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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Today, 07:17 PM
    I don’t personally feel bound to play the character according to the ability scores. From time to time I do, but if for example my character’s ideal is Justice or whatever then I use that versus the scores. My justice-focused character likely pursues the just course of action without respect to the ability modifier. Maybe I have a low charisma score character that (by luck of the roll) hasn’t...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 07:14 PM
    Why does this bother you? As a DM or player, I couldn't give a dusty flumph what someone else's ability scores are and how he or she chooses to use them to inform how they portray the character. It's really just none of my business as I see it. As long as the player is pursuing the goals of play in good faith, that is, making choices that are fun for everyone and that contribute to an...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Today, 07:10 PM
    I ran this for my group yesterday and it was a lot of fun. There definitely was a looming sense of risking death climbing up so high on an exposed cliff. The 3-hour clock before the hard rains hit was effective at driving them forward, though it only took them 2 hours, so perhaps the window was too large. It took roughly 2 hours real time too. Also, the threat – while real in the players' minds...
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 07:05 PM
    Not that I have an issue calling it a "house rule," but just for funsies, if you really think about it, it might not be: If the DM is the one who makes the call as to whether there's an ability check and the one who narrates the results of an adventurer's action, then all we're really doing is giving the player input on what is ultimately the DM's call. "What do you think happens here, Player?...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 06:36 PM
    What do you mean by "skill usage?"
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 06:35 PM
    That is incorrect. My position is that a player decides how their character thinks and acts and what it says, which is straight from the rules almost verbatim. I have made no claim as to the role of ability scores in making that determination. A player might do that, or might not. I take no position on that. Please cite the rules that instruct players how to play their characters according...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 06:00 PM
    A player determining how the character thinks and acts is the definition of roleplaying provided by the rules themselves. We didn't just make that up. There are also no rules that require a player to act any particular way given their ability scores. The character creation guidelines do suggest that ability scores can inform the PC's appearance and personality, but there are no hard rules on how...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 05:41 PM
    My opinion is informed by the rules of the game which I paraphrased in my response. You don't have to follow the rules, of course, but those of us who share my opinion are following the rules.
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 05:25 PM
    The DM can only call for an ability check when there's uncertainty as to the outcome of a task. The task here is "Convince barbarian to go along with rogue's plan." Players can't call for or decide to make ability checks. The question is whether there is uncertainty as to the outcome of the task. And the answer is: There isn't. A player determines how the character thinks and acts - thus the...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 04:33 PM
    He is subject to the negatives though. If he has a low Intelligence, he will on average do poorly on Intelligence ability checks (such as when determining if he can recall lore or make a deduction) and Intelligence saving throws. If he has a low Wisdom, he'll perform badly on average on a number of tasks including Insight, Perception, and Survival, when asked to make a roll to resolve those...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 04:22 PM
    In reading the posts of people who are using mechanics to influence decisions players make for their own characters, there seems to be an undercurrent of player issues at the table for which this method was deemed a solution. As has been stated, using mechanics to solve player issues is not ideal and, in fact, often leads to the sorts of problem that kicked off this thread.
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:09 PM
    Right. The best definition in my opinion for agency is simply being able to make reasonably informed decisions for your character that have an actual impact on the game world. That's all there is to it, really. "Reasonably informed decisions" come from the DM providing an adequate description of the environment and being consistent with rulings. Having an "actual impact on the game world" comes...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:41 PM
    How is it not adding to the discussion to show how to play in a way that avoids the problem entirely?
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:24 PM
    Oh, did my post stop there? I'm pretty sure I added a whole other part that explained further how I handle it at my table.
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:18 PM
    I wouldn't do this. With a failed check, I would just say the true intentions of the creature are no clearer than they were before. The player can then decide what to do with that. A Wisdom (Insight) check isn't about whether you believe someone or not. It's about whether you can detect changes in body language, speech habits, or mannerisms that provide you information appropriate to your goal....
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:13 PM
    I remember playing final fantasy 15, with something similar to OP’s suggestion. When the main character or a party member dropped to zero HP, they were effectively disabled. They’d crawl to cover, but couldn’t stand or fight, and if you could get over to them, you could administer some healing. It was both dramatic and effective. I think I’d refine the original suggestion here to include a...
    30 replies | 467 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:00 PM
    Yeah, the "Use Skill" thing is definitely an artifact of other games. You can hear it in the way certain posters talk about their games. Not surprisingly, if there is some kind of problem seeking an answer posted on the forums, it's often due at least in part to handling ability checks this way. Which is not to say the method always produces problems. Rather, if there is a problem, you can be...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:56 PM
    I run my regular campaign which is about 10 players, 7 of whom are the most active, and 3 who show up for the odd cameo. There are 5 seats per session and the quorum is 4 players. So here I'm very familiar with these players, but the roster does change almost every session. They have two PCs each as well, though they do favor their primary ones chiefly. I also run scenarios in a West Marches...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:47 PM
    I require the player to adequately perform their role in the game. They have one thing to do - describe what they want to do and how they want to do it. They require me to adequately perform my role in the game as well - describing the environment, laying out the basic scope of options that present themselves, and narrating the result of the adventurers' actions. (And staying functional after 6...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:26 AM
    In TFA she was great, so it was kind of weird to see her deliver such a bad performance. But like I said, this is only during the opening of the movie, so I think the director is really to blame here.
    76 replies | 1240 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:16 AM
    Not entirely. It was a surprise going into the movie. But once the movie started heading slightly in that direction, I was genuinely excited at what they might do. Instead, as stated above, they were just yanking our chains a bit. And that's exactly my problem with all this. It is very easy to "yank the audience's chains", and to have people mistake that for being an unexpected twist. But it...
    96 replies | 1701 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:12 AM
    Mercurius My go to source of inspiration has been James Stowe's blog: http://jamesstowe.blogspot.com/2011/09/dnd-for-8-year-olds.html He took 4th edition I believe and created simplified character sheets oriented for kids. Good stuff! :)
    17 replies | 453 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:38 AM
    It's not about precise phrasing though. If I'm not going to tell you what your character thinks, then it's only consistent in my view for me to also not assume or establish what your character is doing. To that end it's on the player to describe a goal and approach that I can adjudicate.
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:09 AM
    Yeah man, there's a whole world of villains and monsters out there to lie to, steal from, and murder. Ain't got time for people who want to instead flip coins trying to mess with each other. I would say it's not about allowing or not allowing it really. I just can't do anything with that question - there's nothing there for me to adjudicate into a result because the player didn't tell me...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:57 AM
    Ovinomancer has it. It's just worked out by the players involved in a way that they believe will be fun for everyone and that contributes to an exciting, memorable story. I see no need for mechanics here.
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:55 AM
    No spider climb because there's neither sorcerer nor wizard in the party, and the rogue multi-classed into warlock isn't sufficient level to cast 2nd level warlock spells. No levitate and no fly because, again, no sorcerer or wizard.
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:20 AM
    My response to these sorts of questions is "Only you can say what your character thinks." The way this plays out at our table is that the character tells a lie, both players know it since presumably nobody's really in the dark about this as we're all there at the table, and then the player whose character is being lied to decides whether it would be more fun to play along with it, to be...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:03 AM
    It seems reasonable to me that some adventurers might weigh two options and go with the one that will provide him or her with the most benefit. And oddly enough in this case, for reasons that probably amount to a lucky guess, that choice ended up being the right one (to the extent I understand GameOgre's description).
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:28 AM
    It would have surprised me if they had done what I were hoping they would do at that moment. Instead they kind of flirt with a cool premise, and abandon it. Subverting audience expectations isn't always a good thing, if the turn sucks.
    96 replies | 1701 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:06 AM
    I plan on each scene lasting 20 to 30 min on average. If my play time is 4 hours, I’m probably getting through 8-12 scenes. With 20-30 min, each player is getting 5-6 minutes in each scene. Probably the 1st and last scenes of the play session are NOT encounters - they’re usually sort of setup and wind down. Every other scene is usually some kind of encounter - meaning it has some form of...
    24 replies | 1722 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:07 AM
