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Wednesday, 14th November, 2018


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Monday, 17th September, 2018

  • 02:09 AM - LordEntrails mentioned Shasarak in post How do you like your published settings? Static or evolving? And through what medium?
    ...er it's worth the hassle. Even worse is when players own different versions of the setting and expect to be able to use what they own...and by extension expect you-as-DM to accommodate that. My surprise was more about the amount of “setting police” players that seem to be out there, according to many posts in this and similar threads. If I want to use the 1e gray-box version of Forgotten Realms (maybe with some additions of my own), and one player is expecting the 3e version because that's what she's used to, while another player is looking for the post-apocalypse 4e version - yeah, there's going to be some mismatched expectations up front followed inevitably by erroneous assumptions during play. The only way to avoid this is to not use FR as a setting.... On the other hand instead of not using FR as a setting you could say that the campaign is starting in Year 1357 DR and run from there. In 40 years of running all types of campaigns I've never run into a problem like those. Shasarak's solution has always worked for me and I've never made a big deal about it and I don't remember a single player ever complaining or even asking about it. Again, I don't see why a timeline doesn't work. It has always worked for me. I guess I'm just special.

Tuesday, 24th July, 2018

  • 05:51 AM - pemerton mentioned Shasarak in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Why would you leave out the official quote I provided for you that a dragon being magical in combination with the wing strength is how it flies. It makes it appear that you argue disingenuously when you do things like this. (1) I was replying to Shasarak, who I thought was suggesting that flying dragons are physically possible. (2) That is inlcuded in my (iii): it doesn't really make sense to think of the world of D&D using such scientific categories as gravity and fluid mechanics. A world in which beings have "innate magic" that combines with their muscualture to let them fly is not a world in which scientific categories such as gravity and fluid mechanics have application. (Whichi was TwoSix's point some way upthread.) I also think it is worth nothing that in 3E (at least according to the d20srd) a dragon's flight is not SU. Of course they are biomechanically possible. That is what the physics says. What kind of respiratory system does a DnD Arthrod have? Maybe you are imagining the wrong sort.I'm talking about the real world. Are you asserting that D&D giants are biomechanically possible in the real world? If you are, that's interesting because I thought the general opinion was that, with the possible exception of fi...

Monday, 23rd July, 2018

  • 04:03 PM - Kobold Boots mentioned Shasarak in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    @pemerton, Shasarak The gravity conversation interests me if only for the two points that immediately come to mind. 1. Gravitational forces assuming 1G constant will not prevent really large things from flying given enough lift and thrust. Similarly it will not prevent large bone and muscle mass creatures from evolving given the right circumstances. 2. Whether or not something is magical or not really depends on whether or not your sensibilities allow for something to exist in a conventional physics sense or not. (e.g. This huge dragon isn't airflow optimized and his wings aren't large enough to provide lift or gliding control so it has to be magic.. ) Note that where physics ends and magic begins in any person's world is a personal thing and may actually vary depending on the subject. The huge dragon may require magic to fly (and may have learned enough to do so) whereas the smaller one may not require it to fly (and as such may have developed its own tricks instead.) Regardless, the physics/magi...

Tuesday, 17th October, 2017

  • 10:22 AM - pemerton mentioned Shasarak in post RPG Combat: Sport or War?
    I'd like to stress that when playing a 'grittier' RPG system, you have less freedom, in a way: Since combat is lethal, it's something that must be avoided at all cost. Players _must_ come up with ways to overcome their opposition by means other than open combat, otherwise your campaign is going to be short-lived.For me, this illustrates the point I've been making upthread, to Saelorn, Shasarak and billd91. In a genuinely grim & gritty RPG, ambushing someone with a sword, or a crossbow, should be (more-or-less) as dangerous as dropping a rock on them. It's purely an artefact of D&D's mechanics, which rates a sword at d8 or d10 but leaves the rating of a boulder to the GM, that results in a fighter being unable to kill someone in a weapon ambush but able- at least at the tables of those GMs mentioned - to kill someone with a boulder ambush. Which once again relates back to Aenghus's point, that the effectiveness of the boulder vs the sword turns primarily on end-running around the damage rules. It's entirely an artefact of mechanics, not of "narrative first". In a "narrative first" game involving people of "flesh and bone" (to quote Saelorn), an ambush with a sword or bow should be capable of lethality. (And in games like RuneQuest, Rolemaster, Burning Wheel, etc - ie with broadly simulationist action resolution mechanics - it is.) But D&D chooses to subordinate letha...

