View Profile: hawkeyefan - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 07:40 PM
    So the recent focus of the discussion has me thinking and I want to see what others may feel.... When it comes to Background Details such as Bonds or Connections and the like....whatever term may be used for a specific game...some games incorporate them into game mechanics, and others don't (or do so in a minimal way such as 5E's Inspiration). Now, I've been playing with the same group of...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 19th May, 2018, 04:44 PM
    I think a game works best when more than one motivation is present. Preferably several different motivations. So the PCs may be motivated as a group by one main focus (such as accumulating wealth or fighting evil) but then each PC also has their own goals. Revenge, the pursuit of knowledge, the restoration of a clan, the reclamation of a heritage, the desire for power....all of these are...
    42 replies | 1008 view(s)
    3 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 02:54 PM
    Definitely a cool bit of lore. Iíve always played Baalzebul as seeking to have his original form restored, so this seems pretty fitting to me. Getyonís always been a big part of my campaign, so Iím really curious what they do with him, too. Glad heís back and that they did away with the vestige bit they went with in late 3E era products.
    52 replies | 2434 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 02:40 PM
    The ibcreased focus on flaws and bonds in game design has been great, I think. These are things Iíve tried to get my players to commit to over the years, and whenever theyíve done it, itís enriched the game and the story weíre telling. Iím very glad that D&D has adopted this element from other games, and added a mechanical aspect to it. I think maybe a bit more could be done with the system than...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 01:24 AM
    Soooo....other than the times you have, you havenít? :p
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 10:33 PM
    Sure, but you're valuing long term play over short term, which is totally a preference. Nothing wrong with it, but others may not like that style of play and may prefer a game where they get to do cool things with their character right away. I personally like some kind of progression to take place, and my current 5E campaign has many aspects and characters dating back to AD&D...so I have no...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 09:23 PM
    But there's nothing stopping a game from having a different approach than D&D. Couldn't a fantasy game allow a certain character class or type to have a variety of abilities from the very beginning of play, and then rather than gaining new abilities over time, the character can simply get better at them, or perhaps decide which ones to improve? This is of course assuming that there is any...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 04:21 PM
    Sure, "however they want" is an overly broad statement. What I meant was perhaps better described as "in a way more to their liking then what is typically provided within the source material". So they are free to play Spider-Man as being less a "hard luck" hero, or whatever other change from the source that they may like, while still being bound by the game system in place. I hope that's...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 02:21 PM
    I took the original comment to be more about the system/mechanic in general. Not about specific compels but just about them in general. I think there is something to offer for both approaches; one that tries to deliver an experience that feels like the fiction it draws upon, and another that sheds some tropes to allow gamers to play however they want. To tie it back to worldbuilding...it...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    3 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 06:51 PM
    Yeah, I agree. there are different ways to approach the subject matter. And there's nothing wrong with acknowledging that there is a game happening. It's why I'm unconcerned about the fact that D&D doesn't really deliver a Gandalf as we know him from the books.
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 04:14 PM
    Sure. The game mechanics can be designed to try and emulate the character/ability/genre in question. I think most games attempt to do that at the most basic level, but then other games take that goal and carry it further into the game's design. In the case of Spider-Man, his supply of web fluid is never in question until there is a dramatic need for it to be so in the story. If a game is...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 03:32 PM
    I can understand the criticism. If a character is designed to be able to do Cool Thing A and Awesome Thing B, but then rarely does either because of the way the game is designed in relation to resource management, then I can see how the characterís potential isnít being fully realized. To use Gandalf as an example...do we know of any limits to what he can do and how often? Not really. His...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    5 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 03:41 PM
    There are clear advantages to a game where there is a specific premise assumed and all the rules are designed around delivering that premise. Something like Blades in the Dark seems so strong (I've not yet played, but I'm really looking forward to it) because the elements of the game are designed to deliver the experience of a group of scoundrels trying to establish themselves. Rep and Scores and...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 03:25 PM
    I see your point about how 4E's design favored a more immediate need within the game, and how that may correlate with more Story Now style games. This wasn't my take away from 4E, but I can see it in retrospect. Certainly such design choices will impact how a game functions, and what kind of style to which it may lend itself. I think this is at the core of this discussion (or intended...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 12:23 AM
    Sure, that is often the case, and if so, Iíd agree with you and not bother. Have you never done this? Do your PCs just show up at each new adventure location? Again, I understand just getting to the point, but I also think that journeys can be adventures, too. Thereís no reason that the PCs shouldnít encounter pirates on their way to the isle, or any other manner of adventure. As you...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 07:02 PM
    That depends on how you define crunch...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 05:08 PM
    Oh I've had my players take a throwaway comment and decide to make the entire session about that thing. It happens. In a case like that, the improvised detail becomes a more relevant detail. In a case like that, I tend to remember what it was that I said. Or if I don't, the players have since they are the ones who latched onto it. I'm also open about forgetting details like that....I'll lean...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    3 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 04:21 PM
    Well, I would imagine most of us are used to a campaign style game, where we move from adventure to adventure. Some people might be fine with the PCs simply showing up at a location to start a new adventure without worrying about the travel from the last adventure location. I have no problem with that. I tend to move things to what I consider the interesting parts, too. But there's also no...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 04:16 PM
    I'll start this off by saying that I personally try to keep my worldbuilding not necessarily to a minimum, but at least focused on what I think is relevant. And I do tend to agree that I think most GMs probably could do less worldbuilding than they think they need to do. I wouldn't go so far as to label it as inherently bad, though....mostly because all of the concerns you mention, and all those...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    2 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 03:36 PM
    But going off my original statement, we're talking about a detail that I didn't think was relevant enough to warrant knowing ahead of time. So if one of my players asks who was the king before the current king, I can make it up on the spot and achieve the same effect as I would have by writing up a grand history of the throne....because all they asked for was a name. I think that summarizes...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 12:46 AM
    Well youíre assuming I write it down at all! If ití important enough, someone will remember it. If not....well then problem solved.
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 06:48 PM
    I prefer the simpler and more elegant option, myself. I want combat to move as quickly as it can. I don't want the game to grind to a halt every time someone has to take a condition or some other modifier trigger into account. Especially if many may apply. Advantage or Disadvantage is quick, and easy to determine, and then things can proceed. I also don't know if I agree that having more...
    37 replies | 1222 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 06:08 PM
    If I remember correctly, the Ring is intelligent and doesnít like Artus. So I would play it as every time he uses a certain amount of charges, he has to make a check to not be possessed by the Ring. This will make him reluctant to use it as often. If you need him and Dragonbait to leave, then perhaps have Xandala or the Frost Giants successfully steal the Ring from Artus, and he and...
    43 replies | 1260 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 05:46 PM
    Sorry...I didn't mean the minimal needs of the game, but rather whatever is needed for the game you want. So, if you're going to play a game that revolves around the PCs being in a thieves' guild, then having rival guilds and similar material is probably a good idea. Who happened to be the current king's predecessor and why was he dethroned isn't likely going to be as relevant, for example. The...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    2 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 04:47 PM
    Sure, it's a trivial example. Are you incapable of finding a more meaningful example? Didn't you mention up thread that kobolds serving dragons would have more impact than hobgoblins hating elves? You clearly realize there are degrees. I would disagree with this. As I mentioned, it depends on what has already been established. If my game is set in a world that is very much like Westeros...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 04:31 PM
