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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:30 PM
    That's pretty cool. Reminds me a bit of Champion / Hero System where they had language similarities. If I recall languages were out of 5 points of complexity, but knowing similar languages helped. For instance if you had German/4, you automatically had Yiddish/2, you could make a roll to understand Dutch, Afrikaans and English and if you bought any of those you got 1 extra point for free. ...
    14 replies | 373 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:58 PM
    As a side note, I think this was the exact definition of "Common" back in Basic D&D or AD&D - it was a pigeon trade-tongue that could be used to communicate across the real languages.
    14 replies | 373 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 19th May, 2018, 01:14 AM
    One huge difference is that dual wielding can be finesse weapons. DEX is the all-star ability score, while STR is the red-headed step-child. But really, who bothers to spend the feat on Dual Wielding? If you want to do it, such as a rogue who wants more chances to land a hit to deliver SA more reliably, you can do it without a feat. All the feat does is take away the "light" requirements,...
    50 replies | 1462 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 08:16 PM
    What's the use of knowledge (arcana)? It can't even stabilize the dying so it must be even less useful that Medicine. Oh wait, for skill roles. For you know, using the skill. As a skill. As opposed to an extension of combat. You know, non-combat rolls? The other pillars of the game? "I investigate the body to figure out cause of death." "I show the guard that the wound was made by a...
    55 replies | 9498 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 01:36 AM
    Look at the setting of Ptolus, all set in a gigantic city, ages old, with a cloud-tall spire. Factions, mysteries, urban skills, civilization, social challenges, dungeon crawl but near civilization, ancient machines, metropolitan, politics, guilds, powerful players and organizations. Think about the 4e Points of Light - frontier, wilderness exploration, far flung dungeons, lots of...
    12 replies | 363 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 10:02 PM
    Been loving the game. nVidia put out a driver update last month that caused a bunch of crashes, but the new driver from this month (plus the patches up to 1.0.3 for memory leaks) fixed those. Had my kickstarter for Pillars of Eternity II go live, and even though I loved the first I've only played a few hours of it because I've been focusing on BattleTech.
    15 replies | 392 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 09:48 PM
    Been a slow reading month. Just finished Quillifer by Walter Jon Williams and it was ... decent. Which is a really low bar from what I expect from current WJW. It meandered - things were always happening but it was more like following the craziness of the eponymous character's life then a plot. Perhaps he was going for more of a romp and comedy-of-errors like the Maijstral books, but it...
    13 replies | 254 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 08:58 PM
    Riddlemaster of Hed is sitting on my nightstand to be read. Picked it up used on a recommendation and just haven't gotten around to it. I see that you liked it, I'll bump it up my list.
    13 replies | 254 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 09:22 PM
    I like my magic to be more varied and unpredictable, not "scientific formulas" that work the same every time. Maybe sometimes phantom steed will pull the wagon, do circus tricks, mooch apples... Other times, it might only carry a passenger. Maybe there could be some kind of arcana roll required to see if spell caster can get it to pull a wagon. This is one of those spells where you can go past...
    51 replies | 1093 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 02:37 PM
    Reminds me a bit of my current campaign, where one of the players asked frequently if any particular race was considered "near-men" - in other word killing them was murder in the eyes of the law. So that became a thing in my world.
    42 replies | 1435 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 12:44 PM
    I'm going to answer for a previous set of campaigns I ran in the same setting which lasts 12 years between them. It was also in D&D 3.0 - 3.5. Elves actually were immortal, in that they would not die of age. They were a +1 ECL race with other adjutments, and not native to the "prime material". Over the course of their life they would look younger and older as their mental picture of...
    42 replies | 1435 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 11:38 AM
    Responding for a front-line paladin who might have Shield of Faith up, but much less then every battle per day. On the other hand - front-liner. The sorcerer would be zero, but most of the time it's twinned Greater Invis which makes them hard to damage in the first place. Though there's a very memorable time when he lost the twinned haste and two people in the middle of combat suddenly were...
    21 replies | 820 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 08:19 PM
    I want to start with a +3 modifier, and I want to have +5 modifier by 12th. How fast I want to go up in-between depends on the class / character build, and the table. Table: A +1 modifier for an ability score is really only meaningful when you're making a lot of roles against it, which means that ability scores are most important for combat and least important for just about everything...
    59 replies | 1757 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 05:06 PM
    I don't like the fact that 18-20 is so common, especially when I keep hearing that it's not so important in 5e! Honestly, bounded accuracy has caused players to reach for those maxed stats more often, because proficiency bonuses come up too rarely. Be better if feats and stats were separate tracks, and have stat bumps be uncommon. For me it depends on the character, but rarely do I feel it's...
    59 replies | 1757 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 03:40 PM
    I have been using a mix of both. As Saelorn says, sometimes the activity should allow characters to succeed where they normally couldn't. This is where the helping rules really break down, in particular. If you can't move that boulder, a buddy helping will make no difference. Advantage/disadvantage works great for other situations. Buy everyone a round of drinks at the tavern, get advantage...
    37 replies | 1141 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 04:23 AM
    Ah, I see this as an feature of Advantage - it changes the distribution but doesn't change the top or bottom. It's a temporary situational boost, making you more likely to succeed on something you can, not making you able to do things you couldn't do before. You can't lift a boulder heavier than you can lift because you're inspired to do so, but one which would give you trouble you are more...
    37 replies | 1141 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 04:16 AM
    Long combat turns are one of the things I like least about combat-focused game systems. If +/-N is the absolute right number but it takes me 20 second each action to determine that, and +/-4 is the "immediate approximation" which could be off by 50% but only takes me 5 seconds, well ... 15 seconds longer, times four other PCs and five monsters, that's 2.25 minutes added between every action...
    37 replies | 1141 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 04:24 PM
    In a later article, Ron Edwards claims he was in error over his initial description of narrativist. He, like many others, considered it heavy on story telling. On reflecting further, he realized that was a poor description, since all rpgs tell stories. In fact, most "narrative" games are actually simulationist, because it's story that is being simulated. It's a little tricky. But if you think of...
    2644 replies | 65184 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 02:59 AM
    But in terms of Story Now his explanation holds water. He didn't actually come up with the term, just expounded on it at great length.:) And since the explanation holds up with what others are saying, than I assume it's a correct definition of that technique. I am not abandoning my GM style, and when I said I was in error, it was strictly in relation to Story Now, not that my technique is wrong....
    2644 replies | 65184 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 11:28 PM
    Blue replied to Paladin Smites
    If you tell the DM the damage as "14 slashing, 12 radiant", they should all handle it in a consistent manner. That's unambiguous.
    6 replies | 357 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 04:54 PM
    Yes, there's been repetitive arguments and loops, but I believe that overall, the discussion has been interesting and thought provoking. I've learned some things, thought more deeply about how rpging happens, and have been engaged enough to do some more digging into Story Now. The mistake I made earlier was assuming that I had been mixing Classical play with Story Now elements. My players had...
    2644 replies | 65184 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 03:11 PM
    Hey jonesy, this new one is turn-based and close to the tabletop conceptionally. It's great fun. If you're also looking for a real-time driving-my-mech experience, MechWarrior Online is free-to-play with both skirmishes and objective-based battles, usually 3 lances per side, each with a human piloting a single mech video-game style. (So 12 vs. 12 people.) Actually, the new HBS Battletech...
    15 replies | 392 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 02:52 PM
    I'm only part way through the campaign, still working on getting heavier mechs so my roster is about 2 heavies, 10 mediums and some lights in storage. My "usual lance" that goes down are my heaviest mediums, 50-55 ton range, and I've got a few replacements so I'm not delayed in doing more missions if they are down for repairs - the monthly financials are always ticking closer. Unlike mechs, I...
    15 replies | 392 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 12:50 PM
    I kickstarted it, had to listen to my friends who went to the Beta Playtest backer level talk abut how much fun it is, and since it was just released it's been my game of choice. It does have some rough edges - load screens take too long, and before the 1.0.02 patch I had a few crashes. But the play is sweet.
    15 replies | 392 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 02:37 AM
    Great summary Mustrum_Ridcully. Building off your excellent foundation, a few more things: Mechs have a stability rating, and some weapons do stability damage, with melee attacks doing the most. You have five bars to fill up before you fall, and an extra protection that you can't fall from an attack unless you were Unsteady before it. Unsteady is some number of those bars filled (depending...
