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  • Ryujin's Avatar
    Today, 06:55 PM
    I immediately contrast that, in my mind, with little known author/screenwriter Matt Vancil. He's essentially been writing in the same universe since 1997 through movies, books, and comics, with common threads only now starting to come together. There's something extremely satisfying in seeing something from 1999 popping up in a movie, in 2013, for those who were paying attention. (I had to have...
    7 replies | 158 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 06:32 PM
    More like the fallout, the collateral damage - and what made forums blaze in the flames of hell, and gave mods all over the internet ulcers, of course. Not to mention the undiagnosed tragedy of Post Traumatic Edition War Syndrome. Sure, you do see continuations of the edition war in those threads, it's inevitable when you think about it. The Warlord was introduced in 4e, and it's a valid...
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 03:38 PM
    In principle, I think it offers the same as any genre/setting-focused RPG. Burning Wheel makes it easier to play a pseudo-European game than a pseudo-Asian one. (And the designer even comments on this in the rulebook, noting that some lifepaths will probably have to be changed if the group wants an East Asian flavoured game.) That's a limitation of the game, but it also yields a sense of...
    57 replies | 1163 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 03:28 PM
    I'd actually go the other way around - it seems most interesting if the issue is all about escaping from the gnolls. (I'm thinking of Captain Haddock in the boat the first time he meets Tintin, in Crab with the Golden Claws.) If the escape is being adjudicated as some sort of skill challenge or via some comparable structured resolution system (5e has some stuff like this for the exploration...
    13 replies | 338 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 03:21 PM
    Ah, OK - in that case I retract the criticism of your teachers! For the sort of writing that I do and teach, making decisions about paragraphing - as one component of making decisions about structure - is a fundamental skill. A doctrine about minimum or even typical length would be no help at all.
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 03:14 PM
    When I GM I would say that talk similarly to how I would in an enthusiastic hobbyist-type context. Eg if I'd been to a film with a friend and was talking about it afterwards. Or if, at work, I wanted to tell someone what I enjoyed about a seminar I went to. So probably a bit more focused than a supermarket chat. But still conversation.
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 02:59 PM
    I know these questions are intended as rhetorical, but if I treat them as literal then the answer is I don't know. The game seems to be 3e D&D (Scarred Lands), but who are the PCs? Who are the players? Do they have any reason to give a toss about the glutton Titan Gaurak?
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 02:35 PM
    Then, without being too mean about it, you had crappy English teachers. I'm a published author (of non-fiction). A big part of my job is teaching students (UG and PG) how to write. My partner is a published author (non-fiction, some poetry) and a high school English teacher. Most of her job is teaching students how to write. This thread is the first I've heard of this five-paragraph...
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 02:13 PM
    It's pretty tangential to the thread topic, but there is something strange about being schooled on the meaning and connotations of "literary" by someone who asserts such bizarre stuff about the process and structure of wrting.
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 02:11 PM
    Huh? Says who? Here are the first three paragraphs of REH's The Scarelt Citadel (which was the first story I Googled, knowing that REH doesn't write in too long-winded a fashion): The roar of battle had died away; the shout of victory mingled with the cries of the dying. Like gay-hued leaves after an autumn storm, the fallen littered the plain; the sinking sun shimmered on burnished...
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Today, 09:39 AM
    Lack of sleep should incur exhaustion levels.
    51 replies | 1127 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Today, 07:38 AM
    You mean, ďEven betterĒ, surely!
    44 replies | 2841 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 07:29 AM
    Not a fan of TotM, but, since I don't see how it actually has any bearing, went ahead and voted for da Flavah. Bland bonuses are bland. Of course, in the olden days you didn't have to choose: your +1 sword most likely glowed (thanks, Tolkien), and your +1 armor was feather-light and needed no maintenance. 5e, likewise, has some cool options for adding extra seasoning to otherwise bland...
    27 replies | 452 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 07:22 AM
    Superior? Different. Willing to adopt the new can be seen as positive or negative, depending on your PoV, but it's certainly different from defending the old. Edit: But, hey, if thinking of yourself as superior matters so to you, you can always spin it hard in the negative direction, something like: former 4e fans must be a bunch of uncritical WotC apologists who automatically adopt the...
