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    Wednesday, 13th June, 2018, 02:36 PM
    That can definitely be an issue, although I do think 5E is more tolerant of a few points here and there, especially if the player is savvy. Still, some character builds are fine at a particular level but if you're playing from level 1 up they'd be pretty rough trade. The flip side is one of the reasons I'm usually not too concerned about things like the 20th level power... so what? The vast...
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    Wednesday, 13th June, 2018, 03:33 AM
    I'm currently playing a Paladin/Bard MC. This was an existing character who had been a Warlock/Bard pacted to the Deck of Many Things, based on altered version of the (IMO excellent) Raven Queen pact---basically I was addicted to the ultimate in Cardboard Crack! Some in game events made this brutally apparent. After some serious questing and a visit to Moradin for advice, among other things, I...
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Thursday, 21st June, 2018

  • 03:37 AM - pemerton mentioned Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Hit points that aren't strictly meat damage can still be understood from a character being increasingly tired out or weakenedBut not so tired that you can't still move at your maximum pace, carry your maximum load, climb walls just as well as you could before entering melee, etc! But suppose we downplay the "weakened, tired" aspect and emphasise Gygax's other elements - luck, divine favour, magical protections, etc. Even here there are multiple subsytems that don't interact - saving throws, as per the quote upthread about poison saves, are a separate subsystem for this stuff, and then magical protections and divine favour can also be the result of magic items, spells etc. 4e closes some of these gaps - there is generally no distinction, for instance, between the threats of physical harm that AD&D handled via saving throws and the threats of physical harm that AD&D handled via hit points; and as Jay Verkuilen (I think) mentioned upthread, it uses healing surges to handle exhaustion. But 4e opens up at least one new gap (or, perhaps, generalises it from the 3E barbarian's rage) - namely, limited use non-magical capabilities that manifest as martial encounter and daily powers, and action points. Putting everything into a common pool can reduce the odd (non-)synergies between abstractions, but of course also reduces moving parts which itself has implications for game play. 3E is my personal least favourite for this stuff: it replaces poison saves (which, as Gygax describes in the quoted passage) were a type of luck mechanic, with Fortitude saves - but Fortitude is a mechanic largely independent of the hit point system; and poison doesn't do hp damage but stat damage. So your magical protections and luck stop you getting squashed by a hill giant's club (a mid-to-upper level PC can soak the 20 hp easily enough) but don't help agasint the STR damage (and resultant penalties to attack and...

Thursday, 2nd November, 2017

  • 03:52 AM - pming mentioned Jay Verkuilen in post Loops in RPG Adventure and Game Design
    Hiya! Jay Verkuilen, yes, exactly. For a video game this is fine, the "loop method" works...minor variations of the general 'thing'. Different weapons, enemies, etc...but it's still very much the same thing: combat and tactics. Toss in a little bit of percieved overland travel to break it up, maybe a cutscene or two, but it's still a loop of "fight, fight, fight, fight, end, roll credits". This works for a lot of video games...even MMO's where people do the same "boss fights" over and over to get specific rewards. If you know what you are going into, this isn't a problem, it's a feature. :) In a First Person Shooter, I'm expecting to be doing a lot of shooting bad guys. For table top RPG's, however, using the loop method just isn't going to work. Well, I suppose it could if everyone at the table is going for this sort of game. The only time I can remember doing this was when we played the Street Fighter RPG when if was first released. Then again...it's a TTRPG based on a video game, so...uh...yeah. ;) ...

Sunday, 1st October, 2017

  • 01:57 PM - pemerton mentioned Jay Verkuilen in post Power Creep
    Can't you just use classes and monsters from AD&D?I wasn't replying to you. I know (from reading earlier posts/threads of yours) that you want a system for pricing/buying/building magic items that is balanced from the point of view of PC build mechanics. But that didn't seem to be what Jay Verkuilen was asking for. It's quite conceivable that there is no mechanic that will meet your requirements. But Jay Verkuilen pointed to AD&D as providng an example of what he might want - and the AD&D rules manifestly are not a balanced system of PC-build rules. Rather, they're guidelines for how the GM should handle the item-creation process, which includes injecting balance at whatever point s/he wants to in whatever way s/he wants to. It's nothing like what 3E or 4e provided. (And it seems to be widely recognised that 3E fails in what you're asking for, and 4e largely achieves it by making magic items "boring".) To some degree I could, but it would require a good bit of calibrating to get right. I won't say that the 1E system was perfect, just that it's there. I shouldn't have to. That's what I pay game designers to do. It's not some kind of weird monster that only appeared in 2E, it's fairly core functionality.The AD&D system has rules for costing potions - gp = to XP value, whic...

