View Profile: Ilbranteloth - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Today, 03:39 PM
    Here's the thing: In any social situation we are always constrained by the expectations and customs of the social group, even if we do not give voice to them. When I am playing a role playing game, despite the insistence of total theoretical freedom of action, I am constrained by what is socially acceptable to do at the table. When I run the game the same is true. This is the natural state of...
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Today, 06:22 AM
    Anyone else have it? I am still working my way through my copy. Really like most of what I am seeing so far. More thoughts to follow.
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Today, 05:45 AM
    I am not really a fan of back-grounding as a formal mechanic - mostly because I think it reinforces playing a character concept rather than a character. I also think it encourages individual creativity over vigorous collaboration. I am not a fan of these walled off gardens we have the tendency to create in this hobby where we decide how exactly everyone else at the table is allowed to engage with...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 10:45 PM
    You do realize that the answer to this question has been posted at least 10 times in the last 10 pages of this thread? There comes a point where continuing the conversation along the same lines is just a simple indication of how stupid some folks are. ..and with this post I remove myself from enworld proper and go lurk at Circus Maximus. There comes a point where the retarded people really...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 07:37 PM
    True enough. At least this conversation isn't one of the few where I start wondering if the folks commenting actually play the game.
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 06:51 PM
    Hussar's "force" means that the GM will force a player to do something to maintain his patron relationship and the powers that result from it. Our point of view is that a patron can not like something a character does and pull the power but the player still has free will to do what he or she wants when that situation comes up. This is the sort of thing that comes up when people who don't do a...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 06:19 PM
    I think that what I've learned over my last year back at this site is that there are some folks (and I'm not pointing at anyone in particular) that have the ability to tee off of one post, develop a very good response to the original, and then put blinders on for any response thereafter - at least in regards to tone. You're spot on with consequences, not actions. Be well KB
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 12:51 AM
    I was a history major before I found my calling so the backstory stuff isn't a problem However, like others have said - sometimes it feels like the adventure is secondary to the backstory in the writer's mind and I really couldn't be bothered to use any of it when there are 6 of us at the table regularly coming up with more than we could ever possibly use that's of higher quality (to us) than...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 07:17 PM
    Love it. On my end I had a half-orc bard at one point in time that used a variation on mirror image to do his best motown inspired five man vocal act. There's a ton you can do with the game system if you've got good people working together to have fun. You just need to be careful that the most creative person doesn't run all over everyone else's experience. Being honest, that's why I...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 07:05 PM
    Opinion: Group has five players. DC 15 can be rough at low levels. 10 successes before 5 failures. With each failure one of the PCs is captured OR preferably, you run an actual combat encounter. If they pass the combat encounter they eliminate the failure but still need the rest of the successes. You can replace the combat encounter with some other riddle or task. My recommendations...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 06:55 PM
    and for the record, I'd have loved this too. But on point to the discussion - if you had gone on to have a dragon patron - it would have been very powerful indeed and I'd be thinking long and hard about how the nature of what was done prior to the level dip would have caught the attention of such a being and what its motivations would be. Since the motive of the original ritual (as my only...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 02:58 PM
    Using your example only as an answer to why Because you may want to play a game where a prophecy flavors the game you play; but other players may not, or the DM may not have enough bandwidth to spend the time on the prophecy to make you happy. You are not playing in a vacuum. On a personal note: I'm very big on player determination of the kind of character they want to play and how they...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 02:47 PM
    That is language that manages the expectation that the player is not solely responsible for how the pact works. Whether it's interpreted your way or mine is largely dependent on the table and the people involved. In my games, the patron is important as it's the source of all the player's power. If the patron is benevolent then it may not impact the player much so long as the actions of the...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 02:41 AM
    The warlock has a patron as a class feature that the character is beholden to. If the player doesnít want the relationship, donít play a warlock. Themís the rules. Paladins may or may not be the same. Of course any table may alter that. I wouldnít. Plenty of other options for folks that donít want to bother.
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 01:44 AM
    Well I suppose it comes down to wherever you are on the paradigm of story as an extension of rules and rules as the boundaries of story. I'd say that in my experience what has happened is that a patron clearly provides class abilities to a warlock and a god clearly provides class abilities to a cleric etc. So long as the patron never directly acts on behalf of the character or never attempts...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 12:51 AM
    Read the entire thread?
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 12:49 AM
    1. Don't assume that my opinion about human nature is inaccurate simply because you have a relationship with your players that is better than the lowest common denominator. 2. Likewise, my relationship with my players is better than the one I used to make my point. However, that relationship was earned over time and is not how I assume new folks at my table will be. 3. Something as...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 09:05 PM
    Thanks and I hear you. I was offering in case you wanted a potential solution to the problem. Only reason I did so was because I like solving problems and hacking systems. Be well KB
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 06:05 PM
    Keeping in mind general flavor of the classes, here's some guidelines that you may find interesting or just not like at all. - Start Clerics as Healers - kill their spell casting but allow them to manually heal 1-2 points at a go or know how to create a potion or two. - Start any other spell casting class as an adept of whatever flavor they like. kill the casting ability minus flavored...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 05:23 PM
    If every interaction with the patron is managed by the player then it becomes very likely that every interaction will be a positive one. Positive interactions with patrons tend to result in boons which end up having at a minimum flavor advantages and at worst mechanical ones. (I got this awesome thing from my patron, it's a +5 holy avenger, found it under my cot when I woke up this morning) ...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 05:01 PM
    For me the issue is not letting players establish fiction. In fact, I allow players to roleplay NPCs when I need to establish campaign history that isn't already in stone or when their characters aren't in the scene being played at the moment. I just tell them, "here's your motivation and allegiances. Here's the situation.. go." Sometimes it benefits the group and most of the time my players...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 04:57 PM
    Hi Manbear - I appreciate that you're asking a question, but I wasn't aware that my answers to Pem had anything to do with the situation you described so I opted to bow out. Since you asked directly. - Patronage in a game is not a problem by itself. - If the risk to game balance is addressed sufficiently, it's not a problem either. Thanks,
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 02:58 PM
    Yeah. Personally, I favor an approach where Arcana and Religion become a sort of supernatural Perception when trained.
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 02:03 AM
    I think my answer would be obvious but here goes. You've engineered a situation that is not at all like the one I'm replying about (supernatural patron, potentially obvious bias without compensating controls) therefore I have nothing to reply to and no interest in moving the conversational goalposts. Be well KB
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 12:06 AM
    Break and Suffer are qualitative. Neither are likely but both are possible regardless of who controls the patron. If you have a player that controls the patron and doesn't build in suitable restrictions or consequences - then you're playing a mage with a supernatural friend that can be expected to have resources that the player will try to take advantage of - because they already did not...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 11:54 PM
    Hi Pem - Well you're right that it's prescriptive but it's also based on the concept of what a patron is when you take it away from the game and just use the term in real life. - A patron is someone that pays you, takes care of you, in exchange for your providing a service that you have the ability to provide. Examples of the Renaissance may be sculpture, art or smithing. So when someone...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 08:36 PM
    I'm with you on this because I've run a "campaign" that lasted a long time using the HERO system. Here's the rub there because it's the granddaddy of all point buy systems. 1. You buy something that is supposed to benefit you. 2. You might get points back for something that's a detriment. 3. As you get more points through experience you can buy off detriments or add new things. 4. If...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 04:53 PM
    Ok so... This is what I think, I think. A player may choose a background, they may have a concept that's agreed to by all at the table and they start the game that way. Whether or not those boundaries stay in place or move around has everything to do with how the character takes advantage of or respects the NPC that's in play. Buying a background does not mean that the patron is a player...
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 06:00 AM
    I am a Silver subscriber and can't seem to change either my Profile Picture or Avatar.
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 04:41 AM
    Here's how I see things: We all have a variety of desires for what we want to experience in a given game, particularly one as ill defined as modern D&D. We also have our own boundaries for what we will not tolerate in the game. The idea that expressing these desires or boundaries should be cause for ridicule does not sit right with me. It can only ever be a good thing to know what everyone is...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 01:31 AM
    Just means that were I your DM, I'd need to serialize things such that we ran like an episode of Blacklist or some other show over the course of two sessions. that way you'd get a fix every month and we'd string maybe a half year of gaming into a season of shows. (one arch of plot plus a bunch of mini plots.) Honestly, I don't see groups lasting in any single incarnation longer than 6m these...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 8th October, 2018, 11:34 PM
    Low HP orc would not survive to adulthood - counter points. 1. Subdual damage is not killing damage. 2. Damage done in cuts and sprains outside of combat is not damage done in combat and HP are abstractions. 3. If big orc wants to maul little orc.. well that's a social hazard of being an orc and I as the "god" of my world am too busy to care about little orc. I'm going to spend time...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 8th October, 2018, 11:22 PM
    Eh. I'll add my own experience to the campaign mix for the sake of elaborating more on the overarching theme that there's no one right way but everyone kind of does the same things from their own perspectives. When 1e was a thing I ran many rosters of players through adventures in a setting of my own creation. None of these groups lasted for more than a year and many petered out, but the...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 11:31 PM
    Not necessarily. It depends on what the "boss" in that fight is and how setting a minion ogre would support the story, or ruin it. I mean, I can come up with a equally ridiculous example to make a point too. A dragon minion for example, but you'd never see it in actual play.
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 11:14 PM
    Perhaps but lets get simpler because you're building a construct around the problem that doesn't need to exist. The ability to avoid damage is not relative to, nor does it have to be tied to the ability to cause damage. So literally, as I said it above. Minions are not as skilled at avoiding harm.
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 08:28 PM
    I think my way of approaching wandering treasure is to just abstract it out to the larger picture of "how do I want to reward and penalize my players and what example do I want to reinforce." If I'm interested in spending some time every session with the players attempting to search everything (like an old school 1e 10ft pole fest) then I'll keep a list of some treasure off to the side that...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 08:16 PM
    In my opinion it just requires some elastic thinking (and only mentioning this as an aside as no one wants another HP thread). Your 1HP minion is not as skilled as the 20 HP goblin. HP are a part of the game reality and the reality says that HP is the ability to avoid harm, not take damage. Minions for whatever reason, are numerous and they aren't as able to avoid harm as a more skilled...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th October, 2018, 04:15 AM
    Perhaps so. But two things immediately come to mind 1. In order to have rules about meta gaming you have to address that it exists. 2. If you take steps to counter it, youíre doing it. Better to not do things that increase the level of attention to it if you donít want to do it. Iíve gotten by with ďhow would your character know to do that?Ē Itís generally enough. I will admit though...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th October, 2018, 03:28 AM
