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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:49 PM
    Disadvantage on attacks against an unseen target applies to this attack because the attacker is seen so doesnít have advantage for being an unseen attacker. There is no advantage for unseen missiles.
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 01:29 AM
    Ovinomancer denied that anyone in this thread had said that how content is presented cannot determine whether people wish to engage with it. Hereís what I said: NOT the same thing!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 02:48 AM
    I don't understand what you're trying to achieve. If you're not interested in the topic as it's been framed or discussed, or think the thread is unhelpful, you're very welcome not to post in it. If you think my threads involve code-of-conduct violation, you have the option of reporting them. Are you trying to pick a fight and have this thread shut down? Are you trying to clutter the thread...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 02:40 AM
    Riley37, you didn't answer my question as to what you think it adds to the thread to insist that Hriston said something that he didn't, on the basis of attributing a meaning to his words that they were not intended to bear, and which no reasonable reader of them in the context of their production would impute to them. As to your question about light, light isn't an endeavour of any sort. It's...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 02:19 AM
    It's not a Chrome thing as such. I use Chrome, and when I cut-and-past text into the website editor I don't pick up COLOR tags.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:38 AM
    I've mostly played RQ III, although I don't think we've ever used the Sorcery rules. Characters have a lot of colour. Resolution is generally straightforward enough. The system is set up to make combat an important aspect of play, but it also tends to produce fairly brutal results. That's probably the biggest weakness of the system.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:26 AM
    If someone says "All the cheese is gone" before the dinner party, and then the next day you and a friend are debating whether or not anyone has ever thought that there's no cheese left in the world, the person who said "All the cheese is gone" doesn't count as an example of such. It's not that they said as much but didn't mean it. It's that anyone who thinks that's what they said doesn't...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:21 AM
    Seriously? Let's put to one side the fact that, contra Imaro, Hriston's post was in reply to Hussar, not to him. Here is the exchange between Hussar and Hriston: Hriston is refuting an express claim that "dungeon dressing" is a literary matter simply because it's non-mechanical, and also an apparent implication that the role and significance of dungeon dressing is a matter of evocative...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 04:55 AM
    This post makes many assumptions about how a game might work. Many games don't require "adding to the game" (eg by way of new subsystems, or new modifiers, or whatever) because they have resolution systems that are relatively straightforward to extrapolate to novel situations. I appreciate that D&D, historically, has not been such a system - it emphasises particular subsystems rather than...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 03:43 AM
    How do you get from me saying content matters to me saying *only* content matters? Obviously, all sorts of various things matter to different people when they play RPGs. Central to the experience of playing an RPG, however, is imagining the gameís fictional content. Whether a group considers their imaginings to be a literary endeavor, on the other hand, is a particular concern of the group in...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 12:56 AM
    I use the traditional colour scheme (white post text, orange button text, on black background). In the post I mentioned in the "literary endeavour" thread there are two quote blocks. The first I can read. The second is, for me, an empty quote block. When I highlight it the text appears. I assume that the text has COLOR tags around it that are making it black. In the past when posters have...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 11:15 AM
    Having just re-read lowkey13's post, I think I may have misread - by "my last post" perhaps he mean "my previous post" (the next bit of the post itself is not legible for me because of some text formatting issue, but maybe it's a quote of a previous post?). I feel that reinforces my view that meta-comments (ie on the quality and formal properties of poster's posts, as opposed to what they're...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:05 AM
    The post you quoted is nearly 400 words, has two footnotes and an edit, and references Hemingway and Henry Miller. I'm not sure there's much profit in critiquing posting styles or trying to diagnose irony. lowkey13 has (by my count) 7 posts since posting "My last post". Is that irony? An atypical use of the word last? (Maybe we should debate the meaning of the word last, or even post - my...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 05:31 AM
    What I said was in the context of Hussarís question about dungeon dressing, which relates directly back to the OP by equating dungeon dressing with ďthe literaryĒ, not the context of your tangent, which really does seem to miss the point because no one is saying the players are going to be interested in elements of dungeon dressing no matter how poorly theyíre described.
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:48 AM
    I don't know about @pemertonís post, but that post of mine you quoted was not made in reply to you or anything you said. I made it in response to @Hussarís post which directly preceded mine and which asked why dungeon dressing appears in most editions of the DMG.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 01:16 AM
    I think that for at least some maths teachers, who have graduated in the first instance with a qualification that emphasises skills other than verbal communication, training to teach and then working as a teacher improves their ability to speak clearly, to convey ideas well, to choose the right word for the task at hand, etc. I don't think this suffices, in and of itself, to show that teaching...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 12:43 AM
    Further: a message board is a written medium. It's not a conversation except in some rather metaphorical sense. Doubly so in my case given that most of the other posters are in a different country and different time zone from me. And further further: I would have thought it's pretty clear my now that the OP is talking about the aims/virtues or RPGing. What it's about as an aesthetic activity....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:53 AM
    Man, Myth & Magic Immortals D&D PF 5e D&D DragonQuest
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:44 AM
    I don't quite follow this, and so am not sure what view is being attributed to me. For my answers to Manbearcat's questions, see the post immediately upthread.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:40 AM
    Yes. Someone can be good at plotting but poor at scripting. Someone can have good imagination for drama, conflict, story and yet be a bad writer. I would say so, yes.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 12:28 AM
    That's probably a point that generalises to all narration!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 01:41 PM
    When I posted I wasn't thinking of DW, but since starting the thread I was reading the AW rules seriously and I think I posted somewhere upthread the passage from AW where Vincent Baker talks about the game as conversation. It's on pp 11-12: oleplaying is a conversation. You and the other players go back and forth, talking about these fictional characters in their fictional circumstances...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:47 AM
    Yes. The OP was the result of two threads that were current at the time it was posted - one about boxed text, one about narration of action declarations. In the former thread, some advocated for boxed text argued that it is important for establishing tone/mood. In the latter thread, some critics of the idea that players should narrate their action declarations based their criticisms on an...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 03:44 AM
    Maybe posters who think the thread is not worthwhile, or is overly cluttered, could cease posting in it?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 03:41 AM
    And if the OP was The Old Man and the Sea then I might have won a Nobel Prize. If you wnnt to start a thread about spotlight-hoggin narration, go for it! It's not something that I've got much experience of, but I'm sure it's a thing. But the OP is about something else - namely, the stuff that I said in the OP and have been discussing with other psters since!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 03:39 AM
    This isn't something I have strong views on. When I'm trying to adjudicate an action as GM, and I'm GMing a game in which the fiction has a big affect on resolution and consequences (say Buring Wheel or Traveller) then I like to have a fairly clear sense of what the character is doing, and overly complicated narration from the player can sometime hurt that. But if the players want to banter...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 03:18 AM
    In conversation I choose words depending on what I want to say - for instance, if I want to describe a building, I might choose what other building or structure to compare it to. If I want to describe how a person behaved or seemed to feel, I might say they seemed upset and then clarify that to mean (say) angry, not sad. I didn't say I choose words to convey mood or theme. I did say that my...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 01:25 AM
    Why not? This take me, at least, back to some of the points Manbearcat was making fairly early in this thread. If I'm going to use a qallupilluit in my game, I will want to establish a situation which gives it some sort of heft or significance. There are very many ways of doing that (and obviously RPG system will have a significant impact, on top of system-independent techniques). In my...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:47 AM
    The thread doesn't ask does, or can, RPGing have a literary aspect? It asks whether it is a literary endeavour. That is: does RPGing aim at possessing the virtues and exhibitng the qualities of literature? (Note that - because in this thread it seems to need to be repeated - something can have an aim that it does not maximally achieve. For instance, when high school students write stories they...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:42 AM
    If the village in the Marvel game is a small, remote, sinister mountain village in (say) Latveria, then probably yes. I use the words I need to describe the situation. These will depend on mood, whim, what has previously been said, what seems to matter in the current situation, etc, as well as (obviously) upon what I want to describe. That is to say, the words I use will depend on all the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 02:25 PM
    Popper has a (controversial) theory of what makes a claim, or perhaps a collection of claims, scientific. I'm not making a scientific claim. I'm making an aesthetic claim. So Popperian falsifiability has nothing to do with it. My claim is about the point of RPGing, what makes it a distinctive and worthwhile creative endeavour. Not far upthread Aldarc has given a pretty good account of my...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 02:08 PM
    I don't think there are any Americans among me and my colleagues. A couple of Candians. My play group has a mix of educational levels - Year 12 through to PhDs in literary disciplines - but all can read above a 7th grade level. I have no idea whether the typical American would follow our conversations - it's never come up that I can recall - but that doesn't make them not conversation.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 02:03 PM
