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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 08:18 AM
    In case anyone wants to merge this mighty discussion of science in D&D and fantasy with another recent one: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?649157-A-discussion-of-metagame-concepts-in-game-design/ - it starts around post 450.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 07:31 AM
    My understanding is that they wanted the land, and were prepared to drive other people away to get it. That's what happened - to varying but in all cases significant degrees - in Australia, in the "white highlands" in Kenya, in South Africa, in New Zealand. What their moral and political theory was that allowed them to justify this to themselves varied from place to place and epoch to epoch....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 07:28 AM
    Double post deleted.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 07:11 AM
    But once the connection between scenario prepration and prep is severed, what is scenario creation? It's just the GM playing the game! And what does it consist in? Establishing shared fiction for the players to engage via action declaration for their PCs!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:48 AM
    I don't follow the second paragraph. What doesn't qualify as what? RPGing involves playing the fiction. You keep emphasising the scenario, as if some sort of prep is crucial, when it's one feature of some RPGs. What all RPGs have in common is a shared fiction, which matters to resolution, and which the players can play directly (eg "My guy kicks in the door!" "My guy swims across the river!" -...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:42 AM
    If the biggest number on my PC sheet is some form of fighting, and what I (as my PC) want is to befriend someone, then I have a reason not to use my biggest number. Etc.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:00 AM
    It is possible to design and/or run a game in which players don't always want to bring their biggest numbers to bear. As the OP suggests, "fail forward" adjudication can support this. Burning Wheel combines that with an advancement system that requires facing some impossible challenges. In my experience, it is possible to establish situations in which players (playing their PCs) will...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:54 AM
    Shall we test this with a "damage on a miss" thread?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:53 AM
    Some people narrate it as a mis-aimed strike, fumble, mis-step, etc. It's had to envisage a typical kobold parrying or shield-blocking a solid blow from a 20th level fighter!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:22 AM
    It's left pretty thin in classic D&D, also - which takes us back to playing and adjudicating the fiction.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:07 AM
    Relatively few spells require attack rolls. And even for those that do - does anyone narrate a miss with a Firebolt as "You failed to conjure up your flame"? Or is it understood to mean that the target dodged the bolt of fire? Similiarly, if someone is saving for half damage, that indicates that the spell was successfully cast (you don't need to jump out of the path of a fireball if the mage...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:58 AM
    We use the standard rules: 1 use per tier, pus 1 per milestone, capped per item as per the item's description. Because the players are in charge of the bookkeeping, I wouldn't be surprised if on the odd occasion the actual usage (per day more likely than per item) has exceeded the permitted usage.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:48 AM
    Dispater - good question! At most tables, for an archer to succeed in an archery contest would require a check or attack roll of some type. But likewise, at most tabes, for a caster to succeed in casting a spell does not require a check or roll of some type. Some people will say "It's magic! So it works automatically." But that doesn't explain why the non-magical parts of the process...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th August, 2018, 10:22 AM
    OK, I think I missed that! But that seems more some sort of infelicity of drafting. Or perhaps "spell" has a technical meaning - eg you can dispel the main effect, but you can't dispel the gentle drifting because its not a spell effect in the technical sense.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th August, 2018, 10:20 AM
    Well, it's not expressly stated in the scenario notes. But it's implicit in the idea that the PCs are knights, some of whom might be taken on as mercenaries. This is the sort of thing I mean by "playing the fiction" - it's pretty core to a RPG, I think. But at the appropriate level of abstraction, that is me making moves as a referee. If I don't make those moves, then I agree nothing happens....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th August, 2018, 04:45 AM
    Hussar, apparently there is no escape! (Though I can sympathise with the need to take a break from marking - thus was many an ENworld post born!) I'll have another go too - this claim, as you are presenting it, is not true. Here's a description of a Traveller first session that I actually played. No scenario creation in advance of playing the game. (I'd rolled up a couple of worlds in...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th August, 2018, 04:03 AM
    Your examples make the point, though - does heckling a performer and throwing a tomato at them count as "encounter mode"? And for clarity (and with a shoutout to Garthanos), I've got nothing against RPG mechanics that are based around scenes, including different sorts of scenes - I GM MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic, which uses a contrast between action scenes and transition scenes to manage the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 6th August, 2018, 11:57 AM
    Jus looking at those two spells, Fire Ray has better range and deals a ranged touch rather than ranged attack. And 1d6 + Stat will frequently be better than 1d10.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 6th August, 2018, 07:28 AM
    Having your Wind Walk spell end (an ingame event that your PC is fully aware of) because you entered "encounter mode" (which is a purely at-the-table event about mechanics) seems pretty meta to me.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 6th August, 2018, 12:55 AM
    PF2 has a core notion of "encounter mode" which I think is pretty metagame/"dissociative".
