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December 5, 1971 (46)
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Writer, Designer, Lover, and Slayer
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Gamer, Game Designer, Writer, and the father of the most amazing young dragon ever.
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SM Hillman
Overly Ambitious Designer at Reign Dragon Press
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First Impressions Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage Saturday, 10th November, 2018 03:19 PM

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Friday, 9th November, 2018


Monday, 5th November, 2018


Thursday, 1st November, 2018


Sunday, 25th March, 2018

  • 10:49 AM - pemerton mentioned SMHWorlds in post The Journey To...North America, Part Two
    ...rd that nearly every ethnicity has histories that they are certain are filled with similar atrocities. Look at Australia's Aboriginal experience, how Native South and Central Americans fell to the Spanish, the history of the Polish, Rome's presence in England, the Jewish plight throughout recorded history, Japan's treatment of China, etc.I don't know where you live. I live in Australia. I will confidently assert that the British conquest of Australia is a live rather than purely historical event in a way that the Roman conquest of Britain is not. If one turns to the subsequent Germanic and then Norman conquests, I'll let the Welsh speak for themselves; but as an outsider I do notice that they have a degree of self-government and official recognition of the Welsh language. That already marks a significant difference from the Australian situation. Furthermore, for Welsh fantasy gaming, we have the Mabinogion as one possible starting point. I think part of the point of the point of SMHWorlds's article is to encourage looking at American First Nations cultures through that sort of lens, rather than eg as exotic people one might meet if one were a Viking sailing to Manhattan.

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Saturday, 10th November, 2018

  • 03:27 PM - collin quoted SMHWorlds in post First Impressions Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage
    Is there a direct connection between Dragon Heist and Mad Mage or just something tangential? There is not a direct connection to WDH. You can connect the 2 if you desire (easiest would be using the Spring scenario with Xanathar from WDH), but Mad Mage is not a direct sequel to Dragon Heist.

Monday, 29th October, 2018

  • 12:46 PM - CapnZapp quoted SMHWorlds in post Burning Questions: Why Do DMs Limit Official WOTC Material?
    This may seem a bit unfair to those who have paid for a product and expect to be able to use that product anywhere they go. This here is where your problem is. Where on earth did you get the preposterous idea that players should be entitled to enforce their rules on the DM? Not all crunch fits all campaign visions or DMing styles. This game is not "pay to win". tldr: no, it is not unfair, it is perfectly natural and wholly reasonable for DMs to be able to say "no". Case closed. What's unfair is the wet dream of merchandizers the world over that somehow inflicts D&D but no other rpg I've ever played... :erm:

Wednesday, 27th June, 2018

  • 02:57 AM - Tun Kai Poh quoted SMHWorlds in post A Mixed Bag Of Horror And Delight In The Fall Of Delta Green
    My interaction with Delta Green came from a local (VA) gamer network that ran a version of it as a Living style game. I definitely enjoyed it. My question is: it sounds as if the setting does not know exactly what it wanted to be, maybe trying to do too much? Would that be accurate? See what Chris and I have said above, about the book not choosing to focus on the really meaty themes like decay and hubris. I would have liked to see Ken Hite write a DG 1960s sourcebook and try to work some thematic threads into it. That said, I get why they would rather have a standalone game as you sell more core books than sourcebooks. It's a better business decision if not an artistic one.

Friday, 20th April, 2018

  • 08:55 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted SMHWorlds in post Lost In Translation: Adapting Fictional Characters To Games
    Interestingly, 1st edition Stormbringer has a small section on playing Elric, which I thought was interesting. As a player it never occurred to me to want to be the fictional character, constrained by their actions and motivations. But I guess there was a desire among some groups to do just that. Your post is invisible on a black background.

Tuesday, 17th April, 2018

  • 01:53 AM - pemerton quoted SMHWorlds in post Lost In Translation: Adapting Fictional Characters To Games
    I suspect (as always) system matters a great deal. How you might model Belgareth in D&D is different than say how you might in Rolemaster or FATE. The notable exceptions, even though systems vary wildly, is super heroes. I think the old Marvel Super Heroes did a pretty decent job of modeling the comic characters. Where as the DC games, from what I heard, always had some issues.I like Marvel Heroic RP's approach, although I've only seen a few characters in action (War Machine, Nightcrawler, Bobby Drake, Wolverine are the main ones). And I like Burning Wheel's Tolkien-esque approach to elves and dwarves. System matters a lot. It's easier to model fictional characters in games like Fate, Cortex Plus or Heroquest, than in DnD type games. Games with levelling, and/or heavy emphasis on nitty gritty mechanical details are especially bad at simulating fictional characters. When I think of emulating fictional characters in D&D, I only think in 4e terms. AD&D generally isn't flexible enough. But G...

