View Profile: AbdulAlhazred - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 05:12 AM
    For me, "linear adventures"/railroading are fun when the characters are fairly vibrant (and so there is fun to be had bringing my character to life as part of play, given the other main bit of play - making choices that shape the fiction - is not really happening) and the GM/module is providing an engaging story that the vibrant characters fit into well. I've enjoyed CoC played in this style,...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Today, 04:18 AM
    Oh, I'll go further. People are foolish to criticize others for simply wanting to play a certain game. Beyond that there's nothing wrong with a 'railroad'. I think its best to do it explicitly and consciously as a means of play, and not accidentally and covertly, but I'd say the same about any mode of play if I thought about it for a second. I mean, 'player agency' doesn't really factor in, nor...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 02:55 AM
    One of the 4e descendant threads has something very akin to that... on 4enclave.org however my experience has been it's way way too easy to yank the game into being all about the specialist mayaps the problem is they become a specialist in so many things as they level instead of staying a narrow solution.
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Today, 02:32 AM
    Yeah, obviously a lot of people fell into that trap with SCs. OTOH if you took it to the other extreme, where the situation was highly dynamic and the choice of skill was a real decision between different approaches, which lead to different fictional positioning going forward, etc. that could be very gamist as well (in heretic888's Big Three sense of gamist), allowing for a lot of thought and...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 02:28 AM
    The 4e rules are not a statement of in-fiction causal processes. They are a statement of processes of mechanical resolution. In this partiuclar case,succeeding on the Perception check (which is something a person at the table does, not something that a character in the fiction does) means that X loses hidden status, thus ceasing to be inivsible, and thus being able to be seen by Y's normal...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 01:05 AM
    This is another example of terminology drift. "Fail forward" is a technique that was championed by certain indie designers. The 13th Age rulebook (p 42) describes it thus: A simple but powerful improvement you can make to your game is to redefine failure as “things go wrong” instead of “the PC isn’t good enough.” Ron Edwards, Luke Crane, and other indie RPG designers have championed this...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:39 AM
    Do you think this is true of combat also - that it makes no difference adjudicating combat as hp attrition, or adjudicating combat via a GM's freeform opinion of when the players have done enough to defeat their enemies?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 12:32 AM
    And if X is hidden from Y, then X can't be seen by Y's normal vision. You keep talking about Y defeating X's cover (by "walking around the box X is hiding behind") - but doing that means that X is no longer hidden from Y, which of course means that (assuming that X has no other source of invisibility) X is no longer invisible to Y, and hence it is no longer true that Y cannot see X with normal...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:47 PM
    Pretty sure it was clear that he was echoing things he knew were nonsense... but which seem to be "common use/understanding". It seems he also didn't get much out of them either but that seems different. (I kind of found Forge to be fun mental exercise of modelling those who model - LOL)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:49 PM
    I think the idea of "being stuck at a closed door" is mostly a feature of GM-driven/railroad play. In "story now" play, the story just is that the PCs didn't go through that door, so some other thing happened. I don't know what Matt Colville has to say about it, but the structure of a skill challenge serves the same purpose as the structure of combat resolution: it establishes a mechanical...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:36 PM
    And 4e/WotC did?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:35 PM
    Just as a point of intellectual history: you do realise, don't you, that The Forge is quite hostile to White Wolf/Storyteller, and largely indifferent to D&D but with a mild sympathy for its classic/OSR version. For someone who gets worked up about what you see as falsehoods by critics of 4e, though, you don't hold back in posting nonsense about The Forge and the "threefold model". From...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:43 AM
    What would be a good name that was consistent with hp not being metagame?
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:30 AM
    Not 'less able' in the absolute sense, but 4e militates against, or at the very least facilitates the divergence from, railroaded GM-driven scripts. You can do Story Now with 4e, quite easily. Even in more traditional play the game has the character that players are much less reliant on GM interpretation of the situation for fictional positioning and such. So GMs have a lot less leverage to...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:24 AM
    So how come, then, a Cure Light Wounds spell can heal most ordinary people (in classic D&D, B/X, AD&D and 3E) from dying or on their last legs, to full health?
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:23 AM
    Welllllllllll, if the player actually literally is true to the reflavoring in the sense that NOTHING in the mechanics is impacted at all, then there should be no effect. At least in terms of the mechanical inputs to the game. As for the FICTIONAL inputs, and the implications in terms of fictional positioning, there's clearly an impact there. I am not sure it is proper to call it out as 'abusive',...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:18 AM
    Well, someone might have meant them this way, but it would be a caricature of how many of us use these terms, whether they're used in some sort of 'correct' way according to some place called 'The Forge' where I have neither ever posted nor ever read anything much. I mean, you're being sarcastic, but these can be useful terms. I agree they were often just tossed about by those wanting to tar...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:13 AM
    Just classes by another name. That was the upshot of my experiment, I could call it something else, but I just ended up with effectively 3 classes, or you could call them 'power sources', whatever. And then I'd still have to make a bunch of 'sub classes'. It seemed an experiment that was pointless. So I simply settled on mostly how 4e parsed it, several power sources that are loose but generally...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:11 AM
    Well, there may be plenty of business reasons, or at least political ones, for WotC to shun 4e. I mean, TBH, given that they were producing a new edition, there's nothing specifically amazing about the amount support or non-support that they've given 4e really. I mean, its not like 3.x got much. They HAVE IIRC issued a couple of fancy cover 3.5 core books? That was part of the 40th Anniversary...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 05:04 PM
    Yeah, that's a fine suggestion. In HoML there is actually (currently at least) no class which is called 'Fighter', per-se. However it is somewhat hard to do. Maybe its just that the idea of that class is etched deeply into the DNA of D&D-likes, but it does afford a lot of flexibility to players in terms of imagining their character's details. OD&D, with its 'big 4' (especially the Fighting Man...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 04:48 PM
    Well, I didn't see in 13A the things that were mechanically characteristic of 4e in contrast to 5e. Like 5e it has a mix of different resource models and class implementation mechanics. It lacks a power/role classification structure, even implicitly, etc. It lost the explicit resource framework of short and long rest refresh cadence as well, though not entirely. It does have a pretty story...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 04:28 PM
    In development Forerunner an OGL derivation of 4e concepts and core functionality without IP or copyright issues.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 03:58 PM
    I generally think I can make heroic tier characters in 4e feel pretty legendary or mythic ... how one handles minions and how both players and DMs presents things can be a huge difference. Although things could definitely be adjusted to make some of that easier.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 03:37 PM
    Theres always the name "Map makers who run away as much as possible and steal whenever they can til spell casters can kick everythings ass" but that is too long and the theme has already been taken.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 03:35 PM
    This post was removed from where I posted it in the first place so meh...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 01:41 PM
    It's an interesting juxtaposition. Obviously 4e, BW and Cortex+ Heroic (the three systems I work with at the moment) handle this very differently. 4e is closest to your (1), BW to your (2). Cortex+ Heroic is intermediate.
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 12:23 PM
    Emerikol (and Lanefan and perhaps Saelorn ), you (and Lanefan) answered my question with a response about the implications on the gameplay paradigm; eg “it would make it more lethal.” This thread is about “metagame mechanics” and players making decisions based exclusively on (what you perceive as) observable phenomenon (biological, physical) from the character’s perspective. I’m looking for...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 11:32 AM
    On this occasion, we are in agreement!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 09:57 AM
    But why do you need "patching up", if they're not being impeded in their performance? In my experience, the actual play of hit points and healing is all about making sure no one drops below zero; but how do the PCs know that any given PC is close to dying, if all they can see as some random assortment of minor wounds? To give a concrete example. A PC has 30 hp. Scenario 1: s/he takes four...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 09:50 AM
    This is all just assertion. Even the bit about not being able to control when you urinate.
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 07:46 AM
    Yup Well, I wasn't one who thought 13A did any scratching of my 4e itches. I honestly think it is much closer in nature to 5e than to 4e. Sure would be nice if we could get it! What 'legal mess' would that be? There's no legal mess, WotC owns 4e just as free and clear as they own 1e and 2e (neither of which BTW is covered by the OGL). They can reprint, issue PDFs, create new...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 07:29 AM
