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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Today, 01:26 AM
    Sure, can't get any better so might as well make it worse.
    19 replies | 301 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:18 PM
    Look I'm not really interested in reading, or writing, a treatsie on good and evil. The fact that you brought Nazi's into the equation just makes me even less interested. I will finish this up with two comments: Good and evil are only cosmic components of D&D if you want them to be. I don't usually want them to be because that leads into: "We should kill baby orcs because Orcus made Orcs evil...
    46 replies | 2738 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:15 PM
    I don't worry about that too much. As pemerton was talking about in the "why worldbuilding is bad" thread, attempts like these to super-rationalize the world cause something of a loss of the fantastical elements.
    19 replies | 425 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:22 AM
    I disagree. The strongpoint of lawful evil and it's ability to remain party-friendly is in the fact that nothing they do is technically illegal. A lawful evil individual is much akin to a politician, they'll use the system to protect themselves, enrich themselves and generally screw everyone else over. To the first part, they may not, but neutral and lawful evil shouldn't view them as...
    46 replies | 2738 view(s)
    1 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 09:50 PM
    I don't know if you made this up on the spot or not, but sooooo stealing.
    28 replies | 820 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 09:38 PM
    For overland maps I prefer no grid. I do this because as a DM, the distance between Kingdom A and Kingdom B is usually measured in average travel time, not distance. The time is the relevant factor of the map, because time determines how often things are to change, and when combined with terrain how likely or unlikely you are to be attacked. A heavily wooded forest will take longer to traverse...
    19 replies | 425 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 05:43 AM
    Enormous solar sails essentially. We're also talking about an essentially 2D object in space. Sure, there's depth to it, but the depth is irrelevant compared to it's height and width. And there should be absolutely no concern about the gravity of such a structure. Gravity is a function of density and overall mass. A light-weight object with low density (such as a simple skeletal frame...
    19 replies | 301 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 01:30 AM
    Expertise, hands down, every time.
    27 replies | 1009 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 01:29 AM
    I dunno. Boss fights are something I usually plan for only lightly "OH I plan for the party to fight Strahd at the end of Ravenloft." but I don't put down his capabilities until I see about where the players are before they face him. Unless there is a particular reason for a bad guy to be a specific power level when the party fights them, but then that's designed differently. When I want to...
    110 replies | 2490 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 01:20 AM
    Satellites that can block out the sun you say? And the Earth is not ruled by Vampires?
    19 replies | 301 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 09:49 PM
    Pretty much this. The spells seem cool, and they do have cool effects, but without knowing the current HP of your enemies, they're rather useless, especially since there's no granularity to some of them. Either HP is low enough and it works, or it isn't and it doesn't. If the opponent got say, Advantage on their save if their HP was over the threshold, I think that'd be a better way to...
    106 replies | 3868 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 09:46 PM
    Makes combats longer. More resources get used. That's about it.
    40 replies | 1000 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 04:58 AM
    What, it doesn't let me blow up Parliament? @OP I recommend Goosebumps: The Haunted Mask for inspiration.
    7 replies | 4906 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 04:50 AM
    I actually had noone in particular in mind. Though some classical philosophers came to mind when I referenced "smartest people". But nothing in particular. If the concern of the original article is indeed primarily focused on "over detailing", I would argue that is only an issue from a simulationist perspective. A more narrativist approach doesn't really care why the flowers bloom, from...
    1309 replies | 46086 view(s)
    1 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 02:25 AM
    Sure. I disagree with that particular author that "unknown knowns" defines ideology. There's nothing inherent to ideology that makes it particularly subconscious and the assertion that ideology is an "unknown known" seems to ignore the many ideologies that people consciously subscribe to. That's not to say you can't have both subconscious and conscious ideology or that there's no such thing as...
    1309 replies | 46086 view(s)
    2 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 02:09 AM
    Okay, so "heft" is more about giving players direction in life, and thus, in whatever world they happen to be in.
    1309 replies | 46086 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 06:22 PM
    Don't run games set in the real world, or settings that are only one step away from it. Honestly, how much work is required depends on how much you want to show. Is the party going to glance at a civilization from a distance? Is the party going to stop in town for a moment and then leave? Is the party going to need to hang around for days? Months? Years? Will their entire adventure take...
    38 replies | 1137 view(s)
    1 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 04:38 PM
    You might want to stop and consider for a moment that you are using a very specific and in some ways ideologized definition of ideology. You're going to most specifically run into problems with the "largely concealed" portion, because you're essentially going to start accusing people of believing something that per your definition: they are unaware they believe in. This makes rational...
    1309 replies | 46086 view(s)
    1 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 03:49 PM
    Am I to understand this "heft" as "more pre-written world building"? IE: the Deadland book vs. the D&D PHB? Yeah, okay I get what you're saying.
    1309 replies | 46086 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 03:43 PM
    Aside from the bit of square forehead, I was mostly referring to them being build like normal humans, just smaller. As opposed to the 5E halflings which seem to have a physical build closer to that of a person with dwarfism. Examples: Gnomes aren't really that bad. 4E definitely had a more "natural human" design to them, but Gnomes are proportionate, if short in 5E, they don't suffer from...
    45 replies | 762 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 04:33 AM
    Elf or half-elf swashbuckler. Because *cape flourish*!
    48 replies | 1152 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 04:30 AM
    First: Size references in images are rather important. Second: I quite liked the whole "halflings are essentially small humans" and "Gnomes are small elves" from 4E. I don't mind that PF wants to have a particular visual style but if you start, for a moment, delving into anything more than superficial fantasy, the anatomy of small humanoids gets tricky real fast, especially when that...
    45 replies | 762 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 03:27 AM
    No ideas at all for what you want to run/play? I mean I've come to a game pretty empty-handed but I still generally have some ideas for style and theme. Now I know you run substantially more player-authored games than I do and that may relieve some of the burden, but I still suspect the article was not arguing an extreme in response to what they viewed as another extreme (not that people don't...
    1309 replies | 46086 view(s)
    1 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th April, 2018, 11:18 PM
    I'm a practical person, so whichever god offers the least amount of devotion for the most amount of freedom, and I'm happy.
    28 replies | 459 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th April, 2018, 10:43 PM
    I am fairly well versed in ideology and rhetoric. So for the sake of keeping this conversation brief: Pot, meet kettle. Don't. Just, don't even go there. Those were not the words I used, nor even the implication I gave about historical people. I suggested people now know more than people then in many areas. The weather, for example. Suggesting that people of the past were less...
    1309 replies | 46086 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th April, 2018, 09:57 PM
    I am not, I will get back to that. I disagree strongly. The average individual possesses a great deal more knowledge than our ancestors. Some of that is different knowledge (depending on who you ask). But I'd probably wager that even most farmers and ranchers now possess a great deal more knowledge (on the individual level) than farmers in the distant past. The fact that the...
    1309 replies | 46086 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th April, 2018, 09:10 PM
    Perhaps to cut more to the question Imaro asked, I think one of the reasons we probably don't see threads on "Why no worldbuilding is bad." is because complaints about them usually fall under topics like "The DM was so unprepared!" or "It felt like he didn't have anything for us to do!" or as you suggest "It all felt so cobbled together!". The complains about a lack of world build are more...