    It's how the rules of the game you're playing defines "roleplaying" as well. I didn't just make up that definition. So the rogue makes a case to help the villagers. The barbarian hears him out and decides he doesn't want to do that. Is that not "reacting to the outside influences going on around you?" Let me ask you this, out of curiosity: Did they go help the villagers ultimately? Was...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 11:37 PM
    They are roleplaying though - determining how their characters act, think, and talk. The player determined that his barbarian character wasn't convinced by the rogue character's argument. That's roleplaying.
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 11:31 PM
    You said "Players are less likely to out and out ignore something if they had to make a check for it." The DM is the one who calls for checks, so this has the look of the DM caring about whether the players have their characters act deceived, persuaded, or intimidated by a fellow PC. Why care about that at all as DM?
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 11:20 PM
    The question for me arises: Why should the DM care if the player ignores the attempt at deception, intimidation, or persuasion? It's really none of his or her business, right? I don't have an issue if the player decides to, effectively, flip a coin to decide what the character does. I would have a problem if the DM is telling me my character thinks the rogue's argument works on me.
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 11:01 PM
    Yeah, I'll post here with how it goes after Sunday's game. Really appreciate everyone's help figuring this out last minute!
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 10:16 PM
    In which case there was no point to this interaction and the subsequent fallout at all in my view. To me it would have been better to play as I do - the rogue's player makes the case and the barbarian's player chooses what to do. This is reminiscent of previous discussions where monsters try to intimidate PCs and the DM calls for an ability check, establishing on a sufficient result that the...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 10:16 PM
    Hah! Thanks, man. I'm out in Hawaii, so might be a long plane ride. ;) Here are the 5 pre-defined challenges I've written down so far... for #2 Wind Tunnel, I'm thinking of making it a choice between two routes & incorporating that suggestion about the Elemental Plane of Air somehow. 1. Triple Gap (500’) Switchbacking stone ramps take you up 450 dizzying feet above the jungle floor....
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 09:53 PM
    Really appreciate you taking the time to write your thoughts up, Manbearcat. Your insights have always been valuable from back in the 4e forum days! :) Using Dungeon World as inspiration is a great idea. May end up jotting those "moves" down and ad libbing a lot of this.
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 09:50 PM
    The question really boils down to whether the DM can say what my character does. I can find no support for that (short of magical compulsion), and plenty of support that suggests otherwise.
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 09:45 PM
    I'm just saying that trying to determine what is the exception to what is not actually helpful since it can be argued either way with no end. Sorry but I don't follow this at all.
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 09:14 PM
    Just finished the poster-map we're using for the session. Printed 18x32 and mounted on foam core. Walkways from reused cardboard, adhered with blue sticky stuff. Miniatures are mockups to ensure it can hold their weight. Here's the original text from Tomb of Annihilation for the curious. I've also updated the OP with this. This is what I'm working from & trying to change. To reach the...
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 09:10 PM
    My point was that you can look at it as an exception either way so this line of argument isn't actually useful.
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 08:46 PM
    While I still think there's some confusion here about the nature of ability checks and their relation to the fiction, one could easily say that it's the Strength (Athletics) checks or the like which are the "special exception" to the general rule of the player determining how his or her character thinks, acts, and talks.
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 07:57 PM
    I think there's a few ways to deal with this sort of setup. First, consider that roleplaying is just determining what your character thinks, how it acts, and what it says. Nothing else. That's all roleplaying is. To that end, even your "tactical-oriented gamers" are roleplaying when they have their characters do stuff. If you want the players to portray specific, clearly-defined aspects of...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 07:20 PM
    That suggests to me that (1) combat and exploration pillars may be over-represented in the campaign as compared to social interaction challenges (a DM issue), and (2) a conversation needs to be had to get the players on the same page with regard to cooperatively roleplaying and helping others be awesome (a group issue).
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 06:23 PM
    I agree that narratively that makes sense. However, I need to balance that with the game design. Just one level of exhaustion imposes disadvantage on ability checks - which could be hugely crippling in this check-intensive encounter. That’s why I didn’t attach “suffer exhaustion” to everything lightly. I made “suffer exhaustion” one option - other options involve damage, dropping stuff, etc. IOW...
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 06:13 PM
    Thanks for the suggestion. ☺️ It reminds me of AngryGM’s exploration musings. Looking it over...there’s a bit of dissonance between the “dungeon exploration turn with roll for complication” & the narrative, at least for me. It’s a climb up a cliff side following a pre-existing route (which makes the otherwise staggeringly difficult climb possible but still perilous). There aren’t...
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 05:34 PM
    I think I have something for tracking individual PC reputation among the aarakocra. This ties into various side quests the PCs can perform to improve their bartering reputation with the bird folk. 0 Falls/Failures: Respected as “Fliers Who Never Leave the Ground”, unrestricted access to the monastery, gain a free service/good during barter. If male human/half-breed, may also attract...
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 05:29 PM
    The social character's player would determine the outcome of the combat character's attacks and the combat character's player would determine the outcome of the social character's arguments, deceptions, or intimidation. This allows for intraparty conflict that is resolved the same for both players and avoids the problem of players being annoyed at non-consensual pvp.
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 05:25 PM
    Per the rules, a player determines how his or her character thinks, acts, and talks. The player plays the game by describing what he or she wants to do. The DM then adjudicates and narrates. In your example, Barbie's player is still able to determine how his or her character thinks, acts, and talks despite Alice being hidden. I will add that an ability check is a mechanic used to resolve...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 04:42 PM
    That is my favorite approach to player-on-player action. While it does sidestep the game system and the usual task resolution (roll a d20, etc.), the tradeoff is voluntaryism and consent. Someone disinterested in engaging in that way can opt out. Someone interested in engaging in that way can opt in and build on what’s happening. I can’t even tell you how much shenanigans you skip in a...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 02:31 PM
    I didn't really mind the character of Rey in TFA, but I feel TLJ really needed to push her further as a character. I mean, what does she really do in TLJ? She spends a lot of time on an island, which ultimately doesn't lead anywhere, and then fights Snoke's guards a bit. This movie would have been the perfect opportunity to have her suffer defeat, or to be challenged in her convictions. To have...
    76 replies | 1240 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 02:18 PM
    My biggest issue with The Last Jedi, was that TFA had set up some revelations, which were then answered by TLJ with "Surprise, there is no revelation!". And that annoyed me, and still does. If the twist is that there is no twist, please think of something better. Don't set up a big end battle, and then surprise us with no battle at all. Sometimes it is okay to give people what they are hoping...
    96 replies | 1701 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 02:07 PM
    I'm very hyped for this. This is going to be amazing.
    21 replies | 650 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 07:31 AM
    An ability check is called for when the outcome of an action is an uncertain and there's a meaningful consequence of failure. Only the DM may call for an ability check. A player determines how his or her character thinks, acts, and talks. Only the player may determine this, short of exceptions like magical compulsion. There is no uncertainty as to the outcome of an action made to influence...
    265 replies | 4430 view(s)
    9 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 02:35 AM
    Ah man, that's brilliant. :) Working under time crunch to unexpectedly rewrite this section of the adventure for Sunday's game, so don't know if I'll have time to expand on your idea to do it justice. But so much potential there.
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 11:43 PM
    Mhmm. Damage here is only relevant insofar as the PCs stay above 0 hit points, yes. Exhaustion is relevant because disadvantage on ability checks applies to social checks made with the aarakocra (there is a bit of intrigue at the monastery), while stacked levels of exhaustion mean the PCs need more than one long rest to be back to normal...and there is an ongoing campaign threat that's...
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 11:32 PM
    Love the idea of finding pitons left by past adventurers! And I do plan to have curious young aarakocra try to communicate with the PCs – most of the aarakocra speak Aarakocra and Auran, which none of the PCs know (nor do they have comprehend languages), but it will be fun nevertheless. Oddly enough, I am including a missing aarakocra scout named Kiirk who boldly went where no aarakocra had gone...
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 11:11 PM
    Totally. :) I've crafted a story that Aerdrie Faenya once sacrificed her wings to uplift humanity (which is reflected in how the aarakocra saint Asharra running the monastery can give up her wings temporarily to magically bestow flight upon the PCs). Purportedly, the monastery holds a white feather of Aerdrie Faenya who made an arduous ascent up the holy plateau without her wings and left a...
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 05:34 PM
    Love your user name :) Interesting, yeah you and jayoungr make similar suggestions about the aarakocra disposition toward the PCs being determined by how their climb goes. Off the top of my head, the aarakocra saint is supposed to openly offer a flight ritual to the PCs once she learns of their quest, but perhaps that's reserved for those she finds "worthy", and those who are "less worthy"...
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 05:16 PM