Friday, 7th July, 2017

  • 05:02 AM - hawkeyefan mentioned Shasarak in post Mearls on other settings
    ...terest them. This way, DMs can easily keep unwanted assumptions 100% out of their rulebooks and their games. In my own case, if the Great Wheel of Planescape and all of its polytheism was a separate expansion pack, while the Players Handbook made no mention to it, then I would be at peace and able to enjoy the game better. Different DMs are sensitive to different things, but we can all benefit from compartmentalizing the options. I disagree that it's WotC's responsibility to cater to the sensitivities of DMs and players. I think it's up to the DMs and players themselves to decide what material to use or not. I mean, I get the appeal of rule books written exactly to my personal preference...but it's simply not a realistic expectation. So Ravenloft was never meant to be a living setting in its own.? It's only visited from others? That's where my lack of history trips me up :) I thought it was a fully fledged setting that could host campaigns without needing outside support? As Shasarak said, the many realms that made up the Demiplane of Dread, the setting for the Ravenloft game, were each made for a particular dark lord. These realms were the domain of a dark lord, but also their prison as well. Each of these dark lords was taken from another world...Toril, Oerth, Krynn, or any number of unnamed worlds. Typically, the PCs in Ravenloft adventures are drawn through the misty barriwrs from their world and into the demiplane of dread. So the setting was its own, but it was conmected to the other worlds and interacted with them.

Friday, 23rd June, 2017

  • 05:32 AM - Yaarel mentioned Shasarak in post Why FR Is "Hated"
    @Shasarak and @Azzy You are kinda proving my point about ‘D&D peer pressure’ to pretend to ‘worship’ ‘gods’. If I told you, I hate Kobolds. I imagine your response would be something like. Thats nice. I dont care. But when I say, I hate polytheism. You guys seem as if unable to stop yourself from launching into some kind of reallife culture war about issues that I couldnt care less about. I enjoy D&D without ‘gods’. I watch televisions shows where polytheism is irrelevant. I want to play games where it is irrelevant too.

Monday, 12th June, 2017

  • 02:30 AM - Hussar mentioned Shasarak in post Why FR Is "Hated"
    It's interesting that you bring up Caderly Shasarak. That's one of the few FR books I actually have read. Although, it was a LONG time ago and I don't think I read all of them. Wasn't there something about a killer yo-yo in those books? Anyway, think about what you just said though. Cadderly is the exception. Most of the priests don't adventure, and never did. Yet, funnily enough, there were higher level clerics than Cadderly at his temple. How did they gain levels? They specifically weren't adventurers, so, what did they kill or loot in order to gain several thousand xp points to go from 1st to, say, 3rd level. Just to roll this back to the idea of NPC's using PC rules. Lanefan spells it out pretty well. In AD&D, sure, you could use NPC rules for a humanoid (and only a humanoid - sorry, no class levels for your beholder), or, you could kinda sorta just bolt on some PC abilities onto an NPC, or, as was the much more common case, you could use a unique stat block. 3e changed all that. Not only did you have the option of...

Friday, 19th May, 2017

  • 12:34 AM - robus mentioned Shasarak in post To Post or Not to Post: An Ethics Question
    Something that is being ignored is fair use. I'm not saying that this is a case of that (I'm not a copyright lawyer) but it certainly sounds like the work is transformative (by recontextualizing the works) and there is certainly no impact on the "market" as the works have already been freely shared on the Internet. So the legality and the ethics are not as cut and dried as they may appear. And Shasarak is correct that an awful lot of stuff on the internet would be illegal if including others work was the only criteria.
  • 12:00 AM - LordEntrails mentioned Shasarak in post To Post or Not to Post: An Ethics Question
    Shasarak, I know where you are going with this. And I'm not going to have a debate with you about it. Suffice it to say in your country and mine what you are suggesting is illegal. In almost every ethical system what you are suggesting is unethical.