    1309 replies | 46086 view(s)
    1 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th April, 2018, 08:32 PM
    I don't recall if I posted in this thread already, and unfortunately, the original article has been deleted (if it was recopied somewhere in this thread, great but I have no real desire to go searching for it. I suspect the writers point was not that you should write nothing, but that you shouldn't write everything and that you should avoid unnecessary detail. Which is a fairly sound...
    1309 replies | 46086 view(s)
    1 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th April, 2018, 07:09 AM
    Make a Kender.
    50 replies | 1537 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Friday, 13th April, 2018, 09:00 PM
    I don't really have a problem with players being exceptions, but neither am I your DM. You may not be treated so kindly by your kin for your odd appearance, but you may find acceptance among others. As long as you're not looking to game the system or get modified rules out of your altered appearance, I don't really care.
    25 replies | 759 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Friday, 13th April, 2018, 03:01 PM
    There are some bad ads on the site. I suggest never visiting it without an adblocker/scriptblocker.
    6 replies | 287 view(s)
    1 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Friday, 13th April, 2018, 03:08 AM
    I don't think PF2 is aiming for a more narrative style of play. Just less cluttered play.
    43 replies | 1199 view(s)
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th April, 2018, 02:41 PM
    Shared fiction does not (or at least need not) imply shared world building. We can value the here and now instead. Make the game more about what is happening right now than appreciation of someone else's individual creativity.
    1309 replies | 46086 view(s)
    2 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th April, 2018, 01:52 AM
    I can attest to that. Then they'll sit down and rest. ---- There needs to be some time, it just needs to manage "yeah you need to get here by X time, but no the world is not going to implode if you don't". It's fairly easy to operate on an all-or-nothing system. Either you save the princess and get rich, or you don't and the King puts you to death. Either you stop the bad guy and...
    28 replies | 861 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Saturday, 7th April, 2018, 07:32 AM
    Maybe. I appreciate the clarification, but I think that's misguided considering the type of RPG that D&D is and pretty much always has been, not to forget the fact that it is born from a tactical miniatures game. There are plenty of narrativist systems out there but I wouldn't count D&D among them not any edition. So if that's their goal...they're a long way from home Toto. ...
    163 replies | 5210 view(s)
    3 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 05:03 AM
    A druid without wildshape or animal companions is just a cleric of nature. So, really no need to even go there. A druid without wildshape or spellcasting is basically a ranger. Got that covered. (sorta) A druid without spellcasting or animal companions is....not covered by another class. So reasonably speaking, if we were to have a class that did something that the other classes don't...
    119 replies | 8476 view(s)
    1 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 02:45 AM
    No, but it sounds like you might have a table troll on your hands. The problem with PVP tends to be you're either all in, or you're all out. Stopping half-way can look like you're playing favorites with that guy who always seems to stab first. A person who purposefully plays their character badly and then when that doesn't pan out (read: doesn't get them they attention they want), they make...
    19 replies | 403 view(s)
    2 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 01:33 AM
    Well, they're intelligent creatures, so maybe it finds the little copper thing totally adorable. Becomes ridiculously protective of it, and uses examples of other metallics trying to "save" the little thing to turn it to evil.
    28 replies | 820 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 01:27 AM
    Both. Usually I'll have a character-idea of what class I'd like to go into and typically that's a class that's beneficial.
    89 replies | 2135 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 01:09 AM
    No I know exactly who you are.
    54 replies | 1620 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 09:53 PM
    AGAIN. Nobody is particularly asking for the Fighter to get better at non-fighting areas of the game. We're asking for the Fighter to be one of the best classes at fighting. It isn't. It never has been. If the design remains the same it never will be. I don't mind if it's #2, or sometimes #3 when compared to a powerful build in another class, but it is routinely behind ALL of the other...
    54 replies | 1620 view(s)
    1 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 03:22 AM
    Personally I think you and MarkB are reading too much of what you believe he is saying into it. As far as I'm concerned, I'm taking the statement at face value. The value of which to me is: We don't want to talk about this "action economy" thing the people who play our game talk about. -Pretty straight forward here. But seems to imply a fairly strange understanding of game design. ...
    163 replies | 5210 view(s)
    1 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 02:22 AM
    THIS. Also THIS. To expand upon my point earlier, I understand that 5E has moved away from the very gamist 4E (that's not an insult folks, it was, and I loved it) and the much more gamist but less overtly so 3.5, with their "natural language" and "rulings not rules" approaches (among other things). But fundamentally, they are making a game. It often feels like what the Designers...
    163 replies | 5210 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th April, 2018, 09:25 PM
    These are...not the sort of comments I want to hear from people who design games.
    163 replies | 5210 view(s)
    8 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th April, 2018, 02:09 PM
    Is the inner sanctum of this place like, a small dimension or something? How impregnable is the door exactly? Could a really big far-realm horror break it down? Or break through some other part of the building? I would assume that if the "castle" is physically located in reality, then it being sealed just means the madness takes a little longer to seep out, since the far-realm literally warps...
    30 replies | 720 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th April, 2018, 04:24 AM
    Okay, so the portal is open. Personally, I'd leave the situation as is, but work out what's going to happen if the gate is just left open. EDIT: just saw your reply and you answer most of these. Honestly I'd leave the situation as-is. A little far-realmy fun-times makes for a great adventure. I mean, who doesn't like going slowly insane and turning into a tentacled horror? What happens...
    30 replies | 720 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018, 09:46 PM
    Maybe you should re-read the OP so that you're clear on what he is talking about, and don't confuse it with whatever you think you're talking about. Because the OP called out DMs who don't give players XP for doing whatever the players want to do as incompetent.
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018, 09:30 PM
    The OP. Pretty much everyone who supports the idea that the players should be able to do whatever they want and get XP for it.
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018, 02:45 PM
    Not all campaigns are free roaming do-whatever-you-want sandboxes.
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
    1 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018, 01:53 AM
    I'm not here to be your Xbox. Being DM takes time and prep and ya know, WORK. So if I set down after taking that time and prep and work and the player's response is "Hey we're gonna go kick chickens for 4 hours." You can find another DM. I am SO ANGRY right now and this just PISSES ME OFF. You know why there's a pretend dragon flying over your pretend heads in your pretend town? ...
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd April, 2018, 09:52 PM
    And most classes take to the combat pillar quite well. So I would argue it evens things out if most classes dedicate more resources to the Combat Pillar, and the Combat Pillar takes up more of the pie. You really don't want to design classes (or even optimize in this manner) where you do nothing during certain parts of the game. Doing less? Doing very specific things during that time? ...
    54 replies | 1620 view(s)
    3 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd April, 2018, 09:42 PM
    Dice. Blank Notebook. Pencil. GO!
    9 replies | 275 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd April, 2018, 09:21 PM
    Having a class devoted to entirely 1 pillar of the game means that you're going to miss out on 2/3rds of the game. I may not be the best at the maths, but I'm fairly certain that 2/3rds of the game is more than 1/3rd. Also: in 5E a Valor Bard can out-damage a Fighter.
    54 replies | 1620 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd April, 2018, 12:45 AM
    And if you don't need to use gestures or speak magic words or use components, then you might as well throw in some heavy armor mastery on top. Just climb up on a horse and now you're the party paladin instead of the party wizard. Wizadin? Palazard?
    54 replies | 1620 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st April, 2018, 10:19 PM