    The PCs are interested in going to the aarakocra settlement to trade. They've been in the wilds for 20 days, gathering all kinds of treasures (gems, weapons, trinkets, minor magic) which they want to offload. They also could use re-supply of their provisions. What they don't yet realize is the aarakocra leader is very old and has assembled a lot of lore which may be of use to the PCs, not the...
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 05:11 PM
    DEFCON 1 Actually, you're reminding me to apply what I do during exploration – offer players a choice between varying differentiated paths – to the ascent. You see two routes: vines hanging under the walkway that you could swing along, or the rotting walkway itself with oddly spaced support beams you could balance across.
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 05:06 PM
    Good question. There are a couple reasons: Illustrating that the location is quite hard to reach, thus explaining why it's sustained itself as such a rare sanctuary amidst an increasingly hostile and undead-filled jungle. Illustrating the isolated/watchful nature of the aarakocra – they're not cruel or militant in repelling potential guests, but they are cautious of outsiders, so they don't...
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 04:43 PM
    Hmm, you mean change how long rests work just for this location? I'm not inclined to do that, feels like I'd be pulling the rug out from under the players. And we've had plenty of other situations (ambush, hazards, thundering canyons with booming laughter, nightmares) that have impeded long rests in the past, not to mention a curse spreading through the jungle slowly making it harder to find...
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 04:34 PM
    Yeah, I have some experience with skill challenges. The X successes before Y failures, poor odds of player success, and fixation on rolling sans narrative really turned me off to the way I've seen them handled. Generally speaking, however, yes I'm looking to design this as a non-combat challenge which involves the possibility for creative skill/tool checks (as well as creative spell use,...
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 04:28 PM
    Thanks for your insights! So, I definitely am not looking to make this a dice-rolling smorgasbord; 18 check would be an absurd exercise in "when do I fail?", and it's evident the adventure writers realized that too, which is why they wrote the ascent as just 3 checks. However, their design kind of neuters the tension of the ascent. Yep, my players have established a moving anchor-and-rope...
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 04:07 PM
    Good ideas, Sadras :) Especially like wind buffeting the cliffs about every hour.
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 04:05 PM
    Well, the ascent takes about 1 hour + 10 minutes for each failed ability check. The way it's handled in the book is three ability checks, and if you fall you don't fall all the way, you instead either take 3d6 (i.e. fall 30') or take an exhaustion level (i.e. emulating a more complicated tumble, having to reset anchor lines, and climb back up switchbacks). Because I just ran an extensive...
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 04:01 PM
    My job as DM isn't to define what the players can do. It is to create interesting and entertaining things for them to interact with. I was struggling here and hence my solicitation for help. What happens if they do that? I run with it. That's a big assumption about how I run my game. Kir Sabal is this adventure's "Rivendell."
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 06:28 AM
    This Sunday, my party is going to be ascending a cliffside with stone ramps and degraded wooden walkways leading up to an aarakocra monastery built some 550 feet up (Kir Sabal). Along the way there are gaps in the walkways that can be climbed around, oddly spaced support beams which can be balanced upon, and rotted planking which can be spotted. I'd like to make this more interesting than the...
    51 replies | 855 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 02:25 AM
    Hah! Indeed. I think the desert scenes part of that "Croaking Sirroco" mockup were well put together. I like how there's a sense of flow, narrative progression, and unveiling secrets there. That part works well. I do feel conflicted about listing ability/skill checks and DCs and damage amounts when your space is so limited, however. If it's meant to be adaptable for a wider level range, that...
    50 replies | 1256 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 06:54 PM
    For me personally, it feels busy, angled text is harder to read, and would murder printer ink, echoing what 77IM was saying. It could be the low-res, but the bolded text could be even bolder to differentiate it; it feels like a semi-bold, and I'm having to look carefully/squint to recognize it as different...actually I think the color backgrounds are contributing to making that differentiation...
    50 replies | 1256 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 10:07 AM
    Yeah, I feel like I half-agree. Of course... yes, it copies the original Star Wars, yet it also has a more diverse cast, a villain with more depth, and an unexpected twist at the end. It does a lot of things better than the original Star Wars. However, apart from Rey's Theme I feel most of the music is forgettable (the Last Jedi's music is much better). I also feel the attack on the Starkiller...
    96 replies | 1701 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 03:36 AM
    I did this in my Tomb of Annihilation game, and it didn't feel cartoony. PCs used a magic diamond to weaken all zombies in Chult – stripped them of hit points and reduced Constitution to 10, they are now auto-killed by crits & radiant, otherwise must make Con save (straight d20 roll) versus the damage dealt or they're destroyed. I described their subsequent river travel as feeling a bit...
    9 replies | 431 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, 03:49 AM
    Quickleaf replied to CG Angels?
    Asuras are probably a good choice – CG fiery-winged angels of vengeance & creative muses. In D&D art they kind of have that bluish skin that some Vedic deities are portrayed with. Here's my conversion of them... Angel, Asuras Divine guides to mortal mystics and oracles, asuras are wild-eyed angels who serve as fiery muses on the Material Plane. While devas lend hope and courage to their...
    8 replies | 354 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd December, 2018, 09:08 PM
    I would correct it in my post, but frankly I don't give a damn. That movie does not deserve any more attention from me.
    96 replies | 1701 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd December, 2018, 11:15 AM
    Best to worst, starting with the best: The Empire Strikes Back - I think most people will agree here. Star Wars (AKA a New Hope) - Still holds up pretty good. Return of the Jedi - The weakest of the three, but still a really good movie. I don't hate the Ewoks that much. The middleground: The Force Awakens - This movie is surprisingly good, but would have been better if the next...
    96 replies | 1701 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd December, 2018, 12:03 PM
    Lamassu and Lillend
    27 replies | 790 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd December, 2018, 01:06 AM
    I'll PM so as not to de-rail Imaro's thread!
    21 replies | 667 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st December, 2018, 07:10 PM
    Star Wars SAGA's approach was better but still had some underlying maths problems that made failure very likely & the 3 successes before X failures was not a model that fit all situations. I made a "Skill" Challenge for an upcoming 5e game, and you can see my approach here: Crossing the Nsi Wastes - travel challenge. I put "skill" in parentheses because mine have run better since I stopped...
    21 replies | 667 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 09:03 PM
    Quickleaf replied to Wizard Feats
    A 6th-level wizard casts a fire bolt at a fleeing enemy 100 feet away, swaps out both damage dice to restrain the target. The flames deal no damage but...uh... somehow wrap around the target and bind it in place. Huh, that seems a little weird narratively – fire ensnaring a creature? and dealing no damage while wrapped around them? But wait! How long does the restrained condition last on the...
    40 replies | 1406 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 04:13 PM
    This, or make landing a large ship a whole lot more difficult to do. Also, not all areas may be suitable to bare the weight of a large spaceship. The ground could give way under the weight, and the ship could get hopelessly stuck in the soil.
    26 replies | 809 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 03:08 PM
    Rot Bastard
    18 replies | 429 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 05:52 AM
    Well, Sigil the City of Doors & the Lady of Pain are both mentioned in the DMG; they're definitely no longer just "Planescape IP." There's further insight into their thinking on page 4 of the D&D IP Guide: Multiple Planes of Existence While Faerûn is where most of the action should take place in a D&D RPG, the world exists as one within multiple planes. These planes classically form a...
    24 replies | 1146 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 05:34 AM
    I was reflecting on how you do secret doors as a risk-vs-reward aspect of exploration, and I'm wondering if "secret door" might be an umbrella for a 3 separate concepts. The secret path, the secret passage, and the magic secret door. A secret path is something like the hidden West Gate into Moria or the pass of Cirith Ungol into Mordor. The sense of discovery comes from locating the path. It...
    51 replies | 5214 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 04:52 AM
    I'd imagine a combination of a "dungeon mosaic" type illustration with some boxed text and maybe a flow-chart. Maybe something taking inspiration from that old Gates of Firestorm Peak map but more tied to specific aspects of your adventure. A picture speaks a thousand words, right? I know that a good NPC illustration can, for instance, communicate a paragraph worth of information when coupled...
    50 replies | 1256 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Tuesday, 27th November, 2018, 09:01 AM
    Been looking it over the four documents and there was this odd line in the D&D IP Guide: "Linking all planes together is the city of Sigil, characters should not be traveling there."
    24 replies | 1146 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 27th November, 2018, 07:26 AM
    That would be the "zooming in" and "zooming out" bit that I mentioned before. It's not like you're stuck doing one thing all the time. You can choose to do otherwise and that may come with different trade-offs and risks. Sometimes a secret door can be a puzzle, when it is fun for everyone and helps make for an exciting, memorable tale. But some aren't all that complex, relatively-speaking,...
    51 replies | 5214 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Tuesday, 27th November, 2018, 07:09 AM
    I see you mention using the exploration rules for long-term large dungeon exploration, and that someone needs to take the Searching for Secret Doors exploration task in order to apply their passive Perception towards noticing secret doors. What if you have players, after a fight, say "we want to search for secret doors in this room" but that's not the exploration task any of them selected? In...
    51 replies | 5214 view(s)
    0 XP
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Thursday, 4th October, 2018