    Hi Max Respect your opinions. All Iíd add is that Lane agreed he was moving goalposts in a later post and my explanation for why I donít do exactly the same thing (because who doesnít like detail) is because itís unwieldy enough to not be sustainable, increases risk of meta, and slows the game down. If it works for you all though, power to you. Iíd enjoy being a player and having the...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 10:41 PM
    Hi Lanefan - I appreciate the example and get where you're coming from. If I can offer my opinion, I think that the approach sounds great in theory and when it comes time to practice it, it's unwieldy. Here's why. 1. When you adventure design you have a binary decision as to what is obvious and what requires a check. This is usually centered around what is necessary to advance the plot....
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 07:20 PM
    I feel your pain as I've been through both of these things as I'm sure other players have. - On the carnal knowledge impacting character knowledge/ability - I've not played in a group where we didn't have our spouses or significant others playing in almost 20 years, there's always some degree of favoritism and I think the best outcome I ever had was when the DM was told privately that the...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 06:26 PM
    Meh, I just think Lanefan is moving the goal posts. DC12 swim. I roll 1-11 - I fail and drown without someone to assist. I roll 12-20 - I succeed and I'm wet. DC12 perception check. I roll 1-11 - I fail and don't notice anything unusual, but I still see what's right in front of me or obvious. If the sun's up and there are leaves on the ground I see that. I roll 12-20 - I succeed and...
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 12:36 AM
    How else as a DM/GM expected to meaningfully adjudicate the consequences of success and failure except through fictional positioning? What you can find with just a close inspection of eyes will differ from sifting through it with your hands which will differ from using a shovel. Making decisions based on your reasoning about the fiction is like the core skill of playing a role playing game. I get...
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 07:02 PM
    My own experience with 5e is that it is ill suited for Theater of the Mind. We are talking about a game that has extremely variable movement ranges (our current party ranges from 20 ft to 35 ft), a host of knock back effects, auras of varying ranges, area of effect attacks of varying ranges, and effects that key off of proximity. I mean if you don't care about getting this stuff right it's not a...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 06:45 PM
    I've always been one for simple motivations for monsters. One of these days I'm going to let my players play as a small tribe of kobolds and do a reverse dungeon crawl on a small town or city.
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 06:38 PM
    They like to cook things instead of eating raw things. Perhaps it's taken culinary?
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 08:37 PM
    Magic items bring up a lot of questions for a DM. Though I've already sort of replied to this with my own item destruction method, I think more value comes from working through the problem of a flying character. 1. Certain magic items are more problematic than others. Items that provide movement or exceptional stats are more problematic than most. The broom fits in here. 2. The...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 07:35 PM
    Iíll wait for the next wotc cease and desist re: forgotten realms IP now that youíve advertised here.
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 06:43 PM
    AFAIK, there's no rule surrounding the destruction of magic items so I'd focus on any house rule being something that would be internally consistent if for example, there ever ends up being an item that my players need to destroy. My own house rule is that only the magic user that created the item can destroy the item on the plane the item was created. Once an item is removed from the planar...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 04:17 PM
    I hear you. I'm guessing there are differences to the way we do things simply because of my house rules forcing the interpretations down a path. For example: I still allow coup de grace in my games in combination with the massive damage rules as I can't imagine having someone incapacitated not dying if someone has the time to slit a throat. Because of this, I need to have mechanics that...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 03:44 PM
    I'm of the opinion that the choice of word was accurate and the way it's described is not. Perception is one of those things that's always been a pain.
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 03:42 PM
    Fair, so in using your definition then, should a character be sleeping.. what would wake them in the event of an assassination attempt except for passive perception vs. assassin's stealth check? Serious question because this does come up and whenever possible, I like to be consistent. Thanks, KB
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 03:18 PM
    Examples in the book itself pretty much lend themselves to the definition I paraphrase. If you're on guard duty you're using passive perception. Feel free to actually read the books through and you'll find it. When I'm home if you don't find it before then, I'll look for it. Point is, the character always has some ability to passively perceive something. When they're distracted, apply...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 02:38 PM
    It doesn't. Here's the rub, the DM is the only person that can initiate a passive check by rule. So in application it's optional even if it's not on the official optional list. Every game I've run in the last 10 years has needed house rule clarification around the use of perception to avoid running into the perception hamster wheel. So it's never been well written even if it's RAW,. ...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 03:01 AM
    Yes. Thatís spot on. Provided that passive perception is in play the specific optional rule regarding perception overrides the more general specific class ability that might be used on it.
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 02:18 AM
    Hi Saelorn - I'm down with DM making the call. I just have the preference that passive perception is always on and I think that's the correct interpretation of the rules per everything I've ever read on every thread prior to this one, everywhere I've ever seen one. Don't get caught up in semantics. I only use "scene" to mean "when a character could reasonably be assumed to be...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 01:28 AM
    I hear you. So here's the counter: A character's passive perception is "always on". So when you walk into a space the DM should be saying to himself.. "Is there anything in this scene that my players would pick up on?" when the scene opens. If so, he shares that with the player who has the appropriate passive score. Now the player knows that he's got a score of 15, and he found...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 01:11 AM
    The definition of passive is "not necessarily paying direct attention". The definition of active is "looking for something" If a player has a high passive perception, he or she is very observant. If I have a DC of 11 for something noticeable, and I have a player with a passive perception of 12, I'm going to give them what they'd notice. In that same scenario if I have the same player...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 01:05 AM
    That is exactly it. If the DM decides that Passive Perception is used in a game, it is effectively the floor. A check is not required. If a player asks for a check, he can't go lower than his floor. I realize that that is not exactly what is stated, but it is the resultant interpretation provided that the DM allows passive perception and doesn't institute some other reason why a player...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th September, 2018, 11:14 PM
    I'm confused by this conversation. Your passive perception is your floor for any perception check. If you have a 15 passive perception, that's the lowest that ANY perception check can go. If you roll an active perception check of 6, your actual perception roll is 15.* I believe there was a Crawford on this. So it's pretty easy as a DM to just set DCs for things that are going on and know...
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  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th September, 2018, 05:25 PM
    A lot of games are dabbling in that play space now. I think it's novel, but not something that's going to really become the new normal. I think that the new... is it Descent? Maybe Mansions of Madness? Regardless, they've removed the "DM" player and replaced them with an app. I think one of the Star Wars games maybe does that too. There's a mazey kind of game called Mask of Anubis that...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 06:45 PM
    Pen and Paper.. what kind of PnP were you thinking of hmmmmm?? ;)
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 06:26 PM
    It depends on your players, but I consider an exploit any knowledge the use of any knowledge a player has which influences the outcome of an event, which the character would not have. OR alternatively, the use of system mastery to create a situation where the core tenets of the game mechanics do not apply. (e.g. In a game with the expectation that most players will hit 55% of the time on...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 03:44 PM
    I respect your preferences. As a long standing DM that absolutely loves modules and adventure paths as well as the spirit of RAW, I almost feel the same way. The issue with this approach is that a player who puts the time in to optimize or read all available subject matter is going to know exactly where the exploits are and what is coming in the adventure path. While this is absolutely ok in...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 01:52 AM
    Generally, when characters die I give players a few options. 1. Once characters level once, I usually make them aware of the benefits of having retainers with the party. 2. If they die in the field and a retainer is available, they jump on to running the retainer. 3. If they die in the field with no retainers available then it's a matter of getting to the nearest "civilized" area and seeing...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 12:48 AM
    You and I may be similar. I've felt that siren call too. Every time I've tried it's always boiled down to five rules and once I put the guideposts in the sand I lost interest. 1. Start with the end in mind. Fully write out the world's meta plot before any player touches it so you have a baseline. 2. Decide what cultures you're going to use as a base to further accentuate your plot. ...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 12:38 AM
    I think this is great. Good on you and I hope you still have all the notes and such. To elaborate on my end, I had a group that came together twice a month for 8-10 hours at a go, and we mostly stuck inside a three city area for most of the year and a half it stuck together, starting with an insignificant trade town at the confluence of three rivers. Another group had a grandly designed...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 05:47 PM
    Personally, I've never walked away from a game where it was clear that the DM intended to run a campaign. I've definitely had situations where a DM wasn't popular with the players, and the game petered out as a result. I can list what I don't like in games I play in; but I'm not interested in damaging relationships by declining something as trivial as a game when I have time to play and...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th September, 2018, 06:32 PM
    It's pretty simple really. He's confusing "divine" with "infernal" or taking a really holistic definition of divine to include infernal because why should the actual English definition of "divine" meaning "sacred" be taken to not mean "of hell or sacrilegious"? I can see his point because popular media has made the point of questioning the lens that we look at good through since at least the...
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th September, 2018, 06:18 PM
    Honestly, when I made my observation about the 1991 cutoff between transactional and empathetic relationship options, I was specifically referring to when TWoD hit the shelves.
    921 replies | 25067 view(s)
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th September, 2018, 05:30 PM
    I agree with you to a point. Where that line is drawn is dependent on how transactional the DM and player relationship is. In a highly transactional relationship, I'd expect that the player decides what the PC does and the world as controlled by the DM presents the valid choices based on what's available. This is no different from the real world where a person could have the potential to be...
    921 replies | 25067 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 17th September, 2018, 08:56 PM
    That's fair. I guess I take exception to the term "real world" because it's dependent on the specific experiences of the person using the term. In my real world, until I gave players a primer I'd say I was constantly answering scoping questions about the campaign world that were of the most mundane variety. In many cases the answers were spread out enough that I would often enough contradict...
    921 replies | 25067 view(s)
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 17th September, 2018, 07:54 PM
    Re: Comprehensive list of everything objected to .. It's the place of the DM to provide a campaign primer so that players know what is explicitly allowed based on the story being told. It is the place of the player to ask the DM if they look at the primer and don't see what they wish, if what they want to play is allowed. Not providing players with enough information to logically ask...
    921 replies | 25067 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 17th September, 2018, 05:41 PM
    Agree. The other player would know that MC is allowed when he sits down and can make the choice to play or not. If they choose to play, then they have no business being upset because of another player's choice to use MC.
    921 replies | 25067 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Monday, 17th September, 2018, 01:33 AM
    I've played both Mice and Mystics and Hogwarts.  I think that although both of them are on the "easier to learn" end of the spectrum for new gamers, Hogwarts can be a lot meaner.  It really does a good job of letting you fall into really neat combos, and lets you feel really smart for wandering into them, but I've seen way too many unwinnable games due to the random bad guys you get at...
    55 replies | 6118 view(s)
    0 XP
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About Ilbranteloth

