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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:07 AM
    This takes me back to those glorious, heady days of Permertonian scene-framing! I agree AD&D has a lot of subsystems, many I suspect underused and underappreciated. To Spying as a means of information-gathering can be added sages (whose subsystem is hidden in the NPC hireling tables). But many of the AD&D subsystems are quite clunky as written, and - at least in my experience with them,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:13 AM
    I tend to agree with Ovinomancer about this - as a general rule classic wargaming/dungeon-crawling D&D doesn't support "say 'yes' or roll the dice", because the GM is meant to have already mapped and "stocked" the dungeon and uses that to regulate what gets introduced into the fiction without being obliged to allow a die roll if s/he doesn't just want to say "yes". And even if you wanted to play...
    415 replies | 11212 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:20 AM
    The cleric and paladin are essentially the same archetype, especially pre-2nd ed AD&D: heavily armed and armoured warriors who perform miracles, turn away the undead, and heal with a touch. The differences between them are purely mechanical, not thematic. (And no matter how much a fighter is RPed as a paladin, s/he won't heal with a touch.) So if clerics are played as paladins, then I think...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 10:50 AM
    I just want to assert, quite strongly, that the moral and political equality of people - whatever their sex, gender, race, etc - is not a "social convention". It's a social reality that has been fought for, often quite hard. It doesn't need to be "challenged".
    165 replies | 6022 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 09:27 AM
    I don't see how a B/X player can claim to be a grognard - it was one of (is it still, or has 5e overtaken it?) popular D&D products of all time! That would make me a potential grognard. I'm also not sure that Gygax gets to decide what counts as grognard-ism. Arneson's groggish credentials seem just as strong. If I encountered someone who played OD&D + supplements 2 and 3 (so by my reckoning...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 09:18 AM
    I think it's unrealistic to expect that the RPG hobby community will be wildly different from any other community - assuming it even makes sense to speak of the RPG hobby community. The community/communities are just constituent elements of the societies they belong to, with members united by a shared interest in a particular leisure activity but not necessarily too much else. I know nothing...
    165 replies | 6022 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 08:49 AM
    I didn't say anything about NPCs - I talked about characters in fiction. In the context of RPGing, the PCs are the most salient such characters. And whether or not my claim is a Red Herring, it doesn't rely on any False Dichotomy about realism. Which is what you asserted. I take it that you now retract that assertion. What system are you talking about? Maxperson's table's approach to D&D?...
    415 replies | 11212 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 08:33 AM
    Why? Men & Magic has 3 classes (fighter, MU, cleric), and then Supplement 1 introduces both thief and paladin. I don't see what's especially grognard-y about adding the thief but not the paladin.
    116 replies | 3158 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 12:32 AM
    The PHB is not a scholarly work governed by standards of academic ethics; and I very much doubt that the sort of work the "consultants" did on the PHB generates entitlements to be acknowledged under "moral rights" law. (I'm not even sure if the US has moral rights laws.) But it is common for companies to try and promote their products. And in the case of a personality-driven consumer market...
    165 replies | 6022 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 11:49 PM
    I don't see not using monks as "non-Grognard" - they go back to the earliest days of D&D! (Supplement II, to be precise.)
    116 replies | 3158 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 11:30 PM
    Having lots of hp and thereby permitting success in melee combat is the main class feature of a fighter - as early editions of D&D tended to point out. So negating that class feature seems a dodgy move. If you want a d8 axe to be able to decapitate a fighter, the easiest thing seems to be to allow max damage to open end (ie make another roll, if it's max to make another roll, etc).
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 02:50 PM
    I didn't say anything about whether "realism" is a matter of degree or a categorical thing. I said that real human lives don't have the same dramatic "neatness" and development as do those of characters in fiction. The truth of that claim doesn't turn on any view about whether "realism" is or is not a matter of degree. I don't see how "more realistic" bears on this. How realistic is it to have...
    415 replies | 11212 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 02:36 PM
    To me it seems fairly straightforward. When the 5e D&D PHB was published, WotC (the company), presumably relying in part on the judgement of Mearls and colleagues in the D&D team, formed the view that it was a market advantage to be assocated with certain known advocates of particular "old school" or at least anti-"new school" styles of D&D (ie RPG Pundit and Zak S). Whereas they have now...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 09:47 AM
    AbdulAlhazred, that's a good post. With respect to the example of melee in Gygax's DMG, literal participants in the melee are Aggro (who killed Balto), Blastum (who killed by Arlanni via shocking grasp) and Arkayn who is fighting Gutboy and Barjin. So my take on the web is that the player is allowed to declare that all the enemy NPCs are caught (ie Blastum, Gutboy and Barjin) but that the PC...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 09:34 AM
    Adventure fiction - heck, fiction in general - depends on coincidence: people turn up, or fail to turn up, at the appropriate moment; opportunities arise, or fail to arise, at just the time that will drive the protagonist to action; etc. That's not to say that fiction must be "unrealistic" in the sense of wildly implausible. It is to say that, if you looked at 1,000 human lives, few or even...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 02:10 PM
    This was funny - but permanent items as staked/lost resources has actually been a recurrent feature of my 4e play.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 02:01 PM
    I've played AD&D to 15th-ish level. The system doesn't support play at that level very well - the principle opponents have to be NPCs of similar levels. I've played 4e to 30th level. The system is very robust in my experience of it.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 11:45 PM
    darkbard, obviously you know your table and you know your game's fiction, so I can only offer a couple of general thoughts: * The idea of clarifying intent, if it's not entirely clear, seems worthwhile; * In my Traveller game, part of what makes the subsystems for travel able to fit with a broadly "story now" approach to the game is the background setting, which I'll say more about. The...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 11:21 PM
    Thanks dragoner. I think I've seen you posting about playing Traveller. When you play, how many characters does each player have?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 09:06 AM
    To address this further: as I understand things, Jonathan Tween in 13th Age is correct about the origins of "fail forward" as a self-consciously identified technique (from the 13th Age rulebook, p 42): A simple but powerful improvement you can make to your game is to redefine failure as “things go wrong” instead of “the PC isn’t good enough.” Ron Edwards, Luke Crane, and other indie RPG...
    57 replies | 2258 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 02:16 AM
    This is an interesting post. It prompted a few thoughts in me, based on my play experience over the past few years with a few different systems. I think at the heart of roleplaying, on the player side of things (assuming a fairly conventional allocation among the participants of player and GM roles), is action resolution. Action resolution begins with a declaration that has some connection to,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 12:03 AM
    I think this is one usage of "fail forward", but not the only one and in my view not the primary one. "Fail forward" in a game like Burning Wheel is a way of adjudicating a character's failure to meet his/her goal. In BW, action declaration requires a declaration of both intent and task. If the player's check succeeds, then the PC succeeds at the task and achieves his/her intent. If the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 03:06 PM
    I'll ignore the alleged contrast between believable and unrealistic, because all that means is that we have a disagreement at the table as to what is or isn't believable. There are various ways to resolve such disagreements, of which GM decides unilaterally is one but not the only one. But as far as "every time they go looking" is concerned, (i) as I've already posted, why are assuming that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 03:02 PM
    Apropos of this, I just posted an actual play report of today's Traveller session. Random table results that generated a need for interpretation included an encounter with a group of rowdies (religious zealots burning down an antiquities shop), an encounter with a group of fugitives (a group of people trying to escape from their local religious dictatorship to learn the *truth* about...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 02:37 PM
    I'm a big fan of Classic Traveller and have recently been playing it a fair bit (a report of today's session is here). But I don't think it reasonably counts as rules light. Character creation can be reasonably quick and quite colourful, and the skill names generally give you a sense of what your PC can do. But the game has a lot of subsystems (for intersteller travel; for using vacc-suits;...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 02:26 PM
    For me it depends on system. Running Rolemaster, for instance, this sort of stuff comes up quite a bit. Likewise in Burning Wheel. In systems which have only abstract "hit point"-type damage - D&D being one, and Traveller another - it doesn't come up all that often. Although in our Traveller game, when the PC with a cutlass succeeded in hitting an enemy she was attacking through the slit of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 02:07 PM
    We played a session of Classic Traveller today. I'll sblock some lengthy play accounts before offering some thoughts as referee. Prior session context The PCs had defeated their enemies by first tricking their way onto the latter's starship, then taking it over, then using it to assault the enemies' bioweapons base on the relatively remote planet Olyx. (Some backstory here.) In the course...
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 09:09 AM
    I wonder if anyone roleplays in first person but has their character always speak of themselves in third person?
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 09:05 AM
    Dungeons and Dragons can be a rules light game! All you have to do is ignore all the rules you don't want to deal with and make rulings whenever something comes up. People have been playing it that way for years!
    40 replies | 1962 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 02:10 AM
    How many times have I posted about there being resolution systems besides GM decides - and you keep replying "Yes, I'm aware of that" yet continue to make posts which only make sense on the premise that GM decides is the only resolution option. If, in fact, you are aware that there are ways of deciding whether or not the PCs find sect members in the teahouse that are neither GM decides based...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 12:17 AM
