View Profile: Ratskinner - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Tuesday, 24th April, 2018, 05:22 AM
    He's not like wrong to do so. The Standard Narrativist Model basically lays down the framework for what most people in the indie scene at the time saw as The Alternative to orthodox 1990's style design. Apocalypse World uses a fundamentally different set of techniques and principles of play. Unlike the clear protagonists with clearly defined dramatic needs that thrown into conflict Apocalypse...
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 01:41 AM
    Maxperson The words we use matter. They shape the ways we think about things and the sort of techniques we use. By insisting that we use the orthodox framing of world building and referring to a game world rather than a setting or a shared fiction in order to participate in this discussion you are insisting that we take a number of assumptions for granted that I for one do not wish to take for...
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  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th April, 2018, 05:30 AM
    I've played and enjoyed enough fringe story games to say that no, not all rules are about power gaming. Take Fiasco, frex, the idea of power gaming doesn't even make sense there and yet it has rules and even winners and losers (sort of). That said, traditional RPGs like D&D have plenty of rulespace taken up by things that aren't really necessary for any story purpose and just serve powergaming...
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th April, 2018, 02:41 PM
    Shared fiction does not (or at least need not) imply shared world building. We can value the here and now instead. Make the game more about what is happening right now than appreciation of someone else's individual creativity.
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  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 09:50 PM
    I don't know about essential for a challenge (mysteries always seem to stump people with or without time pressure), but it is essential for any sort of balance in 5e with a paladin on board. We're up to 6th now and I just have to keep putting clocks out, or working up long drawn-out battle scenarios. If there's no pressure, they just wait a day and the paladin novas anything to death. On...
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  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 03:28 PM
    Its not you, D&D, its me. Well, maybe its you a little bit. I feel your pain. There's several things that lead to this phenomenon, I think. First, D&D, at its best, is an incoherent mess of playstyles and goals. Its a cruddy strategy game, a cruddy simulation, "lets pretend", and a cruddy storygame all rolled into one somehow-not-as-cruddy-but-actually-kinda-cool ball. So, you come for...
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  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Saturday, 7th April, 2018, 02:16 PM
    Honestly, despite what many on this thread have said, an "Action Economy" or even combat rounds aren't necessary to operate an rpg, even a tactical one. Dungeon World does fine without one, and IME, provided a much more dynamic combat than D&D ever has. I think this is one area where D&D's wargame history works against it a little bit. While war games are certainly entertaining in their right...
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st April, 2018, 09:31 AM
    Here's what I find entirely frustrating about this conversation: I cannot speak to how Maxperson runs his game or Lanefan runs his game unless they clearly speak to the principles that determine how they frame situation. I get that you guys identify with the orthodoxy, but that profession does not seem to line up with any particular text. There has also been indications at least from Maxperson...
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  • Ratskinner's Avatar
    Friday, 30th March, 2018, 12:56 AM
    Well, I'm personally really big on sacred steaks. I think I might lean towards a modular abstract story-centric approach and away from a X&O's tactical dungeon-crawl approach. Players would build characters from several "classes" that each addresses certain aspects of the game. Pillars: Interaction, Exploration, and Combat. Honestly, Interaction and Exploration share just too much overlap...
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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?
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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...

Tuesday, 15th July, 2014

  • 03:16 AM - Manbearcat mentioned Ratskinner in post Is there a "Cliffs Notes" summary of the entire 4E experience?
    Just wanted to say great posts @Nagol , @Remathilis , and @Ratskinner . I've discussed my own thoughts on what I tend to label 4e's in-coherency at length with @pemerton , @Manbearcat and a few others. It's just good to see there are others who felt the same way after reading the 4e core books. I get the idea that they were trying to do something D&D has always claimed to do: cater to a wide audience of fantasy and game enthusiasts. Combat was built around tactical/co-op play, with movement and strategy that appealed to wargamers and skirmish-gamers. Character design was built with an eye to MMO gamers with clear roles, powers that returned at various cool-downs, and an emphasis on "builds" and item-acquisition. Role-playing and Non-combat advancement was clearly borrowing from Indie-gaming, but I don't think they were exactly going for "story first". I think that was a pleasant side-effect of the way powers, skills, and such interacted. It was order built from chaos, rather than the "grand design" which is why it seems absent in the early ...

