View Profile: hawkeyefan - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th January, 2019, 05:48 PM
    I think Blades could be made to work with a bit of hacking. I’m not aware of any existing hacks, but there may be one. There’s also Chthulu by Gaslight, which seems like it would git the bill. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/m/product/100929
    17 replies | 509 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th January, 2019, 06:02 AM
    In 2E D&D there was a Ravenloft boxed set called Masque of the Red Death. It was inspired by Poe, Stoker, Shelley, and other Victorian era writers and their works. It would be a good match if you were willing to use 2E D&D as your system. Although you could likely convert it to 5E pretty easily. Here are details: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masque_of_the_Red_Death_(Ravenloft) Here you...
    17 replies | 509 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th January, 2019, 08:23 PM
    Just played our first game of No Thank You, Evil and it went really well! My 4 year old enjoyed it. In order to hold her attention, I had to keep throwing challenges at her so she could roll dice; she was more into that than the make believe/story kind of stuff. That was a bit surprising to me, but worked out fine. I’d recommend the game for young kids of 4 to 6 or 7, for sure. The game has...
    30 replies | 1060 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th January, 2019, 07:53 PM
    My copy of No Thank You, Evil just arrived yesterday. I plan on using that to introduce my 4 year old to RPGs. She's seen my friends and I play, and she seems fascinated, and I've let her roll my dice for me on a few occasions, and it just seems like something she'll be into. But I don't think she's quite ready for the complexities of D&D, so I wanted to get her feet wet with another game first. ...
    30 replies | 1060 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th January, 2019, 06:33 PM
    I’d keep things largely the same, but incorporate a few elements from other games/past editions in order to streamline te game a bit. I’d go back to HP stop accumulating at a certain point. The high HP totals of PCs and monsters just makes fights go longer. I’d also like to incorporatesome kind of “vitality point” system in order to make certain attacks or spells especially deadly, and to keep...
    115 replies | 3592 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th January, 2019, 03:10 PM
    A sea faring adventure is a staple, so it was only a matter of time. I wouldn’t say that streaming really has much to do with it.
    223 replies | 7640 view(s)
    7 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 1st January, 2019, 02:48 AM
    Depending on what you want.... Blades in the Dark is designed to be a sandbox styke game, and it’s very good. Thematic, player driven, and moody. The setting and the mechanics really play well together. Hot Springs Island is a sandbox that can be run with any system. It consists of two books, one is a field guide for the players that is meant to be an actual book the characters can...
    21 replies | 8405 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th December, 2018, 09:25 PM
    Quickleaf I was thinking scrying would be a good way for her to find out about the doppleganger. There are items you can give her to allow her to scry. Maybe she scrys on the PCs and then sees Artus and thinks but that’s impossible....unless he’s either lost the ring or if it’s an imposter. She has both ray of frost and ice storm, so she could appear and reveal the doppleganger as an imposter,...
    27 replies | 614 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th December, 2018, 04:59 PM
    Quickleaf Gotcha. I figured you had made some changes. I suppose how you proceed depends on what you want from Xandala. Is she meant to be a one time opponent? It doesn’t seem so since you’ve connected her to the archmage and other story elements. So it seems you have or would prefer to have long term plans for her. Is it possible she can learn of the doppleganger? Maybe she can reveal its...
    27 replies | 614 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th December, 2018, 03:29 AM
    I’m familiar with the adventure and the NPCs involved, but I don’t know if you’ve made significant changes to things or not, so this idea may or may not work. Can Xandala possibly convince the party that the NPC has come under the sway of the artifact, and is no longer in control of his own actions? Perhaps she can convince them to subdue the NPC, and transport him to a location that holds the...
    27 replies | 614 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th December, 2018, 02:23 AM
    Well that’s a kind of tricky question. I think that by not telling them, that’s what makes the characters know how to act. Any character should not want to ever fall from a height over 20 feet. Unless it’s like a “this building is about to explode so we have to jump” kind of scenario. So no, I don’t tell them the threshhold. Why should they know? They’re cery likely not to even know the exact...
    171 replies | 5528 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 24th December, 2018, 02:34 AM
    Ugh that’s rough. Sorry to hear that. Is the PC definitely dead? Do the PCs that fled know for sure their comrades actually died? Maybe you can undo it and have them be alive, held prisoner by the dragon? If not, then I’d definitely have a talk with the one player to try and reconcile the situation. I’d talk abouthow the tactics in the module are only a suggestion, and how you’re going to...
    48 replies | 1732 view(s)
    2 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 24th December, 2018, 02:27 AM
    Fair enough. I typically just rule that at a certain height, if a character falls, they’re gonna die. Because the D&D rules as presented pretty much support the idea that a character can fall an absurd distance and walk away, and I just think it’s silly, so I don’t allow it. Not unless there are mitigating circumstances of some sort. I suppose Wile E. Coyote is like 15th level.
    171 replies | 5528 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 24th December, 2018, 02:21 AM
    I don’t think the point is to actually scare the players. It’s more about letting then experience their characters being scared. It may seem like a subtle distinction, but it’s pretty significant. If your players can ever feel whattheir characteds feel....if they feel a sense of accomplishment after the characters achieve a long fought for goal, if they feel satisfaction when the characters...
    20 replies | 1035 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 24th December, 2018, 01:52 AM
    How did that go over with the players?
    48 replies | 1732 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 24th December, 2018, 12:35 AM
    So in your “rules as world physics” game, don’t your PCs routinely fall off cliffs only to come back minutes later to try again? Or do you handle falling damage differently than it’s described in the books?
    171 replies | 5528 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 06:12 PM
    Every adult human on Oerth ran in a foot race.....and it was a 4 billion way tie!
