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About aramis erak

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About aramis erak
Alaskan GM
About Me:
RPGer, Boardgamer
Been GMing since 1981.
Lead Administrator of the COTI Traveller Forum (
Age Group:
Over 40
My Game Details

Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

Eagle River
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.


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Game Mechanics And Player Agency Yesterday 11:43 PM


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Wednesday, 27th August, 2014
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My Game Details
Eagle River
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.

Wednesday, 25th April, 2018

Tuesday, 24th April, 2018

Wednesday, 18th April, 2018

Monday, 16th April, 2018

Wednesday, 11th April, 2018

Tuesday, 10th April, 2018

Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018

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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 - shidaku 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.

Friday, 27th March, 2015

  • 05:10 PM - SkidAce mentioned aramis erak in post Unearthed Arcana - Mass Combat Rules
    So, I calculated the %'s using both methods suggested to me. Likely, since I wanted the battle to be 50/50 with out solos or PCs, it will be hard to tell which method is more accurate due to dice vagaries. Tormyr 20 stands (squads) of 1/8 infantry, PEL 2/3 = 13 1/3. 15 squads of 1/4 goblins, PEL 1 = 15. Goblins favored to win. aramis erak 20 squads 1/8 infantry x 25xp x 4 = 2,000 DV 15 squads of 1/4 goblins x 50xp x 2.5 = 1, 875. Infantry favored to win. The battle is play by results will be a while, adn there are some allied elven scouts (CR 1/2, 100xp, 8 squads) that could come into play, bt of course then the ogres will escalate...should be fun.

Saturday, 10th January, 2015

  • 03:42 AM - Jester David mentioned aramis erak in post D&D Basic Rules Website - A Handy Browseable Resource!
    This is awesome! I'm assuming it just happened, and WotC will release a news announcement soon. How did you find it, Jester? As mentioned above by aramis erak it's on the main website, so it's easily found. WotC just hasn't promoted its existence (yet), which surprised me. Given the date on the page I assumed I just missed the announcement. I guess the web team is faster than the rest of the team expected. (And a big "thanks" to @Morrus for editing my post and making me look good. Had I thought it'd make the front page I'd have tried to be more eloquent.)

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Wednesday, 25th April, 2018

  • 11:32 PM - HasturtheUnnameable quoted aramis erak in post Allow Me to Dredge Up a Name You Probably Haven't Heard for Some Time...
    Don't ask what you can't handle answers for. It makes you seem like a shill. bad reviews and limited interest in more "epic fantasy" that isn't. I can totally handle answers... you just didn't give me one... you entirely negated the point of a discussion by dismissing the premise out of hand, without any meaningful explanation... If you weren't even willing to look into it, beyond proclaiming your disinterest, why post anything here in the first place?
  • 07:42 AM - Arilyn quoted aramis erak in post Killing In The Name Of Advancement
    No, actually, typically they cause closed wounds with only internal bleeding... at least when the target is armored. Destructive testing by SCAers (usually upon euthanized pigs) has demonstrated that, vs armor, swords don't cut... they make deep bruises and shatter bones, but don't break skin. Live steel ARMA groups also have often demonstrated that steel blades don't actually penetrate the typical leather or chain, but do blunt trauma through them. Unarmoured wizards don't bleed. Arrows, daggers, claws, rapiers, crossbow bolts, etc. don't cause bleeding. There are no shattered bones, internal injuries...There are just hp, which have no effect on you until you start dying. This is my point. The horror of war and injury is kept at arms length. It's abstract, board gamey, and g rated video games. Which is fine. I don't want real war in my DnD game. The violence isn't really there. It's too abstract.
  • 05:12 AM - HasturtheUnnameable quoted aramis erak in post Allow Me to Dredge Up a Name You Probably Haven't Heard for Some Time...
    Why? bad reviews and limited interest in more "epic fantasy" that isn't. :hmm: bad reviews? Conan McKegg of 5/5 Excelent Andreas Monien of 5/5 Excelent Geek word of mouth, Highly positive: Rhiannon D from RPGGeek, very positive: and those are just the first couple reviews I can find. Also, don't judge it by its monicker as an "epic fantasy" game, there is a lot to love about it. It doesn't just fall down the trap of being another copy paste of DND fantasy worlds with stereotypical Elves, Halflings, goblins, or orks. In fact, none of those exist. There are, however, 12 playable races, 3 being completely unique to the setting, and even those that are pre-existent are given a huge cultural makeover. The world, once you...