    I also think the method can matter. Some other posters seem to disagree, though. Both these posts seem to asssume that there are only two possible resolution systems for determining if the PCs find sect members at the teahouse: the GM decides based on his/her beliefs about the gameworld, or the GM "says 'yes'". That is, they seem to assume that play will be driven simply by GM...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th February, 2019, 12:11 PM
    It seems to me that, if the players declare We go to the teahouse to look for sect members, then clearly it is believable to them that the sect members might be in the teahouse. So it seems to me that, whatever method is used to work out whether or not the PCs find sect members in the teahouse, it won't contradict believability for them to be their.
    415 replies | 11212 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th February, 2019, 02:36 AM
    In an essay from the late 70s, published in White Dwarf, Lewis Pulsipher (who posts here as lewpuls) wrote that there are no major gods other than the Lords of Law and Chaos. It's clear that early D&D approached religion/divinity through the lens of alignment also - you can see this in Gygax's AD&D, ini the entry for Candles of Invocation (p 140), which says that they "are dedicated to the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th February, 2019, 09:33 AM
    The AD&D DMG (published 1979) has the following entry on p 69: Number Of Opponents Per Figure: Physical size and space will dictate limitation upon the number of opponents able to engage a single figure in melee. If Official ADVANCED DUNGEONS 8 DRAGONS miniature figures are used to represent the creatures involved in a melee, then these miniatures will dictate the number of opponents which...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 11:23 PM
    Manbearcat, Campbell and I think chaochou all play this system.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 08:01 AM
    This is an empirical claim, about what is possible in game design and game play, and I don't think it's true. It's not that hard to have a combat resolution system that gives the goblins a chance to cut you off, but equally gives you a chance to escape. Modern D&D stop-motion resolution is a very particular way of doing combat resolution, that is far from universal and that I don't think I had...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 11:44 PM
    I tend to think of "realism" as meaning something like in play, the events and outcomes in this game are somewhat like real life. D&D tends to be somewhat realisitic, at least at lower levels, insofar as fighting things can get your killed, people tend to go from place to place in much the same way as people did in pre-modern real life, and water is wet. Even at low levels there are elements...
    415 replies | 11212 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 12:55 PM
    I've posted it before but I think it's time to post it again - a comment from Ron Edwards at The Forge in 2006, on a thread in which another poster was looking for advice on how to manage scene-framing: Well, let's look at this again. Actually, I think it has nothing at all to do with distributed authority, but rather with the group members' shared trust that situational authority is going...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 07:16 AM
    I think Classic Traveller is a really first-rate RPG. I've been GMing it quite a bit over the past year or so, which is the first time for a long time, and finding it a very powerful system - remarkably powerful given its relative brevity as a ruleset and the scope of action it covers. I find the contrast with Gygax's AD&D, in particular, really striking in this respect - there's more in AD&D...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 11th February, 2019, 11:46 PM
    The notion of "trad" RPGs is interesting and in my view somewhat contestable. Here are two examples to explain why I think that. Pre-2nd ed D&D D&D has its origins as a form of (semi-)cooperative refereed wargame. The "battlefield" is a dungeon which is mapped and detailed, but at the start of play only the referee has access to that map and its details. Unlike some traditional wargames,...
    239 replies | 6590 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 11th February, 2019, 01:04 PM
    "Say 'yes' or roll the dice" is generally associated with systems that use scene-framing techniques to drive the action. In those systems, "saying 'yes'" is a device for allowing a player's response to a GM's framing to go through uncontested. If there's no disagreement or differences of opinion on how the fiction should unfold, then there is no need for mechanics to mediate it, as there is...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 11th February, 2019, 12:54 AM
    I'm far from a kriegsspiel expert - but my feeling in the D&D context is that knowability is important, so that the player can demonstrate his/her skill. In the context of the frost giant, this is why I have mentioned a few times now that I think it matters how that table handles alignment, and whether the GM's decision was informed by the CE alignment of the giant. Making sensible calls about...
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Monday, 11th February, 2019, 12:32 AM
    I think it's a "cool" idea!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 11th February, 2019, 12:04 AM
    The point about hit points, as I understand it, is that the mechanical changes - like deducting hp from a running tally - don't correlate to any particular fictional change - like some sort of injury. D&D and its offshoots are the worst culprits in this respect, but it can be found in other systems too: Classic Traveller has "abstract" damage, though deducted from physical stats rather than a...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th February, 2019, 11:34 PM
    Imaro - you seem obsessed by 1% chances. I posted guidelines and rules from mulitple systems upthread (Prince Valiant, Classic Traveller, 4e D&D, and maybe BW as well but I can't remember that one exactly), and talked about the odds that they establish, and I even made the point that Admin in Classic Traveller, with its base 1 in 6 chance for untrained and 5 in 6 chance for trained is probably...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th February, 2019, 11:18 PM
    No worries - and at least in my case, it's not entirely selfless! I'm happy to talk about how to improve my game. I've posted a few times now that the onworld exploration element of Classic Traveller is the weakest part of that system, but I'm sure it's going to come up again in my CT campaign at some stage. And in Prince Valiant, the PCs are soon to set off to Byzantium!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th February, 2019, 04:33 AM
    I've used flights (swarms) of vrocks, and swarms of ground-based demons.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th February, 2019, 04:25 AM
    I was being honest, but don't worry - I won't bother with reading your posts or respondoing further in this thread. Sorry to have wasted your time.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th February, 2019, 04:20 AM
    You'll have also noted, then, that I expressly stated my lack of consensus on that poster's account of OSR gaming. But the bigger point came up a year or two ago in a discussion between chaochou and SAelorn (I think my tagging won't work here because Saelorn has me blocked). Saelorn ran a line similar to Alexander Kalinowski, that all the players ever do in the context of a RPG is to make...
    239 replies | 6590 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th February, 2019, 04:07 AM
    It seems fairly obvious that a GM's beliefs and perhaps preferences will affect the setting of a DC. That's why we call it GM judgement. I don't see what that has to do with the difference between using system rules and mechanics to frame a check, and the GM unilaterally deciding the content of the fiction. I don't believe that 5e has a set of guidelines similar to the ones I quoted...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th February, 2019, 03:58 AM
    From my point of view I've made my points and think they're clear. My exchange with Imaculata was brief but sensible, and I think we understand one another and our different ways into, and hence responses to, the issue. If you'd like me to elaborate or explain again, though, I'm happy to.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th February, 2019, 03:53 AM
    AbdulAlhazred, darkbard - interesting discussion! If the players declare that their PCs are heading for X by striking out through the wilderness, then we have intent and task. It seems that there are several possible ways this can unfold at the table. (1) The GM simply says "yes" and narrates the arrival, perhaps with a bit of travel drama laid on top. Ipso facto there can't be anything of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 01:35 PM
    I haven't read the main posts yet, sorry, but saw this. In terms of rules/guidelines, that advice - that each check should change the situation - is found in the 4e DMG2. In practical terms, LostSoul was probably the earliest proponent of it on these boards and (like at least some of us) was influenced, I think, by experience with other systems that use similar "closed scene" resolution...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 10:36 AM
    Why would I get uptight about that? I've never heard of a GM who requires a roll for everything. But this is also system specific: for instance, in Classic Traveller there is much less "saying 'yes'" than (say) BW: every interstellar jump, for instance, triggers a series of rolls. It's actually closer to DW in that respect. I can cast slurs on character too: GMs who can only see the game...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 08:27 AM
    Because if I introduced 75th level characters into a game then I would also be introducing 75th level (or thereabouts) dragons, which - as I pointed out - would have natural armour bonuses that exceed the most powerful armour that can be forged by mages and godlings in the setting. Which is to say, the issue that I dislike - the simulationist veneer of "natural armour" - would still be there....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 08:08 AM
    If the dragon is 1st level, its AC is 23. What's your point? Mine is clear, and was a reply to a post from (I think) innerdude: that 3E is what I regard as an unhappy mix of gritty and gonzo, and deploys what I find an irritating degree of simulation by applying what appear to be ingame explanatory labels like "natural armour" to phenomena which clearly have a purely mecanical function and...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 07:37 AM
    Alterantively, I don't consider the epic rules to be relevant to my point. As I posted in reply to you already, with some explanation.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 04:35 AM
    So is the dragon. That's just a generic part of 4e.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 04:34 AM
    In AD&D and in 4e a character who wears the best possible armour can have an AC on a par with a dragon. I posted a 4e example of this just above. In 3E a character can't have a +30 bonus to AC from armour. (I'm not having regard to the epic rules in making that claim. The epic rules for 3E are, in my experience, widely criticised, and the post upthread indicates that by the time an epic...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 04:29 AM
    The paladin I mentioned has no source of AC besides his armour and shield. And it is on a par with a dragon.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 04:11 AM
    What part of Cthulhu Dark doesn't match reality? (I've linked to the system, which you can read before answering: it's free and very short.)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 04:07 AM
