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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:09 PM
    I'll skip the verboten and say - I would like to be a good wargamer, but lack the patience. My favourite boardgame is backgammon: I can do the maths in my head pretty easily, it plays quickly, and isn't too taxing! But wargaming requires the patience to build up a position, act without recklessness, etc. I suck at that!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:33 AM
    I'm a bad wargamer but I do like a fair bit of system - hence RM, 4e, BW, etc!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:48 AM
    Well, yeah, if someone likes the wargaming aspect of D&D (or some similar system), it stands to reason that they may be less into non-wargaming systems!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 26th May, 2018, 08:40 AM
    My conjecture as to how common this sort of player is is based on a mix of observation (circa 20 years out of date now - I'm thinking of back when I use to hang out with the University RPG club) plus trying to make sense of posts I see on these boards. For me, it's similar to people I knew (also back in those Uni days) who really seemed to want to play 500, but showed no interest in actually...
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Saturday, 26th May, 2018, 03:11 AM
    I think the general idea is that Saelorn wants the fighter and wizard to be different. The Fighter should be playing a beat'em up while the Wizard should be playing a resource management game.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 26th May, 2018, 02:49 AM
    The PCs should be changing the timeline in virtue of Journeying into Deep Myth (as per The Plane Above)!
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Friday, 25th May, 2018, 11:41 PM
    3.5 already changed that with its leveled character demographics. Every town had some spell casters in it. If your the type who home brews, then that depends on how your world works. Though, admittedly, I bet most don't think about the percentage of their population who are spell casters, or have decent access to them.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 25th May, 2018, 09:55 AM
    It's hard to make interesting, context-independent generalisations here. I'll just compare a few systems. In AD&D it is possible to be the player who does what I said - sits back, makes the odd comment, rolls the dice when a fight breaks out. I've played with these players! As MUs they're terrible, because they need someone else to help manage the spell load-out (both choosing, and casting)....
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Friday, 25th May, 2018, 03:40 AM
    Well the longer the party takes to run encounters, the less encounters you have to make. If you want to change their behaviour, you can use a carrot like bonus xp if they finish an encounter in a certain amount of time. A stick would be that all monsters in an encounter gain +1 to hit\+1d6 damage for every 4 minutes of real life time that passes during an encounter.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 25th May, 2018, 01:48 AM
    I would reiterate darkbard's point: the 4e cosmology/mythology lends itself to being worked out in the course of play, by drawing on the key themes/motifs/NPCs without needing them to be fitted already into some predetermined history. It also helps the legendary/mythic feel for this to be uncertain or even apparently contradictory (just like real world myhts).
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 24th May, 2018, 08:34 AM
    The range of activities that can count as "playing a RPG" is pretty wide. Playing essentially board-game style "Gygaxian" D&D is RPGing. So is playing Dogs in the Vineyard. So is playing Fate. But as far as the minutiae of gameplay is concerned, it's going to be pretty different. (Consider canasta and bridge - both card games, but quite different in the details of play.) And then there is the...
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Thursday, 24th May, 2018, 03:38 AM
    Sounds like a person who wasn't here during the Edition Wars.
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 07:47 PM
    If you do that, you'll need to give the encounter power classes daily powers.
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 07:37 PM
    I thought people hated time based cool downs because they were video gamey?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 03:43 PM
    I wouldn't agree that skill choices are meaningless. They make for pretty significant difference between characters.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 09:55 AM
    AbdulAlhazred, I think you're skipping right to the end of that section, which does have the sort of stuff you mention (eg paying for experimental neural implants to get a skill). But the default rules are for improvement by training: you can attempt a 8+ training roll; if it fails you can't try again for a year, if it succeeds you boost two skills by 1; at the end of 4 years you lose the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 09:49 AM
    I don't think options is, in itself, the right framework for the analysis. Eg having a list of 200 skills (I'm looking at Rolemaster and its derivatives, or Burning Wheel; RQ doesn't have quite so long a skill list, but it's still longer than D&D's) gives lots of options, but won't break the game. It's the cumulative interaction of choices from multiple lists that is distinctive to D&D and...
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 02:38 AM
    The game is built around resource management throughout many encounters. It's quite possible to design the game so that the resource management part is minimized, but then you'll get a lot of people complaining it's not D&D.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 02:28 AM
    Right. They're not bad motivations if I'm bringing along a PC to a new club game or pick-up game. For a more satisfying or deeper campaign I think something a bit richer might be better. Even Conan, while something of a loner, is often loyal to the given sidekick of an episode. The loner-ish-ness seems more of a literary device than a deep feature of his personality. I ran a session of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 02:11 AM
