View Profile: J.L. Duncan - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Steve Conan Trustrum's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:01 PM
    Unleash the Beast Within Using the Moreau Archetype for Savage Worlds Buy it now This Super-Powered Savage Worlds RPG release brings you The Moreau Archetype. This ready-to-go character build provides a foundation for you to develop a hero of your own who carries within them a mixture of human and animal or insect DNA. The build includes a special ability for treating Moreau's as a race,...
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  • Steve Conan Trustrum's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 07:55 PM
    See, now you're just trying WAY too hard.
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  • Steve Conan Trustrum's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 07:01 PM
    But ... ... clearly you're not annoyed by this parody product. Come back again. Maybe third time will be the charm.
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  • Steve Conan Trustrum's Avatar
    Saturday, 19th May, 2018, 10:51 PM
    Let me just assure you that I was not worried about your potential annoyance over this parody product. But thank you for expressing your concern for my well-being.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 08:10 PM
    Anything can be taken too far and handled in a bad way. I just don't know that I understand what people are cautioning in this thread. Obviously if you are boring your players, you are doing something wrong. But just because some GMs have used world building in a way that is boring, that doesn't mean we should avoid world building. A lot of the worst gaming advice, and even game design, I've...
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  • Steve Conan Trustrum's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 05:40 PM
    Get the deplorable Tr'ump Demagogue Demon for the SavageWorlds RPG for free. http://www.misfit-studios.com/savage-worlds-trump-demagogue-demon/
    7 replies | 164 view(s)
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 01:08 PM
    They get 1 third level spell at 5th. I think they are much more survivable at that level, but they still have to mind what they cast. But at 9th level you get stuff like teleport. Their powers keep increasing considerably. Sure they get good at 5th level. It is still quite nice being a fighter or thief at 5th too. People can quibble over the details all day. My experience at the table is...
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  • Steve Conan Trustrum's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 03:36 AM
    Wear Your Power with the Armored Archetype for Savage Worlds Buy it now This Super-Powered Savage Worlds RPG release brings you The Armored Archetype. This ready-to-go character build provides a foundation for you to develop a hero of your own who gains their special abilities by wearing an armored power suit. The build includes both offensive and defensive capabilities, plus sensors and...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 12:41 AM
    No, I just dislike communicating in long, multi quote posts.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 12:41 AM
    I thought we were talking about balance not play incentives. But it isn't my fault if you are being unclear.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 12:39 AM
    I think if you are going to dismiss popularity as a consideration out of hand, it is on you to explain why.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 12:38 AM
    You are not the only person in the world. I've heard lots of people complain about how 4E was balance and structured around encounters. I haven't heard to many people complain about how they explained it. I've heard people defend 4E by making that argument, but I've never encountered anyone being critical of the game, say their issue was how the game was communicated.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 08:53 PM
    There were a lot of things going on with 4E that made it unpopular. I think focusing a lot of balance considerations around encounters was a big part of it (but certainly not the only thing). I don't think the trouble was poor communication. But this is ground that has been gone over endlessly for years.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 08:27 PM
    Why?
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 08:26 PM
    I am talking about how 1e and 2E balances classes over the campaign Magic Users started out weak, but had some truly powerful abilities later, when they reached higher levels. Classes even advanced at different rates. That is all about balance over the campaign.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 07:10 PM
    This is why I brought up popularity. I think the proof is in pudding here. In my view 4E did go very hard in the direction of balance by encounter. And I think that pretty obviously drove away a lot of fans. Now they seem to be trying a middle approach all around. Not just in terms of daily balance versus encounter balance; but a much more moderate approach to balance in general (just look at...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 07:07 PM
    I'd say 2E was more balanced over the course of the campaign.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 06:16 PM
    I am just pointing out what happened before when they went hard in a one direction. These online discussions tend to lose sight of the need for a game like this to appeal to people who might have conflicting tastes and be gaming at the same table.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 04:16 PM
