View Profile: Manabarbs - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
Tab Content
No Recent Activity
About Manabarbs

Basic Information

Statistics


Total Posts
Total Posts
78
Posts Per Day
0.04
Last Post
Where does optimizing end and min-maxing begin? And is min-maxing a bad thing? Sunday, 26th March, 2017 10:05 PM

Currency

Gold Pieces
0
General Information
Last Activity
Thursday, 8th June, 2017 11:07 PM
Join Date
Tuesday, 19th March, 2013
Product Reviews & Ratings
Reviews Written
0
No results to show...

Wednesday, 18th September, 2013

  • 10:01 PM - Imaro mentioned Manabarbs in post House rule idea background and dice
    Does the problem the background specialisation stuff seems aimed at fixing (people spamming their one super-broad background for everything) actually come up in play? It's plausible that it could, but I haven't had a chance to actually play the game yet.. Yeah I'm curious about this as well. First I'm trying to think of a background (That's not an obvious power play move) that could be used on nearly everything (or close enough to it to be a problem). Does anyone have any examples of this type of background? Second I tend to agree and lean towards @Manabarbs post. I've run the first session of my 13th Age campaign and I didn't run into this problem because I made sure the PC's were creating actual backgrounds as opposed to just a skill or just a profession. I didn't do this just for story potential (thought that is definitely a benefit) but instead because in making "backgrounds actual "backgrounds" they become naturally limited and more narrow by their own descriptions. Finally I find this such a hard thing to understand as an issue when 13th Age has given final say to the DM, if I thought a background was going to be problematic why not just talk to the player about it... same thing if a background becomes problematic in actual play. I guess with the DM having final say as to whether a background is applicable or not I just don't see this as a major problem.

No results to display...
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Monday, 27th March, 2017

  • 12:17 AM - JonnyP71 quoted Manabarbs in post Where does optimizing end and min-maxing begin? And is min-maxing a bad thing?
    3-6 is a bit below average. When you start to get into the realm of -3 or -4, you're starting to get into the range where the difference in the spread starts to be perceptible. It'd still be a pretty severe fiction disconnect to play such a character as outright unintelligent, however. Under d20 rules, a person with 5 intelligence will beat a person with 10 intelligence at an int contest about 34% of the time. The smarter character will win about 62% of the time. If you're okay with a character who has trouble with addition, reading and writing doing better than an average person at int checks about a third of the time, then it's correct to play them that way. If you think it's silly for a character who is seriously intellectually lacking to pretty regularly be the person who happens to be the smartest at something, then you shouldn't play it that way. (If int checks are never regularly rolled in your games, then it doesn't matter one way or another, because the stat isn't affecting anything in ...

Sunday, 26th March, 2017

  • 06:28 PM - FitzTheRuke quoted Manabarbs in post Where does optimizing end and min-maxing begin? And is min-maxing a bad thing?
    I think the disconnect is less "some people think that the numbers on your character sheet affect what your character is like and some people don't", and more "some people believe that for some reason there's a HUGE gulf in competence between what an 8 represents and what a 10 represents, and some people recognize that +1 is not that big of a deal and roleplay accordingly." If you roleplay your Int 8 cleric as being incomprehensibly stupid, you are actively roleplaying your int stat badly. That's because Int 8 does not cause you to be so dumb that you're totally helpless and feebleminded. It causes you to be imperceptibly less likely to succeed on an int check. If you play a game where int-based checks are actually an important part of the game in any way at all, it becomes immediately obvious that Int 8 is not incompetence. An Int 8 character will roll better than an Int 10 character almost half of the time, and the Int 10 character is supposed to be average. They'll even roll better than an I...

Thursday, 30th January, 2014

  • 05:55 AM - Lokiare quoted Manabarbs in post Wandering Monsters 01/29/2014:Level Advancement...
    I suspect that the survey question was probably designed to feel out how frequently people use random encounters in general. One sort of tricky survey design thing is that you have to be careful with "It depends..." options, because they tend to suck away a bunch of your respondents, not necessarily symmetrically from the other options, and without necessarily giving you much real information. If the role of the survey question was just to get a literal answer to the question, then they could put "It depends..." as an option in there and they'd learn that for most groups, the answer is "It depends", but they likely already know that. There's definitely room to quibble about how the question is written, but most likely they didn't include an It Depends answer because it'd just pull all the votes. They should have put that answer in there, and when it came back that 99% of respondents chose 'it depends' then they would have known they didn't ask the right question..