Tuesday, 24th April, 2018

  • 09:53 AM - Hussar quoted aramis erak in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    It's the clearest exemplar of the divide in the actual underlying debate. But, it's not an exemplar of anything other than this strange straw man that people insist on building. No one has actually argued in favor of a single die roll changing PC's minds. The closest might be morale checks, but, even then, those only come into play after considerable other events have occurred.
  • 01:46 AM - Shasarak quoted aramis erak in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    In Traveller rules, they absolutely do apply to PC's. It's just that most GM's don't bother to apply them to PC's; most complaints about CT are really about GM's who misapplied or failed to apply the rules. Direct C&P from the 1977 edition of CT. The typical Loyalty, Obedience and Morale situations listed in the ADnD DMG give examples such as offered bribes, chance to steal goods, left alone, ordered into danger etc none of which really apply to PCs at all. And of course the chance of retreating from combat again not something that you would expect PCs to have to worry about except from any fear effects. It works for DCC... I never would have expected the superhero genre to have character death during creation.
  • 12:23 AM - Tony Vargas quoted aramis erak in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    Didn't change appreciably? Let's see: 1974-1999 TSR era, yes. Changing the nature of the attribute modifiers and their ranges. Addition and Deletion of core classes - thief wasn't in the rules until '76. Nor Ranger, Druid, Assassin, Paladin, Illusionist. Change of 1d20 based combat from "alternate" to core (even if most used it as core) Addition of Weapon Proficiencies (in 1E PHB, but not in BX; a variant appears in BECMI's M rules) Addition of Non-Weapon Proficiencies (in 1E DSG/WSG/OA) Switch to THAC-0 from strict HD or Class/level. Nerfs and buffs in many spells between versions... the BX/BECMI Magic Missile is a much more buff spell (1d6+1 per missile) than the AD&D 1E version (1d4+1) especially since AD&D fighters and clerics are tougher (D10 v d8 and d8 v d6) than their BX/BECMI counterparts. Changing from "All weapons do 1d6" to different dice by weapon? Altering those weapon stats?All pretty trivial, really, compared to the changes introduced by 3e, let alone 4e, let alone th...

Saturday, 21st April, 2018

  • 03:48 PM - Imaro quoted aramis erak in post 5e & PF2 - Why Choose the Same Approach?
    You come across as one who hasn't actually run 5E. It's considerably simpler than PF or 4E mechanically, especially in play, as modifiers are rare, almost entirely replaced by advantage/disadvantage. Every skill is boolean. Those two factors alone are a HUGE simplification of the mechanics. Simplifying everything to either attack rolls or ability checks, and those differing only in how Nat 1 and Nat 20 are handled. 5E, compared to PF1, is simpler; 5E compared to any edition of D&D prior is also largely simpler; this excepts the basic sets (Holmes, Moldvay, Mentzer, Denning), but those were ne'er intended to be editions of their own. (Holmes was supposed to be the basic for AD&D, but ... Gygax.) Just by making all the rolls go the same direction as good was a simplification. 4E rivals 5E for simplicity, but loses out with the numeric modifiers and treasure packages. Anecdote time... Whereas I actually lost a player during our time playing 4e (and saw quite a few bewildered first time pl...

Friday, 20th April, 2018

  • 05:52 AM - Deset Gled quoted aramis erak in post News Digest: BattleTech Lawsuit Dismissed, Gygax Estate Licenses Unpublished Games, Deadpool RPG Covers, and more!
    The answer to #1 is blackletter law - and a yes - Once it's in fixed form, copyright attaches, on any work of art. Not fundamentally an issue. Only 2 & 3 matter. I'm not the OP and am not overly familiar with the case he mentioned. But I took this as a reference to the issue of copyright vs design patent. You can copyright a specific mech. But protecting rights to a more general design with certain key features (e.g. the reversed knees and shoulder missiles of the Timber Wolf) would be better served by registering a design patent rather than just a copyright. Many of the lawsuits that I have seen about mech copyrights seem ludicrous when considered as a copyright lawsuit but might have merit as a patent design case. But I've never seen a plaintiff actually use a design patent, probably because the design patent's don't exist, and even if they did most of them would be expired by now.

Thursday, 19th April, 2018

  • 04:30 PM - Abstruse quoted aramis erak in post News Digest: BattleTech Lawsuit Dismissed, Gygax Estate Licenses Unpublished Games, Deadpool RPG Covers, and more!
    The real issue is that HG doesn't even have provable rights to the images they're attempting to enforce... They're not legally the copyright holder. That's a separate thing and something Piranha's lawyers latched onto hard that I kind of edited down to a brief summary because...seriously, I think I wrote about 1000 words before I started editing down that section. The lawsuit has a few major questions at its heart, all of which have come up before in relation to Harmony Gold and BattleTech, but none of which have ever been answered because the lawsuits always got settled first. In order, the questions are: Can someone own the rights to a mech(a) design? Playmates brought this up in the lawsuit from FASA in 1996 that started this whole mess when they copied the design of the Timber Wolf (no it is not a "Mad Cat" you Inner Sphere freebirth scum!) How close do designs need to be to one another before they're infringing? We're talking about humanoid bipedal machines. They're going to have a lot ...
  • 01:10 AM - Tony Vargas quoted aramis erak in post 5e & PF2 - Why Choose the Same Approach?
    You come across as one who hasn't actually run 5E. Nope, I've run 1e & 2e extensively back in the day, 3.0 some, 3.5 very little, PF not at all, 4e & 5e weekly. I've run & played plenty of other systems, too, particularly Storyteller in the second half of the 90s, and Hero System. I've been at this a long time. I find running 5e to be fun, easy & even exciting, because my skills from running AD&D back in the day port over very effectively, but a little wearing after a while, because it is kinda old hat that way. Similarly, 4e is fun & easy to run, because it's just easy to run - it's neither as exciting nor as wearing as 5e, though. 3.5, OTOH, while not vastly more complex than the other two, I'd rather not run again. It's considerably simpler than PF or 4E mechanicallyD&D is simply(npi) a complex - and often very complicated - game. It was often needlessly so in the TSR era - 'baroque' would not be an unfair way of characterizing AD&D. The WotC era brought consolidation of base mechani...