    They have to appeal to the widest possible base. The problem with a highly specialized system that caters to thing X, when it is going to be played at a table of 5 people who probably all have varying tastes, is it becomes very niche. 4E was an effective niche product, but a lot of people left the game when it came out. I don't play 5E, but it is pretty obvious they've managed to get a lot of...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 12:04 AM
    Most shows have setting/character bibles, and these are often well set. I am not 100% familiar with the process that they used to make the Original Series star trek. But pretty sure they had something like that by at least the 2nd season. But even if shows are making it up as they go, the point I was making is: they don't make it up as they are filming usually, there are writers who think and...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 10:45 PM
    But all those details are thought about, developed and then put into an episode. It is very hard to write star trek style on the fly, because there is an element of thought experiment to most of the alien races they end up facing. I think you could just as easily take this analogy and liken it to a GM world building between sessions.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 02:25 PM
    I think you are way over-estimating the number of world builders in the hobby. Again, we live in a time where there are so many different kinds of RPGs to choose from, and so many different groups consciously shooting for their own style of play, people can connect to what type of style they prefer pretty easily. Plus there is now online play, so it is much easier to get a session going. I think...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 12:48 AM
    I'd have to see it again, but plot and adventure.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 10:54 PM
    I think your definition is a little too expansive.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 10:52 PM
    Whose table though? If you only want to see change at your table, no one objects to 'world building is bad for Hussar'. If you want others to follow suit, if you think we are doing something wrong because we see value in world building at our table...you can see how people might react negatively. In terms of published material from big companies like WOTC, people argue because they all want...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 10:49 PM
    I think you should just relax, and if this is a problem in your group, consider that it might not be the best fit for you. But I definitely think you are far too aggressive in pushing your play style here. In terms of the other stuff you listed, like I said before, there are tons of products out there if you are not happy with official Pathfinder or WOTC material. I don't run WOTC stuff...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 10:44 PM
    I am fully aware my GMing style isn't the perfect approach to gaming. I think I have all kinds of flaws as a GM. And I don't think there is one, perfect style of play. What I do know, is world building has made my games more successful and fun when I've engaged it well. I just see it as one tool in the box of tools i have to draw on. Like I said earlier, my prep approach shifts depending on what...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 07:05 PM
    Stop projecting your mushy center on us all
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 06:56 PM
    This is both very melodramatic and a serious mischaracterization of my posts.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 06:53 PM
    But what is the result he wants to see from making this observation? And any time Hussar has weighed in, he seems to be saying more and more this is a problem that needs some kind of addressing. I think it is fair when someone says X is a problem, that others can weigh in and say if they think it is a problem or not. Particularly if people are debating for what should be considered 'best...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 06:47 PM
    I have read your posts. I make a point of reading them slowly and even more than once, because you've expressed this criticism multiple times. I am taking the time to read what you say. It is possible I am misunderstanding you, but I am reading what you write.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 06:39 PM
    Aldarc, I read your whole response twice, and again, it just seems like you want it both ways to me.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 04:56 PM
    Aldarc, I share a lot of Imaro's sentiments here. I think you and Hussar are trying to have it both ways, on the one hand saying "this is just my opinion and if you object you are reacting because you feel morally judged", on the other hand saying "but this is a real problem the hobby needs to address". I don't know. In terms of published content, people are addressing all kinds of concerns...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 02:53 PM
    Again, have to echo what others have said in response to this. I mean, this is a weird argument and it completely ignores the actual points we made. Anyways a better analogy would be hosting a discussion panel entitled "Beer is Bad" at a conference for alcohol enthusiasts. People are not feeling judged, they just disagree with the statement in the context that it is expressed.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 02:49 PM
    I think your splitting hairs.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 02:35 PM
    I would just have to echo Imaro's response to this. If this is the case, I am really not sure what this discussion is meant to achieve. Everyone has said, over and over again, Hussar is perfectly entitled to not use world building, to take another approach. I've repeated statements like this throughout the discussion. People are just reacting to his broad statements that world building is bad....
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 01:08 PM