    171 replies | 5528 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 04:33 PM
    We haven't played with the option yet, so nothing's set in stone. I think the idea for tracking purposes is that Base HP, or Vitality Points (I think that stands out a little more) are only lost once all your other HP are lost. I think a way around the HP based spell issue is to track them separately, and as I mentioned, to call them something else like Vitality Points. This way they don't...
    37 replies | 810 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 04:12 PM
    Why? How is it immersive to imagine that every single 1st level character has the exact same level of knowledge? None of them have heard about zombies or trolls? None have seen some in action (even if they were unable to do anything about it)? So Falstaff and Redgar are the same in every way and this helps you with immersion? "My Uncle Milo told me you have to burn trolls! Get the...
    171 replies | 5528 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 05:48 AM
    In what way? I'm sure it's possible, but what do you have in mind? I generally think that "metagaming is bad" is a bit too harsh, and called out a bit too quickly. Sure, exactly. If the DM describes the scene....a rotting corpse lumbers toward you, maggots falling from it as it shuffles along the cobblestones.....the PC will have a good idea of what the creature is, and therefore a decent...
    171 replies | 5528 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 05:34 AM
    That kind of situation....I have a Base HP of 16 and I'm at 20 HP therefore I'm in big trouble.....is kind of what we're going for, but it's also an area of concern. The idea is to do away with the "I'm fine till at 0 HP" thinking, but we didn't want to incorporate "death spiral" type mechanics, where their ability or potency weakens with damage. But adding the option to drop unconscious...
    37 replies | 810 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 05:29 AM
    That's good to hear. That's generally the vibe we're looking for. The idea of letting the player decide gives them some ability to mitigate the risk of their character dying. At least that's the idea...it's hard to know, untested. Thinking of the players I game with, I can think of one guy who would never take the "drop unconscious" option. At least not initially. The others I imagine...
    37 replies | 810 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 05:20 AM
    Excellent point, thank you, Quickleaf. That's the kind of impact I was asking about, and I hadn't thought of this. It's still a rough sketch of an idea. Definitely a factor to be considered.
    37 replies | 810 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 05:15 AM
    The risk of immediate death is kind of the point. Or at least, an increased risk. The idea is for the PCs to consider combat very dangerous to the point where they'll almost always want to consider other options. And when they do get into a fight, they should worry they may not make it. And if they start to get low in HP, then they're at risk. The idea is to do away with the aspect of HP that...
    37 replies | 810 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 05:06 AM
    Right. That lack of feeling worried is one of the things I'd like to change. That's one of the things that led me to this idea. We're considering a grittier game, which I won't be DMing, but which the DM asked for ideas other than those in the DMG on how to achieve that feel. Right. I figured the boost in starting HP may help that, but ultimately it's probably not as much of a change in...
    37 replies | 810 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 04:56 AM
    I agree about the style and the footnotes. Very readable. I mentioned the "attacks of opportunity" as an example of using the standardized language of an edition. Yes, you're right that they mean the same thing. But there could be examples where not using the standardized language could make things unclear. I don't recall seeing any such examples so far, but I've only skimmed the book.
    99 replies | 6970 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 03:09 AM
    No, sorry that wasn’t clearer. I just clarified in my last post, but just to be sure....each of them would have their normal starting HP PLUS 14 for their CON score. Barb would have 28 and wiz would have 22.
    37 replies | 810 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 03:05 AM
    Sorry...I meant to put an example in my initial post. At first level, your Warlock would get 12 Base HP (his CON score). Then he’d also get 9 based on his d8 hit die (maxed for 1st level) and 1 bonus HP from his CON. So he’d have 21 HP. Anytime he dropped to 12 or less, he’d have to choose to go unconscious or keep going. Yes, low level characters would be at risk of instant death due to a...
    37 replies | 810 view(s)
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  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 02:19 AM
    I was thinking about how to possibly make 5E a bit more dangerous as it relates to PC death. I think I came up with a decent option. I’ve not yet tried it in play, but I wanted to run it by folks here for feedback, suggested changes, and unnecessarily harsh criticism! We start by removing death saves. PCs will now die at 0 HP like in early editions. However, they’ll also get starting HP equal...
    37 replies | 810 view(s)
    2 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 02:02 AM
    So MCDM has released a FAQ and they’re accepting feedback that will help them revise the PDF. They’ll release a new one soon including updates. The goal is to clarify some rules, to make things generally clearer, and to bring terminology more in line with 5e design. The actual book will therefore be revised to match the latest version of the PDF at the time of printing. Pretty cool.
    99 replies | 6970 view(s)
    4 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th December, 2018, 06:09 PM
    This poll is inspired by the many, many threads that have brought up (or been hijacked by) discussions on the use of Feats and their impact on game balance, and the design intention of the 5E developers. Many see Feats as being a great source of options for a PC, and a great way to individualize their PC, and I think that's accurate. But does this option come with a cost? Is the use of...
    41 replies | 1885 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th December, 2018, 05:36 PM
    I think that player knowledge of mechanics serves as a stand in for character knowledge of the world. It doesn't really have to be about the DM being fair, or the players trusting the DM. It's more about (as others have gone on to say in the thread) the fact that characters have some knowledge of their world and their place in it. A novice cleric would know that he has a better chance at turning...
    171 replies | 5528 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th December, 2018, 05:13 PM
    Right....but then the question is why give examples from his own game or setting? Why not use myth or simply create examples on the fly? Not that I expect anyone to know....just curious to think about.
    171 replies | 5528 view(s)
    0 XP
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Friday, 11th January, 2019