    No, I said the lore is more like a brick that you can use to worldbuild. But you can change it however you like.....thereby building your world to your tastes. There's no reason that someone can't place a campaign in the ancient world and use those exact references from the AD&D Monster Manual, placing the monsters in areas where they sprang from myth. Buying the monster manual is of...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 04:20 PM
    Does this matter? There are more versions of the Monster Manual that don't make such references.
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 04:00 PM
    Well, I agree that you are right and that it will vary greatly from person to person and from gaming group to gaming group. And I don't think that worldbuilding is inherently bad. The idea from the article in the OP is that you do not need to detail an entire world before you even begin to write. Now, the article is more about fiction writing than RPGing, so right there, there's a bit of loss in...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 03:31 PM
    I'm sure he doesn't, which is fine. I can understand his take on worldbuilding, even if I think his definition is too narrow. But it is certainly not a case of excessive detail to pick a monster for an appropriate location or function in a dungoen or other location. Why I consider it worldbuilding in the broader sense is because I think it does implicate things, or at least it potentially...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 02:51 PM
    Oh sure....I was just stating my preference. I donít think thereís anything wrong with what youíre describing. Just that Iíve found for my games my prep time is better spent in other ways.
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 01:22 AM
    See that is the kind of information that, unless itís somehow essential to the game...perhaps thereís a question of royal succession or something like that...I donít think really needs a lot of work beforehand. For me, if a player asked a question like that, I can improv an answer that would be just as useful and meaningful as if Iíd mapped out 8 generations of royal lineage beforehand. My prep...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 01:13 AM
    In the case of Dune, I wouldnít say itís absent of worldbuilding. The guildsmen lack a specific description, sure, but they do possess many other qualities that establish their role in the world and their relation to others. As for episodic campaigns, sure, I think a game can function without any consideration for how the episodes really fit together. Thereís nothing stopping a game group...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 03:37 PM
    Okay. But what if a DM selects such a monster for inclusion in their game world? Presumably when "stocking" a dungeon or similar. Isn't that DM deciding to include a world element? I would say so. Sure, it may be a minor element, but so much of this discussion seems to rely on scope, so I think that's relevant. It depends. If this is what is in the Monster Manual or whatever source is...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 04:45 PM
    This is the "Checkers and Chess" contrast that was mentioned quite some way back, mostly by Ovinomancer. I think it's very true. We can talk about the good and bad aspects of either game. Once we begin to contrast them, then it becomes a bit sticky because that's where the preferences take over rather than just examining one game and its intentions. Now, we're looking at both games, and...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    2 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 04:31 PM
    Not to speak for Maxperson, but as someone who also holds a broader view of worldbuilding, I absolutely understand your point and I agree with it. It is an incredibly broad way to view the term. It's clear from the OP and most of the rest of the thread that the criticism is actually about worldbuilding to excess. This seems a perfectly valid criticism, in my opinion. I even share it. I think...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 04:01 PM
    Yes, this is a modest example, I agree. But Iím not sure I see the distinction in your two comments. What makes it worldbuilding (albeit modest) when Gygax does it, but not worldbuilding when another DM decides to introduce that monster for that same reason? To me, the ďworldĒ implied in worldbuilding is simply the fictional world being established in the game. It can be as small as one room,...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 7th May, 2018, 04:15 PM
    Okay....donít you feel youíve edited out part of my comment that would go a long way toward addressing this? I know you may claim that you edit posts for the sake of brevity, but please....you clearly are not concerned with brevity based on many of your posts which sometimes require an index and visits to multiple websites. Which is fine, they are very informed and insightful. But that makes it...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 7th May, 2018, 04:07 PM
    Yeah, I get your preference. I donít like Sushi, Sushi is Food, therefore Food is disgusting. I absolutely understand your preference. My point is that worldbuilding (not in your definition where only the negative aspects are included, but all aspects are included) is essential, and therefore will always be prevalent. The line for each person is whatís different, and thatís fine, but itís...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 7th May, 2018, 04:28 AM
    Well, I was speaking to Hussar about balancing fluff and crunch, and how one is meaningless without the other. He made a comment about designing encounters, and said something along the lines of ďthereís a refuse pit....so Iíll have an OtyughĒ. So my comment was about why he knew to use an Otyugh, a creature that I donít believe has any mythological origin, and is purely a creation of D&D (I...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 7th May, 2018, 04:14 AM
    Well the Great Wheel cosmology predates Planescape, so I donít know if its conception is relevant to my point. Planescape took that concept and made it accessible. With a major emphasis being accessibility from the very start, with Level 1 PCs. Prior to that, the planes seemed intended to be stomping grounds for high level characters. Planescape did away with that...how does this not fit with...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th May, 2018, 11:41 PM
    There is no functional difference in the planes as presented in Planescape and the planes as presented in 4E. Both are designed with the intention that they be locations for the PCs to actually go to at much lower level and not be reserved for only the hughestlevel characters.
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th May, 2018, 07:18 AM
    Ha okay. I explained how one supplement has given me material Iíve used for 20 years and you ignore that and instead rant about a setting. Obviously, you have strong feelings that wonít even really allow for discussion, so Iíll leave you to it.
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 07:33 PM
    Ah, that makes sense. I guess that title is out then.
    128 replies | 3552 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 04:06 PM
    So itís the original 6 Avengers plus War Machine and Rocket, and possibly Ant-Man and Wasp (although I have a feeling their post credit scene may involve one of them turning to dust). And certainly Captain Marvel, although exactly how she fits into it is a bit unclear. Supposedly, her film takes place years ago in the MCU. So perhaps sheíll arrive in the present day MCU somehow? Or sheíll simply...
    128 replies | 3552 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 04:44 PM
    Sure, WotC and certainly TSR could be lore crazy at times. And that's not unique to them, or to a specific edition. But limiting the discussion to the 5E material published by WotC, I don't think the label applies. The core books are almost lore free, or lore neutral in the sense that they offer examples from all of their classic game worlds. The adventures are obviously Forgotten Realms...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 04:24 PM
    So there is a ton of material of the kind you like, but you want to actively get rid of the kind you don't like? Okay, cool. Listen, I get it that there can easily be too much world lore or fluff included in many products. I just skip whatever I don't like. Problem solved. I don't think it needs to be eliminated. Because the truth is it's subjective, and the line will be different for...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 04:05 PM
    Iíve had a Chessex for years. It curls a little if left rolled for long periods of time, but we pin the corners with books and then it flattens. Mine is two sided, one grid and one hexes. I would recommend this map for sure. It is very durable. It has no terrain, but you can draw whatever you need right on it. We use Expo wet erase markers on it, black only. Iíve seen some color markers leave...
    16 replies | 552 view(s)
    4 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 02:29 PM
    Iím going off the kinds of things Hussar mentioned: maps, NPCs, monsters, encounters, etc. I think you have to consider the adventure books as presenting a good amount of crunch. The locations and encounters are very easy to port to a home game.
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 04:58 AM
    Sure and thatís fair. I can understand the preference. I donít think that what WOTC has published for 5E is as unbalanced toward the fluff as he is implying. The big books seem pretty evenly split, donít they? And then thereís the AL modules that are available through the DMsGuild. Those are short adventures that seem to be very much what he has in mind. But it still may not be enough of...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018, 02:41 PM
    Yes, itís a conpromise. A specific issue may lean one way more than another, but Iím reasonably sure theyíve been giving an entire adventure for free with any issie, right? Maybe not with this last one...I havenít checked it out. At this point, all I can say is that itís pretty much impossible not to include at least some fluff material with any bit of crunch because without it, the mechanics...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 1st May, 2018, 03:36 PM
    I can understand your gripe, but I think your math seems a bit off. You're saying that everything WotC publishes is ALL worldbuilding? You can use 0% of it? I don't think that can be the case. There are plenty of maps and encounters and NPCs and locations that are portable enough to be used in any way you like. Sure, you'd prefer that the books were nothing but that kind of crunch material,...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    2 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 08:20 PM
