too hard to do" then I guess that says everything we need to know about how much thought and care is actually being put into the end product. And right now that seems to be the best case scenario. I don't think you're being fair to simulationism here. Any simulation is going to have to have a cut...

Monday, 10th July, 2017

  • 12:10 PM - pemerton mentioned Libramarian in post Three pillars: what is "exploration"?
    Libramarian, Hriston - interesting thoughts. (I've nothing else very substantive to contribute, though I can relate the "unknown unknowns" theory of exploration to some - but certainly not all - skill challenges that I've run in 4e. Also, I'm intrigued by the idea of "climbing the cliff" competing for the same functional space as "fighting a demon".)

Tuesday, 6th June, 2017

  • 07:37 AM - Ratskinner mentioned Libramarian in post Consequence and Reward in RPGs
    Interesting conjecture, including the "smokescreen" part of it. I'm surprised you've only got one response! I think you're right about interest in my preferred approach being modest, though I'm always a bit puzzled by that because a lot of RPGers claim to really be into "story", and I think it's the most reliable way of generating "story" without railroading. I tried to quote Libramarian here as well, but somehow it appears to not be working. I actually tend to agree a bit with him about playing D&D closer to its classic style. I just don't think its core engine is well suited to much else. (I'm not even sure how well-suited it is to that purpose, but...). I should also note that I'll use "D&D" in this post to refer to all of its close kin and variants, including Pathfinder and the OSR, generally. I think there are several factors going on when it comes to the low adoption rates of story games by traditional rpgers, despite continued insistence on "story" being important to them. The most important/prominent, IME/O, is that D&D is already here, most potential players are familiar with it, and it works in a way that is relatively concrete and easy to grasp. Even though it functions poorly for almost every use it is put still limps along and groups just wince and bear with it over the rough spots. The simple familiarity that so very many players have with D&D...

Monday, 29th May, 2017

  • 08:25 AM - pemerton mentioned Libramarian in post Consequence and Reward in RPGs
    ...rd next round. Given that all the pieces are identical, who cares if you lose one? However, that wargaming root ran smack dab into the impulse for theatricalism that is part and parcel to the hobby as well. Lots of people play RPG's to create a story. Which means that revolving door PC's don't work very well. I don't think I'm saying anything controversial here. Which is why I've had a real problem wrapping my head around the notion that this is something new.It's not new. The OP knows it's not new, because - as S'mon has pointed out - he was advocating against that sort of "story" play back in the late 70s and early 80s. I think the OP is making a claim about trends - that more contemporary gaming has the "participationary" rather than "challenge" focus. I don't know enough about contemporary games to have a view. I barely know enough about contemporary RPGing to have a view about the little niche of gaming. But - following on from my recent exchanges in this thread with Libramarian and S'mon - I would tentatively assert that one feature of 5e might be argued to be a rather low degree of lethality (comparable, let's say, to 4e, and not, say, to Moldvay Basic) packaged in such a way as to make the game feel more like the classic experience than 4e is ever going to (for instance, by packing that non-lethality into targeted class abilities like Spare the Dying, Revivify, etc rather than making it overt in each PC via the Second Wind/other healing surge/death-and-dying rules). Which probably makes it better suited for the AP-type experience of a combo of "tourism" and "challenge" than 3E/PF, which has the continual rocket-tag threat of high lethality. Clever design by WotC.

Saturday, 27th May, 2017

  • 04:47 AM - pemerton mentioned Libramarian in post Consequence and Reward in RPGs
    I'm going to posit: dice to not add challenge. They simply add randomness. Luck and randomness are not elements of challenge.The contention is that classic D&D play of the Pulsipherian/Gygaxian sort involved avoiding dice rolls by, instead, making your own luck - mostly through clever exploitation of fictional positioning. Other than the OP, Libramarian is the main proponent of this approach to play in the current thread. Luke Crane describes the phenomenon with clarity and a high degree of anaylitical rigour here. Here are some choice extracts: I've learned that it's a hard game to run. Not because of prep or rules mastery, but because of the role of the GM as impartial conveyer of really bad news. Since the exploration side of the game is cross between Telephone and Pictionary, I must sit impassive as the players make bad decisions. I want them to win. I want them to solve the puzzles, but if I interfere, I render the whole exercise pointless. . . . The players' sense of accomplishment is enormous. They went through hell and death to survive long enough to level. They have their own stories about how certain scenarios played out. They developed their own clever strategems to solve the puzzles and defeat the opposition. . . . This game . . . is built to explore dungeons. As soon it moves away from puzzle-solving and explora...

