View Profile: Ilbranteloth - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Today, 02:11 AM
    Goalposts and Strawmen: A Play in Three Acts Caliburn: It is a fact that a game without dice is a game where you only get to choose 100% success or 100% failure. Me: I just played in a game with no dice where you get to choose something between success and a little bit of failure, all the way to failure, but with a little bit of success. Caliburn: Yeah, but you can't possibly have found...
    161 replies | 5108 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Today, 01:36 AM
    Thanks for your consideration and no worries. I'm familiar with all of those systems. Most that have detailed combat get bastardized by the table due to the default results not being the exact level of detail that satisfies those who aren't happy with D&D abstraction level. For me, I've always seen fighting as the constant balance between fatigue, position and actual physical injury. The...
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:30 PM
    I fall into a few categories that are semi-relevant. - Former SCA Heavy List (Go Weresheep!) - Martial artist - Tech guy that's good with numbers So I can tell you with some experience that games that heavily model combat to take into account such events tend to cater to a certain demograph who love that kind of stuff or take longer to run or at the least take a lot interest in accounting...
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:25 PM
    That's a fair but illogical assessment on your part considering my head is in the sand on a completely different topic than the one I asked you to elaborate on. Therefore I will assess that you have nothing of worth to contribute other than a poor attitude on the subject at hand and are simply venting. Be well, KB
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:07 PM
    What would you suggest in replacement that would be?
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:57 PM
    Abstraction = not metagaming Your opinion = your opinion My opinion = my opinion, so as far as I'm concerned = I'm right. With Love KB
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:48 PM
    Metagame = making decisions that affect gameplay with knowledge that would not be gleaned from gameplay. Not Metagame = making decisions that affect gameplay with knowledge that a character could glean from gameplay. Fun = the whole point of playing the game in the first place. So fun itself is outside the scope of the metagame discussion but enables the game such that the discussion could...
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:33 AM
    You said that a game with no dice rolls would be a game in which, and I quote: I explained that not only could I imagine such a game, but that I frequently play them. I also explained that such a game would not be limited to results that were "always a success or always a failure" because they don't. Why is the goalpost now being moved to whether or not it's as popular as D&D? And...
    161 replies | 5108 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 02:43 PM
    Thank you for the replies folks. Much appreciated. Follow up questions since it looks like R20 and FG are the two that have brand awareness. 1. How easy is it to incorporate house rules once you have purchased the rules set you're going to use? 2. Does either allow for player upload of their character? For context, I tend to kitbash combat quite a bit to both expand spell lists and...
    28 replies | 596 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 06:37 PM
    1. I hear you regarding HERO System. 2. Since my profession pretty much makes anything you learned three years ago almost obsolete or irrelevant, the need to pick up new things in order to be relevant and marketable helped me avoid group thinking that the switch from 3e to 4e was anything less than completely normative. Granted, that's a really foreign line of thinking to most folks. KB
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 06:10 PM
    Kobold Boots replied to 6e? Why?
    You know what.. your idea with a different starter module based on setting is a better idea. The difference is, I'd put out four starter sets at the same time with the different modules and let people collect. Year or two later, put out new sets with errata and maybe different modules. Depends on sales though. KB
    144 replies | 7295 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 06:06 PM
    The difference: When the publisher puts out a game that is perceived to be hard to skin - people get bent. When the publisher puts out a game that is perceived to be easy to skin - people skin. My opinion is that folks got so hung up on losing system mastery gained over the years when playing 4e that it colored everything that 4e had to offer. My experience from being someone that's...
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:45 PM
    Hi Shasarak - Dropping in due to the mention. I think that there's a different definition of metagaming that I subscribe to which is ever so slightly different than the definition of the OP. Additionally, I've not read the first 28 pages aside from the OP, so there's a good chance this is going to go tangentially to the original reason for your post. Definition of metagaming for me is:...
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 04:17 PM
    Kobold Boots replied to 6e? Why?
    The point of the starter set from a marketing perspective is to have a version of the game that can sit in non-book store focused retail and capture the market that would normally never be exposed to the brand. While it's definitely aimed at new players, its value is advertising before conversion (assuming that the units sit on a shelf and some don't actually get sold). So creating new art...
