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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 03:24 PM
    That second sentence also reminds me of the Edwards essay I posted a link to a little bit upothread. And what I'm really commenting on in this thread is my own relative unfamiliarity with GMing that sort of situation/"scenario". The closest I can think of is a certain sort of "tramp trader" Traveller, and that's not very close! See, this is what I look at and think would push me as a GM in...
    21 replies | 464 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 08:18 AM
    I think I'm missing the illusion. Who is being deceived about what? With a level tolerance of (say) +/-3, I'm not sure it's a ton. But I think it's clear that 4e - as set out in the "tiers of play" in the PHB and DMG - assumes that the content of the fiction will steadily be changing as the game progresses. So it absolutely takes for granted that, at epic tier, we're done with keeping count...
    203 replies | 6434 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 08:14 AM
    Adopting a liberal interpretation of "PH" and "two words", I came up with the following: Fighting Man. Magic-User. Wu Jen. Thief-Acrobat.
    36 replies | 879 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Today, 06:24 AM
    Meh, there's always the ignore list if one is so inclined. Personally I find that there's always something people will end up saying that is annoying, and then again they'll say something interesting or insightful so best to let it all pass. I will happily play 4e or some variation thereof as long as I can still roll dice :)
    189 replies | 15557 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 06:13 AM
    Yes. He practically created the S&S genre, and his writing broke with tradition, he was the freak'n Henry Miller of pulp. Well, Shakespear wrote the Temest, and it's wizard, Prospero, /used a spellbook/, so, yeah, D&D is totally emulating high art, there.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 05:46 AM
    Unless you have save:1/2 AEs flying around at high levels, then the hordes get auto-killed. It's more dramatic, since volleys from said hordes will also be quickly fatal, but it's still problematic. Yes, it does, and back to the treadmill illusion, as those minions and swarms will be of about the party's level, again.
    203 replies | 6434 view(s)
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  • thanson02's Avatar
    Today, 05:41 AM
    Side note, in our home games we've got to the point where we call Skill Powers, Expertise. Seem fitting given the skill focus.
    78 replies | 2123 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 05:39 AM
    Ironically Battlemaster == Warlord mnemonically even if the 5e version of it really isnt up to snuff functionally
    36 replies | 879 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 05:37 AM
    I think it's pretty obvious that unclear rules (so hard to apply system mastery) that mention spoiling spellcasting and loss of the slot when casting in melee are a lot more melee-adverse than clearer ones that call for an AoO, risk spoiling the spell but not loss of the slot and can be circumvented with optimized concentration, which in turn are harsher than a mere OA without stopping casting...
    203 replies | 6434 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 05:24 AM
    How many PH classes are two words? And any military rank is problematic as a class name. (And, again, not much point of a clone that changes the most recognizable, original bits).
    36 replies | 879 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 05:20 AM
    I don't actually disagree, it's just that, mechanically, SCs in their final form were a robust subsystem. Just like d20 skill systems in general, not a very evocative one - since they're all essentially pass/fail. On the topic of bad names for things, I'd think twice about 'social /combat/' I think it was just a convient, pithy play on words. If they'd've picked something else,...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 05:06 AM
    Melee Training sort of laid foundations much earlier but I think Themes are where we really see it happening first.
    2 replies | 179 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 05:02 AM
    Well this pretty much exactly
    78 replies | 4933 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:59 AM
    Multi-classing doesn't mean particularly serious level limits eg 7/11 for an elf F/MU, or 8/8 for a half-elf F/MU, assuming decent stats. You can also build by researching spells, by pooling items, by choosing which items to keep and which to sell, etc. As you say, the rules aren't that clear. And you can always use wands, which tend to have good casting times.
    203 replies | 6434 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 04:55 AM
    "Higher Standard" -->Because of blatant disgusting arrogance of course. The edition wars made it acceptable AND since 4e lost those well it somehow still is.
    189 replies | 15557 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 04:51 AM
    You couldnt really do 'builds' in 1e, especially not that depended on items. And multiclassing meant significant level limits. But the point wasn't mainly toughness (though wizards get slightly tougher with each ed, too), it was casting in melee: in 1e, it was risky (though the rules weren't super clear even by 1e standards, and even clear rules could vary from table to table), and you could...
    203 replies | 6434 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:37 AM
    I'll agree on the easier arithmetic. I'm not sure about what you mean by "swingy" - if it's really an attack/defence treadmill then the "swinginess" is preserved just the same. This just leads back to the discussion about minions and swarms. In 4e I had more combats, and more interesting combats, involving giant hordes of weaker enemies than I ever did in AD&D or Rolemaster.
    203 replies | 6434 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:28 AM
    If you build for it, sure. Which you can do in AD&D as a F/MU, or using powerful Bracers of Defence, or . . . But the wizard/invoker in my 4e game didn't strike me as particularly atypical - and has always had Thunderwave ready to hand - but gets absolutely pasted in melee. That the precise consistency of the paste might differ from its AD&D analogue seems a secondary point.
    203 replies | 6434 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:21 AM
    Hence battle captain!
    36 replies | 879 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 02:27 AM
    Traditional D&D design principles put at least some value on the 14,400 uses of an at-will action you could hypothetically squeeze into a really busy 24hr day. 5e, I think, is closer to your understanding of the value of an at will than that - or cantrip designs would be different - but Zard and quite a few others are skeptical of at will cantrips as presented, and leary of any other at-will...
    78 replies | 2123 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:24 AM
    The Warden and Avenger never gelled for me. I never did see where the former concept came from (beyond corner of Primal & Defender grid-filling - not that there's anything wrong with filling a grid, if you're gonna have one, anyway). And while the latter was clear enough I never quite got how it was intended to be played - didn't stop multiple players from having a great time playing one in my...
    36 replies | 879 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:08 PM
    Y'know, towards the end (HotEC) more and more powers were being written that way.
    2 replies | 179 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:05 PM
    It's a really weird, really old issue. When D&D was naught but a misfiring neuron in Dave Arneson's brain, there was a not too popular wargaming hobby, and, since it was essentially historical reenactment on sand tables using tin soldiers, "realism" was a highly coveted - and very elusive - quality. So, when various innovations passed through the minds of Gygax & Arneson - in what order, ...
    189 replies | 15557 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:51 PM
    I wasn't really going to touch it. No doubt I'm doing it wrong, and have been since 1975! hehe.
    189 replies | 15557 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:25 PM
    Sure, but a lot of us have been here since it was Eric Noah's and all about the 'new' 3rd edition, and have just adopted each new edition, 4e, then 5e, in turn. What's your favorite alternate to the current ed is often a close call. I nearly voted 4e, but went with 1e, because that's still where the magic lies, for me, emotionally. I could have as easily gone for 4e (pre-E), on the basis of...
    203 replies | 6434 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:14 PM
    Yeah, don't make the mistake the "tactical module" did and create something for the 4e fans, based on how the game's detractors painted it. Skill Challenges are a plenty robust sub-system, what they lacked was da flavah. The best SCs I ran or played in where the ones that had been added to, creating a sort of game-within-a-game, that had the success and failure map to something more...
    78 replies | 2123 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:27 PM
    It'd be a platform to produce modules and supplements compatible with 4e, and to continue to add to and develop it in the directions it was originally heading (before all the hadwringing and backsliding).
    78 replies | 2123 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:22 PM
    Paladins are rarely being played as knights of Charlemagne, nor or Sorcerers as gaining their powers from spirits, nor Clerics as issueing fatwas. Commander is much narrower, and more strongly implies just barking orders (one of the more controversial visualizations), rather than inspiration, leading by example, executing cooperative maneuvers or giving tactical advice.
    36 replies | 879 view(s)
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  • thanson02's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:57 PM
    Not necessarily. The point would be to take what 4E has and keep the good stuff and streamline the clunky parts. If someone was able to come out with a 4.5, a couple things I would like to see is: Updated Skill Challenge rules: These are basically situational trackers for the DM and needed more play-testing. The fan base I feel has done a good job with that from what I've seen online. So...
    78 replies | 2123 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:03 PM
    Would bumping them with the note "Please move to the D&D forum" help? Is there any way to add a tag to an old thread you, yourself, started?
    82 replies | 3540 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:32 PM
    The issue with the 4e version was the wording, which was eventually cleaned up. A 5e translation (at will, give up /action/ to grant /attack/) struggles to be worthwhile, in the hands of the Tanky fighter, because it's virtually always better to just attack, himself.
    78 replies | 2123 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:16 PM
    ( I prefer "block of tofu" ) But, no, it's not, and I'm a little surprised that 5e got away with keeping everyone proficient exactly as good with their d20 checks as they leveled. I suppose Expertise helps. Correct. Your fighter might just graduate from being smashed to paste in one round by an ogre, to being pasted by a Giant, but you hit the giant on natural iterative rolls...
    203 replies | 6434 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:34 PM
    Yes! but my phone, in its silicon wisdom, had deduced - probably from my participation in way too many DEX is das Uberstat threads - that when it type CHA, I mean DEX. - technology: making our lives easier! Oh, there's still a tradeoff, it's just in choice of class, and even concept. Want or play a charismatic warrior? Too bad you CHA is 5 and your STR 9 - Maybe with that 16 INT you...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:19 PM