    This shows you misunderstand what I'm claiming. And you reiterate your disagreement with me. I've bolded it for you. I don't think the language makes it suck. I think the language as such is neither here nor there; and that working on the language - which is a common practice when aiming for literary quality - may well be an impediment. Here's another example to illustrate my point: I've...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 05:41 AM
    I don't agree that there's a consensus: I can't really tell what Maxperson thinks, but Imaro and Hussar have made claims about the need for entertaining/evocative narration that I think clearly contradict the position I asserted in the OP. But one complicating fact pertains to vocabularly: eg I wouldn't regard cadaverous as a word to describe a Githyanki as especially remarkable or...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 05:33 AM
    I would tend to think of "rictus grin" as falling on the literary side of things, as does Hussar. As I've posted, it does no harm if it doesn't impede (what I regard as) the real point of play. It has a face like a skull might do just as well. I personally can't remember how I've described githyanki in the past - I suspect I'm more likely to have shown a picture, such as the one on the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 05:21 AM
    Hussar, I feel the shoe is on the other foot. Why won't you engage with the fact that you disagree with me? Go back to your example of the dwarf, or of the Scarred Land Monster. Why do you think that entertaining descriptions are an important part of RPGing? EDIT: And here is more evidence of disagreement: Here you assert exactly what the OP denies. So instead of quibbling over the way...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 09:18 AM
    What do you mean by "everyone just comments"? The character sheet records "colourful clothes". I don't think any PC or NPC has ever commented on this as portrayed at the table. (Maybe they've talked about it off-screen - who knows.) It's not surprising that an entertainer should wear colourful clothes - I rewatched The Seventh Seal the other evening, and the actors/acrobats wore colourful...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 09:02 AM
    That's been done. You're correct. There seems to be an underlying assumption by some posters that any disagreement must be the result of having confused the definition of our terms, and that if only those could be sorted out then everyone would see that what is being said is true or false. Or, to put it differently, there seems to be some sort of reluctance to recognise and talk about...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 07:54 AM
    As I posted upthread, I don't know what your field is. I don't know how many logic or philosophy seminars you have attended. But the standard word used to describe a fallacious or sophistic argument that superficially appears valid, but in fact is not valid because a key term carries different meanings in different sentences of the argument, is equivocation. And the cognate verb is equivocate....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 06:38 AM
    I don't need to point to a line to make the point that "just about anything written" is not the criterion used by any reviewer in deciding what to review. And one can't point to a line: for instance, before the invention of reliable, reproducable type I don't think that layout was one of the formal qulaities by which literature was judged. But clearly, over the past century or so, it has...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 05:45 AM
    I assume you're not meaning that it's contentious that I think it's not uncontentious. Rather, I take it you're agreeing with me that it's not uncontentious. Boardgames don't call to action at all! There is no protagonism in a board game. To put it at its crudest, boardgames are about mathematics, not passion.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 04:21 PM
    Somewhat contra Lanefan, it often doesn't matter at all if the players think different things about the fiction. Last Sunday I GMed a session of Prince Valiant. One of the PCs is a bard/entertainer who wears "colourful clothes". What colour(s) are they? We've never specified. If I think about it I guess I think red, orange, yellow, maybe blue also. What does the player of that character have...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 02:07 PM
    Clarity is not an element of literary quality. Adequate volume to be audible is not something that goes to the artistic quality of a performance. I don't read as much criticism as I probably should, but when I read a review of a novel or a film or a performance of a play I learn (among other things) what the reviewer thought of the cleverness of the composition, the emotions conveyed, the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 01:27 PM
    That's why you disagree with me about what is "core" or "primary" or "central" to RPGing as an activity. Because I assert - in the OP, and since - that the call to action is what's central. I didn't, and don't, think that that is uncontentious. That's why I started a discussion about it! No one said you can't. I asserted (i) that they're not essential, and (ii) that working on your prose -...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 12:25 AM
    Here's the way that I'm used to discussion working: Person A makes an assertion, explaining what s/he has in mind as best s/he can, ready to elaborate and defend if necessary. Person B makes a reply - perhaps agreeing, perhaps disagreeing, perhaps distinguishing some point, etc. If person B is unsure about what was said by A, s/he asks for clarification. Etc. I'm not used to the idea...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 11:56 PM
    Whow know? Tell me what it is. If you think telling me what it is necessarily requires literary effort, then what's your conception of teaching children the language? I think it's possible to describe a situation without "painting a picture" in the literary sense. If I can't engage the players unless I "paint a picture" in the literary sense, then I worry that it's probably not a very good...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 02:46 PM
    I don't think this is true. I don't intend what follows to be triggering for anyone, and apologise if it is - I couldn't come up with a completely safe example. But, that said, and continuing on: If I relate to you the information that a bomb is about to go off in your building, I don't think you would be a passive audience. I think you would engage with what I'm saying in many quite active...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 01:30 PM
    Well this certainly gets to the heart of it, or to the heart of something at least. I see two related questions. (1) Is worldbuilding done, and context established, for the players? That depends on the system and the table. My experience, going back over 30 years to my early years as a GM, is that players are more invested when the context is something that they have a hand in. This can be...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 04:03 AM
    My answer to this question is yes, just like in the other thread and for the same reason. The purpose of the game-world is to provide a time and place for the characters (both PCs and NPCs) to play out their stories.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 11:45 PM
    I would put the contrast slightly differently. I think if the game - its mechanics and resoultion, in the context of its fiction - produces the emotion of fear, or anger, or whaever, in the player, then there is less need to try and produce this by way of evocative narration. For me, this is connected with the idea of inhabitation of the character by the player. I think this depends very...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 11:33 PM
    One example from Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic: if the Doom Pool has 2d12 in it, then the GM can spend those 2d12 to bring the scene to an end. The game will tolerate the GM "winging it" a bit when it comes to spending Doom Pool dice - for instance, the system has a notion of spending dice to introduce an additional threat into a scene, and the relationship between die size and threat...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 09:47 AM
    I think this is very system-dependent. Some systems wear their genre on their sleeves and deliver genre-consistent outcomes. Examples I can think of that I've GMed recently: Prince Valiant, Cthulhu Dark). And both respond on good GM fiction-oriented responses and mechanically are relatively light (especially the latter). Some don't, though, and outcomes can depend on mechanical features...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 11:28 PM
    The AW rulebook has examples of "mistakes and corrections" in adjudication. The expectation, as modelled by those examples, is that the GM and players will correct errors in calling for particular moves during play. One of the reasons for that is that calling for the wrong move is likely to produce inconsistent fiction. As an example, if a player has his/her PC "go aggro" then a possible...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 06:29 AM
    I should have mentioned that my interest is mostly in square battle mats because the rules Iím designing generate a square encounter area. I have a 3í x 4í battle mat, the same dimensions as the Chessex one. (Mine is made by Melee Mats.) I can see Chessex also makes one thatís roughly 2í x 2í and one thatís 4í 6Ē x 8í 6Ē. The reason I want one thatís 5í x 5í is that would give me a square playing...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 02:20 AM
    You missed out! It was my main system for nearly 20 years.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 02:17 AM
    This is mostly a system issue. Eg 4e D&D has no system for resolving PC vs PC social conflict, and its combat system isn't very satisfactory for PC vs PC martial conflict. Whereas Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic handles PC vs PC social or martial quite easily. Sometimes I will interpolate a system into a game that doesn't have one by default. Eg in my Classic Traveller game, on a couple...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 02:11 AM
    I think that last sentence makes more sense for an 80s-style game like D&D, RM, GURPS, HERO etc, than for some more modern games. I'm hoping/planning to run Apocalypse World some time soon. It doesn't use situational modifiers. I'll want to be on top of the rules before I run it, because they're pretty carefully designed to yield a particualr experience.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 01:59 AM
    The function of the gameworld is to support a game. So it exists for the participants - real people in the real world. In most RPGs - including D&D - the majority of the participants play the game by using their characters (the PCs) to engage the gameworld. What form that engagement takes, and how - in the fiction - the PCs fit into their world, will probably differ from table to table.
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 03:50 PM
    Hriston started a thread Battle Mat Sizes
    Hi! I'm designing some rules for random wilderness combat encounter map generation, and I'd like to take into account what the typical sizes are in which battle mats might come (if any). The rules would be primarily for D&D 5E, so I'm mostly interested about battle mats that are printed with 1" squares. For my purposes, the ideal combat encounter area would be 60" x 60", but I'm curious what...
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 08:11 PM
    The June 7, 2013 D&D Next Playtest Packet has conversion notes (monster statistics) for the entire series: Against the Slave Lords (A0-A5). I'm not sure if this is available anywhere, however.