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DMing in the Forgotten Realms since 1987
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Tuesday, 24th July, 2018

  • 01:45 AM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post Everybody Cheats?
    ...ules or campaign standards that vary from the standard rules. You might also want to know what character types the other players are playing so that you can create a character that fits in well with the group. Rule Zero was "check with your dungeon master." It is functionally impossible for the DM to cheat in a game with a Rule 0.Aldarc quoted "rule zero" from the 3E books. I don't see how that rule makes it impossible for the GM to cheat. at some point "skilled play" as a definition went away in favor of "immersive" or "story first" play. In this case XP were given for hours spent playing or hitting milestones instead of killing things. This is a function of political correctness as much as it is changing tastes. This is total nonsense. Pacing character progression to generate a form of story arc - which is how, say, 4e works - is not a political decision of any form. It's an aesthetic decision. Not everyone plays RPGs as wargames. This is probably the only point on which Ilbranteloth and I have something in common in our RPGing. Umm, we played AD&D without XP, at least without using it in the way it was originally designed, with XP for treasure and killing monsters. We leveled up at what we felt were appropriate times. Didn't seem to break the game. I guess you'd say we did reward XP for playing well, but used an entirely different system than what was provided.You seem to have misunderstood my point. You aren't using Gygax's AD&D rules with players who don't care about XP, thereby breaking the game. Because you've got players who don't care about XP, you've changed the rules of the game from those that Gygax published. That was exactly what I said in my post. (Contrast 2nd ed AD&D, which doesn't change the rules - though it does make XP for gp optional - and hence gets tangled up in knots.) I would add: a D&D game that does not use XP has moved a long way from the sort of game Gygax talked about in his AD&D books, even if it still uses the same chart fo...