    144 replies | 7295 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 08:57 PM
    Certainly possible, but he wasn't a bad DM in the opinions of the people at the table at the time and regardless of how many times we lost characters; we enjoyed the game.
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 06:01 PM
    I still play and like first edition :) Granted with the advent of 5e, there's more and more 1e love coming out; but I think it was pretty bleak in terms of real support for a while there. :) Agreed otherwise.
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 03:37 PM
    Hello All - Writing to get a sanity check regarding available VTT. I'm looking to include a virtual table top for use with my next campaign; as I've got the need to run some folks via standard table, and some remotely. Use Cases/Criteria 1. Session with all players using VTT 2. Session with all players at table. (VTT unnecessary but may use with a projector or LCD table to keep...
    28 replies | 596 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 02:43 PM
    Like I said before, they wouldn't have used the term at the time, but their complaint would have most certainly been that it was metagaming. What stuck in their craw was that it didn't emulate "real life" and a person didn't decide, after they were born, what their charisma or intelligence was. This was a choice that the player was making outside of the world that they thought the rules were...
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 12:29 PM
    Sure. That's usually what I append to my "DM can't cheat" argument. The players have a choice as to where they spend their time. Thank you for the well wishes. I think it's important to let you know though that at the time I didn't see it as a bad experience. I still don't. Guy was a better friend to me than I was to him and now that I'm the guy that has all of his campaign notes...
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 04:14 PM
    This thread has also reminded me a lot about the heated arguments my college gaming club used to get into when 3rd Ed came out about how everyone was cheating (I think I only started hearing the term metagaming two or three years later) if they didn't roll up their stats 3D6 straight down the attribute list. We had a pretty strong contingent of people who felt that the only way to make a...
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 04:07 PM
    I like that a lot, and it brought to mind the old Everway attributes of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. If I remember correctly earth was basically constitution, air was intelligence, fire was strength, and water was perception, but then you'd combine them. So if you were arguing angrily, you'd use a combination of fire and air, but if you were trying to calmly persuade someone to see your point,...
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 03:49 PM
    I play in games like this quite frequently nowadays and they're incredibly satisfying. Check out The Quiet Year (https://buriedwithoutceremony.com/the-quiet-year) if you're interested in one of them. Primarily I'd point out that they very rarely work along binary choices of success or failure, they usually push you to choose something along the spectrum of fail but learn something to...
    161 replies | 5108 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 03:11 PM
    Thanks for the consideration. I don't see this as being something that necessarily requires an excuse. I'm also not trying to defend anyone who acts this way. I simply see it as a matter of courtesy and a learning methodology. As I've said before in other places; it's impossible for the DM to "cheat" due to Rule 0 so I'm removing that as a condition to this answer completely. When it...
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 02:19 AM
    Kobold Boots replied to 6e? Why?
    Agreed that itís a good sign. Looking back at history, I bought my first red box set from the freezer section of a Foodmaster in Charlestown MA. When the product gets in front of a general audience, the hobby wins
    144 replies | 7295 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 11:56 PM
    Lets' not get into "what happens in reality" unless it happens at the table during a game. It's a classic crutch used by folks all the time and it doesn't ever end well. I think the term "smart" is relative so I'm sorry I introduced it. Opened up the floor to the "reality" comment. Simply put. If you know your DM prefers players to organically grow their character based on what happens...
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 11:21 PM
    This thought process has a significant declining return. 1. You'll get killed again and again if irrational thought prevails. 2. Smart DM will ask you to leave if it really bothers him. So you're only messing with yourself. Signing off KB
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 05:49 PM
    Kobold Boots replied to 6e? Why?
    The time to do that is when a new edition comes out, not when sales lag. When a new edition comes out it's all ponies and rainbows and folks will happily pick up extra covers and art because they're collectors. When sales drop it's all torches and pitchforks because it's suddenly a cash grab. People are strange. KB
    144 replies | 7295 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 02:26 PM
    .. and there were DM's that specifically found ways to kill the characters of the players who did this, and told them about it .. Nothing says "kill me" like telling a DM that you're going to be something before you earn it.
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 08:05 PM