    Again, it comes down to playsstyle and preference. If you want to start adventures at the tomb because you feel that is where adventure is: I say go for it. That is a very efficient style of play, and I am sure it is going to work for plenty of groups. But I've gamed with too many players who can't stand that kind of approach, and who want the ability to say "well what happens if I go over here",...
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  • Steve Conan Trustrum's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 05:14 PM
    The Blaster Archetype for Savage Worlds Blasts its Way into Your Game Buy it now This Super-Powered Savage Worlds RPG release brings you The Blaster Archetype. This ready-to-go character build provides a foundation for you to develop a hero of your own who possesses the primary ability of unleashing powerful energy blasts. Gamemasters can also use the archetype as the basis for quickly...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 02:06 PM
    This isn't a political negotiation. It is a discussion about world building. People are not going to concede basic facts about what they believe world building means, especially with some of the definitions being proposed. No one is digging in their heels. They just know what they like, what works, and what they consider world building to be when they prep their games. No amount of linguistic...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 05:16 AM
    This is a very weird definition of world building. I am happy to talk about world building just in terms of the obvious stuff: history, culture, cosmology, etc. But 'anything that is not needed for the plot' makes no sense to me as a working definition. It often can be stuff that isn't needed for the plot, but that definition also is going to include stuff that has nothing to do with world...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 05:05 AM
    Mostly I have been arguing world building isn't bad, and that it can be a useful tool. I'd say it is useful for more than just an open sandbox style. I think it is valuable tool for lots of different styles. If you have no use for world building that is fine. I don't particularly care. But as a general principle of design and GMing? I don't think 'world building is bad' is sound advice at all.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 05:03 AM
    You're bringing in stuff that has nothing to do with world building in an RPG. I don't care for canon lawyering either. But as a player, I respect a GM who puts in the effort to world build. And in the context of an RPG, world building is going to include the elements that help you establish a setting. I don't see how you can talk about world building in a gaming context, if you remove groups,...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 04:32 AM
    I have players who ask questions about the places, people, etc when they are interacting with the setting. Players ask all kinds of questions when they are concocting plans, trying to figure out a place, or whatever. They rarely come up entirely out of the blue, there is usually a context, but the questions are often ones I wouldn't have predicted. I don't have to have an answer for everything....
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 04:22 AM
    according to who? World Building just means making content for your world, details or not. There is an enormous spectrum of focus. You are simply decreeing that world building is an exercise in making excessive details. That is a bad definition of the term.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 01:33 AM
    I don't think this sort of thing is always required, but on many occasions I've found having king lists handy. The reason is, if I am just making it up on the fly, I find it too easy to be inconsistent. I also think it is a good way to help establish some basic guideposts for the history of the place, so when you are doing things like making ancient artifacts, you have some context to draw on. If...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 01:27 AM
    What is necessary is going to vary a lot. And I think this is the core issue people are having. Also this business of world buidling=excessive world building makes no sense to me. I think fiddling with world building details is fine, if it gives you something under the tip of the ice berg you can potentially use. Where it becomes a problem, in my view, is when the material is unwieldy or...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 01:13 AM
    Except when the players ask "who was the last king?" or "what was the city like 200 years ago". Again, I appreciate that in a novel, an overabundance of world building can be a negative (though it really does depend on the book). But in RPGs this stuff is helpful to have in play. I think utility is always helpful. So providing timelines and kings lists, or short entries, is great for play at the...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 01:08 AM
    You are hairsplitting. Again I'd have to read the books again to see if these are answered or not. The crucial world building feature is their function and what this tells you about the climate and culture. If you don't see that as world building, we are just simply on a different page and talking past each other.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 01:06 AM
    It has been about six years since I've read the books again, so I can't really comment specifically on this claim, except to say, I do remember finding concept of the guildsman being enormously evocative and a product of world building. World building doesn't mean you have to explain everything in excruciating detail. And if I recall, they are meant to be pretty mysterious. But they have an...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 12:57 AM