Wednesday, 28th March, 2018

  • 01:06 PM - Michael Silverbane quoted SMHWorlds in post How Would You Design For Spelljammer?
    * Make the Elven High Fleet ...villains.. kind of like the Peace Keepers. Maybe not that bad, but close. Almost like the Vulcan High Command in Enterprise. That may be a better analogy. This is very much the way that I treated the IEN in my most recent Spelljammer game. They weren't bad per say, but they were very much of the opinion that they were right, and that their policies would bear out as such over time, no matter what anyone else said. My players' characters hated them, but still felt compelled to (mostly) defer to their authority, because oftentimes, the alternatives were much, much worse (i.e. allowing Illithid, Neogi, Mercane, or Beholder authority to gain ascendancy). Also, I portrayed (baslically) all planetbound elves as sort of backwater rednecks. It was great fun.

Monday, 26th March, 2018

  • 10:42 AM - Bagpuss quoted SMHWorlds in post The Journey To...North America, Part Two
    No one is saying "Don't play other cultures", instead we are saying "do so with respect". You only need to look at the second comment for an example of someone saying "Don't play other cultures".

Saturday, 24th March, 2018

  • 08:49 PM - thundershot quoted SMHWorlds in post How Would You Design For Spelljammer?
    So I was thinking about Spelljammer recently. I intend to do a live game stream using it and the Realms. But if I were going to design it for 5e, these are the basic changes I would make * Give it a fresh coat of paint that is reminiscent of Farscape. A Henson make over, not with puppets per se but with that colorful and rich texture to the creatures native to the setting. The Giff as a species in Frscape would have been gold. * Make the Elven High Fleet ...villains.. kind of like the Peace Keepers. Maybe not that bad, but close. Almost like the Vulcan High Command in Enterprise. That may be a better analogy. * Engage adventures both from the POV of old space hands AND fresh faced characters who had no idea that you could go into space. * Bring back the Vodoni from Under The Dark Fist as bad guys. * A Better space combat system. Maybe not Saganami Island Simulator, but a Star Fleet Battles or B5Wars kind of thing, but with more boarding actions. Oh my God. Farscape is PERFECT to dra...
  • 07:12 PM - Skepticultist quoted SMHWorlds in post The Journey To...North America, Part Two
    Somehow I fail to see what this article wants to say. Maybe its because I have no idea what the author means with "sacred" exactly. Something "sacred" usually means something with a religious meaning or importance. Yet I fail to see how Beowulf or Thermopylae would be considered sacred. "Mythic" might have been the better word. That's because "sacred" is an extremely wishy-washy, vague term that has no specific or concrete action. Like the statement "The magic would be subtle and beautiful and full of mystery." This is poetic, but completely ungameable. Nobody, not even SMHWorlds, really knows what it means or how it would translate into gameplay. Also I disagree that a campaign about Tribes in North America necessarily have to be very spiritual. Like with the druid in D&D the spirituality can be mentioned but take a backseat to exploring, diplomacy/politics or warfare among the tribes. I think it's reductive and plays dangerous close to the Noble Savage stereotype. I live inbetween two different reservations, and Native Americans are the second largest ethnic group after whites, and while it would probably be wrong to assume too much about pre-colonial natives from their modern ancestors, I can say with quite a bit of assurance that Native Americans are people, and like all people, some of them are spiritual and some of them are profane, some of them decent people and some of them are degenerates. There are industrious, honest, hard-working natives, and there are lazy, dishonest and criminal natives -- just like white people. I strongly, strongly suspect...
  • 05:20 PM - Thomas Bowman quoted SMHWorlds in post The Journey To...North America, Part Two
    The purpose of the Journey to... articles is really three fold 1. To open up players to potentially other cultures and mythologies for their play 2. To encourage research and respect of those cultures 3. To suggest that in embracing different world views, it might also change the dynamics of how we play, from merely dungeon delving or alien killin to ideas built around actual cultural and social conflicts. It adds a level of verisimilitude. You may not care for trying something that is outside of, let's just call it "Why You Play". That's fine, no value judgment (really). The articles are not being written to shame anyone, they are being written as simple education. No one is saying "Don't play other cultures", instead we are saying "do so with respect". That really is it. It is not diversity for diversity sake, which would be a hollow gesture on everyone's part. So how would medieval Europe interact with the native tribes of North America in the time before guns? We have a small sample of th...
  • 06:30 AM - Mark Craddock quoted SMHWorlds in post The Journey To...North America, Part Two
    The purpose of the Journey to... articles is really three fold 1. To open up players to potentially other cultures and mythologies for their play 2. To encourage research and respect of those cultures 3. To suggest that in embracing different world views, it might also change the dynamics of how we play, from merely dungeon delving or alien killin to ideas built around actual cultural and social conflicts. It adds a level of verisimilitude. You may not care for trying something that is outside of, let's just call it "Why You Play". That's fine, no value judgment (really). The articles are not being written to shame anyone, they are being written as simple education. No one is saying "Don't play other cultures", instead we are saying "do so with respect". That really is it. It is not diversity for diversity sake, which would be a hollow gesture on everyone's part. I respect you taking the time to share your goals. I think your response, IMO, is stronger than the article in conveyin...