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 07:13 PM
    The setting exists to give the characters (both PCs and NPCs) a time and place in which to be, so in that sense it exists for them. Otherwise, it's just a story about a world.
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 04:50 PM
    Unfortunately, I'm a level-0 commoner with no use for XP. :.-(
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 07:00 PM
    Thank you! What do I win? :)
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  • Hriston's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 02:43 PM
    If you compare the distribution of a 4d6 drop lowest roll with something like the normal distribution of scores you'd expect to find in a given population, less than 2/10ths of a percent would have an adventurer's distribution, so out of 2 million, there are at most around 3,800, or about 1 in 531.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 12:55 PM
    I think this is pretty contentious. But if the GM always decides the outcome, and decides it based on stuff the players have no knowledge of, then they also may as well read a novel. If the players don't know about the ship, don't know that burning down the house will destroy clues to the ship, if they just decide to burn down the house for whatever reason, then the only person who is...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 01:59 AM
    OK, so in my earlier reply to you I had located "pacing" as something happening at the scene/scene transition level, but here you are bringing it back to the word choice in the moment level. If your two questions (at the end of the first quote, and in the second quote) are accepted as purely rhetorical, then I think you're putting a lot of pressure on the form/content distinction: because the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 01:47 AM
    What about me? Do you mean, what did I hope to get out of the thread? One's never sure in advance beyond "interesting conversation". But the discussion about storytelling and various modes, driven mostly by Aldarc and hawkeyefan, has been interesting. Hriston and darkbard have helped refine my framing of my point. That's helpful. And also led it in the direction of "advice to GMs", which...
    1470 replies | 39970 view(s)
    4 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 01:39 AM
    What darkbard says is correct, with one caveat that perhaps gets closer to the heart of Sadras's concern: I think that the invitation to action often requires spontaneity or real-time judgement in tthe back-and-forth; whereas wordcraft tends to benefit from reflection and editing. So I think there can be a degree of tension between the two. So there is a second claim, on top of the claim that...
    1470 replies | 39970 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 01:23 AM
    You say this as if its controversial, or something I'm unaware of. But to quote from the OP, with some empahsis added: This is why I XPed Sadras's post about Matt Mercer and Steve Colbert. Not because I agree with what Sadras said - he is putting forward a conception of RPGing that differs from the one I put forward, and that places an importance on the literary quality of the narration that I...
    1470 replies | 39970 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 01:14 AM
    This engages directly with the OP. Thank you. But Aldarc is not me. I've already posted that some of the things Aldarc is distinguishing from literature I would, for my purposes as per the OP, characterise as literary endeavours. The world has room for multiple conversations! (And having just written this reply, I notice that Aldarc says something similar in the next post in the...
    1470 replies | 39970 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 01:06 AM
    With respect, this is silly. Describing things isn't *wordcraft* in the relevant sense. Four year old children have the vocabulary to describe the things that matter to them, and use it. But they're not engaged in literary activity. They're just speaking. If you think that there is no difference between describing things per se, and describing things in ways that evince quality of form and...
    1470 replies | 39970 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Hriston's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 05:38 PM
    I don't play 3.5E, but I think this is where you went wrong. My search for average forest trees/acre yields a much wider variation of figures, based on factors like individual species represented, average tree diameter, and the age of the stand. Here's a quote from a pdf on "Forest Thinning" put out by http://4hforestryinvitational.org: An adequately stocked stand will have fast-growing trees...
    19 replies | 817 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 12:36 PM
    Maybe. Maybe not. Easiest way to find out is to ask them. I think of railroading as meaning the GM is the one who decides all the outcomes. Whether the GM does that by deciding what s/he thinks is realistic, or in some other fashion, cuts across the issue. It doesn't determine it. Why? (Assuming that it was meaningful in the first place.) I mean, the assassination attempt could easily be...
    68 replies | 3431 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 08:43 AM
    "Especially" is an adverb used to introduce a qualification. Eg "I like people, especially cheerful people." Maxperson, I don't know what your field of endeavour is, nor your education and/or professional training. But what you are saying here, assuming that it is sincere, suggests a lack of familiarity with how English dictionaries work, and also how English essay writing works. An...
    1470 replies | 39970 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 05:43 AM
    Yeah, I didn't expect this thread to be a debate about the meaning and scope of the term "literary". I thought it might be a discussion about whether or not wordcraft is a principal or essential means of evoking emotional responses in a RPG. The point of my OP is to deny such a claim. On the other hand, I believe that Hussar affirms such a claim, as does Imaro. I'm frankly not sure what...
    1470 replies | 39970 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 12:35 AM
    The gameworld doesn't have a life of its own. It's authored. As a general rule it's the GM who authors it, and who decides what is or isn't realistic in respect of it. So the gameworld responding "realistically" (ie as the GM thinks it should/wants it to) absolutely can be railroading. The stumbling over the clue sounds like it might be second-tier adventure design and action resolution,...
    68 replies | 3431 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 12:28 AM
    This isn't true. T&T doesn't have a cleric/MU contrast; it is a spell point casting system; it uses group-vs-group combat resolution with no to-hit rolls and armour as a wounds buffer; etc. Saying that T&T differs from D&D only in terms of presentation is like saying that Rolemsater or RQ differs from D&D only in terms of presentation. I'm not 100% sure what a "story-telling game" is -...
    288 replies | 9949 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 01:12 PM
    I have made it clear what I mean by a *literary endeavour*. I mean an endeavour that regards the formal quality of words - wordcraft, if you like - as its main, or perhaps one of its main, techniques for evoking aesthetic resonses. Without wanting to detract from any of Aldarc's excellent points, I would regard at least some film and theatre as literary endeavours in this sense. So are poetry...
    1470 replies | 39970 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 10:43 AM
    Well that's not a very liberal interpretation, is it?
    77 replies | 2323 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 10:43 AM
    I learned to play with B/X, played a large amount of AD&D, very little 3E, and 4e is my favourite version of D&D. I've often said that it actually delivers what the foreword to Moldvay Basic promised (the hero liberating the land from the dragon tyrant with the sword bestowed by a mysterious cleric). I'm not saying that everyone who liked classic D&D should like 4e. But clearly I do. And I...
    288 replies | 9949 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 10:40 AM
    I have to confess that I didn't read your treadmill word-for-word, I'm sorry - more of a quick skim to get the gist. I guess I don't think layering meaningful fiction over the maths of a RPG is an illusion. I tend to just call that playing the game!
    288 replies | 9949 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 03:24 PM
    That second sentence also reminds me of the Edwards essay I posted a link to a little bit upothread. And what I'm really commenting on in this thread is my own relative unfamiliarity with GMing that sort of situation/"scenario". The closest I can think of is a certain sort of "tramp trader" Traveller, and that's not very close! See, this is what I look at and think would push me as a GM in...
    25 replies | 881 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 08:18 AM
    I think I'm missing the illusion. Who is being deceived about what? With a level tolerance of (say) +/-3, I'm not sure it's a ton. But I think it's clear that 4e - as set out in the "tiers of play" in the PHB and DMG - assumes that the content of the fiction will steadily be changing as the game progresses. So it absolutely takes for granted that, at epic tier, we're done with keeping count...
    288 replies | 9949 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 08:14 AM
    Adopting a liberal interpretation of "PH" and "two words", I came up with the following: Fighting Man. Magic-User. Wu Jen. Thief-Acrobat.
    77 replies | 2323 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 04:59 AM
    Multi-classing doesn't mean particularly serious level limits eg 7/11 for an elf F/MU, or 8/8 for a half-elf F/MU, assuming decent stats. You can also build by researching spells, by pooling items, by choosing which items to keep and which to sell, etc. As you say, the rules aren't that clear. And you can always use wands, which tend to have good casting times.
    288 replies | 9949 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 04:37 AM
    I'll agree on the easier arithmetic. I'm not sure about what you mean by "swingy" - if it's really an attack/defence treadmill then the "swinginess" is preserved just the same. This just leads back to the discussion about minions and swarms. In 4e I had more combats, and more interesting combats, involving giant hordes of weaker enemies than I ever did in AD&D or Rolemaster.
    288 replies | 9949 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 04:28 AM
    If you build for it, sure. Which you can do in AD&D as a F/MU, or using powerful Bracers of Defence, or . . . But the wizard/invoker in my 4e game didn't strike me as particularly atypical - and has always had Thunderwave ready to hand - but gets absolutely pasted in melee. That the precise consistency of the paste might differ from its AD&D analogue seems a secondary point.
    288 replies | 9949 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 26th May, 2019, 04:21 AM
    Hence battle captain!
    77 replies | 2323 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 10:37 AM
    The concept of "protagonism" in RPGing is (I believe) relatively well known. If it's unclear what I have in mind, here's the relevant remarks from the OP: If (to further self-quote) "the game rolls off the GM's 'plot wagon' much as it would if you were performing an elf instead" of a dwarf, then the things I've described aren't happening - the player's narration clearly is not engaging...
    1470 replies | 39970 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 07:57 AM
    For warlord I would suggest the Tolkienesque battle captain. But anyway I agree it's not a problem if you're not using WotC's IP (ie neither their text nor their trade dress).
    77 replies | 2323 view(s)
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Saturday, 15th June, 2019