  • 10:03 PM - Aldarc mentioned hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    hawkeyefan already provided an excellent overview of some of the core problems of these past three articles, particularly Part 2 and 3. I will add my own voice of displeasure regarding Lew's articles. I don't think they were written well. First, let's play a quick game here. If you were reading these articles expecting to learn something new about "New School" games and/or "Old School" games, after reading these articles would you be able identify what either of those terms mean, provide ample examples, and then articulate what you have learned back to someone who has not read the article based on the content of the article? Okay, that was not a fun game, but I hope y'all get the point. Overall, they suffer three resonating problems: conflicting tone, poor display of knowledge, and deficient argumentation. When you mix all of these together into an article that attempts to demonstrate the differences between "Old School vs. New School" TTRPGs while ultimately demonstrating little of a...

Thursday, 10th January, 2019

  • 01:45 AM - darkbard mentioned hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    ...ly be more thinly distributed between 35 than it would be for 5. And you do so in a manner that seems to aggrandize or artificially exaggerate the scope of the story for the former. So I still think that this notion that in OS gaming "the story is bigger than the characters" should be dropped in favor of more satisfactory and accurate explanations. And you seem to approach offering such an explanation: there is on average a higher PC turnover rate. If that is true, then examining that phenomenon would likely be more fruitful. [...] It seems like one of the "story-now crew," such as pemerton, Campbell, or darkbard would be better equipped to elucidate clarification on such matters then, if you are so inclined. Okay, I have read up through Aldarc's post 112 but haven't had time to get any further yet, so please excuse me if I repeat what comes hereafter. And in truth, I have little of consequence to add to what has already been sufficiently developed here by Aldarc, Umbran, hawkeyefan, and others (even where these folks don't always see eye-to-eye): the original distinctions of the OP are laughingly meaningless, and so the debate it has engendered is loose and amorphous. But what I can add is some evidential weight that the distinction between OS as centered on party and NS as centered on individual character is as spurious as they come, almost as spurious as the claim that in NS games characters face no true risks unless they want to. I offer the following chapter lead-in from Blades in the Dark, Chapter 3: The Crew, PG. 91, as New-Schooly a NS game as there is, or, in more meaningful and crisper terminology, a Story Now game: Regardless of how a crew comes to be formed, they all have one thing in common: they exist to create a legacy that will last beyond the founding members. When you start a crew with your partners, you intend to build something that (hopefully) will live on past the scope of your own criminal careers. This is why we have a separate cha...

Monday, 17th December, 2018

  • 07:12 PM - Manbearcat mentioned hawkeyefan in post 5e Play, 1e Play, and the Immersive Experience
    hawkeyefan and lowkey13 Continuing from my last post, I think its important to note a few quirks of a certain mental framework (and how it relates to 1e's "byzantine rules" and "Gygaxian prose"): 1) Some people are enthralled by mystery and puzzles. They provoke creativity for this particular audience. So sorting through the "byzantine rules" to make some sense of them is part of the machinery of stoking their creativity. 2) There is a "Magic the Gathering deck-building" aspect to all of this. A very large swath of D&D's user base loves the process of engineering their own masterpiece of discrete, evocative ("Gygaxian prose") parts. The same thing that incites 4e players to feverishly try to build a character with interesting, mechanically robust/interesting, and thematic synergies through all the discrete parts (that each have pithy MtG fluff text) is what draws a certain sort of GM to wade through Gygax's DMG and make the game their own ("deck" with Gygaxian's prose serving as th...