  • 04:40 PM - iserith mentioned Imaculata in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...olved until everyone sees the situation the same way and then roll the dice, or don’t, as the situation requires. So at least as I read the DW rules, there is no reason why a player who declares I search the rubble shouldn't then pick up his/her 2d6 and roll them. If s/he gets an 11 or 12 (like the 20 in your example) then the GM is obliged to provide a certain sort of information, as specified in the rules (eg What here is not what it appears to be?). The pile of rubble matters (regardless of whether the GM thought it would or wouldn't) because the player has (i) decided to pay attention to it, and (ii) succeeded at a check. As I said, what strikes me in your example is that the player hasn't indicated what s/he is looking for, and so hasn't given the GM very much context to hang a response on. I find it easier to narrate successes (and failures) when I have some sense of what the player thinks is at stake in the situation. This isn't Dungeon World though. It's D&D 3.Xe (for Imaculata at least). What is missing from the player's example in a D&D context in my view is an approach to the goal (and to some extent the goal more specifically). I would prefer to hear something like "I want to use my shovel to move the rubble around to see if I find anything useful or valuable." Maybe there's something valuable there, maybe there's not (the example scenario suggests there isn't). But at least the DM isn't assuming or establishing what the character is doing. In another context, one where there's something potentially dangerous in the rubble, I'd want to know how the player is having the character go about searching as per my preferred statement. This avoids issues of the DM and player disagreeing about what the character was doing after the danger is revealed. The DM may have imagined the player digging into the rubble with his or her hands; the player may have imagined using a shovel. That's going to be a problem when being stricken with rot grubs or contact poison is on ...