Saturday, 2nd April, 2016

  • 04:12 AM - pemerton mentioned Libramarian in post Death, dying and class balance
    you will always have an undue influence in the outcome of a game when you are the DM. You make the rules, stack the deck, deal the cards and tell the players when they can play their cards.Not all influence is undue. Also, in your card-playing metaphor, it's not true at all tables that the GM deals the cards, nor that the GM tells the players when they may play their cards. Just to focus on the first of those two things: I believe that Libramarian prepares to run a sandbox-y sort of game. In that sort of game it is generally the players, not the GM, who choose what it is that their PCs encounter (within the confines of a list drawn up by the GM, but the list is expected to include some reasonable variety).

Wednesday, 23rd March, 2016

  • 02:00 PM - iserith mentioned Libramarian in post Hexcrawls/wilderness adventures
    I was skimming Libramarian's post and must have missed the part about the nut. I thought one of the PCs ate the talking squirrel. I was like "Damn, that character is hardcore..." until I went back and reread it.

Monday, 14th March, 2016

  • 09:44 AM - pemerton mentioned Libramarian in post 6-8 encounters/day - how common is this?
    I don't "grant" encounters at all.Yes you do. The sooner you realise this the better mate. Unless your players are the one that are statting up encounters and deciding when they happen. You create the encounters. You place the in the environment around the PCs. You determine when they happen. Encounters happen when the DM says they happen, not when the players do.The last sentence is true in some RPG styles, but not all. For instance, in the classic dungeon adventure, the GM draws up the dungeon and populates it, but the occurrence of encounters is determined by the players (they choose which rooms the PCs enter, and in what sequence) or by the wandering monster dice. This style of RPGing is illustrated by the AD&D DMG example of play that Libramarian referred to upthread, by Gygax's advice in the concluding section of his PHB (on "Successful Adventuring"), and by the discussion in Moldvay Basic. Even in a style of play that does give the GM principal authority to determine when encounters occur (and I think this is the best way to approach 4e, for instance), the GM may not decide in advance what encounters will happen. For instance, in the current "adventuring day" of my 4e campaign, the PCs assaulted Orcus in Everlost. Between sessions I then came up with an idea for an assault by fallen angels of Tharizdun, talking advantage of the collapse of the Abyss that the PCs had triggered by (i) sealing it off from the rest of creation, and (ii) defeating Orcus, whose will had been holding Thanatos together. (See here for an actual play post.) Then, after the PCs defeated the Tharizdun-ites and escaped Orcus's collapsing throneroom, I had to improvise an encounter with Oublivae on the Barrens (a layer of the Abyss). This ended up...