  • 02:40 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Riley37, you didn't answer my question as to what you think it adds to the thread to insist that Hriston said something that he didn't, on the basis of attributing a meaning to his words that they were not intended to bear, and which no reasonable reader of them in the context of their production would impute to them. As to your question about light, light isn't an endeavour of any sort. It's a natural phenomenon. Unlike RPGing, which is an endeavour; and which is framed in the OP as an aesthetic endeavour (subsequent posts have noted classic dungeoncrawling as an exception; as best I recall no poster has disputed that framing or the exception), and which therefre has goals and features that contribute to quality, success, etc. Unlike the case of light, it's therefore not a category error to ask whether RPGing is literary endeavour, any more than it would be a category error to ask whether theatre or film-making is a literary endeavour, and whether the qualities that make for good theatre or cinema are essentially literary qualities. On speaking loud enough to be heard: of course...

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 11:54 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Hey, if you have questions about anyone's assertions about who is or isn't a jerk, then please take them up with Ovinomancer, not with me. That's his topic, not mine. If you want to defend the rigorous factual accuracy of Ovinomancer's assertion "Literally no one in this thread has said otherwise", then good luck with that. I doubt that you'll earn his gratitude; but I've been wrong before. In your unseemly haste to get your digital boot in, you seem to have forgotten the context of my remark. Here it is: Sooo... Are you agreeing that how content is presented can determine whether people wish to engage with it? Your saying Hriston's actually said that how content is presented cannot affect if people wish to engage with that content. It's the only way that you can keep this e-peen wagging contest going. Well, okay, then. Yours is the biggest. Really. None larger.
  • 05:26 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    when Ovinomancer denied that anyone had said any such thing - well, as a matter of fact, you HAD said that thing. That sentence, as written, says that content matters, and wording doesn't matter. I'm not asking you to stand by or renounce that sentence as the sum of your thoughts on form and content; I was challenging Ovinomancer's assertion that no one had said anything along those lines.If someone says "All the cheese is gone" before the dinner party, and then the next day you and a friend are debating whether or not anyone has ever thought that there's no cheese left in the world, the person who said "All the cheese is gone" doesn't count as an example of such. It's not that they said as much but didn't mean it. It's that anyone who thinks that's what they said doesn't understand the relevant semantic features of natural language. Hriston literally did not assert that the particular words used by a speaker never matter to the effectiveness of communication. Which is the assertion that you and Imaro appear to be imputing to him. (And if that's not what you're imputing, then why is he turning up at the end of your "gotcha" stick?) when Ovinomancer denied that anyone had said any such thing - well, as a matter of fact, you HAD said that thing. Again, this is just false. Hriston wrote some words which, if misinterpreted, are capable of bearing the meaning that you and Imaro attribute to them. But that doesn't mean that Hriston said the thing that you are misinterpreting him as having said. That's what makes your interpretation a misinterpretation. Ovinomancer even pointed this out, after Hriston pointed it out, and yet you persist in attributing your misinterpretation. Why? What's the point? What do you think it's adding to the thread?
  • 05:21 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I did not miss that. Hriston said what he said, in the words he used. You can stand by your assertion that no one has said any such thing; you can walk it back; or you can deflect, dodge, distract and dissemble.Seriously? Let's put to one side the fact that, contra Imaro, Hriston's post was in reply to Hussar, not to him. Here is the exchange between Hussar and Hriston: If the literary is unimportant, then why do DMGíd include dungeon dressing sections, most of which has little to no mechanical impact? Because color (dungeon dressing) is content that provides atmosphere when imagined by the participants at the table. The quality of form with which itís expressed isnít whatís important but rather whether the odors, noises, furnishings, and items found in an area suggest a torture chamber, a harem, or a wizardís laboratory. In other words, itís the actual content that matters, not the particular words that are used and the way they are said.Hriston is refuting an express claim that "dungeon dressing" is a ...
  • 02:38 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    You need the step by step? Can do! You asserted the following, in reference to Imaro's assertion about communication of content: Imaro then quoted Hriston asserting that only content matters, without regard to what words communicate that content. So if you still stand by your "no one in this thread has said otherwise" assertion, does your assertion now stipulate that when you said "no one", you meant Hriston? A simple "yes" or "no" response should suffice. Thanks in advance for your clarity and brevity! Sorry, did you miss where Hriston said he was taken out of context and wasn't saying what LMaro was claiming? It's been a busy thread, and people have trued to address things in multiple shifting frameworks as conversation has progressed. If you are trying to claim that people have actually advanced that being a jerk doesn't matter, then I don't see how a conversation can continue.