Monday, 27th August, 2018

  • 07:41 PM - Loren Keely mentioned Imaculata in post Katana
    Imaculata This is just what I was thinking. I sent him a breakdown and this was almost exactly the concept I was thinking. Great minds think alike I guess. I will also look for that Dragon magazine issue.

Wednesday, 27th June, 2018

  • 09:39 AM - Jhaelen mentioned Imaculata in post Death and Storytelling
    No fudging or nerfing necessary. Unless your definition of nerfing is "modifying encounters to be something other than suicide-death-pacts." Allow me to first remind you of the original statement I've been responding to: During the early levels, all encounters are fairly balanced, so that deaths are just not going to happen. Also, please note that Imaculata is playing D&D 3.5. Now, to address your points: PCs can choose to run away from fights.Yep, they can do that. As a DM I may even suggest it. But it's not under my control whether they actually do try to flee or not. If a fight is unavoidable, PCs can throw down their weapons and beg for mercy.See above! PCs can enlist help to attain overwhelming odds.See above! GMs can provide level-appropriate encounters.There's a very clear definition how difficult encounters should be in the 3.5 DMG (page 48, I think). Unfortunately, I'm away from my books and failed to find the exact text. I only found the Encounter Calculator that is based on these assumptions. I.e. 10% of all encounters should be 'easy', 50% should be 'Challenging', 15% should be very hard, 5% should be overpowering. IIRC, the remaining encounters should be 'very hard', but there should be a way for the PCs to turn it into a 'challenging' encounter if they approach it in a clever way. GMs can play opponents int...

Sunday, 24th June, 2018

  • 12:54 AM - Maxperson mentioned Imaculata in post Everybody Cheats?
    Yes, exactly. Of course sometimes as a DM there is nothing you can do. We were playing many years ago and the players, of which I was one, could not roll dice for toffee. I have never seen an entire party roll like that in 30+ years of playing. Individuals certainly but not everyone! Poor DM didn't stand a chance. There wasn't even something subtle he could do. Something extreme on the DM's part wouldn't have helped because even if mysteriously the enemy were suddenly replaced by school kids, they still would have kicked sand in our faces. We really were that bad. Of course it has become legendary in the group and still makes us laugh to this day, but it also led to some interesting twists in the overall plot as we then had to work out how to continue to pursue the quest in the light of the abject failure. A silver lining. Yeah. Sometimes there's nothing you can do. I will also address something I missed in Imaculata's post. Solid strategies. If the players come up with a great plan and turn a challenging encounter into an easy, or even trivial one, so be it. I'm not going to negate player effort and planning.

Thursday, 21st June, 2018

  • 03:07 PM - akr71 mentioned Imaculata in post Need input on a ship based mini adventure
    ...here they want to go next, so that I know what to prepare. Once they reach such a location, I sprinkle various interconnected mysteries around, along with some sight seeing / exploration. It is up to them which of the clues they follow up on, but I'll usually also have an npc approach them directly, to provide a quest hook. Sometimes there's even more than one npc that approaches them for a quest, although one quest may lead straight into the next. I'm not sure either. I probably have as many sessions to fill as I want, but I'm not sure how long I can go before they want to get back to civilization and the mainland. The ship is a convenient 'left-over' from the previous DM and I thought I could try some things I never get to do on land. I was planning on sprinkling some things to explore or ignore as they saw fit. None of the characters or players have any sailing experience, so anything on-board the ship other than combat leaves them as bystanders, which I would like to avoid. Imaculata - you posted your hooks while I was writing. Thanks! I'll take a look at those and see what I can work with.
  • 11:38 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaculata in post Everybody Cheats?
    ...nnaturally, for that goes contrary to the major precepts of the game. I'm not saying that Gygax's advice is the only way to do it, but I think it's noteworthy that he draws such a strong contrast between the GM making decisions that regulate the introduction of new challenges into play (eg by ignoring wandering monster dice) and the GM fudging action resolution results. There are lots and lots of games that put ”don’t cheat” explicitly in their game text. They go on to explain why it’s a problem and why it’s wholly unnecessary for that/those games (because they work without need for application of GM Force).Hm. I wonder if anyone can find me a quote reference of that from a game.Suggesting that certain GMing choices would go contrary to the major precepts of the game, and for that reason should not be done, comes well within cooee of what Manbearcat described. Here's another example, from Burning Wheel (Gold edition, p 30), which is directly relevant to the sort of example Imaculata gave: [W]hat happens after the dice have come to rest and the successes are counted? If the successes equal or exceed the obstacle, the character has succeeded in his goal—he achieved his intent and completed the task. This is important enough to say again: Characters who are successful complete actions in the manner described by the player. A successful roll is sacrosanct in Burning Wheel and neither GM nor other players can change the fact that the act was successful. The GM may only embellish or reinforce a successful ability test. Slightly less portentously, the Marvel Heroic RP rulebook (p OM8) says: In some games, the person who runs the game rolls the dice in secret - but there are no secrets in the Bullpen. Roll those bones in full view, Watchers!
  • 05:06 AM - Maxperson mentioned Imaculata in post Everybody Cheats?
    So you are making a legal appeal to the rules as written to suggest that "rulings not rules" means that the GM is inherently incapable of cheating? :confused: Since all rules are guidelines and the DM has full power to alter them at will, it's not cheating if he does. He's just using his given ability as DM. Rulings over rules is just a part of that authority. This would make an interesting poll. Officially can a DM cheat? The online definition of cheating: 1. act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage. 2. avoid (something undesirable) by luck or skill. In (1), one might ask what advantage might the DM gain. Well DM's that act as the one described by @Imaculata tend to enjoy a DM-vs-player style and so there is room to say that cheating or fudging (whichever you prefer) provides an advantage to the DM in that roleplaying style. A few things. First, the DM is given an unfair advantage by the rules by virtue of being DM. He has the given ability to drop 10,000 monsters on a first level party if he wants. It's the DM's responsibility, though, to use that power wisely as bad DMs lose players fast. Second, I don't view what Imaculata is describing as a playstyle. Bad DMing is bad DMing, not a style of play. If a game devolves into DM vs. Player, the players lose. In (2), many DM's technically cheat or fudge to avoid undesirable outcomes for the table (whether it be to spare a PC or prolong an epic combat...etc). By that definition, everything you avoid that you don't like is cheating. Avoid eating a cheese sandwich that you dislike while at a party? Cheater!! Intercept a football headed for the end zone? Cheater!! Work hard to avoid...

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 02:39 PM - Sadras mentioned Imaculata in post Everybody Cheats?
    The DM is not cheating, though. He can't. Instead, he's being an asshat and bad DM. You respond to that by letting him know that you have better things to do and going elsewhere. The fact that the DM is given the authority to add, subtract or alter rules as he sees fit means that he literally cannot cheat. There's no rule for him to break. Rulings over rules and all that. It's messed up, but it's not cheating since he isn't breaking a rule. This would make an interesting poll. Officially can a DM cheat? The online definition of cheating: 1. act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage. 2. avoid (something undesirable) by luck or skill. In (1), one might ask what advantage might the DM gain. Well DM's that act as the one described by @Imaculata tend to enjoy a DM-vs-player style and so there is room to say that cheating or fudging (whichever you prefer) provides an advantage to the DM in that roleplaying style. In (2), many DM's technically cheat or fudge to avoid undesirable outcomes for the table (whether it be to spare a PC or prolong an epic combat...etc). However having said all that, the DM has the power to change/amend any rule of the game AND at any time. So can he really cheat? I'm not really asking you Max, just musing and upping my post count. :) EDIT: Wait, I got it, CAN GOD CHEAT?