    Very cool. On my end I recently realized that the reason why 1e was so deadly was because it was intended to be played by players running more than one character and in most cases multiple - through the retainer rules. We never played it that way the first time around and tbh it's given me the perspective necessary to play that game with the balance intended. I'd never had a problem killing...
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 07:26 PM
    Kindred spirit on this Celebrim as I've actually written/edited table drafts of the three main 1e rulebooks that had our campaign specific errata and Gary-isms removed or cleaned up. Granted that was a long time ago, and my English grades improved dramatically due to doing it. When I jumped into 4e, experience told me it was not to be touched or modified casually so I didn't do it and didn't...
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 06:39 PM
    I think it's important to note that there's a big difference between a game not supporting options and a game simply not having them. While 3e and others have a metric ton of supported class options and classes, that's not to say that a DM can't do the same for his or her own world under 5e. All it does mean is that the people who complain about options need to create more and bitch less. To...
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 05:13 PM
    Kobold Boots replied to 6e? Why?
    They already did. :)
    144 replies | 7295 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 07:09 PM
    We haven't. I'm not fond of hiding behind a nom de guerre online; but I opted to do it at the time because I was going through quite a bit health wise and had a short fuse. While I'm much better now than I was then, I can still be prickly on occasion (as my infraction for calling someone a jerk will attest to in my profile). Regardless, while I'd like to say I was protecting my professional...
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 06:35 PM
    The more I read Tony's stuff the more I wonder if we've ever been in the same group. (I know we havent, it's just fun to see similar experiences.) I think one of the major drawbacks of the game is that often, content in published material doesn't pace well against how the game actually plays for the majority of groups. During 4e, I went out of my way to use the published modules. More...
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 06:20 PM
    I think I'd put it like this while trying to keep the opinion neutral on any particular thing. 1e was the standard that everyone was playing. Love it or not, it was what was. 2e polished it up but introduced the world to the concept of "a lot of content, isn't always a good thing." 3e introduced the world to "why does this run so slow?" and the concept of "a lot of options, isn't always a...
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 05:55 PM
    No need to worry about disagreeing if you're being civil. That's the best kind of disagreement :) On my end, I was one of the folks that happily embraced 3x because I was happier with 1e than 2e. By the time 4e was on the horizon I was saturated with 3x and wanted it to be over, then played the ever living heck out of 4e. I was pretty sad when I saw what 5e became, simply because I'd still...
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 05:22 PM
    Well said, but I think I remember it a bit differently. 1. The VTT was intended to enable and expand play not replace pure tabletop. 2. WoTC never said that it was going to replace the pure in person tabletop experience or replace the dead tree book line. 3. They did get really hosed by their lead designer of VTT going postal. Honestly, if I had that rolling over my brand's PR, I'd cancel...
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 03:44 PM
    Being "ahead of the curve" is one thing. Being "too far ahead of the curve" is another. The major issue in my opinion with the 4e game and release was that it was too much change across too many lines, too fast. New game mechanics.. ok. Kick Paizo in the teeth.. ok. Go VTT.. ok.. doing everything all at once.. bad idea. I give WoTC all the credit in the world for having the will to do...
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Sunday, 8th July, 2018, 03:01 AM
    Yay! Necro'd! Olgar have you had a swing at Azul or Sagrada yet? They're beautiful puzzley games that work well as an introductory game for non gamers. Both of them have alright solo play and can be easily tweaked into co-op. Did Splendor ever make the suggestion list on the previous couple of pages? I don't think it has an established solo setting, but it would be easy enough to just...
    36 replies | 4976 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th July, 2018, 06:43 PM
    It's probably glass half full vs. glass half empty thing. If you're neutral about both game systems and think it's a good thing that Paizo doesn't go out of business, then you're probably happy that a business did you a huge solid by giving you a year to plan how to avoid being dead..when their contract with you gave them the very real ability of putting you down permanently. Bottom line: No...
    334 replies | 10427 view(s)
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  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th July, 2018, 03:14 PM
    Flour. I think I might go for a little early lunch. :7 Report to follow.
    125 replies | 13549 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 11:42 PM
    I just wanted to confess to having almost made PB&J quesadillas at least three times in the last two weeks. I've been working hellish hours on the new job and not wanting to put too much effort into making a food when I get home, and although there's no bread there's a pack of tortillas that's just been sitting there mocking me for almost the last month. I'll let you know if I eventually cave.