Friday, 30th October, 2015

  • 09:13 PM - El Mahdi mentioned Libramarian in post Warlord Name Poll
    ...; @Edwin Suijkerbuijk ; @Eejit ; @ehren37 ; @Elfcrusher ; @El Mahdi ; @epithet; @erf_beto ; @Eric V ; @eryndel ; @Evenglare ; @ExploderWizard ; @EzekielRaiden; @Fedge123 ; @fendak ; @FireLance ; @Fishing_Minigame ; @Flamestrike ; @FLexor the Mighty! ; @Forged Fury ; @Fragsie ; @Fralex ; @FreeTheSlaves ; @froth ; @Gadget; @Galendril ; @GameOgre ; @Garthanos ; @Ghost Matter ; @Giltonio_Santos ; @Gimul; @GMforPowergamers ; @Gnashtooth ; @Green1 ; @GreenKarl ; @Greg K ; @GreyLord; @Grimmjow ; @Grydan ; @GX.Sigma ; @Halivar ; @HEEGZ ; @Hemlock ; @Henry ; @Herobizkit; @Hussar; @IchneumonWasp ; @I'm A Banana ; @Imaro ; @Iosue ; @Irennan ; @JackOfAllTirades; @jacktannery ; @jadrax ; @Jaelommiss ; @JamesTheLion ; @JamesonCourage ; @JasonZZ; @jayoungr ; @JediGamemaster ; @JeffB ; @Jester Canuck ; @jgsugden ; @jodyjohnson; @Joe Liker ; @JohnLynch ; @Johnny3D3D ; @KarinsDad ; @kerbarian ; @kerleth ; @Kinak; @KingsRule77 ; @Kirfalas ; @Kobold Stew ; @koga305 ; @Lanefan ; @Lanliss ; @Leatherhead; @Libramarian ; @Li Shenron ; @LuisCarlos17f ; @lowkey13 ; @Manbearcat ; @MarkB; @MechaPilot ; @Mecheon ; @mellored ; @Mephista ; @Mercule ; @MG.0 ; @MichaelSomething; @Miladoon ; @Minigiant ; @Mishihari Lord ; @Mistwell ; @MoogleEmpMog ; @Mon @MonkeezOnFire ; @MoonSong(Kaiilurker) ; @MostlyDm ; @Mouseferatu ; @MoutonRustique; @Nemesis Destiny ; @neobolts ; @Neonchameleon ; @Nifft ; @nightspaladin ; @nomotog; @n00bdragon ; @Obryn ; @Ohillion ; @oknazevad ; @Olgar Shiverstone ; @Orlax ; @Otterscrubber ; @Pandamonium87 ; @Paraxis ; @PaulO. ; @Pauln6 ; @Pauper ; @payn; @pemerton ; @peterka99 ;@ Pickles III ; @Pickles JG ; @pkt77242 ; @pming ; @pogre; @PopeYodaI ; @Prickly ; @procproc ; @Psikerlord ; @Psikerlord# ; @(Psi)SeveredHead; @Quickleaf ; @Raith5 ; @raleel ; @Ralif Redhammer ; @Raloc ; @Ranes ; @RangerWickett; @Ratskinner ; @redrick ; @Rejuvenator ; @Remathilis ; @Ristamar ; @RolenArcher; @Roland55 ; @RPG_Tweaker ; @Rune ; @Rygar ; @Sacrosanct ; @Saelorn ; @Saeviomagy; @sailor-Moon ; @SailorNas...

Wednesday, 17th September, 2014

  • 03:04 AM - Lanefan mentioned Libramarian in post Hard Mode Campaigning
    Haffrung in post 6 and Libramarian in post 7 hit nails square on heads. Good stuff! One thing I'd do is this: death in 5e as written is a speedbump for a mid-to-high level party. Make revival spells more costly, and bring back the resurrection survival roll from 1e (and the permanent loss of a Con point) to make death something to still be concerned about even at high level. Another change to help get yer old-school vibe on would be to have an overnight rest only give you back some of your h.p. rather than all of them - say, 10% of your total. This sometimes forces an interesting choice on the party of either resting for a few days to get healthy and then go back into a possibly restocked (and certainly healthy) dungeon, or wade back in now at less than full health to press the advantage. Lan-"I used to know what Con. 16 felt like, before I started adventuring"-efan