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 06:12 AM
    Well, I did put it the other way round: the players don't find it interesting because, for them, it is not interesting/ Eg maybe the situation is something about kobolds on a hill, and the players (in general; today; because of the PCs they're playing; some combination of factors; etc) simply aren't engaged by that sort of situation. I don't know what a Vengaurak is. I know, therefore, that...
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 05:58 AM
    They're very closely linked topics. The 5MWD is all about timing encounters vs rest for maximum advantage to full casters, and, thus, the PC side of those encounters. It was a very potent strategy in 3.x, when players would plot an attack, execute it, and retire to recover all-important spells. In 1e, it was vital to rest & recover spells frequently, just to survive 1st level. I've been...
    51 replies | 1127 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 05:36 AM
    There's always griping, of course, merely not adopting is a live-and-let-live 'rejection' of a new ed, if that's as far as it goes.. But, CoC notwithstanding, there was lots of edition warring here - and it's not exactly entirely gone, either. Look at how quickly 4e leading in even a trivial little poll like this drew the attacks.
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 05:07 AM
    Yes, and your argument is proven wrong by the conspicuous lack of an edition war raging against 5e. I understand that you want to establish an equivalency between the more extreme demands of the playtest, and the extremes of the edition war, but they were fundamentally different: all the demands, posturing and vitriol if the playtest was fans wanting to get what they wanted into the coming...
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 05:00 AM
    By this you're meaning not just gendered roles/classes/playbooks, but sex-based stat penalties? My guess - from the discussion of Conan in the OP - is that CapnZapp wants the play experience that would result from gendered classes/playbooks, but (1) isn't too familar with a wide range of RPGs beyond a certain sort of D&D, and (2) has a certain sort of "simulationist" sensibility that leads to...
    57 replies | 1163 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:33 AM
    OK. In that case I think it's fairly clear why two GMs might present the same situation with the same degree of clarity and at one table get buy-in while at the other table it falls flat. Or in other words, the answer to the question you posed here seems fairly straightforward: Those players who don't find it interesting are probably the ones for whom it is not interesting.
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:28 AM
    CapnZapp didn't say that's how things are iRL. To the contrary, The phrase this world referst to the imagined world of the RPG, not real life. I doubt I would play the game that CapnZapp posits. I do play RPGs which, as part of their presentation of mediaeval life, note the significance of certain gender distinctions (Burning Wheel has some lifepaths that are women only; Prince Valiant has...
    57 replies | 1163 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 04:02 AM
    To elaborate on my question, then: upthread Imaro seemed to assert, or at least very strongly imply, that whether or not a situation is interesting is a player-independent state of affairs. Do you agree? What do you think the GM should have regard to in coming up with situations? Lanefan, in other threads over many years, has posted that the GM should always author scenarios without regard to...
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 03:54 AM
    Can I pick up on your example (bolded by me to call it out) and a possible risk in play? Not to denigrate the example, but to try to connect it into how I'm thinking about things. It seems to me that it is possible that the GM might narrate the koblds' drool and bloodshot eyes, hoping and intending to evoke a particular response and engagement from the players, only instead to trigger...
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 03:22 AM
    I think there is another reason that books impose demands that are different from RPGing. The goal of a book (typically) is to evoke some sort of response in the reader in virtue of having read the book. This depends heavily on the craft of the narration, on its literary quality in the way the OP uses that phrase. Whereas the goal of a GM's narrration - I assert in the OP and reiterate here...
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Today, 03:07 AM
    It is very close to it. The notion of the craft of the narration is as good as any other way of putting it. For my part, the limitaion in what hawkeyefan says is the emphasis on clearly conveying the situation. I think this is important, but not sufficient. As per the OP, What matters to me is that the players feel the significance of the situations the GM describes - that they feel the...
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Today, 03:01 AM
    In my case, a Wizard psionic subclass as long as it is competitively potent, can probably fulfill my need for a 3e Psion.
