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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:01 PM
    But AbdulAlhazred was, in two posts that you replied to: You quored the last para of each of the above posts in your replies. And those paragraphs are clearly about OA. And AbdulAlhazred is correct that the success chances for NWPs in that book were very low.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:34 PM
    AbdulAlhazred was talking about OA non-weapon proficiencies, which are not based on stats but ratherhave proficiency-specific success numbers. And as AbdulAlhazred said, the success numbers are high (eg for Horse Riding, it's 18+ on a d20).
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:10 PM
    I think a skill system can handle this pretty well. The key feature of skill resolution rather than spell resolution that Hussar is pointing to is (i) the need to engage the fiction in action declaration and resolution, and (ii) the lack of auto-success. You can get those features while allowing high level PCs to do things with their skills that are superhuman in capability.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:51 AM
    They all tend to define the character in terms of mechanically-rated abilities to perform certain tasks. They all tend to approach resolution in a fairly granular, "Did my attempt to do that work?" fashion. (D&D hp-attrition combat is an exception, but (i) it tends not to be generalised by D&D players to other spheres of action, except in 4e - skill challenges - which seem to have been rather...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:46 AM
    I don't know much aboug FUDGE, but I can report that Fate Core (at least the version I have - blue cover with a superhero/cyborg ape and (I think) someone in a white/grey overcoat) does have a skill list. It's a pretty generic one.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:12 AM
    This goes right back to the OP! Absolutely. I don't get this idea that "different" = "narrower", or that "GM curated experience" = "caters to/generates a wide range of experiences". For instance: if player X wants to play Fate, and player Y wants to play Moldvay Basic, a game in which the GM curates Ideals/Bonds/Flaws for X, while rolling wandering monsters for Y, isn't giving either of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:02 AM
    I don't think the latter is system-independent at all. Compare Manbearcat's example of DitV, where the system establishes a relationship with the PC's brother; or In a Wicked Age (that's on my mind befause I GMed a short session of it not too long ago) which establishes interlinked and conflicting "best interests" for each character (PC and NPC). Ie not system-independent. OK, replace...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:45 AM
    I thought it was fairly similar to you. That was what I was trying to get at; and it seemed similar to CoC in that respect (insanity in CoC rather than death). This seems broadly similar to Umbran on Dread: it is known that some crisis will occur (the collapse of the tower => PC death; the need to confront the PC's brother); but there is uncertainty around when/how this will happen (until...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 09:37 AM
    I've never played Dread, but have read quite a bit about it. Looked at through the lens of Baker's blog post, I want to say (as you do) that we all know that the Jenga tower will eventually collapse, if enough pulls are made. So the suspense is not in relation to the outcome, but rather in relation to what might be achieved or avoided prior to that outcome coming about. (I would say that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 08:57 AM
    But isn't this a bit like Vincent Baker's example of Babe? We're pretty sure, aren't we, that Ingrid Bergman will survive - so what exactly is generating the suspense? That's not to object to the sorts of reveals (and cut scenes?) that you mention in your post, only to wonder more about how they're related to the generation of suspense. Another issue has to do with making a RPG work - which...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 08:55 AM
    I'm not sure how this generates suspense - especially if it is predictable! I can see that it might generate tension - "Is my PC going to die as a result of this?" - but that in and of itself, without more, doesn't seem to generate suspense (eg if the player can just bring in a new PC of roughly the same functionality, then what cost has been paid?).
