View Profile: Ratskinner - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:42 AM
    That, at least, is an oversight that is reasonably consistent with the fiction.
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 11:02 PM
    Which is precisely what I pointed out several posts back*, its all "Disney damage" to coin a phrase. Even worse, no critical wounds, no dramatically interesting injuries whatsoever (even Disney occasionally has the occasional limping character in need of help)....no damage, just cosmetics....oh and that pesky totally metagame doom clock. Certainly nothing about "how bad a shape you're in", but...
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 05:05 AM
    Oh I agree that what matter is subjective. I'm just trying to answer your question about why I find HP bothersome. I get that. I've played/run a lot of oddball games, and that has lost a lot of shine for me because: a) Whatever "mathematical" language you use will inevitably create a pseudo-physics model for that universe. (HP are an example of a bad version of this for me.) b) I've...
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 02:38 AM
    Okay, so having read the rest of the thread Ō'll tell you what I do, and how to modify it (If that isn't obvious to you) to make it more or less "deadly" When you hit 0 HP, you are incapacitated. Toss 4 coins and count the heads (or roll for evens on four dice). Each head or even roll counts as a "good for you" answer that you may assign to one of the questions below: 1) Are you dying? (Roll...
    114 replies | 3280 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 12:58 AM
    I say "boo-LET".
    31 replies | 1066 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 12:15 AM
    This is very hard to describe, because I feel like we've all been trained really well to ignore/accept it or we're just really accustomed to it. it (take your pick.) I remember introducing new players way back in the late 70's and 80's and HP were always one of those things that gave people trouble (not nearly so much as spell memorization, but I'll not digress). It took a lot of convincing, and...
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 06:24 AM
    Assuming we're restricting ourselves to D&D-like games here. I would lean towards what Fate Accelerated (and maybe Marvel Heroic?) call "Approaches" rather than traditional attributes. By default, FAE uses Forceful, Clever, Quick, Flashy, Sneaky, and Careful. (They are often re-named to be more evocative for specific implementations) By stepping away from a quasi-physical descriptor of the...
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 06:07 AM
    I find myself liking this kind of "mode"-style attributes more and more as time goes on. Fate Accelerated calls its batch "Approaches" (Forceful, Sneaky, Quick, Careful, Flashy, and Clever). I was skeptical at first, but have run FAE a few times and see the value in the method.
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 05:53 AM
    Just for clarity's sake. I'm not seeking simulation, either. I'm just seeking a coherent, interesting narrative (preferably with a light mechanical overhead as well). I haven't played in your games, but in every other D&D game I've played in, DMs will casually describe a hit...and then that description is quickly abandoned in the face of the HP total. I think the dissonance that it causes is why...
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 11:17 PM
    All I can say is that years (decades now) of debate and argument and multiple DMs running them different ways would argue otherwise.
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 11:13 PM
    No. At least no more than calling it the "story" (as you just did) or the "gameworld" (which seems to common parlance, IME.) Its a term we use when talking about the game or gameplay. Refusing to acknowledge that we will be creating a fictional narrative while we play the game seems delusional to me. Wouldn't it be better if you actually had information about the injuries (or lack thereof)...
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 09:45 PM