    Yeah, well, I guess I could write a game where you started out as a Mythic Figure. That certainly isn't unheard of, in effect most supers games work like that. I, for whatever reason, chose to model my game on a progression from distinctly mortal hero to myth. So I think I did have to begin with at least a solid notion of how heroic tier would function. It seems to be inevitable that play starts...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 06:34 AM
    Especially since your title is Heros of Myth and Legend. You doubly need to assure the awesome is explicitly enabled and encouraged. If your title was Adventurers Guild not so much or Lost Treasure finders not so much.
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 06:16 AM
    I didn't find 5e to be disgusting or unplayable or anything like that. It WORKS, within a certain set of parameters that includes doing more work as a DM than I really care for. It is also prone to a lot of DM foibles I suspect, though the one DM that ran it for us is not going to fall into too many bad habits. Anyway, it has some good design points too, just they would excite me if they were in...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 06:10 AM
    Yeah, actually I agree with you that a game SHOULD hopefully accommodate such play, letting you do things with your (hopefully) higher non-primary stats that result in an equally good but different character. And I certainly identify with the "I've played every possible sane AD&D character build, now I'm going to start on the downright weirdo crazy ones." I mean, I DID start playing a good while...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 06:00 AM
    Yeah, I probably do need to do a pretty big think on my 'mythic' tier practices. I could see some of these working for Intimidation too. "I'm so bad assed I chased death away!" and "Nobody DARES to deny me anything!" etc.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 04:20 AM
    Why not? An AD&D monk can control when s/he goes into a cataleptic trance that feigns death, ro when s/he recovers lost hit points by way of self-healing. A 3E or 5e barbarian can control when s/he gets really angry. Why can't a 5e fighter control when s/he gets his/her second wind? I think there is some tension here. You don't seem to regard "moderately unrealistic" hit points as magic,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 03:59 AM
    Or JRRT, who is about as sentimental as Disney. I think one solution to this is one that Gygax at least gestures towards in his DMG: narrate it one way (Disney-esque) for PCs, but otherwise for monsters and NPCs who won't be coming back. You probably won't be surprised that I regard 4e as the most coherent presentation of hp-as-sentimentality-towards-the-heroes: that's why they can be...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 03:28 AM
    If someone suggested that it was outrageous for a wizard to shoot a bow, and there was a response of "cast Magic Missile", I don't think that would create much controversy. Similarly, using DEX/Stealth is how a non-caster achieves the functionality of an Invisibility spell. My initial reply to you was mostly intended as humour; what's surprised me is that has generated all this contoversy. ...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 02:25 AM
    I think that really is a big takeaway from this discussion taking a standard action is competing with at-wills... so aid other, aid defense, aid attack and the like have to be on a fairly similar scale because of it.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 02:18 AM
    The distraction of a Mark is a type of distraction and depriving enemies of opportunity actions is another 4e is very broad in this regards...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 07:29 PM
    Basically help someone who is focus fired on that way.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 07:16 PM
    Aid defense should affect defense against all enemies if you still wanted it. I think they forgot from the ground up that the everyman abilities would effectively compete in the action economy with at-wills.
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 07:10 PM
    Yeah, I think I'm starting to forget a few of those tweaks, its hard to remember them all unless you play constantly. I would just give the fighter a nice power, and/or practice, to boost up 'distract'. In HoML the basic fighter stuff often reads like "I'm just right up in your grill, you can't ignore me." (which I guess is what 4e was mostly going for as well).
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 07:07 PM
    I think the answer is, if you have high CON you are good at CON-based stuff, which is going to, narratively, be stuff which requires a lot of endurance, strong health, or something similar. You would probably use the Survival skill a lot, picking solutions to problems which engage that skill whenever possible. You could also pick up Survival keyed Practices which allow you to recontextualize...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 07:01 PM
    Yeah, I see what you mean, but Nature CAN cover those without any kind of stretch. I mean, Dungeoneering WAS basically 'nature applied to underground areas', and then usually the extension was made something like "well, underground areas are often constructed, so it also covers underground construction" and then extrapolated to "all construction" since nothing better was available for that. ...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 06:47 PM
    Give a fighter something to boost it up was my thought. True about the obsolescence of Aid Defense but they already made it automatic no roll with errata.
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 06:32 PM
    A fighter wouldn't probably use this option, but a wizard might, or a cleric, etc. It might especially be interesting in cases where there are narrative reasons to want to divert an opponent from making an attack on your ally. I would note that it effectively obsoletes the 'defensive aid another' option, at least in many cases. TBH I think that was a worthless non-option anyway (trade your turn...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 05:17 PM
    If we start enumerating stunts for high end abilities (strength over X lets you do things like these) we might to let those mythic stuff happen.... but are you going to enumerate long distance teleporting that way?
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 05:09 PM
    Heroes Shout, Hurl into Space, Wrestling with Death.... Quasi-Instant Social connections, Sequestering/Hiding an item, Preventing death "after they die" . I think we have a need for permission to achieve mythic extremes. This needs communicated a Mage gets it easily almost by default.
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 04:38 PM
    Remember a fighter can throw an improvised rock and mark an enemy while delivering damage. If we want that to be valuable for them... it will take more. (d4 psychic damage +?) Or perhaps it can cause the enemy to grant combat advantage to adjacent creatures
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 04:31 PM
    I think you misunderstood what I meant maybe or maybe not. it might mean you want to take the long haul if you have high CON... but does that mean you can always choose to do so? It means you do athletics better when you can repeat and retry and take a longer time to finish ... generally where failures are allowed. Something allowing few or no repeats requires the precision. ...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 03:15 PM
    How about a general action that anyone can use: distract - standard action, you may mark any opponent within 10 squares of you. The name here is just generic, you can color this as a taunt or whatever you want. It gets the job done and seems hardly likely to cause any issues in play. Its a weak move, but now and then it would probably be worthwhile.
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 03:09 PM
    Yeah, I have to work on that. The problem I have is that these are supposed to be "things you can use in a skill challenge to explain why you used ability score or skill X to solve a problem instead of skill Y." where Y would be the obvious choice. So, I have had a hard time finding reasons why Athletics is useful INSTEAD OF something else, but I'm sure I can come up with some. The problem...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 02:54 PM
    Just paying attention to the taunter is kind of a basic success I am thinking a bloodied opponent might do the full switch targets and considered marked, ie if primarily a melee combatant rushing away without shifting at the taunter next turn in addition to losing opportunities as described. I am now thinking about AbdulAlhazred and his Homl with different degrees of success.' I think...
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 01:39 PM
    I don’t want to dig down too deeply into the rest of the hacking required, because I was trying to solicit solely the visceral reaction from Emerikol . I’m inthe same camp as Ratskinner ; the reaction to one type of mechanics or information organization versus another is primarily because of familiarity or the internalization of a set of stuff into a mental framework that you’ve settled into...
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  • Gilladian's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 01:06 PM
    We will do the PF2 playtest, yes. Will we switch long term? I sort of doubt it. I don’t want to have to completely rebuild my collection of DMing databases still yet again...
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  • Gilladian's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 01:01 PM
    My biggest objection to 4e was that I COULD NOT follow how to create a PC in the players handbook. I never figured out where and how some bonuses came from. I just trusted the chargen program.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 09:21 AM
    Who said there is a problem? I find it tends to help things that I and my players are on the same page. If the GM is either going to move quickly through the blocking obstacle, or else there is an overnight rest and encounter opportunity, I'm not really seeing the meaningful choice or trade off. Why does the passage of ingame time, and the passage of time at the table dealing with that extra...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 09:07 AM
    You're wrong about 4e - it's in the rules for Stealth in the PHB2 that a succesful Stealth check makes you invisible to the person you're hiding from, which means that they can't see you with normal vision. (Depending on the circumstances, they may be able to see you with Blindsight or Tremorsense.) And as I've already said, 5e refers to being unseen - which in many circumstances is...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 09:02 AM
    You're not selling me on 5e!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 09:00 AM
    The ingame explanation is the same way s/he knows s/he is breathing, or hurting - s/he feels it. There's no "gradually increaasing". You start being able to memorise (say) 1 1st level spell. Then you can memorise 2. Then you can memorise 1 second level spell as well. Then 3 1st and 2 2nd. (I'm using the AD&D charts.) Each step up corresponds exactly to a class level - so if you treat...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 06:32 AM
