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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 01:33 PM
    The default setting is your choice of a world of medieval fantasy.
    9 replies | 417 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 09:45 PM
    A stat block is for combat, so it may be unnecessary. For social interaction, a starting attitude and perhaps some personal characteristics are more important. The noble's skills and ability scores are pretty good for that too. The OP's question, however, implies that combat with the monarch is on the table. In that case, I think the noble is somewhat inadequate. It has some more interesting...
    57 replies | 1869 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 07:19 PM
    I didn't know this. It seems like they could make stealth relevant by using fog-of-war on the VTT they're using. I have no idea why they've made these other changes, but it seems they're obsessed with making the game run faster through misguided streamlining. Right, when the game began they had already rolled initiative. There was no chance for anyone to hide first. Except for being...
    9 replies | 640 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 05:45 PM
    Did anyone else watch this? It looked like only around 1,200 viewers tuned in during the event. From the beginning, there was lots of lag, and the sound was cutting in and out throughout the broadcast to the point that it was hard to follow at times. It took a long time for the game to get going. First there was a lot of unnecessary commentary that seemed to go on forever, and then...
    9 replies | 640 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 01:30 AM
    darkbard, sort-of following on from your post: If we assume that magic items are mechanical in some fashion (eg grant bonuses to checks), then once we allow that mechanics can extend beyond combat, we have a framework for making sense of "loot" in the way you describe. In 4e there're are also options for approaching bonuses a bit differently eg the signet of authority allows one reroll in a...
    7 replies | 308 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 09:03 PM
    You're welcome! Because my goal was a unified mechanic for all offerings of inducement including bribes, gifts, rewards, and tributes, and because my houserule is in origin an adaptation of rules from the 1st Ed. AD&D DMG, I started with the idea that many skilled hirelings and henchmen will not accept an offer of employment for a term of less than one month or will require at least one-month's...
    760 replies | 84192 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 10:24 AM
    This appears to assume, as I said in my post, that the PCs are strangers. What you describe may be an excellent approach for a novelist wanting to introduce his/her readers to his/her imaginary land (I'm currently 50 pages into a rereading of Dune - Frank Herbert is doing a lot of this). But if one of the players is playing a dwarf; or if any of the PCs is from one of the civilisations in...
    46 replies | 1422 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 03:37 AM
    I don't know - why would they? I suggested that the GM should probably follow the players lead, which the player sketched out in the OP and was seeking some feedback on. Whereas my recommendation would be to answer the question Does a game in which a half orc paladin of conquest seeks divinty by eating the hearts of coutatls, devas etc sound exciting?. Presumably the player thinks it is, or...
    14 replies | 554 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 03:30 AM
    The difference between (1) me, in the world, going to my place of work and saying hello to my colleagues, and (2) me, as a player, asking the GM to tell me where my place of work is, and what it looks like, and who my colleagues are, and what they are like, is huge! The second is very like having someone read me a book or tell me a (perhaps not super-gripping) story. But if the goal is...
    46 replies | 1422 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 10:41 PM
    No it wouldn't. The real world is something I live in and experience. My knowledge of it is intimate. It is not mediated to me through anyone's verbal narration of it. The most obvious way to emulate this in a RPG is for the players to stipulate elements of the setting as they need to. Not for the GM (or a 3rd party) to write up reams of fiction in advance of play. Providing a tool to...
    46 replies | 1422 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 02:41 PM
    Again, this is not my experience at all. When I started a Classic Traveller campaign, I rolled up the starting world in front of the players, after they had rolled up their PCs. We discussed how each of the PCs had got there - integrating the implict story resulting from PC gen (Traveller uses a lifepath system) with the implicit story of the world - and one of the players decided that this...
    46 replies | 1422 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 02:35 PM
    My experience is closer to cmad1977's. Reading someone else's story about what happened in some imagined place at some imagined time doesn't help my immersion.
    46 replies | 1422 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 02:03 PM
    What you've set out sounds fun to me! Why would the GM not just follow the player's lead?
    14 replies | 554 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 09:09 AM
    As far as I know the god Dumathoin was first mentioned in DDG under the entry for Moradin, but nothing was said about him except that he is the "god of secrets under mountains". Vergadain and Dumathoin were written up by Roger E Moore in Dragon 58, as part of his "point of view" and demihuman god series. As far as I know this was the first appearance of Vergadain. This is reprinted as part of...
    2 replies | 199 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 08:39 AM
    Continuing in my persona as the man from 15 months ago: This was interesting, both in general and because I'm trying to get myself into the mindset to GM Dungeon World next year. I don't know BitD outside of this thread and a few other posts about it, so my thinking/question will be framed in (what I take to be) DW-ish terms. And also BW-ish terms. It seems to me that this issue of...
    41 replies | 5173 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 06:00 AM
    When this has come up in my game we've handled it in various ad hoc ways. Remember that the player can always choose that "dropped to zero" equals unconsciousness, not death, so to a significant extent this will be about what the attacking player thinks makes sense in the fiction. I certainly have memories of the wizard player in my game using Colour Spray as an AoE when innocent parties were...
    12 replies | 364 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 05:55 AM
    Coming in a bit late (!), but this resonated with me. It may seem slightly odd, but I had the sort of feeling you describe when our group generated PCs for Classic Traveller. I'm sure it's clunkier than BitD, and probably not as "fiction first", but compared to some other systems (eg AD&D, or RM, or a certain approach to 4e) the characters felt real, with histories that could easily be seen as...
    41 replies | 5173 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 05:19 AM
    Manbearcat, cthulhu42, I think this might be the thread: Blades in the Dark Actual Play. It was started by Campbell.
    5 replies | 277 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 02:50 AM
    On these boards, I think Manbearcat has played a bit of BitD. Maybe Campbell also. I think there are a lot of RPG systems that are underappreciated and worth talking more about. That's why I keep posting about my play experiences with Prince Valiant, Classic Traveller, etc! Unfortunately I've not played any BitD and not much DW either, so don't have heaps to offer on this occasion. I am...
    5 replies | 277 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 08:21 PM
    I gauged it to roughly equal a month's wages for a skilled hireling, so you could base it on the magistrate's salary. But really it's whatever their price is, depending on how loyal they are to whomever you're asking them to betray.
    760 replies | 84192 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 07:30 PM
    The inventor(s) of the original game made gold a prominent game-element because they imagined an instance of play part of the premise of which was the creation of heroic tales featuring veritable mountains of gold for the taking. Since house-rules for bribes and other offerings of inducement that might make wealth relevant to game-play have been asked about, I use a house-rule that sets a...
    760 replies | 84192 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 06:46 AM
    What's your resolution system? Ie how do you decide if the PCs have escaped the dreams?
    6 replies | 279 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 05:11 AM
    Especially (b), ie the fact that spellcasting in D&D almost never requires a successful check. Think about what, supposedly, the fiction of D&D spellcasting involves - precise hand gestures, speaking complex arcane syllables of such power and profundity that only a few of them can be impressed into a human brain at any one time (ie Vancian spell memorisation/preparation), pulling various...
    827 replies | 11354 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 03:08 AM
    I've never played serious Pendragon, only one or two one-shots at conventions years ago. I got a copy of Pendragon 5.2 with Prince Valiant as part of the Kickstarter. It's an interesting system, and we're using the price lists and the map for our Prince Valiant game, but I don't think I could imagine actually running Pendragon as a serious campaign. Besides it's general "heaviness", I don't...
    7 replies | 308 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 12:21 AM
    Gygax's DMG, pp 110-11: Serving some deity is an integral part of AD&D. . . . he accumulation of hit points and the ever-greater abilities and better saving throws represents the aid supplied by supernatural forces. This is consistent with the description of hit points on p 82, which includes the increase in hit points . . . reflect both the actual physical ability of the character . . ....
    827 replies | 11354 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 08:30 AM
    Sure, but then we need "codified rules" for how a martial PC gets to add a shield (or whatever) to his/her equipment list. And we probably also want some system - a fairly generic one is fine, even desirable - for working out how hard it is to throw your shield (or whatever) and stun three orcs (or whatever). I agree with Garthanos that if we don't go beyond what the GM envisages a strong...
    827 replies | 11354 view(s)
    6 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 04:49 AM
    You're foucsing on the fiction. I'm focusing on the gameplay. A rule that is at work in my 4e game - in virtue of one of the player's choice of epic destiny for a PC - allows that PC to wield bigger weapons that deal more damage. The fiction of the epic destiny is that the PC has grown in stature. I wouldn't mind if the fiction was, instead, that the PC has been injected with super-soldier...
    827 replies | 11354 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 12:33 AM
    I really don't see much evidence in the history of RPGs that this way of approaching it provides dynamic and capable "martial" characters. This applies to everything from the stuff Garthanos is talking about, to exactly how many orcs my Conan-esque fighter can slay per game-unit-of-action, to the need in AD&D for my fighter to PC to get a girdle of giant strength if s/he is going to emulate a...
    827 replies | 11354 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 05:30 PM
    No worries! Like I've said in a couple of posts now, I think it's a bit underappreciated. In five sessions I've used six episodes from the main book (three knightly challenges, a family in distress, a woman in distress, and rebellious peasants twice) and six from the episode book (Kenneth Hite's wild hunt, the episode called A Wild Hunt which is the Crowmaster one, the Blue Cloak, the Crimson...