Tuesday, 16th October, 2018

  • 03:57 PM - MortalPlague mentioned hawkeyefan in post 2018 IRON DM Tournament
    hawkeyefan, I was floored that neither of us went with a fantasy adventure. I thought the medusa element would strongly steer this into that territory. But when I tried to rationalize a science fiction medusa, I just liked it more and more. Your take on the medusa who inflicts phobia was a very clever take. I really thought it gave my own alternate medusa a run for her money. I also thought your indignant retort was very good. I have not yet tried Delta Green, but I really want to. More so, after reading 'Catalyst'. Iron Sky, Deuce Traveler, Rune - Thank you all for taking the time to judge. Some of you pointed out how Binjun and the retort aren't really connected to the rest of the adventure as tightly as the other elements, and that was a late change. I had originally intended to have a collection of silver and chrome entertainment bots floating around, hawking services (loudly) at the PCs. Their shiny exteriors would have allowed the PCs to use them to reflect the petrification ...
  • 08:06 AM - Rune mentioned hawkeyefan in post Judgement for Round 2, Match 1: MortalPlague vs. hawkeyefan
    Let me begin by saying that the parameters in IRON DM are each intended to challenge the contestants in different, often synergistic ways. No single parameter is less important than another. A competitor may be tempted to squeeze in a few (or, let’s say, forty) extra words and gamble that the strength of the writing and ingredient-weaving will carry them through. The reason that is a gamble is that the end of the entry isn’t going to counted. Or read at all, at least in this judge’s case. hawkeyefan’s “Catalyst” crosses the line. Different word-counters have indicated varied results for me, but the most generous pegs it at 38 words over the limit. I wasn’t happy to see that, but, oh well. I chopped off the end and started reading. Then MortalPlague posted “Morality Index.” I copied it over to my word-processing app (minus title and ingredients). 1506. Uh oh. Copied into a different app. 1506. That didn’t seem likely. MortalPlague had turned the piece in with time to spare and had already talked about trading words to hit the word-limit. 1506 would be a pretty ridiculous oversight. So I conferred with the other judges. Iron Sky pegged it at 1497. I alternated between reads of the entries, note-taking of same, and trying to figure out the source of the discrepancy. Eventually, I had to conclude that this particular mystery would have to go unanswered. I just don’t have the time for it. Then Deuce chimed in, reminding me of the existence of WordCounter.net, which gave him...

Sunday, 14th October, 2018

  • 12:37 AM - Iron Sky mentioned hawkeyefan in post The EN World IRON DM 2018 Tournament Scheduling Thread
    hawkeyefan and MortalPlague, my judgment is up.
  • 12:34 AM - Iron Sky mentioned hawkeyefan in post Round 2, Match 1
    Round 2, Match 1: hawkeyefan vs MortalPlague Here's how I judge: My first pass will be literary: how well does it read? Are there typos? Is it coherent? Is the phrasing awkward, awesome, or ambivalent? Did the writing help or hurt the entry? Does the adventure tell a good story? Second pass will be as a GM: would I want to run it? Is there a good hook? Does it flow? Do I have all the information I need? Is it mostly backstory or mostly adventure? If I bought this adventure to save prep, how much prep does it require? Is the conclusion satisfying? Third pass will be as a player: would I want to play it? Are there any interesting choices? Do my actions matter? Does it have interesting things to do for different types of players? How about characters? Is the conclusion satisfying? Fourth pass will be ingredients: how well were they used? Could any be removed or altered without changing the adventure in major way? Are they tied together tightly? Any particularly clever uses? I'll finish with a conclusion that su...

Tuesday, 9th October, 2018

  • 03:35 PM - MortalPlague mentioned hawkeyefan in post The EN World IRON DM 2018 Tournament Scheduling Thread
    That is quite the list of ingredients. It will be a delicious challenge to work those into a (hopefully) coherent adventure. hawkeyefan, best of luck to you.
  • 02:05 PM - Rune mentioned hawkeyefan in post The EN World IRON DM 2018 Tournament Scheduling Thread
    MortalPlague and hawkeyefan, ingredients for your match have been posted.
  • 02:00 PM - Rune mentioned hawkeyefan in post Round 2, Match 1: MortalPlague vs. hawkeyefan
    MortalPlague and hawkeyefan, you have 48 hours to post your entries to this thread. Please limit your entry to a title, a list of the ingredients used and 1500 additional words. Please include your list of ingredients at the beginning of the entry and please do not edit your post once it is submitted. Please refrain from reading your opponent's entry until after you have posted your own. You are on your honor to do so. Entries that are between 1 and 59 minutes late will have their word-limits reduced to 1350. Later entries that are at less than 1 day late will have their word-limits reduced to 1050. Entries that are at least 1 day late will have their word-limits reduced to 750. In addition, entries that are at least 2 days late may be disqualified at the discretion of the judge with consent from the match's opposing competitor. Entries that exceed their word-limits will be considered to end once they reach that limit; we will ignore everything after. Your ingredients are: High Toll Time Bomb Affluent Pa...

