View Profile: Neonchameleon - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Today, 04:54 AM
    So the owners of my favorite Vietnamese restaurant have opened a second place about 45-60min away, in a different suburb of Dallas than where I live. They named the first place Pho Yen Phi, after a couple of the kids in the family. The new location has a different name, but they used the same methodology. ...resulting in Pho Kim. One of the youngsters pointed out what that sounds like in...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 01:42 AM
    edition warrior you remain
    817 replies | 11065 view(s)
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  • steeldragons's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:40 PM
    "Insight?" Not per se. My guess would be (and personal rationale has always been) because Clerics are the "dealing with other planes" guys, in general. Their whole magic shtick is about contacting/receiving power from other (generally, the "higher" or "lower") planes. Makes sense Clerics get plane shift a little earlier. And, as you noted, the arcane "teleport" is a 5th level spell. So...
    9 replies | 1277 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:39 AM
    With great power comes great responsibility. https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/new-zealand-newspaper-mixes-stan-lee-spike-lee-obituary-174514140.html
    296 replies | 18262 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:37 AM
    I don’t subscribe to Hulu- or any other channel, for that matter- but... https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/hulu-develop-shows-based-george-233044134.html Hulu, don’t screw this up. This SHOULD be ideal for TV. Like Thieves’ World, there’s a goodly number of central characters, plus a lot of potential for one-shots & short story arcs.
    55 replies | 1158 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:22 AM
    Should reinvigorating call be "can't use it on them again until the subject/target finishes a short or long rest"?
    492 replies | 12272 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:08 AM
    I like hearing design thoughts on house builds ... I found the Variant Fighter very interesting
    492 replies | 12272 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:52 AM
    Agreed nice for Warlord I approve though I think Battle Ready could also be just any fighter. So those who opt for Strength get their favored secondary as initiative (and its barely more than a tweak) Yeh I think both of these are minimal fuss modifications, I even like the Battlemaster name being a pretty fair synonym of the "War" "Lord"
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 05:14 PM
    Jeremy Clarkson would know about getting into other people's spaces. :p Personally, I ran my gelatinous cube fight theatre of the mind anyway. I don't expect it would have gone differently with minis, though.
    35 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 01:27 PM
    So unarmoured barbarians add their CON bonus to their AC, as well as their DEX bonus. At low level this gives a moderate AC comparable to medium armour, but at very high level you may see some odd effects. Bracers of Defense (uncommon item) plus CON 20 plus DEX 16 plus shield gives AC 22 a lot cheaper than full plate & +2 shield (rare item). I don't think this is game breaking, but with the half...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 09:22 AM
    I get AC 22 (18 plate, +2 shield, +2 magic shield bonus) since the +1 forge bonus is also magical. I think the rule would hurt magic/casting PCs and favour Barbarians, who can get a great AC in just a loincloth. :)
    70 replies | 1306 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 09:20 AM
    Yeah, I don't apply the rule to prone, unconscious creatures. You are free to stand on top of them. :)
    35 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 09:18 AM
    As others have said, the rule is you can't end YOUR turn in another's space. This seems to be a legacy of 3e/4e square-centric combat. I'd rule it (in fact I did rule it recently) that all the PCs who get pushed back get pushed back together in a jumbled heap. If there is no way back because of eg dead end corridor then I would make the engulf automatic.
    35 replies | 855 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 09:10 AM
    I think it'll work ok. It will tend to hurt PCs and help monsters, especially at higher level. In particular it will make larger PC groups relatively less powerful and lessen the quadratic buff effect. Personally I agree with others that stacking bonuses usually isn't really an issue in 5e because of the Concentration mechanic and because powerful monsters get very high to-hit bonuses, and...
    70 replies | 1306 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 09:01 AM
    However in 1e the M-U had THAC0 21 and a -5 non-prof penalty, Fighter had THAC0 20, -2 non-prof penalty, and with UA could x2 specialise for +3 to hit, +3 damage and ATT 3/2!
    120 replies | 4194 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 08:58 AM
    This eventually becomes the case in 5e, but you need to be around twice the 1e level to get the equivalent feeling of power. So eg 10th level 5e PCs can trash mobs of orcs the way 5th level 1e PCs can.
    120 replies | 4194 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 08:56 AM
    I don't like the 5e Ogre either. But most 5e monsters aren't statted like that. Look at the Bugbear, Lizardfolk, Gnoll, Hobgoblin & Orc for example.
    120 replies | 4194 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 08:39 AM
    I've been playing D&D with my son since he was 5, he's 11 now. Very young players have short attention spans, only about 30 minutes or so. Nowadays he's much like an adult player, only I guess more likely than most to instigate action. I think the amount of time and commitment needed to play through an AP is not particularly suitable for younger players; generally I think shorter adventures...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 08:25 AM
    This is definitely true, and a function of bonus action & 4e minor action healing. You get a kind of quadratic effect. Monsters can counter it by all going at once and finishing off fallen PCs immediately they go down, but I tend to reserve that for after the monsters first see the PCs bringing fallen PCs back up again.
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 08:22 AM
    Yes, at least give melee creatures some javelins for when they can't reach the foe. Or a troll might have proficiency in throwing rocks - 2d4 damage but a +4 STR bonus still makes it annoying.
    25 replies | 485 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 08:17 AM
    Some noble stats from my Wilderlands game, the Bronzes of Hara: King Namelin Bronze I ,King of Nerath (fr 20/8/4447) & Lord of Hara Alryan Human Male, Knight ST 16 DE 14 CO 16 IN 13 WI 15 CH 16 AC 19 (15 half plate, +2 shield, +2 DEX) HP 76 (10d8+30) CR 5 PB +3 Saving Throws Str +6 Con +6, Wis +5 Senses passive Perception 12. Disadvantage on Stealth checks. Languages Common,
    57 replies | 1828 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 04:48 AM
    CNN, too. https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/12/entertainment/stan-lee-obit/index.html
    296 replies | 18262 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 03:35 AM
    If you do have the offline character builder or find it somehow there is a tool for customizing it that I really like using -called CBLoader
    4 replies | 196 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 03:00 AM
    A couple of ideas I had seem like they could be used by Warlord/Fighter variants One was a low level feature that helps out the Strength based character called Battle ready For most the beginning of a battle is something they have to react to and its reflexes that take over but for you its a fulfillment of your expectations and your plans. You may pick and alternative stat (instead of...
    492 replies | 12272 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 01:44 AM
    Quick response - love your goals. updating the concept - good there were options that seemed to never make it to the table with the 4e Warlord (in spite of it being already very role versatile and having a lot of support, I think actually battlefield control could have been better and having some striker functionality? intrigues me) . Teamwork also vital (this is missing from the feel of...
    492 replies | 12272 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 11:10 AM
    I think the SFX would be fine...in the right hands. Especially as an animated show, of course. The Achilles heel would indeed be the writing. The LoSH could legitimately feature some angstsy stuff- just like the Teen Titans- depending on the particular era. After all, it was founded by teens & twenty-somethings. But also like the TT, they grew up and the storylines and dynamics...
    55 replies | 1158 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 06:41 PM
    I think you'll find this is overpowered at higher levels. You might get away with having the style give a +2 to AC, but adding Prof will break bounded accuracy. I can already make an Eldritch Knight who is almost impossible to hit, this would make it completely impossible except on a double 20 (assuming I have Blur up). When I first started GMing 5e I did a bunch of house rules, but I found...
    120 replies | 4194 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 03:01 PM
    I have a chart somewhere about that is a more complex Wealth by Level which Wrecan worked out and it had columns showing variation if you used things like inherent bonuses. Although technically even the most fully implemented inherent bonuses really just removes bland magic items from the table not necessarily anything else.
    4 replies | 171 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 12:20 PM
    All the published spellcasting monsters & NPCs get a Proficiency Bonus based off their CR (not caster level). This does make them weaker than PCs at higher level, but they do have a PB.
    120 replies | 4194 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 12:19 PM
    IME 5e has good balance, but you need to play it to get a sense of it. Also, level 1 PCs are more like novices than veterans, the balance for eg MM monster stats is based more around level 3 PCs. So eg kobolds and goblins are very deadly vs level 1 PCs but make nice opponents vs level 3+.
    120 replies | 4194 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 12:14 PM
    I base my approach off the DMG. Basically, Tier I get standard starting gear. Tier II get 1 Uncommon item chosen from a list, plus 100gp, plus standard starting gear. I don't currently start PCs in Tier III or IV. Edit: Perma-death is rare IMC what with Raise Dead being available, so this is more for new players' PCs.
    19 replies | 420 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 12:11 PM
    S'mon replied to AoE-TotM
    Traditionally I'd roll some dice, eg a fireball against a mob on an open field might get 6d6 of them.
    6 replies | 264 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 12:07 PM
    It's mildly annoying.
    44 replies | 1633 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 12:02 PM
    You can have some incompetent monarchs use the MM Noble stat block, that's fine. Others should use Knight, Warlord etc as appropriate.
    57 replies | 1828 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 03:06 AM
    I used to want super speed or invulnerability, probably because I was a slow, fat kid who got bullied a lot. Now, I just want a power ring...’cause I like rings. :D
    55 replies | 1158 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 01:30 AM
    darkbard, sort-of following on from your post: If we assume that magic items are mechanical in some fashion (eg grant bonuses to checks), then once we allow that mechanics can extend beyond combat, we have a framework for making sense of "loot" in the way you describe. In 4e there're are also options for approaching bonuses a bit differently eg the signet of authority allows one reroll in a...
    7 replies | 304 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 07:21 PM
    Shoot. I never watch those. Maybe...
    55 replies | 1158 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 05:15 PM
    Seems like a pretty substantial list for Scottish kings! AFAICS nobles were well trained, and it makes no sense to distinguish 'noble' from 'knight' for the medieval period.
    57 replies | 1828 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 02:51 PM
    Those all sound like good ideas. I suggest increasing the amount of magic weapons and armour, and increase some of the pluses, maybe even make the final weapon from +2 to a +3 sword. Edit: Running a Duergar-heavy adventure recently, I just gave the leaders 2 attacks and this worked well. You could give all the FoF duergar expedition 2 attacks & a +1 CR bump.
    25 replies | 485 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 01:36 PM
    In most cases you just want to increase monster numbers for a larger party. However 4 > 5 is a tier break and IMO Forge of Fury (written for 4 ca 3rd level PCs) cannot easily be redesigned to work well with 8 5th level PCs, because of the tier-break effect. You would basically have to swap out all the monsters. Maybe leave the orcs as easily defeatable, and Troglodytes > Lizardmen would help. The...
    25 replies | 485 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 01:29 PM
    Even 18th century monarchs still fought on the battlefield. Starts to become rare during the 19th century.
    57 replies | 1828 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 08:10 AM