    15 replies | 392 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th May, 2018, 01:57 PM
    I understand the gamist reasons why it exists, but can someone give me a good in-game narrative why wearing "supple and thin materials" (from the PHB description of light armor) will give me disadvantage on all ability checks and all those other penalties? "I'm sorry, your ability to know about nature has been greatly reduced because you are wearing winter clothing or a leather jacket and...
    4 replies | 263 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th May, 2018, 01:48 PM
    I remember making a zen archer using the monk class - and it worked. I forget what the rules differences were, but that got locked down in one of the later playtest packets.
    43 replies | 2748 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 06:14 PM
    ...It's called the Socratic Method, I believe... ...and that's how it works...[/QUOTE And looked what happened to Socrates;)
    2644 replies | 65184 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 04:49 PM
    Playing in someone's pre-built world and engaging in an adventure is not the same as reading a novel or watching a movie. It's too improvisational. Scripts and novels are, hopefully, carefully crafted. It shows when they are not. I wasn't surprised to discover that Lucas started filming "Phantom Menace" before his script was written. There can be similarities between rpging and stories,...
    2644 replies | 65184 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 03:37 AM
    If you have have two short rest you can use Second Wind up to three times that day. At d10+level each time, that totals 3d10 + 3*level as your possible for an average day (assuming the DMG recommended two short rests). I convert everything into daily so that I have an apples-to-apples way to compare a 1/short rest feature and a 4/long rest that lasts for an entire combat feature. Make...
    37 replies | 5340 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 01:25 AM
    In Classical play, world building, whether homebrew or published gives the players a place to adventure in. The GM creates stories, or develops adventure areas and the players explore or work through the story. It's advantages are there is a less likely chance for the session to fizzle, because the GM comes prepared. The adventure in a skilled GM's hands will feel satisfying as it will hit...
    2644 replies | 65184 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 11:32 PM
    Hey, thanks for the numbering.:) 1. Yes, I agree mostly, but having players with agency over the fiction is still more agency. Whether that's desirable is subjective. 2.Yes, can't argue with that! I think Story Now could be harder to run properly, although maybe kids would have less trouble with it, as its more or less how they play. Minus the squabbling, of course. 3. Maybe? I think...
    2644 replies | 65184 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 09:05 PM
    The defining mechanical feature of the battlerager subclass to me is that you get temp HPs that are refreshed every round. If you don't get hit, you effectively aren't using that feature that round. Switching more defensive has not only the opportunity cost of less damage, but also that you might not get to use your ability, especially since you don't grant advantage often. I wouldn't...
    24 replies | 7945 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 05:21 PM
    This just means they are happy with the current level;ithas no bearing on their agency in comparison to Story Now games. There seems to be an underlying theme that more agency equals better. This isn't true for all games or players. Total agency is not necessarily a good thing. If I start a new job, and am told to do as I think best with no constraints or guidelines, I'm going to feel at a loss....
    2644 replies | 65184 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 04:22 PM
    The argument over agency is getting odd. The detractors of Story Now gaming have claimed that their players wouldn't want to have input into the fiction. The players want to inhabit their characters as if they are there. It's the GM's job to create and describe the world. Fair enough. Why then, are there arguments that Classical players have just as much, if not more agency than Story Now...
    2644 replies | 65184 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 04:49 AM
    There are so many games PbtA that I've lost track of them.:) A lot of them have been taking the basic design in various directions. I've collected a fair number of them and the ones I've tried have been very engaging. I bet Vincent Baker didn't expect his Appocalypse World to spawn this many offshoots! At one point I thought the pendulum might swing back to more rules heavy games, but now I...
    119 replies | 2916 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 03:54 AM
    Yes, I agree. Elegance in design is a good example of advancement in rpgs. If you look at the history of our hobby, there has been a somewhat steady progression to more refined systems, except for some of the games in the 80s, which tried simulating reality to the detriment of playability. Rules need to simulate the narrative of what the game is attempting to achieve, without getting in the...
    119 replies | 2916 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 01:36 AM
    What level do you actually expect the campaign to last to? First, this will allow you to focus on your build, not some theoretical 20 level build. Second you can look at things like Resilient (Wis) and say "I'm barely getting any use from this - I should either take it sooner or not take it.) I see you rolled, because those 1st level ability scores aren't possible with point buy (or...
    6 replies | 622 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 1st May, 2018, 06:00 PM
    Maybe Chivalry and Sorcery, if you can track it down. It's highly detailed and strives for realism, but is a bear of a system. :)
    19 replies | 464 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 1st May, 2018, 02:06 AM
    Lighter games can be deeper and more realistic. My assertion is that DnD, at its core, can't really support what you are looking for without vastly changing its structure. The magic is flakey, economies don't work, too much divine magic flying around, monsters around every corner... Plunking a realistic medieval town in a DnD world, for example, would clash. There is nothing very medieval about...
    119 replies | 2916 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 07:57 PM
    You know, my +2 battleaxe does more damage then my improvised boot. I compared them as equal because they were the only options I had. Since the question is are they too powerful compared to other rare items, compare them to other rare items. Apples to apples and all that.
    76 replies | 2547 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 05:42 PM
    Excellent - you are entirely correct. I'll go edit my original post.
    76 replies | 2547 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 03:17 PM
    I just reread the Attunement section of the DMG (pgs 136 & 138) and it does not. It will tell you how to activate it, but does not mention anything about charges. It gives you: "...the creature gains an intuitive understanding of how to activate any magical properties of the item, including any necessary command words." Nothing else. Contrast the Identify spell which explicitly tells you...
    76 replies | 2547 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 03:06 PM
    I'd go straight paladin - you get your level 5 power bump of extra attack, and continue until AT LEAST level 8. Your level 6 & 7 bumps will be nice,a nd then you want the ASI. There are some good guides on paladins in this forum, so I'm not going to repeat general build suggestions. Is your group having problems with individual deaths, or just full wipes? My experience is that usually...
    3 replies | 401 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 01:51 PM
    Could have fun mixing a few. Victorian Space Opera. Western Samurai. (Though if you mixed all you end up with the setting of Torg or Rifts.)
    32 replies | 1167 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 01:46 PM
    How well do comics map to a zero-to-hero leveling system? While I can see some supers genres were the PCs grow in strength from barely heroes to Omega level, I'm having a hard time reconciling that with the Marvel comic feel where you start at whatever power and growth is more plot (and writer) driven and not usually f the meteoric change that a leveling system brings.
    32 replies | 1167 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 06:37 AM
    In no way is this "adding another wizard" because it's not changing the action economy. Another wizard wouldn't be taking up your actions. So let's tone done the hyperbole and look at what's really happening. First, "adding in a fireball" is only half the equation. There's an opportunity cost of performing some other action. At the least, the action is of no cost - a cantrip. At the other...
    76 replies | 2547 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 06:14 AM
    For most systems, there is a large change in play when entering combat. Going from a freeform discussion with occasional rolls to a segmented, one-at-a-time, mechanics described set of actions. There's a transition there anyway, like when one TV show ends and another begins. The players are shifting what they have to do in their heads, embracing the numbers and tactics of it.
    125 replies | 4006 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 02:58 AM
    Well, from my FLGS my highly unscientific survey of race/class combos are: variant Human + anything (sometimes multiclassed) Half-Orc Barbarian Half-Elf (Paladin|Sorcerer|Bard|Warlock or some combonation) Everything else
    14 replies | 594 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 02:54 AM
    I adventured in Abeir in 4e. I was not impressed.
    22 replies | 697 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 02:51 AM
    I'd be very worried about the forfeiting you action part. It's a lot easier to not have a target still standing in melee range then it is if you do ranged attacks. So this rule penalizes melee characters a lot more than ranged. It also penalizes them because they more often need to include a move. Plus, lastly, it's extremely non-fun. With 4 other players plus DM-controlled foes, if a turn...
    15 replies | 473 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Sunday, 29th April, 2018, 04:58 PM
    It's hard to give advice on what you would find appealing in a blog or podcast, since no one here is familiar enough with your tastes in gaming, other than a leaning toward old school? There's tons of stuff out there. I think you just have to slog through it, looking for gems. Seems like you have found two to your taste already, so you are off to a very good start. As far as advanced,...