    I gave my players one of these once. Cursed and everything.
    12 replies | 389 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st April, 2018, 05:48 PM
    Really it's more along the lines of "Who's going to stop me?" approaches. The Devs know that some DMs are going to build their bad-guys right out of the Core Rulebook, same as their NPCs. I did it yesterday. There's not much they can actually do about it. And honestly it's more fitting for certain games to be fighting humanoid enemies who can pull the same tricks as the PCs can. I...
    54 replies | 1620 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st April, 2018, 05:37 PM
    I get why "damage on a miss" isn't for everyone. But really, shouldn't it at least be for fighters? I mean hitting things is their DEAL. They don't have anything else. Shouldn't they be so good at it that they're able to turn failure into at least some kind of success?
    54 replies | 1620 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st April, 2018, 09:31 AM
    Here's what I find entirely frustrating about this conversation: I cannot speak to how Maxperson runs his game or Lanefan runs his game unless they clearly speak to the principles that determine how they frame situation. I get that you guys identify with the orthodoxy, but that profession does not seem to line up with any particular text. There has also been indications at least from Maxperson...
    2004 replies | 45324 view(s)
    3 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Friday, 30th March, 2018, 03:17 AM
    Armor as AC represents a reduction in the statistical probability of taking damage. A character with 4 HP could have high enough probability reduction to stay alive longer than someone with lots of HP and little probability reduction. Armor as Temp HP just serves to create a larger buffer zone between a PC and death. In short: Armor as AC increases the possibility that you will live. ...
    25 replies | 623 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Friday, 30th March, 2018, 02:19 AM
    There are aberration druids yes. Anti-druids are transformers. They're warforged who turn into like, carriages and boats and stuff.
    9 replies | 413 view(s)
    1 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 09:43 PM
    I dunno, the only reason I ever play a rogue is to be a skill-monkey. Usually I do a fighter/rogue MC swashbuckler-style character because it fits my playstyle better. More attacks with the fighter and more skills from the rogue.
    323 replies | 13212 view(s)
    1 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 09:28 PM
    With MAD. (Mutually Assured Destruction) Personally, I'm starting to lean towards the d20 being the problem, and not the solution. Your chance of absurd success is just as high as your chance of abysmal failure. (5%). Low modifiers make the game unrealistically(IMO) swingy. Players don't really even have skill in anything, their entire existence is decided by complete RNG. That's not...
    61 replies | 2048 view(s)
    1 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 02:52 PM
    So far, they haven't talked about any spells that require 3 actions. Allowing some spells to use only one action (presumably smaller ones) is an increase in versatility for the spellcaster. Hitting things with a stick is the Fighters...shtick. It's all they've got. But I'm only pointing out that the "three actions" is a nerf from 5E to PF2. It's a slight nerf from PF1, and there only in...
    51 replies | 2066 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 02:16 PM
    You realize this is a nerf to fighters right? It's not a dramatic change from PF1 to 2. But in 5E there's no penalty for multiple attacks, AND you get the option to move AND take a bonus (if available). Spellcasters generally see no change from 5E to PF2, they still pretty much get 1 spell (or two small spells) and a move (or 3 small spells). But Fighters go from a maximum of 5 attacks,...
    51 replies | 2066 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 01:21 AM
    To allow players access to cool effects not granted by a class or racial feature.
    28 replies | 751 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 05:41 AM
    At this point, I generally take queues from video games for my "boss fights". Bosses always have something to do. They have a suite of 3-5 abilities they'll dole out at certain times against certain players (the fun ones are always abilities that knock players away when too many are close, and draw them in when too many are far away). And bosses will almost always change up what they're doing...
    79 replies | 2096 view(s)
    1 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 05:13 AM
    Technically, they're different species though there's a question about fantasy and cross-breeding here especially considering that the standard lore is that Orcs, Elves and Dwarves are all creations of gods, while humans are...evolved I guess? (or created by the original evil incarnation of Pelor) And that none of them have any shared genealogical history. They're all flesh and apparently...
    51 replies | 2066 view(s)
    3 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Tuesday, 27th March, 2018, 09:45 PM
    Con/Int, maybe Con/Cha. Warlord is a battlefield commander. They're durable and smart/charismatic, but not the kind to throw themselves headlong into a fight.
    52 replies | 1055 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Tuesday, 27th March, 2018, 03:09 AM
    Right, I mean extreme violence, rape, BDSM, IRL political agendas and piss wizards are not reasonable expectations going into a general D&D game.
    90 replies | 3178 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Tuesday, 27th March, 2018, 03:01 AM
    Precisely. I mean shoot I had a traumatic experience when I was a kid in a martial arts class. Couple weeks back I got triggered (oh how I hate that word) by reading a news article about a guy doing martial arts locally. On the flip side, the monk is my favorite class and I love martial arts movies, neither of which bother me in the slightest. The problem with "triggers" is that they are...
    90 replies | 3178 view(s)
    3 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Monday, 26th March, 2018, 09:41 PM
    Typically I will ask my players if there is any kind of content they don't want to play though in a game. And then I'll toss out a few "hot button" terms to help them get the idea and see if anyone adds anything. I typically run mature games, but the maturity is less about the content and more about how to content is appoached. Sex happens and it is always done off-camera "fade to black"...
    90 replies | 3178 view(s)
    0 XP
  • shidaku's Avatar
    Sunday, 25th March, 2018, 09:32 PM
    The fought the encounter and lost, and ran away I assume? I would give them no XP. Typically I usually take monster XP and divide it in half. Half is for "beating the encounter" and half is for actually killing the monsters. If you find a creative way to bypass the encounter, you get half. If you manage to drive off your foes (as intelligent enemies may choose to do) you get half. If you...
    9 replies | 333 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Sunday, 25th March, 2018, 09:24 PM
    Yeah, some kind of mystical ritual would work as well for a "it's made of meat" animal. It really comes down to A: I don't want to place artificial roadblocks between players and their class abilities, and B: I don't want to impart my dislike of the rules upon players who may enjoy them just fine.
    12 replies | 447 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Saturday, 24th March, 2018, 01:40 AM
    For the "familiars" yes, I don't think its the case with the druid or the ranger animal companions. But is not a terribly difficult fluff change, instead of a real physical animal, they now have a "spirit animal" (much more literal than the tribal metaphysical associations of the term) or something along those lines that "improves" and alters its form as the character levels up. IMO it can...
    12 replies | 447 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Friday, 23rd March, 2018, 02:45 AM
    Typically, I let a player "upgrade" their companion, same companion, new stats. When the companion is represented as an intelligent spirit, this is simple, it just takes on a newer, more powerful form. When the companion is represented as a physical beast, I'll usually just let the player use the stats of the new creature unless they are grossly different (ie: a snake to a lion). For classes...
    12 replies | 447 view(s)
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd March, 2018, 04:31 AM
    No, because they're not setting the specific challenges they have to overcome, they're only saying that "there are challenges". When a player (or an IRL person) sets a goal they're always setting the problem (my boss is a jerk) and defining the solution (getting a sweet new job). What they don't get to set is the challenges between point A and C. If a player has to investigate every...
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Tuesday, 20th March, 2018, 09:48 PM
    That's not a loaded question if I ever saw one.
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  • shidaku's Avatar
    Tuesday, 20th March, 2018, 03:38 AM
    There's a difference between making "poor choices" because you are ignorant and making "poor choices" because they create an interesting end-result. When I first started, I did the former, a lot. Quite honestly? It isn't fun. I do not look back at those times with fondness. So I learned how to optimize. Now I can make both good and creative characters. I also enjoy the game substantially...
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About shidaku