    On the one hand, I can think of a lot of extant heroes that I think would translate well to TV or movies. OTOH, I think it is too easy to screw up a Supers genre show/movie, and wouldn’t want to see many of them warped that way. It might be interesting, though, to see some more done a la Mutant X, where the characters and situations are similar to but not quite the same as the world of the...
    55 replies | 1158 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 07:57 AM
    My dinner tonight was a generous layer of baby spinach on toasted sourdough with mayo and mustard, cracked black pepper, a Campari tomato, and shards of a creamy but firm blue cheese. Yummeh!
    137 replies | 14744 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 12:58 AM
    Yes I can build Zorro that feels like Zorro at level 1 but put on a few levels and I can get all the stuff
    817 replies | 11065 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 12:55 AM
    In other news, I have @20-30 people coming for Thanksgiving, the biggest number I’ve fed since 2015. PLUS, one of the families coming has a kid who will be celebrating her birthday that day. So. Much. Fun.
    193 replies | 21074 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 12:53 AM
    When I lived in Tacoma as a kid, a schoolmate introduced me to sliced apples dusted with cinnamon and topped with american cheese as an after-school snack. I’ve been eating that ever since then. But recently, I wondered what it would be like with different cheeses. I was originally going to try it with some Vermont cheddar slices, upbut had already used them on sandwiches. So today, I...
    193 replies | 21074 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 10:21 PM
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arya_Stark
    57 replies | 1828 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 12:57 PM
    I use the NPC stat blocks, like Knight, Champion, & Warlord. The Noble stat block is ok for noncombatant nobles. Sansa Stark - Noble Arya Stark - Assassin Bran Stark - Druid John Snow - Champion Robb Stark - Knight That sort of thing.
    57 replies | 1828 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 12:02 PM
    To get back to the OP; well only a melee combatant can use a shield, giving a +2 to +5 AC bonus which is very significant in 5e. Barbarians & Paladins only work in melee. Comparing Fighters, I'd guess a longbow Fighter is probably better than a greatweapon Fighter but I see more players with greatweapon Fighters so it can't be too crippling. In fact I don't think I've seen a DEX-based light...
    114 replies | 3686 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 11:51 AM
    5e combat doesn't use squares except as a DMG optional rule. Common cases where I see cover in melee are (a) attacking around a corner and (b) attacking around a pillar or similar between the combatants. A doorframe can also provide cover. Three attackers vs one defender in doorway, I'd give cover bonus to the two attackers from either side of the doorway. I wouldn't give a cover bonus for...
    114 replies | 3686 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 06:11 AM
    I’m reminded of a local who was openly amused that foreigners were struggling with the pronunciation of “Eyjafjallajökull”. (That volcano that dominaiheadlines for a while, remember?) The reporter got him back, though, when he showed the Icelander couldn’t pronounce “sausage.” I think the closehe got was “sowshaj”...
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 01:49 AM
    Wally Triplett has died. https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2805129-wally-triplett-1st-drafted-black-player-to-start-an-nfl-game-dies-at-age-92
    296 replies | 18262 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 11:36 PM
    Shas is talking 1e as much as I can't tell...ie thief having a percentage to climb walls
    817 replies | 11065 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 11:18 PM
    But you can't have hits bouncing off armor..... Like they were misses... Cause that isn't a hit... Ask Shas
    817 replies | 11065 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 11:16 PM
    Or this actually because Smaug ran out of luck... Convenient for the hero?
    817 replies | 11065 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 02:04 PM
    well there are multiple fear responses you could get some freezing up and being in the way... so you might need some loud social move to make some of them move ;)
    12 replies | 361 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 10:24 AM
    This appears to assume, as I said in my post, that the PCs are strangers. What you describe may be an excellent approach for a novelist wanting to introduce his/her readers to his/her imaginary land (I'm currently 50 pages into a rereading of Dune - Frank Herbert is doing a lot of this). But if one of the players is playing a dwarf; or if any of the PCs is from one of the civilisations in...
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 09:43 AM
    From https://5thsrd.org/combat/cover/ I can't see why cover wouldn't apply to melee attacks.
    114 replies | 3686 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 09:41 AM
    I'd say high magic; magic is ubiquitous and powerful. Lower magic than 3e/Pathfinder but I'd say they were very high magic. Higher magic than any other version of D&D.
    31 replies | 1132 view(s)
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  • S'mon's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 09:35 AM
    Re facing & flanking, I think the best approach is just to say that the 5th+ attackers have advantage, since defender can't cover all lines of attack at once. That's basically how we did it in 1e.
    42 replies | 1588 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 04:54 AM
    Was Apparatus Sapiens what we used before? If so, add “explorator”.
    299 replies | 20372 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 03:37 AM
    I don't know - why would they? I suggested that the GM should probably follow the players lead, which the player sketched out in the OP and was seeking some feedback on. Whereas my recommendation would be to answer the question Does a game in which a half orc paladin of conquest seeks divinty by eating the hearts of coutatls, devas etc sound exciting?. Presumably the player thinks it is, or...
    14 replies | 551 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 03:30 AM
    The difference between (1) me, in the world, going to my place of work and saying hello to my colleagues, and (2) me, as a player, asking the GM to tell me where my place of work is, and what it looks like, and who my colleagues are, and what they are like, is huge! The second is very like having someone read me a book or tell me a (perhaps not super-gripping) story. But if the goal is...
    46 replies | 1419 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 12:28 AM
    Very nice by the way!!!!
    147 replies | 125722 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 10:41 PM
    No it wouldn't. The real world is something I live in and experience. My knowledge of it is intimate. It is not mediated to me through anyone's verbal narration of it. The most obvious way to emulate this in a RPG is for the players to stipulate elements of the setting as they need to. Not for the GM (or a 3rd party) to write up reams of fiction in advance of play. Providing a tool to...
    46 replies | 1419 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 03:10 PM
    Yes and we go with that rather heavily "defeated" can also mean fleeing the scene of battle. Or other power specific fiction which make sense.
    12 replies | 361 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 02:41 PM
    Again, this is not my experience at all. When I started a Classic Traveller campaign, I rolled up the starting world in front of the players, after they had rolled up their PCs. We discussed how each of the PCs had got there - integrating the implict story resulting from PC gen (Traveller uses a lifepath system) with the implicit story of the world - and one of the players decided that this...
    46 replies | 1419 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 02:35 PM
    My experience is closer to cmad1977's. Reading someone else's story about what happened in some imagined place at some imagined time doesn't help my immersion.
    46 replies | 1419 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 02:03 PM
    What you've set out sounds fun to me! Why would the GM not just follow the player's lead?
    14 replies | 551 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 12:16 PM
    My first Doctor Who exposure was buying a dozen or so books when my parents took me with them to London as a kid. (We we’re stationed in Germany.) Shortly thereafter, we moved to Aurora, CO, and then a small town in Kansas. I kept reading the books. Then we moved to Dallas/Fort Worth, and the PBS station was airing the show! I found it about halfway through the last season of Pertwee. ...
    7350 replies | 382305 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 12:02 PM
    And what was that “X-men with the serial numbers filed off” show a few years ago? No costumes or anything. I thought it was a straight-up ripoff until I saw Marvel mentioned in the credits. Edit: Mutant X.
    55 replies | 1158 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 12:00 PM
    Well, drawbacks of SOME kind- the “brick” risked having his cardiopulmonary system blowing out when he used his powers too much.
    55 replies | 1158 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 11:00 AM
    A fun article- and comment section- for all kinds of metalheads: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/wtf/how_to_troll_elitists_you_can_now_buy_metal_t-shirts_with_intentionally_wrong_band_names.html#6061794
    527 replies | 70433 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 10:59 AM
    I’m pretty sure we have a previous Warforged in the thread. As for the flytrap, the real ones are Dionaea muscipula. Just add “gigas” or “gigans” after that.
    299 replies | 20372 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 09:09 AM
    As far as I know the god Dumathoin was first mentioned in DDG under the entry for Moradin, but nothing was said about him except that he is the "god of secrets under mountains". Vergadain and Dumathoin were written up by Roger E Moore in Dragon 58, as part of his "point of view" and demihuman god series. As far as I know this was the first appearance of Vergadain. This is reprinted as part of...
    2 replies | 198 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 08:39 AM
    Continuing in my persona as the man from 15 months ago: This was interesting, both in general and because I'm trying to get myself into the mindset to GM Dungeon World next year. I don't know BitD outside of this thread and a few other posts about it, so my thinking/question will be framed in (what I take to be) DW-ish terms. And also BW-ish terms. It seems to me that this issue of...
    41 replies | 5165 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 06:00 AM
    When this has come up in my game we've handled it in various ad hoc ways. Remember that the player can always choose that "dropped to zero" equals unconsciousness, not death, so to a significant extent this will be about what the attacking player thinks makes sense in the fiction. I certainly have memories of the wizard player in my game using Colour Spray as an AoE when innocent parties were...
    12 replies | 361 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 05:55 AM
    Coming in a bit late (!), but this resonated with me. It may seem slightly odd, but I had the sort of feeling you describe when our group generated PCs for Classic Traveller. I'm sure it's clunkier than BitD, and probably not as "fiction first", but compared to some other systems (eg AD&D, or RM, or a certain approach to 4e) the characters felt real, with histories that could easily be seen as...
    41 replies | 5165 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 05:19 AM
    Manbearcat, cthulhu42, I think this might be the thread: Blades in the Dark Actual Play. It was started by Campbell.
    5 replies | 269 view(s)
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  • Manbearcat's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 03:10 AM
    I can't find the old post by chao and I that went very in-depth into Blades, unfortunately. I'm sure a solid effort to search should find it. I'm currently running a very intermittent Wild West hack of Blades rifted off of Red Dead Redemption (after considering a Space hack) retrofitting the Duskvol map and refluffing all of the gangs/power players therein. I'd be glad to run DW for you...
    5 replies | 269 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 02:50 AM
    On these boards, I think Manbearcat has played a bit of BitD. Maybe Campbell also. I think there are a lot of RPG systems that are underappreciated and worth talking more about. That's why I keep posting about my play experiences with Prince Valiant, Classic Traveller, etc! Unfortunately I've not played any BitD and not much DW either, so don't have heaps to offer on this occasion. I am...
    5 replies | 269 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 01:55 AM
    That could be a second form of impairment Of course do an intimidate on every last one it could clear the area pretty well.
    12 replies | 361 view(s)
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  • Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 09:12 PM
    For some reason, my DVR refuses to tape the new Dr. Who episodes. I missed all of Capaldi’s last season, and the new ones this year as well. OTOH, it IS catching all the old ones airing on my local PBS station, which started from the very first Hartnell episodes. I’ve never seen ANY of those, and only a few of the other pre-Pertwee stuff. And I haven’t seen all of HIS either. Hopefully,...
    7350 replies | 382305 view(s)
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Saturday, 14th July, 2018