    One implication seems to be that in 4e you can play a ninja without using magic - you can have a rogue whose ability to stay hidden (by dint of camouflage, distraction, stillness, etc) is just that good - but in 5e, at least according to other posters in this thread, you can't.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 06:29 AM
    Someone (maybe FrogReaver?) upthread posited that the suggestion in the OP was as absurd as a fighter declaring that s/he turns invisible. My response to that was that a fighter turning invisible equals making a DEX/Stealth check. In 4e that is literally true - a successful Stealth check makes you invisible. (As per the rules that I have already quoted twice upthread.) In 5e it is not...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 06:15 AM
    There is no need for combat reslutoin to involve metagame, just as there is no need for (say) climbing resolution, or swimming resolution, or resolving a friendly game of darts, to involve metagame. For instance, in combat each combatant makes a roll, adjusted appropriately by armour, weapon, etc, and the higher roll wins. Much as one might resolve a game of darts. The fact that D&D...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 03:43 AM
    Right, and E6 basically exists to deal with 3.x's problems in a different way that appeals to fans of lower level play. I would have found it frustrating to be stuck with lower-level powers forever myself (I don't think I was in one of your 3.5 games long enough to get to that point). The 5e game we did was fun, and didn't break down at any point, which is a point in 5e's favor IMHO. Maybe you...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 03:32 AM
    I would actually interpret 5e as what you get when Hasbro pulls the plug on D&D because of that failure and WotC says "Yeah, OK, we'll just call it another toy/game brand and put 3 guys on it and see if we can make some money." That's basically what happened. They have maybe 1/5 of the staff of 4e at its peak, and 1/8th of the product. Now, maybe the ROI on that is better, it would seem so, so...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 03:20 AM
    The irony certainly is there. I don't think PF2 is nearly as far afield from 3.PF as 4e is though. At least not from what I can see so far. It still has basically a Vancian casting system with full-casters, half-casters, and non-casters, with each following entirely different resource rules and using completely different 'power' mechanics. It doesn't seem, so far, to have any real hints of...
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  • Gilladian's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 03:17 AM
    I still play and run variants on 3.5e. It can work, with some house rules. My current campaign is Tier2 and lower - no wizards, no clerics. The pure fighter is the strongest PC by far, and the ranger is close behind. The henchman healer and sorcerer are 2 levels behind the PCs, and can’t hold a candle to them. The 4 pcs are 10th level; this is literally the highest level vampaign Ive run in...
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 03:12 AM
    What I find is the issue with 4e is that once you stop making the scenes very dynamic, then its pretty easy to get into a scenario where someone has a long turn, probably because they're standing face-to-face with some elite soldier trying to beat it down and scraping out every extra thingy they can lard onto their turn (APs, every magic item they can think of, etc.) and then everyone else is...
    288 replies | 8335 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 02:59 AM
    You don't seem to want to hear it, but there's nothing you can say to deny it. Sure, you can say that you had fun in particular game X, Y, and/or Z. That is STILL NOT THE SAME THING as when I as an RPG designer sit down and try to do things with 3.x. I HAVE to confront and deal with the fact that casters are simply utterly dominant to a level where playing a non-caster past 5th level is actively...
    288 replies | 8335 view(s)
    1 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 02:52 AM
    OK, so someone did it once, someone ran a 12 STR fighter in 4e once too, no doubt. It isn't the way either game envisages characters being built and it isn't even remotely close to the norm. So is it really that relevant to a discussion of the game? I mean, yes, it is, if we're talking about how each game handles edge cases etc. In terms of how they normally play though? I'm not guessing the 3e...
    288 replies | 8335 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 01:47 AM
    One problem of leveraging intimidate? it's almost totally open ended... Ignoring that ;) OK so the direction this is going is that Taunting could easily be a function of Intimidate (fighters might like that a lot - a rogue or bard might get some skill swap or not ) so let's examine the root effect. For those who like a visual - Verbalization as a standard action might be something akin to...
    32 replies | 1191 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:42 PM
    I think this isnt a bad analysis for 4e - but so far the taunts on here miss out on a lot. However the everyman abilities lack something that is implied in Bilbos taunt and it was affecting multiple opponents in a way to help allies escape (marking is certainly power oriented version) NOTE technically if someone can affect multiple enemies with intimidation telling them to attack you...
    32 replies | 1191 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 05:39 PM
    I do at least have SOME based on athletics
    35 replies | 816 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 02:12 PM
    I am thinking somehow "gaming the system" is a bit like playing the game RAW instead of RAI. So it doesnt happen in games like chess as there is no nebulous difference. In the Runequest weapon caddy trick where you gain as much possible skill by behavior that is highly "unrealistic" and extreme - but the system was designed to encourage a much more subtle thing but never had mechanic limits...
    55 replies | 1188 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Gilladian's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 12:54 PM
    Text at bottom of page indicates the Milwaukee Journal, March 1974.
    11 replies | 728 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 11:29 AM
    I don't see what your issue is, then, with the ranger/cleric in 3E. The cleric does the odd bit of melee fighting, and wanders through some interesting terrain! Which is what a ranger does.
    407 replies | 8420 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 11:24 AM
    There is also the opening sentence, that says that "he GM decides when circumstances are appropriate for hiding", as well as the bit that says "under certain circumstances, the GM might allow you to stay hidden as you approach a creature that is distracted, allowing you to gain advantage on an attack roll before you are seen." Presumably it is also possible in the world of 5e for someone who is...
    194 replies | 6299 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 08:19 AM
    I agree with Tony Vargas in having a different view of this. In 4e, you get XP for playing and (via the parcel system) get treasure for earning XP, so magic items aren't a reward either. The "rewards" in 4e (as in, stuff that isn't a guaranteed result of playing the game, and which is obtained, or not, based on player decisions) are either in the fiction ("story rewards"), or else the thrill...
    55 replies | 1188 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:34 AM
    In 3E the "process" is defeating monsters. They might have been defeated via swordplay, or a mighty spell, or by being tricked into running off a cliff. The XP system is indifferent to these nuances. So what would it even mean to be "consciously trying to improve a specific set of abilities"? In your system, does a player have to use a ranger weapon to put XP into the ranger class? Cast...
    407 replies | 8420 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 04:08 AM
    technically that is the 4e parlance ;)
    35 replies | 816 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 04:05 AM
    If you're not talking about cheating, then what does it mean for a chess player to "game the system" and thereby "win more often than s/he should"? Do you mean not giving the other player an appropriate handicap? That's on the borderline between rules and courtesy. In party-based D&D, though, what is it to take advantage of a fellow player? And what are the loopholes, unintended consequences...
    55 replies | 1188 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 04:02 AM
    Emerikol, let me pose you a question. I'm not sure you've ever GMed or played under the following paradigm, so let me lay it out. Try to conceive of simply switching out the HP model from your current game for a low overhead system that handles it in fictional terms that also intersect with action resolution (what action declarations might be permissible, what may be penalized). It looks...
    407 replies | 8420 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 03:59 AM
    But in this case, you can just read the mechanics of encounter powers and the like into the physics of the world. Just like a character knows that being hit by a longsword will never maim or cause serious bleeding, but will simply whittle away staying power, so s/he knows that once between hour rests s/he can make an extra spurt of action (or whatever else it is that is on a short rest recovery...
    407 replies | 8420 view(s)
    1 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 03:21 AM
    Here's my total list, which contains both practices and rituals in your parlance. List of Practices Level Check Type Keywords
    35 replies | 816 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 01:38 AM
    If you mean "cheating", just come out and say it. And then tell us what cheating looks like in D&D, or RQ, or . . . Given that the rules expressly suggest this, how can it count as "gaming the system"? And why don't we just call this playing well? As we would in chess, cricket, poker, or any other game?
    55 replies | 1188 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 01:29 AM
    What edition are you referring to? I already quoted the 4e rules for Stealh, and will quote them again (from PHB2, p 222): success on a Stealth check means "You are hidden, which means you are silent and invisible to the enemy". So it's not true, in 4e, that to become invisible requires something beyond successfully making a Stealth check. In 5e, the rules for hiding don't use invisibility...
    194 replies | 6299 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 11:34 PM
    This depends on edition. It's true for Gygax's AD&D. It may or may not be true in 2nd-ed era, Dragonlance-style play, depending on the conventions that apply at a given table. It's not true for all those 5e tables using "milestone" XP. In my own experience it's not true for 4e, where - especially once the full suite of XP rules from the DMG, DMG2 and Essentials is being used - XP is basically a...
    55 replies | 1188 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 11:25 PM
    Ironically I actually think they captured ahem the essence of 4e and its core elements better than the threads here.
    6 replies | 343 view(s)
    0 XP
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About AbdulAlhazred