    119 replies | 2916 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th April, 2018, 05:21 PM
    Okay, both PHB wizards and bladesingers get two abilities at 2nd level. If the "powerful" one from the PHB - Abjuration Ward, Portent, etc. is around the same as Bladesong, then we're looking at Savant vs. proficiency in light armor and one one-handed weapon. Yes, Savant is less powerful - light armro saves you a Mage Armor slot - but neither is particularly overwhelming. If you want to give...
    2 replies | 174 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th April, 2018, 04:45 PM
    In Story Now games, the GM would not place the force field ahead of play. Placing it ahead of time restricts the player because there is no way that jump will be successful. In a Story Now game, there could be a force field as a result of a very badly failed jump roll, but it wasn't automatically there. Now once it is declared to be there by the bad roll, it was of course always there in the...
    2644 replies | 65184 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th April, 2018, 03:33 AM
    You can run games with a "chosen one", if the system supports it. We did Buffy, and the non-slayers had just as much fun. The important aspect is limelight, and making sure all the characters feel needed. "Chosen One" characters usually have the power and the destiny, but problems to match. Star Wars can work, even using the original characters. I mean, wouldn't you have fun playing Chewie or...
    22 replies | 787 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 27th April, 2018, 01:49 PM
    "I fire bolt it" is an absolute feature. Having enough spells that every round of every combat you can cast one of them, which is more powerful the weapon attacks, means that casters are back to absolutely ruling. If you have enough limited resources that you can use them without limit, they aren't limited. If we didn't have "I firebolt it", then the average spell for a caster would need...
    130 replies | 4994 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 27th April, 2018, 01:40 PM
    In general, I agree and disagree with your idea. :D The fighting styles as given make that weapon-focused characters are consistently better with weapons right out of the gate then non-weapon-focused characters. A high STR cleric with martial weapons and heavy armor doesn't keep up with someone with a fighting style. But really, once Extra Attack comes in, that point is fairly moot. I...
    25 replies | 1011 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 27th April, 2018, 01:53 AM
    Did someone say ... FLOW CHART?!
    36 replies | 1490 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 26th April, 2018, 01:28 AM
    It's easy to make stuff for 5e. I whipped up a new player race of little rock trolls in a rather short space of time. Adding feats and magic items is pretty painless too. I think that's a strength.
    8 replies | 324 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 26th April, 2018, 01:20 AM
    Where are all these paranoid players? Where are these groups that are dissolving, because the GM made something up on the spot that made the players cool? I have seen no evidence of this. Has anyone?
    168 replies | 6461 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 25th April, 2018, 08:01 PM
    Thanks for the kind words, and no worries. We're all enjoying (and kitbashing) our hobby together, and what works at one of our tables may not be right for another. Yes, but several years of the game being out and played really brought home those numbers as really strong. Again, fewer encounters is workable -- it just favors features that are of limited use and more powerful. And...
    68 replies | 1629 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 24th April, 2018, 01:30 PM
    Fantastic information, thanks a lot Dausuul! And the breakdown by CR is exactly how that's information is useful to me - well broken out and clearly presented. You mentioned you did have the data to pull it in other ways - would it be possible to pull just the vulnerabilities? What you have is fantastic in picking damage types that will be effective, but if you have the luxury of picking...
    21 replies | 792 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 24th April, 2018, 03:39 AM
    Unfortunately, that's a commonly spread misconception. The DMG suggest 6-8 encounters with 2 short rests, about 1/3 and 2/3 of the way through the day. (DMG pg 84.) Just having harder encounters doesn't balance because of durations. An easy example is the barbarian - starting at 2 rages a day, they are supposed to be able to rage 1/4 to 1/3 of the encounters. With 1-2 encounters per day...
    68 replies | 1629 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 09:50 PM
    The OP is talking about world building not being needed in a game where reality is shaped during play. GM frames a scene, players make moves, ie, searching for a secret door, and then dice are used to determine what happens. These games are driven by character motivations. In this kind of game there is no reason to prebuild a world, as it forms around the narrative at the table. This doesn't mean...
    2644 replies | 65184 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 07:59 PM
    Wyrd of Radiance - You have a bright destiny Down - counter feather fall Gush - makes a rapid spout of water Sold Earth - completes real estate transactions. Beast band - They play grunge and heavy metal
    44 replies | 1288 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 07:46 PM
    That spell has been passed down through generations of Armstrongs!
    44 replies | 1288 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 07:38 PM
    There's also more then a dash of hopeful rationalization in my post - Lies blew me away when I read it and I recommended it left and right, but Red Seas and Republic didn't do it like that for me. They weren't bad, but they also weren't magical. So I keep hoping for the next book to return me to the place of the first, and hearing how this was what he wanted to write in the first place renews...
    28 replies | 789 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 05:57 PM
    A number of years ago, my oldest daughter (still quite young) asked me what I was doing while I was making a D& character. I told her a little about it and she wanted to try, so she started telling me her ideas. They didn't fit any of the classes - even with multiclassing it wasn't there because the ideas were unfettered by the containers we normally think things of. So I figured I'd explain...
    100 replies | 2305 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 05:27 PM
    To be fair, he did have six years between Red Seas and Republic. And has a cover image for The Thorn of Emberlain on his web site, but nothing else linked there seems particularly recent. Let me search. Hmm, he's moved and gotten married to Elizabeth Bear since the last book. Nifty. Ah, found something. An interview in August 2017 that he's going abotu 8 weeks of fixing things he...
    28 replies | 789 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 04:45 PM
    The term railroading has in recent years come off the rails (heh heh). It has become an insult players fling at each other, when in disagreement over playstyles. Railroading is usually a rookie mistake, and I doubt many posters actually engage in it. Railroading is: GM: That dwarf in the corner is insulting elves. You fling your ale mug at him. Player: What? I'm not going to start a fight....
    2644 replies | 65184 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 04:11 PM
    Blame Arrows - when your archer just can't hit. Catnip - obvious effects Spywrite - encodes secret messages Mend Spike - after your bard bends all the tent spikes. Again. Maximilian's earthen grass - "No really, it will grow in." *sigh*
    44 replies | 1288 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 03:58 PM
    You've got to be kidding me! If you took this in 3.5ed along with the Small Forest Beasts Against Dorkness gnomish paladin level substitution and the Child of Dorkness PrC it was sooooooo much better then it ever was in 4e as long as you maxed out your skill ranks in Inane Trivia - but luckily that was a class skill.
    44 replies | 1288 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 22nd April, 2018, 03:39 PM
    Re-fluff the rage. Razor Fighting Focus, zen-state martial arts, what have you. Even if you want to keep it as hyper aggression, it could be by possession, by sharing your soul with an ancestor or spirit of an animal. Just like any character, come up with an interesting story and work out from there. The mechanics of rage can fit a lot of different narratives. And while the class is...
    62 replies | 1997 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 22nd April, 2018, 01:39 AM
    A DM doesn't have to run for anyone they don't want. One can say "I won't run for you" and make it stick. Period, no discussion. No need to involve anyone else or get the buy in from the host or group. The DM has rights as well as everyone else. That's not kicking them out of the group, nor of the house however. If the group as a whole says "that's fine, we'll have someone else run",...
    38 replies | 1680 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st April, 2018, 07:59 PM
    Agreed - there are a number of spells good are removing someone from a fight. Hypnotic pattern is an area of effect and a single save. Web is also an area of effect and while you can try to escape every round, it take a check (which uses your action) to do so, and you can still be re-affected in later rounds. Hold Person/Monster is inferior to both of them (and most hard control spells) as a...
    20 replies | 1107 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st April, 2018, 05:13 PM
    Of course. I never championed concealing what kind of game is run. If my players wanted all dice rolls to stand, I would absolutely do that. My table is heavily story oriented, however, and are content with the rare fudging that they don't know about at the time. I may not have made this clear enough in my earlier posts. My objection comes from players who claim nobody should "cheat", no matter...
    180 replies | 4613 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st April, 2018, 03:08 AM
    If you go by the distribution in the DMG, I know many player who would be happy if they never get a magic weapon. The distribution for 5e is sooo much flatter. Here's a thread where they work out what you should be getting levels 1-20. It then codifies it, breaking it up four ways, to give guidelines: 1 uncommon permanent item at level 4, and another at level 7. 1 rare permanent item...
    26 replies | 995 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st April, 2018, 02:09 AM
    I like to do this too. And giving the more potent items quirks is fun too.
    26 replies | 995 view(s)
    0 XP
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Saturday, 5th May, 2018