    I jumped into this thread for some white room analysis and was ready to start shouting ďSUBOPTIMAL!!!!Ē But it appears I was way off. Good to see traffic is growing. Seems like another good sign for the hobby.
    24 replies | 559 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 06:33 PM
    But can you know if it is something he can or cannot do? Meaning, is it dependent on something measurable like the number of Doom Pool dice or something like that? If so, then the players know that the option is or is not yet available to the GM, and when it becomes available. Again, this is where lack of familiarity with the rules system can hinder understanding.....I'm totally making...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 06:02 PM
    Perhaps, sure. I get what you're saying. I'll be interested to see what pemerton's thoughts may be on this. If the GM in Marvel can end the scene, which of course seems to imply a limit in player agency, but can only do so when the Doom Pool gets to a certain number of dice, then that's something the player can predict, and likely even track. So, even though this does reduce agency, it's...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 05:22 PM
    I've questioned some of the conclusions pemerton draws, as well. And other times, I'm not familiar with a certain game system, so it becomes hard to understand shared examples. I have only played the Marvel Heroic game a few times. It was not to my liking. I didn't know what rules system it uses and if this system is present in other games. Part of my dislike of the game is that it was so...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    2 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 04:09 PM
    I think that varies by game mechanic. I am not sure what that may be in Burning Wheel, which seems to be pemerton's primary game, but in Dungeon World and other Powered By the Apocalypse games, there is a set mechanic. Roll 2d6, add your relevant skill or modifier, and if you get a 10+ you succeed, a 7 to 9 you partially succeed or succeed but face some complication, and on a 6 or lower you fail....
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    2 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 02:57 PM
    Sure, thatís a valid point. But at the same time, I would think that people buying Dragon Magazine wouldnít be all that surprised to find a variety of content within. I have my fair share of issues of it and Dungeon, but never really purchased either one regularly. Part of the reason is that i knew any given issue may only offer me a little bit of material to use. So Iíd grab one now and again...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 01:11 AM
    Maxperson Okay. I was hoping to clarify things. But it seems no clarification is needed. My bad, carry on.
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 12:50 AM
    Maxperson No, I was not calling you a liar. Look at your first post and tell me what is in it that would serve as a reason for the situation. Then about surprise failure due to the unknown....you donít think itís negative. You think itís positive. And thatís great. Others are saying they donít like it. For them, the playerís success or failure being within their own ability is more...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 29th April, 2018, 11:07 PM
    Thatís fine. Obviously, others took it differently. Hereís the post: I donít think that thereís much distinction between the two things based solely on this post. Itís why I mentioned in my reply ďif thereís no way for the player to knowĒ because of the fact he pointed out that the forcefield is invisible and inaudible. Now, heís since gone on to eleborate, and thatís fine....but no,...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 29th April, 2018, 09:50 PM
    Iím pointing out how your original post could have been construed. In the way that you originally described it, it certainly seemed to amount to nothing more than a gotcha by the DM. So, without adding later comments into it, look at the scenario as described and then try and see if you can understand some of the responses. Adding comments afterward may clarify things, but I was trying to...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 29th April, 2018, 02:36 PM
    Letís not add details to the example. I can just as easily add details that would suit my purposes. Instead, letís just work with the original example. Based on that, do you not understand the criticism? No, thatís not what I said. I said that the scenario as described seem to serve no other purpose than to be a gotcha moment. Perhaps it could serve some other purpose depending on other...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 29th April, 2018, 06:14 AM
    Well if the DM puts a ditch somewhere and then puts something on the other side of it and then puts an invisible force field blocking anyone from jumping the ditch...I have to say I agree that such a situation is a bit whacky. What else is causing the inevitable outcome other than DM desire? I mean, why put the forcefield there in the first place other than to thwart a PC attempting the jump?...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th April, 2018, 06:01 PM
    Absolutely...I didnít mean to sound like I was disagreeing. Just mentioning it because I play a game that I think would be considered fairly traditional in that there is a ďMain StoryĒ and that as GM Iíve come up with many story elements, but I do incorporate lots of elements that seem more Story Nowish (for lack of a better term). So our traditional game is very much not about simply...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th April, 2018, 05:52 PM
    I cannot envision a scenario where a child is negatively impacted by this video. I also canít envision a scenario where a child who could potentially be impacted would actually watch the video long enough to get to the questionable bit. I also think the video is in line with just about everything D&D related, most notably the PHB, DMG, and MM. So I donít think the content of the video is...
    79 replies | 3297 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th April, 2018, 04:25 PM
    But are those things different? If the presence of the force field is in no way hinted at, if the player has no idea it could possibly be there, then the character cannot succeed at the attempt. In which case, the decision of success and failure has already been made. So in that sense, there is a lack of agency in the sense that the chance for success does not originate with the PC. I...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    2 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th April, 2018, 03:18 PM
    Many of them do, absolutely. I donít think it is a constant state of affairs, but each if the published modules Iím familiar with does this at times. Usually the high number of encounters are connected to an adventure site like a dungeon or a haunted keep or something like that. In one of the past versions of this conversation, I broke down a few different modules where this happened. I...
    130 replies | 5044 view(s)
    3 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th April, 2018, 02:43 AM
    Possibly? I hate to give a vague answer, but it would entirely depend on what else they included in place of the content in question. I get ideas and inspiration from all manner of material, so I like a little of everything. A history like that may evoke some ideas or it may lend context to some game element. On the other hand, a couple of pages of drop in encounters or monster/NPC stat...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Friday, 27th April, 2018, 10:51 PM
    The accumulation of treasure need not be the goal of any game, really. My 5E game is not about that at all. One of the primary goals my players had was to set up a source of income beyond their gains feom adventuring.
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Friday, 27th April, 2018, 05:12 PM
    While I agree that a lot of that is excessive and likely unnecessary, can it not also lead to inspiration? Sure, for you, that article is a waste (likely for me, too) but for someone else, maybe it sparks some idea. Maybe they want to explore some ideas about the ancient cultures of the region. Or maybe they find Aremag to be an interesting creature, and decide to increase his presence and role...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    1 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Friday, 27th April, 2018, 04:50 PM
    What's interesting to me is that you would use predetermined elements like that. Aren't those just GM backstory in another way? Isn't it just a case of Gygax having done the "worldbuilding" beforehand instead of the GM? Do you repurpose the chaotic priest to suit the characters' goals and interests? Don't get me wrong....I mine published material for all kinds of elements to drop into my...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Friday, 27th April, 2018, 04:27 PM
    Take it easy, man! We're 155 pages in.....allow for some side conversations. I understand perfectly well the complaint you are making. I get your complaint overall. I think you apply it in strange ways, but I get it. The clarification about the term worldbuilding is because during the discussion there is obviously confusion about what the term means. So when you use it as a definition for...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 26th April, 2018, 03:49 PM
    Thatís fine....but my comment was made in the context f a GM establishing that level of detail prior to play. Itís not clear from the bit you quoted, but I think in the larger context kf my entire post, itís clear. In which case, I would expect that you would not like that level of detail under those circumstances.
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 25th April, 2018, 07:41 PM
    No, I get that entirely. I understand your preference and why you have it. No need for you to explain further. I've not been critical of your preference, so much as I think some of the examples you've made to explain your preference have gone too far to try and prove your point, and they've become examples of "bad worldbuilding", and then many responses are really about that more so than...
    2666 replies | 66469 view(s)
    0 XP
  • hawkeyefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 25th April, 2018, 05:00 PM
    Just to clarify on some of the definitions that were posted earlier, here are links for a couple of the sites so people can read the entire entries. I've also quoted some bits that I think support a more broad definition of worldbuilding. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worldbuilding Here's the opening quote, expanded a bit from what was posted earlier (bolded emphasis mine): ...
    1901 replies | 64257 view(s)
    4 XP
No More Results
About hawkeyefan