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Monday, 16th July, 2018

  • 01:35 PM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    ...aint on in-game events. The dice (or whatever) are collaborators, acting as a springboard for what happens in tandem with the real-people statements. Of course, nobody actually uses those Forgite terms accurately anyway. When people call 4E "gamist", for example, I can't help but laugh and roll my eyes. 4E is probably the version of DnD least suited to a Step On Up creative agenda. Meanwhile it maps to "simulationism" pretty cleanly with its fidelity to heroic fantasy genre emulation. All of which ignores the fact that Forgite creative agendas refer to gameplay table experiences and not to actual game systems. What a joke!I agree re 4e and gamism - though Balesir on these boards articluated a coherent gamist version of 4e which is nothing like Gygaxian "skilled play" but rather is quite "light", and is about showing off your schtick in a given encounter. LostSoul used to argue that 4e is a type of high concept simulationism as you suggest - I tend to agree with AbdulAlhazred, that it is best suited to "story now" instead. Not that it couldn't be done in a high concept fashion, but I think that would tend to make for more tedious play because the "heaviness" of the mechanics would still be there, but they wouldn't be giving as much payoff (with the outcomes pre-settled) as they do with a more "story now" focus. And I think it's pretty obvious how many 4e mechanics exhibit the features of FitM resolution that Edwards calls out in the passage I just quoted. EDIT: Just saw this follow-up post: most of what gets passed off as "story-focused" or "story-oriented" play around these parts, and would probably get labelled as "narrativism" as a result, is pretty much GM-authored railroading plot --- and therefore the complete and polar opposite of Story Now play. So, for example, when the developers of 5E went around claiming it was more a more "story-focused game" or that "it was hard to find the story in 4E" they meant, respectively, that 5E is more amenable...

Saturday, 14th July, 2018

  • 02:54 PM - Garthanos mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post Attercop Attercop from Taunting to - Come and Get it.
    Just paying attention to the taunter is kind of a basic success I am thinking a bloodied opponent might do the full switch targets and considered marked, ie if primarily a melee combatant rushing away without shifting at the taunter next turn in addition to losing opportunities as described. I am now thinking about AbdulAlhazred and his Homl with different degrees of success.' I think bloodied being a condition for some "absolute" success for skill based actions targetting enemies is interesting.

Tuesday, 10th July, 2018

  • 04:21 AM - Garthanos mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post Disarm Let Us Count the Ways.
    ...k to disarmed-at-0-hps. Or Disarm as an alternate skill check to force surrender, similar to the existing Intimidate option. If you're not defeated when disarmed either a) you can keep fighthing effectively unarmed or with a backup or improvised weapon or b) you fairly quickly re-gain your original weapon, perhaps forced to go on the defensive, move/dive/whatever to retrieve it. About that, yes. Weakened would reduce damage on a hit more than re-calculting everything with a back-up weapon or improvised weapon or unarmed strike; and, but, even with inherent bonuses going, it would probably hit more often... so it's a fair aproximation. That is my thought in general "Weakened & cannot use powers & properties of the weapon" (save ends) could work, too, for a bit more detail. Or 'weakened & cannot score critical hits." You can take it prettymuch anywhere you want, thanks to the wonder of exception based design. Maybe I suspect that kind of comprmise on simplicity is what AbdulAlhazred was looking for.

Monday, 25th June, 2018

  • 06:59 PM - Tony Vargas mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    ...ive teenage years' decyphering and immitating what I found in 1e D&D books - I still tend to slide towards the overwrought and verbose... ...no to mention it's just nostalgic fun to evoke the classic game, whether by re-introducing an items/spell/monster that didn't make the cut, or create a new one suggetive of the presentation & style of the olden days. :) But, no if you had wanted the people who didn't like 4e to like it, you'd've had to re-write the classes to restore LFQW & heighten the impact of the 5MWD, re-write the rules to restore DM fiat, and re-write magic items to be capable of exlipsing character ability/concepts entirely. A half-measures attempt to do just that gave us Essentials. This is an interesting question. I have often wondered how could one improve on 4E - presentation as well as the actual system, including to make it easier to tinker with. EDIT: And when I mean improve - I mean a natural evolution of that style game. And no, I don't mean 5e :p AbdulAlhazred 's HoML ( http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?644220-Towards-a-Story-Now-4e ) is suggetive of that kind of improvement, it's not a professionally done, fully-articulated system but what's he's revealed of it has a lot of intersting ideas.

Thursday, 21st June, 2018

  • 03:01 PM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Well, I wasn’t talking about OA NWPs.But AbdulAlhazred was, in two posts that you replied to: I think it is very trivially easy to see how 'skills', when implemented at all, in 'classic' D&D were of little significance, even in 2e where NWPs were at least presented as a possibility in the core books. 1. They were NEVER used to represent anything like a class or race ability, even when they obviously could have been (IE thieves, rangers, elves, etc.). 2. They were always optional systems (2e NWPs, 1e Secondary Skills, etc.). The one marginal exception was OA, where they ALMOST became a significant subsystem. 3. No implementation in classic D&D was actually mechanically viable in any sensible way. DSG, WSG, OA, and 2e PHB (etc.) implementations were mechanically unworkable in significant ways. I was always dubious that they had ever really been playtested, and they almost seemed like a way of simply discouraging players from doing 'other stuff' vs actually something you would use in practice. <snip> A clever DM in OA (for...
  • 02:34 PM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    This is so dependent on which NWPs you choose to take though. Obviously if your taking a NWP tied to an ability score of 9 or something, your chances will be poor. In my experience, players tended to take NWPs that connected well with their abilities. AbdulAlhazred was talking about OA non-weapon proficiencies, which are not based on stats but ratherhave proficiency-specific success numbers. And as AbdulAlhazred said, the success numbers are high (eg for Horse Riding, it's 18+ on a d20).