    I don't think this is true. There are quite a few RPGs that I've never heard of breaking due to optional rules or powergaming: DungeonWorld, or Ditv, or HeroWars/Quest; even older games like RuneQuest and CoC. If this thread is meant to have some RPG theory in it, then it seems worthwhile identifying what features of D&D (and in particular 5e) produce the game breakage. I'd start with (i) the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 01:42 AM
    Yes. I didn't describe the motivations as narrow, but the framing of them. Perhaps "sparse" or "thin" would be a better word than "narrow", but I think my meaning was fairly clear. I don't follow this. If I write up a PC whose goal is to defeat evil, I have almost no control over what my goal will be in the game - it will be about defeating whatever evil the GM serves up. (And I think this is...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018, 03:25 PM
    The "doom clocks" I've encountered are in Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic, and in 4e (as skill challenges). The basic idea is that the players have to spend some action economy to dial the clock back and eventually defeat it; left to its own devices it steps up each round, and goes "BANG!" after the specified number of rounds. In the fiction, dialling the clock back might be rescuing a...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018, 03:20 PM
    The OGL is a licence agreement. So a party to the OGL is a party to an agreement with other licensees. If the publisher in question is drawing on a WotC-licensed SRD, then that publisher is in a contractual agreement with WotC. What relationship is the 3PP a third party to? The only relatoinship I can see is that between WotC (the core publisher and licensor) and the consumer ie the community...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018, 08:58 AM
    Not quite true. There are the rules for improving skills or stats in Book 2. Having recently used them, I can report that they're not much like D&D!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 10:52 AM
    I've always assumed that "3rd party" here means 3rd party vis-a-vis the relationship between WotC and the D&D player. The italicised relationship isn't really a contractual one - most D&D players don't enter into contracts of purchase with WotC - but is some sort of more amorphous commercially significant relationship between publisher and reader/user.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 09:34 AM
    I think you're framing these motivations fairly narrowly. Even if we just focus on these two, consider The Hobbit - the goal isn't just get money, but rather get this particular dragon hoard - or LotR - the goal isn't just to defeat evil, but to defeat this particular evil by performing this particular deed. I tend to find that having some reasonably distinctive character goal(s) makes it...
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 05:05 PM
    The only 3rd Party I need for 5th Edition is EN5ider. For less then a fancy coffee a week, I can get high quality stuff delivered right to my inbox EVERY WEEK!
    127 replies | 4735 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 12:26 PM
    Yes. BW can play that way. Cortex+ Heroic Fantasy largely does play that way (not surprising, given its roots in Marvel Heroic RP). There must be many other examples too, that I just happen to be ignorant of.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 10:10 AM
    It allows a shift. Conan often seems to shift, if one takes the REH narration literally.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 10:43 AM
    Passing Attack is a 1st level fighter encounter power that allows taking down multiple minions.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 10:09 AM
    The game experience can be affected by many different facets of both mechanics/system and fiction. We can look at the degree of system complexity. The way the system allocates responsibility across participants for establishing elements of the fiction, what is at stake in conflicts, what consequences flow from success or from failure in complexity. Will the game make the players work hard...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 06:36 AM
    My Fate-fu is finite (unlike my alliteration-fu), but this reminds me of how Marvel Heroic handles it: there is a Webslinging power-set which includes swinging and grappling as features; and an Exhausted limit which the player can trigger for a buff or the GM can pay to trigger, shutting down the power-set. That's a nice way of putting it.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 11:05 AM
    The class imbalance arises because (absent rules variants that aren't the default for the system) a RM caster who uses a day's worth of spell points in a single encounter, or even a couple of encounters, will probably be mechanically more effective than a non-caster in the same circumstances. Solutions that I have adopted include not using adders and even moreso not using PP multipliers;...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 11:02 AM
    Fair enough. I said I believed it to be a minority preference, given that I don't know of anyone else ever raising it, although I've read a lot of threads about balance/pacing/recharge periods.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 10:52 AM
    I know trolls have regen, and I think the maths assumes that they'll get about 4 rounds of regen as part of their hp. If your warlock might miss out on a buff or two due to interfering PCs, then maybe figure it as 2 or 3 rounds? It doesn't have to be perfect! But personally I think monsters with the hp of an elite but lacking the action economy can be a bit underwhelming at the table, so if...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 12:36 AM
    I don't see that an all-wizard party actually raises any issue of balance among classes! That's not what I said, and it's not true. You can push a non-encounter based system into encounter-focused play if you want (I've done it with RM), but you have to be prepared to handle (among other things) resultant issues of class imbalance. This is a different point in my post, and one on which I...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 12:28 AM