  • 06:15 AM - pemerton mentioned Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    ...y game of darts, to involve metagame. For instance, in combat each combatant makes a roll, adjusted appropriately by armour, weapon, etc, and the higher roll wins. Much as one might resolve a game of darts. The fact that D&D resolves combats in rounds, thereby imposing some metagame from the start, is a legacy of wargaming. It's not inherent to RPGing. No, this really isn't something that the character can know. It's nonsensical that you can only ever have one, and as an in-game thing, it defies reason. It's purely a metagame ability that the player uses that the PC doesn't know about. People can't decide, "Hey, I'm now going to get my second wind!!"A characterknowing that s/he has one second wind between rests is no more or less absurd than knowing that s/he has one second level spell slot between rests. It doesn't "defy reason". And deciding that now is the time to try all out is, in fact, something that a person can decide. (This point has already been made upthread by Neonchameleon and Manbearcat.) If the character knows about something, the character making a decision based on the knowledge cannot be metagaming. <snip> The entirely of the system exists with reasonable game world explanations of why it happens that way. Those explanations take away any metagame aspects of the system, because the PC is making all of the choices in character for in character reasons. My point is that to the wizard, fireball might happen at level 2, 6, 12 or 18 for all he knows. All he is aware of are those changes as he gradually grows stronger. In fact, to the wizard there probably are no levels at all. He just gradually gets stronger and more knowledgeable. Think of yourself in your career. If you have been in it for any length of time, you are very much better at it than when you started, but you couldn't truly name me a level that you were at. The levels themselves are metagame.If Vancian slots aren't metagame, then the wizard, in the fiction, knows exactl...