Saturday, 15th April, 2017

  • 01:41 AM - LordEntrails mentioned Shasarak in post We're Finally Mainstream! Now What?
    Shasarak, I simply can't follow your arguments. It seems like you are taking comments and arguments from anyone that doesn't side with you as being all in one pool, or something. But anyways, it doesn't matter. Labels are only as good as people are willing to agree upon them and use them consistantly. Which isn't happening here.

Tuesday, 14th February, 2017

  • 03:28 PM - Sadras mentioned Shasarak in post Whatever "lore" is, it isn't "rules."
    Simply having an opinion about a call is nothing to apologize for. Here is the thing though Max, doesn't a Onetruewayism zealot also state their opinion? It becomes increasingly messy to differentiate which unfavourable opinion of one's game is tolerable and which one is not. This might all just be a simple matter of etiquette. @Shasarak did the exact same thing with me in the other thread, calling me a lazy DM because I don't allow every character concept under the sun at my table when I DM. It ain't right either way. His style and my style are clearly different, but we shouldn't go around making disparaging remarks of each others preferences. Hiding behind it just an opinion doesn't give it a free pass. Sorry. EDIT: We cross-posted. Just saw your post above. ;)

Sunday, 12th February, 2017

  • 01:04 AM - pemerton mentioned Shasarak in post Whatever "lore" is, it isn't "rules."
    Imaro, Maxperson, Shasarak: Wizards Presents: Worlds & Monsters, p 62: [T]he design for elementals themselves had to change. . . . The elemental archons are a good example of a new creature born of this design approach. THey were created by the primordials to be elite soldiers . . . In the elemental hierarchy, they form the basis of world-scouring armies. The designers know that these are new creatures - they are not a reconcepting of Jeff Grubb's creation. It surprises me that this is even contentious. Again, contrast eladrin: from pp 40-41 of the same book: Some of the existing good-aligned monsters did incorporate neeat designs that we wanted to preserve and improve upon. Most of the eladrins fell into that category. . . . [W]e noted their generally fey appearance, and this led to a natural association with the Feywild. . . . Eladrins were already powerful magical beings in previous editions of the game. Now they have a very similar role, but as mysterious lords and ladies of the Feywild. When they a...

Saturday, 4th February, 2017

  • 04:20 AM - pemerton mentioned Shasarak in post Whatever "lore" is, it isn't "rules."
    what inherent value would you say it has for you to hew as closely as possible to what feels like the structural essence or foundation of the setting? I asked (a version of) this question on the other thread. Shasarak answered - roughly (but I hope not too loose a paraphrase) the answer was that the setting is a work of art, and departure from canon is a type of "affront" to the artwork. ("Affront" is my word, not Shasarak's - it's not quite right, becuase the artwork doesn't itself have feelings, but for present purposes hopefully it conveys the general idea in a comprehensible fashion.) Respect for my players. If I tell them I'm going to run Darksun, I feel obligated to give them Darksun, not some bastardized version.This seems to imply that one of the reasons you think that my decision to include the WoHS in my GH game was that it disrespected my players. If that is correct, it makes it even more odd to me that you haven't made any inquiries about the circumstances of the case. Is it relevant, for instance, that I started GMing that group as the outcome of a "revolt" against a prior GM whom the rest of us all agreed was terrible - and that it was on the basis of an offer to run a game ...
  • 04:04 AM - pemerton mentioned Shasarak in post Whatever "lore" is, it isn't "rules."
    ...s there are? Maybe they liked the extra magic sub system?Well they clearly liked the magic system, given that they engaged with it via PC building when they were under no obligation to do so. They also liked the story. (I think it's a fairly compelling one. That's why I put it into my game!) But some of them were certainly quite familiar with GH. And even those who didn't know it very well would have seen the well-known cover of Unearthed Arcana with its two moons. I think they simply realised that two visible moons doesn't preclude a third invisible one. I'm not saying that the 3rd moon is canon - of course it's not. I'm saying that adding it doesn't make the game cease to be a GH game. Any RPGing will mean that the setting takes on non-canonical features/elements.I think most Greyhawk GMs would agree with you there.Maybe. That said, this thread consists of a significant number of posts - from Maxperson, Imaro and maybe some other posters (eg I'm less clear about Shasarak on this poiint) - stating that my GH game is not really a GH game precisely because of addditional elements - like the 3rd moon, and the WoHS to go with it - that I have introduced. there's a differences between grabbing someone's work whole cloth and dropping it into your setting, slightly modifying someone else's work and using another's idea as inspiration to springboard off of for your own creation.This is not in dispute either. In my case, the WoHS are dropped largely whole-cloth into GH, with only as many changes made (Suel origins, astronomical details, relationships to other sorcerous traditions) as are needed to have them fit into their new home. My claim is that such a whole-cloth drop (with such slight modifications as are needed to make it work) doesn't make the game cease to be a GH one. as more material got published for campaign settings as well as in Dragon Magazine and in novels, there were a lot more players cropping up with passing familiarity in the se...