Tuesday, 19th June, 2018

  • 04:56 PM - Aldarc mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    I claimed that Bonds/Flaws/Ideals/ and Inspiration could at a high level accomplish what FATE does with aspects for players in a D&D camapign... I also cited that them being less focues, less intricately tied to the play of the game, etc. was a benefit.And we have pushed back on both of your arguments here. I am literally arguing the same thing most of you all are claiming I am arguing against...mainly the degree to which Aspects are ingrained in the system. At this point I'm not sure what Aldarc or AbdulAlhazred are arguing with me about.Mainly your demand for concrete examples regarding your own prompt. Your shallow reading of Fate and Inspiration mechanics, particularly baseless, unsupportable arguments like these: I actually gave a summary of the rules in the thread... and no, there really isn't much more to it. Again cite some mechanics not descriptions or advice but what the actual mechanics are... what do Aspects and FATE points allow you to do mechanically? They give you bonuses to rolls just like inspiration does. You receive them for roleplaying your character... just like inspiration. And as for aspects in scenes.... it's no different than terrain, hazards, etc. in D&D (Yes the mechanical implementation is different because they are different games... but they serve the same purpose). At it's core FATE is a pretty traditional game with... wait for it... Aspects/FATE points tacked on. In fact I'd go so far as to say if you removed FATE points and aspects from the game you w...
  • 03:30 PM - Imaro mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...ints vs. Inspiration/Bonds/Flaws/Ideals was somehow morphed by other posters who wanrted to defend FATE into me making a claim D&D could do everything FATE could do and it was better than FATE (which again, I never stated) I think Ovinomancer may have been the only one who actually read my stance before jumping to the defense of FATE, and he even tried to let some of the more ardent proponents for FATE know they were mistaken in the argument they were attributing to both him and me but it was for the most part ignored ... :confused: :confused: For reference here is the actual post where I both question the claim that 5e through the use of Bonds/Flaws/Ideals and Inspiration at a high level can't replicate what FATE does with Aspects and my thoughts on the differences in the two systems... I am literally arguing the same thing most of you all are claiming I am arguing against... mainly the degree to which Aspects are ingrained in the system. At this point I'm not sure what Aldarc or AbdulAlhazred are arguing with me about. Because it sure isn't addressing what I've been speaking on. My argument in similarity has always been from a high level view and I've never stated one was better than the other except in how it relates to different goals for different playstyles with different groups. I'm curious do you think that D&D 5e's ideals, bonds and flaws can accomplish the same thingn't? If not... I have to ask, why not? Again I have to ask, how is this different from the GM and a player establishing and fleshing out character backstory (or more specifically an ideal bond or flaw) in D&D 5e? See my experience here is that not everyone enjoys this style. There are players who really aren't interested in fleshing out the GM's world through their character's backstory and traits (they may not even be that interested in fleshing out their own character's traits and personality). As someone who runs games (as opposed to playing them) near constantly I've been i...

Saturday, 16th June, 2018

  • 07:17 AM - Garthanos mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post Martial Techniques
    So AbdulAlhazred what do you suppose a Feat costs in Karma Points It's sort of the step you took in merging things into boons ;)

Friday, 8th June, 2018


Wednesday, 30th May, 2018

  • 11:14 PM - Manbearcat mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    AbdulAlhazred and pemerton , let me wander around my head aloud for a minute. This is kind of where my brain was going: * I was thinking about the parallels of Blades in the Dark and the Mexican Drug Wars particularly in the states of Sinaloa and Durango (which has also spread plenty elsewhere). I was thinking about how when a vacuum of power emerges (where a cartel which has dominated the drug trade without rival in a particular area suddenly has the head of its snake cut off or is defaced/defanged), the place goes from a (very) relative order and placidity to an eruption of sustained barbarism, violence, and destabilization. The locals are besieged emotionally, physically, and economically due to the cartel warfare. That is how you end up with the extreme transformation of Ciudad Juarez in only a few short years. * I was thinking of parallels in Blades in the Dark where Bluecoats, Council-members, and Magistrates can be bought off in order to (a) get in on the action and (b) "keep the ...

Saturday, 26th May, 2018

  • 10:52 AM - Aldarc mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...with reactive gaming. When I see mechanics like D&D's Inspiration+ Ideals/Boons/Flaws I like it because it allows me to play to those things with my players who enjoy and are up for that type of roleplaying while ignoring it or only bringing it to bear rarely for those that aren't as invested. I prefer it because both sides get what they want vs. half the group not playing or the game quality suffering.I just wish that it had been better designed. Again, less Background-tied. It would not even need to be in the Foreground, as per Fate. Inspiration could just be Ground. Your race, class, and background could all have ideals/bonds/flaws. Maybe you pick one ideal, bond, flaw total from all available options, or maybe you pick one ideal from each grouping for three total ideals, etc. Perhaps you would start out with an Inspiration pool. There is far more that you could do with Inspiration. But as it is, it's kinda a dud for both Player Type Xs and Player Type Ys. I do agree with AbdulAlhazred that the disengaged players are a rarity in my games. But even then, I have found that many of said players are often engaged with who their characters are. Some have an amazing investment of character, but the group knows that the player just came home from a closing shift at a department store and dealt with stupid customers and coworkers the entire day and so their "disengagement" is not about the game but psychological recuperation. Some just want to play the fighter that hits things, and that's fine. I have also experienced a number of players, including some of my current ones, who are somewhat disengaged in play from D&D but suddenly come into their own when dropped into Fate or other game systems.

Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018

  • 09:55 AM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    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 boost unless you make another training roll for the same skills, at which point the +1 becomes permanent and you get another temporary +1; etc. (There are some bells and whistles around combat vs non-combat skills, but I'll let you look them up yourself unless you want me to elaborate.) Alternatively, you can make the training roll to maintain a regimen of physical exercise which boosts all physical stats by 1 for 4 years; or you can make a training roll and pay a fee for correspondence material to raise your EDU if it is lower than your INT. Finally, there is a rule for taking a 4 year sabbatical, to gain...