    125 replies | 13549 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 11:49 PM
    Personally, I'm drawn to things where it's obvious that there's a combination of personal touch and talent. I used to spend hours at deviantart in the CG area because I found the smooth and refined use of an artist's hand when combined with the tools of the trade to be fascinating. As I got more familiar with the tools such that I knew how much of it could be templating or pre-existing...
    13 replies | 639 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st July, 2018, 11:20 PM
    I'd point out however that there are a lot (a LOT) of systems out there now where the chance of character death is entirely in the hands of the players. Historically it might be a relatively newish exercise, and might be relegated to the realm of corner cases, but I'd say that overall, the number of combatey RPGs with a death flag mechanic, or RPGs where combat isn't the main source of conflict...
    161 replies | 5108 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Saturday, 30th June, 2018, 03:02 AM
    Are you at all able to divorce the idea of it being the character somehow making the decision instead of it just being fate, chance, or coincidence? In your experience, what's the best system with the least metagaming you've played with?
    471 replies | 10149 view(s)
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th June, 2018, 06:01 PM
    Hi All - I'm late to the party on this thread so I'm going to focus my reply on the OP. On PC Death: When my campaigns are set up I either advise or suggest the lethality level of the game. Players who can commit to the game provide feedback and we come up with the final expected level of lethality. It ranges from "random final death allowed and planned for" to "only scripted death with...
    79 replies | 1967 view(s)
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  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st June, 2018, 12:26 AM
    Must have been a pain in the ass to shuffle the tiles for the next game.
    3 replies | 614 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 03:57 PM
    Sorry for disappearing. Been in the middle of a career transition while ramping up my training regimen. Here is my basic contention: The different expectations, culture of play, and specific play techniques in utilized in game like Sorcerer provides an experience that does not easily arise when playing modern Dungeons and Dragons. The same is true for Moldvay B/X. although modern D&D can...
    2862 replies | 83319 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 07:14 PM
    That's cool. Sorry for being a pain in the rear. Somewhere between A and B I forgot about gestalt. If it's me in that scenario though I see if the +19 is valid given his house ruling and see if I can get the extra +1.
    10 replies | 288 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 07:08 PM
    Ok, so merge the two posts. 1. Map out the progression of the classes. You're taking two classes at every level instead of one. 2. Take the best progression from the two classes at the time you level. 3. Two prestige classes can never be leveled at the same time. (two base classes or a base and a prestige only) Based on how I'm reading your explanation above, you don't advance in BAB...
    10 replies | 288 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 06:44 PM
    After 20 total levels you stop calculating BAB normally. So here's an example. A 15th level fighter (BAB +15/+10/+5) A 15th level wizard (BAB +7/+2) A 10th level cleric (BAB +7/+2) Would be calculated as:
    10 replies | 288 view(s)
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 06:13 PM
    How many total levels do you have between all classes?
    10 replies | 288 view(s)
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 05:13 PM
    Take the better progression from the two classes (current and new class) as you level. So the BAB is going to be entirely dependent on what classes you took and when you took them in order. I've never tried figuring it out without knowing that first. Thanks, KB
    10 replies | 288 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 02:45 PM
    Yes, but heís still modifying the results. But Iím not debating exactly what the DM or players are allowed to do. The specifics are only relevant in relation to what the table agrees to. The point is simply that if the rules (published, house, table) allow something, such as fudging dice, then by definition it cannot be cheating because itís playing within the rules.
    368 replies | 8278 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 12:13 PM
    I agree wholeheartedly with this. I've been playing a bunch of one shot indy games since a full weekly campaign got to be too much for my group to juggle with full on adultood, but Blades has been a shining pillar of excellence. If you're looking to try out some other, more different(er) things you could try: Dogs in the Vineyard - Gunslinger paladins in the demon haunted Old West The...
    4 replies | 220 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 05:05 AM
    I disagree. I think it depends on the rules that are in play. The 1e DMG explicitly instructs the DM to not be bound by the dice. Yes, you should generally follow up them, but if they didnít make sense, then ignore them or use them as a guideline. If the rules explicitly allow something, then itís not cheating.
    368 replies | 8278 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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Started playing in 1978ish, and have been DMing ever since. Been running in the Forgotten Realms since it was released.
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Wednesday, 18th July, 2018