Saturday, 16th November, 2013

  • 02:13 AM - Dungeoneer quoted Manabarbs in post How awesome is resurrection in 13th Age???
    Depending on how you read the spell, you may not actually have exactly five extra lives; you can theoretically be resurrected an unlimited number of times. It's just that after a few times it's so risky to the person casting the spell that you'd have to have several high-level clerics willing and/or coerced into laying down their lives for you to keep going. The one part of the resurrection rules I would change is that in the fifth casting, I don't like that it only has a 50% chance to work. I think that if somebody is willing to definitely die to bring somebody back, then it should just work. How anticlimactic is it for somebody to decide that they're willing to do that, and then the coin toss comes up tails? (To date, the fifth-casting has never come up in any 13th Age game I've been a part of.) The resurrection rules are definitely way better than the D&D stabbed-in-the-wallet resurrection rules or other systems' death spiral of death rules, but if I was DMing and it ever came up, I'm pretty...

Wednesday, 13th November, 2013

  • 11:54 PM - Tequila Sunrise quoted Manabarbs in post Are feats for customization?
    In 4e, they use feats as "math" fixes. Which I think is a lousy way to use feats. Basically, the Expertise and Non-AC-defense feats are just a feat "tax". Nothing to do with specialization or customization. Agreed. Those few feats really are the fly in the 4e pudding. I don't think that that was the design intent from the get-go as much as the still-not-great path of least resistance when it came to touching up the math. After release, it became clear that characters' to-hit and NADs slide a little backwards compared to the rest of the system, so they introduced feats that patch up the gap. There are plenty of cons to this approach, but I guess they decided it was the least disruptive. It's not a general 4e design principle to do that, and only a teensy minority of the feats in the system are math fixes, but they happen to be among the best feats mathematically, and it feels lame to spend customization slots on something mostly invisible, even if it's technically a substantial improvement to ...

Tuesday, 12th November, 2013

  • 02:53 AM - tuxgeo quoted Manabarbs in post Community to have a second D&D episode
    The creator and showrunner, Dan Harmon, was let go after the third season. He's been brought back for the fifth season. There's excellent reason to believe that the utterly dismal season four will just be an anomaly. (For what it's worth, bringing back a fired showrunner is essentially unprecedented.) Dan is so idiosyncratic that only he (in the entire world of Hollywood) knows what to do with Pierce Hawthorne (who is no longer available). (Who's the actor that's playing the DM on the new D&D episode? Is that the same guy who was DMing on the "Harmontown" podcasts?)

Sunday, 10th November, 2013

  • 09:52 AM - Weather Report quoted Manabarbs in post Current Pathfinder Players: Are you considering switching over to D&D 5E?
    For me, the sense of "switch" comes not from the idea that I need to decide between playing Next ONLY while never playing PF again or rejecting ever playing next in favor of only ever playing PF but from the reality that I only need so many near-substitutes. When there's a lot of similar options, it's more likely that some of them are likely to get crowded out. Think of RPGs as Golf Clubs. If I'm a very casual golfer and my golf bag has a driver, a three-iron, a nine-iron, a sand wedge, and a putter, I'll use them for different shots at different times, so they'll all get some use. Now say that somebody gives me, like, five more drivers that are barely differentiated from each other. Even if I like all six of the drivers and I recognize the pros and cons of them, it's likely that there'll be some that just don't get much use at all, either because I like them a little less or because they're just so close to a club I'm more comfortable with that I just don't bother. Like, I theoretically probab...

Saturday, 9th November, 2013

  • 08:21 PM - DMZ2112 quoted Manabarbs in post D&D Next Q&A: Warlock Pacts, Patrons, and Iniate Feats
    I think that in any edition where an archer fighter is a real thing, an archer fighter and an archer ranger have a lot more in common than an archer fighter and a melee fighter. If this is true, then the edition in question is doing both the fighter and the ranger a great disservice. "Superior Combat Ability" applies to any number of classes, and isn't remotely specific to the fighter in any edition. Which is a mistake. If the fighter is not "the fighting class" in the same way that the wizard is "the spellcasting class," then the fighter is built wrong. Generations of D&D players have complained that the fighter doesn't bring anything to the table. I don't agree on the whole, but I do agree that few editions have really driven the fighter's expertise home. So the dude with the rapier and the bow and the light armor is more of a Fighter than a Rogue? The robed priest of magic and stars is more of a Cleric than a Wizard? Can the rapier fighter disarm traps or backstab? Can the wizard ...