Wednesday, 11th July, 2018

  • 06:15 AM - pemerton mentioned Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    ...hey all drop D&D-style classes. (RQ in total. RM uses class as a device for allocating skill costs.) They all drop D&D-style casting, which promotes metagame thinking (as in, "What spell load-out do I probably need to beat this bit of this GM's dungeon?"). They all drop XP-from-gold, and move towards a more realistic mode of progression (practice and training in RQ; XP through "hard field training" in RM). There were, at the same time, D&D players who were proposing different approaches to XP, and defending hp and AC as "realistic" or "simulationist" - which often involved adopting different rules for falling damage, and sometimes for fireball damage also (see eg Roger Musson's "How to Lose Hit Points and Survive" in a fairly early number of White Dward). I am a long-time RM player who has also played plenty of Traveller, RQ and other metagame free systems. I look at, say, AD&D or 3E and cannot see how anyone can see those as metagame free except by dint of familiarity (as Neonchameleon suggested) - eg the action economy in 3E is obviously metagame, and so is hp as soaking falling damage or dragon's breath in all of them (the parrying rationale only makes sense of a fairly narrow category of melee combat). If I had your preferences, I would be playing RQ, RM or HARP - or perhaps HERO or GURPS (I don't know those systems as well, though.)

Wednesday, 4th July, 2018

  • 01:36 AM - Emerikol mentioned Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Neonchameleon Let's just agree to disagree. This thread was not intended to reopen a new front on an old war long lost from my viewpoint. If I am constantly defending my view of the game then this thread ultimately is going nowhere. I'm seeking options that fit me and my groups needs. I've explained what I like and what I believe metagaming is for me and my group. Let's leave it at that. I used to enjoy debating this stuff but in the end it never goes anywhere. It just ends up being your perception of reality vs my own. I think I'm right and you think you are right. So it just goes no where. You can prove to me your right and I can't prove to you I'm right. One thing is for sure. I'm not playing with stuff I don't like. At my age, I'm not likely to start liking it. I'm just looking at games and trying to figure out what is the best solution for me and my players. 1. Try to hack 5e. It's looking like that will be too hard. 2. Hack Pf2e. Maybe. I'll know more in Aug...

Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018

  • 12:59 PM - Aldarc mentioned Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    My PCs often have non-adventuring goals like creating a temple or building a fortress. Winning comes down to achieving goals.I hope you don't presume here that my PCs don't. :erm: Given this, I'll ask how careful are you about keeping player knowledge and character knowledge in synch.It is inherently a fool's errand. You are correct that "it's easier to play true to character if what you know as a player matches what you know as a character," but this is striving after wind. There is an inherent disconnect and power imbalance between player and character knowledge that Neonchameleon overviews quite well. So for me this is really a discussion of "which metagaming poison do you pick?" ----- Compels in Fate are not really a mechanism about putting players in the position to "lose," and likewise it would be misguided IMO to view them in opposition to characters "winning." Character compels represent the introduction of character-oriented complications in the drama of the roleplaying experience. If your character Trouble is "Most Wanted Outlaw in the Three Territories," then the player presumably wants significant 'screentime' to roleplay this out. And that may mean that during an opportune time the GM slips the player a fate point and says, "While you are trying to lay low on your fact-finding mission, there is a patron at the bar wearing two pistol belts. He occasionally glances in your direction. He seems to recognize your face as dollar signs are starting to glow in his eyes." There is nothing inherently involved here about the player losing. The pl...

Monday, 6th March, 2017

  • 07:04 AM - doctorbadwolf mentioned Neonchameleon in post Speculation about "the feelz" of D&D 4th Edition
    @Neonchameleon: I get what you're driving at, and I agree with a lot of it. I enjoy the essentials classes, in general. I have a hard time choosing between the warlock and hexblade, and between the assassin and executioner. I love the scout/hunter's wilderness knacks and the Thief's movement tricks, and the Skald is one of my favorite parts of 4e. But, I don't think that anything those classes accomplished had to be accomplished without real compatibility, and I don't think hat literally anything was gained by making them so incompatible. OTOH, I disagree with Tony Vargas about the need for them to have precisely the same structure, and the idea that the essentials classes should have just been a "pre-built" build of heir class. I think a little variation of structure is fine, and stuff like stances instead of daily powers is great. But why not let a PHB fighter choose Power Attack, let a Slayer or Knight pick normal encounter powers, and identify and solve for any obvious abuse potential? i mea...

Sunday, 5th March, 2017

  • 04:58 AM - Manbearcat mentioned Neonchameleon in post Speculation about "the feelz" of D&D 4th Edition
    No, it just wasn't terrible, and was in fact quite good. Quick chime in to hopefully help clarify (before I hit the sack). Neonchameleon and Nagol are referring to 4e's development (the collapse of its initial iteration Orcus) and the subsequent fallout of putting together 4e from its ashes on short notice with no extended timetable. Despite that, it still delivered an amazingly beautiful and working action-adventure, Romatic/Heroic Fantasy game (which matured/refined at a pace and to a degree in subsequent years like no other game I've ever seen). Neonchameleon is a huge fan of 4e (even at its release, despite some gripes). Nagol is not a fan of 4e, but in the above post he is just commenting on 4e development timeline (as laid out by Neon), not 4e at release (though he isn't a fan of it at release). That being said, Nagol is the only 4e detractor on these boards of which I appreciate his commentary on the subject because (a) he has an expansive breadth of play experience outside of D&D and (b) he's always been able to intellectually honestly (and thoroughly...even if I don't agree on certain points) elucidate hi...