Monday, 16th April, 2018

  • 02:52 AM - Elfcrusher quoted aramis erak in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    withhold only. Especially if the other character elements are unfilled in. It's not so much old school as "skinner box"... I don't allow evil PC's except when running AL (and then only the AL legal LE), and I'm not running AL these days... I don't force them to act according to Alignment, but the out-of-alignment acts are not without consequence. If they choose to do so, they know the price. Further, by disallowing certain ones openly, and up front, they have the option to walk away up front and not waste both their and my time. I have never enjoyed playing with evil characters, or really with the kind of people who tend to play evil characters. (With a couple of notable exceptions over the years.)

Friday, 13th April, 2018

  • 02:11 PM - Schmoe quoted aramis erak in post Catalog of Official/Unofficial D&D Setting Fan-sites Thanks! That's a really nice website. It must have cost you a pretty penny to get something like that set up overnight. You gonna pay someone to take her to the prom, too? I think it's probably best in the long run if we can all support every setting community, even the ones that are struggling or new.

Thursday, 12th April, 2018

  • 03:09 AM - Lanefan quoted aramis erak in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    Given that I don't allow Evil alignment, everyone just sacrificed session XP for major alignment violation.So much for player agency in that game. give or withhold xp based on playing to alignment? Hell, that's even more old-school than me! Didn't think that was possible 'round here... :) Lanefan

Wednesday, 11th April, 2018

  • 11:55 PM - FaerieGodfather quoted aramis erak in post Catalog of Official/Unofficial D&D Setting Fan-sites That's a really nice website. It must have cost you a pretty penny to get something like that set up overnight. You gonna pay someone to take her to the prom, too?
  • 12:55 PM - Ancalagon quoted aramis erak in post How old were you when your first GMed an RPG?
    No clue. that edition was the first one i've read. Some of the problems: - Skill was super duper important. Maxing it out was *the* way to go - Monsters didn't have weapon skills (only base skills) which made them too easy to defeat - Spells cost HP to use. Healing spells gave you HP. So you could cast all day long - Learning spells lowered your skill score. This resulted in a wizard being a poor combatant (this is good) but also terrible at things like knowledge skills (not so good). - The strength skill was OP and increased your damage by almost 50% if you were a fighter.
  • 09:25 AM - Lanefan quoted aramis erak in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    As a GM, I'd let you act against it... but you just forfeit all XP for the encounter, and probably also the session.What if the party agree to rescue the princess, do so, and then themselves hold her for ransom because they know that cheapass Duke is good for tens of thousands of g.p. and he only offered a measly 100 for the return of his daughter. Never mind that on the PCs telling the daughter how low a value he puts on her it might not be a kidnapping any more: she might just throw in with the PCs then and there and go off adventuring! :)
  • 04:14 AM - Ancalagon quoted aramis erak in post How old were you when your first GMed an RPG?
    AFF is again available... Ah but did they fix things?
  • 03:20 AM - Elfcrusher quoted aramis erak in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    A 20 on the Cha check to get them to do a task is sufficient to get them to do things for a price. Ewwww. "The Duke would like you to rescue his daughter before the kidnappers kill her. He'll pay 100g." "Mmm...thanks, but no thanks. I'd rather go back to the cave complex and see if we can steal the magic beer stein from the duerger..." (Rolls) "Sorry, but he rolled a nat 20 on his Persuade check. You are persuaded." Not a table I'd be at for very long. EDIT: The way I might handle something like this is to use what I know about the players to try to actually persuade them, if the Duke rolled well. But under no circumstances would they be required to accept a price.

Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018

  • 03:19 PM - Eltab quoted aramis erak in post Hasbro buys Paizo and Games Workshop.
    Since GW is a UK corporation, I don't know who would likely block that anticompetitive acquisition... Antitrust division on BOTH sides of the Atlantic would get a crack at it. Without talking to each other, of course, so they can come to opposite conclusions for completely different reasons. And maybe somebody from the EU would want to get into the fuss while they still can (likely to deny the British conclusion, for yet different reasons). The gaming companies will think they were ambushed by The International "Lawyers' Full Employment Act" or something.
  • 05:17 AM - Ranthalan quoted aramis erak in post How old were you when your first GMed an RPG?
    A lot of us did, year dependant being BX or BECMI with AD&D1. In that year, tho, it's more likely BX, rather than BECMI... It was definitely BX, I just hadn't heard that term until now. I still have my red box Basic with Erol Otis cover. (I actually worked with Erol on a PC video game back in the 90's. Good guy. Signed all our D&D stuff.)

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