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About shidaku
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Casper, WY dungeons and dragons and general RP guy
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*shrug* I like all things role playing, I like having fun, a good laugh and good beer. I've been getting more and more into D&D in the past years, and EN world has been showing up in the top search results, so, I finally registered.

Oh, and I like long walks though enchanted forests and watching the sun set over a burning castle.
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I am currently running a FFG Star Wars game, not really by choice, and playing in a 3.0(yeah, not 3.X) game on Thursdays and Sundays respectively. We are not currently looking for more players.
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I am currently running a FFG Star Wars game, not really by choice, and playing in a 3.0(yeah, not 3.X) game on Thursdays and Sundays respectively. We are not currently looking for more players.
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Tuesday, 17th April, 2018

  • 12:35 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned shidaku in post What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
    It won't answer much of your questions, but have you seen the movie Elysium? No. Related? shidaku: So maybe I should add HoL to the inspirational cocktail? And maybe Call of Chtuhlu...

Sunday, 15th April, 2018

  • 02:54 AM - pemerton mentioned shidaku in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    shidaku, your post prompted a couple of thoughts in me. If for some reason I'm wrong and the article is suggesting that you should come to the game with nothing more than a blank piece of paper, I think that's sillyIf the sheet of paper was literally blank, then there wouldn't be a RPG system to use! But if we mean "turning up to a session with the rules and that's it", well I've got no problem with that, and have done it from time to time. "detailing in" is a natural outcome of expanding the lore, which is why some older settings feel less approachable with how much information has already been detailed in.This reminded me of Ron Edwards's comment about "karaoke RPGing": This is a serious problem that arises from the need to sell thick books rather than to teach and develop powerful role-playing. Let's say you have a game that consists of some Premise-heavy characters and a few notes about Situation, and through play, the group generates a hellacious cool Setting as well as theme(...

Saturday, 14th April, 2018

  • 09:38 PM - darkbard mentioned shidaku in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    Are you familiar, shidaku, with the philosopher Slavoi Zizek's take on the Rumsfeld statement you quoted? He points out that Rumsfeld omits the fourth, and natural, category from his list, unknown knowns: those beliefs we hold without being aware of how they act upon us which shape how we act in the world. In other words, ideology. I'm pretty sure Zizek writes about this in the introduction to The Borrowed Kettle. The problem with sci-fi vs fantasy in the authors context is that sci-fi has a low bar for something being a "known known". How a space-ship works can be readily derived from a diagram, which itself is readily available. The general level of knowledge is high. In the same sense that what the average person knows now is far beyond what even some of the smartest people knew 5000 years ago. Access to new knowledge is easy and transmission of information is direct (say, on a flash drive), as opposed to rare and indirect (oral tradition). Here, I think, you have misstated the way you are thin...

Wednesday, 4th April, 2018


Saturday, 10th March, 2018

  • 07:30 PM - DMMike mentioned shidaku in post The Difficulties Of Running Low Magic Campaigns
    On the other hand, Gandalf was able to defeat the Balrog one on one, and is a Maiar. Yeah, and Maia isn't a D&D playable race :) I'd like to point out that some video games do include low-magic fantasy. In Skyrim, each hold has just one court mage, none of whom do any significant spell casting. Then there's Kingdom Come Deliverance, admittedly new, which is a medieval-like game that has zero magic, as far as I can tell. If you want to run a low-magic campaign, you're better off recruiting Lord of the Rings movie (or book) fans than trying to convert World of Warcraft players. shidaku 's comparison of welder versus plumber sums it up pretty well.

Saturday, 17th February, 2018

  • 11:30 PM - Yaarel mentioned shidaku in post D&D Beyond: Halflings
    I agree, shidaku. Somehow "godifying" concepts dumbs them down. It is moreorless identical to saying, "the devil made me do it", which shortcircuits the investigation of actual influences and causes. Too much reliance on gods makes the setting feel dumber. And the main problem is, hard-baking the gods into descriptions makes it increasing difficulty to present the feel of a nonpolytheistic campaign.