Thursday, 31st July, 2014

  • 06:30 AM - pemerton mentioned Libramarian in post Interesting Decisions vs Wish Fulfillment (from Pulsipher)
    ...ination magic, it was common to test any plan under Intuitions (an Augury-like effect) before actually implementing it in the real world. But I don't see that the label "combat as war" is a very good descriptor of this sort of stuff. "Operational play" was a label that used to get used hear by Raven Crowking and others, and it seems reasonable enough. Whether or not it is fun is of course a matter of taste. These days I prefer play in which the scene, rather than preparation in anticipation of the scene, is what matters. See, I think it's not just about Strategic or Tactical combat. There's also something pemerton -ian about scene framing which I'm not good at talking about. Like whether you accept the DM's framing of the encounter as an obstacle to be overcome, or reframe the situation into one where you control the terms of the encounter.I agree with this, and I think that framing it as strategic or tactical within the fiction is a red herring, for the sorts of reasons that Libramarian has given. Within the fiction, for instance, the choice to attack Rutania or Alteria first is a strategic one; but in gameplay there's no reason why that can't be a choice that is made within a framed scene, and the upshot of the choice resolved by one (or perhaps a handfulf of) skill checks. (In 4e, perhaps Diplomacy and History would be the relevant skills.) But (disregarding Tony Vargas's advice and talking about edition preferences), it's not only about scene-reframing. For instance, a very common criticism of 3E and 4e from old-school players is that they permit items to be discovered via a search check rather than requiring free-form decription of the search. Now let's put to one side that Gygax, in his DMG, discusses both methods as options and says either is fine, or even that a given game can use both, depending on mood and whim. Let's just focus on what a Perception check to search the room actually means at the table. It is a scene-reframing tool: the scene changes ...

Tuesday, 29th July, 2014

  • 04:48 PM - Daztur mentioned Libramarian in post Interesting Decisions vs Wish Fulfillment (from Pulsipher)
    I really liked the ideas that @Libramarian talked about in post #167. Good stuff there. I'd be interested in any comments on post 164, and/or the episodes of play that are linked to. OK. I’m having a hard time following the details of what went on because of the amount of 4ed-specific terminology. Both of my 4ed characters were heroic tier fighters and if you get much beyond that my knowledge gets a lot spottier. From what I can follow that seems like some good examples of smart play. The set-up for Torog’s appearance sounds like CaW play, while there are also a lot of examples of solid CaS tactics. In general I love combat that takes place around interesting and unique terrain as it can shove players out of their comfort zone. While 4ed tends to cater to CaS more than CaW in the original CaS/CaW thread I heard too many story about 4ed players using tactics that would make the Black Company proud (including some with weird combinations of magic items that lead to the players winning a fight without making a single atta...
  • 01:09 AM - pemerton mentioned Libramarian in post Interesting Decisions vs Wish Fulfillment (from Pulsipher)
    ...hard all the time in order to maintain that level of performance. In other words, the odds of success aren't per se a measure of difficulty, because it may be that hard work is a major contributor to those odds which, but for that work, would be much worse for the players/PCs. Combat as War is about overcoming obstacles through open-ended problem solving. Combat as Sport limits the problem-solving to the context of the scene or frame. The point about rules comes down to that CaW players want rules for summoning, polymorphing, teleporting, and other exploits that many CaS players consider to be harmful to game balance. I don't really grasp the contrast between "open-ended problem solving" and "problem solving within the context of the scene or frame". Why can't problem solving within the context of the scene or frame be open-ended? If the emphasis is on "open-endedness", then I don't see how any RPG doesn't permit that. If the emphasis is on the unit of play (which eg Libramarian has mentioned upthread) then I don't really think that war/sport is a very helpful terminology (for the reasons that Tony Vargas and Neonchameleon have given). Rapid-deployment long-range teleport is problematic for scene-focused play, because of the authority it gives players to unilaterally reframe the scene. But I don't really see what summoning or polymorph have to do with any contrast in this neighbourhood.

Wednesday, 23rd July, 2014

  • 08:45 AM - Campbell mentioned Libramarian in post Interesting Decisions vs Wish Fulfillment (from Pulsipher)
    Libramarian, excellent post. Wish I could XP. You pretty much cut to the core of the play styles. For what it's worth these days I'm finding 4e to be a very immature incarnation of its design ethos as far as relaying the immediate resolution of stakes. Dungeon World and other Powered by Apocalypse games really do what I think 4e was trying to do much better. In the Dungeon World play by post Manbearcat is running every decision feels critical because there are far more consequences attached to each decision. I find it helps that complete success or failure is pretty rare - it's far more common to get what you're after, but have to sacrifice something else in the fiction.