Thursday, 7th November, 2013

  • 09:15 PM - Sonny quoted Manabarbs in post Signs & Portents (that we can read into) about the ETA of 5E
    I agree that while hitting the 40th anniversary would be nice and they shouldn't take more time than they need to (for a variety of reasons), I think that the impact of the 40th Anniversary may be getting a bit overestimated in this thread. D&D is not going to suddenly be dominating the news cycles just because it's a semi-major anniversary, and while WotC could and probably will incorporate it into the marketing in some fashion if it lines up, I don't know that "40th Anniversary! New D&D!" is a significantly stronger marketing pitch than "New D&D!", or one that will reach way more people. It's not that I don't believe that there's not some person out there who's going to read the four-line sidebar in Time magazine's minor news items column and then decide to play again, but I'm not sure that that guy is necessarily a ton of guys. I do think that later release dates are a lot worse for a lot of reasons, most significantly that while D&D still has about eight trillion times as much general brand...

Thursday, 3rd October, 2013

  • 03:11 PM - SkidAce quoted Manabarbs in post Wandering Monsters: Not-Dragons
    I think that having the dragonspawn presented all at once as a giant shotgun blast of well over a dozen creatures didn't allow them to make a great first impression. That's too many for any to easily make a strong impression, and they're kind of a mishmash of intelligent humanoids, aberrations, and beasts with little unifying theme besides being having strong draconic elements. That said, I'm not really a big fan of the dragonspawn fiction, either. I think that D&D's gallery of threats to the world is most effective when they're differentiated from each other as much as possible, and I think that giving Tiamat a bunch of infantry creatures diminishes that. I think Tiamat's best as the all-battleships evil force. She may not have as many creatures behind her as the forces of hell or the abyss, but they're ALL AWESOME. It's not like there's nobody to handle dragony stuff that's beneath true dragons; that's what cultists (especially kobold cultists) and enthralled mortals are for. I think that t...

Wednesday, 2nd October, 2013

  • 08:49 PM - Pseudopsyche quoted Manabarbs in post Legends & Lore: Clas Groups
    There's almost no such thing as a totally useless game element, but I think that this classification system comes preeeeety close. I actually don't mind the labeling as a purely aesthetic thing; that's basically harmless. I'm still profoundly unconvinced that it has even the slightest mechanical benefits, though.Both 3E and 4E used class names as prerequisites for several rules elements, from feats to prestige classes and paragon paths. Why not formally define the concept of "mage" so that future modules can use "Prerequisite: Mage" instead of "Prerequisite: Wizard" and be compatible with the Warlock, Sorcerer, and even whatever third-party content decides to use this keyword? All this does is create a language for players and rules to use when talking about characters in a way that generalizes beyond the core classes. There are non-mechanical benefits, too. As the original article said: Our goal with class groups is to provide an easy framework that magic items and other abilities can use to ...

Thursday, 19th September, 2013

  • 07:04 PM - Mistwell quoted Manabarbs in post Wandering Monsters: Rosemary's Baby
    Which you did, because I said why I felt they worked best that way, and you didn't address those reasons. That isn't a given - people's opinions are equally valid (notwithstanding issues of how informed their opinions are); people's reasons are not. In this case, in my opinion, their reasons were in fact equal to yours. You have not made a compelling argument, in my opinion, for them to be one thing or the other thing. Your argument was as persuasive, to me, as theirs was to make them devils. For reference, I have copied the counter-opinions to the bottom of this reply. I am not sure why you think you've made your case better than they made their case, but in my opinion it's roughly a push. This seems to be due to your misunderstanding the difference between personal preference and qualitative reasoning. The quality of your reasoning was no more or less valuable in this case than the quality of the reasoning for the people who disagree with your viewpoint. Therefore, given this is a ...

Wednesday, 7th August, 2013

  • 09:25 PM - TwoSix quoted Manabarbs in post Top Ten D&D Settings of ALL TIME!
    Planescape's win is made even more impressive by the fact that it hasn't been directly supported in TTRPG form for so long. I know that EN World skews older/oldschool, but it's almost 20 years since the setting last received a main setting book. (And 14 years since the very popular videogame.) Sure, there are a lot of people who have been playing since 2e, but there are also a lot of people who haven't, so for Planescape to win is all the more impressive. I've often thought that Planescape is the Mage: The Ascension of the D&D world; a setting that's just as much (or more!) fun to have discussions about as it is to play.

