View Profile: Ratskinner - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Today, 04:15 AM
    For what it's worth I believe in shared ownership of setting, more in terms of taking an active interest in it and responsibility for it's content than the freedom to do whatever we want with it. The GM is mostly responsible for it in the same way that players are mostly responsibility for their characters. Obviously there's some interaction there. No one is an island. This is a game where we...
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  • 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.
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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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    3 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 03:52 AM
    This matches my experience as well, although plenty of things in D&D beyond the spells manage to bug me as well.. It seems like once you get to about 10th, there's just too much to keep track of and the story just drags and drags behind the weight of the combat. Plus all the attendant homework for the DM. I just ran a 5e game up to level 8/9 and was relieved when the party TPK'd on a trap. ...
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  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 03:42 PM
    Nights Black Agents, Gumshoe system.
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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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    6 XP
  • 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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  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Friday, 28th September, 2018, 04:16 AM
    This post in particular, and this thread in general, are the strongest argument for Fate (or at least Fatelike design) that I have ever read. Carry on.
    1277 replies | 37637 view(s)
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  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th September, 2018, 01:38 AM
    While I'm a big Fate fan, and I agree with your assessment of it, I suspect that Fate points would rub the OP the wrong way. However, the weird dice could be addressed simply by substituting another set of "normal" gaming dice. Heck, there's a Supers mutation of Fate called Icons that uses a d6-d6 roll. Makes it a little wilder, but certainly not insane, just increase to a bigger die size to...
    23 replies | 804 view(s)
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About Ratskinner

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I wish more people played Indie games in North Akron.
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Currently running 5e for a mostly OSR group. Occasionally, I get them to try out newer games like Fate and PbtA games. Good times.
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Currently running 5e for a mostly OSR group. Occasionally, I get them to try out newer games like Fate and PbtA games. Good times.
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Fate is not a choice for games I enjoy?

Sunday, 14th October, 2018


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Tuesday, 18th September, 2018

  • 04:15 PM - pemerton mentioned Ratskinner in post Seeking multigenre rpg system
    Ratskinner, good analysis and suggestions (though I think points-buy for power sets might be a bit more than trivial) - but given the last few posts from the OP I don't think Cortex+ is the sort of system being looked for!

Tuesday, 31st July, 2018

  • 11:16 PM - pemerton mentioned Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    The absence of disagreement about the nature of good, or moral truth, does not self-evidently prove (i) that these are not objective matters, nor (ii) that any candidate account or definition of them is not objectively true. Ratskinner mentioned consilience as a marker of knowledge. The absence of consilience in moral philosophy is relevant to the question of whether or not moral philosophy is a science. And it might even be used as part of an argument that there is no objective truth there (eg one candidate explanation for the absence of consilience is that there is no truth for enquirers to converge on). But being an element of a possible argument is not self-evident demonstration. Perhaps it could be argued that consilience is constitutive of their being an "objective definition", but I'm not sure what that argument is.

Saturday, 14th July, 2018

  • 01:39 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    ...ws get progressively more difficult with each success unitl one fails, then get reset? (this to allow for a 'death by a thousand cuts' narrative) Where is 'unconscious' as a condition? Could it be a modifier to the save against harm 4 - if you roll within +/-3 of the DC or cutoff point you're unconscious instead of dead, maybe; and if left untended you'll later (maybe minutes, maybe hours, whenever) get another save, where you either wake up (and live), remain unconscious (and repeat this process later), or die? How does magical healing or curing work with any of this? Panic-ridden, Confused, and Demoralized are all conditions that can be inflicted by spell (in 1e D&D: Cause Fear, Confusion, and Emotion respectively) - what's the interaction here? Do these spells now just tick a harm box? Lanefan I donít want to dig down too deeply into the rest of the hacking required, because I was trying to solicit solely the visceral reaction from Emerikol . Iím inthe same camp as Ratskinner ; the reaction to one type of mechanics or information organization versus another is primarily because of familiarity or the internalization of a set of stuff into a mental framework that youíve settled into permanently. So what is the visceral reaction to a set of mechanics which are low mental overhead, much more internally consistent than HPs when modeling biological interactions...yet unfamiliar. But just a brief foray into your question: 1) No, these are not my own ideas (we can discuss the source later). 2) All you would have to do is: a) sub out current HP and condition mechanics and interactions for Harm levels (eg give Mooks no Harm box- everything is Harm 4, make a level one spell that inflicts x condition do y Harm). This would include deriving present system maths:Harm and Saving Throws at your discretion. b) sorting out Armor and mitigation abilities that step down Harm levels (or stop it outright) or Saving Throw interaction. c) sort out recovery (an...

Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018

  • 04:37 PM - Gradine mentioned Ratskinner in post Simple Superhero Systems
    ...vel's Runaways. Thanks for the advice everybody! My very limited experience with superhero gaming involved creating characters using an older DC Roleplaying Game system to build a new class of X-men (don't ask) that never actually got off the ground, but I do remember taking a long time to build my character. I'm trying to advertise and recruit new players into roleplaying and given the, err, prominence of superheroes in our current moment of popular culture, I'd figure I'd be remiss without playing to that genre. I'm using at least one other PbtA game, and I have some familiarity with that style of system, and I'm definitely digging what I'm reading from Masks right now (fun fact: the mutant character I made all those years ago was codenamed Aegis). Given my audience is "people who work primarily with college students" the emphasis on young heroes also seems like it'll be a good draw. But I'm also definitely checking out CapesLite as an alternative; thanks for the suggestion Ratskinner!

Monday, 5th February, 2018

  • 04:28 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Ratskinner in post Is D&D Too Focused on Combat?
    @Ratskinner and @pemerton I donít want to rehash the history of the 4e Skill Challenge or our own history in discussing it! However... Can we at least agree that the fundamental components of noncombat conflict resolution machinery are: - mechanical substrate/framework - procedures to move from framing to locked-in resolution - techniques that being about dynamic, coherent fiction and interesting decision-points A nice bonus would be to have a resolution procedure where tactical depth meets a tight feedback loop with resources/PC machinery that augments PC habitation in the unfolding situation (eg creates urgency or a sense of risk or a sense of emotional investment) for a player. But that isnít fundamentally mandatory (but contemporary game design should include it as understanding has matured significantly). Now, whether one feels 4eís instruction (establish a goal, go to the action, change the situation, success with complications, fail forward, failure is not an endpoint) is sufficien...

Sunday, 4th February, 2018

  • 02:49 PM - pemerton mentioned Ratskinner in post Is D&D Too Focused on Combat?
    Ratskinner, Lanefan Picking up on the "tacitcal socialising" aspect - Duel of Wits encourages very tactical socialising. At the table, this is a player who knows how to work the different action declaration options to maximise successes while minimising risks (I have a player who is very good at this). In the fiction, this corresponds to a character who knows when to speak, when to listen, when to push hard, when to pull back a bit, in order to get what s/he wants. And a bit more generally - I posted an example of play where the main focus of the action was a bar and the downstream consequences of a pick-up attempt. It wasn't a "side quest" or "downtime" - the PC heroes encountered three mercenaries trying to steal a piece of equipment from the Smithsonian, and were able to stop them from doing so because one was trapped in ice in the Washington Monument after Bobby Drake took her there for some romantic late-night skating; another was seduced and then abandoned on the top of the Capitol by...

Monday, 19th June, 2017


Wednesday, 14th June, 2017

  • 11:14 PM - Sadras mentioned Ratskinner in post Why I Am Starting to Prefer 4d6 Drop the Lowest Over the Default Array.
    I absolutely love the stat requirements of earier editions - I just remember I was never a fan of the rolling due to the disparity it created between players, I was also a much younger DM back then and that certainly didn't help. I will certainly incorporate them (stat requirements) now that Ratskinner posted that neat card system for generating stats.

Thursday, 8th June, 2017

  • 10:33 AM - pemerton mentioned Ratskinner in post Consequence and Reward in RPGs
    Also Ratskinner, double post => double XP. A strategy for level gain!
  • 10:33 AM - pemerton mentioned Ratskinner in post Consequence and Reward in RPGs
    Ratskinner, there's a lot in your post, this is just picking up on the bits where I thought I had something to contribute. Often, making a good/interesting story involves loss on the part of the protagonist. Most traditional rpgs have no mechanism rewarding a player for a substantive loss by their character. Reward mechanisms, like XP/leveling, are based solely on "winning" whatever goals the character has, and apply to the character and player as well. Contrast this with Fiasco, in which you the player can "win" by having your character suffer the most during the course of the game. (Although if you do win in this fashion, your character walks away winning as well.) This puts a player's immediate interests at odds with the character's immediate interests in a way that allows for plotlines that D&D would have great difficulty creating.I know of Fiasco but don't know it. Of the systems I do know (again, nothing very radical) I like BW the best in this respect: advancing your PC requires con...