Tuesday, 31st January, 2017

  • 03:02 AM - Maxperson mentioned Shasarak in post Whatever "lore" is, it isn't "rules."
    But the only reason you have given for it being "alternative GH" rathwr than GH per se is that you, Maxperson, would have certain expectations disappointed. You have expressly eschewed offering any reason that is not individual and particular to you. Pretty much everyone has a line where settings stop being that setting. It varies from person to person, so of course I can't speak to anyone but myself. My line isn't your line. Your line isn't Shasarak's line. His line isn't Imaro's, and so on. The line does exist for everyone, though. How is that a reason for judging whether or not it is really a GH game (as oppposed to, say, a game that you want to play in).I didn't say I wouldn't want to play in it. I said I wouldn't view it as Greyhawk.

Saturday, 28th January, 2017

  • 08:01 AM - Sadras mentioned Shasarak in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    ... if you're playing canon, the setting of Krynn doesn't cater for those races, however we have a PHB and now Volo's Guide riddled with additional races and classes which do not have a history in that setting. Now If the intention of the DM is to create a game within the parameters of setting are you saying that is not allowable? Similarly, I have my own limitation for my setting, I don't permit monks at my table for whatever reason for my Mystara game. The players know this beforehand. We have been playing within this setting for the last 20 years and they're very much aware of this ruling. It is not as if they are coming every week to my table with a character sheet and I'm going "No, not happening" Not pre-adding everything that a player could possibly want to your campaign setting, and telling a player you won't add in a specific something they like under any circumstance are worlds apart. The former is fine, not at all lazy, and not what was being discussed. The later is what @Shasarak called "lazy". Sorry no you're very much misrepresenting him. @Shasarak has very much outed his intentions by neither responding to my post or @Caliban's. He firmly said that all should be allowed otherwise it's lazy DMing. I'm assuming this is because he still carries the scars of a bad DM or his players have limited (lazy) imaginations and can only play one-trick ponies.
  • 07:49 AM - AaronOfBarbaria mentioned Shasarak in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    [MENTION=6701872]Apparently Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman were lazy because they did not allow Tieflings, Orcs, Half-Orcs, Drow and Lyncathropes in Krynn.Unless you have anecdotes of those two refusing to work something out with a player wanting to play one of those things, you've created a false equivalence. Not pre-adding everything that a player could possibly want to your campaign setting, and telling a player you won't add in a specific something they like under any circumstance are worlds apart. The former is fine, not at all lazy, and not what was being discussed. The later is what Shasarak called "lazy".
  • 06:58 AM - Sadras mentioned Shasarak in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    However, I generally do try to work together with the player, but not always. There are some races that simply don't fit, or I'm simply not willing to deal with. That's my prerogative as a DM. AaronOfBarbaria doesn't follow that line of reasoning, neither does his head-scratching friend Shasarak. The former posted his reasoning in the Capricious Home Rules and DM Pet Peeves thread. The latter is so entitled that he casually calls the rest of us lazy. Apparently Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman were lazy because they did not allow Tieflings, Orcs, Half-Orcs, Drow and Lyncathropes in Krynn. Lazy DMs those two. How about all the other world builders who didn't include Kender. Lazy! And now with Volo's Guide, well you just cannot imagine how many Lazy DM's are out there these days. Its an epidemic I tell you!
  • 02:38 AM - AaronOfBarbaria mentioned Shasarak in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    I also don't like to eat liver. It tastes horrible to me.Using your analogy, and attempting to explain what appears to be Shasarak's view that you just don't seem to be getting: Not eating liver because you don't like the taste makes perfect sense. I don't eat liver either, interestingly enough. But when you say "No dragonborn at my table." it doesn't sound like you are saying "No liver for me, thanks." so much as it sounds like "No liver for anyone eating at the same table as me."