Saturday, 5th July, 2014

  • 09:14 PM - Campbell mentioned Libramarian in post Blog Post by Robert J. Schwalb
    ... data analysis, mathematical models, and a contextual understanding of the processes that make up people's daily lives. The contention that creativity goes out the window the second any analytic skills are applied is particularly harmful to the way we understand and work within the world. All forms of nontrivial problem solving require creativity. To suggest otherwise is to reinforce the harmful belief that engineers, architects, scientists, software developers, and business professionals are simply applying a rote process, rather than applying their judgment to unique and changing circumstances. This attitude seems particularly worrying to me coming from someone whose job it is to create a game which fundamentally involves numbers that have a significant effect on outcomes. You can ignore this all you want, but it will not change the facts. It will have an effect. If its not dealt with at the design phase it will have to be dealt with by individual groups. On an unrelated note, Libramarian I am with you on the GM not being there as primarily a source of entertainment for the other players. I think it would do the culture surrounding the game a great deal of good if we started to emphasis the responsibility players have to one another for a quality game experience rather than just depending on the GM to police inconsiderate players (not characters) who work at cross purposes. I expect players to be engaging, thoughtful, and considerate of one another. I also view my role when I GM as a player with slightly different responsibilities. That's part of the reason why I find the implicit suggestion that GMs are required to spend hours outside of gaming preparing setting material disruptive. It does not improve my experience of the game or encourage the sort of play I value at the table. Mileage may of course vary on this point.
  • 04:06 PM - pemerton mentioned Libramarian in post Blog Post by Robert J. Schwalb
    ...nosing 3E and 4e as having harmed D&D, then why post agreement with him? If you do, then how can you be shocked that not everyone thinks that that is true? Pejorative implies the intent to belittle or disparage. Objectively--not subjectively--Schwalb didn't do that. <snip> When you contend that Schwalb is claiming to tell others that how they play the game is what's spoiling it, again you're making things up. Making observations about how rules systems can lead to trends in player behavior isn't the same thing as telling a group of players they're ruining the game, especially when those statements are made in the broader context of a blog post that's centered on Schwalb's experiences as a player of D&D, on his time working on D&D from ~3.5 to 5E and on his reflections on the game and what's frustrated him over time in the later editions of the game. <snip> I bet neither of you bothered to read the comments in the original blog post, did you?How do you think I found Libramarian's comment, if not by reading them? I don't think Schwalb is telling others how to play the game. He's diagnosising certain systems, and the way they're played, as having spoiled the game in a certain way. I don't see how the "broader context" changes this. It just reinforces it, in the way that billd91 observed upthread. I don't think that the "heart of the game" needed rescuing from 4e. (Others can comment on 3E.) Schwalb zpparently does. That's a point of disagreement between me and him (and those who agree with him), and I don't see why it's so objectionable that I should articulate it.

Friday, 4th July, 2014

  • 04:12 AM - pemerton mentioned Libramarian in post Blog Post by Robert J. Schwalb
    The problem with his comment, for me, and why I wouldn't XP it (despite agreeing with you on most things) is that he appears to be suggesting that prior to the 3E/4E, D&D didn't have rules where the PCs got to tell the DM what to do, that it was always "mother may I". That's completely untrue, of course. D&D absolutely DID have those rules. They were just strictly for people who could cast spells. <snip> Final bit of icing on the cake is Libramarian talking about how D&D is a "social game" and thus no-one should be engaging in "power fantasy escapism", but that's nonsensical in the context of what's being said, because in 1/2/3E, anyone playing a Mage and getting past about level 9, got to engage in "power fantasy escapism" pretty mucha ll the time, and I have no doubt that, even with their reductions in power, 5E casters will continue to be able to engage in "power fantasy escapism".I don't dissent from any of this. I don't necessarily agree with Libramarian on this, or on other things - and Libramarian often doesn't agree with me - but I like Libramarian's frank characterisations of classic D&D play. I also suspect that Libramarian doesn't play at name level, thereby avoiding some of the issues with high-level mages. in 4E, I didn't go on the run, as a DM, I went on the attack. It was the first edition where I could unveil my full powers. <snip> In 4E, with it's balanced encounters, and the PCs ALL able to dictat...