    32 replies | 1074 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Today, 02:55 AM
    My problem with the Mystic is, it is a halfcaster who fails to access high level spells. Actually, slightly worse than a halfcaster, since its highest level spells are roughly slot level 4. I need options for full-psionics. For example, the Wish spell can exemplify the power of mind over matter − the psychic wills desire into reality − suitable for any high level full-psionic.
    32 replies | 1074 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:42 AM
    It's really just peeling another onion-layer off action declaration. Implicit in many action declarations is a reason for the choice of method that goes with the goal. If that reason is predicated on knowledge and the PC having or recalling that knowledge is in doubt, then in calling for the check the DM is just breaking down a declared action into necessary smaller actions. DMs have been...
    575 replies | 20034 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:14 AM
    To be fair, I only credit 1e with those qualities. I'd quibble with 2e, since it did pour on a /lot/ of er stuff. ;) But 1e and 5e both have something going on that isn't quantified in the rules or just the sum of the sub-systems or anything quite objective or tangible, it's the DM's freedom to explore way from the system that's a big part of it. 1e had that going for it more or less by...
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Today, 12:58 AM
    I think I get what you are saying. What do you do if a Long Rest is impossible. This scenario extremely harms the players who play daily-resource classes, mainly fullcasters. To some degree, always-on classes, like Fighter and Rogue, still suffer from depleting hit points. Ultimately, it is a game of fear and scarcity. Where Rogues are probably the most capable of surviving. While other...
    51 replies | 1127 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Today, 12:23 AM
    I get the appeal of 3e having a rule for everything. Wanting to quantify every possibility to simulate reality. Now I probably prefer adjudication on the fly for less common events, so 5e probably strikes the right balance for me, leaning on the DM. But I have to admit the appeal of rules. I care about what is Ďofficialí, because it helps gamers be on the same page. It also makes future...
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:48 PM
    I am a 4e fan. I never slandered 5e. I felt Ďbetrayedí by the loss of 4e, especially because 4e failed to provide an OGL. But I pretty much immediately understood that 4e was over, and spent my energy constructively during the 5e playtests. And even now, spend my time constructively with 5e. I have to agree with Tony. Where 3e fans launched a tidal way of negativity against 4e (and now...
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • Ryujin's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:43 PM
    I love a well thought out plot, with fully fleshed-out and compelling characters, performed by extremely talented actors. ... but sometimes you just have to turn off your brain and enjoy the flow.
    8 replies | 163 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:42 PM
    Describing the upside of 1e/2e as Ďenthusiasmí and Ďcharming amateurismí, resonate with me too. Also, the fluidity of the system is a plus, where each DM can reappropriate whatever rules were useful for whatever setting was of interest. The 1e/2e really was the edition where it was true, "The only limitation is your imagination". All the other editions require system mastery, often with a...
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:40 PM
    doctorbadwolf replied to Firearms
    Eh, you're better off taking the Battle Master subclass and simply giving the player gun proficiency and proficiency with Tinker Tools. The Gunslinger isn't actually very good at all. What we see from Percy on Critical Role is a result of the many attacks a Fighter gets, and abilities that the Battle Master also has, and the properties of the guns he built. The subclass is adding basically...
    149 replies | 4113 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:15 PM
    3. I am unconvinced that 3e describes physical damage. There are no consequences for being Ďseverely woundedí. A person with 1 hp can still run a marathon, no difference from an athlete in top shape. Personally, I subscribe to the serious injury happening at 0 hp. I impose a level of exhaustion each time a person reaches 0 hp. To represent the injury that occurred, and describe the nature...
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:07 PM
    Edition warring, in the brief 4e era, during the playtest, and right now, in this thread, has generally been initiated /against/ 4e. This is no exception. 4e is dead, you got to help kill it, you got to dance and spit all over it's grave. But, now, with 4e taking a /slight/ lead, in a trivial little 2nd-favorite-edition-after-5e poll, you're at it again. Why? What possible threat could...