Saturday, 6th July, 2013

  • 12:10 PM - Morrus quoted Manabarbs in post When is a lack of bonus a penalty?
    I mean, what I feel unclear about is why anybody feels like "+1 to everything is the new baseline" is a valid thing to claim.. Again, yes, that is my point. That's as much a valid thing to claim as anything else. You could also call the elf the baseline. Or the halfling. Anything. I'm clearly not explaining myself well, because you're getting the diametric opposite of what I mean. My point is that mechanically there is no difference between saying an elf has +1 DEX and a dwarf has +0 DEX; or saying a dwarf has -1 DEX and an elf has +0 DEX. You can use either as the baseline. One approach puts a "ugly" (in some peoples' eyes) minus-sign on the page and is therefore deemed a "penalty" while the other does not. But the upshot is that an elf has one point more in DEX than the dwarf. Same result. Just one approach is presented as a penalty for the dwarf, the other as a bonus for the elf.
  • 12:01 PM - MarkB quoted Manabarbs in post When is a lack of bonus a penalty?
    I mean, what I feel unclear about is why anybody feels like "+1 to everything is the new baseline" is a valid thing to claim. It happens to be the set of bonuses that one race gets. I don't see why it's more valid to consider that the baseline than any other racial set of benefits and/or penalties. Psychology, mixed with some edition history. Humans, being the only humanoid race that actually exists in real life, have always been considered the baseline, from which all other races vary. That's why, in earlier editions, humans were the race that didn't get ability score bonuses and/or penalties. To many players, that's still the assumption - humans are the 'average' or 'norm' from which the fantasy races diverge. Thus, when you present a set of stats for humans in a new D&D edition, those stats will be considered the baseline by many players, whether that's the designers' intention or not.
  • 11:03 AM - Morrus quoted Manabarbs in post When is a lack of bonus a penalty?
    "But let's take Next as an example. Humans get +1 to everything. That's your baseline." Why not? My very point is that there's no compelling reason to do it or not do it other than aesthetics. And this is the only edition to take the human and give it a +1 to everything, making it very much - aesthetically - a baseline. It's aesthetic modelling simply to ensure there's no "-" sign in sight. Nobody talks about how 3.5 Elves are operating at a -1 Feat penalty. Nobody talks about how 4e Tieflings are operating at a -1 Encounter-Reroll-Power penalty. Nobody talks about how AD&D Humans are operating at a -4 AC-vs-Giant-Attacks penalty. Exactly my point! There is no difference, other than how you present it! :) (And my other point - that complaining about penalties is a relatively new thing and I don't know why it started).
  • 08:44 AM - Li Shenron quoted Manabarbs in post When is a lack of bonus a penalty?
    What's so special about this particular bonus that it for some reason counts as "moving the baseline" compared to literally any other racial bonus or penalty in the history of the game? That it feels like being genetically superior.

Monday, 1st April, 2013

  • 01:06 PM - Raith5 quoted Manabarbs in post Legends & Lore 4/1/2013
    I don't think that so many groups start at third level is a feature of 3.5, I think it's a bug. I think that people start at 3rd level not because of a desire for a particular power level, but because of a desire to play the game during the segment where the math, customizability, combat engine, magic item system, spell system and a few other subsystems come together to produce the edition's best experiences. I think that if the first two levels weren't comparatively boring, more people would start there. Campaign time is too precious for a lot of people to blow a bunch of it outside of the sweet spot. I'd hope that Next absolutely does not have the property that one level range shines much brighter than the rest of the level range in terms of how well the system works. I'd like for it to all be fantastic. 100% agree (assuming the post was not an April Fools Joke). I like the idea of DDN having a starting point which is lower than that of 4th ed but the thing that 4th ed got right was having ti...
  • 11:08 AM - fjw70 quoted Manabarbs in post Legends & Lore 4/1/2013
    I don't think that so many groups start at third level is a feature of 3.5, I think it's a bug. That's what the 4e designers thought too, but it turns out a significant number of people like the lower powered levels. I don't but I accept that others do.
  • 10:24 AM - Li Shenron quoted Manabarbs in post Legends & Lore 4/1/2013
    I don't think that so many groups start at third level is a feature of 3.5, I think it's a bug. I think that people start at 3rd level not because of a desire for a particular power level, but because of a desire to play the game during the segment where the math, customizability, combat engine, magic item system, spell system and a few other subsystems come together to produce the edition's best experiences. I think that if the first two levels weren't comparatively boring, more people would start there. Campaign time is too precious for a lot of people to blow a bunch of it outside of the sweet spot. I'd hope that Next absolutely does not have the property that one level range shines much brighter than the rest of the level range in terms of how well the system works. I'd like for it to all be fantastic. Yes these are precisely the reasons! But it's not the bug. The bug is that even 1st level is a bit too much for old-school grim'n'gritty, and one of the most common reason for several old-sc...


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

0 Badges

Manabarbs's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated

Most Recent Favorite Generators/Tables

View All Favorites