  • 05:45 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    I feel like 'crisis' may be doing too much work here. I mean, yes, you have a mandate to create drama by engaging the character traits/story put forward by the players. This WILL be some form of conflict, and 'crisis' is certainly one of the things that will come up. That doesn't mean that there's nothing else. I mean, when the Titanic sinks, there's a crisis, but other stuff happens too. That's an ongoing disaster situation, but even so there are likely to be scenes that are more 'build up' etc. than 'crisis'. Remember, dramas still have establishment, and build up, etc. Its not all climax. I'm thinking of pemerton's character that has cooking skill. I mean, you wouldn't consider someone hungry showing up in camp a crisis, but its still a reasonable framing for Story Now play. I will try again, trying to build on what Arilyn posted. If the thing that a person enjoys in RPGing is a sense of being in the GM's world, then why would you explain that in terms of agency? The notion of audience membership seems like a more fruitful starting point. I enjoy going to movies, and I enjoy listening to music, but I don't explain that pleasure in terms of my agency. If the purposes of worldbuilding include establishing material for the GM to present to the players, is anyone interested in explaining why that is worthwhile? If the purpose of worldbuilding is - in metaphorical terms - to give the players stuff to interact with via their PCs, which means - in literal terms - to establish frameworks for declaring actions which then affect the way the GM narrates his/her setting - is anyone interested in explaining why that is worthwhile? I think you're still stuck on worldbuilding being outcome determining -- ie, not just setting information but planned story outcomes. And, yes, that is a style of traditiona...