Monday, 14th July, 2014

  • 07:31 PM - Imaro mentioned Ratskinner in post Is there a "Cliffs Notes" summary of the entire 4E experience?
    Just wanted to say great posts Nagol, Remathilis, and Ratskinner . I've discussed my own thoughts on what I tend to label 4e's in-coherency at length with pemerton, Manbearcat and a few others. It's just good to see there are others who felt the same way after reading the 4e core books.


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Wednesday, 25th April, 2018

  • 02:44 AM - Saelorn quoted Ratskinner in post Killing In The Name Of Advancement
    However, Fate presumes that the PCs are competent from the get-go. (Which is, of course another type of uniformity) and that doesn't seem to stop anyone from enjoying Fate.That might depend on how you measure it. How often does anyone run a long-term campaign in a level-free system that successfully lasts for fifty sessions? From my understanding, level-based games offer much better player-retention, since players want to stick around and advance. Games that offer lateral advancement (or no advancement) tend to be popular for short campaigns and one-shots.

Wednesday, 11th April, 2018

  • 08:31 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Ratskinner in post How Would You Design For Spelljammer?
    Ruleswise.... So I hate the Hit Point mechanic, in general... I can almost deal with it for hack-n-slash. But if a setting includes firearms? No, just no. All the little things that make HP kinda work (in-fiction) when you squint your eyes in fantasy just go away when firearms are involved. First of all, Hollywood to the contrary, firearms aren't massively more deadly than other weapons. Their main benefit is that they're really convenient and not dependent on strength of the wielder. Having a gun to your throat or a knife to your throat is both about equally bad but not to any even mid-level character even if the holder is a high level rogue. Many people have survived a gunshot wound and there are notable examples of soldiers fighting through a battle with several wounds. Hit points, despite their issues and notable Murphy's rules moments, do useful work in terms of making combat reasonably survivable and exciting despite the massive scale differences between combatants, who can rang...

Wednesday, 14th March, 2018

  • 12:00 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Ratskinner in post Are we overthinking the warlord?
    Not sure about Monk...that class is always a little weird. Probably because its like trying to fit Kwai Chang Caine from Kung Fu into Ring of the Nei....Niebelunginigninegingen...gen Lord of the Rings. It was more of the same, really. It's a class that fights really well, but because it's not wearing armor, it couldn't be a fighter, and had to get all weird. That's been long since fixed, but it doesn't seem to matter. One hoary concept in D&D goes all the way back, and that's the conviction that being able to wear any armor, strap on any shield, and use any weapon is a HUGE advantage. Think about the first 4 classes: Magic-User: Armor? NONE Shield? NONE Weapons? Dagger/Staff Magic? All of it. Cleric: Armor: Plate Mail! Shield: Yes! Weapons: Maces &c Magic? No fun stuff, just Band-Aids for you, but oh, here, turn some undead. Fighter: Armor: Plate Mail! Shield: Yes! Weapons: All the Best, including the most-found-magic-weapon of them all the Longsword! Whoopee! ...

