View Profile: Ratskinner - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 05:59 AM
    That only proves that you do not have a functioning creative relationship with your players.
    1847 replies | 50254 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 02:36 AM
    I'll set aside for the moment the idea that playing/using the rest of the 3e rules is "simple". I'm not sure I buy your line of thinking here. 1) If no one ever casts Fireball is the game simpler than if we do? I'm not sure that it is. I don't think American Football is more or less simple because people rarely use the "dropkick" rules anymore. (Thank you, Doug Flutie.) 2) If the behavior...
    171 replies | 7102 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 02:46 AM
    Depends on who you ask (see long discussion in Wikipedia article on emergent phenomenon). I tend to fall into the camp of thinking along the lines of "a thousand things doing something is inherently more complex than one of them doing something." Although, thinking about it too much rapidly devolves into the "What does complex mean?" discussion, IME. Either way. I don't see how any sort of...
    171 replies | 7102 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 12:46 AM
    Seems contradictory to me...I mean "emergence" is usually defined as something like "complex behavior exhibiting from multiple actors following simple rules". Going the other direction doesn't make much sense to me.
    171 replies | 7102 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 01:20 AM
    I haven't had declarations phases in quite some time. I ran a session of a game called Old School Hack that uses them to determine initiative order....and I think that is something I might try to work out for 5e. Just eliminate the initiative roll entirely. Start of each round, folks declare what they're going to try to do, then resolve as seems appropriate.
    48 replies | 1460 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th February, 2019, 04:29 PM
    I'd agree with both Blue and Flexor the Mighty!. I mean, when I was young, I got into game complexity a lot. But I think it was barking up the wrong tree from the goals of play for which I come to an rpg. I'm perfectly happy to play a complicated war or battle game like SFB, even. I think there's definitely a place for complicated rules for competitive environments. However, that's the long way...
    171 replies | 7102 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th February, 2019, 07:20 PM
    The quote comes from Jesse Burneko's Play Passionately blog. He's a member of The Forge who just really grokked Sorcerer in the same way that John Harper just really got Apocalypse World. His blog just does a much better job of articulating the way I approach role playing games. Here's the post:
    1847 replies | 50254 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th February, 2019, 01:20 AM
    Facetiously: I would guess two factors: a) new jerk GMs are constantly being created b) old jerk GMs never quit Not so facetiously, a GM being a jerk is something that tends to stick with people. We just don't like letting it go. So, even if a new GM is only a jerk through inexperience, we tend to remember it.
    106 replies | 3599 view(s)
    0 XP
No More Results
About Ratskinner

Basic Information

About Ratskinner
Introduction:
I wish more people played Indie games in North Akron.
Location:
North Akron
Disable sharing sidebar?:
No
Sex:
Male
Age Group:
Over 40
My Game Details

Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

Town:
Cuyahoga Falls
State:
Ohio
Country:
USA
Game Details:
Currently running 5e for a mostly OSR group. Occasionally, I get them to try out newer games like Fate and PbtA games. Good times.
More information:
Fate is not a choice for games I enjoy?

Statistics


Total Posts
Total Posts
2,114
Posts Per Day
0.81
Last Post
Why the hate for complexity? Friday, 22nd March, 2019 02:36 AM

Currency

Gold Pieces
3
General Information
Last Activity
Today 03:20 AM
Join Date
Friday, 3rd February, 2012
Product Reviews & Ratings
Reviews Written
1

1 Friend

  1. Campbell Campbell is offline

    Member

    Campbell
Showing Friends 1 to 1 of 1
My Game Details
Town:
Cuyahoga Falls
State:
Ohio
Country:
USA
Game Details:
Currently running 5e for a mostly OSR group. Occasionally, I get them to try out newer games like Fate and PbtA games. Good times.
More information:
Fate is not a choice for games I enjoy?