    PrCs would open up quite a lot. They'd be a powerful setting tool for the DM, since a player who takes a setting-tie-in PrC has bought into the setting in a big way. The DM could also use them to gate status - like the old 1e Lord - behind preqs, rather than just class/level or, as it currently stands in 5e, Background. The PDK-pretty nearly every sub-class on SCAG really - and the...
    88 replies | 4065 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:55 PM
    I wonder if it isn't also something WotC just saw the wisdom in letting slide? The OSR movement has arguably been good for 5e, building buzz around D&D and it's status in the history of hobby games.
    36 replies | 879 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:40 PM
    You don't, but, unless your opus is the best RPG designed to date at the moment it's released, it will vanish into a void of abject indifference, along with all the money you invested in self-publishing it. ( If it actually is the best RPG designed to date at the moment it's released, it will win some obscure awards for "best new game of the year" before being forgotten.)
    78 replies | 2123 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:26 PM
    Oh, that's an idea! It might also work for *ahem* 'solo' play ...
    189 replies | 15557 view(s)
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  • Ryujin's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:08 PM
    Not the goal, but a byproduct.
    11 replies | 294 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:32 PM
    For some reason this reminded me of Runequest where they track closely "how" you advance perhaps the above tricks might allow one to gain experience fighting foes which are significantly beneath your capability when otherwise the DM wouldn't grant them.
    189 replies | 15557 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:37 AM
    The concept of "protagonism" in RPGing is (I believe) relatively well known. If it's unclear what I have in mind, here's the relevant remarks from the OP: If (to further self-quote) "the game rolls off the GM's 'plot wagon' much as it would if you were performing an elf instead" of a dwarf, then the things I've described aren't happening - the player's narration clearly is not engaging...
    699 replies | 13470 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:57 AM
    For warlord I would suggest the Tolkienesque battle captain. But anyway I agree it's not a problem if you're not using WotC's IP (ie neither their text nor their trade dress).
    36 replies | 879 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:52 AM
    Well, some people think that OSRIC is on the margins (or crossing the margins) of copyright infringement. S'mon and I have discussed this before - I'm a bit more doubtful of its legality than S'mon but he's the better IP lawyer of the two of us - so probably it's OK! (If only just.)
    36 replies | 879 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:21 AM
    Yes, in that context. I'll explain the qualification by way of an example from a specific system. Each PC in Marvel Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic has two Milestones. Here are two example milestones - one is from Captain America in the core rulebook, the other is one that I made up in collaboration with the player for the berserker in my Cortex+ Fantasy Hack Vikings game: MENTOR THE HERO 1 XP...
    699 replies | 13470 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:40 AM
    I've not just heard rumours of, but have played through, counter-examples to this. Mostly in an AD&D 2nd ed context, but also CoC and Rolemaster. That's not my experience. You could perform your dwarf - reciting old bits of lore from the dwarvish halls, complaining about the quality of the local ale, remarking on the state of your beard, swearing oaths "by the Mountains of Moradin", etc -...
    699 replies | 13470 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:08 AM
    If you have been using CBLoader you may have discovered that some of the custom content that was served from cbloader.com now returns as though an update is available and over writes the content of the part files with a gibberish spam redirect html with iframe. Not pretty. I had back ups of ones I liked of course and have now disabled the UpdateInfo tags in those copies. Whacky House...
    2 replies | 179 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:50 AM
    I've got no idea where this comes from. As far as I know I'm the only Prince Valiant player who posts on these boards; am the only Cthulhu Dark player who posts on these boards; have played more Burning Wheel than most posters on these boards; am one of the relatively few posters whose primary point of reference for RPGing is not some version of D&D. I don't think anyone could say that I don't...
    699 replies | 13470 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:38 AM
    At the risk of further controversy, I'll take up where you left off. One central feature of the D&D-as-wargame experience is that the player plays a single figure. This obviously creates some sort of invitation to performance ("playing out my guy"), protagonism etc. I wasn't playing in the mid-70s, but between reading around a bit and looking at some of the products that get published in the...
    699 replies | 13470 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:25 AM
    Yes. I'm not sure a hit-points/damage "treadmill" is inherently more virtuous than a to-hit/defence "treadmill". And it seems to have some side-effects ("sack of hp" monsters, for instance) that 4e largely avoided. I will concede the following: many D&D players seem to regard a +2 to hit that is (roughly) matched by a comparable +2 to AC on the GM side as an "illusion" of advancement;...
    203 replies | 6434 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:00 AM
    Yes, I've done that. I get the setting in the sense of genre/colour/tone. Interesting. Maybe my use of "setting" is misleading, or just flat-out wrong? I'll try to explain what I was getting at, and why - for me - it's distinctive compared to what I'm more familiar with. Painting in broad brush strokes, and doing some classification on the run, I would say that I'm familiar with 3 main...
    21 replies | 464 view(s)
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  • UngeheuerLich's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:18 AM
    That may happen. But actually it is not that difficult. Just write two numbers +2/+3 for 15 Dex for example. Now you know: +3 for ability checks, +2 for everything else. If you have spells (a cantrip) and conditions that can grant advantage to only ability checks, I am sure you can handle giving a +1 bonus too. And in the standard character sheet, saving throws and attacks are listed...
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  • Ryujin's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:19 PM
    First Edition Shadowrun predicted the smartphone ("Pocket Secretary") in 1989. Star Trek: TOS was the inspiration for flip phones so less predicted, than brought into being. People have been trying to make functional tricorders for decades too. Self driving cars have been predicted by, well everyone but the one that sticks in my mind is Doc Smith's "Lensmen" series of novels. The problem...
    11 replies | 294 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:27 PM
    They don't random-roll them, either. They don't have numeric stats, at all. It's numeric stats (and classes &c) in the game that are /trying/ (often unsuccessfully) to model them. When you're trying to model an archetype with a character class, though, everything that class choice touches comes up. What benefits you get from which stat, and the trade-offs that creates becomes very...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:21 PM
    Has the virtue of simplicity. What about 'good' saves? Those could get pretty high if you added proficiency - and, if you don't, there's no progression, at all (rather than just none with bad saves).
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 08:43 PM
    Ignoring the rules (that didn't suit you) /was/ how 1e was played, and is, IMHO, how best to play 5e, sure. ;) It's definitely not how 3.x (RaW! RaW!) and 4e (updates! DDI!) were played. For you, sure. For me, it's more nostalgia. I played 1e from 1980 through to 2e, and my 2e campaign was really more a hybrid between the two. After a 5 year break I came back to D&D with 3.0. I played...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 08:03 PM
    I think he said something more like, /one/ player of each ed, rather than an odd-man-out scenario, but my recall isn't perfect. They took down the old L&Ls, or I'd link it for you. It was played pretty differently at each table, as I recall! When I say 'run 5e like 1e' I mean get the same feel, use an old module just converting on the fly, stuff like that. Not translate all the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 07:26 PM
    Mearls came right out and said it, in a pre-playtest L&L. Not just groups will be able to play 5e (Next) like it was their past-fave ed, but that /different players at the same table/ would be able to play their characters like they were still in their favorite respective past eds! It was total pie-in-the-sky idealism, and the effort wasn't ever really undertaken to deliver it. But, /a/...
    78 replies | 2123 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 07:16 PM
    It's not unusual to not stick with a game that doesn't work - unless the game that doesn't work is D&D, then you don't just stick with it, you defend it zealously and re-define what a game is even supposed to be so that the way it doesn't work is exactly the way everything /should/ work, and it's all other games that have problems! Well, I've played exactly none of those, and only heard of...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 06:36 PM
    Nothing escalates a thread to edition war defcon1 like the prospect of someone, somewhere, someday possibly being allowed to play an official 5e D&D Warlord, even if there's only a remote hypothetical possibility that it might not suck. Heck, Warlord discussion needed their own hazardous thread containment forum, here, for a while, so virulent was the reaction against even discussing...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 06:28 PM
    I'd never complain about a class being 'only' Tier 2. ;) The 3.x Sorcerer, for instance, Tier 2, but a better class design with more potential for engaging play and covering more potential character concepts than the Wizard, IMHO. I can't agree. The point of psionics is that it is magic scrubbed of fantasy, religious, mystical or superstitious trappings, and draped with scientific ones,...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 06:10 PM
    Yeah, I spun off on a couple of tangents, there, I think. Sure, but that's nothing unique. Really, /levels/, foundational to all forms of D&D and many of it's imitators, do that - the numbers just give level some mechanical teeth. Hit points, damage, and number/complexity/power/versatility of powers & feats would still support that arc, though. That's what 5e BA did, relative to 4e. ...
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  • UngeheuerLich's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 05:00 PM
    And thats the point.
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 02:22 PM
    Yeah exactly. The Sorcerer fire and elemental themes − while they have their trope as a Psionic possibility − they remain peripheral to the flavor of psionics. Telekinesis is an invisible mental Ďforceí. Actually, when I doublechecked the Sorcerer spell list it wasnt too obsessed about elementalism, because at the time the designers had removed many of the elemental spells for the Elemental...