    I've got no objection to scaling. What makes no sense to me is that attempt to overlay the veneer of simulation - by calling the upscaling "natural armour" rather than (say) a level bonus. I appreciate that not everyone has these issues with 3E - it's quite a popular system. But they are significnat contributors to my dislike of it.
    415 replies | 11212 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 04:04 AM
    I've played a lot of epic tier 4e. PC ACs are in the same general vicinity as monsters. I think yiour calculation of the +6 Armour AC is not factoring in the level bonus. (Eg the 30h level paladin PC in my game wears plate armour and carries a shield and has an AC of 47; the scale-wearing fighter has an AC of 45.)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 03:52 AM
    Early in my main 4e campaign I was adapting Night's Dark Terror. I used its random enconter table to build the elements of a skill challenge as the PCs moved through the forest looking for a goblin stronghold. A similar though not identical idea to yours.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 03:46 AM
    Right. I mean, suppose the GM's next announcement to the table is "The chief constable steps out of the shadows and yells "Arrest that cleric for committing unlawful violence!" Can the player really say, in response, "Hang on - I just stated an intent - my PC's arm hasn't moved yet!, so the constable can't have seen me committing any violence." That's a laughable suggestion even in a maximally...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 03:43 AM
    A GM who (eg) lies about a die roll, or who just declares that a PC dies from a heart attack, or . . . etc etc . . . is (in many RPGs) cheating. That's my point. Examples of cheating, or of other forms of pathological play, don't tell us anything about how RPGs work when participants are playing with sincerity and in accordance with the rules.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 03:38 AM
    You seem to think that there is no difference between GM unilaterally decides what happens and GM sets DC within parameters established by clearly stated guidelines. Maybe your experience is consistent with this; mine is not. The difference is night and day (both as player and as GM).
    239 replies | 6590 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 02:07 PM
    I think you're significantly exaggerating things when you say "the session grinds to a screeching halt". If a player writes stuff on his/her equipment list or treasure list that differs from the fiction that the GM (purports to have) narrated, the game won't grind to a halt. If two players interact, in character, in ways that presuppose or establish a fiction that differs from the GM's, the...
    239 replies | 6590 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 07:01 AM
    I think I've got about 5 shelves of stuff on a 1.2 m bookcase, so 6 metres worth: a mix of hardback and softbacks for a range of systems. I have close to complete collections for Rolemaster/Spacemaster (including most of the Shadow World modules) and D&D 4e, and of AD&D (1st ed) hardbacks as well as many of the classic modules. I'm not sure how many systems I have books for - definitely more...
    54 replies | 1856 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 02:34 AM
    The method you use should probably reflect your GMing goal. For instance, if you're just trying to create some colour - a sentence or two of narration you drop into other stuff, like "While you're out buying new arrows you hear people talking about the assassination attempt against the false heir" - then you just need a few notes about stuff like that that you might drop in, and mabye make a...
    2 replies | 220 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 02:28 AM
    I wasn't sure from your post whether you're wanting to write some variant rules for D&D - in which case the ENworld-published Elements of Magic might have some stuff that is interesting for you - or whether you are coming up with a completely new system. If the latter, you might want to think a bit about system design and read some other systems (eg Ars Magic has a magic system that is...
    14 replies | 502 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 01:38 AM
    For anyone who does not like play that focuses on numbers (whether on the PC sheet or NPC/monster records) I strongly recommend Cthulhu Dark. Each player's investigator has two properties, neither numerical: a name; and an occupation. There is no list of occupations - you just choose a job for your PC. (When we played, one player chose to be an investigative journalist, another to be a legal...
    239 replies | 6590 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 01:29 AM
    Sadras, my understanding is that 5e D&D does not permit the GM to make social checks resulting from NPC behaviour in the fiction which then yield results that are binding on players in their play of their PCs. But I'm not an expert on 5e D&D, so perhaps there is an option to that effect that I'm not aware of. As far as how to set DCs in 5e is concerned, it's not a system that I play, and one...
    239 replies | 6590 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 12:49 AM
    As I already posted, all this is true of a cheating/abusive player. And what happens if the player(s) ignore the GM "continuing the fiction otherwise"? I mean, the GM is welcome to continue playing his/her own solo game, but that is no more RPGing than the players playing their own game. From the pretty trivial point that RPGing depends upon a degree of group cohesion, nothing follows about...
    239 replies | 6590 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 12:14 AM
    Classic Traveller was once the most-played game after D&D. The fact that it is no longer widely played doesn't make it "niche" or "specialised" or otherwise not count as an example of how mainstream RPGing can work. I already posted the example of Admin skill upthread. Here is Streetwise (p15 of my 1978 printing of Book 1): The referee should set the throw required to obtain any item...
    239 replies | 6590 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 10:29 PM
    darkbard, looking at your PCs one possibility that occurs to me is this: * Failed checks on the way cause the PCs to be lost/delayed, and the PCs notice that shadow are pooling more heavily/dusk is falling earlier; * Overall failure means that when the PCs arrive at their destination, the shadowfell has already started to encroach on the town/homestead/other civilisational element that the...
    57 replies | 2258 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 10:22 PM
    Most of my 4e play has been at levels/tiers well above darkbard's, but rituals to allows safe rest - since upper paragon, that's been Hallowed Temple - are valuable to the players/PCs, because as a general rule I take the view that "resting" in the Underdark or the Abyss doesn't enable any sort of resource recovery.
    57 replies | 2258 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 01:43 PM
    Thanks for the pro-tip. What makes you think that my players would declare "We take Roland to a hospital" if they were on a planet lacking any sentient life? Or indeed were somewhere where they couldn't readily ascertain the presence of hospitals?
    239 replies | 6590 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 01:38 PM
    The same point I made upthread applies: this is not in general true of RPGing. Eg you won't find anything in Classic Traveller that states or implies that a GM has this power. Nor in Moldvay Basic. Just to pick two examples. I don't think you have a very good handle on the advice to Classic Traveller referees in Books 1 to 3, nor on the advice to B/X and 4e GMs in the core books for those...
    239 replies | 6590 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 01:20 PM
    Why can a mage or godling not forge armour that is as tough as the "natural" hide of a dragon? This is possible in AD&D, and in 4e, but not in 3E. What is going on with dragons in the fiction of that edition? To me it makes no sense at all.
    415 replies | 11212 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 11:27 AM
    I don't think that the 20-50 bandits encounter is a particularly big problem for 4e - the same devices that are used to manage this in classic D&D (negotiation, evasion tables, etc) can be used in 4e, mostly mediated via the skill challenge rules. But my own view would be that procedural-driven play probably doesn't bring out 4e's strongest features. Or another way to think about it would be:...
    486 replies | 116255 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 09:46 AM
    There are many reasons why I'm not very keen on 3E, but one of them is that sometimes it wants to be gritty/simulationist (eg skill rules; combat manoeuvres; casting spells from the back of a moving wagon) but other times it wants to be classic gonzo D&D (eg basic combat rules; the fact that under normal conditions casters never have trouble with their magic; healing rules). A related issue is...
    415 replies | 11212 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 09:34 AM
    I don't think I agree that simulationism is inherently flawed - though if it was what I wanted, I'm not sure that I'd use GM decides as my method for achieving it! I think that some RPG mechanics attempt to provide resolution procedures for use at the table that map onto causal processes that are occurring in the shared fiction. For instance, in Classic Traveller if you try to do a funky...
    415 replies | 11212 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 09:09 AM
    Says who? Here is the quotation from Gygax's PHB (p 22) and DMG (p ), which makes it clear that the player of a paladin of 4th level or up can declare the action of praying for a warhorse: At 4th level - or at any time thereafter - the paladin may call for his warhorse . . . it will magically appear . . . When the paladin reaches 4th or higher level, he or she will eventually call for a...
    239 replies | 6590 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 08:50 AM
    These things seem to be in contrradiction: if the GM is going to decide where the group can or can't be found, then it's not true that the group can potentially be found anywhere on the map - unless you mean that the potential is there until the GM decides otherwise; but from the player point of view that's not a very significant form of potential.
    239 replies | 6590 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 08:48 AM
    Fair enough. I see the roles of the GM and of NPCs, and see the nature of the GM's relationship to NPCs, as being rather different from the roles of the players and the PCs, and from the relationship between these latter things. One obvious difference in most systems is that players are under very different constraints in allocating mechanical capabilities to their PCs than are GMs. (This...
    239 replies | 6590 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 08:08 AM
    As I've often posted about, I find doing overland travel well a challenge (of my GM skills!), including in 4e. The issues I have with some standard approaches are: * Extra combats can be boring, and I don't like boring as the penalty for failure; * Getting lost or similar stuff can have the same problem of being boring; * Fatigue or similar sorts of numerical penalties can produce a...
    57 replies | 2258 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 03:39 PM
    Well, 2*4 = 8, which is approximately a surge value for this PC, and is also the typical damage for a Level 1 monster, which is in the ballpark range for the things 2nd level PCs encounter. It's a long time since I've played 4e at that level, and when I did the party had rather limited access to Leader healing and was using a lot of self- or paladin-triggered healing (which doesn't have the...
    9 replies | 363 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 10:52 AM
    My only comment is that the failure for the profit from setback is really brutal! Maybe make that (SE), or (until you spend a HS)? That should still introduce some tension and frustration.
    9 replies | 363 view(s)
    0 XP
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About DMZ2112