Saturday, 4th March, 2017

  • 12:24 AM - Manbearcat mentioned Neonchameleon in post Speculation about "the feelz" of D&D 4th Edition
    ...onditions with different durations, detailed action mechanics, etc. to be simply overwhelmingly complex. Thus they just bin everything that comes with 4e's combat system into an "its too complex" mental bin, and conversely everything in 5e's combat system into a "this is simple" bin, regardless of any objective measures of complexity or any reasoning about what might provide improved play or any kind of balance between complexity and quality of play. This may not account for all cases where 5e clearly is more complex or rejects 4e-type simplifications, but it does provide an understanding of the basic place that its coming from. Obviously stuff like calling out spells in monster stat blocks is something else entirely, which I would chalk up to stubborn traditionalism and unwillingness to admit there's an argument for 4e simplicity at all. This is good analysis, but I think there is another ingredient in the mix here as well. A few people ( chaochou , Balesir , Tony Vargas , Neonchameleon , and I believe yourself as well?) have very astutely pointed out that folks on these boards tend to substitute or conflate "familiar" with "rules lite" or non-complex. That conflation or substitution is obviously a product of, or at least heavily influenced by, perception bias. People (naturally) orient themselves toward a subject and begin developing a mental framework and concomitant investment in that developing framework. As time marches on, that mental framework may churn, it may refine, but it will just as likely (or moreso) ossify. Cognitive biases are born. Most often they're born out of the need for processing efficiency/functional cognitive shorthand/intuition/common sense (all models are wrong, but some are useful). Unfortunately, coinciding with all of this comes a profound seduction...the need to legitimize your own cognitive biases and cement them as legitimate/orthodox/normative/canonical. That is how "familiar" becomes non-complex or "rules lite", even th...

Wednesday, 25th January, 2017

  • 05:03 PM - Imaro mentioned Neonchameleon in post Thing I thought 4e did better: Monsters
    ...pt the water it dwells in: the MM (pp 75-6) tells me that it is a magical beast that breathes caustic green acid and is "naturally drawn to places where the Shadowfell's influence is strong." The fiction of the black dragon supports the fiction of its capacity, indeed its inevitable tendency, to corrupt water. It doesn't need a stat block. (And to preempt a possible question: if a scneario involved the PCs protecting a pool from a black dragon's corruption, or reversing that corruption, the non-combat components off that would be a skill challenge. And skill challenges don't involve any opposed checks or action declarations by the GM. The GM just has to narrate the adversity in fictional terms; all the mechanical resolution is player side.) So it's not actually in the D&D corebooks for 4e... and ultimately boils down to rule zero or worldbuilding... like in every other edition. If that's the case then this has no relevance to what we are discussing... and I have to ask... why did @Neonchameleon bring this up as an advantage of 4e?
  • 04:50 PM - pemerton mentioned Neonchameleon in post Thing I thought 4e did better: Monsters
    Except that the offscreen stuff often works better with rules. For example, we have rules for researching spells, crafting magic items, etc. and these take a long time. How long is partially determined by the rules we have in place.By "offscreen stuff" Neonchameleon does not mean PC action declarations that take a long time to resolve in the fiction, and hence perhaps also take the PC out of commission for a while at the table. He's talking about events that the GM is deciding occur to, or between, NPCs. (Eg explaining how a monster got to where it is, and why.)
  • 04:47 PM - pemerton mentioned Neonchameleon in post Thing I thought 4e did better: Monsters
    Can you explain how other RPGs are easier to modify? I don't know what Neonchameleon has in mind, but there are some RPG systems that are very flexible and/or versatile compared to D&D. For instance, to take CoC: a version of that system (BRP) has been used for fantasy (RQ, Stormbringer) and for modern horror (CoC). If you've played one of those games, you can sit down at a table to play any of them (or Pendragon, for that matter; at least in my experience). It's simple and intituive, because all you need is a list of skills with numbers next to them, and the bigger the number the better you are. D&D, though, uses classes and levels, which fit oddly, at best, into non-fantasy contexts; uses combat mechanics that are hard to adapt to modern play (what happens in the fiction when my PC with 50 hp is hit by a bullet for 8 hp of damage - did I really just get shot but not even slow down?); uses XP progression that is not easily adapted to non-fantasy contexts (because based primarily on combat victories and in earlier versions on what, in a non-fantasy context, can only ...
  • 03:18 PM - Ilbranteloth mentioned Neonchameleon in post Thing I thought 4e did better: Monsters
    Sure, if you deny a basic premise of 4e's damage mechanics - that bleeding occurs when the "bloodied" state is incurred - then you won't like a mechanic that links having blood drip on you to having bloodied your enemy! But the answer to your question is no mystery - you answered it yourself! OK, but all I find in the PHB about bloodied is that it is the point that you are at half hit points and some abilities may be triggered by it. I don't see anything that indicates that it actually describes what it means in the game world, although I seem to remember something along the lines that it is when you can visibly see that the creature is suffering, etc. The idea that being bloodied means that blood is spraying everywhere doesn't fit my concept of what combat looks like, particularly when all the damage has been bludgeoning, or psychic for example. This is something that 4e leaves to GM adjudication. And, as Neonchameleon pointed out, by default most swords used by PCs to stab this dragon will be magic. The GM is of course free to narrate that NPCs who tried to stab the dragon with non-magic swords had their swords corrode. That's just colour. This is a fundamental change in the game, and forces a change in my world. In my world dragons occasionally attack civilized areas. And armies of non-magical weapon wielding people could possibly kill a dragon, however unlikely. Again, one of the specific things that I consider a bad rule for our campaign. Plus a sword that is damaged and or broken is not color, it's a big deal if that's your only weapon. Why does the dragon breathe when it starts bleeding? Because it's now really angry! It's a pacing mechanic - it helps express, at the table and in the course of resolution, the story of the dragon's anger. As I stated, I get that this is what people tell me. But why is it restricted to only this action, and also that the rule now forces the fiction - now it'...
  • 11:19 AM - pemerton mentioned Neonchameleon in post Thing I thought 4e did better: Monsters
    ... use darkness - either darkness lite, via the Monster Vault shroud of darkness, or darkness in the full-blooded sense, via the Monster Manual version which has a different stat block from MV and is the one I used in my 4e campaign (and I can assure you it was using darkness - and the party wizard was using a magical statue of the elven Summer Queen to dispel that darkness). As far as corrupting water is concerned, that is not an in-combat ability. As I've already posted, the 4e stat block does not purport to regulate the non-combat portions of the game. The extent to which a black dragon can corrupt water is a matter for GM determination as part of the process of managing the fiction and the backstory of the game (similarly to how there are no rules for harvets and for famine, and deciding whether or not a particular villlage is flush with grain or suffering a famine is something the GM would determin as part of managing the fiction and the backstory of the game). This is the point Neonchameleon made in his response to you - when it comes to worldbuilding, 4e puts fiction ahead of mechanics - in other words, if (as GM) I want my black dragon to magically corrupt some water, I just use my authorial power to stipulate that it is so! (And contra Imaro in post 202, that is not "DM fiat to adjust a monster's ability" - there is no "monster ability" being adjusted - it is just the way 4e expects the GM to engage in world building.) The stat blocks and approaches over the years have varied quite a bit, and the 4e versions are very concise, and complete. But that's not my issue. When I look at the 4e black dragon I wonder: Why is the blood acidic only when at half hit points? I know, some people explain that that is when the dragon has actually started to take damage that causes it to bleed. Except that I don't accept that in order for the dragon to be bleeding, that it must be at 50% or less hit points.Sure, if you deny a basic premise of 4e's damage mechanics - that bleeding ...