    92 replies | 2946 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 02:16 PM
    Telekinesis is a theme that I love. It almost doesnt exist in Norse animistic psionics, but Telekinesis is central to modern psionics. Unfortunately, D&D has never done Telekinesis well. The designers are kinda afraid of it, so they always overnerf it to the point of unappealing − absurdly high level, and ridiculously overregulated. When I think of Telekinesis, I am thinking Luke Skywalker,...
    92 replies | 2946 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 01:59 PM
    Heh. I care about flavor, and I care about official support flavor. It matters to me. The 5e Wizard is a spontaneous caster like the 3e Psion is. While I agree Intelligence is probably the least important mental stat for Psionics, the fact is, the 3e Psion is an Intelligence mage. The flavor of the Wizard is neutral. It has a great spell selection to pick useful spells with appropriate...
    92 replies | 2946 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 01:28 PM
    I dont disagree. But I just cant get into the 5e Sorcerer. In the 3e, the Sorcerer was early on the only option for nonvancian casting. Even then, at high tiers, the sorcerer was significantly underpowered compared to the Wizard, the red-headed step child playing second fiddle, while the 3e designers were intentionally punishing players who disliked vancian casting. Anyway, now that the 5e...
    92 replies | 2946 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 01:08 PM
    Yeah, Dreamscarred Press transmits well the beauty and the enthusiasm of the 3e psionic fans. It builds from the Expanded Psionic Handbook. This 3e psion is my favorite version of psionics in the D&D tradition. To translate the 3e Psion into 5e, a psionic archetype for the 5e Wizard works well. (Heh, and of course, it wont have a literal spellbook.) Either, the Psion Wizard wont need a...
    92 replies | 2946 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 12:23 PM
    I've been reading Vincent Baker's Apocalypse World rulebook over the past week or so, and noticed this. I didn't have it in mind when I started this thread, and as far as I remember I hadn't yet read it when I started this thread. But I've owned Apocalypse World for a while now and have skimmed the rulebook in the past, so maybe I have seen this and it was lurking somewhere in the back of my...
    699 replies | 13470 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:43 AM
    My point was more narrow, I think, than what you've taken it to be. I was simply saying that the growing numbers on the PC sheet in 4e serve a purpose - namely, in conjunction with the published Monster Manuals they support a very clear "pacing", not at the encounter level or even session level but at the level of the campaign arc. Eliminating the level-bonuses on the PC and NPC/creature...
    203 replies | 6434 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:33 AM
    I'm not thinking so much of establishing setting in play - I've done that quite a bit in my RPGing. What struck me about the AW instructions is that the setting is itself the situation, in virtue of having no status quo.
    21 replies | 464 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:30 AM
    Well not for me. Just to point to two things that have come out of it: I've learned that your conception of what makes for good RPGing is quite different from mine. And I've discovered a surprising point of overlap between me and Bedrockgames. Given what you prefer, I can see why you want well-written boxed text in modules.
    699 replies | 13470 view(s)
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  • UngeheuerLich's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:25 AM
    No. Only ability checks. Attack rolls and saving throws and DCs are still the same as now. 10-11 +0, 12-13 +2. I mean, if don't value combat as high as most people, better for you. I hope you know the difference between an ability check and an attack roll or saving throw. Otherwise HEX is probably quite overpowered in your game.
    48 replies | 1035 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 08:47 AM
    A literary endeavour is one which aims at having the virtues of literature. An artistic endeavour is one which aims at having the virtues of art. An intellectual endeavour is one which aims to contribute to knowledge. Etc. One can interrogate each of these in more detail, obviously, but the basic notion is pretty clear. REH in writing the Conan stories is engaged in a literary endeavour. He's...
    699 replies | 13470 view(s)
    3 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 06:30 AM
    I think this would all be more interesting/successful if utilized in an engine that would purpose built to cater to it. Shouldn't really be hard...
    189 replies | 15557 view(s)
    0 XP
  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 06:14 AM
    The difference isn't so big. The level 1 goblin MIGHT survive the first 'hit', but it gets hit automatically! So it WILL DIE at the 2nd blow (assuming the first is only an at-will). The minion has a 50/50 chance to also survive the first attack, roughly. The difference really isn't that great here. Yes, some higher level goblin minion could hit a bit more, and probably on average will do a...
    189 replies | 15557 view(s)
    0 XP
  • UngeheuerLich's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 06:08 AM
    You could use following house rule. ability check bonus increase on odd numbers. So 11-12 is +1, 13-14 is +2 etc. That would also throw a bone to the standard human, because with standard array you get +1 to 4 stat bonuses.
    48 replies | 1035 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 05:21 AM
    Well, we couldn't let the little buggers invade D&D, with their battlemagic and power crystals and percentile skills and level-less progression! I don't care if you just came looking for a better life, /go home to Glorantha!/ you stunted excuse for a troll! Do you even regenerate?!
    137 replies | 5835 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 03:32 AM
    Charismatic Warrior Hero is a pretty broad archetype. There are /many/ examples. You're presuming a conclusion. Archetypes and characters from fiction don't have D&D CHA, and aren't a D&D class - they are what they are - D&D can be used to try to model them by choosing stats, race, class and so forth. And it can often model them poorly, or inefficiently. Which means those universal...
    88 replies | 4065 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 03:31 AM
    Players Handbook, page 157 A brief list of ĎWaterbourne Vehiclesí and their speed, between 1 and 4 mph. Dungeon Master Guide, page 117 The same list of ĎWaterbourne Vehiclesí with more stats, including number of crew, passangers, cargo tons, hit points, AC, and damage threshold. Dungeon Master Guide, page 116-118 ĎUnderwaterí and ĎSeaí as separate ĎUnusual Environmentsí, including...
    5 replies | 305 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 03:03 AM
    Yaarel started a thread Frightened spellcasters
    The Frightened condition says: ē A frightened creature has disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls while the source of its fear is within line of sight. ē The creature can't willingly move closer to the source of its fear It says what it says. But it seems like an oversight. The attacks by a Frightened Fighter are significantly diminished, less likely to hit, and worse, unable...
    6 replies | 330 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 02:34 AM
    Not ethereal because thats actually a different plane. The ghost for example can move back and forth between ethereal and material, and be incorporeal in either.
    18 replies | 381 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 01:08 AM
    So far, five Ďstatesí of materialization. Immune to attacks ē Intangible: Clairvoyance sensor. Cannot interact or be interacted with. Can see and be seen (by True Seeing or See Invisibility). Resistant to nonmagical weapons (explicitly or presumably) ē Gaseous: Cannot attack, cast spells, carry or use items. Can pass thru creatures and small holes. ē Ephemeral: Will-O-Whisp. Cannot carry...
    18 replies | 381 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 12:44 AM
    While I in no way begrudge folks who want them their psionic classes, for me it always seemed the problem with psionics - and the reason game designers kept resorting to novel mechanics for it - is that it's not really that different, in fluff, from magic. A lot of what people who believed in magic would have called magic, is what we'd today call a 'psychic power' (or a temporal lobe seizure, as...
    92 replies | 2946 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 12:38 AM
    That's not what the OP is about. REH isn't high art either, but clearly Tower of the Elephant and The Scarlet Citadel are literary endeavours. Read the recent posts from @hakweyefan or uzirath. Those engage with the theme of the thread. Here a quote from you from a way upthread: Assuming that you haven't changed your mind, then this is something that we disagree about. And it's something...
    699 replies | 13470 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 12:29 AM
    Arcane casters and Divine casters can feel different because flavor. Likewise Psionic casters. Note, Arcane casters can vary somewhat mechanically with regard to how they access spells. Compare Wizard, Warlock, and Sorcerer. But all of them are using standard spells, and none of them are reinventing the wheel. Likewise Psionic casters.
    92 replies | 2946 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 12:15 AM
    Thanks guys. This was an issue I needed to make more sense of. I am still mulling my preference. But I found all of your explanations thoughtful. ́ So far, I find four Ďstatesí of materialization. ē Intangible: Clairvoyance sensor. Cannot interact or be interacted with, but can see and be seen (by True Seeing or See Invisibility). ē Ephemeral: Will-O-Whisp. Cannot carry or wear items....
    18 replies | 381 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 12:10 AM
    Almost. In order to call back psionic power points, they made the encounter powers into power points that enhanced at-wills, the results were not terrible, but the exercises struck me as unnecessary - mechanical difference for the sole sake of being /mechanically/ different. The GOO Warlock even gets telepathy! So only Tier 2, then?
    92 replies | 2946 view(s)
    1 XP
  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 12:01 AM
    4e. Itís hard to choose between the breadth of meaningful customization for players, and all the various widgets like rituals and skill challenges that help fill out out of combat challenges.
    78 replies | 4933 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:57 PM
    Wow. Had WotC over a barrel and Hackmaster is what the went for? Heh. OK, looking at what they have to say, they went to the effort of teasing out "just the mechanics, ma'am" - I'm a little surprised, at time's I've looked up something in OSRIC and it seemed word-for-word identical. While mechanics vs 'fluff' are presented more clearly in 4e, a lot of the wording that holds them together -...
    36 replies | 879 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 10:33 PM
    As I recall Hackmaster and the first OSR (OSRIC?) actually got some sort of permission? :|
    36 replies | 879 view(s)
    0 XP
  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 10:15 PM
    Lol why are you getting defensive and slinging personal insults now?
    53 replies | 3620 view(s)
    0 XP
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Friday, 14th December, 2018