Basic Information

Date of Birth
December 21
About DMZ2112
Introduction:
28-yr DM ISO chat, pbp, or pbem playing opportunities and players for weekly short game
About Me:
My name is J, and I’m a male human in my late 30s. I’m True Neutral (dedicated, not unaligned). I’m a career dungeon master -- this will be my 27th year of running campaigns through every edition of D&D since Basic D&D, and Pathfinder -- but I’ve been challenged to play the game more, to broaden my perspective, so I’m trying to get my name out there. As a long-time dungeon master, though, asking someone else to run for me feels self-important. I apologize for my audacity.

I’m looking for a traditional, "old-school" campaign, something that would be called a ‘sandbox’ today, but I think we just thought of them as ‘D&D campaigns’ back in the ’80s. A game where there’s a cohesive, persistent setting with wilderness and plot lines throughout (and plenty of dungeons and dragons), but where the players decide which unknowns to explore, which plots to tackle, and in what order.

I’m looking for a game where it’s understood that the rules provide important structure to the story, and things like encumbrance, overland travel speed, and the supply of iron rations are taken seriously as realistic controls on character action. I want to play with players who think of the rules as strengthening the game, not as something to be beaten.

A long-running game with some history seems most likely to meet these requirements, but I would also like the opportunity to begin at 1st level. I’m not picky about how the campaign handles character death; I would like it to involve some kind of level penalty but I also think it should embrace continuity through protégés or other NPC relationships.

Fundamentally, I want to earn everything my character has. I want to start with nothing, build a fortress at name level, and fulfill an epic destiny. I want my character to have a life outside the dungeon, and develop relationships with both PCs and NPCs.

If this game were to surface, I would play it in any system or setting. I have a preference for the polish and depth of 5th Edition D&D and Pathfinder, but I would learn or relearn most anything for this opportunity.

I'm fine with text or voice chat, and I'd even consider video for the right group. I prefer a shorter game that meets more often (I find two hours every week to be ideal), but the only thing I really can’t do is play for more than four hours out of every two weeks. Evening or late night Eastern time is ideal but I have some flexibility. Play-by-post or play-by-email are also options.

If you’re not running a game like this, but it sounds appealing, let me know. I’d be willing to share (read: <50%) dungeon mastery responsibilities for the right group.
Location:
SE PA, USA
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Male
Age Group:
31-40
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If you can be contacted on social networks, feel free to mention it here.

Google+:
zoshakjm
Twitter:
dmz2112
My Game Details

Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

Town:
Uwchlan
State:
Pennsylvania
Country:
USA
Game Details:
I am the coordinator and primary gamemaster for the Lodge, an online tabletop club based in the Midatlantic US. We are currently looking for three new members. We have six standing members between 30 and 40.

The Lodge has an informal interview process, but all genders, ages, and experience levels are welcome -- our only restriction is that you must be friendly and looking to have a good time around the gaming table.

We meet every week on Monday from 8:00-10:00 Eastern and are generally involved in long single campaigns to enable complete story arcs, detailed setting exploration, and satisfying character development. We are currently playing a 5th Edition D&D campaign set in a homebrew setting.

Games we have played in the past include D6 Space, WH40KRP, Pathfinder, nWoD, Shadowrun, and 2nd Edition AD&D.

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/\/\/\/\/\
The dungeon master is not a god. Gods are NPCs.
----------->
"I think it all began when some sages started talking of the World Tree,
and were allowed to go on doing so. Madness, sheer madness.
Give me the Great Wheel, and I know where I stand."
~Lord Snelgarth, Ed Greenwood's The Herald
\/\/\/\/\/

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Town:
Uwchlan
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Pennsylvania
Country:
USA
Game Details:
I am the coordinator and primary gamemaster for the Lodge, an online tabletop club based in the Midatlantic US. We are currently looking for three new members. We have six standing members between 30 and 40.