Tuesday, 13th February, 2018

  • 01:52 AM - pemerton mentioned shidaku in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    shidaku - it is true that propaganda efforts can go wrong. That's what a Streetwise check (or whatever other PC ability might be relevant) is for. If the check fails, then perhaps the consequence (in the fiction) is that the people of the kingdom become more loyal. If the check succeeds, however, then - in the approach that I prefer - the PCs (and, thereby, the players) have attained their goal - in this case, quelling potential unrest. That is the essence of "say 'yes' or roll the dice" - either the GM says "yes" and the action declaration succeeds (generally used for low-stakes stuff, managing narrative continuity, etc) or else a check is made. If it succeeds, the intention is realised. If not, the GM establishes the consequences of failure This contrast between success and failure - success = players get what they wanted; failure = GM establishes some adverse consequence - also feeds into the issue of player agency over the shared fiction: The players can declare any action the...

Monday, 12th February, 2018

  • 10:40 AM - pming mentioned shidaku in post Old School Initiative
    Hiya! shidaku, okey-dokey. As I said...I disagree with your view of initiative and that "loosing an action because something happens before you" is a bad thing, but that's cool. As I've said many times before, one of the shining factors of RPG's is that two groups can be playing the same game, but have strikingly different play styles, interpretations, etc. :) ^_^ Paul L. Ming
  • 06:29 AM - pemerton mentioned shidaku in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...s will appear.Of course if the game is going to continue (ie assassinating the king isn't itself the endgame of the campaign) then new opposition has to emerge. My view is that this new set of obstacles should not invalidate whatever success the players had in action declaration. So if, for instance, as part of the assassination resolution (be that skill challenge, or something else), the players have brought it about that the major houses have all entered into cooperation agreements with their PCs, then the obstacles that emerge should not (in my view) include the major houses turning on the PCs. Applying the general principle that you stated upthread, that there is no in-principle limit on the amount of opposition/obstacles I can think up for my game, I don't think it costs anything (from the point of view of the game going on) to honour the players' successes in establishing certain elements within the fiction. And this is - as I understand it - my point of disagreement with shidaku. I don't think resolving an assassination attempt against a king is, in principle, any different from resolving a negotiation with a baker over the price of a loaf of bread: if the check is framed, and the player succeeds, then it is established that the fiction is as the player wanted, be that that the baker will sell the loaf for a good price, or that the noble houses are allied with the PCs, and so won't just turn on them when the king is assassinated. A further comment: I think it is a very big deal in GMing to know when it is OK to put some settled bit of the fiction back into play. If you never do it, the game can lack depth and drama; but if you do it all the time, then (as I have just been describing) resolution lacks finality and the players' successes aren't being honoured. Burning Wheel has rules that deal with this, and GM advice to accompany those rules. Here are some of the things that, in BW, are considered to re-open a result which was hitherto final: discove...

Saturday, 3rd February, 2018

  • 09:16 PM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned shidaku in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    OK, so my response to this is that you seem to be doing something pretty close in spirit to what pemerton is doing, though maybe some of the details of procedure of play are different, etc. I don't know for sure. Pemerton may also be more of a 'purist' in terms of making every scene drive directly 'to the action', etc. However, I think if he was to run a game in FR he might well take something like your tack in a general sense, though I think a setting like FR is not ideal for his style of play. I'd say the 4e Nentir Vale is an example of a setting, coupled with 4e lore/cosmology, that is more useful in his kind of a game (because it is much more loosely established and basically free of meta-plot, but has a lot of 'hooks' that could suggest useful narrative elements to meet player interests). I think this leads into what shidaku is saying in response to Emerikol. Its quite possible to (perhaps incoherently, but life is rarely an exercise in coherency) kind of walk in the various grey zones between some sort of hard sandbox and some kind of entirely free-form joint-authorship play where nothing is pre-established at all. I would note that EVEN PEMERTON hasn't yet hinted at playing that way! Even he pre-generated some planets in Traveller and used Nentir Vale as a starting point for his 4e campaign. I think plenty of us fall in this zone somewhere. I almost always run D&D campaigns in the same consistent campaign world that I established in the 1970's. So there is a MASS of pre-established material, and it runs a gamut of stuff I generated as elements of early sandboxes, later world-building exercises, various dungeon-maze-with-nearby-town locations, as well as material put in place by players in the course of establishing their character's motives, backstory, or even action resolution narrative (mostly in mor...

Saturday, 20th January, 2018

  • 07:03 AM - pemerton mentioned shidaku in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    What is the purpose of this question?To learn your answer to it. For instance, shidaku upthread hast talked about the GM as artist and the players as audience. Is there a similar idea going on in your comments about how the players get a certain sense from the worldbuilding? Could they get the same sense by authoring their own backstory for their PCs, or not?

Friday, 19th January, 2018

  • 08:50 AM - pemerton mentioned shidaku in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    The biased way you are phrasing your questions sounds like you are trying to build a case for something. Bias? shidaku described world building as art. Presumably, it is the GM's art and the GM's meaning given to the adventure. Art (typically) has an audience. I'm asking if the players are that audience? If the answer is no - eg the audience for worldbuilding is the GM - then how does worldbuiling relate to RPGing at all? shidaku also used an adjective - your - which is ambiguous between singular and plural. Whose adventure does worldbuilding give meaning to? I am imagining that the answer is the GM's adventure. If I'm wrong, shidaku can correct me.

Wednesday, 10th January, 2018

  • 10:49 PM - ArtaSoral mentioned shidaku in post How the party gets formed.
    shidaku o how I wish I could do that, but my players would go nuts as they really Max/min their stuff with the starting money according to PHB (I'm beginning to suspect I may be giving my players to much power)
  • 10:48 PM - ArtaSoral mentioned shidaku in post How the party gets formed.
    shidaku o how I wish I could do that, but my players would go nuts as they really Max/min their stuff with the starting money according to PHB (I'm beginning to suspect I may be giving my players to much power)

Tuesday, 9th January, 2018

  • 03:16 AM - Henry mentioned shidaku in post When did Role become Roll?
    As far as the base argument — I happen to agree, in that something that is off-putting to me at the table are players (or GMs) who take an adversarial tone and try to “win” by defeating whoever is on the opposite side of the GM screen. To that end, an amount of trust is required between GM and player to work together to both be fair, and to have a fun game out of which arises a really great story. If others want to play adversarially at their tables, more power to them, but I’ve personally always had less fun doing that. I do disagree putting all the onus on the players - the GM can be just as adversarial as a player, and it leads to the same place just as quickly. I also think the argument can be phrased less as a condemnation (as shidaku points out) and less of a “one true way” argument but still get the original point across.