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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...

Monday, 28th August, 2017

  • 07:53 AM - Hussar mentioned Ilbranteloth in post Point Buy vs Rolling for Stats
    At that point, I'm honestly wondering why you'd bother rolling Ilbranteloth. Those arrays you listed are pretty much standard arrays. Certainly within a couple of points anyway. Besides that guy with the 17 Dex and 15 con who's pretty much just begging to be a fighter or rogue. So, he's going to start with an 18 or 19 Dex. Effectively a bonus feat at first level. Sweet. He's actually better than EVERY rogue will ever be who starts with a point buy. Nice. As a fighter, he attacks several levels higher and has a better AC than the heavy armor characters for a fraction of the cost. Again, sweet. Never minding that poor schmuck you force to play the 12, 10, 10, 11, 14, 10 array. Whoohoo. I have to be a fighter or rogue who will never, ever be equal to Bob sitting beside me. Fantastic. Gimme more of that please. Yeah, no thanks. It's funny. We play with array or point buy (player choice) and yet, despite my current campaign of no casters (two rangers, a paladin, two fighters and a monk) none of the characters have even remotely similar s...

Sunday, 27th August, 2017



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Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

  • 03:37 PM - kenmarable quoted Ilbranteloth in post Everybody Cheats?
    How can following the rules for their game be cheating? Exactly!! If everybody at the table agrees to it - it's not cheating. That's been my definition all along. It seems the simplest and most intuitive.

Tuesday, 19th June, 2018

  • 10:52 AM - pemerton quoted Ilbranteloth in post Everybody Cheats?
    The 1e DMG explicitly instructs the DM to not be bound by the dice. Yes, you should generally follow up them, but if they didnít make sense, then ignore them or use them as a guideline.Those same sections also indicate that the GM should not violate the major precepts of the game by allowing unearned victories. In effect, Gygax is fairly relaxed about ignoring dice rolls for introducing new content (wandering monsters, discovering a new part of the dungeon behind a secret door) and is prepared to allow alternatives to death if a skilled player's PC nevertheless gets unlucky in combat (although he stresses that the alternative to death should still respect the monster's victory, so it has to be some sort of disabling condition that puts the PC out of the combat); but he is opposed to fudging to hit and damage rolls so as to allow monsters to be "defeated" without really being defeated.

Thursday, 24th May, 2018

  • 04:52 AM - Lanefan quoted Ilbranteloth in post How different PC motivations support sandbox and campaign play
    I think part of what needs to be defined is what's a campaign? Wikipedia states that for an RPG campaign, it's a connected series of battles, adventures, or scenarios played by the same character. In the body it states "usually played by the same set of characters." By this definition, in order for the campaign to continue, the characters need to remain involved. So yes, their motivations matter in that regard. Partly. See below. However, I think the term "campaign" came from the wargaming hobby that preceded D&D. And a military campaign is a large scale, long term series of interrelated conflicts that involve many squads and platoons. Regardless of it's origination, I've always approached the term "campaign" with the idea that it incorporates the adventures of many different characters and parties over a period of time in the same setting. Hence the term, campaign setting. That is, a campaign is much more than a single character or group of characters, it encompasses whatever happens wi...

Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018

  • 09:12 PM - KenNYC quoted Ilbranteloth in post Game Theory. CR and 5E Encounter System.
    Itís important to understand that the 5e design differentiates between a 24 hour day and an ďadventuring day.Ē While the default testing rules encourage them to align fairly closely, I think one of the reasons the PHB didnít tie a long rest to sleep was because of this separation between the two. The game is designed around the idea that failure is not fun. Thus, you should succeed more often than fail. This makes it feel considerably easier than, say, AD&D. Iím not sure itís really all that much easier that 3e or 4e, but it is much less complicated and I think that contributes to that feel. But itís also relatively easy to find a balance that works for your table. And itís very easy to tweak to make it play similar to AD&D with streamlined rules. Our game has a very AD&D feel because thatís basically what I like running. But I also like the simpler rule structure, and weíve tweaked it further to better fit our style. I highly recommend the approach - make the game work for you and your s...
  • 05:10 PM - CapnZapp quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    snip Okay, so now that all your efforts to discredit, question and invalidate my suggestion have boiled down to "don't like it; rather use other houserules", maybe if there is nothing further, you can let me present my contribution without further interference. Thank you.

Monday, 21st May, 2018

  • 12:59 PM - 5ekyu quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    Yeah, I wouldn't call recognizing that the impediment to your vision is different for fog, foliage, and dim light a house rule, ad hoc or otherwise. Those are simply examples of circumstances where your vision is impacted enough that you have disadvantage on Perception checks. That the rules use the same penalty for all three circumstances doesn't preclude you from recognizing that fact that the causes and their impact are different and adjudicating accordingly. I don't consider traveling outside at night suicidal, but there's a reason why people, even today, don't travel through the wilderness at night, preferring to set up camp and rest. I think that's well reflected in the 5e rules as is. People without darkvision have disadvantage in dim light, and it's worse in total darkness. So they use light, but since most portable light sources have a relatively small radius (too small to be safe outdoors), they will tend to set up camp for the night. I use the 5e vision rules just as they are. As I st...
  • 11:53 AM - Doc_Klueless quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    I don't recall any request of such by the OP. Just an observation by them that some people forget that a creature with darkvision has disadvantage on Perception checks in darkness. ... Simply an observation and a reminder that dungeons are more dangerous when you remember that a creature with darkvision has disadvantage on their Perception checks when in darkness. I don't think the OP is asking for a houserule. He appears to be encouraging people to remember the rule about disadvantage. While both of these are true about my OP, posts are like children. You raise them as best as you can. But once they leave the house they're on their own! I've found the topic interesting, for the most part.
  • 10:15 AM - CapnZapp quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    As for the intermediate step I mention, it's really just the possibility that no matter what type of vision a creature has, there is some level of brightness that means they have disadvantage on Perception checks. The rules don't say a human gets a penalty to (or even Disadvantage) to a perception check made at a distance. Yet I submit nobody has any issues adjucating such a situation, except possibly you, and even then probably to create a problem with my suggestion that really isn't there. Just like a human can get penalties even in broad daylight, obviously an elf can get them under a full moon. Otherwise abilities such as Barbarian Eagle Totem means nothing. Your claim that you are prevented by the rules from applying disadvantage to low-light vision at night outdoors is just as feeble as it sounds like. Sure, you've made up your mind not to use my suggestion (and what your business in this thread even is, well probably never know!) But don't make my suggestion out to be problematic whe...
  • 08:19 AM - 5ekyu quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    ďDim lightĒ due to patchy fog is different than the dim light of dawn and the dim light of a moonless night, etc., and not everything needs a rule. To me ďcommon senseĒ which could also be described as ďtable consensusĒ is what the table agrees to in terms of things that arenít covered in the rules. So your table might differ than ours, but itís consistency at your table that matters. At ours, darkvision isnít sufficient to read by, nor is a starry night. In fog, itís not a hindrance. Mostly because fog isnít a hindrance due to it being dim light, it just has similar effects with regards to being able to clearly see beyond a certain distance. I adjudicate such things on the fly based on what makes sense to me, based on research and experience, including experience as a DM and running many editions and RPGs. But if somebody at the table questions it, Iím happy to explain my reasoning, and the table can decide if that will be the ruling going forward or not. The entire purpose for the rules to us i...
