View Profile: aramis erak - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • aramis erak's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 03:23 AM
    My recommends are based upon getting away from the D&D style of play... 1) FFG Star Wars - the game is much more narrative at its core, while still being largely traditional in overall feel. Drawbacks: Custom dice, expensive corebooks. 2) BRP or a close derivative (which includes CoC). The abject lethality presented by the combat system discourages a fight-first attitude. 3) Pendragon....
    4 replies | 156 view(s)
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  • aramis erak's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th June, 2018, 04:35 AM
    Exactly the hassle I don't want at my table. I have enough trouble remembering who has chosen what gender already, let alone with it changing. I see no fun in it as a GM, and the people I know who would be likely to use of it are NOT open minded, but simply into doing whatever pisses off the GM fastest without getting ejected from the game. Want to play a physiologically-fluid character? Go...
    566 replies | 17394 view(s)
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  • aramis erak's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th June, 2018, 03:36 AM
    All of which is a hassle I really don't care for. If someone wants to be other-gendered (Functional Hermaphrodite, Non-functional hermaphrodite, Functional Female with non-reproductive male parts, functional male with non-reproductive female parts, no parts besides the ureter, etc.), fine, but stick with it. Any disadvantage or advantage these have balances out over time... the more unusual...
    566 replies | 17394 view(s)
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  • aramis erak's Avatar
    Monday, 11th June, 2018, 11:25 PM
    The ability to be transgendered has existed since the beginning - polymorph can make one transgendered much more efficiently than modern medicine. I won't allow the "easy shifting" implied by the OP... not because its offensive (tho' it does offend my religious sensitivities) but because it's effectively a free polymorph daily, and that's more power than I think a race should carry without an...
    566 replies | 17394 view(s)
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  • aramis erak's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th June, 2018, 01:59 AM
    That really sounds like the GM didn't let the PC's be "awesome" like he's supposed to do. Also, Double 6's are "Reroll and then awesome up the resulting success or failure bigtime"... So that double-6 being a simply weird result (neither success nor failure) is clearly not RAW, and I doubt it's RAI, if it's described accurately. In other words, the GM is to blame if the description is...
    24 replies | 971 view(s)
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  • aramis erak's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 08:58 PM
    A significant number of Americans love to lampoon the Nazis, to turn them into tragic comedy figures, or to use them as safe villains. A very small proportion idealize them — about the same proportions as in Germany, so I have read — but here, they make the news. Regularly. And are very vocal in their political movements. Reich Star, for example, is a decent game, and a "What if the Nazis...
    334 replies | 11896 view(s)
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  • aramis erak's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 12:06 AM
    Depending upon the ruleset, those hobgoblins may, as physiology, be statistically significantly less intelligent than the minotaurs and/or humans. After all, some game worlds do assign penalties to Goblinoid intellect... and bonuses to minotaurs. All the justifications used erroneously (due to conflation of education with intelligence in the 16th to 20th centuries) for colonization and/or...
    334 replies | 11896 view(s)
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  • aramis erak's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 12:00 AM
    Gender/SI? ABSOLUTELY DOES. getting it "wrong" often results in accusations of parody or even hate. Far far more often than mild ethnic does. And at least as often as not, by persons not of that identity. People see and understand ethnic stereotypes of the milder versions as simplifications of truths, rather than parodies. And, let's be honest, pretty much ANY ethnic identity is...
    334 replies | 11896 view(s)
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  • aramis erak's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, 07:17 AM
    The illustrations almost never match the text. Conan wasn't shirtless much under Howard's writing. I've not read the later works by others.
    334 replies | 11896 view(s)
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  • aramis erak's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, 07:16 AM
    I'm uncomfortable doing it as a GM, even. I do it because it's required for verisimilitude, not because I enjoy it. Since I don't enjoy cross-gender and/or homosexual characters, I much prefer to play straight male PC's. I play elves because I can empathize with the eco-guerrilla and socialist attitudes typically attributed to them, and for the weapon proficiencies. I'm uncomfortable...
    334 replies | 11896 view(s)
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  • aramis erak's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th June, 2018, 10:07 AM
    Not everyone gets to game with friends. Organized play often has players who unwittingly and cluelessly ruin the fun for others.
    56 replies | 2261 view(s)
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  • aramis erak's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th June, 2018, 09:52 AM
    Gender roles are not nearly as well defined any more. Which also makes it easier to cross over.
    334 replies | 11896 view(s)
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  • aramis erak's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th June, 2018, 12:59 AM
    I've seen rumours of Nintendo buying Platinum Games, not Palladium Games. For example: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.826857-Platinum-Wants-to-be-Dependant-on-Nintendo
    10 replies | 635 view(s)
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  • aramis erak's Avatar
    Sunday, 3rd June, 2018, 07:47 PM
    Medieval demographics are of limited use, due to effective healing magic. and no edition of D&D has good data. 2E has the best, but it doesn't match 5E We do know that elves suffer very low infant mortality (2E Complete Elves) , and low birth rates. (2 year pregnancy, as well, ibid.), for probably 3 births between age 110 and 150 (the adult years before middle age), with about 2.9...
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  • aramis erak's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th May, 2018, 08:49 PM
    I am male. I am slightly uncomfortable with cross gender characters played by others. I am more uncomfortable with playing them myself. Neither enough to rule them out. As a GM, i don't limit gender provided (1) when I'm running a game with a setting with gender roles, and social effects of breaking them, players accept and play accordingly. (2) when I say fade to black, it's not...
    334 replies | 11896 view(s)
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  • aramis erak's Avatar
    Tuesday, 29th May, 2018, 08:41 PM
    Under VBuletin, removal of all a user's posts is a trivial task for admins. Removal of the quotes thereof is the non-trivial task. (How do I know this? I run a large vBulletin-powered site: Travellerrpg.com) The issue is damage to the integrity of the conversations.
    38 replies | 1907 view(s)
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  • aramis erak's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 08:35 AM
    Especially UK-based ones. Modiphiüs sent me a 'Do you want to stay subscribed" message with links to new terms.
    38 replies | 1907 view(s)
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About aramis erak