Sunday, 22nd July, 2018

  • 02:52 PM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post Everybody Cheats?
    Have we considered the radical idea that maybe Mr. Gygax wasn't consistent in his writings? Because earlier in this thread, it has been noted (multiple times, I think) that he *also* wrote that GMs can alter dice rolls to get the results they want. I know, I am suggesting a saint may have been fallible... or not. Maybe he wasn't a theoretician hard-case, OneTrueWay kind of guy. Maybe, he actually was a little more pragmatic, and remembered that his game started as massivly house-ruled wargame and maybe being all hoity-toity about exactly how it should be done was not exactly intellectually solid. Who's being hoity-toity? Gygax talks repeatedly about skilled play. The closing words of his PHB say that, if you think AD&D is worth playing, you'll find it doubly so if played well. And the preceding two pages of text tell us what playing well means in this context, as do the passages Ilbranteloth and I have quoted from the DMG: it means preparing sensibly, having a plan of attack in relation to the dungeon, not being distracted by the GM's lures and wandering monsters, etc, in rulebooks that I think don't even use the word "story". Obviously that's not the only metric for RPGing well. It's not a metric that I use in my own RPGing. But it is clear enough, and if that is how one judges skilled play, then certain consequences follow. Which Gygax himself points to when he says that certain GMing practices would be contrary to the major precepts of the game. I don't know why it's so important to you and others in this thread to show that Gygax endorsed the White Wolf "golden rule" way back in 1978-79.

Saturday, 28th April, 2018

  • 08:42 AM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Yet if the players do want to spend time on it, what then? If a player thinks I've misconceived what's really at stake, they can tell me. To me, this is in the same category as my reply to Ilbranteloth not far upthread - as Ron Edwards says, a GM can take suggestions. And it is also in the same category as my response to you and Maxperson about the trip to the giants' cavern upthread - the players at my table don't need permission to speak, and so if they think something is heading in a weird direction, or think a call about framing seems wrong, they can say so. Then we can talk about it. EDIT: This is basically what darkbard said.

Wednesday, 25th April, 2018

  • 02:24 PM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... a bare stone wall in a D&D-style dungeon or fortress where it would be illogical for a secret door to appear! In a sense we're only arguing here about the DETAILS of the fiction, because EVERY narrative model game is going to have this character, the players declare actions to advance their agendas. Since it doesn't actually matter MECHANICALLY what those actions are (modulus which skill/power/whatever you get to use due to fictional reasons), the ONLY actual considerations are aesthetic! So it makes no sense for the players to declare dumb things, they are just as well off to declare cool things!What you say here is (in my view) absolutely correct for Cortex+ Heroic, 4e, HeroQuest revised, or any other system in which DCs are "subjective" ie based on pacing and similar considerations. In the context of an "objective" DC system (eg Burning Wheel, Classic Traveller, I think 5e by deffault), the players do have an incentive to identify an approach with a low DC. Relating this to Ilbranteloth's question above, if a secret door seems unlikely in some place, that would increase the DC. A related thing is the continued (seeming) insistence that with a prepared map or notes that it is impossible for the DM to make changes. This is simply not true. There's no reason why, if a player decided to search for a secret door, that I can't decide that one might be present, and even in that moment make the decision that the dice will decide and allow them to make a check.I'm certainly not insisting on this. Many many posts (over 1000) upthread, this was discussed at some length. From my point of view, it doesn't meaningfully change the distribution of agency over the content of the shared fiction for the chance of success to depend on the GM "allowing" the check to have a chance of success. the general thrust of everything is exploration. Exploring the setting. Exploring the characters. Exploring the politics, the dangers, dungeons, and such. Learning what makes these characte...
  • 08:52 AM - Sadras mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... genre, some plot elements which could be used, selected a mechanics to use, and characters were created with back stories appropriate to the genre and referencing some of the pre-generated 'stuff'. Now, I ended up GMing this, so I added a bunch of added 'things' in the course of scene framing. These included a child, a tower, a battle on a bridge with a black knight, a tournament, a plot to kill an important NPC, a giant, etc. A lot of stuff really. The players also invented a lot of stuff related to their characters. They invented followers, a way to dispatch the giant, a way in and out of the tower, etc. Honestly I'm not as systematic as pemerton in terms of remembering who did what, but we all had a good amount of input. I would call this typical for MY games. GM is important, but the whole game is an outgrowth of what all the participants were interested in doing. I do not play Story Now/No Myth games but you have just described one of my games. That is why I think Ilbranteloth is quite right when he says he plays a variation of both, sometimes switching between the two styles unconsciously and even within a period of just a few minutes. This below quote from Ovinomancer really concludes the railroad discussion for me. (snip)...under Story Now, the example would be a railroad because it's the GM overriding the play procedures to abridge player agency (as allowed by the system) and enforce the GM's preferred outcome... (snip)... the playstyles differ enough in core assumptions that maybe you cannot use the same metrics to analyze them both.
  • 08:32 AM - Lanefan mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...on, right? I mean, why are they here to begin with? What do they WANT? I would make something happen that was related to the story and the characters. Maybe there's a way out, maybe someone can get back out. I mean, what did you do? "OK, TPK, everyone roll up a new character!"? I mean, that's warranted, in a Gygaxian sense, and perfectly OK. It just doesn't serve narrativist ends and wouldn't happen in that sort of game. Nobody would frame a scene with that element in it which would produce that result. So in narrativist play players/PCs are never given the chance to do something TPK-level stupid and-or TPK-level unlucky? Sounds a bit dull... :) Who knows what reasons they might have had for jumping down. At the time it might have made perfect sense...well, other than the forgetting-the-rope part...to escape from something or because it was the only obvious way to proceed or simply because they were all just really thirsty! The fact is, down they went. [later note: then saw Ilbranteloth 's write-up a few posts down from the one I quoted, which explains the scenario] Lanefan