  • 03:15 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Garthanos in post On the Differences Between 1e and 2e (Not all AD&D Is the Same)
    Manbearcat Garthanos Zardnaar Lanefan Saelorn So I was trying to get at a slightly different point that had been bugging me for a while (much more subtle than the continued banes of my existence; e.g, Paladins, Gnomes, and Rapiers). We (and I include myself in this) often treat 1e and 2e interchangeably (I often use the 1e/2e descriptor). In many ways, that is fair- there is a great amount of overlap between them! Certainly more, IMO, than between any two other "numbered" editions. But here's the thing- while most of us normally easily differentiate between the other old compatible editions (OD&D, B/X, BECMI), we don't often think about or see the differences between 1e and 2e. And I think that's a topic worth thinking and talking about. 1e was around from 1977 (PHB) until 1989 (2e).* 2e was around from 1989 until 2000. I mean .... it's kind of insane when you think about it. And both editions had controversial publications that (arguably) created their own separate demi-mondes (1985, UA, lead...

Monday, 3rd December, 2018

  • 03:01 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Garthanos in post What are your favorite Skill Challenges.
    To answer Garthanos original question: I don't know that I have a favorite exactly. The DMG2 has some good advice and RC has a good clear write up. There are a couple other books that touch on the subject tangentially, but nowadays I live with mostly my own advice. I stick to the RC implementation, technically, but I really like being looser most of the time than any of the books suggest. However I'll agree with pemerton that Complexity 1 and 2 challenges are usually PRETTY tightly focused and work well in the original 4e style.