Wednesday, 7th June, 2017


Thursday, 25th May, 2017

  • 01:54 PM - Celebrim mentioned Ratskinner in post Players building v players exploring a campaign
    Ratskinner: I think that's largely fair. For me, the one way D&D gets in the way of story is that in addition to narrative it is also trying to serve the aesthetic of challenge. And sense it is trying to serve the aesthetic of challenge, then it provides for the possibility of failure - without which there would be no challenge. But the problem with providing the possibility of failure is that the timing of failure in a game serving the aesthetic doesn't always - and usually doesn't - well serve the timing required of narrative. One problem that you run into trying to recreate narrative in a game is that in narratives the protagonists can't fail unless it serves the story for them to do so. But in the game, characters just die off at random leaving plot threads dangling unfinished. It's not easy to remove that. A game without challenge becomes like watching reruns of a sports competition. The linearity of the game - the fact that you don't know what is going to happen - is I think t...
  • 10:48 AM - pemerton mentioned Ratskinner in post Consequence and Reward in RPGs
    ... some fashion. One example: all the systems I'm GMing at the moment use some version of "say 'yes' or roll the dice", which means that the GM never calls for a roll unless the situation involves something being at stake which matters to the player, as that player has been build and played by its player. In which case a bad roll doesn't spoil the story; rather, the story is one in which, at the moment of crunch for that PC, things went wrong (this happens to Gandalf multiple times in The Fellowship of the Ring, for instance - first with Saruman, then with Butterbur, then with the Balrog). "Say 'yes' or roll the dice" works well in conjunction with other techniques, too, like "fail forward" - so that allowing failure as a regular part of play doesn't mean the end of the story. But certain resolution systems (especially but not only sim-oriented ones) are very hard to adapt to "fail forward" adjudication. So my own view is that, in fact, system matters a lot. (But I also agree with Ratskinner that many systems are actually not very different in the relevant respects from D&D. Eg changing the resolution mechanic in D&D from d20 to 2d10 or 3d6, or changing the spread of PC ability scores and the way they're calculated - all of which many people would regard as important system changes - probably won't change anything relevant to whether or not D&D supports alternatives for avoiding bad dice rolls other than my (1) and (2) above.)

Wednesday, 29th March, 2017

  • 02:00 PM - pemerton mentioned Ratskinner in post Compelling Storytelling
    ...arly all to revere LotR, and Gandalf doesn't try and pick Theoden's pocket. Rather, he asks him for - and receives - a gift (of a horse). There is an element of trickery in Gandalf getting Shadowfax as his horse, but it does not have the juvenile, "game disrupting" tone of trying to pick the king's pocket. If the framing and adjudication of the fiction makes it clear that the players can impact it, including eg by actually befriending NPCs, or successfully dealing with them, receiving gifts from them, etc - and this is all built into action resolution (eg one can easily imagine framing Gandalf, and then the whole Fellowship's, dealings with Theoden as a skill challenge or a Duel of Wits) - then I think that many players will step outside the limits of the "id". I've observed profound changes in "magey" characters' combat behavior (even my own) after they acquire the flight+invisibility combo that removes much of the risk they face in a typical combat.Can you elaborate? EDIT: Ratskinner - I lost my quote tags in this post, so just letting you know I replied (at excessive length).