Sunday, 13th May, 2018

  • 11:18 PM - Lanefan mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    ...ts to the status quo of the 'team' itself, etc.One difference between a TV show and a D&D session is that with a TV show it'll be edited down (or up) to fit an exact length of time. In RPG play we don't have that certainty - we don't know how long each session might last and we also don't know how much will get done in any given amount of time within a session. This difference is big enough to almost make the comparison - not quite meaningless, as there's still something of use in it, but certainly way far from perfect. We can't really look at a session as an episode, for example, as there's no way of knowing whether the plot-of-the-week will be resolved within one evening's play...or, conversely, whether it'll be resolved within a hour leaving the rest of the evening hung out to dry. One can, however, divorce episode and session. From here, in traditional play one can then look at each adventure as an episode spanning two or ten or however-long-it-takes sessions of play; and AbdulAlhazred suggests story-now can go the same way only substituting something else for "adventure". That said, I still don't see any of this as an excuse for internal inconsistency and bad (or no) plot continuity. Lan-"I wanna be in pictures"-efan

Thursday, 3rd May, 2018

  • 10:15 AM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...he PCs won>, <grudging agreement to lead them through the mountains>). if "Narrow Deflie" doesn't have a clear definition somewhere in the system rules"Narrow Defile" is a natural-language phrase that I made up. Just like Boulders Aplenty, Unpassable Snow, Terrible Drops, Clear Skies, Chill Wind (obviously the last two at least have been used by English speakers before me!, but I was the one who coined them in this context). Cortex+ Heroic isn't a fully-fledged natural-language descriptor RPG (like HeroWars/Quest, or Maelstrom Storytelling, and probably others I don't know). But it does have a strong streak of that. doesn't the system limit of so few distinctions - in a scene that might have many - tend to overmuch lead the PCs by the noses to where they need to go?The scene distinctions tells the players what the GM thinks is interesting here. (Upthread some posters have asked "Does the 'story now' GM not get to exercise any creativity and affect the direction of play?" As AbdulAlhazred has said, the answer is obviously "Of course s/he does!" Here we see one way that manifests in MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic.) But there is no need. There is a situation - the GM provides the framing, the players declare actions for their PCs, and we find out what happens. Of course the framing contributes to shaping that: eg it would be odd (although maybe not impossible given the PCs include a character with Supreme Sorcery) for a scene that involves Chill Winds, a Narrow Defile Between the Mountain Peaks, Unpassable Snow, a flight of wyverns, a rider of one wyvern, and Asgeir the chief of the mountain-folk, to end up with the PCs all resting on a sunny beach drinking cocktails with Asgeir. But it wasn't foreordained that it would end with the PCs being guests in the village of the mountain folk, hearing tails of the Earth Giant. Nor was it foreordained that this would be the event that led the berserker PC to foreswear words (his attempts to sway Asgeir having been unsuccessful, and leavin...
  • 09:46 AM - pemerton mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    But so are his games, the difference is that his game is limited with respect to the sort of fiction that can result based on strict adherence to genre, theme, player concerns, etc... right? The limitations on player agency over the content of the shared fiction in Story Now gaming are the genre considerations, themes, and other concerns/priorities introduced by the players themselves? I don't get that. Edited to add: Those are examples of the players exercising control/agency over the content of the fiction, not the other way around!I can only agree with what Hriston has said. I simply don't see how getting to contribute to fiction that involves the stuff one wants, and addresses the thematic concerns one has signalled one cares about, can count as a limit on one's agency. It's an expression of it! (Also: I've made this same point upthread; and so has AbdulAlhazred.)

Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018

  • 02:26 PM - Maxperson mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    The focus is totally different though. They are talking about the freedom to take the character in a direction that carved out story. We are talking about the freedom to explore and do what you want. We are talking about pretty subjective uses of terminology here. What I would say concretely is I think most times I see people speak of agency, they are using it as you and I understand it. I know, but AbdulAlhazred insists that his style also has our agency, which is just plain wrong. As a result, he incorrectly claims that their agency is greater since it's ours + theirs. Their different focus prevents our agency from being realized fully in their games.

Tuesday, 1st May, 2018

  • 05:28 PM - darkbard mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... Story Now? Even if for some reason the only possible choice they have is to leap head long into a battle with the dragon... I stated they have a slim chance to win... and couldn't they loose the battle and not fail forward in Story Now? So I'll ask again, is the GM's choice of adversaries a limiter on player agency in the way @pemerton defines it? It sure seems to me your example of the red dragon IS meant to be an example of the GM limiting player agency in the same manner as "rocks fall; everyone dies." I was the one suggesting other ways such a GM-placed foe could not be a limiting factor on player agency. Ok now we are getting into your particular house rules but standard 4e let's the GM set the difficulty and none of it's outlined play procedures call for you to explicitly discuss said ruling with the players. You modify a game enough and you can get it to do anything. As far as I can tell, both pemerton and I run fairly straightforward 4E games in Story Now mode. AbdulAlhazred runs his own Story Now with a hack of 4E, which serves as the framework. 4E isn't explicitly a Story Now game, though it supports its play. I know this isn't addressed to me but this really feels extremely limiting as a GM... I'm starting to realize that this playstyle, while great for those who enjoy it (and I could definitely see myself stealing some techniques from it) just doesn't deliver what I want out of GM'ing a game. In the same way that the players are free to control their characters I want a way to express my creativity that doesn't involve a committee decision to ok it. Can I ask in this style what exactly does the GM own (in the same way players own their characters)... it's not the world, it's not the setting, it's not the adversaries, it's not the genre... so what exactly is it? Or does the GM ultimately own nothing, have no outlet for his creativity that doesn't involve the other players approval whether implicitly or explicitly given? I feel like I have pl...

Sunday, 29th April, 2018

  • 02:17 PM - Maxperson mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Lol. Well, I've been in too many conversations that revolve around controlling language and terminology in order to advance a playstyle. I think a much more honest and genuine approach is to 1) use mainly descriptive definitions (and understand when there are different uses of a word, 2) always avoid equivocation (I see this a lot these discussion) and 3) try to understand what someone actually means when they use a word. The only reason I've fought so hard over the definition here, is that pemerton and AbdulAlhazred have been redefining player agency in order to then say that their style gives players greater agency AbdulAlhazred) or is how players get agency, implying that my style removes agency altogether pemerton). If someone is going to redefine a term so in order to poo poo on how I do things, I'm going to fight back rather than try to understand them. I'm perfectly willing to understand a discussion on how things are different. I even tried multiple times to extend an olive branch by saying that the agency wasn't greater for either side, just different, but they wouldn't accept the branch and move on.
  • 06:07 AM - Maxperson mentioned AbdulAlhazred in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    I'd VERY strongly advice, if you were to take an interest in that particular dialog, to go back and read the parts of the thread Max contributed. I think you'll VERY QUICKLY find that pemerton is fully justified in his approach. I mean, honestly, don't bother, you can take it from me. It would be pretty tedious to do (though sometimes kinda amusing in a certain way). Bedrockgames. Should you go back and look, you will see me posting in good faith in the beginning, arguing against the bad faith misrepresentations of pemerton. AbdulAlhazred saw that as well. After a long while, though, I got sick of all the misrepresentations(as it became apparent that he was just deliberately misportraying things) and started tossing them right back at pemerton. AbdulAlhazred saw that as well. Then later on I explained what I was doing to AbdulAlhazred. Even after all of that, he chooses willful ignorance over truth and is portraying me the way he is posting here. Truthfully there are times when Max also says things that are illuminating, but I half think its by accident, I just don't know. Mostly I take him to be a hard case example of a contrarian, he's just GOT to 'win' any exchange of words. No, nothing I've done here is by accident.