The Lodge has an informal interview process, but all genders, ages, and experience levels are welcome -- our only restriction is that you must be friendly and looking to have a good time around the gaming table.

We meet every week on Monday from 8:00-10:00 Eastern and are generally involved in long single campaigns to enable complete story arcs, detailed setting exploration, and satisfying character development. We are currently playing a 5th Edition D&D campaign set in a homebrew setting.

Games we have played in the past include D6 Space, WH40KRP, Pathfinder, nWoD, Shadowrun, and 2nd Edition AD&D.
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Sunday, 9th October, 2016

  • 10:57 PM - ghabrel mentioned DMZ2112 in post 4e to 5e Balhannoth Conversion
    DMZ2112 Thank you again for keeping up the dialog. I do really appreciate it. So here's an updated stat block. I'll respond afterwards. Balhannoth Large Beast Aberration CR 23 (50,000 XP) AC 19 HP 802 (24d20 + 280) Spd. 20’ -----Attributes----- Str 29 (+9) Dex 27 (+8) Con 24 (+7) Int 8 (-1) Wis 20 (+5) Cha 3 (-4) -----Abilities----- Skills Insight +12, Stealth +15 Senses blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 15 Languages Deepspeech Armor Natural Proficiency +7 -----Special Abilities----- Flailing Tentacles The balhannoth has six tentacles. If attacked directly, they have an AC of 17 and 61 (8d8 + 24) HP. If reduced to 0 HP, the tentacle is severed or otherwise neutralized (damage done to individual tentacles never applies to the balhannoth at any point). A neutralized tentacle takes a full day to regenerate, and cannot be used until then. Tentacles are never affected by area of effect attacks or spells. The...
  • 09:16 PM - ghabrel mentioned DMZ2112 in post 4e to 5e Balhannoth Conversion
    DMZ2112 Thank you very kindly for responding; I was getting antsy. Now let me go in order... I did add some stuns. I can understand how those could be excruciatingly frustrating... Opportunist was actually a direct grab from 4e. I don't remember 4e clearly enough to remember what combat advantage was back then, but I almost didn't include it because I didn't think it would be getting it often. That was before I transferred Reality Shift, and I wasn't even thinking about the advantage from stun until you mentioned it. In all honesty, I completely made up the slam and throw attacks. I may have gotten a little carried away. It made sense to me that getting chucked into a wall by a giant, aberrant slug might knock you out. I'll reconsider that. I never know what to give monsters as reactions. I even made some doppelganger variants with the Reactive feature (may make a reaction every turn), but didn't give them any special reactions. Any pointers you could give me there would be much appreciate...

Tuesday, 20th January, 2015

  • 12:13 AM - Hussar mentioned DMZ2112 in post Dragonlance Reflected in D&D5
    DMZ2112 - the only issue I might have with your KoS progression is that by making the switch at 4th level each time, the character never gains that second attack until 13th (total) character level. That's a pretty bit thing to delay for so long. I'm playing in Raunalyn's Dragonlance campaign using his Knight of Solamnia rules. I was thinking of switching into paladin with my fighter, but, then I realised that if I did that, I lose out on that second attack. It might be better to keep KoS as a single fighter class. Just my 2 cp

Tuesday, 9th December, 2014


Wednesday, 29th October, 2014

  • 08:55 PM - Mercurius mentioned DMZ2112 in post How do you think "Epic" play will work (if at all)?
    DMZ2112, I see you saying two things: 1. You don't like the use of the word "Epic" for high level play (with large numbers), even to the point of calling said usage "disingenuous." 2. You'd prefer that WotC focus on epic-as-adjective rather than Epic as high level, ramped up numbers. Again, I don't disagree with you that Epic shouldn't simply be larger numbers. As I said in my last post, I'd like to see more of a toolbox approach so that DM's can pick and choose what high level elements they want to use. I think you could also include a section on how to make a story more epic, that is, giving it a grand and heroic vibe to it. But whether or not the equation of Epic = high level/big numbers is right or wrong, it is what people associate it with, and how WotC has used the term - both in 3E and 4E. We'll see what they do with 5E, but you might have to accept that for the last 15 years, Epic = high level.

Tuesday, 16th September, 2014

  • 11:43 AM - pemerton mentioned DMZ2112 in post The Multiverse is back....
    ...ecially because you cut some of my text, so what you quote is not a sentence.) Are you asking what I meant when I referred to "the way that the 4e mechanics are put into service to make the setting work"? If you are, then here are some answers: the use of the "leader" mechanics, inspirational/non-magical healing, and power sources to smoothly eliminate PCs who draw power from the gods; the use of inherent bonuses to handle the relative absence of bonuses from magical items; the introduction of themes - in effect, expanding the paragon path and epic destiny mechanic into the heroic tier - to handle background, including psionic wild talents, as something separate from class. Are you asking why I am not sure that I actually want to use Dark Sun for roleplaying? If you are, the answer is the one I gave in the post you quoted: I don't see how Dark Sun easily incorporates the sort of player protagonism that I enjoy in RPGing and that I think 4e's mechanics are oriented towards. As DMZ2112 said, it's about "doom by status quo".

Tuesday, 27th May, 2014

  • 05:46 AM - Tovec mentioned DMZ2112 in post Archsuccubi
    Its not about the Manual of the Planes, its about the MM, which will be out this year, and there will be at least a page, maybe more devoted to the Succubus especially now that she is not just a single creature type, but a whole Catagory. Plus its just a personal guess, but I'm betting Malchanthet will be in the Succubus section as an example of an Archsuccubus. Maybe others as well, or other types of Succubus. Plus fluff on the Succubus' new ecology, and backstory. They are not going to wait to begin exploring the planes for the manual of the planes. I agree with DMZ2112. I think they should definitely keep that kind of thing out of the core books. Succubi are excellent creatures to put in a Monster Manual, they really are. WotC can also probably get away with making them "Any Evil" by whatever system they're using to define this. But it is a storm they don't want to walk into blindly as soon as the put Malcanthet and the word Devil or the word Demon anywhere near each other. And worse if they put neither title to her, I think. No one really cares about the minor other archfiends, they're not the big names that people are going to recognize and adhere to. If you saw.. Levistus as a Demon for some reason that would cause a lot of problems and more than a little bit of pain, but no where near as much as seeing Asmodeus to be the king of all Demon-kind. But this can be avoided to some extent. I've been advocating for such separation for months (years?) now. Have the default succubi, label it as a fiend. Don't specify how it fits in or what type of fiend ...

Thursday, 8th May, 2014

  • 05:51 PM - Scrivener of Doom mentioned DMZ2112 in post Anything new on release dates? (As of May 8)
    DMZ2112: It is strange that we only have conjecture at this point considering we are but three months away from GenCon. But I am sure WotC knows what they are doing.... fjw70: Thanks for solving that mystery: I think it did come out of a vague or even faulty recollection of the Pax East panel. :)

Saturday, 12th April, 2014

  • 03:47 PM - Plaguescarred mentioned DMZ2112 in post Dragonlance Lives
    DMZ2112 - I have the 3.5 Dragonlance Campaign Setting, my players just didn't play much 3rd. And it didn't see print for 4E. So it will be fun to see support again for DL.