Wednesday, 28th November, 2018

  • 04:21 AM - Manbearcat mentioned Garthanos in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    ...and daily powers leveraged in SCs do bring an attendant opportunity cost (if I understand correctly what you mean by this). You're understanding me correctly. To be clear: Opportunity cost in terms of... If I forgo this Move Action to get in position (instead spending it to push toward success in a relevant SC) to use x Standard Action for Combat I'll have to use lesser effective y Standard Action. Or, more difficult still, consider the course of action that Garthanos carved out above: Fighter spending multiple actions (and multiple rounds to potentially, but not assuredly) take control of the Elite Controller (Leader) Tank instead of deploying his normal combat shtick to lock down enemies, create catch-22s to dictate the melee, and deal a lot of damage/improve his team's survivability. Getting the action economy and the rider effects (see Dazed on the Elite while he is in the cockpit) is something an average GM could easily miscalculate and a poor GM could cluster-eff entirely. Those sort of opportunity-cost based decisions must be weighed and balanced by a GM (in real time, on the go).

Saturday, 24th November, 2018

  • 05:59 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Garthanos in post 4e Compared to Trad D&D; What You Lose, What You Gain
    ...tionĒ, I donít see how Fighters typically being physically imposing/dynamic, Rogues being scoundrel-ey/resourceful/daring-do, and Mages being erudite/mystical is a problem? In Marvel Heroic, Hulk is going to be SMASH-ey and Doctor Strange is going to be erudite/mystical. If the mechanics/PC build schemes donít engender that emergent quality, there is something wrong with the game. Same goes for Leverage and any game with strong, distinct archetypes. 3) If the concern is challenge-based, then (a) see (1), (2) maybe there is a system maths problem, and (3) if ďChallengeĒ requires heavy deviation from archetype (therefore diluting archetype or rendering it incoherent), then the game has a problem (see (2) above. 4) Fail-Forward and (1) above (hard framing and dynamic situation changes) should alleviate ďfiction-irrelevant best skill spamming.Ē 4e has all 3 of those built into its Noncombat Conflict Resolution so if that isnít happening then itís straight user error by the GM. Garthanos , thanks for posting. Iíll get a response up later and move this thread along.

Friday, 23rd November, 2018

  • 05:09 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    OK on this "I wouldíve much preferred the ability to adopt any role within the core 4 by giving players a big choice at level 1, an option that placed an overlay on every power you used or that gave you a new way to use them." Basically have Source Specific Powers and less class powers. But I think combining that with having BIG differing stances to dynamically switch role might be a better idea so that your hero can adjust role to circumstance. I have to defend this NPC right now vs I have to take down the big bad right now vs I have to do minion cleaning right now, I am inspiring allies in my interesting way, who need it right now. and the obligatory Argghhhh on this. " I wanted classes to have different power acquisition schedules" And thematic differences seemed to have been carried fine. I know this is a rather long-delayed comment on this, but.... I tried this design approach in HoML (both the one Mearls is talking about AND the options that Garthanos mentions). This is REALLY REALLY HARD to make work, and there's a huge cost in terms of diluting the thematic coherence of the class' power list. You can't just 'add an overlay' and/or a class feature choice, or something similar and successfully transform one role to another. Roles are more deeply ingrained into the classes than that, and making 'role light' so you can simply swap them out is a poor substitute. This is basically why Strike! is uninteresting to me, the 'role matrix' approach it uses just doesn't really do justice to roles. Now, I think its fine to do something akin to what the Berserker does in HotFW, make a 'switching' class that can toggle into a different role when it makes thematic/narrative sense. It is still hard to pull off well, and you won't suddenly stop being an X just because you are now in Y mode, but you can certainly go from 'high damage melee striker' to 'front line leader' or something like that and its workable. One thing that was excellent about 4e...

Thursday, 22nd November, 2018

  • 02:50 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...sting experiment, with some solid ideas. Thinking about why it didn't ultimately work is fruitful 4e works very well as an RPG, with one major exception and one other point of complexity. Major exception: the scaling for combat numbers is different from the scaling for out-of-combat number (roughly +1 per level vs +0.7 per level). At heroic tier this can mostly be ignored, but as levels grow its effect on the maths becomes more evident. It means that you can't have truly universal resolution (eg Intimidate vs Will, Acrobatics vs Reflect, to-hit vs a skill challenge DDC, etc) without the maths breaking down. Fixing this would require reworking the maths of one or both systems, which would be hard, so it's something that I fudge over in play. Point of complexity: 4e combat resolution is very concrete (mapped terrain, detalied position tracking, etc). But 4e non-combat is very abstract (skill challenges). This can cause ajdudicative challenges at the point of interface. As I think Garthanos has noted in this thread, it also puts some hard limits on the gonzo eg epic fighters can't easily leap to the moon, because their exploits also have to fit on a battle map tracked in 5' squares. So anyway, to say that "4e didn't work" is simply to say that it was not as commercially successful as WotC hoped. That's not primarily an inquiry into RPG design but into (i) RPG marketing and (ii) what is popular in RPGing. I have my own views on why 4e was not popular, informed mostly by what I read on the interwebs. (1) Many RPGers don't like closed scene resolution and other forms of abstraction, other than hit points as a weird exception. (2) Many RPGers treat resource management and related puzzle solving as the main focus of play, whereas 4e tends to subordinate this in certain respects. (3) Many RPGers prefer much tighter GM control of outcomes than 4e defaults to.

Monday, 19th November, 2018

  • 12:09 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...l but impossible at 1st level thing is to set a DC of 25+. Which is not fiction-first. Or to put it another way: if the DC follows "the narrative" (which I am taking to be synonymous with what I and others are calling the fiction - ie an understanding, prior to mechanics, of what is and is not feasible for the protagonists) then what is the role of bounded accuracy? They are different methodologies - opposed, almost. Thus, as I said, my confusion on this point. Right. Which is the case in 4e as well, it jut approaches it from the question of "How hard of a door would be a reasonable challenge at this level?" Sometimes the answer is the DC 15 wooden door, sometimes it's the DC 25 mithril door, and sometimes it's the DC 35 primal spirit of doors. Tare you claiming in 4e the DC of a wooden door would change depending on the level of whoever interacted with it and that is an example of fiction first?4e builds in level scaling, and minionisation, and the rest. (And I see that Garthanos also makes this point.) The mathematical result of keeping the door at DC 15 and scaling the bonus by 0.5 per level; and of keeping the bonus to the attempt confined to the raw STR bonus and stepping down the DC by 0.5 per level; is the same. Either way, we have a change in the fiction - ever-growing prowess of the PC - that is then expressed mechanically - the same door get easier to burst down or the same ogre gets easier to defeat. 5e doesn't have the level scaling. And it doesn't adjust the DC of the attempt vs the door (I think - see my uncertainty reported above). If it's nevertheless fiction first that means the fiction is the 15th level fighter has rather little more prowess than the 1st level fighter, as relative feasibilities change hardly at all. But to be honest there's little that I see in the design to suggest fiction first, and the most common refrain I here from 5e proponents is "bounded accuracy", which as I have said is a quite different methodology. The DC ...

Friday, 16th November, 2018

  • 10:10 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Are these Martial Practices? If so which ones are being used and at what level are they gained?They're just action declarations. I don't use Martial Practices in my 4e game. (A difference between me and Garthanos.) My point is that if simpe action declarations resolved as skill checks can do things "comprable to raising the dead" or "opening portals to other planes" then Martial Practices can hardly make martial PCs less capable. As to your other post: I don't know on what basis you say that I said, in another post, that "ritual caster alone makes casters more effective than martial PC's in 4e." I didn't say that, and don't agree with it. I've posted multiple actual play examples in this thread that show why I don't agree with it. What post are you referring to? And is your view based on your own play experience? As to thinking that the invoker/wizard caster in my game doesn't leverage the rules well, please read these two actual play reports and then tell me what the weakness of play consists in. The explanation for why ritual casting doesn't dominate play in 4e as I experience it is fairly straightforward. Domination in play can take two main forms: providing mechanical solutions ...

