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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:50 PM
    How is knowing about trolls because I've played the game and/or read the rulebook the same as using my knowledge of real-world chemistry?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:44 PM
    It's never been obvious to me that the troll thing is a secret - because the first version of D&D I played was Moldvay Basic, and as per the instructions to new players I read the monster section. And I did the same when I got the Expert book. The idea that players who know about the troll weakness, but whose characters have never encountered a troll, would pretend to be ignorant about the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:09 PM
    I have not suggested, nor even remotely hinted, that the RQ text is insincere. I think it's compoletely sincere. And it doesn't say the same things as some posters in this thread have suggested is definitive of good roleplaying. Gygax's AD&D rulebooks talk about the importance of party composition, but they have no discussion of the idea that playing one's PC should be guided by considerations...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:04 PM
    What systems do you have in mind? I assume D&D. EDIT: Depending on system, killing a PC may be a consequence of failed action resolution on the part of the player; a framing device on the part of the GM; or sheer fiat narration of the fiction. Which it is is relevant to whether or not it constitutes sentimentality in action resolution.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:58 PM
    Nor am I. I'm responding to Maxperson's claim that it is cheating to (i) impute my knowledge of troll weaknesses to my PC, and (ii) to explain this, within the fiction, as stuff I learned from my dear old uncle. All "cheating" means here is that Maxperson doesn't like it. But he presents it as if it is something more. And his argument for the "something more" rests on a general critique of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:18 PM
    I highlighted the bolded bit only because surely a better choice would be to retire to the thermal baths.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:15 PM
    No he's not. In 2000, Ron Edwards wrote a very praising review of Hero Wars. In 2003, he discussed setting-based "story now" play, again putting forward Hero Wars as an example. In 2011, he wrote the "setting dissection" that I linked to upthread, that is, a fuller account of how to run setting-based "story now" games (unsurprisingly, HeroWars/Quest again figures as a prominent example). In...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:53 PM
    There is a point that may have come up earlier in this thread, or perhaps in another one - I remeber I was responding to Campbell - that I want to come back to: the role of GM sentimentality. In the campaign with the fox and the nobles and so on, the resolution of the campaign saw the PCs acting in defiance of Heaven. In addition to the edict-disobeying fox, there was a paladin whose patron...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:40 AM
    I've never had a player decide that his/her PC was a noble during the course of play. But I have had a player do something similar. At the start of the campaign we thought his PC was an animal (fox) that had been able (through meditation and other appropriate practices) to transform itself into a human (inspired by the movie Green Snake). At the start of the campaign the character was living...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:22 AM
    But we already know the answer to the bit that I've bolded - the PC was not accompanied by any entourage, given that absence of such entourage is already an established element in the fiction. (Subject to corner cases - maybe as part of collaboration between players, another PC is revealed to have been an entourage all along!)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:11 AM
    There's no "field" because there are no "adventures" in the D&D sense, at least as I run it. The PCs don't go "into the field" to adventure, and then return to a "safe place" for downtime. The PCs do their thing as their motivations and capabilities dictate. There are rules for having an entourage as an element of one's PC. But they don't depend upon any idea of, or contrast between, "at home"...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:34 AM
    Cthulhu Dark
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:22 AM
    The big issue for me, in the setup Maxperson describes, is how do we know how many children are eaten? In a skill challenge, this can be managed through failures - each failure is more children dead. But in other D&D versions, which have no rule for determining children eaten per orc-time-mile-unit, it becomes GM fiat. So the stakes and the action resolution become somewhat illusory.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:19 AM
    To relate this to AbdulAlhazred's posts: a really strong set of assumptions underlies this post. Some of those are sociological/economic: that a noble family has readily available assets that it is able to repurpose at the behest of the character. As a matter of human history this isn't always true; in the context of a fantasy RPG it's even easier not to proceed on the basis of its truth. ...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:39 AM
    Providence knows, and that's virtually everything in Tolkien's world. There's no reason in the fiction why a 20-something year old, inexperienced wizard could not have inherited a fortune of many thousands of gold pieces. But the standard D&D rules for starting money make this impossible, purely for balance reasons. One fantasy RPG that makes it possible to be a wealthy yet novice wizard is...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:07 AM