    I've read Dune plenty. It is one of my favorite science fiction series. This strikes me as a very unusual take on the amount of world building in the novels. Certainly isn't 'virtually none'. Absolutely this is a character heavy story, but culture, economy, politics, and ecology, not to mention technology, are all crucial features of the story and play into that characterization. Everything down...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 09:11 PM
    Worldbuilding and whether it is good or bad isn't a theoretical thing. It is something people do in very practical ways for RPGs. You can ignore the majority of play if you want. But in a thread where the central topic is, "is world building bad?", it would seem we are trying to arrive at an answer that applies to most tables, not a narrow sliver of the gaming community. If world building is bad...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 09:06 PM
    We had a whole discussion on agency. I think it is safe to assume half the room is on a separate page from the other half when it comes to determine what agency means and what styles impact it. My quibble was over how you seemed to be characterizing each style in the mix. But it is a quibble and largely off topic. There are always edge cases. But the point is, a writer can easily sidestep...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 08:25 PM
    I don't know that I would agree with all those breakdowns of play style and approach, but even accounting for variations of how people play the game, the fact that the characters themselves have agency through the players makes anything to do with world building completely different. All it takes is someone asking a question like "where do they get the grain from" and suddenly a world building...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 06:32 PM
    It is different, and its different for the very reason that RPGs are always different around this stuff than movies, books and television. In a movie or book, the director/writer has complete control over what we see and where the characters go. In RPGs, the GM does not have control over what the players characters do. A script writer who hasn't fleshed out a given section of town beyond the one...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 06:26 PM
    I am reading it. And I think you guys have too low a bar for 'excessive world building'. I think what people here are decrying as excessive world building, to a lot of posters, feels like the right amount. No one has said, the bar for how much is right, should be the same for everyone. But only one side seems to be taking the position that the amount of world building needs to be extremely low,...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 01:19 PM
    I think you are projecting here. All I can go on is what works when I run games, and what I've seen from other GMs. I just know from experience, the more world building effort I put in, the easier my games are to run and the more fun they tend to be. There is definitely a point of diminishing returns, and there is definitely a point at which you are just spending too much free time on world...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 01:59 AM
    I think we keep stumbling into this somehow. People use a word for what it generally means in the hobby, then it gets labeled so broad it encompasses all of roleplaying. I am not really sure how we can proceed here. World building naturally includes characters and groups. All the things I listed. I think the only questionable entries on his list were adventures and stories. But characters,...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 08:21 PM
    Whenever I ran published material, I always assumed maps were just a sketch of the things the writer considered important for that particular book, but that there was more there. If you look at most world maps for TSR in the 90s for instance, there would be enormous gaps between cities and towns. I always fleshed out the areas in between. Heck, when I make my own published world maps, it is...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 07:07 PM
    I am struggling to understand what you meant then. His first sentence was "Broad does not mean meaningless" when you accused him of having a definition of world building so broad, it became meaningless. You then said his second sentence didn't support his first. I am assuming what you wanted from him was a sentence that helped prove his case that broad does not mean meaningless. If you meant...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 06:10 PM
    This is a bad argument. Do you seriously need him to support the assertion that broad does not equate to meaningless?. Because by any rational definition of those words, they have distinct meanings. I think the onus is on you to prove his definition is meaningless. You didn't. You simply asserted it. Either way, this isn't a logic class. We're speaking in plain language and expressing...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 06:07 PM
    I got say, I think your definition of world building is far too narrow. I don't know any GM who doesn't include the creation of characters in the setting as a basic element of world building. Cities, towns, dungeons, other locations, cultures, NPCs, groups, institutions, history, etc; these are all part of world building. How deep you need to go, is totally up to you. Everyone is different. But...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 05:49 PM
    The problem in the conversation is the only thing being revealed to anyone is a few poster's conception of Story Now. And this is the only approach opponents are attempting to accurately describe. The issue isn't that style, Pemerton's definition of it, or anything like that. I have no objection to that style. But any other approaches are being dismissed. The only thing up for discussion it...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 01:28 PM