Saturday, 21st January, 2017

  • 04:42 PM - jacktannery mentioned Neonchameleon in post Seeking advice for new 4E game inspired by Pemerton
    Thanks Neonchameleon - great advice. I totally agree about requiring a really good rest to get an Extended Rest benefit. Anyways, I started the game and got a great bunch of players. They all came up with great kickers and we started the first scene. Everything in the scene is based on the player kickers and their bonds/conflicts. It's really great for me as GM becaue it is all flowing so naturally, the players all seem really interested in it, and I'm thrilled I did this. Here's our play-by-post game for those interested: http://www.rpol.net/game.cgi?gi=68522&date=1484961814

Tuesday, 17th January, 2017


Saturday, 31st December, 2016

  • 09:38 PM - jacktannery mentioned Neonchameleon in post Seeking advice for new 4E game inspired by Pemerton
    Hey guys, I’m going to start a new pbp 4E game on rpol.net. I want it to be a collaborative, scene-framed, improv-inspired game, very unlike any game I’ve previously DMd. I got this idea from reading posts by @pemerton, @Manbearcat and @Neonchameleon amongst others, on this forum, which I found incredibly inspiring – and now I want to try out their ideas. I am looking for some specific advice about how to make this work, both for me as GM and for what to look for/ask prospective players. I will be writing an advert for the game to recruit interested players and I want to make sure my ducks are all in a row first. Here’s the key points about what I want to achieve: 1.No pre-decided plot – story emerges from the action of characters. No world building. No module. 2.Improv lessons: collaborative approach with players and GM, YES AND. All players can contribute to the world/scene and establish facts about the world/scene so long as they do not take away what someone else said first. Fail forward, e.g. for skill challenges. 3.Hard scene framing. GM sets the beginning point of the scene, which is packed with action, adventure, conflict and decision points, and has a sense of important things about to happen/happening. No one know...

Wednesday, 30th March, 2016

  • 01:18 PM - EzekielRaiden mentioned Neonchameleon in post Thoughts of a 3E/4E powergamer on starting to play 5E
    @Neonchameleon I had not meant to imply that any real D&D class is particularly deep--TTRPGs in general are very shallow things, strategy-wise. Fighter-types are simply starved of possible avenues of approach, in comparison to "can do everything some portion of the time" spellcasting. Spellcasting is made complex for various reasons, but absent the incredible variety of strategic options presented by games like Go, you need SOME complexity in order to leverage that into depth. I absolutely agree that one of 4e's big things for creating depth is teamwork, but it also (finally) brought Fighter-types into a similar region of..."leverageable complexity" if that makes sense. Not all classes *need* lots of complexity for a game to provide everyone with lots of depth--but consistently relegating certain options to the "no complexity for you!" end of the bus, and others to the "ALL the complexity for you!" end of the bus, is a big part of why depth is also VERY unevenly distributed in 3e and, IMO, 5e. Iron...

Tuesday, 29th March, 2016

  • 11:32 PM - pemerton mentioned Neonchameleon in post what is it about 2nd ed that we miss?
    An Azer Warrior is a level 17 NPC with +20 to hit, AC 31, and one hit point. It has a combat trick that is meaningful against a level 17 PC (a successful attack sets you on fire, save ends), and it's not trivial for a level 17 PC to land a hit on one, but if you can land one hit on it then it will drop like a sack of potatoes. It clearly does belong on the battlefield with PCs level 15-19, and its backstory (its place within the world) will reflect that, but it fails to deliver on that role - its lack of HP does not reflect its skill at arms or its innate Constitution, which everything else in the world has proven are inextricably linked.The main issue with this has been addressed by Neonchameleon not far upthread - namely, there is no proven link between hp and CON. But anyway, another way to think of it is like this: we know from the real world that sometimes people can be killed with a single blow. We know from genre fiction that those are the unlucky ones, whose time (on the page or on the screen) is slight: they may be nothing more than numbers in a counting game between a dwarf and an elf! The minion mechanic is a device for putting those (unfortunate) personages onto the D&D battlefield. There are other ways to do it: use a critical hit system (but I know from experience that increases overhead in play); or the 5e way, of "bounded accuracy" combined with escalating damage (from spells and class features) or attack sequences (for fighters et al) which means that hits vs low-level creatures eventually become one-hit kills (this seems fiddly to me too, but there are plenty of players who seem to find minions "artificial" yet adding a damage die for gaining a level i...
  • 06:40 PM - Aldarc mentioned Neonchameleon in post Meaning of Rules Light/Medium/Heavy - a proposal
    Neonchameleon: So where would this put systems like Fate (Core vs. Accelerated), Numenera, 7th Seas (1st or 2nd ed.), or Savage Worlds? I would like to see more examples, particularly if I wanted to demonstrate these categories with my players.

Friday, 4th March, 2016

  • 11:37 PM - Tony Vargas mentioned Neonchameleon in post Meaning of Rules Light/Medium/Heavy - a proposal
    The cynic in me wants to say that a game is 'rules light' if its boosters can't come up with anything else good to say about it, and it's not too much over 1000 pages, and Rules Heavy if the speaker doesn't like it, and it's more than 64 pages or uses any jargon at all. But the cynic in me should really stfu. Neonchameleon: Your criteria for rules lite are fairly quantitative, and set a very high bar, very few games would qualify. Conversely, your criteria for Rules Heavy get fuzzy (for instance, there's only two games I regularly ran & played without consulting a rulebook at all: Champions! and 4e D&D - the former because I knew it so well, the latter because the necessary bits were all printed out on character sheets and monster stat blocks - but that hardly makes either of them rules lite). So it looks like you'll have a lot of arguably 'Rules medium' games - something no one ever says - under that system. Not much help. IMHO, most RPGs are necessarily 'Rules Heavy,' when compared to the vast range of much simpler games that humans play.

Monday, 25th January, 2016

  • 03:00 PM - pemerton mentioned Neonchameleon in post Failing Forward
    ...nd a lot of the techniques associated with the "living, breathing world" school to involve time-wasting, eg encounters which don't contribute to pacing or to risk/reward choices but simply serve to remind the players that the gameworld exists outside their protagonistic concerns for their PCs. As a player I see the richer interconenctedness as not even slightly in tension with nowness. When you've a table full of people making connections, even on the fly, connections end up richer than they do with one person however much prep time they put in. I don't find mono-vision "consistent" worlds to be immersive. People themselves aren't consistent and neither is the world we live in to the degree a "consistent" world normally tries to be.This is what I gave XP for. What is the point of a DM at that table? You could use flash cards for story direction and a level-based setting specific random encounter table for combat and draw your own on the fly rich interconnectedness.Obviously Neonchameleon can answer for himself, but in my case I can say: the GM does at least two important things. First, as GM I adjudicate the situation and decide eg can the PC have a bonus die for being on higher ground? Someone has to make these calls, to manage the nitty-gritty of the fictional positioning, and that is what the GM does. (Related to this can be a role for the GM in maintaining consistency of the fiction, but at least in my experience other players help a lot with that also.) The second important thing the GM does is to narrate consequences of failure. (Consequences of success are the result of player action declarations for their PCs.) I'm not sure what sort of flash-cards you have in mind, but I don't know of any other technique of content generation that is going to deliver outcomes such as occurred in some of the episodes of play discussed in this thread. None of this has any inherent connection to pre-authorship.