Thursday, 19th January, 2017

  • 09:56 AM - pemerton mentioned Shasarak in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    ...au trope, and it makes the ancient empire trope carried by the Suel pick up stupid backage. All the Suel and the Scarlet Brotherhood have going for them is that they are workings out of these pulp tropes, so once you dilute them you just get less compelling stuff. *The inclusion of a cult of Chauntea in module OA7 - which introduces needless and distracting FR-isms into an otherwise very good module that, more than any other OA module except perhaps OA3, actually makes tropes around the Celestial Bureaucracy, immortality, peachling children, etc central to play. Look, this thread is 163 pages of people mostly trying to explain to you why canon is important to them. At some point you just need to accept that it is a concept you don't understand. I think you're misunderstanding me, or underestimating me, or both. I can read the posts. I can draw inferences from what is said. I'm inviting posters, though, to actually articulate the value that is moving them to care about canon. Shasarak has done this not too far upthread. But some other posters seem to shy away from it: eg they feel like they need to advance instrumental reasons (eg "players will get confused if canon changes") when it seems transparently clear that their concern is not instrumental; or they try and defend blanket claims about the importance of adherence to canon, yet in doing so put forward examples where canon has changed rather markedly (eg what, if anything, differentiates D&D orcs from JRRT's, or D&D orcs from D&D hobgoblins). I think some notion of "integrity of a body of work" is probably in the right neighbourhood for a number of posters other than just Shasarak, but the criteria by which integrity is judged could probably bear more elaboration. For instance, what sorts of trade-offs between thematic integrity and "factual" integrity are permissible (eg can we get rid of earthbergs to get something that is more fitting to the themes of Norse mythology - ie foster thematic integrity - even t...


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Wednesday, 14th November, 2018

  • 02:22 AM - Ratskinner quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    The concerns that I would have with inconsistant spell casting is that narratively it is not accurate and mechanically it is not fun leaving you with a pretty niche solution. What does "narratively it is not accurate" mean? There's lots of relevant fiction with unreliable spellcasting, and plenty of fantasy lit where casting in combat is not even an option (or at least, doesn't happen). The D&D version of a magic wielder (almost any of them) has become so much of its own thing that it seems to be warping what people see and write in the genre. As far as "not fun" goes...well I suppose it wouldn't be for the caster players who are expecting to have everything work automatically, but...a) I've run other games where this was not the case with no problems and b) how is it any more disappointing than when a Fighter or Rogue rolls low damage or misses?

Tuesday, 13th November, 2018

  • 09:47 PM - darkbard quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    My concern is when the Fighter has to spend 30 minutes pondering which of their 30 spells is most appropriate to the situation. I think you're confusing what happens at the table with what happens in the fiction.