    That explains why this discussion has gone nowhere.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Monday, 7th May, 2018, 08:06 PM
    I gamed all through the 90s, with lots of different people, and my experience was most everyone in my game group who bought these books and settings were also running them (I played in Planescape campaigns, Darksun campaigns, WoD campaigns, etc). They were designed to be enjoyable to read, and that has downsides when it comes to running them on the table. But most of the people I encountered were...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th May, 2018, 07:28 PM
    If story is that fundamental, I guess it doesn't matter. If the stories are going to flow anyways, we don't need to worry about making sure they do. But the point of something like sandbox, is provides an easy framework for longterm regular gaming, gives player freedom to go where they want, and can produce lots of unexpected results. Just to take the 7HD example: this does occur in lots of...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 06:57 PM
    Except people have been trying to tell Pemerton and others some variation of what Arliyn just said for dozens of pages now (if not from the very start of the thread), only to be met with the kinds of tactics me and others were complaining about. I find it very puzzling if you see that post as evidence that the original question was productive or asked in good faith.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 06:37 PM
    I don't know what to say to that. I think it is pretty clueless to think that is what is going on here.
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  • Steve Conan Trustrum's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 04:55 PM
    The M&M-based Rogue Mage Player's Handbook is the DriveThruRPG/RPGNow Deal of the Day, providing this apocalyptic game of fantasy, magic, and religion at 50% off! http://www.rpgnow.com/product/105112?affiliate_id=34429&src=2018-05DealDayENWorld
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 02:19 PM
    I think the reason people are so reluctant to describe things is because people keep twisting what we say. But just to lend another voice here. What it means literally in play for me, is I create the places, the people, the groups, and the customs, etc. When the players explore the game world they inevitably meet people, develop relationships, conflicts, connections, and produce a history in that...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 02:02 PM
    Barovia and Ravenloft were presented in the style of classic horror movies. I would probably start there with things like Black and White Universal film stills and Hammer Studios. Also the old Fabian art, if you can get your hands on it, is a great way to help establish the mood of the setting.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 01:52 PM
    Pemerton, you ask so many questions, and people answer them, but the answers never seem satisfying. The whole thread was a simple question about what world building is for beyond the dungeon. People have given you answers, and you don't seem able or willing to understand them (and keep turning it an argument against world building in the traditional sense (or even mainstream sense) to make an...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 12:23 PM
    I honestly can't see where you are coming from on this specific point. And I think you are being a lot more subjective than you realize. If the problem is your being too literalist. I'd say stop being so literalist. We're talking about gaming at the actual table, and stuff we've seen in live play. I really don't see what point you are trying to make here. If I get instantly ganked for doing...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 02:20 AM
    Because they are not a passive audience. They are free to interact with it in a way that is probably the closest I've felt to actually being in the thing itself. The players affect the world through their characters, but they still can affect it. And not in a 'choose your own adventure' way, but in a 'it feels like you are really there' way. The role of the GM is to mediate that (not to give them...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 10:29 PM
    It is a whole other conversation really, but I would say it wasn't all as bad as people remember it sometimes. The way storytelling got used a lot, could get railroady, but you also had lots of really cool settings for 2E being released at that time, as well as the historical campaign books and the blue line (which had some good ones). The Van Richten books completely changed how I handled...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 05:57 PM
    It happened all the time in 3rd edition too, when people would structure adventures around encounter levels for example. It could be very difficult for groups to deviate from the planned series of encounters. Happened a lot in my experience. The only time I've ever encountered difficulty being understood on this point, is in this conversation. It hasn't happened to me elsewhere or in real...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 05:05 PM
    Then we are not even speaking the same language. I've tried to be clear. I know there is a big distinction in play at the table, because I've seen it first hand, between a game where agency is respected so the players can explore freely and just "playing the game". I really don't know what to say if I keep saying X and you keep telling me I am saying Y. If this isn't bad faith argument, I don't...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 01:37 PM