Wednesday, 29th May, 2019

  • 01:47 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    And the author of the OP?What about me? Do you mean, what did I hope to get out of the thread? One's never sure in advance beyond "interesting conversation". But the discussion about storytelling and various modes, driven mostly by Aldarc and hawkeyefan, has been interesting. Hriston and darkbard have helped refine my framing of my point. That's helpful. And also led it in the direction of "advice to GMs", which led to some fruitful discussions with uzirath whom I've not engaged with very much before as a poster. And Manbearcat has pushed with some challenging posts about pacing that I haven't replied to yet. Ultimately, the reason I post on a discussion board is to have discussions.

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 09:06 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...iscussed aspects of GM and player narration in RPGing. Which hase prompted me to start this thread. My answer to the question in the thread title is a firm No. RPGing requires narration: GMs describe situations, and players declare actions for their PCs that respond to those situations. But I don't think the literary quality of that narration is important. ... This is how I see RPGs, with their emphasis on participation in the creation of a fiction that is structured through distinct player an d GM roles, working. And it's how I see them differening from more directly narrative mediums such as books and films. That's the OP. This isn't about the DM regaling a captive playerbase with funny voices. This is about devaluing the efforts of players and DMs, whether it's in creating terrain, making illustrations of their characters, or engaging each other in a creative enterprise with quality. That you don't see it that way, well, whatever. But let me make this 100% clear, again (and @Hriston as well)- This isn't about some type of "Y'all have to play like Critical Role" agenda. No, this is about a very specific claim, being advanced in the OP, stating that his style of play is what matters in RPGs, and that what the rest of us do doesn't matter. That's not cool. Now, carry on- but more than enough words have been spent explaining this, and, TBH, I am a little tired of this thread and this debate, which is simply solved by stating, "Hey, play like you want. Just stop peeing on my leg and telling me it's raining." Or, more simply- the things I enjoy are core to my RPG experience. Good? Good.
  • 11:18 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...ours in the sense the OP has in mind: the quality of the narration/description isn't relevant to those activities. How can you think that referring to Amber diceless, in which player use language to define events, possibly rebuts a claim that begins with the premise that RPGing involves narration and description? If what you are claiming above is true then if given the same quality content that is communicated clearly there should never be deviation in how players respond to it (either being interested or not interested)... which begs the question if it's purely a question of quality of content and clarity then why can numerous DM's try to hook their players to interact with the same content and get totally different responses from their players insofar as interest is concerned? Are you saying any and every DM who can't get his players interested in quality content must not be clearly communicating with their players? If not what are you saying is the cause?Obviously I'm not Hriston, but I assume that Hriston's answer would be the same as mine: what counts as quality material, in the context of RPGing, is not context-independent.