Basic Information

About aramis erak
Introduction:
Alaskan GM
About Me:
RPGer, Boardgamer
Been GMing since 1981.
Lead Administrator of the COTI Traveller Forum (Travellerrpg.com)
Location:
Alaska
Sex:
Male
Age Group:
Over 40
My Game Details

Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

Town:
Eagle River
State:
Alaska
Country:
USA
Game Details:
Currently one of the DMing Team for Bosco's Comics - doing 5E Encounters. Thursdays.
My Character:
I am a GM more than a player.

Statistics


Total Posts
Total Posts
2,711
Posts Per Day
1.94
Last Post
Everybody Cheats? Tuesday, 19th June, 2018 08:35 PM

Currency

Gold Pieces
3
General Information
Last Activity
Tuesday, 19th June, 2018 08:36 PM
Join Date
Wednesday, 27th August, 2014
Product Reviews & Ratings
Reviews Written
5
My Game Details
Town:
Eagle River
State:
Alaska
Country:
USA
Game Details:
Currently one of the DMing Team for Bosco's Comics - doing 5E Encounters. Thursdays.
My Character:
I am a GM more than a player.

Tuesday, 19th June, 2018


Monday, 11th June, 2018


Saturday, 9th June, 2018


Tuesday, 5th June, 2018


Monday, 4th June, 2018


Thursday, 31st May, 2018


Wednesday, 30th May, 2018


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Monday, 4th June, 2018

  • 06:54 PM - Rolenet mentioned aramis erak in post Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Combat Preview
    But what do you mean by simply compare rolls? What alternative is there? You must roll under and then compare the absolute results, as long as both succeed. E.g. I have WS 63% and roll 41, while the foe has WS 51% and rolls 48. The foe wins, because we're comparing the actual number rolled, not the MoS. We're used to using MoS or MoF, but you can often use absolute result as some indication of success. There are some rulesets that do this (as pointed by aramis erak above).

Wednesday, 30th May, 2018

  • 01:29 AM - pemerton mentioned aramis erak in post Cubicle 7 forums to close due to EU data law
    Mistwell, aramis erak The poster was Raven Crowking. He demanded that his posts be removed, but the demand was (sensibly) ignore. He therefore started to do it himself, editing out each post using the "edit" function. The issue was not about the capacity of the forum software.

Wednesday, 28th February, 2018

  • 05:25 PM - innerdude mentioned aramis erak in post So what exactly is the root cause of the D&D rules' staying power?
    @aramis erak --- how often do the rules mandate adding/removing or upgrading/downgrading dice? Is this something commonly done in play? Is it primarily when applying the effect of a talent? This does seem to be a point where gameplay slowdown could happen, if the players and GM aren't "on the spot." As far as cost, I had already assumed that I was going to get at least one set of dice as part of my purchase of the system, and ended up just buying two. That way when I finally start using it, I'll never have to worry about having enough dice to add to the pool. I do sometimes get frustrated with FFG's approach of nickle-and-dime-ing their players on every little thing. And this coming from a guy who's easily invested $500+ on Fantasy Flight's Lord of the Rings co-operative card game. I love that game, but the way FFG set up the initial "base" game set is basically a slap in the face. The core box gives you basically two playable game scenarios (the third one is just too hard without investing anoth...