Friday, 4th May, 2018

  • 11:54 PM - pemerton mentioned Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    I will try again, trying to build on what Arilyn posted. If the thing that a person enjoys in RPGing is a sense of being in the GM's world, then why would you explain that in terms of agency? The notion of audience membership seems like a more fruitful starting point. I enjoy going to movies, and I enjoy listening to music, but I don't explain that pleasure in terms of my agency. If the purposes of worldbuilding include establishing material for the GM to present to the players, is anyone interested in explaining why that is worthwhile? If the purpose of worldbuilding is - in metaphorical terms - to give the players stuff to interact with via their PCs, which means - in literal terms - to establish frameworks for declaring actions which then affect the way the GM narrates his/her setting - is anyone interested in explaining why that is worthwhile?

Thursday, 19th April, 2018

  • 05:31 PM - iserith mentioned Arilyn in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    I wonder if anyone's ideas about character death are different when it comes to one-shots. I run a lot of those and, in many cases, they are even more difficult than my regular campaign. My thinking is that even though I have no expectation of a character surviving in my regular campaign, that's truer still in a one-shot where the character won't be played in a subsequent session. I ran a one-shot last night, for example, in which 3 of the 4 PCs died. Of course, it was Death House, so it should be no surprise that was a possible if not likely outcome and I pulled no punches. Every PC was knocked out at least once, some several times, during the course of the adventure, culminating in the deaths of three PCs in the end. The players had an absolute blast. Arilyn: As to the "string of ridiculously bad dice rolls" or a character dying "5 minutes into the game," I would wonder why you're rolling at all if those kinds of outcomes can come up. Why not just change the stakes to something where failure is more palatable? Then there's no need to fudge.

Wednesday, 4th April, 2018

  • 08:18 AM - pemerton mentioned Arilyn in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    Perhaps the concern is that this is another step in moving the game "to the left", another step down the slippery slope towards a socially-liberal rewriting of the game. Rygar didn't articulate exactly what some of the specific effects of his claimed "left-wing push" were, but I'll assume he is referring to attempts to make games more inclusive and to avoid content that may be offensive to certain demographics. The problems with that is 5e has already made a push to be far more inclusive and it seems to have had positive, not negative effects on the brand and the bottom line. The reason I XPed Arilyn's reply to Rygar is this: I don't see how including women, or people of colour, in RPGing is a "left-wing push". It's not a socialist conspiracy to have created a world with people in it who aren't white men.

Monday, 22nd January, 2018

  • 04:07 AM - pemerton mentioned Arilyn in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    Good gawd Pemerton, given this and other threads, you argue against pre-written secret backstoryNo. I personally don't like GM pre-authored backstory which is used as a basis to stipulate that player action declarations for their PCs fail without consulting the action resolution mechanics. A consequence of this dislike is (i) that GM pre-authored backstory needs to be fairly sparse, as otherwise it won't be possible to reconcile it with the outcomes of action declaration (for further on this, see Arilyn's very interesting post about the ghost and the map, and my reply just a bit upthread of this post); and (ii) that richer initial backstory is best established in conjunction with the players, so that everyone is on the same page and hence understands what the parameters are for action declarations. you argue against making stuff up on the spot since they are both railroads according to youNo. The particular approach to GMing I've been focusing on over the last few pages of this thread is the following: (1) The GM is allowed to use his/her pre-written, secret-from-the-players notes to declare that a player's declared action for his/her PC fails; and, (2) The GM is also allowed to change or depart from his/her pre-written notes if s/he thinks that will improve the game. The combination of (1) and (2) prevents the game being like classic Gygax/Moldvay/Pulsipher D&D, because (2) means that the game is not a puzzle/maze for the players to unravel. It also prevents it being pl...

Sunday, 21st January, 2018

  • 04:11 AM - pemerton mentioned Arilyn in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    One problem. Different player rolled a successful skill check that gave him or her information about the original storyline that conflicts with the new, better storyline. Player knows it was successful. Now the GM needs to have it not conflict.If I've understood this properly, this is not what I'm talking about. Upthread, Lanefan, Sadras (I thinks) and Arilyn all endorsed the follow two propositions: (1) If some bit of fiction (let's call it X) is written down in the GM's notes, but has not yet been established, the GM is permitted to change it to something else (Q) during the course of play, if s/he thinks that Q will make the game better. (2) If X is written down in the GM's notes, and during play a player declares an action for his/her PC that cannot succeed if X is true (eg the player looks for the map in the study, but the GM has already written down in his/her notes that the map is hidden in a bread bin in the kitchen), then the GM is entitled to rely on X to declare that the declared action fails (and so can, for instance, tell the player that the search for the map in the study fails without having regard to the outcome of any action resolution mechanics). I assert: in a game that is GMed in accordance with propositions (1) and (2), the outcomes depend primiarliy upon the GM's opinion as to what makes for a good game. If s...
  • 12:54 AM - pemerton mentioned Arilyn in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    ...'s The Scarlet Citadel, or The Hour of the Dragon, or Xuthal of the Dusk. All involve "dungeons". None provides a map. Similarly for Moria in Fellowship of the Ring - no map. Nuances of paths, holes in the wall, heights of ceilings, are not always the most important things - in life or in fiction. As for your "But isn't that how you do it?" - no. To repeat: the PCs (voiced by their players) ask the angels to take the to the reliquary. The angels take them there. We then find out what happens at the reliquary, by deploying the action resolution mechanics. No unrevealed backstory has been used to thwart any action declaration. But you say: relying on unrevealed backstory to determine success or failure means that backstory has now influenced play, and is thus locked in. Obviously it's locked in. My point is - the GM could have changed that backstory to something that allowed the action declaration a chance of success, but didn't. How is that not a railroad? I'm interested in Arilyn's answer to the same question, if she'd like to (Arilyn, I apologise if I've got your gender wrong).

Saturday, 20th January, 2018

  • 12:29 PM - Lanefan mentioned Arilyn in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    ...backstory when s/he likes it; but then changes it when s/he thinks of something s/he likes better - so that the players' decision to search for the map in such-and-such a place will automatically fail, with no check, if the GM decides to stick to his/her original idea that the map is actually on the other side of the world; but may succeed, if the GM decides that this new suggestion is better - then how is that not railroading?But isn't that what you do, only instead of the map going from "the other side of the world" to "here it is" it goes from nowhere in particular to "here it is"? And I don't know how long I have to keep banging this drum but here's another beat: a DM pre-designing her game world, or pre-designing a dungeon (and placing its contents) does not a railroad make. How do you envisage this working, in practical terms? Do you announce to the players "Hey, in today's session your action declarations won't really matter - just focus on the story I'm telling you"?Not Arilyn but I'll try answering this one: if things are getting a little unfocused a DM might out-of-character say something like "Hey, things seem to be drifting a bit - if it helps I've got some adventure and story ideas ready to rock if you all haven't anything - how's that?" Lanefan

Friday, 19th January, 2018

  • 09:38 PM - Sadras mentioned Arilyn in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    @Arilyn pretty sums up my thoughts on this with his post above. As I mentioned our table plays with a combination of the two styles. What is important to note that the 5e DMG seemingly dismissed by the 4e proponents does possess a great deal of indie concepts/variants. With concepts along with their mechanics for things such as - success at a cost, degrees of failure, the inspiration mechanic, backgrounds, ideals and flaws, skill variant rules, plot points and I'm sure quite a few others D&D has certainly evolved with the RPG community around it, recognising and incorporating various ideas from other games.