    7 replies | 308 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 05:22 PM
    I would say "scenario" rather than adventure. It's generally a situation that will activate knightly intervention - attacks by bandits, rescues from bandits, helping out innocent women/villagers/ghosts/etc figure prominently. Ron Edwards gives some nice descriptions of how Prince Valiant scenarios work: . . . the character's judgmental and active presence is established and already in...
    4 replies | 362 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 03:39 PM
    My group has played a couple of Prince Valiant sessions since my last actual play report. The first of these (fourth session in what has turned out to be a campaign) saw the squire PC progress dramatically. The session started with some recap, a mixture of in-character and out-of-character: our fourth player, who had been absent from the previous session, was there, and so there had to be...
    7 replies | 308 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 12:38 AM
    Sorry for the late reply! Yes, we use dice (evens for success) rather than coins, just because we've got plenty of dice ready to hand - and when a joust is on the rattle of the dice in hand emulates the thundering of hooves! I think your idea of using PV for Middle Earth makes sense. If you do it, I'd be interested to hear how it goes.
    4 replies | 362 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Saturday, 3rd November, 2018, 10:29 PM
    I think itís big of Jeremy Crawford to admit they failed to meet their design goals for the BM, but I also think it's kind of a stretch to say these are corrections rather than revisions, especially when it has taken five years for them to ďcorrectĒ their mistake.
    75 replies | 3472 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 3rd November, 2018, 10:34 AM
    I don't know if Libramarian still posts on these boards, but he used to have good ideas for this sort of thing.
    3 replies | 291 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, 11:36 AM
    I've sblocked an account of a beholder fight in 4e. It was pretty good. I don't know how easy it would be to replicate in 5e.
    25 replies | 717 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th October, 2018, 04:42 PM
    I try to understand what someone who takes the time to respond to me on the internet is trying to say. Sorry if I haven't correctly interpreted your posts.
    118 replies | 2842 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th October, 2018, 03:40 PM
    I think we may be talking past each other. To me, you seem to be saying there are other systems that do this sort of thing better and that you would be playing if you wanted to have this sort of thing in your game. You also seem to be saying you don't want this sort of thing in your D&D. That's fine, of course. Inspiration as written is pretty much optional. But since the point of this thread is...
    118 replies | 2842 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th October, 2018, 11:06 AM
    I'm going to repost my post to which you replied (and will explain why I've bolded what I've bolded): So I'll ask again, how did it become true, in this example, that the PC is moving across the room? You have once again said that the player's action declaration does not yield such a result. You have said (and I have bolded) that the GM narrates the results but in the original example the...
    1794 replies | 57449 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 11:42 PM
    As I said, this is the crappiest approach to RPGing I can imagine. Fortunately, 5e doesn't mandate it. The Basic PDF doesn't state it or even imply it. The only edition of D&D that I'm aware of that comes close to this in its rules is 2nd ed AD&D, but I don't think even it comes out and says this quite so bluntly.
    1794 replies | 57449 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 11:36 PM
    Just to be clear: I posted about some experiences that had caused me to leave games. Lanefan and others then posted to say that I was wrong in my view that those experiences were examples of bad GMing, and that I did the wrong thing in leaving those games. So I think you've got it slightly backwards - I've been told I'm not doing my duty as a RPG player because I don't want to play with (what...
    1794 replies | 57449 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 11:31 PM
    It's one thing to have preferences. It's a different thing to interpret a game system. Clearly 5e works more like 5ekyu describes than as you might wish that it did. This is a little ironic given your other post that I've quoted! Because here you're saying that, in fact, the fiction does not unfold over the course of play, but is only established "as a block" when the GM decides what happens....
    1794 replies | 57449 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 06:11 PM
    You seem to be very focused on flaws, but, as I'm sure you know, there are lots of other personal characteristics a player can portray to gain inspiration. The sensible, calculating character can gain inspiration by being sensible and calculating, and what I'm saying is one way to use inspiration is for the DM to put that character in situations that give him/her opportunities to exhibit those...
    118 replies | 2842 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 01:58 PM
    pemerton started a thread Capture scenario?
    Have you ever run a capture scenario? If so, in what system? How did it go? How did you adjudicate the rescue/escape? (I'm thinking especially of scenarios where the fact of being captured is the fosuc/challenge of play. The Slave Lords isn't a capture scenario, as the capture and release is just colour to set up a survival scenario.)
    3 replies | 203 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 10:13 AM
    I've boded a few words/phrases in your post that seem relevant to what I'm saying. If certain things cannot or must be done, that implies that outcomes of declared actions are not all at the discretion of the GM. If certain things are left up to the table, that implies that outcomes of declared actions may not all be at the discretion of the GM. Which in my view is quite consistent with...
    1794 replies | 57449 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 06:14 AM
    Well, as I understand a RPG it's about pretending to be a different person, often a more adventurious person, in some sort of challenging situation. It's not about suggesting to someone else what story they should tell. In other words, I don't play RPGs to describe what I want my PC to do. I play RPGs to (among other things) describe what my PC is doing. What you describe here appears to be...
    1794 replies | 57449 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 06:05 AM
    In the abstract, sure. But here is Hussar's argument: X is true because I believe X, I'm an English teacher, and therefore I would know. And here is your argument: X is true because I read it in a book, and the book is right because the people who wrote it would know. Those arguments are both appeals to authority. Maxperson, every argument I have ever seen you run is logically...
    1794 replies | 57449 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 03:50 AM
    If a trap requires thievesí tools to disarm then you need to have the actual tool kit. Being proficient allows you to add your proficiency bonus to any checks your DM asks for to disarm the traps. If you arenít proficient, you can still try to use the tools. You just donít get to add your bonus if you have to make a check.
    31 replies | 829 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 12:15 AM
    Bollocks. Even Wikipedia has noticed that it's not: An argument from authority, also called an appeal to authority, or argumentum ad verecundiam is a form of defeasible argument in which a claimed authority's support is used as evidence for an argument's conclusion. It is well known as a fallacy, though it is used in a cogent form when all sides of a discussion agree on the reliability of the...
    1794 replies | 57449 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 28th October, 2018, 11:47 AM
    Maxperson, you might want to reread my post noting that (i) and (ii) refer to some steps that your (1) to (3) left out, not to your (1) and (2). I find this a bit hard to follow, because you say that the players work some stuff out but that nothing changes in the fiction until the GM works some stuff out. To be clear: is it your view that the players never bring about any change in the...
    1794 replies | 57449 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 28th October, 2018, 11:39 AM
    OK, but your house rules don't constitute a "built-in assumption" (your phrase). In fact, if you had to house rule, the assumption probably wasn't built in at all! Are you talking about the fiction, or the real-world basis on which the fiction is established? Climbing is something that happens in the fiction. Rolling to hit and damage is something that happens in the fiction. (So is a climb...
    1794 replies | 57449 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 28th October, 2018, 10:22 AM
    (1) Where is this assumption built-in? Not into AD&D, which uses different to-hit tables for a half-orc depending on whether the half-orc is a PC or NPC (see Gygax's DMG p 74). Not into 4e, which uses different character build principles player-side and GM-side. (2) The GM narrating the results is not "cutting to the chase". It's not a mode of action resolution. It's framing and/or...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 28th October, 2018, 10:12 AM
    ENWorld is the only forum I know where "appeal to authority" is treated as a fallacy rather than good evidence! I've never been to France or spoken to a French government official. How do I know France's capital is Paris? I learned it from an authority! Fallacious me!
    1794 replies | 57449 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Sunday, 28th October, 2018, 04:59 AM
    Somehow I donít quite believe you actually think thatís what I was trying to say.
    1794 replies | 57449 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 11:43 PM
    Nonsense! As long as you roll damage on a hit, it doesn't matter what you do on a miss because the rule doesn't tell you what to do on a miss.
    1794 replies | 57449 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 11:35 PM
    I agree that it should be part of the premise agreed upon by the DM and players that the game will be about the players' characters, rather than a game that has little to do with who the characters are. Since this is a thread that in part tries to address the problem that some DMs have in knowing what to do with inspiration, I think it would be good if some advice was given, maybe in the DMG...
    118 replies | 2842 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 10:44 AM
    There is a step or two missing here - between the players describing what they want their PCs to do and the GM narrating the results of the adventurers' actions, we need to (i) work out what actions the adventurers take, and (ii) work out what the results of those actions are. Step (ii) is more than just the GM makes it up. 5e D&D has dozens of pages of action resolution mechanics. Step (i)...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 04:56 AM
    Right. This was one of the possibilities I canvassed in a post upthread. It's a matter of table practice, taste, mood, how much the GM wants to taunt or be generous or whatever . . . I tend to do my best to follow what seems to be the logic of the system. 4e tends to emphasise information for tactical choices; Burning Wheel tends to emphasise blind declarations - just to contrast two systems...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 01:55 AM
    Sure. Even a character not immune to Magic Missiel by default can rasie a shield spell if targetted by it. But in cases where this doesn't happen, to target a creature is to damage it. Just as to hit a creature with a weapon attack is to damage it, as the 5e Basic PDf indicates (p 73, emphasis added): You make the attack roll. On a hit, you roll damage, unless the particular attack has...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 01:47 AM