Tuesday, 14th November, 2017

  • 06:14 PM - redrick mentioned aramis erak in post A Proper Ability Score Generation Preference Poll
    ...I'd always felt this was "the right way to do it", as I'd come up from basic and AD&D doing it that way. The result — one character was STACKED, basically giving him one or two free feats over other characters, plus way more hit points and, as a fighter with extra attacks, he was reliably hitting more and harder than anybody else. It didn't break the game, but it definitely made things harder for me as a DM, because he was so much more resilient than everybody else in the party. And once we got out of fireball range, combat was like a baseball lineup with all pitchers and one power hitter. It was an irritant. And sure, I could have nerfed his character, but that's no fun for anybody. When I started a new group, we just did point buy and standard array and it just worked. And our characters are still creative and inventive. I miss the "what am I going to get" surprise of rolling ability scores, that tends to push me in a direction I wouldn't have picked on my own, but that tool from aramis erak helps to bring some of that back. Also, the same-iness of standard array characters is great when DM'ing with new players at lower levels. I can sit with a group of new players and I can quickly memorize all of their modifiers, because I just need to know the one or two irregularities of their character build, and the corresponding bonuses fall into place. The fact that most first-level characters are +5 to hit with their primary attacks and have a DC 13 spell save makes things super easy.
  • 01:37 AM - redrick mentioned aramis erak in post A Proper Ability Score Generation Preference Poll
    Hey, you've made something awesome and it was good of you to share it! You can take that the mean your ichthyologist halfling or your stat roller as you wish I suppose :lol: Credit entirely due to aramis erak for coding up that tool. He just gave me the nod in the name because it was based on a conversation we had on these forums a little while back.

Sunday, 13th August, 2017

  • 04:17 PM - Sunseeker mentioned aramis erak in post Recontriving The Ring
    ...ous because often "using new terms" is code for "the game not agreeing with my personal sense of morality, history, mythology or other things that only I am privy to." These people further become pretentious because they don't have any handy-dandy lingo guide to get the rest of us pleebs up to speed with them and instead sigh in a frustrated "I'm disappointed in you child." manner when all the folks who don't know their specific lingo revert back to the "common" wordings. These folks often come with at least one friend who always chuckles and chortles that the noobs don't get their inside lingo but of course has no desire to educate either. Frankly, this sort of "changing words for the sake of changing words" rather than educating why we're using the words we're using and explaining and understanding the baggage that comes with them is not limiting to gaming. I've experienced it in schools, in educated circles, in the workplace and really, it's just dumb. I agree completely with aramis erak that changing the words serves no purpose except outside of when those words are actually negative or derogatory.

Tuesday, 18th April, 2017

  • 09:02 AM - Lylandra mentioned aramis erak in post How to keep women in the game?
    I think you have to differentiate two things here: I guess what @aramis erak meant was playing in a quasi-realistic historical setting with a bit of magic. Which is okay, if every player knows in advance and has fun playing it. I understand that playing against such challenges can be fun - I wouldn't mind giving a GoT style game a try. And I don't think that he will incorporate such social structures into *every* medieval-tech level fantasy setting. What I meant is that you should avoid adding "classic sexism" (and only this example) to settings where it doesn't make sense or where there would be no reason to have predominately patriarchal societies all over the globe just "because medieval". Especially if you do not tell your players that you plan on doing so. Settings like FR or Eberron or the generic D&D setting are not medieval. They have baseline medieval technology, but add a lot of magic, and even mage-tech. They don't offer any mechanical or canonical reason to why male and female characters should have different roles, expectations or opportunities at...

Wednesday, 1st March, 2017

  • 09:14 PM - redrick mentioned aramis erak in post Share your session notes?
    aramis erak, out of curiosity, how long does this end up taking you? Do you bang up the whole adventure this way (which then lasts you several sessions of gaming, but possibly becomes moot once your players take things offroad), or do you try to estimate what will be relevant for each session and just try to keep ahead? I've tried "retyping" adventures a few times, but I find it usually takes me longer than I have in between sessions. I guess the advantage is that you can throw the original adventure text away and just run from your own notes at the table, plus having written and laid out in a way that is most helpful for you. For the adventure I'm currently running, a Call of Cthulhu adventure called "Fade to Gray", I read through the adventure and wrote down the name and basic identification of every character, the name and neighborhood of every location, and, wherever possible, a bullet point for every "clue" that characters could find. (That way, I could make sure to reseed essential clues i...

Monday, 20th February, 2017

  • 11:44 PM - Quickleaf mentioned aramis erak in post First time making a "serious" dungeon! How do you do it?
    aramis erak Ah, so by "mission rooms" you mean the rooms that are central to the NPCs occupying the site, not "mission rooms" as in rooms with PC objectives. Gotcha. Imaculata Yeah, that's the next step! I've started with the outside/main entry areas... 0. The Caldera Spanning some 4 miles across, the caldera’s ridge is just barely visible on clear days rising 2,500 feet above the desert’s floor. All that remains of a sunken volcano that ejected its magma core in ancient times, the caldera is as desolate as the surrounding desert. Rough terrain wrought with treacherous fissures, at night remnants of lava light patches of hydrogen sulfide vapors to create the “blue fire” for which Krak al-Mazhar is notorious among the jann. Patrols of 2d6 mamluks of the Imperishable*, with 1d4+1 fire giant lizard (see p. #) or fire giant scorpion (see p. #) mounts, keep an eye out for intruders. The mamluks have two other important tasks. First, they watch over the slaves in the Sulfur Mines (area 24) ...