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th August, 2018, 02:42 AM
    I don't disagree too much with TheCosmicKid's post not far upthread. He has school kids doing science, I have them learning to do science. Kids in music class whose recorders are out of tune are probably not making music in my view, but they're learning how to make music. In reply to Lanefan: repeatability is a key element of science, and is importantly related to systematisation and...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th August, 2018, 02:20 AM
    Why would you be sure of that? It seems like a silly idea, and independenty of that, as a proposition about me, has no evidentiary foundation in anything I've ever posted. In any event: I'm sure that some people think that toddlers in art class are producing art. I tend to think they're learning some techniques that some people can use to produce art. That's not to say that calling it "art...
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Saturday, 4th August, 2018, 08:08 PM
    Well at least some of the EnWorld stuff IS in a physical book format.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 4th August, 2018, 04:03 PM
    Middle school science projects can model or deploy the scientific method, but (at least in my experience) they generally are not science - they don't contribute anything to human knowledge. They are training exercises. I don't really know what you mean by "subjective", as it is a term you deploy quite liberally! The question of what counts a science isn't always straightforwardly...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 4th August, 2018, 03:34 PM
    Apocalypse World is pretty well regarded, and not that hard to learn. (It's the original game that led to "Powered by the Apocalypse" games like Dungeon World, Spirit of 77, etc.)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 4th August, 2018, 03:20 PM
    This seems like the sort of thing that would also be more likely if you haven't played a range of systems. It's good to learn I'm not too out of touch with the times!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 4th August, 2018, 12:22 PM
    Agreed, but while they developed a practice of careful observation, I think the measurement and systematisation that are characteristic of science are missing. History tends to have a particularastic element that is at odds with science. That's not to deny that it is knowledge. Not all knowledge is scientific knowledge. Framing this in the language I have been using, this looks like a...
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Saturday, 4th August, 2018, 07:14 AM
    Did you know that EnWorld, the very forum you're reading right now, also publishes stuff for 5th Edition??? Go check it out!
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Saturday, 4th August, 2018, 07:09 AM
    This topic reminds me of the "boardgame" 504. You can pick different rules to use every game! https://www.shutupandsitdown.com/videos/review-504/
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 4th August, 2018, 07:06 AM
    Is it too soon to talk about dissociated mechanics? Quite a few class abiliites (ie feats) and spells seem to have triggering conditions (for activation; for dispelling; etc) of being in or entering encounter mode. But encounter mode is purely a metagame construction - so how can ingame phenomena, like a Wind Walk spell, or readying your bow to pick off enemies, have regard to it?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 4th August, 2018, 05:08 AM
    The weird thing is that the RPG community, and perhaps even moreso the D&D/PF community, seems to have a greater proportion of IT/engineering types than the general population, and outside of some indie-ish games shows rather little influence from the humanities or literary studies. Clear rules and 4e-style layout force a clear conceptual distinction between reality ("We're a group of friends...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 4th August, 2018, 01:47 AM
    Well, for what it's worth, I don't think this is just about manners. There's a small matter of usage - if everyone in his day described Joseph Banks as a scientist, and made him President of their most important scientific society for more than 40 years, it seems odd to deny that he is one. But there's also the issue of accurately describing a human practice. Science is a human practice...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 4th August, 2018, 01:23 AM
    darkbard - if we had constructive threads about useful techniques, then where would we find the time to argue that metagaming is not really RPGing! Garthanos - I don't think it would break the game to identify ways for fighters to have strong INT- or CHA-based skills. But I don't hae any suggestions on how to change the system to allow this. But as the game is currently structured, here is...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 3rd August, 2018, 11:21 AM
    The issue here, in my view, is not that RPGs require creation but that the two campaigns are probably using different systems (though perhaps both derived, more or less tightly, from the same commercially published product), and certainly have different expectations about what counts as a "proper" move. You've probably noticed that I rant against the use of metaphor to describe RPGing, and...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 3rd August, 2018, 10:49 AM
    My opinion of history is that it is not a science - it involves careful observation, but not measurement, and does not provide the sort of systematically ordered knowledge that science does. That's not to deny that historians provide knowledge - not all knowledge is scientific knowledge. That's also not to deny that historians can identify causal relationships - not all identification of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 3rd August, 2018, 05:47 AM