    Says who? This depends entirely on the system. It's mostly true of 4e, but not completely. It's not true of Burning Wheel, Marvel Heroic RP or Prince Valiant. It's only partially true of Classic Traveller (which applies morale rules to PCs). To me, this seems like an irrational principle. The mechanics happen in the real world. Characters in the fiction influence one another. PCs can be...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 01:30 AM
    Right. The game rules are what they are. They can be inconsistent, eg if one rule contradicts another with no apparent way for resolving the contradiction; but that's not the case here. The Shield spell not being liked by Lanefan doesn't mean that it's a mistake. That might be a statement of your preferences. It's not relevant to making sense of the 5e rules, though. 5e is not a blind...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 01:10 AM
    But being targetted by magic missile and being damaged by it are the same thing, in the fiction - because a magic missile automatically strikes damages whomever it targets. So if it's not time travel in one case, it's not time travel in the other either. Whether the GM announces the targetting prior to rolling the damage, or does the two simultanesously, is simply a matter of table practice...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 01:06 AM
    Does the adventurers denote the PCs or the players? It's most naturally read as the PCs, given that the players of a RPG aren't doing anything especially adventurous. Which implies that when the GM narrates the results of those actions, it is already established, in the fiction, that some actions have occurred. Who establishes that? Presumably the players.
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 08:54 PM
    I think it's how they're intended to be used. It either represents an "average result of a task done repeatedly" or is used as a substitute for a rolled check when the DM wants to keep it secret. So no, it doesn't represent what can be accomplished with little or no effort. It's the same effort that goes into other ability checks. Cool! Thanks for the explanation.
    102 replies | 2464 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 07:36 PM
    What do you use for the DC to notice the beast, its passive Stealth? I think the Automatic Success variant is meant to cover tasks that are too easy for the character to bother with making a check, whereas a passive score represents a reasonable average effort.
    102 replies | 2464 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 06:26 PM
    You seem to think it says, "On a miss, you don't roll damage." It doesn't need to say that because rolling damage is different from applying damage.
    1794 replies | 57449 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 05:21 PM
    The separation is made by the sentence, "There are the rules of the game, and there are table rules for how the game is played." If you make a "special rule" that changes the rules of the game, that becomes a de facto rule of the game. Table rules are something else. They cover things like who brings pizza and whether all dice will be rolled in the open. Rolling attack and damage at the same time...
    1794 replies | 57449 view(s)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 04:14 PM
    I disagree. I think the distinction is more nuanced than that, as per my post. Right, I mentioned that in my post. Maybe I didn't express myself clearly, so I'll try again. The "special rules" mentioned are what's commonly called house rules, so a rule about which house rules we're using would be a table rule according to the DMG. Yes, it's a table rule that's recommended by the...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 03:48 PM
    Thanks for the encouragement!
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 03:44 PM
    I think there's a difference between house rules and table rules. In fact, the DMG makes that distinction right at the beginning of the chapter in question. It defines table rules as "rules for how the game is played", and gives examples like what happens when a player misses a session or how to treat a cocked die. Another example of a table rule is what if "any special rules you've decided to...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:39 PM
    I'm not sure what you mean by "freeform". In this thread I can't tell whether you (and other posters) regard a player deciding the names, occupations, etc of his/her PC's parents as "freeform" or not. I would have regarded my RPGing as pretty conventional, mostly playing pretty traditional systems, if it wasn't for threads like this. The idea that generating a particular response in a NPC, or...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:30 PM
    Whose theory? That's the whole point of my post, which is an elaboration of one aspect of what (I take it to be that) Aldarc is saying. Some people like to play a RPG in which the GM decides everything that happens except (perhaps, if there is no fudging of the combat rules) who gets beaten in fights. Others don't. And it's hardly a new idea. I already cited Classic Traveller which has rules...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:22 PM
    Storyline is one thing that isn't part of the RPGing approach that Gygax advocates. I don't know what his actual play was looking like in 1978-79, but his PHB and DMG don't contemplate storyline play. They have detailed advice on dungeoneering play; some advice on hexcrawling; and have hints about urban play, but don't actually present urban environments as anything beyonds places to restock and...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:17 PM
    Yet that is exactly how the 5e Shield spell works: Shield 1st-level abjuration Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take when you are hit by an attack or targeted by the magic missile spell . . . An invisible barrier of magical force appears and protects you. Until the start of your next turn, you have a +5 bonus to AC, including against the triggering attack, and you take no damage...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:08 PM
    So you're not actually interested in talking about the sort of play that Gygax advocated in his DMG?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:05 PM
    I agree that blind declaration is sometimes more exciting. If less tactical. But that's not the argument that Lanefan and Maxperson were running. They were talking about "time travelling", not what makes for more or less fun at the table.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:01 PM
    I said that Gygax doesn't assume that the GM is the sole author of the ingame fiction. In the example, who authored the existence of a high bluff overlooking a river suitable for the building of a small concentric castle? The player did, not the GM. That is not an example of GM-driven play!
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 12:35 PM
    Whatís being said is that the mapping character doesnít get to smell the orc that has masked its scent or hear the quiet orc. If the orc is stinky and loud then it isnít trying to escape notice and Perception doesnít come into it.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 09:50 AM
    For me, the issue is not about whether or not a GM is playing a NPC "wrong". It's about who gets to influence the content of the fiction. In real life, people sometime act in surprising ways - surprising even to those who know them well. Sometimes people who seem unbreakable or incorruptible succumb to pressure, or to temptation. This was at the heart of the debate in the Traveller thread I...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 09:35 AM
    This goes to the heart of your argument with Aldarc. Where is this rule stated - that a player can't change the fiction?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 09:30 AM
    So the criterion is realism, except when it might contradict D&D rules, and then the criterion is simplicity? If simplicity is the key, then it's simple to roll attack and damage together, and to allow the Shield spell to be declared in response to a hit even though the damage has been rolled. (And to echo Ratskinner - I think the "simplicity" of D&D is easily overstated.)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 09:16 AM
    You pose the question "What else is the GM supposed to do?" and then ignore the answer I provided - use the system mechanics! And it's not as if that answer is purely hypothetical - I've been running Classic Traveller that way, and there are other systems (some more modern than Traveller) that have even more elaborate social mechanics. EDIT: noticed this in your post which hadn't registered...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 03:17 AM
    That's not my experience at all!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 03:15 AM
    Why do you think the world "you" refers to in your sentence? Here is what I am sceptical of: that there is such a thing as farily refereeing the Duchess's reaction, which is comparable to fairly refereeing the result of poking a stone with a 10' pole. I think the reason is obvious, but in case it's not I'll spell it out: the reactions of stones to being poked are fairly simple, fairly obvious,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:48 AM
    But it's simply not true that, the instant the GM says that, the result in the ficiton is magic missile streaking from the NPC to the PC. That's a "rule" that you're making up - and clearly it's not a rule that is consistent with the 5e rules, precisely because it can't accommodate pretty mundane features of those rules (like the Shield spell). Here's another, equally banal, example: a player...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 11:43 PM
    No shame in that!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 11:40 PM
    There's too much going on in this to unpack it all. So I'll just say a couple of things. (1) The only meaning of author stance that I'm familiar with is Ron Edwards': In Author stance, a person determines a character's decisions and actions based on the real person's priorities, then retroactively "motivates" the character to perform them. This can be contrasted with actor stance: In...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 11:13 PM
    What am I supposedly agreeing on? It's very easy to see the places in Gygax's DMG where his basic principles come into collision with his detailed prescriptions, and one can also see tensions between what seem to be his own table practices and his advice to other GMs. But in any event, Gygax doesn't assume that the GM is the sole author of the ingame fiction. Here's one example, from his...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 08:42 PM
    I don't think that would work for me. I like that I can use a passive check to make a check secretly in a situation where there's hidden information, like a hidden monster the party doesn't know about. I don't think it's arbitrary. The rules of D&D are there to give structure to our make-believe. I wouldn't like a game that was all about the DM's whims and in what arbitrary direction the...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 06:50 PM
    Okay, so if a player tells you his/her character is staying alert while travelling and the party encounters a hidden creature, you compare the character's passive Perception score to the creature's DEX (Stealth) check, but if the party encounters a trap with a set DC, you ask the player for a WIS (Perception) roll to notice it (or roll secretly for the player)? It seems like such an approach...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 05:32 PM
    But shield triggers off a hit. That damage was rolled concurrently with the attack doesn't invalidate that the trigger has been satisfied. It's a page and a half on table rules, similar to Lanefan's table rule that roll results are entered into the fiction as specific outcomes upon being announced. I'm not sure what you mean by "happen at the same time", but the table rule suggested by the...
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Monday, 29th October, 2018