    These are really strong posts. They capture what I was trying to get at upthread with some remarks about "cargo cult" and similar. That is to say, particular design/play features that can work well as elements in a "skilled play" game simply don't make any sense in other RPGing contexts. Hence treating those particular design/play features as if they're part of what it means to roleplay makes no...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:49 AM
    I don't care whether you think he's an expert or an amateur. The point is that he shows how a game can proceed with metagaming about "the party", "team cooperation" etc - which helps us identify the presence of such metagaming advice in the RQ rules.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:02 AM
    No they're not. They're also talking about sticking together and cooperating as a party ("the participants work together for a common goal"). By way of contrast, here's an extract from some advice from Ron Edwards on how to run a setting-focused game using a set of rules that doesn't directly address the issue: Preparation 1. Choose a location. The group must discuss and become...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:45 AM
    The text advises players to inform their declared actions by considerations of the need, in the real world, to maintain harmony at the table. That second thing is "out of character knowledge" - the characters don't know that they are pieces in a game whose participants can't easily have fun if the characters don't hang out together in a more-or-less friendly fashion.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:42 AM
    Where did this come from? I am assuming the GM - that is, I am assuming that it was not a player action declaration or an element of player-atuhored background that made the witch a focus of play. I am also assuming that this came from the GM, in the sense that the leader, and the leader's connection to your family, were not things that resulted from player action declaration nor from an...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:37 AM
    Who established these conventions, and the contrast they draw between "class" and "background" - Lanefan's table? Your complaint was that it is unrealistic to permit significant numbers of PCs of noble background. But now you say you are happy with realism giving way to a "convention" whereby a signifcant nunber of PCs are MUs or highly-trained warriors. Well maybe at some tables there is a...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 11:41 PM
    Well, I think your interpretation makes no sense. How can it be true both that there is a universal metagame ban and that players are told to cooperate so as to make the game work? The latter is precisely an instruction to metagame!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 11:32 PM
    Well, clearly an RPG can be more like a book that's still being read. A lot of RPGing seems to take this form, as best I can tell. But I agree with you that RPGing is better when it is approached through the lens of group authorship as much as group audience. I think that brings out what is strong in RPGing (the collective creation) while reducing the impact of what is weak in RPGing...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 11:25 PM
    My comment really was intended as rhetorical humour. But given you've offered a literal reply: why would one expect any given party of characters to be a representative sample of the gameworld society as a whole? Society as a whole, in the typical fantasy game, is farmers and pastoralists. But in my experience very few players player farmers or herders. Eg if 1 in 5 PCs is a MU, that's a much...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 11:10 PM
    I think this is an extremely shallow reading of LotR. Aragorn's status as the rightful king is fundamental to his character from the moment he enters the story. Assuming you use the standard D&D rules for starting money, aren't they exactly an example of this?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 10:57 PM
    What interpretation? Do you disagree that "there is no statement of any universal metagame ban"? Do you disagree that "the approach to rules questions, and the emphasis on collaboration/consensus rather than GM rulings and GM decision-making" is interesting? As Numidius posted, it talks about player knowledge of chemistry, not player knowledge of the gameworld. It encourages metagaming -...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 01:56 PM
    Here's some stuff from RuneQuest (Avalon Hill Deluxe Edition, 1993, p 8): The Player As a player, your first duty is to play within the limits of the characters you generate. Even though you are a chemistry major, for instance, your shepherd character cannot (without learning or training) stroll to a game world village and open an alchemy shop. Operating within your adventurers' limits...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 01:39 PM
    I think many readers of LotR would not agree with you that Aragorn's title was an "empty" one. Nor would everyone agree that Richard the Lionheart's claim to kingship is an "empty title" when he reenters England covertly to try and retake his throne from his sinister brother. I don't think the White Russians regarded their titles as empty either, but that is more debatable. So it's not...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 01:33 PM
    What's a realistic nobility-to-commoner ratio among PCs? Is it the same or different from the elf-to-dwarf ratio? The fighter-to-MU ratio?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 12:18 PM
    Yes and no! If it's really "no myth", then new challenges can be narrated! Or, in your "negotiate with the town" example, the GM can frame a situation (and associated check) that puts the PC's nobility to the test. This also takes me back to the alternatives to fiat (player or GM). Roll more dice!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 07:46 AM
    Maxperson, why don't you post some examples of how GM-driven RPGing produced moments of dramatic choice for the players?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 07:44 AM