Sunday, 5th February, 2017

  • 03:59 PM - pemerton mentioned aramis erak in post CONAN Is Finally Here!
    aramis erak, Reef I have the 3.5 version of the Quickstart rules. They say that Momentum is +1 damage, not +1 damage die - so even more important than aramis erak's chart might suggest, if that's still the case. Main weapons in the QS seem to do mostly 4 or 5 dice, so 3-ish damage on average before Momentum. (And somewhere around a 20% chance of doing 5+ with no momentum, based on a very approximate calculation in my head!) Do you spend the Momentum before or after rolling damage dcie? I assume after - which makes me think that 1-point spends are going to be quite common, to turn 4 damage into 5. (That also makes me think that 1 point of armouor is pretty good in this system - it seems to make it quite a bit harder to get 5+ damage with these 4 and 5 dice weapons.)

Monday, 7th November, 2016

  • 05:57 PM - innerdude mentioned aramis erak in post Correlating Player Satisfaction, Combat Speed, and HP / Damage Modeling
    Which, then, of the hypothetical combinations posed by @aramis erak produce the kinds of gameplay a certain group might be looking for? For example, which model(s) would a group looking for ultra-realism choose? Obviously no model will be perfect, considering human physiology is one of the most complex sciences we know of, and would would be dependent on what it was trying to model as well. An RPG trying to model a U.S. football game is going to model damage much differently (bruising, fatigue, and debilitating but non-lethal wounds). Whereas trying to model people fighting with guns will be entirely different. If I were to guess, I think hit points + damage step offers the most potential for realism (please note I'm making no judgments on playability, I'm merely trying to evaluate them categorically), as it seems to be the best way to represent the broadest possible set of in-game fictional states. You can model fatigue, resolve, "mojo," while also having distinct "break points" where actual "hurting" comes into play. This also allows for modeling ...

Sunday, 15th November, 2015

  • 11:44 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned aramis erak in post Escapist article on SCAG is Brutal.
    aramis erak I'm not familiar with the io9 review, other than folks have mentioned it here. But I did say they can make factual claims that are incorrect. Other than that though, we may have to agree to disagree about what constitutes a false statement. Page counts may be similar with other games/prices but one can still believe it is too much.

Friday, 30th October, 2015

  • 09:13 PM - El Mahdi mentioned aramis erak in post Warlord Name Poll
    ...ate, Envoy (too much Diplomat and not enough strategy, tactics, and combat – and too Noble) Master/Maester/Maesteri/Maestro (predominantly craft skill level, craft guild rank, or academic/musical) Headman/Hauptman (root of Captain and too authoritative) Proconsul (the Pro- makes it too authoritative) Shepherd (too religious, too bucolic, too Firefly) Synergist (too boring, and sounds like some kind of psychic) Armiger (exclusively military and noble) Sherriff (too noble, too law enforcement) Impetro/Impetrus (too authoritative – Imperial) Adjunct (too subordinate, too Star Trek Borg - Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One) Prolucutor (the Pro- makes it too authoritative, sounds like the person is a professional talker, and is just too hard to say) Warden (too Ranger) Leader(zzzzzzzzzz…) @3e4ever ; @77IM @Aaron Of Barbaria; @AbdulAlhazred ; @admcewen ; @Aenghus ; @Ahrimon ; @Ainulindalion ; @airwalkrr; @Aldarc ; @akr71 ; @AmerginLiath ; @Andor ; @AntiStateQuixote ; @aramis erak; @Aribar ; @Arnwolf ; @Ashkelon ; @Ashrym ; @Athinar ; @AtomicPope ; @Azurewraith; @Azzy ; @Bawylie ; @bedir than ; @Bedrockgames ; @bert1000 ; @billd91 ; @Blackbrrd; @Blackwarder ; @Blue ; @Bluenose ; @brehobit ; @BryonD ; @Bupp ; @Campbell ; @CapnZapp; @CaptainConundrum ; @CaptainGemini ; @Carlsen Chris ; @casterblaster ; @CasvalRemDeikun; @cbwjm ; @ccooke ; @Celebrim ; @Celondon @ChameleonX ; @Charles Wright ; ChrisCarlson; @CM ; @cmad1977 ; @costermonger ; @Creamsteak ; @Crothian ; @Cybit ; @Dausuul; @Dayte ; @dd.stevenson ; @DEFCON 1 ; @Delazar ; @DersitePhantom ; @Diffan ; @discosoc; @D'karr ; @Doc Klueless ; @doctorbadwolf ; @DonAdam ; @Dragoslav ; @Duganson; @EdL ; @EditorBFG ; @Edwin Suijkerbuijk ; @Eejit ; @ehren37 ; @Elfcrusher ; @El Mahdi ; @epithet; @erf_beto ; @Eric V ; @eryndel ; @Evenglare ; @ExploderWizard ; @EzekielRaiden; @Fedge123 ; @fendak ; @FireLance ; @Fishing_Minigame ; @Flamestrike ; @FLexor the Mighty! ; @Forged Fury ; @Fragsie ; @Fralex ; @FreeTheSlaves ; @...

Saturday, 24th October, 2015

  • 11:15 PM - pukunui mentioned aramis erak in post of elves and dream sequences
    aramis erak: From the description of the dream spell (PHB, pg 236): "Creatures that don't sleep, such as elves, can't be contacted by this spell." Also, dreaming "after a fashion" is not the same thing as dreaming. As the quote says, an elf's "dreams" are really just reflexive exercises. It doesn't really matter, though. The player in question was actually rather pleased with the idea. He said he'd never gotten to have a "vision quest" before so was quite keen to play it out. The others seemed to enjoy playing their characters as though they were merely aspects of the one PC's psyche, as well.