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Monday, 16th July, 2018

  • 07:46 PM - Tony Vargas quoted AbdulAlhazred in post Melee Training Restored
    Just classes by another name. That was the upshot of my experiment, I could call it something else, but I just ended up with effectively 3 classes, or you could call them 'power sources', whatever. And then I'd still have to make a bunch of 'sub classes'. It seemed an experiment that was pointless. So I simply settled on mostly how 4e parsed it, several power sources that are loose but generally thematic, and then if you want a 'build' of character, you pick a pretty specific archetype and make a class. It works. Given that I've stripped a lot out of 4e's class design its not that hard either. Further off on a tangent, maybe I should ask in your HoML thread, but, with regard to quasi-classes, things that act like classes but combine with them, I've often thought that you could leave Role & Source independently 'floating,' so you could just choose Martial & Defender, instead of Fighter, say... But, other threads about resource mixes have me thinking if it wouldn't be kosher to have a quasi-class t...
  • 07:40 PM - Tony Vargas quoted AbdulAlhazred in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    The difference: When the publisher puts out a game that is perceived to be hard to skin - people get bent. When the publisher puts out a game that is perceived to be easy to skin - people skin. My opinion is that folks got so hung up on losing system mastery gained over the years when playing 4e that it colored everything that 4e had to offer. That's certainly a thing that can happen. 3.x was big on rewarding system mastery, and 4e both invalidated that mastery and greatly reduced the relative rewards for gaining & applying mastery of it. I got less bent out of shape by that than I did when the 6th ed of Hero did the same sorta thing - though, to be fair, the challenge of acquiring system mastery was greater (and quite different), and the reward lesser, than in 3e. My experience from being someone that's forced to retrain myself every three years at my own expense (because I work in tech) is that I was hardwired to be 4e's core audience just because of the way things went. Not sur...
  • 08:06 AM - Saelorn quoted AbdulAlhazred in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    Right, though with AD&D the fly in the ointment was the fairly scattershot nature of the results of any given encounter. It was quite easy, absent even the slightest mistake, to get the tar beat out of you by something or other, and then you're basically done for day. In AD&D, fights had longer-lasting consequences, which meant that a fight going poorly could wreck your whole month even if it didn't kill you. In later editions, it's either TPK or nothing. You could get around the additional uncertainty by playing it more conservatively with encounter difficulty, and not engaging with anything that could really challenge you, but AD&D also didn't have a defined "expected encounter by character level" formula. There's no level at which two ogres and a wyvern are an appropriate encounter, so it might be an easy encounter for a level 5 party, or a difficult encounter for a level 10 party, depending on which other variables you had in effect. If the DM was trying to create an interesting game, then th...
  • 05:38 AM - Shasarak quoted AbdulAlhazred in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Not 'less able' in the absolute sense, but 4e militates against, or at the very least facilitates the divergence from, railroaded GM-driven scripts. You can do Story Now with 4e, quite easily. Even in more traditional play the game has the character that players are much less reliant on GM interpretation of the situation for fictional positioning and such. So GMs have a lot less leverage to simply dictate how things will go, at least without it becoming hilariously obvious that the 'game' part of the game is a joke. I dont remember coming across the Story Now term. This article seems to have a very comprehensive description of it though so I will have to take the time to look at it in more depth.
  • 05:33 AM - Shasarak quoted AbdulAlhazred in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Welllllllllll, if the player actually literally is true to the reflavoring in the sense that NOTHING in the mechanics is impacted at all, then there should be no effect. At least in terms of the mechanical inputs to the game. As for the FICTIONAL inputs, and the implications in terms of fictional positioning, there's clearly an impact there. I am not sure it is proper to call it out as 'abusive', but I'm not sure what the abuse you are referring to is, actually, so I'm not positive. That is to say, I guess I could hypothesize that a player could start reflavoring things in order to undermine some GM devised story, but that would imply the game was already on rails, wouldn't it? I mean, it all starts to get a bit loopy once you get to that point. I'd say then that "yes the story will be different" but many stories should have already been possible, so what's the issue? By abusive I mean things like re-flavouring your Adamantine sword as being retractable Adamantine claws that can pop out of you...
  • 12:07 AM - Shasarak quoted AbdulAlhazred in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    You're preaching to the choir on that one my friend. There are still a very substantial section of the D&D community who consider that to be anathema. Any suggestion that this was a feature of 4e back in the heyday of the Edition Wars was literally drummed off the forums. EnWorld is relatively well policed and you could almost discuss it here, but it definitely required a whole bunch of ignore list! On the WotC D&D forums it was absolutely impossible, any thread containing a suggestion of all but the most trivial reflavoring would get 100 hate posts per hour until it was locked. Some of the responses were pretty eye popping. I never really saw any real problem with reflavouring during the 4e era. I mean there are a few edge cases which could be abusive if a Player wanted to push it. The latest edition of Gamma World used reflavouring even more then 4e did.
  • 12:07 AM - Zeromaru X quoted AbdulAlhazred in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    I didn't find 5e to be disgusting or unplayable or anything like that. It WORKS, within a certain set of parameters that includes doing more work as a DM than I really care for. It is also prone to a lot of DM foibles I suspect, though the one DM that ran it for us is not going to fall into too many bad habits. Anyway, it has some good design points too, just they would excite me if they were in the context of a refined 4e. I already played AD&D for 20 years, I just don't NEED a game which goes back there, even if it cleans up the mechanics a LOT. Not that I find 5e unplayable, but it doesn't suit my tastes. I like tactical game, so 4e is perfect in that regard. Games such as 13th Age are better suited for me than turning 5e playstyle to a tactical one. Is way too much work.

Sunday, 15th July, 2018

  • 07:29 PM - Tony Vargas quoted AbdulAlhazred in post Melee Training Restored
    OD&D, with its 'big 4' (especially the Fighting Man and the Magic User) certainly was built around that concept at first. Admittedly the Cleric and the Thief are depicted somewhat more narrowly, so we can see things immediately starting moving in that direction. The Original OD&D 3, before the theif & paladin, map precisely to the 3 Sources in the 4e PH1. The 'Big 4' map less nearly to the 4 Roles, since the roles were so much more nearly balanced. Still, it is tough with the fighter, especially since it often gets burdened with the "mundane sword-swinger" baggage. Once you make it that limited, then its hard to sub-divide it and get anything useful. Its been problematic since day 2, when the Thief came out, and established, that while it was OK for the magic-user to tap all the magic in genre & more ('cept healing), and for the cleric to you no healing & biblical miracles while wearing heavy armor, the non-supernatural skills & feats of genre had to be not only under-modeled but split betwe...
  • 07:06 PM - Tony Vargas quoted AbdulAlhazred in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Yeah, but my understanding of what you said was it was an implication that there was some sort of impediment to support, which isn't really the case The GSL, compared to the OGL is an impediment to 3pp support. And, of course, the threat of renewed edition-war hostilities (it's not like they've really stopped, just tapered off), is an impediment to WotC. I mean, people have basically cloned 1e without much trouble and it lacks anything even as permissive as GSL! WotC could certainly provide some support. Anyway, in the industry, it is widely understood that 4e is basically a flavor of d20 and thus OGL can be leveraged to support it in most respects, as long as you're not putting any 4e compatibility graphics on your product. That's how 1e was cloned. I thought OSRIC got some kind of permission? I've glanced at it, bits look to be virtually verbatim. . I think you can 'clone' 4e fairly closely. I would avoid exact replication of things like stat blocks and power formats, but you can certainl...
  • 05:07 PM - Charlaquin quoted AbdulAlhazred in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    You're preaching to the choir on that one my friend. There are still a very substantial section of the D&D community who consider that to be anathema. Any suggestion that this was a feature of 4e back in the heyday of the Edition Wars was literally drummed off the forums. EnWorld is relatively well policed and you could almost discuss it here, but it definitely required a whole bunch of ignore list! On the WotC D&D forums it was absolutely impossible, any thread containing a suggestion of all but the most trivial reflavoring would get 100 hate posts per hour until it was locked. Some of the responses were pretty eye popping. Ahh yes, the Edition Cold War, when the Coastal Wizard Nations declared an Edition Ceasefire while they negotiated the Next Treaty, and the Edition Soldiers began to employ euphemism as a way to fight proxy Edition Battles. “Simulationism” became the stand-in for 3e and “gameism” and “narrativism” for 4e. Dark times indeed.
  • 03:58 PM - Garthanos quoted AbdulAlhazred in post Melee Training Restored
    Yeah, well, I guess I could write a game where you started out as a Mythic Figure. That certainly isn't unheard of, in effect most supers games work like that. I, for whatever reason, chose to model my game on a progression from distinctly mortal hero to myth. So I think I did have to begin with at least a solid notion of how heroic tier would function. It seems to be inevitable that play starts there and so its conceptions get solidified first before higher tiers. Maybe it would be better if I designed Mythic Tier first, I mean really, maybe it would! :) I generally think I can make heroic tier characters in 4e feel pretty legendary or mythic ... how one handles minions and how both players and DMs presents things can be a huge difference. Although things could definitely be adjusted to make some of that easier.
  • 08:11 AM - Tony Vargas quoted AbdulAlhazred in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Well, I wasn't one who thought 13A did any scratching of my 4e itches. I honestly think it is much closer in nature to 5e than to 4e. In objectives, for instance, it's quite similar. 13A & 5e are both compromise takes on D&D, harkening back to the classic game; both intent on enabling TotM by default, both trying to balance classes with different resource mixes, and both deflating bonuses... What 'legal mess' would that be? The GSL. 4e can't be cloned. I don't think it is that. It is just there is this weird, and apparently quite prevalent in this day and age, strain of thought which goes around that the contents of the books are to be taken literally, so that if it says "short sword" in the weapons table you cannot, should not, and are to be condemned for, being a player who pretends the short sword mechanics apply to a 'tomahawk' or something. I mean, like I got drummed clean out of a bunch of threads on that one back in the day. By people whom I believe are still actively postin...
  • 06:51 AM - Tony Vargas quoted AbdulAlhazred in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    I’m saying there are a lot of 4e fans who don’t like 5e, and PF2 looks like it may appeal to 4e fans - it does to me, as a 4e fan. As I've said, I'm suspicious of appeals to popularity in any form. On top of that, consider what it meant to be a 4e fan. It meant you gave the new ed a fair chance, even when negative reviews cane out, even as the edition war heated up, and misinformation became common wisdom. They gave it enough if a chance to come to understand and appreciate a very different game. 4e fans may be disappointed in 5e in some ways, but, past behavior indicates they'll've given it every chance. And, while it's not the best or most ambitious D&D ever, it is studiedly, the most conventional and least offensive, and it is not at all hard to come to understand and appreciate. If you doubt that 4e fans are OK with 5e, I offer the lack of edition warring against 5e as evidence - the harshest critics if 5e are 3.5/PF fans. If an alternative that was kinda maybe a bit like 4e were to ...
  • 06:34 AM - Garthanos quoted AbdulAlhazred in post Melee Training Restored
    Yeah, I probably do need to do a pretty big think on my 'mythic' tier practices. I could see some of these working for Intimidation too. "I'm so bad assed I chased death away!" and "Nobody DARES to deny me anything!" etc. Especially since your title is Heros of Myth and Legend. You doubly need to assure the awesome is explicitly enabled and encouraged. If your title was Adventurers Guild not so much or Lost Treasure finders not so much.