  • 03:24 AM - 5ekyu quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    This is all within the DMs (and the players') interpretations of the rules. For me it also goes back to 1e combined with "common sense." In 1e, you couldn't read with infravision. Furthermore, dim light in 5e is sufficient enough to give you disadvantage on Perception checks (passive or active). So, consider the real world - how dim would the light have to be for you to have "disadvantage" on perception checks? Pretty dim. You'll also notice that things naturally become black and white (grayscale) under those conditions, and that you can't read either. So when you're trying to be stealthy and sneak around, but then want to read that scroll? That's an interesting situation. If nobody in the underdark uses light because they all have darkvision that allows them to see without light with no problem, why did drow evolve the ability to cast darkness? Most are probably never exposed to light at all. Ever. The rules cover specific circumstances where die rolls that come up fairly frequently. In addition...
  • 02:56 AM - Enevhar Aldarion quoted Ilbranteloth in post As a player: prefer Homebrew or Published settings?
    And I get what you're saying. With something published by WotC you're getting a minimum level of quality that you don't with 3rd party or homebrew material. And with the limited amount of time most of us seem to have to dedicate to gaming, that's a good way to ensure that at least the material is decent quality. It is not just that. Look at the range in quality in WotC's own 5E adventures. The first few were farmed out to other companies to produce, so they are second party products, and their overall quality was not as good as the subsequent ones produced in-house by WotC. But those early adventures are still better in quality than probably 80% of third party adventures.
  • 02:16 AM - ad_hoc quoted Ilbranteloth in post As a player: prefer Homebrew or Published settings?
    Can I call that out as an ironic answer for somebody with a handle of ad_hoc? Unless we're talking about making everything up at the game table, homebrew isn't ad hoc. :p
  • 01:16 AM - FrogReaver quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    Umm, a constructive houserule? I don't recall any request of such by the OP. Just an observation by them that some people forget that a creature with darkvision has disadvantage on Perception checks in darkness, and that they didn't like the idea of them not having such a disadvantage because it seems too powerful. It really doesn't seem to be a request for any sort of rules change at all, actually. Simply an observation and a reminder that dungeons are more dangerous when you remember that a creature with darkvision has disadvantage on their Perception checks when in darkness. Another signed and framed example of Enworld being Enworld... I mean since when did it become deviant to post about house rules we use and found useful in place of a certain rule?
  • 12:59 AM - CapnZapp quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    I totally agree with you, if a creature can see without hindrance in total darkness, they'd never use light. Although that's not the description of drowish cities going back to at least Menzoberranzan where things are lit with phosphorescent mosses and fungi, faerie fire, and such. But if darkness provides a significant disadvantage to your vision, then I still maintain that intelligent such creatures would use it. I never question using light in well-defended outposts (let alone major cities). Again this is about player characters, or any small group of vulnerable numbers. The same drow that loves to light up their city would be foolish indeed if they used light when travelling on patrol. That would immediately squander their greatest asset: moving about in total darkness, and even spotting other darkvision-enabled races before they're seen themselves (since 120 ft Darkvision is twice the normal range). Suggesting that creatures with Darkvision still travel with torches is not a solu...
  • 12:49 AM - CapnZapp quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    Or remind them of the rule? That works too! If that's your idea of a constructive houserule, sure. In regards to a dim step - with low light vision you can either see perfectly, or not at all. There's no intermediate step where you can see, but not as well (that is, you have disadvantage). For a creature with low-light vision there is no such thing as dim light with the 3e rules. That doesn't make sense to me. I don't follow. By the rules you (I'm assuming you're a human with no special vision) can either see perfectly, or not at all. It's called "day" and "night". I would have thought you have no problems adjucating the game when a human PC is out adventuring in the day - in towns, forests and hills. There aren't any intermediate steps in human day vision. Assuming you don't either - then that is exactly how it works for an Elf with low-light vision during the night. No changes. I don't see why anyone would need intermediate steps. (If you really need them 3E offered distance p...