Basic Information

About hawkeyefan
Location:
New York
Age Group:
31-40

Statistics


Total Posts
Total Posts
1,771
Posts Per Day
1.38
Last Post
What is *worldbuilding* for? Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018 07:40 PM

Currency

Gold Pieces
0
General Information
Last Activity
Yesterday 08:54 PM
Join Date
Monday, 17th November, 2014
Product Reviews & Ratings
Reviews Written
1
Page 1 of 7 1234567 LastLast

Thursday, 24th May, 2018


Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018


Sunday, 20th May, 2018


Saturday, 19th May, 2018


Friday, 18th May, 2018


Thursday, 17th May, 2018



Page 1 of 7 1234567 LastLast
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Saturday, 12th May, 2018

  • 11:09 AM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    ...his backstory to try and make the dungeon actually make sense in the context of a consistent, coherent world. This seems to me to be exactly the sort of distinction Hussar is drawing, between adventure design and worldbuilding. You believe he's stating personal preference and applying these reasons to... himself only as opposed to making a general statement about why he believes world building is bad in general? If so that seems like an interesting way of interpreting his statement, and certainly not how I read it. I don't blame you for your preferences, and I'm sure they've formed as a result of your actual experiences, but I don't think they are universal enough to consider worldbuilding as bad. I just don't think it's all that different from any other tool the DM can use....they can be used effectively, or they can be abused.Let's take it, for the sake of argument, that Hussar's comments are grounded primarily in personal preference grounded in personal experience. Are hawkeyefan's grounded in anything more robust or objective? I doubt it. In other words, the claims worldbuilding is not bad is not grounded more firmly than the claim that worldbuilding is bad. So what's the objection to Hussar that doesn't apply to hawkeyefan? That he's hurting feelings? EDIT: Another reason in favour of up-front world-building, or at least an aspect of current game design that will tend to force some world-building by default, just occurred to me: the increasing importance of and emphasis on character backgrounds. <snip> one of the first questions to arise in any sort of character history or background is going to be "where am I from?"; and the second is likely to be a variant on "how did I get to <where the campaign starts>?"; and answering these questions - likely for a variety of races and classes within your starting party - is by default going to force a surprising amount of world-building. <snip> So, unless a DM wants to end up with something of a hod...

Friday, 27th April, 2018

  • 09:52 AM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    So in your view worldbuilding - as opposed to setting-building - only starts when you're trying to, say, determine the distance and terrain between the Keep and the Threshold region from B-10 or the Village of Hommlet from T-1? If so, that works too.Well, as I recently replied to hawkeyefan, I don't think of world building in terms of amount. I think of it in terms of method. The traditional, and in my view far-and-away most common, way of thinking about worldbuilding for RPGing is that the GM does it, often (even typically) in advance of play, and more-or-less independently of the players, and even moreso independently of any particular moment of play. (So maybe the players contribute in session zero, but not afterwards.) That method of worldbuilding not only establishes a setting - in virtue of doing that, it also establishes a function for that setting and a way that it will be used. (This has been discussed in detail in the other thread.) There are other ways of establishing setting than this sort of GM-worldbuilding. And of course presenting a situation also establishes some setting (eg that a deceptive evil priest exists). It's these different methods for establishing setting, which give it a different function in play, that I care about. Ah, but to mak...

Saturday, 3rd March, 2018

  • 06:43 PM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...haracter'. Advocacy isn't really relevant here, although presumably a character is a vehicle for the player to express some sort of desire about what she wants to play. I would call 'actor stance' (I haven't really used these terms) to be 'playing in first person', but in my discussion first person isn't really material either. What is material is that the player is taking, within the game world and its fiction, the characteristics, the AGENCY (ability to do things in the game) of the character. This is what you mean by 'no meta-game' presumably. As with pemerton, I find it odd that anyone would assert that players bound to character stance have the same agency WRT the fiction as one's who don't live within that limit. Beyond that though, Pemerton's point includes that a player CAN be entirely in what I call character stance and STILL exercise agency over the fiction, and that this is a common method of play. I think it is what most of us are really debating about here. You, Lanefan, hawkeyefan, et al often maintain that you take into consideration player motivations, desires, suggestions, possibly even to the level of players establishing fictional elements via making checks (IE I search for a secret door and one shows up if the search is successful) in some cases. I think there's an unbroken continuum in a practical sense from my 'spherical cow' endless random maze where all decisions are pointless, on up through Arnesonian (poor guy gets shafted on credit too much) dungeon play, to various degrees of GM establishment of and utilization of fixed backstory and hidden positioning, on up through all the degrees of GMs cooperating with players to put the elements they want into the story, finally on up to formal scene framing (standard narrativist model) play, and into formal systems of player authorship, and finally unconstrained group authorship. In this context I think it is reasonable to get back to the original discussion of world building (which I would generalize to m...

Tuesday, 27th February, 2018

  • 07:16 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...s (Toon) . Well, I did consider these two genre, and I agree that they are on the 'not focused on exploration' end of the spectrum. Still, they have SOME exploration built into them (Toon is hard to categorize, its mostly slapstick, but it COULD involve exploring a novel environment now and then). Still, most games include, at least, some sort of 'investigation' as an element, and MANY, maybe even most, RPGs are quite heavy on exploratory activity of some sort. I mean, I'm thinking of games I've played in the last 10 years, it was pretty far up there as a part of the agenda of all but a couple. Did I say one person? [Goes back and checks] Nope. I've run with multiple GMs cooperatively so it'd be pretty foolish of me to say so. OK, I think its fair to say that most of the discussion here didn't involve multi-GM setups. Those, IME, are rare, though certainly not unheard of (I've done several myself, they're fun). Now, I can't say how much your gaming is of this type. I'm guessing hawkeyefan and Lanefan and others are not usually playing this way. The vision needs to be kept separate form the players otherwise you have a situation where the group that needs to find a solution already knows all the information. That pretty much negates puzzle solving. Now there are playstyles where the players are playing to find out "what happens next" as opposed to "how it works and what do we do with it" where having all the (partial) available information in advance isn't a problem, but I find puzzle solving is the opposite if fun if I already know where every piece goes. I think I have said that there's a point here. It is basically what the Czege Principle is all about. You can't both author a challenge and be the one to resolve it. The reasons may not always have to do with hidden information exactly, but in spirit its the same kind of issue, you're playing both sides of the field. Of course it WOULD be possible to have different players know different things, so I think we can'...