    I don't follow what you're saying here. Lingering consequences don't, on their face, seem like they are aimed at limiting balance. Again, I don't see how these points about persistent resources/complications bear on a discussion about the way recovery schemes factor into cross-class balance.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 12:57 PM
    Lanefan, my concern about class balance of mechanical effectiveness isn't so much about the sort of idiosyncratic tactical scenarios you describe, but systemic effects. Eg if one PC has a whole suite of spells that s/he can bring to bear on the situation, while the other PC has only his/her wits, then (everything else being equal) the first PC seems to have a mechanical advantage. The typical...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 11:14 AM
    I agree with MoutonRustique. And I would approach this from the point of view of NPC/monster balance, not PC balance. So look at some other temp hp, self-buffing creatures and take your inspiration from that. If you think your warlock's curse-buffing is going to make it, functionally, have the hp of an elite, then you might want to give it a comparable action economy also.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 11:11 AM
    I've done a lot of "minions as swarms", for paragon and epic tier PCs. Eg hobgoblin phalanxes; hordes of demons; etc. At mid-Heroic I also had a hyena pack as a swarm.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 09:15 AM
    I'm not sure who you are positing this as an ideal for - a designer? a game publisher? an individual table, or GM? In 4e, without changing the resting rules, the passage of ingame time does have a "meaningful but not overwhelming impact on difficulty" - because of daily powers and healing surge replenishment. But the GM also has the capacity to shape challenge by using the encounter-building...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 12:31 AM
    From my point of view, the contrast is this: if the unit of balance is the encounter (scene), then it is possible to allow events to unfold as they do in accordance with the logic of play, complications, framing, etc, without this having any implications for mechanical balance across PCs (which is a feature of a mechanically heavy system like D&D). If the unit of balance is the adventuring day...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 03:13 AM
    I referred to a number of things. Including that one point of worldbuilding is to give the GM stuff to tell the players. Just as you said. There might be more than one thing that worldbuilding does, and more than one way that it is expereinced (both in a given game, and across games).
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 03:11 AM
    If someone is saying that X is not necessary to Y, and you know of a way of Y-ing that - even if not usual - doesn't need X, wouldn't you at first assume that the someone is talking about that way of Y-ing? And then maybe try to extrapolate from that instance that you're famiiar with to see what else they have in mind? Rather than just assume they're talking about the mode of Y-ing that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 11:53 AM
    Which GM are you talking about? You might want to do this. Nothing in the Moldvay Basic rules implies that a GM might do tjhis. Because B1 is an introductory module, Mike Carr has a lot of GMing tips at the start of the module. But none of them deal with the stuff you mention. Here is the advice on resting: If the exploring adventurers wish to suspend the game temporarily during a rest...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 11:39 AM
    What does "you by default will also have elves in your game world" mean? Who is writing them in? Is the spirit of D&D descending on the land and making unbidden entries in my note book? And riddle me this: in my OA game I used hobgoblins and never used elves. And I don't think the players were shocked by this. Where did I specificially change the lore? At what point in time? You and...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 11:28 AM
    So I take it you think Lanefan is wrong to have said there is a reason in favour of worldbuilding, namely, that otherwise there is a serious risk of a hodge-podge world. I assume you are going to take him to task for confusing "bad GMing" with some objective risk. Or, alternatively, this whole pseuo-moralising attack on Hussar is nonsense. Yes, I think that's it.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 11:21 AM
    Well, if someone says "worldbuilding isn't necessary for RPGing", and you agree that it's not necessary for a one-shot, then why would you just assume they're talking about something else? And now, once we've got that possibility on the table, what about a campaign in which the players turn up each session and either recommence where they left off in the current dungeon, or else find out which...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 11:09 AM
    If this is worldbuilding, then B2 doesn't have it. There is no coherent history, geography or ecology in that module - I mean, there are dozens of powerful warriors (many superior to their human opponents) living a hour or two's walk away from a modestly defended keep. And with no obvious food supply for either side. And no coherent history either. It's a framing for play, not something that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 10:46 AM
    On the other thread, when I've suggested this is one thing that worldbuilding is for, there has been a lot of disagreement. Most posters on that thread seem to deny that one function of worldbuilding is to establish stuff for the GM to tell to the players.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 10:43 AM
    It's Moldvay Basic. The game starts at the dungeon entrance. If the group wanted to, I guess they could describe the trip from the town if they wanted. But they don't have to. And even if they do, it's just free narration. From B3, a paragraph or two below the quote you posted: An adventure begins when the party enters a dungeon, and ends when the party has left the dungeon and divides up...
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 07:55 AM