Friday, 1st December, 2017

  • 09:57 PM - Wulffolk mentioned Arilyn in post Why penalize returning from death?
    Arilyn You are right about D&D being the flagship product of our hobby and being the gateway into role-playing for many new players. D&D casts a wide net over the hobby and provides a common ground for many of us to relate to. However, the fact that it does not do anything particularly well is why we see so much division amongst it's fans. Many people like D&D and know it, but few people are satisfied with it as is. Hence the reason for so much house-ruling and home-brewing. I suppose that is part of the magic that is D&D, every difference of opinion generates more discussion and publicity, keeping it from dying. An extremely well-written and self-contained system has no need for more rule books or newer editions, and generates less discussion.

Wednesday, 15th November, 2017

  • 02:34 AM - Oofta mentioned Arilyn in post A Proper Ability Score Generation Preference Poll
    Yes, I prefer the "other" rolling methods. Shall I repost the quotes from the 1e PHB and DMG? Sorry ... I don't remember everything ever written. :) But then I kind of agree with Arilyn, if you just keep rolling I don't see the point.
  • 12:51 AM - Oofta mentioned Arilyn in post A Proper Ability Score Generation Preference Poll
    They don't miss or ignore it (I think), its an outlier not a norm. Unless your saying that this is a norm for entire community? Arilyn said she didn't want a PC more powerful than the rest of the group, which is something I personally witnessed the last time I played in a game where we rolled for ability scores. I know I wouldn't want to play someone with significantly better ability scores, nor would my wife. That's not a huge sample size, but I know other people on various threads have posted a similar sentiment.

Friday, 27th October, 2017

  • 05:50 PM - Oofta mentioned Arilyn in post Toward a Theory of 6th Edition
    Guys maybe I missed something (it's possible as I read the thread quickly). But the title of the thread is "Toward a Theory of 6th Edition" which seems to imply to me it's not a "how would you tweak the game" but rather "what will the game be tweaked to". The later question begins with, "what do people want from the game" doesn't it? As Arilyn said, it's just a discussion on hypothetical changes. I like 5E, I hope it doesn't get replaced any time in the near future. But over the history of D&D it does seem like there's been more and more of a move towards the supernatural/magic classes and builds. That's not necessarily a bad thing it just may not work for every campaign. Take barbarians for example. At higher levels there's a totem animal that gives them options to do things like sprout wings and give them limited fly. That's not a bad thing it just may not fit in a Cimmerian-themed campaign. Then again the tweaks I would make are pretty cosmetic and could be tacked on to the existing game compared to some of the suggestions which would really change the nature of the game.

Monday, 21st August, 2017

  • 07:10 PM - Coroc mentioned Arilyn in post Arcane multiclassing... does it make sense?
    As Arilyn said, but I'm also curious: You state that sentence like it's absolute fact. Do you think that all power hungry wizards should be played as seeking lichdom? also Arilyn and shidaku No, of course not since this is also obviously a truly evil choice, if you care about alignments in your games at all. But it is one way to rise above status, others might be finding the fountain of youth or the Philosopher's stone or learning every known spell to be the greatest wizard of them all. But that is longing for more knowledge, for a broader variety of spells not limiting oneself to the small selection of spells a warlock has got, and turning into a glass cannon depending on the mercy of some patron, and in the same time eventually cutting oneself of to learn the higher wizard spell levels. There may be roleplaying solutions to this but I stand by my point, it is not the obvious thing to multiclass into anything for a wizard.

Sunday, 20th August, 2017

  • 07:29 PM - shidaku mentioned Arilyn in post Arcane multiclassing... does it make sense?
    A power hungry wizard would rather try to become a lich instead, and for otherworldly entities - he does not pray to them or revere them as a master, but he summons them to do his bidding. I am equally perturbed by this statement as Satyrn and Arilyn are. It may simply be your word choice, but I think there is plenty of fantasy material showing smart (read: hit int score) wizards making packs with dark powers in order to gain unique, unrivaled or secret magic. I think the classic "high int, low wis" parable is appropriate here. A smart wizard may not worship any god but knowledge, but that same smart wizard is smart enough to know that other creatures know things he doesn't and his lust for knowledge (and therefore power) cause him to make deals to gain that knowledge. I mean we've got the classic parable right there: Faust. Beyond that, while a power-hungry wizard might desire to become a lich, I don't see how that's universal. There are plenty of ways a wizard could transcend mortality, and plenty more ways a wizard could bypass the human lifespan. And this is of course, discounting more naturally long-lived races like elves.
  • 06:59 PM - Satyrn mentioned Arilyn in post Arcane multiclassing... does it make sense?
    A power hungry wizard would rather try to become a lich instead . . . As Arilyn said, but I'm also curious: You state that sentence like it's absolute fact. Do you think that all power hungry wizards should be played as seeking lichdom?

Monday, 31st July, 2017

  • 05:51 PM - Coroc mentioned Arilyn in post Do you miss attribute minimums/maximums?
    5 feet in medieval times? Skeletons form the early middle ages indicate that the average height of a man in Northern Europe was 5'8" https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040902090552.htm Yes I was to generalizing in my post. It is true that in the early middle ages people were almost the same height like people today. But that diminished with the so called little ice age and only since 20th century people are taller again. It was also dependant on your living circumstances. The rich and noble had better nutrition and were likely to be taller. Arilyn The thing with the small armor was not only children sized suits but also model suits made by the armorers as an exhibition of their craftsmanship. There wer also giants. In castle Ambras was a guy who was 2m40 (close to 8 ft.) And he had a giant armor https://imageapi.khm.at/images/556747/HJRK_A_634%20und%20andere-400.jpg Here it is beside some childrens suits of armor

Friday, 21st July, 2017

  • 05:19 PM - Tequila Sunrise mentioned Arilyn in post Do You DM or Play with Flair?
    Saeviomagy Arilyn Clerics are the ministers of communities, and each cleric is a messenger and vessel of all gods. Some clerics favor one god over others, but no cleric is foolish enough to exclude any god of recognized importance from his prayers and invocations, no matter how much he may find a particular god distasteful. The D&D priest (aka cleric) is actually odd compared to most real world priests of polytheistic faiths. My cleric hews more closely to real world priests, in that each one is a servant of all his culture's gods and is not supposed to play favorites.