Monday, 27th March, 2017

  • 09:50 AM - pemerton mentioned Ratskinner in post Compelling Storytelling
    ...ips. The problem with RPG's is that your average player is totally incapable of actually roleplaying. They can react "in character" when prompted, or give a quip using a funny accent, but it's actually a rare thing to have players roleplay with each other in a way that allows character development to take place. <snip> To put it another way, compelling storytelling is about character development, and character development can't happen without relationships with other nouns.But character development doesn't have to be about roleplaying in any theatrical sense. It's about character motivations, goals etc. These can be fairly easily put into play, provided that (i) the players provide some hooks, and (ii) the GM manages the framing properly. I think the bigger obstacles tend to be a sense that player/PC focused "story" is a "sidequest" that should be secondary to the GM's "main plot", which is often set up to be independent of any player/PC hooks. (This is the converse of Ratskinner's point about sandboxes.) EDIT: You're probably not going to get great literature out of RPGing. But presumably that's not the goal. In the same way the pretty crappy music is still enjoyable when you're playing it yourself; or that less than cordon bleu food can be enjoyable when you've prepared it yourself; so I think the same is true of stories and RPGing.

Wednesday, 22nd February, 2017


Friday, 10th February, 2017

  • 05:04 AM - Manbearcat mentioned Ratskinner in post (LOTR) I don't normally ask for system recommendations, but when I do, it certainly doesn't involve Dos Equis
    innerdude , a few things: 1) On Dungeon World, I would say Ratskinner has the right of it in that it is fundamentally anti-metaplot and anti-setting-tourism. Make a map, have some (very loose) backstory, a premise and fill in the blanks and let play snowball. In that vein, heavily defined canon and geography will be problematic for the game's basic agenda (which intersects with the narrative authority of moves and the expectation of freeform "just in time" content generation as the result of moves). That being said, I've run two long term Dungeon World games and a long term Apocalypse World game. Both can handle longterm play without a problem. The Powered By the Apocalypse system is extraordinarily robust and trivial to hack. You could easily hack: a) LotR Playbooks (the Heart of the Fellowship, the Battle Captain, the Reluctant Hero, the Destined Scion, the Sage of Ages, et al) b) Use LotR-themed Bonds and Alignment c) the End of Session move to address specific LotR themes and tropes rather than D&D action/adventure. As long as you'...

Thursday, 9th February, 2017


Friday, 30th October, 2015

  • 09:13 PM - El Mahdi mentioned Ratskinner in post Warlord Name Poll
    ...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 ; @SailorNash ; @Saplatt ; @Satyrn ; @Shades of Eternity ; @shadowmane; @sheadunne ; @Shasarak ; @shidaku ; @shintashi ; @Shiroiken ; @SigmaOne ; @sleypy; @sleypy01 ; @SpiderMonkey ; @Staccat0 ; @Staffan ; @steeldragons ; @steenan @STeveC ; @strider13x ; @Strider1973 ; @Sword of Spirit ; @Talmek ; @TerraDave; @TheCosmicKid ; @The_Gneech ; @TheHobgoblin ; @The Human Target ; @the Jester; @The Mirrorball Man ; @The Myopic Sniper ; @ThirdWizard ; @Tia Nadiezja ; @Tinker-TDC; @Tonguez ; @Tony Vargas ; @Tormyr ; @TrippyHippy ; @tsadkiel ; @tuxgeo ; @twigglythe Gnome ; @TwoSix ; @Uchawi ; @Ulorian ; @UnadvisedGoose445 ; @UngeheuerLich; @Us ; @Valmarius ; @Warbringer ; @was ; @wedgeski ; @Wednesday Boy ; @Wik ; @WillDoyle ; @Winterthorn ; @Wuzzard ; @Xeviat ; @Yaarel ; @Yunru ; @Zalabim ; @Zansy; @Zardnaar ; @Zeuel ; @ZickZak ; @Zo...

Saturday, 24th January, 2015

  • 05:16 PM - Rune mentioned Ratskinner in post You Roll Low, Nothing Happens. Can this/should this be changed?
    Thanks, Ratskinner. I debated with myself whether or not to derail my post with a discussion about how DW is narrative-driven and what that means, so I'm glad you brought it up. In DW, every single mechanical expression that happens in the game triggers off of narrative (this is one of the reasons it has no turn structure--and why it can function without it). There are broad mechanical expressions designed to catch most narrative expressions (and the GM is encouraged to make adventure/campaign-specific ones, as well). These aren't necessary, though--they're an improv safety net, more or less. They are designed to provide the players some degree of agency in determining the type of result they will get, but all of this can be handled on the fly, if desired. Taking clues from the narrative really makes that easy. The 5e tweaks I posted upthread hint at how I would incorporate this in a 5e game. To fully make it happen, I think you have to lose the round/turn structure completely. ...