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 08:45 AM
    Burning Wheel has stated GM's principles, and also duties that govern "the sacred and most holy role of the players". From the rulebook (Revised p 268; Gold p 551 - the text is the same in both editions): In Burning Wheel, it is the GM's job to interpret all of the various intents of the players' actions and mesh them into a cohesive whole that fits within the context of the game. He's got...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 02:49 AM
    Suppose we have established a goal. (Maybe the players choose this. Maybe the GM reads them the blurb on the back of the module cover and the players agree to run with that.) Probably the GM, or the module, provides a starting point for doing something that might contribute to that goal. Suppose that the players (via their PCs) engage that starting point and fail. How do we now respond to that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 02:11 AM
    Probably. You could probably also do the same with the Fighting Fantasy system (three stats: Skill, Stamina and Luck), in so far as you can frame the challenge, make checks to resolve them, and find out what happens. I don't think this shows that the play experience of Fighting Fantasy closely resembles Traveller (or D&D). I'm running the 1977 edition with some MegaTraveller inspired mods...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 01:43 AM
    Campbell, Manbearcat and chaochou have good advice when it comes to PbtA. This thread also has some useful ideas.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 01:04 AM
    Tony Vargas, if you really think that skills in 3E/PF are capable of carrying the same heft in play as they do in Classic Traveller (where they are the whole of the PC sheet) then I guess there's no arguing it with you! To me it seems obvious that, in 3E/PF, the main way of resolving out-of-combat challenges is not the skill system but the magic system, with the skill system acting as...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 11:21 PM
    But what have you got in mind? Eg what sorts of structures for framing challenges will lead to choices to buy victory? For example, how do you establish stakes or buy-in?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 01:51 PM
    pemerton started a thread Suspense in RPGs
    Here's an old blog post from Vincent Baker's website: A Small Thing About Suspense I have no criticism cred to back this up. Just amatuer observations. So kick my butt if you gotta. Suspense doesn't come from uncertain outcomes. I have no doubt, not one shread of measly doubt, that Babe the pig is going to wow the sheepdog trial audience. Neither do you. But we're on the edge of our...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 10:22 AM
    In the episode of play I referenced, skill checks (or abilities gated by skills, like driving a speeding ATV out of a starship hold to assault a base) were at the core of the action. But D&D doesn't give you PCs who are centrally defined by skills. The closest it gets to this is the classic Thief class, but that itself is a pre-determined bundle of skills. So D&D simply doesn't permit an INT 2...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 02:57 AM
    I GMed a session of Classic Traveller a bit over a week ago. The action included: * An untethered space walk to force open an external hatch into a ship's engineering section - in mechanical terms, this tested Vacc-Suit and Mechanical skill; * Coordinating two assault teams within the spaceship, one coming upthrough the engineering section and the other through the main elevator - in...
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 11:44 PM
    Why are people freaked out? Pathfinder 1E has a dozen conditions too.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 04:09 AM
    Some posters seem to be arguing that a sorcerer is not comparable at DPR than a fighter because it is better off spending spell resources doing other more interesting stuff. I don't follow that argument. If a sorcerer can match, or come close to matching, a featless fighter in DPR, and is better off doing other more interesting stuff leaving the DPR to the fighter, that seems to show that a...
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 07:01 AM
    A Gunslinger/Monk in Pathfinder
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 11:52 PM
    Considering the reaction to 4th Edition, it very well may be.
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 10:01 PM
    Earth is an E6 world.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 09:03 AM
    I'm not Campbell, but here's my take: he's not just talking about theme (colour, flavour); he's talking about actual game play. As soon as the experience depends on the GM trying to provide this experience - eg by making certain choices within much broader (or even non-existent) constraints around world-building, encounter design, establishing scenes, and resolving action declaraions - then...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 03:59 AM
    When I said "a lot of D&D play" I didn't mean (necessarily) a lot of your D&D play. I'm talking about how various tables approach the game, rather than aspects of the game at any given table. I think there are plenty of tables (what proportion "plenty" equals can be an exercise for the reader) where beating the module is the game. And where the characters (as more than game pieces) and plot are...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 02:27 AM
    A lot of D&D play isn't about having a story. It's about the players beating the adventure using their PCs as the vehicles for doing that. It's a type of wargaming variant - like freeform wargaming (and unlike boardgames and some wargames), the fiction matters to adjudication and can be "played" directly by a skilled player without the need for mechanical mediation; but unlike a wargame each...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 02:17 AM
    I ran a time travel scenario in my 4e game, and also ran an encounter with Ygorl, who in 4e is travelling backwards in time from the end of the world.