Thursday, 15th November, 2018

  • 03:14 AM - Parmandur mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...rison to earlier edition casters and if you picked a ranger it can be very low tactical element even before essentials other than deciding who do I attack twice with occasional how hard. 5e seems to have less short term emphasis - part of the thing that allowed short term to be more interesting was action points (and milestones) and they were an everyman tool not fighter action surge. Second wind too was an everyman. Encounter powers too were a part of it, much more immediate than the 5e analog. Yeah, most of the action economy elements were the same across Classes. And I can abstractly appreciate the elegance of making it the same...but I tend to think Mearls is right in the original post (if I can remember that far back!) that 4E may have better received if it retained more asymmetrical Class design. (Anti-Edition War disclaimer: I never had a strong or emotionally charged negative reaction to 4E, still don't, and may have had a positive reaction if my DM was pemerton, Garthanos or Manbearcat ; I'm interested in understanding the phenomenon of the "New Coke" reception, in myself and others, not telling people they are pretending to be an Elf Wizard the wrong way. I've found this thread very interesting in uncovering my subconscious disappointment with the purely symmetrical action economy, but still think 5E just has the 4E Skill system with streamlined math)

Sunday, 11th November, 2018

  • 09:38 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    @pemerton and in part @Hussar You have pushed for the merits of a defined skill table at various levels and/or mentioned 5e DM's giving varying DCs on skill checks as issues of the game. I'm wondering if you have the same contempt, because it can only be described as contempt after so many posts, with TotM. Let us face it TotM can produce some varied results, not all DMs will have the exact same picture in their mind and certainly players will have different ones. I'm wondering if you are consistent in your contempt for unsurety across the board or if you're just cherry-picking?I find it bizarre that a view of the merits of A over B, maintined against others who disagree, counts as contempt! How would I show non-contempt? By changing my mind? So it's contemptuous to disagree with you (and others)? As Garthanos pointed out, this is a 4e thread in the pre-5e editions sub-forum - I don't see how it's remotely contemptuous for posters to explain why certain features of 4e, which are absent from 5e, appeal to them. I also have no idea why you fasten on "unsurety" as an issue. I am the one who quoted the passage upthread, from LostSoul, about the table-specific manner in which colour is established in 4e. As far as I can tell Manbearcat and I are the only posters in this thread who regularly play non-D&D systems (like MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic, Prince Valiant, and the like) that use conflict resolution mechanics that proceed as a 4e skill challenge does - first, establish feasibility in the fiction, then use the system framework to set a difficulty. As far as theatre of the mind is concerned, whatever floats your boat. In AD&D I don't bother tracking precise distances because they don't matter - there is no tracking of in-melee movement in AD&D, so the only question is whether someone is close en...

Saturday, 10th November, 2018

  • 02:14 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ... modular depending on how the DM chooses to rule it and, as long as the DM is consistent should be fine.Of cousre I'm talking about what I want in the game - if you follow the thread, you'll see that this discussion arose from discussing the adjudication of martial prowess, and how 4e supports that in various ways both combat and non-combat. Of course, 4e is jsut as "modular" as 5e in this respect - nothing stops a GM deciding that the 15th level fighter can't do what I described, and the worst will be a modest bit of friction between the flavour of that decision, and the flavour of some paragon paths etc - but that friction will probably be no greater than in the 5e game where the fighter can survive being enveloped by a fire elemental but has his/her hands burn to a crisp if s/he stick them into a forge. What 4e does offer is a systematic framework for implementing whatever decision is made, via a DC-by-level chart and skill challenge system. FURTHER EDIT: As Manbearcat and Garthanos have pointed out, 5e is not "modular" when it comes to spellcasters - they have a range of quite significant and fairly well-detailed abilities which establish their capabilities pretty straightforwardly. And another point: in my 4e game, an epic-tier chaos sorcerer sealed the Abyss with an appropriate Arcana check, and sacrificing the appropriate resources. I've seen 5e GMs suggest that (i) in 5e Arcana is only about scholarly knowledge, and not manipulating magical phenomena; and (ii) that the appropriate way to handle that would be to undertake research, create a new spell etc. In gameplay terms, undertaking research means playing the game so as to learn more from the GM about what action declarations are required to produce the desired result. It shifts the focus from adjudicating action resolutions to unfolding the GM's conception of the fiction. A further strength of the 4e system structure, in my view, is that it facilitates the former focus of play. (As Parmandur and I di...