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Thursday, 21st June, 2018

  • 02:14 AM - Lanefan quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    IMO 6 seconds is a bit too short but 1 minute just feels ludicrously long. In our 2E days we thought of a round as being 12 seconds. In BESM I think it's 10 seconds. That feels better to me. Ultimately it's kind of subjective.We use 30 seconds, in part because it still divides evenly by 6 (giving 5-second segments) and is an even divisor of 60 to provide 2 rounds to the minute. The only other numbers that work this way are 12 and 6, both of which are too short for a round to be. It works, not perfectly, but better than 1-minute rounds. Lanefan
  • 01:39 AM - pemerton quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    In 1st ed AD&D it could cause level loss - so you can get worse at fighting because you're tired from walking/running Where was this? I totally don't remember this.From the DMG, p 49 (under the heading "Forced Movement"): It is possible to make forced marches up to twice the distance shown for daily movement rote. Such forced movement Increases the daily rate in 10% increments, from 10% to 100% at the option of the party, to a maximum of double normal movement rate; but as soon as a total of 100% of additional normal movement rate is reached, or as soon as the party determines to assume non-forced movement, whichever first occurs, a mandatory rest period must be enforced. . . . <snip resting chart> Failure to rest after normol movement is equal to 100% means that beasts of burden have a cumulative chance of dropping dead of 10% per 10% increment of additional movement of any sort. Other creatures lose 1 level of ability or hit die in the same manner, until 0 is reached and exhaustion k...
  • 01:26 AM - pemerton quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    I adjust for the target, though, so a big inert target like a golem gets different description than a live one like a dwarf, even if the hit points are similar.In some of the bits I elided from the Gygax quote, he says that for most monsters, hp loss = physical damage. So what you describe here has strong precedent behind it!