  • 12:15 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...ings: (1) Either Hussar's an English teacher, or has been working hard to maintain the online facade of being an English teacher for over a decade. Given that there's little reason for someone to do the latter, and given that his reports about English teaching and challengs of cross-cultural education have always seemed coherent enough to me, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt. (2) I'm not an English teacher - I'm an academic lawyer and philosopher - and I know that Hussar is 100% correct when he says that Maxperson is 100% wrong to say that " 'On a hit, roll damage' is equal to 'On a miss, don't roll damage.' It's just the way language works." The instruction that, on a hit, one must roll damage, doesn't forbid anyone from rolling damage on a miss. It probably implies that "On a miss, you don't need to roll damage" but the absence of an obligation isn't the same thing as being forbidden - the absence of an obligation is consistent with a permission. Which was Hriston's point. Of course if there is not hit, and damage is rolled, no hit point reduction will take place. But that's a different thing. Hriston's point is that the combat rules don't forbid rolling to hit and damage together (and the absence of doubt about this is simply reinforced by the fact that the DMG advises rolling them together!). Why would a fallacy not be treated as a fallacy? <snip> The fallacy would be if you presented as your only proof that France's capitol is Paris, that an authority said so. If you engaged other arguments, such as maps, news sources, a french citizen you spoke with, and so on, it would not be an Appeal to Authority to also mention that a geography teacher taught that to you.This is hilarious! Why is a map evidence? Because it's a source of authority! Why is a citizen of France's testimony evidence? Because s/he is an authority on his/her own country! The fact that the only sources of evidence that you can think of for the status of Pari...