Monday, 14th September, 2015

  • 08:34 PM - steeldragons mentioned aramis erak in post Unearthed Arcana: Another New Ranger Variant
    Thanks aramis erak What i meant was, every feature description speaks in terms of "turns" or things taking/dropping effect "until the end of your next turn" or "the beginning of their next turn", etc... Class features, spell durations, etc... are pretty much all referred to in terms of whether they use an "action", a "bonus action", a "reaction" or somehow related to the beginning/end of "turns." So "rounds", while in the game, don't really figure into the design of the classes. I just use it in common knowledge/more easily understood as "the increment of combat in which you do something"...which 5e defines as your "turn"...whereas i (and I presume many others) think of it as "your round." In effect [and actuality], Ambuscade gives this ranger a round to themselves, even though that's not the language 5e would use, as they're the only ones acting during it. Which, technically is still correct, as "once everyone has taken a turn, the fight continues to the next round..." and the ranger is the only ...

Wednesday, 2nd September, 2015

  • 12:07 PM - El Mahdi mentioned aramis erak in post Warlording the fighter
    ...t mass combat rules… Rally the Troops Once per long rest, a Warlord can motivate and focus their group with a stirring speech (whatever group they are leading at the time, be it their adventuring group, a company, or a whole army). Doing so either allows all members of the group to recover hit points equivalent to the Warlord’s Wisdom or Charisma modifier times ½ the allies level (minimum of 1), or free all members of the group from non-magical fear (the Frightened condition), or reduce any effects due to exhaustion by one level. The group must be within hearing range of the Warlord, and only affects members not at 0 hit points. Command Actions (in-work) Individual tactics or maneuvers - based on Battlemaster maneuvers, 4E Warlord powers, etc. @fuindordm @Tony Vargas @GMforPowergamers @Hussar @cbwjm @epithet @MoonSong(Kaiilurker) @bert1000 EzekielRaiden @Manbearcat @Uchawi @Ashkelon @Eric V @pemerton @Jester Canuck @Bluenose @Minigiant @I'm A Banana @aramis erak @Warbringer @Leatherhead @ehren37 @Winterthorn @TheHobgoblin @Neonchameleon @Obryn @Imaro @nomotog @Ashrym @The_Gneech @Remathilis @Olgar Shiverstone @Sacrosanct @Gimul @Twiggly the Gnome @CapnZapp @MechaPilot @kerbarian @Psikerlord# @jgsugden @DEFCON 1

Sunday, 23rd August, 2015

  • 03:25 AM - pemerton mentioned aramis erak in post A case where the 'can try everything' dogma could be a problem
    Another thought inspired by aramis erak's posts, and relevant to the OP: In the Wick games he mentions, the dice are rolled to allocate narrative power. (If I've understood correctly.) BW is a bit more trad, but in some ways it resembles this: once the context of the check is framed, if the player succeeds on the roll his/her declared intent for his/her PC is achieved; if not, the GM's declared failure result is achieved. You could say that the negotiations around framing determine the two possible outcomes, and the check then determines whose narration - player's or GM's - becomes "actual" within the fiction. One of the issues around knowledge checks which has come out over the course of the thread is a lack of clarity in framing over what the competing narrations/outcomes are that are being diced for.

Saturday, 22nd August, 2015

  • 02:05 AM - Talmek mentioned aramis erak in post The Ultimate Tabletop RPG Room Wish List
    aramis erak - With your group do you typically let your players go through books during the session? My group and I all agreed to keep the books available but not to actively look up rulings unless it was life/death circumstances. I do owe my players more comfortable chairs, but they have actually started bringing their own to leave at my place (which is also a win - saving money!) Scrivener of Doom - Would you consider overhead fluorescent lighting to be acceptable (although not fitting for the setting, it does provide LOTS of light)?

Friday, 21st August, 2015

  • 05:44 AM - pemerton mentioned aramis erak in post Collaborative storytelling RPG, is it a thing?
    Burning Wheel was mentioned upthread by Balesir - it's very collaborative/player driven, but not mechanically "lite" at all (it's a cousin of Torchbearer and Mouseguard that aramis erak describes in the post above this one). A mechanically fairly light system that is still fairly traditional in its basic set-up (players build PCs with attributes, and confront GM-authored challenges with DCs) is HeroQuest Revised. EDIT: This website seems to have the Story Engine in PDF - a free descriptor, player-driven system that can be seen as a type of precursor to HeroWars/Quest. Story Bones is the introductory version, and seems to be free here.

Wednesday, 8th April, 2015

  • 06:34 PM - Mercurius mentioned aramis erak in post An 18-year old's take on 5E
    aramis erak, back in the early 80s, most of my knowledge of other games was from reading Dragon. I remember they used to have reviews of other RPGs and such, and of course advertisements. But I don't remember "classic D&D" - although that doesn't mean I didn't see it. We're talking about 30+ years ago! Definitely feeling a bit of nostalgia for print Dragon - when it was the "gathering place" for all things RPG-related.