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Monday, 9th July, 2018

  • 11:52 PM - Emerikol quoted Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Next time don't call playstyles objectionable if you don't want fire returned. Did I imply in any way that I was talking about anyone besides myself. If something is not to my taste and I am forced to eat it that is objectionable. Roleplaying mechanics that I don't like are objectionable when I play that game. And when I made a suggestion about simple spellcasters you rejected it. You should go back and read what I wrote. I said I had no issue with having such a class but that none of my group would likely pick it up. And as has been pointed out repeatedly athletes pacing themselves is not a metagame mechanic. What you are saying is that there can be no mechanics that disagree with the way you see the world. [quote]You are getting all upset and offended about what goes on in one group.[/quopte] I am getting particularly upset and offended that you are sneering at people who actually try to get into the head of fighters and you call changing your approach and pacing y...
  • 11:29 PM - Saelorn quoted Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    On the contrary. This is a public thread and one entitled "a discussion of metagame concepts in game design". If it was one entitled "Emerikol's type of games" that would be different. But he says he wants purple paints but not yellow ones. He's perfectly welcome to say he doesn't like matt purples and only wants gloss ones. But this doesn't give him the right to arbitrarily declare a matt purple a yellow and no amount of insisting it is will make it so.It's more like saying that a purple or a green is a blue. You could get quite a following of people who agree that a certain purple is a blue, or that a certain green is a blue, even if most artists disagreed on those points. The opinion at hand, which forms the basis of this thread, is not an unusual one. It is a common perspective. Many people drew the line at martial dailies.
  • 09:44 PM - Saelorn quoted Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Indeed. It does not matter how enthusiastically or repetitively you argue that athletes do not pace themselves in combat and fighters don't mix up what they are doing to outmaneuver other fighters - they do. It does not matter how much you insist that Action Surge and Second Wind are representative of in-character decisions, when the arbiter has disagreed with that evaluation. If you can't understand why it's a problem, then you're in no position to offer a solution to that problem. It would be like matching paint samples with someone who has different color perception. It doesn't even really matter whether there's an answer which is objectively correct. It doesn't matter how it looks to you. The question is how to make it look right to someone else.
  • 08:29 PM - Saelorn quoted Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    To me this makes as much sense as a blanket statement as "the food I find objectionable I find objectionable no matter whether it is on my plate or the plate of someone else at the restaurant".If anyone at the table is eating eggs, then it's going to make me nauseous, and I'm going to excuse myself. I'm not having fun anymore. RPGs are a communal effort that is both produced and consumed by everyone at the table. If someone at the table is actively cheating (as an example, not saying that meta-gaming is necessarily cheating), then it's the equivalent of them adding eggs to the stew. I'm not having fun anymore. There are many other ways in which a single player can ruin the experience for everyone else, and they're mostly going to be a matter of preference. If I am playing a fighter with an actual brain who paces himself between combats, who thinks, and works on outmaneuvering his opponents this interferes with your having fun because you, in your lack of understanding how real world athletes a...

Sunday, 8th July, 2018

  • 10:29 PM - Emerikol quoted Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    It has nothing out of necessity to do with 80s games. It has everything observationally to do with 80s RPGs. Well it is true that games suddenly started using those types of mechanics in larger doses at some point on the timeline. I assume people like yourself really enjoyed those innovations and thus they were used more. In some cases it may just have been the designer not even knowing an issue existed for some people. Not everyone is you. I'd probably be quite happy playing a wizard in your game who came from across the sea. I wouldn't be happy playing a fighter in your game. Well who knows but my guess is that you wouldn't enjoy my game. We won't ever know so let's leave it at that. To me this makes as much sense as a blanket statement as "the food I find objectionable I find objectionable no matter whether it is on my plate or the plate of someone else at the restaurant". No. It shows a complete lack of understanding of how these mechanics affect people who don't ...
  • 07:54 AM - Echohawk quoted Neonchameleon in post How big's the RPG market?
    Just to put that into perspective 2013 was the absolute nadir for the RPG market - it was the year where WotC did not put out a single RPG book - none for 4e and 5e wasn't out yet. The goal for 4e was $50 million/year (it didn't make that, but that was considered plausible). That's simply not true. WotC released the following print D&D products in 2013: Unearthed Arcana Premium Reprint (February 2013) D&D Encounters: Against the Cult of Chaos (February 2013) Dungeons of Dread Classic Adventure Compilation (March 2013) D&D Lair Assault: Into the Pit of Madness (March 2013) Spell Compendium v.3.5 Premium Reprint (April 2013) D&D Encounters: Storm over Neverwinter (April 2013) Dungeon Master's Guide Premium Reprint (May 2013) Monstrous Manual Premium Reprint (May 2013) Player's Handbook Premium Reprint (May 2013) Against the Slave Lords Classic Adventure Compilation (June 2013) D&D Game Day: Vault of the Dracolich (June 2013) D&D Encounters: Search for the Diamond Staff (June 2013) Magi...
  • 01:33 AM - Emerikol quoted Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    [ The problem is that without understanding what was meant by metagamey you can not give good recommendations. And there are people with Emerikol's tastes who are a whole lot more flexible than Emerikol - for example (a) they don't care what everyone else at the table does as long as they don't themselves need to use metagame mechanics, (b) they are fine with WoD-style quintessence mechanics, blood pools, or even willpower, or even the (a+b) combination where they are fine with Fate style mechanics as long as someone points out to them that for their character they can use stamina, willpower, or blood pools as a physical representation of fate points. If I were to recommend the game I can think of with the fewest metagame mechanics I'd start out by recommending Apocalypse World - but I'm almost certain that it would be anathema to Emerikol on the grounds that it has a different player/GM relationship from the one he likes, and especially a different relationship between the GM and the world an...
  • 01:25 AM - Emerikol quoted Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    The problem is that I can predict with extremely high accuracy what you will consider metagaming and what you will not through one simple algorithm. Is it made from parts that are either classic D&D or from classic 80s physics-sim design. The problem is that this category is not anything to do with the sort of choices you make or resource mechanics you have. It is entirely and completely to do with how familiar you are with those mechanics. If you were to say "This is not to my taste" I would shrug. I've a pretty clear understanding of your taste. When you say "My problem is [thing]" I am going to want to explore the bounds of [thing] because I enjoy game design - and because one of the key aspects of a class based system is that it enjoys players with very different preferences to sit down at the same table and all have fun as long as they have at least the flexibility to accept that not every class must cater in every way to them. Well I keep using different names in an attempt to keep the p...
  • 12:08 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Neonchameleon in post Here's The Pathfinder 2nd Edition Skill List!
    Not sure the 4e system is actually better. Putting craft in there is an improvement (and when running myself I drop Dungeoneering for Engineering), and I understand the reason they pulled perception out. But 17 skills, gaining general competence as you level up (and at the same rate) and a five point spread from untrained to fully trained? That's all 4e - and 11 of the 17 skills are either exact matches or slight renames (Deception/Bluff, Medicine/Heal, Intimidate/Intimidation). This leaves Craft, Lore, Occultism, Performance, Society, and Survival to match Dungeoneering, Endurance, History, Insight, Perception, and Streetwise, and I can argue that both ways. Craft in is an improvement - but you don't need Arcana, Occultism, and Lore in the same block of 17 skills. And it's skill feats vs utility powers... As I said, my take on 4e skills is that they are actually 'knacks' or 'approaches' far more than they are something you were just taught. They may involve being knowledgeable and experience...

Thursday, 5th July, 2018

  • 12:56 AM - Manbearcat quoted Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Indeed. It just convinces me that we have an extremely different understanding of the world - and I think yours appears to derive more from historic Dungeons & Dragons rules rather than from the real world. <snip> But if you watch any combat sport from boxing to MMA to professional wrestling (and yes I know wrestling is fake) you'll find that the pace of the fight varies. You'll find that there are times when the fighters are probing each other. You'll find there are times when they are times when they are taking advantage of mistakes. And you'll find there are times when they either pick up the pace, pull tricks, or go in with extra force to try to force an opening. By not having some sort of mechanics this way you're denying me the opportunities to do any of these except go in in neutral, and wait to find a mistake to take advantage of. <snip> Yes of course I can raise the tempo or force of a fight, trying to force openings rather than exchanging blows and probing. And it absolutely...