Sunday, 25th February, 2018

  • 01:50 PM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    It isn't about TRUST, it is about "what is the most reliable and useful process by which to translate the player's agenda and wants into the narrative so they get to play characters that address those things?" That's all it is about. Why go through the roundabout process of having a GM devise an entire setting in detail without reference to the players, and then try to translate that into addressing what they are interested in? Why make every element of the plot and setting the sole responsibility of the GM so that he has to figure out a way to understand what the players want and then do it, instead of just having the player say <snip hypothetical example>I think this relates to hawkeyefan upthread asking "Is it binary?" (ie player- vs GM-driven play). I guess it can be non-binary in the sense that the GM adapts whatever it was s/he wrote in advance to respond to the player agendas - but then what work is the GM-driven stuff doing on that occasion of play? I think this also relates to the distinction between prep and pre-authorship. Having some stuff ready in advance (eg in Traveller, given that's what I've been GMing recently, some worlds, some ships, some NPCs good to go) can be handy. That's different from having a setting that already answers the questions that are likely to come up in play (like "Who hear can be bribed?" or "What can we learn about aliens?").
  • 03:10 AM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    This is why I disagree with your premise in the OP as the boardgame style is still VERY prevalent today (in particular in D&D games) and this is clearly evident given the AP and modules which are being published by WotC. EDIT: The type of player agency you require for your games is just not as important in the (for lack of a better term) boardgame style where fictional positioning of the map is done by the DM.I think this is an important point. The boardgame type play does involve a very different sort of agency. But Lanefan doesn't describe a boardgame type of play in his posts - he talks about PCs in a town, talking to NPCs to be assigned missions which involve travelling overland and interacting with various other beings. I don't think hawkeyefan plays in the boardgame style, either. The boardgame style depends upon a very high degree of austerity in the setting, so that everything that is salient and relevant is not only known by the GM, but is relatively straightforwardly knowable/learnable by the players (this will obviously vary across tables - for Gygax GMing Rob Kuntz the standardf for learnability is pretty liberal, but that's because the latter is a very experienced player who has a very high familiarity with the former as a GM). Repeated exploration of the dungeon, strong and knowable conventions around how the dungeon-state evolves in response to PC incursions, etc are all part of it. Meaningful scope for player choice in how to explore and clear the board is also a part of it. I don't think a module like Sunless Citadel meets these standards - just to give one real-world example. I think that White Plume Mountain does.

Saturday, 24th February, 2018

  • 01:28 AM - Sadras mentioned hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    The people who disagree with you, myself included, have years of experience of that type of play - so we know it has zero player agency. You, on the other hand, don't have a single minute of play experience of the type of game which I, and @pemerton and @Manbearcat and @AbdulAlhazred say does offer player agency. In other words, you approach this topic from a position of complete and profound ignorance, while we do not. This is fair, however it is painfully obvious that the two camps define player agency differently and this is what seems to be causing the disconnect in the debate. @Maxperson, @Lanefan @hawkeyefan and others (including myself) have not hidden the fact that player authorial control is limited in our games, we just do not equate player agency with authorial control over the setting. Step 0 is agreeing to the definition of agency 2 : the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power : OPERATION 3 : a person or thing through which power is exerted or an end is achieved : INSTRUMENTALITY and authorial power Ability to author elements into the fiction As a first step, I propose for the sake of the debate that @pemerton's camp (i) Defines player agency as the ability to declare action declarations only and NOT exercise authorial power (again just for the sake of the debate); The second step, is for @Lanefan's camp to (ii) Acknowledge that due to the DM's authorial power, his/her NPCs have greater agency (able to declare a greater number of actions) than the PC's. This point seems like a fairly obvious one to accept. Finally, the resultant conclusion being (...

Thursday, 15th February, 2018

  • 09:27 AM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...yes" to player action declarations, Classic Traveller's mechanics for things like perception, searching, etc are a bit weak. But it will still flow from action declaration. For instance, an ealier patron encounter (the result of the action declaration "I chill at the bar of the Traveller's Aid Society hoping to meet a patron), and the way that encounter unfolded in the back-and-forth of free roleplaying, has established constraints on the logic of the conspiracy. In the session we played on Sunday the PCs elected to attack the conspirators rather than take a bribe from them. Had they taken the bribe, we would then probably have had to make a further reaction roll when discussions ensued; and (say) a good reaction would impose further constraints on tenable narration of subsequent fiction. Etc. The only "collaboration" that is necessary is a shared sense of genre and fictional position that supports solid framing, action declartions and narration of consequences. Eg the example that hawkeyefan offers makes no sense, as nothing in the fiction makes it remotely plausible that Sauron would be in Rivendell; and even if Boromir could perceive a long way (not absurd - he went to Rivendell in response to a dream, after all) he can't attack at that distance. Similarly, if it's established that the PCs are in a cave, then "I search the study for the map" is not a reasonable action declaration. (Just as with Luke Crane's example: no roll to find beam weaponry in the Duke's toilet.)

Wednesday, 7th February, 2018

  • 12:45 PM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Framing a scene can (usually does if not always) lead to worldbuilding. A tower has been established through the framing - a tower that wasn't there before. I don't know how you can't see it. I believe this is where everyone is having the disconnect with you.What disconnect? Obviously framing a scene with a tower establishes setting. My point is that it is not pre-authored. It occurs on the spot as part of the ongoing back-and-forth between players and GM. This relates back to a reply upthread to hawkeyefan. One consequence of pre-authored setting is that the GM may (frequently does, I believe) use it to declare actions unsuccessful based on secret considerations of fictional positioning. (This is what the map example has mostly been about.) Another is that the pre-authored setting reflects the GM's conception of the concerns/themes/direction of play. As I posted just upthread of this, the idea that there is no interesting difference here strikes me as no more plausible than the idea that conversing with a friend is no different from reading a script to them.

Sunday, 4th February, 2018

  • 09:53 AM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    hawkeyefan, what you describe doesn't sound wildly different from the Traveller ambergris episode I described upthread. Where we may differ in approach (or not) is the following: (1) Tthe extent to which the player-chosen backstory elements (eg ties to the Shades) provide the material for the challenges of play. The more this stuff is "going where the action is", the closer we are. (2) The extent to which player concenrs (as evinced through PC motivations) have a thematic/value-type dimension to them rather than a purely utilitarian/efficiency aspect. The more of the former, the easier to force the players into choices where there is no optimal solution (as opposed to simply a cost-benefit calculation to be made). From what you posted, I didn't work out whether or not the PC has loyalty to the Shades. (3) The method of resolution of the intrigue. That could be more like the "solve the GM's puzzle" or more like my own preferred approach of "frame a check, and then resolve it".

Saturday, 3rd February, 2018

  • 06:52 AM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    hawkeyefan: the idea of "finding the map as a challenge" proveids an answer to the OP question "what is (GM-preauthored) worldbuilding for"? Here is my understanding of what you mean by "finding the map as a challenge": The GM writes that the map is in X place. The players "explore the gameworld" (that's metaphor), which is to say they make moves by declaring actions for their characters that trigger various bits of narration by the GM: eg "We look behind the tapestry." "There's nothing there but a whitewashed brick wall." Some of this narration contains clues that point (directly or indirectly) towards X. Eventually, the players declare "We go to X and [insert appropriate details that pertain to how one might search X] and look for the map." Assuming the details are correct, the GM tells the players "You find the map." That's the sort of play that I personally don't enjoy. I mentioned upthread that in my Traveller game I had to resolve an attempt to find trinkets of alien manufacture...

Friday, 2nd February, 2018

  • 05:03 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...uthfully, I think when I hear you guys debating about the map in the room and who gets to decide where it is and when, I think the essence of the question, from a scene-framing standpoint, has been lost. What is this map about? Why is the PC trying to find it? What is he willing to stake on finding it, and what are the consequences if it isn't found? I mean, if its just a map that you might find by chance, then who cares? If it isn't something that the players know will shape the story, then it doesn't even exist. I mean, until some element enters into the story, its just a notion in someone's imagination, or maybe a note scribbled in a notebook that nobody else has ever read. Does a tree make a sound if it falls in the forest and nobody hears it? Does an imaginary map exist if nobody finds it? The point being that that whole debate is pointless until you talk about the greater context. In a Gygaxian sort of game the map is simply a possible resource that may or may not be found, and hawkeyefan is right, a check to find it resolves nothing but the check, either way the character succeeded. pemerton SHOULD see it the same way! NOTHING IS AT STAKE THAT WE KNOW OF, so there cannot BE 'success' or 'failure' by his criteria! Once the map NEEDS to be found, because it is now a part of the narrative in terms of furthering or resolving some conflict in the game, then by pemerton's method of play, the PLAYER is entitled to (either by fictional positioning of his character, or by use of a meta-game construct in the rules of play) exercise his agency in the game to bring about a chance of finding that map, regardless of any 'puzzle-solving' aspect of the game. If its just a matter of the character lacking the knowledge to have the agency to control his destiny then in 'Pemertonian' terms the scenario is a railroad, or at least lacks a potential positive outcome that could exist. Its not the case that the player must get his way, BTW, it is only the case that he should have a way to WA...