Monday, 8th October, 2018


Sunday, 7th October, 2018


Saturday, 6th October, 2018

  • 06:11 PM - Rune mentioned hawkeyefan in post The EN World IRON DM 2018 Tournament Scheduling Thread
    If it comes to it, MortalPlague would a Tuesday start work out? If so, I’d like to set Match 1 for then vs. hawkeyefan. An AM or PM start is negotiable. EDIT– Actually, it might be better to go vs. CleverNickName, since hawkeyefan seems better able to match up with Gradine.
  • 03:38 PM - Rune mentioned hawkeyefan in post The EN World IRON DM 2018 Tournament Scheduling Thread
    Round 2 contestants: Gradine, CleverNickName, MortalPlague, and hawkeyefan Please post a range of acceptable starting days and times. Keep in mind that we don’t need to be as precise as in the first round. Within a 48 hour match, contestants are expected to make their own window for working.
  • 01:47 AM - Deuce Traveler mentioned hawkeyefan in post Judgment of Round 1, Match 4: LongGoneWrier vs hawkeyefan
    Judgment of Round 1, Match 4: LongGoneWrier’s “Petals of the Mind Flower” vs hawkeyefan’s “Command Performance” Hoo-boy. Here we go... Accordance to Rules Both entries were sent in on time. LongGoneWrier’s submission was around 720 words, while hawkeyefan was a bit over 730 words. Therefore both writers were in full compliance with the rules. No advantage to either side. Grammar and Readability “Command Performance” has several small errors. Sentences such as: “Many gnomes still remain in the mostly human town, but they and other non-humans are treated at times as second class citizens, occasionally referred to as “dims”, a slur from old times.” Should be condensed as: “Many gnomes still remain in the mostly human town, but non-humans are often called ‘dims’ and treated as second class citizens.” This makes the sentence more readable and saves on the word count so you can strengthen the entry in other places. Also, note the structural and punctuation errors here: “Long ago fey were abundant in the region, friends of the gnomes that foun...

Thursday, 4th October, 2018

  • 07:24 AM - MortalPlague mentioned hawkeyefan in post 2018 IRON DM Tournament
    My thoughts on the entries: Those are two spectacular adventures, and I'm sure this will be a tough judgement to make. hawkeyefan, I always have a weakness for fey as villains. I think they are too-often represented as capricious and nice, while people neglect that they can have a dark side. Your adventure looks like it would be great fun to play or to run, with an interesting village brought to life in so few words. LongGoneWrier, I love seeing Shadowrun appear in this competition. It makes for a refreshingly-different take on the elements, and yours is a tightly-written adventure with plenty of opportunity for chaos. I'd love to play this one too. I think Deuce will have a challenge on his hands picking a winner here.

Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018

  • 10:49 PM - Rune mentioned hawkeyefan in post 2018 IRON DM Tournament
    My spectator commentary for match 4: That sure is a tight adventure, LongGoneWrier! Once the PCs figure out they have to mess with the Astral plane, things should get pretty crazy, too! Similarly, the chaotic shenanigans encouraged by all of hawkeyefan’s NPCs – and their racial tensions – make for a good-looking scenario. They both look fun.

Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018

  • 10:21 PM - Deuce Traveler mentioned hawkeyefan in post Round 1, Match 4: LongGoneWrier vs hawkeyefan
    LongGoneWrier and hawkeyefan, you have 24 hours to post your entries to this thread. Please limit your entry to a title, a list of the ingredients used and 750 additional words. Please include your list of ingredients at the beginning of the entry and please do not edit your post once it is submitted. Please refrain from reading your opponent's entry until after you have posted your own. You are on your honor to do so. Entries that are between 1 and 59 minutes late will have their word-limits reduced to 675. Later entries that are at less than 1 day late will have their word-limits reduced to 525. Entries that are at least 1 day late will have their word-limits reduced to 375. In addition, entries that are at least 2 days late may be disqualified at the discretion of the judge with consent from the match's opposing competitor. Entries that exceed their word-limits will be considered to end once they reach that limit; I will ignore everything after. Your ingredients are: - Ignorant Bliss - Staged Takeover ...

Monday, 1st October, 2018



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Monday, 14th January, 2019

  • 09:22 PM - Lanefan quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    I think that you make some valid distinctions among different editions of D&D. I just don’t think that they have much to do with pacing. Pacing is a variable thing. Different games have different methods of pacing, or different mechanics that help determine pacing. And of course the DM and players are always involved in a game’s pacing. But your peaks and valleys point is more about high points of action and low points of action. And although this may seem to relate to pacing, I don’t think the point you’re making really does. Your contrasting the low points with the high, saying that the contrast itself lends the peaks more meaning. But despite understanding why you might say that, I don’t know how relevant it is. The high points of my game are just as enjoyable. They don’t lose anything by having fewer boring stretches. If anything, making the lulls more bearable just means that, arguably, the game is overall more enjoyable. As a game, quite likely. But - and not knowing your sp...