Sunday, 19th May, 2019

  • 03:23 PM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...l that is at stake, ie if nothing turns on the description of how the character moves, if it's mere colour, then maybe we're getting a bit of establishment of character. That can be done whether the character is said to stride down the hall, walk purposefully down it, or walk down it at a steady pace with an imposing look. for me, what you claim you don't need from the GM is one of the few things that differentiates roleplaying games from other interactive media, his ability through prose and delivery to engage me at a level a videogame can't.Whereas what I see as central to RPGing is the capacity of the referee to respond to the players, and frame situations in response, that engage with a focus, specificity and degree of particularity that non-human interactions can't deliver. If the group isn't interested in engaging with the situations presented because your presentation/performance doesn't make it interesting to them... well there's no game.My take on this is the same as Hriston's - it sounds to me like the situation is not interesting enough! As I've already posted in this thread, my advice to that GM would be to work on situation, not to work on voice modulation. People have equated literary and performance with "flowery language". That is not what's meant and has never been meant.I'm probably qualified to say what I meant by literary in the OP: RPGing requires narration: GMs describe situations, and players declare actions for their PCs that respond to those situations. But I don't think the literary quality of that narration is important. Literary quality of the narration means - as Hriston posted at post 19 - quality of form: There seems to be a fair bit of wrangling going on in this thread over the definition of the word literary. I think it's pretty clear, however, from the context of the OP, that what is meant accords well with the standard definition found in Google dictionary, for example, "concerning the writing, study, or content...

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 07:33 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    All it takes for the level of realism I seek is for me to have a system that generally works towards representing something in real life. I don't really know what you mean by this. Hriston has a system - whetstones on equipment lists - for "representing" (in some tenable sense of that word) something that occurs in real life, namely, warriors sharpening their blades. But you say that that is not an element of realism. Declaring that a PC comes down with a disease every time the clock strikes during the course of play would be a system for introducing disease - an element of real life - into gameplay. But upthread you seemed to assert that a system of that sort does not increase realism - I think (though am not sure) on the basis that the decision-making process doesn't model the ingame infection process. But when some of us express doubt that the AD&D DMG disease rules work towards representing something like real life, because the "model"/"simulation" (if one wants to call it that) seems to have little basis in reality, and furthermore is apt to produce inconsistencies in game play that don't mirror corresponding facets of real life, you say that we're missing ...

Monday, 6th May, 2019

  • 10:52 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    ...and so plays his/her PC as having a cold) or as part of the narration of failure (as per my examples above, or as per the suggestion that AbdulAlhazred and I made way upthread that a missed attack might be narrated as the weapon having become dulled) or even as mattering to resolution (maybe after falling in the mud, the GM imposes disadvantage on CHA checks to befriend strangers until the PC gets clean clothes). The 5e Basic PDF has whetstones on its equipment list. It also has price lists for different qualities of clothing, food, drink and accommodation, even though there are no mechanics governing social class and status. There is an abacus on the list, although no rule that forbids a player using a calculator or pen-and-paper to do maths for his/her PC. All these things are clearly there to help establish these various elements of the fiction. The fact that there is no mechanic that necessarily invokes them is entirely beside the point. EDIT: A lot of this was ninja-ed by Hriston earlier today (my time), using the example of grass growing.

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 03:57 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    So a whetstone is neither a rule, nor proof that weapons degrade in D&D.Upthread, when I suggested that pork is not a part of the D&D rules unless a GM adds it in, you cited the presence of boar in the MM animal listing as a counter-point. But when Hriston points to the presence of whetstones on the equipment list, and in some WotC-published character inventories, as a counterexample to your claim about weapoin degradation, you scoff. Why the difference in the two cases?

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 01:21 PM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    ...ing a game (particularly a game like My Life With Master where you're running through a pre-conceived, but not pre-rendered, thematic arc with a diversity of ultimate outcomes). How do you think the 3 above intersect (or not) with your premise?I think (1) and (2) are - at their core - about extrapolating from established to new fiction by reference to theme/interest. That fits well with my description, in my post not far upthread of your post, of the GM's narration inviting the players to engage as a protagonist. What stirs the player, what rouses emotion, is not the fluency of the GM's narration but the power of that invitation. I think a GM can do this although s/he has no great skill as a writer (in the sense of writing beautiful prose). My belief here is grounded firmly in my experience! I think your (3) puts more pressure on my contention - I would describe the source of this being that it puts pressure on the contrast between form and content - this is the contrast that Hriston has helpfully articulated upthread, and that I also tried to capture (via some examples, and comments around them) in my post not too far upthread from yours. This is because dramatic pacing (probably) can't be completely divorced from the words - the form - whereby the content is conveyed. In the context of a RPG, though, where the pacing concerns - at least the sort that you refer to - are more at the "scene" level than the line-by-line level, I think the dependence of pacing on words becomes pretty lose. A GM who can't control his/her words at all is going to have troube wrapping up a scene, or cutting to the next situation, in a smooth way; but I think the threshold of skill to be able to do this falls well short of being able to write an evocative opening or closing line. I'll finish this post by saying that, in denying that RPGing is a *literary* endeavour I'm not denying that it has an important aesthetic component. But I think that the aesthetic component is much more ...

Monday, 22nd April, 2019

  • 02:44 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I think RPGing is not a literary endeavor when examined in this light, because the focus is not on the quality of form of the content of the fiction being generated through play, but rather on the content itself and its potential to engender participation.I think that enough people play with various elements that they might focus upon that the best you should say is, "RPG play is *usually* not a literary endeavor, because the quality of form is not a common focus." Going beyond that is making claims on the community that nobody really has the power to do, hey what?I've bolded a part of Hriston's post that you (Umbran) perhaps did not notice. The "light" by which Hriston is examining RPGing is the same light as I deployed in the OP. The OP is making a claim about the aesthetics of RPGing: that the strength of RPGing is engaged participation, not artistic performance and narration. I appreciate that this will not be a universal view: that's why the thread title takes the form of a question, and why the OP offers my answer. I don't even know if Hriston agrees with me - I took his post to be an attempt to restate my position, which he did very well, but not necessarily an endorsement of it.

Saturday, 20th April, 2019

  • 04:10 PM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Hriston - I'm glad at least one poster found my OP clear enough! To elaborate - and I see what I'm saying in this post as consistent with the OP, and hopefully you will also - I don't see RPGing as primarily performance (in the artistic sense). Not for the GM - of course a melifluous GM can provide entertainment, but I don't see that as core. And likewise on the player side - thespianism is (in my view) secondary, whereas engaging the fiction from the position/perspective of the character is absolutely central. And here's one way I would make this more concrete in terms of advice: if a new(-ish) GM asked me what is the one thing to do to make his/her game better, I would recommend working on managing framing and consequences to maintain player engagement, rather than (say) working on the portrayal/characterisation of NPCs.

Saturday, 9th March, 2019

  • 12:53 AM - epithet mentioned Hriston in post Sage Advice Compendium Update 1/30/2019
    That's not what the Sage Advice Compendium says, though. The weapon attack isn't granting you advantage on the attack roll of the cantrip, which is why this answer says that nothing would be broken if the DM let the attack come first. However, it's still confirming that the "if you X, you can Y" wording means X has to come before Y in strict RAW, just like the Shield Master answer says. Oh, I know. This is another example of how Jeremy chose semantics over gameplay and reversed an earlier answer regarding the 5e rules. As Hriston pointed out upthread, Crawford's initial take on the matter was quite different. The intent is that the bonus attack can come before or after the cantrip. You choose when to take a bonus action during your turn, unless the bonus action specifies when it must take place (PH, 189). The question wasn't about how Jeremy wants to interpret the rules in 2019, but rather how the rule would have been written when the Player's Handbook was published if the intent were to allow a bonus action to come before or after the triggering event, enabling the default timing of bonus actions. Since we have here a statement of that exact intent for a bonus action written into the Player's Handbook, it appears we have our answer, no?