Monday, 16th April, 2018

  • 01:11 PM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... Poker face: on!Ē And then Iím like ďwait a sec. I want them to figure out whatís wrong in the town. In fact, I want to show them whatís wrong! Otherwise theyíll wander around waiting for me to drop them a clue, Iíll have my dumb poker face on, and weíll be bored stupid the whole evening.Ē So instead of having the NPC say ďoh no, I meant that things are going just fine, and I shut up now,Ē I have the NPC launch into his or her tirade. ďThings are awful! This personís sleeping with this other person not with me, they murdered the schoolteacher, blood pours down the meeting house walls every night!Ē ...Or sometimes, the NPC wants to lie, instead. Thatís okay! I have the NPC lie. Youíve watched movies. You always can tell when youíre watching a movie whoís lying and whoís telling the truth. And wouldnít you know it, most the time the players are looking at me with skeptical looks, and I give them a little sly nod that yep, sheís lying. . . . Then the game goes somewhere. You, Ilbranteloth, are assuming that GM authority over backstory equals secret backstory. But it doesn't. Because, as Vincent Baker shows us in the passage I just quoted, the GM can author the backstory but reveal it to the players. This is how the "standard narrativistic model" works - the GM frames the PCs into situations. The elements of framing are backstory, but - just as DitV illustrates - they're not secret. It's an important part of PbtA also - the GM establishes the fiction by performing narrations in response to player moves (both failed moves - 6 or down - and half-way successful moves - 7 to 9 - and in some cases even fully successful moves where the player's result is 10+). When you sit down at a gaming table and are told that the game is taking place in Europe, 1943, and you can be a French, UK, or US soldier, it doesn't inhibit your agency. It shapes it.That is not secret backstory. It is revealed backstory. It is genre, feeding into framing. If the GM decided at the beginning ...
  • 04:05 AM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... - not Eero Tuovinen - to illustrate the contrast between resolution with or without GM secet backstory. The only connection they have to Eero's essay is indirect, in the following way: (i) the absence of secret-backtory is more typical in standard narrativistic RPGing, because (ii) the use of secret backstory makes it harder to "go where the action is" if the action involves discovery (as opposed to, say, killing) and makes it more likely that the game will involve a significant degree of the players declaring actions that trigger the GM to reveal hitherto-unrevealed backstory so that the players then know what the necessary fictional positioning is for their PCs to make the desired discoveries. I guess a third connection between the topic of the previous paragraph, and Eero's essay, is that his essay is moslty a criticism of conch-passing (or, as he calls it, narration sharing), and resolving an action declaration in a RPG is obviously not conch-passing. Subsequently, Lanefan, Ilbranteloth and Maxperson asserted that resolving action declaration is, in fact, a form of conch-passing, and hence is the sort of thing that Eero is cautioning against. I think this is obviously not what Eero had in mind, for the reasons that both AbdulAlhazred and I have given: whatever we think about action resolution, it is clearly not preparing something in advance of playing the game, nor a proxy for it.

Thursday, 12th April, 2018

  • 03:42 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... I asked him where they come from - player (in which case it's the agendas he claims to reject) or GM (in which case it's the menu he claims to reject). The fact that the player might ignore any given opportunity doesn't actually answer my question. How is that not "informally signalling an agenda"? What do you think "informally signalling an agenda" looks like, if not the sort of thing you describe here? I've come to the conclusion that what Maxperson really needs is to play in a No Myth Story Now mode for a month as a player and see for himself. Complete with GM explication of the reasoning behind framing specific scenes, etc. I think he's going to see that he's already trying to do it, and his issue is really just one of not having been really exposed to the technique in a way that is conducive to his understanding it. He seems to WANT not to understand, and yet at the same time to DO what he claims he doesn't do and doesn't want to do! I really need to make good on my offer to Ilbranteloth to do some kind of a demo game.

Saturday, 7th April, 2018

  • 03:23 PM - Maxperson mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Obviously, you can use words however you want. But I'm explaining why Ilbranteloth is not making an error in reading Eero Tuovinen. When Eeor Tuovinen refers to "backstory", he is not talking about the outcomes of action resolution. I'm not talking about action resolution, either. Action resolution is different from backstory authority, but can result in changes to backstory as I demonstrated above. The resolution to the action was only to find a secret door or not. Nothing else. The backstory authority comes from a secret door appearing where there was none in the backstory prior to the action resolution. Below is the quote from Tuovinen on backstory. "Backstory authority Backstory is the part of a roleplaying game scenario that ďhas happened before the game beganĒ. The concept only makes sense when somebody has done preparatory work for the game or is using specific heuristics to simulate such preparation in real-time. For example, if the GM has decided in advance that the butler did it, then that is part of the backstory Ė it happened before the pl...
  • 02:45 PM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    A character declaring he is searching for a secret door is exercising the authority to declare an action for one's PC. A player creating a secret door via a roll is establishing backstory, as that secret door is now a part of the history of the scene. It now has existed PRIOR to the search for it and is backstory. To me on a success it is, as it's directly adding something to the backstory (in this case, the scene as framed) that wasn't put there by the GM.Obviously, you can use words however you want. But I'm explaining why Ilbranteloth is making an error in reading Eero Tuovinen. When Eero Tuovinen refers to "backstory", he is not talking about the outcomes of action resolution. The backstory was established by the GM in framing the scene.But the GM didn't know there was a secret door there until the player/PC found it, so how could she have already framed it into the scene even in her mind?The GM didn't frame the secret door. It's not part of the backstory. It's presence or absence is being established by way of action resolution. Backstory is not being used by Eero Tuovinen (or me) to denote stuff that, in the fiction, existed. It's being used to denote stuff that, at the table, is already established as part of the shared fiction. In the context of a check for a secret door, the backstory - which is part of the framing - might include that there is a stone wall in an ancient castle built by a people well-known for their cunning engineering. This is another case of being misled by not distinguishing stuf...

Tuesday, 27th March, 2018

  • 10:05 AM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... one reason why not. Four hours (or whatever) of nothing interesting happening from anything the protagonists do is not a story. It might resemble an Andy Warhol movie, but those are deliberate repudiations of story! (And I'm not sure that anyone actually watches Empire.) And it's these times of frustration that makes times of success all the more rewarding.Failure is not the same things as nothing interesting resulting from what is attempted. If the player's agenda is for her PC to get rich or to accumulate magic items then you're wide open to this sort of thing. Silly, perhaps, but legal by the letter of this narrativistic type of system where success on an action declaration cannot be denied.If everyone at the table knows that the game is not silly, then everyone equally knows that (in the absence of some context, such as searching the home of a fairy) there is no point looking for wands in trees, as there won't be any there. This repeated concern, from you and now Ilbranteloth, that the first things players will do who actually have the power to contribute to the content of the shared fiction will be to find gold and items for their PCs, rests on the same illusion as other concerns you've expressed. The gameworld is not a reality. If you don't want a silly gameworld, it's easy to avoid: just don't author one! If you want PCs who are more than just a Gygaxian id, then build and play them. One of the true appeals of RPGs is that as player you're (in theory) free to try anything, no matter how ridiculous. There shouldn't be any system-based limits on the actions players can declare or have thier PCs attempt.I don't understand what you are claiming here, or what purported contrast you are drawing. What's the DC for your D&D character to flap her arms and fly to the moon? What's the DC for a 1st level character to jump into a volcano and survive? What's the DC for your 1st level fighter PC to try and kill ten orcs in one round? There are all sorts of li...