Friday, 22nd March, 2019


Thursday, 21st March, 2019


Wednesday, 20th March, 2019


Wednesday, 13th March, 2019


Monday, 4th March, 2019


Monday, 25th February, 2019


Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Sunday, 27th January, 2019

  • 04:10 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned Ratskinner in post Observations on matching "One vs. Many" combat mechanics to cinematic combat
    I can't make heads or tails of this. Are you trying to say that you (instead of "people") are looking for a mechanically detailed ststem that does cinematic combat well? Are you familiar with Ratskinner's examples, ie Powered by the Apocalypse games, because calling those "DM discretion" is rather missing the point of those systems. They hard code in player facing cinematic options and mechanically limit DM authority alongside having strong play principles that further enforce the mechanics to deliver the design goal play. I love 5e. Starting a new campaign today, in fact. But, I don't play it for cinematic play. I go to Blades in the Dark for that, and it delivers on that in spades (for heist/skulduggery play, at least). It doesn't do exploration/tactical play well, though.
  • 02:45 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Ratskinner in post Observations on matching "One vs. Many" combat mechanics to cinematic combat
    +1 Ratskinner. There are plenty of RPGs that do cinematic combat well. They just aren't D&D. Cinema is meant to inspire D&D, but D&D doesn't emulate it well at all.

Wednesday, 12th December, 2018

  • 01:37 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned Ratskinner in post Skills used by players on other players.
    ...tion because it seems like there's a contradiction in the statements and I'd curious as to what causes it. Maybe it'll make him change his mind, or maybe it'll provide a new avenue for discussion, or maybe it won't. If I don't ask, only the latter is sure to obtain. What he does at his table isn't going to effect you and I think this thread has done a lot to show that both sides are right,neither side 100% but enough that we can understand that yeah people are viewing things differently and that's ok. Neither side is engaging in bad or hurtful game play, it's just a difference of opinion in a rpg that aims to have much of it left up to the players and DM. Oh, goodness, someone has forgotten their on a discussion forum. Of course it won't affect my table -- or will it? Because, in that 3 year old thread that was linked a few pages ago about NPCs using skills against PCs, I was on your side of the argument. Go read it, you'll see. I made a lot of the same arguments you and Ratskinner are making (and ccs). But, starting in that thread, and in a few more where I got mad at iserith (I've accused him of trolling, too, much to my future embarrassment), I started looking at how I run games, what I was doing, and realized that a lot of my dissatisfaction was how I was running -- what luggage I was bringing with me. I've changed my style since then, sought out a few good non-D&D games to sample different concepts altogether, and fashioned a different playstyle that's much more iserith and Bawylie that my old one. So, yeah, maybe this is the start of a change and maybe it isn't, but whether or not it affects my table right now, this is still a discussion forum where we talk about pretending to be elves. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the argument that we forget that we are all on the same side. We love rpg's! There are few enough of us out there lets agree to disagree and still hold each other in a positive light. You told us what you would do,...

Wednesday, 28th November, 2018

  • 12:19 AM - darkbard mentioned Ratskinner in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    Combat: A substrate upon which fictional positioning and how it relates to gamestate (the two creating a feedback loop until the conflict has been resolved), action economy, and related opportunity cost dictate moves made and attendant outcomes. vs Skill Challenge: A substrate upon which fictional positioning and how it relates to gamestate (the two creating a feedback loop until the conflict has been resolved) dictate moves made and attendant outcomes. Make sense? Totally. They're not equivalent, as my bolding of your text highlights. And ht to Ratskinner, whose earlier comments, especially with regard to action economy, preview your post. That said--and this is intended as a point of exploration, not as one of disagreement--one could rather easily implement the full suite of actions per turn available to 4E characters in combat in a skill challenge. Most skill applications already have an action unit associated with them, which would faciliate this. And further, implementation of rituals, encounter powers (particularly when a skill challenge is embedded within a combat encounter or vice versa), and daily powers leveraged in SCs do bring an attendant opportunity cost (if I understand correctly what you mean by this). The former is not 4E RAW (though it's an easy hack), but the latter is. Again, this is not completely symmetrical design across the two silos, but with a little work the two share far more than what separates them. But I agree that such implementation does require "deft," creative GMing and a willingness to int...