Saturday, 29th March, 2014

  • 11:42 AM - Omegaxicor mentioned DMZ2112 in post Help Improving "fetch" quests
    @nomotog wow, I hadn't thought of that, I don't know that hiding the ingredient in the gears of a trap will end up as a success, I imagine my players wandering around looking for it...FOREVER :P @ MichealSomething the second link seems a bit redundant, since it appears in the video, but that is great, I might borrow that quest for the future. @DMZ2112 I like those ideas, particularly being attacked by other people who want the item, I think I need to decide on the ingredients to decide what else I can add around them Thanks everyone, I'll have a think and hopefully come up with a good idea EDIT: I have tried everything to get "MichealSomething" to link but it doesn't

Tuesday, 11th March, 2014


Wednesday, 8th January, 2014

  • 09:58 PM - Grogg of the North mentioned DMZ2112 in post Dungeon crawls = narrow hallway combat & door jam combats, ugh!
    I agree with DMZ2112. Combat is noisy. Have either monsters in the room the PCs are fighting at circle around and attack from behind or have monsters from unexplored rooms come join the fun! Nothing will scare the pants off your wizard than a big nasty undead walking up behind him and draining his life force away. If you can, throw an incorporeal undead into the mix. Have it float through the fighters and go right after the casters. Or if there are intelligent undead, like wights, have them attack and retreat, leading the PCs into an ambush. You can even give them ranged weapons. Lastly, have a door completely barricaded shut from the side your PCs are on. Chances are they'll want to see what's behind it. After they pry of the barricade and open the door, they can find a tentacled eldritch abomination from beyond space and time. It reaches out, grabs someone and drags them off to a time and place unknowable to mere mortals. Your group may or may not appreciate that. :P

Friday, 13th December, 2013


Friday, 22nd November, 2013


Thursday, 17th October, 2013

  • 04:57 PM - I'm A Banana mentioned DMZ2112 in post Wandering Monsters: The Little Guys
    Basically what you're saying here is that YOUR IDEA of a goblin should trump everyone else's. I want a D&D game where everyone's own idea of what a goblin should be trumps everyone else's at their own table. So Pathfinder fans can have fun with funny little sadists. And DMZ2112 can use his own goblins. In fact, if they follow 4e monster design principles in that there is a math gospel (something I'm pretty in favor of), it should be pretty easy to do that: altering statblocks should be no problem.

Monday, 30th September, 2013

  • 05:04 AM - Challenger RPG mentioned DMZ2112 in post 7 Advantages to Retelling your Adventures
    @DMZ2112 : I couldn't agree with you more. I never read that particular interview with Gary Gygax (sounds really interesting) but it's something he would say. Also, it makes a lot of sense. I'm also, first and foremost, a storytelling GM. I really enjoy writing, creating adventures, and the retelling of tales of adventure. I think the embellishment of the game after the fact is just as important as the role-playing going on during the game. In fact, I'm sure many times the game was just played as the players themselves would act naturally, but many things developed afterwards in the retelling. It's interesting you should mention it because I recall one game I ran at a convention where a few people were really 'forcing' themselves to act as their characters and the whole effect was a little bit odd. You almost get better game-play when people don't quite worry so much about properly portraying their characters and let the characters develop naturally as part fictions and part reflections of th...

Tuesday, 24th September, 2013

  • 09:23 PM - Cadence mentioned DMZ2112 in post Kender are a core race?
    ...potential DM had a reasonably strong picture in their head of the basics of the campaign world the story will be set-in? In that case, if the player suggests a race and rationale for them being in the world, and the DM still can't see it, is saying no arrogant on the part of the DM or just part of job they volunteered for? (e.g. a Kitsune ninja in an Egyptian themed game, a Dwarf Cleric in a human only world with a specified pantheon, ... ) These are all D&D creatures, and belong in D&D. There is no such thing as setting-exclusive. If it's a good idea for your games, you crib it. If it's not, it's not hurting you by being there. And since no one is making you play a kender, or use them at your table, it's not hurting you to let someone else play them. In a way, aren't all D&D creatures "setting-exclusive"? If your campaign world doesn't have some race (humans? elves? dwarves?), I wonder if having them integrated throughout the core rule-book would be kind of annoying. As @DMZ2112 notes in post #33, the rule book sets up default expectations in the player's heads. With extra races you are in the position of having to tell them what limitations your world is operating under instead of presenting it from the positive side of all the wonderful opportunities they have. For me, having Tieflings and Dragonborn and whatnot in the 4E PHB's is part of what gave me a bad first impression of that edition... out of the gate it announced "we're not going to line up with traditional-D&D, get over it". I'd like the traditional classic core races presented as being the standard ones that usually pop-up (but check out your DM's campaign notes!). Having one other race from each of several settings presented in the core book as "hey, look at these cool ideas to expand the basic world (and go buy some campaign books!)" would be fine by me too. And having all the extra ones from 4E listed as "other popular races that may be in many campaigns" seems reasonable to me for inter-ed...

Monday, 23rd September, 2013

  • 03:58 AM - Challenger RPG mentioned DMZ2112 in post How to Teach a GM to be a Player?
    ...y kind of embarrassing seeing as I'd begged everyone to play, but I just couldn't keep my focus on the game. Throughout the 5 hour session, I was a 0-level farmer the entire game forced to be a servant to a crazy old wizard. Apart from failing miserably at the basest of tasks, I wasn't really allowed to do much. I guess you could say I was spoiled by playing 1st level heroes all the time, and that it was a great role-playing opportunity. However, there wasn't even a single battle in the entire time I was playing (and I'm still 0-level in that game as far as I know). The other players enjoyed themselves immensely so it must have been just me. Mishihari Lord: Kudos on trying not to be 'that guy'. I think most good GMs try to do the same, but it sounds like you've succeeded. I'm not sure I actually agree with the advice in the column, as most of it has basically been used to try to keep me in line as a player. However, thanks for saying some of it was helpful (if not the premise). @DMZ2112 : Well, I guess I agree and disagree. To some extent I agree that a GM needs to have a tough skin to do his job. Some of my players say they'll never GM me as a player, but that can make it hard for them to GM games. I know I might not be the best player, but if we work together (and not against each other) I think the only way to pull it off is to keep trying. If you just quit, you can never succeed. The part where I disagree is with the points in the article being perfectly valid. I know I'm the one who wrote it, but they were mostly tactics used on me by other GMs. I guess I may have come up with a few of them myself, and it's good to know they can be helpful. Also, it's interesting you should say they can be used against other kinds of player entitlement. I'd never thought of that, but it's quite true. *** Thanks for the great comments, everyone! I'll definitely be passing on this info to some players-turned-GMs. I really like the idea of giving the former GM administrative ...

Saturday, 13th July, 2013

  • 03:24 AM - pemerton mentioned DMZ2112 in post L&L 1/7/2013 The Many Worlds of D&D
    On the issue of "creation" vs "destruction", and "expansion" vs "invalidation". This depends heavily on whether one cares for the tone/theme/resonance of a story element, or what one might call its "procedural" details. For me, fusing the Shadow Plane (as characterised in quotes in my previous post), the Glooms of Hades and the Negative Material Plane does not invalidate anything, but rather validates the theme and tone of these elements, because (to borrow DMZ2112's phrase) I no longer have to come up with ad hoc and unsatisfying reasons why two thematically near-identical things are really two. It's only if I'm focused on procedural matters like which spells work in which plane, or the fact that shadows (from the Plane of Shadow) suck STR whereas wraiths (from the Negative Material Plane) suck levels, that the diference between these elements has any significance. For someone coming from my perspective 4e is validating of the D&D cosmological tradition. That's why I thought when I got it, and still think today, that Worlds & Monsters is one of the best D&D books I own.

Wednesday, 26th June, 2013

  • 12:35 AM - Balesir mentioned DMZ2112 in post Legends and Lore 6/23: System vs. Content in D&D Next
    One thing I had in mind when I asked my question about short rest flexibiity is spell duration. I haven't looked through the latest spell packed with durations in mind, but I was thinking that durations of 10 minutes, 1 hour etc become 1-encounter buffs or multiple encounter buffs depending on how long a short rest takes.If they are intending to make rest durations and such variable, this sort of spell/effect duration seems unnecessarily bothersome. DMZ2112 is dead right when he says that the "game time" duration of rests is irrelevant; all that really matters (for game play) is what you can get done in them and what effects outlast them. Making spell and effect durations fit with exploration system "turns" and short and extended rest lengths seems like a no-brainer, to me - and then the easiest way to enable variable rest length with that is to make the durations for rest-y stuff "one short rest" or "one extended rest".