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Friday, 28th September, 2018

  • 06:07 AM - pemerton quoted Ratskinner in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    That might call your metrics into question, more than the mechanics.Maybe. But no one has put an argument that it's a good feature of a RPG that the mechanics pull you away from playing your PC in a "natural" fashion. This post in particular, and this thread in general, are the strongest argument for Fate (or at least Fatelike design) that I have ever read. Well, FATE would satisfy the metric I posited (that good design will align PC motivation and mechanical incentive)!

Monday, 17th September, 2018

  • 01:56 PM - pemerton quoted Ratskinner in post Seeking multigenre rpg system
    I'm looking for a multigenre rpg system with preferably the following characteristics: 1. System can fade to the background to run games (i.e., not too much chart referencing, looking up rules, etc. needed), but with a decent amount of crunch rather than narrative (i.e., not interest in some collaborative style where PCs spend a point to do some large change to a scene). 2. Some sort of "curve" in dice roll results (whether a fuller 3d6 bell curve, a 2d10 not a curve but close enough, etc.), rather than a flat d20 sort of resolution (I find that flatter dice systems tend to use Hero/Fate/Action type points for re-rolls, etc. to help control the wide randomness of systems like d20, I'd rather the dice handle that themselves and minimize such points). 3. System does hide the math or make understanding likelihood of success hard (i.e., d20 is very clear on chances of success, but L5R hides the success and needs a chart to understand what one's chances are to succeed). 4. Point-buy rather t...

Tuesday, 4th September, 2018

  • 06:58 AM - pemerton quoted Ratskinner in post Where Are All the Dungeon Masters?
    I've gotta second this and call out the Apocalypse Engine games for this. You could run most of them without any prep at all (although note taking is must).I'm gradually working my way through games on my "I'd like to play this" list. Dungeon World is on the list but I haven't got to play it face-to-face (only PbP with Manbearcat).

Wednesday, 29th August, 2018

  • 05:03 PM - Garthanos quoted Ratskinner in post Tink-Tink-Boom vs. the Death Spiral: The Damage Mechanic in RPGs
    That's quite possible, since most of the studies come from the age of guns.Shrapnel and guns indeed the 5 percent probably means ballistic accuracy and maybe movement
  • 07:07 AM - aramis erak quoted Ratskinner in post Tink-Tink-Boom vs. the Death Spiral: The Damage Mechanic in RPGs
    That's quite possible, since most of the studies come from the age of guns. People also often don't do proper analysis of the data. For example, the Police shootings data. The 1990 or 1991 report by DoJ (My roommate at the time ordered a copy) was analyzed and found that 1-shot stops are often not 1-shot kills, and a significant fraction of 1-shot kills are not part of a successful stop of a violent offender... (As in, they died from a single shot, but weren't stopped from fleeing and/or continuing to fight. Some died in custody, some died on the run.) It even analyzed for accuracy where the suspect had been hit and returned fire... there was a clear "impairment of accuracy"... as in, suspects who had been shot were less likely to hit police. When the chances of being hit in a firefight drop from around 20% to 15%, that "5% impairment" is pretty valuable. It's worth noting that police engagements are heavily biased towards under 5m; almost all officer involved shootings not being part o...
  • 12:16 AM - Garthanos quoted Ratskinner in post Tink-Tink-Boom vs. the Death Spiral: The Damage Mechanic in RPGs
    *With the exception that TTB systems rarely take into account the "coming down" aspect of adrenaline rushes. Once that adrenaline wears off and the blood pressure drops and the swelling starts to kick in....best not to think of it. Although, if a game did have this in it, that would be cool...allowing for those final moments and last words as the hero bleeds out after the fight. Yes that part is generally ignored for story reasons I think... but it might be a good tool for giving a hero a finale, particularly useful if the player wants to go with a new character and the battle was satisfying.

Thursday, 2nd August, 2018

  • 12:08 AM - ehren37 quoted Ratskinner in post Revised Ranger update
    This is my experience as well. The Paladin on the other hand... The ranger is such a joke compared to the paladin. It's like they come from different editions. The paladin essentially gets more bonus spells prepared than the ranger KNOWS. They have an aura that breaks bounded accuracy... who thought handing out +3 to 5 to saves was remotely OK? Their summoned mount is a better animal companion than the useless lump that is the beastmaster's main subclass feature. I'd almost put a paladin with no oath features over a PHB ranger.