Tuesday, 29th May, 2018

  • 02:34 PM - iserith mentioned Imaculata in post Poison needle traps
    It just looks badly worded to me, perhaps an editing error, so it's up to you how it will ultimately function. It seems like the goal here is to set up a challenge of (1) finding the proper key or (2) disabling the trap then picking the lock. Anyone going straight to picking the lock is going to have a nasty surprise. That's how I'd handle it, anyway. I would also be sure to telegraph the existence of the trap in some way so that it isn't a "gotcha." @Imaculata: A passive check does not imply that the character is being passive. "Passive" refers to their being no roll, not that the character isn't performing a task. In fact, the rules state that such checks resolve a character performing a task repeatedly. Whether the DM uses a passive Investigation check to resolve this situation depends on what, specifically, the player described the character as doing.
  • 02:12 PM - Li Shenron mentioned Imaculata in post Poison needle traps
    A poisoned needle is hidden within a treasure chest’s lock, or in something else that a creature might open. Opening the chest without the proper key causes the needle to spring out, delivering a dose of poison. When the trap is triggered, the needle extends 3 inches straight out from the lock. A creature within range takes 1 piercing damage and 11 (2d10) poison damage, and must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 hour. A successful DC 20 Intelligence (Investigation) check allows a character to deduce the trap’s presence from alterations made to the lock to accommodate the needle. A successful DC 15 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools disarms the trap, removing the needle from the lock. Unsuccessfully attempting to pick the lock triggers the trap. Imaculata, how can you say the wording is "pretty clear"? :) It's not even clear whether the description here is for the trap only excluding the lock or if it is for trap and lock together. (CASE 1) If you assume the description is complete for the whole thing, then it sounds like you need only one check with thieves' tools for both disarming the trap and opening the lock, provided you first detect the trap. In this case the last sentence "Unsuccessfully attempting to pick the lock triggers the trap" suggests both checks are merged into one. If you instead don't detect the traps (your Investigation fails or you didn't ever think about it), you automatically trigger the trap, before you finish your lockpicking. After that, since the trap doesn't reset, you can continue without further danger, but you still need to make the DC15 lockpicking check. In this case the last sentence "Unsuccessfully attempting to pick the lock triggers the trap" is irrelevant because the trap is already spr...

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018

  • 01:48 PM - Coroc mentioned Imaculata in post Timelines in your Setting
    Imaculata The Thing with ancient Scenarios in the official Settings (FR Netheril, DL Ishtar, Eberron Giants vs Dragons, Greyhawk Twin Cataclysm, DS everything up till present :) ) is that it gives instant and believable Explanation for a lot of stuff: - Ruins aka dungeons - Unusual (powerful) Magic - Unusual Technology - Rifts (temporal, dimensional) - Forgotten cults - Ancient Villains rising again (not necessarily undead) etc. etc. It is not thought to be a fictionary history lesson in the first place but rather to consturct those bullets

Saturday, 21st April, 2018

  • 06:54 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaculata in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    ...the cabal called Jabal? It was established by way of an action declaration by the same player. How do we know that there are catacombs? Same answer. Why did I, as GM, describe the bazaar in Hardby as including a peddler trying to sell an angel feather? Because the same player had authored a Belief for his PC that said PC wouldn't leave Hardby without an item useful for confronting his balrog-possessed brother. Why did I, as GM, establish the feather as cursed? Because the player declared an attempt by his PC to read its aura, which failed - so the aura he read wasn't what he was hoping for! Why did I, as GM, establish that Jabal lives in a tower? Because the same player had authored an instict for his PC, cast Falconskin if I fall, and so it seemed appropriate to introduce a high place into the action. Etc. I think it is quite obvious that this is a different way of establishing setting, and a different approach to the role of setting in framing and in adjudication, from what Imaculata describes. Whether you want to label it "no myth", or "the standard narrativistic model" or simply "story now" doesn't seem that big a deal. (Strangely, the main poster who seems to want to argue this point has me blocked. Hence my lack of reply to that particular poster.)

Wednesday, 18th April, 2018

  • 12:41 PM - Coroc mentioned Imaculata in post Game of thrones setting
    Imaculata You mean Background in this case? And yes GoT is eventually better suited for roleplaying the politics than for recreating its epic combats, which are btw almost always mass combat Scenarios, there rarely are fights in Group size. Also there are not many nonhuman adversaries aka Monsters. Many combats are also very Environment specific, be it on ships, on the wall, sieges etc. there are few Special rules in 5th Edition so far to cover this..

Tuesday, 17th April, 2018

  • 12:21 PM - Hussar mentioned Imaculata in post Diagonal area of spells
    ...ategies are possible with magic. Sometimes my players come up with really weird ideas. "Can I use the Create Water spell, and then have my ally freeze it in mid air with a cold spell, to create a wall of ice?". "Sure" , I would reply, "What is the size of the area of water that the spell can produce?". I like that my players try to think outside what is literally written in the book, and be more creative. I WANT them to be this creative. And I try to be just as creative as them with my monsters, and how they use magic against the players. For me, it's needlessly mickey mouse. And, again, this is a proud nail thing for me, so, it's not entirely rational. :D But, think about it. You need to hit a point 50 feet away from you that is exactly 20 feet away from point A and 25 feet from point B. And the wizard can do it EVERY time. We don't allow fighters to do that. But, as soon as it's maaaaaaagic, then it's perfectly fine? Bugs me far more than it really should. Thing is, Imaculata, I'd agree with the idea of weird ideas. That's groovy. But, playing silly buggers because the grid creates pixelated circles, or "rotating" the cube so that it becomes a pin point smart spell just rubs me very much the wrong way.

Thursday, 12th April, 2018

  • 05:26 PM - pemerton mentioned Imaculata in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    The problem is in these threads this extreme is presented as why worldbuilding is bad but when presented with extremes on the other side of the spectrum (no worldbuilding) we get posters who then proceed to argue that either it doesn't happen that way in their game or we are arguing against their style in bad faith. This is certainly not accurate in relation to my posts. I've spelled out in some detail (mostly in replies to Imaculata) what I want in a RPG - for instance, that I want stuff like religous doctrine, dispositions of NPCs, details of what might be found where, etc to come out in the play of the game, rather than to be decided in advance of play by meta-level negotiation among the game participants. That's a reason why worldbuilding is "bad" for me (other than the sort of "high level" stuff I've talked about, like giving names to places and setting out some basic history to hang the genre tropes on). And this reason has nothing to do with whether someone is a good or bad GM. I'm talking about techniques for RPGing, not GM skill or good faith.

Tuesday, 16th January, 2018

  • 05:38 PM - Coroc mentioned Imaculata in post Oriental Adventures 5e: How would you do it?
    Yea now i did read Imaculata 's link - People cmon! It is about context!!! I would never call a present person of asian heritage an oriental. But medieval oriental adventures that is a total different thing. In fact if we stay with the official product line they took place in Kara Tur not in Orientalistan. Now that the Name Kara Tur is established you might use it, but still how does someone not familar with that FR sidekick campaign check out that he gets a ninja, samurai and dervish style campaign by the product name?
  • 11:00 AM - Sadras mentioned Imaculata in post The Best Movie About RPGs in 2018 (So Far)
    D&D thrives precisely because we're a part of it, and the meta-narrative of the players (not the characters) makes it so much more fun. For me, Jumanji demonstrated that the concept can definitely work. Agree very much with you and Imaculata on this. A little Stranger Things-type-style maybe needed with kids playing at a table and the audience gets sucked into the shared-fantasy, otherwise it becomes just another fantasy movie.