Thursday, 1st February, 2018

  • 01:28 PM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    You mean you thwarted player agency by having secret information in the form of pre-generated worlds that would trigger GM narration when the players traveled there - instead of letting the players impose their will on the fiction by declaring what kind of worlds they wanted to find.The players didn't express any such preference (ie there was no player agency at work there). If they had, the process might have been different. See the discussion upthread, in response to Ovinomancer and hawkeyefan, of the difference between players looking for more fiction and players wanting a particular content to be part of the fiction.
  • 10:32 AM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... stuff isn't agency, except in the most mininal sense that it's an alternative to everyone just sitting there silently. And you're right that I don't think killing an orc is, of necessity, the same thing in the fiction as finding a map. It might be more significant. It might be less significant. Obviously they involve different imagined causal processes. The reason I say they're structurally equivalent is not just that they're legal moves, but that they're legal moves for the same reason: both add new information to the description in a way that is genre faithful, consistent with already established fiction, salient to the game participants, etc. People can have any number of reasons for saying that only the GM can make one of those moves. But those reasons can't include anything about what is "realistic", or any allged necessary consequence for resolution methods resulting from the metaphysics of actual maps and actual deaths. ****************************************** hawkeyefan, I'm replying only to those bits of your post where I think I've got something interesting to say in reponse. So here you mean things like the GM deciding this is going to be a court intrigue based game in a D&D style setting meaning that the player who wanted to be a barbarian is kind of SOL, right? <snp> I don't think I as the GM wield my secret knowledge like a club to bash the players with. I establish elements of the games that I think will be compelling. I don't do it simply to thwart my players and any ideas that they may have. <snip> When you comment on the worst version of GM backstory boiling down to the Gm reading a story to the players...is that all that different from the GM reading the results of rolls on random tables to the players?Here I think I just want to say a bit more about how I see things. By GM control over "big picture" I don't mean so much the setting/genre conventions you raise - I see that as more about reaching group consensus on setting...
  • 02:06 AM - pemerton mentioned hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...ion coming out of action resolution (eg Streetwise). I went the first way on this occasion, which I'm not sure was the best way but as it hapened no wheels fell off.) So the players, when they ask, "Are there any alien artefacts at the market", have a chance of the answer being "yes". But I didn't just "say 'yes'". The relevant PC has Education 13 (a high score) which we've already established is a doctorate in Xeno-Archaeology. So that establishes, as a matter of fictional positioning, that he might recognise alien trinkets. (The other PCs have no real chance, as they don't have the right fictional positioning. That wasn't controversial at the table.) But I called for a check - it succeeded - and so I described the alien trinket that he noticed for sale. This is the GM reading/telling the players stuff. Now, I have preferences that this not be done from pre-authored notes. That relates to the third of the consequences of GM-preauthored worldbuilding that I mentioned in my reply to hawkeyefan not far upthread; and is also described clearly in Eero Tuovinen's account of the "standard narrativistic model" that I linked to somewhere upthread: I prefer a game which is focused on stuff that the players bring to it (via PC build, evinced thematic/trope/"wouldn't it be cool if . . ." desires, etc). Whereas GM pre-authorship (which eg Lanefan advocates should be done without knowing anything about what preferences and PCs the players might bring to the game) tends to make the focus one that speaks to the GM. Relating this to agency: when the game play (at some moment) is predominantly the GM telling the players stuff, then it is the GM who is exercising agency. The fact that that players pressed the button that triggered the GM's narration doesn't change that. But if the GM's narration draws upon, responds to and incorportaes stuff that the players have brought to the game, then the GM's agency is building on their prior exercises of it. Whereas if the GM is telling them stuff t...

Sunday, 10th September, 2017

  • 09:57 PM - Helldritch mentioned hawkeyefan in post How viable is 5E to play at high levels?
    Stalker0 Check on page 37 for some advice I gave. May not be perfect but it's a start. Many others gave some of their "tricks" to either run encounters or simply build them. With all the ideas on this thread, you should find something that suits you. Sacrosanct I tend to agree with you. But a small guideline can help a lot the novice DM. hawkeyefan All of what you posted above as an answer to Stalker0 is correct. Using Sacrosanct approach isn't bad either. I am also for more intelligent played monsters. Be it from a highly combative instinct or higher intellect. And again, a small guideline can help a novice DM by quite a lot. Although I really feel that 5e is usable in high level campaign from the box. The work needed to do so can be quite high for the DM that don't have the time to build encounters with heavy experience calculation or the time to make simulations like I do. In that respect, our friend CapnZapp is right to ask for better suited tools to make high level campaign easier to make. Although I may seem to be on the "everything's ok" side, I am really in the middle ground on that subject. I did used heavy modifications at the beginnings of 5e. I've had my share of one way fights. It took me 3 months to find out what was going wrong with the way I was playing. All my simulations were off by quite a lot. It is only by e...

Tuesday, 15th August, 2017


Friday, 4th August, 2017

  • 03:07 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned hawkeyefan in post Resting and the frikkin' Elephant in the Room
    Apparently so does everyone else who has responded to you. :D OTOH, there ARE systems out there that are very much grounded in a world building approach. Traveller, GURPS, HARN, Battletech, just to name a few off the top of my head. But, as soon as you try applying D&D mechanics to an actual world, it falls apart. You too huh? :p Well, given that you XP's hawkeyefan's defense of your position, I'm going with your position being that for a game to support worldbuilding it should have defined systems for worldbuilding that integrate at least somewhat into the mechanical systems. But this just describes a mechanical aid to worldbuilding, and doesn't actually define worldbuilding. As hawkeyefan notes: Otherwise it's a downward spiral of madness. Wait...how can towns exist in a world where there are giant, flying, fire-breathing predators? Wouldn't dragons always destroy any town that came along? Well, maybe the explanation is that many towns have a wizard that is high enough level to at least give the dragon pause. Oh, but then we have NPCs overshadowing our PCs, and that stinks. Okay, well then maybe it's because enough archers, even really low level characters, can bring down a dragon with enough time. Meh, then that makes dragons kind of lame, no? But this is trivially solved by worldbuilidng a number of ways. Just to toss out a few: dragon...