Wednesday, 4th July, 2018

  • 02:20 PM - Aldarc quoted Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Hit point loss on the other hand represents absolutely nothing at all. Someone is as physically capable of everything except taking damage at 1hp as they are at full hp. If it were anything to do with injury of any sort this would not be the case. So unless hit points are magical force fields then hit point mechanics are pure, raw metagame.Indeed. If HP truly represented flesh, meat, or bodily wounds, then we can only conclude that as player characters level-up they gain more mass in flesh.
  • 02:22 AM - Saelorn quoted Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    On the other hand the impacts are huge. I don't think that death spirals would be good for the game (and neither, from memory, did Gygax) - but far from being not worth applying this is a deliberate design decision to make hit points not represent anything much (Gygax claims it's absurd to think of them as physical damage) other than a mix of luck, fate, and stamina, to get a better game. And if they are luck and fate they are getting pretty meta.Everything that Gygax has ever stated on the topic is in agreement that hit points do include a physical component. The question at hand is simply whether there are two distinct pools, or just one: Is it that the top 90% of your HP are meta-physical, and you are only scratched when you get into the bottom 10%? Or is each individual point 90% meta-physical and 10% physical, such that a 7-point wound on the high-level character is only one-tenth as severe? There are enough conflicting details to support either side, if you really wanted to argue it. Releva...
  • 02:11 AM - Lanefan quoted Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Different post for a different tangent. Of course death isn't the only source of suspense in a game, but one of the things I have noticed is that (unless you are dealing with rust monsters) D&D both encourages characters who do not have connections to the game world, and in which there are few long term mechanical consequences for anything short of death (and even then there's always resurrection). On the other hand put even a minor mechanical metagame resource on the player's sheet and threaten to take it off and there will be a lot of player reaction!Poster child for this: level draining. Where has that gone? A large part of the reason death is the primary source of suspense is that many of the other sources - level draining, permanent stat damage or reduction, significant loss or permanent disenchantment of magic items, etc. - have either largely or completely been taken out of the game as written. Never mind that even death has been made both easier to recover from (less costly, lower-l...
  • 02:11 AM - Emerikol quoted Neonchameleon in post What is the essence of 4E?
    Your players might surprise you; 4e eventually came up with the Elementalist Sorcerer which basically did elemental blasts and controlled their element. No long list of spells, and I had two players happier with it than they'd ever been with a caster before. "I burn it" and "I set them on fire" can be quite fun for the combat (no weapons needed unless the monsters were flame resistant) - and out of combat they basically could Affect Normal Fires whenever they wanted but had almost no other magic (other than to set things on fire), and the player of the fire mage had an absolute blast. One player had been trying mages on and off for years but this was the first one he really clicked with. 4e wasn't well received by my group. Again, I'd have it in the game just to have a variety of options. I think it would be interesting to see how many people play each class and each race in D&D. For some weird reason my groups are almost all human and dwarf. When I play I play elves but nobody else does....
  • 01:39 AM - Saelorn quoted Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Hit point loss on the other hand represents absolutely nothing at all. Someone is as physically capable of everything except taking damage at 1hp as they are at full hp. If it were anything to do with injury of any sort this would not be the case. So unless hit points are magical force fields then hit point mechanics are pure, raw metagame.Alternatively, hit point damage measures the degree to which you are beaten up, and the mechanical ramifications of such are not worth applying to such a simplistic model within the expected context.
  • 12:56 AM - Emerikol quoted Neonchameleon in post What is the essence of 4E?
    I have no problem at all with the Tunnels and Trolls approach where it boils down to "We slayed them". I have a problem when the wizard is talking in terms of spells and the fighter isn't going into more detail. I also have a problem with cookie cutter warriors who are so lacking in personality that they all describe their fights in the same way. In my ideal game, there would be a way to always make passive choices for the fighter so that you can essentially just hit and hit really hard if that is all you want. Then there would also be a fighter with more maneuver like abilities. Those abilities would likely have to be activated in a way that is different from most games today. On the flip side, I wouldn't mind a simple wizard in my game but I don't know anyone who'd play it. Whereas, in my game I am certain I'd get takers for the simple fighter. Not sure on the maneuvers fighter but maybe. If I made a game, I'd really only need four classes. Fighter (Simple), Wizard (Vancian), Rogue (t...
  • 12:37 AM - Emerikol quoted Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    On reflection I think that the real difference here is between inclusionists and exclusionists. Inclusionists consider the important part to be that they are able to make decisions that are as similar as possible to their character, and if that leaves them able to make other decisions too then why worry? They just won't make those decisions because their character wouldn't. Exclusionist consider it vitally important that they be unable to make decisions their character can't and if that cuts off decisions their character could then just too bad. I don't see any decisions getting cut off but essentially except for that I agree. It's very important to act as your character. It's also not necessary to incentivize any act that can still be freely taken. The PC can still do it.

Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018

  • 10:58 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Neonchameleon in post Pre-3e mechanics vs d20 system mechanics
    Unified mechanics are simpler, period. And addition is easier than subtraction. But it was this easiness that gave 3.X the slack to add so many modifiers and build the complexity into the 3.0 and 3.5 we all know. True. d20 did consolidate baroque dice mechanics down to d20+bonuses vs DC. Then it added 18 named modifiers to keep track of. ;) And, 40 conditions... 4e of course added the complexity to the characters with the power structure and lots of debuffs ... 4e actually consolidated those 40 conditions down to 18 (5e further, to 15). And the power structure and class advancement was also a further consolidation (3e had put all classes on the same exp, HD & save progressions; 4e also put them on the same AEDU and "BAB" progressions). So that was all simpler, really - confusing & unfamiliar if you were accustomed to earlier eds, but less complex. But, following your hypothesis, like 3e, it took that slack and wrapped it up in potentially enormous build complexity, just a sheer volume ...
  • 12:28 PM - TwoSix quoted Neonchameleon in post What is the essence of 4E?
    And frankly give me Smash over Street Fighter any day - and I can't wait for Smash Ultimate to come out. I'm also a strong 4e fan. I wonder if the two are linked :) Or Young Linked, or Toon Linked. :) I bought a Switch the day after I saw the Smash Ultimate trailer. And I'm also a 4e fan, so I think Saelorn's original comparison is dead on.
  • 08:40 AM - pemerton quoted Neonchameleon in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    If I really wanted one of my characters to be a local I'd give him literally a book of information about the city.I think that's actually quite impractical for a lot of RPGing situations. And also still doesn't do the job. No doubt there's stuff in the Lonely Planet guide to Melbourne that I don't know; but as far as knowing the shortcuts and alleyways around my house, I know them better than the Lonely Planet will tell you about them. I guess I don't really buy the idea of saving up some reasons or making one great effort that uses that resource. I think in the course of a round of combat that your great exertion is that moment when you really try to hit the enemy as opposed to feinting etc... <snip> I think any reasonable character would 100% of the time try to get as healthy as possible. This would not be optimal thinking though as a player who wants to manage hit dice. I think that any warrior who isn't terminally stupid who is fighting kobolds and knows that they will be fighting...


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