Thursday, 3rd July, 2014

  • 07:48 AM - pemerton mentioned Libramarian in post Blog Post by Robert J. Schwalb
    Libramarian, are you the same Libramarian as posted this in the Schwalb comments? One of the things I like about running 1e is that the rules themselves are so cruel and capricious, just kicking the players in the nuts over and over again, that I as DM am the good guy! The players PREFER to play “mother may I” with me rather than play by the rules. They’d rather experiment with magic items to find out what they do rather than resort to the 1e Identify spell. They’d rather poke and prod to find a secret door or trap rather than rely on the 1/6 chance to find secret doors or the 20% chance for find traps. I know this sounds totally backwards in a sense, but it’s really fun for us. Especially for me as DM, which is good because I’m the most important participant. I feel that at some point the purpose for the rules in D&D changed from “helping the DM put pressure on the players” to “helping the players put pressure on the DM”. The rules in 1e make the game more cruel and more surprising than it...

Tuesday, 24th June, 2014

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Monday, 16th April, 2018

  • 07:58 AM - MechaPilot quoted Libramarian in post Let's talk power words!
    I don't mind telling them when their foe is under the HP limit. I don't tell them, but if a player asks I'll let the character make an Intelligence check to try to figure it out.

Wednesday, 6th December, 2017

  • 12:46 PM - pemerton quoted Libramarian in post Advice for Caves of Chaos/B2
    So, I'm running a 1e version of Keep on the Borderlands. I'm struggling with how to make the caves interesting. It's a module that splits the critics! Gygax had great ideas but his execution sucked, probably because he was incapable of working with others - such as editors - in a collaborative fashion and because he was always rushing before a deadline.For another take that agrees with Scrivener of Doom, here's Mike Mearls's review of B2 on Here's an extract that conveys the general flavour: The Keep on the Borderlands (KotB) literally serves as exhibit A in the great case against Dungeons and Dragons. Rife with crimes against logic, coherence and good roleplaying, a reviewer can only look at this product the same way that a traffic cop looks at a ten car pile-up: with an eye on how this happened and who's to blame. But obviously some critics are big fans: The old modules often play better than they read. Try running it. In fact try running it off the page with almost no pr...