Sunday, 20th May, 2018

  • 06:23 PM - CapnZapp quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    So, for folks that, like you, don't like the way the 5e rules work More like don't remember the way the 5e rules work... Remember: the OP of this thread said: "Too many people [] tend to forget the drawbacks of darkvision." I'm assuming we're discussing ways to ameliorate this issue. My approach is very direct: remove the things you tend to forget - since that's a proven way to handle it :) , the 3e rules are as good as any to go with Thank you. Personally, I think the 3E darkvision rules are even better than "as good as any", since they're exactly the same as 5E Darkvision except that specific part people tend to forget! :) Anyway. All that remains is to ask... To me, having low-light vision that doesn't have an intermediate (dim) step is a problem. What do you mean? Wherever you have bright-dim-dark, you have it with low-light vision too? (A torch just provides 40 ft bright light followed by 40 ft dim light, instead of the usual 20/20 ft.) And above ground, you...
  • 04:37 PM - CapnZapp quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    From what I see, you have two issues with the current system: 1. Too many creatures have the ability to see in total darkness, to whatever degree. Although most of the creatures you're complaining about historically have had that abilit. Elves, for example, have always had the ability in D&D, it was nerfed when 3e came around with more granularity. 2. You want creatures with darkvision to have the same advantage against creatures without darkvision (including those with low-light vision, should it exist) that nocturnal creatures have against non-nocturnal creatures. Or to put it a different way, you want creatures with darkvision to not have any disadvantage in darkness. First off, I'm not the one with the problems. I've already solved my game. This is about this thread, where people are having difficulty remembering specifics about 5th edition darkvision. I am providing a suggestion on how to solve that. Perhaps surprisingly, this wasn't a issue before, so if you revert the changes fro...
  • 04:29 PM - CapnZapp quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    OK, so you want to revert it back the rules for an earlier edition? Fair enough. My vote is, well D&D the entire time it was produced by TSR, and they should all have infravision. No, I want to suggest the perfectly serviceable rules of 3rd edition. I want to flag the idea that maybe 5th edition made changes that are the root of the issue; and by reverting these changes, the problem also goes away :) I also took the opportunity to set you straight, thinking that perhaps you base your opinion on a misassumption.

Saturday, 19th May, 2018

  • 08:28 AM - CapnZapp quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    Iíve noted in multiple threads that unless an intelligent underdark creature is intending to be stealthy, they would be using magical or mundane dim lights. While you have an advantage in being stealthy in darkness with darkvision, so does your enemy. But if you light an area larger than long range of missile weapons or spells, you take that advantage away. The other way to think about it is that we donít wait until itís dark to use a light. We wait until itís dark enough to impair our vision. Underdark creatures are likely to do the same. Because they arenít worried about the odd human that wanders down, theyíre worried about the other underdark monsters.This argument boils down to "I want creatures to use light in the underdark" In reality, what you would go for in utter darkness, is not being detected. Since light spreads fantastically far (even around corners) when it is pitch black, what you do not do, if you want to stay undetected, is light even the smallest light source. Darkness is yo...
  • 05:59 AM - jmucchiello quoted Ilbranteloth in post Thoughts on Proficiency and AC
    Thatís essentially what we use. If itís a d20 roll then you either have proficiency or not, and they all use the same formula (although we start at 10 + ability + proficiency). Expertise gives you advantage instead of double your proficiency bonus. Armor doesnít provide AC anymore. Itís damage reduction now. Critical hits ignore DR. That's an interesting take. Thanks for contributing. What DR values do you use for each armor type?


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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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