    But it's possible to resolve all this stuff during the course of play. And possible resolutions aren't hard to think of - anything from the PC has been travelling incognito to the PC has been banished because on the losing side of a power struggle to the PC's family is impoverished and hence the PC went out to try and make his/her fortune. Again we see three things: (1) A strong assumption...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 05:18 AM
    I'm not being shortsighted. I'm saying that being offered a quest from my hermit to kill some orcs is not very dramatic or character-driven roleplaying (ie it lacks MEAT). This comes through in the questions you pose (as opposed to the "hundreds of other" that you leave as an exercise for the reader): Will the do what the hermit asks and abandon others that need them? How will they help...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 04:39 AM
    Your claim - which I have just quoted - was that if a player uses the uncle device to underpin an imputation to his/her PC of his/her knowledge about trolls, then that player will also want to use the same device to have the GM inform him/her about new, hitherto unknown weaknesses. But that claim was, and is, unfounded. ecause If a player don't actually know, then when playing an ignorant PC...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 01:08 AM
    I think this comment can be generalised: Maxperson's assertions about how PC knowledge, PC background etc are to be handled may be true accounts of how he likes to play the game, but find little support in D&D rules texts, esepecially 4e. This relates to what AbdulAlhazred said upthread about PC backgrounds and PC goals being the MEAT of play. If the only significance of befriending a...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 12:33 AM
    To me, it seems there are two uncontroversial ways it can become true in the fiction that a PC knows something: * The player has some knowledge and imputes it to the PC; * The GM informs the player of something that the the PC knows. The extent to which a GM is able to veto/gate the first approach will depend primarily on table conventions. Off the top of my head I can't think of any...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 11:45 PM
    I don't have any of the old alien modules, but have heard rumours of the Zhodani. I've done some free narration of "mystical" feats by the religious elite of Ashar, without trying to frame that within the technicalities of the psionics rules. There's no meta-currency in by-the-book Classic Traveller. There are three modes of improving a PC's stats/inherent abilities: * psionics...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 12:37 PM
    Sorry, this is incoherent: it can't be the case both that something is automatically known to the PC, and that it is known to the player but not the PC. So I don't know what you're trying to say here. The point that I, hawkeyefan and others are making is that there is no reaosn to doubt that it is character knowledge. If the player imputes the knowledge to the character, then the player is...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 12:04 PM
    I'm not sure I want my PC to be a food solution to the giant leech challenge, whether or not seasoned with salt!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 10:25 AM
    We played a session of Traveller yesterday. Following on from our previous session, the PCs all returned to their orbiting ship (some from another vessel in orbit; others from their on-world excursion); fired on and (thereby) degraded the computer of an an Imperial satellite that had stored transmissions concerning some of their on-world activities (but failed various checks to pick up...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 09:24 AM
    How is it an edge case? In a mediaeval campaign few people will have grown up in stone buildings, especially if you treat "advantages" like noble birth and the like as benefits to be rationed by the GM. And how does it prove anything less than your suggestion, upthread, that a character who grew up in a desert wouldn't know much about trolls? If my example is an edge case, then why is yours...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 02:56 AM
    Really? You know this for sure? Even if the PC background is being born and raised in a peasant village, living in mud-and-timber housing? But you're equally sure that they won't know what a troll's weakness is? It does baffle me that you cannot see that this is a completely arbitrary way in which to draw lines about what player knowledge a PC is or is not permitted to draw upon. Why are...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 11:41 PM
    But Manbearcat, surely you realise that only "gamists" who wan to play D&D to WIN accept the sort of Schroedinger's Feywild you are describing here! Real roleplayers learn about the Feywild by reading about it in a book published by TSR/WotC.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 11:35 PM
    This is all arbitrary, though. The notion that there is some contrast between "unique" and "variant" is barely a rules construct, as opposed to a table convention. It's easy to decide that a creature's vulnerability will be reflected in its appearance or constitution in some form which is evident to those trained in arcane or occult ways. What does this mean, though? What is an "unusual" bump...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 01:23 PM
    But if the player already knows the answer then there is nothing to figure out. That's the point I've been making for many posts now. I've been posting this too, for about the same number of posts: if a puzzle is desired, then come up with one that the player's don't know the answer to.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 12:10 PM
    I think AbdulAlhazred and Hussar already responded to this - if my PC can know how to check for traps, etc, because that's "what people know how to do", then s/he can know about trolls because that's "what my uncle taught me as a kid".