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Tuesday, 19th June, 2018

  • 09:15 PM - Umbran quoted aramis erak in post Everybody Cheats?
    I won't even boardgame with people I know to be cheaters in RPGs. Most boardgames are competitive, which makes it a bit different case.
  • 09:07 AM - Cergorach quoted aramis erak in post Where Do They Get Their Money, Part One
    The traditional coinage of late medieval England (Reign of Richard II) was a silver penny, 22.5 grains mass (~1.458 grams). a hundred years later, it was a 12 or 15 grain penny... If that's the case in other worlds, old coins in fantasy settings might actually be significantly worth more then the current coins the adventurers use... Adventurers could be approached by the local coin collector, a merchant or a gold smith when they return with an ancient horde. They might even be hired by one to find that horde...
  • 04:50 AM - Umbran quoted aramis erak in post Everybody Cheats?
    I bounce players for fudging their dice at the table. So, at my table, everyone is my friend. There is nobody at my table that I do not or would not otherwise have over to dinner, go catch a movie with, play in larps with, and so on. In order to get bounced from my table, you have to violate not just the rules of the game, but friendship. And to me friendship is worth a heck of a lot more than the result on a d20. There has only been one case of this in my entire hobby career.

Friday, 15th June, 2018

  • 03:47 AM - pemerton quoted aramis erak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Rolemaster uses 10 second combat rounds... and does NOT define a result doing damage as a single hit, either. The term given for damage is "concussion hits" - which implies multiple hits. The combination of time, the ability to shuffle OB into DB, and the term hits being used for damage, all imply it's not one attack=1swing.RM combat is ambiguous in some respects. The 10-second rounds, together with the parry mechanics, suggest a round of jostling for advantage just as Gygax (in his DMG) described for 1-minute AD&D rounds. But other features of the system - the crit results, the Bladeturn spell - suggest that what is being deleivered, or defended against - is one particular blow. And in any event, where there is no ambiguity is in the fact that suffering a loss in combat - that is, being "hit" - corresponds to a clear state of affairs in the fiction, namely, taking some definite injury (blood loss, brusing, and other physical trauma). This feature of RM is also relevant to the discussion ...

Thursday, 14th June, 2018

  • 04:04 AM - CubicsRube quoted aramis erak in post RPGs And Eurostyle Games: When Opposites Attract
    The most well known two eurogames, the ones axiomatic to the genre, are generally considered to be Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne. both have extreme amounts of random. Power Grid, Ticket to Ride, Airlines Europe, Puerto Rico, San Juan, Citadels - all are highly random. Well known, but not considered strongly eurogame. In fact, while i like settlers of catan, hardcore euro fans criticise the game precisely for its randomness. Agricola is generally a good example of a eurogame as are many worker placement games.

Tuesday, 12th June, 2018

  • 11:40 AM - Charles Dunwoody quoted aramis erak in post Remembering Nexus: A Bridge Between History & Adventure
    Technically, no, TFG is gone, has been for about 2 decades. (in the 1990's, New World Computing killed it, as it was floundering.) ADB wasn't a publisher until after the fall of TFG; they were a design house, not a publisher, until that point, in a locked-in contract with TFG. ADB was writing games from the late 1970's onward, but wasn't a publisher until the late 1990's. I meant ADB but I wasn't clear.
  • 04:45 AM - Sunseeker quoted aramis erak in post Will you make transsexual Elves canon in your games ?
    Exactly the hassle I don't want at my table. I have enough trouble remembering who has chosen what gender already, let alone with it changing. I see no fun in it as a GM, and the people I know who would be likely to use of it are NOT open minded, but simply into doing whatever pisses off the GM fastest without getting ejected from the game. Oh dear me, whatever isn't fun for the DM just has do go! Right out! Out out out! An oh me oh my whatever will I do if I actually have to keep my players in line!? That's you. That's what you sound like. Want to play a physiologically-fluid character? Go play at someone else's table; I don't want the hassle. You seemed perfectly fine with a myriad of "other" sex options about 2 posts ago, but being able to change once a day is too much for you? Me thinks thou dost protesteth too much. It cannot be dispelled. It's a permanent transformation on the 9th level, at least if the caster can maintain an hour's concentration. Permanent spells cannot b...
  • 04:41 AM - Jay Verkuilen quoted aramis erak in post Everybody Loves Lovecraft?
    Noting the toxicity of his own beliefs doesn't put me off him any further; it is notable that his racism was extreme even for his time <snip> Avoiding his influence in the games industry is nigh impossible. Unfortunately, avoiding the influence of virulent racists from a century ago is pretty hard in general. They were all over the place. In my own field, statistics, a large number of foundational articles were published in Annals of Eugenics, a journal that changed its name a few years after World War II to Annals of Human Genetics, 'cause, you know. Its founder, Karl Pearson, was an ardent eugenicist, social Darwinist, and anti-Semite. He was also an ardent leftist and supporter of women's suffrage---at the time, racism was widespread across the political spectrum. Even beloved figures, such as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., had some eugenic doozies.
  • 03:45 AM - Sunseeker quoted aramis erak in post Will you make transsexual Elves canon in your games ?
    All of which is a hassle I really don't care for. If someone wants to be other-gendered (Functional Hermaphrodite, Non-functional hermaphrodite, Functional Female with non-reproductive male parts, functional male with non-reproductive female parts, no parts besides the ureter, etc.), fine, but stick with it. Any disadvantage or advantage these have balances out over time... the more unusual one's genitalia and the less they fit one's preferences, the less likely physical romance is to be found and last, and the more likely to experience both public disdain and private curiosity; sometimes inappropriate curiosity. I think that's really the players call on what sort of sex experience they want to have, if any. The ability isn't there so one can be "other" gendered. It's there specifically to allow for people who feel like one or more or less at any given time. "Sticking with" a sex is explicitly what the ability is there to allow you to avoid. And I'm really not seeing what value "sticking...
  • 01:37 AM - Sunseeker quoted aramis erak in post Will you make transsexual Elves canon in your games ?
    The ability to be transgendered has existed since the beginning - polymorph can make one transgendered much more efficiently than modern medicine. I won't allow the "easy shifting" implied by the OP... not because its offensive (tho' it does offend my religious sensitivities) but because it's effectively a free polymorph daily, and that's more power than I think a race should carry without an experience hit. I agree to an extent with the latter. Depending on the interpretation of the ability it could be any of the following: Hard Closed: 4 distinct appearances for each of "Male", "Female", "Both" and "Neither". All of which bear a strong resemblance to each other (like twins when one is male and the other female). Closed: 4 distinct appearances for each of "Male", "Female", "Both" and "Neither". All of which have a fixed appearance, but need not resemble each other. Open: 4 different sex options. The appearance of which is determined each day. Soft Open: A spectrum of sex options ran...