    The problem is your language is so loaded, the judgments are already there before you finish a sentence. Stop forcing an idea like "Moves" onto a style that doesn't even use that as a concept and see if it change your evaluation of what is going on when they explore the world. I understand why some games have adopted the idea of 'moves'. But this is a concept that most people who play in the...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 01:18 PM
    I think we might be conceiving world building differently in that case. To me the setting bloat, particularly the stuff you had in the 90s, seemed more a byproduct of a focus on storytelling than world building. The classic stuff had lots of world building (and you can look at a line like Harn which has a lot of that brevity and still creates a pretty deep world). I don't think world building is...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 02:35 PM
    I am trying to. But it is very difficult to treat arguments as being good faith, when you state an opinion and people restate your position to mean something completely different.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 02:27 PM
    I think we could debate which approach is quantifiably more free all day, and no one would ever agree, because this is about a very subjective conceptualization of play. I can completely buy, that for someone interested in exploring the themes Permerton and company want, this approach feels like greater agency. However, I the point we are trying convey here is being able to shape the story isn't...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018, 06:37 PM
    ???? I seriously don't understand how you arrive at this conclusion from what I said, and I do not, for the life of my, understand why you phrase it in this way.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018, 06:28 PM
    I am happy to have a real conversation with people about differences in gaming. But I am also experienced enough in life to know when people are engaged in bad-faith arguments and just trying to get their style to the top of a hierarchy. If there is something questionable about my style of play that demands to be talked about, it can be done without undermining the language I use to describe. I...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018, 02:50 PM
    I definitely think there are questionable arguments being made in that respect (I think my posts have made that clear). But I think the larger problem there is his reducing our position and our definition to "a player character taking an action". They don't want our kind of agency in their games. I am not interested in converting people to my style of play. If they don't want what I like in a...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018, 02:03 PM
    The focus is totally different though. They are talking about the freedom to take the character in a direction that carved out story. We are talking about the freedom to explore and do what you want. We are talking about pretty subjective uses of terminology here. What I would say concretely is I think most times I see people speak of agency, they are using it as you and I understand it.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018, 12:34 PM
    As I said before, they don't all have this characteristic. I've played in plenty of RPGs where I don't experience the agency I am talking about in an open sandbox or character driven situational adventure. In a lot of the 3E campaigns I played in, I felt tethered to a series of planned encounters. I could have been a jerk and walked off that path, but it was always obvious to me if that happened,...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018, 12:24 PM
    I disagree. I do a lot of sandbox style play, where freedom to explore and interact is one of the prime goals. I've played in a lot of d20 and pathfinder campaigns where this simply isn't the concern (the focus in those when I played in them was more on things like an adventure path, or d20s adventures designed around Challenge Ratings patterns (i.e. Encounter 1 is CR x, Entounter to is CR Y,)....
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018, 12:18 PM
    A lot of OSR material follows the philosophy you lay out. If you haven't you might want to check out some of it. Because the focus is usually very much about utility over reading.
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018, 03:38 AM
    Half of these online gaming discussions we invest so much time in are worthless. A lot of it is people outsmarting each other and scoring points, or winning debates but never really hearing or engaging each other. Usually people get fed up and leave, or they convert because they've been rhetorically beaten into submission. I think what Max is experiencing is something like this, where you've been...
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018, 03:34 AM
    I don't know what occurred in the thread, and again, no interest in delving into a 200+ page thread. Nor am I interested in taking anyone's word on what happened (whether it is you Max or Pemerton). But I will say, even if he did define it well, I have seen most people use it to mean something other than what he seems to be saying. I can see how an argument around what agency means would develop....
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  • Bedrockgames's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018, 01:58 AM
    If all we are talking about is WOTC, I feel like they are in a bit of an impossible position. I mean, they are trying to get the widest possible segment of D&D fans they can (and in honesty it seems like they've done a pretty good job of achieving that with 5E, even if I don't play it myself). Whatever they put out is going to be a compromise that maximizes their customer base. I imagine the...
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About J.L. Duncan