Tuesday, 13th March, 2018

  • 08:44 PM - TheCosmicKid quoted Ratskinner in post Are we overthinking the warlord?
    The previous sarcasm brought to you by a guy who doesn't quite understand why its so important to fans of many "edge" classes to actually be classes, rather than subclasses or builds. Why is it so important to you that they aren't?
  • 06:06 PM - Cap'n Kobold quoted Ratskinner in post Are we overthinking the warlord?
    Meh. I just kinda let that go. As in. "Fine, you're a non-magical valor bard, just don't try to read a scroll or use a wand or whatever." That's pretty much the approach I took. I reckoned that being able to cast in non-magic areas, and being undispellable/uncounterable did not make them any more powerful since it also limited them to non-flashy spells, and required the target to be able to hear you.
  • 05:59 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Ratskinner in post Are we overthinking the warlord?
    I'd suggest that Fighter should have had five subclasses: Champion(meh), Battlemaster, Paladin, Eldritch Knight, Ranger, and WarlordDon't forget Barbarian, Rogue(Swashbuckler) & Monk. But, it'd be a sadly cut-down Pally, Ranger, Warlord, &c to fit in the same class with the meh(Champion). It's really the 'Simple Fighter' imperative that necessitates breaking every other martial type (even the comparably big, dumb, hard-hitting, & simplistic Barbarian) out of the fighter chassis. Were it not for the demand that the Fighter be simple - or, as a compromise, have a blindingly simple sub-class - to the degree that it couldn't be balanced with any other class, there wouldn't be a need to break out so many martial archetypes. Rogue included (and, for that matter, Thief, in the first place). Somehow, D&D over the decades painted itself into a corner in which the 'Fighter' had to be both simplistic to the point of strict inferiority, and the 'best' at one thing - 'fighting.' The 5e fight...
  • 02:57 PM - Cap'n Kobold quoted Ratskinner in post Are we overthinking the warlord?
    Far too simple and straightforward. More importantly, that would not be forcing everyone to publicly acknowledge that Warlord is a wholly entirely complete CLASS of its own and that WOTC was not horribly wrong and for not including a version of this VERY IMPORTANT CLASS in the core of 5e. The Warlordian People have a long and storied history, and for anyone (WOTC INCLUDED!) to suggest that those traits could be duplicated with combinations of feats and other abilities smacks of CLASSICAL APPROPRIATION and outright CLASSISM. The previous sarcasm brought to you by a guy who doesn't quite understand why its so important to fans of many "edge" classes to actually be classes, rather than subclasses or builds. Some certainly. However the main issue with the Fighter/Bard (or just the Bard) as Warlord is that the class will be completely conceptually ruined if any of their abilities go "Ping!" under a Detect Magic spell.

Friday, 9th March, 2018

  • 03:45 PM - Rossbert quoted Ratskinner in post Will D&D make strength matter again?
    My players are convinced that STR is the most important combat stat. Throw in some terrain that requires leaping and climbing, and monsters that grapple. They esteem Athletics as the prince of all proficiencies. That is one of the things that makes me sad about 5e, very few of my characters get to have athletics anymore because they get fewer skills and the backgrounds that give athletics don't usually fit.

Monday, 5th March, 2018

  • 07:01 PM - Polyhedral Columbia quoted Ratskinner in post To Mike Mearls: C'mon, bring back the whole D&D Multiverse!
    the rather generic D&D-style fantasy worlds? (Mystara, Greyhawk, Dragonlance)....I just don't see why. File off the serial numbers from the relevant adventures and plop them into FR...if that. That's the kind of well-meaning but vague thinking that crafted the 4E setting of Nerath: "Hey we'll just ignore the entire history of the D&D worlds, and just cram them into a single world, and hope people forget about the others." It'd be like saying: "Well, a bunch of the countries in Faerun are kinda European-ish fantasy cultures, so why not just reshape Faerun into a single rectangle-shaped continent with a few blob shaped countries...they're all kinda the same anyway." If I just wanted a genericized setting that completely ignored the 40 years of continuity of the D&D Multiverse as depicted in hundreds or thousands(?) of modules and novels, then I'd just play in Nerath or Thunder Rift (the setting of the D&D Black Box). Yet, I agree that every adventure should be placeable in every setting (well, ...
  • 04:46 AM - Jacob Lewis quoted Ratskinner in post Looking At Genesys From Fantasy Flight Games
    Not a whole lot. I get the die system (generally). Whatever magic there is in the die system must be heavily experiential, because I don't really see it from these descriptions (yours or the official ones). To me it looks like there are just two dimensions to the roll: success/fail and advantage/threat. I gave you two very specific reasons why it's not the same as rolling a d6 on the side. If you can't understand that, then I'm afraid I can't help you by just explaining it again. You'll need to experience it for yourself. Good luck!