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 11:59 AM
    You've changed your mind on this? I think you might be running two things together: a player deploying knowledge s/he already has, and imputing that knowledge to his/her PC; and a player seeking to acquire new knowledge.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 11:28 AM
    Have you told the players what you want them to do? I'm not talking here about plot elements and story colour. I'm talking about the practical play of the game - some of the stuf you've posted in this thread, like:
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 10:28 AM
    I think there are a a lot of points of difference that can be identified. Even with the plot-type stuff, does a repeat player with a new PC have to walk his/her PC into the pit? Make the same bad guess at the riddle?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 10:22 AM
    S'mon, what you say about the forgiving nature of 5e seems consistent with other remarks about the system. I didn't mind the way 4e handled some of these things (though I'm not sure if it was deliberate design or byproduct): the real "trick" is bringing the serious fire attack to bear on the troll. Even for a party of veterans that creates a tactical challenge, in the context of an otherwise...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 02:14 AM
    Yeah, that's why I said way upthread there's a collision of expectations. It's a while since I've looked through a RuneQuest monster listing, but at least in my memory they don't exhibit the same lists of immunities, vulnerabilities, etc. And I think there's a logic to that. Ron Edwards, in his "story now" essay, talks about "karaoke RPGing". He's got in mind a slightly different context,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 12:56 AM
    I think lying has different dimensions, though - in the case you describe the player just has to let the NPC go past. (Iin a skill challenge framing, that could be treated as one of three failures.) But in the troll case, if the player was in fact a newebie s/he could experiment with fire, etc however much s/he liked; but how does this work for the player who is not using the information? Roll...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 11:49 AM
    The GM policing action declarations in this way does seem to contain hints, at least, of "Mother may I". If the player knows the answer, how is the PC stuck? What's the point of putting puzzles in the game, but then not letting players who know the answer solve them? It absolutely baffles me. But if the player knows (because an experienced player) yet fails the check, how do you handle...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 06:00 AM
    I would push this further, at least in the troll case. How does it count as a win to be allowed to use fire vs a troll if you already know that that's how one beats trolls? In his/her first ever troll encounter, a player wins by figuring out to use fire. It's impossible to replicate that win (short of a bout of amnesia or similar). Future encounters with trolls don't provide any opportunity...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 05:52 AM
    This is all about PC building, and how the player and the GM's conceptions of the shared fiction are to be integrated. Should the GM yield to the player? Should the player yield to the GM? Different systems make different suggestions, and different tables operationalise those suggestions in different ways. But it doesn't tell us anyting about whether the GM is entitled to direct a player to...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 05:50 AM
    Why is it metagame knowledge? If the PC recognises the creature as a troll, and knows that it is vulnerable to fire, then this is just the player playing his/her character. To me, your number (3) seems rather contrived. The player is not reasoning what would my character think? The player is reasoning what story can I tell about my character to license the use of fire to attack this troll?...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 05:31 AM
    The qualification "in games" is redundant. Preclusion does not equate to inclusion in any circumstance. This is self-contradictory - they're not a puzzle, they're just something to work out so as to better succeed in the game! Playing my character as ignorant of something that I, the player, am not ignorant of is a textbook example of alienation! You played with Gygax and co? The only...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 01:37 AM
    Dissociation, even!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 01:06 AM
    There's certainly an intermediate possibility here - the player can describe elements of the courthsip, which help frame checks etc beyond just "I woo VIolette", without having to actually narrate "Oh Violette, your hazel eyes do move me so . . . " etc.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 10:36 AM
    Based on what you've posted, I would very strongly advise against this. The players' main goal seems to be to save the kid. GM-fiatting that they fail would look like "rocks fall" to me - ie killing, not saving, the campaign. From my perspective, this looks like your problem. The players want to save the boy, but you are trying to get them to ignore that element and go on fetch quests instead....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 10:21 AM
    Well, I'm saying that - in 4e - the player can impute his/her knowledge to the PC. Not that s/he has to. In your shard example, if the player wants to play his/her PC as ignorant that seems much easier than in the troll case (because there's no bad action declaration s/he's making when s/he knows what a good one would be). But if the player wants to play his/her PC as knowing, then sure. In my...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 10:14 AM