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:36 PM
    I wonder if it is possible to have keep ones cake and eat it too. Maybe the mechanical consequence of a fumble is disadvantage on the action of ones next turn. Then the player (or DM) can narrate why. This might be enough to avoid slapstick in a moment where players are in more a serious mood.
    38 replies | 918 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:28 PM
    On occasion, players have used Stealth skill checks to hide while resting or sleeping, such as covered in soil, camouflage, or so on. Depending on circumstance, it has worked.
    51 replies | 1127 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:22 PM
    Movement isnt so much a problem. A character with heightened speed can Ďengageí a target that is Ďfarí. (The DM adjudicates plausibility for special circumstances.) The feature, Distant Spell, is easy. If a spell requires Ďengageí, the Sorcerer can instead extend it to Ďnearí. If a spell requires Ďnearí, the Sorcerer can extend it to Ďfarí. I wrote that Ďfarí is upto 100, but I meant...
    44 replies | 1244 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:58 PM
    Tiny Hut is a ritual, so can be cast before a long rest without expending resources. Rope Trick requires a slot, but still is a potent low level spell for a safe rest.
    51 replies | 1127 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:16 PM
    "Perfection"? lol oof. It's pretty good movie, with a batman that is...fine, I guess? It's probably the third best live action Batman movie, maybe 4th. And Pattinson is a morbid weirdo who comes across at a casual glance as a vapid pop star. Literally my only worry with him is the physical build, but if Keaton can pull it off, I'm sure he can too.
    25 replies | 535 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:04 PM
    I voted for 4e. I'm still considering making a hack of 4e that simply shares some simple powers within a role or power source to simplify the power list (delete effective duplicates), and put in bounded accuracy instead of the number ramping, and block most static bonus stacking. IMO, those things, and enemy HP, are the only major problems with 4e.
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:13 PM
    Yes. 5e is both easy and hard. It's hard to DM, requiring a lot of skill/talent/experience/gall/whatever to just take up that imaginary absolute power and run with it - but, if you /have/ meet that preq somehow (or you just don't care), it's also /easy/ to just wield that power and have fun with it. I'm not sure if it's 'conversely' or 'by the same token,' or both, but from the players'...
    46 replies | 1674 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:48 PM
    Not to mention liking 4e and some prior editions (I was a straight-up 4venger, but I'm also one of those old guys for whom nothing will ever match what I had with 1e, for instance - and more on that below, since you bring it up...). THE biggest reason for preferring one older edition is that it's the edition you started with. It's just a powerful emotional connection, I guess. The 1e...
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:07 PM
    Well, there is a PF forum. I suspect if you put this poll up there you might see the result you'd expect. BTW, I'm curious why you play 5e rather than 3.5 or PF?
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • UngeheuerLich's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:26 PM
    I missed them too. And then I realized that we have a commoner stat block and that the winpy orc is just the same as the wimpy human a commoner. And if you need something in between, that's the bandid orc. Edit to clarify: increase str by 2. Give them the aggressive trait. That is usually enough to representate an orc faithfully.
    70 replies | 3232 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:15 PM
    I started the thread. Hussar is free to say what he likes about the dependence of much RPGing on the logic of genres (it's something I myself have been posting about for maybe 10+ years on these boards). But those things don't rebut the claim in the OP, which is pretty clear: I don't think Hussar has inadvertantely taken that for a claim that genre plays no role in RPGing. And your...
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:18 AM
    This is fine if, by literary endeavour, you means an activity that deploys and/or relies upon some devices used in literary composition. But that's not what the OP meant, and I think it is fairly clear what the OP did mean: quality of composition, with particular reference to the narration and descriptions used by the GM. Using genre tropes and policing genre boundaries doesn't really bear...
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:00 AM
    Maybe the player who rolled the fumble gets to decide what has gone horribly wrong, and leave it as narrative rather than mechanical?
    38 replies | 918 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:12 AM
    Also, I love theater of mind style for most encounters. That is something that 1e/2e and 5e are best at. And this matters to me alot.
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:08 AM
    I would rank ... 1. 4e 2. 5e 3. 3e 4. 1e/2e My frustration with 5e is the unavailability of many things that I love. Psionics. Charisma elf. Magical warrior (swordmage). Nonmagical healer (warlord). Nontheistic cleric. The list goes on and on.