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 11:35 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Well Gygax clearly thought so. They're (avoiding getting)hit points, in EGG's treatise. ;) At least, in large part. Gygax was pretty clear about what he thought, whether you like it or not. He also thought that a one minute combat round was a good idea, which just feels... wrong.It works for boxing. The hit point arguments are far more about the degree of abstraction . They were, in the very cogent sense that abstraction has meaningful definition that applies. But, those arguments were prettymuch settled 40 years ago. I mean, we were still having them back in the day, but between appealing to the authority of the DMG, and the treatise not being a terrible rationalization, things were mostly OK. If someone really couldn't handle the abstractions of D&D combat - taking a minute to make 'one' attack, Armor causing misses instead of absorbing damage, damage not even necessarily being physical injury anyway, etc - they'd eventually find RuneQuest or something). than whether or not t...
  • 10:54 PM - Shasarak quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Well Gygax clearly thought so. Uh huh. o_O
  • 10:32 PM - Flexor the Mighty! quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    IMO 6 seconds is a bit too short but 1 minute just feels ludicrously long. In our 2E days we thought of a round as being 12 seconds. In BESM I think it's 10 seconds. That feels better to me. Ultimately it's kind of subjective. I just tell them to embrace the more wargamey old school nature of the system and think in terms of rounds rather than a particular time.
  • 10:29 PM - Shasarak quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Um, I'm not sure why you thought I was arguing to the contrary. I think we're having a case of vehement agreement, because I more or less agree with the "hit points aren't meat points" position! But are hit points actually miss points?
  • 10:25 PM - Flexor the Mighty! quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Heh, not possible. I'm not actually trying to make the argument, just noting that Gygax was pretty clear about what he thought, whether you like it or not. He also thought that a one minute combat round was a good idea, which just feels... wrong. I suspect he just adopted the mechanic for game reasons and then came up with the justification later, but given that he's dead and can't speak for himself this is what we have. We have switched back to a game with a 1 minute round and due to 18 years of gaming with 6-10 second rounds I'm finding that some players are struggling with it. Thank god we aren't switching from GURPS and the 1 second round!
  • 10:23 PM - Shasarak quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    I can't say I frequently agree with all of the views of @pemerton , but I'm pretty sure he can copy from the 1E DMG just fine. Indeed you can, and the notion that a combat round is a minute in length and summarizes a substantial set of exchanges in battle along with the interpretation of hit points as not being meat points is Gygax's. I'm not near my copy of the DMG1E at the moment. However, I did find this quote from an article in Dragon #24, 1979 "The Melee in D&D": Hit points are a combination of actual physical constitution, skill at the avoidance of taking real physical damage, luck and/or magical or divine factors. Ten points of damage dealt to a rhino indicated a considerable wound, while the same damage sustained by the 8th level fighter indicates a near miss, a slight wound, and a bit of luck used up, a bit of fatigue piling up against his or her skill at avoiding the fatal cut or thrust. So even when a hit is scored in melee combat, it is more often than not a grazing blow, a sc...
  • 10:02 PM - Shasarak quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    The relevant quote from the DMG1E was posted already by pemerton somewhere in this thread. I was looking for it but can't find it. I'll post it later tonight. Do you mean the guy who thinks that Encumbrance and Strength is a measure of how injured you are? I would not put too much stock into his "quotes". As to what Gygax actually thought before he wrote that, well he's dead so who the heck knows for sure. I marked my speculation as speculation. From what I understand, Gygax was a pretty old skool wargamer, mostly focused on the numbers. You can get a good idea by reading what he wrote.
  • 09:43 PM - Shasarak quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    This particular interpretation goes all the way back to 1E at least, and was Gygax's. I suspect that like a lot of other things he didn't bother with much of an interpretation at first but was pressed on it and came up with one. It's one that clearly doesn't satisfy a vocal minority. You seem sincere and I wish that I could just take your assurance that was the case and on the other hand there is just no evidence that was true.
  • 07:48 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    I'm not saying your way is wrong, where every successful attack draws blood, but for me to describe every attack against a PC like that would break immersion for our table. It's only 'wrong' when you make a successful attack against a stone or turnip. (And I know D&D has stone golems and galeb-dur, and I'd be surprised if no one had ever created a turnip-monster for it, too.) ... or, y'know, anything else about the attack, the character, or the situation precludes drawing blood, or if you'd find the mechanics of resolving the injury inconsistent with it drawing blood. So, certainly not wrong, but also not necessarily always right? Or, put it another way, I insist that your troll bite causes strawberries to explode from my nose. Prove me wrong using the mechanics. I think the real point is you (as ahem, 'injured party,' can narrate the injury in accord with your established narrative - if you're playing Mr. Spock, you narrate a wound as bleeding green blood; as the DM you can narrate what ...
  • 03:27 PM - Kobold Boots quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    This particular interpretation goes all the way back to 1E at least, and was Gygax's. I suspect that like a lot of other things he didn't bother with much of an interpretation at first but was pressed on it and came up with one. It's one that clearly doesn't satisfy a vocal minority. Agreed regarding vocal minority, but it really comes down to common interpretation of terms and managing expectations. If you are rolling "to hit" the expectation is that there's a hit. If you are rolling "to damage" the expectation is that there has been damage. If you don't want to have misunderstandings of the meta and abstraction of things, then the sidebar explaining what HP and AC really are needs to be in the players' handbook. Otherwise, when you find it in the DMG (which lets be fair, almost no one read all the way through before running their first game) then of course 30 years later you're going to have these kinds of discussions. That said, there are many people who played 1e D&D that don't rem...
  • 01:07 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    Yes, there were more conditions but they weren't dished out as regularly or synergized with the way they were in 4E. There was a reason 4E benefitted greatly from condition tracking chips on minis and the last thing in most combat turns involved saving against all the "save ends" conditions. High level 3E had other slowdowns, of course. At one point we used to play in a college conference room that we weren't technically supposed to have access to and used the chalkboard on the wall to keep track of spell durations!There wasn't much synergy among conditions, that I recall, overlap, more often. Oh, you're slowed /and/ immobilized, slowed doesn't really matter now. And, yeah, the sheer number means something - I couldn't say the same about synergy in 3e, because I can't remember half the 40 conditions, I can remember /most/ of 4e or 5e's less-than-half-that conditions, and even how they work (when I'm not getting them confused, that is, which is a danger of running two eds of the same game!). But...