Tuesday, 28th November, 2017

  • 05:46 PM - redrick mentioned shidaku in post [RPG] Gm question: New players dropping from sessions.
    It's up to you and your group to decide how long you want to hold the door open for people, and how much you care about consistent attendance. We generally accept that we might have one player who can't make it every night, because life is hectic and we try to play weekly. So if a new player had trouble making it, we'd probably cut them some slack, because it happens to all of us, even the GM. (In which case we will sometimes play a board game, go to the bar, or run a backup one-shot.) Generally in agreement with shidaku — I'd plan on them not coming, but leave them on the announcement e-mails for another session or two. If they continue not to make it, I might shoot them an e-mail saying, "Hey, we're gonna have to give up your seat to another player." Or I might just stop including them on the e-mails. You're under no obligation to continue to include them. I would only say that, sometimes, new players take a few sessions to really get hooked and start counting down the days til the next session. We had a new player in our group who was slow to get engaged at first and missed a lot of sessions, but pretty soon, she was one of the most driving forces in making sure the next session happened.

Tuesday, 21st November, 2017

  • 08:36 PM - Satyrn mentioned shidaku in post The "Powergamers (Min/maxer)" vs "Alpha Gamers" vs "Role Play Gamers" vs "GM" balance mismatch "problem(s)"
    If your point is that I give a bad examples . . . But I really was not trying to focus on the finer points as to whether a forest is a good place to hide from a dragon or not. Well, it was more my point than shidaku's. And I was just pushing back against a finer point that you were arguing. You had suggested a dragon's speed makes it impossible to outrun. It wasn't even that which I was pushing back against. I was just trying to imply that a whiteroom comparison of speeds is useless. And whether you'd picked woodlands, dessert (yum!), plains, tundra or wherever as the environment for the chase, I'd have pointed mentioned relevant terrain features to help me illustrate that. (Now, if you didn't want to discuss some finer point like this, I didn't realize that. It was kind of hard to tell, given that this finer point was how you introduced a lengthy post - the one I had originally replied to.)

Monday, 20th November, 2017

  • 02:19 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned shidaku in post The "Powergamers (Min/maxer)" vs "Alpha Gamers" vs "Role Play Gamers" vs "GM" balance mismatch "problem(s)"
    In what way is hand-crafting every encounter to take each character's statistics and capabilities into account somehow just as easy as not having to do that because everyone is more-or-less balanced? While that sounds reasonable, I'm not sure how you got there from shidaku's "Right, that's why you make dedicated challenges. The super-DPR barbarian isn't going to do a very good job in social challenges." I wouldn't call throwing in some extra social challenges, for example, "hand-crafting". I agree with both of you...and I don't think you need to make a caricature of his claim in order to defend yours.

Sunday, 19th November, 2017

  • 04:17 AM - pemerton mentioned shidaku in post The "L" Word (Lazy) and Armchair Quarterbacking
    shidaku - I'm not following your argument. As it happens, I don't agree that all criticism (beyond spelling and grammar) is subjective. But let's put that to one side. Are you saying that, because all such criticism is subjective, we shouldn't engage in it? Eg there's no point in discussing whether Dylan did or didn't merit a Nobel Prize? And if you're not saying that, then why is the description of work as "lazy" being singled out by you as impermissible? (As far as I can tell you're not arguing that it's an attack on the work ethic of the composer/author - which would be a point on which we agree.)

Thursday, 16th November, 2017

  • 09:24 AM - scottaroberts mentioned shidaku in post Xanathar's, Wizards, and FLGSes Charging For Playspace
    First, apologies: though I'm not new to the Intarwebs, quoting multiple posts in one reply is beyond my knowledge with this forum software. I truly appreciate people who support their FLGS via MSRP buying of products in the store. There just aren't enough of them. In fact, I've bought the arguments I hear from those who *don't* pay MSRP while trying to convince people to do so. I find it akin to accepting charity: you know, and I know, that you could get that product 40% cheaper. In essence you're donating money to me. It feels as if I am ripping people off or depending entirely on their goodwill and, well, businesses don't really succeed if they're relying on people to realize they should *not* take the bargain offered elsewhere. shidaku: I don't really expect people who can host at home to pay for space. The frequency of purchase of D&D accessories, and their price points, does not make enough money to keep a space afloat in and of itself (although in a larger store, cross-gaming customers can buy enough regularly to keep up the space). DMMike: The gaming cafe model is an excellent one--but it's also much more expensive to set up, run, etc...and the best use of such a space's appeal is not to draw an RPG crowd at all; if I were to do it, it'd be pretty much all boardgames and directed towards a dating/youth market looking for something different to do. But that's just me. Dire Bare: I love hearing about successful stores, but I'll point a few things out: first, you're in Idaho; rural areas and the midwest (due to a lack of competition for entertainment dollars) tend to do quite a lot better than places in more urban areas from my knowledge. Second, they make their money from CCGs and minis games primarily. T...