    Hit points have never been treated consistently. All you have to do is look at how, even in the early editions, a high-level fighter who was only down half his hit points and not really injured significantly at all might require a cure critical wound or similar higher magic to heal. Meanwhile the princess you just rescued can be brought from near-death too full with just a cure light wounds. ...
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 03:10 PM
    Getting a Fate point isn't (necessarily, anyway) about the character doing something suboptimally. It can simply be that some complication happens in the fiction. I've run Fate a lot more than I've played it, so FWIW: As either GM or Player, Fate has always felt more solidly connected with the fiction than D&D does for me. The fiction and "what actually happens" or "what we see on screen" is...
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 02:09 PM
    Lately I've been wondering if AC, HP, and proficiency/"to hit" shouldn't all be capped or relatively static like Dungeon World. Somebody just recently kitbashed a version they called "homebrew world" and it looks very nice.
    62 replies | 2136 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 01:57 PM
    I thought it was Dro'w.
    165 replies | 22486 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 01:43 PM
    A lot of DMs I knew diluted XP for the presence of hirelings, often giving them half shares. That drastically cut down on the hirelings expenditures.
    62 replies | 1157 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 08:17 AM
    Ratskinner replied to 6e? Why?
    I gotta think the only relevant "need" for a new edition will be if sales start to flag, and I see no signs of that. WotC seems to be shepherding that part of this edition carefully. Lessons learned, I guess. At some point, sure. Even at this slow and careful release schedule, cruft will eventually build up. Maybe a round of personnel changes will accelerate it at some point, but who knows. I...
    144 replies | 7295 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Saturday, 30th June, 2018, 12:37 AM
    I see this in my group all the time. Shoot, I do it with Charisma type things myself. In this case, I have no qualms about mentioning that while the players may be engineers, the characters aren't. Since we switch GM duties, its easy to ask if they would mind if my next character invented gunpowder or something. That said, good plan, make some super hard Int checks, a series of Strength,...
    43 replies | 1256 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 02:11 PM
    I think this is very true. I tend to personally lean in that direction, but I just do not see it in the 4e ABC1 books. I still recall my shock reading you folks' posts about playing 4e that way.
    171 replies | 5817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 01:43 PM
    It seems to be for us pendants online. My observations of casual players like my kids' groups is that: A) they won't play so much that it matters and B) they won't stick so closely to the rules that it matters, anyway And those folks far outnumber the people who even know what the edition wars are.
    171 replies | 5817 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd June, 2018, 12:18 AM
    I haven't run into all of these, but I've noticed a few. No experience, yet, but this seems to be a realm that D&D perpetually finds difficult. My current group is just cresting into 8th. I'm seriously considering converting the game to Fate in a few levels, because D&D play is so weak at higher levels. But we'll see. This is, IMO, the second-worse design mistake in 5e, but its...
    122 replies | 4293 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 03:57 PM
    Sorry for disappearing. Been in the middle of a career transition while ramping up my training regimen. Here is my basic contention: The different expectations, culture of play, and specific play techniques in utilized in game like Sorcerer provides an experience that does not easily arise when playing modern Dungeons and Dragons. The same is true for Moldvay B/X. although modern D&D can...
    2862 replies | 83319 view(s)
    4 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
1,969
Posts Per Day
0.84
Last Post
A discussion of metagame concepts in game design Yesterday 03:42 AM