Saturday, 23rd February, 2019


Thursday, 21st February, 2019

  • 07:36 PM - FrogReaver mentioned Hriston in post Sage Advice Compendium Update 1/30/2019
    Hriston I can abjucate that a level 1 fighter makes 4 attacks when using his attack action. However doing so is objectively not following the attack action and extra attack rules. The same thing with shield master (although there are much better reasons to abjucate it the way you do than a DM abjucate first a level 1 fighter gets 4 attacks). Itís still an abjucate on that is objectively not following the shield master and other bonus action rules. If you want to argue it is then for the love of god stop bringing abjucation into it. Whether or not you abjucate however you do has no relevance on whether you are objectively following the rules as they are written.

Tuesday, 12th February, 2019

  • 10:39 PM - epithet mentioned Hriston in post Sage Advice Compendium Update 1/30/2019
    ...terpreting houserule < RAW. "Houserule" is not an insult and anyone trying to use it that way overtly or subtly may have need for a little introspection. At the end of the day, the DM's job is interpreting the RAW anyway. As RL humans, we're all going to bring our own biases to the table, so to speak, in how we interpret and apply the rules. The end goal for our table is to have fun, not debate the rules and hold up the flow of the game. ... You are completely right, but I think it is worthwhile to note an important distinction. You can interpret the published rule in a way different than Crawford does, and it is still the published rule. Only when you change it (like you have by removing the Attack Action requirement like I did, too) have you made a "house rule." When you interpret the rule as it is written, that is a ruling, and every DM's ruling is exactly as valid and applicable in his game as Jeremy Crawford's is on his tabletop. A number of people in this thread, like Hriston a page or two back, have provided very reasonable interpretations and rulings of the rule (as it is written) that do not change it at all, but are not the same as the new and revised Crawford advice.

Thursday, 22nd November, 2018

  • 12:38 AM - pemerton mentioned Hriston in post Keep on the Borderlands shenanigans
    Hriston, thanks for replying to my old thread! Your last paragraph caught me a bit by surprise - I hadn't guessed from the earlier passages that the betrayal played out so contentiously at the table. I've always felt that NPC treachery is treacherous terrain for a GM, and it seems that your experience confirmed that. The parleying you decribe I also found interesting - though I was a bit disappointed that the heroes failed to follow through on their ransom promise to the hobgoblins! But that to one side, I think ransom, imprisonment, etc is really very underused in FRPGing (I think maybe the D&D hp system of find-until-dead-at-zero helps contribute to this). I also think a change might have taken place in the early-to-mid 80s, from relying on the reaction dice to determine the outcomes of encounters, to a greater degree of evil NPCs attack on sight or an expectation that good PCs will never negotiate with evil NPCs. I was also intrigued by the role that weather seemed to play in the b...


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Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 05:21 AM - pemerton quoted Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I did not miss that. Hriston said what he said, in the words he used. You can stand by your assertion that no one has said any such thing; you can walk it back; or you can deflect, dodge, distract and dissemble.Seriously? Let's put to one side the fact that, contra Imaro, Hriston's post was in reply to Hussar, not to him. Here is the exchange between Hussar and Hriston: If the literary is unimportant, then why do DMGíd include dungeon dressing sections, most of which has little to no mechanical impact? Because color (dungeon dressing) is content that provides atmosphere when imagined by the participants at the table. The quality of form with which itís expressed isnít whatís important but rather whether the odors, noises, furnishings, and items found in an area suggest a torture chamber, a harem, or a wizardís laboratory. In other words, itís the actual content that matters, not the particular words that are used and the way they are said.Hriston is refuting an express claim that "dungeon dressing" is a ...
  • 04:17 AM - Riley37 quoted Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Obviously, all sorts of various things matter to different people when they play RPGs. Central to the experience of playing an RPG, however, is imagining the gameís fictional content. Whether a group considers their imaginings to be a literary endeavor, on the other hand, is a particular concern of the group in question. To other groups, it may not matter at all. I agree with what you're saying here! Your position and perspective as a whole, are more nuanced, more flexible, less absolutist, than this one thing you happened to say, somewhere back along the way: "In other words, itís the actual content that matters, not the particular words that are used and the way they are said." Even so, when Ovinomancer denied that anyone had said any such thing - well, as a matter of fact, you HAD said that thing. That sentence, as written, says that content matters, and wording doesn't matter. I'm not asking you to stand by or renounce that sentence as the sum of your thoughts on form and content; I was...

Thursday, 13th June, 2019

  • 05:50 AM - Riley37 quoted Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I don't know about @pemertonís post, but that post of mine you quoted was not made in reply to you or anything you said. I made it in response to @Hussarís post which directly preceded mine and which asked why dungeon dressing appears in most editions of the DMG. I was speaking to the genesis of the tangent... but not sure how this changes what you said. Alright, Ovinomancer, please issue a ruling: Should I evaluate Hriston's assertion only according to its literal content? Or does context change the value of its content? Is it true... from a certain point of view? That is, the point of view, which equates Hriston with nobody? Archaic allusion time: Q: Who did Polyphemos hate, even more than Odysseus? A: Nobody!
  • 03:08 AM - Imaro quoted Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I don't know about @pemertonís post, but that post of mine you quoted was not made in reply to you or anything you said. I made it in response to @Hussarís post which directly preceded mine and which asked why dungeon dressing appears in most editions of the DMG. I was speaking to the genesis of the tangent... but not sure how this changes what you said.
  • 02:13 AM - Imaro quoted Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Sure. Literally no one in this thread has said otherwise. I'm starting to think you've maybe missed the point. Really?? Because I literally brought up this idea that how content was presented could in fact determine whether a group would be interested in the content earlier in the thread (and one of the reasons I thought of it as core to the game) and these were the replies... Emphasis mine. Because color (dungeon dressing) is content that provides atmosphere when imagined by the participants at the table. The quality of form with which itís expressed isnít whatís important but rather whether the odors, noises, furnishings, and items found in an area suggest a torture chamber, a harem, or a wizardís laboratory. In other words, itís the actual content that matters, not the particular words that are used and the way they are said. ... My take on this is the same as @Hriston's - it sounds to me like the situation is not interesting enough! As I've already posted in this thread, my advice to that GM would be to work on situation, not to work on voice modulation...