Monday, 26th March, 2018

  • 10:00 AM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    In the rogue example the player is clearly and strongly letting the DM know what the PCs is doing and why. That qualifies as full agency, even if that particular example isn't showing all aspects of what Eero talks about in that paragraph.That example has zero to do with what Eero Tuovinen is talking about. Ilbranteloth is just wrong to think that declaring a search for a secret door, and looking for scuff marks as part of that, is the sort of thing that Tuovinen has in mind. the rogue's agenda is clearly to get inside unnoticedThat's not an agenda. It's a means, and a very generic one. Why does the rogue want to enter the castle? What would s/he risk to do so? If s/he is entering stealthily, what provocation would make her reveal herself? These are the sorts of things that show us who the character is, what s/he wants, what her goals are, what sort of person s/he is. I as a player establish my character's personality, interests and agendas. Here's the thing. I don't even have to tell the DM what they are in order for me to bring them out in the game. Nothing is required on the part of the DM. Let's say that I'm playing a dour dwarf(I know, it's a stretch ;) ) who is interested in fine wines and with an agenda to get drunk on fine wine in every town he comes to. Without telling the ...
  • 09:50 AM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    What we don't see in this example is all the lead-up showing how the rogue got to this point. The agenda and reasons for being here would very likely have long since been established. What the rogue thinks and feels at that particular moment would of course be up to the player to narrate on the fly, should she so desire; as would the decision of what if anything to sacrifice or trade off in order to achieve her immediate goal of stealthily getting into the castle.My point is that Ilbranteloth doesn't tell us anything about (for instance) any such sacrifice being required. Or anything else that brings character personality or agenda to the fore. The only choice the player of the rogue had to make was do I declare a search, or do I not bother? Nothing was at stake. it's not very often that much characterization comes out of what are in effect largely mechanical action declarations. "This is a logical place for a secret door so I'll search for one" tells us maybe a bit about the character, but mostly that's just a simple Search declaration - not much in it; and it's unfair to point at this as a reason for any lack of characterization or personality.What it tells me is that this is not a game in which advocacy, in Eero Tuovinen's sense, is important. And at least in my games most of what we learn about characters comes out of action declarations. I've posted many actual play links in this thread, and described a number as well. Here are just a handful: * A Travel...
  • 01:28 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...hat it must be undertaken in a strictly linear fashion, is a FIXED set of scenes. If these scenes address character needs and player agenda it by pure chance. 2) The keep itself is, again, not particularly well-adapted to Story Now. It will work as a backdrop to various scenes, but there's nothing especially compelling about it. The Evil Cleric exists as-is. You can confront him, or not, and he will only address player's interests haphazardly at best. There are other characters who are basically either quest-givers or resource dispensers, or both. These characters are mostly peripheral, they could be co-opted into playing a part in the character's story, but nothing about them is ESPECIALLY compelling in this regard, any collection of similar NPCs would do as well. 3) The general premise, the stronghold on the edge of civilization, may or may not be a suitable setting in which to play out the character's story, but we cannot say unless we know what that story is. In terms of what Ilbranteloth has to say about it specifically: OK, the premise is the keep on the edge of civilization. What does this say about civilization? What does it say about wilderness? About their relationship, and that of people, PCs particularly, to either of those things? Establishment of a Fighter, wizard, cleric, and thief: These are generic characters built to classes which are basic archetypes. What is unique about these guys and what compels them? B/X and 1e both ASSUME fighters want to build keeps, wizards want/need components etc, rogues want riches, and clerics want to build temples. What is actually pushing these guys? Does the fighter wish to establish a keep because his family honor is at stake after they lost their holding somewhere else? Is the wizard attempting to achieve some specific magical effect? Why? What is the basis of the cleric's friendship with the fighter? Are they related, old friends, lovers?! What deity does this cleric even serve? Why is the rogue out here on the edge o...

Saturday, 24th March, 2018

  • 09:15 PM - Lanefan mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...d even in a DM-driven game can sometimes have a function - usually when dealing with off-screen details the DM doesn't want to bother with such as determining each inhabitant of the PC's home village. But that type of agency is not a part of the normal run of play, and thus is meaningless in that context. Here's one way that B2 restricts player agency: if a player declares "I want to meet an alchemist in the keep" then, as the module is written, that action will fail. That doesn't restrict their agency at all! They declared an attempted action (thus exercising their agency) and were told that action failed. Which also shows that the characters can't do whatever they like. They can do whatever the established fiction of the keep might permit them to do. Yep. Just like reality, in that regard - if I go to the mall and look for a hardware store, no matter what I do if the mall doesn't have a hardware store I ain't gonna find one there. Side note: thanks to Maxperson and Ilbranteloth for saving me loads of typing these last few days. :) Lanefan

Thursday, 1st March, 2018

  • 10:14 AM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    I think he means the sort of game where once the DM has set the world up and placed the PCs into an initial setting she from there on acts as nothing more than a glorified CPU whose only purposes are to react to what the PCs do, to narrate those reactions neutrally, and to describe the scenery around the PCs wherever they may be. The parameters for action declaration are set by a combination of the rules system in use (what actions are allowed and-or how are they resolved) and the fictional environment in which the PCs are at the time (as per your example of no boats in mid-desert).I understand what sort of game Ilbranteloth is describing. I'm just saying that it's a mistake to say that the GM doesn't influence the action at all. When one says that the fictional environment establishes a parameter for action declaration , and also note that the GM established the fictional environment, we see that the GM is influencing actions a great deal. In thinking about the significance of this for play, I think it's helpful to think about game conventions or conceits. If I turn up to play a session of Moldvay Basic, or of the sort of D&D that Gygax describes in the "Successful Adventuring" section of his PHB, then of course the fictional situation is going to be a dungeon. That's what the game is about. And it has a lot of system elements - mechanics, methods, implicit understandings - to support play in that context. If I turn up to play a game of AD&D and the GM says, "Right, you're in a desert" that's already very different from the Moldvay Basic case.

Thursday, 2nd November, 2017

  • 02:58 PM - Salamandyr mentioned Ilbranteloth in post Group Rule Deal-Breakers
    I find myself in agreement with the way Ilbranteloth does things. Not every character class has to represent a "job" somebody can have in the D&D universe. We don't need Orders of Paladins to have paladins. We just need one guy (the PC) the gods have chosen to bless with those kinds of powers. We don't need tribes of BearBarians; we just need one guy (the PC) who has made a vision quest to the mountaintop to request the blessing of the Bear spirits. Maybe not every priest is a cleric, but the PC is the once in a lifetime holy scion blessed with the powers of the gods. Yeah...fighters are going to exist, but there might be only one Champion. Do sorcerors need to be common? Gandalf was a wizard and Radagast was a druid but they were both Wizards. One can play the D&D game entirely RAW and still keep control of the world, as long as one reinforces the idea that PC's are exceptions even when they're playing as classic a concept as the paladin or cleric.

Thursday, 21st September, 2017

  • 09:34 PM - DeJoker mentioned Ilbranteloth in post A New Thought About Skills
    @Ilbranteloth you got ahead of me -- please look again at my previous post I think that will help you understand what I was getting at -- if you still do not understand let me know and I make an even more verbose version
  • 05:58 AM - Harzel mentioned Ilbranteloth in post Casting multiple spells with bonus spells and the order they are cast.
    I see I have arrived late and @Ilbranteloth has found a definitive tweet from Crawford. Nevertheless, I will add this, let us say, for completeness. I'll try again. Reactions are not part of your turn, even if they hasten during your turn. We can tell because the rules provide what you can do on your turn and reactions aren't part of it (you get a move, and action, and maybe a bonus action). Reactions are a special action that can happen anytime - during your turn, during someone else's turn, whenever it's trigger happens. So far, so good. Here's the bit that I'm saying. The restriction on casting due to bonus action casting is a specific rule that trumps the general rule of what you do on your turn. That's the extent of the exception: only what you can do with your turn is affected. Therefore, even though your reaction may trigger during your turn and occur on it, outs not part of your turn (it's a special action outside of what you can do on your turn), and so restrictions on what you can do on your turn do not app...