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Wednesday, 18th April, 2018

  • 03:49 PM - Ilbranteloth quoted shidaku in post Duergar and "nonstandard" races
    I disagree. The strongpoint of lawful evil and it's ability to remain party-friendly is in the fact that nothing they do is technically illegal. A lawful evil individual is much akin to a politician, they'll use the system to protect themselves, enrich themselves and generally screw everyone else over. I just reread this part, and it's just not right. In D&D, evil is evil. Being evil isn't about legality. And in any good society a lawful evil creature will do a great many illegal things. It's more than just screwing everyone else over. It's that they have no qualms about committing acts of evil. They also value order (that's the lawful part), but that doesn't mean they adhere to somebody else's order. Something like theft isn't in and of itself evil. It might seem like it leans that way, but stealing bread to feed your family, for example, doesn't. Theft can only occur along with the "civilized" concept of ownership. If theft can't exist where there is no ownership, then it can't ne...
  • 03:06 PM - ddaley quoted shidaku in post Gygax IP To Be Made Available For Video Games
    So Fig is like Kickstarter, but for video games? Doesn't Steam do that already? I don't think Steam has the capability of fundraising for development of a game. Or, if it does, it isn't well advertised. Developers do sell access to games that are in alpha or beta. But, that is not the same thing. One more thing... even though a game is funded on kickstarter or fig, they may deliver the game through Steam.
  • 02:50 PM - Morrus quoted shidaku in post Gygax IP To Be Made Available For Video Games
    So Fig is like Kickstarter, but for video games? I think so. I don’t quite understand it. I think you get actual shares in the game or something.
  • 10:00 AM - Lanefan quoted shidaku in post What grid do you prefer for overland maps?
    For overland maps I prefer no grid. I do this because as a DM, the distance between Kingdom A and Kingdom B is usually measured in average travel time, not distance. Agreed. However to get a reasonable estimate of the average travel time one needs to more or less know the distance being travelled, along with the terrain, existence and-or condition of a road or trail or track, relative amount of expected danger, and so forth. Oh, and means of travel (foot, flight, horse, etc.) and-or means of shortcutting travel e.g. does the party have short-term fly spells to help them pass the most serious obstyacles. The time is the relevant factor of the map, because time determines how often things are to change, and when combined with terrain how likely or unlikely you are to be attacked. A heavily wooded forest will take longer to traverse and have a higher rate of attack. The actual distance is unimportant. A flat plains will take less time to traverse, and short of horseman hordes, will h...
  • 07:06 AM - ShadowRadiance quoted shidaku in post House/Horse
    ...you turn a house into a giant or young dragon and it does what you say. You just made an unintelligent creature intelligent (and absurdly powerful) maybe it has issues with the oats you've been feeding it and how you've been running it to the point of exhaustion first? ... So I hoped you treated your horse well because you gave him 200HP and a breath weapon. I realize I'm very late to this conversation... but Illithidbix DID say "house" not "horse". B-)
  • 05:04 AM - Ilbranteloth quoted shidaku in post Duergar and "nonstandard" races
    I disagree. The strongpoint of lawful evil and it's ability to remain party-friendly is in the fact that nothing they do is technically illegal. A lawful evil individual is much akin to a politician, they'll use the system to protect themselves, enrich themselves and generally screw everyone else over. To the first part, they may not, but neutral and lawful evil shouldn't view them as necessary either. Neutral evil tortures because it is efficient. Like true neutral, their concern is a resolution, they just have a lower moral code. A lawful evil person with torture because it is legal (or the law is looking away) and because it is efficient. Chaotic evil tortures for pleasure and fun, regardless of if it is the best way to resolve a situation. I don't disagree with the last part, but for neutral and lawful evil, the situation ought to warrant it. If the success of Mr Lawful Evil's plans requires the death of everyone they hold dear, yes they will kill them all. By the same to...
  • 12:53 AM - Doug McCrae quoted shidaku in post Lost In Translation: Adapting Fictional Characters To Games
    Fictional character's capabilities are based entirely on literary function. If its useful for them to cast Meteor, they cast it. If it's not, they don't. End of story. They do not have daily allotments of spells except for when the story calls for that to matter. They don't have to prepare or memorize spells except for when the story thinks that's important. They can kill a man 9 different ways with only their thumb because the book says they can, grapple checks need not apply.I think you're largely right, especially in the case of the quickly written trashy pulp fiction that features heavily in Appendix N. Lord of the Rings is an exception to this but I suspect old JRR may have perpetrated a few magical ad hocs, such as Saruman slowing Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, and hastening the orcs in the pursuit across Rohan. It's awfully convenient and there's no foreshadowing of this power. But, isn't simulating elements of fiction the main content of early D&D? D&D grew out of the fantasy sup...
  • 12:19 AM - Tony Vargas quoted shidaku in post Lost In Translation: Adapting Fictional Characters To Games
    People can "have fun" doing all sorts of things. I do not believe attempting to recreate fictional characters is a sound way to do that for the majority of play. You'll usually end up disappointed. Entirely depends on the system. A class/level system like D&D? Nah, even at it's most customizeable (3.x) or balanced/re-skinnable (4e), it's unlikely to work well - maybe you'll capture the feel of the character at some level, if everything in the campaign comes together, possibly if you squint at it just right. An officially-licensed system purpose-built to simulate a specific property? Maybe, if your vision of it matches that of the guy who wrote it closely enough, and the system's not just some slap-dash thing to make it technically an RPG because the RPG license was available relatively cheaply. A well-researched GURPS worldbook? Again, if your vision is as well-researched and your research led you to the same conclusions. ;) A highly-customizeable build system, like Hero or...

Tuesday, 17th April, 2018

  • 10:39 PM - Ilbranteloth quoted shidaku in post Duergar and "nonstandard" races
    Evil races comprehend good. They are typically evil thanks to society, culture and tradition placing value on "evil deeds" and usually the worship of some evil deities. Maybe some innate taint but fundamentally, one cannot be "evil" if they cannot comprehend "good" and choose not to be good. Lawful Evil is arguably my favorite alignment after Chaotic Good. Being evil doesn't necessarily make you a murderer, a psychopath or generally a bad person to be around. It just generally means you place a higher value on your life than your friends, your goals over their goals, your needs over their needs and see to it that your needs are always the primary obligation in any adventure. That doesn't mean you place no value on your friends, or that you have no friends. Your comrades are simply tools to your own success, if your success mandates that they succeed, then you will take reasonable measures to ensure they succeed, because a stronger ally means you are more likely to achieve your goals....
  • 06:29 PM - AriochQ quoted shidaku in post Lost In Translation: Adapting Fictional Characters To Games
    Styling an NPC to be like Gandalf is absolutely NOT what the OP was talking about and is a completely unrelated endevour. "D&D is a game of imagination. If some group wants to battle or play fictional characters, more power to them." Was the first line of my response. I am not so presumptuous as to tell others the correct way to play D&D. If they want to play Gandalf and Frodo, and have fun doing it, then I say go for it. If everyone is on board, who cares? D&D isn't the system I would choose to do so, it is pretty clunky. I would think Middle Earth Role Playing would be more appropriate (for obvious reasons!).
  • 05:50 PM - Tony Vargas quoted shidaku in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    Wow, reading answers in threads this like really illustrates the differences between combative and cooperative gaming styles. For me, I got tired of the Players versus Dungeonmaster style about 20-25 years ago, long before 3.X and 4E got the reputation of being that type of game. Who told you they had that reputation? 3.5 was great for PvP, and could be used with adversarial DMing if you really wanted to, as could any edition, but 3.5 and, especially, 4e were they height of 'player entitlement' and old-school adversarial DMing was, let's just say 'frowned upon.' I believe the players and DM are telling a story together. Very 90s. Not very D&D. ;P Usually, if I want to avoid killing the party, it'll be made clear through the story lead-in that the bad guy is a "capture and torture" or "capture and experiment" or "slaver" type and that he's specifically going to try to incapacitate the party and use them for his nefarious plans. That can scare players worse. ;) Turn this aroun...
  • 01:19 PM - AriochQ quoted shidaku in post Lost In Translation: Adapting Fictional Characters To Games
    Modeling fictional characters in RPGs is a bad idea. PERIOD. Fictional character's capabilities are based entirely on literary function. If its useful for them to cast Meteor, they cast it. If it's not, they don't. End of story. They do not have daily allotments of spells except for when the story calls for that to matter. They don't have to prepare or memorize spells except for when the story thinks that's important. They can kill a man 9 different ways with only their thumb because the book says they can, grapple checks need not apply. If for whatever insane reason you decide to include a fictional character from literature in your game there really should be nothing more on their stat sheet than their name. When you want them to succeed at something, they do. When you don't want them to, they don't. D&D is a game of imagination. If some group wants to battle or play fictional characters, more power to them. I have never ran, or played in, a campaign based on fictional characte...
  • 10:51 AM - delericho quoted shidaku in post Cultures in D&D/roleplaying: damned if you do, damned if you don't
    Don't run games set in the real world, or settings that are only one step away from it. Mostly this. These days, I very much prefer my fantasy settings to be exactly that - fantasy settings. So the default land is not "fantasy Europe", the lands to the east are not "fantasy Asia", and so on. Simply taking a real-world nation and filing off the serial numbers is... okay, I guess, but it's just not what I'm looking for in a setting these days. But in addition: There will never be one sure-fire solution that a DM or writer can use as a shield from criticism. But the shield of "I tried my best to cover the bases." is usually a pretty good one. Few people will fault you for putting in your best effort, so I guess what it really comes down to is this: Did you put in your best effort? This is pretty much it. The truth is that if you put something out there, there's a good chance somebody will take offense - because you didn't include their favoured group, or you did but you got some...