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:23 AM
    Iím curious, what does 3e have for you that 5e lacks?
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:01 AM
    Selective memory of the present? There is no edition war being waged against 5e.
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:51 AM
    Fans of 4e were necessarily drawn from the segment of the fan base most willing to give a new ed a fair shot. You had to be, to look past the rocky introduction and the vitriol of the edition war, and form an honest impression of the new ed. 5e's introduction was a lot more considerate and measured, there may not have been a lot of enthusiasm for Next, but when season 19 rolled around, we...
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 11:33 PM
    Consider that this is being asked in 5e forum. The most effusive praise I've heard of 5e has come from 2e fans. 0e/1e/OSR and 3.x/PF fans have their things, so may not drop by here. 4e fans, by definition, were those most willing to give a new ed a chance. So what you're seeing isn't absolute popularity of editions, but a prevalence of 2e & 4e fans within the 5e community.
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 03:27 PM
    Why not CON? Like other stamina-related feats.
    13 replies | 338 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 03:23 PM
    This is highly contingent on (i) system and (ii) ingame situation. To give one example, based on Burning Wheel: I stride down the hall sounds like a Conspicuous test, while I move cautiously down the hall looking carefully for anything out of place looks like a Perception check, perhaps also Stealth and/or Inconspicuous. In Prince Valiant the first might be a check on Presence, the second on...
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 05:34 AM
    One set in the alternate universe of Je ne suis pas un homme facile, for instance. Or, for us older fellas who may not have netflix, any of those 70s battle of the sexes spoofs, like Queen Kong or Star Maidens.
    57 replies | 1163 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 05:03 AM
    1e AD&D. Every edition since has been better in many ways, but can't compete with those early experiences.
    142 replies | 3614 view(s)
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  • AbdulAlhazred's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 02:09 AM
    Or, alternatively, and still well within the bounds of HP as explained by Mr. Gygax, this particular giant, while just as tough as other giants, simply lacks the connections to fate and luck needed to avoid a particularly skilled thrust made by a dwarf fighter with his trusty bastard sword on the rd of Crackrock in the Forest of Grin, land of Kinergh. It is really that simple. And when we are...
    178 replies | 13992 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 08:41 PM
    You could slip in something of the kind in one of two ways that *might* not go over too badly: 1) Have SIZe and BuiLD stats chosen by the player, together they determine your characters weight, and put limits (min & max) on STRength and DEXterity. They're independent of the player's choice of assigned sex, but will probably result in gender-stereotype-conforming PCs. 2) Setting. If a...
    57 replies | 1163 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 08:18 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to Firearms
    I've heard all sides in such debates way too much to get into it, there's political issues fueling different sides, and it involves autopsy-level detail that'll never be modeled with a hp system. The takeaway is that lots of things can kill you, where guns stand out is in how easy they make it, regardless of size/strength/skill of either party involved. 'cept for 4e, iff, by 'people' you...
    149 replies | 4113 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 06:51 PM
    Kinda relating to the Artificer, I would find it helpful if D&D added a new skill: Alchemy. Alchemy covers the elements − earth (bludgeon, pierce, slash), air (thunder, lightning), fire, and water (cold) − acid, metallurgy, material strength, pouring concrete, geology, (seismic activity, volcanoes), and so on. Basically, proto-chemistry. So far I use the Nature skill for Alchemy. But I feel...
    65 replies | 2431 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 09:45 PM
    Or what's appealing, sure (I recall harboring some hearty skepticism in the playtest when Mearls started going on about reaching back to early experiences with AD&D to get insight into what would make 5e appeal to new players - being a new player in the 80s or 90s has gotta be very different from being one today!). And the dynamics at the table can have a big impact. But, while 39 years (yeah...
    46 replies | 1674 view(s)
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  • doctorbadwolf's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 08:01 PM
    Yeah, no. Self control isnít part of the equation, except on the part of those hoarding wealth that belongs to the community. But this is an inherently political topic, so best we leave it. I doubt either of us has arguments to make that the other canít ever hear elsewhere.