Sunday, 10th June, 2018

  • 01:30 PM - Thomas Bowman quoted aramis erak in post Comfort withcross gender characters based on your gender
    A significant number of Americans love to lampoon the Nazis, to turn them into tragic comedy figures, or to use them as safe villains. A very small proportion idealize them — about the same proportions as in Germany, so I have read — but here, they make the news. Regularly. And are very vocal in their political movements. Reich Star, for example, is a decent game, and a "What if the Nazis had won WWII and then discovered a hyperdrive in the 21st C." It paints them as "still evil"... and predicates fighting them in the flavor text. My players, including a Jew and a Romany, plus me being ethnically and religiously Ukrainian, chose to play resistance hiding inside the SS Totenkopfverbande. Yes, the most evil, vile, despicable portion... for the cathartic pleasure of being able to take down the 3rd reich from the top. (It also is the game that made me decide some things are, in fact, best left to a fade to black and make a roll.) Unlike gender issues, few people I've met mind lampooning the...
  • 01:44 AM - Ovinomancer quoted aramis erak in post RPGs And Eurostyle Games: When Opposites Attract
    The most well known two eurogames, the ones axiomatic to the genre, are generally considered to be Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne. both have extreme amounts of random. Power Grid, Ticket to Ride, Airlines Europe, Puerto Rico, San Juan, Citadels - all are highly random.I'd say they have a normal amount of random. ;)

Saturday, 9th June, 2018

  • 02:39 AM - pemerton quoted aramis erak in post RPGs And Eurostyle Games: When Opposites Attract
    Sorry for duplicating replies. I do think Modiphius' Star Trek and Conan and Burning Wheel's games (BWG, Burning Empires, Mouse Guard, Torchbearer), plus Fate and Cortex Plus, all feel to traditional RPGs much as euro-styled consims (Vinci, Small World, BattleLore, Memoir 44) compared the combination range of "Ameritrash" consims (Axis and Allies, Samurai Swords, BattleLore, Memoir 44, C&C Ancients), (Hex/Square/Space)-n-counter single-box wargames (Johnny Reb, 1776, Invasion Earth, 5th Frontier War, Imperium, Succession Wars, NATO)... the theme is pasted on, but seems to work well enough.I can see why you put Cortex Plus into this camp. I don't think I agree about Burning Wheel, though. Mechanically (in PC build, and the basics of resolution) BW reminds me a lot of other high-sim skill list-based RPGs like RQ and RM. And even though Duels of Wits, as resolution, are clearly modelled in general terms on the prior Fight! system, it's highly adapted to correspond to the particular fiction.
  • 02:34 AM - pemerton quoted aramis erak in post RPGs And Eurostyle Games: When Opposites Attract
    Most boardgames have a shared emergent story - it's just not a character driven one. Listen to the Power Grid or Advanced Civ "No S__t, there I was..." stories. Or any consim. Or even Settlers of Catan. Players will see story in their play almost any time they can "empathize with the pieces"... Twilight Imperium players especially, speak of their factions in a personified way, as to Advanced Civ players; Diplomacy players tend to see their opponents as the story element, but still, it forms a narrative that, when exceptional, becomes a legend amongst the players (and the bane of us waiting in line at the FLGS register). Making stories is one thing that humans are genetically adept at doing - EVERY culture has the ability to tell stories (with the possible exception of the dozen or so uncontacted known tribes), and to relate the actions of others, including fictional others.I agree that boardgame play generates stories that can be enjoyed, related to others, etc. But those stories don't facto...