Tuesday, 19th June, 2018

  • 08:04 PM - Lanefan quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    LotR also tracks encumbrance... only Gimli wears armor or carries a shield And Boromir, for as long as he lasts... due to the burdens of the road. D&D style systems aren't great at that. :heh:D&D systems can be just fine at that but it needs players and DMs willing to rather harshly enforce it and live with the results.
  • 06:18 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    1E/2E had the widely used -10 rule. Which doesn't work for modeling a character dropped, but who is saved from a mortal wound by his nifty elf armor. Once you're in negatives, you've been mortally wounded, and must be saved, or die with a minute (2e) or 10 (1e). But with the general exception of 4E, D&D has stuck to its war-game roots and stayed away from effects of injuries or statuses. I liked the idea of many of the 4E status effects but felt that the sheer number was one of the big reasons for slowdown. 3e had like 40 named conditions. 4e had 18. 5e trimmed that down all the way down to 15. Oh Ye Gods are the consequences of injury IRL something else and they end up being the gift that keeps on giving, too. 'Realism Kills' used to be my tagline on an old RPG BBS. ;)
  • 06:00 PM - Kobold Boots quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    By that logic a dextrous fellow like a rogue should be pretty much OK. Often he's not whereas the fighter just says "meh." Within the context of how the system is presented the fractional damage rule puts the rogue and fighter on the same par initially where the rogue may indeed have the tumbling skill and fare better in shorter falls. The warrior in heavier armor would be screwed if they got pushed off a 15 foot landing. Why are wizards so much more fragile then, even to magic damage? In this system because they are not combat trained. They are magic trained Take a level of fighter, less of an issue. As far as magic damage goes, it's still damage, where it comes from is less of an issue it's how you compensate for it which would be factored in to classes that spend more time focused on combat. The magic user should focus on damage mitigation through wards and other magical defenses. I'm not saying you can't handle things this way or that it's a bad idea, but you'll need to do a good bit...
  • 05:55 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    I think 3E had the concept of arcane vs divine magic, and also of non-magical extraordinary abilities. 3e explicitly called out some class (and monster abilities) as 'extraordinary' (EX) and others as supernatural (SU). But, the division among Martial, Divine, and Arcane goes all the way back to Men & Magic, when the only classes were Fighter, Cleric, & Magic-user, respectively. Likewise, the 4 Roles were just a formalization of the party-contributions of the Fighter, Cleric, Magic-user - and, eventually, in 3e, when SA replaced backstab, Rogue. In RQ spells don't have "levels". In RM, the level of a spell corresponds (roughly) to the character level at which it can be used (a bit like 4e). To me, this seems similar to being weirded out by 3E compared to (say) Hero because in Hero different abilities have variable points costs whereas in 3E all feats have the same cost ("1 slot"). It's a fair thing to be weirded out by, in either case, really. If "not D&D" = "doesn't use some version of t...
  • 05:45 PM - Kobold Boots quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    That can work for combat, but it can be problematic for situations like falling damage or, say, spell damage. Give me an example of spell damage you'd like modeled and I can give you the way to do it to stay consistent with the system as presented. As to falling it's pretty simple really. Choose a height beyond which it's pretty certain you're going to be immobilized or incapacitated due to impact. - In my estimation this is 15 feet unless you've got some sort of acrobatics/tumbing skill, 25 feet if so. Fall of appropriate height drops you to some percentage of or 0 HP automatically and may provide an appropriate effect at the discretion of the DM. - Tumbling mitigates some damage or avoids effect depending on how the DM works it out at his table. Spell Damage types usually break down to the following. - Direct damage - best suited for HP use as normal - This is combat, thus abstraction works. Auto hit doesn't mean armor doesn't soak. - AOE damage - best suited for HP use as norm...
  • 01:15 PM - pemerton quoted Jay Verkuilen in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    There were tons of new concepts, most of which had no precedent or clear root in the prior game <snip> dumped alignment systemFrankly, it seemed like a reversion to classic law vs chaos (with the old "neutral" split into Good, Unaligned and Evil). power sourcesI think 3E had the concept of arcane vs divine magic, and also of non-magical extraordinary abilities. the PHB had this giant list of "spells" with levels that didn't line up to what we'd been used to seeing for literally everIn RQ spells don't have "levels". In RM, the level of a spell corresponds (roughly) to the character level at which it can be used (a bit like 4e). To me, this seems similar to being weirded out by 3E compared to (say) Hero because in Hero different abilities have variable points costs whereas in 3E all feats have the same cost ("1 slot"). If "not D&D" = "doesn't use some version of the classic spells by level table", then D&D is being defined in a very prescriptive and (I would say) rather surface-level ...


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