Saturday, 24th November, 2018

  • 08:24 AM - pemerton mentioned Ratskinner in post Rules Light Games: Examples and Definitions
    I agree with Ratskinner that d20 is not light. I've never played Fate but I'ver read the Fate Core book and it gives me a vibe of being, in play, comparable in heaviness to MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic, which I've played quite a bit and wouldn't call light. I've played a fair bit of Classic Traveller recently and it can move at a pretty quick pace, but I think it has too many subsystems to count as light. Two systems I've played recently that I would count as light are Prince Valiant and Cthulhu Dark. In the latter PC build can literally take place while opening up a packet of snacks - choose a name and an occupation (where "occupation" has the real world meaning of choosing a job, not choosing a PC option from a list). Resolution is very straightforward, based on a pool of 1 to 3 dice with the highest die in the pool counting plus bad things happening if the Sanity die is in the pool and comes up highest. PC build in Prince Valiant takes more like 10 minutes - choose name, archetype and description; alloc...

Friday, 26th October, 2018

  • 09:30 AM - pemerton mentioned Ratskinner in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    A skilled combatant would have better odds of such, but not guaranteed. D&D keeps it simpleSo the criterion is realism, except when it might contradict D&D rules, and then the criterion is simplicity? If simplicity is the key, then it's simple to roll attack and damage together, and to allow the Shield spell to be declared in response to a hit even though the damage has been rolled. (And to echo Ratskinner - I think the "simplicity" of D&D is easily overstated.)

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).


Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
No results to display...
Page 1 of 44 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Thursday, 21st March, 2019

  • 02:46 PM - Umbran quoted Ratskinner in post Why the hate for complexity?
    I tend to fall into the camp of thinking along the lines of "a thousand things doing something is inherently more complex than one of them doing something." Although, thinking about it too much rapidly devolves into the "What does complex mean?" discussion, IME. I think uphread I did get into the difference between complicated and complex. A mechanical watch has dozens of very specifically formed moving parts - it is complicated. What it does is tell the time, which is not complex. Three bodies moving under their mutual gravitational attraction is super-easy to specify. It is not a complicated system. Their resulting orbits, however area complex and unpredictable. In this way, we can talk separately about how the thing is constructed, and how it behaves in the end. Note: a single thing doing something *cannot* be emergent behavior. Emergent behavior is what you get when *multiple* things interact, and the result is behavior not found in any individual part. As an example: you...
  • 01:23 AM - Umbran quoted Ratskinner in post Why the hate for complexity?
    Seems contradictory to me...I mean "emergence" is usually defined as something like "complex behavior exhibiting from multiple actors following simple rules". Going the other direction doesn't make much sense to me. Emergent behavior emerges. It is the the whole having behavior not found in any of the particular parts. The thing that emerges is not necessarily complicated or simple - so long as it is unexpected from just looking at the individual parts.