Currency

Gold Pieces
2
General Information
Last Activity
Yesterday 07:11 PM
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?
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Thursday, 19th July, 2018


Wednesday, 18th July, 2018


Tuesday, 17th July, 2018


Monday, 16th July, 2018


Sunday, 15th July, 2018


Friday, 13th July, 2018



Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

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. ...

Friday, 5th September, 2014

  • 03:15 AM - pemerton mentioned Ratskinner in post I for one hope we don't get "clarification" on many things.
    I am not sure anyone could develop rules to embrace a certain bias as specific as stealth or a similar concept.You can do this if the rules are written with a certain looseness or incompleteness, but can work provided that the reader/player incorporates certain additional assumptions which are being supplied by experience with prior editions, or via "common sense", or whatever else (and Mearls et al will presumably have used the playtest to identify some of these). Rules written in this way may frustrate those who are familiar with multiple, different RPG systems and are looking to the designers to project a clear account of how this particular system is meant to be played (I would put myself in this category), but dd.stevenson's point is that, according to Mearls' market research, those players are a (small) minority. Not that it will frustrate all members of that small minority, though: both Imaro and Ratskinner belong to it, but apparently had little trouble making sense of the stealth rules.

Thursday, 17th July, 2014

  • 07:51 AM - pemerton mentioned Ratskinner in post Is there a "Cliffs Notes" summary of the entire 4E experience?
    We have a dozen different powers that "stun" a foe. Couldn't there have just been one that let the PC define how he did it?In some cases there is arguably needless duplication (eg there are two powers, I think - an Avenger one and a Swordmage one - which are identical to, or very nearly identical to, the fighter power Footwork Lure). But in general, the gameplay reason for different powers is the same as the reason for different classes: to ensure diversity of approaches to the game. (There is also the marketing reason noted by TwoSix, and I think also Ratskinner further upthread.) What you just described is the textbook "reaction" power: a foe does something and the player/character responds."Reactions" and "actions" are metagame notions - devices for regulating turns in the action economy of the game. They don't correspond, except very loosely, to distinct categories of events in the gameworld. Balesir has already made this point in relation to melee exchanges. It can also be applied to OAs: one natural way to understand OAs vs archers and casters is that, when fighting a foe who isn't fighting or parrying back, you get more chances to hurt them. Instead of upping the rate of attacks, though (which can happen in AD&D when very fast weapons are used vs very ponderous weapons), we grant opportunity attacks. In the actual gameworld, the fighter is just attacking - there is no ingame distinction between the action, the immediate action and the opportunity action. Technically, the opponents can't do anything once they get in range until...


Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
No results to display...
Page 1 of 39 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

  • 11:46 PM - Saelorn quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Which is precisely what I pointed out several posts back*, its all "Disney damage" to coin a phrase.At sufficiently low resolution, dramatic physical injury is indistinguishable from Disney Damage. Even worse, no critical wounds, no dramatically interesting injuries whatsoever (even Disney occasionally has the occasional limping character in need of help)....no damage, just cosmetics....oh and that pesky totally metagame doom clock. Certainly nothing about "how bad a shape you're in", but maybe a "how bad does your makeup look".There's nothing meta-game about it. The character can observe the physical injury; they simply observe that it's not immediately fatal, in and of itself. They might very well have a limp! All that the mechanics say on the matter is that any limp isn't so incredibly extreme as to warrant modeling under typical combat conditions. Which is perfectly reasonable, given how simplistic the model is. The characters might be observing it, but they must also be observing that (u...

Monday, 16th July, 2018

  • 08:26 AM - Saelorn quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Well, If HP loss has no implications for the character's physical performance...then it can't be having physical effects that the character can notice, can it?It can. It's just slightly more cosmetic than you might expect. If you paint someone's left hand red, then they can see that their left hand is red, even if it doesn't affect their performance in any way. It's the same thing, just applied to physical injury. If you give someone a small cut on their arm, then you wouldn't necessarily expect that to affect their combat performance at all, but they can still see it. And since DMs describe damage in different ways, I'm saying that at my table, you might get a fractured sternum and it wouldn't affect your combat performance; or rather, that it might affect your combat performance, but not to such a degree that it would warrant modeling mechanically. The strawman exaggeration is that you could be impaled with a spear going through your head, and it wouldn't affect your performance enough t...