Friday, 9th November, 2018

  • 10:30 PM - Lanefan mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...er-high-level stuff - all the talk of Conan and Elric and Hercules - and thus has limited relevance to the vast majority of tables whose games just never get that high. And with that said, if really-high-level epic stuff is what a particular table is looking to play most of the time, is D&D the right system or should that table be looking at some sort of supers game? In all editions the 'sweet spot' of play generally seems to be the low-mid to mid levels (roughly 3rd-9th in 1e-2e, 3rd-12th in 3e, maybe 4th-14th in 4e) - D&D has never really done really high-level play all that well, mostly IMO because the PCs just get too big for the setting/fiction. 3e's fix for this was to make the setting (i.e. monsters) scale with the PCs, leading to some ridiculous outcomes mostly ending with there should be no commoners left alive on the planet. 5e's much better fix is to greatly narrow the power grade between low and high level. 2. A fair way back in the thread there was talk - from Garthanos I think but I could be mistaken - about how the genre of play is expected to change by tier in 4e. To me this would be a bug, not a feature, as it represents a built-in reduction of the system's flexibility for running different types of campaigns and-or storylines. If for example I want to run a courtly-intrigue campaign - limited combat, lots of skill challenges, mortal foes - yet still has the PCs advance through the levels I'd probably be fighting the system most of the way to prevent the PCs from becoming godlike in the setting by 12th level. Now one could quite legitimately say that maybe 4e thus wouldn't be the best system for such a campaign...but that's just my point. Every campaign type that a system is ill-suited for is going to reduce that system's overall usefulness, and thus popularity. 3. Following on from 2, above: one very common type of story / campaign that 4e couldn't do very well was a true zero-to-hero progression. Sure it got the hero end right, but in ...
  • 07:30 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    a Level 20 PC isn't likely to be killed by a legion of Goblins, but putting defeat utterly out if reach isn't the style the game went for. 4e doesn't have the mechanical resources out of the box to determine whether or not a single PC is killed by a legion of goblins. At least, not within the combat system. (I guess in principle you could stat up each company of goblins as a swarm and play out an extended series of battles. That would seem incredibly boring. The game isn't designed to suppport that or make it playable.) As Garthanos suggests, you might try and mange it as, or as part of, a skill challenge instead. I used that approach when the PCs in my 4e game stormed Torog's Soul Abattoir: Although the Soul Abattoir is described in very general terms in the Underdark book, little detail is given. I located it at the end of icy tunnels running through the Shadowdark, on the far shore of the Soul Slough into which flows Lathan, the River of Souls. The "liquid souls" flowed under the ice and stone to the icy, Vault-of-the-Drow-style cavern containing the Soul Abattoir. The Abattoir itself was a series of buildings into which souls "flowed" in a fashion analogous to rivers. Inside the buildings the streams of souls were directed through Torog's various machines, which extracted soul energy from by way of torture, converting that energy into "darkspikes" from which Torog could then draw power by driving them into his body. The destruction of the Soul Abattoir was run mostly as a skill challenge, but with a com...
  • 01:26 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    People with pointy sticks, so yeah, Goblins.I don't think that Hercules is seriously challenged by a group of Athenian hoplites surrounding him. Nor Lancelot, for that matter. Nor is Conan if he's able to get his back against a wall but otherwise is pressed by foes. A character who can seriously threaten a demon prince seems to me to be closer to Hercules than Samwise Gamgee in overall power/heroic stature. I think 4e does quite a good job of presenting such a state of affairs. I've got no real opinion on 5e combat other than that the monsters don't seem super-interesting. But 5e non-combat seems to me not to model "tiers" very well, for the sorts of reasons that I and others ( Garthanos, MwaO) have posted. The upshot (it seems to me) is that the DC for a high level fighter shoving his hands into the forge so as to stabilise the magic hammer so that the artificers can grasp it with their tools is impossible.
  • 12:50 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    I don't want max level characters who feel no fear when being surrounded and outnumberedBy whom? Bar-room thugs? Vrock demons? The issues of whether being surrounded/outnumbered is a threat seems somewhat distinct from the issue of whether goblins should still be a threat to 20th level PCs. But is that not what the minion mechanic does? There are no paragon or epic tier goblin minions. (At least if one is playing in the default setting.) Ogres are minions at paragon tier. I used hobgoblin phalanxes (swarms) at mid-paragon. At epic tier, the swarms are swarms of vrocks and other demons. In principle one might use a goblin army as a threat at epic tier, but - and going back to a point Garthanos made upthread - 4e doesn't have good mechanics for handling this. (Swarms don't really work beyond 4 sq x 4 sq, and clearly an army is bigger than that.)
  • 12:36 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    The claim was that in 5e a goblin can still hit a 10th level character due to mostly static AC whereas in 4e the AC improvement due to level makes this unlikely to impossible. If you want to talk damage, debuffs and interesting conditions that is a separate conversation.Here's Garthanos's post: Yes your skill at fighting somehow doesnt decrease the chance of you being hit by stupid goblin.... you are prevented from that by magical forces apparently and it didnt make sense in 1e doesn't make sense in 5e. Garthanos was talking about AD&D/3E - skill at fighting doesn't change your chance of being hit by the goblin (it does increase your hp). When talking about 4e, minions and their damage rules are absolutely pertinent to this - your fighting skill is expressed mechanically through a debuff on the goblin - reduced damage and dead-on-a-hit. EDIT: I see that Garthanos has also posted making much the same point.

Monday, 5th November, 2018

  • 08:30 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Of course the mechanical power of the PC is the result of building the PC. If you were to translate Captain America into your DnD game then his power would result from the building of the PC (or monster stat block I suppose) plus his magical shieldSure, but then we need "codified rules" for how a martial PC gets to add a shield (or whatever) to his/her equipment list. And we probably also want some system - a fairly generic one is fine, even desirable - for working out how hard it is to throw your shield (or whatever) and stun three orcs (or whatever). I agree with Garthanos that if we don't go beyond what the GM envisages a strong normal person can do we're going to have sucky martial types relative to magic-users. (Other possibilities clearly exist, but I take it are ruled out for D&D: common sense possibilities set the limits for martial endeavour, but access to supernatural abilities is equal opportunity (eg Runequest); common sense + cinematic possiilities set the limts for martial endeavour, and supernatural abilities are a GM-side thing only (eg Prince Valiant); etc.) When you start doing supernatural stuff like thatÖ youíre not really martial anymore.This seems to imply that "martial" PCs can't be high level. And in my view is at odds with D&D tradition, which has always allowed martial PCs to do supernatural stuff like wrestle giants, withstand being bitten by dragons, etc. That's before we get to rather canonical texts like Gygax's DMG, which tells us that the increase in hp and saving throws (which in his sytems are enjoyed by fighters mo...
  • 12:33 AM - pemerton mentioned Garthanos in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    By the nature of martial abilities, you don't need to define what is and is not possible. Because people generally have an idea. You just set the limits (how much you can lift, how far you can jump) and people can extrapolate and fill in the blanks.I really don't see much evidence in the history of RPGs that this way of approaching it provides dynamic and capable "martial" characters. This applies to everything from the stuff Garthanos is talking about, to exactly how many orcs my Conan-esque fighter can slay per game-unit-of-action, to the need in AD&D for my fighter to PC to get a girdle of giant strength if s/he is going to emulate a comic book hero like Power Man or even Captain America.

Monday, 3rd September, 2018


Tuesday, 28th August, 2018

  • 11:58 PM - Ratskinner mentioned Garthanos in post Tink-Tink-Boom vs. the Death Spiral: The Damage Mechanic in RPGs
    I dunno about realistic for either system. From what I've seen in multiple sources...as, I think Garthanos mentions above,...the individual response and circumstances of an injury seem much wilder and more determinant that anything else. There are real-life examples of Death Spirals, TTB*, and "One Hits". I agree that "realism" might just take the form of a "damage save" mechanic that yields three results: 1)No big deal, costume damage 2) Keep going, but see how bad it is after the fight 3) You're out/down (possibly dead, but maybe roll to see how). Personally, my beef with the TTB result is the lack of dramatic interest. There's really only one narrative there, its all Disney Damage. Yes, I've seen and even performed modifications on it to make is better. But still, if we're shooting to emulate the fiction here, TTB isn't very good at it. Heroes often have to suffer and work past all sorts of lingering injuries in dramatically interesting ways, and TTB just skips right over that. (Of course, if you're not personally shooting to emulate fiction, then TTB works just fine.) Which means I l...


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Sunday, 26th May, 2019

  • 06:24 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Garthanos in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    "Higher Standard" -->Because of blatant disgusting arrogance of course. The edition wars made it acceptable AND since 4e lost those well it somehow still is. Meh, there's always the ignore list if one is so inclined. Personally I find that there's always something people will end up saying that is annoying, and then again they'll say something interesting or insightful so best to let it all pass. I will happily play 4e or some variation thereof as long as I can still roll dice :)

Saturday, 25th May, 2019

  • 04:26 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Garthanos in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    For some reason this reminded me of Runequest where they track closely "how" you advance perhaps the above tricks might allow one to gain experience fighting foes which are significantly beneath your capability when otherwise the DM wouldn't grant them. Oh, that's an idea! It might also work for *ahem* 'solo' play ...

Monday, 6th May, 2019

  • 07:59 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Garthanos in post Lazy General... aka Warlord in Anime
    An interesting thing I find is that heroic Warlords in fiction are not necessarily "older" characters they often are geniuses or reincarnations, ie the returning hero is sometimes the foundation explanation for this ability. In this realm we find legendaries such as King Arthur as well as Historic ones like Alexander the Great. Sure. Especially in history, what's remembered as tactical brilliance or invincibility or destiny is often innovation - and innovation is stereotypically a young man's game. A character that's an inspiration to his allies only because of his status - the lost heir to a kingdom, a destined champion, that sorta thing - could also be modeled as a warlord, however young he may be, and even if he has no particular tactical acumen.