    It's doing the same sort of work as "per se" or "ipso facto". Eg hitting a ball with a bat is not per se sport, but it can be if certain other conditions are satisifed. If the other conditions are internal to the hitting of the ball with the bat, then we're talking about some instances of hittings, diestinguished by their internal properties and relations. The features I mentioned as...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 3rd August, 2018, 05:38 AM
    Thankfully I tend to find that's not an issue in my group. That's not to say that players don't look for approaches that can draw support from their bigger numbers, but if they really want a certain outcome, and the only way to get that is to do a thing their PC is not too good at, then they will have their PC try that thing. (This comes up most often in relation to the low-CHA fighter with no...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 3rd August, 2018, 02:28 AM
    What have you got in mind? Are you thinking of exposures/infections of soldiers and prison inmates?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 3rd August, 2018, 01:39 AM
    I'm saying that public health researchers don't go about spreading disease so as to perform experiments concerning population health. (I'm not talking here about experimenters who infect themselves, which happens from time to time.) That's not an experiment. It's careful observation and measurement. Those are not the same thing! It would be correct to say that correlation does not, per...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 3rd August, 2018, 12:44 AM
    But many wargames required decisions to be made about starting positions. I play an old Avalon Hill tile game (Mystic Wood) with my kids, and the first step in that game is laying out the tiles. The setup for some RPGs is more complex than for most boardgames, but that's a matter of degree. And of course you can play D&D without the GM-side set-up, by using the random dungeon and random...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 3rd August, 2018, 12:14 AM
    Sadras - i think you're trying to pile significance onto "chess variant" vs "adhered to all the chess rules exactly" that those terms won't bear, especially in this context. Playing in ignorance or (for an adult playing with the child) deliberate disregard of certain rules is not the same thing as not seeing that your opponent is setting you up. There's a difference between (i) not noticing...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 11:41 PM
    I've always thought an archer warlord.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 09:36 AM
    Self-ascriptions aren't always accurate, however, from the point of view of historical or social analysis.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 08:54 AM
    Because they're among the more complex of the rules for chess, and hence when you're teaching children you build up the complexity. (That seems very obvious, and so maybe not what you were asking for? Sorry if I've missed your point.) I've also played with adults who described themsevels as knowing how to play chess, but weren't familiar with those rules, because their grasp of the game never...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 08:40 AM
    I don't think the two compulsory skills is so important - it seems more an element of flavour and role formation, rather than going to the core "balance" of the system. But I still think that reducing a rogue's skills makes for a said rogue! In part I see the rogue, and also the skill training feat, as counterpoints to the oft-made claim that, in building a 4e PC, I can't prioritise...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 08:35 AM
    Thanks you! As well as the examples you point to (astronomy) we could point to aspects of biology (Darwin didn't do experiments - he made very careful observations and conjectured the best explanation for them given the constraints he took to be applicable) or demography/public health (no one goes about spreading diseases or polluting water supplies to try and determine the effect on life...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 08:25 AM
    That's not true. Kids who play chess will often not use en passant, or even castling. That doesn't mean they're not playing chess. Or to put it another way: the boundary between "chess" and "chess variant" is nowhere near as tight as you suggest. I've played cards with people who allowed reviewing the previously-played tricks. That's a house rule that (personally) I think undermines the fun of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 05:53 AM
    Maxperson, what do you think is the difference between "advice" and "prescription" in the context of a voluntary leisure activity?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 05:20 AM
    pemerton replied to Basic D&D
    X2 predates BECMI - it's for Cook/Marsh Expert - but yes, the basic elements of the system (PC builds and monster builds) are very similar. Which is no surprise, since they're different ways of codifying original D&D.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 05:09 AM
    By that measure, no game anywhere has a prescriptive rule. A book about chess can describe the many ways to play chess, set up the board, assign the moves to pieces, etc. That doesn't meant the the rules aren't prescriptive. They're not descriptions of anything. It's not as if there's some activity, chess, independent of the game rules, that we can set out to describe. Nor is there some...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 04:17 AM