    Indeed. After hanging around here, I get the impression lots of people just ignore the rules and do improv theater.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 10:12 AM
    But starting Isle of Dread with "You're sailing from X to Y and then a storm blows up, and beaches you on this lonely island . . ." isn't worldbuilding. (Hussar's post indicates that this isn't the canonical way of starting X1. But it is a possible way, which is enough for my point.) Which is Hussar's point. The Phantom of the Opera happens in Paris, but we don't actually need to build Paris;...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 01:09 AM
    I'm reporting the adventures as they're actually published, not as someone might choose to run them. Eg in C1 the approach to the building is all done by GM narration - the adventre starts with the PCs having stumbled into the Hidden Shrine. A group might choose to run it differently, but there is no requirement to do so.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 11:31 PM
    Yes. I'm not saying that it's impossible to do more worldbuilding by using an otyugh, or writing lore into a MM. I'm saying that those things need not, as such, be worldbuilding. I'm not dkisputing that sometimes RPGers worldbuild and MM-authors worldbuild (though my threshold for the latter I think is higher than Hussar's). I'm disputing that it is inherent in running a game and setting up a...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 11:28 PM
    Well, Hussar thinks it bogs down published material in unnecessary stuff that doesn't contribute to play. I think (and he may agree - I can't remember all the posts) that it pushes towards an approach to play which emphasises pre-authored fiction as a focus of play, rather than something more spontaneous and mutual between those at the table. I'm sure you disagree with these thoughts. But...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 04:45 PM
    I don't see why "unhelpful" must mean something different from "bad". If someone says "That's a pretty bad knife" they might mean that it's unhelpful because eg blunt, or poorly shaped in the handle, or . . . In any event, I don't think the OP, or others who sympathise with it, are asserting that worldbuilding is bad for GMs in the same way that (say) not eating healthily might be. It's an...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 04:38 PM
    I am making the following assertion: using a giant rat in an AD&D game, but not having Sumatra as part of one's gameworld, is not and instance of changing lore. And it's not an instance of worldbuilding, beyond the utterly trivial (in this place there are giant rats). Likewise, Hussar dropping down an otyugh is not worldbuilding beyond the similarly trivial. In an of itself it implicates...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 04:30 PM
    I'll try again: First, if the Phantom of the Opera was an RPG then it woudln't have a script! Rather, the "script" would be the transcript of an episode of RPGing. Second, if a transcript of an episode of RPGing gave us something resembling The Phantom of the Opera, we would have an intance of an episode of RPGing that required, as setting, an opera house and a subterranean lair. Three,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 04:23 PM
    Well, you seem to be asserting that the AD&D Monster Manual, with its reference to hobgoblins hating elves, is worldbuidling - to the extent that if I drop hobgoblins into my dungeon I've now implicated the existence of elves. But no one thinks that using giant rats implicates that Sumatra is part of my gameworld! I don't see the difference between the elves and the Asian localities. Which...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 04:14 PM
    For those who think that lore is worldbuilding: The AD&D MM describes giant rats as coming from Sumatra, rakshasa as coming from India, ogre magi as coming from Japan, and (in Latin) gold dragons as coming from China. Does that mean that Asia (the actualy Asia of earth where all these places are found) is, by default, part of all AD&D worlds? I've never encountered anyone who thinks so.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 04:12 PM
    I'll repeat what I said: If I place hobgoblins in my AD&D game, and I also place some elves (or a player brings along a PC elf), then the MM tells us that the hobgoblins hate the elves. But the mere presence of hobgoblins in the game does not imply that any elves are part of the game. And I don't have to ignore any lore to produce that result. I just have to not introduce any elves into...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 04:08 PM
    Well, obviously you haven't seen a *good* argument that it's bad, because you think worldbuilding is good! But various posters have put sincere and reasoned explanations of why they think that, as a default, worldbuilding isn't helpful and can be a barnacle on the hull of RPGing. You just happen not to agree with them!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 11:14 AM
    I think to any English speaker they're going to be distinguishable. Unless you're saying that a good GM should mumble!?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 11:13 AM
    Are you asking? If so, here's an answer: it would depend. I might ask the player why they just didn't say they didn't want to play a game where conflicts with goblins might be expected. But if the goblin ally is a renegade goblin, we might start working out together (or maybe I'd just have the player tell me) how goblins respond to renegades, and what makes a goblin renegade in any event, or . ....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 11:04 AM
    But if the Phantom of the Opera was a RPG, then we know what happened, and we know exactly how much setting was required - namely, the opera house and the subterranean lair beneath it. That is - at least as I understand it - Hussar (i) is pointing out that a story can proceed without worldbuilding beyond the immediate setting/situation in which the action unfolds, and (ii) is asserting that...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 10:49 AM