Friday, 12th January, 2018


Thursday, 11th January, 2018

  • 11:14 AM - delericho mentioned Imaculata in post A simple, system-neutral encumbrance system incorporating weight and bulk
    Yep, I'm afraid I agree with Imaculata - almost every encumbrance system I've seen adds much more complexity than it gives benefit. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that the best system is probably "you can carry ten things", where a 'thing' is a weapon, set of armour, potion, pouch of money, or whatever - basically, anything important enough for you to worry about whether the PC has it or not. And then don't sweat the small stuff, like mundane clothes, scabbards, etc.

Wednesday, 27th December, 2017

  • 04:46 PM - SkidAce mentioned Imaculata in post Need Advice from USA troops working in war zones.
    Depending on his specialty and ops tempo, best bet is as Imaculata said. Bring a bag of dice. And pdfs. Maybe core book if it fits in personal gear. Word of caution, again based on specialty and ops, the focus in a combat zone may preclude that type of gaming. Other times its fine when you have downtime. He really needs to scout the area, ask someone who has been there, and get a feel for it before showing up.


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Sunday, 9th December, 2018

  • 08:05 PM - billd91 quoted Imaculata in post Rate the Star Wars Movies
    There are parts of TLJ that I enjoyed, and I tried really hard to enjoy it. But unlike TFA, it didn't take me along for a ride. There were a lot of elements that just didn't work. Some hokey acting at the start, some misplaced humor that felt not in line with the tone of the rest of a scene, and some twists that weren't really twists, but the afore mentioned 'yaking of chains'. Occasionally I was into it. The opening bombing scene was pretty good, and I loved the big fight with Rey and Kylo Ren versus Snoke's guards. I could even get onboard with some of the interesting stuff they did in regards to Rey's visions, the way she connected with Kylo Ren. I thought that was really well done. It wasn't until the revelation in regards to Rey's parents, that I felt really disappointed. There was so much they could have done with that, and they just really dropped the ball. The odd thing is, that it felt like the director thought he was really smart with that 'twist'. It's not. It's dumb and disappointing...
  • 06:35 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Imaculata in post Rate the Star Wars Movies
    Not entirely. It was a surprise going into the movie. But once the movie started heading slightly in that direction, I was genuinely excited at what they might do. Instead, as stated above, they were just yanking our chains a bit. And that's exactly my problem with all this. It is very easy to "yank the audience's chains", and to have people mistake that for being an unexpected twist. But it takes effort to actually write a satisfying plot. It felt like the movie went out of its way to constantly yank those chains, and then have no satisfying resolution to it. I consider myself a pretty big Starwars fan. I loved the original trilogy, hated the prequels, loved TFA, and hated Rogue One (a movie which everyone else seems to love, God knows why). I'm not anti-Disney, not even remotely. I judge a product on its own merits. If it's good it's good, and if it's bad then it's bad, regardless of whether Disney or Lucas made it. I don't care who made it, I care about the final product. There a...
  • 05:18 PM - Jester David quoted Imaculata in post Rate the Star Wars Movies
    Not entirely. It was a surprise going into the movie. But once the movie started heading slightly in that direction, I was genuinely excited at what they might do. Instead, as stated above, they were just yanking our chains a bit. And that's exactly my problem with all this. It is very easy to "yank the audience's chains", and to have people mistake that for being an unexpected twist. But it takes effort to actually write a satisfying plot. It felt like the movie went out of its way to constantly yank those chains, and then have no satisfying resolution to it. I consider myself a pretty big Starwars fan. I loved the original trilogy, hated the prequels, loved TFA, and hated Rogue One (a movie which everyone else seems to love, God knows why). I'm not anti-Disney, not even remotely. I judge a product on its own merits. If it's good it's good, and if it's bad then it's bad, regardless of whether Disney or Lucas made it. I don't care who made it, I care about the final product. There are p...
  • 02:06 AM - Eltab quoted Imaculata in post Rate the Star Wars Movies
    Subverting audience expectations isn't always a good thing, if the turn sucks. I read the plot (and metaplot as revealed to date) of this trilogy as more like "Yanking the audience's chains" than "subverting audience expectations". It's like Disney is going out of their way to mess up the story and storyline.
  • 01:38 AM - Morrus quoted Imaculata in post Rate the Star Wars Movies
    It would have surprised me if they had done what I were hoping they would do at that moment. But... that’s the exact opposite of a surprise.

Saturday, 8th December, 2018

  • 11:29 PM - Morrus quoted Imaculata in post Rate the Star Wars Movies
    . The real twist that would have redeemed TLJ, was if Rey had turned rogue-jedi and truly teamed up with Kylo Ren. For a moment it seemed to be going in that direction, before they quickly hit the brakes, and avoided something truly surprising. Huh? It would have surprised you if they did the thing you were expecting?
  • 11:17 PM - Jester David quoted Imaculata in post Rate the Star Wars Movies
    My biggest issue with The Last Jedi, was that TFA had set up some revelations, which were then answered by TLJ with "Surprise, there is no revelation!". And that annoyed me, and still does. If the twist is that there is no twist, please think of something better. Can you think of a twist they could have done that the fanbase didn't think of in the two years between movies? That would work and not seem crazy forced, overly complicated, or just create more plot hole. Honestly, I think the "no revelation" was the only really surprising thing they could have done. Because I heard it all: Luke's kid, Leia's kid, Obi-Wan's grandkid, Ezra Bridger's kid, Qui-gon's grandkid, child of midichlorians like Anakin, Palpatine/ Sidious' kid, female clone of Palpatine/ Sidious, female clone of Luke from his severed hand, Count Dooku's grandkid, and so on. Most of which just end up requiring a flowchart and ten minute flashback to explain and fill in the details... Or should just end with Rey going "What... ...
  • 02:59 PM - Zardnaar quoted Imaculata in post The Problem Of Disney Star Wars
    I didn't really mind the character of Rey in TFA, but I feel TLJ really needed to push her further as a character. I mean, what does she really do in TLJ? She spends a lot of time on an island, which ultimately doesn't lead anywhere, and then fights Snoke's guards a bit. This movie would have been the perfect opportunity to have her suffer defeat, or to be challenged in her convictions. To have shocking dark revelations about her and the origin of her powers. This movie NEEDED to do that. Instead it shrugged, admitted it had no answers, and made jazz hands at the audience. In TFA Rey is wide-eyed, and dreaming about the grand adventures of great heroes. The name Luke Skywalker gets her excited, because he is a legend. TLJ does some dispelling in that regards, but I feel they didn't go far enough. I wanted to see a complete Luke heel turn, or a complete Rey heel turn. There is some great potential to have Rey and Kylo Ren doubt the side they are fighting on and turn more towards the gray. Maybe ...
  • 02:53 PM - Zardnaar quoted Imaculata in post Rate the Star Wars Movies
    My biggest issue with The Last Jedi, was that TFA had set up some revelations, which were then answered by TLJ with "Surprise, there is no revelation!". And that annoyed me, and still does. If the twist is that there is no twist, please think of something better. Don't set up a big end battle, and then surprise us with no battle at all. Sometimes it is okay to give people what they are hoping for, even if it is predictable. This was something TFA was cricized for a lot, but honestly it was probably also its strength. It was by the numbers and mostly stuff we'd seen before, but it didn't pull a disappointment out of a hat, like TLJ did. Killing off the main bad guy is another one of those things. Yeah, it was surprising, but now you still have one movie to go, without your main antagonist. The real twist that would have redeemed TLJ, was if Rey had turned rogue-jedi and truly teamed up with Kylo Ren. For a moment it seemed to be going in that direction, before they quickly hit the brakes, and...