Thursday, 8th December, 2016


Wednesday, 2nd March, 2016

  • 07:31 PM - Wednesday Boy mentioned Arilyn in post Question About New GM Mistakes
    As Arilyn noted, aspects can be tricky to write and implement well. Be flexible about letting players revamp or replace aspects until they get ones that do what they want and play well in practice.

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Wednesday, 9th May, 2018

  • 02:33 PM - pemerton quoted Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    The mistake I made earlier was assuming that I had been mixing Classical play with Story Now elements. My players had lots of agency, and made decisions which could take the story in any direction. They could even add elements to the fiction. Other times, I set up more traditional play. What could be more narrativist than that? If players weren't feeling creative, no problem, they would have my story to fall back on. This is a sound style of GMing, and will probably continue to be my preferred style, but it is not Story Now. It is in fact, as Ron Edwards describes it, simulationist. My table is simulating story. If I set up, even a loose framework of renegade outlaws rebelling against an evil king, my players are going to dive in and further those tropes. There is an assumption ahead of time of where this particular story is going, even if details are fuzzy, and the players will have buy-in. Even if the players do something unexpected, like joining the king's forces, the story is still about ...
  • 11:28 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    But in terms of Story Now his explanation holds water. He didn't actually come up with the term, just expounded on it at great length.:) And since the explanation holds up with what others are saying, than I assume it's a correct definition of that technique. I am not abandoning my GM style, and when I said I was in error, it was strictly in relation to Story Now, not that my technique is wrong. As far as Ron Edwards explanation of Story simulation, isn't that what we do in rpging, and do you find something wrong with this definition? There is no implication in the explanation that states our stories are weak or not original. In fact, Mr. Edwards himself, states that Classical play is less likely to get screwed up. I know there is a lot of resistance to GNS, but it's not that bad. The model assumes most groups are mingling the play styles. If you go far enough into narrative, you get Story Now, which doesn't play well with others, for sure. No matter which style you lean toward, all rpging...
  • 01:55 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    two reasonably broad but also recognisable play priorities: players exercising agency over the content of the shared fiction by way of action resolution and players learning what setting ideas and elements the GM has come up with, and enjoying the experience of learning them by way of second-person narration I think it's pretty hard for the same episode of RPGing to serve both those priorities.Seems like it would be hard to avoid at least elements of each. Clearly the DM has to come up with /something/ to get the ball rolling, and players have to do /something/ to keep it rolling. The mistake I made earlier was assuming that I had been mixing Classical play with Story Now elements. My players had lots of agency, and made decisions which could take the story in any direction. They could even add elements to the fiction. Other times, I set up more traditional play. What could be more narrativist than that? If players weren't feeling creative, no problem, they would have my story to fall...

Tuesday, 8th May, 2018

  • 05:49 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Yes, there's been repetitive arguments and loops, but I believe that overall, the discussion has been interesting and thought provoking. I've learned some things, thought more deeply about how rpging happens, and have been engaged enough to do some more digging into Story Now. The mistake I made earlier was assuming that I had been mixing Classical play with Story Now elements. My players had lots of agency, and made decisions which could take the story in any direction. They could even add elements to the fiction. Other times, I set up more traditional play. What could be more narrativist than that? If players weren't feeling creative, no problem, they would have my story to fall back on. This is a sound style of GMing, and will probably continue to be my preferred style, but it is not Story Now. It is in fact, as Ron Edwards describes it, simulationist. My table is simulating story. If I set up, even a loose framework of renegade outlaws rebelling against an evil king, my players are going...
  • 04:29 AM - Manbearcat quoted Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    The argument over agency is getting odd. The detractors of Story Now gaming have claimed that their players wouldn't want to have input into the fiction. The players want to inhabit their characters as if they are there. It's the GM's job to create and describe the world. Fair enough. Why then, are there arguments that Classical players have just as much, if not more agency than Story Now gamers? It seems pretty obvious that not having input over the actual fiction, other than character decisions, is less agency. And since it is not desirable for the players to be declaring actions which shape the world, what's the problem? Aren't Classical games aiming for high character agency and low player agency? If you are letting players have some control over the fiction than you are at least dabbling in Story Now, and so, I would assume, not be too opposed to Story Now advocates. The argument that Story Now gamers actually have less agency is even stranger. It seems to come from the idea that playe...

Saturday, 5th May, 2018

  • 07:21 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    And looked what happened to Socrates;)@Hemlock's not even posting on this thread.
  • 05:46 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Pemerton, you ask so many questions, ...It's called the Socratic Method, I believe... pemerton's questions did let me think more deeply about these topics. ...and that's how it works...
  • 01:03 PM - pemerton quoted Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    You aren't in the DM's world. He may have created the part of it that the game is set in, but the world belongs to both the DM and players once play starts, and the resulting story that comes from the DM/Player interactions is a collaboration. Players aren't there to be an audience of any kind.This may be true of your game. It's clearly not true of everyone though, given some of the posts early in this thread. The purpose is to establish a setting for the players to play in. It's that simple. What does to play in mean? It's not like a sandpit or a playground. The actual activity at the table is primarily the speaking of words. Until we drop metaphor for literal descriptions, very little useful analysis is going to follow. Having a setting to play in is very worthwhile in my opinion.Again, what does this mean? What actual utterances at the table are you referring to? I think the proposition is that someone, a 'GM', provides a box full of toys, the 'sandbox' if you will. The play...
  • 05:17 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    I feel like 'crisis' may be doing too much work here. I mean, yes, you have a mandate to create drama by engaging the character traits/story put forward by the players. This WILL be some form of conflict, and 'crisis' is certainly one of the things that will come up. That doesn't mean that there's nothing else. I mean, when the Titanic sinks, there's a crisis, but other stuff happens too. That's an ongoing disaster situation, but even so there are likely to be scenes that are more 'build up' etc. than 'crisis'. Remember, dramas still have establishment, and build up, etc. Its not all climax. I'm thinking of pemerton's character that has cooking skill. I mean, you wouldn't consider someone hungry showing up in camp a crisis, but its still a reasonable framing for Story Now play. The argument over agency is getting odd. The detractors of Story Now gaming have claimed that their players wouldn't want to have input into the fiction. The players want to inhabit their characters as if the...