    I suspect I would fail at Doug McCrae's table but perhaps pass at S'mon's. I like characters - especially PCs - to be clearly drawn. For me, that doesn't have to mean first person speech - that varies at my table, depending on player, mood, stakes, etc - but I like a player's action declarations for his/her PC to reveal the character as a character. And as a GM I try to present situations...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 09:54 AM
    Retreater - the DMG2 has a good discussion of "circular paths". I've sblocked a post of mine from 2010 where I described some changes I made to H2 maps to increase their circularity: Another map-type change you might look at is to have pits, fires or whatever else behind your front-line soldiers that encourage your players to attempt forced movement even if their PCs are not optimised for...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 09:38 AM
    OK, let me try it another way: what do you anticipate as a likely outcome to this inquiry? We're talking about a very specific context of inquiry here: the PC is in a combat, declaring combat-type actions (including attacks in most cases); the PC almost certainly knows that fire is a viable attack form; the player knows that fire is a required attack form. When, and under what conditions,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 09:20 AM
    I remember suggesting this back c 2009 as a way of using Diplomacy or Streetwise to contribute to a secret/magic door skill challenge in 4e - I spoke with a , who taught me some passwords in one of the ancient tongues. My recollection is that some posters found it a controversial suggestion. 4e doesn't have a Stress resource, but the GM could certainly set a higher difficulty for such an...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 08:13 AM
    Well, I've posted from time-to-time about my Burning Wheel game where one PC's main goal was to redeem his balrog-possessed brother. In my current Traveller game, the initial patron was the friend of one PC, the (one-off, James Bond-ish) lover of another, and the fencing rival of a third. To me, good RPGing requires that the PCs be clearly embedded in the setting and situation - that's...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 11:25 PM
    So how is this better play - everyone at the table knows what the situation is, but the players aren't allowed to act on it until they make a successful roll - than allowing the players to just make the choices they want to make from the start? I mean, there isn't any "gotcha" moment if the players already know.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 11:18 PM
    To elaborate on what Numidius said: (A) 4e is a tightly-designed game. Therefore it lacks terrible design. (B) Here is an example of terrible RPG design: the GM is encouraged to use puzzles, knowing that the players know the answers to those puzzles, but expecting that the players - when they play the game - will pretend that they don't know those answers. Because 4e lacks terrible...
    1652 replies | 44243 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 11:03 PM
    There are at least two differences here: (1) It is generally considered that sneaking a peek at a module is cheating. Modules tend to say things like "If you're a player, don't read past this point." Whereas learning that trolls are vulnerable to fire is not cheating. It's part of learning to play the game well. And related to this, re-playing a module you've already played isn't a core...
    1652 replies | 44243 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 10:56 PM
    "Fine print" normally refers to elements of a contract that are concealed/obscured from a consumer party to the contract. I'm not sure how you see this term applying in the case of a RPG. If a player knows that trolls are vulnerable to fire, the GM can't direct the player not to know it: if a player knows something, s/he knows it. What's the "fine print"? If a player purports to...
    1652 replies | 44243 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 03:07 PM
    Using fire to attack a troll is not an action that a character would have no knowledge of. Heck, the class table in the AD&D PHB even lists whether or not each class can use flaming oil (all can except monks). I'm telling you how the game was actually played, in the skilled play paradigm, at the time Gygax was writing his rules. It was taken for granted that players improved their knowledge of...
    1652 replies | 44243 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 02:58 PM
    Here is the passage about "metagame thinking" (DMG p 15). It says nothing about knowledge of trolls: Players get the best enjoyment when they preserve the willing suspension of disbelief. A roleplaying game’s premise is that it is an experience of fictional people in a fictional world. Metagame thinking means thinking about the game as a game. It’s like a character in a movie knowing he’s...
    1652 replies | 44243 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 02:34 PM
    So then why keep brining up the "pablum" red herring?
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 02:28 PM
    I haven't said it should be taken off the table. I have said that it carries a certain meaning. If you're playing with that trope, and you're aware of that meaning, or have it drawn to your attention, presumably you think you have some reason to play with it nevertheless. I think that what I've just said is similar to what Hussar has said: But to build on what Hussar said, this isn't...
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 01:03 PM
    I'm giving my personal observations too. This has nothing to do with "online culture". I am talking about people who were children in the 1970s and 1980s and could recognise that "evil savage" tropes placed them in a different frame from the white people around them. This is a real thing, and I don't understand why you will not acknowledge it. Yes. Because you seem to think that I am...
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 12:52 PM