Saturday, 12th January, 2019

  • 10:29 PM - Lanefan quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    Okay....why do you think his conclusion is correct? Is it simply because it sounds reasonable? Or have you played some specific games where this has been an observable result? Using various D&D editons as an example: The peaks - those moments where things go well in the fiction, the rules system is working like it should, and everyone's having fun are approximately of equal "height" in all editions. It's the valleys where the differences lie, both in "depth" and in frequency and-or duration. First off, to get it out of the way, I'll say that opportunities for negative story-based outcomes have always been there, but as such things are not all that quantifyable they don't help with a comparison, which this is. In older D&D there were many different types of "valleys", everything from stretches of party frustration (can't find the next step) to individual PCs being on the wrong end of a save-or-suck/die to losing levels or valuable gear, to whatever. Character death was but one type of v...
  • 06:41 AM - Jay Verkuilen quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    Every monster entry in the monster manual told you the standard treasure found on the monster or in its lair. Indeed it did. "Treasure drops" are very old. Murder hobo play is also very old. In many respects, this is exactly what Ye Olde Claffick Dungeonne was. It's not even weird: A lot of the source material of the more low fantasy variety, such as Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser and Conan is often greed-motivated. Why do Fafhrd and the Mouser scale Stardock? Rumors of fantastic wealth. In fact, I think one of the big distinctions that's being blown off by the "New" versus "Old" is that NS tends to be a bit more high fantasy whereas OS of 1E variety is decidedly low fantasy. Failure is fine. I don't mind when I have my character try something and it doesn’t work out. That’s part of the game. But when the game...something we’re doing for fun...grinds to a halt becausethe thief didn’t roll a success to find the secret door, and now we’re all just wandering the dungeon to see if we missed anyth...
  • 05:00 AM - Lanefan quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    What’s relevant about it? How is pacing different in OS games conpared to NS games? His insistence that there’s no danger and everyhing’s a success is flat out wrong, so his insistence that this reaulta in no peaks and valleys of rising and falling action is also wrong. I think he hits a correct conclusion (that the peaks and valleys are flatter) despite a somewhat faulty premise. Not exactly. Just as 1E could be played a variety of ways, so can 5E. Yes, I agree that generally in D&D, the older the edition the deadlier it is. But that does not mean that nothing bad happens. To take a difference like that and then insist that they are polar opposites is quite the leap. I'm not saying they're polar opposites, but I am saying it's a relevant difference - with which you appear to agree. :) Plus, he’s not limiting this to comparisons of editions of D&D. Thia is part of the problem. The category of games he’s attempting to compare to Old School D&D is so broad that some may be less deadly and o...

Friday, 11th January, 2019

  • 10:14 PM - Lanefan quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    His tone is certainly dismissive, but that's fine. I don't question EnWorld's decision to run his articles. We can all deal with a little sass. He's being a bit provocative, and in the "in my day /get off my lawn" manner that will always be present in any discussion. Agreed in all respects. As for the article itself, there's a few bits I found quite relevant. One is this: Pacing is a big part of the difference between the two extremes. Good pacing (in novel and film terms) calls for alternating lows and highs, to make the highs that much more effective. Old School recognizes that there will be not-very-exciting or even unpleasant/horrific adventures, to go with super-exciting and terrifically rewarding adventures. New School “evens it out”, ensuring that nothing will be unpleasant but also effectively ensuring that nothing will be terrific – because you can’t fail. “Loot drops” are boring when every monster has a loot drop. Boatloads of treasure become boring when you always get boatload...

Thursday, 10th January, 2019

  • 07:13 PM - Umbran quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    Generally, I look at it as 1e and the early basic iterations of D&D and games that emulate that experience are Old School. Sure. But, "that experience" was not the same for everyone, either in an objective sense (like, "we played homebrew" and "we played the published modules") or in terms of subjective memory of what was *important* about the experience. So, we are left with asking - *exactly* what they are emulating? And, we have to ask how much of the thing to be reproduced was in the rules, and how much in the table game practices, campaign and adventure design around those rules. New School is even harder to define, really. It seems a lot of the time, the working definition used is "not Old School". I think if I had to pick one key component, it may be the players having any narrative power beyond stating what their character does within the established options available to the character based on the game, the setting, and their abilities, level, etc. That seems to ...
  • 03:54 PM - jasper quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    ..... However, this tangent of the conversation was about advocacy and how it is being viewed here. Advocating for your character is a part of character creation, and it is a part of play. I mean advocate in the strongest sense possible. I don't think that my definition is functionally any different than your "being the character" definition. Mine just acknowledges that "I am John, not Ragnar, and John will do everything he can for Ragnar to succeed at what he wants." Yours is "I am Ragnar and I will do everything I can to succeed." There is a difference, but it's really not significant....". Jasper puts his cap with bill forward. Wipes his hand on a greasy rag. Shoves a chaw of tobacco in his cheek. "I say old chap. It sounds like a college boy. You are put on airs to look down us normal folk. If there is no real difference, why are you using those five dollar words. Use normal words." Hawk. Jasper spits into hawkeyefan's dice bag. And dog ears his PHB page on background.