Saturday, 27th October, 2018

  • 01:10 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Right. Targeted by magic missile, not damaged by magic missile. Once damage is narrated like you did in your example up thread, it's too late to use shield.But being targetted by magic missile and being damaged by it are the same thing, in the fiction - because a magic missile automatically strikes damages whomever it targets. So if it's not time travel in one case, it's not time travel in the other either. Whether the GM announces the targetting prior to rolling the damage, or does the two simultanesously, is simply a matter of table practice and what happens at the time - as Hriston has already indicated in relation to weapon attacks.

Friday, 26th October, 2018

  • 02:39 PM - iserith mentioned Hriston in post Passive Perception better than Active Perception?
    ...e. Though I wouldn't be averse to giving disadvantage/-5 or advantage/+5 to reflect distraction, one's ears & nose don't close off while mapping. IRL if I'm asleep and there's a suspicious noise in the flat, I come awake. A few weeks ago my son tried to go to the bathroom at night without waking me, which sneak attempt my sleeping brain interpreted as "Intruder!" and I bolted awake with a massive adrenaline rush. Obviously my Passive Perception was active!! :D The funny thing was that if he hadn't tried to be stealthy, my brain would have registered it as normal activity and I'd have barely stirred. First, I think "IRL" arguments aren't very convincing when talking about the rules of a game set in a fantasy world. Some amount of realism has to take a back seat to the game play. The way the rules have it set up make it clear there's a meaningful choice to be made here. And as I said upthread, the more meaningful choices a player can make in a given session, the better in my view. @Hriston has the key distinction right though and one that I underscore with players new to the rules being used in play: Not every monster is trying to be sneaky. If the monster is trying to be sneaky, the PC who is not alert to danger fails to notice the monster and is surprised if combat breaks out, straight up, no check. If the monster isn't trying to be sneaky, then the PC who is not alert to danger isn't surprised because the rules for surprise require the monster to try to be sneaky. If you're doing a task other than staying alert to danger, it's generally a good idea to not be in the front rank of the marching order. One will want to mitigate risk when trying to gain a benefit. For my part, when I use a random encounter table like in Xanathar's, whether or not a monster is trying to be sneaky is based on whether it has Stealth proficiency or whether its lore suggests that is what it does. If neither of those conditions are true, then it won't try to be sneaky and the character who is n...

Thursday, 25th October, 2018

  • 12:38 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    It doesn't matter. After the damage has been applied, it's too late.But I was talking about the rolling of the damage. With a blowgun, if I'm hit then I know how much damage is coming in yet can use Shield. So why can't I wait until the damage from a sword blow is rolled - but then use Shield before it is opposed. (There's also Hriston's excellent point about rolling practices.) one can twist and tease the narrative in a plausible way to gain additional meta knowledge to assist in their decision making process. At our table we try as best to limit meta knowledge (player knowledge or otherwise).But how is knowing whether the arrow is coming for my head or my thigh meta-knowledge? And yet the arrow coming for your head can be a glancing blow that does a single point of damage. And the one for your thigh can hit the femoral artery critting you for 16, and put you on the ground making death saves.Then make it a blow to my foot and a blow to my head. Or whatever.

Thursday, 18th October, 2018

  • 09:40 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    ...re initiative isn't re-rolled or otherwise redetermined each round or at some other regular interval during the combat.Of course! It's a discussion about the nature of 5e's intitiative rules, and 5e uses turn-by-turn combat resolution very similar to 3E and 4e. The difference in the first round is that someone (or a number of someones) might be able to act before anyone else is aware of it - as in Max's example of suddenly pulling a sword and attacking. Here some other mechanic - be it surprise or flat-footed or whatever else - is required to determine who gets to act right away vs. who is caught off guard. Otherwise what ends up happening all too often is that the dice don't match the intended-by-the-player narrative: Max pulls out a sword and swings, thus triggering initiatives, but somehow ends up near the bottom of the initiative order even though his supposedly acting first is the reason they were rolled at all! Personally, I often find this quite annoying when it happens. Hriston has already discussed this - if Max loses initiative, then (among other things) we learn that he is not very quick on the draw! It's certainly not unheard of in genre fiction for the villains to try and get the drop on the hero, only for the latter to react unexpectedly quickly and turn the tables! In 4e, Max might well get surprise if the others involved don't succeed on an appropriate Insight or Perception check. S'mon has given some suggestions for how 5e would deal with this.

Wednesday, 17th October, 2018

  • 10:53 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    Can someone please summarize this for me? I've totally lost track of this.My summary is perhaps biased because I think Hriston is right. The questions are: Is rolling initiative an aspect of combat resolution? Is rolling initiative a type of stat-check contest? Hriston answers yes to both questions, along the following lines: If a player (for a PC) or the GM (for a NPC) declares a combat-ish action (attacking with a weapon, fireballing, etc) then (i) the combat rules are activated, and (ii) two sides (in the typical case, at least) are in opposition in respect of the just-commenced battle. The fact of (i) refers us to the combat rules, which say to do various stuff at the start of combat including determining initiative for each participant. The fact of (ii) helps us understand how and why determining initiative is a type of stat-check contest: we have these opposed entities, each trying (literally) to get and retain the initiative in the battle that has just commenced, and so we use DEX for this (because it's the quickness/reaction time stat) and we compare results to work out who wins ...

Thursday, 4th October, 2018

  • 07:25 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    I already acknowledged that it was a part of the combat system. It is just not combat itself.What does that mean? Choosing the target of an attack is also part of the combat system, but not combat itself. Making an attack roll is part of the combat system, but not combat itself. Combat itself is a complex structured mechanical process - which some sort of loosely correlating fiction - which all thse things are elements of. And I'm pretty sure that Hriston has a firm grasp on this point. What he is saying is that combat involves direct opposition - a clash between two sides - and hence that it would be wrong to argue that one of its key constituent elements, namely, determining the sequence in which that clash unfolds by way of the initiative mechanic, cannot be a contest because it does not pertain to direct opposition.

Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018

  • 06:51 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    It's much more than 10 outcomes! Say there are 5 people, we need a contest between each, first, and then... the pain begins... Say this is what happens A beats B A beats C A loses to D A loses to E Seems like A is in the middle of the pack, but... D loses to C E loses to B No idea where this is going, but now we need to resolve... everyone against everyone...I think the assumption that billd91 has made is probably the same as the one that Hriston has made explicit: each participant makes only one check, which is compared vs the check of all the other participants. So if A beats B but loses to E, that means that E beats B, which precludes the contradictory situation you are concerned about. The thing I don't get in this discussion is: how do you and Maxperson handle an attempt by three people to be the first to grab the ring? You couldn't do it the way you've described (independent binary checks) because of the risk of contradiction. So presumably you'd do it . . . just the same as initiative is done! (Except for having some differerent approach to handlling ties.)

Saturday, 29th September, 2018

  • 04:07 PM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    You have misstated the rule and thereby applied it incorrectly to initiative. The rule is not that there can only be one winner. The rule is that only one can succeed. Only one person out of 20 racing for the ring can get succeed in getting it. With initiative all 20 succeed in the goal of having the potential to act during the round.But obviously (and as Hriston has pointed out) they can't all succeed in acting before anyone else. Presumably 5e is meant to be able to resolve foot races and similar competitions. And presumably that is meant to be done by extrapolating from the contest rules, in much the same way as initiative does. The goal is not to go first. The goal is simply to have the potential to act in the round, so there is no DC. Initiative is a special kind of ability check that is neither a contest, nor one where you are trying to beat a DC. You will succeed on both a 25 and a 0.Where do the rules say this? If the goal was simply to act in the round, why would a check even be required? What is at stake? I mean, it's not as if the term initiative doesn't have a natural language meaning in this context. And it's impossible for every combatant to have the initiative over the others. It's something that one gains because another has lost it.