    pemerton replied to Basic D&D
    I recently ran a session of Castle Amber (X2), but using my AD&D variant rules rather than B/X.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 04:15 AM
    Personally I've not seen any issues with the RAW approach to trained skills. But if I was going to push towards uniformity I'd rather level up than level down. A thief without Acro, Athletics, Stealth, Perception, Thievery, Bluff and Streetwise is a sad thief . . . and that's already seven, not six!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 04:09 AM
    I tend to think in terms of "encounters per day" rather than "encounters per adventure" - the encounter and the "day" (ie interval between extended rests) are fairly key concepts in thinking about 4e pacing, whereas "the adventure" is not (in my view). Here's one old actual play post (from when my game was in mid-Paragon): I don't run that many dungeons (neither in general, nor in 4e)....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 03:44 AM
    Don't ask me - I'm not defending it, just trying to explain what I take Ovinomancer to be saying. You can see my own suggestion as to how to think about what science is in some of my posts over the past page or two.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 03:42 AM
    And many woudln't call Byzanitum circa 1453 CE the Roman Empire.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 03:41 AM
    Maxperson, the quote from Mearls was "RPGs are distinct in tabletop gaming (and maybe in all of gaming) for being descriptive, as opposed to prescriptive, rules sets, and a lot of bad/misguided design comes from forgetting that." I've pointed to the fact that the rules sets do, in fact, contain clear prescriptions as to how to play the game. (Which is hardly surprising. Every other rulebook...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 03:31 AM
    I take it that, on the conception of science being promoted, it's not science until you have a total model of the biochemistry of heart attacks and of the chemistry of your medicine which allows a demonstration of the precise way in which it will affect that biochemistry.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 03:22 AM
    Scientific navigation is another example of correlation without knowledge of causation. Scientific navigation depends on knowledge about compass needles pointing north; about the motion of the sun in the sky; about the keeping of time by clocks. I don't think reliable clocks can be built without knowing quite a bit about causal processes within a bit of machinery; but the motion of the sun...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 03:11 AM
    Suppose someone does a series of experiments, dropping various objects various distances, and carefully measures the time they take to fall. Those resuts could be published as tables which might then be useful for various purposes That would be an example of scientific knowledge - careful measurment use to produce a systematic body of knowledge - which was not about the discovery or...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 01:28 AM
    On this I tend to go with Orwell in his essay on Newspeak. More words allows nuance, rhythm, assonance, alliteration, etc. It increases the expressive power of the language. Reading on, I see that Sepulchrave II has said the same in reply. Also, on statistics and causation: scientific knowledge isn't limited to knowledge of causal processes. Statistically confirmed correlations may...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 12:42 AM
    I said that, in a RPG, Those players' moves typically correlate, in some fashion, to things done by those fictional characters and take the fictional circumstances of those characters as an input into resolution. Second wind correlates to a direct event in the fiction - the character gets his/her second wind. And it takes fictional circumstances as an input: the character is not at full...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd August, 2018, 12:33 AM
    They're part of the game. And prescriptive. So are the rules for building PCs (determine these six stats; choose race; choose class; calculate various bonuses; etc). So are the rules for resolving ability/skill checks and saving throws. Optional rules aren't thereby non-prescriptive. If you opt to use the optional flanking rules, then those rules prescribe a certain circumstance in which...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st August, 2018, 01:03 PM
    I don't really get what Mearls is getting at. For instance, the rule in D&D that says an attack is resolved by rolling a d20 and comparing it to the AC that has been assigned to the target monster/creature doesn't look like it's a decription of anything. And it looks as prescriptive as any other game rule.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st August, 2018, 12:58 PM
    Reading this took me back to my posts upthread. You are describing a version of what I would think of as a conventional sandbox - the GM establishes elements, and (in your case) makes sure they have "story" attached that the players will engage via their PCs. Another way to get those elements with attached "story" that players hook onto is for the players to introudce them. Like your approach,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st August, 2018, 09:16 AM
    TheCosmicKid - are you a philosopher, or trained in philsophy of science or some similar field? (I have non-scientifically but also non-arbitrarily formed such a conjecture on the basis of your posts in this thread.)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 31st July, 2018, 11:16 PM