    To me, this reads as confused. In Graeme Greene's The Quiet American, there is no suggestion that what happens to Fowler, Pyle and Phuong is more important in any objective sense than what happens to others in the war. But of course the story is primarily about them. In a RPG fiction, the gameworld is what it is: in my Traveller game, for instance, it's the whole of the Imperium, and there...
    1652 replies | 44243 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 12:32 PM
    Has anyone in this thread denied this? I haven't. You are the poster who keeps wanting to talk about intentions, when I (and others) have repeatedly posted that we are not talking about them and are not interested in them. What I'm denying is a different claim of yours: that only those with a certain "advanced education" will notice this. That claim is false. I've posted counterexamples -...
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 12:27 PM
    If the colour of a protagonist is never specified (is that the case for Hermoine? I believe that the author has said as much, but I've not read her books), then why would someone protest because that character - in a theatrical or movie versi - is cast as Black or otherwise non-white? I can't think of any reason that doesn't pertain to something in the neighbourhood (at least) of racism - eg...
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 10:33 AM
    I've never read it. I understand some people got upset when, in a theatrical version, Hermione was cast as Black; but that the author said there was nothing in the books to suggest she wasn't Black.
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 10:31 AM
    If you mean I'm conditioned to recognise the difference between playing a game and being told a story, then sure. I wouldn't have thought that's a very unusual thing to be sensitive to.
    1652 replies | 44243 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 10:29 AM
    If an author thinks only of white protagonists, I'll draw the appropriate inferences. The fact that the author's universe is (notionally) fictional won't change that.
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 09:57 AM
    I thought you were arguing that it's unfair to call out JRRT's racist tropes (pale heroic elves vs swarthy evil goblins) because it's just a fiction:
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 09:26 AM
    If someone wants to write a story in which savage dark-skinned predators lust after virginal pale-skinned damsels, of course that's their prerogative. But if they get called out for deploying blatanly racist imagery, who's going to have much sympathy for them? JRRT is not egaged in a "though experiement: - Gee, what would it be like to imagine all the good people being fair-skinned and all the...
    624 replies | 14558 view(s)
    4 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 09:22 AM
    From the 4e PHB (pp 9, 18, 24): Your "piece" in the Dungeons & Dragons game is your character. He or she is your representative in the game world. Through your character, you can interact with the game world in any way you want. . . . The Dungeons & Dragons game is, first and foremost, a roleplaying game, which means that it’s all about taking on the role of a character in the game. . . ....
    1652 replies | 44243 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 09:02 AM
    By itself, this doesn't explain what a player who knows about trolls and fire is meant to do when playing a supposedly-ignorant PC. Two comments: (1) This produces the odd result that a newbie player, whose PC encounters trolls for the first time, might be able to beat them (getting lucky with an attempt at using fire); whereas the veteran player's PC never accidentally discovers that fire...
    1652 replies | 44243 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 09:00 AM
    By the player you mean @Lanefan. I can tell you that when I'm the player it matters to me how and why the GM is establishing the information. It makes a very big difference to my play experience. Here's a post from you that illustrates the point: What you call "a mess" is what DW calls playing the game. That's the difference, right there. It's a real thing that really matters to play.
    1652 replies | 44243 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 11:49 PM
    Differences of preference are not a disconnect. I'm not misunderstanding what Lanefan is posting. Lanefan perhaps doesn't understand some of my posts (and some others') because he seems not to appreciate the difference between a player move that obliges the GM to reveal some pre-established backstory (eg Bardic Legend Lore, a Commune spell, etc) and a player move that obliges the GM to...
    1652 replies | 44243 view(s)
    4 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 11:33 PM
    I asked about how it is meant to work if the players know about trolls but are expected to play ignorant PCs. Is that what you're explaining here? Or are you talking about ignorant players? Also, I've bolded one bit which I don't understand: if the players declare that their PCs try and use fire against trolls, why do they need you as GM to allow this. At your table is the GM allowed to...
    1652 replies | 44243 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 11:33 PM
    Imagine producing thousands of art pieces, a novel, a soundtrack, and a radio play all at the same time?
    102 replies | 3324 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 11:32 PM
    What Aldarc said! In the scenario desdribed the players are using out-of-game knowledge (eg their knowledge that this is the second set of PCs to tackle the Caves) and are declaring actions based on that (eg trying to trigger certain GM-narration-via-NPCs). Wouldn't it just be quicker if the GM told the players As you travel to the Caves, you past peasant and tinkers travelling two and from...
    1652 replies | 44243 view(s)
    4 XP
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About DMZ2112