Friday, 28th September, 2018

  • 08:24 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    Hriston's suggsetion that an initiative check is a multi-character contest to see who gets to go first seems right to me. I can read page 58 of the Basic Rules, which describes contests in terms of opposition between two character. But presumably those rules are intended to be extrapolated in appropriate cases - for instance, if instead of two character racing to grab a ring from the floor, we were trying to resolve a treasure hunt at a birthday party, or an orienteering competiton, the contest mechanic would presumably be the appropriate one, with the mechanical success ordering corresponding to the in-fiction success ordering. (only one can be the winner!)

Tuesday, 25th September, 2018

  • 03:52 PM - Rya.Reisender mentioned Hriston in post Does (or should) the halfling ďluckyĒ ability apply when the DM is making the roll?
    Hriston Your example honestly just makes me wonder "Where is the fun in that?" You don't let your players roll and the consequence of failure is only one additional sentence from the DM that says they are still in the forest and some time lost. I mean then you could just tell your player to roll survival and then make the roll result simply translate to time lost. Then at least the player has the fun of rolling once and the only thing lost is that one sentence from the DM.

Monday, 24th September, 2018

  • 06:34 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    Let's start with surprise. "Any character or monster that doesnít notice a threat is surprised at the start of the encounter." What does that even mean? In a game where shapechangers abound and illusion magic is common, and where everyone can be an evil villain in disguise, literally everyone and everything a PC sees is a noticed threat. That would mean that it's impossible to sucker punch someone as the threat is noticed so no surprise can happen. However, if you ask people you'd probably get a nearly universal consensus that sucker punches are possible? Does that mean that you have to notice an active threat? It doesn't say active threat. What if the sucker punch happens after the start of the encounter? Is it impossible then? The DM has to decide these things.Actually, I think iserith's take on this - reading it in the context of the "adventuring" section of the Basic rules and the rules for hiding/reamining unnoticed - is pretty sound. I'm not sure if Hriston agrees fully with iserith, but I'd be surprised if Hrison doesn't also have a pretty solid reading of it. (Multiple readings isn't per se a sign of poor rules. Any complex rules system is likely to admit of multiple readings at certai points.)

Sunday, 9th September, 2018

  • 03:35 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Hriston in post 5e invisibility and Detect Magic
    ...near the feet of where the gargoyles perch. Pushing off and landing might cause scraping. There might be bits of dried blood on the "statues". By the way, in 4e gargoyles actually turn into statues. They don't hold still like one. They don't just look like one. They become statues. It's crystal clear that you are just choosing to ignore the intent and logic behind gargoyles for some reason. And that's fine for your game, but it's not how they work by RAW. Read the 5e description again. The ability doesn't involve a hide check at all. They are simply flat out indistinguishable from a statue. The PCs aren't even supposed to get a roll to tell the difference. If they were, there would be rules for it. Emphasis added. This is cool! Do it! But... if you're going to argue that you can do this, perhaps you should also allow others the leeway to set their DCs how they wish, yes? And, if that's rolling DEX(stealth) instead of your preferred method, that's still good. Hriston hasn't misread the rules here, and no amount of appeals to the authority of 4e (or basic, for stats) really makes his way any worse than yours.

Thursday, 30th August, 2018

  • 02:02 PM - Plaguescarred mentioned Hriston in post 5e invisibility and Detect Magic
    Like Hriston inferred, the DM can always make the invisible golem hidden with an unbeattable Stealth DC or simply determine that passive perception automatically fails for some reason. I wish PCs would benefit from the same automatism as well though.

Sunday, 26th August, 2018

  • 02:48 PM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Missing Rules
    Hriston, I'd thought about "mentioning" you into this thread, so I'm glad that you found it on your own! I don't set DCs based on the abilities of the character. If a situation includes a gap to be jumped, for example, that's unusually far for some characters such that they need to make a STR (Athletics) check to clear the span, the DC would be the same for each person making the attempt. I see the designations, easy, medium, hard, etc., to refer to the difficulty for the average person, not the difficulty for the individual making the check. DCs appear to be intended to be objective, not subjective. That seemed to mean focus on the jump distance, not the jumper. When I do that, it feels easy to reach a consistent ruling. <snip> players have all kinds of resources to bear on this, that can make a high DC doable, or circumvent it all together (cast Fly?) That makes scaling subjectively for me a questionable pursuit, but if I did scale, I'd scale percentually.My intuition is clos...

Sunday, 22nd July, 2018

  • 01:12 PM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Hang Time - What if you jump farther than your speed?
    Hriston, I'm somewhat partial to the "hang time" approach if only because it seems to open up some amusing possibilities, but your articulation of your approach to adjudication has been admirably clear. Also, for what it's worth, 4e goes your way (Rules Compendium, p 139): If the creature runs out of movement before landing, it also falls. However, if the jump was part of a move action, the creature can continue the jump as part of a double move (page 205), ending the first move action in midair and continuing the jump as part of the second move action. The creature makes a single Athletics check for the jump but can use squares of movement from both actions for it. In 5e, I think move + Dash is equivalent to double move in 4e.

Friday, 13th July, 2018

  • 11:54 PM - Oofta mentioned Hriston in post Hang Time - What if you jump farther than your speed?
    @Hriston, I've given my reason and logic. You stop people because they don't have any more movement but then rule that they really were moving at the start of their next turn. I had typed up a longer response but the short answer is: do whatever you want. Make D&D a game first and a story second. It's been a long week and I don't care.

Friday, 4th May, 2018

  • 04:32 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Hriston in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    But so are his games, the difference is that his game is limited with respect to the sort of fiction that can result based on strict adherence to genre, theme, player concerns, etc... right? So is it just that the 2 playstyles are just 2 different types of choose your own adventure books? No, because, for one thing, the genre of, lets say, 'Epic High Fantasy' is MUCH MUCH larger than 'what can happen in DL1' (Dragon Lance being Epic High Fantasy, though I'm sure we could hair split about that, but lets not). You understand the difference? In Story Now there's no 'plot', there's no 'adventures you can go on', or even well-established world-facts that can't be contravened for the sake of story. The very genesis of the story is also QUALITATIVELY different, and this gets back to what Hriston said before, there's a qualitative dimension to this whole 'agency debate' thing. You cannot simply spit out numbers, or even relative measures, like Maxperson is doing. It simply doesn't work. He's also correct, IMHO, in his analysis of the very nature of 'agency' itself, which is that nobody who seriously has the sort of philosophical credentials to be serious about defining it is going to say that actual humans have '100% agency'. Many might say exactly the opposite! The point is, players in pemerton's game are not simply given choices of circumstances within which they must have their characters navigate. They have a higher level input, to help determine what those circumstances are, the very process of creation of them, from the very beginning. It may be that in Maxperson's game you can burn down the building and change the scenario, or walk away and go elsewhere, but, unless you engage him outside the realm of the narrative, you can't actually engage in the creative process o...