Thursday, 13th July, 2017

  • 05:18 PM - OB1 mentioned hawkeyefan in post Resting and the frikkin' Elephant in the Room
    shoak1 - I have seen nothing but compliments from hawkeyefan and Lanefan and many others for your innovative design and creativity in adapting D&D to your style of play. No one is saying that you can't or shouldn't play that way. The argument they are making, and I agree with, is that D&D 5e is designed to be an RPG, not a board game, and so it's rules are designed to appeal to people who prefer that style of play. That's not to say it can't be adapted to other styles, just that it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that the content WOTC puts out for the game is designed reinforce that style. WOTC produces quite excellent board games in the D&D style like Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of Ashardelon, Temple of Elemental Evil etc, specifically to those looking for more of a board game. You can disagree with WOTC's decision to emphasize this particular rule set, and you can change it to fit your style, but I'm fairly certain that WOTC knows exactly what segment of the gaming market they are looking to create D&D 5e for, and they have been enormousl...
  • 04:35 AM - Harzel mentioned hawkeyefan in post Resting and the frikkin' Elephant in the Room
    ...d another thing that doesn't exist yet. I wouldn't be so picky, but the word "interject" in this context seems not only inaccurate, but also loaded - it carries the connotation of something that is unnecessary, gratuitous, or disruptive, which seems to sort of prejudice the discussion. Anyway, that semantic quibble aside, from things you have previously said, you have no trouble with the DM creating the content, it is a matter of timing. This is the thing that I can't quite wrap my head around. I mean, it is true that advance prep is very much required for the awesome (really!) battlescapes that you create, but you seem to have objections to improv that go considerably beyond that consideration. So what (desirable/undesirable) quality does pre-planned content necessarily (have/lack) that improv'd content necessarily (lacks/has)? In the latter scenario the DM exercises judgement between player cause and effect and in the former he doesn't. Since in the post you were replying to hawkeyefan said, "In either case, the middle step requires DM judgement.", saying that DM judgement is the difference is unlikely to clarify what you mean. In your way of thinking, since the DM decides it anyways, then it doesn't matter "doesn't matter" is a very broad assertion, particularly when you are telling someone else that is what they are thinking. What would be helpful is if you could tell us, in terms of game play, why it does matter to you. - but surely you know that that is the exception to the way most people play most games right? Of course you can say that the decision you made between the cause and effect is the same that you would have made days ago before the players did all that they did, and maybe it even is - but surely you can see why many gamers would say "yeah, right lol," and prefer you not be interjecting your decision at that time, right? So if by the decision being the "same" you mean "identical" then to me it seems like a strawman. Would people be skeptical o...


Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
No results to display...
Page 1 of 65 123456789101151 ... LastLast

Thursday, 24th May, 2018

  • 05:26 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    So the recent focus of the discussion has me thinking and I want to see what others may feel.... When it comes to Background Details such as Bonds or Connections and the like....whatever term may be used for a specific game...some games incorporate them into game mechanics, and others don't (or do so in a minimal way such as 5E's Inspiration). Now, I've been playing with the same group of people since we were kids, and we long ago all started creating background details and connections to NPCs or other PCs for our characters without any rule telling us to do so. I think this is why I found the initial premise of the thread to be so questionable....my players have been involved in worldbuilding pretty heavily since the 2e D&D days. And I and other GMs in our group have always taken these character details into consideration when running a game. It seems to me that there are three primary variations of how a game handles this. I'm sure that there are any number of slight variations on th...
  • 05:03 AM - Lanefan quoted hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    It seems to me that there are three primary variations of how a game handles this. I'm sure that there are any number of slight variations on them, but the three i think seem to be the most prominent are: 1) The game leaves the determination of Background Details and how they impact play to the players and/or GM. (3E D&D) 2) The game includes these details in character generation, but the effect they have on play is nil or minimal. (5E D&D's inspiration) 3) The game includes these kinds of details in character generation, and then they can impact play in some mechanical way. (FATE) Are there other approaches to background details in addition to the three I've outlined above?Yes, I think there is: 4) The game leaves determination of Background Details* to random roll, done either during char-gen or sometime later or never, and any impact on play is determined by the DM only if-when something significant is rolled. The background roll(s) are merely to help provide ideas for the play...

Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018

  • 04:47 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    But there's nothing stopping a game from having a different approach than D&D. Couldn't a fantasy game allow a certain character class or type to have a variety of abilities from the very beginning of play, and then rather than gaining new abilities over time, the character can simply get better at them, or perhaps decide which ones to improve? This is of course assuming that there is any progression expected in the game. I don't see why a game can't just start with fully realized characters, with little to no advancement in mind for play. Sure, I think such a game would lack something, but there's no reason a game couldn't function that way. Well, Traveler effectively DOES work that way. In the original Classic game there was literally no mechanism at all for character advancement, EXCEPT if you had psionics, which could only be acquired by training (they were considered to be highly prejudiced against and thus unavailable in normal play). I always thought of that system as basically ...

Friday, 18th May, 2018

  • 12:26 PM - pemerton quoted hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Couldn't a fantasy game allow a certain character class or type to have a variety of abilities from the very beginning of play, and then rather than gaining new abilities over time, the character can simply get better at them, or perhaps decide which ones to improve? Yes. BW can play that way. Cortex+ Heroic Fantasy largely does play that way (not surprising, given its roots in Marvel Heroic RP). There must be many other examples too, that I just happen to be ignorant of.
  • 01:38 AM - Maxperson quoted hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    To tie it back to worldbuilding...it seems pretty similar to me. I can see value in both approaches; one where the world is largely predetermined prior to the start of play, and another that largely builds the world through play. In either case, it would seem odd to take one approach and then expect it to deliver the result of the other approach. And I think thatís the cause of most of the tension throughout the discussion. That's one of the reasons that I like D&D so much. The system is so broadly built, that while it doesn't do any style amazingly well, with a bit of tweaking it can do most styles decently(or better) well. You can get a bunch of different experiences out of it.
  • 01:01 AM - Lanefan quoted hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    I mean, even within the D&D world, haven't we all played in a game that started at a higher level than 1? So there's a demand or occasional need just in D&D, let alone other games.Actually, other than con games and intentional one-offs, I have not. :)

Thursday, 17th May, 2018

  • 09:48 PM - Lanefan quoted hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    But there's nothing stopping a game from having a different approach than D&D. Couldn't a fantasy game allow a certain character class or type to have a variety of abilities from the very beginning of play, and then rather than gaining new abilities over time, the character can simply get better in them, or perhaps choose which to focus on. This is of course assuming that there is any progression expected in the game. I don't see why a game can't just start with fully realized characters, with little to no advancement in mind for play. Sure, I think such a game would lack something, but there's no reason a game couldn't function that way.Sure it could function that way for a while, but I see it becoming somewhat self-limiting once the DM and-or players in effect run out of stories. For a short one-adventure campaign or a one-off or anything else that doesn't go on very long - sure, this works just fine. But for anything intended to have "legs" enough to last for any significant length o...
  • 02:27 PM - Aldarc quoted hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    I took the original comment to be more about the system/mechanic in general. Not about specific compels but just about them in general.Thank you and Maxperson for your own readings. That helps. I think there is something to offer for both approaches; one that tries to deliver an experience that feels like the fiction it draws upon, and another that sheds some tropes to allow gamers to play however they want.Though I understand your intent, at least presumably, I do take some issue with the bold, namely that it somewhat contradicts the rest of your statements. System and mechanics will inherently place limitations on how a player can play such that the idea that one system permits players to play their character "however they want" while the other doesn't seems iffy. But nice tie-ins with overarching topic.