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Friday, 31st August, 2018

  • 06:35 AM - MostlyHarmless42 quoted DMZ2112 in post Dragonlance Reflected in D&D5
    I'm still not really comfortable about telling players, "You can specialize in this kind of magic or be this alignment, but not both." The elephant in the room here is evocation. There are no white robed war wizards? That poses all kinds of questions. In previous editions, Wizards who specializes in Evocation or Conjuration could be any of the three colors. Black robes were Necromancy and Enchantment, Red robes were Illusion and Transmutation, and White robes were Divination or Abjuration. There may have been restrictions on those who wished to take the prestige class, though that was up to the DM. To be honest? I would strongly reccomend you keep the knight orders and wizards as nothing more than backgrounds or a feat choice at most. Designing a bunch of subclasses is a large time investment and frankly doesnt even accomplish much in terms of actual gain for the game. If you really feel the need to restrict stuff, do the following: Crown knights: any fighter Sword knights: cleric ...

Sunday, 3rd June, 2018

  • 08:08 AM - Derek Alford quoted DMZ2112 in post Do You Think Spare the Dying is a Problem?
    Spare the Dying improves PC survivability, but rather that it returns them to combat as an afterthought, leaving the cleric still free to take a standard action in the turn (which could be used to heal the risen PC further). You seem to be mistaken healing of any sort gets them out without the need of Spare the Dying (which takes an action the same as 3.5 standard action). All healing word dose is auto pass a medicine check to stabilize leaving the target unconscious.

Sunday, 27th May, 2018

  • 11:13 PM - Blue quoted DMZ2112 in post Clerics of Life: Broken, Bad Design, or Working as Intended?
    And throughout it all, the Cleric of Life just kept healing. He didn't run out of healing options until the bitter end. In general, the party's resources were depleted by the time the last echo of steel on steel faded away, but everyone was on their feet. How did the cleric do for the other 5-7 encounters in the day? If the answer is "the party didn't have 5-7 more encounters that day", then you really have no comparison to evaluate. The #1 point I hear about encounters being easier than expected has to do with characters with daily resources who get to use them in just a few encounters. It is an often repeated myth that harder encounters offset this correctly, I can reiterate those arguments if you are interested. If the cleric had one encounter, and the foes were hampered by the environment from using their full abilities, then running low near the end actually represents an underachiever who never would be able to handle their share of the load in a full adventuring day.

Saturday, 22nd October, 2016

  • 05:48 PM - Parmandur quoted DMZ2112 in post Ed Greenwood's 'Death Masks' and Greyhawk
    Did somebody say [Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker]? I actually really enjoy Neverwinter (the MMO), but you do need to take a step back and acknowledge that it is trying to capture the feel of D&D without actually using any of the mechanics. It was based on D&D4 and even then the rules translation was pretty loose. Also you need to not get caught up in the lockbox economy. The occasional store purchase is not the end of the world, considering that the game is free otherwise, but if you get sucked into the Pokémonesque companion and mount collecting all is lost. As for Planescape being the default setting, I'm not sure I agree. I own all of AD&D2 Planescape, and was really into it once upon a time -- the "core cosmology" of D&D5 is definitely based on those ideas, in the same way that Planescape itself was based on the ideas of the AD&D1 Manual of the Planes, but it's had three editions to evolve through. The only clear reference I've seen to Planescape since 2000 has been th...

Saturday, 8th October, 2016

  • 09:47 PM - Mirtek quoted DMZ2112 in post Ed Greenwood's 'Death Masks' and Greyhawk
    Can you point to this happening outside of a Dragon or Polyhedron article? Well, first of all those were fully canon. Beyond that it's mentioned in various sourcebooks (e.g. The Code of the Harpers mentioning that Elminster and Khelben may be often not available to be called on due to being on Oerth or Krynn) and other novels (the Lost Gods trilogy started with a FR novel, book 2 was a DL novel and book 3 was a FR novel again with the main protagonists from book 2 having teamed up with the FR party from book 1). For Duty and Deity is an adventure bearing the FR label but dealing mostly with Grazzt and his realms and mentioning Iuz and Iggliv a lot. It's also written somewhere, can't remember where, that Elminster is the reason why Fistandandilus is staying away from Toril and that Mordenkainen and Khelben hate each others guts.
  • 08:23 PM - flametitan quoted DMZ2112 in post Ed Greenwood's 'Death Masks' and Greyhawk
    Someone's going to have to explain to me how Mordenkainen is a nod to Curse of Strahd. Does he appear in that AP? Yep. He was driven mad in a fight against Strahd. The players can help him recover, and he's also a valid reading for "Who is your ally against Strahd?"

Monday, 18th January, 2016

  • 01:52 PM - TwoSix quoted DMZ2112 in post [UPDATED AGAIN!] CURSE OF STRAHD Will Be Available March 15th
    Brace yourselves, though, we are totally getting young, hot, tormented, sparkly Strahd von Zarovich. Oh man, if this adventure makes the party pick between being Team Strahd and Team Random New Werewolf Character, they can't take my money fast enough!
  • 07:13 AM - pukunui quoted DMZ2112 in post [UPDATED AGAIN!] CURSE OF STRAHD Will Be Available March 15th
    It's good to have this confirmed, although after Tyranny of Takhisis ... Wizards hasn't been shy lately about appropriating non-FR IP to promote FR ...Sigh. One more time: Tyranny of Dragons is *not* Dragonlance dropped into the Realms. There's actually a lot of Realmslore behind it, going back at least as far as the 90s, if not even farther. The *only* thing ToD has in common with the War of the Lance is the plot to bring Tiamat/Takhisis into the world. In all other particulars, the former bears no resemblance whatsoever to the latter.

Saturday, 2nd January, 2016

  • 06:15 AM - Tanarii quoted DMZ2112 in post Clerics of Life: Broken, Bad Design, or Working as Intended?
    Little bit of thread necromancy here, but it turns out this discussion is not over in my head. It turns out that everything I've described up until this point in the thread has been wrong, at least insofar as I didn't realize the quantity multipliers were a thing. I just noticed them last night. If you include the multipliers, the numbers are even more off, and encounters get even easier. What are other dungeon masters' experiences with this system? Do you find that the combination of XP budget and quantity multipliers is giving you accurately challenging encounters? Even accounting for the size of my party (eight PCs) according to the guidelines in the RAW, a x3 multiplier for 11-14 enemies seems egregious.You probably should have started a new thread linked back to this one. Folks aren't likely to notice this post, with a new question, many pages into to the post and made a year later. Unless they do what I just did, and read the entire thread through in one sitting. :p IMo the force ...
  • 12:46 AM - derickmoore25 quoted DMZ2112 in post Clerics of Life: Broken, Bad Design, or Working as Intended?
    Agreed! You have to be careful when you build encounters with that many enimes the encounter xp system isn't designed to figure more then 20 enemies. So you can't accurately calculate difficulty the encounter multiplier increases evwry 3-4 monsters. If I had to guess I'd say that encounters multiplier fore figuring difficulty should of been between 10-15
  • 12:34 AM - FormerlyHemlock quoted DMZ2112 in post Clerics of Life: Broken, Bad Design, or Working as Intended?
    Another question I'd be interested to discuss is this: if the Cleric of Life is working as intended, and we agree that it provides the whole group with a CR multiplier, what is that multiplier? I have yet to run a group with a Cleric of Life in it, but I've run groups with Lore Bards, who are actually much better healers than Life Clerics. My informal observation is that healing magic is never indispensable (since HP is only a second line of defense; it's almost always better to spend movement than HP) but it is useful, especially for groups with high AC. The value of healing is essentially tied to how many rounds of enemy actions it negates, which is high for someone like an AC 23 Paladorc (with Shield for AC 28) or an AC 21 Bladesinger with Blur up, and lower for someone like a Recklessly attacking AC 16 Wolf Barbarian or other DPR-focused character. (Yes, damage resistance helps, but generally IME it just offsets the Reckless bit, and damage taken per round is still high.) For a truly op...