Thursday, 6th December, 2018

  • 04:54 PM - Mallus quoted Imaculata in post Rate the Star Wars Movies
    However, my appreciatrion of TFA has gone down slightly, due to the Last Jedi. I've often said in my reviews of TFA, that I am willing to turn a blind eye to plot holes in it, considering it is part of a trilogy. I expected all those answers to some of TFA's questions to come with the later movies. Because surely they would have planned all of this out... right? RIGHT? Wait... there was no plan? Disney, what the hell?! My appreciation for TFA has gone down (a bit), too, but for the opposite reason. I think The Last Jedi is a much better movie, for a number of reasons, so TFA loses out in comparison. TFA still has it's 'instantly likable characters' thing going for it, and a thrilling pace, so credit where credit's due to Abrams and the cast. My concern is the final movie will waste time and energy answering questions that don't need addressing, or worse, giving different answers to questions TLJ answered brilliantly, namely, 'who are Rey's parents?'.
  • 10:33 AM - Zardnaar quoted Imaculata in post Rate the Star Wars Movies
    Yeah, I feel like I half-agree. Of course... yes, it copies the original Star Wars, yet it also has a more diverse cast, a villain with more depth, and an unexpected twist at the end. It does a lot of things better than the original Star Wars. However, apart from Rey's Theme I feel most of the music is forgettable (the Last Jedi's music is much better). I also feel the attack on the Starkiller Base feels incredibly tacked on. It did not invoke nearly the same excitement as the Deathstar Run. But I do like the world building. There's a lot to like about TFA. However, my appreciatrion of TFA has gone down slightly, due to the Last Jedi. I've often said in my reviews of TFA, that I am willing to turn a blind eye to plot holes in it, considering it is part of a trilogy. I expected all those answers to some of TFA's questions to come with the later movies. Because surely they would have planned all of this out... right? RIGHT? Wait... there was no plan? Disney, what the hell?! See, that lowers ...

Friday, 30th November, 2018

  • 07:35 AM - Nom quoted Imaculata in post Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
    It is indeed like taking a spoon full of water from the ocean, finding life, and then concluding that there for the rest of the ocean must not have any life in it.I'm not sure this is a good analogy. On the evidence we have, the ocean is inherently life-bearing. Imagine instead that you found a small rock in the ocean, and investigating it you discover that it is actually hollow and there is a colony of some small creature living inside. You can discern no mechanism by which the creatures got there, and the raw ocean environment is highly hostile to them. Surveying the nearby ocean, you discover no further colonies, nor for that matter rocks that might be potential sites for such colonies. Expanding your search to the limits of how far you can go, you find a few candidate rocks, but no evidence of colonies. But there's a lot, lot more ocean out there. How long would you have to search to find a similar occupied rock? (I avoid the term "colonised" because that implies that the creatur...

Monday, 26th November, 2018

  • 03:57 PM - Umbran quoted Imaculata in post Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
    We basically have a sample size of 1. It is indeed like taking a spoon full of water from the ocean, finding life, and then concluding that there for the rest of the ocean must not have any life in it. Yes it is. Now, consider, if you took a spoonful of water from the ocean, and found life in it - what are the chances that you *just happened* to take the *only* spoonful with life in it? How many spoonfuls are there? And you got the *only one*? That's extremely unlikely, statistically. Over the course of human discovery, one common thread has been that Earth isn't particularly special. We aren't the center of the Universe, or the Solar System. Ours isn't a particularly uncommon type of star. The galaxy has a bazillion of them. And the Universe looks pretty much the same in every direction, with a bazillion more galaxies each with its bazillion stars. We are also not particularly separate from other animals - with other species on the planet sharing 90% and more of our DNA. We h...
  • 12:45 AM - Yaarel quoted Imaculata in post Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
    When we talk about aliens, we are talking about "life outside our planet". I would not call that fabrication. I would call it speculation. Just because we speculate about the existence of life on other worlds, does not mean that they are complete fabrications, or equal to creatures on our own planet that are clearly made up. You do not need to have witnessed a life form, to speculate about its existence elsewhere. For example, can you say with 100% certainty that there is no microbial life on any other planet than our own? No, we speculate on the existence of alien life based on our understanding of biology, evolution, and the universe, not mythology. Our *understanding* of biology, evolution, and the universe − is our mythology − the paradigms by which we organize, interpret, and experience our universe. If tomorrow there is a paradigm shift, it can easily be, a consensus emerges saying aliens are strictly impossible.
  • 12:27 AM - Yaarel quoted Imaculata in post Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
    Elves and trolls are human fabrications, where as alien life is a concept that is entirely possible. I don't think this is a valid comparison. However, if you are referring to the belief of aliens visiting our planet and kidnapping people, then your comparison makes more sense. All ‘aliens’ are 100% human fabrications. We never met any alien, there is zero evidence of any alien, and our discussing them results 100% from our active human imaginations. People in our century speculate that aliens might be possible, based on our contemporary worldview mythology. In the exact same way, one thousand years ago, people speculated that elves and trolls might be possible, based on their contemporary worldview mythology.

Sunday, 25th November, 2018

  • 10:49 PM - Yaarel quoted Imaculata in post Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
    I have looked and concluded that there are plenty of other life forms on this planet that are intelligent to some degree. Language as mode of cognition, as well as math and technology, remain less than sufficient in the nonhuman species.

Monday, 19th November, 2018


Thursday, 15th November, 2018

  • 04:49 PM - SkidAce quoted Imaculata in post Of Ships and Sea: The Problems
    I'm running a 3.5 pirate campaign at the moment, which uses the rules from Stormwreck. Its a clunky system, so we've had to make a lot of homebrew adjustments. First of all we added dozens of flintlock weapons and cannons to the game, with misfire rules to balance things out. But in 3.5 naval combat is mostly about progressing the battle to a boarding action as soon as possible, because ship against ship isn't as interesting, thanks to the clunky rules. I came up with an alternative system that borrows some rules from Mass Combat for Pathfinder. It allows us to simplify the naval combat, so we can easily play out huge battles between many ships. Could you provide your final set of rules? If not, I have access to those rules and will cobble it together. Either way, thanks for the ideas.

Saturday, 10th November, 2018


Wednesday, 31st October, 2018



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