Monday, 12th November, 2018

  • 06:54 AM - Hussar quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Just thinking about this point a little. Can you force the DM into doing anything? Maybe. Your Magic User gets the spell Fireball and then, by coincidence, all of a sudden no two enemies are ever positioned close enough together to hit more then 2 or 3 at a time. Wotc releases a book that has Gnomes and Monks and then, by coincidence, all of a sudden all the Gnomes and Monks get eaten by the DM Grudge Monster. Frankly it would be easier to just get a good DM then trying to rules lawyer a bad DM into throwing some crumbs. No. This has absolutely nothing to do with good/bad DM. It's that caster classes get to tell the DM, "Ok, this fantastic thing is happening right now" and the good DM says, "Yup. That's what happens". But, if a non-caster tries to do EXACTLY the same thing, suddenly it's a multi-session quest involving planar travel (which the fighter can't actually DO). I don't care how good of a DM you are. This is just not going to happen. Has nothing to do with bad DMin...
  • 06:49 AM - Hussar quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    No, my assumption is that sounds like a cool idea how can we narratively tie that into the story. Then the immediate push back from you that I get is that "you dont want to faff about" actually doing it. In contrast the feedback from Garthanos is that it would be perfect. So what is it? Do you want to do Epic stuff or do you just want to say that you do Epic stuff. If the DM did not want to change their adventure then they should have thought through the consequences of killing off a PC. It sounds like it would have to be a real railroad for the DM to keep trying to push through after a character death. Ok, it looks like later on, you got the point. Raise Dead has been (more or less) trivial forever. Or, to put it another way, are you saying that caster characters can never be heroic? Or that they can only be heroic when they aren't casting spells?
  • 04:47 AM - Garthanos quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    They need something written down that they can point to so that they get to do "the fun thing" whatever that may be. So they dont have to play the "Sir, may I?" game. And I do sympathise. I think having things written down also can inspire good DMs or teach ones that need experience for instance I am writing the Martial Practices in a way that they are not prescriptive of what might be improvised and parallel rituals usually without being identical. I am including descriptions of without the practice to show how a similar thing might be done more on the fly by a character. Some DMS of 4e have commented that is how they started looking at practices as fodder for thinking about those on the fly rulings and I think that is useful.
  • 03:50 AM - Garthanos quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Frankly it would be easier to just get a good DM then trying to rules lawyer a bad DM into throwing some crumbs. I believe we arent talking about good vs bad dms I mentioned earlier when it was brought up that I think balancing the non-combat abilities of paragon and epic heroes with those explicitly defined ones given to casters is not something trivial that one is going to be able to do easily without having recommendations and guidelines (and yes explicitly defined ones can help too) nor do I really think a paragraph in the DMG counts... without something more. 4e didnt even have if fully functional in my opinion so bringing up that fact just has me shrug and say yes we can do better but 5e didnt. (or sure doesnt seem like it did)
  • 01:37 AM - Garthanos quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    You are not wrong. I would guess the problem is with the players that dont want to "faff about", they just want Joe back on his feet asap. If you look at the original Raise Dead in ADnD you needed at least a 9th level Cleric to cast it, they could not bring back anyone dead for longer then 1 day per level, the character needed to pass a Resurrection Survival Check and the person brought back needed complete bed rest for as many days as they had been dead. So really it is the type of spell you wanted to cast during your down time anyway. I think they would have been better translating that ritual to level 11 in 4e but they just pulled it straight across (Paragon is really name level) I mean not only do you not even need someone else to bring you back, the designers assumed that you were going to be doing it multiple times. Now that was really metal. That is happening so long after the priest was raising the dead for 12 levels already if the DM is pushing the group hard enough for this ...
  • 01:02 AM - Garthanos quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    THIS is the problem? You have a chance to do something truly epic by wrassling Death into returning your dead friend to life and the problem is that you actually have to play it out rather then making an Athletics check and spending 1000gp so you dont have to "faff about"? It's because its brought up in context where everyone has been accepting the Priest doing it trivially FOREVER (ok not all of us) Once its acknowledge that the Cleric doing it that way isn't acceptable either as a trivial expenditure so both the Priest and Shaman and the Warrior pulling off their stylized raise dead trick get pulled into the story driven implementation (at least the first time I am cool with it). For instance the way I wrote it up I even called it Grail Quest - if the Karma points were not available for the resurrection even after the first time there would also be "earning it". Arthur had much smaller group doing the search it was him and an irishman (a Llewc / Lugh fellow which is probably an earlier ...
  • 12:40 AM - Hussar quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    THIS is the problem? You have a chance to do something truly epic by wrassling Death into returning your dead friend to life and the problem is that you actually have to play it out rather then making an Athletics check and spending 1000gp so you dont have to "faff about"? What I am hearing is that you want your character to "do" epic things with the proviso that you do not have to actually do epic things, just say that you have done them. Is that more or less correct? My fake answer to this is, that he should have played a better game so his loser character did not die then. My actual answer to this is, that it is a complicated topic that probably should at least be mentioned in session 0 so that Players and DM can at least recognise that character death could happen and what does everyone want to do about it if it does happen. Your assumption here is that every DM would go ahead and create an adventure where you go and wrestle death instead of just looking at the player and ...