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Monday, 13th August, 2018

  • 06:50 PM - Cendragon quoted Ilbranteloth in post Anyone Using Adventures in Middle Earth Journey/Rest Rules in Regular 5e Game?
    In addition, I'm not entirely clear on the math of this check. Normally your Survival proficiency bonus would include your Wisdom modifier. Does that mean it includes 1 1/2 times your Wisdom bonus? With a maximum Peril Rating of 5, that means that at 1st level you could conceivably have somebody with a +2 proficiency bonus +5 Wisdom bonus (maybe another +2 Wisdom bonus) and a maximum -5 Peril (not likely at first level). So that's a minimum of either a +2 or +4 to your Embarkation Roll, meaning that you cannot roll a 1 or 2 (which have entries on their table). In which case (assuming a 20 Wisdom): I'm not clear about what they mean by Survival proficiency bonus plus 1/2 Wisdom modifier because the Survival skill would normally include one's Wisdom modifier However, in regards to starting with a 20 Wisdom this is not possible under the fairly standard point-buy system which only allows one to buy up to a 15 starting score (17 with some racial modifiers for standard 5e D&D but only 16 with AI...

Thursday, 26th July, 2018

  • 08:36 PM - Lanefan quoted Ilbranteloth in post Everybody Cheats?
    Mechanically, yes. Psychologically no. It would be like making a T-shirt with a d20 on a 20 that says ďCrit Happens*Ē ď*when confirmed.Ē In all prior (and later) editions, a 20 is a critical. Not all. 1e as written didn't have criticals (or fumbles, for that matter), though I'm 99% sure they were proposed in one or three Dragon articles of the era, because we got 'em from somewhere by about 1983 and I don't think we independently came up with the concept. I think it was definitely a change in the rules, and one that makes a certain amount of sense, especially when increasing the critical threat range. I like our solution better, since they usually know after a round or two what is needed to hit, they know before they roll if a 20 will be a crit. But it still takes away a bit of the fun of the natural 20. To be fair, once youíre used to the rule, you know that the confirmation roll is the one that it exciting.We've had criticals (and fumbles) forever but they've always needed some sor...
  • 12:12 AM - Lanefan quoted Ilbranteloth in post Everybody Cheats?
    Because youíve said that an Inspiration die is cheating. Which is the exact same mechanic as confirming a critical. Itís a critical, wait, not itís not. In fairness, it's the other way around: "It's not a critical, wait, yes it is!"

Wednesday, 25th July, 2018

  • 02:46 AM - Hussar quoted Ilbranteloth in post Everybody Cheats?
    Because youíve said that an Inspiration die is cheating. Which is the exact same mechanic as confirming a critical. Itís a critical, wait, not itís not. Itís a hit, wait no itís not. Am I missing something? Actually yeah. I think I got ahead of myself. I forgot that inspiration isnít a reroll. My bad. We tend to use it as a reroll and I got my house rules mixed in. Heck, for a long time we used the fighter defense style as a reroll too. Yup. We cheat. :)
  • 01:26 AM - L R Ballard quoted Ilbranteloth in post How to Convert High-Level 2e Spellcasters to 5e?
    Unless thereís a real compelling need to alter a magic item from 1e/2e, I just use them as is. There are a few minor things, like saving throws and DCs, and Iíd probably knock a +5 down to a +3, unless it was against one creature. Even the Rod of Cancellation is fine. If thereís a really powerful magic item that it important to keep, them make a quest to restore it. Actually, I often change a lot of the 5e items back. And I do have out a fair amount of magic items, but most are consumable. And things with charges have a fixed number of charges, most donít regain them every night. Theyíve worked for me for 35+ years, why change them? For this conversion, I make mostly phrasing and formatting changes to 2e magic items. I made a checklist to use when editing and formatting the 2e magic items. Itís a work in progress: please feel free to critique. Please note: I am unable to use small capitals with the forum tools. The example magic item is the Trident of Fish Command (DMG 5e 209). MAGIC I...
  • 12:57 AM - L R Ballard quoted Ilbranteloth in post How to Convert High-Level 2e Spellcasters to 5e?
    But my point is just that 5e will give your wizards substantially more hit points. I donít dispute the claim. My remark was probably a non sequitur given the context of the discussion. It wasnít a statement that 2e wizards had greater hit point maximums than wizard builds from subsequent editions. Our group played 2e regularly for five years. We understood the limitations of the wizard class within the context of that system. Only one person in our group played a 2e wizard, and I assigned an NPC to protect her. We always thought the d4 hit die made the wizard class weak. In 2e, any time I could make a rules-based decision to increase hit points for one of my characters, I did. For that reason, I played dual-class characters like fighter-thieves and never played a wizard.
  • 12:23 AM - Kobold Boots quoted Ilbranteloth in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Yeah, while there may be a few that agree with you, the game and edition is selling better and more popular than pretty much any prior one. From WotCís perspective it is an incredible success and it would appear that there is a significant portion of the gaming community that agrees. He's referring to 4e, you're referring to 5e.