    The absence of disagreement about the nature of good, or moral truth, does not self-evidently prove (i) that these are not objective matters, nor (ii) that any candidate account or definition of them is not objectively true. Ratskinner mentioned consilience as a marker of knowledge. The absence of consilience in moral philosophy is relevant to the question of whether or not moral philosophy...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 31st July, 2018, 10:58 PM
    I don't think these things - structure and meaningful choice - have to be traded of against one another.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 31st July, 2018, 02:19 PM
    What is a language, if not its stock in trade of phrases? A simple formal definition of a language is a vocabulary plus syntax - and in the case of English Shakespeare contributed to both! If you're a strong Platonist who thinks that there's no such thing as inventing new mathematica techniques, or improving upon then, then I guess you would treat is a trivial consequence that science can't...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 31st July, 2018, 01:15 PM
    The claim that "good" is subjective preference is controversial. Obviously many ordinary people disagree. I would say that the majority of contemporary English-speaking philosopher think that good is objectively defined, either in some Aristotle-type human interests fashion or some Kant-type mutuality of reason fashion. When you add in those who deny objectivity but aren't subjectivists...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 31st July, 2018, 01:07 PM
    This struck me as odd. After all, I'd regard it as patently obvious that Shakespeare did make the English language better. How many expressions that are now commonplace originated in his works? And I'd be surprised if there's no area of mathematics that was not improved by its use in science - because improve in relation to maths can be taken in multiple ways I'm not sure if you would count...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 31st July, 2018, 09:59 AM
    I never owned Mentzer Basic, but did see a copy once at someone else's house. My first was Moldvay Basic. My copy came with KotB, but dark blue dice that needed to be crayoned. My Expert set, acquired not much later, came with light blue dice that also needed crayoning, but - I assume due to some sort of error in a factory - had 2 d10s and no d12. So my first ever separate dice purchase was of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 31st July, 2018, 01:07 AM
    Argument to best explanation is not Occam' Razor (though Occam's Razor may be an element in such reasoning). For a good treatment, which include discussion of the external world and other minds, see AJ Ayer's The Origins of Pragmatism - drawing especially on the work of the American philospher CS Peirce (who used the term "abduction").
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 31st July, 2018, 12:27 AM
    If I was going to explain RPGing to someone who was familiar with other games but not RPGs, I'd probably start by describing the piece and the way one makes moves or makes plays with it. BUt in any event, the topic is about defining RPGs, not about explaining them to beginners. It's often the case that the definition of something isn't easily accessible to someone whose never thought about...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 30th July, 2018, 11:54 PM
    The assertion that moral truth is a thing in the universe is contentious. "Thing in the universe" is not really a technical term, but if some form of meta-ethical expressivism of some form is correct, then it seems reasonable to deny that moral truth is a thing in the universe. The best argument I'm aware of that Sepulchrave II (and other minds in general) exist is a version of that developed...
    957 replies | 21569 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 30th July, 2018, 01:03 PM
    Which route? Nothing in the definition that I put forward has this implication. I said that, in a RPG, Those players' moves typically correlate, in some fashion, to things done by those fictional characters and take the fictional circumstances of those characters as an input into resolution. Metagame mecahnics frequenty take the fictional circumstances of a player's PC into account as an...
    169 replies | 3185 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 30th July, 2018, 05:17 AM
    Your best campaigns sound interesting, but I'm not seeing how they sit on any sort of continuum between two other ways of RPGing.
    69 replies | 1963 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 30th July, 2018, 04:59 AM
    What Eurogames have you got in mind that let you directly play the fiction - eg dig through the floor of the room you're in without that needing to be a mechanically defined move in the game? There are a billion-and-one games like this one that Maxperson describes - they don't involve authoring a shared fiction (at least as typically played), and even moreso don't involve playing the fiction...
    169 replies | 3185 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 30th July, 2018, 12:32 AM
    By this measure, my daughter's Monopoly set is a "game creation engine" because it has an optional rule ("speed dice"). I don't undestand on what basis you are saying X is a different game from Y, and why you think it matters to draw this distinciton in the way you're drawing it. Well, I've posted an answer to this two or three times already in the thread. It's not an answer I made up...
    169 replies | 3185 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 30th July, 2018, 12:22 AM
    If the GM decides at every point what the PCs do, that doesn't show the PCs lack (imagined) agency in the (imaginary) gameworld, but it would seem to indicate that the game is a railroad!