Wednesday, 20th February, 2019

  • 04:16 AM - John Lynch2 quoted Ratskinner in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    I think youíre making a binary situation where thatís not really how things work. There have been several more years of toxic online behavior sine the earlier allegations. And now there are MORE allegations. I think itís reasonable for more allegations to become a bigger deal. Especially combined with 5 more years of Zak pissing industry folks off and 5 more years of the hobby expanding and reaching new people and 5 more years of social progress. Conditions were different this time around, so the result will be different.So does the industry have a threshold on when it takes action? Is 1 allegation sufficient? 5? 20? Because I doubt very many people were surprised by this recent news. Definitely sadenned. But unfortunately not surprised. How many other professionals have met this threshold but are simply flying under the radar until the next lot of bad press swings their way? Because bad press seems to be the only thing to galvanise WotC and OneBookshelf into action thus far. Also, for an rpg ...
  • 03:35 AM - John Lynch2 quoted Ratskinner in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    As a side note, and I'm not calling out anyone around here specifically, the cry of "but he could lose his job!" is often trotted out like its the single worst fate that it could befall somebody. I find that odd, especially in cases of violent activity. I mean, working well with people requires some positive personality traits and behavior (as hawkeyefan alluded to) it shouldn't be surprising or objectionable when someone who fails to exhibit those traits is shown the door, especially when they exhibit profoundly negative traits as well. ::shrug::But his behaviour isn't new nor is it surprising. Also: choosing not to work with someone is one thing. But should these organisations remove all mention of their previous association? Either Zak S deserved to be in the credits because of the work he performed for WotC or he didn't. It'd be like removing Kevin Spacey from the credits of all movies he's ever appeared in. The Zak S situation brings something very disturbing to light. I'm concerned at...
  • 03:21 AM - John Lynch2 quoted Ratskinner in post What the heck is going on with the professional RPG industry in regards to Zak S?
    Not all allegations are created equal. Some are more substantial and believable than others.So your saying the previous allegations aren't credible? What's different about this most recent one? Why is this victim more worthy of our concern then previous victims? Oh, look, a fresh and new take on the topic where a low-post-count user is suddenly supremely concerned with the implications of MEN being accused of bad behaviour online. I'm certain this will be an exciting and original take on the subject.I use to have a different user account over here. I'm not really sure how I ended up with this account. Link: http://www.enworld.org/forum/member.php?6749563-JohnLynch hmmm.....not an expert, but...AFAICT most allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct don't actually go to court, but that won't keep you from getting fired (or not, depending on the company attitude) for a "gig" based industry like rpgs, this is what it looks like. I think, IME, etc. etc.I'd be concerned if my place of employm...

Monday, 11th February, 2019

  • 12:04 AM - pemerton quoted Ratskinner in post Observations on matching "One vs. Many" combat mechanics to cinematic combat
    I find the difference between process and fiction artificial and you probably can't draw a good line between them. In trad games, fiction emerges from the interaction of elements. As soon as something changes in the world, you got story. Whether it's an interesting story or not is a different question.The point about hit points, as I understand it, is that the mechanical changes - like deducting hp from a running tally - don't correlate to any particular fictional change - like some sort of injury. D&D and its offshoots are the worst culprits in this respect, but it can be found in other systems too: Classic Traveller has "abstract" damage, though deducted from physical stats rather than a distinct pool. Prince Valiant also has injury = stat reduction; so does Tunnels & Trolls. Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic has a Physical Stress/Trauma rating that doesn't correspond to any particular form of injury. Etc I think this either puts some pressure on your claim about fiction/mechanics interacti...

Friday, 8th February, 2019


Monday, 4th February, 2019


Friday, 1st February, 2019

  • 06:38 PM - Mike Myler quoted Ratskinner in post Bad Guys Have Adventures Too
    I thought badguy adventures were called things like "Evil Schemes" or "Criminal Enterprises". IME, the biggest hangup about being the badguys is that you (as somebody else's antagonist) shouldn't be passive and wait around for something to come up. You're evil find an excuse to start murdering or something, could be for fun, but better for profit. Like what if the world itself was predicated against you and society elongated the lives of creatures "good of heart" to leave you (and other evil folk) to die from old age much earlier on Sounds like that would be the coolest
  • 12:39 PM - Alexander Kalinowski quoted Ratskinner in post Observations on matching "One vs. Many" combat mechanics to cinematic combat
    Yikes. That's a tough one, because even within some sub genres "Injury" can vary wildly. I cant remember which movie it was, but one guy gets hurt early on, then he later tortures one of the heroes inflicting the same wound. Yet they seemed to have totally different impacts on the characters involved. You can't be consistent across all movies and all franchises and all genres. But if you take a look big picture, a few relevations emerge. I'll get back to it. One thing I think you need to consider in many regards here is the "held at gunpoint" problem that trad rpgs have. Movie heroes are constantly held at bay or captured this way, but rpg HP totals often make the guards' crossbows a joke.* Another thing that might help both this and your first problem is some kind of courage/intimidation rolls that have to be made to engage. I'd imagine a ton of situational modifiers, but maybe there's a way to make it easier. This is a great point: I'm currently designing a scenario for my system w...