Wednesday, 24th April, 2019


Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 08:14 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Garthanos in post Warlord Flavor (One favorite of mine)
    Insidious Manipulation - your devious manipulations are a surprise to enemies and you can mark an enemy you have manipulated into being harmed by their allies and transfer that mark to any of your allies within range. The enemy manipulated into attacking takes Intelligence Mod damage.Flavor they get hurt by their own ally but they think its one of your allies fault ... Not entirely certain about rules verbiage. Verbiage: When you cause an enemy to inflict damage upon another enemy, you can also choose to have the damaged enemy marked by yourself or an ally within range. The enemy that inflicted the damage also takes damage equal to your INT modifier. That what you were trying for?

Saturday, 20th April, 2019

  • 04:16 AM - Riley37 quoted Garthanos in post Vampire's new "three-round combat" rule
    Yeh why fight the bad guys it's not like anything but greed is the motivation That's not an accurate description of all early D&D. Some, but not all. Dave Arneson's Castle Blackmoor scenarios had mission objectives other than "extract the gold from the dungeon to the surface", such as finding out why the Baron's wizard had vanished into the dungeon (and whether he was going to become a threat to the castle and the Baron).

Sunday, 7th April, 2019


Sunday, 10th February, 2019

  • 11:20 PM - cbwjm quoted Garthanos in post Deva Warlord - Aurelia Warleader
    Adding Map is the element that would be needed... I think it should be tied in with the land cards (which might represent controlled territory -ie the basic unit of resource) basically a way to have more tactical positioning. This just gave me an idea for creating a map for a world (normally I just scribble some basic shapes and build something from that). Take 30 or so basic land cards shuffle them together and then deal them out into a grid like 4x4 or 3x5 and then convert the mix of islands, forests, mountains, etc into a map. Islands could represent any large body of water if falling in the centre of a land mass. On a side note, Aurelia is CR 23 in 5e. Her stats are in the ravnica guide.

Saturday, 9th February, 2019


Wednesday, 6th February, 2019

  • 09:29 PM - cbwjm quoted Garthanos in post 4E Redux
    Ever seen the Variant Fighter? https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz74Lu7ft9sycGpYbi02UHk5RmM/view To be honest though there is a thread on here about what you give up and what you gain with 4e vs Trad D&D and it among various other things fairlly decisively confirm for me it would be way too much work to make 5e what I would want and I am better off developing 4e Looks pretty cool, I'll be adding it to my list of ideas for maneuvers. Reading through the PDF, I felt it seemed familier, turns out it's done by the same guy as the maneuvers list I linked to.

Sunday, 3rd February, 2019

  • 10:53 AM - Zardnaar quoted Garthanos in post Deva Warlord - Aurelia Warleader
    I am definitely wondering if a variant magic the gathering could be used to play out mass combat, LOL Mass combat system Birthright had something kinda like that. It was card+map based IIRC. Whats the casting cost, Boros was a favourite back in the day. FOund it. She would be around CR 18 in 5E and 4E

Friday, 1st February, 2019


Wednesday, 30th January, 2019


Saturday, 26th January, 2019

  • 04:14 AM - Immortal Sun quoted Garthanos in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Damn you autocorrect! Vancian was the word I was trying to use. Unless I'm not remembering correctly, a stance was a daily that lasted until the end of an encounter unless you ended it earlier. It's been a looooooong time since I played 4E *goes and reads up* yeah you got it. Lasts the encounter unless you end it or switch out. It certainly can happen in Pathfinder or 5E! It just involves the minion-esque guard being a level one creature with bad Con. If a monk (or brawler) with a decent damage bonus can get behind the guard and deal lethal damage with their first unarmed strike, then I have no problem with that being narrated as a neck snap. A minion in all but name and a good damage roll? Eh. I don't see "It's basically a minion, but not really." as any different than "It's a minion." End result? A mook with low HP that will 99.9% of the time die in one hit. "A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet." BTWs: prior to 4E, unarmed strikes were always non-lethal. 4E baked in ...

Friday, 11th January, 2019

  • 02:25 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Garthanos in post [Very Long] Combat as Sport vs. Combat as War: a Key Difference in D&D Play Styles...
    This, and some of us saw the guy behind the curtain early on. However I think there are tropes that need rescued. One is with explicit Macguffin pieces .. ie you need to have the silvered weapon to have a chance defeat this type of shapechanger, next game it may require a certain flower juice to be fed to the boss shifter and various other things. The McGuffins once achieved turn your story from a heavily foreshadowed waffle stomp via story implemented strategy into the more interesting combat. You sort of get both at least the flavor of both. I have heard many DMs who were far more comfortable actually killing player characters when they could reliably see how the mechanics lined up in tactical combat. Because they KNEW in they were the one... behind the curtain. Well, my answer, maybe different from 7 years ago, is that the acquisition and desire to use the special silver sword LEAD to the existence of the shapechangers being framed into the action (though it is perfectly...

Sunday, 6th January, 2019


Friday, 4th January, 2019

  • 06:09 AM - Retreater quoted Garthanos in post Different Recharge Rates
    Yup the only edition that can be made to follow the action instead of forcing the action while actually being balanced. The balance is a key reason for the group's consensus to leave 5e and go to 4e. That, and the robust tactical options in combat. I designed the setting to fit both 4e and 5e, and I'll be running games for different groups in different editions.

Sunday, 30th December, 2018

  • 09:11 PM - megamania quoted Garthanos in post Why 5E may be the last edition of D&D
    D&D that stayed the same wouldn't be very D&D DnD is I define it is "Fantasy role playing in small social groups" Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Darksun, Pathfinder, Elric and so many more are that. They have a "theme" or "flavor" to identify them from each other but they are all the same basic game. So change doesn't seem like the right word. Style yes.

Thursday, 20th December, 2018

  • 08:29 AM - Hussar quoted Garthanos in post Why 5E may be the last edition of D&D
    hmmmm like this? 103771 There's more to the problem though. It's not like Nightcrawler is a black skinned sadomasochist who hates and enslaves all men. It's not just the color issue here. The entire race is very problematic. And trying to point to mythological origins doesn't work either because, while drow might look something like svartalfar, the whole femdom dominatrix thing is going to piss off pretty much everyone. To be honest, I'm actually pretty shocked that drow have managed to stay in the game as long as they have. Even a cursory glance paints an incredibly bigoted picture. Hrm, man hating women who worship a black widow spider demon. Yeah, that's not going to trigger anyone at all. Then plaster in the color thing - good elves are white and evil elves are black - and you're just begging for a spanking.

Wednesday, 19th December, 2018

  • 08:17 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Garthanos in post Mythological Figures: Conan the Barbarian (5E)
    To attempt a little on topic commenting - Conan might have an aspect of Barbaric that interfered and gained him fate points when he is younger and he might replace it with "A leader of men" when he gets older. Becoming less lucky and better able to well lead men. That was exactly how the premise in World of Darkness: Mirrors went. I did something like that in my 3.5 with tons of Unearthed Arcana game. "Younger races" such as humans had Eberron-style Action Points while "elder races" (elves, dwarves, etc.) were gestalt classes (essentially two classes at the same time). It worked surprisingly well. The elder race classes seemed like they would dominate but the human ability to choose when to peak made them work surprisingly well. In addition the action economy took care of a lot of things. Sure, you've got lots of options but in a combat that lasts, say, six rounds, you can only do six things. It was less egregious than the full on version where an experienced character like Aragorn has sp...


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