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 01:24 AM
    Is it magical to kill six guys with two knifes in six seconds? Kill something the size of a condo? Stab through stone? And that's before magical weapons and spells.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th June, 2018, 02:59 PM
    Traits are obviously related to the stuff in my post just upthread. As you present them they seem a bit like Aspects in Fate: compels, or benefits. How do they feed into framing and conflicts?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th June, 2018, 01:08 PM
    Is it OK to get hyper-analytical? (If not, disregard what follows!) I've been reading, and doing some play of, Vincent Baker games: In a Wicked Age a couple of weeks ago; Murderous Ghosts with my kids (the required PG aspect given the other player really dials the game down, but it's interesting to see the mechanics - a card-driven, choose-your-own adventure variant of PbtA - at work); and...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th June, 2018, 12:56 AM
    At least as it has played at our table, the pull is most of the point of it - that's how you achieve lockdown. So having the autopull become an attack vs Will is doubly bad: (1) it undermines the function of the power (at least as I've experienced it); (2) it is a concession to the view that martial PCs can never have auto-success abilities while casters can.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 11th June, 2018, 02:33 PM
    The errata to CaGI, which replaced auto-pull followed by an attack with an attack vs Will to pull and damage, was (in my view) the worst manifestation of post-Essentials capitulation to critics of 4e. The point of CaGI is to allow the fighter to do his/her thing and pull in his/her foes. The damage is secondary.
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th June, 2018, 08:58 AM
    The Bard is defined by their music of course! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20sIhZLVJR4
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th June, 2018, 06:23 AM
    Because your parliament is unicameral. Australia is fairly distinctive in combining Westminster parliamentary government with strong bicameralism.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th June, 2018, 06:22 AM
    You're thinking of getting into Australian public affairs?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th June, 2018, 03:40 AM
    I'm a constitutional lawyer in Australia. I don't think NZ constitutional law is very different from Australia's or the UK's (which I also know pretty well) in these respects. It's not the Queen's job to stop fascist governments. And dissolving parliament other than on the advice of the PM would itself constitute a coup. Some people describe the 1975 crisis in Australia in those terms, but it...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th June, 2018, 03:24 AM
    Right. There are a few posters in this thread who seem to be arguing some other point, from some other thread, but not actually engaging with the OP's claims.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th June, 2018, 03:07 AM
    So I'm reading and replying in order, and so came to this after posting my reply to Warpiglet. I didn't follow our link but think, but I think I know where it goes to!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th June, 2018, 03:01 AM
    Thanks! The shoving etc is a good point, although in some campaigns might be a little bit boutique - so probably a bit table-variable. I think this is close to TwoSix upthread.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 03:06 PM
    Unless things are very different in New Zealand from what I've heard, the prospects of a police or miliatry-led coup would be close to zero. And the Queen would not endorse it were it to happen. (I'm not sure that she would reject it either. She might stand aloof, as she did during the constitutional crisis in Australia.) The Queen's role is to appoint the Governor-General on the advice of the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 11:34 AM
    Aren't there evil gnoll rangers somewhere in the 3E or 4e canon?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 11:32 AM
    I had a quick look through your adventure. I'm personally not a big fan of the sort of pre-established story structure that you have adopted, but at your table that may be the norm for adventure design. You seemed to have some side quests that would most naturally be framed as skill challenges, but they didn't seem to be framed that way. You might want to look at that. Even some aspects of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 11:22 AM
    I'm not sure what makes a foreign trade boycott more "organic" than a domestic fight for liberation. I don't think there's a lot of historical evidence that it produces less bitterness either.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 11:18 AM
    Check the date stamps: I discovered that other thread after reading this one, and posting that maybe you're responding to some other thread. Having read some of that thread, my point remains: pointing out that Charm Person can be a strong strategy for a caster tells us nothing about (i) the role of fighters, or (ii) whether fighters without feats are underpowered, or (iii) whether fighters are...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 11:13 AM
    I can't second guess your experiences (for obvious reasons!), but I am faithfully reporting what Mearls said. I have tried to find links but have failed to Google up an archive of his Legends & Lore columns - maybe they all got deleted when the WotC site changed? He said that sales of the Essentials Red Box were good, but that retention was low. I don't get that first sentence of yours. D&D...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 11:12 AM