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Date of Birth
August 7, 1978 (39)
About J.L. Duncan
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Chillicothe, MO
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I love RPGs! All Kinds, and writing reviews, helps me supplement my RPG habit.

My reviews are published here on EN World. I'm honored and think it's pretty awesome, that EN World is paying for site content.

I also write reviews, the occasional magic item, and dungeon trap for Knights of the Dinner Table (KoDT) magazine, as well as maintain a RPG review and news blog...

I'm involved in two RPG groups that run bi-weekly; D&D Basic & Savage Rifts.
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USA
Game Details:
I love RPGs! All Kinds, and writing reviews, helps me supplement my RPG habit.

My reviews are published here on EN World. I'm honored and think it's pretty awesome, that EN World is paying for site content.

I also write reviews, the occasional magic item, and dungeon trap for Knights of the Dinner Table (KoDT) magazine, as well as maintain a RPG review and news blog...

I'm involved in two RPG groups that run bi-weekly; D&D Basic & Savage Rifts.
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Thursday, 19th April, 2018

  • 11:06 PM - TheSalemLord quoted J.L. Duncan in post Reload The Savage World Of Deadlands
    Nope I meant what I said... As in it didn't excite anyone in my group to play it. They weren't confused (or nonplussed) about what the game was... Just not enthused to play it. Been there...Still there. My groups are still sticking to D&D. Not that is wrong, but it saddens me that they didn't want to try something different or new :yawn:... So, we keep playing D&D. I really want to try Deadlands, the setting is awesome. I've tried with the 3.0 D20 Edition version of Deadlands with other group for the familiarity with the D20 rules...worked..fine, but wasn't good at all. I really want to try SW rules set.

Monday, 16th April, 2018

  • 04:21 PM - choam10191 quoted J.L. Duncan in post Reload The Savage World Of Deadlands
    Nope I meant what I said... As in it didn't excite anyone in my group to play it. They weren't confused (or nonplussed) about what the game was... Just not enthused to play it. Non-pulsed isn't actually a word. And if you were to construct a neologism meaning what you claim to have meant, it would be more like "low-pulsed" or "min-pulsed"; the only logical interpretation of "non-pulsed" is DEAD, as in "not living". Wraith Form was giving you the benefit of the doubt in assuming you inadvertently used a malapropism. And, yes, the North American usage of "nonplussed" meaning "unimpressed" would've been closer to your intention: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/nonplussed

Friday, 2nd March, 2018

  • 04:08 AM - Steve Conan Trustrum quoted J.L. Duncan in post Palladium Announces Collapse of Robotech RPG Tactics Kickstarter
    Yes, backers can contact the AG of Michigan, but unless those backers reside in Michigan that AG won't listen to them. Each backer will be encouraged to contact the AG of whichever state they live in.Not true. Look up what's going on with Ken Whitman, perhaps the most notorious gaming industry crowdfunding fraudster there is. Out-of-state complaints are being accepted by the AG of the state where Ken lives. IIRC, they are looking at him for possible wire fraud charges.

Thursday, 1st March, 2018

  • 04:32 PM - kenmarable quoted J.L. Duncan in post Palladium Announces Collapse of Robotech RPG Tactics Kickstarter
    The lawsuit will not go anywhere if things continue as is over on that Facebook page. Apparently, the lawyer (a sister of one of the backers) that was contacted wrote up a threat of legal action and sent that letter to Palladium siting KS ToS; which a judge wouldn't move a finger on and has no legal standing. i didn't understand this (than to suspect it wasn't a real lawyer) as anyone putting forth a letter should be directly siting Law (and how it was violated) not KS' ToS. The only thing which is relevant, which is what you note, is whether Palladium can account for everything and can prove they've not committed fraud. If there is a question on that and it's brought to court a judge might order them to open and account for their books. Will this happen? Who knows. It might, if those backers get a real lawyer. And most likely have a backer who is in the state of Michigan head the effort... Otherwise they should all be contacting the FTC... I mean I feel for those folks but if they want to...