    127 replies | 4769 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 07:18 PM
    While a 4e approach might have been as or more accessible to new players as 5e's, and might've become more so in the long run, it's failure with established fans and 5e's reversion to type means that a new generation of fans are being indoctrinated into the same expectations as the old generation. D&D as it was in the 80s, and is again today, is how it will remain for the foreseeable future. If...
    46 replies | 1674 view(s)
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  • Ryujin's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 06:55 PM
    As long as it's not using actual Trek brands you could point to any number of inspirational sources, for most of the stuff that they do.
    22 replies | 471 view(s)
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  • Ryujin's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 03:54 PM
    "The Protectot" (Turkish series on Netflix) is also pretty good, though I haven't watched season 2 yet.
    22 replies | 471 view(s)
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  • Ryujin's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 03:53 PM
    The crossover shows, in an attempt to force viewers to watch the shows that they weren't currently also watching, had the affect on me of making me drop the lot. Unfortunately it seems that amazon has dropped "The Tick", which I was enjoying.
    22 replies | 471 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 01:40 PM
    As others have moreorless said, distances need to simplify to: ē engaged - in melee ē near - ≈30ft - namely within a Move ē far - beyond a Move I wish every D&D spell had a range of either engaged (touch), near (upto 30ft), or far (upto 100ft). When thinking about ranges and area-of-effects, just ballpark it as one of these three.
    44 replies | 1244 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:52 AM
    Notice that you've got three different action declarations here. Two of them are contrasting: * Grgur walks down the hallway, be cautious and looking carefully to see if anything is out of place. * Grugr strides down the hallway. And one is less specific: * Grugr moves down the hallway.
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:47 AM
    Not at all. Imaro is the person who introduced clarity as a desideratum. My point was that clarity is not really connected to literary quality, and pointed to instructions as an example. If you agree that instructions don't typically display literary quality, then I think you should agree that - to the extent that clarity matters in RPGing - then that doesn't really bear on the issues...
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:24 AM
    Thanks for the heads up - I've deleted the stray material in that post. As per the OP, it came from multiple recent threads. One was the boxed text thread. Another was the action declaration thread ("DC to know a NPC is telling the truth"). In that second thread, there were some posters who seemed to equate describing a PC's action as a component of action declaration with a florid or literary...
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 09:23 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Norse Warrior Magic − Galdr Chanting Yaarel 2019 This essay assesses the Norse warrior magic, called galdr Ďchantingí, that the Ljóūatal poem describes, and translates the concepts into D&D. The result has a Psionic Paladin vibe. For a full spellcaster, the spells here are appropriate for a Psionic Bard. These Norse archetypes for the D&D classes gain the Ďpsionicsí tag. The Norse poem...
    87 replies | 7154 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 04:04 AM
    Yeah. I get that half-casters can be powerful, and it shores up the mundane aspects. At the same time, someone who makes magic items needs to excel at magic, including high-level spellcasting for high-level magic items. At the very least, I want to see a high level feature that can access high level spells, even if like the way a Warlock does.
    65 replies | 2431 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:46 AM
    People spend millions of dollars painting buildings, too. That doesn't show that painting buildings is per se an artistic endeavour - maybe it is (if we're painting St Peters), maybe it's not (if we're painting a block of flats to protect the exterior against the weather). I'm a published author in a natural language based but technical discipline. (Or in fact two such disciplines: law and...
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:41 AM
    A complication for me in responding to Lanefan's question is what is the story which is not progressing?
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:36 AM
    Yes. This is my point, so I'm not sure why you frame this as disagreeing with me. But this is exactly what I'm talking about. As I posted I think in my last reply to you, I don't understand what role you think action declaration and the distinctive player role in a RPG are doing. As you describe it, it would make no difference if everyone was working through a rough script but improving the...
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:30 AM
    That's actually not what the OP says. Colour, obviously, is fundamental to heaps of RPGing. (Maybe not some classic dungeoncrawling.) I don't think the word "colour" appears in the OP. The OP does say RPGing requires narration: GMs describe situations - that narration and description will involve colour. My claim is about the focus of, and foundation of, emotional engagement in RPGing. As...