Saturday, 14th July, 2018

  • 06:47 PM - Garthanos quoted AbdulAlhazred in post Attercop Attercop from Taunting to - Come and Get it.
    A fighter wouldn't probably use this option, Give a fighter something to boost it up was my thought. but a wizard might, or a cleric, etc. It might especially be interesting in cases where there are narrative reasons to want to divert an opponent from making an attack on your ally. I would note that it effectively obsoletes the 'defensive aid another' option, at least in many cases. TBH I think that was a worthless non-option anyway (trade your turn for a mere possibility that you grant an ally a +2 to all defenses, not really that great). Here you're trading your turn for a 100% chance of effectively granting all your allies a +2 to all defenses vs this one opponent. Most of the time this will get you what you want. True about the obsolescence of Aid Defense but they already made it automatic no roll with errata.
  • 05:09 PM - Garthanos quoted AbdulAlhazred in post Melee Training Restored
    Yeah, I have to work on that. The problem I have is that these are supposed to be "things you can use in a skill challenge to explain why you used ability score or skill X to solve a problem instead of skill Y." where Y would be the obvious choice. So, I have had a hard time finding reasons why Athletics is useful INSTEAD OF something else, but I'm sure I can come up with some. The problem with the way 4e uses practices is it is just a list of 'tricks' you can pull with your skills, which is OK, except I didn't NEED that, because of course you can pull trick X, Y, or Z with your skill, you're a BAD ASS! Heroes Shout, Hurl into Space, Wrestling with Death.... Quasi-Instant Social connections, Sequestering/Hiding an item, Preventing death "after they die" . I think we have a need for permission to achieve mythic extremes. This needs communicated a Mage gets it easily almost by default.
  • 04:38 PM - Garthanos quoted AbdulAlhazred in post Attercop Attercop from Taunting to - Come and Get it.
    How about a general action that anyone can use: distract - standard action, you may mark any opponent within 10 squares of you. The name here is just generic, you can color this as a taunt or whatever you want. It gets the job done and seems hardly likely to cause any issues in play. Its a weak move, but now and then it would probably be worthwhile. Remember a fighter can throw an improvised rock and mark an enemy while delivering damage. If we want that to be valuable for them... it will take more. (d4 psychic damage +?) Or perhaps it can cause the enemy to grant combat advantage to adjacent creatures
  • 04:31 PM - Garthanos quoted AbdulAlhazred in post Towards a Story Now 4e
    OK, well, assuming you have to choose one of STR, CON, DEX (or 2 of them, etc.) then that would already determine how you choose to solve problems. I think you misunderstood what I meant maybe or maybe not. it might mean you want to take the long haul if you have high CON... but does that mean you can always choose to do so? It means you do athletics better when you can repeat and retry and take a longer time to finish ... generally where failures are allowed. Something allowing few or no repeats requires the precision. Something time dependent needs bursts of performance. I actually thought of advantage working that way... ie when you are at a disadvantage you are forced to use a less favored method.
  • 04:46 AM - Maxperson quoted AbdulAlhazred in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    You don't seem to want to hear it, but there's nothing you can say to deny it. Sure, you can say that you had fun in particular game X, Y, and/or Z. That is STILL NOT THE SAME THING as when I as an RPG designer sit down and try to do things with 3.x. I HAVE to confront and deal with the fact that casters are simply utterly dominant to a level where playing a non-caster past 5th level is actively contrary to the notion of being effective in play. Thus ONLY notions under which non-casters are not effective (except at the lowest levels) doesn't fly in 3.x! This isn't disputable Max. It is iron clad fact of the system. You are the one that doesn't seem to want to hear. These are the facts about 3e with regard to caster vs. non-caster, at least with regards to this discussion. 1. there is a significant power disparity between the two in favor of casters. 2. casters are more effective than non-casters. That's it. Them's the facts. There is no objective point at which non-casters become ineffective....
  • 04:29 AM - Zeromaru X quoted AbdulAlhazred in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Nor did I actually perceive some vast lack of fans. I found tons of people to play with and packed tables in stores all the time. The business model was a little crazy though. ALL of the people that were players in my games just bought a couple of core books and then one person at each table got a DDI subscription and filled out everyone's sheets. It is EASY to see how that could halve your book sales right off the top, and that's all it took. The same group that had 2 4e PHBs now has 4 5e PHBs and several people have copies of the DMG and some of the newer books. With 4e NOBODY but me bought supplements, nobody, not one. In my table, I was the guy with the DDI account. And the only one who bought suplements, as well. The other people playing in the store I used to play at the time, they only had the first DMG, PHB and MM. They relied on me for any other book. Anyways, PF2 seems intriging, but I'm also one of those who enjoys playing 4e over other editions/systems. I mean I tried playing 5e (and ...


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