    Here is the OP on that particular point: The OP is not dismissing the increase to AC from using a shield. The claim is that using a shield leads to a drop in DPR disproportionate to the benefit gained. (Maybe that claim is wrong. Maybe the Shield Mastery feat makes up for it. But that is a completely different argument from the claim that the OP is dismissive of increases to AC.) Here...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 09:56 AM
    I already posted something along these lines. In my case, apparently it's a sign of being an out-of-touch white room theorist. I was going to engage in some white room speculation that you must be a white room theorist too; but then I read a post (presumably sent by someone sitting in a room of a different colour?) that confirmed my speculation in a completely non-white room fashion!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 09:17 AM
    I'm not sure what "organic" change you are envisaging in lieu of the US Civil War. When reconstruction was ended, the "organic" result was Jim Crow. Jim Crow was ended by a mixture of popular struggle (I'm not sure if you count that as organic or not) and exercises of federal government power. To the extent that the current US Supreme Court has wound back the Voting Rights Act, that seems to be...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 08:46 AM
    I'm not sure I've properly understood your point here. I'm not seeing how GM-player relations factor into the question of what sort of advice (including perhaps refusing to answer requests for advice) does or does not make for a healthy D&D community.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 08:43 AM
    Black Panther doesn't have an all-Black cast. It has a pretty well-known white British actor in a pretty major role. Whether that's a good or bad thing is probably something on which opinions differ. I'm also pretty surprised to find defence of the Polish "anti-defamation" law in this thread. I don't think that current trends in Polish politics and government are very helpful in thinking about...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 08:23 AM
    I'm another poster who doesn't think this is a problem. In a Cortex+ Heroic Fantasy campaign I'm currently GMing, one of the PCs is a 14 year old child (I think of ambiguous gender) - a soothsayer and conjurer. Many other posters have pointed to pre-modern norms as providing the surface level narrative justification for this. And the real justification is that it's what your player wants to...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 08:06 AM
    That's how it sounds to me too. I don't think players are always obliged to have their PCs cooperate; but actively thwarting is one step further along that path, and though I'm not against that either, as such, there's a time and a place. What you describe just seems like it was poorly conceived and executed by A and the GM.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 07:54 AM
    I don't agree with this at all. Reading Dragon magazine - including Forum letters, which were the early-mid 80s version of a message board - helped me a lot in learning how to approach RPGs.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 07:48 AM
    Either? Both? I imagine ENworld comes up fairly easily on any sort of Google for 5e advice. So it's one important community. It's not the whole of it. Are you saying that 5e players are already pushing for a highly GM-curated experience and hence driving out wargame-type players? Sure. But suppose someone posts saying, say, "Ever since my group saw what a GWM fighter can do damage-wise,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 07:39 AM
    AbdulAlhazred, you need to fix your tables in that post!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 07:31 AM
    Who knows what loyalty rules were being used by Rob Kuntz back when this PC sheet was typed up! But in the AD&D loyalty rules, it's not that hard to have a fanatically loyal henchman even with only average CHA. Where CHA comes more into its own, even if henchmen aren't that important to a particular table's style of play, is in affecting reaction rolls. But that assumes that reaction rolls...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 03:21 AM
    To follow on from this. I don't agree with CapnZapp that there's some sort of moral imperative of the sort you describe. It's WotC's prerogative to publish what it wants to publish (within the bounds of good taset etc) and if that happens to include broken elements, well, that's how it is! But I think the community response is a bit different. The community, if it wants to remain healthy and...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 11:43 AM
    I agree with this. It's the same reason I didn't like the design of Power Attack in 3E. It's a purely mechanical oddity of D&D that it has both an attack roll and a damage roll. (Contrast, say, HARP or Burning Wheel which have only a single roll; or Rolemaster as an intermediate case because there is a crit roll but the crit table is determined by attack success.) Hence these "penalty to...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 08:26 AM
    Here's TwoSix's maths: Die A rolls something. For dice B and C to both roll something different (hence no doubles) is 5/6 * 5/6 = 25/36. Hence the chance of a double with A (or a triple) is 11/36. Suppose that die B is different from A (that is a 5/6 chance). Then the chance that C is the same as B is 1/6. 5/6 * 1/6 = 5/36 chance of doubles that are different from A. The total chance...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 08:03 AM
    I've been re-reading Maelstrom Storytelling. I've got three versions of the rules: the original volume; the revision in the Dacartha Prime supplement; and the paired-back Story Bones version. (That last one can be downloaded for free from DriveThruRPG.) As well as challenges (which it calls "rolled scenes") and interludes (which it calls "open scenes"), it allows for checks made in the course...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 04:55 AM