Thursday, 3rd May, 2018

  • 01:10 PM - Imaro mentioned Hriston in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    I can only agree with what Hriston has said. I simply don't see how getting to contribute to fiction that involves the stuff one wants, and addresses the thematic concerns one has signalled one cares about, can count as a limit on one's agency. It's an expression of it! (Also: I've made this same point upthread; and so has AbdulAlhazred.) Same question I asked Hriston above...
  • 09:46 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    But so are his games, the difference is that his game is limited with respect to the sort of fiction that can result based on strict adherence to genre, theme, player concerns, etc... right? The limitations on player agency over the content of the shared fiction in Story Now gaming are the genre considerations, themes, and other concerns/priorities introduced by the players themselves? I don't get that. Edited to add: Those are examples of the players exercising control/agency over the content of the fiction, not the other way around!I can only agree with what Hriston has said. I simply don't see how getting to contribute to fiction that involves the stuff one wants, and addresses the thematic concerns one has signalled one cares about, can count as a limit on one's agency. It's an expression of it! (Also: I've made this same point upthread; and so has AbdulAlhazred.)


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Tuesday, 6th November, 2018

  • 10:46 PM - Charlaquin quoted Hriston in post What's the point of gold?
    Since house-rules for bribes and other offerings of inducement that might make wealth relevant to game-play have been asked about, I use a house-rule that sets a minimum inducement value that must be offered for a creature to consider certain requests. For example, if a bribe is required, the minimum inducement value is equal to the minimum coin-value of a treasure hoard for the creature's CR. Doubling that amount gives you +2 on any CHA check required to gain the creature's cooperation, and tripling the amount gives you +3. Oh, cool!
  • 08:30 PM - Satyrn quoted Hriston in post What's the point of gold?
    I gauged it to roughly equal a month's wages for a skilled hireling, so you could base it on the magistrate's salary. But really it's whatever their price is, depending on how loyal they are to whomever you're asking them to betray. A month's salary (or a month's living expenses) sounds like the perfect starting point. I must remember that the next time it comes up. Thank you.
  • 07:45 PM - Satyrn quoted Hriston in post What's the point of gold?
    The inventor(s) of the original game made gold a prominent game-element because they imagined an instance of play part of the premise of which was the creation of heroic tales featuring veritable mountains of gold for the taking. Since house-rules for bribes and other offerings of inducement that might make wealth relevant to game-play have been asked about, I use a house-rule that sets a minimum inducement value that must be offered for a creature to consider certain requests. For example, if a bribe is required, the minimum inducement value is equal to the minimum coin-value of a treasure hoard for the creature's CR. Doubling that amount gives you +2 on any CHA check required to gain the creature's cooperation, and tripling the amount gives you +3. Is there something else I could base that on instead of CR? What you got would work for my guard NPCs and other grunts, but the various bureaucrats, aristocrats and nobles are generally weakling civilians with a CR of 0.

Tuesday, 30th October, 2018

  • 04:13 PM - 5ekyu quoted Hriston in post Ideas for Improving Inspiration
    I think we may be talking past each other. To me, you seem to be saying there are other systems that do this sort of thing better and that you would be playing if you wanted to have this sort of thing in your game. You also seem to be saying you don't want this sort of thing in your D&D. That's fine, of course. Inspiration as written is pretty much optional. But since the point of this thread is to improve inspiration, I don't see what would be wrong with it working a little more like some of those other games as an option that you would be free to not use in your game.Actually i was responding to the post claiming i was overly focused on the negatives since one post of mine dud not cover every possibility again and again. You seem determined to mine out of posts other intents. Thats cool Everybody needs a hobby.

Monday, 29th October, 2018

  • 07:27 PM - 5ekyu quoted Hriston in post Ideas for Improving Inspiration
    You seem to be very focused on flaws, but, as I'm sure you know, there are lots of other personal characteristics a player can portray to gain inspiration. The sensible, calculating character can gain inspiration by being sensible and calculating, and what I'm saying is one way to use inspiration is for the DM to put that character in situations that give him/her opportunities to exhibit those qualities and see how far they go. For example, play can focus on whether that character will be sensible and calculating even when it goes against moral beliefs s/he might hold. The character can gain inspiration for staying true to that characteristic, but at what cost?Actually as i have previously addressed system with more detailed systems for this go to the point of recommending the double edged nature of traits - not just advantage or flaw binary but traits which both provide opportunities for good pushes and bad pushes - at what gain and at what cost situations. Really, systems have bern doing th...

Sunday, 28th October, 2018

  • 12:38 AM - 5ekyu quoted Hriston in post Ideas for Improving Inspiration
    I agree that it should be part of the premise agreed upon by the DM and players that the game will be about the players' characters, rather than a game that has little to do with who the characters are. Since this is a thread that in part tries to address the problem that some DMs have in knowing what to do with inspiration, I think it would be good if some advice was given, maybe in the DMG section about inspiration, to provide the players with situations that put the PCs' personal characteristics to the test, not with any particular frequency, but as part of the natural course of play. I don't think these instances should be seen as penalties either because by choosing the personal characteristics they have, the players have signaled to the DM on what sorts of situations they want the game to focus.To me, this is a key point about these traits- they serve the player, the GM and the table by spotlighting right from day one "I want these in the play" or "in focus" and to me that follows thru ...
  • 12:25 AM - Maxperson quoted Hriston in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Nonsense! As long as you roll damage on a hit, it doesn't matter what you do on a miss because the rule doesn't tell you what to do on a miss. English is nonsense. Got it!