Wednesday, 9th January, 2019

  • 10:56 PM - Saelorn quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    However, this tangent of the conversation was about advocacy and how it is being viewed here. Advocating for your character is a part of character creation, and it is a part of play. I mean advocate in the strongest sense possible. I don't think that my definition is functionally any different than your "being the character" definition. Mine just acknowledges that "I am John, not Ragnar, and John will do everything he can for Ragnar to succeed at what he wants." Yours is "I am Ragnar and I will do everything I can to succeed." Do you consider advocacy to be part of your job, during character generation, when choosing to play an elf rogue rather than an elf barbarian or dwarf rogue? Because I don't, really. I don't feel any obligation to the character, that I should use my discretion during character generation to set him up for success. I might feel obligation to the other players, to make a character that can help them succeed at our shared goals, but my only obligation to the character is that ...
  • 09:40 PM - Saelorn quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    Not for all games. You're specifically talking about D&D here, right? Or are you including other games in this assumption? Some games require and/or expect the players to make all their characters in conjunction during the first section. I don't see the hard distinction between character creation and playing the game. It's all part of the game. I feel like this is a topic for another thread, because it's not something that necessarily varies between OS and NS games. Sometimes you do it in the first session, or sometimes at home; sometimes you conspire with others to build characters that work together, or know each other, and sometimes the characters literally don't meet each other until they happen to be in a tavern together. Personally, I draw a strong distinction between the part of the game where you're role-playing (making decisions as your character), and everything that comes before that. When you are choosing to be an elf, you aren't yet at the part of the process where you're makin...
  • 02:27 AM - Ovinomancer quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    Yes, I agree about absolutes....my comments were made in reply to another poster with the intention of summarizing what I was getting from their post (hence my use of question marks), not as a summation of how I view things. Of course players in AD&D made decisions for their characters based on story, and new school gamers make decisions based on their characters. But I can see the distinction between trying to always remain in character, and in trying to play with a mind for what's dramatically satisfying...and despite the fact that both can be done in any play style, I can see how one might ascribe the former to Old School and the latter to New School. Would you agree with that? None of the terms or definitions we're using are perfect, so a little leeway seems to be in order for the sake of discussion. I have no desire to paint anything as night and day. I enjoy elements of gaming that would be called Old School, and also plenty of modern mechanics or games that would be called New Scho...

Tuesday, 8th January, 2019

  • 09:03 PM - Saelorn quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    I've never played, FATE so I'm not familiar with how that works. But just at the basic idea, don't we make such decisions for PCs in most games? Perhaps these decisions are not made in play, but only prior to play as part of the character's backstory.I draw a distinction between what happens during the game, and what happens prior to the game. Making an analogy to movies, character backstory is part of the premise, and you have to buy into the premise before you decide to watch the movie in the first place. The movie itself (or game, as the case may be), is about how that premise plays out. If you go to watch a Superman movie (for example), then it's unfair to criticize the idea of human-looking aliens who come to Earth and have superpowers, but it's perfectly fair to criticize if those powers act inconsistently between scenes. Likewise, if I'm choosing to play an elven wizard whose brother died under tragic circumstances, then that's just the premise, and it doesn't affect how any choices made a...
  • 08:19 PM - Umbran quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    But I can see the distinction between trying to always remain in character, and in trying to play with a mind for what's dramatically satisfying...and despite the fact that both can be done in any play style, I can see how one might ascribe the former to Old School and the latter to New School. Would you agree with that? None of the terms or definitions we're using are perfect, so a little leeway seems to be in order for the sake of discussion. Eh? I mean, it is *very* good to put it as, "...play with a mind to...". I am just not sure if that distinction is the central divide, in practice. From what I have seen in discussion, the more basic thrust to Old School is about the *risk*, and challenge - often leaning heavily on the tactical wargame aspects of the game. It leads (to use other people's terms, perhaps imperfectly) to "Combat as War" approaches (rather than "Combat as Sport"). And that leads to strong desire to use the rules to best effectiveness, and more consideration of the c...
  • 05:51 AM - Umbran quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    ... which would never (?) happen in an Old School game. Yeah, except, if Old School came first, then it had to happen for the first time in an Old School game, so ti had to happen sometime? As if we can guarantee it never does now? That's not a plausible suggestion. As already noted, Gygax himself was okay with it on rare occasion. How pure do we have to be? Absolutes are for mathematicians. In gaming, someone who says "never" or "always" is very likely overstating the case. Like this advocacy thing - stepping out of character-view and using story-view? That's a sometimes-thing, not an always-thing. Folks who want to paint things like night and day, mutually exclusive poles are oversimplifying. It is the *degree* to which you do that which we can quibble over. And, as noted above - if the mechanics by their nature bring about the desired kind of story, you don't need to step out to make choices with great frequency.
  • 12:51 AM - Saelorn quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    As for best decisions.....an elven wizard's best interest is to live, but a character could decide to sacrifice himself for some cause or greater good. So even if you are trying to "be" the elven wizard, you are (or should be) still capable of making a decision that is clearly not in his own best interests. So I don't know if I can agree with that view at all.People make self-less sacrifices all the time, in real life, so that's not un-realistic or anything. But they make sacrifices for things that matter to them, like the well-being of others, or principles like honor. As mentioned much earlier in this thread, death isn't the worst thing that can happen to a character, so making a sacrifice for the greater good can still be acting in your own best interest. One of the big differences with NS games, and with FATE in particular, is that they ask the player to make decisions against the character's interests. They want the wizard's brother to die, not because it's what the character would want i...
  • 12:19 AM - Lanefan quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    I don't see the distinction you're making between "being" the character and "advocating" for the character. Obviously, there is a known distinction between player and character no matter how much we may try to sublimate it....so advocacy means acting on the character's best interests. Which I think is present in all manner of games. I think the distinction is in how you-as-player view the events unfolding in the fiction and react thereto: in the first person as your character, or in the third person as a player playing a character. As for best decisions.....an elven wizard's best interest is to live, but a character could decide to sacrifice himself for some cause or greater good. So even if you are trying to "be" the elven wizard, you are (or should be) still capable of making a decision that is clearly not in his own best interests. So I don't know if I can agree with that view at all.It comes down to "Is this what the character would do?" and ignoring any metagame ramifications if the answ...
  • 12:01 AM - MGibster quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    As a group activity, I don't really know of any RPG where the story would be about something other than the group/party/team/crew. How does this vary by game? While certainly not old school, many of the meta plot driven published adventures found in various games during the 1990s had the player characters as second bananas to the publisher's favorite NPC.