Thursday, 10th December, 2015

  • 04:51 AM - Remathilis quoted DMZ2112 in post It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like RAVENLOFT
    You are assuming Strahd and Barovia are not divisible from the Ravenloft setting and this is unfortunately not true. Expedition to Castle Ravenloft makes almost no mention of the Ravenloft setting at all. Expect to see Strahd, yes. But speaking historically, the presence of Strahd does not indicate the Ravenloft setting, even in products published after the setting was established. But they just recently reestablished Barovia is a demiplane in the shadowfell in the DMG. Twice. The truth is, Strahd IS Ravenloft, and they have explicitly spelled out where Strahd is. Therefore, Ravenloft = Strahd = Barovia = demiplane in the Shadowfell. They are not dropping Barovia on Faerun, they aren't doing another domain lord, and they aren't using a dollar-store Strahd clone when the real one is available for brand purposes. The only thing stopping this from being certain is the notion that they could just do something else with undead as baddies completely unrelated to anything Ravenloft altogether.

Wednesday, 9th December, 2015

  • 11:11 PM - Benji quoted DMZ2112 in post It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like RAVENLOFT
    The dev team does love their celebrities these days. /That/ is a little disappointing, because frankly we need another rehash of I6 like we need a stake through the left ventricle. I really love what's been produced so far but if I had one gripe, it's this. A new unknown villain that represented a new addition to the D&D mythos could be badass. But instead we've already been told that, for example if we get to Greyhawk it'll be Iuz. SO any ravenloft AP- no mystery, it'll be Strahd & maybe Soth (they might save him for Dragonlance). Eberron's gonna be The Lord Of Blades Or Vol. Another Adventure will no doubt have the Devils. Yet for my money, the most interesting Villain of the 5e era so far is Vizeran. A (as far as I know) original creation.
  • 06:00 PM - Alzrius quoted DMZ2112 in post It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like RAVENLOFT
    As a big fan of Planescape and a believer in the Unity of Settings, they should certainly exist, but I'm not sure how I feel about the assertion that portals out of Ravenloft are as common as portals in. That sounds like the Dark Powers lying down on the job. At the very least I would expect that the keys to portals out of Ravenloft are an order of magnitude more esoteric (and far more demanding of personal sacrifice) than those for portals leading in. I don't think that anyone was positing that Ravenloft has Planescape-style portals to Sigil that lead out of the demiplane (unless I missed something earlier). The scan showed earlier was simply saying that portals out of Ravenloft can and do exist, but that's about it; it flat-out mentions that most of those are going to be impermanent in nature, which is sort of a nod to the whole "weekend in Hell" theme that the setting originally had. Even those that have "requirements" to open strike me as being an excuse for the sort of "near-impossib...

Sunday, 15th November, 2015

  • 08:02 AM - FormerlyHemlock quoted DMZ2112 in post Fantasy Grounds Now Offers Free Trial; Plus D&D 5E Basic Rules Now Included In All Licenses
    No, that's true. It's also not their fault that their Wizards licensed products (specifically) are so expensive. But I'm not calling SmiteWorks out over their "free trial," or even over their VTT-required implementation of the D&D5 DLC. I simply stated that none of it is targeted at my demographic, because of the aforementioned paywall. I have dispersed my criticism in an appropriate forum in the vain hope that someone who /is/ responsible will see it and take it under advisement. Is that not what we are doing here? Screaming into the void? What makes Enworld (owned by Morrus) the appropriate forum for communicating with WotC? It looks more like thread hijacking than appropriate communication. It might be more effective to contact WotC directly. Call (425) 226-6500. It will be a better use of your time and of Enworld readers' time.

Wednesday, 11th November, 2015

  • 10:15 PM - Umbran quoted DMZ2112 in post Onyx Path: Business As Usual... For Now, At Least
    Paradox can't be worse. It can always be worse. Sparkling Ventrue My Little Gangrel Toreador Primogen is Bob Ross Malkavians. No need to change that. :p And so on.
  • 08:46 PM - Dire Bare quoted DMZ2112 in post Fantasy Grounds Now Offers Free Trial; Plus D&D 5E Basic Rules Now Included In All Licenses
    Come on, Morrus, show some perspective. I'm not asking for a free-to-play D&D5 digital solution. I'm asking for a D&D5 digital solution that is /only/ a D&D5 digital solution, and not also an expensive VTT. That's a paywall -- being forced to pay for something I don't want in order to get something I do. Fantasy Grounds' ludicrous pricing scheme for largely irrelevant bells and whistles are not the source of my frustration; they merely salt the wound. SmiteWorks is providing a tool that isn't to your needs. That doesn't mean their pricing is "ludicrous" or that D&D 5E digital is being held "hostage". It simply means that this isn't the product for you. Happens every day, man. WotC has hinted that they are looking into other options into bringing 5E digital solutions to the table, when and if that happens, and what those future packages will look like is anyone's guess, they might not meet your needs either. Even with the awesome new free trial deal, I haven't bought into FG yet ...
  • 08:25 PM - Morrus quoted DMZ2112 in post Fantasy Grounds Now Offers Free Trial; Plus D&D 5E Basic Rules Now Included In All Licenses
    Come on, Morrus, show some perspective. I'm not asking for a free-to-play D&D5 digital solution. I'm asking for a D&D5 digital solution that is /only/ a D&D5 digital solution, and not also an expensive VTT. That's a paywall -- being forced to pay for something I don't want in order to get something I do. Fantasy Grounds' ludicrous pricing scheme for largely irrelevant bells and whistles are not the source of my frustration; they merely salt the wound. I don't think it's FG's fault that you don't want a VTT! They're a VTT company.
  • 08:10 PM - Mirtek quoted DMZ2112 in post Fantasy Grounds Now Offers Free Trial; Plus D&D 5E Basic Rules Now Included In All Licenses
    What I am interested in previewing is the forthcoming DMG DLC that apparently includes new tools,There's an upcoming DMG DLC for FG that will work without FG?
  • 07:54 PM - Dire Bare quoted DMZ2112 in post Fantasy Grounds Now Offers Free Trial; Plus D&D 5E Basic Rules Now Included In All Licenses
    Unfortunately this does nothing for me. I /know/ I don't want to spend money on a Fantasy Grounds license. I am not interested in previewing (or using) the baseline VTT functionality. What I am interested in previewing is the forthcoming DMG DLC that apparently includes new tools, and, to a lesser degree, all of the D&D content. I am glad that digital D&D5 books will exist in some form, but I do not appreciate them being held hostage behind a truly massive paywall consisting mostly of software I will never use. Hostage, huh? Those bastards! I say we storm the SmiteWorks Keep to free the hostages! How dare they charge for the work they've done creating those tools and inputting all of that data! I mean, I could do that for free . . . . over the next decade or so . . . .


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The Halfling Horde (Levels 7-9; Old Tower]
The Halfling Horde is a Dungeons & Dragons Next adventure for four to six characters of 7th through 9th level. The adventure involves a nomadic horde of halflings coming into conflict with a town, Round River, newly founded in their sacred grounds. ...
14576 0 1 Saturday, 1st March, 2014, 04:14 PM Saturday, 1st March, 2014, 04:14 PM

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