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 11:52 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    A drengr is an example of an ideal Norse warrior. Goodhearted, high-quality, idealistic − and extremely courageous. The recklessness exhibits the courage. Courage is a highest good in the Norse male gender identity. In the case of the drengr, the daring and thrill-seeking also demonstrates competence and effectiveness, because somehow the drengr manages to pull the stunt off, despite great odds....
    87 replies | 7154 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Ryujin's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 10:01 PM
    Given that they have control of both gravity and inertial, I tend to think of the ship as an independent and closed system. ... until that control fails.
    433 replies | 17527 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Ryujin's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 09:40 PM
    I'd say that's good advice. That way you'll likely avoid the episodes in which virtually the entire crew should have been spaced for mutiny.
    357 replies | 13834 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 09:26 PM
    Obviously, the guy that made the potion has to concentrate. That's dedication. Ö or, no, wait if the potion requires concentration do you have to run it through a high-vacuum evaporator before use? Store it in a freezer?
    66 replies | 9276 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 07:20 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to Firearms
    I suppose it doesn't have to be conventional black powder (in my 4e pirate game, 'thunderfire rods' used 'alchemical reagents'), and could have different characteristics, like merely smoldering when touched off outside of a gun rather than being a functional low explosive.
    149 replies | 4113 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 07:08 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to Firearms
    I'm not even so sure it's that big a deal. Why do firearms have to be particularly lethal? They just punch holes in people down range. Spears punch holes in people, arrows & quarrels punch holes in people - a dagger can certainly kill, but only does a d4. Historically what made firearms so revolutionary wasn't that they were deadlier or longer-ranged than bows but that they required less...
    149 replies | 4113 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 06:08 PM
    In a D&D world, the bolded, above, could include: Kings, Emperors, Vassals thereof, Tyrants, humanoid chieftains, Theocracies, Magocracies, Mad Liches*, Demi-gods, Diabolic powers, and, well, Dragons if they really felt like it. I'm guessing the average attitude of governing bodies is not one disinclined to accept rampant poverty among the general populace.
    127 replies | 4769 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 05:47 PM
    It's funny how the subject has turned to hps. The second-earliest, second-most-vicious, second-best-justified criticism of primordial D&D was that characters gaining hps through 'experience' made no sense. (Obviously that's second after 'forgetting' spells upon casting being ridiculous.) EGGs exhaustive defense of the system was a useable rationalization if you were willing to suspend...
    178 replies | 13992 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 02:42 PM
    I think that Choose Your Own Adventure books and boardgames are not very satisfactory vehicles for participating in a situation. Their structured natures make them relatively poor vehicles for protagonism. Video games I can't comment on. And I'm not denying that there are people who enjoy RPGs because they are entertained by performances or give entertaining performances. I'm denying that...
    491 replies | 9664 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 02:39 PM
    Really? That's a surprise to me. When I read a letter from a family member I'm not really worried about the spelling or puncutation, let alone it's literary merit.
    491 replies | 9664 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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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...
  • 01:11 PM - Oofta quoted Garthanos in post Why 5E may be the last edition of D&D
    hmmmm like this? 103771 There's a big difference between someone that is obviously not human and someone that's in blackface with pointy ears.
  • 11:13 AM - Zardnaar quoted Garthanos in post Why 5E may be the last edition of D&D
    Well that might be more the issue.... for me a Drow with skin like the above would work fine, but having a sympathetic mutant who is subject to extreme prejudice but is a hero is comparatively easier to sell than the background of an entire race who worship chaotic evil spider gods. You might have to go the "propiates" the gods angle and write really really well, but even then - yup a problem. Dragonlance also has not aged well. I tried rereading it a while ago and gave up but enjoyed it early 90's. Some of the other D&D books are still good, but not really suitable for the big screen. The Elaine Cunningham books are probably the best overall although I have heard Kemp is good. Something like Moonsong might be one of the better D&D novels to adapt.


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