Thursday, 31st January, 2019

  • 08:59 PM - Alexander Kalinowski quoted Ratskinner in post Observations on matching "One vs. Many" combat mechanics to cinematic combat
    You claim multiple times that you want characters to have the ability to properly assess a situation Well, here's where I think many combat systems go wrong: let's take the called shot to the head. You can't force that in every situation - it's only a good idea when you catch the enemy not guarding it. We're not simulating this detail in combat. The assessment of the situation is about other aspects of the scene. As for PbtA, it abstracts some things away that I'd rather not have abstracted away. And for people who rather care about story and/or who look at combat as just a specific part of on-going story, it doing so is just fine. Two things: Harnmaster is a red herring -- you don't care about designing for Harnmaster, so bringing it up as a counter-example is just chaff. Second, "trad" is doing a lot of work. Let's be clear, you're designing for 5e. Hell, no. d100 >> d20. ;) Don't hate D&D either, it's an okay game, I occasionally play in its ruleset. These days in the for...
  • 12:12 PM - S'mon quoted Ratskinner in post Observations on matching "One vs. Many" combat mechanics to cinematic combat
    Oh I get that. My problem with this idea is that between turn-based action and the weird fuzziness that comes with HP....that physics is so totally alien to our physics (or cinematic physics) that it beggars belief. No one IRL who has been injured in a fall considers that they have lost 35/42 of their ability to stay up and fighting at full strength. Rather, we know, "Wow, too bad he snapped his neck and died" to "That's a nasty compound fracture of his forearm" to "Wow, I got away lucky with just this twisted ankle." In 5e terms: Snapped neck and died - twice full hp insta-death. Compound fracture of forearm - at 0 hp, made death save, incapacitated. Or he rolled a 20 and somehow fights on at 1 hp. (I'm assuming magic healing is around, otherwise no one ever breaks anything) :D - the GM could describe a PC at failed death saves as apparently having bones broken. Twisted ankle - prone, now at low hp, so vulnerable to being taken down. Losing 12 of 34 hp would be more an "oof!" with no o...

Wednesday, 30th January, 2019

  • 11:49 PM - Alexander Kalinowski quoted Ratskinner in post Observations on matching "One vs. Many" combat mechanics to cinematic combat
    But if your goal is to emulate a cinematic approach while maintaining standard combat mechanics, then I think there are steps you can take to try and give such fights that feel. Perhaps an ďEngagedĒ designation? Any PC can only be Engaged by a maximum number of foes. Each foe Engaged wiyh the PC may reault in a bonus of some sort to its fellows, but this puts a cap on the advantage of numbers. So the solution I have come up with is that you need to do a fighting test before you can attack unless you're the main attacker (which can change!). This is kinda less ideal in some regards - because of the potential frustration factor and because of the added rolling. On the other hand it does create turns in which only 1 attacker can attack and turns in which all can attack. Also, and thisa is crucial to me, the added roll allows the GM to avoid saying "You attack and you miss". If you fail your your fighting test, the GM can narrate (as dictated by the dice): "You step forward but your buddy Billy B...

Thursday, 24th January, 2019

  • 02:22 PM - Aldarc quoted Ratskinner in post What Game Did You Leave D&D For?
    I'm very much a system tourist. I probably couldn't successfully list all the systems I've tried on the first go. I'm constantly disappointed and amazed at how so many different systems are just D&D "in disguise". (maybe a different rolling mechanism; maybe HP are renamed; lists of lists of lists of weapons, vehicles, races, etc.) So few games and mechanics actually add anything new or impressive to the play at table, and so many fail at delivering the "better story" promises that they make....ugh.I don't mind fantasy heartbreakers too much. There can be a time and place for them. However, I kinda loathe the Big Six attributes and the over-reliance on them in game design. This often negatively impacts my enthusiasm for a lot of "D&D in disguise" games. (Including True20, Dungeon World, and Stars Without Numbers.) That said, I there are two relatively popular systems that I think do much better than D&D for me (YMMV, obviously): Fate and the Apocalypse World Engine games. With Fate, the aspec...