Sunday, 15th July, 2018

  • 09:57 AM - pemerton quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    If HP loss has no implications for the character's physical performance...then it can't be having physical effects that the character can notice, can it? The "injuries" exist solely on the meta-level of that "doom-meter". So, effectively, for me, everyone in a D&D world is wallking around with a little bar floating over their heads, which gets shorter the more you attack them. Its why HP are "metagame" mechanic. There's all kinds of minor injuries one can sustain without significantly affecting one's ability to do whatever. Scratches, bruises, minor cuts, a tooth knocked out: these are the clues that tell the other PCs (and the party healer, one hopes!) that you're getting kicked around a bit and could use some patching up, even as you keep on fighting.But why do you need "patching up", if they're not being impeded in their performance? In my experience, the actual play of hit points and healing is all about making sure no one drops below zero; but how do the PCs know that any given PC is c...
  • 09:40 AM - Lanefan quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    For me its not "run it that way" its "thats how it runs". Your last sentence makes no sense to my experience because the character is in no observable/measurable way "beaten up", but they do have an observable/measurable "doom clock". This whole conversation started as a response to the idea that players shouldn't use "metagame" information/mechanics to inform their decisions. Well, If HP loss has no implications for the character's physical performance...then it can't be having physical effects that the character can notice, can it? The "injuries" exist solely on the meta-level of that "doom-meter". So, effectively, for me, everyone in a D&D world is wallking around with a little bar floating over their heads, which gets shorter the more you attack them. Its why HP are "metagame" mechanic.There's all kinds of minor injuries one can sustain without significantly affecting one's ability to do whatever. Scratches, bruises, minor cuts, a tooth knocked out: these are the clues that tell the other PC...
  • 03:59 AM - pemerton quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    The HP mechanic basically forces all injuries to be a collection of minor scrapes and bruises up until the point of the [I]last[I] HP. Which... is weird. It kinda makes the D&D world (well, and most of the rest of them, too) into a Disney version of fantasy.Or JRRT, who is about as sentimental as Disney. I think one solution to this is one that Gygax at least gestures towards in his DMG: narrate it one way (Disney-esque) for PCs, but otherwise for monsters and NPCs who won't be coming back. You probably won't be surprised that I regard 4e as the most coherent presentation of hp-as-sentimentality-towards-the-heroes: that's why they can be roused by a reassuring word from a charismatic friend!
  • 03:50 AM - Saelorn quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Now, that doesn't mean that I want total simulationism. It means that I want narrative to matter.What 'matters' in a game is very much an issue of preference and perception. A lot of people seem to want the narrative of injury to matter elsewhere within the mechanics, to make it harder for someone to jump or swing a sword or whatever. Personally, I see the narration as the goal, rather than the process. Basically, the whole point of game mechanics (to me) is to translate a world into a mathematical language, so it can be easily manipulated, and then translated back into narrative. If the end result of combat is that you have a fractured sternum, then I'm fine with that as the end of the narrative (until it's healed). If having a fractured sternum doesn't affect your ability to jump, then that seems like a reasonable compromise in a system that measures the entire range of human strength on a scale from 4 to 20. You don't need that level of detailed interaction, if the thing that matters is jus...

Saturday, 14th July, 2018

  • 10:01 PM - Lanefan quoted Ratskinner in post An Army in the Dungeon
    Yup. But this is (apparently) one of those areas where different groups ran with different subsets of rules back in the day. It makes me very skeptical of the confidence with which people talk of "how things were" back in the day.And part of that came from the top: Dragon magazine authors were constantly floating trial balloons and suggesting new or different ways to do things, each of which would be adopted by some groups and not others until yes, almost everyone's game was different.
  • 09:54 PM - Emerikol quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Just for clarity's sake. I'm not seeking simulation, either. I'm just seeking a coherent, interesting narrative (preferably with a light mechanical overhead as well). I haven't played in your games, but in every other D&D game I've played in, DMs will casually describe a hit...and then that description is quickly abandoned in the face of the HP total. I think the dissonance that it causes is why so many DMs abandon describing the hits with any detail beyond...you guessed it, a HP total. (Although perhaps time to resolve combat rounds is a bigger factor there.) Best of luck with your games. Same to you. I continue to describe the hits in descriptive terms followed by the number. Thanks. The best to you. I appreciate it when we can have a respectful conversation without having to try to prove the others playstyle as bad.
  • 07:19 AM - Ancalagon quoted Ratskinner in post An Army in the Dungeon
    A lot of DMs I knew diluted XP for the presence of hirelings, often giving them half shares. That drastically cut down on the hirelings expenditures. I just looked this up the rule Cyclopedia (which is my "bible" when it comes to old D&D... I just can't research/master all the old editions, so it will have to do!) "When the DM calculates experience points at the end of an adventure, the total amount of experience points earned by the group is divided among the number of characters. A retainer gets one share of experience just as any player character does." daaaaaaaamn So Job the halfwit in charge of holding the torch and carrying the spare shovel gets full XP?

Friday, 13th July, 2018

  • 07:23 AM - Saelorn quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    I haven't played in your games, but in every other D&D game I've played in, DMs will casually describe a hit...and then that description is quickly abandoned in the face of the HP total. I think the dissonance that it causes is why so many DMs abandon describing the hits with any detail beyond...you guessed it, a HP total.Why does that cause dissonance for you? Why do you see the HP total as being at odds with the narrative description, rather than reinforcing it? They're supposed to be two different languages for conveying the exact same information. If you have 40hp, and the giant drives its maul into your chest and you can hear ribs cracking, then why does it hurt for the DM to tell you that it was 36 damage? Or to the next point, if you know that you have 40hp, why can't you infer how badly you are hurt in the narrative, based on the damage number?