Wednesday, 1st August, 2018

  • 02:26 AM - Maxperson quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    I think we see the same things, but are interpreting them differently. How can science run afoul of them, if it is not addressing moral positions? The thing is, "moral" (as in "moral question") in this case, is not a stable target, and just because a scientifically minded person wouldn't consider something a moral issue doesn't mean it isn't one. Is the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection a completely amoral statement about reality or is it the most evil satanic immoral thing you can ever teach a child? The answer depends on who is asked, not some inherent property of scientific results, AFAICT. I don't think we can excuse something from being a "moral issue", just because it was not intended as such. Nor can we exclude something from scientific examination merely because we view it as a moral issue. We may, in deference to our proclivities, decide not to pursue certain courses of inquiry for what we deem "moral" reasons, but that is a separate question from whether science can address moral...

Tuesday, 31st July, 2018

  • 05:28 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    I agree. Fortunately, enough humans can usually agree on the basics to form complex societies and sit around debating this stuff and doing science, etc. Is that subjective? Yup. But we generally agree (enough) on many things that are subjective or matters of taste, this is no different. Yes, ergo the better method for defining moral good is social, not scientific. What you're doing here is reification -- the swapping of one thing for the other and then pretending their the same. Science done on social definitions of moral good aren't actually addressing objective moral good -- you've swapped in a subjective understanding and then pretended that since you've invoked Science! that it's actually science. You've forgotten that the basis of your effort isn't observation of reality, is subjective definition of it. "Prevents" a wild hypothesis? Sure nothing prevents someone from proposing one. But the scientific method is about finding out which ones are false and rejecting them. I mean, hypo...
  • 01:56 PM - Maxperson quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    In some cases (Stem Cell Research) I would agree with you. They have an objection to the methods and procedures that would be used. In others (Gun as Public Health, Global Warming) it is simply that the results would make their subjective moral/political positions less tenable in the face of objective evidence (or they fear that outcome.) I agree that Science is not very good at establishing morality/political positions. That is because all such positions are subjective, and science helps determine objective things. However, humans tend to evaluate their moral and political positions based upon what they perceive as objective reality, science has repeatedly bumped up against this...often getting scientists burned at the stake or put under house arrest, etc. The entirety of your posts supports what I said, though. Stem cell research doesn't care about morality or politics. Neither does research on global warming. Not sure what you mean by gun as public health. They bump against moral an...
  • 10:50 AM - TheCosmicKid quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    I mean, the greatest good to the greatest number can get you surprisingly far. Scientifically define "good." You'll find it's a subjective preference. At this point the moral philosopher in me just wants to crack both your heads together. Ratskinner: "The greatest good to the greatest number" can't even tell you unambiguously how to slice a birthday cake. Ovinomancer: Psychologists, marketers, and pollsters scientifically define and quantify subjective preferences every day.
  • 03:58 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    I would just point out here that there are in fact those that think that science can address these questions. Personally, I don't think these questions can be adequately answered without these the application of science. I mean, the greatest good to the greatest number can get you surprisingly far. Its not as if we have to pretend to be ignorant of our own moral sensibilities when asking moral questions. Scientifically define "good." You'll find it's a subjective preference. I'm not sure what other methods there are. AFAICT, science in the only method of "truth discovery" which is distinguishable from "I made this up." ....which is kinda what the whole scientific method was designed for, honestly. Inductive reasoning (although science might be considered a form of inductive reasoning). Deductive reasoning. Consensus building (for moral, social, and political issues, frex). Philosophy. And, no, the scientific method was designed to do hypothesis testing. There's nothing that prevent...
  • 03:53 AM - Maxperson quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    I mean, this is a patently untrue. If it was, you wouldn't have American political parties outlawing or defunding research that they suspect won't go their way. You also wouldn't have things like Lysenkoism. If Science is useless for these things, then there's certainly no reason to fudge it. They aren't defunding research because they think science can answer social, ethical or political issues. They are defunding it because it goes against their moral issues. Science running contrary to a moral belief doesn't mean that science is answering that belief in a moral way. Science is useless for establishing morality or political issues.