    69 replies | 1963 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 29th July, 2018, 04:01 PM
    That there are players with pieces who make moves is, I think, sufficient (even if not necessary) to make a RPG a game. This also helps distinguish a RPG from simply shared storytelling. That the pieces and the moves relate to, and are contributions to generating, a shared fiction is what helps distinguish RPGs from boardgames and wargames that otherwise have some pretty close resemblances to...
    169 replies | 3185 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 29th July, 2018, 03:20 PM
    A couple of years ago I backed the Prince Valiant kickstarter, which had the goal of getting Greg Stafford's other Arthurian RPG (ie the one that's not Pendragon) back into print. I'd heard of it but never played it. A year or so ago the PDF was distributed; the hardcopies turned up a week or two ago (Australian time). For the past year and more my group has rarely been fully quorate, but...
    0 replies | 185 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 29th July, 2018, 02:23 PM
    A discussion about cars vs trucks, that assumes there's no such thing as motorcycles - let alone (say) air, rail or water transport - might sometimes benefit from noting that those other possibilities exist out there, and that the discussion is not covering the whole of the field of motorised road transport, let along transport in general. Also,, these discussions suffer badly from an...
    69 replies | 1963 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 29th July, 2018, 02:14 PM
    Fair enough. But then I've lost track of your point. Yes, the start conditions for a game of Traveller are different for those of a hand of poker. But both are different from the start conditions for charades (to stick to games that might be thought of, at least broadly, as "parlour games") or for football or some othr sporting or athletic game. In this game of chess, so-and-so uses the...
    169 replies | 3185 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 29th July, 2018, 02:25 AM
    You roll on the random patron table. At a certain point someone has to make somthing up, yes. That's part and parcel of playing a game that has the authoring and retelling of ficiton as a core part of the activity. That doesn't make it cease to be a game.
    169 replies | 3185 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 29th July, 2018, 02:23 AM
    When a group of children play "families" or "houses", the roles they take on, the correlation of realworld surrounds to imagined places ("this couch is the bed; this box is the oven"), the permitted moves ("No! You can't go to sleep because we're playing daytime, not nighttime") are all highly variable and contextually settled, often through ongoing negotiation between the participants. ...
    169 replies | 3185 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 29th July, 2018, 02:17 AM
    What you suggest here doesn't seem to distinguish RPGs from a range of story telling games and imaginative play. For RPGs that follow the traditional model (GM and players) key additional, distinguishing features include things like player control over a particular element of the fiction - the PC - which is also the player's game piece; and something like a distinctive role for the GM in...
    169 replies | 3185 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 29th July, 2018, 01:24 AM
    In the ones I've run, the GM has established the menu by estabishing game elements. Part of the transition of those games - which have mostly been 8 to 10 year campaigns - from sandbox to "scene framing" has been in the shfiting of authorial control over salient elements of the fiction from GMto player.
    69 replies | 1963 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th July, 2018, 02:05 PM
    GMing would be no harder for a 17th century GM than a 20th century one. For all I know Gygax had never heard of the strong and weak nuclear forces, yet was able to GM pretty well by all accounts. JRRT certainly had never heard of nuclear forces when he started working on his fantasy stories (given the relevant dates), but seemed to do OK also on the world-building front. Common sense and...
    957 replies | 21569 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th July, 2018, 01:39 PM
    Mathematics in itself tells us nothing about the world. As Hilbert said, if you can't substitute "beer mugs" et al for "points, lines, et al" then you haven't got to the heart of the mathematical proposition (or something to that effect). Mathematical physics tells us about the world because it is anchored in measurement. The Ancient Greeks had excellent geometry, but they were able to use...
    957 replies | 21569 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th July, 2018, 01:22 PM
    Another way to look at it, then, is - who decides what is on the menu for character destinies? In a game normally described as a sandbox, that would be the GM.
    69 replies | 1963 view(s)
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About DMZ2112

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Date of Birth
December 21
About DMZ2112
Introduction:
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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zoshakjm
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dmz2112
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Uwchlan
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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 8:30-10:30 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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The dungeon master is not a god. Gods are NPCs.
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"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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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 8:30-10:30 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.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

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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DMZ2112's Downloads

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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. ...
13499 -1 1 Saturday, 1st March, 2014, 04:14 PM Saturday, 1st March, 2014, 04:14 PM

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