Sunday, 29th October, 2017

  • 02:00 PM - Morrus quoted Libramarian in post Harassment At PaizoCon 2017
    Follow along Morrus: in Frog God Games' full statement regarding the incident (not the truncated version appearing in the article here), Matt Finch originally included a screenshot of a conversation an FGG partner had with the harassment victim BJ Hensley. Hensley asked that this image be removed. I expressed concern that she wanted her words removed because they contradict the much more widely publicized version of events on Twitter. An individual reading the thread who wishes to remain anonymous just sent me a copy of this image. I can't repost it here, but I will say that the tone on both sides was easygoing and conciliatory and in fact it's remarked that others are "misrepresenting it all to support their desires and issues". I can confirm that it supports FGG's statement in every way that it disputes the version of events on Twitter. I think you need to stop posting in this thread. This victim blaming is utterly unacceptable. And we're not interested in what conveniently anonymous people ...
  • 06:53 AM - Hussar quoted Libramarian in post Harassment At PaizoCon 2017
    What's very unlikely is that there is a misogynistic bias to believe the man over the woman in a dispute. A large body of evidence exists showing that in fact we are biased to consider women more trustworthy than men (among many other positive attributes). Are you serious? Naw, you're too well read in the area to be serious here. You are obviously making some sort of joke that's just a bit too subtle for me to catch. You can't seriously be suggesting that there is a bias towards believing women in harassment/sexual assault cases. Good grief.
  • 05:41 AM - Caliban quoted Libramarian in post Harassment At PaizoCon 2017
    No. I dunno, that sounds kind of vague. How can we be sure you aren't being pressured into saying that?
  • 05:40 AM - kenmarable quoted Libramarian in post Harassment At PaizoCon 2017
    Follow along Morrus: in Frog God Games' full statement regarding the incident (not the truncated version appearing in the article here), Matt Finch originally included a screenshot of a conversation an FGG partner had with the harassment victim BJ Hensley. Hensley asked that this image be removed. I expressed concern that she wanted her words removed because they contradict the much more widely publicized version of events on Twitter. An individual reading the thread who wishes to remain anonymous just sent me a copy of this image. I can't repost it here, but I will say that the tone on both sides was easygoing and conciliatory and in fact it's remarked that others are "misrepresenting it all to support their desires and issues". I can confirm that it supports FGG's statement in every way that it disputes the version of events on Twitter. If you are referring to the screenshot that Matt Finch posted without permission to and other places, no it absolutely does not say what you cla...
  • 05:34 AM - kenmarable quoted Libramarian in post Harassment At PaizoCon 2017
    No, again there is a disagreement about what sort of harassment occurred, and especially about whether there was actually an altercation that injured a Paizo staff member. Brookes on Twitter says there was. Frog God Games conducts an internal investigation that includes a conversation with Hensley and says there was not. I think this is important. This is a possible scenario that comports with Hensley's account but not Brookes': Bill Webb, while inebriated, made a flirtatious remark to Hensley. She rebuffed him and left. He followed her to apologize but was stopped by Paizo staff who asked him to leave her alone. He did. Hensley filed a harassment complaint. If this is what happened, I'd appreciate it if he made a personal statement apologizing for his behavior, and ideally making a commitment to avoid alcohol at cons in the future, but I wouldn't think he should suffer life-changing professional repercussions. This is a different possible scenario that seems more in line with Br...
  • 04:50 AM - Caliban quoted Libramarian in post Harassment At PaizoCon 2017
    Well I think that reflects the asymmetry in how sex crimes are defined and prosecuted vs other violent crimes. Assault (in most jurisdictions) requires an intent to physically hurt someone; sexual assault does not. The severity of a sex crime seems to be graded according to how close it came to sexual consummation, not how much it actually hurt the victim. So, you think raping someone would be OK if you don't "actually" hurt them? Simply amazing. Dude, give it up. You've already shown your hand. In a matter where none of the major facts are in question, you are still trying to cloud the issue and create doubt where none exists by bringing in other incidents that are less clear cut.

Saturday, 28th October, 2017

  • 03:27 PM - Caliban quoted Libramarian in post Harassment At PaizoCon 2017
    I said feeling pressured. Perhaps just by the thought of how embarrassing it would be for him if she were to come out now and say his account isn't accurate. Everyone involved in the incident agrees that it happened and that it was inappropriate. The target, the aggressor, the companies involved. Interesting how you don't seem to want to believe anyone involved in an incident you didn't witness and weren't part of. Almost as if you have your own agenda an are trying twist the facts to suit it. Interesting...very interesting...
  • 03:25 PM - fantasmamore quoted Libramarian in post Harassment At PaizoCon 2017
    Not an appropriate analogy for the current situation... When we hear of a criminal act we ask about the victim's well being. When we hear of a woman being sexually harassed we* ask if this is true. It's the perfect analogy. We should change the way we think. We cannot be sure that mr Webb is guilty since there is no judge ruling and everyone is a priori innocent but we certainly cannot think that the victim is lying or exaggerating just because.. because what really? What's our excuse? * not all of us of course...
  • 03:02 PM - Morrus quoted Libramarian in post Harassment At PaizoCon 2017
    I said feeling pressured. Perhaps just by the thought of how embarrassing it would be for him if she were to come out now and say his account isn't accurate. You’re just making things up.
  • 01:53 PM - Olaf the Stout quoted Libramarian in post Harassment At PaizoCon 2017
    I said feeling pressured. Perhaps just by the thought of how embarrassing it would be for him if she were to come out now and say his account isn't accurate. I read that. She seems to be writing primarily to defend Paizo and their handling of the situation. It's interesting she doesn't thank or defend Brookes. You could look at it the other way. She has not said that anything Brookes has claimed has been incorrect. Interesting how she doesn't call him out, or suggest that he's a liar. Funny how you can flip it 180 degrees, without any factual evidence either way, to support whatever argument you wish to make.
  • 02:36 AM - the_redbeard quoted Libramarian in post Harassment At PaizoCon 2017
    Not an appropriate analogy for the current situation. Firstly because the victim here is not the one publicizing their harassment. She actually has stated that she considers the matter closed and would prefer if everyone stopped talking about it. So it's more like your neighbor on the left is making a lot of noise about your neighbor on the right burgling the home of your neighbor across the street, and their account is much more sensationalistic ("and they killed their dog!") than that of the person whose home was actually broken into. Since so many people can't seem to find it (even though it is on the first page of comments), I'm posting below the already posted testimony of the affected individual. Note that she is speaking out because of the treatment by the doubters towards the people who helped her. I'm glad she's able to move on and is still a part of the hobby and industry. To me the issue is whether Bill Webb will come clean and take responsibility for his behavior and whether ...
  • 01:10 AM - Morrus quoted Libramarian in post Harassment At PaizoCon 2017
    I hope the victim isn't feeling pressured by the Brookes side to keep quiet about what happened lest her account belie theirs. That's bloody ridiculous. No, the victim (who many people know - it's not some anonymous person) is not being pressured by Brookes to keep quiet. You know people can read this, right? It's your outside voice.