Wednesday, 11th July, 2018

  • 11:59 PM - Emerikol quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    No. At least no more than calling it the "story" (as you just did) or the "gameworld" (which seems to common parlance, IME.) Its a term we use when talking about the game or gameplay. Refusing to acknowledge that we will be creating a fictional narrative while we play the game seems delusional to me. Maybe I'm reading too much into your use of that word. My observation has been that people with your playstyle preferences are more apt to use the term the way you did but that is anecdotal. Wouldn't it be better if you actually had information about the injuries (or lack thereof) that the character had suffered? Any information about the type, cause, or nature of your wounds disappears (dare I say disassociates) into that abstraction. How many injuries did you suffer? How bad were they and who or what caused them...all gone. If you pay careful attention to the narrative at a D&D table, things get ridiculous in a hurry. Wounds appear and disappear without Fate at least gives you half a ...
  • 11:32 PM - Saelorn quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    All I can say is that years (decades now) of debate and argument and multiple DMs running them different ways would argue otherwise.That doesn't actually go against what I said. I said that, under the previous rulesets, you could run Hit Points in a consistent manner at any given table. There might be a difference in that interpretation between different tables, and individual DMs might not agree on what the best interpretation was, but any one of them could run Hit Points in a way that made sense to them. It's only since 4E that HP damage has needed to remain uncertain, such that it could only be explained in retrospect.
  • 10:07 PM - Arilyn quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Hit points have never been treated consistently. All you have to do is look at how, even in the early editions, a high-level fighter who was only down half his hit points and not really injured significantly at all might require a cure critical wound or similar higher magic to heal. Meanwhile the princess you just rescued can be brought from near-death too full with just a cure light wounds. Numerous threads and arguments have gone on about HP, regardless of the edition. Heck some are preserved in the early books. That's hardly the hallmark of a consistent mechanic. Yes, HP in DnD has always been a mess. Are they an actual representation of physical damage or skill? Why do they go up so fast? How come there is no actual pain involved in getting wounded? Wouldn't cure spells make way more sense if they cured a percentage, rather than a number? Are they fatigue, cuts and bruises or actual serious injury? There is no firm answer. Best not to examine the issue too closely. So yeah, pretty ...
  • 09:54 PM - Saelorn quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Hit points have never been treated consistently. All you have to do is look at how, even in the early editions, a high-level fighter who was only down half his hit points and not really injured significantly at all might require a cure critical wound or similar higher magic to heal. Meanwhile the princess you just rescued can be brought from near-death too full with just a cure light wounds.That doesn't necessarily mean that the Hit Points are inconsistent; it could just means that the spells are inaccurately named. (It doesn't necessarily mean that, either, though.) Suffice it to say, at any given table, it was entirely possible to play the game while treating HP damage in a consistent fashion and describing the effect as it happens. I could name three such internally-consistent models, just off the top of my head.
  • 12:48 AM - Emerikol quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Getting a Fate point isn't (necessarily, anyway) about the character doing something suboptimally. It can simply be that some complication happens in the fiction. I've run Fate a lot more than I've played it, so FWIW: As either GM or Player, Fate has always felt more solidly connected with the fiction than D&D does for me. The fiction and "what actually happens" or "what we see on screen" is always upfront and center. I get the concept. Don't you agree that you calling it "the fiction" indicates a certain perspective on playstyle? It's not about feeling and thinking as your character. It's about creating a story with your character but the player does not share anything with the character (talking viewpoints here). HP are a central mechanic of D&D and they are meta as anything. The fact that Schrodinger's Wounds is even a term should illustrate that. Virtually any system interaction with HP will be an accounting exercise, rather than character-facing experience. D&D's lack of coher...
  • 12:24 AM - Saelorn quoted Ratskinner in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    HP are a central mechanic of D&D and they are meta as anything. The fact that Schrodinger's Wounds is even a term should illustrate that.The term Schrodinger's Wounds is specifically a criticism of how 4E and 5E fail to represent HP in a consistent manner. It has little to do with the historic abstraction of HP in D&D, and everything to do with how that abstraction doesn't hold up in the face of Healing Surges and Hit Dice. Once you get rid of rapid natural healing, Schrodinger's Wounds would no longer apply as a criticism, since HP could go back to being treated consistently.