Friday, 4th May, 2018

  • 11:52 PM - Maxperson quoted Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Hey, thanks for the numbering.:) 1. Yes, I agree mostly, but having players with agency over the fiction is still more agency. Whether that's desirable is subjective. I look forward to you proving this statement of fact with hard numbers.
  • 10:20 PM - Maxperson quoted Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    The argument over agency is getting odd. The detractors of Story Now gaming have claimed that their players wouldn't want to have input into the fiction. The players want to inhabit their characters as if they are there. It's the GM's job to create and describe the world. Fair enough. Why then, are there arguments that Classical players have just as much, if not more agency than Story Now gamers? It seems pretty obvious that not having input over the actual fiction, other than character decisions, is less agency. And since it is not desirable for the players to be declaring actions which shape the world, what's the problem? Aren't Classical games aiming for high character agency and low player agency? If you are letting players have some control over the fiction than you are at least dabbling in Story Now, and so, I would assume, not be too opposed to Story Now advocates. The argument that Story Now gamers actually have less agency is even stranger. It seems to come from the idea that pla...
  • 08:54 PM - Lanefan quoted Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    This is well put, and sums it all up quite reasonably. But, a few notes: (I've taken the liberty of inserting some numbers into the quote to connect to my responses below, as I wanted to leave your message otherwise intact) This just means they are happy with the current level;ithas no bearing on their agency in comparison to Story Now games. There seems to be an underlying theme that more agency equals better. (1) This isn't true for all games or players. Total agency is not necessarily a good thing. If I start a new job, and am told to do as I think best with no constraints or guidelines, I'm going to feel at a loss. I would prefer some direction. I think the weakness of Story Now can be high player agency. The players might not know what they want to do. Story Now also runs the risk of the group ending up with not much story at all. There are strengths and weaknesses in both styles. In Story Now, the players have agency over what has traditionally been in the GM's hands. This gives the...
  • 04:45 PM - Imaro quoted Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    The argument over agency is getting odd. The detractors of Story Now gaming have claimed that their players wouldn't want to have input into the fiction. The players want to inhabit their characters as if they are there. It's the GM's job to create and describe the world. Fair enough. Why then, are there arguments that Classical players have just as much, if not more agency than Story Now gamers? It seems pretty obvious that not having input over the actual fiction, other than character decisions, is less agency. And since it is not desirable for the players to be declaring actions which shape the world, what's the problem? Aren't Classical games aiming for high character agency and low player agency? If you are letting players have some control over the fiction than you are at least dabbling in Story Now, and so, I would assume, not be too opposed to Story Now advocates. Emphasis mine: I think this has been addressed. If the players themes, concerns and interests are met in the classical ...

Tuesday, 1st May, 2018

  • 09:23 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Arilyn in post Let's Look At Pathfinder 2's Weapons!
    Nope, just frustration at the "PF is so complex" argument. It really isn't that hard. Messy? Maybe. Lots of choice? Yep. But playing? Not a big deal.I'm similarly frustrated with the misplaced praise of 5e as 'simple.' ;) (If, indeed, praise it is meant to be.) Sure, 3.5 is more complex than 5e, but they're both still D&D, and both still plenty complex. PF's 'complexity' is fed by being the most lavishly-supported RPG in history, AFAICT, so, just maybe, there's some sour grapes to the 'toooo complex!' complaints. The only really frustrating part is GMing it, cause of the ridiculously long monster descriptions. That part is overly complex for sure. That's the part that has got me over to 13th Age. Nod. I'm running 5e & 4e and I've run 13A & would have not trouble running it fairly regularly - not to mention plenty of other games, but for lack players who have so as much heard of them. But 3.x? Nope, I'll happily play it if I'm invited and can come up with a cool/viable character t...
  • 08:17 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Arilyn in post Let's Look At Pathfinder 2's Weapons!
    Twin does more damage!?! *how* I could see them working better together (less penalties for two weapon fighting?) but more damage? how does this work? Probably /instead/ of TWFing is the only way it'd make sense. Backswing: Yes, some weapons you can recover easier from a miss... but wouldn't this be a quick, agile weapon, not a great club? 'Backswing' as an attribute of a club makes some sense. 'Backswing' making you hit better after a miss, not so much. Backswing is the path before the attack, no? 'Follow-through' that after... Backstabber ... again I'm a bit confused. If your foe is flat footed, he's vulnerable end of story no?A small, agile, close-in weapon, would gain more /benefit/ in attacking a vulnerable foe, narrowing the gap in it's damage potential relative to the biggest baddest weapons? I suppose if you repeat something enough times it becomes true? It's amazing, sometimes, how often you have to repeat things that are unequivocally true: like D&D (PF is a c...
  • 07:56 PM - zztong quoted Arilyn in post RPG for Simulation
    Maybe Chivalry and Sorcery, if you can track it down. It's highly detailed and strives for realism, but is a bear of a system. :) I have both the original version and a newer version of C&S. Thanks for the suggestion. I'm curious to see what systems folks suggest.
  • 03:50 AM - Yaarel quoted Arilyn in post The "Superstitious Mumbo Jumbo" Of Dice Rolling
    Yes. I like buying cool looking dice, but I swear(even though I know better), that the better looking they are, the more treacherous they roll... Heh. I get that same vibe. Maybe ... the better looking the dice are ... the higher quality they are ... so the more random they are?
  • 02:23 AM - Simon T. Vesper quoted Arilyn in post Looking for Advanced Role-Playing Content
    Lighter games can be deeper and more realistic. My assertion is that DnD, at its core, can't really support what you are looking for without vastly changing its structure. The magic is flakey, economies don't work, too much divine magic flying around, monsters around every corner... Plunking a realistic medieval town in a DnD world, for example, would clash. There is nothing very medieval about DnD worlds. If you are not looking for stronger simulation, then I'm not sure what you mean by a deeper game. My response is similar: read the posts I've shared, consider what you can learn from them, and maybe that will help to clarify my meaning.
  • 12:27 AM - Simon T. Vesper quoted Arilyn in post Looking for Advanced Role-Playing Content
    As far as advanced, non-light DnD? It's DnD. It's not deep, no matter how many rules you bolt onto ADnD, or how many fiddly bits you track, or how realistic your towns are.:) Respectfully, I have to disagree. There are plenty of hobbies that receive far better treatment and deeper examination than you suggest D&D is capable of ~ many of them simpler at their core than D&D. Mind you, we don't have to limit ourselves to one particular RPG. We can just as easily talk about how to make any RPG more advanced.

Sunday, 29th April, 2018

  • 01:49 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Arilyn in post "Stranger Things" RPG
    You can run games with a "chosen one", if the system supports it. We did Buffy, and the non-slayers had just as much fun. The important aspect is limelight, and making sure all the characters feel needed. "Chosen One" characters usually have the power and the destiny, but problems to match. Star Wars can work, even using the original characters. I mean, wouldn't you have fun playing Chewie or Han? In a fantasy game we played, I had a very mundane warrior, who travelled with a golding with an epic quest. It was neat, as my character ended up being the chronicaller to great events. His big destiny was retiring and running an inn, while the godling ascended to greatness. You don't always need equal power in a group, as long as the players have buy in, and the GM handles it right. Yes, I'm not saying it's impossible, just more challenging. Even though I think it's misreading this game to assume it includes Eleven, you could still have a fun game with her in it (although I'd make her ...


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