Sunday, 11th November, 2018

  • 11:45 PM - Hussar quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Well here's a list of examples and there usage in another Epic skill challenge from the epic tier adventure "Test of Fire" where both Athletics and Stealth uses are suggested... again in a totally mundane...but with bigger numbers...type of way. I just find it strange that if mythic feats like the one pemerton described (shoving one's hands into a furnace to hold an artifact while it is being forged) are the inherent fiction in epic level 4e... well why do the examples in official adventures seem so mundane? It's almost as if it isn't inherent in 4e but instead what pemerton has chosen the fiction to be in his epic level 4e games (which is a great thing but again something that can be done in 5e as well)... I mean when using stealth why aren't the characters commanding the stuff of shadows to cloak themselves? Why when using Athletics do they need to leap from barge to barge or find a narrow point to leap the length of the canal shouldn't an epic warrior with athletics just be able to make ...
  • 09:13 PM - Garthanos quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    I dont have any problem with someone wanting to wrassle Death to bring someone back to life. My problem would be making it equivalent to the Raise Dead ritual where you spend 1000gp on incense, make your Athletics check, spend an hour and done. Personally I would much rather make a whole adventure of finding a cave that connects with the underworld, get past Cerberus, sail down the Styx and then challenging Death to a wrestling contest. The acquistion of rituals and practices both in 4e are in story like magic items and the first time you do it I think yes that binding it up in a quest is perfect The knights travel into the other world and recover the Grail is one version of this.... And in 4e since these things are less bound up like class features I actually recommend we do the same with the Cleric ritual as it stands it sucks. And always has really
  • 01:45 PM - Imaro quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    I dont know how typical your example of a skill challenge is but for many Fighters the chances of adding a success look pretty grim with the given examples of skills to use. Given that you need to hit between high 20s to low 30s for a success the player needs to come up with a narrative way they can swing an Athletics or Survival check into convincing the Aspect of Moradin to help. Well here's a list of examples and there usage in another Epic skill challenge from the epic tier adventure "Test of Fire" where both Athletics and Stealth uses are suggested... again in a totally mundane...but with bigger numbers...type of way. I just find it strange that if mythic feats like the one pemerton described (shoving one's hands into a furnace to hold an artifact while it is being forged) are the inherent fiction in epic level 4e... well why do the examples in official adventures seem so mundane? It's almost as if it isn't inherent in 4e but instead what pemerton has chosen the fiction to be in his ...
  • 08:02 AM - Imaro quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Was I talking about your point or Hussars point? Because I really can not see that one 4e DM allowing a character to plunge their hands into a forge is evidence that every 4e DM would allow it, or indeed any other DM. The 4e system is designed to force Players who want to maximise their chances of passing a skill challenge to try and use their best skills in anyway that the DM will allow. I would imagine that the best system of DnD for creating magical items was actually ADnD because the adventure was in the assembly of the materials required rather then in the process of creation itself. Good point... are there any official 4e Epic adventures where something like the forge example @pemerton gave is a part of an official skill challenge or check? I was glancing through an epic tier adventure from Dungeon called "Those Once Loyal" and the skill challenges and checks I saw seemed pretty mundane (with the epicness seeming to come from the opposition as opposed to the capabilities of the PC's). ...
  • 04:29 AM - pemerton quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    the Fighters mythic-level abilities are about fighting If you want to talk about high level play, then by 15th level my Fighter has all sorts of items that bypass all those normal restrictions you complain about.I hope it's fairly clear why I would read these as essentially reiterations of my point, rather than contradictions of it.
  • 02:42 AM - Hussar quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    I am not unsympathetic to your complaint. It would be good to have good clear rules that gave every DM (and Player) the same idea of what was possible and on the other hand it just does not seem possible to get everyone to agree. In the Conan story 'The Tower of the Elephant' he does not rely on a spell to get into the Tower he uses a grappling hook and rope to climb up. Imagining that was a party of DnD characters, you could have the Magic-User fly the rope to the top of the Tower (using one of her spells to do so) or you could have the Fighter throw the rope up achieving the same result with no loss of resources. Now I understand that resource management is not a popular style but I am still not sure why you would argue for the Fighter to have to memorise the Rope Throwing spell as an advantage over the more usual ability check to throw a rope, even if the ability check has a chance of failure. Which is fine to a point. Unfortunately, the whole resource management issue goes out t...
  • 01:45 AM - Parmandur quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    I am not unsympathetic to your complaint. It would be good to have good clear rules that gave every DM (and Player) the same idea of what was possible and on the other hand it just does not seem possible to get everyone to agree. In the Conan story 'The Tower of the Elephant' he does not rely on a spell to get into the Tower he uses a grappling hook and rope to climb up. Imagining that was a party of DnD characters, you could have the Magic-User fly the rope to the top of the Tower (using one of her spells to do so) or you could have the Fighter throw the rope up achieving the same result with no loss of resources. Now I understand that resource management is not a popular style but I am still not sure why you would argue for the Fighter to have to memorise the Rope Throwing spell as an advantage over the more usual ability check to throw a rope, even if the ability check has a chance of failure. Yeah, if we approach this seriously as a problem, the DCC solution of making spells dang...