Sunday, 13th January, 2019

  • 05:37 PM - darkbard quoted Ratskinner in post RPGs like Penny Dreadful (TV show)
    EDIT: There's gotta be some kind of Apocalypse world book for this kind of thing. Maybe Urban Shadows? I've never seen the TV show, only the print ads and commercial trailers (and those, quite some time ago), but Blades in the Dark might fit the bill. Or, perhaps, one of its many hacks. See its Google+ group before that shuts down or the game's official site, Blades.

Thursday, 10th January, 2019

  • 06:38 AM - FrogReaver quoted Ratskinner in post yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options
    I can't say that I've seen this problem in play. The fighters and barbs I know tend to broaden out a bit with background and racial choices. In the game I ran, the barbarian cheerfully went "Survivaling" and the fighter had no problem using his criminal background to sneak a bit. I think this is one of those attitudes-toward-play things, more than a mechanical problem. That said, giving fighters another skill wouldn't phase me, either. IME, the fighter's biggest problem is that I'm not 100% sure that he actually is the best at combat, at least by the margins that the designers were aiming for. He's no slouch, but other classes keep pace or beat him out, especially if the rest/recharge schedule isn't being pushed (paladin, I'm looking at you). I agree, to justify fighter's utter lack of out of combat benefits they do need to be better at combat than they are. (at least the non-feated version does). Or more fun would be to just give them some out of combat options IMO.

Friday, 28th December, 2018


Thursday, 27th December, 2018

  • 10:48 PM - Ash Mantle quoted Ratskinner in post False truisms in 5th edition
    I know posters have been making recommendations to improve the fighter's dpr, but that's because it's the metric MechaPilot introduced. Between the action surge, extra attacks and various things the fighter subclasses get though, fighters have a lot going for them including DPR-wise. I suppose that's true. I mean, I've never seen the party cheer when the wizard uses a damage-less "utility" or "control" spell to make the encounter even winnable, let alone possible. /sarcasm :) Oh man, your party clearly didn't have a bard in it! :p A cheerleader bard archetype (who's also optimistic all the time but this could get a little grating) would be pretty rad.
  • 12:09 PM - Ash Mantle quoted Ratskinner in post False truisms in 5th edition
    *except the Wizard one...I don't know anyone who feels negatively about wizards from actual play. I've seen wizards that take the role of Mr. Utility Knife and wizards that take the role of Mr. Destructo and they both work well enough to be satisfying. There is way more to being an effective combatant or character than DPR. But don't you get it? If you don't play a character that's only an effective combatant or with only DPR in mind then you're clearly playing it wrong! :P /sarcasm

Wednesday, 19th December, 2018

  • 04:45 PM - The Old Crow quoted Ratskinner in post Most frustrating quirk of 5E?
    I dunno. I had an FR book or two back in the 2e days that were absolutely horrible this way. One was printed in dark blue ink on slightly-not-as-dark blue parchmenty background and the other was the same except for being lightish brown on darkish tan. While the contrast (or lack thereof) was a big issue, the mottling of the pseudo parchment just put it over the top for unreadability. ::shrug:: Heh, that sounds like awful design. I never had any FR books. When 2e came out I did buy a pack of character sheets that turned out to have a background alternating between light green and dark green. The dark green was so dark the only way to read pencil on it was to tip the sheet so light would reflect off the graphite. In this case though I don't think they just made a poor aesthetic decision, but were instead trying to thwart the poor copy machines back in the day, and in the process managed to make their product a useless waste of money.


Page 1 of 44 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Ratskinner's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated

Most Recent Favorite Generators/Tables

View All Favorites