Monday, 16th April, 2018

  • 04:21 AM - pemerton quoted shidaku in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    Okay, so "heft" is more about giving players direction in life, and thus, in whatever world they happen to be in.Yes, and I would add - it allows the game to actually get going. And setting, backstory etc can then arise "organically" in play. (I put "organically" in inverted commas because it's a bit of a cheating word in this context - but hopefully my meaning is clear enough.) I think the reason this happens is that the GM is always working from a top-down approachWhich I think is already rationalistic/intellectualised in a way that is anachronistic, and (I'll controversially add) aesthetically self-defeating for (at least some) fantasy RPGing. DMs turn to dice, which is a poor adjudication method because the systems in play IRL are not based on random chance, even if they may have, eons ago, been seeded by random chance, those processes are now the result of understandable and somewhat predictable mathematics. But a DM can't rightly simulate that, but I think there's a stron...
  • 01:26 AM - pemerton quoted shidaku in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    I'm really rather confused by the notion that earlier peoples actually had more knowledge than modern people.I don't think I saw anyone make that claim. I thought that darkbard and AbdulAlhazred suggested (between them) that (i) quantifying amounts of knowledge is fraught, and that (ii) earlier people were having experiences that triggered cognitive processes and belief formation at something like the same rate as contemporary people. Longer life expectancies might be seen as a factor relevant to (ii), but that would then take as back to (i). When it comes to discussion of changes in how knowledge is generated, accumulated, engaged with by individuals, etc, I'm a great admirer of Weber's discussion in Science as a Vocation, although I suspect darkbard (and maybe others) would want (at a minimum) to put some qualifications around Weber's own persepctive, which relies upon a ready-to-hand conception of "the savage": Scientific progress is a fraction, the most important fraction, of th...
  • 12:57 AM - pemerton quoted shidaku in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    Am I to understand this "heft" as "more pre-written world building"?Well, this goes back to something that was being discussed a few pages ago. I think that a system can have "heft" - in the sense of delivering PCs with some sort of orientation or incipient dramatic arc; and situations for those PCs to get involved in - without having pre-written worldbuilding. BW PCs have lifepaths, traits, relationships, beliefs. Traveller PCs have lifepaths, sometimes spaceships, and patrons generated on a random patron table. Classic D&D doesn't have a random patron table, but there is Appendix A for random dungeons, and there are random encounter and treasure tables. 3E or RM are very austere in comparison - neither on player nor GM side is there the same clarity of "OK, here's what you're meant to be doing now to make this game happen".

Sunday, 15th April, 2018

  • 09:42 PM - Ancalagon quoted shidaku in post [PF2] Gnome and Halfling ancestry up on Paizo blog
    My response is: "What ability score generation system?" That is to say: this isn't an ability score generation system. EDIT: some other thoughts: Unless classes are going to give ability score boosts (as part of the class starting package like ancestry). But we haven't seen that previewed in any of the class previews, so I suspect thatisn't the case. This also explains some other elements I've been seeing that I found odd, such as how small the numbers were in their expertise system. Such a system would never work with a high-score generating game like PF1. It also explains why ancestries determine HD rather than classes. It's also starting to look like PF2 isn't for me. AND THATS OKAY. But disappointing to me nonetheless.Based on what is written on the blog, it's starting to look a lot like the starfinder stat generation system. I agree with you that it is incomplete at this time, but I wanted to point it out because it was a partial piece of the system which we didn't have befo...
  • 06:48 PM - Charlaquin quoted shidaku in post [PF2] Gnome and Halfling ancestry up on Paizo blog
    That would explain why my reply to your reply to me is now...before it. Well then. Yeah, looks like something went wrong on trying to merge the original thread with Morrus’ new one.
  • 11:38 AM - pemerton quoted shidaku in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    No ideas at all for what you want to run/play? I mean I've come to a game pretty empty-handed but I still generally have some ideas for style and theme. Now I know you run substantially more player-authored games than I do and that may relieve some of the burden, but I still suspect the article was not arguing an extreme in response to what they viewed as another extreme (not that people don't do that), but that was my only point there, to come "open and flexible" rather than closed and firm.Some systems bring more "heft" with them than others. The experiences I was thinking of when I made my post were: starting a Burning Wheel game ; starting a Classic Traveller game (a bit of a cheat - I had rolled up two or three random worlds in advance, and so dropped them in when I needed a world - but I could have done that while the players were rolling their Pcs if I wanted to); and more than once in classic D&D (either AD&D or Moldvay). What distinguishes these from, say, 3E D&D, is that each...
  • 08:39 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted shidaku in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    I disagree strongly. The average individual possesses a great deal more knowledge than our ancestors. Some of that is different knowledge (depending on who you ask). But I'd probably wager that even most farmers and ranchers now possess a great deal more knowledge (on the individual level) than farmers in the distant past. The fact that the majority of people are even literate to begin with demonstrates this. I would argue that if you took two people from relatively similar backgrounds (lets say farmers), 5000 years apart; the person from the modern times would be able to demonstrate an almost invariably larger volume of individual knowledge about farming. This stinks of cognitive bias of one sort or another, to high heaven really! Any 2 40 year old human beings have experienced an equal number of days of life, filled with experiences of various sorts. Your average Neolithic Farmer from 3000bc probably knows a HUGE amount about nature, his local environs, the minute details of th...


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