Friday, 26th October, 2018

  • 10:56 PM - SkidAce quoted Hriston in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    "deleted post" ...nevermind.... But, I don't really have a dog in this hunt...
  • 10:15 PM - Maxperson quoted Hriston in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    You seem to think it says, "On a miss, you don't roll damage." It doesn't need to say that because rolling damage is different from applying damage. I may not need to say that, but it does in fact say it. "On a hit, roll damage" is equal to "On a miss, don't roll damage." It's just the way language works.
  • 08:01 PM - 5ekyu quoted Hriston in post Passive Perception better than Active Perception?
    What do you use for the DC to notice the beast, its passive Stealth? I think the Automatic Success variant is meant to cover tasks that are too easy for the character to bother with making a check, whereas a passive score represents a reasonable average effort. last first - an average effort is not the same as a minimal result - which is what passive scores tend to be used as - its how they are treated mechanically. So, "average" is not how they are used. Both the auto-success and the passive perc establish an automatic scale for success. It would have been nice if they were tied together mechanically instead of being two different ways - treating perception alone differently. As for the stealth passive question - its *almost* "passive stealth" - but when one shifts the die roll from one side to the other *and* keeps "ties go to roller" (IE "meet the DC or exceed equals success") then one has to use 12 not 10. So a hiding/sneaking stealth+4 creature vs a perception +6 cha...
  • 06:00 PM - 5ekyu quoted Hriston in post Ideas for Improving Inspiration
    I have a couple issues with the way inspiration is presented in the rulebooks. The first has already been mentioned. It's how the way the mechanic is used doesn't match what's implied by the description, most notably the sentence about the Beggar Prince. It just seems sloppy. Second, and I think this is more important, DMs should be encouraged by the rules to put their players' characters in situations that address their characters' personality traits. This can drive a more narrativist style of play and seems to be one of the untapped strengths of inspiration as presented.In some systems where these gimmick points are tied to replace by troubles, they go to lengths to emphasize to the player **and** GM that you should pick/reccommend traits that lend themselves to coming up. Often such systems push "double-edged" traits where it can commonly in play create as many opportunities for gains as for losses, etc. But, also, those systems tend to link the "spend" to go thru the same kind of tra...
  • 05:59 PM - Maxperson quoted Hriston in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    No, it isn't. Making both rolls together satisfies that rule just fine. Nothing there requires that it's done in any particular order. Resolving an attack without an attack roll, or not rolling damage on a hit when resolving an attack for which rolling damage is specified would be a house rule. It's essentially an "if, then" statement. If you hit, then you roll damage.
  • 04:28 PM - Maxperson quoted Hriston in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Right, I mentioned that in my post. Maybe I didn't express myself clearly, so I'll try again. The "special rules" mentioned are what's commonly called house rules, so a rule about which house rules we're using would be a table rule according to the DMG. There is no such separation in 5e. The "special" rules are listed under table rules, not house rules. They are all the same according to 5e. Yes, it's a table rule that's recommended by the DMG. It's still entirely optional for your table. A recommendation does not make it a rule. It simply says, "Hey, we think this would make a good house rule for your table." The table rule that the rolls must be made sequentially to keep damage events from entering the fiction before reactions are used, however, is not recommended. Because that's the default rule, not a table rule. You can't recommend that the adoption a house rule that differs from sequential, if sequential isn't the default. "3. Resolve the attack. You make the attack rol...
  • 03:58 PM - Maxperson quoted Hriston in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I think there's a difference between house rules and table rules. In fact, the DMG makes that distinction right at the beginning of the chapter in question. It defines table rules as "rules for how the game is played", and gives examples like what happens when a player misses a session or how to treat a cocked die. Another example of a table rule is what if "any special rules you've decided to use". Those "special rules" are what I would call house rules, i.e. actual changes to the rules of the game. It's just like saying Table Tennis instead of Ping Pong. It's a rule that is only for your game. It does mention a rule about a cocked die as an example, but it also lists in that section "special rules the DM has decided to use." as an example. A special rule would be that humans have darkvision of 10 feet. Another example of a special rule would be if armor had durability and protected less and less as it degraded, eventually breaking. A table rule to make attack and damage rolls at t...
  • 03:20 PM - robus quoted Hriston in post Passive Perception better than Active Perception?
    Whatís being said is that the mapping character doesnít get to smell the orc that has masked its scent or hear the quiet orc. If the orc is stinky and loud then it isnít trying to escape notice and Perception doesnít come into it. This really cuts to the heart of the matter!
  • 07:08 AM - Maxperson quoted Hriston in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    It's a page and a half on table rules, similar to Lanefan's table rule that roll results are entered into the fiction as specific outcomes upon being announced. I'm not sure what you mean by "happen at the same time", but the table rule suggested by the DMG is for the two rolls to happen at the same time. Presumably, in the fiction an attack hits and does damage at the same time as well, but if it misses of course no damage is done, and the intent of shield is clearly to turn a hit rolled at the table into a miss in the fiction. Doesn't change the fact that it's a house(table) rule to run it that way.

Thursday, 25th October, 2018

  • 11:31 PM - 5ekyu quoted Hriston in post Passive Perception better than Active Perception?
    I don't think that would work for me. I like that I can use a passive check to make a check secretly in a situation where there's hidden information, like a hidden monster the party doesn't know about. I don't think it's arbitrary. The rules of D&D are there to give structure to our make-believe. I wouldn't like a game that was all about the DM's whims and in what arbitrary direction the DM thinks the fiction should go."I don't think that would work for me. I like that I can use a passive check to make a check secretly in a situation where there's hidden information, like a hidden monster the party doesn't know about." I will on occasion call for a perception check, often when entering a new type of area and that can stay in effect for their general or passive perception until used. Other times i can use their passive score anyway **if** it is sufficient to spot the "poorly hidden beast." Much like the Str 8 character does not need to roll to jump the 5' gap. No sense to roll if the resul...
  • 07:41 PM - Li Shenron quoted Hriston in post Passive Perception better than Active Perception?
    Okay, so if a player tells you his/her character is staying alert while travelling and the party encounters a hidden creature, you compare the character's passive Perception score to the creature's DEX (Stealth) check, but if the party encounters a trap with a set DC, you ask the player for a WIS (Perception) roll to notice it (or roll secretly for the player)? It seems like such an approach somewhat arbitrarily changes the character's effectiveness in noticing different kinds of threats. It changes nothing. The entire game is arbitrary. The DM can decide what the PC encounter, and what DCs are needed, if a roll is even needed at all. At the end of it, the rolling method is but a slight twist compared to everything else.
  • 06:56 PM - 5ekyu quoted Hriston in post Passive Perception better than Active Perception?
    Okay, so if a player tells you his/her character is staying alert while travelling and the party encounters a hidden creature, you compare the character's passive Perception score to the creature's DEX (Stealth) check, but if the party encounters a trap with a set DC, you ask the player for a WIS (Perception) roll to notice it (or roll secretly for the player)? It seems like such an approach somewhat arbitrarily changes the character's effectiveness in noticing different kinds of threats.In my games, the PC is always the active roller and the NPC threat is always static - for all checks. Keeps it consistent.
  • 07:13 AM - Li Shenron quoted Hriston in post Passive Perception better than Active Perception?
    I'm not sure what kind of situation you're imagining. I'm only going to consult a character's passive score if they've told me they're looking for something, so I can't imagine a situation where they hit the DC to find whatever it is they're looking for with their passive score but then I'm asking them to roll a check instead. Maybe an example would help. (Also for DEFCON 1) Rather than an example, a general principle: I use Passive Perception against other's rolls, but Perception checks against static DCs. There is then no need to sweat each time to decide what to use. The only decision I typically need to make is, when rolling, whether the player rolls in the open or I roll for her secretly.


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Hriston's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated
Timelord
This PC class is derived but differs substantially from Lewis Pulsipherís Timelord NPC class published in Dragon #65 in September, 1982. I undertook the conversion for personal use, but am sharing it because Iíve seen some interest on EN World for a ...
290 0 1 Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 11:58 PM Monday, 9th July, 2018, 11:30 PM
Weapon Attack Adjustments Table (Converted from AD&D, First Edition)
This is the revision of the table I posted some time ago. I rethought my approach and rebuilt the table from the ground up. The values are now very close to Gygax's values, modified only in proportion to the AC benefit of particular armor types. The ...
690 0 3 Sunday, 13th December, 2015, 07:11 AM Sunday, 13th December, 2015, 07:11 AM
Chainmail/AD&D First Edition Rate of Fire Rules for D&D Fifth Edition
Here's my homebrew conversion of the rates of fire given for different ranged attacks in Chainmail and AD&D First Edition. I'm posting it here not so much because I expect anyone to want to use it in their games, but because I'd like any feedback any...
190 0 1 Monday, 7th September, 2015, 07:37 AM Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 06:07 AM

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