Basic Information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Google+:
zoshakjm
Twitter:
dmz2112
My Game Details

Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

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

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

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

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

Signature


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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 20th January, 2015

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

Tuesday, 9th December, 2014


Wednesday, 29th October, 2014

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

Tuesday, 16th September, 2014

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

Tuesday, 27th May, 2014

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

Thursday, 8th May, 2014

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

Saturday, 12th April, 2014

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

Saturday, 29th March, 2014

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

Tuesday, 11th March, 2014


Wednesday, 8th January, 2014

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

Friday, 13th December, 2013


Friday, 22nd November, 2013


Thursday, 17th October, 2013

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

Monday, 30th September, 2013

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

Tuesday, 24th September, 2013

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

Monday, 23rd September, 2013

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

Saturday, 13th July, 2013

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

Wednesday, 26th June, 2013

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


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Friday, 31st August, 2018

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

Sunday, 3rd June, 2018

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

Sunday, 27th May, 2018

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

Saturday, 22nd October, 2016

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

Saturday, 8th October, 2016

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

Monday, 18th January, 2016

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

Saturday, 2nd January, 2016

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

Thursday, 10th December, 2015

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

Wednesday, 9th December, 2015

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

Sunday, 15th November, 2015

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

Wednesday, 11th November, 2015

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


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The Halfling Horde (Levels 7-9; Old Tower]
The Halfling Horde is a Dungeons & Dragons Next adventure for four to six characters of 7th through 9th level. The adventure involves a nomadic horde of halflings coming into conflict with a town, Round River, newly founded in their sacred grounds. ...
14672 0 1 Saturday, 1st March, 2014, 04:14 PM Saturday, 1st March, 2014, 04:14 PM

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