Saturday, 10th November, 2018

  • 09:29 AM - Hussar quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    /snip Sure, "I" am missing the point. The Fighter can jump 20 foot all day, every day and twice as much on Sundays while the Magic-User better damn well hope that they thought of prepping that Fly or Jump or whatever Piss off the Fighter spell in the morning instead of anything else more useful if the party gets jumped by gawd knows what monster. Because nothing says power like the ability to get past something that a grappling hook, a 50' rope and a Strength check can do just as well. /snip Nope, not all day long. That 5e fighter with a 15 strength (that was the example) cannot jump 20 feet EVER. Not unless the DM says so. And, what is the DC in 5e? How, as a player, do I judge the difficulty of that jump without consulting the DM? Answer is, I can't. The DC is entirely in the hands of the DM. And as ten different DM's and you'll get eleven different DC's because it's all about DM empowerment. And, AGAIN, totally missing the point. If the caster can do something witho...
  • 06:34 AM - Umbran quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Thor did not craft his own magical axe, he went to get Peter Dinklage to craft a new magical axe because of course you would. He was not Thor crafter of magical axes after all. Although in the end we find out that Thor does not actually need a magical axe because, like the power of love, the magic was inside of him all this time. Aside from the main argument... Um, not quite. We learn that Thor is not the God of Hammers in Thor: Ragnarok. It is *AFTER* that, in the next Avengers movie, that he learns that for some things he does still need a weapon, and gets one made.
  • 02:39 AM - pemerton quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    So your Dwarf wants to help in the creation of a magical artifact and the most appropriate skill that you can think of to fit that situation is Endurance. How does how tough your character is narratively apply to this situation?I'll post the actual play report again: Another thing that had been planned for some time, by the player of the dwarf fighter-cleric, was to have his dwarven smiths reforge Whelm - a dwarven thrower warhammer artefact (originally from White Plume Mountain) - into Overwhelm, the same thing but as a morenkrad (the character is a two-hander specialist). And with this break from adventure he finally had he chance. Again I adjudicated it as a complexity 1 (4 before 3) skill challenge. The fighter-cleric had succeeded at Dungeoneering (the closest in 4e to an engineering skill) and Diplomacy (to keep his dwarven artificers at the forge as the temperature and magical energies rise to unprecedented heights). The wizard had succeeded at Arcana (to keep the magical forces ...
  • 02:03 AM - Hussar quoted Shasarak in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    As a common thing one-shots - for or against the PCs - are a bad idea once beyond the very low levels. As an occasional spectacular exception that the players will talk about for years, though? Sure! Bring it on! Lan-"and this right here is the base rationale behind every critical hit system ever made"-efan Again, it depends on the system. Savage Worlds makes virtually everyone except for Wild Cards a one shot kill. And there are several systems that don't use HP. And, even as a Wild Card, you get stunned pretty often by a hit. In other words, combat is far more dangerous than it is in D&D. But, since D&D uses HP, combat generally isn't as dangerous as it is in other systems, so, we tend to play a LOT more combat in D&D than in other systems. Which, honestly is pretty darn fun too. :D Just so I understand correctly, the power that you want a high level Fighter to have, the thing that will give them some kind of parity with the Magic-User, is the ability of holding the Magic-...


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