Friday, 27th October, 2017

  • 03:30 PM - Demmero quoted Libramarian in post Harassment At PaizoCon 2017
    I can't find a clear description of what happened either. Refusing to describe the sexual harassment in detail to protect the victim makes some sense, but I can't see why they're being so vague about what sort of injury the person who intervened suffered. It's interesting that Matt Finch of FGG makes no mention of Webb attacking anyone physically. Neither does the victim. The only person making that claim AFAICT is Brookes. It's likewise interesting that someone at FGG chose to label the post addressing the sexual harassment at a convention as "Response from Frog God Games to events on social media." Talk about misleading: It makes it sound like the incident itself happened on social media...just another internet spat. The actual post itself gets straight to the point about the allegations...provided the viewer actually bothers to click on the title link, that is.
  • 02:01 PM - Eltab quoted Libramarian in post Harassment At PaizoCon 2017
    I can't find a clear description of what happened either. Go back and re-read Post Number One. It was a better description than the material we had to work with when I was on Jury Duty.

Sunday, 1st October, 2017

Saturday, 30th September, 2017

  • 11:23 PM - guachi quoted Libramarian in post Crawford: Bard's College of Glamour is a Fabulous Pop Star!
    Freddie Mercury's parties actually were like something out of a game of D&D... . My favorite part of the guardian screed against Queen is this bit: In July 1985 when Bob Geldof declared that Queen, following their performance at Live Aid, were the best band of the day, the world agreed, and Queen, who until then had failed to crack America, went stratospheric. "Failed to crack America"?. I know the writer is British, but come on. 20 songs on the Billboard 100, 11 top 40 songs, 4 top 10s and two #1 songs before 1985. Sounds fairly successful to me! In any event, if they come out with things people like, are reasonably balanced, and have interesting gaming possibilities, I'm for it. My only hope is that in totality, Everything provides something for a wide variety of players. I suspect it will. I haven't purchased any book since the DMG came out but I'm optimistic about purchasing this.

Monday, 25th September, 2017

  • 03:32 PM - UnknownDyson quoted Libramarian in post SKT: The Uthgardt and Modern Sensibilities
    The point about virtue-signalling is the empathy is not for those who actually stand to be harmed by a situation, but for the other bystanders and what they think about it. The goal here is not to help Native Americans, but to show off the subtlety of your sensibilities to other white people. Thus it's is more like a modern permutation of baroque WASPy social etiquette than moral reasoning grounded in actual human suffering. It becomes grotesque when taken too seriously. I guess you're assuming that everyone here is white, and that noone present truly cares about being empathetic towards minorities except to seem more personable to other white people? Is that really what you're saying?

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