Wednesday, 14th March, 2018

  • 03:23 PM - Aldarc quoted SMHWorlds in post How Pathfinder 2's Resonance Reduces Wand-Spamming; & Comparisons to 5E Discussed
    But Occultism, that really bothers me. It is a thoroughly modern conceit based upon the idea that anything that cannot be measured, the paranormal for instance, is studied under that term. Except MAGIC is a measurable force in the universe; a class of character literally writes it down in a book. Semiotics would be, I think (correct me if I am wrong as I am not expert) a better term if not the correct term for studying runes and symbols.All of D&D is filled with modernisms and anachronisms. "Semiotics" would most definitely be just as anachronistic for the name of a skill as "occultism." You are simply trading one modernism for another.
  • 03:18 PM - werecorpse quoted SMHWorlds in post How Pathfinder 2's Resonance Reduces Wand-Spamming; & Comparisons to 5E Discussed
    Cannot say I am excited about resonance or even see where it makes sense. I assume you will need resonance to make magic items? So making a potion of healing would (maybe, in theory) cost resonance and then using it would cost resonance, why does a potion not come with the resonance already added? Since it is a one use item? The fiction makes sense to me. Each person starts each day with a certain capacity to benefit from magic items. The potion still works just not for a person whose resonance has been depleted. It doesn't matter how good the potion is if it's being applied to something that it can't effect (because it can only effect a thing with resonance, just like in 1e now it can only positively affect a living thing). Its just an anti Christmas tree or spamming fiction. edit: Monte Cook had something like it in his Book of Experimental Might (or magic) where the amount of cure spells you could benefit from in a day was based on your level + con bonus or something. So you didn't run the...

Friday, 23rd February, 2018

  • 07:20 PM - Charles Dunwoody quoted SMHWorlds in post Looking Back At The Alternity Role-Playing Game
    Alternity was an interesting system and I played Star*Drive using it. I think the system was an interesting step, half step forward into other ideas. The Star*Drive setting though I think is terribly underrated and deserves a reboot of its own. Agreed. Loved the aliens and loved the setting.

Wednesday, 14th February, 2018

  • 06:02 PM - JRedmond quoted SMHWorlds in post A Change Is Coming...
    Yes I know that. I meant the stream itself, not anything else. Okay that makes sense, sorry about that.
  • 05:49 PM - JRedmond quoted SMHWorlds in post A Change Is Coming...
    I backed the KS for the book (not rich enough yet for the rest), but am glad that the stream will be going forward. Especially since the money allows Colville to remain (AFAIK) independent and not having to rely on a company like Geek & Sundry to survive and thrive. This is incorrect, his full time gig is Lead Writer at Turtle Rock Studios, a video game designer. Creating YouTube videos, writing the Critical Role Vox Machina comic book and writing his own fantasy novels are all a side gig. Maybe this Kickstarter is the impetus for him to leave his full time job but who knows right now.
  • 03:06 AM - Morrus quoted SMHWorlds in post A Change Is Coming...
    Lost in all the talk of streaming is that this is gong to be a very professional third party splat book like we really have not seen since 2nd edition Wait, what? No professional third party splat books since 2nd edition? There have been many, many, many third party solar books since 2nd edition, by dozens and dozens of publishers/ Should we all just stop working now? I mean, I myself have spent 20 years producing very professional third party splat books for three editions of D&D, including this one. And I'm by far not alone; Im one tiny publisher in a roster of many, many of which are considerably larger. We can compliment Matt, and he's awesome, but let's not do it by insulting years of hard work by others, eh? (Edited for clarity, since at least two people completely misunderstood my point).

Thursday, 11th January, 2018

  • 02:26 AM - dave2008 quoted SMHWorlds in post Goodman Games Latest News on Into The Borderlands
    Am I nitpicking? Both of these modules were written for basic set Dungeons & Dragons. They were not "1E" modules. I will still get this book in all likelihood. However that doesn't give me a lot of faith in the conversions for some reason. Probably, I know I use 1e to refer to both AD&D and D&D. Basically and version of D&D before 2e AD&D. Heck, we played them interchangeably back in the day. We used the BECMI books and the AD&D monster manuals, and AD&D DMG all together.
  • 01:27 AM - Dire Bare quoted SMHWorlds in post Goodman Games Latest News on Into The Borderlands
    Am I nitpicking? Both of these modules were written for basic set Dungeons & Dragons. They were not "1E" modules. I will still get this book in all likelihood. However that doesn't give me a lot of faith in the conversions for some reason. I wouldn't worry, Goodman is a company with a solid reputation for quality and they know what they are doing. In current parlance, everything that comes before AD&D 2E is "1st Edition".

Tuesday, 19th December, 2017

  • 11:47 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted SMHWorlds in post New D&D Movie: July 23rd 2021
    Nope. No silly dance offs, no 12% plans, no fish out of water characters. Irony and wit, yes, but not silliness. Sounds boring. No thanks. Pretty much any funny movie, whether its a comedy or just a drama/action/whatever with humor, has some level of silliness.


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