    I think so. Hussar doesn't count this as worldbuilding, though - I think because in and of itself it implicates nothing beyond the actual situation currently in play. I don't quite agree - I'll explain why below. This seems pretty plausible. Eg if you read that hobgoblins hate orcs, you may well be prompted to make a hobgoblin/elf conflict part of your setting. But you don't have to. You...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 02:55 PM
    Well, what else do you want to point us to? As far as I can recall the only person who has linked to that sort of material in this thread is me. (If I'm forgetting others, I apologise.) I've linked directly to Edwards. I've linked to Eero Tuovinen, who is heavily influenced by Edwards and The Forge. I've linked to an account of "no myth", which is derived from posts on The Forge. I've linked...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 02:45 PM
    To the extent that these two posts express conflicting views on the matter, I'm firmly with Aldarc. RPGing, and it's "need" for worldbuilding, is not wildly different from any other narrative artform. But what do you think the OP is talking about? What do you think Hussar is talking about? And what are you talking about when you say that, unlike a play, worldbuildinfg would be needed "in...
    1901 replies | 64445 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 02:41 PM
    This just isn't true. As long as I know what someone means by a word they are using, I can discuss things with them even though I would use the word differently. I don't get discombobulated everytime I experience a North American using the word "bathroom" or "liberal" differently from how I would. When it comes to words, like "worldbuilding" in this thread, where differences of usage...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 02:33 PM
    Thanks for this thoughtful post.
    2682 replies | 67634 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 02:30 PM
    Well, to some extent Edwards moved beyond his terminology (eg he prefers "story now" to "narrativism"). Still, one reason that people continue to use his terminology is because there is not a lot else available for serious critical discussion about the aesthetics of RPGing.
    2682 replies | 67634 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 02:28 PM
    It's not a rhetorical question.
    2682 replies | 67634 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 10:43 AM
    If the players all build PCs who are roguish smuggler types, what happens?
    2682 replies | 67634 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 10:35 AM
    Sure, but does that mean that we can't talk about one particular feature that has also/I] been repeatedly mentioned and extolled in the thread? I don't think that last claim is true. If a player says "I want to explore the catacombs, assuming this city has some?" and the GM checks a book/key and says "No, sorry, no catacombs", that is distinguishable from "I'm really not in the mood for...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 10:27 AM
    A couple of additional points. (1) Even if the action (of the play, of the RPG session) extends beyond the opera house, you can add on that stuff as needed. In serial fiction, new elements of the setting are established as needed. In RPGing the same thing is possible. The fact that some GMs and some RPG groups prefer that it all be done in advance doesn't show that it has to be. So someone who...
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 01:57 AM
    This is what happens when you accept reviews from anyone. You can go to a critic of you want a more professional review.
    19 replies | 602 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 01:36 AM
    Introducing an otyugh for the same reason - ie specifying that, in such-and-such a place an otyugh is to be found performing sanitation services - would be worldbuilding (on a similarly modest scale). I was contrasting actually describing a part of the gameworld as including an otyugh with writing up a monster description that includes notes about the ecological role that otyught's serve. I...
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 10:33 PM
    If you don't like the Paladin's code, you can always a Fighter/Cleric! Assuming that PF2 has multi classing.
    322 replies | 7302 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 01:01 PM
    Capes seems like it might be the right system for this. From experience I can recommend Marvel Heroic as very easy to build colourful pre-gens for, that are pretty easy to get into and play. Or just use the ones that come with the game.
    44 replies | 1344 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 09:32 AM
    Luckily for you, we've kept this thread alive for all that time! OK, so you've teased this out in relation to DW and Moldvay Basic. I think I am making a similar claim in relation not to two particular systems, but two reasonably broad but also recognisable play priorities: players exercising agency over the content of the shared fiction by way of action resolution - a whole range of games...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 09:23 AM
    I think this is more a function of D&D's various systems, including combat resolution and monster-building: historically it was hard to build an effective "solo" dragon, and to make the struggle to climb the slag-pile of the dragon's lair interesting and challenging in play, and so instead the dragon was given servitors instead.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 09:21 AM
    I wrote up a sphinx in Burning Wheel to see what it might look like. I have no idea if I'll ever use it!
    1901 replies | 64445 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 7th May, 2018, 11:27 PM
    Obviously not, or I wouldn't have snipped it out! If Gygax put an otyugh into a dungeon for the reason you give, that would be worldbuilding (on a fairly modest scale). But writing up a monster to serve a certain ecological role isn't worldbuilding. No world has been built. And buying a MM isn't worldbuilding, for the same reason. I don't think "lore", "fluff" and "worldbuilding" are...
    1901 replies | 64445 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 7th May, 2018, 01:35 PM
    How is creating a monster worldbuilding? What bit of the gameworld did I establish by buying a MM?
    1901 replies | 64445 view(s)
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About DMZ2112