Friday, 27th October, 2017


Saturday, 21st October, 2017

  • 03:11 AM - Egg Embry quoted J.L. Duncan in post Gaming At The Kid's Table With The Pip System
    Hey Egg, I'm curious, with the modified (simpler) system, are players splitting the difference between the pools? Or perhaps rolling less dice and just tallying results such as: 1-3 as unsuccessful; 4-6 as a success? I haven't had the time to give Eloy's pip system a look, but I did like the original Mermaid Adventures. RPG's THE Jeff Duncan - Excellent question! The simplified system has two major changes: 1) Replace the skills system with straight attributes. 2) Qualities are no longer purchased using Build Points, instead each player should write down the qualities that they want and add +1 white d6 for each one that applies. Simple and well thought out streamlines for a streamlined system. Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer

Saturday, 22nd July, 2017

  • 01:30 PM - VengerSatanis quoted J.L. Duncan in post Win $500 - adventure writing contest
    Hello Venger, How many entries do you anticipate... And are you judging them yourself or are you considering a panel? I'm not sure how many to anticipate, anywhere from 5 to 25... possibly. I'll be judging them myself, though if I do this again maybe a panel of judges would be easier on me. Thanks for the questions. VS

Sunday, 25th June, 2017

  • 10:06 PM - Egg Embry quoted J.L. Duncan in post Gaming At The Kid's Table: Mouse Tails
    +Egg Embry I'm just happy that given the choice (of an internet troll, or a wanna-lancer) you've made the right choice. Just a word of advice: quoting Boromir is easy to do but it is hard to live... And prepare yourself. Hobbylancing takes a level of commitment not common of mortal men. Me? I'm 3/4 elf, 1/16 dwarf & 2/3 halfling so I get by (and all that)... And you needn't worry about conquering the world. All you have to do is write and self-publish an RPG, which you will automatically be the master of (ah, ya-know cause you wrote it!)... You've taken all the right steps... But remember, "only you can prevent forest fires." And if that was a bit vague (or off topic)... What I mean to say is, you're on the right track. :p J.L. Duncan- In-game, I rarely prevent forest fires. On the contrary, 99.9% of fires in RPGs can be traced back to Egg (and a few other players). ;-) Seriously, thanks for the kind words and advice. It's been helpful. ;) Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer Check out EN World Gaming at the Kidsí Table posts to read reviews of The FirstFable RPG and Monster Slayers

Saturday, 24th June, 2017

  • 08:13 PM - Egg Embry quoted J.L. Duncan in post Gaming At The Kid's Table: Mouse Tails
    Egg... At what point does a Wanna-Lancer become an Actual-Lancer? Nice review. And it seems your rackin' up the creds! J.L. Duncan - There is a much-studied progression from wanna-lancer to actual-lancer. As Boromir stated, "One does not simply ." The progress starts as fan, moves to armchair game designer, and either deviates to internet troll or to a wanna-lancer. Following the wanna-lancer wing, you strive to reach hobbylancer status (Ben McFarland has spoken about hobbylancing) before graduating to be a freelancer and a life of leisure. Oh, and conquering the world is in there somewhere... :p Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer Check out EN World Gaming at the Kidsí Table posts to read reviews of The FirstFable RPG and [B]Monster Slayers

Wednesday, 7th June, 2017

  • 08:05 AM - Jhaelen quoted J.L. Duncan in post Playing With Savage Rifts
    Just FYI: For sure, you need the Savage Worlds main book (I have deluxe) to run Savage Rifts. Just wanted to make sure you know that. Ah thanks, I hadn't been aware of that!

Sunday, 2nd October, 2016


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