    And that's not a claim that DPR is king. It's a claim about the failure of those archetypes to contribute to play in their main dimension of (possible) contribution. If someone (you? some other posters?) think that the main contribution a fighter makes to the game is not damage, or some other combat function (like damage soaking or avoidance) that is at least commensurable with damage, then...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 02:38 AM
    I don't agree with this. Mearls wrote a lot during the 5e design period about 4e's inability to retain new players: that lots of new players tried it, and had some fun with it, but didn't stick with it. He attributed this to various things, but the two I remember are (i) marketing complexity (the "wall of books" thing), and (ii) PC build complexituy (the number of choices needed to build a...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 02:32 AM
    The OP clearly starts from the premise that combat capability is the main thing that "martial" PCs bring to the table. That is not an assertion that DPR is king. (If someone said that buffing is the main thing a bard brings to the table, and then argued that bards are overshadowed by cleric buffing, would anyone suppose that that poster is saying that "buffing is king"?) To repost myself:
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 01:55 AM
    Tony, your slightly contrarian posting style has left me a bit confused on this occasion. I can't tell if you're agreeing with me or disagreeing. I was talking about a play group focusing on DPR in their play of the game. Given how many tools the game gives them to play with in that particular arena; and given the long tradition of playing D&D as a wargame; I don't see how theycan be faulted...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 01:45 AM
    The OP is not about "DPR is king". (It neither affirms it, nor denies it.) It does take for granted that the main mechanical function of a fighter is to deal damage in combat. I don't think that's hugely controversial as a generalisation (a frequent criticism of 4e, after all, was that it had "fighters" whose main mechanical function was not to deal damage in combat). I've sblocked sections of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 01:30 AM
    Would you accept the assertion that this is atypical for D&D? (Given that a SRD guard has 11 hp, and a SRD mage has 40 hp, the number of potentates with 6 or fewer must be rather modest.) An exception of course would be 4e, where a skill challenge to "minionise" the target would be de rigeur; but 5e doesn't have any minion rules (because they are unrealistic, and don't "feel" like D&D).
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 01:24 AM
    Tony Vargas's post seems accurate to me. But even suppose that the OP and the OP's group did have DPR as their main concern. What would be wrong with that? It's obvious that balance in damage dealt is an important design consideration for 5e (there's no other reason why the spells no longer have the canonical damage ranges, but rather have all these weird damage expressesion, like a fireball...
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 12:50 AM
    What's your view as to the number of concealed knives a knife-thrower can carry, draw and throw? If a typical 5e combat last 4 rounds, and the fighter takes an action surge as well, that's 5 knives needed to make it through on combat (before we get to any bonus action posibilities). Do you think a character can have five concealed knives on his/her person? In any event, I'm happy to hear...
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 12:38 AM
    I've read the whole thread. No poster that I read said that "damage is king". (Sacrosanct has me blocked, but I doubt that he said that damage is king.) About 70 posts in you posted the following: So may be all this Charm Person stuff is a response to some other thread?
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, 02:37 PM
    Fair enough. But I still don't see how it bears upon the topic of the thread. How does the fact that (some, maybe all) casters have a high degree of flexibility and diverse capability in the way that the engage encounters, which makes their DPR a potentially secondary concern, help show that they're not overshadowing featless fighters, at least in some cases (sorcerer and warlock were the two...
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, 02:29 PM
    I guess I don't think it would be out of place, in an action movie, for a ninja to throw half-a-dozen knives or shurikens at everyone in a room (which is a rough approximation to the "blast 3" AoE of Blinding Barrage). If it was Bullseye or Daredevil (neither of whom is magic) then it would be a single dagger or other object ricocheting from target to target! I think that ability can also...
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, 11:04 AM
    Here is one of the Charm Person posts (post 80-something upthread): This seems to be a response to the OP ("threads like these"). But the OP isn't a complaint that Charm Person is useless. (Maybe the OP believes this - I don't know. But it is not asserted in this thread.)
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, 10:27 AM
    You're not talking about a different decade. You're talking about some projected fantasy world.
    334 replies | 11896 view(s)
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, 06:25 AM
    May I suggest reading through the friction first thread first if you haven't already?
    42 replies | 1421 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, 02:16 AM
    That's a particularly nice point in a post with many good ones.