Sunday, 4th March, 2018

  • 07:23 PM - Jacob Lewis quoted Ratskinner in post Looking At Genesys From Fantasy Flight Games
    However, I'm not sure that a similar result to Genesys couldn't be obtained by rolling a "Threat/Advantage" die alongside whatever dice you would roll in a more traditional game. (For example, in D&D 5e, you might roll a d6 alongside each d20. If it comes up 6, then you get a Genesys-style Advantage, and if it comes up 1 you get a threat. Regardless of the result of the d20. I suppose you could pick bigger dice if you want to reduce the frequency.) If there is some greater intricacy to the Genesys dice-system, it hasn't been explained to me sufficiently. That is not even in the same ballpark, but I can explain why easily enough. For starters, every die used in the narrative dice system for Gensys and Star Wars systems has a specific name which describes exactly what it represents. Collectively, they represent the Ability, Proficiency, Difficulty, Challenge, Boosts, and Setbacks of an attempted action. These are also the exact names for the kinds of dice used, also not by accident. Ability repre...
  • 07:10 PM - 5ekyu quoted Ratskinner in post Single mechanics that hurt an otherwise good game
    QFT. Even if the game just occasionally kicked out a "wounded" condition, that might help. (I suppose you could theoretically have Critical>Serious>Light wounds as well, for completeness' sake.) It always seemed weird to me that a troll (or Regeneration in general) could "reattach a severed limb"...and yet there is nothing particular in the game that can severe a limb. Not a big deal for the troll, the GM can just narrate that in...but I dare you to narrate a PC getting a limb amputated before the party can regenerate it! (unless you let the Cure spells handle that...) I've actually added my own little mechanic to 5e to replace the 0 HP mechanics: If you reach 0HP or are hit while at 0HP, then roll 4 dice. Odds are good for you, evens are bad. Assign the results to the following questions: 1) Are you Dying? (Roll d6, you have that many rounds of life left.) 2) Are you Unconscious? 3) Have you lost something precious? (An Item, weapon, limb, eye?) 4) You or the GM, who narrates how this goes do...
  • 03:11 AM - Lanefan quoted Ratskinner in post Single mechanics that hurt an otherwise good game
    It always seemed weird to me that a troll (or Regeneration in general) could "reattach a severed limb"...and yet there is nothing particular in the game that can severe a limb. Are swords of sharpness gone, then? Vorpal weapons? If yes, that's really kinda sad... SWSE just has hit points and the condition track. I think it was the d20 Star Wars system prior to SWSE that used Wounds/Vitality. I didn't have much experience playing that system. Ah. I knew it was one of the SW games but forgot which one. Lan-"chop chop"-efan

Saturday, 3rd March, 2018

  • 05:51 AM - aramis erak quoted Ratskinner in post Whatís the most complex RPG out there?
    Care to elaborate on what "background complexity" means? I would take it to mean that the "pre-play" or "Housekeeping" phase(s) like character generation, equipment selection, session zero, or levelling up would be complicated things, but that the actual grind of combat or whatever would be much more straightforward. Yes/No? That's what I understood from reading it. It's a similar concept to "front loaded complexity" - all the complexity is before play. Hero and Rolemaster look good for that role...

Thursday, 1st March, 2018

  • 10:33 PM - Morrus quoted Ratskinner in post Whatís the most complex RPG out there?
    Care to elaborate on what "background complexity" means? I would take it to mean that the "pre-play" or "Housekeeping" phase(s) like character generation, equipment selection, session zero, or levelling up would be complicated things, but that the actual grind of combat or whatever would be much more straightforward. Yes/No? More GM worldbuilding mechanics, as opposed to in-play resolution mechanics. But yeah, a depth of character creation. I find that stuff fun.