Sunday, 29th July, 2018

  • 12:54 PM - Larnievc quoted Ratskinner in post Thinking of Getting rid of monetary treasure
    I'm running a 5e game. The players are all soldiers in a quasi-religious army, and really don't have any way or reason to spend it. (No real magic shops and they aren't castle-building, at least until I get the Strongholds book.) so I'm just thinking about dropping most of the monetary treasure like piles of gold coins and the like. Am I missing anything bone stupid about this? It seems like they get a lot of wealth in 5e, with little to do with it. My group have never been interested in any treasure other than magic items.

Thursday, 26th July, 2018

  • 10:28 PM - gyor quoted Ratskinner in post What is your reaction to the Ravnica news?
    I'm fairly sure you won't have to worry about that at all. D&D characters are more like individual creatures in Magic, not Planeswalkers. I believe they have expressed as much and that they changed very little of D&D. If anything, I'm a little disappointed by how little of magic's mechanics are being brought over. It sounds like they will be ignoring color entirely and subsuming all the guild stuff into backgrounds. I'm beginning to fret whether well even see a lot of interesting new monsters, spells, etc. Seems like missed opportunity to me. They haven't mentioned spells or not, but Jeremy said they are bringing nearly as many new monsters as MTOFs.
  • 02:51 PM - gyor quoted Ratskinner in post Ravnica: Is This The New D&D Setting? [UPDATED & CONFIRMED!]
    Sarcastic, but yeah. Cool, it's the GTA, but with sad pieces of Detroit peppered throughout. Toronto even has a large underground part of the city.

Wednesday, 25th July, 2018

  • 10:22 AM - gyor quoted Ratskinner in post Ravnica: Is This The New D&D Setting? [UPDATED & CONFIRMED!]
    Some of the green guilds take care of it, with massive gardens, greenhouses, etc. Also, with Ravnica, it would be more accurate to say that the world has no "wild" or "untouched" areas left than to call it all a functioning city. Some places that have been abandoned for a while get recycled, architecture and all. IIRC correctly, the first set of novels had a scene where some kind of giant elemental was crashing around in such a wild district. I vaguely recall the urban heroes feeling weirded out by all the unkempt trees, etc. So parts of Ravnica are like Detroit and Flint?

Monday, 23rd July, 2018

  • 08:08 PM - TheCosmicKid quoted Ratskinner in post Ravnica: Is This The New D&D Setting? [UPDATED & CONFIRMED!]
    I believe most Americans probably say RAV-neek-ah, but! I seem to recall that its actually intended to be pronounced RAV-neets-ah, to keep with its SE European flavor. I believe the "c" is supposed to have a little doo-hicky at the bottom, but they left it out for Marketing reasons. Take that with a very heavy dose of IIRC. IIRC, the Anglicized pronunciations are canon - as you say, for marketing reasons. And after all, it's not as if they're actually speaking Czech in Ravnica. Their written language just happens to bear a completely coinicdental resemblance to it...
  • 07:49 PM - robus quoted Ratskinner in post Ravnica: Is This The New D&D Setting? [UPDATED & CONFIRMED!]
    Would (sub)class choices be limited by color? Would spells for PCs be limited by their color? I actually don't think it would take too many rules to implement it. (Think of how little has to be taken out to remove Alignment.) However, it would take some extra work (re)cataloging spells and creatures by color, and tossing in a few new or modified spells. My bet is that they will keep the game mechanics cleanly separated, but what do I know?! :)
  • 07:27 PM - The Grassy Gnoll quoted Ratskinner in post Ravnica: Is This The New D&D Setting? [UPDATED & CONFIRMED!]
    I believe most Americans probably say RAV-neek-ah, but! I seem to recall that its actually intended to be pronounced RAV-neets-ah, to keep with its SE European flavor. I believe the "c" is supposed to have a little doo-hicky at the bottom, but they left it out for Marketing reasons. Take that with a very heavy dose of IIRC. Thanks - I think I will go with Rav-neets-ah. Seeing as I am, for now at least, European. Plus, cod-Baltic accents are, for me, ze most fun zat it eez possible for me to be havink.


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