Wednesday, 29th May, 2019


Tuesday, 28th May, 2019

  • 11:37 PM - Edgar Ironpelt quoted Hriston in post Making Sense of Forest Terrain
    I don't play 3.5E, but I think this is where you went wrong. My search for average forest trees/acre yields a much wider variation of figures, based on factors like individual species represented, average tree diameter, and the age of the stand. Here's a quote from a pdf on "Forest Thinning" put out by http://4hforestryinvitational.org: An adequately stocked stand will have fast-growing trees of good form. For example, consider an even-aged hardwood stand. There may be well over 10,000 seedlings per acre in the first 5 years. This number decreases to about 1,000 as the stand matures to a point when the trees average 5-11 inches DBH (pole-sized). Most of the young trees naturally die as other trees out-compete them for sunlight. When trees average more than 11 inches DBH (saw-timber size), the number of trees declines to 500 trees per acre, and eventually to 150 trees per acre in very mature woodlands. The 100-200 trees per acre figure you quote appears to come from this website: http://...

Saturday, 25th May, 2019

  • 04:44 AM - Maxperson quoted Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    If we define describing things as a literary endeavor, then yes, RPGing is a literary endeavor because, as it says in the OP, it requires describing things. What I donít get about what you said in your last post to which I responded is how you describe an orc without being conscious that youíre describing an orc. I can describe an orc in my sleep. However, if I want to come up with creative descriptions, I would have to stop and carefully choose my words. That's the difference.
  • 02:13 AM - Maxperson quoted Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I canít be sure, but you seem to be using being literary to mean something like using language. What is literary is immensely broad. That's why it's broken up into so many sub-categories. Even if I accept that usage, however, I still canít make out how itís important that the GM and players use language if they arenít required to make a conscious effort to do so. It takes me virtually no effort to describe an orc. It would take me a lot of effort to embellish the description with a lot of adjectives and details for an individual orc.

Friday, 24th May, 2019

  • 05:14 PM - Maxperson quoted Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    RPGing being a literary endeavor would suggest that the literary quality of the narration is an important part of the activity. Wouldn't it? Insofar as the activity couldn't happen without it, being literary is a very important part of the activity. It doesn't require a conscious attempt on the part of the DM or players for it to be that way.

Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

  • 01:09 PM - Maxperson quoted Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    The OP stated the opinion that the literary quality of narration is unimportant, so, sure, it doesnít matter whether the literary quality is low or high. Unimportant is unimportant. What Iím not following is that you seemed to have been making the argument up thread that someone who thinks the literary quality of narration is unimportant is somehow asking for dull narration. You also seem to be making the argument that someone could think the literary quality of narration is important and want that narration to have low literary quality. That doesnít make a lot of sense to me. To me, this sounds like you donít think the literary quality of your dialogue is very important. Important. Unimportant. Those things are not relevant to whether or not the game is literary. It is, and the conversational dialogue, along with the quality of it is part of why.
  • 11:48 AM - pemerton quoted Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I know these questions are intended as rhetorical, but if I treat them as literal then the answer is I don't know. The game seems to be 3e D&D (Scarred Lands), but who are the PCs? Who are the players? Do they have any reason to give a toss about the glutton Titan Gaurak?So what? Youíre telling me that both answers would equally evoke a response? That neither one would make the slightest difference in tone or anything at the table? You must have the most time deaf players in the world.Time deaf, space deaf, maybe just deaf deaf . . . Anyway, here are the two options again: 1. You know that cockroach monster at the end of Men in Black? That's more or less what you see. 2. Born of the blood of the glutton Titan Gaurak, "this hideous horse sized creature appears to be a twisted hybrid of beetle, mantis and maggot. It stinks of carrion and blood" My players aren't too tone deaf. They can tell that the second description paints more of a "word picture" than the first. Bu...
  • 03:50 AM - Imaro quoted Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Thatís because imagining, exploring, and engaging with good content is whatís at the heart of RPGing. The literary quality with which that content is described runs orthogonally to that. For you...maybe, I've yet to be convinced, but for some/many/most the other things you mention aren't attainable or fun without a certain quality to the literary aspects and descriptions, the presentation and performance...
  • 02:20 AM - Maxperson quoted Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    Material of low literary quality is clearly not what the OP is talking about when asking whether RPGing is a literary endeavor. He brought up narrative quality. Low quality is quality. It applies to his argument. This isn't in dispute. My contention is that the act of describing content is not a literary endeavor in the sense used by the OP. For it to be a literary endeavor in that sense would require that the quality of form, i.e. word choice, phrase and sentence structure, use of meter, rhyme, and repetition, and other formal properties that set the language used apart from normal everyday language, is a major focus of the activity. As I pointed out above, conversational dialogue is a literary technique, so you don't need the above requirements. Further, from personal experience, I have spoken on behalf of NPCs and came up with some really crappy dialogue on the spot. That would be low literary quality dialogue. Other times I've come up with responses that were so awesome I go...

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 07:39 PM - Imaro quoted Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    But does any incremental improvement in the quality of the narrative whatsoever qualify the game as a literary endeavor? I don't think so. I think that for such improvements to qualify, they have to be made with the purpose of enhancing the formal, literary qualities of the descriptions and narrations in which they appear. There are many other reasons to make improvements to the narrative other than to make it more literary. Maybe it just makes for a better story if you talk about some detail or other. This makes no sense. I would think improvement of the narrative, generation of content and nearly everything else we've discussed is ultimately done first and foremost for the purpose of running the game. I mean I'm not creating content for the purpose of just having good content, I'm generating it to better my game.
  • 06:59 PM - Imaro quoted Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I do it all the time in normal conversation. If I'm describing something, I use my ordinary speech patterns and vocabulary to elaborate until I feel I've arrived at an adequate description. I try not to overthink how I'm using the language. Are you always aware of the formal quality of your everyday speech? To a certain extent I would say yes. I certainly don't add all kinds of words to my description of a situation without any regard for its formal quality, especially when speaking to colleagues at work, explaining something to others and so on. Very rarely am I wholly unaware of the formal quality of my everyday speech as I know many people are apt to judge you by it.
  • 06:07 PM - Imaro quoted Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    You can add all kinds of words to your description of a situation without any regard for its literary quality as a piece of narration. Who does this??
  • 02:47 AM - Maxperson quoted Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    I don't think adding a small number of words to "In the room are 2 orcs" necessarily makes describing a situation in an RPG a literary endeavor in the way that was intended by the OP. It adds to the quality of the narrative, so it applies.
  • 02:45 AM - Maxperson quoted Hriston in post Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour?
    The choice isn't between narration of literary quality or dull narration. Narration can be both, or it can be neither. Literary quality is anything from, "I wouldn't wipe my rear with it." to Shakespeare. The things you describe are content. How the orcs and the hill look and what small actions the orcs are performing are color, which is a type of content that informs the mood. It is absolutely description. I am describing to the players what the kobolds(not orcs) are doing. That it is also content is irrelevant. It's still description.


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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 ...
375 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 ...
707 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...
196 0 1 Monday, 7th September, 2015, 07:37 AM Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 06:07 AM

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