Friday, 8th June, 2018

  • 09:21 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted aramis erak in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    If you read the FR or Greyhawk novels, they DO treat the game mechanics as generally descriptive of the "realities" of those settings. To the extent I've read game fiction (i.e., a bit, but mostly not) they do, but just as often break from it. SC's as a mechanic are euro-like. They are mechanically intrusive into the fiction, and totally divorced from the setting mechanically - unless the GM enforces a "To do it, say it" for any social challenges, and a "To do it, narrate it" for non-social... but then, the fiction often is mishandled in such action chains. Hmmm... euro-like. I suppose. I think they're a fairly clear extension of "let's make a system with some detail like combat for non-combat situations", which I guess is euro-game. The big problem I had with SCs was, as someone noted, the original math was goofy, but beyond that they were often really reaching for skills. The problem I often got when participating in them was that they often felt very forced. Part of that was ...
  • 08:04 AM - Lylandra quoted aramis erak in post Comfort withcross gender characters based on your gender
    Depending upon the ruleset, those hobgoblins may, as physiology, be statistically significantly less intelligent than the minotaurs and/or humans. After all, some game worlds do assign penalties to Goblinoid intellect... and bonuses to minotaurs. All the justifications used erroneously (due to conflation of education with intelligence in the 16th to 20th centuries) for colonization and/or enslavement may be factually supported by the game mechanics preventing intellect from the same range of values. In a way, I kind of miss the days when only Elves were Int 19, and only dwarves hit con 20... but I sure don't miss the clunky mechanics not Gygaxian spew. Err... I'm really not sure whether we'd want to go down that pit. Really.

Wednesday, 6th June, 2018

  • 10:44 AM - Bagpuss quoted aramis erak in post Comfort withcross gender characters based on your gender
    And, as @evileeyore notes, the sociopolitical climate is quite different now than when I was a kid. Does that really put you off playing someone that doesn't share your own gender/ethnic/sexuality identity? Over the years I've played a lot of human characters (mostly because I mainly played Cyberpunk, CoC and other none fantasy games), while straight-white-male is the majority of those (since it matches myself), I've frequently played characters of the opposite sex, different ethnicity, different sexual identity. I've never worried about being accused of an RPG equivalent of "blackface", and certainly not been accused of it, or would have expected to be. I would have said the idea that you couldn't play a character of a different gender or race or get in trouble for it absurd a few years ago, but now with with stuff like "Digital Blackface" (I wish that was a parody), and white writers being warned off writing black characters. I don't know anymore.
  • 08:03 AM - evileeyore quoted aramis erak in post Comfort withcross gender characters based on your gender
    If I understand correctly, I do know what you're talking about; you're talking about ideology-free "good old days"... No (or maybe yes). I'm talking about 20, 15, even 10 years ago where no one got upset over who was at cons, who was at someone's table, who was in what movie, etc, as long as they were decent people while they were about it. Ideological Purity has infected the 'progressive' (extreme) left and now if your politics aren't 'correct', you get uninvited from cons, uncast from movies, etc, it's become untenable. In other words it isn't enough to be egalitarian or inclusive, now you have be exactly, correctly inclusive, or the ideologues come for you*. * I mean they kind of always tried, but now there are enough of them, in positions of power in media and other arenas, that it's an untenable thing. The illustrations almost never match the text. Conan wasn't shirtless much under Howard's writing. I've not read the later works by others. I blame Marvel comics.

Tuesday, 5th June, 2018

  • 11:25 AM - Rolenet quoted aramis erak in post Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Combat Preview
    ... but this is a roll low is better system. 41 is better than 48. I know this is somewhat upsetting because of our old habits, but no. If you decide that the absolute roll indicates success, then 48 is better than 41. ... if the roll succeeds, the MoS is the 10's place on the dice. Much faster, and preserves the odds. Indeed. It boggles the mind that they choose to ask us to do this much maths instead. Did they spend more than five minutes designing this? Yes, there are several ways, all easier with less math Yes, that's the whole issue I think. The method matters little. What matters is that the designers here ignored a good 30 years of RPG development. They're going back to the 80-era modifiers, with a vengeance. Since then, many games have thought of better ways to implement difficulty and success metrics. Their Advantage is another crying shame. The word and concept is basically owned by WotC. Why not use "Edge" or "momentum" or whatever? On top of that their implementation is ve...
  • 10:45 AM - Bagpuss quoted aramis erak in post Comfort withcross gender characters based on your gender
    Gender roles are not nearly as well defined any more. Which also makes it easier to cross over. I think playing alien races, century old vampires, sexless droids and the like helps a bit, compared to that playing a gender that you've spent all your life around should be pretty straight forward. Also a lot of people GM where you are required to play the opposite gender a lot of the time, so why should it be an issue when you switch to playing a PC? I do wonder how people uncomfortable with cross gender character handle opposite gender NPCs? If you don't have an issue with them why with a PC?


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