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018

  • 11:42 PM - Sadras quoted hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    To use Gandalf as an example...do we know of any limits to what he can do and how often? Not really. His abilities are basically summarized in the word ďwizardĒ and then beyond that are nebulously defined at best. So itís not the best example. and LotR also more accurately likely has a magical fatigue system (or even a magical skills one) rather than a Vancian spells per day one, so I'm not sure if this satirical comparison is apt. If one sought to simulate magic in Middle Earth, D&D's magic system would probably be one of the last systems I would consider. My point was we did see a little of what Gandalf could do, and he never brought that level of power everytime to every encounter. I still think his class was realised. And Aldarc you make a good point regarding the Harry Potter/Gandalf comment. I said maybe 200 pages ago or so in this thread that these conversations become more about ďsidesĒ than about actually examining anything, and I think thatís really run rampant in th...
  • 10:26 PM - Imaro quoted hawkeyefan in post Hidden
  • 05:38 PM - Imaro quoted hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Sure. The game mechanics can be designed to try and emulate the character/ability/genre in question. I think most games attempt to do that at the most basic level, but then other games take that goal and carry it further into the game's design. In the case of Spider-Man, his supply of web fluid is never in question until there is a dramatic need for it to be so in the story. If a game is designed to replicate that moment of drama when he runs out of fluid, it's likely to play different where it's just a question of the player tracking the number of uses before the supply is exhausted. One is about the drama of the story, the other is about resource management of a game. Back to Gandalf, D&D took the idea of a wizard and gave the class the ability to cast spells. That's one level. But Gandalf doesn't "run out" of spells in the books. We don't really know how his ability to cast spells may work, or what limits may be set upon it. I don't even know if the things he does are ever actually des...
  • 03:44 PM - Aldarc quoted hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    But if we look at another example...letís say Spider-Man...then it becomes clearer. We know pretty specifically what Spider-Man can do...heís super strong and agile, he can climb on walls and spin webs, and he has a spider-sense that warns him of danger. Now imagine a Spider-Man who never once spins a web in a game because he can only do it 3 times a day, and he wants to keep the option to do so available in the event of a more dangerous encounter. In this case, a core concept of the character has become far less prominent solely due to game balance. I can absolutely understand this conceptually.My mind raced to how this would be done in Fate. There are multiple subsystems and rule variations available in Fate, but I could see that "Webslingers" may be its own aspect as part of a powers package (see Venture City), but with "All Out of Web" as a trouble, such that the GM could potentially compel the character to be "out" of webslinging fluid or needing to refill in order to heighten the dang...

Tuesday, 15th May, 2018

  • 12:31 AM - pemerton quoted hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    You weren't active during the lead-up to and the 5e playtest, but there were a considerable number of conversations about prospective 5e design that we had on here that were central to the discussion of play priorities. One of the absolutely most fundamental ones was this: Balance By the Encounter vs Balance By the Adventuring Day I don't know if the two paradigms are so opposed as to be mutually exclusive, though. However, as you mentioned, I wasn't active during that period, so I didn't see a lot of those conversations, and so I can't say for certain. But what I mean is that if both paradigms are attempting to balance the game, even though they use different methods, I don't know if they must be strongly opposed. I think you agree at least partially because of your statement about balancing encounters would lead to a balanced adventuring day.From my point of view, the contrast is this: if the unit of balance is the encounter (scene), then it is possible to allow events to unfold as they d...

Monday, 14th May, 2018

  • 04:10 PM - Ovinomancer quoted hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    I see your point about how 4E's design favored a more immediate need within the game, and how that may correlate with more Story Now style games. This wasn't my take away from 4E, but I can see it in retrospect. Certainly such design choices will impact how a game functions, and what kind of style to which it may lend itself. I think this is at the core of this discussion (or intended discussion!). I don't know if the two paradigms are so opposed as to be mutually exclusive, though. However, as you mentioned, I wasn't active during that period, so I didn't see a lot of those conversations, and so I can't say for certain. But what I mean is that if both paradigms are attempting to balance the game, even though they use different methods, I don't know if they must be strongly opposed. I think you agree at least partially because of your statement about balancing encounters would lead to a balanced adventuring day. So is it a question of the more top down approach not being tenable? Could enco...
  • 04:32 AM - Manbearcat quoted hawkeyefan in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Luckily for you, we've kept this thread alive for all that time! OK, so you've teased this out in relation to DW and Moldvay Basic. I think I am making a similar claim in relation not to two particular systems, but two reasonably broad but also recognisable play priorities: players exercising agency over the content of the shared fiction by way of action resolution - a whole range of games prioritise this, but 4e will do as well as any as a working example - and players learning what setting ideas and elements the GM has come up with, and enjoying the experience of learning them by way of second-person narration - I think that this is an important aspect of a lot of CoC play, a lot of post-DL D&D module play, and a fair bit of what (in this thread) has been described as the players, via their characters, "exploring" the gameworld and gathering information about it. I think it's pretty hard for the same episode of RPGing to serve both those priorities. I agree that it is pretty hard (I...

Saturday, 12th May, 2018

  • 11:21 AM - pemerton quoted hawkeyefan in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    Well, I would imagine most of us are used to a campaign style game If you're playing/running Isle of Dread as a one-off adventure then sure, what you say is absolutely true. But I'm assuming in all cases here that these adventures are embedded in an ongoing campaignWell, if someone says "worldbuilding isn't necessary for RPGing", and you agree that it's not necessary for a one-shot, then why would you just assume they're talking about something else? And now, once we've got that possibility on the table, what about a campaign in which the players turn up each session and either recommence where they left off in the current dungeon, or else find out which new adventure the GM has planned for today. That sort of campaign doesn't seem like it would need worldbuilding either. And now, are there other sorts of campaigns that (unlike the one described in the previous paragraph) involve scenario-to-scenario continuity, but don't require worldbuilding? I can report from experience that there a...
  • 11:09 AM - pemerton quoted hawkeyefan in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    ...his backstory to try and make the dungeon actually make sense in the context of a consistent, coherent world. This seems to me to be exactly the sort of distinction Hussar is drawing, between adventure design and worldbuilding. You believe he's stating personal preference and applying these reasons to... himself only as opposed to making a general statement about why he believes world building is bad in general? If so that seems like an interesting way of interpreting his statement, and certainly not how I read it. I don't blame you for your preferences, and I'm sure they've formed as a result of your actual experiences, but I don't think they are universal enough to consider worldbuilding as bad. I just don't think it's all that different from any other tool the DM can use....they can be used effectively, or they can be abused.Let's take it, for the sake of argument, that Hussar's comments are grounded primarily in personal preference grounded in personal experience. Are hawkeyefan's grounded in anything more robust or objective? I doubt it. In other words, the claims worldbuilding is not bad is not grounded more firmly than the claim that worldbuilding is bad. So what's the objection to Hussar that doesn't apply to hawkeyefan? That he's hurting feelings? EDIT: Another reason in favour of up-front world-building, or at least an aspect of current game design that will tend to force some world-building by default, just occurred to me: the increasing importance of and emphasis on character backgrounds. <snip> one of the first questions to arise in any sort of character history or background is going to be "where am I from?"; and the second is likely to be a variant on "how did I get to <where the campaign starts>?"; and answering these questions - likely for a variety of races and classes within your starting party - is by default going to force a surprising amount of world-building. <snip> So, unless a DM wants to end up with something of a hod...

Friday, 11th May, 2018

  • 10:25 PM - Hussar quoted hawkeyefan in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    /snip There's no reason it needs to be simply narrating a daily log of what the PCs see mixed with random encounter rolls on the ocean chart. Since most of us are going to play adventure after adventure after adventure....why not connect them a bit more? Sure, maybe you don't prefer that, and want a more episodic feel. But that doesn't have to be the case. Because, typically, a narrated daily log with random encounters is pretty much all that connective bits amounts to. If it was actually important, you'd take the time to actually make an adventure about it (see, for example, the Paizo remake of Isle of Dread where they actually spend three complete adventures just getting to the village on the island). But, for the most part, it's utterly forgettable cruft that just wastes everyone's time at the table.
  • 10:23 PM - Maxperson quoted hawkeyefan in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    That depends on how you define crunch... This does it for me! :) https://youtu.be/O6rHeD5x2tI
  • 07:05 PM - Bedrockgames quoted hawkeyefan in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    That depends on how you define crunch... Stop projecting your mushy center on us all


Page 1 of 65 123456789101151 ... LastLast

0 Badges

hawkeyefan's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated

Most Recent Favorite Generators/Tables

View All Favorites