Wednesday, 28th February, 2018

  • 03:40 AM - aramis erak quoted Ratskinner in post Whatís the most complex RPG out there?
    I agree with the systems you mention. Hackmaster, as I understand it, is pretty complicated. I had a game called Nephilim, and that seemed pretty complicated to me, but I think it was a derivative of the BRP system or something. I tend to lean towards simpler systems, though. Hackmaster 3rd and Web of Stars dust Hero, GURPS, and Rolemaster on complexity. Rolemaster front loads, as does Hero; once characters are generated (and in RM's case, the weapons charts copied), it's very simple in play. SpaceMaster is slightly more complicated, because of adding ship rules. Alternity is about equally complex, as is AD&D 1E with all the expansions. GURPS complexity is mostly in character generation, but also in rules selection for the various optional graft ins. Space Opera is more complex than GURPS, Hero, or RM, because many of the some 150 skills have unique formulae and modifiers. Run "from the book" it's not horrible, but you NEED the book to run it as written. Hero, GURPS, Rolemaster are...
  • 02:50 AM - ccs quoted Ratskinner in post Whatís the most complex RPG out there?
    Hackmaster, as I understand it, is pretty complicated. Isn't Hackmasters complexity part of the joke though? SI've never played it, but since they're parodying 1eD&D (or they were) I'll bet you could just ignore a good chunk of it & still have a playable game. I'll go with Champions/Hero.

Thursday, 22nd February, 2018

  • 03:08 PM - Celebrim quoted Ratskinner in post Narrating Hit Points - no actual "damage"
    A hit and a hit point aren't the same...and that still doesn't answer why a fighter covered in small nick's and scratches needs a "Cure Serious" or week upon week of healing if he isn't seriously wounded. I know it seems pedantic, but if we're talking about the narration of damage...well, it can matter. And look there goes Ratskinner with the goal posts running at full speed. I never tried to claim that the hit point was realistic. In fact, I explicitly said it was not elsewhere in the thread. For that matter, neither did Gygax try to claim the hit point was realistic. I was only addressing a very narrow question pertinent to the OP's questions that started the thread. I think that the quote in question shows that the intention of the hit point system is that each hit is intended to have some physical component to it, that a certain portion of hit points represent 'meat', and that those 'meat' hit points are not deducted last after the non-physical hit points are removed but are continuously eroded by hits, and that this erosion is narratively represented by a large number of nicks, scratches and bruises, and further that Gygax on the whole was very clear about that. I in no way attempted to show that this was 'realistic' or any other crap like that, but only that this was the intended meaning of the hit ...
  • 05:33 AM - FrogReaver quoted Ratskinner in post Narrating Hit Points - no actual "damage"
    A hit and a hit point aren't the same...and that still doesn't answer why a fighter covered in small nick's and scratches needs a "Cure Serious" or week upon week of healing if he isn't seriously wounded. I know it seems pedantic, but if we're talking about the narration of damage...well, it can matter. For 5e there is no more week upon week of healing needed. It's 1 nights rest and your hp is back to max. 5e, the only edition of D&D that you can be beaten so badly you are nearly dead and then recover from that like real people recover from scratches and bruises, in 8 hours of rest overnight. One solution to this, no matter how badly it plays is to have hp recovery be slow so that being beaten nearly to death takes the proper amount of recovery time. I really dislike this as I dislike how slow recovery times play. Another solution is to add an injury table that occurs when you are knocked unconscious. A roll to see if you take an injury and roll to see what injury it is and wh...
  • 12:40 AM - Celebrim quoted Ratskinner in post Narrating Hit Points - no actual "damage"
    Its because that text is not actually as clear as you seem to think. It does not specify that the physical damage is concentrated in a few final HP or evenly distributed amongst them all...For example, even the sentence: "Every hit point represents combination of both the physical and non-physical proportion of a character's hit points, and therefore a hit always produces some sort of nick, cut or bruise as well as depleting the character's luck, provenance, destiny, prowess and stamina." would make it perfectly clear. Gygax doesn't bother to grace us with such a sentence... Each hit score upon the character does only a small amount of actual physical harm - the sword thrust that would have run a 1st level fighter through the heart merely grazes the character due to the fighter's exceptional skill, luck, and six sense ability which cause movement to avoid the attack at just the right moment. However, having sustained 40 or 50 hit points of damage our lordly fighter will be covered with a num...


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