Wednesday, 13th June, 2018

  • 11:59 PM - Umbran quoted Ratskinner in post Star Wars, Star Trek, and Gaming
    Re: the Borg First to be clear. There are no underlying mechanics. Its a tv show. We are talking about getting results similar to the show in an RPG - so we should then talk about the game-representations we can use for things. And I just can't interpret the narrative that way at all. Well, if you can't think in new ways and directions, that'll get in your way here. My answer becomes, "if you think about your game differently, you can get these results." The Borg basically stop adapting by the time Voyager is dealing with them. Well, perhaps we have different ideas of what Borg adaptability really is.... The Borg (with the exception of the Queen) have no individual or original thought, no imagination*. They create nothing new, and are thus incapable of R&D. They adapt by assimilating new technologies and biologies. They are adaptable in the way that a spellcaster with a large and varied spellbook is. If you hit them with a weapon, they run through their list of tricks,...
  • 10:12 PM - Umbran quoted Ratskinner in post Star Wars, Star Trek, and Gaming
    The nature of the innovations and the technological contexts are different. TNG was to my eyes the worst offender here. In a magical universe, against a specific foe, we often will see what you are talking about. But in a tech universe, where most of the innovation involves changes to your own gear, there's no reason to give that up. People in military organizations typically use standard issue gear in the field, for several good reasons. In addition, it is already just about the best out there - narrative details vary, but in effect it doesn't matter too much if it is a Starfleet phaser, a Klingon (or Romulan, or Cardassian) disruptor. The target is usually down in one shot - dead or stunned, your choice. What's to improve? A gun that will kill the enemy *before* you draw it? In a meta-game sense - you're looking for a Trek-like experience. That means you are looking for an experience where the tactical combat is simple and generally quick. Your friendly engineering and science depa...
  • 05:36 AM - Umbran quoted Ratskinner in post Star Wars, Star Trek, and Gaming
    Most of the Star Trek "PCs" do not seem to accumulate loot, they don't even seem to consistently remember their innovations and discoveries from one episode to the next Trek characters don't generally accumulate loot, because material wealth is not meaningful in the context of their world. There's no need to buy anything most of the time. We should note that innovatiosn and discoveries are often forgotten between D&D adventures, too. A great many of the innovative applications of abilities a D&D player may come up with are one-shot solutions to one-shot problems or puzzles. D&D PCs may fight only one vampire in their entire adventuring career, and the new lessons learned in doing so are not all that applicable to other undead that don't turn into mist of have coffins lying about. The only innovations and discoveries that you are sure to carry around with you are the things you get from character advancement, and those flow from XP, not from the explicit action of the adventure.
  • 03:42 AM - Umbran quoted Ratskinner in post Star Wars, Star Trek, and Gaming
    I didn't say it couldn't be done, I said a traditional rpg system wouldn't do it. Reading this post, I will summarize - I think you are conflating "system" with "adventure". I think a great many systems will produce Trek-like play, if you feed it a Trek-like adventure. From here, it sound like your players ("knowingly and blatantly") did the work, not the system. If you're players are all in, then the system isn't as relevant. Note that I said that the players *didn't recognize* the scenario. They were not "all in" in that sense. From their point of view, they were playing teh adventure du jour. It played out like Trek, even though they only knew it was Trek after the fact. I would also say that I'm not 100% sure how I categorize Gumshoe games wrt being a traditional rpg. (I'm also not familiar with Ashen Stars, in specific, but have Night's Black Agents and a few others.) Ashen Stars is pretty regular GUMSHOE. Just Space Opera themed. There's a spaceship combat system la...


Page 1 of 39 1234567891011 ... LastLast

0 Badges

Ratskinner's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated

Most Recent Favorite Generators/Tables

View All Favorites