Tuesday, 24th July, 2018

  • 11:23 PM - pemerton quoted Ilbranteloth in post Hidden
  • 10:48 PM - Aldarc quoted Ilbranteloth in post Everybody Cheats?
    Because youíve said that an Inspiration die is cheating. Which is the exact same mechanic as confirming a critical. Itís a critical, wait, not itís not. Itís a hit, wait no itís not. Am I missing something?Doesn't Inspiration confer Advantage? As in, you roll 2d20 at the same time and take the higher of the two results? That seems like a different dice mechanic from rolling a 20 on a d20 and then getting the option for a critical hit if you make a second successful roll.
  • 10:03 PM - Hussar quoted Ilbranteloth in post Everybody Cheats?
    /snip I also think itís a decent example of the sort of thing weíre talking about. Thereís what Iíll call a soft ďcheatĒ or fudge, in that itís allowed, but alters the play experience, and the hard ďCheatĒ which is somebody breaking the rules for their benefit in a way thatís not allowed in the rules, and is in bad faith. If weíre saying that the ďcommonĒ terminology must rule, even when I believe that it is improper usage of the dictionary defined term, than so be it. I think itís both insulting and actually makes disgusting the merit of various ďlegal cheatĒ rules more difficult to use the term in that manner. I will say that I have no doubt that you, and Hussar donít mean it an insulting way, but that doesnít change the fact that use of the term in that manner will offend some. See, you keep saying that you understand my point and then completely miss it. Makes me think that you do not actually understand what I'm saying. Why would I have a problem with confirmation dice or exten...
  • 07:53 PM - LordEntrails quoted Ilbranteloth in post The economics of Continual flame
    So one thing missing in this discussion is that for the most part, people tended to go to bed when it got dark, rather than stay up. In addition, the light of a fire would be sufficient and already present during the seasons or places where the night is longer because itís also colder. If other light was needed, homemade candles were essentially free. Youíre really changing a social matter rather than an economic one. I think no one else has responded to this because you are simple uninformed and the impact of safe, reliable light has been mentioned many times in this thread. If you still don't believe us, go Google something like "economic impact of electrical light". You could do a master's or doctoral thesis on it, the impacts of light on society have been that significant. It also shows the benefit of the setting having its own setting specific rules, like in 2e. But I doubt thatís coming back... Lord I hope not. Or we will end up with utter stupidity like Dragon Lance, where a suit or ar...
  • 07:43 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Ilbranteloth in post Multi classing Objections: Rules vs. Fluff?
    The wizard spellbook is overall a mechanic, with explicit rules for what happens if you lose it or it gets destroyed and how to replace it, and you need it at the very least once each time you level up. It has been that way all the way back to AD&D -or worse, because back then you needed it every single day-. -And I'm talking mostly across the editions- Yes, the spellbook has been a mechanical 'hardwired' part of the wizard since it was the magic-user, and yes, in every edition in some form, be it memorization or preparation, you could re-imagine or re-skin it, but it was class-defining. OTOH, 5e is all about taking a chainsaw to the rules to try to make 'em better, so why not just lop that sucker right off...? Unless we didn't like the concept in the earlier editions, perhaps? Nonsense! Everyone loves the classic game! Up until then, you either started as a 1st level single class, or as a 1st/1st multi-class, or as a 1st/1st/1st multi-class, and stayed that combination of classes tha...
  • 06:45 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Ilbranteloth in post Everybody Cheats?
    And this is something potentially worth considering. If the primary justification GMs make for fudging is for the sake of the players' jollies - to prevent an untimely death, unhappy string of bad luck rolls, etc - why can't some of this "fudging power" become apportioned to players instead such that they can decide when it serves their own jollies when it pertains to their character? Of course, there are plenty of mechanics in games, especially RPGs, to allow just that. Re-rolls, for instance. Or limited-use bonuses you can apply after a roll. They're like 'fudging power,' but part of the rules, and limited in how much you can do them. They don't serve quite the same purpose as fudging, nor have the same foundation in the privileged role of GM. They do let the player override a result in the name of fun (where fun is equated to success, anyway), but they do so within the rules. Fudging is the GM saving the game from itself. When the rules fail, the GM prevails. I also think itís a ...
  • 06:26 PM - Arial Black quoted Ilbranteloth in post Multi classing Objections: Rules vs. Fluff?
    You bring up some interesting points, and I'd like to address each in turn with a contrasting view:- I don't necessarily dislike multiclassing, and have used it for decades. I'm not a fan of "dipping" or designing 20 levels of character with all of the multi-classing planned out before the character ever sees play either. The mechanical aspects of multiclassing can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. For example, 1st level characters get a bunch of things right away. Thematically, that makes sense. They've been training for several years for their new avocation. But taking it as a second class doesn't provide that. In 3/3.5e for example, you would be older when you gained 1st level in certain classes, since it theoretically took longer to learn them. In 5e (and since 3e), there are no 1st level MC characters. This is because of how the game mechanics work: you get one class level per character level, therefore if you only have one character level you can only have one class. Up until then,...
  • 06:18 PM - Kobold Boots quoted Ilbranteloth in post Everybody Cheats?
    I know what you think. I wasnít asking you at this point. You obviously believe any mechanic that refills a die is cheating. Okidoki. I will forever disagree with that. At this point Iím trying to get to the finer points that others besides you who believe that some rules allowing rerolling the dice is actually following the rules which is, you know, not cheating. I'm past the point where I think he actually believes what he's saying and well into the territory where he's committed to an argument and supporting it just so he dies on the hill.
  • 04:23 PM - 5ekyu quoted Ilbranteloth in post The economics of Continual flame
    Thatís a good distinction, actually. And I agree, in the Realms, the cities will likely have a higher level of magic and things like continual light (and permanent faerie fire). But itís still limited. Waterdeep has a guild of lamplighters who light the lamps of the city. Despite the Realms being high magic, Greenwood always kept it grounded in the mundane. The nobles of course have coin to melt and would do so freely. And it would be a status symbol. Silverymoon and really any city heavily associated with elves would be more magically inclined. Again, at least in the Realms, this is done in part to differentiate between the mundane normal lives and the wondrous things and adventures that lie in wait. Of course, that approach has largely been lost over the years...I am reminded of Liavek in many ways by the Ebberon intent and goal of not the details. Liavek had common man every day magic combined with more cosmopolitan tone and tech for a rather pulp and exotic flavor. Dont see so many shared wo...
  • 02:35 PM - Hussar quoted Ilbranteloth in post Everybody Cheats?
    /snip If the rule states that a GM has 3 times that they can overrule the dice during a session, or adventure, is that cheating? YES IT IS. Good grief, this is the third time I've answered this question. If you are changing the results of a random generation AFTER THE FACT, then it's cheating. How is it not? This would be called cheating in every single other circumstance. The only reason that it's not called cheating in RPG's is because people get all hot and bothered by the term. So, it's called fudging, or reroll mechanics or whatever other doublethink term people need to use to avoid calling a duck a duck. Embrace it. We started out cheating in RPG's from pretty much day 1. The only thing that's change from the 70s to now is that we've incorporated cheating into the rules and called it something else.
  • 01:52 PM - Aldarc quoted Ilbranteloth in post Everybody Cheats?
    First, I apologize that I screwed up the text formatting. I tried fixing it, but evidently not before you replied. The poker thing is to point out that there are rules that permit deception in games.In poker, the deception and bluffing is a metagame byproduct of the rules as written that has developed. The deception of bluffing is permitted largely in the game's culture because it is regarded as a sign of skilled play (or dumb luck). Iím still wondering about how Iím being deceptive when I roll the dice in the open and everybody knows when I overrule them.I have here in mind the cultural practice in the hobby on the whole rather than your table, though I would still consider this cheating. And I say this as someone who has fudged out in the open in front of their players within the past month as well. There is an awareness that you are breaking with the rules, though it is informally allowed. We can agree to disagree, but Iím still curious if youíre willing to answer.I'm admittedly l...
  • 01:39 PM - Oofta quoted Ilbranteloth in post The economics of Continual flame
    As I clarified in another post, I donít expect folks to play out their economies in that way. Just that the short cut to make it playable doesnít scale out to measure the economy of the world over time. I also donít expect thereís a particularly booming business cutting rubies, since they canít afford the dust anyway. In which case some of the prove might be because the ones controlling the mining and cutting of rubies are keeping the dust for their own use in continual light spells, as wealthy people and governments might do. Price is a result of supply and demand. If there were no demand for ruby dust, the price would be 0, it may even cost money to dispose of it. The default assumption is that supply and demand have settled on a price of 50 GP for the amount required for a PC to cast the spell. It may be a pinch of dust, it may be a bucket of the stuff. As others have pointed out, most skilled workers could afford the 50 GP based on the scale set by the book. It could be a once in ...
  • 12:51 PM - Aldarc quoted Ilbranteloth in post Everybody Cheats?
    If the rules (even a house rule) states the GM, at their discretion, can alter a roll, then it is just as defined as fate points or the GM Intrusion mechanic. It is very broad, but it defines who (the GM), when (at their discretion), and what (can alter or overrule the dice). These criteria are even in the AD&D DMG.No, it's not. In the cases of Fate and Cypher, the GM engages particular mechanics. You are not breaking a rule, any more than the concept that specific rules overrule general rules. You are engaging a rule that overrides another rule. It is an exception.But this is not engaging a delineated mechanic, which is my point. It is about the GM's ability to ignore delineated mechanics in a way that is detached from the mechanics. These are not equivalent scenarios. Take baseball. When you break down the structure of the rules it works like this: The structure of the rule is the same. This is the result unless one of these other circumstances apply. One of the circumstances happens...


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Ilbranteloth's 5th Ed DM Screen (incorporating house rules)
OK, V3 and I think I'm pretty satisfied with it. If there's anything missing that you'd like to see added, let me know.

The portrait and landscape versions are slightly different in order to fit them on their respective pages. All of the info is the...
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