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you’re not running a game like this, but it sounds appealing, let me know. I’d be willing to share (read: <50%) dungeon mastery responsibilities for the right group.
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I am the coordinator and primary gamemaster for the Lodge, an online tabletop club based in the Midatlantic US. We are currently looking for three new members. We have six standing members between 30 and 40.

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

We meet every week on Monday from 8:30-10:30 Eastern and are generally involved in long single campaigns to enable complete story arcs, detailed setting exploration, and satisfying character development. We are currently playing a 5th Edition D&D campaign set in TSR's Planescape setting.

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

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

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

We meet every week on Monday from 8:30-10:30 Eastern and are generally involved in long single campaigns to enable complete story arcs, detailed setting exploration, and satisfying character development. We are currently playing a 5th Edition D&D campaign set in TSR's Planescape setting.

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Sunday, 9th October, 2016

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

Tuesday, 20th January, 2015

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

Tuesday, 9th December, 2014


Wednesday, 29th October, 2014

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

Tuesday, 16th September, 2014

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

Tuesday, 27th May, 2014

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

Thursday, 8th May, 2014

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

Saturday, 12th April, 2014

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

Saturday, 29th March, 2014

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

Tuesday, 11th March, 2014


Wednesday, 8th January, 2014

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

Friday, 13th December, 2013


Friday, 22nd November, 2013


Thursday, 17th October, 2013

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

Monday, 30th September, 2013

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

Tuesday, 24th September, 2013

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

Monday, 23rd September, 2013

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

Saturday, 13th July, 2013

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

Wednesday, 26th June, 2013

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


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Sunday, 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! :)

Friday, 8th May, 2015

  • 05:28 PM - Barantor quoted DMZ2112 in post Mike Schley Working on GREYHAWK Maps?
    Surprise twist: Castle Greyhawk has actually been just outside Neverwinter all along. Every time there is an adventure I want to use that is in Neverwinter or around it (like the starter set for 5E) I use Radigast City as a Greyhawk replacement. It has the coast and wildlands to the north as well as a swamp not far to the south and large swathes of land to the east. I don't think I've ever used Greyhawk City itself or Waterdeep in any adventure for that matter lol.


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