Monday, 7th January, 2019

  • 08:25 PM - Saelorn quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    I think you touch upon an interesting distinction in that perhaps in Old School, the player isn't as concerned about the overall story so much as simply advocating for their character, so to speak; where as in New School (as these terms seem to be used in the article that started the discussion, anyway) players seem to be a bit more focused on the fiction created through the game. So an Old School gamer would never willingly lose something because it "makes sense" fictionally for the character to do so, but a New School gamer wouldn't hesitate. So there could be some difference in that way in regards to loss.I would hesitate to describe OS role-playing as advocacy, because I actually see that as the biggest difference between the two camps: In an OS game, you are the character; in an NS game, you advocate for the character. I think you're right, that NS gamers are more willing to make sacrifices in the name of a good story, but I think that has more to do with perspective. In an NS game, all o...
  • 08:04 PM - Ovinomancer quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    Perhaps we need to clarify loss for who? The character or the player? I think you touch upon an interesting distinction in that perhaps in Old School, the player isn't as concerned about the overall story so much as simply advocating for their character, so to speak; where as in New School (as these terms seem to be used in the article that started the discussion, anyway) players seem to be a bit more focused on the fiction created through the game. So an Old School gamer would never willingly lose something because it "makes sense" fictionally for the character to do so, but a New School gamer wouldn't hesitate. So there could be some difference in that way in regards to loss. However, I don't know if that means that the loss is not felt by the New School gamer. Simply because they accept the loss, does not mean that they don't feel the loss. The newer games that I've played always included risk and loss....often much more than some of my earlier RPG experiences playing AD&D as a kid. So whil...
  • 04:56 AM - Retreater quoted hawkeyefan in post Take an Adventure in Dystopia with RIFTS: Vampire Kingdoms
    I haven’t had a chance to play that yet. Is it any good? Does it capture the Rifts feel? I had fun with it, though I've played only one session of Savage Rifts (and none of Palladium Rifts). What I can say is that the GM of Savage Rifts was a friend of mine and he had played quite a bit of Palladium (mostly Fantasy but some Rifts). He said it is a good approximation and that it made Rifts "playable." That was good enough for me. Haha
  • 04:01 AM - Saelorn quoted hawkeyefan in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    He claims to be unable to even imagine how it’s possible. Do you agree with his assertion in that regard?Although I may not be following the article correctly, I could see how a "new school" story-based game might be incompatible with the concept of loss. It does hinge on a fairly narrow interpretation of the two camps, though. Basically, "old school" is actually role-playing. The player is the character, as they say. Ignore everything about Gygax and war-gaming (for the sake of this argument). You are thinking like your character, and experiencing the world from their perspective. If the character loses something, then it is like the player losing that thing, because that's your perspective. To contrast, "new school" is actually story-telling. The player is not the character; the player exists fully within the real world, and is (collaboratively) telling a story about the character. If something happens to the character, then it's no skin off your nose, because you're safely ensconced i...


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