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, 01:53 AM
    That's generous of you - thank you. The flipside to this is that we also have assumptions that defy all normal assumptions about gravity - eg dragons can fly, giants dan walk and run, etc. I would say we have certain tropes. These include martial artists who are just as dangerous with their bare hands as a dragon is with its bite. I think there is room in those tropes for a deadly knife...
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, 01:30 AM
    I agree with Tony Vargas that this is an odd combination of claims. How many individuals on a battlefield ran around fighting dragons, armoured soldiers, etc using bare-handed martial arts? Yet 5e has monks, and you don't seem to have an issue with that. How many individuals on a battlefield defeated dragons, soldiers etc by stabbing them in the kidney while they were distracted fighting a...
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, 01:09 AM
    Are difference in damage dice for weapons, or in feat support for weaon categories, key thematic differences? A knife thrower is going to be carrying many knives, probably in a bandolier. Those are not going to all be hidden. Moreover, the OP is not complaining about the viability, or otherwise, of a knife-wielding assassin in a courtly intrigue game. It's clear, from having read many of the...
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, 12:50 AM
    I'm just following the OP's lead. I think the point about classes is an important one. Maybe the knife-thrower should be a rogue? But this also creates tensions with Oofta's point. If it's true that a thrown knife does a lot less damage than an arrow from a longbow, then why - when a rogue uses a thrown knife - does it do so much more damage than a fighter's longbow? This is one of...
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, 12:49 AM
    What is THE game? What is a player going to talk about and drawn upon, except his/her experiences? What is wrong with building a PC aimed at dealing damage? Or, to move from question to assertion: telling a player who says that (i) I'm interested in the damage-dealing aspect of the game, and (ii) the system produces some wonky results when I focus on that, that (i) was a mistake, seems...
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th June, 2018, 09:35 PM
    Anyone here play the DDCRPG? The magic user class is totally different! Every time you cast a spell, you roll on a chart to see what the spell does!
    120 replies | 3855 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th June, 2018, 01:56 PM
    Balance can mean an equal chance at doing well. Rolling ability scores can be one form of this, although generally this sort of balance assumes there will be replays. Rolling dice for stats is probably better for one-offs or short campaigns than long, multi-year sagas.
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th June, 2018, 01:43 PM
    But clearly it's feasible to have it be more or less balanced. Eg if Agonising Blast is OP, it is possible for it to be different from what it actually is. (2nd ed AD&D introduced damage caps on spells like Fireball that weren't part of 1st ed AD&D. Presumably this was an attempt to increase balance.) Hiding weapons is probably a marginal thing, especially as a knife thrower is (premsuably)...
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th June, 2018, 01:30 PM
    This doesn't seem to be an argument in favour of the gap. It's an argument that it doesn't matter, isn't it? This also doesn't seem to be an argument in favour of the gap. Rather, it seems to be an argument that it can't be elminated. Btw, what "flavourless" games do you have in mind? I don't know what elements and complexiities you have in mind, partly because I'm not sure what RPGs you...
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th June, 2018, 01:19 PM
    I don't think the superhero metaphor really helps. What I think the OP is saying is that - when it comes to building a damage-oriented character - the game has dominant strategies (eg great weapon, hand crossbow) that crowd out others (eg knife throwing). This claim may or may not be true - on its face it seems plausible to me, at least at a table which plays with a reasonable degree of...
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th June, 2018, 12:58 PM
    A number of posters have pointed out ways in which spell casters can contribute to the game otherwise than by dealing damage. That is true - in fact, I would have thought it is quite uncontroversial (even if someone thinks damage is better, still it's obvious that charming a bandit king contributes to the game). But that doesn't respond at all to the OP's concerns that fighters and other...
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
    1 XP
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About DMZ2112

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Date of Birth
December 21
About DMZ2112
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27-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.
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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 8:30-10:30 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 TSR's Planescape setting.

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

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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 8:30-10:30 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 TSR's Planescape 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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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 . . . .
  • 07:28 PM - Morrus quoted DMZ2112 in post Fantasy Grounds Now Offers Free Trial; Plus D&D 5E Basic Rules Now Included In All Licenses
    I do not appreciate them being held hostage behind a truly massive paywall I love this new way of describing selling things. Holding them hostage behind paywalls! :)


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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. ...
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